Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Science of Baking

Baking at 6000 ft. is hard, y'all. It involves science and math, and other things that make my head hurt.

I've Googled, I've read. I've tried to understand why water boils faster up here, and why the first batch of Toll House cookies I made came out like hockey pucks. I read something about the principles of high altitude baking, and how to modify recipes. But I don't understand it. And please don't try to explain it to me. I promise, I still won't get it.

Fortunately, things like cake mixes and brownie mixes and the Toll House cookie recipe have special high altitude instructions. For cakes and brownies, it involves adding dry flour to the mixes, and also adding more water. What does this have to do with high altitude? I haven't a clue. But it works.

You know what doesn't work? Using store-bought, refrigerated cookie dough to make your Christmas cookies. Because after 7 minutes at 350 degrees? They look like this:




Can you tell which ones are the trees, which are the stars and which are the gingerbread men? Yeah, me either. But I swear, they started out in those shapes. Frisbee, anyone?

Can you say frustrating? I suppose I could look up a recipe for high altitude sugar cookie dough and make it from scratch, but honestly, that's just way too much work for me.

Luckily for me, guess what they sell at the grocery store?



Plain, undecorated Christmas cookies!




Besides, this is all she really wants to do anyway. I know, good luck getting her to go to sleep tonight, right?













Whatever means we used to get here, it's all good. What else do kids really want, but to make a huge mess with frosting and sprinkles for mom to clean up?

(And try not to be too jealous of my lovely matching plates, ok?)





Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'll Take "People No One In The Real World Knows About" for $800, Alex

I'm flabbergasted. Heather Armstrong, a.k.a. Dooce, was just the answer to a freaking question on Jeopardy. Jeopardy!

The category was "Urban Dictionary", and thanks to the DVR, I can tell you what the clue was word for word:

"This term was coined by blogger Heather Armstrong, meaning to lose your job because of your blog."

The answer? (Question?) You've been "Dooced."

The funniest part? None of the contestants had any clue what the answer was. But I did! And I don't even read her blog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Expanding Snuggie Market

"Keeps you warm, and your PAWS free!"

Well, thank goodness for that.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary Sesame Street

I miss you, and remember you fondly. Of course it's not off the air, but it premiered when I was two, and now my youngest child is a little too old for it. According to my mom, it was my favorite show as a preschooler.

A few of my favorites:










Sunday, October 18, 2009

Counting My Blessings

Disclaimer: This story is about my experience, and my experience only. I know many other people have gone through this same thing and feel differently about it. This is only about what happened to me.


Twelve years ago today, October 18th, 1997...I had a miscarriage.

Danielle was five years old and Shannon was two. I had had the option of getting my tubes tied after Shannon was born by C-section in January of 1995. Why not? We'd always planned on having two kids, and there we were with two, beautiful healthy girls.

At the time though, I wasn't sure. You see, in my younger days, I'd always envisioned my children being boys. I was a tomboy as a kid, and I'd always pictured myself going to Pop Warner football games, baseball games, and cheering on my boys.

Were we going to try one more time for a boy? In January of 1995, I just wasn't sure we were done. So I didn't have the tubal.

Somewhere in July of 1997, we had an unplanned pregnancy. It couldn't have come at a worse time. Steve and I were not getting along well. Financially, things sucked. We were living in a two-bedroom apartment. I was, frankly, horrified at the thought of having another baby at that time.

So for a while, even though I knew I was, I pretended like I wasn't pregnant. I didn't even make a doctor's appointment until I was about 12 weeks along. However, we did make one huge mistake: We told the girls. I wish we hadn't.

When I went for my first doctor's appointment, they couldn't find a heartbeat. They did an ultrasound, no heartbeat. They concluded from the size of the fetus that it had stopped growing at about six weeks. I had been walking around for six weeks with a dead fetus in my womb, that my body hadn't yet decided to expel, for whatever reason.

One minute, I was going to have three children, and the next minute, I wasn't. I was stunned, numb. I didn't cry. I don't really remember being upset. Just stunned. I had had two perfectly healthy and relatively easy pregnancies before, and this possibility had just never occurred to me. My obgyn, who was a wonderful, sweet, teddy bear of a man, told me that statistically, 1 in 3 pregnancies don't make it to term, and 95% of those end in the first trimester. "Huh," I said.

He told me that my options were to either schedule a D and C, or just wait and let nature take its course. Had I known what was going to happen over the weekend, I would have just scheduled it. But I didn't know, so I decided to wait.

