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.
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.
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!
Happy Halloween. A few days late.
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.
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...
Neither did I. You fundamentalists just keep on throwing these experts witnesses at us crazy heathens, y'hear?
And Just for Fun -
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
moral of this story - Nephew A. likes to know all the details. LK just wants to know where we lived. geez, mom.
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.
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?
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?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!)
21.Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts (I still have their album. I like it a little less now, though)
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)
27.My Ding-A-Ling - Chuck Berry
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
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
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.
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.