Tuesday, December 9

Just a bit of pressure relief

I've heard from several friends lately that they are keeping up with me by reading this blog.
So - I suck.

I have been meaning to write once a week, and failed miserably. Instead of kicking myself, I'll just post cute kid pix and be forgiven, right?

*check out the killer double chin - like you could miss it. Chee and I laughed our asses off at this photo. Our little cuties...and i'm sure Little will leave the Winston Churchill stage soon.

Now THIS is how to wear a tutu.

Who says she's a girly girl?

Saturday, November 15

Starting anew

It's a quiet Saturday - cold enough outside for snow, and it looks like we could get some any minute. We're snug inside - Chee and Monkee crashed for a nap and Little is in her swing, slowly falling asleep. And I should be catching up on my zzzzs as well, but found compelled to write up something. I told myself I start posting again at least once a week.

A crazy few months here, acclimating to having one more human and two less pets around. The baby arrived on Sept. 29. We had planned on inducing, but she came without any needed - four hours and she came hollering into the world. She's a good baby - our main issue is that she feels compelled to cry herself to sleep. Nothing we do helps. She gets tired, and it makes her madder than hell. But at almost 7 weeks, she's looking at us (instead of through us), smiling and "playing." She loves to look at her big sister, who complies by being as silly as possible for entertainment purposes only, of course.

This picture is the first one we took at home of the girls. Note the exhausted mom in the red shirt. That couch was my sanctuary for two weeks before I started feeling like myself again.

I had (and still am having) an episode here and there of post-partum D. Nothing like I did with Monkee, but it lingers. The panic attacks are coming around once or twice a week. Deep breaths, settle myself and stop thinking for a minute and they relax a bit. I hate them and how they make me feel, like nothing in my life is solid. Like everything would just float away if it could and I'm powerless to stop it. But it's getting less. I know it would creep in again once I go back to work, which is coming up more quickly than I thought possible.

I'll have more pictures to post soon. Little's hair is getting thinner - she has that grandpa hair - none on top, but a ring on bottom. And it's dark brown. Her eyes are still a dark blue - they may stay that way. The girls need at least one of my attributes, seeing as they look so much like their daddy. I just tell him that he looks like a Toddler. Makes me feel better.

As for the pet situation - we had to put one of the cats down. She was so ill with GI issues and no medicine or food changes were helping. We had to keep her in the basement. It was no way for her to live, and the GI stuff was just getting worse as she got older.

And we had an incident with the dog and Monkee. Monkee was innocent (I was there when it happened), but suffice it to say that the dog can't be around children. We're looking hard for a new home for the dog (she's basically a great dog and we'd keep her if it weren't for this episode) but aren't succeeding yet. A friend is "fostering" her for a few weeks. We might keep her around in the back through the holiday. I don't know. I just hate the thought of having to put her down after almost 6 years. Makes me sick to my stomach. But not as sick as thinking of what happened to Monkee (who is fine now, but scared of dogs). We have to keep the girls in mind first.

Something that makes me feel better all-around - the state of our presidency. Hallelujah.

Friday, November 7

Iconic words

Rumored to be posted in the Obama headquarters are these profound words:

Rosa Sat So Martin Could Walk
Martin Walked So Obama Could Run
Obama Ran So Our Children Can Fly

...and that goes for ALL children.

Monday, September 22

Morass from the Past

One week to go, hopefully.

I've been thinking about the past lately. My sister called this weekend - she calls every other day, checking to see if I've popped yet. (I keep telling her she'll be one of the first to know, but she obviously either thinks I'm full of shit, or is just doing it to annoy me). She went to an auction in the vicinity of my hometown (auctions are the main social events out there - everyone goes to see what everyone else is up to and selling. You can tell a lot from what people are getting rid of.) Seems she bought a set of dishes from my high school-Junior-year-summer-boyfriend's mom. Got that?

The mom thought my sis was me...and was corrected. Then my sis heard an earful about how I was so great and her son really screwed up by letting me get away, etc, etc. I have to say, that was pleasant to hear, and to have my baby sis hear. You see, I was that "good" kid - no partying, basically got along with my parents, good grades, varsity athlete, blah blah blah. That summer's boyfriend was an interesting partier that intrigued me (the guys I really enjoyed dating in HS were completely different from me...its what made them worth spending time with - I was rarely bored). He stopped partying that summer because I didn't. His parents freakin' LOVED me. Then school started, and we went back to our respective schools and lives - kept in touch, though. He got involved in some nasty stuff...I was glad to have moved on. Nothing but bad news there; supposedly he's doing fine now. SO...

An old acquaintance (lets call him "H") and friend of said summer b-friend found me through Facebook, which led to me to connecting with a girl I knew well who married a guy in my class. She is a year younger than me, with two kids under seven and she has breast cancer. Her gorgeous, thick hair is gone (for now) and she's heading into some sort of surgery situation, which is still an unknown for her. I can't help but think how I would feel in that situation, and then I can't help but feel so incredibly grateful that I have dodged that bullet so far. And hopefully, dodged it completely.

Having H dig me up also led to a finding a recent pix on his Facebook account of an old flame of mine - quite the epic, that relationship. Seems he lives 3 hours from H. Looks so much like I remember his dad looking that it's scary. Sounds like he's happy...and what better thing to wish on someone from your past whom you bear no grudge against.

All this morass from the past in about 24 hours. I'm so glad to hear the good about those people whom I haven't thought about in years, and so sad to hear of my old friend's illness. There has to be a reason I found out now. Prayers to her and her family.

Thursday, September 18


I refuse to apologize for not posting for a month...I'm pregnant and swollen and hot and fat and none of my pregnancy clothes fit right anymore, so there!

2 weeks to go. Only 2, but it feels like forever. I don't have the "belly" photos, but I just might post them soon.

According to the doc, baby "E" is already around 7.5 lbs. Monkee was that at birth. Makes me a little more than squeamish on the whole "vaginal birth" thing. In fact, getting sliced open like a big turkey starts to sound pretty damn good, actually (my sis, who has had multiple C-sections is sure to disagree on that one - but she's never had to push a 8 lb anything out).

