Holy Cow!

Apr. 19th, 2011 05:33 pm
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Over the weekend, a Catholic Church in the San Gabriel Valley was gutted, and completely destroyed by a fire that was later determined to be arson. It’s along the route we drive daily.

Yesterday, I drove past it and realized TheBoy wasn’t going to get to see what it looked like. The odds were just too high that it’d be knocked down or fall down before he could see it. There were a lot of people in the parking lot, looking at the remains.

Today, I pulled over to take a picture with my phone. But somehow the camera just couldn’t capture the depth of the destruction. As I took it in, so that I could describe it, I realized that they’d expanded the area that they’d roped off. I also saw a cameraman, but couldn’t find a news van, so I tried to get a closer look at the other person there to see if they had a microphone or something that might give me an answer (they didn’t). But next to them was someone from the FBI, blocking the driveway.

Not knowing much about arson investigations, it seemed like it must have been more serious than just simple arson… “Holy cow,” I said.

“Where’s the cow? Mommy, I don’t see a cow. Tell me where the cow is?” (Imagine that extremely loud and extremely fast, and you’ve got an approximation of how the Oldest Kidlet said that)

Thankfully the Oldest Kidlet didn’t ask me why the cow was holy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have just been laughing hard – I would have been laughing so hard that I wouldn’t have been able to drive.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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Earlier this week I freaked out friends and family by talking about life changes vaguely in the same post as me being depressed over the loss of Jerad. I mentioned I wasn’t quite ready to talk about some of these changes, but I am ready to talk about one of them now.

I know I’ve mentioned that we’ve been gearing up for the Oldest Kidlet to go to kindergarten. We’d signed up for a tour of his school (the private Church based school that his dad and uncles went to), and were gearing up for their aggressive kindergarten program… when they gave us the registration form with the monthly tuition. Even anticipating the extended hours and a higher cost… it was more than we thought. And the family discount was less than we thought.

So we had to sit down and figure out if it was even possible…. and realized that it wasn’t. So the Oldest Kidlet will be going to the public school right around the corner. While the school won’t be as academically challenging, I know that any friends he makes will at least be in the neighborhood. Which excites me.

The Little Kidlet has been enrolled at the preschool- we’re having him at the same school, mostly because they’ve seen him all year long and already know a bit about him. So I won’t be springing his allergies on them. Or the fact that he’s really really quiet. The director of the preschool has already assured me that if he suddenly starts talking that they’ll put him in the academic program vs the language one.

Of course, this means that my little boys are growing up. And as the preschool director pointed out, I’m actually going to have some time to myself. Scary…

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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Sunday was the Oldest Kidlet’s birthday party, and as usual it came together as a last minute deal. On Saturday I bought the ingredients for the meal and the oldest kidlet settled on the theme. Disney/Pixar’s Cars.

As usual, I made the cupcakes myself. I bought the little Cars edible decorations (how cute are Lightning and Mater?). For the cupcakes I used Joy the Baker’s Vanilla Cupcakes. As soon as I saw that it used vanilla bean paste, I knew I had to try it. The frosting is Fake Ginger’s Cinnamon Frosting. For me, this frosting was life changing. The warmth of the cinnamon? Addictive.

For the meal, I made a casserole version of these mini muffin cups of Macaroni & Cheese. I baked it at 350 degrees until the top was bubbly, which I believe was around 40 minutes. This was the first time many of the people there had it, and my mom was so thrilled, she wants to hire me to make them macaroni & cheese when she’s in the mood.

The birthday boy had a wonderful time. He felt a little shy around everyone, so he spent most of the party playing out back with Papa (aka my dad). Eventually his little brother joined in.


I spent most of my time in the kitchen, whipping up an amazing meal. Nothing that’s new to the blog. I took the Macaroni I made for the baby shower and served it as a casserole, along with my fancy asparagus.

Dinner was enjoyed, presents were opened, and then it was time for the cupcakes. Only the Oldest Kidlet was still feeling shy and refused to sit down. So we pretended like he did and lit the candle and he snuck in while the lights were off to blow it out. I leave you with a picture of TheBoy and I with our imaginary son.

