Archive for November, 2008

…is to lose that tooth!

Yep,  The Girl has her very first loose tooth.  She has been waiting for this to happen for quite some time, and she’s very excited.  What’s funny is that this morning when she told us that it hurt when she bit things, “so it must be loose”, we completely blew it off.  Then she said it again at dinner, so I felt it, and sure enough, it’s loose.  So loose, that I bet if she works at it, it’ll come out by the end of the week!

Now…who wants to fly to CA to pull that sucker?  Because I’m fairly certain Brian can’t do it, because he doesn’t care for the blood, and I can’t do it because teeth gross me out.  And The Boy can’t do it because when she let him wiggle it, he was so grossed out that he almost barfed right in her mouth.  So, who’s in?  Come on!  I know there is someone out there that wants to come pull this tooth!


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Before I tell you about my day, let me first say that I was not one of the crazy people waiting in lines at 4am, and I did not engage in any herd mentality.  My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones today because of the stupid, greedy, disrespectful people who have truly lost the True Meaning of Christmas.

That being said, I did shop today, and I was out there at 6am.  I live for Black Friday.  This day and Christmas Eve are my favorite days to shop.  It’s not for the deals…this is what gets me in the spirit of the holidays.  I felt I needed a kick start because of the lack of snow this year (no, I don’t miss it, I’m just saying).  Anyway, this is how my day went:

5:45 am:  Roll my turkey-laden body from my nice, comfortable, warm bed.

6:02 am:  Curse that there is frost on my car window.  This is California, for crying out loud!

6:05 am:  Arrive at Walmart (it’s right across the street…don’t worry, I didn’t speed).  Spend about 10 minutes looking for a decent parking place.  Settle for one that was in Timbuktu.

6:15 am:  Say “Holy Hell” for the first of many times when I see the insanity that is Walmart on Black Friday.  Get a coffee at the McDonald’s which is conveniently located in the store.  Spend 5 minutes trying to find a cart.

6:25 am-7:10 am:  Walk around the kids clothing section looking for the $4 pajamas that were in the ad.  They were already gone.  Pick up two other pair.  Head for the toy department.  Find a few of the items I came for.  Spend several minutes in a discussion with a perfect stranger (who was possibly the only one in the store, besides myself, who spoke English), with both of us trying to decide if the stuffed animal I was holding was a cat or a dog.  Decided it was a dog, and kept looking.  Found a cat, but it was the wrong color.  Keep looking.  Decide to buy wrong colored cat.  Witness several pushing/shoving/swearing incidents over items that were either a) not a good gift, b) not a great deal, or c) just plain stupid to be fighting over because I found all of them at Toys R Us for a better price.  Find some great movies for The Boy (Spiderman!) for $2.  Put them in cart.  Try to get to the front of the store.  Get halfway there and realize that if I want to get out alive, I’m gong to have to ditch the cart.  Go down a random aisle, ditch the cart and the pajamas that I picked up earlier.  Head to the cashier.  Wait in line for 15 minutes while sweating buckets because they have the heat on…Hello?  There are a million people in your store…don’t think we need the heat!  Stand in astonishment when the poorly dressed man in front of me (with his 3 SCREAMING children, still in their pajamas) plops down $400 cash on toys, clothes, a microwave, and of course, a gigantic tv.  Pay for my $17 worth of stuff, and get the hell outta there.

7:12 am – Breathe fresh air for the first time in an hour.

7:15 am:  Lock my stuff in the car and start walking to Toys R Us.  Laugh at the guy who thought he was going to get my parking spot.

7:17 am:  Walk into Toys R Us.  Find no carts.  Decide I can use a hand basket.  Say “Holy Hell” again because it’s just as bad as Walmart.

7:18 am – 7:40 am:  Walk around the store, pick up a few things that were good deals.  Get berated by an employee because OTHER PEOPLE (not me, I didn’t use the price scanner, I swear!) left a huge pile of crap by the price scanner and she had to put it away, and she has to work till 1:00 pm and then go work her second job at 3:00 pm.  Bite my tongue to keep from saying “Poor baby, having two jobs must be so hard.  Perhaps you should give one up so someone might have a chance to feed their family.”  Head toward electronics.  Find out that they are only allowing one person at a time to enter the electronics department, and there is a HUGE line to get in there.  Decide it’s not worth it, ditch my hand basket (sorry mean employee, more for you to put away) and leave.

