Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

So I’m sitting here listening to DD1 sing a very off-key and re-worded variation of Rudolph. Well I was listening to that. But then DD2 came over to play with me and I realized she was due for a second nap, so I just spend the last half hour rocking her to sleep. Only she wasn’t sleeping, she kept reaching up to touch my nose, or my eye or pull my lips back so she could touch my teeth and then giggle uncontrollable. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be messing around so she thought she was hilarious. I personally can’t think of a better way to my last afternoon of 2007, can you?
We’re off to a neighborhood party(No driving ;-); we’re pot lucking and celebrating an East Coast New Year (no baby sitters) meaning we'll "whoop it up" at 9 PM our time. Doubtful the kids will make it much past that.
Hoping that you are celebrating the New Year in a fun and safe way (sleeping counts too).

I’ll see you next year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Chaos

I don't know if you can tell, but this photo is only partway through the gift opening. It was crazy, but so much fun. DD1 was much less excited initially than I would've thought. I guess the idea of the fat guy bringing her the doll was a done deal in her mind. I would've expected a bit more excitement. But the doll has not been put down since, so I'm not complaining. DD2 was way more excited about her Santa gift than I would've thought. She saw that car & went running right for it. She knew it was hers. We actually ended up opening some of her gifts for her cause we couldn't tear her away from the damn car. So cute. It was a fun day, but now I feel like I'm recovering from a major hangover. The last couple days I've been feeling like I'm walking in water and I have this reoccuring headache. I also have been sleeping in till almost noon most days. It's lovely to sleep that long, but I know it's the Fibro. All of it's my Fibro. I basically said screw low carb this month & now it's caught up with me. I'm in detox as of today! I started yesterday, but didn't stick with it. (It's all these damn leftover desserts!!!) I have NO willpower. I'm fine if the stuff isn't in the house, but if it's around it's like I can't control myself. Today though I've only had about 20 carbs total. I'm hoping I'll find myself feeling better by Monday, but I know it could take as long as a week.

Ok, enough about my loser diet and health. More photos and maybe even a video (don't get your hopes up too high) to come soon! Hope you're having a great vaca, we are.
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

It's 12:30 and Santa was just spotted around Anchorage; we've been watching NORAD all day. He showed up here just after midnight. I was scolded for still being up, but once he had our treat (we left him a piece of our Bouche de Noel that DD1 and I made today) all was forgiven. I figured cookies might not cut it considering the gift list this year; you ask big, you need to put out a little, you know?
He filled stockings (mine included, and I thought he forgot) and brought DD1 an American Girl doll (which she asked for) and DD2 a Toddler Coupe. I think they'll be pleased. He even remembered the pets; Merit got some chew toys and Mama & Monkey got some "squirrels". Seems our household was extra good this year!
So, while the babes are all snuggled in their beds, I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope you all are safe in your travels, keep warm and find the meaning of Christmas in all that you do today.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clear Cake People (aka—1000 Marbles)

I got my daily chain mail this morning. I get this kind of stuff all the time, I'm sure you do too. The chain letters that will bring you love, health and long life as long as you "send it on to 10 of your friends in the next 10 minutes or you'll be doomed to email hell." (On a side note; are you really my friend if you're willing to risk dooming me to email hell over a chain mail? Or are you just concerned about your own well being? I digress...) I normally delete them after I read them (fight the madness, stop the spam!). But I got one today that was worth mentioning (link here if you want to read it.) It reminded me of a friend I knew many years ago. And he had a theory about living life that I seem to be having trouble with as of late. The hectic pace I’ve been under this last month has made it hard to “see the forest for the trees” so to speak. So when reading this story I remembered this friend and his lesson and I thought it would be good to share with you.

This friend, “Tim” was Chinese (there’s a reason I’m mentioning this, stick with me here for a minute). He grew up in the Midwest; one of four boys. They owned the town’s Chinese restaurant (of course they did). He used to joke that every town in America is required one Chinese family to run the one Chinese restaurant in each town. I always check when I travel now, and I think he might be right. Although, maybe not Tuna, I’ll have to ask Antique Mommy if Tuna has a Chinese restaurant. Tim’s Grandparents lived in San Francisco. I’m not sure how it all came to be exactly, but by the time I met him he was living in SF with his Grandmother; taking care of her basically. I would venture to guess that they were probably taking care of each other. He never really talked about his Grandmother or the fact that he lived with her. I remember our little group of friends had known each other for quite some time before we became aware of the fact that he drove down to the South Bay for work because he lived up there. And that he lived up there because he lived with his Grandmother in her house. I believe he didn't mention it, because it was just something he did. He didn’t question it or complain about it, he just did it. I found out later that he was the one who came to live with her because he was the most mobile of the four brothers at the time. (Just out of college, no wife/girlfriend or kids to relocate). I think he never complained because in the Chinese culture (as well as many others) the older family members are revered and honored. When Grandma was alone and it became apparent someone needed to be keeping an eye on her to some degree the family figured out who was in the best position to go and then that person went. They didn’t put her in a “home” they moved in with her so she could finish her days in her own home. I know that’s not realistic for everyone, but it says a lot about their family and their commitment to each other. If he resented it I never knew. I don’t think he did and this theory of his is why:

Tim used to say that he thought us we had the whole birthday cake and candle thing backwards. That at the time of your first birthday they should figure out your expected life span and put that many candles on your cake. This means on your first birthday they start with say 75 candles. Every year they take a candle off. By the time you’re getting short of breath you have fewer candles to blow out. Once you’ve “cleared your cake” then everyday is an extra gift and people who fall in that category should get special treatment. He felt that “clear cake people” should get a free ride: free rent, no taxes, free transportation, free meals, free health care, etc…You’ve more than paid your dues to society, now it’s our turn to take care of you. This was told to us during Happy Hour one night and after that we would often toast to the “Clear Cake People”. I think this little story speaks volumes of how he felt about his Grandmother.
In the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, take a few minutes to take a deep breath and relax and think about why you’re rushing about; to have fun right? Don’t forget to have fun. Don't resent that dinner party you're going to because you really should be wrapping. It's really about being with people, and enjoying the time together. And when you say grace or propose a toast on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day make sure to toast the “clear cake people” and enjoy the candles you have left on your cake.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best Laid Plans…..

Yeah, so I was supposed to post on Fun Monday…silence….and now it’s Wednesday.


I think I missed it. I took pictures during the weekend and outlined in my head what I would write about, I was so prepared! But it just didn’t happen. I’ve been having a rough week. It hasn’t been awful or anything, just unbelievably busy and exhausting and Gawd it’s not over yet, it’s only Wednesday! sob I guess I mean, “It’s only Wednesday!” In spite of the fact that I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down for two minutes I still have TONS of things to do.

Soooo the biggest obstacle I faced in participating correctly in Fun Monday was the lack of sleep I got Sunday night. DD2 has been teething for going on a month now. About a month ago, out of nowhere; low-grade fever, drool-y (from a kid who doesn’t typically have that issue), wants her bink all the time, wants to be held all the time, cranky….you get the picture: teething.

DD1 never complained about getting teeth. In fact, the way we would know she got a new tooth was because she was nursing and would tend to bite me whenever a new one was coming in. Testing it out I guess. She got 4 teeth at 4 months (all at once) and then got one a month until she was a year. After that, I stopped nursing (because she was biting me enough to draw blood for several days, think pink milk; there’s your visual. You’re welcome.) And one day it was like, “Oh look, she’s got molars.”
Not so much with DD2. She’s been pretty low key about her teeth up till now, but these ones are killing her. So that was my very long way of telling you she couldn’t sleep Sunday night because of teething. She wanted to be rocked & held. This started around midnight & at 1 AM I was dying so I brought her to bed with me. I’ve never done that before. Having sleep issues create a whole different dynamic about bringing your kids in bed with you. Anything that might prevent you from sleeping well, you avoid. So up until Sunday neither of my child had spent a whole night in our bed. So all 3 of us were miserable. Thing about it was that she was happy enough to be in our bed, but what she really want was to lay ON ME and be held, while holding Daddy’s hand. After less then 2 hours sleep (and not all in one shot) I was a bit loopy all day Monday. I was lucky I made it to work in one piece, much less put a full sentence together.

Yesterday, I crammed and got the Grandparent’s scrapbooks finished. So that’s what I took up my time with on Tuesday. I’m really happy with them and I’m really happy I didn’t have to pay extra postage in order for the one to make it to Kansas before Christmas. But I AM SHOT.

Today, I’m dealing with the rental home we have and trying to get a credit report done on an applicant. She didn’t meet the criteria, but because of the way the system is set up now, I don’t know any details. I’m debating about what my standards should be, but I still feel that I ought to stick with my original plan, so I’ve had to relist it. So Much Fun!!!