All pictures courtesy of my mom.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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I remember when the oldest kidlet was just hitting 2. I expressed concern about his tantrums to my mom. Okay, I was whining about how tantrums and worried that the temper he’d inherited from both TheBoy and myself was now coming back to bite me in the ass.

My mom told me this- “No matter how bad you think two is, three will be worse.”

She was right. The Oldest Kidlet hit his tantrum stride when he was three, and when he turned four, he started to mellow out. I should state for all posterity that the Oldest Kidlet’s meltdowns were seldom in public, and mostly just at home. Nobody ever believed me when I said he could be horrible.

Fast forward to the Little Guy, who turned 3 last month. He has always been the most easy going, mellow and sweet little boy. Always there to cuddle and hug… and now he melts down. If you’re walking and he’s displeased, he goes limp. And he yells! My sweet little guy now looks at me and talks back.

So whoever decided to call the twos “Terrible”… I wish I had a time machine to convince you that it’s three, that’s worse. Also, maybe I’d make you pay for my massage bills, because the LK going limp is killing my back! But Mom, thanks for the heads-up.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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…or at least the Halloween Costume Parade. Remember those? I loved walking through all the classrooms, and showing off my outfit.

Well, yesterday was the oldest kidlet’s turn. The Preschool had a big day planned. The costume parade followed by a Halloween party of epic proportions. The parents were all assigned things to bring. Because I noticed the sign up sheet late, I brought strawberries. Ooooo.

Now, when the boys were out with the in-laws, they spotted the Halloween costumes as Costco and quickly convinced my in-laws to buy them costumes. The in-laws did so, and smartly hid them away from where the boys would see them. My mother-in-law and I had even hatched a great plan to make the day easy for me to handle. She stayed home for the first part of the day, and kept the little one home with her. I’d get to take the oldest one to school, take video of the parade and get some pictures.

As I was sneaking the costume out of the closet, the little one saw it. I was worried he’d want to go with me, and that’d involve packing snacks and all the other paraphenalia you need for a 3 year old with serious allergies. Not to mention, get him dressed, finish getting the Oldest Kidlet dressed- all with 5 minutes before we had to leave.

Instead, I gave him the sword from his costume, and he went back to the movie he was watching. Crisis averted.

Dressed the oldest kidlet in his costume, and I took the obligatory pictures. At first, he didn’t want to wear the helmet- but once we told him it looked good, he wouldn’t take it off. Honestly. We got to school, and his teacher asked if he wanted to take it off. “No, Miss K—, it looks pretty.”

I went to a nearby Starbucks to get some caffeine. Unfortunately, this one was in a grocery store. I don’t know what it is, but I never seem to have luck with those Starbucks. My drink orders are usually wrong, or I have to explain something. My drink order- “a grande chai latte with an extra pump of chai.” What can I say? When I make them at home, I make them strong. (For those wondering- when you get them at a Starbucks, there’s usually a little water in the cup in addition to the chai mix and milk) They looked at me like they couldn’t understand me. “Did she say foam,” one of them asked the other. “No, she said an extra pump.” Then to me, he said. “I’m not sure what that means.”

So I smiled, and patiently replied, “You know how you put in a certain amount of pumps of the chai mix? You just put in one extra.” So they made me my drink and I left. I went back to the school, grabbed my tripod and went to the preschool yard to stake out a spot where I could film the whole thing. I wound up with a spot a little in a sun, and then dealt with a bunch of rude parents who tried to get in front of my camera. Finally, I brokered a deal. I wasn’t going to film all the classes, so as long as they let me have a clear shot for my son’s, we were fine.

Out he walked… and no smile at all. He was serious and all about walking around the courtyard and doing everything he was asked. (Of course, we just got back his school picture, and it’s serious as well) Highlights of the costume parade- it’s a Lutheran run school, so having them play the Time Warp to get the crowd warmed up was pretty funny. There was a kid dressed as a pokéball, one of the few completely homemade costumes. And it was nice to see that my son’s class was the only class where all the kids marched, and nobody cried. (Also, they got to march to the Ghostbusters theme, which was another bonus)

Afterwards, the kids all did a preschool-wide dance and everyone went back to their classrooms for snack. I had to work to get the kidlet out of his costume and into regular clothes. In the end, it was the idea that he might get it dirty while playing outside that got him to change.

