Thursday, December 31, 2009

a final (?) delicious thought

my seester just summited the challenge of Julia Child's boeuf bourgignone. clicking idly through links from that recipe, i came across this gorgeous description of replicating Julia's first dinner in France:

myself, i saw Julie and Julia earlier this year and was VERY inspired. no, i'm not going to make all the recipes in her seminal opus, but i'm inspired. ;) one of my two requests for Christmas was MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. it is delicious reading and i feel even _I_ can make boneless duck en croute, the final dish in the movie. Julia was a scientist in the kitchen and her descriptions of how and why to take each step are masterful, truly.

now that i've read this article, i'm inspired to travel to France again, and to visit this restaurant, and to clog my arteries with beautiful BUTT-er. (alas, if only my funds matched my inspiration.)

but that is a wonderful thought, mental picture, what-have-you, to end a year on. Bon appetit!


so, if i make 36 more posts before the end of the day, i'll have posted as much in December as i did in the rest of 2009 combined.

no, not gonna happen (do i sense relief, kim?). Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stray thoughts

my lolly is growing up WAY too fast. she recently started eating a TON and i'm waiting for her growth to explode. i'm FINALLY going to have to switch to #5 diapers (or maybe training pants? i have high hopes)!

just figured out why. she got another set of molars in the last month. i bet that makes it about 10 times easier to chew. she is always eating now - she can pound a clementine in under a minute! her absolute favorite food, though, is CHILI. just had some for lunch and her bowl was practically licked clean.

mommies worry about our kids eating enough, and eating right. i can worry less about this one. for now.


anxiety. decisions. fear.

i'm not making a "new year's" resolution, just a ME resolution. i'm going to work on ME this year. i'm an important person, too, and i am going to do things to help ME grow and be happy. been meditating this morning on how, when, where i'm coming from and where i'm going, and eradicating fear.

one of the best new "friends" i made in facebook is helping with this. she spends her days spreading sunshine and love, and embraces all who want to bask in her positive energy. she's a "game friend," don't know much about her, nor she me, but her posts make me feel more myself and wonderful ABOUT myself.

she posted about how she felt things were too good to be true with her recent move. and this is a note i wrote in reply to her today: "we moved into a place that was too BAD to be true in september and i feel trapped, can't leave until next sept. lots of fear on this, too. fear is the soul-killer, must shed it! it is what it is and i will get through this, too. have tried to forget that! thanks for all the beautiful reminders of how beautiful i am!"

mommies sometimes sacrifice too much for their children. seek out people who make you feel beautiful and loved, and don't forget that we are JUST as important as our children are and WE deserve to be happy, too! namaste!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

catching up

as Kim mentioned, i've been quite verbose this month.

i started on some medication for my anxiety about a month ago. coincidence? i don't think so. i'm feeling more like MYSELF than i have in ages. i just didn't realize how UN-like myself i had felt, it's a gradual slide. once things got just about rock bottom (i was mostly unable to function every day), i went and asked for help. yay!

thus, feeling better, i started posting more. when i realized JUST HOW MUCH i'd actually posted this month already, i started thinking i could maybe do 31 posts in a 31-day month. but only if i had something to say. when i'm MYSELF, there is never any doubt.

our move was so unequivocally HELLISH, and so hard on me. we have had at least TEN disasters as great as today's since mid-September, and it overwhelmed me so much and made me so depressed and anxious, I COULDN'T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. major red flag. when i talked with my 2 seesters one day about this, they told me to get myself to the MD and get some meds. which i did. thanks again, seesters!


DH brought home a used treadmill he found on Craigslist (for $75!) tonight. it's COLD, and it took about 20 minutes to get through the door (#1 son helped). the temp in the house plummeted. i'm still chilly.

but i got my christmas gift! i got both things i asked for, which is awesome! and dressing up lolly is a gift in itself; she got so many new clothes she still hasn't worn them all. so better days are coming, and we survived 2009! and we learned NOT to cross the MamaBear. :D

water restored

i got a return call from the water/city office. they said they DID have a connection order with the correct address on it, that had been CHANGED to the other address later, and presumably 'twas i who supplied the original address. so they asked me to come in and pay my past due bill and i'd be reconnected.

