Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas!

We got a ton of stuff done this weekend! We are making our lists and checking them twice. All that's left now is a trip to the post office, and several trips to the grocery store. Christmas cards are going out tomorrow and we even got our Santa pictures done! So maybe life won't be so crazy this Christmas. Maybe.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Belt Exam Day!

This morning T-man had a belt exam. He is testing for his green stripe. He said he was not nervous, and he did a great job. There were big smiles on his face during the exam - so he must have had fun too! We have to wait until Monday at class to see if he earned his stripe, he is confident that he did.

Kicking the shields.

Doing his forms.

Good Job T-man!
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Black Belt!!!

Today was a very proud day for our family. J-man earned his black belt!
The test was intense and more than 2 hours long. Master Dan said that if nobody threw up he would be dissapointed - but they were all tough and nobody threw up (I was kind of glad about that). They worked really hard the whole time, doing kicks, forms, sparring, special technique, kicking the bag and finished off by breaking some boards.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Our yard was a MESS!

I was out in the back yard with Mandi, watching her do squirrel patrol, and had a brilliant idea! I ran back in the house to recruit my workers and had grand plans of getting the back yard all raked up. After all it has not rained in 6 or 7 hours, and after several rain and wind storms this may be the longest dry spell we are going to get this fall.
So much for my helpers. Look how much they helped.

Thanks boys.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's a Girl!

Introducing our newest family member! Her name is Mandi Mae, she is a year old Lab mix. We found her through a search on She was brought into a shelter pregnant and was taken in by an area rescue so that she could have her puppies in a safe place away from the shelter. They said that she was a good mom to her 7 puppies and they all found good homes. Now she is part of our family and she is the best dog!
We had a nice long car ride home, and she is good in the car. We came home and had a bath (not one of her favorites), a trip to the vet(flea preventative anyone?), and then a trip to Petco - we needed a new collar and tag!
This is the tag maker at Petco, Mandi and the boys were watching her tag being engraved. Her new collar is reflective!

It was a pretty exhausting day for everyone. I think she is going to be very happy with us, and this is just the fur therapy that I needed.

Isn't she the cutest?
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another sad day for us

Yukon had a bad fall down the deck stairs last night and this morning Mitch and I took him into the vet and said goodbye. It was so hard to let him go, we just couldn't let him suffer in pain anymore. The whole family had a big cry this morning. T-man broke my heart when he said that Yukon was like his brother.

I am going to miss you Yukon - you were the bestest, dumbest, most lovable dog in the whole world. Thank you for loving us, being gentle with my babies, being rough with my boys, and always knowing the difference. Thank you for being my constant shadow, willing and ready to go anywhere or nowhere, and never complaining when you got left behind. Thank you for cleaning up my floors, all the food you thought was "extra" and for always entertaining us. I am so glad that we got to be your family.

Yukon Jack
June 28, 1998 - October 13, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Comic Relief

So this is the conversation between myself and J-man while sitting in the kitchen this evening.

J-man: (Farts Loudly)

Me: What was that for?

J-man: Paybacks for earlier.

Me: At least I warned you.

J-man: Yeah, but not early enough so I could leave the room!

This is why I love having boys! I needed a few good laughs today too, it has been a rough week!

So Monday morning at work, I got notified that my position was being eliminated. I was shocked. I will be able to finish out the year at my current job, and then I can either bump someone with less seniority in another department, or sit on the re-hire list and hope that somebody quits or retires. I started coping on Monday night with large quantities of wine. When I woke up on Tuesday I was sill laid off, so that didn't work. Now I just have to put up with the pitied looks I get from my co-workers for the next 3 months. I was not the only one laid off, 145 people were notified on Monday county wide, so I am now referring to Monday as "Black Monday". A lot of the fellow lay offs were my friends and co-workers. It really sucks.
So the next three months could bring lots of change to my family, we shall see if it is good, bad or ugly.
On a positive note - our application was approved for adoption! Woo Hoo! Yes, we are adopting - we want another dog in our house. We filled out an application for Lab Rescue and I was just notified today that our application was approved. Now we are just waiting for a dog that will fit our family. Our request was a dog that was good around kids and other dogs, since that is what we seem to have a lot of in our house. Hopefully we will not have to wait long, I want Yukon to have a buddy. I think he has been missing Ditto too. I know I have.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My life is crazy cause I make it crazy.

Today was a pretty exciting day around here. J-man turned 10, a very big milestone!

He is a decade old.

Double digits.

I think he is officially a tween.

And I have to stop telling people I am 29.

See, I told you it was exciting.

So because it was his birthday, and a school day, we had to go get birthday treats. Baking treats was not an option, because the kitchen is still, well, not usable. So J-man decides that he wants to bring donuts. (Doughnuts? Donuts? Dictionary anyone?) I figure that is a safe, easy treat. Everybody likes donuts, right? So after we got ready for school this morning we head out to get the donuts. It was 8am and we had plenty of time for a slight little pit stop at Starbucks. Mommy needs her fix you know. And then we can go to the grocery store.

