curtain bags

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ya know those plastic bags that bed sheets and curtains come in?  We'll we have a ridiculous amount of them saved up and being double duty-used around the house.  I know, hoarder?  maybe.  But they are really useful for creating packets of like-minded things.  They've got the handy zipper across the top to keep them closed up and always organized (no matter how many times I move them around)...which has been especially helpful in our packing up and moving phase.

Some examples of things we pack in these curtain bags:
Greyson's car seat "toybox" (some various toys that we keep in the car)
My scrapbook supplies
Greyson's toy collections (felt letters, crayons, balls, etc)

scrapbook supplies.  L:  stamps&punches  R:  stickers&adhesive type supplies

Felt letters a la Etsy

I love things that are easily doublely used.  So instead of trashing your next curtain or bedsheet packing bag - Reuse it to help organize your stuff! And if you need some to start you off - we have a some extra, hah.

Honey, we're not in Kansas,er, PA anymore..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When you travel to a different place, especially one with a vastly different culture, and even more especially, one with a different are bound to make an ass out of yourself.  We did, more than once.  In what ways did you embarass yourself, Tabitha and Brandon?  Let us count the ways...

Challenge:  Language
After our original bus was cancelled for "its broken," we caught the next bus (2 hours later) to head to the train station for our train to Bangkok from Surat Thani...granted we had about a 15 minute buffer in between to make the connection, so I was a little frantic about getting there on time.  The bus we were actually on was to the town of Surat Thani which is 30 minutes from the train station, so even though I had already told the bus driver (by pointing to our train tickets) that we wanted dropped at the train station, I was still nervous that he didn't get it.  So I searched our Thai phrasebook and started practicing the Thai phrase "kor long tee rot fai Surat Thani ka."  I love language and I think its important to make an attempt - and a good one at that when you're speaking to Native speakers.  So it was important to me to sound at least a little bit right.  Second, Thai uses intonations to convey meaning in words.  So the same group of letter sounds could mean more than one word - but the way you say them (for example:  sliding up in tone or staying in a low, flat tone) will mean different things.  So not only did I have to practice the wording, but the tones too.  At about the hour mark, I looked at Brandon and said, how does this sound and I slid my way through the tones of the  phrase.  And he asked what the hell was I saying about a rat fair?  I kept practicing. 

Finally, I got up my courage, walked past rows and rows of native Thai people and made my way to the ticket collector.  With my head held high, I stammered out, "kor long tee rot..."  and the ticket collector looked at me and said, Yes, yes, train station, no problem.  I walked back to our seat, totally defeated and see Brandon laughing his head off.  So, you spent the last two hours practicing that phrase and she didn't even let you finish?  Can't a girl get a chance to make a fool out of herself with horrible translation without getting made a fool out of herself by trying to speak Thai to someone who can already speak English? 

Challenge:  Travel
Our last train ride from Surat Thani to Bangkok left at 7:28p on Saint Patrick's Day.  We arrived at the train station around 7:08p after a 45 min tuk tuk ride and a 4 hour bus ride.  We were hungry, tired, and missing booboo.  So I waited on the platform with our backpacks and watched Brandon make his way back over the train tracks to the other side of the platform to pick up some food.  We had already learned that the train foods price highly exceeds the quality; so we were hoping to get some take-out for the ride.  It took B all of 5 minutes to make his way back with two bottles of water and two bags of chips.  um?  So we got up on the train at about 7:14p and I took a stab at getting adequate dinner for the night.  Unfortunately, I stepped back on the train with only two packets of cookies at around 7:21p.  We were feeling pretty deflated, so Brandon said, ya know what we need in honor of St. Patrick's Day?  Some Chang, and he hopped off the train to get us some last minute brews to my warning, you better hurry up; i'm not getting split up from you over some Chang.

