Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day One - The Demolition

Yesterday, I hired a contractor.  I paid half down.  But not before I haggled about the price a little.  And in order to get the numbers where I needed them to be, I agreed to doing some demolition.  Gasp.  But it's okay.  I actually really enjoy the demo part of things.  It's the building, leveling, detailed part that makes my brain hurt and my back ache.  I do love to tear things apart.

So, without further ado . . . . day one . . . the demolition and money saving efforts, courtesy of MOI and MOTH . . .


So, the dirt and rock behind this decorative wall are crumbling as the breath of the wind whispers by . . . . it's hard evidence to support how badly it SHOULD have been a retaining wall, instead of a decorative pile of bricks.  It needs trenching and metal support.  I'm excited to have it started . . . .

IF


If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago,
you would have $49.00 today!

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would have
$33.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago,
you would have $0.00 today.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all
the beer, then turned-in the aluminum cans for recycling, you would have received $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily
& recycle.  It is called the 401-Keg.

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a
year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of
alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to
the gallon!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Where words fail, music speaks. 
- Hans Christian Andersen 
These are lyrics from Bleed Red by Ronnie Dunn.  Every time I hear this song, my heart just aches.
 
Let's say we're sorry, before it's too late, give forgiveness a chance. 
Turn the anger into water; let it slip through our hands. 
We all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, Lose our way, 
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears, we all bleed red

If we're fighting, we're both losing; we're just wasting our time 
Because my scars, they are your scars and your world is mine
You and I, we all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way
We all say words, we regret, well cry tears, we all bleed red
Sometimes we're strong, sometimes we're weak, sometimes we're hurt and it cuts deep
We live this life, breath to breath, we're all the same; we all bleed red

(Instrumental break)
Let's say we're sorry, before it's too late; give forgiveness a chance. 

We all bleed red, all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way, 
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears we all bleed red, 
Sometimes we're strong, sometimes we're weak; sometimes we're hurt
It cuts deep; we live this life breath to breath; we're all the same
We all bleed red. 

I want this . . .


And on a side note . . . does anyone shop online through ZamZuu?  I've just discovered it and set up an account . . . . helloooo?  Nobody told me before?  I feel kind of jipped . . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm the mom-volunteer in charge of collecting photographs, 3 to 5 EACH for all of the 129 graduating 5th graders.  I'm creating a slideshow with pictures from all the kids . . . kindergarten through 5th grade.  Look how adorable Big was on Kindergarten field day . . . 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do you see a difference?

Those with an eye . . . . do you see a difference?

Are these close enough to work together in my yard?

What we have . . .




















What I'd be adding, across the yard . . .

The Make-Up Edition

Organizing . . . the make-up edition.
Confession:  I picked an easy one.

Here's my make-up.  I like make-up.  I know what to do with it.  I don't like spending money on it.  That's pretty much the end of the story.  I keep it all in the top drawer of our, what's that thing called?, we call it "the hair station" . . . because that's where the kids sit to get hair brushed.  It also has hair ties, (we call those doggers), squirtee, earrings and all kinds of miscellaneous beauty products.


In summary, base coat paint.  I like Dream Matte Mousse.  I mix it with Up & Up's acne control stuff below. I like DHC's velvet skin coat for wrinkly parts.  The kerr jar is all of my mineral make-up.  I use Bare Escentuals.  But I DESPISE that it comes in all those little jars and it takes forever to layer it all on . . . so I just dumped it all together in a pickle jar.  Easy application.  One container.   Blush.  I have a new one now by MAC.  Eyebrow pencil.  That's a necessity.  Eye shadow.  I have one.  Eye liner.  I love it.  Don't waste money getting your eye liner tattooed on.  Take it from me.  It's not worth it.  So, eye liner.  Every day.  Mascara.  Brush.  I use one for everything.  Spoon.  That's how I curl my eyelashes.


And that's that . . . . easy peasy . . .

Battle of the Books

650 kids
101 schools
147 teams

Our girls' team tied for 3rd.  It was impressive!!

A Year in Photos

I've accepted a challenge.  Another challenge.  Here's the deal:  it's a facebook fad right now to do an album within your profile.  You take and upload one picture each day.  That's it . . only I'm doing it through my blog instead of facebook.  For me, it might come out like 'slivers of the day' . . . or not . . I guess I'll just roll with it and see how it goes.  

