What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.







Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello December!

December already?? I seriously am in disbelief that this year is coming to a close so quickly. I'm pretty sure that this month is going to fly by as well. The next two weeks especially. The last day of this semester is the 13th, so I have the final assignments that need to be submitted in the next week and then final exams to wrap it all up. I'm surprised that I'm almost done with my first semester. It's been harder than I imagined, but I've done it. I'm nervous about the finals, but I know that I'll do the best I can and then it'll be out of my hands. I would appreciate some positive thoughts though!

To add to that, we are moving the location of my office at work next week. We aren't moving too far and it will be a little closer to my house, so that's nice. But there is so much to be done and I can only pack so much of my stuff up ahead of time, as I access so much so often. Moving day is Tuesday and I won't have any network or phone connections that whole day, my only focus will be on the move. I'm kind of looking forward to it, but at the same time dreading what the following days will be like trying to get my normal job done while also getting the office settled in. It'll be very busy for sure!

I'm hoping that after finals are over and the move is done, things will settle down a little and I can enjoy this time off before school starts in January. We bought an artificial tree for the first time at the Black Friday sale this year, so we're thinking about putting it up this weekend and starting to decorate. The kids are ready and I think we could all use the change in scenery. We're about halfway done with our Christmas shopping, but this is mostly because we're not buying much this year. But I'd like to get some wrapped gifts under the tree so the kids can see them. The Santa issue hasn't come up at all, and I just don't know what to do about it. Other than clothes and a few small items, they are each getting one big gift and we really want them to be from us. Santa NEVER buys clothes, so that doesn't leave any other option. This might seem like a silly thing to make a big deal out of, but I just don't want to handle it in a way that they'll think back on negatively. I might take back my answer to Marcy on what has been the most challenging part of being a parent, because right now this is pretty challenging...

Happy December everyone. Here we go!

Monday, November 29, 2010

And moving on....

So the end of November was a crash and burn for posting. I'm still really thrilled with how well I did though. A post every day is a challenge, include weekends and a holiday in that and those who were able to accomplish it deserve a standing ovation. November isn't over yet, and I do intend to post until the end. We'll see what December brings, but I'm thinking that the happiness I got from reading your comments will inspire me to write more.

Speaking of comments, I have just one last question left unanswered. Actually B asked two questions. She wanted to know what degree I'm studying for and asked if my kids ever get teased for having two moms.
I am in my very first semester of college ever, so right now I'm working towards an Associate of Arts, with plans to turn that into a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. However, I don't want to be a psychologist, I want to be a librarian. Libraries have certainly evolved over the years and although I miss the silence and peaceful environments of the libraries in my past, the modern library is bright and colorful, comfy and very user-friendly. Helping people is the main focus, so although knowledge of literature and english is valuable, a degree in psychology or something else related to dealing with people is highly regarded. I can also get a master's in library sciences, but that's much further down the road.
As for my kids, they were never shy about their family when they were little. I think that their comfort with it influenced the way their peers reacted. When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she mentioned during class that her mom's couldn't get married because we were gay. A classmate said she couldn't have two moms, that she needed a mom and a dad. I found out from her teacher later that my girl stood up in front of her class and talked about how just because families are different, it doesn't make one right or better than another. I was so proud of her. She continues to be an advocate for our family, but my son is a different story. Over the last couple of years, we've discovered that he doesn't really talk about what his family looks like to many people. He said that it doesn't come up, or that he doesn't want to feel different. I can respect that and he does invite his friends over so I know that he isn't afraid for other kids to find out. I think he just doesn't want to talk about his parents to his friends. But we talk often to our kids about the perceptions of other people and especially discuss subjects that come up in current events like the bullying of kids due to their sexuality, either true or assumed. My boy doesn't really seem uncomfortable talking to us, so I really do think he's just trying to figure out how to be himself in front of other kids, and what that really means.

Thanks again everyone for the questions. It really helped keep me on track, and keep me posting. You are awesome!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Brief Post

Shell and I were at Old Navy first thing this morning to take advantage of great sales and got so much stuff for the kids. Now we're just waiting for the kids to finish getting ready and then we're heading over to my parents' house. Long story there, but had a conversation with my mom last week and we agreed to get together and see how it goes. She bought the Michael Jackson Wii game and I'm very excited to give it a try. We'll be in line for Target at 3am, so hopefully we'll get some sleep before heading over there.
I just wanted to make sure that I didn't miss wishing all my blog friends a very happy thanksgiving. However you are spending it, don't forget to remember what you are thankful for. I'm thankful to have readers that keep coming back no matter how long my hiatus's sometimes are.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Questions Answered

This week without assignments due is turning into a busy one! I've got just a couple of questions left to answer (unless someone still has one to ask), so here they are.

Marcy asked "what has been your most difficult/challenging part of parenting and also what has been your most rewarding?"
Good question! I'd have to say that every year is difficult and challenging in its own way. The first year was REALLY hard for me. Shell worked two jobs for the first 10 months while I was home with the babies (I went back to work part-time when they were 10 months old). She worked a day shift and a night shift, so basically every shift at home was mine. When they were first born, my sister would come over on her lunch hour so that I could take a nap and sometimes when I was having a really rough day Shell would send me away when she got home so that I could have some non-mommy time, which certainly cut into her sleep time, but I was grateful when she did. We were both sleep-deprived and it was not only challenging from a parenting standpoint, but from a relationship one as well.
For the most part, the following years haven't been too bad, other than when my daughter's chinchilla died. That was very hard, because nothing that I said could make it better and her grieving process was long and hard. She has kept her precious Noel's cage in her room ever since, but she did mention the other day that she might be ready to take it out soon. Her pain broke my heart many times over, but I was also fiercely proud of how she dealt with it. And now, I think that we are quickly approaching what might be the most difficult and challenging years...the teenage ones.
The most rewarding times in parenting my kids happen all the time. Sure, all the firsts like smiling at me, saying mommy, walking, using the potty, saying their ABC's, reading, etc were all very rewarding, but the really rewarding stuff for me has happened in the last few years and is still happening now. Watching them grow into themselves and think for themselves and make decisions that I'm proud of has filled my heart in ways I couldn't have imagined. Hearing about how great they are from teachers and their friend's parents are very good for my mommy-ego. Seeing them consistently earning awesome grades, especially since they are both in honors classes is pretty amazing for me as well. Even though I miss them being little and so innocent and happy all the time, I am also in awe at the people they are turning into and I am excited to see what each year brings to them. Well, except for those teenage ones...I'd kind of like to skip those.

Stacy asked me "How did you pick your donor?" I wonder if we used the same endo at Kaiser. Was it at the one in Denver?
Stacy, picking our donor was hard and easy. The process of going through the catalog was time consuming. When we were going through this 13 years ago, we didn't have a computer to access, so we would make drives to the Denver Public Library to use the computer there and request the free short profiles. Then we'd pore over those and choose a couple to buy the long profiles of. Once we got to that point, making a decision wasn't too hard. We used criteria that mattered to us. That included no major family health issues, particularly of the hereditary kind, relatively decent academic scores, no drug use, and average-above average height. We also kept in mind that we'd prefer for the donor to not have fair complexion like me, as being so sensitive to the sun is no fun. We narrowed it to three that we really liked and that fit our criteria, and then we picked our favorite mostly from his answers to random questions like favorite color and aspirations for the future. And our kids have all the traits we hoped would pass to them, except that they are super fair just like me. Unfortunately, while our donor was dark-haired and marked "medium" for skin color, we underestimated the power of the red hair and fair skin of his grandmother and sister. Oh well. You can't win 'em all.
By the way, it was the Kaiser on Franklin and I think the endo was Harrington maybe?