I went home and told Steve. I honestly don't remember what his reaction was. What wasn't easy was trying to explain to a five year-old that the baby she thought we were going to have had died inside of me. I don't remember her being extremely upset, just confused. She didn't understand. Shannon was only two, I'm not sure she even remembers this at all.

The next night, I started bleeding. A lot. We called my mom to come stay with the girls, and Steve took me to the hospital, the closest one to our house. I don't remember much about it, except the cramping and the bleeding, which after a while, just kind of stopped on its own. Again, I think I was given the option of a D and C, or just going home. For whatever reason, we went home.

The next night, it started all over again. Called my mom again, went to a different hospital this time, the one where my doctor was actually on staff. I don't remember much here either, except lying on a table in a room, just gushing blood. (sorry) The contractions are just as painful as giving birth. So I was in pain, and bleeding in that room, for what seemed like forever. I have no idea how long it actually was. All I know is that it was a huge relief when they finally took me into surgery, to do the D and C. I didn't know this at the time, but by the time they got me in there, my blood pressure was about 60/30. Which I'm guessing is not good.

When I woke up, it was over. I don't remember going home. I don't think I stayed in the hospital. I think I went right from recovery to home. I may have had a prescription filled, or two. Iron, I hope. Because for about two weeks, I was white as a ghost, and weak. I have no idea how much blood I lost, but it was a lot.

I remember feeling tired and weak. What I don't ever remember feeling was sad. I don't know why. I have no idea if that baby was a boy or a girl. What his or her name would have been. What he or she would have been like. The age differences between the kids would have been very different. A whole different dynamic.

What I do know, is that if I had carried that baby to term, boy or girl, I would have had the tubal that time. Three was my limit. And right now I would have children that were 17, 14, and 11. A three year space between all of them. Perfect, right? Well, no.

I remember sitting in my obgyn's office six weeks later, with Steve, and him asking us what we were going to do about birth control. In the most serious voice I could muster, I said, "We're never having sex again." My doctor laughed like I was kidding. At the time, I didn't feel like I was kidding.

In December of 2001, feelings still raw and fresh from Sept 11th of that year, we had...oops...another unplanned pregnancy. We were in a better place in our relationship, somewhat. Financially? It didn't feel much better, and I must admit that when that first home test came back negative, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I had a period after that, but it wasn't a normal period. I was just...well, it was extremely light. Steve had just gone to the doctor for a checkup, and he mentioned to the doctor about me and my negative test, and my light period. The doctor said to take another test.

I have to admit here, that when the second test came back positive, the first word out of my mouth was, "FUCK!!!" I called my best friend, and I said "fuck" a lot. I wasn't happy.

I made a doctor's appointment. By the time I went in, I was sort of getting used to the idea of another baby. Danielle would be 10 years old by the time this baby was born. Just so you know? As opposed to toddlers who think they're "helping" with the new baby by bringing you a diaper, or smacking the baby in the face...10 year-olds ARE actually helpful. They can change diapers. They can give bottles. They can burp a baby and get spit up on without completely freaking out. They can rock a baby when your 35 year-old, sleep-deprived self just can't anymore.

I was thinking today, on this 12th anniversary of my miscarriage, how lucky I am. If not for that miscarriage, I wouldn't have this:



And I wouldn't know what a blessing little girls are, when you have a teenager who hates you half the time. In my struggle with adolescence, I still have this little face that thinks I hung the moon. Who still wants to hug me and kiss me, and who still says, "Mama, it's snuggle time!"


They can drive you nuts, make you crazy, and make you want to drink, but I wouldn't have my family any other way. I am so blessed to have my three girls. I love each one of them, more than I can put into words. And today, that is life-affirming.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nothing, Nothing, Nothing

That's what I have to write about. Nothing. As you can see, it's been almost two weeks since my last post. I feel like I'm at confession right now. And I'm not even Catholic.

I suppose the biggest news in my life right now is that I'm looking for a job. It's not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Apparently, there are a lot of other people looking for jobs right now. Who knew? Well, I knew...but I guess I didn't really think I'd have any trouble finding something. It now occurs to me that the last three jobs I've had, which span the past 10 years, all three of them I knew someone.

My last job with the medical software company, I got through a friend of mine who already worked there. They desperately needed someone, and I wanted an evening shift. They wanted to offer me days and I said no thank you. They moved someone else to nights so I could have the 3-11. And I only had a phone conversation with my supervisor, no actual interview. Cha-ching.

The job I had before that? I was a teacher's aide at the charter school where my older two went to elementary school. I had known the principal since she opened the school...Danielle had been attending since she was three years old. All I had to do was ask...and I had that job. I left there to take the above job.

