Monday, December 26, 2011

At The Last Moment

I won't lie guys.  It was hard this year to get into the spirit of the season.  There was just so much going on. More than normal.

It had started off with a good push.  I had finished all my Christmas shopping by the first of December.  I was so proud of myself.  I have never in the history of Juju done any sort of Christmas shopping early.  We usually wait until the last minute and I drag my husband begrudgingly around Target and he complains and answers all my questions with "I dunno".  He goes for me, and I realize that.  My man hates shopping with every fiber of his being.  So this year I did 96% of it without him.  I consulted with him over Clover's presents but that was about it.  It felt weird going without him but at the same time I was happy to get it all done early so I could focus on other special things.  Maybe like decorating or baking or something.

Then enters life and I sit around wondering why there aren't enough hours in the day to do what I set out to do.

I think if it wasn't for the generosity and kindness of the people I surround myself with, I may not have gotten into the Christmas spirit at all.  Never underestimate the little things.  Simple kindness goes a really long way.  It was the little push that I needed to remember that the season is about giving to others.  I had been given kindness.  It was my turn to pass it on.    

Even if things where cutting it a little close.  I was still baking on Christmas Eve three hours before we were supposed to head out to the in-laws.

I think my big goal for this year was the same as last year.  I wanted to make a special holiday for my husband and my daughter.  I think it was successful.  Clover expressed several times that she got just what she wanted.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which is the best present she could give her Mommy.  It complimented the pretty present her Daddy gave me.  I'm pretty sure her presents came in second, I think her first was hanging out with her family.  She loves having get togethers.  She loves playing with her cousins and twisting her relatives around her little finger.  She said many times that she was having "the best day/night ever!"  Which is what every parent wants to hear.  Then she crashed in my lap fifteen minutes before bed time.  She was all tuckered out!

As I laid her in her bed I realized that through it all I was able to pull it all together. I rocked it.  Even if it was all at the last moment.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Juju's Recipe for Peppermint Mochas

As you have read before and again and again, I do love me some caffeine.  Especially during the cold winter months.  It seems like every day I am ever so tempted to drive through my favorite coffee house and pick me up a Peppermint Mocha!  That gets just a tad bit more expensive when you want one every day!  On the way back from Papa's today, I was going to harass the Hubby to go through the drive through but we both knew we had plenty of coffee at home.

Once we got home I realized that we had all of the ingredients to make my very own.  I just made this up about five seconds ago, so if it is somewhere else on this big internet then great minds really do think alike!

Take one cup of coffee in your favorite mug!

While it just came out of the pot add one small candy cane that you have beat up with the back of a spoon.

Please ignore the candy cane dust from the others I made before I decided to take pictures.

Add two scoops (or two and half if you like it sweeter) of your favorite hot chocolate mix.

That scoop is a tablespoon.

Stir until combined.  Add a splash of half and half for creaminess.  Then add a very healthy dollop/squirt of whipped cream.  Then add in your other smashed up candy cane.

Enjoy!

Might I suggest you enjoy in front of a nice toasty fire.  One with stockings already hung for extra bonus points!

Hubby fixed the switch today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In Which: I Feel Like a Bad Fan & Sound Slightly Crazy

All of the anticipation.  Following all of the puzzles and checking the tweets.  It was killing me.  All of the excitement.  I was ready...

So where is the October post of the Secret Codes and Battleships by Darren Hayes?

Uhm yeah, about that.  I guess last album I was spoiled.  I found the cd locally.  I was able to walk into the store and buy it and listen to it on the way home.  And I did!  Then Hubby really spoiled me by taking me to see Darren in Hollywood.  "On the Verge" was practically a theme song while prepared for the arrival of my darling Clover.  See I was spoiled.  I admit that.

This time around Mr. Hayes is working with an Australian record company to spread the music love.  Huge deal right!  I was so excited for him and a little selfishly hoping that would bring him to my neck of the woods.  They started promoting the record on the other side of the world from me.  I was a little disappointed.  From all of the reviews the tour was amazing and maybe I am just a bit jealous.

So I go to download the album on iTunes...and it errors on me!  It tells me I am not allowed to download it!  I don't remember the exact error.  All I remember is a blur and then I was mad.  It gave me the error for two days!  If I wanted the cd I would have to order it from amazon and wait.  There was a lot of mumbling to myself and a few WHATs, and an "are you serious".

A total rational person would acknowledge that it's just a technical error.  See what I did there?  I said "rational"  and I admit that I was not.  It's like Darren and I were fighting.  Except he didn't know it.  

So enter a crazy busy life, a three year old and a pumpkin carving incident.  Two weeks ago I just downloaded it.  Tonight I made it a point to sit down and listen to it!  I wanted to sit down and actually listen without doing forty eight different things.  I feel horrible.  Like the worst fan ever.  I think it's totally appropriate that I just got to "Stupid Mistake" as I got to this paragraph.  Now I feel even worse!

I did find a vid to sample the album on YouTube.

It is also available on iTunes.  I was able to finally download it.  I don't know why it gave me an error.

It is an ah-mazing album.  I've listened to it twice tonight.  In this very moment right now I have to say that my favorites are "Don't Give Up" along with "Nearly Love" and "Explode".  I say "right now" because my favorites are constantly changing.  I want to mention "Roses" because it's such an emotional song.  The message is very clear and important, but I felt that it was also a bit sad.  It resonated.  It's a great song.

So hopefully this post doesn't make me sound slightly crazy.  I have already stated that I am slightly off but I know there is a fine line and I try not to cross over it :)

Sad Panda

Two things I can't seem to shake today that have been giving me a big dose of the sads.  Warning:  Kind of a buzzkill not my normal happy go lucky posting.

My long time IRC pal from back in the day got robbed.  If you are old enough to know what IRC is and actually used it then you get total I love nerds points.  Back to the story...she came home to find all of the electronic devices in her house gone.  Along with some collectables that she and her son stood in line to get signed.  I have been thinking about them all day.  What a sucky thing to come home too.  Especially right before the holidays.  Being all the way across the country I keep trying to think of something to do for her other than offering long distance loves.  I thought about knitting some scarves but that will just make me feel better.

I'm very glad that no one was hurt.  That is definitely a positive.  But she is still left with the mess and the damage to not only her home but security as well.  Maybe I will just knit a large scarf she can wrap her whole house in.  Maybe I should start working on that...

My other downer came today via text message.  Hubs sent me a message that said "Col. Potter died"  and which I replied with a NUH uH!  He did :(  I had to google and found the announcement.  The timing of when I found out was weird because I was watching Beauty and the Beast Christmas special which stars David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth.  He played Charles on my very much loved M*A*S*H.  I actually started watching season four of my Martinis and Medicine Collection last week.  Season four brought in BJ and Col. Potter.  I can't explain why I love a show that started before I was born.  I have tried but I don't really understand why either.  I just know that I do.  All of this M*A*S*H talk makes me want to visit the Malibu site.  One of these days I will get there.

Oy today...I need chocolate.  Massive amounts of chocolate!      

I'm a Stress Ball, Ya'll

Clover came in and joined us.  It was early, but I conceded because I didn't want the fit.  It seemed wrong to push her away when she "just wanted to snuggle".  So I had Clover on one side and Hubby on the other.  Within minutes they were both sawing logs.  Time ticked by on the clock and I was still laying there, wide awake.

I had my darlings on either side of me.  I was comfortable and warm.  But still sleep evaded me.  Nine times out of ten I am the last one asleep.  I think it's because I like falling asleep to noise and Hubby likes it pin drop quiet.  So it's quiet until he falls asleep and then once he is snoring I usually pass right out.

I laid there and tried to focus on why I couldn't fall asleep.  Was I stressed?  What was I stressed about?  I tried to go over the list in my head.  Everything on the list will be taken care of eventually but I still can't help but stress.

Why is it so hard to turn my brain off?  The lack of sleep is messing with my days.  Every day seems more exhausting than the last and when I look around at the end of the day I can't figure out what I did.  Whatever it is seems to be taking up all my time.  It's frustrating.  I hope this feeling passes quick so that I can enjoy what is left of the holiday season.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

There is Some Math Involved

Sixteen years and three days ago...a boy came to school with a bouquet of roses and asked a girl out.  This being in high school there were some people that were not happy with this.  But the very young couple smiled and carried on.

A few day later...the boy kissed the girl, because a frizbee hit her in the lip and it swelled up.

