Monday, November 28, 2005

It's feeling like the holidays

It's FREEZING people!

Yesterday the high was only 58 degrees. The low last night was 31.

I know. People are dealing with snow. Sleet. Yes. Nipply cold weather.

But it was in the low 80's just before Thanksgiving. That was only like 5 days ago.

This morning when I dropped off the Princess at school. All the kindergarten kids had pants on. I mention this because last Monday one of the girls had a pair of shorts on. 99% had jackets (one crazy boy only wore a short-sleeve t-shirt)). 25% of them had hats on. A couple even had mittens on!

Last night, our heater finally kicked on for the first time this season. Yes. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....La-la-la-la-la....

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'd say cut the loss

There are black sheep in every family. No one seems exempt for this fact.

We happened to hear about a horrible situation that was uncovered by a friend.

Our friend (GZ) is a retired gentleman. GZ recently received a couple collection notices recently. He looked at the paperwork only to question them all. He didn’t know anything about these two accounts. He hadn’t incurred those costs, which were about $10k.

GZ made some calls. It turns out that his youngest son (BZ) was behind it. BZ admitted to creating those two accounts and running up those credit charges. Can you believe it? He stole his father’s social security number! BZ said he’d pay back his father back. With what? He created those accounts because he didn’t have money. Oy!

GZ dug around for more information. Turns out there were 6 accounts in total that didn’t actually belong to him. SIX! The total tally on the charges was somewhere around $60k. And BZ only admitted to those two accounts. Talk about being disappointed in your own child.

Now GZ is contemplating with the notion of selling his current home and moving himself and his wife across the country. Moving away from the drama that goes along with the family that lives in the same city he does. Moving away from the people who have been causing him to have problems in his retirement years.

Now what do you think about it? Can you believe that GZ’s son did that to him?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's like watching paint dry

I'm listening in on a conference call.

It's funny. Yet it's painful.

I'm listening to people not owning up to their responsibilities.

I'm listening to people blame others for their lack of being on the ball.

I'm listening to people NOT LISTENING to other people.

I can hear the 'what do you mean I didn't do it right' in people's voices even if they aren't saying those words.

Amazing how people who are working towards the same goal....don't really work WITH each other.

Monday, November 21, 2005

So sad...the loss...

Did anyone else watch Grey's Anatomy last night?


I only watched the last half of it. It was so sad about that man. A coma? For that long? I can't believe the kid just LEFT him laying there like that.

"I'll be back later."

Why would he leave like that?

"Dr. Grey? Do you think he'll come back?" as a tear goes down one cheek.

"I hope so."

"They've moved on. I've got to move on...."

Then he went and decided to have the surgery. Then he dies in surgery. Then the kid comes back.

Broke my heart to watch. It's about seizing the moment. Staying true to your heart. Telling people you care.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's early but whatever!

Our TREE isUP!

I know. I know. It's early. It's before Thanksgiving.

But people. We are HOSTING Thanksgiving. We want the house to look festive. We want it to be a memorable FIRST Thanksgivng and Christmas in our new home.

So...the tree is up. Mostly. The kids helped with the decorations. I put up three. The three that are up high. The ornaments the kids put up? On the lower half of the tree. So our tree is askew. Half decorated. Fabulously deocrated on the bottom. Not so festive up top. I'm going to move some of the low-hanging fruit up to the top section. We're having the kids put up more decorations the rest of the week. So my moving things up will give them more space to hang more ornaments.

We have the BIG tree in the livingroom. It's nice to have a big tree again. Having it in storage for almost two years? We've missed it. We have the tiny tree that we bought when we were in our temporary townhouse (is a year considered temporary?) on our kitchen bar area. So we've got two trees! The kiddos helped decorate the little one too. It's got those miniature round ornaments on it. Cute as can be!

