Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Resolution Update

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So this was the very first year I ever did New Year's Resolutions. I meant to update them once a month, but as that wasn't a resolution I don't feel badly that I didn't. I almost feel better knowing it became a subconcious thing to work on them. I haven't gone thru them yet, but I have a really good feeling that I've covered a majority of them! We'll know by the end of this post!

Personal

On girl time
Keep up the girl time I started last year. So did awesome at this! Visited my cousin again - yay!, had SO many girls' nights not even including my weekly nights with my girls Li, M, and Ambr, took a cousins trip to Phoenix with my sisters and cousins. Not only did I have a lot of girl time, I had a lot of special guy time with my man, too. That came later in the year, and as a by product, but this year we went to our first vineyard and had our first wine tasting, had a date almost every week, sailed on our first boat together, ice skated alone for the first time together, and had date upon wonderful date doing something fun and new each time including watching Ballet Under the Stars at the Zilker Hillside Theatre, floating in Barton Springs, and climbing Mt. Bonnell.
Yup

On taking care of my body
Leave my freakin' face alone! Hmmm, not sure how I've done on this one. It's definitely not AS bad as it was at the beginning of this year. Part of that was discovering I needed to use separate wash cloths for my face than the ones I use for everything else. So mine are a special color now and used for my face alone. That helped a lot. I still irritate my face when I'm nervous but usually I'll catch myself and go do something more productive.
Yup

On my thought life
Be easier on myself. I'm working on it. I'm okay with who I am and seriously want to give myself a kick in the rear to be all I can be. Maybe that will be NEXT year's resolutions. In the meantime I don't apologize for who I am or lay blame. What happened in my life up until I could make my own decisions happened and all I can do is change what I do now and change what I do for my kids.
Working on it

Aspirations

On school
Finish another three semesters of classes. Eek! Well, finances kind of put an end to that for the moment as we barely scraped by this summer and fall. I am signed up for a class this spring though and am crossing my fingers I can once again handle work, kids, and school (how do you do it again, GFF?).
Working on it

On my home front
Get my  house back to where I need it to be. Somehow along the year I learned to accept my house for what it was and where we are in our stage in life with where it is. Along the way something amazing happened, and only in the last few weeks, I threw a wine tasting party for 25 people! I did not want to stress out the week leading up to it so I just busied myself decluttering and throwing out the junk that had accumulated that I hadn't bothered to toss. Shawners and I ended up clearing out 150 toys out of their closet alone. That doesn't count the two garages Brando and I compacted into one by putting up shelves and clearing an entire trunk and carload worth of things to go to Goodwill. Somehow my house has happily maintained itself since the grand decluttering and we are quite enjoying it.
Yup

On my family front
Enjoy life! In the moment. Oh my gosh, this has probably been the most fabulous success in my resolutions. I have so enjoyed every. moment. of this year. Doing what I want, when I want, and how I want. And not blaming others for myself not having a good time if I didn't open my own damn mouth and make what I want to happen happen. Specifically, I had a blast tubing the Guadalupe with my girlfriends and one of their boyfriends. Brando? He stayed home with the kids and I didn't apologize for it. The trip out to see my cousin, the trip to meet up with my sisters and cousins, the countless dates with Brando where I said where I wanted to go and stuck with it (Ballet Under the Stars was a major feat and he LOVEd it : ), the many many moments with the kids where I didn't apologize for doing what I wanted to do, regardless of what they thought we should do. And the pictures I took? Every single one I look at I can tell you the specific happy moment surrounding that picture. No ugliness at all. That doesn't mean there weren't fights, I just didn't force them into making a happy moment out of it. I just let them be and fall by the wayside. The happy moments take the stage and shine in every picture. And there are so. very. many.
Absolutely yup!

Four out of six ain't bad. That means I kept two thirds of my resolutions and am still working on the final third! Whoohoo! How did you do on your resolutions this year?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dance Party

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I never used to understand how people had dance parties at home. When GFF would mention them or Laura, or any other blogger I can't think of right now, my mind would turn into a great big WTF? Then my neighbor taught me to sing even if I don't know the words, my best girl Kel Bel taught me sing from my gut and stay on key (most of the time), my girl Li taught me to keep the beat while letting loose and not giving a crap who cares if I dance, just dance, like a record baby ; ) .

Now? My boys and I have dance parties all around the house to Disturbia, Love Lockdown, Dangerous, and Don't Stop the Music, Shawners teaches me foot moves from happy feet, and when the boys take off with Brando for a game night at a friends' house? I get a work out to Just Dance by Lady Gaga. Now I understand, when you have an idea of how to stay on beat, sing sort of on key to the music and just enjoy yourself you can't help but have a dance party when the music plays.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Family and Friends

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Christmas Eve we spent with my sister and her family at their house. We had pizza, salad, english toffee, and spiced wine. Yummy and easy. We exchanged gifts and it was so sweet to see Justinbustin's presents for them. He had a budget of $50 for his two cousins, and the three of us and he bought the sweetest presents! A kitchen knife for my chef nephew - his cousin, a car magazine for his car enthusiast cousin, a video game magazine and a ornament coke bottle for Brando, two Pokemon toys for Shawners, and a pyramid of Ferrero Rochers for me. I think he even had money left over! My middle nephew's sweet gift to us was a special time with him going wherever they want, and a few nights of babysitting for us! It was a special time spending Christmas Eve with my sis and her family, and a special new tradition we've begun for the last two years.

Christmas day the boys woke up and we all opened our stockings on Brando's and my bed. Then they brought the gifts from under the tree two by two and we spent the next hour and a half opening all our gifts on our bed, starting with Santa gifts. Shawners got a plethora of Pokemon toys, cards, and movies - exactly what he asked for. And Justinbustin got a huge Star Wars lego set that he has spent eight hours working on putting together since. He's almost done! He actually asked for a PSP or an iTouch but was reminded Santa doesn't do that expensive of gifts. Star Wars lego set was stretching it as it was!! My mom bought the boys remote control trucks which reminds me of Christmas mornings in SC, driving around and seeing all the remote control cars out on the streets from being opened that morning for Christmas. Santa did good this year, and all the gifts from our family were so sweet and thoughtful.

I made a baked frittata and raspberry crepes for breakfast and our neighbors, aka Justinbustin's substitute teacher and her hubby and two boys, came over for breakfast. They stayed for about three hours drinking mimosa's and coffee and visiting while the four boys played together. We've never had people over for Christmas before and it was a total blast. I can't wait to do it again!

We spent the afternoon brushing Brownie with her new furminator. We ended up with a pile of fur about a foot by a foot big!! It was AMAZING! I can actually pet her now without her fur flying all over the place or walking away with fur all over my clothing.

For dinner I made garlic and thyme crusted prime rib, mashed potatoes with au jus gravy, cranberry & feta salad, while KT joined us for Christmas dinner and brought an Alabama specialty - turnips and macaroni and cheese (she made it healthy by making it whole wheat). She also brought a DELICIOUS super soft bread from Whole Foods - yum!! I gave her the new Brittney Spears CD, Circus, a few days ago when we went shopping for Christmas because she mentioned she had wanted it a few months ago. I was so glad she hadn't got it for herself yet!! I told her she better not buy me anything in return, but she did - gorgeous silver etched earrings from Macy's that I absolutely LOVE. We had more mimosas for dinner, because she'd never had one and she hung out for about four hours. Another fun time with friends we've never experienced on Christmas before!! The kids LOVEd having their former babysitter over, and her and I sat at the table long after everyone was gone and cracked ourselves up until we were holding our stomachs and our faces were bright red from laughing too hard.

