Monday, September 28, 2009

Update on the Whale

That poor whale is all over the news....and the biggest issue isn't what happened to him, but what's GOING to happen to him.

Apparently in Virginia, if a whale washes ashore on your property, it's your responsibility to remove it. Good to know.

You can see more details here and here.

Cooper took in his pictures and Jon showed his kids.....the science department at his school is a flutter with getting all of the details.

Just read here that the whale has been identified as a female. Poor girl. She was 25 feet long and weighed 20 tons.

The phone has been ringing off the hook....the saga continues.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beached Whale- unbelievable!!

This just in....
Jon and Cooper were fishing this afternoon and saw this.


They thought it was a tent at first....and then realized that it was indeed a whale. Sadly, he wasn't alive.

They called a friend who called the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and they dispatched a team of biologists to come to the site. It's not everyday that this happens and understandably they are interested.

I can't imagine.

Cooper and Jon were mesmerized by his size and the fact that they were indeed seeing what they thought they saw.


I'm glad for a few things....1) iPhones and 2) dads who realize that safety is indeed a factor in times like these (note his hand holding on to Cooper).

I hope that the whale didn't suffer, but from the quick internet search that I did it seems that he probably did. So sad.

Chalk one up for science and weekend fishing trips!!

It's Not Easy Being Green.....

I try, I really do but I end up feeling like I'm not doing enough and it adds 1 more thing to the list of 437 things that I already feel guilty about.

We use the special light bulbs- but only in lamps that I don't need rely on to actually see anything. And I try to combine trips to save gas but that's sort of a random thing....even when I work from home 1 day a week I usually end up having to go somewhere so I'm probably not reducing my footprint in a major way. We do recycle and I've stopped using plastic bags for lunch by using these instead. Click over- they are AWESOME!!

But when it comes to re-using....I'm all over it. Jack Johnson sings about it and if I break it down into the 3 R's- I feel like maybe I'm doing my part to help save the world.

When Cooper was born, I got tons of clothes from friends and family and I barely spent a dime myself. The gravy train ended and I realized that I'd need to pick up the ball. Clothes were (are) expensive and I really couldn't afford to outfit him in the brands that I wanted. Plus, I had a ton of great clothes that were too small but barely used. Sooooo- I discovered the beauty of 2nd hand clothes stores. It was great and I could basically trade the old for new (or-new to me). Beautiful. But then I discovered the mecca of all 2nd hand clothing options.

The Church Sale. And in particular, this church sale.

If you know me, you can vouch for what a complete freak I am about this sale. It happens twice a year and I've been attending since Cooper was a baby. I've been consigning since he was 2 1/2. That's how long it took me to get into the sale- there is a multi-year waiting list. When I finally got in I had to attend an orientation, but it happened to be the same weekend as Fashion Week and I was in NY!! (yes- there is totally a story there...perhaps another time) What are the odds that 2 once in a lifetime chances would be on the same day. Soooo- I begged Jon to go for me. And he went- and he'll NEVER FORGIVE ME!! Oh, the thought of that makes me laugh so hard!!!

Anywhoo...I got in, Jon gave me the crazy details and I've been going ever since. It's twice a year and it's almost overwhelming.

This is what you walk into on sale day-

And this is the toy room-

And this is what you can walk away with....

A Columbia ski jacket ($12)

A Brooks Brothers no-iron white dress shirt ($1)

Pants (none more than $3.50)

Shirts for school (none more than $3)

An $8 Halloween costume (so that visiting friends can dress up too)

Lots of reading material (all for $6)

I also picked up 5 pairs of "lounge pants"- the new pajamas of choice, 2 fleeces, 1 hooded sweatshirt, 4 long sleeve t-shirts and some snow boots.

All for $99. It makes me giddy to even type it.
In about a month, I'll get a check for the money that was generated from the 118 items that I took to consign (minus 20% that gets donated to help various charities that the church supports).

It's a win/win and I feel great about it.

I'm getting clothes for Cooper that are in great shape- and that means I'm not buying new (or at least not as much new as I might).

I less stressed if things get stained or torn- which makes it easier for Cooper to be a kid! Spending $2 on that Polo shirt instead of $40 helps me to relax.

I'm recycling his old stuff- either via the sale or by giving friends hand-me-downs. It saves money and it makes sense. Plus, the hand-me-down recipients are thrilled to have "Cooper-wear"! That makes me smile.

The church sale is attended by people who are really in need of help (in addition to crazy people like me who love a bargain!). They get vouchers to shop for whatever they need and whatever is leftover at the end of the sale goes to local charities to do even more good.

Maybe being green isn't as hard as I think!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Balance- I. Need. It.

