Friday, November 30, 2007

Mama's Christmas list

Around our house lately, much energy and time has been focused on creating our Christmas lists. And even though I want to reduce the amount of items coming into the house this holiday season, I feel as though I should help out my husband, who I understand might be having trouble coming up with gift ideas. Any of these items, alone, or in multiples of 3, would be absolutely wonderful to find under the tree Christmas morning:

2008 Toyota Prius in Seaside Pearl or Barcelona Red

Eagle Creek Tarmac ES 25 along with packing cubes and compression sacks

Terra Pass Carbon Offset

Nikon D80

Flip Video Ultra

Altec Lansing Earclips-S

InStyle Instant Style or Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

From Uncommon Goods - Ticket Stub Diary, License Plate Necklace, Cow Clock, Sea Glass Necklace, Snarky Luggage Tags

Italian Ceramic Salt Box

Almost anything from the Viva Terra catalog

SIGG 1.0L Reusable bottle

Reisenthel Mini Maxi Shopper

Other places for inspiration:
Green Gift Guide
The Daily Green

Don't worry, I will post shortly about greening up our Christmas and helping our whole family understand what Christmas is about. This is just my wish list....Santa has to have somewhere to start!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Under the weather and trying to do to much

It is quite possible that I have too much planned for this weekend. I am slightly under the weather (a cold caught on our trip to San Diego), I think I am working a little too hard, and even though it is all for fun, I might need to cut back. Here is the deal:

On Sunday, I am hosting my annual cookie exchange party. To this shindig, I invite 8 of my friends who enjoy baking (or those who don't!) and we each bring a dozen of our favorite cookie for each other person and share them at the party. Usually, I put together a light holiday lunch to enjoy together. This year, I decided to get tricky and thought we would make tamales while whiling away the afternoon. The only real issue is that I have not ever made (well, once a loooong time ago) tamales, and I have some hesitation about bringing this to a group of folks who have also never made tamales. And, if that was not enough, I also thought that perhaps we would have three different fillings, a chicken with tomatillo, a stewed pumpkin and a black bean and corn. All of these would be made from scratch, natch.

Besides the party, I need to make my eight dozen cookies and package them in something super cute.

I also need to decorate the house. It is a holiday party, so I should probably have the house decked out for the holidays. This would mean putting up the tree, throwing out the festive tschotkes, and generally getting the house into a holiday mood. This is all on top of needing to actually clean the house, you know, sweep up the dust bunnies and throw the kid crap somewhere.

Oh, and then I actually need to make some lunch for these gals, since I cannot expect them to make tamales on an empty stomach. In keeping with the theme, I thought about making the Posole Soup from the newest Cooking Light magazine, along with the Ensalada de Noche Buena. And perhaps we should have a festive holiday drink. Oh, wait, I had this all figured out - Gruet, a sparkling wine from New Mexico.

I think this about covers it - decorate the house, make 8 dozen cookies, create a holiday lunch, and prepare for tamale making, all before Sunday. And it is Thursday night. I guess this is all do-able, but it is certainly not in keeping with my make-the-holidays-simpler motto.

Humm, so, do I change things up or make myself crazy? Big questions, and I apparently know the answer, but probably won't act upon it until Sunday at 12:30pm, 30 minutes before everyone arrives....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Upside down on the Knights Tournament at Legoland
November 2007
(not pictured, Little A, gleefully next to the water blaster)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pie Making

Tonight, we decided to make 2 more pumpkin pies (we did not seem to get enough at Thanksgiving). In a rare turn of events, I found the patience to make them with the kids, even letting them help with the pie crusts. Little A demonstrates her pricking technique while the Big Guy shows what a good crimper he is.

The pies turned out well (with all this help, how could they be bad?!). In fact, we might even have breakfast pie tomorrow. Our kids are good pie eaters, for which my husband is happy and thankful. In his family, pumpkin pie slivering is an art that is passed down through the generations!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stack O'Catalogs

And the stack grows, although slowly. Up to eight inches, and it is not even December. I wonder if things will pick up after December 1, or maybe as we get closer to the last day to send items to arrive in time for Christmas.

