Monday, July 30, 2007

We're up to 71!

Including the 4 babies, that is...

So close!

Just for the record, it's 18 on Team Martha. 51 on Team Adam.

Had to get that out there...

Another Oscar 2007 Update

I’m totally sucking at this Oscars thing. That said, I’m probably doing better this year than I did last year. Yay for Blockbuster Online!

Anywho, we watched The Good Shepherd last night. This is definitely not one I would have chosen to watch on my own. It’s almost three hours long. Three long, boring, drawn-out hours of annoying flashbacks, flashforwards, and other overused cinematic devices (black & white to color, etc…) Basic story is about the birth of the CIA. As simple as that sounds, it obviously encompassed more than that in order to take up three hours of edited footage. Matt Damon (who I’ve really had quite enough of for now, seriously) is Ed, a Yale poetry student who gets recruited into the secretive Skull & Bones society. He then gets tapped for a special position during WWII overseas which then turns into a position in the (then unestablished) CIA during the Cold War. Lots of Russian, German, spies, deceit, double-crossing, etc. Angelina Jolie plays his wife but she’s only in the movie for like 10 minutes so I’m not sure why she got so much attention.

Overall I was bored for most of the movie. I’ll admit I’ve never been one for historical fiction movies. Or war movies. Or spy movies. Or movies with Matt Damon. Ok, so this one was just doomed from the start. Adam seemed to not mind it. Of course there were parts that were more interesting than others. Matt Damon in drag singing “I’m Called Little Buttercup” for example.

But unfortunately that one happened in the first twenty minutes of the film and the others were few and far between.

Now I need to cleanse my mind with some Spongebob or something…

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time to Laugh a Little

The Dilbert Blog had another great post the other day about jokes. I admit, I sat at work and read through all 500+ comments. There were a lot of great jokes there. Unfortunately the majority of them were tasteless, offensive, or so dirty I wouldn't dare repost them here (but that doesn't mean you can't click on over there and read them for yourself ;) ).

Here are a few of the ones that had me trying to muffle my laughter at my desk:

Random Jokes:

Two muffins are baking in the oven. The first muffin says "Man, it's hot in here." The second cries, "Aaaah! A talking muffin!"


You know Quasimodo, the bell ringer at Notre Dame.

One day his boss came up to him and told him, "Quasimodo, the job is too much for you. I've hired you an assistant. Show him what to do."

Quasimodo took the assistant up to the bell tower to show him how to ring the bells. "Just watch this," said Quasimodo. The hunchback then lined up about 50 feet from one of the bells. He then sprinted towards the bell and crashed into it face first. This set the bell in motion.

Quasimodo then walked back to assistant and said, "You try it."

The assistant lined up about 50 feet from one of the bells. He then sprinted towards the bell and crashed into it face first. This set the bell in motion.

Unfortunately, the assistant flew off the bell at unusual angle. He exited the bell tower and crashed violently on the street below.

Seeing this, Quasimodo ran out of the bell tower and out of church as quickly as he could. When he arrived at the accident scene, a large crowd had formed.

A police officer saw Quasimodo and said, "A terrible thing has happened. This man is dead. We must contact his family. Do you know his name?"

Quasimodo looked down at the corpse and said, "I don't know his name, but his face rings a bell."


A man goes to the doctor. He says, "Doctor, you have to help me. I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home'."

The doctor says, "Yes, I was just reading about this in a journal. You have a condition known as Tom Jones Syndrome."

The man says, "Is it common?"

The doctor says, "It's not unusual."


Q: What is the definition of "Endless Love"?
A: Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles playing tennis.


(A slightly dirty joke)

One day, a penguin on vacation driving through Arizona breaks down. He has the car towed back to the only garage, and is told it will be 2 hours before they know anything. He sets off about town, and sees an ice cream shop. "Boy! Ice cream would sure be nice right now!" said the penguin as he mopped sweat from his brow.

