Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Boys’ Room

Our house only has three bedrooms, so when we decided to expand our brood, we knew somebody would be sharing a bedroom. It actually works out great that the new baby is a boy, since Grayson, at 3, could really care less whether or not he shares a room. Abby on the other hand, at 7, values her privacy. Or at least values being able to lock herself and her toys in her room so that grubby little brother hands can’t get to them. Either way, sharing a room with an infant would probably have led to lots of drama on her part.

Part of the way we sold the whole room sharing thing was to tell the kids that whoever had to share a room would get new bunk beds. Grayson was really excited to trade in his full bed for bunk beds. And he was all for sleeping in the top bunk until the bunk beds were actually in the room, and then he decided he liked the bottom bunk just fine. And that is quite all right with me. I prefer not to deal with a busted head or any broken bones from falling off the top bunk for a few more years.

Other than the bed switcheroo, not a whole lot else has changed in the room.

Here's what it looked like before, at least the bed…

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And here’s what it looks like now…

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The bunks…Is there some trick to making bunk beds that I’m not privy to? Right now no one is allowed on the top bunk because there is no way this pregnant belly will allow me to get up there to change those sheets. Changing the bottom ones are hard enough. I welcome any and all tips.

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And the crib

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And a close-up of my boys’ art… I hope they love sharing a room! Or at least tolerate it well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is



I’ve posted this before, but you know what? It’s no less true today than it was last year, or the year before, or the very first Easter. Do you know Him?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

American Idol, Top 7

Well, I’m bummed. Paul is gone. But wait, he’s not! He’s on stage singing Pink’s “So What” with the eliminated girls. WHAT? That was horrible. Bad. HORRIBLY BAD. If anyone questioned why these people were voted out, well, I think you have your answer. Except Paul. In what alternate universe would he ever be doing a cover of a Pink song? That is a prime example of why American Idol was not for him. He shouldn’t be singing covers, he should be in a band. I never expected him to win, but I thought he should have outlasted some of the others. Cough, Stefano, cough.

The theme of the night is 21st century songs. I run the risk of not knowing some of these songs, because, let’s face it, I’m not really up on current music. If they haven’t done it on Glee, chances are good that I haven’t heard of it.

Scotty McCreery - “Swingin’” – Swingin’? Really? That is soooo not a 21st century song! I’m calling foul! You have 11 whole years worth of songs to pick from and you pick a 80’s John Anderson tune? I don’t care if LeAnn Rimes did cover it…it was a cover and that is an 80’s song, not a 21st century song. And not even a good 80’s song. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

James Durbin - “Uprising” – I’ll admit that I don’t know a great deal about Muse, but I have heard this song before, and James sounded a lot like the lead singer until he started screeching at the end. And he kept the 80’s throwback alive by dressing a little like Mad Max! The drummers were a nice touch, and I have a feeling this performance was WAY better live than it translated on TV. And it was pretty good on TV.

Haley Reinhart - “Rolling in the Deep” – Okay, so, I liked it. I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a Haley fan just yet… I think the other contestants calling her out on the growling and flailing arms was great… but this was a solid performance. Any Adele song would’ve been a great choice for her, and she looked really cute in the red dress. AND she doesn’t like Stefano much either, so I might transform into a Haley fan yet!

Jacob Lusk - “Dance with My Father” - Okay, so, I didn’t like it. I am apparently in that alternate universe where Paul McDonald would cover a Pink song. I liked Haley, and I didn’t like Jacob. I think some people were under the mistaken impression that he was choked up at the beginning of the song. He was not, somebody flubbed up. Be it him losing the melody or the band screwing up…something went wrong. I don’t really think he did himself any favors by blaming the sound people at the end of the performance. It might have been their fault, but it made it seem like he was trying to save face by throwing somebody else under the bus. Never attractive.

Casey Abrams - “Harder to Breathe” – I heart Maroon 5. I heart this song. I loved the skat in the middle of it. I loved that the background singers were in total sync. I loved Ryan in the Amish beard. Hands down, my favorite performance of the night. I just love Casey. Like Paul, I don’t really expect him to win. But I sure hope he takes advantage of the opportunities that this will open up for him.

