Monday, April 30

Monday's post

I know Y'ALL miss me, but I've been busy. And tired. And without computer a lot.
But tomorrow, Sydney and I head back to Houston tomorrow, and then life should resume to its normal programming for a few days. I have no idea if I'll have the energy to write about everything from the week (probably not), but I have missed you.
Tonight, I'm super tired.

Wednesday, April 25

Mickey Mouse loves dinosaurs

YESTERDAY: Disneyland (the reason why I was too tired to blog last night) was pretty awesome yesterday. There weren't a whole lot of people at the park, so we were able to cruise the place unencumbered by crowds. Rockets; Buzz Lightyear ride; Roger Rabbit ride; little roller coaster in ToonTown; Pirates of the Caribbean and Winnie the Pooh in the main park. The Little Mermaid (TWICE!); the Bug's Land rides; and Toy Story Midway Ride at California Adventure. It was awesome because Sydney was in a good mood about bouncing around, and didn't mind avoiding the activities with super long lines. I love Disneyland. It's one of my favorite places.
TODAY: Today, we hit the Natural History Museum with Daddy, giving him the joy of a dinosaur tour led by an expert paleontologist. When really, it felt like she thought today's museum visit was an exercise in gift shop spending. But still, we got to see a bunch of dinosaurs, which makes my baby very happy.

Monday, April 23

But their smiles seemed kinda ... stiff

The last time I went to a Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum was in the summer of 1992. I went to the museum in London with Julia after our first year at college. So, when the opportunity to visit the museum in Hollywood presented itself, I jumped at it. Today's opportunity: and early celebration of Lisa's birthday, and I was in charge of created the agenda. Mom and I had already decided on the venue for lunch, but when the morning opened up for us, I thought a visit to the wax museum would be fun.
And indeed, it was. I don't remember being able to get as close to the wax figures as we were able to today. I was able to stand right next to Captain Jack Sparrow, and Conan O'Brien, and Audrey Hepburn. We actually had a total blast. Sydney was into it and posing like a champ. Mom and Lisa were awesome. I, of course, am a ham, so I loved it, too.
Also, we walked around Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the footprints. And Sydney got her picture taken with Spiderman, and we saw an awesome view of the Hollywood sign.
Weirdest fun fact about today: I don't remember ever having done that before. I was a tourist in Hollywood this morning.

Sunday, April 22

Nice day, still tired

I have no idea how much I'll post over the next several days.
California makes me tired because we plan so much stuff throughout our day.
Today: Aunt Bette's funeral; after party; dinner with Andrea, Ryan and Lydia.
I'll grant you that it doesn't sound like a whole lot, but I'm still super tired from yesterday, and didn't get as much sleep as I wanted last night. So, I'm yawning.

Thursday, April 19

Aunt Bette = AWESOME

I started this post about three times. Each beginning with a quippy little statement about family, and family members, specifically. My intention was to bring you to the conclusion that it's weird how there are some family members that you don't really like, and some family members that become the lifelong friends that you can't love enough.
One of the things I love the most about my family is how very extended it is. I love that I know my "great" family members, while so many people don't dig that deep into their living family tree.
This post is dedicated to dear Aunt Bette. She was one of those relatives, as I mentioned, that, to me, was a lifelong friend. I'd go into the different angles of our relativity, but suffice it to say that she was the coolest and best great-great-aunt in the whole wide world. And yesterday, at 90, she died.
I'm told that it was a very peaceful passing. I know that she'd been failing in health quite quickly lately, and I was actually hoping to get a visit with her next week while I was to be in California. Instead, I'm heading back to Cali earlier to attend her funeral.
It makes me sad. She was such a fantastic lady. She was one of those people who delighted in others that could make them laugh. And I was just one of the lucky ones who could do that. She loved her family, and saw the good in every member of it. She rocked.
I'll be missing her, that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 17

