Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random Grumpy Thought Thursday

Woo wee, it's been a busy, busy day. I have a mucho importante meeting at work tomorrow and on Sunday, I leave for Austin. Monday and Tuesday is the annual conference I'm in charge of organizing every year. Add this to the fact that Freddie has an infection and required two trips to the pharmacy, I had to get not one - but two wedding gifts ready for the weekend, I had to clean out my car (for said mucho importante meeting), I had to stop by my brother's to drop something off (and play catch-up since we hadn't talked in the past six weeks), I had to go to Target to return the pants I bought YESTERDAY (because I'm AN IDIOT - I tried on two pairs and mistakenly bought the WRONG pair), my in-laws needed us to stop by to look through some old things they're getting rid of, the Polack had to pick up some computer related items from a friend, and oh yeah, we had to eat dinner. After getting home an hour later than usual from work. Well let's just say it again. Woo wee.

I'm not in the best of moods.

The Polack asked what this post would be like since I'm grumpy. Can you believe he called me grumpy?


Oh yeah, random thought thursday.

1. I'm so tired. Mucho sleepy. Why am I so tired lately? Is something physically wrong with me? Is this a sign of getting old? I should probably just start going to bed earlier. If only it that were easy.

2. My to-do list seems to be growing, not shrinking. What's up with that? I need a personal assistant. I know - I need a butler. That would be, like, so cool.

3. Austin is a cool place and all but I really have no desire to go there again this summer. Especially since it's been 110+ degrees.

4. My house is so dirty. I have no idea with I'll be able to clean it.

5. This week, the Polack and I bought mucho furniture. Mucho. As in new family room furniture, furniture for the basement-that-will-take-months-to-finish, and a new dining room table + chair set.

6. I need to get some serious sewing done. For sanity's sake. But it ain't happening anytime soon. Does that mean I'm slowly going crazy. Let me check. Yep, definitely crazy.

7. Furniture + upcoming vacation + basement project + new office/workcenter + life in general = lots of money. As in mucho amount of money.

8. Did I mention that the Polack and I are going to Las Vegas? It's our 10 year anniversary. Vegas baby!

9. I love the song Come On, Eileen. I don't know any of the words to it but I sing it anyway. It always makes me smile and I got to hear it today when I was on my way home from work. It was the perfect pick me up for a crazy day that was only half over.

10. We FINALLY got Mia's travel itinerary. FINALLY. She arrives a week from Wednesday. Yippee!!

See I wasn't too grumpy, was I?

Vegas baby!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A nice suprise

Today I was at work when a student I know popped in to say hi. I hadn't seen him in about 2 years so it was a nice surprise. As a freshmen, he came to the University after living in Finland for most of his high school career. A family member introduced him to my supervisor and my supervisor brought him to my office and asked our team if we wanted to hire him to work for us. He worked for me for almost 2 years (until I changed jobs).

When he stopped in, it was to say goodbye. He graduated in May (WHAT? Already??) and is preparing to attend graduate school in Florida. He wanted to thank me for the support I gave him during his first years at the University. He even had the sweetest thank you card for me.

I have to say, I was a bit surprised. For the most part, he was a pretty good worker although there were a few issues. One time I had to suspend him for repeatedly oversleeping and coming to work late. I also had to have a conversation with him about personal hygiene. I saw this is as a part of the "growing up and being an adult" process. But I didn't know how he felt - I had the impression that he thought I was too hard on him. It's nice to know he appreciated the relationship we had. AND he even made the effort to tell me.


P.S. The note read: Thanks so much for giving me my first job at the university. It was a pleasure working for you and learning from you. I truly appreciate how patient you were and the opportunities you gave me. I am going to graduate school for my PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida this upcoming year, and it is due in no small part to you and the rest of the office that I got through my first few years of undergrad. Thanks for everything and best of luck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blogaversary giveaway

Only one more day left in the Blogaversary giveaway. Don't forget to send me your answers by tomorrow night!

The little sneak

This is what happens when I leave my camera lying around and Nicklas gets ahold of it.

I like how the photo shoot begins and ends with his self portrait.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Camp Tecumseh

The boys spent last week attending day camp at Camp Tecumseh. Although I don't have a lot to compare, I have to tell you how impressed I am with this place. The staff are wonderful, there is so much to do, and the price was very reasonable. Nicklas attends camp every year but this was Seeger's first year. They both had a great week. Nicklas was crying when I picked him up on Friday. He was sad that it was his last day.

