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11.30.2009

Case of the Mondays

Last week was one giant chain of disasters. Thankfully, R survived the GI doctor and the aftermath that occurred, the turkey survived smoke billowing from the oven on Thanksgiving, and I survived a number of things from sprained fingers to less than pleasant messes to the exciting chaos of Black Friday. All with my thoughts and worry occupied elsewhere. It's funny {and somewhat frightening} how one person can cause unexpected and irrational behavior in another when she's least expecting it. Just one of the many things that make you go "hmmmm"...

To end the National Week of Thanks, I wanted to be sure to express gratitude, without the fine details, for the following. Just a few of many things I am thankful for this holiday season...

*Health
*Employment
*Unconditional love
*Technology
*Pie

After our rough week and a lovely four day hiatus from responsibility, I return to reality and welcome December with open arms.

I absolutely adore the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the unpredictable Arizona weather, the smell of my house after baking holiday treats, laying under my beloved imperfect tree late at night, neighborhoods all a'glow with twinkling lights after sunset, filling my children's stockings with special trinkets, and the shift in attitude that happens to the general public that always {and only} occurs during holiday season. It's all in the magic of Christmas.

Cheers to good cheer!

11.26.2009

11.23.2009

Case of the Mondays

Happy "Wednesday"! I don't know about you, but I had the laziest weekend ever...

Saturday morning was spent keeping house and getting the laundry under control - I swear it breeds itself when I'm not looking - and after spending some quality time with Mr. TiVo, I hit up Toys R Us and Target, finished my Christmas shopping, and spent the remainder of my afternoon at a lovely toddler birthday party. I also managed to squeeze in an early showing of New Moon, see the review in the post below.

With the house clean and the laundry put away, I spent Sunday doing absolutely nothing. I went to the supermarket, made some CD's, and picked up my knitting again. I would like to finish this scarf before Friday, so wish me luck! It was the best Sunday ever, only one thing missing. <3

I'm very much looking forward to my week and spending some extra time with my kids. I love Thanksgiving, short work weeks, the Macy's Day Parade, homemade pies and mashed potatoes, the smells, the clearance sales... and I love that I may finally get to wear my boots!

Cheers to a chilly outside, warm inside, satisfying week!

11.22.2009

New Moon: A Review

First of all, let me say how much I adored the books. The entire series kept me engaged late into the night for seven consecutive days, which says a lot when you have a house and a business to run, three kids, school, a schedule, and, well, you have to eat, but I'll say it again, New Moon was almost as disappointing as Twilight. While the special effects were much better this round, which is what I believed held back Twilight's potential due to a small budget, I'm now rethinking it to be a casting issue.

Simply put, Kristen Stewart cannot act. I believe that she's taking this entire experience for granted and it's coming across in her performance as Bella Swan. She's great in Panic Room before she was the Twilight mega star. As Bella, there is no life in her eyes, she breathes heavily for no reason, and in the most heart wrenching of scenes (ie: "Can I ask one thing? Kiss me.") she lacks some severe passion. Robert Pattison at least has it in his eyes (and is extremely pretty to look at), but he also lacks in the passion department, perhaps as a reaction to Kristen Stewart. The pair together have failed to ignite in me what the written couple had. With the book, I felt the pain, the longing, the desperate, the love; all of it deeply, but nothing in the film comes even remotely close to igniting a spark of those emotions in the theater seats. It's sad really.

The overacting award goes to Jamie Campbell Bower for playing lackey Volturri vamp, Caius and the person who didn't live up to media hype was definitely Dakota Fanning; Jane is much more intense and intimidating than a cute 15 year old girl.

Taylor Lautner, however, despite being absolutely h.o.t., is a fantastic Jacob. I don't disagree with this casting decision. He's boyish, strong, and passionate right on cue. I love how you can see that he's trying to stay calm, to not morph, when Bella shows up at his house right after he's changed. I had completely forgotten that anger is what caused them to morph, until they were standing in the rain and he was telling her to leave; I saw his entire being in character. Major kudos to Taylor for bringing it!