So, today is day 1 . . . . . and here is Mimi this morning.  She got a scooter for Easter.  She loves it.  She carries it upstairs at night and parks it next to her bed.  Last night, she very tenderly draped a blanket over it and tucked her 'cooter' in.  This morning, she was on it riding laps just before 7 am.  Apparently, she worked up a sweat and needed to take her shirt off.   Then, she needed a hat of sorts.  She says the 'ba-ba-loon' helps her go faster.  Yes, this is a punch ball.  Yes, I realize it's not the safest set up given hair tangle-age and possible around-the-neck antics.  I'm supervising.  Really, I am.  With a camera.


Only in Colorado! It's snowing big, fat fluffy snowflakes. There's a touch of lightening & thunder is rumbling across the sky. To top it off, just across the way at the school, it's blue skies & no snow!!

Can someone please figure this out and/or counsel me?

Which is  a better deal?

Should I pay full price for gas at the Costco pump and pay with my Costco Amex so that eventually I get 3% back . . .

OR . . .

Should I actively try to rack up fuel points from King Sooper so that I can redeem them?  You get double fuel points for purchasing gift cards and their gift card selection is big.   I know a couple families that purchase gift cards for their weekly eat out so that the price is reflected in their food bills, they get double fuel points AND don't have to "pay" with another source when they eat out.

But which is the best DEAL?

Monday, April 25, 2011

ABC's of Me . . .

This has been sitting in draft form forever and I'm getting things done this morning before I head off to sit in a surgical waiting area for the rest of the day (prayers for my dad today, please!)  . . . .

So, drumroll, please . . . THE ABC's OF ME . . .

A: Age . . . 37

B:  Bed size . . . King

C:  Chores you dislike . . . unplugging the garbarator, unclogging a toilet, removing hair from the sink or shower . . . I guess pretty much anything that requires extracting gross things from slimy dark holes.  Oh, and baseboards, windows & washing walls.  Ick.

D:  Dogs . . . two, as seen in previous posts.  Moose and Tana.  I heart them.

E:  Essential start to the day . . . a smile.  Wake happy and it stays with you all day.  I make enormous efforts to wake myself in the right frame of mind and make sure all the kids start in a happy place.  I think it absolutely sets the stage for the entire day.

F:  Favorite color . . . blue.  And green.

G:  Gold or silver . . . Silver, but there's a special place in my heart for my original gold wedding band.

H:  Height . . . 5'4"-ish.

I:  Instruments you played  . . .  flute and piano.  I sucked at both.  My musical talent consists of pressing play on an iPod these days.  I'd like to be more musical, but I become frustrated really easily.

J:  Job title . . . For Job 1, "Mother, Conflict Manager, Social Calendar Specialist, Event Planner, Tooth Extractor, Hair Do-er, Shoe Tie-er, Loose End Holder, Master Juggler, Blog Writer".  For Job 2, "Director of Business Administration and Clinical Services".  For Job 3, "Independent Sales Consultant."

K:  Kids . . . yes, never enough.  More always welcome.  Can someone please find me a little orphan boy that needs a home?   Ages 4 to 8 would be ideal.  Any color welcome.  Any social background acceptable.

L:  Live . . . and learn.

M:  Mom's Name . . . Donna

N:  Nicknames . . . Mommy Salami, Lovely, Lars, Elle, Bogz-o

O:  Overnight hospital stays . . . childbirth x 4 . . . several endless nights co-sleeping in a crib with Big when she was about 3 months old.  She had RSV and spent a week in the hospital.  Then, several more nights with Middle when she was about 8 weeks old.  She had RSV . . . again, co-sleeping in a hospital crib.  And . . . three other surgeries in my life . . but none required an overnight stay.

P:  Pet peeves . . . . (and future blog topics) . . . . Judgement, yielding when you're supposed to merge, stopping when you're supposed to merge . . . idiot drivers that put my life in danger . . . failure to try . . . dogs that dig in my flower beds . . . when people don't say "thank you" or "you're welcome" . . . mean people . . . picking up socks . . . socks that are in the laundry basket in tiny wet, semi-muddy balls . . . snotty teenagers . . . failure to learn from past mistakes . . .

Q:  Quote from a movie . . . "Yummy, yummy cucumber sandwiches."  from How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.  Just thinking of it makes me bust up.

R:  Righty or lefty . . . both.  Write righty.  Eat lefty.

S:  Siblings . . . yes, one, brother.

T:  Time you wake up . . . between 6 and 7.  6:30 on school mornings.