i went and paid my bill. they waived the $75 reconnect fee. something to do with plat maps and post office and city regs (some major screwed-up regs, no doubt), they had to have the address they did to provide service. but once they verify that i'm right (like there was any doubt), they'll waive the late fees, which are considerably smaller.

they did not try to argue with me at the office. i said, I am definitely het-up, but I'm not unreasonable; you only have to deal with one of the two right now. one of the ladies laughed (the supervisor) but the clerk was too frazzled. apparently they disconnect a lot of people's water the same day of the month.

i told her she needed a new job.

they even had a sign up at the office saying people who yell or curse will be removed. RED FLAG that their policies are nutso!

i did not ask but really wondered later: WHY DIDN'T THREE BILLS RETURNED WITH A BAD ADDRESS RAISE A RED FLAG??? i asked my mailman, even, wouldn't that mail be returned undeliverable? and he said yes, yes they would. i only have one mailbox, i verified several times that i knew my correct address.

the issue is not resolved, but my water IS restored. the supervisor took a copy of my electric bill (proof that i receive my bills at this address), and will have the financial guy look into it.

this house has been here for more than 50 years. how is this the first time they've encountered this issue??? i'm more than outraged. i am ready to pick up and move TODAY. instead, i took my kids to see The Princess and the Frog, which all 3 thoroughly enjoyed, and we're going to take a nap now.

thanks for sharing my outrage! do not cross the MamaBear!

oh my water

NB: i curse in this post. i did not curse on the phone to the customer service people. give me a little credit.

i just went downstairs to start the laundry. i have no clean clothes. i have 3 kids at home for Christmas break and they are going through laundry fast.

turned on the washer, added soap and OxyClean, and the water stopped. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. can you say OH SHIT?

the first thing that crossed my mind was "I haven't received a water bill since I moved into this house. I wonder if the idiots cut off my water???" i ran upstairs and tried the kitchen sink. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. oh shit indeed.

called DH to tell of the sitch, then the city.

it's my fault, of course.

gave them my address, name, etc. they said, "we don't have you at that address; we have you at this one." well, DUH, that would make getting bills difficult!

the problem is we live in an OLD house on a corner. the mailing address is one street. apparently the water meter is filed under the OTHER street. i didn't even know that street number; we don't use that door, it's not the address you give out, so why would i keep it filed in the gray matter?

they took it upon themselves to change the address for BILLING to the address for METER-READING. when i suggest this is what happened, i'm wrong, of course; they would never do that.

IF i come in and pay them, they will try to get someone out before 5:00. no, i can't pay the water guy.

so i spoke to a manager. and i admit i'm pretty worked up. i have NO water, i received NO bills, i have 3 kids at home, it isn't my fault, and i will be DAMNED if i wait until some nebulous "by 5:00" time, AFTER i haul my butt to THEIR office to pay the bill. i will also pay late fees and reconnect fees WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!

not the most efficient way to get the replies i want. *sigh* in the north, being a ball-busting bitch is the BEST way to get response. when we moved west, our realtor treated me like a stupid little lady, and when i got tough he told me he had no reason to want my business, but when i cried, i got results. I HATE THAT! in the south, being firm that their policies aren't good enough doesn't work, either.

the manager had a hard time listening to the problem because "THEY" would NEVER change the address. EVER. but i didn't even know it! the address _I_ provided would have gotten me a damn bill! she says, you were told the policy that we bill monthly when you activated the account. sure, but i didn't MEMORIZE it! i don't think about my water bill every damn day! i have lived in other cities where the bill was every other month; i just figured it would come eventually. and got caught up in other things. because my water bill is not my life. until today.

so she said she would look at the papers i filled out when i activated the account. i said, fine, you can prove i'm telling the truth. i told the woman, IF THIS WAS YOU, YOU'D BE FURIOUS. she didn't want to admit it but eventually said, yeah, i would.

ok. i'm calmer now. i just want somebody to understand that this is a major problem and i didn't cause it. yeah, i might have prevented it, but if a type-A person like me can't worry about what bill has come when, who would?

i'm awaiting a return call. i'm dressed in dirty clothes and ready to go to her office once i get it, to pay what i must and appeal the fees they are sure to have assessed.

do not cross the MamaBear!

