Friday, December 29, 2006

The End or a New Beginning?

It happened. It seems surreal. Are we safer now than we were yesterday or are we in for a new battle?

Saddam is finally gone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ho Ho Hosed

This Christmas season has been more hectic than normal. I think I feel that way every year but this one takes the cake, frosting and all. For one, I’m doing everything on my own. No one to hang the lights on the house (that decorating step was omitted this year), no one to drag the giant red and green boxes in or pull the tree boxes down from the rafters in the garage. It was a comical experience I tell ya. Imagine a tall skinny girl on top of a ladder trying to pull down trees without killing herself or her very curious children. “Keep your hands on the truck! Don’t move! Back awaaaaay from the ladder! NO climbing! Get back to the truck!” Fortunately, no one was smashed. The other boxes were neatly stacked between the wall of the garage and Bill’s truck…Bill’s dead truck. A truck that could not be moved because I let the battery die. So again, here I am dragging boxes over the truck while trying to not compromise the state of the paint on said truck. Are my children behaving by quietly watching an educational video while I try to make Christmas a magical and sparkly experience for them? No. They are in the garage, practically clinging to my legs.

“Mommy! Can I help? Mommy! What’s that? What are you doing? Mommy, watch this! Mommymommymommymommy.”

UGH! “GET IN THE CAR, WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!”

“Yay!!”

That was at the end of November. Not much has changed. It took weeks to get the house decorated. I’m still wrapping presents, a task I started over a week ago. We don’t have a plethora of presents. I just have to stop after about five to either deal with a child, or one comes downstairs, early from a nap when I’m wrapping his gift or my eyelids won’t cooperate and I just have to go to bed.

Then came the parties. You know, the obligatory-if-you-don’t-attend-you’re-not-a-team-player parties. The Women’s annual tea, which isn’t a tea at all, but more of a coffee, singing, listen to a speaker and ornament white elephant thing. The staff party: great because it was OUT. I went out to dinner on someone else’s dime. The youth staff party: the crazy one with the crazy white elephant gifts and five too many people for the size house provided. The school Christmas performance: “please feel free (ie you are required as an entrance fee) to bring a plate of cookies to share”. Yeah, well, I dipped some oreos in chocolate, sprinkled on some festive Mexican Christmas jimmies and voila! I didn’t have time to bake or run to the store. The staff appreciation breakfast which I didn’t get to appreciate even though I’m staff because the MOPS leadership team provided breakfast and, well, I’m required to be at the leadership meetings, not the staff meetings. So, I made breakfast for that. Then came the end of the season MOPS party, and it was my turn, once again to cook for my table. In addition to bringing breakfast, this was the longest laundry list: kids in red shirts, cards for kids’ teachers, three dozen cookies for cookie exchange and an ornament for the ornament exchange. I was really really bad and only fulfilled the red shirt quota. And then I hear the other moms complain about their situation until they look at me and two of the other moms and realize that none of us will have our husband’s home this Christmas and they quickly change the topic.

I think Bill is having a harder time not being home than we are. Of course, I want him here. He’s great at starting a rip roarin fire Christmas morning, making sure we both have coffee and doing the ‘dad’ thing with the video camera to capture the festivities. This year, he’ll be with all of his co-workers but we’ll still be with family. He got the raw deal.

Since Trey was a wee lad, we’ve done Christmas at home. That was strange getting used to since our tradition while growing up was to drive up to my grandparent’s house. Every year. This was the only time I’d see half of my cousins even though we were only a two hour drive away. Tradition. Turkey? Check. Ribbon candy? Check. Crazy uncles drinking beer and cracking jokes? Check. Someone crying? Check. It was fun. At least I remember it being fun. Now instead of ripping through gifts, putting on my fancy dress and shiny mary janes to see family, we savor every minute of the morning and calmly go through our day. Not this year. We’re going to see my grandpa…and his wife.



They’ve been asking us for years to come up. They’re not getting any younger.



She has bells. LOTS of bells. Really. Like over 3,000. Seriously.


I have a two year old. How am I going to keep my kids from killing her precious collection? What in the world is there going to be for them to do? None of their cousins will be there. I will need wine or champagne and lots of it. And DVD’s for the kids.

So let’s be positive. No cooking, no cleaning, a change of scenery for everyone, and I get to see my grandpa. Man, I really hope my aunt and uncle stop by.

I’ve never wished for Christmas to be over. My eye is twitching from stress. My family room looks like the paper factory exploded. Bill will be home in three weeks but we don’t have an exact date yet. That stresses me out. I need to PLAN. I have a week with both of my children, children who need to be entertained, and fed, and attended to.

I would love to just curl up in my bed with some good magazines and my remote.

I need to focus on the true meaning of the season. Thanks, God, for the greatest gift of all. I’m praying for a miracle that will keep my budget balanced.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday!

Being the perfectionist that I am means that I rarely get things done to my standards on time. The things that do get done on time have flaws, in my eyes, all over them. They may be perfectly fine, but I can see ways for the things to be improved. Now, I always have GREAT intnetions of participating in this cult-game. I've got the pictures in my head. Maybe they even make it on to the camera. But for one reason or another, they rarely are able to participate in SPF. Well, today they are team players, flaws and all!! If you have no idea what SPF is, go check it out and join the cult fun!

Ok so here we go. Today's three contestants are as follows:

1. My roof.

My car (soon to become my hubby's) may be old-lady-hair-blue but it has a sunroof and that, is the coolest roof to have. I considered taking a picture of the roof of my mouth, but this is more photogenic.















My 'hood:

Yeah, so this is the only one I have of my 'hood. At least it's all Christmas-y and stuff.

















3. And lastly, something that I would not want to run into that is in my house:

This, is Buddy Lee. He's pretty old and somewhat frightening. I avoid him like the plague when the lights are out. I never know what he's going to do next.















Did you play?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Top Ten Signs You Work for a Youth Pastor

10. When you gracefully point out a mistake he’s made, he doesn’t say, “You’re kidding!” or “Oh…really?” He says, “SHUT UP!” in disbelief.

9. He ‘dresses up’ by putting on a button down shirt, his jeans that don’t have holes and his black Converse shoes.

8. He makes fun of the fact that a certain someone, ahem(me), is out of her twenties even though he is only six months away himself.

7. There’s a picture hanging in the office of a kid pulling out a giant wedgie.

6. Your office is the only one in the entire building that looks and sometimes smells as though it had teenagers living in it.

5. He ‘does lunch’ with clients at Costco.

4. When told a white elephant gift should be brought to the annual Christmas party, it is not to be a nice knick knack or scented lotion that can be re-gifted. We are instructed to find the most heinous thing possible, wrap it up and try not to laugh when the unsuspecting victim chooses the box you brought.

3. You’re expected to help organize him, even though he’s beyond help.

2. You’re asked to paint a sign, call around for refrigerator boxes and decipher the strange substance in the Rubbermaid container hiding in the fridge all in the same week…and you’re technically supposed to be the one who just does the paperwork.

And the number one sign you work for a youth pastor:

1. He forgets to tell you that he will be on vacation this week until he’s actually on the road and calls from his cell phone…and oh yeah, if you want, you can take some time off too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't move here for the weather

It's 32 degrees. Thirty Two Degrees!!! I can't remember the last time it was this cold. Now, if we could get a little bit of moisture in the air, we could have snow...in San Diego. Ok, so it does snow in San Diego (betcha didn't know that!) but not where I am.

Ironically it was 80 degrees this afternoon and the winds are-a-blowin, fires are-a-burnin and I don't know whether to break out the scarves or bust out my bikini.

I'm so confused.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Bad, the Good and the Great

Things that make me sad, irritated or worried:

I killed the battery in Bill's truck...again
Having to decorate for Christmas without the help of my husband
Not hearing from Bill for three days
My new insurance bill after adding the SUV
Turning my heat on for the first time this season
Hearing that one of my best friends is moving the opposite direction than we anticipated (North Cacilacky instead of back here)
Receiving restricted numbered phone calls on my cell phone

Things that make me smile:

The strange phenomenon the lead four of us at work (out of maybe ten people tops) to wear almost exactly the same outfit yesterday.
Hearing my kids get excited about Christmas
Finding faces of those I once knew on myspace
The blessing that I actually have heat to turn on
Having that restricted call that came in turn out to be my husband.

