Monday, December 31, 2007

Closing up the new year

I had a meeting last night for my calling.

Needless to say, I'm not one of those people that's thrilled at ALL to go to any meetings. But I tried not to be too much of a stick in the mud about it.

And the roads coming home? Another gal from the meeting and I were slipping on the sidewalk and road getting back to our cars. *sigh*

The good thing about this week? Michael's home today and tomorrow.
I REALLY like that. So do the kiddos ... since now the first thing out of their mouth (after either "Mommy!! 'Lo!!!" or Bucket's dulcet bellowing of "Moooom!!! Bruise S'EEPIN'!!!!!") is "Daddy goooooooh" or "Daddy wooo(h)k."

You think they miss him as much as I do?
... Couldn't be.

The last couple of nights, Michael and I have watched "Regency House Party" ... that PBS special from nearly five years ago ...

Michael: It's just like high school. No wonder I don't like the Regency period.

(I did impress him with mentioning Beau Brummel before the program did ... Hey! they were talking about the fashion movement from the dandification to the more austere and dapper-looking fashions ... And Beau Brummel is THE fashion example for that time. The Prince Regent took lessons from him ... well, until they fell out of sorts with each other ...
Yes, I AM that much of a geek. What's the surprise there?)

I do have to say that with all the freedoms we've gained and how society has changed since the Regency period ... these modern women were so totally moved when they received a flower. Much more moved than they'd be if most men presented them with jewelry nowadays.
Why is this?

I had more to write, but what with the kidlets coming to me to beg for snacks and cleaning up the house, I've forgotten most of it. Sorry. Maybe later today. Or next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Overhearing myself

So, since I'm always around me, I get to narc on all my ...idiosyncrasies.

During the holidays, we've been able to have some friends come by as they're in town to visit us. One of Michael's past roommates dropped by. It was great to see him, since it's been a few years. Michael had some great roommates. (Another Michael's roommate, but different roommate, story coming up. I just have to remember to tell it before I stop blogging this entry. ^_^)

As we're chatting and the kidlets are playing around us, the topic goes to how it was so nice being two years old and not having to be responsible ... how everything was taken care of for you and you got to play all day and you got naptime ... And Michael and W were both saying that they'd think it would be worth it to go back to being two.

Now, W is a nice bachelor friend. The only reason he's not married yet (and he admits to this) is that he's got high standards. Or as we refer to it, he's picky. ^_^

I turn to Michael and say, "Well, honey, you'd be giving up your favorite activity."

Yeah, I'm a classy girl. Very classy, indeed.
(Of course, if you know me, you know that I tend to be a bit outspoken. Especially when I'm comfortable with those around me. So, if I say anything that could be offensive, you should totally feel flattered. Because if I'm being all prim-and-proper ... well, it's because I don't feel comfortable being completely myself. ^_^

OKAY, so the other roommate story that I alluded to above:
B is another of Michael's roommates. He's pretty fun, too. (Truth be told, ALL of Michael's roommates are really good guys. They're all very different, but I like all of them immensely.)
B is a microbiology major. He's also really into being in shape. He served his mission around Mexico City --- and the stories he can tell about it? Oy vey, my dears! He's got the best "You do NOT want to eat THAT" story I've ever heard.

SO, one time we're all at a party at the apartment of P (and her roommates. P and B are married now, just so you know. Not that it has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with this story).
As we're playing a game, B keeps throwing a pillow at me. I'm getting a leeeeeeeetle fed up with being smacked in the HEAD with a pillow. So I tell him that if he does it again, I'm gonna beat him up.

Truly, my dears, that is about the most ludicrous threat ever made. It's like a newborn bunny threatening Queen Ranavalona the First with a full-scale martial warfare. Or maybe a manatee's planned poisoning of Lucrezia Borgia.

I mean, I'm stronger than I appear (mostly due to the fact that I'm very stubborn and usually VERY unwilling to accept that my body might not want to lift/carry/do things ... Something half my body weight? Sure, I can pick it up! ... Over my head, even! Sure! ... Well ... Maybe.), but still, in comparison to a guy over a head taller than me AND in good shape?

