Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Frazzled to my very last nerve [updated]

Oh my good gracious!

I'm frazzled as frazzled can be right now. Why?

Because I'm hearing "something" up in the air duct in the den.

I woke up this morning soon after the Hubs got out of bed. As I finished washing my face, he comes into the bedroom.
Hubs: Babe. Come here.
He had a thoroughly serious tone to his voice so I knew something was up. I quickly followed him. He walked quickly to the den. And then. Stopped.
Hubs: Do you hear that?
Me: What?
Hubs: Listen.
Then I heard it. A russling. Something moving in the duct.

Needless to say, the Hubs has called someone to come in and check out the duct. Someone will be calling around 8am when the shop opens. Funny thing is that the Hubs talked to a live person at 6am when he called. Yes. Someone answered! Hopefully someone wasn't already IN the office. Hopefully that poor gal just has the office phone forwarded to a work cell or something so she can field calls (from anxious folks like us) during the off hours.

Now have YOU ever had anything stuck in your ducts? When? What was it?

--------------- updated
@ 10:15 am ---------------

I do believe that I've found the culprit that made all the ruckus in our vent.

I'd started a load of the Princess' stinky clothes into the washer earlier today and I was going to move things over to the dryer. And I saw THIS on the tile in front of the washer.

It wasn't moving. It was just laying there. So I ran and grabbed a plastic snackbag. And slid the darn thing in there. It still didn't move. I figured that it might have been a plastic bug that dropped out of the Princess' pocket. Something she got from Girl Scout camp? But I wasn't taking any chances.

But I do believe this was the little sucker that was in the A/C vent above our den. You see, the laundry room is on the other side of the wall from the den. So I guess that the bug crawled through the tubing and dropped out of the vent in the laundry room.

I haven't heard any sounds from the vent in the den since I found this sucker.

We are getting a visit from a "pest control" person after lunch today though. If there's one bug? There's gotta be more. bleach!

Monday, June 29, 2009

This is when you know that life isn't fair

We're all out there in the blogosphere. When we're on one site, we click on a link to another site. Who knows? We may enjoy that other writer, right?

The reasons why we begin to follow a site are arbitrary. We may enjoy a person's writing style. We may enjoy a person's sense of humor. We may enjoy their photos. We may feel that a person's life is much like our own. Then there are those whose lives touch our hearts.

Last year I somehow found my way to Michelle's site.

Since she was diagnosed with leukemia, she has fought it. And those around her have bound together for the fight. Because of Michelle and her family and friends, more people are educated about being registered donors.
In August 2007, there were 6,745,950 donors on the registry. A further analysis of the donors found 37,336 Filipinos registered -- that's 0.7% of the entire registry! Only a drop in the bucket. There were 391,128 Hispanic donors (7.1%) and 511,622 African-American donors (9.4%) -- a much more plentiful pool of donors. It's only when you add up all the Asian/Pacific Islanders that you get up to 455,494 donors in all -- 8.5% of the registry.
What I read kept me thinking and a couple weeks after I found her site, I submitted my own mail-in kit to be placed on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry. But the timing of my submission was bittersweet. I found out that one of Michelle's friends lost his own battle with cancer.

Since then Michelle and her loving husband have continued their journey. They temporarily moved away from the Bay Area so that Michelle could receive cord blood cells in the hopes of countering the cancer. It all looked good. They stayed up at the center through the cold winter months

This latest post shook me. 10 days after her last chemo treatment, Michelle's cancer is rearing its ugly head once more. Only TEN days? Michelle has been fighting this thing since 2007 and it still won't let her go. They found that Michelle has a chemo-resistant strain of cancer. And there aren't many options left.

This sucks! Totally sucks! I'm not even related to Michelle. I haven't even meet her in real life. But her site has inspired me. Her strength is awesome. Her humor is infectious. Her love for her family, friends, and her husband is there in her eyes. Goodness exudes from her. And she is faced with "this" realization. And it makes me sad.

So if you've got a couple minutes, could you go over to Michelle's site and leave her a few words of encouragement?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family of three

In less than an hour I'll be dropping the Princess off at her troop leader's house. The girls will be off for the entire weekend to Troop Camp at the Girl Scout campsite up in the mountains.

So we'll be a family of three most of the weekend.

I went to sleep way late last night and just got up a little bit ago.

According to the Hubs, the kids have been playing upstairs quietly since they woke up.

