Monday, December 29, 2008

Charmin Is Being Charming

Yes, here it is.  A brief moment in time when I wasn’t growling at her, pushing her off my kids or trying to keep her from licking the table.  A moment when I thought that both my dogs were being cute, laying in the sun enjoying the warmth.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Getting Ready For The Playa

My daughter Emily likes to be naked. It’s not something I encourage or discourage, it's just what she likes to do. I can spend 20 minutes getting her dressed, turn around and she will be standing there naked. It’s who she is.


We were at Christmas dinner at my Aunt's when I turn around and our daughter is running around without pants. At least she wasn’t going commando. A relative by marriage hears us talking about this and decides it’s an open opportunity to give me just one more thing to worry about when my daughter grows up.

“She’s getting ready for the playa,” he says. “She is going to be running around burning, rolling in the mud naked. That’s what she is doing, getting ready for the playa.” Now I have been to Burning Man. I think it's a great time. I just don’t want to have to think about my 3 year old all grown up running around on the playa.

So fast forward to today and Emily is sitting at the table finishing up her lunch and she starts waving her arms around in a sixties bohemian hippie sort of way. Can you dig it? So, not one to pass up an opportunity I say “Emily, are you getting ready for the playa?” Sure enough the next thing I know my daughter continues her hippy arm swaying and body swaying dance and saying “I’m getting ready for the playa” which comes out something like “I’m betting ready for da tie-ya”. Now this I thought was funny and I figured I would share with mommy.

Susanne sits down at the table for lunch, the kids have moved on into the playroom and Emily strolls out (wearing only pants of course) and a purse on her arm and I say “Em, show your mommy how you are getting ready for the playa.”

She replies “I can’t, I’m going shopping”.

Can I tell you, I was sort of relieved.

Friday, December 26, 2008

There Go Any Future Invites

So, I don’t know what it is about me and Greg, but we seem to find ourselves among a selection of alcoholic beverages and a group of uber conservatives. The first time this ill-fated combo occurred with non-family members was late this summer when I convinced, or rather TOLD, Greg that since the BBQ was at MY friend’s house, I got to drink, and he got to drive. (Frankly, I don’t think I will EVER catch up on how much he owes me drink nights with all the designated driving I did during two pregnancies and months upon months of nursing our children.)

So, there I am, enjoying a nice evening of chatting and drinking, drinking and chatting. And then (dun dun DUNNNNNN), the topic of politics came up. There were about six or eight of us sitting around the table in the back yard when the FBI agent and the stay-at-home mom (that would be me, in case anyone was curious whether or not I had a secret identity) stirred the proverbial pot with talk about the upcoming election and every possible uncomfortable political topic imaginable. It didn’t take long and we were the only two left at the table. For over an hour. Until Greg dragged me away and drove me home.

Since I worry, I figured we’d never be invited to anything by these people again. But I was wrong. Apparently enough time had passed for all to be forgiven because lo and behold we were invited to a Christmas party with the same group of people attending. This time, I told Greg HE could drink because I certainly didn’t want to have a replay of the last time we were all together.

Early in the evening the FBI agent and I poked fun at one another for our previous political pummeling, and then quickly changed the topic to something a little safer. Like the size and shape of the carpet’s loop pile beneath our feet. Or deciding whether the fondue had Gruyere cheese in it or not. Or whether a wookie would crush a My Pretty Pony when trying to ride it.

Then the entire lot of us, uber conservatives and the two token liberals alike, sat to partake in the “Yankee Swap”. This game, which serves as an ice-breaker among such groups, pits one against another for the best gift. It goes something like this:

  1. The first person picks a gift and opens it.
  2. The second person can either take the first person’s gift or pick another unwrapped gift to open.
  3. If your gift is taken by someone else, then you once again can either take someone else’s gift or an unwrapped one.
  4. This continues until everyone has had a chance to either steal away someone else’s treasure or take a chance with an unknown gift.

It was easy to spot the people who wanted their gifts taken by someone else in order for a chance to get a better one. In fact, the whole exchange sounded roughly like:

The fourth person up heard: “You really NEED a pink tie. Really.”

The seventh person heard: “C’mon. Pink is your color. You NEED this pink tie.”
“Box of chocolates?”

The tenth person heard: “C’mon, you can tie up your husband with the pink tie.”
“Box of chocolates?”
“You skin looks dry. You should take my lotion pack with Lipliscious products!”

The thirteenth person was bombarded with: “Pink tie?!”
“You REALLY want some chocolates!”
“Your wife would really like it if you gave her some Lipliscious skin!”
“Look, with this Buns and Abs DVD, you can start your New Year’s resolution early.”
”But you want the chocolates first!”

And so on…

I’m happy to report I ended up with a $20 gift card to Blockbuster, and Greg ended up with a $20 gift card to Keva juice. We scored. I guess no one wanted to piss off the liberals. You know how we are.

The ice-breaking Yankee Swap in conjunction with the numerous ways in which to imbibe provided the necessary ingredients for our next political run in. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t me OR the FBI guy this time. When I heard “I wasn’t about to vote for a Muslim”, it was my blatant queue to get my ass out of the kitchen quicker than the speed of one of my kids sneaking another brownie from the dessert table. I mean really, there isn’t a damn thing I could have said to that person that would change their mind. Without alcohol pulsing through my veins, my ability to choose my battles is much more spot on. Imagine that. So I high-tailed it out. Except this time, I left something behind. My husband.

This time it was him against all the other men at the party. Minus the FBI guy. So, I packed up our gifts, bundled up the kids, and placed them all by the door for a quick escape. I slyly snuck into the kitchen and tugged on Greg’s shirt. Then I yanked. Then I pulled on it with my heels digging into their tile floor. I was practically horizontal, but damn it all, he didn’t budge. If anything, it made him project even louder. But that’s not really possible, so it must have been my imagination.

As of yet, we haven’t received our New Year’s invite.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hot Wife Gives Hummer For Christmas

That’s right.  For weeks I have been telling my wife that all I want for Christmas is a hummer, and I am not a truck person, if you know what I mean (wink wink nudge nudge say no more).

So last night, after all the presents are under the tree, and we finish watching Mummy 3 we drag our tired selves to bed.  Susanne crawls into bed next to me and I snuggle up thinking…maybe I can get my Christmas present a little early. 

All I get is this wry look and “No, today isn’t Christmas, you are going to have to wait”.  I wasn’t happy by any means I promise you that. So I grudgingly roll over and go to sleep.

This morning, Braedyn was up at 4 am.  Lucky for us Santa leaves the full stockings on their beds so they have something to entertain them for awhile.  It didn’t last long. Braedyn was in bugging Granny at 4:50. So Susanne was up before me (and out of bed leaving me all alone in the bedroom).  Shortly before 6 I crawl out to get my tired ass a cup of coffee.  So you can imagine I figure there goes getting my Christmas present first thing in the morning.

I didn’t get to my stocking for some time, but once I did, I found this.  Talk about a tiny hummer.


Monday, December 15, 2008

A Strange Sort of Sadness

I recently posted a bunch of old photos on Facebook. These pictures were from when I was at Andress High School out in the west Texas town of El Paso. I left El Paso the summer after my sophomore year after my parents divorced. At the time I was excited about the move, happy even. In hindsight, I realize how hard a move during high school really was.

I’m really grateful that I grew up in El Paso. Wait, let me qualify that statement. I’m really grateful that I grew up in El Paso WHEN I did. The city, both a border town and the home of a large military base, provided me with, what I have come to realize, a very unique and diverse group of friends. I’ve heard things are just not the same down there now. Sadly, from what I understand, gangs are much more prevalent now, making it more difficult to cross racial lines in the name of friendship.

