Archive for June, 2010

Facelifts

Things are a-changing around Hurst Castle.

After two and a half years of being homeowners, we finally put curtains up in the living room. Amazing, I know. I mentioned it a few weeks ago and I guess that lit a fire under my butt. Stephen and I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick them out last week. Of course the had to be special ordered since we own an old home that has NOTHING standard in it. It’s like they just cut random rectangular holes in the walls and said, “Okay glass company, make that into a window.”

The curtains were delivered over the weekend while we were on vacation so Stephen hung them on Monday night. I was so excited to get them up. Not that they are up, I have mixed feelings. When they are closed, it’s kind of ugly. It’s fabric overload! There really is no way to avoid it though because it’s a ginormous window and we want thick curtains to keep the heat out. So I just have to deal. When they are open they look nice, so I’ll just keep them closed while we’re at work and open them when we get home. No biggie.

With every improvement, I’m feeling more and more like an adult. I feel like our house is coming together and starting to feel like a home. It’s a wonderful feeling.

I’m going to have a hard time focusing today because AS WE SPEAK my mom and sister are painting Jansen’s room! This morning, the room had white, dirty walls. Tonight, it’ll be very bright green! THRILLED! Oh and did I mention the burnt orange closet? Burnt orange makes me happy.

Once the painting is done, we’ll shampoo the carpets and then start moving the furniture from our front living room into Jansen’s room. I’m really hoping that everything fits well. Not that I can really do anything about it if it doesn’t!

My house isn’t the only thing that has changed. This little site here has too. Those little tabs at the top were just not working for me. First of all, the Contact Me tab was practically worthless since it only worked half the time. For some reason WordPress only chose specific messages to send to me. I often got emails from people who said that they’d used the Contact Me tab and hadn’t heard back from me. That’s just not okay.

So that tab is gone. You can now find my contact info on the About Me tab.

Another tab that’s gone? The Book Swap… because, let’s face it, I was seriously slacking on that. I did a good job in getting the books out in a timely manner but nothing really came of that. People read their books. Some people reviewed them, some didn’t. So instead of seeing it everyday and being constantly reminded that I’ve left it incomplete, I’m just going to take it away altogether. It’s my blog, I can do it if I want to.

I need to do some major revisions to the Blogroll. It’s not very accurate or helpful. I didn’t get to it in time for this update, but it’s on my List of Things to Do.

I have added a new tab up there by the request of many of you. I ever-so-uncreatively titled it “Bumptastic.” It includes all of my weekly bump pictures in one spot. Go check it out, I think you’ll like it. It’s kind of shocking to scroll from nothingness to a large bump.

That large bump is an ever-present reminder. It makes my back hurt, my feet hurt, my butt hurt. It weighs me down and makes my clothes too tight. Of course I have maternity clothes but I am so tall that most of the shirts are too short and you can see my belly panel sticking out the bottom. Nobody is really going to judge me, but it’s not very convenient to be tugging on my shirt every time I walk around the office. My solution? A facelift of my own. Monday and Tuesday of this week I wore Stephen’s t-shirts to work.

I’m telling you, people. There are so many changes around here you can hardly keep up! Let me sum it up for you: house updates, blog tab changes, and I wear men’s clothing. Wonderful.

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June 30, 2010 at 8:10 am 10 comments

Ten on Tuesday (36)

Welcome to Week 36 of Ten on Tuesday. This week’s questions come from Katie at The Mommy Days. Go check her out, say hello, and thank her for her questions.

1. What was/is your favorite live action (meaning not animated) kids movie?
Does Enchanted count? It was half animated but mostly real people. Or Elf if that’s considered a kid’s movie. I love Elf!

2. What is a bad habit you have? Are you working on breaking it?
Some people might say that my Chapstick addiction is a bad habit. I do not agree with them. My worst habit is probably my email addiction. I check it compulsively. No, I’m not working on breaking it although I’m sure Jansen will be sure that my addiction subsides significantly!

3. Describe your father in 3 words.
Reliable, smart, leader.

4. Which character in the Breakfast Club were you most like in the ’80s?
Don’t kill me… I’ve never seen The Breakfast Club. I KNOW I KNOW. I need to.