Six days after that...she wrote in her journal that she was in love with that boy.  Which she thought was pretty darn serious being all of 15 years old.

Just short of three years later...he proposed.  She of course, said yes.

A year after that they were happily married.

Twelve years later...we are getting ready to celebrate our twelve year anniversary.  There has been lots of ups and downs but just as always the still young couple smiles and carries on.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 30 - Catching a Glimpse

30 Days of Thanks

Day 30 - I am thankful for little moments that I get to witness that help me believe that life isn't all that bad.

While I was making dinner, I could hear Grandma reading Clover a book.  It was one of those simple moments in life where I just couldn't help but be thankful for what I have.  Sometimes it gets all too easy to focus on what is missing or who is missing.  It's easy to get hung on on the negative.  So much so that we rarely see the little positive moments.  I'm glad that I didn't miss this.  Of course five minutes later I walked in to see that Clover had crawled right into Grandma's lap and had fallen asleep.  At 5 o clock at night.  Lucky for Grandma she woke up or else Grandma would have had to stay and put her darling granddaughter to sleep at 10pm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Days 26 -29 I'm Still Around

30 Days of Thanks

Day 26 - I am thankful for last minute adventures.

Our Thanksgiving was busier than busy.  Friday we took a little time off and then got back into the craziness by taking a last minute trip to Ikea.  We always seem to need storage.  This trip we went to pick up some cabinets and cubbies.  We managed to fill up all of Rojo Grande to the brim before driving back home.  Now just to build it all.

Day 27 - I am thankful to be home safe and sound.

My nephew turned one this weekend!  It was a very cute party.  It was so much fun watching Clover run around with her cousin.  She really does love her family!  The only down side was the drive.  Coming home in the thick fog in the dark was a little more than scary.  I'm really glad to be home and warm in my bed!

Day 28 - I am thankful that our Italian place delivers!

I spent the day building Clover's cabinets.  We bought her a STUVA wardrobe for the mass collection of princess dresses.  It was really easy to put together.  It gets complicated when you add a three and half year old who wants to help and when she is not helping wants your undivided attention.  I somehow managed to get everything built and showered before the girls came over.  That just left dinner.  Thank goodness the italian place delivers!

You can check out the STUVA collection on YouTube.  It's true that it is completely customizable.  The only problem with that is that you have to know exactly which pieces you need while you are standing in the isle containing every single piece.  There where a few moments where we thought we had it figured out only to find out we were wrong.  So far it looks like we got everything we needed.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.

Day 29 - I am thankful for lazy mornings! (this may be a repeat but I am really thankful for lazy mornings).

Two days in the car followed by a day of building furniture and I am sore!  Sore and exhausted!  Every muscle aches.  Hello Advil!  So this morning I am taking a break by getting a Muppeducation by watching Muppet's Treasure Island.    

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25 - Pie for Breakfast

30 Days of Thanks

Day 25 - I am thankful for my mom's pumpkin pie.  Without it I wouldn't have been able to have my traditional slice for breakfast the day after.

I got up and was set on having cereal.  It's easy.  After cooking all day yesterday I wasn't in the mood to make anything complicated.  I stared at my empty bowl that was waiting for my Honey Nut Cheerios.  I had the conversation in my head...Cheerios is healthier than my traditional after Thanksgiving breakfast.  I've been doing this for so long that I can't remember when I started.  I do remember the one year when there was a shortage and I went without that one year.  And boy did my mom hear about that!  She felt so bad that the next year I got three pies.

MmmMmmmMmm Breakfast!
 
You should have seen Clover's face when she saw that we were having pie.  For the record she had already had breakfast so it's not like she was just getting up and having pie.  And it's only once a year.

She couldn't wrap her head around having pie for breakfast.

Day 24 - Turkey Day All Day

30 Days of Thanks

Day 24 - I am thankful that our All Day Thanksgiving Extravaganza went off without a hitch.  Minus the whole not having green beans thing.

We hosted both sides of the family for turkey day.  The first turkey went into the turkey roaster at 7:30 am and the second turkey came out at 6 pm.  We did a potluck for lunch and everyone brought dishes.  Everything was delish.  It was nice having the families over.  It was one big family filled day!

For dinner I was a bit worried about being able to make side dishes with that whole hand thing.  So I went the heat and serve route via Costco.  The Sage and Sausage Stuffing was awesome.  So was the Creme Fresh Mash Potatoes and the Sweet Potatoes.  I wasn't shocked that we hardly had any left overs.

I was surprised that we had turkey leftover.  I bought two 17lb birds and still had a bunch of left over.

The only problem we had that evening besides not having enough forks was the missing green beans.  I could have sworn that I had green beans in the freezer.  If I was a betting person I would have bet on it.  But when I want to look for them to make the ever famous Green Bean Casserole, they were gone!  We will just call it The Great Green Bean Mystery of 2011.      

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23 - Still Got It

30 Days of Thanks

Day 23 - I am thankful I took a break to go to the movies.  The Muppets still got it!

It was no secret that I wanted to go to the movies today.  I'm so glad that I took a break from my very sloth like morning to get out of the house and go to the movie theater.

I love the muppets.  I loved them as a kid and I love that my kid loves them.  She recognized Kermit right away and wanted to know where Ms. Piggy was.  Because you know they come as a set.  She fell asleep on her Daddy so she missed the Ms. Piggy part.  We sugared her up and she had more than a few handfuls of popcorn before she curled up on his lap and passed out.  Even though she is three she still isn't heavy enough to stop the edge of the theater chair from popping back up on her.

I missed part of it so I may be going back.  I totally forgot that through Disney Movie Club I had two free tickets.  I'll just be totally honest and retract the "may" from the last sentence.  I will be going back.  It was a very cute movie.

It's something wholesome that I can share with my daughter.  Something that I had from my childhood.  I was so excited when she got excited while watching the movie.  I don't think she would believe me if I told her that Kermit is the same age as her Grandpa.  So you know that if they have been around this long they obviously still got it!

Day 22 - Happy Distractions

30 Days of Thanks

Day 22 - I am thankful for happy distractions.

In the midst of cleaning so that we can have not one but TWO Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday.  I also had to run an errand for Brine bags for the two turkeys.  Then I realized that the store I needed to go to was right next to a very yummy bakery.  So while chit chatting with one of my friends I totally twisted her arm into wrangling her girls in for lunch.  I am so very glad for distractions.  Lunch was delicious.  I'm glad I took the time to get out of the house, I was kind of tired of cleaning anyways.

Day 21 - Seriously

30 Days of Thanks

Day 21 - I am thankful that I don't take myself to seriously.

When I set out to do the 30 days of thanks I had fully intended to blog every day.  I had planned on blogging for Nablopomo.  It's been awhile since I did a meme or a theme for 30 days.  Then life got in the way.  And that's okay.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20 - Do the Brine

30 Days of Thanks

Day 20 - I am thankful for my countertop turkey roaster that I bought at Target on sale.  Best 27 dollars I ever spent.


This year I purchased a countertop turkey roaster.  I always stress out over Turkey Day because we have one oven and by the time the bird goes in it there is no room for any sides.  This year I don't have to worry.  See working on the zen thing already!

Of course I did a test turkey since I have never used a countertop roaster before.  It is very similar to a crockpot.

I used Alton Brown's brine recipe on the bird and brined him up overnight and part of the next day.  The only change I made was that I used chicken stock instead of vegetable.  I couldn't find veggie stock anywhere in my store.  I also used ground fresh ginger since my store also didn't carry candied ginger.  I popped him in the roaster around 2 and he was nice and done by 4:30.  I over estimated my time and figured it would take longer so dinner was a little early.  I turned it on low while I made some sides to go with it.  Let me just tell you that gravy from a brined turkey is absolutely the best gravy you will ever put in your mouth.  I am just letting you know now.  It seems like a lot of work to brine but the flavor is so worth it!  I have made this recipe for a few years now and always had a delicious bird!  I am very happy that it turned out so well on the counter.    

Day 19 - Muppets

30 Days of Thanks

Day 19 - I am thankful for the Muppets!

I feel like a kid.  Wednesday the new Muppets comes out and I am so excited!  We watched Letter's to Santa with the Muppets.  It is such a cute movie.  I don't think you can go wrong with a Muppet's movie and Muppets mixed with Christmas is a double bonus.  Clover enjoyed it as well.  She said her favorite is Ms. Piggy.  I love Kermit and Gonzo.  Fozie was my favorite when I was a kid.  After too many years of the Muppets being locked away, they are finally out!  I love that they are everywhere!  Including on my nails because I broke down and bought the mini nail polishes.  My favorite is Excuse e Moi.
 