It was a great day, and ultimately, he had a great time. But boy, I was exhausted by the end of it!

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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This has nothing to do with this post. But just remember, you're probably not going to have as bad a day as the guy who caused that much damage to a golf cart.

I haven’t always been a stay at home mom. For the first two or so years of the Oldest Kidlet’s life, I worked in advertising. My job was not nearly as interesting as Mad Men. There were those who drank too much, clients who asked for one thing and detested it when we delivered… but you know, everything’s more interesting when the women wear pearls and men wear three piece suits.

The Oldest Kidlet went to daycare for about a year of that time. While he was pretty darn healthy, I was sick more that year than I’d ever been. Now that he’s in preschool, it’s the same story. He had a cold, which he gave to his brother. They’re both over it (though I think the Oldest one is getting sick again), but both TheBoy and I are fighting off something. Fun times.

It’s supposed to be a warmer day than yesterday. The skies are blue and there isn’t a gray cloud in sight. However, it’s freezing in this house. I will say this- if the house cools overnight, it keeps it cool until the afternoon. Which is great during the summer and on those odd hot days we get the rest of the year- but right now I just want to wear a parka and snuggle up with the little guy.

A couple quick things- there’s another meme going around Facebook where women were urged to that they “like it on” and then put where they like to keep their purse in order to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Honestly, I’m all for more layers of awareness, even if they’re somewhat passive. Plus, I’m a sucker for innuendo. So sorry people, I don’t like doing THAT on the dining room table- it’s just where I keep my purse.

Anyways, breast cancer awareness. The meme doesn’t really raise much awareness- though I’ve been happy to see women who’ve added reminders to get mammograms to the message, and one woman who shared a whole list of products that contribute to breast cancer research. So apparently, it’s enough to get some people thinking- which is great.

So women, get mammograms and do your monthly checks. MEN. Become better educated. One of the cancers with a high mortality rate among men is breast cancer- which, while rare, is something that men don’t think to check for. So when it’s caught, it can sometimes be too late.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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It can’t be Saturday already. It seems like it was just Monday, even though that was one of the longest weeks I’ve had in ages.

The rundown- my oldest started the week with a cough, after a total of 7 days at preschool. It seems like it should be a record. He never spiked a fever, he’s just been coughing. Of course, it didn’t help that on Tuesday night he started clearing his throat. It was almost like a nervous tick- he wasn’t really aware that he was doing it. Of course, that did more damage to his throat than the coughing. So from Wednesday on, he basically had no voice. I didn’t pull him out of school- other than having a tiny squeaky voice, he was completely fine. His teacher agreed with me (especially since he was only there for a few hours).

I also didn’t get much sleep. The coughing would wake me up (though it didn’t wake my sons up). And if the coughing didn’t wake me up, then the nightly 3 am meowfest from Zorro would. It was worse than usual, and last night it dawned on me that Zorro was concerned about my son, so he was trying to wake me up so I’d check on him. I’m serious! When I got up to get my son something to drink, the cat would follow me downstairs to get the drink, then up to my son’s room then back into my room. All while doing an odd meow. I swear, he’s more dog than cat.

Just so this isn’t a bunch of whining, here are the things that made me laugh/smile this week:

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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Well, it was bound to happen. The oldest kidlet has started preschool, and he has a cold. He’s coughed his voice into oblivion- not because there’s a drip or anything, but because he starts trying to clear his throat, which irritates it and makes him cough more. So he clears his throat. Seriously, he seem to think that clearing his throat will stop the coughing.

So he has almost no voice right now, and I got him to take a nice long nap. We’ll be seeing how he’s doing tomorrow to see if he goes to school, stays home to rest, or stays home to go to the doctor.

I tried to get him to have some soup, but he refused. Silly picky eater. Soup will help!

Somehow I’m managing to keep it together. I know, a sick kid isn’t much. The youngest is coughing, and has a runny nose- but he’s fine, honestly. But since Monday, I’ve been battling a wicked migraine. It comes and goes in intensity, but it’s still back there… waiting.

