Wednesday, September 30, 2009
September is volunteer month at Studio Movie Grill. I was so excited to get 2 free tickets to ANY movie that we waited until nearly the last day to use them. No really, I was excited, but the past few times we've failed at going to the movies. Call us cheap, but we are doing our very best to be somewhat frugal and going to the movies these days is an EXTREME luxury. Especially when you factor in babysitting cost, it's about as much as the price of admission.
There are several doozies out there that I'd like to see or that we've missed. I've really been wanting to see I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Don has been wanting to see 9. We compromised on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
First off, I only knew this was an animated PG film. I had no idea it was adapted from a book! No idea that it not only had Mr. T, Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt, and James Caan, but also NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!! Whoa! And, it was about food. (Which coincidentally is kinda mean because all I've been able to force down is pretty much cake and coffee with this whole dental procedure thing.)
We printed off the voucher and took a very awake toddler, dressed in her jammies, to see the movie. She happily carried her red blanket with white stars. We propped her in the booster seat in the theater and she gazed intently at the screen. They were already having previews and that seemed to capture her attention. So far so good. She was even laughing up a storm, so much so, that the father sitting two chairs down from us shot a look in her direction, every facial muscles softened, and he too let out giant belly laughs.
She sat there through 85% of the movie, ridiculously involved with it, only pausing when she wanted water, food, or was a bit scared. (not really scared, but she was surprised by some things)
Wouldn't you know it, Don and I were ridiculously involved with the movie as well. We were laughing hysterically. Once I laughed so hard, I started coughing and I thought I was very well going to vomit up a rainbow from laughing so hard. HILARIOUS!! And there were a couple of touching moments where, yes folks, I did get a bit choked up.
Immediately after the film, I had to call home just to hear my dad's voice, and honestly, I wanted to talk to my mom too, but they both sounded so tired, that I just had the chance to say hello to dad. Hey Mom, thanks for those brand new Keds sneakers to wear for cheerleader tryouts so long ago! They really did have some magic in them! The magic was that you believed in me.
Regardless if you have kids or not, I would HIGHLY recommend this movie. Two waaaay high up high fives and hokey pokey on the side.
Monday, September 28, 2009
And if you would like me to take some photos of your kiddos (or heck of you, the sky, your car, your dog, while stalking an ex...just checking to see if you were paying attention), drop me a line and we'll set something up. I'm reasonable, very reasonable! I've been known to work for cupcakes, high fives, hugs, and on occasion, money (usually when I'm either saving for a new lens or trying to raise money for a cause).
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We were at the store picking up some essentials and the pumpkins are out. I guess they've been out for about a week already. We picked up several decorative pumpkins and I felt they needed some bling. I followed Martha Stewart's Glitter Pumpkin instructions and soon I had some mini fairy tale pumpkins. Here is what it looked like before the glittering. Isn't beautiful?
You can't tell from the picture, but the it is still very much a white pumpkin with delicately fine, sheer glitter. They really are very lovely in person.
Next, my eyes had been feeling a little tired (um...four hours of sleep'll do that, duh!), so I thought to myself, hmmm...why not make some eye masks with the leftover fabric and lavender. I'd been wanting to do something with all of that lavender I had, and this seemed like the perfect excuse. While catching up with my adopted little sis (who was visiting from Cali, woot!), we whipped up six of these babies. We filled them with a generous pinch of lavender and 1/3 cup of three different kinds of rice: brown rice, basmati rice, and sushi rice. They are heavenly!
I went ahead and tried it out, perfect! I'm pretty relaxed, here.
Fun, fun times!
Friday, September 25, 2009
But on an even brighter note, I ADORE my eye doctor! I get a text message reminding me of my appointment and the above email to confirm my appointment. Fabulous. I really enjoy how on the ball with technology they are.