Discovery's final flight

These are photos of the final flight of Discovery, the most used of the space shuttles, as she makes her way from Kennedy Space Center to Washington, D.C. and the Smithsonian Museum for the rest of her life. Forever a museum now.
On its way to the airport, the shuttle's 747 took it on a series of fly-overs across the skies of Washington, giving the people there a good view of the shuttle. I would have loved to see it. Alas, stuck here in Texas. Still, this is my motivation to get my butt back to Kennedy, or to Washington, or to wherever the others are located. (I think the Johnson Space Center here only has a replica of the shuttle.)
You know, as I cleaned out the bottom drawer of my file cabinet yesterday, I came across my papers from the launch that never happened for me. It was about this time last year when I was beyond excited to be heading to Florida to watch something I'd waited my whole life to see. Endeavour, of course. And still one of the greatest disappointments of my life. Oh, trust me, I'm still heartbroken about it.
And seeing Discovery flying overhead would have been some small consolation. Some kind of fulfillment. Instead, now the best I can do is check out a shuttle in a museum. It's sad, really. Forever a museum.

Monday, April 16

For the good of the chip, I suffer

I am crazy uncomfortable, and I'm totally embarrassed to tell you all why. But I will. Because, well, you know, that's the kind of thing I do here.
Anyway, the inside of my mouth is sore and uncomfortable. I feel like I bit into five or six really hot foodstuffs, and my mouth was burned by them. You know that feeling I'm talking about. Like I'm sunburned inside my mouth. The upper gums right inside my teeth are throbbing. The roof of my mouth is raw.
You want to know why? You know you do.
Because I used my lunch calories to eat as many Jalapeno Jack SunChips as I possibly could. And the crunchy little dears just ripped the hell out of my mouth. I was not expecting this kind of after-effect to eating a whole mess of chips. Indeed, I figured the only problem I'd be having about now was self-loathing. But instead, I can feel where each little chip jabbed me inside the mouth as I crunched down on it. It's like Revenge of the SunChips.
And the big question: Will this keep me from eating the other half of the bag (don't judge me) tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine, but I think I'll try to soldier through it better. Can you not see me taking out the chips and breaking them into smaller pieces before I eat them? I certainly can! There's a very good reason why I've refused to buy these chips for several weeks. It's because I can't stop eating them once I start. And now they seem to be fighting me! And winning! They've made me suffer.

Saturday, April 14

Titanic, 100 years later

So, you know when you know the ending of an event, but still hope that, in the retelling, the story and/or ending has changed? Like in The Other Boleyn Sister, when you end up hoping that Natalie Portman, as Ann Boleyn, actually doesn't get killed? Or United 93? Or even like Apollo 13, when you know they survive it, but you're all stressed out about their fate anyway?
This night in history, April 14 to April 15, was, 100 years ago, the night Titanic sank. And thanks to the wonder of current technology, I was treated to a tweeted retelling of the sinking. The History Channel put together this Titanic Real Time account, and it followed every aspect of Titanic, from its building and launch, to tonight, when it sank. Each segment of the ship's population posted to the Twitter feed, including the captain, crew, engineering, third class, first class, and band.
So, tonight, we had the tweets about the iceberg; the captain learning about the damage; the passengers getting on, and not getting on, the lifeboats; the other ships in the area making way after hearing the distress signals; and finally, the scary decline in tweets, and lack of tweets entirely from Titanic personnel.
And getting back to the wanting of a different ending: Even knowing what I know, the amount of information about Titanic that I already know, I found myself all kinds of stressed out about all these people, all this activity, and what was going to happen. I kept hoping, and hoping and hoping, that the captain would pay additional attention to the ice warnings, or that they would shift course a little bit, or that they wouldn't assume that their ship could just roll through any ice they encountered. I was hoping that more people would get on the boats, or that someone would say, "HEY!!" at some point along the way. All, sadly, for naught. It ended the same way it did 100 years ago.
I got all stressed out and upset, and was heartbroken at the end.