I am asked twice a day, at least, if I'm "ready." Technically, we are. Bags are packed, car seat is in, baby bed is ready, breast pump bought (lovin' ebay), grandmas warned to keep their cell phones on and charged, etc...But my personal "ready" is a little shaky. It's been over 4 years since I last had a newborn. I have many fears and doubts about my abilities...although my Monkee girl is an amazing kid, and I know Chee is right beside me, I'm the mom. I've been the one to feel her bubble and kick and grow these last 38 1/2 weeks. And she'll be my last one. I'll never feel the baby bubbles again...so on the one hand, I'm sad to see this pregnancy end. And on the other, see the first line in this post. I'm SO ready to meet little "E." Any day now, baby girl, any day.

Tuesday, August 19

Maternity what? And some happy pix.

I had a sonogram last Friday - baby girl is growing just like she's supposed to be. Already estimated to weigh 5.5 lbs. If she continues to grow like this, she'll be around 8.5 lbs. Hearing that scared me shitless - Monkee was 7.6 and I almost had to get sliced to have her. No way will a bigger baby fit through these hips...c-section, here I come.

Chee and I discussed tonight the money situation once baby girl comes. Especially, how the hell will we pay for our regular bills once I go on short-term disability? I've been putting off even thinking about it. It depresses me. And as tired as I've been, the last thing I want to think about is financial hardship. Ugh and damn. And who the hell termed it short-term disability? It blows my mind that its in the same category as workman's comp...AND the damn forms ask for a date of leave. If you're not planning on scheduling your birth, it's all a guess. I think I'd prefer to pay more taxes and get oh, I don't know, a YEAR off like they do in Italy. So not fair.

So - changing to some happy...I found these pictures and they just made me smile. And I needed that today.

Can't tell they're related...cheeseballs.

Cutest damn dog in the world. I just wanted to steal him away in my purse. Look at that face! And i usually hate little dogs...but Apollo is a rockstar pup.

*sob* I'm just so proud.

Thursday, August 14

Feeling melancholy, I suppose

I was listening to This American Life and it closed with Elvis Perkins' "While You Were Sleeping." I had to share.

Wednesday, August 6

Nearing the end of summer

You can always tell when summer is coming to a close, from everyone's hectic schedules.

Trying to fit in a simple dinner date is near impossible, even if they don't have school-aged kids. I realized last week that we hadn't been to the zoo yet this summer, even though we have a family pass. We'd gotten sick of the zoo by August this year. So Chee and Monkee forged out into the heat early Saturday morning and came home a few hours later. They both went straight into Napland. There's not much more exhausting than summer humidity. Ugh. I love my AC.

There are other things I'd like to squeeze in, but not only do I have summer ending to be aware of, but there is the small item of a new baby to consider - granted, she's not due until Sept. 30, but there are a few signs point to a possible early arrival (which I am FREAKING OUT about). Of course, it may be more due to the freaking that there are signs at all. Or maybe they're just in my imagination. Whatever. I have too much shit to do in the next 6 weeks. Especially since my waist is basically gone, so bending over to lift anything is out. As is being on my feet for more than an hour, carrying heavy loads of laundry, and going outside when it's over 95 degrees. (Dude, summer just sucks).

So here's to scheduling three and a half weeks out...let's hope I don't have this baby early. That would just thrown my whole damn calendar off.

Monday, July 28

Obama Stampede

Saw the Op-Ed in the NYT - "How Obama Became Acting President" today, and just had to share. I have loved reading how Europe is welcoming Obama, especially considering the way we have been treated as pariahs for the last, oh, 7-odd years (wonder why?).

One of my favorite quotes from this article,
"What was most striking about the Obama speech in Berlin was not anything he said so much as the alternative reality it fostered: many American children have never before seen huge crowds turn out abroad to wave American flags instead of burn them."

Ain't it the truth? I see the wind a-changin'. Finally.

Friday, July 25

Snow in July

I was driving home yesterday and saw snow falling. Well, not snow exactly, but cotton. From the numerous cottonwood trees surrounding my office neighborhood. It's amazing, you'll be in an area of town with no trees visible in a 10-block radius, and you'll be surrounded by fluttering white. It reminds me of when I was a kid on the farm. We had these monstrous, ancient cottonwood trees. So big that several kids could hide behind one at once and never be seen. Which we did, with the cousins, when we played tag, hide and seek, etc...We were rarely indoors in the summer.

Summer meant having the ground covered with the cotton bolls; we'd pick up as many as we could, just because they felt so nice, tearing them apart to see the little seeds inside. I could never really think of anything to do with them...just seeing how big of a pile we could put together was enough. And they had to be clean. If the cotton looked like a farm truck had run over it, it couldn't be added to the pile. When we rode our bikes around our huge U-shaped driveway (there was a small orchard in the middle), our tires would kick up clouds of white.

Those trees also provided the most luscious shade. There were snippets of sun that peeked through just enough to make patches of the yard hot on our feet, but then we'd just jump back into the security of the shade trees. I used to read under them, leaning up against the trunks. I even took an old pillow out with me, to cushion from the scratchy bark. A breeze would blow by and flutter the pages...I so loved to be outside reading.

It's been years since I visited the old homestead. My parents never sold it, and no one lived there after us. It used to make me sad, thinking of that old place, with toys and some decrepit furniture still scattered inside...I still get melancholy over it, but now I try to envision it as that old house is taking a break from all the craziness it had to endure from the families who lived there through the years. It did its job, did it well, and was more than loved. That old house is taking a well-deserved break, just watching the seasons flow by, deer grazing in the old yard, raccoons living in the roof, birds fluttering through broken windows, landing on the piano keys and scaring themselves silly.

I heard those trees have started falling apart, as old things do. Large branches, feet around, have fallen and crashed through the house's roof...I can imagine it happening, not during a windy, stormy day, but during a hot, still summer afternoon, the splintering sound filling the air, with no one but the birds to hear.

I miss those old trees.

Wednesday, July 2

Buy this Book and a Date for your Calendar

Truly - you won't regret it. Plus, the editor is a friend of mine. Read more about the book on BlogHer.