I've only got one more question left to answer, and I'll save that for another day. I hope that all of you who are cooking tomorrow are able to find some time to relax and reflect on what you're thankful for. And for those of us who are reaping the benefits of someone else doing the cooking, let us not forget to show them our thankfulness for that as well!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Day

I didn't want to miss a day of posting on Saturday, and then proceeded to miss yesterday. Oh well. I've actually done better than I expected this month and I knew going in that weekends were going to be the biggest challenge. But now it's Monday and I will start again.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day. I slept in until about 8:30, then got up and showered and ate breakfast with my family. Started working on my history paper (the US embargo against Cuba. Fun stuff!), then realized that I needed some more sources. With the library closed, I was going to have to head to the bookstore and do what I could there. We were going to need to make a grocery store run anyway, so Shell offered to come along and help me with my research and we'd stop at the store on the way home. And those 2 hours crowded into a small table at the bookstore will now be added to the list of most memorable moments in our relationship. First, it was just the two of us. Second, we were focused on a subject that didn't involve us, the kids, money, or Christmas. Third, we were working together and offering ideas and pointing things out (about THE US EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA!) to each other. It was intellectual conversation, which we very rarely have anymore, and at one point we were both taking notes and she looked up and said "It kind of turns me on to be helping you with your homework." I was happy to have her help and she was happy to be able to help. Once we got home from the store she made dinner while I worked on my paper. And about 5 hours later it was complete and I was climbing happily into bed.

Oh, and my son spent the whole weekend watching the first 3 seasons of Punky Brewster on DVD and we sang the theme song from different rooms in the house so many times. I love that show and I love that my boy loves it too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

I don't want to miss another day, but today is quickly coming to a close. I wrote a paper for my psychology class this morning, worked 8 hours at Pets*Mart, came home and ate some ramen noodles and now I'm taking my history book to bed and will read until my eyes are too heavy to focus. I have a research paper to write for my history class tomorrow, and thankfully I don't have to work. So I'll be sleeping in and maybe will even stay in my pajamas while doing my schoolwork. When I need a break from writing, I'll get a real blog post written.
Good night all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Question of Race

Julie asked me about our choice to not use an black donor, specifically because that is Shell's race.
First, hi Julie! Thanks for commenting and for reading!
Anyway, this subject comes up every couple of years. When we were first deciding which donor profiles to look at, I had every intention of choosing a black donor. I wanted our children to be a mix of us both, even if they really wouldn't be. I figured that it would be hard enough having two moms, I didn't want the extra scrutiny over how Shell could be their parent if they were white. However, we never looked into even one black donor. And that was Shell's choice.
My wife is mixed. Her mom is white and her dad is black. She grew up in the same city I did in an area that was VERY much majority white, at least when we were younger. She had a lot of friends and other than some comments by ignorant kids, she didn't experience any racial issues from her peers directly. However, she was constantly aware that there were no other kids like her. In fact, she was the only black student in her elementary school until she was in 5th grade. And only half of her family had the same color skin as her. Plus, her mom's grandfather disowned her mother when she married Shell's dad, because he was black. Shell never once, in all her life, met her grandfather. She wasn't even allowed at his house for holidays. Now the rest of her mom's family loved her and came over to their house and she was allowed in theirs, but never if her grandfather would be there. She says that she didn't care to spend time with that racist bastard anyway, but that is now. When she was little and her cousins would mention going to their grandparents' house for Christmas, she knew why she hadn't gone.
There was no talking her out of her objection to choosing a black donor. She didn't want her kids to ever feel any racial inequality, at least not if she could help it. She insisted that we choose a white donor. She felt it so strongly, and I respected her reasons. She has never wavered on that choice and although I still wish that we had decided different for many reasons, I am also aware that in doing so, I wouldn't have the kids that I have and neither of us would trade them for the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Registered for Spring

I am officially registered for Spring classes. It's going to be a lot once again, but even though this semester has been hard, I've done it and am pretty confident that I can do it again. I'll be tired, sure. I'll miss my family, sure. But I'll have even more classes completed towards my degree and I will have the summer off to recoup before Fall classes begin again. I found it very strange that financial aid won't pay for summer classes. I probably would have taken one or two otherwise. But it's probably good that I'm forced into that break. Especially since I'll be getting into the harder (for me) math classes in the Fall, so the time off will be a good thing.

The classes I'm taking in the Spring are:
Colorado History
Fundamentals of Mathematics/ Pre-Algebra (this is a hybrid class encompassing both in one semester)
American Government
Human Sexuality

I'm still pretty amazed that I'm even in college after all this time and the idea that I'm planning for my second semester is a bit surreal. I wonder if this feeling will continue until graduation?

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 (Polar Opposite) Peas in a Pod

It's actually pretty fantastic that you all have asked such great questions, as I have nothing noteworthy to write about so I have NO idea what I would have written about! :)
Actually, the big thing going on right now is the decision of what and how many classes I should take next semester. Registration starts tomorrow and classes start January 18. There are only 4 weeks left in this semester, and one of those is Thanksgiving break. I'm almost at the end!

Back to questions: Steph asked how my kids are alike and different or how they are like or unlike me. My kids are VERY different! For two kids who have spent their whole lives together, it's amazing how different they are. I say my son is "all boy" and that is true. He is rough and tumble, likes getting dirty, eats all. the. time, prefers his playtime to be about crashing objects together or making noise somehow, talks a mile a minute, dislikes showering and brushing his teeth, and thrives when he is busy. However, he is also snuggly and gives hugs all the time, still asks to be tucked into bed at night with a hug, climbs on my lap, likes helping us cook, and smiles and laughs constantly.

My daughter on the other hand is soft-spoken, calm, gentle, and kind. She prefers sprawling out on her bed with a book to, well, just about anything. She almost never needs to be reminded to brush her teeth or take a shower, and never needs to argue about it. She is sensitive and is genuinely concerned about animal care and safety. She isn't as cuddly, but she likes time when we are both sitting on her bed and we just talk. I never run out of topics with her.

I am told that my daughter is just like I was at her age, which is a little frightening considering how rough I made my teenage years. And my boy is so very much like Shell. In their temperaments and tempers, their actions and reactions. It's amazing how alike they are. This is great and not so great, as sometimes they are like oil and water. The similar ways in which they handle conflict definitely makes for some tnse evenings. But their big tempers counteract the big way they love. It can feel a little demanding at times, but it's always interesting.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Kids?

Dani asked if we ever thought of having more kids. The answer to this is yes and no. When we first discussed having kids, and even up to the birth of our twins, we were set on having 3 kids. I was a big supporter of this idea after our kids were born, specifically because I really wanted to experience giving birth vaginally, since mine were born via c-section. We didn't really discuss it after they were born, until we received the paperwork from our cryobank discussing the continuation of storing our remaining 3 vials. The babies were only about 10 months old at that time and we had no plans to try again very soon, plus the cost was a lot more than we could afford at that time. It was a very hard decision to make, but we ultimately decided to let them go.
When our kids were about 4 or 5, talks began again about whether we should try for that 3rd child. We were very worried about the chances of finding ourselves pregnant with more than one again, and 4 (or more!) children was not something we desired. And with the kids getting ready to start school, there was the added expense of school uniforms and supplies that kept the financial side of the equation very much at the forefront of the discussion.
The next, and last, time it seriously came up was about 2 or 3 years ago. Shell brought it up and seemed to really want to revisit the idea. She had a lot of guilt and regret about the first year of their lives while she worked 2 jobs and was either at work or sleeping most of the time. She felt that she missed out on a lot and thought if we had another that she could participate in that stuff. I was the roadblock this time. Our kids were now about 10 years old, and we had already bought this house, with only 3 bedrooms. And the kids' rooms are very small. We certainly couldn't afford to buy a bigger house, and I felt very strongly agains making one of our kids share a room with a new brother or sister. And I couldn't help but think that our kids would be graduating high school in 7 or 8 years and then we could focus on us. I didn't really want to start over again. We discussed it for about 6 or 7 months with each of us arguing our feelings on the matter. Obviously, I won. Within the last year, Shell has mentioned a few times that she's glad I didn't let her have her way as the way the economy has turned, we would be struggling even more with another person to feed and care for.
So yes, we've thought about it and discussed it over the years, but in the end our two are perfect for us. Three may have happened if we had started with one, but two at once definitely changed our perspective.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

Today's post is brought to you by:

I worked all day today.
I came home and then left almost immediately to go track down Toy Story 3 at a Red Box that I could use our free code at.
Came home again and sat in front of the computer for 3 hours to whip out my history assignment.
It's now 6:30 and we're going to make dinner so that we can all snuggle up together and watch Toy Story 3 before midnight.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Date Nights

Wow, thanks for the questions everyone! I did, however get a question that I don't necessarily mind answering, but I would prefer to know who asked it. It was asked from Anonymous, so if this was you please let me know and I'll answer.



