Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm still feeling crazy...

I'm a bit of an odd cross between spontaneous, whatever's the opposite of spontaneous. I mean, I love to research something to death in advance, but then when it's time to make a decision I do it in five seconds. Probably, my brain's been working on the decision all that time, so it's not as snap a decision as it seems, but at first glance, it looks like I just suddenly decided on something.

Friday night, we went out shopping for a new office/desk chair. Our old one had broken and was listing dangerously to one side. We didn't find anything. So when we got home, I checked craigslist, just in case there was a cool office chair for a decent price on there. No office chairs, but I did find a microsuede sofa in very good condition in our town for a price we were comfortable with. I showed it to Tom as sort of a joke. Except he didn't know I was joking and said yes, let's buy it. So we did.

This is more of a statement about how much he hated our old sofa, which he is thrilled to be taking to the dump tomorrow. I think he'll do a dance of joy after he drops it in the big bin. It really was shot and, if I'm perfectly honest, was never comfortable to start with. The back pillows were too big and pushed the bottom cushions off. In our (okay, my) defense, it really was the most suitable piece of furniture we found at the time we were looking to buy a new sofa. Our retro/modern/clean simple lines style wasn't yet in style and most sofas were overstuffed frilly country numbers in chenille fabric. *shudder* So we took the best we could find and made it work.

I'm still shaking my head at our new sofa, both in wonder at our sponteneity and the deal we got (it's barely used at all for less than 1/3 of the retail). I think if I thought too much I could get grossed out at the idea of a used sofa, but if I didn't tell you it was used and you saw it for the first time, you'd never know. I'm not sure it was actually USED as much as place in the people's home for decoration.

And now we have a new, kid-friendly (since we only had a six-month-old when we bought the first one, we did not understand the necessity of this) sofa. And I need to paint this old color off our walls. It's that faux terracotta color that was so in when we bought the place (and half the reason we chose it over another beige house - I love color in my home). Now it just looks old and dated. But the walls continue all the way down our basement wall and upstairs to our entire upstairs hallway and very high staircase. So painting is going to be a monumental task. And I'm afraid of heights.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Might be I'm a little nervous...

about this whole four kids thing. I had my second nightmare/bad dream in a row last night. The first one was a real nightmare. I woke up at 4 (after finally breaking my pattern of waking up from 1 to 5 every morning) and never went back to sleep it freaked me out so bad. Basically I was dying on the operating table after an emergency c-section (I've never had one) and DH was going to be alone with four kids. (That baby was a boy)

Last night, I dreamt that all went well and we came home, but because my other kids were so busy, I just forgot about the new baby and left it in bed for two straight days. (That baby was a girl).

So I conclude two things from my dreams. I'm freaked about having another baby. AND I'm having twins. Except one of them hides really well from ultrasound techs. Yeah, probably not twins. But definitely freaked out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tonight's Idol Theme: Make MamaChris feel old.

Were these people really born in these years? Why is that I keep getting older and they keep getting younger?

Ramiele "Alone" Bold choice. Hasn't worked for very many people in the past. She almost does it. But not quite.

Jason "Fragile" Nothing amazing, nothing new that I'd been hoping to see from him, but again not bad. Maybe a bit too safe.

Syesha "If I Were Your Woman" Her voice was absolutely beautiful. But what a freaking boring song.

Chikezie "If Only For One Night" The magic he found in the first week just isn't happening again. I loved that, but this R&B thing is not my style at all and I just don't like it. I love the country/rock thing from the two Beatles nights.

Brooke "Every Breath You Take" Interesting take on this song. It's like Carly Simon meets Sting. I've never liked the lyrics to this song, though, and I think when you slow it down and sing it so emotionally the lyrics are even worse. But I liked the performance in general.

Michael Johns "We Are the Champions" Queen again. Well, it worked before. It's not bringing anything new to the song, but really how can you mess with this song? Just sing it. And he does and it works. It's solid and confident.

Carly "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Kind of like a rocked out version of that song, which is a great song to start with. I liked what she did with it. That last note didn't fly. She just doesn't seem excited, but I think that's partly the nature of this song.

David A. "You're the Voice" Do I know this song? I don't recognize it yet. Man, he annoys me. Another song with a deep, smarmy message that just makes me want to kick him. It's just so very "Up with People." Okay, fine, he didn't sound bad.