She'll be signing copies of Sleep is for the Weak at the Kansas City Barnes and Noble on the Plaza on Sept. 4 @ 6pm.

Knowing that crew, there just might be a visit to a local drinking establishment after for many cocktails. I'm just sayin'...

Monday, June 30

This is SO wrong

Does this have "extremely unconventional father/daughter relationship" written all over it?

Now, I love Annie Leibovitz...but this photo to me, is just pretty sickening. A little too much sex thrown in...Or is it just me?

Puttin' a little love in your heart...

And if THIS doesn't make you smile, then you just don't deserve to.

Sunday, June 29

Indiana Who?

We had a date night this weekend. I've been wanting to see the new Indiana Jones, and that didn't sound reprehensible to Chee, so we had Auntie come over to watch Monkee, and headed out. Good action sequences for the most part with the major exception of the monkeys. Picture it - Amazonian rain forest, hordes of monkeys (picture "Dexter" from "night at the museum"), swinging from vines, aka Tarzan, then, miraculously our mini-hero begins to the do the same. You really have to see it to get the whole view... we thought it was the worst, cheesiest, most horrendous action sequence known to man (or beast). We looked at one another in utter disbelief - more like a Disney movie than a action movie. Really horrible. I was embarrassed for the movie - could barely watch. 'Course, I'm far from feeling sorry for the Lucas/Spielberg mix...i was just expecting SO much more.

So I'm wondering, what did you think of movie? Did the monkey swinging scene disgust you as much as it did us?

I know the trailers at the beginning always show the best parts of a flick, but we really wanted to see several of the films they showed, especially "Hancock". Damn, I love Will Smith.

There was a big crowd for Wall-E -- no doubt Pixar has once again reigned as the dollar winner of the weekend. We usually go to independent films...it never fails that once we go to a "popular' film, we regret it. We just don't leave the theater with anything, and with less in our pocket. It's always nice to come away from a movie with something thought-provoking, or at the very least, a few good scenes we can re-hash later. Not really anything like that in the Indiana movie (with the exception of the age jokes, at least they didn't completely ignore that). And I have always loved the Indiana movies. Maybe they're just too juvenile for my sensibilities?

At least we have the option of several indie theaters close to us. Wouldn't want my brain to start leaking from my ears from watching pop films.

Tuesday, June 24

Animal Checkout

Monkee and I were in the doctor's office today, preparing for her first visit with a new doctor by reading "Pooh Visits the Doctor." In typical Pooh fashion, he misheard Christopher Robin and thought instead of an Annual CHeckup, he was getting an Animal Checkout. To my mind, they seem about the same thing, really.

Although Monkee did a fabulous job - weighed, measured, "bear hug" from the blood pressure cuff, hopped on one foot when asked, and started talking to the dr.a mile a minute, it all went to hell in a handbasket when we had to get her blood drawn. Monkee has a peanut allergy, and hasn't been tested for it in over 2 years, so they had to draw blood.

There is little worse than holding your child while they scream for their momma, because their real momma wouldn't let someone stick a needle in them for their own good. I HATED it.

Then we got ice cream and it was all better.

Thursday, June 12

Fun on a train with Monkee and friend

Doesn't that sound like a cartoon on Noggin?
And they went fast!

Fruit on a stick

Talk about the perfect bouquet for a pregnant woman! Thanks, friends. It's gone already.

Monkee helped.

Wednesday, June 11

Tattoo no-no

It has to be summer...on my way home yesterday, driving on Gillham, I saw a guy from the back, walking his dog, with long shorts and no shirt. No big deal, except he had this intense tribal tattoo all over his back. My first thought - pretty cool. My second - Yeowch!

Here's the weird part. On my way to work this morning, saw a guy walking his dog a little past the spot where I saw the other dog-walker. Suspiciously, the same shorts, no shirt. Walking towards me.

SAME guy. And here's the *shudder* part. He had a tattoo on his front - an outline of a wife-beater shirt. Who DOES that?

Happy day to me

It's only Wednesday, and it's been a stress-filled week. Work is fine, just busy, a good thing. My volunteer gig is draining, though. I love the group, but don't know how much longer I can juggle work, home life, baby-to-come, and volunteer duties. I feel like home is not getting my full attention, and that is so important since Monkee will have to start sharing me in a few months...not to mention my lack of time with Chee. I feel like I'm on the computer all the bloody time, dealing with volunteer stuff.

Oh, and its my birthday. Which has actually been pretty fabulous. Flowers, love letter and choco pie from my sweetie last night - lunch and something else (?) this evening from him. Great 4-layer choco/raspberry cake made by a co-worker, plus something coming in the mail from the Llamas . Monkee made me a very cute card a few days ago and could not wait to give it to me. Several ecards and notes out of the blue from friends. And the yearly birthday song from my dad, who calls every year, first thing in the morning, without fail.

Damn, I'm a lucky woman.

Monday, June 9

Dancing in the 'Burbs

I'll be posting photos later...but suffice it to say, on Saturday evening we saw the most beautimus little red-haired Angel strutting her 4yr old dance skills, on a BIG, scary stage, in front of big kids, parents, grandparents and random drunk people. She was a rock star, and Monkee loved watching her, was completely jealous of the fancy dance costume and now wants to take another dance class.

After, they rode a kiddie train a million times, driven by by a nice old man with two hearing aids and a need for speed...they rode ponies...they skipped, held hands and giggled. It was wonderful.

Best friends are the coolest when you're 4.

Thursday, June 5

Another win for women everywhere

First Woman to ride to the win at the Belmont Stakes.
Great job, Julie Krone (on Colonial Affair).

Wednesday, June 4

Everyone deserves to dream

Almost makes me want to learn to hang glide.


B-day party critters

I'm not just talking about human critters, but other, more fuzzy kinds.

Monkee loved her party - pony cake, lots of friends, and best of all, critters! (This photo also does a great job of showing my baby weight, lordy.)

Critter 1 - Owl (This one is 30 yrs old!)

