Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve adventure


Can you believe that this is the end of 2008? I feel like I must have missed a few months in there somewhere because it's gone by much too quickly.

I have big plans for tonight. Big plans. They include putting my jammies on (check!), getting on the computer (check!) and sleeping downstairs with my daughter.

Sleeping downstairs with my daughter? Yup, that's a big treat for her. That ranks up there almost as high as staying in a hotel. Any hotel. I'm not really sure why these things are so exciting for her, but she really gets a kick out of it. She doesn't even ask for the tiny shampoos. I guess sleeping anywhere that isn't her own bed is an adventure.

There's no way that I'll be making it until midnight. It's not even 10 p.m. and I feel like I'm about to turn back into a pumpkin. So it's off to bed, or couch, for me.

Let's all be careful out there!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Have I got a deal for you...


We went car shopping tonight! Isn't that fun? And root canals, aren't they great, too?

Yes, we decided it just wasn't worth it to fix my husband's 14 year old car anymore. We're donating it to charity which means we needed a newer car. You know, something only around 11 years old. Okay, not really. We got a used '08 - not bad, huh?

But the car shopping... Ugh.

We drove to a lot that was about an hour away because my husband found a car online that he liked. We arrived, pre-approved check from the bank in hand, ready to get going. How long could it possibly take? Sigh...

It started with a salesman who couldn't believe that we didn't want to just hand over the asking price. Really? Like this has never happened before? Of course, this meant he had to call in for backup. Gotta have the manager come tell us what a great deal it already is, too.

Thank you, we'll keep looking.

No, no... Wait. Let's see what we can do...

So when that was all done, we went to see the guy who tries to sell you all kinds of extras you don't need has you sign the paperwork. Since the car is still pretty new, it's still under warranty. What more could we need? According to this guy, we needed an extended warranty to cover the electrical stuff. Hey, it's only $8 more a month - we'd be crazy not to buy it. Call us crazy. He must have told us at least half a dozen times that he couldn't believe that we weren't going to get the extra coverage. He went on to tell us that he sees electrical problems come up on cars all the time - you know, it kills the power windows and the power door locks. Hmmm... If this car is going to start having all these problems, maybe we shouldn't buy it...

No, no... Wait...

So only 5 hours later, we had a car, a migraine, a starving child, and an irrational desire to bang our heads against a wall.

Monday, December 29, 2008



I cleaned out my freezer a couple of days ago and found some steaks that I had forgotten about. Cool! Or should I say frozen? Anyway, I made the steaks for dinner tonight. My daughter, being quite the little carnivore, was pretty happy.

Everything was going just fine...Until...


My husband taught my daughter to put ketchup on her steak!

First, let me admit that I'm not a fan of ketchup in any way, shape or form. But putting it on a steak is just unnatural! I was already scarred in my formative years watching my sister drown her steaks in ketchup, then I married a man who will drown any form of beef in ketchup (not to mention pouring it onto his Pringles). Now this?! Not my daughter, too!

And the worst part? She liked it and asked for more.

I'm hiding the ketchup.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hairnets - the sign of good things to come

Freedom!!! My husband was able to move his car out of the driveway today and we were able to leave the house.

And where does one go when they are finally free?

To Costco, of course.

Costco is my daughter's favorite place to go. Why? Free samples! As I said in an earlier post, my daughter is constantly hungry. Costco is paradise because she gets to try all kinds of food that she doesn't have to beg for. She can spot the sample ladies in their red aprons and white paper hairnets from a mile away.

So, up and down the aisles we go, visiting all those hairnetted givers of goodness, getting enough food to make a complete meal. Surely this would fill my daughter's hollow legs...


We were only steps from the last sample table when I heard, "Mommy, can I have a churro?"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No, no bad car!


We have been trapped at our house for a while now. Trapped by what? The threat of terrorists? The fear of the return of the bird flu? The worry that we'll miss Ed McMahon when he comes to our door with an enormous check?


We're trapped by our car. It's stuck at the top of our driveway, completely blocking our other car from being able to get out. We just got it out of the shop at the beginning of the week, and on Wednesday it was a goner. My husband tried to get out of our driveway that day (yes, Christmas Eve) to go to work, and the snow and ice on our street was so high that the car got stuck. But wait, it gets better... After he dug the car out, he found out that it will no longer go into reverse. Or neutral, for that matter. So, we can't get the car back down the driveway, and we can't get it out of the driveway until our street is clear enough.