Stefano Lagone - “Closer” – Well, that stunk. Randy hit the nail on the head when he said it was jerky and karaoke, but then he took it back. Clearly, all the judges were still on a high after Casey’s performance, and their ears just weren’t processing well. Surely, Stefano’s time to go is drawing near. Surely.

Lauren Alaina - “Born to Fly” - This was just okay for me. I thought she sang it really well, but to be honest, she’s kind of turning into another Pia for me. We all know she can sing, but she doesn’t really seem to be progressing much as a performer. With Haley clearly trying to improve her game, I think Lauren needs to step it up a bit. She seems to get more timid every week, instead of the other way around.

For me, the bottom three would be Scotty, Jacob and Stefano. Although, I am under no illusion that Scotty will be in the bottom three anytime soon. Apparently young girls find the whole off-balance thing he has going on an attractive trait. Who knows? Haley will probably round out the bottom three, even though she truly doesn’t deserve it this time.

Stefano would be my clear choice to send packing this week. Without a doubt.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

American Idol, Top 8

Movie night! Another great, wide-open theme! And I am pleased to report that no one sang any song from The Bodyguard soundtrack. So, that in itself is a huge success!

Paul McDonald - “Old Time Rock & Roll” – I’m going to be hard on Paul. I love Bob Seger, but I did not love Paul singing Bob Seger. I did, however, love the suit. I’m afraid this song choice coupled with the death blow of going first might land him in the bottom three. I hope he survives because he is better than that.

Lauren Alaina - “The Climb” – I cannot express how much I hate this song. There are just no words. I am sooooo not a Miley Cyrus fan. I thought Lauren’s performance was better than the original. That is not saying much. I did think it was great that Ryan called her mom out on the big hair. ‘Cause Momma had some big hair going on.

Stefano Lagone - “End of the Road” – No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I love Boyz II Men. So, excuse me while I stereotype just a bit. That song requires a soulful flare, not a salsa flare. Please, please let this be the end of the road for Stefano. And please tell me wearing high-tops with no laces is not coming back in style.

Sidenote: Do the judges’ pay get docked if they give any actual criticism this season?

Scotty McCreery – “I Cross My Heart” – Believe it or not, I have actually seen George Strait in concert. There were some dark years in college when I listened to some country music. I hope this doesn’t diminish my street cred any. Anyway, I cannot watch Scotty perform, with the leaning to the side and singing out of the side of his mouth and holding his mic to the side. It’s all just too much. And that steel guitar was just too much as well.

Sidenote: What was up with the background singers?? They are supposed to be IN THE BACKGROUND. Not drowning out the lead singers.

Casey Abrams - “Nature Boy” – I have to say I would’ve LOVED to hear him do Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”, but I admire him for sticking to his guns. And I really liked the bluesy, jazzy feel of this, with the bass and the piano and the bongos. I think it was very true to who Casey is, and that’s what I love about Casey. He is who he is, and he’s not about to change for American Idol.

Haley Reinhart - “Call Me” – I know the words of this song by heart, and I still couldn’t tell what words were coming out of her mouth. This song was way too big for her. And, need I mention the growling again? Because it was still there, and I still did not like it.

Jacob Lusk - “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Thank you, Jimmy Iovine, for convincing Jacob to do this song. The gospel vibe of this song was perfect for him. I am no longer going to apologize for liking Jacob. I just do. And that note at the end? I got chills. Beautiful.

James Durbin - “Heavy Metal” – I think James got knocked down a few notches in his session with Jimmy Iovine. That arrogance was what made me dislike him in the early stages of this competition. Why was he the only one to get a special guest guitarist? Not that many people watching AI will probably know who Zakk Wylde is, but still. And let me just clarify something… while J.Lo. may disagree, Sammy Hagar is so NOT heavy metal. So. Not. Heavy. Metal. With that cleared up, he sang this rock song well, but I have a feeling if Simon were still a judge, he would call it indulgent. And he would be right.

