Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wherein the Heavens Broke Open and the Angels Began to Sing

I was beginning to think we might be homeless soon.

I thought maybe we were going to go to Hawaii, sip Mai-Tais in our hammocks, tip-toe across the pretty lava fields, eat a little poi and spam by the poolside, breathe in the fresh scent of hibiscus for five days, and then come home and move directly into the nearest Motel 6!

For those not up on the story, our rental house may be going into foreclosure. We have been asked by the landlords to move out, so that they may more vigorously sell the house that we have been diligently showing to prospective buyers once a week for about a month now.

But there has been a dearth of available three bedroom houses or apartments in Noah’s school district and we really didn’t want to leave here or make him go to another school. Our tiny handful of choices were places that were reasonably priced but shabby, or nice and way more than we can afford.

Now, I don’t mind a bit of shabby, but having to drive to the pool, look out over a 40 car parking lot, share walls with neighbors on both sides, having a balcony that Luka can easily squeeze between the bars of, and walk twin toddlers and groceries up 8 steps to my door while living in shabby?

Not so much.

Then there are the places that are lovely. Lovely and too small, lovely and too pricy, lovely and out of the school district, Lovely and too small, too expensive AND our of the school district. I found one such house and told the landlord it was just too small to fit the five of us. The twins would have to share a (literally!) 8x9 foot room! They would be able to crawl from one crib into the other!

Then, he tells me he has a bigger, four bedroom house opening up in three days. And it was in our current neighborhood (which we love!), walking distance away! It was a hundred bucks over the most we were willing to spend, but we decided to take a look at it. He calls that night and says, surprisingly, the other family is gone already; do we want to look tonight?

I could feel the stars begin to align.

So we took a family-walk to this bigger-than-we-currently-have house. We walked into the kitchen and it had LOADS of cupboard space, pull-out pantry shelves, modern sink fixtures, seamless countertops so there is no place for goop to get stuck and be hard to clean… lovely.

The heavens began to open.

The master was downstairs and had TWO closets! There was cushy carpeting everywhere (which should save us hundreds of dollars in emergency room bills for Luka). It had a fourth bedroom allowing us to have a real office. It had two FULL baths, not the 1.5 we have been using.

And get this (if you live in the Midwest, you just won’t get this)… it has a small but serviceable ATTIC!! YES! That is what I said!

An attic!

And, the angels? They pulled out their trumpets and started playing while others sang, “Hallelujah!!!”

There was no competition for this place as it had not yet been advertised. It was so nicely decorated. It was bigger than where we currently lived, not smaller like all the other options.

It had a huge mass of just-about-to-bloom-jasmine growing up over the patio cover for cryin’ out loud!!

So, we did the math. We crunched the numbers. And we decided our comfort and our happiness was worth a little more than our upper limit.

If there had been other options that weren’t “kinda yucky”, that were not with poorly reviewed management companies, that were “okay” and the right price, we would have gone for it. But there were quite literally about 6 available places in this school district that could house our brood, and most were WAY more than we could afford.

So we said, “Yes we can!” (Thanks, Obama!) And we called the landlord and said we would take it. And assuming that the credit check goes through, we will not soon be living at the Motel 6.

Now I can get back to planning that Hawaiian escape!

Wordless Wednesday: Einstein Puppets


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.


For those just popping in,
my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started
their terrible twos,
and all the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.

I grew up in Findlay, Ohio
and now live in San Diego with my family.

If that sounds at all interesting,
bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.

Me too!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And Now For the Bad News

So, there must always be balance in the world, right?

And you take the good with the bad.

Just as we had feared, the owners of the house we rent have decided they would like us to move when our lease expires at the beginning of April so they can more vigorously sell the house.

Not that we blame them. They bought this house as a way to earn some extra income. But they bought it at just the wrong-est time EVER! Then, after they kicked out the not-so-swell first tenants, they decided to do some work on the place. One day, a workman turned on the tub to wash up something, and realized the water had been turned off, and just walked away without turning off the spigot. A couple days later the owners called to have the water turned on but didn't come over to the house for about 5 days. By the time they got here, the tub had filled, spilled over and half of the upstairs was now in the downstairs.

So, they had to sink a bit more money into the place.

Then their mortgage payments went up... higher than our rent was. And finally, they owed more than the house was worth. According to zillow.com (an awesome website, check out how much YOUR house is worth! Or anyone's for that matter!!) our house's value dropped $17,000 in the last 30 days. We have been allowing them to show the house to prospective buyers once a week for a little while now. But with all the garage sale furniture, it ain't exactly anyone's dream home. So I can't blame them for wanting us out.

