Monday, July 28, 2008

more snippets

Most of my nail polish was gone after two days at work so I removed it. My toes are still bright purple :) It must be the ugliest shiny shade of purple ever, but it's kind of growing on me.

The neighbors got a new 8 week old border collie puppy. I am completely in love. I love this pup so much I almost allowed their one-yr-old child into our house. Must. Keep. Control. That kid isn't coming in until he's at least two! Then (and only then) he can come in and poop on our carpet until Gene and Logan get him potty trained. The pup is smart and is supposedly already potty trained. The pup isn't coming into my house either. Probably...

I rode my bike to work Saturday. It's a 6-7 mile ride I would never attempt on a weekday because ~3 miles of it is on busy Knoxville. I didn't know how it would be so I arranged for Gene to pick me up after work. Next time I'll ride home. It was pretty safe other than the stretch between Detweiller and Pioneer Parkway which would have been scary had there been any traffic. On the way home I could ride or walk that 1/4 mile in the grass if the traffic was too bad. Fun! It was the first time I rode my "new" bike any real distance. I love the bike!

Logan finished his tee-ball season last week and swimming lessons are done this week. Phew! I can use a few weeks off from activities before school starts. I can't believe July is almost over. School starts in 4 weeks! Kaylin is loving daycamp and Logan's having a great time at daycare. Well, I promised Logan he could have a new pair of shoes in July. Since this is my last day off in July, I'm picking him up early to go shoe shopping before swimming lessons. He's terribly influenced by the stupid Sketchers commercials on Nickelodeon. Sketchers doesn't make Aerators or Z-straps in wide sizes so we're going to Stride Rite to spend even more $$$ on stinking wide shoes. I could be spending money on glasses or hearing aids or medication... Wide feet are our "disability." I have to keep reasoning that with myself.

Oh. I'll eventually remember to have Gene show me how to reduce photo size and switch the hideous spa pic :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'll fix it soon- hopefully...

WHEW!!! Sorry about the GINORMOUS horrible picture. I posted it seconds before I left for work the other day and just now noticed how huge it is. Hee hee. You can see every pore. I don't know how to fix it and Gene's out tonight. Whoopsee!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My first spa visit

Yesterday I drove to Springfield to surprise my friend Jenny for her birthday. Her husband had emailed me a couple weeks ago, asking if I'd be available to come down for her birthday party on Sunday. He said she wanted a party. He didn't think he could pull off a surprise party, but he thought if I showed up it would be a good surprise. I agreed to attend. A couple days later, he left a message on my answering machine, asking if I could come on Monday instead? Strange, a party on Monday? We played phone tag for several days before he finally got ahold of me and told me he decided he couldn't pull off the party, but wanted Jenny and me to have a spa day instead. Doesn't that sound fun? Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Well, I figured it would be INTERESTING if nothing else. I was also interested in Jenny's reaction when A. She didn't get a party and B. I showed up unexpectedly at her work. My guess was that she would be furious about not getting the party and not too thrilled about a surprise half-day of work. I thought she'd be happy to see me and happy about the spa, but I wasn't sure the happiness would outweigh the anger. Fortunately, I was wrong. Her husband misunderstood something she told her daughter. She didn't actually want a party and said if she had she would have arranged it herself. Her husband also told her he was picking her up to take her someplace nice for lunch so she was completely prepared to blow off the afternoon of work. Phew! She was happy to see me and thrilled with the spa plan.

We drove around a little and ate Avanti's gondolas (her favorite I brought from Peoria) before our 12:30 appointment. We walked into the spa having no idea what to expect. We were greeted at the front desk and led back to separate rooms for our facial/massages. I changed into some towel thingy and laid down on a bed and covered up with blankets. Ugh, it was hot! The massage woman kept asking if I wanted my arms under the blankets but I didn't. I would have sweated to death! She started with the facial and did all kinds of cleansers and creams. She massaged my head, shoulders and feet and then applied some kind of mask, covered my eyes with gauze pads (I was a bit disappointed it wasn't cucumbers, but oh well) and turned steam on my face. She then left the room for like 15 minutes! I'm the kind of person who likes to be doing something pretty much every minute I'm awake. It was soooooooo boring to just lay there with gauze over my eyes, listening to awful easy-listening music. She FINALLY returned and removed the mask and applied moisturizer and left me to get dressed.