U:  Underwear . . . NOT optional.   Remember when your mom said, "put clean underwear on . . . what if you were in an accident."  I used to roll my eyes and think, "HOW MORBID!"  Now, I'm that mom.  I believe in (among other things) . . . clean underwear.

V:  Vegetables you don't like . . . eggplant and okra.  Not wild about onion.

W:  What makes you run late . . . my keys . . I never know where I've put them.  Once, MOTH bought me one of those key finder thingies -- you hook on end to the keys and put one somewhere else and then when you lose your keys, you send out a signal and they chirp until you find them.  Yea.  I lost the signal finder, too.   Also, sippy cups.  I'm always running back in the house for a sippy cup or a drink of some sort.

X:  Xrays you've had . . . chest x-rays . . . spine x-rays . . . leg x-rays . . . . I think that's it.

Y:  Yummy food you make . . . homemade bread, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins, cinnamon coffee cake, ravioli lasagna, garbage salad

Z:  Zoo animal favorites . . . giraffes.  It pays to get there early.  You get to feed them lettuce now!!  Mimi calls it "salad" and it's so cute!!

Slivers of the day . . .

The Blogger Photo Challenge.  I loved it.  Well, most of it.  But one of my favorites was day 12. (No, I didn't remember it.  I had to go back and look it up.)  It was "A Photo From Your Day."

Since that day, I've had a gazillion and four opportunities to re-post a similarly fabulous picture and/or topic. So, we've got a new tag here, folks.  I'll call it 'slivers of the day' . . . and we'll see where it goes.

Last week, before strep . . . I snapped this shot of Mimi.  She's having lunch.  Yes, on the counter.  She's eating ramen noodles off of her ankle . . . . a sliver of the day . . .

A girl and her dogs . . .




Two steps forward, four steps back . . .

Ah, Easter Eve dawned in our home.  I'm still not feeling great, but am definitely on the mend.  Any momma out there knows that we mothers are never allowed to truly be sick.  I'm not sure if I didn't set up a realistic expectation or if my husband genuinely believes that I am part superhuman.  Either way, illness is a timeless asymmetry in our relationship that I choose to blog about freely.    When he is sick, the world does stop.  It ceases to spin.  I spread my nine-foot mamma eagle wingspan around the flock and take them outside.  We find something to do while he sleeps, watches TV, recovers.  We allow him endless hours to wallow in sickness, bask in fever and do absolutely nothing until and unless he absolutely has to.  Contrast that with times I'm sick.  On Friday, I was sick.  I had a temperature hovering around 101.  I would have liked to slice my throat off and put it on a shelf.   He had work to do.  The kids were out of school.  So, with my fever and me feeling like warm crap, and the kids in tow, I went to the doctor (well, I didn't take them with me to the doctor, but . . . the point remains), went to Target for a prescription (which wasn't ready, so I ended up killing an hour in Target with the angry butterflies, feeding the swarm lunch) and THEN, FINALLY, at long last . . . obtaining the prescription, coming home, where we proceeded to play spa day.  Not ideal, but with kids at home, if I pretend to be the client, I end up with a massage, a pedicure, and a much-needed opportunity to close my eyes.

Saturday.  Mom's still sick.  But not sick enough to stay in bed.  I got up early because I couldn't sleep anymore.  Worked in Quickbooks.  Messed with the computer.  Paid bills.  Organized pictures.   Piddled around.  Watched Dirty Jobs.  Boiled five dozen eggs.  Yes, five dozen.  Gasp.  Piddled some more.  Stayed home during soccer because, let's be real  . . . it was butt-freezing cold.  More Dirty Jobs.  Have I blogged before how much I adore Mike Rowe?  And then eggs.  We love dying eggs.  Well, we love Easter.  I love Easter.  I love what Easter symbolizes.  I love what Easter means.  Of all holidays, Easter is one of my very favorites.    Time to clarify previous post and tie in the title.

Previous post:  I know what Easter means.  I understand the holiday.  Absolutely.  My kids know what it means.  Absolutely.  And celebrating Easter is done differently in many different families.  Some have ham.  Some go to church.  Some hunt eggs.   Some talk about tradition.  Some visit friends' homes.  Some travel.  Some do spring cleaning & discuss family values.  And it's ALL right -- the whole gamut.  As long as a family is contributing to society, keeping their children safe and upholding the law, it's ALL okay.  Non-church-goers are not wrong.  If you choose to eat turkey, you're not wrong.  If you choose to eat at Texas Road House on Easter Sunday . . . that's okay too.    Just for the sake of thought, perhaps the only ones that really ARE wrong is the ones who claim that their turkey-eating, church-going, my-way-or-the-highway methods are the ONLY way.  (Is this sounding like I need to ground myself from Facebook again?)

