Expletive Title

I had big plans today.  Big!  Huge!  After taking a peek at our credit card statement from last month, I discovered that we spent $6 more last month at restaurants than we did at the grocery store.  I was obviously a bit disappointed at my laziness and today was the day that I had to turn it around.

A few months ago, I declared that I was going to do a post each Monday with our family menu for the week.  Actually, it was the menu of the previous week so I could review any new recipes that I had tried.  I think I only posted about 4 weeks of menus, but I kept it the actual menu planning for close to 5 months.

I’m not sure what happened, but sometime within the last couple of months, I got incredibly lazy.  We were eating out all the time and when I did make something at home, it was a super processed meal – not the from scratch stuff that I was making before.  I noticed that the scale was starting to move in the wrong direction as well which never makes anyone happy.

Today I sat down and decided that I needed to get back into the habit of meal planning, but in order to ensure that I really stuck with it, I was planning for an entire month.  I sat down and started to flip through all my recipes and Pinterest to find out what everyone else was eating.

Recipe Mayhem!

I am still only buying groceries one week at a time because our deep freeze is currently being used as storage until we move into a house.

I had my list all ready to go, packed up the kids and off we headed to the store.  I was pretty happy – I was feeling organized and like I really had my shit together.  I pulled into my parking spot, grabbed my reusable shopping bags (so proud of myself for remembering those!) and went to grab my pur- SON-OF-A-BITCH!  ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME????  I forgot my purse.

For a split second, I thought, I’ll just start my organization tomorrow, but tomorrow is my running day and as ironic as it sounds, I don’t like to do too much on the days I run.  I drove home, got my purse and went right back to the store.  It really only added about 15 minutes to my trip and Kamryn and Rory were very cooperative.  It didn’t hurt that the grocery store that I frequent plays the best 90’s music and singing in the aisles always makes me happy.

I still have a few more days before I finish my entire month of meals.  Tomorrow, I’ll work on posting this week’s menu so if you are at a loss as to what to feed your family, check back and I’ll have some ideas for you.

Seaweed And Popcorn

We made a trip to Costco today to stock up on some supplies.  God, I love Costco.  I could walk around there for hours looking at all the super-sized boxes of things I don’t really need. 

I usually make it a point to never seek out the samples because it’s an enormous waste of my time trying to navigate between the greedy bastards that stand in the middle of the aisles waiting for the pizza bagels to come out of the toaster oven.  Today, however, we were there early and there was an uninhabited sample stand with pot stickers.  

Pot stickers are a bit of a weakness for me.  It’s one of the only cravings I had when I was pregnant with Rory.  It was so strong that I made Ryan go and get me 2 orders from the nearby Chinese restaurant at 2:00 in the afternoon because I couldn’t wait until dinner.  Anyway, I think this is the first time that I have ever tried a sample and liked it enough to actually buy it. 

One of the things that always happens when I go to Costco is that I don’t have everything to make a full meal.  I usually have the main dish, ie the potstickers, but no sides until I go to the grocery store.  I didn’t have it in me to go to the store after our trip to Costco so we made due with what we had.

Here was Kamryn’s dinner, per her request:



It’s seaweed salad and popcorn chips.  Rory had the same thing, but with a sandwich.  He calls the seaweed salad, “seaweed noodles”.  I don’t think you could have paid me to even try seaweed when I was 5 years old, much less 3. 

I love my little adventurous eaters and the fact that I don’t have to make chicken nuggets or mac and cheese every night!

The Most Ridiculous Product

Last Christmas my brother and I wandered around the mall trying to figure out what to get my parents for a gift.  He had vetoed my idea of giving them pictures of my kids because that didn’t help him out.  I suggested he go find himself a wife and have some kids of his own and then we would all win.  He didn’t concur.

Each year I have a hard time buying gifts for my parents because they will never give me valid gift ideas.  They always start off with “We don’t need anything.”  And after pressing and insisting they give me ideas, I’ll get a list consisting of things like socks, pot holders or some brand spankin’ new steak knives (all things I have purchased as gifts for my parents in the past).

We had finally settled on a Nook, but before we determined that as the perfect gift, we browsed in Brookstone.  Brookstone markets itself as a place to find “unique gifts and smart solutions”.  Hmmm  That’s being awfully generous.

On this particular trip I came across something that I could not explain.  It literally made no sense to me at all.  I held it in my hand, turning it over and over looking for the little statement that said *For Entertainment Purposes Only, but there wasn’t one.

