Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays

Hard to believe it has been SO long since I blogged. Although I think about blogging often, finding time to actually sit down & type is another issue altogether!

We had family photos done earlier this month...the plan was to frame & give them as Christmas gifts to family...but then forgot to take them with us when we went to Texas (our Christmas gift to ourselves). We left for Texas on Saturday the 20th - squeezing our departure in between winter storms. We made good time and got there in 17 hours. The kids were real troopers.
Our "big" gift for the kids this year were digital cameras so they've been taking pictures like crazy - haven't had a chance to upload them to our family photo site - but will do that eventually.
We left to come home on Saturday the 27th, one week is just not enough time! We chased a storm all the way home as we wanted to get here before the temperature dropped and everything froze. Again, made good time & got home in 16 hours.
We don't currently have plans for New Years so we'll probably just stay home and rest. Looking forward to a new year and hoping for a better economy too! Also hoping to finish our Christmas cards as I haven't had time to write the "letter" or compile all the photos yet (let alone mail them out!).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My little angel & devil

Happy (belated) Halloween!!

The Girl really wanted to be an "Indian Jones girl" she said - but after The Boy announced he wanted to be a devil...I convinced her to be an angel. Honestly, these are the best costumes for my kids! ;o)

The Boy's was easy - red turtleneck and red sweats (clothes he can wear again), last year's vampire cape and $1.00 mask from Wal-Mart. I had hoped to buy him horns & a tail but all I could find were girlie accessories (I convinced him he really didn't want those). Did pick him up a pitch fork as well. His total costume costs (not including the clothes) were $7.00.

For The Girl I picked up an angel accessories set (halo & wings) and I made the robe. I had an old white fitted sheet I had considered tossing just last week. I cut it up, sewed it into a gown, bought a gold & white cord for a belt & voila! The cutest little angel in town. She already had white pants so I bought her a white turtleneck. Her total costume costs (not including the clothes) were $8.00.

So my first try at "making their costumes" instead of buying them went pretty good!
(okay, so not everything was homemade - but at least I didn't buy one of those cheapie things!)

The photo is from my phone because my blasted digital camera croaked on me last month! argg!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mean Mommy

So by the end of the day, after spending the entire day inside with the kids (it's been raining since Friday) I had had enough. So I declared to The Boy that I would become what he's always calling me..I am now officially a mean mommy.

He blinks at me with shock...not sure what that means. I explain, all toys must be picked up & back in your room at bedtime. I will no longer cook special meals, you will eat whatever we happen to make for dinner, or starve (or fend for yourself...this is why he's been taught how to make his own quesadillas). I will no longer allow whining or back talking (I've had it w/ the "no" & "why" stuff).

So he grumbled & cried and apologized and begged for "nice mommy" to come back. "I don't want you to be a mean mommy!"

But guess what.... my living room floor is clean. He actually ate (and LOVED) the grilled pork chops we made for dinner. He brushed his teeth without a fight. He happily read with dad. And it worked on The Girl too. She cleaned her room. Brushed her teeth. And went to bed without whining.

I am SO loving this mean mommy idea!

Really, where do they come up with this stuff?

Water balloons filled with blue gel toothpaste and water.

Splattered down the wall of the tub (at least it was the inside of the tub and not the painted wall).

Also on the toilet and floor.

Where do they come up with this stuff?

They're both currently grounded to their room...more for their protection than anything else. And no, I didn't take pictures. I considered it...but my digital camera is broken and I also didn't want them to think that after I get past being angry and dismayed that it's actually pretty comical. I swear, it's the idea of blogging these episodes that keep me from breaking open a bottle of Xanax.

P.S. Is it just me or is it extra comical that as I type "kid" into the post labels box that an auto-fill-in feature pops up "kids behaviour"?

Friday, September 12, 2008

what i learned today

Children laugh about 400 times a day, while adults laugh on average only 15 times a day.

I need to start laughing more. :o)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

where do they get it, really?

were do kids get their attitudes? really, where does it come from?

is it true, do they get it from their role models (namely mom & dad)??

i try SO hard to control my reactive nature, to talk in a pleasing voice, to use good manners, blah, blah, blah

but without fail, my son (8 yrs) has these bouts of pure monster. disrespectful. rude. whiny. nasty. mean. hateful.

i swear he is becoming 90% monster and 10% sweet kid that used to hug me. cuddle with me. say nice things to me. smile sweetly from across the room.

oh wait, i think that was his sister. how can two kids be so vastly different??

