Do you remember where you were on New Years Eve, 1999?

I do. I was back from England on Christmas break. Single. A functional alcoholic...uh, probably. I say that affectionately. It is up for debate how I survived that year, learning to drink like a Brit. Rough.

My girlfriend Christine and I rang in the new millennium together at a house party. And I am straight, but she was truly my girlfriend that night. We gave each other a nice smooch at the stroke of midnight. I mean, there weren't any guys there except for Christine's brother and his friend. And we were not kissing them. There was no tongue, okay? Sheesh. Plus she's pretty cute. See?

And that concludes my college 'experimenting'. Anyhow...

When I look at that picture it boggles my mind that was ten years ago. I look like such a baby. No gray hair. A lot thinner. Apple cheeks. (By the way, Christine looks totally the same. I am glad she is so awesome or I'd have to hate her).

Ten years, a wedding, a baby and much, much more later. Crazy. I can't even imagine what the next ten years will bring.

Not so crazy? My new years celebration this year. I will be surprised if I make it to midnight. Maybe I will celebrate New Years with my east coast friends...and head to bed at 9 PST. That sounds doable.

Happy New Decade everyone!


Dear 2009, Good Riddance...

This year has blasted by. And thank goodness. I don't know how much more yucky stuff could have happened this year. Okay, I know it COULD have been worse. I don't even want to THINK about that.

2009 - A Crappy Year in Review.

I was laid off (but actually this is kind of a positive too)
  • M.I.L. diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • High school friend passed away after fighting breast cancer for five years.
  • Drama.
  • Brother in law laid off.
  • Did I mention drama?
But, in retrospect, many great things happened this year.

So, as this year (DECADE?!) draws to a close, I'd like to focus on the happy things. Because I anticipate many more happy things in 2010.

My Top Ten Good Things of 2009.

1) My husband. He teases me mercilessly. He stays thin even when he eats, seriously, like the worst, crappiest food in the universe. He makes me watch the Science Channel and MMA. He is physically incapable of putting the laundry in the laundry basket. And I'm still crazy about him. He is an amazing man, and after this year, I am truly amazed that he turned out like he did. He is a testament to the apple falling VERY FAR from the tree.

2) Babies! So many of my girlfriends welcomed little ones this year. A few surprises, many meticulously planned out, all delicious and wonderful!

3) B got a great promotion. He is finally getting recognized for the GENIUS he is - not even sarcastic - he is truly one of the most intelligent people I know.

4) The Sisterhood. What can I say. I love those hookers (and Brian, our, um, pimp). I can't begin to tell you what a huge difference these peeps have made in my life. I can't wait for our new challenge to begin (go check it out!) and for all our crazy adventures this year - including a 1/2 marathon. I AM RUNNING A HALF MARY IN 2010!

5) Kauai. Never has a vacation been more needed. That is all.

6) Reconnecting with B's Dad, Stepmom and Half Sister. The more I get to know them, the more I know what my life was missing. I'm so thankful for them!

7) The Whole Fam Damily. Even though some of them did hurtful things, I must step back and realize that they are human and not as perfect as I. Oh, I kid. Overall, I love my family and my husband's family very much. Some of them don't make the best decisions, but at least they are entertaining.

8) Old friends (you know who you are). I've had a lot of the same girlfriends since junior high (some even earlier - and I've picked up some more along the way). There's a reason they're still in my life. No, not because you have some horrible photographic blackmail material (hello, grunge years), but because you are all amazing women. I have a fabulous collection of girlfriends. Love.

9) Running. I love it, I hate it. But nothing peels off the pounds and keeps me out of therapy/off meds like good old pounding the pavement. Who knew?

10) My G-Rex. Is it sad that my 2 year old is my best bud in the world? I don't think so! He is just amazing. I can't remember (and don't want to) what life was like before him. How can you be in a sour mood when a toddler runs up, grabs your cheeks and kisses you. Impossible!

So, when I think about 2009, there was a lot of heartbreak, a lot of um, yes, DRAMA, and a lot of anger.

But, in so many ways, the bitter makes the sweet SO much sweeter.


Soooo Close. So Close.

I am so terrible at blogging lately. I need a more interesting life, seriously.

We had a truly lovely Christmas. Mellow and cozy, just wonderful. We stayed home, G-Rex opened his presents and played ALL DAY. He was the most enthralled with a fire engine - we picked it out last week on our shopping date. What we failed to realize is that it makes a siren noise. In fact, it sounds very real. So real, that when B was stoking our illegal Christmas fire (burn bans - boo!) and G-Rex set off the siren for the first time, we freaked out.

You know I won't be replacing that battery when it dies.

On Boxing Day (for those of you not familiar, the day after Christmas), we traveled north to my parents house.

I was looking forward to seeing my parents, of course, but kind of dreading seeing one particular family member who has a knack for always saying something completely rude and offensive, usually about my weight.

I dread seeing her so much that I have actually seen her in the grocery store and hidden. I know. I'm awful.

So, we made it through dinner and presents and were saying goodbye. I couldn't believe I'd made it through an entire family gathering without some kind of comment.

But, I wouldn't be telling this story if there was no comment. That would be no fun.

'Have you lost weight?'

'Yes, actually. I've been running.'

'Oh, how much have you lost?'

'About 20 pounds.'

'I'm so happy. Keep it up.'

We're fine to this point. Then it goes very wrong:

'Good, good! You used to be so beautiful when you were thin.'

Sucker punch. How do you respond to that?

'Um, thanks?'

But in my head I was doing a roundhouse kick to the head.


All is Calm

Christmas package shipped? Check. (Yes, I lied. Actually, they didn't even ask me if anything was hazardous as I had a crazy monkey child swinging from my arms).

Dark chocolate truffles with sea salt made? Check. Need to give them away, promptly.

Bailey's on ice? Check. I forgot how delicious this stuff is. Num.

Tree decorated? Check. Though half the ribbon has been pulled off courtesy of G-Rex. Gives it character.

Babysitter booked for tomorrow so the hubs and I can have a shopping/dinner date? Check! My father and step-mother in law will be arriving at three so we can do some damage at Toys r' Us. I think we're more excited about going to play than we are about our quiet dinner. I LOVE Toys r' Us. Love.

