Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TGI Fridays Has Nice Clean Floors!

I checked!

As I lay there all sprawled out all over the floor at TGI Fridays earlier today, I thought to myself... "How nice! The floor is very clean"

You see, I had this coupon for a free meal at TGIF and so I took my daughters there for lunch. Turns out, the coupon expired yesterday so we could have gone to any restaurant but here we were. Our first trip to TGIF in 5 or 6 yrs. Anyway... we were seated at a table, not one of those sturdy booths, but a table with separate chairs. Apparently this isn't an issue for most people and I had no idea I was "chair challenged". I am.

We already ordered and were just waiting. Lexie was taking pictures of Libby who was "reading " the beer menu book. Gracie was coloring her placemat. I thought Libby needed something better to entertain herself than pictures of beer, so I lean over to reach into my diaper bag and I reached too deep in there. Reached beyond the limits. My chair slid right out from under me and flew sideways then hit the floor with a loud clatter! My body went flying out into the aisle, feet in the air, and I did a spread eagle belly flop onto the tile floor. Thud!

I drew a crowd. There were a bazillion legs all around me real fast. Everyone was saying "ARE YOU OK????" And I was thinking, "Oh thank God there wasn't a bunch of ketchup and crumbs all over the floor"

And that's how I know that the floors are clean at the Temecula TGI Fridays. Yes, indeed.

***Answers to your questions: No, Lexie did not get a photo. She regrets that her compassion overpowered her and she didn't think of taking a picture even though she had her camera in her hand. I, on the other hand, am relieved. No, they didn't comp my meal! I didn't even get a free desert!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

She's Walking!

Baby Princess took three little independent steps last night! And then, she repeated the performance. We all clapped and cheered and shouted "Hooray!"

All day long she was determined to push her little cart around the house. And she was doing great! She was turning corners, getting around objects, backing up, hanging on with one hand, and just going like mad all day long pushing the cart. All that practice sure got her ready!

She saved the first steps for Daddy. He put her down on the floor and held out a rattle and she walked to it and into his arms. It was fantastic because we were all watching her so nobody missed the moment.

Oh, I stand corrected, it wasn't a rattle, it was a shaker which is a musical instrument. Yeah, yeah, it looks and sounds like a baby rattle and the baby loves it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1 Bully Request

Facebook is connecting my past with the present, family, friends, neighbors, study buddies, and people I barely know at all. You facebookers out there know what I'm talking about when I say it's a bizarre web of extreme coolness and awkwardness at the same time.

The other day I clicked on my little notice that said "1 Friend Request". Really? Who else do I know that isn't already on my facebook? To my surprise it was a gal from my hometown. I don't have my maiden name on my profile, but that little tidbit of missing info hasn't filtered out the old hometown people.

Honestly, I've been enjoying reconnecting with people from my childhood and teen years. I had no great ambition to reconnect with anyone there. After I graduated from high school, I disconnected all of my high school friendships and made little to no effort to keep the few friendship threads alive. I do have a big whopping total of three people that I always wondered how they were, hoped they were well and happy and successful. I did see people from high school when I went home to visit, but I rarely go back. And when I do, it's small talk, nothing substantial.

Facebook is kicking life back into my old childhood friendships and I have discovered that there are some great people out there and I was really missing out on some nice friendships! However... not all of them are so wonderful.

I got a friend request from an old school bully. I wouldn't say she tormented me, but I would say her bullying was on the edge of what could be considered "torment". She made sure every moment in her presence was a miserable one. I was never friends with her and I haven't heard from her or about her since 1983. Can't say I missed her either. From age 6 to 18 I couldn't stand being anywhere near her and now she wants to be my facebook friend?

I sat in my home, comfy and enjoying some computer time while my precious little ones were playing on the floor nearby and I found myself staring at this little photo of a nice looking 45 yr old woman blowing a kiss, and I just felt like an over-teased little kid for a moment. Gah!

I simply don't care if this one person has changed or not. Maybe she is wonderful. I don't care. Maybe she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Don't care. Maybe she gives to charity, pays taxes, volunteers. Yeah, don't care. Maybe she's rich and famous. Good for her. Don't care.

On the other hand... maybe she's in prison. Maybe she is dying. Maybe she has financial woes. Maybe she needs help. Well, I don't care. And I'm not curious enough to find out. Cold and bitter? Gosh, I guess I might be.

Did you know I could hold a grudge for decades? I really should get over it! But not today! There was no hesitation on my part when I clicked "DENY the Bully!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just Like Magic

It's been two weeks; the signs are all still up and.... Can I get a Drumroll, please.... He remembered his work keys every day for two solid weeks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Lovely Afternoon at the DMV

I've written about my DMV experiences before, once again, the experience was far more interesting than it should have been.