Saturday, August 23, 2008

yes, those are my kids...

After convincing The Boy that he does not need a $15 haircut at Kidsnips (and that it costs that because those toys really are not free), we (The Girl, The Boy & I) walk down to Fantastic Sams down the street. They're having a special - $6.00 kids cuts. So of course, I saved so much..I had to stop at the resale store on our way back.

Really, I have a good reason - we have one glass that the kids fight over who gets to use it...and we now have a schedule to ease that dinnertime stress (The Girl gets it M/W/F and The Boy gets it T/TH/Sat OR Sun, his choice). Anyway, I digress....

So I go into the resale store to see if they have a glass like it because those kinds of places always have lots of mismatched glassware (where on earth did I get that glass to begin with? I have no idea!).

So as I'm roaming the store my kids find the toy room. And what is the result? They get kicked out for making a mess! The lady gives me a hard time and I scold the kids & tell her we'll clean it up & she says "no, that's okay", she wanted to redo it all anyway (insert eye roll here). Then I apologize to the other owner as we're checking out and she gives me a spiel about how they prefer their customers to better supervise their kids (insert another eye roll here). I apologize, again and promise not to bring them "next time" (like I'll go there again after that embarrassment!).

Okay, I've decided my kids are in for some majorly embarrassing times in their teen years for putting me through crap like that! ugh.

BTW, that $6.00 haircut was every bit as good as the $15.00 ones!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

You Said What?

What's the strangest thing you ever said that you never thought you'd say (until you were a parent)? That's the topic of a fellow mom-blogger...check it out:

She posted her top 10 (pretty durn funny too!) and it got me thinking...hmm....(ouch)....

Okay, I have one (& I posted it on her site as well)...when we went on vacation to the Bahamas in 2007 w/ our friends, we took along our teenage babysitter Kate (because there were four little kids between us). It was great having help on our vacation...not to mention us adults got to go out w/ out the kids! So the funniest said was when we were driving to the our extended van to fit us & all our stuff....and one of my kids had a booger emergency...quick thinking resulted in my shouting out "Give your booger to Kate!!" LOL - I still crack up when I think of that!

Monday, July 28, 2008

First Day of School

Is it too early to start talking about the first day of school? Let's see, I haven't made Matt's 8 year checkup yet (and August is always the busiest time of the year), I will of course put-off shopping for his new school clothes until it's late because...well, because that's what I do! And thankfully I ordered his supplies through the PTA again this year, so that's one thing OFF my list (wow, it's like Christmas shopping early!).
Well, the real reason for my post, is one of my new fav blogs is having a contest & you can view it HERE. I hope I win something....because it's for a really cool backpack...which is one of the things I'll put off shopping for until it's too late...again!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Race to Mac - 100th race!

It was the 100th Race to Mackinac Island this year and we all raced up there (My Man on Cancan Duex & my mom, the kids & me in our car). It was a race for us because we got a late start, hit some awful storms & only just made the last ferry to the island (at 8:30 PM ET).
We caravan'd with fellow sailor/wife-to-sailor Jolly Roger. We drove up the Wisconsin side as we are fairly north of Chicago and driving around the city is SUCH a pain. Technically it's like the exact same time/distance - but Garmin wouldn't switch the route via IN/MI until we hit the Wisconsin border! What a trip! Like I would drive from Gurnee thru the city and around the south side of the lake to get to the island! Yah right!
At any rate, we arrived LATE Sunday, drove the thru the pouring rain, then decided to hoof it to the hotel and got caught in the rain & had to walk half the trip in a downpour that reminded me of Texas (where the sky opens up & it just pours). We were drenched to the bone when we got there, started to strip out of wet clothes when we realized, our luggage hadn't arrived yet! So we were in towels when the guy brought the stuff. Too funny.
So Monday rolls around and they guys still aren't in - looking at midnight so we make plans to go to the movies in the Mission Point theatre. Then My Man calls - they're getting in at 10, bring the kids to the beach to watch the finish. Not easy to talk them into it - but they gave up the movie to watch Dad cross the finish line. Hmm, looks like rain? Well, it's not in the forecast so we leave the umbrellas behind. Guess what happened? You betcha! it RAINED...make that POURED, again. So we're huddled under someone else's umbrella at the finish line, hoping to get a picture in the pouring rain. Note for future reference, when the kids mess with your camera, check your settings before using it. All set up for night time shot, lovely shot of rain as the flash goes off & reflects off the rain drops and boat can't be seen (jeez!).
The rain continues, the boat can only do touch & go & then go to the mainland (did I mention it was the 100th anniversary? Too many boats for the island, Cancan Duex had to moor at St Igance). This means we DO NOT get to see My Man so we catch a cab (horse drawn carriage) back to the hotels. Kids proceed to tell me that it was NOT better than going to the movies. Oh well.
So My Man joins us at breakfast (last ferry was at 11:30 so he didn't make it and had to catch the morning ferry). We spend a few hours dialed into the office (after all, we'd been gone a WHOLE day at this point! [insert sarcasm]) and then rented bikes for a short ride before the rum party.
We arrive at the rum party late, but it was still packed & they weren't out of rum! The kids had a great time sliding down the hill (hello grass stains) and then we walked back to the hotel to leave the kids with a babysitter so we could have a "grown up" dinner.
The plan was to get up on Wednesday, have breakfast & do some shopping...but work had other plans. We spent the ENTIRE morning dialed into work (grrr) and didn't get to have breakfast until noon (and yes, all of us, except My Man, did eat breakfast as soon as we got the chance). Then we did finish up our shopping before hopping on a 2PM ferry to the mainland. Since we had such a late start, we didn't get home until 10:30. It was a long day and a short vacation. But we did have a blast! And yes, we did buy fudge! LOL

