Thursday, May 13, 2010

We're off to see the wizard...

Today Brenna and I leave for Philadelphia for the Stotesbury Regatta. It's the largest high school regatta in the nation. Her high school is taking 84 athletes! Somehow.... I ended up being a bag checker (going through everyone's "stuff" looking for inappropriate "stuff'), bus chaperone and hotel chaperone! Everyone please say a little prayer for me and my sanity! Maybe at the end of the trip I will get a brain or at least a backbone!

Monday, May 3, 2010

So you think you can post any old time and they will come?

So, I'm back. And as I sit here running through a litany of excuses in my head... alien abduction (lie), pregnancy scare (lie), busy (true, but isn't everyone), overwhelmed-ness (true, but not a real word), ennui (true, but lame), amnesia (lie) - I realize I got nothin, at least nothin that everyone else who blogs doesn't have. I just know that for the last 2 months, I've moved "blog" to the top of probably a dozen different lists and still haven't crossed it off. It's like a sore tooth or canker sore in your mouth, you want to ignore it - but you can't help worrying it. It's not like I forgot I had a blog, because everyday when I read all my friend's blogs I have to go through my blog that still has the same pictures and same old news. Oh well, maybe this isn't for me. It's not like we haven't had a TON of things going on. We had birthdays....

Hard to believe we've gone from this...
To this....

Meet "Steve" the current love of her life. Don't ask me why it's cool to name your car, or "duh"why I didn't know "everyone" does it. Don't ask why "Steve" has already been to the "Dr." for some "work". That's probably a whole other post.
Or from this....

To this...

When did my kids become 17 and 12? When did I become a grown-up? Someone's messing with me!
This is what happens when Candy and cake are the primary gifts at a 12 year old boy's birthday.
Not sooooo precious now.

While I was gone, the Pogo Stick became cool. We're on #2
Zack would like me to qualify the above picture by saying it was crazy sock day and he does not usually wear Santa socks to school on a regular day. :o) So, this is the regular (yellow) everyday $40 pogo stick. That he pogo-ed on so much the pads all wore off until it was just metal on metal. So he stepped it up to the Flybar 800! This is no run of the mill pogo stick. It has levers and adustments and pistons etc... and it costs $188! But, he bought it with his own money and at least it's not another Xbox game. I really shouldn't complain, because since he discovered the pogo stick, he's been outside everyday, the whole neighborhood is pogoing... the bouncy sound is like the soundtrack to my life now.
We had Prom, complete with PROM DRAMA. But all in all they had a good time. I give Brenna a lot of credit. She had date issues and decided date or no date she was going with her friends and she did. She said (and probably smartly) she'd rather go by herself, than with a stranger or someone she didn't like and she probably ended up having more fun than many with dates.

Could these girls be any more beautiful? I never looked like this in High School. Shit I never looked like this! I personally think all the boys are too scared of her to ask her out! Fine with me!
The Gang. They had fun and everything worked out just fine.
So that's it in a nutshell. There's been much more going on, but I guess these were the highlights. I'm going to try and do better, but really who am I kidding. If given a choice between blogging and 3 0'clock naptime, I think we all know what's going to win.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I can't figure it out, management...

So I still seem to be unable to find the right time to blog... I can't blog when nothing is happening - I can't seem to blog even when lots of stuff is happening. I know people say you should just sit down and write, don't think about it just write. But frankly, if I have time to sit down lately I'd much rather sleep (been doing a lot of that lately) or play my current obsession Plants vs. Zombies... so I haven't been blogging. Now I will attempt to remedy that...

My Zack, oh my Zack... so cute, so funny, so smart and so Middle Schooler... As I've said before he wears his hair too long, his pants too low and plays Xbox too much! But I love him!
As I mentioned, just a little shaggy... but cute... Out of the blue yesterday he says to me, "I think I want to get my hair cut." Zoinks, Shaggy! I called immediately and a couple hours later there we were....OMG! Is he really doing this? Of his own free will? Is he on drugs? Or is he just making a good choice? Naw, it must be drugs.... :o)
There he is. So damn cute I can't stand it. Girls... BACK OFF! Just like the olden days when he was a little pee-wee who did whatever Mom wanted.
I'm always just a little nervous when what Mom wants coincides with what the kids want? That is just not a normal phenomenon. It must be a trick, but until I figure it out... I'm just enjoying being able to see my boys delightful face. Now if I could just get him to wear a belt!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Who are you and what have you done with my daughter???

