Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weeks in Review Feb8-28

Oh my goodness! I am so WAY behind with my photos. I've been swamped and haven't been grabbing my camera every day. [sigh]

February 8 - The kids were playing/wrestling in the Princess' room. I couldn't help but hear them laughing and giggling upstairs. I was drawn to go up and check things out. They heard me and had these little "guilty" smiley faces.

February 10 - The two take turns on my laptop. They like to play on Poptropica and Webkinz. The Bear checks out what the Princess' is doing. Can you see how intently he watches what's going on?

February 11 - Again the two have their heads together. That HUGE-mungous hat that the Bear is wearing? It's from our visit to San Diego. We HAVE to go to El Torito every time we're in San Diego. The Hubs loves their Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas. I found out at my last visit there that they no longer make my all-time favorite, Spinach Enchiladas. They've replaced it with Vegetables Enchiladas. [sniffle-sniffle]

February 18 - Here are the hot air balloons that recently were being blown-up in the subdivision adjacent to ours. The kids couldn't believe how close the balloons were to our house. You see how the Bear is waving at the balloon? Well, the balloon went directly over our house and we yelled "Good morning" up to them and they yelled "Good morning" back to us. It was fantastic!

February 20 - Look at all the stuff I've got on my passenger seat. Those plastic bags? They've got cookies in them. I don't know about you, but when I'm on the go I always drink my coffee with a straw. I find that it's "safer". I don't have to worry about unsecure lids and coffee spilling all over the place.

February 24 - Here is the one hot air balloon that had just passed over our house again. Isn't it pretty?

February 26 - Here are the kids on the way to the coffee shop. Sunny. Warm. We all had a good time. AND we got yummy snacks. Do you see how slender the Princess' legs are? She's just skin and bone!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Notable new items to my menu

On Wednesday, I chose to make a new chicken dish. Oven-baked chicken.

Since it listed chicken on the bone? I made drumsticks instead of thighs. This way the kids would be able to have a portion that would fit into their tummy. Nothing bigger than what they'd need. It ended up being yummy. The Hubs and the kiddos enjoyed it, so this version of chicken is going to be a keeper.

We did end up with leftover chicken. And so? I opted to make chicken fried rice yesterday for lunch. I have to admit. It was the very FIRST time I'd made fried rice for us. Uh...yeah. I never have ever, ever made us fried rice.

Here is the rice sitting in the pan. I'd just turned off the heat. I shredded the carrots instead of cutting them so the kids wouldn't mind them so much. And how my first batch? It was super yummy.

And here is what the kids' ended up with. Rice. Strawberries. Bananas. YUM! The Princess had 3 portions of rice. She really enjoyed it.

I now just ate the leftovers from yesterday. It was only a teeny-tiny bit. Less than a cup of rice. But now? I'm hankering for more! Next time I make this fried rice? I'm going to totally make a bigger batch. BIGGER!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What to do? What to do?

The kidlings have today and tomorrow off. Yes. Off of school.


Because the RODEO is in town.


Yes. All the schools in our city have today and tomorrow off. Because the Rodeo is in town. This is why the kids in our area don't get President's Day off. Because they have today and tomorrow off.

Do we live in the "country" or what?

It's a beautiful day to have off of school though. Last night we told the kids that they'd get to sleep in this morning.

The Bear was up at 6am. The Princess came downstairs at 6:30am. They did NOT sleep in. AT. ALL.

So I worked a couple hours this morning. I'm taking a few hours to be with the kids. We walked to the coffee shop mid-morning. Actually, the kids used the scooters as you can see below. They let me in the dust as I walked.

The Bear is cracking up below at something his sister is explaining in her flamboyant way.

We also went to the DVD rental store and got movies. The kiddos played in the front for about half an hour while I pulled weeds. The Princess took some time to run and down our street. I love watching her when she runs as her hair flies behind her.

They are busy watching Madagascar 2 and I'm just cooling down.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Clean? or Not Clean?

Remember how I told ya that my washer is broken?

I ended up going to the laundromat today.


When we lived across town at the rental townhouse, there was a laundromat about a mile from us. I didn't mind going there because it was convenient and super-duper clean.

The one closest to our current home? It's an old place. So my visit today wasn't the most enjoyable. Thankfully, I had my little MP3 player that has a built-in radio. I was able to listen to some talk-radio while I waited for my stuff to finish.

I always observe other people. Even when it doesn't look like I'm watching. I listen. I'm aware of those around me I make sure I remember who is in a room with me. Whose stuff is near me. It's just the way I am.

