Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: About as random as it gets.


In the spirit of utterly random randomness, I give you....Gumdrops!

A perfectly normal licorice (ok, anise) gumdrop:

An attractive shade of purple, no?

A beautifully lemony yellow gumdrop that is actually artificially flavored as sassafras:

And then....what's this?

A gumdrop like this takes the joy right out of a bag of spice jelly beans from which you are in the process of removing all the orange and green ones.
Obviously there was a little bit of anise left in the mold (do they use a mold? Or did I just make that up?) before they added the sassafras. Let's just say I was afraid to try it.

For more random posts by people who hopefully have not also lost their minds for the day, please visit The UnMom. You won't be sorry.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It seems a little odd to me...

So, I keep hearing about a possible impending makeover of Dora the Explorer. If what I'm reading is actual fact, Dora would go from a very androgynous 4 or 5 year-old little girl to a tarted up tween around 10 or 11 years in age. One of the articles I read said something about all the demand they are getting from little girls who grew up with Dora in their preschool phase and need a new Dora to relate to. I guess I can see that. But if this all is true, would they keep the old Dora for the younger kids? Because the girls love her, and I'm certainly not going to let them watch what the adventures of this new Dora (who apparently lives in a big City) could be. I can just see the conversations she and map would have: "First we go arouuund the junkie, then throoough the subway, and then we get to our pimp! Yay! We did it!"

Don't get me wrong, the new Dora that I saw was really pretty. She definitely looked older but still much like a little girl, and was much more feminine then the current Dora, and actually had some fashion sense. If my girls were older and she turned out to be a good role model and not like a Bratz doll I could see maybe loving this. I'd just hate to see Nickelodeon get rid of what has become a classic while I still have toddlers.

No matter how annoying her voice is.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This is why I love Facebook...

Today we (see below)...
Went here:To see them (Kylie and Amanda):

And of course, their mama, Erica. Sadly the pictures I took of Erica were of the exceptionally blurry variety, so she'll just have to remain a mystery for you. But at least I got some pictures of her absolutely adorable little girls.
Erica and I went to college together (neither one of us works in the field of our major, muhahahahahahaha!), and she is still up North, while I'm suffering down here. Ok, not outright suffering, at least not in winter, but I think for most of the year we would happily trade states. Anyway, I haven't seen her for 5 years, since Kylie was TWO, which is FAR too long, but I'm horrible at keeping in touch (yes, I hate myself for that). But the magic that is Facebook fixed that part. So, since they were coming down to Florida for a Disney Trip, and Tampa is sort of in the middle of Orlando and where I live (in a roundabout but very doable way), we met at the Aquarium for a long overdue reunion.
And all I can say to that is "YAY!" Actually, Erica is where I got that "Yay" by the way. I'm not sure I say it a lot in my posts, but I say it a heck of a lot when I talk.
So, we had some fun and saw some things and as usual I took way too many slightly blurry pictures of my children with red eyes. I'm not sure what you would call the ones I'm posting tonight. "Outtakes" doesn't fit them all, neither does "synopsis".
Oh whatever. In keeping with the nature of my blog, here are some random pictures:
A Roseate Spoonbill:

That apparently offended Lilli's sensibilities:
She kept yelling "Hey Buhd" at it in a very aggressive fashion. That's "bird" for anyone not fluent in Lilli-speak.

Seeing how violently we can rock/looking for any excuse to sit down for a minute:
I have no idea about this one. Dead toddler in a Conch Shell?

It was shortly after this that sweet little Amanda, my new favorite person in the world, asked me if my "sisters" could have a mint. My sisters! All this treating me like I'm still a young thing, that has been happening lately, is going to go to my head!
We could see this cruise ship out the window of the Aquarium. That thing is huge. Why yes! I did indeed want to climb aboard, sail away and not come back for a while. How did you guess?

This picture does no justice to the creature. This was the largest Puffer/Blow Fish that I have ever seen. Much larger than I ever imagined they could get. The stuff of my nightmares in fact.

I do have to pause here to pat myself on the back for only starting to hyperventilate once in the whole time we were at this place. I even managed to take Lilli into this little viewing area that kind of jutted into the main tank that had curved glass and gave me extreme vertigo since it both seemed like I was under that water and gave me the weird sensation of not being able to tell how far away from the glass I was. Yep, pat, pat.
Another side note, Lilli doesn't like the big fish any more than I do. Yes, she is definitely my child. Someday for family activities David and Elizabeth will go to the beach while Lilli and I go to the Spa.

Here are all the little girls in the only shot I managed to take where neither of my girls is yelling or flashing their underoos at the camera. I hope Erica got some better ones. I imagine it would be hard not to.

Ah, yes. As the day went on, Lilli deteriorated. She likes her naps in a timely fashion or else. Here she is giving up completely and offering herself to the sharks. I'm not sure they're aware that there is a baby mere inches away, separated only by brittle glass, but I was. Oh yes I was.

Ahhhhh. It was so nice to see them. Now if only we could go with them to Disney next week!

Friday, March 27, 2009

When is a conversation about lunch ever just about lunch?