I was sitting there organizing our bags and setting up our seats for the evening when the train started moving.  MOVING.  and my husband was on the platform.  as in NOT ON THE TRAIN. 
here's what we experienced (tab in pink, brandon in blue):
frantically search the train entrance for brandon
no brandon
flip around from the cashier in panic
start running towards the train
drop the bag of Chang and dent three cans
jump up and run to the front of the train car
see tab running through the train
locate train conductor
we need to stop, my husband is on the train
yes, yes, bangkok, go sleep
no, wait, my husband [pointing to my heart] is not on the train [pointing out the window] we need to wait
yes, yes, bangkok
train conductor on the platform says, not leaving, just moving
worry that tab is going to grab backpacks and jump out of the train like a maniac
run back to seat to grab thai phrasebook
contemplate grabbing backpacks and jumping out of the train like a maniac
neighboring Thai train rider says, its no leaving, just moving up to reconnect to other train
see Brandon on the platform laughing and smiling
see tab laughing and smiling and flipping him the bird on the train

Challenge:  Wildlife
I am sweet.  I am so sweet that I have a serious issue every summer; mmosquitoes can't keep their grubby little noses off me.  So when we go to tropical locations, I really should know better and have a 20 gallon bottle of bug spray packed.  But I never do.  And then I get eaten alive by mosquitoes.  This trip was no different.  The thing that has become increasingly apparent in the past few years is that I may have somewhat of an allergic reaction to non-PA dwelling mosquitoes because not only do I get an outrageous number of bites - but they swell up to the point that people start giving me double takes.  I know, I'm embarrassed to even write this. 

While walking through Bangkok, a random Thai woman stopped me in the street and gave me a jar of what appeared to be lip gloss and told me to apply it to my bites.  That's how bad they look, strangers stop me in the street to try to help me.  We tossed her a 20 baht coin and thanked her and I applied that lip gloss like my legs like my life depended on it.  So by the time we had made it to the beach, we had to head to the Thai pharmacy to get some antibiotic cream for all my bites.  Somebody, please, remind me before the next vacation that I need to pack the bug spray...come on, tab.

Challenge:  Relaxation
During our trip, we were approached multiple times by the women standing outside of massage parlors asking, Thai massage?  So, finally, on our last day we made a point to stop at a Thai massage parlor; Brandon for an hour long massage and I wanted to take advantage of their special that day:  15 minute Fish spa & foot massage. 

Brandon was quickly swept to the back for his traditional Thai massage while I was handed a cup of tea and instructed to put my feet into the large fish tanks filled with tiny green fish along the wall of bench seats.  I am enormously ticklish, so the moment I dipped my feet in the tank and those tiny fish started a dead foot skin eating frenzy (ew, so gross, sorry for the image), I started cackling.  Its supposed to be calming and soothing with the light music and hot tea; and there I am full out busting my gut about these fish chowing down (i know, sorry, again).

After a very long fifteen minutes, I was relocated to a reclining chair and given more hot tea for my foot massage.  The kindest face of an older Thai woman started my traditional Thai massage and I immediately recognized that Thai massages are not unlike getting the crap beat out of you.  seriously.  In not wanting to be culturally impolite, I grinned and bared the pain while my eyes started to water.  I was making mental notes of every torture she inflicted on my right foot and leg, because I was fully aware the same pain was soon to be administered to my left side.  What I didn't know was that my foot massage was over an hour long and also included a short neck, upper back, and arm torture massage.

By the time my sweetest/meanest masseuse had moved onto my arms, Brandon turned the corner and took his seat to wait until I was released.  I tried to search his face for how it went but he was completely blank.  When my masseuse stepped away to get me more hot tea, I ask him how it went and he said, i just got the piss beat out of me.  After we left, I discovered that not only was he also subjected to severe grinding, elbow digging, and on-your-back-walking-on-her-heels type of massage; he also was asked to change into an "outfit."  Now, my husband is not the tallest guy by any means, but in comparison to the majority of Thai males, he's pretty dang tall.  So this "outfit," as he explained, was about 4 inches too short and he couldn't button the front of the shirt because his chest was too wide.  Later that weekend, back at my sister's apartment, we rehashed this story to Kayla and my mom and even got a glimpse of the positions that my husband and I were subjected to during our massages. 

 If you're interested, in any way, to see my husband on the floor on his back with his knee to his chest while I try to tell this story through hysterical giggling, just ask.  We're happy to reenact for ya.

Our big secret

Monday, April 18, 2011

Finnnnnnnnnnnallly, I can stop holding my tongue.  and no, we're not pregnant (geez).  It's even crazier news:  WE'RE MOVING!

I am not good at keeping secrets, but I have been half-holding my mouth shut for the past 6 months with this information and I think I deserve some kind of praise.  (go ahead, praise me, please).  When we found out, I told my sisters only, oh, and my best friends, and brandon's best friend.  Okay, so I don't need that much praise, but that's pretty good for ME.  Shout out to our parents who miraculously also kept the secret for the past three weeks (hi, parents!)

