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Friday, December 31, 2010

Our New Year's Resolutions

(Lela in black, Ally in blue)

1.  Finish our master bath remodel that we started in March, 2010.  Ally is really making me feel like a loser for her "weekend" bathroom renovation.  Maybe she can fly down to California and help us install baseboards, toilet, and a shower door.

(She is totally NOT a loser. They took their bathroom down to studs. I painted and replaced a vanity counter top & sink, light & towel bars. Not even close!  That said, it's time to finish it up, sister. Love ya.)
Now me? I need to repaint our living room. Something I've been talking about for 2 years. Time to stop talking, and start doing.

2.  Create more art.  And to prove it I bought a drawing book yesterday and have already completed the first exercise:  Lie on your bed and draw 30 cats.  Weird, I know, but it was so fun!

I want to finish some scrapbooks that have been started or planned, yet sit unfinished, getting older by the year.

3.  Be less sarcastic.

Me, too. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure it would be the first resolution I would "break". I do want to be less judgmental.

4.  Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Love this! I SO need to learn how to do this! Great resolution!

5.  Dust more often than twice a year.

Dusting is overrated. Besides, that's what teenagers are for. Though I could stand to dust the bedrooms a little more often.

6.  Put my clothes away instead of hanging them on doorknobs and stacking them on dresser tops. 

I'm good with clothes. Now paperwork - that's another story. I am procrastinating cleaning and organizing my desk as I type this! File papers and record bookkeeping as it happens - that's my goal.

7.  Finish the quilt I started 2009 for my son.

Sew the ripped seams in my son's three shirts that have been sitting in my room for over 8 months. I'd like to get them done before he outgrows them.


8.  Find a foundation that actually matches my skin tone.

I don't know which skin tone I would match. That's how uneven my skin is. For me - find a place for bikini waxes that doesn't cost a fortune. 

9.  Grow my hair out.

Ha! I beat you on this one!


10.  Since I already work out regularly and try to eat healthy,  I resolve to accept my body with the love and respect it deserves.

Run a half marathon. The Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon to be exact. I'm already signed up and have six months to train and stay healthy.

Happy New Year!

-Lela & Ally

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stuff

What do you do with it? The "stuff", that is?

I'm finishing up a bathroom facelift project in my son's bathroom. The tub is filled with all the things that were under the sink and on the counter (this IS the bathroom of a 16 year old - and an occasional house guest). But I keep thinking it must be edited, before being put away again.

Then I look at my guest room, which at Christmas time, gets temporarily taken over as the gift room/ wrapping room. And my husband and son think it is the "dumping room", ie: if you don't want it anymore, throw it in the guest room and Mom will get rid of it eventually.

Then there are the family "heirlooms". Things that have been passed down. Things that may or may not fit your style of living, but you don't want to just get rid of them. How much is okay to have packed in boxes or stored in cupboards, that isn't used, that will only get passed on to your kids to have the same dilemmas about? Because you know that stuff multiplies with each generation!

So, help me out here - what do you do with your "stuff"? How much do you keep? What do you do with you kids' few baby items you can't part with? Your Grandma's silver tea set that you'll never use or display? The 1,856,743 family photos that make you terrified of house fires or floods? How do you store stuff? Where do you store stuff?

***Ally

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday - Home Improvement Style

Only Parent Chronicles


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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Post About Gifts

Christmas really isn't about gifts. Oh please be serious! But it is fun.

So here's a few fun notes on our gifts this year.

Best Gift-Wrapped Christmas gift sent to my son. Or tackiest. Depends on your view. On one hand, it isn't bad to look at, if you are a girl, and a little more attractive than a fat guy in a red suit. On the other hand, it doesn't do much for the holiday spirit, if you know what I mean. You choose. Note: that is pink, purple & green polka dot, pre-used, tissue paper in the bag. I know because it's tissue paper I used on one of their birthday gifts previously in the year. Hey - reuse, reduce, recycle! Gotta give green credit!


Best Christmas Gift with No Complaints from me! I'll recycle the bottle for sure - more green credit!