Rachel: what did you decide about going out?
L: Panera
R: nice
R: mmmm
L: what do you want?
R: I think I'm Caesar saladed out. hmmm
L: do you need a menu?
R: I've got one, I'm looking at it
L: ok
R: weird. I have a craving for tuna fish
R: I'd probably regret it
L: yes
L: homemade all for it
R: Although it's Friday so they would probably have to keep making it fresh
R: ok, the Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich on Ciabatta, no lettuce or onions.
R: with chips as the side I think
L: ok would you be driving today?
R: sure
L: thanks
R: just remind me to go past the light will you? I always turn too soon
R: oh, and as usual, sorry about my car...
L: ok np
R: I live in filth
L: lol
L: lol
R: You get used to a certain level of degradation
L: too funny when you put it that way
R: maybe funny but sadly true
R: I frequently wish I were not so lazy
R: but it's the way I am [shrugs]
L: you are just a busy busy mom
L: and have priorities
R: yes, and I have discovered they do not include picking anything up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spin Cycle: Quirks

For this week's Spin Cycle, Jen of Sprite's Keeper has again asked us to bare our souls to the Internets, this time sharing our quirks.

As I mentioned here, I've been known to have the occasional quirky coping technique. But really, I am the epitome of normal. Really. There are just one or two small things that I do that maybe not everyone does...


When I go through a yellow or pink light I kiss my hand and smack the ceiling of the car. Whether I'm driving or not. A lot of people do that though. Don't they?

I call lights that turned red as you drove through them "pink".

When I go over railroad tracks I lift my feet off the floor. Not so easy to do when I'm the one driving the car.

When I drive past a graveyard I hold my breath. Perhaps so I don't inhale any parts of the dead people? It doesn't help that the graveyard I drive past every day is across the road from a subdivision that was built on top of, and is still next to, a landfill. So, frequently the smell of rotting ham fills my car at that part of the drive, so there is an element of self preservation to this.

When I drive over a bridge I do not look left or right lest I suddenly jerk the car to one side or the other and fall off, guard rails be darned.

When I walk into the bathroom in the morning I close my eyes until I've turned on the light in case I should see someone in the mirror in the dark that ISN'T ME. Yes, I was traumatized by that stupid Bloody Mary game as a child. Obviously I haven't recovered.

Having been indoctrinated by Mother Goose I have the intense urge to pick up any spare change I see (Find a penny, pick it up, all day you will have good luck. Find a penny, leave it lay, bad luck you will have all day).

I like to hear the entire plot of movies I haven't seen, including the endings, so that I don't have to spend the whole thing wondering if it will turn out well, and so I know which movies I definitely don't want to see. I get really peeved when people won't tell me how something ends, because, believe me, I want to know.

I think rats make great pets. Especially for children. Oddly, not many people agree with me.

If you read a paragraph to me out of a book that I have previously read, and then hand me the book, I can find that paragraph with frightening speed. Hmmm. This might be more of a "stupid human trick" type thing, than a quirk. Oooooh. Jen, can we have a Spin Cycle on those? Unless we already did and I missed it?


I enjoy playing with my girls' toys as much as they do.

If I don't get into bed with a book I feel oddly dissatisfied with life and I can't sleep.

I LOVE to make lists, but I don't actually like to do the things on them. Unless they are packing lists, in which case I really enjoy crossing things off.

David and I have a really complicated set of hand signals for "I love you" that is much more time consuming than, say, simply flashing the ASL sign. We also have it in written form and it's longer than actually writing the words. We're just cool like that.


See? Just one or two things...or three....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Yay!" comes after 10 at my house...

I was extremely proud when Lilli learned to count to 10. Not because I thought this was some genius level phenomenon for an (at the time) 18 month old, but because I was happy that she could say all the numbers fairly clearly. Elizabeth kept skipping five and nine and butchering "seven" at first, so I wasn't able to actually determine the first time she counted to 10 with the numbers making sense the whole way. Although Elizabeth could recognize all of the numbers by the time she was Lilli's current age no matter how she pronounced them, and as far as I can tell Lilli only recognizes some of them.

Anyway, apparently I was so proud that, other than share the joyous news with one or two people, I have done absolutely nothing about it for the last two months. But I did tell C I was going to take a video of it, and put in on here, and then I never got around to it. But tonight I took one. The usual thing with the bad lighting and poor quality, but at least Lilli is nice and loud.

So, since I find myself without a topic for the evening... TA DA! Lilli counts!

She loves the camera. She's almost always happy to pull out a cheesy grin for me and ham it up.

It just can't compete with the Wonder Pets though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: A nice pat to the old ego...


Here are a couple of random thoughts, brought to you by the Un Mom.


One of my favorite things about Florida (yes! There are some things! I know, I'm shocked too), is March. In this part of the state, that's when the orange blossoms come out and play with us. And boy do they come out. The scent is like a drug. The last couple of days I've just walked out of the house, inhaled and pretty much gotten drunk. Or high or something. And I live nowhere near an orange grove (well, according to David we're a couple of miles away. But still! It's not like they're next door!). It is amazing. I wish I thought it was safe enough around here to leave the windows open all night long. Because then my house would smell like orange blossoms and not three cats, and 2 little girls, and a big mess. *sigh* I'm not very trusting these days though.


