Saturday, June 25, 2016

Five for Friday - June 24th

1.  Current TV Show I can't get enough of: UnReal on Lifetime and Hulu.  It's a fictional show about filming a show like The Bachelor.

2.  Also, can't get enough of Watermelon flavored licorice.  Not nearly as healthy as Watermelon, the actual fruit, but more delicious.

3. Finished the book, The Light Between Oceans, loved it.  I've been struggling through All the Light We Cannot See for six months. Everyone seems to love it and  I have a very tough time giving up on a book. Does it get better? 

4.  My kids are superstar sleepers and sleeping until 10AM, it's one of the best parts of summer.  They are also superstar fighters and don't get along with each other, which is one of the worst parts of summer.

5.  While my kids are sleeping like champs, I'm not.  The stupid smoke alarms keep having errors at four in the morning.  I've changed all the batteries, but still one of them malfunctions and sets the whole string off. Why doesn't this happen during the daytime? 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five for Friday

Five things on my mind today:

1.  Have you ever wondered about the orgin of "The Super Ultimate Mega Summer"?   You can read about it here.  While  you are at it, I suggest you also read about the time I was mistaken for being homeless, because it still makes me laugh. 

2.  I've been reading a lot and just finished Orphan Train and Girl on the Train.  Loved them both and while both involve trains, they were very different.

3.  Mr. Boy isn't feeling so great and as a result we don't really have any big trips planned.  It's got me feeling a little blue.  Our big trip to Alaska last summer made me realize that I really enjoy having something to look forward to.

4.  Last week I reconnected with an old friend that I haven't seen for 22 years!  We picked up right where we left off and it was so enjoyable.   I kind of pushed everyone away after high school  because those were hard years at home that I just wanted to forget.  However, I realize now my friends were what got me through those tough times.  So if you are reading this and are an old friend, just know I am grateful for you and your friendship.

5. Things we can't get enough of:  The Goldbergs (TV Show),  Taco Bell's Happy Hour Slushie's ($1 from 2-5pm),  reading by the pool, and Sprout's Cowboy Burgers. 

Tell me what you are looking forward to or what you can't get enough of!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Sombrero

In honor of Cinco de Mayo here is the story of Mr. Man's priceless Sombrero.

Mr. Man came into our marriage over twenty years ago with a giant TV and a Sombrero.  This was his dowry of sorts.  The TV is long gone, but The Sombrero has been a constant.

The Sombrero was hung on the wall of our first home, much to my dismay, but Mr. Man loved having a place to display it.   When we moved, I scoured boxes behind liquor stores because we needed a box so The Sombrero wouldn't get crushed.   We moved The Sombrero to four different homes and always finding a box for The Sombrero was high on the priority list for each move.  The Sombrero required a big box and great care so as not to crush it.

The orgin story for The Sombrero has changed over the years.  Mr. Man isn't quite sure where it was acquired, but it must hold some secret forbidden memory because The Sombrero has been so lovingly preserved through many attic purges.    He thinks he got it in Mexico on a super fun trip.

Last year,  I stumbled across the Sombrero and decided to bring it out for Cinco de Mayo.  It was the first time in a long while that I had got a good look at The Sombrero.  

Wait a minute, does that say Chevys on it?   Are you kidding me?  This is a Sombrero from Chevys!  As in Chevys, the cheesy Mexican Chain restaurant that gives you a free Sombrero on your birthday.  
So for twenty years I have been hauling around a freaking free Sombrero from a chain restaurant!  I had never heard of Chevys until we moved back to LA.  The Sombrero is definitely not from Mexico.  

Fair Warning:  Next time we move (which is hopefully never) I'm tossing The Sombrero in the trash, no more special boxes!  We can get another one next time we go to dinner.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five for Friday - May 20, 2016

1.  Current Mood: Limping Crawling to the finish line for school.  The next Ultimate Mega Super Summer adventure is on the horizon.  Follow us on our daily adventures on Instagram:  Qwendykay

2.  On Monday I joined people all across the nation to watch The Abolitionist Movie.  The people at Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) are doing amazing work to end Human Trafficking.   If it is being shown in a theater in your area, go and see it.   It's tasteful, well done, and will leave you inspired to join the cause.  It is worth your time, I promise.
 3.  You have to check out the Podcast The Memory Palace.   They are short podcasts about real life people and events.  Nate DiMeo is a storytelling genius and I love listening to them with my kids.  In particular we love Episode 46: After Party,  Episode 85: AKA Leo and Episode 16: Secret Kitty.   After Party in particular has inspired many thought provoking discussions.

