Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Saw The Sign....

and it made me irritated. I know - that's not how the song goes, but seriously....

"We welcome the uninsured."

Well, that's always good, right? You're thinking it's outside of a clinic or a hospital or a doctor's office, right?


It was posted outside of...
hold on...

Seriously? Ya' think? Because by limiting yourselves to accepting people already insured, you found that you weren't getting much business!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Old MacDonald had a what?

A wolf
An owl
A train (with a choo-choo here...)
A camera (with a cheese-cheese here and there)
A Santa
And a doctor.

"A doctor? What does a doctor say?" mommy asked.

Friday, January 22, 2010

He ain't heavy, he's my doggie

We have two stuffed dogs that look alike with the exception that one is big (9-ish inches) and the other is 1/2 the size. For some reason, Meatball became quite attached to the big one. For about a week or so, he would become worried (not quite frantic) and walk around going "Hebby, hebby. Where hebby?" Then, it shortly evolved to "heavy." Well, it turns out that the big dog has been christened "Heavy." Yes, Heavy. Most toy dogs are named Rover, Spot, Fred, even Clifford, right? Nope - Meatball's dog is named Heavy.

And, despite Meatball's best efforts, Peanut just isn't as into being attached to a stuffed animal. He would rather play with his train set - constantly with the train set. However, since Meatball is pressuring him so much and practically forcing the toy into Peanut's hands, he is warming up to "Little." Yes - Little is Heavy's 1/2 sized side kick.

Not much for originality, are they?

Monday, January 18, 2010


So, I attended my first residency for the MBA program. All I know is this: HOLY CATS!

Beneath my cool, suave, and completely organized exterior (sarcasm intended), I am a second-guessing, sometimes self-loathing, scared, and anxious woman who is terrified that I’m in over my head.

It’s a good thing I’m not dramatic…

It’s only 18 months, and then I’ll be done, and I’ll be able to add three letters to my business card. I hope that it will make me promotable, marketable, and a smarter business woman because, let’s face it, now that I’ve already been doing it for 20 years, I’m going to stay in business, so I might as well make it as successful as I can. I might as well make ME as successful as I can.

Besides, I have two little people to put through college someday.

So, OK. Enough pity party. I’m smart enough to get it done. Organized? Well, I’ll become that, too.

Oh, here’s another thing.
“I’m proud of you.” Four words that I crave coming from one of two people that I want to hear it from, dad. Didn't get enough of it while growing up, so it was good. It felt good. Just wait ‘til I finish the program! It will be even sweeter, then.


It’s all fine. You know? Everything is fine.

I’m pretty sure that I didn’t agree to fine, but that’s how it seems everything is.
Don’t get me wrong – compared to others, I’ve got it made. I have a roof over my head, a warm house, food, a family, and love.

I'm not expecting a fairy tale, but what happened to wonderful? What happened to… hell, I don’t know. I can’t even say what it is that I feel is missing. All I know is that that fine is good. Fine is fine. But, fine is just not enough anymore.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Boy wonders!

One day in early December, Bub and the boys picked me up at work during lunch so that we could run up to the U to get my transcripts. We were driving along State Street with Meatball asleep in the back and Peanut singing some song. All of a sudden he stopped singing and said “Look, Mommy. Dat says Taco Time.” We don’t eat at that restaurant, and that is certainly not one of our flashcard words.

Then, a couple of weeks later, we were headed out to do some holiday shopping when Meatball said “Arti Circle, Arti Circle!” Again, not someplace that we eat, although the word “circle” is one of our flashcard words. We do flashcards about once per week, and even then, not all of the words. He immediately followed this up with “Look! High Five!” in reference to the flashing hand signal at the cross walk. I thought that was pretty clever.

Now, there is a chance that they recognized the restaurant names or logos from what they have seen on TV because even though we don’t eat at these places, we do watch TV. Instead, though, I prefer to believe that they are just really smart.

In fact, while standing in the checkout line at the store last week, Peanut was identifying the letters of something – I think the headlines on a tabloid – while we waited. The woman behind us was astounded – especially when she found out that they are only 2 ½ years old and was getting every single letter (and number) right.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Career ambitions?