And speaking with technology docs, I saw my dentist yesterday and today. Yesterday, they took digital x-rays and for whatever reason, they didn't drape me with that big coat that is normally worn during x-rays. I immediately saw the results on the fancy-schmancy hi def TV screen. Not quite the close up I would enjoy. Even worse when he took a photo of my teeth with an instrument that I originally thought was a pen light. LOL! Totally cool. Not so cool was the nitrous oxide that had me high as a kite. I don't know why people like that stuff. After the crown fitting, I specially requested that I NOT have it for the fillings, which was just as fine b/c that numbing gel stuck with me for several hours. All I could think was, man, I hope this stuff wears off by the time I see Don, otherwise, I'd be kissing him with fishy lips. Seriously, I kept flappin' 'em like they were wings. It cracked me up.
But then it all wore off and now my jaw is so sore that I'm communicating via text, IM, and email instead of actually talking. Moving my jaw hurts...ALOT. I feel like I was given a swift right hook by Mike Tyson, minus the blood, bruising, and what not. Still, all I want is some yummy food and gum. RANDOM. Instead, I've only had a Grande Caramel Latte, nonfat at 140. Wait a minute, though. This dental thing just might get me to lose some weight. High five!
Anyway, I puffy heart all my docs, even when they give me not so great news. I like that they keep it real with me, without the feeling like I've been hit by a ton of bricks. That's not so easy when you get the yucky news you really don't want to hear.
Oh, and keep my BFF's baby in your prayers. Little Creepa seems to have gotten H1N1 and he's only 4 months younger than Mari. Just this past Saturday, they were playing together and having a good ol' time. Poor little guy! THANKS!
I did wait until 3:03, so in honor of the missing "3" I decided to draw for 3 winners (that and I'm a clicky and I had too, too much fun clicking at Random.org). So, without further ado...the winners are:
Hooray! So contact me via email and I'll figure out a way to get your surPRIZE to you.
Yaay...this was fun! Thanks everyone who entered. I enjoyed it so much, I just might do another.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This morning, we were awoken by a coughing sound on the baby monitor. It was then followed by a slight wail, then a louder scream, into a crescendo of very unhappy cries. My baby was in pain. Don was already in her room, I was stumbling to get out of bed, slipping on a shirt, stubbing my toe on the corner, tripping over the rug, and running into the door (call me Grace). I make it to her and her tiny arms reach out to me, she whimpers, "Mama." I scoop her in my arms and I squeeze tightly. She smells of fresh vomit. Don tells me she needs to take off her shirt and I somehow peel it off her shaking body.
We go to the bathroom and Don draws the perfect bath, perfect in temperature and depth. I throw off my clothes and we climb in. She doesn't want to be in the water. She just wants for me to cradle her in my arms. I'm instantly reminded of the first time she had a fever and I held her in a warm bath to bring it down. I remember being in a bath, relaxing, rubbing my belly to calm her on those days she would flip-flop inside of me. I'm praying and rocking, and sleep escapes me. I just want my baby to feel better.
Don has finished putting her bedding in the wash and he takes her to dress her. I get dressed and send a note in to the office since I'll be home with her. We all crawl into bed together and it seems like a lifetime ago since we'd done that. While she isn't feeling well at all, I'm happy to have her sleeping so near. I missed this.
I get two more hours of sleep, solid and sound sleep, while she snored next to me. Don got up and went to school, I was dressed for work at home and my dentist appointment. I've just barely logged in and Mari wakes. She's giggly and happy and dancing. I show her Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video and she's on fire. She quickly asks for food and I happily comply. Banana and an egg. She has two bites of banana and a bite of egg and she vomits phlegm all over the place. She's screaming and crying, so I grab the tray and do my very best to clean her up. I pick her up and she gets sick on me. And she starts crying again. I try to make a game out of cleaning her up. We get cleaned up and she asks for food. I give her half an egg and a third of a banana. Primo calls and makes plans to meet me at the dentist.
