12.31.2007

more things I know about myself, 2007

I do not like Splenda.

I do not like Diet Coke with Splenda.

I can drive from Vacouver WA to Moraga CA by myself.

Pulling a trailer.

With three other drivers in the car.

I am far more comfortable in the drivers seat than the passenger seat.

Obviously.

I can pick out paint colors for an entire house in less than 5 minutes.

And be happy with them.

I cannot do the same with rugs.

I cannot eat some things, like mushrooms and oysters, because of their texture.

I can, however, eat peach skin and be perfectly fine with it. Strange, I know.

My job is nuts, but I'm finding I like it most of the time. That surprises me.

I'm increasingly proud of my kids. Good thing, I guess.

I actually like working out. ...most of the time.

I do not like the "sleep number" bed. I am the only person I know in this category.

I do not like my home decorating abilities.

I do not like many other people's either.

I long to be able to foster a baby again. But not while I'm working like this.

I am a decent but not expert sudoku player.

I enjoy playing games with family and friends.

I love the snow.

I also love the sunshine.

and warmth.

I miss my bike.

I am sad that someone would steal my bike. again.

It embarasses me to have 9 cars at my house when there is no party going on.

And only two of them belong to our remodeling crew.

My feet are permanently cold.

I sometimes wonder if I am up to the task of raising another headstrong child.

But I'm so glad I am.

As much as my dogs annoy me, I fall apart at the thought of them not returning from one of their "adventures".

I hate their "adventures".

I am looking forward to 2008. Not that 2007 was bad at all. Just looking forward to 2008.



Happy New Year, everyone!

11.17.2007

I'm a shoe whore, or the story of the Halloween costume in 2007






I'm a shoe whore. Not just an everyday shoe whore - a children's shoe whore. Specifically, a young girl shoe whore. I love the cute little things they have out there for the little girls.

I don't like shopping. At all. But I can look at little kids shoes, no problem! I've tried wandering the adult shoe section and while there are always one or two things that will catch my eye, I don't have a huge urge to spend the money on them. But I have to double park LK's shoes on her shelf, and still there are probably one or two pairs stuck in a closet or under a pile of something somewhere.

I guess there are worse things.



The shoes completely drove the halloween costume this year. And even though it was ridiculously hard to find a Minnie Mouse dress (I ended up making someone's day on ebay), I think it turned out pretty danged cute.

Happy Halloween. A few days late.

11.16.2007

Paradise

LK: "I know what paradise is."

me: "What is it?"

LK: "It's where you lie on the ground and eat food."



Just thought I'd share the new definition, in case any of you were wondering.

11.10.2007

Wild Game Week




So some friends talked us into going to dinner at the Big Four restaurant in SF for wild game week. This is a big deal every year, where the chef, Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls, gathers all kinds of non-typical meats for her entrees. It is quite the popular thing apparently, as my friend marks her calendar every year and calls for reservations on somemonthber 1st when reservations are first accepted.

Our friend admits to being a food snob, in fact, she is very proud of it. She also sold wine for several years, and throws around the word "sommelier" like it was rice at a wedding a really long time ago when they still allowed rice throwing at weddings because we didn't know it was going to make all the birds within a one mile radius explode. Ah, the good old days of rice and ignorance. She also throws around the dear chef's name because I guess they are good friends when they see each other during this week. Anyway, she summoned the sommelier to advise us of the proper wine for a dinner where one person selected the ostrich, one the wild boar, one the yak and the last the elk. (I ordered elk. WHAAA?) We did get a lovely bottle of wine. Which DH desired to finish every last drop of. Apparently that is not what you're supposed to do with a very fine bottle of wine.

Those of you who know us well, know that while DH particularly loves to eat, he's not particularly picky. A food snob, not. I'm picky, but not terribly adventurous. So this was a departure for both of us. And I decided it was a good thing. The food was good. The meat was mostly tasty. My elk was a little tough. We all tasted each other's entrees, of course, even though I think that might have been going a little on the wild side. My favorite was the yak. Who knew? We also found that DH could, in fact, pull out his card to pay an astronomical amount for a dinner we'd never on our own consider. We could have bought an ipod for what that wine cost. We almost felt like grownups.

Don't we look civilized, all fine wine sniffy and stuff.



Tonight we promised LK we'd go see "The Bee Movie". We went to Taco Bell before the movie.

losers.


PS - sorry for the sporadic posting. Again. I've had my hand slapped once or twice... But I think this is not the last time I'll have gaps in my posts. You Go, no mo blo po's or whatever that is people! I still have time to read one or two blogs every day or two, and this daily posting is fun. Maybe in 2012 I can do it too. Until then...

10.01.2007

Peanut Butter = No Evolution

Did you know that a jar of peanut butter conclusively proves that evolution does not exist?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504

Neither did I. You fundamentalists just keep on throwing these experts witnesses at us crazy heathens, y'hear?