I just have to take a moment to brag on my beautiful Brenna. Mainly because I'm so amazed by her and partially to give those of you who have a teenage daughter hope.... My mom told me, when Brenna was about 12-13yrs old, that I just had to wait about 8 years and I'd like her again and eventually we'd be good friends. I know "thanks mom" that helps. Of course it didn't help that my mom gave me this sage advice between bouts of hysterical laughter!

There were all the times I wanted to superglue her mouth shut and duct tape the eyelids so I didn't have to hear "Whatever" and see that infuriating eye roll... ONE. MORE. TIME....
There was the $600 cell phone bill, the time she hid the butter tub under the futon upstairs because it was too much effort to take it back downstairs and but it in the refrigerator - even when I stood in the kitchen THAT NIGHT and said, "Where's the butter? I know I had a full tub in here?" I found it two weeks later.... How about the times we struggled to do homework, projects or whatever and she'd "forget" to turn them in, got zeros on homework because she didn't know which basket to put it in and God Forbid she ASK THE TEACHER! Or one of my favorites.... Scene: 10:00am dropping off at school after a dentist appointment...Me: "Remember, DO NOT text or use your phone for ANY reason today at school. I will check the bill." Her: eye roll and shoulder shrug.... Scene 2: Our house the next day...Me (to myself)... "I think I'll check the phone bill... just because I said I would." Pause while I log on and surf around the site... W.T.F!!!!!! There is was in black and white... starting at 10:08....texting every 5 minutes ALL DAY LONG....AT SCHOOL.... at 10:08am....
Anyway, I don't tell you all this to illustrate how bad she was, she was never a bad girl... we've always been very thankful that she' just a normal teenager... but as anyone who has a teenage girl knows... normal teenager can be very....trying....

Where am I going with all this.... Something happened this year... something happened between 10th and 11th grade and I don't know what it was... maturity, good genes, great parenting (snicker, snicker...), alien abduction, substitution by a pod person... I don't know, but something happened...
1. We got her report card.... ALL freaking A's and one B in honors Chemistry!!!!
2. She did very nicely on her SAT and agreed happily.... I repeat happily to take an SAT prep class and take it again to see if we can improve.
3. She took it upon HERSELF... to go to the school's curriculum fair and talk to a bunch of different teachers to decide what she wants to take next year. She did this ON HER OWN... I didn't even know they were having this fair... remember this is the girl who would rather take a ZERO that ask where to put her homework.
4. And last night she backed the van into the driveway!

She's pleasant, she's funny... I would venture to say she's delightful and I enjoy being with her when I'm allowed. I see glimpses of what an amazing young woman she's going to be...

So those of you with teenage or preteenage daughters there is light at the end of the tunnel... and it didn't take 8 years... it's only take 4-5 years!!!

I just hope this change isn't because she's doing drugs and having sex! :o)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day....Whatever...

I hate Valentines Day... I think it's a stupid, nonsensical holiday - invented to suck our wallets dry and make most of us feel inadequate. I don't know where my hatred of V-day started, actually that's a big fat lie... I can tell you where it started... All those years in Middle School and High School. You know the scenario, 1st period, homeroom... whatever, sitting through the same daily minutiae and in walks "Buffy" decked out in her cheerleading uniform with an armload of carnations.... "Susie, here's a flower for you." Up pops Susie in... surprise... her cheerleading uniform and grabs her flower and prances back to her seat. "Oh.. oops... here's ANOTHER one for Susie!" giggle, giggle, giggle...And so it goes over and over again... until Susie and Buffy and Candy are holding armloads of flowers and I'm holding my math notebook. The only thing worse would have been receiving the one token flower from your MOTHER! Thank goodness my mother was smart enough or kind enough not to put me through that crap. So, from then on... Valentines Day not so much... It wasn't until I had kids that I felt compelled to recognize V-day, afterall it wouldn't be fair to perpetuate my feeling on them.
I must add in my hubby's defense, that he has always remembered and given me something on Valentines Day. This year I got gummi worms, sour patch kids and best of all he did my vaccuming chores for me. It doesn't get much better than that for me. But really, no amount of gift-giving can conquer those bitter feelings - hardened in the fires of middle and high school. Valentines will always be for me a non-event.