While the Princess is excited about leaving us for the weekend, the Bear wanted to spend "special" time with her before she left him. But let me tell you. The Bear is excited about being the ONLY one in the house for the weekend.

I bought him a new Crayola Star Wars Giant Coloring Pages pad from Tar-jay yesterday when we picked up some additional supplies for the Princess' camping trip. Yes. I got him something fun that he enjoys that we can do together.

I do believe that we'll be heading out for a 3-some dinner tonight. Run some errands. But somewhere in the weekend? I'm sure the Bear will have a breakdown where he'll say "I miss my Sissy" in a pathetic little voice. Nonetheless, I'm sure the Bear will have fun being the only kid we focus on this weekend, while the Princess will just have fun being with the "girls" for a few days.

My fingers hurt like a mutha!

Folks it's about 12:45am and I'm finally done.

Done with what?

I'm now finished sewing patches onto my daughter's Brownie vest.

Eight patches on the back. EIGHT. EIGHT!

I sewed them all by hand. Ya see, I've got no other option. I have no sewing machine. So my thumb (that was sprained about 6 weeks ago) and my pointer finger are aching something mighty.

Some might say that the girl scout patches are iron-on. Yes. That's what they say. But a bunch of folks say that the "iron-on" mechanism doesn't necessarily work in all cases. That the patches should still be sewed on with a simple stitch just to make sure they don't accidentally fall off.

So after getting all the Princess' patches at the last meeting that was held about two months ago, I finally got around to sewing on the patches tonight. You see, the Princess is going to troop camp tomorrow morning. And I have no idea if she needs to bring her vest or not. So my last-minute sewing frenzy, which has been about a 2.5 hour mission, is just in case she is supposed to wear the vest.

Even though I sewed on the eight patches on back of the vest? I still have two more patches that I still need to get on the back. The one she got for caroling and another cookie sale related patch. Then there's the 6 additional try-it patches that I still need to get on the FRONT of her vest. But these will all need to wait for another sewing spree.

Have your little Brownies and/or Girl Scouts been to troop camp already? Or are they still waiting for their weekend to go?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When people say it's easy and they don't know what's going on

You all know that I have issues when people don't communicate properly.

I also have an issue when people assume how long things will take.

This week I got copied on the tail end of an email string about an issue.

Jun 24 @ 8:20AM from Grace's boss to Guy (cc: Grace)
As per your request, the new field has been added to the system. Will you populate the field or would you like Grace to populate the field?

June 24 @ 9:52AM from Guy to Grace's boss (cc: Grace)
Please have Grace populate the field.

Grace - let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

Further down in the email string were about 12 account names with the old number and a new number that needed to be put into the system. So what did I do? I put the new number in for those 12 accounts. That's all that was there so that's what needed to be done. Right?

June 24 @ 12:58PM from me to Guy & my boss
The 12 accounts now have the new number populated in the system.

June 24 @ 1:29PM from Guy to me & my boss
According to the attached file there are 196 accounts with a new number. Can you populate the new field for all of them?

This shouldn't take too long, using a vlookup and mass import...

Say what?

Yes. He bolded that statement in the email. Then he said it shouldn't take too long. With all the crappy account names they have on the list that don't match up with what we have on the system, it takes a bit of time and tweaking to get the stuff to match. I just can't believe his statement that it shouldn't take long. AND that he bolded that statement. I never got any gosh-dang-doodle spreadsheet before. I was only copied on the email string when it became evidenet that I was going to have to do the work to clean stuff up and those emails had NO SPREADSHEET attached to them.


I really dislike it when I feel this way. The pent-up rage that I feel when people assume that I can just stuff at the drop of the hat. Especially when I have other things on my calendar to get done. I kind of anticipate when I need to do stuff for my boss. I get those requests done pretty quick. But other people's stuff? Stuff that comes from out of the blue? That drives me crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being accountable

Every year there is a huge bicycle race in Arizona called El Tour de Tucson.

For the first time last year, a horrific accident occurred during the race.

A driver on the main road going eastbound made a left turn into a resort driveway. The driver failed to realize that a whole slew of riders were riding westbound. The driver's car ended up colliding with 10 bike riders.

The driver apparently stopped the car and checked out the damage to the vehicle. And then drove off. That's right! The driver LEFT the scene. Didn't check on anyone. Just left.

The authorities were informed who the driver was a couple days later.