Moving on... Heidi asked "what is the very best date night the two of you have had".
This really made me think and then feel a little sad, because there are not really all that many "date nights" in our time together. There are very few people we've ever left our kids with and when we do impose on them it's usually just to have dinner and/or see a movie. Or we go to the gay bar downtown and have drinks and just chill until the bar closes and we go home. They are good times and it's always nice to have uninterrupted time to focus on each other, but often we'd rather save the money and just stay home and watch movies together. That said, there has been one evening that stands out.

Most likely due to the fact that we don't take much time out for us, my amazing wife planned a night out for us as a complete surprise to me. A year or so ago, I arrived home on a Friday to find that Shell's car wasn't in the garage and no one was home. This was very out of the ordinary, so I checked on the kitchen table where notes often are left. I found one there that said "Go upstairs". At first I thought that she got someone to watch the kids and she'd be up there looking sexy and waiting for me... Until I remembered that her car was gone so she couldn't be there. When I got upstairs, there was a bag on the bed with another note on top that said "Put this on. You will receive a text at 6:00 with further instructions." In the bag was a pair of panties, black sandals, a black bra, and a tunic type dress. I had about 10 minutes until 6, so I changed into the outfit. The dress was VERY short and quite low cut, but it made me feel kind of sexy wearing it. I tried not to think too much about the sandals as I wasn't too sure about leaving the house in that outfit. At 6:00 her best friend called. My wife is a horrible texter and realized after the fact that what needed to be relayed would be too much and enlisted Dana to help. The first thing I said to her was "I don't have to leave the house right?" to which she told me she couldn't answer any questions or say more than she was told to. In a dresser drawer were directions to where I was supposed to go next and if I needed any help finding it (she wouldn't tell me what "it" was) she could help me with directions only, but regardless I was supposed to text Shell when I got there. I asked her if she had my kids and she said that my parents had them. I told that I was wearing a completely inappropriate dress and she asked me if I wanted her to tell Shell I wasn't going. No, I said, I'll figure it out somehow.
Not being familiar with the area I was directed to go, I just got in the car and drove. There was now a part of me hoping that I wouldn't have to get out of the car once there, but it was fading. The directions took me to a super cute new hotel which was a very exciting prospect and I sent the "I'm here, now what?" text to my wife. The only response was a room number. I panicked then, not confident enough to walk through the parking lot and into the hotel in such a revealing outfit. I sat in the car for probably 5 minutes trying to get up the courage to go in. In the meantime, Dana had called her and told her that I had mentioned being nervous about the dress, so Dana called me just as I was about to call it off and said that there was a back entrance I could use. So I sucked it up and walked to the door she directed me to, only to find it locked. My heart sank. I called Dana back and told her it was locked and she said she would call Shell to come open it for me.
I know this sounds childish, but even getting out of the car took a leap of faith I'd never known I had before. That dress was very sexy, but I felt that it didn't belong on a person of my size without some jeans or at least leggings underneath. I had nothing but a bra and panties on under it and felt very self-conscious.
So, I'm still standing at the back door when my phone rings. As soon as I saw it was Shell's cell I breathed in and for whatever reason looked up. And 3 floors up, I could see her standing there looking at me through the window. She was smiling and she looked HOT! Jeans, button-up dress shirt & tie.. My heart started beating faster and I knew I could do it. I answered and I said "I'm on my way". She asked if I was okay and I said as long as you stay there I will be. I kept my eye on her until I got to the main entrance and walked in. I didn't make eye contact with anyone and speed walked to the elevator which was empty. Of course, just before the doors closed a woman got in with me. She stood right inside the doors and got out at the next floor without saying a word. When the doors opened on the 3rd floor, Shell was there and the look on her face made me see that I'd made the right choice.
We did go to dinner later and she had brought a more comfortable change of clothes for me to wear to the restaurant. There was an incredible view out the windows of our room which had a very cool design. There was a huge shower with 2 showerheads and a very comfortable king sized bed. I won't share the details of what happened the rest of the night or the next morning, but the whole experience was incredible and memorable from the moment I got home and found the first note to the moment we picked up our kids from my parents. I'm not sure how I'll ever top it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Road to Motherhood

Ok, answering questions is kind of fun!

Stacy asked: What's your road to motherhood story? I have to admit, I looked back at my pregnancy journal for some of this.

We were really lucky. We made the decision to try in April '97, but had no idea where to start. I called customer service for Kaiser (my insurance) and they didn't know either, but suggested we start with an appointment at an OB/GYN. We saw that Dr. on 4/30 and he referred us to the Reproductive Endocrinology department. We had to wait until 6/11 for our appointment with them. Our consultation was awesome and we had blood drawn at that time with the instruction to pick a donor so when my next period started we'd be ready to go. Unfortunately, the blood tests revealed that I had no Rubella antibodies and would need to get the vaccination before moving forward. And then we would have to wait 3 months after the vaccination before inseminating.
The good part was that during those 3 months, we went through all the motions. I took Clomid and had all the blood drawn to track everything so we were in a great position to start for real. On 10/19 I had my first IUI and got my period 2 days before the test date. We did our second IUI on 11/18. Two weeks and one day later (12/3), I was too afraid to call for the test. I was SURE that I would get my blood drawn and my period would come. The next day came with no blood, so I called. Did the blood draw, went home and waited. Then I got the call that I was pregnant. It took two tries. We were very lucky. I didn't realize how lucky however until I started following all these blogs a few years ago. And now, lucky just doesn't cover it good enough.
I had my first ultrasound on 12/17 and that's when we found out that there were two babies on the way. The day before that ultrasound the morning (all day) sickness started and it didn't stop until about my 14th week. I ended up losing about 15 pounds during that time and then everything settled down. At about 7 months, my OB noticed that I was having contractions during a routine appointment, so she sent me to the hospital. They got the contractions under control with terbutaline, which I was sent home with to take regularly. I was already scheduled for a c-section 12 days before my due date because Baby A (my son) was breech and Baby B (my daughter) was laying transverse above him and they weren't moving. When they examined me before my surgery, I wasn't dilated at all. The terbutaline must have done the job, because those babies had no intention of leaving any time soon. My son was born first and weighed 5lbs 14oz with his sister following 2 minutes later at 6lbs 3oz.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alphabet Meme

I saw this quite a long time ago on someone's blog and put it aside for a rainy day. Well, it's starting to snow and is supposed to continue for some time. Sounds like a good time to me!

A.

Age: 36

Annoyance: blissful ignorance

Allergic: maybe. windy days do a number on my sinuses

Animal: I love dogs

Actor: Johnny Depp/ Halle Berry

B

Beer: gross. I've NEVER tasted a beer that I enjoyed.

Best Friend: Eric. It's been 21 years that we've been friends. That's a lot of life we've been through with each other!

Best feeling in the world: snuggling with my wife and kids watching a movie

Best weather: the turning of the season just as the summer temps start to come down but before fall's cold nights start. Highs in the 80's are perfect

Been in love? fiercely

Been bitched out? oh yeah

Been on stage? yep. Choir concerts, talent show, singing solo.

Believe in life on other planets? I do believe there is "life" on other planets. I'm not so sure about that life manifesting in the form of aliens.

Believe in miracles? no

Believe in magic? somewhat

Believe in God? no

Believe in Satan? no

Believe in ghosts? yes

C

Car: I have an '04 Nissan Sentra.

Candy: sometimes, but it must be chocolate or I'm probably not very interested

Color: many shades of green

Cried in school? I don't remember

Chinese or Mexican food? Seriously, these are my two favorite types of food. I can't pick just one. I'd totally eat egg rolls and tacos in the same meal if I could...

Cake or pie? pie. the only kinds of cake I like are ice cream cakes and boston cream pie, which is technically cake.

Countries to visit: I'd love to see Australia for me, and I'd love to take Shell to France.

D

Day or night? Hmm, I'm more awake and productive during the day, but I do enjoy nighttime activities...

Dream vehicle: I don't dream about vehicles.

Dance in the rain? I would, but I don't think I have.

Dance in the middle of the street? I'm sure I haven't done this.

