Thursday, November 10, 2011

I didn't fall off the planet. Really.

For anyone wondering if I fell off the planet you can be either relieved I didn’t or upset I didn’t . 

It’s good to be working.  So many people still don’t have jobs so I don’t for a minute take it for granted that I’m working and being paid to do it.  But, this job is definitely interfering with my social media time.  The Nerve!!!  By the time I get home I’m exhausted and barely even glance at my iPhone for updates let alone go on the desktop in the computer/shoe/snake/junk room.  Unless my phone talks to me telling me I have a message, I pretty much don’t look at it once I go thru my front door. 

Still, for the few people who might be interested in my daily life I’ll update you. 

I think this new company going to make me permanent after the New Year but I haven’t received confirmation yet.  I also haven’t had any time to look to see what’s out there.  I miss my long lunches and short work days. 

The most exciting thing that’s happened since I posted last was Shawna broke her arm over Labor Day weekend while camping at Mt. Madonna.  She was carrying a blanket out of the trailer and forgot about a log in front her that she couldn’t see with the blanket in front of her, and tripped over it.  She broke it really well too. Her break was called a Distal Humerus Fracture requiring surgery to place 3 pins in her arm.  We had an overnight stay in Kaiser.  The girls and I JUST went on their insurance thru Todd’s company, in August.  $3000 later (gasp!) my daughter’s arm is fine. The cast came off after 4 weeks. They don’t send you to physical therapy. Rather they feel since she’s young and energetic she’ll get the use of her arm back on her own. We did help her by making her use a tiny weight, like one you’d take to aerobics class.  She’s back to playing on the monkey bars like her usual self.  We had to pull Shawna from volleyball once the arm broke but she’s in Girl Scouts and choir at church/school. 

Paula is also in choir too but also plays volleyball with the 5th grade girls.  She’s better this year than last year and enjoying herself more I think too. They had their first game on the weekend and won.  She also just joined a Girl Scout troop.  For years I’ve tried to get her in a troop but our school didn’t have one in her grade.  The neighborhood I live in was also full.  Her new troop started a couple weeks ago and we had our first meeting last Friday. She loved it.  I’m also happy to participate.  They meet in the evenings so I can help run a meeting.  Shawna’s troop meets on their short day of school soon after school gets out, on campus, so I never can attend. 

Todd’s birthday is coming up.  We were hoping to go camping but volleyball games changed our plans.  It’s okay.  I like attending the games.  We still aren’t sure what we’re doing for Thanksgiving.  We were planning to go to my parents house but now Paula’s new troop get so to participate in a parade on Friday after T-day so we should stay in town. 

I'm on my lunch hour so I'll close with some pictures. 
Here is Shawna in her cast.  This was her 2nd cast. The first one was sliced down the sides to allow for swelling.  It got way too big even with the ace bandage wrapped around it. 

Halloween!  We hava a Devil and Leopardess. 

Day at the park in October. One of their school mates was having a birthday party. We weren't invited but were there to just play in the playground. They saw us and invited the girls to use their party stuff. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 2011

Summer has flown by and it's going to be day 1 of school next Tuesday. 

My job is going well.  I'm solo and enjoying it so far. 

My family recently went camping. In addition I have some pictures to show of my last few weeks. I'm too lazy to write up a proper commentary so I apologize. 

Also, my mom is here this week and I'm bugged when she's here.  I don't know what's wrong with me because she's awesome, but I'm bugged just the same.  I like my space and with her here I lose some of that space. She's here because we asked her so it's not like she's not wanted.  Why can't I be normal?

Okay, on to the pictures.

  That's me, and my brother, Alan, behind me.  I'm getting ready to get in the cold water BEFORE I've had my coffee, and water ski.  This is Rollins Lake in Grassvalley/Colfax CA area.  Great lake, very pretty.  We've camped here for years. 

                                                                         I'm waterskiing. 

Now I'm wakeboarding.  I didn't move much the next day. 

My 8 year old Shawna got up on the training ski for the first time ever! 

Getting some air!!!

This year my husband strung twinkle lights around the campsite for everyone. We all agreed they were a nice touch. 

This is me playing on the kids playset.  I used to be a total pro on the bars so I showed them my "moves". I still got it.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Holy Moley people.  I literally do NOT have time to breathe these days.  Work is busy and I only have tomorrow left with my trainer because tomorrow is her last day before maternity leave. I've learned a lot in 4 weeks but not enough!!! This gals desk is BUSY!  I know I'll be fine but holy shit batman. 

This past weekend was also our big family boating/camping trip. This year we had 46 people at the height of Saturday night.  Lots of fun had by many and my new nickname is Light Ass.  I could explain the origin of this name but if you weren't there to witness the experience it just won't mean as much. 

I missed Thursday and Monday because of my job and apparently those were the "best nights".  Figures. 

This post will be all over the place, just so you know, so hang on for the ride. 

My younger daughter is at my parents this week.  She's having a blast. Grandma even took her to Kmart to get new clothes. Kmart to my kids is a huge experience. We don't take the girls shopping.  I buy most of their stuff online.  Someday they'll learn just how lame Kmart is, and when I say lame I mean lame. Kmart was a job I had at age 16.  I worked there for 3 years.  I had to take back yellowed gross used pillows because "customer service comes first" and totally worn out shoes that the kid wore everyday for 6 months because "customer service comes first". Only you know what? Kmart is closing store by store.  I know because they were an account of mine at my last job. Sears bought Kmart but Kmart never fully recovered.  Each month I'd receive an email how another couple Kmart stores were closing down.  They will not be around much longer. 

Oh, while camping one of the moms kept saying "Jesus, Mary and Joseph". Hence my title. It felt fitting after the past few weeks I've had. 

This weekend is my 25 year high school reunion. It's a picnic of sorts and families are invited.  I don't know how big the turnout will be but it's fairly nearby for me so I'm going.  I sort of feel that with Facebook reunions aren't the same as they were before FB.  You know what the people are up to and see pictures of their families, etc. 

School starts in a couple weeks. Summer really flies by.  Remember when you were a kid and summer lasted FOREVER?!  At least it did for me.  I loved summers. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have a new job peeps

I've had a busy couple weeks my friends. 

A week ago last Friday I was emailed by the CFO of the semi-conductor company I was hoping to get a hob with, and he was asking if I'm still available and looking for a job.

I said Yes.

I received a phone call an hour later from he finance manager asking if I could start work on Monday. I was still working at my company (almost 12 years there) and later learned I had a job with them until August 5th.

I signed some paperwork and started my new (temporary) job on that following Monday. I'm being trained by the gal going on maternity leave. I like her a lot. She's a good trainer and gives me tons of patience and good training notes.

I hope this new job has an opportunity to become permanent, if it's meant to be. 

I wish I was a writer, like so many of the blogs I read, because there is so much more in my mind, but I'm lazy in writing it all down. I think it, but writing it down feels like so much work.

Kudos to the writers.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Day

This Monday will be July 4th, otherwise known as Independence Day here in America. Many years ago I was born on July 4th, but not until I made my poor mother wait 10 days after my due date. Her father, my Grandpa, told her that since I was already late she needed to make sure I was born on July 4th or he'd disown us both. (he was kidding).

As a young girl my mom always knew she'd name her daughter Sandra. She intended to nickname me Sandy, but I never had the personality of a Sandy. Some neighbors growing up called me Sandy and if you're old and feeble I'll let you get away with calling me Sandy, but I am not a Sandy.

Once pregnant with me my mom never considered I was a boy. She just knew I was a girl. Ultrasounds were not available in those days. At least not according to my mom. However, on the way to the hospital she mentioned to my father how they should probably come up with a boys name just in case. His middle name is Edward so they agreed if I was a boy I'd be named Edward. No offense to the Edwards out there but I'm pretty happy I'm a Sandra and not an Edward.

