“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hello? Oh Hi 30, you're early...

...I didn't expect you for a few more weeks.

I'm rapidly approaching 30 (I hope my local readers show up to my super awesome party. If you didn't get an invite, send me an email.). So far, I think I've taken it pretty well. I don't feel 30, I'm told I don't look 30 and I know I don't act 30. But tonight I discovered 3 things that are definitely signs that I'm turning the big three-oh.
While shaving my legs in the shower tonight, I noticed the usual scratches and bruises that I get because I'm clumsy. I have honorably passed this trait down to my 4 year old as our legs often match. At least she always enthusiastically points it out, 'Look Mommy, you have a boo boo on your leg just like me!' I was being cautious not to run over the scratches with my razor for fear of taking the scab off and making it bleed again. I put my self in the weird backwards leg position (the one only ladies are familiar with) twisting my body one way and my leg the other. You must be in this position to achieve optimum hair removal. In doing this, I noticed a weird blue line on the back of my leg. I initially thought that Tommy must have attempted to make my leg part of his doodle du jour. I attempted to scrub it with my loofah to no avail. What the hell was this stuff? I know that permanent marker is permanent but jeez! This stuff wouldn't budge. I stuck my leg our of the shower to get a better look. Ladies and Gentleman, I discovered that this was not a product of my son's fine artwork, it's a vein. Where did it come from? How did it just pop up overnight? Maybe I'm just paying closer attention lately? Next, while toweling off, I put my hair in one of those turban things and looked in the mirror. I leaned a little closer to find...Wanna guess? Yep, wrinkles. Perfectly placed on the sides of each of my eyes. Ok, I admit it, you have to look REALLY close, but I saw them, I swear! Shortly after finding my protruding vein and my crows feet, I found the ever age defining Gray Hair. Well, I guess that's it. I'm officially old. Not old in the sense that I'm knocking on heavens (or hells) door. But old as in I probably couldn't pull off a panache mini dress and swanky heels in a night club anymore. Not that I would want to. But, it would be nice to have the body I had when I married the man of my dreams. Thank goodness he loves me anyway.
So, here I am, veiny, stretch marked, wrinkled and grey. Hopefully, Ty won't notice. I sure as hell won't tell him. Boy do I have him fooled!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Carnival Cupcakes

My carnival cupcake masterpiece is complete and has come together beautifully.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Expletive Deleted

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Stupid M*&%F*#%$, A&(^&H*&E.....

Ok, now that I've got that out I can begin my entry in a more civilized state of mind.
Men. They are lovely creatures most of the time. Strong and handsome; sweet and caring, everyday run of the mill, Grade A, 100% US Prime male. When in a relationship (emotional or operational) with one of these fine specimens, he is your protector/advocate, your rock/supporter; amongst other roles. But why is it that when something upsets the apple cart, they get all bent out of shape about it? Moping around acting as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders and heaven forbid that you ask them a simple question. You may find yourself headless. I understand that they need space and time occasionally, but being in a legally bound contractual relationship where you both are responsible for the care of minor children or an appointed assignment, it's essential that you communicate daily; regardless of how basic that communication may be. Then when you express your displeasure of the attitude that you receive from them, they get even more upset and clam up for a day or four. When will I understand how this whole thing works?

As you can see I've been getting it from both sides this week. At work and at home.
For me, stewing doesn't help so I get it out, and get over it. And, retaliating only makes things worse. So, with my husband, I do what I think is the right thing. I bring his coffee and vitamins to him like I do almost every morning. I want him to know that no matter how rough the road may become, that I will always love and take care of him. My hope is in continuing my morning routine, my actions will speak for themselves. With my colleague, I just try to understand and be sensitive even though it might be challenging sometimes. All I can do is give them the space that they need. I just wish they would ask me for it instead of being big fat stupid dummy heads about it. Being married (legally or occupationally) is not easy. But, as Captain and Tenille said "Love Will Keep us Together" I know that my levees of love will hold up, even when 'It's Raining Men'

Monday, September 22, 2008


I work in the Divisional Offices for one of the leading, high-end fashion retailers. Our offices are in one of our stores; not an off site building. This means that I have to dress with this in mind every day. Even in the offices, it's important to show that you keep up to the minute with the latest styles. Don't get me wrong, they don't discriminate against people who aren't dressed in Haute Couture. Dressing au courant is just highly encouraged. Even with the generous employee discount, buying clothes from my employer is still quite expensive. Working in the Corporate Satellite offices, you have to keep up appearances. You know, help set the example. Unfortunately I cannot nor do I want to spend a great deal of money on clothes. Who says that I can't look fashionable and trendy without paying a disgusting price tag? So I shop at 'Walton's'. This is my secret code name for Wal-Mart. I purchased an adorable brown sweater dress yesterday for $17.00 at 'Walton's'. A comparable dress from my employer would be in excess of $100.00. So when someone at work stops me in the hallway, compliments my outfit and asks me where I got it, I just say Walton's. It's not lying, really. I just altered the name a little. Sure makes Wal-Mart sound fancy, doesn't it?
What I don't understand is why it's so expensive at the department store. Both products are 'Made in China' or who knows where; both from the same or similar material. So, why the hefty price tag? It can't just be the name of the person designing the clothes, can it? But, I guess if some people are willing to pay a pretty penny to wear someone else's name on their body, then who am I to say that's wrong.
For now, I'll just keep smart shopping for the latest fashions at Walton's and spend my hard earned money on things like food and my children's education. You won't tell anyone, will you?

