Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hazmat suits for sale... slightly used...

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

Went on a little trip...

I'm not a fan of traveling with wee ones. They get tired, overstimulated, cranky, and you have to pay an extra close eye on the things they touch while at other people's homes... Then to top it off, I have pneumonia, so I don't feel so hot. However... maybe my wee ones aren't so wee small anymore, because we had fun on a quick trip to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. They played well with cousins, slept well, and even ate well. Bottom line... we had a blast! As adults, we played way too much Guitar Hero, laughed alot, and ingested more calories in one snack than we should consume in one day. We fed ducks on Thanksgiving morning and played at a park. Everything in Phoenix is BIG. The park was HUGE! We went to my nephews party at Pump It Up. So fun. When I saw these two jumping, I had a total flash of fast forward 20 plus years and they will be dancing at her wedding.. *sniff* He is such a patient and loving Dad. These boys are goofy when they are together, and it's fun to watch Ross with his siblings. Becca is a pro at the girly stuff. So AK got treated to her first pedicure, she LOVED it. She keeps showing me her "Pretty Toes".
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

Happy Birthday Sandy!

Dear Sandy,

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.
With Love,
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

My first Car...

Her name was Louwanda. I was three years old when I went with my dad to buy her. A beautiful Buick Skylark, with the optional luggage rack, and fancy hubcaps. My brother passed Louwanda on to me, and she died a tragic death three weeks after I got my license. (Faulty Oil Pump)I learned to drive in this car, when I was 12. And I fondly remember all the trips to the beach in this car with my brothers and I elbowing each other for more space in the backseat. And this is Cinders. The family cat with gorgeous green eyes, and a long black tail. He was a big cat, one that always made the vet nervous. Age is unknown on this cat, but he lived roughly 17-19 years. No small feat for an indoor, outdoor cat. He had a big personality, but was not a snuggler unless you were sick. When I was 7, and very ill, he spent days with me curled at my feet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Sometimes, I walk in to wake Mt. Boy from quiet time, and I wonder if he stashes alcohol in his room and gets plastered. Most people have a picture of themselves passed out in a festive hat wearing some ridiculous outfit floating around somewhere. It's just a shame he started so young! This weekend, we let him camp in the living room. (yes, right next to the pile of laundry).
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.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


If you've visited my house, you may have noticed the collage of photos in my hallway. I LOVE vintage photos, and I love using photos as a way of telling history. If you stop and look at my photo wall, I think you get a sense of who we are as a family. You see our roots, our history, and the significant events that impacted our lives.

I have been wanting to add this photo to the wall for years. It has been missing, and I finally found it. That's me, age 12.... and yes, I'm standing where you think I am.

I stood at the podium and spoke in the same place presidents have spoken and informed the media of historical events. Truly one of those once in a lifetime experiences. This was all part of a crazy behind the scenes tour of the white house we went on late one evening, while the president was away. A tour, few civilians get to take. At the time I was naively unaware of how unique of an opportunity it was. However, looking back this was one of the 10 most amazing experiences of my life.

I'm so grateful to find this picture, and now it goes up on my photo wall! And along with this pic, I found a bunch of old good ones. I'll share on a Way Back Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My 5 Favorite Things right now...

In no particular order....

Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's are ridiculously delicious. Oreo's but with candy cane bits added in. I actually have shipped boxes of these to friends in non-Trader Joe's territory. People have sneered when I hand them a box with a bow, because it lacks a hand made quality. Those sneers quickly change once they've tasted the pepperminty perfection. Don't knock the Joe Joe people.
A shower curtain? Yep, a shower curtain. Actually it's a liner, waterproof, and it's made of fabric. It repels mold for the most part, and when it's dirty, you toss it in the washer with some bleach. For whatever reason, I can't stand the smell of the plastic shower liners. Mr. SevenHands -This is the last tool, you'll ever need. Seriously, worlds best invention. It has 7 different screwdriver heads. Perfect for when you need a screwdriver to change the batteries on a kids toy. I use this at least once a week. Found here at Target
Word Whammer by Leap Frog and also Fridge Phonics. The music and voice will annoy the snot right out of you, however it's BRILLIANT for learning to letters and phonics. If you have a preschooler, it's a genius product!
It's no secret, I love Target. The plates on the left are on clearance right NOW! So run and buy them. The ones on the left are just to annoy Kerry, because I want to point out that I bought them at Target prior to Halloween! However, aren't they adorable. So, for whatever reason, my kids feel compelled to have something in each compartment. Dinner sometimes doesn't have 4 components to it, but I fill the compartments up usually with a main dish, veggie, fruit, and either a dip, or another veggie. We started using these plates almost 2 years ago, and it's changed the way the kids eat.
So share people!!