And, of course, I have not finished my Christmas shopping. Tonight after the girls go to bed I’ll be out trying to finish up. Sigh. I’m tired. Oh, and I forgot to bring the hard drive with my photos on it to post for Fun Monday. I do believe I have missed Fun Monday for this week. I suck, which I wouldn’t mind so much if I could just get some sleep while I was sucking…

Thursday, December 13, 2007

X-mas-y Type Things.

We decorated on Sunday, and at the beginning I had lots of helpers.







(Please note we have given the living room to the kids as a playroom, my whole house is not full of toys, you're pretty much seeing all of it. And yes, we do have way too much, a good portion of which is hand-me- downs.)

Why yes, that is a life size Barbie in the background, you mean you don't have one?

I made a huge deal about putting the star on the top of the tree the first year for DD1 and now I may have created a monster. We let DD1 put it on, but then had to stage a second round for DD2. The annual Staging of the Star!







DS decided the star needed straitening, but DD2 wasn't going to be left out of that either.

This incident should've clued us into the upcoming accident on Tuesday in which she pulled a chair onto her face, but that's another story. (Thankful no permanent damage, just to my ego and her trust I'm sure.) Right now my child and I are so bruised up I'm sure CPS is on their way over.








The kids had to go to bed before we were done, so near the end, not so much on the helpers Even Merit crashed out.
Monkey was providing help of her own kind. I’m sure she’ll do her best to scale the tree in the next week.

And finally the end product! (I kinda like blurry one, it's all artsy...work with me here people!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ClusterF#@$ of a Day

I’m having such a clustf#@* of a day, can I just tell you? It’s not a totally sucky day, but it’s one of those days where very everything seems to take extra steps and it just kinda beats you down.

Example 1:

I overslept this AM. My alarm was going off when my mom showed up to get the girls. My mom, in true form, yelled at me because I was still in bed. Cause, you know, oversleeping, being late for work and rushing around feeling out of it is my version of fun!
On a similar note, I’ve been falling asleep in the late afternoon/early evening, it's not your dozing on the couch kind of thing, it's more along the lines of pretty much passing out while standing up. I’m staring to think I may be dealing with CFS which is a symptom of Fibro. I haven’t had this symptom before, but I’ve found that the symptoms seem to change around after each pregnancy. So this is fodder for another post.

Example 2:
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but our renter (of 7 years) recently moved out. (Inconsiderate bastard went & bought a house, how rude! I’m just bummed cause he was such a good renter and now I have to deal with all this crap.) So I ran the Craig’s List ad & had 5 people came to look at it last weekend. One turned in her application (two others were supposed to but have flaked, go figure) so now I’m trying to run her credit check. Standard landlord stuff…dude they want more information on me than they do on her!

Apparently the patriot act requires all this info now to help curb identity theft. They want to come inspect the physical property and the place where you store the property records! They want to know that you have an appropriate way of disposing of those records. Next they'll be asking for my first born. Dude, how come all those credit card companies get my credit info so easily then?

I think I found a solution for this, without having to go through the whole check out my place and my fancy organization (a moving box stacked high with papers that need to be filed into the filing cabinet, cause I'm so organized.) I’ll let you know how it goes.

Ok, back to happier times and X-mas posts later.

Monday, December 10, 2007

FUN MONDAY--X-MAS STYLE

I know Monday is almost over (it is over on the East Coast, but it's only 7 in Hawaii) but I'm still making it. I recently discovered a couple new blogs and via that I came across Fun Monday. It seemed like such a cool idea that I jumped in! Plus I think the topic is such a good one. I just so happens that we decorated our tree last night & when I sat back to enjoy it I decided to take a picture of my favorite ornament for a blog post. Queue Twilight Zone music. I'm physic or something. So without further ado:

This week is hosted by Lady K and is about your favorite ornament:

In the spirit of the season I would like to see your favorite Christmas
tree ornament. Not to be confused with the WHOLE tree. I want you to zoom in and show me one or a few(you know I can't choose just one!) of your favorite
ornaments. If you don't decorate a tree, show me your menorah or dreidel,
Kinara, or Yule Log. I want to see your favorite decoration for this holiday
season.

I have many favorite ornaments. I have several really cool ones that were made by my Godmother as "cards" on Christmas gifts. They're things like felt angels and wooden animals. They contain our names & the years in which they were made. I get the impression that my
mom thinks they're kind of a hippie thing, but I think they're cool. I also have a set of Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz wooden ornaments. But my overall very, very favorite ornament is one that is only 7 years old. It was given to me by DaddySpeak on our first Christmas as a married couple. It contains a picture of us on our wedding day. We're standing outside of the church kissing. When I look at it I'm reminded of how happy I was that day, and how very lucky I am to have him in my life (remind me of this next time I'm bitching about him, OK?) So I think it's pretty evident why it's my favorite.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Enjoy Being a Girl


I was over on “Want Not” (great site for great deals BTW, Mir is my hero and she’s pretty, and not just cause she finds me great deals on stuff) and one of the deal’s she posted had to do with a “globe for girls.” It’s Pink and it comes with a cookbook, because geography alone won’t interest girls.



Ummm, I have a lot to say on this subject. I’ll do my best to keep it sort
of short, but you know how that goes with me so make sure you have something to
drink & get comfortable.

The comments section of her post evolved into an I hate “Bratz” discussion. Which, I am totally down with; I too loathe the Bratz.

I have a general philosophy about most of the things my kids play with;
everything in moderation. My experience is that kids covet what they can’t
have, so you don’t let them have it that’s what they want most. If you let
them have it in small doses then it loses it’s allure & they move on.
I feel that way about most things except Bratz. I think Bratz are awful because their main motivation is dressing cool (aka—slutty) and having attitude.

Dude, I am your mother & I have years of attitude on you (oh, no she dint,
Oh, Yes, she did, snap!)
If you’re going to have an attitude than have at least some smarts to back it up with, in which case you’ll probably figure out that, that kind of attitude isn’t helping you get so far in life. Something to ponder...
Someone commented that while they hated Bratz, but as a kid they played with Barbie so they supposed that made them a hypocrite. Hey, I played with Barbie, and while her clothing choices weren’t making her any girlfriends, at least she was career minded, right? So I went to the Barbie website to mention all the cool jobs Barbie had & found that I stand corrected.

I remember that Barbie was a pilot, a veterinarian, a pediatrician, a teacher, etc… very noble professions. Upon looking at the site I became totally disillusioned. I know there was “US President Barbie” when I was growing up, I know there was, damit!!! But when I went to the website to see if there was “computer programmer” Barbie or “NASA Engineer Barbie” I found that they were all “Fairies”, “Top Models” and “Fashion Fever” dolls….WTF? I guess Barbie is over the career thing now.


She thought she wanted a career, turns out she just wanted a job. Hey someone’s got to heat that dreamhouse.




So then, I clicked over to the “collectors” site thinking I’d find those career minded girls there. I found that they are mostly “Designer inspired” and “Hollywood” themed. There were a few “retro” style ones of which “career girl” from the 60’s is dressed nicely but I believe she’s off to be a receptionist. I’m not dis’in anyone who’s a receptionist, (I’ve been one myself at times) but I was kind of hoping for “financial advisor/CPA Barbie” or “Public Relations Barbie”. Maybe even “Graphic Designer Barbie” or “Venture Capitalist Barbie”. Something!

We hear all this marketing about “girl power” and empowering our girls; “go far in life”, “break down boundaries’ and glass ceilings”, but for all our talk we sure don’t seem to give them much that’s tangible. We PC “Take Your Daughter’s To Work Day” by hybridizing it into “Take your Child to Work Day”; the point was to give girls’ female role models, enlighten them to jobs they may not have been aware of previously and give them a sense of being special for being a girl. Hybridizing it takes that away, but that’s a soapbox for another day. We give them playthings that are only focused on fashion and beauty defining for them that their worth is really in their looks and when we do give them playthings of substance, (yes, I’m bringing it back to the globes, surprisingly this rant does have a point,) we imply that they can learn this stuff (geography) but “make sure you stick the basics girls’ learn to cook so you can keep your man happy.” Yeah, I’m being a bit sarcastic, I know, moi?, but the whole thing frustrates me.

I have two daughters and I want them to know they can do whatever they want education-wise, and therefore career-wise. It is only their mind and imagination that will hold them back, not money and definitely not gender. Both my girls are very big pretend players, especially with dolls. Right now it’s mostly princesses and mommy play, but soon it will be other things and I certainly don’t want the toys they play with to limit them, so maybe you can understand why this gets me a bit riled up. I am all about being a girl, I love the color pink and I love getting all dolled up in a girly sort of way. But being girly and being smart, strong & self-sufficient are not mutually exclusive and it’s time the media started to remember that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You Say It’s Your Birthday….

