Saturday, May 22, 2010

16 1/2 weeks!!

Woot!!! Feeling pretty dang good (about 99% of the time). I listen to the baby's heartbeat on the doppler when I'm at work and it's a riot to hear him or her scooting all over the place. The heart's been a nice solid 150's.

Here's the tummy shot. Huh. When I see a picture of myself I realize I'm showing more than I think. Still able to stuff myself in some of my regular clothes, but not for long. This skirt's becoming a staple (I have lots of capris and pants, but no shorts, so the skirt it is for the warmer days for now)!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

WAY too funny

I was proofreading the grammar entry for the umpteenth time when I found that in my section about apostrophes, I wrote apostrophe's!!!!!!! Now THAT is irony! Pick up my crown, bang out the dent, place it back on my head.

It's "Jenny and I..." or is it???

A couple weeks ago Matt and I were toot-tooting through Holland and we came up next to this shiny SUV with an advertisement printed on the side of it for what I can only assume is the owner's new marketing business. It read:

Blah-blah-bah Marketing: Breath new life into your business!

Does anyone see the problem here? A minor detail that phonics could fix?? Or even a quick proof-read with another pair of eyes? Because this poor person - who may very well be creative and talented and would be just the person you'd want to help launch your new business - has just killed all of their chances at cutting a deal with anyone who has a somewhat discriminating eye.

You know that I'm not into doing rant posts, though sometimes it bubbles up out of me and I can't help it. Today, I can no longer contain it. I've been trying to contain it since standing in the lunch line in 4th grade (no exaggeration) and being mystified by the selection written on the white board in the cafeteria: Taco's. What, I asked myself, did the tacos possess?? The taco's what? It was then, while I may not have been able to adequately articulate it as amazingly as I do now (guffaw, guffaw), that I just knew.

I am a grammar princess. You may call it grammar police. I call it princess.

We all slaughter our language, and quite frankly, if we didn't, we'd walk around talking like stuffy freaks. Asking your friend, "About what was that movie?" just sounds kind of dumb. So we say, "Hey, what was that movie about?" Meanwhile, the guy who invented sentence-diagramming is spinning in his grave, because we ALWAYS end our sentences with a preposition, but he's just going to have to get over it.

Anyway, I have come up with a list of common mistakes that will hopefully clear the air and liberate us from this bad-grammar madness. If I can save the world one apostrophe at a time, I'll do it, by golly. Here goes...

1. Your, You're, and Yours

There's a barber shop up the road from us that has a sign in the window that always cracks us up. It boldly states, "Your next." Your next what? Your next...haircut is at 4? Your next...big break is coming??? I just always want to fill in the blank. Oh, wait, what was that? OH!!!! "You ARE next!!!!!!" So you mean, "You're next!" As in, you're implying you always have time for a walk-in!! I get it!!! *whew* Vagueness trips me out.

And there's no such thing as "your's." That dog is your's. No, that dog is yours.

2. "Could of" vs. "Could have"

I think many people are very phonetic, in that we tend to spell things as we hear them. So when I say, "I could've died on the spot," I admit that it does sound an awful lot like "I could of died on the spot." But that's not what I said. "I could HAVE died on the spot," but I made it a contraction. I'm really surprised at how many people write "could/should/would of."

3. Prolly not a word. It's probably.

4. Supposably also not a word. It's supposedly. And while I'm at it...

5. Irregardless

...isn't a word either!!! You will find it in the dictionary because it's one of those things that I think linguists have given up on (whoops, just ended that sentence with a preposition. Horrors!!). Most dictionaries WILL tell you that it's either nonstandard or incorrect. If I say, "We're going to the beach regardless of the weather," I'm saying we're going to the beach whether or not the weather is nice. Which makes sense. If I put an ir- at the beginning, that negates my statement. So if I say "We're going to the beach irregardless of the weather," I'm saying that we're going to the beach not whether or not the weather is nice. See? It just doesn't make sense.

