Did I tell you that I made it to the gym the other day? We got up on a Monday, had a small breakfast and headed to the newer gym that just opened near my house. I brought William to the kids club – their little babysitting facility, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the kids club at the new gym is almost twice the size of the one at the older gym. There were a lot of kids, but because of all the space, everyone seemed happy and occupied – coloring, playing dinosaurs, watching Dora. William walked right in, picked up a bull dozer and started playing. I headed out to the floor and had a nice 45 min. workout. I jogged and walked on a treadmill, used the ellipticals, did a bunch of crunches and girl pushups and stretched. It was wonderful.

I went to get William and he seemed happy, albeit ready to go.

The next day, we get to the gym and we’re heading into the main doors and he moves behind me and gives me a little shove, saying, “you go, mommy, I’ll stay here.” Um, what? Then he says, “I’m not going to the gym anymore.” We went inside anyway where he proceeded to scream and cry like I was pinching him or pulling his hair or something. Very dramatic.

Well, it’s not like gymnastics where we can just stay even though he’s crying. For the sake of the three care providers and the 10 or so other kids in the kids club, I felt obligated to get my crier out of there. Thereby giving in to his tantrum. Ugh.

My only option at this point is to go at night once my husband gets home. This plan is kind of crappy because I don’t ever feel like going at 8 pm and it’s very easy to make excuses.

Nonetheless, I’ve got some weight to lose…I need a plan.

speaking of airlines…

tsa locksUm, what’s the deal with tsa locks anyway? Our luggage came with them but they seem kind of strange to me. I guess I don’t really understand the concept. Are they locks that keep the airline employees and other strangers out but allow the TSA in? Does that mean that all TSA agents have something like a skeleton key and they can open them?

Well, I’ve worked for a few government agencies in my day, and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that not just the TSA can open those locks.

Hang on, I’m going to look this up on wiki just to see if I’m on the right track.

Even better, this is from the TSA website:

TSA screens every passenger’s baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.

So – they’re exactly what I thought they were. Too bad I’ll never get to use them since I plan to only take a carry on from now on to avoid fees. I can’t wait to see my 2 year old carrying his own diapers.

Vegas, baby!

Well, it’s official. I’m going to Vegas. We got a discount code for the Wynn, so we’re going for four days. It just so happens my good friend Steph is headed there for a super-fishing convention, so we’re going at the same time as her with the hopes of stealing her away from the anglers for a little while. I think we’re going to opt for driving vacations that don’t require travel insurance for a while since the airlines are going mad with greed and nickle and diming passengers to death.

Did I already blog about this? I was just going to tell you how we’re trying to get my husband’s high-roller boss to go to Vegas at the same time so we can take advantage of some of his comps, but he never decides if he’s doing anything until the last minute. Him going is about the only way my husband will get to play golf on the Wynn’s course since it’s so expensive – $350-$400 for greens fees!!! This all feels like deja vu…I better go back and check if I already blogged this.

This is a sure sign that there’s not much excitement in my life at the moment.

Warning – Debbie Downer post…

Debbie Downer, a.k.a, Rachel DratchWhen I became a Christian in my early 20s, it was mainly because of music. My sister gave me a Susan Ashton tape (that’s right, a tape) for Christmas one year, and it spoke to me. Then I started listening to Nichole Nordeman, Jennifer Knapp, Cademon’s Call and lots of others. Especially Steven Curtis Chapman. It was through the music of these awesome singer/songwriters that I came to have a strong faith of my own. I can only imagine how the Chapman’s faith is being tested now. I was so sad to hear about the tragedy in his family – here’s an excerpt from the That’s Really Week blog by Lyndsey Parker:

Maria Sue Chapman, the 5-year-old daughter of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman, was accidentally, tragically struck and killed Wednesday by an SUV driven by her teenage brother.

How does a family deal with that? Yeesh. So sad. Maria Sue was the third daughter that the Chapman’s have adopted from China.

Which makes me think of all the families in China that lost their state-mandated only children in the earthquake! Awful.

So here’s some hope:

The Chapman’s foundation, inspired by their adoption experience: Shaohannha’s Hope

Oxfam’s relief efforts in Myanmar and China.

There are things we can do to help.

gems on the web

Some new and excellent web finds for the crafty:

This month’s Real Simple had these cute little cocktail napkins that had fortunes on them. I went to the website, and it turns out it was an Etsy shop – Avril Loreti! How awesome is that. A national magazine – great press for all Etsy sellers because even though only one product was highlighted, how could a shopper turn away from all the rest of that handmade goodness?

By the way, her ideas on coctail napkins and heat transfers are super creative and wonderful. I will be copying them (for personal use, of course) very soon.

If you’re not shopping on Etsy yet, you’re missing out.

new 90210

Um, am I that old? That the show I watched growing up is now being remade? Well, whatever. You know I’m going to watch this trashy show. It looks like the OC meets that crazy Palm Springs show. Love it!

