Friday, July 24, 2009

Best Week EVER!

I may have just had the best week ever. Here's a breakdown:

Saturday - Lazed around. Took hubs and booger to Shiloh Water Park. Huge fun.

Sunday - Picnic with hubs and booger on the rez, eating yummy food that I made. Played in the park with little man, chased ducks and geese, and generally had a blast.

Monday - Ate lunch at Petra in Clinton with a friend. Won my match at pool night. Won it not by accident, but because I was playing well.

Tuesday - Went to a fun professional luncheon and heard a hilarious speaker. After work, played with booger all evening, gave him a bath, and then met up with some friends at Aladdin's, where I had baklava for dinner.

Wednesday - Celebrated the gorgeous weather with lunch in Smith Park with a friend. Launched my first official podcast at work, which was very well-received. Made/Ate Farmer's Market Pasta for supper and loved on my family.

Thursday - Yukked it up with a group of wonderful women after work. Laughed and talked over an AMAZING dinner of antipasto, steamed fish with rice and salad, trifle, and good red wine.

Friday - Found out that I AM getting a raise with my recent promotion. Kicked butt at work, generated alot of content today. Had a date lunch with hubs. Came home and kissed on the sweetest little boy in the universe and put him, uncomplaining, to bed.

Does my life rock or what?

This weekend, I plan on being lazy (though I may put a second coat of paint on the inside of the garage) and getting a little maintenance done on my car. And having some donuts. Because that's how I roll.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Splish, splash!

Hubs and I took booger to the Shiloh Water Park on Saturday. What fun! It's a perfect little water playground for smaller children. The park is basically a big stretch of concrete with lots of fun water features in it - hoop tunnels that shoot water at you as you run through, small water slides, fountains that shoot directly up from the ground, water "cannons," and trickling umbrellas of water.

There are no pools, so you don't have to worry about safety hazards. You can just splash around with your kid and relax.

Clay absolutely loved it. The slide and the water cannons were his favorites. (That, and just splashing around in general.) Admission is $5, and they only make you pay if you're going to play. (When we went, I paid, but Brian didn't. So he came in for free and took pics!) The park is located at 324 Shiloh Road in Brandon. Bringing in your own food/coolers is not allowed (though I think they let you if you host your child's birthday party there), but they sell drinks, chips, and ice cream at the park. I can't remember all of the park hours, but I know they are open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays. (If you want more complete info on hours, you can try calling 6101-825-3047. The sad part? Every time I've called, no one's answered the phone, and the voice mail box has been full.)

Anyway, I highly recommend this attraction for younger children. Clay could have spent a loooong time there! As it was, we played for about an hour and a half before we got hungry and headed for dinner.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A capitol idea

I had a little time at lunch today, so I made a quick stop at Jackson's Old Capitol Museum. I hadn't visited since the museum re-opened in February (after having been closed since Hurricane Katrina took the roof off in 2005).

The restored building is absolutely gorgeous, with far more exhibits than the previous museum housed. In addition, the new displays are all interactive, making the museum experience much more engaging and memorable. Visitors can argue a real-life case in front of "judges," stand in the legislative gallery, see what life might have been like for the keeper of the Old Capitol, and learn all about the building's construction, history, and restoration.

Views of the rotunda, both from the balconies above and the floor below, are breathtaking, and the twin spiral staircases are like something out of a movie. (So alas, I found myself AGAIN today, descending airily down a grand staircase, with no floor-length evening gown in sight. WHEN will I LEARN?!)

Admission to the museum is free, though there is a donation box in the rotunda. If you haven't been, do stop by. I am reallyreally hoping that they will set up the Christmas tree and the toy train set again this Christmas. I have missed it so during the renovation!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Busy town, busy woman.

What a week I've had! Monday night found me meeting up with a dear friend for drinks and dinner. We started out at Schimmel's (Their Web site says they are open Monday nights - not so any more.) and ended up at Que Sera. I downed salad and fried shrimp, as well as a few of what the bartender referred to as fireflies - sweet tea in a tall rocks glass, mixed with a generous amount of vodka and tons of fresh lemon slices. OMG. Sooo good! I could (and did) drink quite a few of those. I've requested this drink at a bar before, but I'd never heard it called a firefly. Now, I'll know what to ask for!

