Friday, December 30, 2005

2005--The Year of the Blogger

Blogs have apparently been around for a while. However, this year they clearly became the thing to do. So I did. As did all of you.

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is when news and entertainment shows highlight all of the amazing things that have happened in the last twelve months. I decided to do the same thing within our little blog community--a blog year in review. However, as I got started reviewing the many blogs, my focus changed a bit. Rather than pick a highlight from each blog, I have designated an award to each blogger for a specific reason. If I was actually handing out awards, the trophy would be Oscar-esque and most likely filled with chocolate. Pretend to enjoy. And let's get started! In no particular order (actually, in alphabetical order), here are the winners of the 2005 Bloggies!

The award for the funniest story ever goes to Ashley. You have to read it yourself to get a real feel for the story, but basically she fell off a treadmill. More than one time. And didn't give up. For that, she is my hero.

The award for the LONGEST post EVER goes to Bruce. I can't make a link to the specific post, but it is from December 9th. It seems that I am not the only person to think this was too long, as there are no comments. Sorry, Bruce.

The award for the best pictures goes to Christi. Christi doesn't write without also posting a picture, and I love them all.

The award for the most random web site links goes to my husband, Dan. The sites he recommends are both funny and frightening. My personal favorite? The mullets galore. Need I say more?

The award for the best Napoleon Dynamite dance rendition goes to David. I had a chance to see this in person at a wedding in May, and it was disturbingly amazing. Please check out the video. Bravo, David!

The award for the best save of a potential disaster goes to Diane. I sent the Patricks a package containing ingredients (sans the butter and eggs) for cookies. When Diane decided to make them, she almost used pure pork lard instead of butter. Darn language barrier. Luckily, she realized the mistake and was able to use margarine.

The award for the best addition to blogworld goes to Gloria. Gloria brought us Talia Grace in November. We even threw a virtual baby shower. My gift was a cat.

The award for referencing one of my favorite books goes to Heather. If you haven't yet checked out Blue Like Jazz, I can't say enough good things about it. Read it!

The award for the most blogs in one day goes to Jaime. On two different occasions (July 12 and August 24), Jamie posted three times in one day! Go Jaime! You could teach Joel a thing or two. (We'll get there...).

The award for the best non-blogspot site goes to Jan. Typepad has done lovely things for Jan. I like the layout and look of her blog very much. But I hear it costs money. Blogspot is free. Such a dilemma.

The award for the largest number of unnatural hair colors in less than a year goes to Jeff. My personal favorite was green. Very Irish. However, I'm glad his hair is back to normal.

The award for the fewest posts since beginning in May goes to Joel. May 19th seemed like an exciting day--we were gaining a new blogger. However, that was the first of a total of five posts. I will say that the quality of his posts ALMOST makes up for the quantity. But the quality just makes us all wish they came more frequently!

The award for the most spam comments on one entry goes to my mother-in-law, Joy. I enjoy spam comments. I don't enjoy getting them, but I do enjoy reading them when they have infected someone else. I mean, where else can you get information on aneurysm surgery and see the phrase, "My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger" in the same place?

The award for the best childhood Halloween costume goes to Judy. Check it out. Need I say more?

The award for the best pretend life goes to Julie. I had a dream about Julie. She met and married a rock star and it changed her life. Julie took this story all the way, and it totally made my day!

The award for the cutest blog kids goes to Lalimama. She has showcased both her daughter and her son, and both are just too adorable for words.

The award for the best handling of an annoying client goes to Lisa. Everything ended up turning out okay, but this guy was a piece of work. Nicely done, Lisa.

The award for the most links to other blogs goes to Matt G. (Jan lost this one by 2). Matt must have a lot of friends. Or he just wants it to look that way. Just kidding, friend.

The award for the best published work goes to Matt M. I have had the chance to see this book in person, and it's fabulous!

The award for the most frequent posting goes to Matt P. Matt is in Slovakia and posts EVERY DAY to update us on the goings-on of his life across the sea. Frankly, there's no one else I would rather read this much about, so one else should aim for this kind of posting. Unless you move to another country and have lots to say, of course.

The award for the best photo of himself goes to Mike. There really isn't anything more to say about this one. Go Mike!

