Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cranky Momma Coming Through

So watch out world!

As you may have noticed, I've been a little on the cranky side lately. In case you haven't read enough of them yet, here's another Cranky Momma story for ya.

So I took all 3 kids to swimming this morning. (My swimming carpool buddies are sick today). No problem. Ryan did a great job of waiting for us outside the dressing room (now that he has reached the magical age of 6 and is no longer allowed in the womens' room) both times. He and Felisa were very patient while Bella had her class. Other than the gale force arctic winds and the whining before and after by Ryan and Felisa (and the corresponding and completely ineffective crazed screaming by me), this evolution went well. I didn't get enough breakfast though which sets us up for the rest of the Cranky Momma story.

I stopped at McD's on the way home. I debated whether or not to stop. After all, we have equally unhealthy chicken nuggets in the freezer at home that can be nuked in only one minute. But, it was still breakfast hours (oh how I love breakfast at McD's) and I had a coupon and I was STARVING so I stopped. I shouldn't have been there (for many reasons) but I was. And since I was, I was not leaving without getting what I had come for! I arrived at the drive-thru 5 minutes before the magical breakfast/lunch changeover time (this is important later). No one was in front of me. I ordered. I drove around to the first window and paid. I drove to the next window. They handed me a bag of food. Seemed light so I checked it. I was missing one sandwich and one hash brown. I told the lady what I was missing and then I got my receipt out to check. I hadn't been charged correctly. More McD's people come to "help". They tell me I only paid for 2 sandwiches. I said okay. But I need 3 so let's fix it (thinking they would ring me up another order). More McD's people come to "help". One of them tells me, Sorry it's lunchtime now. WHAT?!?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?!? I don't think so! I proceeded to tell them in no uncertain terms that I had arrived and ordered before the end of breakfast (and by the clock in my car, it still is NOT 1030 yet and therefore breakfast is not over) and I wasn't leaving without my breakfast so they had better produce another sandwich and hash brown. So... they do. Not too happy about it of course. But then, neither was I. And by this time, the driver behind me was getting impatient and honking at us.

So in short, I, the completely starving, cranky, maniac momma, pissed off a lot of people this morning. For this I apologize. BUT - I did get my breakfast and now am feeling much better (at least for the moment). So thank you.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Every once in awhile they appreciate me....

Ryan just came running upstairs to tell me that "This must be called Love Chicken because I LOOOOOVVVEE it! You should make it again!"

Isn't that sweet...

It was the Parmesan Chicken recipe that we all love so you know I'll be making it again. And maybe I'll even rename it "Love Chicken"!

On husbands...

It seems Ryan has inherited the "leave your socks in random places" gene from Ron. Didn't come from me! Not to say I'm neat, because I'm not. Bella seems to have inherited the "general sloppiness" gene from me. Looks like Felisa has the cleaning gene. Which Grandma did that come from? Thank goodness there's at least one person to keep us from living in total chaos. And in all fairness, I must say that despite the "random socks" issue, Ron is generally a clean (as in, not a slob) person too.

And on another note... check out this post on another blog... (I don't remember how I ended up here but I enjoyed a few of the posts and bookmarked it for occasional check-ins - I think the title was what caught my eye "Sands through the Hourglass" - I'm a Days of Our Lives fan though I haven't watched much in the last year or so and sporadically before that, at least since having kids.) But I digress... here it is:


I just had to laugh when I read this post.

Moral Dilemma

So here's a question for you...

How do you offer assistance to someone without offending them? Is it possible?

We were at Safeway this afternoon. There was a man there who looked as though he could be homeless. He seemed fairly clean and groomed and had a walkman BUT he also had a huge backpack and sleeping bag. So is he homeless or not? If he were, I would like to have bought him a sandwich. But maybe he wasn't homeless and would have been very offended by my offer. Needless to say, the guilt was killing me as I sucked down my Starbucks frappacino and pushed my full cart of groceries right past him.

What should I have done? What should I do next time?

Better today

Back to our regular levels of hate and discontent... :)

I've got a house full of sickies and no school today. The morning has gone well but the natives are getting restless so it's about time for our mid-day "break" - grocery shopping. Not much of a break but at least it's a change of scenery. I'll definitely be turning on a movie when we get back. I went to work out this morning and felt better afterwards (I've got the cold too!) but I'm sure by 3 pm I'll be hating life and ready for a nap! I cancelled our trip to visit friends in St. M's. We're going to try again over President's Day.

On a good note, it is sunny and mild today - always a mood booster.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I hate my life

Okay so maybe I shouldn't be writing today given my state of mind and the title I have chosen but oh well. Life isn't all roses and neither should be my blog.

