Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and a Rant

Our Halloween was drawn out and fun this year.  It started on Thursday when we had 3 kids from a family we know from church over for some pizza and pumpkin carving.

Charlotte, Leni, Malcolm, and Sasha!
After the kids went home with their parents, I found a few minutes to carve my own pumpkin:

Get it?
We had been invited to a halloween party on Saturday night.  We were excited about our costumes so the day couldn't come fast enough.  Other people got a kick out of our costumes, which made the event a riot for me.

We got good use out of the costumes again on Monday when we actually trick-or-treated a couple pre-selected homes of friends.

A quick note to any readers who turn their noses up at the idea of one claiming to be Christian while still taking part in Halloween festivities:  CHILL OUT.  There were no seances or devil worship or ouija boards.  The weekend was spent entertaining three siblings so their parents could have a date, and dressing up silly with some friends.  Want the real scoop on pagan holidays?  Look up the polytheistic pagan roots of Christmas and Easter.  It's not about how it started, folks.  It's how you celebrate it NOW.


Keep it Real!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dental Care

Ever seen any material from comedian Mitch Hedberg?  It's hysterical to me.  None of his jokes flow but they are examples of some of the most accurate and funny observational humor I've ever heard.

I'm digressing's a quote of his...not his best ever, but pertinent to the subject of this post:

"People who smoke cigarettes, they say, 'You don't know how hard it is to quit smoking.' Yes I do.  It's as hard as it is to start flossing."  ~ Mitch Hedberg

Flossing.  We all know we should do it.  Some even do!  This past Monday, I went to the dentist's office.  It was my first visit to this particular practice and they have quite an extensively organized system for getting you through all the hoops that need to be jumped through before seeing the actual dentist himself.  After checking in at the desk (note to self: the office staff in dentists' offices always seem so happy and cheerful....possible future career move?), I was taken by Hygienist #1 to the xray room where we cleared up that pregnant people probably shouldn't be xrayed.  She then escorted me to an examination room.

The exam room was delightful.  They had flatscreen televisions mounted directly to the ceiling for patients to enjoy while they are in that reclined chair.  How lovely!  A few minutes later, Hygienist #2 came in to clean my teeth.  There was a little of the dreaded scraping with the mini pirate hook on the end of a metal stick but not too bad.  Nowadays, apparently, they use a tiny power washer to spray water all up in there to knock the nast from away from my teeth and gums.

As pleasant as this may sound, it hurt like hell.  I learned from the nice lady that one symptom of pregnancy is super sensitive gums, also known as "Pregnancy Gingivitis".  Awesome.  She finished up her work as gently as she could and gave me the usual speech about how super important it is to floss.  I had admitted that I do not floss regularly, although I do brush religiously.

Goodbye Hygienist #2, enter Hygienist #3.  Her role in this whole circus was to actually floss my teeth for me and then polish them.  Knowing that my gums were sensitive, she was very gentle with her flossing while, of course, shaming me for not being a regular flosser.

Finally, I got to see the dentist.  I made his job pretty easy because since there were no xrays to look at, he couldn't identify cavities (not that I think I have any) or anything else.  He basically got paid the big bucks to speak to me, again, about flossing.  He actually had additional information to share.  Apparently the infection associated with Pregnancy Gingivitis can lead to preeclampsia and pre-mature labor.

So, needless to say, the shame-filled flossing riot act read to me by the clown car of dental health care workers hit home.  Loud and clear, guys!  I'll start flossing!

So I've flossed every day since then.  I don't like regular floss.  It makes me feel like I have to stick both fists in my mouth to get the job done.  But I've found flossing piks to be amazing tools.

Flossing is still a chore but it is getting less and less uncomfortable every day.  And the amount of junk I am pulling out from between my teeth, even after good brushing, is grossing me out to the point that I WANT to floss.  Nasty.  

So it worked.  I'm a believer.  And apparently, according to Mr. Hedberg, if I ever took up smoking, I'd be awesome at quitting it.  

I think I'll just take his word for it.

Please floss.  And if you refuse to, don't go to my dentist because you'll get the floss speech three times by three different people.

Keep It Real!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Chapter Closed

Most anyone who's known me for the past decade has met, or at least been aware of, an important lady in my first car: Lola the Purple Corolla.

She became a part of the family just a few days shy of my 19th birthday back in May of 2000.  Since that time, she's been everywhere.  Together, we've journeyed from Arizona, to Wisconsin, to Minnesota, to Texas.  When my brother was in need of another vehicle, shortly after I'd purchased a new car in late 2007, she moved with him to New Mexico, a couple years before I made that same move myself.  Sure, she wasn't in my possession anymore, but she was still in the family and that was great.  Then this past summer, she came home to live with Leni and I again and I loved having her around.

