Wednesday, May 27, 2009

She Give Me Fever

Memorial Day came and went, with a visit from Gramma Goose, Grampa PhD, AKA, and Mr Ben to replicate the Memorial Day visit of last year.

Except this time, Kiddokabiddo was OUTSIDE my womb, and I didn't have to call Mom back down three days later when I gave birth!

We had a pretty relaxing time: tons of MEMORIAL DAY food like hot dogs, burgers, steaks, baked beans, chips, and the first summer pie of the season, BLUEBERRY PEACH. Mmmmm. Dad and Ben hauled my blanket chest upstairs to our bedroom, we hung framed pictures, and Mom & Kate & I planted and trimmed shrubbery. Pretty low-key, considering that last year was a fiesta of light installation, outlet replacements, major planting, and dozens of sundry other tasks. We'd only been there for 2 weeks, ok?

Vee had been complaining of a "special" sore throat that "only he gets," so imagine how I was NOT surprised when I woke up with my own "special" sore throat on Saturday morning, accompanied by an annoying half-cough. IT WAS A FULL-ON COLD, and the only kind of cold I get--a summer cold. I don't get sick all freaking winter long, and yet, without fail, I ALWAYS get a summer cold, generally around Memorial Day. And no, it's not allergies.

Last night, however, the "special" sickness made its way to poor little Kiddo, who woke up at 2:30am with a 102 fever. My little Kiddo didn't let it get her down, but she was BURNING UP as I nursed her back to sleep.

And then I COULD NOT get back to sleep because I kept hearing:

This is the first time she's been sick, and although she's not showing any other signs of anything, I feel so bad for her. ALMOST ONE FULL YEAR with nothing other than baby jaundice!

Vee took her in for her one year appointment yesterday and she got her second round of Pc and HiB shots, and I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK THERE IS MORE TO THIS FEVER than just the "special" cold, but I can't prove it.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Season Shift

This whole season-shift from semi-warm and mostly sunny to HOT HOT HOT and BLAZING RAYS FROM 9AM-8PM is making me nostalgic. For SUMMER memories, all of them years old, and they smack me in my tracks when I'm trying to go about my normal day, sweeping up Cheerios spilled by the Kiddo or going for a walk.

I have alternately needed to remember:
  • The three-week-long summer trip my family took in summer 98, driving from Indiana to Oregon and back again, doing everything from visiting Prairie Dog Town to camping in Rocky Mountain National Park to trying to see Mount Rushmore through the thick fog (we failed at that)
  • The summer I spent in drivers ed and the feeling that I was either old or insane, being allowed in the drivers seat of a car, in utter control
  • Walking around the huge old conifers at Avery Park (Corvallis), the immense age and weight of them, and watching the tubers floating downstream at the levee
  • My 22nd birthday in Iowa City and finally getting to spend my birthDAY with friends, eating pizza at a bar I'd never been to and never went back to, playing volleyball at a dorm none of us had ever lived in, and feeling the kind of friend-love you only really appreciate when you're three weeks away from moving to THE REST OF YOUR LIFE and the gravity of what you're leaving hits you
It's only natural, I think, that as you enter a new season, you can't HELP but remember the seasons of the years before you. It doesn't make it any easier. THE NOSTALGIC CRAB IN ME, FRAUGHT WITH LONGING FOR MY MEMORIES!

Is it just my astrological bent, or do you feel it too?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Home Show: Ultimate Home Show

Back from my week-long computer hiatus; I got my May Seventeen blog up at last, my Google Reader is exploding and needs to be caught up, but while I was gone, a momentous anniversary passed me by.

It's been over one year now since Vee and I moved back to our beloved prairie city, and over one year now since we've been homeowners.

In commemoration, I present to you:

An Exhaustive List of All of Our Home Improvements

Front Yard
planted flowers
installed new door knocker with OUR last name (no longer captive to the previous owners)
massacred insanely overgrown weeds that had grown thick, branch-like stems

Back Yard
put up clothesline
planted four prairie grasses to serve as a "natural fence"
planted lilac bush
installed rain barrel (working on the rain chain)
put out compost bin

Throughout the House
replaced gross taupe light switches, plates, and plugs with white switches/plates/plugs
ripped up cat-powdered "white" carpet and installed bamboo floors (in hall, living room, dining room, and all three bedrooms)
either replaced or painted scarred-up old molding with white
replaced sick cheap-shower-curtain-looking "drapes" in the basement windows with new ones

Dining Room
instantly removed repulsive 20-year-old "lace curtains" which had literally never been cleaned (I swear to you, this was the very first home improvement we made. I was barfing.)
covered chandelier sticks with patterned sleeves
painted awesome dark gray