Now the title:   In my home and family right now, we are searching for a church home.  We are actively seeking a place where our hearts live . . . a place that is RIGHT for us.   In the last several months, we have been luke-warm-close a couple of times, and each time, it has happened to fall right around a critical holiday where we (I'm talking MOTH and I) have a two steps forward, four steps back kind of moment.  We've made two steps of progress.  We're feeling good, talking, getting somewhere.   And, BAM . . . . some external thing happens that reminds us both of all of the things we are afraid of.  Reminds us both of all the reasons to stay AWAY from organized religion.  Note for future post:  see future post on parenting . . . reverse psychology . . . . 'the preacher's kid phenomenon.  So, back on topic . . . . it happened again!  We're moving forward, growing in our relationship and BAM . . the judgement gavel falls and a not so subtle reminder arrives . . . . ho, hum.

And eggs.  Photographic evidence of our adventures in egg-ness:

What's not to love about the tongue hanging out in concentration?  It's the same with scissors . . . so I call this "the scissor face."

Dudley's baby paint rollers.  A good purchase for toddler egg painters!! She was mesmerized.


Focused & determined.

Big's into the contests  . . . she was actively trying to make the ugliest egg. 



Series of three above . . . . MOTH and I crown an annual winner for BEST EGG & THE EGGLY-SCHMEGLY . . . which is the ugliest egg.  Middle tried to swing my votes with this creation . . . a personal message on an egg of my favorite color!!

I'm not sure how he got that green spiderweb on the end, but it was darn cool.  And he actually believed me for a second when I told him that Spiderman visits special kids and sends them signs from time to time.  Spidey-sense-a-tinglin'. 

Not a single spill . . . 

Best egg contenders . . .  the winner was the 3rd from the right (5th from the left)  . . the brown one with smoky swirls. 

UGLY Egg contenders.  The winner was the pink seatbelt on the left.

Finished products .  . .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter

In case you've got a burning desire to know:

Yes, I know the reason that "WE" celebrate Easter.   "WE" don't have to attend any classes or sign any papers to have a faithful core.  "WE"  do not require a daily, weekly or annual reminder of what sinners we are.  "WE" believe that "WE" will all stand in judgement one day . . . and that judgement will not come from a fellow mortal.

And on a lighter note, it wouldn't be Easter in Colorado without a snowstorm.

Seriously sick . . .

Ugh.  My word.  My GAWD.  All of the above.

I'm sick.

A touch of allergies-slash-post-nasal-drip-and-moderate-sore-throat from last weekend and early in the week turned into fever of 101 and strep and a sinus infection and an ear infection.   My stinkin' head is big and stopped up with green liquid overflow.  And my throat.  Oh, my hell.  I haven't had strep since, well, since for a long time.  And I'm here to blog to you . . . It friggin' hurts.  Bad.

I went to the doctor, folks.    I haven't seen anyone but an OB/GYN or acupuncturist in, uh, about 12 years.  He chucked and said, "so this is a sign of how bad you need meds, then, huh?"

Me:  nodding because I can NOT talk.

My rapid strep lit up (el doctoro said), "like a Christmas tree."

Three doses of antibiotic in and I'm starting to turn the corner.  But such hell I have not been through in many, many years.  I think it happened to me first so I'd have a touch more empathy when and if it hits the kids.  I tend to be a hard ass on sick kids.  Unless there is fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, they have to buck up and deal.  Except this.  If THIS happens to any of them, I'll cave.  It was that bad.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random thoughts . . .

In list form . . .