Can't wait until Wednesday!

Day 18 - That's What You Do

30 Days of Thanks

Day 18 - I am thankful for friends who are honest enough to tell you the truth and nice enough to do it gently.

Hubby had a conversation with a friend in which this friend told him he was "High Strung".  I tried to be nice about it but I laughed because he is.  He never believes me when I tell him.  So maybe I found it a tiny bit funny that his friend saw it too.  We are working on trying to get him to about "Medium Strung" status. Then maybe we can get him down to calm.

Then I had a conversation with one of my friends in which I told her that I was stressing for no reason and she told me "That's what you do".  I never really thought about it much but as I started looking at myself a little closer, I found that she was right.  She usually is.  I do stress.  I'm a stresser and I worry...about everyone.  Chances are I am probably worried about you right now and you don't even know it.  It took me so long to learn how to unwind and de-stress.  Especially when I was working at a daycare.  I worried about my kids all the time.  Even if there was nothing to worry about I would worry.  Did they have a good day today?  Will we have a good day tomorrow?

Even now I worry.  Being a parent has added probably ten million more little worries to that list.  Lot's of things to stress about.  It's what I do.  I think after all the worrying and stressing it helps to keep me in check and evaluate things.  As much as I think it may help me out, I know I need to relax.  I know that if I spend to much time stressing out about tomorrow that I won't be able to enjoy today.

I'm glad I have the kind of people in my life to help keep me in balance.

So I got it.  Less worry and stress.  More zen and relaxing.  I'll let you know how that works out for me.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 - Moments

30 Days of Thanks

Day 17 - I am thankful for the surprising little moments that life delivers to you.

Sometimes life delivers little moments on a silver tea tray all nice and pretty and ready to be enjoyed.  Other times life hands you moments and you can do nothing else but scratch your head and wonder.

What The Heck?!?

For Clover's birthday this year she received a Zha-Zhu Hamster.  I documented some of the story here.  and here too.  He runs off and gets lost all the time.  My friend found him under the sink the other day when we were cleaning out the cabinets.  She was quite surprised.

I was also surprised this evening when Clover found him.  I wasn't sure where he ran off too.  Even more surprising was when she had one...in each hand.

What?

I'm not exactly sure what happened here but he is multiplying.  Literally.

The one with the key is ours.  I have absolutely NO IDEA where the second one came from.  And why is he/she/it the same color as the other one?  I know for a fact that we only had one.  But Clover told me she found one in the play area and one in the living room.  I started texting randomly to see if anyone left it over here because that is a better excuse than magically having one extra.  At this point I am convinced that someone is just messing with me.

Thank you life for this little distracting moment but now I'm just left scratching my head.

Day 16 - Balance

30 Days of Thanks

Day 16 - I am thankful for the sense of balance that seems to follow my daughter.

Even though we are right in the middle of Princess fest 2011, my darling Clover has been showing me that she is quite balanced.  For all of the pretty pink dresses there are plenty of times spent in the front yard in the mud.  Of course after that she gets a shower.  I've gotten pretty good about covering up the fact that my kid likes to collect rocks and play in muddy puddles.

Her latest obsession is one that she shares with her father.  At first I thought it was a fluke but this obsession has stuck around now for a while and it is something she talks about every day.

So while spinning around in her Snow White dress, she is insisting that she is no longer Clover but actually "Snow White".  Around her neck is her latest prized possession.

Her Transformers dogtag.

Yes, that's right.  My daughter loves Transformers.  Specifically "that red guy...what's his name mom?"  aka Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee.

Every night she wants to watch the vintage cartoon with her dad.  They snuggle up together and she starts asking him all sorts of questions about the bots.  She doesn't quite get the concept that the decepticons are bad but she knows that she doesn't like them.  She know she loves Optimus and Bee.

Yesterday she was kicking the inside of Rojo Grande and I jokingly told her that if she didn't quit that the truck was going to turn in to Optimus and get her.  She laughed.  Then about five minutes later after we got our smoothies she looks at me in all seriousness.

"Mom!  Our truck can't turn into Optimus."

Why?

"OUR truck doesn't have the flames.  And Optimus has flames.  So our truck can't be Optimus.  We don't have those!"

If I was ever tempted to get a flame job on the side of Rojo this would have been it.  Anyone know a good painter?  Just kidding of course.  Maybe.

Day 15 - Unmummy

30 Days of Thanks.

Day 15 - I am thankful for the USB hand warmers I got for Christmas many many many years ago.

The brace came off!  I just couldn't take it anymore.  The support on my fingers was great but if I wrapped it too hard I cut off my circulation.  The brace was hurting my wrist since I was trying to do more even with my limited mobility.  So It came off.

My hand got a little cold while sitting around with the brace off.   I could put on a glove to keep it warmer.  Then like in a cartoon a little light bulb came on over my head.  A couple of years ago my rocking bro in law hooked me up with some USB powered hand warmers.  You know, for back in the day when I played WOW with the hubs.  He may have felt guilty for being the one who introduced the Hubs to WOW in the first place.  Anyhooo, they support my fingers and keep em warm.  Double bonus.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Write a Blog Post

I get poked fun at because I blog.  I'm not exactly sure why.  Hubby claims that he blogged before it was actually called blogging.  He stopped but for some reason likes to poke fun at me for putting out family adventures online.  So I was a little surprised when he looked at me and told me to...

"Go write a blog post"

I looked at him confused and he explained that it was low impact and would probably be good for my fingers.  For the last two weeks my right hand has been mummified due to my incompetence with a steak knife.  Yes, I sliced my fingers carving a pumpkin.  You can catch the beginning here.  It's been a very long two weeks.  I was fortunate enough to have the stitches removed on Friday.

So the run down.  I sliced my fingers and Hubs drove like a madman to the closest ER.  To the point where even holding a shirt on my bloody hand told him to slow down.  When I got to the ER they actually asked me if I wanted the shirt back.  Uhm...no...that's okay.  We sat around and waited even though they put us on the fast track.  Clover went with us and the whole time I felt bad because we were supposed to do an event at the Zoo that night for Halloween.  I was very close to crying when I told her we weren't going.  She took it like a trooper.  She was actually excited to go to the hospital because she "wants to be a doctor when she grows up".  The whole time she was dancing around and putting on a show.

I had a two very nice nurses.  Through all of the my medical experiences, I have had some wonderful nurses.  It was a profession I thought I wanted to do until I figured out I didn't have the stomach to handle it.  So all I have to say is God bless nurses!

We got a Physician's Assistant who was totally cool.  He joked around with us and talked through everything he was doing.  I was a little freaked out at this point but just continued to chat up the hubs while the P.A. shot my hand up and stitched everything up.  We even talked about M*A*S*H (that is where he won me over).   Luckily by then our friend had arrived to keep an eye on Clover so she didn't have to watch all of that.  Afterwards we hit up IHOP for some pancakey goodness.

The P.A. sent us over to a surgical center for a follow up.  As pleasant as the ER visit was, I just assumed that the next Dr's visit would be as well.  I was wrong.  I tried calling them to make an appointment but I couldn't get anyone on the phone.  So we went down there like the P.A. had instructed us to do.  We waited three hours in the waiting room.  At one point I contemplated leaving for lunch and coming back.  They finally called me back and stuck me in a room where I waited some more.  Then another Physician's Assistant comes in.  There wasn't a whole lot of information given.  He comes in and is chatty about what I did and talks me up.  Not really offering any information about my hand.  He does the nerve sensitivity test and that was fine.  Then he asked me to bend my fingers.  This part is hard because my fingers look like breakfast sausages and the pain medicine I took in the morning has worn off sitting in their waiting room.   So that hurt.  I can't bend my pinky so he leaves to get the doc.  Who apparently was on lunch because he comes in eating a sandwich.  Doesn't really introduce himself and seems to have no social skills what-so-ever.  It looks like I cut one of the tendons in my pinky.  He tells the nurse to show me some papers that they should have already shows me and starts talking about me having surgery.

WHOAH!

This is where I come to a screeching halt.  Dr. Social starts talking about knocking me out to keep my muscles from twitching and how they are going to have to split open my hand.  He starts talking about keeping the wound open for 21 days to check the sutures on the tendon.  Then doing 10 weeks of physical therapy.  I am sitting there like a deer looking into a pair of headlights trying to process everything he is saying.  I asked a few questions and I don't know if Dr. Social didn't like my questions or what because the answers I got back where snotty in my opinion.  Did you know that everything in America is optional?  I didn't but after I asked about the surgery that is the response I got.

