Thursday, April 30, 2009

I love these Pigs!

Since being sick for the past week, I've been watching a lot of tv. I am so in love with these cute little piggies on Nick Jr! Aren't they adorable! They've been keeping me cheerful while I had the sore throat and painful ears.

Olivia - she goes to school, plays with her brother and all sorts of things

Toot and Puddle - they travel and explore

And my favorite: Peppa Pig - A British Pig Family! They laugh and snort! Super cute!

By the way, I am feeling better. Took a long time for the antibiotics to finally kick in, but I'm thinking the worst is over. Finally!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Present Peeking!

I'm getting a present! A big lovely present!!! My husband let it spill that he's getting me a Mother's Day / Graduation gift and before he buys it, because he has no idea if he's getting the right one, he wanted to ask me what I thought. I was so neglected on Mother's Day last year, didn't even get a card so this sounds pretty good already! Sure! Whatcha thinking?!!! [big silly grin]

Hubby: You want a serger?

Me: (totally overcome with excitement, can barely breathe!) Really! That's so great! (heart pounding!) I've wanted one for a long time! (10 or 12 yrs, but who's counting?)

Hubby: yeah, I know. Even though I don't know what the hell it is. Look this one up and see if its what you want - Viking 936

Me: Viking! OMG! YES!

Hubby: It says its a good one with all the bells and whistles, I don't know what any of this means but there is a long list of features. And I figure you won't upgrade, might as well start at the top.

Me: (Having a mini-heart attack of joy and wondering if this is all a dream) true, I've had my sewing machine for 17 years and haven't upgraded. I'll look up the 936. Hope it has a differential feed.

Hubs: If that's not what you want, pick one and let me know. Unless you want something else for Mother's Day and Graduation.

Me: No, it's a great idea! I could make all the princess dresses for the little girls!

Hubby: What does this thing do anyway? Why is a serger so special?

Me: It ....oh, how do I explain this.... it, it takes the "home made" look out. Things will look more like you bought them at a store. The stitches look like... um, the stitching inside your clothes, see that, that's what it does.

Him: hmm. ok.

So, I've been looking up the Viking 936 and its an amazing machine. I'm not finding any bad reviews on it, but I am not really finding a whole lot about it either. Most people have a Singer or a Brother or something popular like that, which is giving me second thoughts. But... the more I look at this machine the more I drool over it. It's a Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936.

Anyone know anything about it? Do I really want this one? Or should I consider another brand/model? I don't want to start with one I'll outgrow in a year, why upgrade, just start with the one I will keep and use forever. What do you have? Do you love it?

I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mute and Blind too?

Got my new sunglasses. Can't see a dang thing with them on! And I still am silenced by this strep throat thing I've had going on for too long. Here I am, Mute and Blind.

I must have typed the prescription in wrong. My right eye should have been -0.50. My order says it is -5.00. Whoa, Nelly! That's a big difference!

Lefty is super bad too though, can't even see if I walk around winking.

I am so glad that EyeBuyDirect has online chat for customer support! That rocks! I logged in and "Juanita" said I could return the glasses and email a copy of my prescription and they would bump the tint up to 80% too. Awesome!

Then she let me know what the prescription was that they sent... every number was wrong. Very very wrong. Ok, I was willing to say it was my mistake when one number was wrong on my order, but every number? And they're all really far from correct. I don't think I typed it in that badly, plus, they have Lefty correct on my order information online, so how did I get these really funky lenses?

Well, I'll ship these back and we'll see what happens I guess. I took a photo of my Rx and emailed it, who uses a scanner anymore? Opinion about using EyeBuyDirect pending.... I'm not thrilled yet. Hopefully soon.

Monday, April 27, 2009

When Mom has no voice....

I haven't been able to speak for four days. Four long days. My fever is gone, and the body aches, but I still have a terrible sore throat and pain in both ears. I'm pretty sure it's strep throat with a double ear infection. I'm a mom, I'm qualified to guess and be pretty sure that I'm accurate in my diagnosis. I found some old amoxicillin in the back of the cabinet that hasn't expired so after I self diagnosed my illness, I self prescribed some old antibiotics. They're working! And it still has a refill! Score! Ah, all those trips to the many doctors with sick kids is finally paying off. It's almost like I went to strep throat Med School and graduated at the top of my class!

Yesterday was the first day I had help with the littles. My husband stayed home and took care of us. I sure needed the break! In fact, I got a nice long nap in the afternoon. Now he's sick.

It's been interesting being the mom who can't talk. I can eat and drink if it's extremely hot so that it scalds my throat and kills the pain. But talking, it's not happening. That's just a killer.