After dinner, I headed out to pool night, where I played absolutely miserably. (Note to self: alcohol impairs hand-eye coordination.) The only part of it that really got my goat was that I could have beaten my opponent. He gave me numerous chances to win, and I blew every one of them. (Shucks.) Regardless, I had a good time.

Tuesday night, hubs and I took booger to Joe's Diner for supper. It's a 50s-themed place out near where we live. While we munched on chicken tenders and listened to the jukebox play, I began thinking to myself that this would be a GREAT place to rent out for a theme party. You know, work with the restaurant to determine a set menu (say, cheeseburgers, fries, cherry cokes, and chocolate shakes), ask all the guests to wear sweater sets and white T-shirts, and dance to Buddy Holly all night. Friends of mine BEWARE. You KNOW how I love theme parties, and the cashier said they'd be happy to rent the place out on practically any weeknight. Hmmm . . .

After we ate, we took little man to the park, where he chased ducks and geese, played in the water fountain, and pointed out boats and planes until he was almost too exhausted to walk. Then, home for bath and bed.

On Wednesday, I showed up at Trustmark Park at around 5:30 p.m. for the Salvation Army Night at the Braves! The company I work for was sponsoring the event and providing volunteer support, and I was on hand to help out, take pictures, and capture quotes and audio for our company newsletter. What fun! It was hot, but tons of my work friends showed up to help out a worthy organization and enjoy the game. I got tons of great pics, and I used the audio I captured to put together my first official podcast today! I finally tuckered out around 9 p.m. and drug my sorry caracass home.

Tonight, we stayed in, and I think I'm voting for that option tomorrow night as well. Saturday? Who knows?!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

Yesterday, we had supersuper fun at Clay's second birthday party! We decided to go with a cowboy theme this year, so we had cute little western invitations printed up. (All "Mosey on down to the Remington Ranch!" and "We're plumb tickled about our second year of cattle rustlin'!")

We went to Boots and More last week and got all cowboyed up - hats, big belts, western shirts, the whole bit. Clay had these cute little boots already, so we bought him a hat and a sherrif's star and called it good. We decorated the house to the hilt and even pulled his rocky horse into the den. To keep with the theme, we served guacamole and salsa con queso with chips, then beef and veggie kabobs with tater logs, then the most awesome cowboy-themed cake I've ever seen and ice cream.

But what I thought ws the true success of the party was the music. Clay is named after my grandfather, who loved the epic idea of The West. He read Louis L'Amour, he watched old Westerns on TV, and he even listened to cowboy music. When we were little, I remember us dancing with him to a few particular cowboy songs when we'd visit in the summers. I didn't know the artist, and I could only remember a few snatches of lyrics here and there. But that, my friends, is the beauty of the Internet. I typed in what I knew, and out popped my answer. Marty Robbins: Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. I had it playing when my family came to the party, and they all recognized it. We all danced to it, and it made me feel a little bit like Pawpaw was there.

(Pawpaw didn't live long enough to meet Clay, and it's such a shame. He would have gotten such a kick out of him. Pawpaw loved kids. He sang funny made-up songs, put on puppet shows with just his hands, and was a cut-up in general. I know that, had he met him, he would have thought the world of Clay, and vice versa.)

Anyhoo, we ate all the good food, Clay was very impressed by his cake, and we opened presents. I outfitted all of our little guests with hats and bandanas, and Uncle Steven brought guns and handcuffs to complete the transformation. Cousins Tanner and Caleb practiced their outlaw faces, and I think everybody had a pretty boot stompin' time!

Hmmmmm . . . what'll we do NEXT year?!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My little buckaroo

Two years ago today, I fell in love.

A blonde-haired, blue-eyed cutie came into my life. (I seem to have a weakness for this type, no?)