Monday, December 28, 2009

is it pathetic?

I dreamed last night that DH morphed into the loving, attentive, caring, kind man I had believed he was and always hoped he'd be. Is that pathetic?

Then I got up and he'd made the coffee. weird.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

tree update

we didn't fully decorate the christmas tree because things were so hectic. the boys were talking about that, and i said "you can still decorate it!"

DH said, yeah, YOU can haul the ornaments up, put them on, and then when it's time to take them down, you can do that, and put them away, too, cuz I AIN'T DOIN' IT!

what a scrooge.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


the in-laws gave the boys "Harry Potter Clue." didn't get too excited, clue can be really boring.

Harry Potter Clue is not boring. it is AWESOME! it has some GREAT HP elements, random stuff, many secret passages, and is MUCH more fun and engaging than classic clue. we give it 6 thumbs up!

and just READING "The Art of French Cooking" is rewarding. good Christmas!

Christmas guests and feasts

i've been too busy with reality to post to the blog the past few days, lol. gotta love it when things work that way; that's a good life. and this is a LONG post about all the past few days; be warned!

dear sister-in-law (SIL) needed cataract surgery and last week they scheduled her for 12/23 (wed.), at Duke (which we're very close to). anyone who has had eye surgery knows that they require you to come back the next day for a checkup. so we planned to celebrate christmas with them early, and for them to stay over so they didn't have to drive back and forth and forth and back for the recheck.

tuesday they got the news that the surgery time was VERY early. they planned to drop off nephew4 and niece3 after checking in, but because cataract surgery is a very short procedure, they wouldn't let BIL leave, or they wouldn't do the surgery.

so they all showed up about 11 a.m., SIL VERY groggy - anesthesia really hits her hard - and everyone kind of dozy. we got SIL tucked into the recliner and she was out. i made some lunch (ham biscuits) for everyone and chased the boys outside (niece3's boyfriend picked her up, they have a long-distance relationship and take every opportunity to get together. nice.).

lolly ate a ham sandwich (the special, non-cured ham, because of her allergy), and i tucked her into BIL's lap while they watched a movie. she was hungry again (!) and ate two clementines and some popcorn (she shared). BIL is too skinny so i was glad he sat down for a quiet time and had a snack!

i got busy in the kitchen, between visiting briefly. made some smashed sweets (which i boil the heck out of whole, takes forever but the skins WIPE off afterward) and some cranberry relish. after the movie BIL took all 3 boys out shopping and for an oil change. and i tucked lolly in for a nap.

finally had some work there and worked for an hour or two. BIL came back with a CHRISTMAS TREE. we had not gotten around to deciding to have one and had just hung up last year's gorgeous gold christmas tree quilt. he came back with a little (skinny) tree and lights, and the boys helped him assemble the tree, and lolly helped put the lights on while the boys went back outside.

it was so nice having some peace - my sons get along better with the cousin around, which is awesome. and i about choked up when he brought a TREE back with him! obviously we don't have a huge emotional investment in a tree, but the thought behind it just overwhelmed me.

then i delegated him to cutting up chicken. orange chicken was on the menu and i had set aside 5 pounds (i didn't know if niece3 and her boyfriend would be there for dinner, and the BF is a BIG guy with a matching appetite) of chicken to make. BIL had it cut up in about 10 minutes - it takes ME that long to do the 1.5 to 2 pounds i usually make! (of course, i trim it well and knock off the yucky bits, but leaving them in really didn't make any difference to the finished product. i may not do this in the future!)

SIL woke up and was less groggy, so i put her on a chair in the kitchen while i breaded and pan-fried 5 pounds of chicken, then made orange sauce to go over it, also made rice and broccoli because you HAVE to have them with orange chicken. it took about a half hour to cook but EVERYONE ate it up yum and was very complimentary. and smashed sweets go really well with it, yay!