Now, moving is one thing, but we are headed to Hawaii in about 3 weeks, and we have to be out of this house three weeks after that. We thought the best possible method would be to set something up before we go to Hawaii, and then maybe overlap rent for a week when we get back, maybe two weeks, so we can pack up and take loads over there every evening instead of trying to do it with toddlers underfoot (and limited friends in this city) in one weekend.

When we first had inklings that this could happen, we checked and there were multiple houses for rent in this very neighborhood. Now, there is one. And it's smaller than the tiny house we are currently in. And it costs more.

Other options are the condos that cost a couple hundred over the highest we are willing to pay, or the apartment that costs 50 bucks more than we are paying now but is really shabby. We are going to go see that one next weekend.

And I am getting panicky. Panicky because I feel we are going to be forced into a year long lease for WAY more than we can afford if we want to keep Noah in the good school he is in now, and loves (as do we). Or we will have to squeeze into a tinier space or a very run down kind of place for a full year. Ugh.

And we have to work all this out, make appointments and go see places, and sign a lease before we go to Hawaii so that we can just focus on packing all our crapola when we get back.

Doesn't leave much time for researching island getaways. But I need to house hunt.

I don't want to stress about being homeless when I am laying in that hammock in Kailua-Kona sipping that Mai-tai, ya know?

...sigh...


(end rant)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Good News

I never got around to writing about my Valentine’s Day.


It was a day like most others, although kind of fun to see Noah participating in that rite of exchanging little grocery-store valentines with his classmates. His, were, of course Star Wars Valentines, because nothing says love like a picture of Darth Vader coming at you with a light saber. Noah gave all the boys pictures of the bad guys and the girls got pictures of the good guys. There were, shockingly, NO pictures of Leia or Amidala (which to me would at least hint at love).
I made a little card for Noah out of construction paper since I had spent so much time the previous night looking for JUST the right card for Michael that I never got one for Noah. He liked it better that I made it anyway.


Of course.

We all exchanged cards after dinner. I had read Michael’s card earlier as he had left it on the keyboard, (knowing of course I was sure to go there!). Noah’s to me was very cute and included a little folded-up piece of paper. I opened it to find a gift certificate for a massage! Michael had done that for me before, and I had loved it. I read through to find out where the massage would take place: at the Ali’i Massage Center.

In HAWAII!!!

Yeah, in Hawaii!! Apparently, my husband and my mother-in-law have been scheming to get the two of us and Noah to Kailua-Kona on the big island for a medical conference Michael wanted to attend! His mom is going to actually take time off from her medical practice to take care of our twins for 5 days!! Does that not ROCK??

So, now, I am spending all my free time trying to research the island, trying to plan what we will do. I have NEVER been to Hawaii, and am so freaking excited I can’t even tell you! Plus, the trip spans both of our birthdays, so its just perfect.

So, if you know anything of the big island and want to give me tips or advice, the perfect restaurant that still has a kiddie menu, the best luau, a waterfall you can swim in, cool places off the beaten track, etc, feel free to tell me!!

Alo----HA!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Kerplunk!



Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants

here and here.

For those just popping in,
my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started
their terrible twos,
and all the crazyness that comes with all of that.

It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio
and now live in San Diego with my family.
If that sounds at all interesting,
bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Little R. and R.

You know one of the best things about going to visit my mother-in-law’s house? I get to shower every single day! It’s awesome! There are enough adults there who love and care for my children that I actually get to bathe and eat on a regular basis!

And this weekend, which was spent at this little paradise up north, at first felt like it was going to be just more than I could manage with what little energy my virus-battered body had left. But the hubby drove us up there, and his mom and siblings pitched in like they always do and while Ethan and I spent it in a fever-induced haze, we had a very pleasant and relaxing time.

I even got to go up into our room and have the first nap I think I have had since the twins were infants. Not that my sinuses would allow me to sleep, but I got to close the door, read a chapter of my latest book, and then doze under this amazingly cloud-like down comforter that poofs up a full two feet higher than your body when tucked around you, resting on pillows just as fluffy. It was warm and quiet, and while I don’t believe I slept, I did get to think, experience some quiet and experiment with how different positions allow my sinuses to flow slowly from nostril to nostril like some syrupy ocean tide.