I had a nice little ego boost this evening. I'm "pushing 30", as they say, and naturally I've started to feel a little elderly. Well, tonight a kid who doesn't know me (really a teenager) randomly approached me and said (all excited like) "Do you like Twilight?!?!?!" I was taken aback, but, well, I do, so we then proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation about the series. Yes, two strangers chatting away like old buddies (well, three, she had a sister), but 1) books can bring all kinds of people together and 2) this kind of thing happens to me all the time, just not usually about Twilight.
Substantially into the conversation we had arrived at Breaking Dawn *SPOILER ALERT*, and I was expounding on my theory that the reason most teenagers don't like the 4th book is because they haven't had children yet (at least most of them), so they don't understand how well Stephanie writes the love of a parent for a child, and just think the whole Bella having Renesme thing is icky and stupid and please give them more of Edward and Bella at Prom. While we moms totally get it.
At that point, I realized that the girl was looking at me in total puzzlement. "Wait.", she said. "You have kids?" I told her I did and how old they were. "But how old are YOU?", she asked. When I told her I was 29, she pretty much looked at me in horror because she suddenly realized she'd been having a very teenaged conversation with an old person. Yeeeeeeah. She thought I was under 20. Which, you know, is crazy right? But very flattering. In the poor girl's defence it was dark out and the parking lot we were in wasn't well lit. And I really never grew up, so I'm sure I was just as excited sounding as any kid, and my voice definitely has never sounded age appropriate, so I really can see why she was so far off...

But I'm feeling much better about turning 30.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Taking it easy

Awwwww. My cute little couch potatoes. They love their Dada.

Elizabeth, especially. She is such a daddy's girl. She loves me, don't get me wrong, but if she could only rescue one of us from, say, the Titanic, she would definitely throw the life preserver to Daddy. Of course Daddy is the fun one, while I'm the enforcer, so I can't really blame her. I might be cranky about it, but Lilli is such a Mama's girl that it distracts me from any jealousy I might feel. We each have one.

The girls even agree about this. While we don't encourage it, we think its pretty funny. They start arguing in the back seat while we're driving somewhere, maybe fussing over some toy or stuffed animal back there, and when neither one can get the upper hand, it always comes back to the ownership of the parents.

"My Dada!", Elizabeth will say.

"My Mama!", Lilli will reply in complete agreement.

We are probably the only thing they both don't want at the same time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Small things please me...

...And sometimes they make everything all better.

After being stressed out for a while I needed some good things to enjoy.

So today I:

1) Got the Twilight DVD- I debated buying it, because you know, in this economy 18 bucks is 18 bucks that I could spend on like, the electric bill or something. And really, I have to say that the movie wasn't that good. Although not as bad as I expected. Hmmm. I think I've said that before, I just had Deja vue hit me with quite a wallop. Anyway, I'm an unashamed over aged fan of the books and needed to own the movie. I also discovered (while I was at Target) that Peeps chicks come in Orange this year, so really, that was two good things that happened. They also come in red this year, but it made them look kind of bloody and it took all the fun out of the thought of eating them.

2) I met Tess Gerritsen. There was a Reading Festival downtown today and I wanted to go specifically to meet her and to have her sign my favorite of her books, Gravity. I should mention that in general I'm usually pretty much a ridiculous combination of sunshine and cheeriness. If I have a dark side, it's that I really enjoy books about serial killers, as well as medical thrillers. The more vomit inducing the better. And that is the kind of book Ms. Gerritsen writes. I don't like that kind of movie, I would pass right out if I came across those situations in real life, but I sure like the books. Anyway, I had wanted to go to her presentation, but the Target stop made us later than I thought so by the time we got there, found the perfect parking spot, and unloaded out of the car, I just sailed right into the line for her book signing. She was extremely nice, although when I told her that Gravity was my favorite of her books, she said that it was one of hers as well, but that usually it is the one that the men bring for her to sign. So I felt both complimented and slightly insulted in equal parts. That's ok though, it's still a good book. It explores the mayhem that would occur if an alien life form from the bottom of our ocean that was only contained by the extreme pressure down there were accidentally brought to the Space Station and unleashed in the Zero G and happened to be deadly. Reeeeeeally good, and reeeeeally icky.

3) Had lunch at a restaurant that serves the best chicken salad on the planet.

4) Went to the CREW benefit concert, which stands for Corkscrew something something Watershed, with JUST MY HUSBAND. As in, on a DATE. Yes, I know, amazing, right? It was freezing cold (i.e. high 60s) and very windy (which probably brought the windchill factor down to the low 60s), and even though were were shivering, at least we were shivering together. And listening to Bluegrass.

If only every day could be like this.

*Note: I got some concerned e-mails asking what happened to Cocoa. As it turns out, I still don't know what she actually died of, but the important thing is that she is now safely interred underneath one of the banana trees in the backyard, and she looked very peaceful. Literally like she was sleeping. And thanks for the notes of sympathy, I thought it was quite charming that some of you told me you would keep me in your prayers as I recover from my loss. She may have just been a rodent, but she was a sweet one, and I appreciate it.*

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are we sure that TODAY isn't Friday the 13th? Because it feels like it should be.

Wow. The highs and lows I've had today. I just cannot convey the roller coaster I've been on.

Of course I'm going to try.

Let's see. Got to work on time, in a pretty good mood, filled with the joy of the impending weekend. Within half an hour discovered a MAJOR problem, i.e., yet another setback in this saga that has been stressing me out for the last month. Then had an extremely unprofessional nervous breakdown in the office as this was the Straw That Broke The Camel. Not just its Back, the whole camel. Yep, I totally lost it.

