Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Losing faith...or maybe its already gone...

The people here have turned into idiots. So many are grabbing to be spoonfed from cradle to grave...its like they don't even care about their own lives anymore...its like they want to be hooked up to the matrix and oblivious to all the truth out there.

Why the bad mood, Renee?

Saturn is now closing. And I am beyond disgusted. And sick to my stomach.

Everyday, this client is struggling, this one is filing bankruptcy, this one is failing...and GM, who gets millions in bailout money, can't even hold onto the brands I like. So much for gov't intervention...well, I knew it wouldn't work anyways.

I see it everyday. There is nothing the private sector can't do better than the public sector, save for defense.

I so wanted to buy an Outlook before I had the next baby.

No baby right now.

No Outlook.

rant over.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkins and....eyeliner?

Why do women wear eyeliner? This was my thought tonight on the bus. I don't wear eyeliner, and guys don't (normal guys)....and guys look good without it...but, most women on the bus I noticed, had eyeliner on. It looks painful to put on...you open your mouth really wide, and bug out your eyes, and take a pencil and draw on your eyelid....why? I don't get it. I obviously don't wear it. Maybe I am missing something and should try it sometime...

Below are some pictures of Nathan in the pumpkin patch! He loved picking them with Grandma!













Sunday, September 27, 2009

Six Years & Counting!

Today is our six-year anniversary!

I love you Christopher!

We went out for Chinese last night with his parents, it was totally delish. And this morning, as I lay in bed sleeping in and enjoying the only "sweet spot" in our bed (the middle), I heard the garage door open and Chris drive away. I knew he was going to get me some sort of special treat, and sure enough, a Dunn and a donut! Two of my favs! I also got to soak in the tub this morning while pondering the Biblical story about Lot and his Wife....it was very relaxing (but that story still bothers me a lot...mostly because, like Lot's wife, I think I would have looked back...)

Another treat for us though, we went to Schneidermann's yesterday to look, once again, at some new sofas for our family room. We love how comfy the sofa we have now are, they are hand-me-downs from Chris' parents (and, incidentally, where I got (or rather gave) my first kiss with Christopher), but they are falling apart. The cushions are ripping as the fabric is so old...definately they got good use! Flexsteel.

So, we sat on a lot of couches yesterday, but Flexsteel won us over again - at first it feels hard, but then you sink into it and its nice. We brought home two swatches of fabric and when I got them upstairs and set them out they were just not working for me. So, I ran back and got a few more...the first browns I picked were much too "gold", if that makes sense, and so when I went back I got more mocha, chocolately browns. When I brought those home and layed them out I felt a calm come over me, so I know I made the right choice the second time around. I have to go back today and order the couches as the 18% off sale ends today....but, I have to take Nathan with me by myself, so let's hope that little buggar behaves!

Chris is headed over to Mom and Dad's in a bit to help bale 2nd crop hay...I am not going to help, but Nathan and I are headed over to grab some pumpkins and watch the tractors for awhile before naptime. I don't think there is much hay so they should be done in 2-3 hours if nothing breaks down.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Rose Garden

Yum yum!!! Or as Nathan would say, "mmm mmm mmm mmmnnnnmmmmnnnmmm". After Chris' parents went to church tonight, they stopped by so we could all go the Rose Garden in Coon Rapids for some Chinese food.

The place is a dump. The food is amazing.

Tonight we all shared chicken fried rice, chicken almond ding (I love this!), Schezwan beef (because we had to get at least one spicy thing), egg rolls, wontons, and chicken wings. For dessert, we ordered their donuts...so good! Everything was especially good tonight though, so even though we ordered with no MSG I wonder if there really wasn't some in there!

We also bought a tree today...a Pin Oak. I had been wanting something different for awhile, so trees were on sale so we got one from the nursery we like for a great price....I was very happy about it until after paid and found out, oh, since you bought it during the fall sale, no warranty! Usually we get a 5 year warranty from this place...so, apparently you get nothing when you buy a tree on sale. sad!

Other than that, I am into Cake Mania right now and Bad girls of the bible...maybe I will play one round of Cake Mania, and then read some more in Bad Girls of the Bible.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Once a month stock-up

I stock up on groceries once a month at SuperTarget. That's when I buy most everything for a month: meat, canned goods, frozen items, toilet paper, diapers, etc. I usually go one or two times in between for milk and fruit, but other than that, I don't usually buy things until I have my extra 10% discount card from my Target Visa.

It really works out well, but I am also a coupon clipper, so its a time-consuming process that takes a unique set of skills and determination. And, no matter how many trips I have to take (today was only two carts) and how good my list is, I still always forget something. Today, it was half-and-half and the creamed corn (I was going to make squash soup).

drat.