The penguin orders his ice cream, but then finds that he can't use the spoon like people. He starts raking the ice cream into his mouth, creating quite a mess with his wings.

He then returns to the garage, and asks the mechanic if they know anything about his car. The mechanic says, "It looks like you blew a seal." The penguin replies, "No, it's just ice cream."


(This one is my favorite considering my current frustrations...)

A vampire walks into a bar and orders a mug of hot water. Suprised, the bartender says, "But I thought vampires only drank blood." The vampire pulls out a used tampon and responds, "I'm making tea.”


(This one goes out to all the Catholics out there to whom I will be related to by marriage in less than 3 weeks...)

Q: Why are Catholics glad Christ was crucified instead of being stoned to death?
A: So they can go like this (MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS) instead of like this (BEATING FACE RAPIDLY WITH FISTS).


(And, finally, a wedding joke)

Two antennas got married.

The ceremony was nothing special, but the reception was awesome!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Defeat... (Or, should I say, De-feet)

I'm having somewhat of a shoe crisis. It’s pretty much a crisis of my own making. I’ve been procrastinating about picking out shoes for the Catherines for about six months. So when Catherine W. brought up the fact that seasons are changing and fall shoes are starting to appear on the shelves I agreed with her suggestion to get my butt into gear. So I headed out to the shoe stores I love last Saturday.

I don’t love them so much anymore.

I started at Shoe Carnival only to discover that the store is going out of business. This means that there’s pretty much nothing left and even if I did find what I wanted the chances that I’d find the sizes I need are slim. Grrr.

So I went to DSW. They also seemed to be in a transition of some kind. It could be that dreaded season change or something else but their selection was lacking and there were rows of empty shelves. And lots of clearance racks. Not good.

After these defeats (ha) I didn’t have the motivation (or the desire) to go to the mall to check out Payless. I peeked in at the shoe department at Wal*mart later on in the day when I went to visit Adam and I saw what could be a prospect.

When I got home I went online to Target’s website and found a shoe that I really liked. I couldn’t find it at the store though and when I went to order it online on Wednesday I discovered why – it’s not even going to be released (to stores or online) for another six weeks. The wedding is in three. Drat.

So Wednesday night Adam and I were hunting high and low on various websites for silver strappy sandals with a wide, low-ish heel. I kept coming back to Kenneth Cole Unlisted styles. I had seen them previously at DSW and they showed up on eBay, Amazon, and a few other such sites. We watched an eBay auction for the correct sizes last night and got outbid at the last second. Grrr. And it turns out the style I like is a discontinued design. I just have all the luck…

So for now here are my choices: Tonight I’ll go back to Wal*mart and see if I really like the shoes I saw. I’m going for cheap and easy here since I don’t anticipate either Catherine will really ever wear them again. Wal*mart would definitely qualify as cheap and easy. Second option is to go to Payless, see if they have anything, and if not just go with the generic bridesmaids shoes they carry. I suppose a third option is to just let them choose their own shoes and not worry about it. I’m less likely to go with that last one though because the dresses are pretty short and people will see their legs and feet. And I’d like some consistency. And I'm a control freak.

This is pretty much the last decision I have to make and I’m totally dragging my feet. Wait… I still have to decide what I’m doing with my hair… Anyway, hopefully the shoe thing will be resolved by tonight.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Place Cards are Taking Over

And it's so sad since we can't even hit our 75 guest minimum but it looks like so many people are coming...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My life in a word - wedding

Still not much is happening around here. I’m slowly plugging away through my wedding to-do list. The fact that there are still plenty of RSVPs lingering out in limbo puts a cramp in my table assignment/place card completion but there’s not much I can do about that. I guess I need to determine a final cut-off date for responses. We don’t have to give the reception hall the final headcount until three days before the wedding but I’d like a little more time to get things prepped. Right now we’re up to 59 (plus 4 babies!) Not exactly the turnout we were hoping for, but we have to take what we can get. There are 20 or so more out in no-man’s land so perhaps the number will increase some more in the next couple weeks. Who knows? Not me, as most of the outstanding replies are from Adam’s side. :)

On the administrative side of things, we plan to go down to the courthouse in Oshkosh on the 7th to apply for our marriage license. Winnebago County is pretty basic – birth certificate, SS#, verification of residency. No blood tests or anything else weird. But it does cost $95. That seems a little steep to me for a piece of paper, but whatever. We can’t get married without it so they’ve got us.

