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A typical day.

8:30 It's a good thing I thought to set my alarm last night, because Hannah's still asleep. In my bed, but asleep. She is so beautiful when she's asleep. I can still see what she looked like when she was 6 months old... I hate to wake her up.

8:45 She's finally up, and as usual, full of sunshine. Disgusting. I hate morning people! lol The color of the week at Mother's Day Out is green, so I pick out her Gymboree turtle outfit (which cost more than I care to think about but was too cute to pass up). Naturally, she doesn't want to wear it, no doubt for the simple reason that I want her to. She opts instead for her pumpkin jumper over a long-sleeve shirt. It'll probably be 75 degrees today, but whatever. At least the stems on the pumpkins are green.

9:15 Today is a little different from our normal routine, because Chris is taking a training class on the other side of town, so his co-worker picked him up at 7:30 this morning (typically I drive him to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays). So this morning at 9, it's just me and Hannah, and I have an extra 15 minutes to stall her before I allow her to drag me out the door. She gets so excited about going to school! :) I'm a little later than usual, so I don't see my friend Bobbi today - usually we have a nice little chat after we drop our kids off. No errands to run today (except a couple I've been avoiding all week), so I head back home.

10:00 After coming home, I put in my contacts to help prop my eyelids open, and immediately hop online to check my email. 39 new messages, though some are nearly a month old; only 3 new ones since yesterday. Almost as soon as I get signed on, Jennifer calls my cell phone. We talk for 15 minutes and 49 seconds.

10:15 The Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame (HOF) results are being posted online today. I know already that I haven't won - since I didn't receive a call - but I can't help myself, and I scour the CK website for the list of winners. Apparently it's not up yet, so I head over to the Contest & Submissions Support Board on the CK message board to check out what people are saying. I've been lurking there for a few months now, throughout the HOF process; occasionally I do come out of my hidey-hole to contribute to a conversation. ;) I check a thread I commented on yesterday; my reply could easily have been taken badly, so I am much relieved to see that I haven't been flamed. I keep seeing references to the April issue of CK and want to know, why is it March 22nd and I don't have mine yet?!

10:45 I had intended to finish writing the blog entry I started last night, but after 45 minutes online already, I really don't feel like it: I want to scrapbook. I've done 2 layouts in the last 2 days, one of which I'm very happy with, the other which I posted online LOL, so I'm still kind of "riding high" - which means now is a good time for me to scrapbook, and take advantage of that momentum. I have some cute pictures of Hannah and Nathan playing at the zoo during Spring Break last week, and some ideas about what I want to do with them, so I think I will start there. I keep the computer online though, so I can hear if I get a new email.

11:45 The layout's only about 1/3 of the way done, but time's up, and I have to go get Hannah. Coming into the garage, I notice that a bird is yanking on a hanging shred of my window screen; evidently it would make good nest material. Nice. For a moment, I think about grabbing my camera (the bird is pretty close, after all) but I really don't have time. So I hit the button for the big garage door instead, and it flies away. At MDO, I find out that Hannah requested to use the restroom twice this morning. :) They're having an Easter egg hunt April 5th and I signed up to bring plastic eggs (there's only about a million of those damn things floating around my house). I also agreed to be a room helper, so that means I get to be there for the party... and THAT means I get to take pictures. :)

12:25 Having dropped Hannah off at preschool, I am back at home for more computer time while I eat lunch (though I won't tell you what I ate, since as the book says, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch! LOL) I log in at 2Peas, and of course the first thing I do is check for praise on the layout I posted last night - yes, I'm a self-proclaimed praise junkie, I admit it! But it just feels so darn good... LOL After all, your husband has to say he likes it! Total strangers don't. Four people took the time to say how beautiful it is, so I'm happy. (Pathetic, I know.) I lurk in the Pub for a while; a couple of Peas have posted their non-winning HOF entries, and you know I have to check them out. Yeah, I can do what they did.

1:15 Still online. Yeah, I got sucked in by the computer again. *sigh* CK has finally posted the official list of HOF winners and Honorable Mentions and though I knew already that my name would not be there, it was still just a little disappointing to face the realization in print. I've bookmarked the threads with links to the winners' galleries on 2Peas, so I can check out examples of their work later. Find out what I was up against, and perhaps get some ideas for things I can do different next year. For now, I've had it with the successful people, so I'm going over to the Photography board to see the latest on the challenges. As usual, one of my primary scrapbooking goals is to improve my photography. The online challenges do this by giving a specific photo assignment, which I can then post for constructive critcism. Which would be much easier (and more timely, not to mention more cost-effective) if I had a digital camera. Ahem! LOL

1:45 I quit. 2Peas is taking forever to load each thread, and after over an hour of this crap, I've had it. I'm going back to my layout.

