Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Tear The Size of A Baseball

I've done it folks, finally! I have finished Breaking Dawn and I just knew that those related to me that finished it weeks ago would want to know what I thought (as if they didn't already know what I thought).

First let me begin by telling you that I don't usually read young adult or teen fiction but the Twilight series came highly recommended by my niece who is an avid reader with fairly decent taste. I do like to read and I like to have things to discuss with my far away family so I bought the first and second book (and got a deal on amazon).

I have never read any vampire stories and other than the New Orleans Vampire Tour we went on in 2005, I have never been all that into Vampire lore. But Twilight was OK, it wasn't the best book that I had ever read but I liked the love story entangled with this new concept of Vampires-vegetarian Vampires that is. So I began New Moon and I was less than impressed with the on and on ramblings of how sad Bella was at Edward's absence. While reading New Moon, Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book in the Twilight series was released. Both my sister and my sister-in-law were reading the series and at a much faster pace than I was. Only, and I really mean ONLY because they were reading the series and I have a desperate desire to talk about the books I read, did I continue through Half Moon to Eclipse. Eclipse was rather good, maybe my favorite book in the series. I was involved enough with the characters that I was beginning to almost care what happened to them and my eye rolling has dwindled down to about only once every chapter or so. I was well aware of the fourth book when I finished Eclipse but I just couldn't help but think-what else is there really to say or do?

So I started Breaking Dawn and it almost immediately made me want to stop. I could care less about the wedding details, this book really is written for teenage girls huh? I was about to get bored with the honeymoon when Meyers takes us to absurdity in her plot twist. I couldn't help but wonder if Meyers thought the plot was so twisted and unlike her main character that she decided to switch to another characters first person for 'Book 2'. I mean I like Jacob, I mean I really do, but I would have much preferred the books all be told from Bella's perspective. The pregnant Bella was too far a stretch for Meyer's to write I presume? That's fine, but lets edit some of these pages, does the pregnancy which doesn't last all that long, really have to take up so much of the book?

Then the baby, Renesmee? Let's look past her ridiculous name for a moment-oh wait, that is just too hard to do. Let me gasp, sigh, and roll my eyes. OK, back to my review. Jacob imprinting on Nessie (better name choice?). I saw it coming but how I wished Meyer's wasn't going to let me down in this fashion after the first two sections of Breaking Dawn had been such a letdown, but no, she goes through with it even though Leah was a better match in my opinion. I was hoping someone in the story could form a relationship the old fashioned way but I guess not.

I can stomach Bella's overcoming of most of the drawbacks to the newborn stage but Charlie coming over. Are you serious? If I wasn't so interested in just how bizarre this book could get, I would have stopped reading pages ago.

So I try to overlook most of the bad silly things that happen and look at the positives for this tale as I am investing a lot of spare time into this 754 page book that read a lot slower than The Deathly Hallows. Meyer's fits the pieces together pretty well. I like the supernatural powers and even the wolf twist, I was even managing to accept the imprinting scenario as were Edward and Bella when the book was winding down-slowly-slowly-slowly through the Volturi visit when what do I come across but Jacob crying a tear the size of a baseball, a BASEBALL. This was it. I must have read this sentence 14 times. A baseball. Really. Well, that really tells me how sad he was at the prospect of losing Bella. Baseball (come back eyes, don't stay back there).

Baseballs aren't really huge, unless you have tears the size of them. Then they are just ridiculous. I would have cried from laughing if I didn't feel so inferior to these large, perfectly rounded tears of Jacobs. I am being insensitive, aren't I? Oh well, I can't seem to help myself.

Anyways, I had to get that off my shoulder. The book ended OK, I would have liked to have seen an actual physical confrontation between the Voturi and the rest of the vampires but I will take the ending she gave us. Hoping that it is the end.

This morning my sister told me that Midnight Sun, the inteded fifth book told from Edward's perspective was leaked, or at least the first twelve chapters, on the Internet and so Meyers has decided to indefinitely end working on it. I can only think that you should stop while you are ahead and though this will mean less revenue for you Mrs. Meyers, it is probably the right thing. Stopping at Eclipse was probably best, but ending now, you know with your "THE END" page and all it's finality at the end of Breaking Dawn is respectable.

It's Because I Finally Broke Down

Turns out a lot of people watched Barack's (yes, we are on a one sided first name basis) speech. You're welcome. I mean if we hadn't been watching there would have only been 34, 399,999 people watching.

I must say, after holding out for 8 months it was probably the best thing that I could have chosen to watch.

Does any one know when McCain's speech is? I would like to hear his as well. To answer the pollers questions, if the election were held today, I would vote for Barack Obama, but I think it is only in everyone's interest to hear both sides of the story and make the best informed decision. That's why I may just break our no television ban and watch the debates as well. I may even tune in for Palin's speech, because that, that makes me really curious.

I mean I am paying over $100 for cable that no one watches, I might as well make use of it occasionally.

Oh, why am I paying that much if we don't ever watch it? Because I ridiculously signed a contract for 2 years with Direct T.V.

That is 4,383 on the list of silly things I have done in my life.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Impressions

So Ward and I just finished watching Barack Obama's nomination acceptance speech and I just thought that I would take a few minutes and respond because I know all of my republican readers can't wait until tomorrow for my response.

I will keep it short and to the point, it's late.

I like Obama. I mean I really do. He delivers a good speech (having taken one speech course in high school and two in college I have no idea how all of these people pull their speeches off so effortlessly). He says the things I want to hear and I think I like him even more tonight than last night.