December BirthdaysYup, I'm 39….for the FIRST time.

I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Maybe sort of numb (but that could be the lack of coffee, food and chocolate in my system.)

Guess it doesn’t really matter how I feel because like it or not, I am 39.

That number conjures images of people who I think look (and act) much older than I do. I wish I had some heartfelt wisdom of which to impart on you after 39 years of living, but seriously, the most I can offer right now is that I need coffee. Do you feel enlightened now? Yeah? Well, I still need a starbucks, so I’m off to take care of that need. Hopefully later I will be able to provide you with something a bit more enlightening once I’ve had that coffee.

Oh, and thanx to Robinella for the graphic for my b-day!

Monday, December 03, 2007

POB, Perfectly ;-)

The Original Perfect Post Awards

One of my fav reads every day is over at Cry It Out. Mike’s an excellent writer; I mentioned that last Wednesday when I was pimping other people’s blogs (OPB). There I two reasons I find Mike’s narrations compelling:

1) He has an adorable daughter who is the same age as DD2. It’s always good to commiserate with others, who are going through similar things, and I have no doubt that his Emme and DD2 will be cohorts in crime fast friends, if we ever finally meet IRL.

2) I aspire to be able to write as well as he does; he’s very good at communicating the feelings of a moment/story in very short order. (My 8th grade English teacher would’ve said, “He’s pithy.”) I, on the other hand, need to write a shot story just to tell you that I woke up.

I nominated this particular post for a November Perfect Post because it resonated with me on some many levels. From the comments he received I would say I am not alone.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And So It Begins….

So this is the photo I promised.
Took the girls Tuesday evening, and did the portrait thing with them. Every year we do a photo of all four grand kids for my folks. We also do just the two of them, seeing as how I don’t think my outlaws are that interested to have pix of my brother’s kids in their house. Call me crazy! Since my two are the youngest I figured it might make sense to try and get pix of just the two of them at a different time, shorter attention spans and all. So went over to the mall, did those photos, let them run around in the kids area


Side note: Why do people think it’s ok to let their children run wild in the kids play area in a mall? Most of the kids there are usually under the age of 2 and sweet. There’s always at least one or two 4-6 YOs literally racing around, jumping over other kids and parents, knocking kids, people and strollers over and generally being obnoxious. Inevitably they hurt someone’s preshuuusbabeeee and those with the smaller kids leave. Not my preshusbabee mind you, cause I’d go kick their arces if they get too close. Ok, I wouldn’t physically hurt them, but I would give them the mommy speak smack down and look of death. And if that doesn’t work I’ll go humiliate their parents. And if that doesn’t work I’ll threaten to have Stephen Cobert put them On Notice. Bet you’re totally jonesing to hang with me at the mall now, aren’t ya?


So anyway, I bribed them w/a promise of McD’s if they would participate during photos. I don’t know if that worked of if I just got lucky, but the pix came out pretty good. Since they were dressed up already I decided to hit the Clause Booth. Let me tell you, good call on my part. We walked right up to Santa & took our time. No one was there! I highly recommend the Tuesday evening Santa visit BTW. DD1 was able to tell him what she wanted (“an American Girl doll that’s Big like her cousin S” and the mermaid costume and the gold dress with the crown….”). Santa then pointed out a skylight above us where you could see “the tops of the reindeer antlers on the roof where he’d parked his sled”. (Good call, cause she asked where his sled was when we got there & I told her that the mall gives him special parking on the roof.) She was pretty excited.

DD2 had a different sort of experience. She would NOT sit on his lap. (Did you guess that, what gave it away?) He gave her a small candy cane and she thought was good, but she still wasn’t leaving mommy. Maybe she has more common sense then the rest of us. So mommy is in the pix. While I'm glad this photo came out so well, I wish I could photoshop myself out, but the way Santa's beard is next to my shoulder makes me think it would look weird if I did. I'd kind of like to photoshop the experience from my mind too. Just before they'd take each photo, Santa would "bounce" his knee on my side. Ummm, inappropriate, much? It kind of perved me out, but I think (I want to believe) that the "photo elf" was giving him a signal to do it in order to get DD2 to smile for the actual photo. That's the story I'm going with ok, cause otherwise, ewww! I have all kinds of issues with the fact that I'm encouraging my daughters to sit on a strange man's lap & take candy from him, so like I said I'm trying not to think about it too much. I'm trying not to ruin it for myself.

I hadn’t really thought that part out, (that I might need to be in the photo too) so I had on sweats, but luckily they were black & my top happened to be red. Too bad my hair was so out of whack and that I didn’t have make up on, sigh, the sacrifices we make for our parents. You do know this is all about the photo for the grandparent’s right?

Speaking of….


Guess who’s got the girls today? They’re hereeeee! We’re headed to the City (San Francisco) this weekend as it’s my BIL’s 40th and he’s have a big par-tay. We even got a hotel room so we can cab it and drink all the Zin we want!!! All the cousins are flying in for it and DS's folks came out to watch the girls so we could spend the weekend up there. More on all this later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good Reads and my Weirdness (maybe that makes this Weird Wednesday)

I’m totally having the weirdest day.

I couldn’t turn my mind off last night so I didn’t fall asleep until after 3. Yes, 3 AM. Then DD2 woke up at 5 and WOULD. NOT. GO. BACK. TO. SLEEP. How do they know when to do that to you? I did get some awesome cuddle time with her and she totally would’ve gone back to sleep if I let her sleep ON me in my bed. But I needed to get up soon and knew I’d sleep through the alarm if I tried that one. So awake I was.

Maybe today isn’t really weird, maybe it’s just me. I mean weirder than usual. Save it. I’m just delirious and when I get over that and hit my wall (which I can’t believe I haven’t’ hit already BTW) then I’ll realize it was just the jolt of caffeine and TWO F’ING HOURS of sleep that’s the problem.

I'm having really, really good blog karma today and wanted to share. Cause I lurve you Internet, really I do and that's not the coffee talking. I swear!

Cry-It-Out has a post that will leave you in tears. Mike’s a really good writer (damn I sound like a ‘tard. “He write good.”) Duh, he get’s paid for it for a reason. Usually his posts are funny and sweet and they resonate with me because DD2 is the same age as his Emme. (And she's adorable.) That and Emme was my #2 name for DD2. (Actually name #2 was Emilia, which is Spanish for Emily, but I totally would’ve called her Emme, so I feel all connected with him or something. And now he’s going to realize what a total freak I am and be all concerned I’m stalking his daughter and block my comments….told you I was in a weird mood). Anyway, short story long, his post today is the definition of melancholy. I’m touched enough by it that I’m telling you to go read it. You might want to have a tissue nearby.

AND

I’ve found two new blogs! (Cause I didn't have enough on my plate.) Well, new to me. You, Internet, have been holding out on me. I thought you loved me. I’ve totally wasted like 2 hours here at work reading archives of both of them and I think I pink puffy heart them both. Ahhh, new infatuation love. So while you didn’t tell me Internet, I will not hold out on you:

Petroville
She’s a curly girl like me, so I already feel all bonded with her. Yup, that’s what it’s come to folks, you have the same hair as me & I’m your BFF.

My Husband Calls Me Weird
Nicki just moved into a new house during the Thankgiving rush (hmmm….who does that sound like?) And is in debt (she’s American, duh). She does rude things to her new appliances (I'm not saying I do that, but if I did I probably wouldn't write about it. I'm just saying I understand her.) and when I saw her choice in Threadless shirts, I realized I just met my soul sista! I think I seriously have a girl-crush on her.


Ok, I do actually have some work to do here today folks. Gasp! I know it’s been two weeks now and I’ve had stuff to do every day but one. (Yeah, there was a extra long weekend in there, so what?) The stuff I have to do today, involves the paper trail of those who flaked on the project I’ve been working on. And, so as not to become one of those people I should probably get back to that. Ya think? More later, seriously, cause I have new pictures!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyber Monday

Hmmm…First there’s Thanksgiving, then Black Friday…not sure what Saturday & Sunday are (me thinks the stores lump them in w/Friday, but I may start referring to them as Shiny Saturday and Sparkly Sunday). Now there’s Cyber Monday, how about ‘Sleep In Tuesday’ or ‘Bankruptcy Wednesday’? Oh, I think that hits in January when the credit card bills come.

So quick update on the weekend:

Turkey Day – Relatively painless. The most we could’ve hoped for really. No one
got too drunk or nasty. My kids generally held it together and we were able to
leave early enough to get the girls to bed at a reasonable time. Oh, and the
food was good.

