Monday, December 24, 2012

Charley Bear: 1.25

[1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, 8.5 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11 months, 12 months]

I quit doing the monthly updates on Charley, but I haven't stopped taking her picture each month. I did buy the 13-24 months stickers so I must use them! But, I figured I'd just do a quarterly update on the blog which will include way too many pictures from the last 3 months, and the pictures with Big Bear as well. Sound like a plan? Okay, good.

On top of her now being able to run away during the Big Bear photo shoot, she now tries to rip the sticker off and tear it into tiny pieces. Each month I'm having to get more creative on how to force her to sit next to a bear. Well, not force, but strongly urge. Totally a difference. Forcing would require rope or super glue or duct tape, and I haven't had to resort to those types of things. Yet.

204712_10151459198494325_335289202_o
13 Months. This was the last "easy" one. She was walking, but wasn't standing up on her own to walk yet. So she may have tried to crawl towards something to pull up on, but I had ample seconds to snap a picture before she did that.

68382_10151514031879325_1679586035_n
14 months. This one was hard. The toy helped, but the little lady was running away as fast as she could each time I sat her down. I MAY have photoshopped John's hand out on the right side of the picture as he was urging her to sit back down. See that shadow on the wall? That was from his arm. This was also the last monthly picture in our old house.
252316_10151567839979325_1127869356_n
15 months. In my parent's house now, which explains the different carpet and lighting. This one was impossible. When I have the camera on the tripod, Charley LOVES to stand behind the camera and "be" the photographer. She helps a lot when we take pictures of our bird mobiles by pushing the button on the remote. So, after ripping the sticker into two (you can't tell, thankfully) I realized my only way to make this happen was to hand her the remote and let her take her own picture. It worked!

She walks. She talks. She's a whole lotta fun. She's my Charley bear!

photo.JPG

At her 15 month appointment she weighed 20lbs 6 oz (10%) and was 29 3/4" tall (25%). Still just a tiny thing. She's wearing size 4 shoes and either 12 month or 18 month clothing. The 12 month stuff is best for just shirts, and 18 months works better for length. She started taking steps at 13 months but she had to be stood, you know? Or she could pull up on something. But, she figured out how to stand up on her own not too long afterwards and has been near running ever since. It's really kind of fun to let her run around outside! And shoes! I had to start remembering to put shoes on her. I like shoes. And you have to buy them constantly as those shoe sizes are like millimeters different. But, that's okay cause I like shoes.

170


As far as talking goes, she's got a few words. But she communicates very well otherwise. More non-verbal communication than anything. But since it's customary to list out the words your baby can say, I'll do as is customary. She says: cat, Mama, Dada, oh wow!, whoa!, oh no!, uh oh!, dog, woof woof, meOW, night night, no no, and I think that's all. When the pediatrician asked me what words she could say besides Mama and Dada, all I could come up with was cat. Whoops.

She signs for please, and everything else gets an "uh" with a point. She'll point at the highchair and give an "uh" and that means, "Mama! I'm hungry! Did you forget to feed me again?" I don't know why she'd think that. It's not like I've forgotten to feed her ever, minus a few times.

083

As you know, I am SUPER picky. I pretty much eat no veggies so I am doing my best to make sure Charley doesn't learn to be picky like me. So far, so good! She eats it all. And eats a LOT. While I do let her have a treat from time to time, she actually prefers to have fruit over anything. She has quite a few teeth to chomp it all up with too. I think 16? 4 uppers, 4 lowers, 4 molars and 4 eye teeth. 

016


She loves to be read to, and if you sit in the floor she'll slowwwly back up into your lap and plop herself down to listen to the story. My mom got an American Girl catalog in the mail recently (because she bought dolls for my nieces a couple years ago) and Charley LOVED that catalog so much it fell apart from overuse. She's still enamored with it even though all that's left is a random page here and there.

I was asked not too long ago what her favorite toy was, and I really didn't have an answer. She still really likes the air activity table, and she likes anything that plays music. Interactive books are still good, and she does love to hug on a stuffed animal. The only thing that she absolutely must have is her lovey owl blanket. 

074
See! The thing she's super excited about here is a business card. Toys are for babies.

She's growing hair, but it's too little, too late apparently. Winter has arrived and that little dusting of hair isn't going to keep her head warm and she knows it. Which is probably why she loves hats so much. And headbands. Or anything on her head, really.


photo.JPGphoto.JPGphoto.JPGphoto.JPG011377636_10151407019829325_2074783074_n
 
 
I give her straight A's for this quarter. Hope she keeps it up for 2nd quarter or else I'll have to schedule a parent/teacher conference. Not that it'd do any good. I heard her parents are big ol' softies.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Newish

Here's what's new with me. Or newish I should say.

____________________________________

We moved in with my parents on November 12th. It was a Monday, and our plan was to move in that weekend. But, someone mentioned something to John about when a house is in foreclosure, they can come and padlock the door BEFORE the auction and you wouldn't be able to get to your stuff. I don't know if that is true or not, but the threat of that happening at all was enough for us to throw all of our remaining stuff in boxes and get it out of there.