7:43 am:  Back at the car.  Drive to Target.

7:58 am:  Arrive at Target.  Find a parking spot with ease.  I’m pleased.

8:00 am:  Find that there are no carts. I’m less pleased.

8:01 am:  Find a cart.  I’m pleased again.

8:02-9:05am:  Calmly peruse the aisles.  Toy department was a little picked over, and they didn’t have what I went there for, but it wasn’t on sale anyway, so I was cool with it.  Rejoice with a lady who got the last Wii Fit.  Find some more cheap, but good, movies for the kids.  Bought some advent calendars…but wonder why they are not religiously themed.  Got a stocking stuffer for The Girl.  Found the line that I had to wait in before I was assigned a cash register.  Was through that line and paid for myself in under 2 minutes.  I am pleased.

9:06 am:  Step outside and realize that I am STARVING.  Begin quest for breakfast.

9:15 am:  Find McDonalds in a Kmart parking lot.  Order Sausage McMuffin with no egg, hashbrowns, and a caramel iced coffee.  Eat in Kmart parking lot.

9:30 am-10:00 am:  Enter Kmart.  Find a cart right away, and also find that the store is fairly calm.  Spend some time perusing.  Found the toys I was looking for at Target.  Found pajamas for the kids that were BOGO, and super cute.  Looked at what I want to get Brian, but decided to wait on it for now.  Go get in line.  Not too long of a line, but slow moving.  Found a box of candy canes, remembered that I wanted to get some for the kids.  Wait some more.  Finally pay, and leave.

10:00 am – 10:05 am – debate with myself on whether or not I feel like going to the mall.  Decide against it.

10:05 am – 10:35 am:  Go to Michael’s.  Wander aimlessly for a while.  Have minor panic attack because I left my phone in the car.  Find a cute craft project for the kids to make for the grandparents and Godparents.  Find a great deal on a craft set for The Girl.  Pay using my 25% off doorbuster coupon. 

10:36 am – 10:50 am:  Go to Payless to look for shoes for the kids…yeah…the kids.  Am the only shopper in the store.  Have brief conversation with only employee in the store.  Silently embrace and relish in the silence.  Leave without buying anything.

11:00 am – ish – Get home.  Find Brian and kids playing a game.  Join the game.  Fall asleep on the couch while playing the game. 

12:00 pm – Wake up to find Brian making lunch for the kids.  Eat some leftovers. 

Spend the rest of the day hanging out with the kids, cleaning the house (sorta), and finishing the Christmas decorations.  The Girl didn’t feel well this evening, so they were pretty calm. 

Now the kids are in bed and Brian is at work for another hour or so.  I am trying to decide whether I should stay up and wait for him, or hit the hay.  I’m really leaning toward the hay…..

Oh, by the way, I’m almost done shopping!  🙂

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A Better List

Photo by William Dalton

The other day was a bad day, and I took it out on the internet by posting a list of complaints. I feel better today, and, in the spirit of Thankgiving, I will post a list of what I am thankful for. Please add your comments and tell me what you are thankful for!

I’m thankful for Brian. He is the best husband anyone could ever ask for, and an awesome dad. I am thankful that, because he has sacrificed his career for mine, he is able to stay home with the kids during the day, and I’m thankful that he is willing to work at night to bring in extra income.

I’m so thankful for our kids. They are beautiful and funny and smart. They bring so much joy into our family. They are so caring of others, and say things that make my heart melt. I’m thankful for their super-awesome hugs and their tiny kisses. I’m thankful to be able to snuggle with them on the couch and hold their little hands when we walk.

I’m thankful for my job. I love what I do, I love the people I work with and the people I work for. I’m so happy to have been able to transfer within my company from Michigan to California. I am so thankful to work for such a family oriented company.

I’m thankful that we live in California. Last year, I vowed that we would not spend another winter in Michigan. I’m thankful that I was able to keep that vow. Even though it’s rainy today, I’m so thankful that it’s not snow.

I’m thankful for our extended family. I’m thankful that my mom is coming to stay with us for a month, because I miss her. I’m thankful that she has people to help her out now that we have moved. I’m thankful for Brian’s mom, and her incredible generosity. I’m thankful for all of our siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I’m thankful for our friends, both new and old. I’m so thankful that some new friends invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. It means the world to me that they would think of us. And I’m thankful for all of our friends back home who emailed us to make sure we were ok when the fires were raging around us.