Then I put up garland and lights on our staircase and loft banister. I just picked up the garland and lights at Tarjay this morning. Instead of fooling with the if-fy strands that we'd had in storage, I went ahead and bought 6 new strands (100 lights each). I used two new strands on the BIG tree and two new strands for the banister. So I've got two left! Ay-yay-yay!

Next year we won't decorate until Thanksgiving weekend. That's when we'd normally get everything out. But since I'm working like a maniac and since we're hosting this year. We did it today.

What about you? When are YOU breaking out the decorations?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

For the morning brew

I know that many of us indulge in the getting 'designer' coffee during the week. But what do you do on the weekends? Do you make a special trip to 'Coffee Bea*' or 'St*rbucks' to get that yummy coffee or tea taste?

I have found an alternative for my Chai Lattees. It's made by Oregon Chair & called "The Original Chai Tea Latte Mix". All you do it shake it up. Pour it into a glass. Add ice. Add some milk. Then you are GOOD to go! Seriously. That easy. And it's yummy too.

For my seasonal coffee tastes, I found that Coffeemate is making special creamers for the holidays. The flavors they're touting are Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, Eggnog & Peppermint Mocha. I bought some Pumpkin Spice yesterday and will be trying it out this next week. Hopefully it'll give me a bit of the taste that I'd get with at 'designer' coffee stop.

Valiant try but...

Today we're pretty much stuck at home. There's an annual event that runs through the city. Our main street in and out of our new neighborhood is basically under police control all day. So we scheduled the day for cleaning and what-not.

I started out with laundry this morning. And it's still going on. I hadn't slept well last night so the Hubs told me to lay down with the Bear when he had his nap. As I went into our bedroom, I called out...

"Make sure you keep up with the laundry..."

When I made my way out of our bedroom about 2 hours later, I made a stop at the laundry room. Something was swooshing in the washer. A load was just about done in the dryer. EUREKA!

But as I looked at the piles on the floor and looked closer at what was being processed. The Hubs had only started one load of wash while I was out. The load in the drier was the one that was almot done when I laid down.

"Hmmm...he tried."

Then I heard the washer go off. I went in and moved that load from the washer to the drier. I noted that it was the white load. The one that needed bleach. I took a whiff what was in my hand. And yes. He had indeed added bleach to the load. EUREKA!

But as I looked down at my feet I noticed about 10 things on the floor that had been in the white load. But had not made it into the washer with the rest of the stuff.

"Honey? Why is some of this white load still in a pile on the floor?"

"Oh. I didn't think those things could be bleached."

Okay. He was being cautious. But they were those baby face towels with very faded green stripes on them. And a white tank top. And a pair of white ankle socks. I threw those things in with the beige load. No harm. No foul right?

But as I started the beige load I checked the water setting. COLD/COLD. Ay-yay-yay! He'd washed the white load with bleach on the cold setting!

All I can say is that it was a valiant try. Thankfully he DID try.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Don't do're making me look bad...

This is what my cool chick neighbor down the street said to me one evening. As I was rolllig the huge trash container to the curb. She and her husband were out for a walk.

Apparently, she has never lifted a finger to take out the trash container for the twice a week pick-up. She's never taken out the big container to the curb in their entire marriage! SIX years people! That amazes me.

She and her husband caught me the next week. I had finished cleaning up the kitchen and noticed the kitchen trash container was 3/4 full. So I pulled it out and walked it to the curb where the BIG container was already stationed.

"Seriously. Stop doing that!"

He-he-he....gotta love it. A simple thing like taking the trash out is making her look bad. I just love her!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And did anyone watch LOST last night?

Bring on the talk!

It was an AWESOME episode. I got a chill watching it. yes, I knew what the eventual last scene would be. But the stuff leading up to it?

40 days and nights of silence? Penance? Guilt?

What's with the "good" people business? Isn't Bernard a good guy?

The infiltration business! EWWW! I knew there was something wrong with that guy from the beginning. I told my husband so too and he shook his head. When the guy got speared? I cheered! The Hubs didn't see it coming.