5. Name 5 songs you know ALL the lyrics to.
This is an impossible question. I know the lyrics to many songs! (Although I don’t sing outloud unless I’m alone.) The most common? Worship music. I’d say I probably know more Chris Tomlin songs verbatim than any other artist.

6. Do you make pancakes from scratch or a box mix?
I don’t make pancakes. I can’t. I’m a complete failure every time I try. However, on the very few times I’ve given it a shot, I’ve used a mix.

7. What was your worst job ever? Why?
My 6 month “career” at a bank. It was terrible. It was the job I got right out of college. It paid well and seemed like a grown up job. I was pretty excited about it. I spent a good majority of the time in training… that part wasn’t so bad. But then I got into the bank and it was terrible. The is so much pressure in the banking industry since there are two banks on every corner. They wanted us to be calling customers and trying to sell them products. I had a problem with that for two reasons. 1) Nobody wants anyone calling them. I certainly don’t. If I need something from my bank, I’ll call them. 2) I don’t believe in encouraging debt. They wanted us to encourage people to get home equity loans even though I could see their account and knew they had no business getting a home equity loan. I just didn’t feel right about it so I didn’t do it… consequently I never met my weekly goals. So basically I felt like a failure on a weekly basis.

8. What was your favorite class in high school?
It was a class called Novel. I only took it one semester (I think that was all that it was offered) but it was fantastic. We read 9 novels in one semester and all we did in class was discuss. Grades were based on discussion and essays. Loved it. It revived my love for reading.

9. Favorite summer guilty pleasure?
I’m a grown up, I don’t get summer anymore. My guilty hot weather pleasure is sitting on the beach for hours while reading a book and drinking beer. Obviously that isn’t happening this summer because preggos can’t have beer and we turn into witches when we’re in the heat for too long. I have spent some time on the beach but mostly under the shade while downing water and then running into the ocean to pee while my husband yells at me and tells me that if I pee in the ocean then tiny fish and bacteria are going to swim up my hoohaa. I do it anyways.

10. Please share your best money saving tip!
My biggest tip: You don’t need that. That’s not my biggest tip, although it’s true.

How we save money? We don’t spend money without thinking about it. We buy storebrand food, medicine, toiletries. We use coupons and meal plan. We take our lunch to work 90% of the time. We turn our AC up when we’re at work (and no, it doesn’t cost more to cool it off at the end of the day than to keep it running all day long).

Your turn!

June 29, 2010 at 7:15 am 20 comments

Pregnant Pause – Week 28

Last Thursday I left town for a family reunion in South Padre Island. Thanks to the magic of autopost, you never knew I was gone! Very very sneaky. We had a great time hanging out at the beach. Although I think I stepped wrong in the sand because now my back is all wacked out and it’s pure torture to sleep on my side. That sort of presents a problem since I’m not allowed to sleep on my back.

Woe is me.

I had a doctor’s appointment last Thursday. It was just my regular 4 week checkup. She weighed me, measured my uterus, and listened to the heartbeat. I gained another 6 pounds which puts my total at 27. Some women are telling me that I’m right on track, others drop their jaws. I’m choosing to not care about weight gain. The common response when people see me is, “If it weren’t for the ball under your shirt, we’d never know you’re pregnant.” To me, that’s a good sign so I’m choosing to ignore my weight gain. Plus, there are too many other things to worry about.

If I could be so bold as to ask you to add Stephen, Jansen, and I to your prayer list. Let me start by saying IT IS PROBABLY NOTHING. My doctor measured my uterus on Thursday and said I’m measuring big. (I have felt like this for several months, but apparently most women feel big.) I’m scheduled for an ultrasound in 3 weeks to make sure everything is okay. There are two possibilities. The first is that Jansen is just a big baby. The second is that I have too much fluid in my uterus. Too much fluid is not a good thing and I’m not sure how the problem is fixed. I didn’t ask many questions when I was there, mostly because it just scares me to know possibilities.