#2 son hadn't had a birthday cake so i made one for him earlier in the afternoon (i was a busy girl). we opened presents and had some cake, and stayed up late watching movies - edward scissorhands, a gift. lolly got a dolly and some talking cleaning things (vacuum, broom, trash can, iron), so she was in lolly heaven. clothes for all the kids and a video game for the brothers, and books for DH and myself. SIL brought gifts from other SIL in PA, whom she had recently visited, so there were lots of gifts to open for the kids; lots of fun!

got everyone to bed, everyone actually SLEPT! the 3 boys slept on couches and the 3 guests in their beds; #1 son has a double.

next morning BIL and SIL left early to go to the doctor, and we planned to meet up for brunch after the appointment. we left as planned to go to the diner, but the doctor visit held them up the whole time, they got there when we finished breakfast. :( and had to hurry home and SIL was pooped. but it was a great visit; when we visit them, they're always running like chickens, and it was really nice to get to sit and talk with THEM on downtime.

so, Christmas Eve, and i hadn't wrapped any presents for the sons. plus i planned a nice dinner. we came back from the diner and i made a potroast. DH put the baby down for a nap and i tried to work. not much work this time of year but they have to have coverage. set the bickering brothers to scraping carrots and washing potatoes, hahaha! then i sliced up carrots and put them in the steamer basket over the pot of boiling potatoes. quit work when those were done and smashed the potatoes, sliced the roast, and dinner was on the table! it was a killer roast; we made one a couple of weeks ago that was WAY too fatty and we didn't even keep the leftovers, they were too greasy. this one was PERFECT; i made it with lipton onion and mushroom soup mix and it was divine. PS - the carrots were DIVINE - tasted buttered though they weren't. bagged carrots have no flavor, and we've converted back to scraping carrots. :D

then i got to go wrap presents - WAIT! DH hadn't wrapped his yet! so i had to wait. by the time i was done, it was 9:30. relaxed for a little while, then opened christmas eve presents (jammies, a tradition). and chased everyone to bed. too tired to do stockings; my kids never get up early for christmas so i said i'd do it in the morning.

christmas morning, i got up at 7 and sneaked off to stuff stockings, then DH did the same, and after that the kids started waking up (~7:30). the first thing lolly said as she went down the stairs was "where's uncle P?" she's so sweet. she looked in her stocking and said "a candy cane! for me!" i could've quit after getting candy canes!

lolly got LOTS of clothes from various relatives. it's so fun buying little girl clothes, and she LOVES to dress herself and wear pretty clothes. i had to forcibly stop her putting them all on at once. brothers got books and Guitar Hero and a punching bag. i got Julia Child's cookbook which i asked for, but not the treadmill (still shopping for it, i'm afraid), and books.

i had searched and searched for that dancy dance dress and lolly LOVED it! it's a tutu that just pulls over all clothes, and i got her real dancy dance shoes, and she put them all on and danced and danced. when she stopped dancing she took them off and put them away. and when she wanted to dance some more, she put them back on. we didn't have to explain a thing to her. we DO have to find a dance class for her next summer; she's a dancy-dance girl!

lolly got a good nap with me, and i got what i REALLY wanted for christmas - no fighting for a whole day, and peace! had fun playing a little guitar hero and lounging about eating bon-bons. then i made a lovely salmon crusted with pecans for dinner. it was a hit!

i've cooked and shopped and wrapped and i'm in kind of a let-down right now but a good feeling anyway. i told DH i was doing 3 big dinners in a row and he was on duty for the rest of the weekend, lol! that was my christmas - guests, cooking, the leisure to enjoy cooking instead of the chore cooking usually is, and some peace with my family. i sure hope yours was as awesome as mine was!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

finally 10

#2 son hit double digits on monday. his gift: the dearest wish of his heart, a skateboard. (we've become a board family since #1 son's birthday this year.) he's a great kid, a scatter-brained genius.

#1 son has been having struggles at school with grades, mainly make-up work when absent, and forcing himself to do the part he detests, and letting one class slide while working on getting his grade up in another. sadly, this means he has been grounded from computer games for some time and didn't get his grades up enough to play over christmas break.

#2 son wrote me a note asking if i would let #1 son play computer games with him on his birthday, as a GIFT to #2. just melted my heart.

and of course, i said yes.

he truly is a great kid. (the other one is, too, just hitting the impossible ages.)

you have GOT to be kidding!

i came downstairs after working up a good sweat wrapping prezzies (not sure how that happened, but it's fact). DH was throwing something away - a white lunch bag that said "to mom and dad, from angela." he had taken it from LaLa.

i turn around and princess has a painted wood star in her hand. i say, "oh, no, baby, we have to wait for christmas to open the prezzies!"