My question is, would it still be considered road rage if your car can't make it to the road?

Friday, December 26, 2008



My daughter has been wanting a wagon for quite a while now. My husband and I have been telling her that she needs to save up her allowance so that she can buy one, but that's gone over like a lead balloon. Save up money? When there are so many things she can buy right now? That's just crazy!

For a while, we were considering getting her a wagon for Christmas. The problem was, wagons are kind of pricey, and we still haven't gotten over the whole train table incident. Would this be just another toy that would collect dust? So, we decided not to get it for her, and got her other toys instead.

But I felt bad. Yes, I'm a wimp.

So I told Grandma and Grandpa that she'd like a wagon for Christmas. I even found it on a great sale at Target the day after Thanksgiving. Guess who got a wagon for Christmas?

I was really curious to see what she would do with her new aquisition. Would it be this year's train table? Nope! She won't get out of it! She wants to sit in it to watch t.v. and to eat her snacks. She wants to be pulled around the house in it. She's been trying to get the dog to get in it. If she could sleep in it, she probably would. Yes, that wagon is just the greatest thing ever and she has the best grandparents in the whole wide world.

Of course, if Mommy and Daddy had bought it for her, it might be a whole different story...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful day surrounded by loved ones. I'm just doing a quick post today, then I'm off to spend time with my family. Blessings!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Land of the Lost


Did you know that it's almost Christmas? My daughter was kind enough to wake me up this morning and let me know that. Good thing I've got her around, otherwise I probably would have forgotten.

There's a tradition in my family that goes way back. We always have to lose at least one gift that we've hidden in a place we don't think we could forget. Said gift will usually turn up later. Sometimes years later. Although I do remember one year when I lost something and I never did find it again, even after we moved. Must be with all the missing socks that never come out of the dryer.

I think I might have avoided this tradition this year, but just barely. This morning I remembered a gift I'd purchased a while back that wasn't in my normal hiding spot. After much searching, I did find it - a Christmas miracle! All gifts are now accounted for. I think. Hmmm... Well, if I find anything else later, I guess it'll just be an early start to next year's shopping. Providing, of course, that I put it in a safe place...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wow. Um, thanks.

It's that time of year, the time when we give our facial muscles and our restraint a good workout. You know, trying to keep it together when you've gotten a really horrible gift? I got my start when I was a kid. Every Christmas, my grandmother would give my sister and me a box of socks and underwear. Not exactly the dream gift for a child, but I sure wouldn't mind getting them now!

As an adult, I think the worst Christmas gift I received was from an old boyfriend. It was a Rollerskating Santa Bear. While this might sound cute, let me explain. It was about 2' tall and made of hard plastic that was covered by fur and a Santa suit. It had a pretty scary face, too. And just to make it a real whopper, it neither skated when you turned it on, nor did it even stand up. So, I tried turning it on to watch it go and it immediately fell to the ground in a loud, plastic crash. Merry Christmas.

Just for fun, I polled some of my friends to see what kind of gems they've gotten over the years. Here are some of the responses:

From a brother, a Dairy Queen napkin dispenser (including a few napkins still inside) that he got from the thrift store. Why? Because she liked ice cream, of course.

From a grandma, numerous ruffly shirts. They weren't just ruffly, they were also plaid and sparkly. Like a holiday.

From a soon-to-be ex-husband, a printer and a camera when they already had those things. Sounds pretty good still, huh? Well, he got them for her because he was planning on leaving her and didn't want to have to buy them later.

From a mother-in-law, a 1000 page book on the history of cooking. Is that a hint?

From a husband, a cable wire to go with the new sound station he'd purchased. But it was beautifully wrapped!

From a mom, a poster kit to color that was part velvet, part paper. Kind of like a make-your-own velvet art piece. Oh, and she was in her 30's when she got it.

From another husband, a new exhaust pipe for the family car. Nothing says Christmas like exhaust.

Last, but not least, I have one friend who is really bothered when people give her Christmas decorations ON Christmas day. But hey, she can use it in another year!

So, do you have any horrible gifts you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them! At the bottom of the post, in small blue letters, there's a link for "comments" - just click on that and spill! Can't wait to hear all about them!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mommy, can I please have a train table?

A few years back, my husband and I had the great idea to buy my daughter a train table for Christmas. It seemed like it would be the perfect gift for her because she always loved the train tables at friends houses and at the stores. It was like pulling teeth to get her away from them, and she would never forget where there was a train table. We used to go to a bookstore that had the kids section upstairs, and in it was a train table. Guess where she would head as soon as she was through the door? Yup, up the escalator to the beloved table. So, what could be a better gift for her?

