Monday, March 31, 2008

I'll Never Learn!

We have the girls' portraits taken professionally *cough, cough* once a year. Well, are they really taken by professional photographers at our local mall studio, no. The photographers at this particular mall location, is staffed by a group of young adults, post-high school, but not quite grown up. Sometimes that can work in your favor. Other times it's a disaster.

Funny thing about this photo studio chain, they don't hire professionals, but they charge decent prices. Interesting. This should be warning sign number one.

Basically I take so many pictures through out the year, that I can only justify the studio experience annually. Plus, honestly I can't handle the stress of the whole experience. Pick a time that would work for "happy faces", have the kids fed, hope they cooperate, pray the random person clicking the photos has done this for longer than a week.

So yesterday was the big day. We went to the mall, made the appointment for a time I thought would work best. Went through all the motions. Thought the pictures were so-so. Finally I just settled for eyes open, some sort of smile. I didn't feel like she captured any photos that really showed my girls' personality. Isn't that why Kand*d is in their name, to capture their personality, not 20 teeth showing smiley over done portraits?

We get to the final 6 shots. We have portraits, almost in hand. Of course we have to do the formal check of the final prints. I notice some strange mark on GL's forehead in one of the shots. Well, that's weird, she doesn't have a nickel size bruise on her face, or I would have cancelled the damn appointment.

Turns out it was dirt or dust in the camera. The manager, awkwardly touched up the picture. BTW, they don't normally touch up photos, only if it's their fault. I would say dirty cameras are definitely their fault. He handed over the new prints, we left in a scurry.

Of course now I am looking at the pictures with a different eye. Aha, the damn bruise-dust appeared again..and again. So, I had to return to the studio. He did some more touching up. They don't even have photoshop at the studio. Shame. Shame.

Now, the short of it. There was so much touching up it changed the overall color of 2 other photos. I called the 1-800 #, where they "blah, blah" we'll photoshop it for you and call you back. No call back, yet.

How do I get suckered into this crappy place every year! Someone please remind me next March to avoid at all costs the local mall photo studio. I wish I slapped down $9.99 at W*lmart, I probably would have been more satisfied!
GL's photo, I actually touched up the dark spots from her chin!

Once a year, I'll suck it up. There has to be a great Studio, that is reasonable, but worth it. If you have any Studio secrets, please, please, please I beg you.. Share them.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where's The Eat?

There has been plenty of play and love going around this blog, but it seems as if I've been neglecting the Eating. On some random evening this past week, I requested we have burgers for dinner this weekend.

The hubby makes yummy burgers. We eat a ton of chicken and turkey around here, so occasionally my body wants beef. We succumb to those cravings maybe a couple times a month, and mind you I am probably on the cusp of PMSing, for I am sure my friend will arrive sooner than later. Call it intuition. Request burgers, arrive monthly friend with in a few days.

Here's the funny part about the burgers we had yesterday. They were so delicious, I was completely lured in and seduced by the aromas flowing from the kitchen that I forgot to capture a photo of the burger love. J said that would have been a good picture for your blog. I started laughing and told him, I know, too bad I was entranced by the burger to capture a before shot.

So here's what went into the Burger of Love:
  • Rudi's organic hamburger buns
  • Bacon
  • Sauteed baby spinach in some of that lovely bacon drippings
  • Blue Cheese
  • Carmelized onions with Dinosaur BBQ sauce
  • Grass Fed Beef with just the right amount of seasonings


I am going to work on containing myself just for a moment to get the shot the next time I am seduced by a burger. I promise.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Earth Hour 2008



If you haven't heard about this global event taking place tomorrow, check out this link. Hey if McDonald's can do it, so can you. I look forward to some down time, embracing my neurosis about shutting off lights, and burning some candles which have been sitting around collecting dust.

Here's the premise, turn off your lights at 8 pm tomorrow night for one hour, you know you want to be a part of it.

Who knows it may just turn into a romantic evening, fancy that. Husbands, you can thank me later.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

When I finally received a letter from the University of Colorado yesterday in the mail, I first looked at the envelope carefully. My heart raced a bit. I thought to myself, this is it, here it is. My acceptance or my denial into Graduate School.

The letter was a "sort of" acceptance letter, it was from the School of Education informing me that the have recommended my acceptance to the University's Graduate School. Bottom line, The School of Ed gave me the thumbs up, now the University has to decide if it wants my money.

Here are 13 thoughts that went through my mind, after reading my Almost-Accepted letter:

1. Would the Graduate School actually deny me? I mean after all, I AM ALUMNI. I am still paying for my undergraduate degree.

2. Should I get a gun permit? The climate of University campuses has changed oh ever so slightly since my departure in 99. In the back of my mind, I fear my safety. I wonder if it's worth it.

3. I re-read the paragraph in the letter that mentions the Literacy Master's Program is practicum based, meaning it's mandatory I to have access to a classroom for research & also putting into practice best methods. I am currently not teaching, so I wonder if this will pose a problem.

4. I mull over in my head the email I would like to write to the Lead Teacher (aka Principal) of my open enrollment first choice for Sj, wondering if she would give me access to use their school for my practicum. Still mulling this one over. I feel comfortable enough contacting her, as I have worked with her in the past. I adore her.