We took some pictures during the family night. Here is Seeger with his two counselors.
Family night was held in one of the larger buildings on the complex. The decor was awesome. Here is half a stage coach that was built into the wall. Cousin Ben is hanging out with Nicklas and Seeger. (Ben wasn't old enough to attend this year but Anna was in Nick's group.)

Nicklas wanted me to see the pool area. They did a swimming test on the first day and he was so good, he got a blue wrist band and was allowed to swim anywhere. He was very proud because he jumped off the tallest diving platform.
One day, they played a game that involved being jailed for some reason. Seeger thought it was hilarious and made sure I got a picture with him in it.

They both want to go back next summer. Nicklas is hoping to attend the overnight camp now that he's old enough. It costs five times as much so I'm not sure it will happen. We'll see!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I almost forgot!

I can't believe I almost forgot about Random Thought Thursday. I seriously don't know what's happening with my brain lately. I'm forgetful, I can't complete a sentence, and I've stopped planning things. (Meaning I'm usually on the ball, predicting when we'll run out of toilet paper, who needs to pick up Nicklas at what time, how we'll arrange someone to watch Freddie, etc.)

Man, it's rough being 34.

Anyway, I better get on with it before I forget what I'm posting about....

1. People need to remember bathroom etiquette. If a gal is using one of the six available stalls, don't choose the stall right next to her. There are others that are further away and maintain a little more privacy. Am I right or am I right? I'm told urinal etiquette dictates the same.

2. What a cool summer it's been. As in physically cool. The air even smells like autumn. I went to work today thinking it would be a great day for a football game.

3. We bought pool passes and darn it, we're not using them enough. Unless the Polack takes the boys every day next week, we'll have paid less by purchasing individual tickets rather than buying a season pass.

4. I HATE not getting my money's worth. I can seriously turn psycho. When we went to Cedar Point, my mom asked what time we would leave. Seriously mom? I paid freaking $170 for our tickets. We're staying the whole damn day!!! When we went to Disney, we were there from the time the park opened until the fireworks.

5. Seeger used freaking in a sentence the other day. As in, "That's freaking funny." I wonder where he heard that term?

6. Did I mention that the building I work in as been infested with mice? Everyone is finding nests in their desk drawers and someone even found a nest with babies. Eeewww! I've found two nests in my office. The building is only two years old and it's warm enough outside that the university pest people are scratching their heads. They weren't doing anything about it so we set our own traps and threatened to get some D-Con. That got their attention and now they're on it. (We've even caught one with our traps. Double eewww!)

7. I LOVE my new sewing area. Love it, love it, love it. An orange and yellow room is super cool!

8. Why does all furniture on Craig's List look old, outdated, and gross?

9. I finally got to see The Hangover. So funny!

10. We're going to the Lake for the weekend. Our third trip this summer - yippee! My aunt from New York is visiting so we'll get to spend some time with her.

That's 10 folks. Don't forget to send me your answers to the blogaversary giveaway. Seven days and counting. I have an awesome prize in mind for the winner!

Preparing for Mia

With less than four weeks to go until our exchange student Mia's arrival, the Polack and I spent the weekend getting the house in order. We've moved the office/sewing stuff out of the fourth bedroom so we can begin setting it up for her. The closet in that room is huge - seriously, it's about 24 square feet - so it took the better part of a day to clean it out. Yesterday we picked up a bed to set up and in the next few days, I'll sweep and dry mop the floors and we'll bring up the dresser we have stored in our basement. It's slowly turning into a fourth bedroom!

Since we use our living room as the family hangout, our family room was fair game. We decided to turn it into a workcenter. We set up our computers and my sewing stuff. I'm so excited to have my sewing stuff downstairs. You can see a photo of it on my new quilting blog. I've decided to maintain two blogs - one personal and one for my quilting.

Getting in the spirit of things, Nicklas decided to prepare for Mia's arrival too. He made the Norwegian flag and I think he plans to take it to airport when we pick her up. We're all getting very excited!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Mouse Game

Growing up in a small Indiana town, my community always looked forward to the end of September when the county fair was held. It's the last county fair of the season and everyone came out to celebrate. The schools even closed on Friday so everyone could spend even more time ingesting elephant ears, hurtling around on the rides, and dropping $20 bills on the games. One game my mom and I would play is called the Mouse Game. Everyone stood around a tent and put their quarters on the number combination they thought would win. The announcer would let a mouse out of a box into an enclosed wheel and the mouse would run into one of the holes of the wheel which had a designated number. If you had a quarter on the number that corresponded with the mouse's choice, you won a prize.