Luckily there are not too many blank lines left in the budget at this point. Anticipated additional costs include the final payment to the photographer, disposable cameras for the reception, the reception dinner costs (less our deposit, and will actually be paid after the wedding), and some of my costs – alterations, hair & nails, bridesmaids luncheon. We’ll also have the additional honeymoon costs to take care of afterwards (excursions, other money spent on food, drinks, souvenirs, etc.) But that should be it. All the gifts, favors, apparel, etc are taken care of and paid for. I think we could have pulled this wedding off without going into debt with no problem at all. And I guess we did. It’s not the wedding that caused the credit card balances to spike – it was the house. That makes me feel pretty good about the whole deal. Afterwards I plan to have a post detailing our final budget. Right now (if all the outstanding amounts come close to my estimates) we will have done the whole shebang (including rings and honeymoon) for under $15,000. Exclude those two big hitters and we’d be at just under $9,000. Cruising is not cheap.

Anyway, this next week is pretty dull – my calendar is actually totally blank – but after August 1st the craziness starts. I look at my list regularly to make sure I’m not missing something totally obvious. It seems like I should be freaking out more or have more to do but I’m not seeing anything glare up at me saying “get me done!” I guess this is a good sign indicating that we were as proactive as we hoped to be. It’s still kind of scary to think that in three weeks we’ll see if all this work and money has been worth it. I’m hoping everything goes smoothly and everyone has a good time. I’m doing my best to not be too controlling about things and I’m definitely trying to avoid any Bridezilla moments. I do get tired of the “wedding experts” constantly giving unsolicited advice but I suppose this happens with anything like this. And can I just say right now that I can’t wait for the baby bingoeing to start…

On a non-wedding related note, I find it disturbing that Bush’s colonoscopy was headline news. Scott Adams had a great blog post on that subject the other day – check it out.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

And now some random wedding-related photos:

I picked up my veil at the second fitting this past Thursday since I'll need it for my hair test run the first week of August.

And here it is in the closet o' wedding stuff.

It's pretty well organized so we shouldn't have too many problems getting everything where it needs to be. I busied myself this morning wrapping gifts and playing with place card designs. We need to finish the program and meet with the photographer and we should be good to go.

Also, our Bann showed up in the bulletin for the first time this week! How exciting!

And here's a completely random picture of Mo and Einstein...

Final Pictures of House (Maybe)

Here are just a few more pictures to tie up the loose ends on the house thing...

The mini-blinds in the guest room, so obviously missing from this picture

have now been installed

We got the sheers up in our bedroom as well

I realized I never took any pictures in the basement although I suppose that was because there's really nothing down there. But now that we got the futon together

I decided to head down and shoot our new washer & dryer as well.

So, pretty much everything is done. There's some outdoor things on the list still (although getting grass to grow when it never rains is tricky) and we've got a few things to take care of in the fall (fireplace & snow related.) Other than that we're settled, unpacked, and mostly still in one piece.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Camping #2 - but not really...

Argh! Blog falling by the wayside!

Anyway, this past weekend was to have been camping attempt #2 but we decided to bail on that before we even got up to Door County. We had been monitoring the weather all week and as the humidity and chance of storms kept creeping up we opted to stay high and dry at home.

Kind of.