Good book and cozy jammies? Check. I'm finally getting around to reading The Angels Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I'm only about 50 pages in and it is already delicious. He is a beautiful writer, smoky, mysterious, heady. If you haven't read him, you must. Start with The Shadow of the Wind. Ah-maz-ing.

Tonight, I'm good. Totally content. Now, if I can win my Fantasy Football match this week, I'll be one very happy girl. Fingers crossed.


The Post Office Made Me Cry

Did you know that you can't ship a teensy little bottle of cologne via USPS Priority?

Well, I didn't.

So, after waiting in line for half an hour at the Post Office, with G-Rex in full destructo mode (by this I mean I picked up a million return receipt and customs slips, which were SO CONVENIENTLY placed right in toddler reach) , I made it to the front of the line. I was completely prepared - package taped up tight and addressed, everything in order. The postal worker lady asked me if I had anything fragile.

'Yes, just a bottle of cologne, but it should be okay, it's in bubble wrap.'

'Oh, you're going to have to take that out.'


Come to find out perfume/cologne can't go on airplanes. I called UPS and they wouldn't do it either. I wonder how Sephora and Macy's ship fragrance? They must have a special license or something.

So, here I was, a sweaty mess, but SO VERY CLOSE to having most of my Christmas tasks done - I just needed to ship gifts up to my brother and his girlfriend in Alaska.

Now I need a Plan B. And a tranquilizer. I totally cried when I got into the car. So frustrating.

So, two lessons learned today:

1) Do not take a toddler to the post office unless you want a full upper body workout and a nervous breakdown.

2) Honesty is not always the best policy. If I hadn't said anything, my package would be on it's merry little way to Alaska. Take note, kids.


Welcome to the house of the half decorated Christmas tree. Yes, this year we're rockin' the tree that only has bulbs starting out of toddler reach. And he's tall.

It's pretty sad, so no pics of the tree. Wouldn't want to depress anyone. But, I am starting an ornament collection for the G-Rex.

Here's his first:

He LOVES Frosty. Someone gave him a Frosty the Snowman book before he was even born, and now he can sing the song. Though it sounds more like: 'Rosty noman, jowwy happy so.' I need to catch it on the video camera. So precious, and potentially embarrassing during the teenage years.

This is G-Rex's stocking. I'd love to say I'm all crafty and made it, but this one comes to us courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids. Now I have to figure out where to hang it, as the mantle is easily accessible and I don't want to be saying NO! Don't touch! any more than usual.

And lastly, my Christmas mug. With mommy fuel. Yum.

For more Christmas decor, captured, frolic on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.



I ♥ Faces Photo Challenge - Pets Only!

I've never done this before, but I'm throwing my hat - um, photo - into the ring for this week's
I Faces photo challenge. This week's theme is pets only...or any animal.

I chose to feature Curley, the camel currently residing at the garden center where my husband works. They have reindeer too. But Curley is definitely my favorite.

Handsome fella, no?

Check out all the other Pets Only entries over at I Faces!


Oh, the Butter!

Tonight, I commandeered the television and watched Julie and Julia. Yes, I have to take hostile and evasive action to watch a chick flick.

Did I like it? Yeah. Not as much as the book (how often to people actually like the move BETTER than the book?). But let's put it this way: I stayed awake. That's saying something.

Two other things:

It made me feel guilty because I am being so lazy about blogging.

It made me very hungry. I am highly suggestible as far as food goes. I haven't been watching Food Network lately because it is not conducive to weight loss. Top Chef? I love that show SO much, but watching the creation of so much glorious, beautiful, delicious food? Torture.

Julie and Julia even made me want to go out and pick up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

But that would be like an alcoholic picking up martini glasses, just to have them around. For decoration. Since putting the cookbook into actual use would cause immeasurable suffering around my midsection.

I looked wistfully, angrily at my Weight Watchers cookbook as I was turning the lights off in the kitchen tonight. It was mocking me.

NO BUTTER FOR YOU. No souffle. No omelet. No duck l'orange.

(Okay, not like I'd actually whip any of these up)

On that note, I DID manage to finagle a cookie recipe out of my mother in law that my husband is crazy about. However, the recipe calls for two ingredients I literally had to hunt for: vanilla powder and golden syrup. And once I got home and read the recipe, I realized it is very cryptic about how to actually BAKE the cookies and I had to try baking them several different times. The final round got a 'Well, that's CLOSE.'

Really? REALLY? Whatever. I WILL figure these cookies out.

And that will take a lot of BUTTER.


Outside the Lines

We love coloring around here.

Too often, it is off of the paper.

Crayons are broken and eaten.

Toddler art is messy....

And wonderful.

His lines may not be straight, but to me, they're fine art.

For more lines, make a beeline for I Should Be Folding Laundry.



Adventures with Gas (Not the Methane Kind)

This morning started out beautifully. We were all in a good mood. G-Rex had a huge breakfast and was happily drinking milk out of a sippy.

B called and needed me to bring his laptop to work, which is about 35 minutes south of our home. Lucky for him (and me), I was planning on heading down that direction already. I had to pick up my Christmas cards from Costco, plus see if they have any flea medication because darn it all if Carl didn't pick up fleas at the kennel (so of course Sadie and all the cats will get them now too).

I loaded G into the car and immediately noticed the fuel light was on. No worries, quick stop and we'd be off.

The gas station was super crowded, but I got the last pump. Score!

I put about ten bucks in, thinking I'd fill the rest of the way up at Costco. I made faces at G-Rex through the window as I was pumping the gas. He was yelling 'Mommy funny!'

Then it happened.

I went to pull the pump out of my tank and the handle stuck. GAS STARTED SPRAYING EVERYWHERE. All over the side of the car, all over the ground, ALL OVER ME.

Oh yeah. Jeans? Soaked. Sweate? Gassy as hell.

I managed to stop the spraying, and surveyed the damage. I was COVERED. I put the pump back in the holster, fastened my gas cap and said a bunch of bad words before I got back into the car with my little mimic.

I was about halfway to B's work. I didn't want to go home. It would interfere with any possible midday nap. So, I decided to hit the next clothing store I saw and buy some pants. I had a t-shirt on under my sweater, so even though I'd freeze my boobies off, at least I'd be covered.