1.  I deviated from the dinner plan.  Already.
2.  Allergies suck.  My head is pounding, my throat hurts, my eyeballs are burning and I just want to go to bed.  Poor me.  I think I'll go eat worms.
3.  My blogger buddy Heather is in Cancun and taking a blogger hiatus.  I miss her, gosh-darn-it.
4.  Kenny Chesney is in concert at Red Rocks in July.  I'd like to go but,
5.  Tickets are $180 each.  And . . .
6.  I can't afford one ticket -- much less two. And . . .
7.  I don't have anyone to go with, even if I did have an extra gazillion dollars to spend on concert tickets.
8.  Little is doing a project on giant squids.  As a true testament of my love for that little man, I just sketched a 33 foot squid for his class display.  He has a lot, I repeat, ALOT of coloring in front of him.
9.  Last weekend, I threw up my hands.  Stopped fighting.  Threw my old laptop through a window and bought an iMac.  I am hopelessly in love.  Oh, Mac, how I love thee . . . let me count the ways . . . . your large and glorious screen, no virus protection required, your blazing fast internet, superb photo resolution . . . and oh, so much more.
10.  Field trip tomorrow.  Must. Take. More. Cold. Meds.
11.  I had to close our major credit card because of fraud.  Seriously?  You know how much of a pain in the ass that is.  Crikey.
12.  I forgot to get yogurt at the store this morning.
13.  I've been helping do paper crafts for some things at school.  I like to make things.  I like crafting, but as I age, I'm beginning to realize I just don't have the focus for these small focus tasks.  Sewing.  I quit.  Scrapbooks.  Only digital.  Stamping.  I'm selling it all on ebay.  What will be left?
14.  Took Big to a middle school volleyball game yesterday.  Those girls have skills.  Times have changed!
15.  Cha-ching time of the year.  $48 on yearbooks.  $8.50 for Middle to go to the zoo.  $6 for Little to go see Pippi Longstockings.  $12 for Big to go to a Sky Sox game.  And Easter . . . is Easter a big thing at your house?
16.  Pandora.  Love it.
17.  P90X.  That guy is a maniac.
18.  Dog poop in the morning.  Woke up to a pile this morning.  Inside.  Ick.  I hate that.
19.  Water for corn on the cob is boiling, so I've gotta run . . . .
20.  Bye.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Warminster Broom



Won't this be stunning in my "problem spot" on the hill?  Specs are:  

A bushy shrub, with dense shoots, reaching man´s height when older and greyish-green, long, rod-like, often overhanging shoots; numerous creamy white flowers appearing in May.  

I love the stalks on these.  They are twiggy and striped.  They kind of have a funny smell, but it's not offensive and I think all of those flowers will be worth it.  The flowers look like itty tiny pea shoots. 

This week's meal plan . . .

Because I'm dedicated to making an effort:

Sunday . . . pizza night
Monday . . . hamburger helper, cheeseburger macaroni, half the meat, extra noodles with corn bread muffins and salad
Tuesday . . . ravioli lasagna with salad. yum.
Wednesday . . . crock pot night -- swiss chicken over rice
Thursday . . . BK fundraiser night . . . that's a no brainer
Friday . . . crock pot night . . . maple mustard crusted pork tenderloin with new potatoes & California veggies
Saturday . . . BFD, that's breakfast for dinner -- pancakes with strawberries & whipped cream, sausage links & scrambled eggs . . .

At least once or twice per week is a crock pot night here.  It falls on Monday, Wednesday or Friday . . . usually.  That's because on Monday nights, Middle has gymnastics at 5:30, Little has gymnastics at 5:40 and Big has volleyball at 5:30 -- three kids, three places, same time.  We don't reconnect until 7:45 which means Monday night meals need to be on the plate in 4 seconds flat.  Wednesdays, Middle has gymnastics and Little has soccer.  They finish at 6:30 and 7 . . . so again, food needs to be on the plate when I hear the garage door go up.  On Friday nights, Big has volleyball games and Middle is back at gymnastics.  Estimated meal time  . . . . 7:45 to 8:30.  Most Friday nights, I've got about as much cooking energy as a washrag, which means I prep Friday night meals on Thursday afternoons, sprinkle them with a lot of prayer and hope for the best . . . .


What's for dinner at your house?

Ravioli Lasagna

Make this:

Your favorite bolognese sauce . . . mine is a pound of mild Italian sausage w/ a jar of sauce . . . we like Hunt's because there are no chunks of tomato.  Eww.

Make that.

And buy -- a large pack of frozen or refrigerated cheese ravioli.  They can be round or square.

Layer them in a pan, I used 13x9, alternating with the sauce . . . .

Ravioli then sauce
Ravioli then sauce
Ravioli then sauce

Finish with fresh mozarella and parm.

Bake @ 350 (I bake about everything at 350) for an hour-ish or until it looks brown, bubbly & melty.

Slice, serve & enjoy.  It's modern lasagna with a busy mom twist.  Delish.

Bon apetit!!

Yard-ening and Gardening

I spent a ton of time in the yard and garden this weekend.  Loved it.

Loved.

It.