Since we both had off on Friday we decided to go to the drive-in movie on Thursday night. We only stayed for the first movie (Ratatouille) but still had a good time. On Friday we decided to take a day trip to the Mall of America. It has remained our favorite Marshall’s location and the fact that there’s no sales tax on clothing in MN just sweetens the deal. We stopped by Adam’s grandma’s house on the way and visited for a little while. Four hours later we found a parking spot in the huge garage and went to look for food. We just wanted something light to tide us over until we stopped for dinner at an Applebee’s (we had a gift card.) We went to Taco Bell and got those new taquito things. Very Unimpressive. Anyway, then we did some shopping – Marshall’s (clothing), Gourmet Chef (new measuring cups – with a bonus egg separater!), Lego Land (Legos - duh), Big Dog (more clothing.)

And then we went across the street to IKEA.

Good lord.

And I thought Bed, Bath, and Beyond was a dangerous store for me to go to!

We followed the blue arrows, looked at all kinds of interesting furniture, decorations, and kitchen stuff. Mmmmmm, kitchen stuff. We managed to get out of the building with only 2 things – some new dishes and a strainer scoopy thing for the deep fryer. Perhaps it’s a good thing that there’s no IKEA remotely close to Neenah…

We got gas (it was cheaper in MN) and then headed back home. We planned to stop at an Applebee’s along the route home when we got hungry but we discovered that there weren’t too many of them. We ended up driving ¾ of the way home before we found one. The wait wasn’t too bad and we ended up paying less than $10 for the meal. Yay for gift cards! The remaining drive home was uneventful.

Saturday we did some power-errand running. Bank, Lowe’s, Alltel, Walmart, Blockbuster, Copps. Then we managed to finally take down the tent that had been up in the basement since last weekend. And put the futon together. We also watched another couple movies – In Good Company and Gray Matters.

Sunday we got up and went to church together for the first time in like six months. Then we went out for breakfast. Back at home Adam continued putting his ginormous (it’s a word now, look it up!) Lego car together as I cleaned cages, did laundry, did dishes, wrote thank-you cards. We headed to my dad & Cheryl’s for their anniversary party, stayed for a few hours, I was mistaken for Catherine just twice this time (and not mistaken for Brooke at all!), and was continuously asked when we got in and when we were leaving (People… we live an hour away, it’s not like we need to stay overnight! Grrr!)

Anywho, we came back home and continued in much the same matter as the rest of the afternoon. I watched another movie – Pizza – and then eventually went to bed.

This week has some potential excitement: Tomorrow is the final board meeting (hopefully) for IMA. Thursday is my second dress fitting. Friday is Adam’s appointment with the doctor about his hands. We’ll see what happens.

And according to the Official Wedding Countdown: 32 days to go.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Camping Season 2007 - Attempt #1

I think we can consider camping trip #1 of the season a success. True, there were some bumps along the road to outdoor bliss, but we managed to stay in our tent for two nights which didn’t happen at all last year so right there it’s successful.

Adam worked until about 2 on Friday afternoon so I spent the morning packing, grocery shopping, and prepping the house and pets for a weekend alone. I drove up to pick Adam up and we went on our way. We made a few stops before really getting on the road (picked up his newly sized ring, paid off our honeymoon, picked up some new Crocs for him, got gas, returned the cable equipment from the apartment) but then we cruised up to Door County. The road construction on 57 has definitely improved since two years ago. A greater portion of it is now 4-lane divided highway type rather than back-road 2 lane type so that was nice. We got up to the campsite and checked in. We got to our campsite and realized it was right next to the bathroom. Not too close as to be obnoxious, but close enough that it was convenient for the mid-night trips.

We also noticed it was right next to the road. I didn’t really notice the cars too much but then again the park closes at 11 and I sleep with ear plugs so who am I to comment on night noise.

