Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31st and it's 75 degrees

I left work at noon today (yay for half day holidays!), jumped in my Jeep and took off towards my hair appointment. Yes, just like the Jeep "It's only hair" ad. Seriously, I was wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and a sweat shirt, by the time I got there I was considering using the air conditioning. It's been cold lately hasn't it? I know the summer was blazing hot so the cold weather was rather welcomed here. Of course 75 degrees is nothing I'm going to complain about either. Visit P Dub's website recently? I have friends in New York/New Jersey right now that took pictures of it snowing this morning. Huh, not so much. No, I think that the present Southern California-esque weather will do me just fine. Of course it's not quite 70 today in San Diego so, oddly, we've got it better out here today. We'll take what we can get though.

Today I left the hair dressers (you know, I only get my hair cut twice a year) and as nice as she made it I totally jacked it up by the time I got home. I'm taking the top down and going out for a longer ride later on. This day is just too beautiful to waste! Don't worry though, I plan on being home and parked in the garage long before the stupid drunk people get out on the road.

Have a happy and safe New Years no matter how your local weather behaves!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa update

So ya know how the kid got the full monty on Santa a few days ago? It's had an entertaining result. She is just pleased as punch to play Santa. She wants to do the cookie thing, fill the stockings, wrap the presents, the whole nine. She asks who is who's Santa and delights in coming up with the answer.

Ya know, everyone has an idea of what they want their child to become when he or she grows up and works toward that goal (not like most kids follow it, they really just do as they will). All I want my child to be is a better person than me. I don't know how it happened but she totally exceeds my expectations. My kid, she's awesome.

Happy Christmas everyone, relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The two-fer

This past Saturday was my work's Christmas party. We go every year because they give away door prizes and the food is good. The company is ok but realize that I work at a LARGE doctors office and the help that is hired at most of these places are barely high school educated. Most are GED people and most come from and continue on the great practice of teen pregnancy. In volume. It's pretty disenchanting but makes for a hella funny (terrifying?) fashion show at the annual Christmas party. Picture a bunch of latino women in their 30's and 40's, bodies a wee bit post 3-4 kids, all squeezing into their old prom dresses from high school. Spandex of course, to accommodate. Can you picture it? Yeah, you don't really want to do ya? Oddly the worst outfit did not belong to one of these fine ladies. No, it belonged to the much hated bean counter/micro manager who decided to wear this orange, yes orange, Chinese themed...pants suit? That looked like very poor fitting pajamas. On a tall, broad white woman. The hubby kept making jokes like "Maybe she'll get clown shoes for Christmas to match.". Seriously, it was a bad color, cut, and fit. Nasty person with a horrid outfit, gotta love the holidays!

The whole point of this post isn't to make fun of my fellow employees though, really! They do a good enough job of that themselves. The point of this was that for last Saturday night we sent the kid to spend the night at her friends house. They wanted her at 4pm so we went straight from dropping her off to a 4:20 showing of New Moon. Yes, we took the first opportunity we had to go to the movies. The party started at 7:30, we figured we could squeeze a movie in first, yes?

You probably want to know our opinion of said movie. I didn't see the first one in the theaters but I did see it on dvd. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be after all of the scathing reviews I had heard so I knew New Moon wasn't going to be disappointing. This one had a bigger budget due to the huge following. Plus I had the benefit of reading the books. The first movie didn't need any back story and it didn't matter if you'd read the books. New Moon, not so much. The hubby hasn't read the books and doesn't intend to but he wanted to see the movie in the theaters. Realize that we're geeks and sci fi movies always call to us. The trailers showed enough promise to warrant the hubby's interest so I knew that we'd be going once we finally had a chance. Our verdict? It was good, very good. He needed a little bit of explanation for a few things but if you didn't have it you could still enjoy the movie. It was a wee bit melodramatic at points but it's a vampire movie, what do ya expect? I am definitely in the "Team Jacob" club, I don't know what girls see in Edward, seriously. Skinny white boy in make up or the tanned 6 pack that the Indian boy pulls off fabulously. Hello, no contest. All in all we were pleased with the movie, especially their werewolves. They made them look exactly the way we think they should look. I told you, we are geeks, we have a specific preference for the way werewolves are depicted.
How can one even compare the two? I have no idea.

We went to the party after the movie. Arrived fashionably late (8:15) and couldn't stand the mexican polka music for too terribly long so we left but 9:30. There was a method to this madness though, last showing of Avatar in 3D was at 10. Yes, we were going for a sci fi geek two-fer. The kid was gone for the night so we were going to get everything we could for the evening. While New Moon was one we had been planning on seeing for awhile, Avatar was a spur of the moment "We need to see this movie so we should see it right now". Which, as it turns out, was the best decision of the evening.

Lets just start out with total honesty here, the hubby and I don't normally like 3D. At all. It's tedious and normally isn't a good enough bonus to warrant the headache. Still, it was what was playing when we were available so 3D it was. I thought it would be another bad 3D experience since I've never had a good one. They always look fake and forced, like they created specific scenes with 3D in mind but didn't flow well with the story line. As in, "We're putting this in just so you flinch". This movie was so not that. It was FABULOUS. Yes, there was a bit of vertigo upon leaving the 3D when it was over. It was 3 hours long for crying out loud. And worth every minute. I don't care if you are not a sci fi person at all, I still think you'll love the movie. I had no idea we were in there for 3 hours, it was that good. Lots of action, a love story that wasn't cheesy, and a moral to the story too. They make humans the bad guys with lots of parallels to what we tend to do to indigenous people i.e. American Indians. Loved it. Highly recommended. If you get a free chance treat yourself. I can even say the 3D is worth it. Try it, you'll like it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yeah, she just had to go and ask

Again. The kid has been making noise as to the validity of Santa this lovely season. And when I say making noises I mean asking a billion times whether or not he's for real. I commented to the hubby that if she asks one more time that I was giving it up. Really, it's not like I birthed a moron right? Breed 2 Mensa level geeks and you can't get stupid. Too bad too, we could have held out the Santa thing longer.

Actually, scratch that. I'm tired of hiding the Santa bag, other pattern wrapping paper, and wondering if she'll notice that the 'to' and 'from' tag is written in the same hand writing as all the rest of the presents. Lets face it, you can only fake it for so long. If she hadn't asked me that one more time and I hadn't told the truth I was planning on printing the labels out on the computer. I still have Santa's wrapping paper in the back of my car. It would be in the trunk but I drive a Jeep, there's no real trunk. It's just a space/hole in the back. A real bitch to hide things in too might I add.

It wasn't as bad as I thought. She took it very well, wasn't too disappointed. I sugar coated it a bit and now she's kinda pleased that she knows a 'big kid' secret and has been trusted to keep it from other kids. She has one friend I know knows the truth about Santa. He's the only one she's allowed to talk to about it. I think it helps that she is good friends with another kid that knows the big kid secret. Kinda like an exclusive club thing right? She's very good about these things so I'm not worried.

This is just the first of a slew of disaster talks though ya know. She's already gotten the drugs talk (school segues into that one) but I dread the sex talk. Yeah, I know, she's 8 and we probably should have already broached this subject but there's this suburbia issue. Once a kid knows about these things it's not like the Santa secret. They are going to go to school and talk about sex. She's not going to talk about Santa because there's no unknown. Sex is a whole different disaster. I don't mind my kid knowing the gory details at a young age. I do mind her going to school and discussing it with other kids. Especially since I'm sure it won't take long for the parents to freak the hell out. We're in Texas, bible thumpin land. I'm cool with her going to church occasionally with her friends. I'm not so cool with the puritanical anti-sex teachings that come with the bible thumpers. I for see some future issues with us Calis in the bible belt ya know?

Santa, only the tip of the iceberg.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shopped and shipped!

