Some Things I Know from NLP

Norma Lee is my great aunt. She's my grandpa's sister on my dad's side.

Growing up, she lived about 45 minutes away from us in Frederick. (She still lives there, now in a nursing home, but I now live about 11 hours and 45 minutes away!)

Beth and I would spend a week every summer with her and other times throughout the year, including a couple New Year's Eve parties with our second cousins. She didn't have children of her own, but I don't think she could have loved us more if we were her direct descendents.

Lately I've found myself thinking of all the wonderful things we got to do at her house, probably in part because I'm starting to envision Jane's childhood and how it will compare with my own.

At NLP's, we did crafts: puff paint on plastic visors and T-shirts, beaded bracelets made of safety pins, drawing our own fashion lines, etc.

She had a killer Lego collection and we could express our creativity that way.

She took us to get hair cuts -- particularly WEDGE hair cuts. She also taught me that pulling all your hair forward on your shoulders is a TERRIBLE look because of the rear view.

We swam in a horse tank full of water in the summers.

We had 10 am Coke breaks and watched a craft show on TV. I learned that you want the cup that has the least amount of ice NOT the one that's filled closer to the top.

We watched many an episode of The Golden Girls.

She took us shopping -- to Gibson's, to the department store, to the children's clothing store that's long since gone but that had a play area for kids.

She loved to dress us up, buy us clothes and even toys. There was even a blue, floor-length, ruffle-skirt prom dress that became a dress up gown. There are photos of all of the girl cousins wearing it in turn.

She took us to church and to her church's baked potato suppers.

She would do a variation on "patty cake" with her cats, which I then used on Owen and now Jane -- both love it: "Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man. Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em ... THROW THEM IN A PAN!" (When we visited NLP in the nursing home she did it with Jane's feet.)

I don't know what kinds of relationships Jane will forge with the other adults in her life, but I hope she has someone like Norma Lee in her childhood.

Homeowner Anniversary

It was a year ago today that we closed on the house.

Even with unexpected expenses, we can definitely say that home ownership has been good to us. Happy Anniversary!

I've started a garden -- getting the weeds out took a lot of work but I got it done and have sprouts. I'll try to add more photos as things progress.

June 29

July 2

July 6
Fun fact: our neighbor Miss Caroline told Shawn that the previous owners buried their dog in this plot. I mean, come on. First, why bury your dog in the garden AND second, why tell me about it?

As my friend Holly said when I told her: just let sleeping dogs lie ...

Clear Out

Work has been interminably slow this week. So on Friday I cleaned out my trunks in the guest bedroom. I didn't get rid of everything, but I did combine the two trunks contents into one and made a big box to donate.

Some of the things I found were notes -- from high school buddies and pen pals I'd long forgotten I had. What I'd really be interested in are reading my letters to them, but I'm sure they're long gone too. I read through them one more time -- Ashli, Kim, Trina, Jennifer. Girls I met at a camp, at least according to the letters. Without the letters I probably wouldn't have remembered any of them, except maybe Trina because I remember we corresponded for a while and then I screwed up her last name on a letter and never heard from her again.

Just more examples of Swiss cheese in my memory. Gah! It's why I need to write everything down -- to remember it. And it's why I write weekly letters about Jane's progress, because I know all of this will one day be a blurry memory.

One forgotten note that I found:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And you could be too

But your roses are wilted
Your violets are dead
Your sugar bowl's empty
Just like your head.

It isn't signed and I don't recognize the handwriting. I'm assuming it's a joke, because something that mean I'd surely remember. It is folded up with another piece of notebook paper that reads: Happy heart day Baby Baby, but that's in different handwriting.

Really who knows, but into the trash it goes.

TIBTI(Do Not)L: Clear Shampoo

So my TIBTIL (things i bought that i love) series has been a smashing success ... uh. Perhaps it's because I'm not buying anything? HA!

It's more like nothing I buy is worth writing about and/or I'm not thinking "blog post" while shopping. ANYWAY.

I do have something to add to the list of Things that I Bought that I DON'T Love: Clear Shampoo.

It's this new shampoo and conditioner line that's got Heidi Klum as the spokesperson. I actually bought the shampoo samples at Target before I saw the ads (I don't dislike HK, but I would have realized how hokey it was with the celebrity "endorsement").

Basically the shampoo and conditioner are exactly the same as Pantene (i.e. cheap and weird smelling), except with the added bonus of chemical colorant to make the actual shampoo and conditioner a nice lavender shade.

Normally purple is my jam, but for this ... not so much. (At least not until I go fully grey ... and I don't think these products' color is designed to make grey shine.)

And I also found this hilarious little story about the Clear products.

I will not be purchasing the full size.

By the Numbers

I'm not a super coupon person. I'm definitely drawn to clearance sales and getting a bargain, but I'm not on the level of a TLC couponer show.

But this week I've scored some pretty good deals, some thanks to my blog reading.

For example, tonight we're having Papa John's pizza. Using the code "party50" and ordering online I got 50% off. I was able to get an order of cheese sticks with our pizza for less than the "Monday Mania" price for the pizza alone (which is already a good deal). Plus no delivery charge or tip because Shawn will pick it up! The code is supposed to be good through July 4. (source)

I do use Winn Dixie Rewards to earn gas points. And I am drawn to the little "earn 5 cents extra per gallon" stickers -- throughout the store and in their ads. Because I only need to fill up once a month (staying home most every day will do that for you) I can earn close to $2 off per gallon. Last week I filled up and paid $1.22 per gallon!

Another thing I have with Winn Dixie is the Baby Club. I get extra cents off per gallon of gas for buying baby products (although they don't carry much I need ...  and regular food that I'm going to turn into baby food doesn't count -- ha!). They also send coupons about every six weeks. Some of them are really good -- like $2 off fresh beef or other things I buy anyway. They also give $3 off wipes and $3 off diapers. I normally buy my diapers at Target and my wipes online, BUT I stacked the coupons this time with some that had printed out at the register -- getting $5 off diapers and $4 off wipes, both of which were already on sale. I think I got the mega pack of diapers for around $7.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Anti Social

I don't like my last post.

I don't like it at all.

It shows my insecurities -- about clothes/style, about my baby compared to others, etc. etc.

But I'll leave it up there anyway -- there is a cute baby pic on there after all.


My job's email switched to gmail around the time I came back from maternity leave, and a little bit later they turned on gchat. Ugh.

There is a way to look at email and sign out of chat, so I do that mostly if I'm looking at email online. It isn't like a lot of people are messaging me or dying to talk to me. It's just that it never fails that I'll be in the middle of something and whammo! A drawn out IM session -- about work or otherwise.

I'm almost never signed into chat on my own gmail, and I think I've had one Facebook chat conversation. And that was accidental -- somehow settings got reset and I wasn't invisible on that chat anymore.

I think it's indicative of my anti-social behavior? Except online chat is sort of anti-social ... in that you're not ACTUALLY talking to the person.

I used to love AOL Instant Messenger. In fact, I think I have some chats saved on my eMachine's hard drive (its screen eventually gave out and I didn't know nothing about backing up back then!).

AND YET, I love to chat with my sister when we webcam. Sometimes I can type things better than our connection will allow by voice. I'm a fast typist too.

Totally insignificant, I know. But it's been on my mind.


You want to read how many books?
CHEESE! (I imagine we'll have many more photos with this face as she learns to pose)

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