We had both worked that Monday, and I had just gotten back from New Orleans the day before so I was looking forward to an early bedtime. Ha. Instead, we got off work, took Charley to my parent's for my mom to keep her, met up with one of John's friends and my dad, and they loaded up their trucks and trailers with stuff. A lot of our stuff was already in storage, but beds, cribs, & lots of other "what do we do with this?" stuff was still at our house. The plan was to get it all out that night, but that task proved impossible so John took the next day off of work and finished moving everything that day.

photo.JPG
This was what we had left Monday night. The upstairs was empty, but there was still a lot of stuff to be moved.
I wanted to walk through the house one more time and take pictures of it empty and everything like a good blogger would do, but I never even went back after that Monday. Goodbye, tiny townhouse. You were good to us.

____________________________________

I started a new job!

So, I had been looking for a job for a while. Not like LOOKING, but, looking. Just casually perusing the jobs posted on a website or two every once in a while. Had a couple interviews, a TON of phone calls but nothing too promising was coming from that. I didn't hate my job, I just was bored of it and was pretty maxed out in my current department and most of all, I'd love to be closer to home. The commute really sucks when added to the drive to go and get Charley each afternoon.

But, since I am buying a house, I knew that if I wanted a new job I needed to not do it right before we closed, because they want so many paystubs from the same employer before closing. We were nearing the cut off time, so I had decided I was going to have to find a renewed source of energy and start to like my job again. Somehow make it fun again even if that meant drawing unicorns on post-its or something. SOMETHING ANYTHING, know what I mean?

And then, another department's manager offered a new job to me. It was a promotion, a raise, and I knew roughly what I'd be doing so it's not starting over from scratch. I get to keep my vacation time and I knew everyone in the department so it was a no brainer. I accepted the position (although I did not negotiate the pay...WHY do I have to be such a chicken about that stuff?) and started last Monday. It's going great! The very first day I left work happy. It was like my brain was actually functioning again because I was learning new things and all is well in the world.

And then I got in my car and made my 1 hour and 20 minute drive home and to get Charley. OK, so I didn't solve the commute issue so it's not perfect. But, as good as it could possibly be at this point in my life!

(And I feel like I should note that this newish item may or may not be the reason for the radio silence over here at Life of Lacey. Not that I ever would use work time for blogging, but maybe just because my brain was sitting idle for so long at the other job I could always think about things to say, and now my brain is so busy that I'm falling behind. Don't worry. I'll find a new piece of my day to devote to blogging. I don't seem to have anything between the hours of 3 and 4 a.m. Perfect.)
____________________________________

Our house!! It's going up SO fast!! (Okay, it's actually going very slow but when they actually do stuff, SO FAST!) Today they put the roof on and it is so so exciting I can't stand it. A roof! Have you ever seen someone so excited over a roof in your whole life?!

When I get home I have about 10 minutes of sort of daylight before it's dark. And those crazy worker people work until the very last drop of sunlight has shown. And since I'm a chicken, I don't like to go visit my house while they are working so not to bother them and all. So most of my visits to the house have been in the dark with flashlights after they've gone.

Tonight for instance, I really wanted a picture of my new roof. So I parked my car where the headlights lit up the house, got out of the car in the frigid cold, turned on the flash and snapped this lovely picture so I could share with you:
 
photo.JPG

It looks like we just have a garage and some scraps of wood in the yard. That darn iPhone flash doesn't go very far. But I'll get some daylight pictures this weekend for you. I'll do it, I will!

____________________________________

I chopped my hair off. I did it, just as 14 of you suggested. It's great! Well, it's going to be great....

So, here it was on the day of snipping. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved it so much I snapped this picture as I walked out of the salon to my car. See the salon behind me to the right?

photo.JPG
Remember the inspiration picture I posted of the haircut I liked? Is this not a duplicate or what? My stylist's name is Melissa and she is the best ever.


She curled it with a flat iron, although she said a curling iron would do the trick too just with a different type of curl. It took her all of 5 minutes to curl it a bit and I decided I could do this. But, I wasn't going to do a thing to it for as long as it would last. I wore the salon styling for two more days, and on that third day the curl had completely fallen out of the left side but I didn't care. I knew half a salon curled head was probably better than all of a Lacey curled head.

I was right. The next morning I got up extra early to play for the first time. I should have done it the night before, but yeah. Didn't happen. Turned out that my flat iron is much too wide to curl with while my hair is so short. So then I went into my mom's hair tool box and tried a few different tools she had. Yeah, none of them worked. Clearly those tools were crap because I am positive it had nothing to do with operator error. I ended up wetting my hair again and scrunching it with the Garnier scrunching spray stuff I like. It ended up like this.

photo 2.JPG
Why are you smiling, you fool? You are wasting a perfectly wonderful haircut!
 

So now I look like a girl with a great hair cut that has no styling skills until my new curling iron gets here. When will it get here, you ask? Well, shortly after I order it of course! I don't know why I'm putting it off...each day without that tool is another day of a great haircut going to waste! Someone recommend the best skinny curling iron ever that is fool proof for a hair fool like me. Please. Save myself from hair wasting, please. 
 
 
____________________________________

Oh my gosh! Guess what else? I have a new nephew! His name is Weston and he's a sweet little thing. I can't believe I forgot to tell you that. He's a month old today and is the younger brother of my nephew Wyatt. I would write a 'Welcome to the World, Weston' blog post like I did for Wyatt, but I used all of the "W" words in the entire English language in that blog so there aren't any left. Except maybe walrus, wapiti, and whistle and I just can't seem to make any sense out of those words. Sorry, Weston. At least you are adorable!