And, miraculously, right and I mean RIGHT before I came down with the kid's cold. She was sick on Sunday, worse on Monday, but better (and still kept home) on Tuesday. We've all gotten our flu shots (both seasonal and H1N1) so the only thing we should be getting this year is colds. And we seem to be getting all the cold viruses going around. Yay! Not. I stayed home with her on Monday (took her out for a few errands but she was fine with that) and managed to finish making our Christmas cards. The hubby stayed home with her on Tuesday, I managed to mail the cards out then (thank God). I was ok for work on Tuesday but by Wednesday I woke knowing I had it. I still went to work since I had already missed one day. I suffered through it but managed to get through the work day and stopped at the automated shipping center at the post office to mail all of the presents that needed to be mailed. While coming down with a cold. I was so thrilled. Really not so much. Relieved, yes, thrilled, no energy for thrilled.

That means my Christmas cards were mailed by December 15th, my packages by December 16th. While I was sick (please note, do not lick the Christmas cards I sent you, ok? OK.). And if they don't make it there by the 25th I'm sorry. Well ok not terribly sorry, I'm sure on some level I do care but not on one of those upper levels I pay attention to. I went out this evening and wouldn't you know it my neighbors have pulled the entire contents of their garage out and have started hacking back their oak tree so they could hang lights on it. 7 days before Christmas. And they are just starting to trim their trees. At 8pm on a Friday night. I thought we were the strange neighbors. Apparently not. I don't even want to know if they've gotten any of their Christmas stuff done, the answer might give me hives.

Speaking of which I am so done with it all it's not even funny. I think I've chronicled the tree buying here yes? The shopping I did all by myself and I chronicled some of that too right? It's done and if I missed something tough shit, next year they can buy it themselves. And then last weekend we managed to get out lights up outside and the rest of the inside of the house trimmed. I really love the garland we put on the stair rails and over the mantle. If I could get away with leaving it up all year long I totally would. Looks kinda strange mid summer here though ya know? If there's one thing I like about this season it's the garland. I could do without the rest.

The good news? I managed to finish it all and I don't have anything last minute to do. As far as I'm concerned it's done. I'm over it. Can we have New Years now? My work has their holiday party tomorrow night and it's really scary. I have some really really big rolley polley women at my work. Most of them latino with a love of mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip liner, hair spray, high heels, and spandex. See where I'm going with scary dress up party here? I only go for one reason, they have a prize drawing that includes a very large flat screen tv. Seriously that's the only reason we go. I don't bring a camera since I don't want the lens to shatter in fear. Lord knows there are some things in there that should not be seen by small children much less man kind in general.

I'm sorry, have I gotten of track? Again? It's the holiday season and I've had too many cookies. The sugar crash is getting to me.

Happy Holidays, and drive safe. Every lunatic that doesn't drive the other 355 days out of the year is out right now and it's scary....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where in the world did the time go?

Seriously, it's almost the 15th and I have yet to even finish making my Christmas cards much less get them mailed out. Even the year I had emergency brain surgery on Thanksgiving and didn't get out of rehab until the second week of December I was more on it than this. Granted my mother in law was here and taking charge of the household (the one time I was happy that she did so) but even still. I am so not up to snuff this year.

The good news? I'm pretty much done Christmas shopping. I haven't mailed the stuff that needs to be mailed though. I have purchased and wrapped it all though, a miracle unto itself, but I dread the post office right now. Presents for me and the hubby though, that's kinda sketchy at best. The kid is still making noise about Santa's existence. I am totally willing to give up the ghost on this one but only if she is ready too. It's still up in the air but I'm sure that by next year the kids will all know. Either way I'm ready for it, I hate having to try and get other rolls of Christmas paper and hiding it so she doesn't catch on. I am going to use stamps to sign "From Santa" on the tags so she doesn't recognize our handwriting. She's a smart cookie and she's keeping an eye out for these things ya know.

I think I'd be ok if it wasn't for the fact that one has to keep up with the normal every day chores of life. During the season of hell there is no time to do the things that need to get done like laundry and food shopping while trying to maneuver through the parking lots of hell filled with Christmas shoppers. Oh and the parties and Secret Santas? Like we don't already have enough to do without adding more crap to the list? Oh please. Fortunately I decline to do the SS thing at work every year and the hubby can whip out a homemade apple pie all by himself (oh yeah he's a keeper). Otherwise it'd be something premade bought from the grocery store and I am not going out there again.

So the deal with our Christmas presents. I'm not even really interested in getting any because it's too much of a pain in the ass (yeah, I'm a Scrooge)but again, it's the kid thing. She would be insanely disappointed if we got to few presents so this is where I cave. I'm totally cool with the tree thing and all the lights. The tree we did last weekend and the lights we lagged on. We finally put those up today. Or rather I conned the hubby into putting them up and told him I'd run the shopping errands while he was doing that. Yes, he got the better end of the deal. No the lights were not up by the time I came home 2 hours later.

You see ever year during December we do this thing on the dining room table. The table we never use. We get jigsaw puzzles and put them together as a family. Why only during December? I haven't a clue. The kid has been really good at puzzles since she was little so we always get 1000 pieces puzzles and we can all still do them. The hubby has gotten really into it this year. And that's what he was doing while he was supposed to be doing the lights. I got home and started doing them and I guess he felt guilty and helped. Which is good since I am short and he is not. I can only get so high with the foot stool until bad things start happening. And just so you know it wasn't just the lights he was distracted from he went back to the puzzle as soon as he could.

And he still needed to make that apple pie ya know (that image of the pie was taken from the net since it was too dark by the time ours was done for a pic). So, me being me, I started peeling the apples. And the guilt got to him again and he jumped on board. Before you think I took the hard job though realize that I have in my arsenal (I LOVE kitchen gadgets, especially Pampered Chef) an apple peeler/corer/slicer. These things are so dang nifty I just don't know how to tell you if you've never seen one in action. It peels them in one long continuous string of peel and my dogs have figured out if they just get the end that it keeps on coming. They love apples and it's like the magic apple machine to them. So dang funny to watch.

Al right, so now that you know I am hella behind how fares it in your fine worlds? All done shopping by Black Friday? Everything mailed, even the cards, by the first week of December? Go on, tell me how much farther behind I am than you are. It'll make you feel better, swearsies.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I have the COOLEST friends ever

Do you love the measuring cups? The hubby, kid, and I went to the local frou frou mall (La Cantera in our hood) at some point a month ago and I felt the need to show the hubby Anthropologie, a store I love but own nothing in. Because, well, it's frack off expensive. Worse than Guess in the 80's. We saw these little measuring cup sets and knew one of them would be perfect for his mom. She's very much into cooking and this particular set (the Puffer Bird) would match her kitchen (newly fully remodeled) perfectly. My mother in law is in her 70's, she already owns everything so finding delightful presents for her is a rarity, obviously we were dead set on getting her this measuring cup set.

I sent the hubby to the mall yesterday. Guess what? They were all out. They had the other cute sets (which I'd love to get for myself, specifically the Matryoshka Cups, I have a thing for these dolls)but not the one we wanted for his mom. Here's where the uber cool friends come in to play. I could have ordered them on line and had them mailed to her and gift wrapped but it would have cost me over $50. So impractical don't you think? I then got creative.

I called the stores in San Diego (our home town) to see if they had them in stock. They did. Of course. I followed that phone call with one to our friend Alison, seeing if she was willing to brave a mall in San Diego in the month of December for me. She was not only willing to but wanted to go to one south of her, outside of the city limits (less crowded ya know), pick up the present, wrap it, and then deliver it for me. Tell me this woman isn't amazing? She ROCKS. It is now 8 pm San Diego time, she has already gone and picked up the cups (I called the store and paid for them over the phone) which the store actually wrapped for me for free(awesome)and is on her way over to my mother in laws house to drop it off.