My mom and several others think that there is a third possibility… a hidden twin. I refuse to accept this as a possibility. There is just no way that an entire human being is hiding in my uterus and has remained hidden during three ultrasounds and several heartbeat checks. Plus, I feel like I’d notice an extra set of legs and arms beating up my insides. The most logical explanation is that Jansen is big. My dad is 6’4 and Stephen’s dad is 6’7. We have large genes.

So this is the deal, I’d like you to be specific with your prayers. Pray that Jansen is a big boy, but also pray that he slows down a tad so that I don’t have to deliver a toddler. And pray that if he continues to grow at a rapid pace, he comes on his own a bit early. My doctor will not induce based on the size of the baby so he’s going to have to make the first move.

I’m even more convinced that he’s huge because of how much I see and feel him move. Sometimes I think he spreads both arms and legs and pushes as hard as he can on all sides of my uterus. I can now see how women would say that the baby kicks hurt. I’ve had several painful kicks over the past weekend. I’ve also been able to feel body parts pressed up against my stomach. It’s pretty neat but also sort of freaky.

This is my week 28 photo. I’m hoping to edit those tabs there at the top and make one that includes all the pictures. I think there’s been growth over the past week.

And that’s all folks!

(ToT is coming shortly.)

June 28, 2010 at 8:56 am 29 comments

Seven Quick Takes

Here’s a nice batch of random all fried up for you this fine Friday morning!

1.
On this week’s ToT, there was a question asking if we’d met anyone famous. I mentioned some baseball players and then my friend Rachel reminded me that I’d kind of met Mark McGrath. HOW DID I FORGET?

Incase you don’t know, Mark McGrath is the lead singer of Sugar Ray. He is also my celebrity crush from age 14-17. Rachel’s dad worked for the Six Flags organization and got us back stage passes to the Sugar Ray concert there. Before the concert we were hanging out at some picnic table “back stage” and I had to go to the bathroom. There was this small porta-potty over next to a trailer. I went to stand in line. Little did I know, that trailer was THE trailer. As the lady came out of the bathroom, I started walking up to go in. Just then, Mark (first name basis) came out of his trailer and literally ran into me. Well, more like knocked shoulders. But still. And then he said “What’s up?” and I just stared at him.

2.
Also, I got to go back stage at a Pat Green concert once. I was with a few friends and we wanted to get our hats signed. (Yes, I have a cowboy hat. In fact, I have several. I live in Texas. It’s not all stereotype.) He walked by and one of my friends said, “Excuse me Mr. Green. Will you sign my hat?” And he signed our hats. I don’t even remember if he spoke.

3.
I have bragged about my dog several times before. Sure she has her faults. She pees when she greets people, she barks when someone is at the door, she has seasonal allergies. No dog is perfect. But Rookie is sort of brilliant. I swear she speaks English. The following scenario is just two of several times/situations this has happened.

I’m cooking dinner and Rookie is hungry so she walks up to me and just stands there and stares. I tell her, “I know you’re hungry, Rookie, but I’m cooking dinner. If you want to eat now you need to go ask your daddy. Otherwise, you need to wait until I’m done.” She immediately turns and runs off to stand in front of Stephen.

I’m crawling into bed and Stephen is still in the living room. Rookie is already sprawled out across the floor by the bed. “Rookie, I’m ready for night night. Go tell your daddy.” And off she goes to the living room to get him. Stephen will usually come in and say, “Did you tell Rookie to come get me?? Because she just ran in there and stared at me and then the door, then me and then the door.”

Brilliant.

4.
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned this. Click here to follow me on Twitter. I’m not very exciting but maybe you are.

5.
If you’re still debating joining Swagbucks… why? Here’s the trick. Join (by clicking HERE, which is my referral link) and then start using it. Post YOUR referral link on your blog, email it to your family and get them to join and USE IT too. You don’t get referral points if they aren’t using it, but they really add up when they do. I’ve been on it since February (I think?) and I’ve earned $105 in Amazon gift cards. Email me if you want more details. If you sign up today, input this code “SweetTweeting” for 20 points.

I know some people aren’t crazy about it, but it works for me. It’s really a no brainer. I get free gift cards just for using Swagbucks instead of Google. And I still use Google when Swagbucks can’t answer me!