My cell phone started to do a little dance in my purse at work today. Amazingly I was actually at my desk, my phone wasn't dead and I heard it. Three things that normally don't happen all at once. I picked it up and almost regretted doing so for fear that I was getting a telemarketing call when I heard Bill's voice for the first time in over two months. TWO months without hearing the voice of the man I'm married to. He set his alarm and got up at 3am to talk to me. He's so awesome. Everyone is peachy keen now. He'll get to talk to the kids a little later today.

Six weeks and counting.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

For all the turkeys out there

Today is a holiday that’s full of good memories, good food and for most, good company. I’ve made countless construction paper turkeys, pilgrim hats and cornucopias. My eldest child is beginning to learn the Hallmark version of the holiday. I’m pretty sure things didn’t start out so peachy keen. A small sliver of my family came over shortly after the Big Ship (ie the Mayflower). I was able to trace my roots and the one part that hails from England, fled for religious freedom from Manchester and floated their happy little selves to Plymouth, Mass somewhere during the 1500’s. Pilgrims? Probably not. Ironically, Bill has quite a bit of Cherokee in his DNA so a cute story would be that a Pilgrim and an Indian met and fell in love and had little Pildian’s. However, that was a long time ago and a very small part of me. Much more of it is filled with crazy Germans, yodeling Swiss and snotty French people from Paris, but I digress.

When Bill and I were first married we had Thanksgiving at our house. Just he and I and my mom. An entire feast for three people. Between 1996 and now, we’ve managed to morph our tradition into traveling an hour and a half northeast and spending the day with dear family friends who couldn’t be more polar opposites than we are. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, or worse, actually know us, then you’re aware that we are conservative politically and faith is the foundation in our lives. Bill hails from the southern Baptist convention which he broke away from. I’m from one flower child with a rebellious heart and a preacher’s kid who has abandoned his God. I had a confusing childhood. My parents used to cancel each other’s vote out at the polls each year. Eventually, my mom changed her tune and came back to the faith that her grandma introduced her to as a child. This year, my mom and I and my two children will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with her best friends from middle school and their family. They are uber liberal, some agnostic, some atheist, one is a college psychologist, one is a pot smoking PhD student, one is a lesbian with a torrid past, one is from Canada. Ok, I’m just joking about the last one, she is from Canada but…nevermind. My point is, we love these people. They are our family. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. When they bring up politics, we hold our ground. They don’t talk about religion. We talk about our babies and the price of gas and what the troops are doing and when the heck are they going to come home? They’ll ask about Bill and tell me to tell him they love him and hope he comes home soon. They’ll give gifts to my kids and we’ll talk about the times we got together when we, the newer parents were all small and how I said I was going to marry one of their boys. If you would have put us in a social setting where we didn’t know each other, we would probably make small talk for five minutes, get an underlying understanding of the other person’s beliefs and move on. But they are family. We are bonded regardless of beliefs or actions.

This is one crazy group and I love them to pieces.

Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Laying aside our differences and becoming one family? It may not have been such a smooth transaction in the beginning but I’m sure thankful for it now.

God Bless.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Put another candle on my birthday cake

It’s my blogger birthday. I’ve been with my silly little friend for two years now. I had a blog…way back when, before Blogger became a household name. I scrapped that when I couldn’t remember my url. I think I’ll go have some cake and make me a big ole wish.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’m going Christmas shopping tonight!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oh hey, is it already the end of November?

Top ten reasons why I have been ignoring my blog

1. Wild turtles have inhabited the yard and although they keep the grass cut, the droppings are another story.

2. Leah has decided to take some calculus classes and learning along with her has taken all of my internet time.

3. Rocket propelled grenades were misdirected from the military base that faces my back yard and blew up my office.

4. Bill came home early and well, who cares about the computer when your husband is home from deployment.

5. I’ve taken up a new hobby: sculpting play-doh into different famous Michelangelo pieces and I’m looking for a kiln.

6. I’ve taken on a second job as an aesthetician and can’t stop playing with all my new goodies

7. I decided to start my laundry for the first time this year and am just now getting to the bottom of the hamper

8. My girlfriends kidnapped me and took me to the Bahamas for a week where we lounged and drank fruity drinks served by someone named Jacques.

9. Trey is the new Doogie Howser, MD at five years old and I’ve been shooing away the paparazzi and assuring them that just because he is a medical genius before entering kindergarten, does not mean he will eventually come out of the closet. That and the fact that there are no Italian boys named Vinny sneaking into his room.

10. I’ve been in a caffeinated coma for days on end and just found out that I missed another weekend.

Ok, so not one of those statements is true. A few of them would be great but life has taken over my addiction to my outlet. Nothing spectacular. I have a couple of random quotes so if you hate mommy blogs, here’s where you can close your window.

“Are you tired, Leah?” as she rests her baby head on my shoulder.
“No. Leah.” But of course, her name is Leah, not Tired.

“Where are you going, Trey?” as he leaves my side to sit on the other couch.
“I don’t need you anymore.”
“You don’t need me anymore?”
“Nope. BWAHAHAHA.” Hm.. Wonder where he gets his cynicism?
***********************************************************************

I’m waiting for the fall to hit. My fabric pumpkins are out, along with my autumn candles and d├ęcor. The weather wants to remain around 80 degrees and will not play nice. Is it so much to ask to wear a sweater on Turkey Day?

Do I decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving like I have since I was married or wait? Bill may or may not be home for Christmas. If he’s not home in time, he’ll be back the second or third week of January and we’ll have Christmas upon his return. I don’t think I could handle greenery and ornaments that have gone missing by the swiping of kitty paws for nearly two months. New Years is normally my day to wipe everything clean. Start fresh. White canvas. We’ll see.

This week, for most, is a light week at work. A lot of folks are traveling tomorrow to be with family, eat too much, relax on Friday or shop, if they’re into self inflicted wounds and just do their thing this weekend. I, however, don’t have the luxury of that schedule. I have even more work than normal and there is no pre-school or babysitting this week. I have to find people to watch my kids so I can race to the finish line tomorrow sometime and hopefully not come in on Friday. Working at a church means that everyone else’s holidays are your busiest times. With any luck, I’ll know whether or not the hubs will be home in time for Santa and I’ll be spreading Christmas cheer around my house instead of trying to find something else to do.

I guess the holiday season is officially upon us. Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving song was on this morning. Turkey for me and turkey for you…

Friday, November 10, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Watch Out World, I'm Coming to Save You!

I have a friend who is a nurse and one who is training to become a paramedic. I will never ever ever pursue this as a career because I don't think people who need medical help could deal with the gagging and the faces I would be making in response to the gross things that happen to humans. I am just not the medical type. I'll do medical billing, maybe, if it pays enough but that's about as close as I can get. This decision was carved in stone after numerous stories told about patients and just what was needed to 'fix' them. Yuck.

However, I am a medical genius! Or, I just guessed really well. You decide.

Could you make a good Paramedic?

Paragod

Top notch, you would make a great medic!

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

That's Amore!

I walked out of the bathroom this morning to be greeted by Trey mooning me.

"Ummm, Trey, that is NOT ok. Where did you learn that?"

"Leah."

Right, your two year old sister showed you how to bend over, expose your white hiney and shake it at people. "No, who showed you how to do that?"

"Me."

"Where did you see that?? Leah didn't show it to you and you didn't just make it up. Who showed you?"

"I dunno."

He'd make a great Prisoner of War. He never tells me where he learned his anti-ok behavior.

On an ironic note, Ashton Kutcher was on Leno last night sharing pictures of his white hiney which was mooning the different monuments in D.C. That's just un-American.

