Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflecting on 2009

Here we are again. A new year and a new decade is upon us. When I was looking through my old blog posts the other day I was struck by what I had written about the coming of 2009. I didn't quite come right out and say it, but I know...I remember, I was scared of the unknown. I really thought some things were going to come down this year and I was scared. I thought for sure we'd be moving. That was what I was most scared of, I think. The change that would mean for our family. But it never came. And it's funny how sometimes if you just let go of something, let go of the fear of it, things just tend to fall into place. We're still here, still not sure of what's to come, maybe moving, maybe not. Maybe staying in this town, maybe not. But this time...This time, I'm ok with it. This time I'm not scared. I'm looking forward to whatever 2010 brings.
As I've mentioned before, I don't really like to make resolutions. I don't like the pressure of it. Last year there were 2 non-resolutions that were really important to me. One of them was to be a better friend to those old and new and near and far. I think I did pretty good with that one. I reconnected with some old friends, made a few new ones. It's still something I need to work on though. I need to not be such a flake. I'd still like to go and see my long distance friends :) Friendship is on the top of my non-resolutions list again for 2010.
The other thing that was really important to me for 2009 was to spend more time together as a family. Luckily, this was right on the top of Pete's list too. This was actually one of the best years we'd had together as a family in a long time. With the kids being a little older, and the ranch finally established and not requiring SO much of Pete's time we were able to do so much this year. We spent many weekends together at the ranch (which is fine by me. Together is the point):

We got to go to Disneyland!!

We spent a day together at the beach:

We got in a camping trip. Fun even if it did end in pukage...and it was faa-reeezzzing cold.

We celebrated our 9th anniversary:

Spent lots of time at the pool:

Pete and I got a weekend alone in Tahoe:

Had an awesome weekend at the beach in Santa Cruz:

Went Halloween Camping for the first time:

And had a fabulous weekend in Tahoe (again!) for Thangsgiving:

Not to mention the 4 fun Christmas celebrations we just had. The photos have yet to make it to my computer though.
Hoping 2010 brings us just as much joy as 2009. :)
Happy New Year! May your year be filled with joy, happiness and many blessings! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas past and present

I was reading through my older blog posts the other day. It's funny to see that I seem to have the same thoughts every year. Like procrastination, panic, busy, and having to go back for just that 'one more thing'. After 3 years of blogging...wait..4?? its nice to see how some things never change. But man o man, some things really do change.
Here is a video from last Christmas. Both of the kids look really little, but Megan--jeesh she was a BABY. It's so cute, she could just barely say 'mewy kissmas':

Christmas 2008 from Corey Wilcox on Vimeo.

Here's this year: (and it's a little longer since we start going through ornaments on the tree)

Christmas 2009 from Corey Wilcox on Vimeo.

The first thing I notice is her hair. She has a TON of hair now and she's not crying every 5 seconds like she was before LOL!
Anyway, sorry that was kinda boring. And my dinner is ready so I won't bore you any longer. ;)
More in the coming days. I think.
If not we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Thanksgiving letdown and Rules for decorating the tree