Five cyclists ended up getting hurt. One rider suffered a life-threatening brain injury and will never fully recover.

The driver was charged with "leaving the scene of an accident causing serious physical injury" but somehow in May the driver pleaded guilty to a less serious charge of "attempted leaving the scene of an accident causing serious physical injury."

I find this crazy. I don't see how this is right. The lesser charger of "attempted leaving"? I don't understand. The driver didn't ATTEMPT to leave. It wasn't an attempt. The driver LEFT!

The Arizona statute requires motorists involved in accidents to stay at the scene, notify authorities of the crash, and provide their insurance info. Obviously, this driver failed to do any of this.

According to the defense attorney, one reason that the driver left was because the driver became frightened when the cyclists began yelling and surrounding the vehicle. Uh yeah? They're injured. They just got run over. Wouldn't you be angry?

The DA also said that the driver didn't notify any authorities because a sheriff's deputy was already nearby (within visual distance). That the deputy could easily call emergency personnel. That his client's lack of action didn't prevent an ambulance from being called. WTF?

And since the driver left there was no exchange of insurance information.

According to the statute? This driver failed on ALL points.

The DA had the audacity to say that the driver shouldn't be forced to pay any type of restitution because the driver didn't cause the crash. Did. Not. Cause. The. Crash? If the driver didn't run into these people, then what did? A gust of air? If the driver had taken more care turning left into the resort, there wouldn't have been a crash at all.

"The sentence in this case sends a bad message to the community," said the county attorney. "If he walks out the door, he's leaving the scene of the accident just like he did that day."

The judge could have given the driver 2 years in jail. The judge opted to give the driver three years of probation. The judge? He said he based his decision on the fact that driver had a clean criminal history and that there was a deputy right there to call for assistance. Do you agree with this? Based upon the state statute, the driver totally ignored the state requirements.

I think that the judge used his heart on this one. I think the judge was swayed by the fact that the driver who caused this horrific accident is a 91-year-old man. And I guess in his eyes? Why send an elderly and ill senior citizen to jail for two years? Who cares that the driver injured five cyclists? Who cares that the driver caused one healthy cyclist's life to turn on a dime? To suffer with such a severe brain injury that he has now been deemed incompetent?

We try to teach our children to make good decisions. To be accountable for their actions. But this? Even though my heart feels for this senior citizen, I can't help but feel the injustice of the judge's decision. What do you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saddened by what I saw and heard

I watched Jon&Kate + 8 since it began years ago.

I watched the first one-hour special and was hooked on the twins and the six.

What I saw on this latest episode saddened my heart.

I could see the earth-shattering sadness in Kate's eyes.

Some people out there have no idea how you can ignore your spouse. When my sister and her husband have a disagreement, they end up making up within an hour or two. Neither one of them can stay mad for long. It's just the way the two of them are made.

The Hubs and I? When we're pissed? We can be in the same room and completely ignore each other. We can sit at the same table and hold conversations with everyone else but each other. We can smile for the kids and laugh with them (not each other). The longest we haven't spoken to each other? A week. Seriously. SEVEN. DAYS.

So the situation that Jon & Kate are going through? I understand the pent-up anger. The lack of communication. It happens. It happens to me every now and again. I totally understand. And my heart aches that they weren't able to find another solution to what has happened to their relationship.

What I wonder now is if the tabloids will leave them alone now that their marriage is officially in shambles? Will the paparazzi move to the next "victim"?

But let me tell you that I know more than a handful of people who are now choosing to no longer support this type of crazy tabloid frenzy. One person I know who would grab 3 gossip magazines a week for decades has vowed to never buy one again. And this person? Doesn't even LIKE Jon&Kate! That's what's amazing. This person doesn't agree with how the tabloids are going about suddenly attacking this family's life. A certified tabloid junkie hasn't purchased any of the weekly mags for about two months now.

Some still might say that Jon & Kate asked for this because they're on tv. I mean they've been doing the show for about 4 years now and the media is suddenly all over them. After four years. And it's not like they're in Hollywood going to fancy clubs and living a fast life. They're in Pennsylvania bringing up their kids the best way they can.


Anyway, I hope that they do find peace. Even ground. A balance for all of them.

Waiting for that phone call [updated]

LilSis and Shorty went into the hospital last night.

LilSis was due on Thursday.

And she still hasn't had the baby!

