Wednesday, January 31, 2007

DramaQueen needs a video too

This is DramaQueen getting her things gathered for bed.... (this came out way too dark -- but, still cute)

And the end result:

Yes, that's right, a blanket UNDERNEATH her...why fight it?

Funny Video

Back in September we rented a cabin in the mountains for a couple of days. It was stocked with toys for the kiddos and Brandelion found a tape recorder with a microphone. This is the result:

It cracks me up every time

Fun With Technology

I have finally figured out a cool way to get pictures on this blog. Special thanks to Amanda at Mommy Diary Tales who helped me out with my HTML code.

Without further adieu -

What a fun Christmas we had!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is it too early to think about the weekend?

I am already planning my weekend and, *gasp* it is only Tuesday. Of course, I have a sorta 4 day week. Friday I have jury duty, so when I am done hanging out with all of the people trying to get out of duty I will be on weekend mode. This, combined with my relative lack of things to do at work pending my transfer leads me to thoughts of this weekend.

Here is how jury duty goes for me (I'm guessing)
  • 7:00 - 8:15 Drive to downtown Phonix
  • 8:15 - 8:25 Park and run over to the court building (lucky me, since I used to work downtown, I know where the best $2.00 all day lot is).
  • 8:25 - pretend I don't carry cash as I rush by all the nice homeless folks
  • 8:30 - report for jury duty
  • 8:30 - 11:00 Read a book
  • 11:00 - 11:30 answer a bunch of questions, and then get excused because *SHOCKING* attorneys don't want other attorneys on juries. Now, you have to understand - I would LOVE to get on a jury....see things from another angle, etc, etc. It's just not going to happen.
  • 11:30 - 1:30 Have lunch with friends
  • 1:30 - go home
Sounds like a good plan. Then, on Saturday, we are going to Tucson for my Grandad's birthday. His wife (my Grandma) died in December, and he is moving in with my Aunt in Utah in a couple of weeks. He and I have gotten really close since he has lived nearby for the last 3 years or so. So, we are having a birthday/goodbye party.

Sunday is, of course, the Super Bowl. And that means, of course, that AtHomeHubby is working Sunday night - and will be watching the Bowl from the bar at his restaurant. Fine by me. I can record it, start watching it 30 minutes late or so, and fast forward through all the boring stuff and watch the commercials instead! Not that I don't love football - I do, when my college team (HOOK 'EM HORNS!) is playing.
**WORKING GAL trivia - WG is from Texas - raised in Lewisville, outside of Dallas, then, went to college in Austin. How I ended up in the god-foresaken desert is another story. This also means I am a Dallas Cowboy, Texas Rangers, and Dallas Mavericks fan as well.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cheering myself up through posting

I haven't posted in nearly a week. I think I have just been overwhelmed by my life. My job has been shaken up a bit - and I am gearing up for what is likely to be a much longer commute starting in a couple of weeks. So, that's right - same government salary - 45 minute (each way) longer commute. Gee *sarcastic tone*, maybe my 2.1% raise this summer will lift my spirits - it might even cover the inevitable increase in my rent. For some reason, facing this longer commute is quite upsetting to my life, and I'm not sure exactly why....

Oh, to be a child again....

Which makes me think of the following story:

I realized the other day that my childhood memories are fairly faint - I remember things from time to time, but it is pretty hazy. I do remember one day with perfect clarity. I was probably in middle school (maybe younger, but my guess is about 6th grade when I started doing all my own laundry - not by choice, mind you), and I was moving clothes from the washer to the dryer.

I said something to my mom to the effect of - I can't WAIT to be an adult - then I can do whatever I want.

My mom said, "don't be in such a hurry. It's not all its cracked up to be. Being an adult can be much harder than you think." (or something similar...)

I remember thinking - "she is so wrong - it will be FAB-U-LOUS to be a adult."

This was the age when my parents went from no everything to knowing nothing - hey, I was 12 or 13 - what do you expect.

Now I find myself saying the same thing to my son, and I find myself wishing for simpler times --doing laundry, and listening to the latest NKOTB cassette. (that's New Kids On the Block - for those of you who weren't between the ages of 8 and 15 in 1988). Back then I had no idea what it was like to worry about bills, rent, career decisions, etc.

Why is it, that we can't comprehend how great we have it when we are so young? And, is it like looking back on yourself when you were just 10 pounds overweight and thinking - God, if I could have that body back, but, then you realize when did have that body you thought you were fat? Will I look back when I am 40 and think about how great I had it when I was 29? I hope not - I hope things will continue to get better.