5. Would I be totally pissed off if I spent a couple days a week at the school working, that I really, really, really wanted Sj to go to and she possibly won't get into? Probably.

6. No, definitely. Especially if she is stuck at our under achieving neighborhood school.

7. Then, I wonder when will my classes meet?

8. Oh, wait, I am only taking one to start off. I wonder when my class will meet. I wonder what it will entail.

9.I chuckle when I realize my advisor is a professor I had 10 years ago. She's a very unique individual, a wonderful ARMCHAIR educator, as I like to call them. Hasn't been in the classroom in years.

10. Now, I wonder what am I getting myself into?

11. Do I have the courage to go back to college?

12. I better find a babysitter, a nice college girl, possibly a School of Education student.

13. Then, the reality check. Money. So ok, I decide to go back to college. Attend part time at first. Then comes the money. More loans? Will part time be affordable? I know my decision will pay for itself within a couple of years of returning to work, but fronting the cash is hard.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

3 Moms, 5 Kids, & The Local News

Meeting up with some friends for a hike is a perfect way to spend a beautiful Colorado day. We can brag our back yard is home to some of the most famous scenic landscapes of Colorado, one of which is Chautauqua Park in Boulder.

Basically the plan was to hike, eat some lunch, and play at the park. What we didn’t anticipate was getting interviewed for the local news. Now, I am not sure about you, but when I go on hikes, typically I am not dolled up from head to toe. Although, a cultural norm in Boulder is to be very stylish in outdoor gear even on the trails, typically with Pata-Gucci (aka- Patagonia) as we jokingly refer to it, or any brand name yoga/work out gear.

But, because I knew my friends were not anticipating me, all matchy-matchy in my $150 hiking outfit, I threw on something comfortable. The only prerequisite for me was putting on a shirt that was long enough so that it didn’t ride up when GL was in the backpack. Yeah, exposing my belly is where I draw the line. Funny enough, I was just fine with exposing my unshaven legs a tad, oops.

We hiked. The 3-5 year olds did a magnificent job, I guess being Colorado natives, hiking is in their blood. The wind blew. The younger two had a nice ride in the backpack. So nice, that they decided to head hanging all wobbly, fall asleep. We ate lunch. The wind really kicked up. We were about to mosey over to the park, when we were approached.

Hi, I’m from 9 News, can we ask you a few questions, film your children. We don’t hesitate to offer up our children. Of course when it comes to interview time, my 4 year old is basically auditioning for a spot in the segment. So guess who out of the 3 adults gets interviewed? Me. Yes. Me.

Funny enough, I immediately thought of this post from June Cleaver Nirvana, from just a few days ago. So maybe it wasn’t George Clooney at Target, but it was 9 News after a workout. Hmmm.

Here we are, enjoy friends. Yes, there are cameos by the one and only Jen @ Never a Dull Moment.

For a quick peek, 9News Website once on the page, scroll down to the left, click on the RED VIDEO camera in the story under 9 News Video, it will play.

[Hang tight, video will appear here, after all the kinks are worked out. apparently my version of the video is not liked by blogger video or you tube. shucks bunny.]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What Makes Me Different-Vol 6

Oh just for the fun of it, my monthly What Makes Me Different Post is featuring photos. Yes, too much time on my hands. A little nap with the girls, left me with tons of energy in the wee hours of the morning.



My favorite children's cartoon is Charlie and Lola. Pink milk, Soren Lorenson, & all sorts of fun, just keeps me as tuned in as my 4 year old.






My daily caffeine fix does not come from coffee.I've always loved tea. I am particularly fond of 3rd Street Chai,produced locally in Boulder. I recently printed out some recipes to make chai, we'll see how it turns out.




Wednesday evenings, you can find me on the couch watching Top Chef Season 4. Love it.






Both of my daughters have Italian first names.





My oldest daughter's name means Star in Italian. Boy, we couldn't have picked a more perfect name for my little performer.






My second born daughter's name means Jade in Italian. This gem is regarded as a symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious.








I can't seem to escape my germ neurosis, which has been so wonderfully developed being a mom. So an item I carry at all times is hand sanitizer. I use it so regularly, that my 15 month old requests "bubbles" when we get in the car. Train them early.










Sometimes when I daydream about living in foreign cities, I often wonder what I would be like to live in a city that has such a deeply ingrained bicycle culture. It's hard for me to fathom more bicycles than cars. What a beautiful thing.





The pace of a smaller community is so appealing to me. There's a town close by that always sits fondly in the back of my mind. I wonder if I'll wind up there someday. It's close to Boulder, but feels magically remote.






I once had a painting displayed in a museum in New York. That's mine right there, front and center. Red Cloud, green trees. It was a collage. I wonder what happened to that part of me?





Don't ask me why, but I love the ritual of paying bills with my checkbook. I don't pay them all by check, but I haven't gone exclusively on-line with my bill paying. I enjoy taking a moment, examining bills with detail, spelling numbers, how often do we write out numbers these days? It's good to keep that part of my brain functioning.