The job before that was office manager at a woodworking store. Guess who also worked part time at that store? My retired father. He was just there because he loves woodworking and he wanted to make a few extra bucks. He told me they needed someone in the office. I said ok. I left there after two years to work at the school, so I could have the same hours as the kids.

Now, I don't know anyone. No one to just hand me a job. That sucks. I've been applying, have even heard back from a few, but the emails I get back say "Congratulations, you meet our minimum eligibility requirements. Now we're sending your application on to the next level." And that's where about three things are sitting. I'm kind of stuck, and I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Or if anyone knows anyone hiring in the Denver area...I'm all ears.

I'm collecting unemployment, but that's going to run out in a couple of months, and I'm a bit nervous. I'm sure something will turn up before then, even if it's working at Target or something (which I'd rather not, but I guess you do what you have to do, right?) However, at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, I do need a job with health benefits. Because right now? We got nothin'. It's the "cross your fingers and hope and pray that no one gets sick or injured" method of healthcare.

What sadistic asshole came up with the idea for COBRA anyway? I mean really, what was the thought process? Let's see...person loses their job, and one would assume, either all or part of their income. Either way, they now have less income than they had when they were working. So let's come up with a plan with which these people can keep their health insurance from their job. But, instead of $200 a month or so out of their paychecks...since they're now unemployed, let's make them pay the whole thing! Which is about $1300 for the family. So, since you now have less money, I think we should make you pay 6 1/2 times what you were paying when you had a job. Yeah!

Oh, can I tell you about my postalphobia? Yes, that would be fear of the mail. This fear keeps me from picking up my mail from the community box. There's probably a week and a half's worth of mail sitting in there right now. I'm afraid of it because I'm afraid of bad news. So I let it sit. I know the mailman hates us. Maybe I can talk husband into picking it up today. Every day I drive by the mailbox several times, and it just sits there, taunting me. "I could be holding bad news. Someone could want money." I swear, it really says that. The mailbox says that to me. What do you mean, the mailbox doesn't talk to you? Ok, never mind then.

Just so you know, my phobia isn't confined to the mail. I get the same heart-pounding, fight or flight panic feeling whenever my doorbell or my phone rings too. Not my cellphone, that's ok because that's someone I know. My home phone. I nearly go through the roof when it rings.

You know what the advantage is to having your garage being 40 degrees or so? You can keep a case of soda out there and it stays cold. It doesn't take up room in the refrigerator.

Kylie wants to be a ninja...no, a pirate...no, Tinkerbell...no, a ninja...for Halloween. I'm even scared to commit to a costume, because I know she'll change her mind.

Yes, I'm nuts. Over and out.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn

The trees here are so beautiful right now. We're planning on going up into the mountains on Sunday and taking pictures of the leaves. Fall has always been my favorite season, but now even moreso, I think.

I guess I could have made this a Wordless Wednesday picture, but since it's Thursday, I felt the need to write commentary.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frustration



This is Shannon, playing for her high school team. This is not yesterday's game. But what happened at yesterday's game made me so mad that I have to get it out, so you guys are the lucky recipients. Don't you feel lucky?

Back in junior high, and even before that, probably starting when she was 8 or so, Shannon used to pitch. She used to like to pitch, and she was pretty good at it. However, when she was in junior high, she developed a dislike for pitching (probably because it's a lot of pressure), decided she didn't want to pitch anymore, and she was very happy playing first base.

Now she's on her high school's Level III (mainly freshman, but some sophomores too) team, she starts at first base and is quite content doing so. However, one Saturday they had a tournament where they played more than one game. They really only have one pitcher on this team, Alex. So when they had two games, Shannon pitched one of the games because Alex's arm was really tired. Shannon hadn't pitched since 7th grade, so two years. It didn't go so well. They did win the game because the other team was really bad, but she walked quite a few batters and the final was like 16-12. At that point, I think the coach realized that Shannon pitching wasn't a great option.

Fast forward to yesterday's game. Alex was out with a sore arm. So they brought some girl down from the JV team to pitch for the Level III team. This is allowed because I think this girl is a sophomore. Anyway, this girl was quite obviously NOT happy about being made to pitch for the "freshman" team. It was totally beneath her, you know? She had a bad attitude from the first pitch. She clearly did not care anything about this team or the game. Our team was the visitors, and we scored three runs in the first inning. The other team scored 4 in the bottom of the first, mainly because this pitcher walked almost everyone. She just was clearly not trying and did not care. During the next several innings, our girls scored 4 more runs, but this pitcher walked so many batters, and hit about five batters as well, that by the bottom of the fourth inning the score was like 18-7. I cannot even tell you how many runs she walked in, because I lost count. Not only that, but when the bases were loaded and she threw a wild pitch? She didn't even run up to cover the plate. She just kind of stood there halfway between the pitcher's circle and home plate. The catcher ran back to get the ball, tossed it to home plate, and there was no one there.

