Sunday, May 31, 2009


Five minutes later: Five minutes after that:

Living On The Wild Side in Suburbia. . .

. . . as I sit sipping my full fat mocha watching my fully-clothed children play in the public fountain without a drop of sunscreen on them. 

Next week- BASE jumping!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pick Up Strategies

So, AJ and I are watching t.v. and a Twix commercial comes on. It is the one where the two guys are reading the book "How to Pick Up Mega Hotties". The girlfriend of one of the guys comes up and exclaims "What are you reading?!" The man takes a bite of Twix, then turns to his buddy and says "How could you read something like that!" The girlfriend gets a dreamy look in her eyes because she thinks her man would never read something so vulgar. 

After seeing this, AJ and I had the following conversation:

AJ: No girl would ever fall for that!
Me: You would be surprised. The key is not to fall for girls who would fall for that.
AJ: Yeah, she probably doesn't even have a job!

A Golfer That Went Through a Shrink Ray

That is how Shawn described this outfit I put on Charlie. Men. 


This is AJ running through the sprinkler, and jumping on a trampoline at the same time. 

Sorry about the hibiscus that is in the way. I was trying to take the picture covertly. I can be sneaky that way. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Little Genius

I know what you are thinking. Oh my gosh, he is already reading!!

But before you call Mensa, the book is upside down and this was him an hour earlier with peanut butter in his hair. 

Championship Game (The Soccer Edition)

Once again, AJ's team found themselves playing for the championship. I personally thought that the coaching was outstanding this season. And I am not just saying that because Shawn was the coach. Ok, maybe I am. But I have to live with the guy. 

I didn't actually get to go to the game because I was home with a sleepy, crabby toddler. But I sent the camera with the boys and another parent took pictures for me. 

They did lose, but the word on the street is that they played a better game. They were a skilled, cohesive team that played like they had a plan. I am guessing that there are some kids on this team that I will be watching for the next 10 years. And it will be a joy. They are all good sports. And, even at this young age, they are keeping things in perspective. And so are the parents. 

Some of you may notice that AJ is not wearing a team shirt. That is because someone burned (read: melted) a hole in his shirt trying to iron on patches. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Last Hurrah Lunch 2009

Last year, I started a tradition of having lunch with my friends who had school-age kids a few days before school let out. For many of them, it is the last time they will have any type of child care until August, when school is back in session. 

We had so much fun, I couldn't wait until this year's lunch.

When I told my friend Theresa that I was planning the lunch again, she said to make sure to have it inside. (This was an AZ joke. It is already over 100 degrees here.) I told her that if we had it inside, there wouldn't be room to swing the pinata stick. This piqued her interest. She asked what was going to be in the pinata and I told her that it was a toss up between Prozac or booze. And from there, the conversation just went down hill. 

But what did come out of it were these gift bags that we put together for everyone:

They included the following:

1) A package of Milano cookies for a chocolate fix
2) A pill bottle with mini M&Ms with a Rx label that said " Take two and call a girlfriend immediately. Refill on Request"
3) earplugs
4) A Twix bar in case you "need a moment"
5) Lifesavers
6) Stress reducing lotion
7) A single serving bottle of red wine

Now that we all have our survival packs, we should be good to go. Bring it on. 

Graduation Celebration

Last night I was talking on the phone, minding my own business, when 3 of my friends walked into the kitchen. I was a little surprised. And then I became VERY surprised when they informed me that they were kidnapping me and taking me out to celebrate my graduation. 

Some weird things had been happening all week. My friend Corri called and asked for Shawn's cell number "for her husband". Then my  friend Mary called the home phone, supposedly to ask about Charlie. (I hadn't answered, I asked Shawn later who it had been.) In the time we have been friends she has always called my cell. I honestly wasn't sure she even *had* my home phone number. 

But I think my biggest clue came right before all my friends showed up. Shawn had told me that he and AJ had special dinner plans for me. That, in itself, is not strange. Shawn and AJ are always doing sweet things for me. But when Shawn said the equivalent of "You're not wearing THAT are you?" I should have become suspect. 

We went to the local Italian restaurant where more friends were laying in wait. We had some wine, dinner, cupcakes and some more wine.  I even got a balloon! It was so much fun and I was totally taken off guard. I feel very lucky to have such great friends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We got back from the hospital a few hours ago. Charlie did a great job with his surgery and is now taking a much deserved rest. We went to the local children's hospital and that made all the difference in the world. They had play rooms, Charlie-size furniture and the nurses were beyond nice. 

Hopefully his recovery will be speedy and he will soon be back on his feet, running around like a banshee, as usual.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

PSA- Tealights

Last night I hosted bunko. It was a huge turnout and we ended up having 4 tables. It was a ton of fun- right up until I almost burned the house down. 

I was sitting in the family room playing a game and looked up into the kitchen. I noticed that one of the tea lights that I had put on the breakfast bar had a huge flame, and looked like it was about to get out of control. So I tried to blow the tea light out. That didn't work. It actually made it worse. So, my next thought was to douse it with water from the sink. HUGE mistake. The candle exploded. Yup, exploded.  If I hadn't been wearing my glasses, I would probably be sans eyelashes and eyebrows this morning. I escaped injury but did get wax splashed on my forehead and glasses. 