DH immediately says, oh, _I_ opened it! i wasn't sure WHAT it was from, mother's day or something, so i opened it.

it's 3 days to christmas, and you couldn't figure out that it might be a Christmas gift? WTF? he is getting more senile every day, and at 50, that ain't good. i'm just appalled and kinda speechless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

now that's customer service!

it's so rare anymore to get GOOD customer service, i have to brag.

after shopping yesterday, coming home at dusk, i stopped at bojangle's for dinner. for those who do not live near a bojangle's, i apologize. it's a sad, empty life you lead.

i ordered the tailgater special, which is chicken, biscuits, sides, and a half-gallon of iced tea. everybody do a homer and gargle your tongue. we had to wait a few minutes for one of the sides, and proceeded home.


let me describe bo's biscuits. no, let me confess the inadequacy of words to describe them. they are lovely southern bits of heaven. crispy outside, fluffy steamy white perfection inside, yes they really are this good.

to not get my biscuits REALLY upset me. i had to overindulge in ice cream.

so, while out today, i returned to bo's and whined.

the tailgater special comes with 4 biscuits.

they sent me home with A DOZEN free biscuits AND an apology.

merry christmas, bojangle's manager. you totally rock.

... and i survived!

it was actually rather nice shopping yesterday. the storm was over, but MANY many people stayed home, fearing to brave the cold and the snow. so it wasn't madness as one would expect on the last saturday before christmas.

i got #2 son's skateboard, yay! the second EE did not have chairs either. i will have to go to the first one again tomorrow and see if they got more in. also spent WAY too much time and energy at the mothership searching for dancy-dance dresses that didn't cost more than i'd spent on the rest of the family combined... i exaggerate. a little.

so things are coming together. i have one little project to finish today before shipping tomorrow. the kids are off school so i won't have to torment the princess dragging her to the post office the MONDAY before christmas, lol. and i have to start wrapping...

SIL is spending the night 12/23, so i have lots to do! as do we all. happy christmas to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i'm off

braving the elements AND the crowds (though given how much of the former we've had overnight, we'll likely have much less of the latter) to try to finish things up today. #2 son turns 10 on monday and i hadn't gotten his prezzie yet because i planned to get it yesterday. instead we watched the snow fall and cursed. lots. but i stayed in my jammies and survived it. :D

further bulletins as events warrant...

Friday, December 18, 2009

baby it's cold outside

it is SNOWING. i cannot express how unhappy this makes me. i do not live in North Carolina for love of snow, far from it! also i'm over-sensitive to the cold so i'm uncomfortable unless bundled up well when it is truly cold (some of these thin-blooded southerners break out the parkas at 50 degrees, while i'm still in capris and t-shirts).

let it snow SOMEWHERE ELSE is MY motto. bah humbug!

somebody's getting COAL

princess woke up and i went to put in a christmas movie for her. our DVD player died when we moved so we got a new DVD/VCR combo - we still have a lot of VHS tapes, kid movies mostly, and you can't even BUY a VCR anymore, just the combo, or a DVD player.

i went to put in Santa Clause, which is a VHS. it spit back out. tried 3 times, same result. hm. is it the tape? went to put in a different tape, tried 3 times, just spit back out. eek! is it my player? have we even USED the VCR part since we bought it? what if it doesn't work - i probably can't even get them to fix it after 3 months. ARGH!

let me peek inside and see if i can guess what the problem is. yeah, it's kinda like opening the hood of your car and peeking inside, but hey, might as well try, right?

there were THREE dvd's in the VCR compartment. i'm surprised the tapes went in at all. had to contort my arm to get my fingers in and pry them out (actually had to push them in farther to get them out). tried santa clause again. it's playing now.

three guesses who did this and the first two don't count? i'm not even asking. i know who it was. and she is getting COAL in her stocking!

only 7 days until Christmas!

i went to Target the day after the EE. no chairs. did get some things there that i had planned for, but i still need a dancy-dance dress; princess was with me and i couldn't shop. she wanted them all.