How's that for efficient Christmas shopping? I think from now on I'm going to make a list of what I want for the family in San Diego, call up the stores, buy the presents, have them wrapped, then paying Alison to go and get them. I figure if I do it all in November she may not say no. All in all I am pretty sure that there are few others out there as giving as this woman and she is on the top of my list for a getting cool ass present from me this year. Isn't she awesome?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cutting down a tree this year

Every year I want a fake tree. Why? Because fresh trees are such a pain in the ass. Every year the hubby refuses and wants a real one. Normally we get it from someplace like Home Depot or Lowes. This year I realized there was a Christmas tree farm about 30 miles away from us. I recently also learned that there are little towns (and I mean wee little) spaced about 30 miles apart all over Texas. Because of the cows. ? Yeah 30 miles is about the distance you can move a heard of cattle in a day. Ah the useless trivia I learn every day. This place was cute, in a town called Pipe Creek. Not terribly exciting. My neighborhood in San Diego was bigger. But they did have a Christmas tree farm and this was a first for the kid. Actually it might have been a first for all of us, certainly together it was.

It was cold but fun. You go in, grab a small hand saw and a measuring pole and find a tree you want. Then you cut it down. Simple no? Sure it is! Until the small child decides she should be the one carrying the pole. It's a 10 foot pole. Yeah the bottom is 4 ft and after that it's marked in 1 ft increments. See?

She ran around with this thing like a wild monkey, we thought for sure we'd get cold cocked at some point. Really, we should have a bit more faith in our child. She manged to swing that thing all over the place and not hit anyone at all. Weird.

We picked one, had the hubby cut it down and then we took the tractor ride back to the shop. Not that we needed the ride, trees are light, but we thought the kid would like it and she did.

Thing to note about the particular tree we got, the needles are PAINFUL. I don't know what kind of variation it is but DAMN ouch. Also I don't think they are any bigger or fuller when you get them from a farm. They do smell really really nice though, better than store bought. All in all a fun experience and we bought something 'local'. The kids in the town end up working there every season and I like supporting that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Pioneer Woman book signing in Austin

On a Thursday night. A school night for the love of all that is good and holy. Did I go? Hells yes I went, it's only 100 miles from my front door. My girlfriend was supposed to go with but she works for a not for profit womens shelter or some goody thing and they had a fundraiser. So it was me. And the kid. YES I TOOK MY CHILD. On a school night. She wanted to go and she's an only child, we can be flexible. Hey how often do we get to see the entire Drummond clan in the flesh? Cause you know, we're go and drive to the boonies of north east Oklahoma all the time. OK not so much, I hate weather and I hear they have tornadoes up there. Not enough money in the world, gimme a good ol' earthquake any day.

So the book signing, yeah, awesome. And frick off long. Does anyone out there really understand how popular that woman is? Seriously? I heard that her signing in Dallas lasted until 1 am. We got there at 7pm (when it started) and managed to be one of the last 20 in line so we saw her at around 11pm. Yeah, it was insane. She started off by answering some questions from the crowd and then went upstairs to a room where she signed books. They had us line up in groups and the line would go though the book store and up a flight of stairs into the room.

This was some (and only really a small part) of the crowd:

If you look (below) next to the left of the hat on the dork who went there in a cowboy hat (why do people do that?) that's Ree at the lectern answering questions. Yes, that's as close as I could get. Eventually people started asking insanely stupid questions not relating to her so I took my kid over to the childrens section to wait it out. While posting on Facebook and Twitter from my iPhone. I love iPhones, it was a 4 hour wait and I really understood how addicted to the internet I was at that point.

So who was there? Well since Ree's sister and brother in law live in Austin everyone was there. Even Ree's mom who was helping wrangle the kids. My kid played with all the plethora of toys, trinkets and whatnots they had littered about the place. Eventually Ree's 2 boys joined her (there weren't a lot of kids there, certainly not by the end) and even later Ree's daughters came in. They signed a few books too, more on that later.

The kid, entertaining herself because she, for some reason she can't remember, let her mom drag her to another city to get a signature of some woman on a blog. Poor child. BTW, do you love the socks? She's decided outrageous knee highs are the coolest thing this season. Apparently my love of knee highs is genetic, rockin...

Ree's eldest Alex is going to be a very tall woman, I think she's taller than me now (ok I'm 5'1" so that's not saying much but still) but she's very regal in her height. When I think of a child being that tall I think gangly, not at all with her. The two boys are a funny little handful, just as crazy as all of Ree's photos show them being. They grab any microphone within reach and nothing is sacred. One of them manged to find a toy bow and arrow set. In a book store. What were the chances right? Texas, I swear. Did I mention that I made hoops for the girls? I'd have made some for the boys too but I didn't have any 160psi tubing left and I know the 125 psi I used for the girls probably wouldn't last a day with those 2 boys. After seeing them in real life I'm sure of it. Lots of people brought her presents too, as you can see to the left on the table in the pic of she and my kid.

Marlboro Man (Ladd) signed books too, you'll have to excuse what my camera and flash did to his fair skin. He looks really tired in these photos (and he probably was) but it was hot in the store and if you saw him in person he was very cool and handsome. And calm, see now I don't think I know people that are calm like him. Must mean I only know city people. Please note that my child is not that tall (I think Ladd is 6', maybe more) she is standing on the podium next to him.

When we (finally) got up to where Ree was and got her signature the kid gave her the hoops for her daughters and Ladd asked her to show them how she hooped, which was sweet. I will mention that The Book People were very apprehensive about letting hoops in their store. I had to leave them behind an information booth near the front door until the very end (good thing we closed down the place) and when I sent the kid to go retrieve them they tried stopping her too. Pfft, stop the kid from giving her hoop gifts, I don't thinks so. She just told them they were for Ree, blew them off and kept walking. I have such a cool kid, she's so smart. Also she never tried hooping while holding them in line, only when Ladd asked her to. She's so well trained, much better in social situations than her mamma. Oh and these hoops? Sorry I didn't take a picture, one was a purple relief that was solid and sparkly tape and we loved it. The other was the same only pink. Yeah, no picture, sorry, I was in a rush to get to Austin in rush hour traffic, yay me!

See those people behind the kid? Those were the last of us. We got there at 7 and that picture was taken around 11pm. Her kids were long gone to the hotel by then, the only ones left were her husband and her sister and brother in law. No their baby wasn't there.

Yes, I know, you want more pictures I'm sure. Here's where I tell you about what I learned about myself as a photographer (gee Michelle, isn't this post dang hella long enough as it is? Welcome to my blog...). I could have taken lotsa pictures of her kids playing and gotten signatures from her girls but I felt odd about that. Yes, they have definitely reached 'celebrity' status and their college fund could be made with the profits from the book signing tour alone (seriously) but they are kids from a ranch out in the middle of nowhere. It didn't feel right to me so I didn't take a bunch of pictures. As for Ree pics well, this is it. That's all I saw of her. There was A TON of people there and she was upstairs in the room. Even when you got to her a person took the books you wanted her to sign and put them in front of her (earlier in the line some other worker wrote what name you wanted it signed to on a sticky so that was already taken care of). It was oddly like she was holding court.

Don't get me wrong, she and her hubby were very personable. And they must have been really tired by the time I got to them. She asked me to step closer to her and converse, which was nice. Like I said, the way they had it set up wasn't terribly personable. They asked the kid questions and seemed just as chipper at the end as they did in the beginning. It must be a huge change from their everyday life and they seemed to take it in stride. Much better than I would do I'm absolutely sure, too many people for my taste.

All in all I think it was very awesome for Ree to bring her whole family out for all of us to see them in real life. They are just as you would expect from her stories on the blog. Seriously nice people.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The basics

I realize that holidays are meant to be spent with family, that we all gather together and do the 'haven't seen you since last Thanksgiving' stuff. I've never been into that, and I tried for many years. Now that we live in Texas and really don't have the 'spare cash' to fly to California every year we don't have to do it anymore. I know the hubby probably regrets this (he's more of a warm fuzzy than me but he knew that long before he married me) but I am very happy to stay at home with just the 3 of us. I don't have to get up early, worry about traffic, worry about getting up to north San Diego by 2pm, eat, visit, and back into San Diego proper by 4pm to rinse and repeat with the in laws.