Cellphone and Bluetooth Receiver

I’m sure everyone can identify both items.  On the left is a cellphone and on the right is an old school landline telephone handset.  The handset is a bluetooth.  Huh?  So, I need to carry around something bigger than my cellphone, replicating the thing that no one uses anymore in order to use the more advanced technology?  Well OK!  Sign me up!

Let’s just pretend that the inventor of this gadget intended it purely as a joke.  Granted, it’s a joke I definitely don’t get.  I find it confusing.  I felt a little like the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.  I’m just a caveman, your strange inventions frighten and confuse me.  I used to think the Oakley’s with the built in bluetooth had a douche factor of about 11 on a 10 point scale, but clearly, I was mistaken.  Can you imagine coming across someone talking on this phone?  They most certainly would be attempting to draw as much attention to themselves as possible which would equate to EXTREMELY loud talking and proclaiming things like “YEAH, DUDE, I’M HEADING TO HOOTER’S ‘CAUSE THEIR WINGS ARE AWESOME AND I’M TOTALLY GOING TO TALK ON THIS PHONE THE WHOLE TIME.  IT’S GOING TO BE EPIC.”




Flashback Friday

This picture was taken the summer of my freshman year of high school.  I went to a Catholic high school my freshman and sophomore year and was part of group called L.I.F.E.  It stood for Living In Faith Enthusiastically.  I can’t help but smile when I type that.  I don’t care how faithful you are – that is a cheesy anagram. I believe my freshman year was the year the group started and I just checked the high school website and they are still living enthusiastically!

That summer, about 10 – 15 of us from the group went to the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska.  We were there for a week or two – I don’t remember exactly, and during that time we did some physical labor and if memory serves, I believe we were supposed to teach Christianity to some of the kids that lived on the Reservation.  I have no idea how these kids came to be signed up for the classes – if their parents signed them up, if it was through school, the kids wanted to go or it was just something for the kids to do.

When I think back on this now, I have absolutely no idea who the 15 year old girl is in that picture.  And I’m not referring to my permed hair, the 20 years less of aging on my face or the brown flats I had on with shorts (damn I loved those shoes).  When I joined the L.I.F.E. Group, I did it because all of my friends were doing it and I got out of class once a week or something.  I probably wasn’t the best representative of the organization, but it just goes to show how easily persuaded I was.

For me, going to Winnebago was one of the perks of being in the group because I had always wanted to be a teacher and this was going to be my first opportunity to scholar some children!  However, if I was 20 years older, I would have never tried to influence any child’s religious beliefs.  In retrospect, I find it appalling that we were sent there to teach children Christian beliefs.  I didn’t know any better because I was a dumb teenager.  We had no right to do that and all I can hope is that the parents of each of the children signed them up, knowing full well what would be going on.

I’m not going to go off on some anti-religion rant.  To each their own.  But I do think that this depicts how I feel about religion pretty accurately.


Kamryn’s Day At Work

Daughter & Daddy before leaving for work.

Today Ryan took Kamryn to work with him for Take Your Daughter To Work Day.  She was so excited about it last night when she went to bed she said she “I can’t sleep!  My teeth keep smiling!”  She was up bright and early at 5:44 and ready to rock-n-roll.  If only her dad was as excited to go to work as she was everyday.

They had a lot of things planned for the kids accompanying their parents to work and as excited as Kamryn was about it, Ryan was hoping she wasn’t disappointed.  He works for a company in the aerospace industry.  They have lots of cool technology that may be a little above the comprehension level of a 5 year old, but I was fairly confident that she would at least pretend like she thought it was awesome.

Kamryn got to try out a Helmet Mounted Display, or HMD for those in the know.  She was looking at a video game – something like Call Of Duty.  They kept the machine gun simulators away while the kids were there.  Ryan said when you have the helmet on it’s like putting you in the game.  If you look to the right, it’s like scrolling over to the right in the game.  Pretty sweet.  I asked Kamryn what she thought of it and and she kind of laughed and said “I couldn’t see.  My head was too small.”  I guess we’ll have to send Rory and his 95th percentile sized head next time.


When Kamryn and Ryan got home around 1:00, after their pizza lunch, she showed me her swag bag with all kinds of goodies in it.

Kamryn's Loot

Kamryn has already asked to go back to Daddy’s work so I’m pretty sure she had a good time.  Once Rory found out that she got free candy and that she actually shared it with him, he wants her to go back too!





Butting Heads

I was trying to make it look like those boxing photos, but Kamryn kept laughing and I look like I should be in the bathroom instead.

