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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Homework

"Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you
away in the sink.
If only a bomb
would explode you to bits.

Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.
I'd rather take baths
with a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework
my teacher assigns.

Homework! Oh, homework!
You're last on my list.
I simply can't see
why you even exist.
If you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!"
-Shel Silverstein

For the record, I am tired of being put into learning teams with a bunch of flakes. A group assignment should be a collaborative effort, not something completed by one person (namely, ME) with three other people's names on it. Also, it would be nice if the group assignment was relevant to the class....no more of this "create a company and design a website" for a Communications class. I'm pretty sure if I wanted to go into graphic web design, I wouldn't be taking classes towards a Bachelor's in Management.

While they are too young to read this, I want to apologize to AK and Roo...they have definitely been given the short end of the stick the past two weeks, as I have had to juggle a few big assignments with extra shifts at work. I am sorry for being short-tempered and for parenting-by-movies, especially the past few days. Once this class is over, I should have only 6 more to go...hang in there girls, mama's almost done with school [FINALLY].

Oh...and on any give day, the word "homework" in the poem above could easily be replaced with dishes, laundry, lame-o computers, bills, and weeds...just to name a few. :0)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Round of Applause, Please

Just wanted to give a special CONGRATULATIONS to my big brother Ben, who is now officially an EMT! Excellent job, we are very proud of you!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good Eats & Fun Times in the Kitchen

Earlier this week, in the rare moment of needing to do something domestic, I decided it would be fun if the girls and I made some chocolate chip cookies together. We had a blast, and the cookies turned out great (thank you Nestle Tollhouse for a recipe that even I can't screw up). I took some pictures so you all could join in our baking fun. (AK is in the green apron, Roo is in the teal one...getting to wear my aprons seems to be the funnest part of baking for them)





Also, I'm including some silly pictures of the girls wrestling from a few weeks ago...yes, AK accessorised herself...socks, ninja headband, and all. And, for the record, those clothes on the floor had, at one point, been folded...that was until Hurricane A&R came along, throwing everything onto the floor so they could jump off the chair and have a soft landing pad.





Back in Business...again

Just wanted to express my appreciation for finally getting our computer back...yes, it was a week later than promised, but we got it back nonetheless. And, even better, it turns out there was not a power surge and nothing was wrong with the hard-drive, so the venting of my frustrations about losing our pictures was all for nothing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you forces that be...I owe you one for allowing me to keep all my pictures. I have learned my lesson...backup discs will be created on a bi-weekly basis from this point forward.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kudos and Congratulations!

First, I want to wish a belated congratulations to our friends Casey and Jared on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Sonja, who was born on April 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm. Sonja weighed in at 6lbs. 2 oz., and measured 18 inches long. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Second, I want to give props for all those who participated in the Ironman Triathlon this past Sunday in Tempe, AZ. For those not familiar with this event, let me explain what it entails - the race begins with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike ride, finished with a 26.2 mile run. Crazy, I know - but the athletes who participated in this event definitely deserve major props for their physical vigor. Special kudos go out to the third and fourth place winners, Jordan Rapp and James Bonney, who were guests at the hotel I work at (and both are incredibly nice gentleman). Also, props to my co-worker Dan Malmgren, who participated in the triathlon as an amateur (just for the fun of it) but still managed to come in 20th overall. WAY TO GO IRONMAN CONTESTANTS - You are all heroes in my book!!

5 Reasons Why This Mom Loves Ramen

1. It's cheap
2. It cooks in 3 minutes, plus boiling time
3. It can easily be substituted in any pasta dish in case I happen to be out of another kind of noodle
4. It is a versatile dish - it can be eaten as soup, with steamed vegetables and Italian dressing, or added to meat
5. Both girls love it, which means it's a win/win meal choice

BONUS: Did I mention it is INSANELY cheap?

Hindsight

To the person who thought that white Berber would be a wise choice for carpet in a rental home, you obviously did not consider the amount of time and energy that would have to be spent cleaning the carpet just to make it look presentable. Berber catches everything, and white is a poor color selection for carpet in ANY home that plans to be lived in.

