Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Prescription Pretzel aka my glasses

When you are 17 months old, the world is a playground and everything is your toy. Including Mommy's glasses. Libby can say "Eye" and twist a pair of glasses into a knot quicker than I can leap through the air over an obstacle course of real toys screaming "Nooooo! My glasses!!!" She's fast, destructive and very cute.

Amazingly, her Minnie Mouse sunglasses are in perfect condition and she wears them often. How does that work?

Since twisting my glasses into a prescription pretzel was so much fun, she got my sunglasses and performed a similar maneuver. Not satisfied, she got Daddy's reading glasses and nearly snapped them in two. I've managed to bend the three pair of glasses back into shape, somewhat. My clear glasses ride crooked on my face now and my sunglasses have a floppy bow, but they'll do till I get some new ones. At least I didn't have to resort to duct tape repairs.

I went directly to GlassyEyes to see what he recommends for online glasses shopping. His mission is to save the world from overpriced prescription glasses. Love that! His blog was promoting a company that I've already ordered from, so that's great! His blog said it was buy one get one free weekend, so I hopped on over to EyeBuyDirect to get in on that deal. Turns out, I got too excited and didn't read the date on that special deal. But there was a 15% off coupon code that I was able to take advantage. Yay!

I ordered three pair: Two with normal clear lenses, and one pair of sunglasses. I am nearsighted, just need a single vision correction. I really do need them to drive, and to facebook when I'm using the wireless keyboard with the tv. Here is what I picked out. The top pair will be the sunglasses with 80% brown tint.

Three pair of glasses including frames, lenses, protective coatings and shipping came to a grand total of..... drum roll please.... $117.23! Thanks, Baby-cakes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Disneyland - What an Expensive Bargain!

We just barely got our February trip to Disneyland in before February turns into March! I'm trying to go once a month and it seems like we were just there for our January trip. The February outing was our 7th trip to Disneyland. My pass expires in mid-March, so I'm hoping to get our March trip in before my pass fizzles out.

My pass was $134 last March and I wasn't sure how often we'd get to go, I was hoping for 3 trips in a year. Because I wasn't sure, I didn't buy into the parking pass too. I figured I would come out ahead or even if I just paid for parking at the gate each time. Parking was $12 and now it's $14. If I can squeeze in one more trip to the park, my pass will average out to $16.75 per admission. Plus, I've "hopped" over to California Adventure twice. I'm not sure how much that would have cost to hit two parks in one day, but it's more expensive than just paying the one park entrance. A one-day admission to Disneyland or California Adventure is $72. I'm glad I've been getting in for less than $17. What a bargain!

I had to buy a pass for Gracie in November, and I paid for parking each time, a few souvenirs, one churro, a couple of lollipops, and a few meals. It was never a $20 day, but it was never a $100 day either (ok, yes it was, but only twice). I think we did pretty good as bargain tourists!

When I renew my pass, you know I have to, I can't just spoil these girls rotten and then say "that's all folks", that would just be so... so.. Warner Bros! Anyway, when I renew my pass for another year, I'll have to pay $169 for the pass. Prices skyrocketed at Disneyland. I have the cheapest annual pass option that they sell which allows you in the parks on 170 days of the year. I am ok with that, the days that I'm blocked out are the busier days. Since I'll be paying more, I should squeeze in one or two extra trips to get more bang for my buck, right?

It's funny how Disneyland admissions and merchandise all went up in price, but all of the other Southern California theme parks reduced prices for annual passes. You can buy two years of Seaworld admission (365 x 2) for $109 and that includes parking. You can get a year (365) at the zoo and Wild Animal Park, bring a guest every time for free, receive 4 coupons for guests to come along free for $99 which includes parking. Universal Studios is giving a one day pass to all teachers. And Universal Studios is offering a deal on annual passes too: Buy a pass and your kid gets a pass too. They have three options for annual passes and the most expensive one is $99 which includes a free guest and free parking. Knotts Berry Farm has always been the least expensive park and I haven't heard that they've raised any prices.

