Friday, January 30, 2009

Giveaway At Made By Girl

Hello again! Got another giveaway. This one is located at Made By Girl, the site of artist Jennifer Ramos. She's asking questions about your favorite shops and you could win some of her art. Take a look here.

Giveaway at Homemom3

My friend, Eliza, is giving away a copy of this book, through the Bloggy Giveaways. If you'd like to enter, look here. Good luck!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Stress Is Getting To the Kids

I've noticed a real difference with the kids at school this week. They are mean.

I spoke with a co-worker about it and he mentioned that maybe the kids are picking up on the stress we adults are feeling these days. That made so much sense, but in my own stress of the day - brought on by the children's stress of the day - I forgot. After school, I mentioned the bad behavior to my principal and she started saying the same thing, "Children are so intuitive......."

Today, there were 3 different football to the face (resulting in blood) situations. 3!!! Before today this happened.......never. I'm sure during other recesses, but in the almost 6 months that I've been out of the cafeteria and on recess duty, it hasn't come up. In fact, I've only had 2 other bloody noses all year.

And another thing, Logan, who had the shoes that did not fit last year, well he's still wearing the same pair this year and they still do not fit. His sister is also wearing too-big shoes. Nevah, has cried two days in a row and needs lots of hugs. These kids, they've got tricky stuff to deal with, too.

Sometimes I have to slow down and look at the big picture. Of course the children are stressed. Who has it easy anymore? No one. They aren't mean, they are acting out, and they need calm understanding more than ever.

I can do that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I bought a toy

I got a new camera!!! It's a Canon Rebel XS. Now I can take pictures bigger than a 5x7. Yay!!!

I haven't had much of a chance to do anything with it, but I did grab a couple shots this afternoon in between errands. The wind was really blowing, so hard to get the flowers. Tomorrow, I will make time to get to know it a bit more. I'm very excited, but also a bit sick to my stomach which is my usual reaction to a big purchase. I keep telling myself that this will help me with taking family portraits - after all, people want actual 8x10s of their families.... and yeah, I did get it for 30% off because Circuit City is closing (so sad that is, I love that store)....still. ....
My tax return is here..........then it's gone. Every time.

But I am certain that I will love this camera............although I did notice that the focus doesn't feel as smooth as it did on my Nikon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hayden is One

We celebrated my nephew Hayden's birthday this weekend. He's now one year old. Yay! He likes my camera. Gimme. :D See his little runny nose? I heard that he was really feeling low the day before the party, but a party will perk any little guy up.
He got this cool train thingy. It has all these blocks and things to push. It's two pieces, but you can disconnect them and use the front part as a walker. Wow. I wish I had a train like this when I was a kid.

Shawna made a cake with a little airplane. He ate it one finger-tip taste at a time. He is so cute. He got very tired and leaned to the side, but he kept sticking that finger in again and again. :D

After his bath, it was like he had a second wind. He was smiley and goofy and played a tricky round of hide and go seek.

After the party, we got to take Ashley home for a sleepover. It was such a fun day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Stuff!

I'm doing another giveaway at Veggie Chic. This time it's free pistachios. Yum! Included in the prize pack is this pin, which is shown on my girl Sarah's shirt. Here's a photo of the entire prize pack - it's a Superbowl Sunday Pistachio extravaganza!
Nuts make Sarah.........nutty. Seriously. The kid loves nuts.

Also, did you know that a whole list of department stores are under court order to give out free high-end cosmetics. You can see the list here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Looking Ahead and Behind

The other night, while Greg was talking to his family, the girls and I waited outside. Sarah and I stayed at the van and I got out my camera. I had it with me, because we had planned to take it on our hike. I took one of those in the rearview mirror photos. I always like those - like to take them, like to look at them. Something about the where you are going, where you've been at same time - it's interesting.
Sarah was very annoyed at the wait, but I knew that Greg was very stressed out and needed us to be flexible. Bay was ready for a fight and Greg's friend was across the street working her up even further. Some people really enjoy a scene - I get the feeling that he's one of them.