Kudos also to go the eternally adorable Ashely Greene for her portrayal of Alice Cullen and to Billy Burke for an ever so hysterical performance of bachelor dad, Charlie Swan. And, of course, Michael Sheen made an amazingly creepy Aro. I can't wait for Eclipse just to see what Mr. Sheen does with his character.

In comparison to Twilight, it was miles better, but it still wasn't good enough. As a stand alone film, it was just okay. So, while I'm not looking for or wanting those two hours back, I certainly wouldn't spend them or the $9.75 on New Moon again. But if you're going to ask if I am going to see Eclipse? I respond with, is Taylor Lautner hot?

11.19.2009

The Letter B

Fresh coffee, the Macy's Day Parade, the smell of pumpkin pie baking, football... I can't believe Thanksgiving is in seven days. Ridiculous! And J heads out to TX tomorrow for ten days, which makes for a ridiculously bummed me. Just who the heck am I supposed to bug?! I see a lot of baking in my future, since that's what I do when I'm bummed, bored, or any other adjective that starts with 'B'. Pie anyone?

11.17.2009

Countdown to 30

Let's face it. The end of another decade in my life is approaching and the sails are catching wind as time goes by. I'm not opposed to birthdays, I LOVE them, but I'm having a hard time grasping that another 10 years has so quickly vanished. I often wonder if I've accomplished anything in the last decade. Of course, I have {I think}, but it doesn't always feel like it. Being a realist {when I want to}, I understand that not everything turns out the way you expect it or even want it to, so I'm perfectly okay with how my life is; surely I'm not the only one to look back and think, "Wow. So this is it, eh?" All that is me can, and will, go from good to great to fabulous to absolutely sparkling over time.

While reading the archives of a favorite site, The Frisky, I came across a list of things a woman should know how to do before she turns 30. I agreed with some of the ideas they had, but decided I should come up with a list of my own. Hopefully, I've already mastered most and those items I have left to conquer, I will in the next 150 days.

40 Skills Every Woman Should Have
Before Turning 30

1. Make coffee. French press, percolator, automatic drip. You never know what you're going to run into.

2. Diplomatically tell Mom to butt-out.

3. Ace a job interview.

4. Ask a man out.

5. Send a thoughtful thank-you note.

6. Listen to a friend in need. Key word: Listen.

7. Ask for help.

8. Effectively end an unhealthy relationship (romantic or platonic in nature).

9. Beautifully wrap a gift.

10. Say "no" gracefully.

11. Whip up a great dinner using only the items in the fridge.

12. Drive a car with a manual transmission.

13. Sew a button.

14. Mix a kick-ass cocktail.

15. Take off her bra without removing her shirt.

16. Know how to accept a compliment.

17. Apply lip gloss in the dark.

18. Balance her checkbook.

19. Create a budget.

20. Find the best deal.

21. Negotiate a car loan.

22. Read a map.

23. Apologize when she is wrong.

24. Say something in French just for the hell of it.

25. Dress for her body type.

26. Change a flat tire (or know who to call to come change it for her)

27. Spot a fake (handbag, diamond, potential friend...)

28. Feign interest.

29. Know what to tip at dinner.

30. Hold a baby.

31. Know the difference in appropriate behavior between dinner party and bachelorette party.

32. Hail a cab.

33. Do laundry.

34. Grocery shop.

35. Eat alone at a restaurant.

36. Self defense.

37. Effectively learn how to maintain a healthy relationship (romantic or platonic).

38. How to pack light.

39. Program a universal remote.

40. Learn the rules of at least one sport.

11.16.2009

Case of the Mondays

Over the weekend, Mom, J, and I participated in the Alzheimer's Association 2009 Phoenix Memory Walk. What a great day! The weather was fabulous, the crowd was bigger than I had expected, and the 5k was good enough to conquer twice. Breakfast and nap ensued.