Chubby Baby Legs and Tickle Bug Bites

When I ask Tommy where Mommy's favorite part is he points to the inside of his leg just above his knee. Then I ask if I can take a bite. His eyes get big, he grins and nods in affirmation. Then I proceed to ever so gently gnaw on the chubbiest, juiciest, squishiest, sweetest part of him. He giggles with delight every time. I know it won't be long before he grows out of his delicious morsels so I savor them as often as I can. Emma gets the tickle bugs. I tell her "What's that? Look, right there...Oh no, you have the tickle bugs! We have to get 'em!" I tickle her until she laughs so hard she can't stand it and it leaves little red marks all over. We call these tickle bug bites. Then we both sigh with relief that all the bugs are gone and cuddle. Even though I don't want to keep them little, I wish I could sometimes for this purpose alone. There is nothing more intoxicating than a child's laughter. So, for now, I will keep munching on his delectable chubby baby legs and exterminating her tickle bugs until they won't let me anymore. Hopefully there will be something sweeter to replace my addiction when this is gone. Otherwise I'll have to go to rehab.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I 'HEART' Sara Bareilles

In February, a very good friend of mine (thanks again Jay), scored tickets and backstage passes to a James Blunt concert at the Spreckles theatre Downtown. There was only 1 condition. I had to buy a book (The Shack) and give it to James when I saw him backstage. Seemed easy enough and more than a fair trade for free tickets. Sara Bareilles opened for him and it was the first time I had ever heard of her. She was amazing. Her songs were all captivating and before her session was over, I told Ty that I wanted her CD. Of course James Blunt was awesome too, but I enjoyed Sara's music better. The backstage passes were to hang out with James not Sara. I really would've liked to meet her. Oh well. I did my duty and meandered my way through the groupies to get to James to give him the book. After I finally caught his attention, I told him my name, babbled about my mission, handed him the book, turned on my heels and left. I don't know why I was so uncomfortable, he's a normal person, just handsome and rich and famous and talented (and he has soft skin too).

Anyway, Ty purchased the Sara Bareilles CD for me and surprised me by cuing it up so that it would start playing when I got in my car the next morning. I don't think I've stopped listening to it since. Which also means Emma has not stopped listening to it either. She's learned the words to most of the songs on the disc. She absolutely loves to sing her songs and won't allow anyone else to sing them with her. Little Miss Bossy. Notice how she scolds me towards the end. My favorite part is when she says "Drown in your love but not feel your brain" when it should be rain. Here's what you've all been waiting for. Emma singing 'Gravity' by Sara Bareilles:

Afternoon Tea with Grammy and Gigi

My one and only Grammy has come out to visit us for a few days. She likes fancy things so I thought we would take her out to afternoon tea at the Shakespeare Corner Shoppe. We sat outside on the patio at a cozy little corner table. We were served Cherry and Earl Gray tea. Scones and Double Devonshire cream. An assortment of sandwiches including cucumber, salmon, egg, and ham and an array of different sweets. The lady that served us was English and very charming. The little store that was attached had a bunch of items imported form the UK. I know, this is a boring entry but it's all I've got until later. And of course the picutres below. Don't touch that dial, a video of Emma performing Sara Bareilles coming soon...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The sort of short and very sweet story of us...

Just so you all know, I'm intentionally leaving out all of the sour parts (the phone bills, the lying, etc...) for the sake of keeping this version shorter and much, much sweeter. I don't need to stir up those vinegary feelings anyway. Especially for the ones that witnessed the whole story.

December 5th 1996. I was 18 and at my aunts house using the computer to meet people in the chat rooms of America Online. The Internet chat rooms were relatively new and it made it easier to meet people. It also made it easier to allow people to think that you were a mind-blowing hottie from the south. It was in the evening and while browsing the seemingly endless amounts of chat rooms, I happened across someone with the screen name luvburro (I learned what luvburro meant years later, it's not what you think and it's not pretty). After reading his profile I decided to send this person an instant message. Gosh, what I would give to have a transcript of that conversation. We talked for a while but it was getting late. He was too interesting to me and I couldn't just let him disappear out into the never world of cyberspace! I had to talk to him. I had to hear his voice. I gave him my phone number. Yes, I gave my phone number to a complete stranger, who I had never met in person or even seen a picture of. I know that he could've been a predator but so could any of the guys in the grimy bars (hear my justification?), so what's the difference? Nevertheless, I told him that I would be home in about an hour and to call me then. Unfortunately, I only remember the exhilarating feelings I had, and nothing about our conversation. My memory is filled with that first love feeling. If I remember correctly, we talked for 6 hours. After that first night, we talked every single day. His voice was deep and soothing and made you feel instantly secure. Even now, when I think of his voice, my stomach flutters a little. He was (and still is, even more so now) intelligent, funny, inspiring, witty, and he knew exactly what to say at exactly the right time. I loved how he made me feel and I liked who I was when I talked to him. And he lived in SAN DIEGO! The funny thing is that being young and naive, I had no idea where San Diego was. It was so new and thrilling it felt like electricity was surging through my body. Waiting by the phone for him to call each day was absolutely excruciating! This was before cell phones were attainable for everyone. We decided to meet and he was kind enough to buy plane tickets for me. I flew out to meet him on January 1st, 1997. New Years Day. My memory of that day and night are vague because of the lack of sleep from the night before. I have no recollection of the plane ride and a very foggy one of dinner with his mom and Ron. His mom took a picture of us that night at dinner. I flew home on January 5th and he flew out to meet my family and pick me up to move back with him on January 18th. We lived happily together for a while and unhappily for a little longer. Chalk it up to being young and foolish, but it was definately a learning experience I could not have obtained any other way. I moved back home and tied up some personal loose ends I had been putting off for a while. A few years go by, and we date other people. Then blah, blah, blah, car accident, blah blah, Beaumont, Texas, B-blah married in Vegas, blah blah, blah blah, move to San Diego, pop out a couple of kids and Abra-Cadabbra, Happy Family!

Not very many people have a photo documenting the momentous night that they first encountered their soul mate. I cherish the picture she took that night. He gave me a framed copy of it for our 5th wedding anniversary and it now I proudly display it in my office by my desk. It reminds me after every valley, there is a bigger mountain to climb. And at the top of each new mountain, the view gets better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

He likes / She Likes

Sneakers/Stuart Weitzman
Put away/Orderly
Power Tools/Kitchen Tools
Planning/Instant Gratification
Ripe Watermelon/Ripe Peaches

Theres more, I'm sure, but I couldn't think of any at the moment. A match made in heaven, don't you think? I think we balance each other out nicely. I'm in the process of putting down my memories of when we met so stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The grass may look greener...