Good News Day!!

About a month ago, I sat on an exam table at the doctor's office and heard the familiar sound of someone in a white coat and scrubs saying, "hmmm.... ok... let's run some tests." I do not think there is a phrase I hate more, especially when prefaced with the "hmmm". I'm still tired and sore from the last surgery, when the doctor explained that I potentially could be going back in for more very invasive surgery, for a completely unrelated problem. I kid you not... My brain exploded about 15 minutes later..... Right there at Valet Parking outside Hoag Hospital. The last month I have prayed, mediatated, yoga'd, and listened intently to my body, encouraging it to heal itself. Today, I got the good news, problem resolved on it's own. Phew!! No more surgery.

My parents came today to help out and babysit while I spent time at the doc, the vet, and the dreaded parent teacher conference.

Other good news, Mr. Boy's parent teacher conference was fantastic. Academically, Nathan is off the charts. In other areas Mr. Boy has shown remarkable improvement and is doing really well. His teacher this year, is just AMAZING. She is so dialed into Mr. Boy, his personality, his strengths, and weaknesses.
Then Sandy, our first child, spent , the day at the vet for her annual checkup. She turns 11 in less than two weeks. The vet was once again blown away by her energy, her spunk, and her manipulative behavior. She is always surprised to see Sandy falls under the Senior category. Ross and I are sadly aware that Sandy is in the "sunset" of her life, especially in the mornings where it takes her 2-3 tries to get out of bed. To hear the vet praise her energy, and vitality gives us hope that we have lots more days of coming home to find her bouncing on her front paws acting like we have been gone for ages. Then a sneak peek for my buddies who are all headed to Phoenix for a rocking girls weekend. I am totally bummed I won't be able to join them. These girls are serious scrapbookers (i.e. award winning). I decided to join a Christmas Tag Swap, and why they let me join their swap, I do not know. I finally finished the tags, and they are heading to Phoenix on Friday. These tags, are ridiculously simple, but costs a small fortune. I bought every potential Christmas product on the market thinking I would use that. Then, I decided on my design, consulted Steph for moral support, and finished them. Ran out of the cute snowflakes, and they were sold out everywhere! So, at the last minute, had to substute.
It'll be fun to see what the others did for tags, I'm sure they will be mini works of art. Thank goodness for Target being so on the top of having their Christmas stuff out before Halloween, because the packaging is a dollar spot find!
Speaking of Christmas, I'm determined to have my shopping done early. Last year was a disaster for me shopping wise. So here's a challenge.... Post your 5 favorite things right now. Hoping to steal some gift ideas for your favorite things.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Mr. Boy was a light saber toting giraffe, until about noon on Halloween, then decided he wanted to be Superman. AK was a blue monster. Here we are getting ready to go to the Neighborhood Halloween Party. I love this pic! I also love the big old trees that line this street. It's one of the things I love most about this neighborhood. Also, on Halloween it's fun to visit the neighbors and say hello.
We met up with our friend the Batemans. Everytime we are together, these guys are holding hands and sneaking off for some one on one time. And I'm NOT kidding. You have to watch them! At her brothers birthday party I saw them running hand in hand to have some time alone under the pergola. It's very cute. I firmly believe in arranged marriages for my children, however now, I'm thinking I'm going to have to let go. And maybe, it's slightly possible, I can't control everything in my childrens lives. Thank goodness at the age of four, Mr. Boy is picking to have relationships with good people, because this girl is a gem! We went and visited Elvis. I was unsuccessful in my attempt to get a good pic of him again this year. But, seriously, Elvis is alive and well in lives in my neighborhood. He always says to AK, "see you in the movies, kid". At every door, AK would stand there and hold out her bucket, get candy, look in the bucket, and then hold it back up and say "more please". People said 9 times out of 10, "Oh you are so cute, here is some more". And AK would walk away with a smirk. That girl is wicked smart, and she ended up with twice as much candy as her brother.

And here are the kids checking out their loot.