534569_10151533727554325_220425009_n 532243_10151533722939325_28431120_n ____________________________________

So I basically have all of the things new with me that one person could possibly have. Job, house, baby, hair. So why is it that when people call and say "what's new?" I always revert to "oh, nothing really?"

What's new with you, my blog peeps?

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Renewed Tradition

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to begin a new tradition. Now, since starting a family, this one can be checked off a million different ways because lots of traditions begin when you begin a family. But I hadn't pinpointed exactly which tradition I wanted to be sure to keep up over the years, nor which one I wanted to share as the ONE that completes the item on the list. But, yesterday it finally came to me. The best traditions (I think) are renewed traditions.

I've already purchased several things for Charley for Christmas. And I've sent Santa a list on her behalf for some of the other things I think she'd like. But one of the things I purchased for Charley this year is this Melissa and Doug puzzle.

It wasn't something I set out to find or something that she just had to have. But I saw it while doing some online shopping, it was a good price, and added it to my cart. Charley has one other Melissa and Doug puzzle that has the knobs like this one that she really seems to like, so I thought she might like to have another one. Done. Purchased.

And then yesterday, I was thinking about traditions within my own family. I realized that my parents, or, um, Santa has given us a puzzle for Christmas every single year for as long as I can remember. I think it was sort of their way of continuing to shop in the toy section every year even when we'd outgrown that section of the store.

Back when I was in school and had those glorious weeks off after Christmas I would always assemble my puzzle then. Now that I'm an adult and days off are hard to come by, I usually use New Year's Eve or New Year's Day as my puzzling day.

01/01/2011
New Year's Day 2010. Salsarita's, my phone and a puzzle sounds like a perfect day to me!
 So when I remembered that tradition I thought to myself that I would start it with Charley this year and I should get her a puzzle. Then I remembered I already had purchased her a puzzle and it was like  the circle was complete. I'm renewing this tradition with my own child(ren). Thanks Santa. Santa: I hope you were planning on keeping this going this year now that I've officially proclaimed it's a tradition.

Do you have a gift tradition like this one? Maybe the repeat gift every year in your family is beef jerky or a tin of popcorn or a fuzzy steering wheel cover? Tell me! I love hearing about other's traditions!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Division of Labor

I am stealing this idea from Laura at The Diniwilks. I think it's not going to look good for me once I get it all written out, but, in an effort of full disclosure (would you like my social security number too?) I figured I should let you know how it really is at the home of Charley and her parents.


Child care: For the most part, this is me. I made all of the decisions on baby stuff to buy and what not to use. I run things by him on occasion, but for the most part he practices a "you did the research and I trust your judgement" type thing. It was a joint decision on who keeps Charley during the days while we work (hi sister!) and whose insurance she goes on (mine, cheaper). He takes her to my sister's in the morning, and I do the afternoon pickup. We both change diapers and feed Charley. I do all of her doctor's appointments. I take more control over dressing her. Occasionally I have to revisit some already decided things with him like not forward-facing her car seat until two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2DVfqFhseo, also, internal decapitation. I feel very strongly about this one).

Time off: We both work M-F 8-5, but for the meantime I've worked out a 4:00 leave time. With the drive to get Charley in the afternoons, we normally get home around the same time. So in the evenings, we pretty much split it all. I start to feed Charley while John eats (he eats fast) and then he comes and finishes while I eat. It's a toss up on baths and bedtime stuff, although I more often take the bedtime routine because I like it. On the weekends, we try to do the thing where we each get a morning to sleep in, but usually we both get up anyways. We often have plans to do stuff without the other, so I think it's pretty even who stays with Charley and who goes out to golf, shop, etc.

If Charley is sick, it's a toss up. I have to take a vacation day or one of my (coughcough) personal sick days if I need to stay home. John can sort of work from home, so if he stays with her he can still maybe get some of his work done. Neither of us have a good option in this case to be honest. Come on workplaces! Give the families a break!

Food: We each do grocery shopping - it just depends on who wants to go or has the time. Sometimes we like to go as a family. As far as cooking, I've mentioned before how John does the majority of that. But lately as we've been living with my parent's for a week now (oh! did I forget to tell you that?) it seems like I've done the majority since I've gotten home first. John cooks better stuff and is less stressy about doing it, so I still prefer him to do it. We are all equal opportunity eaters. (Except for vegetables, Charley and John can have at those. I do not need veggie equality.)


Housecleaning: John and I have very different styles when it comes to housecleaning, therefore he ends up doing more. Much like with anything else in his life, he has no patience. So, if a counter top is cluttered or a floor is messy, he must clean it now and he doesn't much care if while "cleaning" he puts things in their appropriate place. No drawer or closet is off limits. I however, can deal with some clutter and general mess until I get the time and the urge to do it RIGHT. I like to wait for a weekend or a nap time to do it. But, since Mr. Impatient has been shoving stuff into drawers all week by the time Saturday gets here, I end up doing nothing, or undoing John's doing. Make sense?

To break it down further- we both do laundry. John is better about actually putting stuff away. I am better about actually hanging or folding things immediately to avoid wrinkles. We both do dishes, but I think John does them more. John takes out all trash unless it's a solo stinky diaper which I will take out as they come. Both do floors. John does bathroom cleaning. I LOATHE that, and my arms are just too weak to wash those shower walls. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) John makes the bed more often. I rarely even do that. Sorry, Mama!