also hit Trader Joe's. not for Christmas but just because I LOVE THAT STORE! i wish it were a franchise because i'd open one in utah valley next week.

then yesterday we got Border's in. this marked a few names right off my list! whee! i love gettin' 'er done! lolly wanted a flashy-light ball, which i was prepared to get and hide, but then she saw a ty panda bear, and she was sleepy, and he was so soft and cuddly. i let her hold him and look at him, and when you have a sleepy 2-year-old you should NOT let them hold a stuffed animal unless you intend to purchase it. *sigh* which i then did. she introduced him to her favorite toy immediately. Poppy, this is panda - see? worth it right there.

still need to get to Play It Again Sports for #2 son's birthday present, but there's a winter storm headed this way (which just aggravates me NO END!), and it might not get done before his birthday monday. :( i have to return to my favorite stores once more WITHOUT the princess to finish up the little things (like tutus and guitar hero fake-outs), but i'm getting very close to done. i'll wrap and prepare things and ship monday to those that must be shipped.

i planned things out a week ago, what stores to hit in what order, and i must say things have really gone quite smoothly. we may not get the video-game chairs, but that's ok. they were the icing, not the cake.

how's everyone's prep going?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

yesterday's dollar

so we went to the Evil Empire yesterday, as previously posted. the Salvation Army was ringing their bells out front, so i fished out a dollar for Lolly to put in the bucket. i gave it to her all folded up, and helped her out of the cart so she could reach the bucket. she tried to put the long side in and it wasn't fitting. so i told her she had to put the OTHER side in.

she promptly turned it 180 degrees and tried to put the other long side in the slot. the bell ringer and i were both LMAO/LHAO and so proud of Lolly's smartitude. reached over and helped her turn it 90 degrees so we could get it in the bucket and go in the store! it's chilly when you stand still in the shade!

every day is a learning experience when you're 2. and when you're the mother of a 2, every day is an exercise in patience. good thing i built mine up with the first two kids. :D

my favorite kid

i tease my children every day.

#1 son: "mom, can i play on the computer?" No. "why not?" Because you're not my favorite kid.

#2 son, on hearing this: "mom, can _I_ play on the computer?" No. "why not?" Because you're not my favorite kid, either.

at this point, the 3 of us are laughing out loud. the sons figured out that lolly must be my favorite, although to be honest, i had forgotten she was a "kid" too in that exchange.

DH pipes up. "Only Mom can play on the computer because she loves herSELF best."

me: Oh, no. If I loved ME best, things would be a LOT different around here!


AGE - Mavrakos

they did it again. they seduced me into blogging about another company.

Mavrakos is a chocolate company in St. Louis with a long tradition and history and do i REALLY need to say anything beyond
CHOCOLATE: THEY MAKE REALLY GOOD CHOCOLATE!!! (if YOU wanna know more, click the link.)

so i KNOW all readers will need to hop right on over to A Giveaway Everyday and get their own names into the drawing. this gets ME 3 extra entries,
so it's a no-brainer to seduce some other chocolate-lovers into entering, which will work against me, to get those extra entries, which (obviously) work FOR me!

get a bib before you click.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

it's 10 days to christmas and...

today i went to the Evil Empire. (wal-mart, for the uninitiated.) i wanted to get the rocker TV chairs that sit on the floor for my boys. they're getting 3 good gifts and a few smaller ones and that's IT. of course, one is guitar hero, and one is a punching bag. so this was the other big gift and then we were just going with a few books and suchlike.

the EE is OUT of those chairs. le sigh. tomorrow i venture forth to the Mother Ship (target) for prescriptions and will try to acquire them again. later in the week doing borders, and there's another EE near there, so i have a third source to try. and after borders, i can ship gifts around the country.

so i'm mostly ready for christmas, in that i have a firm plan. but i'm feeling sick today and hope i can get it all done.