***begin inspirational music***

Because, looking back, things are better this year than last, and last year was better than the year before. Maybe the graph of life goes like this:

Childhood -- you have it so easy, but have no idea
Young adulthood -- you are too drunk to care
Married with kids -- life is complicated, and you yearn for simpler times
Getting older every year -- you start to realize how FAB-U-LOUS you are turning out, grow into yourself, and care less what people think -- getting better and better.
Getting OLD -- I don't want to think that far ahead
I am pretty grateful for my life - even if things are sorta nuts right now. My kids are being especially cute lately (balanced out by being especially whiny), my husband is being really great about my career choices and decisions - things are good.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union and other stuff

So, we watched the State of the Union address last night and had fun playing "pop-up video." Everytime the camera angle cut to someone in the audience, we put little thought bubbles over their head. For example, I guessed that Condi Rice was thinking, "geez, these shoes are killing my feet - do I really have to clap for this sh*t?"

And, have you noticed, she looks like a bobble head. I think she is losing weight, and as her shoulders get narrower, her hair gets bigger - throwing her completely out of proportion.

I am very excited for the next presidential election. I've been so dissapointed with the last two (like most democrats), and I am once again very hopeful. Right now, my favorites are Barak Obama and John Edwards....but we'll see.

The good news is - Bush can't run again! Of course, everytime you think that Republicans can't get any worse - they do. Remember - Bush Sr - everyone really made fun of him - but he seems like a diplomatic and foreign policy genius compared to his son.

I am all for someone who is a moderate deomocrat - as I have gotten older - my views have began to move more to the center. When I was young and idealistic it was harder to see both sides of an issue. And, I think it is a good thing - being able to look at both sides and be concillatory in tone.

Just my 2 cents (with inflation, probably more like 5 or 6 cents)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hard to feel motivated

A brief rant: It is hard to feel motivated at work when you find out that after just moving to an assignment LESS THAN 3 MONTHS AGO you might be moving again - this time to downtown Phoenix (another 30 minutes of commute each way). Oh, and your boss doesn't know if you are for sure moving or when, exactly it might happen.

Damn - I just got my office set up here! So, instead of working through my inbox - I am online screwing around with my blog. And, actually, I am pretty caught up at work. I would say more, but...this is a public blog after all.

It was a dark and stormy weekend

We had a rough weekend. It rained/drizzled both days and was cold (for Phoenix). Saturday, neither AtHomeHubby or I felt like even leaving the house - so we didn't. Cabin fever was rampant - AtHomeHubby slept until noon, after a long Friday night shift at the restaurant. By the time he got up - I was pretty frustrated with the kids - needless to say, we were just glad for bedtime.

Yesterday was better - we went to the gym (I haven't lost any more, but I'm holding steady) and the grocery store, watched football, AtHomeHubby went to work at 5:00, I made chili - and, OH YEAH - DramaQueen became obsessed with the potty.

We bought a kid sized potty seat for DramaQueen, and also put her in pull ups. She really seems to like the following pattern.

1. Put on new pull-up
2. Play for a while
3. Go potty in the pull up
4. Declare that she needs to go potty
5. Sit on potty
6. Declare, "I POTTY!!! Yea!!"
7. Flush lots of toilet paper
8. Repeat

I think she actually went once - but, as AtHomeHubby put it when he checked - too much toilet paper to be sure.

When we went through this with Brandelion - he was in daycare, and, to be honest, they did most of the work for us! I guess we're on our own.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another milestone

Two days ago DramaQueen wanted to sit on the potty (we still need to buy a kid sized potty), so she sat on the big one. She promptly pooped and was very proud.

Time for us to start the potty training. She seems even more ready than we are.

And yes, this was yet another (albeit icky) milestone I missed because I was at work.

Once again, commence guilt.

Ready to grow up

This story comes from AtHomeHubby last night after Brandelion earnestly talked his ear off about growing up. This is going to be a long post. Indulge me. The conversation began with

Daddy, does everyone have a last name?

AtHomeHubby patiently explained that yes, we all do, and was then peppered with questions about what everyone's last name is. Then the little one asked,

When I have kids will they have *insert last name* as a last name?

OH MY GOD!!! He just realized (or at least vocalized) that he may, someday have children!!

Then it got pretty serious,

Daddy, when I have kids will you take care of them?

No, son, you'll be a grown up then, and you'll take care of them.

But I don't have a job.

You will.

But I don't have a car to go buy groceries.

You will.

Will I live in this house?

Well, you can, but you will probably have your own house.

**crying** DADDY - I don't want my own house, I don't want to lose you....DADDDDYYYY***

(insert a bit of working gal jealousy here - I was never mentioned. Commence guilt.)

