Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year in Review:

I did this last year (as you will see in the first entry of January below). I found it the perfect way to tie up the year in a nice pretty bloggy bow. You are supposed to take the first sentence of the first blog of each month:

JANUARY - So, of course I have had grand plans to write deep thoughts about last year and hopeful thoughts of this year, but that ain't happening..... so I thought I would try the blog meme that has been going around were you post the first sentence of the first post of each month.... and I think it sums up the year quite nicely....

FEBRUARY - There is nothing like a practical joke from God to kick start your morning.....

MARCH - I have decided that I am going to participate in Oprah's latest adventure

APRIL - Yes, ladies and and gents.... with the arrival of the April showers, we enter the month of my birth.

MAY - So apparently we will be dragging this process out slightly longer than expected.

JUNE - I feel all weird trying to think of something to post because it has been so long since I have posted.

JULY - Well.... what an adventure we had in California!

AUGUST - So today is the last day Max and Ben will be at the only school they have every known.

SEPTEMBER - I know they do.

OCTOBER - THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN OVER SEVERAL DAYS WHILE I DID NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS: So I hear we are in an economic crisis right now.

NOVEMBER - The sweetest, most gentle man I have ever known - the one man whose sole purpose in MY world was to be the best grandpa he could be, passed away tonight at the age of 92.

DECEMBER - I cannot find my jingle bells this season.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

So Christmas this year was a huge success! I was up until 3 AM and it only took 2 cycles of "A Christmas Story" to get done what we needed to do! At 6:45, I was up and bursting with excitement. The kids refused to wake up until 8:00 after Mike unsuccessfully threw things at their closed door to wake them up, and then was forced to go upstairs, turn some music on then run like crazy back downstairs and pretend to be asleep in bed. Max finally wiped the sleepy out of his eyes and whispered "Santa came" from upstairs then tore down to our bedroom to find us "sleeping" ... me with my glasses on and clutching the camera under the covers. For all of our Christmas merriment and the big puppy reveal see below......

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

10:27 pm

Merry Christmas to all....

... and to Max & Ben.... GO TO BED!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Done

Monday - December 22 -

* * * * 7:40 PM * * * *

Drop the kids at mom's because other than a dog, we have done NO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING.

* * * * 9:48 PM * * * *

Done.

Power to the Procrastinators!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let's play a game, shall we?!?!

Let's play a game.... shall we?!?!

You have all met Woody ... right?.... sweet adorable puppy Woody. He was from the humane society as a stray... they told us he was a German Shepherd /Chow Chow mix. That's what they said. They have a great disclaimer - no previous info. That basically means, spin the wheel and good luck. Well, I will tell you almost immediately, I saw no chow in him; no smushy face, no black tongue, no fur ball. I thought he was quite light for a german sherpherd but, hey, if he was a mix, maybe he took the color of chow and the body of German Shepherd.

I was not the only one who questioned his background and possible breed. Lauren - his Godmother - took him to petsmart and was wandering around when a lighting bolt struck her. She came home and thanks to the power of google, she was able to back her theory with photos which she forwarded to me and shortly thereafter I passed out....

So... let's play our game shall we


First... a pic of Woody again....



Now... you decide... does he look more like "A" or "B"

A




B



Let's try again.... "A" or "B"


A




B




Looks a helluva a lot more like "B" in both, right... yeah.. right.... cause guess what....





B turns into this:







Bull, English, or American Mastiff
130-200 lbs

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conversations with Ben


The boys have been especially Christmassy lately. Yesterday when we got home from work/school they tore through the house to turn on all the Christmas lights and then they wanted to drink hot chocolate and watch "Elf" (they LOVE Will Ferrell in this movie) - then Polar Express was on TV so we watched the end of that. Max has a pajama day tomorrow at school and both have holiday parties and concerts on Friday. Bottom line - their sleigh bells are ringing.
So this morning the topic of Santa and gifts came up as we were getting ready for school. Max informed us that he has already written a letter to Santa at school and that upset Ben very much, because he had not written one yet. He said he didn't know how to write the letters and I told him that I would help him tonight. I said he had all day to think about what he was going to ask for from Santa.

And then he lit up like a Christmas tree....

A DOG!!!

Mike and I froze - trying very hard to wipe any expression off of our faces.

"You mean a stuffy?" Mike asks - our word for stuffed animal.
"No - a REAL DOG!!"
Me - "Pumpkin - I don't think Santa can bring you a real dog - how would he fit in the sleigh?"
"NO!! We have to go to the STORE and GET HIM!!"
"What? You think Santa is going to give you a coupon for a puppy?"
"MAYBE!!!!"

I then gave Mike eyes to shut the conversation down before we gave too much away....

And so begins the magic of this Christmas memory....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Introducing......

Woody.....





So before I go into the story of our latest adoption, I must start this post with 1,000 thank you's and forever praise to Lauren and TJ for fostering our newest little angel!! We had not planned on taking possession of a puppy this soon, but this one was fixed, had his shots, and even micro chipped, so it was now or never. I just cannot say thank you enough for loving and caring for this adorable little guy for us so that we can have our Christmas morning moment!

Now - on to the story. So we head over to Walmart to pick up a kennel and a leash thinking there may be a possibility we have to take a dog that day. As we are getting a kennel, another lady is getting one because she just adopted a sweet little terrier across the street at the Petsmart from the Human society. I asked if there were any other puppies and she said yes, so I told Mike we should stop their first. The moment I pick up Woody, I put him in front of my face and he patiently sits there nose to nose, not moving.... not scared, just very comfortable. I then cradle him a little and he adjusts himself to nuzzle right in the crook of my neck. Danger... danger..... Mike had Woody's brother and was holding him, and he was a little more rambunctious. Well, every time Mike would readjust holding the brother, Woody would put his head up off of my shoulder in this very protective big brother way like, "What are you doing to my brother? You got him? Are you gonna drop him?!?!" So, I put him back down in the play area and told the nice lady, I just couldn't adopt the very first puppy I held, so maybe we would see her later. She casually smiled and said, if you haven't been to the big facility yet, I will not be surprised if I don't see you again.
We head off to the humane society. Gorgeous facility - gorgeous dogs - adorable puppies. I would have taken 10 of the dogs, but even walking through the large kennels, my inner gut feeling that the boys, who a shy around dogs, wouldn't bond with a large older dog. We would need to start small and let the puppy grow with them. The puppies were all adopted or had pending adoptions, so we headed off to the next place.
BARC - basically the pound. Sad. Sad. Sad. I am fully aware of the fact that this is an animal CONTROL center, but it felt remarkably like a prison insane asylum. The even more sad part was that 50% of the animals were pit bulls. Gorgeous pit bulls, easily 10-20 pit bull puppies, but no history, no idea how aggressive their bloodlines are, no idea what their history is. There was one sweet little German shepherd female puppy that we played with but playing with her we could tell something was wrong. She had tried several times to use the restroom and nothing was coming out and she was so skinny I could see every bone in her sweet little body. Too much for our first pet.
Off to the ASPCA - this was like the zoo of all the places we went to .... lines out the door of people waiting for adoptions... great dogs - but no puppies. My dream chocolate lab was there but he was taller than Max and I knew there was no way that was going to happen.
So we went outside to the car and talked. I knew Mike really like Woody. All the other puppies we held or looked at he never really attached to or he would comment "Well, with the other one...." So I called the Petsmart - did they still have Woody? Yes - but they would probably be there soon to get him to take him back to the shelter. WE ARE ON THE WAY - should we go back to the shelter and meet him there? No - come here.
So - we got him - and he is adorable - He is a German Shepherd Chow mix according to his paperwork, but the only chow I see is the texture of the hair - soft soft soft. I can't wait to introduce him to the boys. Last night at Lauren and Travis' he would just wander up and snuggle right on your leg or shoe and fall asleep. He took his toys quickly. Reports this morning is that he is very playful and perhaps we should re-consider a name like Simba! By the way - I have a pets named after Disney characters kind of thing - so the fact that his name was Woody was perfect - of course Simba is adorable too... the boys may get a choice. I cannot leave it up to them to name him because it will turn out like the fish whose name was Koala Albert and the chipmunks Fishy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not MY child!


