Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Junk in MY Trunk

Yes, I said it, Junk in my trunk. Probably in your trunk as well. While I could post a picture of the real junk in my trunk, I am going to keep this much more friendlier and show you the contents of my vehicle. Now, after I did the purge, I realized it wasn't so bad. Recently, I have been taking a few random things here and there back to their appropriate home, but there were still too many things lingering around. I needed to do the official purge.

With the increasing price of gas, did you know that for every extra 100 pounds of junk you carry around you can lose about 1-2% fuel economy. Yes, I lug around an extra 100 pounds easily.

The Trunk:
Two strollers, one single, one double. Sunshade for backpack, but where's backpack- oh in the garage of course! Grocery bags (must have!), clean shopper (super must have!!), paper towels, extra clothes, winter vest, husband's courier bag..on and on!

The Junk:
What's not going back- mirror for when GL was rear facing, oodles of cd's, sunshade, 3 blankets, newspapers, catalogs, random toys, trash, empty cups. Believe it or not, I didn't find one old diaper...Wipe my brow!

So for all you fellow bloggers, emptying out the contents of your itty-bitty purses for the web, I challenge you to get rid of your extra vehicle baggage and save some money! Send me the link! Let's screw Exxon, Mobil, and Texaco one mini-van, SUV, or sedan at a time!

Now I can actually "clean" my car! Trust me, it feels good.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

we've outgrown Right on Red

If I had the power to change once piece of traffic law, it would be the right on red. It has to go. See the right on red, has turned into, I kind of stopped now slow down asshole coming at me, because I pulled out first! Haha! Oh and I don't care if you have a green light or the right of way, I sorta stopped, it's my turn! Seriously, I think it's a nightmare. Right on Red made perfect sense 50 years ago, when there were a few hundred thousand cars in the entire United States.

Now, with millions cars on the road, we need changes.

Really though, this isn't a joke. Driving nowadays is one disastrous moment to another, with tons of oops and near misses, and blessings from little angels sitting on the hood of my car.

First there is the dude on his cell phone, driving 55mph then 80 mph then 60mph then 80mph all in one mile, in the left lane. The actual speed limit is 65mph. I prefer 70mph, and having the opportunity to use the passing lane, which for the record is the LEFT lane when I see fit. I will leave texting and driving to that's just INSANITY!

Then, there is the I didn't take 5 minutes, to put on my make up at home driver. Why should I, when I can use a 2 x 4 inch mirror, out of my normal range of vision, to put on eye shadow, while controlling 3,000 pounds of heavy machinery. What's the problem? I always am at a loss when I see women putting on make up behind the wheel. And I haven't yet decided if they are better in front of me or behind me. I think behind me is worse, for I fear them rear ending my vehicle. For the record, I have witnessed a man shaving on a morning commute, with an electric razor of course.

Of course there is the usual, driving and eating, driving, smoking, and eating, or even better yet, driving, smoking, drinking a Biggee Gulp and talking on the cell phone. Wow. Talents galore. And, yet again I have actually witnessed a woman driving on Highway 36 eating a bowl of cereal.

I could go on and on and on and on... for real.

I've had issues with people being distracted behind the wheel for years now. Mainly because of the mental anguish I suffered following my car accident. The one where the woman pulled in front of me because she didn't see me coming, straight ahead in a BIG BLUE CAMRY, I just magically appeared.

If you are prone to driving and being distracted with other things, you may just get a friendly beep from me. I no longer hesitate to give a Beep, Beep, with a come on seriously look on my face?!

Can we just work on being present behind the wheel. That's all I want. And maybe a little, go ahead, with a wave. I prefer to kill them softly with a big smile, whenever I have the chance.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scrabble for One...

Part of my turn off the television week was to include a heated game of Scrabble. I just didn't know it would turn out to be with myself. I can hear it now, "oh, no you didn't". Yes, out of desperation, I played Scrabble alone.

I pegged Saturday night as the big night. We had some friends over for dinner, put the kids to bed, and then my husband went to poker. Oops, forgot about the poker thing. So, I took matters into my own hands and played myself in Scrabble. Technically I suppose you need two players, but I challenged myself.

I didn't even cheat.

Well, maybe I swapped out my tiles just for fun, once.

And, I may have peeked at the Scrabble dictionary once, to check a word.

The hubby and I don't play that cut throat, challenge almost every word version, we just go with the flow. Don't worry we pipe up if we think someone is trying to pull off a 65 point non-existent word. Most of the time, it's just a big laugh.

I am very good at unscrambling words in my head, so I was wondering if my talent still existed after the birth of GL. My ability to spell words has been seriously affected after having both girls. What's up with that? One day I spelled my first name wrong on a piece of paper. Yeah, that bad.

So, the total of my game was 509, I made all the tiles work. Here is the full version. Not sure of my favorite word, maybe ZED or TRIFLE. See, now you have it right in front of you, the evidence that I am completely 100% a dork. Yep...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway WINNER!!!

Congrats to DENISE @ You Never Let Go! Her number was drawn today with the help of! Thank you everyone for entering!

the Television Challenge

It's over, a bit premature, but the NO television challenge has ended at EatPlayLove. I nestled into some Talk Soup coma last night followed by Flavor of Love, Anderson Cooper, and of course What Not To Wear. Oh and even a little Tyra, talk about will watch anything. And I did see Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi snuggled up on a bench together for some public service message about global warming. Thanks to a quick lurk at Fox News. Strange.

You could blame my hubby for bailing on our Scrabble Night, by falling asleep with GL! Tonight's the night, the Scrabble Show Down!

In case you were wondering we did watch Top Chef. The television has been off all week, but we plugged it in Wednesday night. And there was one Baby Einstein Episode around Thursday dinner time that was just a plain ol' necessity.

My Thursday 13 already covered most of my feelings on the topic. I definitely embraced the challenged and gained a new perspective, all a positive impact on my family!

Lastly, I can't resist sharing, some humor on a similar topic, the folks over at Stuff White People Like, already did a "Not Having a TV" post, you can get a good laugh here.

Is that Jamie Oliver I hear in my living room?