It would be interesting to find a way to measure the amount of emails that I get - at the moment, I am up to about 20 messages a day with special holiday savings!

Related Posts
Stack O'Catalogs - November 21 (5 inches)
Stack O'Catalogs - November 15 (3 inches)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Going Green this Christmas

After writing my post earlier this month about keeping the lead out of our holidays, I got to thinking about having an overall greener Christmas season. In addition to buying less, wrapping in reusable packaging, and recycling the heck out of everything, I thought it might be good to try to cut back on my energy. The only problem with that is that I am addicted to pretty lights on the outside of the house. So, I seek a replacement.

PG&E provides a nice page of information about the cost benefits of replacing lights. Looks like I can save about 90% a year by replacing my bulbs. Now, I just need to find them - Target had a very meager selection this morning and their website does not list any tonight. I found a place in Kentucky, but they seem to sell their lights by the gross. I continue my search, hopefully I can find something before December 25th!

Photo courtesy of Energy Ideas.

OMG, I forgot to post

I forgot, I did not think it was going to happen, I had made it the rest of the way through the month without forgetting, even with a trip to San Diego thrown in. And I don't have a particularly good excuse, yesterday was pretty normal - after having my first facial (see here for the reason why), I spent a little time holiday shopping (mostly pointing out to my husband what I would like), the ran into an old friend from childhood, and finally had a nice dinner with friends. I guess I was exhausted when I got home, as I could only stay up through one Tivo'd show...and then I went to bed. No blogging, oh well.

So, let me release myself from the guilt of failing this project by saying that I am pretty sure no one reads my blog - something Google Analytics supports. So, I am not failing my readers, I am failing myself. And if I can get it into perspective, then I will put it aside, because in the scheme of things, this is not a life breaker. I can (and will) go on. It might even become part of my lore, although it might also be a sign that I could just back off a bit and concentrate on other things.

Since I mostly blog at night, after the kids have gone to bed, I have given up other activities that I used to enjoy - my favorite was to read magazines while watching TV with DH. Sounds strange, but I found it relaxing. Sometimes I would also pick up a paper craft or a needle craft, just to keep my hands busy. Also, because I am now searching for material to blog about, much of my brain activity is spent analyzing the past, rather than focusing on the present. I used to have this problem in a slightly different form - I would focus so much on the future that I could not focus on the present. And when I don't focus on the present, I miss out on quite a bit. Activities with the kids take on a different importance when I am searching for "material".

On the other hand, I have taken a moment each day to reflect on what has happened, or my thoughts about things or whatever, which I cannot say that I often do. It is interesting to look back on the past month, read what I was up too, and see if writing things down has caused my behavior to change or intensify. Also, I don't seem to be snacking as much after dinner, since the laptop occupies the space where my bowl of ice cream used to sit. And I enjoy writing daily, something that I thought might be a slog. Maybe this blogging thing is not such a bad thing.

In any case, I think that this month of posting has been a useful exercise and I might actually participate in NaBloPoMo again next year. And I still have a list of topics to blog about, so I plan to continue on as long as my holiday season allows. It would be nice if I could find my niche, like other bloggers have, but I think I need a little more writing to make that happen.

Thank you for your attention, see you again tonight, as I will not let one missed post upset the boat. I will treat it like birth control pills, and just take the next one as soon as I remember, even if that means taking two in one day......

