Thursday, March 24, 2005

Calm down...just calm down...

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!



I packed about 6 boxes of stuff today. Clothes. Toys. Pots. Dishes. Glasses. Utensils. Knives.

But there is more stuff still hanging around. I will NOT be packing anymore of it. I WILL be packing my bathroom essentials plus a couple extra outfits & sleeping stuff in a duffle. I'm going to throw all our linens (that we'll be sleeping on tonight) into another duffle in the morning once we're all up & about.

Anything else will need to be packed by hubby (yeah...right!) or the movers.

I don't know if I'll be able to get any amount of rest tonight. I think my mind will be running a mile a minute. You know. Those endless reminders to yourself. Lists. Lists. LISTS!

But I really am happy and excited. We'll be sleeping in the new house tomorrow night. ARGH!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

New words & phrases

The Bear's vocabulary is growing by leaps & bounds!

"Sowwee Sissy [or Maw or Da]" --> he'll accompany this phrase with a hug & pat his hand on whomever he's speaking to.

"Fank u" - Thank You

"Mow Peas"- More Please

"Wah Peas" - Water Please

"MMM-hmmm" - self explanatory

"Aw-done" - All done

Last week he started to say "Tra-man" - Trash man

He learned this yesterday... "Whey aw u?" - Where are you?

They're WHAT?

I'm a bit in shock at the moment...

My hubs got a call from his brother. He and his girlfriend are engaged!

The two of them have been dating for 6 1/2 years now. They bought a house together. They have two dogs. I didn't think they'd EVER get married.

Why? The gal (who I ADORE) was married before. I recall a conversation a couple years ago where she said she never wanted to be married again. Hmmmm...


No. There's no baby on the way. They don't plan on getting married until next summer. But still! I'm in shock! Happy shock. But shock nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A meme...

Got this from Chana ....

1. What time did you wake up this morning? Woke up at 6am - Got UP at 6:30am

2. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Forgotten

4. What is your favorite TV show? 24 or The Amazing Race

5. What did you have for breakfast? 3 cups of coffee

6. Peach yogurt or granola? Peach yogurt

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican!

8. What foods do you dislike? Anything that's made too bland when I KNOW it should be more flavorful

9. What is your favorite crisp flavor? Not sure if I understand this question...I like salt&vinegar chips

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Anything Raffe

11. What kind of car do you drive? 1998 Honda Passport

12. Favorite sandwich? Spinach & Bacon Pannini

13. What characteristics do you despise? Get those LIARS out of my face!

14. Favorite items of clothing? Stretchy jeans!

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? I'd LOVE to visit Austria again. It was so beautiful.

16. What color is your bathroom? Yellowy taupe/Brown

17. Favorite brand of clothing? GAP

18. Where would you retire to? Del Mar or La Jolla

19. Favorite time of the day? Right after the kids are tucked in bed & I'm in a HOT shower!

20. What was your most memorable birthday? They've all been pretty bland.

21. Where were you born? Philippines

22. Favorite sport to watch? My son's brand of hockey

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Nobody

24. What book are you reading now? Nothing

25. What fabric detergent do you use? All - Free & Clear

26. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

27. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Mornings

28. What is your shoe size? 6.5 wide

29. Do you have any pets? Blue-hoo (our Beta fish)

30. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with your friends? I'm moving this Friday!

31. What did you want to be when you were little? A firefighter.

32. What are you doing today? It's a stay-at-home day for us. Waiting for the Salvation Army to pick up some stuff....

Boyfriend? Again?

deThis weekend I was informed that my younger sister has a boyfriend. Again.

She's not one of those serial daters. Hopping from one short term relationship into another. Her relationships tend to last a few years, but it just seems like she always has one.

I happened to call my older sister's house and found out that my younger sister was there. With a boy. My older sister and my BIL were meeting him for the first time. They were doing a question-answer session. I couldn't believe I was SO far out of the loop on what's going on with my younger sister. But it turns out my sister and my BIL just found out too. But my younger sister and this guy have been dating for almost 2.5 months. TWO and a half months. And we didn't know!

Turns out that my younger sister is being more cautious about starting a relationship. She's learned that she needs to take time and get to know someone before jumping into something. From what my older sister told me about the guy, my younger sister seems to have found a good one this time around.

The guy? He's less than a year younger than my sister. He's a techie (computer guy) and a large company. He's also part of a band. He grew up in a community just north of where we lived. The guy also owns some property. I don't know what kind but I'll find out once I grill my younger sister when she visits in a couple of weeks. He also coaches high school track in his spare time. Okay. Okay. Does he sound grounded or what?

I'm just pleased that she's found someone who is well into his career. He's already settled into a nice groove. He's not still in school. He's still not "finding" what he wants to do. He's still not "finding himself."

[Doing the happy dance]

I'm really happy for her. I'm happy that she's happy. I can't wait to find out all the details!

The CUTEST feet

Had to share this shot of my Bear in little shoe covers.

These were the same ones that all the adults were wearing. These weren't a special pair! Mind you...he's got a toddler size 8 foot. That's less than 6 inches in length for those of you who don't have kids. He-he-he!

Monday, March 21, 2005


Notice how I didn't write "firemen"?

This morning I had an interesting conversation with the Princess on the way to preschool.

We had just passed the firehouse that we drive by on preschool days.

Prin: "Mom. Danny (a boy at school) says firemen. He doesn't say firefighters like we do."

Me: "Oh, he does?"

Prin: "I tried to tell him that girls can be firefighters, so that's why we don't say firemen."

Me: "And what did he say?"

Prin: "He say that only boys can be firefighters."

Me: "What did you say to him about that?"

Prin: "I told him that girls CAN be firefighters."

Me: "Well. I guess he's never seen a female firefighter."

Prin: "Yeah. Maybe that's why he thinks only boys can be."