4.  I'm still convinced that when everyone was at the hospital having their babies there was a seminar that told everyone how to be a parent.  I missed that meeting and constantly feel like I'm floundering and just guessing at what the right parental move is in situations.  One thing that I am doing right is intentionally raising my children with some stellar families.  For the past two years we have met every morning on a corner two blocks before school and we send our kids off to school together.  We are co-parenting and it has made a huge difference in my life.
5.  The other thing I'm doing right as a parent is taking my kids to this great little theater in Santa Monica.  The Morgan-Wixson Theater puts on fabulous plays for kids and we have attended most of them in the last few years. Currently playing:  Frog and Toad

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Beyonce Rule - Beyonce doesn't wear pants

Beyonce doesn't wear pants.  
She doesn't have to, because she is freaking Beyonce.

My daughter, who loves to dress herself, will often wear something that does not resemble an outfit.  For example: bikini bottoms on top of a leotard.  I often remind her that she is not Beyonce and unless you are Beyonce you have to wear pants.   

It's been a household rule that has come in quite handy and one that is used surprisingly often.   Boom!  Parenting win!    Until your daughter ask strangers, wearing very short shorts, if they are Beyonce, because they aren't wearing proper pants.  

Sunday, May 01, 2016

A Hypothetical Story About 50 Shades of Grey

A disclaimer:  I will deny this in public and am sharing this hypothetical story that allegedly happened to a "friend" of mine.  

I love my Kindle and so does my family. My favorite is the access we have to several free books and since I have a house full of avid readers it saves my family boatloads of money.  One day Mr. Boy was nearing the last few chapters of a book on the Kindle and begged me to take the Kindle to school to finish reading it.   I relented, because I know what it's like to be in those last few chapters anxious to know how everything plays out.

A few hours into the school day, I.. uh, I mean my "friend"  had the most terrifying thought.  Mr. Boy would probably finish his book at school and then what?  What if he started browsing through the other books on my Kindle to find something else to read?  Oh NOOOOO... NO!  NO!! NO!   Which prompted the following call to call Amazon Customer Support.

My "Friend":   Uh, hello.  Let's just say, hypothetically, of course,  you needed to remove some books from a Kindle. Perhaps, as an example, the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Amazon:  Sure, I can help you do that.  Can you power up your Kindle?  Then I can help you delete  books from your Kindle Library.

My "Friend":  Well... see... uh... here is the thing, the Kindle isn't here.  It's in my ten year old's classroom.

AmazonOh, that is tough.  We will need the Kindle to delete the book. 

My "Friend":  Can't I sync it wireless-ly from my laptop?  Like if I stand on the sidewalk outside the school with my laptop, maybe it will sync?  Maybe I can stand upwind of my son's classroom, so the "sync" will blow downwind. 

Amazon:  Well, sure that it is a great idea, but unfortunately the Kindle doesn't work that way. 

My "Friend":  Do you understand that I just sent my 10 year old to school with 50 Shades of Grey?  I normally read Jane Austen, I swear I do.  But I just had to see what all the fuss was about.  Oh my goodness, what am I going to do? 

Amazon:  If I lived closer, I would happily go to the school to retrieve the Kindle on your behalf.  I would tell the office that the Kindle was being recalled for a fire danger.

My "Friend":  Ah yes.. that is an excellent idea.  I might have to use that excuse.   Thank you Amazon, for not judging me.

And that is the story of why we now have multiple Kindles in our house, one for the kids and one for the grown ups. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Five for Friday - Welcome Back Edition

Hello?  Is this thing on? Anyone out there reading this?   Whew, I took a little hiatus from writing and I hated it. I figured the best way to jump back in was to do my favorite "Five for Friday" format.  Here are five thoughts rolling around in my head.

1.  I'm passionate about this organization, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR Rescue).  Not the most pleasant topic, but sex trafficking is an issue that we can not turn our back on.  The people at OUR Rescue are making a difference and saving lives.  I am thrilled to have been able to screen the documentary "The Abolitionist".   It's a must see movie for every adult to understand how we can help put an end to sex trafficking.  Join me on May 16, 2016 to watch the movie "The Abolitionist" at a theater near you.

