Friday, January 30, 2009

And here's another items where we differ

Y'all know how much effort it takes for me to tolerate some family members. My MIL and SIL in particular.

I just remembered a recent incident where we differ once more.

My ILs came over to our house a couple weeks ago to celebrate the Bear's birthday party. They came to our house after the kids' party at the jump-castle place. All the adults were hanging out in the family room/kitchen. The Hubs was outside barbequing some hot dogs and brats. The Princess and Bear were upstairs with their cousins from the Hubs side of the tree. So that left me in the kitchen prepping lunch with my FIL, MIL, SIL, and DS (who is married to the Hubs' cousin) chatting away. My SIL was talking about all the shows that she's recently seen about people. About the gal who has no legs who had a baby? About the two teenage girls who live conjoined. Then my SIL mentioned J&K. My MIL immediately said "I think she's crazy."
SIL: There was that one show that had that midget girl with no legs. And she had a BABY!
MIL: Is that the one where she was changing the baby on the couch?
SIL: The one I'm talking about is the one where her boyfriend or fiancee or whatever he is dragged her on the ground to get her from room to room.
MIL: Oh yeah! I saw that show.
They continued to talk a bit about that show. My mind drifted away as I didn't know who they were talking about.
SIL: Did you see the one of those teenagers who were attached?
MIL: They were Siamese twins?
SIL: Yeah. They had two heads, but the rest of their body was mixed together.
MIL: What?
SIL: It was weird! Their heads were next to each other facing the same direction. so each had a shoulder and an arm that they controlled. And then they had one body with two legs.
MIL: What?
So they continued to discuss Abby and Brittany. About why they were still attached. How weird it must be to be attached. And how difficult it must be to do things if they only control half of their body.
DS: Well they've been doing it so long that it's natural to them. [who was also ignoring the discussion finally interjected]
SIL: But it's so strange.
DS: What else are they going to do? Just sit there?
Me: It's one of the examples of cooperation. I mean, they're able to drive and play baseball. They plan out what they're going to do and they each knows their role.
I guess DS and I took the thunder out of the discussion because they moved onto another topic at that point. DS and I then ignored them once again. The conversation then moved onto the Duggars.
SIL: I can't believe they have so many kids!
MIL: But I think it's related to their religion.
SIL: That lady is pregnant ALL the TIME!
MIL: That couldn't be good for her.
They went off on that for a bit. Then they turned to Jon & Kate.
SIL: Then there's that Kate lady with her twins and then her sextuplets!
MIL: Oh yeah! HER!
SIL: She's got SO many KIDS!
MIL: I think she's crazy.
Me: Why do you think that? I think she's normal. She doesn't put on an act like she's some goody-two-shoes for the camera. She keeps it real. I mean, she does have 8 children.
DS: I think she's pretty much normal too. I probably would be the same way if I had THAT many kids.
Yeah. DS and I killed that slashfest of Kate right then and there. I knew I loved DS! And this is just another reason why she and I get along so well. And this is also another reason why I basically just tolerate my ILs. They just kept on ripping negatives about people on tv. That was the entire vein of their discussion. Bringing up people on tv and pointing all faults and weird behavior. People they don't even know! And they had opinions on them. But that's just the way they are. And I basically tolerate that behavior. I don't join in the discussion until I feel compelled to say something.

Some of you might say that I'm writing negative stuff here about my SIL and MIL. And their kind of behavior irks me to no end. They are the type of people who get my panties all up in my behind like a g-string. But I try my darn-dest to ignore their negative behavior and comments when I'm with them. I let them be. Because that's just the way they are. I can't change them. They've always been this way. I mean, they talk about their own family members behind their back -- all gossip-like.

And my comments on my SIL and MIL? These are my point of view of them is from what I actually see. I see their FULL behavior. Not some edited tv version. I see how they are with my own two eyeballs. What I say about them isn't heresay. It's not rumors. It's what I witness. So I have a first-hand account on things. I'm not one to say I dislike someone because I see them on tv or because someone told me something. I tend to hold my opinion on people until I see them in person. Until then? I try hard to understand where people are coming from. What their thought process was/is. I try. I really do.

And why am I making these comments about my SIL and MIL here? Because this here site is my outlet. To keep peace in the family, I don't say anything when I'm in their midst. But here? This is where I can express my feelings without repercussions. This is where I get things out so I don't get an ulcer. That's something my Dad had when he was my age. Because he kept things bottled up inside him. And I don't want an ulcer. No way. No how.

Now how do YOU keep your sanity? Where do you let out your frustrations about things and people?

You think J+K+2+6 are crazy?

There are a lot of folks out there that don't like Kate&Jon Gosselin. People don't seem to like Kate. She likes things clean. She likes things done HER way. She likes to keep her kids on a schedule. She swats at her husband. She disagrees with her husband. I'd say all these traits are pretty normal. But alas there are dozens and dozens of Gosselin hate sites. Yes. ENTIRE SITES dedicated to critiquing this couple for televising their family. I am there is a lot of serious nastiness being said on these sites. Horrible things.

People also don't seem to understand or even want to fathom the fact that Kate knew she was pregnant with 6 babies. The two of them had the twins (Madelyn & Cara) and wanted one more baby. Little did they realize that so many embryos would take. And those of you who gone through the implantation process know that you can put 8 in and not one can take. Jon and Kate chose NOT to go through selective reduction because it was against their beliefs. It was their decision as a couple. I totally understand their thought process. **

But this gal who just gave birth to octuplets? She already has SIX children ranging from 2 to 7 years old. She's going from having to care for 6 kids to FOURTEEN little ones! I'm flabbergasted!!! I mean, right now she's living at home with her parents while her husband is in Iraq so she'll have a little help caring for the babies. But man! Wasn't six kids enough? Why in goodness name was she on FERTILITY drugs? Can anyone give me some insight on this one?

I just hope this gal doesn't think that she'll be thrust into the limelight and get a tv show out of this. Help me understand.... [sigh]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

THIS is the reason I don't live in a snowy climate

Did you happen to see THIS latest article released to an AP writer on Yahoo?