And Just for Fun -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zwbhAXe5yk



omg.

9.27.2007

The SWC


The phrase is out there. It's been said.

Already.

LK was in kindergarten for 3 whole weeks when I had the first "talk" with her after school day care program. It was about that same time when her teacher said "While I have you here..."


LK is a "strong willed child". syn. stubborn, willful, defiant, aggressive. There are more, but what's the point? She is many of those things much of the time, some of them only occasionally, but it is not a surprise that teachers and day care providers find her difficult, especially at first.


She's also not terribly interested in stupid things like letters and numbers. And that makes life a little less than wonderful for her in this day and age of accelerated learning. Add to that our highly accomplished and competitive school district and I think we may have a recipe for some issues.


I think if we get to the 8 week point without a visit with the principal, we should be pretty much ok.


She wants to go back to preschool. Preschool where they let the kids play on the playground for 2 days instead of kindergarten where they only let them play for 2 hours. (obviously her concept of time isn't terribly clear, either) I feel for her - she was finally getting to the point where she really felt comfortable, wasn't getting in trouble all the time and was happy. Now her life is in turmoil and she has to get used to new things all over again.


Anyway - here we go again. This book was recommended to us. Believe me - I've bought books. I've lived in the house of ADHD for 26 years now, and I've read a ton of them. Some of them halfway decent, others ridiculous. But we do know we've got our hands full with this one. I believe she's probably dealing with some kind of a learning disability, probably due to her drug exposure at birth (and unfortunately, no doubt, prior). I'm sure we'll eventually hammer out just what kind, but for now we're not focusing on that. Regardless, we'll have to help her along as best we can and we will have to continue to find new strategies to deal with the "SWC". By the way, she may be strong-willed, but she is also delightful. I hear that's pretty common. Or maybe we're just predjudiced. Either way.


The floor is open - if you've had any experience with your own SWC or have any ideas, I'm open to suggestions!

9.03.2007

What's new?



Someone started kindergarten last week. Someone also pretty much took over the class. I'm told the kindergarten gods put her in the right classroom - she will not be able to run over this teacher. We'll see.

What is it like to send your youngest off to kindergarten? Not nearly as traumatic as sending him/her off to college. I have sent my youngest child to kindergarten 3 times now. That might be a record. First time, it was hard. My eyes teared up. The next time it was just plain cute. That big old backpack on that little body. Freakin' cute. I suppose my eyes teared up again, but I remember more just waving and thinking how cute these little people were. This time - I'm just amused at the first time moms and the snifflers. But I'm also impressed that there were so few of those. It was still just absolutely precious and I still got choked up. But mostly because the first of my "youngest kids" is all grown up now and was with her dad and me to wave goodbye to her baby sister. Awwww.

************

Oh - and guess who likes soccer?

(I LOVE the ending... btw, this is not soccer day, but this is the outfit of choice lately.)

video

8.26.2007



DDD and I had a girls date last night. We went to see Avenue Q at the Orpheum. Tickets were scarce, so we ended up in the Mezzanine, but the view was still very good and we were not so far away that we couldn't see expressions.

We've enjoyed the CD for a while now, and it was delightful to see it all put together with the puppets. If you're ok with swearing and "controversial subjects" being put to music and humor, it is an awesome show. It was fun to hear the audience reaction from some of those who clearly hadn't heard the soundtrack prior to seeing the show. Actual guffaws.

DDD thinks this is one of "her" shows. She thinks she could be Kate Monster/Lucy. She's found that she comes across as a bit of a comedienne anyway, so it's right up her alley. She has a handful of these shows that she thinks are perfect for her. She's done one of them already (Gypsy), and is always looking for auditions for her others. After a weeklong intensive workshop in New York this summer, she's more convinced than ever that she wants to go give it a try...

Anyway - go see Avenue Q if you can - We gave it two thumbs up.

8.24.2007

Dinner Theatre

We still have the remnants of the 26 year old who spent nearly a year in our garage, and LK decided to make the best of them. She set up some TV trays and brought chairs out for us. They were set up in a nice little line, except for the one that didn't quite fit. That went a little to the side. But the dolls in the little highchair and stroller made the second row not quite so lonely.


Then she found plates and the fruit on the counter and a plastic knife from her kitchen set. She used it to "cut" the fruit into pieces which were arranged on our plates just so.



The little platform in front of the trays was her stage and we all enjoyed our "dinner" while she sang some goofy songs to entertain us.

Dinner Theatre at its best.

8.22.2007

Unclear on the Concept

One day last week we went outside to find someone who was just a little unclear on the concept of fishing.
Either that, or she knows something about our pool that we don't.
Coincidentally, we were having fish for dinner that night. We pretended she caught it for us.
It was lovely.