First of all Thanksgiving was awesome. That's why I'm titling this post the Thanksgiving 'letdown' because it was so much fun, coming home and getting back to normal was like a letdown after a sugar high or something. Like coming home after a vacation. We all kind of had that we need a vacation from our vacation kind of attitude. Normally I'm ready to put the tree up the day after and get going with the sugar cookies and holiday baking etc. This year not so much. There was such build up for the Thanksgiving week...with the family here, the trip to Tahoe... I was just not ready to jump into something else so quickly. We had a blast in Tahoe! It was super fun. Even with 24 people (10 of them children) it was great. There were only a few times where I wanted to escape and really I think that's just my own issue. I'm not huge on big crowds of people. The kids were awesome. Like they never, ever fought the entire weekend. Ever. I don't even remember any significant winning. Seriously. They were awesome. Friday night we even got snow! It dumped about 5 inches in the matter of 3 or 4 hours that night. It was kinda funny though because we were the only people with 4WD. Who goes to the mountains in winter without 4WD or chains?? The kids were so happy to play in the snow Saturday morning. Though, Megan didn't quite like it. I remember Jake hating the snow at her age too. Friday night we hired a babysitter for all the kids and the adults went out for dinner. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Harvey's casino. Within 15 minutes of waiting for our table, Pete's sister won 1,000 dollars on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine. She put 50 bucks in, played half of it and won a grand. That kind of thing NEVER happens to me. Dang it. I was happy for her though. If you haven't seen them yet, there are pictures on my Facebook page of the house, the people and the fun we had.
And now on to decorating the tree.
It took a few days for me to even want to get the decorations out. It just did not feel like December to me at all. Don't we usually have a least a week in between Thanksgiving and the first of December? I was not in the mood and not ready. But I finally got way back in the storage closet and drug everything out Wednesday night. Friday night I finally got the tree up. I put on "Christmas Vacation" {my favorite Christmas movie} and got the kids all excited, only to find out that half of the lights on the tree wouldn't work. What a buzz kill. So yesterday morning I drug out my supply of outdoor lights and strung more white lights and then filled in with a few strings of red lights. I think we ended up with over 600 lights on the tree. Finally we got to decorating. Now, I guess you can credit my mom to this fact, but I am extremely particular in how the tree must be decorated. I almost cringe letting my kids decorate it. I know. It's for them. But I can't stand if something is in the 'wrong' spot. I let them have at it, but then I secretly go back and 'fix' things.
Here are my rules for decorating the tree: (please note these are just my opinion and only apply to me, my children and probably my mother)
1. There must be LOTS of ornaments. I personally feel that most people under decorate their trees. Let no branch stand alone!
2. That being said, every ornament MUST hang freely from the branch from which it's hung. Now crowding, leaning or scrunching is allowed.
3. Reach and place ornaments inside the tree. They catch light better that way and it gives more visual interest. And it gives more room for more ornaments!
4. Small ornaments go up top. Larger ones, near the bottom.
5. Certain ornaments are MINE and only I get to hang them. That's because I'm a selfish only child and I don't like to share :D
6. You can't have too many ornaments of the same color, shape or style in one area. ie: you can't have too many red together, or too many round ones together, or too many stars or snowflakes together. (unless of course, your tree is themed, then that is more acceptable)
7. No tinsel or tinsely garland allowed. Beads, ribbon, popcorn or berries or other garland is acceptable, however it must go around the tree from the top to the bottom, be evenly spaced and not interfere with any other ornament or decoration.
8. Icicles and snowflake ornaments go on last, again must be evenly spaced around the tree and still must be free hanging.
And finally:
9. The duck goes at the top.
This one really only applies to me. It's a joke my mom and I have had for years. In 1981 (I was all of 4 years old) I made a clay ornament with my neighbors next door. It was a yellow duck, with a red wing and a blue eye and an orange beak. I would always place it at the tippy top of the tree growing up and my mother would go right behind me and put in the back because she thought it was so ugly. It was cute at one time. But over the years it kept breaking. Now it's nothing but two yellow circles and half of a red wing. No eye, no beak. Just two yellow circles! But it just has to go on the tree. There's no doubt about that.
Any Questions?
There will be a quiz. aren't loading. Dang blogger. Oh well, there will still be a quiz ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bullet points

*Family arrived from Montana and Georgia this weekend.
*They are not staying with me.
*I spent the last week cleaning, and organizing and throwing out and cleaning some more. It became sort of an obsession. I started with one little annoying corner by the phone in the kitchen and ended up going through just about every inch of my downstairs. My kids started looking at me weird and asking Mommy, why are you still cleaning?? Even Pete was like: dude, why is the refrigerator so clean?? It looks like there's no food in there. That's because I threw all that old junk away that made it look like there was food in there but in reality you would not have wanted to eat it let alone touch it with a ten foot pole.
*Funny thing is, all that cleaning was pretty much good for nothing. Everyone came over for dinner last night. (20 people in all) I spent all day freshening up what I'd already spent days cleaning and then cooking and cooking and cooking some more. They came at six and were out the door by 7:25. Poor Jake was sick. It was a sure way to clear out a crowd, even though it was not my intention at all. Or Jakes. Poor kid just wanted to play. He was devastated when everyone left cuz he hurled. ( I don't blame them ) side note: he safely and quickly made it to the toilet. no one saw actual hurlage.
*The other funny thing is, is that when you get 20 people in a relatively small space, you tend to not see the cleanliness. There's too many people and stuff in the way.
*A clean house can turn into a complete disaster in one hour and twenty five minutes. Even a small fire may have been started. Really.
*Jake is really pretty sick. He was running a temp of 103 all day. I finally got some Motrin down him and that seems to have done the trick. I'm praying no one else gets sick. We're supposed to leave for Tahoe Wednesday afternoon for our ginormous Thanksgiving extravaganza that we've (especially him) have been looking forward to for months and months. *sigh* the thought of possibly not going is killing me.
*We spent all day today watching movies. But I sort of quarantined Jake to one side of the couch as to try and not spread the disease. Is that mean?
*Hoping I get to spend at least a little more time with the visiting family. I really liked the 85 minutes I spent with them yesterday. Side note: these are Pete's cousins that I've never met before. I'd like to be able to get to know them a little bit better. Besides, 2 of them are scrapbookers...heeellllooo.
*Last week was parent/teacher conferences at school and report card time. Jake did pretty well. He's doing much better than at the beginning of the year. i just think it took him and the teacher both a little time to settle in and get a groove going. She seems to be teaching the right things, he's getting the help he needs at school and at home and it's paying off. So that was positive. It's amazing how well they really get to know your kid over the year. At least that's the way I felt when speaking with his teacher.
*Megan continues to make me laugh every day. The things that girl says. I don't even know where it comes from. I need to maybe do a video or something. It's just her facial expressions and the way she talks with her hands. She really puts on a show.
*She's also become the Word Police. About a month ago she got in big trouble for saying she was P.O. 'ed Um yeah. That one was totally my fault. I'm so guilty of saying that WAY too much. So now she either calls everyone out on their foul language oooohhhh mommy dats a bad word! Or if she's not sure she just asks if something is a bad word. Mommy, is shoot a bad word? Is dang a bad word? Is water a bad word? It's ok if I say it? And this goes on all day long.
*Christmas shopping has already got me in a bad mood. When I went out for the Motrin and dog food today, it was total chaos at the Target. The parking lot was all the way full already. The people were in no way in any sort of holiday spirit. There was lots of frantic grabbing and, the most annoying thing ever: standing in the middle of isles hemming and hawing over this light saber or that one, completely oblivious to the other ten people standing there who A) either know which light saber they want or B) just want to get through the dang toy isle to get to the dog food.
*I think I will be shopping at Amazon this year :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Well this has been one of the most stressful weeks I've had in a while. Filled with a bit of awkward tension, family drama and lots and lots of kids. Ok maybe not lots and lots, but double my normal number. And that's enough for me. oh and dogs. 4 dogs too. There's not really too much to say at this point other than everything turned out alright. I learned that I need to be a little more assertive. Even though I think I'm wearing my thoughts and emotions on my sleeve, and I think the meaning behind what I do say is obvious, it's not. I need to say what I mean and not worry so much what people may think. (that last statement SO needs to work both ways) And that things need to be thought through a little more. And I knew this already, but my husband totally has my back. Even though sometimes the words that come out of his mouth make me want to crawl in a little hole forever (because i hate confrontation so much, whether it involves me or not), he totally has my back. I love that he's totally ok with saying "blame it on me" because he knows he can take it and maybe I can't. He's also very quick witted. The perfect combo to me, the one who tends to close up like a clam shell.
Anyway, it's sort of almost all the way done and next week we get to go back to normal.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

