Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vacuum vacation

Many of you might have gathered from hints in previous posts that I do not much enjoy cleaning. Who does, really? I like to have a clean house, but mine is usually more on the tidy-but-not-entirely-clean spectrum. A quick swipe of the toilet bowl and rim, a paper towel to the sink, ready for company!

Then there is vacuuming. I don't care what vacuum you use, I have never found one that doesn't kill your back. My vacuum is a relic from the 80's that I bought from the "Vacuum Doctor" for $40 back when I moved into my first apartment. Does it say anything that I am still working my way thru the bag of vacuum bags I initially bought with it? And no, I don't empty and re-use them. I just vacuum that seldom.

Much as I don't enjoy it, at least vacuuming is satisfying in the way that picking a scab is satisfying (yes, I am one of "those" people) . . . I do it so infrequently that it is gratifying to see the giant hand size fuzzies get sucked up the hose.

At any rate, it was with pleasure that I loaned my vacuum cleaner to a friend several weeks ago. Finally, I could not vacuum guilt-free! And when by chance we didn't end up seeing each other until today, I got to not vacuum for two weeks. And I won't tell you how long it had been since the last time I actually used it . . . mostly because it was so long ago I can't remember.

So when my mom came over to babysit and I was scooping up a couple of obvious dust bunnies, I could just say that I loaned it out. And when a friend came over to cook and my kitchen was a bit grimy (though tidy!) I told her my friend's was broken and I had given her mine as a loaner.

What I didn't realize until I had made the loan is that I actually sounded kind of noble . . . "Well, of course I would have a clean house but my poor friend was in desperate need of a vacuum, so how could I say no?"

When I did get my vacuum back today, I decided it was finally time to actually use the thing. I vacuumed my house from top to bottom, cleaning up dust bunnies that had spawned generations of children. I even changed the bag (!!!) which was of course only full because my friend is the clean type. (She actually said since she got her vacuum back from the repair shop she had been using mine upstairs and hers downstairs. What a woman! Her children will never be covered in living, breathing dust bunnies. Sophia might.)

Tomorrow I am going to hit the den. I scoured all the other rooms today, but saved the den for it's own day. I am in the middle of painting it, and when I moved the furniture out into the middle of the room realized it had been a while. As in my black pants were gray from sitting on the floor painting trim.

All that said, what I realized as I sailed around my house today sucking up grime is that I really haven't been so noble over the last two weeks, just lazy. Because what I had forgotten is that I too have an upstairs vacuum and a downstairs vacuum. My downstairs vacuum just happens to be in the basement, a cast-off from my mom (still works perfectly fine, but they didn't need it) that I have been saving for the day that the Vacuum Doctor special finally bites it.

So all this time I could have had a clean house. But it was really nice to have an excuse, so anyone want to borrow a couple of vacuum cleaners? I won't need mine again until 2011.

Friday, October 15, 2010


On the occasion of our fifth year anniversary, I think it is high time I do a brag post on the topic of my husband, John Libby. He truly is the best husband in the world, though I am sure there are those that would argue that point.

Hindsight really is 20/20, and looking back over the last five years of our life together makes me so grateful that God brought us to each other. We have gone thru some really tough times and some really great times, and all of it has made us more of a team. That is not to say that we live in some sort of Libbyland Utopia . . . we definitely have our fair share of fights!

But enough of all that, this is a brag post! Where to start?

John not only fulfilled all of my pregnancy cravings, he continues to fulfill my non-pregnant cravings. Just last week I really wanted some ice cream, but really didn't want to go out at 8 at night to get it. So he did! And he called from the store to read me every name of Ben and Jerry's that Wal Mart had. And didn't even mind that it took to all the way at the end of the list to find the perfect flavor. And that Brownie Cheesecake ice cream was sooo good!

John always apologizes first. And I am embarrassed to say, is sometimes the only one to apologize. He is definitely the bigger person! (My mother always said to marry someone nicer than myself. Check that box!)