8.11.2007

Happy Mother's Day

We finally celebrated Mother's Day last evening. Rather, I finally got tired of waiting for the tickets to be purchased which were promised for Mother's Day. DH was complaining about how the prices have gone up astronomically and it wasn't worth it anymore. I proved to him that non unreasonable (is that an allowable double negative?) tickets were still to be had ON the lower level, but maybe not in the center section, up front. He continued to protest that he couldn't find any tickets under $250 each, so I just up and bought us a couple for less than 1/2 that. Yes, we sat on one of the sides. No, there were no obstructions to our view.

But the real point to this is that it was SO MUCH FUN! What an entertaining show! We pretty much smiled from start to finish. The songs were nearly non-stop, the story line was woven in smoothly and wasn't stupid (a real plus). Then there was the cast. It amazes me that there are so many casts out there right now - that is one heck of a lot of falsetto singing every night. How many guys are there with the right look who can do that? Apparently plenty.

We saw the second set of performers for the SF run. The reviews say they are just as lively and good as the first. I can totally believe that. I did not feel we had any lack of talent up there at all. They were all great singers in their own right and fun to watch together. The women were probably the weakest point, not for their acting, but the singing. But then, this isn't a show for leading lady voices. The one female song definitely paled in comparison to the guys'.

So, if Jersey Boys tours near you - feel free to take my opinion that it is definitely worth seeing.

Happy Mother's Day!

7.27.2007

I'm just wild about Harry

omg - I am such a Harry Potter dork.

I loved the book. The author simply amazes me that she can think of all these events! How does she come up with that stuff? Did she think it out from the beginning or did it grow over time? Did she know how she wanted to end it, or did she struggle with five different endings before deciding? How in the world can she keep up the action? I think it's amazing, and I am impressed.

I want to read it again - already - but DH has dibs on it while we're on the beach in Hawaii. Then DDD gets it. After that, I might be able to get my hands back on it. Next up - the audio version of it. Jim Dale is fabulous. If you haven't listened to any of the HP audiobooks, they are totally worth it - even if you've read the books.

I'm done being effusive about Harry.


maybe.

7.21.2007

Things to do


See you in about 800 pages or so...

7.18.2007

The Big Talk, part 1/2

LK: Where did I live when I was in your tummy?

me: [thinks "I knew this was coming sometime soon"] We lived in this same house before you were born, but I didn't get to have you in my tummy. You have a different mommy who had you in her tummy, but she couldn't take care of you. So they called us and asked us if we wanted to come take care of a little baby girl and we said, "YES!" So we picked you up and came home.

LK: But did we live here?

me: Yes.


moral of this story - Nephew A. likes to know all the details. LK just wants to know where we lived. geez, mom.

7.05.2007

Admission


Can I just say, regarding that post a couple of days ago... I can see where symptoms could get annoying after a while.

just saying...


7.03.2007

I.T. Artwork

I work in an IT department at a reasonably large health care center out here in the fair and wonderfully warm California. The people I work with are a very odd lot - in a very good way. Some of the nicest people I've ever known work there. We're all pretty geeky and we all know it and embrace it.

One day, a little something caught my eye, and as I've done several times, I marveled about how art in IT is always a little different than in "normal" places.


I'm entertaining ideas. What do you think this is?


From a telecommunications project.


From a similar project 20 years prior.
20 YEARS!!!

This is a wireless access point disguised as an IV pole.
Or maybe a dart board. hard to tell.

I don't think I'll ever work anywhere with real artwork. What would be the fun of that?
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Symptoms, FINALLY!

I know many women don't share my enthusiasm for this but they probably haven't spent years waiting for some symptoms - ANY sign that perhaps my body will stop acting like a teenager sometime in the future.

Sleeping disturbances and hot flashes! Hold the presses! It really happened, and it's happened enough that I am comfortable that it really is what I think it is, which means it really means what I think (and want) it to mean! Thank heavens. I won't be buying feminine products into my 90s.


Of course, the sleeping disturbances could be due to something else...


5.28.2007

Where's my baby, part 582



A red letter day today. Take a look.



And we'll see if this will work...

(and take a look at what a great job the town has done patching up our streets. I'm so proud.)


5.16.2007

tidbit

We drove past a dead skunk today on the way to school.

LK: OOOooo - that smells like Rolo. (one of our stinky dogs)

me: no, that was an animal who was hit by a car.

LK: Well, then it must have been a stunk.

me: Yep. It was a stunk.


When they've got it right, why worry about one little letter?

5.13.2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

This is what happens when your kids are old. Even when they all still share a roof with you.

One kid is who knows where. Maybe garage, maybe not. He’s 26. We frequently don’t know.
Next kid is in Boulder celebrating friends’ graduations.
Next kid slept over at a friend’s house. Yes, he knew it was Mother’s Day today.
Last and final child is a late sleeper and is snoozing away in my bed while I try to clear some of my emails from last week’s vacation.

Flashback to days of cuteness.