Critters 2 and 3 were a baby possum and a snake. They were a HUGE hit. The kids fed the possum grapes, which they thought was just amazing. It doesn't take much to entertain a group of 4 yr olds.

Social Networking Wars

Thursday, May 15

Happy Birthday, Monkee-girl

My little girl is 4 today. And so thrilled that it's HER day. We made ice cream cone cupcakes (basically cupcakes in a cone) last night and she was a great helper. I'll post some b-day pix. Her favorite card "EVER EVER, Momma" was from her Grandpa Doc and Lori.

It (oh my god) played music. From Peter Pan. Over and over. And over. She adores it. Good call, Grandpa.

Heading into her school today to take the cone cupcakes and goody bags in. I've never been able to go to a party of hers at school before, so this should be interesting. I hope she has fun and doesn't get clingy, which she has a tendency to do when she gets embarrassed.

My darling girl...have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 20

Busy weekend

Beautiful spring weather - did a bit of mild gardening. I'm annoyed at being preggers this time of year. I can't fiddle around in the dirt like I usually do. My stomach muscles just can't take the strain. I kept having to rest my round ligaments. So I did lots of laundry. Folding doesn't strain anything, except my patience.

Dinner out with friends, and their kids on Saturday. Dinner with smaller group Sunday, when our friend cooked, and shared her priest with us. Interesting company, and wonderful food. Nice way to swing into a work week. Quite a weekend. I'm exhausted.

We spent a lot of this weekend discussing the upcoming vacation. I feel like we haven't even started to prepare, and it's coming so soon...

Monday, April 14

The Joys of Chalk (or how much I suck at drawing)

Monkee realized tonight that her easel not only offers wipe-off markering and painting options, but it ALSO has a chalkboard side. Quite the revelation.

And yes, the sad, monstrous pig and leaning barn are mine. Sorry the pictures are not closer, but take my word for it, her happy sun, bunny and "Farmer Jed" are rockin' (see Jed to the left of the barn)!

Then she asked for a castle. Oh dear.

But she liked it enough to add a baby dragon and the princess (see window, left tower). She also requested a "momma dragon" - so I drew the part I could get by with - the head. And yes, those are supposed to be flames. My one saving grace - we were using sidewalk chalk, people. And that stuff is huge!

Visitors and Stagnant Pool Tables

This weekend we spent a long, lovely brunch with my cousin, currently of Texas, and his girlfriend. My cousin Dan and I basically grew up together - as the youngest of my siblings and I, he was the "little brother" that drove my brother crazy and was usually just around at events and family gatherings. He pops up enough in family snapshots to make you think we were "four" versus "three." We always loved having him around. Raised by my aunt, pretty much on her own, with a dad who has a lot to be desired (by me anyway, but my dad is fabulous, so I'm biased) he's turned out to be just a really great, down-to-earth person. I just love seeing him.

It was the first time we met the girlfriend, and she's so interesting! Well-traveled, bilingual, obviously smart and very sweet. Although from very different backgrounds, she and Cousin Dan seem (from the measly 3 hours we spent with them) to make a great couple.

Daniel - I wish we saw you more often. You're both welcome at our place anytime.

We also sold the pool table that has been lying stagnant in our basement for several years. We bought it pre-kid, and played it quite a bit in the beginning. Then it just became an island for the gear we didn't want to get wet during the monsoon season. (We used to have a minorly flooded basement every spring, but we fixed that problem - i hope). The table went to a good home, with two boys excited to have it. And now I have a lovely, big empty space in the middle of the basement, surely a catalyst to getting the place cleaned up.

I think my "nesting" is beginning in this pregnancy. I have begun organizing and cleaning up several spaces in the house. All with the goal in mind of having it done before September. It just feels so good to recycle and give away stuff we just don't need. I feel like I can breathe easier after a room (or closet, or drawer, or box, or random basket) has been purged of its uselessness.

Wish me luck. We have a lot of crap to go through.

Monday, April 7

Monkee Manufacturing

I can't think of a better excuse for not writing for a month (!), than the above title.

I've been VERY busy. Busy creating another monkee - internal organs, facial features, limbs, brain functions, fingerprints, and everything that goes along with being a tiny human. I'm 15 weeks along - due date Sept. 30.

And I have been sick as a dog. Not just a little sick, but puking every morning sick and "oh-my-god-i'm-in-a-client-meeting-and-just-might-hurl" sick. The last two weeks have been better, with much less nausea. Some days are bad (felt uggy and headache all day yesterday). And some days are better. This morning started off rough - saw a cat puke (lovely way to start a Monday morning) and there was a chain reaction. *sigh*

SO - enough about that. I've been going to bed right after Monkee, so my blogging time has gone the way of the Dodo. I'm attempting to write during my lunch hour. We'll see how it progresses.

Suffice it to say we are very excited about baby 2. Monkee is thrilled. She hugs the baby, talks to the baby, tells us what a good big sister she'll be and swears it's a girl. We were concerned about telling her so early, but since I've been a little "delicate" lately, we needed to tell her something. She's been my little rock star.

Chee has been wonderful. I've heard about husbands who don't give their wives any slack when they're pregnant and don't even attempt to understand the things we go through. Not my Chee - he's my goofy knight in shining hiking boots. And I loves him.

For those aunts readying this...I'll try to post the sonogram when we get it.

Saturday, March 8

Its been a rough week

5 days of the flu/horrid cold. No strep, thank goodness. And now Monkee has the same yuck. There is nothing more pathetic than a sick, weepy little kid. Not much to do but watch cartoons (she'll settle for old movies sometimes), drink juice and snot all over the couch. We've been through 3 family size tissue boxes this week. Lovely.

So illness has been the focus of my household. Haven't watched the news, checked my email, answered the phone or left the house for anything other than doc appts.

Chee has been a trooper. Took care of Monkee while I was sick; took care of me; bought random supplies and meds, without a complaint. What a guy. Today he's locked away in the office, typing away. He hasn't had the time to write much, what with babysitting me all week. So today I'm trying to switch that around so he can have some time for himself. It's the least I can do.

