Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Daughter: Already a Great American Consumer

I convinced Phoebe to let me get rid of all her non-Crayola crayons. Some of the non-Crayola's were easy to spot - the ones from Olive Garden, etc. But some were clearly designed to mimick the familiar Crayola brand, so I showed her the fine distinction between the words "Crayola" and "Crayons" on the wrapper. When I spelled out Crayola, she immediately said "the art of childhood." She's picked up other advertising bits too, there's one toy on her wish list that she recognizes as being "by Little Tikes." And another she knows is available "only at Toys-R-Us." This is on top of the "I want that! I want that!" that accompanies so many of the toy commercials this holiday season. Mama Mia...

41 Days to Go!?!

Wow... I can hardly believe we're so close! Just 41 days left, and we'll be so distracted w/Christmas preps (shopping, decorating, celebrating), I just know those days will go faster than I imagine.

I continue to marvel at how very different this pregnancy has been from my first. At first I attributed it to the baby's gender, but I suppose it's probably more likely just that each pregnancy is just as different and unique as each child.

The latest is the onset of Braxton Hicks contractions, or "practice" contractions. They don't actually hurt, but they did take some getting used to. The baby is already head-down, so maybe my body's gearing up to deliver a little early? I'd prefer full-term, but an '07 delivery sure wouldn't hurt my taxes (or my body).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

AMBJr

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Naps @ Work

I recently spent five days in a row at home, sick, and my body quickly became very accustomed to the daily nap I took w/Phoebe. This week back at work has been particularly hard, mostly due to lack of naps! My body has already quit cooperating w/my work schedule, and is already ready for the "leave" part of my maternity leave. And my brain's not too far behind, especially with the timing of the holidays smack dab at the end of my third trimester! C'mon Jan 15th!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Nephew

I did these announcements for my sister, but felt obligated to let her send them before I posted this. No new info, just the nice announcement w/pics.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Name Game

We're already calling him Christopher James (maybe "CJ"?), but Phoebe claims not to like it, so I guess it's actually open for consideration until he gets here. Three syllables is my only request, to go w/James... we've heard Abraham, Addison, Adrian, Benjamin, Cameron, Christopher, Damian, Darius, Dominic, Elijah, Emerson, Gabriel, Garrison, Greggory, Harrison, Jeremy, Jonathan, Joshua, Kristopher, Madison, Malachi (or Malakai), Nathaniel, Nicholas, Oliver, Remington, Samuel, Sebastian, Timothy, or Zachary.

Telling Jokes to God

Phoebe was sorta muttering to herself and giggling in the car yesterday. When I asked her about it, first she said it was nothing, she was just talking to herself. But then she clarified, "Actually, I was jus' tellin' jokes to God." What an absolutely WONDERFUL thing for a little 4yr-old girl to be doing - telling jokes to God... and I bet God was laughing too! :) I love that kid more and more and more every day.

Sweet AJ

I spent a good part of the weekend holding my new nephew... so small, so sweet. :) "AJ" appears to be one of the more likely nicknames being tried out, I like it. The whole no-sleep thing threw my sister for a loop - go figure! I kinda enjoy watching her make many of the discoveries I made when Phoebe was new. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

McTernity Clo

Phoebe has decided that a singular piece of maternity clothing is called a McTernity Clo, I love it! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Andre Maurice Brewer, Jr.

My nephew arrived safely into the world at 1341 this afternoon, weighing in at 7lbs, 0.6oz, and 18in long. As excited as I am about being a new Aunt, I am even more excited that my sister finally gets to be a Mom - I can't imagine anyone more well-suited! Since Phoebe isn't allowed to visit at the hospital (siblings only, no little cousins), we won't meet him until they get discharged in a couple/few days, we'll drive up probably Friday and spend the weekend. Yay! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Senior Citizens Rule :)

A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation. "You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one," the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear.

"The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with DSL, bsp; light-speed processing, and..." pausing to take another drink of beer.

The Senior took advantage of the break in the student's litany and said, "You're right, son. We didn't have those things when we were young - so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little shit, what are you doing for the next generation?"

The applause was resounding...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Phoebe!