Me: "Remember how we used to see that one female firefighter when we were grocery shopping?"

Prin: "Yeah. She was really nice. Maybe one day Danny will see a female firefighter. Then he'll realize girls can do that job too."

My girl. She's already had to defend that girls can be in the tough job of a fire fighter. She knows that girls can be strong. I hope to continue to keep her thinking POSITIVE about what girls/females can accomplish in their lives - whatever they decide to focus upon.

What I find interesting is that Danny has an older sister. I wonder what she is going to aspire to be?

Pre-close walk through (update)

This morning we have our pre-close walk-through scheduled.

I don't know if all home builders do this. I guess with this company, they do this with all the new houses they build. They walk the new owners through the entire house to check things out. We check for anything that needs to be fixed. We're less than a week from close. This way, they can fix anything we've noticed that seems out of whack. We get to turn on all the light switches. This'll be good to figure out what switches go to the lights and which switches go to outlets (for lamp placement). They also walk us through the place to show us how things work. Like I mentioned before, I have NO idea how the microwave works. I normally handwash my dishes/pots so I'll need to figure out the dishwasher. We even got a new fangled garage opener with an outside mounted pad that we'll need to have instructions on.

I am VERY excited. I can't believe that we'll be in a house soon. I mean SOON! I've packed as much as I feel I can. The rest of the stuff that's out is stuff that we need day-to-day. But it seems like there's still so much to pack. Can you tell I'm a little stressed to?

I did have a good time picking out bedding and window treatments for the Princess room. I ended up getting some hot pink linens for her bed. The color will match both Strawberry Shortcake and Hello Kitty. I got pillowcases for both these characters. I also have a wall sticky of Strawberry Shortcake for her closet or her door. Then I got her some white sheers with embroidered flowers on it. Yes, I did get a blackout liner to place behind the sheers. I'm going to pick up some of those rod clip things so I can push/pull the blackout liners aside more easily. The Princess only knows about the curtains (which we picked up on Saturday). She has no idea I got her new bedding! It's going to be fun seeing her expression when she sees her new room!

As for the boy? I'm still at a quandry. I'm thinking I'll get him some blackout cellular shades. I'll get them with the top-down feature so we can let in some light. I'll have it so that we have it on a loop control system so we won't have the strings hanging down - I KNOW my boy will try to play with the strings if they're dangling. I'm shying away from the curtain idea in HIS room because he likes to play hide-n-seek with them. I can just picture him 'accidentally' pulling the curtains and the rods down. My hubs would be livid if that happened.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to putting in updates this week. Just hope that everything works out and we close when we're expecting!


We walked through the house. We actually walked through with the customer service rep and the construction manager. We walked through EVERY room (we wore those slip-on booties). We scanned each wall, each baseboard, each door, each ceiling, and each corner for imperfections. We found a few. Of course we did. It's all touch-ups that we found. Nothing major.

The sales representative came in later. She came with another sales rep. Turns out that the gal would be moving to another development up the road. She wanted to introduce us to the NEW sales rep that would be taking her place. A guy. A good looking young guy. I'd say he was in his mid-30s. Very fit. Had the GQ look to him. He was moving from a development much further away from the city. So this subdivision was a step up for him - closer to home.

The female sales rep introduced us to the new male sales rep. The female sales rep said that she and the other female sales rep (the one we actually worked with) checked out the house the night before. She said she HAD to bring the new sales rep in to see the house before we closed. She wanted to show him the options that we'd selected for our home. They both complimented us on everything.

FSR: "What level upgrade carpet did you select?" [she was feeling the carpet]

Me: "I really don't know."

FSR: "Wow. It's REALLY nice."

Me: "Well, the hubs got his hardwood in his den so I got whatever carpet I wanted."

FSR: "It's nice. I haven't seen anyone select this grade yet."

So everything looks right on schedule for our close! Woohoo!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Rain...rain...go away!

It sprinkled for a couple hours yesterday morning.

It was nice today.

This Friday? 30% chance of showers.

That's the ONLY day in the 10 day forecast that has some anticipated rain. Why? Why? Oh tell me why!

Remember? That's MOVE day.

Hopefully Mother Nature will shift whatever precipitation is headed out way later on this week so it just hits north of us.

[crossing fingers]

Saturday, March 19, 2005

At a drop of a hat...

I used to laugh when I'd see my Mom fall asleep as she's sitting on the couch watching tv with us.

I used to laugh when I'd see my older sister "B" fall asleep as she's sitting watching tv with me.

I realize that moms just are trying to catch in a few extra minutes of sleep when watching tv.

You see, the kids like me to sit with them. Or lie down next to them as they're watching their videos. Do I actually watch? Nope! I take that time to catch some sleep. The Bear can be sitting on my back. The Princess can be twisting my hair between her fingers. But I can definitely fall asleep within a couple of minutes.

Now...if only I could translate that kind of sleeping to me lying in my bed at night (I generally wake about 3 times)...

What was that?

Just saw the new "Herbie" trailer. The movie with Lindsay Lohan?

Hubs: "Is that Matt Damon?"

Me: " about Matt Dillon?"

I was cracking up when he said that. I have to say that I love it when my hubs makes a mistake! I mean, Matt Damon looks NOTHING like Matt Dillon.

Fancy car!

Snippets of conversation today....

I was checking out the car parked next to us.

Me: "Wow...a Jaguar!"

Princess: "A what Mom?"

Me: "It's a Jaguar. It's the name of the car style that's parked next to us."

Princess: "Oh. Like a Mustang. That's also a type of car."

She knows about a Mustang because that's the type of car that parks next to us at our complex. Also, because she loves the movie "Spirit" which is about a mustang.

Me: "That's right."

This evening. We had finished her bath. We played salon. I'm the hairdresser. She's the client. We were getting her jammies on.