This is exactly the reason the Hubs and I don't want to live in areas that receive snow. This is scary stuff here. More than a MILLION homes/businesses don't have any power! That just blows my mind. The kids and I saw more than a handful of trees down or going down due to the weight of the ice on their branches on the Weather Channel this morning.

Now do the majority of people in colder climates have a gas or wood burning fireplace? This way you'd at least have some warmth. I know that if this happened to us, we'd all sleep in the family room around our gas fireplace. We've got space to sleep on the couch or on the floor.

And how are these folks eating? Does everyone have gas-powered stoves/ovens? I know that here in Arizona, there are a bunch of homes that have electric all through their homes. Electric stoves. Electric ovens. Electric everything! So when the power goes out? These folks are SOL. Our previous home in Phoenix was all electric. So we know the PAIN of now having anything running. That's why when we had this house built, we opted for gas power for our water heater, stove, oven, and fireplace. y'all that don't have power? I totally feel for you. If you've got family in these cold weather environments? Please take a moment to check on them. Give them shelter. Give them some encouragement.

A small spark of goodness

Remember how I wrote about the two former border patrol agents that were in paison?

Turns out that President Bush commuted the sentences of both men. He did NOT give them pardons. So these men will still be on probation for 3 years and have to pay $2000 in fines each.

Although they weren't totally cleared of the crimes that they were in prison for, I am so happy that these two men are out of prison. Out of solitary confinement.

These two men will soon be able to be with their wives. With their families.

It's ONE good thing that's happened during the last moments of this presidential term.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Breath in deep...exhale...breath in...[updated]

Guess what I get to do today? Bring BOTH kids to the pediatrician.

Yes. It's time for their annual check-up.

But wait you say...wasn't it just the Bear's birthday? Yes.

Then WHY are you bringing the Princess?

Because y'all....I didn't bring her for her check-up when she had her birthday. In September. Yeah. I forgot. And just to confess....I didn't bring her in the previous year either. That's right! Mother of the Year award winner here! I haven't brought my daughter into the doctor for over 2 years. She's been healthy. Just a little stomach bug here and there. She wasn't due for any immunizations until she turns 10. So it slipped my mind. [sigh]

So both kiddos are in school right now. Got back from the drop-off. I'm going to do a little work. Check email to see if there's anything urgent. Get a message up on my Skype that I'll be out most of the morning. Put on some make-up (as I tend to go au natural when I drop the kids off). Then I'll be out to get the kids again.

Oh geez....just remembered that I need to get some laundry done today as well. ARGH! The never-ending baskets of laundry! But when the kids are in school the laundry does pile up quickly. I mean, they wear an outfit to go to school and then change into a fresh outfit when they come home. Yes. I make them change when they get in the door.We come in through the garage and we keep fresh outfits right in the half-bath that's 4 steps from the garage. The kids go into the half-bath once they get their shoes/socks off and change in the half-bath. Then throw their school clothes into their laundry basket.

Why do they change you ask? Because their clothes are normally grimmy with dirt/sand. And I don't need those dirty clothes on my couches or carpets. I don't need a trail of sand on my tile floors. So this change into a fresh outfit after school is necessary to decrease the mess in my home. Yes. We do end up with some dirt and sand on the floors downstairs, but it's MUCH less than what it could be. BEFORE I wash their clothes? I take each of their baskets out in the garage and shake out their clothes. Let me tell you the amount of sand/dirt that comes off is amazing. There's sand in their pants, their sweatshirt pockets, and their socks. THE. SOCKS. It's much more the Bear than the Princess. But she's no immune to the sand. [sigh]

Anyway, I have to actually log into work now. It's going to be a busy morning.

What're YOU up to today?

Folks? It's noon and I've got someone home with me.

What? But isn't today a school day? Yes. The Princess is home. From school.

I found out that she has.... strep throat. STREP

We'll be out to pick the Bear up from school in a couple of hours. Yes. He went back to school.

Dr. Beth checked out the Bear. 45 1/2 pounds. 45 1/2 inches tall. He's a square! And what's funny? Is that his measurements? Are 50% in both height and weight. Blood pressure? 82/40. Heart. Strong. Vision. Check. Ears. Clear. Throat. Fine. HA! She gave him the "all clear" sign.

Dr. Beth then checked the Princess out. 46 1/2 pounds. 52 inches tall. Her height? It's in the 90th percentile, while her weight is in the 25th percentage. Did you catch her weight? She weights ONE whole pound more than her brother. And she's 27 months older. And almost 7 inches taller! Blood pressure? 80/40. Heart? Strong. Vision? Check. Ears? Clear. Throat? Uh.....
Dr. Beth: Girlfriend? Does your throat hurt?
Princess: Not really.
Dr. Beth: Hmmm...because it looks like you've got something going on in there.
Me: What do you think it is?
Dr. Beth: Strep is going around. I'll just swab her throat and test it now.
Princess: What does it taste like?
Dr. Beth: Like nothing. [glancing at me]
So Dr. Beth did the "fast" test and it came back positive. We picked up the 10-day antibiotics from CVS and I've already given her the first dose. She's fine as fine can be. She's currently watching "City of Ember".

Other than this bit of strep? Both kids are fine and dandy.

Now does that girl above look sick? THIS is how she looked after Dr. Beth swabbed her throat. Yeah. That Strep bug didn't make my girl miserable at all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

From my husband's point of view

The Hubs says that I'm a drama magnet.

He says that things seem to happen to me that don't happen to other people.

What? It's not like I look for trouble.

Trouble seems to find me.

And today was one of those days.

This afternoon when I was driving home after getting the kids from school. I was pretty close to being in an accident. With a cement mixer. Yes. That big old thing was on my left and started moving into my lane. I had to step on my brake just to be sure he wouldn't hit me. Once the truck was about a foot into my lane? The guy turned on his signal. Of course, I blasted my horn at him to let him know that he was moving into the lane WAY too close to me.

I have to tell you...I was fuming. Not 15 seconds after he moved into my lane, he started moving back to the left lane. Yes. He was trying to move back into the lane he had was just in. And the Jeep that was in that lane leaned on their horn to let the cement truck know that it had made another BAD move. The cement mixer almost hit TWO cars in less than a minute.