As grateful as I am for growing up there, I’m equally grateful that I don’t live there now. I’m sure the economy is worse now than it was when I was there, which is hard to imagine given that there were waiting lists for jobs at Burger King. No joke. Not a good prospect for a 16 year old.

So, I posted these pictures on Facebook, which has done a great job bringing those of us that were friends way back then a little closer today. Those walks down memory lane have helped remind us of each other’s senses of humor, moments of hilarity, and some really good times. Through the process of scanning and posting, I realized how my memory is already failing me. I was having a hard time remembering some people’s names, first and/or last. One person whose last name I couldn’t remember was Doug. Doug was a great guy, a real sweetheart, whose presence in our group of friends was most certainly a good thing. In fact, just now, I am remembering being in his little, and I mean teeny weeny, convertible. The back seat was so small that there were two of us sitting on the back of the car with our feet in the back seat, as he drove. Yeah, that was fun. Or at least it was until we got pulled over by an undercover cop. In a station wagon. Yeah. Great times. Great memories.

I saw through a friend of a friend on Facebook, a Doug that went to Andress. I didn’t recognize the picture, but hell, I know I don’t look the same as I did ahem, TWENTY years ago (THANK THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER for small favors!). I figured I’d see if it was him, and he accepted my friend request. Through emailing back and forth, we discovered that he was in fact not the Doug I was looking for. Then my way-back-friend Jessica told me his last name. Then. Then she told me the news. Doug had died in a motorcycle accident in Guam in 1998.

It is truly hard to describe how this made me feel. It is so tragic. I hadn’t kept in touch with him after I moved, but he was someone who had left a positive mark on my memories. He was one of the good guys, and I was sad to hear of such an early departure from this place.

The day I left El Paso, my mom and I stopped at a gas station to fill up before the big trip north. It was there that I ran into Doug and Sam. They were the last friends I saw before our big move. For once I am happy that my mom had her camera surgically attached to her wrist, for I have a visual reminder of this moment in time.


Sam, Me, Doug

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It Snowed In My Kitchen Today

I seem to go through phases with being a stay-at-home mom. Either my calendar is overflowing with things to do, and I have lots of events from which to pick and choose. Or, it’s a veritable drought. Seriously. It is my belief that this pattern is largely self-imposed. Why? Because I am not a very good clicker. I have a hard time clicking with other moms. Hey, acceptance is the first step.

It’s hard to do much of anything with anyone this time of year; everyone is so busy, but I am lucky to have a handful of amazing friends. These are people that I trust, share freely with, and can totally be myself around. We do have get-togethers, but there are many, many days in the week that I often find myself figuring out what the heck to do with the kids.

Today was one of those days where the kids and I didn’t have anything scheduled, so I decided we’d make shortbread cookies. The kids have a blast spilling, err, I mean pouring and stirring. Typically this is done with out utensils.


Emily wanted to know why she couldn’t just eat the flour. I told her, look, it’s just so much more fun to spill and get messy with.


I’m still not sure how Braedyn got flour all over his backside. He’s never even watched The Swedish Chef!

A Conspiracy Afoot

Here I am, about to blog about the conspiracy in this house to keep me from sitting on the couch for more than 5 minutes at a time.  I knew the mere fact this conspiracy exists would make this blog a difficult one.  I had to get up twice already just for this first paragraph.

Now, my son asks… daddy will you come sit with me.  The blog will have to wait…

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hard Wired Worry

I will be the first to admit that I have irrational fears sometimes. I will wake up in the middle of the night worried about some stupid little thing I said to someone several days earlier. I will obsess over how I said it, whether or not it was taken the right way, or whether or not I offended someone. (Admittedly, these things are often something I said after a couple of drinks among friends. Oopsie.) And then I can’t get back to sleep. I will mull it over and over again until I want to staple my eyelids closed in the hopes that I can finally get back to sleep and wake up in a world where that irrational fear will simply be chalked up to me just being crazy.

Sometimes those fears aren’t over things that have happened. Sometimes they are fears of things that COULD happen. In order to explain my most recent erratic fear, I have to explain a little history. Greg and I have NEVER had an overnight without our children. NEVER. Braedyn just turned five. I’ll let that one sink in for a minute. It’s not from a lack of trying. First, when Greg turned 40 I had a big bash surprise party for him. I had a babysitter in place. I had a room booked. I had my bag packed. THEN. Then I realized it was the night before Easter. How could we NOT be there for our kids on Easter morning? Right. So, my plan was foiled. Second, last year we booked a room at the place where Greg’s work holiday party was. THEN. Then Braedyn’s tonsils had to be removed a week early and there was no way we would leave him with a babysitter overnight during his recovery.

So, my most recent irrational fear has to do with tonight. Our children are going to have their first overnight with their Grandma while Greg and I go to his work holiday party. She is taking our car, and driving Braedyn and Emily and two of her other grandchildren to her house. She is taking them to a parade of lights in her quaint little town. This leaves me and Greg with a whole night to ourselves. Alone. Well, except for pooper 1 (Koko) and pooper 2 (Charmin). This sounds great, right? Enter irrational fears. About things that COULD.

I won’t go into the thoughts that run through my head, but I would like to share what I have learned recently about my fears. I used to always blame my mom for getting her icky worry gene (sorry, Mom). And in a way, I was right. Apparently anxiety and worry is something that is hard-wired in your brain, so where experience can definitely add to your anxieties and fears, your foundation is often derived by the luck (or unluck) of the draw of your parents. Where my dad does not have the worry gene, my mom most certainly does. I often have to remind her that I AM in my thirties, and I will be fine going to the grocery store by myself. Really. I will. Thank you very much.

So, knowing this actually makes me feel like blaming my mother less. Knowing this has started a process of learning, learning how to manage these irrational fears. So, tonight I consider myself in that learning process. I don’t think these fears will ever go away thanks to that blasted hard wiring, but what I do see is a life where they are manageable. Tonight, Greg and I will have a great time. Tonight, my children will gain self-confidence as they have a night away from their loving parents. Tonight, I will trust. I know that I will make a couple of extra calls to make sure everything is going well, but I have also learned that that is okay. So, Grandma, make sure your cell is on.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ainbow-Nake-My Little Pony-Magic Wand Man

Tonight was one of those nights with my kids that I just cherish.  Emily and Braedyn played together, without fighting, without yelling, without crying for a good 40 minutes before I cracked and said get your well behaved asses in bed, I want my wine.

It was at that point that the meltdowns started, but they were only momentary, and Emily recovered nicely.  She does have a cold after all. 

The icing on the cake was Braedyn going to his room and reading whilst I got Emily ready for bed (um, after he brushed his teeth, got on his pajamas both by himself…whaaa).

So there I am trying to find a open space in her bed where cushions and not toys are actually visible.  She is in a new phase, all toys must come to bed.  So there I am wishing Wall-E could scoop a spot out for me and Em starts handing me stuff.

“Here daddy, wear the ainbow nake”

“Here daddy, putt doggy in your pocket”

“Here Daddy, put pony in your pocket”

“Here Daddy, put pony in your pocket”

“Here Daddy, put pony in your pocket” (yes, three of them)

“Here Daddy, hold my wand” (yes the pink magic wand)

“And my keys to daddy”  (now what you don’t know is I already have three Hot Wheels in my front pocket that need “to be fixed”)

“Daddy kiss the nake, then kiss me”

So there I am, kissing the “ainbow nake” whoa so I can kiss Emily whoa. The things you do for your kids.

I think I like the look. 


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Was that Thanksgiving or was It a Big Ass Party?