They went in last night so that LilSis could be induced.

As of 7am, her bag of water is broken and she is now 7cm with an epidural. Apparently she's on a little bit of oxygen to help her breath (I did the same thing).

So now we wait....

------------------- updated @ 12:07pm -------------------

No news yet.

How long did it take for you to get from 7cm to having your baby?

I went through two c-sections so I have no idea how long this last bit might take.

------------------- updated @ 3:50pm -------------------

My newest niece finally made her debut at 1:35pm.

My sister, my BIL, and my niece are now getting to know each other.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day and even though we hit a rough patch earlier this week, the Hubs is my husband. And the Hubs is a great father to the kids.
  • The Hubs wakes the kids up every school morning and makes them breakfast.
  • The Hubs helps the Bear shower every night.
  • The Hubs rinses out the tub and takes the kids' dirty outfits to the laundry room every night.
  • The Hubs makes dinner at least once a week -- makes wonderful use of our built-in BBQ.
  • The Hubs hugs and kisses the kids' when he leaves each morning and when he comes home each night.
  • The Hubs is the "go to" person when the kids are sick in the middle of the night.
  • The Hubs is tender and soft when the kids are feverish and miserable.
  • The Hubs is stern when the kids need an "attitude adjustment".
  • The Hubs plays with the kids outside whenever they want.
The kids are so lucky to have him as their father. He loves them with all his heart. And the kids love and adore him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Green means go

Dear Sir in the White Toyota Truck,

When the car in the left turn lane has the green arrow, this car has the right-of-way.

When you look like you're turning right onto the street where I'm making my U-turn I'm going to honk at you. Just to be sure you know that I'm making my turn. I've seen too many accidents where people making right turns don't even look out for folks making U-turns.

I'm fine with you making your right-hand turn after I complete my U-turn.

I'm fine with you driving in the left-hand lane down the street.

I'm fine with you attempting to make your white truck go fast in the probable chance that you'll pass me to let me know that you're not happy with me.

What I found amusing? Was when about 100 yards up a beat-up mini-van decided pull out onto the street in front of us. And that mini-van chose to drive really slow in the left-hand lane where you were at.

What I found even more amusing is that you had to step on your brakes to not run into the person.

What make my tummy start to tickle even more was that you ended up changing lanes and getting behind me because the mini-van was going too slow. Too slow for you to pass me.

What made me sure that you were an idiot was when you turned right into a parking lot soon after you got into the lane behind me.

What made me laugh out loud (and I'm sure that the kids thought I'd lost it) was when you started yelling out your window at me as you turned into the parking lot.

Yes. You seriously were in a rush. To make it to the 99-Cent store.

Dude, I hope my U-turn didn't make you lose out on any deals there at the store!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

How watchful are you?

CityMama wrote an interesting article yesterday about her under-10-aged kids and television.

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I'm pretty mindful of what the kids watch.

We aren't into the kids watching those kid-focused stations like Nickelodeon or Disney or Cartoon Network. Why? Because I can't stand all those commercials. You know what I'm talking about. Those commercials publicizing all that unnecessary stuff. Products I don't want to buy the kids. Junk that I don't want cluttering my house.

Thankfully, the kids know not to ask if they can watch Nickelodeon or those other stations. Why? Because when we moved to this house about four years ago we told them that we don't get those stations. That we'd have to pay extra for those stations and we're not doing it. Yes. The kids can SEE those stations listed when they're looking through the guide. But if they enter in one of those stations? A window comes up in the middle of the TV asking for a code. And I told them that we don't have an access code for it since we don't pay for those stations. Yes. I set up a "parent" code for those stations. And the kids think it's there because we don't pay for those stations. Ha! Yes I'm a sneaky one.

Of course, when we go visit family the kids end up watching those stations. But that limited exposure to the commercials when we're visiting is a far better balance than if we let them watch those stations here at home. They get less exposure to certain elements we'd rather not have them exposed to.

We really don't like the behavior of the kids and the animated characters. Have you ever really watched Sponge-Bob?All kinds of sassy there. I'm not okay with the excessive sassiness. If I let them watch that show? That would be the same as me "okay'ing" the behavior. You know? I can barely handle the kids when they're tired and cranky. I don't need any additional tv inspired sassiness to elevate their bad behavior. I think I'd lose my she-ite regularly if my kids started displaying any of the behavior they saw on those programs.