To the person who didn't see the need in laying down landscaping cloth before filling the front yard with rocks, you obviously didn't plan to be the person who has to spend 45 -60 minutes weeding on a weekly basis, just to avoid receiving a "Notice of Violation" from the HOA committee.

To the person who planted a bougainvillea bush in a 4 ft by 2 ft space, you have obviously never had to trim aforementioned bush. I understand the bougainvillea bush is an appealing choice for landscaping in Phoenix since it is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year round, but you should be aware that it is actually a thorny, woody, carnivorous vine that will grow up to 12 meters tall and will grow over any other plant in its path. The thorns are long, sharp, and covered in a waxy black coating that stays in one's skin after being pricked. The more you prune this vine, the faster (and thicker) the branches grow back. A small palm tree, or no plant at all, would have been a much better landscaping choice for this particular section of the front yard.

To the person who opted not to include a covered back patio when building this home, you obviously did not think about how the triple digit summer temperatures would affect a west-facing backyard on a home that is almost entirely all windows on the rear construction. May I send you copies of our utility bill's from last summer for reimbursement, since the combined cost of three months air-conditioning would probably cover the construction cost for a new patio?

And you wonder why we have no desire to resign our rental agreement with you for another year? Hmmmmm...

Best Buds

Most kids, at some point in their infant/toddler years, will develop a special bond with a favorite toy, stuffed animal, or blanket. According to "parenting experts," this special friend will provide the child with comfort, confidence, and a sense of security. While I honestly don't know what my "lovey" was as a baby, I remember developing a special attachment to a fluffy pink teddy bear my grandfather Peterson gave to me when I was a young girl. The pink teddy bear was a staple addition to my bed from the time I got it up until I was in college (yes, I will admit to snuggling "Pinky" well beyond my childhood years). And, if I remember correctly, Doug became particularly attached to a blanket that his grandmother made for him.

So, why am I bringing this up in today's blog? Well, as many of you know, AK and Roo have developed special bonds with two particular stuffed animals - a large cheetah and a teddy bear. To say these two companions are "well-loved" would not do them justice; they are so ratty I doubt that even Goodwill would take them. I could wash them a million times and still would not be able to get out the smell of old milk, goldfish crackers, and baby lotion. Cheetah has permanently lost both eyes and has had to have reconstructive surgery on his tail, and Teddy has had to have his head reattached numerous times. In the circumstance one of these friends cannot be located, it creates an instant meltdown of genuine tears and hysterics that can only be resolved by said friend's re-appearance. These two special "lovey's" have been faithful companions to many doctor's visits, hospital visits, and overnight trips to places other than home. They must accompany the girls everywhere we go - to the store, the mall, the bank, the park, an evening walk, or a Sunday drive.

I know this friendship with these stuffed animals will not last forever (although I am sure it will continue for many more years to come), so this blog is meant as a simple tribute to AK and Roo's Best Buds.

Roo's Best Bud: "Teddy"

AK's Best Bud: "Lion" (The Identity-Confused Cheetah)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Compliments of Doug

Doug sent this email to me earlier today, and I thought it was pretty amusing. Apparently, he's still planning to hold to his conviction that the girls will not date before they are 35. The title of the email was "For parents with daughters."

Mom and Dad - don't you wish this had been around when all of us girls were dating? :0) It is a little lengthy, but entertaining nonetheless. Enjoy!

APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.
FULL NAME_________________________________________
DATE OF BIRTH_____________HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________ SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________
DRIVERS LICENSE #________________
BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES_________________________
HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______
Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No
If No, explain: __________________________________
Number of years they have been married _____________________________________
If less than your age, explain __________________________________________________
ACCESSORIES SECTION:
A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No
B. A truck with over sized tires? __Yes __No
C. A water bed? __Yes __No
D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No
E. A tattoo? __Yes __No
F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, or piercing anywhere on your body? __Yes __No
(IF YOU ANSWERED 'YES' TO ANY OF THE ABOVE, DISCONTINUE APPLICATION AND LEAVE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. I SUGGEST RUNNING.)