Best Stocking Stuffer. Yes, my dog gets a stocking. It's almost more fun than any others. She eventually stuck her whole nose inside.


Most Ridiculous shipping to our house. (We received it, didn't send it!) Shipping was $30.80. Plus insurance. Total $ spent on gifts inside? $30. Doh!!!! Of course that's assuming she actually paid money for the gift she sent me, which I strongly doubt, because I believe I've seen it before, meaning it was regifted. Hey - reuse, reduce, recycle! More green credit!


Okay, I'm just poking fun. In all seriousness, Christmas was great with gifts from, and time spent with, loving family and friends. It really is about family and friends. Hope your holiday was a good one!

***Ally

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Wish To You!

Last year, we posted THIS. It's okay, you can quickly click, scroll down and see the hideous picture. I'll wait............................

Yeah. Stop your laughing. That was Lela and I on "Santa's" lap. Except Santa was our middle school principle. Eww. I know. (It had to be around 1980, or even possibly 1979 - 7th or 8th grade. Eeek!)

Anyelf, in making it a tradition, I scrounged up another Santa picture with Lela and I from years past.

1982


There are a few things to say here:
1. That was my FAVORITE sweater. I got it at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale at the end of summer and I could hardly wait for fall to come so I could start wearing it.
2. I just realized that Santa is kind of young looking. With dark eyebrows and dark hair peeking out of his sideburns. And I'm thinking he was probably loving having two teenage girls sitting on his lap. Gross.
3. That was NOT a mullet I was growing out there. It was a "Bi-Level". That's what we called it. That is what we will continue to call it. The 80's were not kind to fashion. And I was simply a victim of that fashion. A victim! Again, it was NOT a mullet. We will not call it a mullet. Mmmm-kay?
4. See Lela's pretty white teeth? Yeah, she totally got her braces off two years before I did. Still trying not to be jealous. (I had a mouth of metal for FIVE years. Cause being a teenager isn't humiliating enough.)

Allrighty, now that we've embarrassed ourselves, let me go on with our wish to you:

We, Lela & Ally, wish you a very 
Merry Christmas!
We wish you peace, joy and love. 
We wish you a happy and healthy 2011. 

Oh, and it wouldn't be Christmas without leaving you with this 1981 flashback song:
 



Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Humanity Does Exist

Yesterday I fought my way to Trader Joe's, in the late afternoon crowds. I wasn't thrilled to be there that close to Christmas, but it wasn't to be avoided.

As I pulled into the parking lot and watched all the people circling like vultures, waiting for that spot to open that would put them 12 feet closer to the door, I watched a lady unload her cart. Then she pushed her cart in the opposite direction of the store, leaving it in an empty parking spot, and walk away.

So that's how this shopping trip was going to be. Sigh.

I worked my way through the store, often parking my cart tight against the end of the aisle and dashing down the aisle for what I needed, rather than try to fit my way through the three-wide carts in the two-cart-wide aisles.

As I waited in line, the checker was happily chatting with the customer ahead of me - I assumed he knew her. Then while he was checking my things, he suddenly waved across the store and motioned for someone to come near him. Moments later, he stopped what he was doing, squeezed out past my cart and gave a hug to a boy of about 12. They exchanged a few words, and he returned to my check out process.

He explained that he had been working at this store for 4+ years, and that the boy and his family had been customers the whole time. When he first met them, the boy had a hand held football video game - the old style ones they don't make anymore. That's all it did, was football. For a while, when the boy would come to the store with his mom, the checker would take his break and teach the boy the tricks of playing the game.

This week, the checker came to work and was told he had a gift waiting. The boy's family had found him a game just like it on eBay, purchased it for him, wrapped it up and brought it to the store.

"It almost made me teary," he told me. As I listened to his animated story, his eyes, in fact, filled with tears.

"That is so sweet," I told him, and I meant it.

"Isn't it?" he asked. And we chatted a little more.

As I was leaving, he stepped over, gave my hand a squeeze, gave me a genuine smile and wished me a Merry Christmas. He then turned his attention to the next customer, giving them the same attention and genuine smile he had given me.