Once upon a time, I woke up to the sound of baby giggles and singing. Nursed a baby while just about sobbing because "OMG I am a mother"! There is no more incredible or awesome feeling than the one you get when you look at that infant of yours.

Once upon a time, I would be jumped on in the morning and covered with slimy kisses because Daddy said “It’s Mother’s Day, let’s wake Mommy up with kisses”.

Once upon a time, I got a breakfast of pancakes (have never eaten pancakes), eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, coffee (have never, ever been a coffee drinker), tea, orange juice and a cookie. In bed. With a flower from the garden. Aphids and all. I did my best to eat part of everything, but I did invite everyone to join me.

Once upon a time, I had a little waiter and waitress, complete with pencil, paper, and pre-made menu, come and get my order for breakfast. I was ordered to stay in bed. Breakfast appeared, just as requested. With a flower from the garden. And aphids again. It was wonderful.

Once upon a time, I had older kids who knew the drill perfectly, created a wonderful breakfast in bed and had it delivered by a very cute toddler who spilled most of it for me. I might have even gotten ice cream with that one. Not sure if that was the year or not! Regardless – it was awesome.

Once upon a time, I had a teenager who learned enough in her high school computer class to put together a page of pictures for each family member, print them all out, bind them together with string and give it to me for Mother’s Day. Some of the pictures got a little stretched to make it look good, but it looks SOOOO good.

Once upon a time, I had another teenager who thought it would be a super good idea to wash my car for Mother’s Day. It was.

Once upon a time, I was told, “Mommy, you have to sit down! You are not supposed to do ANYTHING today!”
I wondered who made that silly rule, and sat down.

Once upon a time my children were small and their world revolved around their dad and me. Now they’re grown, mostly anyway, and their world is much bigger. It’s sad in a way, but it’s also really wonderful.

I have many blessings. They are all healthy. They are, mostly, happy. They not only live nearby, they live under my roof (OK maybe that’s not exactly a blessing, but it’s not bad) and they still manage to call from time to time (though I had to pull out the “LK and I’ve been gone all week and NOT ONE of my children has called me” card out this week.).

I also have this little one who will be getting up any second and expecting me to be in bed so she can ask me what I want for breakfast. Once upon a time continues…

5.08.2007

Where'd the GOOD go?

Two days in a row, I took a 2.5 mile walk here at my Dad's community in Phoenix. Two days in a row, I passed several other people doing the same thing. They're always polite and most of them smile as they say "morning". I smile and say "morning" too. Sometimes first, sometimes in response. What's been striking me is that we all leave off the "good" part of that. It's understood, of course, but it's still a little sad. Do we need to be reminded of what portion of the day we're on? Are we so busy that we can't say "Good Morning"? And what's busy got to do with it? We're out taking a walk for chrissakes.

So tomorrow morning, I will take my 2.5 mile walk and I intend to wish every single one of the people I pass a very GOOD morning.

4.29.2007

Prom #2 That's all.

A rainbow of pretty girls, one brave guy in a white tux













An SUV limo that was more than 30 minutes late













At the end of the night - tired kids, but a fun time.
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4.26.2007

Class pictures

Class pictures are always a little cute, a little silly. Most of my kids' class pictures have a goofy smile, strange hair, clothes which indicate their parent clearly forgot it was picture day, or some other faux pas.
I loved LK's picture this year. The story is that all the boys had a plain blue background. When it was her turn, they pulled down this gazebo thing and her face lit up. Yes, they did something a little funky to "fix" her hair, but the smile is real and you can tell she feels pretty. That's worth every dime that package cost.

She's in a preschool class of all boys and her. She loves it. It makes no difference to her. The next younger class has plenty of girls and when she needs girls to play with, they're usually available. Besides - she has between 4 and 8 boys she can marry today if she wants. (She doesn't want.) What great odds! We can also see that she didn't have the patience to leave the pretty dress on for the class picture. T-shirt and jeans. That's my LK.


Ah preschool.

4.13.2007

I saw it first!

We had a conversation about a light in our kitchen which was notably starting to give out.

BK: That light..

BSM: Yeah, it's been doing that for a while, I noticed it...

DDD: Oh it's been a week or so, I saw it...
(notice how no one actually ever gets to complete a sentence in my house)

LK: NOOOO!!! I SAW IT FIRST! I CAME IN ONE DAY AND THE LIGHT WAS FERKULING!

BK, BSM and DDD are rendered speechless. (save the not so well suppressed laughter) LK not only gets the first full sentence of the conversation, she got it right! That was EXACTLY what the light was doing.

3.31.2007

Prom #1, Part 3 The Planning

Back to the prom (but not much longer, I promise)

Good News: Not all Junior Proms require dinner out at a fancy restaurant. Some are hosted at a generous family's home. I very much like the idea.

Also Good News: Not all groups of kids are allowed to rent hotel rooms or beach houses for afterwards. I am one of those parents who do not allow that. So, apparently, are these other parents.