I guess the coach finally got fed up and put Shannon in to pitch. The snotty pitcher went to Shannon's position, 1st base, where she proceeded to stand there with her glove over her eyes, other hand on hip. The bases were loaded and there were no outs. Shannon got FIVE warm up pitches. She did walk the first batter, but after that, she settled down. Second batter hit a grounder right back to her, and she threw it home for the force. One out. Next batter hit a grounder to the third baseman, who threw it home again for the force out. Next batter after that? Shannon struck her out. All the parents around me were cheering and saying what a great job she did. I was really proud.

Shannon, however? She was so mad about the game that she couldn't even be happy about the way she pitched. She is tired of being on a team where she feels like she's busting her ass and giving 100%, and everyone else is just going through the motions. I don't want her to get so frustrated that she decides not to play next year, because she's really good and I know she loves the game and it would be a shame if she didn't play. But she's tired of playing on crappy teams. I can't even tell you how mad she was at that girl they brought down to pitch. She said she would have rather pitched the game herself than have someone out there who didn't care. But no one knew that girl was going to be like that until the game started.

I keep telling her that there are only two weeks left, just to keep giving it her all, and if she keeps giving 100% and being the team leader/cheerleader, that she WILL get noticed at tryouts next year, and maybe even make varsity, which is where she wants to be. It's frustrating to watch her lose interest and faith in a game she loves so much.

What would you tell her?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Last Day of Summer

video



So yesterday it was 80 degrees, and we knew there was a cold front coming, but I wasn't exactly expecting this! I can't stop watching it...yes, I'm from Arizona. Lish is going to call me a geek at some point, I think. In case you can't tell because the video is kind of small...yes, it's snowing!




Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kanye Just Can't Leave It Alone...

Ok, what he did to Taylor Swift was really wrong, but honestly? She seems like a nice girl but I don't really like country music, so I didn't care too much.


But now?





He's crossed the line.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

O Rly?

I was driving Shannon to school this morning, and on the way home I was behind a pickup truck that had both of these bumper stickers on the back windshield, one in each lower corner:







I guess "Braggy Asshole" was too many letters?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seven

It just doesn't seem possible. Where does the time go? This is my baby, the last one, how is she seven already? Happy Birthday, Kylie!



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Years And Counting

September 1st, it's my blogiversary! Yay!

I thought of the title because Michelle Duggar just had to upstage me and announce the impending arrival of her 19th child today. Now they have to change the name of their show. Again. Michelle and Jim Bob are going to be grandparents, though, before they're parents of #19. That's what they should call the kid, Number Nineteen. They must be out of "J" names by now.

Jim Bob and Michelle said they were "surprised" by the latest pregnancy. Really, you two? Really? You've been doing it like rabbits since the day you were married, and 17 times previously (I know there's at least one set of twins in there) it's resulted in a baby. And this time, you're surprised? They do know what causes that now, you know.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm writing about the Duggars on my blogiversary. Probably because I don't really have anything else to write about.

Why did I start blogging? Hmmm...well, I was motivated by my friend Pam, who has since given blogging for Facebook. I think a lot of people have. Honestly, it's a lot easier to write a couple of sentences than a whole post. Especially when nothing much ever changes.

It's funny how I say that nothing ever changes, because in the last year we've uprooted our family to a new state, left our oldest behind to finish high school and live with my parents, and started a whole new life. Which looks a lot like my old life, except with rain and mountains and green instead of searing heat, cacti and dirt. The setting is different, the main characters are the same. Except for my friends. My heart aches when I go to the playground with Kylie, and I see other moms sitting in pairs or in groups, and I'm sitting by myself.

I have no idea where this is going. But I know where I'm going...time to go pick up a child from school. You see, nothing really changes very much.

Danni and my mom will be here on Thursday for Labor Day weekend and Kylie's birthday. I can't wait to see my girl. I miss her.

Sorry this isn't more exciting. I'm not feeling so exciting at the moment. I went grocery shopping to celebrate this momentous day. Woot! I need a job, I think.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'...


There's only one thing that's always bothered me about this commercial. That should totally be a MOM sailing down the aisle, riding on her cart in blissful joyfulness. A dad? Right.


So after the gas leak/school evacuation thing at the high school on Friday, all is well and they started school today, as planned. They now think it was a prank. Like someone sprayed some mace into one of the air vents. Funny, right? Yeah.


