30 June 2009

Have you seen this? Life.com

Remember Life magazine with all the awesome pictures? Well, it has been reincarnated into Life.com and it is all about the photos. They've broken the images into major categories, but they also have a pretty good search. Each image has options to email, share, rate, print, link and license. You can find images of just about any major event you can think of. Great site for browsing or searching. Very nicely done.

Summer days

Now that we've finally had a few days of actual summer weather I am starting to believe it is real. I just got back from dropping Zoe off at the camp bus and I am filled with longing for my own camper days. I went to day camp and then sleep away camp from the time I was about 6 until I was 13 or 14 and I loved it. I loved the swimming, the arts and crafts, the singing, the campfires, the bad food, the s'mores, the everything. It was all special and unique to summers. To me, that is what summer should be all about and not sitting here at my desk doing the same job like it was any other day.

Growing up kinda sucks sometimes.

26 June 2009

Friday's Lessons Learned: It's Friday again already?

I'm not complaining that it is Friday again, I just can't believe how quickly this week went by. I only managed one post between last Friday and this. I hate when that happens. OK, on with this week's list:

  • Losing weight feels really good, but having your "skinny" jeans (not as in the style, but as in the ones you can wear on your skinny feeling days) be too big feels downright amazing. I'm just about to start the 6th week of the competition at my gym and it has been a wonderfully motivating experience.
  • Nothing scares me like a sick or injured Zoe. On Wednesday of this week she did something to her neck. It hurt her so much that she was crying and couldn't really lift her head. At first I thought it was a muscle strain and then when it wasn't better in the morning my mind started to jump to all kinds of worst case scenarios like meningitis or something like that. I took her to the pediatrician and luckily it turned out to mild whiplash. I have no idea what she did to herself, but I think it was either from jumping on the bed or Chief pulling too hard while she was holding the leash. She's feeling much better now. Phew!
  • Saying "Calgon, take me away!" does not actually magically transport you to a luxurious bubble bath, no matter what that commercial says.

  • Chief likes to carry a tennis ball in his mouth where ever he goes. And sometimes around the house he will drop it out of his mouth and let it bounce up so he can catch it. I never saw a dog do that before. Have I mentioned that he's a great dog?
  • Meteorology is a lost art.

24 June 2009

An ABC Meme

Got this one from Queen Emily, of course. She says is really one of those Facebook quizzes, but I like it better for the blog.

You are supposed to write a note with the ABCs of YOU. (Consider yourself tagged if you'd like to do this one.)

A - An advantage that you have: White & college-educated.

B - Blue or brown eyes: Sometimes mine are blue and sometimes they are green, but Zoe has beautiful brown eyes that look like candy drops.

C - Chore you hate: Changing the sheets. Actually I hate the entire process. I hate pulling the sheets off the bed, I hate washing the sheets, I hate folding sheets, and I hate putting new sheets on the bed. I don't mind regular making the bed though.

D - Dad's name: David. It is interesting to note that he has no middle name.

E - Essential start of your day: Brushing my teeth

F - Favorite color: I don't have a favorite, but I am not often drawn to yellow.

G - Greatest thing you've ever done that made you feel really good: Almost every year for Zoe's birthday party I ask party guests to make a donation to Save the Children instead of bringing a gift. We've raised a few thousand dollars over the years.

H - Habit you have: iPhone. Not sure if that is a habit or a way of life.

I - Issue you hate that the world tries to make you pursue: Jon and Kate Plus 8. Who really gives a crap?

J - Job title: Senior Project Manager

K - Khols or Target: Target all the way. I rarely go to Khols of my own volition.

L - Living arrangements: House in Fairfield, CT that I share with my husband, my Mom, Zoe and our newest resident, Chief.

M - Music you like: The music they play on the Sirius Satellite station, The Spectrum and classic 80's New Wave.

N - Nicknames: No one really calls me by a nickname anymore, but in the past I have been called Mertz, Marsh, Mars, and M

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Hernia repair surgery

P - Pet Peeve: When people say "FYI." I don't mind it as much in an email, but when someone actually says it, I find it highly irritating. Close second to that is when people sum something up by saying "it is what it is."

Q - Quote that you like most: "Leap and the net will appear."

R - Right or left handed: Extremely right-handed

S - Siblings: One, his name is Jon.

T - Time you wake up: 5:30 AM

U - Underwear: Yes.

V - Vegetable you dislike: broccoli

W - What makes you run late: Rob

X-rays you've had: Right foot (after dropping a heavy stapler on it), pelvis (after falling down icy stairs), face (after bad fall while playing basketball), and teeth.

Y - Yummy food you make: Several different kinds of cookies including Linzer tarts, macaroons, and peanut butter.

Z- Zoo Animal- I'm partial to the giraffes.