I thought it curious when one lady actually went to the restroom at the back of the laundromat. I was using the washers about 10 feet away, so I saw her go in. Not 5 minutes later? Another lady went up to the restroom and tried the door.
Her: Is someone in there?
Me: Yeah. I saw a lady go in there a while ago.
Now...not one but TWO ladies went to use the restroom. At the laundromat. At almost hte same time. Huh? When the kids and I go out and do errands, I make sure they use the bathroom before we leave the house. Why? So we won't have to use the public restrooms. I'm not being a germy-phobe. It's just if I can prevent a visit to an unknown restroom then why chance it?

Then there was the lady who was removing her clothes from the dryer. And dropped about 5 items on the floor. She just picked them up and threw them in with the clean clothes. Like it was no big deal. Now...when you're at a laundromat, are you EXTRA careful to make sure you don't drop stuff? Especially when you're removing the clean items and putting them into your bag/basket?

But I must say that the three Hispanic men who were in there washing clothes were VERY polite. When I got there I had to take my baskets in one at a time. And each time I went in, they'd open up the door for me. How nice was that?'s funny what you see when you're out and about. Especially when you're somewhere that you don't normally visit. So what's the strangest behavior that YOU've seen today?

Your love is like a tidal wave...

Yes. It is.

Not me. My daughter.

She apparently has stomped on a little boy's heart.

She's eight.

On the Friday before Valentine's Day, she came home with a big grocery paper bag. It was filled with Valentine cards and candy from all the kids in her class. The Bear also had a bag. After dinner that Friday, the Hubs and I sat on the couch and watched the kids open their cards. The Princess read her cards out loud. I helped the Bear read his. I filtered the "good" candy out for the kids. I threw the rest of the candy into the trash.

The Hubs' eyes popped open when the Princess pulled out a gift bag. It was a gift from one person. A boy in her class. It had a necklace and bracelet in it. It also had a stuffed animal in it. Of course, it had a card in it as well. Before the little boy (LB) signed his name, he wrote "I love you".

I didn't find out until today, but I guess she broke the little boy's heart that day. I spoke with the little boy's Mom (LBM) today after school.
LBM: You know? LB actually was crying on Valentine's Day.
Me: What?
LBM: I guess that he wnet up to Princess and asked her if she'd be his Valentine.
Me: Okay...
LBM: She told him no.
Me: She did? Well...she's doing exactly what my husband told her. He told her that she's not allowed to have a boyfriend until she's already in college.
LBM: Oh...that's what it was.
Me: Yeah...
LBM: Well, he's telling everyone that it was the "Worst day of my life!"
Me: Oh no!
LBM: He was telling his grandmother yesterday.
Me: Oh gosh.
LBM: What made it even more traumatic is because how SassyGirl reacted.
Me: SassyGirl? What happened?
LBM: Well, LB gave SassyGirl a special Valentine gift last year. When she found out that she didn't get one this year? She actually went up to his face and said "I didn't want to be your Valentine anyway!"
Me: She did not!
This is EXACTLY the reason why I don't see the point of little elementary kids giving each other "special boy-girl" presents. It causes unnecessary angst and drama.

But I tell you what folks...the Hubs was tickled pink about the Princess' response to LB. We can both just imagine the look on the Princess' face when she said she wouldn't be LB's Valentine. Oy! The Princess just enjoys everyone in her class. She doesn't have any favorites with all the boys. She treats them all basiclaly the same. The Hubs said the Princess is a little heartbreaker -- I have NO idea where she gets that from! Do you? He-he-he!
You're a heartbreaker
Dream maker, love taker
Don't you mess around with me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday...last day of indulgence?

The station that I listen to in the morning has a discussion going on about today being Fat Tuesday.

Today is basically the day that Catholics select something to give up for the next 40 days. As a non-Catholic I've never had to take this type of denial. But what would you give up? The station's website has a poll going on it asking what would be the hardest thing to give up.

* Blackberry/Cellphone?
* Internet?
* TV?
* Dessert?

Which one of these items would be the hardest thing for you to give up? For myself, the hardest thing to give up would be the internet. I work through the internet. You know, I work from home so I need internet access to log into all the places I need to get things done. The easiest thing for me to give up would be dessert. I enjoy desserts when I eat them, but I don't eat them much. I guess that's why I enjoy them so much. I relish in it when I do indulge. Hmmm...