Here's Sarah losing her patience as we lost the light.
Bay took this one of Greg. She took a whole bunch, but I like the way he's looking out the window here. His neck and his chin - something about that part of him looks so young and vulnerable - closer to childhood, than adulthood. He's a good boy. I hope that he feels comfortable here with us.

Monday, January 19, 2009


My life has changed quite a bit since my last post. It always interests me, the looking back. It can all sneak up and then wham! you've got a different life.

I have 4 kids now - we've added Bay's boyfriend, Greg (17) to our home. He's had some trouble with his mom, with his sisters. I don't want to hurt him in any way by speaking about private matters, but after talking with his mom, I can say that I believe he is better off here.

In addition, I've learned that Bay has some trouble that I was unaware of and while I am frightened for her, I feel that knowing, that getting it all out in the open can only lead to some sort of resolution. I love my daughter and I am positive that she is going to have a wonderful life. These teenage years, they might be challenging her, but she's going to be okay. Better than okay.

In the meantime, Sarah is adjusting to having Greg here. She keeps trying to get into the conversations that the big kids are having, there's lots of dude this and dude that. Sarah is having some growing pains of her own right now. She feels like she doesn't exactly fit in her body. Her interests are changing and today she made all these efforts with her outfit, but on the way out to the car I noticed that she'd wiped her peanut butter fingers all over it. So, she's growing up, yes, but still a little girl.

Max has slept the entire vacation weekend. He threw up last night, but was much better today. He's enjoying some of the juices that I'm reviewing for Veggie Chic. We've tried the Amazon Acai and a Cashew fruit juice. The Cashew was different - it tasted almost like a weak pineapple juice, but it has an odd odor. The Acai has an earthy flavor. My friend asked if I meant "dirt" when I said earthy, but it's not that. It's almost like dusty fruit. The truth is that we are so used to something sweetened and filtered all to heck so that when we are given the opportunity to try something healthy and close to it's origin, well it's a different and a bit of a shock. Max doesn't have those preconcieved ideas, so he was cool with it.

Another thing I've tried - Truvia. That stuff was great. It's made from the Stevia plant and it tastes like Splenda. I used it in coffee, tea, and a tomato pasta sauce. Great sweet flavor with no calories.

I have a book giveaway going on at Dating Dames . If you know someone who is internet dating or thinking about it - this book is a great resource and gives good advice about setting up a profile. The author met her husband online, so she knows what works.

Well, I'm off to bed now. My tummy is a bit upset and I really just want to read until I fall asleep.

I hope that you have a good day/evening.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My 200th Post!

This is my 200th post.

I started this blog last.....April, I believe. My goal was to write something every day and I've fallen a bit short of that goal, but I still feel good about what I've accomplished.

I've got another new opportunity coming up and I can't talk about it yet, but I will when it happens or at least when I'm offered a contract. Things change so quickly - it feels like the internet is this fluid thing with no borders that brings everyone closer together somehow.

In other news.... apparently I have picked up a new teenager, at least for a little while. Bay's boyfriend is going to be staying with us. He's a nice kid and it sounds like he and his mom need a break, and since my daughter loves him, he's got a place here with us. I can't leave a young boy with nowhere to go. He told Bay that no one wants him. I don't want anyone to feel that way. We'll figure out a way to fit him in around here.

As you might be able to tell by my writing, I'm exhausted. I'm going to watch the end of the Lost reruns and go to bed. I wish you a wonderful day/evening. Thank you very much for reading me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ruby Tuesday at the Farmer's Market

Hello and happy Ruby Tuesday to you!

Here are some touches of red that I found either at the Farmer's Market this weekend or in the case of the tamales and sauce, after purchasing at the Farmer's Market.

Nothing like a tamale breakfast - yum!! This sauce is very red, redder than in the shot, and hot, but still flavorful. I wish I knew how they made it. I always grab an extra when I get tamales. These are the vegetarian - cheese and green chilis. Here is some red lettuce - a purpley red this time. I got a bag of fancy mixed greens for $1. It was huge - lots of peppery tasting greens.
I love pistachios. This time it's not the food, but the tablecloth that's red. I get to do a pistachio review around Super Bowl time. I can't wait. The pistachio people are sponsoring a giveaway at my blog Veggie Chic. If you'd to visit, you can comment for the chance to win one of 10 - 5lb boxes of Cutie Mandarin Oranges. Yum.