Mom! Mom! I wave. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! I snap my fingers. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! I clap my hands. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Fine, I have to go right up to her and look her in the eye and whisper "What?"

I can't talk on the phone. Missed my Saturday morning coffee time with my mom this week. I didn't have anything to tell her, but still, it's hard to be silenced. Can't even have coffee over the phone. We had to exchange emails and read each other's blogs.

The big girls are enjoying the lack of nagging. I haven't been able to nag at either one of them very effectively. I whispered to Katie "when are your invitations gonna be done". I guess that was pretty effective, I got a rise out of her. And I whispered to Lexie, "we need to mail your graduation announcements. Picture?". I also have been texting Lexie, things like "Where are you?". Actually, that's in my Quicktext phrases now! Along with "Time to come home." and "Get your butt home NOW" and "Tell Lavin to buy her own car".

Housework isn't getting done. We are using paper plates and plastic silverware now. The dirty laundry is piled almost to the ceiling. It's amazing that nobody notices but me. But, if I don't ask someone to do it, nobody does it. I figure it's not so bad to go on housework strike every once in a while, especially just before Mother's Day. This really could work in my favor!

Well, it's sure quiet around here when I can't holler back "What?". Someone is yelling "MOM!" from up the stairs right now. I'm ignoring it. The girls have to come and find me so I can whisper to them, "No, I'm sick". You'd think after 4 days, they'd start to figure that one out.

Gracie still tells me "No!" when I say I'm sick. Yesterday she added "Is not a Yowd" (translation: that's not allowed). She's right.

* Update: The ant guy keeps calling. The constant ringing of the phone is driving me insane. Get a clue, buddy, I'm not answering the phone. Oh, and Katie says I wave loud. I'm still scratching my head in wonder over that one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This post is for you, Mom

How to use Picasa:

First, and I think this is the part you haven't done... Download Picasa.

Once you have this program on your computer, you will be able to load to the web very easily and quickly. Launch the picasa program and you'll see in the lower right corner a little gray box that looks like it is scanning your hard drive. It is. It finds every photo on your computer and adds it to the picasa organizer. It does not move or change any of your photos.

Every time I add photos to my computer, I hit the Picasa icon so it can locate the new photos and add them to the organizer. It only takes a second or two when you have just a few photos (less than 100) for it to find. The first time you do this, it will take a while because you have a ton of photos.

After Picasa has your photos all organized and in the program, you can share them online very simply.

In the lower left corner of Picasa it tells you, or shows you, if you have chosen an entire folder, or which individual photos you have selected. If you want to upload the entire folder, look and make sure it is showing the folder you want and then click the green up arrow in the bottom row, about mid-screen. That is to upload to web album. Picasa will then upload the entire folder online. Likity Split!

To select individual photos, click the photos you want to upload and then click the green arrow. You can use control click to choose photos that are not in order or shift click to choose photos that are grouped together, like three in a row or something. When I'm doing this, I choose a few and then I lock them in the tray before I click on one and lose what I hightlighted, to lock them in the tray of chosen photos, click on the green thumbtack. It's in the bottom row, in a tower of three icons, it's the top thingy - a book is the bottom one. See it?

The little book is another nifty tool. You can add to an album you already made. Select a photo or several and click on the little book, from there it lets you choose a folder that you already made and you can add your newly selected photos to it.

At this point, what I just said probably makes no sense. Download Picasa3 and follow the instructions, fiddle around with it and have fun!

If all of this was confusing, view this video for a great lesson.

Scum Magnet

Ever wonder who might accidentally stumble upon your blog? I never did, then I added the Feedjit thing in the margin. Scary!

Perverts find my blog! They are looking for naughty pictures and such, and they find me? I have nothing to offer the pervs of the world, nada, zip, zilch!

I had to remove a post from July 08 in which I compared my pregnant self to a... hmmm... how do I say this without typing in the word that porn pervs search for... a high school girl who wears short skirts and cheers on the team. Siss Boom Bah! Rah Rah Rah!

I was commenting on my new swim dress. It was cute! Good thing I never did post a photo. Ay Ay Ay!

Since I removed that post, the perverts have not been attracted to Momathon. Yay! Stay Away, Scumballs!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Biggest Mommy Crime - Guilty!

I'm sick.

Moms are not allowed to be sick! It's totally against all the unwritten Rules of Motherhood. And I'm doing it anyway.

I would love to have "called in sick", but that just isn't an option. I told Gracie that I'm sick and in her three year old wisdom, she pointed her finger at me and said "No!" See, she knows the Mommy Laws.