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Costco Banana Saga Continues

Please let me start with, friends you are not alone. I have put a call into the Department of Agriculture trying to get to the bottom of this possible Banananapping of Costco Bananas.

If you need further information, please read more here. If you are with CNN and need an interview, please contact my publicist.

Here's the cold hard evidence friends, yes, 17, I said SEVENTEEN inquiring minds want to know. Oh wait, include me, make that 18 inquiring minds want to know. Let's not forget maybe some blogger friends, so let's up this number to 30, yeah I said it THIRTY people, I feel a movement coming on here.

Please look closely at my keyword data, all pointing to my banana post, a few weeks ago:

Let me say, if you find bananas at a Costco in your town, let me be the one to report it. Leave me a comment, please I will be forever indebted.

That Kinda Week

Baking homemade bread,
my maternal lineage.
Life's simple pleasures.

Give something away,
comments are indeed so good,
but will they be back?

The big box is off,
calmness is overcoming,
how about one show?

Dad is home today.
Candyland in the morning,
fun, laughter, all day!

This is my first participation in Haiku Friday. I decided to go with a week in review theme for my Haikus, really try to grasp what's been going on around here in a new refreshing way. I liked it, maybe once a month, it will return. You Haiku? Find out more here.

this just in:

One girl is at school
and one peacefully napping.
Midday rendezvous!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Whole No Television Thing- TH*13

What I Have Learned From Day 4 of NO Television:

1. Television isn't really that big of a deal to me or apparently my family. Day one I unplugged the television and dvd player, so it wasn't still leeching power. I think Sj asked one time to watch TV on that day. I asked her yesterday, on day 3, so do you miss the television? She replied, No mom, it's not a big deal.

2. We are not serial television watchers. Meaning, I don't really have a must see television show. Now don't really means, I love to watch Bravo's Top Chef. I always get sucked into junky reality television because I can't commit to watching prime time shows to keep up with the story line.

3. I am so HAPPY, ELATED, THRILLED, and OVERJOYED that I did NOT get lured into watching the Pennsylvania Primary Coverage on Tuesday. I read about the results in my New York Times email and that was it. My blood pressure didn't stir, I didn't succumb to hearing the same information repeated 1,000 times over. This is in contention for my favorite reason to turn off the television this week so far. I truly am a sucker for media frenzy over this whole darn election.

4. I feel less anxiety. I am not really sure how to phrase this one, but I feel calmer with out television. Even though I have led myself to believe I zone out in front of the television, that is clearly not the case. Not one day this week, was I in a huff about getting Sj to school on time. Clearly, the television agitates me.

5. I recognize how television is a lure, a draw, and how I can best utilize television appropriately. For instance, at about 4:45 pm, on days GL has not had a good nap, I see the bonus of a little Baby Einstein. It's 20 minutes long, it's not commercial television, and it fits my needs. I am not a bad mom for wanting my youngest occupied while I have Sj helping me cook dinner, typically some raw meat is slathered all over my hands, it's just a mess to have GL in the sling. I guess I could try the backpack. Fun, fun. So far, Sj has been doing a great job keeping her little sis occupied during that time. OR I have resorted to letting her run the water in the sink (just a trickle) to fill a bowl, to keep her busy. Yes, she makes a huge mess.

6. Sj has become reacquainted with some long lost toys. I think she forgot about some of her toys, but this week, they've all been getting extra love. She is very good at creative play, but her art and role playing scenarios have really been shining brightly this week. Love it.

7. I don't know if it's related to not watching television, but I have been in the mood to sort things out. Clear out the clutter, make space. See space. I sorted out 3 drawers in my office that were haphazardly full of pens, dried out markers, office supplies. AND to top it off one drawer is empty. Old working pens, random crap, all gone.

8. This week, as I am taking the No Television Challenge, I am also in the midst of reading A New Earth. I believe no television and the over arching notion of being present work hand in hand. Maybe that's why I am making domestic breakthroughs. I love when life aligns in funny ways.

9. My husband and I have conversations. Yes, I said it conversations. Usually we both have to decompress come evening when the girls are in bed. But is watching television, flipping the channels, sort of hearing what the other person says, really decompressing?

10. I pulled out Scrabble. I love Scrabble. We haven't played in years. I can't wait, maybe tonight is the night. It's hard to find good two person games. I envision a Shandy and some unscrambling of tiles. Btw, I always win! Yes, hubby that's a challenge, you up for it?

11. I envision moving on from this week with television viewing that is structured. Giving Sj, maybe a 1/2 hour of television viewing a day, allowing her to choose what show she would like to watch. Obviously, GL will get a 20 minute slot during dinner prep time. Even for J and I, we will watch maybe one hour or one show a night, or a rental, and that's it. Television with a purpose, not television for distraction from what is going on in our lives.

12. Here's what I don't miss, Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieria making dumb sexual innuendos with each other, or The Today Show exploiting someone that has just gone through a tragic event with their "exclusive interviews", or their news stories that just make me feel more anxiety. I don't miss the same news story over and over on the cable news stations because they don't have the courage to report the REAL news that is going on in the world. I don't miss another cake showdown or some other random Food Network Show, I always seem to glaze over and zone out to. I don't miss flipping looking for something, ANYTHING to entertain me. (I might miss, a little Martha or Anderson Cooper!)

13. So, television it has it's time and place. I won't be moving my set out of my house anytime soon. I love feeling more settled, less anxious. I am glad the toys that are filling my house are finally getting their fair share of playtime.I love feeling the need to clear the nest, go away stuff! I am thrilled that the television doesn't run us like I thought it did. Honestly, it's no big deal. Wow.

***I created the Thursday 13 Photo, you are more than welcome to use it! Help Yourself!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Step Right Up, Get Ya FREE Ticket!

Bloggy Giveaway is CLOSED!!!
Sometimes the blogosphere just works in mysterious ways. Before I knew it, last night I clicked myself right into a sea of giveaways!I thought, it's my time. Time to spread the love, spread the fun and excitement that blogging has brought me! Time to for me to enter the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! How festive. 
See entry Details below!