Blahhhhh.....Barely hanging on here and trying to keep it all together!!! So, a few things to make me try and focus on the good.

My new wreath. I'm so much happier about it. A small thing, I know- but somehow its making a difference.


My friend Jennifer (who happens to be incredibly organized) suggested this site to help me in my eternal quest. There is almost a cult following for this woman- and while I can't sign up for everything she says, I can say that there are a few things that I've tried that are making a difference. The first- shining my sink every night before bed. Crazy & maybe a little odd- but it's working for me and that is something!!!

The other thing is an exercise where you take a trash bag and walk around your house and throw away 27 things. You can't stop until you get 27. This is huge for me. Not that the 27 things made that big a difference- but they really did. A bag of "stuff" that was taking up real estate in my house that made no positive impact on my life. And it felt to great to just throw it out. I could do this every week (I think!!!)

Here is my pile- old makeup, some random pieces of foam that were in the bottom of my closet, a shoe box, almost empty shampoo bottles, magazines, some wood, samples of stuff i'll never use. It felt SO GOOD!

And lastly reading obsessed child. His nose is always in a book and I LOVE IT!! We went to the grocery store and he read for the entire trip. A few people commented on how great it was to see a kid so into a book- talk about sending me over the moon.

I was getting things ready to leave the river on Sunday and looked out to see this.
He didn't even hear me come out and snap his picture.

I'm feeling more balanced already.
Have a great week!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Funny Kid!

Two conversations on the way to school this morning-

Him: "Momma, am I older than Peter?"
Me: "Nope, he's older than you."
Him: "By how much?"
Me: "Um, I think 2 months, he was born in April."
Him: "Well, what about Spencer"
Me: "Nope, he's older than you too"
Him: "Who am I older than?"
Me: "Actually, I'm pretty sure you're the youngest one in the 2nd grade- but I don't know about the new kids this year"
Him: "Well, I AM the tallest one in my class"
Me: "Really, you're even taller than Fletcher?"
Him: "Yup, he's got a weird shaped head- no offense and so now I'm taller than him too"

None taken, funny kid!

And moments later-

Him: "Momma- is that a Lamborghini at that house?"
Me: "I didn't see it but I don't think so. I'll check for you on the way home"

As I drove back home after dropping him off, the car in question turned out to be a Dodge Intrepid.

Close, but not a Lamborghini!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Musings on Monday

We had a relaxing yet productive weekend at home. It started with a most unusual and unexpected treat!

Diana and I were walking to her car on Friday afternoon. She was leaving for the day and had a dress in her car that of which I am the new proud owner. As we walked by the security desk we saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She said, "oh, whenever I see flowers like that I always secretly hope that they are for me- but they never are". And I said, "I know, I do the same thing!!"


And then the security guard said, "Hey, aren't you Neblett??"
And I said, "Yes" and she said, "Well, they ARE for you! I left you a message a little while ago."

WHAT??? Are you kidding me?? For me??

Aren't they wonderful?

This is the 5th time I've rec'd flowers from my hubby.
Jon and I worked together at the City (RIP Circuit City) and at the time I was dating this guy that adored me (imagine) but that I just wasn't that into. And apparently he sent me flowers and I made this whole big speech to my co-workers about how ridiculous it was to get flowers and they were such a waste and who did he think he was to just send me flowers and expect me to be all in love with him, as if that would make a difference. This rant was evidently forever etched into Jon's brain and so when we did start to date a few months later he figured that his life would be one free of the need to send flowers.

Except that flowers from the person that you ADORE are FABULOUS and VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!

The first time he sent them to me was the day that we got engaged, except that I didn't know that it was that day, so it was a random Friday in January and this bouquet of daisies arrives (daisies are my favorite!). It actually never occurred to me that they were from him until I read the card. I just figured it was some client trying to be kind.

The reason for the bunch today was to say thank you for helping him with a tough summer and providing lots of support. And they couldn't have come at a better time. They were exactly what I needed and a super reminder that he really is a good Neb despite some of the recent craziness (you'll recall the black sock incident). I do love that man.

In other random news, I've got a new solution for the front door that I'm really happy with (pix later) and this little bit of fall that I put together after cleaning up a bit and finding an ancient tennis racket.

I've been reading The Nester and have borrowed some of her on the cheap wisdom on wreaths and house stuff in general.

That brings me to the productive....lots of cleaning and clearing happening this weekend. And it feels SO GOOD!

And while all that was happening, every once and a while I'd catch a glimpse of Boba Fett running around the house trying to collect the bounty on the bad guys that he'd captured. Hilarious!!


It's hard work....especially in a helmet with really small air holes!


Hope you had a great weekend too.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

See the Similarities.....