Here's a crazy thing. The high school starts at 7:15am. The elementary school? 9:10am. For those of you who are math-challenged (like me), that's nearly a TWO HOUR difference.


Why?


I'll tell you why. I think the privately run before-school program has a deal with the school district. If both parents work, you pretty much have no choice but to pay for the before-school care if they don't start until 9:10am. So the school gets a kickback from the before-school people from all the extra kids they get by starting school so late...see how that works?


This morning, I dropped Shannon off around 7am, came home, got in the shower, made breakfast for Kylie, made her lunch, unloaded the dishwasher, got her dressed, hair and teeth brushed, got myself all ready, made sure she had her backpack and supplies...and it was 8:05am. So the next hour went like this:


"Can we go now?"


"Not yet, we still have like an hour."


Five minutes later:


"Can we go now?"


"Kylie, it's still like 55 minutes until your first bell.


Five minutes later:


"Mom! Can we go now? I want to play on the playground!"


"We'll go in a little while, why don't you ... um... feed the dogs."


Five minutes later:


"MOM, CAN WE GO NOW?"


Ad nausem. I managed to hold her back until 8:40am, and then we walked over to the school. Of course, we were one of the first people there. Also of course, I forgot my camera. So while all the other moms were there with their Cannon Rebels and their Nikon DWhatevers, I present my first grader on her first day...taken with my cell phone.







So let's see...Shannon gets out at 2:27pm, Kylie gets out at 3:40pm, Shannon has softball practice at 4:30pm that goes until 6:30pm.


Now I need to look for a job. Well, tomorrow I do. Today I will contemplate what sort of job will let me work from 9:30am to 2pm, but still have 40 hours a week, and full benefits. That shouldn't be too hard, right?


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear Blog

I'm so sorry. I know I've been neglecting you. But you see, there's all this stuff going on. Life stuff.

I'm bankrupting our family by buying school supplies and paying school fees. Taking the little one for reading placement testing. (She did well!)

Then Shannon had her first day of high school. Well, it was a first day for freshman only. Freshman get to have their first day by themselves, with no upper-class harassment. I think it's a good idea. The first real day of school is Monday. Well, maybe. Because while the freshman were there on Friday, this happened.

Luckily, Shannon was in a different wing from where the leak was. The school is supposed to notify parents by Sunday afternoon if school will be starting on Monday or not. If not, I think I may have to commit...something bad. At least I know for sure Kylie will be starting Monday.

Here is the obligatory first-day-of-school picture, which Shannon vehemently asked me not to post online.



I don't know why Luke is eating her foot, but she doesn't seem to mind.



In between all the school-fee paying and supply-buying and testing and registering, there were high school softball camps and tryouts. Shannon made the team. Woo! Right now she's at an overnight bonding thing with the team at Winter Park Resort Lodge, which is a ski resort when it's not summer. Why don't I get to go to places like that? With wine? Not that the high school softball team is going to be drinking wine, but a place called Winter Park Resort Lodge is just begging for cocktail hour, if you ask me.

I've also been starting to think about kind of looking for a job, sort of.

And then, there's this other thing that's been going on. They say the first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting it. Well, I'm admitting it. I have an addiction.

It's called Farmtown. I knew Facebook was going to be the downfall of civilization. My name is Shelley, and I'm a ... farmaholic?



See my farm? Isn't it pretty? Click on it for a bigger view. Right now I have peppers ready to harvest, and the pumpkins will be ready in a day or so. I have a house and a barn. And near the barn, flowers that spell out "ASU". The name of my farm is Sun Devil Farms of CO. And my avatar? Her name is Sparky. I am constantly thinking of ways that I could remodel my farm. I know this is all insane. I have a problem. Please send help.



PS. If anyone else has a similar problem with Farmtown, please let me know. I only need two more farm neighbors before I can hire other people to plow my fields. Maybe we can go to therapy together.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please Excuse My Swooning

Dear Loving Husband,

There's no need for you to read this post. Really, it's about nothing. Just move along, and continue with what you're doing. This is just pointless rambling. Have a great day! Love ya!



Is he gone?


Ok.


I'm worried about something, and I have to share it with you all.

You see, ever since I saw the movie "Troy", I've had this huge crush on Eric Bana.





He played Hector in the movie, Prince of Troy, King Priam's oldest son. Other people have told me that Brad Pitt was in that film, but you couldn't prove it by me. No wait...Brad Pitt was the one that KILLED Hector. That bastard. I never have liked him that much.







Seriously, is he yummy, or what? I'm watching him on Craig Ferguson's show right now, and holy Australian accent people, could he be any hotter?