December Daily. Who's in?

First, I want to say thanks for all your kind words on my little pity party the other day. It does really help. It's just something I struggle with every now and then and I just need to remind myself that it's ok, I'm ok and just move on. It's really not worth whining about. It is what it is.
So for the last few days I've been working on my December Daily Album. I had a lot of fun doing it last year (it's one project I actually finished!!) And so, I thought it would be fun to do it again. There was a few things I learned while going through this process last year that I hoped I could remember and incorporate or change in this album. If you're unfamiliar with the process or concept of this project, the idea is to make the album in advance and then fill it in as you document each day in December or up until Christmas.
I wanted this year's album to feel a little more 'homemade' and crafty. So I started by cutting two pieces of red felt with pinking shears and then stitched around the edges. The felt is then glued onto a piece of chipboard. (actually it's an old cereal box I cut up. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) I stitched on the triangle tree and glued on the '09. It's very simple, but I kind of like it that way. I might go back and add in a 2nd tree. This album is about 8 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide. After the last album I knew I needed it to be bigger. I struggled with too many small pages last time. I also made this one vertical instead of horizontal, which I think will be better.

The first few pages are small still, but I think that's ok. There's not too much usually going on the first few days, and it takes a day or two to get in a groove. This first page is a divided page protector that I cut and stitched to fit. I also added the 'joy' tag that I made myself in PSE. I added quite a few page protectors this time. I really liked the few pages I had last year and wanted to do that again.

Here are some more inside pages. Most of them are full size and just patterned paper. For me I think it will be easier to work with when I get going. I haven't added any of the 'numbers' or dates yet. I want it to be really flexible when I start working. I changed A LOT of stuff from my original album last time.

Here are some embellishments and tags etc... that I plan to use along the way. Nothing fancy or extravagant.
I really love how much color this album has. Last time seemed so muted and just not quite festive enough. I think gold accents would look great in here. I'm thinking of grabbing this Making Memories gold alphabet next time I'm in Michael's.
So that's it. Are you making one? Have you started? Lemme see!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Because I just can't say this on Facebook...

And I need to vent.
I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, but seriously.... Why am I always the one that can't say no? Or is always willing to help? Why am I always the one that says sure I can do that. Even though I sorta kinda don't really want to? Why is it that I'm always the one that says sure you can borrow that, no problem! {and then never gets it back} or hey I'm going out to the store, lemme see if I can find that for you and i'll even bring it over! or here, I have an extra, you can have it? Why am I always that person? And why is it that whenever I need a favor, (which isn't all that often) it's: ooops, I didn't get your text. ? (and I'm not relying on text messages, i'm just using that as an example)
Argh! Sometimes I just feel so taken advantage of. Or not important. Or maybe it's just they think I won't get mad so they just walk all over me? I don't mean to have a pitty party. But it's just frustrating some times. I really like this person but sometimes I feel like maybe I'll always be 2nd to someone or something else. Sometimes I wish I could be somebody's #1. {besides my husband and my kids and my parents. even though they're the only ones that really matter in the end}
Anyhoo.... That's all I'm going to say about that.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snaggle Tooth