Pets: John has always been the pet take-r care-r of-er. He bathes the cats, brushes the cats, feeds the cats and de-pee and poops the litter box for the cats. I just take cute pictures of them. I'd say that's about even, right?

009

House decorating: I'd love to be able to say all me and call it a day. For the most part, yes, I can say that. But for whatever reason, he DOES have an opinion on some things. What? No. Just let me do it. Gahhh.

Yard work: We didn't really have a yard at the townhouse, especially after we got rid of our tiny bit of grass in lieu of pine needles. I did all the flower planting and upkeep and most of the flower watering. John did mulch or cut the weeds. When we do have a real yard, he'll also be doing the grass cutting unless he outsources the job to my dad and his wide array of lawn equipment.

photo 2
That's not even a lawn mower, but he does have lawn mower equipment too. I just needed a picture, and this seems lawn mower-y, right?

Communications: I do the majority of the communicating. Since John is very anti-Facebook or social media, I handle and friend plans that comes through there. I send the Christmas cards and all that. John does handle communicating with his own dad and family, but even that's pretty rare. We both are in constant contact with my family.

Finances: We have a joint account and a joint savings. Once we get settled in the new house and figure out our new budget and all, we've considered getting our own accounts for our own fun money. But, while we are still saving like crazy there is no room for fun money so no need to open those accounts yet. I have always done the budget and kept track of the bills and all. Recently, John has been interested in actually knowing how much we have and what we have to pay and how much should we transfer to savings, etc. We have a shared google doc that outlines all of that for us that we both access all of the time. I don't mind sharing the information with him, but now it's a lot harder to make secret purchases without him knowing. Not that I EVER did that though, of course.

Activities: Me. All me. John is not so much an activity person. I keep thinking this might change when we have a bigger kid, but for now, any family activities are planned by me, and a lot of the time John doesn't even attend. Ha! I'll take my sisters or parents or something.

Who wears the pants: John. (okay, stop your laughter. You all know how we women do. We let them take the pants wearing fame, while we really are sewing the pants behind the scenes. Like, sure, you are wearing the pants, but you better wear the pants as I (secretly) say or else I'll sew the next pair a little too snug for your liking.)

Heh. Once I got it all written out, it looks fairly even. But, I do think that I have a husband that does far more than most do, and I know I am spoiled. I like it and love him for it. I can't wait for him to anonymously comment on this. My guess is he'll comment on the fact that I claim I secretly sew the pants for the pants-wearing, but yet I cannot even sew and he can. It's a metaphor John, a METAPHOR!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Blathering

Hey! So, a lot of my (few) readers know me in real life. Mainly because I share my blog posts over on my personal Facebook page because my Mom wants me to. It's how she knows there is something new to read, and who am I to not do as my Mama told me? Anyways, so yes. Many of you know me from school, friends, work, or whatever. So, you will totally not be surprised when I tell you I flew away for the weekend to meet 50 something strangers of which I had met exactly ZERO in person before. Yeah, that's totally the Lacey you know, right? [If you don't know me, then I'll spell it out for you...that is definitely not something I would normally do.]

But, I had gotten to know 2 other bloggers really well over the past year or so (or at least as well as you could over the internet) and really wanted to meet them in person. Couple that with the fact that I love to travel and see new cities and The Blathering was in New Orleans, a city I'd yet to visit, and the fact that I really have never done anything for JUST ME, and I was in. I told myself, "I'm just going to do this." And I did.

The Blathering
I stole this picture from another attendee. I never even took my real camera out of my suitcase the entire weekend.

First things first though. So, besides going to meet Heather and Laura, there were going to be 57 other people there that I should probably get to know as well. No problem since they were all bloggers and I most likely read all of their blogs, right? Um, no. I read exactly zero of their blogs when I signed up for this. So I had about 10 months to get to e-know 57 people. And I tried, I really did.

But, I pretty much failed. Turns out that yes, all of them started as bloggers, but apparently blogging is falling by the wayside* and Twitter is where it's at these days. Most of them tweeted way more often than blogged so if I wanted to get to know them I'd have to join Twitter too. I love social media, so even though I had plenty on my social media plate I added a helping of Twitter in too. I didn't want to be the only stranger girl in New Orleans in November.

Without drawing this out much further, I hate Twitter. It's basically a bunch of private chats, only they aren't private and can be between multiple people at once, and they are all listed BACKWARDS. So a normal conversation between people I was trying to get to know looked like this:

Twitter Person 1: Good night! Bye!! @xoiufg @orwelktj  #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Thank you so much for laughing at my jokes. I'm going to bed now. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 1: HAHAHAHAHAHA! YOU ARE SO FUNNY! @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Dumbbell didn't work so I had to knock. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 1: Dumbbell who? @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Dumbbell. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 3: Who's There? @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Knock Knock. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces

Dumb I tell you. Dumb. But apparently I'm the minority on this because all of the rest of them love it. And love it so much that on our name tags for a BLOG get together  they included our twitter names instead of our blog names! Crazy, right? I think they should rename this gathering from The Blathering (Blog Gathering) to the Twithering.

photo.JPG
Another stolen picture. Thanks Laura. I didn't even ask if it was okay!
I'm basically failing at getting to "know" anyone before we go. And then life happens and it goes by so fast and then it's the day before I leave and I know nothing about no one except for a few of them that still blogged. But don't ask me their names or what they did or looked like. My memory was definitely on overload. MAX CAPACITY.