So, I find myself - schlepping through the Valentines section trying to find something to surprise the kids with. I used to love Target the best because for years it had an Anti-Valentines Day card section, but I couldn't find it this year. :o( Got the required candy, cards, everyone got a special V-day glass to drink out of today and that's it... I'm done...
I even got the dogs treats this year... I must be getting soft and mushy in my old age.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We have SO MUCH snow I can't get to my computer...Honest!

At least that's my excuse right now. Really it's my excuse for everything right now... Skipping Tae Kwon Do, canceling guitar lessons, not leaving the house, avoiding laundry, mac and cheese for dinner... you name it - if I don't want to do it... it's too snowy! We are going on Day 5 of not leaving the house. We got 25-30 inches this weekend, tonight we're suppose to get 10-15 inches more. This place is paralyzed! It really hasn't been too bad. We are at the stage in our lives where the kids are pretty self-sufficient. They sleep until 1200, they can get their own food and snacks, they put their own snow gear on and can entertain themselves with very little interaction from the parental units. So it puts a whole new spin on snow days. Today is going to be traumatic for them because I am actually going to make them wake up early (1130am) and make them walk with me to Blockbuster. We have movies to return and trade in and I think they actually need to get up and get out, plus the dogs need exercise so I need someone to hold them outside while I get the movies, and since if I only wake one up then the screams of "unfairness and favoritism" will ring through the house. The grumbling that will ensue about having to get up "early" and having to put the Xbox controller down will become legendary, but I'm going to be firm!....And bribe them with the promise of $5 for candy if they go!
Snow bunnies extratrodiniare. We had Melanie with us for 3 days until we could get her home.
Trying to clear the cars off, in case we were able to get out. John actually can get his car out. Unfortunately my van is too long to make the turn between our middle median and the snow banks that are piled up on either side. I was smart enough to back in before the first snow, so technically I could probably get out, but I would not be able to get back into the driveway and if I did get back into the driveway, then I'd be facing the wrong way and I wouldn't be able to get out until Spring! Backing the van out is a logistical nightmare. So, it's like I have to decide which trip out is "THE TRIP". So far, we've just walked to the grocery store if we needed something (Beer, Syrup and Chips - those were our necessities, not sure what that says about us)

Trying to keep the birds fed. It's an ongoing battle. I worry about the birds.... Otherwise, we are sitting pretty. We haven't lost any power, I guess our "stuff" is underground. We've lost some tree limbs and poor John's hockey rink collapsed under the weight of the snow. So the hockey season is a total loss. He is so disappointed, especially because he just "saved us so much money" by buying his uniform matching socks on Ebay. We all have our hardships to bear.
Other than that, we are surviving fine - just wondering what all the snow days will mean for summer vacation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

19 years and counting....

I cannot flipping believe that yesterday John and I had been married 19 years! 19 YEARS!!! I don't feel old enough to have done anything for 19 years. Old people are married for 19 years, my parents were married for 19 years... not me.

At some times it seems like just yesterday we were hanging out at the O'club for Happy Hour and free food. Many nights of chicken wings and chips for dinner. I remember walking around our first home and feeling like we were house-sitting and wondering when the owners would be home. Now I walk around the house and wish the "owners" would come home, especially when the heater goes out or the deck needs to be replaced. Damn those owners... can't the take better care of their shit.

It's been a great 19 years, some rough spots - like the time I told John I would stab him through the heart with a knife while he was sleeping if he didn't stop sniffing (can anyone say PMS). Mostly it's been smooth spots and fun times.

Sometimes I wonder how John puts up with all my moods, obsessions and neuroses and sometimes I wonder why I don't plug his nose while he's sleeping (I did that once - just in jest people!)

Who knew that night when I walked into Confetti's in Albuquerque in my Khaki shorts, matching animal print shirt with my two pairs of accent colored socks and my Reebok hightops (don't you judge!!!!) that the "cutest little nerdly guy" that I met would still be around 22 years later!

