For CRAZY! Seems lately I just can't get away from the wackos out there. Who knew there were so many of them, right here? They are popping up left and right lately. Many of them living in my own neighborhood, they have kids in my children's school, and some are even friends of friends of mine for goodness sake! As I tell my friends (or anyone who will listen according to my hubby) I am a stay at home mom, NO ONE is paying me to do a job, thus there is NO ONE out there I have to be pretend "friends" with. So I try to just give the crazies their space and go about my business. But sometimes they butt into my business, and seeing as I don't speak crazy I find myself in dire need of an interpreter. Apparently my friend (who shall remain nameless, she knows who she is) who happens to be active in her children's school PTA is becoming fairly fluent in crazy. She HAS to be, 'cause that there cult they call the PTA is chock full o' any cult. Which brings me to a particular brand of crazy I can't even fathom. So Called Religious Crazy I lump scientology into this group although I know there is debate on whether or not it's actually a "religion". Again with the needing of an interpreter for the levels of crazy. My point here though is not actually religous crazy, that's it's own special brand of wacko! My problem is with anyone having $10 million, $5 millon or even $1 million to GIVE away that does not put it toward scientific research to cure cancer or autism, hell even the common cold! It absolutely AMAZES me!
Must go take a tylenol, my head hurts just thinking about it.

I just purchased a gift for a BFF of mine. And I am here to publicly state it is NOT a birthday present! See we don't "do" birthday or Christmas presents for each other. Too much pressure! Not enough time or money to get the "perfect" present for such a good friend only at certain times of the year. So every once in awhile when we do find that special something screaming to be purchased we scrounge up all the change in the couch cushions, under the mini-van seats, perhaps "borrow" the needed funds from next month's budget, or our children (Pete knows they have all the money in this house) and buy it. Now my mother would save the gift until the next holiday... not me baby, I find something someone I know is going to LOVE, I don't want to hang onto it, I want them to enjoy it NOW! In the words of my daughter, "I am not a waiter!" (apparently she comes by her impatience honestly)

Since said BFF has a birthday mere days from now I am here to explain why this gift does not qualify as a birthday present.
1. It will not arrive in a lovely box with gift wrap, bow, or even a measly message. (But trust me, she'll know who it's from.)
2. It may in fact arrive with the invoice enclosed. Yep, can't be a birthday present if she knows what I paid for it!
3. It will not arrive on her birthday. (See previous post on my favorite shipping methods aka super saver gets you NO PACKAGES!)

So Tracy have a great birthday, your card is in the mail. Drink a few glasses of wine for me and try to find some famous people to stalk ... um I mean have photos taken with to send me.

My damn kid keeps bringing home straight As! We don't give money for grades and we don't like to give food, like a special meal out, as a reward either. Growing up good grades in my house were encouraged, praise was liberal and as long as I did my job of being a good student, not much else was expected of me. Yeah, I was fairly spoiled, but I turned out fine. My hubby and I are trying to teach our children to be proud of themselves for doing a good job, and not to expect a reward beyond that for every accomplishment. That doesn't mean we don't reward her at all for good grades, but the reward is never the same and is chosen by us for her. Like after a year of straight A's with no absences at all last year we decided she was ready for a small pet.
Sidenote: I ended up caving at the Humane Society and getting her a family of small pets, I couldn't separate the brothers. Yes, we have big cage with 4 little boy degus (they are rodents about the size of gerbils) currently living in our house. That's a whole 'nother post...someday.

Back to the point! (Don't say I didn't warn you about my lack of focus already.)
So today, I spent part of my morning buying Breanna books (a small reward for the aforementioned straight As). I got her these books about girls growing up, what to expect physically, learning to deal with her feelings etc. Then I came home and reviewed them to make sure they were age appropriate. Proceeded to get very depressed about having a kid old enough for such books. Now starting to wish I had stinky boys instead. No periods or boobs to deal with. Do boys get moody during puberty? Who would know, they don't talk much anyway. Why oh why did I think girls were better? And this is just the beginning, I still have boys, dating, and sex to deal with. AHHHHHH! I think I may need a drink (or six) a day to get through the coming years. And God's little joke? I have another one 4 years younger, so I get to go through it all twice! Is it too late to trade these two in for boys?

Sad Today...

He was too young. We may never know what really happened or why, we weren't there. I think there were signs that he was a having a hard time coping. In my opinion he was a great actor who will never have the chance to show the world just how talented he was. I am sad as I realize, after The Dark Knight comes out this summer, there will be no more new Heath movies to see. Time to pop in 10 Things I Hate About You and remember him cute and happy .

Oy Vey!