I did my growing up years in Lola.  Not the type of growing up where you learn to ride a bike or deal with bullies or things like that.  But the type of growing up you go through in college and early adulthood.  Owning my first car taught me to manage money and plan ahead for unexpected maintenance and repairs (in those days, I referred to my savings account as my "Save Lola Fund".)  The hell of bureaucracy was experienced in that car when I had my first fender bender and had to deal with police reports, insurance companies, estimates, etc.  I was rolling around in those wheels when I finished college and decided to spend a year as a volunteer and then later when I got a full time job with benefits.  The list goes on.

Other people have had memories in Lola as well.  Tons of people I know (myself included) learned to drive a stick shift in that car.  Some special friends had favorite music to listen to in Lola....if I had a nickle for every Dixie Chicks or Steven Curtis Chapman song that had been played in her stereo, I'd probably have enough money to buy her all over again at the $3000 purchase price we agreed to with her original owner.  

I could go on and on (more than I already have) but in the end, it all boils down to the last week or so when Leni and I decided it was time to replace Lola with something else.  I'd been begging Leni for years to have a daily driver that was a little newer and had airbags.  He finally submitted and had started looking for something else.  We found a great deal on a VW Jetta Wagon and acquired that vehicle this past Saturday. 

On Sunday afternoon, I spent about 2 hours clearing our things out of Lola and giving her a good cleaning.  Windows, vacuuming, upholstery, wiping the dash, an exterior wash etc.  Leni even charged her AC so it would be nice and cold.  When she was all clean, I hopped on the computer and posted an ad for my car on Craigslist.  We weren't expecting much money out of a 23-year-old car.  But I knew she had some life still in her and that someone else could benefit from those miles.  

It happened so fast.  I've never seen an object on Craigslist sell as fast as Lola did last night.  This is what it looked like:

5:16 pm - Posted ad on Craigslist
5:40 pm - Inquiry call
6:30 pm - Met up for a test drive
7:00 pm - Done deal....returned home sans Lola but with a little thicker wallet

Lola now lives with a kid just a year older than I was when I bought her.  He can barely drive a manual transmission and needs her for getting around between his home, his job, and his community college in a town about a half hour away.  He and his mom (who test drove the car for him as my dad had done for me more than 11 years ago) were pleased with the deal and even promised to keep the name, which meant a lot to me.

I'm always on a mission to keep the amount of cars on our property to as low a number as possible and was overall satisfied that we found a good family to live her final days with.  But I'd be lying if I didn't confess how sad I was to come home without her.  In fact, I cried on the way home.

I LOVE the car I drive now.  Still a Corolla, but exactly 20 years newer than Lola was.  And Leni's new (to us) Jetta will serve us well for many years.  But both these cars seems so sterile and without the personality and history that Lola had.  In the end, I'm happier to hand her off to another family than I would have been to have kept her and had to watch her towed to a scrap yard at the eventual end of her life.

Thank you, Lola, for your long and faithful service to the Porter-Moore family.  I know you'll be as good to your new owner and I hope that I'll see you around sometime.

Lola: serving our family 2000-2011
Keep It Real!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Finally Talkin' About It

Meet "Mini Moore"

Forgive the poor photo quality...they gave us printed pictures that didn't scan well so this is a picture of the picture I took with my camera :)

This ultrasound picture was captured just this afternoon.  Waiting to tell the masses about the anticipation of our first child has been tough but we're pleased to finally be able to talk completely openly about it (thanks to those of you who have kept the secret for us in the last couple weeks!).

Here are the details:
  • Currently in the 12th week of development
  • As of this week, Mini Moore is the size of a plum.  Next week will be peach week!
  • Yes, we are planning on finding out the gender (perhaps at our next appointment in early November.  If not, in December)
  • No, we won't be sharing whatever name we choose until the baby arrives
  • The due date is April 18th!
  • Thanks for asking....I've been feeling great!  No morning sickness at all (thank you GOD!).  I've been quite fatigued in the evenings and have to be very careful about remembering snacks between meals, but other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing.
That information has pretty much satisfied 99% of the questions I've been getting in the last couple weeks.  We're pretty excited and would appreciate any and all prayers that our friends and family can offer for a continued healthy pregnancy and a healthy, happy baby when all is said and done.

195 days to go!

Keep It Real!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Landscaping, Part II

This post, the follow up to Landscaping, Part I, is more than a month in the making.  Thank you for your patience.

Without further ado, here's your update, in photo form:

Before starting
After tilling in more than 5,000 lbs of compost
The straw we used to protect the seeds
Started seeing these guys come up somewhere between the 1 and 2 week mark
Here we are today, Oct 1!
Leni mowed the lawn (LAWN!!!!) for the first time today.  A couple more mows, especially with a new (hasn't arrived yet) mulching blade for the mower will help get rid of the remaining straw.  Still keeping the dogs off of it until the first good snow pack to protect it from their paws and nails.  We don't want them rough housing too much on it until it is more established.  We are quite pleased and can't wait to enjoy it more in the future.

Keep It Real!