So, my bottom three would be Stefano, Haley and as much as it pains me, Paul. I only put Paul in that group because he went first and he should have chosen a better song. Let this be a lesson to you, Paul.

Haley or Stefano should go home, and I really don’t care which one it is.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Was THAT Woman

It’s been quite a wild past few days in our house. Not that it’s ever really calm around here, but it’s been crazy even for us. Saturday afternoon, Burge discovered water running out from under our outside cellar door, only to open it and find our cellar floor covered in about 2 inches of water. Hello, busted water heater!

Sunday is a bit of a blur, partly because it was so jam-packed with activities and partly because of the ice cold morning shower that I had to take that completely shut down my brain. I drew the line at washing my hair in cold water. Fortunately, I had my hair cut and colored on Saturday, and since I am very much okay with second day hair, I went with it.

Thankfully, we were able to have a new water heater installed on Monday afternoon. Monday nights are usually my weekly grocery store runs because for some reason, after the weekend we are normally out of milk and bread. Well, last night there were some bad storms predicted for our area, and I didn’t really relish the thought of loading my groceries in the car during a thunderstorm. So, after I picked Abby up from school and the new water heater was installed, I decided I would take both kids with me on the grocery run. I also decided to stop in K-Mart to peruse the clearance toys that are 50% off this week. With both kids. By myself.

On the plus side, the kids picked out several birthday and Christmas gifts for themselves that I really hope they forget about by the time their birthdays and Christmas roll around. On the downside, by the time we actually made it to the grocery store, the adrenaline of picking out new toys that they couldn’t immediately play with had worn off and they were cranky and hungry, and their pregnant mama was cranky and hungry. And, let’s keep in mind that I had not had a shower yet, because silly me, I like some at least warm water, and was now on three day hair, which I am not nearly as okay with as second day hair, and no make-up.

And to just get a complete picture of what we really looked like, Abby was still in her school clothes that were not exactly clean, and Grayson had on play shorts, a t-shirt and knee-high Spiderman slipper socks, pulled all the way to his knees, with his ratty play shoes on. There are just some battles not worth fighting, am I right? The Spiderman slipper socks fell into this category. Anyway, we were a motley crew to say the least.

So, we hurried our way through the grocery store and our list, only to be held up at the checkout with a wrong price. Now, I don’t care how hungry and cranky we are, nobody’s going to overcharge me five dollars without an argument. That is a battle worth fighting.

By the time we got back in the car to finally head home, we were well overdue for supper, and all three of us were exhausted. It was only then that I happened to glance down and notice that I had a big old stain on my shirt too. I just sighed as I realized… you know that white trash pregnant woman with umpteen kids who hasn’t brushed her hair and has on ratty, stained clothes that you see in your grocery store? The ones that wind up on that People of Wal-Mart website? Yeah, I was her. Sigh. Oh, well. There’s always tomorrow.

Friday, April 8, 2011

28 Weeks

This is what it was like trying to get a picture for this post…

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And finally…

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But, he’s the best distraction ever.

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 28 Weeks

Size of baby: 2 and a quarter pounds and 14.8 inches long. Finn is the size of a Chinese cabbage, although I really have no idea what a Chinese cabbage looks like, much less how big it is.

Maternity Clothes: Have you seen me lately?? I am sooooo pregnant. So, yes, except for stretchy pants and t-shirts.

Gender: Boy! John Finley Lane, AKA Finn

Movement: Plenty. The doctor had a hard time getting a good read on his heartbeat at my appointment this week because he keep moving away from him!

Sleep: My only issue with sleep right now is that when I have to get up to go to the bathroom, I have a super hard time going back to sleep, which makes for some long nights and even longer days.

What I miss: Being able to adequately tie my shoes. Thank goodness for warmer weather and flip-flops!

Cravings: I don’t have cravings so much anymore. But Pop Ices are a big hit with me right now, and there’s been nothing that’s tasted better than a tall glass of cold sweet tea this week. Thankfully, I passed my glucose test at the last doctor’s appointment, so I can still enjoy my sweet tea!

Symptoms: I’ve felt pretty good these last few weeks. I hope that will hang on for a few more weeks!