No, I stay at home, roll out of bed near noon, walk the dog for as long as I want. Get in the shower sometime around 1-ish, get dressed in something vaguely resembling pj's and let the hair air dry. No make up, no pretty clothes and the dog is happily sleeping on the couch. Where, you know, they aren't allowed in our house. At the 2:30 point I was ready to start cooking. Something. Yeah it occurred to me that some wives slave over their stove starting the night before only to wake at something at 5 am to start the day. Oh hells no, I am much more of a slackin' kinda wife and mother. My poor family.

No worries though, I started the turkey first and then managed to have the hubby peel me the potatoes (what, you think I was going to do the hard stuff myself? NOT) and got them done and mashed. Turkey was done at 5:30, green beans and stuffing went into the over then for 30 minutes. Gravy was heated and dinner was served at 6pm. How perfect was that?

When we sat for dinner I realized also that I make an insanely basic turkey day dinner. I've tried the fancy things before, roasted asparagus (which I love but in this house I'm the only one), a multitude of interesting and different sweet potato/yam and scalloped potato recipes, variations of desserts, but really none of them do it for us. We just like the basic mix, not even my mashed potatoes have anything creative in them. Our dessert is just pecan pie, the hubby doesn't do the pumpkin stuff. I even got whipping cream to whip and put on the pecan pie but no, he doesn't do that either.

So what am I thankful for this year? A nice simple holiday with no rush and everything done in a timely manner even with a slakin momma that holds nothing more precious than sleeping in. Hey, a woman has to have her priorities and sleep is mine.

Hope your day was pleasurable and drama free!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Daily Corb

Consider yourselves Corbinated. The hunny B ran out of some crucial coffee components this morning so he had to go to Starbucks. I told him to put the doggie booster seat in the car and take Corbin with him to the drive thru. Corb was pleased as punch as you can tell. Poor guy tends to get mega car sick so he doesn't ride much. He managed to hold on to his cookies until they were puling into the driveway. Ah well, at least he enjoyed the ride! Just look at that dog's head, I swear it's like a bowling ball attached to an anvil.

Happy Turkey day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parenthood shaves years off one's life

I went for a long walk with the dog last night. Turns out I took the easy job last night. When I got back to the house the hubby was sitting on the couch, looking confused and cross. Yes I used to word cross to describe the look in the hubby's face, if you knew him personally you'd totally get that and know the look of which I speak. He looked at me and said "I just gave myself a headache.". Not a good sign. I then asked him what she did. See now here is where I assume that my girl child set my hunny B off the deep end. Seriously folks, the only things that can make him get so upset that he flies off the deep end and gives himself a headache is either his lovely wife and his adorable daughter and I was out on a walk and I hadn't done anything in absentia that I could remember. We give him all his gray hair and all of his ulcers, his heart burn, lost sleep hours, and many a year shaved off his life. It's what we do and we're very good at it. So I waited patiently for an explanation. The last time he freaked out on the kid she had played on one of the dining room chairs one too many times and it slipped out from under her and she almost cracked her head open on the tile floor. It was not pretty. That was the one and only time I saw him lose it. Until last night.

So he goes on to explain what the kid did. He was blow drying her hair after her shower and she had some bobby pins connected on the counter top. She decided to play that they were keys and she was going to use the electrical outlet as the key hole. Oh yeah, watch the daddy flip out all friggin over the place. It must have been like 0-100 mph in negative 1 second. He yelled, lectured, ranted, smacked the backside of her head and basically broke all his rules about how to not flip out on his kid. It happens, welcome to parenthood right?

Going off the deep end at the kid tends to upset him more than anything else out there. Very much the 'This is going to hurt you more than it hurts me' thing even though it never involves a spanking, just a stern talking to. Of course, me being the usual enforcer in the family, I ask 'Did you make her cry?'. In my book it doesn't count until he makes her cry. He so much less strict with her than me that when he does lay down the law I figure it'd best count. Apparently he finally got to a point during his monologue (yes, he monologues to the kid, that's why she doesn't take him as seriously) he grabbed the bobby pins, shoves them in her hand and drags her back to the outlet and tells her to try it, and then she can see what happens. Scared her a bit at this point. Please note, I did ask him if he let her do it initially. I am from the school of hard knocks. Learning the hard way the first time sometimes works.

Also, he did mention that playing with electrical outlets is something he did a few times as a child and it hurt like hell. My response? A few times? Like it didn't take just once to figure out that it wasn't a good idea? Apparently not. You know what I told him then? That he should call his mother and apologize for all those stunts that he did as a child. And you know what, he went straight to the phone and did just that. Specifically he said sorry to her for all the times he made her heart stop as a child. She accepted the apology and told him not to worry, he didn't do it nearly as many times as his brother did. She obviously didn't catch him nearly as many times as he actually put his life in danger.

The hubby then sat down and proclaimed that, get this, he wouldn't survive having a son. I totally agree, he wouldn't. I think we should have a son so I can have a child with me when I send the hubby and daughter away for her teen years. What ya think? Good plan?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tis the season, can you feel it?

Not that this is going to be a surprise to any person out there who knows me but I detest the holiday season. As far as I'm concerned Halloween is the end all be all. The alpha and the omega. It's got some religious aspects but really smacks as too pagan for the bible thumpers to latch on to. It's got both young and old appeal and it doesn't matter what day of the week it falls upon, it just rocks. The rest of the holidays can blow for all I care. Dude, Columbus didn't discover America. We all know this, it was already inhabited by people when Lief Ericsson got here, that means Columbus was late for the show. So why do we give kids the day off for Columbus Day? That's just one of the many soap boxes that, surprisingly, no one seems to want to know me off of.

Easter is silly, really, zombie Jesus and a chocolate bunny? PLEASE don't get me started. I'm cool with things such as Memorial Day even though people just can not seem to differentiate it from Labor Day. 4 months different and celebrating 2 entirely different things. I mean come on peeps,one is in rememberance of those who served and the other is for people who worked. Why is that so confusing? Yeah yeah I know, it's just another day off. Why do we even bother with naming some of these holidays? 4th of July I'm on board with, I'm a closet revolutionary. Our founding fathers kicked ass.

Now this time of year we have Thanksgiving (where the Indians naively helped the white man survive only to suffer eventual genocide by their hand) and Christmas. Now Thanksgiving has still not fallen by my bad graces. This is surprising seeing as how it used to be a time of hell where, in San Diego, we'd have to drive 1+ hours north to have dinner at 2 pm with my family then hop in the car, drive back and spend the rest of the night at the hubby's aunt's house and do the same dinner all over again. Then in 2007 I woke up to make the dinner here for my little family only to have an aneurysm/stroke/emergency brain surgery. See, you'd think I wouldn't like this holiday huh? Oddly I don't have a problem with turkey day. I think it's because I like making the food so much. Yes, I make the whole dinner. Myself. And it's so dang easy I still don't understand why people make such a to do about it. It's just a big chicken and as long as I do the bag thing it's a no brainer. I've tied brining and I don't like it at all. Too salty and you lose the taste of the turkey proper. With the bag it's moist, tender, and tasty. I've even been known to make cranberry sauce. Way easy and a waste of my time since the kid loves the canned stuff so much that she'll eat the whole can if I let her. Who knew?

As a side note, this holiday no longer means we have to torture ourselves with family. My mother (the only local blood we have) now knows better than to bother us. We are still on speaking terms but it's not like she buys us Christmas presents so no, we do not share holidays. It's a long story you don't want to hear. She's not worth the blog space, trust me.