I left with a smile on my face, and went to unload my cart into my car. As I was closing my trunk, a gentleman walked up and asked me if I'd like him to return my cart for me. Do you know how long it's been since someone has done that for me?

I got into my car and took a minute to truly appreciate quality customer service and friendly gestures.

There are some good people in this crazy world!

***Ally

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brotherly Love


Nick, before

This is my son, Nick.  He has really long hair for a boy. 

His big brother, Tyler, (my stepson) is a recruit in the United States Marine Corp.  Tyler loves to tease Nick about his hair.

This is Nick's Christmas present to his big brother:  Cutting it all off.


Holding hair to donate to Locks of Love

Big brother Tyler began boot camp in October, missing Thanksgiving with his family and will miss Christmas and New Year's, too. We are not allowed to call or see him until he graduates in January.

The only thing we can send him are protein bars, beef jerky, and letters with pictures.

Last week I sent him 77 protein bars (you have to send enough for the entire platoon) and a Christmas card.


Buzzing it off

Today we are sending these pictures of his little brother.

Then we will send his hair to Locks of Love where it will be made into a free wig for kids with permanent hair loss.

I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed in the hair salon. Not because of my son's beautiful, blond hair being buzzed off, but because he is becoming a handsome, young man.


Nick, after

As a mother, it makes me so happy and proud to see my son make this loving gesture to his big brother. And words can't describe how proud I am of my Marine Recruit stepson, Tyler.


Merry Christmas, Tyler and Platoon 1030!


Semper Fi, Lela

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday

Only Parent Chronicles


If you want to play along with That One Mom, click here or above!






***Ally

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nooooo, Not My Power!

It's been a crazy weather season here in Seattle. So far we had snow before Thanksgiving in Seattle - snow that shut down roads and trapped drivers for hours trying to get home from their commutes. Then we had flooding rains - it's called a Pineapple Express - it's a weather system that streams in straight from Hawaii, bringing warmer air and LOTS of moisture. And manages to make all the rivers overflow their banks. And then came the crazy windstorm Friday night. Trees went down, power lines went down. Crazy.

It blew and blew and blew. We rarely lose power in our neighborhood, and when we do, it's not for any length of time. Our lines are buried, so when we lose it, it's usually a transformer blowing.

Friday night, I had just fallen asleep.  BAM!

I open my eyes. BAM! FLASH! (that would be the transformers blowing)

...and the power goes. Oh well, my bed is warm and it will probably be back on in a few hours. I snuggled under the covers, adding my extra down throw, listening to the wind howl outside. And I drifted off to sleep again...

BEEP! What the heck? BEEP!  Are you kidding me? The smoke alarm battery is dying? NOW?

I tell Hubs to bring me a chair, crawl out of bed, climb up and pull the smoke alarm from its wiring. BEEP! Yeah, yeah. I fiddle with it in my hand trying to open the battery compartment. BEEP! Finally getting it open I yank out the battery and toss it to the desk. I'll deal with battery replacement tomorrow.

(Note: Hubs can't do this part because he had shoulder surgery and can't yet reach up above his head with both arms. Any other time, and I can promise you I would have still been warm in my bed while he was handling this little inconvenience! I love that man!)

BEEP! What the heck? Somehow the thing stores power. I guess I'll replace the battery NOW! It beeped THREE more times with NO battery in it. It beeped its final, dying BEEP just as I got the new battery shoved into place. Timing is everything.

Seriously, what can you do but laugh? We laughed.

Humor really can carry you through the most annoying situations.

For the record, still no power the next morning. Thank goodness for the gas water heater, stove and fireplace. Later that day we went to Lowes to walk around and look at ideas for a bathroom update (and be warm). Now I have a new project for Christmas break! Woohoo! *eyeroll*

***Ally

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spam

Not the kind in the can. Which is only acceptable in Hawaii and eaten with rice. Not that I've actually eaten it.