So, you wonder what's the prize, what are you going to WIN? Well, that my friend is a luscious tub of Strawberry Body Butter from the Body Shop, with Strawberry Seed Oil to moisturize, Normal Skin. Your skin will be soft and sweet. A $20 retail value!

1. Leave a comment on THIS POST, with something you Love to Eat, please include your email in the comment, your blog url, or I can link through your Blogger I.D. Your choice. That's how I will contact you.

2. Sorry, but due to the restrictions of having 2 children in tow at all times, I can only ship to the USA because the automated machine at the Post Office is only for domestic packages. I hate waiting in line at USPS, there's always a melt down.

3. I will use an automated random integer selector or a Video Draw with none other than my very own 4 year old Vanna White, aka- Sj. It just depends on the number of responses. I will post the video or winner on Sunday night.

4. Get your comments in by 12 PM, Mountain Standard Time, Saturday April 26. That's when the "carnies" at EatPlayLove hit the road, off to the next town.

5.After I email you, you have three days to email me in return with the address I am to mail the package to. If you do not respond within three days, I will choose another winner.

6. Of course, my 2 regular readers and family members are welcome to enter, ONE entry per person.

If you want in on some other Bloggy Giveaways, start clicking here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good Crunch With One Hand

When I was a young girl, one of my no fail lunch requests was a bologna sandwich. Yep, how American. Although, our meat was not from the grocery store, nor was it Oscar Meyer, it was freshly sliced from our neighborhood Italian Deli.

When I became old enough to start making my own lunch, the process always seemed to unfold in the same way. It began with two slices of Freihofer Country White Bread, placed on the plate in a mirror image. I always tried to draw a smiley face or picture or my initials with the squeeze yellow mustard, which was applied to both slices of bread. The next step was always smoothing out the mustard on both slices of bread, uniformity was key. I love uniformity and maybe even to a fault. Then the cheese, first a slice to sample, then 2 slices for my sandwich, then the bologna. Voile.

Usually it never felt complete with my potato chips on the side. I would open up the sandwich, pile on some chips, put the top back on and give it a good crunch with my hand. Every bite turned into perfection. Every bite.

I chuckle when I see my girls eating their Smart Deli vege bologna sandwiches. We are not vegetarians, but I am a meat snob. Since I couldn't make it to Whole Foods, vege bologna had to do. Luckily my 4 & 1 year olds do not have discerning tastes when it comes to sliced lunch meats.

Someday, I'll pass along my tips and techniques for a perfect lunch time sandwich complete with some potato chips inside. Until then the crunching pleasure will live on in my memory.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Quirks of Bathroom Business

Truly and wholeheartedly, I count my blessings when I recall the ease at which Sj potty trained. We went from diapers to panties before I knew it, all it took was some perfect timing, catching her behind a tree, making a poop. I ran her to the potty, she successfully completed her business and from that moment on decided diapers were a thing of the past. I never bought Pull-Ups, we just went straight to those quilted cotton panties. Yes, it's mandatory to use the word panties, for to Sj it's very grown up. Even if those aforementioned panties have characters such as Dora or Bob The Builder on them.

Now, we have been working on the two huge obstacles that have been in the way for Sj and total potty independence. And of course as a mother of a daughter that is entering Kindergarten in a few months, these quirks need to be worked out before I can feel settled kissing her on the cheek and sending her on her merry way to school.

The first quirk Sj has in the potty department is the call out. 99.9% of the time, we get the, "Will you wipe me, I pooped" call out that echos through the entire house, reaching an adult wherever we may be. I always talk her through the wiping process, but she still likes the assistance. Yes, I worry about infections, wiping from back to front, stains, all of it. Is she ready?

The second issue at hand, which is most important to me, is her need to remove all of her clothing before she can take care of her bathroom business. I am truly at a loss for what to do. I've worked the just take your pants off angle, but it doesn't seem to have an impact. Every time I get the call out, I enter the bathroom to find a ball of clothes, strewn all over the bathroom floor, and my daughter entirely disrobed.

We've resorted to calling her the N@ked Pooper!

To top it off, the outfit she was wearing pretty much gets abandoned for a fresh one. I suppose a fresh feeling, a fresh outfit.

So please, help me out here. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I dread the phone call from school, "Hi Denise, your daughter has pooped, can you come wipe her and bring a fresh outfit, because she's naked".

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sat Her Day

When I was first getting into the swing of things blogging, I would start a new post and save it. Sometimes it would take me a few days to get back to that post to publish it. I typically would put the day in the title box and always, never deviating, I would put Sat Her Day, for Saturday. Don't ask me why.

Funny enough today is my day. Well, kind of. I'm going to a luncheon at a nice local hotel, to hang out with hundreds of other Moms. Daddy will be in charge for a whopping, 6 hours today. And, I will have no children tugging on me or demanding something Right Now, for 6 hours. Wow! We are all members of local chapters of a fabulous organization called MOMs Club, or better known as Moms Offering Moms Support. I joined Moms Club when Sj was around 6 months old, with the encouragement of a good friend. I'm glad I did. I was initially a bit out of my comfort zone, but in a short period of time that quickly changed.

It's been 4 years now and I've met so many people, made some great friends. We obviously have the mom connection, but it's funny, random groupings simply by our children's age has turned out to provide a group of friends that I see a few times a week, close playmates for my daughter, and a shoulder to lean on.

There's nothing better than feeling like you aren't doing this alone and with a group of moms around you, that feeling just sort of melts away.

This year, I have been serving on the Board, which is all volunteer as secretary aka, the cake walk.There are all sorts of Urban Legends surrounding board positions and the time it consumes. I just chuckle when I hear that. It is what you make it. Balance is simply the key to any volunteer position. We HAVE to attend a monthly board meeting, last month it was at a Pub, where I enjoyed lovely food. Ooh, twist my arm, tough, tough. Then, I am the contact once or twice a month for an event. Typically, I am the walk contact, I loved to get in stroller time with the girls, and provide encouragement for other moms to get moving.

I know other moms that have moved around and find it difficult to make connections in a new area. There are thousands of Moms Club chapters around the world! Visit the webpage, make some connections, give your child an opportunity to socialize, you'll feel the stress start to subside when you have friends to make the days go by.