I do believe I've been had. I love my new "Dooney" purse but I am fairly certain it's fake. A damn good fake, but not the real deal none the less. It even has a Dooney sales tag and duster bag. Oh well. I still think it's adorable and I paid (with shipping) the same as everyone does at those Designer Replica Purse Parties, so I didn't get screwed, just didn't get the fabulous deal I thought I did.

On a happier note, my new sheets are SOFT and in the washer as I type. Plus my two movies are here too. That leaves my new comforter set and Veronica Mars DVDs for tomorrow's pissy mail lady to deliver.

I posted about all the fun stuff I ordered like a week ago, and damn the free super saver shipping at Amazon is all I gots to say! Add the super slow we are walking the shit to your house shipping to a random Monday holiday and know what you've got? NO FREAKING PACKAGES! Plus, every single item I ordered is being shipped by the USPS. I totally get that it's tons cheaper to ship this way, on the very few occasions I am forced to ship things they are my carrier of choice. But know why UPS is more expensive because their tracking system kicks ass! I like to compulsively check (hourly if possible) to see where my packages are and with UPS I can. Also, UPS drivers are often HOT! And the one who delivers in our neighborhood on a regular basis is such a nice man. He once at came back by our house after missing us, on his own, after he finished the rest of his route because he saw the box was from Apple, as in a computer, and he knew we'd really be wanting it that day! How awesome is he?! So, I prefer all packages sent to me be delivered in a big brown truck. Not to mention, our regular USPS woman, not so pleasant. And if all my packages really are in her little truck today she may, what's the equivalent of a waiter spitting in your drink?, well, whatever, you get the point.


Does anyone know who the hell plans my kid's school calendar?! Is there any actually planning at all?! We just got back from Christmas Break and now they have off today AND Monday! I love them and all, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that crap. I mean REALLY, did they need a 4 day weekend already?

Personally I would tack these few extra days onto Spring Break, at the end of March. Well, this year anyway, as we are planning trip to Texas. They have a total of 9 days (including weekends) off. 2 days there, 2 days back (yes, we are driving, I know CRAZY) that leaves 5 days to see my parents (who expect us to spend all time with them) my sister's family and our family BFFs. You know the family who has kids your kids love, you love to drink and shop (preferably at the same time) with the mommy and the dads, they actually get along great too! Family BFFs are RARE, and ours moved to F'in Texas this summer! Lucky for us someone upstairs knew that we couldn't live without them, so they are within an hour of all my family, putting them on the Spring Break Road Trip Map.

In addition to visiting all these people, I happen to also have cousins in the area, who I am trying to hook up with for at least a meal. I mean I am driving cross country and going to be in their backyard, I'd like to think if they came that close to us, they'd at least honk as they drove past, ya know?!

Off to meet daddy for lunch, because we wouldn't want him to miss out on all this extra time with the girls. :-)

Sidenote: My youngest pronounces it Tex-kiss. As in kiss mine! HA!

What non-kid channel tv do you let your kids watch? When are kids ready for "real" tv? Having an almost 9 year old is so hard, ya'll! I know lots of kids her age are watching network tv. Until recently about 95% of the tv watched before 8:00pm in our house was on Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon or PBS. The other 5% was syndicated shows like Brady Bunch and Full House. Recently we have started DVRing a couple of reality shows to watch with her. She and I watched Kid Nation together this fall. We watch Jon and Kate + 8, Little People Big World, Run's House and America's Funniest Videos too. One of the main reasons we watch together is so I can skip the commercials. All of these shows are very G rated in content, but I do not want her seeing the ads on during these shows, especially MTV. This comes up tonight because American Idol is starting. I haven't watched much since the first season, except for the audition shows. I love all the bat shit crazies that come out of the woodwork to be on tv. And I thought she might too (the kid does love her some Jon and Kate, and Pete knows that mom ain't right!) so I am DVRing it for us to watch tomorrow. We'll see what she thinks.

For Christmas my sister sent my hubby and I Amazon Gift Certificates. At first we thought we would pool our resources and buy something for the house. Okay, more like goodies for our new Wii. Yah, that didn't happen, and I was feeling the burn of that virtual money in my inbox daily. Sunday night I finally forwarded the email with the code for his money to my hubby. Well, hell, I wasn't giving him that until we (read: I) decided whether or not we were going to make one big purchase (oh okay, whether I was going to spend his money too in the name of the greater good).

So finally I was free to spend my present on stuff just for me! I don't know about others, but as a mom I feel like most of the time I spend my gift money on "us". For instance my parents sent the family a check for Christmas and my hubby and I decided (together for real this time) to buy the girls a trampoline with the money. Yesterday my mom asked what we (hubby and I) spent our respective quarters of the check on. Nothing, it went to the girl's present, which was way more than their half, and the rest got absorbed into the "cost" of Christmas. Such is being the parents.