Oddly enough. I don't really care for massages from strangers. Not really sure what that's all about, but I can only relax if it's my hubby working out the knots in my shoulders or back. For some reason I just can't let go, naked on a table, with someone I don't know touching me. I must work on this one.


Feel free to think about how wonderfully different you are. Give me some insight with a comment.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Super Dad!?!

On Saturday, my husband took both girls out for a few hours. Of course, I stayed home to eat Bon-Bons on the couch and get a massage (in my dreams). More like, I cleaned the place with out distraction, just how I like it.

My hubby first took the girls to the annual Easter Egg free-for-all at a local toy shop. They load the eggs with money to spend at the shop. We both agreed it's quite the lucrative deal for them, spend some cash on plastic eggs, fill it with pennies to the dollar, and watch droves of children pour into the store to spend their parents cash.

After the big Egg Extravaganza, my hubby headed off to Whole Foods with a decent list in hand. Of course the place was a zoo, rarely will you find the Whole Foods in Boulder empty, not to mention the Saturday before a holiday. During my husband's shopping trip, he was surprised by some comments that were made to him by strangers. About three or four times, other people shopping commented to him about "having his hands full". He won many accolades in the eyes of mainly older women that were also getting some Holiday shopping done. What a brave father, spending time with his children with no mom in sight.

So, when my husband takes our children grocery shopping, he's Super Dad! When I go, I am a mom just getting through the day. I blend right into the noise and commotion. I hardly get a second glance or even a friendly smile.

I'm not overanalyzing his experience, but it obviously left an impression on him and in turn on me. I do find it a bit disheartening that in 2008, society still defines family roles with such traditional notions. One day at a time, I suppose.

Thank you hubby, for being a dad that goes grocery shopping, handles bath duty every week, cooks, does dishes, changes diapers, and even puts our children to bed a few times a month so I can have some much needed down time. Your efforts don't go unnoticed !

Sunday, March 23, 2008

meet BABKA

AAh..Babka. Does the name sound familiar? Maybe if you are a Seinfeld fan. Or maybe if you have known me long enough, you know Babka always appears right around Easter time. I love Babka. Babka is the essence of Easter and family tradition for me. Let's just say it wouldn't quite be Easter with out a loaf of Babka on the table.

Babka is Polish Easter Bread. It's origins stem from Eastern Poland. Every year around Easter, my parents head down to the local Polish Bakery (non-existent in my neck of the woods) wait in long flowing lines that circle the block, and package up some Babka to ship out from New York to Colorado. I love them for doing it. I don't think it would be Easter with out a loaf of Babka.

So what exactly is Babka? It's light, eggy, sweet bread, laced with golden raisins. The crust typically has a milder and less sweet taste. There are many types of Babka, but we only eat the traditional variety. Sometimes my mother will refer to it as Poska as well, which is the Ukrainian version. Like any good woman with Polish heritage, I enjoy my Babka on Easter Day with Kielbasa. Although, it's not my mother's Kielbasa. It's Wellshire All Natural nitrate free, gluten free Kielbasa..Can you imagine?
I couldn't resist sharing a clip from Seinfeld, they are picking up a loaf of Jewish Babka for a dinner party.


Mentioning Babka so much in this post was a Larry David-esque joke. Some people believe they created this episode just because the writer's liked the word Babka.

Happy Easter from mine to yours!

Friday, March 21, 2008

POTTERY (apparently I bought the entire) BARN

Through out my organizing, cleaning, and weeding out phase last week, I made a purchase at Pottery Barn Kids. I don't know exactly how many forests PB has killed in order to send out their 150 page catalog weekly, but the barrage tactics finally worked on me. I do like their stuff, I wish it was a bit more affordable considering the majority of their goods are made over seas, yes the dreadful other side of the Pacific. What they offer really did fit my needs and I couldn't find anything I liked better.

I thought these totes would be perfect to store stuffed animals and random toys, that have a hard time fitting into baskets and staying on shelves. Just throw them in the tote approach was what I was going for. This is the original photo from the catalog, I decided to go with the large tote, for good measure. I looked at the details and thought I was right in the ballpark of what I needed.
Well, yesterday the totes arrived. Now mind you, I had them personalized so they are not returnable. Let's just say they were a bit larger than I anticipated. They were menacingly large. Sj thought they were a bit creepy. Honestly, I could store my daughter's entire toy closet into these totes. I guess were keeping them. Every time I look at them, I am reminded how I am a tactile and visual shopper, how I like to feel and examine, sometimes even over examine an item before I purchase it. Time to stick with those instincts, catalogs beware.

I think I am going to fill one with diapers, like the entire box from Costco, and snacks for my next playgroup as a joke. I think I may get a few chuckles with these darn things. They are like LLBean totes on steroids. Do they make cotton tote growth hormones? Maybe in Thailand.

I tried to have my photos capture the enormity of these totes. Do they look like the photo in the catalog? Maybe I just need a Pottery Barn stylist to help me get my tote properly stuffed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Code Batman

Well, the spring Blog cleaning has occurred. I've been wanting to get a decent blog header since the inception of this blog, with out giving up the dots template. Glory Be To..whatever random code I punched in, it worked! And..thanks to Tootsie Farklepants for guiding me to Picnik. I won't go into detail how long it took me to decide on a font and color to go with the photo. Let's just say it's past midnight.

