Monday, April 26, 2010

And there was much rejoicing ...

... for our tax rebate FINALLY ARRIVED.
And it is now deposited in our account.
And my heart has stopped racing and my brain is fretting a whole HECKUVA lot less.

We had a great time at our playdate today ... it was kinda funny that the KIDS didn't play together with each other so much. But S and I had a good time talking (well, at least I had a very nice time. I suppose that you'd have to ask her for her opinion. ^_^)

I talked to my Dad and my Nana. Uncle Mike's doing better. Barely using his wheelchair ... he's mostly using his cane and putting some weight on the furniture. ^_^ He's stubborn. ^_^ Runs in the family, huh?

But, yeah ... the tax rebate came in. PHEW! I was social. PHEW! I'm getting the YW Calendars done. PHEW! Turned in books before they were due. PHEW!
Things are starting to come together.

Still no call sign ... But, hey, I can handle that.

So far ...

So, two posts ago, I talked about quite a few areas in which I fail.

Socially, spiritually, etc., etc., etc. ...

So, I'm really trying to do something about it. Instead of just whining.

Today has been good.

I woke up. I said a prayer (Truly, I KNOW that Michael prayed. But I was very much asleep and cannot recall anything ... so this is why it's really important for me to pray by myself, too). I'll need to pray later (probably during the kids' naptime) so that I pray for my Visiting Teaching sisters and our awesome YW. I read a chapter of the Book of Mormon. I finalized plans for a playdate with a sister in the ward. I made plans for when to practice reading and maths with the kids. And when to work on some of my responsibilities for YW. I made plans for dinner (Won't Michael be pleased!) ... I'll get plans finalized for FHE (Family Home Evening).

The kids woke up as I finished reading scriptures. We hugged and talked of today's plans (Playdate at 9, return library books on the way, come home [HOPEFULLY run the errand of depositing the tax rebate check. PRAY that we receive it in the mail so we can deposit it!!!!], eat lunch, do school-stuff, nap, watch a show[Bucket]/play on my DS [Bruise] ... dinner, FHE, bedtime), then we had a prayer together and read the back of a picture from our Gospel Art Kit (which has been replaced by the Gospel Art Book -- less expensive and easier to cart around, truly).

I've let the kids get themselves yogurt to eat. Now, I need to get a shower and dressed (they've gotten themselves dressed) ... after I'm done cuddling my girl to get her warm. ... And do our calendar. This way they know their days of the week. Which is important, too.

Just thought I'd report my progress.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some good things ....

Since, in my last blog post I mostly was a whiney-whiney-whiner, I figure that I ought to mention some nice things:

  1. You know how our drains/house plumbing were being crazy? ... Well, that seems to have cleared up. I love it when prayer works. It's awesome.
  2. Michael was awesome and cut the grass/weeds in the yard. Go Michael!!
    (Now I need to rake it. I think the kids will like being able to play in the yard ... and to use the toy wheelbarrows that Nana got them for Easter. ^_^)
  3. I FOUND A PLACE WHERE I CAN GET A KEY FOR THE CLOCK MY GREAT-GRANDPA MILTON MADE!!!!!!!
    (As soon as we get the tax rebate, I am going to take the clock in -- since it's a mantel clock and not a HUUUUGE Grandfather-type Clock -- and get that key and get it oiled. That'll be awesome. And the guy I talked to at the shop, since I was BRAVE (for my agrophobic/telephobic self) and CALLED to ask if they had size 11 clock keys and how much they cost, was SO SUPERNICE. I can't wait to meet him in person.
    (I love good customer service. If you give me good customer service, you are seriously, like, my new best friend. Really. I'm still in total adoration for the gal who took good care of me when the kids bouncy-horse broke. She is AMAZING! I'd totally friend her on Facebook. TOTALLY.)
So, yeah ... that's a good deal of GOOD in my life right now.
Since something has to balance the crazy. ^_^

I'm sure I had a clever title ... Must have lost it somewhere ...

It's occurred to me how much I seem to be FAILING as a mother and as a person.
And, no, I don't think this is just the monthly hormone-festival talking.

But really ...
  • My kids' great-grandparents live in town. Maybe two miles away. How often to we go and see them? Not a lot. And we SHOULD. I mean, really. They're not getting any younger. And it's a huge blessing to be able to know your great-grandfolks. (And the set that I knew passed away when I was three or four and twelve, respectively.)
  • I'm seriously thinking of volunteering at the more local library. All I have to do is volunteer a total of 12 hours per quarter, and I won't have any more OVERDUE FEES!!!! (Seriously, after my total brain-lapse that cost me SEVEN FREAKING DOLLARS, I really have NO reason NOT to volunteer.)
  • I should take time away from reading blogs and playing facebook games to read my scriptures, finish my Personal Progress, make sure that my kids DO know how to read and write and do basic arithmetic, take my kids to the park and playdates and such ...
I know that during the summer, there was talk of a little mom-ran preschool. I was waffling because my friend T and I were going to do a preschool thing together. We didn't. And I think that other moms are on the mom-preschool ... I don't know.

I've also realized that I haven't done much at all social lately. With the exception of volunteering at my library. I read other blogs about how some moms actually, like, spend time with their girlfriends. (Yes, they do go out to restaurants or the movies ... which cost money that I don't have right now. And I don't know these gals. But, still, I'm a little jealous. It's really my own fault. I barely talk to people on the phone. And most of my gals are not in town. Or they're busy. ... Or things happen -- like when I have a Tupperware party and, well, no one shows up. Because THEY HAVE LIVES ... and it kinda feels like I don't. ... And then I have to try and figure out WHEN I could find two hours or so to volunteer at the local library ....)