I get there, find my e-friends and we go downstairs to the hotel bar to meet others and decide what to do about dinner. I am SUPER overwhelmed when we get there. I can usually fake it 'til I make it, but there was very limited personal space, very loud volumes, and very many people I did not know. I tried though, really. And then, Laura, Heather and I broke off from the group to go to dinner on our own to get to know each other better before we dove in headfirst to all of the group stuff the next day. It was lovely. I love them even more in real life than through the internet, if that was even possible.

photo.JPG
We had just officially "met" hours before this. Don't we look like friends from way way back? No awkward spaces between us or anything!
And now, it would seem appropriate that I do a rundown of where we went and what we ate and what we saw. But, I feel so incredibly repetitive doing this because Heather already did it for me. And you know what? I did not leave her side the entire weekend so everything she did, I did. Except for sleeping in until 9 on Saturday morning. I woke up at 7:30 due to a phone call from my lovely husband who didn't know I was in a different time zone.

And speaking of sleeping...I did not do too much of that. You see, our hotel was at the corner of loud and louder streets, meaning there were drums, (YES DRUMS), tubas, car horns and sirens outside of our hotel window at all times. And the hotel is well aware of this as they issue ear plugs to all of their guests. Obviously, the appeal of this hotel was their location. The ear plugs helped, but I still struggled to fall asleep each night. And those ear plugs? They didn't drown out the sound of my phone ringing at 7:30 Saturday morning! JOHN!!

I'm doing a terrible job of explaining all of this. I make it sound like it was awful. No sleep. Strangers. Crazy city.

But it was far from all of that. In fact, it was extremely fun. And even though I may not remember that I met you or what we talked about (again, information/faces overload) I enjoyed meeting every single person and chatting with you. I couldn't believe how pretty Arwen was. Or how Maggie and Megan weren't vegetable lovers either! And Sheila was so funny. And there were so many more that I talked to, but I was too ashamed to re-ask their name. I am so terrible with names that half of the time I don't bother to re-ask because chances are, I won't remember the second time either. So, all of you nameless people, I loved meeting you too!

IMG_5074
Hey look! All people on the internet aren't creepy and/or weird. There are actually beautiful and nice people on the scary internet, too! But yes, we can be weird too.
I ate gumbo and liked it. I even had shrimp and wasn't totally grossed out by it's texture. I tried new beers and drinks and beignets. Twice.

photo.JPG


But most of all, I made new friends. Well, I already considered them friends, but my Mama insists that they were strangers until we met face to face. So now, I can officially call them friends. My Mama says so.

photo.JPG

And if life doesn't get in the way, I may even go back next year. It's in Charleston, SC next year which is driving distance for me. Plus, I have a whole year to prepare this time. I could make flashcards to learn people's names and stats. That's not creepy at all, right?

--------------------------
*Here is the list of things I had to Google while writing this post:

Falling off the wayside. Apparently it's falling by the wayside.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Trick or Treat

I love Halloween. I love this time of year, the extra candy, costumes, festivals and candy. Did I mention candy? And I used to love dressing up myself and going to Halloween parties, but my attention has now been shifted to dressing up a certain little girl in our home instead. John and I are costume snobs, meaning no store bought costumes in our house! No how, no way! We used to make our own (and our friend's) costumes, so we'll continue our tradition by now making Charley's.

This year, courtesy of Pinterest, Charley was a peacock.

602508_10151492708904325_1616283860_n (1)

I had purchased the materials, but threw this together* after she went to bed the night before the Halloween festival we attended. She ended up winning her category in the costume contest, so I'd say we did pretty good! (No need to mention there were only 3 kids in her age category.)

525750_10151256525896772_1377360751_n69726_10151256525726772_1324377050_n


And, the best thing is the only part that was disposable were the peacock feathers for her back. The leg warmers, solid colored onesie (which I bought here because my attempt at dying a onesie that pretty peacock blue color turned out grey) and headband can easily be worn after Halloween is over. And I like that. One reason I hate store-bought costumes is because they are so expensive for a one time use. Precisely the reason I struggle with Christmas dresses and things like that. Such a waste! 

Back to Halloween. I hope Charley has just as many happy memories of her childhood Halloweens as I have...

So, when I was little I was the same thing pretty much every single year and I never longed to be anything else. When we'd beg my mom to get us the Halloween box out of the attic on September 1st each year, I'd dig through it and find the solid black witch dresses and would immediately put them on. They were nothing too crazy; just solid black dresses that my mom made herself when my older sisters were little and the arms and neck were cut wide enough that those two dresses continued to fit throughout my entire childhood. Pair it with a witch hat and occasionally some green face paint and we were good to go. There were only a couple of years that I decided to be something other than a witch.

scan0201

One year, I decided I wanted to be a clown and had my mom sew one of the witch dresses into a romper with legs. We added some patches to it from the scrap fabric pile, and I'm assuming some clownish face paint and I was good to go. 

Another year, my brother and I were feeling extra creative and decided to be serial killers. We probably had no idea what it meant, but we made sandwich boards out of poster boards, borrowed our favorite box of cereal from the pantry and duplicated the cereal box onto our poster boards with markers. Cut ourselves out some cardboard knives (okay, so I guess we sorta knew what serial killers were) and voila! Cereal killers!

(WHY is there not a picture of that awesomeness?)