Just over an hour later and I'm in the parking lot meeting up with Primo after my appointment. He recounts to me his own adventure with Mari. How she is spewing phlegm all over the backseat of the car like a scene straight out of The Exorcist and all he has is a tiny napkin from our emergency plasticware in the car. By the time he gets to our house, he gets covered when trying to take her out of the carseat. When I get home, I see the remaining bits of the explosion on the street. Folks, he's a rockstar for this because to him, ANY type of vomit is his Kryptonite. he FALLS apart, usually breaking out into convulsions himself. I don't know how me managed to hold it together that long. And he had to deal with all of this on his first day off after working 17 (is that right?!?) days straight. It made me forget about the crown I have to get or the two fillings. (stupid deep fissures on my molars)
Anyway, I went home to clean any place that Mari may have touched. I scoured so much of the kitchen and her bedroom. Our house had a nice bleach stink. I put on The Wizard of Oz and Mari snuggled in the corner of the sofa. I was able to crank out lots of work before she asked for a meal. I gave her a cup of plain fusilli pasta and water. Just after 1, she signed me sleep and when I asked her if she wanted to nap, she nodded yes, and ran to her room to crawl into her clean bed. She slept for 4 solid hours!
I called the doctor to cancel the appointment that I had made a few hours before only to be told that I would be charged $45 cancellation since it was less than 24 hour notice. I debated the statement and finally gave up. I just couldn't wrap my head around the whole thing. How could I cancel an appointment with 24 hour notice if the appointment was made on that day? Ugh...eye roll!
Don made it home just after a very, very happy Mari got up from her nap. We went outside to chase bubbles for a bit, before coming back in to get ready for the doctor appointment. We stopped by Central Market for some tamales and fun drinks to pass the time. We get to the doctor at 6:23 for a 6:40 appointment. At 6:40, we are escorted to the back where her vitals are taken. At 7:30, the doctor FINALLY shows. By this point we have a cranky baby on our hands, that she's beyond the fit and has just retreated into a zombie-like phase. She doesn't find anything wrong with her. No ear infection. No fever. No stomach. No congestion. Just a couple of blemishes on her face that we'll apply some antibiotic cream. Fast acting miracle for sure, but I am a little upset with the whole ordeal on what we would have been charged versus the time we spent waiting to see the doc. I'm still marinating on it. I'm just grateful that we're blessed with good insurance that the quick visit will not affect our financial situation.
Anyway, we are bad and stop by Taco Bueno on the way home for a quick meal. Not exactly what we had in mind for dinner, but we made do. And then they forgot to include the salsa and I was on the verge of crying over it (hey, it was an emotional day!), when I remembered the free bean burrito because of the Cowboy game I went to with my parents. I stared into the rearview mirror and she shot me a Mari smile.
I'm thankful for good health, terrific family, good insurance, a wonderful job, a supportive husband, amazing friends, superb weather, and small lessons in life. The Lord reminded me that I needed to work on patience and appreciate the time that I had with my baby. Sometimes you have to be locked in a confined space with your child to have dedicated play time. Sad to admit it, but because we didn't have the typical distractions, we had a solid 45 minutes of all things Mari.
It was a wonderful day and tomorrow will be even better. How are your blessings disguised?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I've read several blogs today that have remarked about reaching the 200 post mark and celebrating, some even having a giveaway. For you, my trusted 8 followers, I'm LOOONG past my 200th post. This post will actually be my 325th post. So in that honor, I too shall have a giveaway.
All you have to do is leave a comment* and I will use Random.org to generate the winning number. Since we are talking about random, the giveaway will surely surprise you with all sorts of random things I've made, including, but not limited to: prints of photos, mini inspiration cards, handmade cards, a CD mixtape (is it really a mix tape if it is CD?), and pretty much anything else I have up my sleeve that I think is nifty that I have made. There you have it. Easy breezy beautiful...wait, back to the deets...