Dues in our chapter are $20 for the year, $15 for renewing members. We even offer financial assistance if needed. There's nothing to lose!

Well, I'm off, to go chat and laugh with a few hundred women. OOh, now that's what I call an Estrogen Fest.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Like, Totally Excellent

Two of my daily blog reads graced ME (blush) on the same day with my very first Blog Award.

My friend over at Never A Dull Moment was one of my first consistent blog reads, turns out we live about 15 minutes away from each other. You know this darn blog universe is not so big and scary, it's kind and refreshing. Give her a read, if you haven't been by.

The other recognition came from my friend off in lovely Northern California, A Mom Two Boys. I just adore her fun writing style, she always seems to make me laugh, which on most days is a dose of exactly what I need. She understands my neurotic side and gives me props for worrying about bananas. Thank you.

And here is the very first award:

Now in proper Blog Love fashion, I must pass the award along. I am choosing two blogs because I received two.

First, I am passing the Excellent Blog along to , Mama Zen. She's a writer that makes me feel at home, I enjoy her words. And to top it off, she's always reviewing books, which keeps me on top of my library queue.

Secondly, the Excellent Blog bling is going to my friend, another Colorado local, The Soapdish. This week she has put in her dues, offering up some fun reminiscing with her Totally 80's week. Movies,Television, Toys, History, it's all there. Stop by her blog and feel the warm and fuzzies the 80's always seems to bring back to me (sans the shoulder pads and AquaNet).

Don't forget to pass it on and I thank all of you for being such wonderful women!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stuff, Stuff, and MORE STUFF

I'm disenchanted with my stuff, my children's stuff, and my husband's stuff. And of course our collective family's stuff. I spend my days picking up stuff, organizing stuff, buying stuff to put my stuff in, cleaning stuff, and throwing away stuff.

How much stuff do we need?

Every month, I cycle through the girls' toys, ditch broken toys, put some away for a rainy day, put some away just because it's better when we have space from some toys, and recycle/donate toys we have outgrown (or I simply have grown tired of). I haven't taken on this task in a few months and I can feel it. It feels like our toys have reproduced.

Happily I can report that the girls actually use the majority of their toys, sometimes I think it's safe to give one the heave-ho when Sj pulls it out, plays with it obsessively for the day, and snuggles it at bedtime. She came down stairs with a teddy bear she was given at birth and don't think she's rarely played with. She gave me the classic, "look at my favorite teddy bear". I think it's her intuition that I am getting fed up with all the stuff.

BTW, remember that ginormous tote, I bought from Pottery Barn? I filled it easily today with stray toys that belong happily in Sj's bedroom, that have found their way into every other nook and cranny in our house, including but not limited too, under the buffet, behind the television, in the coat closet, the bathroom floor, under my bed, in the rocking chair, and on the stairs. Tote full, my head shaking in amazement.

On a related note, I am committing to giving up television for one entire week. CRAZY. It feels crazy anyway. The big week is Monday April 21- Sunday April 27. My hubby thinks we should start small and just try it for a day. I told him, I don't think we can make any breakthroughs with just one day of television off.

On a side note, we did secretly conspire to watch Top Chef on Wednesday night, but that's it. ONE HOUR. Maybe i'll feel differently about it come Wednesday.

I wonder what we are capable of as a family, with out the distraction of television and being more authentic and present in our lives. I won't be giving up my computer, but I may set time limits and set times to post. I feel it's important to post through the experience, so I can give updates on how it's going, what we are discovering about ourselves.

If you would like to join the challenge or gather info, try this link at Unplug Your Kids.

More to continue.......

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Loathing Las Vegas

My husband went to none other than Las Vegas for 72 hours of debauchery & gambling an intensive work conference. If you could only hear the repetitive nature of our conversations regarding this trip, how the conference was just going to consume close to every waking moment of his time.

J has attended the NAB Show in Vegas for about 6-7 years now. Every year I get the long, serious, look me straight in the eye speech about how it's work and he has to go. The technology is amazing and it's all the cutting edge cameras. With out this knowledge he would have an incredible deficit when it comes to purchasing new cameras or related equipment. Although, I couldn't quite tell you the last time the company bought a cutting edge camera, but that's just my side of the story.

What my husband fails to mention is the hard work and long hours that he puts in at the card tables or how he forces his liver to work overtime. It is very time consuming to research which 5 star restaurants he wants to patronize. Or how difficult it is to function at this conference when he is hung over and had no sleep. And, my last I'm over the annual Vegas conference point is, the money he throws away gambling. But oh wait, he always wins, except for last year, when he was too intoxicated to actually recall how much money he lost.

Yes, I am a bit disgruntled about this Vegas trip. I mean how old are we (see post below)!

One thing I didn't expect to come out of this "business" trip was the toll it takes on our girls. We ran into a fellow classmate of Sj's and both of her parents at the mall yesterday. We chatted hello, went our separate ways.

On the way home, this conversation transpired:

Sj: Is it the weekend?

Me: No silly girl, it's Tuesday, why do you ask?

Sj: Well, Maggie's dad was at the mall, isn't it a work day?

Me: Sometimes daddies have weekdays off and work different hours. Or maybe he took the day off.

Sj: Wow, that's so nice of Maggie's dad to want to spend a WORK day with her.

Then I just want to cry inside, knowing we are the last thing on my husband's mind. It's just business, right?! I'll get over it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Didn't Get The Aging Memo

I'm not quite sure how this post is going to transpire, but I've been mulling over aging lately in my mind and with some friends, whom luckily have had similar sentiments and thoughts. Being thirty something I think is a time when you start to recognize defining moments in relation to age. In that same regard, I feel like some time has slipped away and I never really got the memo that I am categorized as older, even to folks in their late 20's.

I have a terrible habit of trying to figure out someone's age when I first meet them. Sometimes I could swear I had to be younger than a person I just met, but then I find out I've got 5 years on them. Isn't it strange how we perceive our age in relation to others? I definitely feel like I'm more of an early 30 something than a late 30 something creeping into the big 4-0. For the record, I am not a late 30 something, but it all just slowly rolls itself into one big ball.