Monday, July 14, 2008

and the vacation continues

So the next day we had a leisurely breakfast and a walk around Rich's neighborhood (did I already say I could TOTALLY live here?).
After breakfast we started our journey to the other side of Denver to visit our friends Simon & Donna in Highlands Ranch. Finally got to see their house & meet their kids in person (TOO cute they are!) and meet Si's parents who were visiting. Then the four of us (2 couple out without our kids, woo hoo!) went to an amusement park in downtown Denver. It used to be a Six Flags once upon a time so that means they had a wooden rollar coaster (which of course I will NOT go on) and some other fun rides. Just as we were ready to take pix of the guys riding the wooden coaster, bad weather forced them to cancel the ride (bummer too because I had the perfect spot to catch them on film...well digital pixels that is). After that Donna & I went on a crazy ride that spins you around & around upside down. It was too much fun.
We also rode some rollercoasters and then went out to dinner.
After parting ways with the Facers, we made our way back to Longmont. After a fun filled day, we settled down with drinks & a movie at Rich's home. We watched Walk The Line about the life of Johnny Cash - what a great movie! I can't believe Joaquin & Reese did all their own singing!
Our last day in Colorado started with breakfast at an outdoor cafe, without a view of the mountains. Then Rich took us to a park so we could walk and see the mountains (yes, I whined during breakfast that I couldn't see them). Then he gave us a little tour of the surrounding area, a cute little town called Niwot and some of the really expensive homes in the area (some of which he built).
Upon arriving at the airport we discovered the flight before ours still had not left. By the time we got to our gate, our flight was delayed too. Nasty storms over the mountains (which we sat in the airport bar & looked out the window to watch). 3 hours later, we were on our way!
Tired & slightly cranky, we pick up our kids from my Aunt's house & head home.
I still want to move there...what a great place to visit!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No Kids Vacation!

For the first time in 8 years, my husband and I ventured out, on our own, sans kids, for more than one evening! We had airline tickets/vouchers we needed to use so we waited around for a year to do something with them...and then scrambled in April to turn them into a vacation. The vacation we used them for was a trip to Colorado for the 4th of July. Woo hoo!

So we handed over our offspring to family around noon on Thursday...finished working out the day...ate a leisure dinner of veggie & steaks on the grill (no complaints about "no burgers? no french fries? I want the [insert special description] glass!!!")...then we went to bed early because we had to get up at 3AM to pack & catch a 6AM flight (I know, I know, why didn't we pack on Thursday night? well, cuz we didn't wanna!).

Damn 3:30AM comes around fast! (I know, I said 3AM, but at my house, we always hit the snooze button for at least a half hour before rising).

Okay, pack all the weekend essentials & out the door....oops, feed the cat and out the door.....oops, check that all the windows & doors are locked and then out the door....oops, left the bedroom light on, damn it, back into the house, turn off the light, lock the door & on our way!

Drive to long term parking. Missed the tram by 1 minute (damn bedroom light). Monitors say Gate problem, plenty of time to go to the FAR AWAY gate. Read all advertising in tram station waiting for train. 20 minutes later.... .... board tram for Terminal 2.

