Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Brian gives his seal of approval on the completion of my rather large, rather daunting task.
I finished early! By two days!
I organized all our camping gear and luggage.
When did we get so many suitcases??
You can't tell, but we have a LOT!
Organization tip? I stored them inside each other.
Duffels inside duffels,
backpacks inside backpacks,
purses and wallets inside one big bag.
I never thought I would say it...
I have way too many purses for one person!

See the lack of laundry on the floor? My old system was to toss everything in one big pile in front of the washer. This made for many trips and falls while I tried to sort and load all at once before the water stopped running.
My new system is pictured last.

The military housing office provides each home with a washer and dryer. They refuse to take the ones they gave us, as they have no room to store them. So, it has become our responsibility to store them. There they are. In a home of their own. No more shoving, huffing and puffing through relocations galore.
This is our ironing center. The towel is actually for those scary sinks in the corner by our washer (Third picture). I use that sink whenever my hands get too dirty to be touching clean laundry with. It happens a lot more than you'd think. (Our homes have lead-based paint under layers of "treatment" for lead-based paint. This causes dinginess to be almost permanent on your hands. Only downstairs...)
And last, but most surely not the least, my coup de gras. I am most proud of my sorting system. It works for us. Whites on the far left, then darks, then reds, and delicates on the far right. Brian even sticks to this system!
I love that he supports my neurotic eccentricities!

And that is the rundown of my would-be weeks-long project. I had a blast! But it didnt satisfy my need for cleaning. I'm moving onto the downstairs bathroom next. I intend to make it my personal vanity. I have been receiving complaints that my "girly stuff" is cramping my husband's style. I guess after two and a half years of marriage, you quit putting up with the "cute" little quirks your partner has.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm all out of spray cheese

I haven't been posting because I'm working on a rather large and daunting project. It should be finished by this weekend. I'll be sure to post and put up pictures as soon as I'm done!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Moving On

I've graduated from my medium-sized clothes.
I can no longer stomach the way I look in them.
I finally gave in and switched out all my mediums for my new and/or gently used maternity clothes.
This is also part of my stir-crazy nesting.
I just felt the urge to do it.
Even after a full day of work.
I skipped my NAP for this.
Is nesting supposed to take over your body like that??

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thanks Gag Man

I worked with the four to five year olds at work today. They hang their art all over the walls. One was still up from Thanksgiving. And since they're still learning to write, one of the turkey drawings ended up something like this:

Happy Thanksgagman!

Now, I know it's nowhere near Thanksgiving, but come on.

Who doesn't appreciate a heartfelt thanks from a child?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Isn't she a beaut?
I found this little treasure at a yard sale. The lady said that her mom had been given this Singer sewing machine as a wedding present. It just broke her Momma's heart when her son-in-law bought a brand new sewing machine for his anniversary with her daughter. Her Momma just wanted SOMEONE to use it.

The lady said it sat in her house, collecting dust, being moved with each military relocation, feeling lonely. They have a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) coming up in October, so they were selling the stuff that they didn't want to pack. This sewing machine, table, and stool was one of those items.

I was playing around with it in the yard, threading the needle and the bobbin. I asked if she had a scrap piece of fabric I could try a stitch on. She did and I nearly cried when I saw the perfect, tiny stitches this machine could produce.

I was instantly in love.

I fondled and fiddled with it for about twenty minutes. I asked how much it was, fearing the worst. When she said "make me an offer," I opened up my wallet and counted all the money I had left over. This was my last yard sale, so I only had thirty four dollars.

When I heard her say "Sold!" I almost jumped for joy! I brought her home, cleaned her up, changed the seat cover. (Underneath that clean white is a very frightening yellow leather. Hey, it was made in the 50's, what do you want?) Now all that's left to fix is that jerry-rigged velcro handle. I need to find a new knob for the tiny drawer in front.

I wanted a sewing machine SO bad for my birthday this year. But they were too pricey, even if I went with bottom of the line Walmart machines. I feel like I robbed from the nice lady who just wanted to find this machine a good home. Thirty-four dollars?? What are the chances of a deal like that ever coming up again?

I don't think I can ever go to Vegas,
I used up all my luck yesterday!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Gender Neutral

A lady I work with had a yard sale today, so I wandered by after work. I picked up a few cool items.

A walker-popper like the one I had when I was a kid.
A few pairs of pants.
Random toys for a great deal.
And some CUTE, basically new, shoes.

I was talking with her while I picked out items that I wanted. She asked, about five minutes into our convo, if knew the gender of our baby. I said, "Nope, not 'til August." (It's basically on auto-answer, I get asked that a LOT.) And she says, "Huh, well that's funny. You keep saying 'her' and 'she.' I thought maybe you already knew it was a girl." I didn't realize I'd been saying "her" and "she." I guess I picked it up from Brian.

The lady then said that maybe I subconsciously knew that it was a girl. While it would be fun if that were the case, I highly doubt it. My mom's the intuitive one.

Anyway, long story short, here's the cute shoes I picked up for $3.25 total.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gotta Say...