Lastly, it was 72 F here today! I wore shorts and flip flops to work. I planted some pansies and spent some time outside with Max. It was a lovely afternoon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sarah and Basketball

There's an intersection about a half mile from my house where the birds hang out. They sit on the wires, then will all of a sudden fly off in a group, quickly switch directions - it's like they get some sort of signal, then swoop, swooping, swooping, then switch again, and finally land. How do the birds know when to change direction?

It's pretty cool and fairly entertaining, which is good, because I end up waiting for the light at this intersection frequently. It's on the way to Greg's house, among other places. I drive back and forth between our house and Greg's house about 12 times a day. Or at least 4. It feels like 12, though. Yesterday, Max and I took Sarah to basketball practice. She belongs to a team that is from the Notre Dame Catholic school. The school is blocks from downtown, near the college - California State University Chico. It's an older part of town. The trees are full and stately. The sun was setting in the distance and I tried to catch it here.
This tree is located in the parking lot. It is HUGE. That's my little white van right next to it. You can see Haley running on the left. She is on Sarah's team and like Sarah, she's not a student at Notre Dame. She goes to our school. She is a really good player - very aggressive and fast. I see Sarah watching her on the court. Sarah is not aggressive. She is good at shooting, but stealing the ball, getting in someone's face, that does not come naturally to her. She'll learn in time.

Today was the first official game and I forgot my memory card. No game photos!!! I was so mad. The game was exciting and the light in there was really good. Oh well. Next time.
For now I'll show you what I got from practice yesterday. Max and I waited in the van, but I walked her to the door and flashed the coach. Sorry coach. Earlier today I took a photo at the Farmer's Market and there's a lady pointing at me in one of the shots. I imagine she's saying, "Hey look, that woman is taking our picture." Or possibly, "Hey look at that gorgeous woman taking our picture. Aren't we lucky?" I'm a dreamer, you know.

I love the way it looks inside an old gym. All that gleaming wood. The gym from today had alligators hanging from the ceiling supports. Sarah loved that. It's a new gym - only 10 years old - and it's the school where Sarah will attend jr high in a couple of years.
Here's my beautiful b-baller dribbling in to practice. I'm very proud of her. She is such a bold kid. I wish I was more like that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bailey and Greg

Bay wanted me to take some pictures of her and her boyfriend, Greg, but by the time I was able to do that, I'd lost most of the light. We are going to try again tomorrow. Here's what I could get............ He always has a hat on. She got him this one for Christmas. At first she picked out another one and when it didn't fit (and he didn't like it), she cried. It was sad. It's hard to pick out present sometimes - a lot of presure.
The focus is really not good here, but I had a little light.

Greg has almost the same expression in every photo. I almost said that when I was looking at the shots in my camera, then I thought, hhmm, no don't say that - teenagers are so sensitive. Well, the female ones, maybe boys are tougher.

Sarah keeps doing these silly things. She stands up and does a sort of dance/pose thing and watches herself in the mirror over the couch. She really enjoys looking at herself. I'll say, "Sarah, I'm right here," when she's talks to me, but looks at herself in the mirror. If I was as cute as she is, I'd probably do the same thing. ;D
At school today a boy cut his knee so bad that I had to call the nurse out to the playground. He was having trouble walking, the cut was on his knee, and his sock was all bloody. He was making a lot of noise and it really drew a crowd. I kept saying, "Back up, please." And he'd cry harder, then they'd come back around, "What's wrong, what's wrong?" I checked on him at the end of my shift and he was still freaked out. I think that he was worried about getting it cleaned, more than anything else.
Yesterday, a little girl was looking like she was sick. When I asked what was wrong, she said, "My daddy was arrested last night." When I saw her today she said, "My daddy was on the news!" and she was excited. Yikes. Whatever he did was big enough to get on the news. Her dad is Logan's stepdad. I've mentioned Logan before, he's my favorite student at the school.
Another little girl, who lives by the first girl, told my friend Tammy (cafeteria lady) that she has not bedroom window and that she woke up with snow on her face during the Christmas break.
Sometimes my kids will complain. They don't know how good they've got it.
I'm going to be giving away some Cuties Mandarin Oranges at Veggie Chic soon. Cuties are so darn good. I will let you know before the giveaway starts - they will be 10 winners.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm no fan of Mondays