I always think of funny things or experience funny things while I am shopping....or, maybe I just think they are funny or interesting.

Like, today, I was like..eggs for 99 cents! Rock on! But then I saw that 18 eggs were only $1.30...what the heck?! That dozen eggs for 99 cents was a ripoff. I promptly put my two cartons of eggs back, and got the 18-eggs carton. I smiled as I saw all of the "unsuspecting too quick to analyze prices" shoppers around me snatch up the 99 cent cartons. muhahaha.

And I get kind of giddy when my coupon matches with a sale at the store...it happened a few times today...like, the buy one get one free Ritz Cracker coupon matched with a sale on Ritz crackers...yes! And I had a $1 off two Chex cereals, which were on-sale for a $1 off each one...rock on! *Renee pumps fist in middle of shopping aisle*

And don't get me started on how exciting it is to have Lean Cuisines 5 for 10 and then also have a $1 off the purchase of 3! *time to do a happy dance*

Unfortunately though, I am also a label reader, and I don't buy crap unless its something crappy anyways (Like, if I want to buy us something chocolate for the occasional craving, I don't read the label and compare....because, its candy, it ain't good for you anyways) But, anything else, I read, especially if its new. Thus, I am usually buying organic. So, I say "unfortunately" only because, despite my amazing skills on coupon clipping and getting things down to unit price, I still spend a lot on groceries.

Wild Game tonight! Conference call in 2 minutes...guess I had better go...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A wonderful time in Chicago...but always happy to come home

I had been wanting to visit my friend Lauren and her cats for awhile, so Chris and I planned a trip to go see her in Chicago a few months ago...it just so happened Deloitte had to send me to Chicago a few days earlier, so first I flew down there by myself on Wednesday for a "Celebration Dinner" (for the promotion) and then an all-day training on Thursday. I should have taken a picture of my medal - they gave us a "Gold Medal" for getting promoted. It was the only exciting thing about the training....however, they did inform us at about 3:30 that the medals were not made of real gold. sad.

Chris flew into Chicago that afternoon and dropped Nathan off with Grandma and Grandpa...we met at the Blake Hotel around 5 PM. Chris couldn't seem to find the el at the airport either...he had to call me and ask, which I thought was hilarious because my first time to Chicago by myself years ago I figured it out (and I am horrible at traveling).

Our hotel was really nice, considering the more expensive, fancy hotel Deloitte put me up in the night before (the W City Center) was dirty and was tiny. I won't elaborate, but my advice is, don't stay there unless Uncle D is buying. But the Blake was older, but the rooms were huge, and were warm and relaxing. We didn't spend much time in it, but it was nice.

On Thursday night we decided just to walk around and eat wherever and just see Chicago. I have been at least 3 or 4 times before this, but Chris never has, so I kind of knew a little (like which way the lake is and where Michigan Avenue is, etc.). We walked a lot, all the way down Michigan Avenue, ate dinner, and then to Millineum park to see the big bean. Below is the best shot I could get of Chris standing in front of the bean.



The bean is highly reflective...so ladies...those low cut blouses you are wearing do show everything! Which, my delightful husband noticed right away...

Here I am standing in front of some sculpture canvas thing that changed color.

Here it is in blue...the purple was best I think. You could also stand in the middle of this thing and watch some sort of environmental wacko movie...
We should have taken pictures of the water tower thing that we thought Nathan would love, but we didn't, because our night pictures were just not turning out. We tried a billion times to take pictures of the fountain in Grant Park, but the below is the best we could get.


I liked it when it was blue.

My feet hurt after walking here. And the latte ran out. Chris didn't carry me home, however.

On Friday morning we slept in until 8:30, and then got up, checked out, called Lauren to come get us at the Dunkin' Donuts across the street. Chris thought his donut was awesome, I thought Cub Foods was better (*claps for Cub Foods*)!
Lauren was there really quickly, and we rushed home to see my favorite Chicago kitty, Shamu!
Here he is, in classic Shamu pose, meowing at me!
*Hugs to Shamu*! (they do have another cat who hates me...I refuse to talk about it....it still hurts too much....)

Since Chris had never been to Chi-town, Lauren suggested we go to Navy Pier...we all agreed. We were starved though so we stopped at Billy Goats for a Cheezeboorger no fries!


Aren't they cute? They love Billy Goats doubles!


We then decided to go on a speedboat...here is Lauren in front of the Speeddog!

Below we are ready to go...pre-speedboat ride!

I loved it. The best part about boats is going fast on water. I guess we were going 45 mph...I wish I had a boat.