I'm babying my grass along.  It looks pretty crappy right now, but hopefully will turn around after aeration, topdressing & over seeding.  Go away birdies.  Nobody overseeds better than a toddler.  Mimi dips her fingers in those seed bags and scatters like a rock star.

Photo of now:


The kids played outside.  My tiny gardeners started this project.  They're growing mini gourds, cukes, pumpkins & peas.


I made only one trip to Home Depot this weekend.  I managed to get all my stuff in one run.  Wide paint brush to re-seal the fence at the top.  Roller to do the fence slats on the left.  Who says you can't roll stain.  Watch me.  Clamps and couplers to fix the sprinkler line.  It felt really good to get that done.   And flowering shrubs for my problem area on the hill.  I'm trying a new tactic.  Flowers get stompled in this bed, so I made these addition that include a butterfly bush and a warminster broom.  They should be gorgeous.  And who can resist drought tolerant and deer resistant.  Those two combinations (along with "clearance rack" are some of my favorite two-word combos!!

I also sprung for a common lilac last week.  Really excited about that guy.  Whee-hee!!

Spring is happiness at my house!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mission Organization: Remote & Cable Edition

Well, I fought a good fight.  I'm pretty sure that remotes, plugs, cables, chargers and the like are universal pet peeves.  Heck, keeping track of my phone charger was rough when I only had my person and a tiny little flip phone from Nokia.    In this house right now, lives . . . .

one iPhone (mine)
one blackberry (MOTH's)
one tracphone (the kids' . . . we call it the e-phone; e is for emergency)
two iPads (MOTH's for work, and mine)
two iPod touches (Big's and Middle's)
two iPod Nanos (Big's old one that Little is using and Middle's old one that is sitting in the pencil jar on my desk)
two shuffles (again, graveyard electronics that I can't part with . . . I use the blue one for workout tunes)
oh, MY iPod (it's the first generation dinosaur version)
two televisions and the corresponding remotes for the TV, DVR, Playstation, Wii & (yes, gasp) VCR
my fantabulous Nikon camera
a flip video camera
a litle red camera that I still love
a really old grey camera that I can't part with
two other cameras that the girls' got for Christmas a few years back
hmm . . .what else?
oh, a portable DVD player & it's corresponding cords & tubes . . . .

It's electronic spaghetti, I tell you . . .

I dumped this basket out just last night in frustration as I was hunting for a battery charger for the Flip.  Grr.

And now, more photographic support for Homestead's Cable challenge . . . .


This is the built in bookshelf-slash-bench that I designed.  The benches open up and make the best hide-and-seek places ever.  Except that now everyone knows that.  I still need to fix the drywall damage from that pot-light.


My iPad charges in the upper right cubby.  Because . . . well, because when it was new, I thought it was a good idea to try and keep it out of kids' reach.  Now, it's just another opportunity for them to test the structural integrity of the built-in as they dangle like Spiderman and try to unplug it.


This is my idea of kitchen organization and family scheduling.  I'm not sure if it works or if tons of stuff just lands here.  The middle level has six cubbies and a power strip.  It houses the little red camera charger, the e-phone charger, my headset, the Flip, and a lot of dust.   What IS all that stuff?  It's like a living version of EYE-SPY.   I put the Daisy sour cream foil up there.  I love those.  They say nice things.  Middle is doing long division.  I was helping her.


Homey specifically mentioned router, so here's the router.  And the modem.  They live on a one of the shelves in my desk unit.  I drilled holes in the backs of the shelves so the cords could dangle through.  I also designed the thing with a gap behind so all the cables from everything that's on the desks live behind there.  I haven't gone back there since I had to rescue the dog.  I'm afraid to go there . . . especially with a camera.  Yikes.


I didn't really realize these cords were an issue until I was walking around with a camera photographing cords.  That's ugly.  The used to be stuffed into a pot that sat on the corner there.  Hmm.  What . . . did . . . I . . . do . . . with  . . . that . . . pot??


My iPhone charges on my nightstand.  There's paper over those numbers because they are bright as heck.  Like a full moon all night long.  And yes, I'm reading all of those books.


Down in the basement, I have a few random things plugged in from time to time.  Red camera right now.  And, oh, the air mattress pumper--upper thing.


