Thursday, June 30

What happens in Vegas ...

Well, tomorrow I head off to Las Vegas. It's been almost 10 years since I've been in that lovely little town, and I find that I'm pretty excited to visit again. In fact, my last trip was in July 2001, if you can believe that. Almost 10 years since that most awesome of weekends.
Anyway, this trip is to celebrate JJ's bachelorette weekend. And since Vegas will be my only destination, except various areas around Phoenix, in July, and since it's been so long since I've been there, I thought it would be a perfect theme for my monthly avatar.
I think she's cute, and ready to wander the daytime atmosphere. Not the nighttime stuff. No, no, the Las Vegas-at-night avatar would be wearing black, and she'd be in dark make-up, and heels, and a short dress. She'd be ready to trip the light fantastic with her girls.

Tuesday, June 28

Been living in a book for a while ...

I guess, at this point, you could say that I'm on the road to recovery. My affliction? Reading addiction. (Sorry.) It's actually quite a nice illness to come down with, when all things are considered. But my mother told me this morning, "It's time to stop reading." I said, "It's never time to stop reading." And it's not. But I will go back to my normal reading patterns, which is to say, not reading a 500-page book per day for a week or two. I'm done with my Black Dagger Brotherhood books as of 30 minutes ago, and while I'm intrigued by the next installment, which is available on iBooks, I'll be taking a break and maybe moving on to some Agatha Christie. Of course, I say that, but tomorrow may just have me toodling around on the iBooks, getting the digital tome for my phone and iPad. (It's all good.)
But maybe not. I think it would be a good thing to not have a paperback attached to my hand for a couple days. I'll need something for Vegas this weekend, but maybe I'll just wait until Thursday night to figure that out.
Today was the last day of our aquarium memberships, so Sydney and I dragged Brian down to the place, in an effort to show off the jellyfish, seahorses, sharks and sting rays. The spider crabs were awesome, still, too. Then we had lunch with Katy and Lisa, and then we hit some of the shops nearby. I was in need of something for Saturday night this weekend, and after only five shops, too many dress attempts and one self-esteem spiral, I found the right dress, and the best cheap sunglasses, for the trip. Also, the second pair of shoes were in a close spot in the storage unit, so I was able to dig those out.
My farm has been harvested, planted, harvested and planted again today.
I need to do my nails and toes, and figure out all the clothes I need for the weekend. I'm so excited!

Friday, June 24

Just reading!

So, you're probably all, "Where the hell have you been?"
Honestly, I've been reading. I'm so sucked into this Black Dagger Brotherhood series that I've been powering through a book a night. I'm currently six into the stack. I've got two more on the pile, and one to buy via iBooks because I don't want to get the hardcover. I'll buy the paperback when it is released. But my goodness, I haven't been so caught up in a book series or author, and able to just read them all one after the other, since I discovered Sidney Sheldon all those years ago (after which I discovered Anne Rice). It's pretty cool to be able to just power through the books, but I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to go through some pretty serious withdrawals when I finish that last one that's out.
On the up side, I've caught up on my "one book a month" New Year's Resolution with a frickin' vengeance. I passed it two days ago, and will probably be digging into the "October" book this afternoon.
Also, I've let my farm go to a withered wasteland for the last few days, so it's not just the blog. Thankfully, Brian, Sydney, the dogs and my stomach can be vocal, else I'm sure other things would have gone by the wayside, too!
Can't. Stop. Reading. These.

Monday, June 20

It's a Monday!

GOOD: All the laundry is finished. Sydney got to play in both the dancing fountain and the swimming pool. I had a yummy lunch and dinner. I found out that my book will arrive in a couple days. I'm going swimming tomorrow with Sydney. My finger isn't bleeding anymore. I watched Down with Love, which is just a fun little movie. Sydney and I have plans for some days this week.
BAD: I did laundry all day, and Oliver vomited on my bed. I finished all that garlic bread by myself. It's hot outside. I have to wait two days for my book. I didn't swim today. My finger still hurts. I burned the inside of my mouth, a whole lot. I have no idea what we're going to do tomorrow!