What BigSis#2 laughs at is that I will let the kids watch Animal Planet most any time of the day. I can handle animals being analyzed. I can handle the animals hunting and eating each other. The animals have to live. I'd much rather the kids learn about animals than learn about how mean people can intentionally be towards each other. That people choose to be horrible to each other. For no good reason.

Now where do you stand on letting kids watch tv?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Touch this and that

The kids and I headed out for our weekly outing.

Today's destination? Our local Children's Museum.

Ours is a very small establishment, but it's surprisingly in a nice building with ample parking. I was pleasantly surprised to find a parking spot that was under the shade of a large tree. Shade? Any parking spot that has shade is PRIME real-estate in these here parts. Especially when it gets past 100 degrees.

Even though it was small, the kids had a good time. They explored quite a bit. They enjoyed the rock-climbing wall. They especially enjoyed the magnet wall with all the pipe fixtures where they could create their own little "ball slide". They each made unique creations that actually worked.

What I did NOT enjoy was when a large group of about 15 kids came into the room we were in. It was a group from a day camp. They were LOUD. They were pushy. I had to sit and take a couple deep breathes. The kidlings came up to me a couple minutes later and said that they wanted to leave that particular room because it was too loud for them. Too loud for my kids? Then it MUST have been loud.

Now that I know that they enjoyed this particular museum, I am making plans to take them to a much larger children's museum. I've already started researching the other museum. From the photos, the place looks fabulous. I think I can make a day-trip out of it too. It'll be tiring but I think the kids are up for it. I just have to figure out what week I want to tackle the adventure.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still in silence

It's Monday around 10:30pm.

The Hubs still hasn't spoken to me.

Not one word since last night around 9pm.



The last thing I told him was --
I would NEVER let anyone in my family treat you the way your family treats me. You didn't even back me up. You just threw me out to the wolves.
Dramatic enough for you?

He babbled some retorts back to me but I have no idea what he said because I'd already walked off to take a shower.

Images of happy memories

Do you see how awesome Darth Maul's makeup is? As he walked by me and the Bear, I started to giggle. Darth stopped and looked at us. The Bear? He put his little boy hand over my mouth and said "Sh...sh...sh..." Made me want to crack up even more.

These Centurians certainly looked like they were holding super-heavy guns. I'm sure these were plastic items but who could tell?

This is the swinging ferris wheel that made the Princess and the Bear nervous. Their feet couldn't reach the floor of the carriage so they had to hold onto the side-cage wire when the basket would swing. Hearing the Princess with her high-pitched little screams was too cute. She'd scream a little and then say "Sorry...sorry!"

This was a little kid ride in the Bugs Life area of California Adventure. It was a quick ride but doing small rides was a good break after doing the big ones. Also, we waited under the shady trees.

These bumper cars were FUN! The Princess drove one of these on her own while I pushed the pedal for the Bear in another "car". We only had to wait 5 minutes to get into this one.

The kids had a blast watching the High School Musical show. We knew all the songs and the dancers were VERY perky. Definitely a good show to watch.

Livid beyond belief

My husband and I are not talking.


Because yesterday his mother called him -- not me -- to make arrangements.

Yes. She called him as we all sat on the couch watching Independence Day. It was a short call and he agreed with whatever she was saying. He didn't look at me one iota during the call. But after he turned and said --
Hubs: The kids will be up at my Mom's until Thursday.
Yes. He told his Mom that she could have the kids until Thursday. He didn't even give me a time that we should expect them home. If they come home Thursday night, then they'll miss two swim lessons. TWO of the TEN lessons I signed them up for and paid for.


Needless to say I walked off in a huff. And then got on Facebook and wrote a status of

..hates it when people assume we don't have plans...

That was posted around 2:30pm my time. Around 5pm the Hubs went off to pick up some dinner. He came into the house all hot and bothered.
Hubs: What are you writing on there? [looking at the computer]
Me: Uh..why?
Hubs: Because my Mother just called me and said "If the visit is too much trouble for Grace then we won't take the kids."
Y'all? My MIL is not on Facebook. I have only "friended" 5 people in my Hubs family. Two of his female cousins who live far away. A male cousin who lives far away. A married in gal. And my BIL.

So? Guess who probably "tattle-taled" to his Mother on what I wrote on FB? My big-mouthed BIL. Can you believe it? Like I wouldn't be able to figure out who the SNITCH was. It's so high school. It's so petty. Like we've all written a status on FB out of anger. Out of irritation. Just to vent. Right? Like I couldn't vent?