So of course he said what I and other supporters want to hear, isn't that politics as usual, if you vote for me this is what I will do for you... But I think that it is more than just saying what I want to hear, I think he has a plan for us and I would like to see him have a term in office to prove himself, I mean what do we have to lose.

I like his stance on the War, on education, on the energy crisis. I like that he says that the election isn't about him, that it's about the rest of us. As corny and ridiculous as this will sound, when he was talking about Martin Luther King, Jr and the change we need now I caught myself holding my breath. I like what this man is saying. I feel silly and giddy, but I really want to see him in office. I am ready for the change he spoke of.

Here is this man standing before his country asking them to vote for him and I say-

OK, Obama, OK.

I am going to try and watch as many of the speeches next week as I can, I want to give McCain a fair chance but I hate to admit that my heart has already been won over. I will have to remind myself to keep an open mind next week. Either way I am already looking forward to that first debate on Sept. 26th.

When I think about my family and what would be best for just us I sometimes think that I could be/would be a republican but when I think about what is best for others, for the world, for our planet, I have to lean more towards the liberal side of things. I don't register with either party. I don't usually get this involved in elections (even though I think I should). I have NEVER donated money to a candidate before, yet alone on multiple occasions. But something has stirred in me as well and I want to be involved. I get excited when the polls call and they have now, several times. I get excited when the Obama camp calls and I can tell them what I am thinking. We want to feel that our vote makes a difference and for some reason with him, I feel like my vote, my support, really does matter.

He speaks of change. He says we can.

I like him.

And that ole Al Gore too.

-Of course, june

Thank You, Crookshanks!

This morning a lovely surprise from our dear cat Crookshanks (the pregnant stray we acquired at the dump the weekend we moved here).

Yes, it's a rat.

Reinvented? Or just better?

So I think La Blogotheque and Vincent Moon are as cool as Michael Stipe with thier Take Away Shows in the streets and bars and buildings of Paris. The goal is real music, imperfect and right there as it happens without editing or revisions and I dig it. Michael Stipe asked that they do all of Accelerate and many other artists are seeking them out have a Take Away Show recorded. Stipe is calling it the reinvented music video. These are just a few but you can check them out at their home on the web. I am bored and distracted with music videos so I tend to like these.


Sufjan Stevens-

Priscilla Ahn-

And of course you remember this one posted a few months back...

Vampire Weekend-

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For falcon_81

with sympathy-

Playground Update #3


The Dragon Tower!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Four More Months!

So I broke down, I am watching....


I just couldn't miss the DNC. I missed last night's speeches but Obama sent me a copy of Michelle's speech and I decided that I couldn't miss anymore coverage. And I am so glad that I tuned in, Mark Warner gave a great speech. I really am enjoying the concept that this year Virginia is a "toss up" state, usually I just follow the elections knowing which way my state is going to swing but this year I feel like there is a difference and I just feel like being involved is even more important.

Oh, here's Chelsea, gotta go.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Did You Know?

  1. I am bored and can no longer fall asleep before midnight?
  2. I love mexican food, especially La Carreta mexican food, especially Vegetarian Fajitas?
  3. I almost always delete FW: emails, before even reading them?
  4. That Madonna and I share the same birthday? Month and Day only, I am not yet 50.
  5. I was scared to take so much as a single painkiller during pregnancy and now won't even take a single Tylenol P.M. to help me sleep.
  6. I have friends who don't know who U2 are and yet still call these people 'Friends'?
  7. I went to Lynchburg College and graduated Magna Cum Laude and haven't worked a day outside the home since?
  8. That I majored in Human Development and Learning?
  9. That HD&L is 'education'?
  10. That I never did my student teaching so I have to go back for a semester before I can put my degree to any use?
  11. That even if you don't work a day outside the home after graduating that they still expect you to pay off your student loans.
  12. I do work for Ward's company.
  13. I even get paid.
  14. I don't know if people think that counts.
  15. The only night I ever stayed in a dorm was at UVA for orientation.
  16. That I withdrew my acceptance from UVA to stay close to Ward and the rest of my family.
  17. That I have never regretted that decision?
  18. Not even once?
  19. That Elvis died on my birth date? On the same month and date but several years before I was born?
  20. That Elvis had a twin who died at birth?
  21. That I love Karaoke?
  22. A lot?
  23. That my favorite color is red?
  24. Because it is welcoming yet powerful?
  25. That I once killed a cat by putting it in the dryer?
  26. That I was two when I put that cat in the dryer and that his death was always blamed on me but that I could have in no way turned on the dryer?
  27. That I love They Might Be Giants?
  28. That I was born in Raleigh?
  29. That I have never been abducted by aliens?
  30. Not even once?
  31. That I know of at least.
  32. I hate Johnny Quest.
  33. And Ren and Stimpy.
  34. And Spongebob.
  35. That when I drink alcohol I drink too much.
  36. And say too much.
  37. That Christmas is my favorite holiday?
  38. And Halloween a close second?
  39. I hate Valentine's Day.
  40. But just a little.
  41. Death of a Salesman is my favorite play.
  42. That I enjoy the film Look Who's Talking?
  43. More than it is probably safe to admit.
  44. And that by now most people have stopped reading so they will never know that.
  45. That my sister and I used to pretend we were dating 'The Corey's".
  46. I was dating Feldman.
  47. Which at the time seemed like I was being duped.
  48. But now it looks like I had the better one.
  49. And I also had a crush on Michael J. Fox.
  50. Ah, Teen Wolf.
  51. And Leonardo DiCaprio.
  52. Pre-Titanic.
  53. And Johhny Depp.
  54. Pre-Pirates.
  55. That I collected Marvel Cards from 1990-94.
  56. And comic books.
  57. Once I went to a Halloween Party as Rogue.
  58. That she is so much cooler than she is portrayed in the X-Men films?
  59. That I didn't have Cheesecake until I met my husband's family?
  60. And now I love it?
  61. I love pistachios.
  62. And pecans.
  63. But not Brazil Nuts or Peanuts.
  64. Unless they carry around blankies and play a mean piano.
  65. That I am afraid of horror movies?
  66. That I love The Muppets Christmas Carol?
  67. I am afraid of any positive attention from the opposite sex?
  68. And that I always have been?
  69. I mean oddly afraid?
  70. So much so that it is amazing that I even have a husband?
  71. That once in high school.
  72. I was stalked.
  73. At least I think I was.
  74. That we bought a van when we decided to have children?
  75. And then a house a month later?
  76. And painted the 'nursery' yellow?
  77. And then couldn't get pregnant?
  78. So we sold the van.
  79. And the house.
  80. And now we have an SUV?
  81. And a yellow nursery?
  82. That I used to by sort of a pyromaniac?
  83. When I was ten.
  84. And I used to steal cigarettes from my mom?
  85. And smoke them in my neighbors backyard.
  86. And I used to lie all the time?
  87. Hey, I'm just being honest.
  88. And Laying it all out there.
  89. I once owned an '89 Pontiac.
  90. And a Wicket instead of some furry die?
  91. And I once slept in a house intended for goats.
  92. And spray painted the inside of a house on Rivermont?
  93. With the owner and his girlfriend.
  94. That I hate Orange Juice?
  95. But that I love GAP t-shirts?
  96. And Levi's?
  97. And Chuck Taylor's?
  98. That I once owned a Hamster named Nutmeg and a grasshopper named Jiminy?
  99. That I no longer check the weather everyday?
  100. Because it never changes.
  101. And it never rains.
  102. That I have a bumper sticker on my car?
  103. A Smith's bumper sticker.
  104. Ward has a bumper sticker on his car, too.
  105. A Homestar bumper sticker.
  106. I'm just sayin'.
  107. That I love lists and list making?
  108. That I still haven't finished Breaking Dawn?
  109. That I should really try and go to sleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Like A Poll, Only Better