Right now is also time for those who follow Catholicism to give up meat on Fridays until Easter. In high school I was one of the only Filipino people who would be eating a cheeseburger on Fridays. You should have see the LOOK on people's faces of my fellow Filipinos when they'd see me munch into a burger.
Them: Grace! It's FRIDAY! No meat!
Me: No worries. I'm not Catholic.
Y'all it was so funny at the look of shock on their faces. A non-Catholic Filipino? The horror! My family was maybe one of less than a handful of Filipino families in our community that weren't Catholic. Of course, I knew all the other families that weren't Catholic. We were the ones who had meat on Fridays during Lent. We were the ones who didn't have to go to CCD in the middle of the week. We were the ones who didn't have to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas. Yeah. We were different. What's funny is that I never cared or even noted the difference in my family's religion than anyone else's until I got to high school.

So are you giving up anything during Lent? Even if you aren't Catholic, do you choose to give something up?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh the JOY of washing

Take a look at my laundry room.



That's my washer in pieces.

On Saturday, I was doing the kids' clothes. Did the Princess' stuff first and I heard a bit of rattling. I then did the Bear's on the gentle cycle. And I heard definite rumblings. I ended up taking his clothes out and manually rinsing them in the sink in our laundry room. I then rung them out as much as possible before tossing his clothes into the dryer.

So today? The repair guy came. On TIME I might add. Even though he didn't call a half hour before like he was supposed to. He took the washer apart. Shook some parts. Did some analysis.

He could NOT repair the thing.

The part we need has been ordered. He'll be back with another guy to fix the washer. He'll be back NEXT Monday.


He won't be able to come back until NEXT MONDAY to get the new part in. And he's going to have to bring another guy with him. Because they're going to have to change out the DRUM! ARGH!

Thankfully I've finished washing the kids clothes from last week. But, hey? The Hubs and my stuff is piled up. [sigh]

------------------Update @5:30pm------------------

The Hubs just got home and I broke the news to him. The part is covered by our warranty.

We still though need to pay for the labor. I found out the guy and his counterpart will need about 2 to 3 hours for the job.

And that's a grand total of $275 out-of-pocket to get the darn washer repaired.

I mean, we only purchased the thing less than 4 years ago. And we're already having to spend money to get it fixed. [sigh]

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making Mommy Laugh

The kids are talking to my ILs. The Hubs finished talking to his folks and handed his cell to the kids.Here is what I just overheard.

MIL: What're you doing?
Bear: Watching the Weather Channel.

Followed by silence.

That response must have stumped her, eh?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Toying with a 9/80


What's that you might ask.

It's where you work 80 hours in 9 days rather than 80 hours in 10 days.

Basically you work a 9 hour day for 9 days in a row.

And on the 10th day? You have it OFF. Woohoo!

In January 1995, I worked in a company where a 9/80 work schedule was established. Our regional VP found out about the program in November 1994. She made sure that all the accounting managers were aware of the new program. In December 1994, our accounting group had a team meeting to decide what days we'd be off. We decided to keep Tuesdays to Thursdays full team days. Everyone would be in. So we got to choose which Monday or Friday we'd start taking our 10th day off.

It seemed that a bunch of people wanted Fridays off. I was more strategic. I looked at my calendar. Back in those days we still celebrated Lincoln and Washington's birthdays separately in February. The holidays were on Mondays - two weeks apart. So what did I do? I made sure that I started my 10th day off the Monday in-between those two holidays. Yes. I did. I ended up with 3 three-day weekends in a row. THREE of them! It was glorious!

What's funny was the response I received from those who choose the alternate Monday off. They said I was I was "lucky" for selecting my 10th day off when I did. They ended up losing their 10th day off due to national holidays. Suckers! It's called planning WAY in advance. But that's just me, you know? Anal me. The one who likes to stay in control. The one who tries her darndest to stay ahead of the game. Anyway...

Fourteen years later, we're facing a slow economy. Are companies looking at a 9/80 work period? What it equates to is fewer cars on the road. Less gas being used. Happier employees that get an extra day off. So is your company adjusting your work week???

Itchy and Scratchy

Oh good golly!

It's 4:30am.

I'm awake.


Because my cough started acting up when I rolled over in bed.

I had to get up and take some cough stuff to get some relief.

And now I'm still up. AGH!

I think today will be a good day for a nap.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beauty of the day

This afternoon when I drove to get the kids from school, I saw a rainbow. It wasn't raining where I was. The rainbow was so faint. Maybe because the sun was shining towards it.

I went into the school to get the kidlings. I spent about 15 minutes in the school chatting with some of the teachers. I also delivered some cookies.

I figured in my mind that the rainbow would be gone by the time we got back into the car. But as we pulled out of the parking lot? I saw the rainbow. And it was deeper in color. It looked amazing.

Me: Kiddos. Look! There's a rainbow!
Princess: Where? [I point to the east]
Bear: Right there Sissy.
Princess:'s so pretty!