Want to know what I bought with my gift certificate? Veronica Mars Season 3 dvds. It is one of my all time favorite shows. I already have Seasons 1 and 2 and according to my hubby the only upside of the show lasting 3 seasons is that I will now own the entire set, and he will no longer have to hear about it being on my wish list.

I also bought 2 of my favorite movies from my tween years. After watching (surviving) endless episodes of Hannah Montana and multiple viewings of that Musical (what's it called again? I forget, it's only on like once a week!) I was reminded of the movies I couldn't get enough of, that probably drove my parents crazy. So I had to go searching Amazon to see if they made it to dvd. First I found Sooner or Later, it was only a made for tv movie, and of course, back in the olden days me and the dinosaurs didn't have Tivo, DVDs or even goodness gracious, VCRs! So I had to make do with the book and soundtrack (I had the album, not even a cassette, dear Pete, I am older than dirt!). The other movie I bought was Ice Castles. Anyone remember it? It was a romance about a blind ice skater. Yes, I said BLIND ICE SKATER! Who the hell cares if it's feasible? It was so romantic! Here's the frightening part, apparently when I was watching the romantic blind ice skater and the movie about the 13year old girl who LIES to a boy and tells him she's 16 to DATE him, I was not yet 9 years old. Guess. Go ahead GUESS how old my daughter is going to be in April?! AHHHHHH, NINE! Apparently being old makes you forget things, like the details of movies you saw when you were nine. I wonder if my parents were just crazy for letting me watch these movies or if they are harmless sweet love stories? Looks like mommy will be viewing these alone to decide if they are okay for my kid to see.

Along with these fun purchases I also succumbed to the pressure and bought some really good sheets for "us" (hubby and I, the girls have cheap sheets just like we did as kids, they don't know any better). I actually found a new comforter set for our bedroom (I've been looking for awhile and finally found something we both like) and the sheets that come with it are fine, but I felt like splurging. Until hubby and I bought this house and our first set of new bedroom furniture (after 9 years of marriage) we had never had sheets with a thread count. My mother still says, "If the sheet covers the bed that's all that matters, why would anyone spend that kind of money on a sheet?" Well, all I know is hubby and I are hooked on our "good" sheets. Which are really towards bottom of the line, seeing as we can't afford the 1200 count egyptian cotton I'd like to have. The ones I just ordered are two steps up from our best sheets, so I can't wait to get them and snuggle up.

So I have dvds, sheets and a new comforter set all ordered. I am anxiously checking my inbox for shipping confirmation. Then I can start stalking the UPS man!

So many of these things don't belong.

Been singing this little Sesame Street jingle all day today. To the casual observer, my house looks clean (well at least until the girls get up in the morning). But as I tell people all the time it's just smoke and mirrors, one big illusion. I live here, I know where to look. Here are a few things I noticed while cleaning up today. I'll let you guess which ones actually got put away and which ones I left out of place.

Odd things in my bathroom... a princess kick board, a pair of crocks
On my nightstand... an iron, antibiotic eye drops
In the living room... hubby's tennis shoes
Brooke's room... plastic bug, musical Christmas tree toy
Girl's bathroom... empty box for Christmas decorations already put away in alternate box (whoops)
bar/kitchen... 2 Christmas ornaments my daughter made for friends we never gave to them

Side note: Watched Rock of Love 2 and Scott Baio tonight!

What do I really have in common with the person who is President? Seeing as I am not Rich, White, or Male, I'm thinking, not a hell of a lot. In turn, can such a person really represent my interests? And as I get older the whole question of how much power the President actually has combined with (what I see as) the "lesser of the two evils" candidates of the recent past, has made me loose any small interest I have in politics.

It wasn't always this way. I remember my freshman year of college being so excited that I turned 18 in an election year. 4 years later I stood outside on a cold day, with my hands in plain sight (ever been to a Presidential Rally and you'll understand) instead of in my pockets waiting to shake hands with Al Gore, Hilary and Bill Clinton. I also remember the HUGE line (everyone living in a college town votes!) I had to wait in to cast my vote for Clinton.

Back even further I remember in elementary school voting in a mock election. They do these to get an idea of which candidate is the front runner, because children vote like their parents. Whoops, except kids like me! Funny I still remember voting for Jimmy Carter and the teachers asking who voted for the same person their parents were voting for and being the ONLY kid who DID NOT! Actually, I "remember" this because my parents like to tell the story to emphasize the point, that even in kindergarten, I was politically the black sheep of the family. My parents have also been known to call and let me know they went to vote, just to counter my vote.

I think I've already given away the fact that I lean a bit to the left. So, I am actually getting excited about a year with both Obama and Hilary in the running. Now imagine my surprise when I took the following Presidential Candidate Quiz and found John Edwards at the top of the list.