Friday, April 13

Pomp and circumstance via xylophone

Sydney said to me this morning, "Mommy. I love you. Even when I'm a paleontologist, I'm going to love you."
"Oh, thank you, baby. I love you, too."
Then we got to school, where they were taking graduation photos for kindergarten. Yes, you read that right: graduation photos for kindergarten. When I read the e-mail reminding parents about the photos, I thought, great, school pictures! But then we walked into her classroom, wherein there were boxes of ... wait for it ... caps and gowns.
The studio was set up in the back of the classroom, and we got there just at the right time so Sydney could put on her little blue cap and gown and pose right there, while I was still in the room. They even had her hold a little "diploma" rolled up and tied with a ribbon. It was, no kidding, among the cutest things I've ever seen in my entire life.
And it made me cry.
It was the most surreal moment. I looked at her in her little kindergarten cap and gown, and saw her entire life of caps and gowns flash before my eyes. I saw high school graduation. College graduation. Paleontology graduate school graduation.
That is at least three other graduations I will see, and at least three other photos of her in a cap and gown. And no doubt I'll probably cry to witness each one of those.

Thursday, April 12

Too much chocolate

Oh, you know. Just because.
Also, someone come to my house tonight and throw away all the Easter candy, please.

Wednesday, April 11

The wrath of 3D

I don't like 3D. I never have. As a rule, I find it kinda lame. Also, it makes a movie more expensive for not much more of a movie-going experience. I especially don't like the scenes that take you out of the movie with the knowledge, "Yeah! We did this to capitalize on the 3D technology! THIS is what you paid for!!"
I seem to consent to seeing only one 3D movie per year. This year's movie was viewed this morning: Wrath of the Titans. Please understand that I would have rather not seen this movie in 3D. I prefer all movies in 2D. But the 2D showing started too late in the day for us to have been able to get out in time to pick up Sydney at school on time. My hands were metaphorically tied, and since I did want to see this movie, we capitulated to the scheduling and 3D gods, and paid $8.50 for a matinee show ($3 each more than a regular matinee).
As they do, the movie people put in plenty of the cheesy scenes that add nothing to the story, but give the movie the 3D pizazz that we can expect from a 3D movie. I'm only glad they didn't make Sam Worthington's hair any more wavy and luscious than it was, that would have been even more off-putting.
Brian, in his Best Buy-incited fantasies, sometimes argues that we should get one of those new Sony 3D televisions. I quickly say no and move on. It's not a discussion. 3D is unimpressive and expensive. Two things that I don't value much at the movies. Gimme a story, dudes! Don't try to WOW me with falling rocks and a couple cyclops yelling into a camera!!

Tuesday, April 10

Today's accomplishments:

Took down and packed Easter decor. This is always more satisfying than it should be, but I'm a crazy, neurotic person who must have her house in order. Now, everything is as it should be, but I'm moving things around and shifting positions of things to complete the ideal look in my head.
Manicure and pedicure. The toes, which were done this afternoon, are a fantastic bright purple color. The fingers, which were done this evening, are a lighter lavender shade. I don't typically go for lighter colors lately, but the fingers look alright. Also, it's a matter of days now until I get a real mani/pedi, and that makes me happy.
Took Sydney to the dentist. This was her first visit with the new dentist, and it went remarkably well. Her issues are the same as my issues: not enough flossing. And that's my fault, so I'll get into doing that more often. She got a nifty new toothbrush though, that flashes for 60 seconds before turning off, so you know how long you've brushed the upper and lower teeth. It's very exciting.
Watched Fast Five twice. I thoroughly enjoy this movie, and was very happy to see it begin rotation on HBO last weekend. First viewing was this morning while the kid was at school, and the second was tonight, about the time Brian got home. It's a good little movie. Don't believe me? Ask Mom. She dug it.
Only ate four pieces of Easter candy. You don't know, dudes. Only eating four pieces of candy was huge for me today. I counted it in my calories too, so I didn't cheat or anything. I think the Belly Fat Gods created Reese's mini peanut butter cups.

Monday, April 9

I don't want to wait ...