So there is a wonderful gut wrenching feeling that tends to come over a mother's body when she sees the bus driver escorting her six year old son off the bus with a bloody lip. It is a cross between knee weakening panic and mind blowing rage. It is in this state that most information coming out of the bus driver's mouth sounds like, "wah wah wah, see his lip, well, wah wah wah wah wah - fight with (name of other kid)- wah wah wah wah wah - may not be able to ride bus - wah wah wah wah wah wah - just wanted to let you know!"

Uhm, okay - thank you, thank you for the "wah wah wah" information - (I now have to either kill my child or go google the house of (child's name) and kill them....)

Wait - take a breath - get story - find out what happened -

Max, baby - what happened?
It all (child's name)'s fault!!! He pushed me and I TRIED to tell a teacher but she wouldn't listen to me and he kept pushing me and so I pushed him back and then he hit me and then the teacher yelled at us and NOW I can't have recess tomorrow and it as all (child's name)'s fault and now he is my enemy and it's not FAIR!!!!!!
Wait - this is (child's name) from you class? I thought he was one of your best friends?
He isn't ANYMORE - now he is my enemy.....
Okay - that is a very serious word and I do not like you using it. You may not like what he did today, but that doesn't mean you won't be friends again.

Okay - so now I have 2 parts of this story - the "wah wah wah" information from the bus driver and the run on sentence from the "life is not fair" kindergartener. Okay - next - immediately call teacher at school.

This is Max's mom
I heard what happened...
What did happen?
Well, you tell me what you know
(Okay, now I am starting to feel like I am in a Abbott and Costello routine)
Well bus driver was vague - (always best to not let teacher know mind blowing rage prevented you from hearing anything but Charlie Brown teacher voice when bus driver was speaking) and Max was too upset to discuss calmly. But honestly - I know boys can be boys - I am really not worried about the fight - I am worried that this happens more often than not and we need to address this at home. Are you having trouble with Max?
Well, I am going to talk with both of the boys tomorrow.
(I don't want YOU to talk with them - I want to talk with MY son) Thank you - I appreciate that - but I just want to make sure that we do everything we can to make your job easier - so please - the moment you have any issues, please let us know and we will take care of it immediately.
You know (child's name) is such a sweet boy, I just cannot imagine this happening with these boys.
(I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE OTHER BOY) I have no doubt this was a boys will be boys situation - I just don't want to go from Max is doing great to Max is being kicked off the bus because of a fight - there is a lot of grey in between and I want to correct the situation BEFORE we get there.

I do not play the nicey nice game well at all - I am a meat and bones kind of person. I am a get to the point, the real point, and only the point person. So the dance around the topic and think of the nicest sugar coated way to say everything approach pretty much drives me bonkers. The fact that most education systems now days have a "don't say that" policy layered with a "no tolerance" policy is, quite frankly, absurd. Don't speak frankly with a parent about anything, but the moment something hits the fan - the kid is out, no questions asked, no discussion. WAIT - WHOA - aren't we missing a few steps here?

Now do not get me wrong - I know the system is not perfect - nothing is - including my child - my child was 50% responsible for that fight and trust me - I don't care who started it, we ended it. Both my husband and I had long talks with Max yesterday and today and this morning we both met the bus driver to witness the apology and discuss the fact that it was never going to happen again.

This time I was much calmer and "wah wah wah" turned into - it didn't happen on the bus, he didn't see it happen - he has no idea why they threatened to take them off the bus because he has never had problems with either child.

So the rest of the story is - I have a bus driver who tells me the kids never give him a problem - I have a school teacher who says she never has a problem with the kids - and I have a child who tells me that a (bus duty) teacher would not listen to him when he tried to do the right thing so it escalated when the kids got frustrated.

Now I have to google (bus duty) teacher... listen lady - don't ignore my child when he is trying to follow the rules then threaten him when things escalate behind your back.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's snowing!!

In Houston!!

I am sitting at my desk writing Christmas cards and watching the snow fall outside my window.

... I think I have found my jingle bells ....

Monday, December 08, 2008

Happy Birthday , Ben!



My dear sweet baby, Ben,

Yes, Angel... TODAY is finally your birthday!!! You have been asking almost daily since your brother's birthday if it was your turn and TODAY is the big day!! Today was your Kung Fu panda cupcakes to share at school, today was your birthday presents, today was your chance to pick where we went to dinner, TODAY WAS YOUR DAY!!! Everything you did was, "Do I get to do this because it is my birthday?" I of course said yes to each and every question even though it is the same daily task we would do on a non-birthday day, but today it seemed soooo much more important followed by, "because it is my birthday!"

Four years old. My baby is four years old. The other day we were snuggling in the wee hours of morning trying to find the gumption to get up and get going with our day. You were in your usual early morning snuggle spot, nestled closely in the crook of my neck, and we were all talking about "stuff" when the topic of mommy having another baby came up. We asked both you and your brother if you thought mommy should have another baby. Max of course enthusiastically said, "YES!!" but you.... you removed yourself from my snuggly embrace, sat up, turned around and looked me straight in the eyes,"YOU don't need another baby, HELLO!! (slapping your hand on your chest) I'M THE BABY!!"



As much as you want to retain your status as the family baby, you cannot wait to throw away your toddler shorts and put your big boy pants on!! You have been in a hurry since you were born. You have no patience to learn a skill which frustrates you to temper tantrums, but those times usually pass quickly because it takes you no time to learn whatever it is your are striving to be the best at.... and best meaning better than your brother.

You are quite the little athlete. You swim like a fish, ride your bike like you are in a race, throw a ball like it is the world series, and kick balls like you are hearing "GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!" screaming in the stands. You want to be a rock and roll star and play your toy guitar with the radio, bobbing your head with the beat, throwing in dance moves that would make any lead guitarist jealous. If you really like a song, you head over to the radio and turn the volume up. When your brother complains, you mumble something similar to daddy's favorite phrase, if it is too loud you are too old!



You have had a rough year this year between surgery to remove your tonsils and all the probing and prodding when we were worried you might have diabetes. Luckily everything has calmed down, but you handled each challenge like a champ. You took your medicine and fought through the pain better than most adults I know. You really were my hero during these times.



Oh my gosh, Benjamin. Thank you so much for allowing me to be your mommy. You bring me great happiness, joy, entertainment, wisdom, and life.

Thank you - thank you - thank you!

I love you,
Mommy


Re-post from last year:

Monday, December 01, 2008

What is wrong with me?!?


I cannot find my jingle bells this season. I have never seemed to have this problem in the past . So what's the deal this season? I turned the music on and it is not causing the normal chills, the normal excitement. I have talked with friends over the weekend - even the crazy ones who barely got off the "shipp" and already have their decorations up inside and out!

Part of it may be that it was hot this year. It is hard to eat Thanksgiving dinner when it is 80 degrees outside. Part of it may be exhaustion from the past few months events.

Or maybe, dare I say it... I am growing out of it? Oh God, NO!!! NOT ME?!?!?
But yes.... I think that is part of it. I know I should keep a good face for the kids, but my normal passion to throw tinsel and lights on anything that would sit still the moment you clean up Thanksgiving dinner has slowly silently dimmed over the past few years. I used label it all sorts of things like new babies or crammed schedules, but not this year. This year I have no excuse to use as my label.

I know this may be hard for some to hear from this queen of Christmas sweaters and poinsettias in her hair (it was a long time ago, I swear).

Bah humbuggy, Mrs. Grinch... what is wrong with me?!?!?!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Not for Me

Black Friday is just not for me. I just cannot play with the big dogs. I cannot function at 4 and 5 in the morning. I cannot plot out and attack a Christmas list with the excitement and verve like most women in their hottest sweats and pony tails on this blessed of all shopping days. I want to... really I do. For years I have pulled out the newspapers, gone on line, circled and fantasized that I too was going to have my entire Christmas list checked off by noon on the last Friday in November, and then that damn alarm clock goes off and rather than bounce out of bed, I bounce the alarm clock off the farthest wall in my bedroom.