Boys.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life's a Beach

My grandpa taught high school art for one of the craziest cities in San Bernardino County. Back when my mom went there, some of the girls in gangs would hide razor blades in their bouffant hairdos. Ok, so most cities in San Berdue are crazy. Heat and wind and dirt will do that to a person. What does this have to do with the price of cheese in China*? Not a darn thing. Only to say that each year, my grandpa and his crazy teacher friends would gather every October to camp at this little known state beach on the southern tip of Orange County. Tradition. For decades. All the kids of the teachers would go, and then the boyfriends and girlfriends would attend. Soon, the grandbabies (that would be me) became a part of the tradition. I remember meeting up with another one of the grandkids and we'd raid the campers of the other's grandparent to see what kind of good junk food they had stashed. We'd ride bikes along the paths when it was dark, only a glow stick to light the way. We'd made that awful trek down the 45 degree pathway to the beach. Ok, so maybe it wasn't really 45 degrees but close. My grandpa (remember, art teacher) would always, always sculpt a naked mermaid in the sand. The teachers would gather in the fun and there would be turtles, whales and other sea creatures all made out of mounds of sand on the beaches of San Clemente. We'd come back up that hill, gather around the camp fire and eat and eat and eat. Steak and potatoes, every year. We'd hop around to each other's sites to see what was for dinner and come together as a group for dessert. Every October. And then things started happening. One by one the men and women passed away. My grandma was one of the first at only 61. The grandbabies grew up and moved away. Other teachers retired and moved. Things weren't the same. My grandpa remarried and his new wife, unlike my grandma who would go out to the lake to fish, while wearing a bikini in her fifties, is verrrry prudish. The Amish have pictures of her above their fireplaces. No sun. It's bad for the skin. No beach water. It will mess up my hair. No bike riding. She mostly stayed in the camper with her obnoxious dog. It wasn't fun anymore. Everyone missed the old days. The tradition went on pause indefinitely.

My mom and I have tried to create a new tradition for the first week in October, but someONE always seems to be gone, or just getting home during that time. And frankly, I cannot handle all the details and the kids without him here so we haven't quite made it. This year, however, grandpa made it back to San Clemente. There were no other teachers. Just him and his wife (sans dog...she went to doggy purgatory) and the motorhome. There were no nude sandsculptures (she would disapprove). We did all walk down to the beach, which has been made much easier to travel. She took my kids to dip their feet in the water. Amazing. We had steak and ate and ate and ate. We sat around the campfire. We didn't have anyone to share dessert with, we didn't ride bikes by glowstick, but we still had fun and my kids had a blast.

Here's the beginning of the journey down to the beach:















Trey walking down the path most traveled

















This is looking up north towards Dana Point




The prissy new wife with my kids



Leah's shadow and foot prints



















YAY! I did it! I survived the walk back up!














No doubt, getting life lessons, be true or false, from great-grandpa

















Although I wish that things were the same as they were when I was a kid, I'm glad we still get to go, and that my kids are participating in something that three other generations of the family have as well.




*Yes, I know it should be 'tea' but how interesting is that?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

TGIS

Today is our last soccer game of the season. I'm hoping that Trey will actually play. Afterwards, we're headed to Legoland to celebrate his birthday. You'd think that since this place is less than fifteen minutes from my house, we'd have been there millions of times.

Yeah. Um, this will be #1. Man, I haven't done the roller coaster thing since I've had kids. What if I'm ruined!?? I know that some moms can't do rides anymore and that, would just be tragic.

We're having our typical Santa Ana's right now so it should be nice and hot. And dry. And windy. Woohoo!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whoa Whoa Whoa...Feelings

How I'm currently feeling:





















What I need to be feeling:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Never Say Never

As I've said in previous posts, it's been a challenging year. Nothing too major, like a death or tax evasion, but lots of inconveniences, most costing money, have happened within a six month period. Oh, my car accident, yeah, that was pretty major. I keep asking "why". What's the purpose? Why is this happening? What am I being prepared for? Do I even want what's coming if these things are to make me stronger for the future?

As in most churches, our pastor occasionally talks about money. Let's face it: church is a business too, albeit a non-profit business. It takes $10,000+ per month just for the utilities at our church. Back in January, we were told that we could test God. Test God on money. This is the one subject where we get the go-ahead and it's encouraged. Our pastor is always eager to share the crazy, good things that happen to him because of his faithfulness. He talks about the mailbox game. Now, before I get into this, let me just say that this does NOT happen to me, or really anyone else I know. He and his family will give their tithe, or 10% of their gross income to the church and inevitably, a check will show up in the mail that week for some weird amount. Or, he'll receive some high-dollar gift like Lasik, or a free trip somewhere. Yeah, that never happened to us. Well, we decided to test God. We gave and gave and gave some more. We gave our tithe and extra to the building fund. We gave until we were out of money. No big checks in the mail. No trips to Tahiti. No BriteSmile coupons. We waited. And waited. Still waited some more. Last week, it was time for the talk again. As I'm listening to him talk about all of the wonderful things that have been bestowed upon his family, I'm trying to not be cynical about the fact that we gave until we were dry, with little blessings here and there, but a lot of strife (i.e. the truck being broken into,



















compromise of my husband's identity due to the whole VA theft thing, bees,















deployment, things breaking left and right) and then he says something that hits me. If you plant a seed today, don't expect to see your fruit tomorrow. It takes time. If you tithe this weekend, and don't see the benefits tomorrow, don't be discouraged. Wait six months, and see what God does.

Six months ago, we gave all we had.

Things I used to say:
I will never let my tv be a babysitter for my kids.
I will never be a working mom.
I will never eat asparagus.
I will never drive a Ford.

Wednesday afternoon, a guy I work with asked about Bill's truck. When Bill went to Iraq for the first time, I bought him a little welcome home present. A simple, white 1994 Toyota Pickup. It had some perks, but nothing too major. Hey, you survive a war, you deserve your own wheels. No more one-car-family thing. Why was this guy asking about the truck? He surely didn't need to borrow it, he had his own.

"Would you be interested in another car?"
"I don't have money for another car."
"No, not to buy, to trade."
"What are you talking about?"
"There's an anonymous donor who wants to give you a car and in exchange, you'd donate Bill's truck to a young Marine who just returned from Iraq."

This is where I stand, with a stupid look on my face, trying to process everything that he's saying.
"Ok, so what you're saying, is that I trade Bill's truck for another car?"
"Yes, and SUV."
"An SUV??" Remember, my beloved SUV was killed in an unfortunate accident last December. "A truck for an SUV?"
"Yes, it's a 2003 Lincoln Navigator."
This is where he scoops me up off the floor. For two days, I walked around wondering why. Why me? Why us? What did we do to deserve this? There are so many other people who need a car. A Lincoln Navigator? Holy Cannoli. Who NEEDS that much car? We're a humble little family with practical cars, not a huge Navigator.

I ask that if this is to be, that the doors will be open. If not, for them to be audibly shut.

I was under the impression that there would be a little key exchange, badda bing, badda boom, off we go. No.

Ceremony. In Los Angeles. Hundreds of people involved. Umm...

Saturday morning, I'm up at 5:30am to be in L.A. by 10. There's an entire car show, raffle, dunk tank, activities for the kids and everything is to benefit Camp Pendleton Marines. This does not happen in San Diego. Cities without military presence are always so supportive of the military. I was humbled by their generosity. The Chaplain (a personal friend, and the guy who helped this all come to fruition) spoke and told a little bit about me. There was a color guard.














The car was driven up in front of everyone. The situation was explained: an anonymous donor (who introduced himself to me) wanted to donate a car to a young military family. I had been chosen to receive this gift. The wows in the crowd rushed over me. I was brought up and the Chaplain let everyone know about our previous car, how Trey would have been killed had he been with me,















that Bill is deployed for the third time in as many years.





Things like this never happen to me.

Never say never.

Ok, and yes, I realize it's not a Navigator. Somewhere the lines were crossed. Can't complain. It's an '03 Ford Expedition, fully loaded. Thanks God, for your many blessings.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Yeah, I'm rethinking this whole thing

I grew up in a 'cat family'. We had three when I entered the world. One was posessed by Satan so he was given away to a family friend and then promptly run over by a car. It was a better place after he was taken away. The other two lived until I was in my late teens. That's what I was used to: cats. The inconveniences and all. I felt as though the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. When we had to put them to sleep I tried to convince my mom to let us get two new ones. Start over. This time, I wanted to see them in the beginning stages, all cute and hyper.

No.

MooooOOOOM!!

No.

Fastforward a few years and I'm married and we are DINK (dual income no kids...man, we should have been rich) and guess what I want? Furry babies. We moved too much at the time to get anything living, including a plant. Three moves in one year, across country twice? Yes, that's too many. We came back to California and lived in Orange County for two years. I got a plant. I kept it alive. That in itself is a miracle. We moved back down to San Diego. My friend's dad got a kitten. Oh man, I loved that kitten (who now, is also posessed by Satan). I wanted one. She had litter mates just waiting to be adopted. I pleaded my case with my husband. I made a good argument. We went to see the others. I fell in love. The one I wanted was spoken for. I picked out my second choice. A tiny tuxedo male. Ugh. My heart. I wanted to take him home NOW. We needed to go shopping. Cats need things! Litter box, food bowls, angora shawl for the cold California nights. We went back to look at him again. There was one other kitten, unclaimed. She was the runt. Her ribs were visible through her fur. She was mangy. She was ugly. I wanted her. It took a little more convincing this time. "But they'll have each other while we're not home! They need a playmate!" He caved. We brought them home. They were covered in fleas. We got them cleaned up, fattened up and now they're seven.