6. "Matt and I" vs. "Matt and me" and "myself"

We've all said something like this to our moms (not mom's!!!! hahahaha): "Matt and me are going to the beach," and promptly been corrected with, "No, you say 'Matt and I are going to the beach.'" Which would be correct. But then how many times have you said, "Mary's giving Matt and me a ride to the beach," only to be corrected, once again with, "No honey, you say 'Mary's giving Matt and I a ride to the beach.'" (loud buzzer sound) No. Nonononononono. I would say that I am going to the beach, but I would never say Mary's giving I a ride to the beach. In the first example, Matt and I are the subjects and we're doing something. In the second example, someone else is the subject and is doing something for me (the object). Dust off the grammar books!!!!! The princess is in the house!!! Just take off the other person and try on the sentence with only yourself in it. To say "So-and-so and I" sounds proper, but it's not always.

Additionally, to say "myself" instead of "me" is wrong too. If you have any questions, ask Matt or myself. (loud buzzer sound again) You would never say, Talk to myself when you have a chance. You'd say, Talk to me when you have a chance. Likewise, I would never say, Hey, I need to talk to yourself when you have a chance.

See? It just makes so much sense!!! Isn't grammar fun???

7. Misuse of quotation marks

Ever been to a restaurant, and upon leaving the door has a sign that says, You're "welcome?" (Or better yet, Your "welcome?") Did it just kind of make you feel like they were saying it with a touch of sarcasm or snickering about it?? I have the feeling that what they were trying to do was emphasize the welcome - which would have been well done with some italicizing, larger font, or underlining. But to put quotes around it makes it as laughable as Joey on Friends trying to do the whole quotes thing with his fingers (if you saw that episode you know what I'm talking about!!). Or a sign that says, Restrooms are for customers "only." Well shoot - the quotes around the only kind of make it look like you're rolling your eyes at such a rule and merely posted the sign because the management handed you a marker and a piece of paper and told you to make it, not because you agree with it. So I'll just barge through the restaurant and use the bathroom whether or not I (or shall I say, regardless of if) was a customer!!! So there!

And finally,

8. Using apostrophes every time something is plural

Holy cow, the tree's in my yard are spitting those helicopter thing's all over the place!

*Loud buzzer sound*

Holy cow, the trees in my yard are spitting those helicopter things all over the place!

Ahhhh...much better!

Apostrophes imply that something belongs to something. The tree's helicopter thingies are all over my yard.

And that's why the whole taco's thing threw me. What do the tacos own?, I wanted to know. The lady holding an ice cream scoop filled with Grade H taco meat just wouldn't answer me for some reason. Yet I knew: just because there's an 's' on the end of the word does not mean it begs for an apostrophe.

Okay, I have gotten roughly 23 years of grammar angst off my chest (it all started in the lunch line) and I can finally move on. And polish my crown.

If you can think of any other's (hahahaha - gotcha!) - and there are many - let me know. It'll be a good laugh.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The results are in...

Well, my flooring saga will soon wrap up because we quickly came to a decision. I went to my favorite paint and flooring store and got all kinds of help, came home with a mittful of samples, and Matt quickly pointed out the one he liked best. And of course, it really was the best match. And it's quite consistent with the advice I received from everyone...a little blend of light and dark. And it's very soft and fluffy, so three cheers for that!

So here it is...

The carpet dude is coming this afternoon to measure our room and give me a quote (which I already quickly calculated and have a good idea how much it'll cost - about a third of what we would've paid to have the floor refinished, but I don't want any huge surprises). I'm quite excited.

Now for some randomness...

Matt "gave" me some money for my birthday. It's funny when your spouse gives you money, because, well, it's all from the same pot anyway. But every few months you have one of those random extra paychecks because of how the pay cycles fall. And the super-cool thing about those paychecks is they don't have your benefits deducted from them. We always do something very practical with the extra paycheck...make a huge payment on the car, pay for a repair, allot it for a certain savings account, etc. Well, for my birthday, Matt gave me my extra paycheck to do whatever I wanted! Because whenever I get, like, a Title 9 catalog, I'm always like, "I wish I just had a thousand dollars so I could buy it ALL!!" But then when I have the money, I'm like, NO!!! I don't want to spend it all!! So I did buy a few things I had been eyeballing for a while but would never just up and spend our money on them...some clothes for summer, some makeup I really wanted to order from Arbonne, sent some flowers to a friend, etc. Then I decided just to save the rest for a very fun, very rainy day.

And then I decided on something better.

I want a dishwasher.

One that actually works and does not only get used as a glorified drying rack.