E

Eggs? Oh yes, I like eggs in many forms, but NEVER raw!

Eyes: I'm a fan of eyes. If the question is the color of eyes, I don't have a preference.

Everyone has a past.

Ever failed a class? yes, second semester of Algebra II. I was so lost.

F

First crush: my neighbor

First thought waking up: should I hit snooze?

Food: I'm quite the fan.

G

Greatest fear: outliving my kids

Gum: sugarless

Get along with parents? usually, but not on speaking terms currently with my mom

Good luck charms: I don't believe in them

H

Hair color: natural is brown, but it's colored with blonde and light brown righ now

Height: 5'7 1/2"

Happy? mostly

Holidays? I like my birthday

Health freak? sometimes I wish I was because I am far from it in reality

I

Ice cream: Oh god yes! I LOVE ice cream. Mocha Almond Fudge is my favorite!

Instrument: Can't play any

J

Jewelry: I wear the ring on my left hand ring finger every day. Occasionally I'll wear a necklace.

Job: My job title might be receptionist, but I do many jobs at my full-time job. And I work part-time at P*tsM*rt

K

Kids: 12 year old boy/girl twins

Keep a journal? This blog is the closest I come to one

L

Longest car ride? California to Colorado and I've done it many times now. 14-17 hours. Piece of cake.

Love: I give and receive it every day. Wouldn't trade that for the world.

Laughed so hard you cried: So many times, particularly when my best friends and/or sisters are involved

Love at first sight? I've never felt it, but I am told it's what happened when Shell first saw me.

M

Milk flavor: chocolate

Movie: Moulin Rouge

Mooned anyone? no

Marriage? someday...

Motion sickness? thankfully, no

N

Number of siblings: I have twin sisters who are 3 1/2 years younger than me

Number of piercings: 2 in each ear

Number: don't have one

O

Overused phrases: right?

One wish: no more credit card debt

One phobia: heights

P

Place you'd like to live: Northern California

Pepsi or coke? pepsi

Q

Quail? cute bird, wouldn't eat it

R

Reason to cry: teen suicides due to bullying

Reality tv? not if I can help it

Radio station: The Mountain (Classic Rock)

Roll your tongue in a circle? I can

S

Song? Come What May

Sushi? haven't had it

Skipped school? I didn't do this very often, as school was where my friends were at and where I'd prefer to be.

Slept outside? I have, mainly in a tent

Seen a dead body? yes

Skinny dipped? yes

Shower daily? not always

Sing well? I used to be better when I practiced. I'm okay now.

Sing in the shower? never

Swear? I do, but not a lot

Strawberries or blueberries? strawberries

Scientists need to invent a cure for cancer

T

Time for bed: I used to be in bed by 11. Now it's usally between midnight and one.

Thunderstorms? LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!

U

Unpredictable? depends on who you ask

Under the influence: very very rarely, and then only due to alcohol

V

Vegetable you hate: beets

Vegetable you love: asparagus

Vacation spot: I'd love to go to Hawaii

W

Weakness: food

Which one of your friends acts the most like you? no one that I can think of

Who makes you laugh the most? My boy

Worst feeling: that I'm not a good mom

Wanted to be a model? I've wanted to be what it takes to be a model, but no real modeling desire

Where do we go when we die? my body will be cremated and the disposition of the ashes will be up to my children. End of story.

Worst weather: really windy or very hot

Walk with a book on your head? I used to be able to.

X

X-rays? Just dental xrays and ultrasounds while pregnant

Y

Yellow: my daughter's favorite color. She is very yellow as well.

Z

Zoo animals: My favorite are the Przewalski's horses

Zodiac sign? I'm a Taurus

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Opposites Attract!

Soooooo......only one question so far. I hope there will be others!

B asked: How are you and Shell alike and different?

Shell and I have many more differences than similarities actually. It's kind of a wonder how we're still together because of the vast imbalance, but I think that is a testament to the biggest similarity of all...the way we love each other. This may sound cheesy and over the top, so be prepared. Even back when we were just friends and not yet a couple, we were together whenever possible. And we were affectionate. LOTS of hugging and leaning on each other, if we were standing together she'd throw her arm around me and keep it there. All of that continued once we were official, and other than holding hands it probably didn't look much different to our friends. When we were alone however, we couldn't get close enough. And that has pretty much stayed the same. When we're watching TV or a movie, I sit back and she lays on my chest. When we go to bed, I spoon her. We tell each other "I love you" before we end EVERY phone call with each other (unless we're arguing about something). We miss each other when we're apart. Now, this all could partly be a result of her working graveyard shifts for the last 12 years, so we only go to bed with each other two nights a week, but I think it's also just how we are. And I believe that the fierce and passionate way that we love each other is how we have dealt with the many adversities and problems that we have over the years. And how we deal with:
  • she LOVES trashy television, soap operas, and reality shows. The Real Housewives of (wherever), Keeping up with the Kardashians, Fashion Police, The Dish, any after-awards show fashion recaps, etc... Our DVR is full of them and I can't stand them.
  • she LOVES country music and I can tolerate the more mainstream artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland. We agree on many pop artists, but she is not at all a fan of classic rock which I love like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, etc.
  • our approach to arguments are polar opposite. She want to deal with the conflict, get it out however necessary even if it means we're yelling to do so. I prefer to avoid conflicts, even if that means it doesn't get resolved. This is probably our hardest difference to deal with.
  • she LOVES to shop, especially for clothes. I very much do not.
  • she could eat pizza every day and be happy. I don't mind pizza, but she only likes 3 toppings. Ever. Pepperoni, sausage, black olives. That's it. I like lots of different things. We never share a pizza for this exact reason.
  • she is always cold, I am usually hot. During the winter, her side of the bed has 2-3 blankets plus the sheet, mine has the sheet and 1 blanket.
  • She doesn't like chocolate. Need I say more??

Seriously, I could go on for a while. It really is a wonder how we stay together, but we do. That's how we know that with all our differences and the hard stuff we've had to deal with, we are meant to be together.

Thanks for the question. Now who's next??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Taking Questions...

Luckily at 8 days in I'm not completely out of ideas for posts, but as it could happen any day I thought I'd be prepared. I found a great resource for random things to post about and will use some of them I'm sure. But for now, I thought I'd reach out to you who read this blog (and whom I'm amazed every day keep coming back for more). So, what would you like to know about me? I'm open to sharing pretty much anything, other than my address, phone number and my kids names. Ask away!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hamlet

Ugh! We've been reading and discussing Hamlet in my Literature class and so far it's been very enjoyable. Mostly this is because Shell LOVES Hamlet, so she has been working with me on it. Right now, we are focusing on how the play would be staged and by what types of actors. I am not enjoying this. I'll be working on this all night I fear.
Good night blog readers. Tomorrow is another day... :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekends too!

It's going to be hard to post on the weekends and they might be pretty brief posts, but I'll do my best.
Spent the day with my dad at Pearl Street in Boulder. We try to go every year, but usually succeed in going every other. It's "our thing", nobody else ever goes. So we went and walked around, had lunch and unexpectedly found an exhibit going on of John Lennon's artwork and handwritten song lyrics. Plus the weather was perfect, around 75 degrees and there were crunchy leaves on the ground along with plenty of rust red and deep yellow ones still in the trees. I LOVE Fall!

The Boulder Theater

Pearl Street
Street performers on the mall
The traveling exhibit we went to


You couldn't take photos inside, but you could see these from the door. I didn't take it inside...
One of my favorite sculptures along the mall
Tree still holding onto its changed leaves
A lovely piece of art in front of a house on the walk back to the car

Friday, November 5, 2010

Missed One Already!

It is not a good sign that I missed a post already, and it's only the 5th of the month. :(

But it is what it is. I only promised to do my best and this is it. To apologize for my blunder, I'll post some pictures because I haven't in a while.

My dad and I have seen a Beatles tribute band play at Red Rocks for the last 4 years. My boy has come along for the last 3. We love going, not only for the great music and the fun show, but for the atmosphere as well. The scenery is amazing and the people in the audience are either hilariously entertaining or completely down to earth and lovely. The band is 1964 The Tribute and when it was time to buy tickets for this year's show, we just couldn't afford it. Luckily, a friend and coworker got some free tickets from his wife's work and gave me 3. As usual it was a great time, possibly more so since it was free!
In line before the gates opened at Red Rocks Ampitheater.
My boy with the rock behind him.