And Still More Good News: Since 16-17 year old kids generally are still in the "provisional" stage of their drivers licensure, they cannot drive each other to the prom. I've come around a little on the whole limo thing (I used to think it was incredibly overboard for a teenager's dance and I'm still not completely over that), but I loved this group's solution... They rented a small bus. 36 kids, one bus. The bus is rented for several hours after the prom is over, so they drive around the city and visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Treasure Island and other beautiful sites. All together. Stretching out the fun, AND STAYING SAFE on the roads!


We got these plans about a week or so ahead of time. (Names and phone #s obviously removed)I'm still a little amazed at the organization. Pretty sure we'll be not-quite-so-organized when it's BK's turn to host.

Overachievers.

Thank heavens.

3.29.2007

Overheard

Taking a break from prom stuff. Overheard in the last couple of days...

LK: OOOO - I HATE this house!
BK: Why?
LK: (dejectedly) 'cuz everyone's the boss.


LK responding to knock at the door: "Hey, R! It's you!"

3.26.2007

Prom #1, part 2. The Flowers

Young men are supposed to provide their dates with a corsage on occasions like the prom.


Unfortunately, young men aren't known far and wide for their ability to plan ahead.


Fortunately, florists are clued in to young men and can make beautiful corsages in very little time.


Like this one.

3.24.2007

Prom #1, part 1. The Asking

Proms nowadays are big deals. There are Prom magazines, websites, and nail and hair salons along with florists everywhere make a bundle on these days. Parents with good intentions decorate the gym to make it look like a sneaker never crossed its path. And there are websites and catalogs to help with that, too. BK and his gf go to two different high schools. They each have a junior prom and senior ball. So there are two big dances to go to each year. Probably would be easier if they went to the same school, but oh well.

Then:

Years ago, boys (and sometimes girls) would grit their teeth and finally get up the strength and courage to go talk to their potential date and ask them if they would go to the dance with them. They would, of course, get an immediate answer, which they hoped would be positive. But then it was done. They were either going to the prom now or they had to somehow figure out how to get the gumption to start all over with another, perhaps more suitable choice of date.


Now:











BK comes home from an all day hockey tournament to see a poster on his bedroom door.

He opens the door and finds



- his bedroom filled with dark blue, light blue and white balloons with occasional Nemo mylar balloons here and there.

This girl is good.

3.23.2007

What I didn't know a month ago

I am allergic to New Orleans.

Full on rash, itch, and even sneezes. Got to N.O. Sunday eve, rash by Monday eve, on Benadryl for the rest of the week (not much drinking for me... 's a pity) sneezing Wed & Thursday. Cleared up when I hit the runway at my stopover in Salt Lake City on my way home. STRANGE.

3.21.2007

Happy Spring, I guess.

So the question has been asked – where the heck am I? Why no postings?

Well, I am overwhelmed. Have been overwhelmed for several weeks now.

Short story – I took the official title for a job I’d been doing rather haphazardly for a few years anyway. It was on the horizon and we all knew it would be a big project, but not a lot was happening. I was kind of just keeping involved and keeping my finger on the pulse of it for a very long time. We knew it would get hopping at some point, but it was pretty well dormant and I was filling my time with other nice projects with nice start dates and nice end dates. Well, it’s as if someone out in the cosmos noticed that the job title (and yes, pay raise, thank you very much) became official and decided that not just one rather large, but two rather large projects should commence RIGHT NOW. And no baby steps, people – let’s just race right out of that starting gate.

I’m getting >100 emails a day. Work related. I have an average of 5 hours of meetings a day, many of which require travel time. Now, my history is as a worker bee, which is just the way I liked it. Now I am managing these projects. But it takes a while to get out of the worker bee mentality, and I am trying hard to make that transition. And I’m getting there. But right now, I am overwhelmed.

I still have my entire family, the two adult children, teenager, 5yr old, and us all under one bulging roof. M, who has been out of work since the holidays, finally has a job, albeit one that he probably won’t like and will probably not have in two months. But it’s a job and will get him off the couch for several hours a day, we’re hoping. DDD, who has a job and just closed “Play it Again, Sam” last weekend, and who we really rarely see anyway, between work, rehearsals, auditions and boyfriend, is perhaps changing jobs, and then perhaps finding an apartment. Nothing really solid there. BK is going to the first of his two proms on Saturday, after playing a hockey playoff game for which we pulled some strings so it could be played early in the day. We have a full day’s prom schedule on our refrigerator that he has to be mindful of (omg, have things changed since the dark ages of my proms.). He is also playing lacrosse this year on the high school team, after 3 years off. They’ve been having a couple of games a week lately, and yes, I go to every one I can. LK is just a typical 5 year old who wants to dance, do gymnastics, play floor hockey and still have lots of hours to play outside in the neighborhood while going to preschool for an entire day.