We all ooh'd and aah'd at it as I continued the drive home. The kidlings and I like rainbows. We just relish in the sight of them. We especially like the ones that show up when it's not rainy -- like the one today. It was only slightly cloudy too.

What kind of natural phenomenon do you and your kids enjoy?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Getting the sweet stuff

This morning I helped out my neighbor.

My neighbor is the Princess' Girl Scout Troop Cookie Coordinator.

And how did I help out?

I went to go pick up the cookies!

Our local coordinator did a great job getting everything organized from my "virgin" eyes. They had a couple BIG moving trucks. Then they had three designated sections for pick-ups. All the different troops had a specific time that they were supposed to pick up their orders. Each troop seemed to have 2 or 3 vehicles picking up for their girls. And they'd drive to their designated section as directed from the person at the front of the parking lot. Then they had a group of people to get the boxes in order and to put them into our vehicles.

Do you SEE all the stacks of cookies in the background?

Here's a sample stack of cookies on pallets.

Here are the cookies that they loaded into my vehicle. The boxes weren't stacked square so they toppled over when I stopped at the first intersection. And do you see that my car has boxes and boxes of Thin Mints! Ah-yay-yay!

The Princess and I are finished separating our boxes into specific orders. We've done "thank you" notes and put everything into recyclable plastic bags. Oh yeah. So tomorrow we're ready to deliver the cookies. Yeah! Fun!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Delivery time!

Tomorrow morning I'll be heading out to help the Princess' Girl Scout Leader pick-up cookies. Yes. The girls will be getting their cookies tomorrow afternoon. So be forewarned! All of you who've ordered cookies from neighborhood girls should have your checks ready.

I plan on spending the afternoon helping the Princess sort out cookie orders into bags. [sigh]

What a way to spend Valentine's Day, eh?

As far as I know the Hubs doesn't have any kind of special activity for the two of us planned. plans to help the Princess won't clash with anything.

I myself haven't ordered any cookies. I know that I'll be able to buy some for the next few weeks. The Princess' troop already has a scheduled planned out for their cookie booths. Last week, the girls dedicated some time to making signs for their booth. They had a BLAST making the signs.

So be prepared! There was be Girl Scouts outside your favorite grocery stores in the next few weeks. Cookies for Sale!

My personal favorites are the Trefoils (aka Shortbread) followed by the Samoas (aka Caramel deLites). The people that placed orders with the Princess also seem to have a love of Samoas, as this particular cookie has twice as many boxes ordered than any other cookie, except one. This other cookie tied in popularity with the Samoas on the Princess' order sheet. Can you guess what it is? The Thin Mint. I have to say, I can't stand the Thin Mint. Mint and chocolate? My palate cannot stand the two flavors mixed together. This aversion has to stem from something in my childhood because I can't remember a time that I didn't dislike the very thought of the two flavors together. Of course, the Hubs thinks I'm "kookie" for not enjoying the flavors in combo.

When something happens when you're young, it kind of stays with you. It's kind of like how BigSis#2 can't stand the smell of fresh-cut grass. That's right. Freshly-cut grass makes her feel nauseous. Why? When she was in 1st or 2nd grade, she saw an older teenage boy getting beat up by another teenager as she walked home from school. Someone had just finished cutting their grass so that aroma was in the air. The association of that smell takes her back to how she felt seeing that boy getting beat up.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moments that make me go...hmmmm?

My son and his friends tend to confuse me. They do. They're in kindergarten. Go figure, eh?

Tuesday afternoon when I picked the kids up from school I found out that the Bear didn't have his sweatshirt. Not one sign of it.
Me: Bud, where's your sweatshirt?
Bear: I forgot it at school.
Me: Oh. So tomorrow make sure to throw it into your backpack. Okay?
Bear: Okay Mom.
Wednesday morning I dropped the kids off at school. The Bear's best friend's Mom (BBFM) walked up to me.
Me: Hi there!
BBFM: Um. BBF has the Bear's sweatshirt? [I always put an iron-on nametag in the kids' jackets]
Me: Oh really? I thought the Bear just left it at school yesterday.
BBFM: Yeah. I noticed it this morning when I was packing BBF's bag.
Me: Oh?
BBFM: I told BBF to give the Bear back his sweatshirt first thing this morning.
Me: Okay. Thanks.
I walk over to the boys. I see that BBF is actually taking OFF the sweatshirt. Huh? Now I'd understand if the kid put the sweatshirt in his backpack so he could hand it over to my son, but he was WEARING the sweatshirt.

That just confuses me.


