Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z Is For Zoinks

I feel like Shaggy when he said, "Zoinks Scoob, we're out of scooby snacks!"

Zoinks fellow bloggers, we're out of alphabet and April and if you are anything like me, out of steam and low on ideas!

Zoinks! I'm going to try to use this word more often.  It feels good to say.  And also jinkies.  And yes, I did watch Scooby-Doo this past weekend.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y Is For Yesterday

Unlike the classic Beatles song, yesterday all my troubles seemed close by and ready to pounce.  This week at work is going to be stressful with changes and mergers and yesterday I was pretty upset about it.  But the glorious thing about each new day is that it is a new day.  When I woke up this morning, I was not troubled by worries of the stress of new things.

Am I going to come home from this day, put my feet up and not want to eat leftover soup for dinner?  Undoubtedly!  But that is troubles best saved for after 5:00!  Right now I'm content with my cup of coffee and the promise of reading for 30 minutes before I get my turn in the bathroom to dry my hair and do my make up.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X Is For X-Treme Sports

After walking my three dogs this morning, I came home feeling like our 1.5 mile walk had taken us ten years and every day was boot camp. Three dog walking should be classified as an X-Treme sport.  It takes extreme arm strength to keep them together and untangled.  I've got to be extremely agile to avoid tripping when they stop short and glob together to smell one super interesting spot right in front of me.  Plus there is extreme danger of leash burn when walking past another dog in a yard as I try to hold them to heel.  And if that other dog is barking....well....that moves from the X-Treme to the Completely Insane What Was I Thinking category!

By the end of our walk, after the huge Rottweiler tried to break his fence down to 'be friends' and the Mutt and Jeff team of a Golden Retriever and a Chihuahua barked their unflattering opinion of us (based on my girls' reactions to the barks, I think it was comments on their Mother and her lack of character), it was more CIWWIT.

But worth it.  The girls are sacked out on the couch napping and I feel like I've been to the gym for a whole body work out!

Friday, April 26, 2013

W Is For Well, That Was Different

For my 8 year old nephew's birthday, his gift from me was a two night sleepover at our house, just him, and he got to pick Friday's dinner, and watch all the movies he wanted, and stay up until  11, and have waffles for breakfast two mornings in a row.

His six year old brother has his birthday weekend next weekend.  And don't tell their soon to be 4 year old brother, but he will be getting the same gift!

Meanwhile, one of my other nephews started asking when his sleepover would be.  He would drop his baby sister off at our house before his swim lessons and he would ask when he could stay.  Well, I don't work on Friday, how about Thursday night after swim lessons?  He was pretty excited, let me tell you!

He arrived with his bag and settled in nicely.  Toys were everywhere, he quickly got the idea that at Oh-Cho's house, he could eat cold pizza at 8:30 at night if he wanted, and Oh-Cho is a sucker for a plea of 'just one more book' at bedtime so we read 8 books.  By that time it was our bedtime too, so Uncle Erik and I went to bed.

Now that all my nephews have graduated from playpens, they sleep on mattresses on my floor.  That way I know what they are doing (except that one time when one of them ate an emery board) and if they need me, I am literally right there.  My nephew and I made up his bed and read his stories and then we turned off the lights and covered him up and when I came back from changing into my pajamas, he was in our bed.

I put him back in his bed, laid down in mine, and suddenly had a squirming, excessively hot, little body pressed against mine, insisting that all the covers be pulled over us.  I decided to let him fall asleep there, then put him in his own bed.  And that worked out really well, for about an hour.  Then he woke up, crawled back into bed with us, and moved and shifted and all around thrashed about until he was using my arm as a pillow and tucking his cold feet against my legs.  I gave up and fell asleep and in the morning, two alarm clocks and three dogs jumping over him didn't wake him.

Well, that sure was different than how any other nephew sleepover has ever gone!  But, different isn't bad, and I'm going to carry this memory in my heart for years to come.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V Is For Vanilla

I bake cakes and cookies and brownies and love to whip up a batch of waffles or pancakes, but all of those things call for vanilla.  And I'm out.  And I've been out for a month.  Or more.  It's my dirty little baking secret.