So they want to knock me out, cut me open, fish up my tendon like a dropped stitch in knitting, leave me open for 21 days, close me up, have me recover and then do 10 weeks of physical therapy.  All of that for the possibility not even a guarantee of gaining movement in the tip of my pinky.  It took me about two minutes to make my decision.  No thanks.  But as soon as I told them I was even considering NOT having surgery everyones attitude changed and they basically kicked me out.  They told me that if I changed my mind that I had three weeks before my tendon receded to my wrist and it would be twice as much work.  If I didn't want to do the work in the first place...why would I want to do extra work?  So they braced me up and kicked me out.

When I went back to have my stitches pulled, the nurse read that I didn't want the surgery.  As soon as she mentioned it her attitude changed.  She pulled my stitches and kicked me out.  No after care instructions or follow up.  I get that it's mostly a surgical center but wow.  You won't let us cut you open so we are done with you!  Now get out!  They said they would send a request for surgery out to my insurance company "just in case".  Based on the stellar-out-of-this-world care I received at your facility let me sign right up for that...I'm being sarcastic.  Thought I would state that "just in case" you didn't get it.  

So that is basically the story up to this point.  I am happy to report that I wrote most of that with both hands.  Which I am very happy about because that whole typing with one hand thing was driving me nuts.  It's hard to slow my thoughts down to the speed of handwriting or typing with one hand.

I guess the next step is probably to make a follow up with my primary doctor just to have everything checked and see if there is anything I should be doing to aid in my recovery.  The wounds are healing.  Things are looking better every day.  I realize that I did this to myself and there is no one to blame but the person staring back at me in the mirror.  On the same note, accidents happen.  Each day I forgive myself a little bit more and that makes me feel a bit better.  I think keeping it on the positive helps me heal a little faster.  Or at least that is what I am telling myself for now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14 - Java, Java, Java

30 Days of Thanks

Day 14 - I am thankful for coffee too.

One of my FB peeps also posted that she was thankful for coffee.  I second this thought.  Then someone mentioned Starbucks K-Cups.

What?

When did this happen?

So I texted Hubs "HOW DID WE MISS THIS?"  Yes, the all caps was necessary!   He told me I was fired for missing this.

I had to google and sure enough it was true.  So now I had to find them.  And find them I did.  Right in the coffee isle at Target.  The hardest part was picking what kind I wanted to try first.  I went with the House blend.  When we got home I loaded up.  Yum!

Day 13 - It Got Away

30 Days of Thanks

Day 13 - I am thankful for Sundays.

Yesterday, I had every intention of posting again to catch up.  This whole posting every day has proven to be a real challenge.  I'm guessing it's because every task has taken my twice as long as usual.  Still only using the one hand.  Friday I had my stitches out!  They said to keep wearing the brace to make sure I protect my fingers for a few more days.  The whole story with the hand doctor is another post.  Not a positive one.  This is a thankful post so I will save it for later.

Sunday was a day without a plan.  The whole day got away from me.  It was awesome!      

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 12 - Traditions

30 Days of Thanks

Day 12 - I am thankful for traditions.

We were in such a rush to enter the Christmas season that many people thought we had completely skipped over Thanksgiving.  We are very lucky to have friends that will bring us back to Turkey day.  Yes, it's a holiday that seems like it's 97% all about the food.  But it's also about spending time with some awesome people.  I am thankful for those moments and for the people we spend them with.  Even though I did have to carry my very over tired three and a half year old out literally kicking and screaming, we had a great time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11 - The Brave

30 Days of Thanks

Day 11 - I am thankful for those who are braver than I.

I am thankful for the brave who have fought for us and continue to fight.  Even if we don't always agree to why we are fighting these brave few have fought just because they were asked by their country.  I am thankful for those who support those people by working behind the scenes.

Having veterans in the family and in our circle of friends reminds us daily of those that have served and are serving.  It's nice to have one day to recognize these brave men and women.

Day 10 - Date night

30 days of Thanks

Day 10 - I am thankful for the alone time I get to spend with my Husband.

After several arguments over little insignificant things, we figured out that we needed to work on being a couple again and not just Clover's parents.  We tried to institute a date night ritual several time but between our schedules we could never get it to stick.  We made an agreement this last round that we were both going to try harder.

And that's what we did.  I will admit that dropping Clover off at first was a little hard for me.  In her three years I had hardly dropped her off anywhere.  She was always with me.  Even driving around without her in the backseat felt weird.

It took me awhile to relax but when I finally did I was able to remember that I actually do like my husbands company.  It's such a different experience to have a conversation with out someone interrupting because she wants to be part too.  We can talk about grown up things and I don't have to worry about little ears repeating what they heard later.

Last night we went out for chinese food at our favorite place and ordered something new.  It was pretty spicy and delicious.  We talked about random stuff.  Later in the evening we tried to come up with a game plan to tackle our latest round of stressors.

Even though it's only for a few hours it's nice to remember that we are still a couple.  Now if I can just get around to making time for myself, I would be all set.
   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9 - Warm and Cozy

30 Days of Thanks

Day 9 - I am thankful for jammies and my new electric blanket.

The last two days have been long and difficult.  I won't lie, it's been hard.  The one thing I keep thinking about is snuggling down in my pajamas and my new electric blanket.  I can't wait to get nice and cozy and put on M*A*S*H reruns.  You know, since I have total control of the remote.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 - You've Got a Friend Revisited

30 Days of Thanks

Day 8 - I am thankful for the company I keep.

I am pretty appreciative of my life normally so it can get kind of hard to focus on what to write about once a day for 30 days.  Today, I started focusing on why I am so appreciative.  Just brainstorming, I kept coming back to my friends.  I am very blessed to have such a diverse group of people to call my friends.  Every one of them is different and uniquely beautiful.  They all have so many traits that I wished I possessed.  So I just observe them in hopes of picking up a trait or five.

I have my super close pals who have no problems telling me to chill out.  The same few that help me get out of my box and try new things.  I've got the friends that I wish I could see more of but when we do get together it's like there was no gap in time and we pick up right where we left off.  I've got the buddies who have moved away but thanks to social media we can keep in touch.  If to do nothing else than post silly stuff on there Facebook page.  I'm fortunate enough to have a great group on Facebook that is always good for a laugh or possibly an e-hug when my days are tough.

So after all that brainstorming and thinking I have come up with my conclusion...I am so very blessed and so very thankful to have you.      

Day 7 - Little Miss Independant

30 Days of Thanks

Day 7 - I am thankful for my independence and helpful people around to help when I am not so independent.

In the grand scale, I am thankful that I can say what I want to say, and write what I want to write about.  On the smaller scale of things, I am thankful for my "get it done" attitude.  This has proven to be a blessing and a hinderance.  People start to assume that you have everything covered even if you don't.  Especially because everything is normally under control.  When the time comes that you actually do need help there are few people standing in line.  I am thankful for these people.  Even if it something like serving pie to everyone, doing the dishes, taking out the trash or volunteering to watch Clover so she doesn't have to sit in the boring o ER room.  It's all appreciated.  Very much so.
     

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6 - Say What?

30 Days of Thanks

Day 6 - I am thankful for my darling daughter's sense of humor.

We have heard some doozies around these parts.  Yesterday I actually had to contain most of my laughter.  I wasn't sure if it was a moment where I should have scolded her or encouraged it.  While driving in a parking lot Hubs was commenting about how busy it was.  From the backseat we hear:

"Dad...Dad..Caaaalm down.  I know you are excited...but you really need to try to calm down!"  She was right, he really needed to calm down.  I had my hand over my mouth while I was trying not to laugh.  Needless to say I really didn't do anything.  It was too funny of a moment.

The other day I was complaining about the neighbors dog who likes to poop on our lawn.

Clover piped up "oh yeah, well...Soda poops bubble gum!"

"What color?"

Without hesitating "Red!"

I guess thats just an added bonus to having the imaginary dog around.

Today she yelled at me for not shaving her Daddy's hair.  She was very serious about wanting to know WHY.  Just like when she yells at me for wearing her father's shirts.  

Just when I figure she isn't listening to me she goes and proves me wrong.  When we were in the ER, Daddy and I joked about them installing a hook so I could do laundry faster.  Yesterday she told me that I wasn't going very fast with my "hook" and mimed how I was supposed to be doing it.