Me: "Okay miss. Your hair is all set. Your outfit looks great.

Princess: "Is my Mom here yet?"

Me: "I think I just saw her driving around looking for a parking space."

Princess: "She REALLY likes her Jaguar."

Go figure! In my daughter's world, I'd be driving a JAGUAR! I just LOVE her imagination!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Making Mommy Laugh

Picking up the Bear to put him into the highchair.

Bear: "Wwweeee...."


Picking up the Bear to get him out of the highchair.

Bear: "Wwweeee...."


Kneeling down to hug the Bear. Upon grasping me around my neck, the Bear bends both his knees and lifts his feet up.


The Princess walking out of her bedroom with a serious "I'm a bad a$$ model" expression on her face. She's got a pink princess gown on. A feather headband pushing her hair back. A feather boa around her neck. Pink slip-ons on feet. AND a pink scepter in her hand.


Princess: "Mom!"

Me: "Yes Prin?"

Princess: "Pretend I'm a sharp tooth. I'm going to be defending myself against the bad sharp teeth."

Me: "Okay."

She runs off into the other room.

Princess: "Roar! Roar! ROAR!"


The boy comes screaming crying into my room with a terrified look in his eyes.

My Bear? My big brave boy? Scared of his sister when she's a sharp tooth. Ha!


I walk into the family room. There's my daughter on all fours. She's rocking forward and back. My son? He's sitting on her back.

Princess: "Mommy! Look! I'm a horse!"

Bear: "Wwweee...."


I have to tell you that ALL of this happened yesterday. It was a stay-at-home day for us. No preschool. I just have to chuckle about their antics sometimes....

Thursday, March 17, 2005

What to put in the basket?

Yesterday, I made a special trip to Targhey to get Easter supplies.

It's amazing how much STUFF they've now got for Easter. The baskets? Whatever happened to using the colorful woven baskets? They've got cloth baskets made into characters & shapes! I saw firetrucks. I saw Clifford the Big Red Dog. I saw Dora. I saw a bunch of others. What did I get? A handful of the basic woven baskets that I know will be used for that day alone.

I was actually getting confused looking at all the candy they had laid out. I remember when it was those Peeps bunnies & the egg coloring boxes in one row. Then we'd have to go to the candy aisle to pick up a bag. Now? There are bags and bags and endless bags of candy. Sugar overload! I bought 3 bags of candy (jelly beans, Cadbury eggs, and M&Ms). I bought a couple packages of those plastic eggs to put the candy into.

By the way...I am NOT going to be boiling eggs that Saturday night. That's the day after we move! No way! Not gonna do it. The kids will have a good enough time looking for those plastic eggs filled with candy. The Bear has no clue about Easter. The Princess? This'll be her 3rd Easter that she remembers searching for stuff. She'll hopefully show the Bear the ropes.

Instead of overloading the kids with candy, I ended up buying more art supplies. Colored pencils. Washable crayons. Paints. Those are always a hit. AND we always need them.

Thankfully, the Bear wasn't paying much attention to our purchases (and the Princess was in school). I put all the stuff into a moving box when we got home. I'm going to label them "KITCHEN - Easter" so I'll be sure to put it in an easy accessible spot at the new place.

I'm so glad I didn't wait until the last minute to buy this stuff. It gets SO crazy out there the last few days. Now I'm all set! Woohoo!


Stomach ache.



Lots & lots of bathroom time.



I better feel better soon.

Bathroom. Again.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Getting Packed

20 boxes. Taped up. Closed. Labeled.

Question: How many did I do?

Answer: All 20!

3 boxes. Halfway full. Open. Unlabeled.

Question: Who needs to do those?

Answer: Hubby!

When I start a box, I finish a box. That way it's finito. Complete. Hubs? He's still got to finish the three boxes he started. Also? Those are the ONLY boxes he's done.

Hub: "We've got to get as much packed as possible."

He actually said those words to me this weekend as he was starting his boxes. The boxes that are still incomplete.

Yes. I'm a stay-at-home Mom but I've got the kidlings underfoot during the week. I've get stuff packed when I find a spare moment - when the two little ones are busy. Not irritating each other.

I'm just getting flashbacks of when we moved out of our house last February. When we were moving ourselves. No movers. It was a mess. It was chaos. It pissed me off to no end. There we were scrounging to pack things that last couple of days in the house. You know why? Because Mr. Man did exactly what he's doing now. He only packed HIS stuff.

[sing-song voice] "One way - one way - one way..."

This is a little ditty my side of the family (we got it from my favorite BIL's side of the family) sings when people only do things for themselves. You know, like get themselves a drink without asking anyone else if they want one? Yeah...that's the song that I'm singing in my head about hubs...I'll be singing that until we move into our house.

"One way - one way - one way...."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Didn't know I was lost

I'm thoroughly confused.

Just got a letter in the mail. It's for my high school reunion this summer. Fun, right? I read through the flier to get all the pertinent information. They've got a special blurb on it that says they've got a missing alumni list on the back. If we have any of these people's addresses then we should go to the organizer's website and put in the information. Okay! I turn the flier over and read through the listing. What? What? What the heck is MY name doing on the list? Remember that I received this flier in the mail. To my correct address. And I'm missing? How could I be missing? My parents still live in the house that we lived in when I was in high school. How could I be missing? I shook my head, logged onto the organizer's website, and updated my information.

Crazy could I have been missing?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Can't fire me

Now that I'm a SAHM, I think I can spout off stories about people where I used to work. Don't you think I'm safe? What are they going to do? Fire me? Ha!

I worked for a phone company. I started out as a temp in their construction department. I was finally hired on in their accounting department. More background here

My boss (Frank) was a great guy. He was very supportive. He was one of those bosses who could figure out a problem. He wasn't afraid to dig deep and find the cause of something. He was also one of those who'd show an employee new things. Teach us how things worked. Always helping us become more knowledgeable about the department. The company. This way we'd become better analysts. Better decision makers. All good, right?