Recovered somewhat, L and I went out to lunch at a place whose quesadillas can't be beat. That was lovely. I made it through the rest of the day with only minor freak outs, although no solution was found to the Major Problem before I left for the day.

I DID leave for the day, which was great, although late again, which was not. Traffic was good though, as was seeing my little girls for about 45 minutes before I left for a girl's night out involving Bunco. Bunco was also a blast, and my team had the highest point value, and I saw the first shooting star that I have seen in Florida on the way back to my car. All wonderful stuff.

Got home, smooched the hubby, and finished tidying up my sheep collection (I collect them because I love them, everybody needs something to collect, and the meaning of Rachel is "Ewe", "Little Lamb" or "Sheep" depending on which name book you read), that had mysteriously gotten partially knocked down, most likely when two small people who like mom's stuff tried to get at it. I was quite pleased with the new arrangement.

Then went to feed my pet rat, Cocoa, whose aquarium is right next to the sheep (due to lack of space), and discovered she wasn't moving. David confirmed that is because she's dead. Not good. At first I thought that this was due to her advanced age, so I wasn't happy about this, but I was kind of like *sniff*, ah, the circle of life and what not. And then I just saw all the blood in her cage. I have no idea what that's about and I'm afraid to investigate as I DO NOT LIKE DEAD BODIES. Of any sort. So here I am telling you about it and waiting for David to finish the Raid he is on and dispose of the body. Like before I throw up.

Because it has been a DAY. And I think they need to stop this roller coaster and let me off. RIGHT NOW!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spin Cycle: Little Wonder Explorers

Once upon a time there were two little girls named Elizabeth and Lilli. They were out in their backyard one day pretending to go on an adventure.

"Let's pretend we're princesses!", said Lilli.

"Yes, and pretend we got some mail!" Elizabeth answered.

"Mail Time!", cried Lilli. "I love mail time! Here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when it comes I want to wa-"

"What?", said Elizabeth. "You have a tail?"

"Never mind.", said Lilli. "What came in the mail?"

"It's an invitation to Papa's birthday party!"

"We have to go there!", said Lilli.

The back yard faded away. The girls were now standing on a yellow path that wound through a forest, past some sort of obstacle, and to a hill, atop which they could see a lot of birthday balloons.

They needed to get to the birthday party, but naturally, they didn't know the way. What were they going to do? A voice spoke up from on top of Lilli's head.

"I know the way!", it cried.

"Magical Cap! Do you know how to get to the birthday party?", asked Elizabeth.

"Of course!", said the Magical Cap. "I'm a cap, I'm a cap, I'm a caaaaaaaap!"

"Where are we going?", asked Lilli"

"To the birthday party!" replied the Magical Cap"

"How do we get there?", Elizabeth asked.

"Through the forest, past the Grumpy Old Hole, and to the birthday party!", replied the Magical Cap.

"Allons-y!" cried Elizabeth, who had suddenly learned French

As the girls went down the path they suddenly heard a noise.

"That sounds like a puppy crying!", Elizabeth said.

"We should rescue it!", Lilli agreed.

A tiny duckling, turtle and guinea pig suddenly flew by, their Frisbee aircraft narrowly missing Elizabeth's curls.

"What are they singing?", asked Lilli.

"I'm not sure.", Elizabeth replied. "It sounds like something about teamwork?"

"Teamwork! We should get us some of that so we can go save that puppy!", Lilli cried.

"Don't bother," Elizabeth said, watching the trio of little animals zooming away, "I think they have that covered".

The girls continued down the path. They realized that their surroundings did not look as life-like as they had a minute ago.

"I think we're in the middle of 'Beech Forest' by Klimt", said Lilli. "Isn't it lovely?"

"What?", asked Elizabeth. "You keep saying weird things. And why do I hear the Spring movement of Vivaldi's Four Season's playing in the background? Where is that coming from?"

"I hear it too", said Lilli, "It's probably coming from that Violin Tree over there.

"Violin tree?", asked Elizabeth.

"Yeah, look, all the leaves are shaped like violins."

"Amazing!", Elizabeth said. "But what-"

"Look!", Lilli cried. "That must be the Grumpy Old Hole!" Indeed, in the middle of the path there seemed to be a deep pit. "It doesn't look grumpy to me", she said.

"I know, me neither.", Elizabeth replied.

A cranky voice drifted up to them from the depths of the hole. "You'd be grumpy too if you'd been stuck in a pit for a really long time!"

"Hey, I know that voice, that's our cat, Newts!", Elizabeth said.

"Well!", exclaimed Lilli. "I guess I get to sing that teamwork song after all! Only now it's save the kitty!"

"Got any ideas?", asked Elizabeth. "We're going to be late to Papa's birthday party."

"Well", said Lilli, matter of factly, "I do see several pieces of rope ladder scattered around the nearby bushes. We could tie them together."

"Not that one!", cried Elizabeth. "That's a snake! You have to be careful to only pick the pieces that are rope!"

In no time at all the girls had found all the pieces, tied them together and dropped the ladder down the hole for Newts to scamper up. They gave Newts kisses on his nose so he would feel all better and then the three of them ran up the hill to the party. There were balloons and streamers and a giant cake, and best of all, there was Papa, waiting for them.