Bud is getting a district change with his job and we are moving back closer to our hometown, which is super exciting because it means we'll be closer to family.  He is getting the Johnstown, and surrounding stores and later this year will be doing a grand opening for a new store!
Although we're really excited to be closer to family and friends; its still bittersweet leaving our first house.  We love the neighborhood, and our family & friends that live here, and our house.  It was the perfect house for our life right now and we were really lucky to live here.

Outside of the excitement and a little bit of sad, what this all means for us right now, is that we're in a state of complete chaos.  Bud is relocating on MAY in 2 weeks from now and to make our time of separation as short as possible we need to hurry up and do these things: 
1. make necessary fixes to the current house (finish painting bathroom, move fire pit, etc)
2. list house on the market
3. pack entire house
4. find a temporary place to live that allows pets, and babies, and wives that are a little crazy
5. move

And while we're doing all that ^...we are also doing all this:
1. tab in Kansas City for work this week
2. Easter in Johnstown
3. wedding in Indianapolis last week of April
4. bachelorette party in PIT first week of May
5. wedding in Huntingdon second week of May (hi, Wells!)
6. bachelor party in DC third week of May
7. wedding in Johnstown fourth week of May
8. wedding shower in PIT fourth sunday of May (hi, Ninny!)
9. bachelor/ette party in PIT first week in June
10. wedding shower in Lancaster second week of June (hi, Karp!)
...oh yea, and working full time, and taking care of a baby, and a dog, and two cats.  whew.

If you're wondering why I'm blogging instead of doing anything on the list...its because writing relieves stress for me...and writing it all down makes it seem a little less than how it all feels in my head.  Anyway, so glad I don't have to hold in all this craziness anymore.  Sorry in advance, but its going to be a lot of unloading on ya'll over the next couple of weeks.  hah!

a letter to the future

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dear 17year old Greyson,
This letter is coming to you from 2011, when you are only 1 year and 8 days old.  You've probably been going fishing with your dad on the first day of trout as far back as you can remember, but I'm writing this to let you know that you did not go today.  You stayed home with me and we had a mummie&greyson adventure day.  We went shopping in the rain&wind and you thought it was so funny to get rain on your face.  And we ate oreos&milk - your first time and you loved them and had cookie stained on your face all afternoon.  And I tried to get you to just cuddle and watch Finding Nemo, but you were a lot more interested in playing with your basketball and chasing the cats.  We danced to music and played with your birthday balloons and read The Foot Book and Ball and Bear.  And when it was time for bed, I held your entire little body in my arms on the rocking chair and you played with my fingers while I gave you your bottle.  And then I picked you up and you laid your head on my shoulder and I rocked you back and forth to a little lullaby from your stuffed animal.  And you are so sweet and you smell so good, and I love you so much.

I'm sure you are still so sweet (sometimes) and I can probably guess that you don't smell so good after a long day of fishing, but I know I still love you so much (I always will). I just wanted to tell you now, when you're maybe too cool for your mumma...that once upon a time I could hold all of you in just my two arms and that we had a great day together on the first day of trout.

I'll love you no matter how big you get,
your mumma.

crush time

The one thing that holds this marriage together when being a grown up gets to be too much is that Bud and I are best friends.  Let me give you a minute to go throw up a little bit.  I know, so cliche, but we geniunely just like hanging out with each other and laughing about the same dumb stuff.  And since we're such good friends it often leads to conversations that sound like this:

"No, I'm seriously calling a courtesy sniff on this.  You need to go in the bathroom right now." 
"Ugh, fine......omigosh!  [while laughing hysterically] I almost just passed out.  Don't let Bullet or Grey go in there; that could kill a small child or animal."

Another very friend thing we do, that somehow does no harm to our relationship or egos, is talk uninhibited about our celeb crushes.  I probably shouldn't annouce things like, "sexiest," when Channing Tatum is dancing and my tries-really-hard-to-dance husband is sitting next to me.   And Bud probably shouldn't say things like, "she's so hot," when Blake Lively struts across the screen with her mile-high legs while his 5'4'' wife can barely touch the floor while sitting on the couch.   But we do and neither of us takes any insult in it because first; we're friends, and that's the kinds of things you say out loud when you're with your friend.  And second; its kind of nice to know what your partner finds attractive in other people.  So Bud tries to dance and I wear high heels, and we both appreciate the gesture. 