Kristy Lee Cook "God Bless the U.S.A." Huh. I think this might be the best she's sounded recently. I'm sure Simon will have something snarky to say about the song choice - since it's country and has actual emotion attached to it. I'm shocked - I was totally wrong. He liked it. Maybe he's got my good mood tonight.

David C. "Billie Jean" I've been curious to see how this would work since I heard he was singing it earlier today. First I must qualify. I love him. He's my absolute, total favorite. I think Ryan said this is someone else's version of it, but it's freaking amazing. He sounds great and I love the arrangement. Yeah. He wins.

Bottom three tonight: I'm going with Chikezie, Ramiele, maybe, just maybe Jason Castro. No he's got a lot of girly fans. Maybe Syesha. We're getting to the point where everyone is good, so it's hard to say. No one really screwed up or anything tonight. I pick Chikezie to go home, though.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring has...sprung?

Yeah, except not really at all. I think it's in the mid-40s with high winds today. I thought March was supposed to go out like lamb? Maybe it's not ready for that yesterday.

I had the crappiest afternoon yesterday. It was my dad's birthday and I was baking his birthday cake - a special recipe that his mom (who died over 20 years ago) used to make all the time. I might be the only one of my siblings with strong memories of her and her cakes. Last time I made this cake I totally screwed it up - the recipe says use 10 tablespoons of milk. I used 10 ounces. That's about twice as much. It never solidified.

Yesterday, I was pouring in the vanilla from my huge Sam's Club vanilla bottle. I never measure vanilla (I rarely measure most things, nor do I time anything. It's done when it's done. Drives Tom and my sister, who want to recreate my recipes, absolutely crazy. They both need to see exact measurements - no pinches, dashes, little bit of, to taste for them. Cook it until it's done is insane. But our oven cooks faster than most recipes say, so it really is true.

Okay, back to the vanilla. I needed two teaspoons, which I'm perfectly capable of eyeballing. Except that damned Sam's Club vanilla tipped on me and poured in about half a cup instead. And my cake leaked through the tube pan and into the bottom of my oven and never set up. I was so irritated, mostly with myself. I started completely over. And then it looked like the second cake wasn't going to rise and I was really upset. I was about to cry. My sister said she'd stop at the grocery store and buy one, but I was still upset.

But I let it bake and it finally did rise and the frosting worked out and tasted just like my grandmother's. I even put the extra on a Melmac saucer like she did. I still miss her. I was nine when she died. She was the kind of grandma who heard you say you liked something in February and remembered for your birthday in July.

And my dad had a happy birthday with all of his kids and grandkids (he's up to five, soon to be six).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not that I don't love the Beatles...

But two weeks in a row? Seriously? Oh, wait sorry, last week was Lennon-McCartney, this week it's the Beatles. That's totally different. I guess it's better than some bizarre and awkward theme night (like we're sure to get into next week). Um, thanks, American Idol. I know who the Beatles are. I'm frightened, though, that their target demographic probably doesn't.

Amanda - Back in the USSR - A good rocker Beatles song, not a bad choice, but it's got those parts where she can't scream and it all gets lost. The parts where she can do that scream-sing thing she does (which I kind of like) were good and energetic. Isn't that weird? She's so into onstage and so quiet talking to her.

Kristy Lee Cook - You Got to Hide Your Love Away - She's really boring on the stage. I know it's a slower song, but she seems to only know how to do a fast dance (not that it's that great, but still). I could like this version of this song, but I don't know. I just don't.

David Archuleta - The Long and Winding Road - This is my absolute, number one, all time favorite Beatles song - possibly my all time favorite song ever - in general. And I'm not really a David A. fan. I'm trying really hard not to let my love for the song and lack of love for him color my opinion, but it's hard. That's such a fabulous song, how can anyone live up to it? No, Randy don't F up my favorite song with runs and crap. Just sing it if you must. But doesn't David A always sing songs like this?

Michael Johns - A Day in the Life - DH and I recently saw Rain: the Beatles Experience. This song stuck with me the most. They really did a great job. He did not. He really screwed up that one part. I like the song choice, though, it's a little off the beaten path.

Brooke White - Here Comes the Sun - I'm not sure I approve of the obvious sunshine yellow dress for this song. I love her voice and the simple acoustic arrangement of this song. Obviously having a favorite makes me look at her differently.