But, I could almost sing a glorious tune right now!

Bento Practice

When my husband returned from Japan last year with a bento for Sj, it seemed so small for a lunch box to me. I thought it was better for a snack. But now that I have discovered the world of bento lunches, I understand my American viewpoint lead me to believe the bento was too small. Really, the bentos are perfect, if you just think of lunches with a new perspective.

Sj went to lunch bunch today at preschool, even though it's not a normal school day for her. It's funny, I never seem to be well stocked on the days she needs her lunch made for her, which is about once a month. Of course her school is nut free, so PB&J was out of the question, I didn't really have any good sandwich fixings, so I had to take a different route.

We had left over waffles from breakfast this morning, so I let what I had on hand guide me to fill her bento. The contents of this bento were, blood oranges, cheddar cheese, raisins, with a touch of dry teddy cereal in the top compartment. The bottom section had 1/2 of a waffle, a yogurt, and 3 Pockys. She ate as soon as she arrived at school, so I didn't have to worry about keeping the yogurt cold. It came back with a stray raisin or two, so I guess it was a success!She wanted to carry her fairy lunch box, so I just put the bento inside with her water bottle. They fit perfectly.
And off she goes......

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seriously *ADULT* Election Humor

Well, the Onion speaks for itself in the media world really. They have a division online now called Onn, with some satirical 24 hour news channel coverage.

This link should be watched in adult company only. I contemplated the appropriateness of posting this vs. emailing it out to friends. I guess i'm feeling risky today. I'm so fed up with all the media SPIN, a little humor provides the distraction I need right about now. So enjoy or be offended.


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And..Can I Forget This Moment?

I noticed a rather unusual stain on my bedroom sheets. I know eew and how random? Yes, I even sniffed it under further investigation. No noticeable odor. It seemed as if some juice or tea had been spilled down the side onto my bedskirt, at the foot of my bed. Hmmm...To top it off, I was pretty annoyed that I actually have to remove, wash, and iron the bedskirt. It looks awful if I don't iron it. I couldn't think of a time the girls would have brought juice into the bedroom. So, I go to the last suspect, the husband.

Me: Did you see this totally random stain down the sheets onto the bedskirt?

Hubby: Oh, that's beer. GL was diving off our bed and I had my beer in my hand, it spilled when I was catching her.

Me: So, you didn't take the sheets off when you did it? YOU are going to get the fun job of dealing with the bedskirt.

Hubby: no response.

And, as you can imagine, no follow up with the laundering of the beer stained sheets either.

Can I Freeze This Moment?

Sometimes I just feel the urge to capture a conversation with Sj. Last night we were having dinner before J returned home from his trip (after bedtime of course!). Obviously I was showing the signs of wear and tear of being on duty for the last week. We all have those moments with our children, when you just want to freeze in time how precious they really are.

Sj: Mom who do you want to be on Fairytopia?

Me:I want to be the tired mommy fairy that naps on the couch!

Sj: Ok, we can do that. I can put Sissy to sleep, but wait I don't have the num-nums as she points to her chest. That's ok, right? I can rock her and sing her a lullaby.

Me: Sounds wonderful, shall we start now.

Sj: I'll clean the floors and take care of everything. You can just relax and get your beauty rest.

Me: Beauty rest, huh? How thoughtful, I need some beauty rest, maybe if I slept until June we would notice a difference.

Now she's on a roll, I just can't seem to slow down the wheels that are turning in her head.

Sj:I'm going to have a big night, I'll do everything. You don't have to do one thing. I'll log into your blog, and listen to that easter song again, and I'll check everything. MOM, MOM! can you open the gate because I need to get downstairs to start cleaning the windows and vacuuming.

Me: Perfect.

Then, not even 2 minutes later, my tired Sj shows up to take excited Sj's place.

Sj:Wow, that was hard work, I don't know how you do it.

I guess talking about being a mom made her tired. Can you only imagine how I felt?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Last Few Days

[The lovely grey tone in this photo is compliments of the "milky" sky.]

As I lay in my bed enjoying a quiet moment, I could feel a cold draft flow over my body. Even with new double pane windows the air seems to sneak it's way inside. The draft has become all too familiar in the wintertime, it's my signal that once again the unpredictable Colorado weather has changed dramatically.

I wasn't anticipating a storm this evening. My curiosity prompted me to take a closer inspection. As I separated the wooden blinds my eyes could see the light reflecting off of the snow flakes. Pure, fluffy, sparkling white Colorado snow. Mother Nature is sneaking a little snowstorm in, as the last few days of winter are upon us.

In our family, snow equals play. Fun, bundled up, energetic, warm spirited play. Time to get suited up, the front yard is anticipating the arrival of some snow angels.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

2 Girls Racing...



zoom
...Squeal...giggle...vrrroooooom...

oh how two little girls can fill a house...

Baskets are Brimming

Oh the tides have turned. I should be snapping pictures because they are sure as hell going to last longer! Yes, my house is tidy. All the rubbermaid bins are back in action. They were quite lonely and a few had lids strewn in other random rooms of the house. How exactly does that happen? All my decorative baskets are brimming with Barbies, ponies, puzzles, games, toddler toys, craft supplies...on and on! I actually feel giddy when things are where they belong, categorized, and put away.