hmmm. Blogger is making this picture look funny. Anyway, so as you can see, Jake lost his first tooth! Actually, this was taken on Friday and he lost the second one on Monday. So now he's snaggle X two! He got me a little choked up the other day. He said: "Now I'm becoming human!" As opposed too???? what?, I said. You already are human! ( i hope) "No Mommy! I'm becoming a grown up human!!", he said. And for a split second time just seemed to stop. My heart fluttered a little bit because what he said was absolutely true. Even though he's only 6 and even though it was just one tiny little tooth. That one event changed him. Even if ever so slightly. Do I sound over dramatic? Well maybe a little. But like I said, it was just one fleeting moment in time and then we went back to celebrating. As my mom used to always tell me, you have to be an adult for a very long time. Hold on to being a kid for as long as you can. She was so right.
Besides playing tooth fairy, we have been busy, busy, busy around here. Last week we went to the pumpkin patch, had to get the truck smogged, it failed (TIP: if your check engine light is won't pass smog no matter what) so we had to get that fixed {$383 dollars later for a $10 part} then back to the smog check place, Jake started After School Club on Thursday and then we headed out for our Halloween camping trip Friday.
I would upload some pics of our activities, but I'm feeling lazy and they're already on Facebook anyway :) But the camping trip....Oh my goodness. It was just so much fun. A lot of work, but FUN. I'm not generally a fan of camping in an RV park. I mean, having a camping trailer or an RV is great (I'd love to have one of my own!), but I'm not a huge fan of the RV park experience. Usually (the times I've been anyway) it's a bunch of old people who sit in their trailers all day and only come out to smoke or walk their dog. This trip was not like that. At all. There were tons and tons of people. And lots and lots of kids. There was always something going on and always something to do. They had contests for the best decorated rig/campsite, pumpkin carving contests, costume contests, crafts for the kids, free popcorn and caramel apples and apple cider. The kids went trick or treating. The adults dressed up and went walking around too. It was like one giant party with every one there for the same reason. It wasn't just for kids. It was fun to see everyone out and talking to each other and walking around the park and seeing just how creative some people can be. Definitely want to go again next year!
I mentioned up there also about Jake starting After School Club. He's been doing much, much better at school than the last time I had written about it. He seems to be the kind of kid that starts of a little slow and then excels up the mountain in the end. Kind of like the tortoise in The Tortoise and the Hare. The after school club was formed after several of the parents complained that their kids weren't getting the foundation of the things they needed to be learning. (me being one of those parents) So they came up with this 'club' to get some extra help. So far it seems great. It's with another teacher that is tenured in elementary education, has been teaching 1st grade for several years and is extremely structured. Which I think is exactly what Jake needs. I found out that up until last week, all the first graders in his class were being given 2nd grade work. Except for math, she really hadn't been 'splitting' the class like she should have. So no wonder they were struggling so much. We are already seeing a huge improvement from him at home and at school with his work. I'm all for giving kids a bit of a challenge, but it's nice to know that they are actually being given something that is within their own means and seeing them be able to excel and progress. These first years of school are an important foundation. If they have to struggle so hard now (to the point where they just want to give up) what does that do for their self esteem? What does that do for the challenges they'll face later? Building self confidence is so important! Wow, I'm rambling. Anyway I'm just so glad that the school listened to what the parents had to say and that we're seeing an effort made to change it. I don't expect Jake to be an A student. But I do expect that he try his hardest and that he be given the tools he needs to succeed. I think we're finally on the right track now. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Season of Scare.