In no particular order (ya know, just in case you are itching to know this stupid crap about us, hah), here are our crushes:

Brandon:  it is no secret that Bud has a type.  Its blonde.  he's happily married to a brunette in the fall/winter and a blonde in the spring/summer, but if he had his way, I'd be bleach blonde all year long.

Blake Lively.  Obviously, ain't no denyin' that the girl is gorgeous.

 Brittany Daniel.  Only once in my life have I witnessed Brandon think someone was so hot that he literally howled like a wolf.  I'm not making this up.  And his howling was at Brittany Daniel as Brandy in Joe Dirt.  (I know, the only thing more embarassing than uncontrollably howling is doing it while watching such a classic like Joe Dirt).

Miranda Lambert. First, she's adorable.  Second, Bud loves her voice.  High five to Blake Shelton.

 Pam Anderson.  (I know.)  But he's a guy.  And she's basically every guy's dream.  Can I blame him?

Mike Rowe.  Serious man crush.  We sit and laugh at Dirty Jobs marathons for days.  Plus Mike is the voiceover for basically every other show that Bud watches, so that doesn't hurt the man crush.  Mike Rowe is the coolest.

Tab:  the criteria for my list is boys that are really good at making the "I'm so in love with you that it hurts me" face in movies.  seriously.  i die for the face.

 Bryan Greenberg.  Love him.  Have you seen the movie Prime?  Because his character in that movie is the basis of my love for him.

 Channing Tatum.  Seriously?  I'm not even explaining myself on this one.

Matthew Goode.  Adorable.  I'm not ashamed to say that I got my first crush on him from the horribly, amazing first-daughter-dates-the-bodyguard movie he was in with Mandy Moore.  (in case you want to google that - let me save you the trouble, its Chasing Liberty and I have a copy of it).

Joseph Gordon Levitt.  Such a crush on him, it ain't even funny.  I have seen 500 Days of Summer so many times that its kind of embarassing.  I just tried to watch it the other day on HBO on demand and Bud was like, "Seriously, I know you've seen this like 20 times."

 Kat Von D.  I think she is so BA and awesome.  But since I am a little heartbroken over the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock break up...I'm going to have to throw in my alternate girl crush instead (wait, its not normal to have an alternate girl crush?  sorry, deal with it, hah.)

Mila Kunis.  Not that 70's show Mila.  I mean Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Black Swan Mila. 

Do you and your best friend/partner have celeb crushes?  Any of them the same as ours?

Little Miss Bossy is grateful

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My sons birthday was exactly, perfectly, like I wanted it.
It was not because of me.

It was because my sisters and Jordan came up on Friday and completely turned a blind eye to the dirty dishes in the sink and the muddy pawprints on the floor.

It was because then they set up the maze of ball pits and initiated a grown up ball battle which was exactly what my husband and I needed after a long week of being adults with jobs and stress.

It was because then my sister decided to attempt to climb through the hole of my son's playset, which set me into a fit a laughing hysteria.

It was because on Saturday morning, they all ate french toast with pureed carrots in it without putting up any fight and even commented, "they're so fluffy!"

It was because my parents showed up on Saturday morning with pots and vats of pasta salad, ham bbq, and roasted red pepper soup that lasted the whole day so that I didn't have to cook.

It was because my inlaws showed up and acted like our sunroom redecoration was the most beautiful sight they'd ever seen.

It was because both sets of grandparents about fell over swooning over my son and kept telling me that he is so smart.

It was because they also let Greyson open his gifts early to lessen presents at the party.

It was because my entire family, grandparents included, had an all out ball throwing American Gladiator-style war that made everyone out of breath from throwing and laughing.

It was because our best friends showed up that evening with water bottles filled with moonshine and a case of beer.

It was because all 12 of us squeezed into the upstairs living room to talk and chat and giggle at Grey trying to walk.

It was because my sister shared a bottle of wine with me while we all played the most hilarious game of Apples to Apples until midnight.

It was because everyone took turns using the shower and no one complained if they had to sleep on the couch or floor.

It was because on the day of the party, no one got Grey out of his room when we woke up early from his nap (even though they all reallllly wanted to) because I asked them to just wait so he'd fall back asleep and be happy for his party.