I should have gone to the DMV in January, but my procrastination skills are stellar and I just went to register Lexie's car that we bought for her last winter. California gives you 20 days to license your vehicle that you bring in from out of state. I guess I chose the 20 days in September, hahaha, I crack myself up! Being this late to register the car, there will be a hefty penalty. I'm prepared. I have my checkbook and I've pre-consoled it for the deadly blow that it will endure.

I asked a friend to babysit so that I wouldn't have to take the runts to the DMV. I can't think of a yuckier place to take your kids. The place is boring, crowded and dirty. I am doing a babysitting swap with a cute little new mommy and so I called in a favor and she came over and brought her baby to play for the afternoon.

I drove Lexie's car, for the first time, all the way across town to the DMV. When I got there I was sweating like mad because the car doesn't have air conditioning and it was over 100 degrees out! So Hot! Of course there wasn't an open parking spot anywhere near the place. I circled and circled and finally parked a block away and hiked in the heat.

Inside the DMV there was a line to get to the first desk where you get a number so you can wait. The line was L-O-N-G. The line went from the front desk out into the foyer where it looped around and went back into the building, turned a corner and went halfway across the first row of seats for people waiting. When you enter the foyer from outside, you step right into the middle of the line as it looped through the foyer area and 20 people yell at you to go to the end of the line.

After very slowly snaking my way to the front desk to get my number, I was told that I needed to have my vehicle inspected by the DMV inspector first. So, do that and come back for a number. Ugh. Ok.

I hiked back to the car and drove it up to the backside of the DMV where the inspector does her thing. I should have driven the beast through a car wash first. Oh well. The inspector looks at the car title and compares the VIN number, checks the sticker on the door and walks around the car once. Too hot for much more than a very quick glance, she signs my paper and she races back in before she fries to a crisp. So I get back in the oven on wheels and do the parking lot dance again. Around and around and Lucky Me! There's a spot! In the shade! Double Bonus!!! This never happens!

Maybe I got a great parking spot because I have to snake my way through the line twice just to get a number. I went in, got yelled at for cutting in line, found the end of the line, snaked my way around, yelled at someone for cutting in line when he came in - hey, I gotta do my part - and finally got up to the front of the line. B215. That's me. Yippee, a number! Took me over an hour to get this, and now... I just need to find a filthy plastic chair to sit in to wait for my turn at the registration desk.

Looks like I'll have plenty of time to kill. They are calling B143. I found an icky chair and made myself as comfy as, well, as comfy as it gets in the DMV waiting area. Which isn't saying much!

Unbelievably, I forgot to bring a book. How on earth could I neglect to bring a book! I have no kids and an afternoon of just sitting and I knew that when I left the house! I must be losing my mind.


What a great opportunity to people-watch. Lets just see who is at the DMV today...

There is the smelly guy sitting right next to me. Wonder when was the last time he showered; it certainly wasn't this week!


I spy a lady with salsa on her shirt. Let's just assume it is a blob of salsa and not let our imagination get carried away, ok! I'm kind of glad to see her walking around with her lunch dribbled on her shirt, now I know I'm not the only one to be obliviously wandering around out in public wearing a dollop of dip. Not today though, I actually wore a clean shirt to the DMV. What was I thinking?


Then I saw a nice looking lady, older than me by 10 or 12 yrs at least so she had to be in her 50s. She was clean and she was wearing a bright colored shirt and some high heel flip flop sandals. Yes, lady, that is a shirt, not a dress. Put some pants on! If your dress is too short to cover your bum, but it seems too long to be a shirt, it automatically defaults to shirt.

There's a guy who brought his little annoying bored hyper dirty-faced kid. Ugh.


Pretty shirt wearing lady found someone to talk to, dressed like a hooker girl. Really, was she taking offers at the DMV? What a place to dress like that! The hair and makeup and fancy skimpy clothes. Yowza.


Maybe I should turn my head the other way and see who is over on that side of the room. Yikes.


Oh, yeah. There he is. Mr. Excitement. Or, Ms? There was a Drag Queen standing there pretty as a picture. Obviously a man, he was dressed like a lady. And a pretty lady at that. Nails and hair all done up and glittery, short little dress and heels. Cute purse, really, I did like his clutch bag! I'm starting to think I should bring my camera to the DMV.

B 187. Sigh.