This year we opted for the “fun with friends” theme over the “obligatory family” theme for Thanksgiving. Even though not getting invited by any of our family helped make the choice of themes crystal clear, in all honesty, it was refreshing and FUN <gasp>. There was no clock watching, no food throwing, and the only tears this year didn’t come from me but from my two overtired children.

Our guests, well, let me just introduce them. First, Lee. Lee is from Hawaii and is 22 years old. He brought a full case of Red Bull and a full bottle of Absolut Mandarin Vodka to make Tang Bangers. Oh, yum, yum! Start with about 4 ounces of Red Bull, and when you are ready to party, drop the shot glass full of Absolut into the glass, and chug. Lee doesn’t even drink but brought all of this for those of us who you know, occasionally imbibe. In addition to bringing drinks of cheer to our festive day, he brought a slew of Wii games to play. So many I thought Braedyn’s head was going to pop. And on top of all of that, Lee is one of the kindest and most polite guys I’ve ever met.

Second, CJ. CJ is seriously the kindest, sweetest woman I have ever met. She has a HUGE heart, loves kids and dogs (and they LOVE her), and could seriously kick anyone’s ass I know. She’s all that in about a 5 foot package. She runs marathons, competes in triathlons, and belongs to a local search and rescue squad. Greg has known her for many, many years, and I’m just grateful she digs women, otherwise I would have lost Greg to her eons ago.

Third, Eric and Jackie. This fun-loving couple moved here from Jersey a couple of years ago, and they. can. party. I often tease Eric for being a “Jersey boy with no filter.” You’ll see why I say that in a minute. Jackie is a tremendously kind-hearted, and this couple is truly a blast to be around.

Fourth, my step-son, Jacob. Awesome young man with a generous spirit and big heart. Oh, and he is excellent competition on the Wii for Lee. OK, Jacob is the only one out of all of us who even came CLOSE to beating Lee. Braedyn gave it an honorable attempt, but it was Jacob that ultimately provided Lee with some semblance of a challenge.

Fifth, Braedyn and Emily. Ah, our children. They hate turkey and wanted nothing to do with the dinner I slaved over. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Braedyn just wanted to pillage the bag of games that Lee brought.

So, in my attempt to make Thanksgiving as homey as possible to all of our guests, a few days prior to the big day I sent out an email asking them to let me know if there was something in particular that really made Thanksgiving for them.

Lee said he’d like to have us serve a turbaconducken. Um, sure. I’ll get right on that. Oh, and the day rental of the defibrillator.

Eric emailed me. I have contemplated putting his response in this post, but I have decided to summarize his traditional Thanksgiving request instead. It involved his Nana, her homemade cocaine, two hookers, and some pumpkin pie. His no-filter self had a blast writing this tongue-in-cheek email, a story written in GREAT detail, and Greg and I had a very good laugh (and a few blushing moments) reading it. Oh, and Eric, if you are reading this, please, please start your own blog. You are a funny and witty guy, and people will get a kick out of your skanky, foul-mouthed self. ;)

Ultimately, our Thanksgiving was awesome. It was a blast. In fact, I think we should do it again next year. For I was thankful, truly thankful, for the fun, relaxed time had by us all. Oh, and I was also thankful, um, TRULY thankful, that Nana and her hookers live on the East coast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Will Lick You For Food

Charmin has an interesting obsession with her food. Once positioned over her bowl she will growl if Koko approaches the outer bounds of our galaxy. It’s rather annoying for us and it reached a new level last night. Charmin was guarding her dinner and Koko was in the kitchen grunting and talking to us. Took me a few minutes to realize it was because she didn’t want to leave the kitchen for fear of disturbing the queen. It’s funny, she expends so much energy trying to prove her dominance that she is exhausted and has to eat lying down.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Devil Duckies (Uncensored and Uncut)

Susanne isn’t telling the whole story behind the Devil Ducks. I don’t blame her. Its rather embarrassing. Frankly, if I had my way I wouldn’t let my children touch those things.

The fact is the Devil Ducks for the most part live on the top of our shower door. Emily gets her hands on them when she runs into the bathroom and BEGS to hold the Devil Ducks.

The truth is it all started out so innocently enough. Susanne getting one duck, then another.

These photos are a recreation of what happened. No Devil Ducks were harmed in the documenting of this event. Here they are living peacefully together on top of the shower:


Then one day I went to take a shower and noticed that two of the Devil Ducks were doing something completely unexpected. Innocent enough:


After that things went downhill and they went downhill fast.


Now if you are sensitive to graphic images, please, do not scroll down any further because these ducks are NASTY.


What I want to know is what kind of mother lets her daughter play with horny animals like these. It's repulsive and nasty.

Now if I could only find the video from the hidden cameras.

Devil Duckies

My coolest cousin-in-law ever bought me my first Devil Duckie for Festivas about five years ago. Since then, I have picked up two more. I love them. What’s NOT to love? I mean, they are BAD ASS.

Emily loves them too. What a horrible mommy I am though. She has a warped understanding of what ducks look like, and I half expect her to ask me where the duck’s horns are when we go to the pond with those extra bread crumbs.

She has started to enjoy pretend banter with her toys, and she wants me to play along. It generally requires speaking in the highest pitched voice you can manage. Tonight, she enlisted the aid of my devil duckies, and it sounded something like this:

Emily’s Devil Duckie: Hi!
My Devil Duckie: Hi!
Emily’s Devil Duckie: Hi!
My Devil Duckie: Hi!
Emily’s Devil Duckie: Hi!

Then when we sit and animate the ducks as they sing the ABCs and “Tinkle Tar” (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), I can’t help but wonder if these little guys heads are going to suddenly start spinning while they each projectile pea soup.


A Twig Full of Color

This tree started as a foot long twig three years ago. It was pushed into a tiny hole in the ground with little hope of it actually turning into something. Hell, we weren’t even sure what it was when we “planted” it. This year it absolutely shot up and is now taller than me. The leaves have turned a brilliant red and have still not fallen off. It adds a nice shot of color in our otherwise dreary, dog-trodden back yard. The dogs must not like the flavor of whatever kind of tree it is because some of the larger items in the yard have been chewed down to nubbins.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Is the Grass Greener?

Along with my way-too-early self-professed midlife crisis comes a huge question I can’t seem to answer to any degree of satisfaction. When you know you want something in your life, but to get it would take a tremendous amount of upheaval, turmoil, and possible failure, do you still go for it?

In my case, both Greg and I know that we want to live near the ocean. Having grown up in one desert in Texas and then moved to another in Nevada, this is something that I know from the very core of me that I want. I’m so over the sounds of rattle snakes and coyotes. I want crashing waves, and my little ocean sound machine ain’t cuttin’ it.

So here’s the question. I have a beautiful house, a wonderful family, phenomenal friends, and am surrounded by extended family in the area. Greg has a successful job where his input is valued. Life, for all intents and purposes, is great! But there’s that gnawing feeling that we only have one shot at this life. Do we wait until retirement to go where we feel that pull to be? Or do we take a shot at obtaining it earlier, knowing that failure is always a possibility? I don’t want to be one of those people that feels like the grass is always greener somewhere else, but when is not going for it settling? How does one conclude that now is not the time? What are we teaching our children by not going for it? What are we teaching them if we do?

These are just thoughts running around in my head. Even if we WANTED to make a big change, now is certainly not the time for it. I doubt we could even sell our house right now or get good jobs in a brand new city. A neighbor a couple of doors down is being transferred to another city, and they are going to simply walk away from their home. To them, I’d like to give them a certain middle finger, but they probably don’t feel like they have much choice in this economy. I don’t think TRYING could hurt them.

Certainly for now change is not in the foreseeable future. Having a dialog about it is healthy though. After all, without dreams, without aspirations, I’d be nowhere near where I am today. The desert I’m in now isn’t as hot and dry as the one I grew up in. That’s a step in the right direction.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Singular or Plural?