It was because a bunch jumped in the car went to the grocery store to pick up his cake and balloons and soda and snacks at 9:30a in the morning.

It was because during the party, I said things like "Jordan, can you please get up and go tell everyone upstairs its time for cake?" and "Kayla, can you grab the camera to take a picture?" and "Tasha, can you go get me some more potatoes for Greyson?" and "Nin, can you go get Grey's juice?" and "Can someone get me a bottle for Grey?"..and they did it, no questions; no hesitation.

It was because when I came out of bathing Greyson after his cake, my mom and mother in law had most of the food put in the fridge, the counters wiped off, the dishes done, and his highchair cleaned.

thank you for making my son's first birthday party such a success.
And easy and FUN for us too.
we love you so much.

Balls, balls, everywhere

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This weekend was a whirlwind of rolling balls, flying balls, bouncing balls, and balls flying past babies' faces.  It was our ball-themed first birthday party for Greyson.  Let me start by saying that I had fully intended (for about 6 months) to have a Foot Book themed first birthday party.  The Foot Book is Greyson's number one, ultra special, fake laugh at the clown feet page, favorite book.  And I had decorations and games and some really cute stuff in mind. 

...And then one insomia-filled night about a week before his birthday party, at around 2am, I rolled over to Brandon and said, Do you think Grey will really appreciate all the Foot Book stuff for his party? And although he had been supporting and cheering on all my ideas up until that point, he very gently (though sleepily) said, babe, I think its all great ideas.  But he's too little for all that, I think you'll waste it.  Let's wait for that when he's like three.  So then I pouted for about four minutes until my brain started moving again and I thought, oh!  what about balls!  he loves balls more than anything..even the clown feet from the Foot Book

And there at 2am, where my best thinking always happens; we had our theme for the party.  And boy, did I go a little overboard on the theme.

We had a menu of delicious ball-shaped foods:
Meatballs, Kielbasa (cut into ball-ish circles), Mashed potatoes, fruit salad (grapes, blueberries, balled watermelon & cantaloupe), donut holes, cherry tomatoes, apples, oranges

We had "balls" on the cake

I picked up "decorations" of balls:

whiffle balls
bouncy balls
hackie sacks
mini beach balls
We had guests take home any ball of their choice & a little favor box of Kix cereal (hehe, little balls!)

And despite not originally setting out on a 'My Super Sweet First Birthday' -esque party plan; booboo's family went crazy with ball in...Grey got THREE ball pits.  Each of the them different.  Each of them came with at least 20 soft-air balls.  And then Grammie&Pappy got an extra bag of 100 soft air balls. 

So with crazy amounts of "decoration" balls.  And the three ball pits.  And the mini playset we got him for his gift...It was a certified baby ball heaven in our basement...easily rivaling every McDonalds in the surrounding 50 miles.

Nearing the end of the party, we were reaching the limits of playtime possible without a nap for most guests.  So we whizzed through the presents (hi everyone!  we are so grateful for all the gifts and sorry if it seemed like we whipped through them - but a cranky baby was on the verge of exploding).  And then it was time for the big show. 

Although hesitant at first - he went to town on that sugary pile of yum.

We had set a goal* to have at least one child either pass out or throw up from all the fun at Grey's birthday party.  And although we did not reach that goal (as far as I know..anyone wanna fess up?), we did manage to exhaust our own son so that he slept for about 13 hours that night, and then took 2 two hour naps the following day.  Mission accomplished.  Happy Birthday, baby!

*I'm kidding about this goal..well, mostly kidding.

Bald-headed kindness & courage

Our cousins Adam & Lea are amazing.  First, they're both ridiculously smart and good looking (hi, Amos & Lea!).  Second, they live in Hawaii.  Third, they let Bud and I stay with them on vacation (you can read about it here.) Fourth, and the most amazing of all - they helped set up a St. Baldrick's event - the FIRST EVER for Hawaii.  Oh, and this event alone has raised over $50,000. 

photo from st.baldricks website*
St. Baldricks is a non-profit organization that is commited to supporting the most promising research for finding a cure for childhood cancer.  Events are held worldwide where shavees commit to shaving their head while asking friends & family to support their commitment with a donation.  (Here goes my crazy brain again...but how much fun would it be to organize a St. Baldricks event for the summer...maybe combined with a Locks of Love event for the girls that are too nervous to go all the way bald.  -my cousin Lea is too BA for just cutting a little off - she's going full monty BALD!!)

photo from the St. Baldricks website*

Both Lea and Adam are going to be shaving their heads this Sunday (April 17, 2011) at the event as well.  Adam has a fro (like my booboo!) and Lea is a WOMAN.  Do you know how much guts it takes to shave your head as a woman?!  Like bald.  I just think they're amazing and want to tell everyone, okay.

