Thursday, December 11, 2008

Food poisoning anyone?

Dec. 11
Hello and happy two weeks before Christmas!

Jeff and I both took turns having food poisoning this week, and lucky me, I had it about 10 times worse than he did. For those of you who haven't experienced vomiting while six months pregnant, let me just tell you, you're really missing out on something very special . . . and disgusting. Two days later, I'm feeling mostly better, but my insides hurt from all the heaving (sorry for the gross details).

I know many of you are eagerly awaiting trash talk about the Laurel Creek Christmas party, but alas, although a pleasant evening, it was utterly uneventful. Though, in keeping with their reputation, my neighbors did close the party down, many of them with a hearty dose of booze under their belts (hey, if it's free, why not, right?).

Always trying to keep up with Martha, I had to bake eight dozen cookies this week for a cookie exchange (add eight dozen to those trays you burn, plus extras to make up for less than pretty cookies, and we're talking 10 dozen). I came home with a ton of cookies, but since we were both sick, we haven't even tried any.

Since this neighborhood goes a little wild at Christmas, I invited Addie's preschool class over for dinner and a Christmas light walk. I'm sure those of you who saw Jeff's decorations in Portland were worried how they'd fit in here in here in the south - but no worries, there's something about a big yard that somehow makes them all a bit more tasteful looking . . . Or it could be the fact that every yard has an inflatable or three, so we just blend in.

I took the cat to the vet again (and we're due again in January), but alas, did not get put in the room with the Gun & Garden magazine. But I did have a chance to read The Christian Veterinarian, and it's all that you'd imagine it would be. I just can't believe I've gone my whole life completely unaware that these types of literature existed. And I called myself an English Major.

On the upside of a very expensive vet visit, I did find an add for a veterinarian mission trip to Mongolia to help train local vets in small animal care. Do you think my experience with Tiny Bubbles qualifies me?

About a week ago, Jeff and I were watching TV (okay, he was watching, and I was napping), and he poked me and said in amazement, "Do you see this?!" Normally, Jeff pays no mind to the unusual Southerners of where we live, so I was doubly amazed that he felt inclined to poke me. Anyway, the 10 o'clock news was doing a feature story on . . . wait for it . . . Jesus Christ. It was, and I am not making this up, a biography of the Savior himself. Now remember, this wasn't a Christmas special, or the religious channel, it was a mainstream Charlotte news channel just doing their part to spread The Word.

I realize that was probably normal for these parts, but coming from the Pacific Northwest, where you can't even sing the Pledge of Allegiance, I was awed.

The church where Addie goes to preschool puts on a huge Journey Through Bethlehem every year. It's an interactive reenactment of Jesus' birth with over 500 cast members, and since we knew the Baby Jesus, we felt obligated to go. It was well done, and definitely worth the free admission. Although we had no idea they spoke with such deep southern accents in Bethlehem . . .

As some of you know, we've been working at potty training with Addie for some time now, and to no avail. In an effort to move things along, I switched Addie to pull-ups, which has helped dramatically, but honestly, who has the patients for this? Addie now wants to sit on the potty all the time, particularly when we're out shopping. You'd think this would be great, and a step in the right direction, but we've had ZERO successes so far. Not only that, she's also quite particularly about where and how she sits. It has to be upstairs on her potty (never mind that we have a little seat and stool set up for her downstairs), Jeff or I have to be with her, and books and/or toys are a must. I realize it's my job to be supportive and all that, but good lord, 5:40am in the morning does not a supportive mother make.

Well, only one week and one day until we fly back to Oregon. For those of you who we won't get to see while home (ie you don't live there), Merry Christmas!!

Much Love,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Carnivorous Squirrels

Dec. 4

Hi there and happy Thursday,

Well, here I am avoiding studying again. It's amazing the things you can find to do when you have important (expensive) tests to study for (an Prof. in HR Certification test for those of you who don't know).

Addie got into Jeff's deodorant this morning, and let me just say, there's nothing quite like a two year old girl smelling like a musky man . . . I'm thinking of bottling the concept for Mattel or Fisher Price. If that doesn't work, I'm considering asking Brittany Spears to be the face of the my new scent - "Guess Who Got into Dad's Dresser?"

Christmasville starts here this weekend, which features over 70 holiday events, including, "Festival of Trees Cocktail Crawl," followed closely by "Single Malt Scotch Tasting." Who knew? I had never associated Christmass trees and cocktails, but if that's what helps you get through the holidays, more power to you.