I'm ready to disown them.

We taught them early to not use the furniture for a scratching post. They learned quickly. And then learned to wait for the people to go to bed and then do whatever they pleased and so I have $2000 worth of furniture in one room and $1000 in the other, ruined.

We had no problems getting them to use their box. They had an accident or two when they were babies, nothing else. Now I have a dining room covered in baking soda and needing to be steam cleaned every day. This, is recent.

I have a vet who requires no children to attend the appointments. I need to be sure they are not sick and then when that is determined, I will beat them (not really, don't send PETA my way) until they go back in their perfectly clean box.

We have fleas. For the third time in their seven years. My INDOOR cats have fleas and now have given them to the house. I've never had to advantage more than once. It's been twice and tons of chemicals on the carpets and nothing is working. I'm going to have to bring out the big guns and by some bombs.

We didn't have fleas or litter box problems when I had help (i.e. my husband was home). My baby looks like an abused, neglected chicken pox case (my actual baby, not the dang cat) due to her sever allergic reaction to the bites. My dining room is odiferous. I have no time for my regular to-do things (and yes, blogging is on that list!).

It's a good thing those felines are cute and loved by my kids. Otherwise, this would be Bill's perfect opportunity to convince me to send them off to kitty boot camp.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Change in the Seasons

As a child, I couldn't wait for the season to change. I remember hanging out in the backyard while my mom did laundry asking when it would be winter...in the middle of July. I was so excited to move on from my two piece short set pajamas to the footed zipped up ones. I wouldn't always wait for the season to change to do this. Many summer nights I would insist that I was NOT hot when it was a cool 80 outside and 85 inside, and wear my pink, Pebbles (from The Flintstones) sleeper. I wanted it to be cold so bad. Half way through an hour into the night, I would half unzip the one piece and tie the arms around my waist and proceed to sleep, half clothed, with my footie pj's in July.

It has been a long strange summer. Strange. Bees in the attic. Irrigation system quits. Car burglarized. Trip to Ohio (whoa). A/C goes out while the tar melts off the roads due to the craziest heat wave to hit the country. Bill leaves for Japan. Haven't seen who I thought was one of my "best friends" in months. It's just weird. And I'm ready for it to be over.

We're hours away from October 1st. Hallelujia, Praise God! Not only is it my first Cabbage Patch Kid's birthday (Happy 22nd John Christopher!!) but it's fall. I ♥ fall. It is by far the best season where I am. Things start to cool off. The skies are clear. My hair needs less time to straighten and best of all: the tourists are finally gone. One of my indicators that a change in the season was at hand during my childhood was my mom's switch of teas. Yeah, seriously. Summer was near when it was iced and when the kettle was bubbling, I knew fall and winter were here.

I had my first cup of "fall" tea. What else inevitably comes with fall? The changing leaves? Pumpkin patch? Wild brush fires? No, nothing that heartwarming.

The three of us have our first cold. Awww. Memories.

STUPID TOURISTS GETTING ME SICK!!!

::sniff::

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Waxing flakiness

Four weeks ago, an event was held at my church just for us ladies. I sat at a table full of women I didn't know. One just looked at me...and then looked again. And we talked, politely, like people who don't know each other do. And the even went on and we learned that we both have husbands in the Marines. I learned that she was much younger than me. I learned that her husband is an Officer. I learned that she swore up and down that she knows me from somewhere and just can't figure it out. She asked all kinds of random questions, trying to figure out how she recognized me. I assumed it was another case of 'you-look-just-like-my-best-friend-from-_____th-grade'. I get that a lot. She listed off all of the things that she's taken a part of since she and her husband were stationed here. No. Nope. Nuh-uh. Sorry. I have no idea how she thinks our paths have crossed because we are in completely different circles.

Her: early 20's
Me: Yeah, just passed that decade

Her: child-free
Me: so obviously not

Her: lives in the northern part of the base, thirty minutes away
Me: lives off base, thirty minutes away...from her

Her: husband is an officer
Me: husband is a TRUE Marine ;)

She said she recognized my name. I don't have a common name. The only people who share my last name are Bill's family and they're all in the mid-west. It's still a relatively new American family. I think she was smoking crack. She and her husband attend the church venue that I produce. I ran into her this morning. We shared our niceties. She introduced me to her husband. I asked her if she ever figured it out.

She asks me, "Did you used to sell candles?"

"Uh...yyyeah. I sorta still do."

"I was supposed to have a party with you and I kept calling."

Oh crap. "OHMYGOSH did you used to have short, blonde hair?" It's now shoulder length and brown.

"Yep."

Ok, so in my defense, yes, we talked and scheduled a show and all of that stuff but the date kept changing because of a family emergency on her part...and then by the time she was ready I had a newborn. Life stops when you have a baby. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

I can't believe she remembered that. Two years ago. And I flaked out on her...sorta. I apologized for being a flake and for my own benefit interjected that I had a newborn at that time.

Never do anything you don't want remembered because SOMEone always will.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Say it like Napoleon would: "GOSH!"

When the spouse is away, the children will play, and the momma will temporarily lose her mind. Any help, any at all, is greatly appreciated. Fortunately, this time around, I have help. I have to pay for it, but at least it's there. One day a week, it's just Trey and I. This gives me the chance to run around and get my errands done in a somewhat efficient manner. I have to schedule everything into this day. I had an appointment scheduled for today. One that I've been waiting for, for awhile. I called to make sure the appointment was still good earlier in the week. Everything was ok. In order to get my "work" done that I usually do on Fridays, I paid for an extra day at the sitters on Thursday so Leah could play and have fun while I dragged Trey to the grocery store with me. I'm at work today. I just have that feeling.

I check my messages.

My appointment has been cancelled.

Of course.

Irritated.

Now I've paid an extra day's childcare for no reason. I could have just done it today. Every day is so planned out for me right now. It has to be. There's no fudge factor while working, other commitments and raising two kids without help. I need things to happen when they're supposed to happen. I can't be late, you can't be late, there can not be a change in the schedule or it takes two weeks to a month to get everything right again.

The biggest frustration is that I can't really ever say what's bugging me because too many people who personally know me read this and would know it was them. This is a part of the people pleasing disease I suffer from. Someone should market some antibiotics for that. I'd personally finance their beach house in Oahu.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hey, it counts as an entry, ok?

You Are 10% Redneck

I'll slap you so hard, your clothes will be outta style.
You ain't no redneck - you're all Yankee!
I'm thinking I scored the 10% because of the gasoline question. Well hey, I just happen to be so privileged to live in one of the most expensive places to buy gas, y'all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kevin Bacon...you know, 6 degrees?

You know those annoying classmates.com ads that are on every webpage? I have two degrees of separation to one of the girls that is frequently showcased on the picture ad. My good friend who is also my hairdresser is friends and went to school with the girl showcased. Weird? I'd say. Dumb to blog about? Most definitely.

One of my best friends' grandpa installs home entertainment systems for the rich and famous (read Babs Streisand and Madonna to name drop a few) and my husband has met and shook hands with more celebrities than I can count on one hand...and he's from OHIO!! He's even had the door held open for him by Clint Eastwood. Yes, seriously. So, my claim to fame is the girl in the classmates ad.

Hot Dog.

Ok, I take some of that back. My step-cousin has been in countless ads and even a tv show. And now that I think about it, her brother was in that movie "Hero". And my best friend from elementary school, grades 2-4 has been in some stuff. Oh yeah, my mom was on Art Linkletter as a kid and has the 45 with the recorded episode on it.

Man, maybe it's just me. I guess I should crawl out of my rock.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yeah, I know

Strange things abrewin'. I've stepped back into the previous century and I'm currently (ACK!!!) using dial up to get hooked into the world outside of my four walls. Oh yes, I still have cable internet....just not in the same room as the computer. More on that later. (Amanda, if you're trying to call, this is why). It's been a very weird week. I will have to do things the old fashioned way and keep my phone lines clear by writing my saga in Word and then signing on long enough to publish.