We got the tent up quickly and as I began to assemble the sleeping bags and air mattress we discovered that the thingamajig we brought along to power up the electric pump was too wussy to make it work. Having not brought the battery pump as a backup (Adam’s sister still had it from a few weekends ago) we had to make an unscheduled trip back to Sturgeon Bay’s Walmart since pretty much everything further north was closed or didn’t carry camping stuff. We picked up some firewood on the way since it’s now forbidden to bring wood into the park (some kind of evil tree-hating bug epidemic…) We also stopped for dinner before heading back to the campsite. We ate at Julie’s CafĂ© which is right at the entrance to Peninsula State Park. I would highly recommend it. Adam had the fish fry and I had this Caesar chicken pita wrap. It was great food and even better dessert. And very reasonably priced considering its location. After dinner we finished setting up camp, Adam got a small fire going for a bit and then we called it a night.

Saturday morning we both woke up around 5:30 and Adam went outside and played with fire for a bit while I laid in bed some more. We got up and went to take showers around 6:30. We went back down to Welckers – we like their shower stalls. After getting prettied up for the day we went to have breakfast at our favorite Door County breakfast spot – the Gibralter Grill – only to find out they were closed. Hmm. We looked at the ads in the park’s guide and decided to go to the only place open at 7am – The Cookery. I had chocolate chip pancakes and bacon and Adam had eggs, hash browns and toast (and some of my bacon.) After the nausea of taking my pills before I ate passed it was ok. Once again, the food was great and pretty reasonable. We left Fish Creek and made the journey to Northpoint to catch the Washington Island Ferry. Once on the island we bee-lined to the Ostrich Farm. My beloved pot bellied pigs were nowhere to be found but the rest of the animals were still there. They also had a kangaroo this year (although he looked thoroughly bored and didn’t move at all the entire time we were there.) I got some good pictures and videos of Adam feeding some of the animals. (Take a look at them here.)We also got to see a newborn baby goat. It was born while we were there and we got to see the “find the mother, corner her, grab her by the horns, seclude her, bring baby to her, make them bond” process.

After the farm we drove around for a while, checked out the Sand Dunes (Very Unimpressive – if you want dunes go to Kohler Andrae), and planned to eat at a drive-in on the island but changed our mind when we got to the ferry dock right as they were boarding.

We drove back to Ellison Bay to check out one of the restaurants in the Washington Island booklet – The Viking Grill. Once again, good food. I had a chicken sandwich and Adam had some whitefish chowder and a gyro. The service was a little spotty but overall ok. We happened to hit Ellison Bay during their “Old Ellison Bay Days” celebration. We checked out the art fair and got some decoration stuff for the house. On the way back to Fish Creek we stopped at our favorite candy store – the Door County Confectionary. We got back to the campsite around 3 and sat outside for while. Then we took a nap in the tent until it got too warm. Adam started the fire around 5 to make sure we had enough time to burn all the firewood we had left. We grilled some hamburgers for dinner but had to forego the s’mores since the marshmallows took on water in the cooler and the graham crackers I had packed expired last November. Whoops. We sat outside by the fire until it burned down far enough and then we went to bed.

Sunday morning we woke pretty early again but went back to sleep for another hour or so somehow. We got up, disassembled camp, took showers, and headed to breakfast. We tried another restaurant from the park guide – Pelletier’s. They’re more well known for their fish boils but their breakfast is pretty good too. I had French toast and breakfast fries and Adam had eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns. We tried to eat slowly since we had until 9am until the last place we wanted to stop opened but we didn’t want to take up space so we decided to just drive and wait in the parking lot for about ½ hour. After that last stop we headed home. We made a little detour in Green Bay hoping the furniture outlet we got our table at would be open but they are closed on Sundays. We got home, unpacked, and then headed out for some home-improvement fun.

The weather was perfect – no rain, not too hot, I didn’t get sunburned. Aside from the air mattress mishap it was an almost perfect camping weekend. Our second (and last) camping weekend is coming up July 13-15. We’re at Peninsula State Park again so hopefully we get a repeat performance of this weekend.

Is there a non-judgemental, undistracted doctor in the house?