TJ Maxx was the first place I saw. I got G-Rex out of the car and hoisted him to my hip, where he proceeded to lean backwards and arch.

I ran to the rack with the sweats, knowing full well I wouldn't be able to try anything on. I figured I could deal with small, medium, large and elastic or drawstring waists without too much worry about fit.

I snatched a pair of brown fleece sweatpants. Which actually were not too hideous. Up to the checkout we went, G-Rex hanging precariously from the crook of my arm by his armpits.

And damn it all if they didn't have a bunch of toys right at child level at the checkout. There is a special place in hell for whomever designs these retail displays. For real. Within one millisecond, the trucks were spotted.

'Twuckeeee! Twuckeeeeeee!'

G-Rex turned into a full on eel child, somehow managing to dislodge all his bones and slide out of my grip.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him next to me.

And all hell broke loose. I'm pretty sure the rest of the people in the store thought I was beating my child.

Did I mention I smelled like I bathed in gasoline? Seriously, if anybody had lit a cigarette within 10 feet of me, it would have been all over.

Three people in front of me and one inept cashier later, we were back in the car. G-Rex with huge crocodile tears pouring forth, screaming so shrilly that he's literally going hoarse. Me, with my jeans off, wiggling into my new sweats. Wadding up the petro-jeans and sweater and stuffing them into the TJ Maxx bag which absolutely reeks like some god awful potpourri.

Potpourri, gasoline and a screaming toddler.

Yes, I do have a headache. Why do you ask?

Lunch, coffee and a laptop were delivered to B.

And we did make it through Costco fairly unscathed. No flea medication, but they do sell stamps. No post office for me, whoopee!

But I did have to walk through Costco wearing fleece sweats that were a bit too short, Uggs, and a white, sweaty t-shirt.

My kid, however, looked pristine.

Funny how that happens.


Guess What?

I haven't decorated the tree yet.

Oh wait. We don't even have a tree yet...

I haven't done any Christmas shopping except for G-Rex. Even though I spent eight hours shopping yesterday with Tiff and Jenn. By the way, I think I want to live in Toys R Us. I must have been deprived of toys as a kid because I couldn't tear myself away from the Little People, Playmobil or Imaginext. I am STILL waiting for my Barbie Dream House (my friend Andrea had the sweetest Barbie setup as kids. And I'm pretty sure we were still playing Barbies till we were twelve or so. My mom didn't like me to have Barbies, so I needed my fix. This is the longest aside, ever. Shoot.).

I haven't managed to get all the vacation laundry put away yet. I have this lofty goal of cleaning out the closets before I store everything, and making a trip to Goodwill. But as of right now, it looks like all my closets threw up.

I have not done any Christmas baking. Or crafts. Probably a good thing about the baking, because I kind of have a problem with baked goods. As in, they seem to attach directly to my ass.

I am all sorts of disorganized and unmotivated right now.

But, I have kept running. I HAVE TO. Because I have committed to run a freaking half marathon in June. The San Diego Rock and Roll 1/2, with Team in Training (more on that later). So, fear of humiliation and vomiting during the race is my motivation there. Whatever works. Plus, I finally get to meet my girls from the Sisterhood in the flesh. It's going to be stellar. I seriously cannot wait.

I have been reading. Vacation reading, my favorite. I read Push (the novel the movie Precious is based on) in two hours. It made my heart hurt. Don't get me wrong, I completely and wholeheartedly recommend it, but it was gutwrenching.

On the other end of the spectrum, I read both of Chelsea Handler's books, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands and Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. I LOVE HER. Anybody who can make me belly laugh in public whilst reading is good, very good. Just a warning. If you are easily offended by sex, language, sex, drinking, equal opportunity racial profiling, sex or bodily functions, you may not like her books. They're like reading the diary of your crazy college roommate. Because I never did anything in college in a drunken stupor that was completely stupid. No, not me.

Tomorrow, I will go pick up my Christmas cards, which I managed to design and order online today. I will go to the god awful post office and buy stamps.

Perhaps, if I can completely channel Martha Stewart (or at least Rachael Ray), I will bake some sugar cookies to decorate.

And I will keep them far away from the dogs.


Home Sweet Home

We're back.

We've been back a few days, actually. The dogs are back from the kennel. Load after load of laundry is done. Summer clothes are put away.

Kauai was GORGEOUS. Relaxing? Well, it was our first experience traveling with a toddler. Let's just say I could have used a prescription for Valium. At least for the first flight. Cause seriously? I just about lost it. I spent the entire six hours trying to keep the G-Rex from kicking the back of the seat in front of him. Yes, he is that tall. He could reach. The seat in front was empty, but you know how the whole row is connected. So the whole row feels the kicking.

And let's just say the couple in front of us was not pleased. Okay, I can't blame them, really. But OH! how I tried to keep my child in line. I don't think they understood that it could have been MUCH MUCH worse. As in dog whistle screeching. Crying on takeoff and landing.

Instead, the dude in front of me gave me the stink eye every single chance he had. Looking back, I should have just let the kiddo kick the hell out of the seat. Because either way, the guy was going to be an ass.


There was that.
And other than THAT, our vacation was incredible. We didn't do anything terribly special, but we had a few date nights, I got some quality reading time in, got some sun and we had the chance to spend time with my parents, whom we haven't seen a whole lot these past few months.

I had a chance to decompress, and now I feel like our life and our little family is getting back to normal.

Normal is good. I missed it!

Now? I'm in post vacation let down but luckily, I have Christmas preparations to throw myself into. Granted, I'm not a huge Christmas fan, but I'm going to try this year. I PROMISE.


Much Needed

Tomorrow, we leave for Kauai for one week. Considering the events of late and how the weather around here has taken a turn for the awful, I am SO ready.

Um. Well, not physically ready. I haven't packed. I'm kind of freaking out about how we're going to manage all the luggage and the toddler.

I'll go start packing...


Okay, back. It's sixteen hours later. I'm a slow mover. And meticulous about packing. But it's done. We rented a car to take to the airport so we don't have to pay for parking. We'll just drop that bad boy off and be done with it.