When I got home? I called the cement truck company. I did! I'm one of those drivers that you don't want to mess with. If you're in a company truck and you cut me off or drive too quickly through a school zone or my neighborhood? I am going to call your company. And I totally look for a company truck #, which is generally easier to track down in most company's systems. If I can't find one then I'll write down the license plate #. And yes. I do WRITE it down. I've got a pad and pencil in my car. I also write down the time it happened and the area where the incident happened. Northbound. Eastbound. Including cross-streets if applicable. No. I don't do this when my car is in motion. I wait until I get to a stop at an intersection. The guy at the cement company was a little surprised that I had so much info. But he could totally tell that I was upset, so I hope someone will have a serious talk with the driver of that truck.

Not my second incident for today? It's something I saw first thing this morning when I logged into my work email. This is a response from someone who received a standard form email from me yesterday after our review team looked at this person's work.
are you fucking kidding me?

you kept hounding me over and over to join up with you and now you reject me?

your representative emailed me at least twenty times asking me to join your organization. i had to download your stupid forms and fill them out, even after explaining how little time i had to deal with this.

and now you reject me? you morons.

please go fuck yourselves, and i mean that in the nastiest way possible.
Colorful, eh? I can just see him spitting the words out as he typed this email. Such venom. And this was only addressed to me. Our rep who initially interfaced with this person was not on the email. Just me! And I'm not the one who approached this person. And I'm not the one who reviewed this person's work. I'm just the one who sent out the standard reject email out. My first ever point of contact with this guy. And I get this email?


Today definitely was not the best.

But do you think I'm a drama magnet? These kind of things don't happen to the Hubs. Do these situations seem typical to you? Have these kind of situations actually happened to you?

I'm sure tomorrow will be better.

[crossing fingers and toes]

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Agreeing to Disagree

Like many of you out there, I keep a large list of websites in my Reader. I add new sites to my Reader every now and again. But for the most part? I keep the ones that I've read from the beginning. When I started blogging myself almost six years ago.

There's one gal that I keep up with. She's funny. She's got two cute kids - a matched pair like mine. And at the moment, she's got some negative posts going her way. Why? Because she wrote something about being a conservative blogger. And truth be told? I am also very conservative.

I've never been one to follow a blogger because they have the same beliefs as I do. I actually read a BUNCH of men and women whose lives are vastly different than my own. Why? Because I find an element about their style, about their lives, or about their feelings that I can relate to.

I was brought up to respect what others believe. Oftentimes, I'll read something on someone's site and am just amazed that they did what they did. Or they reacted the way that they did. But that's their life. Folks who write stuff that I don't agree with don't need to hear from me. It's their choice to do what they do. Their blog is a way for them to express themselves. To get things off their chest. So I choose to only leave positive comments.

And I think it's about being respectful. And that's how I'm trying to bring up my kids. We're all different. We're not all cut from the same cloth. We're like snowflakes. When you look at a blizzard, the snow looks the same. You can't distinguish one from the other. It's just a whole mass of flakes. But when you take the time to compare snowflakes? Each is different. Not one is alike. And that's like us. We all live in the same country. We may have grown up in the same city. We may have attended the same high school. But we're different. Unique.

But everyone chooses to be who they are. To be nice in this virtual world. Or to stir up unkind feelings. Can we all just agree to disagree?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Always concerned

This morning when I was getting ready for the day, I noticed a cut on my thumb. One of those thin cuts right on my thumb where it bends. Oy! I rummaged for a band-aid and then washed my hands thoroughly.

I finished getting ready for the day. I actually put on a little bit of make-up and changed from my jammies. I walked out into the family room where everyone else was already situated and sat on the couch. My son came up to me.
Bear: Oh no!
Me: What buddy?
Bear: You've got an owie?
Me: Yeah bud. I do.
Bear: Prin, Mommy has an owie! Mommy, what happened to you?
Yes folks. He announcing to my daughter that I was hurt. He spotted that band-aid in no time flat. That tiny band-aid. He spotted it. Yes. That tiny little Carebear band-aid got his attention.

What do you think? Do I have a police officer on my hands? A miniature Monk? A young Mentalist? He's definitely an observant little guy. He notices things that are different than the norm that's for sure!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lending a helping hand

It rained on and off all night. And it was still wet outside this morning.

It was super cloudy when I drove the kids to school. What's funny that even though it was cloudy, it was warmer than it's been -- around 55 degrees. A break from the 38 degree mornings we've been having.

When I drive the kids to school, I get on the freeway. I only have to go down 2 exits, so I do have the option of taking the frontage road that runs alongside the freeway. Plus, when you take the frontage road? You hit a light in between that takes FOREVER to get through. Then there's the merging into the left lanes to make a left turn towards the school.

Anyway, this morning we exited the freeway. The exit was pretty backed up. I was probably about 25 cars from the left-turn. I happened to notice a truck up ahead parked on the frontage road. As our car inched forward I noticed an elementary-aged kid standing on the passenger side of the small truck.
Princess: Mom! Look there's a truck over there!
Me: Oh yeah. I see it. Their truck must have broken down.
Princess: Yeah. HEY! That's Darien!
Me: Who's Darien?
Princess: The fourth grader who won Around The World yesterday.
Me: Oh. That boy goes to your school? Do you think we should stop?
Princess: That would be right thing to do Mom. Let's stop, okay?
Me: Okay babe. I'll pull over there.
As soon as I can reach the merge with the frontage road, I pull overall the way to the right and park along the curb. I get out and run up to where the truck is.
Me: Hi! Your son goes to LLA right?
TheDad: Uh. Yeah. He does. [looking a little cautious]
Me: Yeah. My daughter, Princess, noticed him while we waiting on the off-ramp there. If you're having car trouble, do you want me to drive Darien to school?
TheDad: [turning to his son] Do you know Princess?
Me: She's in Ms. Miller's class.
Darien: Oh. Yeah!
Me: If you're having car trouble, we can drive Darien the rest of the way to school. We have space so it's not a problem.
TheDad: Darien, will you feel okay to go with them?
Darien: Sure.
So the Princess transfers to the back into the 3rd row. Darien hops into the car (on the curbside away from the cars). And we head off the 2.5 blocks to school. Sounds like a short distance, right? But it's not a safe route for walking. It's along the freeway underpass. Then along two main roads. NOT. SAFE. TO. WALK.

