Then the kids are whisked off to bed, and the elves get to work. We did lots of Playmobil, and totally underestimated the set up. The pirate ship took 90 minutes to put together!!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Then the kids are whisked off to bed, and the elves get to work. We did lots of Playmobil, and totally underestimated the set up. The pirate ship took 90 minutes to put together!!
Our Annual Gingerbread Decortating Extravaganza. We did the Costco kit, and the Trader Joes' kit. Oh how I love Trader Joes, however their Gingerbread house smells oddly like Ketchup.
AK with her house Mr. Boy & AK all dressed up for a holiday party. They looked adorable.
Then Mr. Boy performed at his preschool Christmas Pagaent. So fun. They performed their song without a hitch. One class asked the parents to sing along to Away in a Manger . I totally choked up singing along with 100 3 &4 year olds with thier parents. It totally put me in the Christmas spirit.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
When he told me about the white elephant gift exchange and then unveiled his prize... I exclaimed, "That's no white elephant gift, it's a Festivus Miracle"
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And the dog who has laid at my feet during the whole Christmas Card assembling process. When I work I throw my trash on the floor... then clean up at the end. Sandy always loves to lay on my pile of trash.
And phew... done and mailed!!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Shhhh... we are LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and Daily Variety type people. I'm surprised we haven't been kicked out of the OC by now.
Update... Oooo we are online. Check me out I'm an Internet Celebrity. CLICK_ME!
Dear Skoopix or more commonly known as Skoopi,
On the occasion of your 8th birthday, I write you a little note. You got the short end of the doggie stick in life. You were the second dog... commonly known as "Sandy's pet". You came to this house knowing you would never be "Top Dog" here as long as Sandy was around.
We felt like Sandy was lonely, and needed a pal, so we scoured around for you looking for just the right dog. We went to this sweet little family who had breed puppies as a family project. We met your mom, who loved you and nudged you to "Go Play" with the others. You walked right over to Mr. Man, and settled in his legs for a slumber. Well, that was it.... you picked us. We took you home that night, and your mama's human sobbed as she said goodbye to you.
Oh, your tummy was so soft, like velvet when you were a puppy! Our friends came over that night to meet you, everyone loved to hold you. You would sit down and throw back your head and howl this pitiful.. "RoooRoooRoooooooo" sound when you were being ignored by Sandy or us. You still do it on occasion and it makes me laugh. Sandy could not STAND you the first week. Everytime you touched her, she would scowl and run away. Your lovable and resillent nature just kept trying to get her to accept you, and she did once she realized you'd share your food with her, and your food was much tastier.
Your name.... is ridiculously unique, a daily reminder of our good friend Booboo and her husband. We spent New Years Eve with them and were discussing what we would name our first children, and the men were getting a bit punchy... Mr. Man said.. "Schnaug.. that's a good name for a first born son".... and everyone laughed and laughed (maybe we were all a bit punchy....) then asked how you would spell that.. Mr. Man said "S-k-o-o-p-x, the koopx is silent.. and the Naug is invisible. " For whatever reason, that was just HILARIOUS. Out of that came your name Skoopix. However, though your name is ridiculous, Skoopi fits you well.
Skoopi, you remind me a bit of Forrest Gump.... loveable, obedient, and incredibly loyal, however you have not been blessed with a high brain capacity. For what you lack in mental power, is more than made up in the love you expel. Sandy loves and worships Mr. Man... you, however, are ALWAYS by my side. You are MY dog. You have never tested me like Sandy has. When I went away on my first business trip, you were so beside yourself you ate the Christmas Tree and a giant hole in the couch. You are always sitting there by me and when my hand falls to my side, you gently nudge it looking for some rubs and scratches. You crave physical touch, and can not stand being on a "stay". Your whole body shakes just waiting for that moment you can be released and go back to nuzzling.
We fear what it will be like for you to lose your pal Sandy. You are best friends... you started sharing the same bed this year, and you are rarely out of each other's sight. Sandy gets you into all sorts of mischeif, and you copy her bad behavior. Sandy jumps on guests, even with failing hips, and years of training, she jumps. You join in the jumpfest. If Sandy misses the guests arrival, you quietly stand beside me sniffing the air in the direction of our guests to see if they are interesting.