John is such a fun daddy, and reminds me thru his actions to just let go of my "to-do's" and get down on the floor and really PLAY with the Snuggler.

John lets me have at it with my decorating fun. He gets that I love it, and if he thinks I am a bit crazy for a color or fabric choice, never lets on until after it is done, and then tells me how right I was and how he loves it.

John empties the dishwasher, because he knows that I don't mind loading it and washing dishes, but I hate putting dishes away.

John say's thank you for the little menial everyday (and sometimes annoying) tasks, like dishes or cleaning the bathroom. And that makes it worth it!

John always remembers to come find me in the morning before he leaves for work so we can pray together. He reminds me to slow down and start the day off right!

I could keep going for a long time, but just one more that I really appreciate. John rubs my back most nights, even if his is hurting, and even if he doesn't feel like it, and even if I don't do it in return. That is sacrifice in my book!

I love this man!

Enough exclamation points already, but I want to know . . . what do you just love about your spouse/significant other?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The dining room, continued

I have been working on decorating the dining room for months now. The big stuff (painting, curtains, etc) is done and now it is finishing touches. Like a centerpiece for the table. So I was psyched to find a great idea in Better Homes and Gardens and decided to collect acorns to use for my table.

Sophia and I headed out to get acorns, and came across a particularly fertile tree about half a mile up the road. It had dropped scads of acorns, so I scuttled about collecting them while trying to make sure Sophia didn't eat the acorns or the plastic bag I was putting them into.

We got home and for the next week the bag sat on the dining room table while I did other projects. So much for beautifying the dining room!

One day I came in the dining room, moved one piece of clutter on the dining room table while looking for another particular piece of clutter and . . . . saw a DISGUSTING little white maggoty creature squirming about on the table. I freaked out just a little bit and tried to figure out where it possibly could have come from. No idea, John disposed of said nasty little guy (he said it popped when he squeezed, ugh), and I moved on.

Until the next day when I found THREE more disgusting such critters on the table, and FOUR on the floor! My house may not be the cleanest, but this was too much! What if Sophia had found them first and ate one?! I shudder . . .

Finally it occured to me that I still had the bag of acorns on the table. I picked it up while John dispatched the latest collection, and sure enough, there was another little bugger under the bag itself.

What Better Homes and Gardens failed to mention when writing about decorating with acorns is that you should check them for little holes where critters might have bored to get in for some tasty little nut snacks. Like these little maggoty things did.

John discovered holes in some of the acorns when he took the bag outside, and set aside the "safe" ones for me to use. What a man! Thanks to him, I was able to finish my project, and no more little worms have shown up on our table.


Thanks to the previous house owners for the gold spray paint! Although I think next time I might prefer to buy my own spray paint and not have to dispose of the other 40 gallons of paint they so kindly left for us.

Oh yes, the fabric for the table runner is from Mardens. I bought quarter yards of 11 different 2.99/yard fabrics, making the total cost of my table decor less than $5!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Angry runner

In my eleven years of running, heading out the door for a run has usually been something I look forward to and that helps keep me mentally centered.

Enter Sophia, and I still look forward to my runs, but find them to be significantly less centering. If anything, going for a run with Sophia gets my mind going faster, and sometimes turns me into an angry runner.

Pre-Sophia (hereafter referred to as PS) I used to jay-run across the road when I wasn't supposed to, run on the wrong side of the road, and miscellaneous other mildly dangerous things when running. No more.

Now when I have her in the jogger, I am a hyper-vigilant uber-law abiding citizen. I stop running and wait for the sign to say to cross before touching toe into the road. I head for the crosswalk even if it is out of my way, and I NEVER run on the wrong side of the road.

I also notice a lot more dangerous behavior on the part of drivers. PS I might have ignored the occasional driver that almost run me over, or didn't move over when driving past me, or the obnoxious whistle out the window.

