Friday, November 27, 2009
I'm really excited for Christmas! We watched the parade yesterday and Spencer really seemed into Santa Claus- not wailing and turning unworldly shades of red while hiding her face. So I'm taking that as a positive thing :) I've started a little of my decorating outside, a few Christmas trees and such. It takes such a long time to run all the extension cords and make sure everything is safe and secure. Once all that is done, the outdoors setup is pretty easy.
Tomorrow we're going to the PGPs for Thanksgiving with them. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on some of my school work that MUST get done this week! I'm in full on avoidance, Scarlett O'Hara, mode where that's concerned right now- I'll think about it tomorrow.
I hope everyone had a lovely Holiday and you have a great weekend.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tomorrow night we're going home to my parents house and spending the night with them. Thursday is Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's followed by a long nap- hopefully. I don't participate in Black Friday- do ya'll? So that's what's new with me, not much.
Friday, November 20, 2009
So if any of you bloggers are 65+ and wouldn't mind me asking you a few questions, please let me know! Or if you know of anyone that might be interested or willing to help, that would be great, too. I'll just email you the 15 questions and you can fill your answers in there and send it back to me. My topic is on the evolving perception and role of the mother.
Thank you SO much :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This week's Show Us How You Live blog hop is about our pets. Technically, I'm the current owner of two dogs, but in reality, it's just one. But I consider all of my parents pets as mine too, because they were all there when I was growing up and were our family dogs. (I think leaving them was the one of the hardest parts about leaving home, ha!) But I am the owner of my old gal Josie, I rescued her when I was 16.
It's still a bone of contention with everyone in my family, because they don't believe my story of how I found Josie, but it's the truth! I was driving my friend home from cheerleading practice, I pulled into her driveway and she got out. She stood there for a moment with car door open, and all of a sudden this little bundle of fur jumped in and started licking my face. She had no collar and was so sweet, so sweet.
I took her home and my parents were like, Nope, No WAY, NOT Going To Happen! You see, just a few months before I found a crate of puppies someone dropped off on the side of the ride and I brought all them, too. And it took a few weeks to find homes for all eight of them. So they were not looking to take in another stray dog. We hung up signs all around the neighborhood and posted an ad on the public access channel, but no one knew anything about her. Which turns out to be a good thing, since after we took her to the vet a week later, he told us that she's been abused. Two of her ribs were broken by someone kicking her and she'd pee on the floor whenever a man would walk by her. My parents felt so bad after hearing that, and they we'd could keep her.
I love my Josie, but she has some quirks to her! She can't stand feet, probably because of being kicked, and if you put your feet near her she runs away. Josie also doesn't know how to play. The vet said if a dog isn't exposed to playing activity when they are young, they often don't understand it when they're older. Every time we'd try and play with Josie, she'd look at as like we were torturing her. Later, when more dogs came along, she'd watch them play and try to mimic them, but we could tell she had no clue why she was shaking a stuffed animal or bringing us back a ball.
Josie is now about 13 years old and very set in her ways. I would have loved to bring her with me, but my dad grew especially attached to her when I was in college and Josie got very used to the other dogs. Whenever one of them as to leave the house for grooming or a vet appointment, they sit at the door and cry for them until they come home. So I knew I couldn't take Josie with me, it just wouldn't have been fair to her. Thankfully, we only live about about three miles away, so I get to see her all time. But it's not the same, and I miss her.
**More Show You How I Live Posts**
Monday, November 16, 2009
It's my all time favorite book and I can read it over and over again. I've also never seen the movie because, to me, the book is perfect just as it is. My dad gave me his first edition copy when I was in the 6th grade. I started reading it that night and every spare minute I had went to finishing it. This was the book that first made me want to be a lawyer, specifically a pro bono civil rights lawyer; before that I was going to be a doctor just like my father. I know it's technically a book for younger students, but I don't care- I love it, and it really changed the direction of my life.
And the Rest of My Favorites
The rest of these are in no particular order, but see if you can match them to the above descriptors!
Pride and Prejudice
Some of my favorite quotes are from this book.
It was the book that made me fall in love with all things old that have a story behind them. It also has the most wonderful take on Southern women and the rules we're supposed to follow.
Gone With the Wind
I first saw the movie when I was in the fourth grade and I made my mom take me to the book store that night so I (she) could but it for me. It took me six months to finish it- not because it was a slow read or anything, it's just that Gone With the Wind has 1037 pages and I was only 10 years old. I've read it many times since then and I still keep hoping that when I get the last pages that the ending will be different...