Yesterday morning I noticed some frozen bread on our cutting board that was defrosting.
Me: Honey? Why is there this loaf sitting here?
Hubs: Because we're almost out of bread.
Me: Dear? Did you notice THIS full loaf here? [I move the toaster cover]
Hubs: Oh there's a loaf there? I didn't see it. You've got to stop hiding things from me.
There was a FULL loaf of bread sitting on the counter next to the toaster. And he didn't see it. Um. Really?

Then this morning? He opened up a cupboard and looked in. He closed it without removing anything and then peered into the dishwasher. He closed it without removing anything. I could totally tell that he was confused and that he was looking for something.
Me: Honey? What are you doing?
Hubs: I'm looking for the small container for the Bear's sandwich.
Me: Babe. It's right in the cupboard.
Hubs: It's not in there.
I opened up the cupboard and pointed to the TWO small containers sitting there. He didn't see them. Um. Really?

Oh Lordy-bee! My husband! He definitely has to open up his eyeballs. ARGH!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Get your husbands checked...

Y'all know that I have favorite stores and shops near me.

I have a hair-dresser that I followed from one salon to another.

I go to an authentic Chinese restaurant that's located in a corner shopping mall.

I walk to a coffee shop about 1/4 mile away from my house. The shop is owned by some people who live less than a mile from me. This couple has a son who is best friends with my old neighbor's son (they played football together).

My dentist is in the same shop area as the coffee shop.

I also have a favorite radio morning radio program. On Monday, I found out that the morning radio guy had a minor heart attack after his show on Friday. A heart attack! What's "local" about this guy is that he and his family live nearby. I actually met the guy at the Blockbuster that's about 1.5 miles from my house. He was nice as pie. And now when I email into the show and he reads my comments, he remembers that we've met.

Here's what happened:

After his show, he went home.

He noticed that his chest was kind of tight.

He took a shower thinking it would relax him.

As he was getting dressed, he realized that the tightness hadn't gone away. His chest hurt.

He asked his wife to call 911.

She told him to stop belly-aching. To get dressed. Then she'd take him to the Urgent Care (which is a 1/4 mile from my house).

He walked up to the desk at Urgent Care and said he'd been having chest pain for the last hour.

He immediately was whisked to the back -- much to the chagrin of those who were in the waiting room.

The nurse asked him a couple questions and then took his blood pressure.

Once she got his blood pressure, she bolted to the door. Call 911!

In less than 30 seconds, the room was filled with a bunch of people poking and prodding at him.

Needless to say, an ambulance came and he was rushed to the hospital where tests a-plenty were run.

Turns out that he's got an enlarged aorta.

They also found that one of his heart valve, which should have 3 flaps only has 2 flaps. Not a problem now but would most likely cause problems later on in life.

After about 72 hours in the hospital, the guy has released. He's now on blood thinning medication and blood pressure medication.

In about 6 weeks, the guy will have open heart surgery to fix/replace his aorta and address his valve issue.

But y'all? He's only 36 years old and he had a heart attack. THIRTY SIX! He's a husband. He's a father of two boys, who are 3 and 5. He doesn't smoke and rarely drinks. He's got a few more pounds on his frame than he should but he's far from obese.

What's crazy is this radio guy is not unique. Last summer the manager at the Blockbuster? He had also heart surgery. The manager is a husband. He's a father of a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. And he is 39 years old.

So PLEASE make sure your husband get checked. We all know how our husbands refuse to see the doctor. But please get them into the doc at least ONCE a year to get themselves checked out. And if they have chest pain? Please make sure they go into the nearest medical facility to get checked. Please.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting Ready for a Seasonal Change

I received a lovely package in the mail today. Guess what was in it?


Yes. I already purchased swimsuits for the kids. The Weather Channel may only have us with a low of 31 degrees and a high of 67 degrees for tomorrow, but I already have cute swimsuits for the kiddos. What's even better about the entire purchase is that I got the swimsuits on sale. The Princess got two tankini tops and two bottoms for about $35. The Bear got two swimshorts for $30. The kids HAD to get new suits now. Why? Because they're starting back into lessons in a few weeks. Remember?

Oh...I just LOVE a good sale. Especially when I don't have to go to the mall.

Funnier still? I've got more packages coming in from other stores. The Bear will be getting his shorts from Kohl's once again. I've always bought the Bear's shorts from Kohl's. He likes the basic athletic styles and the roomy cargo shorts. What was great was that over the weekend, Kohl's had a 1/2 price sale. So the shorts that are $12 today? Were $6 over the weekend. Can you believe it?