So here is my fear. On Friday, the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" is opening. It's based on a best-selling novel, which I have not yet read, but I have on hold at the library. I think I'm number 183 in line. I might have to bite the financial bullet and visit Barnes and Noble.

What's going to happen soon is that women all over this country, and probably several other countries, are going to fall in love with this man because of this movie. And I LOVED HIM FIRST.





I do not even know if I'm going to be able to go see this movie. First of all, the freaking TRAILER made me cry. Secondly, I have no friends here, and heaven knows my husband would never see this type of movie. (Even though I went to see Shooter, for Pete's sake.)


Maybe it's best I see it alone. My box of tissues and me. We will see it together. It will be my reward on the first day of school, I think.


Remember, he's mine. I just didn't want you to forget.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perhaps Some Oil Of Olay Is In Order

My life is over.

A few days ago, my mother called saying that my brother asked if we could do a three-way Skype call on Sunday at 5pm. Three way, meaning my parents, us, and my brother, his wife, and my adorable three and a half year-old niece, Makenzie. My brother lives in North Carolina, and we haven't seen Makenzie in person since she was about 9 months old. Sure, I say...sounds great.

Well, we got on the video cam. When I say we, I mean Shannon and Kylie. I wanted Makenzie to be able to see her cousins. Through the course of trying the Skype thing, we discovered that you can't do a three-way video call without some sort of third-party software. We could all hear each other, but we couldn't see video. My brother said he'd play around with it at work this week and figure something out.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is this. My mom decided to get off the call, so we could just have Kylie and Makenzie talk to each other. Shannon sat in the chair with Kylie on her lap, and they were talking. At some point, Kylie got up and ran off, because she's kind of like a bunny on crack. Then, Shannon decided to go downstairs and get her rabbit to show Makenzie. So the camera is on an empty chair. Reluctantly, I got off the couch and plopped down in the chair. Next thing I know, Makenzie shouts, "Mimi!"

Ok, "Mimi" is my mother. That's me over there at the right. I'm no beauty queen, but I didn't think I looked 72 years old either.

After we ended the call, I went to my husband, crestfallen, and told him that Makenzie had mistaken me for my mother. Ever the loving husband, he told me that Makenzie is only 3 years old, the video quality isn't the best, it's kind of dark in this room where the computer is, and Makenzie just recently saw my mother because my parents visited NC a couple of weeks ago. My mother has short, curly dark brown and gray hair and wears glasses, and I have long, straight light brown (ok, and a LITTLE BIT of gray) hair and I don't wear glasses and of course I don't look like my 72 year old mother.

Wait.

I mean, that's what he SHOULD have said. What he actually did was pull his baseball cap down over his face, shoulders shaking, and tried to make it seem like he wasn't LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF.

Then when he could talk again, he said everything above. Actually, I said it, and then he agreed with me.

I hate him. Someone shoot me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Day In My Life, In Pictures

As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to take June Gardens of Bye Bye, Pie! up on her challenge to photograph a day in your life. Here, in pictures, is August 1st, 2009. Try not to explode from all the excitement in the following story.

Wait, before I start...I have had this blog for almost two years now, and would you believe I just now, this morning, discovered that you can upload MORE than one picture at a time? In fact, Blogger lets you upload FIVE pictures at a time. But there's a sneaky blue link you have to click that says "add another image?". I never noticed that link before. But today, I did for some reason. I clicked it, and another "browse" box opened up. And then another, and another, and another. Wow. I'm a moron.

Anyway.



Every morning, Kylie comes into my bedroom to let me know she's up. Since it's summer, we've been going to bed pretty late. Therefore, she sleeps late. In this case, on this Saturday morning, late was about 9am. Good morning, Sunshine.


This is my breakfast. Yes, I'm a gourmet food snob, as you can tell. Actually, what I would have liked is a couple of eggs and a couple pieces of wheat toast. But I didn't want to cook it.





Next, I checked my email, and read a few of my favorite blogs.


I really like my new neighborhood. The people are friendly, and everything is green.

We decided last night that we were going to go to the farmer's market that is held every Saturday in the parking lot of the mall. We were also going to the thrift store to see if we could find a cheapo vacuum to keep in the basement. The bunny's hutch is in the basement, along with Shannon's bedroom, and there always seems to be a lot of hay and pine bedding on the floor down there. And I hate carrying dang vacuums up and down stairs. Plus, I don't want my good vacuum all clogged up with hay and pine bedding.

We asked Shannon last night if she wanted to go with us. She wavered, then said no. She stays up most of the night texting her friends back home, so she tends to sleep all morning. What the hey, it's summer.