I'm watching Jimmy Kimmel Live right now, and it's kinda painful. I tuned in tonight specifically to see the segment with James Van der Beek, who is on to promote his new television show, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. But I'm early, so I'm stuck watching the monologue. It's official, I actually can't stand any late-night host's monologue. Kimmel, who I typically enjoy in a comedic way, is hurting my ears and brain.
Why am I putting myself through this just for James Van der Beek? Because, for some reason, I'm crushing on Van der Beek's older self, when I had no interest in him at all in the Dawson's Creek years. (I was totes a Pacey girl!!) He's making fun of himself, and making fun of pop culture, and having fun doing it. There's nothing better than a celebrity making fun of their celebrity. That Van der Beek is playing himself as a douchey incarnation on this show is fantastic. Did you see his sketches on Funny or Die? They were great, and reportedly part of why he was approached for this show.
So, I'm sitting through Kimmel right now. Van der Beek is the second guest, too.
But actually, first is LL Cool J, which is AWESOME, because I've had a crush on him way longer than my new crush on Van der Beek. Two crushes for the price of 10 minutes of painful non-jokes? Oh, maybe.

Happy Spring

Yep; I did that.
I'm feeling particularly "spring-ish" today, and the best way to roll with that, at this moment, is to mess with the blog a little bit. And I think I'm pretty happy with it.
I think, though, that Blogger should have a "Favorite Templates" menu, where you can save your favorite templates and just switch back and forth as you choose. You know, with a limit of five or something. Then you can create all these different templates, and mess with them as you wish. Because in creating this new blog, I had to destroy the pretty pink one. But since most of the aspects are pretty similar to the other blog, except for the colors, I wasn't too scared about making them.
Also, pretty colors.

Sunday, April 8

A big Bunny day

It's at this point where I get kind of excited about Easter being over, and that there is a good six months before another holiday in which I have to put serious effort arrives. It's all normal decor and minimal costs until Halloween. Since I enjoy the holidays so much, you might be surprised to hear this coming from me, but really, after six months of decorating every month, I look forward to spending time with "just" my house for a while. So tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday, I'll be putting away the Easter stuff, and living normal. (Probably tomorrow, since I'm kinda eager now.) The candy, of course, will stay around for a while.

Saturday, April 7

Yay tomorrow!!

So, I've decided that my favorite parts of being a mom are the "Eves." Christmas Eve. Easter Eve. Any holiday EVE. The preparation. The eagerness. The excitement. And that's just ME!
I can't wait for Sydney to wake up tomorrow morning! The Easter Bunny promises me that her basket will be awesome; and that he'll hide the eggs especially well!
But for now, I'm tired and going to bed.

Friday, April 6

It's like I've got a target painted on me...

I wasn't going to blog tonight, but then I remembered:
FIRST, My daughter clocked me in the right eye this morning. Closed fist. Medium strength. I won't lie; it stunned me. I wasn't at all prepared for such an assault in the middle of a tickling match. I teared up like no one's business, and the kid, to her credit, was appalled that she hit me. You would think it might be a learning experience for her, but no, she was back to being reckless with her hands and feet a few hours later.
SECOND, I got assaulted by mosquitoes for no reason other than that I have blood, and was walking through the Lowe's Garden Center this afternoon. I got bit on the back on my left arm, and on the front of my left calf. But it was all because we were in search of the perfect balcony-hanging planter box and nice, full-sun-appreciating flowers.
THIRD, I had my "bad" lunch today, but then Brian went out and picked us up some delicious Chinese food for dinner, thereby turning my one "bad" meal day into a two "bad" meal day. Thereby killing the entire diet for the day. Ugh.
FOURTH, we watched Immortals. No, I was not expecting any kind of Oscar material in the movie, but still, it struck me as awkwardly done, and vaguely confusing. But, our movie trifecta for the weekend has begun.
FIFTH, we dyed our Easter eggs today. And whichever ones didn't crack in the hard-boiling process, were dropped and cracked within the dying process. We've got the saddest bowl of Easter eggs ever in our refrigerator. They're almost all cracked, though beautifully colored. They should look weird once I get those shells off of them.
SIXTH, I've been told that the eggs at school were too easy to find on Thursday, and that the Easter Bunny will probably make her eggs at home too easy to find, also. Hmmm.... a challenge!!