So fellow bloggers last night or the night before last, I won't say which night, some friends of ours came over to play Say Anything, a really fun game and one of the categories was "What's the best U2 song?" I was surprised by how many people didn't even know a name of a U2 song yet alone have a favorite.

So here is what I am going to do and here is what I want all my fellow blog buddies to do. I am going to post a You Tube vid of my favorite U2 song and then you are going to be so moved as to share with me your favorite U2 song so you are going to post your favorite U2 song and then come and link it to me in my comment box so that I and all the other U2 fans can come check it out.

So here's mine:

Your turn...

It's About a Democratic Fellow Named Barack

So I talked to my mom at 1:20 this a.m. I won't get into the details (mainly because they are pathetic and annoying) but she told me that sen. Barack Obama had chosen Joe Biden as his running mate, all I have to say is, that'll do, Barack, that'll do.

And boy do I need some sleep.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Little Did We Both Know

Remember a few weeks back and my run in with super human strength? I got a letter in the mail this afternoon that may just explain it. Ward's grandmother sent us a letter addressed to Ward & Elekra. I am not sure if she meant Elexia or Elektra but one thing is certain, she must think I am a super hero. It's all coming back to me now, I must have had amnesia, I was a super hero before I fell off my family's yacht and Ward kidnapped me and told me that his kids were ours.

I used to laugh at her blatant mispronuncaition of my name but I am beginning to wonder, since she's sending us checks, if I should tell her who her grandson is really married to.

She may be disappointed.


Hey, Hey Colin Hay

The other day after my depressing mother post I was thinking about Mr. Hay and well it's been a while since my last music post so here are a few from Mr. Men at Work, who knew he was destined for such better music, I mean I love hearing about
Vegemite sandwhiches and head full of zombie but his writing is so much better now.

See for yourself:

I'm Wide Awake-It's Midnight

I have no idea what is wrong with me, for the past two nights I can't seem to fall asleep and then I wake up the next morning still tired and dreaming of naps all day long only to find myself tossing and turning after dark. I even went to bed 'early' tonight but after 90 minutes of tossing and turning here I am, wide awake. Bailey just woke up for a bottle and I decided that there was no point in lying in bed wide awake when I could be reading disappointing follow-up novels by Stephanie Meyer's or better yet, blogging.

In an attempt to drift off to sleep tonight I found myself reading old journal entries, yes world, I keep and have kept a diary for over 15 years. I get worse with it as I get older and now with the blog I hardly ever write and it is boring enough to put even me to sleep but it is an interesting tool of self discovery. I find that the way I remember things and the way I write things when they are happening are very different.