Yeah. And did I mention that I SUCK at reading my scriptures? Or having personal prayer?
I'm a YW leader (well ... I'm the YW Secretary.). I should/NEED TO pray for these girls EVERY DAY.

And I suck at it.

I should be praying for all the gals on my Visiting Teaching list DAILY. I should probably pray for my companion ... and I fall behind.

I mean, the real constant is praying with Michael. He prays in the mornings (this year) and I say prayer before we fall asleep. (So, hey! This year, we have coherent prayers in the mornings! Yay! *rolls eyes* Yeah, I'm not all that with it, being verbal at 5 A.M. Just keeping it real.)
And, lately, I make sure to pray for my Uncle. Since that stupid tooth infection that CAUSED his heart attack is BACK. And it's pretty serious.

And I pray, pray, pray that our tax rebate comes in. Because I really, really, really want to be (mostly) out of debt. And to have some savings. And to do something fun. And to not be all, "Oh, we can't do anything; we can't afford it." Because ... and I know it's so shallow of me ... but money is security. And when we don't have it, I worry. I try NOT to worry.
And then I WORRY about not being able to NOT WORRY.

(Yup, everyone has a talent. Mine is being a complete mental. ESPECIALLY when I'm in the throes of homone-fest. Joy!)

And, after a while, poor Michael feels like he's not doing a great job as a husband/provider ... It's not HIS fault that we're in a recession. And that I am a person who loves to have money. And to spend it on books and shoes ... or memberships to OMSI, the zoo, and the aquarium!

Really, if we won the lottery, I'd get us on a plane to Disneyland, STAT.
And, you betcha that while we're down there in California, we'd go to The Exploratorium and Ripley's and all those fun places. (Truly, I'd like to tour Alcatraz again, if I'm in San Fran. It's been, what, over fifteen years since I was there. And, really ... I bought a book about the Birdman of Alcatraz. He was one freaky piece of work. I really should have bought the book about Al Capone. At least HE wasn't a pedophile ... right? I mean, I heard he was quite the gentleman. When he wasn't having people murdered and all.)

Heck, if I had the money, I'd go to Scotland ... work on some family history and all. And go shopping in London. At Bravissima ... where they actually cater to gals with HUUUUUUUUGE ... tracts of land, per se. (Hey, I didn't ask for them! Really. Ask my poor mother who had to listen to my childhood prayers of, "Please, PLEASE, don't let me have BIG HURKIN' BOOBS like my Mom!!!" Seriously.)
(I had quite a way with words even then, don't you agree?)

But, really ... I haven't been reading as much or as quickly as usual. I've been hormonal and not sleeping well. I REALLY am desperate to get all our stupid bills paid off (and for Michael to get his pay raise. Once the results of his exam come in. And he should definitely have passed. Easily.) and to FINALLY get my call sign (our whole exam group STILL hasn't been entered into the FCC database. We might be one of those poor groups that takes FOUR WEEKS to be entered in there. *sigh* ... What makes it crazy is that an exam group almost a whole week after ours has ALREADY been entered into the database. *tragic!!*) ...

And, yeah, I am starting to think that I just REALLY am going to have to bite the bullet and create a schedule for doing things. Just make a weekly thing going on ... "practice kids' reading NOW. Do a Science experiment NOW. Mop the floors NOW. Sweep the yard, go to the park, bake bread, plan week's dinners, fold and put away laundry, EXERCISE YOUR FATTY BOTTOM, read scriptures with kids, study scriptures by myself, pray with kids, pray by myself, write list of people I should be including in my prayers, do the d*** dishes, put the d*** dishes and laundry away, take the kids' piggy banks to the bank and deposit their money in their accounts (Hey, SOMEONE has to have money in this family. At least THEY get to!) ...

Really ... it's nice to think that I can be all FUN and SPONTANEOUS! .... But, right now, I really am not doing so well. I really wish that I were.

That's it. I'm going to find myself a decent week;y calendar template to plan out this week. And maybe next week. Just to give it a try.

Also, I'd like to get a goldfish. But I'd feel better about that IF all my plants weren't dying. AGAIN.

And we might be taking care of a friend's bunny ... if she can't find him a better home than ours. ... But, you know, I'd kinda LIKE a bunny. So, in order to have a bunny, I REALLY need to get myself in mental shape for taking care of animals. At least taking BETTER care of animals. (It's amazing that Diana-cat puts up with us. Poor dear.)

So, yeah ... Let's get some crap done (i.e., I need to get some crap done).

Now, why, when I write this, do I feel dizzy? Let's just blame it on my stupid period. That's why I have a period, right? So I can blame crap on it.
I'm going with this idea. Because it sounds good to me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still no HAM radio call number. But, it appears that it's not just me. It's the whole group of us who took our test. It's being looked into.

I mean, it's not like I have a radio that I can use and I'm just sitting around here, with baited breath, PINING to transmit on the air.

(Well, since I haven't brushed my teeth yet --GROSS! I KNOW! --, I MAY have baited breath.)

It occurred to me last night that the only things I had eaten yesterday were a piece of cheese, maybe a couple Otter Pops, and a PB&Nutella sandwich (If you haven't had one, you SHOULD. It's like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in a sandwich. ... Maybe I should grill my next one.
(And THAT explains a very important reason why I will NEVER be a size 2. EVER.)
(Because I love me some food.)
(Fattening food.)

(Maybe I should add a slice of cheesecake on the side. It would offset some of the sweetness of the sandwich, really. Yummmmm.)
(I am SO sick in the head. How do you ever put UP with me????)