The kids are driving me crazy. Or crazier than usual I guess. And I've been acting very childish and selfish in return. Felisa wanted a bath today. I told her no then locked her out of the bathroom so I could take a shower ALL BY MYSELF. I could still hear the screaming outside so don't know if it was worth it. This is just one example of many episodes lately. She's 2 - she can't help herself. Not sure what my excuse is.

And now at this very moment she's crying because Daddy is leaving. No more safety net from the crazy mommy. Which brings me to my next complaint. Ron is gone most of the day for a KofC function. No complaints about that specifically. Just annoyed because I am already annoyed about EVERYTHING else. Oh yeah - he also took $10 from my wallet on the way out the door. Which leaves me $10 until the next payday (whenever that is) or until I can get to the bank to make a deposit. (I got paid for an album yesterday - that was an awesome feeling - maybe I should get off my butt and do more albums. But then I have no time or organizational skills so let's be real - it ain't gonna happen.)

This budget thing sucks. I'm sure it will get easier once I get a few months into it and see where all the money is going but in the meantime it is just totally stressing me out.

Now there are so many possible choices for what to complain about next, I don't know which to start off with. So I guess I'll spare you all and go play trouble with Ryan. Don't know how long the game will last because I'm sure Felisa will end up in the middle of it somehow eventually. And Bella will want a snack. Someone ALWAYS wants SOMETHING. Maybe that would have been a better title...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

ANOTHER Chicken Stock Failure

Once again I have failed to complete the chicken stock exercise. I'm not sure why the forces of the universe continually conspire against me when it comes to making chicken stock. I made chicken for G of P House this week. So I decided to use the extra pieces and broth to make a nice batch of chicken stock. Knowing my bad track record, I decided to complete the process over 2 nights instead of trying to rush through it in only one. I boiled the bones and added carrots then put it in the frig overnight so I can skim the fat the next day. I WROTE IT DOWN in my planner so I wouldn't forget to finish it. So while cooking dinner the next night (see - I remembered to get it out and finish it!), I skimmed the fat and let the pot simmer to boil down a bit. I turned it off when it was done (One night I let it boil until the pot was dry and the house was almost on fire. Not sure why Ron, who was asleep on the couch just across the room, didn't smell it first before I finally did, down in the basement, but oh well. So after much airing out of the house and a dead pan, that attempt was officially failed.) this time - another good step in the right direction. Then I left it to cool just a bit while I took Ryan up the street to peddle his cookie dough. On the way back, the girls wanted to stop at Grandma D's house. So by the time I got back over an hour had passed and the chicken broth had completely passed from my mind. I played with Ryan and read a chapter of BFG to him then the girls came back. We played a little more with the new cash drawer and play money (it was a Christmas gift that hadn't been opened yet - the kids are loving it now) then I sent them all to bed. Pajamas, drinks, snacks and now it's 9:00. Time for Biggest Loser. So, I decide to leave the kitchen mess for the morning and head to bed. Fast forward to this morning... I see that Ron made coffee (he slept on the couch all night, got up around 6 or so, made coffee, threw some dishes in the sink, took out the trash, and went back to bed). Oh and what is that on the stove??? My chicken stock now completely ruined because I forgot to put it away last night. ARGH! Why oh why do I struggle so to make chicken stock? Why? Why? Why? It seems I always get most of the way done then forget the last step and it's all for naught. I know, it seems silly to be so upset about something so small as a failure to complete the chicken stock exercise but I think it is a perfect example of all that is wrong with me. A perfect poster child for my continued failed attempts at successful Home Management. I try and I try and I feel like no forward progress is ever really made. The house always looks like a tornado (or rather 3 tornadoes!) has passed through. I can never find anything. I forget things. It's hopeless, I think.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

TARGET Trouble

And so my shopping woes continue... This time TARGET was the offender. Which is too bad because I generally enjoy shopping there. Depending on what I hear back from my complaint email that was submitted, I may have to further reduce my shopping at Target, which I have been considering anyway for many reasons.

So here it is for all to read...