Having two small children can keep you active and on your toes. But when you combine loss of sleep, with various other body taxing scenarios such as, breast feeding and pregnancy sometimes you can just feel down right old. Or older. And definitely no spring chicken. Wrinkles seem to appear at a pace more familiar to hormonal changes and blemishes, when I was younger. Kinda strange.

Words such as collagen boosting, wrinkle minimizing, and youthful glow are boldly adorning bottles of cream in my medicine cabinet. I've even given a thought to the big B, yes Botox. A thought, I said. I hate the maze of wrinkles in my forehead, complete with permanent frown lines in between my eyebrows. Yes, I am a brow furrower and I am paying the price for it. And, the easy fix, bangs just aren't my thing. I am not a bang girl.

So for me it's about finding the balance with aging. I want to stay in touch with trends, but not be trendy (no mini skirts for me!). Maintain a healthy diet because we all know the pounds slowly creep up even when your diet hasn't dramatically changed for the worse. I believe firmly in surrounding yourself with friends that keep you feeling young, that value the same lifestyle as you do.

I wouldn't turn back the hands of time, if given the opportunity. I love how with aging, life has given me grace and maturity, an ability to step back from situations I would have held onto with dear life. I have a new perspective and confidence in who I am, who I want to become, and what attributes I have happily outgrown. I know someday, I'll look back on my woes of aging in my thirties and just laugh. I am sure I will give anything for the youthful glow that adorns me today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vail Season Closing Weekend

Simply because of my husband's occupation, I've spent many "Ending Season" weekends at various ski resorts. This weekend, we went to Vail, which was no other than closing weekend. I have to tell you, if you have any remote interest in skiing or the culture, there is nothing like closing weekend.

The atmosphere at the resort was upbeat and lively. Of course many folks on the last day chose to dress up in costume or "outdated" ski gear. A few times it was difficult for me to decipher if someone was in costume or just hadn't picked up new gear since the 90's. None the less it was a hoot. Bring out your wigs, spandex, brightly colored one piece suits, shorts, or gorilla suits and hit the slopes.

Traditionally the service goes way down hill on closing weekend, because everyone has their bags packed and are ready to head out of town as their shift ends. Pleasantly enough, we didn't find any of that this weekend. The bars were packed until closing, how would I know that? Well, I actually stayed out until closing with two of my dear old friends that joined us for the Ben Harper show! Wow.. If you know me, you would probably not expect me closing the bars! Aah, it was all in good fun, actually fabulous fun, it had been way too long fun, and can't wait until next time fun.

Until next December....

GL on my back, taking in all the excitement!
(note to self, remember this leg stance in future photos, for it is super slimming)

Last day, next year definitely bigger and better terrain! Do you like Sj's skirt, she had to join the fun dressing up for the final day!


Now, Here is some video I shot on the bus ride after the bars closed. Apparently it's a ritual for a group of about 20 friends to chant, sing, and scream fight songs on the bus ride home. It was obviously entertaining. And, to top it off I used the camera vertically and you can't change video orientation, or atleast I can't. So if you decide to watch, please remember it was all in good 2am humor!! And, this is my very first video, so expect more in the future, with the camera in the proper direction......


Friday, April 11, 2008

Mountains are Singing my Name...

I can hear it..I should be packing. It's my name..being vocalized by Ben Harper. I'm off to a last weekend of skiing for Sj & J. And for a Ben Harper concert with my family. There really isn't anything like a musician you are very fond of calling you by your first name, well not for me anyway.

Oh, why do I love Colorado...random Ben Harper shows, not a tour, just a pop into town to play a gig. Life is beautiful friends, pictures and posts to resume when I come down from Cloud 9.

photo source

Glimpse Behind The Blog Scenes

It's Friday, so I am going to have some fun around here. I've never posted the bizarre searches on Google that bring people to my blog. Honestly, sometimes I don't make the connection, but I have to admit, on occasion I have set myself up for the randomness.

Like these google searches:

pictures of the clitoris turning into a penis with testosterone
They must have been disappointed to find some shoes I found on sale and random meanderings of a stay at home mom. But I did have to bring up that Oprah show, guilty as charged. I wonder if they could send me the link, if they find the real McCoy.

betta sick won't eat, vertical floating Betta Fish
This has to be one of more popular search hits. Our poor Uniqua's story, pulling at the heartstrings of Betta owners all over the country. I wish I had better answers. That last ditch attempt to save your $5.00 pet store purchase. Please, pass me a tissue.

why are there no bananas at costco?
Now this is obviously my favorite. Someone out there in the blogosphere feeling my pain and curiosity. I hope they found solace in my post last week. Banana Lovers Unite!!!

mom pants
Uh, Oh. My head is hanging in disappointment, someone looking for mom pants found ME. Crap.

Swallowed Plum Pit

Now, this one always has a special place in my heart. It was one of my earliest postings. I actually found the information I needed from another mom blog, so I am glad I can keep the love flowing. And, don't fret if your dog, child, or significant other swallows a plum pit, it will pass, and they will be fine.

Big Cupcake Cake, Under Sea Cake
Aaah..two of my first cake sculpture undertakings. Still bringing curiosity and hope to your average home baker. If only those folks would send me a photo of their creations!

booster 5 point harness for older kids, booster vs 5 pt harness
Maybe I can make a difference in someone's life. I feel so proud of that post. I hope everyone gives it a read and thinks about your child's safety in a new way. In a better way.

These last two, I just don't know what to say, other than, why me?
semen men eat blogspot
play into the uterus pics

Finally, this is what the map looks like.. Hits from the globe!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: 4th Edition

Hidden Perks & Downfalls I have associated with blogging...

1. It all starts with one page load. You read a blog, maybe post a comment. More than likely you'll be lured by a link to another post or blog. Before you know it you've clicked, clicked, clicked your way to twenty other blogs, that you wind up bookmarking.

2. If your friends or family read your blog with any regularity, they may begin to associate blog content for real conversation. Soon your phone stops ringing and you've been deserted by your closest confidants.