I almost didn't want to go to sleep, for fear of missing out on all that "laying around knowing I don't have any responsibilities for an hour or so".

When you are a mom, and a sick one at that, you usually have to put aside your own weariness to comfort the other little patients around you. It was such a luxury to just lie down and let go completely and rest and not worry about the tears and tantrums I occasionally heard coming from downstairs.

That afternoon ended with an offer of babysitting so Michael and I could go see a movie together. I figured I could lie around at the house, or I could lie around at the movie theater. Why not see a good movie? So we did.

Sunday morning we packed to go, but not before lighting candles on a belated birthday cake for Mima and having a little celebration. Noah and I made a necklace for her (he helped string the stones and beads) and the sibs all pitched in for some much-needed carpet cleaning (caused mostly by our tenure living at her house with our brood for a few months).

More photos of her little shindig can be seen here on my flickr page.

After the festivities, it was back in the van for the ride back to San Diego.

Today, being President’s Day, is a day at home for all of us. Hopefully, some recovery will be had all around. And Michael and Luka, God-willing, will remain with only some weariness, stuffy noses and light coughs, and not the full brunt of this nasty thing. And here's to this virus "not letting the screen door hit its butt on the way out".

As it were.

Quarantine

Wow.

This has been a trying week.

On Sunday (a week ago) Noah became sick with this cough like a barking seal and a forehead you could fry an egg on. He stayed home from school Monday, and again on Tuesday. We sent him to school doped up on medication on Wednesday because by then I had it too, and couldn’t cope with all three kids at once, because all I wanted to do was lie in bed and moan.

By Thursday, it hit Ethan like a ton of bricks and he has been moaning for four days straight. And I am not kidding.

video

See? He's been like that for four days now. Nearly non-stop.

He has been laying spread-eagled across my chest inhaling, and then moaning with every exhale, pausing only hack up a lung or to whimper, as if to ask, “When is this going to end, Mama?” And all I want to do is lay sprawling across someone else’s chest and do some weeping of my own.

This weekend, we went up to the San Fernando Valley to see Michael’s mother to celebrate her birthday. I am praying we didn’t leave her with the gift that keeps on giving. Noah is feeling better, but a week into this, he is still coughing and congested. I assume he will be his old self first, and he is still not there yet.

The rest of us may have a long haul still ahead of us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Photo Phriday




Great.

Now my friend Jen has (unknowingly) guilted me into doing another weekly theme (inspired by a snarky remark on my part) that I will feel bad if I don't meet said deadline on.
...sigh...

And it causes me to write rambling sentances that end with prepositions, too!

Maybe this is just my chance. I tend to feel like I can only post pictures here if they highlight what I am writing about. A picture of Noah when I write about Noah, a picture from the zoo when we go to the zoo. But sometimes I just really like a photo and post it to my flickr page.

But who sees that?

Wordless Wednesday, to me, must somehow tell a story wordlessly. If it is just pretty but doesn't tell a story, it doesn't make the cut. So, I am thinking that Photo Phriday might be my chance to post random pictures I just like. The ones that don't tell a story. Maybe a place to post pictures I have photoshopped since I am starting to play with actions and textures and such.

I may have over-shopped this particular picture of the white flower (camellia?) but I didn't have a lot of time as I am supposed to be packing stuff for the troups to go visit Mima to celebrate her birthday.

But then, there was that guilt thing.

Ah, well. Half hour later to Mima's house, I guess.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Amour


This poem was printed in the program at our wedding.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


Sonnet XVII
by: Pablo Neruda


I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly,
between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom
and carries hidden within itself
the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love,
darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply,
without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this,
in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep...
it is your eyes that close.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mima!


Today is my mother-in-law's birthday.

She is just about everything you would hope for in a mother-in-law: a good friend, a good cook, generous, loving, has great advice and knows when to give it, and when not to give it.

She is fun! She loves a good party and knows how to throw one. She always looks on the bright side of things and helps those around her do the same. She is great with the kids, and knows the balance between treating and spoiling them.

She basically rocks!

Can you join me here in wishing her a happy birthday!!

We love you, Mima!!

Wordless Wednesday: Fun, Fun, Fun, 'til His Mommy Takes the Markers Away!


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.