Now speaking of Christmas now here's where you're going to get an earful. And you thought you already had, pulease! I can't remember back to when I liked this holiday. I'm sure I did at one point but it must have been pretty damn early on since I remember being 5 and totally disappointed (with my mom, again, not worth the effort explaining). In our household we go with the Santa farce as long as we possibly can. This past summer when the kid went to her grandmother's in San Diego (my mil) for 3 months she lost at least 1 tooth. Here we put fairy dust (craft glitter, multicolored) in with her $1. Out there, apparently, her grandmother put cinnamon in with it. I'm not sure what made the kid ask about the validity of the Tooth Fairy but cinnamon? I myself would have called BS on that. To this day the kid recalls that story with no small amount of verbal disdain. Actually it's terribly amusing but needless to say she now knows there is no tooth fairy. She did ask about Santa at the time and we skirted the subject. Mainly, I think, because she still wants to believe and we're going with that. Does she think her parents are Santa? Probably. But we won't push the subject. She wrote her letter to Santa today and it was glaringly simple. She expects the purple iPod from us. All she put on her Santa list was Chixos (fair warning, that website has sound). That request tells me she already knows. Seriously, momma didn't rise a dummy.

Still the expectations that come with Christmas are terrible. The more kids you have the more insane it is. Not to mention all the other people one would like to buy presents for. I think, even if I did have tons of money to blow in the month of December, I would still find the holiday miserable. The traffic alone kills me. Everyone running around, stressed as all get out. Needing to get to this store or that for what not that is in stock or on sale or (lord forbid) both but only for a limited time only. GAH! The holiday parties to get to, the gifts you have to bring to said parties. Oh and the holiday things for the kids in school! Make sure not to forget the cookies to bring, the batteries in the camera/camcorder are fresh and there's a new tape in the camcorder. Care to add to the list? Have I only touched the tip of the iceberg? And good grief what if you're traveling? We moved out of state from the relatives for a reason. Do you envy us yet?

This year I am only buying presents for my child, my husband, my father, and my mother in law. As of today (Nov 15th?) I only have to pick up the thing I want to get the mil (measuring cups that match her kitchen beautifully) and some stuff for the hubby. He'll give me some sort of list and he'll get dvd's. I'll return the favor in turn. It's what we do and it works. The only adventure I'll do this year is the same one I do every year. I make my Christmas cards. And I mail them out on time. They are different every year and always lovely (or why bother right?). If you want one feel free to email me your address. The card making is a labor of love and I'll make one for anyone who wants a little hand made love this season. Seriously, it's the only think I like about Christmas. The year I had my aneurysm I managed to get out of rehab the first week of December and still made them and sent them out on time that year. Ya'll have no excuses about getting cards out on time!

If you notice the holidays I like (Halloween) and choose to enjoy/celebrate are ones I don't HAVE to spend with extended family. It tends to ruin ones day off. The hubby has tried to break me of this hang up. Sadly, taking me to all of his family's multitude of celebrations (I swear they'd celebrate Canada's Thanksgiving if they had an excuse to) has made me more stalwart in my beliefs. I think he married the wrong woman but telling him that before we got married didn't seem to work. Maybe someday I can fake my death and he can hire a stand in wife for future holidays with his family. Wouldn't that be fun? Tell me that you wouldn't love to do something like that to avoid in laws. Go ahead, lie to me, I find it entertaining.

Bah humbug, happy holidays and may none of ya'll suffer a stroke this season!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Metallurgy and allergies

This is one of those posts that probably could be classified as random blatherings but I've already used that title. I think. Well I've given you enough random blatherings that I might as well have. I'm at home sick today (no, I don't have the flu I have the hubby's bad cold) and am now bored senseless and am avoiding starting dinner. Which, btw, is going to be an artichoke heart and some sort of salted ham like meat with cheese quiche. See now you know why I'm ass dragging about getting off the couch and cook.

So I got this belly button ring a few weeks back right? And ya'll know that I'm allergic to metal? Yeah I didn't start out that way but had about 7 earring holes in jr high/high school and after awhile they were less than happy. By like the time I was 15 those holes were seriously irritated. First people told me I must be allergic to the nickle in the silver so I switched to gold. That didn't work so then I tried white gold. Then platinum, no go. After that I stopped bothering with them at all. In my first year of college I got a nose ring. I loved that nose ring, it was way cool and my button nose looked very cute with a gold ring in it. It lasted maybe 3 months, after that it was a mess. I had to take it out too, very disappointing.

This was back in the day before piercings were very popular and there were not a lot of different metals available to use in them. Please note, I don't like most piercings at all. Facial piercings especially, most hated being that cow nose ring. You know which one I'm talking about? Yeah it looks stupid. Even the side one (that I loved so much) looks bad on most white women. Sorry, it's true. Those big tall noses were not built for jewelry, why attract attention to that? Don't even talk to me about eyebrow and random in the middle of the face piercings, ew. Earring piercings are just dull, plus when my hair is long (like now) they get caught in it and it's annoying. Bet you guys never really bothered to think so much on piercings huh? Don't get me started on tattoos either, if I could tolerate the pain I'd have full sleeves. Seriously.

So now, what almost 20 years later, there are options for those of us wanting piercings with metal allergies. I opted for the only thing in the piercing shop that I most probably wouldn't react to, titanium. They had only 1, it was blue. I'm not all that into blue but as long as I didn't react to it I didn't care what color it was. Plus I could change it after 6-8 weeks. So the on line hunt for a new piece of jewelry began. Ah shopping on line, I love the options...

I found that there was something called bioplast that is basically a biologically compatible plastic like material that can be sterilized. It is flexible and is supposed to help heal the piercing faster. It's not metal so I was game. I couldn't find one that had titanium ball ends though, only bioplast and surgical steel. OK I was game but just in case I also ordered a titanium one just like the one I had but it was silver in color, not blue. Good thing too because I waited the required time and changed it to the bioplast and surgical steel one. After 10 days the skin was pissed. Not infected but definitely not healing either. It was red, inflamed and didn't let me turn without pain. Yeah, not so much. I don't like pain, it's not my thing. If it was I'd have more tattoos right?

So I made the switch to the full titanium silver colored one. The skin was happy within 30 minutes. Boy let me tell ya when I say that I'm allergic to metal I am so not kidding. Surgical steel? Man that's not good. I made sure to tell the hubby that if I'm in an accident of some sort and they need to cut me open again that he needs to remember these little allergies. Antibiotics (there's actually a list which includes all of the most oft used), latex (yeah, that means most condoms too, hence the child I have), most metals (yes, I've tried platinum too), and that really makes me high maintenance patient in a hospital right? Filling out the paperwork takes awhile. I used to have a medical bracelet but you know those things are metal right? See the problem? Yeah, reduncuous isn't it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On that note....

So that you know that just because you got vaccinated doesn't mean you can't catch something else, the hubby is sick as a dog right now. No fever, chills, or body aches so we're pretty sure he doesn't have the flu. The doctor agrees. Why did he see the doctor? Well he txt me around 11 am to let me know he thought he may have a sinus infection. 5 minutes later I was on the phone making an appointment at our doctor's office to be seen. At 4:45. I love offices that can get you an appointment same day, it really helps in times like these.

So the verdict is sinusitis and bronchitis. Lucky boy got a steroid shot prescriptions for Robutusson with codine, prednisone, and amoxicilin. Fabulous no? I'm thinking his system is just blown from the Hepatitis B vaccine (1st week in October), regular flu vaccine (2nd week), and H1N1 (4th week). So by the time this cold virus was introduced to his system he didn't have any white blood cells left and said fuck it, have at the system. Really, can you blame it?

So now the poor man is suffering valiantly through it, doing very well too might I add. Men are normally known for tolerating illnesses very badly but he's trudging right through it. I suspect the drugs and the next 2 days off (work told him to go home and stay there) will help him tons. I am getting him all of his favorite foods to eat when sick because I know when I have a cold I eat less. I don't think that helps me to get better and I need him better. He does all the dishes and the laundry and I don't want to be doing those things myself ya know? Yeah, priorities, I have them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flu vaccines, are you a believer?

I'm not big on vaccines in general. I don't get them every year for my dogs, the kid is the only one we keep up to date and she has to be on a modified schedule because she had a reaction. Not a bad reaction but full body hives tend to freak a parent out and so we no longer give her the 5 in 1 shot. I don't believe the body has a good response to vaccines when inundated with that many all at once anyway but she still gets her vaccines. I'm not that much of a hippie ya know. I don't think we need to get measles mumps or rubella running rampant across the nation anymore than the next person. The dogs? Please, they have had so many vaccines in their life they have the antibody. I just get them rabies because rabies is required by law.