Skoopi, you are so loved and such an integral part of this family, I can not imagine life without your nose nuzzling me throughout the day. On your birthday, I am grateful for the silent loyal companion who has loved me unconditionally each and every day of their life.
Your favorite human on the planet and that other guy (aka....Mr. Man)
Sunday, December 09, 2007
We had a lovely time, swanky club in Hollywood. The food was well.. ahem.. not my favorite part. However, the people were fun. Mr. Man has worked there a while, it's interesting to see him work the room. "Mr. Fancy Working Man" is definitely not the "Mr. Man" I live with. He's a lot more animated, and get this... he speaks without grunting or even without being spoken to first. IT'S AMAZING.
The second holiday party we went to for this company, I stood with my jaw on the floor the entire evening. On the way home, Mr. Man said... "you are too quiet" and I was just too flabberghasted to speak in complete sentences... "you spoke... you know.. initiated conversations, your colleagues think you are funny.... they have "Mr. Man-isms... you are the "cool guy" to work with". I was disturbed for days... mostly because back then, we hung out with my friends and their spouses, not a lot of people knew Mr. Man without knowing me first. And well.. I might talk too much, and Mr. Man could never get a word in.
Anyway.. back to the fancy shindig... I was way overdressed, apparently these things are getting more casual. There were a few of us wives that didn't get that memo. Mr. Man kept his suit jacket and tie on the whole night so I wouldn't feel like the only one overdressed.
And since this fancy shindig was a ways away, we got to chat on the way up. Guess what subject Mr. Man brought up... ahem.. brace yourself people. This blog! WHAT? I know! I warned you to brace yourself. I printed off his birthday letter, so it's peaked his interest. In fact, being the techno-geek that I adore, he was like..."Yeah, maybe we should get you your own domain, and I could develop an interface for you" (In my head... huh... I'll have to remember those terms and ask one of the guys at the party tonight to break that down into terms I can understand) Maybe.... I'll have to get more serious about this blog thing knowing, that now it's not just me spouting off into those vast world wide interwebs. Now my audience might include Mr. Man. Ooooo that means I'll have to behave... well shoot that's no fun.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Dissappointed doesn't even describe my feelings. I need a girls weekend.... need some time to laugh until 3am, need some shopping with my pals, and some time without having to care about anyone else but myself. Oh well.... there will be others, if not I'm making my own one happen!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I thought they were crazy...
However, I must be getting old, because I pulled this picture out from our Christmas box and I looked at that couple... and smiled remembering that very first Christmas. In our teeny tiny house in LA with one small heater, that hardly heated.
Am I wearing a Christmas sweater in that pic? And why are my bangs so short? Yes, that is a baggy Christmas sweater, and my bangs are short because several weeks prior Ross cut my hair. He claims he knew how to do it, but my bangs ended up an inch shorter than I asked for, and I took one look in the mirror and burst into tears. They grew out, and Mr. Man felt guilty every time he looked at me for 4 months. Times were simple back then.
We were on a tight budget... Mr. Man just started his first real job, and I was working in downtown LA getting ready to quit and head back to school. I had a whole $5 a week to do whatever I wanted with. Our grocery bill was rarely over $20 (although, that was also the era where we eat spaghetti every day, because it was all I knew how to cook) We also ate roasted garlic on Ritz Crackers every Sunday night as a special treat. I remember this, because it had to be real Ritz crackers, and those were "expensive".That first Christmas was romantic, I remember my gifts included a black fitted Gap sweater, which I still have for sentimental reasons... (I'm sure Mr. Man was hoping I'd wear it instead of that huge festive sweater), some Victoria's Secret lotion, and a wonder mop (those were ALL the rage back then). We looked forward to exchanging gifts and Christmas. We sat by the tree and talked about Christmas's to come... the traditions we wanted to carry out with our future family.
