Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Retraining my tootsies

I quit the full-time workforce way back in 2000 when the Princess was born. We were one of those fortunate families that were able to live on one income. The Hubs. He became our sole source of revenue. I became our family's primary caregiver.

For the last 4 1/2 years, I've been able to get back into the work environment. But working from home. My first job was fabulous. Yes. I worked about 60 hours a week, but it was from home. What was great about it was that it was a full-time job with full-time pay AND benefits. Unfortunately, the company was purchased and they fired all of us. Yes. Fired all the employees. All they wanted was the technology. Not the people. [sigh] Thankfully I was able to find a new job where I could work from home. The bad thing is that it was only considered part-time (<40 hours per week) with part-time pay and no benefits.

The Hubs and I are now hoping to make a move to San Diego. And to do that? I'm in search of a full-time job with full-time pay and benefits. Yes. After just over 10 years, I'm trying to get back into an office situation.

And what does that mean? What? What?

It means that I need to get myself organized. Clothes. Shoes. I've got to get things in order. I took some time yesterday to get my old work clothes out of boxes and see what still fit. Thanks to the run/walks that I started in August my clothes still fit. Of course, I took a month or so off for the holidays and never really got back into the groove of things. I'm just starting to get back into my run/walks this week. 2 miles on Monday and 2 miles on Tuesday.

My body has changed a bit since my pre-kid days, so the clothes don't fit the same. I spent some time this morning at a seamstress to get some of my pants adjusted. For some reason, I've got less of a butt. Yes. I lost my back! My pants needed slight adjustments in the hem so that they didn't look too long. The gal is super busy but pretty fast. My pants will be good to go on Friday afternoon.

With my pants getting in order, there's only one more thing that I need to take care of. My feet. Yes. I have not worn heels for more than 2 hours since I had my daughter. My tootsies are definitely out of practice with heels. After years of primarily wearing flip-flops and keds? Comfy stuff. My feet need to get used to the way the foot arches and being off-balance. It's one thing to wear a pair of slingbacks to a wedding or to church. It's something else entirely to wear heels for 8+ hours. You know?

So what am I doing? I am wearing my heels while I work here at home. Right now I look totally ridiculous. I'm wearing cotton walking shorts right now along with some knee-highs and my heels. Heels and shorts? No one else is around but me so it's okay that I look ridiculous. Anything to get myself prepared for that job I hope to have soon.

[crossing my fingers and toes]

Yes. I do realize that I'm wearing blue with black shoes in these photos....but I HAD to show you my new shoes!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What shape is it?

It happens all the time. When family gets together, there's a story that seems to always come up.

For the Hubs family, there's a tale about one of his cousins, Brian, when he was 8 years old. Well, Brian happened to be staying with my MIL overnight while his Mom was in the hospital.

MIL: Come to eat everybody!
Brian: What are we having?
MIL: We're having pasta.
Brian: What shape are those?

Yes. That's what he asked. What SHAPE the pasta was. Like the shape was going to effect the taste of the noodles.

But no one was surprised by this. Brian is a known picky eater. His entire family is pretty picky about what they eat. They rarely eat vegetables. Not so happy with fruit. They don't like anything spicy. Yeah. It's a bland existence. But they do enjoy their beer!

Anyway, every now and again the Hubs treats us to In-and-Out Burger for dinner. We love that they use fresh ingredients and that the burgers are substantial and consistent. I do adore their fries and their vanilla shakes! But when we get burgers, both my kids will remove both the lettuce and tomato slices before they eat. Yes. They remove the veggies. But the kids? They like to eat salad. They enjoy salads made of iceberg, romaine and even spinach! For some reason that makes sense only in their minds, they remove the lettuce (and tomato) from their burgers.

This weekend, we happened to go out to eat to an old haunt. The Hubs and I started eating at this particular restaurant when we started dating (in the 90's). We thanked the heavens when they build this restaurant out here in the desert! So we took the kids to this restaurant and we ordered some herb foccacia bread as an appetizer. Alongside the bread, they serve a mix of tomato, basil, garlic with EVOO. We handed the kids each a slice of the bread, while the Hubs and I opened up the bread and put a generous helping of the tomato mixture into the bread. YUM!

Guess what? The kids immediately asked for some of the tomato mix as well. And let me tell you what. They totally killed the appetizer. They asked for another slice with the tomato mix. Which left me and the Hubs holding just the one slice when we were expecting to each get two each. [sigh]

We just find it funny that the kids savored the tomato mix in the foccacia bread, but remove the tomato from a burger.