As a child, birthday's were fun, but parties were problematic. When you're a summer birthday it's hard enough to find friends who aren't on vacation with their families, but when you're a 4th of July baby no one is available since it's a huge family affair.

Another downside to summer birthday's is you don't have classroom recognition of your birthday and you don't get to wear the birthday crown. Those are big deals to a child, if that child is me.

Something I do love for my birthday is an ice cream cake. As a child I'd always ask for one. My mom obliged sometimes, but more times than not she made my cake. I loved when the ice cream cake had a large firework decorated on it. This year my mom is getting me an ice cream cake. Just a small one since it will only be the 6 of us. I'm already excited.

Of course the fireworks on my birthday every year is pretty awesome. There have been a few birthday's with no fireworks, like when I went to horse camp for 2 week stretches a few times or when we just didn't feel like dealing with the traffic and parking, etc of getting a great spot to see a fireworks show or when I was little and scared of the fire crackers and loud noise they made. I " hid behind the skirts", that's what my Grandpa always said.. But for the most part I'd say I have seen fireworks on almost all my birthday's.

This year will be no different. My parents now live in a gated community with a lake and each year a very nice fireworks show, costing $20,000, is done over the lake . My parents don't actually live on the lake but their best friends do so we drive the couple minutes to their house a few minutes before the show starts, sit on their dock enjoying the show, then drive back to my parents house and put the kids to bed. It's really the best thing ever.

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend. I plan to have a great time up at my parents house, spending time on the lake or by the pool where they organize activities for the kids. I'll try to forget, that in addition to it being my birthday, I'm actually a year older. heh

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How about some pictures

I've posted these pictures on FB but only a few of you who read here actually know me know me on FB so I'm going to post these here too. 

My girls wear uniforms to school, so when summer comes around they LOVE being able to show their style off. Shawna's style is unique.  She's more fashionable than I ever was at her age.  She's funny in that in cold months she opts for sundresses, and in warm months she'll wear tall boots and a jacket. Although, to her credit, yesterday it did rain hard all day so her tall boots and jacket came in handy. 

I took this with my iphone before we left for summer camp yesterday.

This past weekend when Todd took the girls to the local water park I finally got around to buying and planting some annuals in front of my house.  This area is tiny, but it's right along the driveway.  I normally plant impatiens, but this time I opted for snapdragons.  On the end near the hose I planted some sage.  I don't use sage much for cooking but I do like planting herbs, watching them grow and then pulling off leaves and smelling them. I can't be the only one who does this right? 

Once I had them planted I needed to water them.  There was one sprinkler not working so I fiddled with it.  Bad idea. The sucker opened up completely and soaked me from head to tow, as well as soaking the driveway.  It was really a Candid Camera moment. 

Something else I did this past weekend was shave our dog.  Poor Rosie is a Llasa Poo whose hair, if left alone, would grow down to the ground.  Since no one in our house is interested in brushing her she tends to matt up.  Is it mat or matt?  Anyway, I borrowed some clippers from a neighbor friend but she only had a size 10 blade.  I've NEVER used clippers before. Ever. I knew this wasn't going to be pretty, but I did go online and watched a few videos on how to groom a dog with clippers. At first I thought I'd just do the important parts, like the butt hole, since this entire event started over the fact that Rosie had poop stuck to the hair on her butt.  Gross!  But, as I got going I decided to go all the way. 

I choose to clip her in the backyard on the patio table.  This allowed the hair to float all over my backyard which resembled what it would look like if an enourmous bag of cottons balls exploded.  

Here we have a before picture. 
This was also before Todd power washed the winter's worth of grime that accumulates on our back patio. 

And here we have after.

She's not as upset about her new look as she appears to be.  However, if you were to see her up close you would notice her cut is horribly uneven and blotchy.  heh.  She didn't like me messing with her feet and wouldn't you know there are 4 of those stupid things. But, by taking the initiative I saved me $50 in grooming fees and she's cooler for summer. Win win. 

Here is my oldest, Paula, enjoying a hot summers night in the backyard. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I didn't get the wine and spirits job.  I found out last Thursday via a generic email.  I also don't think I got the temporary semi-conductor job either since I haven't heard back. I did check out the other guys resume' on linkedin and it did list some things mine didn't so I copied them onto mine for future jobs.

Sooo, I'm back to square one. 

I'm also anxious to start my new life as unemployed but with a severance so I can lay around and do nothing for a few days.  I did take a mental health day on Friday because I was pretty bummed about my current status in life.  Not getting chosen doesn't do much for the ego if you know what I'm talking about. 

Lastly, there is a really funny and popular blogger called the thebloggess.  She recently wrote a post that makes me laugh every time I read it, and I've read it several times today.  If you want a good belly laugh check her out.    I linked directly to the post.  Funnay!  I mostly laugh when I see the chicken at the front door.  hahahahahahaaha

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Job Search update

Last week on Friday was a crazy day and it continues to be crazy.  I'm putting all this down mostly for myself, so I apologize if it jumps around or gets confusing. 

First, my brother calls me in the AM last Friday to say Mom called him and Dad had a mini stroke.  My dad's memory was affected but nothing else.  He couldn't remember things from far back as 2 weeks ago.  My mom was going to take him to the hospital for a scan.  My girls were up there with my parents, which is 3 hours from me, so I was worried about my mom even dealing with my children. Plus, Paula is a worrier and I knew she wouldn't like the hospital visit, but later in the day I learned it wasn't a mini stroke.  Doctor felt it was a reaction to something, maybe the Benadryl he'd been taking.  We all thought that was weird.  He had a follow up appt yesterday but I haven't called to see what his personal doctor had to say about it all.  I saw my dad over the weekend when I went to pick up the girls and he seemed fine, but still has pockets of no memory.  Some of it's coming back, but not all of it. 

Also on Friday I received an email from semi-conductor company I did a phone interview with 2 Thursdays ago, asking me my salary expectations.  I took this as a good sign but panicked on what to say.  I ran down to HR but everyone was outside for a company event.  I did track one gal down and she gave me some advice. I waited to email the company back.  I don't want to say too much $ or too little $. 

An hour after the email, I received a phone call from HR at the wine and spirits company I'd interviewed with the week prior, asking for a 2nd interview for Tuesday (yesterday).  Again, good news!  I bumped into another HR person and filled her in on my day so far. I've kept her posted on my job sitiation from the beginning.  We went back to her office where she gave me some good advice.

On Friday I called the CFO, who I know, at the semi-conductor company.  My HR person said since I have a relationship with him, ask if he can hire me as a regular employee.  He holds the purse strings and would be the one to ask.  After playing phone tag we had a nice conversation. He told me I'm 1 of 3 in the running.  I told him about the 2nd interview for the wine and spirits company and asked if he'd consider hiring me permanently instead of keeping it a temp job for now.  He understood but said at this time he can't promise a perm position.  They are running very tight at the seams though.  He asked me to let him know how the interview goes with the spirits company. 

Yesterday's 2nd interview at wine and spirit went well.  I met with a controller and the A/R supervisor who I met last week was also in the room.  I think I showed them I'm more than qualified, but I am wondering if I'm over qualified.  The perk to this company is definitely that it's only 6.5 miles from my house and it's a permanent position.  They aren't making their decision till the end of this week or next week.  He still needs to do more 2nd interviews. 