While Kylie was waiting for us to get in gear, she decorated our driveway with chalk drawings.





There's my neighbor, Jenny, doing some sort of yard work. Yuck. Hi Jenny! She has two kids that Kylie plays with. Madden is four, and Mia is three. There seems to be an overabundance of small children on our street. Which is nice, because Kylie always seems to be playing at someone else's house. Yeah, I'm that mom.





This is the road that leads out of our...neighborhood, I guess you would call it. Subdivision? Valley? We live behind some hogbacks, which are hills that are smaller than foothills. Have you ever heard of hogbacks? I hadn't, until we moved here. Sometimes you see a deer or two in the grass along the side of the road. But since I actually had my camera with me today...no deer.





Here we are at the farmer's market. I had never really been to a farmer's market before. There were all sorts of vendors set up under the tents, selling things from fresh fruits and vegetables, to pasta, honey, baskets, etc. For some reason, I thought the stuff here would be dirt cheap, like cheaper than the grocery store. I was wrong.







I really liked the look of this multi-colored pasta. Did I buy any? Nope. Not because of the price, but because no one else in my stupid, picky-as-hell family would have eaten any of it. Honestly, getting these people to try anything new is...well, it's impossible, is what it is. I couldn't even get the husband to try a sample of apple-cinnamon butter on a cracker. And damn, it was GOOD. I'm going to guess right here that there is a reason that they are all skinny, and I am not. They won't eat anything.




I sampled some of the cantaloupe. It was delicious! I should have bought some, but it's cheaper at the grocery store. Actually, I buy a lot of my fruits and vegetables at Sunflower Market, which is WAY cheaper than this was. When I go shopping this week, I'm definitely getting some cantaloupe. And I'll eat it all by myself. Because no one else likes it, of course. Dumb family.





The only thing we actually bought at the farmer's market was a snow cone for Kylie.





Although I'm glad she had the snow cone, because after sampling some salsa at another booth, I had to use said snow cone to cool off my burning mouth!




After we left the farmer's market, we went across the street to the ARC thrift store. We were here for a vacuum. We left with some clothes for Kylie, some khakis for Steve, a desk for Kylie's room, and a bowling game. Everything was 1/2 price! The desk and chair together came to $5. The one thing we did not leave with? A vacuum.





We decided to go to Goodwill, to look for a vacuum. Our route to Goodwill took us past Columbine high school. Did you know that Steve went to Columbine? He was in the class of 1984. They have a huge alumni group. According to him, their class purchased this stone sign. Sorry it's a little blurry; I was in a moving car. In case you can't read it, it says "Columbine High School, Home of the Rebels."


The park that Kylie and I go to a lot is called Clement Park. It's huge, and it's next to the high school on one side. There's a memorial there for the students and teacher who were killed. I'll have to take some pictures and post about that someday.




Right before we got to Goodwill, I decided that I was going to die if I didn't have a Diet Coke. I needed one, RIGHT NOW. So my wonderful husband stopped at Subway. I got my Diet Coke. Kylie had to have a sandwich. See the reflection of my gas bill on the dashboard? Guess how much my gas bill is right now? The only thing we're using gas for right now is the water heater. That particular bill is for $17.97. I'm sure it will go up in the winter. A lot.




In Colorado, there are bike riders EVERYWHERE. I mean really, everywhere. I thought the Columbine was the state flower, but now I'm pretty convinced that it's the Schwinn.





Look, there's another one. I've ridden my old, decrepit bike here. Once. The problem is, there are no flat areas. Going downhill is fun, but no exercise. Going uphill is way too hard. Going uphill at 5280 ft in elevation is something that I just can't do. Remember my post when I said that Colorado is the skinniest state, and that I'd lose weight here just by being near all the skinny people? That hasn't happened so much, just yet.





We got home at around 1:30pm. I went down to the basement, and look what I found. Still asleep. Dang teenagers.





Meanwhile, upstairs, Kylie is playing with her new $1.50 bowling game from Goodwill. After we took it out of the bag, we discovered why someone gave it to Goodwill. There is a pin missing. Which actually works out ok for me. See, I just leave the 10 pin out of the rack, because I usually miss the dang thing anything.



This is the desk we got for Kylie's room. Ok, so it's plastic and in primary colors, but for $5 for the desk and chair together, she now has a place in her room to sit and color, write, draw, etc.




I knew there would be laundry in here at some point. Ewww, that is a nasty-looking, dreary picture. My laundry room is in the basement. It's the only part of the basement that isn't finished.