STILL, I'm in a much better mental-state-place than I was a couple days ago.
Stupid, stupid cycle.

(Really ... how DO you put up with me? How does ANYONE?)

But I had a good evening yesterday ... even with the hectic morning of having SEVEN DOLLARS in library fines at the local library. It's my own fault, not paying attention to when I need to renew books (HINT: Do it the day they're due. Maybe the day before or the day after. NOT FIVE DAYS AFTER. Trust me on this.) ... After that financial blunder, I'm REALLY READY for our tax rebate to arrive. It can't come too soon. A week ago would have been nice. *grin*

But, I got to go visit some of the Young Women in our ward. I was paired with the Stake YW President (who is a kick in the pants to be around, I must say), and we visited two houses (one is a family where the three girls are all in YW. The other has just one in YW) and it was SUCH a great time. Seriously, if I were *gulp* fifteen years younger, I would TOTALLY LOVE to hang with these girls.

And, flatteringly enough, they like me back.

And the Stake YW President, as we were chatting as I drove to the houses and back to the church, flattered me shamelessly. She told me that I was quick-witted.
(So now I adore her more than ever.)
(Yes, I do appreciate flattery. As I tell my friends, "Flattery will get you everywhere!" ... At least when it comes to me and my level of adoration and fondness for my people.)
(And, truly, if you're reading this [By which, I actually mean, "if you haven't read and then run away screaming" ... not that I'd BLAME you for that. At all, honestly], you ARE my people. And I love and appreciate you for it.)

But, yeah ... I'm getting so totally pumped for Girls' Camp this summer. So far, there's nothing that's going to conflict (like, say, a friend's wedding. Or being a matron-of-honor in a wedding) ... and I have EXCELLENT family (both sides) that can take care of the children. And a husband that can truly fend for himself. (Seriously, the house will be cleaner than when I left it. ... Though, it might help that the kids won't be there to unravel all his hard work. ... Honestly, there are weeks that I just GIVE UP ... And he still puts up with me. Totally don't deserve him. And it makes me wonder what he did to end up with ME. ... Probably just a huge act of charity. And I'm sure grateful for it. ^_^)

Well, I need to finish getting ready and head over to storytime.
I bit the bullet and gleaned through the pile of library books from both libraries. I've checked out too many books. And I just was not getting through them.
I refuse to feel like a failure about it.
Because I can always check them out again some other time.

Besides, this is one reason I LOVE my Goodreads account. It lets me keep track of all the books I WANT to read. (Seriously. I mean the networking aspect is cool. And being able to mark which books I have read is great ... but, really? I have it so that I have a HUGE list of all the books that I hear/read about and want to read. But don't have room for in my holds list ... or the libraries don't have them yet ... or whatever.)

Okay. Closing up. That's it for now.

Oh, and I'm a EQ widow tonight. Michael's going to be out doing visits (just like I was doing last night -- but to families/menfolk). He was watching Signs when I got home.
After putting the kids to bed, I'm going to be watching the DVD of "The Botany of Desire." I waited long enough for my hold to come in and I'm DETERMINED not to return it unwatched.

Yup, exciting, exciting plans. :P

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HARK! The Angry Bees Cometh!

Gentle readers, here's where I'm really just blogging for me. You can read it. But I'm writing to get it out. This is not a cry for help or whatever. This is just "OmiHECK, my brain is full of those crazy, angry bees! Why does this have to happen every single, stupid month?!?!?!?" ... and then THAT is usually summed up with me hissing through gritted teeth that this is PROOF, pure and unadulterated, that GOD IS A MAN.

Do consider yourself warned. Perhaps you should, instead, ignore my rantings and watch something entertaining ...

HERE! This is good!


Or THIS!! Nerdy AND GOOD!!
And this is just part one. I know that there were parts 2.1 and 2.2 up as of ... this morning, anyways.

Yes, those are distractions. Lovely, lovely distractions!
-----------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, you KNOW something's up when you're just unloading the dishwasher and you start to wonder how it'd go if you just started slicing on yourself with that Chef's knife.

No, I am NOT some emo teenager. I'm fully aware of this fact.

And I DIDN'T DO IT. The thought just, like, crossed my mind. And I was all, "Huh. That might solve something. ... Oh, but wait, I don't have money to go to the ER. And I'd have to get the kids out of their room and loaded in the car or something. ... Nope. Not a good idea." And I put the knife away in its block.

Yup, THIS is how I get a bit of an inkling that my evil cycle of hormonal-based madness and DOOOOOOOOM is on the way.

Other signs:
  • I start to feel CONSTANTLY irritated by the people whom I love. I feel that my kids are UBER-needy and their voices GRATE upon my sanity.
  • I find myself snapping like a snapping snapper at my dear and beloved husband ... who, at first, is taken slightly aback and wonders what's happened.
  • I get WILDLY AND COMPLETELY STRESSED THE H OUT by the most random things. (That stupid sink issue? It's really stupid. I can still do the dishes. The dishwasher works. STILL, I feel like lurking around corners with the desperation of that one lady in that short story about yellow wallpaper ... or, perhaps, Bertha Rochester -- though I'm less violent than she was.)
  • I find myself sitting at my desk, dinking around on Facebook and breaking down into tears as I (1) hear strains of Christmas music from a rerun of NCIS that Michael's watching across the room ... Really. ... Or (2) writing an email to my HAM Radio Elmer to ask if something might be wrong, since we were told that USUALLY the FCC gets new licensees listed in the database/assigned a call number in a week ... and it's been nearly ten business days and I'm feeling a little antsy but maybeI'mjustbeingimpatientandshouldIbeworried BecausereallyI'mstartingtogetalittleworriedPleasewritemebackKTHXBAI!
  • All I want to do, really, is get that D***, stupid federal refund and go shopping. And buy things like MILK, VITAMIN WATER, TORTILLAS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE ... and WHY! OH! WHY CAN I NOT DO THESE THINGS????? IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?????
  • I just want to lay in bed or a hot bath and read, read, read, read ... Seriously, my kids are four years old. They can get themselves water and string cheese. Can't I just throw some graham crackers in their direction and they can just play or something?
THESE HERE ARE ALL SIGNS OF THE GROWING INSANITY THAT IS THE ANGRY BEES.