Lea & Adam (with hair...but soon to be without!)

So, you want to donate?  Or just read more about the 97 people that agreed to also shave their heads (yes; I said they NINETY-SEVEN people have agreed to have their heads shaved!!  Men, women, and children!)  You can do all that and more by visiting their event page here.  Or Like their facebook page here.  If by some stroke of a miracle, you find yourself in Oahu this Sunday - stop on over to Dave & Busters to bid in the silent auction, sign up for the National Bone Marrow registry, or just stand in awe.  We love you guys & we're so proud to know you.

my baby is one.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Earlier this week when I was googling how to switch a child from formula to milk, I stumbled upon this article in babycenter about how parenthood changes your life.  And then because Booboo is one (tomorrow!!) I started bawling my eyes about some of the items on the list because having your first baby turn a year old is kind of an emotional thing for a momma.

(excerpt from the article)
Writer and mom; Rebecca Woolf, lists her most notable post-baby observations

Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid.
You respect your body ... finally.
You respect your parents and love them in a new way.
You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.
You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.
You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

and the one that really tipped me over the edge:
You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

(I know, I'm crying again too.)

I usually have a million words to explain how things make me feel.  But all the words I can come up with about being a mother has been, its so weird.
Its so weird that I know how to do mom stuff; like administer baby tylenol and change a diaper in the dark and grocery shop while entertaining a baby in the cart.
Its so weird that even though this child is so annoying sometimes; he smiles and I instantly feel happy and grateful.
Its so weird that my entire day sometimes hinges on whether or not he eats.
Its so weird that when he's awake I can't wait until his nap, and if he oversleeps; I can't wait until he wakes up so I can play with him again.
Its so weird how I am proud that he can recognize the cartoon picture of a duck on his formula can and then say "ca ca" because its a bird (which is the sound he thinks birds make thanks to the 20lb crows in our backyard).
Its so weird that its been a whole year that he's been alive when sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday we were going to the hospital.
Its so weird that its only been a year that he's been alive when its hard to remember our life without him.

happy birthday, my baby.

I am going to try really, really hard not to cry on your birthday every year.
but I can't make any promises about that.
let's just say, I won't do it in front of your friends..k?

I love you, my darling.

Our One Day Without Shoes

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We had an exciting day at our house yesterday; spending the whole day barefoot while participating in the One Day Without Shoes movement with Toms Shoes.  (btw, did you know "Toms" is not actually the founder's name - his name is Blake - but "Toms" is an abbreviation of Tomorrow...i love that). 

Booboo was barefoot.

a barefoot breakfast!

Bully was barefoot...duh.

the Mumma was barefoot.

& Daddy left for work barefoot.

barefoot suit style
 Then booboo & I dropped off our taxes & picked out his birthday cake at the grocery store...BAREFOOT.  I had flip flops handy in case anyone forced to wear shoes in their business, but no one did.  I got a few confused glances and one woman exclaimed in the parking lot, "You're going to get pnemuenia!"  I had printed off one of the Toms Signs that said "April 5th, 2011.  One Day Without Shoes," that I'm hoping the glancers saw and then went home and googled and then learned more.  It was a lot of fun to participate, but when you're going barefoot and driving in Erie,PA in April - your dashboard looks like this.

I was so happy to hear from friends and family that also participated in One Day Without Shoes.  I got text messages from my in laws that both said, "My feet are freezing!"  And then I got these pictures sent to me throughout the day:

txt pic from my mom at work!  Teri Adams:  Johnstown, PA

Erin Weller getting ready to hike across campus:  Kent, OH
playing footsie!  Katie & Sophia Fiore:   Altoona, PA
Thanks for taking part and sharing your pics and stories with me.  I appreciate you for joining in on the fun - whether it was because you believed in the cause - or just because you were supporting me (hi, Mom!).  Love you guys.