The kids have all been good today. And the big ones took turns helping me out and taking care of me. They let me nap, they brought me hot tea, ibuprofen, asked if I needed any errands done or anything from the store. Gracie snuggled me and combed my hair.

I hope they are still full of compassion tomorrow, it's another day when I can't call in sick. My husband is volunteering at our daughter's high school for 8 - 10 hours.

The baby is not letting me off the hook so easily. Feed me, change me, carry me, play with me... I'm doing what I can but she's got that look in her eye that says, "Stop being sick, Mom, that's not allowed!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ah, Darn.

Katie sang last and she picked a boring song, Tear Drops on My Guitar. It's not a "belt it out" kinda song. Soooooo..... she was eliminated from the 40 semi-finalists.

Oh well. She's still really freaking amazing!

Valley Idol

My favorite singer in the whole wide world is competing in a local "idol" contest. Wish my Katie good luck! She'll have the other contestants shaking in their boots! er, flip flops... this is California

Funny thing is, she didn't even know about this contest. It is hosted at a pizza place where my next door neighbor works and she told my other daughter to hurry and call Katie and have her run down there to compete. That was last week. Katie made the cut to the semi-finals which is tonight and the finals are next week.

Next week, Katie will be unavailable. She's busy next Thursday night so she can't even finish the competition, but its fun so why not sing again tonight. The winner gets a cruise to Mexico. It'll be fun to see if she makes the cut tonight anyway.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Book from Sandra Dallas

I love this author! I have all of her books, except this one because it hasn't arrived yet. My favorite genre is historical fiction and this is exactly what Sandra Dallas writes. Good fun novels with some reality in them. This new one is called Prayers for Sale, looks great!

My grandma, my mom and my sister also read her books. We have the full set between us, and I am lucky enough to be the keeper of the books. We get one book and pass it around so we all get to read it, then I shelve it with the set. One of these days my other sister will have some spare time and we'll let her borrow the set; I'm sure she'll be hooked too.

I hesitate to say that Sandra Dallas is my favorite author, only because I have a lot of favorite authors. But she's right up there. If I'm waiting for a new book release and order it as soon as possible and I'm all excited waiting for it to arrive, I think that qualifies the author as one of my favorites without having to say it! I don't like to use the word "favorite" because it's just too exclusive. I like leaving my options open.

My other favorite author of the moment is another contemporary historical fiction author from the midwest, Ana Castillo. I've got a thing going for this kind of work I guess. I only own one of her books, but rest assured I will have them all soon enough. Her new book, The Guardians, was just released in 2007 according to her website, but I think it was just last year that it finally came out. Time flies and I lose track. Anyway, I am looking forward to reading her new book as well as her other novels.

I have only read So Far From God, and some of her poetry. The novel was a great mix of historical fiction and magical realism and feminism, and Southwestern Culture - just about everything! That book was just enough to get me all excited and put her up there with Sandra Dallas in my favorite of the favorites list of authors. Another book that I will lend to my family and then I'll shelve it next to my Sandra Dallas books.

I also have sets of JK Rowling books, just the Harry Potter series, not her other supplementary writings. And I have almost all of the Gregory McGuire books. Those are fun! Neither of these are historical fiction, but I branch out. They are fun books. I have a few of the McGuire books yet to read and I need to replace Wicked. I lent it to a friend and never saw it again.

I can't wait for my college semester to end so I can get on with my fun reading list!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Sunglasses and a Great Bargain!

Last month my sunglasses fell apart. Not a big deal, the bow broke at the screw. Figured I could get a new bow or use some white first aid tape or something cool like that. These are the sunglasses that I got 5 years ago for $300. Yes, prescription sunglasses are a treasure!

Since I bought those, I have discovered the awesome prices of ordering glasses online. I've gotten 2 pair for myself online and a pair for my daughter (even though she never wears them). Now I feel like I'm a savvy online prescription glasses shopper.

Buying glasses online is the best deal ever! My last pair was $38 including frames, lenses, UV and scratch coatings, and shipping. I'm finally getting around to thinking about new sunglasses. Summer is coming, I need them!

First, I checked out Glassy Eyes Blog. I love this guy! By accident, my husband stumbled upon this blog a couple of years ago when I ordered my first pair of online specs. We both read every post and I continue to check the blog looking for tips and deals. Today I noticed he has one company giving his readers a deal: 30% off at

I can deal with 30% off!

Since the glasses are cheaper than a bag of fast food, I got brave and ordered a fun pair instead of my standard nerdy style. Getting crazy!

I got the frame, tinted lenses, UV, reflective and scratch coatings, and shipping all for the low low bargain price of $40.71. Yesssssss!