If the moon is in the sky, Meatball can spot it in about 2 seconds. He loves finding the moon. He could find it through a white-out blizzard when the clouds are blocking everything! Last night, he saw the moon (on tv) and promptly let us know exactly where it was. So, I said "Buddy, you could be an astronaut! Do you want to be an astronaut?" He said yes and laughed and ran off with the laundry basket on his head (don't ask me why...) Not to be left out, Peanut picked up the other laundry basket, put it on his head, and ran out of the room shouting "I'm an amersnot!"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

it's almost like we were praying

So, we woke up this morning in a full bed - meaning that both boys joined us at some point in the night (which I don't care about because I believe firmly in a family bed). Anyway... so, me and the boys got up (me reluctantly) and got some milk and whatever.

At some point, Meatball did something exasperating, and Peanut said "Oh for god's sake, [Meatball]!" We just started cracking up.

Then, after clean diapers and pulling all of the books out of the book shelf, we hear Meatball say "ah-muss to god!"

We just sat on the bed quietly laughing. It was awesome.

Oh, by the way - last night on our way home from burning some energy in Fashion Place mall, Meatball said "Mommy, don't get mad; get glad!" and both of them erupted into hysterics. No reason. I wasn't even nagging or barking orders at anyone. It was just funny....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Won't this be fun?

So, check out my link over there to Tigress in a Jam. She's put forth a challenge to the blogosphere to bottle something every month in 2010. There will be a featured food every month.

I didn't officially sign up because 1) I didn't find out about this until after the sign up date had passed, and 2) I don't know if I'll be able to do every month since I don't know how hard school will be. (And, by the way, I can't believe that I'm going back to school...)

So, the January food is CITRUS. Thanks to our neighbor, Malcolm, we have a box of oranges in the (super clean and organized) pantry, so I thought that I would try my hand at orange marmalade. How did I do? It's awesome! It takes up to two weeks to set which always unnerves me because I'm always convinced that whatever I'm making won't work out (although that's only happened once before).

I got the recipe from the Ball's Big Blue Book of Canning. I love that thing. One of the best gifts my mom ever gave me. I made eight half pints, cleaned up, and put everything away in less than 1.5 hours. Did I mention that it's delicious?

I'm curious to see the featured food for February, but if I had my wish, it would be chablis because the BBBBoC has a recipe for chablis jelly. Besides, it would be sort of romantic with Valentines day, right?

Mmmmm... sharing

So, Meatball decided to share some imaginary cupcakes with us. He reached his cute little fingers up and gave me a bite of some sort of yummy treat. Then, he asked if I wanted another one. I said sure. So, he bent over and seemed to pull an imaginary cupcake out of his very real rear end. I'm assuming that he was getting the cupcake out of his back pocket and just taking the long way around. He proceeded to share with Peanut and Mom, too. He's so thoughtful. (?)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Higher Education

So, call me nuts, but I did it. I applied for the MBA program at Westminster, and I was accepted! I start in mid-January; it's an 18-month program. I wouldn't have even considered it because, let's face it, it's expensive and I don't have much spare time.

1) It's part of a pilot program with my employer. The assignments are actually initiatives that the company needs to accomplish anyway.
2) The group assignments are with co-workers, so they can be done during lunch or at work, and it won't be difficult to get everyone together.
3) The boys aren't old enough yet to be in organized sports, they don't have homework, and they are (sort of) in bed by 8pm. Plenty of study time each night until 11pm.
4) Since it's part of a pilot program, the cost is HALF of what it would normally be. That's right. HALF priced graduate degree. Holy cats!
5) This should increase my earning potential to a point where we could leave this state, and I could get a job that could support us and Bub could legally adopt her own kids. I guess we'll see in 18 months.

Wish me luck


Every season, I swear that I'm going to lose weight with the folks on The Biggest Loser. Every time, I don't accomplish my goal, and this last time, I actually gained weight while they all lost..... What the ?!?!

Our NON-trip to Lake Tahoe

Fernley, NV
Let me start by saying that YOU DO NOT WANT TO VACATION HERE! Now, the rest of the story.