There are 29 kids in his class, so that means we need 3 dozen donuts. Guess what? Our grocery store didn’t have 3 dozen. So we got the 22 that they had and went to the other store across the very busy, and under construction, street. Crap, that store didn’t have any. So we got back in the car and headed to the next closest grocery store. They had plenty, so I got the remaining donuts and we headed home.

I was supposed to be home for the appliance deliveries. Eeek! It is now after 9am and they are there! At my house waiting for me! I had to keep apologizing for being late, who knew that a quick run to Starbucks and the store for donuts would take so long! So they start doing their thing and I had to start running around for them – turning on and off breakers, showing them the dead appliance graveyard in the garage and emptying out the refrigerator.

And then the boys tell me its time to go to school. What? 9:30 already? Nope 9:45, RUN! (By the way – I just love late start Fridays – yeah, my eyes are rolling.)

I tell the guys that I will be right back, I have to run the kids and the donuts to school. So the boys and I get back in the car and head to school. When I get to school the boys go to line up, or what ever they do and I head to the office with my stack of donut boxes. Guess what? J-mans class has a nut allergy. So even though I bought a nut free treat, the donuts are made at a store that makes other donuts that have nuts. Cross contamination. Damn. So the donuts can not go in the classroom. J-man doesn’t know this. He is going to be disappointed. I leave one dozen donuts for the office staff and take the others with me, promising them that I will be back with a nut free treat for the class ASAP, but I have to get back home quick because I still have 3 appliance installers at my house. I hope they like donuts!

I head home to bad news. They hooked up the stove and no gas came on. OMG. I am ready to kill me a plumber. I say “Are you sure?” Like they don’t know what they are doing. “I paid a gas plumber to install that gas line with that shut off valve. Did you turn it on?” DUH. Did they turn it on. They start telling me I am going to need the gas company out to turn the gas back on. Ummm, it was never off. All my other gas appliances still work. Then I remembered about the shut off valve outside, got excited and went to flip that switch.

When I got back inside they said it still wasn’t working. Damn. Called the plumber and left a message. I hope I did not sound as b*tchy on the phone as I did in my head.

But then some good news, the fridge was in place, with the water hooked up and it all worked. Ahhhh. Thank you for that one piece of good news. The dishwasher was also in, and working. Amen.

Still do not have nut free treats, or any idea what to get, so I called my friend. Her daughter is also having a birthday and is in J-man’s class and I was supposed to bring the treats for both of them. I left her a message that our donuts got kicked out, the appliance delivery guys were enjoying them, but I need some nut free treat ideas, so I do not disappoint our kids. Please, please call me back.

Of course we were not done with our appliance problems yet, the microwave hood needed to be plugged in. Wha? Huh? Yeah, we had just a fan in that spot before and it only needed the wire that was sticking out of the wall, but this new appliance needs its own plug and breaker. So he installed it, but there was no power source. He left the plug just sort of hanging out in the cupboard above. Damn. I guess 2 out of 4 appliances isn’t too bad, right? Yeah, it is bad. Very bad. So I need a plumber and an electrician. Damn.

Meanwhile – I go to fb and post a plea for nut free snack ideas – and STAT.

Then the plumber calls back. He can be here at 2. Grrrr.

Pretty appliances, huh?

Oreos. Fb friends and the birthday girl’s Mom all agreed that Oreo’s are safe. So I race back to the grocery store, load up on snack packs of Oreo’s and head back to school. I still have a dozen donuts in my car and I am passing a fire station. DING. I park just as a fire truck pulls in. Yes, a crazy lady with a dozen donuts is at your fire station door. I try explaining that the donuts got kicked out of school, but I sounded even crazier, so I just said I wanted to make somebody’s day sweeter. And left. Back to school.

I drop the Oreo’s off without incident. I told them I called Nabisco from the grocery store to confirm that they are made in a nut free plant. And they are. Of course when you call Nabisco they want your name and phone number and e-mail address so they can use you for marketing and research. I said no thanks, I just need the nut info. Grocery store stock boy thinks I am crazy too – who calls Nabisco’s 1-800 number in the aisle of the grocery store? I do, apparently.

So it is now 12:15 I have to be home by 2. I have no gas. And I need to get to Costco to shop for the Cub Scout camp out tomorrow. Do I stop for gas in the neighborhood, or pray I can make it to Costco? Remember – I am crazy. So I am praying all the way to Costco. Please don’t run out of gas, please don’t run out of gas. Luckily my van has this trip computer that has a DTE countdown. Distance til empty? Well I hit the freeway at 10, 9, 8, hit the second freeway at 7. Up the hill, 6, 5, 4, approaching the exit, 3, on the exit 2. Off the freeway 1. So, so close. Still praying. I don’t have time to run out of gas! 0. It says zero and I am still driving.