The award for the best photography HANDS DOWN goes to Scott. He has a truly amazing gift and I'm so glad he shares it.

The award for the funniest link to a video clip goes to Tim. This made me laugh out loud.

The award for the best weird world experience (number 5382, to be exact) goes to Tonya. At a recent Christmas concert, Steven Curtis Chapman asked the audience to hold up their lit cell phones (in leiu of lighters, of course). How 21st century of him!

There you have it. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Happy New Year! And happy blogging in 2006!

Monday, December 26, 2005


Merry Christmas, bloggers! Actually, Happy Boxing Day in Canada. When I was younger, I thought Boxing Day had something to do with actual boxing--you know, the Rocky type boxing. However, Boxing Day refers to literally putting things in boxes. Doesn't seem like enough to warrant a real holiday on most printed calendars, but whatever. Canadians. Go figure.

Anyway, that is not what I wanted to blog about today. My material is much more entertaining than second-rate celebrations in other countries.

Late this afternoon, I went to the bathroom. (I know, already WAY more entertaining). When I was done and stood up, I said, "Ouch!" Do you want to know why? Of course you do. As it turns out, the toilet seat had completely cracked on one side. When I stood up, the crack in the seat pinched my poor skin, thus warranting the "Ouch!"

I proceeded downstairs to ask Dan about the broken seat. When I asked him what happened, he denied knowing anything about it. I thought that was weird, because I knew I would have felt it break if I had done it. And surely, the cats don't have this kind of power. But I didn't push it. I just mentioned that we would have to get a new seat tomorrow.

We had Dan's mom and brother for dinner. After they left (and yes, they both used the bathroom--ouch), I went in to assess the damage again and figure out a temporary fix to prevent furthur injury. Dan came in behind me and said, "Man, I feel like a jerk. I just heard a snap. I didn't realize the whole thing actually cracked." Ah ha! Guilty! I asked how it happened. ("Did you just sit down really hard?") Dan explained to me, and wants me to make very clear to you, that this had nothing to do with his weight or force of sitting. (In my opinion, the jury's still out on that...). He apparently heard the snap when he leaned to, well, you get the picture.

Now, back to my temporary fix of the crack. I reached for my trusty, all-purpose tool of choice, duct tape. I knew where it was because days before I'd had to tape some plastic over a hole in our shower tile. (Dan fell in the shower and took the towel bar out on the way down, smashing a tile and creating a hole into God-knows-what. He hasn't had a good week in the bathroom). So I grabbed the duct tape and proceeded to patch the crack in the seat, preventing future pinching. As I finished, I said out loud, "This looks so...." Dan was behind me and finished my sentence perfectly. "...trailer trash?" We both laughed. But it's so true. If you want to get a visual, simply apply some duct tape to any part of your toilet and admire the trashiness.

Our house has turned out to be a very adventurous place to live.

Stay tuned this week...I'm working on a blogger year-in-review. You won't want to miss this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Glucose and Hemoglobin

These are two things in our blood. When a woman is pregnant, keeping tabs on the levels of these things is important. If they are not at the right levels, a pregnant women could be diagnosed with gestational diabetes and/or anemia. Here is the tale of my doctor's visit and the levels of these components in my blood.

My appointment was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Dan was going to meet me there. I spent the day hearing horror stories about the glucose test. I was to drink a horribly sweet syrup, wait around for an hour while my body took care of the 180 grams of glucose (roughly the equivalent 0f 4 cans of pop!), and have my blood taken. Luckily, I had my monthly appointment with my nurse practitioner scheduled for during that hour of down-time. I was a little concerned that the liquid would make me gag, and I was advised to choose the orange flavor.

We arrived and were promptly sent up to third floor OB. The woman behind the desk gave me a sheet and sent us back down to the first floor lab. The woman at the lab brought me into the back and sat me down while she retrieved the dreaded drink. She brought out two bottles--uh oh--and gave me a choice of fruit punch or orange. Being the obedient friend that I am, I chose the orange. She brought me a cup to pour the sweet nectar into. I did so, and although I had a whole 5 minutes to down the crud, I did it in about 30 seconds. It was fabulous! All right, that might be pushing it. But it certainly wasn't as bad as everyone had said. It was like McDonalds orange drink that hadn't been mixed quite right. Okay, first step done. The nice woman gave me a timer set for one hour and sent me back up to OB.