The Princess will be getting her shorts from the Gap this year. Why didn't I get her shorts from Kohl's as well? Because I have to get her bottoms in slim. She cannot wear regular size bottoms. I know that there are a lot of regular sizes that have the adjustable garter waist thingies. But I tried that once and it was a mess. There was way too much gathered material that it never ever fit properly. So I search for slims. Normally, I get her shorts from Lands' End, but they didn't have much of a selection when I looked this weekend. So I went to surf over at the Gap. And they had a bunch of styles in slim. Yeah! And better yet? I had a couple gift cards that I was able to use and only end up paying less than $25. I even was able to get a couple pair of shorts for myself. Even BETTER!

Now those of you who like to shop? You probably noticed that I've not mentioned anything about getting the kids' tops. They've still got short-sleeve shirts that still fit. So we're fine with the tops for now. I'm sure that I'll load up on more in the near future. Old Navy generally has a good variety of inexpensive shirts that are just the answer for our hot, hot summers. If the shirts get paint or are ruined in any way, I can easily buy replacements.

Now when do YOU start buying your kids spring/summer clothes? Where do you like to buy their clothes from?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hello? Anyone?

I'm just curious if anyone is out there.

I haven't received many comments in the last few months. I write for me, so it's okay that I don't see a lot of traffic. But it would be nice every now and again to get a comment. Would anyone notice if I dropped off the face of the blog-o-sphere?

I know that there is a group of folks that I follow every day. Every week. And within the last 2 months there have been a couple people that I've followed for a few years that have made the decision to discontinue their sites. Their decision to stop was for personal reasons. And that is something I totally respect.

I have to tell you....I do miss them. I miss reading about what's going in their lives. I miss their humorous view of life. I miss reading about what their kids are doing. I miss getting a glimpse of their lives through their photography .

I just wanted to express the loss out here. I miss you Holli and Faith! I miss you Kelly, Alex, Isabel, and Philip!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week in Review Feb1-7

Here's the weekly wrap-up in pictures!

February 1 - Most days of the week, the Princess opts to wear a headband. And every weekend, there is a pile of headbands in the kids' upstairs bathroom. The headbands are supposed to be downstairs in the half bath where the kids do their final "prep" for school. No matter how much I remind the Princess to bring the headbands downstairs each morning, we tend to have a multi-colored rainbow of them next to her toothbruth each Sunday.

February 2 - I pull out the kids' backpacks each morning. I put their stuff next to their backpacks - folders, lunchboxes and water bottles. But the kids are responsible for packing their bags every morning. Got a shot of the Bear putting his Cars water bottle into his Cars backpack. Thermos doesn't make the Cars themed water bottles anymore, so I'm glad I bought two of them.

February 3 - I spotted this display while I was out doing errands today. The American Heart Association currently has a campaign to help spread awareness about women and heart attacks. Friday, February 6th, was National Wear Red Day.

February 4 - The Princess found a hat that she'd received AGES ago. She decided to put it on. Doesn't she look so J-Lo -- Jenny on the Block -- circa 2000?

February 5 - I liked how the chairs here made long shadows on the tiled floor. I was pretty mesmerized by it. What ELSE am I going to do while I'm waiting for my car's oil to get changed? But I do have to say that the guys at my local Jiffy Lube were VERY fast. Granted, I got there right at 8am. I was in my car driving home by 8:20am. But it's nice to know that they're efficient and pleasant in the morning.

February 6 - Can you tell that my daughter is going through a purple phase? Purple t-shirt. Purple jacket. Purple dots on her headband. Purple scarf. Yeah. LOTS of different shades of purple. Funny how I don't mind her wearing tons of purple. I really had issues (which I never revealed to her) when she wore tons of pink. Pepto-bismol!

February 7 - The Bear has two piggy-banks in his room. He has a plastic jar that we got from the Discovery store a while back. You can see it on the left there with the blue stars. He also has this hippo. Note how he placed a smily face sticker on its tummy. And has given it some hair with a plastic purple necklace. Yes. He decorated it to make the hippo look more festive. You see my silly guy in the background playing with a lighted twirly gizmo.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time with the kiddos...

...makes me tired!

The morning was normal as normal can be. We woke up and had a lazy morning.

Once the Hubs woke up and had his breakfast? The family went out for a walk. A long walk. Actually, the kids rode their scooters. The Hubs and I walked. And walked. It was good. After that we fixed lunch and relaxed. The Hubs went to the grocery store. Yes. He does that. I stayed home with the kids and tossed the ball on the driveway.