Black Friday -- spent the day on and off the couch. Back
pain was bad, but we were having a party on Saturday so I need to get some
things done. I would dust and lay on the couch, run an errand, lay on the
couch…that’s pretty much how the day went. Around 4 I finally gave up, took half
a vicodin and went to bed. Slept though dinner, but felt much better when I got
up. Later, when I went to bed for the night, I laid there realizing that my
lower back was in a complete spasm & if you put your hand on it you could
feel the spasms happening. Yeah for vicodin is all I have to say. No shopping
for me, but dude! Who the heck is getting up to go shopping at 4AM????

Saturday –Spent the morning getting ready for the party. Pain was
pretty low key. Party was fun and low key.

Sunday—Gloomy, grey
day…matched my mood. Pain was back and I “trudged” through the day feeling sort
of drugged (I wasn’t) and blah. Got DS to finally put some baby locks on the
desk in the kitchen, but ended up cleaning out the whole desk as a result.
Wasn’t really planning on taking that on. So I still need to clean the house
from the weekend. Blah.


So here we are Cyber Monday. I'm at work, but yes, I will be partaking in the sales, as long as I don't have to get up at 4 AM. Will you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankful for Vicodin

I had a rough day yesterday. No, it wasn’t horrible, just rough. I woke up hurting (my back, what else?) So it started out poorly and got worse. While driving to the grocery store I looked in the rear view mirror as both girls screamed (or something equally distracting) and turned into the parking lot at the same time, not something I’d recommend BTW. The result was that I turned too hard & hit the curb w/my front tire. Arrg! Gave myself a flat, bah! I was so mad! Yes, it was my fault. I know better then to let the girls distract me like that, but not feeling good and all I let my guard down. I think part of the reason it made me so mad was because I knew better.

I know, not the end of the world.

In fact, I have roadside service who was very, very responsive (Thank You USAA!) and very timely (within 30 mins). Since I was at my destination I took the girls into the store, got our groceries (none of which were perishable), bribed prepared them for a wait in the car with starbuck’s cookies, and got myself a much needed mocha. We actually waited for maybe 10 minutes. DD#2 desperately needed a nap & DD1 needed lunch, but both somehow managed to hold it together till we got home. So yeah, it could’ve been MUCH worse. DD#2 slept for over 3 hours and after that I packed them up to go repair the tire (I had on the small spare), so we got to sit in the tire center for 30+ minutes only to be told it wasn’t repairable. There’s much more to all of this, but right now it’s not really funny to me (it was to others around us though) so I’ll spare you my whining the details. I took the girls home for DS to feed and headed out to Costco to get a new set of tires. They had a 2.5 hour wait, which would put them past closing, so they made me a deal that they would bump me to the front of the line today when I came back. By the end of all that my back was aching, not the awful sciatica pain that I was getting before, but the muscles all around that area on my right side were definitely in a spasm. I decided I deserved another mocha. Breakfast and dinner of champions! (Ok, so I also had two atkins bars during the day, but that was the total of my consumption for the day. I'm all about setting good example for my kids.) So this morning I woke up with the OTHER side of my lower back in a spasm!

OMG!!!

I think I must’ve been picking up DD#2 in a way that favored the right side, and tweaked my left side. Dude! Could I be any more awkward and retarded??? Sometimes I don’t know how on earth it is that DS stays married to me, I’m such a liability!

So I’m trying to remember to be thankful for what could’ve been a really horrible day was really just a very busy, tired day. All things considered, I think that’s a lot to be thankful for, don’t you?


Monday, November 19, 2007

Gift Me Baby One More Time….

Ok, my friend & I were talking about the whole gift giving thing. We’ve decided that Gift Cards should not be considered impersonal. We’re taking up the charge. I mean think about it, aren’t there people you buy for who really, really don’t need anything else in this world? Often times they’re the same people who would really like certain kinds of things, but because it’s their hobby, not yours, what they want would be out of your price range or something you just don’t know enough about to really purchase for them. I agree that gift cards are not appropriate for some people; kids for instance. You can usually figure out something to give a most kids that are age appropriate and in your price range. Include the gift receipt if you think there’s a good chance they have it already, but kids are as excited about opening something as they are the gift itself, so I think kids are out on this one. But for people like teachers, your 90YO Aunt, your teenage/tween-age cousin who you really don’t see very often, your secret Santa co-worker, etc…I think it’s entirely appropriate to give a gift card. Let’s face it; none of us need that 13th bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion, no matter how important moisturizing is to you. And I’m pretty sure you kid’s teacher already has that “#1 Teacher” mug from the last 3 years. So this year I’m starting the Gift Card rebellion of ’07! Ok, not really, but there are a few people who I’m getting them for, because I know that’s what they would appreciate and it’s not impersonal in that case. Plus I’m creative about where they’re from, so that makes them more personal. Here’s what I mean:

Teachers: Movie passes, enclosed in a “popcorn” bucket, with some
raisinettes, & microwave popcorn.

90YO Aunts/Uncles: I have several of these in my family. They do not
need another sweater or coffee mug. I’m getting one Aunt a month long bus
pass (she doesn’t drive) and a gift card to target (her favorite store).
For another Aunt & Uncle I’m getting them a gift card to a local
brewery. I’ll put enough on it for dinner, but since they don’t drive at
night any more they’ll probably get two lunches out of it.


Close family friends: Starbucks card (even if they don’t drink coffee, there are plenty of other yummy things, I’m sure they’ll find something to use it on.) A holiday travel mug is included to help make it more personal or if you know they’re really into coffee or tea you could get them a bag or the “good stuff”, and this year you can personalize your starbucks cards online, so I’m totally doing that.

So do you have any ideas for this? I’m all ears, I’m always on the look out for creative ways to give someone something they would really appreciate.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Season of Giving

Just got home from my niece’s birthday party. This was her family party, just one of the several affairs we manage to work into what used to be a single event occasion. With the holiday season upon us (I put a serious dent into my Christmas shopping last night. Yeah, I know you’re supposed to wait till “Black Friday”, but Kohl’s was having a seriously good sale, I had a coupon I could use on top of the sale AND they were open till midnight! That’s my kind of shopping!) the whole excess of our celebrations has started. I have to admit I have very mixed feeling about it. Part of me loves it; watching the kids open all the gifts, the room so full of gifts you can even walk through and I certainly can’t complain about the fact when I’m the recipient of much of that excess. However, we’re doing our best to really outdo ourselves this year.
My niece turned 8 this month, but we started the celebration in October. My mom took my niece to the American Girl place in LA for her birthday gift. This was when I was in Miami so they took DD1 with them (my SIL went as well). They flew to American Girl Place in LA for the day. Yeah, they FLEW down for the DAY. It sounds like it was a very, very cool day, DD1 is still talking about it. But man has the bar been set high.
For G'ma, not me. I am making it very clear that I do not pony up airline tickets as gifts (unless of course it's for me, but I digress...)
At the beginning of November my brother’s family went on a Disney cruise. It wasn’t for S’s birthday, but since it’s her birthday this month, they celebrated it profusely. (I would’ve done the same BTW. Seriously, can you ever get enough free cake?) Since they’ve been home she’s had a kids party, a small birthday celebration on the actual date of her birth and tonight was the family party. Whew! I'm kinda tired just writing it all down.
Yup, the family O’Speak is not about doing things small.
And so here we go; the Holiday season….
Part of me wants to put a nix on the excess. I don’t want my kids to get greedy and end up being all about the gifts, not about the giving. We’re planning on doing many of the things that will help them to learn about how lucky they are; we’re participating in things like the giving tree and food drives. I talk to the oldest one all the time about how lucky we are to live where and how we do. Not sure she really gets it, but I'm trying to help her understand that we have been very, very blessed.
We go to church and DD1 is in classes, so they’re getting some exposure to the meaning behind Christmas. But when you’re 4, lets face it, it’s about getting stuff. At 4, Baby Jesus is cool and all, but kinda hard to be the Fat Man who leaves you shiny gifts. And that's ok, that's how it's supposed to be when you're 4, right?

Honestly, I’m a big part of the problem; I’m the one purchasing most of the gifts. I get so much joy from the excitement of the day and watching their anticipation. I’m excited for the excitement of Christmas Eve and listening to little girls sneaking down the stairs to see if they can catch a glimpse of a flying sleigh or maybe even a reindeer. When I think of that, when I remember waking up at 4 AM and sneaking out to see if Santa had made it to our house; yes, I would get up and not be able to see anything because it was so dark, but be able to tell that stockings had been stuffed and so would go back to bed knowing I’d missed him, but he’d made it again; when I think of that…then I can’t help myself. Because giving them that type of joy and being allow to be part of it, I just don’t have words to express my excitement.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Holiday Spirit

Still not completely myself, I’m just so freaking tired. I’ve been going to work and all, but I get home and literally fall onto the couch & pass out. The headaches seem to have abated so that’s a plus. Now that work is giving me actual assignments I’m finding that being ill really cuts into my blogging time. Gonna have to work on that one.