I'm not all that threatening.

So people were a little surprised when, after then next bop in the head with the pillow, Scrappy-Doo little me leaps OVER the coffee table and starts pummeling B in the arm.

Seriously, it's like a kitten boxing the ears of a racehorse. Rather ... surprising and ... surreal.

No, I didn't even leave a bruise ... but I did succeed in keeping my head free from pillow-bops for the rest of the evening.

And most people gave me a little wider of a berth from that moment on.

Because, yo, I'm all UNPREDICTABLE like that. Don't be getting in mah FACE, bro. 'Cuz I be all UP INS yo' face, dude. I'z got street cred, yo.
(and yes, I'm such the whitey-mcwhitersons that when I try to be all ganstah ... yeah, it's very ... ironic.)

So, in short ... Um ... I forgot my point. Never mind.

Still no word on the van getting fixed. *deep sigh*
Please pray that it'll get taken care of SOON, so I can start to get a full-night's sleep again. And I'll be able to take my kiddos to storytime and dentist appointments and stuff.

I'm TRYING not to worry. I'm trying REALLY, REALLY, REALLY (!!!!1!) hard ... but, you know, some more prayers couldn't hurt.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oh, and by the way ....

I've somehow managed to lose enough weight that I'm fitting into my old pants.

I still have some that are too tight to button and zip ... so I still have a goal.

But!!!! I'm fitting into my skinnier clothes.

So it's like having new clothes! But I didn't have to pay for them!!!

First, the bad news ... then Belated Christmas Greetings.

Sorry, things here have been hectic ... and when they weren't ... well, I was being lazy.

Our van's transmission is out again. And we're having to fight the stinkin' warranty company to get it fixed (since they only bought a used ... I MEAN "refurbished" transmission, which WE had to pay out of pocket to have flushed [and did TWICE] AND we had to pay for the diagnostic out of pocket, too. All this ON TOP of the deductible. *grrrrr* ... If you managed to follow all that, just know DON'T waste your money on Ultimate Warranty. Their bottom line is much, much more important to them than their customer satisfaction.

At this point, I'm just seriously torqued at them. They didn't get a transmission that worked for even three months (let alone the year that it was "guaranteed" for) and they're trying to weasel their way out of replacing it. (They didn't believe that we had, in fact, flushed the transmission ... And, really, if they're NOT paying for the flush, then they should be paying for a BRAND, STINKIN' NEW transmission ... which wouldn't need that flush. Doesn't that make sense? *sigh*)

If you don't believe me that Ultimate Warranty Sucks, here's some more proof:

Rip-Off Report: Ultimate Warranty
Star Tribune's coverage of Ohio-based Ultimate Warranty
Complaints Board: re Ultimate Warranty's Plain Dealer - Ultimate Warranty's dealings (as in, "Hey! We're going out of busininess because we, Ultimate Warranty, Suck! Hey, we sold more claims than we can pay. How's about you pony up the money that we can't manage??")(Oh, and guess what? The BBB's suspended UW's accreditation! Imagine that!!!) ...And noooooo, I'm not bitter.
And here's the write-up from

As you can kinda see, in short, Ultimate Warranty sucks.

So, really, tell your friends and have them tell their friends that Ultimate Warranty is going out of business, is out of money, doesn't treat their customers well, and that, most of all ... Ultimate Warranty sucks. ^_^ Do it for me.

As for me and my house, we are PRAYING and WEARYING the Lord with our prayers that this transmission will be taken care of (on the same claim so we won't be going into debt to pay a SECOND deductible) and that we won't have anymore problems ... that Ultimate Warranty will cease to suck ... that they will do what is right (not just what's most profitable at that second) ... so that I will have a van that works. So that we'll have a vehicle that the kids' car seats are safely installed inside. I'm so, so sick and tired of this. I just want to either have this fixed for once and for all ... or have the van BLOW UP or something so that I never have to deal with those jokers at Ultimate Warranty EVER AGAIN. Because, for the last time, Ultimate Warranty sucks. And they will continue to suck unless they get their craniums out of a certain orifice and start treating their paying customers with respect.