Getting closer! Even having to stand in line isn't so bad with these views.

You can see the ampitheater on the right.


The stage built into the rock. We had great seats this year!

The seats filling up. It is a general admission show and is sold out every year.




The three of us at the concerts in 2008, 2009, 2010. My baby doesn't look like much of a baby anymore! :(
Seriously, if they are playing near you and you enjoy Beatles music, go see them. They are great!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Question of Santa

Christmas is 52 days away. Yes I know this because my wife is already figuring out how many paychecks we have until then and trying to figure out how the hell we are going to afford it this year. My point being...Christmas is already being discussed in my house. We actually already had the kids make wish lists so we'd have an idea what is possible and what is absolutely not. Their lists were smart too. My girl actually wrote at the bottom of her list, "Not Likely" and followed it with items such as a cell phone, an iPad, and a laptop. She was close, although they actually fall under the category "Not A Chance".
When my boy started to think about what he wanted to put on his list, he asked me if he should write a separate list for Santa which is what we have had them do in previous years. That is for the larger, more expensive items. I told him to just write everything on the same one, or follow his sister's lead and add them to the bottom. This poses a dilemma that I have been dreading since we wrapped up last Christmas.
Santa Claus... A little background...
I believed in Santa with no question until I was about 12 or 13. My friends would tell me that they didn't believe or that their parents told them he wasn't real, but I held onto my belief. This was mostly because throughout the year, I knew that my parents struggled to make ends meet. I was the oldest of three and my best friend growing up was practically an only child as her sister was quite a bit older than her, and she was pretty spoiled. Whenever I brought up something that she had or that I wanted, I often heard "her parents don't have 3 kids, that's why they can afford it". However, on Christmas morning we would find gifts under the tree from Santa that I didn't think we could have afforded. This perpetuated my belief. Also, many times I heard that once you stopped believing, he would stop coming. So to ensure that didn't happen, I wasn't pressing my luck.
So one day my sisters and I were sitting in the car with our dad and my youngest sister asks him if Santa was real. She was about 8 or 9, I was 12 or 13. I can still remember wishing that my dad wouldn't answer her, because at that moment I knew. And he told us that Santa wasn't real, that it was them all along. I was so sad to hear that. Luckily, the Christmas presents continued and they still put "From Santa" on the tags, which I secretly loved.
Shell however, had a different experience. She found out when she was about 9 and was very hurt and angry that her parents had lied to her about Santa. When we first had the kids, she was against having Santa presents because she didn't want to lie to them and have them be hurt like she was. Fortunately, I won that battle but for the last 3 years she has really wanted to end the Santa charade. This also come from having less money to spend on gifts than we did when they were younger and having to pull off a big Santa gift along with gifts from us has been a challenge. I asked her to let the kids decide when to end it, that they'd let us know when they didn't buy it anymore. She didn't like it, but she agreed not to rain on their (and my) parade by telling them the truth before they were ready.
Prior to last Christmas, I heard rumblings between the two of them over the reality of Santa. I even heard my daughter tell my niece (who knows Santa is not real) that she heard if you stop believing than he stops coming and she didn't want to risk it. My niece was awesome and didn't spill the beans. So Santa brought them iPod's and they seemed thrilled and surprised, making me thankful we pulled it off yet again and a little sad figuring that it probably would be the last Santa year.
Which brings me to now, and my son asking about making a list for Santa. My kids are 12 now, and although this is about the age I was when I learned the truth I wonder if they really do still believe in the myth. I wonder if we should tell them the truth so they'll understand when they get less gifts this year. Will it make them sad to know the truth? Will it make them feel lied to? Will it take away the magic of Christmas?
To tell or not to tell...that is the question.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TV Shows

Working two jobs and taking 4 online classes is taking a serious toll on my television watching. I didn't really watch a lot of TV before, and when this fall season started and knowing that I'd have less time, I decided not to pick up any new shows this season. Just stick to the ones I already loved. The ONLY shows I planned to watch this season were Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, and Bones (And when I say "watch" I do mean record and watch at my earliest convenience). Although I really enjoyed Life Unexpected last season, I decided not to try to keep up with season and maybe catch up on it over the summer online. The only new show that I was partly interested in was Mike and Molly which I hear is very cute, but again, I could catch it come summer. Now, if you know me you'll see that there is something very obvious missing from my list of must-watch shows. Glee. The thing about Glee is, when it started last season, we missed the first couple of episodes and we are kind of weird about starting a show from the beginning. So, we chose to not watch and wait until the DVD came out to buy and catch up so we could watch this season. Which brings me to my current rant...
I have the first season of Glee and have watched the pilot episode. This season is being recorded in my DVR every week. I won't watch this season without finishing last season and I have no idea when that will occur.
I've watched the first 3 Modern Family of this season.
I'm only behind 2 episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
I've seen the first episode of this season's Big Bang Theory.
I've watched the first 2 episodes of this season's Good Wife.
I am completely caught up on Bones, but this is in large part due to the fact that Shell watches it too and it comes first in priority when we have time to watch something together.

6 shows and I'm only keeping up on 1. Oh and I've been recording this season's Oprah since it's the last one and I figured she'd have some pretty good shows. I haven't seen one, yet they've recorded every day. It's insane. I think I might be able to catch up during the month between the end of this semester and the start of the next, although Christmas is thrown in there too, so who knows.
I've heard my shows are pretty good this season, hopefully I'll be able to find out for myself before long.
2 days of November, 2 days of blogging. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

...3 months later...

There is just no way I can wrap up the last 3 months happenings all at once. It's an endless cycle, this not staying up to date on my blog. Things happen and I think I should blog, then I don't and more things happen and I think, okay if I blog now I need to catch up on what I missed, and then 3 months goes by and there is SO MUCH! So, a quick wrap up and then maybe I can finish out 2010 with regular posting.
  • I got into a heated discussion with my mom the last week of July and haven't spoken to her since. It's very weird, but I'm standing my ground. I have talked to my dad, who just mentions my mom to me. I think that he's not sure how to handle this and he's doing his best. It's weird for him too, I'm sure.
  • My babies turned 12 on July 30 and started the 7th grade about 2 weeks later. They're doing great. Got their first quarter report cards last week and my girl has straight A's and my boy has all A's and one B+...in Art.
  • I am still working at Pet*Mart part-time along with my full-time job. It's helping us and I'm hoping that once tax refund time comes around I can cut back on my hours. It's hard and I hate being away from home so much, but Shell and the kids are picking up the slack pretty well and that has helped in a HUGE way.
  • I started school the middle of August, taking 4 online classes to equal 12 credits. I have about 5 weeks left and my first semester will be over! I'm doing good and keeping my grades up. It's hard to manage time to get assignments done when I'm gone at work so much and there have been many times when I submit something just a couple of minutes before it's due, but I haven't missed any and I'm very proud of that fact. It's time to figure out what I'm taking in the Spring (registration is in two weeks and classes start in January). I can't decide if I should take another 4 classes since I'm making it now with 4, or if I should go to 3 and make it a little easier. There are obvious pros and cons with each, so it's an ongoing debate.
  • My best friend and his boyfriend came to stay with us for a long weekend just before I started school and we enjoyed having them SO MUCH! We visited and were lazy and ate and drank and played games. We miss them and hopefully we'll get to see them again soon.
  • I realize that November is NaBloPoMo and that today is the 1st. Do I think I can realistically post every day this month? No. Do I want to try? Yes. I will try and will do my best to post as often as I can. Hopefully my readers from long ago will forgive my trespasses and bear with me.

I think that's enough catching up for now. I have tons of pictures from our fun this summer and hope to get some of those posted. Maybe I can use that for when I can't come up with something to write about....