...but it's probably brown. This seems to be a topic of discussion lately amongst my fellow bloggers, my family and my friends. Why is it that we always desire to have the things we don't? I know I shouldn't be jealous of my friends for the money, the education or the freedom they have; but I am sometimes. So what? Of course it would be great to not have so much responsibility and to have more money than I need. Why shouldn't I be wishful thinking? Is it because I have two beautiful amazing kids and a magnificent husband? Does that mean I shouldn't think about having other things? So I dream, big deal! What's so bad about that? Is there some statute that says that dreaming is bad? I've never heard one. I'm utterly thankful that I have such a marvelous life. Especially when there are so many people in the world who are without. Sometimes it's hard, emotionally, but for the most part I've got it pretty easy. I don't have to worry about much. Ty takes care of all the money and keeps me informed of anything pertinent. More importantly, he takes care of our kids (extremely well I might add). We both have nice cars and a house on the top of a hill at the end of a cul-de-sac. But I still dream of someday going to and finishing college (unlikely). Maybe becoming a nurse (doubtful). Vacationing in Hawaii, or Fiji, or Tahiti, in a bikini...(probably never). Owning some extremely successful cupcake making business and not have to work another day in my life (impossible). Of course there are other things but I'm sure that you would be bored senseless reading a list all of the things I would like to have or do. A girl can dream right? Why do I want all these things? I don't really. I believe that it's our dreams that keep us grounded. For me, dreaming is kind of like getting away in a fantasy world where everything is perfect. In my dreams everything is handed to me on a gilded plate, fed to me with a silver spoon from a hand covered in precious stones. I know in my head that this is not reality and if it were I don't think I would really like it. There is suprizing satisfaction in doing things for yourself, whatever those things may be.

I've realized that bringing your dreams to fruition takes work and time. Sometimes brutal work and grueling years. Unfortunately, I'm not patient enough nor do I have the drive or the discipline or the determination, etcetera. I could go on and on about the reasons and excuses why I don't attempt to achieve my dreams. Does that make me a weak person? Maybe. Or, maybe not. Maybe I'm happy with those things just being dreams. Or, perhaps I'm just not ready to give it a go. Insert Cliche Here ------> If it's meant to be it will be.

Somethings are just easier for other people. Like the kid in school who struggles to get a 'C' and the other who gets an 'A' without cracking open a book. So, I guess that the thing that was easy for me is finding and falling in love with the man of my dreams. Effortless to create the most beautiful children with him. I gambled hard and took huge risks. I was 18 when I met him on America Online. From the moment I typed my first words to him in the chat room to the time that I flew across the country and saw his gorgeous face for the first time was only 27 days. A mere 19 days later and I had packed up all of my belongings and moved to California. I was taking a chance that had extreme potential for danger. Some people would not be able to make a jump like this with eyes wide open. For all I knew he could have been a serial killer or some other such criminal. But, I guess it's just my personality. It's always been easy for me to make choices that could end up being tragically wrong. For some, it's not so easy to make a decision without a plan or thinking it through. Just like it's not easy for me to apply myself in an educational setting. I've always been a 'by the seat of my pants' kind of girl. Spontaneous. Last Minute. Lucky.

I guess I'll keep dreaming and being thankful. I'm afraid to change anything for fear of losing it all. Until now, I've never really had anything to lose. I've come to accept that I'll NEVER wear a bikini again, I'll always be impulsive, and I'll probably never further my education. I think I'm smart enough to realize that I have worked hard for what I've got thus far and like a diploma, no one can take that away from me. In the end, I guess I'm just thankful for what I don't have.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No Kids Allowed

So Ty and I went out for well deserved night amongst adults. We were invited to dinner, a comedy show and dessert to celebrate a friends birthday on Saturday Night. Ty's mom (aka GiGi) took the kids for us. We had so much fun. We ate at an amazing italian restaurant and then went to an improv comedy show. The show was sort of like 'Whose line is it anyway?'. But for me, the best part was when we went to Extraordinary Desserts. I'd been to the one in Hillcrest that is set up sort of like a small cafe. But they have since opened a new 'restaurant' style concept. It was amazing. I love to try new things and this is just the place to do it. All of the desserts put a twist on tradition. They have an AWESOME non-alcoholic beverage menu from which I chose the 'American Beauty'; a drink that is made up of rose syrup, lime juice and San Pelligrino, garnished with rose petals. Ty took a picture of me with my Beauty. It was really fun to choose from a variety of mixers that were sans alcohol. I had the Torta-Misu and a scoop of the Salted Caramel Ice Cream. All I have to say is YUM!
After the pasta, laughter and the scrumptious dessert; I ended up being in a sugar coma and Ty took me home to bed.
Why is it that I yearn for a night out without the kids but in then end I can't wait to get home to see their sweet faces?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Lamp Saga...

Buying bedside table lamps may seem like a simple thing to you, but not for us. Having two EXTREMELY different tastes sometimes makes for a volatile concoction.

Our bathroom is in desperate need of a face lift but our funds have limited us to one large project at a time. Because the bathroom is fully functional (but hideous to look at) it's dropped to the bottom of the ever expanding list of things to do. Ty, in all his sweet thoughtfulness, started looking for small vanities. Something that we could tuck into a corner of our bedroom so that I would have my own little space for my ablutions (my mothers terminology). After he told me about his idea, it got me thinking. Thinking has proven to be a precarious past-time for me. After some google searching, I started to elaborate on his idea.