I know the vaccine debate amongst parents is a fiasco and lets face it, extremists on either end are just extremists, doesn't make much sense to me once you go that far off the deep end. The flu vaccine is a whole different animal of debate though so once you add the piggy pandemic well, lets face it, there will be a debate.

We (as in my little family of 3) had the flu vaccine before. Once. And only because we have a neighbor that happens to be an MD and he brought home 3 nasal vaccines for us. Yes he's a doctor and he believes in the flu vaccine. We don't get sick often, the kid has the occasional sniffles but she's in elementary school. I think there's a law somewhere stating that they must be in a perpetual state of sniffles between the grades of kinder through 5th. The hubby is asthmatic and while he should have a some sort of immuno-compromise because of it he doesn't seem to do so bad. Me, I am randomly sick but really not that often and not normally bad either.

This year we made the decision to all get the flu shot. And the H1N1 shot. Oh yeah, we were going for gold this year. Wanna know something too? We lived through it. Wanna know something else? We found the H1N1 shot available. Apparently there's been a problem with that. CNN had an article about a clinic in Sunnyvale CA that had lines that wrapped around the building. Mind you there were only 1000 shots available and the line had thousands of people in it. Yeah, plural. I don't know if the country really understood how serious people were going to take this pandemic thing. Too bad they don't have much vaccine available. I know we had it here at our clinic and the CPA's daughter drove down from Austin to get it here since she couldn't find it in Austin. You know, our state capitol. Makes sense huh? Panic the people and then make the solution unattainable? Gotta love the US gov.

Now might I mention that when we got our first round of the H1N1 at work it was only like 100 doses. The priority for these vaccines read something like younger than 5 yrs, older than 65 yrs, pregnant women, and health care workers. I'm pretty sure they sent that first round so that the health care workers (you know, us) could get it before all the sick people came in and we spread it along our other clients. Makes sense? Yeah unfortunately our clinic is ass backwards and they said that the vaccines are only for our patients. Which you know, they need but really, there's a reason that health care workers are at the top of the list. We already had 1 provider get it and who knows how many she infected because she worked right on through it. BTW, I hate people that do that. If you're sick get the hell out. I don't want your disease. Novel huh?

So did I get my H1N1 vaccine from my work? No of course not. I had to bail sometime in the middle of the day when I found it at an urgent care clinic half way across town. Fortunately they also had the nasal version so I pulled my kid out of school and got it for her too. See the logic there? Don't vaccinate your workers, they get sick, or they have to take time off to get the vaccine somewhere else. The morons in charge here, I swear.

We did get a second round of H1N1 in though and the hubby came in and got it too. Of course he managed to get a sore throat 3 days later, maybe a mild form of the flu. The vaccine is not an end all be all. I haven't had any issues with it and the kid hasn't either. Both the hubby and I got the injectible version and that is a killed virus. The kid got the live nasal and she is good too. Of course she's younger than 9 so she needs to get a booster in 4 weeks. Do you think they will have a dose available in 4 weeks? Who knows. I'm not sure the booster is all that big of a deal anyway so if she doesn't get it I won't fall apart. Unlike some parents will I'm sure. If they remember....

So how about ya'll? Neurotic about flu vaccines? Pro or con? Are they from the devil? Conspiracy theory anyone? Did you already get it? Were you able to even find the H1N1? FYI, the real reason that I made the whole family get both the regular and H1N1 vaccines is because we are trying to get pregnant and I do not want to get the flu in my house if I get pregnant. That would just make me all kinds of nervous and you're only paranoid if they're not out to get you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Doc had a meme

And because I'm a sucker for them (and have yet to post this season it seems) you get a meme today. How's that for original! Yeah ok, not so much, such is life.

1. What was your favorite subject in high school? I was a geek, I liked a lot of subjects but I had one fabulous European History teacher that was all that and then some. Funny, my most hated course was adv chemistry. And now I LOVE my work as an analytical chemist. I should go back and apologize to my teacher.

2. Do you watch reality shows? Which ones? Nope, they're stupid

3. What’s your favorite all time reality show? OK I watched them way back in the day when MTV played videos and they had one that was funny. Real World? I forget what it was called but they put a bunch of odd balls in the same house together and taped how well they didn't get along. I was young and easy to please I suppose.

4. Do you feel “reality” shows are real or are they faked? Who cares, they suck.

5. What did you look like when you were a teenager? I was a goth for most of it, seriously.

6. Whose advice do you listen to? My own and on rare occasion the hubby's. Oh and also one of my bosses at work, Joseph is a hoot but he's trustworthy.

7. How often are you sick? Maybe 2-3 times a year

8. Do you like or dislike change? I don't mind change at all. I can get set in my ways and that's a bad thing.

9. How many times in your life have you had a broken heart? Only once but I got him back 10 years later. He's a good sport though, does all the dishes and the laundry and takes care of the kid. See? Revenge best served cold....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walkin the dog....

You see this? Corbin and Roxy? This is what they do, actually it's what they are. Boxers are known for their high energy level. Little dogs are known for their high energy levels. My dogs don't like to be stereotyped so the buck the system. And sleep. They are like myself, we believe sleeping is an Olympic sport and if there was a gold medal no one would be able to win it out from under us. Given our druthers we'd stay home and sleep. Forever. Why? Because it feels good and woe be the person to wake me when I do not want to be woken. The hubby and kid both know better, mommy is best left alone to wake when she damn well feels like waking.

The dogs? They get that way sometimes too. But mostly really they just get up for food. Given their druthers they'd hop up on the couch, sleep, drool, and then have food served to them on the couch. NO, we are not that liberal a household. They do have their own internal clocks though. 5-6 pm is their normal dinner time and they will start letting you know that the time is coming. At around 3:30 pm. Annoying brats too might I add. Jaynie is the worst, he whines. Like the world is going to end and no one loves him, etc, etc. It's long, drawn out, and dramatic as Hamlet.

Don't get me wrong, the boy likes his sleep too. He just prefers it in our bed. Spoiled? NEVER!

So as for their energy levels, well, Jaynie is the only one that really has one. The other two like things such as walks but only for like 3 blocks. Roxy has some hip issues that we have her treated for (acupuncture) and Corbin is genetically indisposed to any sort of activity whatsoever. Actually most Frenchies are, they can't breathe through the face that we've bred them too and to add insult to injury many times they have hip issues too. In Corbin's case his right hip socket doesn't fit together well. Every 3rd step or so he hops with his right rear leg in the air until it pops back into socket. It doesn't cause him any pain (yet) but it doesn't make for a dog that is going for any log ass walks either. Even if he could breathe. Which he can't. Seriously.

So Jaynie it is. He's a long legged active bugger, runs like a gazelle actually. I try and take him for a mile and a half every single night. Does it happen every night? No but if I try it happens at least 5 nights a week, sometimes 7. I don't run, shin splints are something that I've always had and they hurt. He's good walking though and we do hills so he gets a good bit of exercise. Which is good for his looney tendencies. Like most active dogs he tends to be more even keeled as long as I walk him regularly. And oh yes he reminds me every night around 8pm that we are due to walk (we go out at 9 so he starts reminders early). I started this at least 6 months ago if not longer. I can't actually remember. I slacked off a bit this last month. I initially started our late night walks because I wanted to lose some weight. A mile and a half at night every night, you'd think it'd do something with the weight but no. Not a thing. I was disappointed with the results so I started slaking off.

This week I'm trying round 2 of the weight loss program. It's not my diet, I was born and raised in So Cal, I know how to eat right and with small portions. I had my thyroid checked and my lipid levels done and they were all fine and dandy so I'm left with more exercise. This week we are now walking the same mile and a half in the mornings and then again at the regular evening time. They hubby has also decided he wanted to do something and right before we walk at night he steals Jayne for like 30 minutes and jogs about a mile. I think we might have to increase Jayne's caloric intake if he continues being abused like this. I'm also thinking the boys are going to be losing weight/toning up and I won't see any changes. Ah age, really not pretty is it?