*Comment Rules: You must leave a comment with one of the following topics (only one topic per comment, up to 3 comments accepted, FB user comments will be added to the end of the Blogger count):
- favorite recipe (because I'm in desperate need of some new ones to try, and don't be generic and say kraft mac & cheese, b/c that will be minus 1 entry)
- must have gadget that you adore (can be something you use or something kid-related)
- your favorite handmade item of all time (mine is this denim jumper my grandmother made for me and she hand appliqued a yellow daisy and an image of raggedy ann doll and it was the first piece that she ironed on her Made with Love by Grandma tag on it. I wore it so much the iron on fell off, but I saved the dress so Mari can wear it too!)
Monday, September 21, 2009
For your viewing pleasure, behold , toddler in action...
She's running from Daddy who is chasing her. By the way, on the sidewalk in the distance, there are fresh acorns that have fallen from the tree. Like me, she loves to step on them and make them go crunch!
Look at that tongue, that wild hair, the pointed foot...she's so focused on fun.
And a rare moment, a family photo. What makes this photo great is that Don and I are in focus and looking at the camera. Mari is trying to make a mad dash out of the picture and Guapo (not pictured) is trying to jump in Don's lap.
Hope those of you in the area are enjoying the storm!
In any case, back in March, I had written a post about making something for the first 5 people who had posted a comment. Unfortunately, I only had 4 comments, but it was mostly for experimental purposes to see if anyone was REALLY interested in getting something handmade. I guess I had my answer. While this isn't EXACTLY handmade, it took my time and it was my creative spirit that drove it. (All pictures are taken by me.) I found this fun little company for my purpose: Moo.com. I set out to create a set of mini inspiration cards. On the front is an image from the following set:
The back says:
taste.touch.smell.hear.see.Not only have they received something granting them permission to indulge, but I'm encouraging them to pass the party on. I've surprised a few people at work and they were positively received. Of course, it warmed my heart and gave me the happy fuzzies deep inside.
& indulge yourself today.
For your printing needs, I would recommend Moo.com. I love their wacky (and earth friendly!) packaging with quirky sayings. The quality is nice, and the price is just right. I'm definitely using them in the future for other projects. Go and check 'em out. Here's a code for you first time buyers: 2RB2CK
description of each photo (going from left to right starting at the top):
- Cupcakes shot at Old McKinney
- Dr. Pepper chalk sign on a sidewalk in Old McKinney
- Gold Dust Lounge shot midday in San Francisco
- San Francisco Cable Car shot midday
- Cappuccino with accidental heart foam shot at Cafe de Presse in San Francisco
- Beautiful red wine shot at Artesa tasting room
- Horizon pool with sculpture shot early day just outside of Artesa Vineyard
- More fountains outside of Artesa
- Closer view of the same fountains
- 9 - 12 foot bullet shaped sculpture with glass tiles outside of Artesa
- Bridge taking us from Oakland to Napa Valley
- Sculpture of a Vintner greeting you into Napa Valley
- Park bench outside of St. Supery
- Road between Cuvaison and Domaine Carneros
- Another angle of that same road
- Gnarly tree just outside of Trefethen
- Fun tractor just beyond the border of V. Sattui
- Sommelier at Silver Oak
- Bottles and bottles on display at Silver Oak
- Tops of wine bottles in a bucket (wines from the tasting) at Joseph Phelps Winery
- Champagne bubbles at Mumm Napa
- Winding road on the way to Marston Family Vineyard
- Birdhouse just outside of the heavenly tasting room at Marston Family Vineyard
Friday, September 18, 2009
We've had loads and loads of rain this past week. Seriously, it's been a lake outside of our home and I'm feeling kinda guilty that I didn't buy those cute little wellies for Mari last year like I wanted to. Oh well, her regular sneakers had to do. At first she was very cautious, but within minutes, she was having a heck of a time in the rain. I chased her and went splash-for-splash with her.
This was the look she gave me when I told her that we were all done. And this little girl, this little blessing...every day she makes life better and brighter, no matter how gloomy I may be feeling, no matter if she's biting me, scratching me, pulling my hair, or screaming at the top of her lungs. Because with each of the hurts, she's giving me a hug, waving hello to a stranger in need of a Mari smile, feeding her brother, Guapo, or dancing in the back of the car to her very own tune.