And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love having someone come and clean the house. I pick it up, she scrubs. It was SO wonderful to have her come yesterday, after a week of not being able to clean anything. Its necessary for us. Now lets just hope Chee stays healthy.

Monday, February 25


Our Monkee is hysterical. Really. She's a complete goofball and I know a large portion of "why" is thanks to her daddy. It all started with the hysteria invoked with a flying lotion bottle when she was a mere 5 months old. The guffaws that came from that tiny little body were the same as the ones that come from our almost 4-yr old. Priceless.

We've been taught so much from the songs we hear daily - such as -- Did YOU know that "Princesses are as sweet as jello"? Or that the best dance move in the world is a bottom-wiggle? Or that the louder you ask a dog a question, the more likely it is that you will get an actual answer? And now she is making up "jokes." Help. Us.

In my house, it's all true. And we're constantly amazed at the next crazy thing that comes out of her mouth. A more-than-perfect reason to wake up every morning.

Friday, February 22

Happy Birthday, my love!

Today is my wonderful Chee's big day. He's feeling a bit "old", but he's one of those lucky few who will never look his true age. He's perfect for one of those Dove commercials.

There is so much he wanted to accomplish by this age, and he's doing it, bit by bit. I'm very proud of his tenacity and talent. (also a bit jealous) And I know whatever he sets his mind to, he can and will make happen. Because he's just that kind of guy.

To celebrate this wonderful man's birth, I started out with big plans to have a party out somewhere. Then decided we could have everyone over. That sounded too exhausting, so I pulled it back a bit and now we're going to a bar (!) tonight to meet a few friends - first time we've been out on a Friday in years, well, months at least. Monkee is thoroughly enjoying her time with her Nana this everning, and our lovely housekeeper (doesn't that sounds fancy?), Misty, left my house 30 minutes ago and it looks & smells marvelous. Misty is my luxury - today was the first time she's been over in years, and now I plan on making her visit a regular occurrence. It's really one less thing for me to fret over.

Saturday, having some friends we don't see very often over for food, and Sunday, brunch with the fam, which will be out somewhere as I'm not in the cooking mood. Meal Makers and the crockpot are in charge for our little dinner on Saturday. HyVee, my tried and true, will be supplying the cake. (This kind of statement irks my mother to no end. It was a travesty to her when she found out I bought Monkee's birthday cakes. "I always made yours", she said, with obvious hurt. All I can say is that I know what I'm getting when I buy a cake. Otherwise, it could be a very dangerous, unpalatable situation. And no one wants that on their birthday.)

So - Happy Birthday to my favorite man. I'm lucky to have you as a husband and friend. And Monkee is so incredibly blessed to have you as her Daddy.

Sunday, February 17

Snow Tiki

Our neighbor's sculpture.

Yes, it really is that big.

Last year, she built a skull. It looked horrid as it melted.

I much prefer this year's.

Wednesday, February 13

Happy Little Car

I'm driving home from work yesterday, and I saw something that made me grin.

It was almost this green, and there were two stripes on the right side only with an all green roof.

It made me grin, because as I pulled up behind it, I realized it made the exact same sound kids make when they are "driving" toy cars. You know, that rrrummmm, rrrrummmmm, sound? It made that.
It looked like a roller skate next all the vehicles surrounding it (including the guy on his bicycle.)

After it turned off of the road we were both following, I was sad to see it go. It brought some cheerfulness to an otherwise dull drive home.

Thanks, little green car. I hope to see you again. And tell me, what does your gas bill look like?

Monday, February 4

Book Lover's Web site

My darlin' Chee sent me this - GoodReads.

I love it and have 20-odd books entered thus far. Its a thriving community. Don't be fooled - people still do chose books over tv. It happens - this site is proof.

Ah, how far we've come since keeping those two spiral-bound notebooks at my first library job "Books I've Read (and what I rate them)" and "Books To Read." At one point, leaving the library was a huge relief to me, since the books i wanted to read had so out-paced the time I had to read them. I was completely stressed-out over it and it was a relief to put it away.

Now that recommending books is a love, not a job, I can start listing away once again, for anyone who cares, to see. With no pressure whatsoever.

On another point - it's Super Tuesday eve, y'all! Don't forget to vote!

Friday, February 1

I have heard tears from a relative stranger

I struggled with what to call this post. After all the %&*$* years we've been in Iraq, I finally know someone is being sent there.

Background: Chee was a military kid, went to high school in Korea. He made friends who left his life for awhile and for one reason or another, came back around.

Jason is one of those.

He called last night - I saw the caller id, noticed it was out of state, and picked up. When he said he was being deployed in a few days, I knew it was Chee's high school buddy, Jason.

I have never talked to this guy before in my life, and we spoke for a few minutes. He sounded terrible, just torn apart. Not in tears, but ripped up inside. He is married with two sons, 5 and 1. I asked if his wife had people around to help her in his abscence (she does). He's taking his laptop and a web cam. He's in HR, so doesn't think he'll be in any huge danger zone. But...he'll be gone for 387 days.

Let me repeat - 387 DAYS. I was so floored I did not know what to say.

The irony is, he was in the Gulf War. Left the military after - went to college - got a degree. Joined the reserves five measly months ago, hoping for some big money as an officer. And now, he's being told he has to leave his family for a damn long time.

Chee was angry, but seemed to understand why he joined up again. I bet he and his wife have gone over it a million times since (how many other families are doing the same?). It probably looks SO good on paper.

I cried for him this morning - I was thinking of his wife and kids. How hard it would be for Monkee and I to have Chee gone that long, and I just couldn't help it.

Godspeed, Jason. I'm praying for you and your loved ones. Be safe.

Wednesday, January 30

How refreshing...

Who knew the Rest of Us are actually the sought -afters, the truly hip ones...