So, other things happening… DH has been trying to figure out driving arrangements since the classic ’69 Mustang is just too expensive for the teenager to maintain and we’re worried about reliability, and he (DH) was super envious of those people in the carpool lanes with their snooty little “environment friendly” stickers that lets them drive there – alone - without getting a ticket. So he bought himself some stickers last weekend. They are accompanied by a Honda Civic Hybrid, but that is totally beside the point. He has his stickers and that’s what’s important. So DH will commute daily in his stickers, and BK will drive the car DH has been driving, which puts a teenager behind the wheel of a BMW, which totally drives me crazy. I’ve always hated the “rich kid cars” the kids around here drive, and thought that DDD might want to buy her own car, leaving BK to drive the CRV she’s been driving. Much more appropriate, I thought. But safety is important, DH wants to keep the miles on the beemer down, and DDD’s not giving up the CRV anytime soon. So BK’s driving a rich kid car. Ugh.

Calgon take me away!
(Did you know this stuff still existed? It does!)

I did manage to take an hour to register LK for Kindergarten recently. It was a little strange walking into that office again. It’s been a few years!!! Here we go again!

LK and I will be taking a much needed week in Phoenix in May to spend some time with my dad, make sure he eats and takes his meds, etc. while his wife takes a much needed week in Tahoe with her girlfriends. I intend to go to the pool, zoo, read a book and have a very relaxing time there. I also intend to catch up with my internet friends! Yeah, my dad’s not the most lively conversationalist around and I may have to yell to be heard, but that’s a small price to pay.

I feel like I just wrote my Christmas letter, except with a whole lot more detail. and yes, I write Christmas letters, and I really and truly LIKE reading other peoples' letters. It's just so hard to stay in touch these days, I really look forward to those. But back on the subject, I will try to get some small things posted a little more frequently. Like maybe a prom picture.

And that's where I've been. sigh.

3.04.2007

Eighteen and counting

All right, I'll bite. I rarely ever do these, and I'm just too tired to write anything else after spending the week allergic to New Orleans, so here you go.
The year I turned 18. Songs I liked are bolded. Was "engh" about in italics and didn't like struck-out. The rest I either don't recognize or I'd need to hear it to figure out what it was. Some I liked the artist, so I probably liked the song, but can't for the life of me figure out what it was. And yes, some of these answers embarass me. A little. But hey - I really did like most of what was out there at the time.
Songs come from pop culture madness. Meme comes from Sarah. Comments are in parentheses.


1.Rock and Roll part II - Gary Glitter
2.American Pie - Don McLean (did pom pom routine to this)
3.Lean On Me - Bill Withers (sang this in church)
4.Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
5.I'll Take You There - Staple Singers
6.Precious and Few - Climax (omg. embarassing, but it was "OUR" song)
7.Let's Stay Together - Al Green
8.Coconut - Nilsson
9.Schools Out - Alice Cooper
10.Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
11.Layla - Derek and the Dominoes (like this more and more all the time - 'specially when Clapton slowed it down.)
12.Goodbye To Love - Carpenters (yep - I liked the Carpenters. I could sing great harmony with them.)
13.Burning Love - Elvis Presley
14.The Candy Man - Sammy Davis, Jr. (Can't even believe this was my year. Mortifying.)
15.Operator - Jim Croce (loved Jim Croce.... LLLLLOVVVED Jim Croce.)
16.Horse With No Name - America (monotonous, but totally singable)
17.Nights In White Satin - Moody Blues (the ultimate date song)
18.Anticipation - Carly Simon (another fave - I like the alto voices, apparently)
19.Saturday In The Park - Chicago (played this at a wedding. REALLY!)
20.Get On The Good Foot - James Brown
21.Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts (I still have their album. I like it a little less now, though)
22.Rockin' Robin - Michael Jackson
23.Listen To The Music - Doobie Brothers (This is my head bopping song. I can sing ANY of the harmonies - love them all. Try this one slightly sloshed with the speakers set up *just right*)
24.Take It Easy - Eagles (Still love this one)
25.Brandy - Looking Glass (cringe)
26.Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey
27.My Ding-A-Ling - Chuck Berry
(hated this even then)
28. I'll Be Around - Spinners
29. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face -
Roberta Flack (cringe again)
30.Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens (another church song)
31.Everybody Plays The Fool - The Main Ingredient
32.Popcorn - Hot Butter (I think I liked this, sort of, if it's the one I think it is...)
33.Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
(I can sing most of the words of this song, but the guy's voice always bugged the hell out of me.
34. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
35.Jackie Wilson Said - Van Morrison
36.Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison (DH used to sing this one. Did a good job with it, too!)
37.If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
38.You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart (not a huge Rod Stewart fan, but this is one of the few.)
39.I Am Woman - Helen Reddy (hear me roar)
40.I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash (Johnny Nash??? Am I thinking of the same song?)
41.Papa Was A Rolling Stone - Temptations (Temptations don't get much better than this one.)
42.Changes - David Bowie (I think I know one or two words of this one, but I still sing along.)