Is it mean to find great joy in scaring the heck out of your own kids? Maybe. But, dang it's fun!!
I realize this story might not come across as funny when reading it. It might just be one of those 'had to be there' type stories. And if it does, let me apologize in advance. But it's one that needs to be written down so I don't forget. It was pure and classic hilarity and fright at it's best. And I should have had my camera out, but didn't. And I should have had the video camera out and didn't do that either!
Yesterday afternoon seemed to be a typical Wednesday afternoon. Dinner was in the oven, the kids were outside playing and Pete should be home any minute. Right around 5 o' clock, the phone rings and it's Pete calling to say he's on his way home and should be there in a few minutes. He also adds in to not let the kids know he's coming and for me to open the side door to the garage.
"What's going on?", I ask.
"Oh nothing. I just bought this scary mask and I want to see if it scares the kids."
Awwwesome I think to myself. However, I'm wondering just how 'scary' the mask really is. I told him that Megan and I had already been to the Halloween store today and I'm not sure how scared she'll really be because she wasn't at all scared in there. I also make sure to tell him not to open the garage door because then they'll for sure know he's home. We want this to be a pure surprise attack. (evil parents that we are)
So, he gets home and goes directly into the side door of the garage. The kids have no idea he's home. He grabs this ginormous game bag made of canvas. (A game bag is for putting the meat in when you're hunting so the meat doesn't go bad.) This one was big enough that it went all the way down and covered his feet. He cut a hole in the top for his head and put the mask on over his face. (I will be taking a picture at some point for reference) Megan and I were sitting in the house. I was trying to keep her occupied so she wouldn't see him coming. He came in through the patio door and didn't say a word. Just looked straight at us and kept coming closer. Poor Megan just froze. She didn't know what to think. Then she just started screaming and then laughing and then screaming again.
But that's not really the funny part of the story.
During all this, Jake is still playing outside and has no idea what has just happened and has no idea Daddy is home. We had to get him too. It just wouldn't be fair to poor Megan. Who, by the way, was very relieved to see her daddy under that sheet and mask.
So I went out front and called Jake to come in to "finish up some homework". Pete was hiding in costume behind the front door. Jake reluctantly came in and didn't even notice the big monster standing behind him. He walked towards the back of the house to use the bathroom. At the end of that hall is a big mirror that looks all the way back to the front door. He looks up and all of a sudden notices the big scary monster creeping up behind him. Oh my gosh, I don't know why I didn't have the video camera out! It was the funniest thing ever. His eyes got HUGE he says very quietly, "oh no....oh no!! Ah. Ah. Ah. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!" As he runs for his life to the bathroom looking in the mirror the entire way. I mean, ironically, it was exactly like in Scooby Doo when Shaggy and Scooby are so scared and Shaggy says "ZOINKS!" and their legs move to run as fast as they can, but they go no where. You know what I mean? It was exactly like that. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to puke. It was classic. The kid thought he was done, for sure.
When Pete finally took the mask off and Jake came out of the bathroom he was so embarrassed. It was cute though. He took it in stride and then was all, "I wasn't that scared." Yeah right. But he did laugh. He was a good sport.
Megan on the other hand....You know, I really didn't think she was that scared. But apparently it totally freaked her out. Pete had taken the sheet thing off and wrapped the scary mask inside of it and then just set it on the stairs. Well Megan would. not. go up there. At all. You couldn't even see the mask, but she knew it was there. She was like, there's no way I'm going up there till you get that thing out of the house! We had to put it in the garage and tell her we threw it away! After that she was fine.
So, is it horrible of us to find such pleasure in this? Some might think so. But don't we, as parents, have the right to play 'Boogie Man' every now and then just for fun? Isn't it written in the Parents Handbook?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you ready for Halloween?

Happy Monday. It's feeling a lot like fall around here. In fact we're expecting rain tonight lasting through the end of the week. I almost feel like I need to turn the heater on. But I won't. There's just a little chill in the air. I'm a summer time girl, but the older I get, the more appreciation for the fall season I get.
So the fly, that was gross. I think it's under control now. It was so bad that for a moment I wondered if there wasn't something dead and rotting in my garage. I know, that's disgusting, but there were just that many. It must have been their last hurrah before the cold set it because they seem to be gone now.
Can you believe Halloween is just around the corner?? This year I'm feeling much less prepared for fall than ever. We have no costumes yet for the kids, we haven't been to the pumpkin patch yet, and I went looking through Megan's drawers for a long sleeve shirt and found nothing but a bunch of tank tops. Not good.
Speaking of Halloween, what are your kids going to dress up as? Originally Megan wanted to be Tinkerbell and Jake wanted to be Bumble Bee from Transformers. But after looking at some of the costumes, their prices and then just how cheaply they are made....I just can't do it this year. I'm not going to spend 80 bucks on two costumes that aren't even that cute. We're going on our Halloween camping trip on the 24th. So I think it would be fun for all of us to dress up since my mom and mike will be. I went looking online yesterday for fast and easy costumes we could do ourselves. I think we've settled on the Scooby Doo gang. Pete will be Fred, I will be Daphne, Megan will be Velma and Jake will be Shaggy. And we just happened to have a big brown dog that will serve as Scooby. The outfits should be pretty easy to put together. I'll just need to track down a blond wig for Pete and an orange turtleneck for Megan. Oh and I guess a purple dress for me. We went to the thrift store yesterday...I couldn't believe they didn't have a costume section. Unless they're all already gone?? Megan is very upset that she doesn't get to be Daphne. Being the girly girl she is, she's no fool in knowing that Daphne is the pretty one and Velma is the smart one. But she would make such a cute Velma!! So Velma it is. :) I think it will be fun. Pete said, "why can't I just be Pete?" BECAUSE THERE IS NO PETE IN SCOOBY DOO, YOU DORK! I really can't wait to see him in blond wig and an orange neckerchief. ha ha!!! I've got 11 days to get this stuff together. At least Jake's costume is easy. He already has shaggy hair so all he needs is a green shirt and brown pants.
Anyway this is getting boring and I really have nothing else to write about now. So that's it for now!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Send help. Or at least fly paper, maybe?