Tuesday, January 22

Ever-expanding library

When I was a kid, the most exciting school days were when the Scholastic Book Order sheets (I still adore these) arrived. As soon as I got on the bus, I would pour over them, choosing many items, then going back and narrowing them down based on what money I had, and what money my mother could spare - we went halvsies a lot. Sometimes my mom would tell me Just one. It was like a death knell. I'd try to negotiate up to more (but its just one package of books, so it counts as one book!). Never worked. It's not that my mother didn't want me to have the books I craved (I'd already worked my way through the small school and town libraries), it's that we didn't have the money to spare. The books I did have, I learned to take very good care of. Some of my Junior High favorites I still keep in my "books I love" bookcase. (I'm afraid to go back and read them again, afraid of them not meeting up to the expectations of my memory.)

Now Monkee brings the book orders home - I hate that they have become so commercial, but the Dora and Princess crap is easy enough to avoid for now. I order chapter books, and classics I remember from when I worked as a children's librarian. I'll also look up a book online if I don't recognize it, before I order. Heck, they're under $5 a pop. Library fines would cost me more. And of course, I try to interest Monkee by sitting her down and looking at them together. Gotta start them young.

I'm between books right now - I had an overload from the library, and returned some I'd gotten through their hold system...but I finished "American Gods" early (LOVED it), and now I'm stuck w/no anticipated read waiting in the wings. I have to hit up my bookshelves for the "I know I'll read it someday" caste. I pulled A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower. I'm not one for romances, but her book Possession is one of my all time favorite reads. Her writing is beautimus and her characters are fully realistic - hopeful and flawed. I hope Babel is not a disappointment. Come to think of it, I'm going to order another of Neil Gaiman's books; see if he can equal "Gods." I love the library - it saves me so much money. But I wouldn't want to work there again. Ah, the libraries of mine past. A dreary tale for another night, full of *gasp* realism, dread, hope, loves, queens and tyrants. Really!

Friday, January 18

Children International - Lift One Up

I typed a HUGE post about Children International. Then, with a blink of 'Publish Post' it magically DISAPPEARED. AARRGGHHH!

Here is the short version.

We're sponsors.

You should be too. LOTS of good reasons (notice the 1 of 800 pgs).

Many great things can happen.

Just ask Curmudgeon.

Or Lina.

Thursday, January 17

Her Many Styles

Ill on a Snow Day

No one likes to read about other people being ill with a virus. It's not interesting, really, just pathetic. We all go through it, so I'll spare you the detail. Suffice it say, I spent yesterday taking care of myself, and my kid (who was much sicker than I, and much more stoic about it). Today we both feel much better, but not well enough for work or school, so it has been a day for resting, light playing and working as much as I can from home.

I considered going into work, but I'd hate to get everyone sick, plus, Monkee's school closed on account of weather. Which I just can't get over.

It rained yesterday, then sleeted, then a light snow. It was slick in spots, and there were traffic issues on the radio this morning. Many schools are closed. I just can't get used to it. Where I grew up, school was NEVER closed. Snow days were something our parents talked about and that we'd go through once during our entire grade school years. I remember my dad taking me to school in his truck on the mornings the bus couldn't make it.

Monkee's school has had several Snow Days already this year. I'd say one of them was really what I would consider a nerve-racking, scary-driving, safety-issue sort of day. And that's mainly because our city does a horrible job of taking care of its neighborhood streets (ours has not been graded/salted in the 5 years we've lived here).

I'd hate to be one of the people who have to make the Snow Day/No Snow Day decision. You know it upsets people. The parents are the ones who have to find alternate care somehow - not everyone can work from home. I'm sure most of the care providers don't get paid for those days (but WE still pay for care on those days, ironically enough).

And not even enough snow for a snowman.

Monday, January 14

Little white lies

Monkee is all about exerting her independence right now. I'm trying to patient, but she's driving me to distraction.

And now, she has officially, on purpose, lied to me. *sob*

I'm sure she's done it before, but tonight, its official. Chee had made one of her favorite dinners, bagel pizzas (no olives, she doesn't like them cooked). We were all at the table, talking about our days like usual, but instead of her usual stories and chattering, she was quiet, putting her head on her hand, while the other used her fork to draw pictures on her plate.

Me: what's wrong, sweetie?
Monkee: I don't want to eat the pizza.
Me: Why not?
Monkee: Daddy made them.
Me: Did you help Daddy make them?
Monkee: No. That's why I don't want it.

(stern look from Mommy)

Monkee: My tummy hurts, Mommy.
(She had an upset stomach this weekend (or so i thought!), so I figured she was having a relapse.)
Me: Do you want something softer, like eggs or cereal?
Monkee: (very seriously) Maybe some grapes.

*note - Grapes are this child's favorite food. I finally began to think something was up as she hopped down from the table, all happy with the idea of grapes heading her way. So, I called her over, set her in front of me and asked her to look at my eyes...

Me: (holding her in front of me) Monkee, do you really have an upset tummy? Are you telling me the truth?
Monkee: (Looks down, then nods Yes. Then looks at up at me, straight in my eyes, SO sad and nods No)
Me: (feeling distraught) Ok, Monkee. I'm glad you told me the truth. Thank you. (big hug) I'm proud of you for telling me the truth. I'd like you to do that next time, ok?
Monkee: (hugging back) Ok

I'm sure she's done it before, I'm not that naive (and I SO hope I'm wrong about that). But I am sad. I just hope that as she grows, she trusts me enough to be honest, even if she knows she won't always hear exactly what she wants to from me.

*Sniff* She's growing up.

Sunday, January 13

I'll call it a "rut"

In the last few weeks, I've spoken with several friends I haven't heard from in years. It's been wonderful and yet, what took them so long? :)

It's hard to watch dear friends move on to bigger and brighter places, while I sometimes feel like I sit. Just sit. It's hard to hear "so, you're still doing that PM thing?" and I think, wow, shit, I am. How did that happen?

I'm still here, where I landed after college. Met my amazing Chee, bought a home. Had a child. Changed jobs and changed jobs. Continued to do a lot of the same things in those jobs. It seems so obvious that a change is needed, but it looks SO hard. It exhausts me to think of taking on a new challenge right now. I love the place where I work; the people are great, the work is interesting and changing. But there is something missing...maybe its the fact that I see most of my friends closing in on their career goals, their dreams. I feel as if I have such a hazy view of what lies ahead for me, of what I crave. I'm more than mom and wife, although I adore the roles, and hope to be a mommy of two some day. But what about the best "work" for me?