Sunday, June 19

Happy Father's Day to me!

For a Father's Day, it was a pretty good day for me:
We got to sleep in! I woke up a couple times during the night, but I actually didn't get up until 9:30 a.m. THAT was awesome.
Green tea brought to me at home! Brian enjoyed his coffee, but when he's gone for a while, he always feels guilty about it, and brings me a tea to make his life easier as he walks in the door. He's smart, because it does.
Lunch at Oregano's! Well, not really at Oregano's, but we had Oregano's food for lunch at home. Golf took precedence over lunch, so Sydney and I picked up the lunch to-go. Yummy, Italian sausage sandwich, garlic bread, waffle fries! All good!
Wandering the mall! Sydney and I bought Brian a Swedish massage for Father's Day, so while he was massaged, Sydney and I had nothing to do but wander around the mall for 90 minutes. Disney Store, pet store, play area, Coach store, Pottery Barn Kids, and Nordstrom.
Target and a second Starbucks! Sometimes, there's nothing better than cruising through the aisles of Target with no list, no purpose and no money. Also, two green teas today.
Leftovers for dinner! Oregano's is just as good for three additional meals.
Green Lantern at the drive-in! If going to the drive-in is a great idea, then going to the drive-in on a Sunday is a better one! There was hardly anyone there, and we didn't have any delays due to the traffic on the street outside. On the downside, Sydney made the movie a bit of a trial, as she didn't fall asleep until making me take her to the bathroom halfway into the flick.
Also, Cars bandages! When you accidentally slice of a bit of your finger while cutting garlic bread, it's a good idea to have a Cars bandage around. They make everything heal faster.

Saturday, June 18

Almost like a girly girl

We didn't go to the drive-in tonight, as Brian decided that we should go tomorrow night instead. And since tomorrow is Father's Day, it's all about him!
I'm wearing earrings today. I don't usually wear any jewelry, but I found these adorable little flowers for the ears, and simply had to wear them. What's weird is that I wear earrings so seldom that I can actually feel them in my ears, and right now, I'm getting a bit of a headache from them. This is random because they are very small, and shouldn't bother me at all.
I've been wearing my watch regularly, too. I'm seriously considering wearing my wedding rings again. What the heck is going on? I've also been toying around with the idea of finding an easy, two-minute make-up routine for every day. My god, what is happening to me?
As I explained to Mom, I guess, at 38 years old, I should start going out in public like a grown-up, and not like a teenager fresh out of the gym. Earrings, watch, make-up and a wedding ring? Maybe once I get to Texas. Don't ask me about an official hairstyle that must be done every day though. There, I draw the line!

Friday, June 17

"Stay cool, boy .... real cool"

I woke up this morning to the sounds of West Side Story. And I laid in bed listening to the last 10 minutes of West Side Story. The fun facts of this: 1.) That I can recognize West Side Story from nothing but a bit of dialog, some music and a name ("CHINO!!") 2.) That Brian watched the last 10 minutes of West Side Story. 3.) That I now crave the soundtrack to West Side Story, and have been singing "Someday" all day.
I thought about the first time I saw the ending of this movie, and about how Mom cried during the end. And then I thought about how cool it'll be to spend the weekend introducing Sydney to all these movies when she's older. And then how it'll bug her that Mom and I will sing along while the movie is playing.
"When you're a Jet,
you're a Jet all the way.
From your first cigarette,
to you last dying day."