Bottles of vanilla are just one of those weird little things I never remember to add to my grocery list.  I never remember I need it as I walk up and down the aisles of the store.  I never remember I need it until I start to pull it from the cupboard and come up empty handed.

I'm really hoping that writing about how much I need to buy vanilla will help me to remember!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U Is For Underwear!

In my younger years, I was a member of every book club imaginable.  I loved book clubs more than I liked movie or music clubs, and my love is the reason my kids had an extensive library all of their own.  Some books are treasured by them and kept upstairs away from little cousins; others are treasured by me and kept downstairs to read over and over and over to those same little guys.

This book captured my heart with the first few lines.

"Zachary Zebra did not like buttons or snaps or sleeves or slippers or zillions of zippers.  But he did like... underwear."

Animals in underwear is just plain funny!  And who doesn't like a nice, comfy, fitting just right pair of underwear?  But the best part about this book is listening to the kids giggle as I say the word 'underwear' 38 times.

This book has been read by me for 17 years, and I'm still not tired of reading 38 'underwears' in a single sitting.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T Is For Tenacious

From the first moment questions of "Am I?"
Turned to cemented knowledge of "I am!"
You have been loved
You've taken residence in my heart
Engraved, imprinted, fixed
The curve of your forehead, the slope of your nose
Every freckle counted and blessed
Years do not lessen my love
It's intense, tenacious, certain, unshakable
If you take anything with you from your childhood
Take my love
It's been yours from day one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S Is For Seriously

Every work morning, my husband gets up at 4:30ish and starts his day.  He lets our three dogs out of their crates and they run to our room, jump on our bed, and quickly get into their reserved spot.  Every morning, with few exceptions, they can be found in their spots next to me.

This morning, as my husband kissed me goodbye, seconds before my alarm went off, I woke up enough to ask where Olive was.  I moved my feet back and forth under the covers, searching for the foot of the bed dog, and she wasn't there.  My husband said he didn't know.  I patted the two dogs on each side of me and could tell by their smooth fur that they were not the fluffy badger one I was seeking.

I got up and looked around the house: couches, chairs, crate.  No Olive.  I went upstairs to see if she had snuck up to be with the kids.  No Olive.  I put on my jacket and went outside in the dew wet grass and softly called her name.  No Olive.  I checked the alley and the streets and was starting to have worries of dog-knapping.  I sent a text to my husband.

"Babe, seriously.  Where is Olive?"

And within a minute of that text, I was sending one back to him that said, "Never mind.  Found her." And I didn't want to elaborate on the wheres and hows I found her, but he called to check on the great lost dog case of 2013, so I had to admit where I found her.

That lump of covers at the end of the bed?  Not a just a lump of covers.

Olive is found, in bed where she always is.

Seriously? I sure hope my losing a dog in our bed isn't an indication of how this Monday is going to continue!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R Is For Rest

Ease up
Settle back
Take ten

It's Saturday!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q Is For Quiz Me

I love the movie "Beaches." I love the music (still have the soundtrack on tape), I love the characters, I love Bette, and I love the line when C.C. tells Hillary that she knows everything there is to know about Hillary, and C.C.'s memory is very, very long.  Hillary responds with a soft reply that she is counting on that.

That sums up how I live my life.  I know all my sisters' stories.  I can tell my husband's childhood tales better than he can.  My memory is very, very long and I love to share it.  Go ahead....Quiz me!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P Is For Puppy Pile

This morning as I was sleeping, our dogs swarmed me like always.  I lifted one side the covers for Emma, and the other side for Olive and Sarah.  One dog had been outside in the rain and was shockingly cold and wet as she curled up next to me.  As the covers cocooned down on us, I wondered if there was anything better than dogs snuggled close on a day you just aren't loving.

Even cold, wet dogs can make my morning better!  But I am about as dog crazy as they come.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O Is For On Time

I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and not just for big projects and deadlines.  Nope, I'm the sort of person that sits and blogs when she should really be getting ready for work, racing against the clock to finish posting and still have time to put on make up.