That night we met up with Matt (L's hubby) at Giordano's for pizza. mmmmm! It was good, but I forgot to take any more pictures that night. Rats.
The next day we toured Chicago (ala via Matt) and Chris loved it. For some reason, he thought Chicago would be full of mummies and the undead...so it was much cooler and nicer than he thought. I think he wouldn't mind living there at all.
I had really wanted to go to the SuperDawg for about a year and a half now...so we made the trip. Somehow, it took us an hour to go a few miles...but it was worth it! Here is Chris with his SuperDawg box!


And Me!


This is what a SuperDawg looks like when you get it...

and this is what you look like while you eat it! True happiness. Next time I am in Chicago, its SuperDawg here I come!


Here is the classic outside:

Alas, the trip ended with Miss Hiss and I not reconciling our differences, so I will have to figure something else out. I remember I once crocheted her a mouse, but I cannot remember if Shamu ended up loving it more than she did or what. Hmpfh. I have awhile to decide...because, unfortunately, I don't think I will be in Chicago very soon again. But, maybe in another year! It will really be fun to bring Nathan in a few years...and maybe another kid or two if I am lucky!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday with the Three Two's

Saturday was spent with the three twos: Anna (Over 2 years old), Nathan (almost 2 years old), and Tabitha (two + months old). It was a fun day - and I can proudly say we (but mostly I) got them all to nap at the same time.

Tabitha slept in our bedroom on a blanket on the floor, Nathan in his room, and Anna in the guest room. Anna sleeps in a big girl bed now so that was totally easy.


Here is a picture of Tabitha. She was a very easy baby...she loved to just sit and watch things and coo and suck her thumb. I think she looks completely like Ryan.

This is Anna in her pj's...the kids were here early - 6:20! I had just made it downstairs and was grinding coffee beans when they came...of course, Nathan chose that one day to sleep in. As you can see from the above picture, Anna loves to pose.


Here we are at breakfast. Anna was still a little out of it. She normally doesn't get up until 8 or 9, so I am sure the getting up at 5:30 or so to go to Auntie Renee's was quite difficult! She didn't eat much for breakfast...Nathan out-ate her two to one (until dinner, in which she turned into a Pancake Hound!)



Since Chris was home (his biking trip got cancelled because Cory was sick), I was able to leave the baby with him and take the toddlers to the park in the bike buggy. Nathan didn't like sharing with Anna at first...but got used to it after a few minutes.




When we got the park, Anna kept saying, "auntie out! Auntie out!" I could barely get them out of that buggy fast enough.



They both love to swing...I was constantly pushing. Anna just is constantly saying the whole time, "auntie poosh! Aunite poosh!" Nathan has a different approach, he yells "mama!" and whacks the front of his swing. It was pretty funny though...Anna loved it when it was "windy", but Nathan likes to close his eyes and put his head back....which, I always did when I was little and on a swing, and sometimes still do. It gives you a rush!

Here they are going down the slide! I asked Anna to wait so I could take the picture...but she just couldn't...


Aunt Karen came over around 3:30...we went outside and played after nice long naps (Tabitha, 4 hours, Anna, 2.5 hours, and Nathan 3 hours - oh, and Mommy! one hour with Gigi. It was sweet). Anyways, we had sidewalk chalk out and Karen started putting "war paint" on the kids. Hilarious. Nathan hated his but Anna wanted to apply it like makeup. Oh, how different boys and girls are.





Here they are with Chief Karen!



After dinner, in which I swear Anna ate 10 pancakes (i have never seen her eat so much!), we had this mini ice cream sandwiches for dessert. They were so full, they could barely finish them. But, they did enjoy them!
By 9PM, I had had it and was totally worn out...but, I also did it! With help from Karen and Chris, but, I know I could do it again. Very empowering feeling!









Friday, September 11, 2009

What's wrong with people today...

I have to blog about a V8 commercial I just saw. Everything about it is just so wrong.

It starts out well, a family sits down to dinner. Then, these little cartoon boxes go over their heads and the announcer says, "now you don't have to worry about getting your 5 fruit/veggies a day". All of the little boxes have the number "0" in them. The mother passes a plate of broccoli to her daughter (she doesn't take any), the daughter passes to her sister, who passes it to her dad, who I think passes it back to the son who sets it down. None of them take any broccoli. All of their boxes are zero.

But then the announcer says, "now you can get your veggies with v8 Splash" and the dad pours juice into his daughters glass and they all smile and their boxes start to show numbers....

The whole time I am thinking, WTF!

First, why did the mom make the broccoli if no one was going to take any? It looked dang good by the way.

Second, why, by the time is it dinner, have none of these people have had any fruits or veggies yet? They were just eating carbs and protein all day? gross! What kind of eating is that?

Third, why in the heck aren't those parents telling those kids to frickin' take some broccoli. And why in the heck aren't the parents setting a better example for their kids?