Needless to say? I will be removing ALL of the Hubs relatives from my 'friend' list. One bad apple spoiled it for the bunch. None of them have my trust anymore (even though I'm almost 100% sure it was my BIL who did it). And when you lose my trust? You fill in the blank there with your own conclusion.

So as of now the Hubs and I aren't talking to each other because he blames the entire situation on me. Because of the one comment I wrote. Of course, he is not at fault. All he had to do was turn to me and say "My Mom wants to take the kids until Thursday" and I would have given him another possible visit scenario. Of course, it's not my MIL's fault for calling her son instead of the person who is at home with the kids every day and keeps their schedule. Nope. It's no one else's outward actions (and basic disrespect of me) that caused the situation. It's just me and my one written statement that isn't pointed at anyone directly. But is a statement that went out into the web-o-sphere.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Definitely a fun & tiring week

Yes. I'm SO late with this but I've finally written it all out. Whew!

The drive out was long, but basically uneventful. I did wait TOO long to stop though. I had to go to the bathroom SO bad I couldn't barely walk properly. But where I stopped was definitely not an ideal place to stop. The ladies bathroom had an "old" smell to it and the only stall available when I walked in there had a broken seat. BROKEN! So I definitely would not recommend stopping at the SunMart-Texaco in Quartzsite that's right off the I-10. Yuck alert!

I have to say that the Red Lion staff ROCKED! They were pleasant and helpful. When we checked in the front desk was all smiles.
Front Desk: Hi! May I help you?
Me: Yes. I'm just checking in. Grace?
Front Desk: Oh yes. Here you are. Two queen beds. Any preference on if you want a lower floor or an upper floor?
Me: No preference. We just want to have a quiet room so the kids can sleep.
Front Desk: Not a problem. Do you want to have a Disney view?
Me: Oh. I didn't know that was available.
Front Desk: Yes. We've got a room on the 8th floor with a Disney view that's available. It'll be quiet since it's the top floor and no one will be above you.
Me: Oh great!
Front Desk: Yes. You'll be able to see the fireworks from there too.
Can you believe it? We got WAY more than I expected. And what's even better? Is that the beds were super-duper comfy. The kids fell asleep in no time flat each night.

We left home around 8:30am and arrived at the hotel around 4pm. After we checked in? I let the kids hit the pool. Yes. We weren't going to hit Disney until the next day so the rest of our travel day was open. No commitments. So I felt the pool would be a good treat for the kids since they were so good in the car.

We ended up eating a late dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at Gardenwalk. Doesn't the Princess look happy to be where we needed to be? I was just happy to eat a hearty dinner. Can you believe I ordered the meatloaf? It was super yummy and tummy filling. Just what I needed after spending all day on the road. We walked a bit through the mall to see what else was there.

We hit Disney around 8:30am. It was an overcast morning so that's why the kids are in long-sleeve shirts. Chip and Dale were right near the entrance so we took the opportunity to hook up with them and get a photo. Since it was an overcast day (June gloom) then the park wasn't swamped. It was GREAT! The lines were light. We longest we had to wait was maybe 20 minutes. We actually went on the Buzz Lightyear ride four times. Twice in the morning. Twice in the evening. We email'd the Hubs once in the morning and once at night.

The last thing we did the first day at Disney was hit the last show of the Jedi Academy. It was funny because there were a couple Dads there with their sons next to us. The one father on the right was there for the second time that day. The father on the left was there for the THIRD time in the hopes that his son would get picked. And LOOK who got selected? Yes. The Princess is now a Padowan. I was able to get a small video of her fighting against Darth Vader on stage. It was too cute. But I did have to make the Bear feel better about the situation since HE is the one who adores Star Wars.

We ended up grabbing lunch in ToonTown. Big turkey sandwich for me. A hot dog for the Princess. A lunchable type thingy for the Bear who said he wasn't hungry for lunch. But he totally ate up the yogurt, goldfish, and string cheese. I guess to him it was more of a big snack than an actual lunch but it had the same amount of food as what the Princess had. It's all about perspective, you know? Anything to keep both their energy up and not be in cranky-monster state of mind.