Besides the regular bits of hormonal silliness -- feeling like I'm fat enough that a manatee looks like an even-more-skeletally-anorexic version of Lindsay Lohan, feeling like the whole world is just "off" ... you know, that general malaise and ennui.

So, yup, I had me a warm bath, reading the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I'm hitting the bottle (of Valerian), I let Michael know that, yes -- as he aptly suspects, the angry bees are in town. So if I act especially crazy, it's just a regular thing.

He's so nice .... I'm all, "I just feel like CRYING. For no reason!!" And he's all, "It's okay. Let it out." And I'm all, "NO! I HATE CRYING! I don't WANT to cry. I just want to feel NOT like CRYING!"

(Hey, I warned you, I'm CRAZY IRRATIONAL right now.)

But, yeah. I got almost all the dishes done. I have a MOUNTAIN of laundry to be folded. But I made our bed. And I'm doing my darndest not to yell at my sweet BAYBEES. And to get dressed and not have cravings for things like Vitamin Water (which, truly? I like it. But it's not AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. Seriously. Like, it's when I get a craving out of the blue for CARROTS. Who craves carrots? Seriously???).

So, yeah. I know that I've been having stressful dreams. Dreams that I don't recall upon waking.

Other things that I usually notice that occur as I start getting all PMS-y ...
  • I listen to LOTS of melancholy music. Like this:
    Katy Perry - Thinking of You
    (I really like that music video, btw. The CLOTHES! And the TRAGICNESSESSENCE!!! And that handsome boy from Kyle XY!! He's such a sweet boy.)
  • I go grazing through the kitchen, yet usually cannot find anything that I want to eat. Sad.
Yeah. Weird, huh?

But, really. I promise that I'm not suicidal. I'm NOT going to cut myself ... partly because I'm just too dang practical and I don't need any new scars (I'm accident-prone ENOUGH as it is), I don't like pain, I have children that I'm responsible for, and it's just too dang expensive.

STILL, when the thought occurs to me that it just MIGHT be a good idea ... well, I know that the angry bees have arrived en masse. And that ... well ... there IS a reason for the crazy to hit the fan ... I don't have to LIKE it, but there's a reason.

And, really, it's only for a week. I can get through it. With my arsenal of good husband, good friends, (mostly-) good kids, GOOD bottle of Valerian capsules, and maybe some chocolate.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, we're still waiting to receive our tax return.
It was SUPPOSED to arrive today. Now the interweb tells us it'll be another three days.
*le sigh* Since it is tres, tres tragique.
(Yup, that nearly exhausts my French vocabulary. ... Unless you want to hear about monkey-pants. ... Yup.)
(Especially since, when I DO try to use the French language, I accidentally called my dear Cynthia a MAN. #>.<# Doh!!)

Yesterday, the plumbing freaked out.
So, OF COURSE,
I freaked out.
Michael fixed it, well, mostly.
(I did man the plunger and administer copious doses of baking soda and vinegar.)
(But I did it while fretting and gnashing my teeth.)

I'm trying to be more motivated in doing the housework and DOING things.
The kids and I walked to the park. We picked up some venetian blinds (for free) from a neighbor. (You KNOW I can't resist FREE!!)
The blinds are too big. DOH! By FEET ... Yeah, I should measure those windows sometime, huh?
STILL ... if anyone it looking for, oh, a couple six-feet-wide blinds, lemme know, okay?

I keep losing my temper and yelling at my kids. It's not that I don't love them. I DO.
Sometimes I just find them VERY needy and annoying. And I know that I'm being selfish. I do love them. Really. I just need some space and quiet.
And then I give them hugs and we snuggle and watch a show or something.
Or I send them to their room to take a FREAKING NAP AND LEAVE ME IN PEACE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! ... And then I use that time to become a little more pleasant and nurturing.
And then I feed them a snack and cuddle them a bit.

So, you know how (above) I mentioned that Michael worked on the plumbing? ... Here's a direct result:

"MOM!! The snake's in our bathroom!!!!"

Taken out of context (context, of course, being our house and the "speciallness" therein), you might think that there was a legless reptile inhabiting their lavatory, but no.
No, dear and gentle reader, that is not at all the case.

The plumber's snake is lying inert and harmless on the bathroom floor. Since neither Michael nor I could summon up the necessary energy needed to pack it up and put it back in the shop.
(I did, however, make the executive decision to keep the horking-big [YES, that IS a technical term. Shut up. Stop looking at me like that.] pliers in the house.

ALSO, I learned that there are vents in plumbing. Had NO idea.
I refer to the vent under our kitchen sink now as "the magical reset button."
(Though, in full disclosure, it seems less MAGICAL and more IN-POSSESSION-OF-A-MALICIOUS-SENSE-OF-HUMOR when one presses it and is unexpectedly splashed with backed-up drain water.)
(Not that I'd EVER know this from personal experience. Nooooooooooo. LOOK! OVER THERE! SOMETHING SHINY!!!!!)