No, I'm talking the kind that fills your inbox, or if you have a decent email program, fills your Spam Folder.

Just how many penis enlargement companies are out there sending out emails, anyway? Or online pharmacies?

And then there's Michael. "Hi, My name is Michael..." Every one of his 8,432* emails starts that way. Michael has hit me from every angle to try to get me to click on his links to be taken somewhere that I'm going to make A LOT of money. Hmph.

I think we must have it all wrong. I think the real money is in creating spam emails!

Do you get slammed with spam?

***Ally

*This number might be a small exaggeration. But only a small one.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Maybe You've Seen Them

... but I hadn't seen them until yesterday. And I nearly spit a bite of chili all over my laptop when I did.

Awkward Pregnancy Photos. I have no words, so I'll just give you the link:

Click HERE

Be sure to read the captions - they are awesome.

***Ally

PS - to defend myself against seeming lamely judgemental (seriously? there are guns!) - please read the intro AND the comments on the blog - the author pulled these from AwkwardPhotos.com where people submit them... themselves. I'm not laughing AT them, I'm laughing WITH them. See how that works?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

California Christmas

This is dedicated to all my bloggy friends in cold places.

People do things a little differently during the holidays in Southern California.  Maybe it's the warm weather, but here are a few things this former Seattle girl has to put up with down here:

1. People bring their dogs to shopping malls.  Last weekend I saw a giant poodle (complete with shaved body and pouf-ball butt and tail) waltzing through Nordstrom!

2.  The Southern California winter "uniform" is (please don't be insulted if this describes you):  Juicy Couture sweatsuits worn with Ugg boots and boob jobs. 

3.  You can play in "fake snow" for a fee.  My husband and I noticed water and traffic cones on the downtown Huntington Beach sidewalk the other evening.  Closer inspection showed a frame made of wood filled with snow cone ice.  The sign said:  Snow play  $3.75/15 minutes.  Pathetic.

4.  Dry Christmas trees.  Blame it on the warm weather, but our trees are always dry and don't smell.  I have to burn pine-scented candles.  Lame.

5.  No snow.  But on the other hand, I never have to scrape my car windows, and that is a good thing.

-Lela

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby Santa Makes His Return

He's baa-ack!

Yes, after making holiday treats to take to a meeting, he managed to make his return. Look how he's eying that chocolate cake with peppermint frosting! (Which I promise you looked a lot better once it was cut into squares - it was a baking disaster day - you'll have to take my word for it.)

Then he managed to sneak a ride with us to a well known Seattle brew restaurant (65 beers on tap! - my husbands idea of heaven!) and sidled right up there between our beers.


And then when we stopped to take a picture of the Troll under the Fremont Bridge in Seattle (a must see if you ever visit), he INSISTED on being in the picture and made me hold  him up for the camera. I didn't bother telling him he would be NOT be the center of attention in the picture.


Okay, if you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about with this crazy little scary Santa doll, you can check it out here, here, here, here and here. OR just know that he's a family "treasure" to my husband. We found him in some family things. He dates back to 1955. He's ugly. He's scary. And he's here to stay much to my dismay. He follows us on adventures leading up to Christmas. Don't you wish you had one, too??

***Ally

Monday, December 13, 2010

How A Lunch Gets Hijacked

If you'd like to lose control of your lunch, I'll give you step by step directions.

1. Come home from church REALLY hungry.

2. Mentally plan and drool over your secret idea for lunch. For yourself.

3. Score what's leftover of the cream cheese used in last night's recipe - that we never regularly buy (so it's a total treat! Yum!) - add black beans and a few spoonfuls of leftover enchilada sauce. Heat in microwave and mix. Heavenly. If you don't believe me, try it some time.

4. Get out chips to eat it with.

5. Turn your back ever-so-briefly to check on something.

6. Turn back. Boy will be scooping your delicious chips & dip into his mouth. Hubs will be asking if he can add more beans because to stretch it, because there "isn't enough to go around".