She left to go spend time with her little sister, and Brando and the boys and I settled in to watch Elf and laugh our heads off. I can't believe I hated that movie the first time I watched it!! It must've been my aversion to Will Ferrell that kept me from actually seeing the movie. Now with the boys doubting Santa's existence this year, and Santa having to write a detailed letter to Shawners explaining how he can live in the freezing Antarctic, how his reindeer can fly, how he can make it to all the houses in one night, and why he can't wake him up when he drops off the presents (last time he did that he didn't make all his deliveries and the elves made him promise not to do it again!!), I totally got into the spirit of Elf and believing in the Christmas spirit to make Santa's sleigh fly! I even sang along with Zooey Deschanel aka Emily to Santa Claus is Coming to Town!!

What a perfect way to end the evening as we finished up our movie and tucked the boys in bed. Shawners cuddling with his teddy bear in a sweater that Gma gave him, dressed in his moose pajama pants that I gave him to match the ones I gave Brando and Justinbustin (mine are pink with owls in scarves and hats and white pine trees - so cute!!), and Justinbustin big man stretched all over his bed that he is almost as big as.

Brando and I fell asleep to Fred Clause, and I savored the thing that I enjoyed most about Christmas this year. The fact that we are together, and happy. After hearing about my friend's husband moving out last week, it struck me how shallow I had been with gifts and realized I could have returned them all and been happy just having my family with me and being happy together with having friends there as a sweet added bonus.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A broken economy

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makes for very last minute Christmas shopping. KT and I did our mall thing Monday, but didn't come up with much. Yesterday Li and I made round two. First stop at Walmart, second stop at the mall where I FINALLY found Brando something and Li helped me put the finishing touch on it. Yay! The boys played their DSs again, and didn't say a peep. Afterwards we stopped by Chilis for afternoon margaritas, southwestern egg rolls, spinach dip, and buffalo chicken. Mmmm.

Last night I started some of the grocery shopping for tomorrow's meal, and Justinbustin did his Christmas shopping with Daddy.

WARNING!! This next part gets deep!!

I also heard the news last night that my BFF is getting a divorce. Her husband moved out a week ago. They have been working alternate schedules for the last year and a friend of hers has been coming over and helping out with the kids while she is working. It got to be a little more than helping out, and now they are done.

My heart breaks and I am so very, very humbled thinking about how I have been stressing over gifts here and gifts there when the very most precious thing to me is that Brando and I are together and on speaking terms this Christmas. More than that. We haven't spoken about money lately so we are on pretty darn good terms. Not that we don't need to speak of money and won't, but not speaking of it allows us a breather amidst the stress. Then we have to take in a big gulp of air again because we'll realize while we thought we were breathing, we were actually just holding our breaths.

My heart is so broken right now for my good friend. She is not on good terms with her mother and sister either, and it sounds like she will spend Christmas alone. I am so very grateful for my family right now, and wish her the deepest peace in her heart over any gift this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Growing up at the speed of light

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I just talked to my 9 1/2 year old about pu *berty after noticing his upper lip area is darker than the rest of his face. Holy sh*t. When I throw things in as a conversational bit and don't make a big deal about it they accept it as part of life that just is. While I walk away reeling.

What the cold does

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Delicious breakfast with blueberry pancakes, maple sausage, bacon, eggs, coffee, and strawberry peach smoothies that the boys made. Being so excited for breakfast I could hardly eat.

Trail of Lights in the freezing cold. Scarves, hats, gloves and socks when there aren't enough gloves to go around. Standing close to the giant bonfire. Spinning around under the Zilker Christmas tree. Drinking hot cocoa and eating kettle corn. Walking at a steady pace along the lit up displays is almost worth the cold. Pictures in the tunnel of lights and next to the huge blue and white lit up tree are priceless. More kettle corn. Warming up our hands on the heater when we get to the car.

Last minute Christmas shopping with my neighbor and new friend, JenH, while three of our boys do chores together and play the Wii at home. Bringing Shawner's Nintendo DS so he'll stay distracted while we hit up World Market for stocking stuffers. Picking up KT while she waits for her cars oil to get changed. Going to Walmart for socks, gloves, and an airsoft gun for her oldest. Dropping off KT, then JenH, and having leftover yummy breakfast for lunch. 

KT picking the boys and I up after lunch for my first four hour mall shopping excursion I've had in a looooong time. Parking them with their Nintendo DS's in a corner of each store to keep them entertained. Hitting up almost every store in the mall and having so much fun remembering all a mall has to offer. Eating mini chocolate chip cookies from the cookie store. Perusing for our men. Getting a small item for Brando, but finding nothing else for them. Wondering why guys are so hard to buy for. 

Watching the boys give K the gifts I bought her. Girls night in with Christmas presents from and for Li, M, and Ambr. Finale of the Hills and warm fuzzies (I won't say anymore since I just realized blog readers might not be so yellow text friendly if I were to make it blend into my background). Warm tortilla soup with avocados, lime juice, cheese and tortilla strips. White wine that doesn't keep me up at night.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friends

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Friends have always been a big issue for me, whether near or far. I have never felt close to anyone I can't connect with. Yet I hesitate to call ANYbody a best friend. Every friend of mine meets a different need in my life, fulfills a different purpose, and lets me meet a different need in their life. There are a few friends I have today who are so like me that calling them my best friend is always on the tip of my tongue. I can say anything, do anything around them and they won't judge me. They'll think of me as they always have. There are a few others where I am so very grateful for the need they fill in my life, the need that even the ones who feel like best friends don't or can't meet. The need that challenges me to look at who I am and make sure I am on the right track. The ones who make sure I really am aware of what is going on in my life and not just sailing through life as if it's a ride on a pleasure boat (which I sure enjoy sometimes). Today was an example of that. This afternoon I met Brando for his Christmas party at my favorite restaurant ever. His co-workers are so fun and goofy that I am so grateful for him that he gets that opportunity to work with guys and a girl who are his age and a blast to work with. I wish I had that opportunity. At the same time I have surrounded myself with girls who give me that environment. I left Brando with the boys and the Christmas party not long after I got there, well after two mimosas with maraschino cherries at the bottom any way, and met my girl Genie for her tattoo appointment. I was at her first one in Texas and so glad I was there for her second. Poor girl was breathing hard on this one. Afterwards we picked up our traditional sangria Saturday and headed down to another friend of mine for a cookie bake off. Genie is so versatile she fit right in with these girls and had a blast, consequently making it a blast for me. After she left, my girl Christi asked me, so how are you REALLY doing with Brando? as if I hadn't been telling her the truth with Genie there. Even though I had, because I can with Genie, I did tell her more about how confused I feel sometimes, and it made me grateful that she pushed that question. She knew how Brando and I were last year and being married herself knows it's not such an easy fix, and pushed for the answer she was really looking for. While I shared the same amount that I did with Genie, it was nice to see her care so much and really want to know how things were going. She also shared some more personal things about her and her hubby after Genie took off and it reminded me of why her and I get along so well. We have so many similar views on life and issues in marriage, yet are different enough that it makes it interesting to share our views with each other. Genie is my let it all go and be who I really am and no matter what I am girl, and Christi is my infrequent but when she is make me look at who I really am girl. They are both more than I could have ever asked for in a friendship.

I am so grateful for friends today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Then Meets Now

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Oh my gosh I met Samira!!! Remember the girl with her blog dedicated to coffee? You know if she was still blogging you would read her by that sentence alone. She was going to school in Gren*da and chronicling her adventures until one day she needed to be done blogging for the moment : ) .  Girl From Florida was around, Tall Poppy (who blogs no more but is still out there and doing wonderful) was around, even Cecilia, and Amanda.