David Cook - Daytripper - Okay, I will admit up front that he is my favorite. I'm not into pop or R & B. I like rock, punk, alternative. Very cool, although a little something different would help.

Carly Smithson - Blackbird - I don't know why, but I find her boring to watch. Not just in slow songs like this. This is the best I've ever heard her voice sound, though.

Jason Castro - Michelle - I speak French and could be picky, but I like him so I'll cut him some slack. This is perfectly sweet, but nothing special. And he's one of my favorites, so my not loving it says something.

Syesha - Yesterday - She looked like she was going to cry the entire time. It was pretty and heartfelt but what Paula said about connecting with the eyes.

Chikezie - Falling - Trying to exactly recapture the magic he found last week. Actually, he doesn't do too bad a job with it. I wasn't sold at first, but once he whipped out that harmonica (at which point I was still skeptical), I got into it with him.

Ramiele Malubay - I Should Have Known Better - I didn't recognize the title of this, but of course I knew it as soon as she started singing it. It may be peppier than last week, but it's not any more interesting.

Bottom three - Ramiele, Kristy, Amanda

Top three - David Cook, Carly (high praise from me), um, actually I can't pick a third this week. Pretty much else everyone else fell into mediocrity tonight.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Let's see if I can pull off sneaky...

My dad's birthday is Thursday and after wandering through Target for an hour and ending up with only a birthday card (for him, at least, I still managed to spend $100), I was feeling a little desperate. I could get him a new polo shirt for his golf tournament next week, I suppose, or a new package of golf balls, but, well, everyone did that for him for Christmas and it hasn't been nice enough to golf enough to lose 3 boxes of golf balls (at least, I hope that's true for his sake - I think he's only been once or twice since Christmas).

So I went snooping on his profile. I found his wish list and cross-referenced Barnes & Noble's website. One of the books was in stock (and the best part is the sequel is being released just before Father's Day - built in secondary gift) and I could get in under three days with expedited shipping. So I ordered it. Now I have to cross my fingers that his name doesn't come up on the wish list in the next three days. And that my order actually arrives before his birthday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is there a help group for amoxicillian addicts?

My almost 5 year old daughter is scamming me to try to get amoxicillin. I think I should worry about her. Although, I told Tom that if they didn't make medicine taste so good, she wouldn't fake an ear infection to try to get more. And I'm pretty sure she's faking. Not that I have any way to tell for sure, but when I told she couldn't go to preschool, suddenly her ear felt better. It really only seems to hurt when I want her to clean up or do something she doesn't want to do. I've lost sympathy for her.

This has been a rough year for me. I'm not one to run to the doctor unless there's a really clear emergency. When I broke my ankle and it was hanging at a 45 degree angle to my leg (to the left), I didn't fight medical attention. I ignored my gallbladder symptoms until I was almost in tears every day and could barely move if I so much as sipped a little water. But then I had the same pain with no logical explanation (turns out it is scar tissue and I just have to deal) and a suspicious mole and have been in and out of doctor's office since this time last year. And then I got pregnant, so even more doctor's visits.

Since I'm this way for myself, I have a difficult time deciding when to take my kids to the doctor. Mr. T doesn't complain. Ever. So if he says something hurts, off we go. He's been to the doctor for sick visits a total of three times in his life. Miss G, well, she's a bit of a whiner. It's hard to tell if she's just tired and feels a little tiny bit bad or if it's the end of the world. Usually I make her take a nap and that cures her. But she did have her first ear infection, and her first sick visit in 4 years and 9 months, just this past January. She's also fortunate to not get anything as bad as everyone else gets it. Miss S has only had a sick visit when she fell and hurt her foot. I actually had my first visit to emergent care (see January 1 or so's post). She seems to get sick more like her big sis.

Sometimes I think I don't take them in often enough, but since I know that there's nothing the pediatrician can do for a cold, I don't bother unless the cold's gone on for a long time and isn't getting better. And stomach bugs - no sense spreading those nasty germs around if we can avoid it.

...very, very thankful for good health...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daylight Saving Time has messed us up...

Mainly me, I'm sad to say. The kids are doing okay, especially Mr. T who doesn't seem to sleep anymore (and trust me, that it is NOT a good thing). I've had to wake the girls up every morning this week. But I'm normally up and alert (though I stay in bed) around 7. This week I haven't even opened my eyes before 7:45. Probably the pregnancy insomnia isn't helping. I fall asleep easily at night, but wake up around 1 a.m. (usually to pee) and can't get back to sleep until 6 a.m. or so. And then I get a nice, sound hour of sleep. And as bad as that sounds, the nights when I don't wake up are actually worse. For some reason I wake up feeling even more tired than the nights when I toss and turn.