Leisurely walk to gate C23. Hey, where is everyone? Jeez, always check the monitors AFTER you get off the tram as well, gate's been moved to B6 (oh for pity's sake, back to the other concourse). On the plane...and on our way! Well, not quite...apparently the maintenance crew "forgot" to load the new software into the airplane flight system. "Sorry folks, that will take 30 to 45 minutes to load..then we'll be on our way." hour later...and we're off! (for real this time.)

Colorado is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L (that is not easy to type let me tell ya, but its a perfect description).

We rent a car & head for the mountains (literally). We decide to first go West to Breckenridge - want to see what the ski hills look like without snow. Boy has it changed! We got stuck driving sloooowly through town (4th of July parade) and got to really see how much it had changed. We saw the old brew pub that was brand spanking new when we were there about 10 years was built way out of town and was a bit of a hike...and now it's completely surrounded by shops. We barely recognized the place!

Next stop - Keystone and A Basin. Turns out if we had come 3 weeks earlier - we might have been able to go skiing at A Basin - but they're closed now. At Keystone we parked and walked around. I don't remember it looking like a little town so I'm guessing everything we saw was new there too. They were having a street fest kind of thing which was cool...we had just missed the bike parade. We walked over to the ski hill and saw all the crazy extreme mountain bikers riding the lift up to go biking down the ski runs. Looks like fun (but not the kind of fun I'm interested in - looks way to dangerous for me!). We took a few photos and hopefully can return again sometime to ski and take photos in those same places...but with snow.

After the ski hills we decided to take the scenic route OVER the mountain to get to our friend Rich's place in Longmont. And when I say scenic, I mean scenic! Thank goodness for Garmin - we couldn't have done it w/out a GPS (only because I would've chickened out & made My Man turn around & go on the highway). We were barely out of town (don't remember what town it was, some old mining town) and the pavement ended. And then there were signs to let us know that there is no maintenance beyond this point (oh fun!). So a bouncing we did go up a dirt road. Then another dirt road. Then a very rocky dirt road...okay, we turned around to find a better dirt road - no need getting a flat tire just for the sake of an adventure! Next time we'll rent a Hummer and take the rocky scenic route!

I don't take too kindly to scary heights..and these scenic back roads definitely had them. Mountain on one side...tree tops on the other. But we got some great views!

Once we were on the other side, the pavement started again and we began our descent. More beautiful views of snowy mountain peaks, motorcyclers, lots of bicyclers and the occasional hiker (or rather, the car they left behind on the side of the road). As we got closer to Boulder we followed the fast moving water coming down the mountain along the side of the road. Brrr, it looked cold! And when we got to Boulder, we actually saw people swimming in it! yikes!

Boulder is beautiful and had I known about it years ago...I would've planned to go to college there instead of po-dunk Texas! LOL

Not long after we found our way to Longmont and our friend Rich's house. After a nap, a few drinks (and some really good North New Mexican food) and some fireworks (it was the 4th of July still), we called it a night.

More still to come...on another post.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

and a spider sat down beside her...

So there's a spider living under my tub. I'm weirdly afraid of spiders, but I try not to be for my kid's sake. So as I'm sitting in the bathroom, without my glasses (so everything is fuzzy), out he comes & runs near my feet. I freak...and put the plunger on him. I figure, he's trapped, I'll deal with him later.
So later I think, should I lift the plunger? What if he's freaking & starts running all over? I may have to kill him (as I'll be freaking out). Or what if he's already escaped? Will that freak me out too (not knowing where he is)? Okay, I'll give it more time. I'm sure he's escaped by now (afterall a spider can get thru a screen door, surely he can get out from a plunger on a tile floor).
Next day...I'm in the shower obsessing about the silly spider. Why is he in my bathroom anyway? Mom always said, if it's a window spider, leave him in the window, he's eating the bugs! I think to myself, there's no bugs on the floor. Oh wait, there has been in the past. Ah hell, he's eating the bugs on the floor! I gotta let him go!
So, after showering, I lift the plunger. Fully believing he won't be there anyway.
Oh crap. A shriveled up black thing. Ah man, he died! Durnit, I killed a spider...why do I feel so guilty now?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy 40th Old Man!