Yesterday I emailed my friend W, who I worked with here but in 2008 she was laid off. She managed the claims group.  I didn't work for her, but we sat next to each other in our cubicles and worked together for almost 10 years.  She's buying my Maui time share vacation week for next year so we've been emailing back and forth on details.  She knows about my job sitation.  I told her all about my job prospects and gave her the names of the companies. She called me today.   She just talked to that same semi-conductor company yesterday, as a reference for an ex-worker here named P.  But she wasn't listed as P's reference. Rather, the office manager, who we both know, called her to ask if she would mind talking to some people about him. 

P and I are applying for the same job. They told her yesterday he's the most qualified person so far. Which blows she and I away since if you knew P, you would not think he's more qualified than I am.  She asked if she could call the office manager and the other person she spoke to and recommend me over P.  I told her yes, I'd appreciate it if she did that for me.  W also reminded me that a guy we both worked with here,. T, his wife works at the semi-conductor company.  I saw T walking down the hall and told him what I learned today. He said he can't believe they're even considering P.  You have to understand that P is not like everyone else. He's a very serious odd person.  T said he'd email the CFO and recommend me.  T worked with the CFO as well. 

So, that's where my job status stands.  I'm still up in the air on whether, if I'm offered both jobs, I should go with one or the other.  I hope only one offers then I don't have to make a choice.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Make it stop

Over the past 12 months there have been many deaths in my life.  I realize people die every second of the day but those are not people I know.  This past year has been deaths of people I know, or know of. 

I remember a boss I had when I was in my early 20's.  He himself was 76 years old and refused to retire.  He told me that at his age many of his friends were dying.  He went to funerals more than birthday celebrations. 

This past year I've had 2 coworkers, and one ex-coworker die, my grandmother passed away, my friends mom recently died, and now a friends 20 year old daughter died in a motorcycle accident where she and her boyfriend were hit head on by a driver in a car who'd been drinking and crossed over the yellow line.  

With this recent death I'm struck and floored by the fact this person was their daughter.  Because I have daughters.   I can't imagine and don't want to imagine losing my child. Not at any age.  Not now when she's 8 or 10 years old, not when she's 20 and not when she's 40. 

Make it stop.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yesterday my mom took both girls up to her house for a few days. My mom plays in USTA tennis and had a tournament today which she didn't want to miss while babysitting my girls this week.  My mom is in great condition for close to 70 years old. I was checking her legs out the other day and they do not jiggle like mine do.  Her ankles give her problems these days but her knees are fine.  I couldn't do tennis w/my knees. It sucks to have bad knees.

So, Todd and I are kidless for a few days. The house is more quiet and Rosie, our dog, is looking at us like we should be doing something to locate the children. 
Tomorrow night we're going on a date. San Jose Improv has the comedian Ralphie May there right now.  We always enjoy the dinner, drinks and entertainment there when we go. 

Saturday Todd works and I'll head up to my parents house to get the girls.  I'm hoping to stop at my friend Jen's with my girls to see her house. She bought a total dump of a house on some large land last year and with lots of elbow grease has made some major improvements. She has baby chickens too and I'm dying to see those.  Todd will get most of Sunday to himself for Father's Day.  The girls and I will do something for him, what yet...I don't know.  We used to go to theme parks when the girls were little. That was easy. 

I had my interview today for the wine and spirit disty today.  I liked the supervisor I interviewed with and I think she liked me.  I may have been too chatty because I was so comfortable with her.  We'll see what happens.  It's sooo close to my house.  I drove there in under 10 minutes.  I could ride my bike!  She had a gal waiting when I left.  Our interview ran long.  There is no telecommuting, no iphone, hourly salary and apparently parking sucks.  But, the closeness to my house would be a huge bonus. I haven't heard anything back from the semi-conductor interview yet.  If they don't pick me I'll be disappointed only because I think I'm awesome and everyone should want to hire me!  but won't miss doing that commute. That commute is daunting. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Update on job interviews

I don't have much to update but here you go. 

I interviewed via phone last Thursday for the semi-conductor billings/A/R job where I was recommended by the CFO. They said they'll know by the end of this week.  It went okay I guess.  I'd prefer a person to person interview instead of a phone interview.  There were 4 people on the phone but only 1 guy talked.  The gal going on maternity leave doesn't leave until August so they still have time, but they want a long training time. 

I have my interview for the wine and spirits disty this Thursday morning. 

Today I just found out that a coworker, who has been here as long as me, was just moved from our A/R group to our A/P group which is in another building. Her A/R position was going to be moved to China (lame and makes no sense if you knew what she did) but I'm happy for her they found her another job. Her husband had a stroke last year and she really needs the medical insurance. She's not thrilled with her new position. It's all very new and she has no idea what she's doing.  I have concerns about her surviving over there. I hope it works out. 

I applied for a job today in Oakland. If you know where I live you know that Oakland isn't ideal.  Oakland is not part of Silicon Valley and has a high crime rate.  I could get there via BART but we're still talking at least an hour or more.  But, if I don't apply for these jobs I don't feel like I'm contributing my all on this job hunt.  One of our previous employees works there too but I do not know if saying I know him is a good thing. He's a bit weird and unusual. 

HR asked me to come see him today. I'd inquired (emailed him) a week or more ago if he knew if my director was aware about this new software implantation that is replacing me when they brought me over here from my previous department. He researched and said no, they did not have plans when I was brought over.  I believe him.  Not sure I believe who told him that information but whatever. He told me I should ask my manager about my exit plans.  I told him I'm not asking on purpose. Denial denial denial. He understood, but still said I should ask. 

He told me to look at SimplyHired online as well as Indeed and Monster.  I also contacted our in-house temp agency today and sent them my resume. My HR person told me he's seen where people take a temp job then a permanent one comes available later.

I had lunch with a gal who used to work here.  She's such a fun person and working in the same city I live in.  I told her to find me a job!  She's on the job hunt too.  She commutes an insane distance but her job ends the end of the month. 

Life is so weird right now. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When it rains it pours

Who came up with that catchy phrase? So true. 

Yesterday I was feeling sad with no prospects of a future job.  Today I've been contacted by two companies for interviews.  Yay me! 

Company 1:  I worked with their CFO at my current company in 1999. He actually interviewed me.  He left in 2004. I contacted him last week via linkedin to tell him of my current job status.  I received an email via linkedin from his HR person saying the CFO asked him to contact me about a temp job for a few months (maternity leave fill in). Once the gal returns from maternity leave the job will transition to a generalist position helping A/R and A/P.  They are not a new company but they're young still and in a similar place financially like my current company was 12 years ago.  I'm doing a phone interview tomorrow. The other kicker is the office manager (who is optional on the phone interview) used to be this guy's exec admin at my current company who I know very well too.  She left here to go work for him a few years ago.  The downside is the commute.  Much longer than I have now.  The industry is semi-conductor which is what I've been working in for the past 12 years. 

Company 2:  A couple weeks ago I applied for this postion online.  I have a friend who years ago used to work for them in sales but after 7 year gone she doesn't have any current contacts.  Still, I applied and they called me back today for an interview next week.  This company is very close to my house. It's in a completely different industry - Wine and spirits distribution. But, it's working on a system I currently use and in my field expertise.

Both jobs are very similar. Not sure of the pay for either. 
I still need to interview.  Nothing is final until it's final. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Don't ask, won't happen

I talked to my mom today.  I wanted her opinion on something regarding the girls that I couldn't talk to Todd about because when I called him he was on the manufacturing floor, which is LOUD, so I'd have to scream from my cubicle which I didn't want to do.  So I just told him to call me back whenever, no hurry.  To which he replied it will be awhile since he has blah blah blah to do. 

So I called my mom. 