My nightstand is actually an antique school desk. It has a small 'cubby' under the desktop and space to tuck a small chair or stool underneath. I thought, instead of buying something new, we could just use what we have! I was so excited to present my frugal idea to Ty! I explained to him that we could hang one of the mirrors that we have in storage on the wall in front of the desk. We would have to find a stool and some new lamps but overall we should be saving money. Ty agreed to this idea. I even think that, at first, he might have thought this was a good idea. We found an ottoman at Target that opens up to store things inside. It worked out perfectly! I've been keeping my makeup and small mirror inside and pull it out each time I need it. Except, we still needed to get some lamps and hang the mirror.

I've been using the lamp by my bed by turning it on it's side. Lamps are not meant to be used this way. The risk of breaking the lamp is greatly increased. My lamp still works but is very wobbly. We went to Lamps Plus last night to look for swing arm, plug in, wall mount lamps. I thought that this specific type of lamp would be perfect for this application. Space saving and light manipulation, precicely what I need. Little did I know that a decent looking lamp with the above specifications cost a whopping $180 EACH! At least the ones that looked cool. I don't think Ty was opposed to the way these lamps looked. I think that buying 2 lamps for nearly $400 was his problem. And honestly, it was my problem too! I wanted to go to this store if not to buy lamps, then to at least get a feel for what's available and maybe a few ideas. I definately did not go there with a secret plan to con Ty into spending $400. It was the first attempt that we made together to start the lamp buying process. I didn't go into this thinking that their would be a process.

First of all the selection of the specific type of lamp I was interested in was relatively small compared to the size of the store. It's a lamp store. A warehouse. An outlet. An entire buidling dedicated solely to the purpose of providing the public with their lighting needs. I liked a few of the ones that they had on display, but evidently, the amount of taste I have exceeds the amount of money I have in my posession. I didn't want to settle for the overpriced, cheap-o, brass, swing arm lamp with a paper shade from 1967. In all my browsing Ty misunderstood my liking a lamp that costs $180 as 'I want to buy 2 lamps for $400.' This was not the case. I was not prepared to spend that much money on lamps for our bedroom. I was only admiring a lamp that I liked and I thought we were just flinging around ideas. So he said 'You can have one but I'm not buying two.' So I immediately get defensive thinking that we won't have matching lamps. I ask him 'Why can't we have two?' He is thinking that I want to buy the sumptuously priced lamps. I'm thinking that he doesn't ever want to buy two matching lamps. Do you see the mis-communication?

We haven't bought lamps yet and will ultimately come up with something that makes us both happy. We always do. This is just a really good example of how women and men see and interpret things so differently.

Swimming Upstream

Some can relate when I say that the times during motherhood that you feel like you've actually done (or are doing) something right come few and far between. Last night, I experienced one of those priceless sought-after moments. While lamp shopping, of all places. We were browsing the store for bedside lamps for our bedroom. You would think this would be an easy task (I'll elaborate more on that episode later). While Ty and I were heatedly discussing which overpriced lamps we weren't going to buy, Emma was mother hen-ing Tommy trying to keep him in close proximity. I constantly have to remind her that I'm the mommy but sometimes it's nice that she takes charge. She would say 'No Tommy, we look with our eyes, not with our hands.' Your 4 year old saying something this bright is enough to make a mom proud but I was absolutely astonished at what she said next. Out of the clear blue sky she blurted 'Mommy, I'm so lucky! I love my family!'. I thought my heart would burst. By golly she gets it! She understands that family is important and she is happy and satisfied with what she's got. More than anything else, I want her to understand that everything is replaceable except family. And, here I am, thinking that it'll take years of swimming upstream against the media. Trying to counteract the things that are dangled in front of their faces like carrots on a string by the companies that market to children. From Barbie and The Diamond Castle to the scantily clad Bratz dolls (see Ty's LJ entry on aforementioned dolls). She gets it. I've got plenty more swimming to do. Right now I'm only working against the rugged rapids of television. In a few years, I'll have the hungry bears of peer pressure to deal with. But at least for now I feel like I'm swimming up the right stream.

More on the lamp shopping saga later...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today...

I was 22 years old and living in Beaumont, Texas. I was managing an Office Max store and working the opening shift because I had a meeting to attend in Houston at Noon. The other managers would be covering the midday and closing shifts. The store had just opened and our first customer was paying with a large bill so, I was called to the register to make change. When I got to the front of the store, there was a small gathering of 3-4 customers talking with the cashier. The man waiting for change handed me his $100 bill, thanked me and said "Did you hear about the World Trade Center?". Of course I hadn't. There was a TV in the break room, but I was working. I said 'No.' He proceeded to tell me that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. At that point no one knew that it wasn't an accident. I thought to myself (at that time not knowing much about the WTC, or it's function) how terrible it was that all those people died. I remember feeling a little surprised that this is the first I had ever heard of a plane crashing into a high rise. It seemed like with the buildings getting taller that it was bound to happen eventually even with safety measures and precautions. I was extremely naive.

Ty and I were living together at the time and I asked him to drive me to Houston (a 2 hour drive) for my meeting. The meeting was at a Hotel near the George Bush airport and he was much better at navigating and maneuvering through traffic than I was. He wasn't doing anything anyway and I hated driving alone if I didn't have to. He called (Ty NEVER calls me at work) not long after the man who had informed me of the WTC situation had left. He sounded strange, so I asked him what was wrong. He went on to explain to me that he watched another plane hit the 2nd tower broadcast live on the news. I (again being extremely naive) thought to myself, that it was weird that 2 planes hit 2 buildings right next to each other in the same day.

It's wasn't long after that that we brought the TV from the break room up front to the registers. We were pretty much glued there for the rest of the day. All air traffic was grounded. I called my boss to ask if we were still having the meeting. I thought for sure it had been cancelled because it was on airport property. He said that it was still on. So Ty took me up to Houston. I was on the phone with my family almost the whole way talking about the day's events up to that point. For me it was scary and unknown. I had not been very interested about worldly happenings and didn't really care much about the news. I lived in a little happy bubble that I thought would never burst. Naive. When we arrived in Houston, the airport was a ghost town. This is a strange sight to see when you drive into one of the busiest international airports in the world. I attended my meeting and Ty waited patiently for a couple of hours in the car. On our way home, we heard about the first tower collapsing and by the time we got home the others had fallen too.