Kitchen/Breakfast Nook
painted thrilling green
replaced cabinet handles and hinges from brass to smooth nickel-plated
removed stupid outdated "poofs" over windows
FINALLY ditched ugly one-side-carpet-from-the-early-90s, one-side-shower-curtain "sliding door blinds" and replaced with sheer gray striped curtains

Living Room
painted calming gray
removed dumb green sheer curtains
put up prairie flower decal

painted light gray
put up prairie grass decal

Main Bathroom
repainted MUCH better green and eliminated corny old border
replaced shower curtain
put up birch tree decals
replaced light fixture
installed cabinet
relocated towel bar

Guest Bedroom
painted bold orangish/red

Kiddo's Bedroom
painted soft green
rearranged curtains

Master Bedroom
painted "peach" (which was an utter mistake and looks the same as the yellow they originally had; TURQUOISE is on the horizon and will hopefully be done this week)
took down sick green blinds and replaced with white
installed new fan/light fixture
took down moldy old sliding closet doors

Master Bathroom
painted yellow (again, mistake, but no color fix on the horizon)
installed new light fixture
installed cabinet (can you believe these peeps seriously had no bathroom cabinet space IN EITHER?)

Downstairs Office
painted two walls terracotta
finally removed bordello cafe curtain

Include random fixes to the house in general (new garage door opening system, etc) and we were busy little bees. No, we didn't do ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ourselves--we had some great helpers.


Monday, May 11, 2009


Out of commission for the rest of this week. My gramma, Kiddo's great-gramma, passed away last night. We're headed back up north.

I am so grateful for all the time I got to spend with my gramma, especially these later years, and I am so happy my gramma got to know my baby.

I love you, Gramma. And I miss you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mi Vida

Another day, another ducat.

(All apologies to "Mi Vida Loca")

All my plants outside are coming to life, which is thrilling to a black-thumb like myself. I diss the previous owners of this house all the time, but I have to thank whoever it was that planted six kind tulip bulbs (three reddish pink, two dark purple, and one yellow) because I am harvesting them and bringing 'em in. Of course, the yellow tulip bulb washed underneath one of the faux-lilac bushes, so I had to bend the overgrown branches apart to pluck out the bloomed stem.

Always good to plot for erosion!

My black thumb is particularly proud of my REAL lilac bush, planted by my mom almost one solid year ago over Memorial Day weekend as my pregnant ass "supervised," because it is blooming its head off. Up at my parents' house, her lilac bush, carefully tended because it's a transplant from HER parents' house, didn't bloom for three years. AND MINE IS!

I am taking credit, but it has nothing to do with me.

Something that DOES have to do with me: in one short month, I am DECREASING TO HALF-TIME!

Another "I say 'Jump,' my employer asks 'How high?'" scenario, but really it comes down to the fact that I am not taking a reduction in my work load, just in the number of hours I am working. Which means no more scrambling to sit in front of the computer as soon as Kiddo goes down for her nap, only to find that there is nothing to do.

HALF-TIME! I am going from working 1.75x to 1.5x! 10 hours a week is a big deal!

I love my employer, and I love my baby. How did I get it so good?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I am insanely blog-delinquent; I haven't put out May's Seventeen blog yet (SORRY! I am furiously scanning the pictures tonight and hope to have it up by Thursday or Friday) and haven't blogged here in days...hopelessly behind on catching up on my life, so I'm going to make this a huge HOME SHOW and embarrass myself by just going to the key rooms and taking pics, mess-on-the-counters and all.

BEFORE I GET THERE, however, I've got to blog our weekend up north! Vee, Kiddo and I left at 7pm, hoping to catch Kiddo's bedtime in the car so we wouldn't have to listen to 4 hours of shrieks like we did the LAST time we did that drive. Since we knew we'd be driving through the dark, we took the route that winds us up along I-35 through northern Iowa--sincerely, with the only exception of Bloomington, IL to Champaign, IL, my least favorite drive ever.

It had been an entire year since Vee or I had been on I-80 west of Des Moines--because it had been an entire year since we moved out west. A WHOLE YEAR! Kiddo was kicking me and I was chowing down on a Dairy Queen Blizzard (very Tori Spelling of me) last time we were there!

I-80 west of Des Moines is generally one of my favorite stretches, though it seems to loom large in everyone else's memory as "THIS IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO AVOID WHEN I DRIVE 'OUT WEST' AND THE ONLY THING I WILL REMEMBER WHEN I AM DISSING THE PRAIRIE STATES." But I'm telling you: IT HAS CHANGED! Stampeding along the fields and farms is WINDMILL CITY, stark landscape billboards-for-alternative-energy that DOMINATE the view as well as FINALLY harnessing all that crazy wind blowing from Nebraska!