Also, linking up with YouCapture in this week's category of "fun!"  Because I think its fun to do something out of the ordinary.  And I think its fun taking part in a worldwide movement.  And I think its fun to be united with people all over the country (friends and strangers, alike) for a single day towards a common cause:)


And you know...even though it was cold yesterday.  Thank goodness today isn't One Day Without Shoes - because this is what the weather looks like outside:

Barefoot Kindness!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tomorrow is an exciting day that YOU can be a part of simply by going barefoot!  Toms Shoe's One Day Without Shoes event lasts all day tomorrow, April 5th around the globe.  The event is in an effort to raise awareness about the millions of people around the world who don't have access to shoes.  The hope is that by going barefoot, you'll raise curiousity in others around you, which will lead to questions, which will lead to investigation, eventually leading to support for organization.  See more information here!

Or watch this promo video and be inspired:

Greyson and I will be participating in the One Day Without Shoes.  (I'll update with pics after tomorrow.) 
If this blog post inspired you to participate - take pictures of your day going barefoot & email them to me at:  studerteam(dot)tabitha(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll include them in Wednesday's post:)

B is a suit-wearing business man all day, so he's promised to go to and from work barefoot (but he'll have to wear his shoes during the work day...considering he works in grocery stores which kind of appreciate hygiene from the district manager, hah) - but since he'll sort of be cheating all day, he's agreed that we can buy Grey a pair of shoes from Toms Shoes....because, with each shoe purchase from Toms Shoes - a pair of shoes is donated to someone in need.  The motto over at Toms Shoes is "One for One" which makes me want to cry of happiness. 

booboo's shoe order:)  Navy Canvas Tiny TOMS

So if you aren't able to participate by going barefoot tomorrow - check out the selection here for your regular shoe-wearing days:)

Throne Reading

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sorry, is that a gross title?  Probably, but I thought "reading while using the toilet" was maybe a little to graphic for a blog post title.  who knows?  Anyway, this post is tagged as one of my favorite things which might have taken it over the tmi ledge for blog writing.  How to redeem myself at this point...let me start over.

I am a multi-tasker to the core.  In my eyes, using the bathroom is just untapped time to be I have stocked both bathrooms in our house with some easy reading fare for our guests.

master bath reading
 In our master bath, I have the following light reading displayed (from the bottom up):
1.  The Apple that Astonished Paris; a collection of poems by my number one favorite poet, Billy Collins.  (if you've never read any Billy Collins poems and/or you think you don't like poetry, go here now to read my favorite Collins poem.  Or here.  or here. or here.

2. Webster's American Sign Language Dictionary

3. Church Signs:  You know how churchs usually have the witty little sayings on their marquees - well, Brandon thinks these are hilarious and insightful.  This little book is especially for him

4. 101 Things You Should Know How To Do.  Adorable little book that covers topics ranging from; How to get a drink in a crowded bar to How to fold a fitted sheet. 

5. Fortune Telling:  Book of Dreams.  Especially helpful in the morning:)

guest room
In the guest room, we have set out a little more variety of reading materials - because you never can tell the preferences of john-browsing of guests. (starting at bottom right)
1. Modern Art.  Mostly pictures for those uninterested in reading

2. Porn for Women.  Hilarious little book that has pictures of men doing things like vacumming and turning up the thermostat while a dialogue bubble says "Let's keep it set at tropical."  For those lady guests looking for a laugh.

3.  The Book of the Zodiac.  Really easy to read information about zodiac sign characteristics (if you're into that kind of thing).  Also gives information about personal tendencies based off of Chinese astrology (animal years).  All specific for gender.

4. Frost.  An anthology of Robert Frost poems, because you doesn't like Robert Frost?

5. Superstitions.  Adorable little flip book recalling the history of where superstitions got started.  For example, did you know that the superstition that its bad luck to open an umbrella indoors stems from the early belief that using parasols (to shade from the sun) as decoration and open them indoors was disrespectful to the power of sunbeams.  So this was believed to anger the sun gods and they would then wreck havoc on anyone who acted as though the sun wasn't powerful.

6. The Bathroom Guestbook.  This was given to me by my sister, Kayla (hi, Kayla!) since she knows my weird bathroom book collection.  It is hilarious and guests happily sign it, trying to outwit previous entries with funny bathroom-inspired messages. 

7. Fortune Telling:  Birthday book.  This one is of the same line as the Book of Dreams in the master bath, but it includes personal traits and fortunes depending on your birthday.