Such a funny creature for something so small.  Even though I sometimes question who taught her how to talk I really do enjoy the conversations we have and the humor she brings to every day.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5 - Hubby

30 Days of Thanks

Day 5 - I want to take a minute to say that I'm thankful for my Husband.

It wouldn't be a thankful list if I didn't include my Hubs.  I am very lucky and blessed that we found each other so early in our lives.  I'm glad that after so long we still mange to like each other.

Yes, we are High School Sweethearts.  You can stop rolling your eyes now.  Next month will mark our 16th year together.  We've had our share of ups and downs and I'm still glad that he's the one I snuggle up to at the end of the day.  He says that I only snuggle up to him because he's my personal heat generator.  I don't think thats the only reason.  But he must be pretty warm since Clover crawls right up the middle of the bed around three o clock in the morning.

I feel bad that the first day of his vacation I managed to slice my hand up.  Luckily he has been pretty understanding and has been doing the dishes for me.  Also lucky for me is that he looks pretty hot while doing em.      

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 - Just Breathe

30 days of Thanks

Day 4 - I am thankful for the level of patience that the good Lord has blessed me with.

No other explanation makes any sort of sense other than I was blessed with it.

When I was in the classroom I always heard about how patient I was to work with kids.  I didn't really think anything of it since it all just came natural to me.  One of my friends complimented me on my ability to stay calm in chaotic situations.  I guess I just get in modes where I handle it then think about it later.

My big secret - Just Breathe

Okay, so it's not that big of a secret.  There has been lots of breathing this week.  Hubby stated that he needed more patience.  So I googled it for him and found this wikihow on patience.   Imagine my surprise to find out that my big secret was number 4.

      Overcome bouts of impatience. In the long run, developing patience requires a change in your attitude about life, but you can immediately make progress by learning to relaxwhenever you feel impatient. Take a few deep breaths and just try to clear your mind.Concentrate on breathing and you'll be able to get your bearings.

I also think that number 12 is pretty important as well:
   
      Always have a positive outlook in life. Being always positive is very imperative as possessing a sense of patience. Remember that life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Staying positive is kind of a biggie.  I have been trying my best to breathe it out and stay positive this week.  I find my patience being tested by the simplest task.  Everything has taken more effort, patience and time as I struggle through everything with my left hand.  My right hand still out of commission and in a sling.  I'm still in the game.  Being a Wife and a Mommy doesn't stop because my hand is in a sling.  Hubs has stepped up and taken over dishes and trash duties.  But there are still meals to be made and laundry to be washed.  The world keeps turning.  Even if I struggle to get myself dressed the world doesn't wait for me.  So every morning I wipe the crust out of my eyes and remind myself that every day I am getting better and that soon things will return to normal.  As silly and crazy as normal was.    

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3 - Chillaxin

30 Days of Thanks

Day 3 - Chillaxin

Chillaxin:  The combination of chillin and relaxin.

Lots of thoughts and never enough time to get them all out in an articulate, not crazy sounding way.  Today was pretty chill and before I knew it, it was over.  We went to class.  I took a nap.  We went to the park and did a bit of shopping.  I made dinner and now we are winding down watching Peppa Pig.  Hubby has been on vacation and I think a nice chillaxin day was just what we needed. The weather was nice and cool, and slightly breezy.

I am thankful for days like today.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 - Sometimes

30 Days of Thanks

Day Two:  Little Surprises

Sometimes people surprise you.  This much I know is true.  Sometimes the surprises are good.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes people act just as you expect them to do.

Sometimes, they do the dishes for you just cuz.  Mostly the cause is your hand is in a sling but, I'll take it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

I'm taking the Facebook meme off of Facebook and putting it up on my blog.  You know how I love me some memes.

So Day 1:  I am thankful for my sense of humor!

The last several days, I have been the butt of several rounds of the same joke.  Had I been getting a dime for every time I've been made fun of, I would have enough to take myself to Disneyland.

It is however, all my fault.  And I am learning how to take my lumps.

So the backstory...

After my awesome Repunzel pumpkin, we still had three pumpkins left.  I really wanted to open them up and roast up some seeds.  I had broken the two saws in the kit so on Saturday, I opted for the steak knife.  Anyone want to guess what happens next?  An ER trip, 5 hours and eleven stitches later...I nominated myself for the Darwin Award.


So it's been very slow going typing this.  I have to slow my thoughts down to keep up with my one hand.  My LEFT hand.  I sliced my pinky and my ring finger on my right dominant hand.  During the entire time I remained calm and kept my sense of humor.  Yes, I was scared and in pain but freaking out wouldn't have helped the situation one bit.  So we joked around while we waited.  I guess being together with the Hubs as long as I have, we have lots of material to joke about.  I made some comment about tetanus and lockjaw.  The hubby came back with "ahh peace and quiet".  We glanced at the nurse and the look on her face was one of total shock.  I was laughing so hard on the inside.

Even when we came out to greet my friend who graciously showed up to watch Clover, I was singing "I got eleven stitches!"  It was sung horribly and off key.  My darling Clover was a trooper and actually liked going to the hospital because she wants to be a "doctor or a mermaid".  However, the poor thing woke up with cold this morning.  Wiping her nose with my left hand has proven to be a bit of a challenge.

Most of the joking has come from people who know me and love me (and I love them so I have been letting it slide) but the most surprising comments have been from total strangers.  I've actually had two checkers at stores ask me what I did and after hearing my explanation felt the need to add their own colorful commentary.  One smarty actually asked me if I knew I was supposed to carve the pumpkin and not myself.  Hardy har har dude.

I'm thinking, maybe I should start a jar and everyone who makes fun of me can add their own ten cents.  And when I am all healed up I'll be chillin in Anaheim with a cocktail in my good hand and my full jar of dimes in the other!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh, The Things We Do

Like I have mentioned we are in full blown Princess Mode in our house.  So when it was suggested that Clover could indeed have a "Princess" pumpkin, you know she jumped on that as fast as she could.  She expressed that she wanted a Repunzel pumpkin.  Daddy/Flynn Rider got involved, googled and found a stencil from Disney Family Fun.  I have to admit that I am not talented when it comes to anything Halloween related.  Usually my Jack O Lantern gets two wonky eyes, a nose and a goofy mouth.  This year I felt that I could step it up a bit.  That and I wanted to give my darling princess her very own princess pumpkin.  About two minutes later I realized I had no idea what I was doing.  I guess it's good to step out of one's comfort zone every now and then.

  
I suggest that if you are going to attempt any pumpkin stenciling that you not chose a pumpkin that is 8 inches thick.  Okay it wasn't 8 inches thick, it was about four.  The small knife that came in the carving kit wasn't long enough to go through the pumpkin.  Several of the pieces I had to cut more than once.


Picking the stencil was the easiest part.  She already knew what she wanted before we even knew if we could do it.  Disney Family Fun has lot's of other stencils/templates to choose from here.  Use plain o printer paper because you will be poking lot's of little holes in it.

Notice the M*A*S*H shirt?  I was preforming pumpkin surgery!
Just call me Hawkeye!
 
Tape down your template and poke lots and lots of little holes to transfer your design onto the pumpkin.  The paper folded here and there because you are trying to put a rectangular piece of paper onto a round pumpkin.  I wasn't going for exact science so I made it work.

Poke, poke, cut, cut, saw, saw, comment on how the knife hasn't broken yet.  *Knife Breaks*  Then curse under you breath so the little one can't hear you.  Continue on with the little knife that won't go all the way through your massive gigantic pumpkin.  *Little Knife Breaks*.  This is the part where you resist the urge to bash your forehead on the table.  Laugh it off and move on.  


  
Oh the things we do for our children!  It was fun stepping out of my zone but for the next pumpkins I'm going simple!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Bits

Little insecurities have been making their way through lately.  I'm not even sure where they are coming from but it seems like bits here and there are coming off my outer suit of armor.  Most of the time I have a pretty good self confidence level going.  So I'm not sure why I am letting little things get to me.

I've been concerned with how people perceive me.  What image am I putting out in the world?  Is that a true reflection of who I am?  I find myself concerned if so and so likes me or not.  I find myself thinking about friendships of the past and wondering what I could or should have done differently.  Right now I have more questions than answers.