3. On a related note, blog postings may also confuse your friends or family that they've had a discussion with you on the particular topic. It's happened quite frequently to me. The, "no, I didn't tell you that, you must have read it on my blog"! Beware of lurkers, slipping in conversation!

4. It's easy to become lured by bigger and better blogs. Take for example Blogger, it has all the built in shortcuts to make your blog stand up to others, with out looking way too amateur. But eventually, you'll start to want components on your blog that you have seen here and there. Before you know it, your perfect Friday night will be a glass of wine, kids in bed, an html book, or a few hours lost on Picnik.

5. Addiction, yes you become addicted to comments, visits, other blogs. And a little thing called StatCounter.

6. Your therapist may be losing money. Soon enough you see your blog as a therapeutic release, you feel a new level of comfort with sharing your neurotic side to complete strangers.

7. You may be too honest. Sometimes the need for privacy and restraint are held back in a moment of delusional posting. Someday your significant other or offspring will cringe when they see a photo or read a story about them that should have been kept in the family vault.

8. You begin to slowly make new friends, and you know all their quirks. Before you know it, you've found your soul blogger on the other side of the country, you begin to wonder if you were separated at birth.

9. On the upside you don't have to send photos to friends or relatives out of state, or even pick up a phone to call them. Hey they read your blog, they know what's up.

10. You may have to hold back in an attempt to keep the peace. Sometimes I feel a little bitterness about having to censor material due to regular readers. If I could only have the courage to truly "say anything".

11. Success, defining blogging success on a personal level. How many readers or comments a day do you want? You don't acquire readership overnight. Do you envision making it? Like publishing a book or earning money blogging? Hey, I am happy with the Disney on Ice tickets I won on Mile High Mamas!

12. Not to mention the huge personal growth, before you know it, you've become familiar with the nuances of HTML and photo editing. New vocabulary rolls off your tongue such as, MEME, Thursday 13, category clouds, blogrolls, and google reader in daily conversation. Your friends begin to wonder if you have slipped away.

13. The best part, your friends realize that if you can do it, they can do it. Damn, I want my own blog... I've inspired 4 friends and counting..beware you lurkers, you could be next!

(What is a LURKER? Someone that reads your blog regularly, but never comments. You, hey you, STOP LURKING and leave a comment!!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bare Pantry, How About Risotto?

Sometimes I feel lackidasical about my dinner cooking duties. I have to be honest, I don't cook dinner every night. Especially on the weekends, I officially hand the kitchen over to my hubby. But during the week, I make a wholehearted attempt to prepare something healthy and fresh. That is when I am in the mood. Sometimes, my husband gets the 5 o'clock phone call from me, "I'm not cooking tonight", click. He always comes through the door prepared, whether to cook or with take out.

And to top it off, I am not a meal planner. I once had meal planning envy, you know the type, with the cute little chalk board listing the dinner menu for the entire week. Corresponding grocery lists on the front of the refrigerator. See, I love organization, bins & baskets, a place for everything, but I can't seem to muster up that little extra drive to become a meal planner.

I must have an addiction to flying by the seat of my pants during one of the hardest hours of the day for a stay at home mom, dinner preparation time. Aka, The Witching Hour. Menu planning makes so much sense.

And to top it off for some odd reason, my cabinets seem to be bare even though we are dropping $100 bucks every time we run into the grocery store to pick something up. Knowing we just had one of those runs a few days ago, I stay clear of the market after I picked Sj up from school. I knew I could whip something up, but that was yet to be determined.

I lingered for a moment in front of the refrigerator door. Pretty much empty. Some left over spaghetti, I made a pot of sauce and meatballs on Sunday, so if we had pasta one more night I believe my family may have suffered a carbohydrate induced coma.

Well, there's the shrimp in the freezer. Not for the girls, but I am in the mood for shrimp. I peek into the cabinet, aah.. there is some risotto or sushi rice in bulk. I could really mess this one up, if it was sushi rice. I tapped into my Italian lineage and picked what I believed to be the risotto.

I quickly went on line for a recipe. I have to admit, I probably will never buy a cook book again, every time I am in need of a recipe, I either go to Food Network or Martha Stewart/Everyday Food, type in a key ingredient, and voile. Much easier than hunting through my shelf of cookbooks.

This is what I created, Sweet Pea and Shrimp Risotto. Not bad for a whip up.

It was a bit of a risk, because my hubby is a bit of a risotto snob. Which means, I leave the risotto cooking up to him. If it's not cooked just right, he sneers. He will not order it at restaurants anymore because it's never cooked to his liking. I mean, it's pretty hard to pull off the love and attention risotto requires in a fast paced kitchen.

I find it wonderfully nurturing to cook risotto. You stand with it, stirring, adding stock, tending to it through the entire cooking process. Lucky for me, Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals & a coloring book, distracted the girls enough so I could be attentive to the dish.

Yes, a refreshing whip up. Much better than a typical stand by of "hey, how about waffles for dinner!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Is That a Kitty Cat, Meowing?

While little sister was off taking care of various baby dolls. Sj, was off meowing, licking her paws, drinking milk from a bowl, and talking only in "cat talk". Meow. Meow.

I take the pledge right here and now to not become a cat owner, no matter how persistent my 4 year old is. No cats!

I dug up some eyeliner from a make up bin tucked away in my closet, to complete the look. The next day I was wondering what the faint lines were on her face..Duh! It was the remnants of kitty-ness!

Hints of Maternal Instinct

Observing my second daughter emulate her big sister has been so eye opening. No pressure now to keep Little Miss Sj on track, being a fabulous role model. But in all "light hearted" seriousness, my toddler has been showing the signs of maternal instinct for at least a month now. It's crazy. She loves her baby dolls, she walks them, checks the blanket to make sure they are covered, pats their bottoms, makes fake crying sounds, feeds them bottles, and snuggles them.

It's her big sister that walked into the kitchen the other day, with the stroller in one hand and shirt up, nursing her doll with the other. I thought, that looks oddly familiar, although I don't think I've ever mastered the nurse and stroll, just the nurse and cook or walk around if need be.