I was in the R store on Saturday, Jan 21. When I went to the checkout line I brought my own bags for the checker to use. Keep in mind that these are even Target bags that I brought. The checker wrinkled his nose at my bags and offered me clean fresh bags. I said "No thank you. I'd like to use those. I am RECYCLING." Clearly not the answer he was looking for because he then proceeded to tell me that he was being timed by the management and if his per transaction time was too slow he would get in trouble. I told him that I would be happy to help with the bagging once I had my cart completely unloaded. I then pointed out to him that it is Target company policy to promote re-using of the store bags. Does it not list 10 Ways to Reuse a TARGET bag right on the side of every bag?!?! I also told him I would be more than happy to tell the manager how I felt about this No Recycled Bags policy if he would just call the manager over. Of course he didn't. And so I am telling you now. I am NOT happy with this entire experience. And though it could potentially be more inconvenient to me, I am definitely considering taking my business elsewhere. I don't need judgement and snide comments when I am trying to reduce the waste of this world. And besides, don't these bags cost money? I used 4 bags of my own therefore saving that Target store a few cents of overhead. This amount is minimal if you look at it one customer at a time. It has potential to add up to so much more in so many ways. Other stores even offer the savings directly to the customer in a per-bag refund of 3 cents each. I think perhaps it is no mistake that your 10 Ways To RECYCLE list did not include, bring bags back to Target and fill them up again. Perhaps you should rethink this issue from the top. At the very least I expect you to address how the check-out clerks deal with customers who choose to reuse shopping bags.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Shower Meditations

I have decided that water is my relaxer and my conduit to God. I always feel so much more relaxed when I feel the shower water pouring over me or when I am staring out at the ocean (as I did MANY times while in the Navy and was surrounded by said ocean). Relaxed and free to think and pray. Also while doing the dishes - water is present - but not nearly as relaxing!

So the thoughts of this morning surround our small faith community. I agreed to be the leader of the group almost 4 years ago. I don't mind the administrative functions but I struggle with opening and closing prayers, and meaningful presentation of the readings and associated questions. For about a year, a previous leader agreed to split the duties - I did admin and he did the actual meeting preparation and leadership. Fritz is awesome! He is a great group leader with terrific Bible knowledge and I think a direct line to God because he always came up with very thought-provoking questions. Alas, Fritz and his family moved away last summer and it just hasn't been the same since. About half of the group members have effectively quit the group over the last year or so. The remaining members have varying levels of commitment. Add to that schedule conflicts and illnesses (as is common with so many little ones in our families) and the meetings of late have really been lacking. I was joking at the meeting last night that I am planning to quit my post as leader. This morning I gave it more serious thought.

I took the summer off from the group, hoping it would rejuvenate me, but it didn't. I am still frustrated by the lack of commitment and attendance. I try hard not to push my views onto others (as far as priority scheduling for the meetings) because I know we are all in different places in life at different times and what I need, others may not. At the same time though, it has really hurt the group overall with the lackluster attendance and I think we have cancelled more meetings than we have had since school started in the fall. One thought that came to mind this morning as I was reminiscing Fritz' greatness, was that part of it is my fault. I am laid back and relaxed as well as not comfortable with the prayer part, all of which leaves the meetings with a much less serious - we're here to work - atmosphere. I'm sure this is contributing to the lack of commitment to the group. One issue I have with just quitting and cancelling the group altogether (which is a definite possibility as I don't see anyone willing to take over at this point if I do quit) is that by doing so I could be discouraging others from their relationships with God which I would not want to do. So now the question is - should I pray and work on my approach and keep plugging away or should I just quit? I don't know the answer so I guess I'll have to pray and listen.

I am really looking forward to Cursillo. Hope I got in. Seems like a lot of things on my mind lately and surely God can help, right?

And at that I must sign off so I can get the family ready and to church on time!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dinner and triscuits will cure what ails

I think an angel must have been watching over me yesterday because things couldn't have worked out better...

S had to take her BIL to the airport in the am which left our swimming lesson plans a little uncertain. BUT she made it back with time to spare. Then...

We decided to stay and have a play day. S had yummy spaghetti for lunch and she watched the girls while I took Ryan to school. I picked up a project, changed into warmer clothes and headed back for MORE play time. Then...

S and I talked over future plans and Ron's dissatisfaction with his current job. I said that Ron and I should find a babysitter to maybe get a night out over the weekend to have some grown-up talk time. Then...

S gave me her PF Chang's gift card that she is unable to use. (Have you ever seen Chinese food without soy? Me neither!) So I get to eat there after all even though I missed it on Mom's night out. Then...

Felisa fell asleep on the way home even though I tried bribing her with french fries to keep her awake until after I got Ryan. Never fear because who should I see as I drive down the street but Melissa. She was locked out. So - I was able to have her watch the girls so Felisa could sleep while I picked up Ryan. AND she came back at dinner time so Ron and I could go out. Then...

We had a super delicious absolutely scrumptious dinner at PF Changs (THANK YOU S!), a nice walk around the mall afterwards, complete with a Starbucks latte, and came home to tired kids that were soon asleep.

Can you ask for anything more than that? I don't know about Ron but I feel cured. At least I did until I went to class this morning... ouch!