We looked at dishwashers the other weekend but decided, crud, we'll just wait because we're already spending money on the flooring. And then it occurred to me: I have more than enough left over to buy a GREAT dishwasher!!! We have a dishwasher, but it's terrible. It looks nice and that's IT. I wash everything by hand and stack it to dry in the dishwasher. I would LOOOOOVE to just stack it in the dishwasher and actually have it WASH!!! So we're getting a great Whirlpool super-fine dishwasher and it'll come in a few weeks and then my life will change forever.

I love these spring mornings. I love the weather finally getting warm(er than it was three months ago) and looking out the window and seeing COLORS. I love getting up early, grabbing a cup of tea, flipping on Moody radio (I know, way dorky but it's my fave), and cleaning the house. Today is a glorious day and the highlight so far has been hanging my laundry out on the line. Clearly, I'm quite easy to please. So is Molly.

(Funky picture because it was taken through a window screen.)


My cousin Kelly is getting married tomorrow!!!!!!! So we have a wonderful rehearsal dinner tonight at my aunt and uncle's house (sweet cookout, love those) - that awesome log house where we had Christmas, one of my favorite places in the WORLD - and we're very much looking forward to boogying tomorrow evening at the reception.

My parents are staying with us over the weekend for the wedding. I always feel so self-conscious because our house is so teeny. I'd love, love, love to offer a guest room to more than one person, but for right now that's all I can offer - a very nice bed for one, and the other has to sleep on the couch. My mom doesn't mind sleeping on the couch at all, so it works out well. Still, it's a discontentment that I wrestle with. But it's what we've got for now, so it'll have to do. But I really do love having people stay (those who don't mind a bit of a cramped lifestyle). I try to be all Martha Stewart and put out all those thingies that make the stay comfortable and inviting. Like towels in a cute basket.

And toiletries that you may have forgotten. Or would rather use than the old stuff you brought.

I just have a LOT of little thingies because whenever we go on vacation and stay in one of our timeshare places, we get a whole bag load of thingies.


Speaking of Martha Stewart, I was trying to channel her as I was wrapping my cousin's wedding present. I had this image in my mind and just KNEW it would look fabulous, creative, and trendy.

But it doesn't.

I wrapped it, a flurry of wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue, and pre-made bows. As it took shape, I knew this was not going well.

When I finished, I stepped back and cracked up. It looks like a wrecked wedding cake.

But I'm not doing it over again because it's too funny NOT to bring to the wedding. I mean, if you're going to crash, crash hard and do it in front of everyone, right???


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Opinions, please

So maybe you've heard about our blip of disappointment over our original wood flooring in the extra soon-to-be-baby room. A few weeks ago Matt was planning on sanding down the paint on the baseboards and door frames in that room so he could repaint them, and one thing led to another, and we peeled back the (ugly and stained) carpet to find that yes, there was gorgeous hardwood underneath! So we hired our contractor (I admit it, we hire out. If we want it to actually be done at some point and then be done RIGHT, we must hire out. It saves a lot of fighting and marital strife as well), set a date to have it done, and waited eagerly. We pulled up the carpet a couple weekends ago and oohed and aahed over how pretty the wood is.

Then the wood-floor-genius guy came a couple of days later. To test the varnish for lead. "Ach!" scoffed our contractor. "New regulations. Whatever. That varnish is twenty years old. Tops."

Nope, it's eighty years old after all. It contains lead. No can do. No way, no how will they sand down through lead-containing varnish when there's a pregnant lady living in the house...or kids under the age of six. They won't touch it. Best to cover it up, say they.

So now we're back to getting carpet put back down, which is fine, and waaaaaaayyyyy cheaper than refinishing your hardwood floor, even if we pick the most deee-lux carpet a carpetier can provide (can you call a seller of carpet a "carpetier?"). As I think of it, carpet will be much more forgiving on crawling knees, a little body that is learning to walk, a little body that is potentially thumping out of bed (or crawling out of bed to sleep on the floor), will keep the room warmer, cut down on noise, inflict less trauma on a toddler who is in a temper-tantrum throw-down, and as one of my friends put it, will prevent me from biffing in the middle of the night when I skid into the room with my socks on.

Anyway, so the dilemma is now this: what color do we get? Matt has said he trusts me on whatever I pick. He'll weigh in his opinion, but leaves the final decision to me. But he's usually better at picking out colors for our house, for some reason. He's picked out just about every color we've put on the walls with astounding success. I originally scoffed at all his choices, and after going with MY choice, ended up trying his, with astonishing results (like our living room color, which is amazing. In case you're wondering, it's "Atmospheric" by Benjamin Moore, part of their Aura line).