BUT, in other news, Christmas was great. Lots of food, got to see our families (well, my mom was the sole member of my side who was able to come, but I'm glad she was able to make it), everyone had a good time.

I mean, there were homemade cinnamon rolls, ham, roasted chicken, casseroles, pies ... Really, it's good stuff.
There were games and conversations.
There were happy children ... Bruise and Bucket are talking more (especially Bruise), they loved their presents, they didn't throw too many tantrums. Grandpa and Grandma beat us (Michael and me) at pool ... even after I accidentally bumped a ball out of place with my bum. AND it SO was not on purpose!!

Except for the issue with the van, things are really great. Michael's got the truck working well ... so we have ONE working vehicle.

Even with our late nights, it was great. I really am missing having a house full of people (and I think Michael will start to miss all the cooking I did the last few days ... after the leftovers run out. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, marshmallow salad, apple strudel bars, homemade cinnamon rolls, cheesecake ... I was a little busy. ^_^)

Michael spoiled me with a NICE camera and an external hard drive ... both things that I've wanted for such a long time. ^_^ The kidlets are sleeping in the tents (part of a playset) from Mutti. They love the easel from Grandma and Grandpa ... and all the books? Wonderful. I wish that the whole year could be like this (with the exception of the van, of course).

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday ... and that we'll be able to keep Christmas in our hearts the whole year round.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My MiniCity

So .... here's the link. Just click so that my minicity will grow and flourish!

As I'm typing this, my population is TWO people.


That's why you should click THIS once per day.

Then later, when I have a bigger population, you can use the other links (that aren't available now, so I'm not bothering to post them) ... the ones that improve transportation and industry and such.

Yes. I do realize what a complete geek I am.
Thanks much. Bye.

I'm such a bad blogger lately...

I mean, really. It's been a WEEK!! (Well, one day shy, but still!!!)

SO, what's been keeping me busy? ... Um ... now I have to think.

Michael got his holiday bonus, so we've been doing Christmas shopping. The kiddos are talking a little more. They take one nap in the afternoon. My mom came up to visit last week.

I've been getting a lot of my Christmas gifts from people early.
I've mentioned (as in "sung the praises") our Sonicare toothbrush.
(Seriously, folks ... I'm running my tongue over my teeth like crazy when I use that puppy. I heart it so much!)

My mom got us new cookware ... which we needed. I now have my Caphalon set. I used it for the first time yesterday night. And, oh, I have assured her that were I not a stronger woman, I would love that cookware with a love that dare not speak its name. Truly, this is great cookware. I can't put it in the dishwasher ... but it's BEAUTIFUL and NON-STICK and WONDROUS.

And THEN, a couple days ago, Michael was talking about how he wanted to hide my present, but didn't know where to put it. I was thinking aloud and I suggested the shop, since I don't go out there a ton ... but he didn't want to leave it there (since that's where it was stowed for maybe an hour). And so, since he wanted it inside and knew that once I knew what it was, I'd want to get used to it before Christmas ... so I got it early.

He got me a great new digital camera!! Yay! And it takes BEAUTIFUL pictures and it's so different to use that I'm so glad I have this week to practice with it.

Yeah, I'm such a lucky girl. I totally don't deserve him. Or the rest of my family.

IN OTHER NEWS, Bucket is picking up new words.

Her latest acquisition? Fork ... which she pronounces "fruck." She's also working on her colors. The default color? "Pink."

Monday night, when a sister from church dropped by ... she was leaving and Bruise calls after her "Bye!!!" (which is pretty normal .... then he adds) "See you!!"

Funny little boy. He makes me laugh.

Earlier today he wanted to use the potty. So he got to. Nothing happened ... but I gave him five anyways. It's pretty cool that he wants to use the potty. (I need to get on the ball with feeding them regular meals and the whole potty-training thing.)