81% John Edwards
78% Barack Obama
77% Hillary Clinton
77% Bill Richardson
73% Mike Gravel
72% Chris Dodd
69% Joe Biden
65% Dennis Kucinich
51% Rudy Giuliani
45% John McCain
44% Tom Tancredo
41% Mitt Romney
39% Mike Huckabee
30% Fred Thompson
27% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Go ahead, take the quiz, you know you're dying to!

Today politics, tomorrow maybe I'll stick it to organized religion! Ha!

Celebrity Rehab

It premiered tonight, but I am sure true to form VH1 will be replaying it at all hours. Now this is the kind of train wreck you just can't pass up. Everyone let's rubber-neck together!

Okay, so I'd love to be watching all new episodes of my favorite shows just as much as the next person. But let's face it, we are soon going to be left with nothing but reality tv and some shows that weren't good enough to get on the fall schedule. But as I see it, the writer's strike isn't all bad. It's like Christmas in July, or more accurately summer programming during sweeps.

Here is a sample of the quality programming I have been checking out (alright, looking forward to). I am not saying that I don't normally watch some (okay, most)(Hell, who am I kidding? ALL) of these shows all alone when they are replayed in the wee hours, or better yet, online while my family is not even home. But now I can use the excuse that there's nothing else on and watch them in prime time as all original episodes!
Real World: Where ever (I know the last Sydney one is tonight, but I'm sure they have another set of crazy kids already filming the next one!)
Life of Ryan (This boy is way to cute to be only 17! Maybe I could adopt him, as his own parents kinda suck.)
Gladiators (I worked out while watching this Monday, all those well oiled muscles are very motivational. And the cheese factor is so high, one can almost taste it!)
One Tree Hill (The story line jumped 4 years ahead, skipping the college years. So now the not actually teen stars are playing closer to their real ages. Doesn't make the show any more realistic, but who wants realism in their soap opera?)
Jon and Kate + 8 (My kids got me hooked on this one. Messing With Texas totally pegged what draws me to this freak show. Did she mention the mom is Koo-Koo-Krazy? Full on with spinning finger by the ear!)
Run's House (The Cosby Show but, not. I like that these rich kids seem fairly "normal" and my kids like to watch too.)
Rock of Love 2! (Previously on Rock of Love: Cat Fights and Pole Dancing. The 2nd round promises to be a train wreck of incomparable proportions. Television Without Pity is recapping the first season episodes. It's comic GOLD.)
Scott Baio is Pregnant (Now THAT would be a great show, too bad it's actually his girlfriend having the baby. Either way I lurve me some Chachi!)

The obvious exceptions to the rule are of course LOST (which I cannot wait for) 24 (we haven't watched since the first season, however, this may be a good time to catch up and have some quality tv to look forward to) and on cable Psych has all new episodes (if you haven't seen it before check it out on USA Friday nights, very lighthearted funny entertainment). Oh and if you are my husband Battle Star Gallactica will be back later this spring for it's final season.

Off to watch a marathon of America's Next Top Model on MTV. Gotta love the marathons to get hooked on a truly trashy show!

I somehow always think I will have a surplus of time to "get things done" as soon as I get my kids back to school from a break. Then reality sets in, you'd think I'd learn. Brooke is in VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, it's state funded, read: FREE! Don't say the Bush family never gave us anything worthwhile.) and they are required to go for 15hrs a week. This translates to 3 hours a morning 5 days a week at most schools. What the hell, you say? Me too! I often feel like I have a newborn as I am forced to organize my days in 3 hour blocks. Drop girls off at 9am, pick up Brooke at 12pm, Breanna gets home at 3pm, hubby gets home at 6pm. No mystery why I can't seem to get a damn thing done.

So I drop the girls at school this morning, grocery list in hand and head off with optimism. Of course it takes me an hour to shop. Yes, I had a list! Does everyone take this long? I hate grocery shopping, put it on the list of chores I would pay someone to do for me if we won the lottery (which we won't because you have to play to win). I would also pay someone to do my laundry and dishes everyday if I were suddenly rich. Paying off our house and buying a new car, you bet your ass those are at the top of the hypothetical list of things to do when someone we don't know dies and leaves us lots of money (because lets face it, that's the only way we are going to become wealthy overnight). Next though is someone to wash my clothes, my dishes and buy my groceries. Hey, I just need a WIFE, or to move back in with my parents! HA! Whoops, off on a tangent there. This is how my mind works, go with it, try not to over think my train of thought. I am often distracted by bright and shiny objects too.

Back to my lack of time to accomplish anything! Basically I got my groceries bought and put away, and had half an hour before I had to head back to pick up small child. Got a call from my mother, that left me with about 20 mins. Not enough time to work out, not really enough time to do much of anything. I answered a few emails, read a couple of others blogs, and half watched the beginning of The View.