So it’s officially the holiday season (you can tell because the red cups are out at Starbucks) which means the official season of bitching about my family has begun. Some friends and I from work were talking yesterday about the upcoming holidays and all the things we have to do related to them, especially on the day of the holiday. I would say our biggest gripe is about where we have to go and who we have to spend them with. I’m not totally dis’ing my family. It’s just the whole hurry and do this so we can hurry and do that aspect to the day. “We have to open presents by 10 so we can finish cooking the side dishes by noon, and get the turkey in before everyone shows up at 12:30…blah, blah, blah.” That part of it isn’t all that much fun, it’s just kind of stressful.

If you have to drive to various houses (I don’t, but one of my friend does) then you’re doing the drive, drive, drive so you can spend a short amount of time at each place and realize that you spent more time in the car then anywhere else that day.

I've made suggestions for things like ordering the dinner from a grocery store so everyone can relax, but I get shot down, "that's not how we do it." Well, maybe is should be. How about just hanging at home & everyone gets to play with their new toys? Maybe we could do the eating part the day before and then spend Christmas day lounging in PJs, opening gifts, playing with new stuff and knocking back leftovers & cocktails. Now, that sounds like my kind of day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blah, and the Blah too!

I’m still here. Sorry, I’m having a blah week. If I were truly creative I would somehow have found some humor in my blah and written about it. But it’s a bad case of the blahs, so not so much.
The biggest part of my deal is that I’ve been sick this week. I think (meaning I’m trying to convince myself) that it’s some kind of sinus thing. On Tuesday I woke up with a bad headache & nausea. I was also exhausted when I woke up. Not such a good way to start out a day, especially one you’ll be spending herding small children for the better part of . As the day progressed both the headache and nausea got worse, around lunch time dizzy and lightheaded decided they wanted to join in. That was right after I spent the better part of DD#1’s gym lessons having hot and cold flashes. Fun! I made myself eat lunch hoping it might help the headache and nausea; it didn’t, but it didn’t make it worse so I guess it wasn’t all bad. I found that I could keep dizzy and lightheaded out of the picture if I stayed horizontal, so I spent the rest of my afternoon on the couch in the playroom. I convinced the girls to play “house”, so I could lay there semi comatose and “watch” them. I was the sick kid & they were the “mommies” making me tea & soup to make me feel better. (When I write it down like that it sounds so cute. Wish I’d been feeling well enough to appreciate it.) I called DS & told him that while I wasn’t asking him to come home right now, if there was anyway he could come home early I would sure be grateful. I also told him I would cry if he needed to work late. He is such an awesome guy, he came home at 2:30 at which time I gratefully gave into my exhaustion and fully passed out on the couch for hours. Blah, blah, blah…more about being sick, blah, blah, blah….no, I’m not pregnant; yes, I’m sure. Anyway, I went to work the next two days because, even though I felt crappy, it wasn’t completely crappy enough to take a sick day. It was lousy enough that being at work was more restful then staying home entertaining my kids.
My mom (aka—the babysitter) is of the belief that if I stay home, regardless of reason, you should be taking care of your kids.

“I had to take care of you guys when you were little when I didn’t feel good,
and no one helped me, wah, wah, wah…”



“Well, jeez mom, perhaps that was cause you were too lame to call and ask for
some help ? Since you had two sets of capable Grandparents and about 50
bajillion cousins living less then 5 minutes away????”

Side note: On the day of the car accident when I came home early, took a vicodin & nap; I was informed that I “had a lot of nerve” for coming home early but wanting her to continue to watch the girls because my neck & back were hurting and I wanted to be drugged up for a while. She wouldn’t mind a nap too you know.”

Yeah, I’m a selfish bitch like that.

Since I know I’m not preggers I was trying to think what else it could be & it occurred to me that sinus’ could be the culprit, although no nose running as of yet. Tonight, I got a wave of the very heavy exhaustion again and a migraine about 5 PM. (It sucked because I had actually felt pretty decent most of the day.) I collapsed on the couch & sucked on a diet soda, caffeine can help migraines. I passed out about 6, and woke up a couple hours later (girls were in bed already) feeling less tired. My migraine finally broke about 11. So that was my very, very long way of telling you why I haven’t written all week AND why the heck I’m still up at 2 AM when I am feeling better. I think I’m a little amped from the soda; I had 3 by the time it was all said & done. I don’t drink that much soda in a week usually.

Ok, I also realized that the only things I was really thinking of writing about were about as boring as this post. So there you go.

There's hope! DD#2 had her 18 month check up today, so I have more to report on that this weekend. Hope your week was better than mine.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Universal Law of Mondays

There is a universal law that states: “Regardless of what time I get up to leave for work, and how much I do at night to be able to be ready to leave early, there will be obstacles that will thwart my efforts and provide that I arrive at my usual 30 minutes late every time.”

Last night I showered, blew my hair dry, pulled out my clothes, made lunches (mine and DD#1), put everything I needed to take with me by the door and filled the car up with gas. There is no reason why I should’ve been late today. Even if I were to wake up late, because of the time change I should be good, right?

Yeah, well the kids decided to wake up early (WTF?). When they get up they want my undivided attention & today was no exception. My mom usually deals with picking out clothes and getting them dressed on work mornings, but this morning I did it. I also ended up starting their breakfast & getting the dogs out before my mom showed up. None of it is big stuff, but it all steals a few minutes here and there.

To make up the time, I didn’t touch up the ends of my hair & I grabbed my makeup to go. I figured I could put it on at work. Hugs, kisses, “Have a good day! I love you!” and I’m out the door, just 5 minutes later then I wanted to get out.

I unlock the driver’s door w/the key & only the driver’s side unlocks. Hmmm, that's weird, maybe it didn’t hold it long enough., put it back in and turn, hold, hold, hold….no, nothing. Ooook, I put my stuff in the car over the driver’s seat & as I’m putting my lunch on the floor I see that the light over DD#1’s seat is turned on.

Uh oh.

I put the keys in the ignition & turn. Nothing.

Damit!

I had the battery charger in the back of the car, so I was able to get the car moving right away, but after the time it took to jump the car, I didn’t get pulled out the drive way until the usual 30 minutes late.

When I got here, I pulled in at the same time as my boss, so she’s well aware of what time I got in today. Lovely.

Just a friendly reminder; it’s Monday! Can I go back to bed now?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Lesson in Humility, Along With A Hectic Weekend.

Quick before they notice I’m gone!

So our weekend has been fairly uneventful; thankfully. My back, while sore, is not completely out of wack & carrying DD#2 around hasn’t totally tweaked it out yet. FAC was really fun this week (lots of wine, not whine). The neighborhood recently got 3 new families and the ones closest to us were able to join in. We may have overwhelmed them a bit, but overall I think they’re thrilled that they decided to move here. Best part, they have two girls, ages 4 & 18 months! It's like I put in an order for a family with two girls the exact same ages as mine! There were so many kids (13) this week that DD#1 did play with her, but I’m not sure she really got to know her at all yet. DD#2 totally hit it off w/their #2 R. They’re both about the same size & being youngers are on the “tuff” side. They were so damn cute playing in the dirt together & “making dinner” in the play kitchen. I could’ve died. It was good to see DD#2 finally playing with a girl her age for a change. It seems like everyone has boys her age, which is fine, but I could tell she had a lot of fun w/R.

Saturday we slept in (DD#1 slept till 10 AM! Gawd that kid is awesome sometimes!) and then did some light house cleaning. In the afternoon DD#1 ended up having a playdate w/AD from down the street. It was a pretty good one (no fighting) and at the end we walked her home and I was cracking up at DD#2 as she mimicked everything the big girls were doing. How come I never haf my camera on me when she does the super cute stuff? In the afternoon my dad took us to dinner. The girls were complete angels and my dad could not get over how good they were.

Today we headed to church, and once again DD#2 was being amazing during Mass. It was really crowded so we had to sit in a pew w/other people; something I try to minimize so that I can minimize the potential annoyance of having an 18 month old around. But the baby room was full and so were the pews. It wasn’t a big deal; right behind us there was an 18 month old, 7 month old and 4 month old. DD#2 was interested in them, but not overly, so they were actually a good distraction. They were not the most well behaved kids on earth though. They weren't awful or anything, just not the angel my child was being. DD#2 was being the perfect child, and we’d just gotten past the part of Mass when everyone shakes hands and wishes each other “peace.“ DD#2 loves that part & insists on shaking hands with everyone too. Everyone finds this adorable, of course, so I was feeling pretty smug about how good my kids were by this time and fate decided to put me in my place. We’re standing and DD#2 decides to toss her cup onto the pew. It was a “disposable” cup so the lid immediately popped off dumping the full cup of water all over the pew. We were supposed to sit right about then, of course. I was able to warn the lady next to us right off, but still think it got on the edge of her jacket. It had already splashed all over the side of my skirt so I looked lovely when I got up for communion. I had nothing to wipe it up with, at first I grabbed a onsie of DD#2 from the diaper bag, but I realized I needed something more absorbent...