Here is the stock photo of my new fun sunglasses - imagine them with brown lenses:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First Tooth!

The first tooth arrived! Of course, the first tooth needs its picture taken....

Open Wide, Libby!

Maybe I need to get closer...

Her tongue was in the way. Maybe if I stick my finger in there I can get a picture...

Well, that's not it. That's an eye.
Trying again..... I'm gonna get a picture of that tooth!

There! Got it! There it is! See it? Hello First Toofy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Husband doesn't understand me

See that look on his face? There he is, confused and bewildered. We went to Lowe's to pick up a few tiles and things - see the stack of tile in the trunk by his knee? So, he opens the trunk of my van to put the tile in and he finds.... three strollers, a potty chair and a 40lb bag of dog food.

What is there to be confused about?

The dog food: We needed more and I bought a bag, but when I came home I had to bring in the two little girls, diaper bag, purse, groceries... and then my hands were full and I left the super heavy bag of dog food in the van for him to go out and get it. Then I forgot to tell him.

The potty chair: When you gotta go - you gotta go!

Three strollers: Duh. Might need this one or that one or the other one! One is a double, one is a full size single and the other one is the little umbrella. I don't like to have the wrong stroller with me. I left one at home and one at the babysitter's house, it's not like I'm taking them all with me everywhere I go. Just a trunkload.

What is there to be confused about? Men!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

History: It's all about who is telling the story

I just finished writing an extra credit paper today for my Sacred Texts class. Luckily, I could earn extra credit (15 lousy points) for visiting a museum or religious site and writing a paper about it. My mom and I just took the little girls to San Juan Capistrano - what a deal! So, I dug up some historical information online and grabbed a couple of books from the library... and what do I find? Very different accounts of how the mission was built. Stories from the mission's past depend on the source, just like any other story in history I suppose.

History, what is it really? It's just stories. Tales of what happened, told by one perspective usually. This reminds of the the day we were at the zoo and we came upon some chaos at the monkey exhibit. Asking "What happened?" got you five different stories and we had to piece them together to get a complete account of what went on. That's how history works, you get different stories depending on who is telling it.

Back to the mission at San Juan Capistrano. Every sources agrees that the Spanish missionaries enlisted the help of the Native Americans to build the missions and converted them to Catholicism. I was reading a book published in 1922 by a priest, Father Zephyrin Englehardt. He describes the establishment of the mission like a big party. It was all rainbows and flowers. San Juan Capistrano had a very happy history according to Fr. Englehardt.

He says, "The Indians enthusiastically agreed to quarry the stones, haul them down to the mission [over six miles], and put them into the walls of the sacred edifice. The poor Indian women felt disconsolate and heavy at heart. They too wanted to have a share in the building of the House of God. Then one of the dark-eyed lively younger women conceived a brilliant idea which she at once communicated with the other women, who smiled happily. 'Father, will the Lord be pleased if we bring small stones from the quarry so that they may go into the crevices of the walls?' 'Indeed, He will be touched at such a proof of your affection' 'We shall all go up with our children too, all will bring stones in our aprons and little sacks. The men are not going to have all the glory'" (29). Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

And the next book I pick up is written by Joel Hyer, published in 2001. It's called "We Are Not Savages". Does that tell you anything about how this book is going to read? Hint: Englehardt and Hyer are looking at life from opposite ends.

In this book, Hyer says, "Descendants of those who lived at the missions offered compelling evidence that cruelty was the rule. Padres used Native Americans as beasts of burden. Luisenos and others chopped down large trees on Mount Palomar to construct the missions at San Diego, San Luis Rey, and San Juan Capistrano. They carried logs on their shoulders and they couldn't sit or drop the timbers on the ground until they reached the mission. Spaniards severely whipped and punished those who rested. Families were separated and forced to work without enough food. When they disobeyed the friars, soldiers threw native children off a nearby cliff. The native peoples of Southern California have passed down these stories for at least 150 years" (28).

See that? Same story, but not anywhere near the same tale. And who do you believe? Mr. Rosey Pants and his happy story or Mr. Depressed and his extreme tales of woe. The thing is, they are both writing down what was passed along verbally through generations and generations. Perspective has a lot to do with the differences the authors have, but also, I gotta wonder how much exaggeration went on in the passing along of the stories. Really, how enthused were those slaves?

I tend to believe Hyer before I believe Englehardt. Something about that enthusiasm to carry boulders six miles over a mountain pass just didn't seem quite right to me. Those were the days when people were brutal. I guess history is the story that we think is the right one. Pick your favorite version.