Thursday, June 16

It works just fine

ITEM!: I'm feeling better in the head. My twitches are gone: I read book three yesterday, and I'm a happier camper about the whole thing. Of course, this leaves me without book four for today, but that's okay, I've decided. It's okay to not read for a day.
But tomorrow, I'll be needing that book four.
Oh wait, I didn't tell you about my visit to Barnes & Noble! I went looking for books three and four, and managed to come home with all the books except four (which is on order and I put my name on one) and nine (which is a hardcover). Book four, the guy told me, should be in the store within the next couple days. I'm expecting an e-mail from B&N tomorrow. I hope. Because I really do want to keep reading these. You know, books are good.
ITEM!: I think I'm going to push for Brian, Sydney and I to check out Green Lantern at the drive-in this weekend. I really, really want to see this movie, but I really, really, really don't want to pay for a babysitter. And how well she did last time is my happiness for trying again this weekend.
ITEM!: I picked up a new belt for my old vacuum today. I sat down on the floor, spread out a rag beneath the vacuum, and proceeded to open it up so I could replace the belt that I was positive was shredded beyond measure. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the belt was, not only intact, but in perfect health. So then, I vacuumed.

Tuesday, June 14

Volcanic lightning is pretty awesome

You know when I said a few months ago that I didn't have the interest in reading my cheesy romances? Well, I've come across a new book series that has me all kinds of anxious to head off to Barnes & Noble tomorrow morning. It's the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by J.R. Ward. It's about a league of warrior vampires, which, in just that phrase, should tell you why I was initially intrigued. Add to that the full-on romance portion of the books, and I am totally and completely hooked.
I've finished the first two books, and I'm jonesing for the third. I hopped on the B&N web site to see how many of the Brotherhood books there are out there, and was pleased, but slightly overwhelmed, to discover that there are NINE.
You know what? And you know you know. I'm totally going to read all nine of those books. And I'm going to end up buying all seven of the remaining books tomorrow (or as many as I can find), and digging into them as quickly as I can. I've got that weird twitch in my head right now where I can't think of anything but the cliffhanger in today's book, and it's urging me to just get up and drive over to the bookstore right now and get the next one. I've missed this feeling.

Monday, June 13

Success, and then back home

ITEM!: So, we've been kinda busy, and I've been kinda tired. I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night, and was planning to do the same tonight, but then Brian and I decided to watch The King's Speech. It was a good movie. I had big expectations for it because it did so well at the Oscars, and because so many people liked it, and I'm glad to know that the hype wasn't too out of control. I don't buy Guy Pearce as older than Colin Firth though. It just didn't work for me. Still, the movie was good, and worth the time we spent watching it.
ITEM!: As for the trip to Houston, it was a productive and successful one. I didn't have a huge list of tasks on the agenda, but those things I did want to do, we did. We liked Sydney's school, and have put in our request for the teacher we preferred. We drove around the town plenty, and saw all kinds of neighborhoods. I think we may have decided on a spot or two to look for a house to rent.
ITEM!: So, on to planning our new home. I'll wait a few weeks before digging into the rental market, but it is something that needs to be started on. Also, moving estimates. And all the other stuff, too. Argh, this is going to get complicated soon!

Thursday, June 9

In Houston, watching basketball

So, we are in Houston!
We had a perfectly uneventful plane trip into town, except Brian did get molested by a TSA agent in Phoenix. The flight actually seems to have gone by much quicker than I thought it would, too. Which means I was either very relaxed, or I fell asleep. Or perhaps I just got caught up in the iPod and June issue of "Vanity Fair."
At any rate, we're in a nice little hotel in Houston, planning our day for tomorrow. First stop is Sydney's new school. Stop two: the big office outside of town. Then we head back to the new place where Brian's practice will be set up. Then, it's all about finding a new living-in neighborhood.
My goal, of course, isn't to actually find a house, but to find neighborhoods that we'd like to live in. Anything we look at tomorrow probably won't be available for rental in August, so it's all about neighborhoods and the basic environment. I'm more freaked out about this then I seem to be on the page right now, you know. Internet shopping for a home for my family is not my ideal method. It worked out okay when we moved back to Tempe years ago, so I'll hope that my luck continues to hold true in this instance, as well.
And here, I shall right it: "y'all."