Weird. Things. Full. Moon. Five years since that dreaded day. I was incredibly pregnant that day. It was a very scary thing to imagine bringing a new baby into an unsafe world. Now it's a part of life and my husband has been a part of the battle twice and will be apart of it again at least once before his military career ends.

Strange.

More on my movie-like experience...tonight?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

As I was saying...

When I scour the homebuying websites, looking at rooms and trying to see past furniture and dishes in the sink (hello people, if you're trying to sell your house, CLEAN IT!!) I often wonder why some pictures are included. Don't take a picture of the living room where all you see is the big screen tv if the tv is not included. Don't take a picture of the patio with its adirondak chairs if they're leaving the premises. And why, why WHY did the realtor deem it appropriate to state, "Pet's Welcome" and then post THIS???























What in the world is this freaky animal?? And why do you think that this is going to help with the sale of your home??? Seriously, does anyone have any idea what this is? I think it escaped from Lord of the Rings. And I'm not joking. This family pet? was listed with the condo pictures.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Every once in a while, I get a little 'ahem' from certain bloggers. This time, it was from my faithful blog bud, Judy. Basically saying 'get on your butt and blog for cryin' out loud!' Yeah, so, it's taken me a week to recover from recovering. The retreat? Had to come home and deal with the realization that I was the one responsible for everything once again.

The retreat was great. They're never just relax-and-eat-chocolate retreats. We did a lot of work for the upcoming MOPS year. We had a lot of fun, lots of bonding, lots of detailed, embarrasing information shared during our annual 'two truths and a lie' game. Seriously people, when are you going to remember to not get too graphic in your truths? If you've never heard of the game, it's simple. Tell two truths and one lie about yourself and the rest of the group has to figure out the lie. Lots of fun when there are 20 women from all backgrounds playing. Ever play Cranium with 20 people? I hadn't either but it worked! And it was awesome because my team won due to my awesome backwards spelling skills. I answered incorrectly on the forward spelling but no one can conquer me backwards! It's a gift. We stayed on the military base in these little cabins which thankfully have been redone. They were in a state of hurt when I stayed there last. So what better opportunity for moms with little ones at the beach, with no little ones in tow, to relax, read or even shut their eyes while bathing in the sun on the sandy shores of the Pacific? Yeah, didn't happen. We had no time scheduled for that. ::Sigh:: I can't remember the last time I was able to do that. I didn't have to cook. No one did dishes. Our hospitality team set up food, made coffee and took care of all the other "wifey" things the entire weekend. No responsibility. Nice. Last year's retreat was held a month before Bill returned. This one was only a month after he left. I was in need of a retreat moreso last time than this, but still, it was a nice escape.

On another note, I've been scouring ziprealty.com for about two years just looking to see what's out there in my neck of the woods. They'll usually show the 'generous master bedroom', you know, the one where all of your furniture does not fit, the 'upgraded kitchen' meaning it was upgraded in 1985 or the pool because seriously, we all buy a condo with the pool in mind, right? Rrrright. So I came across a picture last night for a place that mentioned 'pets allowed'. Now of course, I've been trying to upload photos all day and Blogger isn't playing very nice so the rest of this entry is to be continued...

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm OFF!

to see the Wizard.

I'm headed out for the weekend. It's a mandatory fun kinda thing. I shall return home Sunday, very tired and with sand in everything.

Ciao.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ways to Make a Temporarily Single Mom Temporarily Insane

No naps yesterday due to the HOA cutting and chipping tree branches and making all kinds of noise and the fact that a friend/lender came over yesterday to discuss options so an early bedtime was planned, but failed, due to temporarily insane, crazed, tired children running on empty around the house with allergenic/cold suffering symptoms which kept them up even after putting them to bed at 8:15 meaning they didn't finally settle down until 11:00pm for the night meaning I didn't get to bed until after 11:30 compounded by the fact that the little one awoke at 5:45 this morning congested which in turn meant that I didn't sleep very long which prompted my ideal afternoon of naps for everyone which actually turned into naps for the kids, but not the momma because the HOA cutting and chipping people were back and NOW a neighbor at the corner is having an awning added to the back patio with incessant hammer pounding, the kid down the street is blowing a whistle just because and someone's gardener is using his leaf blower instead of a broom.

Know what makes me just a tad more insane? I forced myself to make that entire last paragraph a run on sentence and I happen to be a grammar control freak. Shake it off.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Most Satisfying Nutter Butter Ever
















Thank you, Quality Control at Nabisco for letting this one pass. Your contribution to society will be forever cherished.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Guess it's Official


Trey had his first soccer game on Saturday. That was the day I forgot my camera in a rush to leave the house, while answering a call from our MOPS coordinator who needed to talk to me about business stuff. I'm a bad mommy! I forgot the camera on the first day of the game! Wah!

I'm being completely sarcastic. My perfectionist if-I'm-not-the-best-fastest-goal makingest-kid-on-the-team-then-I'm-not-playing son decided after five minutes that he was through. Nothing I said could convince him to get back out there. We had the same issue with T-ball last year. Is this a daddy issue? Is he not playing because Bill's not here to watch? Is soccer just not his niche? When he had practice on Wednesday I thought he would be the only kid that would need an extra kick in the pants to get out and play on the field. Here's a picture of him running toward me when he should be playing. Notice anything else?

If you biggify the picture, check out what the kid in the lime green shirt is doing. =D

I noticed a flier outside his Sunday School room for a kids production that's starting. It's an ongoing class for stage, singing, etc. Is he an artist (a dramatic artist like daddy?...I love you Bill!)? The boy sang before he talked. He's quite the little ham. He'd be good at product placement, no?

This was a "mommy will you take my picture" moment. Say CHEESE!

Oh, and he is not giving up on soccer. He will ride this roller coaster until it comes to a complete stop, my friends.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Give me the 411

I hate to wait. Who, really, likes waiting? If you're at Disneyland, you know that somewhere between 15 minutes and two hours you'll be able to get on that ride. When pregnant, you know that there's literally and figuratively a light at the end of the tunnel. You know the outcome. I'm one of those people who wants nitty gritty details about the future. As a ten year old I didn't just want to know that I would get married, but wanted to know who, when, how and what he'd look like. I heart day planners. My best friends are spontaneous. It's a good, albeit, sometimes stressful match.

I'm not here to complain about the fact that I still have over 5 months to wait for Bill to return. Or that I have 14 years until Trey goes to college. Or that I'm too lazy and/or tired to potty train my very willing two year old. Nope. I'm here to vent my frustrations about most women's main lot in life: The House. I can't tell you how many times we've gone back and forth and sideways and hung a left at the next corner when it comes to our living situation. Do we stay here, do we try to get on base, do we try to buy? We've been on the base housing list since December, and at that time it was a "six month wait". P-shaw. We did that with anticipation that my friend, who usually lives in the house we're in, would be returning. They were sent to Virginia instead. Then our rent went up. The housing list was stagnant. We were number 40, meaning 39 families were before us on the very-sought-after-housing area. Because Bill deployed, they bumped us up. I don't understand the logic completely. I guess it's to try to move families in before the husband (or sometimes wife) leaves. That got us to number 10. Then we moved back to 12. Huh? Now we're at number 6. SIX. Holy cow. Do I move my entire house while Bill is in Japan, or wherever it is that he'll be? Can I move? We have no idea where we'll be going when he returns from deployment number 3. It would be really really awful to move if we'd just have to pack it up again in four months. It's happened. Not to us, fortunately. If we stay here, am I willing to give up my gigantic yard where my kids can freely play on their swingset and Leah can call the bunnies? "Bunn-ay....oh, BuNNN-ay!" We'd lose a bedroom and a yard but gain an almost new house and a shared wall (duplexes, ya know). There's a community pool, gym, clubhouse and uber-safe neighborhoods (which we haven't quite experienced here). The best part? No rent or utilities. But that's completely conditional upon Bill's return to THIS base.

My brain. It cannot process. I need to know. Plan. Sketch. Obsess.

And just how did I end up the wife of a Marine? Maybe this is God's way of stretching me. Growing me. Preparing me? I sure do fight it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Where's my lead suit?

Ruh-roh.

My daughter's sitter called this evening to tell me that she'd (the babysitter) been throwing up.

Both my kids were with her today.

I'm hoping that this is something that I can feel bad about instead of bracing myself for something. She had Leah 'the day after' and I'm wondering if she picked it up from her.