Bonus round:  Remotes.  I pick these up every day.   MOTH leaves them on the couch every night.  Every morning, I pick them up and put them in here.  This is so he doesn't yell and drag his knuckes shouting, "who took the remote?" when the next evening rolls around.   (As if someone would TAKE the remote!)
And things I didn't address:
Big's iPod charges at night on the docking station in her room.  Same for Middle.  And Little.  Mine lives in the living room.  MOTH has an armoir like thing in the office that he hoards his stuff in.  I try not to touch anything over there.  He can sense when things are out of place.   Shuffles.  I have charges for them.  They hang over a file in the office so I know where they are.  Same with the iDevice USB gizmo . . . .

And now. . . I think I'm done.  I'm very done. 

Next . . . . make up.  That should be easy.  I have about 10 pieces of make up. 

Cheers !

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three things about me . . .

Got this by email . . . .
Changed it to blogger format . . . .

Three names I go by:  Lovely, Mommy Salami, Elle

Three places I've lived:  house, dorm, apartment

Three jobs I've had:  waitress, nurse, teacher

Three places I've been to:   North to Canda, South to Mexico & West to California

Three things I love to eat:  Chocolate Chip Cookies, Giant salads, Mushroom pizza with no sauce

Three things I'm looking forward to:  bedtime, Grey’s anatomy, another day

Three people/places that e-mail me regularly:  some crazy stalker named Jay, Kris, old navy

Field Trips

I LOVE chaperoning field trips.  I think I love every part of it.  Well, usually. 

Yesterday, I chaperoned a group of twelve 5th graders to the District Battle of the Books competition.   They are twelve of the sharpest, most wonderful, well behaved kids that God has ever made.  Broken mold city.  First, they rocked the Battle.  The girls team only missed two questions all day.  The boys team missed only a couple, too.  For that trip, the alternates made up a third team and they rocked it, too.  Every kid was able to really show off their skills and see that their hard work has paid off. 

Oh, I bet there's a little bit of "what the heck is battle of the books?" being asked.

So, here's the answer.  It's for fifth graders only.  A team of four is chosen.  That team is responsible for reading 40 books.  Yes, FORTY books.  They can divide them evenly between the group, or each kid can agree to read every book.  Big is on the girls' team.  Then, it's a team-to-team competition where a judge/reader asks a very specific question about one of the books.  For example, they'll say, "From the book _________________, what is the main characters' mother's occupation?"  They read it twice and then the team has 30 seconds to collaborate, choose one person to answer and formulate a correct response.    It's kind of intense.  I wouldn't have believed it until I was there, in the flesh, timekeeping and score keeping.  But, it's true.  It's kind of like Jeopardy for this set of books.  

Photographic evidence:

The girls' team . . . and their "coach".
And today, despite blustery weather, constant drizzle and gale force winds (right, welcome to spring in Colorado!), I packed up Mimi and did the Sky Sox game with the 5th grade.  The weather actually cooperated much more than anticipated.  It was a rockin' good time.  The kids were awesome . . . Mimi ate pizza, backwashed in her soda and kept her eyes riveted on the Sox the Fox.   A universal truth:  A bad day at the ball park is still a darn good day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letters . . . .

Combing through old college pictures to find spring break in Mexico-slash-Arizona, I stumbled upon quite a few letters.  Lots of them were good!! I mean, there's a reason I'd been saving them for almost twenty years, right. 

In college, Homestead wrote me a letter with these words:  Be Brave.  I think about it all the time.  Enough that I keep this on my phone . . . since I found a wall hanging that says 'be brave' at a little store in Breckenridge.


And, once in a lifetime, every girl, every woman should have written encouragment like this:


That's a life changer.  A game changer.  Thanks, Homey :)   These are the kind of letters I love . . . . I'm smiling right now. 

Day 30 . . .

Day 30; Blogger Photo Challenge . . . . A picture of when you were happy.

Okay, don't get me wrong.  I've said it before & I'll say it again.   I'm generally a very happy person.  But if I could pick a time in my lifetime when I was all around happy . . . . it was in my last few years of college (my first time through).  I should have bottled the feeling of confidence, freedom, autonomy, strength & sold it by prescription.  At that time, I was carefree.   I was liked, heck, LOVED by everyone.  I didn't have to fight hard battles and do the right thing.  I could do what I damn well wanted, when I wanted  . . . and just answer to me.  I wasn't seeking approval or acceptance.  I didn't need to impress relatives or make employees happy.  It was just me and half a dozen milk crates.  Everything I owned fit in the back of a Hyundai hatchback.   The world was my oyster.  I was invincible.