That Christmas Eve, my husband spent hours building the table and setting up the entire city on it. When he was done, it looked something like this:


Within moments, the table looked something like this:


Yes, she dismantled the entire city. But wait, it gets better... That was the last time she ever "played" with her lovely train table. It now sits collecting dust in our spare room.

I've often considered putting it on eBay, but I know what would happen. Suddenly it would become a toy that she couldn't live without. I'd hear what I always hear from her when I try to get rid of something of hers- "I've been looking for that toy for a long time!" Yes, it's been cleverly hidden for the past 3 years.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What not to do - a guide for snow beginners


It's still snowing like crazy around here! Very odd to get this much snow where I live.

Yesterday was supposed to be a "break" from the snow, a break that didn't happen. Anyway, the weatherman said there'd be a break, so I, and the rest of my town, took him at his word. We all hit Costco and the grocery store at the same time. Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you're planning on being snowed in? Okay, it should be done before the snow starts, but who knew it would really be around this long?

Of course, I didn't get out of my house until the snow had already started to fall. Never, ever believe the weatherman! Anyway, I was out on the road with all the other crazy people trying to make sure that we'd have everything we needed for Christmas. The stores were completely packed with people, all in panic mode, trying to finish their shopping before the snow got to be too bad.

None of us made it.

It was a winter nightmare wonderland out there. Do you have any idea how hard it is to push a fully loaded shopping cart through the snow? But at least my family will have a lovely ham dinner for Christmas. (See explanation here)

Oh, and by the way... My daughter still keeps laughing hysterically whenever the word "sledding" is mentioned. How long must this mocking go on?!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And the award goes to...


And the award for the world's worst sledder goes to...ME!

My family decided that we'd go out and sled on our driveway today. Okay, in all honesty, I was planning on just "playing" in the snow while my husband and daughter did some sledding. Anyway, we've got a great sledding driveway that slopes down from the street level so we don't have to worry about sledding out into cars.

So I bundled up my daughter in her snow suit with various layers underneath, then went to get myself dressed for the snow. Hmmm... I have nothing to wear for cold weather, other than the coat I bought just a couple of days ago (no, I didn't own a coat). What did I put on under my new coat? Two t-shirts, a pair of capri jeans and my rainboots. No, it wasn't exactly my best idea ever. Did you know that rainboots are absolutely no barrier against the cold snow? Gotta get some snow boots.

Everything was going well (except for the frozen feet thing) until my husband and daughter ganged up on me to get me to sled down the hill. Did I know that this was going to be a huge mistake? Of course I did. But I was being taunted by a 6 year old, what else could I do?

So up the hill I went, sled in hand, ready to make a fool of myself. Let me tell you, I didn't disappoint. I made it almost halfway down my driveway before I started to go off the track, and by track I mean going into the bushes and rocks at the side of my driveway. I had kept my feet out in front of me to use as brakes, but my brakes failed. What else was I to do but tip my sled? Then topple and roll down the driveway, getting snow up my capris, down my rainboots and somehow well up inside my coat. Taa-daa!

Now my daughter won't stop mocking me and telling me what a bad sledder I am. Pitiful.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm hungry mother. Really, I am.


Today is day three of the school being closed due to snow. And do you know what I've been hearing for the last three days?

"Mommy, I'm hungry! Will you please give me some food?"

How can a child be starving 5 minutes after she's done eating a meal? She's always been a good eater, even as a baby. My friends with kids the same age used to like to go out to eat with us in the hopes that my daughter would teach their kids to eat. It never rubbed off, but others would stare in amazement as they watched my 2 year old clear a huge plate of food and then ask for more. I swear I don't know where it all goes.

So now, every 15 minutes or so, my child comes to me begging for food. And now that it's the start of Christmas vacation, I'll get to hear it for the next two weeks. Oh, look. Here she comes again now. Has it been 15 minutes already?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let the wrapping begin!


It's time to dig out the wrapping paper and tape, put on the Christmas carols and let the wrapping festivites begin. Since it's snowing like crazy outside right now and there's no way my car would make it up my driveway, it's time to wrap.

That, and because my husband is extremely impatient. He thinks that there should be presents under the tree as soon as the tree goes up.

Presents for him, that is.

He's worse than my 6 year old! What did you get me? Can I open it now? Can I shake it? C'mon, it's almost Christmas! He's incorrigible!