Take for instance what I read over tonight. I won't bore you with the word for word translation but I was reading an entry from when the twins were two weeks old. (I am anal I suppose, I write the date on every entry followed by how old the twins are, I used to write the date followed by how long we had been trying to conceive and then the date and how far along in my pregnancy I was, I find it to be a useful tool when I wish to quickly and accurately go back in time.) Anyways, I can't get over how sleep deprived I was and how fowl a mood I was in. I wouldn't call in PPD or anything but it saddens me to think that I spent anytime, yet alone weeks so tired after their arrival. I always thought the newborn stage would be hard but I thought that it would be the best time of my life. I hate to admit it, but to be completely honest, it doesn't appear that it was the best time of my life. The thing is that isn't how I remember it now. I remember it going quickly and time flying by but I don't remember any pain, sadness or exhaustion. I think it's best that I can't remember it that way and almost sad that I wrote any of it down to be reminded of how difficult a time it was. I am so disappointed that those early weeks were so difficult, I felt so alone and had such a bad case of cabin fever. It could have been the season and the lack of vitamin D in my diet but it is depressing to read and I hope I didn't rub off on people that way. Now I love being at home and I don't even like to go out unless Ward, Ricky or Lucy are with me (*you know we really should be Ricky and Lucy and they should be I don't know Fred and Ethel, I have never even seen an episode of Leave it to Beaver).

I want to have more children because well, I can't really explain it other than I just do, but I hope that next time I will be better prepared. That I will know that the exhaustion passes quickly but so does the newborn stage and I won't take it for granted like I fear that I did this time. I am making it my new mission statement to revel in all the time I have with our children, both good and bad, because before I know it we have left one stage and headed to the next, before I realize it, before I am ready.

But the whole sleep deprivation, it is so underrated. I wonder how many people laughed to themselves but in my direction when I told them that I wasn't worried about the lack of sleep because I wasn't sleeping in late pregnancy anyways, I mean who am I kidding, I have the water logged crossword puzzles to prove that I was sleeping in late pregnancy. Who knows maybe it's my fault, I mean I did poke and prod my stomach at 3a.m. in the bathtub trying to make the twins move for me so they were but only use to late night rendez vous with mom when they were born.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Run, Run, Run, Otis Lee

As I mentioned at least once before I am the kind of person who hoards things, especially old letters and birthday cards (which I love and Thank You very much). I would hold onto everything ever given to me if given the space. It's just my nature. And the things I've lost or given away from my childhood, some of it I really miss. So much so that I think about it and search for it on Amazon and Ebay. And finally today, for $7.99 and in shrink wrap, I purchased this:

I can still recall my sister and I listening to this over and over and over again on our Fisher Price Record Player. I can still remember most of the words to Get Back Home and Run, Run, Run.

Now I just have to figure out how to get ahold of a Record Player as this is only available on vinyl.


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Uncovered Truth

I have grown up thinking I was unattractive and homely, not because anyone called me names or because I was forced to wear clearance items from Roses but because the person I saw in the mirror was someone who let me down. My mothers disappearance before my adolescent years didn't help, but my lack of beauty skills isn't really her fault it's just another thing I can blame on her because the list isn't long enough. But one thing about myself that has always bothered me, more than anyone could know, is my acne.

When I was in sixth grade I started to 'break out' and I thought that this was just one of those growing pains that everyone had to live with. Well, not everyone does and mine quickly seemed to worsen. By ninth grade I was ashamed to have my picture taken and it really started to affect my self esteem, not that I really had any to begin with. All the pictures I have from high school my face is covered with acne. I used to look at pictures of my girlfriends in pictures with me and wish that my face would clear up, even just a little.

Make-up, when applied, just made it worse and it made it look as though I was trying to hide the blemishes and doing a really bad job. Cleansers were often to rough leaving my face looking like a battlefield. I got use to the idea that I couldn't escape the acne and hoped that as I reached 18 my face would clear up.

It didn't.

It only got worse as more blemishes appeared and the old blemishes remained in the forms of red blotches and scars. When I was in college I tried a few stronger products, such as ProActiv, Clinique facial cleaning system and other products and approaches suggested by friends, nothing seemed to work.

The acne was bothersome in more ways than one and it often left me feeling self conscience and insecure but there was little I could do about it but go about my life. Several times however, over the course of the past few years I have endured some pretty painful comments over the condition. I remember when I was 15 my grandfather asked me what was wrong with my face. Another time I had a father of a child at a daycare I was working at ask me if I had ever tried anything on my acne because his wife did Mary Kay or Avon or something. I was shocked and embarrassed for both of us.

When I was pregnant my face only got worse. Having endured acne for as long as I had it no longer really bothered me, even though I still don't like to have my picture taken because of it. When I was seven months pregnant a close friend of mine begged me to come to her Mary Kay party. I told her that I really hated those things but she begged so much I finally agreed.

The 'party' was with a bunch of beautiful girls who in my opinion don't need Mary Kay's help to begin with and I instantly became the Mary Kay representative's charity case. She kept offering me samples and asking me if I had ever used any acne products and what I normally did to clean my face. It was almost a year ago and I have blocked most of the occasion from my mind but I remember two things clearly. First, I am not sure if I have ever felt more embarrassed and insulted and secondly, I left before the party was over because I was hurt and couldn't stand the way I was being treated.

Since the twins birth however something changed. My cycle is still absent but my face is a little clearer. I don't have anywhere near as many breakouts as before. I still have occasional breakouts and my face is still red from years of acne but when I wear make-up it evens the color and it doesn't look as though I am trying to hide anything. Several people have commented that my skin looks clearer but I find that I am still very self conscience about the matter and I don't like having my picture taken except with the children and as ridiculous as this sounds, I don't even like to look in the mirror because I hate the way I look.