Holy Hard Workout, Batman

Yikes! I still can't feel my legs though I think I'll be feeling them later - ouch! The other trainer was back again today. He was there last Friday too and we ended up doing 90 pushups. I can do half that many on a good day although apparently with the proper motivation I can do 90! Today was squats on top of squats on top of squats with a few lunges and deadlifts thrown in for variety. My legs feel like jello. Numb jello. I actually felt nauseous today in class. When was the last time I worked out that hard?!? All this followed by 25 minutes to run. Ha ha. Not much running going on with these jello legs!

Well, Felisa has discovered me in all my sweaty glory so guess I'll have to complain more later. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I can't believe I missed it...

Moms' Night Out was last night. I can't believe I missed it. Completely spaced it until someone mentioned it at playgroup this morning. Grrrrrrr.... I could have totally used dinner and a drink last night!

I think I'm going to be upset about this for at least a day. Maybe more.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Tuesday needs a makeover

Well, another Tuesday has passed. I thought I would like having the majority of our activities on one day so the other days of the week remain more relaxed. I still think so BUT... I need to refine the routine a little or we'll never make it! No dinner, no naps, and schedule conflicts (Ron wasn't home before I had to leave with Ryan for swimming) just isn't going to work!

1. Crockpot dinners on Tuesday (as long as S is driving the girls for swimming or it may not work) - this will make sure Ryan and I can eat before we leave and Ron will have dinner ready when he arrives home. We were all hungry tonight!

2. Ron needs to be home by 5:30 or call before 5 so I can make schedule/child-care adjustments. Eleanor was able to watch the girls tonight but I had to wait about 10 minutes for her to return with Bailey so I could ask her which made Ryan late for swim class.

Ron told me that Felisa was requesting a cloth diaper tonight. Not sure how she communicated this but I'll take his word for it. She has been in disposables for 2 days. I got a little behind over the weekend (though the other 6 loads of laundry were folded by Sunday!) so the diapers were in the wash yesterday. Today I looked at the next 6 loads waiting for me in the bathroom and ended up doing nothing about it. The diapers didn't even make it into the dryer even though I was in the laundry room 3 times today (looking for goggles and swimsuits!). They are drying now so tomorrow looks promising (see - there's that evening hopefulness again!).

On the plus side - the dishes were done before swim class this evening. I say were because the kitchen is a mess again. Laundry and dishes - does it ever end?

Scrubs is on - I'm calling it a night and headed to bed where I can watch with my feet up. I'm up early tomorrow for workout. And I'll just go with the hope that all will be fine tomorrow. Most likely we'll end up late for school anyway but let's pretend just for a few hours that I can do it all (and go to bed before 10 pm).

Monday, January 16, 2006

Charles Provolone

So we were deciding where to go to lunch today... Dad suggested Chuck E Cheese. Mom immediately shushed him before any little munchkins caught on (just not enough time before they were due at the airport to go home). Dad says, "What's wrong? Why can't I talk about Charles Provolone?" hee hee. Dad cracks me up sometimes - always has!

Thanks for the laugh and the good visit. Come again soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is on tonight. What is it about this movie? I just love it! Any time and EVERY time it is on I will watch it. Every time. Why is that? Is there anyone else in the world who feels this way?

Movies that I will watch over and over and over and over again...
Dirty Dancing
Pretty Woman
Ever After
Doc Hollywood
Top Gun (though I haven't seen it listed in the TV guide in a while)
Secret of My Success
American President

I just can't help myself!

Saturday Afternoon in Alex.

Felisa fell asleep - early nap - so we left her home with Ron while the rest of us (Grandma and Grandpa F, Ryan, Bella, and I) drove over to Alex. We stopped at the GW Masonic first then Gadsby's for lunch. The weather was blustery so we didn't spend a lot of time doing anything else. I wouldn't have minded a stroll around Alex, possibly go through a few shops but maybe next time.

Our plans for tomorrow afternoon have been cancelled so maybe we'll take down the Christmas decorations. I think I might be embarrassed in a few years if I see Christmas decorations in the background of Felisa's birthday pictures!

And maybe - if I still have energy later - I'll finish up Pam's scrapbook pages. One last page and I'm DONE - finally! I'm such a procrastinator... definitely work better with a solid deadline. Broncos are playing tonight so we'll see if that has any effect on my work desires.

An evening at The Grille

Last night we were treated to a delicious dinner at The Grille, a Christmas gift from the G family. We had a fabulous time, as we always do, talking with Bill and Christy. We were gone for 4 hours just for dinner. What a luxury... The food was great, the service was great. What can I say? Just great! Ron and I had been to the Grille for an anniversary a few years ago and I remember how special the staff made me feel, offering us congratulations, etc.