Unfortunately for me, he's really bad at surprising others, too. My Christmas gift has been sitting inside my front door since October. Did I mention that he opened the shipping box and left the contents inside? In an open box. So, now I get to sit and wait to open my purse present. Imagine the surprise on my face on Christmas morning when I open my purse present!

Okay, I'll have to work on my surprised face.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Help! I'm being threatened by snow!


I got a call in the wee hours of the morning today. It was a recorded message from the school district cancelling school today because of the threat of snow. Funny, I don't feel threatened...

I have a friend who lives up in North Pole, Alaska, who would probably laugh at our "threat" of a couple of inches of snow. She told me once that the schools up there never even have "snow days" - school just goes on no matter how much snow falls from the sky, and believe me, they get a lot!

Anyway, now I have a silly little monkey child bouncing off the walls here. I could spend half an hour bundling her up and send her outside to play in this new snow, but I know what would happen. She'd last about 5 minutes and then decide that she was done. Or that she has to go to the bathroom. Then I'd get to spend another half hour unbundling her.

But you know I'm going to do it.

How can I not?

After all, the snow is threatening me.


Monday, December 15, 2008

A whole different breed

This past weekend was a busy one. My sister, who clearly has a hole in her head, threw two kids parties in two days.

The first party was the annual gingerbread house decorating party that she has for my niece. She invites all the little girls in my niece's class (this year 4th graders) and a handful of other friends, all with their mothers and sisters, to come over and decorate a house. This year there were about 30 girls plus the moms. Sound like bedlam? Not really. It went more like this:

Yes, it was nice. Okay, crowded but nice. The girls and the moms were all happy and everyone got along.

The second party was a birthday party for my nephew. All the little boys, and their mothers, were invited to this party. In attendance were eight kindergarten age boys. Eight. I have to keep reminding myself that there were only eight boys there. This party went something like this:

Boys everywhere! Bouncing off the walls, the furniture and each other. They screamed, they flew, they tormented the dogs. It was shock and awe. Not being used to boys, I felt like my head was going to explode.

Where were the moms during this time, one might ask? They were in the same room, having lovely conversations with each other. Somehow, they have adapted to the point that they are able to completely block out the noise and destruction. It's like they had a sixth sense about when to notice - usually just before the shattering of glass and the cracking of walls. I watched in amazement as these women chatted away as if they didn't have a care in the world. How do I learn how to do that?

On second thought, maybe I don't want to learn that skill. It must take years to master and I just don't think I'd survive the training. Moms of boys, hats off to you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it snow!

Hooray! It snowed here last night! But the odd thing is, there's hardly any snow in my front yard, but it's piled up nicely in my back yard. And while it does feel like we've got a pretty big lot size here, I don't think it's big enough to create different weather zones. Hmmm... This one will take some thought.

We're supposed to have more snow today and high temperatures in the 20's for the rest of the week. I guess it might be the time to teach my daughter a valuable lesson: Never stick your tongue to anything that is metal and frozen.

I never had this problem when I was growing up in Southern California. Of course, I could have had the opposite problem - I could burn my tongue by sticking it on metal down there. No, I don't miss the 90 degree weather at Christmastime.

I sure hope we get a good dusting of snow today so I, uh, I mean my daughter can play in it! I have visions of one day having enough snow to build an igloo in my yard. Hey, a girl's gotta have a dream. C'mon clouds, bring it on!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The best laid plans

We had our first blackout of the season here yesterday. It looked something like this:


Yup, just like that. On the upside, we have a brand new generator for when the power goes out. On the downside, we haven't hooked it up yet. Hey, it's on the list!

Yesterday, someone who shall remain nameless (Dad), was over here complaining criticizing commenting that I hadn't done anything on weight loss lately.

Have I mentioned that I STILL have pneumonia?! Yes, it's the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season. Just hiking up my driveway (it's long and uphill) is enough to have my lungs begging for mercy. My big plans for getting an exercise program up and running, so to speak, have been for naught. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Do you think that works with the problem of pneumonia?


Thursday, December 11, 2008

That's one confused shark


My daughter is a silly one. She and my husband like to play shark. I guess it's more of a land shark though, since they've never played it in the water.

Anyway, do you remember the song from Jaws? For those who have been on another planet for the past 40 years, it goes something like this:

(Consider the funny cat just an added bonus.)

But back to my original story... Now that your memory is refreshed on what the song actually sounds like, close your eyes and picture an adorable little redhead sneaking up to you in shark mode saying, "Darn it, darn it darn it..."