And it is not just the early hours. It is the hunt. This day is reserved for the queen bee shoppers of all shoppers... the cut throat deal makers and breakers... you know, the women when you compliment them on their outfit they reply with the cost and location of the kill?? That is who is successful on these days. You can take no prisoners and being polite is for the lame.

I once went to Tuesday Morning on an opening day. For those of you who do not know, Tuesday Morning is a store that sells high end home decor type items discounted. They used to only be open for small periods of time. They would stock up on deals - have an opening day, sell for a few weeks then close again. Well, when I was moving into my first new house, I decided I wanted to go to one of the opening mornings to get some things for the new house. They opened at 7 AM. I decide, this is important to me, so I am gonna pretend this is high school and I am camping out for George Micheal or Def Leppard concert tickets and get there before the store opens - 6:30. Funny girl.... the line was already wrapped around the store. Okay - no problem - this is a big store, I am sure I will get some things on my list from the mailer. The doors open at 7:00 and it was very similar to the running of the brides at Filene's Basement. I was slightly overwhelmed that the old lady behind me shoved me in the door on her way to the oriental rugs. Okay.. here we go.... gotta get the bed spread... gotta get the bed spread.... turn down the aisle and the neatly stacked comforter sets are now all over the place. I dodge to and fro around flower patterns and twin size princess comforters and see my prize - in king size - I reach up to grab my beloved comforter - the base of my entire room decor - when a women a foot smaller than me jumps in front of me, leaps up like she is slam dunking and grabs the damn set. She was so small that she couldn't control it and it hits me on the way to the floor. She proceeds to protect it like Gollum protecting "precious" while hollering for her shopping partner to come look. I politely ask if she chooses not to purchase it, I would really like it, to which she scoffs - "Uh, Yeah, NO!! I WANT THIS ONE!!"

Okay.....

I walk away - not sure what just happened, but way too polite to start a smack down fight at 7:00 in the morning on a random Tuesday over a comforter. I start walking through the store looking for other things I had placed on my list, but my casual "window shopping" stroll did not match the all out hunting techniques of the women in the store. I was so overwhelmed, I just put the few things I had found down and decided I would come back. If they were still there, then it was meant to be. I have never been to a "opening" since.

So you see... I admire all of you black Friday shoppers, really I do.... and I would love to join your ranks almost as much as I wanted to sit at the cool kids table at lunch, but I am much better suited with my own kind - the "Damn it, it is Dec. 24th and I have bought nothing and nothing is wrapped, and shit I am never going to get to sleep tonight" clique....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Mommy High.....

A new mommy high.... or low depending on your perspective....

So Max is my boundary child. He is the child who constantly tests my limits and then pushes them juuuuust that much further to see if mommy's head really is going to explode. Luckily, to this point, his scientific theories on mommy's relative patience have only resulted in minor time outs, lack of TV, and puddles of tears and snot from amazing performances in the total meltdown hissy fit catagory.... mostly my tears, snot and meltdowns, but that is a different story.

What is the number one fight in our house?

Following directions - the FIRST TIME.

What is the tippy top item on the list of things asked of him?

Get dressed.... by yourself... everything from underwear to shoes.... NOW!!

I will admit that this morning's fiasco started with my poor decision to allow them to watch TV while I was getting dressed. I was being "nice" since this morning was technically a holiday for them and even though they were going to daycare, a little morning eye candy couldn't kill the morning routine THAT bad, could it?!?!

"Max get dressed...."

I pass the TV room on the way to the kitchen to put the waffles in the toaster

"Max get dressed....."

I pass back past the TV room on the way back to the bedroom to finish getting dressed.

DAMN DIRTY APES... forgot my pants hanging in the laundry room!!

"Max... I am serious.. get dressed"

Pass one last time on the path from laundry room to bedroom...

"Max... if I come back in here and you are not dressed, you will lose your TV privileges for the day, do you hear me?!?"

Blank TV stare nod.....

Several minutes later I reappear from the bedroom looking like "Leave it to Beav's" mom ready for my day... and guess what I find in my TV room.... a half naked child with nothing but underwear on.

"That's it! (march over and turn off TV) You have lost your TV privileges!"

START COMPLETE CRYING SCREAMING MELTDOWN

It is hear that I normally match the ear screeching decibel that my child has magically created, but today.... no.... today I was done... D-U-N!! I calmly walked out of the room and headed to the kitchen to complete our breakfast on the go and my lunch. During this time, Ben (my first class ass kisser) is following me around with, "Max is really having a bad day, huh, mommy? I'm dressed, SEE?!?! I got all DRESSED... I am ready to go!!"

I complete the tasks in the kitchen, gather our stuff and escort Ben out to the car. I then wander through the house turning off lights and making sure doors are locked, all to the sweet soothing sounds of my 6 year old SCREAMING/CRYING at the top of his lungs: "WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I WAAAAAANNNNNTTT TTTTTTTVVVVVVV!!!!WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!"

Once the final house check is complete, I grab Max's clothes and get behind him and nudge him to the door.
He starts to walk, giggling at first, because clearly mommy is playing a joke, I am not dressed yet.
Nudge - push further to the door
Nervous twitter, wait, we are at the door.
NUDGE - PUSH
HOLY PATOOTERS BATMAN!!, She is NOT joking!! MAY DAY!! MAY DAY!! I am leaving the house in underwear!!
PICK UP - SHOVE
"Mommy, what are you doing?!?!"
"MOMMY!! It is TOO COLD outside!!"
"Then you probably should have put your clothes on when I asked you!"
"MOMMY, PLEASE!!"
PUSH-SHOVE into car
(Panic crying) "MOMMY, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!?!"
"I am not doing anything to you. I told you 5 times to get dressed. You now have until we get to daycare to get dressed or you will be going into daycare half naked!"

Daycare is less than 1 mile from our house just outside our neighborhood.

Magically when I opened the door to the backseat, I had a fully dressed 6 year old with a tear streaked face, but smiling from ear to ear.

Careful, when you play with the big dogs, son, you might get bit......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy 8th Anniversary, my love....


There is no greater gift than waking up next to you, holding me tight, and whispering "Happy Anniversary" first thing this morning...

I love you, Tatala....
Princess P

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Awwwwww-kward......

Uhm... hi.....

How are ya?

Yeah, Hi, Kettle.... this is Pot..... I was just calling to tell you I am so very black. I cannot believe how very black I am.....

Facebook, so yeah...problem. Suddenly my life has slammed into one huge dash down memory lane creating a huge jumble of dreams were suddenly I am at cocktail parties sharing drinks with friends who were never friends in the first place. I find myself in dreams at a wedding from someone in elementary school, running into someone from college, being waved to from across the room from someone in high school, while simultaneously trying to keep my 3 yr old from head butting my thigh while explaining to someone else that no I am NOT babysitting, this is MY CHILD.

The rush of names, pics, stories and clever "what are you doing now?" posts are overwhelming. What is even more strange is that this is not just limited to Facebook:
- With the passing of my grandfather, I spent a lot of time going through old pics putting together a family memorial for the funeral events - that included visits with long lost relatives you only see when people get married or die.
- Recently, I have run into friends who have moved back to town, which then causes the "did you know about so and so and so and so and so and so".
- My friend Allison asked me to help her on a career day to discuss theatre to 4th graders, complete with production pics and such so now I find myself going through old pics, with old faces, old stories, then you slam them together with Facebook, and I am in a very strange webisode of "This is Your Life".

And the one thing I have to say about it all is well.... I am blessed... really really blessed. Even through all the crap and sucky times, the foundation is really great. I may not have it "all", but I have a lot and I love each and every part of it. I have this incredibly unique opportunity right now to stop and look at myself as if I am in a panoramic 360 degree movie. I am not looking in a mirror, I am not painting a picture, I am getting a whopping 360 degrees of information - past present and future - all delivered like a present with a tight pretty bow right before the holidays. It is a wonderful world of "who cares?" and "everybody cares!" Who cares that the best I could do was Ramen noodles for dinner after a long day at work? Who cares? Nobody - Who cares to know about my two greatest creations in the making, Max & Ben? Everyone cares!