I was in shock going to meet her and could hardly believe that I was. I didn't allow myself to let the excitement out until I actually saw her. When I did it all came bubbling out and we had one of those girlie moments you see on TV, like say on the Hills ; ) . We had presidente margaritas at Chili's and their new Chocolate Chip molten lava dessert. Oh yum. We yakked way too long, had way too much to talk about and we still didn't get to talk about it all. I hope she got enough sleep last night! The best news is she may end up living here! I'm not sure how much more I should say, but OH MY WORD I am beyond excited! Can't wait to see you again Sam! I'm excited you'll be around in SA until February!






Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brrrr

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Gosh it's been freezing lately! Yesterday it barely hit 36F and today it's 50F but it still feels freezing because of the humidity hanging in the air. Did I mention it SNOWed last week? And stuck around in the eaves of our building until 2:30pm? Totally hot chocolate and curled up on the couch with a book evenings.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Days Running Into Nights

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Where have I been lately? Everywhere really. I've only been home two weekends from Thanksgiving but it feels like so much has gone on. Last weekend we had our fourth annual Christmas party for our Sunday School group. My favorite part is the pictures and the ornament exchange. I'm such a dork but I love getting an ornament somebody else picked out. The white elephant party is always a blast as well. The best gift was a box with three rolls of toilet paper, febreeze, hand soap, and two magazines. Awesomeness.

The rest of the weekend and week was filled with work, home-school, coffee with friends, catching up on appointments I completely skipped out on the week after vacation, girl nights, and decluttering the house for our holiday wine tasting party.

This weekend was our party which went off without a hitch. Twenty people in our TEENY house!! We set everything up so wonderfully it wasn't even a squeeze. There was dove chocolate, brownies, ham and swiss, salami and mozzarella pinwheels, seafood salad in fillo pastries, and spicy meatballs to go with the wine pairings, and s'mores for the after party. We were up til' 2am and spent half of the next day sleeping before we had friends over for dinner, games, and the Dark Knight.

Today Brando did a photo shoot for the same friends. The rest of the day was spent watching a Christmas cantata at church which Jen was in, and eating at P. Terry's of course.

Now it's time to start the week again. Happy Monday!

PS Oh, and I had my Texas Martinis at Trudy's with Kels last Friday night. Way too many, then we went to Sixth Street and downed some beers on top of that. We had fun people watching a group crash a bar with Goth Christmas though!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Shawnisms

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Upon seeing the snow melt off the roof of our apartment building into a puddle he says, "It's like a dog dancing, with his feet going really quick."

Oh and his candy "storage" is the entire middle portion in between his chest and stomach, illustrated with the use of his hands.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

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Arriving in San Jose, picking up a Sa*ab to drive in for the week, eating at In N Out, driving straight to Ol*vehurst/Plum*s Lake. Turkey dinner on Sunday with my brother's ex-wife and three kids, my sister, her hubby, and their five kids, my parents, and us. Seeing her new 2600 sq.ft. that had more than enough room for all of us, and more than enough room for six cooks in the kitchen. Watching the kids play, play, play their hearts out and spend every night with my mom and dad in their RV they brought up from Santa Cr*z. Playing games with my sister and her hubby every night and with my ex SIL and niece before they went home. Liars dice, skipbo, Uno. Driving to Placerv*lle to meet Brando's family I've never met in eight years. Going from flat land valley Cali to mid size mountains and tall pine trees. Being EXTREMELY bored with people I've hardly met before. Getting over it and playing golf cards with Justinbustin. Shawners joining in, then Oma, then a cousin. Thanksgiving dinner with two cousins and an aunt of Brando's I'd never met before. Pictionary with Justinbustin and Oma on my team. Waking up early in the morning. Going to Apple Hill with Brando's family and discovering the quaintest experience I've ever experienced. Taking gorgeous mountainous pictures. Buying fudge, apple pies, apple cider, and Christmas ornaments. Watching the rest of the family take off to see a veteran's memorial. Going to our first. ever. wine tasting with Brando. Taking kissy pictures in the vineyard. Watching my sons collect pine cones outside the window while we wine tasted. Meeting the family-owned estate owner's son. Having birthday cake for Shawners birthday with Oma. Driving home in order to have a full day in Santa Cr*z. Playing more games with my sis and her hubby. Going out downtown with my good friend, Jef. Waking up early and taking boudoir pictures at U*SC campus. Laughing at the guy biking by on the bike trail nearby biking by and asking if that's a n*ked lady in the grass. Thinking in my head, "No! You're imaging things!!" Finding out I need to get linger*e for Brando at Hot Top*c instead of Vici's. Going to my dad's financial class. Seeing how cute he is with all the little things he does for his clients. Payday bars, lucky pennies, cash drawings, cute analogies, tear-jerking stories. Going on a sailboat with Jef, his girl, Brando, the boys, and my parents. Spending two hours on the Monterey Bay with wine, beer, pizza, and good company. Drinking way too much wine. Going to the Boardwalk any way after we get off. Riding the sky rider with Brando. Taking pictures to ease my fear of hanging 200 ft. about the ground with no way to get down. my Dad and the boys there. Watching them have a good time without being involved or them knowing I was there. Stalking them and taking pictures.  Riding the pirate ship with Brando and laughing at the guy giving me evil looks for standing up. Going home and taking a nap. Oversleeping our dinner date with good friends. Picking up Jef and his girl again to go to dinner with us and other friends. Eating dinner with Cris & Kris and their sweet baby boy. Shopping downtown. More games with my sis and her hubby, this time with Jef and his girl, too. Hanging out with his new girl, the longest girl he's had, that I absolutely love and adore and hope he marries the heck out of her one day. Going over to a friend of Brando's afterwards. Playing the Wii until the wee hours of the morning. Waking up. Hanging out with my sister at Trader Joe's. Going to breakfast at my favorite restaurant ever, Peachwoods. My dad attempting to take me shopping. Giving hugs. Oma's tears. Going home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Options for Tonight

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*Chocolate martini party with a girlfriend who also happens to sub teach at Justinbustin's school
*Cocktail party with friends of my sister's
*Out on the town with my girlfriend, KT, who is scarily my clone
*Texas Martini's at Trudy with Kels

What I'm doing instead...

*Packing.

Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?!?! I KNOW. Totally not freakin' me. I told myself that I would take it easy this week and not pack it in before I take off like I normally do, so hopefully we will get on the plane NOT sick this time. Freakin' a!! If I had known it would mean saying NO over ten times this week to fun , FUN things for me and/or the boys (playdates, basketball games, time with Auntie helping out watching a million probably sick kids) I might not've planned the trip at all. Just kidding (barely)! Gah.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pain

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My FIL had been paying rent on the properties my MIL acquired from the marriage for the last ten years. They have been talking about the lease coming up for two years now and the agreement was he was still going to lease, until yesterday. He told her he wasn't going to lease and she now has less than ten months to find a new tenant. His business is hurting with the economy but that doesn't give him any less reason to follow through on his word.

It makes me cry to think about it. The women who spend their lives in support of their husband to push them further in their careers who when it doesn't work out end up where? It's a little too late at that point to create a life of having a career at that point.

For all you career wives and career mommies out there, don't stop. Not just because of the ever possible possibility of divorce, but what happens if something happens to them. I so wish I had started my life later. Smarter. Gotten a head start on my own career. I might've still chosen to stay home with my boys for a while, but at least I would have SOMEthing under my belt to fall back on, even in hard financial times like we're going through right now.

I'm so grateful for my work situation right now, as I do have a friend who has a masters and makes about the same as I do working two days a week so I have nothing to complain about. However, when my situation ends it ends and I am back out there looking for something else. Kind of like my MIL right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Windows to my soul, or at least my living room

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This is pretty disgusting, but I never realized how dirty my windows were until I cleaned them the other day! The paper towels I used to clean them were black!! Sad to say they were actually dirtier on the inside than on the outside.