Can I live next door?


Where will I work?

I don't know, what do you want to do?

I can be a cook at *insert name of restaurant where AtHomeHubby works part time*!

(working gal recalling cute saying: Brandelion used to say, "I want to be a COOKER!")

Sure son, you could even be a chef, and OWN your own restaurant.

Like the pizza restaurant we go to for lunch sometimes?


If I have a girl, I want to name her Ainsley (Drama Queen). And if I have a boy....I don't know - what should I name a boy, daddy?

You can figure that out later when you grow up and get married.

Who am I going to marry?

A girl.

But will I have to kiss her? That's gross

(score 1 for team No Kissing)

Maybe when you get older you will want to kiss a girl.

I don't know....

I tell you what, why don't you just focus on being 5 for now. Then next year you can think about being six.

Then the funniest moment:

Daddy does Claire have our last name?

Yes, she is my niece.

Your NURSE! How can she take care of you - she is just a BABY!

My little man is growing up. I am so proud of him, but it also really pulls at my heart strings. He takes everything very seriously, and I realize how observant he is. This made me realize that I need to keep his world as child like as possilble, and keep all grown up issues (like money, stress, etc) out of his earshot.

Kids are so absorbant, I think sometimes we forget.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Niece

Not sure I have mentioned on this blog yet, but in November I became an aunt. My husband's brother and his wife had a baby named Claire. Their blog is linked on the side (BradJennyClaire). I am so excited to have a niece - this is my first and only time to be an Aunt (so far...). She is just a baby for now, but I am looking forward to all sorts of Auntie activities as she gets older. The picture is me - in my first Aunt moment.


To help my loyal reader(s?), I thought I would start to share a bit about myself other than the mom persona. Also, I think I might look back on this sort of post in a couple of years and laugh. I am an absolute TV junkie!! Especially with a DVR and AtHomeHubby working 3 nights a week - I cram a lot of shows in. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Gilmore Girls. I have seen every single episode in every single season. Word is, this is the last season. If only I could take bereavement leave when my favorite show dies...

2. 24. I started watching this 2 seasons ago, and really enjoy the fast pace and plot twists. What I HATE is when people get tortured. If you watched the premiere you know what I mean. I end up cringing with my hand over my face (but I do peak out through my fingers).

3. Reality shows/competitions. Right now, I'm watching Apprentice. My favorite every year is "So You Think You Can Dance." Also, AtHomeHubby and I have watched Big Brother every season - what a guilty pleasure.

4. The Class. this is a new show this season - I have really enjoyed the way they are slowly revealing the characters and also starting to intertwine their lives with each other. Good stories, and Jason Ritter is pretty adorable (and about my age!)

5. Grey's Anatomy. McDreamy....McSteamy...yummm And I BAWLED my eyes out when Denny died, and last week when Izzie deposited the check.

6. Ugly Betty. I have loved America Ferrera since "Real Women Have Curves," and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (also starring Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls).

7. Desperate Housewives. A bit hit or miss. I love Carlos and Gabrielle - I think they'll end up back together. Also, I see a little bit of my self in Lynette - although I am not as manipulative. I could never think up stuff as fast as she does.

8. Men in Trees. Not very popular yet, but it is great - sort of Northern Exposure quirky small town stuff.

9. How I Met Your Mother. The characters in this are all nearly exactly my age (they have referenced years they were in college, etc), and I can totally relate. I think Barney is so funny - I just sorta want to hang out with these folks.

10. Big Love (HBO) I am hoping for the second season soon.... This show is kinda odd, but because I live in a part of the country with many mormans I find it interesting and entertaining. (now - so I don't get in trouble here - the characters on the show are polygamists - and I have never once met a Morman who practices polygamy - the church renounced it years ago). Also, I think we have all wished for an extra wife from time to time.

So, anyone else watch these? Do you agree/disagree? I love to talk TV... please comment if you have an opinion.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Still here..

A series of computer problems plagued my long weekend...but, I'm still here. First, a weight loss update - I'm down 2 more pounds for a total of 13 lost!!! Woo hoo!! We had a very nice weekend - Saturday 1/13 was my wedding anniversary (6 years) and also AtHomeHubby's birthday.

The kids and I snuck out of the house Saturday morning to buy party supplies - Brandelion was SET on having a surprise party for him. AtHomeHubby calls me while I am at the store - he woke up much earlier than I thought he would. I quietly informed him that he needed to go back to bed to be "surprised" in about 20 minutes. It worked out well, Brandelion picked out a racecar theme for his dad's birthday and DramaQueen enjoyed shouting " 'prise!!" We had cake (at 10:30 in the morning!) and I made breakfast.

