Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EMM: Rideshare

Okay this one is really hard. I know all the benefits of carpooling, but I just don't feel comfortable with this. If I worked at a big company, I might be able to do it, but with my job (and the 10 people I work with) it's not going to happen. Here is what I can do along the same lines. I try to group my errands together by location so that I save time as well as miles. I also try to do as much at any one location (it's why I shop Walmart so much, I can get groceries, pet food, household goods, picture frames, clothes, etc. all in one trip). But it works for other things too. We have a really nice outdoor mall that I can go to and hit the pet store, bookstore, craft store, and eat lunch.

I did think about if Paul could rideshare (assuming we found someone), but honestly, I'd prefer he didn't rideshare. I want Paul to be able to leave if there were some sort of emergency and if he wasn't the driver that day then he couldn't just jump in the car and come home. I'm sure before kids I wouldn't have even thought about this.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Never Ever Will Do & Don't Really Apply

Okay, so I'm finally finishing up this post I started about the book 101 Things To Do Before You Turn 40.  You can read the first part here.

Don’t Apply:
1. Quit your book club.  I never joined a book club, although I thought about it.
2. Bridge the baby chasm.  This one has to do with how to maintain friendships with women who have babies and you don't.  I have the kid now so it doesn't apply.
3. Drop $50 on a bottle of wine.  I hate the way wine tastes.  Of course maybe I'd like a $50 wine better, but so not worth my money to find out.
4. Dump the Gap.  Okay, I guess this one could apply, problem is Gap is one of the few places that has jeans that fit me and look good.  I have actually tried to purchase new clothes more often in the last few years.  I am not into fashion or style and my wardrobe certainly reflects that.  I've always hated shopping mainly because they never have my size.  There's nothing more defeating that seeing cute clothes but not finding them in your size!
5. Quit smoking.  I'd have to smoke first in order to quit.
6. Think outside the box.  I had to go back and look this one up. I forgot what it was about.  It means get your hair professionally colored instead of just using those grocery store boxes to cover your gray.  Luckily for me I don't have much gray and the few strands I do have, I make my mom yank them when she cuts my hair.  (She's been a hairdresser all my life, and I never have to explain what I want done.)

Never Ever:
1. Eat the worm.  Ok, first, not much of a drinker so I'd never get to the bottom of the bottle.  Second, ewwwww!  That's just gross.  By the way, never watched Fear Factor or Survival, mostly because of things like this.
2. Go somewhere that makes people scratch their heads.
3. Ride a roller coaster.  I've ridden roller coasters (back in my high school days), but that's kind of the books point.  You should do it now that you are older.  My philosophy is that I don't have to do things I don't want to BECAUSE I'm older.  I rode the rides when I was young mainly to stop the teasing from friends.  Now I "just say no!"
4. Scuba dive.  I get claustrophobic, wear glasses, and don't really swim (I swim enough not to drown, but I prefer laying on a raft, just drifting).  I like the idea of scuba diving, seeing the coral and fish, but I just don't see me ever actually doing it.
5. Go to Paris.  Okay, this might happen, but since I don't really like traveling and there are so many places in the States to see, this one is probably way, way , way far down the list.  Besides, our trip to China to get Logan will probably tide me over for a while.
6. Pierce something other than your ear. Honestly, I'm surprised I actually pierced my ears.  Of course, it took several tries before I finally did it.  (I was 7 years old at the time.)  As I like to say, I don't typically get a flu shot (now only for my daughter)and that could save my life, so why would I ever get stuck with a needle for fun.  This is also the same reasoning I use against tattoos.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Books, Books, & More Books

I packed up some books to take to Half Price Books.  I have about 5 boxes consisting of 3 different (and complete sets).  Sophie helped me carry them to from the shelf to the table...what a helper!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

EMM: Create, Support, Appreciate Art

I t seems crazy to me that art, music, and even PE classes are being removed from schools. Well, not removed completely but certainly spending less time in those classes. I definitely understand that academics are important but there is research showing that participation in art and music can actually increase test scores. And as far as PE classes, all you have to do is look around to know that less physical activity is just WRONG.