In the olden days (you know way back when), your quarter would cover six numbers - like 7-12 or 25-30. But from what I gather, you no longer get as many numbers with your quarter. There were two mouse games, right across from each other in the same spot every year. I always went to the same one. The same guy was there year after year. I always remember the way he said, "And here he goes..." before letting the mouse free. I'm reminded of this every time Freddie takes off on a running fit around the house. I mimic that mouse game announcer, "And here he goes..." Of course, I'm the only one who gets it.

The family and I attended our county fair a few days ago. It's different than the one I grew up with. It's enclosed in the fairgrounds and much smaller. I miss the one I remember. The one that took over the town. It covered several blocks around the court house and spanned almost a mile south the official fairgrounds. When I suggested to the Polack that we take the boys to our fair this year, he rolled his eyes. The fair doesn't have the same meaning to him.

(Cuz he grew up with the crappy small fair while my fair was super-awesome! I mean, who wouldn't like a fair that caused the school district to shut down for a day?)

I realize that my expectations of my hometown fair won't ever meet the memories I have of it. But I'm hoping that sometime in the next few years, I'll have an opportunity to take my boys and experience it again through their eyes. In the meantime, here are some photos from our recent visit to the crappy fair.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

iPhone + roller coast = bad things

So apparently this is what happens when an iPhone falls out of your pocket while riding a roller coaster....

I have to give Cedar Point some credit. They were very responsive and helpful when I went crying to them about losing my brand new phone. I gather they are very experienced with these sorts of incidents. When I filed my claim and told them which coaster, they asked if it was lost "in the tunnel". Cuz apparently LOTS of phones are lost in the tunnel of the Magnum. They promised to mail me the phone if they found it.
And of course the day I went to purchase a new phone - exactly one week after losing it - I received a package in the mail from Cedar Point. I wasn't home but the Polack was excited. The package obviously contained a phone and since we'd just bought a new one, he knew he'd get the old one. His hopes were quickly shattered when he saw the condition of the phone. (Which was also shattered - ha ha!)
And the best part? It's not even my phone. Someone else must have experienced the same fate as I. Mine is still MIA but I suspect it's found its way into a new home.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I just realized I'm approaching my one year blogging anniversary. Happy blogaversary (yep, I made that up) to me!

In honor of the momentous occasion (okay, it's not REALLY that momentous - but I'm trying to build some excitement here!), I've decided to celebrate with another giveaway. I can hear the cheering already. A giveaway, a giveaway, a giveaway! What, you're NOT cheering? That's okay, I love you anyway.

Here's how it will work. I'll ask five questions below. For loyal readers, the answers will be easy. For those that don't know the answers, you can find them somewhere within this blog. It's like an open book exam! You send me an email. With every correct answer, you get one entry in the giveaway. So you can potentially get five entries by correctly completing the quiz. Got it? Great, there's more. If you're a follower or you start following my blog, leave me a comment on this post and you'll get an extra 10 entries. So that's a total of 15 entries you can earn! How exciting!!

I have a prize in mind but I need to do a little research to make sure it can happen. It will be even cooler than the Heather's giveaway. I promise! I need all emails by 11:59pm (eastern time) on July 30. That's my official one year blogaversary. Email answers to ngkubat (at)

The questions:

  1. Where did the Polack and I spend our last wedding anniversary?
  2. Why did I have to learn to paint faces in the fall?
  3. Why did I get pulled over by the Michigan State Police?
  4. What country is our exchange student coming from?
  5. What was the prize given in the Heather's giveaway?

See those are easy enough, right? Now get that email to me. This is going to be so much fun!

Vacation - in the end

Sorry for the delay between posts. Things happen. Like we realized our exchange student will be arriving in less than four weeks. And I'll be out of town the 10 days prior. And we don't have her room set up yet. And her closet is mess. SOOOOOO... we spent the weekend cleaning and organizing to prepare for Mia's visit with us

But before we get to recent household activities, I need to recap the rest of our vacation. After spending the fourth of July weekend and following week at the Lake, we got up Friday and packed up everything for our next adventure: Cousin's Weekend. A few months ago, the Polack's cousins decided to organize a reunion. Our destination was a lake cottage in Michigan owned by some of the family.