Papa gave them big hugs. "Thanks for coming to my birthday party!", he said, "I'm so glad you got here, I almost thought you weren't going to make it."

"We did it, we did it! Yaaaaaay, we did it!", the girls chanted.

A lound rumbling noise filled the air.

"Now what?", Elizabeth asked.

"Oh, it's just my stomach.", Lilli replied. "I'm hungry. Want to go see if Mama has a snack for us? I think she has some strawberries."

"Yeah!", Elizabeth cried.

As the two sisters ran into the house, laughing happily about their backyard adventure, the birthday party scene faded behind them.

A moment later Elizabeth stuck her head out the door and yelled "We did it!" to the empty back yard.

The End.

With apologies to Blue's Clues, The Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer, the Wonder Pets, and The Little Einsteins. And a big thank you to Sprite's Keeper who gave us the Spin Cycle assignment this week of creative writing, and has just made my Thursday much better.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Whiny Wednesday

Yesterday I casually mentioned that, since every other day of the week has a theme in the blogging world, there should be a Moaning Monday. You know, a day to get the angst out. Of course this is the embellished version of what I actually said, but that's what I meant.


I actually Googled the term to see if there was a Moaning Monday already in place, a bandwagon I could hop on, and determined 1) there does not seem to be an "official" one in the blogging world and 2) the Online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer actually has a feature called Monday Moaning. But that doesn't really help me. And then my misery caught up with me and I decided that I couldn't wait until Monday to say this:


I try to keep this blog pretty positive. I grumble occasionally, and definitely bemoan the aging of my children, but I don't fuss too much about things. Even though I am by nature a venter, I don't really use this for that. It's a happy mommy blog/journal and I like it that way.

But lately work has been killing me. I'm underwater without scuba gear so to speak. Sinking slowly to the bottom and can't get my weight belt unbuckled. A few more things that would tie in with the metaphor if I had enough brain cells left to think of them. So I'm feeling the stress and I feel like sharing it. So, yeah.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Definitely Not All There (Here? Somewhere?) Today


'Tis Tuesday again. Hello!

It fascinates me that I began this blogging business strictly to talk about whatever (most likely child-related) thought popped into my head, and now eagerly look forward to Random Tuesday Thoughts and Thursday Night (personal deadline) Spin Cycles. And I am more and more tempted every week by the thought of Wordless Wednesdays and Fragmented Fridays and even Moaning Mondays. Wait- there aren't Moaning Mondays? Well, there definitely should be. Work has been kicking my bum lately and I think I need a day to whine about it.

But instead, let us randomly discuss my family shall we? My hubby is the most patient person I can think of at this moment. Elizabeth has entered a phase of obsession with playing hide and seek. It's all she wants to do from the moment Daddy walks in the door until she is forced to "hide" in her bed for the night. And he actually humors her. And appears to enjoy it. Or he is one heck of a faker. His only complaint tonight, after a hour straight of this? That Lilli insists on hiding with him and gives away his spot too early. He's a good daddy, and that's all there is to it.

I spent an hour with my mom tonight discussing Hawaiian Haystacks. Ever heard of those? It's a church dinner kind of dish. You take rice and top it with a mixture of shredded chicken and either chicken gravy or thinned down cream of chicken soup. Then you top it with cheese, green onions, pineapple tidbits, coconut, slivered almonds, whatever junk you have in your fridge. Economical and all, but *gag*. People like them though. I did finally say I would eat it, but only the rice, chicken stuff and cheese. She can just forget about the rest of it. The hour? Oh yes. That was spent googling "Hawiian Haystack Toppings".

Chick-fil-A has brought out some kind of internal monster that I didn't know I had. No, not the one who would pour their Honey Mustard Dressing on anything and/or eat it with spoon, one created by the kid's meal. They have meals for children, I have children. Right now they're giving away computer games. One of which is Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego: Treasures of Knowledge. It's a little (ok, a lot) beyond the girls, so now it's mine. And I can't stop playing the stupid thing. I'm 29, so that means in elementary school, starting in second or third grade, we had computer lab time. On those old computers with the green screens (First time I was exposed to Windows in a school computer lab was 8th grade if this helps you place me on the technology map). And we played Orgeon Trail, which is still my favorite game of all time, well, next to Kingdom Hearts, and we also played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. So it takes me way way back and that's part of the charm. I may also just like the Chief congratulating me on a job well done. I like to be a people pleaser, and that seems to extend even to the virtual ones. Sadly I have more than enough time suckers in my life already, but I'm sure you can guess what I will be doing the minute I post this.

Which is going to happen right about now....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ohhhhhhh, man!

How familiar are you with Dora the Explorer? Probably pretty familiar, but just in case you've managed to not get intimately acquainted with the show (lucky duck!), let me recap part for you.

In pretty much every episode, Dora and her monkey friend, Boots, encounter Swiper the fox. He tries to take whatever it is that they have been collecting in their travels. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn't.

When he is going to make an appearance it is accompanied by very distinctive Pink Panther-esque music. We can see that he's coming before Dora and Boots can, but when they finally spot him they chant, "Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, NO swiping!". If he takes the thing anyway he says "heh heh heh (and tosses it like up in a tree or something), you'll NEVER find your _________ now!". If they are successful in turning him away, he says "Ohhhhhh, man!", and then leaves.