Megan and I were at gymnastics last week. I was sitting talking to some of the other moms as we noticed just swarms of nasty flies in the building. It was quite disgusting. There's not much else that kind kind of just turn you off to a place than a bunch of flies. Well ok maybe there are a few worse things. But seriously, flies are just gross. Anyway we were all remarking about the flies and one mom pipes up and says, "oh yes...October is the worst month for flies". Huh. I'd never really thought about it before. I mean we live in Tracy. It's a cow town. Literally. I live around the corner from a dairy farm. There are flies. There are always flies.
But this lady really must have known something because OH MY GOSH It's like our entire house is being invaded by these nasty flying beasts. I am not joking I just stood in my kitchen for the last twenty minutes and killed no less than 50 flies. I am not exaggerating. Well, maybe a little. I just cleaned it all up last night and now I feel the need to go over every last centimeter with bleach. And the thing is, as soon as I think I've got them all, haha! I am triumphant! another one dive bombs my head. WHERE THE FREAK ARE THEY COMING FROM?! What the FIRECRACKER?! There is another one!!!!!
Someone please save me. Because if Megan opens the patio or garage door one more time and just stands there with it wide open I just might really lose it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mid week blahhhs

Happy Wednesday?
hmmm...I don't even know anymore. I've been sick. Sick for over a week now. And I'm over it. Only I'm not. You know what I mean? I'm sick of being sick. And every time I think I'm feeling better, I don't. Oh yes, I'm having a little sicky pitty party. I sort of wonder if I've had the dreaded H1N1 Swine Flu. Because dang...I've had colds, and I've had 'the flu' but this has seriously kicked my butt. Only I guess I'll never know if it was the swine since unless you're like hospitalized they aren't testing. They're just immunizing.
Anyway, I'm trying really, really hard to feel better. I even took chicken out for dinner tonight. I just really don't feel like cooking it.
Isn't it funny how when Mom is sick, everything just keeps on ticking. But when Dad is sick...forget it. The world might as well be coming to an end. Moms are just not allowed to be sick. Ever. Apparently.
On a better note....we had a fabulous time in Santa Cruz this weekend. I actually really WAS feeling better Friday when we left. Pete and Megan had been sick too, and they were most certainly better. I still had a bit of a headache, but I didn't dare say anything because I really, really wanted to go. Is that stupid? Well, it may have proved to be in the end. I took some Tylenol and went about the day. The weather was perfect when we got there. 85 degrees warm and sunny. It's actually kind of rare for Northern California coast. It was lovely.

The kids got half naked, ran in the waves, dug for sand crabs, made sand castles... It was excellent.

My two step sisters, Kelly and Shannon showed up later that night. It was great to see them since I usually only see them 2 or 3 times a year. Saturday we headed over to the little town of Capitola.

It's a fun little beach town with little artsy shops mixed in with high fashion mixed in with down and dirty surf shops. Typical beach town. There was supposed to be a woman's surf competition but for some reason the sea was dead that morning. No waves at all. It was kind of eerie. After an authentic Mexican lunch in town we headed back to our beach. It was another great afternoon. Not quite as warm but still nice. Sunday morning was more of the same. Only it was a bit cooler. I think this was the downturn of my sickness. I felt fine all morning, but all of a sudden sitting on the beach that day, the wind picked up a bit and my ears got really, really cold. I think that was a very bad thing. I was miserable all the way home. :( At least I was able to enjoy the weekend.

So really, that's all that's been going on around here. Today was the first day all week that I didn't have a fever. I'm looking forward to the weekend again and hoping to be all better by then. Someone has to clean this house up, you know!
Oh and I did finish up the picture portion of my Week in the Life project. Now it's just time to get creating. In all honesty I sort of just want to scrap the beach pictures. But I think I'll still do the entire week too, because I love my album from last year. I also just ordered some supplies to start my December Daily album. Anyone else doing that again this year?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Week in the life

I keep telling myself I need to blog. I walk around 'blogging' in my head all day and then I never find the time or make the time to come sit down and actually do it. I have all kinds of things running through my head, sometimes it's quite overwhelming when I want to let it all out.
Anyway, first things first. Thanks to Beth and Nicole for inviting me and our online buddies to do another Week in the Life project. I had so much fun doing it last year so I'm glad to be doing it again. I'm fining that so many of the pictures are very similar though. I guess I do the same kind of things still. Haha! Here are a couple favorites from the past few days:

This last one is of Jake doing his homework. I can not get over the difference between Kindergarten and 1st grade. I mean, I expected it to be more work and of course harder.....but this hard??? He's doing well except in reading/spelling. But um...the spelling words he has?! Oh my goodness. Last week they were who what when where why how find... The whole W-H thing really confused him but he didn't do too bad with those. But then this week the words are ate eight flour flower hole whole meat meet no know. I'm sorry, but those words are extremely difficult for a 6 year old who learned everything phonetically in Kindergarten. E-I-G-H-T???? That's like impossible to sound out. The kid can sound out things really well. He surprises me sometimes with the things he can spell when he really tries. But getting him to understand why e-i-g-h-t spells 8..... dude, I don't even know. I'm glad they're not doing super simple stuff, but besides being homonyms, these words are like totally random. What happened to learning why things are spelled certain ways? Like putting an E on the end of a word makes the vowel a long sound? Short vowel? Long vowel? Consonant clusters: ch, sh ph even??? I actually looked up the curriculum the school district says it uses for language arts. There is a 24 page list of spelling words for the first grade. I printed it out and went through the entire thing and only found a few words that he's actually had as spelling words and all the others are no where to be found. I even looked on the 2nd grade curriculum (because he's in a 1st/2nd combo class) and they weren't even on that list. Where is she pulling these words from?? My niece is in 2nd grade (at the same school) and her words haven't even been that hard. Hers have been like: from, hand, friend how, stand. Um, those are pretty easy. I'm not one of these parents that thinks I'm better than the teacher, or that I know more than she does. I DO NOT. But I just do not understand how I'm supposed to help him be successful if the things that are asked of him seem so far out of his reach. Last week with the who what when where why words....I was practically in tears. He doesn't seem frustrated at all. But me...I knew he just wasn't getting it. Plus, he had to learn those words in 3 days since it was a short week. (The teachers had a staff day on Friday) I mean, that's like setting them up for failure.
I know what you're thinking: Talk to the teacher!!
I have. Well sort of. I wrote her a note on Monday stating that I'd like to talk to her one on one. She did write me back stating she would call me sometime this week. I'm trying to give her the opportunity to follow through. I haven't heard anything yet. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow, I will be going in unannounced. And if that doesn't work, I will be going to the principal. I'm not the only parent who feels this way. There are only 8 1st grade students in his class and I'm pretty friendly with most of them and it seems we all seem to be having the same issues. Something just isn't right.
Whew. I'm glad I got all that off my chest. I've literally lost sleep over this. Ridiculous, I know.
In other news, Pete, Megan and I are all sick. We've all got colds and have felt pretty crappy all week. I made us all home made chicken soup last night for dinner, hoping that it would make us feel better. We're supposed to be headed out to Santa Cruz tomorrow to spend the weekend with my dad at the beach house they've rented. We are all super excited. I just hope we feel better tomorrow! I think we're on the mend though. I'm not missing out on a weekend at the beach!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just curious...

Ok, so we all know that am cheap. I've said it over and over again. Cheap, frugal, whatever you want to call it, I just don't like spending too much money on anything. Ever. Sometimes spending more than 100 dollars in a day can give me a tiny bit of a heart attack. Seriously. And I know it's stupid. You know what's even more stupid? If I spend 100 dollars today, that is bad. But if I spend 50 dollars today and 50 dollars tomorrow that is ok. How that logic works is beyond me. I know it makes no sense, but it's really how my little brain works. Anyway, I'm veering off of what I wanted to ask in the first place...
I read a lot of blogs. A lot. Most of them are moms, scrapbookers or crafters. And what I keep seeing over and over is these ladies talking about the dress they bought at J. Crew or the jeans they got at Anthropology. And then they link to said items and the dress was $198 ON SALE and the jeans were $250 bucks. And I mean, I see this all. the. time. These ladies that are stay at home moms and have 2 or more kids.
Am I really the only one that does not shop at these stores? Or really...Am I the only one that has never and probably will never buy a pair of jeans for two hundred dollars? Actually, $75 is probably my limit and that is like the tippy top of my limit.
I know I'm not the most fashion forward person. I mean, I call myself The Queen of Casual. Name brand for me, sadly, is Gap or *gasp* Old Navy. I know. I know.
So how many of you shop regularly at these 'higher end' stores?
What is your limit on jeans? Shoes? Handbag?
Am I really THAT cheap? Is it normal to drop 150 on jeans? Am I that out of the loop?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Now and Later