First off, I never knew how to clean windows until my son taught me. I had done a few and then Shawners did one and his was cleaner than mine! I had been on his case about using too much windex in the first place until I realized his spot was extremely clean, so I started using much more windex on my windows. Wow they came clean quick! So much for trying to save money by not using very much windex. That was pointless if I wanted clean windows. I made sure to commend him telling him he taught Mommy how to clean windows ; ) .

So for the first time in two years (yeah, I told you it was disgusting) my windows are shiny bright clean.  It feels like I have a new house!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shawnisms

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"I love you. I have a good time with you every single day."

I wish I could freeze moments like these forever.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Girlified

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All three boys are out of town and I had the first Saturday afternoon to myself in ten years. Wahoo!! My poor hubby and sister... to quote via text from Brando, "hellooooooo!!!!!????" and from my sister, "OMG you are SO unavailable today." I texted Brando back, "It's my first Saturday off in forever! I'm a little busy."

I slept in until 10:30am which is the first time I've done that in AGES. Then I leisurely got ready and headed over to see a friend's new apartment. We had a glass of wine and 2pm in the afternoon -hell yeah - then went to see Zack and Miri at the Ritz downtown. It was at the Alamo which is a dinner theatre so we ate artichoke heart and goat cheese pizza and drank a pitcher of sangria. Mmmm. We went to scope out the place she is getting married next spring and it is GORGEOUS. It's at the st*te cap*tol which apparently is a st*te park where you set up shop, get married, and go on your merry way. The location they picked inside is mind blowing. It's on the bottom level and it's an open atrium. It goes about two to three stories up and then it's open sky. There's a big Texas st*r in the middle where they are going to get married and have everybody around them. It brought tears to my eyes seeing it and imagining the scene. I'm so going to be a big baby when it happens.

I dropped her off then picked up my upstairs neighbor who also happens to be a substitute teacher at J's school. We headed to Pei Wei for some Thai Coconut Curry chicken, then to Main Event for a beer and conversation with Li and her boyfriend. We headed home and chatted til' the wee hours of the evening. Then I made myself a bubble bath and watched Ugly Betty until I crawled into bed halfway thru and fell asleep exhausted but happy.

This morning I woke up at 8am to meet K.T. for coffee and catch up with her since it seems like forEVER since I've seen her. I love her, she is the sweetest thing ever and so much like me with the energy I bubble over it's ridiculous. We talked for an hour and a half before she had to head off to work then  I came home and worked out for the first time since my surgery. Hell I needed it. I've gained 4 pounds because of all the loose jeans I've been wearing to make things comfortable! Not to mention the trips to Grandma's : ) and double stuffed oreos left over from Halloween : ) .

I am so perfectly content and satisfied, rather, girlified. I'm going to have to schedule myself a Saturday by myself at least once a month and ship the boys off to a guys night!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Girls Weekend

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Just spent the most amazing weekend in Arizona with my grandma and cousins. The cousin I go visit in Laguna Beach and I had brainstormed this idea last time I went to visit her. Somehow she pulled it off and got the two difficult ones (my sister close to my age, B, and her sister, M)  to agree to a weekend and off we went. We didn't grow up together so it was a neat chance to get to know each other even more. Of course I knew my sisters and her, but it was fun getting to know M who is five months pregnant with her first child!! M is B's age and my cuz in Laguna Beach, Ann*e is my age. My other sister is 11 years older than me but still gets asked if she is the babysitter of my boys. B didn't know either of them prior to this trip very well at ALL and W only knew Ann*e and M when they were littler.

On top of that my sister who is closer to my age and I didn't grow up with my Grandma so it was a neat time to get to spend with her and get to know her more too.

We had a weekend full of massages, pedicures, yummy yummy food and desserts, shopping, laying out by the pool, sunshine, golf cart races, tons and tons of pictures, and way too much girlie giggling. It went a thousand times better than I ever expected out of all those dynamics. We presented my Grandma with a framed picture of all of us that has an extra large mat which we each wrote notes to her on describing how we feel about her, our favorite memories, and favorite qualities. We each read our note to her while the tears flowed. Her friend made us each pillows with a picture of the six of us embroidered into the pillow and so each of us came away with our own special keepsake.

I cried when I left. I texted Ann*e the next day that I don't think I've ever missed five people so much in my life.





Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted. Did you?

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Yick

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I just bit into an ant covered Kashi granola bar. Ouch. I had opened it just enough the other day for them to crawl and inhabit it unbeknownst to me as I reached up to the top cupboard, grabbed it, opened it, and took a bite in one quick motion. Not my finest moment.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Weekend

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At our murder mystery dinner

Private Investigator aka PI

The non-murderous couple.

Making mulled wine for the setting: Colorado in the 80's. Mmmm, yummy!

My chocolate fountain is put to good use!

Oooh, creepy!

The alcohol we didn't end up drinking too much of...
notice the black rose bud in the martini glass

Hola! Been busy over here. Super fun weekend including a murder mystery dinner at Li's house. Brando was a private investigator, I was supposed to be his "seductive" wife, but I ended up more like a conservative schoolgirl. Kind of a slow night and not much alcohol was drunk, but it was fun being grown ups on Halloween for once. My sis took the kiddos out trick or treating and to our annual church event. Justinbustin was Peter from Narnia and Shawners was a dragon. My sister wore the princess costume I gave her to go with their outfits. They had a blast!

Saturday night Brando went to Sixth Street with me for the first time!! Whoohoo!! We had a gorgeous view sitting rooftop on top of a bar downtown watching the live band of the uncle of the little girl I nanny. He was so good!! The music reminded me of a mild Subl*me.

Today Shawners had his last clay art class and Justinbustin had a date with Mommy and Daddy all to his lonesome. We took him to Starbucks for treats then to the bookstore to read dragon books. I got my own fun little book there. There's a lot on exercise, but what I really wanted is the tips on organizing my wardrobe and quick beauty mishap fixes.

Loving the time change this evening as it's only 8:45pm and the kids have been in bed for an hour and fifteen minutes! I vacuumed my car and drove it thru the local car wash after I washed the wheels and windows. Love a good weekend and a clean car!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why College Matters

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This morning I had a conversation with my baby girl's uncle about public schools. We were talking about school ratings and how they came to be. His belief is that the schools who have low ratings are in impoverished areas whose families are working to survive and not teaching the kids that school is important. These kids aren't motivated to go to school, they aren't being taught that school is important by their parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives, and if they have no hope for college they wouldn't have the finances. Yes, the government would help them, but most don't even have the hope. His argument and tyrant struck me. I had never thought about the background behind how these schools came to be rated so low. It hit me that out of my entire family, and Brando's family, we are the only ones who think college is halfway important.

After reading this comment tonight on a savvysugar post, "Unless you're studying something that specifically is required for a career path -- like computer engineering -- your major really has very little impact on the jobs you have after college. It's all about the skills you developed and the different internships/clubs/jobs/volunteer work you have to put on your resume.", I realized how important it is that we encourage that vision in them. Brando is of the belief that you don't HAVE to have college. Which is true. We are making it without it. BUT I told him, think about how MANY more experiences you could've had. He might've ended up in the same place, but he may've been able to develop some of his passions and interests along the way such as photography, programming video games. Heck he might've even discovered more. Doesn't mean they would've been his career, but he would've had the opportunity to develop them along the way.

I want this for my kids, this opportunity for them SO bad. I told him tonight we HAVE to encourage them and make it a way of life. Our family certainly isn't going to and that's why we need to be so much more intentional about it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Drool

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Gianni Bini "Livi"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Money

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From Savvysugar.com with notes by me:

"It's bad news for retailers, but good for financial health. Cash is making a comeback as the preferred method of payment. Online retailers are particularly troubled by consumers shying away from their credit cards, and according to the founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Howard Dvorkin, "With credit cards, consumers spend 30 percent more (on purchases) than with cash."