7. Bite your tongue and eat as much as you can before they scarf it completely gone.

8. Decide you will get a spoon to scrape the sides of the bowl to get all that's left of the goodness you created.

9. Expect that before you can pull the spoon from the drawer, Hubs will have dumped in more beans "to soak up what's left on the side of the bowl" because he didn't want to waste it.

10. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's how it's done. What can I say. Gotta love 'em.

***Ally

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blue Christmas

My house is the donation drop-off spot for a needy family in my community.  Every day for the past week friends and strangers have been leaving huge bags of clothes, toiletries, and gifts (including 2 bikes), on my front porch.

We have already made two deliveries to my new friend "Annette", and I feel like I am the one being blessed.  She is a grandmother (though not much older than I) and is raising her 4 young grandchildren who were being abused.  I don't know the specifics, but I am assuming they left in a hurry and left everything behind.  The place they are living has a queen-size bed, a couch from a dumpster, and a small t.v.  That's it.  We have supplied them with bedding, clothes, groceries, Christmas gifts, and more.

I could tell she was overwhelmeed and uncomfortable asking for anything for herself, so I gave her a hug and said, "We are Christians and mothers and we are here to help you.  It's going to be okay."  And you know what she wanted?  Bikes for the kids.  So they could go outside and make friends with the neighbor kids.

Yesterday she finally warmed up and told me she loved music, but didn't have anything to play it on or any c.d.s.  Also, a blue comforter.

"Any special shade of blue?"  I asked.

"No.  Just blue."

Guess what I did today besides dust off my old c.d. player and pick out my favorite  c.d.s for Annette?  I bought a beautiful, bright blue queen-size quilt with matching pillow shams. 

It was the best Christmas present I have ever bought.

-Lela

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finding The Bright Side

Sometimes life throws you into a situation or relationship where it is so easy to only see the negative. 

For instance, you marry the man of your dreams, only to realize that his sister is everything you feared. A full-on nightmare of evil actions and words, verbal sparring meant to hurt, passive-aggressive behavior, materialistic values like you’ve never seen before, greed, jealousy, drug use, disrespect... you name it. Toss that in with different lifestyles, values, and parenting and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

It’s so easy to hate. It’s so easy to despise.

But I’ve learned a few life lessons, too. (I had to, what else could I do?). Here’s a few, in no order what-so-ever.

1. Kids are innocent victims. They can’t choose who they are born to. Their upbringing is what they know. You can stoop to their parents level of interaction, OR you can take the high road and set an example of another way of living.

2. You will never, ever get a passive-aggressive personality to see things “your way”. Trying will only wear you down.

3. Being supportive of your spouse, while refusing to let yourself become a doormat can be tricky business. But, it is possible to be supportive and caring without getting personally involved. Of course, that sounds a whole lot easier than it is when that crazy person takes personal shots at you. It’s a struggle, really.

4. No matter what the crazy in-law does or says, no matter how personal they try to make it, it really doesn’t have anything to do with you. Really. Nothing at all. Their issues are deep seated, and go way back before you were ever in the picture. Their issues stem from familial relationships wired wrong. You are just an easy target.

5. No matter how poorly wired familial relationships are, how we react is a choice. Case in point - my husband and his sister had the same upbringing. They are completely different people, making polar opposite choices on how to live their lives and participate in relationships.


Even in sour relationships, we are given gifts. They aren’t always easy to see. And sometimes they are bittersweet.

1. We have two lovely nieces, that we hope to maintain contact with for a lifetime. They are full of potential with the whole world in front of them, just like most children. They are our son’s cousins, and we love that he has them in his life, even if from a distance.

2. Sometimes a sour relationship with an in-law can give you a much deeper understanding of who your spouse is. Where their thoughts and habits come from. You may realize that something that just annoyed you, actually comes from a long used place of mental self-preservation. It sheds a new light and makes you more tolerant.

3. When a ‘crazy’ starts alienating people, often others are driven closer. Relationships deepen. You are often able to experience a special relationship that you might not otherwise have had. Bittersweet, yes, but priceless all the same.