I really really don't want to deal with this again...back to back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In other news, I found out that my 24 year old cousin has a horrible case of shingles. What makes this even scarier is that her dad, my favoritist uncle, has battled rheumatoid arthritis since his early 20's. The two are strangely related. The diseases, not my cousin and uncle people! Even thinking about everything that he's had to deal with is overwhelming and I hope and pray that this is *just* shingles. Nothing more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strange things are a brewin'. Weird weather across the country, strange, old, diseases resurfacing. The stomach flu floating back and forth between the coasts (as per all the mommy bloggers I've read about dealing with this) with no end in sight. I best start diggin' my underground shelter now!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A little ditty

Sing to the tune of Happy Birthday (it's a stretch, but come on, work with me here):

Happy Anniversary to Me
My husband's in another countr-ee

I spent the daaay keeping Leah from drowneeeng
Guess I'll have to celebrate in January

Yes, the best way to celebrate ten years of wedded bliss when your spouse is far, far away, is to take your kids swimming. The government has finally deemed its personnel and families as human and have provided community swimming pools. We don't live on base anymore, but accepted an offer from a friend to join them for a lazy day in the pool.

Leah, my fearless wonder, went under so many times I lost track. The worst one was when I saw her slip under (she refuses to wear any sort of floatation device--they get in the way) and as I ran over to grab her saw that she was completely under, including her outstretched hands. I saw her little eyes wide open under the surface and that panicked look on her face. She was struggling to surface. I reached down and snatched her out of the water. She cried for less than a mintue and ran back to the pool. What am I in for?

Bill comes home in January as long as nothing crazy happens so we'll have to really celebrate our day then. When you're in front of the most important people in your life, promising your love from one another you never expect to revisit that day so far apart. Retirement is only 5 1/2 years away...but who's counting?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Feeling Verklempt

Do you ever feel like God's just letting things pile up on your plate to see how you'll react? Are you going to blame Him, or see it as a future blessing? Is this an opportunity for you to grow, witness or reflect? Yeah. I've had the pruning shears on me for quite some time now. There's apparently a tradition in our household. Not one that I'd like to repeat, and I pray each time that it won't happen again but I guess that's just part of being us. Like clockwork, Bill's two weeks away from the home leads to someone or everyone in the house with the stomach flu. We were doing so good. I'm always on my kids to wash their hands as soon as we come home. Don't touch this, don't lick that don't share the cheeto with the pigeon, but guess who woke up at 3:30am, 4am, 4:30am and 6:30am throwing up? My sweet little Leah. Not. Fun. I just had to shake my head and wonder why. There's not enough going on that I'm struggling with right now. Emotionally I'm drained and not just because my husband is thousands of miles away. There are so many things I could list but for the sake of word getting out to the wrong person I just have to leave it at that. The blogosphere is a very small world.

I took Trey to school hoping that Leah would make the trip there ok. Success! However my little man had a mighty big meltdown. I think the stress of daddy being gone has finally caught up. I was able to leave him there for the day so I could tend to the baby. He finally settled down and when it was time to leave, he asked to stay. Isn't that always the way?

Praise God her flu only lasted a few hours. I found her asleep in front of Elmo's World, body on her toddler couch, head on the chair for her kitchen set and I took her up to bed. She slept and slept and slept some more. By the time it was time to get my manchild she was still knocked out. I woke her up and she was a new woman. We got home and the temp dropped, cool winds blew and the heaven's parted. Ok, they didn't really part but they could have!

I don't know what I'm being prepared for, but I'm not sure I really want what's coming my way!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Holy Oleo, Batman!

My Weather Pixie is telling me it's 102 degrees. It's not supposed to be 102 when you live in a city on. the. Pacific. Ocean.

My AC is not working. It's a 'cool' 80 inside. I went to open the house up this morning, before nine and as I opened the sliding glass door, felt like I was breathing the air of a steam room. I quickly shut the house and turned the air on. Within the hour, water was pouring from the recessed light in the upstairs hallway and onto the floor. No air today. At least a week before the air guy can come out.

102. In a coastal city. No good.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Liquid Phenomenon

Trey is going to grow up to be a banker, or a stock broker or a lawyer based solely on his preference for boring hair. He likes it parted on the side and combed over neatly. I've tried to gel it, spike it, mohawk it. He's just not that kid. When he messes around with it and spikes it I make a big fuss over it, telling him how 'cool' he looks. (Don't get me wrong, I compliment him when he has Ken Doll hair too). A few days ago, I sent him into the bathroom to wash his hands. He was taking a bit longer than usual to scrub up so I figured he was either admiring his reflection or having deep thoughts on what to do with the rest of his life so I left him alone. Alone.

This is the child that didn't require child safety locks on anything. He never got into anything that he shouldn't have. He never drew on the walls. He didn't climb out of his crib. He never picked up anything off the floor to put in his mouth.

He came out of the bathroom, obviously having just styled his hair. "Oh, look how cool you look, Trey!"
"You like it?!"
"Absolutely." This is where I run my fingers through his wet, spiked hair.

I got the water from the toilet.
"WHAT??! You mean, from the sink?"
"No. The toilet."

Yeah, we had a little discussion about bathroom sanitation after we both scrubbed up with anti-bacterial soap.

__________________________________________________________________
This morning, I had a MOPS leadership meeting. My travelmug of coffee is harnessed to me in some way, shape, or form whenever I'm required to be somewhere before 10am.

As we're leaving, Trey always makes it a point to stop by the front office and say 'hello' which really means, 'do you have candy for me.' The kids got a peppermint disk and everyone was happy.

Leah accidentally opened her mouth while we were walking to the car and the candy fell right onto the asphault. She was on my hip and the baby bag carrying my travel mug was on the same arm, pushed behind her. As I bent down to pick up the wayward treat, cool liquid spilled up my back...from the diaper bag. Coffee. All over my back. Nice. Do you know anyone talented enough to spill coffee on their back?

__________________________________________________________________
Finally, it's been so hot and dry here that the wild bunnies who think that my backyard is their buffet were caught trying to figure out how to turn the kiddie pool into a drinking fountain last night. I didn't find any drowned bunnies this morning, so I guess it all worked out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Phone-ics 101

Fortunately, my husband is a smart, rational man. Had I been on the other side of the phone--the one calling and not getting an answer when the other person should have been there I would have assumed that a freak tsunami had come inland and dragged my family to the depths of the Pacific. Like I said...Bill is rational. Something I am not. He called back an hour later.

Whew...

One of the great things about Bill being in Japan this time instead of Iraq other than insurgents, 120 degree heat, sand storms and lit oil wells is the fact that there's no time delays on the phone. Before, we'd have to pause or say 'over' (ok not really) to indicate that our speaking portion was done and the other person could talk or you just hear yourself talking over what the other person said five seconds earlier. Another good thing about Japan is that Costco sells the phone cards needed there whereas they didn't sell the brand needed in Iraq. Wouldn't you know it, we still had "Iraqi" phone cards left from last time and now I need to go get new ones. People who know and love me know how much I hate going to Costco. Really. Uh huh. Hate it so much that I purposefully will not get something I know I'll be out of within a couple of weeks so that I have an excuse to go back.

As for the phone...I have a cordless. I have a cell. He called both. For some odd reason, the company that we use for our cable/internet/phone has a voicemail option which we use for my other other other business which is sort of on the backburner now (the business, not the phone company) but causes the phone to ring the four times from the caller's side but only three on my side...and the cordless only picks up two of those rings. If I don't make a mad dash to the phone, that person is sucked into voicemail limbo. Oh, and the cell was in my purse. In the car. In the garage. Downstairs. I was upstairs. In the house. With my banshee children.

But now we have a plan. I know when he's going to try and call next so I won't have to sleep with my phone under my pillow. I wouldn't want to mistakenly answer my pistol when the phone rings.

Kidding. I keep the pistol under Trey's pillow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Time Mathagement

Bill just getting out of church
+
Jennie bathing the kids
=
Jennie missing Bill's phone call....s

Yep. He called. And called and called again and I missed it due to being in the very noisy, echoey bathroom with two tub fishies who love to make noise.

Sucky suckerson.

Hey, uh, let's hurry this along shall we?

Let's see...