I have a friend who tells me I volunteer more than anyone she knows. I feel like a do a bit, but far, far from a lot.
Quick list over the last few years. I've walked the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk in CO (trained my ass off & screwed my knees up worse), Crewed for the 3-Day, Volunteered as the 3-Day volunteer coordinator in my city, donated lots of goods, donated blood regularly, joined a local non-profit arts organization (promotes the local visual and performing arts in my city) as a board member and became the Board Pres. Not much, really, since that was over a 6-yr span.

I need to do more, but you know, I love those parts of my life. If the 3-Day did not require the travel aspect, I'd jump at that. I've always felt I needed to do something that gives back to the community. I know a lot of people say that. And I know there is a way I can do both without sacrificing my family time or financial security - its a matter of how, and remembering that keeping up with the Joneses is not mandatory. In fact, it should be shunned. The Joneses have been known to lean bipolar and hide their manic depressive episodes as they slave over their desks every night at 8pm, instead of reading their kids bedtime stories. The same Joneses who are over-extending and have children who are left to fend for themselves, feel underappreciated and who have no idea if their parents love them, but of course, have huge playrooms full of new toys.

I plan on my kid never having a lack of mommy time. So how do I balance what I need as a woman and worker, as volunteer, as wife and mommy? It's the answer we all search for...but damn, I'm nearing my mid-thirties and not much closer to an answer than I was at 26. *sigh* Why do I feel as if I need an answer? Is it the peer pressure of seeing friends my age get PhDs, live in a foreign country, publish that long-dreamt for book?

I keep thinking that moving from here, finding a new, mountainous horizon will help me to start over, but this time with my adored family. I envision going back to school will help. A part of me hopes my company will open a Western office I can plunk down in. Maybe I need to just start over, find a non-profit job somewhere (although I fear entry-level might bore the piss out of me), try to find something to be really jazzed about. I know that feeling; I've had several jobs where that was the foundation, but they were going nowhere, so I moved on.

It's just so complicated.

Friday, January 11

I am "Twisted"

Saw this "Are You Evil?" quiz on Average Jane's blog - and had to share.

How evil are you?

So, friends, is it true? Think carefully before you answer...I know where you live.

Thursday, January 10

Blogging course

I haven't seen it yet, but you have to post it, to get it. Hmmm, chicken vs egg. So if it sucks people, don't blame me. Blame them for the rules.

Mark Joyner of Simpleology is releashing a free course on blogging.

It’s a multi-media course on blogging. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.

  • How to get traffic to your blog.

  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

Wednesday, January 9

Blog fodder, where are you?

Blog material is everywhere. I hear snippets all day I try to commit to memory, so why can't I think of anything interesting when I sit down to write? I'm sure part of it is the fact that it's the last thing I've been doing before lights out. The best time to write is not when you're exhausted.

One HUGE annoyance today - got a call from the collision place that is working on my car. Seems they are still missing a part. It "should" be done tomorrow. Hmmm, funny that. Last Wednesday was the original "should" date. At this point, we're paying as much out of pocket for a friggin rental as we are for our deductible.

Note - I read the most riotous blog today. Check out the queen of shake-shake.

Tuesday, January 8

Jon Stewart for President

I love Jon Stewart...and so does Chee, so it's all good. We laugh, we cry, we bond. (ha!)

He's a great ad-libber, but it's still obvious he's missing the writers. Still, if I had a choice, I'd rather watch Stewart ad-lib than sit through most of the campign speeches, and especially the commentary shows. I've been staying away from the "news" programs lately; I'm so sick of the campaign coverage and constant guesstimations of who is going to come out ahead. He is my exception. If I'm going to hear political gabble, at least entertain me. I do read about the campaign...the commentary shows just annoy me. It's like listening to football - those who can not play, talk about what they're watching, no matter how inane the subject matter. And that, dear readers, is why the "Mute" button was invented.

By the way, have you seen the vid of Hillary's "breakdown?" It was ridiculously low key - no tears, a bit of a quaver. Stewart showed it tonight, and added several political MALE power-brokers in much more obvious teary-states, as a comparison. Insane. The hoopla around her showing an ounce of vulnerability is an incredible example of making news out of nothing, which Stewart hit in his commentary and vid comparison. If it was a male candidate, this would never have been an issue. Let's hope it's over. Especially since she won NH tonight.

*sigh* - but I still love Jon Stewart.

Monday, January 7

Like the Frog says, "It's not easy being Green..."

I beg to differ...

I'm usually a mild-to-medium shade of Green, but since I saw Oprah on Friday, I've been obsessively, deep, evergreen Green. I went out and bought The Green Book AND picked up a copy for a friend of mine who I know will find it handy.

The focus of the show was on small things we can do everyday to be more environmentally friendly.
For example:
  • Bank receipts - Do you REALLY need them? I only get them when I make a deposit, to make sure everything goes through
  • Napkins - basically, use less. OR use cloth (they're prettier!)
  • Paper towels - same thing
  • Light Bulbs - when your current bulb dies, use the Compact Flourescent kind. We use them already. They really work. And last. And last.
  • Showers - there are celebrity quotes throughout the book. To save water, energy, and to feel less guilty about using more water to get clean than some people have in a day for drinking, cleaning, cooking, etc... Jennifer Aniston says she has her showers down to 3 minutes. So now I'm wondering, when does she wash her hair? I mean, the woman has a ton of it (last I saw). With my short do, it takes that long to just get soap in and out. I'm certainly not a 3-min. shower kind of girl, but i moved it from 20min to 15 this weekend. My goal is 10 minutes.
  • Insulation - fix your windows. Insulate your water heater. Block those crazy windy doors (we have 2!). See if your energy company can come out and do an energy audit. I had never even heard of such a thing!
  • Recycle - there is really no excuse. I'm lucky in that my city picks up all recycles minus the dangerous stuff, like hazardous waste and glass. Chee and I do a good job of recycling the same amount, if a bit more(!) than we throw away. I even contacted the city to make sure the recycling company we use is actually recycling (i heard nasty rumours they weren't) so I feel better know about the effort it takes, which really, isn't much at all! And best yet, by making it a family effort, I'm showing Monkee that it's the right thing to do.