I got this cute photo of the kidlings on a firetruck in ToonTown but we had to wait almost 5 minutes for the boy ahead of us to get off of it. The kid did not want to get off. Even after his Mom, his Dad, his grandmother, and finally his grandfather talked to him. The kidlings sat on the thing for maybe a minute so I could get a few photos. The sassy kid? He got right back onto the fire truck after the kidlings hopped off. I hate to say it but that other kid was SUCH a brat! We saw him about an hour later at another place and he was still pissing and moaning at his parents and grandparents. Oh what fun did they have [insert sarcasm].

We hit California Adventure the next day. Yes. We reserved a day for each park. We slept in and walked down the street to the Hilton. I had to get a Venti Soy Hot Caramel Macchiato SO bad. The kids got some organic chocolate milk along with some lemon loaf (yum!). I must say that the Hilton has a fabulous lobby. It's HUGE with tons of seating areas. The Starbucks was not just a kiosk. It was spacious -- just like an actual Starbucks had been dropped in there. It was nice to sit and chat while eating breakfast. A nice way to start our day.

The kids played some games on the "boardwalk". Of course, I had to carry the stuffed animals that the kids won. See that grey donkey on the wall there in the photo? We ended up with one of those, a few snakes, and a couple platypus. I let the kids buy baseball caps as their souvenir. Something they could use instead of something that just sits there in their room. You can see the Bear on the far end in his cap while the Princess is the one closest in the photo below. I ended up buying a t-shirt. Did you notice what the Princess hat says?

We watched the High School Musical street show before we took off down the street for lunch. Of course, I had to take a photo of the kids with the bridge behind them. My son is SUCH a ham! We actually ended up at the IHOP next door to the Red Lion and it was nice. What was nice about the IHOP? We got there around 3pm and there was no one in the place. We ended up having a quiet late lunch and even got to chat with the hostess/server for quite a bit. She was super sweet but I can't remember her name! ARGH! She looked to be in her mid-40's with blonde hair. She was great.

We drove down to visit my family the next day. I put all the dirty clothes into one of the plastic bins. I put all the kids' clean clothes into another bin. Then I put my clean clothes and all our miscellaneous stuff into my bin. Getting the stuff into the car was easy-peasy. Yeah! The drive down was fast. We did take a brief respite at the view stop after San Onofre. I'd never stopped there so I wanted to this time around. It was cold so the kidlings didn't want to hang out too long.

When we got down near my sister's it was still cloudy outside. We dropped by the Carlsbad beach to hang out a bit. Definitely June gloom. [sigh]

Rides/attractions we did:
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Minnie's House
  • Donald's Boat
  • Chip'n'Dale's Treehouse
  • Tarzan's Treehouse
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Disneyland Railroad (we went around 1 1/4 times)
  • Flik's Flyers
  • Francis' ladybug Boogie
  • Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
  • Jumpin' Jellyfish
  • Tuck and roll's Drive'Em Buggies
  • Mupper 3D
  • Disney Animation
  • Monster's Inc to the Rescue
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Gadget's Go Coaster
  • Mulholland Madness
  • Mickey's Fun Wheel
  • Buzz Lightyear
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Soarin' Over California
  • Jedi Training Academy
  • Celebrate A Street Party
  • High School Musical 3 Street Party

FUN and exhausting for me. Hopefully the kidlings had such a fun time that they'll remember this trip until they're adults. You know? Those family trips that make SUCH an impression that you talk about it with your parents and siblings when you have family gatherings?
Mom, remember when you took us to Disneyland by yourself?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dropping everything for them

It's Saturday.

Next Saturday we're driving out to visit the Hubs family and take a family photo.

Why? Because my BIL and his wife and son are coming down for a weeklong visit.

About 4 months ago, my MIL had mentioned that she wanted to have the Princess and the Bear stay a few more days while my BIL & his family visited.

When my MIL lost her job about 6 weeks ago, I asked her if she wanted to have the kids visit her for Memorial weekend. Her response? She had lunch scheduled with a friend and she had physical therapy. It was a BIG. FAT. NO. response.

Fine and dandy.

But now? I haven't heard an inkling from my MIL about the kids staying at her house while my BIL and his family are visiting. Not. ONE. word.

Earlier today, the Hubs got a call from his brother. My BIL said something about taking the kids to a swim park. What is he talking about? As of now? My kids are going up with us on Saturday and coming back home with us.


Because no one has discussed with me (or even with the Hubs) what is going to happen.

