Wednesday, May 30, 2007

so long, farewell

Today was my last day at work. It was bittersweet. Everyone said nice words about me and lots of people told me that my choice was not one that I'd regret. I was even applauded when my boss said, "Courtney's leaving us to do the most important job." (I think that's just because I work with a lot of female teachers.) Anyway, they gave me a gift and had me stand up in front of everyone at the staff cookout so they could say more nice words about me.

It was a good place to work for the past six years.

Still I was relieved when I walked out that door this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We Have a Musician (Or Two) in Our Family

Whether it is true or not, several people have remarked that Julianna appears to be “musically inclined.” Someone told me that we should have her in music classes because they noticed that she can keep rhythm so well. Our friend in graduate school studying audiology said that of course, there’s no better time than to start at an early age for sign language and music lessons. Papaw bought her a flute – one of those recorder things we all played in elementary school - and she figured it out right away. She loves to blow her “whistle.” Her uncle graduated from NCSA with a Master’s Degree in Trombone Music and he could probably teach her a thing or two.

Since my parents have had their house on the market for a while now they have learned to get ready in literally a moment’s notice to leave for an hour or so while their house is being shown. Needless to say, they have become regulars at the local dollar store.

One day this past weekend at the typical afternoon showing my dad decided to visit the dollar store where to his delight he found a Memorial Day Sale going on. Everything was 20 – 40% off! He decided that since my mother was always nagging him about not sharing the flute with Julianna and passing germs back and forth he would just buy us all a recorder! And we would make a band! He got a variety of colors of flutes for $0.60 each.

Last night after dinner we were all sitting around resting our tired muscles and reading over the packet of information the nurse had sent about my mom’s upcoming knee replacement surgery. One of her biggest fears, my mom confided in us, is that after the surgery she’ll be sitting at home unable to go anywhere or do anything and my dad will be off doing his own thing surfing the net or watching the latest stock reports in the basement. Half sarcastically, half for real she said, “Maybe I’ll just buy a bell and ring it when I need some service…”

To which my husband replied, “You could always just blow your flute.”

Monday, May 28, 2007

weekend recap

I'm sorry I can't come to the blog right now. I'm going to bed early to relieve my sore muscles and aching back. Leave a message and I'll get back to you tomorrow. Thanks!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

List of the Week

Overheard at my house this weekend:

  • Courtney: Does your tongue ever itch?

  • Jonathan: Have you tried rebooting? Courtney: No, I've got like 31 windows open!

  • Julianna: “rrrmmmm, rrrrmmmm” [furiously making her motorcycle sign]

Getting Rid of Nasty 2 ft High Weeds Once and For All

A few years ago after we moved in to our house I thought I’d be a lovely-productive-helpful wife and weed the front flowerbeds. I should pause here to tell you that I’d never done anything like this ever before. I’d never pulled a weed; I’d never mowed the lawn; I’d never planted any real plant in my life. So we move into our house and I go out to weed the front flowerbeds. After tugging and pulling and tugging and pulling some more I end up deciding that I don’t care if it is worse in the long run to just cut them off at the ground instead of pulling up the weeds root and all, I was tired and so I just cut them all off at the ground.

Later my husband asked why there was a pile of cut daylily plants out in the back. The only answer I could give was that I had been “weeding.”

Since that fiasco I have hardly set foot outside in our front natural areas. Some of it is probably due to my lack of desire to be outside for more than ten minutes, but most of it is probably due to a fear that if I tried to do something to make my yard more enjoyable it would more likely than not be the wrong way to do it.

Now that Julianna is officially a toddler who loves being outdoors (and I am a mother who loves even more the little clean-up that comes from letting my toddler play outdoors) we spend a lot more time outside in the yard. And with that I have realized over the last couple of months just how atrocious our landscaping maintenance really has been.

Over the weekend we have been trying to do something about that fact. Hopefully our efforts will redeem ourselves (even the slightest bit would help) in our neighbors’ eyes and we will no longer be the lazy people who live in the house on the corner.

Today we weeded the flowerbeds by the house. We also pruned the shrubs in the flowerbeds against the house and hauled off the limbs. Jonathan sprayed insecticide on the yard and watered the grass. He then knocked down part of the front porch railing that was completely rotting off. Tomorrow we are going to remove the ancient mulch and ugly scraps that are left and put down some sort of replacement for that in those flowerbeds against the house.