Anyone else have kids with these "strange" preferences with food?

Monday, March 22, 2010

So the verdict is?

I'm now on an acid reducing medicine for the next month.

For the last 10 days I've had an acidic feel at the back of my throat. Then last Thursday I started getting a cough. I don't have a cold. No congestion whatsoever. Just that icky taste at the back of my throat.

So last night I concluded that a visit to the doc was necessary. My throat felt raw and irritated. I kept on having to swallow because it felt like stuff was accumulating at the back of my throat. I know it sounds gross, but that's what I was going through. I barely got any sleep because I was so worried about my health.

I called at 8:05am, just after the office opened. My regular doc wasn't in but the other doc had an opening at 9am. Funny was that I had just turned onto my street and was about to open the garage door when I was talking to the appointment setter. I quickly made a U-turn and headed back out.

I had a nice thorough discussion with the doc and she agreed that it does sound like just an acid issue. She prescribed the "medium" strength stuff to get my stomach acid in check quickly. This way my throat would heal up. If I don't feel better in a couple weeks, then I'm supposed to call my doc back to get some tests done.


I'm just so glad we've got good health care coverage. Thankful I'm able to see a doc when I'm sick/not feeling well. I don't have to wait days to get something taken care of.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Have you watched it?

Tonight I just came across a show that I really like (so far).

Have you watched it?

I fell in love with the first episode. I didn't watch the episode that was on tonight. I watched the first episode online. The one where a head guy at Waste Management went out and did the grunt work for about four days.


It was definitely an eye-opener for the gentleman. And THAT was neat to see.

I'm probably now going to watch the other shows they've got online. To see what these other big-wigs learn about their companies. About the people who make the company what it is.

What do you think YOUR big cheese would learn about your company if they worked with you for a day?

One last thing I had to share with you is this photo of the Bear. This was what he was wearing when he was playing Wii. He's got his cowboy duster along with his monster feet (that make sound) and his shirt that says "I do all my own stunts"! Isn't he a cutie?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The critters can't seem to leave us alone

Since the kids are gone until tomorrow, the Hubs decided to take a nap upstairs in our guest room. Yes. He likes to go up there in to savor in the peace and quiet and konk out.

Unfortunately, today wasn't a napping day.

When he went up there to lie down, he found bees. In the bedroom. IN. OUR. HOUSE.

Freak me out!

Thankfully, the bee he saw on the carpet was dead.

The bee on the bed was still twitching.

We don't normally use that bedroom so I have NO IDEA how long those bees were up there.

We have no idea how those darn things got INTO our house. ARGH!

We're now waiting for the beekeeper guy.

Yes. Again. Remember when we had that swarm on Halloween?

****** Update ******
The bee guy came and found that we had some "cutter bees" trying to get in from the 2nd story. There are a couple pipes that stick out just above my son's window. And the cutter bees were trying to chip away at the caulking around those pipes. Why? So that they can make an opening and get into the wall of our house. A place where they'd lay their eggs. Yes! Baby eggs!

Fortunately, the bee guy sprayed some organic spray (made from flowers) into the crevice they'd made. One bee flew out when he was doing this.Then he injected fresh caulk into the crevice and smoothed it out. By the time he was finished about 6 angry little bees were buzzing him.

But? Good news is that it's taken care of. Yeah!

It's in the eye of the beholder

You know that saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?"

I really love that saying. We can see beauty everywhere. When I was single, I saw the world one way. When I married, my views shifted a bit. Once I had children, I often was amazed by what THEY saw.

The kids and I went to a Children's Museum the other day. And one of the things that the museum is trying to do is educate children on how to recycle. That simple things around us can be used to create art.

You see this pretty stuff?

The stuff behind the Princess?

It's an entire 3-story wall of CD's. Pretty, no?

What we also found something really neat was outside the museum.

I know these look like long plain sticks, but take a closer look.

See? Flowers!

Made of soda cans!

Spending time with my kids makes me see things differently. I'm more in awe of what's around me. And that's saying a lot for this self-professed type-A personality.

What pieces of beauty did your children point out to you this week that you wouldn't otherwise have looked twice at?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's all about the details

When people ask me about stuff, I try to make sure I'm answering their question. I listen to what they're saying. I read their email all the way through. Then I reply. I don't glaze over what someone is saying. I don't skim through their words. Because doing that? You miss what they're trying to get at. You end up not answering their inquiry.