For those just popping in,
my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started
their terrible twos,
and all the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio
and now live in San Diego with my family.
If that sounds at all interesting,
bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Green Week

Last week was "Green Week" at Noah's school. They spent a lot of time teaching the kids about the environment, recycling, saving water and electricity, keeping our air and water clean. Most every day he came home with a new tip for us like it was some great revalation!

Noah: Mom! Mom!

Mama: What, baby?

Noah: (Imagine his arms waving emphatically!) You know those lightbulbs?? The ones that look like a spiral?? You know those??

Mama: Yeah, honey, what about them?

Noah: (really, REALLY excited!) If you get those lightbulbs? ...and you put them in your lamps? ...someone will totally give you lots and lots of MONEY!!

Mama: WHOA!! Who??

(beat)

Noah: ... i dunno.

I had to sit him down and explain again about how the electric company makes us pay money for each bit of electricity we use, and how those spiral lightbulbs use less electricity. We then went on a little hunt around the house to see which lamps had those bulbs and which didn't.

To celebrate Green Week, Noah and I made a hat out of only recyclable materials!! The base was a milk jug, and on top of that was a styrofoam mushroom holder in which we stuck pieces of soda-12-pack boxes to look like hair. No hat is complete without eyeballs, right? So we used toilet paper rolls with pieces of cookie box cardboard glued to the ends, and purple granola box cardboard for the pupils. Noah liked that we made it look like a crazy monster.

Pretty great, eh? Ironically, those materials can no longer be recycled because the hat is so cool, we can't just dump it in the bin, now.

...sigh...

Over at Mommy Blogs Toronto, they are having a challenge to get rid of all those plastic grocery bags you have stored up in your kitchen cupboards. And to stop using them completely!

We have been working on this, buying a few reusable canvas bags which we keep in the car we usually take to the grocery. But I still have a stash (smaller,but a stash nonetheless) of plastic bags we get because I sometimes take the other car, forget to bring the reusable ones into the store, or we sometimes buy more food than we have bags for.

I could use some more reuseable bags! That way I could keep some in each car, and have enough for those big loads. That is why I am including this beautiful photo of one of my lovely trash cans. At Mommy Blogs Toronto, if I take a photo that shows how I deal with those plastic shopping bags I still have, I have a chance to WIN some really funky and cool reusable bags.

Yes, I spent ten minutes colorbalancing and framing a picture of my bathroom trashcan. I even placed it in attractive lighting!

So, here is how I am working the stash down... we use them in the bathroom trash cans so emptying the trash is a little neater and less yucky!

Keep your fingers crossed for me to win some new bags, courtesy of the lovely ladies at Green Mom Finds.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not The Best of Days


I ended the night with pants covered in blood and vomit.

NOT the way you want to start out a blog post.

All is well, though, relatively speaking. We survived.

After a long weekend where Michael worked and kids were, shall we say “trying”; we went into Sunday night with Noah running a fever. By bedtime he was pretty hot and at 1am, he woke coughing enough that he threw up all over his bedding.

I held him on the floor, he whimpered a lot and Daddy changed the sheets. I had had the idea to put a bowl on his side table for just that very reason, so it was not as bad as it could have been. But then, between the coughing and the thinking too much, I ended up with insomnia for most of the rest of the night.

And of course this morning Noah woke with a fever and a fowl mood, flinging insults every which way. After we took his temperature and announced that he would be staying home today, his mood perked right up and he got downright chipper.

Most of the day was fine with Noah continuing his mood swings and the twins being alternately needy, which was a good thing. One became clingy just as the other wanted to get down and investigate something across the room.

A big bag of popcorn went a long way to keep the troops happy.

Michael called and said that he had had a couple emergencies at work and would be doing paperwork later than usual, so I would be getting dinner together by myself. I had just moved the dining room chairs from the dining room into the living room, one 1970’s sunken living-room-step down, and swept the floor under the table. The twins saw their booster chairs (tied to chairs) in a new and fun (??) place and both ran and climbed up into them. Ethan buckled his own seatbelt and I headed into the kitchen to put the broom away.

And Luka screamed.

He is always, ALWAYS falling off of furniture, and smacking his head on the hard tile floor. I ran to soothe him, scooped him up from between the back of the chair and the step up to the dining room. He must have fallen over the back of the chair! I shushed him and shushed him and then noticed the dark spot on the floor. I touched it with a finger and found it to be a dark, very fat drop of blood!