The other bunker sucks big time. It's got nothing in it! No supplies. No nothing. What was the logo in that bunker?

I missed the first 5 minutes of the show so I"ve got to watch the ENTIRE THING again.

I'm sure the day has no where to go but down...

This morning?

The Bear ate his bagel with a vengeance.


The Princess ate her cinnamon raisin toast all up.

The kids got their shoes on and in the car with no drama. No fighting. No pushing.

The Princess hopped out of the car with only a little difficulty (she wasn't able to slam the door enough for it to close all the way) and walked into school on her own. No escort needed this morning since she was a little late.

The Bear was happily bouncing on a horse when I walked out of daycare.

Then a handsome, young, and YUMMY looking firefighter held the door open for me as I walked out of the local Mexican hole-in-the-wall. How'd I know he was a firefighter? Because he was wearing one of those dark blue t-shirts AND he had a firefighter sticker on his truck that was parked next to my vehicle.

After all that? I'm sure the day will go downhill. Too much GOOD stuff has happened already!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We're flipping spots

"Sweetie, I'm going to bed in 10 minutes."

A typical statement to make to your significant other, right? What's odd is that I made this comment. Not my husband.

I NEVER say this to him. He's the one who is always wanting to get to sleep.

Last night? I said this at 9:45pm. I felt like my brain was all used up. My back ached. My eyes felt all grainy (remember I wear contacts). I felt like I needed my whole body to be pulled (like Mr. Incredible when he was fighting that thing in the volcano) to relief all the tension in my body.

My husband hadn't even taken a shower yet. But the LOOK I gave him sent him immediately to our bathroom to get cleaned up.

I followed him into the bedroom. Got myself in bed. Read some pages in a book that I'm STILL trying to finish. When he walked out of the bathroom? He tucked me in and kissed me good night. He knew I was tuckered out. was a good sleep...

Minivan alert!

I think my neighbors bought a mini-van.

It's the nice neighbors just around the block. The wife is about 6 years younger than me. The husband a year younger. They've got two daughters. The first is 6 months older than the Princess. The second will be two in April.

They are a hip couple. They do mini triathalons. They're fun.

The husband has a mid-size truck with a V-8. They use it to haul a trailing that's tucked away into their garage. But I haven't SEEN it in over a week. What I have seen is a sand colored Honda Odyssey.

I know the two were in talks about having another little bundle of joy. A truck only fits two kids in boosters/carseats in the back. The sedan she drives could also only fit two bulky booster/carseats. Are they on their way to having another? Is the mini-van the FIRST step into being a family of five?

I'm gonna corner them down this weekend to find out. The suspense is killing me!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lack of detail

Oh my....

I worked yesterday.

That's right internet. I was working on a Saturday. Yet again.

I'm enjoying my job. That's not the problem. It's how unorganized things can be. THAT is what drive me nuts-zoid.

Yesterday? I was working on updating a set of instructions. I got these instructions from a client. It's instructions on how to put together a report. A report that requires us to combine about 15 source data reports.

The instructions I got from the client had 3 pages to it. My updated version of the instructions has 10 pages to it. Yes. Ten. TEN! That's more than three times the length of the original. Why, you ask? Lack of details. Their instructions kind of skimmed over certain areas. Like what specific part of the source data we were supposed to put into what part of the final report. Like how things the various relate to each other.

Their instructions might make sense to whoever created the instructions. To whoever created that report. But to me? No sense. Even the references they use for the source data reports weren't consistent. It's funny (in retrospect) how they thought their instructions were thorough. NOT!

I spent about 6 hour trying to understand the entire process. It was confusing. I feel much more clear on what the start and the middle of the process should be like. The last third of the work? I still have two pieces left to decipher. But I need to talk to the client on what the heck their instructions are trying to ask us to do. It does NOT MAKE SENSE!