I am very present right now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Facebook or not to Facebook....


... that is the question.

Well, thanks to constant prodding from by dear best friend ( AND the least technologically advanced person I know), Ms. Allycat, and then the eventual push off the cliff from my dear soul sister, Tiff, I created a Facebook account. This is something I have been stead fast against along with Myspace because it was just another thing for me to have to figure out and then have to check, and quite frankly, I am REAL happy just talking into this black hole, and those of you who stop by, GREAT!! Gravy on top of my instant mash potatoes!

I was always curious though.... terribly curious at what those other sites did. What was different? Other than the social networking aspect of it, which, let's be honest, I ain't that social lately. I have always wanted to delve deeper into this website and blog abyss with fancy websites and cool unique backgrounds and links... lots and lots of links..... hey they even say there is money to be made from those stupid google ads..... you never know WHAT I could do with that extra 15 cents a month! For years I have wanted to create an educational website for my mother's company... this is really cool shit to me. But I have never had time, and lately I just don't feel like fighting for the computer with my dear sweet husband who, by the way, was almost served divorce papers because of the amount of time he is on his damn "EVE" game.

But back to Facebook... so I created an account. I have no clue what to do with it yet. As far as I can tell it is a way to throw props across the internet to people you may have lost touch with long ago, play catch up, then well, probably lose touch again. I only have two friends (see above) and neither one of them have very advanced sites, but I can't really see how advanced it gets. I started to dabble and then gave up because retyping those stupid distorted key codes, that honestly sometimes I can't read, every time you want to ask permission to be friends with someone was getting old and it is late and and and and and.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Max!



Max, Max, Max, Max.....

Can I tell you something? Can I? This is an inside joke as you ask me and everyone else this question about a hundred times a day. And why, do you ask this question? Because every new thing you learn you want to share with others. You are so interested in learning how things work and why the work and what we need them for and on and on and then once you find out the answers, you have to tell everyone else about it!

You are doing so well your first year in big boy school. Your first report card came back with all E's and S's meaning you have exceeded or satisfied all the required curriculum at school... and this is in SPANISH!!! I just can't get over it. You have adapted so well to learning this new language and you flow between the 2 so easily. You are still very shy to share what you know outside of our immediate family, but at home, I hear you casually go back a forth between shoes and zapatos or Buenos noches, mama, I love you. I have to admit, even though it is still very early and the words are very basic, but I love that we have our own secret language. Daddy and Ben don't know Spanish, so when you and I snuggle together to read a Spanish book, or if we are working on homework, it is like we have our own special little bubble for just Mommy and Max.

That red hair is certainly not going anywhere. It is actually getting darker and redder the older you get. This is the only difference between you and your brother since his is getting lighter and more strawberry blond. Your smile is infectious and THANK GOODNESS you still need to crawl up into my lap or jump into my bed to snuggle. I worship each and every time you do, because I know it is only a matter of time before you become too big to need mommy's snuggles and kisses and hugs.

Six years..... six years ago today that sweet angelic face came out of my tummy to love and kiss on and thank God every day for!

Happy Birthday my sweet angel pumpkin!

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you

Thank you all for your comments, emails and calls. I really do appreciate each and every one of them. Please accept my apoligies for not getting back to each of you yet, but I have yet to find my feet from the weeks events. When my grandfather died, I was in the middle of a conference, so as soon as it was over on Wednesday, I went home, did laundry, packed, and then we headed out on Thursday. My grandmother has come back with my mom so the past few days have been getting her settled in with my mom for an extended visit we hope turns into a more permenant situation... but my grandmother is stubborn ( I wonder where on Earth I got that from?) and she prefers her stuff in her place with her independence, so we will see how it goes.

My grandmother is a very stoic woman - not cold - just a nuts and bolts kind of woman. You do what you need to do when you need to do it and there is not alot of drama or fluff around it ... just do it.... with perfect hair, make-up and clothes, FYI. So when she said her final goodbye to my grandfather at the viewing, I have never cried so hard in my life. Not even when my dad died. She leaned her fraile 89 yr old body over his, said something in Czech and said something like, Goodnight and goodbye my sweet handsome prince. I have loved you for a long time and I will love you forever. My mother, sister and I just cried, cried, cried.

Another interesting bit of info - my grandparents burial plot is near Selena. Yes, the latin singer made even more famous by Jennifer Lopez's portrayal of her in the movie. We were heading into the cemetary to bury my grandfather when we passed her elaborate grave. We all chuckled that they were in the same cemetary, but then the car started slowing down and we realized that their site was right across from her. My simple grandpa - hanging with celebrity.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A bitter sweet goodbye....



The sweetest, most gentle man I have ever known - the one man whose sole purpose in MY world was to be the best grandpa he could be, passed away tonight at the age of 92.

I wish I could say this was an easy goodbye, but no goodbyes are ever easy. He has been slowly declining for the past 3-5 years, but the final straw was when he fell and broke 6 of his ribs this past March. He just never recovered. This past weekend, he stopped eating, stopped responding, and slowly, peacefully passed this evening while my mother and uncle sat with him.

My grandmother is okay - she is the queen of denial, so we were worried the stress of the event would be too much for her brittle diabetic 89 yr old life, but she seems to be taking it very well. They have lived apart since his fall, so I think she has had some time to prepare for this inevitable moment.

I gotta tell you - my grandfather lived the hell out of that 92 year life. He went from a poor Czech speaking family to a successful family man and farmer. He and my grandmother had 68 wonderful years of marriage filled with 2 great children, 4 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.

(I'm the little one... don't ya love the wall paper??)



He was the best dancer I have ever had the pleasure of being lead around the dance floor with. He could polka and waltz you across the room and you would swear he had put roller skates on YOUR feet - he just knew how to lead a woman - and his number one woman is my amazing grandmother. As I was looking through pictures over the past 2 days preparing for this very sad day, it was very difficult to find a picture that did not include the two of them side by side - because that is how they have been for 68 years - side by side.


I am going to miss you, grandpa - so so very much.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm done



I am so done with this decision. I have researched, I have debated, I have watched WAAAAYYY more CNN & NBC than I would like to admit to, I have snoped the ridiculous emails, I have taken the candidate to candidate tests, I have asked myself what is important to me, and then last night, I watched the 30 minute infomercial and ....

I cried.

I actually cried. Not because I believed that he could do everything he said, because I don't, but I really believe he thinks he can... or at least he wants to try. I WANT TO BELIEVE in the life he is talking about. He is not promising a flat screen in every TV room, but he says he is going to try and help settle things so we don't feel like we are all one bad decision away from living out of our cars. He is not saying every student is going to get a blank check for college, but if you need help, you'll get help as long as YOU help your community or your country. A good education doesn't start with regulations and policies... it starts in the home when parents turn off the TV and start reading books with their children. He doesn't believe in FREE health care... he believes in making health care affordable and requiring people to sacrifice i-pods for x-rays.


Those concepts are important to me... concepts I believe in.

The may not be concepts you believe in... and that is the beauty of this country. We can live in an neighborhood where side by side neighbors have opposing McCain/Palin - Obama/Biden yard signs and still be friends on November 5th.... well.. maybe more like December or January 5th... this has been a rough campaign.

Speaking of rough campaigns... the worst part of all of this is hearing people discuss things that sound so incredibly absurd to my ears, and yet hearing people whose opinion I hold dear discuss them as if they are straight from the Bible. Things that within 3 seconds can be completely proven as false with a click of the mouse and yet over and over and over I get the same emails of hatred and ignorance. Why couldn't this campaign simply be about differing opinions? Why did it have to be sexist, racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Christ and all the other crap that just kept coming up over and over?

So in case you haven't figured out yet who I voted for, I give you the following story:

We voted today as a family. All of us went together and waited patiently in the long line. When it was our turn to go through the 3 station verification process prior to the voting booth, Max offered the following information:

1st station - checking your ID
Max: Barack OBAMA!!
Me: Angel - this is not it yet!
(huge smiles and laughter from the lady checking the IDs she had to stop what she was doing to compose herself)

2nd station - signature
Max: Is THIS where we vote for Barack OBAMA??? I already voted for him at school!!
Polling Lady: No, not yet - but good for you!