Today, our Mary Kay representative called to speak with me. I was shocked she had my number and thought instantly that the recession must be hitting her business hard because I had no idea why she would be calling me. I told her I was busy with my children and she offered to call back later. I didn't want to be rude but I found her to be rude both today and at the party a year ago and didn't feel like there was any reason for her to call back, but being weak and afraid to hurt her feelings I told her that was fine. I don't know what it would be like to have clear skin but if I had it I wouldn't be hiding behind a bunch of expensive overly marked up make up.

When she called back a few hours later and I answered I wasn't as friendly. She asked if I was busy and I was busy with my sister and nephew here baking cookies. She told me that when we met last year at the girl's house (whose name she couldn't remember for either conversation) I was interested in their products and she would really like to come by and work with me one on one. I don't know where she got my number or the idea that I was interested in Mary Kay but I am not. Her tone coupled with a memory of that fine party a year ago made me tell her that I wasn't interested. Not even in our acne products, she said.

NO, not even in your acne products, I said and I hung up.

Some of us are flawed and we are aware of it. We don't need it brought up as though we may be ignorant to our physical shortcomings. I want to be a bigger, better person and say that her call didn't leave me in a funk but it did. I can live with being imperfect and far from beautiful, why can't other people. Why are we so hung up on outward appearances? If I wear sweats and no make up and hair that is boring and straight why does it seem to offend other people. Do these people realize (NO) that their words are hurtful and degrading?

Apparently not.


hApPy AnNiVeRsArY WaRd

7 years. Wow, and we haven't killed each other, amaZing.

Here's to another 43 years, hunny bunny and then, then you have to leave.

-your wife

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I like to celebrate my birthday so yesterday I was having a bit of a Samantha Baker experience. I woke up to find Ward working on the S.S. Death Trap and a messy house to de-clutter. Several family members wished me happy birthday by way of Facebook or Blogs and my Dad and sister called to wish me a happy birthday but other than that is was like any other Saturday. Ward didn't even come in and wish me a happy birthday until 10 a.m.

My neighbor came by a little after that for me to accompany her to the auction down the street but she didn't wish me a happy birthday but I figured that she just didn't know. When I called my friends to tell them they should bid on the house (that is now up to $300K) they didn't wish me a happy birthday. My brother called at 3 to wish me one but then asked to speak to Ward.

I wasn't expecting whistles and bells but I was a little bummed at the brushing over of my birthday. My sister had plans, she couldn't even see me on my birthday and there weren't even any good movies at the theatre. I was feeling jaded and like a high schooler and yet I couldn't shake the bummed feeling.

Last weekend I had asked Ward if he wanted to have people over to play games on my birthday and he just shook it off, when he called on Monday and asked me out to a dinner and a movie I was excited. Yesterday that was the one thing I was really looking forward to. Dinner at Olive Garden, where I have not eaten since the day before I was induced and then a movie. I was supposed to make my own dessert, but feeling jaded and bummed I skipped it completely.

Ward suggested an early dinner and an early movie. Lucy dropped Ricky off and headed to work, Ricky mowed the grass and we got ready for our night out. I was worried about how the twins would handle our absence and I busied myself with getting ready and setting out PJs. At 5:30 I gave Ricky detailed instructions. We won't call, I told him. Call us if you have any problems but don't worry with crying as they may cry because we are gone.

We left without long goodbyes because I didn't want to draw the twins attention to our exit. When we were pulling out of the neighborhood Ward commented on how early we were going out. Even though he had suggested it I suddenly felt rotten. I felt like we should be seeing a later movie and only went ahead with the 5:30 thing because he seemed so sure of his plan.

We got to Olive Garden and there was a wait. He suggested heading to the bar. We treated ourselves to a drink which we never do. Within 15 minutes our buzzer went off. Almost as soon as we were seated my stomach started to bother me. We ordered appetizers and our meals. I kept feeling worse. I couldn't describe it but it kept getting steadily worse. Ward started to suggest that we not go to the movie but go home. By the time our dinner came I was feeling awful, I felt extremely hot and I was even beginning to feel physically ill. Ward wanted to go home and I was getting upset about ruining my 'birthday dinner' and our evening. Ward assured me that I wasn't ruining his evening, that he didn't even want to see the movie but I was getting so upset. I couldn't touch my food and Ward got the check. I was feeling worse and worse both physically and even emotionally. I couldn't shake the immature feeling that my birthday was a bust. I felt stupid for feeling that way and I wondered if I was feeling anxiety over leaving the children at home.

Ward went to the restroom and I headed outside to get some fresh air. I pictured myself home on the couch sick and I just wanted to go home and go to bed and wake up when it was no longer my birthday. When he came outside he asked if I was feeling better and I was, I was beginning to wonder if I was sick because I had left the kids at home and having decided to go home I was slowly feeling better. He asked if I wanted to go to Target, my most favorite place but I just wanted to go home.

On the way home I started feeling better and I asked him if he wanted to go to the movie. He said we should go home and get some medicine and if I wanted to see a later movie when the kids were asleep then we could head back out, I was beginning to feel almost fine. He started joking about my birthday being a waste and him not buying me a cake or even a card. He was getting me to smile and I was starting to like the idea of putting the kids to bed and going back out to the theatre even though I was still bummed about dinner.

We got home and came through the garage as usual and when I opened the door to the house

There by the laundry room was my sister and her son, her husband, some couples who I had spoke to that morning and had not even wished me a happy birthday, my brother, the twins, our neighbors, and a few other couples all throwing me a surprise birthday party. I was instantly thrown off guard, laughing and wondering if Ward had poisoned my dinner. I can't describe how surprised I was. We had only been gone for a little over an hour. The house was decorated. The kids fed and in pajamas. I couldn't stop blushing and wondering where everyone was parked.