A friend dropped by after I brought home said small child. In my effort to spend more time with friends I couldn't kick her out! Ha! Plus she's one of my good friends who is allowed to drop by unannounced because she does not judge the filth that is my house on a Monday morning. On the weekends I let things go. My thinking is I should get the weekend off too, right? The mess will eventually get picked up during the week and it's easier and quicker to do when the family is not around to make more messes.

Again with the train of thought! My friend and I talked while I got my clean dishes put away and the ones in the sink loaded. I am still waiting for the day that there is NOTHING in the sink waiting to be loaded when I unload the dishwasher. Sadly it's a lovely dream I have, but much like the lottery, ain't happening.

TRAIN of THOUGHT people, yes I am special! Of course I could be doing fun things like folding clothes and doing laundry now, but I am busy blogging! So that will have to wait. The way I figure it, I can't blog with both kids home, so I should do it now. In fact I can't do much of anything that takes any amount of concentration with them both home, who am I kidding focusing is a problem for me all the time! (Ya think?!)

After my not so small (she's almost 9, AHHHH!) child gets home it's snacks for the kids, nagging about homework, and if I am really good, tricking them into a game of let's sort and fold laundry. Okay, so that probably won't work, but it's worth a shot. I am sure I have something to bribe them with around here.

Bright and shiny object? Where?

Okay, back on track... Dinner, baths, and bedtime, will pretty much finish off my day. I need to go check the tv listings (like there is anything on with that damn writer's strike) maybe I can sneak in a trip to the neighborhood clubhouse for a workout after the girls go to bed. Then at least I'd feel better about myself.

The rest of the mess and chores will still be waiting for me tomorrow, hopefully they can sort themselves into handy 3 hour blocks.

Making more time for my friends is on my ME list for this year. For those of you who don't know me that well, I can be one moody woman. No, really. I have days where I just curl up on my couch in front of the tv or computer and become antisocial. I manage to get the day to day chores done, but sometimes I honestly just ignore the phone and can't be bothered to make the effort to go out and "make nice". This is when my making time for friends really needs to be addressed. Really how hard is it to throw on some makeup and run out the door for a meal, shopping trip or cup of coffee?

I am proud to say I have started the year off right. My DD gave me her lovely cold for Christmas. I cleaned house, helped prepare meals, and hosted lots of family for the holidays. After everyone was gone I disassembled our 3 (yes 3) Christmas trees and got my house back. I forced myself to stay up until midnight with my lovely children (who have no idea what sleeping in is, even after being up until midnight) to see in 2008! New Year's Day I managed to drag my sick and coughing self to an event called ICE! at the Gaylord Palms Hotel (google it, I don't know how to hyper-link yet) and ice skated with my family while it was 80 degrees outside. After all this I finally had a few days where the girls and I had NOTHING to do, not a darn thing on the calendar (for 3 days to be exact) while daddy was at work. Oh and it was freezing here in Sunny Florida Wed. and Thurs. too. Perfect for jammie days! (Do others do this too?)

What does this have to do with making an effort to see my friends you ask? Well, Friday around 2:00pm (as I was still in my jammies) I got a phone call from an old friend. How old you ask? Well, since you asked, the call was from my 5th and 6th grade reading teacher MK, which doesn't make him as old as it sounds. He was a young teacher. (Someday I'll blog about inspiring teachers and he will be at the top of the list) Anyway... his kids were here with family at the House of the Mouse and he and his wife were on their way from South Florida to pick them up. Now I say we live in Mouse Land, but we actually live on the opposite side of town, about a 45 min. drive (on a good day). In the past I would've made some excuse about being sick, Friday night traffic, and not having a sitter for my girls and gotten out of meeting up with them. But I didn't, I immediately made plans to meet up when they got to town for drinks and dinner (My suggestion. His reply: yes and yes). Note to all: this is an old trick question of mine and my friend TS. If the answer is an enthusiastic yes to drinks you know the night won't be a total disaster.

I showered, put on real clothes, dropped my oldest off at her BFFs for a sleepover, strapped Brooke in the van and took off. We met up with my hubby on the way, as he works 1/2 way to the Mouse. Around 6:30pm we met up with MK and his wife KK at the bar. Now I have emailed MK on and off (how did people find each other before the internet?) and we exchange Christmas Cards (you can read about my brown nose in an earlier post). But drinks and dinner with virtual strangers, their family and my small child (out way past her bedtime) were an unknown combination. So how did it go? Really want to know? Keep reading...

It was a great night! We had so much fun. Brooke was cute and talkative, not whiny at all. MK and KK (even though their children are older now) were especially mindful of Brooke being out late. She had an endless supply of Shirley Temples and they even went out of their way to order her a pizza at the bar while we were waiting for a table (8:45 pm was the earliest opening for our large group of 12) for dinner. We talked about all the kids I went to school with that he taught, and about raising our own kids, very surreal. The food was tasty, the wine delicious and the evening unforgettable.