And one of the last years we trick or treated, my dad was in the hospital after he was in an accident, so my mom was with him at the hospital on Halloween. One of my older sisters took my brother and I trick or treating, and we were on our own to come up with costumes during the day. My brother ended up getting some of my dad's truck driver uniforms and wore those (obviously very belted and pants rolled up, etc) to go as my dad. I found a safari looking hat in my parent's closet, and some binoculars so I put on some khakis and went as a safari person. Like, a tourist I guess? A tourist on a safari? I don't know. But it was fun!

Once we got home with our loot, we grouped all of the like candies together in the floor while sitting across from each other and started bartering candy. "I'll give you one Snickers* for a Reese's Cup." "I'll give you 48 disgusting orange/black wrapped candies for one Milky Way." And on and on.

And because I can't figure out how to end this, a picture shall do.

034

Happy Halloween! 


*I think this will be fun to add to the bottom of posts sometimes, because sometimes I'm so ashamed of the things I don't just KNOW and I have to Google to reassure myself I'm writing something correctly or stating correct facts. Here is the list of things I had to Google while writing this post: 

"through it together or threw it together" - I mean, am I trying to get in between the letters in 'together'? Duh!

"snickers or snicker's candy" - Does the candy belong to a Mr. Snicker, or does it make lots of snickers?

Friday, November 2, 2012

The House

014
It's like The Emperor's New Clothes. There is totally a house behind us- you just can't see.

It's about time for an update, yes? Let me give a quick recap of the last 6 months first so you aren't forced to go perusing through my archives. (But if you'd rather do that, feel free!)

It started here. We intentionally stopped paying our mortgage. Still gives me knots in my tummy to type that out.

Then I shared with you the new house plans we purchased that we were going to build on the land we bought from my parents. Coincidentally, it's right next door to/in front of my parent's house!

After we had the plans, we began shopping around for contractors or builders. Our plans we purchased were a lot pricier to build than the website said they'd be. We start considering other options.

concord2We find a builder local to us that has a house that has a floor plan almost identical to the ones we bought. The floor plan is the biggest thing to me in terms of wish list. Must have everything I want. This one did, so we scrapped our plans and went with this builder and their plans as they could build their house plans much cheaper than ours since they were familiar with it. (Speaking of, we have house plans for sale if anyone wants them!)

We work on financing and get approved for that. And finally, FINALLY, the building process gets started. Only 7 months after all this started.

Meanwhile, with the old house we get a letter from our current lender. Foreclosure will happen in 90 days. That was in August, meaning November we have to leave. Sure, we had hoped the process would take much longer as it had with so many other people we'd talked to, but, can you really blame them? We weren't paying and they need to try and recover some of their money. So, since the house isn't going to magically finish itself in 2 weeks, we are moving in with the parents in the meantime. I'm actually pretty excited about it!

But, enough about that. Let's move on to the fun stuff. Like, how it's going so far. This was from earlier this week and I tried to label it a bit to orient you since it surely doesn't look like much so far. But I can see it, and I can't freaking wait.

8147922274_d3d466f07f_b
photo 2.JPG
photo 1.JPG photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG

So we have exactly 2 weeks until we move in with my parents. We'll be there throughout the holidays and the hopefully in our own house soon after that. It's looking like early February, but of course that's just an estimate. 

Lately we've been busy packing up what we don't need and moving into a storage unit. It's really hard to figure out what we won't need for a few months, so I'm being super crazy and writing down what's inside each box and numbering each box on every visible side. So, while we are living with my parents and we realize we really shouldn't have packed our swimsuits as we want to go for a swim in January, I can look down my way-too-detailed list of what's in each box, find box #33 in the storage unit and drag out our swimsuits. Have you ever had to pack for a few months? WITH a baby? It's terrifying! How do I know whether or not I'll need my Halloween costumes, you know?

photo 3.JPG
I thought it'd be best to pack Charley away for a few months, too. Don't worry, it's a climate controlled unit.
photo 4.JPG

So that's where we are at right now. We will be spending all of our extra time for the next 2 weeks packing and moving. Except for the 3.5 days I'll be in New Orleans. Which leaves us with this weekend, and the weekend of the 17th/18th to do it all. Plenty of time as long as we make no other plans. Like the playdate we have tonight. Or the other playdate we have tomorrow. Or John going to play golf tomorrow. It'll all get done. It HAS to. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snippy II

Snippy part one was about me being snippy.

Part two is about me needing some snippy and I was thinking you could help. Well, hoping you could help. I've gone too long in between appointments trying to figure out what I wanted to do on my own. And clearly I've gotten nowhere.

Yes, this snippy is about hair.

So my hair has pretty much been the same for the last, oh, 8 years. Some variations in length and bangs, but the same basic concept. One time (#8) I got real adventurous and did all one length (well, except for some long layering) instead. Oooh, really brave of me, right? Or one time when I was cheating on my tried and true hair lady, I told my temporary hair person that I wanted my bangs trimmed as she had done for me for the last couple of appointments and without asking any questions, gave me straight across bangs instead of swoopy side bangs (#9). It wasn't horrible, but I don't think it was great, either.

hair

The last time I got my hair cut was #3 and that was in July. Right now my hair is medium length, my bangs are just long enough to tuck behind my ear and give the illusion of no bangs, and I'm in need of something new and fresh. But what?