The only positive spin I can put on it is that perhaps it's a system of checks and balances to help keep me grounded.  Every now and then I stop and self reflect if only to help stop me from keeping my head in the clouds.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phases of the Princess

There are a lot of things on the "I'm never going to do that when I'm a parent" list.  Right up there with the binky and the kid in my bed thing was anything related to Princesses.  I remember when I was pregnant and we found out we were having a girl, I did my best to avoid anything related to pink.  Even when we did her nursery we avoided the pink walls and went with a Care Bear theme.  Okay I will admit that the Care Bear theme was more for me than it was for her.

If you haven't figured it out yet, my poor Clover does not have a girly girl as a mom.  I've been making more of an effort.  I do my nails now and sometimes sport pink.  I am making baby steps.

I wondered if she would make her way towards the pink princess girly girl light.  Every time she was given a choice she would choose whatever the opposite was.  She was stuck on Toy Story for awhile.  It was one of the first movies she actually sat all the way through.  When we took her to see Tangled, she hardly seemed interested.

It's so funny how in the beginning the Princess thing was the last thing I wanted but now that she's three and half, I was wondering if we had skipped that phase.  I was a little sad.

Then like a roar of thunder we entered the Princess phase, booming.

Every day we dress up.  Mostly Clover, but I have been known to sport a crown every now and then.   Even right now I had to take a break to paint some very tiny, very wiggly fingernails.

It seems as if every hour we are playing a new "pretending" game.  If she is Repunzel then Daddy is the dashing Flynn Ryder and I am "Mudder" or Mother.  Yay, Daddy gets to play the good guy and I get to play the witch who dies from rapid aging while falling out of window.  However when she is Alice, I get to be the beautiful White Queen.  WQ is a little spacey but at least I am a good guy in this game.  In the last week I have been Tiana, Arista, Cinderella, Ursula, Mother, and the White Queen.

I've been surrounded by tule, crowns, costumes, pink, purple and everything in-between.  She grabs the detangler and the brush at any chance she gets so she can do my hair.  It's a phase that I never thought I wanted and somewhat dreaded but now that I am in the middle of it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I know there is a balance because this is the same girl who isn't afraid to get dirty and still manages to paint her entire body when she paints.  If there is a mud puddle you can guarantee she is in the middle of it.  After she is showered and fresh the first thing she wants to do is dress up again.

She had declared that she wants make-up for Christmas.  I'm not sure if I am ready to make that leap yet so we might wait til next Christmas or maybe put that off another ten.  I'm not sure how long this phase will last but for now we seem pretty comfortable in the Princess phase so I will just sit back and enjoy it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Focusing on the Highlights

This week started out well...and, then...uhm...yeah.  It was a long and stressful week.  But I am choosing not to focus on that.  Everything will get worked out and we will continue on, so I am focusing on the positives of this week.

Happy Meal buckets are back!

Yes, this is a positive.  During all of the chaos I stopped by McDees and got Clover a Happy Meal bucket. And yes, I bought one for myself.  The one on the right with the band-aid mouth is Clover's.  She didn't really understand why Mommy was so excited about a bucket.  It's one of those things from my childhood that I get to share with my daughter.  Halloween was one of the rare times we got to go to McDonalds when I was a kid.  We went for ice cream when we got shots and we went for Halloween to get Happy Meal buckets.  So when I found out they were doing them I got a little excited.  Yeah, my friend looked at me confused too.  She wondered why her friend was getting excited about a bucket. 

Also this week, I became a Dance mom!  Lot's of excitement about going to class.  Especially since she was going with her "bestest little friend".  It took a few minutes for her to warm up and she totally made me sit by her for a few minutes so I joked that I joined dance class too.  They were so incredibly cute on the dance floor in front of the large mirror.  I have to give props to the teacher.  Talk about infinite patience.  The toe taps...oh..the toe taps were so adorable.  I will probably be sending out pictures to family soon.  I took video as well and I plan on cutting it all together.  I like to keep everyone in the loop and I'm not at all bragging (go ahead and insert eye roll here).  

I'm pretty excited that I took all the footage and pictures on my phone.  I will probably never carry another camera again.  I started to get a little bummed that the video was choppy but it just turned out that I was using the wrong program to view them in.  Good thing I have a nerdy Hubby to help me out with such things.  

I like to catch everything in a picture.  Time moves so fast that it's nice to have it all documented.  The only problem is that iPhoto is pushing 3 thousand pictures and it takes a while to load the poor program.  

Speaking of time.  I can't believe that it's almost November already.  October seemed to fly by.  Halloween is right around the corner.  Time to get some punkins and start carving!  That sounds like a fun activity to highlight my weekend.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nyan Cat

Because you already know that I love a good internet meme!  I bring you Nyan Cat the scarf version.



Brought to you in all it's rainbowy goodness!  It's a mixed medium scarf.  The rainbow is crochet with lots of bright colors!  The pop tart is crochet with puff paint pink sprinkles.  The head, legs and tail are gray felt with puff paint and an acrylic paint/fabric medium combo.  The most surprising thing about this scarf was how quickly it all came together.  

If you have not experienced the awesomeness that is Nyan Cat you can educate yourself with this video.


I have a few in the que getting ready to finish up and send out :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Play Catch Up

Since the Summer was winding down I thought that our schedule would slow down as well.  Silly me.

This fall has turned out to be a blur of playdates, zoo adventures and little trips.  Not that I am complaining.  I enjoy it.  For some reason this all includes massive amounts of laundry.  I still feel as if I am not caught up.

I keep finding myself traveling on my Laundry Day.  A couple of weeks ago Hubby said he wanted an extra day to sleep in and some time to goof around on his computer.  Being the respectful wifey that I am, I gave him his free time by taking a quick trip to Disneyland.

Every Disneyland trip is memorable.  This last time we found ourselves there on a very busy Sunday.  I kept wondering why it was so busy.  It took me about half the day and several red shirts later to figure out that we had found ourselves there right in the middle of Gay Days.  Now, I have read a bunch of stuff trashing this event and a few people have sought out websites to complain.  To be entirely honest, we had a great time.  Everyone was very polite and friendly.  Not once did we see any lewd behavior.  I did see some questionable fashion choices.  Yes, dude in the skin tight leopard print jeans I am specifically talking to you.  Every time we go we see questionable fashion choices so I can't really blame it on Gay Days.  Had I not noticed the Gay Days T-shirt I probably wouldn't have put it together on my own.  I'm either that progressive or that self centered that I didn't notice and while I would love to claim that it was the first, it was more than likely the latter.  I need to look it up and see if they sell the T-shirt after the event because now I want one since I was there, even if I didn't realize it right away.  That and they were cute Tees.

We also found ourselves traveling withe the Hubs lately.  He had some training in San Jose and it was either go and spend some time in a hotel or sleep in my bed by myself.  Being the total baby that I am, I chose to go and sleep next to my husband.  It wasn't that bad of a gig.  A very nice lady comes in once a day and replaces my towels and makes my bed and vacuums.  It's kinda what I imagine heaven to be.  We were stuck with hotel tv but Clover and I managed to keep ourselves busy.  We went exploring and even found a day to hit up a mall.

On one of our exploring trips we found ourselves at Real Beauty in Milpitas on Calaveras St.  It's a beauty supply shop.  Lot of stuff in a small space.  I found myself chatting with a very nice lady that was super helpful.  I am alway amazed by people with great customer service.  I find myself amazed because good customer service no longer seems to be the norm.  Even though we don't live anywhere near Milpitas, if I find myself that way I would stop by again.  Faria "like Maria, but with an F"  was super helpful and so nice.  She didn't freak out that Clover wanted to touch everything, and understood that my little three year old was just as amazed as I was.  My eyes glossed over as I found myself in the polish isle.  So many pretty colors!  I left with several colors and some mini bottles.  Along with some automatic tweezers since I stared in the mirror and all I could focus on was the two fuzzy caterpillars above my eyes.  I will never go back to using regular plain o tweezers after discovering automatics.  

I would love to sit and catch up some more but my eye balls keep rolling back on their own so I think this is a good place to pause.

If they roll any further in the back of my head I will be able to see my brain.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Differing Opinions

Both conversations took place today...

Me:  Patience is a virtue.

Hubby:  Patience is YOUR virtue.  I am instant gratification, YOU are infinite patience.  That is why this marriage works.

Me:  Oh really?  Is that why?

Hubby:  Yes.  Yes it is.

Later that evening...

Hubby:  Your a hypocrite.

Me:  *blink*looks bewildered*blink*

Hubby:  You are a hypocrite

Me:  What?!?

