Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just Call Me Huck Finn

See the little yellow sign on the gate? It provides instructions on the proper way to care for the gate...the most important of which is to paint/stain it every two years. We'll have lived here four years in June. The portion on the left is the "after" and how it looked four years ago. Given that the gate was one of the better looking parts, I'd have to say that staining every two years probably is a good idea. Let's see if I keep that up. ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tony's First Haircut

After a little encouragement from the stylist, I decided to keep Tony's 'hawk a little grows that way naturally!

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Alex's First Lollipop

Second haircut, first lollipop. Yes, he drooled down the front of his shirt, down his arm, and all over the taxi. Yes, it was a sticky mess. Luckily I just changed his shirt and wiped his arm. I feel bad for the lady that had to wipe down the taxi, but she's the one that gave him the Dum Dum in the first place.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coupon High of the Day

I got:
1 file box
1 inch binder
Binder tabs
Dry-erase board for weekly meal planning
2 6/pks of "fancy" file folders
2 25/pks of pull and seal #10 envelopes
100/bx of security pull and seal #10 envelopes
6/pk of highlighters
Color ink cartridges
And a Grover DVD
For $62.54 including tax

I will be receiving:
$10 Visa gift card
$8 back in rewards
$4 in rewards for the 2 ink cartridges I recycled

Final cost: $50.54 for over $100 worth of office supplies and a DVD for the munchkins

I'll be riding this high for awhile!

Tony the Teaser

This is how Tony has been teasing me all week. Look Ma, no hands! He'll stand there. Completely unassisted. Often holding a toy in each hand. He'll crouch down, the rise back up to this position. He might even take a step or two until he realizes what he's doing, then he drops to a crawl and takes off. SO CLOSE...and yet, still not officially a walker.

Sorry this picture is of the back of his's pretty much the only way I could catch this.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Love Rug Pen Triage & Paradigm Shifts

Tonight was the retirement dinner for the GM at Striker's work. Woo hoo!!! We got to dress up and hang out with adults! Grandma and Oma babysat. The evening's highlights can be taken from my Facebook statuses:
-Shortly after arriving, I nicknamed someone "The Love Rug". His last name is Love and both myself and someone on Striker's staff believe he was wearing a (bad) rug.
-As I sat there as the "spouse", I thought of all the times I dragged Striker to my work events at the Staples Center, Cabo San Lucas, Dominican Republic...and I got to go to Sierra Lakes Country Club in Fontana...yay for public employees! ;)
-There were Sharpie paint pens on the tables for everyone to sign photo mats for a scrapbook for the retiree. Striker uncapped our pen and the point fell out. I grabbed the pieces, reassembled, performed triage, and got it working. Later someone came by and asked how we got it to work. They might all be water people, but I am still an office supplies person. Pen triage is a valuable skill, which I will be putting on my resume.
-There were MANY speakers and a fair amount of roasting. I sort of glazed over, but when I heard someone say "paradigm shift" I had to supress my urge to yell "BINGO!" as that's almost a guaranteed winner in Corporate Buzzword Bingo.

Overall, it was a fun night out with the hubby. We got dressed up, enjoyed adult conversation and beverages, and I got my business fix for at least another 6 months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MarthaStewartLiving #2: Cleaning Bath Toys

I've been putting off cleaning the boys' bath toys because it's one of those tasks that is easy to put off and I wasn't sure what to clean them with. And then Martha spoke to me on page 100 of the Feb 2011 issue...

Soak toys for 10 minutes in:
one part hot water
one part distilled white vinegar (removes soap scum)
a few drops of dishwashing liquid (removes dirt)
Rinse with warm water after washing and let dry.

If squeeze toys have sludge stuff in them, toss them. You can prevent the sludge by squeezing them out completely after every bath.


It's how I always envisioned it would be...(insert sigh of happiness here).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Moment in My Life

Things you can tell from this photo:
My house has been completely overrun by toddler toys and gear. My kids got dressed today.

Things you can't tell from this photo:
Despite having just finished his snack in his high chair in the kitchen, Tony is sitting beneath Alex's high chair with Oskar, waiting to gobble up dropped snacks. I am still in my jammies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spring in January

Aside from my allergies, I've almost forgotten about the cold and the rain from a few weeks ago. The boys love exploring and playing in the backyard and I'm very happy I planned ahead and asked for "summer" toys for their birthday and Christmas. Kolbowland has expanded to our backyard...I can't wait for summer!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Better than Baby in the Mirror?