You guessed it, I cleaned it up w/a diaper.

Guess, making me walk out of church w/a full diaper and a half soaked skirt was God’s little way of reminding me of the humility that I might want to keep in check.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Taking it from Behind

On my way to work Thursday I was rear ended. It wasn’t a bad accident. In fact the damage to my bummer is pretty minimal. I as stopped at a red light (3rd in line) and the kid (age 17, of course) behind me didn’t stop. Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure he never hit his breaks; at least I never heard his tires. He was going around 35-40 when he hit meo , so minimal damage to the car because he hit me square, but not totally minimal to me, because he hit me hard (and the fact that I’m already pretty banged up doesn’t help.) He had insurance and pulled over to exchange information, etc…so I’m at least thankful for that. Within an hour of this accident I was starting to stiffen up. By the time 3 hours had passed my lower back & neck were quite angry about the whole deal and additionally giving me a headache. I cut my losses and left work early . At home I took a vicodin, applied ice and tried to sleep it off for a couple hours. It did help. I woke up feeling much better; probably not feeling much of anything to be honest. The minimalizing of the pain lasted until about noon today. Now I’m laying on the couch (blogging) while DD#1 colors and DD#2 sleeps. I probably wouldn’t even mention all this except that DS had to go out of town for the weekend. His Grandmother (age 92) passed this week and he has to go back to PA for the funeral. He won’t be back until Monday night. If my back is bothering me I’m out of luck this weekend, because I’m on my own.

The biggest issue over this is that I didn’t get to post about our Halloween. Now it seems so long ago that it hardly seems relevant. BAH!

Here the Reader’s Digest version so I can feel better about it:
Trick or Treating was fun. The big kids were frenzied and we were constantly yelling, “Don’t Run”, “Wait for us!” and “Slow Down”. A couple times one of the kids bit it because the house was dark & they couldn’t see the step the just tripped over. A few skinned knees, but otherwise no one was worse for the ware. And no candy was lost in the chaos. DD#2 got into the swing of things by house two and FILLED her bucket. Her petit-ness worked in her favor and people were amazed to see someone so small and cute toddling up to their porch, “Twik o Twet!” and their hearts just melted. A “Tank You” (without being prompted) and they’re signing their mortgages over to us. So both girls had a blast. DD#1 asked to come home about 5 minutes after her normal bedtime, but I made her keep going to houses as we worked our way home (no one wants to be the party pooper!). Once home she wanted to have a piece of candy and when I said, “Yes, but just one.” She started to riffle through her treat bag. We got the distinct pleasure of teaching her how to “sort her candy” by dumping it all out on the floor. She thought that was pretty cool (cause it is) and I know will be teaching her sister the finer art of candy sorting next year. She re-sorted it the next day with her G’ma, or course.

My only complaint (you knew there was at least one) about the evening is sort of random. Our neighborhood is one that people drive into in order to bring their kids Trick or Treating. I have no issues with that in of itself. I think it’s great that their kids are able to get the experience even though they don’t totally feel safe about their own area. I get that and I’m cool with it. The thing I wasn’t cool with was the group of 10+ cars in a line going down the street following the group of 20 or so kids as they went house to house. Get the hell out of your cars people! It wasn’t even cold that night, so there was no good excuse, just laziness. It bothered me mostly because it was so dangerous to the kids out Trick or Treating. They were watching their kids, talking on the phone, etc…but someone’s kid runs into the street unexpectedly….ok that was my rant. We took lots of pix but none were as good as the ones I already posted, so you can scroll back to see Arial & Minnie Mouse.

I’m off to our Friday Neighborhood Playdate (I think I’m going to start calling FAC for Friday Afternoon Club, like in college.) Wish me luck over this weekend, if it doesn’t go well it’s going to be a really, really long weekend.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rockin’ & Rolling

Yup, the House O’Speak was “shaking it up” tonight.

We live relatively close to the epicenter. Lost a mirror off the playroom wall. (Glad the girls weren’t in there; it shattered all over the place.) Close enough that we felt it strongly enough to stop what we were doing. If you’ve lived in “earthquake country” you are probably going, “oh, wow, that was a decent one then.“ For the record, when an earthquake hits in our area most people don’t even stop what they’re doing. You take notice, if it lasts long enough, you may even consider heading for a doorframe, but usually it’s over by then and you’re razzing the newbie from out of state who’s looking a bit green right about now.

People who have never been in an earthquake are usually the ones who are terrified of them. It's typical, you fear what you don‘t know. I am terrified of tornados and hurricanes, so there you go. Don’t get me wrong, earthquakes can be very scary and cause lots of damage. But we are very, very lucky to live in this part of the world. My family likes to say “earthquakes don’t hurt people, buildings hurt people.” My dad is a civil engineer, so designing structures to withstand movement is his job, so I know a little bit about this type of stuff. Because we live in the US where we have building codes and the money to support them; an earthquake that would kill hundreds if not thousands in another country, will break a few dishes here. I’m not trying to be flip about it, that’s the truth. If I really get thinking about it I get really angry. It’s beyond frustrating to me that we have the technology to protect all those people but because of politics and money the structures that are built end up killing people. But off my soapbox for now, that’s material for a different post.
………………………………....
It was the girls’ first real earthquake. We had gotten them to bed about 15 minutes before it hit, so they weren’t completely out. I knew better than to go running to their rooms; nothing freaks out a kid like realizing their parent doesn't have complete control of the world. I think DD#1 was asleep enough that she would’ve thought it was part of dream, but DD#2 is a pretty light sleeper so she woke up & started crying. DD#1 heard me with her and so suddenly I had lots of questions to answer. I had to explain what an earthquake was and how it’s a little scary because we’re never expecting it when it happens. I was quick to praise her, indicating she did exactly the right thing by staying in bed. Then we talked about what to do if you aren’t in bed (stand in a doorway or get under a table). It was actually good timing for the experience. DD#1 wasn’t scared at all, and told me so. Hopefully, when she feels her next one (yes, she will feel others in her lifetime, don’t stress it I’m not) she won’t be totally freaked out by it cause it won’t be new.

Guess we're just setting the mood for Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Can't Resist

We went to a pumpkin carving party this weekend. The girls wore their Halloween Costumes over so I was able to get some pix when the pressure was off, and I wasn't making them wear warm clothes underneath (it was in the 70's all weekend). I hope it's that nice on Halloween for Trick or Treating. Last night I was running around in a skirt & t-shirt, not even a sweatshirt which is odd for me. I couldn't resist sharing these.










No Presents Parties

I just read this: http://blogs.parentcenter.babycenter.com/momformation/2007/10/24/the-no-gift-birthday-party

I'm curious to hear other people's take on it. We have been invited to some kids parties with this request and we too brought a gift. I believe my choice at the first was art supplies (coloring books & pens or crayons). I too felt weird not bringing anything, but figured the mom was in a similar boat as I in wanting and needing no more toys! I felt art supplies (w/a gift receipt so they could be returned if still too much) was a happy medium. I've also bought character PJs for similar requests; needed clothes that probably cost more then mom wants to pay for a pair of PJs, but not considered "boring clothes" by child because of the character on the PJs.

When reading this post my first thought was that maybe the mom could let the b-day boy keep a few favorites and send the rest to charity? Or maybe get rid of an equal number of existing toys that way. But part of me (the consumer in me who has been told that is mean) feels like that might be a bit heavy for a little kid. I mean life lessons are great, but does his b-day party have to be one too? I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm totally guilty of both sides.

Next year I'm dodging the bullet as far as the big one is concerned; my plan for DD#1 is a "tea party". I'll let her invite 5-6 girlfriends and we'll go to a local tea room where the girls will receive a tea service catered toward kids, but served on real china & such. My SIL did this for my niece's 5th b-day & it was such a cool party. All the girls dressed up in their princess dresses & they loved the fact that they had real china, the sugar cubes were violets and that lunch/tea consisted of finger sandwiches (PB&J), mini rice crispy treats, a mini sundae & other varied sweets. They also hired "Cinderella" to come to the party and entertain the girls with face painting, an interactive story and such. The girls just about died. Yes, I want this party for me, but I think my older one will appreciate it just as much. DD#2 I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm all about the party; I love to plan a theme & decorate, be creative with my invites and the cake, things like that. But we too have more toys then I care to admit to, so a no presents party would be a nice change. What do you think? Any creative ideas on ways to circumvent the mom's (like me) who feel compelled to bring something anyway?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Got an Hour? I've got a post for you!

Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ll explain in a minute and I think you’ll understand.