I’m sure the moms at our school think that I think I’m too cool. With my big sunglasses that I wear even when it’s overcast. Sadly, it’s when it’s overcast that I have the hardest time. With the migraines I’m extremely photosensitive- and while there are somedays where it’s dark and overcast… the majority of overcast days here in Southern California are bright and overcast. So bright it’s almost like someone stuck a piece of paper in the sky.

Here’s to hoping we all make it out of the week in one piece! Someday I’ll share the tale about the pit o’ frosting and the awesome cake that accompanied it.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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Right now there’s a fire burning up in the hills between Whittier and Hacienda Heights (they’ve dubbed it the Colima Incident). It started yesterday afternoon and is apparently contained- of course, I had to wait until this morning to find that out. I wish that local news would keep up with these things around the clock. At least for the community nearby. The weirdest thing is that it’s along the I drive daily coming back from the preschool, so it’s a little odd to think that we were just there hours before it started. Today, we drove back the way I usually drive there, as I wasn’t sure if the road was open at all- since it was just below the road.

I should apologize upfront for the rambling. Most mornings I wake up around 3 am when our cat Zorro decides that he wants to talk to me. Sweet cat. Loveable cat. He’s almost like a dog. But he’s a talker. So while he sleeps during the day, he wants someone to pet him and talk to him at 3 am. Usually, I’d just kick him out of my room. But this morning, just before the meowing started, my oldest son came into my room and said that he wanted to sleep in my bed. I asked if he wanted to go back to his, he said no. He petted Zorro and climbed into bed beside me. Unfortunately, the more Zorro meowed, the more awake my son became. Finally, I told him he’d have to go back to his bed and I’d give him some milk to get back to sleep. Which he did, and I sort of drifted back to sleep.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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You know, nothing makes me laugh more than comment spam. Seriously! Sometimes it’s the typos, sometimes it’s that it was obviously translated from Russian to some other language and then English. But mostly, it’s that my blog has plenty of posts that these comments might apply to- but not on the post it was submitted on. Case in point, today’s gem:

Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could one get this kind of info written in such an incite full way? I have a presentation that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information.

Barring the “incite full” typo… this could be a real comment! Except that this was posted on my post for Oven Fried Chicken. I suppose that someone could be doing a presentation on chicken recipes… but yeah. Not likely.

Yesterday was the 25th Anniversary of Super Mario Brothers (in addition to the birthday of TheBoy). There were plenty of tweets about it, but Wil Wheaton’s made me laugh. Then today, he blogged about a Twitter exchange that made it even better.

Now believe it or not, I started this blogpost to share that my oldest son is in preschool 5 days a week now! When we signed him up for preschool, we had him in for 3 days a week, half days. It boggles the mind that there are full day preschool classes, really.

But on Friday, I was told by his teacher that the preschool director wanted to talk to us. As we waited for her, I worried. Had they lost our check? What was wrong? Ultimately, it was that the teacher felt that Drake wasn’t ready for their pre-K class and they wanted to put him in a regular preschool class. When we were signing him up, I had been told that the pre-K class was for older children. I wasn’t told that essentially it was for the kids who’d already done preschool- so they knew letters, numbers… and could write already. So obviously, I agreed. Had I known that? I never would have put him in it.

He started with his new class yesterday, and seems to be doing well. The teacher seemed surprised he couldn’t use scissors. I explained that he hasn’t used scissors before, since he has a little brother who’s only 2 and both of them tend to do everything together. But she’s going to work with him and I’m going to get him some of those safety scissors that don’t cut anything, so we can practice at home.

Things sure have changed since I went to preschool. I don’t remember anyone expecting that I knew how to do anything, except sit still, play nicely and that I could use the bathroom!

Tomorrow: Summarizing the schedule. What it used to be and what it is now..

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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First, a million apologies to my Oldest Son when you read this in the future. It was just too strange not to share with the world.

Last night, I put the boys to bed, and my oldest was happy because it meant that he’d be going to school the next morning. As I usually do, I went to my room (next to the boys’ room) and called TheBoy to see how his night at work was going. We talked for a bit and I was convinced that I should get some sleep. So I turned off the lights, let Zorro cuddle up to me… and dozed off.