Remembering Today

This morning I woke up and turned on the t.v.....and I cried. I saw all of the same pictures and videos I saw eight years ago...I remember how it was and I remember how everyone felt. But most people have forgotten. I wish they wouldn't.

I remember how I heard about the first crash in my car on the radio. I remember getting to work and this horribly snotty coworker of mine commented that she actually 'beat' me to work that day (because she was always getting in at 10Am). I remember I thought, "don't you have any idea what is going on?" But then I recalled she rarely does...so whatever.

I remember calling my mom and waking her up, and telling her we were being attacked. I can still hear her voice when she turned on the t.v. and saw the pictures.

I remember standing downstairs in our work training room as we watched the t.v. after the first tower collapsed. I remember the live video and someone saying, "oh my God, the other one is falling".

I remember after that going back to my desk and packing up. I was getting the hell out of dodge and going home to my family and friends. I remember a coworker Sarah was upset I was leaving because some tax returns weren't completed. I thought, "whatever". A few minutes after I left they evacuated downtown completely anyways...so everyone had to go.

I remember the initial estimates of lives lost that night...at first they were 20,000 people. I remember I almost threw up when I heard that. 20,000, just like me, who got up that day, had some breakfast, put their socks on, kissed their kids and wives and husbands goodbye, and went to work.

I remember watching the video of people jumping out of the towers, rather than burning to death. It still makes me sick to my stomach. I still question myself, "would I be a jumper if that happened to me?"

I remember the anger. I remember the sadness. I still feel both emotions. It was unprovoked. It was anti-American. It wasn't anything to do with the people who died. It was sick and it was intentional.

Freedom isn't free. All of the families who lost loved ones in 9/11 know and understand this...but unfortunately, as time goes on, many forget....

but I won't.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

State Fair Fun

We went to the state fair on Friday - it was a good time. Nathan didn't sleep as long as he did last year...and was old enough to enjoy the Carousel! It was pretty funny, he didn't really like until it started moving...and then he loved it! He gave his horse a hug and a kiss when it was over, and cried when I took him off it...



Corndogs with Grandma!




He also loved trying out all the tractors...we had to pull him away from the toy section later on...





Right now he is trying to steal every pillow Daddy decides to rest his head on...poor Daddy doesn't get to have a pillow!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh toodles!

Only you Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans will understand the title....

Nathan enjoyed learning how to "dunk" his Italian Dunker tonight...only, he didn't really like the red sauce. So, then he tried to wipe it off with his hands and then proceeded to shove his hands in my face because they were dirty.

I also had him help me get the mail today and he really enjoyed that. I figured I should let him do it all the time, because the spiders put egg sacs in there and sometimes when I take out the mail spiders are on it! I have asked Chris numerous times to clean out the mailbox for me but he says there are no spiders in it and he doesn't know what I am talking about (boys!). I am thinking of taking the whole dang mailbox and chucking in the garbage and getting a new one. One, to eliminate the current spiders in there, and two, because its starting to look crappy anyways (dang you mailboxes.com!).

Another tax deadline is rapidly approaching, and that meant while I stayed home from work on Monday (and worked 5 hours virtually), that Tuesday was a 14 hour day. Today I had to pick Nathan up from daycare because Chris had his fantasy football draft after work so, fortunately, I couldn't work late. But, I told Chris if he picked Brett I would just puke. Oh Brett, why did you have to go and break my heart? Any team but the Vikings...any team, would have been better...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What was doing while I had no computer?

Well, a bunch of things!

Melanie and I went to a baseball game in which the Twins actually won (an accomplishment in itself). I took my camera though since I figured it will be for sure the last time I see a baseball game in the dome, and may be my last time actually in the dome (because I will never go for a Vikings game). Below is one my favorite things about the dome: The Snausage Sign!

Oh, how I will miss you Snausage!



Auntie Karen and I took Nathan to the beach one day....my little modest boy refused to take his shirt off.


He loved the splashing!


Auntie and Nathan relaxin'.


All of the corn was ripe a few weeks ago, so it was a corn fiesta almost every night! I have never frozen corn before because the last few years the corn wasn't very plentiful and I didn't really care to...well, this year there was so much I made two batches and tons of quart bags of frozen corn.


I also finished my pansy wall hanging...something I have been trying to do for over two years. I started it when I was pregnant.


Nathan was in the Lino Lakes parade with his daycare...I also helped by handing out candy. He had a good time but fell asleep in the red buggy halfway through the parade. He's in the yellow in the front!


Daddy and Nathan shucking the last of the corn...it was hard work for Nathan!

A surprise package came for Nathan on Friday...I had no idea what it was. It was from Uncle Matthew and Aunt Fran!


Nathan absolutely loved it. He is quite possessive of Thomas too...doesn't like to share...so here I am holding Stanley.