Being on time is important and it is usually something I fail at.  For family events, when we are running late, I can blame the kids or the husband or even the dogs.  But on work days, it's all me.  

Today I am going to be on time (early even) but that means I must stop writing.  I still have to dry my hair, eat breakfast, find my dress shoes and my car keys and my water bottle and pack a snack and I better get to it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N Is For Northwest Spring

It's a wet, gray business
But when the sun breaks through
    blue skies and fluffy clouds
It's 47 degrees and climbing, with hopes of hitting 55
We break out the shorts and t-shirts
    goose-pimpled flesh and shockingly white limbs
We're celebrating spring!

Monday, April 15, 2013

M Is For Mine

Not only did my sister and I have a great time on Saturday (minus the dead car battery incident that she handle with common sense and gumption while I freaked out), we went out again on Sunday afternoon.  The sun was shining, her husband watched the little kids, and an estate sale close by was wheeling and dealing.  We'd never gone to a Sunday afternoon sale before and were very curious about how low the prices would be slashed.

It was like, wow!  We had our arms full and even a box or two, and we each paid $7 for our huge pile of treasures.  As I was standing there waiting for my sister to do one more walk through (making sure we didn't miss anything!), I stared at this old bicycle.  It'd been one of the first things I looked at, but I was there for smaller things and didn't want to spend all my money at the start.

I'd gotten such a great deal on my things already, I turned to the cash gal and asked, "Would you take $5 for that bike?"

Her enthusiastic, "Yes!" led me to believe they might have given up hope on selling it, and then I second guessed myself.  What if it was too broken for riding?  What if it was $5 wasted?  I rolled it over to the car and decided if it was trashed, the bike rack at the back could be salvaged.  Its hinge is still trap tight.

There is no way to describe my joy when my husband pumped up the tires that still held air, adjusted the seat to fit me, and I gave it a test run.  The brakes are solid, the gears shift nicely, and I am now the proud owner of a bike!

M is for Mine!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L Is For Lisa

I was six years old when my youngest sister was born, and growing up, I'm ashamed to say I didn't have much use for a pesky baby sister.

But now that we are women, we joke that we are twins separated by six years, because not only do we look alike, we have lots of similar thoughts.  There are so many days we show up at work wearing almost the same outfit, color coordinating on accident!

We live down the street from each other and share the same obsession, er, I mean hobby: garage sale shopping.  We love to go out on a weekend and search for treasures.  Today is a big sale day and it's so big, she has gotten a babysitter and we aren't going to say the garage sale words in relation to where Mommy and Oh-Cho are going, because if we are big garage sale shopping nuts, her kids are even bigger ones!

We've been planning this day for months and the closer it's gotten, the more excited we've gotten.  I don't know about her, but I've got a huge selection of quarters and one dollar bills, burning a hole in my bag!

Let's get our sale on, Lisa!  It's going to be a great hunting day!

Friday, April 12, 2013

K Is For Kingdom

We recently had a lost key situation that had me up in the early, early morning hours with my husband, helping him look for the keys he needed to drive to work.  He finally gave up and went to work and I kept searching.  After work we took up the quest again, braving the cracks in couches and even searching the garbage.

We found my iPod which had been missing for weeks, but not the keys we sought.  We looked high and low and finally my husband went upstairs to search the hangout room.  He said he remembered twirling the keys around his finger as he walked through the house the night before and he had been upstairs talking to the boys.

That upstairs bonus room is wonderful in the fact that it attracts our children and their friends and if we have a Saturday morning when the floor isn't littered with sleeping bodies, I am shocked.  But it is a teenagers kingdom: it's a disaster zone.

Stacks of pop cans, empty bags of chips, jackets and socks of all sizes and half don't belong to us, movies and games, controllers and cords of all design, sticky towels used for clean up and one terrifyingly disgusting blanket that I don't want to wash (I want to burn it), have turned that room into a kingdom of mess.