The kids made it to school on time. I walked them all into the main gate. And the Princess had a huge smile on her face because she was able to help someone from school. She's definitely got something to write into her Girl Scout journal.

And when I left the school to drive home? It started to rain. Big drops. I ended up with a warm feeling inside knowing that I'd helped someone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The kids & me!

The Hubs actually grabbed my camera and took a photo of me with the kiddos. So I'm taking this moment to celebrate the fact that the kids and I are in a photo together. This happens maybe once or twice a year.

I am RARELY in any photos. I'm usually behind the lens.

Yup. That's ME! My kids totally outshine me with their beautiful faces and their beautiful souls. Just as it should be.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week in Review Jan11-17

Here's the weekly wrap-up in pictures!

January 11 - I was struck by how innocent my daughter's eyes still look at times. It reminds me how little she used to be. [sigh]

January 12 - Here is a better look of the hot-air balloon that floats past our neighborhood. I took a few shots of this as it went by. This photo was the best one as I was actually able to figure out how to focus on the balloon and get the foreground out-of-focus. THAT is a big feat for me and my automatic digital camera!

January 13 - The Bear now enjoys coloring. He never used to. But since he stated school he now appreciates the soothing nature of filling in the blanks with color. Look at him tackling R2-D2 as he sits on the rug. He can sit likes that FOREVER. Do you think it's a comfy position?

January 14 - Remember how I mentioned that kids were playing Eye-Spy? Here's the Bear trying to figure out what has sister has spotted. And there is the Princess giggling to herself while she washes dishes.

January 15 - I had to take a shot of my midday companions. As of late, right next to my computer have been a soda and Carmex. It's so dang dry here. I can never tell when my lips will be chapped. And I NEVER can find my Carmex when I need it.'s now camped out on my desk.

January 16 - Every school day I drive the kids to their school. Why don't they take the bus some of you may be asking. You see, my kids attend a charter school that's about 6 miles from our house. There's only about 150 kids at the school that has kindergarten to 8th grade. On this particular morning as I was headed towards the school, I was struck by how amazing the sun peaked around this lone standing building at the corner.

January 17 - The kids hit 100 days of school. On Friday when I picked up the Bear from school, he was wearing this bit of eyewear. Actually, ALL The kindergarten class had these one. It was too cute!

Getting along

I love it when my kids get along with each other. Because I only have two kids, they're either getting along or fighting. I try my darndest not to get involved when they squabble.When I can hear them starting to get too rowdy or riled up, sometimes I'll yell up to them.
Get along!
Not too rough!
This will usually redirect them or tone down their play enough to a level that allows them to avoid a conflict. When they do end up "engaging", I'll just ask each of them what happened. I hear both points of view. I don't accuse one or the other of anything. Usually they've BOTH done something to get the situation to that level. But it's amazing how when I'm listening to each of them explain what happened, I can see that the other is on the other one is normally on the verge of tears. Once I've heard both explanations? They give each other a hug. Then I normally send them to their rooms for a little bit of quiet.
Okay. Go to your rooms so you can settle down.
They go. And then a bit later I can hear them playing quietly together. In each other's bedroom. They end up reconciling in no time flat. No big grudges. Just acceptance of what happened after they've had some quiet time alone.

Not everyone can get along ALL the time. Right?

But watch this little video about two that DO get along. It's so cute.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I know I ramble & don't correct myself...

but I'm writing for myself. Not for the grammar police.

Here's something I saw that made me crack up. This was a posting on a job board. Would YOU apply for a job that had so many typos in it? NO. I did not type any of the italicized portion below. It's a copy and paste. I did (however) highlight the typos so you can just see how many errors this one post had in it.

It sounds like whoever posted the job is not the company that actually has the opening. Must be some head-hunter the company hired to filter through resumes. But MAN! If you hired these people, would you pay them for work? There is definitely NO attention to detail on this one.
Experienced Hedge Fund Manager Wanted

Great opportunity for sales/business development specialists. High net worth hedge fund marketer.

Emerging Hedge Fund Manager with good long term track record and some well kown investors, prefers candidate in the Western U.S., but not manditory.

Candidate will have strong existing relationships in the high new worth, family office and independent ria space.

Must be entreprenurial, want to build a business and have substantial equity. A true go-getter will like the performance based package.

The ideal candidate will have 2+ - 5 years of Hedge Fund experience and minimum education of a Bachelors's Degree

Don't wait, interviews are being scheduled now.

There is no charge for our service. Fees are paid by the employer

* Compensation: $100k - $150k year, performance based, plus bonus elgibility
So...what do you think? You want to apply for the job?

Friday, January 16, 2009

You can change something

I'm a bit sad at the moment. I heard a disturbing story. A story about two gentleman who were just doing their jobs.

Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos. Ever heard of them?

These are two former border patrol agents are in jail. Compean, 28, is serving a 12 year sentence. Ramos, 37, is serving an 11 year sentence. Why? Because they shot a DRUG smuggler and were caught when they tried to cover up the incident. They shot the drug smuggler, Osvaldo Davila, in the ASS as he was attempting to flee back into Mexico. Why was he running back into Mexico? To get as far away from the 750 pounds of marijuana that were in a van he was next to on the US side of the border.

Ramos & Compean were convicted in 2006. They've been in prison since January 2007. TWO years. They've been in prison for TWO years. For shooting a known felon. The felon? He actually admitted to actually smuggling drugs earlier that day. He admitted to smuggler several HUNDRED pounds of marijuana earlier that day. The scumbag is now in prison serving a 9 1/2 year sentence for charges that were set a few months after he was shot in the ass by the former border patrol agents.

Because they are former border patrol agents, these two men are not safe in prison. They are segregated from the general population and stay in their cells for 23 hours a day. Y'all? That is solitary confinement!