ESSAY SECTION: In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you? _________________________________________________
In In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you? ____________________________________________
In 50 words or less, what does 'ABSTINENCE' mean to you?_________________________________________________
REFERENCE SECTION:
Church you attend ________________________________________________
How often you attend ________________________________________________

When would be the best time to interview your:
Father? _____________ Mother? _____________ Pastor? _____________

SHORT-ANSWER SECTION: Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.
A: If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be: __________________________________________________
If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:_______________________________________________
C: A woman's place is in the:______________________________________________
D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:_______________________________________________
E. What do you want to do IF you grow up? __________________________________________________
F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is:_______________________________________________
F. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? _________________________________________
I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, CRUCIFIXION, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE, RED HOT POKERS, AND HILLARY CLINTON KISS TORTURE.

__________________________________________________
Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)____________________________
Mother's Signature
________________________________
Father's Signature
____________________________
State Representative/Congressman
________________________________
Pastor/Priest/Rabbi

Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.Please allow four to six years for processing.You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases.
In the unlikely event your application is approved, you will want to prepare yourself by studying Daddy's Rules for Dating.

Daddy's Rules for Dating
Your dad's rules for your boyfriend (or for you if you're a guy) Rule One:If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.
Rule Two:You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.
Rule Three:I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
Rule Four:I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a 'Barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
Rule Five:It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: 'early.'
Rule Six:I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
Rule Seven:As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process than can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge . Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
Rule Eight:The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay; an Old folks home is better.
Rule Nine:Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter(s), I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Rule Ten:Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi .When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Times are Changing

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine." - Robert C. Gallagher
If there is one thing I have learned throughout my life, it's that things change entirely way too quickly. So, here is a fun little post to let everyone in on our current likes and dislikes.

LIKES
Papa: PB&J Sandwiches, BBQ-ing, Diet Pepsi, Skateboarding at lunch, white T-shirts and jeans, mid-night snuggles when the girls climb into bed wile mama is at work, baking brownies
Mama: Graham crackers and milk, yogurt, Dr. Pepper (I no longer request extra ice, as long as it is cold), taking evening walks with the girls, crossword puzzles and Sudoku's
AK: Mac N' Cheese, graham crackers, milk in a sippy cup, Wallace & Gromit, Bee Movie, and Monsters Inc., stickers, wearing dresses as shirts or sweatshirts to bed, "reading" books, Cheetah (still), band-aids just because, getting carried by mama or papa
Roo: Cheese (morning, noon, and night), water in a sippy cup or juice in a big girl cup, goldfish crackers, stickers, Mary Poppins or Shrek, wearing her pumpkin shirt from this past Halloween for EVERYTHING, necklaces, swaddling Teddy in blankets

DISLIKES
Papa: Working really, really long hours (as in 15 hour days), sleeping without getting rest and then not hearing the alarm clock in the morning
Mama: School, homework, lame computers, gutless vacuums
AK: Tubtime, breathing treatments, getting nails cut
Roo: Naptime, bedtime, milk, wearing shoes while playing outside

Monday, April 7, 2008

THANK YOU!!

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your thoughts of support, encouragement, and subtle attempts to make me laugh. I feel bad for venting the way I did...I really do not think my lot in life is any harder than anyone else's. We all have our struggles, and it just so happened that the day I could blog was also a personally overwhelming day. I am sorry for complaining and for sounding like a whiner. Please forgive me.

As for an update on the weaning - although Roo still refuses to drink milk, she is taking to the sippy cups much easier than last week. I'm not too worried...with the amount of cheese that she eats (for those familiar with Wallace and Gromit, she loves cheese as much as Wallace...maybe more...seriously), she is definitely getting her calcium intake.

As for the Toshiba laptop, there hasn't been an update yet. For the record, though, Doug's sister purchased the same laptop we did and she hasn't had any problems. I really do think we just had the misfortune of picking out a lemon...oh well.