Whoever's still out there, thanks for sticking with me. Hopefully you'll have reason to come back again soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Almost the End

...of summer that is. I'm amazed that it's today already, which pretty much marks the beginning of the last month of summer. June was a nice month, pretty relaxing for the most part. Every morning when I left for work I'd leave a short list of one or two chores for each of the kids to do, and every day when I got home they were done. It was great and I think they actually kind of liked having something to check off as done. Nothing was too overwhelming. I never wrote "clean your room", but instead would write "clean off your dresser and dust it" on one day and "clean out under your bed" on another. Things that wouldn't really take that much time, but would get stuff done.
During that month, we found ourselves up against a wall, of sorts. We've been living paycheck to paycheck and JUST BARELY making it every month for too long and in June we had to use the direct deposit advance feature at our bank to pay some bills. This was a wake-up call that we couldn't keep living like that. And although we'd talked about one of us getting a second job before, we hadn't followed through on it. So as much as I didn't want to, I put on my big girl pants and applied to a couple of places that I thought I wouldn't hate having to work part-time at. Three days after applying online at big-box pet store, I got called for an interview. Two days later I received a call offering me the job. I've been working there for 2 weeks now, and I really like it. I get to talk to people about their pets and when they bring them into the store, I get to pet and give treats to them. So far, I've worked two evenings a week plus both weekend days on both of the weeks I've worked. Next week I'm working 3 weekend nights plus the weekend days, for a total of about 25 hours. I'm very grateful for the hours I'm getting, but I am tired on the days I work 9 hours during the day and then another 4 in the evening. But I do like it, which makes a world of difference.
Since my nieces got here at the beginning of July, there has been a lot of drama. Things have been tense between Shell & I, mostly because the younger of the 2 girls is pretty much the same age as my kids and so she has spent the vast majority of her visit at our house. The addition of another kid in the house coupled with the extra mouth to feed has not been easy. My sister (not the mom of these nieces), drove from Missouri with my niece last weekend for the week. My nephew (her son) flew in a few days before her and is staying through the 10th of August. These 6 kids haven't all been together in 2 years and want to spend lots of time together. But there's a catch. Everyone is "officially" staying at my parents house (which is less than 5 minutes from my house by car), but my mom shows preference for my oldest niece which all the kids can feel. So if CaNiece1 is there, everyone else wants to be at my house so they don't have to deal with it. So now there's a 15 year old boy in my house along with my 12 year old niece and my 2 kids. My sister is tired of the BS from our mom and wants to spend time with me and her nieces and nephew, so she comes over with her daughter. Who is 3 and naturally acts like it. There have been confrontations and blowups, and I'm not referring to the kids. There is still 1 1/2 weeks before my nieces go home and 2 1/2 weeks before my nephew goes home, yet I think that if they all went home tomorrow, nobody would feel incredibly heartbroken. We'd miss them and be sad because we love them all and don't see them often enough, but it's been a rough month and I think we'd all be relieved to get back to our normals.
There's so much more...but I'll get to that soon enough. I need to end this post on a lighter note, sooo....
Today is my best friend Eric's birthday. I get to see him in 3 weeks. I couldn't be more thrilled, well except if I had more money for while he's here but at least I'm not working at either job for the 4 days of his visit. Yahooo! I can't wait! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Time is Flying By!

I just can't believe that it's already June. This year is going by so fast, it's crazy! This has been a hard year so far, and I really hope that the second half goes a little smoother. But I'm having a hard time believing that it will.

The kids wrapped up their first year in middle school on May 27 and we're eagerly anticipating the year-end report cards. They should be here any day. 6th Grade was the first time that they really had to work for their good grades, but they learned a lot that will help them through the rest of middle school and through high school. But for now, they are enjoying their summer vacation. They are loving being able to sleep in and hang out in comfy clothes and eat and drink whenever they want. And being that Shell sleeps during the day, they pretty much decide between the two of them how they are going to spend their days. Which is starting to mean WAY too much computer, video game & TV time. But we're not comfortable with them playing outside while she's sleeping. So what else are they to do? My girl reads a lot, but she likes playing on the computer and when her brother gets a lot of time, she wants a fair amount. We're giving them more responsibilities this summer than they've ever had before, but it still leaves a lot of down time. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it and just let them spend their days in whatever ways make them happy, as long as their chores are getting done. Right now, it's a consideration.

The good news is that June should be the hardest month for figuring out how the kids days should be spent. On July 3, my nieces will get here and will stay until August 3. Since we live so close to my parents, they will spend their time between both houses and hopefully it'll be a great time for everyone. Ten days after the girls go home, my best friend and his boyfriend will fly in. They'll be here Friday through Tuesday and the day before they go home, my kids start school. And then I start school the following week! I can't wait for them to come. It's been almost 2 years since Eric was here and it'll be Jake's first time, not just to our house but his first time in Colorado. I'm hoping we can do a little sightseeing while he's here. If I had my choice, I wouldn't have them come in August as it's SO HOT, but I'll take a visit whenever I can. Hopefully they'll come back during a different season next time so we can show them how beautiful it is. They've been together for about a year and a half now and I'm so happy that they found each other. And we get the benefit of having Jake in our lives now too. I'm very much looking forward to spending more time with him, and getting my Eric fix at the same time.

Let's see...what else? Denver PrideFest is on Father's Day this year which really sucks. It's usually the last weekend of the month, but there was already an event planned for that weekend so they had to move it up. I'm going to spend the day before with my Dad, so I can spend Father's Day with the gays. And hope this doesn't become a yearly thing. BUT!!! The Main Stage performers this year have me SO EXCITED! Two years ago, we saw Tiffany. Last year we saw Debbie Gibson. And this year is En Vogue! I loved their music and still do. So I am really looking forward to that. And of course, all the fun that Pride is. And the yummy food vendors. I love Pride!

Last but not least, I received my financial aid award letter and my tuition and textbooks for Fall are all covered. This was a HUGE relief, because there is no way we could have paid for them ourselves. There should be enough to cover my Spring classes & books as well. We talked about getting a laptop for me to use, so I wouldn't be hogging the family computer all the time, but it doesn't look realistic, at least not in time for the Fall semester. We'll just have to deal with sharing for a while. Worst case scenario: we'll use our tax money to buy one next Spring. But we'll make it work. Just like we always do...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A student once again...