If you want to help spread the news about these two former border patrol agents, please feel free to link to my entry or to this website.

Now if you feel moved enough by this situation, please email the President ( and the Vice-President ( or call 202-456-1111.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tummy problems [updated]

The Princess is home from school right now. She woke up and felt nauseous.

When the Bear found out his sister was not feeling well? He was eating his morning portion of oatmeal . And when I came over to say good morning to him? He got tears in his eyes.
Me: What's wrong buddy?
Bear: Mommy?
Me: What buddy?
Bear: My sissy is sick.
The poor kid. He had tears rolling down his face. He doesn't like anything bad to happen to his sister. Her being sick? That just made him tremendously sad. He just loves her SO much.

Right now? The Bear is at school. The Princess? She finally was able to relieve the tension in her tummy. I had her take a couple sips of cold water. And that triggered her body into reacting. Now she's laying comfortably on the couch.

--------------- UPDATED ---------------

The Princess feels a LOT better than she did this morning. She ended up having cereal for lunch. Yes. CEREAL! But having so little in her tummy? Helped her tummy settle down. Because she kept on sipping from the water bottle all day. Tonight she was able to down about 6 tiny bits of chicken along with her rice.

After laying about all day? She had enough energy to play a couple sets of Wii tennis. She is DEFINITELY on tap for school. She'd better NOT say she feels horrible tomorrow morning!

Dinner for three

The Hubs let me know earlier this week that he'd be home LATE on Friday.

Why? It's per his boss' request.

His boss thought it would be a good idea for the Hubs to rub elbows with some finance people who work at the out-site office. Apparently, the folks from the off-site office go out for Happy Hour about once a month. And THAT is where the Hubs will be headed tomorrow after work.

YES. It's work required fun. We've all been there. You know. The Christmas event of years past where it was a total blow-out. Workday team-building events. Company picnics. Yeah. Sometimes it can be fun. REAL fun. But other times? It's a drag.

Tomorrow night? I think the Hubs thinks it'll be a drag. But he may have fun. Who knows. When he comes home I'll find out.

So with the Hubs out having "fun" with people from work? That leaves me alone with the kids for dinner on a Friday night. Hmm...what to do? WHAT to do?

To do something different, I'm contemplating taking them to a pre-dinner movie. I can pre-make some sweet-sour red wine vinegar chicken along with some veggies & buttered noodles. Maybe....we'll see how things pan out.

When you're alone with the kids on a Friday night, what do YOU do?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Work & Play

The Princess normally washes some dishes after dinner each night.

The Bear is tasked with handsweeping any crumbs on the table and then sweeping under the table with a foxtail and dustpan.

Of course, the Bear normally finishes up before his sister. Tonight was the normal state of affirs.

What was most unexpected was that the two were chatting it up after the Bear finished his chore.
I spy with my little eye something clear.
The water bottle!
You got it! Your turn.
I spy with my little eye something purple.
Your new Play-doh!
You got it! Your turn.
They did this until the Princess was finished with the dishes. They were giggling and going on and on with the game. It was TOO CUTE.

It's fun being a Mom when the kids get along like this. SO FUN!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally done

It's 2:52pm and I now have a new water heater.

The 2nd repair technician showed up around 10am.

He didn't seem to happy to be doing what he was doing.

He ended up leaving around 11:30am. He had to go pick up a part. There goes the 9 to noon scheduled timeframe!

He got back around 1:15pm.

He finished and JUST drove off 2 minutes ago.

Instead of being done in one day (Friday)? It's gone on for FIVE days.


But at least it's all fixed now. Finally.

Monday, January 12, 2009

In someone's reality my water-heater is fixed

Oh people....PEOPLE!

It's 8:30am and my water heater is NOT fixed yet.

WTF? Yeah. That's what I was thinking yesterday. Yesterday...oh yeah. Remember how I mentioned that the repair guy came to the house on Friday?

Yesterday, I made sure to zip back home after dropping the kids off at school. The repair guy said he'd be here between 8 and noon, so I made sure I was home.

I waited. And I waited.

Around 10:30am I called the plumbing company to check when I should expect the repair guy.
Office: Hello?
Me: Hi. I'm supposed to have a water heater switched out this morning between 8 and noon. I'm just checking on when I should expect the technician.
Office: What's your address?
Me: I live at ### B Street.
Office: Here it is. Hmm....Can I put you on hold for a minute?
Me: Sure.
I'm on hold. So I wait patiently.
Office: Okay. Sorry about the wait. It was a warranty issue.
Me: Yeah. The technician said that he was going to call the manufacturer on Friday and get the switch out approved.
Office: He couldn't get a hold of them on Friday, so I just called them while you were on hold. It's now been approved.
Me: Okay...
Office: So will you be available between 2 and 6?
Me: Umm...most of that time. I need to pick up my kids from school.
Office: Okay. We'll call before he comes over. I have your home number. Is there another number we can get for you?
Me: Here's my cell ###-####. If you don't get me on the home number then call me there.
Office: Okay. Will do.
So I continue to work like a normal day. Then at 3:40pm, I leave to pick up the kids. As I'm driving up the driveway, I notice a business card on the front door.


When I get inside the house? I have a message on our home phone. I immediately call the plumbing company.
Office: Hi.
Me: I had an appointment between 2 and 6. I stepped out and I missed your technician.
Office: Oh...
Anyway, we reschedule for today. Between 9 and noon.

But can you believe it? What a fiasco. I was home between 8 and noon yesterday. I didn't get a COURTESY call from them letting me know that they hadn't gotten approval yet. Then when I get it reschedule yesterday? The technician comes during the 45 minutes when I finally DO leave my house. Did you catch the important call that I did not get? I didn't get a call on my cell. They requested another number and didn't even bother calling.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

January birthdays can be hit or miss

Next Sunday, we're having the Bear's 6th birthday party. It doesn't phase the kid that his actual birthday was this past Friday. We couldn't get our act together and get all the details figured out for this weekend. Not enough time for people to get settled back into the groove with school.