Friday, November 23, 2007

Car Travel Bingo: Los Angeles Edition

On our recent driving trip to Southern California, we packed a travel bingo game for the kids, you know, the kind where you have a grid with items that you are supposed to look for and check off. We played it on the way home and DH and I were amused by some of the squares - Water Tower, Tractor, Cow and Tollgate. These things seemed more at home in the wilds of Iowa, not necessarily relevant to the very urban 405 freeway in Los Angeles. We have developed our own version of the Car Travel Bingo Game and present it here:

Have we missed anything? Enjoy your next trip down 405!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day of Thanks

Boogiemum has been celebrating November by posting everyday about something she is thankful for. I appreciate that she has taken the time to do that, as I really feel that I have waited until the last minute to think about what I am thankful for, and am worried that I will miss something. Here are 10 things that I am thankful for on a daily basis:
  1. My two wonderful children, who are great kids, happy and healthy
  2. My DH, the man who puts up with all my crazy stuff and still sticks around
  3. Being able to get out of bed and move my body in (almost) anyway I want
  4. My parents, my family and friends for supporting and caring about me
  5. An opportunity to work in an industry that allows me to think creatively and support my family
  6. The choice of what to do with my life
  7. The teachers who provide an constructive, educational environment for my kids
  8. My dog Molly, who is always happy to see me
  9. Plentiful food and many opportunities to prepare it in fun and unique ways
  10. Writers who spend their days thinking up thoughtful and insightful things for me to read
What are you thankful for (besides pumpkin pie)?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stack O'Catalogs update

While we were gone, I am sorry to report that we did not have a huge gain in the stack of holiday catalogs. Today, the stack rises to only 5 inches, a gain of 2.

This afternoon, I did a little crafty activity - I made invitations for an upcoming party. The inside was done on the computer, and on the front of each card, I put a little folded origami Christmas tree, each invitation with a different color. I found the instructions here, and this is what it looked like:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Must post, so tired...

Another long day today, the last of our mini vacation. We woke up in Carlsbad after staying the night at the West Inn & Suites, a hotel I would highly recommend. From the moment we checked in, we were treated like their most important guests. The staff at the front desk were helpful and friendly, the free shuttle to Legoland was convenient, and even the restaurant next door was great. DH and I really felt as though this company understands customer service and they hire employees who get it too. Our stay was excellent and we will recommend this hotel to anyone who will listen!

We apparently over did our day yesterday at Legoland, as Little A went to bed last night with a high fever and no interest in dinner. We thought today might be a recovery day, with she and I staying in the hotel while DH and The Big Guy went back to Legoland. But, at 7:30am this morning, Little A pops out of bed and announces "Mommy, I feel better, I can go to Legoland!". Needless to say, this surprised and amazed us, the speed with which children heal and recover is always astonishing. We headed off to Legoland for a couple hours and then hit the road for home.

On the drive home tonight, we brainstormed many things I could blog about tonight, but none are coming immediately to mind, so I leave you with this picture we snapped on the way down (with my cell phone) of a dog on the back of a truck - what you cannot see is the way that the dog was moving around, up and down and barking at cars. I thought it was illegal to transport your dog that way in California, but I might be wrong....

Monday, November 19, 2007

White Lies...Go Through My Lips

When is it ok to tell a white lie? And when is it ok to bring your kids in on the lie?

Today, while at Legoland, we discovered that one of the rides was for kids age 6-13. There was another corresponding ride for kids age 3-5, but when we looked at it, we knew our 5 year old could handle the ride for older kids and it would allow us to stay together as a family. So, we instructed our 5 year old to say that she was 6, so she could go on the ride for the bigger kids. As it turned out, I don't think we were the only ones to do that, as there were quite a few kids who looked younger than 6, but still, we felt slightly guilty. And, it is one thing to do this at an amusement park, but what about lying about your age for other things, like discounts or something school related. Everyone does it, but in an effort to teach my kids right from wrong, have I made it hard for them to understand?

In the scheme of things, probably not, but it does give my kids yet another thing to discuss with their therapist when they become adults and start processing all the ways we screwed them up as kids.....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big whales

Shamu and some other killer whale
Originally uploaded by goGUgo
Today we visited Sea World in San Diego as part of our mini vacation. My sister joined us - my husband likes to say that his in-laws are very punctual. Our day ended with dinner in Old Town, which interestingly enough, was not what I had thought was Old Town, which turned out to be Bazaar del Mundo, which actually no longer exists. In any case, it has been fun to spend time in San Diego, where I went to college, almost 15 years after I moved away. I am still glad I moved north after college, it was the right thing to do. I love Northern California and trips south always remind me that I do!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New time sink

For research purposes, I joined Facebook (yeah, right), claiming that I needed to know what FB was about to help with my new job, mostly focused around new media marketing. So, I joined, and I have been building up my network. I found lots of friends from different parts of my lives. Then I started a group to find high school classmates for my upcoming reunion. Then I found a friend who is thinking about new applications. Then I added Scrabulous, and nothing has been the same since.