Now it's another snow day and we're all home together and we may not make it to 19 years and 2 days! But it's been a good run!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm not a Laugh - er

I don't laugh or I guess what I mean to say is I don't laugh at movies or TV... people, yes (kidding, I'm kidding), but modern media... No. Generally I'm more like to state... "Oh that's funny" than to actually laugh.
America's Funniest Home Videos... painful for me to watch in it's stupidity, I'd rather poke my eyes out with a dull toothpick than sit and watch that show.
The Hangover... Funny Movie! I probably gave it 3-4 amused smiles and possibly one guffaw, although it might have been a chortle. (I'm not quite sure on the technical delineation between a guffaw and a chortle, although I feel I'm more of a chortler than a guffawer.)
The only TV show I can even remember causing me to laugh out loud is The Office! I. LOVE. THAT. SHOW! I want to work in that office. As a matter of fact, the first couple of times John and I watched that show together I'm pretty sure he thought I was having some sort of seizure I laughed so much. Now when we watch, I think he watches me more than the show just for the novelty of seeing me laugh out loud.
But besides The Office... nothing.... nary a giggle.... UNTIL...............
Last Friday night 3 of my terrible twisted and tolerant friends went with me to see......
in concert! She talked/performed for 2 solid hours and left us wanting more! I laughed more in that 2 hours than probably the last 30 years. She is FREAKING. HILARIOUS!!!
2 solid hours of foul-mouthed, offensive and crude, but unerringly side-splitting, pee-dribbling Hilarious with a capital H! I still find myself remembering certain things and giving a tiny giggle and then looking around guiltily. I can't repeat anything she said, because it wouldn't be appropriate for my younger readers, hell, it's not appropriate for me.... but egads she's a riot.
So, if you find yourself with an extra $75, a need to be totally offended while laughing your ass off, Kathy Griffin is your (and my) girl!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Are you a Mac or a PC? More importantly what am I?

Who knew such an innocent comment would engender such response and such fervor. Sort of like the old days when it was Coke or Pepsi? McDonald's fries or Burger King... Anyway...
My less than 2 year old (14month to be exact, which is exactly 4 months past the warranty) laptop started doing this wierd go black thing. Right in the middle of typing the screen would go black. But not the black screen of death, this was more of a taunting, I don't want you to finish what you are doing black screen. You could still see the faint outline of everything you were doing just under the black. And the only way, you could fix it was to restart the computer. At first is only happened a couple of times, but when that didn't get a big enough rise out of me it started to doing it about every 5-10 mins. Damn You Computer! It was a huge race to see if I could type or click fast enough to finish something before it went black. Sort of like those games Perfection or Catch Phrase where the timer starts ticking faster and faster and faster and you start to panic...

I finally got John to call Dell customer service to discover that they have outsourced their tech support to the "Geek Squad." Not a good sign. So, I schlepp my laptop over to Best Buy, sure enough I do have a problem, but they can't do anything and so will ship it off to the Great Beyond.

So for the last 3 weeks, I've been shuffling between the kids laptops (when they are at school) and our desktop. None of which has any of my stuff on it. I love my shortcuts... they serve as a list, a reminder of the things I should be checking on... Needless to say, I'm sure all my library books are overdue, my blockbuster queue has nothing in it, our checkbook may be overdrawn and all the kids grades have probably gone to shit... because I can't remember to check any of those things. You must be vigilant in all things people!

Got the phone call from the "In a land far, far away Geek Squad" and it's a "motherboard, system something, flibbity gibbit thing" that needs to be fixed, replaced, created and it's going to cost ~$400. Well the stupid computer only cost us about $600 ( I know you get what you pay for) and John felt like this was ridiculous we'd be better off buying a new one because once the flibbety gibbit goes it's all down hill from there. (Sort of like when you hit 40, but I digress)
On a side note, I found it very difficult to explain to Z why we couldn't afford to pay $400 to repair the computer, but we could pay $800-900 to get a new one. Made perfect sense to us, but he left looking very puzzled. :o)

John has always said whenever the topic of computers comes up that when we grow up and get rich, we're all getting Macs. So, I guess he started thinking that if we were going to buy another new computer maybe we should start the transition to Macs...