I’m starting to wonder if this blog should be renamed Married Geek. You know, singular. Hmmm…

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Could I BE Any More Out of Place?

Last night our local Borders was having a Twilight movie pre-release party. For anyone who has been doubling as a troglodyte for the last few years, Twilight is the first book in a vampire series written by the Mormon housewife, Stephenie Meyer. And it is brilliant. If you are interested in reading it, don’t make the same mistake I did when I tried hunting it down in the book store. You won’t find it in the fiction section. Nope. It’s in the kid's section. OK, OK, not exactly the kid’s section. You will find it in the “Young Adult” section of the book store.

Now I don’t want to give any spoilers for anyone reading it or who wants to read it, but I would like to say that it would be nice if someone would write the steamy stuff that was left out. I don’t know if it was left out because it was written with a “young adult” crowd in mind or because it was written by a Mormon housewife who believes sex is something that ONLY happens AFTER marriage, but please someone, let me know what happens between Edward and Bella in the sac. Really, I WANT to read it. Hmmm… maybe that is my calling. Write all the hot, steamy love scenes for all the Mormon housewife authors out there.

Anyway, I digress. I decided to go to the movie pre-release party at Borders. Even knowing that this incredible series was marketed toward “young adults” I shamelessly thought, I’m only my mid-thirties, I fall into that category, right? After going to this event, I painfully know the answer to that question. Yeah, it would be a resounding NO.

The place was packed with budding-sexuality teenage girls. You know who I’m talking about. The 12 to 16 crowd. I think they were staring at me and the friend I dragged along not because we were old but because they were wondering which of the kids in the crowd were ours. Yes, that’s right. I quickly calculated the average age of the crowd and realized much to my dismay that I was easily a whole drinking-age person older than the majority of the crowd. There were exceptions. You know, the moms who actually did bring their budding-sexuality children to the event. You know, because THEY COULDN’T DRIVE YET.

So, the event itself was entertaining. The young lady who ran it was really energetic and boisterous. We started with a cast-member approval rating, starting with Edward and ending with some of the more minor characters. The nubile audience said what they liked and what they didn’t like about each actor chosen for each role. You could FEEL the passion oozing from these young girls thoroughly in deep, head-over-heels in love with Edward, the main hottie in the book. Oh, wait, that’s a felony for me right? Wait, he’s actually over 100 years old, but trapped in a 17 year old’s body. That doesn’t make me jail material, does it?

The 90-minute event included a portion where the audience was asked to name the character who said a particular quote. I realized how far from profound this was when the quotes included things like, “I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me.” Don’t get me wrong, I DEVOURED all four novels in about three weeks, a record for me. It is a great story, but it is really light reading. You aren’t going to be questioning your mid-life crisis or the current economic state of our country while reading this book. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.

During an intermission on this highly fascinating and soul-searching event, my glutton-for-punishment friend and I decided we’d stick it out until the end. Why? To try and win the free movie tickets of course. We decided this before we heard there was a charades portion of the event. Seriously. What was even more entertaining than the thought of this was actually watching the event itself. One young girl after another (oh, and one tween boy) walked up and pretty much did the same thing. They would stand there clueless and wait to get the help of the young lady that ran the event. It wasn't like watching a reenactment of Moses parting the Red Sea. It was more like trying to guess who at one point opened a door in the book or trying to guess which vampire had the biggest muscles.

Well, we didn't get the tickets in the end, nor did we get any of the smaller raffle prizes that included wax fangs and a vampire-in-a-box. Bummer. I'm still going to see the movie. I might do a matinee during the week in the hopes that most of those wanting to see the movie will be in school. Elementary or otherwise.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Greg has been digging through all of his old Australian Operation Raleigh slides and negatives, scanning them, and recreating this important part of his history. Or reliving his youth. Whichever. Anyway, in one of his boxes of negatives, there were two crystals. With some sort of honing device, our children were drawn to them. Sort of like the orphan Jen seeking the shard of the Dark Crystal. Or Gollum being mesmerized by the Ring. They thought they’d hit the mother load when these precious little gems were discovered.

This morning they were granted permission by the king of the stones, their Daddy, to play with them. Here they are in absolute awe of their innate powers:




Against my better judgement I let them bring their “diamonds” into the car with us on our way to a play date. Now Emily can’t find hers. I’ve hunted with a flash light in all the food and crumb infested crevices of the van. I’ve sent in Koko and Charmin in the hopes they had some inkling of hunter ability in them and could sniff it out. Yeah, no luck with them either. They didn’t even clean up the abundance of crumbs strewn throughout the van. Some dogs they are.

Emily is devastated. I can only hope that it will be found at some point in the near future. Who knows, maybe this is the inspiration for some children’s book that will incorporate the pure determination of Jen and the utter insanity of Gollum. Sounds like the makings of a winner, yes?

Reno Mapes Demolition

Deep from the archives I found a series of images that I took of the demolition of the Reno Mapes.  Taken handholding the camera I started shooting film prior to the detonation and ran out of film before the final brick hit the ground.

From Mapes

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eight is Great

Today is my eighth wedding anniversary with Greg. And eight is great. Greg has more patience than I deserve. Oh sure, he has his quirks, but his ability to deal with mine is uncanny. Seriously, he GETS me. And that is a tall order. I know I can be difficult.

To celebrate this brilliant occasion I would like to share a story about us. When we were dating, the issue of kids came up. At the time, I didn’t think I wanted to have kids. I attribute this feeling to the fact that I had never been with anyone I wanted to have kids with. Before him, having kids seemed like something I would have to do alone if I ever wanted any. Greg on the other hand knew he didn’t want any more kids. He already had one beautiful boy from his first but failed marriage. He was certain he didn’t want any more. His adamancy about this became a hot topic for us as we plunged further and further into head-over-heels-in-love land. I wasn’t sure I wanted that door closed, and as far as he was concerned he had locked the door, swallowed the key, waited for it to be pooped out, and then buried it in the middle of the Nevada desert. Somewhere.

Then one day, one remarkable day, Greg took Jacob to his swim lesson. As he sat and watched his boy swim, he swelled with pride and unconditional love. At that moment he realized this was something that he didn’t want me to miss in life. I want to be clear about something. I love and adore Jacob. We had then and still have today a great relationship, but I was never any kind of replacement or substitute for his own loving and adoring mother. I was more of a loving addition to his growing family.

Fast-forward four years or so, and Braedyn was born. I enjoyed being a mom more than I ever could have imagined, so much so that I had a confession for my ever-giving husband. I wanted one more. Just one more. C’mon. I mean, really, what’s one more when you’ve already got the house baby-proofed? His response? Um. No. Resounding and certain. No.

Valentine’s day was several weeks after my emotionally charged confession. This is one Valentine’s I will never forget. This is a picture of what I received:


This locket with a picture of Braedyn on one side and a spot for “Baby #2” on the other exemplifies what kind of man I am lucky to be married to.

I’m sure it was painful and a tad disgusting to locate that damn key, but I’m so glad he did it. Twice. We now have a charming and energetic boy that can unabashedly look up to his father as a wonderful example of how to be a great man and a beautiful and painfully stubborn daughter that has him wrapped around her little finger.

Thanks, Greg, for digging through the poop for me. I love you, and happy anniversary.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Letter to My Children

Dear Braedyn and Emily,

Yesterday was an historic day in our lives. Your father and I helped elect Barack Obama as our country’s 44th President. There are many, many reasons this was an historical and ground-breaking moment in time. What I’d like to do with this letter is to help you understand why this day was so important to me.