2.  Just a heads up, in California it's illegal to hold your cell phone in your hand while you are driving.  So hypothetically, if you are holding your phone in your hand, face down on your lap while stopped in traffic, and a cop happens to roll by on a motorcycle and look in your window,  they can give you a ticket. Someone learned that lesson the hard way, but I'm not naming names.

3.  Also, if you are driving in California, it is legal to eat a big, fat burger and drive.  Your other hand might even be holding a giant drink and you are using your knees to steer.  As long as you aren't veering into other lanes of traffic, no ticket.  Also, if you are driving and using tweezers to pluck your eyebrows, no worries! No ticket for you.  These are all things I witnessed people doing while I sat on the side of the road waiting for the police officer to finish writing a ticket for holding my cell phone in my lap.

4.  The summer countdown is on, less than 30 days until our Ultimate Super Mega Summer.  This summer is kind of a mess, other than a tiny trip there are no concrete plans.  I've got to hunker down and figure it out. I'm open to suggestions!

5.   I'm still a little bit bitter about #3 and #4.   Can you tell? 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Accidental Terrorist

Sometimes I get caught up in an idea and never really stop and think, "Wait.. it's an idea, but is it a GOOD idea?"
My Christmas Cards are a great example of this. This year I accidentally sent out Terrorist Christmas Cards.

It all started two years ago, when in my holiday panic I grew increasingly frustrated with our attempts at a family picture.  After five separate failed attempts to get a picture with everyone looking at the camera, I gave up.  So I sent out a holiday card with a picture from the Christmas before.  We were all wearing our new hoodies on Christmas Day, it was hilarious and it made me laugh.
Then I had this idea that maybe we should take our hoodies with us on vacations and take pictures of us in our hoodies at exotic locations.  It would solve the problem of trying to get everyone to smile and look at the camera.   But it doesn't really translate, case in point, our 2015 Christmas Card.
 All that is missing from the pic is some guns and we are full fledged terrorists.   I had this realization after I had the card designed and paid a couple hundred dollars for printing.   I was the one who said, "Yes, this is the pic I want on the front!!!"  I'm in love with the design, I'm always a sucker for Blue and White, and I thought our picture on the front was hilarious.  Then after I started to address them, I realized... "Oh my goodness, Aunt Edna is going to think we are terrorist."   Then I wondered... what if everyone is going to think we are terrorist!   

But I sent them anyway...  I just added a note:  PS We are not terrorists.  

Monday, November 09, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015

I swear having a little girl is like having your own Barbie doll to dress up.  Last year when she told me she wanted to be Mary Poppins for Halloween, I jumped at the chance, because c'mon she is ridiculously adorable.
 She loved all the posing, she loved dressing up, and she loved singing Mary Poppins songs while wearing her costume.  
 As for Mr. Boy, he is too cool for most stuff these days, except he loved this loose interpretation of his favorite condiment, A Sriracha Bottle. 
As for the dogs, this year I wrestled them into costumes that made me laugh, but they hated them. 
I swear Zeena Warrior Princess is going to eat my face off.  Zoey seemed pretty happy to be a football player, but she did not need the extra padding, she's got plenty of her own padding.
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Five for Friday: Tumor Humor

I did it, survived surgery on my brain.   The whole magnitude of what I had done really didn't hit me until yesterday.   I'm still a little freaked out that I had people messing around inside my head.   The tumor was removed successfully, it was bigger than anticipated, but all is well.  Pathology results in a week or two.

Here are five thoughts rolling around my head:

1.  I've had surgery multiple times, it's awful every single time.  Painkillers are my new best friend and rehab sounds like a luxury vacation.  The downside of painkillers is that it makes me feel like I have a brain cloud.  I can't think straight and I've had a good time reading through my texts that I sent those first few days.  Here is my blanket apology for everything I said, "I'm sorry for the things I said while on painkillers."    You know the pain is bad when you decide that pants are "too heavy" and you just step out of your pants and leave them all over the house.  Also, this is the worst puzzle to do while on painkillers.  It's holographic and it made me so mad, I cried and tried to throw it away.  I think maybe I was projecting my frustration on the puzzle a little bit.

2.  Highlights of this last week has been getting daily texts and videos from friends and family.  It's been my favorite and I love watching them over and over.   This is the best part of living in 2015.

3.  I tend to be an overachiever in multiple areas of my life.  So when the Neurosurgeon gives you a timeline for recovery, I figured that I'd be able to a super star and recover about the half the time.   Turns out I'm just average at healing and healing right on the doctor's timeline.