I'm hopeful that tomorrow or sometime this week I can get the last bits of it cleared up. But this week is going to be an amazingly crazy week. Tomorrow there are two things due. Then Tuesday there are five things due. Then the company has a couple important deadlines to meet with clients. Stuff that I've suddenly been thrown into. Stuff I haven't even known about. Why? Because my boss is moving to a new house this week. Great timing, eh?

Because of my impending no-sleep week, I may not get online at all in the coming days. OR I may be on quite a bit with little rants on how pathetic my week is going. Hmmm..

Wanna take any bets on my week?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Just the girls today

The Princess is off from school today. Something about the teacher's getting a day to stuff done or whatever. Another quarter just finished so I guess they've got paperwork to deal with. Classes to re-decorate and organize.

This means that the Princess has today AND tomorrow off. It's a four day weekend for her. But...the Hubs has to work. I have to work.

The Princess is happily eating a pumpkin scone with a shot of milk on the side. She and I ventured to the local video rental place yesterday after school. We picked up two DVDs. A Dora and a Superhero (think old Superman & Wonder Woman episodes from when you were a kid) DVD. We'll be grabbing some fast food for lunch (Mickey D's). I've figured out that I need a couple 10 minute breaks to keep her feeling like I"m touching base with her during my busy day. I'm planning on painting her toenails. I'm planning on coloring with her too.

Thankfully the Bear is oblivious to the Princess being home alone with Mommy. He's been dropped off at daycare. Just like any normal weekday. I feel so fortunate that he's settled into his 'class' without any problems. He's learning to urinate in the toilet. He's napping 3 out of 5 days. When he's not napping, he'll lay quietly with his teddy bear. He's learning to clean up after himself (the kids throw away their uneaten food and give their Dixie cups to their teachers). Anyway...

I hope the Princess and I make it through today without too many interruptions. I've still got to make it through tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Feeling helpless

This morning as I walked the Princess over to where her class lines up in the morning, I noticed one of the girls in her class.

Why did I notice her? She (CB) was the last one in line. And she was gasping for air. She was crying! I knelt down in front of her.

Me: "Oh CB. Are you okay? Did you fall down?"

CB: [gasping] "I can't...I can't...stop crying."

Tears were slowly moving down her little cheeks. Her shoulders shook as she gasped for air. It broke my heart.

Me: "It's okay honey."

I took her hands in mine. I looked into her little green eyes. Such a sad face. I wiped her tears from her cheeks. The Princess stood next to me looking at her friend with concern.

Me: "CB? Where is your sister?"

CB turns and points to her sister, who is in the very next line-up of kids.

Me: "Prin. Why don't you hold CB's hand. She's having a sad moment."

I walk over to CB's sister.

Me: "Hi. Your sister says she can't stop crying."

CB's sister walks over to CB and hands her some sunglasses. To cover her sad little eyes. The she gives her little sister a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She said something in her ear but I don't know what. Then she walked back to her line.

I walked over to the kindergarten teacher and told her that CB was sad and was crying.

As I walked to my car, I turned and looked back. CB had the sunglasses on. The Princess was holding her hand. They both walked into the school together.

That's all I could do. I felt so helpless. I don't know what could make CB so sad.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Still on the market

The in-laws house is still on the market. It's a nice enough house. It's on a corner lot. On a cul-de-sac. No homes behind them - a street runs behind their house. It's got 3 bedrooms. 1 3/4 baths. An office. A living/dining combo in front. Then the kitchen/breakfast nook/family room in the back.

A couple things might be messing up a quick sale. The listing for the house says it's a 4 bedroom 1 3/4 bath home. Their realtor is stating that the office is a bedroom. WRONG! There is no closet in there. So it's not a bedroom. Also, check out the photos below.

It's basically a panoramic view of their kitchen/nook/family room.