But I started a simple rule when the kids were young: their rooms were their own responsibility.  As long as I could shut the door on it and it didn't spill down the stairs into our living room, I refused to fight over cleanliness.  I've been holding the same rule to the bonus room.

The keys were found up there.  I might have to change my rule.  The bonus room might be their teenage kingdom, but I'm about to put my Queen hat on and tell my princes and princesses to straighten up.  I'll even put on my Queenly rubber gloves and help.

Seriously, after what I saw up there, rubber gloves aren't the only thing I need.  Possibly a full hazmat suit!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J Is For Jersey Boy

Back in our younger years, my husband and I moved across country courtesy of the Coast Guard.   When he was in 'A' school, we carefully went over the units that were available, and based on the fact that we'd been together less than 6 non-consecutive months of our first year of marriage, our number one goal was a unit that would allow him to be stationed shore side and home most nights.

That narrowed our choice down to one: Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  I was worried that our chance of getting  his top pick was slim, but he said it was Jersey, it wasn't on anyone's top pick.  That was their loss and our gain!

As with most big, life changing choices, this idea seemed great and no big deal until we actually started to drive ourselves away from our home and families.  We arrived in New Jersey in August, homesick, exhausted from a cross country drive, and sweaty-sticky due to no a/c in our little car.  We were rumbled, sunburned, nervous, but as we followed the directions to the base and drove through the National Park that is Sandy Hook, with the ocean on both sides of the spit of land, with sandy beaches and the hot Jersey sun, we got excited.  This was going to be a really cool place to live.

This marked the start of our Jersey years and what a wonderful couple of years that was!  We made so many memories, had so many adventures exploring the state and traveling up and down the coast from Prince Edward Island to Delaware, but the best one of  all was having a little Jersey Boy of our own.

Our son was born in New Jersey and breathed in that wonderful ocean air from the first days of his life.  He teethed on east coast pizza crusts and took some of his first steps on sandy beaches with a view of New York City.  He might not look like he comes from the Jersey Shore, but he does.

We wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Is For I Love You

I is for I love you
Three words that rock my world
In times of highs and times of lows
These words come light my soul
They give me hope
They give me joy
They give me one to call my own
For he is mine as I am his
In times of highs and times of lows
His love comes and lights my soul

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H Is For Hair

You know you are suffering from a crazy hair crisis when your Mom walks across the office to fix your hair. It felt a little wild and unruly but I had no idea it was sticking up in unnatural ways until my Mom stopped by my desk and smoothed it down.

Thanks Mom!

At the office, we aren't Mother and Daughter.  We downplay that relationship and focus on work.  But on days my hair (or if my make up was wonky, or my clothing malfunctioned) I definitely want my Mom to fix it.

I think I'd draw the line at a spit bath, though.  It's a time honored tradition of mother's licking their fingers to clean a child's face, and I've done it to my own children when they were small, but it's kind of....nasty.   I wouldn't object to Mom telling me I had a little something to wash off.  I'll just do the actually washing myself!

Monday, April 8, 2013

G Is For Gumption

That get up and go
The good sense to use common sense
And chart a course to own
The ability to initiate
A cleverness to discern
The wit and wisdom to know
When to hold and when to fold
And when to dance on down the road.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Chair Finds A Home

 The free chair has found a spot to rest, a blanket to cover it, and a dog to love it.  
It's a very good thing!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F Is For Free Find

Free is music to my ears.  Last Sunday my husband said he would love to drive 40 minutes to a pile of leftover garage sale items, way out in the boonies, based on a chair I saw a corner of in the pictures.

Imagine my shock when we rolled up and there was the chair and stack of free books as the only things left unpicked!  I said put the chair in the truck please, and oh, why not, the books too.

The chair did sit out in our carport a few days, to make sure it was mouse free (I live in fear of bringing vermin into the house through free furniture, and yet, I still bring home the free furniture!) and judging by the amount of grass debris on the cushion, the dogs made use of a comfy piece of furniture while it was in quarantine   Since they did not tear it up searching for a mouse, it has been deemed fit for inside use!