There was a birthday party today. The Bear was invited. He's been SO looking forward to it all week. The party person is a girl in his class. We got the invitation on Monday. I talked to the Hubs and made sure he was going to be bringing the Bear to the event. 3pm Sunday. He concurred. And then I RSVP'd to the girl's Mom.

The party was scheduled between 3pm-5pm. Around 2:30pm today, the Hubs and Bear headed out to the party. Enough time to get to their destination, right? Around 3pm, the Hubs calls me to check Mapquest on where the park was located. I told him I couldn't FIND the park. You see, the invitation had the park's name and the name of the two streets that intersect where the park is supposedly located. It did not have a map.

The Bear and the Hubs got home around 4:10pm. They could NOT find the park where the party was being held. Yes. The Hubs even called the Mom to verify its location.
Hubs: Hi.This is the Bear's Dad. We're driving and we can't find the park.
Girl's Mom:'s on T X road.
Hubs: We're north of Main Street. I saw on Mapquest that's the only place where the two streets on the invitation intersect.
Girl's Mom: No. You should be SOUTH of Main Street. You just keep driving south and you'll see a Baptist church. The park is right there.
The Hubs said that the Mom talked in a "What a dummy. You can't find the place?" tone. So he followed her vague instructions and did not find the place. So that's why he came home.

As I stated earlier, the two streets that were on the invitation? The two streets intersect NORTH of main street. And the Mom saidsomething about the park being SOUTH of main street. And I couldn't even FIND the park on Mapquest. [sigh] This is the main reason we put a MAP into an invitation when we're having a party at a park or home. If we're having a party at a business (like Pump It Up), we make sure to send the business' inviation because it has the street address, website, and business phone number on it. This way parents have a variety of methods of ensuring the location of a place. You know?

Anyway, the Hubs said as he was driving home, the Mom did try to give him a call back. But the Hubs didn't answer. He was headed home. I'm thinking that the Mom was trying to track people down. Trying to find out if they were still coming. Or MAYBE she found out that her instructions were faulty.

Needless to say, we've got the gift sitting in our front hallway. The Bear was disappointed but he was witness to how the Hubs was trying hard to find the place. The Hubs said he was a couple other cars doing U-turns in the same vicinity as his search. I wonder how many people from the Bear's class actually ended up showing.
January 4 - I left you with the Princess in action on the Wii. Here is the Bear getting ready for a backhand playing tennis.

January 5 - In past winters we've seen a hot air balloon fly over our neighborhood almost every morning. This season we haven't seen many. We were surprised to see one as we drove down the main road away from our house.

January 6 - The Bear insisted on wearing a hat to school this morning. Instead of the normal collegiate labeled baseball hat, he chose the Legoland one we got for him this summer. Doesn't he look dep in thought as he straps on his shoes?

January 7 - The Princess is doing a happy-dance to celebrate the completion of her homework. She enjoys doing her math homework but loves it when she's totally finished.

January 8 - And here is the Bear in deep concentration as he's doing his own homework.

January 9 - The Bear did a super-hero pose with his birthday crown on for me. Can you see the mischievous twinkle in his eye?

January 10 - I was able to capture a fleeting photo of the Hubs as he headed out for a morning walk yesterday. He really hates getting his photo taken. he-he-he...

Friday, January 9, 2009

The pain of January birthdays was my son's SIXTH birthday.

Today he opened up his practical gifts. He got a few new pair of shoes. He got some t-shirts & pants. Yes. Boring stuff. But he did get to select what we had for dinner tonight. AND I picked up some cupcakes for dessert. I also dropped off a couple boxes of monster cookies at school so that the entire class could get a treat. At school he wore a birthday crown that his teacher made all day.

He'll actually have a big bash next Sunday at jumping castle place that the Princess had her party at. I didn't want to schedule that for this weekend. It's hard enough getting back into the swing of school and then have fit a party in that first weekend? Ay-yay-yay! The jump castle place needs an estimate on how many kids would attend, so I wanted to give parents some time to figure out their schedules. Give them time to actually RSVP. Let's see how it works out.


Last night (Thursday) before bed, we gave him extra tight hugs. I'm sure he needed it after his cold sponge bath! Brrr.... But it was the last time we'd hug our own little FIVE year old. [sigh]

I looked at him intently as he ate his breakfast this morning. He has no bit of baby face left in him. He's all boy. B-O-Y!

My son is such a joy to me. His smile just melts my heart. When his soft eyes appear to have any kind of despair or pain in them, my eyes are on the brink of tears. The fierceness in which he plays any type of outdoor game makes me want to cheer. I relish in his squeezing hugs. I find it amazing how gently he can stroke my hair and rub my back when I'm laying on the couch next to him.

My son is definitely growing up. And it makes me happy. But there is that bittersweet feeling inside of me that wishes he'd stay a little guy. But he is growing. And I hope I'm guiding him into being a proper young man. One who is loving and kind. One who protects those that he loves. One who chooses to do the right thing rather than the popular thing. One who stands on his own two feet rather than just following others blindly.

He's a boy who will soon be a man. I'm sure when he graduates from college it'll feel like time has flown in the blink of an eye. A blink. And so...I hope I'm able to continue to relish the moments that I'm with him.

Getting a repair done...maybe...[not yet]

The Hubs called the water heater manufacturer this morning. They referred him to an authorized repair person. In Phoenix. Uh...folks? We live about 1.5 hours away.

Anyway, the Hubs called the authorized repair person. And the guy picked up the call at 6am. Yes, he did. I'm sure this guy has all his work related called forwarded to his house during off-hours. The guy, Troy, said he'd call a local person who can do the repair.

It's 8:58am and the local repair person? Has not yet called me.



The Hubs called me around 9am. He found out that the local repair company hadn't called me. The Hubs called the authorized repair person in Phoenix to find out what was going on.

I got a call back from the authorized repair person in Phoenix around 9:30am saying the repair person he'd originally called wouldn't be able to make it to our house today. So he had been calling aorund for another person to come out. And THAT new repair person would be calling me soon.