One day our CFO, Diane decided to change the configuration of the department. Frank moved over to supervise four other people. Tina became my new manager. John moved along with me, as we did the same job but focused on different aspects of it. Angela and Sue, who already reported to Tina, became our new co-workers. It was fine. But I really missed working for Frank. Tina was a nice lady, but she lacked the motivation to dig into problems. She was one of those who always wanted to look good on the surface. I didn't feel like I increased my knowledge base when I reported to Tina.

Less than a year later, Frank got pulled away for a huge project. The department got reshuffled. Tina moved laterally and took Frank's spot. Someone, Sue was able to get a promotion and take Tina's spot. I was able to move up and take Sue's spot. We hired on Jane to take my spot. Soon after we had to hire Meg to help out Angela because the workload had increased.

Confused yet? I reported to Sue. She was in charge of John & Jane (who had the same position), Angela & Meg (who had the same position), and myself.

Now Sue was a good worker. Seriously. She worked hard. She'd work hours on end to find an answer. No problem. But she was NOT management material. She didn't communicate well with others. She didn't know how to support others. She didn't delegate well. It was a real challenge working for her. Let me tell you that when people in our company would find out that I reported to Sue, they'd say "Oh...I'm sorry." Can you imagine?

I really hated my job once I reported to Sue. It was so difficult trying to gain any kind of praise. You see, she was in charge getting me my raises. She was in charge of upgrading my job. Upgrading my job? Uh...that didn't happen. No matter how much I did. I helped out the payables and assets teams when they were time-crunched. I was one of the members of a four-person team that put together our monthly staff meetings. I was on a cross-market team trying to trouble-shoot our new software system. I assisted with the accounting staff training on our new software system. I did back-up systems when our software system support guy was out of the office. This was stuff that was NOT in my job description.

My job? I ran the monthly close. I put out a monthly schedule to the department. I made sure everyone in our 25 person department had their stuff in on time. I'd make sure all the data was in the system. I made sure all the data was in correctly. I made sure all the managers had reports to analyze the numbers generated by their group. I helped out with month-end analysis. I created new reports based upon managers' needs. I reconciled about 75 accounts every month. Sound boring? It was. That's why I did all that other work.

But did all my work influence Sue to upgrade my job? Nope! She focused on one thing. That I didn't create this one upload program. One program. This program that touched about 5 different areas of our software system. A program that was a bear to research. I just couldn't get it done. Along with all the other things I had on my "plate". What's interesting? When I asked Sue to upgrade my job. She told ME to do the write-up. Ummm...she's my manager. Shouldn't she know what tasks I'm doing? You would think so, right?

But what made it tolerable was getting along with my co-workers. Angela and Jane were my buddies. Those two gals cracked me up. It didn't matter that Angela was a in her 50's, a divorcee, a mother of 3 daughters, and a grandma to one. It didn't matter that Jane was in her mid-30s and a married mom to two elementary aged boys. Then there was me. The single mid-20s girl. We were quite a three-some. When we worked late at month-end, we'd bring in dinner stuff so we wouldn't starve. You know. One of us would bring sandwich fixings. Another would bring side dishes & chips. Another would bring drinks. We took care of each other. It was great.

Anyway, one day the $hit hit the fan. I was in the filing room one Monday with Angela and Jane. We were all putting away files. Cleaning off our desks from the previous week so we'd have empty tray, right? We were chatting away. Talking about weekends. Laughing. But working. Diane (the CFO) walked by the door. Then she walked by again a few minutes later. We just kept on working away. Then she walked by again. The girls and I looked at each other. Frowned. Shrugged and kept on filing. Then Diane stops at the door.

Diane: "I want to see you all in my office right now."

Us: "Okay..."

We're confused. We don't know why she seems upset.

Diane: "Okay. I don't appreciate you using the file room to talk about anyone in the office..."

Me: "We were filing."

Jane: "And we were talking about our weekends."

We looked confused. We were all frowning. We didn't know WHAT she was talking about!

Diane: "Well, you all need to get back to work."

Hmm...that's what we were doing. So apparently it was a crime for the three of us to be in the file room at the same time. It's apparently a crime to be talking & laughing with people you enjoy while you're working. What did we conclude later on when we were eating lunch together? That SUE thought we were talking smack about her. You see, her office is right next door to the file room.

Once this situation occurred, I knew my time to leave was at hand. I started to clean up my computer files. I started to clean up my folders. I wrote instructions on the different tasks that I performed. I didn't tell a soul. I made sure my stuff was organized.

I waited until a week before a week-long vacation. I came in early on a Monday. A Monday that was my day off. I walked into Sue's office, closed the door, and placed my letter onto her desk. She seemed surprised as she read the letter. I can't believe she was surprised!

Sue: "Is there anything we can do to change your mind?"

Me: "No. I just wanted to hand in my notice today. I'll see you tomorrow."

I don't know what happened the rest of that day. It's what happened on Tuesday that surprised me. Diane came up and asked me to come to her office.

Diane: "Is there any specific reason why you're leaving?"

Me: "It's my time to go & do other things."

In my head, I was thinking that if these people didn't know why I was leaving then they were plain crazy. Of course I was leaving because of Sue. But of course I had kept my resignation letter generic. I did not point any fingers. Any sane person would know the real reason I was leaving.

Diane: "Well, we're going to have to let you go today."

Me: "Okay. That's fine."