Can you say stuck in the 80s? Yes. They are PEACH vertical plastic blinds. With grey blue/peach toppers. I told the Hubs to tell his folks to change the window coverings. Get some of those inexpensive woven things. You know. Like they show on "Sell This House"? And did you notice how the barstool chairs, the breakfast table chair and the sofas have the same colors as the toppers?

I know that those peach blinds block a lot of light. And in the two extra bedrooms my MIL has some heavy curtains. I have no idea if they open up all the windows and turn on all the lights when they show the house.

It's a clean enough house. My MIL is a serious neat freak. It's something she holds up like it's sacred. But the house is so bland. Nothing stands out. With so many houses on the market like theirs in that area...they have to do something to make theirs stand out.

This past weekend? They had open house #5. That's right! FIVE open houses and not one offer. E-gads!

Hosting Thanksgiving

With my BIL working halftime in his new city. With my ILs trying to sell their house. With my SIL in a place too tiny. And since no one has stepped up...


I haven't received an email confirming the Hubs immediate family's attendance, but I'm sure they'll drive the 90 minutes down. Just to not have to go through the hassle of cleaning, cooking, and cleaning again.

If everyone decides to come, I may have 15 people to feed. FIFTEEN!

I have to buy a turkey. I'm contemplating a ham too. Lots of rolls. Potatoes. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Corn on the cob (I think we'll be grilling those outside). Green beans with those crunchies on top. Stuffing. Fresh cranberries. Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Ice cream. Lots of hot strong coffee and hot tea. Some wine (any recommendations on this one?) for the adults. Did I forget anything?

Now where are you headed for Thankgiving? Do you know yet? It's only a few weeks away!

I still have to break out my holiday decorations and put those up. Yes. I'm going to have the inside of my house decorated for Thanksgiving. It's the beginning of the season! Gotta do it!

Monday, November 7, 2005

Parents of toddlers & young kids

This morning after dropping off the kidlings, I realized how quiet it was in the car. Oftentimes, the BEST sound when we're all in there. But today, as I sat at a stoplight I turned around. I looked towards the back. Two empty kid seats.

Of course, the Bear's forward facing convertible carseat was securely fastened in the 3rd row. But the Princess' booster seat? Not so much. She has one of those Alpha Omegas that we purchased specifically so that she could continue to use it as a booster. So it's BIG. You all know what they look like, right?

When the Princess is in the booster it's fine. But when she's not, the booster sits there unattached. Kind of unsafe. You know how they tell us to keep loose items in the back in the event of an accident? How things that aren't secure in the car can cause injuries? Yeah. THAT is what I'm talking about.

WHAT do you all do when your toddlers or young kids are not in their booster seats?

  1. Do you store the booster seat in the back of your vehicle?
  2. Do you let the booster seat sit there unbuckled?
  3. Do you buckle the booster seat?

ARGH! Did it tell us in the instructions what to do? If so, I certainly didn't see any kind of statement like that. Or did I just not notice it? Hmmm...

Come on people...what do you do?

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Time alone

The Hubs and I had a 'date' yesterday afternoon. My SIL drove down to watch the kidlings.

We spent about 6 hours together. Alone. Without the kids in tow. It went by in a blink of an eye. It was amazing!

We ate a nice lunch at Chili's. Leisurely. Watching the college football games in the bar area. Talking. Eating. Eating warm food. At the same time.

We went to a mall we'd never been to. I spent some of my hard earned paycheck. I actually bought a couple pair of yoga pants -- without looking at the price tag! HA! Hey, we were in Old expensive could they be? Then I proceeded to buy the Bear a couple pair of sweats, a couple long-sleeve shirts (it's starting to get cold out here) and some socks. So more stuff for him than me. We dropped by the Barnes & Noble too. I got the kids two books about Thanksgiving. I want them to learn the reason we have the holiday (the Pilgrims & the Indians) and how we should be during the holiday (thankful for all that we have). It was great being able to buy stuff.