She's never quite gotten it down. And while it is pretty cute when she does it, I don't think it's having the desired effect. It's made even more amusing these days since she has so few teeth left in the front. She must be one of those toothless sharks I've heard so much about.

So if you're ever alone and you hear "darn it darn it" to the theme from Jaws, just know that your number is up and you are about to be gummed to pieces.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What am I going to do with four calling birds?


I've often wondered about the 12 Days of Christmas. What are they really and am I getting ripped off in the gift department?

So, I spent some quality time today at the fountain of all knowledge - the internet. And do you know what I found out? No one can agree on what, or even when, the 12 Days of Christmas are.

So why must we be constantly annoyed by the song every year?! The repetition drives me crazy! Yes, there are worse songs out there (don't even get me started on "Feliz Navidad"), but still, do we need to sing about seven swans a-swimming to get into the holiday spirit?

I must admit, the Scottish side of me doesn't mind the 11 pipers piping (as long as they really know their way around the bagpipes).

And just to prove that I'm not a total Scrooge, there is one version of the song that I do like. So, here it is - enjoy! And if you do celebrate 12 days of Christmas, I hope that they're very merry for you! (Whenever they are...)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My, what big teeth you have!

My daughter and I had appointments with the dentist today. I was getting my teeth cleaned and she was getting her first filling.

Before going in, we talked about what was going to happen and even read a book about going to the dentist. My daughter didn't seem at all worried about what was going to happen. I think it's because she gets completely spoiled by everyone in the office and because the dentist brings her wonderful dog into the office. Pretty nice, huh?

Anyway, I went into one room and she went into another and everything was going fine...

Then came the shrieks, wails and whining. And yes, everyone in the office could hear it. It was pretty embarrassing...

Did I mention that my daughter was already done by this time?

Yup, she didn't even need a shot to numb her up because the cavity didn't go very deep.

Maybe they should have given me the shot. I'm guessing that they wished they had! I'm such a big baby. And they're really gentle!

With all the fuss I was making, you'd think that I had Steve Martin for a dentist...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Torture, I tell you!


It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Yup, end of days and gnashing of teeth kind of stuff.

What could possibly be so bad?

My internet has been down!

I know, you're wondering how I could possibly survive such trauma. It hasn't been easy, let me tell you. It's not like I could just go and do something else - I had to keep checking my computer to see if my service was working again! All. Day. Long.

And really, what else IS there to do besides get on the internet? How did any of us survive before computers?

I just hope that it doesn't go out ag


Friday, December 5, 2008


Every year I have big plans to get all my Christmas decorations up Thanksgiving weekend. Yup, big plans. Does it ever happen? No.

This year was no different. We managed to get the tree up and decorated and my husband hung the Christmas lights. Each year at this house I've managed to get up a few more decorations than the year before, but I have yet to get them all up before Christmas. And really, what's the use in putting them up after Christmas? So, I guess I'd better get more done this weekend... But for now, the rest remain in red and green tubs out in the garage.

Okay, that's not completely true. I have one Christmas decoration that's out all year long. It's my my husband's beloved leg lamp. I bought it for myself him a few years back. I have it proudly displayed in my front window all year long, although I usually only turn it on at Christmastime. Oh, the warm glow...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On my honor...


Guess who volunteered to be a Girl Scout leader...? I'm co-leading a Daisy troop - that's kindergarteners and first graders. Did I mention that it's at my house?


Because I laugh in the face of danger!

Okay, it's because my daughter asked me to. It's not like she's going to be asking me to hang around her forever. So, I did it.

We had our first meeting today and before that I kept picturing a scene out of Kindergarten Cop.


I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. But can someone please tell me how 5 and 6 year olds can still have so much energy at the end of the day? I'm completely wiped out! Oh, and this:


Didn't happen. There were no smiling little girls happily cleaning up after themselves. Oh yes, this will change.

In the meantime, does anyone know how to get glitter glue off the kitchen table?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And now for some shameless pandering...

Do you see those three black buttons on the right side of your screen? Don'tcha just want to click on them? No really, go ahead. I'll wait. And while you're there, feel free to vote for me!
Yes, it's shameless pandering.
And what do I get from your votes? Fame and glory, of course! Okay, maybe not fame and glory, but definitely bragging rights. Does that make me needy?
C'mon, don't make me beg - it wouldn't be pretty...
And yes, I can touch my tongue to my nose.