Sunday, September 26, 2010

Night Swimming

We've made a wonderful discovery. Not only do we love going down to the pool at the end of a hot day, after the sun has gone down and all the neighborhood kids have cleared out, but Remy does too. 9 o'clock is his bed time and normally 8-9pm is his roughest hour of the day. He gets fussy and strangely hyper and it's difficult to get him to wind down for sleep. But at the pool side the warm desert breezes and the lapping water instantly calm him and he is content to sit back and soak in the evening while we soak in the hot tub. When we get back I tuck my sleepy baby in and then drape the towels and bathing suits out on the balcony under the stars, and life feels absolutely perfect.

Strongly Considering

Red Rock Casino has a Kids Quest that provides day care for $7/hour on weekdays and $8/hour on weekends. The facilities are supposed to be really nice, and all the workers are trained in CPR and first aid. The baby area is well staffed so that they never have more than 4 babies for every one day care provider. All children are required to be up on their immunizations.

I am feeling very tempted to use this service. Ross and I haven't been on a date since Steph and Mark were in town, and as much as I love family time, I also miss hanging out, just the two of us. It would be so nice to be able to drop Remy off with some "cute and earnest" young women (who I am pretty sure are not as tired as I am) for a couple of hours while we grab dinner and a movie just steps away.

Before Remy was born I thought I might never have the guts to leave him with a babysitter, but this place may make me change my tune. I am thinking maybe next weekend? If we do it I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Halloween Sketch

Facebook is down, so here is another blog post! :P

This is a sketch I did yesterday of a toddler in a fish costume. Because of the complicated pose I blocked in the shapes with a pencil, then drew over it with the pen and erased the pencil marks.

Flylady Follow-up

It's been almost two months since I posted about completing the Flylady "baby steps" and Crystal asked if I am still enjoying it. The answer is definitely yes. As Remy gets older and I have less and less time during the day I am so thankful for the habits that became ingrained during those 31 days.

While I am kind of hit or miss with the "zones," my morning and evening routines are practically hardwired by now. I think it's kind of like what runners experience after they have been running for awhile...they may wake up one rainy morning and think "heck, no, not today," but their body says "let's go, let's go, let's go." If I have a rough night I may think I deserve to sit on the couch and watch tv until I "come around," but my body will take over and before I know it I am unloading the dishwasher...and feeling a lot better.

Here is my morning routine:

Wake up, change Remy's diaper, make a cup of tea for me and a bottle for him, drink our beverages while watching the news, go back to the kitchen and wash bottles and unload dishwasher, wipe down sink and counters, start a load of laundry and sweep kitchen floor, go check to make sure Ross is up, make bed, get dressed, get Remy dressed, put Remy in his jumparoo spend 10 minutes wiping down the bathrooms and picking up anything that needs picking up, water the flowers, and start a pot of coffee. Done! (Of course, I also check fb and Farmville somewhere in there, and I drop everything for the first ten minutes of Kathy Lee and Hoda!)

And my evening routine:

Go around the house collecting dirty laundry and throw it in the hamper, tidy up dining room table and the entryway if necessary, collect dirty dishes and load and start the dishwasher, wash bottles, wipe down sink and counters, go to bed at a decent time.

My weekly chores:

Vacuum, wash sheets and towels, scrub toilets, dust 2x, mop all floors 2x, clean the shower/tubs, clean out fridge.

I do wish the house was cleaner sometimes, but it is comfortable and never overwhelming and I am content with that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

5 Things...

Five things I miss about Lombard:
  • Lilacs
  • Long walks
  • Buona Beef
  • Madison Meadows
  • Dewy mornings
Five things I love about Las Vegas:
  • Sunshine
  • Palm trees
  • Big skies
  • Spanish-style architecture
  • Mountains

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010


These were a gift from Connie and Guy when they were in town and they have thrived in sunny Las Vegas. I finally started cutting them back this week because the plant has gotten to be ridiculously tall.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Ink Sketch - Baby

One of my favorites. I did this one about a month ago from an ad in Parenting magazine. I like the way the hands and feet turned out (usually my biggest struggles.)

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Last February when Ross was offered a job in Las Vegas our biggest concern (besides leaving family and friends) was the house. This is not the economic climate you want to be selling a house in. But after 15 months of unemployment we didn't really have a choice, so we found a real estate agent and a contractor (a whole other story) and put it our house up for sale.

When we bought that little rundown house the month before our wedding, we told ourselves that it was "just" a starter home. Whenever a tile would fall off the bathroom wall or the dryer wouldn't start, I would remind myself that we wouldn't be there long. So it was kind of a surprise to me that when we got Las Vegas I couldn't think about our house without feeling a stab of regret. Strangely, it felt like we had left part of the family, or at least the old family dog, back in IL.

Well, this week, after six months on the market, we found a buyer. After so many months without a nibble (things really dried up after the housing credit expired) it was kind of a shock! We will be taking a hit on our investment, but we will be walking away with cash, which is not always the case these days. I think the closing is supposed to happen sometime this month.

So that brings us to the question of whether or not we should stay in our apartment. Our lease is up in a little more than a month and we need to make a decision. Initially we thought as soon as we sold our IL house we would start looking for a new house. The prices here are awesome and it is a little cramped in the apartment with three people and four cats. But, as low as the prices are here, analysts say they haven't reached the bottom yet. After getting stung on the last house, dumping all our money into another one isn't so appealing.

Last night we talked it over, and decided that if it's possible we'll do another 8 month lease, and if not, then a year. The housing market here (the worst in the country, last I heard) is projected to continue to decline until the first quarter of 2012, so a year from now won't be too late to get a good deal.

If we are going to stay at Willows for another year, there are some things I want to do to make the most of it:
  • Swim more! With the baby too young to go in the pool we weren't able to take full advantage of it this summer, but next summer will be a different story!
  • Use the fitness center. I want to lose about twenty pounds.
  • Move the guest bed into the office and make Remy's room completely his own.
  • Buy some window treatments. The vertical blinds that apartment came with are kinda stark and depressing!
  • Get the carpet shampooed. No matter how many times I vacuum the carpet just looks dingy to me.
  • Buy some wall art and maybe paint a few walls to personalize the space.
  • Put out a "Welcome" mat!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Thumbnail Sketches

One of the things I like to do while Remy naps is pull out a sketchbook and a magazine and do a little doodling. I'm trying to fill this particular sketchbook with ink drawings exclusively, as an exercise in accuracy and efficiency. No erasing anything! (Thus all the goof ups.)