Barack Obama is an amazing man who has ignited people to do good for their country. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and help in a way that I have never felt compelled to do before. By winning this election, he has made us realize how each of us is a part of his well-deserved victory. It is our victory. He is compassionate, intelligent, articulate, and has a clear vision for our country’s success and prosperity. He has united people like no other in my lifetime.

Beyond his concise and thoughtful approach to tackling the economic crisis and the wars we are fighting, I was so engaged by this election because of his kindness and humanity. I believe he understands the complexity and diversity of life, and by doing so makes me feel like he truly represents me.

He has helped to bring people together in a way that just thinking about makes me awestruck. It’s not that he himself did this unilaterally, but rather he rallied people to do what was already in them to do. He fired people up! To see Americans of each creed and color celebrating his victory, our victory, together, he has helped bring out the good in people. The good that I believe people want to share with one another, regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, economic status, gender, age, ability.

I am vehemently pro-choice. Barack Obama was the candidate that fell into line with my beliefs on this tough issue. His approach to such a heavily-debated topic is one that is filled with empathy. His approach is simple. Let’s work on educating people about birth control. Let’s promote sex education that is healthy, informative, and realistic. In doing so, let’s reduce the number of abortions. Let’s leave Roe v. Wade alone so that women’s lives will not be at stake. Educate. Educate. Educate. And by all means, let’s be compassionate about an outcome that no one “favors”.

I also passionately believe that non-heterosexuals should have every right that I do as a heterosexual American citizen. I do not believe the family unit as we know it today will suffer by allowing homosexual couples to marry or have children. Who someone chooses to marry does not diminish or tarnish the love that your father and I have for each other or for you. Frankly, who someone chooses to marry is none of my business. If being with someone of the same sex makes someone happy in this short life, by all means, be with that person and be happy. Enjoy it. Relish it. I know I cherish the life your father and I have built together. Far be it from me to stand in the way of someone else experiencing the same joy. Furthermore, by allowing someone to be at their partner’s deathbed in a hospital is not only the compassionate thing to do, it simply is the right thing to do. I hope by the time you are old enough to read and comprehend this letter, you have to dig into some history books to figure what the hell I’m talking about. I hope that this election helps incite much needed unity, compassion, and tolerance in this country.

I also want you to grow up around a diverse group of people and cultures. I believe this election has helped create an opportunity in our society to do something very simple -- to get to know one another. It truly is a simple thing, really. I think as Americans we needed someone to say, “hey, we are capable of doing this” and we needed a group, thirsty for change, to say, “yes we can.”

I love you both so very much. I want you to look back at this election and at this letter and realize your voices count in life. I want you to embrace the knowledge that nothing is outside your grasps. I want you to better understand me. Please live your life to the fullest. Every day. Every minute. And never, never forget how much you are capable of.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Reason to Not Sound So Smug. Ouch.

Many moons ago when I was a wet-behind-the-ears 18 year old, I met a guy. It was July 4th, and I was hanging out at “the bar” with my Dad during a visit with him in El Paso. You only had to be 18 to get into most bars in Texas at this time. You couldn’t legally drink at 18, but you could hang out with all the people who could. Yeah, interesting law. Maybe they figured this was the best way to have a designated driver on hand. Or wait, maybe that was just in my family. Anyway this guy, whose name I can’t even remember now, was older, recently divorced, and had a couple of small kids. He was a nice enough guy, but I think he thought he was going to get something from me other than some good conversation. You know, good conversation with an 18 year old. Uh-huh. Let me be clear up front, he didn’t get anything more than conversation from me. Let me repeat this. He did NOT get anything more than conversation from me. Even though he wanted more.

He and I spent some time together. We went to White Sands and hiked around on the dunes one afternoon. We had fine dining experiences at the local Denny’s. And then one fateful day, we played racquetball. I had never played before but figured, hey, this guy’s old, how hard could it be to beat him? And it wasn’t. We played some intense games of racquetball, and I kicked his ass. Sure, I can hear the questions now. Did he LET you win? Was he trying to make me feel euphoric from the slaughter, so much so that he could take me back to his place for a roll in the hay? Um, NO. No, no, no. It was a heart-thumping, intense game. And did I mention I never played before and still kicked ass? Oh, and this was the last time I saw this guy. So, if that was intention, it totally backfired. As you can see, this slaughter made me smug about what I thought were natural racquetball abilities. At least I can admit it.

Fast forward to the present. Almost two decades later. *Shudder.* Last week I joined a gym. This gym even has a place I can take the kids while I work out, so I have no excuse not to go. I even convinced Greg to sign up. Here’s why I thought this was a good idea. We don’t have date night. We rarely get to go out by ourselves. Here’s an opportunity to get as many dates in a month that we want, all for only an additional $25 a month. Granted, these dates will not consist of candlelight and fine wine (or box wine, for that matter). There will be no long and loving gazes as we walk down a moonlit path. No, these will not be traditional dates. The upside? Two incredible things. One, we don’t have to worry about getting a babysitter to get some alone time. Two, there will be some ass-kicking on the racquetball court. Me doing all the ass-kicking of course. I mean, Greg is older and has two small kids and one big kid. He fits the perfect mold for one of my court dominations.

Yeah, smug. Right? Well, I learned my lesson yesterday. Never estimate an old dog. (Sorry, Greg. You ARE older.) Greg kicked my ass in the racquetball court yesterday. He even stung my ass once with the ball when I didn’t move fast enough. I held my own, for sure. I hadn’t stepped foot in a racquetball court for 18 years, and I think I did an ok job. But Greg, well, he did better.

About 40 minutes into our first “date” on the court, I felt a snap. A foreboding and painful snap. So, now I am nursing an injured wrist. Boo hoo. Sniff. Sniff. That’s ok. This will give Greg some time to get really smug about his victory. That’s my game plan. Let him *think* he’s all that and a bag of chips. I just needed a warm up, a refresher course. And now I just need a little time to heal. He better watch out because our next date is sure to be a knock-out! Get your protective gear ready, Greg!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Nothing Like A Pup Picture To Cheer You Up

From the Archives.  I was scanning my old Australia photos and found this puppy pic from the late 80’s.  Even if the exposure is so poor than you cannot see her eyes, it sill warms my heart.  Sierra was a wonderful pooch who has been gone for many years. I miss you girl.

I Love Socialism, So I Am Moving To Alaska

I have been saying it and I am surprised it took A) the media so long to print it, or B) me so long to find it in print. 

If I hear Palin accuse Obama of socialism without preceding it with a full disclosure of how Alaskans get a check for oil produced in the state of Alaska, I think I will puke.

"And Alaska we're set up, unlike other states in the union, where it's collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs."(1)

I guess that's not spreading the wealth, its sharing the resources…oh wait, its redistribution of income to those who have not earned it…oh wait crap, those are all “socialist” methods of financial distribution.  Never mind “we are mavericks”, and oh, look over there, look over there…  RETCH.

If you can’t see or smell the hypocrisy here, you are pinching your nose, closing your eyes, and holding your breath underwater pretending its not there.  The socialism claims are hatemongering fear tactics and I am so done.  Bring on the election.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who Takes Hope Away from Grown Ups?

OK, I was trying to keep politics out of my last post, but then I felt I was self-censoring, and I didn’t like that. Not one bit. So, here is my addendum.

Braedyn has learned a tough lesson about having something stolen from him. I feel jaded about this because I’d love to tell him that it won’t happen again. That he won’t ever have to feel the violation of having something taken from him. But as the election nears, I can’t help but feel I might have something stolen from me. If McCain/Palin win next Tuesday, they will have stolen something very precious from me. They will have stolen my hope that women’s rights aren’t going to take a huge backward leap. They will have stolen my hope that our country won’t become a joke to those in the scientific community. (Um, fruit flies, anyone?) They will have stolen my hope that our country hasn’t forgotten about the principles of separation of church and state. (God will take care of the election?? WTF?) They will have stolen my hope that we can be unified as a country. I don’t like how that possibility makes me feel.