Even bigger news, a coffee shop opened up downtown (since moving here, I have made it my goal to seek out and try each coffee shop in Rock Hill - a task that only took me about two days . . .), which was a huge day for me. So big in fact, that I pre-arranged to meet some of the other preschool moms there on opening day. They're off to a great start - out of three orders, they only made two mistakes.

I'm pulling for them though. And since everyone needs and is desperately waiting for my informed opinions, I gave them mine.

As most of you know, Jeff's alter-ego is a lumber jack, but since his dad convinced him to leave his chainsaw in Oregon with him, Jeff's been chomping at the bit to cut down some trees. Since someone wouldn't mail said chainsaw back to him (I'm talking about you Randy), Jeff got a brand new shiny chainsaw for his birthday (if anyone needs any advice on Stihl chainsaws, I'm your woman). All week Jeff had his eye on a dead pine tree behind our house (although not technically on our property, we figured dead trees are fair game), but sadly, the day before he was going to cut it down, it blew over in a wind storm (well, not really a storm, more of a strong breeze and some aggressive squirrels). You have never seen someone so crest fallen as Jeff was when he realized he wasn't going to get to fall (fell?) that tree.

But don't worry, Jeff got nearly as much satisfaction cutting the downed tree up into logs, and chopping firewood. Jeff is never quite so happy as he is when he's swinging an ax and using is manly muscles. I'd like to be able to say I helped him, but I believe I was taking a nap instead (since it is practically my new hobby).

I'm sure you are all relieved to hear that the tax free gun sales weekend was a big success. According to the article, the south is doing their part to keep the economy stimulated by taking advantage of no sales tax on all gun purchases last weekend. Apparently the combination of saving 7% and Obama's potential gun reform, there were mad rushes to every gun selling store in South Carolina. The weekend was affectionately referred to as "celebration of the second amendment weekend." I'm just sorry I didn't take advantage of it while I could.

Addie has a really neat new sleeping habit (or not sleeping habit). When she wakes up in the middle of the night, or during her nap time, and can't get back to sleep, she collects anything she can get her hands on, and puts it in bed with her. So far I've found four pairs of shoes (not matching pairs mind you), a whole pile of dirty laundry (it was piled on her back while she was sleeping, so I'm not entirely sure how she pulled that one off), spare socks (Jeff had just been wondering why her socks were all of the sudden coming up with mis-matches), every stuffed animal in her room (at least 20 of them), her belt buckle and belt (that's actually a favorite), and of course, every toy she can reach. It's a wonder there's any room for her in there.

We've also discovered a really fun game called, "Lets see if I can pull the cat under the door." Last week Addie was in her room not taking her nap, and the cat was outside in the hall. Since both are gluttens for punishment, Addie stuck her hands under the door, and waved them tantalizingly (like a worm on a hook), and of course, the cat bit them. Then the cat would take her turn sticking her paws under the door, and Addie would try to pull her through. Every few minutes you'd hear Addie cry and the cat howl. You'd think they'd learn, but this went on for a good 15 minutes.

And lastly, the carnivorous squirrels. This is actually old news, but I keep thinking about it each time a squirrel eyes Addie on our walks.

Jeff has two sets of mounted antlers that he got from his grandpa, and he dutifully hung them up on the trees in our yard once they were unpacked. Within a few weeks he noticed that the antlers were getting smaller, and that each spike had large (not just small nibbles) bites taken out of them. You might not think this so odd - bones (or bone-like substance) outdoors will get eaten, right? These same antlers had hung in the woods of Dallas for many years, with nary a nibble.

Within a few minutes of close surveillance, Jeff witnessed busy-tailed grey squirrels climb up the tree, unhinge their jaws and take shark-sized bites out of the antlers (okay, maybe they didn't unhinge their jaws, but if you'd seen these bite marks, you'd be asking the same questions). Needless to say, the antlers came down, and are now safely in the garage with the petrified frogs. And for the record, I'm deeply disappointed about that.

Tonight is the big Laurel Creek Christmas Party, so I hope no ones looking for a babysitter tonight, since some have been booked for this party since July. I'll tell you what though, if you want to start a neighborhood feud, try booking the most sought after sitters six months in advance.

Take Care and Much Love to All,