I am a little hesitant... those of you who know me, or know me well, know that I DO. NOT. LIKE. CHANGE. John gets up at 6am instead of 515am... meeting is on the 2nd Tues instead of the 3rd Tues...the grocery store upgrades and renovates and changes the positioning of the cereal aisle... WHAT. THE. F. DAVID BLAINE!! (http:// Language!) It all throws me for a loop. So for me to be the guinea pig when it comes to a new computer... scary....
I am probably the least computer literate person in my family... if I need help my children know more than I do...

So, I put the comment out on Facebook, and the response has been overwhelmingly Mac... it seems even if you aren't a Mac, you are turning your children into Macs. Numerous people who have PC's are buying Macs for their kids...

We had a brief tutorial from our FABULOUS neighbors C and J... both are Macs... and it does look pretty cool...Very space age. I like the way when you close a window it gets sucked down...very Star Trek... And I warned them, that most likely I would be standing pitifully outside their window with my computer in hand...often...
We'll see what happens, John is doing research and I'm still stealing my kids computers. Thank God they are teenagers (or close) and they sleep until 1200 and I can have unlimited access in the morning...
For now... I still don't know if I'm a Mac or PC...but I really want to be something!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm back for now

So, I've discovered it's very hard to come back when you have failed so miserably at a public goal. While I haven't completely jumped back into my old shoes, I still haven't had a Diet Mt. Dew since the end of Dec, I'm not making much headway on my resolution. Mainly because it's a STUPID resolution... who wants to give up soda anyway! Really... if God didn't want us to drink soda he wouldn't have created it... right... :o)
I guess I will modify. I'm down to half-caff coffee in the morning - working on getting rid of it completely. I'm working on less soda and we'll go from there.

Other than that, it's all good and all normal around here. School, work, volunteering... nothing of note. While that's a great thing, it does make for some dull blogging. Although dull is so much better than drama.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Quit!

I Quit...I Give Up...I Suck!!! But at least I'm not smoking pot!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Curses on my friend Kristie!

I love my friend Kristie... she is my blogging and pretty much life idol. If you want to read some wonderful writing check her out at You won't be disappointed I promise.... but back to the curses I'm lobbing her way....

I've been struggling along on my New Year's "bat shit crazy- what was I thinking- how could I be so stupid" Resolution. Then I read Kristie's comment... All I can say, is God she's a smart woman!
Here's her point... and I think a very validate point at that....

I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't overeat, I don't beat my children or my husband (wishing doesn't make it so) maybe I yell a little too much, but last time I checked that didn't cause cancer. So, if my only vice is Diet Soda... is that really so bad??? I am screaming out a resounding NO! Can you hear me? Cause my ears are ringing... No, dammit it's not so bad at all! So maybe I want to rethink my resolution.....

Do I think I'd be healthier if I gave up caffeine, soda and artificial sweetener...probably yes. But on the other hand does the world want a healthier longer-lived me if I'm a total BITCH???? I think we all know the answer to that... I'm almost more bitch than most can handle when I am fully caffienated and sodafied! I hesitate to imagine a crankier, bitchier me...

So, all day today, I've been rolling Kristies arguments around in my head and when the raging headache and nausea hit and I fell back on the Excedrin Migraine - I began to wonder...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My dogs are just like children

During the "blizzard of '09" we ran out of dog food. When I schlepped to the store, I discovered they'd run out of dogfood as well, or at least the brand we buy. So, I had to substitute. Generally we feed our dog Iams minichunks. Nothing fancy, just plain, uniform little chunks of dog-flavored food. No complaints from either of the pooches. But as a substitute I chose Beneful... it had lots of different colored, different shaped and supposedly different flavored chunks. I thought it might be fun, a little change of pace. So, I brought it home, mixed it with the dog food we had left and began to use it.

As I sit here drinking my coffee (remember I'm weaning... not cold turkey...don't judge me!) I'm watching them eat. Here's what they do... they grab a mouthful of food. Then they drop it on the floor, spread it out and eat their favorite parts. I can almost hear them...." What's this green one?" "I don't know, what's this funny shaped one? You try it... No you try... I'm not trying it..." At which point they get another mouthful and pick out all the good parts. And I'm left to go in sweep up when they are finished. Now eventually when hunger overrides... they finish their bowls. It's just like my kids at dinner....when maybe a stray parsley leaf crosses their plate... "What's this green thing?" Holding it suspiciously to their nose and sniffing....