The up side is that I'm pretty sure that even though I don't see any benefits to this abuse on the outside that my cardiac health must be better. I know I'm hitting my target heart rate (yes, I have a monitor) so at least there is some benefit. Other than a really happy dog that is. Which, come to think of it, is totally worth it too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not how I was planning on spending my Sunday

After a Friday and Saturday full of child's 8th birthday events (including another child's birthday party we went to on Friday) I was expecting to wake up Sunday morning and not really move until say, 2010. Apparently the hubby had different ideas. Yeah like totally different ideas. Not sure why but I agreed to go along with them. Well it may have been because while I did mop the floors the hubby did 99% of the cleaning of the house in preparation for the party at our pad. I suppose he figured if he didn't then it wasn't getting done. He, of course, supposed correctly. For this I was not so easily conned into going along with his Sunday plans.

You know what he wanted to do? Get this, he wanted to go paintballing (he had a half a case of paint left over, i.e. 1000 rounds) and have me take pictures of him. You can ask why but really, boys just love pictures of themselves playing paintball. It's totally beyond me, you're covered completely in clothing and a mask so really you cant even tell who it is but it floats their boats. Whatever. He says he's only going to go for 2 games and the kid can't possibly get bored in that short time span. Mind you 2 games in real time will span about 45 minutes to an hour since there's lag time and what not. I figure 1) I have a book and I can bring that along and 2)I've been wanting to try out my bigger lens (no, I dunno what it is but if you want to know I can figure it out). I am making the assumption at this point that bigger means distance and I don't want to get shot so this is a good thing. Yes, you get shot on the sidelines all the time and it damn well hurts since you aren't playing with the adrenaline pumping through you. Miraculously I did not get shot even though we stayed for a hell of a lot longer than 2 games. We dang well closed the place down.

Apparently the kid decided that the people in the office (it's like a converted trailer) were the funnest thing since Barbie and spent her entire time in there babbling at her new audience. She did not want to leave. It was kinda nice, she was having a good time and leaving us alone so I didn't mind. Kinda feel bad for the office help but they were teenagers and then the owner's wife who is a special ed teacher, to her my kid was probably awesome. No one complained and I know my kid is well behaved so it was good.

So there I went, taking pictures. Please note with all of these pictures, there are probably 200 more (I believe in take 100 and there is bound to be 1 good one) and none of them have had anything done to them. Almost all of them need at least cropping not to mention all the other garbage that people (other than me) do to photoshop their work. I have yet to install my Elements and really, for the most part, all I ever like doing to my pictures is cropping them. I'm a purist, old school, call it what you will. I come from back in the day of 35mm, most of what you did you did with the camera. Also! When out on the field you must wear goggles, the same ones that are on these boys in the pics. Putting the camera up to them is a pain in the ass and I kept on taking pics that were centered too high, too low, too far left or right. So I had a lot of the same shot repeated just so I could get the person centered correctly. Sometimes they moved to fast for this so there is just a sucky shot. Sports shooting, not yet my forte. Give me a few years though.

I found a lot of photos that I liked after looking at them for reasons that I didn't figure out until then. I took this one because I liked the framing.

Needs cropping though, too much frame not enough subject. BTW, in terms of an actual paintball shot it is less than exciting. I realize this, it was more of a photographer thing for me.
This one is another good framing shot, ok in terms of paintball action too,

I wanted to zoom in a bit more but it was hard with trying to keep up with someone running and zig zagging. Yeah, if they are trying not to get shot out then taking a picture of them is totally easy too. Not. Again, this can be fixed a bit with cropping.

This one was entertaining plus the hubby can figure out that he's wasting energy running by going too vertical. He should just be going low and forward. He's more like a leaping deer...

I took a ton of great ones of other players too. One tends to be limited to one side of the field unless you plan on really getting into it. Which I didn't because you will get shot at. No thanks. So I have a bunch of pictures of people I may or may not know that just looked good from a paintball shoot point.

I did get the email of one of these guys, he ended up being in a lot of good shots and I figured he'd like to see them. The other one (lower down) works at the paint ball store and I'm sending them the Photobucket link (feel free to go and look at the rest, there is a ton of older stuff on there so ignore that) to all the rest of the pics.

This guy is the one who normally takes all the pictures (he's got a camera like mine) and like most photographers, he has no pictures of himself playing. he was peached that I got some of him.

Ever have that problem? I know there are very few pictures of me. Oddly I'm ok with that though. Very rarely do I find one of myself that I like so I've deleted most of the ones the hubby has taken of me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Soon we'll be the Dursley's...

With the child's impending 8th birthday we've been doing the whole party planning (why does it cost so much to throw a birthday party for a child?) and purchasing of toys that she has requested. We're saving the iPod nano for Christmas if you're wondering. If you watch Cartoon Network or Nikelodeon you've probably seen all the one's she's requested. I swear that's where all products should put their commercials. Kids are so easily swayed by commercials. She could be watching any channel and a commercial for a cable company or paper towels comes up and she has to make sure we are using that one. Yeah sure we are honey, change the channel.

For this birthday she wants a few things but on the top of her list are Zhu Zhu pets. Basically electronic hamsters. At one point she had asked for a hamster but I nixed that idea. 3 dogs, 1 snake, and 1 chinchilla is about 5 pets past mommy's max. Plus I abhor hamsters. They bite and they eat their own poo. NO. So when this lovely electronic version came out I was very pleased. Me and just about every other parent in the United States. You know how I know this? Because I waited until this week to go out and buy one. HAH! Dream on baby. Getting the set up, wheel, tubes, car, what not, is very easy. You can totally get a hold of those. The hamster proper? Getting your hands on one of those is an Act of God. They are sold at Amazon (for $45), Toys-R-Us (for $9.99), and Walmart (for $8). I went to a Walmart this past weekend and got the set up stuff but they had no hamsters. The hubby stopped at every Walmart and Walmart super store between San Antonio and Beeville (80 miles south of us) and could not find a hamster. Apparently when they come in there are people waiting. Apparently they are now more popular than gun ammo which is what most people are waiting at the Walmart trucks for. WTF? It's an $8 electronic hamster that runs off of AAA batteries.

I called our local Toys-R-Us' and after many many minutes on perpetual hold come to find out that they got a shipment this morning but there was a line so they were all gone within minutes. Um, I'm sorry what? OK there will be another shipment on Friday but they don't know if there will be any hamsters on it for sure but you're welcome to try. UGH. So not what I want to hear. I am a card carrying member of today's instant gratification society. I should be able to go to the store and get it off the shelf. Ya'll need to make bigger orders! Apparently people are buying them in bulk, marking them up, and selling them on Ebay. Go, look, be horrified. I've shown you the stupid prices for them here, compare them with what they are going for on ebay. Oh and while I'm at it why oh why is Amazon selling them for $45? Anyone? Asinine. I even called my friend in Florida to see if she could call her local stores to find one in stock. No such luck. I was going to call my friends in San Diego to have them do the same but it wasn't 10am on the west coast at that point.

So I finally get a hold of 1 more Toys-R-Us this morning. This one isn't even in San Antonio proper, it's over in Selma which is like a north east suburb 20 miles away from my work. They got 80 in this morning (they open at 10am) and when I called at 11 the still had 20 left. Oh and no, they won't hold them for anyone. Bastages. The only person I know that works over there is the Airforce ER doctor that is my neighbor and helped save my life when my brain exploded. I suppose I could have called him up and begged him to drive to get a Zhu Zhu pet from Toys-R-Us during his lunch break (if they even take them) but really, wouldn't you fell a bit silly? Yeah me too. So I jumped in my car and hauled ass (I may have pushed a few speed limits) all the way across town to get a stupid freaking electronic hamster that is more precious than gold this close to Christmas. Really it's the only reason I could figure that these retarded little $8 toys are so back ordered! In October! Worse than Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80's. I didn't get to have one of those, btw.