Okay, it's official. I will be a freshman in college this Fall. It's still sinking in, but it's happening for sure. And I'm finally excited. Really, really excited. But it was a frantic and nerve-wracking time getting here, to the excitement.
Shell has been mentioning that I should go to school for a few months now, but I pretty much dismissed it every time. She kept saying how she always thought I should have been a librarian. I love libraries and go frequently. A new library opened up locally, and the kids and I have spent a lot of time there and talk about it a lot. It's beautiful. There will be another new one opening just up the street from our house this summer and my girl and I can't wait. Anyway, it is easy to see my love for libraries, but I just couldn't see trying to go to school for a new career now. But Shell kept bringing it up and I started to think about it on my own. I'd mention why it was a bad idea, and she'd counter with how it wasn't. About a month ago, I mentioned to my best friend this thought that was starting to stir in my mind. His reaction was nothing but supportive and positive. It made me, for the first time consider that I could do this. But where to start?
On Friday, April 9 I went to my favorite new library and talked to a couple of the librarians there. Asked a lot of questions and got their opinions and advice on everything from the future of librarianship, the value of a degree and in what, and the job itself. They were very helpful and I walked out knowing that I wanted to do what they were doing. I even called Shell on my way back to work and told her I wanted to go to school. I'd decided. She was so excited that I was finally ready.
So that was Friday. On Sunday, we went to Dana & Jeannie's for dinner and told them that I'd decided to seriously look into starting school, possibly this fall. They looked at each other and then looked at me and said that registration for the Fall would be starting soon, maybe in the next few weeks. I didn't really see how that was possible, being how it's only April and all. But even so, we got on the computer and I enrolled at the community college that they both go to. As soon as I got enrolled, we checked and confirmed that registration for the Fall semester would start on April 20. That was just over a week away! When I got home that night, I applied for financial aid, which was the only way I was going to be able to go to school.
Over the next 2 days, I received my acceptance letter to the school and a student aid report. I decided to go for my Associate of Arts credits, then transfer those toward a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Seem like a strange choice for a librarian? The ladies I spoke to actually suggested that since libraries cater to more needs than just literature, it is beneficial to study something people-related. I've always been interested in Psychology, so it was the obvious choice.
Next, I would need to take an assessment test to determine class placement. It's a 2-3 hour test, so I had to wait until Saturday to take it. Saturday...3 days before registration. I took the test, which consisted of sections covering reading comprehension, sentence structure, college math and algebra, along with a 300-600 word essay. I got my results immediately and learned that I got the highest possible score on my essay. Yay me! And scored in the highest range for the reading and English sections. Yay me! And... in the lowest range for the math and algebra. No yay there, but it wasn't a surprise. I did not like math when I was in school. I didn't do well in math, in fact I received the only F of my school career in Algebra 2. It's not my "thing". I'm a reading and English girl, obviously. So although it was a disappointment, it reflected the truth.
Now that I had my results, I needed to meet with an advisor before the hold on my account could be lifted and I could register. Hearing that the classes I'd probably be taking might fill up fast, I wanted to register as soon as I could. So I needed to see an advisor on Monday. Of course, there were no appointments available that day so I went during the drop-in hours and hoped for the best. The advisor I talked to was awesome. She confirmed that with my math scores, I'd need to start at the bottom of the math classes and work my way up. I'm not so thrilled about having to take so much math, but it is what it is. However, being that my reading scores were so high, I don't have to take any reading classes and since my English and essay scores were so high I can try to test out of one of the English classes I need. I'm planning to do that in the next couple of weeks. So, good and bad news. Because of my history with math, she highly recommended waiting until Spring to take math and instead take classes that interested me to ease into this new routine. Hearing that I wanted to take 12 credits, she encouraged me to really think about it before deciding for sure. I'd still be working full-time and having a family would mean that I'd be stretched pretty thin. I got the same advice from a friend, which I definitely took to heart. Thanks Steph, for your concern and advice. But I decided that since I was not going to tackle math until the Spring, and since I was taking classes that I was excited about, I'd go for it.
I registered first thing Tuesday morning, just 11 days after deciding to go to school and 9 days after enrolling. I'm taking Interpersonal Communications, Psychology 101, Introduction to Literature and U.S. History Since 1945. I am seriously thrilled to be doing this. I can't wait to get my textbooks and get started. School starts August 23!
I know that I'll be busybusybusy. I'm sure I'll feel like I'm pulled in multiple directions at once. But Shell & the kids are super excited for me and we've already had some conversations about how this will change our lives. I wish I could start sooner, but I'm also glad to have the summer to get organized and put some new patterns into place to make this as smooth as possible for everyone. All of my classes for Fall are online which makes me very happy. I may not have a lot of extra time for my family, but at least I'll be at home. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Word

Does it count as posting when I do the Meme's I'm tagged for? Thanks Tara for keeping my blog from collecting too many cobwebs!
This one is supposed to be answered with one-word responses. Much harder than it seems...

Hair: dyed
Your Mother: difficult
Your Father: handy
Fav Food: Mexican
Dream Last Night: forgettable
Fav Drink: tea
What room are you in?: office
Hobby: reading
Fear: loss
Where were you last night?: library
Something that you aren’t: fit
Muffins: banana
Wish List Item: security
Where you grew up: SoCal
What you are wearing: clothes
Your Pet: hounds
Friends: diverse
Something you’re not wearing: earrings
Fav Store: Target
Fav Color: green
Last time you laughed: yesterday
Your Best Friend: true
Best Place you go over and over: home
Person who you email regularly: coworker
Fav Place to Eat: restaurants

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

10 Things

I've seen this meme going around the blogs I read, and while I thought it would be fun, I also thought it might be kind of hard as well. Then I got tagged by Teaberry for it, so the thinking had to start.
10 things you might not know about me...
1. Bodies of water terrify me. When I was growing up, we didn't know anyone with a pool so I never learned how to swim. By the time my parents made friends with a couple who had a pool, I was in high school and too embarassed to try to learn. I basically taught myself how to flail my arms and legs enough to "swim" from one end of the pool to the other, but that was it. I've never gone into the ocean past my knees, because I'm afraid of the pull of the water. I didn't want my kids to be afraid of water, but because I was scared that a day might come when they needed help in the water, we had them take swimming lessons. 3 summers in a row, they took lessons at the rec center and both did great. They love swimming and have no fear of the water. This makes me very happy and very relieved.
However, I do love being near the ocean, lakes, rivers, etc. I find the water very calming, as long as there is no danger of falling in.
2. After I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life besides getting married and having kids. My parents never stressed the importance of going to college, but everyone else in my life did, so I registered for community college with no direction in mind. I went for 2 weeks. I hadn't really thought much about it over the years, mostly because I hadn't ever found a career that seemed attractive to me. Lately however, the topic has come up often and I'm now thinking about actually going to college for real. My wife is pushing me in this direction, simply because she has more faith in me than I do. I'm still finding the reasons not to, and she is there to remind me of the reasons to do it. I think she might be winning...
3. My college time ended after 2 weeks when Shell & I ran away. We were gone for almost a month. Didn't let anyone know where we were. Our cover was blown when we contacted a friend and she ratted us out to Shell's parents. Looking back, it was a very foolish decision but in a lot of ways I don't regret it. It was just another way we were proving that nobody could keep us apart.
4. I don't mind speaking in front of people. I've run meetings with no problem. I've spoken my mind about things I believe in and oppose. Doesn't bother me. What DOES bother me is that when I do speak to a group of people, my face and neck turn bright red. I don't feel embarassed, so why does this happen? It never fails and many times knowing that it will happen keeps me from speaking up. I hate it, but I have no idea how to prevent it.
5. Shell is the only woman I've ever been with. I had one serious boyfriend before her, who I lost my virginity to when I was 17. Five months after we broke up, Shell and I got together. From that moment, I've never doubted my sexuality. Realizing that I was in love with her and wanted to be with her felt like finding out who I really was.
6. When I came out, everyone was surprised and that is still the reaction to this day. To be honest, I doubt that I trigger most people's gaydar. This bothers me at times, because I feel that visibility is very important. But I am out to all my coworkers and my entire family, so I do what I can in that aspect. I am who I am. I found the term "chapstick lesbian" one day and the definition fits me well. I like it.
7. I've never had a broken bone and other than for dental work and my c-section, I've never had stitches.
8. Most people I know would have followed up the previous statement with "knock on wood", but not me. I am not superstitious at all. Shell is and it drives me crazy when she tells the kids to throw salt over their shoulder or knock on wood or that breaking a mirror brings bad luck or not to step on a crack. I just don't believe in them. I don't believe in heaven & hell and I don't believe that there is a godlike being somewhere passing judgment on everyone. I do however, believe in ghosts and spirits.
9. I love doing laundry. Every part of it, EXCEPT walking up and down the 3 sets of stairs between the basement where the washer & dryer are and the bedrooms. My kids can do their own laundry, but I'll just randomly grab clothes out of their hampers and then wash, dry & fold them. When I do their laundry, I leave the folded piles of clothes on their beds to put away, you know so they have to do some of the work. But I don't mind, I like it.
10. I love living in Colorado and dread the day when Shell (who doesn't love living here) decides that we've lived where I wanted to for long enough, it's time to go back to California. She talks about wanting to move back all the time and has for years now, but I just can't bring myself to seriously consider it. I just don't want to live there again. But I know that someday, I will have to give in and it makes me very sad.

Okay, so now the fun part. I get to tag some of you to take this. Unfortunately, most of you have already been tagged, so that takes some of the fun out of it. These are a few I don't think have done this yet:
Steph at All For the Love of You
B at Endless Love
Jackie at Waiting for Mavis
Kathy at Wannabe Earth Mamas
Meg at All About Austin
Ally at 2moms2babies

I look forward to reading your 10 things!

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Month

This month is flying by, mostly because we've been BUSY and my house is a disaster to show for it. Hopefully that will be changing this weekend, which is the most logical time to do this deep cleaning as the next couple of weekends are booked. The run-down of the first 2 weeks of March go something like this:

My boy had his band concert on the 2nd. It's so fun to see the band getting better at every concert. However, the audience is another story. Can someone explain to me why, if you are going to your child's band concert, you feel the need to talk throughout the concert? It drives me INSANE to hear all the chatter in the audience DURING SONGS!! Seriously... Makes me crazy. The band director starts off every concert asking for the common courtesy of silence while music is being performed. If your baby/child is crying/screaming or just a loud talker, please take them out to the lobby. He proceeds to repeat this plea, mostly focusing on the talking, every 3-4 songs finally practically pleading with the audience to SHUT UP. I realized that I was so distracted by the noise, I missed a whole song. I just don't get it...