My first game with May-Ling lasted a week (possibly more). It was great, even though she kicked my a$$. Then I invited Dena to play; that game is still going. I would login eagerly first thing in the morning and before I went to bed, just to see if it was my turn. I talked about it to all the people I knew, thinking that it somehow gave me status - "I am playing Scrabulous on Facebook, aren't I hip?!". When my game with May-Ling ended, I needed another person to play with, so I put out an open invite to my network. I now have three games going, but the passion is fading. I don't have the energy to keep up that kind of enthusiasm for an online game for that long - the rest of my life starts to interfere. But I still like to say I am playing Scrabulous on Facebook ;-)

Are you playing Scrabulous? Looking for a new opponent? Find me on FB and let's play!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rest stops along the way

Rest Stop
Rest Stop,
originally uploaded by goGUgo.
Today was a big day - the kids got out of school at 12:15pm and by 12:45pm we were on the road, bound for San Diego. Nine hours later, we pull into Pacific Beach, our home for the next 3 nights. We plan to visit Sea World, Legoland and UCSD, our alma mater. Plus, visits to the beach and Rubio's will make it a complete trip.

I am exhausted after the drive, and with 25 whole minutes left in the day, I offer you this picture of a rest stop off Interstate 5. Don't we all need rest stops along the way?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Salad days and The Stack O'Catalogs

Every once in a while, I have a great lunch day. Three days a week, I work from home, and sometimes all the stars are in alignment for a great lunch. Today was one of those days. From last night's dinner, I had saved leftover salad (without dressing), along with organic red bell pepper and black beans. This lunchtime, I added an organic avocado and a firm Fuyu persimmon. I whipped up a Dijon vinaigrette and voila! A salad was born!

Also, in the mail today came another huge stack of holiday catalogs. I have decided to start measuring the stack and will find out how many (inches, feet) of catalogs I will receive this season. I am starting today (November 15), with yesterday's bunch added in, and will go until December 25th. So far, I am up to three inches. My husband suggests that I list all the catalogs I receive, which I might do at the end. I bet it is the same 10 companies that are filling my mailbox. No way to know unless I save them all and catalog the catalogs!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

View from the 42nd Floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
San Francisco, November 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blogger Butt

My husband called me this morning, in the middle of my work-from-home day. I had been sitting on the bed, working on the computer (blogging for my current job) and when I got up to get the phone, I had the worse case of Blogger Butt. You know, when your butt falls asleep because you have been sitting on your a$$ blogging for the last 2.5 hours. It was good he called when he did, or who knows how immobile I would be by now.....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

I want to write about Veteran's Day (yes, I know the actual day was yesterday), but I am at a loss at where to start. My family has several veterans, men who fought in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. My dad, uncle, grandfather, several great-uncles, all participated in real ways in the wars of their day. And my grandmother participated too, as a nurse. All of that is in the past, ending with the last generation. The current generation seems to have missed out on participating in serving our country.

I thought I would write something with historical significance, about my family's contributions, but it turns out I don't know that many details. Then I thought I might write about the current state of affairs with the war our country is fighting now. But that has been going on since my son was a year old, I have trouble maintaining a stance....

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thank you to all our veterans and men and women who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More fun with tomatoes

Last weekend, I posted about Daylight Savings and Tomato Canning. This week, my chef friend sent me a new recipe to preserve roasted tomatoes:

Sprinkle tomato halves with sugar and kosher salt and olive oil and roast in a slow oven 200' for a long time or even over night. Once they are dehydrated completely, layer them in clean jars or plastic container with olive oil on top to make a seal. Keep them in the fridge or in a really cool, dry place. When you go to use them, use a stainless steel utensil.