One of the great things about my job is that I get to see kids creating art all the time. I even get to help out and make stuff too. Obviously, younger children are exposed to more art-like projects since they can't "read, write or 'rithmitic" yet. Art is as regular to a preschool curriculum as snack and naptime!

I think I am fairly creative, but not so much artistic. Thankfully, art is completely subjective (at least that's my belief). I can make whatever I want. I can also view lots of different types of art and always find something I love.

Here are some pictures of things I've created.

And a couple from museums we've taken Sophie to.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Living Room

Kelly's Korner has started doing her Show Us Your Life blog event every Friday after taking a break this summer. She is going to do house tours with the living room to start off. Here is a picture of our living room just after we got the new couches in May. I took this picture for the adoption stuff we had to send after we got the information about Logan.

To the left across from the sofa is the entertainment center with our television, DVD's and scrapbooks. The dining table is behind the sofa and the kitchen is to the right. I love the new furniture, but I'm not sure what we are going to do with the Christmas tree. Normally, it would go where the overstuffed chair is. The chair may have to be relocated during Christmas, or maybe we can just move out a side table. We'll just have to play around with it when the time comes.

EMM: Donate Books

You should definitely go to the Every Monday Matters website to see all the statistics for today. But this is the one that just broke my heart: There is only 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods compared to 13 books per child in middle-income neighborhoods. I can't even keep up with all the books Sophie and Logan have. So to think there are children with none is just terrible.

Of course the fact that Sophie has so many will actually make it hard to choose ones to donate, but we will find some kids books as well as some of my own. I also have a gift card for Half Price Books that we can use to buy some books to donate. Now where to donate? I'll need to call around and see who needs to replenish their stash.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chinese Cooking Class

I gave Paul a gift certificate to Central Market Cooking School for Fathers Day. He loves to watch Iron Chef and is always saying how he should have been a chef. We let the in-laws watch Sophie for the night and enjoyed a great evening learning some Chinese cooking. The woman who taught is was so wonderful and the recipes were really simple. Everyone got a chance to make potstickers. Then we drew for the remaining 3 dishes so that we all got an opportunity to make something first hand. I did beef with broccoli and Paul's was shrimp with lobster sauce. I think it's funny that there wasn't actually any lobster in that dish but mine had oyster extract in it. For dessert we had almond cookies and green tea ice cream. The almond cookies reminded me of snickerdoodles and I just love green tea ice cream.

We purchased the book and one of the best things about it is how she has a list of the different ingredients along with a picture of what it is. That is so helpful when you are wandering around the Asian market with no idea what it is you are supposed to be getting.

The author/teacher Dorothy Huang was gracious enough to sign our books for us. Paul had her sign it to Logan. As she said, "Not even 4 years old and has his first cookbook!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

EMM: Party With a Purpose

After last week's voting one, I figured this one was about political parties...but nope. Instead it is suggesting that instead of gifts you have gift-givers make donations to a charity instead. It gives the following steps:
1. Choose a charity.
2.. Decide on the party occasion (birthday, wedding, anniversary).
3. Let guests know how to make the donations.

We actually did part of this for Sophie's first birthday. Because we invited the entire preschool, I didn't expect the give give her a gift. Instead I suggested they could bring something to donate to the preschool. I think it worked out very well. And the all the classes got something new for the students.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celebrate! Dallas

What is Celebrate! Dallas?
11 hours
4 feet of table space
400 page layout ideas

All of which resulted in 28 pages completed. This is my 4 time to attend a Celebrate event and I had a great time. My sister was able to join me this time (along with her mother-in-law and a friend). I always enjoy looking at the page layout ideas they have on display, especially when I get stuck on a page while I'm there.

The girls making memories...Sarah, April, Kelly, and Brandelyn.