This was the first time in my life that I remember trying frantically to understand how someone could do something like this. Over the course of the remainder of the week, the death toll rose. There were blood drives and food drives and clothing drives. After a while, the media announced that the blood donation centers were at capacity and that there were few survivors to speak of; no more donations were needed. The final death toll rose to 2,974. Two-thousand-nine-hundred-seventy-four mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, fiancees, and friends lost. For what? To this day, I still can't wrap my head around it. Nor do I want to understand why some person some where thought that this would be a good idea. There are so many opinions about the story behind the events that took place on that dreadful day. From a government cover-up conspiracy to the terrorist and al-quaida. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. Human life was lost that day. Everyone lost something that day. Every one's life was forever changed. Children will grow up without their mommies or daddies. Mothers and Fathers will not become Grandmothers or Grandfathers. I don't need to explain...

I was not there. I didn't lose a family member or friend. I lost my naivety. I am forever changed by that day. I will forever be thankful for the life lesson. I will forever be grateful for the things I have. And, I will never forget.

In memory of all that were lost on September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't remind me...

...that I'm fat. I know, I know I can hear your eyes rolling as you read this but, hear me out. For heavens sakes isn't there an unspoken/unwritten rule not to ask a woman if shs is pregnant?!? Come on people! I regularly get asked one of two questions. First 'When are you due?' or the latter [while placing a hand on my abdomen] 'Are you?'. Give me a flippin break! If you aren't absolutely, positively, without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt certain that the woman you are talking to could push a baby out at any moment, YOU SHOULDN'T ASK!!!

Should I feel sorry for myself that I'm still carrying around all this baby weight even though I eat the same healthy BORING breakfast and lunch while desperately trying to convince myself that I'm not bored eating the same thing every day? No...I don't like sitting on the pity pot and when I do, it's not for very long.
Should I feel sorry for the person that asked the stupid question? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You opened the door to the embarrassment chamber, you should suffer through the torture of being embarrassed.
Am I wearing my clothes too tight? Well, I believe that I don't. I purposely buy clothes a little on the large side to avoid the cling. Of course, if I'm ever in a pinch, I have a pair of Spanx. However, I don't enjoy the feeling of being stuffed into a sausage casing.
Should I excercise? Probably. But I'd have to get up at the crack of dawn before the kids get up. Or, I could wait till I got home from work, after I fed and bathed the kids, finished the laundry, cleaned the kitchen and straightened up the house and after they all went to bed maybe I could get a walk in. But, then it's too late and who would or should walk alone at night? Or maybe I just don't want to excercise. I'm sure that if I really, really, really wanted to I would find a way. It's not like I sit around like a bump on a log. I'm always busy doing something.

So, if you pass a woman who looks pregnant, do me a favor...Don't ask her anything related to pregnancy. There is a possibility she may just be a little chubby (like me) and you wouldn't want to hurt her feelings or be embarrassed. Yes, being pregnant is cute and fun and new and exciting, and yada, yada, yada. I know it might be tempting but just KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! The rule is no longer unspoken or unwritten. Consider this posting as official documentation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ABC's and 123's...

...of course not. Not in this house. Nope. Nada. My kids learn about 'Wazz up!' and 'Knuckles' and how to 'Lock it Down' and how to retrieve a beer from the fridge. I consider myself extremely lucky that Ty is able to stay home and care for our children. My friends (you know who you are) would argue that the example provided below is a useless trick to teach a child. They would say 'Why not teach them ABC's or 123's?'. If you know my husband, you know that he is the master of useless (he would call it trivia) tricks and information. Being that he is the master of such things, I should expect that my children will eventually pick up on them if they aren't already inherited. Even though I think that these tricks are useless, I have to admit that it's pretty darn cute to see your child try to imitate their parent(s). Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, don't you think? As my little Tommy demonstrates his new trick below, it shows that he must really admire his Daddy.

San Diego Public Transit

I enjoy riding the trolley to work. Most days anyway. It helps to save gas money, downtown parking fees, and the environment. It also gives me a little time to wake up in the morning and time to wind down in the afternoon. I don't have to worry about traffic jams and I can call and talk to my family without being inturupted by a screaming child or distracted by driving. Typically, the trolley will have the same commuters each day with sporadic once-in-awhilers. Sometimes, a transient or two will get on board, talk to him or herself for a few stops then hop off at the next station. And then there are the occasional delays. Let me explain.

The trolley is scheduled to pick up passengers every 15 minutes at each station. So, lets say 4:00, 4:15, 4:30 and 5:00. Lets also say that each stop picks up and lets off roughly 25 passengers per car (usually 3 cars per trolley). This would allow comfortable seating for all of the passengers boarding. On a busy day some passengers may have to stand. While waiting for my 4:30 trolley I was told that 2 of the earlier trolleys (the 4:00 and the 4:15) had not come. This of course means that the trolley will be packed when it arrives at 4:30. Well, the trolley did not arrive till almost 5:00, which means that there were 4 times as many people as there normally is in any given car. I was fortunate enough to find the last available seat. By the 3rd stop after my boarding, the trolley was so packed I don't think it could've picked up any more passengers. But people kept shoving their way on the car and it didn't seem like anyone was getting off. This also means that I was packed in my seat like a canned fish. Under normal circumstances this wouldn't be a big deal. But as previously stated, I'm not that lucky. The person next to me (an older gentleman from out of town) was extremely friendly but apparently has never been introduced to lotion or a pumice stone. His elbows were so scaly it felt like little razors rubbing up against my arm. Which, by the way, is still raw. The gentleman across from me suffered from severe Halitosis and apparently couldn't catch his breath or had a long day or something. Every few seconds, or so it seemed, he would take a deep breath and let out a big long, hot, stinky, breathy sigh right into my face. The person standing in the aisle (who's XL tushy was just level with my face) next to my seat had a terrible problem with flatulence. Normally, I can handle these things individually. I get a little scratch on my arm, eh, whatever. I have to talk to someone who has bad breath, no biggie. Someone passes really smelly gas, I politely leave the room or deal with the stench for a few until it passes. After all, I do have children and these things happen on a regular basis. But, I was surrounded, with no where to escape. Put these three things together and, let me tell you, it's by far the absolute grossest thing I have ever dealt with EVER. You could almost cut through the green cloud of stench with my bench companions crusty elbow. YUK!