Jenny and I met back up in the manicure room. This was the part I found to be totally hilarious. I have never even considered getting my nails done. I have a filthy, filthy job. What's the point? I can also probably count on one hand the times my nails have been painted- I think one time by my friend Aaron for a school dance and a few times by Kaylin. That's it. My (uh) nail technician was a nervous wreck. I think it was her first day at this salon. She was shaking and sweating and seemed terrified that the owner woman was sitting next to her doing Jen's nails. She was one of those people who aren't shy or afraid to speak, but she spoke very quietly so you had to listen hard to hear her. This was tough over all the other salon noise.

Dorie worked and worked and worked on my filthy nails and cuticles. She exfoliated my hands and arms. I had to get up twice and go rinse off in the bathroom. It was weird and totally different than what I expected. When it was time to choose a color of polish, the head lady said "She's a zookeeper, she probably just wants a clear coat." I immediately replied "No. I want orange nails with black tiger stripes." Dorie nearly stroked out, going on and on about how she didn't think she could do that. I told her I had confidence that she could but she kept insisting she had no training in "nail art." I told her I'd be happy to let her practice on me and that I just wanted some black stripes on my orange nails. I figured she could give it a shot. She kept insisting she couldn't do it and I kept insisting that I wasn't leaving without tiger-striped nails. Finally, the owner agreed to put on the stripes.

Meanwhile, Jenny was already getting her pedicure. Deb (owner woman) was striping my nails when Jenny suddenly yelped that her right foot (at that time covered in callous remover, inside a plastic bag soaking in the foot bath) was burning. Deb hollered at Dorie to get the bag off her foot and rinse the foot. Jen had a nasty chemical burn on top of her foot. Deb spent ~15 minutes torturing Jen by applying aloe and pouring water over it and patting it. Jen finally begged her to just STOP and leave her foot alone! Deb finished striping my nails and Dorie got going on my pedicure. It was now 2:30. It took an hour for the facial and an hour for the manicure.

Dorie was completely obsessed with removing all the dirt from around my big toes. I explained to her that I'd recently spent an hour barefoot in the tortoise mudpit and didn't expect that dirt would come out anytime soon. Dorie disagreed. She picked and picked and cut and picked some more. I was about ready to scream. She was nowhere near done with my pedicure when Jen was finished and able to walk out to the salon for her haircut. Dorie continued picking at my toes and cutting pieces of cuticle and exfoliating my legs and giving my feet a "glorious" (her word, not mine) massage while yakking on and on (very quietly) about her love of karaoke and how much practice it takes and how the bar owner's son sang a Garth Brooks song because she asked him to. AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Stab me with pokers but SHUT UP about karaoke!!!!!!! When it was FINALLY time for the polish she asked what color I wanted? I said white with black zebra stripes. Dorie went pale and started sweating some more. I told her I was kidding and picked a bright, sparkly purple that Kaylin would have chosen. My pedicure took TWO HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the time I was finally done, Jen's haircut was almost finished. We were at the spa for FOUR HOURS. They were out of soda so we were dehydrated and starving!

We left the spa and went directly to a gas station where we each got a gigantic drink. We then went to a restaurant and got gigantic horseshoe tenderloin sandwiches drenched in homemade cheese sauce. Best. Food. Ever. We then went to ShopKo for bandages and Neosporin for Jen's burnt foot. It didn't help. Plus, she was wearing sandals that had a thick strap right where the burn was. We decided to just go back to her house and talk. I planned to leave about 8pm but we were suddenly hit with severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. I ended up staying until 10 when things calmed down. It was a weird drive home. Power was out in all the small towns around hers. The giant truckstop/gas station/McDonald's was completely black. The billboards and streetlights on the interstate highway were out. There was constant lightning most of my drive home but the rain was light. Weird stuff.

Anyway, I'll try to wrap it up... The day was a blast! The spa was a little long, but I'm glad I did it once. Jenny and I got tons of time to talk and the whole idea of being at a spa together was priceless. I would have another facial and possibly a manicure if needed for a special occasion. I doubt I'll ever have another pedicure. Especially if they normally take two hours! This morning I showed Logan my nails. I asked if he like my tiger nails? "Nah." I then showed him my purple toes and asked if he like them. He crinkled his nose and said "Medium." At least Kaylin liked them! The people at work thought my nails were totally awesome. Actually they thought the whole thing was pretty funny. I chipped off probably a quarter of the polish on my right hand and every time I glanced at my nails I thought I was bleeding. Eh, I'm glad I did it once. Thanks Mike!