I use the laundry basket method to get all of our (well actually the GIRLS) things back to their appropriate spot. I started in the playroom on the very bottom level, had one up to bedroom basket, one "going to disappear basket", and of course one trash can handy. Finally, I worked my way through from the playroom, to the living room, to the girls' bedroom. What a day.

After it was all said and done, I just wanted to sit back, have a cold iced tea, and enjoy the view. But instead what felt like every 5 minutes, my darling 4 year old would chime in, "MOM! Can I play with the trains now?" Of course my response was, no they are all organized in the trundle drawer, so don't touch them.

With my organizational juices flowing, I even made a post-nap trip to the local TjMaxx Homestore, to purchase more baskets. Although, after I got them home, I realized they were only single layer fabric, so all of the toys and whoosie-what's-its were poking out on the sides and bottom. Bummer, things to do tomorrow, return baskets.

Sj: Mom, can I play with the trains N O W?

Me: No, they are all nice and neat. Nice try though. Maybe tomorrow.

See, now the trains are exciting. All I had to do was put them away, all together, and they become so much fun. I don't think the trains have been touched in weeks. Tomorrow, we'll spend the day building trains to cart around the Polly Pockets, because that's what Thomas likes to do in his spare time, when he isn't hauling coal, give Polly a lift to the beach.

Choo! Choo!

........Put Your Hands Up, Stay Away From The Organized Trains.......

Friday, March 14, 2008

Remove Your Hand From The Candy Dish

Maybe it's time to invest in a scale, for I cannot put a number to my current weight. I've always gone with the how do my jeans fit rule? Jeans a little snug-need to drop a few pounds, jeans a little loose by lunch-doing just fine.

February was a bit of a set back, I started feeling more of the jeans are somewhat of a squeeze to get into. Oh and don't turn around because that may just be a muffin top gracing your lower back. Yeah.

Well, in my defense, I had a traveling husband, which leaves me to my no one is watching devices. And on top of that, I had company. The type of company that cooks morning, noon, and night. Even worse, it's the cooking I so often crave, the cooking that is indulgent, the cooking I can only handle a few times a year. Then there was a birthday with a five course meal and a friend who conveniently dropped by 4, yes FOUR boxes of girl scout cookies, out of the goodness in her heart.

Yes, pull the jeans up really, really hard over the thighs, and breathe in..Oh yes, the button does work. Good thing it's a rivet. I need metal on my side this week.

Then reality returns. I realize the jeans aren't fitting to my liking. The indulgent food has been consumed. My hubby is back. Healthy eating is once again on the menu. The weather perks up. I start walking more.

But sometimes when everything is moving in the right direction, I hear a little voice. The voice that I should get my hand away from my sweet and innocent vintage milk glass candy dish, that I should have only ONE girl scout cookie. The voice, which is getting defeated by my actions.

If I didn't have the voice telling me NO! Don't Do It! I would probably just have a glass of water and forget about the food. It's almost like I am defying my own thoughts.

Jeans are fitting better now. I think I am going to fight back with the purchase of a scale; my math brain will just have to wrap itself around a number, a shrinking number.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Meme"oir

So, my blogging pal, who just happens to live like oh so close to me over at Never a Dull Moment challenged me to write a six word memoir. Six word memoir..that's crazy! Anyway, I think I completely missed the mark and if it were to be graded by someone I see a C+( which is being generous) at the top of the page.

But, of course I took a shot. So here they are:

Dreamer barely keeping it all together.

Wears a smile for sanity's sake.

The happy Jane of all trades.

Ready to learn, ready to love.

and lastly-- this one is a joke from the last year Oprah-James Fry memoir-kind-of scandal:

Just yanked out my abscessed tooth.


Maybe this limit of 6 words would be a good place to take the blog. Short and Sweet. So to any of my blogging friends that want the challenge, I say go for it, you know you want to give it a shot!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

C.H.A.O.S.

If you've ever happened upon Fly Lady you know C.H.A.O.S. stands for Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Meaning, you're place is a total mess and you wouldn't let the police in with a warrant.

I've been getting the Fly Lady emails faithfully for years. I've never put on my shoes in the morning or shined my sink before bed. Occasionally I get in the mood to see what the ladies are up to, so I keep myself on the list. Plus, I think of it as a life line, someday I may just delve deep into their cleaning house philosophies. I know some people that swear by it.

So back to my C.H.A.O.S. I'm not sure what's going on with me. I've become comfortable in my mess, well our mess. I was at a meeting the other night and I came home to my hubby cooking a pot roast at 9pm (for us to have the next day for dinner). When I looked at him, happily in the kitchen zone, I realized I've been slacking on the job. I don't think I am taking my home executive position seriously enough these days. Don't tell my hubby, but in that moment I thought he really should be relaxing right now.

What's at the bottom of my stairs you ask-laundry, scattered. I got around to some today, but obviously not enough. Currently, my desk chair is surrounded by "Pet Vet" toys, strewn about from the girls fixing up their stuffed animals earlier. Oh and right now I sit here typing, being guilty of not having done the dinner dishes.