We gave our little spunky old neighbor lady, Gloria, that we loved dearly, an ornament that I handpicked from Pic'n'Save, and she gave us a box of Godiva Chocolates. I felt terrible that we gave her something so cheap, and she gave us something so indulgent... something that cost 10 times more than what we paid for that gift.... however she kept that ornament out year round, and when she passed away her daughter took that ornament knowing it was a prized posession. I learned a lot that from that experience, a gift does not have to be expensive to be of great worth.
And the tree... was a hand me down from Mr. Man's parents. It was plastic, real plastic, like tupperware and a bit brittle due to age. The bottom half of the tree only had branches in the front. We had that tree for years, and every year it got a little more sparse, and it shed just like a real Christmas tree. I saved a branch of that tree, and keep it amoung our Christmas things. The tree spent it's last Christmas with us when Mr. Man was in Grad School, another humble year, and it didn't have branches on the bottom half. It was a real space saver, and a real conversation starter. I have a soft spot in my heart for that tree... just call me Charlie Brown.
Those early days were filled with fun memories. We watched a ton of movies, and Mr. Man was always playing new music for me. I had missed the 80's, and he was totally stoked to fill me in. We listened to Kevin and Bean on KROQ every morning while getting ready for work. And every once in a while we'd go out on a date.... to Panda Express or In-n-Out. Mr. Man took me on a tour of In-n-Out's across LA during that first year. Telling me about the important event that happened at each one. And going out to eat... that was BIG deal. I got dressed up, put on perfume, and everything. Oh, and Souplantation... that was reserved for special occasions... you know like Birthdays.
Whew... I could reminisce all day...
Anyway, bottom line, I look back at those "poor days" and I smile. I know what the "older folks" were talking about.
This all goes towards the concept that I've been working on, and that's enjoying this ride called life. My friend Bob in particular is always so good about reminding me to enjoy the phase I am in. When the Christmas tree is decorated in one giant blob on the bottom two feet, obviously done by a toddler she will exclaim, "That...is AWESOME! Did you get a picture of that?" There is a time and season for everything my friends.... one day my clothes will be free of sticky handprints, and I'll come across a young mom with a sticky handprint on her pants, and I'll smile.
**Uncle Mike and Aunt Deb, everyone should be so lucky to have relatives like them. Deb makes you feel like you are the most special guest in attendance when you visit. There is no other woman more gracious than Aunt Deb. And Uncle Mike... everyone should have an Uncle Mike. And at one time, we had a theory, that everyone does have an Uncle Mike. He is a riot, always laughing, cracking jokes, and it's never dull around him.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Every year when the weather turns a bit cold, and runny noses start to appear around the house, I have a mini panic attack. The year AK was born, right around the first crisp chilly night she got sick.... and she didn't get better for 6 months. And during that six months, every cold she got set her back a week or two on getting over her long term ailments. I set up a Purell station by the front door, and grilled every one including the cable repairman on his health and exposure to germs. This year, the first cold has arrived, and I immediately get the panicked feeling of "oh here we go again.... "
Then Mr. Man called me on Monday sniffling and was telling me how everyone on his team was sick, and that there was 22 people all sitting in one conference room coughing and sneezing at work today. I told him to take a hot shower, scrub himself with Betadyne, and stay at a hotel for the week, because he wasn't allowed to come home until he had been quarantined and deemed noncontagious.
I'm beginning to wonder if maybe my experience with AK, might have scarred me a bit... maybe it's made me into a bit of a germophobe...
Mr. Man says it's time to put the Hazmat suits away, time to deflate the bubble that I put around the stroller when we are at the mall with the kids, and time to let them play on the playground without wearing masks and latex gloves. He's saying it's time to relax, let the kids be kids, if they decide to lie down on the floor at costco during checkout, it's time to let them lie down without going into hysterics.
Alright...Alright... Mr. Man.. you can come home now... I'm going to relax this cold and flu season. I will put away the Hazmat suits, the bubble, and the latex gloves. However... there will be NO laying on the floor at Costco. I've got to draw the line somewhere...
Monday, November 26, 2007
We went to a dairy farm, which was so fun. Aren't the cousins cute all sitting on the hay for the hayride!