I pull into Costco and there is a huge line for gas. Of course, its Labor Day weekend and everyone is gassing up to get out of town. At least if I run out of gas in line I can push the van up to the pump. I am sure that the drivers in line behind me will help push because they want their gas too. And if a few more people think I am crazy does it really matter? But I make it. I inch my way up in line to a pump with the thing saying zero for a good 2 miles and about 20 minutes. Good to know for next time. (Just kidding Mitch, I promise never to do that again.)

I got home from Costco safely and in time to meet the plumber. The plumber was able to get gas out of the line and start up the stove. Hmmm. Whatever. I am up to 3 out of 4 appliances working and nobody got hurt.

Time to go back to school! I volunteered this week to help get kindergartners to their buses. It’s like herding cats. So I went to school to herd some cats, I mean kindergartners, and get the boys. I think everyone got home safe from school this week. Even though the crazy lady was there!

Tonight we had a nice dinner out to celebrate J-mans birthday with his Grandparents. I finally relaxed, now that all my running around was done for the day. Phew this was one long day. And phew, this is one long blog post.

Happy Birthday J-man.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Downer Day Here

It was a sad day here in our family. Our cat Ditto passed away this morning from kidney failure. I have 16 years worth of memories with Ditto, and I will miss him greatly. I put together a collage of some of my favorite Ditto pictures, and this is how I want to remember him. Even the shaved cat with the cone on his head, because the boys called him "naked Ditto" after his kidney stone surgery and we still laugh about it.

RIP Ditto.
April 1, 1993 - August 31, 2009
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rockin Out

We now have rock in the kitchen - granite and slate that is! There has actually been a lot of progress in the kitchen, yet it seems like not much to report. We got the granite counter tops in on Saturday and now have a sink. Mitch spent all day today trying to get that sink functional. I spent all day going back and forth to Home Depot.

This is the granite counter top with the new tiles that are up, but not finished. The tile is off white and the decorative strip has slate in it. The floors will be slate also. But that is later this week. I hope. I need the contractor stars to align - is that too much to ask?

Here is the new sink. Doesn't the granite look good? I hope so, cause we are now broke! Mitch installed the faucet, the sprayer and the garbage disposal. So far nothing has leaked. Or should I say nothing has leaked since he took it apart and put it back together again. And suspiciously the power is still turned off to the garbage disposal. It is a bad combination of electricity and plumbing that he messed with for way too long today. I suggested we call the plumber to do it, he said why would we waste the money. Yeah - you working for several hours on something the plumber can do in a few minutes and the co-pays at the ER when you electrocute yourself will be much cheaper than just calling the plumber.
Maybe I am just bitter about being sent to Home Depot twice today. Well technically I went through the registers there 3 times today because I got a phone call when I was leaving the second time that we needed one more thing. At least I hadn't started the car yet. And on a happy note - if anyone needs to know where anything at Home Depot is, I can probably tell you. I even know the isle numbers. Oh, oh - maybe I can even get a job there now! But I would have to check out their health plan first - you know - in case Mitch electrocutes himself.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A little closer everyday......

Well this is what the kitchen looked like when I got home from work today. It is actually starting to look like a kitchen again!
Now all we need is - well the list is long: counter-tops, floor, back splash tile, more paint and lots of other stuff.

I am wishing those lights above the glass doors were about 4 inches to the right. Frank might shoot me when he reads that. :-).
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello Cabinets!

This morning our kitchen looked like this:
Like the color? That is Ralph Lauren Khaki. We still need some touch up work - but we had to stop last week so the walls could dry in time for the cabinets.

But what a difference a day can make! Today the cabinet guy unloaded a truck full of cabinets! Into my house! Woo Hoo!
Aren't they pretty? Don't they look good with the paint?

Apparently they need a lot of these for installation:

And a lot of these:
I can't wait to see them all go together over the next couple of days. I hope they don't mind if I snap a few pictures - wait - who am I kidding? I'll take them anyway :-).

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Water Polo Time

Water Polo only lasts 4 weeks in the summer - but it is J-mans favorite sport. And today, as I watched him play, I figured out why. He is pretty darn good. He had some amazing defensive plays, was a total team player and even scored a goal. So proud of him. He is number 4 in the white hat. I still haven't figured out the hats yet......

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recognize this Kitchen?

I do not! Can you even tell it is a kitchen? Well it was and it will be again. We got it all primed last night and ready for paint.

Today the gas plumber is coming out to re-plumb the gas line into the floor and to re-plumb under the sink to give our new fridge a water line. This afternoon I hope to get the ceiling and walls painted so that it has a few days to dry before the cabinets get here.
It is coming right along! Woo Hoo!
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