I started looking in Luka’s mouth, his ears, his neck, under all that hair, nothing! I looked back down on the floor and now there were something like SEVEN fat drops of blood. I tilted his head around and saw nothing until I found blood on my thumb. When I pulled my hand from the back of his head it was just covered in blood. I had not even felt it. While looking through his hair, I found nothing, until I saw my other hand was covered as well. I began to panic and scooped him up and ran to the kitchen for better light.

And there on the very top of his head was a pool of blood running through his hair and like a river down the back of his head, matting the hair in wet dark stickiness. I freaked and grabbed the cell phone, called Michael, and through Luka’s screaming, told Michael to come home now!

The blood quickly coagulated as fast as it had come, but a full quarter of Luka’s hair was matted in blood. He continued to wail. I called Michael and told him it was settling down a bit, and apologized for the panic. He was on his way, and Luka was pointing from room to room as I was trying to find something to calm him. He finally pointed outside, and I took him out into the back yard where he wanted to get down, and it was there that I saw the gash clearly for the first time, an inch and a half long and about 3mm wide. Horrible. Like meat.

Michael pulled in and looked him over. Decided to take him for yet another visit to the emergency room. We put him in the car with Lambie (his lovey) and off they sped.

I went back in the house, dazed, explaining to Noah, who had woken (still sick) from his nap from all the screaming, what had happened to Luka. I began to clean up the blood: from the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, the rug, the window, the cell phone, my hands, my cheeks, my fingernails.

On the way to the hospital, Luka began to calm down quite a lot, and Michael decided to take him to his office instead of to the emergency room. The last trip to the ER cost 800 bucks and we didn’t even have any tests done! So, Michael and his nurse put Luka in a body-restraint, held his arms and head, gave him some shots and then Michael gave him 3 stitches.

He kept saying two of the few phrases he knew over and over: "Bye-bye??" And “Get DOWN!!”

He had chocolate chip cookies for dinner before heading back home.

And again, before bed, he was hopping all over the house, bouncing from one end of the couch to the other, giggling like a madman.

It was bedtime. Noah’s fever was still up over 100. We gave Luka some Motrin for when the Novocain (or whatever) wears off and I sat Noah in my lap while Michael spooned some cough medicine into him.

He immediately threw most of both spoonfuls up, into my lap, all over my hands. And I ended the night with pants covered in blood and vomit.

Not a good way to end a blog post, either.

But what can you do?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Hobbies: Spittin' in the Sun!

video

Luka and Ethan: PPPPLPLPLPLPLPLFFFPLPLPLFFF!!!!

Ethan and Luka: PPLLPLllplpllpllpppffffpplplplpl!!!!!

Luka and Ethan: PPllplpllfff!!!!

Michael: Sounds like you got things pretty well under control?

Karen: Oh yeah, we're great.

Michael: Okay.

Luka: Cheese!!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Photo Phriday

So, my friend Jen, solely on a little snarky remark I made on one of her posts, instituted a new theme day called Photo Phriday! And, like, who am I to not participate? I mean, I kinda feel obligated, ya know?


But also, who am I to look a chance to just randomly post a picture in the mouth? Or put all my gift horses in one basket for that matter!

I have a lot of photos that I like, and I don't usually post them here because they don't apply to whatever I am posting about, but maybe I could use this to remedy that situation!! So, for Jen's Photo Phriday, here on this beautiful Saturday morning, I give you the first photo I have ever sold! (Okay, I am doing the deal still, but hey! Some person in Alaska wants to buy a print of my photo to hang on her wall!!)

(YEAH, REALLY!)

I have been working on plowing through all the thousands of photos I took during the odyssey of tourism I was on during my parents' recent visit, photoshopping the best ones and uploading them to my flickr page. Feel free to go check them out.

And heck, Blogger's spell check ain't workin' again so don't hold me accountable for nuthin'!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Treasure

Guess what? I got an award!

For the uninitiated, in the blogisphere, people sometimes creat “blog awards” for blogs with a certain attribute and send them out asking for the recipient to pass them on. Well, Killashandra, whose blog is called Full Time in New Mexico, bestowed the “Your Blog is a Treasure” award! How sweet is that? My first blog award!

Killashandra is a stay-at-home mom who lives with her hubby, 3 kids and a bunch of horses, and like me, loves dabbling in Photoshop and with digital photography.

So, who am I going to pass this award onto? Well, I tried to think of which of the blogs I read is really a treasure, and to me, that’s my mom’s blog, Sand Between My Toes. Is that a cop-out? A sell-out? You know, giving it to my mom?