I thought I was going to hate The Red Tent when it was assigned to me in my Discovering the Goddess class during my Senior year at WM, but I was so wrong! I couldn't put the book down and I was profoundly sad when I finished reading it, because it was over, and I just didn't want the book to ever end. I've also listened to it a few times on CD and the lady reading the story has the most wonderful, soothing voice.
This book will make you smarter while also forcing you to realize that you really don't know anything at all when compared to the amount of information that's out there. The guy that wrote this, also wrote the book The Year of Living Biblically, where he spent an entire year following every single rule in the Bible, including the arcane ones like stoning adulterers, not wearing mixed fiber clothing, and not shaving his facial hair!
And that's a wrap on my favorite books, but I'd love to hear which books are ya'll's favorites. I', always looking for new books to read and finding new things to learn.
Does your mom read your blog?
No! She knows I have one, but that's it. She doesn't have the address and even if she did, she still wouldn't read it. I just don't think I could be really open and honest if I knew mu mom was reading. Not because I'm hiding anything from her, we speak every day, but there's something different about her reading my written words- it reminds me of all the times she read my diaries/journals in my youth (and then all the subsequent groundings). It took me almost a year of blogging before I even let many of my IRL friends know about this blog. It may sound strange, but I'm much more comfortable with strangers reading my site than people I actually know.
Is Spencer's father around or in the picture?
Um, I don't like to write about him for a variety of reasons- this blog is about our life (mine and Spencer's) and I just don't feel comfortable writing about him in a public manner. So this may have given the impression that he's not in our lives at all. But he's "around" sometimes. She usually sees him when we visit her grandparents.
What kind of camera and lenses do you have?
My camera is Canon Rebel XTi and I shoot with the lens that came with the camera and also a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.
What photo editor do you use?
I mostly use Photoshop, but sometimes Picnik comes in handy for small fixes that are more difficult to correct in PS. When I first got my camera I bought Photoshop Elements 6 and learned on that program. For any beginners and self-teachers, I recommend that you start off with a PS Elements program rather than the full blown Creative Suite PS. It's much easier to learn on, has more automatic features, and is relatively inexpensive. I compare it to cameras- your first camera is always a point and shoot. If you like taking pictures, you learn as much as you can from that one before deciding to buy an SLR.
I used PS Elements 6 for about a year and then decided it was time for an upgrade. There was no way I could afford to buy a new PS CS4, but I found a used older version on Craigslist and became the proud owner of Photpshop CS3 for only $75. (And I made sure that it wasn't a pirated version before I bought it, it was the actual purchased program.) I really love the CS3, but if I had bought it first, I would have had no idea what was going on or what to do.
How do you financially support Spencer?
This is a long one, so prepare yourself!
With a lot of help from my parents. We live in my Mema's old house, which is now technically my mom's, so that means I don't have a rent or mortgage payment. I have Etsy and Ebay stores and make money that way. I also do some odd jobs, like photo sessions for people, pet sit, house sit, and do research work for a small newspaper. I'm lucky in that I used to have the Life of Riley and was able to accumulate a lot stuff (combined with the fact that I'm a pack rat, borderline hoarder) that was worth a fair amount of money. When I'm in a pinch I just sell of my belongings! I used to have multiple Coach, Kate Spade, and Dooney bags, plus some Guccis that I picked up in at an outlet in Italy. Now I just have one of each and none of the Gucci bags. Plus I had many ball gowns, size 4 Lilly dresses, sunglasses, and an impressive collection of watches. Most of that is all gone now, I only have one pair of shades, two formal gowns (that I will never wear again, but still can't part with), and my red D&G watch that I bought at the outlet in Italy. But don't worry, I'll never run out of things to sell, I haven't even touched my shoe, coat, or other jewelry collection! So all of that was able to give me quite a nice chunk of change, which has definitely come in handy.
I'd say that a lot of how I manage to stay fiscally afloat is due to spending sacrifices. Gone are the days of hair cuts and colors every 6 weeks, pedicures twice a month, sprees at Target and Sephora, hard back books, and going to the movie theater. I would never say that I do without, because there are certainly so many people out there that actually Do Without, but I do with a whole less than I once did! I now borrow books or buy them used, go to the thrift store, use a ton of coupons, paint my own toe nails and use hair color from a box, watch movies at someone else's house, eat Spencer's leftovers, and wear the same outfits over and over again, Basically, I used to be a Someone Else Do It For Me and I'll Pay You type of person. Now, I'm mostly a Do It Myself or Maybe Not at All type of person.