Ward had called my sister and a few of our friends and arranged the whole shebang. There was even Ice Cream cake, my favorite. I couldn't get over how I had never caught on. It was pretty cool.

I got a few pretty cool gifts but I have to address my favorite. My brother Ricky lives with us. He and Lucy's gift really hit me hard. In a blue bag there was a Hallmark card that said


As I sit in your basement scribbling you this card so I can bring it to you, I just can't thank you enough for all you've done for me. Keeping me housed, fed and loved while our mother failed.


Anyway, here is at least one step towards your photo studio.

And in the bag was this:

(Note the Disposable cameras)

In the 'Open Last' envelope was this.

Make that 2 steps.

And the next thing I know Ricky runs over to the steps leading to the basement and brings out a lighting kit from Ritz. I was shocked at the gift but even more so by the cards and his thoughtfulness, it wasn't that he isn't thoughtful it was just a really powerful experience with the card coupled with the whole surprise party.

The whole evening was awesome. I couldn't believe that Ward had thrown me a surprise party, it just isn't like him and everyone else had been so hush hush about it. I felt utterly silly and juvenile for thinking that no one remembered me. On the way home last night from Olive Garden Ward was saying things that could have made me suspicious but a surprise party is just too unlike him. I can't imagine what he must be planning for our anniversary!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To

This morning my neighbor stopped in to see if I wanted to go to the auction being held two doors up, the children were napping and Ward agreed to stay home so I went with her and her daughter to be nosy and see who are new neighbors perhaps might be and to see how much the house, built the same times as ours, would go for.

How much did the house go for? $150K!

Reasons to be depressed:

1.) Our neighborhood seems to be going to pot.

2.) We own not one but TWO houses in our neighborhood.

3.) We may never sell either of the two houses, I can sit on that second house for 10 years before I take a $225K loss.

4.) The US economy may really be in a depression, not just a recession.

The real estate agent assured me that the house will not go for that little, that the bank will refuse to sell it at that, but I am not convinced. And so what if the house doesn't go for $150K if it goes for uner $300K that is a hit as the house is on par if not a little under the house we are trying to sell.

You would cry to if it happened to you.

-Leslie Gore

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let the Childproofing Begin

Coop is on the move, I mean the child just doesn't stay still. Crawling EVERYWHERE and pulling up on EVERYTHING. He is quite the little mobile booger. Problem is, well, main problem is, he is attracted, really drawn to danerous objects, usually chargers and other electronics. I know I should remove things and make our house more user friendly for him but I don't even know where to begin. Ok, gates and outlet covers obviously, but from there where do I go?

We have lots of steps ups and step downs and stair cases and DVDs and Books, and blah, blah, blah. So I am asking, begging, pleading with you experienced parents out there, what do I do? I move him away from something and he heads straight back. Can he really be at this stage already? Really?

Bailey on the other hand is still crawling backwards two inches for every inch forward.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Can't Wait For School Lunch Options, Need to Be Crazy NOW

I'm a little bit of a, well let's see how to put this, a nut, I guess. After my failed attempt at Breastfeeding I pumped for as long as I could when at around 4 months the crying babies during the painful tri-hourly ordeal became more than I could bear and then I switched, slowly but determinedly to formula. I was so guilt ridden that I would only agree to Enfamil for my babies and of course Nursery water. I didn't change my stride even when the pediatrician balked at me, no I continued to buy bottled gallon jugs of water to mix the formula with at Target at a whopping $1.19 a jug. By five months I was becoming utterly depressed with the cost of Enfamil for a week for the twins so I begrudingly switched to the Sam's brand, but I wouldn't give up the bottled water. I will switch to tap at 6 months, I assured Ward. Six months came and went and the bottled water was just a habit at this point. I just want the best for my children, and having failed that route, I wanted the second best, and having been to poor for that option the third best, bottled Nursery water with premium Member's Mark formula.

Recently the twins have been eating more and more solid foods for at least two meals a day.Having fought me for months with the baby Oatmeal I have given in and am introducing as of yesterday, fruits in a jar, yum. Coop and Bailey seem to LOVE it, three meals a day here we come, and of course altered snacks of Zwieback and Puffs, Gerber must love me, nut that I am. With the meal routine they drink less formula but we are still going through 2-3 gallons a week of the water. But I am just having a hard time letting it go.

Then, three days ago, an epiphany. That Brita water filter that I never use, well, it could be the answer to bottled jugs of water. The filters aren't cheap but I can buy them in bulk at Sam's and it beats having to run to Target to get several gallons of water which is not easy by myself. So a compromise, tap water through a filter. I feel better about this already.

Do you think, say in ten years or so, I will finally get over my guilt and anger over the my nursing failures? Geez, I hope so.


p.s. It was hard for me to switch but now that I have, Member's Mark formula seems fine and is SOOOOOO much cheaper. Formula now costs about $80 a month compared to $360 a month.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amazon NEVER Forgets

This is a silly quick post but I am flabbergasted, yep, I said it, flabbergasted. I just bought something from amazon, my favorite place in the world, and that something gave me a sweet deal from Shutterfly in my 'media library' that I have never visited before today. Turns out I have had other sweet deals in the past that I never even realized but have long since expired. One of those sweet deals was for a camera that I bought after I thought my Nikon N60 kicked the bucket some years ago (I got the Nikon N60 as a gift and then it 'broke' four years later, but it really just turned out that the camera was acting funny and the guy at Ritz was an idiot because a year ago I gambled $12 on a replacement battery for it just for the fun of it and guess what it works, so I went without my favorite camera for years because some highschooler thought they knew something about 35mm cameras when he really didn't, but that's another blog really.....). Back to the camera, A Minolta Zoom 160c Date 35mm camera to be exact, purchased October 24, 2004 from amazon. Amazon still has all the information about the purchase and I didn't even remember that I bought it from amazon. It must have been in the beginning of our relatioship when I wasn't a prime member and have wish lists as long as Santas bad lists.