But, yeah. I really .... have a complete and total lack of motivation.

BUT I have CRAZY HUGE BLINDS (that I cannot use. BOO! ... If they were shorter, I'd put them in the kids' room and our bathroom. But, ALAS and ALACK! They are just TOO FREAKING LONG). ... But, did I mention they were FREE??? ... At least when I manage a bit of an EPIC FAIL, I do attempt to keep it within our budget. ... So THAT's something in my favor, right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Random Crap

My poor, neglected blog.
I know I SHOULD write ... but I've been undergoing a bit of a lack of motivation.

Can I blame it on the fact that I seem to have lost my sense of smell? (Stupid allergies/cold/sinus infection)

I feel disgusting, since I have to blow my nose, like, ALL THE TIME. And, most of the time, I can't smell anything.
Depressing, much?

How'm I supposed to be able to tell if my breath is rancid??? Ew.

Housework has been ... well, less of a priority than it should be. As you can tell by the PILE of fresh-oh-I-had-to-do-laundry-since-we're-almost out-of-underwear pile of laundry now ensconced on the couch. And the pile of I-am-ignoring-these-SHHHH!-You-can't-see-them dishes in the sink and on the counter.
Hey, at least I totally emptied out the catbox. Because I could actually SMELL that. But I was only able to start smelling it HOURS AFTER I had scooped out the nasty stuff. (*hums* Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are we feeding you?)

Michael feels confident about his performance on his PE exam (not P.E./Phys. Ed. ... This exam, when passed, makes one a LICENSED engineer) ... So, we just have to wait until he receives his score. Which should be June/July.
(Though why it takes TWO MONTHS to grade a Scantron sheet is completely beyond me. I've had Scantron-sheet test results returned to me within minutes ... but Michael surmises that it takes so dang long for the people to grade the test and take care of all the necessary paperwork.
Or something. Who knows? (Hint: NOT ME.)

This weekend, we went to the Oregon Garden for the first time. Since it was a special Earth Day celebration, there was no admittance fee. (We did pay for parking and for food from the booths -- we had strawberry lemonades and kettle and caramel corn. If we really wanted to splurge, we'd have also picked up some Yakisoba. It looked SO GOOD.) The kids had a pretty good time. They really wanted to ride the tram (usually the tram would be free ... the cost is included with admission. But, since there was no admission fee on Saturday, it cost $2 per person. And we just didn't feel like spending that much for a bus ride.)
We will go back sometime ... probably when more flowers are in bloom. ... And sometime without the kids. ... Then we'll shell out another $10 each and go for a tour of Gordon House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright).

Sunday, during our Sunday School class (right now, Michael and I are in one of the optional classes -- Family History), while I was updating a few things in my family tree, I was looking for the exact death date for a great-uncle of mine (died when my Nana was a teenager). I ended up at FindaGrave.com ... and while I was there, on a whim (or so it felt. Really, it was inspiration, pure and simple), I entered my Pop-pop's name ... and someone had posted a photo of it.

I saw my Pop-pop's gravestone for the first time.

Another person had included his obituary, which was nice. I mean, I know little bits about Pop-pop's life before I came into existence. I knew that he was in the Navy. I knew that he was a logger ... and, as time goes by, I just learn bits and pieces of additional information. He almost DIDN'T get into the Navy because, as he was enlisting, he found out that he was colorblind.

He was a Seabee during WWII. I have his diary from that time period. Bless his heart, but I come by my sporadic journaling habits naturally. Most of the days in that diary are blank. ^_^ But, when he did write, it was succinct ... mostly mentioning where they went. (I really haven't travelled anywhere at all.)

... As I've been doing family history (in sporadic bits off and on since ... well, since I first went to a Family History center with my Mom. I think it was in Seattle), I do learn interesting tidbits.
One of my mom's grandmothers or great-aunts would dye her hair black with shoe polish, for instance. And, though she lived on a reservation, she declared that all her children were ITALIAN. *raised brow* I like to think that she lived as a character in a Spaghetti Western. :P

So, yeah, there's a plug for genealogy/family history. (Besides, it gives me a topic for some great conversations with my Uncle Steve. He's TOTALLY into genealogy. ^_^)

We're just waiting for our tax-rebate check to arrive. Then we can pay off stuff ... and have a little money again. That'll be nice. ^_^

We did splurge and go out for Chinese food during the weekend. Bruise actually ATE dinner. (We went to Panda Express. Everyone got chow mein. Bucket's kid meal entree was Orange Chicken. Bruise opted for Chicken Potstickers. Michael and I had three-entree meals. He got Pepper Chicken, Beijing Beef, and Kung Pao Chicken [I always want to say it "Kung POW!" ... like in the 60s-style Batman show ... that is, IF they were talking about [American-]Chinese food). I had Orange Chicken, Broccoli Beef, and Cream Cheese Rangoon (my mom's Crab Rangoon is better. But these were tasty, too.) (And we use the fake crab in ours, anyways. And they're still DELICIOUS. ... I should make them sometime.)

Wow ... I spent a WHOLE paragraph on food. That and, in passing, the fact that they boy actually ATE decently at a meal. (I was pretty impressed, I have to say!)

Besides that, I've been reading and playing on Facebook. Yeah, WOOOOOOOO!!! Be jealous of my wildly exciting life!!!!

I still haven't been assigned my HAM radio call number. Boo. I keep checking the page, though.
So, yeah. I'm just waiting on that. ... Not like I have a radio to transmit with. Or even a receiver to listen to everyone else transmit. No biggie. Maybe after Michael passes his test, we'll invest in one. We'll see.