My daughter is four today... hard to believe. When I called her this morning before school to wish her a Happy Birthday, she said "It's not my birthday, Silly Mommi! It's just the day I was born!" I don't think she quite got the concept of a Saturday party to celebrate a Wednesday birthday. Silly Weebs. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Definitely a Boy!

So, our 20wk sonogram on 8/29 confirmed that we are indeed having a baby boy! So... one of each... this oughta be fun! I would have loaded the "money shot" showing how we know it's a boy, but our sonogram tech typo'd "WHAT A MAM" instead of "WHAT A MAN" so it rather defeats the purpose. Plus these profile shots are so much more recognizable as a baby rather than as alien life. :)While I am grateful to be carrying an active healthy baby, his kicking is KILLIN' me! It feels nothing like Phoebe's little flutter-kicks felt. He kicks most when I eat, and when JR, Phoebe & I are playing together. It seems the kicks to the top half of my insides feel cute, like a baby moving around in there... but the kicks to the bottom half of my insides feel like he's tugging as hard as he can on the cord, resulting in a somewhat disturbing tearing feeling. Could he dislodge something important? I'm sure my Ob will say it's normal and not to worry, but it's uncomfortable enough for me to mention at my next appt.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Phoebe to Quit Dancing

Phoebe has never been too excited about ballet. I signed her up because she wanted a tutu, thinking she might enjoy it, but I don't think she does. She's usually reluctant to go to her weekly class, and she never talks about it or practices it during the week. Yesterday she told me she was ready to quit, because it hurts her legs. So, we're going to let her quit ballet and move on to try another thing. Maybe martial arts? Or maybe just another round of swim lessons for now? We'll see.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Most Likely a Boy

Some of the symptoms of the placenta previa I experienced w/Phoebe showed up w/this pregnancy too, so I went in for a sonogram today to determine if indeed we were facing another previa - and we're not! :) But at 16wks now, she was able to identify some "suspicious material" between the baby's legs, and so suspects that at our std 20wk sonogram she will be able to confirm that we are having a little boy. My body was already telling me it was a boy, so I wasn't too surprised.

Looks like we get some snips and snails and puppy dog tails to go with our sugar and spice and everything nice! :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

My Listing... Still on the Market

They never came to terms on the offer for my listing, so it's still on the market. I wish I'd been able to sell it at the above-avg commission, but tomorrow it goes down to the traditional 6%. I sure hope it sells soon!

Friday, July 27, 2007

TGIF & Happy Friday!

I spent Mon, Tue & Wed in DC... and let's just say I've never been happier to get home!! I didn't sleep well, I didn't eat well, and of course I missed my Phoebe so much! My meetings were productive and fruitful, but that wasn't enough for me to rate the whole trip a success - it still sucked.

The good news... An offer came in on my one/single/first listing! I don't know what I'm more excited about - closing the deal - or not having my client as a client anymore! I can deal with his unrealistic expectations regarding the timeliness of selling his home in this stagnate market - but I sure can do without his calling to remind me EVERY DAY that I haven't sold his house yet.

Plus... my Navy job still keeps me more than fully engaged. I consider myself so fortunate to be struggling to balance two equally challenging and enjoyable career paths. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Did It, I Did It, I Did It!

Rookie agent here, blogging my first contracted client. And not a friend or family client either, a legit duty call stranger client. I got the lead by being one of the few SSP-certified agents in my office! :) And... best of all, it's a 7% listing! But... it does go down incrementally (as does the asking price of the property) so seller and I are both motivated to sell very quickly. This should be fun!

Monday, July 2, 2007

My First Client?

I will know today if I've landed my first listing. We've negotiated an incentive-based arrangement for us both, this should be interesting...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Phoebe's Friend Anna

Phoebe has a neighborhood friend who's just too cute not to post about! And she's got a darling little spunky personality to go with that darling little smile too!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Steak Tips w/a Balsamic Glaze Over a Gorgonzola Alfredo Fettuccini

I am usually disappointed w/the Olive Garden, but I keep going for the soup, salad, and breadsticks. Every once in a while I try something else from the menu, and for once I was pleasantly surprised. I'm on my third day of leftovers, all from one big meal of delicious glazed steak tips over a delightfully sharp Gorgonzola alfredo sauce, yum yum!

