Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Skills

Oliver has picked up some new skills lately. His new favorite thing to do is color. These are some pictures from our trip to Utah. Oliver loved coloring with my Mom. Now that we are home, the kid is obsessed! If he sees paper, pens, crayons, pencils,..... you get the idea he just says, "Color" over and over until you bust it out. Unfortunatly he isn't so keen on just doing it alone, he's more of a dictator. He gets the crayon and points where he wants you to color. Oh well, I guess he's enjoying it.

The Quest!

Sometimes I have in my mind that looking for the perfect this or that is going to be easy, a piece of cake. After all, I'm not terribly picky in most areas, and I like to think I'm pretty easy going. (Hence the reason I still live in MA and haven't ditched Zack to finish out school on his own while I bask in the heat somewhere else!) But I have been on a quest for sometime for 2 things:
1. A new purse/baby bag. The bag I am now carrying is ugly and well ugly. I switched to this bag because I didn't need the huge diaper bag anymore now that Oliver is older, I just needed a bag for my mom size wallet, diaper, wipes, sippy cup, snacks, and a few toys. That sounds like a lot, but really the bag I have now regular purse size and usually it all fits. Anyway, it seems like it would be rather easy seeing as there are so many purses and bags out there. I have only a few criteria, but apparently they are the wrong criteria to snag me that perfect bag. My criteria are as follows: I just has to be big enough for the necessities, but not too big. And the second is that it must have a shoulder strap, meaning it has to go across my body- shoulder to opposite hip. This is because I don't want to have to hold it, place it in the cart where someone could easily steal it while I'm chasing down Oliver at the store, or be trying to keep the straps on my shoulder with it in my armpit (I already have a baby hanging on me, I don't need some foreign object in my arm pit) while looking at things all the while usually carrying an 18 month old. I also like the side bag because I can put in and get things out more easily. Oh, and it can't cost me an arm and a leg, we starving students after all. But apparently I am a dreamer. This bad doesn't exsist. Mostly I think the side strap thing is what is killing it. They aren't that popular I guess. But I have been looking for months now. Nothing. And this may be shocking, but I have only bought one purse in my entire life, and I like it, I still have it, but this......this is wearing me down. If this is what purse shopping is all about, count me out! I've seen a few ugly things, but I already have that. Anyway, if someone has a suggestion, please let me know.
Which brings me to quest #2:
The White Collared Shirt: Again, it seems like such a basic item, but I cannot find the right one. I just want a plain white button down collared shirt. My requirements are that it is some sort of cotton blend and that the material isn't see through as often white things are, and that you don't touch it and it instantly wrinkles. I can't find one. It's crazy. They are all either too see through, have crazy pockets in strange places, wrinkly, or they have a million pleats that I would have to iron endlessly.

I guess my question is, What has the world come to? I guess my quest continues.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Interesting Book

This is an interesting book that I just finished reading. Any parent with a small child should read this book. Actually I think it would be interesting even if you don't have children. It talks about all the marketing ploys that go into children's products and toys. The author explores the "research" that goes into major companies that are marketing "educational" toys, videos, and t.v. programs. It's really interesting, and really sad how much we buy into all the gimiks that are in fact not educational at all, but just putting money in someone's pockets and possibly even stunting learning instead of encouraging it. Anyway, it was a good read. But you don't have to take my word for it!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ninja Baby

As some may have seen on Greg and Kris Tina's blog, Oliver is now an official Ninja Baby!! They brought these cute PJ's or lounge wear to Oliver from China. He looks so cute in them. And apparently he looked so cute that he muscled his way onto their blog after many failed attempts. I especially thought the one's with Greg and Oliver are super cute!


While we were in Utah, my mom got us with Oliver every morning, it was HEAVEN!! So while she was getting ready for the day, Oliver was too! He loved playing with her curlers!! He was always trying to put them in his hair!

Nasty Secret #2

In case you are wondering what other surprises our new apartment might posses here are a few more! Well the day after we moved in, we woke up in the morning and the fridge had never gotten cold. So all of our frozen stuff was thawed. Bad sign. So we go down and tell the landlord and they just keep saying that it worked before and we must not have done something right. I know I'm no rocket scientist, but I don't think you can really screw up plugging in a fridge and turning the dial inside to cold. But they had to come up and check it out and then he kept trying to tell me that the air blowing out was cold. Hmmm...tell that to my thawed chicken I thought. So then she says, that we should put a cup of water in the freezer over night and we will see if it freezes. Okay, whatever. In the meantime, she says, "you can just put your meats and things in the bedroom closet. It will stay cold there. You put old blanket that you no like over the top and leave in closet. I do all the time. It stay cold, no problem." So apparently our closet is like a meat locker because it is so cold! Good to know. The next day she comes to check the room temperature water and sees that it's not frozen. Big surprise. I am then expecting her to say, "okay, we will have to get a new fridge while you are gone to Utah." Instead she says, "So what are we going to do?" I said, "I don't know?" She then proceeded to tell me that they didn't rent this apartment to us "furnished," and that the only reason the fridge had been up here anyway was because she didn't need it. What?? Since when is having a fridge included a furnished apartment?! So it came down to either we could pay them $50 more every month forever more or we could buy a new fridge ourselves. Great, just what we need, a fridge to lug around with us. Long story short, they bought the fridge while we were in Utah even though we were going to buy one and then tried to raise our rent. But we said we would just pay them for the fridge. The ironic part is that I think in their minds, when we leave, they think we should leave the fridge too. FAT CHANCE!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008's gettin' cold in here!