But the hubby is off in snow-land and the girls are in a deep slumber. Which leaves me wanting some down time. I don't want to fold laundry, pick up toys, sort the mail, do the dishes, sweep the floors, or take out the trash. Shame on me. I want to write, have some chocolate, and watch the season premier of Top Chef.

So, if you are in town, just keep driving by my place. We're closed for visitors.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thank You Easter Bunny, Bawk-Bawk!!

As we were heading over to the mall to get our annual photo with the Easter Bunny, our conversation went a little like this:

Sj: Oh boy, I can't decide what to tell the Easter Bunny to bring me for Easter this year.

Me: Umm, the Easter Bunny doesn't take requests, that's Santa silly girl. Plus, he only brings candy. Yummy candy.

Sj: But, remember one year, he brought me a dvd, sticker book, and even a princess dress up.

Me: You are absolutely right, but the Easter Bunny brought you those things because you were too little for candy.

Sj: Oh- for reals?

Funny enough when we arrived at the Easter Bunny, the photo woman told Sj that the Easter Bunny has never said a word to her and that the E.B. doesn't talk, but maybe he'll say something to her. Well, we didn't hear a word. And there were no personal requests, thank goodness. GL was very into the E.B. until it came time to actually be held by the bunny, yes those are my arms in the photo, she wasn't having it. Of course Sj jumped into the bunny's lap with out a blink.

I don't know what most people do for Easter, candy only or a mix of small toys and candy? I just hate the idea of tons of sugar in the house, namely because I can't resist a yummy treat.

Speaking of special treats, I have a weakness for Dark Chocolate m&m's-fyi they are in a purple bag. We still make reference to this commercial in my family, I couldn't even tell you how many years it's been.
A sweet favorite, enjoy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beware Of the ENEMY!!!

Here are a few things I just have to get out, which may not be censored. These are personal views and NO, I did not go to great lengths to research all of this information. I read, I watched, and now I have a quick moment to respond.

Was is not just last week the media was over-reporting, Barack Obama was a closet Muslim (with potential extremist ties) complete with schooling in South East Asia at a ripe impressionable age?

Fast forward to Fox News Today: Hannity went into full details on Obama being a member of some Racist Christian Church in Chicago. The minister is taking heat for his stance on race and trying to embrace his community. Oh, and this same minister “advises” Obama. OOOh…watch out America, Fox News has your back.

I hope their future specials feature an insider’s perspective of Clinton and McCain’s churches, because “I” being the informed voter that I am, really do give a shit about their hype and SPIN. And, remember that old outdated notion of Separation of Church and State..Yeah, thought so. The President of the United States religious CHOICE is not at the top of my list of qualifications, sorry Fox News.

AND..to top it off, I caught a few minutes of the View this morning, where Elizabeth H. went into a big diatribe about if she was a member of a church that had strong “white” values , it would be considered racist. Oh no, is Barack Obama actually going to church with a bunch of Black people in Chicago? Shame on him, doesn’t he pray in the white part of town? I guess the United Church of Christ is not completely aligned with the White Anglo Saxon Protestants, big no, no!

So is Obama a Muslim or a non WASPY- Christian?? Gosh, I guess they equate to being the same thing in conservative Republican media outlets.

What is everyone so afraid of? I hope the majority of Americans can see right through this bullshit. Political Rant over..Gosh, I really don’t want to get caught up in all this, but I can’t just sit by and watch this nightmare happen!

A Link I prefer on the topic.

Does 9 to 5 Exist?

My darling and dear husband has a very unique job. One of the most important aspects of his job is to chase snow. If the snow is good somewhere on Earth (seriously!), he has to know about it. Then, he has to work double time to get a crew of folks there, possibly including himself, at just the right time.

*Snowmen in Hakuba, Japan-- taken by my hubby on his latest trip*

When he's in town and working at the office, his hours seem to be endless. I am not sure why I haven't grown accustomed to his absence, he's been with the same company for 9 years. It's nothing new really, but I still fret over it. Then there's the whole notion of "down time". I just chuckle when he mentions his slow time in conversation. 9 years later, I am still waiting for the lull at the office.

Of course there's the travel component of his job. The majority of his winter travel needs to include weekends. Weekday travel is enough of a bummer, but when he returns on a Tuesday evening and wakes up and heads out bright and early to catch up on his office work, I just S I G H.

I once told my husband I wished he was a grocery store manager. I figure we could get a discount on food and he would have normal hours, with no travel. He laughed. Now that I think of it, maybe a mailman would be perfect. Federal Holidays off, set hours, and local. ALthough, there's the whole Saturday delivery. Crap.

So my big question to ponder is, does 9 to 5 really exist? Or is it just a big mythical beast I dream of, like my 4 year old dreams of being a mermaid named Ariel....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oh the Times Have Changed...

Daylight savings time, one simple hour that can torment or delight a mother. I'm rather fond of having more sunlight, so bring it on. I'll deal with the havoc that comes about all week just fine.

On a lighter note, the time change always brings back fond memories for me. I was raised Catholic, we rarely missed Sunday Mass. Rarely. Although I was one of those kids that would be thrilled at the day off, as Saturday mornings were already disrupted with "Religion Class". My mom would always comment on the people that would flock to church on the holidays, taking our regular weekly pew. Around this time, it would be to get the palms on Palm Sunday.

