Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So this is "crumping?"

I was excited when a mom from the noodle's school put together an outing to Richmond's very own Crump Park. I've always wanted to learn how to crump! Turns out there is no crumping in Crump Park, which was almost as disappointing as the fact that the few other parent/child combos we know ended up canceling at the last minute. Fortunately, the noodle and I are pretty adept at entertaining ourselves, so we crumped alone.

And I think it's safe to say that we have a new favorite hangout. What a playground!

She's considering trying out for the Blue Man Group

That's a nice 'do, slide girl!

Giddy-up, pig!

Did someone call the fire dept.? No, noodle, it's just an inferno outside today.

And did I mention there's a farm, too?? We got to pet a sweet little lamb... of course there are no pictures of this since I was just as interested in petting the lamb as the noodle was. We also got to pet Clyde, who unfortunately lost his pal, Bonnie. The farmer said Clyde escapes regularly... maybe he thinks Bonnie is planning a rendezvous. Poor Clyde.

It's nothing like the crumping I was hoping for, but it'll do for today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

me, myself and my hard drive

So, here's a real conversation that just happened in my mind:

Me: Aack, my computer hard drive is almost FULL!

Myself: Well, that's because you take so many pictures and store them on there, dummy.

Me: True, true. I'd transfer them all to the external hard drive, but then I'd never SEE them.

Myself: Unless you finally got off your lazy bum and created, say, photo albums with all of your favorites.

Me: Yeah, that's something I've always wanted to do but it's sooooooooooooo overwhelming sorting through ALL of those pictures!!

Myself: Dude, you love projects like that!

Me: I know!

Myself: You could finally make the noodle's baby album and if you really do love it, you could offer your creative services to friends who are also jamming up their hard drives with photos and not doing anything with them.

Me: The wheels are turning...

So, friends, I'm curious - have you got about a zillion digital photos that you *plan* to do something with (like create a scrapbook or album) but aren't terribly excited about actually doing it? If so, would you ever consider hiring someone to take over the project for you? I think this kind of creative work is right up my alley, but I wonder if anyone is willing to hand off something so personal. Talk to me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The best things in life really are free?

Well, yeah, kind of. We all know love, family, rainbows and sunshine are free, but you can't dine on that. My venture into a building and growing a "money saving" vegetable garden this spring sure wasn't free. In fact, I think the cost per tomato is going to come out at about $5 apiece this year. But can you really put a price tag on the smile of the noodle getting to eat the first of the harvest? I don't think so.


In case you were wondering, our family's crisis has improved a bit over the last year and a half, but it isn't over yet. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and I'm thrilled at just the idea of resuming some sense of normalcy - hopefully very soon. I don't know what the long-term effects of living below the poverty line, teetering on the brink of foreclosure, enduring insane levels of stress and so much more will be on our family, but I do know that we have managed to keep our relationships healthy, have not caved on our core beliefs and have learned to be scrappy. Seriously scrappy.

Last Friday, Sweetwonderfulmama, her boys, the noodle and I donned cow spots and ears and were rewarded with free meals from Chick-fil-A. Free! Anything we wanted! It's no French Laundry, but a free lunch is a free lunch. Sometime later today, we're heading out to 7-Eleven for free slurpees in honor of the date being 7/11. And next month for Mac's birthday we'll be trying to squeeze in as many free meals and treats we can since I signed our whole family up for every "birthday club" out there. It's mostly junk food, but, hey, our meals have been about 90% vegetarian since Mac started working for our farm CSA and getting his pick of free fruits and vegetables every week. Maybe a little saturated fat is just what we need.

I once shied away from using coupons at the grocery store and was hugely brand-loyal. Now I wonder how I could have been so naive. I mean, it really paints a picture of how perfectly willing I was to throw away money. Those days are over. Maybe one day not too long from now, Mac will be running his own CPA firm or successfully bridging the gap between financial services and charitable giving for clients, but he's still going to come home to a dinner made from what was the best deal at the grocery store that week.

It's a new era for our family. It took a little searching, but we discovered that we can do a whole lot with just a little. Oh, and there's nothing wrong with love, family, rainbows and sunshine, but a free watermelon slurpee makes my heart skip a beat!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Illegal name change

I always knew I'd have a special work title - Mama. Not Mom, Mommy or the dreaded Mother, just Mama. I think it suits me. Unfortunately, the noodle had another idea. So, I'd like introduce to you for the very first time - Mommio! Or, as it is sometimes hollered in these parts - Mommios! (Maybe she thinks of me as a tasty breakfast cereal?!)

Also unexpected in my world, the noodle's favorite word "NO" has just been replaced by (drum roll please) "OKAYYY!" I can't explain it. It makes no sense. And it came from out of nowhere! But here's hoping this phase lasts a lot longer than the "NO" phase did. Okay? OKAYYY!