But as I said, now I am an angry runner. In the past twelve months of running with Sophia in the jogger, I have yelled at drivers turning right on red without making sure the crosswalk is empty, I have yelled at drivers that didn't come to a full stop at a stop sign, and I have yelled at drivers who pulled all the way up onto the crosswalk at a red light so that we had to go around them. Definitely an angry runner.

Then today, the biggest angry runner moment of them all.

Sophia and I dropped the car off at Pep Boys and then headed toward home, with a quick stop at the bank planned. We needed to cross the road into the bank parking lot, so headed for the crosswalk. A car was stopped on our side of the road, and truck on the other. The car was of course stopped on top of the crosswalk, but we were able to head across it on the little bit of space left.

Until for whatever reason the car decided to step on the gas when we were still starting to cross and in front of her passenger side, requiring me to throw the jogger to the side. If I hadn't moved the jogger, she absolutely would have hit Sophia. Of course I yelled "HEY!" at the same time, and she slammed the brakes back on.

I was so spitting mad I turned back when we were across, saw her window was slightly open, and yelled "THERE'S A KID IN HERE, AND THAT'S A CROSSWALK!!!" I saw her lips move in an "I know, I know." In hindsight, I know she really was shocked, but how about stopping before (not on) the crosswalk, and then looking both ways?

Sophia and I headed into the bank, and I saw the woman complete her turn into the bank parking lot, but I never did see her come in. I guess I was a bit fearsome, and she didn't want to be at the receiving end of that Mama-wrath. She would have gotten more of it, too, 'cause I was some angry for a while.

Fortunately, I am able to head out the door by myself on the weekend when John is home. Then I can have a PS non-angry run and enjoy this beautiful fall we are having. I am already looking forward to Saturday's run. Perhaps I will run on the wrong side of the road, just for a little bit . . .

Drive vigilant, people, and remember to look both ways.

Random Sophia and a cousin's cameo

I love to play outside with Sophia. The weather has been so beautiful recently we have been spending at least a portion of the afternoon outside exploring. One day John joined us for the fun, and plucked a bunch of giant leaves off of one of our plants for her to play with. Of course, I have no idea what that particular plant is, as gardening and I do not get along. Sophia enjoyed herself, though, and I'm pretty sure she didn't care what it was either.






As for the cousin cameo, here you go!
How cute are Sophia and Zuzu in their matching sweaters?!

Thanks to Kristin for making the sweaters! If only you could see the front of Sophia's, but of course it is a heart, too. Anyone want to buy a sweater? Particularly a 6-month sized replica of Sophia's? It's going up on unless you speak up first!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A new way to bathe

Every time I think that I am a pretty chill and relaxed first-time mother, something comes along to remind me that perhaps I am not as chill as I think. Case in point, Sophia's nightly bath.

When Sophia was a little peanut, we instituted nightly baths as part of her bedtime routine. She has always loved baths, so it is a nice end of the day for her. At first she was in one of the little baby tubs, and then when she could sit up we put her in one of the bath rings that suctions to the bottom of the tub. And in the little ring she stayed, and stayed, and stayed.

My plan was to buy a bath mat before putting her in the tub with no bath ring. But really, I delayed buying a bath mat so that she had to stay in the ring. Because what if she tipped over and conked her head? Or tried to climb out of the tub? Or got into the bottle of shampoo before I could stop her?

Finally one night last month as I attempted to yet again stuff her into the ring and she protested loudly, I said "Fine, no ring" and plopped her in, no bath mat and all.

And of course, she loved it! That first night without a bath mat was like a fun little slip-and-slide, and she explored every nook and cranny of the tub, sliding around everywhere. With a worried mama hands out, just in case. No need. There were no accidents, no bleeding gashes or bruised head. The next day I headed to Wally World to buy a bath mat, and Sophia has been loving her nightly bath adventures ever since.




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sophia and the Stairs

It has been a while since I have posted with any kind of frequency, but now I am home to stay with no more travel plans and a few different posts in the works. That said, here's one to start off with. Enjoy!

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