I got a call from the 2nd local plumbing repair company around 10am. I was actually in the garage checking out the water heater when I got the call. And I felt water at the base of the water heater. [play ominous music here] I let the 2nd local plumbing repair company know about what I found. The gal let me know that the technician would be by between noon and 4.

The technician showed up at 2:45pm. He checked around the water heater with a flashlight. He was actually able get the pilot light re-lit. Whew! AND he let me know that our water heater had a tiny leak at the seal. That he'd need to do a switch out a new water heater. BUT...he first needed to run it by the manufacturer. The manufacturer that's located on the east coast. The office that was now closed for the day. ARGH! But he said that he'd be able to talk to the manufacturer tomorrow.

And that he'd come out Monday to switch out the water heaters.
Repair Guy: Since I'm going to talk to the manufacturer tomorrow, I can come by Monday to switch out the water heaters.
Me: Monday?
Repair Guy: Will you be able to have someone home on MOnday? That's as soon as I can schedule things.
Me: Monday is fine. When do you think you can come out?
Repair Guy: I can make this my first appointment of the day. If someone can be here around 9am?
Me: Oh. That's fine. I usually am home by 8:30am at the latest.
Repair Guy: That's not too early for you? If that's okay then I can show up then.
Me: 8:30am is fine. The earlier the better.
So we're scheduled for a brand new water heater on Monday. The only obstacle we have? Is that we have to make it through 2 more days and 2 more nights with a water heater that's got a leak. Hopefully that darn water heater can make it a couple more days without any glitches. [crossing fingers and toes]

And y'all? The Hubs and I relished in our showers. Ah..... And so did the kids. After yesterday's sponge baths, they really enjoyed their warm water shower.

Now have you had to deal with no hot water during the winter? What did YOU do?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When it rains, it pours

Getting the kids ready for bed, I realized that....we had no hot water.

That's right folks. It's winter and we have no hot water.

I ended up giving the kids sponge baths.

The Hubs was busy in the garage looking at the darn water heater. We have a conventional gas water heater. We don't have one of those tankless deals. They weren't available with our builder when we purchased our home.

After the kids were in bed, he handed me the folder that the builder gave us that had all the warranty information.
Hubs: Look through this folder for water heater stuff.
Me: Through this? [pointing at the white binder]
Hubs: Yeah. I looked through it twice and couldn't find anything.
I lazily looked through the folder. I knew there wouldn't be any useful information in it. I went over to one of our kitchen drawers and pulled out a bunch of pamphlets. I flipped through them and TA-DA! I found the pamphlet for the water heater. I walked into the garage and waved the pamphlet at the Hubs.
Me: Here's the pamphlet.
Hubs: Oh. Good. You found THAT in the folder?
Me: No honey. It was in that one drawer where we threw all the miscellaneous new house books and all that.
Hubs: Okay. Umm...I believe the pilot is out. I can't see anything through the little window there.
We looked through the manual to make sure we were performing the correct steps to "re-light" the pilot. AND? Nothing happened.


The Hubs is going to call the water heater company tomorrow. They open at 8am eastern. That's 6am for us! Thankfully, the water heater is still under warranty. [sighing in relief] If anything is wrong then we should be good to go. The only hitch I think will be if they don't have anyone available to come out to our house tomorrow. OR if our water heater needs a strange part that's not in stock.

But we are hoping for the best. Hot water. Is that too much to ask for?

You say po-TAY-toe and I say po-taw-toe

With every couple there are differences. You know how it goes.

You talk one way. Your spouse talks another.

One of you is laid back. The other is always stressed.

The Hubs can drink a Coke at 10pm and still sleep fitfully all night. I can't drink caffeine after 3pm or else I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep.


And tonight? I found a new one.

The Hubs wrote an article last week. Tonight I finally took a gander at it. And one word stopped me dead in my tracks.


Me: Honey. You spelled something wrong.
Hubs: What word?
Me: d-i-l-e-m-n-a
Hubs: Yes. That's how you spell it.
Me: Isn't it spelled with TWO m's?
Hubs: Nope.
Me: Seriously. It looks wrong with m-n. It's got to be spelled with two m's.
Hubs: Nope. Google it.
And THAT is what I did. It turns out it's just one of those things.Just like po-tay-toe and po-taw-toe.

Certain people stress on the fact that their teachers hammered the word into their heads as "dilemna", so it's GOT to be correct. Academics seem to prefer the word spelled "dilemna".

But the general population? I'm thinking that they spell it "dilemma" - with TWO m's.

Why? Because of what you get when you break the word down. DI means "two", while LEMMA means "assumption". That's good enough for me. I'm sticking with the two m's. Why? Because the other way just looks WRONG.

But then again...what a word to have this kind of duality with. Based upon the definition of the word? I guess we can spell it either way. Dilemma. Dilemna.

Which way do YOU spell it?

If you haven't got a coat yet

Lands End has FREE SHIPPING on any order with no minimum. The promotion ends tomorrow, January 9th.

Use Promotion code LESPORT and PIN 00007301

Easy as that.

There's a whole slew of sweaters, turtlenecks, cardigans, and sweatshirts in the women's overstock section that I'm going to take a look at for myself. It's brrr.... cold outside and I've only got about 4 sweaters in good condition.

Here is a sweater that I LOVE! Normally $69.50 -- on sale for $29.99!!!! IT's the kind of sweater that my Mom used to wear in the 60's with all the beaded details. Pretty, no?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

But he does have some skills

I know what I'm good at. And what I'm not.

The Hubs? Home electrical? Nope. Home plumbing? Nope. Connecting electronics? Nope.

But the Hubs? He DOES have skills when it comes to cars. He's been changing the oil in his vehicle since he purchased it almost 19 years ago. YES. He's still driving the same car that he had before we even met. He can change a tire with no problem. He can jumpstart a vehicle like there's no tomorrow.

And right now? He's in the process of removing his car battery.

Um....It's 7:20am. He's normally on his way to work.

When he went into the garage at 7am, he found that his car battery was dead. D-E-A-D. No life whatsoever.