I’m thankful for the internet, for allowing us to keep in contact with our family and friends.

I’m thankful that we found a new church.

I have been blessed in so many ways that I can’t possibly list them all here. This is a good start. Please, list what you are thankful for in the comments.

I hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving!

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You Wanna Know What Bugs Me?

photo by chrissie2003

Be forewarned. This is a series of rants. I just gotta get it out.

It seriously bugs me when I have a really slow day at work, and all I can think about is how much stuff I could be doing at home.

It really REALLY bugs me that The Girl has a new habit of lying about EVERYTHING. Even the tiniest things that she would never get in trouble for anyway, she lies! Why????  (Today we decided to make her write sentences whenever she lies to us.  I’ll let you know if it works)

My carpet bugs me. It’s sorta, I don’t know, creamish colored. And the parking lot in the apartment complex is blacktop. So, every few weeks I have to spot clean the nasty blackness out of the carpet. And we don’t even wear shoes in the house!

Clutter bugs me. Mainly because I cannot, no matter what I do, get rid of it.

It really bugs me when I go grocery shopping and my groceries are not bagged correctly. I always group my groceries in accordance with how I want them bagged, and inevitably, I end up with chicken in the same bag with apples, or feminine hygiene products in the bag with cold, wet milk. And why do people in California INSIST on putting milk in bags anyway? It has a handle! It doesn’t need a bag! Same goes for laundry detergent! (wow, this one really bugs me)…

I’m bugged by whining.

Stupid people bug me.

People who are still driving around with election-themed bumper stickers really bug me. HELLO? McCain lost and now you just look dumb. And you, with the Obama sticker! Stop bragging!

I feel better now. Thanks for reading. Or not. Whatever.

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To The Boy

Dear Boy,

What can I say about this last year? You have grown so much, that I really don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start in the beginning.

In January, you turned 3. At that time, you were still in diapers, and a lot of people couldn’t understand a lot of what you said. Now, you are totally potty trained, and everyone can understand you. Back in January, none of us could’ve imagined what this year would bring.

In February, mommy got a new job in California. The whole month of March was spent packing up all of our stuff, getting ready to move. I’m sure you were scared and confused, but you never let on. Such a little man. Then, in April, we moved. You were so sad when you realized that we wouldn’t see TeTe or your friends from our neighborhood as often. But, you were a trooper, and I am so proud of you for that. You still get sad every now and then, but overall, you are doing really well.

Since we’ve lived here, you have grown about 4 or 5 inches….maybe even 6. You are no longer my baby boy, but my big boy. I think you might pass up your sister in height by the time Easter comes around…heck, you might do it by Christmas at the rate you are going!

You started taking hip-hop dance classes a few months ago. While they have been fun, and you’ve learned some sweet moves, the best part is that you have really become much more outgoing. You are able to walk up to another kid and ask them to play. That never would’ve happened 5 or 6 months ago…you were so shy with kids you didn’t know. And I love to watch you dance. You have such good rhythm, and I can tell that you really love to dance. I hope that you always follow your dreams, whether it be dance, or sports, or music, or whatever. Just know that I am proud of you.

We’ve gone to the ocean a few times since we’ve lived here. You like to look at it, but you are scared to death of the water. I can’t say I blame you. I’m scared of it to. But, as scared as you are of the ocean, you love the pool! I love to watch you swim around in your little trunks, floaties, and swimmie ring! You are just like your sister in that regard.

There are times when you really test Daddy and my nerves….but you are three. I always have to remind myself of that, because so often, you act so much older. Everyone we meet is so surprised at how well behaved you are (most of the time). In those moments, I am reminded of what a good kid you are.

Oh! And you are so funny! You make the funniest faces, and crack the funniest jokes! Whie knock-knock jokes are not your forte, you really are hilarious. Not a day goes by when you don’t make us all laugh. That, young sir, is a quality that will get you far in life. You have to have the ability to laugh at yourself, and to make others laugh.

So, Boy, it’s a little less than a week until Thanksgiving. I want you to know that I am so thankful for you. I’m thankful that you make us laugh. I’m thankful that you give awesome hugs. I’m thankful when you put your cute little boy hand in mine. And most of all, I’m thankful that you are my son.