Somehow at our house, this whole series of phrases has become synonymous with a definite no. Like as in, no, I'm not just saying don't ________ even though I want you to, I really mean it.

So recently in the grocery cart, I witnessed the following:

Scene: The girls are sitting next to each other on a bench type grocery cart meant for two. They're being wild and crazy per usual and have decided that tickling each other is the way to spend the ride. Elizabeth apparently gets tired of this (probably Lilli has managed to actually tickle her back a few times, which of course is not as fun) and shouts:

E: Lilli, no tickling! Lilli, no tickling! Lilli, NO tickling!

Darling Little Lilli: Ohhhhhh, man!

End Scene.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Those Dang Milestones.


Stupid milestones. Stupid first haircut. I've taking away the last little bit of infancy about her- the baby mullet. She's even got a certificate.
She's pretty cute though. Especially when she does her impression of the love child of Mia Farrow and Angelina Jolie:
Thanks to Kimberli and the rest of the staff of Bananas Salon for Kids who made this less painful than it could have been.
It was still pretty painful though. At least for me. I should have taken them up on the offer of a lollipop.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This is one of the reasons I married him.

Even though Elizabeth is fully potty trained, she wears Pull-ups/training pant things to bed and when we are going to be in the car for a long time, because I am a lazy mother who doesn't like to change sheets if someone sleeps too soundly and fears someday needing to clean emergency pee out of the car seat.

I'm not hooked on any one brand though. Pull-ups, Easy-ups, generic, I don't care, it's whichever ones I have a coupon for.

Tonight we went to BJs for a whole long list of things. David got there first, so I was talking to him on the phone attempting to micro manage this shopping expedition from the road and trying figure out how to explain the sizing difference between the brands, because I wanted him to get whichever one turned out to be cheaper. And he surprised me by saying "I know, I know. Pull-ups are the Dora ones, get size 6, Easy-Ups are the Princess ones, get size 3T-4T."


I must say I was impressed, I didn't even know he was paying attention. But I shouldn't have been surprised. He's just that good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spin Cycle: Surviving the Madness

I cheated a little bit on this post. Normally when I participate in the Spin Cycle I don't read anyone else's Spin until after mine is posted because I like knowing that however I've spun the topic was purely my take on it. But tonight, my self imposed Spinning night, I found myself fresh out of ideas. Which really stinks because this is MY topic that I suggested to Jen. I know that at the time I suggested it I had something percolating up in my head, but after the week I've had I'm surprised that I can formulate sentences. Or even remember my name.

I'm an auditor (I don't audit taxes, so you can all stop hating me now), and it involves some pretty intensive staring at the computer. When things get crazy at work, the staring gets even more intense. Two phrases I used more than once today (pretty much to anyone who happened to inquire into my well-being) were "My eyeballs are bleeding", and "My brain has dissolved and is leaking out my eyeballs". Not so pleasant, but very descriptive of the sensations I was experiencing.

So, yeah. This week I've read quite a lot of the Spins, which has kind of cheated me out of my late Friday night/Early Saturday morning routine, but has been very enjoyable. The thing I realized though is that I don't have any good stories. Nothing to inspire you or help you through anything you may be struggling with yourself. I've made it through stuff but not in a deep kind of way.

1. I grew up with lack-of-money and parental job-related drama: survived by obliviousness and a love of reading.

2. I made it through high school: survived by having good friendships and the ability to get decent grades without studying as much as I should have. Also thanks to the Drama Club.

3. I made it through college: survived with plenty of pizza, Pepsi and mad skilz at multiple-choice tests.

4. I spent my senior year of college and part of the first summer after graduating planning my wedding: survived only due to extreme love for husband.

5. I did not kill my husband during wedding planning: see #4.

6. I moved to Florida for David's job when we knew no one down here and I reeeeeally didn't want to come: survived due to #4, also was suckered in by the December weather.

7. I had baby #1: Survived due to Dr. Mike the anesthesiologist who I will love until I die. The same goes for the inventor of the epidural.

8. I had baby #2: Survived only due to the extreme shortness of the labor and the Grace of God.

9. I am (co) parenting two cute little girls who never stop moving, working full time, trying to keep my house together and spend quality time with my hubby, all without enough hours in the day, days in the week, or weeks in the year.

I'm not sure how I used to survive, but I know how I do it now.

I blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Tuesday, it's my 150th post, what can be more exciting than that? Wait, I can think of something...


I did it! I did it! Hot diggity, I successfully added a button! You, too, can participate in RTT with the Un Mom, and I've made it official. Really, I should stop this post right here since it is probably only going to go down hill from here. If you notice my title you can see it has taken me exactly 150 posts to get to this pinnacle of Html understanding. Perhaps next I will tackle changing my layout! *gasp*

No, that is almost too shocking to contemplate. I'll have to give that another 50 posts or so.

I'll continue.

-So, in these frightening economic times, most people prepare for the possibility of disaster striking by trimming unnecessary expenses, saving up, turning off the lights, that sort of thing. I'm a little different. Pretty much since birth it has been ingrained in me that you stock up on stuff so you are ready for anything. Or at least so you have plenty to eat.
Periodically I have an opportunity to add something to my stores, despite having no good place to keep them. After tonight's work I now have 25 pounds of sugar, 25 pounds of rolled oats, and 3 giant cans of potato flakes prepped for 30 year storage and readied for the Apocalypse. Or say, simultaneous job loss if that should come first. I guess we'd be eating a lot of oatmeal.