You see, I had turned in my notice on Monday. I was leaving on Thursday - taking 5 days off I was flying out of the country to visit my hubby. I had planned to come back the next week and finish handing off items. But no...they wanted me to leave immediately. I guess they didn't want to be responsible for me while I traveled? OR they were just so pissed that I had actually quit. Whatever. After working at that company for 6 1/2 years, they were asking me to leave the day after I gave notice. No two weeks. Just leave immediately. How classy was that? I just had time to go back to my desk. Collect my personal items. Write a farewell email and send it off. Thankfully, I had planned on quitting. My stuff was organized and ready for whoever was going to take on the task. I didn't have a farewell lunch. I didn't even get to see all my friends that Tuesday I left. I called most of them before I left on my vacation though. They all knew why I'd quit. Everyone knew. We just never said it out loud. I didn't burn any bridges.

The found a replacement for me. He quit less than 2 months into the job. Jane quit a month after that. Angela moved to a different department. Meg ended up quitting a few months later. Who was left? John and Sue. Two people that no one else in the company liked.

The moral of the story? Just because someone is a good worker doesn't mean that person will be a good manager. Corporations shouldn't be afraid of admitting they've made a mistake at putting someone in a certain position. Rather than have good employees leave, they should move a bad manager to a different responsibility.

A good manager has the following qualities: Nutures the employees. Educates the employees. Is a good sounding board for employees. Always sets up challenges for the employees to increase their abilities and their knowledge. Praises the employees. Rewards the employees. Appreciates the employees.

If you support your employees, then they will support you. Simple, eh?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

What's his name?

Trying to get my little guy's attention.

Me: Bear-Bear....Bear-Bear!

Nephew#2: Carebear...Carebear!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

House Update

We went by the house this morning. We had to meet someone for an estimate on a security system. It was a good excuse to go to the house and check out what's been going on.

The view fence is up. The back fence is cinder block on the bottom (about 3 rows or it) and then the black view fence on top. It looks nice. It's not going to mar the view one bit. It's going to be so nice going out there in the evening and watch the sunset over the mountains. Thankfully there are no houses right behind us. We've got some common area back there. Then there's the sidewalk. Then there's the road. Then another sidewalk. Then the houses. I guess it's a good 50 to 60 feet before we have any structure that'll hamper our view. Turns out that we can see down another road from our backyard. We can actually see the freeway about 4 miles away. Then we can see way more east past the freeway. Lots of greenery (for where we live).

The carpet has been installed. It's all up the stairs and in the bedrooms and loft. I was surprised (but I guess I shouldn't be) that they've got plastic sheeting on top of the carpets. The plumbing fixtures are all in the bathrooms (but not in the kitchen). The toilets have also been installed. The master bath shower base has been put in place, as well as the finishing tiles on the floor next to the shower. All we need in there is the shower enclosure! All the exterior lights have been put in place. The fence on the one side of our house is getting finished up too. The one thing that still needs to be finished up is the backsplash. They've got most of it up but it still needs the grout. Looks like they're putting together the punch list of finishing things that need to be done. We saw lots of additional texturing being put on the walls. Because of the clean-up of the walls, there's going to be lots of touch-ups with paint.

What's funny is that we got to talking to one of our neighbors. The ones who are in the same model house but down the cul-de-sac. They were visiting their house to check out the progress. We were still in ours when the wife (Mrs. P) came over to give us back the master key (our houses are now being locked because we've got appliances and we're almost complete).

Mrs P: Can I take a quick peek to see what you did?

Me: Sure!

[looking puzzled at the living/dining room]

Mrs P: They covered the carpet?

Me: No. That's actually wood.

[Glancing towards the den]

Mrs P: Then that's wood too?

Me: Yes. My husband wanted this area to look more formal.

[walking into the back area]

Mrs P: We chose this banister too.

Me: Yeah, I really liked the unpainted look. We thought it was the prettiest.

Mrs P: Us too!

[looking into the kitchen]

Mrs P: We chose these appliances too!

Me: [sheepishly] We still have to buy a refrigerator. We didn't want to buy it from them.

Mrs P: Us too! Now all we have to do is figure our HOW to work that microwave!

[laughing together]

Mrs P: You chose granite too?

Me: Actually, my hubby picked pretty much everything but the carpet. What color granite did you get?

Mrs P: Venezian Gold.

Me: That one is really pretty. It goes well with the cabinets and the wall color.

Mrs P: That backsplash!

Me: Yup. Another thing the hubby decided.

Mrs P: We didn't get the decorative backsplash.

Me: So you got the granite on the wall, right?

Mrs P: Yes.

Me: Our friend did that. Then he and his neighbor put in this fantastic backsplash later on.

Mrs P: We're hoping to do that.

Me: Yeah. We're not handy, so we got the professionals to do it.

[moving into the family room]

Mrs P: We chose that style fireplace also. But we've got the half wall up in the loft.

Me: That was the only style fireplace I liked. I didn't want the raised hearth. Not with my little guy.

Mrs P: Now is that a gas fireplace?

Me: Yeah, it's gas.

Mrs P: But where's the stub?

Me: Oh. It's on the side.

Mrs P: What?

[walking over to the fireplace]

Me: See? We had them put it there on the side of the wall instead of through the front.

Mrs P: Oh no!

Me: What?

Mrs P: Well, in our house we have it through the front. Through the tile.

Me: Really?

Mrs P: If we'd known we could stick it through the side, we would have.

Me: Well, we just told Mark when we did our frame walk-through that's how we wanted it. They had it coming out the front and we asked him to change it.

Mrs P: My husband is going to be upset. He hates the fact that it's through the front...well, my guys are waiting in the car. I'd better go. I'll see you soon!

I'm about to go upstairs to find my hubs and the kids when Mr. P walks in.

Me: HI!

Mr. P: I just had to come in and see it.

Me: Oh.

[he walk to the fireplace]

Mr. P: Dang it.

[looks at me]

Mr. P: I can't believe they didn't ask us if we wanted to put the stub on the side.