Monday, September 6, 2010

EMM: Register to Vote

This one was really easy. I'm already registered...oh, wait, there's more. Not only should you be registered but you should also actually vote. I'll be honest, I don't vote much. I have voted in the presidential elections, but the local and state stuff not so much. I'm sure my much more politically minded husband would be appalled, but it all just gets so overwhelming, trying to figure out which candidate is which and what they each believe and stand for. Add to that trying to sort out which beliefs will actually have any bearing on the job the candidate is running for and I'm done before I've even started. But I do agree everyone should register to vote and then vote for something!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

65 in 365 Month 8 Update

This will be a list of 65 things I want to accomplish in the next 365 days. (No, I didn't come up with this idea myself, I borrowed it from this Foster Mama, along with some of her items.) I'll update the list once a month (that's the first thing on the list). Completed items are in italics.
1. Update the 65 in 365 once a month (8/12)
2. Come up with 65 goals for the year (65/65)
3. Complete Sophie's baby album
4. Complete 2009 annual album
5. Attend average of 5 StrollerStrides classes a month (28/60)
6. Girls Night Out (or Mom's Night Out) at least 4 times
7. Go to the movies at least 6 times
8. Finish reading 2 non-fiction books
9. Read 4 fiction books (1/4)
10. Payoff law school loan
11. Try 26 new recipes (19/26)
12. Make our wills
13. Participate in a fun run with Paul and Sophie
14. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night; complete after 30 days (0/30)
15. Have at least one fresh fruit each day; complete after 30 days (0/30)
16. Take at least one picture of Sophie every other day; complete after 60 days (0/30)
17. Get back to pre-pregnancy weight
18. Come up with a system for backing up digital photos
19. Cooking lessons
20. Make bed everyday; complete after 30 days, will restart counter when I miss a day
21. Have date night once a month (6/12)
22. Build a snowman
23. Join a moms group
24. Set up a cleaning schedule and follow it; complete after 3 months (2/3)
25. Have lawn guys come on a regular basis
26. Take Wrangler to Kady the groomer 4 times (2/4)
27. Purchase a jogging stroller for Paul to use
28. Put items in JBF Consignment sales, 2 sales each sales season (2/4)
29. Make and stick to a weekly menu and grocery list; complete after 5 weeks
30. Decorate the tabletop tree for each holiday or season (snowflakes, hearts, green and gold beads, eggs, flowers, red and blue stars, apples, Halloween, fall leaves, Christmas)
31. Update a blog everyday or at least average one new post each day (243/365)
32. Go on a scrapbooking retreat
33. Attend a scrapbooking crop every other month (5/6)
34. Complete 150 scrapbook pages (66/150)
35. Sign Sophie up for swim lessons
36. Attend one playgroup event each month
37. Take Sophie to a library storytime/event each month (5/12)
38. Attend a local Chinese New Year event
39. Have teeth cleaned twice a year (1/2)
40. Have Sophie’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny
41. Take Sophie to see a fireworks display
42. Update the framed photos of extended family members
43. Attend Living Last Supper at church
44. Plan Sophie’s first birthday party
45. Take Sophie to visit another state
46. Take Sophie trick-or-treating in the neighborhood
47. Decorate outside for Christmas
48. Create our own family Thanksgiving tradition
49. Take Sophie to the zoo

50. Establish Family Night/Day twice a month (not including MIC Meals); complete after 4 months
51. Frame and hang Sophie’s first year photos
52. Furniture for China child
53. Update Sophie’s wedding dress photo
54. Get a family portrait done
55. Daily devotional, complete after 30 days (0/30)
56. Create a list of happy things, one for each day (over 1000) we’ve been waiting for MIC (300/328)
57. Complete new adoption visa paperwork
58. Open a savings account for Sophie
59. Clean out and organize pantry
60. Attend at least 3 plays and/or musicals (2/3)(Wicked, Shadowlands)
61. Purchase fire extinguishers for the house
62. Get personalized tags for the pets (3/6)
63. Clean out flowerbed in backyard
64. Buy new couches
65. Make a new list of 65