4. A hard one to admit is that you may see in the ‘crazy’, little pieces of yourself. If you can step back and really see it, you can work harder to make changes in your own life, to become a better person, to eliminate bad habits.

5. Seriously? If you make the right choices, it just makes you stronger. If you can weather that storm, you can weather A LOT.

And the moral? You could lose yourself in how awful it is. You could waste precious energy and emotion letting them under your skin. Or you can make the choice to see the bright side. I’m not saying that’s easy. And I’m not saying I don’t often occasionally slip into anger. But I try to see the big picture and choose the bright side.

***Ally

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hey, What's That Up Ahead? It's a... RUN!!

My friend and I like to hit the trails on the weekend. She's not a runner, so we walk. We take the dogs and we put on the miles. Everyone's happy - the dogs are happy, our butts are happy, we're happy.

Last Saturday, we hit the trail - this awesome trail is over 17 miles long. It starts out paved in town but then heads out into less populated territory. The last five miles are soft surface, lots of woods and wilderness around, but great going. That's where we pick it up.

We're walking and talking, occasionally passing a runner or cyclist, or two, or four. The dogs are sniffing and trotting along - mine is trying to mark every freaking blade of grass or bush we pass, but hey, there's only so much pee in one little bladder.

Anyhiker, all of a sudden she says, "Is that a cougar up there?"

Say what? It was Apple Cup day - Washington State Cougars vs. University of Washington Huskies. That's college football, ya'll. Seriously, that's what I think she's talking about. A Cougar FAN. But no. And she wasn't talking about a hot older woman. Or a car. But then I see it. And I decide it's a dog. Surely, it's a dog, right? I mean it has to be a dog. (It's far enough away or my eyesight sucks that it was really hard to tell for sure)

We are still moving TOWARD the damn thing at this point because clearly we are brain dead. It is moving the same direction we are, but clearly not at the same pace, because we are gaining ground on it.

She's saying, "Look at the long tail. Look at the way its swishing back and forth."

At this point the trail starts to curve a little and instead of looking at it from behind, now we can sort of see it from a side angle. And here is where we slam the brakes on. Hard. As it passes under a tree, a bald eagle takes off from the tree, clearly smarter than us smart enough not to want to be in the same vicinity as a wild, freaking, predator CAT.

One of THESE!

Time to turn around. At that very moment, it looks back and sees us and runs into the bushes. We turn around and my friend, who doesn't run, says, "I wouldn't mind running for a while!".

Okay, so we run the next half mile the other way, then truck the next mile at race walkers pace. (Me? I could have sprinted back!) Looking back over our shoulders the WHOLE TIME. I really liked it better when I could see the thing - at least I knew where it was!

Clearly I'm still here. We didn't see it again after we turned around. And I'm thankful for that. I'm also thankful that my dog was on her leash, because often on that trail, we let them off leash and she runs a head and then back to us over and over again. I'm not sure she's smart enough to not charge a cougar if she saw one. Frankly, I doubt that's a freedom I'll ever let her enjoy there again. We'll go to the dog park for off leash play.

After our heart rates returned to normal, we decided it might be a sign. Maybe the Cougars would win the Apple Cup! Not so much. The Huskies won. If it was a sign, it was telling us that if you want to go walking in the freaking wilderness, you might want to expect wild animals.

***Ally

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday - I think...

Only Parent Chronicles


If you want to play along with That One Mom, click here or above!







One day at a time. If I make it through this over-scheduled week, it's all just coasting to Christmas!  Or, they send me to the funny farm when I start walking in circles, unable to remember where I am. Either way, it'll all be good!

***Ally

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Advice For That Yearly Visit

Don't have that cup of coffee you are craving on the way to the gynecologists office for your yearly exam. That's my advice.

Why, you ask? Because you will pee as soon as you get there. And you'll think you are just fine. Then when the nurse takes you back, she will ask you if you need to use the restroom, to which you will reply that you've already taken care of business, quite pleased with yourself. And then she will leave you with the skimpy gown and paper lap cover-thing. And you will sit down on the table to wait, only to suddenly realize that the coffee has just reassembled itself squarely in your bladder.