Then we watched a movie. Violent. But good. Wasn't what I was expecting. But overall a good afternoon distraction.

Then it was time to head home. We didn't get to stop by the shoe store. We didn't get to stop by the home improvement store. Nor did we have a chance to stop by Tar-jay! We thought we'd have time to but alas....six hours slipped away.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Just got PAID

Got my first check via FedEx today. WOOHOO!

My first check in over 5 years. Amazing!

I'm going to have so much cash in my checking account (when the check clears). This is going to be the most amount of money in my checking account since I quit working. It's like 8 times the amount I'd normally get in my account per month.

But most of it is spoken for. Car. Daycare. Credit Card. I'll still have a little play money at the end though.

What will I buy? What will I buy? Probably something for the kids. For the house. For the Hubs. Like normal!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Starting with the holiday spirit

We're at the beginning of November. And I've started my holiday cheer.

No. I haven't broken out the decorations. I've just started to spread the holiday spirit.

How you ask?

Consider this scenario: You're running off to work. You're in a hurry. You didn't have time for a leisurely breakfast at home. You go through a drive-thru. You drive up to pay. And your order has been paid for. YES! I did that for someone this morning. As I sat at the window, the order taker was giving the person behind me their total. I broke out the lose change in my car and I had enough. $2.27. I had a ton of quarters in my car from the carwash. No a lot of money. But I thought it would be a nice gesture. Cheer up the lady's day.

So pay it forward people! Get in the holiday cheer. No big stuff needed. Let someone use your grocery card when they've forgotten theirs. Hold that door open for the person 5 steps behind you. Give a friendly wave to that person you see every morning walking their dog. Or do as I did. Pay for someone's order & surprise them.

Now...what're you going to do?

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Fun was had by all

This was a good Halloween for us. The Bear was finally old enough to walk around on his own. The Princess was seasoned at this so she could show the Bear what to do. We were in our new neighborhood. And it was a warm night!

Our Halloween actually started last Friday though. The Bear's daycare had a party. Kind of to get the kids used to their costumes. AND to get them used to the idea of getting candy in their bags. The staff grilled hot dogs. They had music playing in the big room. The teachers manned their classes for the 'trick-or-treating' every half hour. It was cute.

The Hubs finally got to see the daycare. I showed him where everything was located (the classroom, the sign-in sheet, the refrigerators for lunch, etc). He got to meet the Bear's teachers too. And a few of the Bear's friends.

The Bear didn't know what his costume was. He was upstairs when I was getting the outfits out. I was getting the Princess into her "Hula Girl" outfit when he walked downstairs. He ran over and saw the package his costume was in. He FLIPPED out! He was so excited!

He just loves BUZZ LIGHTYEAR! You should have seen him after he got the costume on. He'd 'press' one of the buttons on his chest. Run across the room. Spread his arms out like a plane. Say "...and BEYOND!" while he jumped. And then he'd land. Over and over again. Nothing like toddler repetition!

Here's a photo of the two before we left to go out Monday night.

The Princess was so excited. She kept on asking when we were going out.

"Is it TIME yet?"

We finally left the house when someone rang OUR doorbell. That was our GO signal.

We turned off the lights at our house and we went around our neighborhood. We ran into most of the neighbors with kids. We ended up going around with another Mom with her two kids. She has a daughter that's the Princess' age. Then she's got a little one who's just 18 months. So she had the stroller. And it was awkward for her to put the little one in and out of the stroller. When she went around with us, I pushed the stroller while she carried her little one between the houses. Her older daughter ran ahead with my two.

We ended up staying out maybe an hour. Wasn't too long. But the Bear was plodding as he walked. He was bone tired. The Princess was happy with her stash too so she wasn't disappointed to go home.

Next year? It's going to be more awesome. The entire neighborhood should be finished so there will be more kids. More houses to visit.

It was fun. Now we have to get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Whew!