Oprah also had a segment on cleaners. I've been noticing my asthma acting up when we went on our Holiday cleaning frenzy. Could be the dust, but I have a feeling it was also the cleansers we used. I picked up some "poison-free" cleansers from Seventh Generation this weekend. I'll tell you how they pan out. Shaklee, another cleaning products company from the show is also offering a discount on their starter kit this month.

Watch Friday's show. You'll feel enlightened, a bit scared, but definitely empowered!

How are you leaving the condition of your little corner of our one and only earth for the next generation? Think about it, then DO something about it.

Saturday, January 5

Blog Name

After much, much debate, brainstorming and research(!), I've decided to stick with what I know. Really, I'm "Just Fweetieb" after all.

Friday, January 4

Suggestions, galore!

I asked, and you sent...seems the "Bond" portion is a favorite. I'm leaning to a Blog identity sans the name, unfortunately. I have not looked any of these up, so for all I know,t hey may be used already. But, see list below *some left off due to identity concerns.

And NO STEALING these!! (I just know you want to!)

  • Recovering Librarian
  • The queen of draught
  • Bondage and You (sent because "it'll attract a lot of random hits")
  • Me, the kid, and the decrepid old goat I call Sweetie
  • I am not Steve McQueen
  • I am not a Hilton (topical, no?)
  • Michael: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to the Universe (from our friend of the same name)
  • The bond effect
  • Bond Ambition
  • A family bond
  • REDbond
  • Sassy and bond
  • Running with bond
  • Arts and bond
  • Bondshavemorefun
  • GentlemanPreferBonds

seeing a pattern here?

  • Off the List
  • Spread too Thin
  • Writing Myself
  • Fweetie
  • Fweetie B
  • Midwest Musings
  • Communicae
  • Iggy Thump
  • The beauty of Life and My Obsessions
  • Bean Soup
  • A Friend of Mine Told Me....
  • Life, Love and the Untold
  • Virtual Fwee
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • etc...

I've heard there are a few more coming...I'll add as they arrive. I'll have a new name by next week. I'm so excited. Thanks to all!!

Wednesday, January 2

Help Me with a Blog name.

I need help, and I can't give you anything for it, EXCEPT the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you've helped someone out in their darkest hour (well, minute anyway).

I've decided in 2008 I'll be posting on a regular basis, no mean feat for me.
And in doing so, I'm looking for a new blog name. Something interesting, possible quirky. Something that most moms and women could "get." Something my friends will read and say "oh, yeah. That's her."

Previous blog names, all for this blog (I just keep changing the URL, since no one really reads it - yet!) include:
- The Orange Wall (I had just painted and this felt fun)
- Fweetieb Me (bad grammar to the extreme)
and of course
- Life as a Bond - which makes no sense unless you know me offline.

SO - suggestions? Ideas? Am I crazy to be changing again?
Help me, people!!

Tuesday, January 1

Read the books - My Daemon is...

a tiger. I friggin' love that.

I read the books last year - great fantasy, if a bit disturbing. I have not seen the movie, but am intrigued. Like the Potter's, you should read the books before seeing the movie(s). The Golden Compass is not exactly material for a young child, with many adult themes.

Cool little app for determining your daemon on the goldencompassmovie.com site.

Happy Day One

2008 is here. Things to look forward to:

  • I'll be married 5 yrs this year. I'm sure that will come with surprises.
  • Trip to CO in April-ish - We've been looking forward to visiting friends we haven't seen in years. It's n0t like they live across the globe...its just so tough to get away.
  • I'm planning on staying in one job this year. Read that again - ONE JOB (lord willing)
  • No new plants - I gardened the heck out of my backyard last year, with indigenous growth. I think I'll just wait this Spring out and see what comes back.
  • Purge Purge Purge - I swear, this year, we are getting rid of the 1990's computer manuals, magazines I've carefully filed away in order and never picked up again, and all that "useful" crap in the basement and attic that need a home that is NOT ours. Plus those tiny jeans I've been keeping as a momento of sizes long gone *sigh*. (But I am keeping that fuzzy zebra stripe - read: trashy- skirt I wore to the bars eons ago. That one has some serious memories and associated lessons I'll be passing on to Twinkers someday when she's 21. Or 35. Whatever.) I know you want to see it. I may just put a pix of it up, in all its unwearable splendor. Stay tuned!
  • Serious yoga/gym time - Oddly enough, I miss it. I think it's one reason I keep getting sick. My lungs are suffering (asthma) from little excess exhertion. I need to get them back into shape. I hate this coughing; it stays with me and is painful.
  • Reading more of my shelf books - these are books I've had for ev er. And for whatever reason, never read. If I hate the book, pass it on. I keep books I dislike. I think its a comfort thing.
  • Become more environmentally aware - I like to think I do ok, but I know there is more I should be doing
  • Volunteer more frequently - donate blood regularly over my lunch break, find a cause to focus on that helps my community
  • Prepare our house - I know we'll sell it someday. There are a ton of little, nagging items that need to be taken care of. I have a list. I've HAD a list. The list, poor thing, is ignored more than it deserves. So I'm going to hit it again. This year, it is all getting checked off. If I feel up to it, I may post the list. Let's compare. What are YOUR house To-do's?

I read over at Surrender, Dorothy, how she's a worrier and will be working on being less so in 2008. I have to plea the same; however, my worries center on Twinkers school/future (and don't all parents have that worry) and our planet. Not to much on my shoulders, right? I'm also in the process of mentally exhausting myself thinking of my next career - which I see being many years in the future. How can I use what I know, in the job I have now (which I'm liking tremendously), and do some global good? Or is it better to focus on my little circle of the world, help by volunteering where I can, drive a hybrid (next car) and recycle everything I can get my hands on? This will be a future post - I want to do some research and make some serious changes in my household going forward. It's the least I can do for now.

Wishing for a more Peace-filled year than last.
Happy 2008!