I can deal with poopy diapers and other foul bodily smells from my children, maybe because I love them so much. Love does have a habit of making one blind. But having any of these things forced upon you by strangers is no fun.
The men sitting next to and across from me were so nice that I didn't want to be rude and move elsewhere. I couldn't if I wanted to because there was no where to go anyway. Fortunately my stop came and I was able to excuse my self and wish them a good day. Ahhhh, fresh air...

A Calendar for Kiera...

I recently shared my blog with all of you. In sharing my blog I got lots of great responses including one from a friend I met a few years ago while working at Kinko's. Rod and his family (wife Michelle and little boy Colin) moved out of the city but, we exchanged emails and have been updating each other a few times throughout the year. Rod and Michelle, even though we are not as close to them as some of our other friends, are two of the most wonderful people I know. They are very well educated and have been around the world in their travels. They have since moved out of state and have added two more little boys (Drew and Issac) to their family. There are some people that you know for only a short time but you just know that they will do great things.

As some of you already know from personal experience, raising two children can be overwhelming at times. Nevermind trying to raise three. I can't imagine being outnumbered by my children three to two. But, the amazing Pflederer family of five will soon become six. These two amazing people have decided to adopt a little girl from India. I say adopt, but what I really should say is rescue. I was unaware (mostly because I refuse to watch anything media related because it is almost always disturbing) that India has the largest population of slave girls in the world. In reading their story, I learned that slave doesn't just mean a servant working for no wage in someones home. In short, families send their daughters to the city to earn their keep. The families cannot afford to send these girls to school because they need them to work to help support the family. Sometimes, unbeknownst to the family, the girls are sold to brothels and forced to work as sex slaves. The average age of a female slave in India is 14 years. And I do mean slave. These girls receive the bare minimum to stay alive. Clothing, food, and shelter. In return, they are forced to earn their keep by giving up their innocence.

If I had the option, I would open my home to all of the children of the world who aren't seen as they should be. Precious jewels that should be treasured and loved and nurtured and molded in to decent human beings. Because I do not have that option, I am writing this blog to help my friends save one little girl. I am writing in hopes that you will buy a Calendar for Kiera. Saving one among many may seem like a feeble attempt at curing the illness. But as Mother Theresa said, it's still one drop more. I will be buying a calendar from my friends to help them adopt this little girl and I hope that you do too.

Please visit http://journeytoindia.typepad.com/ for more information on how to buy a calendar.

Monday, September 8, 2008

When did I...

...tell her it was ok to talk to me that way? Is she mimicking the way I talk to her? I hope not because that would mean that I'm not talking to her in a respectful way. I am speaking of my strong willed, bull headed, sassy, smart, thinks she's in charge, 4 year old daughter. She talks so ugly to me sometimes (especially in the morning) that I have to wonder where she gets it.

She mentioned that she didn't want to sleep in her bed because it gave her bad dreams. So, I broke out the 'Magic Bad Dream and Monster Repellent' (just water in a spray bottle with a little perfume). I sprayed all around her room and she even reminded me to spray under the bed.
Then, she said wanted to sleep in just her underwear (what's up with her wanting to be eau natural lately). I said, ok fine, but then she was complaining of being cold. So I brought some jammies to her, just a tank top and some sleep shorts. No big deal, right? Then she said that she didn't want jammies because she would be hot. I explained that these jammies would not make her too hot and that if she got too hot to get out from under the covers. But if she got too cold that she could get under the covers. I don't think she has grasped the understanding of her internal thermostat quite yet. She then said that the jammies were too hot and that she needed a blanket to keep her cool. Huh? She must get this logic from her dad, or maybe her Pata. Whatever, I layed down with her for a little while and after she was asleep, went off to bed. Seemed to me that the jammy issue had been dropped and forgotten. I'm not that lucky. I was in the bathroom getting ready for work this morning. I heard her little feet hit the floor as she jumped out of bed and the stomp, stomp, stomp (Ty would say that she gets the stomping from me, but he walks just as loud as I do) of those little feet coming to look for me. Usually this is a pleasant sound that I'm excited to hear because it means that she is coming to give me good morning hugs and kisses and her polite request to make her breakfast. Not today. Today, she stomp, stomp, stomped into my bathroom, hands on her hips and proceeded to yell 'Mommy, I thought I told you I wanted to sleep naked!!! I didn't want to wear jammies and you put them on me anyway! I didn't want to be hot and now I'm cold so I need to take my jammies off and get a blanket!'
WHAT the HECK is that supposed to mean?!? Then she proceeded to get on the potty, does her business, flushes, walks to the kitchen and politely asks daddy to make her breakfast. Wow, she sure told me.

A few minutes later, I walk into the living room and start gathering my stuff up to leave. I had a few minutes to spare, so I sat down on the chair. Emma cruises over and jumps up onto the couch and picks up the red TV remote control. She then says 'Mommy, I had a dream about the red remote and about a guy, and a hammer, and the hammer smashed his foot, and then smashed his eyes!' I say 'Wow, Em, that sounds like a crazy dream!' She said 'See, I told you I have bad dreams in my bed. That spray doesn't work!' Oh well, I guess had her fooled for a little while.

We'll have to work on her sassiness. She sure has got a little mouth on her. Some would say, {ok, really, most everyone that knows me personally would say} (mostly my family that had to endure the pain of my childhood years) that she gets it from me.