We all tried milking a cow. Here is Ryan's first time... I could make a really obnoxious crude joke.... but I'll refrain... *giggle giggle smirk*Here is Becca with a brand new cow. He is two days old, and has these bulging eyes, and is so wrinkley. He was such a little love, with such an expressive face! I swear he was wagging his tail. Another cute pic of AK with her daddy.. I personally loved this sweet little calf. Mr. Boy found the barn a bit noisey. AK loved this little cow, he was a few weeks old with a lovely little pink nose. And the tractors were a toddler's playground. Mr. Boy still talks about this big tractor!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
On your 11th birthday I am overwhelmed with happy memories of your existence. You are a dog, however, you are our dog. You were our "first child" and were a happy addition to our newlywed existence.
Mr. Man wanted a yellow lab from the moment we were married. One day, while living in our teeny tiny house in LA, with our teeny tiny yard, he got the courage to ask the landlord if we could get a dog. On our 2nd Christmas, I opened a gift containing a post it with a handdrawn picture of a dog on it. A few weeks later we picked you up and took you home. The first night you cried and howled, and snorted like a little piggy, because you were so sad to be away from your family. We both got up with you every three hours and took you outside to "do your business". We stood outside and held hands while we praised your good deed.
Sandy, the first few months of your life, it RAINED all the time. Buckets of RAIN for months. So the next few days, we stood out in the middle of the night with you in the RAIN, still holding hands, and you thought the mud was the worlds funnest thing. It distracted you from "doing your business" but you were so cute, we didn't mind. Everytime it rains, I think of our puppyhood days.
Then just a few days into your new life with us, you became VERY ill. I drove your little limp body to the vet in the pouring rain, and saw his grim face, when he told me you had Parvo, a deadly virus. Your chances were 50/50. I called your Dad, and he said, "Whatever it takes". We put our meager savings towards saving your life. Five days in the vet hospital, and five tear filled and sleepless nights later, we brought you home, skinny and full of energy.
Sandy, you are wicked smart. It has proved to be a challenge to several of your trainers. You once ate an entire plate of grilled chicken I had prepared for a party, and walked yourself to "time out". It appears you evaluate the satisfaction recieved from the crime and compare it to the punishment and decide.... "Oh yeah! That is totally worth it!" Also, we cannot explain your affinity and love of metal objects. You have probably eaten a hundred dollars worth of coins. Paperclips and a needle have sent you to the vet's office for unpleasant and costly visits. When you pierced your gum with a paperclip, you earned the name of "Paperclip Sandy" and earned your way into the Vet's "Patients of Fame & Shame" wall.
Last year you developed a limp, one that becomes greatly exaggerated when you are begging for attention or being punished. For a while we thought it was a ploy, but have sadly realized your hips are aging quickly. We are not ready to say goodbye to the dog who still wrestles like a puppy. The Vet has informed us you are in the sunset of your life, and we cherish each moment, each wet kiss, and each sweet nuzzle. Today, we are grateful for the dog who has blessed our life.
Mom & Dad aka "The Hand that Feeds You"
Also, just wanted to say a Happy Happy Birthday to Mr. Man.
And to point out that Pneumonia... totally sucks. I'm totally annoyed with my body, no ONE needs pneumonia over the Holidays.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Look, it's no secret, I'm not Donna Reed. Cooking wasn't my forte, when Ross met me. I improved on that. However, baking has eluded me. I have worked diligently to be able to bake good brownies, or cookies, or even a cake for 12 years. I haven't quite conquered that. My Mother in Law, is an AMAZING baker. She gave me a cookbook of favorite family recipes, and for years, I secretly thought she was leaving out ingredients in all the dessert recipes. Mine never turned out that great, and they tooked hours to prepare. Turns out, I was just a bad baker. However, I am pleased to announce, I have mastered the Chocolate Chip Cookie. They aren't pretty, but they are delicious.
Then, I totally splurged on these beauties. Aren't they just fabulous? I have been feeling a bit dowdy since the surgery. Now, that I've gotten the ok to start running again, it's time to ditch the shapeless dress, and the yoga pants.