Between my hubby and Fernando Gonzalez?? socks and tennis shoes!

I do make myself chuckle!!

C is for Cruise (Great Photo Find!)

How great is this?? A collage in the shape of a letter?? Stop the photo madness!!!

C for cruise2

Or you can do this....

C for cruise

I need to figure out how to organize the pictures so that the ones that you really want to showcase are actually on top...but I'm so excited about the potential that I couldn't play around with details!

This is the free version of shape collage....for the low, low price of $25 you can upgrade and evidently do even more fabulous things. Slowly, I'm being 25 dollared to the poor free for me is fine for now.

Ok, I couldn't help it. There is a custom feature that allows you to draw the shape that you want the collage to be. Below is one that was created from a drawing I did of a house.


Nope, it looks nothing like my drawing, but it did make the pictures spread out so they're a little more viewable. I may become addicted!

Try it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Warning: It's Not Pretty!!

I'm warning you before you read too far- there could be disturbing content in this post.

What you are about to see should in no way cause you to decline invitations to dinner at our house or to reschedule play dates for your children. And those homemade cookies- I swear- they were restaurant quality. Really, I promise- it's ok.

This was found in our bathroom this morning.


Luckily (thankfully), it was found while I was walking the dog at o'dark thirty. Jon informed me when I got back that "big brown" had been apprehended so I didn't need to worry. Are you kidding me???? No need to worry?

Ed, our friendly pest control specialist, will be in my driveway at 7:50 tomorrow morning. I made Jon get "big brown" out of the trashcan so that I could show Ed what we're dealing with and make sure that whatever ammo he's got in his truck comes into our home and infiltrates EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY.

I am a freak about bugs. A FREAK. I can kill most small insects without's the big ones that I find alarming. This one may as well been a squirrel it is so enormous. Had Jon not been the one to find it, I would have had to put a cup over it, slide a magazine under the cup and carry it outside to free it and probably enable it to breed by the gazillions and crawl back into my house and begin the whole cycle again. Clearly, Jon has no issue with large bugs.

The whole pest control drill is that Ed will pull into my driveway at 7:50 and wait until 7:58 to get out of his truck, walk up the sidewalk, put his special booties on and ring my doorbell at exactly 8am- the time he's scheduled to perform my service. He comes 4 times a year and I can tell almost to the day when his last dose has worn off. Never before have we had "big brown" in residence. I'm counting on Ed to ensure that we keep it that way- which is why I've saved the evidence.

I'm quite sure he'll appreciate my fervor around pest control.

In other family news, Gypsy failed Puppy Class. I know, I know- you thought I was exaggerating about how awful she was. Because I have been known to do that in some cases....but not this one.

This is a picture of a Puppy School Reject.


You may be wondering whether the outfit worn by my sweet husband had a negative impact on Gypsy's grade. It's hard to say. There is a distinct possibility that she may have concentrated more on her puppy skills had she not been distracted (as I was) on his black dress socks with crappy tennis shoes and paint spattered work clothes.

It's truly a struggle.

On a happy note....because there is always something positive if you look hard enough...


Cooper has found a renewed love of basketball and has been going outside to practice after homework each night. He's anticipating the start of his 1st organized sport- and we are thrilled. At first he cried, but we talked through it and he decided that he really is pretty good and if they give him a cool jersey that he might really have fun. HOORAY!!! Sign ups begin on Thursday.

I have a final random thought about my front door. I've got a wreath for fall that I adore. Up close it's so great- berries and gourds and pine cones- perfect for fall. The issue is that from the street, it looks totally random and not at all the look I'm trying to achieve.


Do I need to add a huge bow? A different wreath? No wreath? Just a bow? Is it just fighting too much with the bricks?

Part of what's throwing me may be that the American flag hanging next to the door isn't really working from a color standpoint- but my sister-in-law is doing this grass roots effort to have every home in the US fly a flag for 9/11 so I'm doing my part.

Anyhoo- suggestions are always appreciated.

Only 2 days until the weekend!! Whew!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So Long Summer....

The dog days of summer are behind us...sad, but true.


On the one hand, I'm thankful for the structure that September brings- the new start, the set routine, the hustle & bustle of fall.

On the other hand, this face says it all....

I'll miss vacations, long days where the sun doesn't set until 9pm, summer food, days at the pool, days on the boat, sun tans, flip flops, new adventures and time spent with family.

Happy Day after Labor Day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday & The Bahamas

It seems like forever ago that we were lounging on sugar sand beaches, sipping fruity drinks, enjoying the sun and living a life with no stress. It was exactly 7 days ago.