So for all of you moms and dads out there: If your child wants something specific please do not do like I did and wait until 1 week prior to the date needed. Make damn sure you know you can get a hold of it and if not then tell all of your friends to keep an eye out for you. They wouldn't bother themselves with something you want but if your kid wants it bets have it that they'll find it for you!

Fortunately for me they still had like 15 in stock when I got to the store. Well maybe fortunately for them because after being on the phone all morning if I hadn't gotten the stupid things (I just went ahead and bought all 4 varieties) I may have had to kill someone. Just sayin'...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Do you think 8 yrs old is too young?

It was just this month that I came to the reality check that is what having a child turning 8 is. October seems to be the month for birthdays. Apparently we all seem to get busy at the end of January/beginning of February. Last weekend the kid had a slumber party on Friday night and a costume birthday party Saturday night. Prior to this year (which, if you're keeping track is the second grade for our kid) when birthday parties came along you'd take the kid and stay for the duration of the party. I guess second grade is the delineating year. When you get to this age you take the kid, drop them off at the door, and BYE! Come pick them up at the designated ending time. ROCKIN! I am totally down with that. We are having our party this Saturday (oh and someone else is having a party on Friday that we are attending) with a slightly different lean though. We tend to invite the whole family, which includes the little kids in the family so most likely those parents will be staying. I don't care either way really as long as parents understand that when they are left in my care they will be under my rules. I'm strict and I believe in discipline. You don't know that then you don't know me well enough to leave your child in my loving care. See how that works? Yeah.

So this year is also a big turning point in presents. The kid has decided she wants a camera. She is very good when using my camera (the older one, not the Rebel, it's too heavy with the lenses on) so I'd love to get her a point and shoot. For her birthday though I think we'll get her toys. Christmas is when we'll go for the camera thing. Now mind you the hubby got a wild and crazy idea. If she wants a camera wouldn't she just adore video i.e. iPod nano? Which is where the question of do you think she's too young comes in. I asked her if she'd like something like that and showed her one of them at Costco. She was like "Oh yeah then I can download video off the internet!" and I was like "What?". Where the hell do they get these ideas in the second grade?

I initially thought 8 would be too young for a iPod. Then I thought a bit more about it. Why? I think she's old enough for a camera and the nano is about the same price and about as delicate. Plus it's Apple, she's going to have to get used to Apple stuff, it's a societal thing right? The more I think about it the better I am with it. Plus you know, we both have iPhones, this is like the Apple 'gateway drug'. A few more years and by the time she's in middle school she'll have something more kick ass than the iPhone. And we had what at her age, knickers? Mrs. Potato head? that we are even able to drive cars much less use our cell phones in this day and age is a mystery.....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

He's going to start changing all of his passwords if I keep this up

You know that problem with being too close to someone? You know, like your spouse. Like too close as in we know all of each others passwords? OK he doesn't actually know all mine and I'm sure there are a few of his I don't know. He can't get into our bank accounts but I gave him the passwords, he just doesn't remember them. I know almost all of his, the only one I don't is his atm card code. Of course it's the same bank account as mine so that's neither here nor there. We both have passwords onto the various on line forums though and since most people (including us) re-use a smattering of passwords over and over it's pretty easy to figure out how to get into his stuff.

We rarely belong to the same forums so over lap is not a problem. Except for the few we do both belong to. PBNation was one of those but I'm not on it anymore. I'm not sure he is either, maybe sometimes. City Data forums too, and I accidentally posted a response up when it was logged in as him. To this day he still gets an occasional IM for more info on water softener systems and a really inexpensive plumber. He tells me that his doppelganger has to get on and answer that email for him. On occasion we'll also have Facebook problems. I'll go on and it looks like I'm logged in but that's only because most of his friends are my friends too. And then I don't notice until I've done gone and posted up as him. Both of our profile pictures have both of us in them so it throws me for a loop for a second but then I have to go in and change it. Or ignore it, we're married so the info that comes from one of us might a well be the same as the other right?

Now on occasion I'll also get on to some of his stuff to help him out. Say if he's at work (he has no internet access there or cell phone) and needs something sent out I'll log on to his email (yes I know that password and it connects me to his blog too) and mail it for him. I also know his FB, iTunes, and I'm sure a smattering of other log ons and have been known to, on occasion, go in and make some alterations.

Today I found a picture on one of our friend's FB uploads of them playing paintball last weekend. I thought one of them would make a good profile pic for him so I changed it. Yes I logged into his account and proceeded to modify at will. It's one of my rights as a wife, read the fine print. Funny that though, I had an ex boyfriend who was a little...obsessive? He would read my emails and chats and I couldn't get on the phone and talk to anyone with out him asking for the whole conversation to be repeated to him. Odd man. Now him I did not share passwords with. That man was nutters. Oddly though I don't mind the hubby getting into any of the websites and having at it if he felt so inclined. Of course it helps that he doesn't normally feel so inclined. Someday though I'm going to push his buttons and post up a pic he doesn't like though and you watch, he's going to have to go in and make up whole new passwords huh? That'll be an ugly day and then I'll have to go out of my way and get myself a hacker. What a bother!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

College all nighter flash backs and the "O" face

Yeah so we're parents and as such we are responsible for getting the kid's home work done right? Yeah we can say that the kid has to do it but lets be realistic here, we work just as hard on this shit as they do. This week the kid had a project due that she was supposed to have worked on for oh, about a week or 2 now. The Olive/Oliver project, similar to the Stanley project only not nearly as fun (IMHO). With Stanley you mailed him to some one far away and they send back pictures of where they went with him. Kinda like that gnome thing only with a person you know. Ours was awesome since we sent him to Mumbai India with my friend Summer. The Oliver thing was to be local and the kids had to take him along with them and then write in a journal about it. Kind of like a diary. Then you marked on a map of the city where you went and you could either draw a picture or take pictures and put them in the journal entry. Really, doesn't hold a candle to Mumbai. Realize that we don't actually go anywhere here, it's Texas for crying out loud.

Also, we should have been working on this for weeks now right? Sure yeah, we got to it. Not. The kid has homework everyday and is in gymnastics/after school care every day until I pick her up at 5:30. Until 6:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays (team practice). I pick her up, drag her home, set her up for homework at the table and prepare dinner. By the time she's done with her regular homework it's time to eat and then are we going to do more? Not likely. Plus we suck and never did it on the weekend. It was due yesterday (Tuesday). We kept her up until 9 pm working on it Monday night because she had to finish her regular homework too. It was like this vile flashback of our college days where we'd leave a huge project untouched until the wee hours of the night before it was due. Of course there's a difference between how late one can force themselves to stay up as a teen to twenty year old and a seven year old. Yeah, we suck. She survived though and that speaks volumes as to how good we are at breeding tough off spring.

Did I mention that we still think of ourselves as marginal when it comes to parenting and this last minute project had just a few of those short comings laid throughout it? I mean the time factor alone, yeah we suck. But there was this "O" face thing that we had to get past too.Yeah, that's what I said, the "O" face. The what face honey? One of the places that she wrote about taking her Olive was the pumpkin patch. She has a preference in pumpkin faces this year and she calls it the "O" face pumpkin. You know what I'm talking about right? The pumpkin that has a big O for the mouth? Yeah, this is her fixation this year and she wanted to put in her journal the phrase "O" face. We had to draw the line there. But of course she wanted to know why. How in the world do you explain the ramifications of the phrase "O" face to a 7 year old that doesn't even know what sex is? I mean even if we were really on it parents and had told her what sex is (don't start with me peeps, I'm passing that duty on to the hubby so harass him) how do you take that the one step further? Do you see the problem here? The universe was being nice to us last night though and she accepted us just telling her to trust us and leave the phrase out. I'm sure she'll end up revisiting it eventually though so really we just dodged the bullet that's going to swing around and come right back at us again though huh?

Ah parenting, we still suck at it. Poor offspring....