According to what my BIL said to the Hubs is that my MIL is waiting to find out what my BIL is doing before she arranges anything with us. Like me and the kids don't already have stuff going on? Like we're going to drop everything to visit with them?

What do you think? Don't you think my MIL should have made arrangements with me about the kids already?

Loved the boxes

Remember when I mentioned that I wouldn't be using luggage for our 7-day trip?

I have to tell you that I loved using the plastic boxes instead of typical luggage or duffle bags.

I could actually SEE everything that was in the box.
I could separate out the clean versus dirty clothes easily.
In the hotel, I easily stacked those things into one pile so we'd have more floor space.

It was DIVINE!

What was even better was that I could slide all 3 boxes (one for each of us) into the back of my Ford Freestyle into one row across. It was a breeze getting things into and out of my car.

So if you and your family are taking a trip longer than a couple days? I'd highly recommend using these inexpensive plastic boxes (which I got at Tar-jay).

Overheard at the store

This morning I headed off by myself to do a couple errands.
  • Get some cash.
  • Get a gift card.
  • Get a birthday card.
The Princess was invited to a pool party for one of her oldest school friends. It's a boy. Yeah. That SO thrilled the Hubs when he found this out. ANYWAY...I went to get the boy a gift card because he wants to save up for a "big" item. As I looked through the card section for something appropriate for the boy, I heard a man talking with his son.
Boy: Daddy! How about this one? It's a nice card.
Dad: This one? It's a 99 cent card. That's cheap. You don't want to give him a cheap card.
I thought that was an interesting. The boy wanted the card because he thought it was a nice one. The father's comment was one that told me that he put value on how much things cost.

Me? I tend to get the less expensive cards when it comes to kids. I've found that kids seriously don't care that much about a card. From my own observations, they put more emphasis on what the present is. So if it was me and the kidlings in the store? I'd let them get the "cheap" card if they felt it was the 'best" card for their friend. Because this way we could spend those few extra dollars on the actual gift. You know?

So what do you think about the comment this particular father made?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Guess who is back?

The kids and I are home safe and sound.

We had a BLAST.

But we are definitely tired. T-I-R-E-D!

It's 7:49am and both kiddos are still asleep.

Gives me a chance to catch up with what's been going on with all you bloggers. And also gives me a little chance to write a little update.

I'm also watching YouTube episodes of J&K+2+6.
"This season sometimes you'll see me and Kate interview separately. Sometimes you'll see us together in the chair. It depends on how things are going. We've got really busy schedules..."

A totally telling quote.


I'm realizing that I need coffee. Right. Now.

I've got to download photos off my camera. I've got to put the newly washed clothes away.

Busy day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You wanna drive my car?

In about 8 more years, the Princess will be officially allowed to drive.

But for now? She's only allowed to test out her skills on a closed course.

She tested things out recently.

Thankfully she's got some long legs, so she could reach the pedal.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Can you believe that this is a view of a side of a barn?

The barn was at least the height of a 2-story building. The etching of the horse was huge. Beautiful. A pleasant surprise.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Watching Coastlife

The last time we visited my family, we went to the beach.

I couldn't get over how peaceful it was at the beach.

This bird was just hanging out along the water's edge.

We'll hopefully be able to head to the beach sometime soon so I can capture more shots of the coastline.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Actual decorations

I'm not very savvy about decorating.

I don't select accessories with any kind of knack.

But Shorty's Mom has WONDEFUL taste.

Check out this one vase that she's got on a high mantle shelf.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pretty gifts

When we attended LilSis and Shorty's baby shower, we received these nice gifts for attending.

Aren't these adorable? There were M&Ms inside.

The colors of the ribbon are fun, eh?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Falling down...

When the kids and I went to a local film location, we had a good time. Not only does the place have a western theme, it's got a few amusing shows scheduled throughout the day.

Here's a shot of the "comedy" skit they've got each day.

Do you see the guy falling from the top of the tower?

The show also had fake fights and slapstick. The Bear was laughing up a STORM. So much that he was bouncing on his bottom. Too funny!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturn Peach?

Have you ever heard of a Saturn Peach?

I saw this at our local grocer recently.

It's like someone stepped on the peach while it was still growing, doesn't it?

There was an entire display of these alongside the nectarines and "regular" peaches. I wonder who got to name these? It's not like these have rings around them, so why would they call them Saturn Peaches?