I guess the straw basket is her purse, complete with a duckie! No need for money.

Oh no, is my baby ok? I must pat her and fix her blanket, over and over again!

Time for bed baby, snuggle up in Daddy's shirt.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Open Enrollment Final Saga

Not much more to write after today. The long awaited "WAITLIST POSITION" letter arrived. Which basically said, no damn chance in hell. Taking into consideration, our position on the list is higher than the size of an entire kindergarten class.

1st Choice- 21
2nd Choice-23
3rd Choice-28

Oh well. Now it's the serious contemplation of selling our house. Or leaving it all be for kindergarten and trying again in 1st grade.

Decisions, decisions.

End of story, folks!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spring In My Step

Lately, I have suppressed my desire to own every pair of shoes that delight me. I have plenty of shoes that make do. Practical, cute-but practical, athletic, snow season, warm weather, and sexy-but not so comfortable shoes. With the change of weather, my shoe radar has been going off. I maybe had in the back of my mind, it would be nice to pick up a nice new pair of spring kicks. Now mind you, I haven't been actively seeking out new shoes.

But..they have found me.

I was teasing myself with a walk down the size 10 aisle at Last Call! Neiman Marcus Outlet. I always look at the shoes on our visit to the Colorado Mills, a couple times a year. I never, ever find anything. I love slipping my toes into exorbitantly expensive shoes, taking a stroll down the aisle, over-examining in the mirror. I usually get a raised eyebrow from my hubby and a those work for me glance. 99% of the time, it's a no. Typically they hurt like no tomorrow. Or the heels are high enough that I would have to duck my head walking through a doorway. Yes, I'm 5'11" so high heels aren't a mainstay in my shoe collection.

Then I tried on a pair of the softest, cutest shoes I've seen in quite sometime. Ooh, I thought. Look at the details, you could tell they were hand made and have beautiful accents of linen and natural leather. They were so comfortable that I didn't want to take them off.
The original price for the shoes was $225.00, which basically equates to the total cost of my closet full of shoes. But did you catch the Outlet part? Well, they were marked down to $108.00. Still steep. Then I noticed a faded blue stamp, my eyes glanced at the % off color coded discount chart, 75% off lowest marked price. Well, this purchase is a no-brainer, I must buy them.

Could it be?

The steal of a century?

I walked out of the store with the cutest spring shoes, for $27.00 with tax. With tax.

Just found them on Zappos for $185.

Do you notice an extra spring in my step?

And..for you shoe fanatics, those extra special, too delightful to pass up details...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Banana..Fo Fanna..Me Mi, No Banana?

Alrighty folks. I am exclaiming from the top of my lungs. The banana crisis is here. How can this be? Oh bananas, how I do love thee. I wish I savored the last banana I had, but I didn't realize there would be shortage problems.

In our last two vegetable deliveries, we did not receive any bananas. I thought that was strange.

Costco hasn't had bananas in a couple of weeks.

Even stranger.

Whole Foods, didn't have bananas, organic or not.

Just plain bizarre.

Rumor has it, Sam's has bananas. Hmmm.

Last night we popped into Costco to pick up some photos, I uploaded. If you haven't taken advantage of that service, you must. It's such a huge time saver. We bought some bread, eggs, and organic chicken.

We perused the aisles, talking about the banana shortage and wondering why no one else is talking about it!

Then we got to the register and the cashier said, "What no Bananas?"...

I exclaimed, "oh my.. are you reading my mind?"

Then the cashier and their shadow, I mean the person who loads the cart, went into some big thing about floods in Central America. And whispered to us, leaning in, we heard Sam's has bananas..I told them not to worry, I don't give the Walton family my hard earned cash.

But why no news coverage? Is Chiquita afraid there is a going to be a frenzied run on the bananas that are out on the grocery store displays? I mean, if you can find bananas.

But in all seriousness, I haven't heard a word about it. Are there bananas in your neck of the woods? First the bees, now the bananas. What's next...

And the follow up post HERE!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Some Confusion, Mainly The New Low..

I am not sure if anyone caught Oprah yesterday. Yes, I am an Oprah fan. But maybe Oprah has stooped to new lows, new attention seeking lows. It seemed a little hokey to me.

Here's the basic synopsis behind the show. A 34 year old man, named Thomas was pregnant. Yep, Oprah being the bearer of all official news, was not going to be duped, for she had a live clip of the ultrasound footage. She also had bare bellied pregnant Thomas, with close ups of his facial hair. How could this be? Gasp.

Well, you see, Thomas was really born Tracy. Tracy lived as a woman oh into her 20's. Then she took testosterone, had her breasts removed, grew some facial hair, shopped in the men's department, and lived with a woman. That same woman transferred sperm from a sperm bank into her husband's vagina so he, I mean she could conceive.

The catch, when reassigning her gender, she didn't have any surgery on her genitalia. So Thomas, was a man in appearance with a Va-Jay-Jay. Although, he was legally married, Thomas was missing a crucial body part, which to me delineates men from women. That body part would be a penis. Although, Thomas claims, testosterone does crazy things to the body and her clitoris magically turned into a penis. Hmmm.

I don't have a problem with a transgendered person having a child. The couple obviously has plenty of love to give a child. But to say a man, the first man on earth, is giving birth to a baby, is a little bit of a stretch, Oprah. Was Jerry Springer or Maury booked?

Maybe you should stick to giving away boat loads of money to people in need. I like that Oprah better.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wow, I Stayed Awake!

I've been handing cash, plenty of it, over to none other than the big blue Blockbuster Video. Even GL says, " moo-eey" when we drive past it now. Oops. Actually, I feel like patting myself on the back for all my movie watching. It feels like I'm coming out of my cocoon. You know that, I am a new mother and when night falls, so do my eyelids kind of feeling. Well, considering I am not a new mother anymore with my 16 month old, it was certainly time I stepped up my staying awake at night game. Bring on the rentals.

By the way, my movie renting absurdities have prompted me to look back into the DVD by mail options. We are considering Blockbuster over Netflix, just for the return in store option. We were Netflix fans for years. Our biggest concern is selection, considering BB has been notorious in the past for only offering censored movies, we didn't know if they would have the diverse independent selections of Netflix. Your insight, as always would be greatly appreciated, if you are the movie by mail type!