For what I'm paying at Disneyland, I could be going to the Zoo, SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Knotts. Ugh. Knowing that makes me wish I hadn't done the math. Then again, none of those places have the Disney Princesses or the Small World boat ride.

I'm trying to make our Disneyland outings as much of a bargain as I can and take some of the guilt out of the big splurge. But, really, when I see these little faces light up and these little eyes get as big as saucers trying to soak it all in at once, I know the trips to Disney are worth every penny and every bit of exhaustion too. This is the face that makes makes me forget how much admission and parking cost:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why am I the last to know?

Yesterday I got a message on my cell phone and it went like this:

Mrs. Schumacher, this is Mr. (whatever his name is) the Assistant Principal from Mira Loma Middle School. I was just told that your husband is being hospitalized and so I wanted to call and see how he's doing, wanted to see if everything is ok, let us know if there is anything you need. The number at the school is XXX-xxxx.

Huh? Really? Hmmmm....

The call came in at 4:12 pm and I was too busy to answer, let alone even hear, my phone. From 3:45 - 4:00 I was standing in line at Disneyland holding a screaming crying toddler. As soon as we were seated for the Aladdin show, I fed Libby and talked to Gracie. The show started at 4:15, so I just missed it. At 6:30 pm my husband called me and I was having dinner with a friend in a Disneyland Resort Hotel restaurant and my girls were being angels, so I told hubby that I was having dinner and I'd call him when I hit the road for home. I didn't give him a chance to tell me much but he didn't seem anxious to tell me any big news either.

At 7:06pm I noticed I had a collection of texts and voicemails, so I checked all of it and found that gem from the AP. Remembering that my husband stayed home today with a sore throat and snuffy nose, plus I did cut him off so I could eat dinner, and he may not have wanted to ruin my day... a little part of me could see this happening. Just for a minute though. 7:07pm, I called Keith and said, "Where are you anyway?" He said, "in my man-room". Ah. Thought as much. So I told him what my message said from his AP and he was very confused.

I've never spoken to this guy before and he sounded genuinely concerned, so I didn't think it was a joke phone call. With Middle School teachers, there are a lot of jokes between them; they are a crazy bunch! But, I'm not in on that and none of them have ever called me before, much less on my cell.

When I got home I made fun of my husband, teased him about the nurses asked him if he needs a bedpan, stuff like that. Today he went to school ready to hear how he ended up in the hospital. Should be an interesting story full of confusion and "he said" and "we heard". The rumors are rampant in middle schools but they've never entertained me this much. Can't wait to hear the rest of this story!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Inspiration

This is my cloud. A cloud of inspiring words, ideas, topics... call 'em what you will. My husband found this thing, it is intended for songwriters to inspire ideas for song lyrics. Thus, it is a Lyric Cloud. Eh, I'm not looking for lyrics - just blog ideas.

Get yours HERE.

I mentally have a long list of blog post ideas that grows all day long, but then I sit down at my laptop with the kids playing, dog snoring and the Yo Gabba Gabba crew singing in my face and I can't remember what I wanted to blog about. In fact, I go blank. I'm sure you don't want to hear my thoughts on how bizarre DJ Lance Rocks and his friends are.

My husband is a middle school teacher. Guess what he did with the Lyric Cloud? He used it as a lesson! The kids thought it was pretty cool. He had the kids pick a number between one and ten, then he refreshed the page that many times. Each time you refresh you get a new cloud of words. Then he told them all to write something and it had to contain at least half of the words on the screen. Fun writing challenge!

I'd write something today, but we have a different project to tackle. We are going to implement Michelle's good deed paper chain idea! I really think it's a wonderful idea to help develop good character while taking the "abstract" out of the concept. Gracie is more of a hands-on learner and the paper chain is something tangible even though she can't read yet. We're gonna give it a try. Thanks for that idea, Michelle!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Middle of the Night Phone Calls! Ugh!

You know, I just get so mad when the phone rings in the middle of the night! :swear:

The other night, Gracie woke up three times. Twice I carried her back to bed and the third time I just let her sleep with us. I gave up. Every couple of hours, she'd show up again, ugh, forget it.

Libby woke up twice. She just needed to be nursed and snuggled back to sleep. But that always takes a while. Between the two of them, they got me up 5 times!