Beautifully written via iPhone or iPad.

Wednesday, June 8

Randoms on Wednesday

ITEM!: Daisy doesn't like the new dog food, and, as it is mixed with the old food in the bowl, she's solved this problem by taking out the new stuff, dropping it on the floor, and digging through the bowl for the old stuff. Oliver does like the new stuff, so he, very helpfully, eats the pieces Daisy leaves on the floor. What a weird little partnership they've struck up over this.
ITEM!: I have anxiety over tomorrow. I don't know what the specific cause of the anxiety is, but when I spend time to consider it, the feeling gets worse.
ITEM!: I love my new nail polish combination: royal blue with a blue-accented glitter atop it. It was Sydney's idea, and I'm really liking it ... A LOT. New go-to color combo? Yes, please!
ITEM!: My book is downstairs, so I should get to bed at a decent time tonight. This should help both my anxiety, and my tiredness.

Tuesday, June 7

And the giraffe said, "Get some sleep"

I've been reading a lot the last couple nights. I was up until 2:30 a.m. last night finishing a book. Tonight, it's 11:45 p.m., and I'd happily spend the next three hours reading again, but I know there's no way I'd finish the book tonight, so why get even less sleep. I'm better off saving it for tomorrow. But tomorrow, I have other plans, and have to get the household ready for the weekend.

Sunday, June 5

MTV isn't for kids anymore

I feel like such an old woman right now!! I've been watching the 2011 MTV Movie Awards for the last 90 minutes, and I'm cringing. It's a train wreck, honestly. I can't look away. They are making so many inappropriate jokes up there on the stage! If the show was on, say, a predominantly adult-skewing demographic, than I'd be fine with it. But beings that this show is on MTV, which caters to the younger set, I'm feeling decidedly "MOM" about the oral sex humor in the introduction to the Best Male Performance award, as an example. (Also, the incredible amount of F-bombs dropped by everyone.) I really did top the cable, rewind it, and showed it to Brian. Sure, funny. But not at all appropriate for the teenagers and tweens that were, no doubt, watching the show. Granted, most wouldn't get it. But it's pretty clear that the people behind the dialogue at the awards show were under the impression that everyone watching the show is in their 20s.
OMG, MTV! A small child actually won an award!! Do you think anyone thought for a second, upon seeing this little girl walking up to the stage, that perhaps the show's content is a bit strong for a younger set? Argh. I'm in a snit.
MTV!! Start showing videos again!!

Drive-ins = fantastic

So, we tried the drive-in thing again. If you'll remember, Brian and I attempted a drive-in movie experience with our kid a couple years ago. It went so well that it took us more than two years before we attempted it again. My incredibly antsyness tonight led me to suggesting that we attempt the drive-in again. Brian agreed, and Sydney didn't put up a fight. We chose X-Men: First Class as our guinea pig movie.
We arrived early, which ended up being a really good idea, settled into our spot, turned off all our lights (but not the car for the air conditioner), and got ready for our movie. Sydney did okay with the iPad for a while, but got bored. She did fine with her car seat for a while, but then didn't want to sit in it. She was quiet enough, until she got bored, and then she wouldn't stop talking. All this before the previews, of course.
In an effort to get the kiddo to relax, I let her sit on my lap to watch the movie. She got all cuddled in with Bear, and promptly fell asleep. It was awesome!! I waited for about 45 minutes, and then moved her to the back seat again, where she continued to sleep away the remaining hour of the movie, and sleep through the drive home. Brian carried her upstairs, and she promptly fell back to sleep in her bed.
A movie on a Saturday night??!! Why, yes, thank you!

Saturday, June 4

On to Atlantis!!