Edited to add: Not to mention pay an extra 6%-20% in credit card interest on their purchases they've already spent 30% more on than they normally would have. That's 50% more! Unfortunately, they seem to think we'll return to our old ways (see below). Well we didn't spend cash after Sept. 11, but we do now for a very different reason - the credit in and of itself. People who don't learn from this experience will at least will know they are destined for failure when using credit, at least with that amount of money, not in life..

"Americans have usually gone back to ol' reliable cash when the economy is troubled, like after the Sept. 11 attacks. Dvorkin thinks consumers will return to their credit-spending ways when the economy gets on its feet, saying, "It's hard to to teach an old dog new tricks. Consumers have short memories. When the economy turns around, they'll return to the same old ways."


Nowadays every time I use a coupon or buy something I NORMALLY would buy on sale I tell Brando I earned blank percent on my money. So if I use a coupon I got in the mail for a free meal at Pei Wei at a time I would've eaten out any way then I've earned 100% on my money. If I use a $10 off coupon at Bed and Bath on a $20 item I've earned 50%. If it's a $1 they overcharged me on a $3 item that I bring up at the register that's 25%. These add up to real money. With just those three things I've already earned $19 of my money I've already worked so hard to earn, without any banks CD. I'm not even counting the credit card interest I'm earning had I put it on a credit card and been paying that amount. But that's a stupid tax for me any way, and I'm still paying it on the credit card amount we have left!!


I've also discovered something with Brando going out on dates with him lately. If you're nice enough to people to have an interesting conversation with people behind the counter who have been doing the same thing over and over all day you get lots of free things. I've never seen Brando so friendly with people, but he has conversations wherever we go. Totally not expecting free things, but it practically gets shoved in his hands as he hands it off to me : ) .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living on Advil

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The pain has been bearable with Advil. It's been like a sore muscle all up and down the inside of my right leg. With Advil it's still been sore but I've been able to walk on it. Without it I was limping hard and exhausted from the effort. Monday I decided to go without in the afternoon and ended up taking the boys to and from sports and grocery shopping in agony.

Also, because of my varicose veins every night for the past five years I slept with a pillow under my feet to allow the blood from my broken veins to drain back to my heart. The few times I chose to fall asleep without a pillow under my feet I would wake up with my legs in pain, heavy, and sore about 3am and not be able to go back to sleep until I put my legs up. I was hoping I could do without right after surgery, but it was more comfortable to sleep with a pillow still. I thought maybe I will just have to keep sleeping with my feet up that way. Night before last night was the first time I slept without a pillow under my feet in five years!! Double whoohoo! I woke up that morning with my leg feeling and looking better than it has all week. Yesterday was also the first day all week it hasn't been sore while taking Advil!

Last night I put a lot of laundry away involving a lot of getting up and down out of bed after I took off the compression stocking so my leg was pretty sore. I slept the first half of the night with a pillow and then the last half without. Yay! Maybe I will actually get to sleep without a pillow under my feet in the future. This morning I didn't feel the need to take Advil until I got to work and started carrying the baby girl around.

My two week checkup is next Thursday. The only thing weirding me out occasionally is I'll get a super numb, fallen asleep feeling up and down the inside of my right leg. It's not all the time. It could be it's more prone to "falling asleep" now. I can usually walk that feeling off. Or it could be my stocking can be irritatingly tight like it was Monday or could be that I'm more swollen than normal, both of which could be related. We'll see how it goes, but I'm so excited that I actually may somewhat be back to normal (and better than my regular normal) by then!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekends I love...

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...dancing crazy in the car  to Rihanna's Disturbia, Pink's I'm Gonna Start a Fight, and Flo Rida's In the Ayer on the way to Dallas.

...Chinese food at the restaurant with the Chinese good luck cat keeping the beat with his paw.

...staying up til' 3am chatting with Allison.

...the kids playing video games all Sunday morning long with Marc.

...Sheep. Ball of fluff.

...Emmy. Adorable.

...going to see King Tut with Allison.

...waterfall walls.

...items created 3000 years ago with materials we don't even use daily anymore.

...details.

...being completely exhausted from so much insight that I slept an hour on the way home.

...dinner at Chipotle on a perfect evening with my fam.

...getting home to a girls' night.

...walking the Domain, having drinks and dessert at Starbucks, walking the UT Campus, and Town Lake all in one night, on the same day I get home from Dallas.

...falling asleep completely exhausted from a wonderful weekend.

...Pictures!!


King Tut at the DMOA

That's the waterfall wall behind me. Talk about vertigo.

Trying to upload more including an adorable one of Sheep but blogger is being picky.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Surgery every day

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WARNING!
DO NOT READ OR LOOK
IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH

Doesn't sound so bad when I can get my legs back and have Brando off for three days to stay home and pamper me. Okay he took those all on his own accord, I didn't expect him to be there, since really it was a MINOR procedure even though I was out of it.

Let me explain, since I was 8 months pregnant with Shawn I have had varicose veins in my right leg, the kind that bulge out. Which over time worsened until I slept with a pillow under my feet every night for the last five years so the blood would drain back to my heart from my broken vein. I checked out this surgery to take care of them five years ago but back then insur*ance didn't cover it and it was $3000 a LEG. Yikes. Glad I waited. Now the technology is better AND insurance covered it! Yay!

I'll post an after, but for now it's presurgery and postsurgery, which by the way looks worse than it is because they had just unwrapped an ace bandage that had been wrapped around my leg from thigh to foot for the last 24 hours following the surgery. They did intravenous laser therapy and used a laser to burn the main vein, then used a tiny hook to pull out the veins thru tiny holes. They used sclerotherapy on the veins that weren't big enough to bulge but were still quite visible where they injected a medication into the veins that took care of them. I'm feeling a bit muscle achey from the laser they used to burn the vein, and bruised from the injections, a bit like somebody took a baseball bat to me but other than that I'm looking forward to maybe having a normal leg again!!

 *Edited to add: The reason I got varicose veins is not just because I was pregnant but because I stood for three hours when I was eight months pregnant listening to three ladies tell me their birth horror stories when they SHOULD'VE known better and told me to sit the hell down and for that matter shouldn't have been telling me their horror stories either. The varicose veins showed up the next day. So, L, don't worry you should be okay - just don't stand for 3 hours straight when you're 8 months pregnant!

*By the way, we have arteries that take the blood to parts of our body and the veins bring the blood back to the heart with one way valves. Varicose veins happen when those valves break. The blood can't go up anymore so it pools and makes the vein bulge. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about varicose veins : ) .

BEFORE:


This is the veins, on the inside of my right knee - gross

My IV - I'm such a baby, I've had two natural births but I bawl at needles 

Marking the veins for intravenous laser therapy, microphlebectomy, and sclerotherapy.