At this point Miami feels a bit like a long ago event to me. So sad that those vacation feelings fade so quickly, huh? Sigh.

Vacation was glorious. I got over my Fibro episode after about a day and half and it was all good. In fact, I wasn’t spectacular about my low carb diet the whole vacation; I had vodka strawberry daiquiris (diet coke & vanilla stolli got old quick) and even had some pita one night! Gasp! The humanity of it, I know.

I found it hard to be on vacation & not eat some of these evil carb containing foods. I consider a huge part of travel to be the food. And guess what, there’s a lot of food that is based on carbohydrates. So I just tried not to go to town; I didn’t waste the carbs I was having on things I didn’t care that much about, and actually did really well. I’m guess I’m still learning how much my body will and won’t tolerate. I still haven’t quite figured out what my balance is; meaning the range of carbs I can eat each day and maintain my weight. I still lost 2 lbs on vacation, so even eating the carbs I did eat, I lost some weight. That was a bit of an epiphany. I have now hit the weight I was at prior to having both kids. Crazy, huh? I’ve dieted, I’ve exercised, and I’ve managed to lose some weight and inches in the past, but nothing like this; this is almost like it’s melting off. I won’t think about it until I put on a pair jeans I haven’t worn all summer and find that they now sit on my hips instead of my waist. The little episode in Florida also served another purpose: it confirmed that I am controlling my Fibromyalgia with diet. A few years ago, I would never have thought it possible. I was grateful that I had found a drug regimen that was working for me (many people aren’t that lucky). But I have to admit I did have a nagging worry about the long term affects of being on those drugs. Ultimately I wasn’t treating the syndrome, I was treating the symptoms. But if relief of symptoms was the best I could get I’d take it. I may not being doing much different; but now I don’t think I’m suppressing symptoms by this diet. I believe I’m actually treating my syndrome. I imagine it’s a bit like an allergy to a food. In my case it’s a group of foods. If I eat them, I won’t go into shock, but I will get sick and I now seem to know what causes it. I hope they will soon be able to discover the why. The weight loss has been an added benefit and I have to admit I’m thrilled. I hope to lose another 5-10 lbs (down another dress size) and I’d be exceptionally happy with that. I still eat a ton, so that’s the best part, I don’t feel deprived and my overall health and looks have improved. OMG, sometimes I think I’m going to wake up & realize it’s all just been a dream. And I may have to bitch-slap myself over this last paragraph. Seriously, the weight loss has been easy.

So back to vacation; we had a couple glorious days of laying on the beach. I know, not very good for your skin in the long run. But the short term…Dude! I have such an awesome tan! Personally, there isn’t much more relaxing than sitting on the warm sand of the beach while a cabana boy brings you cocktails. Bliss.

I knew I needed a vacation, I just didn’t realize how badly. It was lovely, and it was nice to have so much time with DS, just the two of us. We did realize that we spent a lot of time watching families with kids the same age as ours. We both missed the girls very much. We didn’t pine over it, but we found that they were always on our mind. We stayed out late (and realized we’re kinda over that whole Spring Break scene—too much work) and slept in late. We ate dinner at 10 PM, and sat on the patio of bars watching the whole South Beach scene while sipping cocktails late in the early morning hours. (We love to be the peanut gallery.) It was fun, but we’re both very, very glad to be home. The girls were excellent at the G’parents and have actually been better behaved (knock on wood) since we’ve been back, so maybe we all needed this break.

On Monday, I got back onto work and reality hit. I was greeted by a not very nice email which pretty much stressed me out for the next 24 hours. The fact that it stressed me out added to my stress; honestly, I don’t want to care that much when it comes to this job & this place. While I’m not going to go into details the email was somewhat of personal attack & that’s a lot of why it stressed me out. I spent most of my Monday stressing about how I wanted to respond to it and crafting that response. Tuesday morning I was able to mostly put it out of my mind & focus on my girls and today I greeted by what might be somewhat of an apology. Go Figure. I’m glad I was able to more or less put it away when not here (although I did notice that my need for chocolate went up exponentially,) but it still irks me that it was able to get to me to the degree it did. It also irks me that this person effective dropped a bomb & walked away with no regard for the consequences of their statements. BAH!

I was going to write yesterday, but in an effort to put that email aside I mostly stayed away from the computer. I had a lovely day of coloring and playing outside with the girls. We had lunch w/my dad (he surprised DD#1 by showing up to watch her gymnastics class) and while DD#2 took her nap, DD#1 and I colored together which was really fun. It was nice to just hang out with her and not have her whining at me. When DD#2 got up we went for a walk (it was perfect here yesterday) and ended up hanging out for the afternoon at a neighbors house. My house isn’t any cleaner, but we were all relaxed & happy and isn’t that what really matters most?

Monday, October 15, 2007

We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto!

So we’re in Miami.

Our trip was pretty non-eventful; we had a few issues w/DS’s itinerary; had the next days date on it and then upon clearing it up finding that we weren’t sitting together, but a bit of schmoozing and we had the bulkhead seats, so it actually worked out better for us. Compared to the last trip, it was heavenly.

We got here about 9 EST so by the time we got to the hotel & such everyone was ready to eat & drink. We all headed to the main hotel and had bar food for dinner. When that bar kicked us out (at like 12) we went to another real bar w/a couple bands & drank there for a while. Very fun. Very DINKs (Double Income No Kids, which was us before we hard our lovely babies) of us. Ummm, minor detail I forgot; on American (at least in coach) they don’t serve food, just drinks. You can buy food, ridiculously priced of course, but otherwise, not even a bag o’peanuts. We knew this, so in the airport I purchased a sandwich for DS & a salad for myself. Cool. Only when I went to eat my salad, no dressing. IIt was a bummer, but I had some low carb granola bars with me so I ate one of those. Of course, when we started drinking I kinda forgot to take into account that I really hadn’t eaten and started downing Morgan’s & cokes. And since after like 2 sips I was feeling no pain, I continued to drink them all night. I also forgot to order them as Morgan’s & Diet Cokes. Minor detail, which it turns out has major consequences.

Yeah, my body totally rebelled on me.

I woke up the next morning feeling dehydrated, not really hung over, but dehydrated. I started drinking lots of water & about 2 hours later got a headache. I still chalk that up to dehydration. About an hour after that, my stomach rebelled. I’ll leave it at that, you can use your imagination. By dinnertime I was fully nauseous. I ordered dinner took like two bites & declared myself done. The thought of food was making we queasy by now. So we came home by 9 & were in bed by 10. I woke up every hour because I so uncomfortable & I kept the ice bucket (lined w/a plastic bag) next to the bed because more then once I thought I was going to lose it (my lunch to be specific).

DS’s conference started today, so after he left I sort of passed out for about 2 hours, which made me feel slightly more human. Now, I have those “haven’t had any sleep” body cramps. Except that mine our mitigated by the fibro, which makes them more intense & longer lasting then the usual ones. I could nap & drink lots of water, but time & consistency (low, low carb) are what will help get rid of them. I hope.
So it’s 2 in the afternoon & I just finished getting dressed. (I move very slowly when I hurt this much). I’ve had half a bottle of water since I’ve been up & I’m about halfway through a low carb granola bar (only think I had to snack on in the room). I think I’m ready to go look for something more substantial like cheese or eggs. I’ve looked up bus routes & the hours of several things I want to go do, (most are closed today) so it hasn’t been a totally wasted day. And while I’m still queasy, my stomach has stopped doing flip flops at the thought of food. We haven’t seen much of the sun, or I’d probably be down by the pool now w/a book. If we had the kids with us, we’d there or the beach for sure, it’s in low 80s & pretty nice overall. Since I don’t have the kids, I’m going to walk to the closest ATM & then walk to the nearby (about 3 city blocks) Macy’s. (My purse is killing me, I forgot how much pressure it puts on my neck. I need a stroller ;) I don’t really have a “summer purse” since I’ve spent the last two summers schlepping a diaper bag. I’m hoping to find something that won’t hurt my neck so much, but is usable. So we’ll see. If all of that goes well, I’ll probably go read at a Starbucks for a while. If I decide I’m feeling really good I’ll go check out Coconut Grove (supposed to have good shopping). So we’ll see.
Next post I’ll hopefully have some pix of the “colorful” attire we’ve been seeing down in South Beach. It’s so exactly what you’d expect from South Beach. My inner 10-year-old boy is working overtime.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Head East Young Man...errr South East, errr Middle aged couple....Whatever, Get Going Before You Change Your Mind!


I just finished putting together a power of attorney document for my kids while we’re gone. We’re headed to Miami for a week on Saturday.

No kids.

I’m not sure how I feel about it now that it’s so close to happening.