What can’t be taken from me is my hope for my children. I hope when they are my age these are no longer the issues on the battlefield.

Who Takes Candy from a Baby?

A couple of weeks ago, Braedyn learned a rough lesson from a bad experience. From what I can tell of discussions we’ve had since, this is one lesson that is going to stick. What is the lesson? That there are bad guys. Real bad guys, not just pretend bad guys that his beloved super heroes fight and win.

Braedyn’s Grandma and Auntie Mama took him out to celebrate his fifth birthday. During this joyous and much anticipated outing, he got to go to the toy store to pick out a toy and then go to a lunch house of his choice for dinner. Guess which one he picked? Yup. Red Robin. No surprise there.

But first, they went to Toys ‘R Us. Amazingly Braedyn’s head did not pop. In fact, I heard he was very deliberate and picky when it came to the toy he wanted for his birthday. When he saw it, he just knew it was the one! He very excitedly picked out the Tyco R/C Air Blade. So, with the Air Blade purchased, they were off to dinner.

After a scrumptious meal of mac and cheese and a devoured dessert over a melodious “Happy Birthday” song from the Red Robin staff, they headed back to the parking lot. And there was my van, side door open. And new toy gone. Braedyn decided NOW was the appropriate time for his head to pop. He was very upset, understandably so. He had been violated. He had his new toy, not even out of the box yet, stolen. (Side note…I’m SO, SO thankful they didn’t think to look in the glove box and take my iPod!)

Grandma and Auntie Mama calmed him down and assured him they would get him another. Braedyn was very lucky. Not all families could get him a replacement toy for the one that had been so wrongfully stolen.

This event continues to surface in our lives. Today we were getting a few groceries, and he spotted a Batman set of pajamas. That light up. The only thing that could have made them even MORE appealing to him would be if they had sewn candy corn around the neckline for him to munch on. Seriously, I thought his head would pop if he didn’t get them. Now, I don’t normally give in to whims at the grocery store, but he DID need some new pajamas, since last year’s look like capris on him now. So, I got them.

On the way home from the store as he lovingly embraced his new light up pajamas, he said, “I really like my new pajamas! I don’t want a bad guy to take them, Mommy.” Ugh. I assured him that no one was going to take his new pajamas. I promised we’d take them right into the house. Which we did. By the way, It is now 2:30 in the afternoon and he’s had them on for about 3 hours now. I’ll be amazed if we can get him OUT of his Batman pajamas and INTO his Batman costume for trick-or-treating. Tomorrow night.

So, this was a tough lesson for him to learn. It was ultimately a good one to learn, I guess. I mean bad things do happen to good people. But I can’t help but feel sad that he EVER had to learn this.

It’s not the item being stolen that is the real offense. It is an innocence that has been invaded. The thief didn’t get his hope though. The other day he told me, “Mommy, I think the police got the bad guy.” I sure as hell hope so.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keating Five For President ‘08

Let me preface this with the fact that until the spring of 2007 I was a registered Republican.  I registered Republican the day I could register and was proud to do so.

I continue to receive emails telling me how the current financial debacle is the fault of the Democratic party. Let’s look at some facts:

  • Republicans have had control of the White House for 20 of the last 28 years.
  • Republicans took control of Congress in 1992 for the first time in 50 years, and they held onto that control either in Majority or Plurality until 2006. (You can verify my facts from Wikipedia).

So, lets ASSuME that President Jimmy Carter and the "Liberal Democrats", and hell let’s even throw in the Acorn scandals, are to blame for the current financial crisis. With that assumption in mind, let’s analyze this.

For the last 28 years, any of the seated Republican presidents, the Republican controlled Congress were UNABLE, unwilling even, to see, stop and fix the “Carter/Liberal Democrat/Acorn” financial Tsunami that we now find ourselves in. Sounds like someone was asleep at the wheel.

On top of it let’s throw in a little fact that people seem to be ignoring this election.  Anybody remember the Keating Five?  I won't bother writing all the details here (feel free read all about it here – take your time, I will wait, I want you to be educated). Summary:

The U.S. Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s was the failure of 747 savings and loan associations (S&Ls) in the United States. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.[1]

That’s about 308 billion dollars today to you and me, paid for by the American taxpayer.  Sounding familiar? Who was behind this scandal, a one John McCain and four other U.S. Senators (full disclosure - the other four were Democrats). McCain was cleared of acting improperly, but was criticized for "poor judgment".

This is the same man who has a history of deregulation.  The same man running for President of the United States who wants to fix the financial debacle we are in.

Really.  The current financial crisis can be blamed on the Democrats? 

Tell you what.  If it is their fault, maybe they have a better understanding of the problem and we should put them in office to fix it. If it is not the Republicans fault they sure couldn’t see it coming over the last 28 years.  Talk about running the government blind.

It’s looking like the late 80's all over again but with a bigger bailout, a bigger financial crisis and a former Keating Five member wants you to put him into the White House to fix it.

Think about it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gotta Love My View

As I look out my window and type this, I can’t help but hum a ditty that was sung for years by our old pal, Mr. Rogers

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?

Oh, I am SOOO ready to run over and introduce myself.


I canvassed for Obama yesterday. It was only for a couple of hours, and I got to walk around in a beautiful neighborhood with gorgeous old trees donning every Fall color imaginable. I don’t know how much of a difference I made ultimately, but it was certainly a great experience for me. Most of the people I talked to were friendly, and those that did take the time to chat with us were overwhelming pro-Obama. It was a heartening experience during such disheartening times.

I haven’t felt moved enough to volunteer for a political purpose since I was at Texas A&M in the early 90’s and proudly held my Pro-Choice sign along with about 15 or 20 others in front of the football stadium before a big game. Anyone familiar with the combination of East Texans and football can speculate correctly that this experience was highly volatile, er…memorable. It was an important moment in the shaping of my voice.

I encourage everyone to go out and early vote. The process was so convenient and easy. I was giddy with excitement as I voted and was practically moved to tears by the process.

Go Obama ‘08!

OK, now I’m going to have to excuse myself to go introduce myself.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soccer Season Finale

This last Saturday was the seasons final game for Braedyn.  I couldn’t help myself but to use my favorite video creation site Animoto to make a little music video of the entire season.  It’s so easy, and it makes such fun vids.  Check it out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Koko vs. The Animal

I’ve decided the reason I have play dates at my house is so that I’ll kick up my housecleaning a few notches. Before kids, getting a clean house used to be the frosting on the cake to having a dinner party with friends at our house. Since that doesn’t happen as much anymore, I use our play dates as a marker to when I get certain chores done around the house. And I’ll be honest. I talk out of both sides of my mouth when it comes to this issue. I tell OTHERS not worry about how their house looks when we come over, but panic about getting all the doggy hair balls out of the line of sight before having others over. And I honestly mean it when I tell others not to worry! I think collectively we moms put too much pressure on ourselves to appear that we always have it together. Where I don’t care if someone has vacuumed or dusted or picked up toys before we come over, it PAINS me to have people come over if my house isn’t somewhat June Cleaverish. For our play date today, not only did I clean up all the soap overflow spills from the kids’ bathroom counter, I even had freshly made, hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies FROM SCRATCH. Pathetic, I know. Unrealistic, I know. Hey, I used to have deadlines when I worked in the corporate world. I suppose this is my stay-at-home-mom version of “Oh shit, this game needs to be to QA this afternoon!”