19 June 2009

Friday's Lessons Learned: A Week in Photos

This week I am too lazy and exhausted to write full bullet points so I am relying on pictures. We all know how many words they are worth, right?

  • I was finally able to catch a photo of one half of the cardinal couple that frequent my bird feeder. This is Ruby:

    Her mate, Carmine, is still camera shy.

  • Zoe was into crazy outfits this week. Yes those are socks on her hands, and yes that is her underwear over her pants.

  • Chief likes to sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed with his "baby." He is probably the best dog, ever.

  • We had another visit from the Tooth Fairy this week. Zoe lost her first top tooth and now has that jack-o-lantern look!

  • Yes, you may have noticed there are no pictures of Rob this week. He's been too busy working his crazy summer schedule to participate in any of my photo shoots, but I will share that my excellent friend Heather has started a hysterical new blog called Rob hates blogs about him. Anyone out there who wants author rights, let me know.

18 June 2009

Have you seen this? The MP3 Experiment

I read about this a couple of weeks ago on David Pogue's blog. He gives an excellent description of the day from a participants point of view. But, better still is this video:

16 June 2009

Hail to my Chief

Chief the dog came home to us at last. He's finally all recovered from his surgery and now he's all ours. The first night was a little tough because he was quite nervous, but by midday today he seemed to start relaxing. We had a few nice walks and he spent a good deal of time sleeping under my desk while I worked. I loved that! Zoe had some fun throwing the tennis ball for him and in general just showing him off to the neighbors and enjoying having a dog. Tonight he's been following me from room to room which is pretty funny.

Only 2 things concern me. The first is that he has a tendency to nip when he's nervous and because he is a bigger dog, that is a bit scary. The second thing is that he was clearly never trained to walk on a leash. Our last walk tonight was me being taken out for a drag. I think both of those things are surmountable issues which we will begin to tackle tomorrow. And despite those issues, it is definitely a love match here in our house. I think Chief and his new family are going to be very happy together.

I wonder if this means I should change my blog to ChiefsMom?

12 June 2009

Friday's Lessons Learned (Or who wore what this week)

  • When I tell Rob he looks like a gas station attendant, he seems to think that is a good thing. I know he doesn't have a desk job, but does that mean he must always go out looking like he's going to lay down under a car all day? [Obviously, the answer is yes.]
  • I will never be able to predict what Zoe wants to wear. I must never, ever assume. (I am still holding my breath that she will actually wear the dress tomorrow.)
  • I am no longer capable of keeping all the dates I need to remember in my head. Feels like tt is getting to the point where I need calendar entries for brushing my teeth. I try very hard to put everything important into my calendar, but if I forget, oy. Not sure if I am busier or just have less room/capabilities in my brain.
  • It is very hard to take a picture of birds. I am considering setting my camera up on the tripod and taking pictures on a timer. If I can figure it out.
  • Turns out Rob has a broken arm! Man that Zoe is tough. He'll be fine, he just needs physical therapy -- no cast or anything.
  • The more I think about how much Rob hates it, the more I blog about him.
  • The promise of pizza and wine make for short blog posts.

11 June 2009

Have you seen this? 2009 Webby Awards

There is a fantastic montage from the 2009 Webby Awards available on YouTube. Winners had to give a 5-word acceptance speech. There were some good ones and some lame ones, but they are short enough to check out.

Start with Seth Meyers' opening monologue to set the stage. (It is longer than 5 words, though.)

10 June 2009

The Dress

On Saturday we have to go to a First Communion and it occurred to me this past Sunday evening that my daughter the tomboy has absolutely nothing appropriate to wear. I explained the situation to her and told her we'd have to find something.

At first I suggested one of the 3 or 4 dresses (purchased in the pre-tomboy days) already hanging in her closet, but those were categorically rejected. She did not want to wear a dress.

Then I thought of skorts. There are many adorable skorts out there and with the right top, they make a cute outfit. Plus, they are as comfortable as wearing shorts. It took a little doing, but I managed to sell Zoe on the skort idea.

Monday after school we headed right out to the stores. This was my only chance for shopping and I explained that to Zoe along with the fact that whatever we pick out she will have to wear. She made it clear to me that she was clear so into the first store we went.

There were a number of skorts in the first store, but Zoe was not overly fond of the ruffles. Then she decided that a white skort would be good, but we couldn't agree on a top. Looking back on it, I should have said OK to the purple heart t-shirt and have been done with it, but live and learn.

In store number 2 we found a really adorable aqua blue paisley printed skort with a cute aqua t-shirt which looked absolutely adorable on Zoe. I thought we were set until we were leaving the dressing room and she said she wanted to show me something else. She brought me over to a dress. A polo shirt type of dress. It was OK. Not really as cute as the aqua outfit and it was a DRESS. I had her try it on and she still wanted it.

"But you have a dress just like this at home," I told her.