Sooooooooo, yeah. That's most of what all I can think of to blog about.

Yeah ... I'll try and post some funny stuff ...

[Michael and Bucket playing together. Bucket has her stuffed purple racoon, which is nomnomnom-ing on Michael]
Michael: WHY is your raccoon eating me???
Bucket: Because she's hungry and you're MADE OF MEAT!

Another Pigeon-book title that's come about in this family: Don't Let the Pigeon Eat Hello Kitty!

And Bruise assures us that he can't kiss girls in Primary. And that if he kisses his teacher, her husband (the Bishop) will beat him up. .... He didn't quite come up with this on his own. IT was in conversation.

I need another weekend. Not like I get a big, relaxing weekend for a few weeks. Saturday, Michael will be going to the temple for an EQ (Elders Quorum) temple trip. The next Saturday, I'll be getting up at the butt-crack of dawn for the YW (Young Women's) Garage Sale (we have one fundraiser a year. This will pay for Girls' Camp fees this summer). I'll be there, in charge of the Bake Sale table. 6 AM to 4 PM. I'm going to be SO. FREAKING. DEAD. .... I have to wake up and GET THERE at SIX IN THE MORNING. *sigh* It's a good thing that I really love these girls. ^_^

-----------

Another funny:

So, RIGHT before church started yesterday, one of my YW sat down on the pew with us. She and I were chatting a little. On Facebook, hers said that (through some application), I was her lover of the day. So I had responded with a Mr. Darcy line and joked that it was STRICTLY Platonic, or else it'd be against the Plan. ^_^).
She and I chatted a little in the chapel and I joked about being a bad example.
She leaned over past me and asked Michael, on my other side, loudly, "HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH HER????"
(She was joking a bit. But it was hilariously loud. Enough so, especially as people are quieting down for Sacrament Meeting to start, that quite a few people heard ... judging by the snickers and guffaws from a pew or a few behind us.)

Michael, with all aplomb, answered, "Very easily." What a nice man.

Okay ... I've managed to not murder my children as they're SO. DANG. NEEDY. ... And then my little boy breaks the ONE SLIDE that Michael has for his microscope. Ugh ..........

*headdesk.headdesk.headdesk.headdesk*

It's just one of those days.
One of those days where I start to think that I must be getting close to that devilcycle time when every woman rejoices and feels like wearing white spandex, dancing, and twirling -- maybe even in slow motion. At least according to those commercials.

*mutters* stupid commercials. stupid busy life.

ALL I WANT TO DO IS WAKE UP TO A CLEAN HOUSE AND HAVE HOURS TO READ!!
AND NO CRAVINGS!!
AND BE A SIZE 6!!
AND HAVE AN UNLIMITED INCOME!!

Is that really so much to ask?

Really, never mind me. I'm just a hormonal whack-job right now. Don't mind me. I'll be better in 7-10 days. Regular days, not business days, if we're lucky. :P

Monday, April 12, 2010

Somehow, amazingly, things are starting -- bit by infinitely small bit -- to come together.

  • Bruise mastered the kazoo.
    Yes, I KNOW that it sounds kinda dumb. But my mom had bought some kazoos at the dollar store. And left them here. And they didn't work. So I grabbed my trusty kitchen shears and some wax paper and fixed them (Yes. I can put squares of wax paper into a kazoo. Amazing, huh?)
    BUT, Bruise was getting so frustrated because he kept BLOWING into the kazoo instead of HUMMING.
    But, as we drove home from church, I heard kazooing from the back of the car. I figured it was Miz Bucket, playing away. Until she started singing along to it.
    Now our boy is a kazoo-playing fool. ^_^
  • The truck broke down ... And Michael replaced the spark plugs. All but one, which -- along with the necessary socket -- fell into the engine. So he had to buy a magnet to get them out. And ... well, it wasn't the spark plugs. STILL, he's able to borrow the work truck again. Which is a blessing. Since he'll be able to drive it up to take his HUGE TEST this week.
  • I still haven't received my call sign for my HAM radio license (I keep using the search feature on the FCC's page) ... but, really, until I have a radio, it's not a huge thing.
  • I received quite a few unsolicited compliments from the Young Women yesterday. Especially regarding my hair and makeup. Which made me feel REALLY GOOD.
  • ESPECIALLY THIS ONE -- I was on the computer. And it froze. So I had to end up just turning it off. And it would NOT restart correctly. Even had the screen about "Your computer cannot start. There is no solution."
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!
    So, I freaked out. I went to my room and PRAYED.
    And I called Michael and CRIED and asked him to pray, too.
    And I took a bath and PRAYED. And I read a little in the bath while I PRAYED.
    And I restarted it again. And PRAYED.
    And, OH THANKS BE, it worked! ... Now, I'm kinda scared to turn off the laptop ... But I just have to keep the faith, right?
    I SO, SO, SO love that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Especially when they're answered quickly. (Hey, I can totally admit that I'm not one of the most patient people. Totally.)
  • Bucket asked me to make her a paper airplane and it flew. Phew!
So, yeah ... amid the daily dose of "oh-crap-what-can-possibly-go-more-wrong?", there's some really, really, really good stuff.

Like how our "check engine" light in the van finally turned off again. *sigh of relief* I was really starting to wonder if something really was wrong. Glad to know it's not.

Now, once the tax refund comes in (only from federal. With state, we made LESS this year and we still totally owed taxes. Ugh.), we'll be out of any credit card debt. And that will be SO. DANG. NICE. I cannot wait.

Now, just send prayers and good thoughts for Michael to pass this test easily. We'd appreciate it!