Behind me, there seems to be some excitement. In full spectator mode now, I turn around to watch the show. Ack! A lady is passed out! She's slumped in her chair and her head is leaning on the wall! She looks like she's in her 60s and her (I assume) daughter is holding her up and fanning her face with a driving handbook. A crowd is gathering in the corner and the daughter is saying "She's fine, she's fine, leave her alone, no, don't call 911, she's just fine!"

The daughter shoves some candy in the unconscious woman's mouth. Yeah, like she can chew it. Someone else, a big round man wearing a Dunkin' Donuts shirt, not kidding, he hands the daughter some diabetic pills, some sort of quick dissolving sugar I think. The daughter shoves those in the passed out woman's face.

Now a DMV worker comes out from across the counter and says she will call 911. Daughter again freaks out and starts yelling for everyone to leave her alone her mama is just fine. Honey, she doesn't look fine! So the husband/father appears now and he says to the daughter to get her up and take her outside to the car. The woman is unconscious!

The woman starts coming around and she's very very groggy and cannot yet support her own weight. The father and daughter try to get her up but its a no-go. The DMV lady brings out a rolling office chair and the big guy and someone else help scoop the lady into the chair on wheels. The father and daughter wheel her outside and next thing you now, the office chair comes back in.

I guess they put her in their car and went on their way. Oh, no, I was wrong. Daughter comes back in and the DMV lady waits on her to get her business done so they won't have to come back. The daughter keeps saying, "It's just diabetes, she's fine". The crowd seems disturbed. And now I realize I was just being a spectator and could have called 911 but I didn't. I sure hope she's ok and gets her diabetes under control.


Wow. I'm going to quit watching people. This place is too freaking weird!

B215!!! Me!!! Yay!!! I resist the urge to jump up and cheer, and I just slowly saunter over to Window 5. Oddly, it's the first window. Wonder where windows one through four are?

I handed the guy all of my paperwork and he didn't say a word to me. Doesn't he need to know what I want? So, I decide to just offer up my wishes for California license plates and make it easier on him. I want outa there, I'll help if I can. "I am here to get California license plates". "uh-huh, ok". There, that must have been very helpful.

He never looks at me, just types into his computer and flings my papers on his desk after he looks at them one by one. You know, I took very good care of my pile of documents and the guys just flings them. He finally looks at me and says, "When did you bring the car into California?" As instructed by the not-so-honest hubby, I lie, "August". The guy says, "I waived the penalty but next time you only have 20 days". "Ok, thanks". Whew! I paid the guy for the registration and he handed me an envelope with license plates.

Yippee! Success! Mission Accomplished in just one short trip to the DMV! I was only there for a little more than 3 hours! Wow!!!

Happy First Birthday, Baby-Cakes!

A few days late on the birthday blog post, but that's my style. Hard to believe my brand new baby is a year old already! What an incredible year!

Rather than throw a birthday party and invite people over for cake and beer, make them bring presents, ruin their plans for a lazy evening of unwinding from their own stress... I have been saying No to throwing birthday parties. We can hold off on those until the kids want them rather than pretending the kids want them now. In lieu of the birthday party, we have been going on Birthday Outings. For Libby's first birthday we went to Disneyland! (Daddy couldn't go, he had to work)

This is Libby's 3rd trip to Disneyland, she went on Gracie's birthday in March and my birthday in August. She just loved Disneyland! We all did! And we still haven't seen it all, three trips and we have only just begun! Libby's favorite things at Disneyland are the Tiki Room and It's a Small World. This trip she slept through the Small World ride, but she fought that nap so hard that even the Small World puppets didn't wake her. We also rode the submarine, the train and the Monorail. Fun stuff! Since the girls were doing great and it gets dark earlier, we stayed for the fireworks show. It was amazing and the girls watched with big wide eyes and ear to ear smiles. Libby had a great day and was asleep before we got out of the Mickey Mouse parking structure.

Our day at Disneyland was on Wednesday and on Saturday we had her little party at home. We had a moment when everyone was here, although it was late, we stuck a candle in her cake and had our little celebration. I know it took a few days to get to doing the party but I had to buy a cake!

I looked at SuperTarget and their cakes were ugly. They must not have a skilled decorator, the cakes were frosted and then plastic things just stuck on them. Went to Albertson's where I normally buy our decorated cakes. The cakes were ugly there too! All the piping was crooked and not well done. Flowers or blobs? Hard to decide. They had one nice looking cake but it said, "Happy Bithday". I just refuse to swipe my credit card on a misspelled birthday cake.

Found a cake at Stater Bros. The handwriting wasn't great, but it was good enough and the cake was pretty. They also had mini-cakes so I got a white one for the little birthday girl. I still have my suspicions about chocolate and her hives being somewhat related.