I don’t think so.

Her blog keeps me up to date on what she and my dad are up to on a daily basis since we live so far apart, and that makes it a treasure to me. But for you readers, she writes a lot about daily life at C.R.O.W., one of the best wildlife rescue and rehabilitation hospitals in the country. She lives in just about the most beautiful place in Florida, Sanibel Island, an often posts pictures and stories about island life. And she is funny! I deeply admire her. At the age of 70, she is active in life, does something important for her community, is totally up on internet technology, moderating a message board for folks that live in and love Sanibel. She basically rocks.

And her blog is a treasure.


****************************************************
Want some treasure of your own?

There is this really great giveaway over at Mod*Mom that I wanted to clue you into, in case you are into that kinda thing! For Valentine's Day, Mod*Mom is giving away more than $3500 worth of prizes from organic fair trade chocolates to a great Phil and Ted's stroller!

Check it out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Small Things

With all the Giveaway Shenanigans and the Odes to my dear sweet hubby, politics and my Wordless Wednesdays, it’s been a little while since I just sat down and told you what’s going on with the family.

Not that much has been going on, but I know how my parents and Mother-in-Law love to hear the minutia, so here we go…

Let’s see… nothing at all very exciting.

Tonight, Noah and I started on a project, making a hat out of recyclable materials for show at school on Friday. It’s basically going to be a milk-jug (which fit nicely with the bottom cut off) decorated to look like a bug or a robot or something.

The twins are doing great. Ethan’s language skills are quickly picking up and he is finally putting two words together on a regular basis. He also sometimes tells me when his diaper is dirty! Luka is still the silent type. But FINALLY! FINALLY, he is calling me Mommy instead of Daddy.

Ironically, he is now calling Daddy… MOMMY!

Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!

What else… Oh, the other day, while watching the Super Bowl (okay, I was only turning around to look at the TV when the commercials came on) I saw an old friend of mine on the Taco Bell commercial!! Remember the one with the Mariachi band? He is the one who pops up between the two office workers and pushes them down. No lines, but a national commercial, ON the Super Bowl, so WAY cool for him.

You likely saw him on the post I wrote about taking my son back to the theater I used to work for to see La Posada Magica, the show I worked on for 7 seasons. His name is Lencho (Lorenzo). He also was one of the guys playing the rocking music at my wedding.

I finished reading The Interpreter of Maladies and just in time I got the book, Eat Pray, Love in the mail through swaptree.com and after reading the first couple pages, it jumped right to the front of my reading list, leaving all others in the dust, on the shelf. Looks yummy.

On Monday, Michael had the day off because he occasionally works weekends. Noah was at school so we packed up the twins and had a great morning wandering through the shops in the Cedros District of Solana Beach, fantasizing about how we will decorate our "someday home".

This coming Saturday night, I am off with our friend Jason to see some local theater, so that will be really fun. It’s always nice to, you know, shower (!!!) and dress up a little, even if my date was arranged by my husband with another man.

What can you do?

I spent the week getting all my media files organized on the computer (photos, videos, Lightroom tutorials, photoshop plugins and actions and templates, oh my!). Okay, well, I still haven’t finished all of it, but made a really big dent.

I did some research into a pediatric dentist in this city for the kids. We have been really slacking in that area. Not that there were many pediatric dentists on our plan to research, but I think I found one to try out. I also found what looks like a great kid’s salon to take the twins to for their first non-bang-trim haircuts EVER! But I am nervous, and so they may go a few more days being called, “beautiful little girls!”.

But then, they said that about my brother and look, he turned out just fine.

Oh…

Hmmm…

(Note to self: call hairdresser for appointment tomorrow.)

Wordless Wednesday: Luka Dreaming

Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.

For those just popping in,
my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started
their terrible twos,
and all the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio
and now live in San Diego with my family.
If that sounds at all interesting,
bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Monday, February 4, 2008

And The Winners Are...


What a fun bloggy giveaway that was!

I tell ya, after just starting to make jewelry, its worth it to have a giveaway just so you can be swamped with compliments about how lovely your work is and how talented you are! I may just keep this up every few months just to keep my spirits high!!

But who won, you ask??

The winners were chosen by the number generator at random.org. And our first winner was #68, Sara at Be Thrifty Like Us, who has a wonderful blog dedicated to helping you save money. She shares tips on being frugal and spending money wisely. Its also a good place to learn about sales and great deals on shopping. Sara had first pick and chose the brown/silver/mustard colored earrings.