Time spent with Bill and Christy is always enjoyable. The only problem with redeeming our Christmas dinner so early in the year is that now we have to wait so much longer for another chance. :) Last year (or maybe the year before - it all runs together!) we didn't get out until June. I guess that means I'll have to make an effort to arrange another dinner sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Miscellaneous Montage

I have a few days and thoughts to get caught up on. I'm a blog-addict already! I am really enjoying this new-found, sort-of daily, journal venue. And so far I'm doing better (lasting longer) than any previous handwritten journals of the past. And once again I must say Thank You to Mom for making me take that typing class in high school even though it dropped my GPA and class rank (can you say "bombed the final!"?)

So anyway, let the miscellaneous montage of blogging begin...

Chiropractic Concerns
Just got a call from Ron - he is headed over to the doctor at Kaiser for an appt to have his sore neck checked (has been sore for 4 days now) - finally! I told him to go see a dr. or a chiropractor about it but he has been dragging his feet all week. He asked me which one I thought he should see, a chiro or a doc. I told him the chiro because they are less invasive. He says they aren't real doctors and "What's wrong with modern medicine?" I said "What's wrong the ancient eastern arts of medicine (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and chiropractic)?" I don't really know if chiropractic practices are ancient eastern med or not but it seems the less invasive, less chemical way would be the better way to start. Although any doc is better than no doc especially after 4 days! What is it with men and doctors? He suffered through the shingles for a week before he went to the doctor for that. Turns out the sooner you start the meds, the quicker you heal. Oh well...

Marvelous Monday
At the beginning of the year I hated the Monday schedule. I still forget sometimes when making plans that Monday has a special schedule but that's okay (that's related to my Baby Brain - not an excuse, just a fact!). I like the fact that I have 2 hours of travelling-light-only-one-kid errand time. And I like that I have all the kids home and done with our obligations by 1:30. Leaving the house at 3 pm, heck just having a daily 3 pm obligation to remember and take care of, has been a tough adjustment this year. So anyway, back to the marvelous part for this specific Monday... We were able to go to S's house and play. The kids all played well together (though C had a super-nap through most of it) and S and I were able to relax and chat for a couple hours. Ah, bliss... As I mentioned in my previous post about my hermit-ness, I miss these relaxed, relaxing, hang-out-with-my-friends times. It was nice. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

Tiresome Tuesday
Today was a crazy, busy kind of day. I did manage to get up at 6, so got a good start on the day. I have to say, though, that I was seriously debating whether or not I should get up or go back to sleep! Bella and K had swim lessons at 9:30 so S came over and left C with me. About 9:30 some other friends came over for a playdate. The kids all did well together though the youngest were tired from activities the day before so it ended a little early. K and Bella came back happy after a good lesson time. We had some lunch then I got Ryan off to the bus while S stayed behind with all the kids. After this, S and her kids left then I packed up the girls for some errands. I had 2 freecycle pick-ups to make and had enough time to swing by the consignment shop to pick up more tights for Bella (and eventually Felisa!). I really like the heavy-weight thick cotton tights for winter. And of course bare legs in summer! After yesterday's little dress and tights fiasco I decided it couldn't hurt to have an extra set of black and white tights on hand. (I was behind on laundry and couldn't find tights to match either shirt that went under the dress she was wearing and I had to convince her to wear a different dress until I could do some laundry. The tights she wore with the pink dress were cute but were made out of the nylon material and were trashed by the end of the day which is why I like the thick ones - warm and STRONG.)
Back to the story... Bella and Felisa finally fell asleep as intended and had a short nap in the car before Bella's ice skating lesson. I was hungry and caved - went to the McD's drive-through while they slept. I'm thinking I need to give up McD's again for lent this year. And sugar too. So now it's time for ice skating. I forgot to bring mittens and didn't know she needed a helmet. So we borrowed a helmet from the rink and left her hands to get cold. I was a little concerned about how the lesson would go but she keeps telling me that she wants to learn to skate. So we shall see. I do know, though, that I need to remember a helmet, gloves, and warmer pants (they spend a lot of time down on the ice so her pants ended up wet as well). Needless to say she was cold after the 20 minutes of ice time but I think next week will go better since we will be prepared and therefore warmer! A few older girls were also practicing during class time and I enjoyed watching them. I love to watch it on TV and wouldn't mind a few lessons myself. Ron is absolutely opposed to ice skating (some imagined high school trauma, probably involving a girl, seems to be the reason for this) so it's not something we have ever done. Maybe the girls and I can change his mind. We are all nice girls!
And so the day continues... After ice skating we have about half an hour to kill before Ryan gets out of school. So I make the girls sit in the car while I watch a Mommy movie (Surviving Christmas) on the laptop (See, I can plan ahead for some things!) in the car. Get Ryan, get home, chill for a bit then... swimming lessons for Ryan! We are at the other rec center for this one so a longer drive in rush hour. He had to go in the mens room by himself now that he is 6 - a little traumatic for both of us! - I think next time we will wait for a turn in the family/unisex room. Finally- home. A quick game of checkers (I won!), pajamas, reading (BFG by Roald Dahl), and SLEEP! The dishes can wait until morning...