When she is good, she is very, very good, but when she is bad she is awful...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Everyone that has come into my life has been talented in one way or another. There have been few times that I have had the pleasure of being in the company of someone who is truly gifted. The person I'm speaking of is Lisa Conrad. I have always been quite particular about my professional photographs, wanting to capture something outside the generic sit and pose studio photos. Well, she definately raised the bar and exceeded my expectations. While viewing the slide show, I cried. Yes, I know you are all suprised that I shed tears over looking at photos of my family. She not only captured beautiful photos, she was able to portray our family the way we look in our everyday lives. Her website is http://www.lisaconradphotography.com/ and the pictures below were posted with her permission. Thank you, Lisa, for giving me absolutely priceless memories that I will cherish forever!

Parents Magazine or Gymboree catalog?

The Boys

Hubby and Me

Tommy and Me

Peek-a-Boo Emma

I see you

Tutu Emma

Tutu Cute!

We went to Jamul (pronounced ha-mool for my Louisiana peeps) today to take Emma's tutu and our family photos. It went great! Emma was (naturally) a ham and had a blast having someone run after her with a camera. She loves having the attention all on her, on her terms only of course. If any of you know my daughter, you are well aware that she will NOT do anything she doesn't want to without a fight. Thankfully, today, she wanted to participate and she had a great time! The site we picked was a golf course. It was perfect, because most golf courses are very well landscaped and manicured. Our photographer, Lisa Conrad, was amazing. She was great with the kids and was very easy to be around. Her personality was warm and welcoming and made you feel instantly at ease. I asked her permission to post some of the proofs up on my blog and she, of course, said 'Absolutely!' (as soon as I get them from her I will post them). I told her that hopefully we would see her once a year. Maybe next time we could have them taken at the flower fields in Carlsbad. I'm sure with Lisa taking the photos, we could take them at the landfill and they would still look amazing!
I was able to take this cute photo
of Tommy 'driving' while we were
waiting for the tutu princess to
finish with her photo shoot.
What a little man!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vote for me...

...for Queen of Embarrasment. How could I make such a dumb mistake?
Ty just recently got a multimedia package for his new n95 (pictured below) and we decided that instead of calling during the day that we should text. I love my iPhone. It's really easy to use. So easy, in fact, that it's extremely easy to select an unintended recipient.
I thought it would be cute to text him something just on the verge of being innapropriate. Just innapropriate enough that I thought it best not to email it from work. The response I got was 'What does that mean?'...so I replied with an explanation that was quite a bit more graphic. Carefully illuminating every detail. You know...keeping our otherwise boring married life fun and interesting. The reply I got was 'Did you know this is *Amanda's phone?'... Oh No...Please tell me it isn't true!!! *Amanda's Phone?!?! My next door neighbor?!? The one who lives and breathes the Gospel....who's husband is the Pastor of the Baptist church on the corner?!? The one who has SIX perfectly well mannered children!?!? THAT *AMANDA?!?!
She read the message that was meant for my husbands eyes only. I was (and still am) MORTIFIED! I called Ty and explained the situation. He asked me if I wanted him to go over and talk to her. I said yes initially...hoping that he could help me put out the raging fire of embarrasment in my stomach. Then of course he talked me into calling her, which I did. She was a great sport about it. She laughed and even explained that she had had something similar happen to her when she and her husband were dating. Thank goodness. Hopefully this is one of those things that will make our friendship stronger. A friend that can laugh with you when you do something brainless, is a really great friend to have.

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent. Goodness knows I've put her through enough for one day.

The Holidays are coming...

...and this year they are NOT TAKING MY MONEY! Are you kidding?! It's barely September and already the stores are putting out Christmas stuff. What the heck?! Is this where the phrase 'Christmas in July' came from? This year, Ty and I have decided not to but gifts for any of our adult family or friends. This year is the start of a new tradition. We will only be buying gifts for the children in our families. All of the needs of the adults in our lives are met in abundance. Anyway, most of the 'gifts' purchased for our adult family and friends are not really gifts at all; they’re more like tokens in a complex exchange system filled with obligation and rules. We will be spending more on our holiday cards this year. A small treat will be included in each one. So I'm sorry if I offend anyone for not buying gifts. If you're really want to purchase a gift for our family, please find a charity to donate to in our name. Yes, we will still decorate, mostly because I just love to decorate. But, also because decorating is part of the traditions that kids remember. I will always remember the way my Aunt's Christmas tree looked with all of the colorful ornaments. The little white lights twinkling all over and the warm glow that they cast after all the lights in the house were off.

The gifts we intend to buy for the children will be small and reasonable and hopefully practical and fun. The holidays have turned into something that is exactly opposite of what it is supposed to be. I don't consider myself a religious person, but I do believe in family values and basic morals. I feel like the holidays of today are teaching our kids 'Look at everything I got for Christmas!' Instead of 'Look at all the things we gave for Christmas!' Hopefully when they are older we can start to do charitable things in our community. Like, hand out doughnuts and coffee to the homeless or work for a day at Father Joe's serving food. Something to teach them how to be fulfilled by giving instead of receiving. I know this is going against the grain of our society today but I really don't want to fill my home with meaningless gifts and trinkets. I'd rather fill it with memories of my family and I just being together. My daughter won't cherish the Dora Kitchen Set that she got last year from 'Santa', but she will always remember that we made Christmas cookies every year.

This is something that I wanted to do last year but it was too late in the season to propose it to my family and friends. So, consider this my official announcement. Please do not buy for us as we are blessed to have the means to obtain everything our family needs to survive and be entertained.

Eau de Cat Urine...