But before leaving the Lake (for the Cottage - notice a theme here?), we had to have one last ride on the Sea-Doo. The Polack's brother and family stopped by for lunch and a ride too.

And then kids were really wanted to swim one more time - this time with their cousins.

Finally, we said our goodbye's to Grandma and caravaned to the Cottage. We had a GREAT weekend. The boys enjoyed playing with all the kids. The played hard.

And there were a few ice cream runs on the boat with Captain Bob.

And lots of good food.

The big cousins had fun too. Fun involving corn hole tournaments, dominoes, marshmallow wars, and other adult like activities. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) I don't have any photo's. With over 20 people staying at the Cottage, we had hoped to get a group shot but it never seemed to happen.

After the Cousin's Weekend, we were off to Chicago. I had a conference to attend and since the Polack and boys don't have anything better to do, they tagged along. On our way, we made a detour in Ann Arbor to visit my cousin and his new house. He took us to his favorite ice cream place.

We were staying in the outskirts of Chicago and since I had to work, the boys didn't venture into the city. We spent our time swimming and exploring the area and decided to end our vacation with a yummy meal at a local Mexican restaurant.

My goal for this vacation was to stay close to home, spend time with family, and save the money that would have been spent on a bigger vacation. Goals one and two were achieved. We didn't do as well with number three (Sea-Doo's take A LOT of gas!) but we had fun. And that's what matters. We'll definitely make more visits to the Lake and the Turner's are already planning the next Cousin's Weekend. Woop, woop!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation - Cedar Point

Growing up, I went to Cedar Point pretty much every summer. I have always loved riding roller coasters. I still do for the most part, although I sometimes take a bit longer to recover. Nicklas and the Polack like roller coasters more than I do so it was only fitting that we took a day to visit "America's Roller Coast". Nicklas could ride all but two of the coasters. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to all of them all. The upside is this gives us another reason to visit.

Seeger wasn't tall enough for anything but the Junior Gemini. Check out Nicklas in the last car!

The boys waited in line for the Matterhorn by themselves. The Polack and I were off riding one of the coasters Nicklas couldn't do and my mom stayed with the boys. Apparently just before getting on the ride, Seeger tried to chicken out. Nicklas talked him into trying it one time and promised him he'd have fun. And of course he did. What a great big brother! They rode that ride a few times.

My brother tagged along for the day. He and Nicklas decided to ride Thunder Canyon. Nicklas was excited about riding without his shoes.

This is a photo of the Wicked Twister. We didn't have a chance to ride this, nor did we ride the High Speed Dragster or the Maverick. (I may or may not have gotten those names correct!) There's always next year!!

At the end of the night, we let Nicklas choose the last ride. He picked his (and mine!) favorite coaster - the Millennium Force. Here's a great photo as we were making our way to the line.

It was a great day despite the fact that I lost my phone while riding the Magnum. I think it fell out of my pocket when I was getting off the coaster. I'm pretty sure someone else has a brand new iPhone of their own. It was only six days old!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation - in the middle

After the Fourth, we spent a week at the Lake with my Grandma. The boys spent a lot time swimming.
And riding the Sea-Doo.

Seeger caught a fish with his new fishing pole. I'm not sure how he did - he somehow hooked the gill of a pretty good size bass. We weren't really paying attention until we heard him yelling, "I got one! I got one!"

Monday afternoon the Polack and Nicklas ventured to Detroit to catch a Tigers game. Seeger and I stayed behind. We took Grandma out to dinner. My dad and his wife joined us. After dinner, my dad helped Seeger light some sparklers.

One evening we took the boys miniature golfing.

Our only big mishap occurred when we took Nicklas tubing. We were on the Sea-Doo and stopped in the lake, trying to get him set up. I wasn't being careful with the tubing rope and it got caught in the impellor. The Polack was quick to shut off the engine and we ended up swimming everything to shore. Someone let us put the Sea-Doo up on their lift so we could get under it and get the rope untangled. We had to cut it out but got it cleared safely with no harm to the Sea-Doo. (Which belongs to my aunt and uncle. Thank goodness there was no damage!!) I didn't fair as well. When we were still in the middle of lake, trying to see how bad the rope was, I fell and bruised my leg pretty badly. Luckily it's my upper thigh so it's easily hidden.

We also spent a day at Cedar Point which was Nicklas's absolute favorite thing we did. More on that in my next post!!