Wet Wednesday...
It's a cold, rainy day. My morning exercise class is overflowing with new year's resolution people. I miss the smaller quieter group we had before. After all, it is 6 am and although I like to chit-chat with my classmates I just don't need all the noise generated by the extra people and chatter! We are late for school this morning because I have to assemble the Kite (K week!) and we had a last minute schedule change (Felisa is sneezing so no playgroup) and need to gather the libraby books. I try not to stress because overall we have been much better this year about being on time. I think it is the early morning class that gets me up and going. So off we go. Drop B at school then head to Safeway (see Agony at Safeway post for full details - it's a doozy!). Now back to this post - had to wake up Felisa and take the girls in the pouring rain to get Ryan from school. Ugh! And now I am neglecting the kids (there hasn't been any screaming or bloodshed yet!) so I can get caught up on my blogging.

And so that is my life.

Supermarket Syndrome

Just out of curiosity I did a search of all blogger blogs to see if anyone else had comments about safeway and I found this article. Clearly just an opinion but I enjoyed it.

Supermarket Syndrome

Agony at Safeway

I am exhausted and frustrated after shopping at Safeway today. Bottom round roast and rump roast were both on sale, both BOGO (that's buy one, get one free). They are located adjacent to each other in the meat case. And to the harried mother with two cranky kids along to "help", these two cuts of meat look practically identical. If I hadn't been paying attention at checkout, I wouldn't have realized until too late that one of my roasts hadn't been discounted to zero. The cashier, after searching through my cart to find the roasts again, closely inspected the labels and was able to detect the key word Rump on one of them, indicating they were different. I needed a roast for dinner this weekend so I checked out the remainder of my cart then took the offending roasts back for a correct match. The price difference per pound was only 20 cents. When I took the two correctly matching roasts to check out I had to wait in line AGAIN (this was my choice so as not to detain the customers waiting behind me but the wait was not easy - remember the cranky kids I mentioned? I've also got my "I'm starving and cranky" thing going on myself at this point.) When I got to the register, the cashier commented that he hoped I had the right roasts since another customer earlier in the day had also had the same problem of mismatched roasts. Which makes me think perhaps it is not the customers' problem but perhaps SAFEWAY's PROBLEM. Possible solutions - discount the customer's second roast regardless of a correct match, OR separate the two types of roast when both are on sale BOGO, OR don't put them both on sale at the same time.

Add to all of this the fact that I had already been to Safeway once today but didn't have my list or coupons. The kids had already been unloaded when I discovered this so I went inside anyway. We ate donuts and I drank a nice Raspberry White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks to make myself feel better. It killed time nicely until the library opened at 10. I'm not sure why but I have managed to forget my list the past 5 visits to the grocery store. Ugh. If I only had a brain...

Four-Eyes Update

So a week has passed. Let's review how the glasses torture is progressing...

I have decided that I am an adult now and that people are most likely NOT making fun of me because I'm wearing glasses. I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons to give me a second glance and wonder... :)

I have a lingering sense that I am forgetting something, like I forgot something at home or forgot to do something. A little nagging voice that is always there in the background. Sometimes I think about it and say, Oh yeah. I'm supposed to be wearing my glasses. I also feel like people are looking at me because I feel half-dressed. Going out in public with my glasses on is like going out in public in my underwear. Terrible feeling to be living with. Hopefully it will subside soon.

And comfort - Uck! I can feel them all the time - my nose hasn't numbed out yet. So they are constantly bugging me. I also feel like I am wearing blinders. I can't see anymore. My vision is just as clear as before but my field of vision is greatly reduced by the lenses and frames. Usually when someone gets glasses, the fact that suddenly everything is clear is more noticeable than the limited vision field. Not true in my case since I could already see fine as long as I had my contacts in. Without them, well that's another story!

And one last complaint before we head out to the bus stop. My eyes are tired. Still adjusting to the difference.

Have I mentioned yet that I HATE wearing glasses?!?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Daddy's Day

I spent the day scrapbooking. I thought I did great - had a good time, got a lot of pages done. Then... I came home and Ron showed me the great pictures he took of the kids on their fun-filled day in the city. Ron takes awesome photos - gives me some great material to work with though I think I'm farther behind now than when I left this morning! All the kids had a blast so I think we should repeat this scenario again - frequently! Those of you with the link to Ron's photo gallery should be able to check them out soon. Hopefully he'll have them uploaded within the week (and Christmas photos too!).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Am I becoming a hermit?