In talking to her I admitted that I still don't have an end date for my current job and it's not because I couldn't have an end date, but because I'm procrastinating on knowing an end date because then, the end is real.  Like there will then be a real end once I ask and have the date.  Right now I'm in denial in a 'don't ask, won't happen' sort of way. Make sense? 

Just wanted to clarify for anyone who cares.  Which is really nobody. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Funky Funk

The past several weeks have moved quickly by.  I attempted a few times to post updates but couldn't pull a post together so I moved along.  My emotions are up and down.  Today I'm in a funk.  . 

I believe I mentioned I have to find a new job.  I'm being replaced by technology and have a job till the end of Q2 which is June.  I learned of this in March.  At the time June felt a long time off.  Guess what?  It's June. 

Finding a new job is the FOCUS of my life.  It's really hard to think of much else.  We are a two income family, living in one of the most expensive places in the country, and half that income is leaving.  Can you say panic? 

M-F while at work (since I still have a job but they're making me look elsewhere so why shouldn't I look for a new on their time. heh) I go to and and Craigslist (less than the others) to see if there is anything out there for me.  I went on an interview a couple weeks ago for a temporary position but apparently didn't get the job since they never called me back.  I've also applied for a few others.  Last week I did get a call back for a job in San Francisco that I applied for in April.  I applied probably thinking they'd never call me or something.  San Francisco is hella far from my house for a daily job. I guess the person they chose didn't work out and the recruiter wanted to talk to me.  But at this point in the game  (that would be the losing my job finding a job game) I'm not inclined to jump at a job during a summer I could have off with my children, that would take me an hour by BART to get to.  At some point beggars can't be choosers and I might be driving to Nevada for a job, but right now, knowing I have several months of severance covered I can't justify taking on a commute like that. 

I told the girls yesterday about my situation on the way to school.  They were talking about summer camps and basketball camps etc.  I told them I might be home with them this summer.  At first Paula was very excited. But then I explained I'm losing my job, it's not workers comp (like she thought).  Last night she told me after we talked how she felt scared.  She asked will we be poor and lose our house?  I waited a long time to tell them my upcoming situation because she of all people is the biggest worrier.  I reassured her we'll be fine.  Still, in my stomach I feel a pit of uncertainty.  My brain rationalizes I'll find something even if it doesn't pay as much as I make now. 

I was hopeful a couple weeks ago about a position in the company. I interviewed with the director and felt good upon leaving his office.  He later realized he couldn't add responsibilities on to the job, which would be necessary to increase the pay from an entry level to more experienced level.  So in the end I didn't get it. 

Some days are better than others.  Today is bad day. 

On the positive side, I did get to help pack food boxes today for a food bank.  Also, yesterday I won $100 in a weekly school raffle. 

I'm getting my hair re-colored tonight.  Maybe I'll feel better afterwards. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My new DREAM husband

I had a very detailed and realistic dream last night with this guy, Bradley Cooper.  He had his shirt off in my dream and we were getting down on it.  We didn't do the deed (dang it) but lordy I had fun anyway. Can't get him out of my mind!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Checkin' In

Today is Good Friday.  My company had a floating holiday for today which is great since my girls school is closed today. We leave for Pismo to go camping on Monday. 

I'm going to be decorating my house today for Easter.  The girls are still asleep but once they wake up my husband will take the tub of decorations out of the attic.  We aren't doing anything much for Easter. I'll make the girls baskets and we'll hide eggs for them.  In the past we had fun money hunts at Todd's parents house followed by a gathering at his brother's house but his mom isn't well so his dad doesn't want to partake in big family events anymore. I'll see my entire side of the family next weekend at our annual family reunion. I guess we'll go to church Sunday so we can be good Catholics and just hang out. Maybe we'll do more. We'll see. 

Todd is cleaning the house right now. He already scrubbed down the kitchen and now he's dusting with a dusting brush thing.  It's funny watching him use it.  I don't know why but it is.  I know Todd is more helpful than most men. My girlfriends have been jealous of how helpful he is since they've known him.  They can barely get their husbands to put up a ceiling fan which sits in a box for 6 months in their house.  Todd is always busy.  He's being all careful around the frames on the fireplace mantel.  I'm amused.  He's sort of clean freak and OCD with ADD tendencies which works great for me since he rarely sits down.  Something else that amuses me is that he's wearing latex gloves.  He no longer likes to get dirty.  In high school when we dated he'd spend most waking moments under his car "wrenching" and was a grease monkey.  Since we've been married (12 years) he wears latex gloves to change oil filters on the cars or do other dirty work.  He admits he's anal about things now that never before bothered him.  It's funny how we change as we get older. 

I have to take Rosie to get groomed today so she's all short and pretty for our Pismo trip.  She may end up on the beach, which for a Lhasa Poo is not a good thing.  She has hair, not fur so when she becomes a wet dirty mess, it's bad.  But, if she's short I can brush the sand off her easier.  Also, she's a bit matted since we fail to groom her in between visits.  We once had a Persian cat which required grooming, but we sucked at that too so we'd cut her hair in summer.  She looked so funny when she was short.  Thankfully she was an indoor cat so the other cats in the neighborhood didn't make fun of her. 

I also need to schedule a bikini wax.  I hope I'm long enough.  I shaved down there over a week ago when we went to Squaw because I didn't know if we'd partake in the pool at High Camp. We didn't but now it's possible I'm not long enough to wax.  I will be in a swim suit next week.  This is a problem since I don't want to shave and be rashy a whole week.  Damn.  See what a woman has to go thru? 

Something else I need to do is get spray tanned.  Normally I'd go to the tanning salon and use the beds for a couple weeks prior to a sunny vacation, but I didn't do that.  Now I'm blinding white.  I don't have enough tanning lotion to make a dent in my pasty self so I'm going to try a spray tan at a tanning salon.  How do you avoid getting the spray in your hair?  I have no idea how  it works.  I thought about finding someone who comes to your house and sprays you like what celebrities use, but where do you find those people? I wonder if there are any in my area. 

Todd is now dust mopping the floor.  You should the dust coming off that broom.  How does a house get SO Dusty?  We leave our windows open a lot, which I know contributes but this is seriously a lot of dust he's pulling out. 

It's 9:30am and my girls are still asleep.  Ahhhh vacation. 

Okay, well if I don't check back in everyone have a great Easter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Studying saga continues

Paula has a science test next week. It was originally scheduled for this past Tuesday.  Luckily for her it was postponed because she didn't study at all beforehand because..... Remember my post on Tuesday?

I also thought I was quite clear when I told her to bring all her books home everyday.  Is that confusing to anyone?  Anyone?

Yesterday Paula didn't bring home her science ANYTHING because in her mind the test was postponed until Tuesday the 19th (next week), so why bring it home when she has all these DAYS before the test.  Really? Because I'm pretty sure the next few days are BUSY. I'm also pretty sure I told you to bring all your books home everyday.

We are leaving this weekend for Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe.  My girlfriend's ex-ex husband (I like to kid her about all her ex husbands since there are 3 of them and she's only 45) parents own one of the original cabins built up there when Squaw was built.  Her ex-ex is also the father of her two boys, who I adore.  We've stayed there before with her, when Shawna was 6 months old and Paula was 2.5 years old.  I've personally been there pre-kids as well.  It's quaint and the staircase to the bedrooms we sleep in is hecka steep.  Like, so steep I'm afraid I'm going to fall down them upon my decent.  We're going for snow play.  We may do tubing or even let the girls take lessons.  I haven't totally decided.  But, I guarantee my girls and Kim's boys will want to hang out and NOT be doing homework.

Paula gets car sick very easily so she can't read during a car trip.  How difficult do you think it would it be for Todd or I to get her to study while we're at a fun cabin with friends?  Like pulling teeth I'm sure. 