3rd station - receiving your voting receipt and pin number
Max: WE are voting for BARACK OBAMA!
Polling gentleman: Well, then you need to go right in there to do that!


And we did, and then we got our stickers, and went and had dinner.

And I am hopeful... for someone who is never okay with change I look forward to this one.

And if I am wrong, I'll change my mind in 4 years.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Right back atcha, Tiff....



.... and since we are at 8958 emails since August 2004 - I really, really would miss those emails!!

Edit - after reading that number in a published blog.... that is just absurd!! 8958 EMAILS?!?! We could have found the cure to cancer or solved world peace in that time... but it would not have been nearly as much fun!! Thanks for being the St. End to my Be Fri for 19 years!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politically Torn


So I am having a very difficult time this political season. I have tried very diligently to stay on top of the issues and give the benefit of the doubt, I have even googled the names on the sample ballot so I wouldn't be playing inny-meany-miny-mo on the lesser known races once I was in the voting booth.

I do not claim to be republican or democrat - hell, I do not claim to be political. There have been many conversations recently where, God forbid, I have been called a socialist! And no.... that is not what I am - but I do believe capitalism has been blown off the marker and people are making up their own reality. Literally making up money that is not there or pumping up value that does not exist. And yeah - I am pissed that I have to pay for people who created this mess - people who bought homes they could not afford or bought too many i-pods or i-phones on one of their 10 different credit cards so that they could keep up with the Jones who did the same thing. I am PISSED that when I needed to go by a new TV my ONLY choices seemed to be $1800 flat screen wall mounts! But you know what? I didn't buy the TV - I still have a warped screen, but it works and that is the way it has to be.

Any way - I am digressing here, as I normally do - I was googling these names and deciding what candidate to click in that new fancy digitized voting booth, when I realized I was creating grid lock - my choices, which seem to balance the scale, only cause equally head strong rams that will continuously beat each other bloody and get nothing accomplished. But I can't pick a straight Republican or straight Democratic ticket. Yes I believe in gay marriage, no I do not think you should extend unemployment rates, yes I believe health care is out of control and needs to be over hauled, but NO - STOP MAKING MORE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND LAWS - government is literally big brothering and micro managing us into destruction.

My interest in this year's elections has trickled down in our household. Max (5 turning 50) has advised me for several days:
We have to go and vote
Yes, you are right, we do, but mommy is not quite ready to go, but this week, I promise.
I voted.
You did? Where?
On the computer at the library - there were three names - Barack Obama - John McCain and somebody else - I think it started with a "B" (Those poor Libertarians - no recognition - no glory)
And who did you vote for?
Barack Obama!
Really? Why?
Well, he gives great speeches!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Because you asked!



These are the most fantabulous easy to make party appetizers that have become a massive hit at my get togethers ever since I started making them last Christmas. I cannot tell you how wonderful they are... they are very unassuming sitting there on the platter, but then you pop one of those artery clogging delights sent from heaven into your mouth and all of a sudden there is a crunchy salty bacon-y burst of amazing-ness. Happiness - pure happiness! I never make enough to satisfy the crowd.

And to make them for yourself, ya gotta go visit The Pioneer Woman! . If you have time to root around, it is an amazing website and you will find even more amazing recipes here. What I love most about her, is that she gives you step by step photos of the process so you know you are on the same page as you go. I hate it when I follow a recipe and somewhere around steps 7 and 8 something goes wrong and MY dish looks NOTHING like the one on the pic on the recipe card!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thank you!

A great big thank you to all the little ghosts and goblins who made it out to the party last night!! We had such a blast that it may have to be added to the annual get together list!!

Oh... and apparently I was having such a great time that I didn't bother to take my camera out once, so could those of you who took pics please forward them to me??

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Waiting until the last second

I always wait until the last second.
I have people coming over for a Halloween get together tonight and I have yet to finish the decorations....

Are we surprised?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mother of the Year Nominee

I hereby offer the following information for my "Mother of the Year" nominee file application:

- So yesterday I was not feeling well, and I had not been feeling well the night before, so I took a nap yesterday afternoon. I was sleeping so hard that when the radio went off, it was merely background music to my dream. It was not until I heard the preliminary screeches of the bus slowing to a stop in front of my house that I FLEW out of the bed, threw on my pants and pulled my long shirt down far enough so that you could not see that I had not zipped and snapped them as I slammed the door open and waved casually to the bus driver as Max ran up to the house!

- This morning, as I am still having trouble getting going, I scramble through large bins of old clothes looking for a long sleeve shirts and long pants that would fit my children since I have not done the ole switcher-roo of the summer to winter clothes yet and thanks to a lovely cold front last night, it is 40 degrees here this morning.

- After finding clothes that are tattered and faded and one size too small, but they are just gonna have to do, I kiss my child and send him on the bus. As I return to the house, I glance over at the counter to see the form I was supposed to fill out and send a pre-payment for Max's VERY FIRST SCHOOL PICTURES EVER - the ones that he will look like a cross between Alfalfa and a rooster because he needed a haircut 2 weeks ago. An Alfalfa rooster with faded clothes that are too tight - for his first ever school pic.... go me.

- And to add the cherries and sprinkles to the top of the best mommy in the world sundae....I made a big deal that if he was a good boy all week, mommy would buy him Spanish books out of one of those reader flyers that come home from school.... which he was a good boy... which I forgot to select and buy the books from and send back to school... which was due... today..... And I wish I could say that I could wander over to any Barnes and Noble or Walmart to pick up some books, but not with my MAX... OH NO!! The books are different!! The ones that come from school presented by the teacher have magic fairy dust sprinkled on them and are easier to read!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Out for the day

Uhm...out today... needed the sleep anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surprise, Surprise!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

mm.marilyn_.jpg


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."


Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.






How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.




What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive




What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations




Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent




Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock




My Dearest Sister, Karen,

So we have entered that last 2 months of your thirties today.... only 61 more glorious days until you reach the top of that hill and go, is that a hot flash or am I just closer to the sun up here?

But don't worry, you are not alone. Since the topic of turning 40 is sooooooo foreign to me I decided to google it and find out some information that might help your transition be a little easier!

I will start off this final 61 one day ascent to the top of that hill with the following information.... all of these woman have turned 40 this year, you know - 2008 - 40 years after you were born in 1968:

ASHLEY JUDD


CELINE DION



DEBRA MESSING


KYLIE MINOGUE


LISA MARIE PRESLEY


LUCY LUI


NAOMI WATTS


SARAH McLACHLAN

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crash course in Spanish 101

So today we went to a training session for Max's Dual language program. The lecturer was the person where the majority of the educational resources come from in his classroom - the songs, the tricks, the worksheets, etc. The purpose of this day was to give the parents, most who have no exposure to Spanish, a crash course in the language so that they can assist with the practice and homework after school.

Let's just say, if I could dip the resource binder and CD in gold and give it to each one of you, I would! It was wonderful. As I was sitting there, I was thinking, EVERY parent, whether their child learns in English, Spanish, whatever, should go through a workshop like this. I am a college graduate with an education background, and I had no clue WHY my child was learning what he was learning, just that it was important that he learn it. I didn't know HOW my child was absorbing the information, just praying Novenas that he was. Night after night, Mike and I would sit with Max and practice reading and work with his "sight" words, but I had no clue their purpose other than "they are supposed to know __(X)__ by this __(Y)__".

Another Max moment - The children all came in during part of the class to show us how important the songs were and how quickly they pick up the language through the help of the music. Max was chosen to be the leader and use the pointer as they read the words and sang the song. Well.... the lecturer was so impressed by this 5 year old red head that she asked if he would sing alone with her, which then turned into the parents clapping encouragement and his classmates yelling his name,"MAX! MAX! MAX! MAX!" Well, my pumpkin panicked and turned as red as his hair and just couldn't do it. The lady was a stranger and rather than singing along with the CD which is what they had been doing, she had a guitar and they were singing live. I was sitting in the back of the room and I almost burst into tears out of the anxiety I was feeling bursting out of those red cheeks. I could tell he wanted to soooo bad, but he was so nervous and embarrassed at the attention, and then when the time had past and they were all singing again, Max was very quiet and solemn in the back, full of regret... again I could cry.