Friday, April 5, 2013

E Is For Everyday

Everyday life can be a soul sucking drag.  It can be Groundhog Day over and over and I've never been a fan of that movie.  Side question, is any girl?  I only know guys who list it in their top ten.  Everyday life is the same thing, the dishes get dirty, the clothes get piled, the table gets papered, and some days it's kind of overwhelming and I want to run away to the beach and sip tasty adult beverages while my book lays in my lap, unread, because I'm too busy doing nothing.

Yesterday seemed like one of those everyday blahs, but my husband asked me to tell him one thing that was good about my day.

My first thought was to snap, "Nothing!" and then I remembered a certain baby niece of mine dancing her heart out to Kanye West's "Gold Digger," and I couldn't help but smile and laugh.  Playing different music to an adorable baby to see which makes her boogie isn't everyday life....but maybe it should be.  Even today, the memory of her not moving to "All the Single Ladies" but bopping to "Posse On Broadway" makes me happy, and that's with a kitchen sink full of every cup we own and a work day when I was supposed to be off.

Everyday is for dancing babies.  Ally McBeal might have been on to something....

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D Is For Dust

I'm looking to hire someone to dust my blinds twice monthly.

I hate dusting those vertical slats, with their connecting system of strings and pulleys and so I don't dust them very often and then the sun starts shining with it's brilliant, seeking rays, and finds the layers of dust I've been ignoring in the gloom of winter.

It's terrible and embarrassing and I just can't get motivated to do it....so what I need is someone to come in to do it for me.

I can pay with homemade chocolate chip cookies and coffee strong enough to put hair on your chest.  The only catch is I don't actually have any chocolate chips or coffee, so you'd have to bring them with you, and then you've got yourself a deal!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C Is For Cheese

Ah, the wondrous power of cheese.

In our house, the witching hour is always the dinner hour as I'm cooking, and I'm usually the witch who's claiming the hour.  I'm not sure if it's the fact that I don't want to cook or that I'm tired after work or if my blood sugar is low, but a slice of cheese helps avert disastrous meltdowns.  The kids have been known to say to their Dad, "give Mom a piece of cheese," even if it's not dinner time, as if that will help in any situation.

Actually, it kind of does.

So if ever we meet, and you take a peek into my purse, don't be surprised to see string cheese carried in a place of honor!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B Is For Beagles

I've been dog crazy as long as I can remember.  I can probably trace it back to the first time my Grandma told me that the best scent in the world is puppy breath and I knew she was right.  I adore babies and smile and coo over them, but give me a puppy and I go ga-ga.

And if it's a Beagle pup, I am over the moon, venturing into Lady Ga-Ga territory.  I love their floppy ears, their soulful eyes, their silky fur, their howling bays....

Beagles aren't for everyone: they are food hounds, scent hounds, running hounds, noisy hounds; but if you  understand a Beagle, then your life is very good.

If you've had a long day at work and just want to sprawl out on the couch watching TV, they want to be right there with you, and having them curl up close makes the evening so much better.

Exhibit A

If I hadn't wanted a picture of this cuteness (man and dogs!) you'd have found me occupying that empty spot, curled up with them, happy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Is For Amy

Thirty-seven years ago today, I became a big sister.  I don't remember that moment at all, but I was a little thing, not even two years old.  That's pretty cool in itself, because I don't have any memories that don't have my sister in them.

One of my favorite things about her is that we are friends.  When we were young, we fought like crazy.  We shared bedrooms and earrings and barbie clothes and the back seat of the family car.  Now we share parenting tips and funny stories and encouragement and if you'd asked me when I was 15 and she was 14 if we'd ever share a hotel room willingly, I'd have said no way.

I'm so glad my 15 year old self has nothing to say about how my grown up self behaves.  Some of my best memories revolve around us and our younger sister at our yearly weekend beach vacation!

Happy Birthday Amy!  

And yes, this blog post is partly because I might forget to call after work....but you'll know I was thinking about you first thing this morning!