hmmm...I've had this blog for almost 3 years now and I only have 275 posts to date. Clearly I am not blogging enough.
My last post I promised 'more actual blog content' but then I think it's been over a week since I said that. Sorry.
I've been working on this scrapbooking class. Me: TAV (Me: The Abridged Version) It has quite a bit of journaling involved. Which means lots and lots of typing. And since it's about me, going through the process has been.....a little overwhelming, therapeutic, and a little exhausting. But fun! I know the end product will be awesome.
Anyway, so much of my time has been spent doing that.
Pete was gone again to Alaska. Yes, if you are the keeping score type, that would be the 2nd time in a year, 3rd time in 2 years and 2nd time in a matter of 3 months. Me? I canceled my trip. My one trip alone in 3 years. It's ok. No really. I'm not bitter. Honestly. I am very glad he is home safe and sound though. I got a little worried you know, when he's buying stuff like Bear Spray and carrying a satellite phone with a direct line to the Coast Guard. But all is well now.
This Fall is turning out to be pretty busy already.
Wednesday night we went to the Cub Scouts sign up. Oh my goodness was Jake ever excited. The kid could not stop talking about it since he brought the flier home from school a week ago. He wanted to bring his fishing pole and his bow and arrow to the meeting! We were like Dude, it's just the sign ups. He was having none of it! I'm glad to see him so excited about it though. Anyway so we go to the meeting. It seems like the current den is pretty small and in fact the Tiger Cubs (Jake's group) didn't even have a leader. I was stressing for a minute thinking I was going to have to step up and be the Den Mother. That sounds bad. It's not that I didn't want to. But it just seemed like a lot when I really would have no idea what I was doing. Luckily one of the dads stepped up. I'm just really hopping that they make it as fun as it sounds. I was in Girl Scouts as a kid and we kind of had a lame troop leader, we never did the camp outs or anything, there were only 4 of us in the troop. It pretty much sucked. I'm really hoping these kids stay in it and really enjoy it.
Next week Megan goes to Gymnastics for the first time. We missed this week because of Pete's flight. We tried to make it back from the airport in time, but we were just too late. She was pretty much heartbroken for a few minutes. But since she really has no idea what it is, she got over it pretty quick. She just knew she was missing out on something. Poor thing.
The end of the month we're going to Santa Cruz for the weekend. My dad is renting a house down there for the week and we are crashing in on Friday night. I'm super excited. We haven't been to this place in a few years and it's pretty neat. The house itself is nestled away in the woods but is just a little ways from a private beach. It's so cozy and very cabin-y. The kids are going to love it.
The end of October we're going camping with my mom and Mike. This camping trip is going to be super fun! The whole campground 'dresses up' and decorates for Halloween. All the campers and RVs decorate their rigs and all the kids go trick-or-treating. They have contests and everything for the decorating and pumpkin carving. We can't wait!
AND THEN.... oh yes, there's more fun coming! For Thanksgiving we're having a giant party up in Lake Tahoe. Pete's two cousins and their families are coming out here (one from Georgia and one from Montana) and we're all renting a house in Tahoe for 3 days. There will be 24 of us total. 10 of that 24 are kids! Are we crazy? Quite possibly. Will it be fun? I sort of have visions of A Griswold Old Fashioned Family Christmas in my head. I'm hoping it won't be that disastrous. But regardless, there will be many memories made and stories to tell!
Anyhow, I think I've rambled on long enough. We have plenty to look forward to in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Recent Scrapiness

Just some recent scrap pages.
More actual blog content to come soon...

* lift of Ali Edwards
*lift of Gigi Kennedy.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The fair and other things...

Things have been a little busy around here I guess. We're finally settling in to school. Megan turned 3 last week. I had a babysitting job for a day. Pete is headed out tomorrow for another trip to Alaska, I got a new laptop (!) and we went to the state fair over the weekend.
I'll start with school. We kind of had a rocky start. I think it's just taken (me especially) a little time to adjust to the change from kindergarten to first grade. Who knew it would be SO different? But it is. Being in the combo class with 2nd graders I think makes it even more so, I think. Jake's kindergarten teacher was everything you would expect at kindergarten teacher to be. She lived and breathed teaching. She LOVED what she did and it radiated from her. She was loving, nurturing, yet firm. Well the new teacher....while she is very enthusiastic, she seems.... a little lost maybe? I think it's because she taught 8th grade last year. So this is a very big change for her too. I suppose it will all work out, but it sure does seem like an adjustment.
Megan's birthday was Friday. Where did 3 years go? My baby is gone. :( It makes me sad yet happy at the same time. Does that make sense? I've finally enrolled her in a gymnastics class that starts in 2 weeks. I am so excited for her, and for me. I'm hoping that maybe we'll actually meet some little girls her own age! I'm telling you, there is an unnatural amount of boys here in this town.
Friday night we headed up to my moms so we could go to the fair on Saturday. We all got up so we could get out there early and beat the heat and the crowds. The forecast said the high would be about 97* which is hot, but not unbearable. Plus, here in CA, the hottest part of the day is around 4 or 5 o'clock. We figured we'd be fine. Boy were we ever wrong! And so was the forecast. It ended up being about 108* when we finally left at 2 o'clock. We did manage to have a little bit of fun though.

We headed out to the farm first. I love this part of the state fair. It's so beautiful the way the set up the vegetable beds and everything is so lush.

This is also where they have the farm nursery and the baby animals that were born at the fair. The day we were there the only babies they had were piglets. Really, is there anything cuter than a perfectly pink new baby pig?!

Then of course we had to go get a corn dog.

And something cold to drink.

And then Megan's favorite part of the day: The pony rides.

Jake was pretty happy about it too. Though he would never tell you he loved as much as Megan did. (Ponies are for girls, you know)

And then to the ticket booth to ride some rides.

Some of the rides at the fair were actually from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. The nostalgic part of me wondered why they would ever take them out of there. Like why wouldn't they just preserve the place like it is? Sort of like Graceland. And then another part of me was just kind of creeped out by it all together.

After this, we let Jake ride the go-carts and then we were outta there. It was so hot I was doing anything just to cool down. Like putting ice down the front of my shirt so I'd stop sweating. Classy, eh? :)
So that's about it. Pete is leaving tomorrow for another trip to Alaska. He's headed out to the wild tundra this time, hunting for moose. We have to leave at 4 am tomorrow to get him to the airport on time. *sigh* I'm going to miss him.