For our annivesary, as we are short on funds, we decided to check out a big Asian supermarket that we had never tried. We felt like we had been transported overseas, and had a bit of culture shock -- we felt quite tall, and also, quite cramped, given that we Americans have an expectation of more personal space than other cultures. The kids loved looking at the the fish, crabs, and lobsters in the tank. I didn't have the heart to explain why the creatures were at a grocery store. Yikes!

We bought sushi making supplies and had an "in house" date after the kids went to bed. We made california rolls, shrimp hand rolls, and smoked salmon rolls. They came out pretty good, especially for a first attempt at sushi making.

As a side note - AtHomeHubby is a great cook, and I am decent at following a recipe, but usually leave it to him. When it comes to sushi though - it seems I have a knack! It was fun to make something for the person who is always cooking me all sorts of yummy stuff!

Overall, the kids stayed in bed and we had a nice night in - celebrating our six years together. It made me very nostalgic - and I just kept looking at him thinking how lucky I am and how much I love him.

Reason to lose #3 - I want to be healthy and married for a really, really long time!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's a sad moment

Brandelion told me a story at dinner last night that both broke my heart and reminded me that he is getting older, and as he goes into school next year we are facing a whole new set of issues.

He has a long red Superman cape he got for Christmas a couple of years ago. He goes through phases with it, and, I guess yesterday he decided to wear it to the park in our neighborhood.

Here's his story, in his words (paraphrased, and what I can remember):

We went to the park today and those boys made fun of me. They said, "you're not Superman" and "superman, superman" (sing-song mocking tone of voice).

He told me that it made him sad, because he was just "pretending" to be Superman. He seemed to take it in stride, but still...ouch. The good thing is, he is tall and broad for his age, and so hopefully he won't get too picked on by kids his own age - it's the older kids that are a problem. My other concern, of course, is that he doesn't become a bully because he is so big.

Can't we just skip straight to college?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Trying a new layout...

This is all still a work in progress for me - I'm trying out this for a while - it is more "green" - like the title of the blog.....

Also, the weight loss plan has gone well the last couple of days - although I have only been to the gym once (car problems today!!), I have been eating much better and getting the portions under control.

Time for reason to lose #2: I want to be a thin mommy - I never ever want my kids to be embarrassed by me (at least about weight). I'm sure I'll embarrass them plenty with my funky dance moves!

Uh ohh....

Two things are going very badly today.

1. Dropped off the minivan this morning with a check engine light and a very rough idle....still no word from the mechanics - that's bad, huh?

2. AtHomeHubby called me a little while ago - thinks he is getting a stomach bug - not going to go to work tonight...

I'll be holding my breath until both problems are resolved!


update - problem #1: Van needs new plugs and wires - $311.97. --Double UGH! The phone rang just after I hit "publish" on this post.

update - problem #2: AtHomeHubby feels much better, and is going to work on Thursday to make up his shift. Looks like we dodged a bullet - no one wants a house full of stomach viruses!

I know his computer skills are good, but....

Yesterday my friend over at Long Island Dad posted about the confusion over their names - then, as if my son had read the blog post, he comes in my room this morning and says,

Mom (whispering)

Mom... (talking)

Mom....(louder....and I still didn't want to wake up - it was only 5:30)

finally, in frustration,


To hear my name coming out of a five year old's mouth was shocking - All I could say was,

"You call me 'Mommy' "

And he said,

"Okay, Mommmmy (sarcastically) ... can I have some oatmeal please?"

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My son believes in ghosts

Here is yet another story about Brandelion. You would think that DramaQueen never does anything, but she does whine alot, and cutely imitates her big brother. Brandelion, though, is just at that adorable age where he is really starting to tell stories.

This has been an ongoing saga for about the last week. I was waking up the other morning when he appeared about 2 cenimeters from my face and said,

"mom - there is a GHOST in my room. I went potty last night and when I went to bed, I KNOW I didn't lock my door, but when I woke up, and looked, my door was LOCKED!!! It must be a ghost."

Cut to the last few nights trying to get him to go to bed where we have tried to convince him either (1) there is no such thing as ghosts, (2) even if there are ghosts, they can't hurt you, or (3) daddy must have checked on you that night and accidentily locked your door.

side note: this is called arguing in the alternative - it
occasionally works for me in front of judges too!

NONE OF THIS IS WORKING!!! He has told us the story about his door for over a week, and he is just convinced. I, once again, blame Disney, and their AWFUL show "Danny Phantom". This show, which Brandelion has called, "Fanny Tasm" (cute, huh?) ever since he first saw it - is really too old for him. We try to keep him from it, and have now decided to go all out ban on it - but, the idea of ghosts has stuck!