Kamryn and I hit rough spots in our relationship every once and awhile.  I know it’s to be expected, especially with mothers and daughters.  I see a lot of myself in Kamryn’s personality, specifically the argumentative parts.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I see a lot of my mom in my personality and my grandma in her personality and so on and so forth.

Yesterday we were meeting some friends for lunch and on the way to the restaurant, I asked Kamryn about her day.  She has had a substitute for the last couple of weeks while her teacher is recovering from surgery on her hand so I want to make sure Kamryn is paying attention and doing the things she’s supposed to.  She has a tendency to get distracted – *I have no idea where she gets that from*.

She told me they were doing bead math.  In my head I pictured them pouring out beads on the table and doing simple addition and subtraction.  I asked her how many beads she had and she said “No, not bead math, beat math.”  Oooohhhhh, OK.  I asked her if they used a drum to pound out the beats.  And then all hell broke loose.


I tried to convince her that I was saying it right, and she was not hearingme correctly.  Soon, she started to cry and I told her she could show me when we got home to which she screamed, “I CAN’T SHOW YOU AT HOME!”

That was enough.  I told her she was being ridiculous, crying for no reason and once we got home she could take a nap like a baby since that was what she was acting like.  (Hello pot, this is kettle)  She immediately stopped crying and told me she would show me later.

By the time we got home, we had both forgot about the math dispute.  Today, however, when we were on our way home from school, the issue resurfaced when I asked Kamryn about her day.  Once again they had done frickin’ beat math, and I still don’t have the slightest clue what it is!

I simply replied with an “Ohhhh, I see.”  and left it at that.  I was watching her in the rear-view mirror and I could see that she wanted to say something, but was biting her tongue.  She’s such a smart little girl.

The rest of our 3 minute drive was rather quiet and the second we walked in the door, Kamryn grabbed a piece of paper and a marker and hastily scribbled this:

She held it up and said, “Here.  What is this?  We play with sand toys here.”

I got a huge smile on my face and replied, “It’s the beach.  Beach math, huh?”


Fantastic!  I still don’t know what the hell it is, but I’ll ask someone else instead.

The Oscar Goes To…

It’s 7:11PM and I am at a loss of what to write about.  I thought I could write about how hard it is for me to come up with a new topic each day and then have all of you, my lovely readers, give me suggestions and I would have a little grab bag of ideas to pull from during any future days of writer’s block.

And then, I thought of something thatIwould find incredibly funny.  What if I had Kamryn recite some of my favorite lines from my favorite movies?  YAY!

For those of you still with me, I present to you Kamryn as Veruca Salt, pleading to her father for an Oompa Loompa.

Going forward, you can expect to see things like this when I have nothing to write about.  Feel free to suggest some lines from your favorite movies or TV shows for Kamryn or Rory to quote.  No “f-bombs” please.  Oh OK, but just 1 per line.  Or, go ahead and give me some topics you would like me to write about.  Maybe you are curious about my opinion on banana clips or what you should name your unborn child.



Procrastinators: Leaders of Tomorrow!

This morning I called to get Rory signed up for preschool.  I want him to go to the same one that Kamryn went to because the location is perfect and I know Kamryn really enjoyed her time there.  Not to mention, it cuts out me having to research any other preschools in the area.

I noticed their sign up for registration a couple of weeks ago and kept making the mental note to myself to call.  Each time I thought of calling, though, I found something else to do instead and I don’t know why.  I have been so anxious about getting Rory into preschool next year for a couple of reasons.  For one, he really wants to go.  He asks about it all the time.  Second,I really want him to go.  The thought of having a couple of hours to myself a few times a week has me more excited than a Caribbean vacation!

I mentioned me not calling to sign Rory up to a friend and she commented how he is my baby and it’s hard to watch that last one go off to school.  Normally, I would agree.  It was hard for me to get rid of the baby stuff, but for some reason, I don’t feel too sentimental about Rory going to school.  When Kamryn started school, I noticed such a positive change in her personality, maturity and general attitude that any feelings of missing her, dissipated rather quickly.

I know that when the actual day comes and I send him off to school, I’ll probably cry and there will be days when I miss him because there are days that I miss Kamryn when she is at school.  That day however, is floating around somewhere in hypothetical land.

The 3 year old preschool classes are completely full.  The director told me that they filled up within minutes, so even if I would have been on top of my game, I don’t think I could have gotten Rory in.  Luckily, I’m one of the first on the waiting list and she put a star next to my name as a returning family and told me she would give us priority.  Nice.

Now I just have to find out who these other 3 year old’s are and figure out how to knock them out of the class.