She is also the friend who taught me how to make puff pastry, so my plan will be to roast and preserve the tomatoes and then make them into little roasted tomato tarts in December. I love plan-ahead cooking!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Experimenting with Quince

For some reason, I am super fascinated with the fruit called Quince. They are lumpy, bumpy and when ripe, smell intoxicating. A neighbor has a tree in her backyard and was gracious enough to share many, many with me. The beautiful scent made my kitchen smell wonderful, but this week, it was clear I needed to start doing something with them.

When I think of quince, the first thing that comes to mind is Membrillo, or quince paste. Typically served with Manchego cheese, I thought it might make good holiday gifts (especially if I keep with the homemade theme I wrote about last night). I followed a recipe from Epicurious that seemed simple enough - it involved baking the quince until soft, then peeling and pureeing and cooking with sugar. I think this is where I went wrong, as I should have cooked the quince paste much longer. Since I did not, I ended up with something closer to a quince jam, which actually is not that bad. We had it with some tasty cheeses, Patacabra (goat) and Ombra (sheep), both from Spain.

I also made Poached Quince, using a recipe from Sacatomato. These look pretty in the jars I canned them in, and I plan to give them as gifts, perhaps with some pound cake. All that in a pretty basket will be a nice gift for my busy friends during the holidays.

I also decided to cook my quince into Quince Compote, which interestingly enough, is almost exactly like the recipe above, with the main difference being the size of the quince pieces. On Epicurious, this recipe is paired with a Mascarpone Cheesecake, which I plan to make for the holidays - maybe Christmas dinner!

These cooking projects used about 13.5 pounds of my stash, so I have another 10 pounds to go. Since my first attempt at paste is more like a jam, I would like to try making that again. I will use the mistakes from the first batch for Stilton and Quince Jam Puff Pastries, which seem like a nice appetizer for Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving dessert, I am considering the Quince Tart Tatin or Five-Spice Apple Quince Pie. And then maybe some Cranberry Quince Sauce. Nami-Nami has a recipe for Apple and Flowering Quince Jam, Elle at Feeding My Enthusiasms has a nice recipe for Quince Jelly (with pictures!), and over at Cook & Eat, a great recipe from Pure Dessert, Sesame Cake with Poached Quince (from eggbeater). Ooh, I cannot wait to work through my Quince stash!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Get the Lead Out: Safe Holiday Shopping

The first time I heard about the recall of toys from China that contained lead, I was a little concerned, but not so much that I did anything. Then another recall, and a little more concern, but then again, not much done. When the recalls started rolling in after that, I started tuning them out, it was too much.

Today, however, Parent Bloggers Network has asked me to think about what will happen this holiday season, when I start buying gifts for my kids and others. They would like me to actually think about it, not tune it out. And they have given me some resources to consider, including the League of Maternal Justice and the Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports.

When faced with issues like this, my first instinct is to say that it is too big of a problem and surely there is nothing I can do about it. I initially felt that way about the environment and global warming, but then I saw An Inconvenient Truth and came up with some ways that I could actually make a difference. I also gave myself time to achieve those goals, rather than making it an assignment on my to-do list. It has become a lifestyle change.

Can I do that for this problem as well? How can I figure out what has lead in it? Do I ban all toys from China? Do I prohibit others from giving those things to my kids? How would I do that? How can I stay in my budget? How can I shop online (which I really like to do in December to make things easier), and be able to know where things are made? And on top of everything else that is already going on this season?

Let me break it down into what I can do:

1. Give books
They are great gifts and I don't think they have a lead issue (I will be pissed if that happens!)

2. Buy local
Figure out my budget and factor in shipping (I guess I would need to do that anyway) and start early. Hold things in my hands and see where they are made. Seek out local products. Now that I think about it, that should not be hard in the Bay Area, especially with all our wonderful gourmet foods. Scharffenberger Chocolate, here I come.