** I’ll try and keep this post family-friendly but I can’t make any guarantees… Don’t say I didn’t warn you**

This past Wednesday was the day we’ve all been waiting for since March (ok, so maybe just me.) It was my yearly doctor’s visit. I really only go so they’ll renew my prescription (which they won’t do without poking and prodding me) so it annoyed me that much more when I called for an appointment back in March only to find out the NP I’d seeing for the past two years was “on leave” and I’d have to try and get in with the OB-GYN. No openings until June. Ugh. So I waited, dealt with the horror that was the end of April/beginning of May, all the time anticipating that I’d be able to get some insight and advice today.

I called about ½ hour before my appointment time to make sure she was running on schedule. The first thing I hear is “well, one of her patients just went into labor but it’s her first so it might take awhile. She should still be able to keep your appointment.” Wonderful. I head to the clinic, check in, and wait about 5 minutes (which, I’ll admit, was remarkably quick service.) The nurse calls me in and takes me to the exam room. All the normal stuff – weight (eek!), height (still 5’ 2½”), blood pressure (130/70… is that bad? – they told me last year I was a bit above normal but I tend to hyperventilate in hospitals anyway…), heart, talk about the stupid forms they make you fill out every single year even if nothing changes. Then they tell me that the doctor has a PA with her today and would it be ok if she sat in on the exam? Pfft, I don’t care. I’d never met the doctor before either so what’s one more stranger looking at my delicate parts going to matter?

Then they gave me the hugest gown ever to change into. Seriously, I could have wrapped it around myself twice. I’m not sure if I should be insulted or whether everyone gets the tent-sized one. Anyway, the PA comes in and introduces herself and informs me that the she will do most of the exam (if that’s ok with me.) She checks eyes, ears, nose, lungs, heart (again?) We talk about random crap and then she gets down to business while she lectures me about doing self breast exams. When that’s over with she goes to get the doctor for the really fun part. In the meantime we’ve talked about my issues and she also discusses this with the doctor. She comes in bearing samples of a different pill – Seasonique – which apparently has a bit more estrogen than Seasonale and is supposed to eliminate some of the side effects. We’ll see if it works. I still plan to screw with the weeks though to ensure I won’t have any wedding/honeymoon timeframe issues. Of course, my body seems to do whatever it wants so I can only really do so much.

Anyway, as I was lying down (and getting lectured about the risks of shaving…ahem…), the doctor got paged. Apparently the baby decided to make its appearance earlier than expected. So, I got an “express Pap” (not my words, the PA said that…) What I think I got was gypped. Not that it’s a particularly pleasant experience in the best circumstances, but when an inexperienced PA tries to do things in a rather sensitive area quickly… ouch. And they basically swabbed and ran. I think they skipped about half of the exam. I distinctly recall being poked and squeezed in the ovaries last time… I was left on the table in a gown with the PA calling over her shoulder to call if I had problems with the new pills. Nice…

So I got dressed, didn’t even check out (the receptionist was MIA), and went back to work a lot sorer than anticipated.

Now, I really liked my previous doctor (well, nurse practitioner, but whatever.) She knew about some of my problems and wasn’t distracted by women in labor. This has always been the downside of going to an OB-GYN so I wasn’t too happy that I got shifted over to one. Stupid babies… The NP was also much nicer and less judgmental. Granted I don’t go to these places for a boost in my self-esteem, but I also don’t go to them to be lectured on how I choose to maintain myself. Geesh! Why can’t BCP be OTC? It would be so much easier. Even though this exam is fully covered by my insurance I just wish I could skip it. I guess maybe the doctor answered my questions. Although she was so distracted by trying to move the exam along I don’t know if her replies were as helpful as they could be.

In any case, glad it’s over for another year. Don’t think the insurance should have to pay for the whole thing since they skipped a bunch but that’s not my problem. Re-considering switching to Adam’s health plan after the wedding, but will definitely look into a new NP regardless. Hope the new pills work miracles and I’m suddenly cramp-nausea-3½ weeks of bleeding-free. If not I might be awfully crabby on my wedding day…