Earth Day 2012

Rory thinks I’m saying “Birthday” instead of Earth Day so there has been a lot of “No, it’s not your birthday, Rory.”  being said.  Kamryn understands Earth Day because they talked about it in school and how we need to take care of our planet.

I love that they cover topics like this in schools because I hate to say that it never occurred to me to teach my kids about Earth Day.  We recycle and the kids know that there is a place for trash and a place for recycling.  I make sure they know not to keep water running and to turn off the lights when they aren’t in a room, but we didn’t get much deeper than that or how it impacts our environment.

To celebrate Earth Day we hopped in our gas-guzzling SUV and drove down to Hillcrest to  the Farmer’s Market.  We walked around, ate some good food

I'm not a Vegan, but I got this for my brother to try. It was so good - it cost about a million dollars, but it's amazing what they can do without dairy.

and drank some incredibly sweet orange juice before letting Kamryn pick out some flowers.We started our own little garden last month after watching The Lorax.  Kamryn wanted to plant some trees, but I was able to get her to settle on cucumbers and wild flowers.






So far I haven’t killed our plants, which is rare.  If I can get even one cucumber to grow, I’ll consider it a success.  It said they should be ready for harvest in about 8 weeks, but we’re only a couple of weeks away from that date and I don’t think we’ll have anything by then.  My next garden is going to be a salsa garden, but we’ll wait for an actual backyard before i attempt that.

Happy Earth Day!


Estate Sale!!

I have a new favorite thing to do on the weekend.  We live within a stone’s throw of a 55+ community.  It’s a fairly large neighborhood, but a bit secluded with access from one of the main arteries off the freeway.  We travel down that particular artery quite frequently and each weekend we see the signs for Estates Sales.

I had never been to an estate sale until a couple of weekends ago.  I have been to auctions, garage sales and yard sales, but the estate sale had never been one that I sought out – I envisioned tables of fine China and original paintings from famous artists.

We happened to be driving with not much to do when I saw an Estate Sale sign and I suggested we go check it out.  Usually Ryan is a hard sale (ha!) when it comes to me requesting such adventures, but he didn’t put up much of a protest.  I didn’t know what to expect, but to my delight we got to walk through the house and everything had a tag on it.  Eve-ry-thing.

The house had already been sold, but all of it’s contents were fair game.  I don’t know if the furniture was in the same place as it was when the previous occupant was alive, but part of me likes to think that it was.  As we wandered through the small, ranch-style house, we walked in and out of rooms, perusing the wares of whoever had lived there.

I peeked in the bathroom and not only were there about 8 house coats hanging from the shower rod, but sitting on the counter, with hand-written price tags stuck to the containers were presumably every thing from the cupboards.  From a half used container of Vaseline to an unopened bottle of Pepto Bismol…all laid out for the world to see – or at least those who live in the general vicinity.

I started to get a little sad.  It was pretty clear that it was a woman who had lived in the house and I’m guessing she isn’t at a nursing home now, but that she most likely passed away – possibly in that very house that I was walking around in.  All of her most private things were laid out for complete strangers to rifle through, comment on or decide if it was worth the price written on the sticker.  All I could imagine was this sweet little old lady, nervously watching all of these people in her house and touching her things from “the beyond”.

I don’t like to be sad so I had to put a different spin on this Estate Sale stuff because nothing pleases me more than to see how someone else lives.  I love going into someone’s house for the first time – you learn so much!  Instead I started to take note of the other “shoppers”.  I didn’t see any other families and Ryan and I seemed to be the youngest of the adults, but I didn’t see anyone that appeared to be buying for profit.  No one looked like they were searching for a hidden gem to list on eBay the second they got home.  Maybe all of those people already filtered through, but I didn’t see them, ergo they were never there.  That made me feel better.  That the purchases made that day were made by people who would, in a sense, carry on this woman’s memory in their own homes.  Yeah, I know, it’s sappy.

The harsh reality is that you can’t take it with you.  I have few possessions that I am emotionally attached to and those will certainly be things that I want my children to have.  I don’t know how I would feel about my things being sold while I’m still alive, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it much so I’m going to request that they hold off on selling my 1/2 used bottle of tea tree oil until I’m taking my dirt nap.  If you haven’t noticed, I am assuming that I have outlived Ryan.  We’ve talked about it and we came to the conclusion that he is going to die first.  No reason in particular – he just is.

So if you happen to be my neighbor in about 50 or so years and enjoy a good sale, come on over and see what I have left behind for you.  Chances are it’s a bunch of shitty clothes and equally shitty household goods.  Enjoy!