We had special breakfast this morning, and tonight after supper, we had a little cake with candles. Tomorrow, our extended family will all celebrate the occasion with a boot-stomping cowboy party. (I'll post pics of us in our cowboy gear later.)

And we'll enjoy the heck out of ourselves, and all of that stuff is fun and proper for a baby who has fast become a little boy.

But none of it really matters, as long as I can look into little man's eyes when we are saying our prayers, and kiss the sweet little crook of his neck while he giggles, and watch him run all over the house singing at the top of his lungs.


Happy birthday, booger!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The bunny trail.

Hubs and I watched The House Bunny this week. I'm noticing that my movie choices are getting more and more juvenile these days. And the really sad thing is that I'm enjoying these movies. Maybe it has to do with my need for stress relief. I'm definitely more into the escapism than the "movies-that-make-you-think" these days.

The House Bunny tells the story of Shelly (played with absolutely perfect wide-eyed certainty by Anna Faris), a 27-year-old Playboy bunny who gets kicked out of the mansion and is forced to fend for herself. With precious little skills and intelligence in her repertiore, Shelly decides that her perfect job would be house mother at a sorority. That's how she ends up at the Zeta Alpha Zeta house, where a group of misfit girls must pledge 30 new members or face losing their charter.

Luckily for these oddball coeds, Shelly is a master at makeovers, partying, and giving guys what they want. Before the girls know it, Zeta Alpha Zeta is one of the hottest tickets on campus, and Shelly's found herself a new home.

Of course, there are complications and personal growth (and even a birth) along the way (blah blah blah), but what makes this movie worth watching is Faris' performance. The girl is, quite simply, one of the best young female comedians in Hollywood. The collection of actresses playing the sorority sisters are fun, too, with Emma Stone nailing her portrayal of Natalie, the goofy, bookish president of the Zetas.

Worth seeing. This ain't life-changing, just funny.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Bradshaw Tubes and Ball 4th of July Extravaganza

Though I love the 4th of July, since the baby came, it's not a holiday we traditionally entertain on. Clay's birthday is close after, and it basically equates to having big parties two weekends in a row. I'm a little too lazy for that.

But when I heard that Stace was painting her kitchen and didn't have any particular plans, I invited her over. And our 4th turned into a very relaxing, low-key get together that was just what I needed. We had chips and homemade guacamole (hubs LOVES it, and I do, too), steak, grilled corn, salad, and then angel food cake topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries.

I love fireworks, so I'd gone out to our local tent and bought a few things: sparklers ('cause you GOTTA have sparklers), some of those cylinders that sit on the ground and "emit sparks and reports," and then, the grand finale, two cannon-like devices that shoot those big fireworks into the sky. We had 24 of those.

When I got the fireworks home, hubs was reading the package aloud - "ProHero Maximum Load? Sounds like a bad porno." It got even funnier when we opened the package. There were 25 fused balls. (The package called them "flaming balls!" HA!) You dropped them into the tubes, lit the fuse, and waited for the fireworks.

We have juvenile senses of humor, clearly, and you can see where this is going.

At any rate, the fireworks turned out to be really gorgeous, particularly the flaming balls. When we'd finished our fireworks, we went out to the boat slip and watched fireworks going off all over the reservoir. Beautiful. Then, to avoid the bugs (and the obnoxious people who pulled in right next to us), we went back to the house and had dessert.

Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

PottyWatch 2009

If you don't want to be disabused of any illusions you have about child-rearing, stop reading now. Seriously. I MEAN it. There is some pretty unadulterated confession to follow, so DO NOT continue reading if you want to keep believing that parenthood is all happy, lovey, seamless transitioning from one stage of life to the next.

Well, you've been warned.

I must be completely insane. Due to the 4th of July being this weekend, hubs and I both had Friday off. I also went ahead and asked for Monday off, giving me a glorious four-day weekend. And what did I choose to do with this extra time? Relax? Take a quick trip out of town? Do some serious retail damage? Noooooo. In our total arrogance, hubs and I thought we'd get a start on potty training.

Someone please just punch me in the face.