43.From The Beginning - Emerson, Lake and Palmer (Hated their album, love this song.)
44.Immigration Man - Graham Nash & David Crosby (Anything CSN&Y was good to me.)
45.Tiny Dancer - Elton John (ditton EJ)
46.Melissa - Allman Brothers Band
47.Honky Cat - Elton John (well, I liked this one a little less)
48.Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
49.Heart Of Gold - Neil Young (Oh WHY did CSN&Y split?)
50.Taxi - Harry Chapin (another of DH's songs. Also very well done)
51.Feeling Alright - Joe Cocker
52.Down On Me - Janis Joplin (I was kinda a closet JJ fan)
53.You Don't Mess Around With Jim - Jim Croce (I even like this one.)
54.City Of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie (Yep - and I liked Alice's Restaurant too, thanks to my buddy, John.)
55.Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) - Hollies
(if only...)
56.Roundabout - Yes
57.Bang A Gong (Get It On) - T. Rex
58.Hold Your Head Up - Argent

59.America - Yes
60Black and White - Three Dog Night
61.Rock Me On The Water - Jackson Browne (Didn't become a JB fan until college)
62.Looking For A Love - J. Geils Band
63.Starman - David Bowie
64.The Jean Genie - David Bowie (the what?)
65.It Never Rains In Southern California - Albert Hammond (remember the embarassing comment? yep. this is one.)
66.Easy Livin - Uriah Heap
67.Rocket Man - Elton John
68.Little Bitty Pretty One - Jackson Five
69.I Just Want To Make Love To You - Foghat
70.Hot 'N' Nasty - Humble Pie
71.All The Young Dudes - Mott The Hoople
72.I Saw The Light - Todd Rundgren
73.Handbags and Gladrags - Rod Stewart
74.Witchy Woman - Eagles (Was just discovering the Eagles back then. But I still love them)
75.Freddie's Dead (Theme from Superfly) - Curtis Mayfield
76.Rock and Roll Stew - Traffic
77.Delta Dawn - Tanya Tucker
(you'd think I'd like this one. But engh.)
78.America - Simon and Garfunkle (BIG, BIG S&G fans. Mostly because of the harmonies)
79.I Don't Need No Doctor - New Riders Of The Purple Sage
80.Ben - Michael Jackson

2.23.2007

No Sudoku for YOU!

My organization, in their infinite wisdom, has implemented a filter which prevents me from playing my not-so-daily game of sudoku at lunch.
I'm SOOOOO mad!
Thank heavens my son bought me a sudoku calendar for christmas. I have options. Take that, internet nazis!

2.06.2007

horrifying

I read this headline and my heart sank.

Dad Admits Poisoning Kids' Soup

It's 1981 all over again. I was working in the Pediatric ICU in a major city in our fair country, and got assigned to take care of Q.

Q. was an 4 month old who was on a ventilator, and was now living in our long-term ventilator area with other kids who for one reason or another now could not breathe on their own. Q. had been fed Similac laced with Drano. His parents had been hoping for a big settlement with the formula giant. For a long time, they remained free to move about the country, as I guess it was difficult to prove which parent actually laced the formula. Their son, however, was tethered to a 4-5 foot piece of plastic tubing keeping him alive. His lungs were pretty trashed, even his heart was involved and he was on the list for a heart/lung transplant. He never had any visitors.

As I was a fairly recent mother of my own little boy, I used to bring in clothes and toys all the time. I'd take his laundry home once in a while, even though I only worked weekends at the time. As does happen from time to time when you're a nurse, Q. became one of my babes. Even if I had another assignment, I'd pop my head in for a little Hi, or a touch or something. He was pretty irritable for a very long time, as you might expect if your esophagus had been severely burned and your airway wasn't in great shape, either.

I'd bathe him, and rock him as much as he'd tolerate. I'd try to get him to look at toys, or listen to sounds. I'd hold his hand if he was just too sensitive to snuggle. He couldn't drink anything, but after a while, he could suck a pacifier to beat the band. We didn't think he'd make it a month, but he did. Then he made it two months, and three. Finally he had a birthday! We had a little party. He was responsive, and we were his family. He played, we played and that was life for a little one year old who was poisoned by the only two people he should have counted on.

One day, I hadn't been in for a while, and I went to say hi. His space was empty. No crib, no eggcrate mattress on the floor, no toys, no nothing. About a week prior, he'd gotten sick - a typical illness, but he was not a typical kid, and it killed him. I felt like I'd gotten slugged in the stomach. I don't know why, with these long-term kids, you start getting the idea they will always be there. Logically I knew better, but it was just so normal to see him, that the thought of that ending wasn't entertained. I know Q. didn't have the life he should have had. I know it wasn't a great life, but he was loved by us - and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only nurse who remembers.