I will never fully recover from some of the past hurts (some more recent than others). I'm reminded on a regular basis (unintentionally by some VERY close friends) of some of these things. I often bite my lip at these times, partly to cut back tears, and partly to not hurt feelings. You see, it is easy to complain about blessings, especially when you've never lost something so near to you.
Growing up, I was often angry with my mother for various teenage reasons. I felt really bad about it too (still do). And when I took my mother for granted, I just had to look in her eyes and understand. Because she didn't have a mother to quarrel with during those teenage years. What she would've given for that chance. But knowing what she knew, I guarantee you there'd be more cuddles and kisses and less arguments. (Hey Momma, I'm still sorry! Promise!) It pains me to hear of pregnant women complaining about pregnancy. Don't they know that miracles come at a cost? Likewise, it bothers me to hear of perfectly healthy people complaining about running or working out. Don't they know that some people who can't walk would LOVE the opportunity to go for a run or dance the night away?
I've now tried to refocus my energy towards positivity and do my very best to encourage. I grab onto opportunities like that one in the shoe store to refuel my perspective. She's not a bratty, wild child running amok in the store. She's just a gal with good taste.
if you think happiness only comes from sunshine, you've never danced in the rain.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
And if you can't donate money, can you spare a stamp?
She will be walking 20+ miles for 3 days from one end of the metroplex to the next. The walkers have the opportunity to receive mail. I can say that the letters I received from my marathon kept me going and further propelled me to the finish line. There’s nothing like a letter from a loved one to inspire! Even if you don't know her that well, you can drop a line and share your own personal inspiration story.
Anyway, thanks for reading!
Send letters to:
Breast Cancer 3-Day Camp Post Office
ATTN: Margie Olivarez
P.O. Box 126496 Benbrook, TX 76126
Envelopes only, please. No
boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than October
27th in order to ensure delivery at the Breast Cancer 3-Day Camp Post
Office. Any mail that is not retrieved by the participant by November
20th will be destroyed.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I didn't go out that night with my friends, but I hear it was good times had by all who did go. I love the effects on this photo because it gives it a look that is familiar to when the place first opened. And with a name like gold dust in bright lights, how could you not go wrong?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Anyway, until this past weekend, she hadn't quite figured out how to walk in them. She knew how to balance our shoes on her feet, but walking proved a much greater task. Well, she found a pair of shoes that are a better angle for her and the fit at the end is just right. I caught her doing this:
Yes, that's her walking around our house in my shoes! Obviously, the poor quality is due to the fact that I grabbed this on my phone and not our video camera. Man, I can't wait until they make teeny tiny video cameras or the one they put in my phone is higher quality. In any case, enjoy the cuteness that is our 19 month old wandering around. At the end she says, "Done!"
*oh, and for those of you curious about the background noise, I was watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager when I took this.
Then tonight,while Don and I were lazing around the night because of the rain, we noticed that she was missing one of her screw on earrings. It is beyond me how that child how that child figured out how to unscrew it, but she somehow managed. We ran over to Kohls tonight to look for a replacement "pretty" because we feared her piercing would close. Ok, they did NOT have any screw on earrings, nor any rounded back earrings. I guess we MIGHT have had better luck at Wal-mart, I don't know. In any case, we settled on a small hoop set. She screamed so much when we put it on that she has one tiny hoop earring and one small ball earring. It's a fashion statement, right?
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Once upon a time, I was in that group of people. Growing up playing volleyball in school, I held quite a bit of resentment towards football programs. Jealousy ensued primarily because when they dictated to me that their thriving revenue helped to pay for our shiny new uniforms. I guess it was their pompous attitude towards it all; that I should give gratitude for their hard work, not giving praise/attention to my hard work. I can remember many, many times where we were kicked out of our gym so the football team could practice. Nevermind the fact that they had an all purpose indoor training facility (in high school, no less), which was being occupied by other football players, and as a result, left us in the hallways practicing without the ball because there were low ceilings. Regardless, I had a healthy love/hate relationship with football. I never understood why my father would be parked in front of the television on Saturdays and Sunday nights (and some Mondays too). I didn't get why he played "tackle" with my Brother in the hallway just before bedtime. But then Brother grew up and started playing football, much to my chagrin. Yet, when I watched him play I had a great sense of pride for him, and my love/hate faded to love/dislike. This continued on until the Fall of 1999.