Footnote: Sometimes we take our kids with us because we have no alternative, sometimes we think they are cute and want to show them off, and we've been known to end up regretting the decision to bring them with us. That night Brooke was so good, (she eventually just climbed up on my lap after I finished eating and fell asleep as we all sat and talked) we were busting at the seams proud of her.

(MK and KK if you are reading this, a HUGE Thank You for such a wonderful evening. I hope we can do it again!)

What do I say?

I suppose I'll start with the obvious "Happy New Year".

This is the year of my 20th High School Reunion and my hubby's 40th birthday. It is also the year we have decided to take a family road trip. 4 years ago, when my oldest was almost 5 and my baby was 1 we spent spring break (that's what it was labeled on the preschool calendar, because apparently 4 year olds need to go wild on the beach too) driving to Iowa to visit my hubby's grandmother. It was such a fun trip, we even got to play in the snow while we were there. So now that my baby is going to be 5 the week before spring break this year we thought a big trip would be fun. Before it's over I am sure I'll be asking who's bright idea it was to drive to Texas with 2 kids, and in 4 more years I bet I can only remember how much fun we all had.

I am making no resolutions this year. Instead I am declaring this a year about ME! Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, and I am not planning on neglecting them. I am however, going to spend more time doing things for myself. Because once I finish my current job of raising two amazing little girls into happy, caring, open minded, self sufficient, contributing members of society I will need a life. I know it's cliche' but they are growing up so much faster than I ever imagined. I've realized over the past year, that my world cannot revolve around them, because then I will have nothing left of myself when they inevitably leave the nest.

Hopefully one day my girls will have families of their own, I would like to be around to marvel at what wonderful people I helped create. So first and foremost on my ME list is to eat healthier and work out more. I am setting no goals. I just want to be in better shape, to walk a flight of steps without being winded, look better in my clothes (not so worried about looking good naked, since that would only be in the dark with the man whose 2 children I gave birth to and he has stuck with me for over 13 years) and generally feel better about myself.

Next on my ME list is to find a new "group to join". One that does not involve volunteering at the girl's school. Maybe a book club. Maybe an alumni group. Possibly volunteering somewhere other than the school. I don't know yet.

Also on my ME list is spending more time with MY friends. Not that I don't love some of the mom's of my children's friends. But I'm talking about the friends (some of whom live in the same city, and many in the same state) that I rarely make the time see, women I have known for years, some decades, and one in particular since elementary school. If I don't start making the time to connect with them will they still be around in 10 years when I need a shoulder to cry on as my girls move out? Let's face it, as the girls get older, I'll be lucky if I even meet their friend's parents. I can't count on my social life revolving around them for much longer.

Last but not least, I need to put more into my marriage. You know, that man who has been in trenches here with me for the last 13 + years? He's a pretty great guy, and I really don't think I let him know how much I appreciate him. Gotta work on that too.

December 15:

My kids were finishing making ornaments for their friends (which can only mean GLITTER everywhere), and I went to check the mail. Today was a banner mail day, 5 Christmas cards, my Entertainment Weekly and nothing else! No bills and no junk! Woo Hoo! Now, I am finally filling up my door with Christmas cards. I hang them on the door to my kitchen. I just love to look at them, so much so, that last year I think it was Brooke Marie's Birthday (yes March) when I took them down, as we needed that door for pin the hat on the chef.

So in the Christmas cards were my MIL and her sister's, they are those who buy a box of cheap cards at the store, sign the inside with some platitude and ship them off, not much thought what-so-ever.

Then was the obligatory "look how friggin cute my kids are" picture card from one of my sorority little sisters! Yeah, love that kind!

The last two however are the most fun. First is from my rich friend in CA. Her cards look like the home-made by Martha Stewart kind that no one should have enough time to make. Last year I asked and she admitted she is not super-mom, she PAYS someone to make the cards for her, probably freakin' Martha herself! Ha!

The last one, although of the "look how cute my family is" variety, is the one that made my day. Not because of the picture but the handwritten note on the back. It's from my 5th and 6th grade reading teacher. My girls think it's so cool I get a Christmas card from my (former) teacher, and frankly so do I. I know all us little girls in his class had huge crushes on him, he was young, drove a Jeep, had the cutest curly hair and dimples to die for. But it was more than wanting to get the attention of the cute teacher. He was inspiring, perhaps because of his youth and excitement, being that teaching us was his first job out of college, I don't know. I just know even his approval of my Christmas card today makes me proud. (Here's where I have to admit I was a total teacher's pet geek in school!) I have often told my girls that not every teacher will be their favorite, but if they are lucky they will have at least one who inspires them like Mark did me.