I'm really hoping this isn't a sign of what this baby will be like on the outside. My other three were mainly good sleepers, so I really don't think I can handle one of those non-sleeping babies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Idols Top Twelve take on the Beatles...

This is very risky for me. Where Randy, Paula and Simon think no one can compare to Celine and Whitney (both of whom I can't stand), I fear that I'm going to think no one can compare to the Beatles. Just for the record, my top five Beatles songs: "The Long and Winding Road", "Eleanor Rigby", "Here Comes the Sun", "In My Life", "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da". I don't know if any of those are outside of Lennon-McCartney (Tom could tell you - he knows that sort of thing, but he's got play rehearsal tonight, thankfully).

Syesha "Got to Get You Into My Life" I've liked her so much better in other weeks. I appreciate the bluesy thing she did with the song, but I'm guessing this is going to end up near the low-middle of the night's performances for me.

Chikezie "She's A Woman" I like this - completely taking it out the context of the Beatles. Also a good song choice becuase I don't know this Beatles song like I know so many others. I am not a Chikezie fan, but I might be after this. Wow.

Ramiele "In My Life" Uh, oh. One of my top five that I listed above. I thought I'd hate it, but except for the breathiness, it's fine. Maybe because I also think of the Bette Midler version from "For the Boys" (is that the right movie?). I'm still not a fan, but she's a solid 2/3 singers for me so far. So the judges have realized what I said from week one of the top 24 - Sing well, suck, doesn't matter. DON'T BE BORING!

Jason Castro "If I Fell" This was a pretty subdued performance from him, but I liked it. I like the little thing in his voice. I really would love to see him kick it up a little. I think he can do it and still stick to the acoustic style thing he's got going on.

Carly "Come Together" First of all, who put this girl in a dress that would make the tabloids wonder how far along she is? I'm thinking the judges are going to eat this up, but I'm not really loving it. I get that she's trying to "make it her own" but it's such a recognizable song that it's really hard to do that. She just seemed like she didn't remember the words.

David Cook "Eleanor Rigby" Another of my favorites. Again, I have to say that this? This is totally what I would listen to. I would download this version and play it over and over. I might just do that tomorrow. Wouldn't that be a cool way to decide the next American Idol?

Brooke "Let It Be" She's playing piano. Yay! I love that they're letting them use instruments this season, even if some people use them more as a prop than anything. Random fact: Tom and his mom had their dance at our wedding to this song. Brooke sings this beautifully. Love the big finish.

David Hernandez "I Saw Her Standing There" Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about him. Dude is totally going home. Is this country? Motown? What? But you know what? I'm totally going to have this song stuck in my freaking head all week. Like I've had "it's all coming back to me" in my head since he sang it last week. For that, I cannot forgive.

Amanda Overmeyer "You Can't Do That" A good idea to choose a lesser known Beatles song. I was having trouble thinking of her singing anything of theirs. Those pants. Oh, my eyes. Add the stripey hair and not a good combo there. She doesn't sound as gasping as she usually does and she sounds great - not at all Beatles, though. I still think she's in danger this week. Unless David takes the bullet for her.

Michael Johns "Across the Universe" Just keep him talking. He doesn't even have to sing. I'd vote for him. I didn't recognize the title, but now I know it. I like it, but honestly, it's a bit boring. It's the best his voice has sounded this entire time, though. That's good, because up to this point, I wasn't sure if he could sing or just ooze charisma.

Kristy Lee Cook "Eight Days A Week" Oh, yeah, I forgot about her too. She's not kidding about a risk. I like country, so my objection isn't to that part. It's to her lack of conviction and weak singing and weird body movements and jeans that need to made into rags and those stupid little eye things she does. On the other hand, I totally respect that she went to where she wanted to be.

David Archuleta "We Can Work It Out" What a suck-tastic arrangement of that. Seriously, not my taste at all. I haven't liked him before, but this is just annoying.

Top three: Chikezie, David Cook, Brooke
Bottom three: David Hernandez, Amanda, Syesha. If David doesn't go home, a travesty has occurred.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Idol Ladies do the 80s...