Oh, and Bruise with that mechanically-inclined brain of his ... he figured out how to remove the lens cap on my new camera. I had to give him a spank, since he's not supposed to rifle through things on the desk ... but secretly? I'm rather proud of him. I'd just prefer him to NOT practice on my expensive not-so-easily-replaceable things.

And the other day --- kiddos were closed in their room playing with blocks (so I could get a shower and a breather). Bruise started calling out "Daddy!!" (Which is how he refers to Michael AND me, no matter how many times I tell him that "No. I'm MOMMY.") and Bucket responds, "Daddy WORK." ... She and I have had many conversations PER DAY that --- well, here:

Bucket: Daddy gooooooh. (And this is said in the most PITIFUL voice.)
Me: Yes, Daddy did go. Daddy's at work. He works so we can have this house and food. He will come home. Daddy will come back.
Bucket: Daddy gooooooh. (If it's possible, this is said even more pitifully.)
Me: Where did Daddy go?
Bucket: Daddy wuk.
Me: That's right. Daddy's at work. He will come home later.

She's a bright little thing.
Not that Bruise isn't. They're just smart in different ways. Which, to think about it, is how it should be. ^_^

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Randomosity ...

... As opposed to the normally completely lucid posts that I write.

... Bueller?

BUT, here are things that I find interesting/funny/etc.

Let me start with a very important message:

Please, think of the children.

Songs for the REAL MAN ...

When I showed this to Michael, his response was, "I sometimes hate my species."
"You mean gender?"
"Yes, that. *shakes head in disgust*"

And HERE is a holiday that I am SO DEVISTATED that I missed!!!
Too bad I don't have the technology needed to go back. *sigh*

I'll blog again later with interesting conversations that I've had recently.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A conversation with Bucket

Scene: Bucket's sitting on my lap a few days ago as I'm (like usual) surfing on the interweb.

I'm just browsing over at Cute Overload and I see THIS.

Me: Oh!!!! Cute!!!
Bucket: *nods*
Me: Do you like it?
Bucket: *sagely nods*
Me: Are you going to get that for me for Christmas?
Bucket: *very seriously nods*
Me: Yay!! Mommy will love getting this. Thank you!
Bucket: *beaming smile*

Yup, my baby knows what to get her mommy for Christmas. I just have this nagging little feeling that she's not going to find it in our neighborhood Target. Drat!

But it IS the though that counts, right???

some cool stuff

So, I don't know if I've posted lately about what a fan girl I'm becoming for Neil Gaiman.

Here's reason #3,762 for why you should adore him: Check it out! I mean, my proposal was great, but this is really cool, too! In a completely different not-in-my-mom's-kitchen-while-covered-in-sawdust-and-hydraulic-fluid-and-Heaven-knows-what type of way. ^_^

And this:

Because I AM such the geekgirl.

So, yeah. I like some of the craziest stuff.

It's been a while ...

Wow, I can tell that I haven't blogged for a bit. Sorry if you missed me and my ... lack of sanity.

The truck's acting up again. I SO wish that I was more mechanic-y ... then maybe I could fix it for Michael. But when? The kiddos have (for now) won the Great Nap War of 2007. So, yes, there's really no naptime in this house anymore. ... Which makes me not want to travel. Ever. Oh well. Bucket will sometimes take a nap in the afternoon. Bruise will conk out (IF we're holding him) a few hours before bedtime.

Bruise has a cold. So, yesterday, after my talk in Sacrament meeting (the first chirch meeting -- in case you're not LDS), I took the kiddos home since Bruise and his dripping snotfest wouldn't be allowed in Nursery (the "class" for the 18 mos - 3 year olds).

BUT we did get out kicker check from our state taxes. Yay! So now I'm not getting much more wrinkled (Did I mention that I'm getting WRINKLES?!?!? YES! and I'm not even thirty!!!) ... and Michael doesn't have to be all despondent because I'm worrying about crap that I have no control over. (Yes, that's one of my talents. Shut up. It is SO a talent. One that I wish I didn't have.)

Bruise is doing better today. Bucket's got a bit of a cough ... but she's had that for about a week now.