-This freaky baby urge is taking all kinds of turns. Not only was I inhaling the top of Lillian's head tonight like a junkie needing a fix, but I've been to some very diverse websites. Just last night a blog I lurk on led me to the site of a non-profit group that takes pictures for free of still born or dying babies so their parents will have something to remember them by.
Many sobs later I was learning about memorial tattoos and googling baby+memorial+tattoo and viewing some beautiful ones, including tiny little actual sized hand prints and foot prints, and baby portraits tattooed on the insides of forearms so it looks when you fold your arms like you are actually holding your baby. *sob* *sob*
Still sobbing I then found websites that help you plan out the design of any tattoo you might want as I sentimentally considered tattooing something Eliza-Lilli related somewhere on my body. Before I went to bed last night I had pretty much decided that I would get their newborn hand prints right on my chest Eve (you know who I mean, but follow the link to her Wiki if you don't) style, with Elizabeth's hand print holding a rose (for Elizabeth Rose), and Lillian's print holding a Lily.
In the cold light of day I think I pretty much snapped out of that, although I'm not yet out the woods with the baby obsession.

-In some circles my hubby as known as the Cereal Killer. This is, of course, coming to mind due to the chomping taking place behind me. That man has the metabolism of the Flash. Or at least the metabolism the Flash should have. It's scary what he can eat. I look at a cheeseburger and gain two pounds, and he eats 2 pounds of beef and complains that his pants are getting loose. We are pretty certain that he is not harboring a Tapeworm.
At any rate, his favorite junk food/snack food/anytime food really seems to be cereal. Like half a box at a sitting. You know how there has been lots of discussion lately on NPR (well, maybe you don't, so trust me on that) about grocery stores trimming down package sizes to avoid raising the actual dollar price on things? Well, it's affecting me the same as if we were a normal family who had three teenage sons. Really boosting my grocery bill.
Especially since he doesn't just chow down on the relatively cheap Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Sugar O's (what, that's not a name of a cereal? I'm very surprised to hear that!) types of cereals, although he won't eat the generic stuff, he also likes the healthy cereals that never go on sale. Like Raisin Nut Bran and especially, ESPECIALLY Product 19 (since it apparently has 100% of Everything, and is therefore a Superior Food Product). Which is over 4 bucks for a tiny box. Because you pay through the nose for good nutrition. He doesn't eat hot cereal though, even though that is pretty dang nutritious.

I guess he's going to have to learn to like oatmeal when the Apocalypse comes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I don't know where the time goes...

As part of my apparent (most likely hormonally based) current baby obsession, I would like to point out that the owner of the feet from yesterday's post is not exactly a baby any more.

I don't really know when she turned into a big girl, but I don't like it much. Sure, I embrace every milestone she hits, every little thing she achieves. Even tonight when she purposely drew out her bedtime routine by wanting to use the potty, and after using it refused to get off of it saying she had to poo, even though she clearly just wanted to play with toys, even then? I was kind of proud of her.

But good gravy, I miss having a tiny little thing snoozing soundly doing that weird crooked neck baby cuddle/snuggle on my chest.

This is no baby, this is a Big Girl. And I'm more than a little sad about it.

That's a dang cute cheesy grin though.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The things I do to myself.

It seems the "My Pictures" area of my computer is now going to have to be off limits to me.

FEET! Tiny chubby 3 month old baby feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

I'm apparently trying to kill myself with baby hunger. Ack!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spin Cycle: Rachel, Mighty Adventurer...or not.

This week's spin, as brought to us by the Keeper of Sprite, is about adventure.

When I was younger, one of my friends was super into the concept of "adventure". No, not the rock climbing, cliff diving, jumping out of airplanes variety, she liked things like getting lost. Or when an unexpected thunderstorm changed plans on you. She would have thrived down here with the hurricanes. For her, adventure wasn't really synonymous with thrill-seeking, it was more about finding excitement in life's mishaps, big or little. Which is a pretty mature way to look at them. And it just goes to show that there are all kinds of adventure, and excitement is totally in the eye of the beholder. Or in the fanny pack of the adventurer...

We all know I'm not a fan of unexpected events. I'm also not a fan of change. I'm also more than a little concerned about my safety. And I just don't look good in a rappelling harness. But all that aside, I do like to try new things, I just have limits.

I love to try foods from more interesting cultural backgrounds than mine (please tell me what the national food of a Western European Mutt is and I will gladly adopt it as my own. But until then...). I'm not willing to eat things like insects and eyeballs (and especially not the eyeballs of insects!), but I'm pretty game to try new things. As long as they're not too spicy. One of my favorite pastimes when visiting a new city is actually stopping at a grocery or convenience store and looking for food items I haven't seen before. That's what I call adventure.

I also like what I can only call "armchair adventure". I love to read travel guides. I also love to read books on other cultures or time periods. I just wouldn't actually like to travel there very much. I've talked before how I would love to see England and Lichtenstein and Japan and New Zealand (and various other countries I have my eye on), but only in the comfort of a travel group, a planned itinerary and a packing list. It's still true. And if I was made of money I would totally do that.