The other day I told you about the surprise party birthday for my BIL that my MIL/SIL were planning. The Hubs responded saying that we'd be busy with the Bear's opening day baseball activities on that day. Turns out that IS opening day. So I asked the Hubs about where and what time the surprise party was at. He didn't know. And I obviously didn't know. So last night I broke down and wrote an email.

Email I wrote to my MIL and SIL:
We (the Hubs and I) have no idea what's going on for David's party.

Could one of you tell us the where and when of the "surprise" party?

The Bear actually does have opening day on March 27th, so we'd like to get an idea of the timeframe of what's being put together.

MIL wrote back:
Long story short, he suspected S (his wife) was having a party for him so it's no longer a surprise.  The family only (cousins and aunts and uncles included) get together will be at their house (it was going to be there all along, we were going to get him out of the house) and everything is still status quo for the 27th, nothing's changed.

People? I see that she wrote WHERE the party would be. But the when? The time? Anyone see that in her response? Wasn't I CLEAR about what I wanted? I think I was. Am I crazy?

And another thing...yesterday I wrote another email to my MIL about meeting up to hand-off the kids. MIL wrote me back last night.

My response:
The Starbucks I am referring to is just up the steps from California Pizza Kitchen. It's right where they have the valet parking in the covered area outside the food court. I chose it because it's got easy access with loads of parking all around so we don't have to go into the mall.

MIL wrote back:
Thanks, which entrance is it nearest to, like which anchor store should I park near?

It's like she's never been to that mall. Which she has. It's like she doesn't know where the food court is. [banging head against desk] THIS is what I have to deal with.

A Starbucks is easy to find via a phone call or internet search. The info on a party, on the other hand, is only known by the folks throwing the party. You know? SHE wants details from me but doesn't provide us with any details.

Y'all? I'm going to IGNORE her inquiry. I'm finishing up packing and driving up there this morning. I'm just going to tell her that I didn't have time to log into email. She can just call me tomorrow morning as she's driving to the Starbucks. HA!

But for now? I've gotta get some coffee in my system. It's going to be an interesting day with the kids!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obviously not detective material

Tomorrow the kids and I are headed up 1.5 hours to spend the day in another city. We're actually going to hit the Children's Museum. It's a much larger one than what we've got here in our little city. I'm planning on making an entire day of it, so we're spending the night up there.

Not sure if you've been following my Tweets, but I was perturbed earlier this week about how when we mentioned to my ILs a couple weeks ago that the kids would be on Spring Break this week that my MIL said she'd take the kids on Friday for an overnight. Then my BIL and his wife would take them Saturday night. So out of a 10 day period, the kids would be with the Hubs family only 2 nights.

I don't know about your own families, but if MY Mom heard the kids were on break and she lived close by she'd want the kids at least 3 to 4 days. So imagine how disappointed I was to hear about my MILs plans. I mean, she isn't working since she got laid off about 1.5 years ago. She's been sending out her resume and has had one interview. She does watch my BILs son one day a week (Tuesdays). But that's it. No other real commitments. [shrugging shoulders]

Since the kids are on break and I did want to do something "fun" with them outside the norm I decided to plan this little trip. And since we'd be up there where my ILs live, I asked the Hubs to ask his Mom to meet us at a Starbucks close to the freeway to do the hand-off of the kids on Friday morning.

Hubs wrote:
Grace wants to spend Thursday doing things with the kids there in the Valley.  She's going to stay overnight in a hotel with them.  Grace would like to have you meet her at the Starbucks at the C Mall around 10am on Friday and then you take the kids from there.  Please confirm this will work for you.

MIL wrote:
Son, this is perfect. Just checked and it says Starbucks is inside Great Indoors at the C Mall, is this the right place?  The mall usually opens at 10 so I will be there.

Hubs wrote:
Yes, I believe that is the correct Starbucks.  Suggest you call Sharon on her cell when you are on your way to make sure you can find each other. 

MIL wrote:
Hi I just called the number shown for Starbucks inside Great Indoors and that was not correct. Grace, I checked again and they told me they were nearest the Harkins Theaters, I will call your cell Friday morning when I'm leaving and just reconfirm,

My response:
The Starbucks I am referring to is just up the steps from California Pizza Kitchen. It's right where they have the valet parking in the covered area outside the food court. I chose it because it's got easy access with loads of parking all around so we don't have to go into the mall.