[me trying to look sympathetic]

Mr. P: Well, there's nothing we can do now. We'll see you in a couple weeks if we don't see you sooner. (we're all moving in by the end of this month)

Me: Okay. Bye!

I know that fireplace gas stub thing is going to irk this nice man. The fact that we were able to get ours more discretely placed -- away from kidling curiosity. You see, they've got FOUR boys. I'm sure one of them is going to investigate that little gas stub. But it was nice to finally meet Mr. P's wife and a few of their kids. Turns out that next door to the P family is a family with a couple girls. Woohoo! Hopefully some nice girls that my Princess can play with.

Here's the fireplace. Their stub is through the 3rd tile on the right side.

Here is a shot of our bathroom fixture.

Here's the crazy microwave we've got.

And finally...the amazing backsplash my hubby chose.

Friday, March 11, 2005

No more antibiotics!

As you all recall, the Bear got checked out by his pediatrician last week and was diagnosed with a double-ear infection. Then he had that cough and nasal congestion. NOT FUN.

Since then he's been on antibiotics. Amoxicillin.

What's interesting is that they've changed the number of times a dosage is administered during the day. He only had to take it twice a day. I remember when we had to take antibiotics three times a day. At breakfast. At lunch. At dinner. Typical right? But the latest directions said "Twice a day". The pediatrician said there have been studies stating that the change from three to two times a day didn't hinder the effectiveness of the antibiotic. I'm thinking that some researcher with kids decided to figure this one out. This way the parents can administer the antibiotic first thing in the morning AND last thing at night. This keeps the preschools and daycare providers free from handling any kind of medication. Hmmm...

When my little guy started taking the Amoxicillin last Tuesday, he fought me tooth and nail. I had to hold him on my lap and force it into his mouth. By Thursday, he was taking the stuff willingly. Seriously!

"Come on Bear. Let's get your medicine."

He'd come into the kitchen (because the Amoxicillin required refrigeration). I'd sit him on the island. I'd get the stuff into the syringe measuring deal. Then I'd give it to him. He'd take it in 5 squirts. He had to take 2 1/2 TSP of that stuff. Thankfully, he did come to realize he had to take it. There was no getting around it. I can't imagine the chaos if I had to force him to take it for 10 days twice a day. It would have been UGLY!

What's the oddest result of taking the antibiotic, is that his urine smells. It smells like the amoxicillin! It's weird! At least I can smell when he's wet his diaper. I can't wait for him to get the antibiotic residue out of his system, so his urine doesn't smell anymore.

Since he was coughing and congested, we ended up sleeping with him. Yes. It might not have been the smartest thing, but we had to. He was miserable. My hubs slept with him for two days, while I had the Princess in our bed. Then I slept with the Bear for 3 nights in my daughter's bed, while hubs had the Princess in our bed. The first night with the Bear I barely got any sleep. The second and third nights he only woke about 3 times each. We put him back in his crib after that because he was pretty much over his cough by then. Of course, he ended up sleeping in our bed one night since then. What's unfortunate is that he hasn't wanted to take an afternoon nap since he got sick. Yesterday was the first time that he's had a nap in his crib. I've resorted to letting him snooze (30-40 minutes) in the car. But I'm hoping to get him back into his regular nap routine.

But my boy has healed up. Like I said, his cough is gone. No more fevers. He's gotten his appetite back. I'm sure he lost weight those first couple of days. Back to his reckless and rambunctious self.

As a sidenote: My nephew (who is 5) was also given Amoxicillin last week. He only had to take 1 TSP! But his stuff wasn't diluted like the Bear's. My sister said that she had to put the antibiotic onto a regular spoon. It was too thick to put into a syringe or even one of those tube measuring spoons (you know the kind I mean, right?).

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Girls versus boys

I don't normally link to anything, but I saw this interesting article this morning.

News article

I have to say that I was very quiet in middle school. It was a HUGE change from elementary school. I was already a shy kid, so being in a much larger school made me even more reserved. Now, with this pilot program? Makes me think that I would have participated more in my classes. It's not that didn't have good grades (mostly A's and B's), but I would have probably spoken up more in class if I was surrounded by my peers (my girls). Being around the boys made me a little unsettled. Especially the cool & the cute boys.

Makes me think that maybe an all-girls school (with uniforms) might be good for my girl? Hmm...something else to consider for the future.

What do you think?

What plates do you use?

For those of you with little ones, what kind of plates do you use for them?

There are a ton of plates out there. I know. But do you use the ones made specifically for little ones?

We purchased some from our local baby store. Typical cheap plastic with high sides so the food doesn't escape. The kind that get messed up if you use a knife on them. The thing is those plates are now yucky.

So WHAT to do?

I wanted some new plates. I wanted colorful & fun ones this time around. I found some at Targay (you know the store with the bulls-eye). Check them out below. Aren't they JUST adorable? They're that acrylic stuff. If the kids drop them it'll be okay.

We don't want them using our porcelain dinnerware when we move. We got them when we got married. We want those plates/cups/saucers to last a long time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Spring is here!

I have to gloat!

It's supposed to be 78 degrees today!

Then it'll be in the lower 80's until Saturday!

Not a raincloud to be seen until next Tuesday...

[happy dance - happy dance]

I think I won't come home after dropping off the Princess at school. It's going to be a beautiful day to run errands ALL morning.

The warm sun...YEAH!

Get the claw away!

I remember when I got married and first started having to share a bed with someone. We lived in my condo. With my full size bed. We were newly married and it was fine. We were in that bliss of just being married. Nothing could mar our elation.

A few months later, we moved to a new place and got a queen size mattress. It was a nice step up. It was fine. For a while. You see, I'm a very light sleeper. When my hubs would roll, I'd slightly wake up. And the thing is? He doesn't stay on his side of the bed. For the first few years, I was constantly on the alert when he'd roll because he'd FLING his arm over. There are more than a handful of times that I got an elbow on my head. Then there's the constant pulling of the sheets and blankets. When he'd roll away from me, he'd take the stuff with him. Even though I'm asleep, I stay within a certain amount of space. Seriously! I guess I subconsciously use my pillow as my indicator of where I'm at within my space. But I never go on his side. Really!