The kids have been rehearsing for the Spring Musical for months now. It started out as 2 days a week, until 5:15. Not a big deal as I work very close to their school, so I'd usually get there right at 5:15 to pick them up and we'd be home around 5:45. As the date of the performance approached, these rehearsals grew to 3 days a week, then 2 days until 5:15 and 1 day until 6:00, each week. The last 2 weeks have been Monday through Thursday, until 6:00 each night. It has made for late dinners that usually ended up being either fast food or something quick to prepare since Shell leaves for work at 8:45. The kids love being a part of the musicals, so it's all worth it. But I sure missed the brief time I had to spend with my wife each night. And when we miss too many days in a row, it shows.

My boy and I went to see Bon Jovi in concert on the 8th. We've had our tickets since November, so the anticipation had been building and we were crazy excited by the time the actual day finally came. Dana's mom bought tickets so that she could take Dana, her sister and Jeannie too. They got seats on the floor, but I think we had great seats too. We were first row just up from the floor, a perfect view of the stage. The plan was for me to pick up the boy from rehearsal and then we would head downtown to the venue. UNTIL..Dana called me that afternoon to say that they were taking a limo and we could ride with them. No fighting traffic, no dealing with parking, no paying for parking, no super long line of cars leaving after the show. Perfect! So not only did my boy go to his first real rock concert, but had his first limo ride too. All in the same day. He was beside himself with excitement. The concert was great, better than I even imagined. I have loved Bon Jovi since the 80's and my boy loves them as well. We sang, danced, shouted and whistled and basically had perma-grin the whole time. What a night we had. The limo picked us up right after the concert ended, right around 11:30. By the time we got back to our house and in bed, it was 12:30. To say that my boy had a hard time getting up the next morning would be a gross understatement. But he made it and now it's just a great memory. Shell is taking our girl to see Taylor Swift next month which they are very excited about. It's on a school night too, so we'll see how she fares the next morning. I'm so thankful that we can share these experiences with them, and that they are still excited to see a concert with their parents. I wonder how much longer before that ends?

The performances for the musical were on the 12th and 13th. I went alone on Friday night so I could scope out the best seats to watch from. My parents and Dana & Jeannie went with us on Saturday night and once again I was impressed at how well the kids did. The production was Metaphasia, a radically updated retelling of the Tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. My boy was the only boy who auditioned, so he played two roles, the dad of the main character and the King. My girl was Trishnakov, the ballerina princess which meant that her brother played her dad. Hehe.
After the show, my parents took the kids home with them since we had plans. It was Shell's birthday and we were going out! The plan was for us to ride with Dana & Jeannie so I could drink. Usually I'm the designated driver, so this would be a treat for me. They told us we'd have to run back to their house because Dana forgot her ID, and then moments later a limo pulled up. They got a limo so that everyone could drink and not have to worry about it. Awesome plan! The limo dropped us off at the Mongolian BBQ restaurant we were eating at. It wasnot only Saturday night, but we were downtown on the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. The streets were packed with cars and people. We were VERY glad not to be dealing with that. Dinner was awesome, as always. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite places to eat. After dinner, we took a cab to the bar that we always go to. It's perfect. There are 2 dancefloors, one where country music is played and the other is hip-hop/dance music. One of the most appealing aspects of this place is that there is a covered smoking area. 3 out of 4 of us smoke and although I'm the one who doesn't, it is nice that we have somewhere to sit and drink and talk and they don't have to go outside when they're smoking.
As usual, we spent most of the night either in the smoking area, on the patio or around the country dancefloor. Towards the end of the night, we made our way to the "dance" side and as soon as we staked out our seats, a Janet Jackson song came on. I LOVE JANET JACKSON! My wife, who typically does NOT dance, pulled me on the dancefloor to dance with her. It was great. Dana & I danced after that and we all people watched the dancefloor, which really is so much fun. The bar closed at 2 and our limo pulled up soon after to take us back to Dana & Jeannie's. Jeannie didn't drink as much as the rest of us, so she drove us home. Thanks to the time change, it was 5am when we climbed in bed and I had to get up at 10 so I could pick up the kids and take them to the wrap party for the musical. It was REALLY hard to get up, but thankfully I was just really tired, not hungover.
After their party, we met up with Dana & Jeannie and the kids and we headed to a early dinner at a yummy pizza place near us. It was really good and we had entertainment in the form of a girl making balloon animals. We were pretty impressed, possibly more so than the kids. After dinner we went home and the kids finished up their homework while we watched the most recent episode of Ghost Whisperer and just relaxed for the first time all weekend. Oh yeah, that's what else we did this month: bought a new bed! Ours was over 14 years old and it showed it's age. We bought a really nice one that has an adjustable foundation so we can raise the foot and head of the bed. And it vibrates. We really spoiled ourselves with it, but we think it's a good investment and who can argue a good night's sleep?

The plan for this weekend is to clean our house. It's so bad and the only other plans are to have dinner at my parents house on Saturday, so we should be able to get a lot done. Next weekend the kids will be staying overnight with them again, as we'll be celebrating Dana's birthday and alcohol consumption is part of the plan. I think we'll end up staying over at their house, so I don't have to drive home after. March is the only month we drink this much and to be honest we probably won't drink again until it rolls around again next year. Spring Break is next week, so I think that this weekend we'll focus on the common areas of the house and then whatever is left to be done in their rooms can be finished while they're home during the week. I'm really looking forward to a clean house, it's been too long!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where to Begin?

It's the middle of February. Wow. I haven't written anything of substance since December and it was a recap of my vacation in November. Holy cow! Obviously, there is a lot that I haven't written about. What do I do about that? Catch up in bullets? Forget that it all happened and start from now? I don't exactly know the answer yet, but for the time being let's start from now. Maybe I'll write regularly about what's going on currently and will occasionally fill in what I missed. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.
Soooo... the middle of February huh? In 2010... It's so weird that the number of the year isn't really throwing me off at all. It's just a number. Kind of like feeling that being 35 is just a number. It doesn't define me. I don't let it. Now, the age of my kids? THAT defines me. They are 11. Not that interesting of an age. Except... They will be 12 in 5 1/2 months. 12 years old is the last year before they are teenagers. 12 is the year that signals a shift in how they relate to the world, to themselves and to us. It has already started in little ways. Manageable ones, but still. It's just the beginning. I wonder all the time if we're doing this parenting thing right. Shell & I talked briefly last night about it. We've been assured by others that we are doing something right. They get awesome grades. All A's this year with only one B for each thrown in. They are well behaved when away from home, polite to others, kind, outgoing and compassionate and not picky when it comes to eating. We are told that we have "good kids". That we are lucky. And I believe that we are, because I don't know how they got this way. Parenting them hasn't been hard or much of a challenge really, so did we have that much to do with it? Or are we just "lucky" that we were blessed with "good kids". And now that we're approaching those infamously difficult years, will our luck hold or will it run out?

A Catch-Up Note: One of the detractors from writing in my blog continues to be Facebook. I still love it. And I love the applications. From Farmville to Zoo World to Happy Aquarium. From the quizzes to the Photo of the Day. I love it all. There is no way I could stay in touch with all those people any other way. I'm finding a way to keep updated on my Facebook friends and try to stay up to date on the blogs I read. I am horrible about commenting though. I want to get better at that. And I want to post regularly here too. But then my crops need to be harvested or my fish need to fed or I have a baby lemur being born and I'm drawn back to Facebook. But I'm going to try to be better. And I hope that those 13 people who commented on my Delurker post will stick with me while I figure it all out. And maybe a few more will show up as well. I'd like to make it worth it. For you and for me. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Come out, Come out...

whoever you are!

Ok, I have to admit that I'm not really all that thrilled about having a male flasher here, but it's the logo and it get the point across.
I'd love to know who reads my blog, especially those who don't comment. Unless the only readers I have ARE the ones who comment, in which case the 4 of you can just say hi as usual. In the spirit of this, I'm going to go comment on your blogs today too. You know, because I don't have anything else I should be doing, like oh...say post a REAL entry here.
Thanks to everyone who reads. Really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.