3. Consider not giving as much
This is a year-to-year goal which I have not been very successful implementing.

4. Go homemade
My friend Vero over at Little Elephants who took the Handmade Pledge, vowing to buy handmade and request that others do the same for her. This I might be able to accomplish, at least with certain friends. I have a zillion jars of jam and as you saw from my post last night, have mastered the art of making them look festive. Vero also had a link to Sew, Mama, Sew, with great ideas for a completely handmade holiday.

5. Sign up to be a Safe Shopper with Consumers Union
This is an interesting idea, although I am not sure how comfortable I am with confrontation. Frankly, I am more likely to just take my business elsewhere! I do applaud Consumers Union for using the power of pissed off parents to help bring this situation in front of people (like me!) who think there is nothing they can do to help.

Wow, I guess this is a little less bleak than I thought. I still want to buy my kids digital cameras, which will involve some research, but avoiding plastic painted things might be wise anyway. And there are some great local arts and crafts fairs coming up, so I have no doubt I will find places to spend my money.

Thanks for helping me work through this. Now, tell me what you plan to do about the issue of lead in toys this holiday season....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Volunteer Thursday

I think I am becoming my mother-in-law, and this time, in a good way. Today, after squeezing in an hour of work, I made 4 cakes for a bake sale on Saturday to benefit Habitat for Humanity in San Diego. Our local parent's club is sponsoring the bake sale, and I am a big fan of baked goods, so I volunteered to make a couple things to sale. My contributions will be wine cake, pumpkin cranberry bread and honey cake. I am also throwing in a couple jars of homemade jam, Apricot Nectarine and Local Red Plum. Here is the picture of all the little jars waiting to go!

After my baking binge, I headed over to my kid's school to help setup the Book Fair. The kids came with and were hugely helpful with putting out books, numbering and setting up book stands. Then they both spent some time compiling their wish lists - it was cute the way Little A (who does not read) went around and wrote down the books that she liked, I think mostly based on the covers. And then The Big Guy wrote down about 20 books he says he cannot live without. I guess I could have bigger problems.

That would be 6 solid hours of volunteering. Pretty good!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Little Shopping Carts

Our grocery store has those little shopping carts, for your little shoppers to "help" you. Unfortunately, they are exactly at the height of your Achilles tendon, and as we all know, kids are not the best drivers (hence the reason we don't give them drivers licenses until they are adults), and so exactly what you think might happen, did happen today while shopping. And naturally, being in front of my kids and in a public place, I could not let loose with a stream of words about how I was really feeling. I ended up saying "Ow", "Ow", "OOW", "OW", "that really HURTS!", "OW". That and a little limping was all I was allowed. Next time, no little carts.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Our Candy Buy-Back Program

For two years now, I have offered (well, actually, there is not much of an option) to buy my kid's Halloween candy at a rate of $.10 a piece. This year, my son started asking me about it early in October, so I knew I was in good. My daughter was not so sure, but I think our weekend shopping trip sealed the deal.

On Halloween night, both kids were very goal oriented, bringing home 300 pieces of candy, a cool $15 bucks each. Little A asked to have her $15 in $1 bills, The Big Guy wanted a $5 and a $10. The Bug Guy already knew what he wanted to buy - Pokemon Cards at Target. Yes, I know, but it is the lesser of two evils in this case. Little A was not so sure, but was excited to get her candy.

Sunday morning we found time to go to Target - The Big Guy made a beeline for the Pokemon cards, while Little A and I got stuck at the $1 bins. Low and behold, there was a bunch of Hello Kitty stuff in those bins, and Little A cleaned up. She found a little bag, gel pens, stationary set, stickers, notepad, and charm pen. In addition, she was able to buy princess lip gloss and a kitty notebook. The smile on her face was enormous and I think we will have no problem next year with the Candy Buy-Back Program!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Daylight Savings and Tomato Canning

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, with Thanksgiving and my kid's birthdays in close contention. The reason I love it is today is the day we change our clocks back. Almost every time I looked at the clock today, it was an hour earlier than I thought. I really did gain an hour!