Most guests rarely comment on the vast array of knowledge to be learned while visiting our bathrooms (with exception to the occasional whisper, I signed the guestbook, hehehe ), because talking about reading while you're in the bathroom is not really appropriate conversation.  And yet, I'm blogging about there ya go.

fireplace cleanout

We have a few shows that we watch in series (Glee, True Blood, Raising Hope), but most other tv shows are caught on hulu while fast forwarding to the dancers we really want to see (hah, dwts).  But when I have mindnumbing things to do (washing the windows or dishes), then I flip to my go-to channels...USA and TNT (hoping for Law&Order SVU marathons), TLC, E!, and always, always HGTV.  I love me some home renovation shows, and by pure luck this week on one of my fav shows (Get it Sold, with mah girl Sabrina Soto) she walked through how to properly and efficiently clean a fireplace. 

Then I looked at our fireplace with disdain and embarassment. 

Notice anything embarassing?  Oh yea - just the burnt to a crisp fireplace bricks and logs.

Then I told Brandon to put Bullet in the crate and hold the baby, please.
And then I went to cleaning our ultra sooty, dusty, black fireplace at 7:30p on a Wednesday night. 

(in case you're wondering - my husband loooooves when I start in depth projects when loving wives are supposed to be suggesting cuddling on the couch with popcorn and a movie after a long day of work.  worst wife ever.)

Be forewarned, cleaning a fireplace makes a mess.

1. Step one:  Take out the wood logs  (they are a lot heavier than they this point, Grey went into the playpen and Bud was enlisted as right-hand helping man...even worser wife)

2. Step two:  Use a dust pan & brush to sweep out whatever is in the base of the fireplace.  We had sand, coins (!?!), crazy weird dust balls that looked like fur (!!!), and 1 dog bone (bullet....).  I suggest wearing rubber gloves and not a white shirt with long sleeves (like I did).

3. Step three:  Transfer dust pan particles into a garbage bag carefully.  (this is a period of potential catastrophic mess...proceed with caution).

4. Step four:  Spray foaming shower scrub (thanks, Sabrina!) over the bricks that have soot stains. 

5. Step five:  Scrub with a bristle brush and dip in a bucket of water occasionally


6. Step six:  Repeat steps 4 & 5 if necessary (I did it three times for good measure)

7. Step seven:  Scrub fireplace logs with bristle brush and water.  We did this in the sink (MESS), but if it was warmer out - we obviously would have hosed them outside.  Maybe a bathtub or laundry sink would have been a better choice. (I'm fairly certain he asks himself on a regular basis how he gets roped into my usually irrational, inopportune, crazy undertakings.)

white shirt too...double fail.
8. Step eight:  re-assemble logs when dry

Clean!  Except for underneath the mantle...but we're getting a new one, so no sweat.
 So glad that we finally have that finished!  It has been driving me crazy and I have actually been avoiding taking pictures near our fireplace because it needed cleaned so badly.  I would scrub the brick before (with water & soap), but without cleaning out the pit it would just get sooty again the next time we lit it.  Granted, we haven't had a fire yet - but I'm hoping we are moving forward sot-free for at least a little while.

happiest, loviest, sweetest

Friday, April 1, 2011

ah!  Brandon has fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally come to his senses and has agreed with me that what we need is a new puppy!! 

Pic of our new pup (from the breeder), Pequenita (tiny in Spanish)
I have been talking with a teacup yorkie breeder named Sharla for about a month (behind Brandon's back) all the while trying to get B to agree that we should get another dog.  Here were my arguments:
1. Greyson needs his own puppy; just his size!
2. Bullet is always trying to be a lapdog, we should have a real one
3. Once Bullet adjusts to the new dog, they will be able to play together
4. I seriously have an obsession with dog clothes, and Bullet is too big for them - but not Pequenita!!
5. The cats will probably learn that dogs can be nice and friendly once they see a dog their own size!

So finally, B has agreed that it would be good idea and Sharla said the Pequenita will be ready to be picked up in just two weeks!! Just in time for Easter - yay!  For now though, Pequenita is living with her two brothers and sisters at a farm in northern Ohio until she can come home to her mum, dad, big human brother, big dog brother, and two big cat sisters.  omigosh, i'm sooooo exciteddddddddddd.

do you think i'm really that insane of a person?
happy april fools!!