We also worked on a natural area in the back yard today. We bought something like this to put around the edge of the side natural area to contain the new dirt that Jonathan got a week ago and spread there. Tomorrow we will plant new flowers there.

We have yet to get started on the largest natural area in the front yard. Having a toddler makes that one especially difficult since we live on a corner and that area is the closest to both roads. My kind mother is coming over tomorrow to help keep an eye on Jules so that we can weed that area (more like pull up small oak trees as my cousin would say) and then as we dig holes and plant my new rose garden. (BTW can someone please explain to me why rose bushes are $25??!!) We might possibly edge that one too (if we ever get that far) (and if we decide to give up our right arm and leg to pay for all of those edging blocks).
(Enough with the parentheses already! I KNOW!)

I hope to have some before and after pictures tomorrow.

Now aren’t you motivated to go work outside?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

a note from Jules

Dear Daddy,
I'm so glad you like the vacuum we gave you for your birthday, but I really wish you'd left it in the box. Even hearing the word vacuum terrifies me! Could you take care of that for me pronto? Thanks!

Friday, May 11, 2007

babies, babies everywhere

I know you're tired of hearing me say this, but I know so many pregnant people and people with young babies now. Two of my friends are probably going to have their babies in the next week - one is due this week and the other is being induced (twins - she's already made it to 37 weeks!). Two of my other friends from college are due in August. The funny thing about that is that both of them are having girls and both couples have chosen the name Addison.
Also, some of our other friends came over on Friday night (two with babies and one pregnant). Here are some pictures of those adorable little boys. Then last night we took another couple of friends some dinner. They just got home from the hospital with their premie last week. He was due May 30th but born on March 22nd and (this obviously goes without saying) I saw him tonight for the first time and he was so tiny! I was almost afraid to hold him. He made the tiniest little grunts and whines. Anyway, I guess there's still something in the water around here.


A couple of weeks ago we bought a Little Tykes sandbox from some friends whose children had outgrown it. With all of the fun Julianna had at the beach a few weeks ago playing in the sand I figured she’d love it. It’s shaped like a dinosaur – very cute – although our backyard is starting to become amusing.

We finally got around to buying some sand for it this past weekend and let it air out all week since it was a little damp. After that we had a small earwig infestation problem.

Yesterday Jules got to play in it for the first time. Of course it took her a while to get used to it, but then she decided she loved it. Now every time we come in she makes a beeline back toward the door and if I let her outside for even two minutes she runs straight towards it and climbs on top of the lid.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


My contract is due on Friday. I’m trying to compose a letter to turn in with it. Any suggestions on what it should say?

race for the cure

This past Saturday we completed the one mile walk for the Susan G Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure. It was a lot of fun! My mom got to walk despite her knee pain and I was so proud of her. I really think that after she recovers from her surgery we should start off every Saturday morning with a walk like that (or maybe every other Saturday). Besides, it's for charity and we are all so blessed that we can certainly give a few dollars every other week to a good cause such as that! My MIL is a breast cancer survivor so I definitely didn't mind donating to them and it's like our group organizer said, "everyone knows someone that's been affected by the disease" so it's no wonder that more than 8000 people participated. I'll post pictures later tonight after we go take some friends some dinner.

mom's knee surgery

My mom has had knee trouble for nearly a decade now. She’s had cortisone shots in the past to help alleviate some of the pain. Recently she went to a new doctor because the pain had gotten really bad. She’s now scheduled to have a total knee replacement on June 25th. If there’s a cancellation before that, they’ll try to work her in earlier. Nevertheless, that’s a long time to wait. It’s a pretty serious surgery with a pretty serious recovery. She’ll be in the hospital for three days. She’ll have to have intensive physical therapy afterwards. With all of the people who have knee replacements all the time these days, I totally didn’t realize that it was such a big ordeal. Anyway, she is understandably nervous. Please say a quick prayer for her when you think of it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

small change

This month's small change challenge is to give blood, sign up for the bone marrow registry, or donate money to the Red Cross. Since I regularly donate blood, today I researched bone marrow donations at the The National Marrow Donor Program website. It turns out that there is a fee for registration, but during Thanks Mom Week, May 7 - 21, you "can join online for free, while funding remains." For online registration click here. To read about the donation process click here.