4.  Right after I woke up from surgery, I was convinced that I was in an airport.  No one could convince me otherwise.   I was so mad at myself for having brain surgery at an airport kiosk and kept thinking, "The guy over there is selling Chips and Soda.   I really should be more responsible and make better choices.   No one should have surgery in an airport, responsible people have surgery in a hospital."  
5.    I'm incredibly lucky and have never felt so loved.  My house looks like a flower shop and we have had meals brought in every night.  I'm so incredibly lucky and have been surrounded by so many great people.  I think Stacey Kramer summed it up best.   Watch this four minute TED talk, that pretty much sums up how I feel. 

Thank you everyone for the well wishes. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On this week's episdoe of "Tumor Talk"

I'm supposed to be having Brain Surgery today, but unfortunately or fortunately, it was postponed for a few more weeks.  I've been absent from my virtual life lately because I've been really busy trying to live my life to the fullest as one is prone to do when they were convinced they were dying.

Confused?   Let me back up...  I have a bump on my forehead that never went away.  I didn't think much of it until I realized that it's tender to the touch and it is growing.   I knew something was not right because at every cat scan or x-ray, a crowd would form in the observation area and you could see the techs mouthing the words, "What is that?" to each other.  Some would come in and touch my forehead and then look at the scans and try to compare them. 

Unfortunately, I have what they consider to be a brain tumor, but it really is a skull tumor.  It's a tumor in my skull growing out from my forehead (a horn! a unicorn horn!)  and is growing out from my skull into my brain.  If it wasn't growing both outwardly and inwardly, I'd be tempted to keep my horn around.

It explains a lot, I've had some headaches and some symptoms that I'm hoping will go away.  No one in the medical field will actually admit it's a Unicorn Horn, but I think we all know that a bony mass protruding from one's forehead is really a horn. I can't wait for my magical powers to show up.

The unfortunate thing about this tumor is the fact that the original CT scan suggested this was a secondary tumor from Metastatic Breast Cancer, which is the same disease that stole my mom. For five days I was convinced I was dying and I'm not going to lie it was terrifying.  Bottom line it's not breast cancer, and for that I'm incredibly grateful.  I still don't think I've recovered from that week. 
There are many good things that have come out of this, one of them is that Mr. Man has been my rock through all of it.  We have utilized the phrase, "Let's pretend that tomorrow doesn't matter."  and gone on adventures.  One night it led us to a last minute concert where we danced and sang our troubles away with a favorite band.   Another night it led us out to dinner and ordered Lobster, the most expensive item on the menu.  There is a lot of small stuff in our life and it's true, we don't really need to sweat most it.
I refer to my brain tumor as "my horn," and feel in some ways like I'm a host.  I've taken my tumor out to fancy dinners, to the beach, and to Alaska.   I kind of feel like I should make a scrapbook and present it to my Neurosurgeon and tell him, "I made a scrapbook of all the places I took my tumor!"

Humor is the only way I know how to cope with all of this, so I'm cracking jokes to everyone's dismay.  I'm going to be fine, I know it.   I'm supposed to be having brain surgery today, but since I'm not, I'm going to take my tumor on another adventure.  After all life is short and some days you have to live like tomorrow doesn't matter.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Ultimate Super Mega Summer Hit List

We are well into our Ultimate Super Mega Summer, though it has been a rather sleepy summer as Mr. Boy undergoes treatment.  We have an average of five doc appointments a week and so our list isn't as outlandish as it could be.

Summer Bucket List
Donuts on the Beach
Go to Robin’s Basket  (aka Baskin Robbins)
Eat Pizza at a Pizza Place (No delivery!)
Randy’s Donuts

Jurassic World
Inside Out
Fantastic Four
Ant Man

A Pool Party
A Beach Day
West Side Story Movie Night
Our Cousins
A Mission
Chandelier Tree
Bid Farewell to the Silver Lake Reservoir
Natural History Museum
Discovery Cube LA
Lolli and Pops
Siracha Factory

Ride Bikes
ReDo Mr. Boy's Room
Drink Butterbeer and Read Harry Potter
Put in a Swing
Bake a Pie
Watch Deadliest Catch

The Best Donuts in Los Angeles

The Trip of a Lifetime!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

You gotta try this! Best Neapolitan Pizza in LA - Midici

14612 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

We have found our new favorite place to eat in Los Angeles!  We loved this place so much we have been back twice and it's where Mr. Boy wants to go for his Birthday Dinner! 

To read my full review...   Click on over here to BurbankMom.