So how does a parent get to the point where they'd poison their kids? In what kind of mind is it OK to hurt a child - YOUR child - in return for the possibility that you could get away with extortion? Is there an amount that makes it worth it? Or is it just the possibility? I'm not sure. But it happens. I've seen it too many times. Once is too many, and my little Q. was just my first.

I don't like to be reminded of that. And yet, I'm glad little Q. does get remembered now and then.

1.31.2007

A month in the year



So, apparently people want these things updated from time to time.


Wellll, OK.


I guess.


But no promises!


But's it's been busy. I have excuses. I have LOTS of excuses. But I'll spare you the pain.

Birthday season is nearly over. Yes, you read that right. Holiday season is but a blip in the screen of birthday season. We have a couple of grandparents, a couple of nieces and in-laws left and one 5 year old birthday left to celebrate. but the only one I have left to orchestrate is LK. Since my last post, DDD turned 23, BK turned 17, Big Sis celebrated a milestone (more on that later!) and I joined my husband again in age. We enjoy two months where he is a full year older than me. OK, well, maybe it's just me who enjoys it. Anyway - we managed to have three children in those two calendar months, so I am a year younger than him on all three birth certificates. Don't know why that amuses me, but it does.

DDD enjoyed a quiet birthday and requested ribs for dinner. Done. Bake and frost an angel food cake, buy ice cream and some cute napkins and we're done. We had to wait a little for some friends of her who were supposed to join us for dinner to come, but it all was fine.

BK (the day after DDD) wanted Zachary's pizza. Woo Hoo. Easy Schmeazy. Done. He wanted this cake his grandmother makes with cherry pie filling and pineapple in it. Unfortunately for me, his grandmother has no recollection of creating a cake with cherry pie filling and pineapple. Hooray for the internet! I google cherry pie filling, pineapple and yellow cake mix and come up with a concoction I was pretty sure he wasn't talking about, but I made it anyway. It was a really odd cake, but it was YUMMY! Surprisingly yummy! So hooray.

The fun of the whole month was big sis' milestone birthday! Not saying which one. The sisters, daughter, nieces, and sisters-in-law had a wonderful weekend on the beach in Aptos. Beautiful surroundings, good food, lots of good food and wine and fun. I mad my very first appletinis. And my very first chocolate-tini's too. They were yummy. It was just a very special time with some very special people. (See pictures above) Y'all should try it.




My birthday was quiet. I have the fortune of having a birthday that always fell in the middle of finals week when I was in school. No change this year. BK had finals, DDD had a rehearsal and M had school that day, so BK, LK joined us for dinner at our favorite little Mexican restaurant and then we had a quiet night waiting for DDD and M to come home to do gifts. LK was losing it a little - she was super tired, but she got to stay up anyway. DH bought me a bike, which is what I was hinting pretty pointedly for. He didn't keep it much of a secret, although he wanted to... He left a big old catalog of bikes out once, right where I'd see it. He was mad at himself for that, but I told him that if that was for my birthday, I was SUPER EXCITED!!! Then I tried being helpful and unloaded groceries from his car, which included a helmet. He wasn't happy about that either. But in the long run, none of that mattered and I LOVE my bike! And let me tell you - helmets these days are a whole lot more comfortable than they used to be!



We also said goodbye to DH's mom and dad, who had been visiting for a couple of months. Along with that, we got to see DH's home-schooling, bible-thumping little sis and family, as her husband's mother passed away the week before Grandma and Grandpa were set to leave. They didn't thump any bibles and our visit was very pleasant. We also celebrated Gma & Gpa's birthdays while they were here. (yes, more family birthdays.)


Somewhere in the midst of the family stuff, I finally stepped into my new position. They finally created an "EHR Coordinator" position, so the job that I'd been doing for a year or so is finally a real job. And there is a raise involved, which is very nice. Some day, I will need an office and perhaps even a door, but for now, I'm staying put. But holy smokes - the wheels have come off the wagon in how busy I've been. It's good, as I can't stand not being busy, but being double booked for meetings regularly is not something I'm familiar with. But the fact that we are moving along finally is quite nice.

Speaking of niece (we were, weren't we?), a happy birthday wish to her as well. Now I will ignore the rest of the extended family birthdays and concentrate on an almost 5 year old who is going to have a gymnastics party and is totally up for this whole birthday thing! Coincidentally, her party will be on our adoption day, so we'll have something else to celebrate as well.


But no eating caterpillars.

1.29.2007

Thought for the week

LK: If somebody eats a caterpillar, they will dream about the caterpillar when they sleep.



I think she's right. I'm pretty sure if I ate a caterpillar, my sleep would definitely be negatively impacted...!

1.01.2007

Happy New Year!







Here's to some fun and sun in 2007!