I was glad that we finally had her party because I wanted to give her the pile of clothes that I got at Children's Place. I did sneak a few outfits out of her birthday stash and she wore them early; I couldn't wait! I just love all the bright colors.

She didn't get much for toys, but she doesn't need any! This house is filled to the brim with toys. She did get a few little things to play with which is fine. Her big sisters gave her a pig that has the look and feel of a sock monkey. Very cute!

Happy Birthday, Baby Elizabeth! It's been a great year!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Serging like a Newbie

My sewing skills are rusty, but my serging skills are just plain "New".
*update: "Define serger" ok! Click here!

I made the first little dress for Gracie and then I made a pinafore dress and bloomers for Libby, a sundress for Libby, and the two Snow White dresses. I also serged up some tears in my favorite worn out jammie pants and I sewed patches on Lexie's jeans. That was on the sewing machine though.

I've been able to find little snippets of time to get in my sewing room and spent some quality time (that's using the word loosely!) with my machines and patterns and scissors and fabric... love it! I love the room. It's too dark in there at night, I need a better lamp. But otherwise I just love the room!

I finished the Snow White dresses just in the nick of time! I decided Snow White's sleeves were too hard to mess with, so I incorporated a red ribbon at the waistline to give the dress that bit of red that it needed to make it authentic. I omitted the white collar and didn't make a red cape either. Gracie said she needed a red cape, but I told her it's ok, Snow White doesn't wear her cape except when she goes in the woods and we weren't going to the woods.

I made them from a light glitter infused satin. Satin is hard to sew! It frays so badly. Both girls' dresses had issues with fraying. Gracie's dress frayed right through the threads and got a hole in the shoulder seam. I was at Disneyland and kept focusing on that hole. It drove me insane! And Libby had a spot right on the front neckline that wanted to fray out. That'll teach me not to topstitch!

I wonder about my serger knife. It doesn't cut well with gathers and thicker seams. If there is a spot where the fabric is doubled, it seems fine, but if there are more than two layers of fabric, the knife often times does not complete the cut, making the seam absorb the excess and sew a big lump.

I need to learn how to use the differential feed.

Here are the dresses. I did receive several compliments and comments on them, but best of all, the girls loved wearing the dresses!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mama Wants Her Body Back

I volunteered to be a paid participant in a university study. APU is doing a product study on this diet and exercise program calle "Mama Wants Her Body Back". It's a 12 week study and all the participants have a food menu, keep a food journal, and have a schedule for doing the assigned exercises. There are a couple of DVDs and a stretchy tension rope provided too.

I made it almost two weeks. Then I called it quits. I'm done. Sure, I made a commitment, but I didn't know what I was getting into. It just isn't working for me and I don't need to continue for 10 more weeks to figure that out. They can take that result as proof that the diet needs improvement. At least for me!

The meal plan says it stresses portion control and healthy choices rather than calorie counting and skipping carbs. Well, that's all well and good, but... yup, here's the big but! But, I counted up the calories on my own. I know how to read labels! The diet was giving me fewer than 1000 calories per day.

I started to cheat because I can't do less than 1000 calories a day. I added in apples, green salad with vinaigrette, green beans, and things like that. Nothing that went against the spirit of the diet. And I brought my calorie intake up to 1200 per day.

One of the lunch choices, and I ate it every day because it is the best one, is one cup of diced tomatoes, white beans and cooked carrots heated into a soup. One of the dinner choices that I had was a 4oz piece of baked Salmon. Yipppee, 4 whole ounces of dinner. And it was fish, blech.

Still, I was feeling lightheaded, tired, crabby, dizzy and constantly HUNGRY! Gee, wonder why. The other day I started feeling like it was all just too hard and I felt kind of teary and emotional and that was the last straw. I'll be danged if I'm gonna shed tears over a stupid diet. So, I baked a pan of brownies and served myself up a big warm brownie the size of my head! I drizzled it with Kahlua chocolate sauce too. I boxed up the food journal, stretchy rope and dvds.

I did lose weight. At my first check in, they didn't tell me anything, but the next check in, I lost 4 pounds and a few cm from the measurements. I was all excited about the results, but seriously, anyone can lose weight fast if they go on a starvation diet. Those results aren't reflective of the diet, they are reflective of the super calorie reduction.

I think I lost 6 pounds total and I probably gained it back eating that pan of brownies and then having a piece of Libby's birthday cake. Oh well. I also ate a meal without guilt and it was nice! The recipes in the menu aren't very good and aren't worth sharing, so I'll spare you.

The diet is over. I am embracing my mama curves and have a new appreciation for my healthy lumpity lumps. Bring on the brownies!