Monday, December 14, 2009

are you a humbug?


do the words thrill you or fill you with dread?

i just went shopping for the basics: everyone gets new jammies, socks, and underwear for Christmas at our house. the socks and underwear are really just so i know everyone has new ones every 12 months. the jammies are so the kids can open something Christmas Eve, because i'm a diehard traditionalist and think it's just so WRONG to open anything before morning.

it started out as a sweet little tradition, but as our family has grown, it's become a rather expensive undertaking. and my other sweet little tradition, that of everyone getting a new ornament in their stocking each year, and each person has their own theme, has become a hassle.

i still enjoy the shopping. but there's so much to be done, and i have to wait until the funds are in line before i can do the fun stuff, that mostly it's all become a chore. and i HATES that, precious, i does.

i'm pretty sure all of us experience the shopping at different times as BOTH a hassle AND a pleasure. (except perhaps DisGrace.) do YOU agree?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

my little princess

she's such a caretaker.

i'm working this weekend. the door opens and she peeks in. "do you want hot coffee?"

i reply with a laugh, "why yes, of course i'd love some hot coffee!"

"i'll get you hot coffee!"

i follow her out and she is "helping" daddy in the kitchen, doing dishes, stirring things up. he had sent her to let me know the coffee was ready, and this is how she does it, by offering to bring me some. what a little lovey!


dontcha HATE dreams where you fight with someone all night? you wake up EXHAUSTED and crabby. wish those people would be nicer during the day so i wouldn't have to dream about fighting with them all night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

wherein i catch the spirit

bah humbug.

now that i've got THAT out of my system, i'm getting THIS into it.

cakewrecks is a fabulous fun website that is growing every day. and for the next 14 days, they're spotlighting a charity, donating their own money, and challenging their readers to EACH DONATE $1. major make-a-difference mojo.

who among us cannot afford $1 a day for 14 days? i'm TOTALLY broke-girl and i am committed to doing this! how many pledges can i get for others to do the same?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

internet woes

in my former life (lewisville), i used TimeWarner Cable for my internet and had not one single problem in 6 years. thus, when i moved, it was a no-brainer; keep TWCable! and in the apartment it worked great and i was pleased with my choice.

there are too many damn choices in modern life.

at the hassle/disaster house, disaster recently struck again. my modem has been on the blink (sporadic problems) and finally gave up completely today. actually, it's TWC's modem. so i called the service line, and it tells you to reboot your modem, and you curse at it and it says "i don't understand." so you tell it I ALREADY _DID_ THAT! and it gives you a human.

the human says, there are no other outages in your area, so we'll make an appointment for a service technician to come. the earliest appointment i have is saturday.

i cannot possibly be out of work until W-H-E-N-E-V-E-R saturday. she apologized for the inconvenience when i voiced this concern, but couldn't do any better. i told her i was sure the modem was the problem, so she told me to take it to a payment center and they could give me a new one; if that didn't work, we'd make an appointment.

obviously, that worked. but the HASSLE involved in finding a payment center AND directions when your modem is down? you would not believe. i could go to the other side of durham or the other side of chapel hill; either way, there goes another hour, on top of the 1 or 2 i'd already spent fussing over the damn thing. i had to reboot everything to get it to cooperate with the computer but it's working BEAUTIFULLY, actually.

and now i have a headache, lolly's irritated with me (i wouldn't let her play with the new one), and i have to leave for an orthopedist appointment in less than an hour.

moral: let's return to an agrarian society and stop having to make all these decisions all the time! i'm fed up with modern life. i'll keep science and medical advances, but the rest of the world can go to pot for all i care today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

well aren't you just special?

lolly and i went to AC Moore today. why? to shop, duh. got color wonder christmas gifts and had fun.

some poor unfortunate soul had a small child along who wasn't happy about being there, and made sure everyone in the store knew it. the lady at the flower counter was making comments. fine. but she made sure she said "there's NOTHING so important that you can't take that child home when they're behaving like this." goes on to say she has 4 kids of her own.

well, i pity them. because a mom who doesn't get that people are different and have different needs isn't a fun mom to have. sometimes you don't get many opportunities to run errands. i needed to get some christmas gifts there, and today was when i could. if my kid was acting idiotic, i'd still need to get it done. and every kid isn't the same - some only fuss for a reason, and some fuss because they're a certain age and they need to fuss all the time.

no, it's not grocery shopping, the world won't end if you don't get your crafts done. but neither will it end if you have compassion instead of criticism. whaddayathink? whose side are you on?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

et moi?