See, here I am again, talking to my computer instead of to a human being. They say the trend for people today is to spend more time with virtual people than the real, live people right next to them. (All my little people are in the same room watching Baby Looney Tunes. Does that count?) And so I am. I must say that my schedule has changed a lot this past year with our induction into Kindergarten and the big leagues. Gone are the days of spontaneous playdates and passing the day away with our buddies, doing nothing in particular. My days are much more structured with all the various drop-off and pick-up times and smaller windows of opportunity between activities. I have met some other moms this year and made some new, good friends. But I am missing my old friends. I don't see them as often and in the last few months it seems I don't even talk to them on the phone as often. Used to be daily plus. Now it is barely weekly sometimes. I know, I know - we all grow and change, blah blah blah. I know that. Doesn't make it any easier when it happens! And it's not necessarily a permanent thing. May just be a phase. And it is just as much me as them I think. They don't call me but I haven't called them either. It used to be front page news if I stayed home for an entire day, not going anywhere at all. Now it seems I am content to hunker down at home for days at a time. Very weird.

But is it just my friends that I am missing or is there something more? I went to confession during Advent and one of the things that seems to be a common theme for me is my relationship with God or more specifically the lack of such a relationship. So I have been looking for ways to work on this. I recently received an invitation to attend a Cursillo weekend. I have declined in the past, not feeling ready and not wanting to waste the experience on a half-hearted attendance. Well, I think I'm ready. One of the plusses for me is also the weekly post-Cursillo meetings. When I went through RCIA four years ago I had meetings twice weekly which was great -helped me to stay very focused and in touch. Since my official entry into Catholicism it has declined gradually to where I am now. My Small Community of Faith, once very vibrant, is in a down groove right now which certainly isn't helping. And so I say Yes! Sign me up! Of course in life's little ironies, the Cursillo weekend is the same weekend as the Scrapbook Yard Sale I have been looking forward to for months. I was planning to have another booth in the ongoing effort to streamline my scrapping area.

Hmmmm.... God or scrapbooking? Which should I choose? :)

In the middle of a muddle

"I'm in the middle of muddle, in the middle of a muddle am I... I wish I were twins but alas I'm only I"

These are some of the words out of a song on the Bella Dancerella Dance Studio DVD that Bella received as a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa R. In keeping with the Cinderella theme, Bella Dancerella is singing about the loads of housework she has to do and how she will never be able to finish. It's my new theme song for the year I think. My 2005 goal was to clean up and clear out my scrapbook area. I made a pretty good dent in that thanks to my office corner cabinets that Ron and his dad built as well as the scrapbook yard sale where I was able to sell some of my stuff. I love all of it - that's why I bought it in the first place! - but I will not be able to use it within the next year. The sheer volume had become a hindrance so out it went. Less is more sometimes! And not to fret - I still have more than I could use in a year.

So anyway, back to my 2006 goal - to get the rest of my life a little more "together". Felisa is old enough now that I can't use my Baby Brain excuse. I still have Baby Brain (or lack of a brain to be more precise!) but can't use it as an excuse any more. Well, I can. And do. But I don't want to. So, I'm trying not to. And if I don't have an excuse then I need to be more "with it" so I don't need an excuse. I turned my FlyLady emails back on. My immediate goal is to do one mission a day. So far I've only done one and a half in the last three days but that is more than I was doing previously. The fan blades in the TV room are clean now. It's not much but it's more than before. Baby steps. Those to me are words to live by. Go here http://flylady.net/ to learn more about her. She is good for motivation and direction in areas of de-cluttering and general housekeeping. I haven't done her justice here. And she may not be for you. But for me, she is perfect.

And so I leave you all to return to my muddle...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Four-Eyes, Ugly Eyes

I had an eye appt today. I thought it would be a routine check-up and I would leave the office with fresh contact lenses and a prescription in hand. Alas, this was not to be... I have extra blood vessels on my eyes, caused by a lack of oxygen which was caused by teen-age neglect. They have become inflamed once more (after several years of no problems) and the doctor told me to go without contacts for 3 months. After 3 months we can see if the vessels have drained and find a better, more oxygen-friendly pair of contacts. This is horrible, terrible, awful, no-good, very bad news. And by that I mean the glasses news, not the blood vessels news. Which proves my perspective is skewed. I keep trying to tell myself that in the grand scheme of life a few months in glasses is no big deal. I try to reflect on the blessings of sight and of the availability of good eye care. Perhaps I will be better able to do this next week. For today I am still reeling from the shock. All those days of grade-school teasing and years of self-consciousness are right at the surface. All that baggage once again weighing me down. And because I NEVER wear my glasses, everyone is noticing them and commenting on them which makes me feel worse and more self-concious. I'll feel better next week I'm sure but for now - this sucks!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wrapping Paper Challenge