Then there's the business of breathing on me. I CANNOT sleep with someone breathing in my face. If I'm facing my hubs' side and he rolls to face my side? More than 90% of the time, I roll away from him. Other times, I'll move my pillow up to the top of the bed so that I'm not at the same level as he is. What frustrates me most is that there are times when I FINALLY roll towards his side and he'll roll towards me. Thus, I roll back the way I was. Now, can YOU sleep with your spouse breathing in your face? Can't. Can't do it!

Anyway, a few years after we bought a house, we purchased a king sized bed. Wow! It was huge! But the thing hubs STILL finds a way to invade my side of the bed. He somehow finds a way to sleep diagonally. His head on the edge of his side. His feet on my side. He crosses the border! Then when I roll my legs and/or feet will come in contact with his feet (I call them claws because of his funky looking toenails).

WHAT do I do when he invades me space? I kind of push whatever body part is on my side. Not a shove. A slight nudge. Usually he moves after I've done it. But sometimes? It's like a rock stuck there.

Maybe the next time we buy a bed, we'll do that Ozzy and Harriett business? Ha!

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

tv comments

Not so much tv...but on a couple of my favorite shows.

EM: Home Edition

SEVEN kids? Wow! The house gets hit by a tree? The basement floods when it rains? It was falling apart!

The great room was fantastic. The kitchen was large. The dining area could accommodate all of them. The six kids' bedroom was amazing. I liked the fact that they made it one large space that could be partitioned off when they got older. I wanted to get a better look at the boys' and the girls' bathrooms though! The oldest son's room was cute. At least he got a nice room to himself. Now he can get some private time to study and do his stuff. But then he also got that amazing tree house! Their backyard was unbelievable. I don't know if I agree with the 'water park' business that the landscaper put in. Hopefully it uses recyclable water so they don't have an astronomical utility bill during the summer. And the parents' room? That was cute. Simple colors that the wife TOTALLY loved. They deserved a nice room after living in the basement for two years.

What I didn't agree with? Having TWO pool tables down in that basement. I know those parents need an escape, but couldn't they have madethe 'game room' into a HUGE open play area for the kids downstairs? That way all the kiddos could be in the one space and easily located? That first sitting area could have housed the pool table, right? But WHERE were the safety gates on the stairs? Did no one think to get that family a couple of those? There were two sets of stairs that the kids could get trouble on!

What I found to be a nice touch? That Michael took the time to pick out 'to grow in' clothes for those kiddos. I can't imagine having to buy clothes for that many kids! The fact that Motrin pitched in and got that family nanny service for a year was TERRIFIC! Not that that Mommy is going to be able to relax but at least she'll have another set of eyes to help her wrangle the kids during the day. Whew! Then the scholarship fund that the builder put together? Nice! As a teacher, the Dad of those kids knows the value of a good education. Having that scholarship out there for a goal to work towards for his kids is probably a relief. I can't imagine the burden it must feel like to think THAT far ahead (saving $) for that many kids. Now those kids are set for college...the family just needs to concentrate on getting them through elementary, middle, and high school! That's a feat unto itself nowadays...


They finally got rid of Erin. I couldn't get myself to like her character. I just couldn't. So does the Secretary's daughter think something romatic is going on between Erin & her father? That's the way it seemed when she walked in on them hugging. But Tony in charge? That was easy. But short-lived. I can't believe they got that 'replacement' in so quickly. Where was she working? Michele? Dang!

What was that company thinking? I can't believe the CEO was going along with his security guy on that plan of action. Like they think they're going to get away with hiding/deleting information? I should have known something was going to go wrong when Jack's girlfriend said "Take care of Paul." But Jack had to go find that EMP, didn't he?

I LOVE this show! Now more of the old 'regulars' are back! Woohoo!

Monday, March 7, 2005

Get out of the way!

How absolutely irritating!

I was backing up from my spot after dropping off the Princess at preschool. I backed up slowly then...I saw some lady and a kid near my right back bumper. Of course, I had to cut my backup short. I had to crank my steering wheel to the right to get clear of the curb.

What the hell was that lady doing just standing there? In the parking lot!

First of all, she had parked in the "no parking" dirt area just off the road. Secondly, she was going to traverse the parking lot in a manner that people don't normally go (read that as UNSAFE). Thirdly, why didn't she back her a$$ up when she saw me backing up?

She was looking at me like I was some crazy loon! I'm so frustrated! What if I'd hit her or the kid? The lady should have waited in the dirt area until I'd safely cleared out. Don't you think? $@^@&@&

Mixed messages

My hubs finally showed signs of being frustrated with his family.

I guess in pass discussions my FIL has complained to my hubs about having to help us move. What? Complaining about helping us move? I couldn't believe that my FIL would actually complain about that. We NEVER ask his family for any kind of help. We don't. We're not that way. But my FIL (I guess) moaned to my hubs about having to come down and help us.

Anyway, this weekend my hubs & the kidlings were visiting his family. (I stayed home because I was under the weather) My hubs was giving them the update on our house. When it was being completed. When we were closing. When we were moving our stuff. About the moving company that was going to help us out...

I guess my FIL said something along the lines of "What? A moving company?" Like he was appauled that we were having STRANGERS help us.'re HIRING people to help us because YOU are being pissy about helping us.

Let me tell you....if MY family had first complained about helping me out and then said something when I hired someone to help me...I would have CALLED THEM on it. Most definitely. Don't be giving me mixed messages.

Did my hubs say anything to his father? NO! He let it pass. I am so frustrated that he let his father give him mixed messages like that.