By this time, my I'd hung up my volleyball shoes and was a full-time student, holding down a full-time job. I was a regular ol' college student, but I was dating a football player. That summer he and I had shared a couple of classes and during that time, he made it a priority to educate me on all things football. I'd had some familiarity with the game, but I never really learned the rules, the hand signals, and such. He asked me to come watch him play. My father liked going to the games, so it was a given that I'd be there. However, I'd only sat with the alumni, never in the student section. There was a big game coming up and he requested that I be there. Dad planned on taking Brother, so I didn't mind sitting in the student section.
On October 2, my life changed. We were playing Texas A&M. I remember it being a typical autumn night, cool, but not cold. I had on a Tech shirt, a jacket, and secretly wished I had a Tech jacket. I sat with my cousin in the student section, the two of us cheering. That was the first time I saw her school spirit. She had such a fever for it all, and she began to educate me on the traditions. In that game, I learned all of the hand signals, the cheers, the fight song, and the Matador Song. Earlier in her university career, she'd been a member of the Goin' Band, even scoring a place on Zeta Iota Tau. (yes, she has skills!) Anyway, that was a phenomenal game and the very night that I caught the Red Raider fever. We pulled off a very, very dramatic win. I rushed the field and joined 20,000+ other friends at the 50 yard line singing the fight song, and we later rushed to the goal posts and tore them down! I felt a part of something larger than myself and I finally "got it." I knew what that comeback feeling was like. I was keenly aware of all of the fans in that stadium and every where else, giving a prayer of hope in unison for our boys. RAIDER POWER...the double T, the masked rider, guns up, cowbells, tortillas, Bertha, March Grandioso, Raider Red, Will Rogers, victory bells, STRIVE FOR HONOR...all of those symbols came together for me, finally...I understood that all along I bled scarlet red and black. It started very young, because in utero my mother walked that glorious campus in West Texas.
Now, it is no wonder that I'm drawn back to that very place every Fall. I recharge. So Tech fans, watch this video (below), even if you have seen it already, and tell me that you don't get tingles, especially at that last image. Mikey & Brother, you should know it well, YOU WERE THERE! (Mikey, I think that's when you caught the fever.) It was November 1, last year, the day we defeated Texas.
Man, I have to make a game soon!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
For Sias track night, I found myself telling Don that I had the urge to run to the track instead of riding in the car. He'd already loaded Mari into the car, so he opted to meet me there. 24 minutes later and I finally showed. I started to beat myself up about it, because no way was my mile average 12 minutes. Instead, I opted to do a quick track workout to compensate for my little "warm-up" jog.
We walked a lap, then I proceeded to do a series of air squats/sprints/push-ups, along with other leg stretches. I finished off with a timed 400. That 400 took just over 2 minutes, but it wasn't too shabby considering all I'd done before and kicked at the 125 meter marker instead of the 200. AAAAND...I was very proud that I was able to do 20 solid "normal" pushups too! HIGH FIVE
Later, I went out to mapmyrun.com and based on the distance, my average mile pace was just over 10 minutes instead of 12. I'm only a minute off pace and not a full 3 minutes like I thought.
In either case, I need to "get into shape." While I maintained my strength training for the past few weeks, I hadn't kept up with endurance training. I'm going to focus on doing a better job of both.
Also, I've decided to opt out of the triathlon this month and instead focus my sites on a 10K race at the middle of the month. Gotta start small and you have to start somewhere. I did the 20K race last year, but I was doing quite a bit more running too. It's ok, though. I'm more than willing to make up the ground!