And just now? I'm bushed. You know why? Because I just played Wii boxing with the kiddos. My arms feel fatigued! The Bear is very competitive. He's REALLY good! So I had to really work. The Princess is also competitive. She's more strategic about her movements. After playing 6 rounds? I was so thirsty. THIRSTY!

Now? I'm relaxing on the computer. A lot less streneous THAT's for sure. Whew!

Did I tell you that I've already got the kids signed up again for swim classes? Yup. The kids start lessons the first week in March. We'll be headed to the pool after school. They'll be at it for 4 weeks. Then have a break. Then back again in April for 5 weeks. Yes. It's almost warm enough to go swimming in the afternoon. Woohoo!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Smells yummy [updated]

Today I'm trying out a new recipe.

I found it on Recipezaar a couple months ago. Last night I decided to fix this version of beef stew tonight. Why this version? Because it's a simple crockpot meal. No fancy prep. Not a whole buttload of weird ingredients. Just throw everything into the crockpot on low for 6 hours.

Any new recipes I end up making are of the simple variety. I'm not a natural cook. I need a recipe. And I have a picky husband, so I have to select things that I feel he'll enjoy. There's no point in making something that 1/4 of the family won't enjoy. Actually, I think that I weigh the Hubs taste in the food more heavily than the kids. Just as long as the Hubs likes the food, then I'm happy. The kids will eventually eat whatever we serve. You know? We NEVER make a separate meal for the kids to eat at dinner. NEVER. They either eat what's served or they don't eat. But normally there is SOMETHING in the meal that they eat. The salad. The bread. The fruit. If they don't like the MAIN entree than there's always something else to munch on. So don't fret you people who are concerned about my kidlings tummies.

Right now it's almost 4pm. And the house smells YUMMY! I'm just about to leave and pick the kids up from school. Once we get home, I'll get them started on their homework. And then I'll fix some white rice to go along with the stew. I'm also going to make some cornbread in the cupcake tin. Making the cornbread in cupcake liners makes it easier to serve for dinner.

Additionally, cornbread cooked in cupcake liners makes it easier to keep as leftovers. I end up eating leftovers the next day or two. I also pack stuff up into the Princess' lunchbox. While the Hubs won't eat leftovers, the Princess will definitely eat stuff the day after (just like me). Like today? She had leftover pasta noodles from last night along with meatballs & sauce. YUM! I'm thinking tomorrow she'll include some cornbread and spinach salad into her lunchbox. She can definitely be a good eater. What's funny is that what she eats doesn't show up on her at all. I mean, she's 8 years old, is 4 ft 4 inches tall, and only weights 46.5 pounds! Yup...she's shaped like a stringbean! I go. Gotta get them from school.

What's on for dinner at YOUR house tonight?


I got a thumbs-up on the Hubs for the beef stew I made yesterday. It was very tomato-ey (go figure with 2 tomato-based ingredients) and was sweeter tasting than the other stew I'd made before. The other stew had a more Asian-inspired taste to it.

After 6 hours on low in the crock pot, the meat was VERY tender. The carrots and potatoes were soft as well. The sauce was thicker than my other stew, which was not cooked in a crock pot.

We ended up with left-overs. Once the left-overs cooled down? I threw it all into a freezer bag. That bag is now ready and waiting for when the Hubs and I aren't in the mood to cook. YUM!

Are you ready for some foot...huh?

Sunday was the day of the big football game. The SUPERBOWL!

There are a lot of people who make this particular game day a huge deal. Hosting parties. Getting jerseys. Lots of food. Lots of beer. Yeah. BIG deal for many.

For us? It was another family day. We washed the Hubs car. I detailed the inside and some of the outside. The kids ran up and down the street. Since we were so busy outside, we forgot to give the kids an afternoon snack. They got a little testy with each other as we caught the first 10-15 minutes of the Superbowl. But we decided it was best to head off to an early dinner at Chipotle. We didn't head off to any parties. We did note that a few of our neighbors near us were having parties. There were a LOT more cars parked on the street than normal.

We came home and the kids watched the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. They just LOVE watching those little dogs! The Hubs and I went into the office and did some work while we half-watched the game. No biggie. Just another regular Sunday in Arizona.

But for some folks here in our town? They got a little bit of spice while watching the game on Sunday. Oh yeah!

In the last 3 minutes of the game, Comcast customers who were watching through the standard-definition signal got a 30-second pornography clip from an adult pay-per-view cable channel named Shorteez. Yes. So some guests attending viewing parties got a little more than they bargained for. Anyone who was watching the game through the high-definition signal didn't see the clip that "featured full male nudity" of a "woman unzipping a man's pants, followed by a graphic act between the two" as quoted from a local news source.