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To The Girl

Dear Girl,

A lot has happened in the past year. We moved to California. You have made friends, and lost frends. You lost a pet, and gained a new pet. You started a new school, and a new grade. You’ve auditioned for a commercial and got the part. You turned six. You were in a play. You have grown up so much this year. I want you to know that I am so proud of you.

Since this January, you have made me proud in a million ways. This past month, the month of November, though, has been amazing. There have been a few things that you have done that have made me want to burst with pride. They aren’t huge things. They aren’t earth shattering. But they are things that make me proud to be your mom and have shown me that you really are growing up.

Earlier this month, we went to the pet store, and you said that you wanted a mouse. I said that you could have a mouse, but that you would have to save up your money and buy it yourself. You, rather than protesting, agreed that this was fair, and asked how much money you would need. I told you $40.00, for the mouse and cage and food and everything. Then, when we went to the free movie night at the school, you did spend some of your money on snacks, but didn’t spend it all, because you wanted to save some for your mouse. Was that a huge thing? No, it wasn’t. But it showed that you understood the idea of saving up for something you really want, and that is a huge life lesson.

Another thing that happened this month was that you and I had several very candid conversations about Santa Clause. You told me that your friend told you that Santa does not exist, and you asked me if it was true. I told you that Santa Clause is the spirit of Christmas, and exists for all those who believe in him. You were very concerned about your friend’s Christmas fate, and wanted to be certain that she would still receive gifts. I assured you that her mom and dad would make sure she got gifts, even if Santa couldn’t. This made you feel a little better, but you were still sad that she didn’t believe in Santa. Why did this make me proud? Because you weren’t concerned about yourself, but about your friend.

In another Santa conversation, I explained to you that Santa won’t bring as many gifts this year because he knows that our apartment is smaller than our house in Michigan, and he would want to be sure that your new toys would fit. I also explained that, because you are older, your gifts might not be big things like you’ve gotten in the past, but rather more grown up items. You seemed to understand this, and even seemed excited. 🙂

Another conversation we had was when we talked about how we all need to pitch in around the house, and we need to work as a family. You were, in that moment, happy to help me with whatever chore we were doing (I think it was clearing and setting the table). I can only hope that I can help you understand that this applies to your room too!

The last thing that I want to tell you today is that I am so proud of how well you are doing in school. Last week, when you read four Junie B. Jones books in two short days, you reminded me so much of myself at your age. I hope that your love for reading follows you through your whole life, as my love for reading has. I was also so happy with your report card, and with all of the nice things that your teacher had to say about you at parent-teacher conferences. And the other day, when you sat down with your Bible and read the first chapter of Genesis on your own, I was amazed at your faith.

So, in this week before Thanksgiving, I want to tell you Thank You. Thank you for being a great kid. Thank you for being so thoughtful of others. Thank you for being so kind. And, most importantly, thank you for being my daughter.

I love you, Girl!


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It’s Never Too Late

Well, I sorta forgot about posting some links to good blogs this week, so I’ll do it today.  But first, I want to share a few things that happened here over the past few days:

– I had my annual review at work, even though I’ve only been there 7 months.  It went really well, and I got some great feedback.  I also got a spa gift card, and the promise of a raise, so I couldn’t be happier.

– Brian got another job!  He has been looking for something for almost 2 months now, and while this new job is still part-time, there is great potential for future management and full-time employment with the company.  He’ll keep his job at the mall for now, and might even keep it after he goes full-time.  For now, though, we are so thankful for this opportunity.

-There are fires raging all around Southern California right now, but so far, we have been blessed that they have stayed away from us.  Last night, we could see some small fires on a mountain to our east, but they have remained there.  Just in case, though, we do have some stuff packed, and we have friends (my boss) who have offered to let us go with them to Bakersfield if we get evacuated.

– Finally, we got a phone call yesterday from some friends of ours who have invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner.  We are very excited to have somewhere to go, where we can be in the company of friends, and where the kids will also be in the company of friends.  And I am thankful that I don’t have to cook a turkey!

Now, on to some links:
Parenting Stuff
The first is a touching story over at Rocks In My Dryer about what we remember. It’s a good thing to read when you are having a bad day.

The second is an awesome post from Whiskey In My Sippy Cup about what we hope and pray they DON’T remember!

Other Stuff

At CleverDude, a guest poster discusses Church Shopping and Clever Dude talks about how his prosperity wasn’t luck.