So the guys were kind of hit or miss for me as far as song choice goes. I'm hoping for some good 80s pop tonight.

Asiah Epperson "I Wann Dance with Somebody" Okay, two things. Honey, that is not a good look for you. And Whitney? Really? And besides that isn't this song done at least once per season at some point? She's not bad like most people are when they do Whitney, but I was hoping for better song choices.

Kady Malloy "Who Wants to Live Forever" Okay, how many weeks in a row have they told you to do something fun that shows off that side of Kady? This is NOT it. Really odd song choice. But she sang it really well, better than I expected.

Amanda Overmeyer "I Hate Myself for Loving You" Not a shocking song choice from her. I think I like it best of what I've seen from her so far. She didn't sound so strained. So she doesn't smile when they praise her - how do I not interpret that as her not being happy to still be there? Anyone else just want to see what she does with Big Band night?

Carly Smithson "I Drove All Night" Who is dressing these girls in these skinny pants with super high waists? Not good. I think this might be HER best performance that I've seen. She seems more into it than other weeks and it's a really good choice for her voice - she's also not straining or sounding like she's reaching too high or too low the whole time.

Kristy Lee Cook "Faithfully" Stop with the weird eye/head movements. Haven't I told her this every week? Yikes. If even I can tell you she's missing notes, it's bad. And isn't this Journey - as in the group Randy was with? Maybe not a good choice, although I like the country-esque arrangement of it.

Ramiele Malubay "Against All Odds" Why are we singing Phil Collins songs? And if we must, could we not at least change them around enough that they don't annoy me? Actually, she's pretty awesome on this, despite it's Phil Collins-ness.

Brooke White "Love is a Battlefield" I loved this song back in the 80s, even though I had no clue what it was about. I have to say I LOVE this acoustic arrangement of it. I loved it. I didn't like how unsure she seemed though after it was over.

Syesha Mercado "Saving All My Love for You" NOOOOOOO! Any song but that! Oh, Syesha.

Okay, so I'm definitely picking Kristy to leave. And after that stupid song choice by Syesha, I'm picking her too, even thought I want to like her.

Overall I have to say that the girls really stepped it up tonight. I'm pretty impressed. I think my favorite girl is Brooke.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yay, 80s night!

Didn't I say last week that I hoped next in the theme weeks would be 80s? I'm so glad the powers that be at American Idol decided to help me out.

Luke "Jitterbug" Did you really just admit that your sister dressed you as a ballerina? Okay, I can tell right now he's going home. How do you take a theoretically fun song (theoretically because I don't really like it) and make it boring?

David Archuleta "Another Day in Paradise" Was this kid even alive in the 80s? What a stupid Phil Collins song to choose. Although I have to say that I like this about 3 million times more than Phil Collins, who I just can't stand. And I'm back to agreeing with Simon - I'd like to see a fun song from him.

Danny Noriega "Tainted Love" I bet he wasn't born in the 80s either. Is it just me or are these kids getting younger and younger? This was probably his best performance to date. Not saying much, there, though. DH is convinced he's really a girl.

David Hernandez "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Is that what this song is called? It's the Celine Dion one that always seems like Meatloaf (did he write it?). Trying to get the idea of him being a stripper out of my head. It's not bad - saying a lot since I hate Celine Dion, but I've never liked him. Not just saying that because of the stripper thing.

Michael Johns "Don't You Forget About Me" Finally, someone who might actually have a memory from the 80s. And what a freaking awesome song choice. 80s movies fans like me will probably vote for him based on song choice alone. DH thinks this is sacrilege to redo this song. I think he rocked.

David Cook "Hello" Okay, I like the idea of this, but does he seem bored? I loved the arrangement - do you know how long it took me to figure out what song it was? I mean seriously - totally my style and interesting and fresh. But watching him? I don't know. He just didn't seem into it. Maybe because of the more mature nature of the song.

Jason Castro "Halleluia" Hey, it's the Shrek song. Okay, good. Very good performance, but I'd like to see him take it upbeat. DH thinks this guy looks like a reject from Star Trek. Oh, and that his hair looks like something our cat puked up. I'm not watching this with him next week.

Chikezie "All the Woman I Need" Really? God, I hate this song. He might one of the more interesting of my non-favorites this week, but what an annoying song.

David Cook, Jason Castro and Michael Johns get my vote this week. I pick Luke as the obvious choice to leave. Danny Noriega might be the other one.