Bye Bye BlackBerry?

I think my BlackBerry's about to go to the highest bidder... I use the GPS to navigate places I already know my way to, call reception while navigating SUCKS, and all else I do w/it is carry nice pics of Phoebe, and delete my friggin' junk email both on-the-go and at home. Not exactly working out to be worth my while. Hm. What device next?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Nitto - Fueled by Enthusiasts

Our Mustang is among those being featured in a year-long ad campaign to grace the back cover of various Mustang magazines.

1st Row, 1st Pic.


2nd Row, 3rd Pic.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Let Summer Begin!

Poor Neglected Blog


No guilt, it's just been a busy month. But it turns out SOMEONE reads it, an update has been requested, and it is certainly due. Plus I actually like some of my Google ads, and so since they do afterall draw revenue, I thought I'd put them someplace a little more likely to get clicked. :)

Okay, most importantly: Sydney's TPLO is scheduled, finally! I've committed to this being my last hard lesson in financial preparedness. I owe my family better. So, her surgery will be June 12th, and I'm on their list to call if an earlier appt comes available next week.

My '90 Accord finally started giving me the kind of problems I'm not willing to live with, so I got myself a 'Realtor Car' I've been calling it, it's an '05 Escape, I'm very happy with it. "My Cute Little Red Truck."

Phoebe has been in ballet for a couple months now, and is currently preparing for a June recital. I can hardly stand all the little tutu'd cuteness!

But even cuter - her preschool has been practicing for their 'Closing Ceremony' next week. I think they're going to 'march' in with their classmates, and sing some songs together, and it is going to be the most adorable thing ever!!

I've been working weekly with my new broker, hopefully you received some of my new cards! We're working just as hard at finding clients as getting ready for them. The deeper into this I get, the more convinced I am it's a great fit. My "Best Friend in the Whole Wide World!" (yes, from 3rd Grade) is being my mentor/coach/inspiration with her little hi-filutin' Cleveland mini-mansion, and her incredible entreuperneurial business spirit! I LOVE IT!

And there's more... but I'll have to save that for another day.

Have a wonderful long holiday weekend everybody! I'm off to spend it in DC w/my sister, and hopefully get some nice quiet reading/studying done while Phoebe hangs out w/her Aunt Banana!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

Our sweetheart Rotty blew her ACL and needs a ~$2600 knee surgery!! :( I feel SO bad for not being able to get it done right away... poor doggy. This TPLO procedure is supposed to be fantastic, but the longer she goes without it, the more likely she is to develop arthritis, or other hip/knee problems from compensating for the lame leg. The only mitigating factor is that she seems to be putting a lot of weight on it, so it must not hurt too too bad, maybe it's only partially ruptured. I've seen blogs that collect for a cause, maybe I can raise money for Sydney's TPLO?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


by Max Ehrmann

Monday, April 2, 2007

LSA ANACONDA aka "Mortaritaville"

My life has changed so little since 9/11, it can be easy to forget that we are a country at war. But I heard from a friend today who is serving in Balad, Iraq at a camp nicknamed for its frequent mortar and rocket attacks. Tim says "I know that the Hajji's are getting the hell beat out of them - every day and in every way. From some of the things I've seen it is absolutely amazing difference between what is known by our forces and what is being reported by the media. The surge around Baghdad is working and the bad guys leaving there are getting "the business" if they stay or as they try to leave. So they are screwed either way - killed or captured the issue is being resolved by our side. Anyway - don't lose hope that this place will turn around - I believe it'll get better - but we can't leave it to the insurgents because some in Congress have lost their will to support what we are doing."