"I like this one," she said admiring herself in the mirror.


So, I bought the dress with the stipulation that we look in one more store. The third store had absolutely nothing Zoe would even consider. We went back to the first store because I was hoping the white skort might change her mind again, but no such luck. So we're going with the dress.

Now I am just holding my breath until Saturday morning to see if she actually wears this dress without a fight. Maybe I should go get that skort and t-shirt just in case...? But what kind of message would that be sending? Oy.

05 June 2009

Friday's Lessons Learned

I'm really enjoying these Friday bullet point posts. Hope you are too.
  • Unless I get up before 6am and go directly into the bathroom, no matter what time I want to get in the shower, Rob will somehow get there first.
  • Zoe has some kind of strange weekend sensor that causes her to wake up very, very early on weekend mornings, but on weekday mornings an air horn is required to wake her. (Actually I know a lot of other kids do the same thing and I think it is because we tend to let them stay up later on weekend nights, but a 6am Saturday morning wake-up is a cruel payback.)
  • I prefer my home office to a windowless conference room even if there are live people in that conference room.
  • The lilacs have come and gone already and I completely missed them. It is because of all of this damn rain. It ruined my lilacs. One of the few flowers I can actually name. Not sure, but I think this is the rainiest Spring we've had in a long time. It really needs to stop raining every other day now. Right now. Seriously.
  • Keeping up with my work email is a lot like being pecked to death by a chicken. (Thanks Becky for reminding me of that perfect metaphor.) I am starting to think I may need to turn into one of those people who only checks email at set times so that I may get other work done besides answering emails. Yeah, I doubt I'll do it too.
  • Ever since our Mother's Day night viewing of "Sound of Music" Zoe has been watching it over and over. Tonight I convinced her to branch out into some new musicals so we're trying "Annie." It is not the best of the movie musicals, but it is age-appropriate and I loved it when I was her age. I'll let you know what she thinks.
  • You probably know how much I have been loving my bird feeder because of all the bird visits it brings, but this week I had the best visit of all. For most of Monday there were 2 baby birds sitting in the bird feeder and the mommy bird was showing them how to eat. At first she was putting the food in their mouths and then she was watching while they picked the food up themselves. I wish I had filmed it.

My final two bullets are pictures:
  • Love sleeping Zoe pictures, but I especially love sleeping Rob and Zoe pictures. They look so much alike in this picture.

  • Last, but certainly not least, I would like to introduce you to the soon-to-be newest member of my family. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Chief!

He's recovering from a little surgery right now, but he should be home with us by next week. We can't wait!

04 June 2009

The All About Mememememe Meme

I was tagged by the Queen herself for this one!

Rules: Try to answer the following questions, and leave your answers in the comments section. If you feel like it (unless I've tagged you. Then you have no choice), create ten questions of your own with multiple choice answers (or use my questions and create your own answers. Or use some of my questions. Or use some of my answers. See how easy I am?) and ask people to see how well they know you. Tag five others to do the same.

1. Where was ZoesMom born and raised?
a. New York
b. Connecticut
c. Texas
d. New Jersey

2. What is ZoesMom's favorite food?
a. Vegetables
b. Hot dogs
c. Pizza
d. Candy

3. How old is Zoe?
a. 5
b. 8
c. 7
d. 9

4. What is Zoe's most beloved stuffed animal?
a. Snoopy
b. Teddy
c. Uglydoll
d. Eeyore

5. What does ZoesMom most love to shop for?
a. shoes
b. bags
c. make-up
d. all of the above

6. It's Saturday night and ZoesMom has babysitting...what is she doing?
a. going to dinner and a movie with Rob
b. going to a rock concert
c. rockclimbing
d. hanging at a sports bar

7. It's dinnertime, what is ZoesMom most likely making?
a. reservations
b. grilled chicken and veggies
c. lasagna
d. whole wheat pasta with home made pesto

8. Zoe's favorite 7th birthday present was...?
a. clothes
b. Barbies
c. SpongeBob Squarepants Operation (game)
d. Magic kit

9. What book changed the reading life of ZoesMom?
a. Pride and Prejudice
b. The Hotel New Hampshire
c. Crime and Punishment
d. The Fountainhead

10. What other blogger introduced ZoesMom to Emily of Telecommuter Talk (aka Queen O' Memes)?
a. traciedesigns
b. Charlotte's Web
c. Musings from the Sofa
d. It's Sara With No H

Extra Credit:
What does ZoesMom have on the window near her desk that provides lots of nice distraction from her work?
a. a bird feeder
b. windchimes
c. sun catcher
d. artwork from Zoe

03 June 2009

Have you seen this? Photoshop Disasters

This one's especially for Tracie ...

Have you seen the blog Photoshop Disasters? If not, I highly recommend you check it out. It is both entertaining and educational. No one is safe from this site. Love it.