Then my husband woke me up early when he was getting ready for work. With sympathy he said "nothing like getting up every hour, huh" and I agreed. Then I told him that the kids were bad enough but the middle of the night phone call just pissed me off! He said "what phone call?" I said in my mad voice"Logan called".

Logan is our 19 yr old nephew. Nice kid. Knows how to tell time. Never calls.

Keith didn't remember the phone ringing and I told him that I nudged him but he wouldn't wake up so I answered it. Keith said he didn't hear it, so he was checking his cell phone and no call. He checked the house phone, no call. I said I'm pretty sure it was the house phone. Well, what did Logan want? What did he say?

So then I started thinking about the conversation... I'm coming out of my morning fog and recalling the whole dialogue. Oh, wait a minute, now I'm wondering if it was a dream. Yeah, maybe I dreamt the phone call. The words come to me more clearly and I admit, Ok, never mind, it was a dream.

Keith is curious now, because two seconds ago I was angry and now I'm just saying "never mind". So I had to tell him what Logan said on the phone...

He said "I can kill the whales. I can do it, Aunt Mary, I can kill the whales"

My husband started laughing so hard he had to wipe tears from his eyes. He kept saying "What? Whales?" and then laughing harder.

In my dream, we had this problem with whales swimming in our back yard, which was an ocean. Gracie and Libby couldn't go out to play because of the whales and I had a polar bear suit that I was wearing trying to scare them away, but it wasn't working. So, Logan said he could kill the whales. Why he had to call in the middle of the night and wake me up I don't know.

Sleep deprived even when I'm fast asleep. I can't believe I dreamed that I was being woken up from my sleep! The real wakings are enough!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dell suffers tragic death by toddler

My poor old laptop was chucked to the floor last week and suffered a fatal blow. One year olds and laptops do not mix well.

This was my second laptop. The first one, an Acer, (I can hear you laughing) met the same fate. It was repeatedly damaged by the kids. Caught one of them dancing on it at one time. They knocked it to the floor and stood on it and well, I did too. Just the knocking it over part - I never stood on my Acer. That little laptop wasn't a quality product but it served its purpose well. I used it for school and toted it back and forth every day. It couldn't take the abuse longer than 2 yrs. It also had a hard drive replacement for being knocked to the floor by a toddler. See a pattern? By the time its life was officially declared over, mainly because it wouldn't work at all anymore, the screen was hanging onto the keyboard by a wire. The hinges were busted apart and it was a sad sad looking laptop.

Coincidentally, the Dell laptop is 2 yrs old in May. Not bad! I got it right after the Acer died. My husband ordered a bright pink Dell for me and it showed up very purple, but I loved it. Now, it's purple and broken.

My husband checked it out and thinks that the only thing wrong with it aside from the cracks in the casing is the hard drive. He ordered a new one and I'll be back on the laptop as soon as it arrives. Yay!

I lost some stuff, not a lot really, but some. I did a backup to the server in January. Good thing I'm done with school and didn't have important lecture notes and papers on there.

In the meantime, I'm using the bedroom computer. Sitting on the bed with the wireless keyboard staring at the 37" HD tv for the screen. Living Large! It's kind of fun being online on the big tv, but I'm tethered. Can't really go outside or in the toy room or the dining room or the living room... so inconvenient. Am I getting any sympathy? I thought not.

But you all feel sorry for my purple dell don't you? Poor baby. Landed on the hard floor and died. With a toddler looking at it and saying "Uh Oh". What a way to go.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Run-In with the Law

Must be hard to be my neighbor, having to put up with me and my shenanigans all the time. There's one gal on our street who just can't handle living near us; it's tough, I know. She's just too good for the neighborhood, especially when she has to deal with hoodlums like me!

Now, I realize I may be jumping the gun here in my assumption. And I'm pretty quick to point the finger of blame at my neighbor, but who else would do that? She's known for calling the cops every time someone on the block has a party or a dog barks too long. The police know our nice little neighborhood all too well. And now, The Garbage Police are watching me.