I write a very boring blog lately. I'm sorry. I have been a bit blue, no not depressed, Mom, but I have been blue. It's hard for me to know what to talk about when I'm feeling that way. I don't want to bitch and moan and poor-me all over the page. I want to write stimulating and interesting words. I can't think of any, so I write nothing.
It's all silly, the blue-ness. I feel this broken-hearteded and that annoys the hell out of me. Part of it is Steve stuff and part is Bailey stuff. I love the two of them so much, but I can't make them treat me with respect or caring or courtesy. They've got to do that on their own. They don't. Instead they yell (Bay) or ignore me (Steve) and I feel foolish.
I'm always going to Bay's Mom and I love her, so in her case, I keep on keeping on no matter how tricky and prickly things get.
Steve, now that's a different story. Today I changed my My Space to single. I haven't heard from him in two months. Sounds like I'm single, right? Feels that way, too. I liked being not single after so many years on my own. I liked being Steve and me again, after twenty plus years of being Steve-less. I'm so angry with him for f-ing this up. He is a stupid selfish bastard. I wish I could pluck him out of my heart and out of my memory.
I will do my best to think of something to write about. I could write about the Travolta's. I've been thinking about them a lot. I saw a photo today where John Travolta was smiling up into his son's face and it was both beautiful and painful to see. Raising a special boy, it's's hard to explain what it is. It's like all these emotions and fears and thoughts are all wanting to burst out, explode outward and at all times the lid is down, but it's not fastened tightly and at any time it could lift and all that stuff could come flying out and streaming down and make a big mess.
Honestly, I want to go into my room and have a good cry, but Bay is doing her homework on my bed with her boyfriend and it's time to make dinner anyway.
I want to be like that All American Reject song......When you see my face, I hope it gives you know build up some righteous indignation, but I'm just out of energy. It took all I had to get through the holidays. Now I'm hanging on and dreaming of Spring.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stuck At Home

We were supposed to go to my sister's house today, but last night Bay found out that she had to work today and tomorrow, so our trip is off. I was hoping that Round Table (where she works) would be slowish and she could get off early or maybe even not come in (this has happened a few times lately), but nope, they were very busy tonight. We are still off for tomorrow. After tomorrow, she does not work until the 9th. Can you believe that?? Darn.

I could so use a good visit with my sister right now. I want to sit and laugh with her until my face hurts - a regular thing when I spend time with Robin. I want to hug my niece and nephews and I wouldn't even cringe if my brother-in-law smacked me really damn hard on the butt. (What is up with guys in their 30s and early 40s doing the butt slap anyway??)

My mom is with them now and she can use all that stuff, plus I think she actually enjoys a good butt slap. (Ha! okay that sounded wierd, but really it's very innocent). I hope that everybody likes the gifts that I sent. I got Ashlee a fluffy stuffed dog who has a t-shirt that says "Major Attitude." I was so excited when I found it. She's a princess who absolutely fits with a fluffy
t-shirted dog.

Earlier today I had a long talk with Bay about work, school, and how she has or has not been taking care of herself. She was very good with the listening - no texting, no phone. I was impressed with her good manners. I tried to think of a good way to talk to her about putting more focus on school. She and her boyfriend are doing very well - they rarely fight and they are together all the time, so I decided to use a compliment about her relationship as an opener.

I asked her how she makes her relationship work. She said, "Time and patience."

Perfect. I said, "Very good. Now what do you think would help you in school?"

She said, "You. You got me." I was so proud of myself. It's pretty rare to feel like I got my Mom-ing just right.