6.
How do you feel about Toms? I’ve had at least 4 people tell me lately that I should get a pair. Sometimes they are ugly. What do you wear them with?

7.
I wish I could get away with wearing skirts and dresses to work. They are so much more comfortable but in the construction industry, it’s just not normal. Of course it would be allowed, I’d just get a lot of attention and that’s not always a good thing.

Happy weekend, y’all! Hope you have some fun times ahead of you!

June 25, 2010 at 8:03 am 18 comments

A Thursday Goodie Bag

My thoughts are all over the place today so I’m just going to throw a few things out there. A random assortment of fun facts. A goodie bag, if you will. Not to be confused with Seven Quick Takes which happens tomorrow.

-This morning we dropped our car off at Brake Check to get some routine work done. I got out of the car and started walking towards the door. The lady came out with her clip board and stood under the awning (I googled… that’s actually how you spell it). She started to ask me questions about the car. I thought it could be a nice gesture to meet customers outside if it weren’t for the fact that IT WAS RAINING. So there she was standing under the awning without a drop of water on her while I was left out in the elements. “I’m sorry. Could we maybe go inside or something? It’s raining.” She looked. (Why do you have to look?) “Oh! Sure.” (For the record, she was really nice. Stephen and I even commented about how much nicer they are than Firestone.)

-My mom needed me to stop at Target on the way home the other day to pick up her sunglasses from the Optical area. She currently is missing the earpiece on her sunglasses. It looks really cool. The following is a text conversation:

Mom: I appreciate you picking them up for me! Now I won’t have getto glasses!
Chelsea: Can you please tell Lindsay that you just misspelled “ghetto”? I need her to laugh with me about this.
Lindsay (from Mom’s phone): BAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Oh how I love our “getto” mother!

-I have plans to sit on the beach this weekend and I’ve decided to read some chick lit. I need a break from baby books. Not that I’ve read so many of them or anything… I’ve read one and two halves. But I need a break from baby stuff. It’s all I think about, it’s all I talk about, it’s all people want to talk about with me. For the most part, I don’t mind. I like talking about it. But this conversation gets old: “When are you due? Oh! Do you know if you’re having a boy or girl? Neat! What’s his name? Hmm, that’s interesting.”

-Last night I stubbed my toe and broke the heck out of my toenail. So now I’ll be the very pregnant girl on the beach with the nasty toenails. And you know how I feel about nasty toenails!

-I go in phases with my breakfast. For months I was having a homemade breakfast taco each morning. Then I went to cereal in a cup on the way to work (we carpool). Then Sara Lee Everything Bagels with cream cheese. Then toast with peanut butter. This week it’s all about toast with Nutella, covered in fresh strawberries. I couldn’t be happier. (Except when I finish that last bite and wish I had about 17 more pieces of toast.)

-I made another dinner on Monday night that made me gag. If you’re keeping count, that’s only 3 dinners. But the good news is that I found the common denominator. Cumin. I’ve never been a huge fan of cumin since it’s SO strong. And apparently Jansen hates it! So I made a nice healthy dinner that I couldn’t eat and now Stephen has been having it for lunch every day.

I should stop now or else I’ll have 7 fun facts and you might get confused and think it’s Friday. It’s not, it’s only Thursday. But have a wonderful Thursday and if it’s raining in your neck of the woods, avoid Brake Check.

June 24, 2010 at 9:23 am 8 comments

Open The Vent, She’s Steaming

This has nothing to do with me being hot all the time, although it very well could. This has everything to do with a little gripe-fest.

I have a few pet peeves. I don’t think I have any more than most people, but there are definitely things that grate on my nerves. Smacking, repeating words or phrases (“I mean, like”), when Stephen clicks his fingernails together, severe channel surfing, lying or exaggerating, and MOST IMPORTANTLY being late.

It drives me up the wall when people are consistently late. It’s really a slap in the face because they are basically saying, “My time is more valuable than yours so you can just sit and wait for me at the restaurant while I finish getting ready.”  Not okay people, not okay.