As Swistle recently pointed out, "it isn't as if they'll be calling you every other week for more marrow: as I understand it, matches with non-family-members are rare. You register just in case you could be a one in a million for somebody else." It does take about twenty minutes to register, but that's a small sacrifice for what could be a big way to help someone in need. I encourage you to sign up this week too.

random meme

My friend Merritt tagged me for this meme. Here goes!

7 random facts/habits about me:

  1. I don't like water in my ears so I try to avoid really washing them for as long as I can.
  2. I take a multivitamin, calcium supplement, and birth control pill every morning at nearly the exact same time of day.
  3. I constantly grow my hair to below the shoulders and then get it cut pretty short over and over again because I can't decide which I like more (or should that say worse?).
  4. I love shopping online.
  5. I rarely wear make-up.
  6. I'm very flexible (although I am admittedly a lot less flexible than I used to be).
  7. I've never dyed my hair. Not even highlights. I have done the perm thing though.

I tag my family - mom, dad, sister, husband

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

i just won on Blingo!

come play with me!



Along with this decision comes choices.
Post what you would decide in the comments.

Preschool choices

Choice #1:

tuition = $165/month w/$65 registration (SAVES $15/month)
$3.50/day for lunch bunch (SAVES $10/month)
12 minute drive (SAVES 45 minutes/month)
13 kids per room/3 teachers per room
someone we know teaches 4 y.o. class there

currently only Tu/Th available - wait list #1 - very good chance of being accepted
no music class until 2 y.o.
smelled a poopy diaper on one kid during the visit
rooms, playground not as nice
first Monday of the month lunch bunch is not available
smaller preschool - not as organized program
classes start later (Tuesday after Labor Day)
J would be in the only toddler class they have - therefore a wider age range

Choice #2:

highly recommended to me
art class once a week
music class twice a week
nice school
nice playground
8 kids per room/2 teachers per room
J would be in the older of 2 toddler classes - therefore with kids a little closer to her age
classes start in August

17 minute drive (45 minutes more/month)
tuition = $180/month w/$65 registration fee ($15 more/month)
$4/day for lunch bunch ($10 more/month)

Bottom Line
One would save money ($25/month) and time (45 minutes/month) in the long run. The other would cost more money ($25/month) and time (45 minutes/month) in the long run. Although one seems more superior than the other, we'd have to sacrifice more for it and ultimately I know that J would be fine at either place - they are both satisfactory, safe, happy places for her.

Which preschool would you choose?
Choice #1
Choice #2 free polls

Pottery Barn Not-Outlet

Remember this?

My sister pointed out to me that it's just a retail store, not an outlet.


Monday, May 7, 2007

New things are coming

I’ve been a little slack on my blogging for good reason. I’ll tell you about it soon.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

i can't contain my excitement

Read this.


It's a lot closer than Gaffney, South Carolina. Let the shopping begin!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

how was your night?

I got my first ever massage tonight. It was scrum-didly-umptious.

Lately I have been obsessively conservative about spending money. I mean out-of-character conservative. Usually I spend around $200 on clothes each time I go to the outlets at the beach and when we went this past weekend I spent $0. zilch. Nothing. I’ve also been deleting the sale emails I get and throwing away the coupons/catalogs/flyers from the mail each day before I even look at them. I guess it’s in anticipation of quitting my job. Or of having to pay for preschool next year. But it’s also because we have wiped our bank account lately. And the fact that our Sunday school class is doing a financial planning study the next couple of months so it’s fresh on the brain. But anyway, I haven’t been spending any money. Get it? Ok good.

All of that to say that after tonight I am seriously considering signing up for a monthly massage. It was that good. It was something valuable that I could totally see giving myself that would really be a treat. It would be something totally for me that would relieve tension and stress and relax me. Not to mention no baby could be tended to during a massage, right? Nice. Now I have to convince the husband.

Also, did anyone see Blake earlier tonight on American Idol? I mean WOW. That was awesome. And Simon? Kissing Lakesha on the lips? That’s some good TV watching right there.

All in all not a bad ending to an otherwise crappy day.
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