(I tried to get Vee to take a picture that really showed it, but as you can see, we are not photographers. We are hopeless "through the windshield; 'you have to see it in person' documenters.)


I think it's a great thing; don't get me wrong. It just SHOCKED me! All these in a year! I swear--I've done this drive for years and NO WAY were there as many windmills as there are now.


So we scooted up I-35 in the dark, no problem, made it to the Twin Cities, crashed out, and went to see our friend Bejevals at the St Paul Craftstravaganza on Saturday morning! Her work is truly beautiful--she sold 6 little buddies at the show--and Vee and I bought Kiddo her First Birthday dress, which is utterly TDF! (pics after she wears it)

My family all went back to my sister's UNBELIEVABLE house for the afternoon (she is renting a house LITERALLY identical to my family's old house back in the Haute...EXCEPT WITH A POOL AND A SAUNA OUT BACK and an entire full basement. AND SHE IS PAYING $300 A MONTH WITH ONE FRIEND TO RENT THIS! And IT'S IN A REALLY NICE NEIGHBORHOOD! RECESSION ECONOMY!) and then Mom and I went out to dinner at the Downtowner Woodfire Grill ("the place to see and be seen," according to Mom's coworkers) before going to...


Which was A-MAZ-ING! I am not one of those "will chuckle at not-funny jokes in order to keep the mood in the auditorium light" people, so I hope you will keep that in mind when I tell you that I was laughing my face off, OUT LOUD, for most of the show.

We went to church on Sunday and watched Gramma Goose and Grampa PhD do great work as readers, Vee and Grampa PhD went and worked out, and then Vee and I headed downtown for MOM'S SECOND NIGHT OUT IN A ROW: dinner at Palomino with Bejevals and Mr Bejevals and our friend Summ J.D.! It was SO AWESOME to have dinner with such great friends, and then it was followed up by Vee and I casually crossing the street to the Orpheum and entering THE LEONARD COHEN ZONE!

What can I say? It was amazing! Vee and I differed on performance faves (he really liked "Chelsea Hotel" and I thought it was too swingy; his favorite was "The Future" and I will always swoon for "I'm Your Man," although "The Gypsy's Wife" was soooooooooo great) but we both loved it. SHARON ROBINSON was SO GOOD soloing "Boogie Street!" The Webb sisters' "If It Be Your Will" was enchanting! The only part that sucked?



I wanted to punch his FACE in! DUDE! It was soooooooooooooooooooo ridiculously condescending, like, "Yep, Leonard, you are TOTALLY getting my emotions correct; nice work, old man."

But I am so far off track right now--the concert was amazing, our time with Gramma Goose and Grampa PhD and AKA was relaxing and enjoyable, but I need to Home Show this blog and move us up to the present.


I painted this sucker a nice terracotta (I believe it was Valspar's "La Fonda Tile Red") and this is going to be my Southwest room. It's the office; I live here. We stripped down the corny bordello curtains too, and I need something in their place, but right now, just having the walls painted (we did the north and south walls only) is SO. MUCH. BETTER. Grampa PhD is working on framing some Edward Curtis photographs that are going to be hung on the wall and I'M TELLING YOU: the ambience is going to be sublime when we're all done.

Living Room:

We finally got the photograph we bought, cough, almost a year ago, framed, and it's up on the mantel awaiting the hanging, and we're pretty happy with it, but the dark green matting makes the whole thing look a little more NORTH WOODS than we were aiming for. We'll probably strip it down to a bare frame as time goes on, but at least it's not hanging ashamedly on the wall in ITS PLASTIC WRAPPER anymore.

Kitchen/Breakfast Nook:

Ok, have at it. Still need to make some decisions on those cabinets (i.e. keeping them open, making more open, or putting the doors back on), but Grampa PhD replaced all of our hinges and handles with silver/nickel, so it looks WAY sharper. Honestly, I'm leaning towards a bright pink for the cabinet doors.

YES, I said bright pink. We're going to have to replace them before selling the house in 5-6 years anyway, so I might as well have all the color I want in between now and then.

What do you think? Crazy?

(from Desire to Inspire)

(from Zimbio)

I know, I know--with our green walls, the pink might be a little too much, and I don't want to repaint the walls because I love the green. Any suggestions for what we can do to these boring-ass cabinets, though, without having to buy new doors?

Decal City:
Here's the decal in our hallway

and the decal in our living room

I really like these because I think they add the element of PRAIRIE COHESION we were looking for.

And finally, the moment WE have been waiting for since Valentine's Day 2009:


WORTH! THE! WAIT! (Even through all the BS and blame--TEVS, DOGGY, IT'S HERE AND IT'S FABULOUS!)