Monday is basketball practice and more homework so really the only logical time to study was yesterday and maybe tonight and perhaps Sunday after we get home.  Plus, if you spread it out you don't have to spend so much time in one night. 

She's crying last night saying she doesn't want to study EVERY NIGHT.  I get it.  Really I do.  But Honey, you live in a time where school matters.  Heck, when did school not matter? Even for Laura Ingles I'm pretty sure school mattered. 

Todd stepped in and made a deal with her. She'll bring home all her books and related paperwork home everyday and we'll go from there as far as studying.  In the meantime she can watch a tiny bit of TV. Remember how I said we're taking away TV?  Yeah, not so much yet. 

We're only in 4th grade people.  I'm going to need lots of alcohol and therapy to get me thru the next many years.  Halp

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Study Habits

We've hit that point in time with our 4th grader where she needs to study in order to do well on tests.  It creeped up on us and we were ill prepared.

She always had good grades.  Her memory was excellent.  She never needed to study to get an A on test.

Until this year. 

The first semester of 4th grade she had almost all A's or VG's (equivalent to an A). Then in 2nd semester 8 of her 12 categories decreased.  She went down from an A to an A- or a B+ to a B.  What is going on here I asked?  She didn't know.  I looked at my husband. He didn't know.  We hadn't changed anything.  THAT was the problem. 

She needs to study for tests.  

Once I figured out this fact I thought we had an easy fix.  Turns out it wasn't an easy fix.  Why?  Because she doesn't know HOW to study.  How is it you don't know how to study?  This baffled me.  Don't they teach you how to study in school?  No.  

Last week, after she had some frustrating tears, I sat her down and helped her study for her science test.  Turns out she had an entire page of notes written up from when the teacher explained to the kids all the pertinent facts. Her words as she points to the 3 pages of notes "I don't know what to do with those".   Again, baffled over here.

I explained to her calmly, you read and memorize those notes. You read and memorize the bold print in the text book also.  How do you learn all the words to a Selena Gomez song?  You memorize by repetition.  We spent an hour on those notes and she had the answers down pat. 

She only missed 2 on the test the next day.  Yay!  I felt like such a good mom!  I also foolishly thought she understood how to move forward.  I was wrong. 

Now comes yesterday.  She's typing up a summary or partial book report for a book.  The book, however, wasn't totally read. She needed to complete 8 or more pages of text.  This is problematic when your typing up a summary of those pages and according to her the teacher will KNOW if you didn't read those pages. Then she starts saying how I need to write a note to her teacher because she didn't complete her Religion Lent workbook due the next day. 
Why didn't you complete it? 
Because I didn't think it was being graded so I didn't do the pages. 
I'm not writing you a note. 

I stayed up with her until 10pm even though I took a Benadryl upon arriving home (before I knew about all this undone work) and could not keep my eyes open.  She finished the religion booklet.  BUT, she didn't study for her science quiz that was also the next day.  Doh! 

Todd and I really need to learn how to help her.  We will learn because clearly we've hit a point where she needs us to aid in her organization and maintain structure.  Unfortunately to maintain organization and structure there comes a cost. The cost being weekday TV.  She is heartbroken since to her TV at night is HUGE.  It's how we all unwind at our house.  I do feel her pain.

I will need to monitor her homework assigned on Monday's via the school's class website, paying very close attention to quiz and test dates. I'm going to really need to be more present and available when it comes to helping her study for tests.  I'm going to need to be willing to study with her and quiz her.  I'll need to help her also be more aware of quiz and test dates where she can see ahead that next week is a test so we should study on Sunday to get ahead of the game. 

This new direction was inevitable, but I still feel like it came out of nowhere. It didn't.  I just didn't have my eyes wide open.  Now I do.  If I'm honest, I'm not looking forward to the time suck her homework takes from my personal "down time" but she's worth it. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conflict of Interest

I have a cousin who is serving a lifetime in prison for a crime he swears he didn't commit.  I've mentioned him here and here also here. Recently his sister posted a story on Facebook which was written about his case back in October 8, 1990.  Here is the link to the story here but I'm going to copy and paste the story on my blog. 

I'm curious what any of you think on this story just based on the below facts as they're laid out. 
Keep in mind, there are more issues to this case that aren't even listed like how 2 jury members were said to have been bullied into their guilty plea.

His appeal, by the way, was denied. 

Convicted Killer Says Lawyers' Feud Prevented Fair Trial : Appeal: He says his counsel and the district attorney had a short-lived romance and were engaged in a bitter paternity dispute.

October 08, 1990

Was a murder defendant denied a fair trial because of a short-lived romance and a bitter paternity dispute between his lawyer and the district attorney?
That intriguing question is now before a state Court of Appeal here in a novel case that might seem better-suited for a television screen were it not for the serious ethical issue at stake.

The real-life plot centers on an appeal by Thomas John Marston, a 30-year-old Willits millworker convicted in 1985 of killing two men in an abortive marijuana deal. Marston is seeking a retrial on grounds he was the unknowing victim of a private feud between his trial attorney, Richard J. Petersen, and the prosecutor, former Mendocino County Dist. Atty. Vivian L. Rackauckas.

Marston's new lawyer on appeal charges that Rackauckas had a sexual liaison with Petersen before Marston's trial, then cited Petersen as father of her child, repeatedly threatened during the trial to bring a paternity suit against Petersen and even had the child send him "Dear Daddy" greetings at special occasions.

Included in the evidence is a 1988 court order requiring Petersen to pay $765 a month in child support to Rackauckas.

"The case was tried in the legal equivalent of a sewer, a cesspool filled with the squalor of covert, private conflicts of interest," said Richard L. Huff, a Ukiah lawyer now representing Marston. "Unknowingly, (Marston) was caught in a cross-fire inimical to our belief in fundamental fairness."

Petersen, in a sworn declaration, said the charges of a sexual liaison and a paternity dispute with Rackauckas are true. Rackauckas, now a deputy district attorney in Ventura County, submitted an affidavit acknowledging the love affair but contending that relationship ended six years before the trial. She denied threatening Petersen, and said that during the trial, they both conducted themselves with "appropriate professionalism." It was not until after the trial, in 1988, that she filed suit for child support, she said.

In a further twist, a Ukiah woman has submitted yet another affidavit stating that at a 1983 Christmas party, Rackauckas remarked "matter-of-factly" that her son's father was Mendocino Superior Court Judge Arthur Broaddus, who later served as trial judge in the Marston case. Rackauckas denied having a sexual relationship with the judge or making any such statement. Broaddus also denied such a relationship ever existed.

State Deputy Atty. Gen. Donna B. Chew, representing the prosecution on appeal, agreed the case "raises very important factual as well as legal allegations."

But in a brief filed last week, Chew contends Marston has failed to show that an actual conflict of interest adversely affected his lawyer's performance. Even if there was antagonism between the prosecutor and defense attorney, the defendant might have benefited from the hostility felt by his lawyer, she said.
Chew added, however, that if the appeals court believes Marston has raised legally plausible claims, it should order a hearing to further weigh the conflicting evidence in the case.

Attorney Huff's appeal for Marston centers on the right of a defendant to be represented by a lawyer free of conflict of interest, and to be prosecuted by a district attorney free of emotional involvement in a case.
Ethical guidelines published by the California District Attorneys Assn. require prosecutors to withdraw where they have a personal interest in a case that may affect their impartiality.

There is little legal precedent for the case. But in a 1985 case, another appeals court, citing the potential for conflict of interest, reversed a defendant's conviction because a prosecutor and defense attorney had dated before and during the trial.