So what's the game plan? Calling Triple A? Nope. He's going to drive the kidlings into school. On the way back he'll pick up a new car battery. And how does he know what kind to buy for his almost 19 year old car? THAT is the reason he's out there right now taking out the old one. This way he can return the used up one and get a brand spanking new one of the same model. Then he'll just pop the new one into his car, get changed into work clothes, and drive on in. It's in this kind of situation that he has a plan.

Yes. He's changed out the batteries in our cars. Since we live in Arizona, our batteries only last a few years. Short life, eh? The heat saps the lifeblood out of car batteries. Like most things, the batteries always go out without a warning. Luckily, the Hubs battery was dead here at home. And the last time my car battery died it was in the Bear's preschool parking lot after I'd dropped him off. And the time before that? It was in our townhouse carport.

So for his lack of ability in certain things? I'm kinda okay with it. We can hire professionals to get out of a fix for the most part. Just the fact that he knows how to deal with a regular oil change and an emergency car battery situation, I guess, balances everything out.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Technically challenged moment

You know how it goes. When stuff breaks? It's always at the most inopportune moment.

Yes. Something happened Tuesday morning before my sister came.
Bear: Mom! The light in the laundry room is going on and off by ITSELF!
He was pretty anxious, so I ran to see what was going on. And the light was flickering. 2-second analysis? One of the bulbs had blown. It was one of those ceiling flourescent fixtures.
Me: Babe? The light in the laundry room is out.
Hubs: Okay. Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it.
Does that answer sound familiar to you? Oh...that phrase. It kills me every time I hear it.

Tuesday? Comes and goes.

Wednesday? Comes and goes.

Thursday? Comes and goes.

Friday? Comes and goes.

On Saturday morning, I ran out by myself to get some cash and gas. I stopped by the Ace Hardware and picked up a 2-pack of bulbs.
Me: Babe? Bring the A-frame into the house, would you?
Hubs: Why? What's up?
Me: Uh. I bought the bulbs we needed for the laundry room.
Hubs: Oh yeah! I forgot about that.
Me: Okay...
So he brings the A-frame into the house. We have a 10-foot ceiling in the laundry room. And our laundry room? It doesn't have a window. And it's at the end of a dark hallway. So I had to bring a flashlight into the room. Yeah. Not an ideal situation.

The Hubs climbs up the ladder and checks things out. He looks this way and that. Pokes at the light fixture.
Hubs: Can you get a Philips and a flathead screwdriver?
Me: What? Why?
Hubs: Because I'm going to have to take off this end piece to get the bulb out. [He is pointing at the end of the fixture]
Me: Why don't we take a look at the fixture in the garage so you can actually take a better look at it?
Hubs: Okay.
So he brings the ladder into the garage. It's only about 10 feet from the laundry room to the garage light fixture. It's not like he had to drag the ladder a whole long way. He then climbs up the ladder and checks things out there.
Hubs: Yup. Looks like I'm going to have to take that end piece off.
Me: Wait. No. That's not right.
Hubs: Babe. There is no other way.
Me: Let me get up there and look first.
Hubs: Okay, but I'm telling you there's no other way.
He climbs down and I climb up. I fidget with the thin plastic cover. And I pull it off. He looks at me dumbfounded.
Hubs: How'd you do that?
Me: It's a thin piece of flexible plastic. It's supposed to come off.
Hubs: It is?
Me: Yes honey. Look how the bulb is attached to that end piece that you wanted to remove. The end metal pieces are what hold the bulbs.
Hubs: Oh. Okay.
So he goes back into the laundry room and successfully changes out both bulbs.

I guess the Hubs was never bored enough at school to watch the janitors change out bulbs. Or to notice the broken light fixtures that didn't have the thin frosty plastic over the fixture.


So for those of you who didn't already know? Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. That is the most mind-boggling phrase I hear. Because I end up having to getting things started and having to monitor whatever he says he'll take care of. At least I'm teaching him some useful skill though, eh?


But no matter how much I get frustrated, I love him to the very tips of my toes. I do.

Back to school

Who else is doing the "happy dance" this morning?

Me. Me. ME!!!!

The kids are chilling out for a few minutes. I'll be driving them to school in a bit. They're both dressed. They've both got their socks on. Their lunchbags and backpacks are packed. They each have their jackets next to them.

It's not like I don't like them here. It's more of the fact that when I have to work, I feel gulty that I'm not focusing on them. [sigh]

Now that they're going back to school? I know that they're with their buddies. That they're with their teachers who are enriching their minds. Keeping them occupied. Making their day fun and full of activity.

Me? I'm going to be relishing in drinking a hot cup of coffee in its entirety without being interrupted. Then? I'm going to tackle the 50+ emails I've received since Friday. ARGH!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Week in Review Jan1-3

There's a lady that I read every day. I enjoy her wit. I enjoy what she writes about her kids. And what she's doing has inspired me. She is taking photos every day. And selecting a favorite. And posting daily. DAILY!

As much as I wish I had the dedication to post daily. I can be swamped. I can get over-whelmed. I am going to do a weekly photo post. A week in review of my favorite photos rather than a daily post.

So here goes....

January 1 - The Bear was testing out his Nerf gun and was shooting up into the sky. He was seeing how FAR the little missile darts would go.

January 2 - I took a glance at the front door after we all ate breakfast. I couldn't get over how lovely the sun looked as came into the house.

January 3 - I got the Princess in motion as she tackled one of the Wii characters at tennis. Her hair was flying and her so were her arms & legs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's 3pm and I'm tired.

We stayed up until just after midnight. ALL. OF. US.

And we had more people in the house than I expected.

Around 1pm, I got a call. From Shorty. Turns out that he and LilSis were just about to drive out here. SIX. HOURS.

Why? So that we could all be together to celebrate the new year.


Since my folks are out of the country. And BigSis#2 was out here already? LilSis wanted to be here too.

So LilSis and Shorty got here around 11pm. They lost an hour during the drive due to the time zone change. And we were all together when midnight rolled around.

It was great.

BigSis#2, Jello, Mickey & Theo are driving back home right now.

They left Kay here. She'll be getting a ride back home with LilSis and Shorty tomorrow.

So this week it's been REAL busy here. But it's been fabulous seeing my family.