I have thought a lot about going short. Not like super short, but maybe something like this:

84583299221031070_SddbQm6y_c

My hair is naturally pretty wavy like how it is in #4 above so I think I could do this, but then I fear that the days that I don't have time to style it this way that I'll have a giant mushroom hair because my hair is so thick and it dries very puffy. Does that make any sense at all? Like it continues to puff out, out, out as it dries naturally. And then it'd be too short to put in a ponytail for the day so I'd be forced to either fix my hair every single day (OMG) or go out with mushroom hair. 

I am awful about picking hairstyles out on the internet or on Pinterest. In fact, I have unfollowed every single hair Pinterest board that any of my friends create. I don't like looking at pictures of hair or hairstyles because it's really hard for me to see how that hair would transition to my face, you know? So I avoid hair inspiration pictures at all costs.

So, I need you to save the hair day. Leave me links, comments, tips, etc. I don't care if they are like "Please NEVER wear your hair like it is in #8 again." I just need some help. Also, I don't dye my hair just so you know. I can't justify the cost to keep up with it when I like my hair color just fine. Just keep that in mind when you are giving suggestions.

And for those of you that don't feel like you know me well enough to give me constructive hair criticism (which is just silly, I'm ASKING for it!) (even though I know I'd be ascared to do that on some people's blogs too) here's a survey you can answer anonymously.



So please! Help! And keep in mind I am meeting 59 strangers next week so if you suggest I do a Britney Spears shave job and everyone agrees and then I go and do that and get laughed out of New Orleans, I may cry. And no one wants that, right?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snippy

scissors

Hi, I'm Lacey, and sometimes I get snippy for no good reason.

I don't exactly like this fact about myself, nor do I know how to change it. When you get snippy it happens in an instant and there is no time to reevaluate snippiness before that instant to try and change my course of snippy action. Instead, I end up analyzing my behavior afterwards and I dwell on it for months. WHY did I snip at the poor security guard/salesperson/girl scouts selling cookies? (pssst...made up that last one. No snipping at the sweet seller of Tagalongs, ever.)

But now, my snippiness has me breaking the law every single weekday. I don't want to go to jail over my snips!

A couple weeks ago I was leaving work and walking to my car. On my way to the car I pass an entrance to a parking garage which is for deliveries and such. There are security guards that guard (imagine that!) the entrance as they have to secure (guarding and securing!?) each vehicle that comes through the entrance to make sure it's not carrying explosives or whatever. Since the entrance crosses over the sidewalk there is one of those giant convex mirror things so the truck drivers can see any possible sidewalking pedestrians, and so pedestrians can make sure not to walk out in front of a giant truck.

This particular day, I was walking and playing on my phone simultaneously. I was watching where I was going though and even glanced up at the mirror and saw the truck heading out of the garage. I also saw the security guard holding her hand up to stop the truck until I walked past so I continued walking instead of stopping. But, she decided to say something to me like "watch where you are going" or something and I snipped. I snipped back "I AM! I CAN SEE THE MIRROR!" and pointed to the mirror. She resnipped "well I didn't know since you were texting or whatever." I WAS NOT TEXTING. I was probably playing a word on Words With Friends, and I clearly saw that she had stopped the truck from running over me and my phone. And then I'm sure I mumbled something like "Gahhhhh. Uhhh. I can freaking SEE" as I walked off.

It took me all of two seconds to be like why in the world did I just say all that? Why couldn't I just have been like, oh, thanks and moved on? I walk past this lady every single day and hello, awkward! She's going to start telling her coworkers each day "oh that's the snippy girl" when I see her.

So instead of walking past her each day, I've decided to jaywalk to the other side of the street to distance myself from her just a little bit more. I mean the street is at least four lanes wide, and who knows...she could be really nearsighted or something and can't see me all the way across the street. It makes me feel better that we aren't within eye contact distance anyways.

But jaywalking is illegal! Am I really going to keep this illegal activity up forever to avoid a product of my snippiness?

I think today I'll look for a new route to walk to my car that doesn't involve jaywalking. Anything to avoid the real problem at hand.

Can any other fellow snippy people commiserate with me?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho: Part II

Part I

I've left you on the edge of your seats for 5 months now while you waited for Part II. I'm sure by now your legs are asleep and you have a weird cramp in your bum from only using a small sliver of booty to sit in your chair. Please, sit back. Here is part 2, and it's pretty good.

So I've got 3 jobs under my belt now and I am just now a senior in high school. Which means I am starting to get a cramp in my hand from filling out all that information on those pesky job applications. But I like working (except not on major holidays which is why I quit the previous job) and having money so I'm out to try and find something new. Just as I had done with my first 3 jobs, I relied on a new friend to get me my next job. I got hired, and started there just in time for the holiday retail season. I was an official Kids 'R Us employee and I really wasn't too fond of kids at all. It was a perfect match for me!


I liked my coworkers and liked that there was a McDonald's next door. (I ordered that #7 Crispy Chicken Sandwich [plain] so many darn times from that McDonald's. And then McDonald's had to go and change their menu and who knows what a #7 is these days, and they definitely don't have the same plain chicken sandwich. Curses!) I don't remember much about the actual job, honestly. I know we got paid on Friday's and sometimes my friend and I would ditch out of school a class or two early to go get our paychecks and go to the mall. I know there was a coworker there that went to the beach for vacation and while hanging out on the beach late one night, was passed by a masked man that had just committed a murder and had to go back to the beach town later to be a witness. (It's crazy what stuff I remember.) I also remember another coworker telling me my hair looked best when in a pony tail, and I still think of that to this day some mornings when I'm getting flustered trying to fix my hair and I pony tail it up.