Monday, July 14, 2008

shoes, double ugh!!

I needed a new pair of shoes for work. Just a pair of tennis shoes that will be worn in the mud and used to push manure onto a shovel. Shoes that will get soaking wet almost daily. I have a great pair of waterproof Redwing boots, but they are SOOOOOO hot in the summer. So I did the obvious thing and went to WalMart. They had plenty of wide-width shoes, but none that fit my feet. I then went to Shoe Carnival. I must have tried on 20 pairs of wide New Balance and Reeboks but none of them fit my fat feet. I tried Target and Kohls. Nothing. I went to a specialty store at the mall and the guy looked at me like I was NUTS. I HATE shopping for clothes and shoes! This was incredibly discouraging.

Today I went to Moser's Shoes. They specialize in quality brands with different widths. They had the upper line of New Balance athletic shoes. Ugh. I was HOPING they'd have some in the $40-$50 range, but nuh-uh. The salesman measured my foot and disappeared for a really long time. He brought back the only three pairs in the store in my size. Two of them fit. He left me to decide while he answered the phone. I thought about it and decided to just buy them both.

Why on earth are my feet suddenly so wide??? Ever since my pregnancy with Kaylin, I've had a hard time fitting into shoes, but I've at least been able to buy the wide ones at regular stores. I can't even fit into my normal size of Crocs anymore. I have to size up!

So tomorrow I will shovel manure in a brand new pair of $100 athletic shoes. Stupid fat feet!

neighbors, ugh

I whine continually about the neighbor kids. Now the OTHER neighbor has her 8 and 6-yr-old nephews staying with her for a month or so this summer. Our yard is bigger and has MUCH less landscaping, so it has become the neighborhood baseball field. Logan is THRILLED with these bigger, better baseball boys and would play ball with them from dawn to dusk. The 6-yr-old is only 6 months older than Logan, but he's a baseball superstar. The kid is seriously good. The usual lineup is 6-yr-old batting, 8-yr-old pitching and Logan retrieving the hit balls from the disgusting weedy woods barrier between the road and golf course. The boys are nice and fair- they pitch to Logan and are patient with his um, suckfulness :)

I'd actually be thrilled with their visit and all the baseball practice Logan's getting if it wasn't for the OTHER neighbor boys! (Kaylin and the girl happily stay out of the way.) I'm spending pretty much ALL of my evenings outside making sure Little Boy (just turned 3) and Baby Boy (just turned 1) don't get whacked with bats or balls. The little guys think Logan's pretty cool, but the baseball boys are AWESOME!!!! They totally gravitate to the baseball boys. The big boys aren't quite old enough to REALLY watch the little boys and the little boys definitely aren't old enough to understand to stay away from the batter. So I sit outside and distract the little boys and set up the plastic tee a million times so they can hit plastic balls and stay out of danger.

You might wonder why on earth I'm babysitting the little neighbor kids? I'm not, really. Their mom is usually over. She is just too stupid to keep both boys distracted at once so she usually watches the baby while I holler at the 3-yr-old to stay out of the way. The mom was playing with the baby in the "outfield" last night and got hit by one batted ball and had a couple of near misses before she FINALLY got the hint and moved to a different area of the yard. The woman is a dingbat!

Yesterday I was out running errands and Gene wanted to mow the backyard. The big boys were playing ball in front. BOTH little neighbor boys came over with mom nowhere in sight. Gene finally grabbed the baby and walked right into their house and asked the mom to please keep them home until he was done mowing because there was no way he could watch them. Can you imagine allowing your one-yr-old outside to play unsupervised with his THREE-yr-old brother??? We live on a very quiet street, but COME ON!!! My kids have been begging for an inflatable pool bigger than their small plastic baby one. Absolutely Not. Unless we lock our gate I would NEVER trust these neighbor parents. We will have no pool that can't be dumped immediately after each use!!!

Anyway, that's what I've been up to this week. (Sorry for not calling Mom, but I've been distracted and then think to call at 5:30 AM.)