So what have I been watching? Well, it depends if I am the one to make it to the video store or if it's my husband. We clearly have distinct movie preferences. Husband- blood, sci-fi, gore, for no violence is too violent. Wife- nice movies, thoughtful plot, maybe a cute male lead, chick flicks if not too dumbed down.

Well, I felt compelled to see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN after it received so many Oscar nods. I walked away feeling glad that I had seen it, but was disturbed by it. Personally the blood, violence, and no closure left me a bit ticked off. I hate open endings. It definitely prompted many discussions with friends, which is always a tell tale sign of a movie well made. Then again, their was the horrific dream I had that night, complete with trying to escape some maniac killer after my family. Yeah, fun.

INTO THE WILD was a must see for me. I am a HUGE fan of Sean Penn, John Krakauer, and Pearl Jam! I knew it would not disappoint. What an interesting story into a young dreamers life. For me the ending was very bittersweet. Seems like our world would have been a better place if Chris McCandless did not leave it so early. Nice supporting roles by Catherine Keener and Vince Vaughn.

THE KITE RUNNER, was a book I had read last year, so I anticipated it's release on dvd. Overall, the movie did not disappoint as many novel to big screen translations do. The cinematography was wonderful. The story as a whole feels sad and heavy, but the movie left me feeling more hopeful.

Well, the WAITRESS was definitely a personal pick. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I had seen Keri Russell on Martha during her press tour for the movie when it hit the big screen. Beautiful food images, little bit of love, and a strong woman who winds up on top! (And, I was left wondering if my friend, KM was inspired by this movie to host a pie themed recipe club this month! hmmm...if not, you better rent it!! )

The BEE MOVIE, was rented for Sj. She wasn't that into it, she watched most of if, with other play and sporadic activity through out. The night before it was to go back, J and I sat down and watched it. It was cute and I had a few good chuckles through out.

So, in general, if a movie keeps my attention well enough to stay awake, it should be a must see! haha..Two movies which put me to sleep, but kept my hubby's attention were Darjeeling Express , I loved the images in India, but still fell asleep and I am Legend, which was way too Sci Fi for my taste.

And, I love a good movie recommendation. Please share if you have a recent "must see" on your list!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Booster Seats vs. 5 Point Harness

Last year, I was sent an email forward of this YouTube video. It broke my heart for the family that lost their son.

My oldest daughter is the size of a six year old and she is 4. I've kept her in her Britax Marathon (up to 65lbs and 49" tall) even though she is tall and weighed enough for a booster. I've met some moms that are in a rush to get their kids into booster seats, either because a younger child needs their current 5 point harness carseat or they feel their children are ready. I'm even disappointed to mention a mom that I know (who's husband is a state trooper) had her 3 year old in a booster with out a back. I cringed every time I saw their car pull up. Not to mention it is against the LAW in Colorado to have a 3 year old in a booster.

This weekend, I purchased a booster to have for my daughter for short trips around town in our second vehicle. I still don't feel comfortable with her in it. 95% of the time she still rides in her Britax. I feel like it's a risk we take driving our vehicles everyday and I need to be proactive about keeping my children as safe as they can be under all circumstances.

Even though I try my hardest, I can never escape the memories or the reality of car accidents. This is what happened to Sj & I on a casual weekday morning on our way to Whole Foods a few years ago. A woman, didn't see us coming and turned left in front of me. I tried to avoid her, but obviously at 35mph, I couldn't. All of us were unharmed, thank goodness. The impact is still at the front of my mind, every single day when I get into my car.

Please put your child's safety in mind and question if your carseat or booster seat practices are the safest you can offer your precious little one. Don't second guess your maternal intuition.

Foundation Started By Kyle's Parents

Tuesday, April 1, 2008



Here's the Truth:
I am very content with my two girls. Even if you could guarantee me a boy, not sure if I would take the plunge again. Especially today, when I am in the middle of 5 teeth erupting in GL's mouth at the same miserable time. No sleep, constant chewing, gagging, and nursing galore. Fun, fun!

As a little bit of a cheeky wife, I really wanted to see what my hubby's reaction would be. He fell for it big time. He called me over lunch today, where I immediately brought up the post. He read it while on the phone with me, so I had the fabulous first hand, don't have time to think reaction.

Which went a bit like, "Are you crazy, we've talked about this, I thought we were on the same page, not happening".

So, after I knew I had him, I played it up for a bit. Even Sj was on the phone saying, we're having a baby brother, we're having a baby brother!! It took awhile before I said, ok honey before I hang up why don't you look at the calendar. I think it's fair enough to say he was relieved.

One More Try...

Well, you see it seems as if mother nature is calling my name. Or maybe it's Uncle Biological Clock, tick tick tocking. Long ago, I romanticized about having three children. With two girls already gracing our family, it's time to try for the boy. Now that GL is 15 months old, it's time to get my uterus back into action.

I've started doing my research on the internet, on how to get pregnant with a boy. I've found loads of resourceful websites with great ideas. I have to feel certain about which ones will be most effective before we start, I don't want to jinx this conceiving a boy thing.

So, here are some of my secret "conceiving a boy" notes:

  • My gender selecting book says to have sex on the day you ovulate, use a position that offers the deepest penetration. The woman should have an orgasm since the waves can help pull more semen into the uterus. Also lots of foreplay because there is an alkaline level in the vaginal secretions that tends to favor male sperm.

  • Change your diet to include lots of red meat, salty snacks, and cola soft drinks.

  • Let your partner initiate sex and focus on his pleasure. Legend says if the man climaxes first, you’ll conceive a baby boy.

  • Schedule your lovemaking sessions for odd numbered days of the month.

  • Have sex at night, preferably when there’s a quarter moon in the sky.

  • Have as much sex as possible, since many people believe more boys are conceived during the “honeymoon” phase of a relationship.

  • Have the man drink coffee before sex, since this causes the sperm with Y chromosomes to become more active.

Go Blue!!