As I got ready to vacuum prior to our play date today, Koko and Charmin acted in their typical fashion. Charmin, upon seeing our Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner, fled, leaving a trail of pee, to hide somewhere in my bedroom. Koko, upon seeing The Animal, thought, “Yeah, bitch, bring it on! I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!” The girl won’t chase a ball, but she totally digs a good tussle with my vacuum cleaner. No joke. Problem is, she freaks out when I pull out the camera. Yeah, go figure. She’s shy, but loves a good fight. I thought, I’ve GOT to at least TRY and get a picture of this. So, as I attempted to photograph her biting, yes BITING, the vacuum cleaner today, I kept missing the perfect shot. Hey, you try to vacuum with one hand, take a picture with the other, AND try and entice your dog to play with your vacuum cleaner. She normally doesn’t need any enticing, but the presence of the camera somehow makes her think it is no longer a fair fight. I gave it a very concerted effort and had one of the cleanest spots on my carpet EVER as I vacuumed it over and over again trying to get the damn shot.

Here is what I was able to capture today:



Braedyn and Emily thought it was hilarious to watch the whole three-ring circus act going on in front of them with Koko in one ring, me in another, and The Animal in the center ring. They wanted in on the action too, so here are their fingers being vacuumed into the The Animal’s hose. And those marking on the end of the hose? Koko’s teeth marks.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Little Boohbah


A couple of weekends ago, we had our first snow fall on the valley floor. Of course, the next week we were all wearing shorts again, but never mind that. The kids were out in full winter garb to play in the snow. If you look in the top right hand corner of the picture you can see a snowflake. Really, it’s there! I promise. Look closely!

There is something about snow that elicits such excitement in our family. Of course after several months of cold weather, we’re so. totally. over. it. I like this picture because Emily looks like a Boohbah. My little pink Boohbah.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Geez, I’m a Newbie!

OK, I was thrown into a virtual game today, the rules of which I didn’t know. OK, hell, I didn’t even KNOW about the game until today. I was TAGGED in a blog. At first, I thought, “Whoa, that’s cool! *sniff sniff* Someone likes me. They really like me.” Then I thought, “Shit. What does that mean?” Here’s what I’ve learned in case there are any other lame-o newbies out there like myself:

  • It is a virtual game started by some guy named Jeff Pulver a while ago.
  • You answer some questions in your blog and then tag some others, inciting them to do the same.
  • Being tagged by someone is a figurative approach to the literal one. Once tagged, you are “it”!
  • You must comply to the rules or you will be assimilated.

OK, so the rules for THIS game are to answer the following with one word. I’ll try not to dwell on what others may THINK my answers mean and just go with the first thing that comes to mind. Here goes:

Where is your cell phone? Playroom
Where is your significant other? Work
Your hair color? Brown
Your mother? Attached
Your father? Detached
Your favorite thing? Hugs
Your dream last night? Didn’t
Your dream/goal? Contentment
The room you’re in? Nook (Is that a "room"?)
Your hobby? Blogging
Your fear? Palin as President (sorry, I broke the one word rule there. Bad blogger, bad!)
Where were you last night? Home
What you’re not? Religious
One of your wish-list items? HouseCleaner
Where you grew up? El Paso
The last thing you did? Greg (oops, that says “thing” not “person”, huh?)
What are you wearing? Glasses
Your TV? Grossology
Your pet? Escape-artist (OK, the hyphen makes it one word, right?)
Your computer? Flickering
Your mood? Anxious
Missing someone? Nope
Your car? SoccerMomish
Something you’re not wearing? Lipstick
Favorite store? Ikea
Your summer? Crazy
Love someone? Greg
Your favorite color? Undecided
When is the last time you laughed? Lunch
Last time you cried? Wednesday

OK, I just broke a sweat. And just for the record I didn’t put down the first thing that came to mind on some of these. Thank you, thank you worry gene.

AND… The really stressful part for me. The picking of the seven to tag. Since I’m new to this game, if this is ANYTHING like getting those infuriating questionnaires in an email and then threatened with dismemberment to send it to 7 of your closest friends, then PLEASE forgive my virtual faux pas and love me anyway. Answer and have fun or ignore and move on. There is nothing to see here.

Mommy’s In a Timeout, Amy, Morgan, Sarah, um, Paul (simply to see how funny his one-worders are), CJ (to get her started!) um, um, um, GREG!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This Blog Is Rated R (err NC-17)


I am SHOCKED. Apparently the AI used to determine my sites rating from this site only recognizes some of the four letter words we like to use on our site. Apparently Fuck (yes, Jacob my son I use that word sometimes, even in print) is not one of the words used to determine a website rating. Ooops. I may have just changed the rating ;)

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • hell (7x)
  • dead (4x)
  • rape (2x)
  • punch (1x)

UPDATE: Yup. After this post we have an NC-17. Fuck Yeah (oops). Apparently though, they cannot list that word because it would make their site have a nasty rating as well.

What's My Blog Rated?

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • hell (8x)
  • dead (5x)
  • rape (3x)
  • crap (2x)
  • puke (1x)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Little Snow Angels

Usually I dread the cold weather because it generally means we have three severe cases of cabin fever. Thankfully not the Jack Torrance type of cabin fever. No, our cabin fever heightens as energy levels rise and there is nowhere *free* to go burn it off. This year should prove to be different because Emily is old enough to bundle up and let her play in the backyard with Braedyn while Mommy watches them while sitting cozily in front of the fireplace, hot overly-creamered coffee in hand. Unless you’ve won the Mommy of the Decade award, you know what I mean. I enjoy a good snow ball fight as much as the next person, but a Mommy can only take SO much outdoor snow time. You know.

We do have a hiccup in this glorious plan, however. I learned of this hiccup the other day when we took the kids up to Mt. Rose Meadows to play in this season’s first snow. The snow depth varied from about three to eight inches of snow, and the kids had a GREAT time. So did Greg and I. Well, until the embarrassing meltdown by the kids at Starbucks afterward, but I’m working really hard to erase that memory so I won’t be talking about it here. At Mt. Rose Meadows, the kids were all snug and warm in their new snowsuits and snow boots. They were totally digging it. BUT! The hiccup in my “YOU burn off energy, I STAY WARM” plan this winter comes with the problem we discovered on our little outing. If we have even a couple of inches of snow and Emily falls, she can’t get up. She’s SO bundled, her little legs and arms can’t situate themselves to push herself back up. It happened over and over again at the meadows. I had to laugh at how much it reminded me of those crazy Life Call commercials. Was it from the ‘80s? Geez, maybe it was even the ‘70s.

So, I see a lot of this in my future:

  • Emily plummets.
  • Get up from warm, cozy seat by fireplace.
  • Open slider to backyard and feel the slap of cold air on my face and on my impossible-to-keep-warm feet.
  • Race to Emily.
  • Lift.
  • Race back to slider and close.
  • Sit by fireplace.
  • Watch.
  • Repeat.

Hey, that’s ok. At least there is some burning off of energy in the process. For me, that is. I have to burn off that overly creamered coffee somehow!

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” says the little pink snow angel.

“I could stay out in this stuff until my eyelids freeze open!” says the all-boy boy.

“Quick, I can’t feel my bum!” says Mommy.

“Gotcha!” says the all-boy boy. Just for the record, he’s referring to the snow and not journalism.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Picasa Magic

I attempted to scan in a strip of very old 110 film I just had developed(that’s an antiquated film format for you young whipper snappers) using a cheap ass scanner that I purchased.  Here are the very poor results.  I am to blame for the condition of the film as it came from my sons old toy camera and I never stored it properly.

c 10-5-2008_001


Now any skilled Photoshop user could spend time so you could see the details of these images.  This of course would require you to be a) skilled at Photoshop and b) own a copy of Photoshop. Now granted, these images are in BAD shape, and will never be quality printable images.  But I wanted to see them nevertheless.  I opened them up in Picasa (free if you were unaware) and used the cropping and the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. 