So my husband has been picking on me since my birthday (in mid-January) and now it's finally HIS 40th birthday (never marry a younger man if he's the type that likes to poke fun at your age!).
But this post is not to rag on him about his age (I do that in person) but to share what might be one of the best presents I've given him in a LONG time! This year I contacted a fellow blogger (not sure I can call myself a blogger just yet!) Rick Green of Organized Doodles. He does caricatures from afar (he lives in Oregon) and I think he does a bang-up job! Here's a link to his post on my dear husband's illustration:
Apparently I am a high-maintenance client...but that's a whole 'nother post for another day!

I think My Man was sufficiently surprised & pleased by his birthday gift. :o)

Friday, March 21, 2008

women vs men - the clothing size debate

It's like the age-old debate of why hot dogs come in a package of 10 while the buns come in a package of 8 (my own personal opinion is that they expect you to either drop a few in the fire...or you have kids that like to eat w/out a bun).

But here's my question....why is it that men can go out & buy pants w/out having to try them on..and women have to use a dressing room? If you're a working'll know what I mean. You go out to buy clothes, you try on 5 pairs of might buy 1 that fits the way you like. Let's say you wear a size 8 or 10. Depending on the pants, you'll take a size 6, a size 8, a size 10 and even a size 12 into the dressing room...because who knows what size this "brand" of pants decided to conform to. BTW, when I said you took 5 pairs in with you - I didn't mean 1 pant in 4 to 5 sizes...I mean 5 different pairs of pants...possibly in many different sizes.

Now, switch's the men's turn to shop. They walk into a store. They pick up 2 to 3 pairs of pants...look them over. Walk to the register. It's no wonder they can shop faster than us..they don't have to try on clothes! AND...why is that you ask? It's because THEIR clothes are not sized with one number....their pants are sized w/ waist & length measurements! So as long as they know how round they are & how tall they are...they're set to go!

So how come women are forced to use Small/Medium/Large ...or a number to figure out what size they are? Why can't they just use the same measuring system as men (or something similar)?

Case in point...I'm a short but normal sized person (my butt is the same size 8 or 10 as someone that is tall and wears a size 8 or 10). So I know what you're a petite, right? Well, I'm NOT a petite. A petite does NOT mean short leggs - it means short legs & skinnier waist and smaller butt.

So, my question is...why can't women's pants be sold using a waist & length size...or even better yet, waist, butt & length for those of us w/ a little more junk in our trunk?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

life observations...

so i sit down at our production meeting & my dear husband (& biz partner) is still talking on the phone (instead of coming to the meeting). i was totally frustrated because my computer had been running SO s-l-o-w all day that i couldn't get prepared for the meeting (so i essentially had nothing to add to the meeting!). someone says - maybe you should talk to "the IT dept" about it (that was a dh is the IT dept!). of course, that won't help me at all because i have a multitude of IT issues going on that he has yet to why would my slow day prompt any kind of action at this point?!

after entertaining the troops with my long tirade of what i've been going thru today (i didn't say it was a productive production meeting, did i? LOL) dh finally comes to help me find out why my computer is running so slow. turns out i had tried to send an email with a 30 MB file attached to it! D.U.E. my dh calls to me as he walks out (that's pronounced doo-eee & it stands for Dumb User Error). great - i've been annoyed all day & it was my own durn fault? life just doesn't get any better than this does it!! /me rolls my eyes...

so i announce to the meeting attendees that i REALLY need to get out of work early today (one of them looks at their watch & sez "you know it's already 4:30, right?")....and i then explain that leaving at 5pm for me is "early". of course, i still didn't get out until 5:40 which means i'm hauling butt to get to daycare to p/up the kids. i really must get this life & work balance thing figured out.

i saw an interesting quote was paraphrased but i can't find it...but i did find the original:
I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing. (Gloria Steinem)

this is SO true in my life. i swear my dh takes for granted that i'm the one that drops off the kids at daycare & picks them up (mostly). i'm the one that takes them to the dr visits & talks to their teachers. i'm the one (seems) to do most of the caregiving because he's so busy at work. but we work together and we both have our biz responsibilities...but i don't think that he feels a need to find work/life balance....but i do. and i want that for both of us...but how can you get someone else to view that need when they are seemingly happy just being busy at work all the time instead of "wanting" to be at home with the family? i'm not saying he doesn't want to be home...and i'm not saying that he doesn't spend time at home...but i look at my work/life balance and i recognize that it's lopsided to the work side of things...and i can see that his life is even more lopsided to the work side of things....and i want us both to find more balance. i'm afraid that the harder i work to make the life side more balanced, the more he'll "think" he has to work harder to enable me to have that time.