The only thankful thing about my ILs not helping is that I won't have my MIL in my way. Flitting this way and that in that irritating manner that she does.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Who inspires you?

Just curious about WHO inspires you?

It may seem like a cliche' but my parents inspire me. Yes, that's an easy way out kind of answer. But it's true.

My Mom was the oldest of 7 kids. She helped my grandmother with all her siblings. But helping take care of the family didn't stop her from getting her education. She got her college degree. She became a math teacher. What's funny is that she's one of only two of them that DID get a degree. I still find that hard to believe. Thankfully with such a large family, my grandfather had a good steady job and was able to take care of everyone.

My Dad was the youngest of 3 kids. His parents had him LATE in life. His sisters were about 10 years older than him. He was like an only child. My grandparents didn't have much. They were dirt poor in a poor neighborhood. My Dad didn't like school. He'd skip a lot. He barely graduated from high school.

It's funny that my parents did get married. My Mom was the oldest and responsible. My Dad was the youngest and irresponsible. What brought them together was their faith. They attended the same church. The church was their extended family. It brought the neighborhood together and it brought the two of them together.

They married in March 1963. My Mom had my oldest sister at the end December 1963. That's right, she got pregnant right off the bat! Then my 2nd sister came 17 months later. Then I came 28 months after that. We immigrated to the United States after my 1st birthday. My Mom took a 24+ hour planetrip alone with us girls (my Dad was already here). I can't believe my Mom had me on one hip, while my sisters held onto her on each side. THAT was truly amazing.

In the early years, we bounced around a lot because of my father's job. We finally settled in one city and my folks have been there for 33 years. What I admire about them is that they came to this country with nothing and have been fortunate enough to buy a new home within 4 years. Since then they've lived in two other homes. They raised us three (then four) girls with no financial help. In the early years, it was just the two of them. When we were in elementary school, my grandmother came and lived with us. My uncle, my aunt, and my grandfather also lived with us for periods of time. My Dad even helped my grandmother, uncle, and aunt become American citizens.

Like all married couples, my parents had some rough patches. There was a time when my Dad almost left us. What's interesting about the two of them is they don't yell at each other. They never had a fight in front of us. Any kind of real arguing was done in private -- usually after we went to bed. My Dad's advice to us when we got married was "Never go to bed angry..."

To see the two of them now is funny. They act like little kids sometimes. They hold hands. They laugh at each other's foibles. They accept or ignore each other's faults. They know each other's strengths and weaknesses. They play off each other well. They worked through those rough times.

Why do they inspire me? Because they've worked for everything they've got in this world. They've shown me that hard work pays off. You have to work to get ahead. You shouldn't always look for the easy road. The rough stuff gives you character. It gives you something to work off of. It challenges you physically and mentally. I hope to be like them when I get to be their age. I hope to inspire my you've inspired me.

Happy 42nd Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Good manners

Establishing good manners in a child. Easy? NO WAY!

I was inspired to put my 2 cents into the discussion based upon an article in the March 2005 edition of Parenting Magazine.

I think it's the hardest thing in the world. But it is rewarding.

When I had the Princess, I realized that I had to pick my battles. Pick the behaviors that I wanted her to understand first. Those were the things that I worked on first.

Asking for things she wanted. "May I please have..."

When initially speaking to us to make sure she has our attention, then carrying on the discussion. "Mommy..." "Daddy..."

Saying "Thank you"

Those are few that we worked on from the beginning. When she couldn't speak, we'd talk amongst the two of us (Hubs and I) and say the words we wanted her to say. When she got older and could talk, we'd encourage her to say the words. Even now, we sometimes have to say "What do you say?" when she forgets to use her words. I don't tell her what she needs to say. She knows the words. She just needs to remember to use them sometimes.

There are still behaviors we're working on now that she's four, but she's well on her way. Right now she needs to be conscientious about not interrupting when others are having a conversation.

Watching his sister interact with us, the Bear is developing his own manners. He says "Thank you" whenever we give him something. He says "Bless you" when we sneeze. He says "Please" when he wants something. He loves to smile at folks when they smile at him. He enjoys saying "Hi" and "Bye" with his waving.

My kiddos aren't perfect. They have their meltdowns. The Princess says "I want..." and "I don't like you!" when she's not in a good mood or tired. The Bear will lay on the ground and kick and cry when he doesn't want to do something. This happens to all kiddos. I expect it to happen. They're kids. I don't insist they behave 100% of the time. They have a lot more years ahead of them to perfect their manners. But for the most part, for their age...they're good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Poked & prodded

About 4:30pm, I took a real good look at the kidlings.

Both were a little warm. Both looked a little worn out. What did I do? I called their pediatrician to book an early morning appointment.

I knew if I waited until the morning that I'd end up not seeing him until the afternoon. So I called before they closed and secured a 9:40am appointment. Woohoo! That meant wake-up. Breakfast. One video. Then we'd be off.

I made sure not to dose either child up before the appointment. The Princess slept fitfully and sound with hubs. The Bear? He was restless and coughing, but not as bad as the previous nights. I think that Motrin did the trick and kept his fever down longer.

The verdict from their doctor?

The Princess is fit. No fever last night before bed. No fever this morning. Just that lingering cough. But her lungs sound fine. Nothing deep down. Yeah!

The Bear? He had a fever last night -- hence the Motrin. He was warm all morning. His nose is still running clear. His cough bothers him. He woke up testy at 6:30am. NOT a good sign. The pediatrician said his lungs sound good. But he does have an ear infection. In BOTH ears. We picked up his antibiotics and went home.

He was tired all morning. He ended up falling asleep ON me before lunch for about 15 minutes. Right now at 1:50pm when he should be napping in his crib? He's complaining. He's SO tired that he should just relax and konk out. But NO! He's complaining. Dang!