So far, we have had moderate success (2 semi-successful tries on Friday, three semi-successful tries yesterday, and then a bunch of trying today), but this process is so exhausting. It's not that we're not making progress, but I keep thinking to myself, "Geez, I could just be kicking back and enjoying the ONLY four-day weekend I've had since returning to work in January."

Parenting is about sacrifice. It's about giving of yourself, even when you don't feel particularly inclined to do so.

And, apparently, it's also about cleaning up poop off the floor.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Update on My 101

I have done a POOR job of checking items off this list lately. Instead, I've been working like a fiend. (I guess it paid off, though. I got promoted this week.) I've only got one thing to check off this time, but I PROMISE to do better going forward!!

101 things to do in 1001 days

Record family history (Create a family tree with my grandmother? Photos? Stories?)
Take Clay’s picture professionally at least once every 6 months
Make a will
Make a living will
Talk with Laura about Clay
Send a Christmas card to an estranged family member

Write to my grandmother
Attend services at three local churches
Volunteer in a way that’s meaningful to me
Go back to the gym – at least 3 times a week
Lose 10 pounds

Keep it off for 6 months
Train to run 3 miles without stopping
Try a yoga or pilates class
Go to the International Museum of Muslim Cultures
Go to the Smith Robertson Museum
Go to the Lauren Rogers Museum
Take an art class (pottery, painting, etc.)
Paint a picture
Learn to play at least one song on the guitar
Write a food article and get it published
Write at least one poem or short story
Paint the front porch swing
Tile the master bathroom
Plant some flowering shrubs in the back yard and DON’T let them die
Plant an herb garden
Fix the patio table
Get a window shade for the baby’s bedroom
Have an energy audit done on the house
Paint the shed in the back yard - This one is new! It's painted at last! I even planted some flowers in the little window box!
Paint the inside of the garage
Take Clay swimming
Drink wine in California
Ride in a helicopter
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go to Graceland
Go to New York City
Create a “great books list” and start reading (at least 5 books)
Create a “great movies list” and start watching (at least 5 movies)
Treasure hunt on Highway 49
Host a New Year’s open house party
Host a “dinner among the leaves” party
Host an Easter brunch
Throw a Kentucky Derby party

Celebrate the Chinese New Year
Pay off the last of my student loan
Buy some sexy new underwear
Attend at least one live concert

Go the fall flower show/festival in Crystal Springs
Visit a botanic garden
Learn more about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Watch a meteor shower
Give blood
See snow
See the ocean
Adopt an Angel at Christmas
Go bowling
Pay for the person behind me in line
Do an anonymous good deed
Learn to bake a good loaf of bread
Go on a day hike
Write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper
Go on a vacation sans baby
Let Clay ride in the convertible with the top down
Perform in at least one stage production
Attend at least one Mensa meeting
Attend at least one college alumni event
Get back in touch with some of my college professors
Learn how to play poker
Learn how to shoot a decent game of pool
Make a real paella
Make a real sangria
Get a facial
Start taking vitamins again
Take mom to have her makeup done
Discover 5 new recording artists I really like and buy their CDs
Find a pair of sunglasses that will change my life
Find my signature fragrance
Take some pictures of leaves turning color in the fall
Set up and take some faux-tography shots of the baby
Write to Grace
Visit Grace in Oregon

Go on a picnic and eat food that I MADE, not food that I bought
Visit a dermatologist
Book a session with a personal trainer
Buy sheet music for a song I like and learn to play it on the piano
Learn to do a passable waltz
Bring the baby to visit my dad at work
Take a bubble bath
Light some candles just for us, when we DON’T have someone coming over
Make mint juleps and drink them on the front porch swing

Go ice skating
Preserve Clay’s foot and hand prints
Attain APR accreditation
Buy or make Clay a kick-ass Halloween costume
Give a gift that I made.

Send someone flowers for no reason
Begin using my wine notebook again and identify at least three new wines that I like
Buy a birdfeeder and set it up in the back yard
Fix the broken window pane on the porch
Spend an afternoon lying in the hammock

First day of the challenge: January 1, 2008
Last day of the challenge: September 28, 2010