I am so very pleased with our decision to pace Max in this program. He has blossomed more than I could possibly have imagined. I am amazed at how much he has learned and I am amazed at how much I have retained now that I am forced to use it more. I will not lie, I am re-learning this right along side my little hijo. But isn't that the point in the big picture, aren't we all learning right along side our own little pumpkins?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Done

Stick a fork in me.... because I am done.

WE are done.

The sale was a success, we managed to box the remainder and the house is completely empty short of the few remaining items that were to be picked up and one bedroom set that we still need to find a home for.

I am so tired I think my fingernails hurt.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I do it to myself


But the truth is... I like it.

I really do. I know it is exhausting and I know that I should hold back and pace myself better, but I feel like if I stop, I have stopped and I can't get going again. I know the grace in resting, but I also know the joy of opportunity. And Fall presents itself with lots of opportunity for me, it always does, and I happily load up the calendar and pray the post it notes stay stuck.

The weekends from here through the rest of the year are pretty much accounted for. Not with major events EACH weekend, but I can name something we have to do or something we should do each weekend. And it excites me.... I get excited when setting up my hurdles and then I get a little rush after I have cleared them... take that TO DO LIST!!

The problem happens when I don't clear the hurdle and I find myself on the floor of the track bruised and bleeding a little from the knees and elbows, or if I turn around and see my family can't seen to jump over the high hurdles as well as I can. But I think I am learning my lessons. I think I am learning to brush off the mistakes and walk around hurdles with little to no guilt residue. I think I am learning that there is nothing wrong with making the plans and taking the opportunity, but there is also nothing wrong with putting on your Pj's and piling 4 across in the king size bed to watch Star Wars for the ump-teenth time while waiting for the pizza dude.

Life is good.....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today's the day


Today is the day!
Sale is open!
Please, God, don't have grandma ask for that thing we just sold! Because you know that is what is going to happen... Grandma is going to ask for the thing-a-ma-jigger.... and she will REALLY need it and HOW COULD WE have SOLD her thing-a-ma-jigger.... how much did we get for it? We only sold her thing-a-ma-jigger for $$??

Don't think about it... just sell.... don't think... just sell....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To price or not to price


So today we are pricing things for the estate sale for my grandparent's house. This is such a hard thing to do. How do you put a price on the priceless. Some of it priceless because no one could ever understand the value of the memories or the love that item holds and some of it priceless because well... who the hell would want it!?!

This weekend I started to have my first moments of true anxiety about this sale. We have been sorting and gathering, and collecting and passing stuff out to the family for almost 2 years now. We have come to the point were we need to pull the damn band aid off and get it over with already!!! Well, now that we are here, the complete pack rat and memory whore inside of me is saying, "Oh God, I hope we got everything we want.....what if we should keep that?" I have images of myself following poor customers to their car emphasizing the importance of what they have in their hands and making sure they promise to take care of it and then realizing in their eyes that they don't deserve it and giving them their money back.

I will say this .... I have made a very serious effort not to bring too much crap into my house. JUST the IMPORTANT crap. A lot of her baking and cooking things; bowls that, quite frankly, they just don't make them as awesome and perfect as they used to. And her cast iron skillets.... do you have any idea how long it takes to perfect a cast iron skillet?? Well, I have one that has probably 60+ years of artery clogging delicious-ness seasoned into it now.

There are some other things that I am coveting, but I don't really need them and they could score a pretty penny if the right collector comes by. I am planning to take it if we don't sell it for the price we are listing, but if someone does come by and recognizes it and is willing to cough up the cash, so be it.... I just don't have the room in my house to absorb another person's house. I can see how easily people become overwhelmed with stuff.... houses packed to the extreme, multiple storage units... endless "if only I could organize it all".....

Oh well..... send on the shoppers.... the economy sucks and Christmas is right around the corner.... I got some great vintage stuff great for gifts!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

1:30 AM

Roll over to a rush of wind going past my bed and lights being turned on in my bathroom. I wipe the sleep out of my eyes to see Max casually turning the shower on and getting naked. I force myself out of bed and ask:

Uhm.... honey... what are you doing?
I threw up down the stairs.

Mike bolts out of bed to check the damage on the stairs. I help Max get into the shower, cleaned up and into fresh Pj's.

We get back to bed and Mike and I toss and turn all night... I fell asleep somewhere between 3 and 4... I am not sure because I just stopped looking at the clock.

Just for the record... throw up on flat surfaces sucks.... throw up on stairs really, really sucks....

WHY do I have the THROW up kids??? It is not like he has any stomach issues, it was just a little post nasal drip that gagged him and he threw up.... because that is what my kids do... they throw up.....I am so tired of the throw up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The big show



Last night Mike and I were treated to a fantastic show. It had wrestling, dancing, magic, gymnastics, music.... several curtain calls..... phenomenal!!

And we didn't even have to leave the house or get out of our Pj's.

Max and Ben were working very seriously in their room for an hour last night while Daddy and I were doing dinner and other various tasks. We get a shout out from upstairs..."Mommy, Daddy... the SHOW is gonna start in 10 minutes, okay?!?!?"

Uhm, okay... but can we see the show after dinner?

Okay, okay.....

Dinner.

Are you ready for the show???

Me- not realizing the complexity of the show, asks for shower time, then show, which after a sigh, was granted.

Shower time.

Mommy - Daddy!! Are you ready for the show?!?!

Okay - this must be serious.... they have now held on to this concept for at least 3 hours. So upstairs we go for the big show...... Daddy has been put in charge of the curtain and the music. I was told to just sit down and be the audience... Now for those of you out there already giggling, you are right, the idea of me JUST SITTING at MY children's first show is, well, poppy cosh!! I was trying to give them ideas, or help them with the curtain, and my efforts were greeted with exasperated sighs of "NO!!! YOU JUST SIT DOWN!!!" They finally gave in and allowed me announce them.

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.... BOYS AND GIRLS.....PRESENTING, THE FABULOUS, AMAZING (our last name) BROTHER'S!!!!"

Once they recovered from their body shaking giggles of excitement at hearing their names announced they burst through the curtain and gave us a very well thought out show complete with taking turns and props.

And if you think this theatre momma wasn't bursting with applause and pride... you don't know whose blog you're reading!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A shout out to Mom!

SO I want to give a little shout out to my mom, I am just so proud of her right now. She has come out of her comfort zone to try something different, and it is really hard, but she is keeping with it and I gotta just give her some props!!

She is suffering from a frozen shoulder. It is very painful. She as had it before on the other shoulder and it is a very long and very painful process. Last time she suffered through it she was also dealing with my dad's cancer, so I think she managed to suppress alot of the pain behind, He has BRAIN cancer... what is a little painful shoulder compared to that?? Well, let me tell you, it is agonizing just to watch her on a daily basis. She can't lift her arm, has very little range of motion, and will get sudden shooting pains that take her breathe away. Nothing has helped and all modern medicine can offer is meds and time.

She has been suffering sleepless nights for months now, and I think she finally found the end of her rope, because she finally agreed to TRY acupuncture. I nearly swerved my car off the road when she said she would give it a try. I was so excited and I didn't want her to come up with excuses as to why she couldn't, so I immediately hung up the phone, got her in touch with Linda ( the woman in the know about these sorts of things) and drove to work where I proceeded to print all the information I could about how scientific studies show how beneficial acupuncture is towards relieving if not curing the symptoms related to frozen shoulder.

She has been to 3 sessions in less than a week, and though she is still in pain, the pain is more specific to one area and not radiating like it did before and that is what the wise Chinese man told her would happen ( and what I read as well).

I am so happy she is trying something different and I am praying that it works!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So maybe it is not allergies

Alright alright alright.... I concede.... it is a cold... an asshole of a cold at that. An "I can't breathe" and let's throw a blazing migraine and start your womanly time of the month all at once kind of cold.