Every now and again, which I can recall so clearly, my mom would forget about the time change. Maybe she was having a momnesia spell. I can not tell you how big the smile was on my face when our car would drive down Route 155 and see loads of cars exiting the church, right when we anticipated entering the parking lot to attend Mass.

I never could verbalize my delight when this rare occasion occurred. So here's my chance.. Hoorah! Arms up in the air! Woo Hoo, Thank you daylight savings time!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It Happened...Again

The last few nights have been tough, I've been sleeping on a futon in Sj's room. She had a mild case of hoarseness, so I immediately jumped to conclusions and feared a middle of the night coughing episode, complete with a trip to Urgent Care. Well, that hasn't happened. So now I can feel relieved that a bit of hoarseness does not equate sundown episodes. Oh the torment that can be brought on by a mild cough.

Although a futon was our bed of choice for years (what in the world were we thinking??)..I am glad I have moved back into our bedroom.

So last night, I went to bed at the ripe hour of 7:30. We had turkey tenderloin for dinner and I think the Tryptophan kicked in beyond belief. The good news is, I was so deep into my slumber, that I had another wonderful dream. This time Tom & Katie were kicked to the curb. And yes, my friend Ben, as in Ben Haper and I were hanging out. Unfortunately the dream occurred early in the night so details are a bit fuzzy.

Basically we were hanging out in some cafe, having dessert. There was no guitar or other people in sight. He drew some random picture and signed it to me. I remember thinking he remembered my name, s w o o n. Then as the dream was just progressing enough to get exciting, Laura Dern, his wife showed up with my girls in tow, to drop them off. Not sure why Laura was babysitting my kids while I was hanging out with her husband. Real mood killer none the less.

So, since my last note to self was very beneficial, I am giving it another shot:

Dear Self, in the off chance you should doze off into such heavy sleep which produces dreams with the likes of Ben Harper, this time can you please keep my children out of it, oh and his WIFE. A gentle reminder, can you also try to muster up a glance in the mirror so I can see what my head looks like on Gisele Bundchen's body.
Thanks so much--Once again, your conscious self.

When relaying my dream to my hubby over breakfast this morning, he casually slipped in, "So Laura dropped the kids off and you started making out with her." He may have made a reference to Wild at Heart and started laughing.

Yeah, not really where I was hoping the dream would go. I have to admit, I feel pretty refreshed and ready to tackle the laundry pile of Rocky Mtn. proportions.


Friday, March 7, 2008

I Wanna Grow Up...

Not so fast my little darling. Time is of the essence. There's a common theme running through my 15 month olds life right now, I wanna grow up! Observing her big sister all day has lead to mischievous antics.. It's kind of hard to convince GL, she has plenty of time for all this big girl stuff.

In the mean time, I can just try my hardest to capture this silly girl in action...



I still use the sling almost daily for GL during that witching hour before dinner, when I am scrambling to get things done. Her big sis received this sling from Santa, so of course it was only natural, she wanted it on!













Believe me, I am not encouraging potty training at this age, I know we have a year. She really is a curious little girl and demanded I take her diaper off when she caught sight of the baby potty. She did tinkle twice.. Time for the potty to go away.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

From a Mac Lover

Sometimes when I laugh out loud multiple times from an email forward, I just have to share the love. It's no secret that I am a Macintosh Computer lover. I have exclusively owned Macs and yes, I pay a price for that. It's a different world behind the screen of a Mac, which suits me just perfectly.

If you've ever been frustrated by a Microsoft operating system, this one's for you. I hope you get at least one chuckle from this one.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Seriously...

This is the best the Republican Party could do? I hope he is still alive in November. Will the GOP have the foresight to include a young VP candidate on the ticket? yikes....

Odd Girl Out

Here's some insight into my childhood. I grew up with three older brothers. Our family's sport of choice was baseball, hands down. My brothers were good. I wanted to be just like them. After one season, I realized my love of the sport was more for the sidelines. I was much better at catching foul balls, visiting the refreshment stand, and playing barbies in the back of our '78 station wagon.
I was the only girl playing in the entire league of boys. From the group photo, I fit in pretty darn well, wouldn't you agree?

Just in case you couldn't actually find the only girl in the photo, here I am:


Bad News Bears, anyone? haha...

More posts to follow with adoring photos from my childhood, thanks to KM who let me borrow her scanner this weekend!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mulling Thoughts...Class, Society, and Open Enrollment

A few weeks ago when we were in Copper Mtn, the hubby and Sj were skiing, and GL was napping...So what was I doing? Watching CSPAN like any brilliant woman would do. I caught a speech by Michelle Obama and her words have been reeling in my head every since.

This is a good time to get out now or stay and read the words that are in desperate need to escape my brain!

Some things have been bothering me and they all are rooted deeply in my being, my childhood, and my children's future. Mrs. Obama has set that off in me. I tried to find a clip of the speech, but you either have to watch like 30 minutes or the short clips aren't direcly correlated to my issues. So no YouTube, sorry.