Best moment of the week: Finishing the boys’ room (more on that later), and getting a little better idea of when we will get to meet our little Finn (more on that later too!).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

American Idol, Top 9

Or “The One Where I Have No One to Pick On Because Naima is Gone”. The theme was “Famous Rock and Roll Songs” or “Famous Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” or something to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was never really clear to be quite honest. But, whatever it was, it seemed like a wide open category, and I like those. Will. I. Am was the guest mentor, and surprisingly, dude is pretty funny. As opposed to Jimmy Iovine, who is not funny at all. It was an interesting juxtaposition, those two.

Jacob Lusk - “Man in the Mirror” – I know I’m in the minority here, but I like Jacob more and more every week. He seems to have better control every time he performs. I thought this was an awesome song choice, and I loved the way he didn’t over-sing it. I didn’t really care for his “dancing” though, and I use that term very loosely. About as loose as Jacob’s hips. Oh my.

Hailey Reinhart - “Little Piece of My Heart” – Of all the Janis Joplin songs out there, she had to pick the one that has been remade the most. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was actually pretty good. But I have to say it, the growling! It is getting to me. The difference between Hailey and Janis, other than a lot of years, a lot of drugs and a grave, is that Janis Joplin’s voice just sounded like that, while Hailey has to force it. It can get annoying when it’s natural, but it’s really annoying when it’s forced. She did manage to keep her red lipstick on her lips this time, so yay for her.

Casey Abrams - “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” – I love CCR. I love Casey on the upright bass. I loved this performance. It might have been my favorite song of his. There’s just never much I can say about him because really, how do you expound upon awesome? ‘Cause that’s what he is… AWESOME.

Lauren Alaina – “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman” – Incidentally, a song from The Big Chill. I didn’t care for her Gwen Stefani make-over. Those of us with larger derrieres should not wear bubble shorts. For an Aretha Franklin song that she could have really blown out of the water, she didn’t take it where it could have gone, and that left me a little disappointed.

Sidenote: What was up with Randy’s pleather jacket? Could that even be classified as pleather or was it just straight-up plastic?

James Durbin - “While My Guitar Weeps” – I think I liked this, but to be quite honest, I was so distracted by the light shining through his big ol’ ears that I can’t be sure. Burge said they looked like big red demon eyes on either side of his head. I don't think that was the look he was going for. It was a nice touch that he wore his tail as a scarf and used it to wipe away his tears at the end. In all seriousness, he did a good job, and I think it was a wise move to show a different side where he’s not setting red pianos on fire.

Scott McCreery – “That’s All Right, Mama “ – How much did they pay those girls to swarm him at the end? If only he had had James’s scarf to flick out into the crowd… They really are trying to sell us hard on Scotty. I’m still not buying. He seems to be getting a little cocky, which is never an attractive trait, but then that could’ve just been him channeling Elvis. And please tell me Gwen Stefani did not endorse the denim-on-denim outfit he was sporting.

Pia Toscano - “River Deep, Mountain High” – Not the most flattering outfit. What else can I say about Pia? She sings great, and she finally did a song that wasn’t a ballad. But, there still seems to be something missing with her. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it might have something to do with her totally rehearsed, pageantry performance style.

Stefano Lagone - “When a Man Loves a Woman” – Another Big Chill song… Again, there is something that is not clicking with me and Stefano. I think part of it is the way he speeds up some lyrics and drags out others. That seems to be the way he “makes a song his own”. That is not so creative, just annoying.

Paul McDonald - “Folsom Prison Blues” – Yay! Paul had a great performance AND he got to close out the show. Where Paul has a leg up on the rest of the competition is that he knows how to work a crowd. It’s obvious that he’s been in a band that has had some stage experience before. This was an excellent song choice, and he rocked it. Big surprise here, but he and Casey tied for my favorite performance of the night.

So, my bottom three would be Hailey (I gave her a week off last week), Stefano and Jacob (only because he opened the show and that appears to be the kiss of death). I really thought they were all on a level playing field this week, so it could really be anyone going. But my pick to leave this week would be Stefano.