Hubby:  You will watch CSI:New York before bed but you won't watch Transformers 3?!?  That makes you a hypocrite.

Me:  *Thought* Gary Sinise vs. Shia Lebouf?  Really? */end thought*

Me:  I never said I wasn't.

Hubby throws side eye.

Ahhh the joys of marriage.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hesitant

Poor September only had 8 blog entries.  Looking at that makes me kind of sad.  I've been hesitating lately.  I'm not exactly sure when this feeling started to form.  Lately I find myself second guessing everything I want to post.  Yes, some thoughts should probably stay up in my brain.  But some stories are funny and need to be shared.  Like the time I took twenty pairs of socks and spelled out I <3 U on my Hubby's desk in my very own passive aggressive "here are your darn socks" note.  Then again, some thoughts are interesting and I wonder if I am the only one wondering why there are so many characters under Disney named Max?  So why am I not posting these thoughts?  

Maybe it's the weather, or the Moon?  The Moon gets blamed for a lot around here.  I think I had the "Do I really want to write about THAT?" question too many times in September.  Perhaps I was trying to be someone else.  One of the cool kids?  Maybe I didn't want to come off as the whiney chick who writes about whiney stuff?  Who knows.  I surely don't.   But I have been putting some thought into why I'm not writing as much anymore.

I am working on fixing this situation.  

Pass Me Another Slice

I got tapped to do some baking for a bake sale.  Of course I said yes.  How could I turn her down?  Baking lots of goodies?  Yes.   Which will be sold and profits will go towards helping out teen moms?  Double Yes.  Win all around.

So what did I make?

The first, I am calling an experimental recipe.  I have not tested it before but It was pretty easy to make and is totally yummy, not to mention totally sticky.  The smell in the house this morning was heavenly.  Fall mixed with popcorn mixed with caramel.

 
This recipe was from Make it and Love it.  I couldn't stop eating it.  Then I ate some more.  Then I stopped eating it long enough to pack it up.  Now that I am finally sitting down to write this I am seriously thinking about getting up and snagging a bag.  I will hold off a bit because I don't want my poor keyboard to get sticky since I am not done writing yet.

My fall back recipe that I use every year, multiple times a year is the good o Tollhouse recipe.  I didn't actually have the tollhouse bag since I use Guittard chocolate chips.  I have experimented in the past and I find that I love the quality of Guittard.  The milk chocolate chips are so good that I will eat them straight out of the bag.  I made triple chocolate chip cookies with the recipe.       

I set some goodies aside for the Hubs since he swears up and down that I never save him anything that I make.  But since it's all sitting nice and neat on the counter for him I can't help but think that maybe I want just one more cookie.  After all the taste testing I did today I didn't think it would be possible to want one more cookie...but they are tempting.    
 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Slice of Fall

I was nostalgic as I peered into the pot.  I'm not exactly sure when I perfected my recipe.  I can not describe how great it smelled to have Chicken and Dumplings simmering on the stove and the smell of wet foliage floating in through the open window.  It was a little slice of Fall.

My mind wandered as I stirred the pot, I thought back to learning how to cook.  When I left my parents nest I had a basic set of skills.  We were a family of five and did the best with what we had.  I could pretty much whip up anything with hamburger in it.  I knew how to cut up and onion and make pasta.  I was a pro at cooking for five.  I had done it since I could remember.  Learning how to cook other things came slowly.

I first starting cooking things from a box.  Grocery stores now days are filled with easy to make meals that come nicely packaged in a box.  They also came with lots of preservatives and other things I can't seem to pronounce.  My first Chicken and Dumplings was from a box.  It came with a can of chicken stew and a pouch of baking mix that you add to it and bake.  It was tasty but as my skills improved so did my confidence.  Soon I became adventurous.  Thanks to the Hubby for always eating it or mostly eating it!

The last three dumplings.

   Today I made a short cut and used canned broth and poached the chicken breast.  If I have the time I use a whole chicken and make the stock but I didn't have a whole chicken and I was way to lazy to go to the grocery store.  Or leave the house in that matter.  So basically I used what I had.

I poached the chicken in three cans of chicken broth.  When the chicken was done I took it out and let it cool for shredding while I put the stock aside for later.  Then I sautéed some onion, celery, carrots, and a clove of garlic.  When they got soft I added the chicken stock back along with a pinch of oregano, thyme and a bay leaf.  I shredded the chicken and added that back in.  Then let that simmer for about twenty minutes while made the dumpling mix.  Most of the time I use Bisquick, since I was out of that I used this substitution recipe from Erika Jurney except I used butter instead of Crisco.  I also added 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powered and a teaspoon of poultry seasoning.  After I made the dumpling mix I used the dumpling recipe from the back of the box, or the website if you don't actually have the box.  I scooped them out with a mini disher or other wise known as mini ice cream scoop.  The instructions say 10 minutes with the lid on and off but I usually find that 8 works well for me.  Probably since I use the mini scoop.

It didn't occur to me to take a picture of the bowl while it was full.
I was to busy stuffing myself to think about that.  

I am a floater kind of a person.  Not that I mean to offend anyone but if you are a fan of sinkers then you are just a fan of Chicken Noodle Soup.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Conversations with a 3 and a 1/2 Year Old

My darling Clover is a talker.  Just like her Daddy.  She's been making noise since she came out of the womb.  She's always been chatty.  Conversations lately have been leaning more towards the hilarious side.

While driving in the truck the other day she tells me...

"Mom...you HORRIFY me."

Excuse me?  "What!?!"

"Mom, you shock and horrify me"

K, at this point I realize that she is just repeating what she heard on one of her shows.  Thanks Phineas and Ferb.

"Honey do you know what horrify means?"

Pause

"No"

"Okay, Horrify means you are really really really really scared."

Another Pause.

"Doggies horrify me!"

"Right.  You are very scared of dogs.  So dogs horrify you.  Now that you know what horrify means...does mommy horrify you?"

"No!  Doggies and bats, and monsters horrify me".

"Right.  but that's why we keep Soda and Coffee around."

"Go Get em Soda!"

********************************************

Speaking of Coffee and Soda I got told the other day that

"I sent Coffee to H and P's house because he was biting me in the ankle"

Now I have to watch out for a naughty imaginary kitten.  Better not attack me or he can stay there!

********************************************

Since we have been watching Phineas and Ferb, Clover now believes that she and Candice are kindred spirits.  Maybe it's the red hair.  I'm not sure.  But since she doesn't have any little brothers yet to bust, she has taken up busting other people.

"Mom, I'm going to bust Tee and Dee and N for smoking.  I'm going to scare the smoke right out of them! I'm going to use a giant RASPBERRY!  Or maybe a monster."

I'm not sure how the raspberry is going to scare them.  Maybe one of them has something against raspberries.  Or maybe she was hungry.  I'm not sure.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumas in the Grocery Store

A.K.A. Another Chapter in the Adventures of Soda.

I never knew that an imaginary dog would be so useful.  I have all the benefits of having a dog and now a cat but with no clean up and no costly Iams premium pet food.

I can not tell you how many times Soda has been assigned protection duty.

We were in the grocery store the other day.  And as much as I wished it was an in and out trip it was not.  It was one of those trips where were were out of everything and I needed to stock up.  So we were going to be there for awhile.

Clover had already went through the dum-dum stash I keep in my purse and was getting restless in the cart.  I was trying to keep her in there as long as possible because it's easier on me to just grab and go without trying to figure out where my 3 year old is running off too.  That is why every now and then I kidnap a helper to entertain her while I shop for canned tomatoes.

So I'm not sure if she got bored of if the tiny amount of sugar had hit her brain but her wheels were turning.  So out of no where she starts yelling

"MOOOOM!  THERE IS A PUMA BEHIND US!  WATCH OUT!!!!"  

Here is where I am pretty convinced that she is going to be an actress because she was pretty darn believable.  But it didn't stop there.  Still making our way through the store, not only was there an puma...

"MOM!  WATCH OUT OR THE ALLIGATOR!"

It's this panicky voice.  People are starting to turn and look because maybe there really could be a puma and an alligator in the grocery store.

"IT'S GONNA GET US!  RUN MOM, RUUUUN"

Every attempt to shush her has failed because in her mind there REALLY is a grocery store full of animals posed to attack us at any minute.  So then I wrangled in our pets.  Because isn't that what imaginary dogs are for?  To keep us safe?  What else can battle an imaginary puma but an imaginary dog?  