3:00 Jennifer calls me on her break to pick my brain. LOL We talk for 11 minutes and 47 seconds, and then she has to get back to work. I can't wait for her visit next week - I've got a sweet surprise for her! :)

3:10 90% done with my layout, and it's time to go outside to meet Hannah's bus. For the first time in 3 days, I don't bother taking the phone with me.

4:30 Done! That's 3 layouts in 3 days, 38 pages in 2007, and 431 pages since April 2004! :) It's getting stuffy in here though as the sun lowers in the sky; I think I'll see if Hannah wants to go play outside for a while. I finally sign off AOL; I have spent 412 minutes online. Good thing we have unlimited usage this billing period! :)

5:00 Outside, I am recruited to push Hannah on the swings (of course she has to swing on both the red swing and the blue swing, what was I thinking? I should have gotten 2 of the same color); but after playing outside for only a short while - and pestering me a bit longer than that - she complained that it was too hot, and announced that she wanted to come back inside and watch Caillou. *sigh* I remind her that I told her when she picked out her clothes this morning that it was too hot to wear long sleeves but my words go in one ear and out the other, if they even got that far: she is across the yard and tugging on the sliding glass door by the time I finish talking. At her request, I sit down with her on the couch as I start the VCR. Unfortunately, I can't concentrate to read while the TV is on, but can still cross-stitch. Perhaps I can finish up the Ernie Christmas ornament and get started on Big Bird.

5:30 Hannah wants another glass of milk and another bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Yep, that's what passes as her dinner in our house. Really gotta do something about that.

6:30 We are watching Curious George for the 2nd consecutive time when Chris finally gets home. (My shift is done! LOL) Chris makes the mistake of asking me what I did today, so I whip out a hard copy of this blog post and start reading it aloud. In between the "uh-huh"s and "just a minute, Hannah, Mommy is talking"s, he actually seems to be paying attention. Score one for the hubby. :)

7:00 I really try to eat dinner as a family, but Hannah's eating issues often make it difficult. Tonight we are having spaghetti, which she loves but claims to hate: "Children don't like pasketti!" (I'm trying so hard not to laugh!) I put some on her plate anyway, and am thrilled that she doesn't have a total meltdown. This is progress.

7:30 Dinner is done and it's time for Hannah's bath - Daddy's job. Playtime for me! :) It kind of sucks that he's been home for only an hour now, half of which was taken up by dinner, and now it's her bath & bedtime already. At least his class is only these 3 days, and next week when we're back to our "regularly scheduled programming" Chris and Hannah will once again be able to have some daddy/daughter playtime between dinner and bed. I sign back online to update my blog as he starts the water for her bath and chases her around the house. (He's growling like a monster and threatening "I'm gonna get you!", so don't feel sorry for him. LOL)

8:30 Hannah is ready for stories and bed. I barely manage to hit 'save' before she yanks me out of my seat at the computer and drags me down the hall to her room, to snuggle with her while Chris reads In a People House by Theo LeSieg (aka Dr. Seuss) and Walt Disney's Cinderella for the 500th time. I love storytime. Hugs and kisses all around, and it's lights out.

9:00 Woo-hoo! My April issue of CK IS here! :)

9:30 Resizing layouts for posting. Yay. Definitely not real high up there on my list of favorite things to do. Worth it for the praise though. :) Lately I've noticed that a lot more of my layouts are getting praised on 2Peas, and I've got a few theories why this might be so: 1. My layouts have simply gotten better & better over time, thus drawing more attention in the gallery, and inspiring more people to leave a comment. Basically, I just rock! LOL 2. As more magazines require layouts that have never been posted in an online public forum, fewer of the best designers are posting their work, choosing instead to submit for publication. Thus my layouts stand out more. Also, fewer layouts posted means the gallery is not so fast-paced as it used to be, so my layouts get more exposure before being shoved back to page 257 of layouts posted in the last 24 hours. 3. For whatever reason, more people are taking the time to leave comments on the layouts they view.

10:30 Time for CSI:New York! Watching CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York together has become something of a ritual for Chris and me. It's nice: we cuddle on the couch, and afterwards it gives us something to talk about, a way for us to connect with each other that doesn't involve Hannah. (Not that she's not the center of our lives, but I firmly believe that a healthy marriage needs to be about so much more than just the kids. Healthier for Mom & Dad, and healthier for the kids, too!) Best of all, since we're watching the recording on the VCR, we can speed through the commercials!

11:30 More computer time. I really have a love/hate relationship with this machine. It's such a time-sucker, and yet there's some really cool stuff you can do with it! Provided, of course, that it's actually cooperating.

12:30 Chris is going to bed. Hm. I probably should too. I just have one more thing to do first...

2:00 This time I really am going to bed! I know, it's way later than I should stay up. There simply aren't enough hours in the day! Hopefully tonight I will sleep all night. And tomorrow it will start all over again.

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