And then, there's this little story I remember about actually working there, and it coincides with my confession about this job.

Confession: So I mentioned that I started working here during the holiday season, right? So, I was a new girl and was learning the registers just so I could be a back-up cashier should they need me. Well, of course they needed me - it was the holidays after all! So I get called up to the register and a family comes up with a HUGE pile of clothes they were purchasing. No biggie. I can scan, de-hanger, toss in a bag with the best of them. But then, dun dun dun. A COUPON. And I'm sure I'd accepted coupons before, but this one was extra tricky. It was making my register beep and clang and make all sorts of WRONG noises. In an effort not to alert my manager (who was busy with someone else) from the racket my register was making, I just started hitting buttons acting like I knew what I was doing. Eventually, it went through. And maybe it went through a couple times because when I got to the "Your total today is" portion of this transaction, I KNEW the total was way less than it should have been. And I'm sure the patient family knew too. But they didn't say anything and neither did I. I stuffed their receipt as far down in their bag as I could get it and prayed they got out of the store before someone checked their receipt (no idea why that would have happened anyways). They made it out safely, and I never told a soul about the disaster of a transaction I rung up. I just hope that this family still tells the story of the year they were broke and were going to go into overdraft just to clothe their children and then a Christmas miracle happened and the new girl at Kids R Us saved the day. And ever since that day their financial struggles turned around and they lived happily ever after. It totally could have happened, I'm sure of it.

I'm not sure why I quit this job. I think I got mad at the manager or something and never went back? Regardless, I was on to the next job. This time on the job hunt with a different friend. And lucky for us, we were interviewed and hired together. We were the newest employees of The Great American Cookie Company.



I've talked about this job before because I loved it so so much. There are SO many stories I could tell you about this job. Like how each morning when baking the cookies for the day I'd make myself a special cookie(s) - a peanut butter cookie topped with the cinnamon/sugar topping we used on the snickerdoodles. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Or sometimes I'd make a chocolate chip cookie for myself but I'd get rid of all of the chips first. Or lots of other concoctions that I came up with over my couple of years here.

scan0001 (2)
Yes, those glasses are gigantic and I cannot remember why I was wearing them. They weren't mine if that helps my case at all.)
 Lots of things happened here. One manager got fired for sexual harassment (he didn't harass me!). Another coworker was fired for stealing a Powerade (because the register was coming up exactly $40 short every time he worked and no one could prove it was him so they had to find another reason and fast!), another manager was fired for taking two cookie cakes for himself (another had-to-find-a-reason issue - he had all sorts of problems and winded up in prison not too long afterwards) and several other coworkers became great friends. I only left this job begrudgingly because it was a corporate store that was then sold to a franchisee, and I didn't want to work for the new franchise owner because I was mad. Basically. Don't come into my perfect cookie world trying to change things up. I'M LEAVING. & that was that. Sad.

scan0005
LOVED decorating the cookie cakes. What I wouldn't give for a giant bucket of icing right now.

CONFESSION: I ate way too many cookies at this job. And then, when it was time to throw out the cookies at the end of the day, I took entirely too many "old" cookies home and ate them too. & I think I wore size 5 jeans and was skinny and never had to worry about it at all. On second thought, maybe I'm glad I quit when I did, as I think I left my high metabolism there on the counter. I wonder if it's still there; I'd love to go back and retrieve it. It may help with the 6 cookies (not Great American cookies, sadly) that I had as my "side" for dinner last night. A piece of grilled chicken and cookies. Sounds delish right?

After that job, I started working in a toy store in the same mall. Again, I got this job because of a friend I made while working at the cookie store. He worked at a different mall store that ended up closing and he got the job at the toy store, and then hired me. Apparently I'm afraid to get a job without someone I know there.

Worked here for the next couple of years while I was in college. Learned a lot about toys (Thomas the Train, Beanie Babies, Lee Middleton Dolls, Calico Critters, etc.) and ended up maybe getting fired from this job. It wasn't really clear. Same friend that got me the job basically wrote me off the schedule and on one day I was scheduled to work by myself, I showed up for my shift and another coworker was there and said that he'd been called in to work. We called "friend", confused, and he basically said coworker was supposed to work and for me to go home. That was my last day there and I've been confused on what happened ever since. "Friend" and I hadn't really been getting along so much anymore anyways, so I cut my losses and moved on. It had gotten awkward with him, and I obviously had no problem jumping from job to job. This was my 5th job in 5 years, after all.

CONFESSION: I still didn't like kids. No idea why I chose to work at a toy store.

Also, this is getting boring for me now, so instead of dragging this out to a third edition, let me finish this real quick.

After the mysterious toy store "firing", I worked at Dillard's in the same mall for a bit.

Then right before I graduated college, I got a job in a call center at Wachovia to sort of get my foot in the door there.

Once I graduated, I got transferred within Wachovia to my first real job as a Database Analyst or some ridic title. I hated that job more than I've ever hated a job, EVER. So awful. Stayed there almost two years, and that "experience" got me my current job as a Financial Analyst, and then Senior Financial Analyst. I've been here five years. Or, I've been THERE five years. Saying HERE implies that I'm currently at work and blogging, and that's a ludicrous idea that I'd be doing anything besides work at work. Ludicrous, I tell you.