The kiddos woke up at around FIVE IN THE MORNING today. Michael dealt with them after his shower ... as I lay in bed (and then the kiddos slept until around 7:45 or so. Nice!). I could have gotten up ... but I really, really, REALLY didn't want to. Not even when Miss Bucket was knocking on their door and saying "Hello Daddy! Hello Mommy! Mommy sleeping!!"

I have to say that thanks to PBS, the kiddos are doing pretty well ... Bruise works at singing the ABC song. Bucket will sing "La la. La la la. Elmo Word." And when we see letters, Bucket will pick out some of them ... Usually the Os and Ss.

I need to figure out what to get the munchkins for Christmas. And their birthday. They really have most everything they NEED. I'm thinking maybe just some small trinkets (think stockings) and maybe trips to do things -- the aquarium, the zoo ... if they were older, I'd really want to drag them to OMSI. (I'm such a geek. I really, really love OMSI and wish I got up there more often. Maybe we'll find some room in the budget for that. It'd be cool.)

We went to Storybook Land this last weekend. Bruise was okay with sitting on Santa's lap ... as long as he got the candy cane. Bucket? Was. Not. Happy. She wouldn't let go of Grandma ... and screamed most of the time, anyways. *sigh* AND my camera's flippin' batteries RAN OUT as we were there. Good thing we'll be going again this weekend. I'm bringing my backup batteries this time. Freakin' batteries.

Well, I think it's time to suction out Bruise's nose again. (You know you're doing a GOOD job when, amid the nasty snot, you're extracting cries of "Daaaaaaaady!!! Daddy!!!" Yeah, sign me up for mother of the year. Oh yes.)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Some cool things ...

And yes, I'm geeky because I think that these are really cool. I know. Yeah, yeah. Quit giving me that condescending look, okay? I know I'm nerdy and all.

BUT these things are pretty neat!

1 - Scientists have created prosthetic limbs that allow the wearer to FEEL STUFF!

2 - There's a strain of lab mice with a gene (Par-4) that fights cancer. And seems to have no ill effects! How cool is that?!?

3 - This is just cute, really ... Here are the mascots for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. They're designed by Meomi (which, pretty much means that they're so Japanimation-y-adorable).

We got our tree today. It smells wonderful. We haven't decorated it yet. We did a family portrait. I'm pretty dang happy with it (which is saying a lot, since I'm really very hard on myself about my appearance --- dang stupid beauty magazines with their airbrushing and crap). Our photographer was super awesome. She even got Bucket (who likes to affect an "Oh, I'm too shy to smile or even LOOK at you, heaven forbid!" act) to smile and have fun. (Of course, the giant stuffed Elmo-beanbag/doll didn't hurt at all.)
In fact, when we left, I had asked Bruise to say bye to T (the photographer).
"Ba-yee, Teeee-yee."

As my heart melted a little ... I'll admit that I'm a little jealous. He doesn't even call me by my name (which, to him is -of course- Mommy). Everyone's either Daddy or Grampa (or Grandma or Nana) to Bruise. Except for our photographer. ^_^

Bucket likes to talk. She's getting pretty good. She's using sentences pretty darn well. "Daddy go." "Ow, hurts" "Please DEET!!" "I like cheese." ... I mean, she's not about to hold court in the salons of Paris or anything ... but ... I'm kinda impressed.

Bruise and Bucket like to jump. And they jump well. If I had the funds for it, I'd be enrolling them in a tumbling class. They'd have a blast.

I have rather cuddly kids. I like that. I have to remember not to take it for granted.

And, for being nursed for this long, I don't think that they're too clingy. (Sometimes, I feel rather like their personal set of ready-to-go udders ... but that's rather understandable when, say, Bruise nurses for five minutes and goes and plays ... then comes back within fifteen minutes to have another go.)

Things are going well. Prayer works. That makes me glad. ... Even when I'm wearying Heavenly Father with some of my prayers, I'm sure. ^_^ But it's good to know that He loves me. It makes me happy.

Counting ...

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