Rocks In My Dryer writes an open letter to the paparazzi.

Gathering Little By Little talks about tipping getting out of hand and about his expensive new family member.

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

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The Phone Call

I talked to The Girl’s teacher today.  She called about a half hour ago or so.  She was very apologetic and near tears.  She said that they did not watch a video of the Northridge Quake, but that they had been talking about it.  Then they went inside and she turned on the news to show the kids that all of the schools in the state were running this drill.  Unfortunately, they then showed the actors and actresses that were made up to look like they were injured…they do this so that emergency personnel can actively participate in the drill.  That is what The  Girl saw.

Her teacher must have apologized 100 times during the course of this phone call.  She thanked me for writing her the letter, and said that she will be more sensitive to this in the future.

I feel better now.

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Photo by aprilzosia

I got a phone call today from The Girl’s school. The very nice nurse called to tell me that The Girl felt like she was going to throw up. So, I called Brian, and he went to pick her up.

While I was waiting for Brian to call me to tell me if she was ok, I started thinking that she probably wasn’t sick. She tends to overreact to any little feeling in her stomach (ie, a stuck fart, the need to burp, you get the picture) and says she has to barf. I told my coworker that if it was something like that, I was going to be really mad. Then Brian called and told me what really happened, and I wasn’t mad anymore. I was furious and very worried about my little girl.

For those of you who do not live in earthquake country, we had a statewide earthquake drill this morning, The Great Shakeout. Some places went as far as to have volunteers pretend to be hurt or trapped so that emergency personnel could practice procedures. This, in itself, is a great thing. However, The Girl’s first grade teacher decided that it would be prudent to show a video of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Complete with devastation. To include people (by The Girl’s account, it was children) who were injured and bleeding. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? I totally understand the need for the drill, and I would even condone an animated video or even news footage, but 6 year olds do NOT need to see blood and gore. If it was a fire drill, would they show some kid running around on fire??? I think not.

So, back to my story. The Girl is incredibly sensitive. She cannot even handle cartoon blood. The thought of a loose tooth becoming bloody makes her want to forgo the Tooth Fairy and keep her baby teeth forever. So, of course, she became extremely upset seeing the images from the 1994 earthquake. Of course, I wasn’t there, but I’m guessing she had a full-fledged panic attack, which she interpreted as having to throw up. By the time Brian got to the school, she was fine and wanted to stay, buy of course, they couldn’t let her.

So, now I have to decide how to handle this situation. It is not ok that she got to come home because she was scared, and we treated her as though she was sick, making her lay on the couch all day. Basically, we did that to drive home the point that she can’t just say she’s sick and get to come home and play. But, what do I do on the school end? I really would like to rip the teacher a new one, but clearly, I have to work with her for the rest of the year, and I need her on our side. But she needs to know that The Girl cannot handle that kind of video.

What should I do??? Any suggestions?

Update: I wrote a letter to The Girl’s teacher explaining my concerns.  We have conferences next week, so if she doesn’t call me before then, I will talk to her about it at that time.  I’ll keep you posted.

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We unplugged the cable box at about this time last night.  We have made it through our first day with no real problems.  How did we do it?  One Word:  Hulu.  Well, and the dvd player, but I wanna talk about Hulu.

I read a lot of personal finance blogs, and I’ve read quite a few lately about Hulu.com.  Hulu.com is a  website that allows you to watch all of your favorite shows (like Heroes and Fringe, in our house) for free, on the internet.  It also has Spongbob Squarepants, iCarly, and most of the other shows that the kids like.

Now, you may be whining, “But I don’t wanna watch tv on my computer!”  We solved that too!  With a handy S-Video to S-Video cord, we just plug the computer into the tv, and use the tv as a second monitor!  Easy Peasy!  The biggest issue I have is that because of the length of the cord, we had to rearrange the living room, and it now looks a little, well, random, but that’s fine too.  I feel like I’m cheating the system, and I love it!

Now, obviously, this is not as convenient as cable, but it’s free, it works, and I don’t have to deal with Time Warner Cable anymore!  When I made that phone call this morning to tell them to turn off my cable and internet (we got a new, much cheaper, internet provider), it felt so liberating!  One day, when we are not so tight on cash, maybe we’ll get cable or a satellite dish again, but for now, I’m happy.

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