But in all honesty, it's because of my parents that I can give Spencer this life. I would never have been able to do without them. In the beginning they paid for everything regarding Spencer, from diapers, to organic food, to BPA free bottles. We lived with them for a year and I had a roof over my head, free meals, and access to all the OnDemand movies I could watch! Now, I buy everything Spencer needs and pay many of our bills, but they still pay for her very expensive health insurance and a few other things when I can't swing it all by myself. Let's just say I've racked up a pretty impressive IOU with them!
So how do I support Spencer? Frugal living, selling my worldly possessions, Etsy and Ebay, odd jobs, wise spending choices, and a lot of help from my parents.
How do you pronounce Mema and Papa?
Mee Maw and Paw Paw
I'm also a makeup junkie, Sephora loving kinda girl. What are your favorite must haves essentials?
I'm fairly certain that I could easily spend thousands of dollars in 30 minutes at my personal Mecca, Sephora. I want everything in there! But it's also quite pricey, so I never go anymore unless I'm armed with a gift certificate. For my birthday this year, both my aunt and Spencer's PGPs gave me Sephora gift cards and I got to do some shopping!
One of things I love about that store is their return policy- you can bring anything back, even if it's been used, if you don't like it and exchange it for something else. I've never actually done it, but I find it comforting to know I can, haha!
Okay, so my favorite must have essential items are: Fiberwig Mascara in black, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Blunt (but Baked is a really good summer color), NARS blush in Orgasm, MAC Fluidline Eyeliner in Blacktrack (but you can't buy MAC at Sephora), and Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash cleanser and exfoliator. Those are my have to haves, or really want to haves! I don't usually wear foundation because my skin doesn't need it all that much, but when I do wear, my favorite is Smashbox's High Definition Foundation in Fair 01. I also really like MAC's Fix Powder, but I brush it on because it can look a little heavy (which is great for bad skin days).
So that's it for round one, if I haven't gotten to your question. don't fret, I will get Part Two out very shortly!
Friday, November 13, 2009
So that's it! Let me know which ones you like and which ones you don't like! This one here below is not in the running for her Christmas Dress, but I thought it would be really cute for Christmas day, since it's not as formal. What do you think of that?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We're in the second day of heavy rain and huge gusts of wind. My front yard is flooded and I'm just waiting for the power to go out. The weatherman said that if it were a little bit colder, we'd be digging ourselves out of snow for the rest of the month! Everything is closed, the price gouging laws have gone into effect, and the Governor has declared us in a State of Emergency.
So we're basically just hunkering down here. Spencer is a wild woman, this being her second day of complete indoor isolation. It's hard to wear out a two year old when you're cooped up inside all day long. And it's not supposed to let up until Saturday, so I'm sure tomorrow is going to be really, um... special. I did make sure to get out all my candles, the big flashlight, some batteries, and I charged the battery run generator- just in case the power does out. I'm assuming it will, because the wind is howling and there are already 30,000 Richmonders without power.
To be honest, I didn't even know it was possible for a nor'easter to occur in the south- you learn something every day!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Spencer has been going through a very verbal phase recently- she basically repeats everything she hears and is retaining about 50% of that. Which is both good and bad- good that her vocab is growing but bad that she's adding some things to it I wish she wouldn't. So here's a smattering of her current favorite phrases.
- Oh. My. Go Shhhhhhh.
- No No No No No. (And she always says 5 of them in a row)
- It's MINE, not yours
- Stop. Stay right there!
- Help- I'm stuck.
Monday, November 9, 2009
When Spencer gets mad at me or wants my attention, she calls me Katie.
And every single time she says it I crack up and try to not let her see how she's charmed me. You see, I've called my mom by her first name ever since college. I still call her mom, but I use her first name frequently- which she hates. I don't do it out of disrespect, just habit. My freshman year of college, as everyone was getting to know each other, many of us started using our parents' first names when talking about them with each other. It was just easier and less confusing. And then somehow I began calling my mom her first name in front of her.
Each time I said it aloud, she would look at me and say something to the effect of one day my (then future) daughter would call me Katie and then I'd understand why she was mad at me. So of course the second Spencer called me Katie, I immediately called my mom at work to tell her all about it. I don't think she was as amused about it as I was- but did give me the obligatory chuckle, before telling me I was going to be that weird mom who let her daughter call her by her first name.
And no, I'm not going to "let" Spence call me Katie. I didn't call my mom "insert her name here" until I was 19 and I didn't do it in front of her until I was 21 or 22 and I definitely don't do it in front of my dad, because he gets VERY mad. But I can't help it, Spencer makes me laugh when she does things my mom warned me would one day happen. And of course I don't respond to her when she calls me Katie and I bury my head in the closest thing I can find, lest she see me trying to hide the upturning of my mouth and think it's a smile!
Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing at such a young age and what did you do about it?