I believe what they say is true- it's better in the Bahamas! Actually, it's really better anywhere that takes away the daily stress of work, traffic and people who make me insane (currently, this is a long list and includes both people I know and people I don't- not to worry, if you're reading this I'm not talking about you!!)

Our cruise was fun....and the perfect end to the summer. I may post more pictures and memories but the ones below are some that make me smile. The center photo may be my favorite picture from the whole 271 that I took while we were gone (ok, maybe top 4). It's a cabana on Half Moon Cay. We rented the one beside it (genius move on my part- I highly recommend a cabana!) which was exactly the same except orange. Somehow the purple one lent itself better to pictures.

cruise mosaic

Couple hints that I feel I should pass on to anyone who may be going on their 1st was the case with me.

-The Chewbacca Contest is not a contest in which people are able to compete against each other for the best Wookie impression. As such, it's also not a place to sit in the front row with your 7 year old who adores not only Wookies, but anything Star Wars related. Evidently, a Chewbacca Contest is another way to advertise a Hairy Chest Contest. You can't get this kind of advice just anywhere people!

-It may be helpful to have a conversation with your child prior to leaving for your cruise that there are times that grown ups behave in ways that are inappropriate. That way, when a fight breaks out in the main dining room (in the table diagonal to yours) during which chairs are thrown back and drinks begin to fly along with language that makes me not only cringe but want to crawl under my seat, you won't have to think of what in the world to say to your child because he'll say,
"Momma, that was very inappropriate." and you can simply nod and agree and go back to eating your lobster.

Clearly, there is much to be thankful for!

Being able to travel and see places that we've never seen before
Spending time with my little family
Trying new things and learning in the process
Safe trips and luggage that goes where it's supposed to
1st days of school that go really well
The ability to laugh and learn from the crazy that turns up when you least expect it.
Knees that are on their way to a full recovery (no more PT for me...hooray!)
Fresh starts each September...being organized, positive and ready each new day!

Have a super long weekend (yet another thing to be VERY thankful for)!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Us vs. Them

You know those joke e-mails that you get that show the difference between how a man sees things vs. a woman?

I feel like my day could circulate the universe today in one of those...and have women everywhere nodding with understanding.

My day-

-Wake up at 5:30 to take the dog for a walk
-Come back home, feed dog
-Make lunch for Cooper
-Shower, get dressed
-Fix breakfast for Cooper
-Provide guidance on appropriate clothing choice for school and ensure that Pokemon cards don't get packed in with lunchbox
-Drop a load of laundry in washing machine
-Load dishwasher
-Take Cooper to school....walk him in vs. dropping off in carpool line (still early in year for such bravery)
-Go to work
-Get pummeled by executives who have potentially lost their minds
-Meet fabulous friend for lunch in cafeteria and laugh hysterically over the craziness of our lives
-Return to work....pummeling over (at least for today)
-Call hubby to check on child status and dinner
-Leave work at 5:45
-Arrive home at 6...tend to child's injured foot (potentially a ploy to get out of trash night)
-Gently coax injured child in taking out trash so as not to disrupt the zenlike quality of our evening
-No dinner options we head to Jas0n's Deli. Love that place.
-Coop is still missing 2 red pens and a composition notebook for school- must find.
-We also need more lunch supplies and Jon informs me that he needs shower gel (but "please don't get Lever")
-Remember that friends 102 yr old grandma died...need sympathy card
-Purchase all needed supplies and return home
-Help Cooper with his homework
-Check home e-mail and a few blogs, fill out school picnic paperwork
-Perform nightly bedtime routine (cup of milk, brush teeth, use bathroom, discuss day, read 2 chapters from Cam Jansen, tickle arms and back, turn on fish tv nightlight, kiss him goodnight)
-Fold 1 load of laundry
-Put away 2 previously folded loads of laundry
-Clean up a recently noticed "puppy p spot" on carpet that may or may not reoccur
-Turn on dishwasher
-Put load of clothes in dryer
-Take dog out for last "go"
-Sit down at computer for some me time (completely ignoring the fact that I have probably 2 hours of work for work that needs to be done)

His day (and I'll admit....I don't know everything that happened..but since this is MY blog, this is MY perspective!)

-Wake up at 6:15
-Grab needed things for day
-Say a few encouraging words to wife and child
-Leave for work
-Work until 3 (no kids this week)
-Change clothes and go to job painting house
-Take call from wife at 5:15....let her know that you'll pick up Coop.
-Meet at to Jason's.
-Wait in car while wife obtains needed items in grocery store
-Come home, walk/feed dog
-Head upstairs to read in bed and surf the web
-Realize that it's probably in your best interest to help put away laundry
-Stretch, yawn, brush teeth....
-Snuggle down into bed and drift off to dreamland