This is the second time in my life that my glasses have saved me from serious injury. About 15 years ago, I placed a pyrex baking dish on what I thought was a cool burner on an electric stove. The burner was still warm and the pyrex exploded into a million shards of glass. To this day I think I would have been blinded if I had not been wearing my glasses. 

Anyhoo- I guess the tea lights from Bath and Body Works have oil in them. So, treat them like you would a grease fire- smother them. 

This concludes the PSA. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Needs a Dog?

This is a picture of AJ holding a ball for Charlie right before he throws it. And then Charlie fetches it. I am not kidding. This game goes on forever. Apparently, I gave birth to a Labrador. 

You Can't See Me!

Charlie has taken to walking around the house with his blanket over his head. In this picture he doesn't have his eyes covered, but he usually does it "Casper" style, while I run ahead of him making sure he doesn't brain himself on a random piece of furniture. 

I'm Done!!!!!!

I took my biology final last night. It was a bit harder than the mid term, but I think I did ok. There were only a few times I had to stare at the paper -willing an answer to reveal itself. (That doesn't work by the way.)

I got home and Shawn had a glass of wine waiting for me. And AJ had gone to bed, but had made me a card.  

Front of card

Back of card. 

My favorite part is the "You Rock" underneath the drawings. Hee Hee. (He somehow got a copy of a page from my portfolio.) I have to say this about AJ; he knows what side his bread is buttered on. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Today was a very fun Mother's Day. Shawn and AJ made me breakfast and Charlie did his part by sleeping in until 8. Then we drove across town to have lunch with Shawn's family. When we got home I took my official Mother's Day nap and now I am just hanging out not studying for my biology exam. 

AJ gave me great gifts that he made a school. One was a little book he made about what he liked about me. He drew a picture of a cactus (I think) with flowers. And he also gave me a homemade card with some quarters taped to it from both of the boys so that I could "buy a treat on them". It was too cute. Yeah I cried. And yeah, I am now officially my mother. 

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Almost Done

Today is my last interior design class before I get my degree. 

I loved going to school. Loved it. I remember sitting in my Intro class the first day, almost giddy that I was finally going to school for something I was really interested in. Can you believe they had entire classes about color? 

The Intro instructor asked everyone the first day of class to introduce themselves and tell everyone why they were here. The class was made up of basically two different types of students. The first type of students were the more traditional 18 year olds- your typical college students. And then there were the rest of us. We were over 30, and this was our chance at a second career. (Oh yeah- and then there was the token guy, who when asked why he was taking the class replied: "To meet girls".) 

The over 30 crowd pretty much stuck together and I have to say, for the most part, we excelled. We weren't geniuses or anything, but we had about 20 years of life experience on the young ones. We knew how to manage our time. After all, we had been managing households and kids. We knew what was important. We knew when an assignment warranted staying up until 3 am, and we knew when to let it go. And if we didn't, we had husbands that would lovingly point it out to us. And most importantly, we could recognize good advice from your instructors when we saw it. 

I feel really lucky that I was able to go back to school at this time in my life. I had a new perspective. I was not only a student, I was a consumer. I wasn't so passive this time around. This time it wasn't just about the usual college experience. My future livelihood was at stake. I took it personally. This time I owned it. 

And as a serious consumer, I think I got my money's worth for the most part. (Out of all the classes I took, there was really only one instructor who was so disappointing and I learned so little, I still cannot be in the same room with her and be polite. So, I make sure I am not in the same room with her.) 

But, all in all, it was a fantastic experience. I learned a ton of new skills, and learned I possessed skills I never even knew I had. 

The only thing I regret is that I did not follow this path the first time through college. I get sad when I think about the 20 years of experience-time and skill building-time I wasted. I would be so much better now, if I had just followed this path from the beginning. 

But I am glad I chose to do it, albeit late, instead of spending the rest of my life wishing I had. And I am glad AJ saw me do it. There were many nights in the past 5 years when we were both working on homework at the same time. He saw me get frustrated and overcome it. He saw me crumple up drawings and throw them across the room.  He saw me redo projects because I knew they could be better. And I hope he learned by my example.  But most importantly, he saw me start something and finish it. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zac is on the Job

He takes his job as protector very seriously. Those bunnies can be MEAN. 

But, I have to say, that Zeena takes the award for ferociousness. If you have never seen her, she is a gray fluffball. A really, really fat gray fluffball. But (and I am not making this up) she growls when there is someone at the door. It makes me laugh every time. 

AJ wants a dog. And, I am guessing we will probably get one within the year. Shawn and I are both dog people and we miss having one around. But, I am putting down a few ground rules. 1) The dog will be a girl. 2) She will be the cutest dog you have ever seen and 3) she will adore me. 

And when I say adore, I mean ADORE me. She will sleep by my bed. She will follow me around. She will protect me from lions and tigers and bears (and big hairy spiders). 

We will see if any of this pans out. With my luck, we will end up with a male dog that adores the boys. I guess that would be ok too.