The car is bright blue and the size of a tic tac. A four door tic tac.

I took the advice of several friends (don't you just love Facebook?) and decided not to be a hero. I'm checking a bag. G and I are all neatly packed into a bag that weighs 45.7 pounds (oh yes, I weighed it - no surprises at check in, please).

Carry on consists of: snacks, books, coloring pads, those genius markers that only write on certain paper, crayons, stickers, extra clothes in case of a pooptastrophe...

Omigod, I ALMOST forgot diapers. What that hell is wrong with me.

Bed. To bed. Tomorrow morning I drop our hellhounds at the kennel. I will get a massive coffee. And hopefully a shower.

And then, noonish, off to the airport and hopefully blue skies and warm beaches.

Damn, at this point I'd take rain, as long as it's 80. And not here.

In conclusion, this sums up how I feel about my vacation:

Mahalo, my friends!


Now I'm Somebody

Today, I reached a milestone - albeit creepy.

I got my first porn spammer comment. I deleted it. Though a badge of honor, I thought I probably didn't want my site linking through hers.

I'm guessing it was either from the title of my blog, or from the expletives in comments from my friends. Or just dumb luck. I mean, how did they know I was into underage Asian girls? I KID, I KID.

Now I'm waiting for hater comments. That will be a grand day. When people care enough about what you're writing to actually get pissed off, well, that's saying something.

On another note, my blood pressure is at normal levels today. As suggested by many, I communicated with that certain person who did me oh so wrong, and SHE TOTALLY DIDN'T GET IT. I wasn't subtle. I said I forgive her, but I also explained why I was upset and that what she did was wrong.

But I guess since I said the word forgive, she thinks everything is fine.

Which, I guess, will have to do. Because sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can't get through to some people.



The bagger/boxer guy at Costco today asked me if I was pregnant.

I smiled and said 'No way! This one keeps me busy enough.'

He was embarrassed and apologized. He was probably in his early twenties. Rookie mistake, I guess.

I did not cry. I didn't get mad. When I got outside, I looked down at my poochy belly and decided never to wear my cardigan with only the top button done.

I thought I'd been doing so well working out and eating right...but I guess I really need to work on sucking it in!


Okay, Nevermind. Still Mad.

I am pretty outspoken on my blog, but in real life, well, I guess I kind of let people walk all over me. I'm virtually trampled before I'll stand up for myself, and by that time, you can probably imagine, I EXPLODE.

People, the sleeping giant is rumbling to life.

It might not be pretty.

There will be much rubble in my wake (verbal rubble, that is).

This is the second night in a row that I've been sitting here typing, literally shaking. My insides are quivering with anger. Just when I get to the point where I can breathe, I hear more ridiculous stories being woven by, again, the person for whom I just GAVE UP TWO MONTHS OF MY LIFE.

Being like this SUCKS. I do not enjoy drama. Drama is for high school. I'm 31. I'm done with the drama!

So, the question now is how I deal with how I am feeling. Sitting here and stewing is not the answer. But I am afraid to confront anyone until I am in complete control of my emotions. Okay, emotion. Singular. And that would be anger bordering on rage.

What do I do? I honestly can't decide. Do I forgive and forget? Generally, I'd let all these awful things being said about me slide. But she was saying things about my child too. He is 22 months old.

What would you do?


Next Time, I Promise.

Yeah, I know I said I was going to be all positive and bubbly and a ray of light after Friday. I know, I know.

And for the most part, I have been. I had an amazing weekend. On Saturday we enjoyed being a family again, just B, G and I, for the first time in a few months. I made a special dinner (lobster and lots of cocktails). We watched a movie. We enjoyed the comfort of our silence and not having to talk all the time.

Sunday was also wonderful. We had a fun-filled day with B's older sister and her family, who we haven't seen for a while. A trip to visit Santa and some real reindeer (and a camel), then my sister-in-law and I helped our younger sister-in-law register for her baby girl that's due in March, and then back home, where we had a nice, relaxed dinner and movie night.


Today, well, was fine too. Normal. I had a run, did some chores, hung with G and B.

Then we got a call. And we were informed that the person that we opened our home to, who I cared for for two months, who I listened to non-stop, who I watched smoke during her entire LUNG CANCER TREATMENT, has gone back to the other part of the family and has commenced talking smack about us.

Example 1: B and I are not good parents. G is a spoiled brat. This one is almost - no IS - laughable, considering who she is comparing us to.

Example 2: Apparently I did nothing but slam the rest of the family to her the entire time she was here. Which is funny, because I never brought them up. Once. She did. Every 30 seconds.

OH. MY. PHYSICAL. LORD. Who does that? WHO DOES THAT? I feel dirty and used and disgusting. UGH.

Call Dr. Phil. For reals. I feel like my life has morphed into a bad episode of Dr. Phil.

So, out with the bad, in with the good. We've pretty much been beaten about by these people emotionally and mentally for the last few months. We decided tonight the holidays will be drama free - basically meaning we won't be seeing that part of the family.

And instead of gifts for them, I'm making a donation to the American Cancer Society. So I can funnel some of this soul rotting ugliness into something good for someone else.

They say no good deed goes unpunished. In this case, truer words were never written.


Eff It Friday

I'm thinking of starting a new weekly post.

I want to call it Eff it Friday. Yup, Eff it Friday. Do you think it'll catch on?

Here's what I say saying eff you to this fine, blustery day.

- Eff you H1N1 or 'Swine Flu'. I'm tired of hearing you non-stop, on the news and from the hypochondriacs in my life. I especially say eff you to the one who insists I actually had THAT FLU a few weeks back. Really? You think you can diagnose me? Hmmmm. Maybe if you'd finished eighth grade, let alone med school, I'd listen. EFFYOU.

- Eff you to my child's pediatrician being the only freaking doctor in my area that doesn't have the vaccine for children under two.

- Eff that my child's appetite has taken a turn for the picky and he will only eat yogurt and I'm out of yogurt and he's screaming for YOOOOOGUTTTTTT!

- Eff the vet that charged us $260 for a yearly checkup and shots for our two dogs. Highway robbery! Plus, eff you to my golden retriever's ears which are apparently damp, rotten caverns that have a continual infection and I have to clean out twice a day. Oh yeah, we had to pay an extra $60 for ear medication. That poor dog. I swear, inbreeding. Eff that I spent more on my dogs' health care than my own this year. I'm NOT kidding.