That Konica Minolta camera, it was purchased because I used to work at a photo lab and my favorite customer owned a Minolta and when I looked into it this was the only one I could find, I should have gone digital back then because that camera was AWFUL! Come to think of it that camera made me go digital, I bought my first digital camera in May of 2005 before visiting the Rocky Mountains. That Minolta sits in its carrying case to this very day, if I thought I could get a dime for it I would sell it, I probably should give it to my mother-in-law who's still using~gasp~ disposables!

But amazon, dear sweeet amazon, you are like the big grey elephant, ginormous and never forgetting, and I HEART you. I mean no one else not even me, remembers so much about me or my purchasing and that, that really means something.

Outing #2

My birthday is Saturday, I won't yet be old but I am not as young as I used to be and I feel older than I really am. I am not getting a D3 or a d300 for my birthday, but Ricky has agreed to babysit so that Ward can take me out to see a movie, one of our favorite pass times. We've seen the X-Files and Batman, so what should we see this weekend? Tropic Thunder, The Pineapple Express, Journey to the Center of the Earth? Why am I wishing I had been born in June.

I feel, oddly enough, much better about leaving the twins this time. My brother lives with us and the twins are used to him. He knows the bedtime routine and how to change a diaper. Not that the last time was terrible, we all survived, but we got home both of the babies were awake and downstairs. From 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., our children don't come downstairs. At 7 we head up for the bath, book, bottle, bed routine and they don't come back downstairs until they have awoken for good the next moring, ususally 6:30 or so. Our friends didn't do anything wrong it was just me feeling uncomfortable. The twins woke up every couple of hours for the rest of that night and the few nights following. Another friend of mine told me to get over it, that when I go out I am just going to have to get used to the babysitters routine and just be happy as long as they are alive and well when I get home. There is another option, we could just stay home.

The idea of an evening out is just not as fun when you have to write out detailed care instructions, call home a dozen times and worry through dinner. Our evening out wasn't that bad or we wouldn't be going out this Saturday, but I would rather it be a once in a while routine than a weekly event. But with the cost of babysitters and the money tree drought I doubt that will be a problem.


The Ever Addictive eBay

I love taking photos but sometimes I feel like something is lacking, that they could be better, that my photos are missing something. I believe that something is Adobe Photoshop. So recently I have been looking into purchasing some except that it is so bloody damn expensive. I mean really, it is.

So a few days ago Ward set up an abay account. If you are thinking that we must be the last adults alive to have an ebay account take heart that this account is not our first. Some years ago I set up an account, bought one lousy object and forgot my PayPal information. Ebay wouldn't let me set up a new PayPal account under that username because I already had one and I wrote the whole enterprise off, for years.

Now that Ward is filling in his G.I. Joe comic book collection I have started looking about for photo equipment and realising why I didn't mind exiting the ebay train in the first place. It's gambling and gambling is dangerous and addictive. I mean how easy is it to bid an item and then bid again when you realize your first bid has been outbid. I find myself easily adding $3 here and $5 there to bids and before I know it I am winning an item that I am not sure I really need or want. Dangerous, really really dangerous for someone with my personality.

The problem is Cs3 costs $600 on amazon and only $285 on ebay. Or does it? Has anyone else had any experience buying on ebay? Should I be leery? Are these prices as good as they claim or should I just save up my money and buy the real thing? I want cs3 and Lightroom 2 but by the time I save up for them at retail prices Cs18278 and Lightroom 39734 will be out.

My photos are begging for this software, do I really have the heart to just ignore them?


Sunday, August 10, 2008

The World Is a Mess

I'm not sure if all of you have noticed, but this weekend's headlines have been a little less than uplifting. Maybe we do need the help of Doctor Horrible?
  • Russia and Georgia are now officially at war. At least 2000 people have already died in two days worth of fighting.
  • Two Americans were stabbed at the Olympics, one died already, and then the Chinese assailant jumped out of a window to his death.
  • John Edwards (who had been my top choice for the Dem. VP) has admitted to that affair with a campaign worker. But evidently the baby can't be his, he must have been with his WIFE on the day of conception while she was undergoing CANCER treatment. What a jack-ass. And I bought in to all his honest-man-of-the-people crap.
  • A police task force raids the wrong house in Maryland. The house of the Mayor. They burst in, shoot the families dogs, search the house (leaving some people handcuffed and lying face down on the bloody floor for more than an hour) and then they leave. Ooops, wrong address.
  • Seventeen people died in Texas, when a Vietnamese Church Group's bus lost control and rolled into a gully.
  • Bernie Mac died of phnuemonia at age 50 yesterday.

Well, that's what's happening in the world around you. Have a great weekend.


Friday, August 8, 2008

What do onions have that tomatoes don't?

The other day we were having dinner (baked ziti) and my 18 year old brother is talking about foods he will and won't eat and he says matter of factly, "I've invited onions to the party in my tummy but Tomatoes and Mushrooms won't be coming anytime soon."