And I also like roller coasters. Even upside down ones. But only in the dark. If I can't see the ground it takes away my anticipation of hitting it and then I can scream my head off from abandoned enjoyment just like anyone else. Oddly this is also my strategy for giving blood and getting shots. I close my eyes (I'm in the dark) and ask them not to tell me what they're doing so I won't tense up in anticipation. They hate it because they think I'm going to be startled when they poke me, so I have to promise that I won't move, just will they please not give me the running commentary. "Now I'm just wiping your arm off, now I'm tightening this band, ok, now you'll just feel a pinch..." NO! If I wanted to know what you were doing I would be watching! Yes, I actually know what's going on, I've done this before, I just don't want to talk about it!

*ahem* Pardon the tangent.

Anyway, here are things that happen in my life that I consider adventure:

1) Elbowing aside other mothers at the Macy's clearance racks to grab a killer deal first. It's MINE!!!

2) Eating a flavor of a DQ Blizzard other than Oreo.

3) Passing other cars more assertively than usual in an attempt to make it to work on time.

4) Figuring out a new (or new to me) bit of technology. Maybe a feature on my iPod or a piece of software.

That kind of thing.

Not exactly skin diving, eh?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Sir or Madam...

Dear Office Air Conditioner,

Today was not a great day for you to decide to cut out.

You see, I have been very stressed out at work lately. I need to be as comfortable as possible to cope with my responsibilities and my inability to meet them. Sweaty, dear sir, is not comfortable. Small desk fans, even the high powered "turbo" variety were not made for multiple people to huddle around. And considering the small square footage of my cubicle, I did not appreciate the other bodies raising the temperature even more.

I also did not appreciate the fact that I spent more time in the bathroom this afternoon than I cared to since it was the coolest place on the floor. Especially since there is this one woman who always chooses 3PM as her time to....well, you know. Let's just say the bathroom is not the same for the rest of the day.

I also blame you for the slowness of my computer this afternoon. Even though I defragged and disk cleaned and deleted things I will probably actually need later, it still barely stuttered along contributing to my inability to meet my responsibilities. And thereby adding to my stress. I can only assume that it was hot and sweaty too.

So, Office Air Conditioner, thanks. Thanks a lot.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I almost forgot to acknowledge that today is Square Root Day. That would have been a tragedy. At least for us nerds.

Another Random Day

Well, here we are again at Random Thoughts Tuesday. Or as my brain insists on calling it, Random Tuesday Thoughts. Which kind of means something completely different. At any rate, one of them is brought to us by The Un Mom. Please pretend you see her button right

Yes, Tuesday has a way of sneaking around the week and whapping me in the face. Nothing used to happen on Tuesday except that it was one day closer to Friday, and now I've gone and created obligations for myself. Fun obligations though. So:
Random Thought the first: All my bills are due between the 23rd and the end of each month. I didn't ask for them to be that way, they just are. It works nicely. Except for one that is always due the 17th. Whyyyyyy? Is it just to torture me with the fact that I keep paying the dang thing late? Is it true that you can change your billing cycle?
Random Thought the second: Apparently I can no longer let my baby kiss me, at least not in her usual full on open mouth fashion (sometimes with tongue! I am not letting her attend high school). She's gotten me sick! I do not appreciate it.
Random Thought the Third: My cat Bailey thinks he's a dog. As evidenced by the fact that we are currently playing fetch and the ball is wet with his slobber. Which is now on my keyboard. ewwwwwwwww. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.... Until I met Bailey I wasn't aware that cats even COULD slobber. But let me tell you, they can.
Random Thought the Fourth: My biological clock has been going off again, in a wild and crazy fashion, despite my attempts to suppress it. We can't afford a third child without some major lifestyle changes, we would have to stack up the kiddos like firewood to fit them in this little house, I'm not sure I want to face all the developmental milestones again, etc. But I was looking at the cutest little baby in a magazine tonight and boy did I want to snuggle one. Plus have you seeeeeeen some of the cute little clothes out for newborn girls right now? Of course it would be a girl. And I've already named her. Even though David doesn't like the name. This urge is getting to be a problem. So I did the smart thing. I read this post, which is a flashback to my Lilli's birth, and congratulated myself anew for creating myself the most perfect form of birth control ever. I read that when I need to, and oh yeah, I'm two and through!
Random Thought the Fifth died a sudden death when I just realized that I'm exhausted and have quite a bit to clean up before I can go to bed.
There's always next Tuesday though!

Monday, March 2, 2009


My poor baby. Lilli is either coming down with something or has an ear infection, or already has a cold, or SOMETHING. She is such a pitiful little thing when she's under the weather. Drainage, a bubbly cough, a nose like a faucet. And she's very sad. Waking up in her sleep to cry a little sad. Also very cranky, but we like to focus on the cute things like how cuddly she wants to be. We won't discuss the fit she threw tonight when her favorite stuffed dog got dropped right in some dirt outside and we had to take it away to clean it. She FREAKED OUT. To an uncharacteristic degree that I have been seeing hints of tonight and yesterday. So yeah, she's probably getting sick.

Ok, I guess she's actually sick. I just don't want to admit it. We had a super fun play date-filled weekend and most likely exposed multiple families to whatever plague this is. I feel really bad about that.

So gack.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Playgrounds can be dangerous...

We're kind of worried that we're teaching her that it's funny to run people over.

Not worried enough to stop though.