According to witnesses' statements, at the Marston trial Rackauckas and Petersen exchanged cutting remarks-- sotto voce but still audible to jurors--and behind the scenes had angry discussions about child support. One associate said Rackauckas adopted an office policy of "maximum obstruction and minimum cooperation" with Petersen, hindering the routine exchange of evidence before trial.

After Marston received a sentence of life in prison without parole, Rackauckas was quoted by a witness as having said, "a lifetime of being sodomized in prison" would be a suitable alternative to the death penalty, Marston's appeal said.

Also submitted was a statement from Dist. Atty. Susan Massini. In it, Massini says files on the Marston case were missing when she assumed office in 1987 after Rackauckas was defeated for reelection.

In her sworn statement, Rackauckas called the affidavits as a whole "misleading, out-of-context or inaccurate." Any personal relationship with Petersen ended when her child was conceived in March, 1980, she said. Petersen denied in 1981 that he was the father and the matter was not discussed again until 1986, she said.

Rackauckas rejected the claim she had any "special policy" on cases handled by Petersen and said she could not recall discussing "anything about sodomy" in the Marston case.

At her request, Rackauckas said, she and Petersen discussed the 1985 appeals court ruling on conflict of interest and whether he should represent Marston. Neither believed their former relationship created such a conflict, she said.

"I believed that no local attorney would represent Marston as vigorously and as well as would Mr. Petersen," Rackauckas said. "Feeling that it was unfair on my part to suggest depriving Mr. Marston of the attorney of his choice and possibly the most capable attorney in the area, I did nothing further with regard to the matter."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The stress level is high

For some reason, specifically today, my stress level is high and I have a migraine headache to show for it.

My job insecurity is the cause of my stress. 

Will I find a new job within my current company? Will I spend this summer home with my girls? Will I find a job in September after summer is over?? 

These are all pending questions at the forefront of my brain making my brain hurt. Literally.

Today I filled out a profile for and per the request of one of our top HR recruiters (who I know personally as well), sent him my resume.  He knows lots of people in the valley and will kindly forward my resume on to anyone he thinks might be interested in me. 

Last Friday I met with a therapist who is helping me brain storm on what I really want to do with my life.  I meet with her again this Friday.  I like her. 

A week ago Saturday I listed 17 items on Ebay and sold 11 of them.  I re-listed the 6 which didn't sell and as of today sold 1.  I'm making money off of items I no longer use.  This feels good.  I plan to do more Ebay listing this weekend with some of Shawna's clothes.

I'm moving forward. I have a tentative plan. 

Still, my shaky future is looming in front of me.  I feel panicked some days.  Today is one of those days. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Uses for Coffee Filters

This was sent to me.  I don't feel like writing so I'm posting this instead. 

Who knew? And at a dollar store you can get 1000 for a dollar!

Uses for Coffee Filters

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome…Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a bottle, filter the fluid through a filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball u a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a filter on the scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line the pot with a filter to prevent soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke a hole for the stick and let the leaks go into the filter.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, popcorn, etc. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great ‘razor nick fixers.’

15. As a sewing backing, use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock bag until they sprout.

24. Use filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two filters and put between pages in a phone book, or other heavy book.

25. Use as a disposable ‘snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Use to wipe dirty head lights on the car during stormy weather.

27. Use to cover light bulbs when removing them.

28. Use to polish windows, mirrors or computer/tv screens

29. Use to polish chrome fixtures in bath or kitchen, after spraying with glass cleaner.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bullet Points for March

I don't have time, or more to the point, the energy or determination to do a written blog post so I'm going to cheat and just do bullet points. I think I'm tricking myself into thinking bullet points are easier and faster but we'll see. Also, I'm telling you now that I'm grumpy and annoyed.  You've been warned. 

My life lately. 

1.  Last week in the AM while taking the girls to school a pregnant lady walked across the street in the sidewalk.  You know how when someone is halfway across you start to move forward because they'll eventually be on the other side of the street? As I move towards the crosswalk the freaky lady sees her carpool person down the street, waves at him and changes direction. Right in front of me and didn't even blink an eye my way.  I could have run her over!  Stupid lady.  I gave her a hand movement, not flipping her off since my kids are in the car) and a "what the hell are you doing crazy lady" at her stupidly at endangering her unborn child. To which she tells me to Fuck Off I'm in the cross walk.
You don't change direction in the crosswalk mid-street and not look at whose coming towards you!!!!!! 
My kids told my husband at school pick up that I yelled at a pregnant lady today. 

2.  Last week I was told my job is ending. Yep.  Coming on board is a new fancy system that will eliminate my need to police the sales team on what they enter into their promotions.  I have a job until the end of Q2 (end of June).  I've been here 11 years.  I need to look inside the company and outside the company.  I have lots of thoughts about this predicament but need to do a whole post on them later.

3.  Last week I witnessed a teacher, of our CATHOLIC school tell her middle school grade class, while inside the church, to sit down and shut up.  I saw her bark at these children 2 more times.   I wrote an email to our priest who is in charge of the school, the principal (who has been away attending funerals) and the VP of the upper grades.  This mean teacher is new to the school this year.  Also, apparently she cohabitates with the computer teacher and they're not married so some parents (not me) are upset at that fact.  The priest replied back to me that he'll look into her behavior. I don't have a middle schooler but someday I will.  I'll drop kick this lady if she talks to my child this way. 

4.  2 weeks ago I sat with other parents and faculty in a suicide prevention training of sorts at our school. One of the Alumni parents of our school had her 22 year old shoot himself and take his life several months ago. Her sister is a current parent.  The sister is bringing awareness to us to help save a child's life.  Did you know that kids ages 10-14, boys and girls, try to kill themselves more than any other age bracket? Also, the boys succeed more.  Why? Because girls are afraid to ruin their looks so they usually take pills which can then be pumped out of their stomach, but boys do more permanent attempts like guns, car wrecks and hanging.  We have a slew of teens, mostly boys, from an affluent neighborhood committing suicide by way of a train.  So sad. 

5.  Did I mention I'm losing my job? 

6.  I'm gaining my weight back. Stress eating. 

7.  It's pouring rain here in the Bay Area.  While it's cold and rainy here the east coast is having spring like days.  I'm annoyed.  I pay a crap load of money for my nice weather.  I want my good weather back east coast people.  You've enjoyed your fun in the sun, now move along and give me back my warm days. 

8.  I don't really know what I want to do with my life.  I know that sounds silly from a 40 year old but it's true.  I'm arranging to meet with a counselor free of charge provided by a program at my work and to take a career/personality test to find out what I'd be good at.  I took one a bazillion years ago in jr. college and it said I should join the military or be a police officer. It said some other things too, but I ended up majoring in Business Management.  At the time I took the test I was a supervisor and thought I liked being in charge of people. Heh.  Not so much. Turns out I like being an individual contributor. I don't want to worry about anyone else but me. I have enough on my plate being a mom, wife and woman of the world. 

9.  For St. Patrick's day I don't do corned beef. I've tried to like it.  Many times I've tried to like it. But, it's too fatty tasting for me.  Instead we had chicken, I made green mashed potatoes and we had broccoli cuz it's green and the girls love it.  I'm Irish. My maternal grandmother was 100% Irish. She married my 100% Italian grandfather.  My other grandparents were English. 

10.  There will likely be an entire post on this later, but last Saturday I attended a crab feed/auction at school.  There was a really clueless parent(s) who brought their daughter and made her sit in a corner because they were volunteering and she didn't have a ticket. She's in my oldest child's class. Another parent with us felt bad and said to her if she got hungry to come to our table. Well, she followed him and sat with us the entire night.  I'm sad for the girl and annoyed at her parents.  Get a babysitter like everyone else. 