I've jumped into the deep end of the pool in regards to my emotional stability again: I registered for the opportunity to buy tickets for the launch of Atlantis in July.
Here, is my confirmation e-mail:
Thank you for registering for the opportunity to purchase launch viewing tickets for STS-135 space shuttle Atlantis. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has received your submission.
I realize that I'm playing fast and loose with my feelings again. I understand that I will probably be able to buy the tickets, but still not go to the launch itself. I know that I could possibly have the world stand on end for my own good, make it out to Florida, and then see the damn thing poop in my face again. But yet, the dream lives on!

p.s. This photo was taken from the 34th floor of the Vehicle Assembly Building as the Atlantis began making its way to the launch pad.

Friday, June 3

"You scream, and you run"

Okay, so my first "Stranger Danger" conversation with Sydney did not go particularly well. It started out slow enough, and calm enough, but having exhausted the logic, Sydney quickly turned to the paranoid.
Suddenly, I'm being asked, what if the stranger is bigger than Daddy, or stronger? What if the bad guy kills Mommy and Daddy and she has no one to run to and she only cries? What if the stranger is faster than her and catches her? What if she can't scream loud enough? What if another family gets confused and tries to take her?
These are, on the surface, incredibly valid questions. Coming from a sobbing four-year-old though, they can only be satisfactorily answered by the information that: no one is stronger than Daddy, no one is faster than Mommy and Daddy, and Mommy and Daddy will never be away from you. Also, this is exactly why Mommy and Daddy hold your hand everywhere we go.
My goodness, she almost had me in tears a few times, with her little brain coming up with all these awful scenarios that are MY NIGHTMARE, but that I had to explain away as impossible, lest I have a hysterical child on my lap all night. And while the last thing I want is for her to be a frightful child, I'm somewhat impressed that the talk did sink in a bit, as well as pleased that she may just hold my hand whenever we leave the house until she's 30.

Thursday, June 2

Tonight's post is lame; sorry!

You know what? I enjoyed going to bed before 11:30 p.m. last night. I'm looking at the clock right now, and it's saying that I could possibly get into bed before 11 p.m. tonight. I probably won't, but it sounds like a good goal. My goodness, I'm suddenly so tired.
I've been catching up on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I think watching those two shows regularly in the afternoon is the one thing I miss the most about Sydney not taking her nap. It used to be that once she laid down, I was able to settle down on the sofa with my computer, FarmVille, and my Comedy Central late-night viewing on the DVR. And it made me happy. I don't know why I can't manage to catch the show at night on the live feed. But that's neither here nor there.
I think I'm going to go to bed before tonight's episodes.

Wednesday, June 1

June: current month and Mom's middle name

ITEM!: This month's decidedly non-rugged, but set in a cowboy town, avatar is in honor of our trip to Houston next week. I've gotten pretty excited about this reconnaissance mission, and also am looking forward to seeing our dear friends. I hate that it's been more than two and a half years since I've seen Emily and Jon. That's just wrong. Anyway, behold the summertime Texas avatar. She's relaxed, but in the Old West. And seemingly, not too impressed that there is no Starbucks in sight.
ITEM!: Sydney, Brian and I went to the movies and saw Kung Fu Panda 2 this morning. It was pretty good! And Sydney enjoyed it, too, though she still tends to spend most of the time on my lap, which isn't a complaint, merely a statement of fact and observation.
ITEM!: I started and finished a book today. I enjoy how I feel accomplished, and that I can move another book from the to-be-read to the done-and-done pile, but I can't deny that I'm feeling sluggish and tired because I spent the entire afternoon on my ass on the sofa.
ITEM!: I need to buy this week's Entertainment Weekly at Target tomorrow. My husband, who collected the mail last weekend, has misplaced my subscription issue. I'd say that it's no big deal, but it is, and I want to read it, which means I've got to buy it. Argh, newsstands!
ITEM!: Brian and I have decided to replace our vacuum cleaner. It's not that the one I have has been over-used, or that it's dying from exertion or anything. It's that the thing is 10 years old, and gets used so randomly and infrequently, that it's dying from misuse and poor maintenance. I think the belt disintegrated last week. So, off to Target to get a new one. One without a bag system, perhaps.