After unwrapping the compression bandage. Today I'm wearing a compression stocking that makes me look very granny like, and taking Advil every 6  hours. I tried to stop taking Advil after  last night and that beaten with a bat feeling came back so I called the doctor's office. They told me, um, yeah, be taking that for at least seven days. Thanks, now you tell me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Like lightning

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You know how I've been complaining about putting up pictures and what not lately? It takes sooooo long to do anything on here that I normally end up clicking and doing something else for a few minutes until it finishes loading. Well, Brando's computer tech guy friend and his wife came over on Saturday for dinner. He sat down at my computer for a few seconds and told Brando it was so slow because I only have 512 mb of RAM on my computer. I'm supposed to have 2 gigs. He said the ram itself is inexpensive, but you'd have to have a special tool to put it in.  After Brando called the M*c storeand they told him it would be $120 for them to do it, he went to B*st Buy instead for the stick and somehow figured out how to put it in himself. For $30 I have practically a new computer that works wayyyy faster. Now after a tenth of the time I normally spend on here between doing other things I am all caught up on all my blogs, and heck I even blogged. Whoohoo! I'm out of here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I used to love cooking but not any more

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As I speak my burnt chicken parmesan is simmering away in spaghetti sauce while I'm crossing my fingers it won't taste too burnt. It's not that I don't know how, it's that I don't care. I used to love to cook, but lately it's become a damn chore. When I cook the fancy meals I actually like eating and enjoy cooking nobody eats it and it ends up becoming a battle between all four of us. The boys won't eat it so Brando's po'd they won't eat it. I just want to eat it so I don't care wtf they eat/ Then Brando's po'd I'm not backing him up. It's a giant meltdown really.

When I cook it's something that I KNOW everybody will eat. Let's face it, which kid doesn't like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, pbj's, etc. So my meals end up becoming glorified versions of these i.e. chicken parmesan, ground turkey burgers, etc. Boring!

The only time I enjoy cooking these days is over at Li's where I get to make my GIRLIE meals, although I hear there are some guys out there who are into making fancy meals too. Any who, in the meantime, I'm hoping my food doesn't keep burning while I ignore the timer because I forgot what I set it for because I just don't care.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Food Triangle, er, Square

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Shawners just comes up to me and says, "It's moving on to desert time now." as he illustrates with his hands on his chest a square compartment over his heart moving catty corner to his lower tummy. Apparently he has compartments in his tummy for food that cover his entire chest. The lower left hand area is for breakfast and water. The upper left hand area is lunch. The upper right hand area is dinner and the lower right hand area is desert. Funny how they are all equal size compartments.

Friday, October 03, 2008

This Week

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Sunday - Lazy, productive day. Slept in, made a big, yummy breakfast with maple sausage, eggs, season fried potatoes, oj and coffee. Went to a talk at our church on how to talk to your kids about sex. Some of the same stuff we've heard before i.e. talk to them from when they're itty bitty with medical terms, and explain sex at their level, but more about the telling them of the actual action than we've heard before. Had milkshakes from P. Terry's on our way home.

Monday - Had off from nannying. Homeschooled Shawn. Dropped off and picked up the boys at their respective sport lessons, Shawners to a multi sport lesson and Justinbustin to his tennis lesson. Girl night watching The Hills, and Gossip Girl, eating chicken salad with feta, raspberry pecans, cucumbers, garlic croutons, and balsamic viniagarette.

Tuesday - Nannied. Had lunch with Kel Bel and her little Leprechaun, then walked Zilker Park Botanical Gardens with both of them. Rushed home late for a harried late evening of labeling items for a consignment sale at the Palmer Event center this weekend.

Wednesday - Dropped off items at the Palmer Event center for the consignment sale and volunteered the four hours I'd signed up for months ago to see what was going on behind the scenes. Met up with Tina for dinner at Z Tejas and desert at 360 Primo!! Fun and yum!!

Thursday - Nannied. Had lunch with my sister at Potbelly. Picked up a friend of Shawners at his school and brought them home for a playdate. Tried desperately to get a hold of the mom who picked up Justinbustin, but never succeeded. Ended up picking him up right before a meeting for the upper math program he is in at his school (woot! here we go again. i swear this should he be in upper/lower programs question will never end). Paid him, Shawners, and Shawners' little friend to babysit themselves outside the room of the meeting. Met up with Shawners little friends' Mom at Chick-fil-a afterwards. Met Jen at another Chick-fil-a a few minutes later for a solid hour of friend talk that I sooooo needed after that day.

Friday - LOTS of schoolwork to do with Shawners today. Ugh. Feel overwhelmed. Thus I'm avoiding it on here.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Needs

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Saw this on Beth's blog and loved it! So I'm doing one for muah. You enter your name into google, followed by the word needs and then copy and paste the top 10 entries.

Rose needs you! (yes I do)
Rose needs a home (yes she does)
Rose needs to move to Europe (absolutely)
Rose needs anger management (hahahahaha,  rolling on the floor now)
Rose needs an oxygen mask (because of my anger?)
Rose needs a refill on Flickr (Rose needs a refill on ALL photo applications)
Rose needs the rain (not so much)
Rose needs to grow (maybe that's what I need the rain for)
Rose needs a name (pretty sure I have one)
Rose needs a drummer (who drums to the beat of my own dance=)

Friday, September 26, 2008

For Breakfast

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I have had one bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, two cups of coffee, and two M&Ms cookies from Tiff's Treats (damn Brando's business for buying them for new clients and then sending them home with him).

Breakfast of champions!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Snap My Picture

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Has anybody else noticed how picture taking has become part of the event? Instead of capturing the event picture taking in itself has become an intricate part of the good times. Saturday night way past the point of drunk. All of us having a blast at one of Austin's clubs that somehow managed to be a lounge, club, and bar all in one and did it well with an open air roof, flowy white material, and wide, comfy lounges. I'm pretty sure picture taking and seeing how goofy, crazy, or sexy we could make ourselves in them was one of the highlights of the nights. Besides being with the girls, laughing, talking, and dancing the night away. : )

You so thought I'd have a picture down here didn't you? The truth is my iphoto is so overloaded with the 20,000 photographs it has in it that the minute I upload it the processing capability of my computer slows to a snails pace. Instead of spending the next hour on here doing that I'm going to bed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Girls, girls, girls

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 Last night was Li's birthday dinner. She had a bunch of girlfriends there, her boy, and my boy. It was at the most adorable restaurant ever, B0tticelli's. With the tiny space, white linen tablecloths, ladder back chairs, viewable cooks in the kitchen, lighting enhanced only by wall sconces, and a menu which described everything in great detail, i.e. fresh, organic, herbs, steamed, served, tossed and roasted with,  etc. I wanted to pinch it's cheeks. I didn't even know that cute of a restaurant existed in Austin.

Only it was insanely expensive, and while some of the plates stuck to the Texas unspoken law of having HUGE servings, some were itsy bitsy.  Pretty sure that has been the most expensive dinner I have been to in well over four years. Yikes! When it came time to split the bill the drinks others had ordered made it come to $40/person - meaning $80 on our end and we still had to pay the babysitter $40 at home for ONE freaking dinner!! Shite. Fortunately one other girl and I were like, well we didn't order THAT much. Ours ended up coming to $57, including the tip and tax split eight ways (which made our tip a whopping $12) and the six dollar person birthday shot ordered in the beginning by the girl sucking down three "specialty" drinks during the dinner. Um, yeah. We don't do dinner like that. Dang!! It's expensive to go out in a group as a couple - especially when you're both surviving off the same income!!!

All cost aside, we had a BLAST. It was actually fun going out with Brando. He was the resident photographer, which was great because when you compared the quality of his pics to the other pictures floating around they blew them out of the water. He got a cute one of us girls lined up on the spiral staircase. I'm the tallest one as I'm standing on the top stair. Awesome.