Cast looks cool – except for the teacher character played by Ryan Eggold. I really hope there’s no teacher/student lovin’ happening at West Beverly. We’ve got a big enough problem with that in the old US as it is.

baby showers…

My best friend’s brother and sister-in-law are having a baby, and she asked me for ideas for the baby shower. First of all, I love baby showers! Bring on the boxed wine!

Just kidding. Kind of. Actually, this one is a little wierd for me because said brother was my first love. It’s not weird because I harbor ANY feelings other than friendship for the guy, but I was not invited to their wedding – even though there has been no romance between me and him for a good 10 years. I think they’ve been married for two years or so now. The wife is a lot younger – in fact, she was their little sister’s best friend. That’s weird too.

So anyway, back to the baby shower. Here are my favorite games:

  • Guess the poop: Fill diapers with mysterious substances and have shower guests guess at the contents. Melted snickers is my fav.
  • How big is she?: tear off squares of TP approximating the girth of the preggo girl.
  • Bait and Switch: Have the guest of honor carry a tray of baby goodies around the room (that she’ll get to keep). Each guest gets 10 seconds to memorize what’s on the tray. Then, she leaves the room, and you say, describe the pregnant girl. Ha! Tricked you! The person with the most detailed description wins.

The other things I like to see at baby showers are pre-stamped envelopes ready for the guests to write their names and addresses on. This way, the new mom only has to write out the thank yous, not worry about gathering up all the addresses.

As for gifts – even if there’s a registry, I always make something myself and give a gift card. My favorite gift is homemade baby birth announements with blanks that the mom can fill in. But these days, there are so many cool birth announcements on the market, it’s almost not as fun to make them any more. Especially all the options for photo birth announcements.

Anyway – if there’s no chocolate fountain, it’s not a party. Keep that in mind, shower planners.

new themes

I’m testing out some new themes, trying to solve the problem of my blog looking fab in firefox and totally sucky in IE. I was hoping that I could just change the theme, and whatever weird code problem existed would just disappear. I should have known better. For your info, this site looks MUCHO better-o when viewed in Firefox. But that’s not your problem, is it. You should be able to view this site in any browser you choose – making it look good is my problem.

Apparently, it’s my BIG problem. I wish it was just a lighting problem. But no, it’s some crazy coding problem. And since I just fumble my way through code, I can’t figure it out. Blerg.

Idle thoughts on Idol

I really loved Brooke singing with Graham Nash. What a treat. So much more pleasurable that watching Brooke dance! I hated Jordin Sparks gold dress. I totally loved Gladys Knight and the “pips” – my eternal love for Robert Downey Jr. is validated once again.

Those were really the only highlights for me. I fast forwarded most of it. Oh yeah, I thought Syesha outsang Donna Summer, which (along with Donna’s wig) made me a little sad. I liked the George Michael tribute at the end – mostly because I love those songs. Especially Freedom. Chikeze is pretty awesome. I’ll buy his music on iTunes.

I feel bad for the choreographer of the national tour…he’s got a tough road ahead. I think only three or four of those top 12 have any natural rhythm.

Was Paula crying for George Michael? She’s so corny. She’s like the craziest fan girl of them all.

As for the winner, I’m not going to post it, just in case you haven’t watched your Tivo yet. Well, I’ll tell you it’s a David. ha ha ha. Does it really matter which one? They’re both great.

Now, it’s off to Top Chef…and tomorrow, So You Think You Can Dance!! Woo hoo!!!

I heart podcasts

Jay left me a nice comment explaining that she also enjoys podcasts while sewing. I was going to just reply to her comment, but I was going on and on, so I figured I should make a post about it.

To me, listening to a good podcast while sewing (or driving or grocery shopping when I’m alone) is like heaven. Especially if it’s good. I feel the same about a good audio book, although, I’ve been picking duds lately. So I thought I’d share all my favorite podcasts with you. I hope you’ll share a favorite here too if you don’t see it listed! I included links to most of their websites, but I get all my podcasts on iTunes.

Here are my free favorites in the strictly audio category:

My favorite video podcasts are Zaproot and Threadbangers. And sometimes, I love Veracifier, but I don’t like to subscribe anymore, because they post a million podcasts, and I can’t keep up with them.

For crafting, Sew Forth Now is cool because she highlights good links on the internet for sewing. I find it frustrating because I’m not usually near a computer when I’m listening to a podcast. But her blog has all the links.

I’m testing out some new Sci Fi podcasts – Escape Pod and Pod Castle. I haven’t listened to much, so I’m going to reserve judgement, but I like the idea of good Sci Fi stories on my iPod.

Finally, Slate has a cool textcast called Slate Magazine’s Today’s Paper. Someone writes up and summarized all the major headlines from the day’s big newspapers – NYT, WSJ, LAT. I like to keep a few in my iPod so I have reading material if I’m stuck waiting somewhere. Textcasts are a little tricky – you press the center button on your iPod 3 times fast, and the text pops up, and you can scroll through and read it. I kind of wish they’d just read it, then I’d keep up with the news in a more timely fashion, but I like the idea of it.