..yep that's right. My new fragrance, do you like it? Blech! I don't think there is a smell that is worse! So I must have really pissed (no pun intended) off my cat(s) or Ty or both. There is a table in our foyer where I used to drop off my things at the end of the day. My purse, trolley bag, mail, etc. Ty never liked that I used this as my drop off station at the end of the day. He says that the mess starts to overflow and gets out of control. OK, so, I admit it, it takes me a little while to change my system. I don't immediately change as soon as he makes it clear that he doesn't like something that I'm doing. It takes me a little while to adjust. But, he is obviously playing hard ball. Getting our cats in on his game is a low blow if you ask me. After dropping my stuff off on the table, it seems that within minutes the cat (I'm not sure which one it is at this point because we have 3) has sprayed my bag with her lovely perfume! Damnit! If you've never smelled cat pee, it's worse than a skunk and just as hard to get rid of. So of course then I have to get to washing all of the things in my bag/purse and the bag and the purse. How many times will it take for my stuff to get peed on before I stop leaving it on the table? I'll be taking bets until next Friday...

On another, similar, note. So, the same person who gripes about my leaving stuff on the table in the foyer, doesn't understand how to use a laundry basket. Even though I've explained laundry basket usage to him numerous times, he still doesn't get it. He is showing signs of beginning comprehension. Instead of the clothes being strewn all over the room they are gathered in a pile next to the laundry basket. Is it too much trouble to toss them into the basket instead of on the floor? He complains about my leaving 'crap' by the front door and in the same breath curses when he trips over his dirty clothes in the bedroom! Maybe I should talk to the cats and have them help me out. If his clothes started smelling like cat pee, I'm sure he would learn to put his clothes in the laundry basket.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

When seconds count...

...We're minutes away. Huh? Seriously. On my way home from work I saw a minivan with a bumper sticker that said 'SDPD When seconds count, we're minutes away.' Is that the same thing as 'When people are starving, we think about giving them food.'? OK, if there were an emergency where seconds counted, I personally would want them to be seconds away. And if it were minutes, how many? 2, 15, 20, 30?! It doesn't seem like the smartest thing to advertise how long it takes the police department to respond to an emergency. I'm not knocking the San Diego Police Department, please don't misunderstand me...but they should find a better marketing strategy. Hopefully their next bumper sticker won't say 'SDPD Whenever theres trouble, we'll be there eventually.'

So I get home and I walk into a screaming boy and a half naked girl. These are not unusual things to find as I'm walking in the door from a long day at work. It's almost as if they plan to be absolutely BONKERS the minute I walk through the door. I can hear them plotting, 'OK, when Mommy gets home, you start squealing like a newborn piglet and I'll take off all my clothes and streak through the house!'. (Why can't I get away with running through the house naked screaming like a banshee?) Tonight is Emma's Open House at school and naturally she's naked instead of dressed and ready to go. Emma, who is only wearing her underwear, says 'Hey, Mom! I'm naked because I was hot.' Of course then the normal hustle and bustle of the end of my work day and the beginning of my work night ensues. Ty heats up dinner while I mess around on the computer. At the dinner table, Emma says 'Mommy, if me and my friends talk at the same time, we can't hear each other.' I respond 'Wow Emma did you learn that at school?', 'Yep!' she answers. I'm glad to know that she is learning something that makes sense to her. Then she says, in her biggest big girl voice, 'So, how was your day at work Mommy?' I don't think she could be any cuter.

Emma shows me around her classroom
and that she can write her numbers.
There was a paper posted on the wall
in her class with her name on it. There
was a long group of letters on the page
and the following written by her teacher
for interpretation: "My mom is the best
mom in the whole wide world."
I think that their cuteness is a survival mechanism.

PS: I would've taken a picture of the bumper sticker, but I was driving.

Mama Duck Wordle

Thanks Mean Mommy for the Wordle!

Why is it...

...that when I have piles upon piles of work to do on my desk I get so overwhelmed that I can't even find where to start. Of course, I know that once I get started, I can actually accomplish more than the average person. I'm great at multitasking. What's the holdup? Why can't I just get started. I feel like an old lawnmower. You know, the one that takes 100 pulls on the starter to get it going but once you get the motor running, mowing is a breeze. Ugh...I'm in a funk.

Besides work, I'm having a blast at home. I have so many projects I don't know what to do with myself. I recently offered to make cupcakes as a gift for a friend's, daughter's birthday party. Tinkerbell themed. So after endless hours of google searching for ideas, I finally decided to suck it up and just use icing. Well, thanks to my bookstore loving aunts that happend to be visiting at the time, I got an AWESOME cookbook all about cupcakes! WOO HOO! Of course I found exactly what I needed to be inspired in this book and voila! Perfect Party cupcakes! They turned out amazing and another girlfriend asked if I would make cupcakes for her son's County Fair themed party! So...I'm making some that look like popcorn tubs and some that look like cotton candy. I'm also making a tiered display stand with a top that looks like a circus tent. Ok, so I'm not sure about the display thing, but I'm going to try to make it work. I hate when I get these images in my head about how I want things to look and then can't make it happen. Gotta love a challenge. Ty's gonna have to help me with this one.

On to my other projects, one of my friends recently decided to start a craft business. She makes Custom Tutu's. Absolutely adoreable! I had her make one for Emma and, since it's the first of it's kind, it's called 'The Emma'. We are scheduled to have pictures taken on Sunday. I thought I'd also make the most of the photo opportunity and get (much to Ty's dismay) a family photo taken. Well, this means getting coordinating outfits. Not the easiest task unless you go to Gymboree. For those of you that don't know about Gymboree, please do not seek any information about this establishment. Especially if you have children! I warn you that they put some kind of addictive substance in the air system in all of their stores. Shopping at this store is EXTREMELY HABIT FORMING and detrimental to your finances (even with a 20% off coupon) and your marital relationships! STAY AWAY! (unless you want your kids to look absolutely amazing in photos!) The pictures of 'The Emma' will be posted at http://www.onceuponatutu.net/ hopefully by the end of the month. My boss keeps looking at me as if to wonder what it is I'm working on. I guess I should actually do some of my work, or at least look like it. Will someone please pull my starter?