This is getting longer than I planned. But I wanted to give you the "full picture!" The walls were already tan, but I painted them a lighter tan color because the previous tan was more gray/purple infused and therefore darker, and the new tan is more creamy and somewhat brighter. I plan on keeping it that way for Little Bird (the room will be more vintage-y or shabby chic). The newly-revealed wood is a lighter reddish brown than the rest of the house, which is stained darker. We were going to have the wood re-stained to closely match the rest of the house.

Here's where I want your opinion: when I think of carpet, I imagine lighter-colored carpet, because to me, a darker carpet might look dated. Matt thought a darker carpet would look good, and I was like, no, I'd rather have a creamier white-ish carpet. I brought home a bunch of samples, and once again, I think Matt might be right. The lighter colors I think might wash out the room. And if it's a kid room, a dark-ish color (not like chocolate brown or anything, I'm sure you get my drift anyway) would probably make more sense. I'm kind of a decorating idiot. Can you weigh in?? Here are the pictures I took of the room so you have a visual. It's pretty glamorous. Don't envy me too much.

(I didn't mean to include Molly in the picture, but I got tired of telling her to move)

(Just for a point of reference, that's the color of the rest of the wood in the house. And I'd like to get a nice glider rocking chair to replace the good ol' college papasan.)

(And the difference between the two.)

I just have to hash out my thoughts and then I'll put it to rest, because I know you're not really all that concern with my flooring. But I was like, if we put in dark(er) carpet in that room, it'll make it look small(er than it already is). But the rest of the house is darker and it's beautiful. And we were planning on having it stained dark anyway.

So, for you decorating-inclined, tell me what you think. I'm sure no matter what we pick, it'll look great and be deliciously soft. Thanks!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Belly shots...and Tulip Time

Okay, okay. A few people have been asking me for a "belly shot." I feel kind of awkward displaying pictures of my profile, but I'll give in and play nice. It's just that.....well....the hormones are really wreaking havoc on my body. I just don't even feel like myself anymore. But, you asked for it....


Okay, here it is for reals - and I DO feel bloated and weird much of the time, and this picture makes me look a little bigger than I really am, but it's a good effect:

Anyway, we had fun at Tulip Time today. We went to Windmill Island for the first I thought it was some little patch of real estate with a big fat windmill plopped on it, and we'd ooh and ahh over the tulips, tour the windmill, and move on. Oh, was I wrong. It was an all-day event!!!! Here are some pics (not that I'm certain you're fascinated by them, but I KNOW California Mommy is!!! Michigan Mommy too!)...

There's even a wooden shoe factory...look at all the fun wooden shoes!!!

Perhaps argyle? Or tiger stripes???

Or are you more of a flames kind of person???

But honestly, THIS is my favorite picture of all. It just....captures the, uh, *essence* of Tulip Time in all its Dutch authenticity:

There you have it!!! And THAT is why I love Tulip Time!!!


SO many reasons to be excited today: first, Tulip Time kicks off. Next to Christmas, it's my favorite time of year. I love the tulips, the "gut wagons" downtown, the cheesy music, the whole town dressed in authentic Dutch garb (even people whose heritage has absolutely zero to do with anything from the Netherlands), the Dutch Dancing...EVERYTHING. If it's cheesy, I'm on it. I love that we can walk from our house to all of these festivities without being part of the teeming throng looking for a parking spot.

AND - Matt and I are on vacation right now. No plans. No travels. A total staycation. LOVE the first day of staycation. We're doing Tulip Time, a potluck tomorrow with our Sunday School class, tearing up carpet in the soon-to-be baby's room to expose the hardwood and refinish it (someone else will do the refinishing, not us), Renee's coming to stay...very good times. friend Mary from Sonlight is here this weekend with her mom!!! Her dear 90-something mom who lives in Boulder, CO. The one to whom Mary gave trekking poles for her 90th birthday. My kind of lady!! We can't wait to spend time with them today.

And the weather is looking to be nice!!!

And my friend's band is "opening" for the fireworks tonight!! How cool is THAT?

So hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to post soon of tulips and friends!! (And elephant ears...)