I'm running out of things to share!

I Think the World Would Look Better In Title Case.

It's the end of the world and I'm out of clean underwear.
Heck, I'm out of underwear that fits my expanding hips!

There is not enough mail in the world to make me happy.
Why is my mailbox always empty?

My dog seems to think the whole world is her toilet.
Who put that idea in her head?
I intend to write them a very stern letter of reprimand!

The baby moved for twenty minutes straight yesterday.
Poor thing probably worked itself into a coma!
Hasn't moved very much since.

I've found that there will never be enough sleep to satisfy my weary body.

Do ALL air force wives throw parties that require the guests to purchase something?
Where have all the potlucks gone?

I think peeing eighteen times in a twenty-four hour period is border-line ridiculous.

All I ever think about is mayonnaise.
I want it. On everything.
All the time.

My weight hasn't changed...but I can't get my stretchy pants past my hips.
Odd? I think so.

My husband seriously considers burning his neck to be a more logical solution to hair growth than shaving.

I've chinese-fooded myself out. No more chinese.
For a looong time.

I really should be sleeping.

Did you enjoy your thirty seconds in my mind?

This is how my mind works. And I wonder why I have insomnia...

You try having these random thoughts shoot through your mind at lightspeed. Now close your eyes...and try to sleep. Impossible. Believe me, I'm there.

Good night!

Monday, June 12, 2006

"When's the baby due?"

It's official!
12 weeks today!

It's also apparent to me that the general public are now able to tell that I'm expecting. Brian and I went to an incredible chinese restaurant for dinner tonight. (I wore the outfit on the left. The cute top is from a lady at work who is due to deliver any day now. And the pants are from my Mommy. My favorite pair of maternity pants!)
While we were paying for our dinner, our waitress asked me when our baby is due. When I replied with "December" she seemed taken aback. I guess it's not a secret anymore.

Just for fun, I'm posting my bare belly.
I'm not shy. I'll lift my shirt for anyone who asks.
But only to show off my belly. Not the girls!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Heart Camping!

When I agreed to this whole camping adventure, I assumed there would be restroom facilities. I'm not sure why I assumed this, but I did. Much to my dismay, Carol informed me how very wrong I was. She corrected me the day we were scheduled to leave.
We'd be taking care of nature in...nature.
I was appalled! I was horrified! I nearly backed out!

After a LOT of reassurance from Carol that girls are INDEED able to go potty outside, I thought I'd give it a try. (It helps that she promised to go to the "civilized" camping grounds if I was outdoor-potty inept.) She even came up with the cup idea. I'll spare you the details on that one. Just know that Carol is pretty much the coolest camping girl EVER. I freakin' love her!

I took 67 pictures this weekend. I limited myself to posting ten. If you count them, I even went over that limit. But I just couldn't choose! The first picture is, of course, the infamous Steve Van Wie and his FANTASTIC girlfriend Carol. This was right after we got to our campsite. Which was right on the river. I'm not sure the name of the river. I just know that we were very near Lake Benka. And then this is Brian and myself holding Zoe. We're pretty excited, as you can see.

This is our first fire. We eventually went to a nearby gas station to buy firewood. We had a good reason! It had rained and there was no dry wood left. You may ask why it's dark. Well, you might not unless you know that the sun doesn't set during Alaska summers. Only for a few hours. We didn't get to our campsite until almost 2 a.m. Not to worry, the sun rose before the fire died out. I really packed way too many flashlights.

This picture just looked better in black and white. Carol found that pink bandana at the Tesoro in Wasilla. I found the equivalent of a 7-11 Slurpee. It's basically a coke slushee and it's pretty much the only thing that is safe for me to drink when I'm feeling queasy. Car rides make me queasy. I was overjoyed to find the miracle drink.

Super Carol even attempted to teach Steve Van Wie how to fish. That went ok. He yelled a lot. He actually caught one and when he was trying to reel it in, he hooked Carol's hand. When I asked if she was going to be okay, she replied, "Yeah, it only bled for a second." I would have cried like a baby. I'm a drama queen. What can I say? Oh, the fish got away.

These are the only fish we caught. We named them. If I remember correctly, Fred, Cecil, Clyde, and Nancy. I'm guessing on the Nancy part. We later released them back into the river, probably sending them to their deaths. We caught them in a little pool full of babies. We let them go where the big fish swim. They're probably dead by now.

This is Lola. As nature-iffic as her Mommy is, Lola is a prissy princess. She did not like the rain. Not one bit. Brian has a soft spot for this dog that I call "Tiny" He let her occupy his sleeve until the storm passed. This picture also looked better in black and white.

I can't really poke fun, but I think Carol is afraid of bugs. This little fella was on our tent door. When she found out I was going to open the tent, dig out our camera, and snap a shot of him, she nearly passed out. Brian squished him with his boot when I was done with him. Carol swears that's the bug that was on her foot by the fire!

We had to coax Zoe into the water, but once she was in, she learned quick that she could swim. She wouldn't go out unless we went with her. And when I say "we" I mean ME. Brian would have none of the river. He was a good sport when it came time to dry Zoe off, though.