Through out my childhood, I never really gave much thought to class and family wealth. If you would have asked me well into my early 20's I would have responded that I was of a middle class family. I lived in a decent suburb, but not the wealthy suburb that just neighbored my town. Although we all went to school together, decent schools.

Appropriately enough in about seventh grade, I needed to wear particular brand names, and I started becoming friendly with the girls from the wealthy part of town. In my family, four children in the three bedroom raised ranch didn't even set anything off for me, as far as class goes. My best friend in junior high, had a magnificent Tudor, complete with a servant's quarters. Her mom drove a Mercedes, carried Louis Vuitton bags, and wore matching jewelry from Tiffany's. I wore brand names, from TJ Maxx. Still I never felt different. Of course the comparisons could go on and on...

Then one day, while sitting in a Race, Class, and Society lecture at the University of Colorado, it hit me. I wasn't middle class. Duh! I was paying my way through college, working a couple of jobs, in addition to living for a year before starting school to garner in state tuition classification. I didn't have a fancy car, I paid my own rent, and bills. H O L Y...was I an anomaly. I was living in one of the wealthiest towns in Colorado, attending University with kids that had money dripping from their pores and endless trusts, and I...I was of a working class family. First generation to get a college degree, mind you.

So what does it matter?

Well see Michelle Obama, talked about the bar always moving. You just try to get ahead and the bar moves. She obviously has more eloquence than I, so I apologize, but those are the words that started my brain reeling.

Which leads me to my daughter and school. My husband and I bought a house we could comfortably afford. We could have chosen a different path, maybe interest only loan, 80-20 loans, a mortgage larger than we wanted, but we didn't. We purchased a home with a fixed mortgage, that just felt right. To do that, we had to leave Boulder and move to a town close by.
At the time we didn't have children and I didn't envision us living here more than five years.

But now we have two girls, I quit teaching to stay at home with them. And, better yet the mortgage doesn't hang over our head with only one income. I love the life we have created, if it wasn't for the schools. If we could move back to Boulder and buy a house, not a condo or a run down townhouse, I would in a heartbeat. If I didn't have to fear a mortgage payment and the absolute need for me to go back to work, my zipcode would be 80020. The problem is the bar has moved. The average priced home in Boulder is hundreds of thousands above where it was when we moved here in 2002. I look in the paper at real estate and houses in my favorite neighborhood are 2 million dollars. Two fucking million dollars. It was never like that, years ago.

I know Sj will get a decent education in our neighborhood, but in my heart I feel that she would get a wonderful and unique education at a school in the City of Boulder. For now, I know it's not in my control. There's a little part of me that wishes my parents shelled out a hundred grand (you know if they won the lottery) to me in about 1999, so I could've used it as a down payment on a $200,000 house in downtown Boulder. The same house is now going for $750,000. That's where the working class past plays into my life and I just keep looking up at that bar.

The best part of my situation is that I know it's temporary. I know I will buy a house I dream of, in a zip code that holds no class boundaries. I just hope it's not too late for my girls.

Open Enrollment, Part 4,999

Doesn't it feel like this has been going on forever? We received the Round 2 letter, which went something like- Your child was not selected for this round...Stalk your mailman the first week of April when you'll get your waitlist status.

Guess I'm going to visit the neighborhood school this week. Or visit a realtor, my 3rd choice is a neighborhood school so they can't shut us out if we live there. I may just take up residence in a good friend's basement, they live about 4 houses away from the school.

I'm not even freaking out, why bother, I don't have any control over this. I am just a tad bit disheartened. Oh, well.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Was This a Mistake?

**Sj reading Derg a book, after she covered him with two towels, I especially love the attention to detail on his paws.***

We are taking care of our friend's doggie for a long weekend. He's an old pal of ours and was a dear friend of our beloved Guinny. They spent many hours romping, hiking, snuggling,snarling, and playing together. The last few days has been an enlightening experience in the pet department. I thought I was over having a pet, but maybe not... Maybe this dog watching thing was a mistake.

It should come as no surprise that Sj has been asking for a pet for ages, no less than a few times a day. We bought the Betta Fish a couple of years ago to quell the desire for her to be a pet owner, but a fish only gets you so far in the debate. And, now Uniqua is living in the local pond, cough cough, so we only have spiders now, which Sj has thoughtfully named Melon. She thinks Melon follows her around the house when in reality our house seems to be home to a large number of similar looking spiders. Eeew.

After we loss Guinny to bone cancer, we became very accustomed to life with out pets. No begging friends to look after our four legged friend while out of town, no worrying about being out all day, no dog hair rolling across the floor like tumbleweed, no fighting over who's turn it is to pick up the dog crap, and no vet bills.

But on the other hand, this last weekend has showed me how much those little four legged creatures really do provide love and entertainment. My floors haven't been so promptly cleaned in months. Sj has been walking "derg" around the house on a leash, brushing him, reading him stories, feeding him, and letting him out. It only took one night for him to make his way to her bedside at night. He knows who's giving him the love. Too sweet.

I'm thinking maybe around Sj's 5th birthday it may just be time to let another doggie into our lives an bring us the love that we haven't felt from a four legged friend in so long. In the mean time, I am just going to have to convince her that she really DOESN'T want a kitty cat...