My regular appointment went just fine. She measured, prodded, and checked out my ears. What? Your ears? Yes. My ears. I have been battling a nasty cold, and she wanted to make sure it hadn't infected my ears. Now, back to business. My doctor was a sweetheart and actually chatted with us and answered questions for a long time, leaving us with only 15 minutes left on the timer! We put on our clothes (well, Dan never actually took his off, but whatever), and headed back down to the lab. I was excited. Almost done with this "dreaded" glucose test day.

After reading a bit in the waiting room, the same nice woman brought me back and sat me in the blood-taking chair. I am very good at having blood taken. Needles don't bother me and I have GREAT veins. Has anyone ever told you that you have great veins? It's quite a compliment! Anyway, the nurse proceeded to prepare the two vials and all of the equipment. She tied the rubber band thing on my arm and felt around. Nothing. No vein popping out to greet her and give her blood. She felt and felt. She tried the other arm. Even more of nothing. Back to arm number one. I didn't think she had actually felt anything, but she proceeded with the needle. I was right--she hadn't felt anything. This was evidenced by the fact that she prodded around with the needle after she had poked. Searching around in there for something to fill the vial. I was beside myself! It hurt! Finally, she hit something and SLOWLY filled the two bottles--one for glucose, one for hemoglobin.

After all of the hype, the worst part of the day ended up being the part I was least nervous about!

And the good news is that I haven't been called back about having wrong levels of glucose or hemoglobin, so all is good!

Next random pregnancy procedure, I'm ready for you. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random news

1. My obsession with license plate tabs was indulged today. I passed a car with tabs from last February. What fun!

2. I was bummed that school wasn't delayed today. The closings scrolling along the bottom of the television screen went from "Annandale" to "Becker." I knew it would never happen, though. Anoka-Hennepin either closes or it doesn't. And mostly, it doesn't. None of this "two hours late" crap. Apparently it screws up our bussing system big time. Nevertheless, it took me almost twice as long to get to school.

3. Jackson is moving around like never before. In fact, sitting in class last night, I actually saw my belly move twice. Two big kicks in a row. It was crazy! And I couldn't do anything but continue to listen to a very stimulating lecture.

4. I finished Christmas shopping. I'm happy about that. Now I have a ton of stuff to wrap. I'm not happy about that. I'm pretty sure the cats will scratch them all open.

5. Speaking of the cats, this is their first Christmas experience. Maddie decided the best way to ring in the holiday season was to climb the Christmas tree. Luckily, it was not decorated yet and it is artificial. So, even if it had tipped over (which it miraculously did not), no major damage would have been done. Since that instance, they have only taken joy in removing ornaments and hiding them. They also sleep under the tree--it's their own little forest.

6. Our house is so full of baby stuff. But that's a wonderful thing. We got two big bins of baby clothes from some friends who have a one-year-old boy. There is a stroller. Two different car seats. A big bassinet. A bunch of toys. And so much more. The best part about all of this stuff is that most of it is being lent to us. We are so grateful for friends who share!

I think that's all that is on my mind. I should eat some dinner. Have a happy snowy day! May the plows find your streets!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Close to home

It has become a normal part of watching the local and national news: Soldiers being killed in Iraq. So it wasn't weird when Eric Perkins' top story on the news headlines this morning was about two Minnesota marines killed in a roadside bombing in Falujah.

So what was weird? That I knew one of them. I was really only listening at first. Then I recognized a name. "Scott Modeen, a 2000 graduate of Cooper High School." And to tell you the truth, Cooper High School caught my attention more than his name did. I went to Armstrong and we lived near Cooper. So I glanced at the screen, realizing that Scott Modeen sounded familiar. Indeed, his picture made it all very clear. This was a fellow classmate of mine at Sacred Heart School in Robbinsdale through 8th grade. It was hard to believe that the man in the sullen-looking marine pose was the same wacky kid who was easily dubbed the class clown in middle school. Scott joined the marines after 9/11/01. He left for his second tour of duty in July.

Today my thoughts are once again on the preciousness of life and my prayers are with Scott's family.