Can you believe it? You're watching football with a bunch of people that you wouldn't normally have at your home and then you see porno? AH! I'm sure it was the WORST nightmare for many. Especially if their kids were in the room with them. Can you just imagine how many parents shot across the room to cover their kids eyes? Eek!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Girls share a bit of cheer

The Princess is having a blast with Girl Scouts. She is enjoying meeting the girls. Initially she was quite shy. A lot of the girls are very outgoing and loud. Y'all know the Princess is on the quiet side and very full of thought. I think she's found a nice little groove in the group. She's found the other quiet girl in the group and I think the two hang out with each other.

As it's cookie season right now, the Princess had found that she's enjoying the process. She enjoyed going through our neighborhood and asking folks to help support her troope. She enjoyed emailing our family asking if they'd like to purchase boxes. She is REALLY looking forward to selling cookies in front of our local grocery store. Uh-yeah...she is LOOKING forward to it. Of course, each girl has to have a parent present when their child is at the cookie booth. Yes. We can't just drop off our girls. We have to stay and help. [sigh] But it's all about sharing the goodness from the girls hearts. Smiling. Greeting people. Being polite. Giving people that yearly taste of "home" in a box.

Over the weekend, we found out that one of the girls received a HUGE order for cookies. This order? It's not going to the person who ordered them. It's going to the military. The Girl Scouts have a program where people can purchase cookies that will be donated to military personnel overseas. Did you not know about this program? It's called Troop to Troop. The girls in our troop will be creating cards to send to the troops as well. Cards to say "Thank You" in a way that only little girls can do. Sweet, no?

Now if YOU don't want to eat these cookies, but still want to help the girls do something? When you see any Girl Scouts with a stand outside your local grocery or hardware store, ask them if they are taking Troop to Troop donations. This way you can do something good without having to consume those sweet-tasting calories.

Week in Review Jan25 - 31

Here's the weekly wrap-up in pictures!

January 25 - I have to tell you that there is NOTHING more refreshing to me than the smell of hot, clean towels. Every 2 weeks or so I throw my towels into the washer with a 1/2 cup of bleach. Yes. That smell of classic Clorox bleach reminds me of clean. As you can see from this photo, I've got white face towels. I've also got white towels. ALL my towels are white. Yes. It's true. WHITE towels. And I have two elementary school-aged kids. Why white? Because I can bleach these suckers. And growing up? We never had matching towels. My Mom would buy two or three towels at a time. Our linen closet was filled with an assortment of colors and patterns. I think that's why I also am drawn to thick plain white towels.

January 26 - Here is the Bear waiting impatiently patiently for his turn to take a shower. Yes. My son has taken showers for about a year now. No more baths for my two. They've graduated to showers. Quicker. Less water. And there my boy is laying there waiting for his sister to GET OUT so he can get into bed.

January 27 - This little bear has been with us for over 8 years. It was something that we got at one of the baby showers we had before the Princess was born. This bear, Pastel, is well loved with worn marks. I wonder if my girl is going to keep this until she's an adult. I mean, I still have my favorite bunny rabbit, Pinky, that I received when I was a baby. My Mom said that I used to sock the bunny in the tummy. Why? Because the little bell in it wouldn't work sometimes. RING ya darn bunny. RING! I also have my favorite bear, Daisy, that I received when I was in sick with the chicken pox.

January 28 - While waiting for our turn with Dr. Beth, the Princess and I commenced with a round of hangman. The Princess is a fabulous reader and speller. So it's fun to play this with her. The Bear joins in and helps me guess letters. I always tend to have a pen and pad of paper in my purse when the kids and I go to appointments. Ya never know HOW long you end up having to wait. When we go out to eat? I've got a bag of crayons, stickers, and extra paper in my bag so they can "create" something while we wait for our food.

January 29 - The Bear put this little helicopter together on his own this afternoon. I'm not too sure which restaurant he got it from. He found the "kit" in his art area, so who knows HOW long we've had it in the house. I have to tell you that this thing was tiny. And only little kid fingers could get these bits of paper joined together properly. Isn't it cute?

January 30 - The Bear and the Hubs were lounging on the couch watching tv together. The Hubs is laying on way and the Bear laying the other. The Bear's lets are on top of the Hubs' legs/hips. Don't my two boys look cozy and comfortable together?

January 31 - Saturday night, we broke out this new game of Scrabble. I'd never played this version of the game. Where you can stack letters on top of the letters already on the board. Like the word "moles" originally said "hole". And "noose" originally said "house". It was fun because we had more options to create words. This one is a keeper and will probably become a family favorite like Boggle.