I think there might be only one thing Steve Van Wie loves more than Carol; his Jeep Liberty. He posed by it while brushing his teeth. After the flash went off, he said, "Now that's a MySpace picture!" He nearly broke down in tears when we had to put a trash bag full of our non-burnables in the back. You know the motto; "Pack it in, Pack it out!"

This whole weekend was orchestrated by Carol. She even brought along charrizo and eggs for us to try. She likes to say that she's half mexican. Though, she claims she got the worst parts. She says she got white girl skin and mexican hair. She makes me laugh. I tried one bite of the charrizo and eggs, at her request. While she was cooking it, I was battling morning sickness, which was a bummer. The boys gobbled it up with a vengeance.

Even though it rained, I had a blast!
What I learned from this whole experience is that when you're camping,
you're going to get dirty.
Your stuff is going to get dirty.
Your dog is going to get dirty.
And when you all get together for a sobbing, laughing, stumbling group hug, no one cares how bad you smell.

Maybe that's why it took me so long to realize how much I love camping.
I always tried so hard to keep everything clean.
It just isn't possible.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I'm not much of an outdoors girl.
Not much for bugs and dirt and smoke and cold and heat and B.I.F.F.Y.'s and... a LOT of other things I can't even fathom!
But this weekend, ladies and gentlemen, I will be roughing it for two nights.

TWO nights!

The last time I went camping, Brian and I lived in Utah. We'd only been married for about 7 months. We paid $14 to spend a night at one of those nature-y places that have cement pads installed at each campsite. You know, so your sedan doesn't get dirty. This cement pad was positioned for you to park your car right next to your tent.

Who knows what this weekend will bring? Maybe I'll fall in love with nature... Maybe I'll grow a new hate for mosquitoes?

I'll let you know on Sunday, with LOTS of pictures!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Belly Rub

So, I'm roughly three months along.
Not very far. But I am showing.
Not signs of a baby, signs of overeating.

Anyway, since I have a belly a bit too early, I got my first belly rub today. You know how pregnant women go through strangers patting their bellies and talking to it? I had my very first stranger belly rub.

I always thought I would be so excited to have people come up and rub my belly...I'm not.
Because it doesn't feel like they're rubbing the baby.
It feels like they're rubbing me!
I might be feeling a little better if I wasn't so big for how far along I am.
I'm self-conscious about my expanding waistline!
It's not even baby shaped!
I don't look pregnant! I look hefty!

Anyway, it was pretty monumental for me to have my first belly rub. I suppose I'll be getting a lot more of them, so I'd better get used to it or start telling people to leave my belly alone!

Ask me how I feel about it next month.
I may have changed my mind.

When Morning Comes

I have a song stuck in my head.
I can't sleep...too nervous I won't wake up on time.

I start work again today...in less than six hours. And because Brian and I have only one car, I'll be getting up in four hours.

I slept so well for four hours (Thank you Benadryl!) and now.. that song in my head. Keeps repeating. And since I have it memorized, once it starts, I can't stop it. I have to finish the song. In my head, of course. No sense in keeping Brian up.

So, when morning comes, I'll be going back to work, in hopes of becoming debt-free before Little Chicken is born. I've actually metered out my paychecks and should be able to quit about two weeks before the baby is due to arrive. It's possible I'm being too optimistic about my debt solution. But it's what I need to be able to keep Brian sane about being a Dad. His biggest worry was finances. And once I presented the "Debt-Free" plan, he calmed down and settled happily into the idea of being a Father.

I'll suck it up and function on four hours of sleep if that's what it takes. But it sure would be nice to get in a few more before the alarm goes off.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Dad

I have a nose that, by beauty pageant standards, would be considered... well, not even a contestant.

I do not remain in the dark about this painfully obvious fact.
I am well aware of the uneven curve of my nose.
The well-defined point at the tip of my nose.
My unsightly nose hair that never seems to stop growing.
I am acquainted with the bump on the bridge of my nose.
I've even made note of the length of my nose.

This list of observations might lead you to think that I'm unhappy about my nose.

I think it would be fair to say that I was, at one point. I cursed my nose everyday for most of my teen years.

I was unforgiving and relentless!

But I've recently come to the realization that I won't be escaping my nose anytime soon. And this doesn't chafe me as it once did.

You see, I got my nose from my Dad.

My Dad is a creative, intellegent, empathetic man.
He has a knack for finding things that are PERFECT for his collections.
My Dad is able to listen for hours about things that may seem mundane and still appear interested.
He has a natural talent for drawing and he's learned to make money doing it.
His looks have always belied his age.
He is dedicated to his faith and his family.

My brothers were fortunate enough to have most of these gifts and talents bestowed upon them. And while I was genetically lucky in some areas, there are several I missed out on.

That's why I am at peace with my nose.

I got it from my Dad. And I'll wear it, smack dab in the middle of my face, as a badge, proudly proclaiming-

I am my Father's daughter.