Unfortunately and why does this ALWAYS have to be?! there was one party pooper in the group who had the birthday girl stepping on eggshells around so her "feelings" don't get hurt. Apparently she grew up with Li and her sis, so she's been at every event I've been to so far. She's the one who grows real quiet and sulky and then plasters a fake smile on her face when somebody asks how she is or when it's time to go. I drove up with her and Mar and she yakked the entire time about some relationship she is in that bored the snot out of me. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind hearing about a good recent relationship, but seriously don't tell every. single. detail. of this guy you met a month ago as if people care and then capitalize the conversation the ENTIRE THIRTY MINUTE WAY there by boring every one with said details and sulking if anybody else gets a word in edge wise. Seriously?!?! Poor Li drove home with her and Mar on the way back so she didn't get her feelings hurt that she wasn't driving with her. She texted me from their car with, "Seriously? Not ONE word has been spoken." I told her we were swapping road rage stories and somehow the conversation had moved to weddings. That made her laugh. She was standing by herself on the second story breezewaywith her flowers and balloon, with Mar and her guy friend who'd just gotten there and sulky girl on the breezeway above,  waiting for us to get there. Fortunately I had good conversation on the way home this time. I told her next time we have to make sure and travel TOGETHER.

Fortunately at dinner, her girlfriend An*ie made up for it by being a clone of Li, but not in an annoying way. In a, "I can't believe there is someone out there who has as funky, goofy, and crazy antics as you do" way. When the two of them are together it's the kind of laugh that makes your tummy hurt all night long. The two of them had the rest of us in stitches by starting off the night with a birthday interview about how Li felt about her birthday night using the black lily centerpiece as a microphone. "How are you feeling about your birthday dinner tonight?" "Happy, very happy." "And?" "Thrilled." "And?" "Very excited." "And..." all in very serious announcer voices. That's pretty much how the rest of the night went. 

I'm so glad I got to share her birthday dinner with her!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Remind me never to drink on a Thursday night

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"Operation: Build Relationships with those down South" started last night with one of the girls I've known for years but have never had the opportunity to get together with her much because, well, she lives down south.

One of the companies I work for was throwing an in-house party at a bar that the bachelor from a few seasons ago, Brad Womack, owns. A guy I worked with a few weekends ago invited me so Kr*stina was my date. I was hoping upon hoping Brad would show up just so I could be a total dork and say I've met him. He didn't and I was totally disappointed. Maybe he did later but we took off once it was clear everybody was past the point of coherency. While we were there we lived it up and had a great time any way with alcohol paid for and the Miller Lite girls handing out ironically the very thing I was drinking to boot. Besides, I'd never been to THAT bar of his before.

Afterwards we took off to a September Soiree event at MayaStar, a local boutique store with designs from artists all over. They had champagne, sushi, and a local hairdresser creating and teaching hair updos. We ended up having our hair teased into total Hills hairstyles (hers, mine), drinking wine, eating edamame, and enjoying the gorgeous jewelry and dresses they had on display.

Since the sushi was all gone by the time we got to Maya and the party food back at the bar didn't look too appetizing we were still starving. We walked our wine (open container law, anyone?) and ourselves to Homeslice for margherita pizza. Mmmm.

Then once we realized it was ELEVEN THIRTY on a freakin' Thursday night, we hightailed it out of there. We had a BLAST and yapped waaaayyyy too much on wayyyyyy too many tmi subjects, but it was so much fun getting to know her that much more. I already know I love her, it's just fun to find out more of the reasons why.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Overheard while watching Star Wars

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Shawners: What is Yoda?

Justinbustin: Do you remember Shrek?

Shawners: Yes.

Justinbustin: Yoda's like a mini Shrek.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Wednesday

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We have something planned every night this week. Strange how I don't feel overwhelmed. Probably because it's mostly fun events. Monday night was girls' night with the girls and a dinner of smoky corn and potato cheddar soup, merlot, and our girlie shows Gossip Girl, and The Hills. Tuesday night was a date with Brando and a Chipotle picnic on Mt. Bonnell at sunset, with Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake on the deck of the Cheesecake Factory afterwards. Tonight I get to see our previous babysitter that I heart!! I haven't seen her in way too long since she started school almost full-time and is working full time as well. I'm so excited to meet up with her for dinner tonight!! Tomorrow night is cub scouts for the boys and and dinner with a girlfriend for me. She's a girlfriend who lives down South that I haven't gotten to know real well as a result of living so far away from each other. Amazingly this year I have a ton of opportunities to develop relationships with those who live down south - including cub scouts and nannying, both of which are located down south. Yesterday I had lunch with another girlfriend, her baby, and Olive (the baby girl I'm nannying), who is another girl I haven't had a chance to get together with for that reason. Friday night is Li's birthday dinner at sunset at a restaurant on the lake. Saturday is Kris's graduation from acup*ncture school then dinner with Jen. Afterwards I'm meeting up with Li to finish out celebrating her birthday out on Sixth Street and then head home for a night all by lonesome because the boys will be camping with the cub scouts. Hmm, I should do a sleepover. Too bad I'll probably be so drunk I'll pass out the minute I get home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Confidence

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I have not been on here much lately. Mostly due to the fact my life is completely up in the air right now as far as housing and transportation. The only thing that seems to be steady, at least for the next nine months, is the nannying I am doing.
 
Speaking of nannying and confidence, this baby girl was a FUSSY baby before I came along. The woman that recommended me to her mom sent me with high recommendations that I could help her out on as an experienced mom to a first time mom. As well as help her get the baby who wasn't sleeping well thru the night or taking regular naps on a sleep schedule, which I did right away. Now she's a happy, content baby who sleeps on a regular schedule of two two hour or so naps a day, sleeps thru the night, will let whomever hold her after the day she met me, and  So when she's started to get fussy the last few days with me I've been freaking out. Ol' paranoia of not good enough kicks in.
 
This morning I got here and her Mom had just put her down for a nap. She woke up half an hour later, fussy as all get out, threw up a pile of wretched smelling baby spitup that made my gag reflex kick in, and continued to be fussy. So I tried to put her back to sleep because there's no way I'm dealing with a fussy baby until her mom comes back to feed her in a few hours especially when she usually sleeps for a good solid few hours in the morning. No luck.
 
Then I feed her, thinking she probably has an empty stomach with all that spit up. Good to go there, but she was still fussy so I tried putting her back to sleep. As she fought sleep I start to freak out that I've lost my 'touch'. Hello, four weeks and I've lost it? I don't think so. Really my touch is getting babies to sleep. That's always been my touch. Hell, I know how cranky I AM when I don't get sleep, doesn't it stand to reason that a baby who doesn't know what the heck is going on in their sleepy little heads going to be that much crankier?!
 
So I tell myself I can do this, and I run my hand over her forehead, gently down her nose to close her already sleepy eyes. I sway from side to side, and in circles to keep myself occupied. After fighting it for a few minutes, she is out like a light. I still have it and I'm hanging onto it, damn it. Need a baby nanny any one?
 
PS I apologize for turning this into a baby blog even though I don't technically have one. It brings up so many good memories for me, and a lot of memories that remind me why I don't have one right now. I love watching somebody elses baby grow up on a daily basis and getting to learn from it from the vantage point of being able to leave her with her mom and say see ya! after I'm done for the day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cuteisms...

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Because I just realized how fast these moments are slipping away.

Shawners has been calling me 'Ms. Rosey' lately.

This morning as he's looking for the laundry for a clean sock to match the one he likes, he says "If I find some pants, I may slip them on."

Yesterday, they cleaned their room in the time Daddy set for them. When the timer went off Shawners tells Justinbustin, who was rushing to do a few last minute items, "Justinbustin, we have to finish now when the timer went off. We have to be honest."

He still says "awww, how cute!" at tiny dinosaur statues like the ones at Dinoland at Zilker Botanical Gardens we went to yesterday. And at the dachshund puppies a family brought to church yesterday that he cuddled for a good half hour.

Unbeknownst to me until Li told me last night, when she watched the boys Saturday morning while I worked Justinbustin asked if the waffles she was offering him were organic. When she said no, he said no thanks!!! What?!?! We had Eg*o's in the house the other day (I will admit, thanks to Brando) and he was chowing them down. Still, it was cute to hear.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

To be, or where to be

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We are in the middle of figuring out where we're going to live. I wish I had a horseshoe wedged up my b*tt like Alyssa!!