Two years ago, I purchased a little get away vacation package through some time share place. (Side note: this really is the way to go. Very inexpensive room, usually with kitchen, a dinner or tickets to some local what-not all in exchange for 60 minutes of my time to listen to a well rehearsed sales pitch. To save hundreds of dollars, I’m willing to sit for an hour.) Anyway, we didn’t take the trip because life happened, and we’ve been trying to save up the money ever since. Well, they called and it was set to expire at the end of December. Our choices were Lake Tahoe or Vegas. Since we both hate Vegas, we decided to go to Tahoe.

We had to re-schedule since the boys both got bronchitis, but finally we were off on our 8-ish hour drive. I had checked the weather beforehand, and even though it is December, I figured that we could easily drive through the flurries that were forecast. Note: flurries in the Sierra Nevada mountains are definitely NOT like the flurries in Tooele.

About three hours from our destination, Bub asked me how much warmer it would be in Tahoe than in Tooele. I just looked at her incredulously. SHE had been the one to choose the destination, so I assumed that she had at least done a little bit of research. Nope. So, after a few seconds of mouth-open puzzlement, I said “It’s a ski resort. Why do you think that I brought the boys’ snow pants and gloves and boots?” “A ski resort?!??!?” she practically screamed. “We’re going to a ski resort?!?!?” Not happy…..

About an hour later, we hit the “flurries,” which meant that all traffic was crawling along the interstate at about 35 miles per hour with blowing wind and very limited visibility. Even less happy….. The boys become increasingly restless and the moms become increasingly agitated. We learned long ago that we are not one of those couples who can drive together happily for days on end. Eight hours is our limit. At that point, we are each ready to strangle the other. Add toddlers and bad weather to that mix, and life becomes increasingly unbearable.

So, we finally exit I-80 so that we can head South to Tahoe. The only thing (besides snow and bitter cold) standing in our way: a round-about with six different possibilities. We didn’t have good directions because, yes, I forgot to print them off. So, after going through the round-about a couple of times, we returned to the gas stations right off of the freeway where some very nice women described to me the route that we should take. They hadn’t finished long enough for me to say “Thank You” before Bub had popped her head in the door and informed me that we weren’t going any further. In addition to the horrible weather, we could hear plenty of sirens outside and occasionally an ambulance or police car would pass us. Yeah – probably a good idea to wait until morning even though we hadn’t budgeted this way.

So, we pulled into the first hotel that we found which also boasted a swimming pool. Ah, a pool. We can stay busy for hours in a pool. I checked us in while Bub tried to keep the boys from squirming out of their seats. We were thankfully on the ground level, so we whisked the boys into the room, changed diapers, and immediately started jumping on the beds to release some pent up energy. I headed to the casino restaurant to get some food and hustled over to the Wal-Mart for some wine and beer. More bed jumping and running around the room capped off the night. Finally, everyone fell asleep.

When I awoke the next morning, I quickly slipped on some clothes so that I could get something from the complementary continental breakfast. As I opened the door, I was greeted by sub-zero temperatures and a lovely view of three cars parked next to ours with front end damage. They hadn’t been there when we arrived. Yes. It was a good decision to stop when we did. Very good. The weather was televised as I walked into the lobby. “It’s cold.” Duh. “Roads are treacherous.” Well, that’s a newsflash. The gal at the counter had a printout of all road conditions in all directions. The message was, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Cannot proceed west. Not a good idea to return east. No reason to go north or south and you can’t even if you wanted to.” As I collected some apples, bananas, a bowl of dry Cheerios, and some mini-muffins, the news folks let me know that the snow is so bad that all schools and government offices have been shut down in a three county area.

Swimming, by god. The pool will save us!

So, we ate breakfast (and by “eat,” I mean that the boys glanced at it and continued to run around like maniacs), and got into our swimming gear, then our clothes, then our coats and snow boots. We trudged back to the lobby and quickly stripped poolside. Bub and Peanut were the first in, and at about her thighs and his ankles, she informed me that it was cold. COLD. No biggie – let’s just play in that little hot-tub next to the icy pool. No go. It was boiling hot. FOR THE FRIGGIN’ LOVE, PEOPLE! We swam for about ten minutes; we decided to go back to our room when the boys’ lips were purple….

After getting everyone dressed and watching more of the weather, I returned to the lobby to get the room for another night. We weren’t going anywhere. While there, I asked what we could do for fun. Answer: “There is a bowling alley, and then there’s the Wal-Mart.” Oh god.