"Isn't this the exact reason that we keep Soda around?  Where is he?  Is he slacking on the job?  I'm not going to buy him any imaginary dog treats!"

"THERE IS SODA AND COFFEE MOM!  Whew!  They got em!"

"Oh, good.  I'm glad.  I didn't want to get eaten by a puma in the grocery store.  Do you want any applesauce?"

Soda and Coffee were pretty tired from brawling in the grocery store that they took a nice long nap in the truck as we drove home.  Then when we got home they got their treats.  They earned them.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sometimes, He Likes My Chili

I thought I might have been going through withdrawals.  I had a twitch the other day and didn't know why.  It was because I hadn't blogged in awhile.

Last week seems a little blury.  Hubby and I actually took time off from being parents last weekend and worked on just being us.  It gets hard sometimes to separate the two.  We hired an awesome babysitter and headed off to the mountains for some fresh air.  I have to admit that it felt a little weird not having Clover in the back seat telling us to turn the music up.  Then Tuesday night we dropped Clover off at her friends so we could do a date night.  Driving over there I started to have a mini panic attack because this was the first time I have ever dropped her off somewhere...EVER...and she's three.  I knew that she was in great hands and she would spend the evening playing with her best friends.  I knew she would be fine and that was only confirmed when we got there she couldn't care less if I was there or not.  I was really surprised I didn't cry.  But then again we had the house to ourselves for a few hours so maybe I was a little distracted.

Friday was spent running errands and hanging out.  Saturday morning was spent in a haze of cleaning up and preparing for a family bbq.  It was the first time in awhile that my husbands family was all in the same place at the same time.  No one was sick or hiding.  Everyone was in a good mood and the weather was good for chilling out.  It was awesome.  Our family isn't that large but I still felt like I didn't get a whole lot of time to talk to everyone.  I didn't even do a whole lot of cooking so I wasn't stuck in the kitchen the whole time, which felt good.  The one thing I got the most compliments on I didn't even make.  Isn't that how it goes though?  I admit it, the mac and cheese was pretty darn tasty.  Thanks Costco.  Clover spent the evening playing with all her cousins.  She was in heaven.

Today everyone is recovering and relaxing.  Both Hubs and Clover have a bug.  So we spent the day chilling out on the couch.  The house smells like Vicks.  I took a trip to CVS and stocked up on cold supplies.

For dinner I didn't want to do anything heavy but we had left over tri-tip and there was no way that was going to waste.  So I made try-tip chili with it.  We are not very big left over people.  Hubs simply won't eat left overs so I gave up trying a long time ago.  He seemed like he was up to it to try it out.  It was awesome.  He even complimented it with "I usually don't like your funky chili...but...that was awesome". I even made cornbread muffins from this recipe at cooks.com.  The only thing I changed was that I added a can of cream corn instead of milk.  It was comforting to have comfort food after such a busy week and weekend.

There is more to catch up on but for now I am a little obsessed with my latest internet meme project.  I will share the closer I get to finishing.  But for now...off to ball up some brightly colored acrylic yarn.

          

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just A Little Neglected

Oh the list.  You know that list of things that you should get to and for some reason or another you just don't get to it.  There are fifty other things that are more important.  Okay, so maybe not fifty.  Maybe I am being a little more than overdramatic.  Any-patting-myself-on-the-back-hoo I have been knocking stuff of the list.

The last two weeks I have uttered the words "I need to clean the fridge".  And then that statement got left just like that because of all the things in this world to do, cleaning the fridge is not on my top thousand and seven.  Then I went to the Farmer's Market.  I couldn't put my nice locally grown fruits and veggies in my poor neglected fridge.  It needed some tlc, not just throw stuff out cleaning.  I mean take everything out...try and guess what the heck it started life out as...toss, scrub, rinse...possibly bleach..repeat.  What was supposed to be a quick job turned into a hour and half later and me cursing under my breath because I just wreckity wrecked my nails that I did the night before.

Then there was my Clover's room.  Which I wish that could say looked like any other preschoolers room but then I would be lying because it looked worse.  I knew I was going to be in there for awhile.  We got the job done and I only threatened to throw everything away less than five times.  We sorted toys and washed the area rug.  Then we organized the dresser and labeled it.  I was very proud of myself at the end of the day.  I celebrated by going grocery shopping.

I also forgot to add that I spent an hour working on a nine month old coffee maker that just decided that it was a bigger diva than I, and quit.  So since my day was spent in the bedroom then shopping and putting groceries away the rest of my house looks like a tasmanian devil ran through it.  So instead of cleaning it, I'm blogging about it.  There are fifty more important things I could be doing.  Blogging is one of them.    

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alice Inspired Altered Tee

One of the things I wished I could do is draw.  If nothing else, just to get all of these ideas out of my head and on paper.  It would free up some brian space.  And I think we would all agree that I could use all of that prime brain real estate!

The latest project I was trying to explain was an idea for an altered T-shirt.

I was doing some online research (googling) for Alice In Wonderland T-shirts.  I found some cute ideas but they were either too pricey ($30-40 for a Tee?) or weren't available in my xl size.  So then I had the idea to just make one myself.  The design was quickly thought up in my head, but alas I just couldn't convey what I wanted to do.  This is where the wish to be able to draw comes from.

So I started with a plain white Tee from Old Navy.  I figured that Old Navy would still have short sleeves.  Especially considering that it is still triple digits here!  They already had long sleeved out.  Searching for white short sleeves was kind of a pain.  Especially with Clover hiding in the racks and running out screaming "BOO!".  I did score a green short sleeved shirt in the clearance rack!  It bothers me slightly that they switched out the shirts.  I wear short sleeves all year round.  Why can I only find them for three months?

Anyhoo.  Before I started painting my fabric away I had to wash the sizing off the shirt first.  Also when you wash, do not include fabric softener the first round.  It stops the paint from soaking into the shirt.


I found this dye on amazon.  It's a dry version of Tie Dye.  Instead of soaking the shirt you can spray the dye on while the shirt is dry.  The colors even come in handy dandy little spray bottles.  So I sprayed the shirt with the dye.  I didn't have a plan at this point and just sprayed all willy nilly.  I used a garbage bag inside the shirt to keep the dye from running through to the back.  Then I hung to dry.  Once it was dried for a day I threw it in the dryer to heat set the entire shirt.  I also ironed the shirt but that was to get the wrinkles out before I started painting again.


Then I searched my few cricut cartridges to find a Teapot and cup that liked.  I found one in the options of the Everyday Paper dolls.


Hubs bought me a cricut two years ago as a Mother's Day/Birthday present.  I use it for everything.  Scrabooking to general craftiness to birthday party fun.  It gets a lot of use!  

For the stencils I used contact paper.  When I was teaching I used clear contact paper to protect everything from little fingers and developed a hate for contact paper.  After finding some crafty uses for it I have started to love the stuff.  I picked up some white contact paper and cut it to 12x12 sheets to run it through the cricut.  Once I found what I wanted to cut out I turned the speed down to low on the machine.  That way it doesn't pull up the contact paper as it cuts out.  I have used contact paper for stencils and for what I call "reverse" stenciling.  I put the cut out shape down and paint the edges.  Then I take the shape off to reveal the image.  This time I used it as a stencil.



I roughly cut out the stencils and figured out an arrangement.  Then I peeled off the paper backing and stuck them down on the shirt.  I pressed down the inside edges to make sure that the paint didn't run under the stencil.  Then the fun part!  The painting!


 It looks like a blobby mess right now.  I mixed some black acrylic paint with the textile/fabric medium according to the directions.  I added a tsp of water to thin it out a bit because it was super thick.  Then I started painting.  I start at the edges of the stencil and dragged the paint onto the shirt.  I have found that if I go out to in then I reduce the risk of the paint running under the stencil.  While the paint was wet I sprinkled on some fine glitter.


While the paint was still tacky I VERY CAREFULLY peeled the contact paper off.  Then I let the shirt dry.  The paint leaked through the shirt but that was kept from the other side by the large piece of cardboard shoved in-between.  I made sure that the shirt wasn't stuck to the cardboard before I left it to dry.  The next day I hung it up to finish drying and then heat set the shirt.  I then sewed on a strip of black lace on the bottom.


Tada!

I just recently received my copy of 101 Tees by Cathie Fillian that I ordered last week.  This was the book I was looking for, only not to find it locally so I had to wait for it.  It has a similar painting method I have used it in.  Looking forward to getting some inspiration from it and trying out more designs.