So here is our wonderful new apartment's nasty secret pictured above. Looks like a a crazy old kitchen stove right? Innocent enough. Until you realize that, that machine is our only heat source in the whole apartment! What you may ask? Surely it is not so. Oh yes, I sadly say yes it is my friends.
That is what I refer to as a glorified space heater. In fact if you just turned to oven on and opened the door to it, it would probably put out as much heat as our "heater." It has no fan, it just has the slots the let out hot air. It's settings are LOW, MED, and HIGH. No wasted time on temperatures, not that it would matter since it only cranks out enough heat to barely warm the room it's in let alone the rest of the house. And that is all.
So it's freezing in our house. FREEZING!!! Well except when standing by the heater itself. When we looked at the apartment to rent, I saw that this was the heat, and being concerned, I asked the land lady (who lives downstairs) if it would heat the house up with just that. She said yes. She lived downstairs and so I believed here since Zack and I had never seen this type of heating system for a whole house, I thought it must work or how would they rent the place out? That is where my thinking was flawed.
After moving in, and going into the land ladies apartment downstairs, it became quickly evident how one could live with only that as a heat source. Naturally you just move your couch, TV, kitchen table, bed, what have you into that one room, and shut all the doors to the other rooms. Then you stay in there all winter and never use the rest of your house. She and her husband basically just live in that one room and then at night they just open up the door to their bedroom and sleep in there. Voila. In fact when we moved in and they came upstairs to our apartment they both on seperate occassions said, "oh no, you can't use those rooms (meaning the living room) it's too cold, it will cost too much." And then she told me, "I just shut all the rooms from November to May, and then in the summer you can use them." basically they thought we were crazy that we wanted to use more of the apartment than just one room. Are we the crazy ones? I guess we are.
So imagine trying to keep a 17 month old baby in one room all day long. I tried, it didn't work, he was going crazy.
So we don't know what we are going to do? Any suggestions?
Since we have been home from Utah, we bought 2 space heaters, but they only take the chill off unless it's sunny outside. And we can't run them both together since it's too much power. The joys of an old house!
I think we are going to have to find a super space heater and hope it doesn't cost us a fortune in electric bills. Otherwise, there may just be an apt. #4 on the horizon!

Move # 3

I thought it best to start my catch up with our latest move. Yes, that's right, we have moved not once, not twice, but three times in the last 5 months. All within the Worcester boundries mind you, but each place bring a little something to enrich our lives. Our first move from Georgia to Worcester, we moved to a quaint little apartment that was unfortunately in the "bad part of town." It was ghetto and sort of run down. So after a month we moved to Apt. #2 that is on a nice street in a relatively nice area. For the most part the apartment was good, our upstairs neighbors however were lacking in some social graces. We were fine there, but rent was a little high. Then our mailman (who is also in our ward) told us about an apartment that would be $400 dollars less a month that was only 3 streets away from apt. 2. We checked it out and decided it was too good a deal to pass up on a students budget, so hence the move to Apt. #3. Apt. 3 is basically the same as Apt. 2 in the floor plan, and actually many things are nicer. So we were really excited. Not so much to move again, but excited that we had found a nice place and a good deal, so hopefully we could just stay here until we leave this ugly city.
But the apartment had some secrets lurking, that we didn't find until we had moved in and the deed was done....

Utah, Land that we LOVE!!

Hello blogger fans!! You may have been wondering where we have been all this time!? Well first we moved (again!) and then a few days later, we were off to Utah for 3 1/2 weeks a pure fun, fun, fun!!! I think our landlady (who is from Poland and doesn't speak the best English) thought we were in Utica, NY because she kept saying have fun in Utica....Oh well what she doesn't know won't hurt her!!
Utah was great!! It's always nice to be with family again, especially after the last 5 months that have been pretty difficult in Massachusetts!
We stayed with my parents in P.G. where we were extremely pampered! My mom did our laundry, got up with Oliver almost every morning so that we could sleep in, cooked and cleaned!! Zack's parents babysat a few times, as did my parents! Zack and I went on our annual date! (I'd been looking forward to it all year!) We were able to visit with friends that we haven't seen in a long time, and saw family which is always great! Over all it was a great trip until the end when we had to come home. :( So sad, to leave all those loved ones behind. So the next few posts will be sort of catching up on my blogging that I have neglected over the past month! Back to reality I guess....