(Also, Uncle Mike's back home. So that's a good thing. I don't know all the particulars, though. I'll let you know later, if you're curious. ^_^)
-------------------------------
Also, here's a random look into my life:

*as I'm putting in the DVD of "The Wizard of Oz" for the kids*

Bucket: FANK YOU, MOM! When I was a little baby, before I was born, when I was in your tummy, I wanted to watch this DVD.

(Now, if only I had known that, I'd have let her watch it YEARS ago! :P)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My kids are funny ...

[As we're driving to story time, listening to my iPod, Mr. Roboto comes on]

Bucket: Is this a Christmas song?

Me: (Wither the Fries? What??) NO! *tries not to laugh too hard*

Where does she get this stuff??

---------------

I may have mentioned (if not, I have forgotten to mention) that my kiddos LOVE books by Mo Willems. We're a Mo Willems-loving house.

So, as we drive places, the kids decide to make up their own Pigeon titles.
(The REAL titles are:
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
  • The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
  • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
  • The Pigeon Loves Things that Go!
  • The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!)
SOOOOoooooo, as I'm driving, I hear things like:
  • The Pigeon FINDS A HIPPO!
  • The Pigeon FINDS A BADGER-BADGER!
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive THE CAT!
  • Don't Let the Pigeon EAT A TACO!
  • The Pigeon FINDS A PRINCESS!
  • The Pigeon Wants A LADYBUG!
  • Don't Let the Pigeon TAKE A SHOWER!

And it goes on. And on ... And it can get REALLY crazy.

But, still ... my kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE any and all of the Willems books that we can get our hands on.

Yet another blog in which I catch up ... and talk of random things ...

Wow, it's been a LONG time since I did a REAL post.

Let's see ... where to begin?

Easter - We didn't really do a whole lot ON Easter. We'd already done pre-Easter egg hunts (with family and then one at a friend's birthday party). We talked about Jesus and the reasons why we celebrate the holiday. ... Gave the kids a DVD of The Princess and the Frog ... broke out some chocolate.

General Conference - For those of you not in-the-know about Conference, it's ... well, twice a year (first weekend in April and October) when the WHOLE church either watches or listens to (OR, if they're REALLY luck/able, GOES to Salt Lake City) our church leaders give addresses for the benefit of the entire church.

Personally? We watch it online (used to just listen to it online when we had dial-up. Unless we were at someone's house who has cable/satellite ... or we've gone to the church building [where they have satellite] to watch it) and try to keep the kids quiet enough so we can hear/concentrate on what is being said.

I think I'm getting better at listening. There were some really, really awesome/powerful talks. If you're at all interested/didn't get the chance to hear the talks, that link above will take you to the website where you can watch/listen/read any of the talks. If you can't wait until the May edition of the Ensign (or the Liahona ) comes out. (Those magazines are church publications. If you didn't already know.)

I still really miss hearing President Hinckley and Elder Maxwell ... and, oh, since we're able to watch it, I realize how much older our apostles are than I remember. ... Like Elder Packer. I don't know if he'll be around for October's conference. It always worries me a little when they have to stay seated to address us.

Still ... President Monson is 82 years old (and will be 83 before October's conference) ... and wow, he's so full of life and vigor. It makes me happy.

I'm very glad that we have a prophet on the earth, and living apostles. to guide us. It's reassuring and it makes me happy.

(Also, President Uchtdorf's talks were AMAZING. Of course, so were President Eyring's ... At this point, I don't know that I have a favorite apostle anymore. Everyone's talk at conference was SO. DANG. GOOD.)

This was the first year that I actually really checked Twitter during conference, using #ldsconf.
It was really great. I was able to write down some good quotes ... or leaders' names that I had missed. Technology has come so far ... and it amazes me. Especially when we're able to use it for such good things (like Family History and all ... SO GOOD).

Oh, and I know that this is kinda stupid and shallow ... but I'm SO GLAD that Easter was on General Conference weekend. I got to sleep in, stay in pajamas, and eat chocolate. ... Even though I had the cold from HADES and had lost my sense of smell ... and not being able to smell/taste chocolate is very less-than-fulfilling. :(
There have been years, though, when Easter's fallen on a Fast Sunday ... and it's been SO HAD to make it through until after church, when I've descended upon my Easter basket like a starving T-Rex. ... I'm just saying.
And I'm SO. GLAD that THIS was not one of those years. ^_^

Ham Radio License Exam -- For those of you on Facebook, this is old news (as of a few days) ... But I took my test for my radio license.

I passed!

I could have missed nine and still passed ... I missed three.
Two of them (I have to assume, since you don't get to see which of the multiple-choice questions you missed. You're only told how many you missed), were questions that I hadn't studied. Oops! Which means that the other one was probably something that I just answered totally incorrectly. Still, it worked out to be, like, a 91% ... So that was good.

I didn't attempt to take the General-level test. I haven't studied for that one ... and, though it WOULD have been free at the time, I was eager to go home (and eat dinner, since I had to skip out in order to make it to the test on time). ^_^

My Birthday - Well, as of yesterday, I'm 29 years old. ... Kinda weird, huh?
I received tons of well-wishes from friends on Facebook ... and a few phone calls (my Grampy in California and my dad). I got a few cards in the mail.

And I got a package! ... Here's a little backstory:
So, last month, Mom and I ordered some shirts and a skirt from DownEast Basics the evening of St. Patrick's Day. We did receive an email that they were sold out of one shirt in the order (and they'd wait three days to hear from us to include something else in the order before refunding the cost of that shirt). And we waited and waited and waited for it to arrive. I almost was wondering if, maybe, someone stole them or something. (I know that I blogged about this before ... so I'll keep it short.) ... THEN, then finally arrived. And they all fit and are cute and wonderful.