Unfortunately I’ve known several people in my lifetime that have been habitual late-comers. (Sadly my husband often falls into this category, which is causing me to sneak over to the late side more than the early side… we’re working on it.) These are the people you have to lie to. “Let’s meet at Casa Ole at 6:00.” Of course you will know that you won’t be showing up until 6:15, and they’ll never know the difference because they won’t roll in until 6:25. It becomes a game. A let’s-see-how-close-we-can-guess-without-them-figuring-it-out game.

But at some point, these games aren’t fun. They are obnoxious. You want to scream at people and say, “YOU ARE AN ADULT! Get your act together and PLAN.”

The glucose test I just took could have been a nightmare for some. Why? Because there is no appointment time. While at my OB appointment last month, my doctor said, “Sometime within the week before our next appointment, you’re going to need to go to the lab for your glucose test. Try to do it at least 3 days before our next appointment so I can have the results… but not too much before then because you need to be in your third trimester (or as close as possible) and you’re just barely going to be there.”

Insert math here.

Want to see my work? My appointment it on Thursday afternoon so I can’t do my test after Monday. I hit the third trimester on Sunday so I probably shouldn’t do my test before the previous Wednesday. My schedule at work is a bit crazy these two weeks so that leaves Saturday and Sunday. They are closed Sunday. Answer: Saturday.

Want to throw some more planning kinks into the equation? We only have one car, Rookie has a vet appointment at 9:50, the lab is open from 8-12, I have to fast before the test, we have to go to Galveston at some point that day, the test is an hour long. And… go.

We decided to sleep in a bit so I wouldn’t even think about breakfast. Stephen dropped me off and the lab at 9:45 and then went to the vet. I took my test, he picked me up, we went to lunch, and then went to Galveston. Easy as pie. Although it’s not that easy for some.

I walked into the lab at 9:45 and signed in. I took a seat in the corner and tried to get comfy. The lady at the front desk called me up and asked for my paperwork. I gave it to her and she went to the back to retrieve my super sugary orange drink. I went back to my spot. Two women sitting around me looked at me with sad eyes, telling me that they’ve been there and don’t envy me. They puckered their lips and furrowed their brows as they remembered the taste. I braced myself and drank. Not too bad. I kept drinking. Still not so bad. I had five minutes to drink the bottle and I was well on my way. As I finished the last few sips, my throat was burning and I really wanted a glass of water. But the lady at the front instructed me, “No eating, drinking, walking, or chewing up. Just go sit for an hour and we’ll call you back at 10:59.” Fun.

About 30 seconds later, I was bored. I had a book but I couldn’t stay focused because I was tired and also because every 15 seconds someone else walked into the lab and started talking. I needed to people watch but got bored after 5 seconds watching each person. What a pickle I was in!

At about 10:40 my stomach was growling violently and I really wished I’d brought along a blow up mattress for a nap. A girl walked in. She had a huge purse and a laptop bag. She signed in and sat across from me. “Glucose test?” she asked. I assume my belly gave me away. “Yep, almost done with my hour though.” She rolled her eyes, “I’m about to start. I have to do the 2 hour test.”

Poor girl, I thought. She wasn’t pregnant so she was having the test done for other reasons. Sucks. Then I realized, wait… she said the 2 hour test? What time is it?

The lady at the front desk called her over and asked for her paperwork. Their conversation went as such:

Front Desk: Glucose test? Have you been fasting?
Girl: Yes.
FD: Good. Oh wait. Oh honey. You can’t take this today.
G: WHAT? Why?
FD: Well because it’s a two hour test and it’s 10:45. That would mean your test won’t be over until 12:45 and we close at noon.
G: But I called!
FD: You did? And someone told you to come at 10:45??
G: Well no. At first I called and nobody answered. Then I kept calling and finally talked to someone and they said I couldn’t make appointments over the phone.
FD: Well, you can’t.
G: So I just decided to come whenever.
FD: Well you can’t really come whenever because you have a two hour test and we won’t be open in two hours.

Around this time there was a lot of huffing and puffing and eye rolling from the girl. At first I felt sorry for her but, come on! It’s not rocket science! And you can’t blame your tardiness on the person who answered your phone call. She went to the back to do some other test the needed to be done and then came out grumpy and stomping.