People? Up where my MIL stated that she "just checked and it says Starbucks is inside Great Indoors"? I have NO IDEA where she did her checking. The Great Indoors? That place is ACROSS THE STREET from the Mall in a totally different strip mall.

What's amazing to me? My MIL was an Executive Assistant for about 20+ years at a national NEWSPAPER. I'm sure she's had to perform research of one type of another at some point during her career. And she couldn't find the Starbucks at the Mall? No wonder she still doesn't have a job.

Stuff that makes me C-R-A-Z-Y

It's Spring Break in my neck of the woods.

Yes. It's Wednesday and my kids are still alive!

I've made a deal with them that in the mornings I need to work and then by lunchtime we could go out and do simple things. Like errands!

Yesterday we actually headed out to the new park in our area that opened up about 2 weeks ago. We spent about 1.5 hours there. They mostly played on the climbing equipment and chased each other so that was nice.

Today? We got the oil changed out in my car. We went to get gas. And we topped it off by stopped by the library.

It was on our outing that I went stir-crazy. My kids didn't drive me crazy. It was the adults around me.

Was it YOU at the CostCo gas station in front of me pulling the hose from the pump that was on the right side of your car to your where your gas tank is on the LEFT side of your car? Oh yeah. And (for those of you who know CostCo) you didn't park close enough to the pump so that I could squeeze through in the middle of the aisle. Yeah. I was stuck. You couldn't take that hose out of your car so that I could squeeze through. You just kept your wide-body in the middle of the aisle pumping away like the world revolved around you. The world? It doesn't. If my kids weren't in there, I may have reacted differently. Less calmly. But inside? I was seething with all kinds of vile words. Seriously. Vile. Gross. Words.

Or were you the gal talking on your cell phone in the kid section of the library. I heard every word of your conversation. EVERY. DARN. WORD. It's funny how when you were finishing up your conversation you readjusted your sitting position and looked up. And saw me staring at you straight in your face. Funny how you ended up adjusting yourself so that the sculpture in the middle of the room blocked your entire body from me.
Were you embarrassed about your behavior? You didn't want me to continue staring at your blatant disregard for others around you in the library?

But what didn't catch me by surprise was that the kids at the computers, the ones who were chatting away like they were at home? That they belonged to you. Yeah. I guess they learned by your example that the library is just another place to talk in loud voices. But what made me almost laugh out loud? Was when you finally "shushed" them when they started getting exponentially louder. And? They barely toned it down. [shaking head] I'm not saying my kids are angels? But when they were little and we started visiting the library I taught them to use their "inside" voice in the library.


The bitch session is now concluded.

Onto something more is what the kids were climbing on.

Can you see the SNOW on the top of that small mountain behind the Princess?

Here's a shot of the covered play area with slides and a couple swings at our new park.

See these puny little twigs that they call trees? In a couple years these things will be about 15 feet tall and will create quite a bit of shade.

Monday, March 15, 2010

And I'll do this....and you do that...

Some folks are big on parties. I'm not a big party person. I can take it or leave it. I guess I just don't like the organizing of a party the most.

Well, my BILs birthday is fast approaching. The other weekend when we were visiting my ILs, my MIL talked to us about this plan of hers to celebrate my BILs birthday.

MIL: Okay. He doesn't want a party but we're throwing him one anyway since it'll be his 40th. 

SIL: But how do we throw him off? 

MIL: I'll send out an email saying I want it to get together on March 27th. Then you both (SIL and the Hubs) will respond that you can't make it that day and suggest the next weekend. That's Easter weekend, so say we can celebrate both. 

SIL: Okay. 

Hubs: Okay. 

MIL: That'll throw him off. So when S (BIL's wife) takes him out to dinner on the 27th he won't think anything of it since we'll all be getting together the next weekend.

Fine and dandy right?

But that's not the way it worked out....

MIL's email sent Mar12th @ 8:11am

Can we celebrate D's birthday on March 27th?

Let me know if that works for you, we'll let D pick the restaurant.

BIL's email sent Mar12th @ 8:17am

Sounds good to me, I don’t think we have plans that day.  I was thinking Tepanyaki, but maybe Oregano’s or Macayo’s would be better.  I’ll let you know.

Hubs email sent Mar12th @ 6:38pm

No can do on the 27th.  It's opening day for baseball and there are events most of the afternoon.  Let's do the following weekend.