- Eff that my husband showed my child how to put CRAYONS in his pockets and I'm just waiting to miss one in the laundry. You know it's going to happen and you know heads will roll.


So, now that I've vented, I'm really just kidding about Eff You Friday. Because as of tomorrow morning, I'm going to try VERY diligently to be as positive as possible. My psyche needs a cleanse.

Or I need a lobotomy.

What are you saying eff you to this week? Am I the only angsty person around here (don't answer that...)?


Ball? Ball?

Things have been kind of topsy-turvy around here lately. Our current normal is not our usual normal.

But some things never change.

A ball and a dog. I lament how stupid Carl is sometimes. But to be so unabashedly happy about a game of catch? Pretty sweet.

Something else that is real about this picture? The state of our backyard...toys everywhere. Oy.

For more real life, take a jaunt over to I Should Be Folding Laundry and check out some more You Capture posts.



I may have sort of had an epiphany last night. Truthfully, it went more like this: my husband kind of forced me into one. In a good way, I suppose. There were a lot of things said that were difficult to hear, but I NEEDED TO LISTEN.

I've been struggling these last few months with people in my life doing things that I perceive as wrong. Or stupid. Or downright reprehensible. All these feelings have burrowed deep and started rotting my insides. I am turning into something I never wanted to be - a truly angry, bitter person. Someone who is skeptical and mistrusts even good intentions.

I am turning into the people I have been trying desperately to help, who in turn have continued with their utterly selfish lives. I have literally spoonfed them solutions. Made contacts with social workers who can help them. Tried to offer sensible advice to some of the most irrational humans with whom I've ever had contact.

Truthfully? The way I feel? It terrifies me. I have never been an upbeat person, per se, but what I feel myself becoming? Not good. This feeling of ugliness has been tugging at me for at least a month. What I've been exposed to? Some of the stories I've heard? All of the hatefulness? Like a cobweb, it sticks to you and is disgusting. You flail around and can't shake it off.

Then you get sucked in. Even if you don't want to get in the middle, there you are. Two months ago, I made a decision with the very best intentions. Last night I was told that I had bit off more than I could chew. That some people, no matter how hard you try, will never change. That I never had a chance. Boy, truer words were never spoken.

Today, I know that all of my care and sacrifice was for naught. I was used. I feel gross. I FEEL ANGRY.

I know the problem. Now to remove it. After this week ends, I have a decision to make. I have to protect myself and my family. I have to mentally purge and try to see good again.

Whatever it takes, I will do it. I know how I do NOT want to be. I can control how I go through life. I choose to put these people and this ugliness behind me.

The band-aid, it's coming off.


Little Monster

My friend Andrea over at The Train to Crazy has a new Etsy site.

You should REALLY check it out. It's called Pumpkin Bear Pie.

I mean, how cute is this shirt?

Adorable, no? G is sporting his blue steel pose here. He digs the shirt!


Deck the #*@& Halls.

This morning, while preparing breakfast for G, I found myself singing Christmas songs. It started with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, then Frosty, followed by a rousing rendition of Jingle Bells. While many may find this normal round this time of year, for me, it's downright bizarre.

Why? I really do not like the holiday season.
There. I said it. I'm a complete 'Bah Humbug.' I wasn't always this way, but over the last ten years or so, it's slowly but surely happened. Between too many family engagements, expectations, bratty kids who open your gift and chuck it to the side for the next, I've seriously gone to the dark side.

Maybe it's because the holiday season is shoved down your throat starting in, say, September? Or watching people who clearly cannot afford lavish presents go into serious debt to keep up appearances?

So honestly, I probably don't dislike the 'ideals' surrounding the holidays. I actually quite like the fuzzy, snuggly warm stuff that goes along with Christmas. I love the food. I love visiting with relatives.

Unfortunately, it seems that our holidays have become consumed with schedules. Trips to the mall where you literally get hip checked while browsing because you're not moving fast enough. I can't enter a mall this time of year without breaking a sweat. People are angry and frantic. So much for a peaceful and joyous holiday, right?

I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas as a kid. Decorating sugar cookies (eating frosting, mostly). Mom and Dad pulling out the huge bins of decorations and spending a whole Sunday decorating and slowly mulling over each piece, because they all had a memory attached. Going up to the woods and cutting down a tree.
Watching 'A Christmas Story' (okay, I still do that).

It makes me wonder if my parents felt like I do and just sucked it up to make us happy? I so very much want my child to have wonderful holiday memories. Not necessarily of things, but of time spent together.

I'm thinking the involuntary singing of Christmas songs this morning could be me subconsciously attempting to get into the holiday spirit, for the kiddo. Who knows? Maybe I'll even feel like decorating the house this year. Clark Griswold style.

Next thing you know I'll be wearing this:

And at that point, you have my permission to kick my ass.


Life's a Garden

Dig it.

For more free for all You Capture, jump on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Above Average?

My toddler has discovered my computer ('puter, in G speak), and somehow keeps hitting buttons that make me have to restart this bad boy to even be able to type.

I think I'm in for it. I'm really, really in for it. This kid is not even two and can bring me to my technological knees.

We know he's smart. And if you know me, you know I'm not the kind to brag about my kid. In fact, I have a hard time talking about how intelligent he appears to be, because I don't want to be THAT mom.

And I will always counter my 'bragging' with the fact that he throws himself on the ground and screams at Old Navy, or colors all over the door, or bites me on a pretty regular basis. In fact, I've been calling him Damien (as in the Omen) on a pretty regular basis, and I probably should stop that, cause that's just really not a nice thing to call your kid.

He's a bit, um, rambunctious, but I just keep telling myself at least he's crazy and smart. I don't know how I'd do with crazy and DUMB (I would love him just the same, stop judging me!).

But I have to tell this story. G did something the other day that stopped his father and I dead in our tracks. We were at my husband's work, and one of his co-workers has a Rosie the Riveter sticker (you know, the lady showing her bicep) on her printer. The name 'Rosie' is printed on the sticker.

G walks up, points and says 'Wosie'.