Our second winner was #139, Heather, over at a sweet little blog dedicated to her daughter, Eliza Valentine. Perfect for this time of year, right? Apparently, the happy couple found out they were pregnant on Valentine's Day (so sweet!) and decided to name their child after the day. Heather was really happy to get the burgundy and black earrings, which were the ones she was hoping for!

So everyone is happy!

I am happy too! Over on the blog, Mommy Brain, I won a copy of the book, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith, a highly praised book about a woman detective living in Botswana.

And I also won a another great looking book, the Toddler's Busy Book, with 365 activities for one-and-a-half to three-year-olds using things found around the home! This should be a boon for me, because the twins need more stimulating play activities and sometimes I am just stumped, and find myself doing the same activities over and over. This giveaway was from Melissa over at Organized Chaos. She is a SAHM living in Canada currently studying to be a Post Partum Doula.

If you are looking to blow a little MORE time reading blogs, go check these fine ladies out! And be back in about 3 months for the spring Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

On the Other Hand...

















...who wouldn't trust these two to steer our ship??

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Why I am Voting For Barack Obama

Super Tuesday is almost here and here in California, we have 370 delegates up for grabs.

I usually vote democrat and have been leaning one way based on my gut instincts. But before the primaries I thought it was time to get off my butt and look at the real differences between the candidates, and make sure my gut was right. I think it was.

I’m voting for Barack Obama, and I’ll tell you why.

First off, I just like him. I really like him. And I trust him to boot. He seems to be the first politician I have seen in, well, forever, that appears more interested in doing what is right, even if it is unpopular because doing what is right is, well, the right thing to do.

Clinton keeps trying to point up his lack of experience, and I know that is at least not entirely fair.

I have to admit, even though Clinton wouldn’t say such things out loud, that just being the wife of a president, living IN the White House for years, being the person that the Prez talks things over with on a nightly basis (when he wasn’t sleeping on the couch) probably IS a really helpful thing when it comes to stepping into the Oval Office on “Day One”. It would sure make the learning curve easier to manage. But, nearly every President in American History has been a newbie in the west wing and there are systems in place to help the new team catch onto how things work quickly.

I believe almost every politician starts out wanting to make a change, do good things for America, and fully believes they won’t be corrupted by the system. But then they learn that to get things done in politics, you have to kind of allow yourself to be corrupted. Usually, by the time someone is experienced enough to become president, they have been corrupted. I don’t believe Obama has been. And I am more than fascinated to see what happens with an uncorrupted person in the white house.

Just imagine.

When it comes to Iraq, he was rallying against it just as I was back then, and verbally stated about the idea of going to war in Iraq, “I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”

When it comes to health care in America, I actually like Clinton’s plan better. I believe that we should eventually have a system in which every American is covered, rather than Obama’s plan that everyone who WANTS insurance will be able to get it. With Obama’s plan, people like the homeless, and those oh-so-invincible twenty-something’s will never get insurance.

But I don’t feel that Clinton’s plan can be paid for the way she says she will pay for it. The largest chunk of it, I think it was 77 billion, would come from converting all hospitals to electronic file systems (Obama wants to do that too, but not as the basis for paying for his health plan). Well, that is all well and good, but it will take a LONG time to get all the hospitals up to date, help the poor places pay for those systems, and then there will be the time that passes waiting for that system to not just pay for itself but to start paying dividends that can go toward universal health coverage. I just don’t think that will work. Not in time.

Mr. Obama would pay for his plan (which is a good plan, but doesn't get us to universal coverage) by allowing President Bush’s tax cuts for the most affluent Americans — those making over $250,000 a year — to expire. Officials estimated that the net cost of the plan to the federal government would be $50 billion to $65 billion a year, when fully phased in. There is the money, right there.

Lastly, I go back to what I said in the first place.

I like him.

He feels authentic. He feels like the real thing. I feel like he is not lying to me.

I was not alive when Kennedy was around, and I usually hate when folks compare people to JFK, the Beatles, Ghandi, or whomever. I don’t know if Obama is anything like John F. Kennedy, really. But I am getting the feeling that the way Barack Obama inspires me is similar to the way Kennedy inspired people of his generation.

So I am voting for Obama on Tuesday.

Either way it goes, I have to say that I am really excited that our country is finally in a place where they are seriously considering putting a woman or an African-American in the White House.

That feels really good.