We have no idea where we are going to be in a month and a half. The rent is increasing on our apartments to a ridiculous amount where we either rent a cheaper home, or buy one for gosh's sakes. For those of you who have been reading for awhile, remember how I freaked out about being in an apartment once I realized we weren't buying a home after a year? Now I've switched and am freaked out about being in a home after being in an apartment for so long! With all the conveniences of a clubhouse, resort-style pool, indoor basketball court, minus equity who would want to leave? A year ago I asked myself with having no backyard, living in an anthill, and not having a neighborhood, who would want to stay? I'm a shaker and a mover, but when I get used to things I'm less inclined to want change. In that sense I become a creature of habit.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Did I mention I love my job?

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Well, actually, I love BOTH my jobs. Nannying this little girl is SO much fun I actually missed her this weekend! I've been using her for my practice baby if I ever have another, by researching baby sign language, kindermus*k, getting her on a schedule, etc. Her face lights up when she sees me! It's a whole new experience having a baby girl. She loves shopping even at five months. She's dramatic when I change her diaper. Instead of an angry cry it's an it's the end of the world, why would you do this to me cry. Although when I have her all wrapped up in her towel after a swim in the baby pool she lays on her back and plays with my hair, just like Shawners did. It's not enough to give me baby fever. I'm gonna go with a hells no on that. But it is enough to make me want to adopt a baby girl someday! When the boys are off school and I have them here with me she absolutely adores them and is a piece of cake to entertain. All I do is make sure they are in her view! Justinbustin is so helpful with her, and big enough that I can have him keep an eye on her in the jumper or the swing while I step into the other room and use the restroom or step outside for a minute, which is much more freedom than when they are not around. I am off to volunteer at Shawner's school with her. I can't wait to see how she lights up at all the kids!

Friday, August 29, 2008

No wonder people don't know what healthy is

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I just went and ate with my son with his school lunch. The lunch menu choices seemed innocent enough, if you can figure out the healthiest to eat. My choice? Fruit plate and cheese stick. Never mind the fruit looked like it'd been sitting around for days, and the cheese stick? Ummm, NOT real - it was that American processed cheese I don't buy for the house and don't have them order when we go out. The way I eat is by looking at the ingredients, not the nutrition label. Real food = nutrition. Processed food = nutrition that had to be added if you're lucky and perhaps a nutrition not designed in a way for your body to naturally absorb. If I don't recognize the majority of ingredients I put it in the processed food category. I know some of the unrecognizable ingredients actually mean vitamin c or some other harmless item but the majority don't. When I asked nutrition services for an ingredient list for the school menu they acted surprised and had no clue where to find that information, referring me to my schools local cafeteria manager when the school opened.

This is one of the nicest schools in the district, in a more costly neighborhood but the menu is the same for all the schools in the district. Even though it is one of the best districts in the state, they are still demonstrating that food that's been so processed with so much added to it that it's practically fake can stand in for real food.

Well, I have Justinbustin eating meals there because he begged to and it's a whole hell of a lot easier for me. After today, I'm not so sure!! I'm sure I'll still have him eat there, I'm just going to try a whole heck of a lot harder to track down that ingredient list and see if any of it is actually real food!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend of Compliments

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I absolutely LOVE my job. I see different people every day, I get to talk to people from all walks of life, my co-workers love me, and every manager I work for pleads for me to work for them. Temping instead of doing something permanent allows me to meet so many different people, view and get to know so many different communities, and meet so many new friends I would've never met at a permanent job working at one community. Many, if not all, of the communities I work for request me back if I'm available, and if I am I sometimes get to work for one community four to five weeks in a row. I love that, but even more I love discovering a new property or going back to a property I haven't been to in awhile, either because I've requested a weekend off (something else I can't do with a permanent position) or because I've been at another property.

One fun example of what I love about my job is a few weekends ago I got invited to a party on Sixth Street coming up in September with Br*d W*mack, the last B*chelor. I totally want to go, but am intending to invite another girl who works for the company that invited me so I don't have to go it alone. I wouldn't be alone any way, but I'm not going to hang on the shirt tails of the guy manager who invited me (who, by the way, reminded me that my options are open, not that I would want to since I'm married, but it's good to know if I wasn't!!). I definitely need a girlfriend with me!

Another one is people telling me what a great leasing agent I make, and pleading with me to work with them. I hate having to say no, I like to keep my weekends flexible if I havet o and in leasing that is usually not an option when you're permanent. I've gotten four job offers in the last three months, two of them for a brand new property which is usually something one has to work a long time for. That's a good feeling!

Another not so fun, but still an interesting example that reminds me of why I love my job, is four out of the five people I showed an apartment yesterday had just bought a house within the last three years and were in the middle of a divorce. While it was sad and heartbreaking to talk to each of these people - one with two kids, one with a fifteen month old, and one with no kids - it reminded me how grateful I am that we didn't buy that house last year. I can't imagine the stress of wanting/needing to sell your house and not being able to!! No wonder these marriages are failing. What a huge amount of pressure!

The energy I get when I come home is AMAZING. Yes, kids grow up way too fast, but they deserve the energy we as adults get from other people. They don't deserve my empty, drained personality that results from being home way too long with no adult interaction. To be an adult, I actually have to interact with them, even as an adult myself. And I'm loving it! With nannying the baby girl during the week I feel even more productive earning more income, but I am absolutely happy to keep my weekend job to keep up the flow of adult interaction. I'm such a people person that I get so much energy from each interaction and come home fired up and ready to go! I love it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So Tired

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It's been a crazy last few weeks and it will only continue to be the next few. Shawners starts school tomorrow, I'm so apprehensive about the wonderful but very strict teacher he has, but as my counselor advised am only looking at the data which is Shawners had a very wonderful first night open house for an hour and a half, even going so far as to say it was the best night ever and she's a nice teacher. Yes, I realize that was a huge run-on sentence but I'm too tired to care.

Justinbustin starts Monday. In between all that we had open house for Shawners last night and we have open house for Justinbustin tomorrow night. I work tomorrow while Shawners is in school, then I work all weekend.

On the bright side of crazy, I went to Laguna Beach/Costa Mesa this weekend to visit my cousin and had a glorious three days of sunshine, sand between my toes, warm (compared to Santa Cruz) ocean water, tons of shopping, and crazy, silly fun with my cuz. I also got a new job nannying a little girl for one of the teachers at Shawner's school, which is awesome and going to bring in substantially more than what I bring in on the weekends now as a leasing agent. In order to get my weekends back I may not end up working so many weekends, or maybe just not on Sundays so we have at least one day off together.

That's it for now. I need a nap.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Regular Get-Togethers

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There's a few friends and I who have made a point to get together on the same day at the same time every week. Having those regular get-togethers is SO satisfying to my social life, and every bone in my body feels content. There's M and Li where we watch the Hills on Monday nights. During the summer it was the Bachelorette, and these last few weeks it's been a movie with constant girl chatter over it so we haven't heard a word. Then there's Kristn and her baby boy who comes over Tuesday afternoons to swim at the pool where we alternate weeks for snacks and drinks. Now there's a Mom from Justinbustin's and Shawner's school, who I really enjoy, and her son, where we've gotten together the last two weeks on Monday afternoon to swim at the pool and drink wine, once at her place, and once at mine, and are considering keeping it going through the school year. At least until the weather cools. Another friend, Jen, and I don't always get together on the same day but manage to get together every week any way by working around each other's schedules.

Knowing I'll see the same faces I love to chat with and spend time with every week somehow makes my weeks easier and gives me something to smile about each day, especially the days we get together!

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