I've gone to work
hit Target and Wal-Mart
gone grocery shopping
done a load of laundry
cleaned my bathroom
made dinner for the kids twice, once for me
lunch for the kids twice, once for me
made muffins for breakfast
emptied and reloaded the dishwasher
changed the sheets on the baby's bed
lathered them with sunscreen so they could play in the pool
set up service with the gardener
tried to fix my stupid digital cable
read blogs
responded to and read email
organized my Tupperware cabinet

...and it's only been how long since Bill left??? Surely, it's been at least two weeks. Right? Oh yeah. Two days..and counting.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Start the clock over again

1 Day down.

183 to go.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

On the Agenda for Today

Take the kids to the beach for our last Saturday as a family for a while.

Bring 'em home, throw them in the shower and put them to bed for a restful(?) afternoon.

Prepare to have a nice little visit with a lender/friend from church to see what the heck we should do in preparation between now and when Bill returns to get the best place we can qualify for.

Peace Out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Momma needs a new pair of shoes!

When I was a kid I hated going to places like Marshalls or Ross or anywhere that didn't scream "please pay full retail". They felt cheap. The lighting was bad. And we'd stay there for EVER. Then it was time for me to get a job. Guess who was hiring? I was one of eight people hired at Marshalls when I was in high school. I got to see the stuff before it was spoiled by grubby hands that don't care about merchandise. The stuff was clean. It was in tact. It was 60-80% off retail! WOOHOO!! I love a good bargain. Most of my paycheck would go back to the store with me buying Express, Billabong, Limited, all for supercheap.

Last night was a night where the momma needed some me time. First I headed out to a place called Tilly's to get some Reefs. I swore I'd never buy a pair of $20 flip flops but I've been told they're the best. We'll see. I spend 80% of the year in flip flops and they do have arch supports so I'll let you know if my feet can tell the difference come November.

I wanted to go somewhere to look for capris, maybe a new tank top or something. I was going to hit my old standby, Target, but something told me to hit Marshalls. This is why I heart Marshalls:

Tank top for me: MSRP $28 Paid $14.99
Carter's slides for Leah that I drooled over in Kohl's six mos ago: MSRP $24 Paid $13
Carter's PJ's for Leah: MSRP $15 Paid $6.99
Carter's t-shirt for Leah: $12 Paid $3
T-shirt for Leah: MSRP $8 Paid $4
Skechers sandals for Trey: MSRP $28 Paid $7
Hoity Toity Joseph Abboud polo shirt for Bill: MSRP $68 Paid $8
And the pies de resistance...a comforter that I've been searching all over for months.
Dean Miller comforter for Trey: MSRP $110 Paid $29.99 The print I got him is no longer on the website because it's "past season" but since I've been looking for it since it was the season, I don't really care!! I just need to get some matching decor when I redo his room, which is a whole other post, but other than that, he's set.

Total retail price: $293 I paid $86.97 Saved 70% Gotta love that.

Trying to look for the sunshine as we get ready for the storm.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Thursday
I got up at o'dark thirty and put on "club attire", put on some funky makeup and done did my hair to meet up with some girls at 5:45am (AM) so that we could drive to L.A. Why did we drive to L.A.?? My goofy friend/co-worker Fallon got four free tickets to a taping of So You Think You Can Dance. I had never seen the show before, but I'm all about doing something memorable. We had to be there at 8:30. Because of the famous L.A. traffic, we got there at ten to nine. They still let us in. They made us walk through metal detectors, checked our purses and didn't close any zippers back up after they'd rifled through them and we entered like livestock. MooooooOOO. We waited and waited and waited. The studio is super duper small, but then the camera adds ten feet, right? Two of the four of us, and when I say "us" I do not mean me, are ever so petite height wise and couldn't really see from where we were standing. We noticed stadium seating behind us with a few people occupying the space and decided to join them. Then more people joined us. Then the official looking lady with her headset on told us that we needed to come back down. There was no bouncer at the bottom of the stairs. You should tell people this before they get all comfy in their plastic folding seat! Finally some British guy came over and asked us to move up to the front...like right on the edge of the stage. Did I happen to mention that I did not want to be on camera? Guess it's like Disneyland where the signs read that you will get wet, for this is a water ride. Don't like it? Go ride Dumbo. I was standing on THE white line, the line that separates the audience from the dancers as the leap, roll, or are shot onto the stage. We spent an hour and a half watching these guys do ONE dance. Different ways, different camera angles, different this and that. I thought we'd at least see a wardrobe change. We saw how amazingly perfect they looked up close and personal. They are extremely outgoing, something I am not. One of the girls complimented my ring. Did I mention how perfect they looked? Without airbrushing? Man, they suck. We saw the show that night and I saw the side of me for a split second during the opening song. 90 minutes for three minutes of the show. Hooray for Hollywood!

Since all we'd had that day was Starbucks (who happens to open at 5:30, thank you Seattle) we were slightly famished. I took them back to my old stomping grounds....er...near my college and we hit South Coast Plaza for lunch. This has always been the hoitiest toitiest mall on the planet. Well, maybe Barney's in NY is moreso but you usually have to dress up to go to South Coast. It's mentioned on all those dumb teeny bopper "OC" things but come on, it's a MALL. You can either buy your kids some clothes at Christian Dior...or Sears. The first time I visited this strange place, my mom and I were followed by a sales associate in Saks 5th Ave. Because, you know, we looked like the total shoplifting kind my mom and I. We just laughed and pointed out the irony of a lace and underwire bra that was tagged at $150. Oh, good times.

Friday
Back to work...and the mysterious-thing-that-really-isn't-that-big-of-a-deal-but-I-don't-know-who-reads-this-so-I-cannot-comment-until-I-know-day. My awesome babysitter held onto Leah a bit longer so I could do my thang. The plan was for me to meet her at her friend's house to get my girl. When I called she invited Trey and I over to swim at the girlfriend's house. Unfortunately I don't carry swim attire with me wherever I go. However, she just happened to have an extra set of swimtrunks for Trey. We got there and this wild haired, greased up, brown baby came running up to me and then I realized it was my daughter. My fearless wonder in the water. She went under at least five times but that didn't deter her from thinking she could keep up with the big kids. Strap a floatation device on her and she's good to go.

Saturday
My mom took the boy to see Cars. Once his snack was gone, he was ready to leave which didn't make Grandma happy. What's wrong with this kid?? I told her I'd go to the movies with her next time. After that, Bill and I headed out for our first date since we've been home. Lunch...free thanks to a Christmas gift card then to the beach. Every time I go to the beach, I tell myself I need to go more. We just acted like tourists and took our shoes off to stand in the water. I didn't have my camera (then I'd really look like a tourist) but snagged this off the internet. This is a city and a half down from where we were:
















Sunday
Church/work normal stuff

Today
Gotta get the house cleaned. We're having three couples and all their kids over for a BBQ/Farewell Bill (although we still don't have his exact flight date). Gotta get the yard picked up. Gotta turn on the AC. The utility co is going to lurve me. Hopefully the air conditioning will deter any major meltdowns by my perfect little angels...and us.

Good times, good times.

Happy Fourth!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Guess This Supports the Next Post




You Passed 8th Grade Science



Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

D'oh!




You Are Lisa Simpson



A total child prodigy and super genius, you have the mind for world domination.



But you prefer world peace, Buddhism, and tofu dogs.



You will be remembered for: all your academic accomplishments



Your life philosophy: "I refuse to believe that everybody refuses to believe the truth"

Friday, June 30, 2006

Today's the Day

It's the big day. I don't know if I'll know the results today, so I still can't say what "it" is. I'm not quite sure if I want this to end in a yes or not. I'm not quite sure I want this to end in a no. I can tell you that this doesn't have anything to do with cellular division in any way shape or form. No babies. No cancer. No Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...although with the crazy things going on it wouldn't surprise me.

So, you can say a little prayer for me, think good thoughts, or just do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.