I'll take a front-line assessment any day over media reports or political spin! I've been unable and unwilling to make an overall assessment of our "War on Terror" but have long clung to the belief that our men and boys are doing right by women and children everywhere. And with my friend Tim among our men and boys, I'm more convinced than ever that our TROOPS - if not our leaders - are doing the honorable thing over there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the Ipsy Ipsy Spider

Phoebe insists it's the Ipsy Ipsy Spider who went up the water spout, not the "Itsy Bitsy" Spider.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

94TURBO50

Okay, gotta get some info up here on our 1994 Turbocharged 5.0L Mustang... seems the stang has enough of her own fans to impact my Google AdSense revenue, so why not! We gave up our stang site, so might as well get a good blog entry up here for the car. Pics and history of this amazing car coming soon...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Prior US Army Enlisted & Proud of It

PV2 Fuller - basic training w/Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Training Brigade, Fort Dix, NJ; - then to Legal Specialist Course 5, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN; - then to HHC, VII Corps, HQUSAEUR, Kelly Barracks, Stuttgart, [West] Germany working as a 71D in the Criminal Law & International Affairs Divisions of the VII Corps Staff Judge Advocate's Office.

And then home, because either the Army was too much for me, or I was too much for the Army, depending on how you look at it. It's all good either way, boot camp taught me a lot about myself, and active duty taught me a lot people, and a lot about life.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How DVR Changed My Life Forever

Okay, dramatic title, but it's true. We "talked about it", and I was unconvinced it would be any better than our trusty programmable VCR. I was irritated when I came home a few days later to find the box installed and the service on, but it was only $10/mo, so I wasn't prepared to make a big fuss. And within DAYS I knew it was one of those techno-creature-comforts I would never be without again! I was 100% sold w/the on-demand list of saved Disney & Noggin episodes. And if it hadn't been that, I'd have just as surely been sold on just being able to watch TV at my convenience, easily and quickly fast-forwarding through the commercials - 35-40 minutes to watch my favorite hour-long shows - gotta love that. It's the most feature-packed and best valued $10 I spend w/Cox, for sure!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My New Toy!

I have a nifty new gadget! a Sprint GPS Blackberry 8703e... it's so much more hi-tech than I am. But I'm having so much fun configuring and customizing! I'm still waiting for my TeleNav to be provisioned, and that's the service I was most looking forward to futzing with. Soon, soon.

I'm not a super tech junkie - for example, I've never purchased a TV, ever. JR has the one he had when we met - it lives in the garage w/him, and we bought Phoebe a pink Disney TV w/Princess crown speakers - which sits prominently in our living room (on our dated black lacquer entertainment furniture)! :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Valentine from Phoebe

Do you remember the day I came?
You hugged me and gave me my name.
You held me close all through the night,
Until the mornings early light.
You put your hand upon my chest,
To feel the heartbeat in my breast.
And now my heart I give to you,
Made with my handprint and love so true.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Valentine's Day @ Preschool

Phoebe's 2nd day of preschool fell on Valentine's Day. She seems to really like the new school, and her new teacher Mrs. Graca. Hopefully the short day will be more to her liking, and she'll continue to enjoy this school through May, and then maybe again next year.

President's Day @ Preschool

Phoebe started her new preschool - at the local United Methodist Church - on Lincoln's birthday. One of the things I really enjoy about school is being presented with crafts I didn't help think of, make, or clean up after!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

And Happy Birthday to my cousin - Jessica Lee Sterling Hatch - who sadly never reached her 12th birthday. I was only five months older than Jessie, I like to imagine we would have been very close. The circumstances surrounding her unsolved murder in 1982 are fraught with intrigue, so I think of her very often, speculating about the case, and wondering if my Aunt could handle a new investigation. But today I prefer to remember the girly summer we spent together before she died, playing Barbies & Atari and bickering over the Biggety Boss Chair at Granny's.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Selling on eBay

I first discovered the joys of bidding on eBay - back in '99 I started several "collections" of stuff I just had to have from eBay. Fortunately, that wore off, and I discovered selling on eBay - and that's even funner than bidding! But the whole eBay thing wore off, and now it's just a once-in-a-while thing.

But I'd forgotten how fun it is to list and sell! I used to set realistic starting bids and reserves, but now I prefer to start the bid at $0.99 with no reserve, and let good ol' pure anonymous competition drive the price. It's fun enough to watch the bids go up, but even better is the final bidding frenzy! Bid on, people, bid on!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Marianne Williamson Quote

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Passed my Virginia Real Estate Salesperson Exam!

Woo hoo! Now on to the fun of finding a broker, and getting to work! I am so looking forward to the whole process. This will be a new and interesting perspective from which to be interviewing, and I think the interview process itself will teach me much about the business.