Someone, i.e. Crazy Mailbox Lady (that's what I call her because 1. she's the crazy mailbox lady and 2. I don't know her name) called the cops on us for leaving our trash cans out on the curb too long. I can't remember when the last time was we left them on the curb too long, but my memory is no match for the Crazy Mailbox Lady. Our city code gives us 24 hours to get the cans off the curb. Or else! We got this letter in the mail warning us to behave. Note the threat of fines is underlined in red.

I see that my next door neighbors took their trash cans all the way back to the back yard. Betcha the cops are after them too. Hmmm, wonder why. Must be Crazy Mailbox Lady!

I guess the mailbox drama is all over now and we've moved on. Wonder how often she calls the cops on the people in the neighborhood? Think they are as sick of her as the post office was? Some people belong in an expensive neighborhood with strict HOA rules. I think Crazy Mailbox Lady would be so much happier behind iron bars! No, not jail, a gated community!

I might have to start calling her Crazy Mailbox/Trash Can Lady.

I don't know if I ever finished blogging about the mailbox drama. It finally came to an end and I didn't think too much more of it. Crazy Mailbox Lady finally drove the postmaster and postal workers insane; it's amazing that they didn't "go postal" on her! Hahaha, oh, I crack myself up! I'm so punny! Anyway, after her daily visits to the post office to complain about our mailbox situation (our letter carrier said they used to all run and hide when they saw her coming), they finally found a solution that pleased her. Or maybe she just settled for it, who knows. Now they sort her mail out and deliver it to a locked mailbox cluster on another street. It had a vacant box. Wonder if they gave her a personal zip code so it is easier to sort her out from our street. Can you imagine being such a pain in the post office that you get your mail sorted out of order just to shut you up? Amazing.

After the mailbox saga was resolved, she started in on our neighbor who was her next door neighbor about his dogs. Guess she gave him a very hard time and when something really did happen at his house, her calls to the police about the dogs barking were ignored because she called so often. A police officer actually told us this little bit of interesting trivia.

Well, Crazy Mailbox/Trash Can Lady... I pulled my garbage bins in up to my house within the 24 hour time limit. Hope you are happy! (But of course, we all know people like that are only happy if they are complaining)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Someday, Libby is really not going to like me for retelling this story.

Gracie pooped in her potty chair, I know, she's still not going in the toilet and if she would this probably wouldn't have happened... So she pooped this gigantic turd in her little potty chair and then stood up. Libby, the little observer, was standing there watching and was very impressed by this turd. She reached out and GRABBED IT!

Then, her little poopy hand was headed for her mouth, I imagine to lick off the mess? Mouth wide open, tongue out, hand getting closer, Me flying through the air screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I got there just in the nick of time and held her arm away from her face. :whew: Got her scrubbed up with LOTS of soap and water and still managed to get G's butt wiped and the turd flushed. We really avoided a near catastrophe!

If there are any poop events in the Olympics, I would win the Gold!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slumber Party!

My husband is having a slumber party. Yes, my husband. The man. His grown man friends are coming over to play, eat and spend the night. Yes, grown up. Not ten-year olds. Closing-in-on-50 yr olds. Thank you for your sympathy; I need it!

I kind of wish his friends were slobs, but they aren't. They are very neat. My house is very messy. Hmmm. This means only one thing: I will be cleaning everything today! Ugh. And I only have a few hours, the guys all get off work at 1pm today so they'll be here around 2:00 or so. So what am I doing with my precious limited time? Blogging!

I arranged for the little girls to have a playdate for a couple of hours so I can scrub the floors and bleach the bathrooms without any helpers. These things need to be done anyway, but I feel kinda cruddy and I just want to lay on the couch all day. Mama isn't allowed to have a headcold, gotta get the house in shape for the slumber party.

I'm also nursing a broken heart. We went to the mall last week and lost Libby's cutest hat ever. She liked it and she would actually wear it! I've been searching online, but haven't found one like it. It was the perfect size, the yarn was the perfect weight, it matched everything. I guess I'll get over it, but I'm sad that I didn't shove it deep into the diaper bag to keep it safe. Poor little lost kitty cat hat! Good-bye. We'll replace you soon.