Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yummy cupcakes

So tonight I went to Swirlz to get cupcakes for my brother's girlfriend's (Kim) birthday. Of course I had to get one for myself!

As I was checking out, I saw they had pupcakes!

Milly heard the bag crinkle and raced over to check out the situation.
The one is a bit blurry because Milly is jumping up to get the pupcake
First she had to chase it around for a bit to make sure that pupcake knew who was boss.

Finally, it was acceptable to eat... and she wolfed it down....
Ahhh, Millsters... a bit spoiled lately. Last week she got ice cream!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook surfing

Do you ever surf around on pictures on Facebook and see pics of people's kids and think "This kid is going to be a Mean Girl just like her mother was in high school/college"?

Nope? Just me then?


On a related aside, I think I need an internet sabbatical.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Millicent the OCD dog

How do people who have had blogs for years remember what they've written about? I feel like some of what I write has to be a repeat and I am nowhere near as prolific as any other blogger.

Have I ever told you how I always sing "Hold me closer, tiny beagle" to the tune of "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John? I am constantly changing up the lyrics. This week it was "Hold me closer, tiny beagle. Please don't drag your nose, you'll huuuuurt it!"

Anyways, this week was a tough Milly week. I think she is (has?) OCD. Is it possible for a dog to be OCD? She touches her nose about a foot from whatever she's playing with, then drags her nose to the thing, touches the item quickly, and repeats ad nausem. This weekend it was a pig ear. She used to play with them for a little, then eat it. But lately she messes with the darn thing for weeks. Oy. So anyways, she hid it between our headboard and mattress, and performed her nose-touch ritual with it. She did it so much that she rubbed her nose raw and it was bleeding! And she didn't stopafter the nose was raw (ow, man, when something HURTS, stop!), so she got blood ALL OVER our bed. All the linens had to be washed. What a pain.

Then on Tuesday I had draped the duvet over a folding table to dry... with part still on the floor because it's huge. Somehow she pulled down the duvet, hid the pig ear under it, and went to town with her nose-touch ritual. Again, blood all over the duvet. I about lost it I was so angry. This time there was so much blood, I wondered how she had any left. She is so tiny! How can that happen and she just keeps on with her little nose ritual?! I guess I should be glad the blood wasn't all over our brand-new carpet.

Maybe loss of blood explains why Milly was nothing short of angelic tonight. She's weirdly intuitive and knows when to give me a break, when I'm at the very end of my rope.... just after I've texted Mike that we're selling her to the gypsies for sure! So after tonight's behavior I suppose we can put off selling her for awhile longer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More organizing!

So after the great closet-clear-out of 2010, I woke up on Saturday morning with an urge to clean OUT and organize! I cleaned out my closet even more, tossing more jackets and cocktail dresses/evening gowns that I wore in 1998 and probably should never wear again. I ended up organizing all the clothes into three piles: one for the Salvation Army, one for my sister, and one for my sister-in-law. Then I cleaned out the guest bedroom and closet and did a little vacuuming. Then I resorted to organizing our two bins of random electronic stuff and cords. I wrapped up all the cords and then twist-tied them into neat little bundles, grouping them by type. Telephone cords here, cable cords here, internet cords there. I will admit, I was on a bit of a tear. Oh and I also cleaned out both cars and did some other tidying up! I was crazy. I need to have productive days like that more often. Somehow I didn't get to some of my other cleaning but oh well.

Then today my friend Em and I went to IKEA (had a nice little suburban day including lunch at Olive Garden with tasty soup, salad, and breadsticks!) and I got a bunch of cute little hooks to hang up stuff in my closet. This one has all my rubber-bandy workout headbands. This reminds me I should work out a little more but also that I don't need any more headbands.
Ooh, scarves on one set of hooks here... and I got some of those individual 3M hooks to hang up my belts on the right.
It's sad how much this organization really makes me happy!!

Also, if you need a headband, I'm probably your girl!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Closet cleaning

Last night I had to give myself a talking-to.

For a long time I've been thinking of instituting a one-in, one-out policy on my closet. There was just so much stuff that I never wore, and I figured that might be a good way of getting rid of some of it. Plus I have stuff in like three different sizes: SuperAprilSkinny, NormalApril, and FatApril.

So this is how the conversation went

Me: Seriously self? You are keeping all these SuperAprilSkinny clothes? You know you're never going to be this size again. I mean, I would ONLY HOPE you never have another wedding to motivate you to both starve yourself AND run 6 miles a day. And that was the ONLY way you fit into all that crap.

Self: I don't know. I mean, I could. I looked SO GOOD in this tank top.

Me: I know, I know. You and that tank top had good times. You walked home from Metro at 3AM together, not stopping for a burrito along the way because of the previously aforementioned diet of egg whites and bud light. But listen. If you WERE to get that skinny again, you know the first thing you'd do is to log onto the Forever21 website and buy new fun clothes that fit your new skinny self. Not dig through the closet and find 4 year old clothes that are out of style.

Self: You're right, you're right. But what about this dress?

Me: You looked awful in that dress THEN and you know it.

Self: Ack. But I want to keep all this junk! What about the business casual stuff?

Me: OK, let's just SAY you get another job that requires business casual at some random point in the future. Do you really want to wear the 3 year old Target sweaters that are too short for current trends?

Self: Probably not.

Me: OK. So let's get rid of some junk. But you can keep the expensive jeans that don't fit anymore... those you might actually want to wear again!

I may have to take some pictures of the more-loved pieces in the pile to remember them by. But I have a feeling the pile is just going to grow - I just started tossing anything I couldn't remember the last time I wore, or wouldn't wear now.