10-5-2008_002 10-5-2008_001


Whala, Pics of my Aunt Elaine, cousin Alex and my oldest son Jacob. As you can see, the images while not of the greatest quality become at least fun to look at and reminisce.  I could spend more time on them and improve them even more, but I wanted to show what a couple clicks can do.  On top of it I was pretty careless when scanning them and didn’t even bother to blow off the dust.  Picasa’s new Retouch tool is really quite smart and useful. Thank you Picasa.

Pay No Attention to that Middle Finger

My children. They have the middle finger, flip-you-off gene, and most likely it came from yours truly. Maybe it was all the flipping off of crappy drivers during my pregnancies that caused this gene mutation. Oh, quit freaking out. I always flip people off JUST below the window so the offending driver and their arsenal can’t see my little gesture. Somehow that simple action makes me feel better after being so rudely cut off. At any rate my children have somehow picked up this propensity. Not in the same way as me, mind you. They aren’t old enough to be incensed by jerkholio drivers. Not yet. No, their birds just LOOK like they are flipping you off. But in reality either they are counting using their fingers as aids, one always being counted on the flip-you-off finger, or they are pointing to something they think is really cool.

All hail the queen.


Can you count those again, Bud? “One…”


So, if you ever see us out and about and it appears that my children are being incredibly rude by giving you the middle finger, please remember one of two things is actually happening. One, they could possibly be pointing to something that you might want to check out yourself. You never know what cool thing you might see. It might be a “hoptihopter” (helicopter) taking flight, or a rumbling “go-go” (motorcycle) speeding down the highway, or another awesome Obama 2008 bumper sticker on yet another car. Woot! Woot! Or, two, they have learned what an jerkholio driver does, and you actually deserved it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, To Be a Teen Again

Ah, NO. Let me repeat that. NO.

I just read an article about how Obama should discuss his cocaine use as a teenager more “candidly”. I can’t help but think, what the hell do we know about life when we are teenagers? What the hell do we know about the person we want to be as an adult when we are teenagers? OK, some itsy-bitsy percentage of teens may have these questions under control, but I sure as hell didn’t. I thought I was a Republican in High School. That’s what my parents were then (and ARE now *sigh*), so I figured that’s what I was too. Anyone who knows me, the grown up bill-paying, child-rearing, family-loving version of me now, knows that me being a Republican is about as ridiculous as Greg with long hair.

Back in teenagerhood, I had my “no” disrespected and didn’t do anything about it. Now, my guns are blazing. Proverbial guns, thank you very much. Sure, there are inklings of me today that are the same as that when, those many moons ago. Wait, give me a minute. I’ll think of some example… Really, hang on…

This is not to dismiss the powerful and important life changes that come with those difficult and trying teenage years. Who I am today is a result of who I was back then. I firmly believe that I am a stronger person today because of the mere fact that I got through those years. But I made choices back then that make my skin crawl today. Choices that make me feel incredibly lucky to even be here today to tell this tale. Scary choices that I learned valuable lessons from, and I hope to give my children the tools they will need during their own teenage years to make healthy, safe, and informed choices. But you know what? They will undoubtedly have to learn some life lessons on their own. THIS scares the hell out of me, but I know I can’t keep them in a bubble. Hell, I can’t even keep them in their beds through the night now! Let alone a safe little bubble.

So, trying to use Obama’s drug use as a teenager is a fruitless attempt to make some debasing point that is lost on me. It was a choice that he made, yes. It was something he chose to do to himself. He didn’t sit on someone else and force them to snort. Do the choices he made then make him less of a person today? Wow, I sure as hell hope not. Otherwise people might think really ill of me based on those crazy choices I made back then. I guess the guys trying to use this against him are so damn old they can’t remember their own teenage years and all the stupid crap they did.

Am I going to hold Obama’s drug use as a teen against him? No. Let me repeat that. No. For the same reason that I would hope no one would hold judgement against me for the choices I made as a teen. I shudder at the thought!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I had a bunch of old film developed and this was one of the pics on the roll. It’s from many years back and I was shocked to see the images came out at all. I love it. I hope Eddy C. and Jessica C. don’t mind me posting it here. EdNJess , it does sound like a foreign city name doesn’t it? :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I have tears rolling down my cheeks.  My daughter has a funny way of saying certain words, and tonight, she nearly caused “the big one.”  Sitting at dinner she started to tell me about the movie she saw yesterday. Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

There are certain words she says where the tongue extends out of the mouth, reaching the tip of the chin.  Try it.  Saying the A’s like in Alablaaaama and touching your tongue to your chin while saying your a’s.


It took everything we had not to bust out laughing.  Ok, we did.  Bad parents. Bad.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, That Thought Just Went Out the Window

I think I am going through some early, VERY EARLY, mid-life blahs. I have been thinking a bit more often of the days when Greg and I could just pick up and go somewhere without worrying about anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish and adore our children, more than I ever thought humanly possible. I’m a stay-at-home-mom, of course I’m salivating for some let-your-hair-down (me, not Greg), kick up your heels, let loose adult time. And I occasionally miss those days of old where something like going out to eat didn’t involve picking a restaurant that had an openly inviting and tolerant policy toward their younger patrons. Ones that don’t frown upon the occasional scream or food flinging. Ones that understand that just as much food makes it into a little one’s mouth as it does onto the floor. If you’re lucky. One that has macaroni and cheese on the menu. Like Red Robin. Or Red Robin. Then there’s always our family favorite, Red Robin. Our kids aren’t quite to the age of appreciating the artistry of something like say, oh fine sushi. Yeah, I could see it now… Me begging and pleading with the kids to take just ONE bite of that utterly mouth-watering and scrumptious long roll. Bribing them with dessert. No? How about a new four-wheeler? Greg asking and then telling them for the two hundredth time to GET OFF OF THE FLOOR! GET OUT FROM UNDER THE TABLE! Greg and I strategically avoiding the stares of everyone else in the restaurant as they look over toward our fresh fish train wreck. Yeah. Not so much.

Last night after the kids were asleep, Greg started to scan some of his old negatives and came up with some doozies of us in our crazy, younger days. As we laughed about who we were back then, I confessed my longing for a cigarette, errr, I mean more adult time with him. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I miss those old days.
Greg: Uh-oh.
Me: No, I love our life together. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just I think we need to get out more. Do stuff before we’re too damn old to even want to go out.

The timing of what happened next could not have been planned better if we had tried. Just as that last word passionately rolled off my tongue, out of a deep slumber, Emily screams out, “No! No! No no no no no! No! No! No no no no! No!”

OK, Em. No sushi for you. Not yet.

It’s true. We may not have fine dining experiences with them right now, but I know we will be able to do all those fun outings again one day when they are older and can appreciate them. Not to mention, behave, sit still, not crawl under the table, and get more food into their mouths than onto the floor. Sure, we may only get sushi when we PLAN AHEAD and enlist the babysitting help of a family member, but we sure do have a house full of laughter. Thanks for the laugh AND the reality check, Emily.


I was once young….

I was once young…and fat, and a smoker, and a long haired unemployed loser. Susanne fell in love with me anyway (boy, I sure did marry down in the intelligence area didn’t I, she married down in every other category).

My kids might look at this someday and say, “Dad, you weren’t too bright back then were you? Or maybe you were just drunk a lot?” In my defense, all I have to say for myself is…is…so anyway you should scroll down, my lovely wife wasn’t so perfect either (at least she LOOKS GREAT doing it). Who photoshopped the cigarettes into these anyway? ;)