I don't know if it was just some freaky coincidence, but all the same, we were dumbfounded.

Our little dictator. I have a feeling this one will keep us on our toes...


Secret Secret Blog

Have you ever thought of starting a secret blog? Or for me, it'd be my SECRET secret blog. Because I'm pretty sure most of my family and many of my friends do not know I have this blog, even.

But you can never be too careful.

An overview of what I'd write about?

Well, let's see.




The three D's, I guess. These days, I'm knee deep in all three. I'm exploring different ways of dealing with people. I'm being more passive aggressive than I ever thought possible.

In short, I am being pushed to the edge of sanity. And I could really, truly write a book about all the gems I've been fed of late, and it would probably be a bestseller in comedy. Or horror. Not sure.

For instance, I have been informed that luck is the only factor that determines what happens to you in life. That people who are successful and pay all their bills on time are simply LUCKY. Who knew?! What have I been doing working all these years?

Seriously. Denial with a capital, gigundo, monstrous D.

Also, did you know that it is the job of our overworked, underpaid teachers to raise our children...homework is just cruel. No parent should have to actually sit down with their child and READ to them or participate actively in their education. That's what we have dad-gum teachers for. Shoot.

Good to know, good to know.

So, in short, all the ideals and morals and work ethic I've employed in my adult life are futile. Because the only reason I'm a responsible adult is because I am simply LUCKY. And, as soon as G is in Kindergarten, I don't have to pay any attention to him anymore and I can leave it to the school to raise him up good.


Maybe I will write a book. Cause seriously? You can't make this sh*t up.



I love Halloween. But every. single. year. I put off creating a costume till the last minute.

This year is no different.

Now, I need to come up with something by Friday night, for my husband's work party. I am at a total loss.

I've never been big on the 'sexy' costumes. As in, naughty nurse, slutty police officer - you know, the unfortunate standards. I prefer something silly or witty.

The last time I officially dressed up, I was 'THAT' bridesmaid at the reception: you know, dress ripped and on backwards, messed up hair, missing a shoe, cried off makeup, carrying a wine bottle with a straw and the crushed bridal bouquet I hip checked the other women to catch.

I've been Sporty Spice (yes, my friends were the other Spice Girls). I've been a Fairy Princess, complete with a wand, huge poufy skirt, wings and glitter to throw at people (cause THAT isn't annoying).

My best costume ever? Probably in the fourth grade when I dressed up as an old lady - saggy boobs, one of my Grandma's old shift dresses, a gray bun, glasses on the tip of my nose. It was exquisite.

So. What should I be? I NEED HELP. AND QUICK.

And, what was your best costume ever?


Shrink-a-Versary Extravaganza!

There are some VERY exciting things happening over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.

I'm serious. VERY EXCITING.

Tomorrow we start our newest challenge - running from October 28 through December 16th. That's seven weeks to whip your heinie into shape before the Holidays!

And there's more. This challenge coincides with the Sisterhood's one year anniversary. There will be much celebration. And giveaways galore.

So, if you've been looking to drop a few pounds (or stone) and get fit with some serious Sisterhood (boys are welcome too!) support, make sure you visit the Sisterhood tomorrow for all the details.


Idiot Box

When I was a kid, we had a 13" television, no remote control and three channels.

Oh, how times have changed...

Cartoons on the big screen. I am creating a monster (in my defense, I only use the electric babysitter when I'm sick...or tired...or...oh, never mind).

For more technology, zap on over and visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Finally, Some Good News

I'm laying on the couch today. I feel like I'm dying - okay, not DYING. But I feel terrible. Fever, chills, aches, and the worst headache I've ever had.

So much for the Tamiflu, right? I took my last dose yesterday morning, and by 7 pm, I was running a fever of 102.


The phone rang about half an hour ago and the caller I.D. said 'The Home Depot'. We've been talking a lot with a very nice manager there who has been very pleasant. That said, I feel like crap and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about how we're going to collections.

But, I picked up, and I'm glad I did. Home Depot has decided to honor the additional insurance contract - so we now owe them nothing AND are no longer the proud owners of a busted chipper.


Thank you Home Depot for doing the right thing. It may be a small thing on your end, but to us, it's means so much. So, again, thank you.


Easy Like Sunday Afternoon

Today I had grand plans.

As in, I planned to get out of the house by myself for an hour or two. Groceries. A trip to the mall to see how tragically out of style I am. A latte (eggnog is back, curses). Maybe a pedicure.

And, as is normal with a 'free' day, here it is, 4 pm, and I've not left the house - once. Whoops.

But, the house is clean, the child is napping.

I watched my football team get their asses handed to them. Nice one, Seahawks. I'm crying inside, for reals.

I picked a zillion green tomatoes that refused to ripen and now, being the frugalista that I am (I hate letting things go to waste), I'm looking all over for recipes - I'm thinking pickles - for the actual green tomatoes, or maybe some magical way to ripen them.

Most likely, as with my other best laid plans, I'll forget about them outside and will discover green tomato compost sludge next March.

Yes, I have many grand plans. My home is the land of unfinished projects and abandoned hobbies.

Cause to be honest, most of the time, I end up playing an hour of Bejeweled, then run around the house frantically trying to at least pick up and get some dishes done before nap time is over.

Do I wish I were more efficient, that I made the most of my free time? YES. But, you know what? It's MY free time. So I guess I can waste it if I want.

And I could whine and say there's just not enough hours in the day. But if there were, I'd probably waste them too.


Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Today, the BTOH (brown truck of happiness, love that) came. It brought two things- a one piece bathing suit that is a size smaller than the one I had to wear this summer...good thing. Even better? A movie I ordered last week. The first film I remember watching as a little kid.


Oh, I was obsessed. I wanted to BE Annie. I had the soundtrack on tape. I would perch myself on the windowsill in my room (tough, as it was probably only two inches wide) and sing along to 'Maybe'.

Give me a break. I was six, okay?

For many years, I was convinced I was adopted. I blame Annie. Come on, what kid who saw that movie didn't have the fantasy of beng adopted by Daddy Warbucks? I wanted my bath drawn by Mrs. Greer. And Drake to bring my tray. And Mrs. Pew to come take it away. Dammit.