Biggest lesson learned: Don't buy blazers. They don't look good on you, Self!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An afternoon with Gracie

I am consistently amazed by how many pictures I can take of Gracie in such a short span of time. This go-round we were only there for a few hours and I took over 400 pictures! Of course since Gracie is fast-moving and I am still learning on my new camera, I only ended up with about 170 that I wanted to upload. But still, I love them!

Playing with toys with Uncle Jay
This one is a little darker than I'd like, but I love the composition. If the pic had been a little lighter, her baby blues would have really popped out of the picture I think.

Why hello, my lovely booboohead!

For some reason, biting her bear and running towards Uncle Mike

Playing with the tent/tunnel we got her for Christmas.
I love this one. The colors are all super bright, as are her eyes. When the settings are right on this new camera, it really blows your socks off.
Guarding the door during Girls' Time

Gracie ran up to Uncle Mike and put her bear and monkey on his lap. I sat next to him and stole them. She promptly marched up to me, snatched them, gave me a vicious stinkeye and redeposited them back on Uncle Mike's lap. Hilarious!
Mike must look like he knows how to care for a stuffed animal or two.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Baby pics

For Christmas I got a printer/scanner/copier/all in one thing, which I LOVE so far (came in handy scanning the first two pics). So I moved around the shelves in the living room a bit. Before the whole shelf was pretty full with DVDS so we got one big case and put all the DVDs in there. That left the top shelves completely empty, so I needed to add some things. For some nostalgia I busted out some oldies but goodies...

My grandpa gave these to me when my Grandma Stratton passed away. They are turning out to be some of my favorite pictures. I am only a week old in these pictures!! The first one is with my Grandma Stratton (look at that bond already!) and the second is with my parents (HOW young do they look? They were 22 and 23, holy smokes!).

I'm not sure how old Mike is in this one, but hoo boy how cute is he? Adorable...

So that's our new "vintage" decor... I love having these pics of the two of us around as little ones!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Diary of a refinance

Fall 2008 - "Wow, mortgage rates are low! We should refinance!"

Mid December 2008 - Appraiser comes to our house. Spends 15 minutes there. Mike suggests later that we should have given him cash money to butter him up. Oh well.

12/29/2008 - Receive our appraisal. A cardboard box on an empty lot in this neighborhood would go for more. Are outraged.

January 2009 - Is spent arguing with bank regarding appraisal amount. We send neighbors's appraisal, which is MUCH higher for exact same unit. Send comps, which are much higher.

February 2009 - Finally realize that logic is failing when discussing with morons. Shake fist at sky, scream "WHY GOD WHY" and give up.

Summer 2009 - Hear about mythical Obamanomics refinancing aid.

Fall 2009 - Call Wells Fargo. Are told we are not eligible for new refi programs.

One week later - Receive letter from Wells Fargo saying we are eligible. Call again and get that ball rolling.

October 30, 2009 Appraisal #2 of the year. We give guy kit-kats to butter him up. Mike suggests later that we should have given him cash money to butter him up instead. What's with all the good ideas after the fact?

5 days later - Get appraisal back. It is a much better amount, allowing us to move forward with refinance.

November and December - Bug Wells fargo every three days. They slowly make their way through process. Obviously there is someone manually typing up each of the 500 mortgage pages somewhere. AFter that person makes a trip to the forest and physically cuts down the tree and makes the paper from scratch.

December 21 - Get call from Wells. Woman we were working with no longer works there. AWESOME! Rate lock ends on Jan 1st, so we have to close this thing and like NOW.

December 30 - Finally get draft settlement statement, which we have been begging for for a week. It is wrong. Of Course.

New Year's Eve - Dec 31, 2009 - Mobile Notary comes to our condo with correct papers and we sign the refinance papers. Mobile notary is very nice; likes beagles. Relief ensues that we got this done. A bottle of Chateu Coufran is opened. No payment in January and February WOOT!

January 4, 2010 - Wells Fargo takes mortgage payment out of our account for the mortgage we no longer have. *SIGH*

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year's resolutions

New Year's Resolutions
  • Get to work on time. This means prior to 9:00. I am constantly missing the 8:45 train and then have to take the 8:55 which not ONLY has a mean conductor but also puts me in at right after 9. I already messed this one up on Day 2, but am going to make a concerted effort to show up on time!
  • Go to Digital 2 class. And by go, I mean actually sign up for the class and attend it this year
  • Save money. Hit our savings goal for the year that Mike and I set.
Hmmm... that's all I can come up with. I'm not going to make any gym resolutions because I never keep them. Plus the candy one last year was a total failure.

I guess condo-related I could finally get the blind in the hall fixed and paint the toybox/trunk thing we keep the linens in. But that seems hardly fair as a resolution since I've already scheduled the blind consultant guy to come in a couple weeks and have plans to paint the trunk on MLK day when I'm off work.

What are your new year's resolutions?

Monday, January 04, 2010

One more

DSC_0588, originally uploaded by agstratt.

One more Gracie pic! This one she's mealing on some Craisins and hanging with Grandpa Stratton. She definitely has him wrapped around her tiny finger, but I think he also has her wrapped around his! They kind of like each other ;)

Christmas dress

DSC_0667, originally uploaded by agstratt.

Here is Gracie in her fancy Christmas dress. She screamed bloody murder like we were peeling her skin off when we put it on her, but looked so cute! Even though this pic is a bit blurry I still love it. It's hard to get non-blurry shots of Gracie without a flash - she's always on the move!

Christmas Fun!

DSC_0725, originally uploaded by agstratt.

Mike and I got Gracie this sweet tent for Christmas. It even has a tunnel that goes off of the side of it you can crawl through. She was loving it! We put her elmo chair in there, and when she got other Christmas presents she would run back to her tent and chuck them in there. She's a big fan, and at $20 this tent was a cheap but super-entertaining gift!