I'll update if we ever figure out a way to get him over this! He will eventually go to sleep but it pratically requires an all-out exorcism of all of the demons lurking in and around his room.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Maybe if I put it in writing

I turn thirty this year on September 11th. YIKES. I am realtively happy with my life with the exception of my weight. It started creeping on in college (too much Lucky Charms and beer) and then only got worse each time I got pregnant. Really its my fault - lack of activity and eating too much crap. After AtHomeHubby and I went through a stressful year right after DramaQueen was born, I gained even more. In October, AtHomeHubby and I started a 4 week challenge for me to lose weight.

Side note: AtHomeHubby is a personal trainer who is not working in that capacity right now. He has an amazing body, but, like all beautiful people, is always trying to improve it. He is considering entering a body building competition this year - so, he is trying add mass while I am trying to lose it!

Between October and Christmas I lost 10 pounds. I held steady over Christmas, and have lost maybe one pound or so since. I would like to lose another 53 pounds between now and my birthday. That's about 34 weeks away (less than a pregnancy!) and works out to losing about 1.5 pounds a week - a lofty goal. So, I'm going to post about it, in the hopes that being accountable, at least to my blog, will help me stay on track. So, today, went to the gym 45 minutes of cardio. No major food slip ups.

I am going to post a weekly (or more often) reason I want to lose weight. Here goes:
REASON #1: I want to lose weight because then I will physically look like I belong with my husband. Right now, whenever we go somewhere (particularly the gym), I always imagine people thinking, "what is he doing with her??"
There, that's a good first reason. More to come...

Saturday, January 6, 2007

One more post today...

Just to cheer me up out of my funk today...

My little task master

I haven't been feeling well today, and Brandelion had watched TV most of the day (yes, I am a shitty parent sometimes), and when I took the remote to convince him to go do something else for a while, he said, "I'll pick a show for you, Mommy." Ok, so he turns it on the Food Network (my favorite guilty TV pleasure). 10 MINUTES later he comes back and say, "Ok, mom, I think you have watched PLENTY of TV today. Time to watch my shows. I NEVER get to watch my shows."

This kid needs to work on his quantity words. In his world he NEVER gets to do what he wants, and I ALWAYS tell him no. I'm such a bitch! (Good thing he doesn't know that word yet!).

Tax forms - they spin me right round, baby!

So, I had one of those panic moments the other day as I started trying to estimate our taxes. I already have my forms from work (we get them electronically - it's amazing, the government behemoth I work for doing something that efficiently....), and I have AtHomeHubby's last paycheck. Have I mentioned that my paltry government job doesn't pay quite enough and so AtHomeHubby works three nights a week at a restaurant? Which...funny story....oh, I'll save that for another post.

Anywho, I am using an online site (TaxSlayer) to do our taxes - used them last year too, and I entered everything, hit "calculate return" and HOLY SHIT - we OWE money, and we owe on state taxes too. That's not supposed to happen. I stewed about it for a couple of days, then went back and double checked it all. Turns out, I missed a digit in my "federal wages" boxes, and claimed that I made $10,000 more than in reality. I fixed that little glitch, and REFUND BABY!!!

I then did a happy, you wouldn't have wanted to see it...

Friday, January 5, 2007

Disney is the Devil

I just realized I started my last two posts with "okay." That seems weird - so, I'll try for a new approach in the future.

I have not been a very good blogger - but - will try to post more often. Over Christmas while I was out of the office, my home computer kept getting infected with viruses and spy ware. I have a theory: my son loves to play games on Playhouse Disney. He manages to download games sometimes (not sure how....), and then my computer crashes when I try to do something else - like check my email.

So, here is my theory: Disney is the Devil, and is going after my kid on multiple fronts. The TV is not enough, and so Disney tries the computer. That works really well...and so the Devil freaks out when I interrupt the kid's line of vision (by trying to check my email, or post on my lovely blog) and my computer crashes.

As soon as I log out, and log my son back on - POOF - no more problems.... I am not big into conspiracy theories (unlike AtHomeHubby) - but I think I may be onto something. Meanwhile - I will try to post from work (don't tell my boss).

Monday, January 1, 2007

Cast of Characters

AtHomeHubby - my husband of 6 years

Brandelion - our 5 year old son. This a a combination of his name (brandon) and how he acted as a toddler (like a lion!)

DramaQueen - our 2 year old daughter. It's all about her, really. Just ask her. She is determined to be the center of it all.

Working Gal - that's me