So today with cards from old friends and glitter all over my house I am feeling all sentimental and it's really beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here.

On a side note: Two blogs in one day? Damn I really must be ready for Christmas if I have this much spare time on my hands, huh? That or I am a procrastinator and there is one more weekend left! Actually I'm somewhere in between, my kids are done, down to the stocking stuffers D-O-N-E! Gifts I have to ship, done, with the exception of three small boxes that I need to take to the post office Monday. So I only have a few little extras to pick up sometime next week while the girls are in school and I can shop ALONE!

December 15:
We were at our Christmas Bunko Party and someone wanted to see our myspace pages. Yes, we actually have friends who know nothing of this little obsession. And when my page was pulled up someone made the comment that "The Christmas Shoes" song made them cry. I laughed and told them to scroll and read that not only did I put that song on my page, but that I wrote on my profile page that it makes me cry everytime I hear it. This got us started on other things that make us cry. First thing I thought of was this song. It is called Cinderella and you can hear it at...
Anyone who has a daughter who can make it through this song without a Kleenex has a heart of stone I tell you. I say this as the world's biggest sap. I cry at everything, songs, tv shows, hell, even a commercial can get me going. And don't put my kids up on a stage and think I won't need a tissue. Last night I sat with my girls and watched the last episode of Kid Nation (hey it was clean family entertainment, which is rare these days) and cried my eyes out when they reunited the kids with their parents after 40 days. I promptly told my kids they would never be able to participate in something like this, because there was no way I would survive 40 days without them! They are out right now shopping with daddy, and although the silence is lovely I am starting to miss them. Time to go listen to Cinderella and have myself a good cry! I hear it can be good for you.

(Update: I have to add I spent time this morning reading other's blogs and Laura who posts here had me sobbing, runny nose, bloodshot eyes and all. Her posts are so heartfelt, she really puts it all out there. I admire her strength and courage.)

December 9:

It's Sunday afternoon and my kids are cleaning house. They will not let me off the couch, they say they want to do it all themselves. I think maybe they don't want me to see the mess they are creating as they clean. My kids tend to clean the "fun" things and ignore the obvious. For instance, I heard them hand washing the dishes, because, come on bubbles and water are fun! But I would venture to guess there is a huge wet puddle under the sink now, and possibly a pile of wet towels they used to dry dishes on the floor too. My oldest daughter couldn't wait to use some sprinkle on carpet freshener. Okay by me if you actually vacuum it up. So the living room floor is clean and smells lovely. Yep, that's where she stopped. The family room rug, the one the DOG who STINKS actually lays on, nope didn't feel like doing that one. I have one idea why, it's probably still covered with toys! And we all know it would not be "fun" to pick up those.

Oh and why have my children suddenly gotten the fever for cleaning you ask? Not because I yelled at or threatened them, oh no. They are cleaning because they got the idea that Santa would bring them more toys if they helped mommy. Yep, my kids got that Christmas Spirit alright! Of course I won't tell them Santa's already finished shopping for them, if you won't. Because goodness knows I enjoy the idea of them cleaning even if I know it will end up being more work for me in the end.

Merry Christmas, may all your little elves be a bit more helpful for the next two weeks too!

November 14:

Ever feel like you tempted fate? Just sat there asking for trouble? Apparently I was too brazen with Karma and she (only a woman could get revenge like Karma can) came and kicked me in the ass! HA!

Ex. 1 Let's see I am sure that I have said (too many times to count) how Breanna didn't miss a single day of school last year. My kids are so damn healthy I barely remember where the doctor's office is. Then BAM the Friday after Halloween Breanna falls, hits her chin on the tile in our family room and off to the ER we go. All was well after 9 stitches but I can no longer boast that I don't know where the closest emergency room is.

Ex. 2 Today Karma is feeling quite sassy. A few weeks ago I was highlighting my daughter's hair for Halloween. Oh yeah, I am an expert I color my hair all the time, I don't even do strand tests or allergy tests anymore. Don't worry her hair turned out adorable. I however was not quite as fortunate. At least Karma knows to exact her fury at the person teasing her, not the innocent child, who's hair I did by the way strand and allergy test. But this morning when I thought I should cover up my gray hairs before Bunko tonight I grabbed a box with a beautiful model who's hair was a lovely shade of brown. Nothing crazy here, just brown to cover the gray. Checked the "if your hair is this color, it will turn this color" panel and thought, yep, looks good. Came home, read directions, turned on timer, took shower, looked in mirror. OH HELL, that ain't the color on the box! And worse it isn't even the same color all over my head! My roots are actually lighter than my hair. WTF? That's just wrong! Hee hee! A quick search on the internet (dear gracious, what did people do before google?) came up with a decent fix. It sure ain't as purty as when my good buddy Tom does it, but my schedule doesn't mesh with his and my budget is near nil seeing as the holidays are fast approaching. And did I mention, I color my own hair all the time... no need to do a strand time test here...
Best part of all, I can STILL see gray hair under there! Well, maybe the odd two toned hair will be so distracting, no one will notice!