11.  Tuesday I went to the Academy of Science Museum in San Francisco for my older daughter's class. There is some really COOL stuff in there.  If you look closely below you'll see a red/blue frog. He lives in the rain forest section of the museum.  It was hot and humid in the rain forest. He was soooooo tiny. And red and blue.  OMG  Lots of neat stuff in there just like this one.  If you live here or visit the Bay Area you NEED to visit this museum.  I'd been there almost 20 years ago but it was all redone a few years ago. 

That's all for now.  I'm going home to Glee Out and watch some of Season 1 with my husband and daughter's.  I hope next week perks up. Feel free to send me 'find the perfect job' vibes if your so inclined. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Double Digits

Dear Paula,

Today is your 10th birthday.  DOUBLE DIGITS. 

I can't believe you're already half of twenty.  How did the time get here so quickly? 

You are the child who made me a mom.  You love when I mention that fact to you because no one else can take that claim.  Your father and I were beyond excited when we found out we were finally pregnant.  But, in true Paula fashion, you didn't want to wait to start your new exciting adventure so you arrived 6 weeks early.  You love telling the story of how you were a preemie, came 6 weeks early and rode in an ambulance to another hospital because of the special breathing tube you needed.  You're one of the tallest, smartest children in your class.  No one would ever guess your rocky beginning. 

For your birthday this year we updated your room.  Out with the Princesses, in with the PEACE.  I love how much you love your new room.  It suits you.  We also through you a slumber party with 5 of your favorite friends.  We're all still yawning but brought in the year of 10 with a bang, as it should be. 

There are so many things I love about you.  Here are just ten (ten, get it) of them. 

1.  You show concern for others, give compliments to people you know and don't know, causing them smile and feel good. 

2.  You are rarely shy or afraid to speak up.  Those are wonderful qualities to have, especially as you get older.

3.  You love animals of many types. In addition to the furry ones, you also have a fascination for reptiles and aren't afraid to hold snakes or lizards we find in the outdoors.  You're just like your father when it comes to your love of animals.  But please, don't love spiders. I hate spiders.

4.  You have a fabulous memory.  I love that you remember events and places from as far back as preschool.  You remember facts and specifics that blow my mind.  I'm envious of your memory, especially as mine disappears. 

5.  You're very ticklish so I love kissing you goodnight, digging right into your neck where you giggle hysterically. 

6.  I love that your back in your room at night so I actually CAN lean into you as you lie in bed and kiss you goodnight again.  Every night, after your asleep, I come in to give you one last kiss. 

7.  You have the best laugh, making me smile when I hear it. 

8.  I love how close you are to Daddy.  You and he have a special bond together.   You're his right hand girl.  You look like him too. 

9.    I love when you and your sister work together to accomplish something, when you look out for her, help her.  She loves you so much. It's a big responsibility being a big sister, one you don't always enjoy, but you're a good big sister with so much to offer. 

10.  You're beautiful. Inside and out.

My baby is Ten.

I'm so proud of you.  I love you more than words can say.  I know I tell you to stop growing. I know you can't stop growing.  As much as I want to keep you young, I'm very privileged to witness you growing up.  I wonder who you'll be someday, what your future holds for you.  What I do know is, I'm so lucky to have you as my daughter. 

I Love you,


Friday, February 25, 2011


How many of you have strict budgets you adhere too?  Do you use envelopes to save for certain things like a grocery envelope, clothes envelope, etc? 

I've never used the envelope method but I know people who do.  I think I'd just borrow from the other envelopes if I needed something.  I'm bad like that. 

Heck, just on Tuesday at a crab feed meeting I was paid cash for some Girl Scout Cookies I'd sold and not 5 seconds later I turned around and handed that $40 to another person to pay for a crab feed ticket for a neighbor.  My neighbor will pay me back but see how that money went in and out so fast?!

Many times Todd and I have tried to stick to a budget. We'll lay out our monthly goals, do well for awhile, then eventually fall into our bad habits. 

For example, we don't balance our checking account.  Who does that anymore?  Now that we have ATM/Debit cards and rarely write checks, I never truly know how much is in the account "for real".  I can go online and see how much is in the checking account or have my ATM give me a balance receipt, but we have certain bills automatically deducted.  Car insurance, mortgage payment, gas and electric, DirectTV, Netflix, FastTrak, school tuition, etc. At any given moment any number of dollars can be removed. Sure, the biller has told me in a letter when I set up that automatical withdrawel, which day they'll be taking my money, but do I have that information written down somewhere that I can access it?  No. 

Truth be told, we live above our means. Thankfully we do have retirement stashed away in 401K plans.  A percentage comes out of our paychecks before we even see the paycheck.  My company has a 401K plan, 401K match program, an ESPP (employee stock purchase plan), flexible spending program, all of which I take advantage of each pay period.  By the time I see the net check deposited into my checking account, the amount is severely pilfered.   

Something else we do which we've found is very helpful for us, is to set up our property taxes and home insurance payments to where they are taken out with our mortgage payment.  They're held in an escrow account and paid out by the mortgage company at certain intervals. 

In addition, we pay our mortgage bi-monthly.  So, if on the 2nd Friday we get paid, then the following Monday the mortgage (with all the above listed home deductions) comes out. The bonus to this payment schedule is since we're making an extra payment a year our principal goes down faster.

Still, with all I've mentioned we aren't great about sticking to a budget for things like vacations, food, clothes, hobbies and health and beauty costs.  We really need to improve these areas. 

If anyone has a great system they use I'd love to hear about it. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3 sides

There are 3 sides to every story.

Your side
Their side
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Iz a hawt



In other news, I'm the coolest mom ever.  Really I am. 

Yesterday on Craigslist I typed in PB teen and found a lounge chair in ice blue for sale.  Originally $299 the lady said make an offer.  I immediately responded would she take $100?  YES!  PB anything, even used or with someone else's name personalized on it, sells for a lot of money. Yes honey, I know your name is Paula and the thingamajig says Amanda, but just go with it.  Mommy saved $20.00

This is the chair. Cute right?!!!  This matches Paula's new lamp perfectly. 
So at lunch today I headed over there. She lives in one of the "rich" areas of Silicon Valley called Almaden Valley.   Beautiful neighborhoods, gorgeous large homes, amazing views.  Houses EASILY go for over $1 million. Sucks to be me. 

She had the chair in her front entry way.  I thought the chair came apart and figured I'd just toss the cushions in various parts of my minivan. Well, it does come apart, but not easily.  She said only her husband has dismantled it so she couldn't help me with how to get them separated.

I get that.  My husband is the one who dismantles things at our house too. 

So I had to go back to my minivan and hide my 3rd seat so the chair would fit in the back. In order to even get the 3rd seat down I had to remove a ton of other crap so it will fit.  Live.In.Car. 

When I went back to the house to collect the chair she was still just in her socks so I could tell she wasn't going to help me lift this sucker. She did suggest the best way to carry it though.  It was heavy but I managed.

As I was driving back to work my brother called. He sponsored my 8 year on her school spell-a-thon and thought he and his daughter would swing by my work to drop off his check.  Turns out I was only 15 minutes from his house so I said I'd swing by. 

Driving to my brothers house off the freeway I was on you have to pass thru Saratoga.  Another "rich" neighborhood of Silicon Valley.  Beautiful neighborhoods, gorgeous large homes, amazing views. Houses EASILY go for over $1 million. Sucks to be me.  Again. 

Get to Alan's house and am accosted by the dog.  Try to avoid annoying dog and get to my cute little 23 month old niece.  I scooped her up and planted lots and lots of kisses on those soft, puffy cheeks. Soon after, Alan told her to show me her new balloon. She wrapped her little fingers around the red string and brought me her Valentine heart balloon. I asked "what shape is this balloon Allison?"  Her reply "iz a hawt".  LOVE!!!! 