Sunday was more restful, even with my miniature softball team. I let the kids make up the day's schedule and we accomplished nearly everything we set out to. We ate breakfast, saw the Komodo Dragon's at the zoo {which, by the way, weren't as impressive as the zoo makes them out to be}, drove through the car wash, wrote letters to Santa, and learned about capillary veins and how blood travels using celery, food coloring, and water {big thanks to my favorite Super Mom!}.

The Over Hyped Komodo Dragon, Phoenix Zoo 2009

At the end of the day, after showers and baths, I had tuckered all three of them out enough to hit the hay at 7:30. All would have been still had E not gotten up four times to tell me she was too sick for school. If I hadn't invented that charade myself many moons ago, I might have believed the fake wheeze and drama queen-esque whimpering. It was a mostly quiet Sunday evening for mom, which is just what this mom needed.

However, the Emmy goes to.... drum roll please... E for her performance in the "I'm Sick" Act. That's the best faked illness I've seen yet. One of these days, lil' darlin', you may have me, but you'll have graduated college by then cause I'm mom and everything you're going to attempt, I did first. Don't forget it, my lil' Emmy winner!

There are seven weeks, including this one, left of 2009. I can't believe it. Cheers to an award winning week!

11.14.2009

mTunes

I'm in love with this song. Written and originally performed by Kings of Leon, here's my favorite cover by Paramore...



I've been roaming around always lookin' down at all I see
Painted faces fill the places I can't reach
You know that I could use somebody
You know that I could use somebody
Someone like you and all you know and how you speak
Countless lovers undercover of the street
You know that I could use somebody
You know that I could use somebody
Someone like you

Off in the night while you live it up, I'm off to sleep
Waging wars to shake the poet and the beat
I hope it's gonna make you notice
I hope it's gonna make you notice
Someone like me
Someone like me
Someone like me
Somebody

I'm ready

Someone like you
Somebody
Someone like you
Somebody
Someone like you
Somebody

I've been roaming around always looking down at all I see

11.13.2009

TGIF. Seriously.

It's been quite the week and I apologize for my missing Monday post, but considering the following all happened on Monday, you'll understand why I didn't even think to jot down a few words for your viewing pleasure.

On Sunday, I had been notified via text message that E had been receiving breathing treatments every two hours, when I urged her father to take her to the urgent care, he refused. At 4:17 Monday morning, I awoke to a daughter in hysterical coughing who was struggling so hard to breathe, I could see her ribs with every inhale. We immediately put plan into action to get her to the ER as quickly as possible. As soon as we entered, they rushed E back (which isn't exactly what you want to happen in an ER as they do treat in order of severity) and within minutes she was on steroids and a breathing treatment.

While there, we saw a number of respiratory therapists, nurses, and the pediatric physician on shift. Cardon's Children Emergency Center is the best ER I've ever been in. They were friendly, efficient, over staffed, knowledgeable, and compassionate. I've never had a more pleasant experience in a hospital emergency wing. If ever I need to return a child to the ER (knock on wood), this will be the only option for us.

In the midst of all this, I was also dealing with the worries of missing work. When you run your own business, you can imagine the stress it creates on all parties involved when you call out; especially last minute, with no notice. A big thank you goes out to all my clients who handled the situation not only well, but with complete understanding and concern, not only for E, but for me. It's tough enough being a single parent on a good day; if it needs to be done you're the only one who can do it, and you just do, but being a single parent with an emergency makes for one giant train wreck. Your ability to switch to Plan B without further question took my worries away. Thank you so much, I love you all dearly!

And just when I thought the dust had settled; E and I returned home, filled her prescription, dealt with standard procedure CPS questions, R's pants had been changed twice, and I made it to the crowded supermarket in bad traffic, is when I received the icing on the crappy cupcake of Monday. I was also fired.

It's true, you can't please all of the people all of the time and some people have a really hard time with last minute adjustments to their daily routine. I understand all this and your reasons behind leaving Sweet Pea TLC, but until your day even remotely resembles mine, the last thing I want to hear from you is that your "day was hell." Let's compare, shall we?