MIL's email sent Mar12th @ 10:41pm

Bummer!  The following weekend is Easter.  We can have Easter dinner here early on Sunday, April 4.  Or plan b would be to just do Saturday, April 3 (we could also toast to the wedding anniversary couple).  We'll make it work, sorry it just won't be 3-27.

Just let me know about the following weekend and what your plans are.

BIL's email sent Mar13th @ 9:47am

We're going to S's mom's Easter probably.

We can just do 3-27 and catch up with the C clan (Hubs, me and the kids) in the spring.

Yeah. Our part of the "family" got kicked to the curb. For someone who supposedly didn't want any type of party, my BIL didn't protest much, eh? And where the heck was my SIL's response in all this that she couldn't make the gathering either? She had all day on March 12th to chime in.

The Hubs is totally staying out of it now. He did his "part" in the whole ploy just like his Mom asked. Too bad his sister didn't follow through. But we're not surprised about it.

The Hubs now knows how "important" we are in his brother's eyes. Yeah. Kick us to the curb. We got the message. Maybe now the Hubs knows how I feel whenever when I'm with his family...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kinda healthy?

We'd all sat down for dinner tonight and since it was sunny outside we had our shutters open.

You may recall that our backyard has open fencing and we've got an expanse of "natural" landscaping behind our house. Past the landscaping is the other side of the block that contains a sidewalk.

Like I said, it was still sunny when we sat down to eat. All of a sudden the Hubs starts cracking up.

Hubs: You've gotta love it.

Me: What's up?

Hubs: There's a lady out there taking a walk.

Me: Okay. It's nice outside.

Hubs: She's taking a walk while she's smoking and carrying a Big Gulp.

Me: She is? [I turn around to see]

Hubs: You see that? She just put out her cigarette in the street.

Me: Oh...

Hubs: I can just imagine her thinking that she's being healthy by taking a walk. But there she is smoking and carrying that big soda with her.

And yes. She was totally smoking and littered by stepping on her leftover butt in the street. And we could tell that she was carrying a soda because of the way the sun hit the Big Gulp that she was drinking either a Coke/Pepsi. But hey! It might have been a DIET soda too. Kind of healthy, right?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The latest new expression

Surgical field?

That's the BEST expression I've heard in ages.

Even better?

A little NATURE in the surgical field!

I was rolling earlier when I watched the latest episode from the show that made Va-Jay-Jay a public word.

This was a funny episode rather than a depressing one.

Loved it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've been gone and quiet

I've been bogged down by life.

I've let life get me down.

And I'm trying to make some changes.

Just last month I mentioned that I was disillusioned with my job. While things have calmed down just a wee bit in the last few weeks, it's still kind of up in the air. Do this. Do that. And when take the time to do "this" and "that"? There's someone else wondering what the status on the regular stuff I do. [sigh]

I'm searching high and low for a new job. And where am I searching? Not here where I live. I'm searching in "America's Finest City". Yes. I'm hoping to find a job there. I mean, if I'm going to look for a new job I might as well look there. I'm also checking around for jobs that my husband can do.

Since the kids are fast approaching the end of 3rd quarter, they'll be off on summer vacation soon enough. Yes. Most of your kids haven't had Spring Break yet, and I'm already thinking of summer. My kids actually start their Spring Break this Friday afternoon. Yes, they do!

I'm wondering how much of an obstacle it is for hiring managers to even consider someone in my position. Someone who lives in one city but wants a job in another. I'm not asking for relocation help. The Hubs and I would move on our own if we need to. But it seems like no one wants to get past my physical address. So me? I'm leaving that off my resume. I'm just putting my phone number down. Like they wouldn't notice the area code, right? But I'm hoping they'll get down the experience section before realizing that bit of info. Hopeful, aren't I?

I mean, I've got my family out there. I've got a place to stay if I need to start a job soon. Then the kids could move once the school year is done and stay with my Mom during the day all summer. And the Hubs could move out once he lands a job.


Again. Our plan is wishful thinking. That's how we hope it'll all work out. But when do big plans in your life actually work out like you envision? Yeah. I'm expecting lots of bumps in the road. Like normal.

But I must tell you that the kids and I did have a lovely trip out to see my family last month. Yes. A quick trip out for just the three of us. Even though I had to do all the driving and getting the kids ready and cleaned and all that? It was so fun.