We took the kids to the HOI Fair yesterday. It gets lamer and more boring every year. We somehow managed to spend FIVE HOURS though. Even the kids were ready to leave! I think being forced to watch the Rainbo Cloggers while we ate dinner kind of threw us all over the edge :) We were FINALLY done with rides and exhibits and farm animals. I promised the kids a bag of cotton candy and we had to walk a little to get it. It was the last thing we did before we left. Who do you think we bumped into on our little walk???? You guessed it! The neighbors! We never talk to them about what we're doing but we apparently ALWAYS do the same thing at the same time!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

inspection finally over

When I walked into work yesterday morning there was a note that said "Morning meeting at 9:30." We figured the boss was with the inspectors and that she'd be done and give us an update. At 8:40 she called over the radio and said we were meeting NOW. The inspectors had already come and gone! The inspection was over!!!

The boss went over all their comments and everything seems positive that we'll pass. We won't find out until the national meeting in September, but passing is a HUGE, HUGE deal. It is tough for an old zoo like ours that is in need of so many updates.

I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my life. Two months of daily backbreaking work, going in early, skipping breaks, staying late, go, go, go to get as much done as possible. Weeds never stop growing, spiders never stop making webs, animals never stop pooping and making messes. The rain never stopped during May and June! I stopped phoning and emailing everyone. I was too tired to do anything that wasn't an obligation. I slept poorly and all but stopped running. If we pass it was worth it. If we don't pass I know I did everything "I" possibly could.

After the meeting, the boss left for a very deserved long weekend and the rest of us breathed a huge sigh of relief. The sky was blue and it was a beautiful day to be working outside. My intern laughed at me all day because I was so happy. She made a comment about how slowly I was driving the Gator from place to place when previously I had been driving so fast. We poked around and made enrichment for all the animals on my string and watched them play with it. I spent more than an hour pulling shedding hair off the camel. It was a wonderful day! The rest of the week should be just as calm and easy. I wasn't even tired at swimming lessons last night!

Well, guess I'll go run!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

helicopter parents

Quickly- the inspection is over! Actually, the two inspectors will be back briefly today, but it will be total coincidence if I even see them. Woohoo, we're done :D

I went to Logan's tee-ball game last night. Tee-ball is for 5 and 6-yr-olds who have little or no baseball experience. While some kids are slightly better, NOBODY is particularly good. No score is kept, kids swing until they hit, one base per hit, an inning is over when every kid has batted. The kids herd to the ball and they make hilarious plays and the parents laugh. Most parents cheer for everyone and maybe especially cheer for their own kid when they hit or catch a ball. Trey's mother needed to have her butt kicked and her mouth duct taped shut!

It was pretty obvious Trey was an only child. His mother wanted him to be a tee-ball superstar. Unfortunately, he was just like all the other kids. Crazy mom walked around nonstop, hollering at Trey to watch the batter and keep his eye on the ball. Every. single. batter. Every. single. swing. I already wanted to smack this woman upside the head when Trey made a horrible play. The ball was hit, Trey fielded it and then while his mother was SCREAMING at him to throw it to first, Trey threw it at the runner instead. The parents laughed goodheartedly and immediately forgot about it as the next batter was up. Trey burst into tears and ran off the field. His mom AND dad rushed over to comfort their little pumpkin. Trey cried and cried. THEN, his mom started walking around to all the parents, chewing us out because WE LAUGHED AT TREY and now he was afraid of being laughed at and refused to go back out onto the field. If WE weren't sooooooo inconsiderate he'd be playing. Trey's already on medication and he doesn't need this!!!! She chewed us out THREE separate times while Trey threw a fit and got tons of attention from his parents and coaches.

Ummm... SERIOUSLY, Mom????? Are you seriously laying blame on the other parents for your insanity? Do you think Trey even noticed our giggling? I doubt it! He probably knew he did something "terrible" and was going to get endlessly lectured about it later. He probably knew from YOUR SCREAMING how upset you were with his mistake! I can't begin to imagine why this poor child is on medication!!! Probably because YOU make him a nervous wreck and then coddle his ridiculous baby behavior!

The kid cried for 10-15 minutes, getting attention the entire time. Over a silly mistake in a game without a score. Wow. This kid is doomed and his crazy mom will continue to run around and blame everyone in sight for what she is OBVIOUSLY responsible for. Wow. Hopefully MOM will get some medication and back off the poor kid!!!

Thankfully, Logan noticed none of this and had a great time playing ball!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Wooooohooooooooo!!! Other than going in for an hour or so to touch up some last second tiger house paint on Monday, I'm done with pre-inspection preparation! Finally!!!! The tortoise still isn't moving around much, but he's eating so I'm happy with his progress.