Then I was awoken to hear my oldest talking. I got up (Zorro followed) and we investigated. There he was, standing, and peeing (while in his underwear) on the floor. Then he laid down on his bed and was completely asleep.

That’s right, my son was not just sleepwalking, but actually thought he was at the bathroom. So I did what anyone would do. Cleaned up the mess, put dry undies on my son and then called TheBoy to tell him what his son did. Then Zorro and I went back to bed.

What’s the weirdest thing that you have done, or that your kids have done in their sleep? I wasn’t a sleepwalker or talker, but I did sleep with my eyes partially open when I was really little. Which, naturally, freaked my mom out.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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Sorry, this post is not about zombies.

Gearing up for the three day weekend, are we all? I admit, my life mostly exists without days- at least it did. Starting Wednesday, we’ll have weekends here in the house. Since that’s when my oldest starts preschool. We drove down to Orange County yesterday and the traffic wasn’t like it was on Tuesday. Of course, we left an hour later. That tends to make a world of difference.

I had noticed that traffic was horrible on the other side of the 5 Freeway, but it usually is, and we just enjoyed our drive down to the doctor’s office- and rocked out to Queen. We got the paperwork we needed, they verified that my son’s TB test was negative and it was back home.

Foolishly, I hadn’t checked traffic on my phone before we left, and while I took a little bit of a roundabout way to get back to LA, we found ourself back in traffic that was at a dead stop. So I got off the freeway and took streets home. When we made a pitstop to get some lemonade, I checked my phone- discovering that a piece of the freeway (the length of a car, according to Sigalert) had come up and lanes of the freeway were closed. Causing a 10 mile backup. Glad we got out of that one!

Other than boots, my latest obsession is Scott Pilgrim. And of course, I’m not the only one on the internet who is. Jenna Salume (@oxboxer on Twitter and oxboxer on LJ) just did a series she called Scott Pilgrim vs The Gender Bender- where she changed the gender of all the evil exes- and came up with some awesome designs and artwork. She’s a regular participant at Project: Rooftop (which frequently challenges artists to redesign classic superheroes) and always turns out some lovely stuff.

Speaking of Scott Pilgrim, TheBoy’s asked me to do a Scott Pilgrim themed cake for his birthday. Trying to figure that one out… should be fun! TheBoy vs The Birthday. Game On.

It’s Friday, which means on Twitter it’s Follow Friday- I figured I’d share some blogs that I love right here.

Neil Gaiman’s Journal. An obvious choice, but I do read his blog regularly- and honestly, you don’t have to be a fan of his writing to find him interesting. He talks a lot about his bees, his dogs and answers a lot of questions about writing processes and how to be a better writer. And for someone who’s as well known as he is in sci-fi/fantasy circles (and outside them), he’s unbelievably obliging. I should not that he hasn’t blogging as much as he used to- when he’s actively working on projects, he doesn’t blog. He still tweets, though. (Hilariously, he tweeted last night that he’ll be away from the internet for 18 days)

Joy the Baker. A young baker from LA (she’s a year and a half younger than me)- her blog is just fun to read. The pictures are gorgeous and I want to make everything she posts. Only I’m a little lazy, so I don’t. But I plan on buying some tomatoes and making the creamy tomato soup on her site. Definitely buying them tomorrow.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

Milestones

Aug. 20th, 2010 05:46 pm
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Today I enrolled my oldest son in pre-school. Well, their Pre-K class. He’s right at the cut-off, so they’ll put him with the older kids.

How time flies! The picture you see is the only picture we have from when he was at daycare- and I’m still not sure how they got him to stay still long enough to get a posed picture like this. Aside from the picture package we’d purchased, we also got a fabulous tote bag!

I’m excited. He’s excited. Honestly, he’s thrilled to go back to school- and keeps asking when he’ll get to go. I think I’ll be making a calendar to deal with that question. Of course, I’m excited. As much as I love my son, we butt heads being around each other 24/7. A little time apart will do us both good.

Hopefully the little one can deal with not being around his brother for the first time since he was born. That’s the only thing I’m worried about.

Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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