If you are like me, you will first try to convince yourself that it will be okay and you can just hold it. That you only have to go "a little".

Then, if you are like me, you will start to get worried. You'll push a little on your abdomen to see if it will bother you at all when the doctor does it. And when you push, you will almost pee right then and there. You'll start sweating as you consider whether you can get across the hall to the bathroom wearing only the gown, or whether you need to get dressed.

Eventually, you will grab your jeans and pull them on under your oh-so-stylish-open-in-the-back gown, hold that gown tight around you and sprint across the hall to that bathroom. You will pee and pee and pee, all the while praying that the doctor didn't just walk in the room while you were gone, wondering if you had chickened out and fled the scene. And also you'll wonder if the human bladder can actually hold a full gallon of pee, because it feels as if you will never stop.

Of course, you will make it back to the room, your absence undiscovered, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

So, if you are like me, that is exactly why you shouldn't hit Starbuck's on the way to the gynecologist's office.

***Ally

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's A Water Celebration

10 years. That's how long I have lived in the neighborhood with the worst water pressure around.

Tuesday, my son made a comment about strong water pressure. That same day, I got in the shower and sure enough, there was a strong water spray. I was practically jumping for joy. My long, super thick hair was rinsing quickly!

And then it slowed to a trickle. I was glad my hair was already rinsed, or I'd have been in there for hours trying to get the shampoo out. I was devastated. But a few minutes later, it was back - the strong water pressure!

*Note: when I say strong water pressure, don't be thinking about that awesome water pressure that rips your skin off. We're not even close. But relative to what we HAD, it is stronger!*

And it has remained. I keep noticing the difference. When I fill my water bottle from the filtered fridge door, it takes HALF the time! Yay! I can fill a pot with water in a reasonable amount of time! Yay! Seriously, sometimes it's cool to feel "normal". Seriously, it makes me want to celebrate.

Now I'm just scared to see the next water bill!

***Ally

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oppisite Gender Day

My son's middle school (in conservative Orange County, California) is having "Opposite Gender Day" to promote school spirit.  Next week boys will dress like girls and girls will dress like boys.  All in the name of school spirit!

"That's stupid," I said to my teenage son.  "Girls dress like boys everyday.  Look at me.  I am wearing Levis and a sweatshirt."

"I know, Mom.  It's just another way for the cool kids to dress up and make fun of everyone else."

"I don't get it.  So, are you going to dress like a girl?" 

"Oh, hell no!"  he said.

"You mean 'heck no' and if you don't dress up, why would anyone make fun of you?"

"They are going to say that I am a girl because I will be dressed like I usually am--like a guy."

I was so confused.  "Why would they do that?"  I asked.

"Because I have long hair." he said.

I know my son sometimes gets teased for his shoulder-length, blond hair, but he is 13 and we told him to cut it if he can't take the teasing.  But, it did sound kind of douchey to be to be teased for not wanting to dress up like a girl.  When you are a boy.

I tried humor.  "Do you want me to talk to the principal and put a stop to 'Opposite Gender Day'?  Or do you want to change schools?"

He just rolled his eyes.

What ever happened to "Crazy Hat Day" or "Pajama Day"?

-Lela

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Family Cure for Writer's Block

I was having writer's block. So I asked the two men in my life for ideas.

"Come on guys, give me something to blog about..."

Silence. They stared at the television.

"Seriously. I need ideas. What's happened in our lives in the last few days?"

Silence. Still staring at the television.

"Really? No ideas?"

Hubs: "Write about Punkin Chunkin!"

WTH? "Excuse me?"

I looked at the screen that was capturing their rapt attention. Sure enough, it was a show called Punkin Chunkin 2010. Engineers putting together contraptions to try to fling pumpkins the farthest distance in competition. It's held in Delaware. And someone made a tv show about it. For people to watch. On tv.

Of all the channels that we pay for, you'd think there would be SOMETHING on tv. Besides flying pumpkins.

Sigh.

There are some places you just shouldn't go for inspiration.

***Ally