The first thing that came to my mind: poor tomatoes, getting a bad rap all summer long.

The second thing: does Ricky read James' blog?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

X-Man, Take 2

The local news here just can't seem to get enough of my nephew, knowing him he was probably the cutest thing at the ball game.


In All Of My Extra Spare Time

So recently I have taken up a Lynchburg Daily Photo Blog and have really thrown myself into taking more photos. As I have previously mentioned I sometimes take 300-400 shots a day (our poor children will probably go blind from the flash going off in their face). I have been reading about fully utilizing the features on the D80 and have looked into some Adobe software but haven't purchased any yet because the weather has been pretty dry in these parts and my money tree isn't very healthy right now. But then I thought hey why not divide what small amount of time you have left and take up another hobby.

Ward voted for exercise in some shape or another. I chose Scrapbooking. I would never have thought that scrapbooking would be so time consuming or difficult. When I say difficult I mean that I am a perfectionist but far from perfect, very frustrating. Scrapbooking is the perfect hobby for me. I can take one of my favorite things (photos) and pair them with another favorite thing (shopping at Target) and waste hours of time.

Originally I was going to make Bailey and Cooper scrapbooks. I bought the scrapbooks before they were born and have been stockpiling memorabilia to put in them since before they were born. But when I started thinking about how to begin their scrapbooks I decided that really I needed a pregnancy scrapbook as well which works out because I hope to pass these scrapbooks on to them when they are older and I can keep the pregnancy one for myself (I am so selfish like that). So for the past week or so I have been working on a pregnancy scrapbook. I haven't even gotten to the pregnancy yet because I think and design and rethink every step of the project. Did I mention my oligomania?

But despite the time drainage scrapbooking has proven to be...well fun. I have really enjoyed deciding what to put in the scrapbook and how to design each page. I am not an artist and I am not about to take a class at Michael's but I don't think it looks half bad for an amateur scrapbooker. Besides, the walk down memory lane has been worth it.

I have even thought of making a wedding scrapbook. That's just how bad the oligomania is.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

is the D3.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Incredible June

Since the twins were born I have perfected the two carrier hold with the twins Graco Carrier/Car Seats. Often I have to take the twins somewhere alone where a stroller is inconvenient or just not an option. Romp 'N Roll for instance. When people see me coming with a carrier in each arm their first response is to open the door for me tell me that my hands are full followed by commenting that I must be very strong to carry around such heavy looking babies. I hadn't thought that I had gotten any stronger since the twins were born and I hate the "hands full" comment so I usually just smile as I struggle to open the door with my arms full.

But this weekend a few things happened that made me think that maybe I am stronger than I give myself credit for. On Saturday morning I was putting on a not-so-cheap Bra from a major mall retailer and as I was pulling a strap onto my shoulder I ripped the strap rendering the bra useless. My first thought was that they have cheapened out on their bras which I once thought were a women's breast friend, but then...

We went to a pool party. I had made some mighty tasty Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Tortilla Chips. After saying hello to everyone at the pool I took the extra Tupperware container of Salsa to store in my friend's fridge. When I reached for the handle of her screen door and pushed the lever in the entire contraption fell apart in my hands and all over my friends deck. Not only did I feel terrible but I started to wonder the power of my carrier toting arms. My friend told me not to worry, the door was old but I still feel terrible about it.

Then on Sunday we went to Roanoke to see my would-be-but won't-now-ever-be-Stepfather. Ward brought along a cup of Cherry Coke in a Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop cup. As soon as we left I was worried that the coke would splash in the Sequoia and make a sticky mess because it was propped on it's side on some Starburst wrappers (I never said I had the cleanest car). So what did I do, let my worry build until The Incredible June was released picking up the coke and dumping not a splash but the entire 16oz all over the console of my vehicle. How did it happen? All I can say is it was the outcome of my sheer strength for which I don't even know the full potential of yet.

This morning a lady told me that I sure had my hands full while I was trying to get into Old Navy. I asked her if she wanted to see my big guns. She looked at me strange and hurried off. I think she misunderstood me but at least she moved out of my way.

I am beginning to think that maybe it wasn't cheap fabric in my bra, rusty door handle or crappy cups that weren't ever meant to serve as dining wear that caused these incidents but rather my super hero mother status.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Final Frontier

So I heard about this on the radio today!

Some Very exciting news indeed.

The Phoenix Rover has scooped up a handful of ice crystals. Of course you know that this is definitive proof that there were once Martians on the planet, and that they are the ones who colonized Earth in the first place, and have been continually abducting prime Human Specimens for the last millennium or so.

So that isn't what it really means. Or at least probably not. But it is very exciting news to a science geek like myself. One day our grandchildren's grandchildren could be living on another planet with an oxygen based atmosphere. Until now I was really looking forward to the moon base where I hoped to retire, but this changes everything.

But seriously, if our neighboring planet is home to the basic building blocks of life as we now it, that gives me hope that there are probably much more compatible planets out there in other solar systems, not to mention the nearly infinite galaxies that comprise our universe.

Distance is the problem now. We need to work on that Ion Propulsion engine and perfect the Cryonic Storage Units soon. Come on, let's get moving folks.


Playground Update #2

Here are some second shots of the playground, as you can see it isn't going all that quickly. By the time it is finished our children may be big enough to play on it.
But the second tower has been started and the tunnel is in place.
That is the front view of the biggest tower, which is hopefully going to look like a pirate ship when Ward is done.
Can you see the boat? Our neighbor's can't.
The tunnel from atop the second tower.