We tried Kaylin's Mentos geyser. It was AMAZING!!! You screw a plastic tube onto a bottle of diet soda and fill the tube with seven mint Mentos. You pull the pin on the tube, the Mentos fall into the soda and within about 5 seconds the soda is shooting all over the place. Hilarious!!! Three-quarters of the bottle shot out. My cheap butt cringed at paying $6 for a silly plastic tube, but it was TOTALLY worth it! Anyone know where I can find more mint flavored Mentos?

One day last week I was picking Kaylin up from camp. The counselor watched as she ran over from the sandbox and said "Wow. Your daughter sure has a talent for getting filthy." I replied "Yes, she gets that from me." The counselor glanced at my muddy legs and zoo uniform (I WASH my hands and arms) and started laughing. A proud Mommy Moment for sure!

Gene took the kids to fireworks in Chillicothe to avoid the horrible Peoria riverfront crowd. I was so tired I skipped fireworks and was sleeping before they even left. It turned out to be a good show and the kids had a great time playing in the park beforehand. The next morning Logan went onandonandon about how they didn't get home until (gasp) AFTER 10:30!!!! For the kid who happily leaves his friends and willingly comes inside at 8pm to go to bed that was quite extraordinary.

Well, I haven't run all week because I was too worn out from work. That's over so I better get out there!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

weed pulling maniac

For some reason, only my right appendages are covered in poison ivy... Huh. Our big inspection is on Tuesday and I've spent my week madly pulling billions of weeds. I was very lucky and my pre-assigned time with a wonderful summer intern included this week. I was able to have her do a lot of my usual barn cleaning so I could concentrate on raking and weeding and trimming my yards. I've gotten a ton of work done, but have completely exhausted myself. I just have to get through today and it's my weekend! Next week will be a cakewalk! I'm not going to pull one weed next week. And I'm not going to paint ANYTHING for many, many months :)

I'm pretty used to the work so other than a little stiffness in my back I haven't been sore or in pain. Then Thursday I had to restrain an emu for a veterinary physical. Not fun. The vet needed a blood sample but every time he tried to draw blood the bird jerked her wing away. It took FOREVER and I was more or less lying on top of the bird, trying to keep her still. I don't know what muscles I used during that restraint, but they must have been ones I normally don't overwork! My upper arms still hurt and my legs hurt so much that night I could hardly sleep. The goofy male emu who normally is MUCH harder just stood for his vaccines and blood draw without ANY restraint. Thank goodness!!!

On Monday, Gene was running late from work so I took the kids in to swimming lessons while he sat in the car and ate. I normally sit by Kaylin's lesson and Gene sits by Logan's. I figured I better sit by Logan's since he can get pretty wild while the instructor's working with the other boys. There are only three kids (all boys) in Logan's class. I was talking with the other moms and told them I normally watch my daughter's class because Logan makes me so nervous I just want to constantly yell at him to not drink the water so he doesn't puke. They were laughing at my horror stories of last year's swimming lesson vomiting when he pulled himself up to the side of the pool and yakked all over the place. He then stepped back into the pool while I was screaming "Get out! Get out!" Fortunately, he made it back to the side before he spewed again. He got a tiny bit into the gutter and his instructor thought they'd have to clear the pool, but the manager ran over and said the gutter puke would immediately enter the filtration system so it was ok. Phew! This was just at the moment Gene walked in. Gene took him to the locker room. Logan puked again on the way and then again (thankfully in the toilet) inside. The manager who had to clean the carnage was the same one from last year's two incidents. I'm afraid we're going to end up banned from this pool!

Poor kid was pretty miserable that night. He somehow got puke in his nose and sinuses and spent the evening blowing it out. Other than that he was completely fine. He ate again and was perfect the next morning. Next year he'll be in the "big kid" class that doesn't meet on the stairs. Hopefully since he won't be able to jump in a bazillion times he won't ingest so much water!!! Otherwise, I don't have a clue how to get him to stop drinking the pool water!

Wednesday was the final lesson of the session so the kids got to spend most of their time going down the large slides. Logan and his friend went down several times, always racing each other and hitting the bottom at the same time. Every time Logan would yell "Yeah, baby!" or "That was awesome, baby!" to his friend. It was pretty hilarious. No idea where he picked up the "baby" thing?