I really do need to get back to work so upon leaving Alan tells Allison to give Auntie a kiss goodbye. She walks over to me and turns her head so I can lean down and give her a kiss on her cheek.  hahaha

We blew each other kisses and I was off. 

Great Day. Great Day!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 2 in her bedroom!

Don't you hate when you think you have a lunch meeting where they feed you, then it turns out the meeting is tomorrow?  Yeah, me too. 

Huge news again. Paula slept in her own bedroom AGAIN last night. Today she proclaimed her bedroom feels the same way as my room. SAFE.  

Can you hear the angels singing? 

I was going my older posts today and found this one post from October 2008 on Paula and her sleep issues.  Needs Sleep

Seriously this bedroom problem has been going on for SO long.  I'm so happy for my girl.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Miracles

Today is a celebratory day for several reasons.

#1 - It's VALENTINES DAY!  A day to celebrate love, caring and Hallmark. heh

#2 - FREE DRESS DAY!  My girls were allowed to wear free dress today, which is a huge deal for uniform kids. On top they had to wear either red, white or pink.  I surprised them with V-day socks and a couple other treats too. 

#3 - CLASSROOM PARTIES!  The girls will be all sugared up today thanks to the classroom parties and exchanging of Valentine Cards with candies attached.  I sent the girls to school with Dollar Store heart covered zip bags filled with 1 Girl Scout Cookie each.  They chose the cookies themselves. Paula wanted Thin Mints in hers and Shawna wanted the Lemon Cookie's in hers.  Taped to the front of each baggy was a computer generated V-card with their name on it. 

#4 - ROSIE'S BIRTHDAY!  Today is our dog Rosie's birthday. She turned 4 years old today.  That's 28 in dog years. Rosie is a Lhasa Poo and a dear member of our family. We all forgot today was her birthday until this morning.  She received lots of hugs and kisses.

#5 - PAULA SLEEPS IN HER OWN ROOM!  This is seriously the biggest, most important event this decade.  My almost 10 year old slept in her room the entire night last night! 

Back history:  Paula is a worrier.  She's OCD on top of that.  She regularly sees the school counselor, and has since she was in 1st grade, to talk about her worries.  A couple years ago my daughter started having fears about sleeping in her room.  As a 3 year old she'd had worries too. As a 3 year old she was afraid of TIGERS in her room. We invented a Tiger Spray (water in a spray bottle with a fancy cartoon tiger on the front with a slash thru it indicating NO Tigers).  We sprayed the room down with Tiger Spray every night to rid the room of tigers.  Wet room. No tigers.

When she was 7 or 8 years old it got really bad.  She complained of shadows (close your eyes) noises (houses make noise) burglar's (installed an alarm system). You name it, she worried about it.  In addition to the worrying, she had a terrible sleeping pattern.  She woke up at weird times or couldn't fall asleep.  We resorted to Melatonin for awhile but it didn't help much.  For MONTHS my husband and I battled her fears trying everything from night lights, reassuring, sitting with her rubbing her back, bribing, threatening, alarm systems, becoming angry, growing more frustrated and finally in the end - defeat.  I told Todd I couldn't take another sleepless night with her coming into our room at some odd hour, listening to her crying when we forced her go back into her bedroom. She wasn't sleeping, we weren't sleeping.  I finally told him just spread out a sleeping bag on the floor beside our bed and let's be done with this.  She wins. 

Having your child sleep in your room havoc's with your sex life.  Just sayin. 

For several months she slept in our room.  We don't recall what happened exactly, but she did go back to her room and stayed there for a few months over a summer. Then one day, for no apparent reason that we could see, she was back in our room and it's been a year now.  There have been a few occasions in the last year where she did sleep her room. Like when my mom has visited and slept in there with her (she has a trundle bed) or when her BFF stayed for a sleep over so she, my daughter Shawna and her BFF were all in her room.

I'd like to hope that just sending Shawna in there to sleep would help the problem, but unfortunately Shawna isn't tough enough to ward off the bad things.  Even at my parents house where she does sleep with Shawna, she hasn't always made it thru the night without coming to sleep on our bedroom floor.  On a day to day basis she sleeps in our room.  She doesn't even like to be upstairs at night if one of us isn't up there with her.  Like if Todd wants to stay downstairs and watch a movie with me, she's all worried being up there without us. 

For her 10th birthday coming up in March, I told her we'd update her room. She'd been complaining for awhile how her room was too childish. She has princess shelves, princess lamps and Hannah Montana bedding.  She said she hoped that with a more grown up room she'd be able to sleep in there. I hoped so too. 

I decided rather than give her everything ON her birthday, I'd slowly surprise her with the new items for several weeks making the excitement last longer for her and me.  :)

Paula is very into PEACE.  She loves the word, the sign and everything it symbolizes.  Pottery Barn Teen has a great, but expensive, PEACE bedroom line.  Periodically I've checked EBay for items and found a couple affordable pieces. I won a new, but not packaged, duvet cover which I've had in hiding for a few weeks now. 

Last week I went to Marshall's and found a bright blue lamp for her to replace her princess lamp.   I also found a Ralph Lauren PEACE sheet set.  Her walls are purple/lavender so I'm pairing it with a fun bright blue shade.  The bedding I found is perfect.

Last weekend I surprised her with just the lamp.  OMG you'd have thought she won the lottery.  Not that she's even allowed to play the lottery. 

Yesterday while she was in the shower I put on her new bedding.  I'd already pre-washed them that day, I just needed to do the make-over while she wasn't around.  When she came out of the shower she witnessed this new bedding. (I took these pictures this morning)  See the lamp?  Also, I had to strategically place her stuffed animals and purple blanket JUST SO because of her OCD.  Or I'd get yelled at. 

SQUEAL'S of joy.  THANK YOU MOMMY, THANK YOU MOMMY!  I LOVE IT ALL!  Also, she really wanted to try to sleep in her own room tonight.  Yay! 

I told her if she slept in there all week she'd be rewarded with something.  (not sure yet what that something IS). 

Each night she and Todd read a book together.  Right now they're reading the first Harry Pottery book. Normally she reads to him while she's laying in her sleeping bag on our floor. Last night Todd sat by her bed while she read.  Lights went out at around 9pm. 

Paula did come downstairs at 9:45pm saying the house was making noises and she was hot and sweating.   She also wanted some warm milk to help her sleep. I immediately got worried this wouldn't work.  I suggested she open her window to cool the room off, since in my bedroom we have the window open and the fan on. We like it freezing in our room. I also reminded her that her clock radio had bird, ocean and other noises to choose from. She drank her milk and up she went.  I crossed my fingers. 

I checked in on her at 10:45pm and she was sound asleep with her window open, fish light on, bird sounds on. 


This morning when my alarm went off at 7am I looked and saw She stayed in her room ALL NIGHT!!!!  I want to scream this from the rooftops.  Seriously.

I quickly went into her room to close her window. I knew the heater kicked in so she'd want her room warmed up.  Turns out she'd closed the window herself in the night.  Later she told me she discovered the wind blowing into the room was making the door rattle.  
She was SO EXCITED and proud of herself.  "Mommy, can you bring me the phone?"  I knew she wanted to call her dad who was already at work. While laying in bed she called her father.  "Daddy, I slept in here ALL NIGHT.  It's because I'm surrounded by PEACE.  Literally."  Heart her

Today she has her weekly meeting with the school counselor.  She told me how she's SO excited to tell how she slept in her room. 

She also said she'll never forget the date she slept in her room.  Valentines Day. 


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