When I was making reservations I was still breastfeeding, so the thought of being able to be away from the kids for that length of time was beyond exciting. Originally, I was planning on flying out on Wednesday, DS is going for a conference and will be attending functions Monday – Wednesday. Once I started researching flights I realized it was actually cheaper for me if I fly on the weekends, even though I’m staying longer. Go Figure. Since the hotel room is the same either way we decided to go for it. We haven’t had more then an overnight alone in 5 years! Since before DD1 was born. The thought of having that much free time was intoxicating.






OMG, I can lay by the pool and read a book! Not a short article in a
magazine, but an honest-to-goodness book. I can get a pedicure and not
have to schedule around naps and babysitting availability. We can go out
to dinner at EIGHT PM and no one will freak out.



Ok, DS might freak out, but if I get him a beer and some chips he’ll be fine.



The idea of that much freedom seemed like such a pipedream!

The plan is to hang in Miami until Thursday and then we’re going to drive down to Key West for a couple days. I’m sure we’ll take our time getting there. I’m excited because I’ve never even been to Florida before and I’ve always wanted to visit The Keys. I’m excited to get to spend some alone time with my husband, to be a couple for a little while again, instead of a “family” all the time, to travel without a hard plan, to relax without an end time to it, to be able to decide I want to go do something and just be able to get up and go do it. Oh, and to drive in the car without anyone saying anything, just enjoying the sound of each other's silence.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still nervous about this trip. For some reason, I tend to get very fatalistic about flying. I’m not really scared to fly and dude, I used to be a premier member for years on United so it’s not like I haven’t done more then my fair share of travel. But I do get nervous about the flying thing. I guess it would be more accurate to say I’m nervous about the not-flying thing. You know, crashing or something equally awful. Ok, I said it, so now it won’t happen right?




I’m also nervous about leaving the girls. I know I’m going to miss them like heck. As lovely as a pedicure on my own time and lounging by the pool with a book sounds, it ultimately pales in comparison to the giggles and hugs of my kids. I know they’ll be fine and the G’parents have some big plans for them, so they’re going to have lots of fun. But it still doesn’t make this easier. I am going to miss them soooo much. There’s a reason we haven’t had more then an overnight alone in 5 years and it’s not the babysitting issue. It’s that we really love being with our girls. In most situations, we’d rather have them with us than not. There have been opportunities to do things for a weekend here and there without them, and we’ve opted not do that. If possible, we take them with us. We don’t just love them, we like them too. Most of all we love being around them and I’m so very glad for that.

My mom acts put out that I’m going to leave them for 7 days instead of 4. Apparently 4 is ok in her book, but 7 is ridiculous. Personally, I think I’ll miss them equally 2 days or 2 weeks, that’s part of why I decided it was ok to go earlier. I know I can use a recharge, so ultimately it’ll be good for all of us. Doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it will be good.

In case things get so busy I can’t get back on here in the next couple days, pray for really good weather in So FL for me. I totally want to lie by the pool/on the beach and get a tan. When it rains I plan on shopping, spa treatments and sitting in coffee shops while reading. All those things I never get to do anymore because I have kids. I’m bringing my laptop, so assuming I can pick up some WiFi I’ll post when I can, which with no kids around may be more then I have things to write about. Of, course I can always bore you with the details of how much I miss them. And if you have any suggestions for things we need to do/see in the Miami/Keys area by all means please post it, I would love to hear your suggestions.




So here's my Sept. scrap book pages to hold you over in the meantime (names have been changed to protect the cute) :

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Did anyone see any pigs flying around today?

OMG! I have actual work to do today! At work! No, I’m not joking.

That’s why I haven’t posted anything yet. I’ve had an hour long (training) meeting, and converted several files for various people here today. Converting the files; not really all that hard, but for some reason it falls into the area of things only I can do for them (now that I think about it, it might be that I’m the only one who has all the software required for such converting; ahh, government work). But that’s ok, things to do. It's not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy getting paid for blogging and updating my scrapbook, but things to do that are actual work related things = job security or at least less job insecurity.

So now I get to go update some web pages. Yes, they do want me to work on something I was actually hired to do! I know, I know, pace myself. Don’t want to burn myself out by doing something that takes longer then 10 minutes. I could be laid out for a week if I try to tackle it all before noon. Might pull a muscle in my eye or something.

So more later today!

Monday, October 08, 2007

No Matter What You Call It, It's Still A Monday.

I had the weirdest day today.

It’s Columbus Day & being a government worker I had the day off. Being in a private preschool (although I did notice our public school was in too) DD1 did not. So it was a Friday again for me. Got her off to school and

  • hit the Safeway (Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry low sugar drinkable yogurt or low carb ice cream, Rat Bastards!)
  • Picked up my contacts at the eye doctor.
  • Stopped by a local bakery & picked up these spice bar cookies I covet from my youth and
  • dropped them off at H’s (Baby Girl has been home for a couple days now, Baby Boy is supposed to come home today sometime.) You know, nothing helps with sleep deprivation and milk production like a good home made cookie. DD2 got to see Baby Girl which was so damn cute (her little eyes & nose peeking over the top of the bassinet as she stood on tippy toes to see! Gawd! How come I never have my camera when I really need it! But that’s another post at another time.

All of that was before 10 AM. I was so productive. In fact, I was going to take DD2 for a very much needed haircut and the car for a much needed car wash, but she fell asleep before the end of the block at H’s house, so we went home for her to nap. I know, not weird yet, really good up till that point.

Some back story: At the grocery store I purchased some midol, as I’m having some major cramping and thought it might help. It was about the time we left H’s house that these drugs kicked in. OMG! I’m pretty sure what happened is that my blood pressure dropped. Basically midol is Tylenol and caffeine, so I think the caffeine may have caused the drop. In most people it would probably raise your pulse & BP, but I tend to do the opposite (if the situation would raise your BP, it would lower mine.) And everything was spinning. It was like being drunk, but without the fun drinking part. I put DD2 down for her nap & laid down, which DID. NOT. STOP. THE SPINNING. I tried calling a couple neighbors to see if they could pick up DD1 in an hour if this didn’t stop, but no one was around (of course.) I tried sleeping for that hour, and was successful, but it was a weird kind of sleep and I woke up still lightheaded, dizzy and spacey. Since I had to wake DD2 to pick up DD1 I decided I take them both for hair cuts. I was spinning, but not quite as bad at that point. I’d brought some snacks (cheese, granola bars, water…) figuring I needed to eat and/or drink something and that would take care of it. The salon is in a strip mall which also contains a teacher supply store. So first we went there & got DD1 a pack of alphabet flashcards. (She knows about half of her letters by sight & I think the others, she just doesn’t come in contact enough with, so figured we could make it into a game to help her move along on this topic.) They were also having a two books for one sale so I got suckered into a couple books for her because they had her coveted “Magic School Bus” ones. (I know the theme song to that show. Sad, very, very sad.) Then took them to get their hair cut, which was mostly uneventful. Except that they cut DD2’s hair short! I mean, I guess she needed it, but, oh man, I really hope they didn’t end up cutting out all her curls. During their cuts I noticed that the salon seemed really, really hot & stuffy to me. I had to sit while they were getting done cause I was afraid I'd start passing out. By the time we were done I was getting super lightheaded again . (In fact, I was a little nervous about driving, but figured it had more to do with the place then me.) We skipped the car wash & went strait home. By the time I got home I was in full spin mode. I set the girls up w/a Wiggles movie (2 glorious hours) in the playroom & laid down on the couch in the family room. I informed them to play & get along because mommy was not feeling good. And miraculously they mostly did. At one point, DD2 came over to me & asked for a nap (I know! I couldn’t believe it either, but I think she sensed something was really wrong with me & not to screw around.) I carefully walked her up the stairs (I knew better then to risk carrying her the way I was). DD1 watched her movie and then played w/her magnetic paper dolls. I literally laid on the couch for like 4 hours, other then getting up to put DD2 to bed and then later to get her up. The room Never. Stopped. Spinning.

FINALLY, DS got home! Thank God! We were supposed to go to some friends’ house for dinner & he asked if I wanted him to take the girls so I could actually rest! Yes, yes! Please!

So I’m home alone now, which is weird.

About 7 I realized that I still feel groggy, but not so dizzy suddenly. I decided, after something like 7 bottles of water, (I’m not kidding) that I needed to pee. I got up and found that the room had indeed decided to stay still. My mid-back is killing me because I’ve been laying on the couch all day, but at least I’m not falling over while lying down anymore. I feel shaky, like after you’ve been sick for a couple days & haven’t had anything to eat. Only, I’ve been eating and drinking all day.
Needless, I’ll be staying away from the midol from now on. In fact, I believe Red Bull and Monster are off limits too. It’s so weird; I take a vicodin for pain & need a half a glass of wine to really kick it in so that it helps, otherwise nothing. But dude, extra strong coffee; puts me on my ass!
That’s what I get for drinking decaf.