Thursday, April 5

Sunday plan: all chocolate, all day

ITEM!: It's weird to me to be plotting my Easter based on the calories. I know what I'll be able to eat, but what I want, is the cool stuff, like chocolate bunnies, green jello, Reese's snacks, and probably some Snickers. So, on Sunday, I'll probably say "fuck it" to the whole diet. The goal is to be good for every day up until then, so I won't be guilty of cheating or over-eating for any day other than a sugary holiday. ... I haven't bought any Peeps, though I do enjoy them.
ITEM!: You may or may not have noticed, but a couple books have ... appeared ... in my To-Be-Read Pile. I don't know where they came from, but the Book Fairy has pretty good taste. I've heard that this new Anne Rice brings to the mythology of werewolves what she brought to vampires. If this is true, I'll be incredibly pleased, and done reading in about a day. The second, well, it just looked intriguing. A nifty mystery. Well done, Book Fairy. Well done.
ITEM!: I think I'd like a couple flower boxes to hang off my balcony. The petunias that we had in Sydney's room grew bugs, so they are now outside. They'll probably do better out there anyway, but now I'm missing a plant in her room, and needing another in the office (elephant planter, you remember). I do love having greenery around my house.
ITEM!: There's no school tomorrow, so I get to sleep in. There's nothing better than explaining to the baby that, yes, morning is great, but tomorrow morning is special because we don't have to get up early to go to school. Mommy likes to sleep later, so you don't have to wake her up. "Let Mommy sleep, please." She says, "But I can still check on you? I can say 'good morning' to you and then go back to my room?" "Of course, baby." Looks like I'll be getting a 7 a.m. wake-up anyway.
ITEM!: I miss shopping. :)

Wednesday, April 4

11 sentences about the day, and right now

1. I'm down another pound.
2. It was warm and humid all day today, which makes dog pee smell stronger.
3. Daisy and Oliver have gotten into the groove of Daisy's diet.
4. Starbucks is awesome.
5. I had intended to try on some of my smaller-sized jeans tonight, but didn't.
6. I barely escaped having to watch Jurassic Park again, but I'm sure I will have to tomorrow.
7. My home's floors are freshly vacuumed and washed. There is no definitive calorie-burning information on this.
8. My clothes dryer makes a lot of squeaking noise when it's working. I've put in a maintenance request, and am prohibited from doing laundry until it's fixed.
9. I'm playing Draw Something with Tara, and it's pretty awesome.
10. Dinner consisted of a veggie wrap from Jersey Mike's. No sauce, no cheese, no bread. Just a tortilla, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Not great, but a worthy dinner for only 175 calories.
11. I still need a pedicure.

Monday, April 2

Back pain, shmack pain

I hate feeling all hurt in the back. I have no idea what I did to myself yesterday, but by the afternoon on Sunday, I was getting pretty sore. And last night, well, there was no comfortable sleep. All day today I did that awesome walk where my legs kinda move before my torso, and I feel like a crab. But a crab that walks forward with a crick in its back.
Anyway, it made for some interesting contortions as I went about my day. Getting in and out of the car: less than graceful. Walking up the stairs: slow. Sitting on the sofa: stiffening. Laying down: awkward. Tomorrow, it should feel better.
But tonight, I feel like an old person, all bent over and shuffling slow through my house. All I need is a cane or a walker. And a Life Alert.
"I'm sitting in my Cozy Chair and I can't get up!"

Sunday, April 1

Missin' me some Cali

April makes me happy this year. In about three weeks, Sydney and I will be heading to California after a six-month stretch away. I'm beyond giddy about getting there, and am deep into making plans, and I also know that it will take a very large hook, ladder and security person to get me back on the plane to Texas at the end of my trip. Having said that, when the joy of the California trip is over, we are going to Arizona for six days in early May. So actually, early- and mid-April are nothing but a means to an end for me: just days to get through before California and Arizona.
Also this month:
Easter next Sunday. I've decided that I'm going to make an Easter dinner, such that I would, with green jello, maybe some turkey and stuffing, and some mashed potatoes. Cherry pie for dessert. Sounds delicious! And I can't wait to get her Easter basket stuff!
Sydney has an appointment with her new dentist. We take good care of her teeth, so I'm not really worried about what shape they're in, but I always get nervous. I know that her oral hygiene reflects on me as a parent, and I'd just as soon not give someone the chance to judge me.
Oh yeah, and CALIFORNIA. Did I mention that?