And Miss Hannegan, Rooster and Lily St. Regis? When you're six, scary - no, TERRIFYING. Now, genius. Could the casting have been any better? I LOVE TIM CURRY.

My mother in law were looking at Amazon the other day trying to pick out some movies for the grandkids. And I saw Annie and just wanted so badly to share it with my nieces (and nephews).

But now I'm kind of scared. How will they react in a world of Hannah Montana (ugh), The Jonas Brothers (dry heave) and High School Musical (seriously, do not even get me started).

I'm sorry, but if they don't like it, I'm disowning them (not really...well, maybe).


When It Rains...

On Tuesday, in the midst of my Home Depot drama, I started getting a sore throat.

I thought it was from talking on the phone all day.

Well, no such luck. After pulling a 101.5 temperature yesterday, I decided to hit the walk in clinic last night after B returned home from work (I chose the walk in clinic for two reasons: I don't have a general practitioner and I couldn't get to a doctor during regular business hours).

I had about an hour wait to see the doctor. Which, sad to say, I found quite pleasant. An hour to read magazines and play solitaire on my phone by myself? Dare I say luxurious?

Sitting and being examined, I started to feel like a jackass for seeking medical attention after only feeling poorly for a few days. But then again, I am caring for/living with someone who has a depressed immune system. So, I felt a *little* justified.

The doctor took about a three minute look at me and said, 'Yup, you have influenza.'


So, today, after starting Tamiflu last night, I feel SO much better. Still have a sore throat, but the fever is gone.

Can I get a WOOT WOOT for Tamiflu? Where has this (admittedly expensive) stuff been all my life? Expensive, but dude, how much would you pay not to have a flu that kicks you in the ass for a week?

I'd pay a lot. I mean, I PAID a lot.


As If I Needed Something ELSE On My Plate

On Saturday, my husband decided to tackle the massive brush pile in our backyard. It's been there for two years. Definitely time to go. He rented a wood chipper from Home Depot, and bought the additional insurance (good boy). He was supposed to get instructions for the chipper, but Home Depot didn't have a copy. The rental clerk helped bring the chipper out to the truck, where he watched my husband hook it to the truck hitch to tow it home.

On the way home, my husband was going thirty miles an hour, max. He's fairly experienced in towing things, and knows better than to go flying down the freeway with something in tow.

About halfway home, he felt a pull and an impact on the side of his truck. He looked in the rear view and saw the chipper DRAGGING behind the truck.

He pulled over into a nearby parking lot where he discovered one of the wheels on which the chipper was riding was completely destroyed. After further inspection, he discovered that he had driven over a plate in the road and the chipper had failed to clear the plate (which was raised about three inches off the road surface).

By some stroke of luck, a man came up to him in the lot he'd pulled into and said he had a forklift in back. The very kind gentleman used the forklift to place the chipper into the back of the truck.

My husband drove back to Home Depot, thinking all would be fine as HE'D PURCHASED THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE.

Upon arriving at Home Depot, he learned the insurance was COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.

At this point, they tried to force my husband to take the chipper home, as they had quickly deemed it a complete loss. He refused to take it. Why would we want a destroyed chipper?

Before he left, he was told THREE times they would not charge our check card, but instead would wait until we could contact our insurance company.

He came home, visibly shaken up (Seriously, it was a miracle no one was behind him. This would be a very different story). He called the after hours insurance line who took the information and promised a call back on Monday.

Unfortunately, our auto insurance will not cover the damaged chipper. Maybe, our homeowners will. But only with a $500 deductible.

Monday, I felt the urge to check our bank account online. I felt something was wrong. Boy, was it. Home Depot had gone ahead and put a hold on our account for $1900. What? WHAT?

I called Home Depot and asked for the manager in charge. After several phone calls, she basically told me that the insurance only covered damage while under 'normal use'.

To which I asked "Is the chipper MEANT to be towed?"


"So wouldn't TOWING it to the site where it will be utilized part of NORMAL USE."


"So were we supposed to rent the equipment, and then bring all our scrap wood down to your parking lot and chip it there?"

(No reply)

I will give her this -she reversed the charges off our card. But, they're still sending us to collections.

In the meantime, I'm building my case. It's pretty strong. I've talked to an attorney, I've talked to my insurance adjuster. They both agree we are not at fault.

The Home Depot additional insurance contract reads that we should be covered.

They are choosing to interpret it in a way that absolutely makes no sense. At all. And, in doing so, are acting in bad faith.

Which leads me to ask - what in the world is the insurance policy for if not to protect the consumer? We are insured from all angles. And NO ONE wants to pay.

It's astounding that we take all the proper precautions and are still getting the short end of the stick.

It truly blows my mind that a huge corporation, to whom $2000 is a drop in the bucket, would sell a customer insurance, only to pick and choose what they will cover.

Like I told the manager yesterday, THAT IS OUR MORTGAGE MONEY. We are not irresponsible people. We didn't even ask Home Depot to pay for the damage to our truck.

So come on Home Depot. Step up. Do the RIGHT thing.

I don't feel like fighting right now, but believe me, I will. I'm not a fan of being taken advantage of.


A Meme Saves the Day

Mendie (who is just the sweetest thing) over at The Little Ladybug That Could tagged me for a fun little meme today. And thank God for her, because I clearly am having the most colossal fit of writer's block EVER. So Mendie, you're my hero tonight!

Without further ado, ten things you probably don't know about me.

1) I hate cotton balls. They make my skin crawl. Even worse? That cotton they stuff in your mouth at the dentist...is that necessary? REALLY?

2) I absolutely, positively cannot whistle. Many have taken it as a personal challenge to teach me, but I am unteachable. I think it is physically impossible.

3) I consider condiments a food group. I have at least 30 residing in the door of my fridge. My current favorite? Hoisin sauce.

4) On the subject of condiments, I have been known to drink pickle and olive juice. Digusting? Possibly. Delicious? HECK YES!

5) All of my animals have human names. Our dogs are Carl and Sadie, and our cats are Boris, Bridget and Violet. Why we have five animals is another issue entirely.