When the snow had stopped falling for about three minutes, we piled into the car and took off to find the bowling alley – which was closed. So, we stopped to grab some sandwiches where I was only allowed to use my debit card since the manager couldn’t get through the snow with the money for the cash register. Back to the bowling alley – still closed. Back to our boring hotel with the frigid pool. Nobody could tell us how to get to a park or anything – and we totally would have gone because we had snow pants, snow boots, gloves, the works – after all, we were supposed to be staying at a ski resort….

After napping, we returned to the bowling alley which was finally open. When we walked in, it was like the angels in heaven started to sing because there – immediately to our right – was the biggest indoor play land I had ever seen. Oh, it was a thing of beauty. Balls to throw. Slides to fly down, ladders, chutes, tunnels, games, and even cool gun things that we could use to shoot the balls. Lovely.

We started with a game of bowling which the boys loved immensely. They liked pushing the balls, watching the ball return, running, climbing on the seats, cheering when the pins fell. And, we weren’t trapped in a hotel room. It was great. Peanut even got a strike – a very slow strike, but a strike nonetheless. Then, we went to the play land and started out small while the manager turned on the air compressor (for the shooting of the balls). We played, we rolled balls, we climbed, and then someone bumped a button on one of the air compressor do-hickeys which let off a very loud release of air.

Our time in the play land was done before it even really got started. The noise was so scary that both boys cried and refused to go near anything. We bought some fries and two beers and watched them while they pushed buttons on the ATM machine (which is a lot like a slot machine since nothing ever came of it in our favor). Back to our hotel prison, but not before making a stop at Wally’s. Yes, we did actually stop there as “something fun to do” as recommended by the desk clerk, and honestly, it was better than the stupid swimming pool! We finally got back to the room with some Chinese take-out in tow. Throughout the day and our hotel parking lot, we saw many more accidents and damaged cars. What a mess.

We jumped on the beds more, and I allowed the boys to splash as much water out of the bathtub as they possibly could. We also drew pictures, watched movies, and tried to make decorative Christmas trees out of M&Ms and ice cream cones. Yeah – that wasn’t successful. Apparently, 2 ½ years just isn’t the right age for that kind of crafty project. They are more into abstract art anyway. And, the M&Ms distracted them from the overpriced fried rice.

The next morning was still friggin’ cold, but it had finally stopped snowing. We couldn’t get out of that town fast enough. The roads were decent although three hours were single lane behind semi trucks. The other lane just wasn’t passable. Oh, did I mention that it was on this trip that our wiper fluid pump decided to stop working? Yeah. So, we’re driving behind a convoy of semi trucks and cannot clean our windshield unless we stick a water bottle our and squirt the windshield every ten minutes.

Did I mention that this trip sucked?

The company that I purchased the trip through was generous enough to extend the vacation until April since we were detained by the weather. Our choices? Tahoe or Vegas. Bub's choice? Vegas (yuck) because "We're never going back to Tahoe. EVER!" Which I feel is unwarrented and unfair to the beautiful city/lake/people of the Tahoe area since we never actually MADE IT THERE!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye, lame assed bloggers

Yes - it's true. If you haven't blogged since June '09, then I've eliminated you from my Happy Places. I'll miss seeing your blog listed in Happy Places, but frankly, I won';t miss your witty prose because you haven't posted for six friggin months. I'll be here when you're blogging again, so let me know. In the meantime, new blogs will take your spots in Happy Places, like Tigress in a Jam (and I will try to meet the challenge even though I have a feeling that I'll be very busy for the whole year), Eat Local (which continues to be a challenge for me), and Apron Antics (shout out to class of '88).

Class of '88. That reminds me.... I was at the liquor store last week and noticed the "we ID" sign...... It reminded me that you must have been born in 1988 or earlier in order to buy alcohol. Now that it's 2010, the date has changed to 1989. I GRADUATED IN 1988. GRADUATED, PEOPLE! Holy crap, I'm old. OLD. OLD!!!!!!

For the love.....

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve celebrations at our house. We had dinner with Papa and Nana, did some crafts, and then partied HARD! We were in bed by 10:30pm. But, we're damn cute!