Alex and Tony love to play with the "baby in the mirror" but this afternoon, Tony preferred to play with his shadow while Alex played in the dirt. Yes, I was surprised too ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

MarthaStewartLiving #1

I subscribed to MSL magazine when it was free with a purchase on BB&B last month, and got my first issue today...I'm only a few pages in and I'm already in love. First the post-it calendar concept intrigues me...I just wish I'd seen/thought of this when I used to receive an endless supply of post-it notes. I do have several rewards coupons to use...
Second, this tip: store the entire set of sheets (fitted, flat, and other pillowcase) INSIDE one of the pillowcases to avoid separation and keep your linen closet neat and orderly...OCD alert...guess what I can't wait to do?!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Shoes for Striker

While we were in Henderson, Tony went digging through Striker's wallet Wednesday morning. We later went to DSW, and got new dress shoes for Striker. That is all we bought. No one was more surprised than me!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bowling Fire Alarms & Lo Mein

Striker struggled a bit on the Athens oil pattern, but since this is a marathon, we'll see how he does Wednesday. The nine games took almost 9 hours on Tuesday thanks to an odd rule, what appeared to be computer troubles, and a fire alarm. The odd rule is that all lanes started each game together, which means that if you bowled quickly (usually means well - lots of strikes means fewer balls to throw), you had to sit around and wait until EVERYONE else was done.

I drove around and scoped out parks, restaurants, and things to do. There's a great regional park (that you don't have to pay to get into - CA take note) that we'll be spending some time at during the warmest part of the day. I also found a Pei Wei, which is what we ended up having for dinner and making Striker VERY happy.

When we got back to the hotel (while Striker was still bowling), I walked in and lights started flashing, an alarm was sounding, a partition came out of the wall and shut off the hotel corridor from the casino, and some lady was making indecipherable announcements over the loud speaker. We were basically "trapped" in a corridor near the lobby. Turned out someone had pulled the fire alarm, which also halted things in the bowling center. Striker and I BBM'd back and forth sharing info. While this made his already long day of bowling even longer, I was declared the "winner" of our biggest loser contest. I had to use the restroom, AND needed to put the boys down for naps - difficult to do when confined to a small area with bathrooms not big enough for BOB.

Tony was a huge fan of Lo Mein at Pei Wei. This makes Striker happy since now we have to go there more often because "Tony likes it".

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sweet Suite!

We're moving on up from bowling in Bakersfield ;) This week we're staying in a suite at Sunset Station which is the perfect size for Alex and Tony to play and for us to not feel cramped. Best decision I've made all year, AND it was totally spontaneous at check-in!

Striker is bowling the Team USA Trials in Henderson, NV. In case you're wondering, that's 9 games of bowling for 4 days (36 games total). I'll be posting more updates as the week progresses. Today was check-in and practice. The oil patterns are: Athens, Stockholm, Paris, and Atlanta.

We grabbed lunch at Subway, then Striker went and did his thing, while we went and checked out the hotel and surrounding area. There is a mall within walking distance and I can see a Target, Costco and DSW from our window (which Alex and Tony LOVE to look out at all the lights and people). Clearly I'm going to be doing some shopping this week as there is no way Alex and Tony are going to sit through 36 games of bowling ;) There are also kids play areas at both the mall and the hotel, and we brought BOB and his "raincoat" (weather shield) so we can take lots of walks outside in the fresh air.

It should be a fun week! Good luck and high scoring Striker!

First Time Driving in Snow

This morning we drove to Henderson, NV...the first 2 hours through rain and snow. It was Alex and Tony's first time in snow and Striker's first time driving up the Cajon Pass in snow (though he'd driven in snow before). He was super cautious and we made it to Barstow without incident.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tech Geek No More?

I just had a disturbing thought - is my attachment to BlackBerry devices with actual keyboards (and avoidance of all phones with touch screens) a sign that I'm not "with it"? You see, one of my biggest fears as a SAHM is that I'll lose my technology expertise and become attached to outdated gadgets and refuse to use new things like those who refuse debit cards and online banking (and also to repeatedly use run on sentences).

Can the iPads drop in price so that I can somehow justify getting one? Thanks.