And with my hour, I read the entire Sunday paper, looking at every ad; I made 3 containers of potato leek soup with organic produce from my CSA box; I canned 8 quarts of organic tomatoes for use this winter; sorted my big mail pile; bought two birthday presents; lunched with the family; and several other inconsequential errands. We also managed to fit in dinner with some friends.

I love daylight savings!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Man Hair

In the hotel room this morning, I was so excited to see the extra super-close up mirror, the one "ladies" use for applying makeup and such. I even took a picture.

And then, I decided to take a look at my face, marvel in the beauty of my pores and give myself that up close inspection everyone needs to do from time to time. And then I discovered, I have MAN HAIRS!

I am sure someone else has covered this topic before in a better way, and I know it is part of aging (someone told me about it at a party), but I didn't think it actually applied to me. When I looked in the mirror, I saw little black hairs on my upper lip (like a mustache!) and several more under my chin. OMG, I do not like this getting old thing, Sam I Am, I do not like it one bit.

Thankfully for that special mirror I was able to pull the nasty buggers out, and I put in an emergency call to my sister so we can have "that talk", you know, the one about getting old and re-learning how to take care of yourself. So far, aging has meant a couple gray hairs (I yank 'em out as soon as I see 'em), some tightening in my hips (not of my hips, as in slimming down, more like a pain in the joints) and a mid-section that won't go away (well, I don't think it has anything to do with all those peanut butter cups from Halloween). How can it possibly get any worse? Oh yeah, Man Hairs!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Can you hear me now?

Heard this morning at 1:45 a.m.

"Did you check the price of blah blah blah?" "Yeah, $13.50"

and then

"What about blah blah blah?"

Him: Humm, that sounds like people talking outside the house, I won't bother to get up and investigate, I am sure it will all go away soon.

Me: D&#m walkie talkies. The kids were using them this this afternoon. Who the heck is using our frequency? Better get up and take care of it, since the walkie talkies are in The Big Guy's room and it will probably wake the kids.

So, I get myself out of bed, walk down the hall, find the walkie talkies, turn off the walkie talkies and walk back to bed. Then I spend another 30 minutes awake, wondering how it is possible that he could not have known it was the walkie talkies.....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 1: Intro to NaBloPoMo

I am not sure I am going to get this right - on various occasions, I have written NaBoPloMo, NaPloBoMo, NaMoPloBo....and I am not 100% positive what it is all about, except that I know I have pledged to write a blog post a day for the entire month of November. Fun, yah!

Yesterday was Halloween, and while I am opposed to so much candy and sugar, our family does have a great time. Our day started with getting the kids ready for school, with costumes on. School parade started at 9:30am, and following the parade, both kids had class parties. Little A's party was for the entire kindergarten, all 140 children, and was controlled chaos. The Big Guy's party was a much lower key affair, with healthy snacks requested by the teacher, and everyone sitting at their desks. I enjoyed being involved with their classes, something I had not done much before this year.

After the parties, I got a little work done and then picked up the kids from school. The Big Guy had a birthday party to go too (you have got to be kidding me, on Halloween!) and while he was busy, Little A and I decorated pumpkins. We did not have a ton of time, so we opted to paint our pumpkins, instead of carve them. That was fun. After picking up The Big Guy, we headed home for more pumpkin decorating, followed by quick dinner. In rapid succession, we finished dinner, DH came home, costumes were reassembled, wine was procured, friends were greeted and we were out the door to Trick or Treat.

This year, we invited several friends to join us, and at the peak, I think we had about 40 people (kids and adults) walking around our neighborhood. The kids were having a blast, the adults were enjoying the conversation and wine and a great time was had by all. Sounds like we might do the same thing again next year!

Ok, now I need to get started on my list of potential topics for the month, with a holiday and vacation thrown in there, I hope to find enough interesting things to write about....