Monday, June 26, 2006

No News is Usually Good News

It's been a National Lampoon's sort of month. Something happens and we just shake our heads and have to laugh because it's just been so unbelievable. Bill started his pre-deployment leave earlier in the month. If you read his blog, you'd know that he ran over a gnarly piece of metal which left a nice gaping hole in his tire on the way home from his last day of work. The next day was when his truck was broken into and had about $300 worth of things stolen. Three hundred dollars we really didn't have set aside with the whole traveling to Ohio, van rental, etc. Next, our irrigation system decided to retire. Yes, summer is always the best time to quit working, I always say! Not being the original owners of this fine piece of equipment I had to google till I found the owners manual online and did just as it said to fix it. There, perfect. Ummm...I said perfect. WHYWON'TTHISSTUPIDTHINGWORK!!! Go to the store to buy yet another replacement piece. Yeah, that didn't do it either. We had to buy a whole new control box. And replace a couple of sprinkler heads. At least now we can water our parched lawn. Do you know how difficult it is to keep grass green in the desert?? Then the bees. Oh, the bees. I noticed them out of one of those artsy fartsy windows that really has no purpose in the master bedroom. It doesn't open. It's too high to reach. It just sits there and lets the light in and encrourages eight legged friends to move in to the corner lot. I went outside and saw that the little busy bees were entering the attic space from the vent on the outside of the house. Loverly. A couple ventured into the house through the recessed lighting in the hallway. Fortunately they were so intent on trying to return to the attic that no one, including the cats, was stung. Lloyd pest control came out and killed 'em in a matter of ten minutes for $250. They'll be back this week to remove the comb for an extra $100 and that's with the military discount. Fortunately we caught it early enough that the comb is still small and doesn't require removal of anything structurally holding the house together....which I guess really happens sometimes.

Rent is going up in July. Babysitting is going up in July. Tuition for the boy is going up in September. Holy Oleo. Did I happen to mention in any of my previous blog entries that we're trying to figure out how to buy a piece of the American Dream?!

My best friend leaves for the Asian Pacific area in a couple of weeks. I'm happy that this crazy month happened while he was still home. I need to take that stress/eustress test and see what they say. I need a vacation. And a million dollars.

Something else is on the horizon but in fear of jinxing it, I won't mention it until something develops.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Yes, we're home. No, no good stories...yet.

Ok, so I didn't post any new 'midwest' stories. I haven't even posted any new California stories. I have to prep a father's day gift for my dad, wrap one for Bill, clean the house for tomorrow's Father's Day get together, do laundry leftover from the trip, get a baby gift wrapped, get all snazzy for a baby shower and attend said baby shower. That's a lot for one day.

My weather pixie tells me the humidity level is 88%. EIGHTY EIGHT PERCENT!!! Do you know what that does to a girl who's used to living in an arid climate. Me either, but it sure doesn't help with my productivity level.

A radio DJ once said that San Diego is going from a dry region to a humid region partially because of all the new developments going up at a rapid pace. The former open dirt/sand areas with drought resistant plants are being replaced by new homes with lawns, parks with lawns and more and more lawns. All these lawns need watering. That's, apparently, raising our humidity levels. Sound crazy? I don't ever remember it feeling like this.

Ok, now that my rant about procrastination due to the weather is over, I guess I should get started.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Are We There Yet?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006
3:15am: Jen's alarm goes off.
3:15am: Jen rolls over and sees that Bill is not in bed so Jen wonders if Bill even went to bed.
3:16am: Jen goes downstairs and sees that Bill is out cold on the couch.
3:17am: Jen wakes Bill up with the temptation of coffee. Bill realizes that he set the alarm on the tv for 3am Sunday. Doesn't do much good on Tuesday.
Somewhere between 3:17 and 3:30am Bill and Jen (my name should be Ted, that sounds better) shower, finish last minute packing and straightening of the house.
3:30am: Jen goes into Trey's room. Trey pops out of bed and excitedly asks in 4 year old sleepy voice, "Is it time to go on our trip now?!!!!"
"Yes, Trey. It's time to get ready."
"Yayyayayayayayaya!!!!!"
From the other room, "Waaahhhh, momma momma momma."
I have one excited kid and one wondering what the heck is going on.
I get one kid dressed and change the diaper of the other kid who purposely slept in her flying clothes. One kid is asking to go and one is asking to nurse. No time no time no tiiiiiiime for the boobie.

4:00am: Everyone in the car. Bill is in the front, kids and Jen are in the back with Jen contorted so the wee one who is almost two can nurse while safely strapped in her carseat. Good thing it's dark outside.

4:15am: Call mom from the top of the hill and notify her that we are turning onto her street as we speak.

4:20am: On our way to San Diego International. I'm so glad we didn't have to drive up to John Wayne in Orange County for a good deal.

5:15am: Give hugs goodbye and realize just how much traffic there really is in San Diego when it took us 45 minutes to make a trip downtown that usually takes at least an hour and a half, not on weekends which would have taken two.

5:15 to 6:10am: Try and control tired children and keep them from running/throwing herself down on scuzzy airport floor in protest of walking or standing or doing something other than whatever it is she wants to do.

6:10am: Board our plane

6:10am to 8:15am/9:15am Denver local time: Fly, eat, distract, nurse, read Dora, make a trip to the bathroom and other things to keep two small children civilized during the flight.

9:15 to 9:30am: Run like mad from gate 95 to gate 19 to board our connecting flight with one in a pink stroller, wind blowing through her hair and one very upset four year old who doesn't WANT to go.

9:30am: Board the next flight. Trey gets an invitation into the cockpit. Bill is obviously jealous. Trey is clueless on how utterly cool this apparently is, especially for the aspiring pilot.

9:30-12:20/2:20 Indiana local time: Repeat prior flying routine.

We arrived in Indiana eight hours after waking up and that was after a bountiful four hours of sleep. Rented a van and drove drove drove through a bunch of green stuff they call trees and grass out here. Huh? Where's the palm trees? Where's the succulents? Where's the chaparal? As we flew over a river in Indiana, Trey asked if that was the beach. Oh, dear child of mine, if you only knew that we are so fortunate to live where we do.

The kids napped so they were ok and running on adrenaline. We, however, are zombies. Trey and Bill bunked together and Leah and I bunked together. Wouldn't you know it? I try to bring the comforts of home with me but the girl wants nothing to do with the crib so she slept in the bed with me. This is NOT continuing when we get home, sister.

We have a full week of Cincinnati stuff to do. Dixie Chili is a must when eating with the locals. Don't ask me what it is with Cincinnati style chili. It's an acquired taste and these people are known for it. I just think they like to go to the counter and ask for a 3-way and the person taking the order doesn't think anything dirty about it. We haven't made it to Steak N Shake yet but that, as well as Graeter's is on the list. Hey, if Oprah is willing to have Graeter's flown in to Chicago, then we must have it while here, right?

Today, I'm meeting up with one of my bestestess friends from high school who lives out here thanks to the Corps and help her finish her baby registry. Yay!!! Wouldn't you know it, she decides to up and finally get pregnant when she's away from home. ;)

Thunder storms and upper 70's expected today. Don't they know I'm used to a dry heat??

More fun, exciting midwest stories as the week progresses.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

GRRRR!!!!!!

You'd *think* that living in a housing area where the houses sell for three quarters of a million dollars, you'd feel a little bit safer.

Bill's truck was totally broken into sometime early this morning. The window is destroyed and the frame that holds the window into the door is busted. He had some pretty important stuff stolen. Police, Social Security Administration, Credit Fraud...all alerted. They should have just stolen the truck. We just paid it off. At least we would have been comped and could save the money while Bill is overseas.

This is the second time we've been vandalized since moving in.

Oh yeah, did I mention we're supposed to go on vacation Tuesday?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What's round at the ends and "hi" in the middle?

Ohmygosh. I have less than a week before we fly to Ohio. Have to find someone to get my car at the airport since we have a 6:20am flight. Who booked these tickets??? Oh yeah, me. Have to get the house in order for the grandma since she will be house/kitty sitting. Have to figure out what to pack to keep the children entertained for five hours of flight time and another two on the road since the cheapest option for tickets has us landing in Indiana. Gotta do laundry. Gotta pack. Gotta pay bills.

I'm sick.

Not a cold. Not a sinus infection. Sick. The yucky kind. I see it all across the blogs and when I notice it creeping closer to California, I brace myself. Trey and Leah had this wonderful experience on Memorial Day so all of our fun activities were cancelled. Bill and I have seem to caught it and are enjoying life today. He's got a 24 hour shift at work to deal with while feeling like, well, fill in with your own favorite adjective. I, at least, called in sick to work while the kiddos were at school/babysitters and slept for three hours. Three very short hours. The worst part? It's absolutely beautiful outside and all I want to do is lie down.

I could have been well prepared and been working on this stuff all last week but I've been wasting time scouring the real estate pages online looking for condos and wondering how we're going to be able to get into something of our own within the next lifetime. Can you say OCD?