- Was your child in the ER not breathing?
- Did you deal with the standard CPS/ER song and dance?
- Did your 5 year old poop his pants three times that day?
- Did your ex husband argue with you via text messaging over anything he could think of?
- Did your business shut down for the day at 4:20 a.m.?
- Did you worry about six different families?
- Did you answer yes to ANY of these questions?!

I apologized for having an emergency several times, I even was compliant when this particular person continued to text me every 15 minutes for the next two hours while I sat in the ER with my child, but the email in which she noted her "day was hell" was the straw that broke this camel's back.

Don't even begin compare your day to mine until you can answer 'yes' to at least one of the above six questions. I may not know what you have going on at home, but I do know your day was not hell. Your child is healthy. Although, I am so very sorry you had to take a day off of work, or go in for a half day because your husband came home at noon, I ask that you please accept my sincerest, deepest apologies for royally screwing up your Monday.

Fast Forward: Wednesday...

At the Tempe Veteran's Day Parade

The behavior displayed by my children on Wednesday was completely unacceptable. The arguing, the inability to listen and follow directions, the inability to be still, the rudeness, the nitpicking at each other, the tantrums, the complaining, the list goes on. Put us in public and there you go.

I think I am the luckiest woman alive to have found the world's most patient and understanding man. Not only would he not accept an apology for my children's monstrous behavior, but I was told it was unnecessary. This coming from a man who has spent less than a total of 15 hours with them. Does it get any better than that?

By the time 5 o'clock rolled around on Wednesday, I was elated to see their father. I gave him E's pediatric follow up instructions and have been praying that he sticks to them ever since I kissed them goodbye. He tends to drop the ball when it comes to medical instructions and protocol; so keeping fingers crossed that E received breathing treatments every three hours through Thursday night and that she rested and did not attend school for the remainder of the week. We shall see, I pick them up tomorrow night.

TGIF. Seriously.

Tomorrow morning is the 2009 Phoenix Memory Walk for the Alzheimer's Association, maybe I'll burn off some steam in the 5k intended.

Cheers to a peaceful weekend!

At the Tempe Veteran's Day Parade

11.02.2009

Case of the Mondays

We have survived another Halloween weekend!

Although not as many people dressed up as we had expected, J, H, B and I still thoroughly enjoyed RCPM's toga party at the Marquee Theater.


Roger opened with Dolly, closed with I Do and played Lemons, Mexico, Banditos, I Don't Need Another Thrill, Beautiful Disaster, Contraband, Hello New Day, I Know You Know, Americano, Tell Yer Mama, Counterclockwise, and City Girls among others. Three beers and a late night, let's just say, I was pretty useless the next day.

Feeling a thousand times better by the time trick or treating rolled around, I found myself chasing my Motley Crue around my parent's neighborhood... and they came home with enough candy to give you a cavity from the pantry!

A looks thrilled, doesn't she?

On Sunday morning, the kids, J, and I ventured out to LGO for breakfast. I love LGO. If you haven't been there yet, make the trip - it's impossible to be disappointed. I'd drive there just for the organic coffee. After a good time and good food, the kids and I met the S family out at Vertuccio Farms for an afternoon of pumpkins, animals, bounce houses, tractor bikes, a cow train, and a 10-acre corn maze. It was super hot, but it was so much fun!

I think we'll be doing this every year, post Halloween. The farm also harvests peaches and has a festival dedicated to the fuzzy fruit every June. We will definitely be checking that out next year.

Speaking of next year... it's almost here! Yay! I've taken some time off from running after my asthma attack on the 22nd to recover from not only the attack, but a sinus infection and allergies as well. This week, I start over with 2.5 miles at a time on Thursday and I'm going to try and program my Nike+iPod beforehand. Wish me luck! Before you know it, it'll be race day!

Cheers to a speedy week!