Oh my, look who's awake. The laundry room is right next to Shannon's bathroom in the basement. So I'm in the laundry room, and with the washer and dryer going, she can't hear me take her picture. She can't see me from this angle either. Which is good, because I'm pretty sure she would not have approved of this picture. She's sitting on her vanity, facing the mirror, doing...something to her hair.




This is Splatter, the lop bunny who lives in the basement. The aforementioned reason for the $10 vacuum we got at Goodwill. Don't you think Rorschach would have been a good name for her?




A day would not be complete around here without time spent lying on the floor, playing with the dogs. Then complaining loudly about the dog jumping on you and trying to eat your shoe. Even though you're lying on the floor and sticking your foot in his face.




I'm sure there must be a good reason why Shannon had Luke in a headlock.




"No, Luke! Don't eat me! Help!"



"Awwww, you're a good boy, aren't you? Yes you are."




Bo is older and not quite as ready to play at a moment's notice. Which is why he makes a better pillow than Luke.

Look, somewhere between those last two pictures, Shannon decided to change out of her pajamas. It's only about 4 in the afternoon. Actually, upon closer inspection, she didn't so much change as she just put on more clothes over the clothes she was already wearing.




"Ok, old man...you wanna go?"





Shannon gets down on the floor to get things going between the two dogs. The antagonist, if you will.




Oh yeah...it's on! The WWE world wrestling...dog...thing.




These are our next-door neighbors, Zoe and Clark. Zoe is the same age as Kylie. I was hoping maybe they'd be in the same first grade class, but since I found out there are SIX first grades at the school, the odds are probably not good. There are actually two elementary schools for this area. One is a primary school that has K-3, and the other is an intermediate school that has grades 4-6. Have I mentioned there are about a bazillion kids around here?



Kylie plays with these two about three times a day. They're nice kids. Nice family. They just moved here too, after we did actually. They're playing with some ball with a tail attached that their mom had found at a garage sale earlier in the day. You throw it, and it bounces and flies all over the place.

Please notice that my daughter is playing in the street in the brand new socks that I just bought on Friday. Not shoes, not bare feet, but socks that will never be white again. I'm just saying.



I made a quick run to the grocery store, and noticed this in my van. This can't be good. I think I'll do what I did the last time that light came on. Ignore it until it goes away. Hey, it worked last time.



This little thing was the bane of my existence yesterday evening. On Friday, we went to Taco bell and Kylie got a kids' meal with a toy. The toy was this thing where when you turn it on and shake it, it sounds like a guitar playing the first three notes of "Smoke on the Water." Dun Dun DUNNNNNNN!!! So I was sick of that after about five minutes.

Yesterday, Kylie told us that she gave that toy to Clark, the boy in the picture a little ways up. But guess what Clark gave her in return? Oh yeah, Dr. Fart. You push that little yellow button, and Dr. Fart makes lovely fart noises. There are six different fart noises. I know, because we counted them. I'm so glad it's a keychain. Because that's something you'd want to carry with you everywhere. Mysteriously, Dr. Fart is missing this morning. I didn't take it, and I don't think Steve did either. I'm suspecting Shannon hid it, but I have no proof. Yet.



Well, it's getting late. 6:28pm, according to the stove. In my continuing attempts to burn the house down, I made dinner.

I decided to make Shepherd's Pie. It's easy, quick, and some of us will actually eat it. I have to explain the stove. Several days ago, I came home from the grocery store and put some plastic bags up on the stove. As I did this, I must have accidentally hit the knob that turns on that back right burner. Because the next thing I know, there is smoke and burning plastic bag. I haven't been able to get the burned plastic off just yet.

Then, in the process of making my Shepherd's Pie, this happened. This is the only dish for which I will use instant mashed potatoes. They just seem to spread over the top better. The bag said it's better to add the boiling water to the potato flakes, instead of adding the potato flakes to the boiling water, because of overflow. I swear, I always add the flakes to boiling water, and this has NEVER happened before. Must be the altitude. Ha.



While I was busy trying to burn up my stove, the kids were out in the garage, contemplating life, with ice pops. Yes, I drive that big ugly brown van. Trust me, no one is sorrier than I am.

Please note that while I have gotten my Colorado license plate (which does look normal in real life, I just messed it up for the picture, because it seems that's what you're supposed to do), I still keep my Arizona State University decals in the window. And I will forever. Amen.



Somehow, Kylie talked Dad and Shannon into playing the bowling game with her. Well, she and Dad are playing, and Shannon is texting. But she's near them, which equates to family time. Why they are lying in the hallway at the top of the stairs playing this game, you might ask? I have no idea.



Despite my burned up stovetop, the Shepherd's Pie was really good.

The End.

Is anyone still awake? Anyone? Bueller?