I have been in bed all weekend short of a ladies night out that I should've stayed in, but the company was GREAT so I am glad I made it out, but then I was up all night with a blazing migraine, so okay, maybe I should have taken a rain check.

...sniffle.... going back to bed....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Whew!!

So I was a little nervous there.... yesterday my blogroll was gone. I had that same minor panic you get when you misplace your cell phone. Ya know.... everyone's information is in there and you don't have it anywhere else, so if it was gone for good, your arm was just cut off kind of feeling.

But you all are back....

... now if you would just UPDATE those blogs!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happiness....

....thy name is Thursday night.

I have made a deal with my husband since we started dating.... I won't question what you do on Thursday night as long as you don't interrupt my TV shows. Thursday night has been MY TV night for .... well... I can remember the excitement of Thursday TV night all the way back to the Cosby Show and Cheers. Dinner will be made, the kitchen will be cleaned, but after that, I lock myself into our TV room and all requests, boos - boos, and night time rituals belong to daddy. And my kids know this. They know when they walk past the french doors to the TV room and they are closed and mommy is all snuggly in her chair with a blanket, the remote in her lap, don't dare come a knockin unless the house is on fire... and like fire, fire, like we should all get out fire.

Well.... with the invention of the DVR... Thursday night has exploded into absolute heaven. Because, I can now watch more shows in less time. An hour show is gone in 40 minutes. So now, I will purposely DVR all shows just to zoom past the commercials. I start my Thursday night catching up with Wednesday's Dirty Sexy Darlings...

then I can move into Grey's

and ER.

I shook things up a bit last night with Kath and Kim,
and I think they are gonna have to be squeezed into the mix, but it is going to be hard since Eli Stone starts next week...
and how can you pass up a show that includes fantasy musical numbers to George Michael while still giving you great drama....you just can't people.

I know shutting my family out and throwing things at the door when they try to interrupt isn't exactly motherly, but I make it up to them... Friday night is Family Pizza and Movie night....

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Phoning it in....

So today I am not exactly walking the red carpet. Mike and I were up late last night working on the "graveyard" for the front yard and let's just say this morning, I didn't feel like dressing to the nines since I had been up way past nine!

So I had some casual clothes on, hair pulled back in a clip. As I am putting my tennis shoes on Max crinkles his nose and asks:

Mommy? Why are you dressed like that?
What is wrong with the way I am dressed?

He lifts his eye brow and shrugs his shoulders with a silent - if you are okay walking out of the house that way - look.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So many topics, so little time

Oh what to talk about today.... the debate? Neighbor's night out? AIG's $440,000 vacation we just paid for???? The fact that it is all going to hell in a hand basket and no one cares?

NEIGHBOR'S NIGHT OUT: Yesterday I made tortilla/cream cheese/ham pinwheels and marched them along with my family down to the nearest cul-de-sac for a lovely neighbor's night out celebration. Not as many people showed up as last year but, it was still very lovely. There was one other young boy there who played with our boys. As we were leaving, I asked where he lived to see if it was close enough to become "ride bikes" and "hang out" kind of friends, and sure enough, he did. I asked who his mommy and daddy were, and he excitedly led me to his parents to introduce them. The dad was great, the mom.... not so much. She was the kind of woman who has a face like something around her smells... and apparently it was me. The dad and I chatted for awhile while the mom begrudgingly gave us one shoulder and occasionally offered a bone of her opinion to what ever it was we were talking about.... (Me)"Oh I wanna get home soon, I have become some what of a political junkie this season!I was a little disappointed in the VP debate - not enough train wrecks (ha, ha, ha)" (Her)"Oh, I was in Mexico watching the vice presidential debate." I asked if we could exchange numbers and maybe try to get together since it is so hard to find neighborhood friends and the dad was all, that's great, you should come swim, we heat our pool... and I swear she almost put her hand over his mouth, like, don't invite THEM!!! She recovered by saying, well, they could ride bikes near us, it is safer... which it is... but... let's just say I am not getting the vibe that we will be sharing Saturday morning coffee at the kitchen table any time soon... which is fine because I don't like coffee.

THE TOWNHALL DEBATE: It was either early Parkinson's or absolute disdain for his opponent, but did any one else notice McCain shaking the entire night?? He would walk around the arena and his shoulders just shook, his voice shook. I was a little disappointed with him because he came across almost desperate sometimes with his just PLEASE listen to ME, NOT HIM approach to answers. Obama, looked uncomfortable, and he has GOT to learn that we are NOT stupid. You DO NOT need to follow up on every comment, especially ones that we clearly heard to be false. You said you would cross Pakistani borders if that meant you could kill Bin Laden, He said you were going to attack Pakistan. We are smart enough to know the difference between the two sentences, you did not need to go against debate rules to "comment" and "clarify" your position. And for goodness sakes people....ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION!!!! Don't manipulate the question to be something that YOU want to talk about....because guess what, this is NOT ABOUT YOU!! It is about US!! And this is what WE want to know!!

A side note here - the term entitlements makes my skin crawl - I wish it would just all go away - as if we are all entitled to have the government create systems where the rest of your neighbors pay for you. I understand the concept was, give us some of your money now, when you can work, we will save it and then you can have it back later, when you can't..... but the term entitlement.... it just doesn't sit well with me.

AIG's POST BAILOUT, STRESS RELEASING SPA VACATION: I think I am going to throw up. I think I am going to throw in the towel and beg for relief because the amount of absolute stupidity on behalf of those in charge boggles the mind. I am willing to retract every word I am about to say if in fact it turns out to be a media twisted sub story with false info - but until then... I understand where the concept of civil revolution came from. It comes when people are SO PISSED they just can't handle it any more.

How, HOW, H-O-W can you possibly justify going from inches away from falling off the cliff of total company destruction to accepting a safety net from the American people to getting into your luxury cars and driving off to an exclusive California resort and spending $440,000 of that net on ONE WEEK's worth of rooms, dinners, GOLF OUTINGS and SPA TREATMENTS ($23,000)!!!!!!

I can't think about this anymore... I think my head is about to explode.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Come on, producers......

I don't know WHY I thought it was possible, but I ACTUALLY believed that a competition that states you can vote and your vote counts and will determine the outcome was in fact TRUE. I should know better. I have a background in theatre. I even know someone who has worked in production on "reality" TV, so I know from his mouth that it is all a facade..... BUT I STILL FOOLISHLY BELIEVED that the America's Got Talent model was in fact real.....

They didn't even try to hide the difference from the British version. For those of you who may not know - last year, on the British version of this show, there was a goofy looking adorable cell phone salesman who knocked the judges and audience members off their feet when he opened his mouth and an angelic opera voice filled the room singing Nessun Dorma. It was phenomenal. He ended up winning that season. He then became an underground Internet sensation because of his you tube clip and eventually went on to making a CD - which is great by the way.

Fast forward to America's version this season. An overweight, down on his luck, good ole country boy comes up to the mic.... and what should come out of his mouth (oh so unexpectedly)?!? That's right, Nessun Dorma. And what, pray tell, was the audience and judges reactions??? Roaring standing ovation....

Wait a minute... haven't I seen this before??

Fast forward a little more - he has "humbly" made it through the entire season and it is time for his final performance ..... THEY DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO CHANGE THE CONCEPT OF THE BACKGROUND SETS!!! The background of the TWO (British vs American) songs, which again, were exactly the same, were almost identical down to the fire spark waterfall. (** Post Publish EDIT: I just tried to watch the below you-tube clips silumltaneously and I swear it is almost the same camera angles. It is certainly the same background tape/additional vocals, the same smoke, the same tux, the same concave vertical towers with digital blue bars projected on it)

I don't like being taken for a fool.... and so blatantly. Don't tell me I have a choice or a vote when I don't.... I might start suspecting you of modeling our government.


Paul Potts (British version - 2007):



Neal E. Boyd (American version - 2008):

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mental Zaps DO work!

Let's just say the journey of Max's school bus life has started out as a rocky one... first no bus, then, cars zooming past, yadda yadda.....