(Update: A month later I went out, bought a dark brown DIY color (the night before Bunko this time) and covered the nightmare. No problems this time, and nope, no strand test either. I may never learn!)

November 10:

We used to have a family room. We (okay I) just adopted an adorable (according to DH this is subjective) little girl chinchilla. The cage she came with is much bigger than I anticipated. I thought we could just put her cage next to the degus in the corner of the family room. My spacial aquity is poor at best, but even I knew when I saw her "skyscraper" (manufacturer's name) it was never going to fit there. So I moved a few things around and found her a space on the opposite wall. This morning DH walked through the room, over the big old dog, took note of DD's stuffed animals on the couch and announced good morning to the Zoo. I like it, from now on we live in a 4 bed, 2 bath, formal living room with Zoo Room house.

(It was pointed out that I had not mentioned her name. It's Sweet Niblets, yes, from Hannah Montana.)

All Hail...

November 2:

The mighty frog hunter! Okay, so my dear hubby gave up on the frog hunt, after a very short amount of time. But he did inspect every inch of my chair and the window beside it and we sat down to watch Survivor. On commercial break DH got up to go in the other room as I hear this splat from beside me. I said what was that noise? DH says "me getting up off the couch". I quickly jumped out of my chair and ran to the kitchen, cause I'm a big ass chicken! I mustered up some courage, took a book and poked at the basket o'magazines next to my chair. Then that Sneaky Bastard Killer Frog jumped out of the basket and behind my chair. At which point I screamed bloody murder and cried for DH to come capture the slimy sucker! I screamed loud enough to get DD out of bed in the back bedroom (she wasn't asleep yet, but the door was closed)! DH captured him fairly easily and threw him out into the yard. At least I was be able to sleep last night. I think this little scare took years off my life!

I'd like to thank my wonderful friends for their harassing phone calls, joke emails, myspace comments and support (you know who you are) in this matter.

Novemeber 1:
I am currently a prisoner in my own home. I was taking down the lovely Halloween skull from my front door today, because I can't use my peep hole with it there and a huge ass frog jumped into my living room. And we CAN'T find it! I am not kidding, since about 1:00pm I have been sitting at my kitchen table, reasoning that he would be easier to see coming and there are less places for him to hide in here. I seriously do not think I will be able to sleep tonight. Friends have been over, laughing at me of course, and said I could just roll a towel at the base of my bedroom door tonight to which I sanely replied, but it's like a horror movie I could just as well be trapping the thing in my room with me as keeping it out! . I am college educated, I know the frog physically cannot hurt me however, I am positive that it landing on me at any time, even if I saw it coming would give me a fatal heart attack! It's not right! It's psychological warfare and the damn frog is winning! A neighbor offered to bring over her cat to find it and I am seriously considering it. To hell with allergies, there's a FROG in the house! Did I mention it's HUGE?! I summoned over a friend's husband and he flipped my couch and chair and couldn't find it, but he now knows what a horrible housekeeper I am, and frankly my darling I don't give a damn! Someone needs to find that frog! Oh and I called my dear husband to tell him he would be frog hunting when he gets home and he didn't really seem concerned about the killer (by means of heart attack, so it looks like natural causes, sneaky bastard) frog!

I'll keep you updated. If you find you cannot reach me by email, alert the authorities! Meanwhile I'll be huddled here at my kitchen table.

I have a few posts, I think are kinda funny from my previously mentioned myspace blog. I am going to copy them over here to fill in the space. What can I say, I like clutter!

My dream job is to be to be a newspaper columnist, a la Dave Barry. In my little dream world I've already titled my first book "Who's Pete? Should I be worried?" Sadly the quote is actually from my husband because I say "for the love Pete" all the time. Seeing as I'll probably never write a book, I figure this little blog is as close as I will get, so I'm using my best title here. On a side note, I have also decided if we ever get another dog (our big old black lab is 13 and seen better days) I will name him Pete.

In my real life I am here because a bunch of friends said they were finding old friends on myspace. I still say that myspace is for teeny boppers trying to hook up, which pretty much makes me old, but that's okay. At least these days I am comfortable with who I am, being 30 something is not too bad, most days. And us old ladies have to keep up with the times so that we will know what our daughters are up too when they get to be teeny boopers.

Back to the point, while on myspace I started writing a few blogs. Of course only my "friends" who have chosen to also participate in the juvenile fun that is myspace can read them. So I am moving on to a bigger and better forum. Maybe no one but my goofy friends will even read this, which is fine by me.

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