6) My husband suggested our son's name (which I will divulge here this once - George). I agreed, after a while. It grew on me. Many asked if he was named after someone, as it's quite old fashioned. I always thought no, we just picked that name. Well, I found out months after our son's arrival that he IS actually named after someone, per my husband - Ken Griffey, Jr., whose real name is George Kenneth Griffey, Jr. However, I like to pretend he is named after George Clooney.

7) I love MMA and UFC. I know. How embarrassing for me.

8) I would eat McDonald's soft serve every day if I could.

9) I do not find either Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt attractive. And yes, I am heterosexual.

10) I still hold the girls high jump record (5'4") at my high school, according to my mother, who still checks on a regular basis (glory days!).

I would tag some peeps, but my brain hurts and, let's face it, I'm LAZY tonight.

Yeah, I said it. LAZY.


Belly Laughs.

So I haven't laughed much lately, but I've got to give props to The Office last night.

I laughed out loud. And cried a little at the end. Cause seriously? Jim? Does such a man REALLY exist?

'I was waiting for my wife'. SOB.

I used to be a hardcore believer that the British version of The Office was superior. I have a weird little crush on Ricky Gervais (he is a genius). Though Steve Carrell is brilliant, Ricky Gervais is painfully hilarious.

So, yeah, this anglophile is maybe converting. The Yankee version, it's growing on me.


Fire in the Sky

The sky last night. Absolutely amazing and several shades of red.

I needed a sky like this. To remember beauty.

For more red, go visit Beth over at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


For Colleen

Today I got news I knew was coming.

I knew it was coming, but I was not ready. Not in the least.

There are some people that you lose contact with, but never forget. For me, my friend Colleen was one of those people. We met in grade school. We played soccer together. She was slight and sprightly with the hugest blue eyes you've ever seen. She had a super cute giggle. Collen was someone who had a truly pure, beautiful soul. Kind, funny, sweet. All those things.

In a word, lovely.

Colleen and I have not been in close contact since we graduated high school, but I have thought of her often. I would get periodic updates from her mom, who I'd run into from time to time.

About five years ago, I was out at my parents' house and her mom showed up. I was the only one at the house. She hugged me hard and we sat down. She told me Colleen had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As she looked in my eyes, her pain bored down into my heart. I ached for her.

Over the past few years, I've heard news from time to time. I could not even fathom the fact that Colleen would lose her battle with cancer. It just never crossed my mind.

I found her on Facebook, and watched in awe as this woman, who was incredibly sick, was living her life with so much vigor.

Colleen lost her battle last night. She was at home. She was, no doubt, enveloped in love.

On October 24, Colleen was going to ride in the Livestrong Challenge in Austin. As of tonight, she has raised $40,830 for the cause.


Tonight, I will cry for Colleen. I will mourn her and celebrate her. I will think of her loving husband and her wonderful family.

I will hope for peace and comfort for those who loved Colleen.

And there were a lot of us.

(If you are so inclined, Colleen's fundraising page is still up. How awesome would it be to get her WAY past her fundraising goal?)


Line Curse

I think there should be an award for ALWAYS choosing the wrong line at the store. And if such an award already exists, I would like to officially nominate myself.

Scenario 1: At Babies r' Us and feeling pretty chipper because my child has not yet thrown a tantrum or hit/pinched/bit me. I spy a line that is only one person deep, which is pretty amazing for a Saturday afternoon. I hop in line. And wait. And wait. Turns out the women in front of me are trying to use expired coupons. And they do not speak English very well. And they are being very rude to the cashier. Ten minutes and two manager calls later, they're finally done and it's my turn. About halfway through MY checkout, they PUSH IN FRONT OF ME and accuse the checker of charging them twice for a pack of diapers. The poor checker is almost in tears and my kid is starting to shriek.
After the they were finally convinced to go to customer service, I rolled my eyes at them for the checker's benefit. I hope it helped.

Scenario 2: At the grocery store. Holding my child with one arm underneath his armpits as he has turned into a human noodle and is trying to escape. Again, the line is only one person deep - but don't you know I get behind the woman who is pissed because the butcher did not open up her jumbo package of chicken breast cutlets, AND REWRAP EACH CUTLET INDIVIDUALLY.
What what what WHAAAAT? Okay, I completely understand not wanting to touch raw chicken, it can be kind of gross. But come on. Sometimes I wish I could get my kid to pinch/hit/bite adults who are behaving badly. Wouldn't THAT be the party trick?

I want to also point out that this was my only time out of the house with just the kid this week. Note to self: Babies r' US and the grocery mid-day on a Saturday do not equal relaxation. Good to know.


Still Here

Holy crap. I just realized a few minutes ago I haven't posted here for a week.

A WEEK. That is just insane. A few months back, I hardly missed a day. Sometimes I posted twice a day.

Don't get me wrong. I want to write. I probably should. But I'm exhausted. And when I sit down, the words get stuck. I don't know quite what to say.

I usually rely on funny. I'm not feeling so funny these days.

Most days, I'm up at the crack of dawn, caring for my son, then checking on my mother in law. Her mornings start with a horrible coughing fit, which usually subsides within about ten minutes. The radiation is definitely making it better.

The rest of the day is spent in a flurry of doctor appointments and errands. Cooking high calorie meals and coaxing my mother in law to eat. Charting medications. Sanitizing.

We are intimately acquainted with the cancer treatment facility where she is receiving treatment. I am incredibly impressed with everyone we have come into contact with. Today, I had to bring G along to the radiation appointment, and one of the techs emerged from his office with a foam bat and ball and had an impromptu baseball game in the hallway while my mother in law received her treatment. G was in heaven. Everybody got a belly laugh from his crazy antics. Nothing like a hyperactive child screeching with glee in a cancer treatment facility to lighten the mood!

We are about a week and a half in, and I'm finally catching my breath. We are finding a routine in all this craziness.

I hope to get here more. Hopefully write about something besides cancer. But maybe that's what I need to do right now. Maybe I need to forget funny for a while.



Happiness at the age of 20 months isn't complicated.

A bag of chips stolen from Daddy's lunch and a book...

Testing everything...

And sometimes breaking in...


An uber bubble bath...

or a game of hide and seek.

Don't you wish happiness were ALWAYS this easy? I hope, for him, maybe it will be.

For more happiness, head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.