Coming into my junior year of college, I worked for UCA.  You know, the cheerleading company on ESPN with the giant "Stayfree" pantyliner banner across the back.   I loved that job.  I loved traveling.  I loved having friends that were just like me . . . young college kids that traveled our territory all summer long teaching cheer camps.  It was the most fun I've ever had.  In my whole life.

Like that previous post . . . happiest time in my life  . . . body-wise.   I think my brother took this . . . remember when layered tank tops, cutoff shorts and (gasp!) Birkenstocks were "in"?

One spring break, the campus was deserted and one of the other fellas on the co-ed cheer squad knocked on my door and said, "wanna go to Arizona?"   My brother lived there.  His sister lived there.  We filled the gas tank up, threw some stuff in the car and were on the road in under an hour.  Once in Arizona, our siblings were both working (since we showed up unannounced.)  So, again, "Wanna go to Mexico?"   We went to Mexico . . . not the Mexico in postcards.  We went to the slums.  We walked around.  We played soccer with tin cans on dirt streets with grimy kids.  We hopped a train to get out of Mexico.  It was probably illegal.  And really dangerous.  But it was the time of my life. 

And now . . . . drumroll, please . . .  I have completed The Blogger Photo Challenge -- 2011!!
Thank you!! I went to the mailbox today and was surprised to find personal mail. Something (not a bill) addressed just to me. I have to admit, my heart did skip a beat. But I ripped into it and found the best things!! A handwritten note and a fistful of old photos . . . Thank you so much!! (You know who you are!). I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy . . . .

I am working on finishing a digital album this morning.  I have credits that expire in only 18 days and I'm fighting the good fight . . . trying to get this album done before I hear the flush of money going down the drain.  

I came across these pictures, which make me really happy.   Incidentally, this is also the night that corresponds with the story I've been promising.

I'm kind of wondering how only 5 pounds of baby was in that big old belly.

I know, nice piggie tails.  It was Big's idea.  Wasn't she CUTE!!!



It was December 13.  I was feeling gi-normous and very ready for a baby.  My girlfriend Katy was at our house.  She's long been MOTH's second choice . . . we joke that they dated while he stalked me so that he'd have a reason and a friend to come into the bar where I worked.  Sister-wife . . . but that's another blog, right?  

So she was at the house.  Dorking around.  She convinced me to take pictures of my belly to capture the moment.  I agreed only because Big wanted to take pictures with my belly.  We put our hair in piggie-tails and posed for Auntie Katy.   She painted the smiley face on my belly with eye liner.  She was right.  Retrospectively, I do adore these pictures.  Alot.  Enough that I WISH I had taken a belly picture with Big.  She's the only pregnancy that I didn't. 

We knew that baby number 2 was a girl from very early on.  I was working in L&D and had access to a portable ultrasound.  When it was slow, I scanned myself looking for a boy parts.  No boy parts.  We were sure, but took all the steps to confirm the girl-ness within.  Big knew it was a girl.  We'd talked girl for months.  We had prepared her from days before I had the shadow of a tummy.   We chose names.  We let Big be a huge part of that.  Big wanted to name her "Kendall" and she said it with the funniest drawl . . . like "KEN-Duhhhllll".   We bought pink and talked about diapers and hair ties and all things girl.  

The night we took these pictures, shortly after we finished, in fact, a cloud passed across Big's face.  She looked so confused.  I'd never really seen that look before.  I know it now . .  but she was trying to recall something and couldn't put her finger on it.  I liken it to a deja vu moment.  But for a two year old.   When I asked what was wrong, she just said, "Mom, the baby in your tummy .  . . you've been saying it's a girl . . . but there's a boy coming too."  I was totally shocked.  I didn't really know which way to go with that, so I reassured her that it was a girl.  We dug out ultrasound pictures and I showed her "the classic cheeseburger" and lack of boy parts.  She seemed convinced, but later she brought it up again and several more times after that. She'd causally slip in something like, "This isn't right, mom.  I think you're mistaken."  She was really convincing. Enough that I wondered if we were having a kiddo with ambiguous genitals or some rare absorbed twin thing was going to happen.  Then, one night she spilled it . . . she just blurted out, "There is a boy baby coming to our house.  He's waiting up in heaven and he has white hair." 

An odd silence fell over us both.  She was adamant about this white haired boy and promised me he was coming.  She was almost upset -- and felt tricked when a fuzzy blond GIRL came home with me from the hospital.  It was weird.  I chalked it up to weird . . . until a couple years later, a little boy who was SO blond, his hair really did look white came into our homes.  And Big, said, "That's him!!  That's the one I saw."

Hmm.