The other thing I've noticed is when I first put the food down in the morning... Cooper will go in sometimes and eat all his favorites out of the bowls before Zoey is hip to what's going on. Very similar to what happens when I first come home from the Commissary and the drawers and cupboards are full of "good stuff." Someone (no names) will come down and hoard all the most delectable items before the other one even knows they are there....

Ah siblings.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Step #3

Step #3 - Today I ordered a White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks...DECAF! I put back the Coke Zero I was clutching to my chest in line at the Commissary and got a Diet Crush instead....

I am caffeine free so far today... I have a small headache... it could be caffeine withdrawl or it could be that we are on day 8 of Winter Break and my family is driving me crazy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

Well it's that time of the year. Everyone is talking about resolutions, some are making resolutions and a few are already breaking resolutions. I don't make New Year's Resolutions - I haven't in years. The last successful New Years Resolution I made was in 1986, I was a sophomore in college and I resolved to stop smoking pot. The catch was... I didn't really smoke pot, my boyfriend did and all his skeevy friends did. So, instead of always having to say "no thanks" I made a big production of this "It was going to be tough...but I could do it" crazy resolution. Then when the situation arose... problem solved. My momma didn't raise no stupid girl! :o)

But about a week ago, a resolution came to me... I've been toying with it, but it's a BIG one! I think it's a good one, but it will be TOUGH and honestly I'm not sure I even WANT to do it. So, do I tell people and then feel like everyone is watching me? Is it added incentive to succeed? Or more proof of my inadequacey? Or do I keep it a secret - thereby pretty much insuring that I'll quit about halfway in??? Hmm..... decisions, decisions... So, I'm telling...

I have decided for 2010 that I am going to give up (attempt to give up).... artificial sweetener, caffeine and SODA!!! I know... Bat shit Crazy!!
Here's my reasoning and if anyone sees a flaw - shout it out!! I am more and more concerned about the amount of artifical sweetener I consume in coffee, soda etc... So that is the main driving force, I'd like to give that up. Here's the catch... if I give up artificial sweetener - then that means no more diet soda (I could never drink a regular soda again) it also means no more coffee. I only drink one cup of coffee a day, but the main reason I drink coffee is because it's a vehicle to get the sweetener and creamer into my body. Once when my brother-in-law saw me making a cup of coffee he said... "Julie, are you drinking coffee or making cookies!?" So if I'm not drinking coffee or soda, then really I've given up caffeine as well. I could drink decaf coffee, but I can't use my sweetener... so no go. The three are really interconnected, give up one and you give up them all. Damn... Now again if anyone can show me an article or a study that proves I don't have to worry about the artificial sweetener and that it's really good for me.... Please for the love of God show it to me and save me from myself!

Now all this being said, I'm not stupid! I'm doing any of this cold turkey... I am a firm believer in the wean yourself gradually off things, because as soon as you tell me I can't have something, then by God that's the first thing I want! Physically, I more worried about caffeine withdrawl and headaches, but psychologically I'm worried about soda. I love me my soda!!!! I heart soda!!!
So, Step #1 in my gradual weaning off is
#1 - once my Diet Mountain Dew runs out, I'm not buying any more. I have one lone can left in the refrigerator... it's been alone in there for 2 days now. Sometimes I just go out there and touch it and look at it. Once it's gone, it's gone.... that's sad....
#2 - I have converted over to Caffeine Free Diet Coke.

I'm still drinking my one cup of coffee in the morning, but I feel like I'm on my way to being caffeine free. Another week and I will eliminate the coffee and then I'll tackle the soda issue.
But before I can give up the soda completely I need to figure out... what I am going to drink???
I HATE water... HATE water... HATE water... everything else has calories.... I'm sure I'll be adding some juices...hitting the grocery store tomorrow, so I guess I'll look for some alternatives.

So, for the first time in 24 years I'm making a's hoping it's as successful as 1986!