SOOOOOOOO ... We had ordered a few more shirts Tuesday evening.
And I figured that it'd take, like last time, about a week or so for them to arrive.

They came yesterday. ON MY BIRTHDAY.

Oh, yeah! Awesome birthday surprise, no??

Like, I said, Mom was up this week. With my Aunt Julie. And they came up Tuesday and left Thursday morning. We had my birthday dinner (beef stroganoff and salad, with strawberry cheesecake and ice cream for dessert) Tuesday night (since I had my test Wednesday. And Michael had EQ visits). Wednesday was pizza night. ^_^

Thursday, Michael came back shortly after leaving for work, and needed me to drive him in. I woke up Mom and asked if she and Ju could watch the kids till I got back (about 1.5 hours total), and went with Michael down, and drove the van back. And then made the trip with the kids again that afternoon.

And Wednesday, the hall toilet showed serious signs of being plugged. So, after Michael got back from visits, we took it apart, put it in the tub, and tried to get whatever was causing the problem out. We had limited success. It's working a LITTLE better. And I mutter under my breath that it's a possessed, devil toilet. Michael's offered that, when we replace it, I can smash it apart to figure what the problem is ... I was pretty eager ... then I started to wonder ---
WHAT IF it's like Pandora's box? If I smash it open, what new evils will be released to prey upon the world? WHAT IF IT'S THE NEW HELLMOUTH?? (I know, I know, I've watched too many episodes of Buffy, right? ANSWER: Not possible.)

Thursday night, after we got back from bringing Michael home, I went to my ward's Relief Society Meeting (Seriously, I'm so ashamed to say this, but it's been MONTHS since I last was at a RS Meeting. :S) ... It was fun. There were Young Women there, so I was totally with friends. And, truly, I like all the ladies there regardless. We also had a clothing and book exchange. I picked up some Bible story books for our church bag, some board books for Bruise, and a LOT of the Disney Small World collection (each book is about a country/nation) for Bruise and Bucket.

....

So, back to my birthday (YES, I AM getting on with it), Michael worked on the truck while the kids and I watched the first episode of BBC's The Blue Planet. Bruise and I ate cheesecake for breakfast, we played with bubbles in the driveway, the kids rode their tricycles to the park and played (I got to spin in these weird-chair-things with them and got INCREDIBLY dizzy. ... But not too dizzy to NOT laugh uproariously at my children stumbling around like they were little drunks. :P), came home, let the kids watch another show, they had naptime, and then we got them dinner and ready for bed.

It was a pretty wonderful day ... except when poor Michael's socket and LAST spark plug fell into the engine ... and had to wait for him to buy a telescopic magnet this morning so he could finish working on the truck.

Today, I need to bake bread (I have bread dough in the fridge) and spray around the house so the STUPID, STUPID ANTS stop coming into our house. (Seriously, it's disturbing, getting ready to take a bath and seeing, like TEN tiny ant corpses around the back of the tub. WHY????)

I still am getting over my cold. I'm really ready for it to be over. ... At least it's nowhere near as HORRIBLE as it was earlier in the week. Like last weekend, where I couldn't smell ANYTHING. Or Tuesday and Wednesday, where I had my husky, husky voice.

My cough is MOSTLY gone. And my nose isn't so awfully runny. Phew! But I'd really like to stop needing to blow it, oh, CONSTANTLY.

Yeah, I'm a whiner.

A whiner who had a pretty darn awesome birthday. It wasn't anything wildly exciting ... but I don't NEED wildly exciting days.

Besides, two of my YW dropped by the house to serenade me! I was touched! Seriously, how sweet is that?

I really have very wonderful friends. I appreciate you all. You're the best birthday present EVER. And I get you MULTIPLE YEARS. ^_^

And, hey, since I have a few coupons for free birthday swag -- ice cream, hamburger ... Now I just have to actually LEAVE the HOUSE to get those. :P

But, hey, I have really cute shirts to wear when I do it.

(And, since I saved my skirt and one of my shirts to wear to church, I'm super excited to go! ^_^)

Friday, April 02, 2010

If you were a cheese, what cheese would you be?

Yay!! Someone ASKED me a question again! Thanks!

Okay ... Um ... I would have to say Feta. It's fun to say, slightly tangy, and can fall apart easily (kinda like yours truly).

That and my cousin claimed Gouda. ^_^

But, if I weren't Feta cheese, I'd either be a smoked cheddar (YUM!) or string cheese.

(Again, thanks to whoever posted the question! I LOVE when I don't have to assign myself a random question. ^_^)

Ask me anything

If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?

I really don't know. I've thought and thought about it.

I mean there are years that I'd love to go back and slap my younger self and be all, "Don't be stupid!" or "Now, when so-and-so says this, HERE's what you should say." or something like that.

Or there are the times that I'd love to go back and live over ... so that I could enjoy them once again -- moving the lawn with Pop-pop, cleaning Grandma Darlene's tea cup collection ...

Yes, there are things that I do regret doing. Or not doing. Or not appreciating.

I mean, if I had my life to live over again, I'd make better habits -- learn to enjoy exercising, learn to love to study my scriptures ... But there's not just one year that I'd want to visit/live over.

... Or, as Michael put it, "one year where I could save lots of money so we'd have it now." Ha!

Or, you know, maybe I'd go to my younger self and tell her to stop being so dang annoying. Because I really was. Oy.

Ask me anything

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