I sat there for a second and tried to sort out my thoughts and feelings on the issue. Here they are: Yes, it’s a total bummer when your plans go wacky. It’s annoying when you think you’re going to do something but your plans change at the last second. I GET THAT. However, when you are the one at fault for the plans crumbling, don’t try to make others feel guilty about it! And don’t start pouting like a 5 year old. You won’t gain any sympathy that way.

Is it just me? It really annoyed me that this girl was so rude about something that was her fault to begin with. Come on people, take ownership!

Okay, I think I’m done. We can close the windows, the steam has cleared.

June 23, 2010 at 9:19 am 11 comments

Ten on Tuesday (35)

Today’s questions come from Angela at Craving Cupcakes (<- link). This is her second time to contribute a set of questions. Thanks Angela!

1. If you could trade lives with another blogger for a day, who would it be and why?
We may all have the same answer for this one. My answer? Pioneer Woman. Why? Because I want to play in her kitchen! OH! Or maybe Bakerella so I could see how it feels to be so stinking talented! 

2. Do you prefer receiving handmade or store bought gifts? Be honest!
Depends. I do love handmade items. There is a lot of love in them. To this day, one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever gotten was hand-knit socks from DebbieQ (<- link). But not everyone is talented! Sometimes it’s nice to get a gift card or a book or something else.

3. Would you rather camp or stay in a hotel?
Absolutely no contest. HOTEL. I hate camping. I’m such a picky sleeper that I am awake all night. I need a bed and white noise and a fan. Oh and a bathroom with toilet paper.

4. What’s your favorite comfort food?
My mom’s meatloaf. Nobody else’s meatloaf, just my mom’s. Although she doesn’t have to make it, it just needs to be her recipe. Luckily it’s not a secret so she’s given the recipe to me and I’ve made it a few hundred times. I especially love to make mini meatloaves by the boatload and freeze them in small disposable foil tins, two loaves per pan.

5. You’re having a really bad day at work. How do you unwind when you come home?
I sit in front of the tv. If I have a really bad day, I get the remote without any fight. And I usually eat some ice cream or make brownies or something like that. If I’m really tired, stressed, and grumpy then I don’t cook. We’ll either eat frozen pizza or go to dinner.

6. What’s your favorite chore? (Or, the chore you hate the least)
I don’t really mind cleaning showers. Get the shower wet, sprinkle Comet, scrub with a big brush. Ba-da-bing. Sparkly shower! Or maybe I should say making dinner. That’s a chore, right? I don’t mind that, either.

7. What got you interested in blogging?
I didn’t know that this blogging world existed. I had no idea that there were so many people out there that wrote on the internet! What’s more, I didn’t know that strangers read other strangers’ blogs. I had heard of blogging and my friend Kelly used to read Taryn’s blog (<- link). I read her’s a few times and thought, “Hmm, I should start one. I’ve always enjoyed writing. This could be a non-threatening way to do it. And I’ll make my family read it.” So I did. I posted it on Facebook and emailed my family. And somehow strangers started reading it and I made all these internet friends. Who knew?

8. Are you currently reading a book? What is it?
Baby Wise. It has come highly recommended by several people. It seems like common sense, for the most part. I don’t like reading it because it is making me tired. It makes me think about all the work ahead of me. Yes, I know it’ll all be worth it. But right now I am tired and I don’t want to think about taking care of another human being.

9. Do you have a favorite artist?
No.

10. Have you ever met someone famous?
Yes. In 8th grade I went with my friend to Seattle for the opening of Safeco Field. Her dad grew up with Jay Buhner. That was back when Griffey and Alex Rodriguez were on the team. For a baseball lover, it was Heaven. I’ve also met Augie Garrido (baseball coach for UT) several times. Not sure if you include him or not. I do. I’ve also met several Astros at fan fest events. I don’t think I’ve met any famous non-athletes.

If you’d like to submit a batch of questions, send them to me at chelsea @ rootsandrings. com. (Remove the spaces.) You can submit even if you don’t participate. It’s always fun to get random questions!

Here’s Mr. Linky.

June 22, 2010 at 7:15 am 21 comments

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