I saw this challenge of sorts on another blog I enjoy (at least I think it was this blog - maybe it was an essay by Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette) - http://frugalveggiemama.blogspot.com/ - and think I should adopt it for myself. She decided to see how many years she could go without buying any wrapping paper. I am still using up rolls I bought at an after-Christmas sale 5 years ago! Santa A (mentioned in a previous post) has given us 3 large velvet bags filled with gifts over the last 2 years and I love them! I will be using them every year I think. In addition, gift bags are completely reuseable and I have quite a stash! Not as good for kids or those who like to peek and guess (yes, Ron, that's you!) but definitely a viable option. Then there's the crafty option - decorate your own. I just piled up at least 20 sheets of packing paper that came in a couple boxes. I rolled it up nicely and added it to my wrapping paper bin. The good thing about using this shipping paper is that it is recycleable, unlike traditional wrapping paper. So the shipping company sends it to me, I decorate it and use it on a gift, then off it goes to the recycling plant where it will be made into paper towels and toilet paper. If you haven't tried toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper, I urge you to try it. I buy mine at Whole Foods and occasionally at Safeway in the natural section. To me it is just as good as Charmin and way better than Scott. I mean, what's the point of recycling if we don't complete the triangle?!? REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE.

And now for my Recycle Triangle Award winner for this holiday season - the Gaiam box. The company sent it to a friend. She sent it to me. I sent it to my parents, and they sent it back! That box was used 4 times in December! I don't know if I'll be able to use it again before it gets sent to Recycle Land but I feel good that it had a decent life.

And now time to make dinner - recycled Christmas ham! :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Christmas Resolutions

Well, I almost finished my Christmas gifts today. I did make good progress. At the same time Ron picked up and assembled Ryan's new bed. Looks like Ryan officially has his own room now. Hopefully it won't take too much longer to get a shelf/desk set-up and get all Ron and I's excess stuff out of there. So much for the guest/junk room! That's good news for the guests - the room will be nicer and Ryan will share - and bad news for the junk. Where will it go? I listed my ice skates (NEVER used them) and an old answering machine on freecycle today. Next is the box spring. I want to freecycle it. Ron wants me to sell it. Any bets on how long it will sit in the room waiting for something to happen to it?

And reflecting on Christmas in combination with the season of New Year's resolutions... I think I will start some of my gifts now. I always says "Next year will be better" and "I'll start sooner" but I think that perhaps the answer is to start now. Now the agony of rushing and not finishing is fresh in my mind. In October I've forgotten and I'm busy with Halloween, then I'm planning Thanksgiving then Holy Cow it's Christmas already and I'm not ready! I'll let you know if it works. :)

The other thing is the commercialism of Christmas - how to fight it within the family. How to teach the kids that Christmas should be about love. Choosing gifts for people you love, gifts specially selected because they suit the recipient, not gifts sent out of obligation to check everyone off the list. Don't really have an answer to this one.

I had something else I wanted to blog about but can't remember now. Guess I should just get to bed instead. Tomorrow we are back to school - no more vacation. I miss having my Monday errand time this week (I get almost 2 hours on Mondays that I can travel light -Felisa only- while Ryan and Bella's school times overlap). The rest of the week I have at least 2 kids the whole time). Looks like Bella and Felisa will be helping me shop for gift supplies after we take Ryan to the bus tomorrow.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Pregnancy as a Personality Predictor

So here I am in a nice quiet house, finishing up Christmas gifts for last year (being Jan 1, last week does qualify as last year!). It's these infrequent quiet times that produce some of my most random reflections. So, here it is...

Does your pregnancy (easy, hard, etc) reflect the personality or temperment of the child to come? In my case this seems to be true, at least so far. Ryan was my easiest pregnancy and he is my most laid-back, easy-going kid. Bella was my hardest pregnancy (hard being a relative term because even my hard one was a walk in the park compared to a lot of moms out there) and she offers me the most challenges on a daily basis - she seems more inclined to fight a situation than find a way to accept it or make it work. Felisa was a combination of my 2 earlier pregnancies. And she is pretty easy-going over all but with an uncanny ability to cause trouble everywhere she goes! A bit of a daredevil.

And now my timer is beeping on the Peanut Butter People Poppers I'm making for the dogs next door. And Bailey too of course!