i dreamed last night that i was taking the bear of all tests (thanks a lot, Boob Nazi! this dream is ALL down to you!). i was supposed to draw a map of europe - not label a map, draw the divisions for the countries in. i don't even know the NAMES of the european states anymore, since the world changed. i skipped this part of the test to do last.

i don't remember doing the math part because even subconsciously math is easy.

and it was an awful test, even as BNzi described. i can't possibly describe it as well as she did, go read hers. because 1) it was a DREAM! and 2) she's very articulate. because of the muscles in her face and tongue and throat.

i NEED to go back to school and retrain for a new job. and that probably contributed to the dream, but the timing is allherfault. i hope she feels appropriate guilt! (that would be, none, lol)

* * * * * * * * * *

i've accomplished my goal of posting more about me and mine than AGE and theirs. don't hold your breath for the NEXT post - it could be in 30 seconds, or 30 days, or who knows? i try to be inappropriate and amusing, not predictable!

the brothers

it's always more fun to post about twinkly 2-year-old than grumpy pre-adolescent males.

of course i still love them! and they're still awesome.

* * * * * * * * * *

#2 son will be 10 on 12/21. he's the biggest "absent-minded professor" type you'll ever know. i can't really call him an airhead b/c he's damn smart.

his school did a book fair this week. i came across his wish list (he forgot to give it to me) and he had asked for a book for his dad. i melt.

he takes care of his sissy every day after school while i run pick up his brother and never complains.

he goes to bed when he's tired and only gripes when others aren't quiet enough for him to sleep.

do i always understand him? no. am i always charmed by him? no. but he's an awesome kid and i do love him an awful lot.

* * * * * * * * * *

#1 son is 12.5 and has discovered the evils of the internet (nuff sed). he's withdrawn and moody, and then he turns into a little kid and wants hugs and kisses. he would like to take care of lolly-dolly ALL the time until she makes a poo in her diaper. then he gives her back.

he's authoritative and strict. (dunno where he gets THAT!) he's failed classes last term for failure to keep track of assignments and turn them in properly (or do them at all).

he stays up and late and hogs the comfy chair in the TV room.

he's helping with laundry a LOT and has the biggest heart ever.

he's my adorable little boy, and he's turning into a man, and i hate it but i love it and it's not an easy thing to live through. he's discovering LIFE isn't easy. i never want to let him go but at the same time i'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel - in 10 years i can buy a sportscar! for ME!

eh - he's a 12.5-year-old kid, ups and downs are par for the course. he's ready to get his stupid braces off every day. and he's mine.

when in doubt

i can ALWAYS post about my princess.

she came across a bag of clothes she'd outgrown that we'd misplaced in the move so they hadn't been handed down yet.

and put. them. all. on.

first the dancy-dance onsie (with a tutu attached). then a sweatshirt and pants. next a long onsie/one-piece jumpsuit. then her halloween costume (a bumblebee) which was floating around trying not to get saved for next year.

at this point, i had to force her to stop. nothing was fastening, but she was having a BLAST. so i guess we get to save some of these for dress-up.

* * * * * * * * *

she loves to sing and dance. she will stand up and dance even if she's almost asleep. twirling and lifting her arms like a ballerina - and where do they LEARN this stuff? she LOVES music. she's such a little PERSON, kwim?

* * * * * * * * *

i had another great story but my OLD brain has dropped it for now. more later.

AGE - diaper bag

i'm SO peeved with AGE. they keep having these adorable giveaways and as you can see, i'm blogging more about them than i am about my own adorable life!

today's is a diaper bag
. it ALMOST makes me wish i had another baby to need it. it's an AWESOME diaper bag. but i'm entering the giveaway because my seester is having another baby - surprise! - next summer. and she could REALLY use it.

now i have to come up with something to say about my defiantly awesome life... because i refuse to blog more about AGE than about ME!

Friday, December 04, 2009

AGE - kidorable

another giveaway everyday plug:

KIDORABLE is kidorable. the name says it all. their products are awesome and AGE has lots of great stuff to say about how they are very conscientious about keeping kids safe, too. you will want to enter this giveaway as many times as you can, too; come back and comment with a link to YOUR blog post!