Well, there has been one thing that has been driving me crazy since the bus actually started showing up. He stops on the opposite site of our street. It is right in front of our house, but it is on the wrong side of the street, and where we are it is a very wide street (you could park 4+ cars across it). Then once he has picked up/dropped off Max, he does this 3 corner turn in order to be facing the direction he just came from. I have never made a big deal about this - it is no big deal to walk across the street to meet him, I am just glad he shows at all.... but... why not just do it in reverse and that way he is in front of our house when picking up/dropping off Max??

Well.... I have been mentally zapping him with this idea since, well, day one, and today - he got it. He told my husband that he was going to come this way every day because it was safer....

So I guess I will not need to take out Mike's shot gun after all!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Just for the record

It is gonna be awesome....

I mean, AWESOME awesome.....

I mean people slowing down and coming around a couple of times just to see it awesome.

And we have only JUST begun.

That's right people..... this year's Halloween decorations are on like Donkey Kong....

Will post pics of the final masterpiece, but I will leave you with these thoughts....

Six ghosts, approx 5 ft long, lighted and hanging from the front tree...
Lime green lights in the windows, that have been boarded up to look like the house is abandonded....
The graveyard.....

Oh yeah, baby.... bring on the trick or treaters....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I cannot find my tennis shoes....

Have you seen them????

I own upwards of 20 pairs of shoes but I can never find the pair I WANT...

Crappity crap....

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Dear Mr. I am in a Hurry for Work,

Hi, how are you? Did you get to work on time?

I'm sorry... you don't recognize me?

I am sure it was hard to get a good idea of what I looked like as I held my 5 YEAR OLD's hand as we crossed the street to load him onto the bus this morning and you came zooming past us.... you know... zooming right past that HUGE YELLOW BUS with BRIGHT RED FLASHING LIGHTS and A BIG RED SIGN that says STOP!!! I know.... you were going pretty fast to recognize a universal sign like that, much less the lives crossing the street to get to it.

Psst.... next time.... if I catch you zooming past our house in the morning and not stopping, I am gonna pull out my husband's shotgun and wait for you and I am gonna blow your tires out. I am not a very good shot, so I may miss, kinda like you may miss us crossing the street. But I may not miss..... that is a chance you are gonna have to take.

Anyway.... hope you have a great day!

Best Regards,
Your Neighbor, mother of an adorable red head I would like to see grow up.....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Catching up

THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN OVER SEVERAL DAYS WHILE I DID NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS:

So I hear we are in an economic crisis right now. I would have no clue as I am in an information vacuum. The only access I have to the outside world right now is through antenna that gets me the local stations that are in non stop recovery coverage. This morning there was a break in from the national affiliate to broadcast President Bush’s speech about the fact that we had a stock market 9-11 on Monday. Really? Didn’t know – too busy trying figure out how to get food and gas and praying the lights would come back on to worry about the fact the sophisticated game of banking on others to make money for you some how came crumbling to pieces. Besides, I really do not appreciate the term “stock market 9-11” as I don’t think terrorists purposely ruined people lives by taking their money on Monday, so let’s keep those witty little phrases to ourselves – those that were really close to those falling towers just don’t appreciate it, as I am sure many other feel the same way.
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Sorry… I am tired and bitter right now. But I do want to try and document what happened in our Hurricane Ike experience before it all jumbles into one foggy memory. I am actually righting this in Word since I still have no access to the internet, a fact that I have to admit I am jones-ing for right now. Yesterday at work I needed to accomplish a couple of tasks that actually made my brain freeze because I didn’t have access to the internet. I am fully aware there were other ways to find the information I was looking for, but I am so used to using this tool as second nature that not having it made me have to stop and think, something I don’t do normally do – okay stop laughing…..

Wednesday was when things started getting serious – the storm was just not turning. It had shifted back north from Corpus, but not far enough to allow us to go, SO sorry Louisiana, this is your problem, again. Nope…. We would have to shoulder this one this time. I got home at my usual time which is earlier than most so I decided to head to the store. As I was wandering the store picking up water bottles and dry goods, my phone rings. It was my mother calling with the most recent coordinates of the storm – I pick up by saying – So I should put all this stuff back? And she said, Oh no…. it shifted North – it is coming right here. Crappity crap. You hear cell phones go off and whispers to other customers spreading the same news – and then people grab one or two more of whatever it was they were just grabbing off the shelf. I had forgotten the propane tanks for the grill and head back to the store and now EVERYONE is there. It takes me 45 minutes in the garden line to get 2 tanks of propane. Mike greets me at the house with “what took you so long?” and I give him the look from hell and say, “Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME?!?!”

So Thursday – I spent prepping the office and getting our home care patients taken care of as best we could. We had quite a few that should have hit the road, but they just didn’t want to because “it is not coming here.” Get home late and Mike has already taken care of 90% of the stuff needed to be done at our house.

Friday – Wake up – try get as much laundry done as possible, clean up and change sheets because everyone in our family is hunkering down at our house. That is a total of 11 people – 5 kids under 8. I have the news on and I cannot believe the pictures of the waves that are crashing onto the seawall at Galveston and the storm is easily 15 hours away, still. Help my mother secure her big stuff in her yard and get her over to my house.

Karen’s family shows up at our house, we organize the supplies and start wandering outside as the breezes turn into winds – gusty ones at times. We played with the kids outside for awhile and even let them get into the pool to blow off some energy. It is around 5 o’clock and the first of many teases that night happens when our power flashes on and off – oh HELL to the NO….. we have not even seen one drop of rain and we are going to lose power this early!!! We rush inside to make dinner because what we had planned needed electricity – stove and oven – and we had air mattresses that needed to be blown up. The lights flash on and off several times through out the night. We went outside a couple of times to watch the whipping of the trees and took bets on which ones would no longer be standing in the morning. We were all going to stay downstairs so the kids were on the air mattresses in a main living area and we had put two reclining winged back chairs in my room – so between the big sofa chair already in there all 5 adults had somewhere to “rest” all night long. We were laying down watching the TV in my room when I say a huge lime green explosion outside my bedroom window and then blackness – our transformer was officially gone – 11:47 PM. No power – we had a hand held TV that we used as our info from then on.

Interesting point I will mention here – it is a good thing this storm hit PRIOR to the digital takeover because otherwise, we would not been able to watch TV at all during this time.

So – we drifted to sleep somewhere in here and got woken up by something around 2:00 AM – this was when the major Hurricane winds were here – it was dark so it was hard to see, but there were lots of limbs down and something very black at the bottom of the pool. Speaking of the pool – the winds were causing our own little flood surge – all the debris on the top of the pool was in one corner and the pool water would splash up over the top of the pool as the winds pushed the water in one direction.


I went back to sleep for awhile, and got up early. It was still raining and gusty, but the bad stuff was gone. We had cereal (to use the milk) for breakfast followed by an ice cream party at 8:30 AM – if we had waited much later there would have been ice cream soup. Mike took the melting ice cream as a challenge at ate 8 chocolate ice cream bars in one sitting…. not a proud wife moment.




We went outside to survey the damage. We lost 3 major limbs on some trees and countless other minor limbs, but no MAJOR damage – just a lot of clean up. The pool was so full of debris that Mike finally just jumped in with goggles and a rope tied to a milk crate. He would shove debris into it and we would haul it up and dump it out. The kids helped out too – they had nothing better to do and they pretended the sticks were swords.


This was a tree from one of our walks in the neighborhood:


We got power back sometime that day, only to lose it later that night. But miraculously we got it again the next day, so it was kind of a off and on tease for 2 days until we got power back completely. We did not get cable, phones or internet, but at least we had food and air conditioning. The kids were on DVD overload – they were going crazy in between killing each other in free play time, organized play around something ( like the trains) and the movie time.





By Saturday, a week after the storm hit, I am not sure if my sister was racing out the door or if I was pushing her, but the kids definitely had had enough extended family time.

So…. all in all…. we did great… the neighbors across the street didn’t have power for 10-12 days… I just tried to keep my blinds shut tight so as not to rub into their misery.