Things are looking up today! After all...I woke up and the sun was shining and I got to watch my adorable girls snooze on, so seriously...how bad could it really be? :0)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Apologies and Ventings...

Sorry for the mass blogging that is taking place today. We had to send our laptop back to the manufacturer....AGAIN...so Bryce and Bethany were kind enough to lend us theirs until we get our P.O.S. back sometime next week. I haven't been able to blog for a while, and between school and extra shifts at work, I'm not sure when I'll be able to blog again.

Oh, and unless Circuit City amazes me and is able to restore our hard drive that was destroyed by an apparent power surge caused by a faulty power port that became detached internally in the computer, I have lost all of the pictures that I just downloaded onto the laptop from the wedding and our recent trip to California. Needless to say, I am not a happy camper, because I didn't even have the chance to put the pictures onto a backup disc and there were some pictures (from Ben and Valerie's visit to AZ this past January) that I hadn't uploaded into slideshows, and have now been lost forever. GRRRRRRRR.....

And yes, for the record, this is now the 4th or 5th time we have had to send the laptop in for repairs in less than two years.

Trying Times

So, today is day 3 of Operation: Weaning the Twins from Their Bottles, and to be quite honest, I am seriously reconsidering the importance of getting them off the bottles. While I know I should take blame for allowing the bottle dependency to continue as long as it has, I guess I just don't see the same urgency as the "parenting experts" to get the girls off their bottles. I mean, with all the advancements of modern dentistry, souldn't the *potential* damages of prolonged bottle drinking be able to be fixed with the snap of some fingers? Who cares whether they stop drinking from a bottle at age two or three? Eventually, I am sure, they will out grow the bottle stage...why try and rush them off of a good thing?

To her credit, AK seems to be making the adjustment from bottle to sippy cup just fine. Roo, however, is completely boycotting milk altogether - with my second born, it's apparently milk in a bottle or no milk at all. Nap time and bed time have also become a struggle for Roo - last night she cried for almost an hour before she finally became so exhausted that she succumbed to sleep (the past two nights were each over an hour, and nap time yesterday for Roo didn't even happen until 5:00 pm because of the crying). Both girls seem to be a little moodier than normal, and the tantrums and pushing and whining have been at all time highs the past few days.

Of course, the tantrums and moodiness could be thanks to the albuterol and pulmicort that we to administer through breathing treatments daily (twice a day on the pulmicort and every four hours with the albuterol)....yes, we are still having to do the blasted breathing treatments. I don't think I would mind as much, except for the fact that the medicine seems to kill AK's already fickle appetite, and it makes both of them act out in ways that are not normal for my little girls. Regardless, potty training has been put on hold until we can successfully wean the girls from the bottle and get over this nasty, respiratory virus. The last thing that we need is to add one more thing to the table...and quite frankly, potty training would probably put me over the edge.

There's always tomorrow to try potty training, or next week, or next month...the thing about time is it never seems to stop...even, for just a moment. (***sigh***)

What Else Can You Do?

"I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins."
-Shel Silverstein

Life as a mom seems like a constant tug o'war - with kids, with your husband, with the house, with finances, with everything....so, why not turn it into something (if only for a moment) where no one loses, where everyone wins, and that is actually lots of fun? Try it - I dare you....now seems like the perfect time to start a little game of hug o'war.

When the piles of dirty laundry seem insurmountable and the sink is so full of dirty dishes you get discouraged just by looking at them. When the floors need to be swept or mopped or vacummed, and the bathrooms are dispicable. When the kids cries and screams and demands don't stop, and you're simply at a loss at how to make everything better. When the list of bills seems endless and there isn't enough money in the account to pay them all. When it seems as if you've been pulled in a million different directions all day long, but you don't have anything to show for all that you've done. When things just don't seem like they could get any better, and you're discouraged and feel like simply giving up, keep this little poem in mind to remind you why we do what we do...why we keep on keepin' on in our role as mom, mother, mama, and wife.