Friday, May 31

It all starts happening tomorrow

ITEM!: So, finally tomorrow is June, and I can say that we're moving back to Arizona "this month." Also, Mom arrives tomorrow night, which is beyond awesome, because shit is getting a bit overwhelming. I'm exhausted, and even took a bit of a nap this afternoon.
ITEM!: Also happening this afternoon, Sydney decided that her ear hurt. Very exciting that we got to six and a half years old before developing our first ear infection, right? I gave her some Advil this afternoon, and all was well for a while. But about an hour ago, she came to me crying because her ear was hurting again. Tomorrow morning, we are off to urgent care.
ITEM!: I still haven't gotten to reading anything yet. This is distressing, but more so because I know that now I won't be reading anything probably until we get to Arizona. My timing is off, and my stress level is rising, and I'll have someone to chat with every night until we move. At least I'll have a lovely stack of books to set out among the boxes in the new house.
ITEM!: Sleep is a good thing, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning. You know, until I'm awakened by something that could be baby noise and movement, or dog vomit, as is usual on Saturdays when I want to sleep in. But highest on our priority list in the morning is a doctor. When it rains it pours with that kid, right? I mean, she's dealing with a cold already, had a crazy fever last weekend, and now this ear infection? What the hell, universe?!?! Leave my kid alone!!

Thursday, May 30

There's a light at the end

Well, I think the packing is just about done.
Indulge me by allowing a bizarre list of to-be-packed boxes that remain.
Office/guest/Mom's room: 1 medium box for the printer, shredder and assorted desk implements still out. 1 medium box for guest linens and towels.
Sydney/guest bathroom: 1 small box for Sydney's toiletries, and guest toiletries. 1 medium box for Sydney's towels, rags, the shower curtain, and bath mats.
Laundry area: 1 small box for detergents, tools, and batteries. 1 medium box for dog food extras, extra paper goods, and misc.
Kitchen: 1 small box for dry and canned food. 1 medium box for the toaster, fruit basket, Tupperware bowls, colanders, and the last pot and pan. 1 medium box for dishes, and glasses. 1 small box for the under-sink cleaning supplies.
Living room: 1 medium (maybe large?) box for Sydney's board games. 1 medium box for the cable boxes and DVD player, and remotes and cables. 1 medium box for that red basket that doesn't fit anywhere else, and other assorted things that are just hanging out (the trash can in the office will probably end up here).
Master bathroom: 1 small box for my toiletries, accessories, and lotions and potions. 1 medium box for my towels, trash can and bath mats.
Master bedroom: 1 large box for bed linens, bedside lamp, and my clock.
Kimmie's closet: 2 wardrobe boxes for my clothes, a couple sweatshirts, and assorted clothing extras. 1 medium box for shoes (please note that these are the last of the boxes to be packed, and is not a reflection on the number of shoes I possess. I won't bore you with those amounts).
Also note that I haven't mentioned Sydney's bedroom. This is because I'm not allowed to pack anything in there without her presence. I abide by this only as long as it suits me. I've started to pack up some things here and there, and I get static for it, but as it is, I need to get in there soon.
Wow. As I look at my list it seems like a lot still to do, but as I walk through my house, I'm incredibly optimistic about my remaining tasks.

Wednesday, May 29

I think my hip is cramping

I type this from a sideways position, because my awesome dog has decided that my lap is his space right now. I was comfortable on the sofa, curled up with the computer on my lap. And then, Oliver jumped up. Then, he pushed the computer off my lap, and settled in to his comfy space. I'm forced to compose this with the computer leaning against my leg, angled so I can still reach it with both hands, and so it doesn't slip down my leg. I'm glad Oliver is comfortable, because I am not.
But I love my boy too much to make him move.
Also, I watched Grosse Pointe Blank and ate some Ben & Jerry's for tonight's entertainment.

Monday, May 27

Summer Reading List powers, activate!

I need to start reading. "Summer Reading List 2013" is growing, and I need to get started on it. I blame packing, movie channels, Candy Crush Saga, and sleep, for making it impossible to start a book lately. I keep staring at Beautiful Ruins on my end table, and I want to pick it up. Also, there's a new Maggie Pope mystery at Barnes & Noble, so that's among my uppermost priorities this week. Maybe that book is the one that will get me sitting and reading, and therefore, get my metaphorical ball rolling.
I love books. Books. Books. Books.
It's too late to start one tonight, but maybe tomorrow is a good day for cracking a new story.

Sunday, May 26

Could I get a "98.6" over here, please?

I'm convinced that, at this point in time in my life, there is nothing worse than when my baby isn't feeling well. Sydney woke up with a 101-degree fever this morning. We struggled with lowering it, and keeping it low, all day. It spiked a couple times, with an alarming 103 degrees. I kept pushing the fluids, as well as the liquid Advil fever reducer, but she still went to bed clocking a 101-degree body temperature.
This is not okay with me, and I'm a nervous wreck tonight because of it. For the first time in weeks, she's sleeping in her bed. I figured that she'd be cooler in there without the dogs pressed up against her, and without the extra blanket I keep on my bed. Still, at 10 p.m. tonight, she wandered into the living room with a sweaty head and bleary eyes. I was able to get her back to sleep pretty easily, but I'm still checking on her every 30 minutes. I may sleep on the floor next to her bed tonight.
When I was younger, I may have thought that nothing could be worse than being sick. But my goodness was I wrong. Having a sick baby is much worse.

Saturday, May 25

Level 33, and stuck and irritated

ITEM!: I love very much that all the things I knew would be an issue with me, that I wrote about last night, actually came to pass. It was totally too warm to be wandering around the zoo, even though we did get there early enough. And it was humid, because ... well ... Texas.
ITEM!: Sydney finally consented to us going through her room today and making a pile of things for donations. In fact, she was so eager, she was ready to box things up, as well. Until I pointed out that items boxed up today would not be available for playing until we arrive in Arizona and unpack the box. After learning that, she was less enthusiastic. But I do see where I can pack up a large box of pillows and stuffed animals that she won't miss. And other stuff, too. I'll wait until Tuesday to pack the stuff up, obviously, because I don't need any attitude about it.
ITEM!: I'm stuck on another level in Candy Crush Saga, and this game is driving me crazy. I hate it so much, but I can't bring myself to stop playing. It's a weakness, and I'm ashamed of it. I think, though, that my problem is thinking about it too much while playing. I'm being too strategic. When I'm only half paying attention, like when I'm on the phone with Mom, or Sydney's on my lap, I seem to be winning the levels. This does not help me tonight.
ITEM!: I'm yearning for some popcorn. I would say, "make it so," but I already packed my air popper. Premature packing problems.

Friday, May 24

So many Lego bricks, but it's hot out

There are life-size Lego animals on display at the zoo right now. Unfortunately, my daughter knows about it, and so therefore, the zoo is our destination tomorrow morning. It will probably be too warm to be comfortable, but my plan is for us to get there early in the morning. This also will probably be our last visit to this zoo. So, we'll dress for the warmer weather, and in comfortable shoes, and I'll allow for a couple hours of wandering time. And maybe a shirt or something, too.
Solo Movie Alert: Fast & Furious 6. I actually laughed out loud a few times, which is always a good thing when at the movies. I also, again, ate my entire bag of popcorn with no feelings of guilt or grossness at all. That is also a good thing. The movie is enjoyable, too. I wish I was able to watch it with my hubby, but I'll catch it with him some other time.

Thursday, May 23

Also, there were french fries

I drank too much tea today, and I ate too much good-tasting food. (Notice I didn't say "good-healthy" food. It was good tasting, and not at all good for me.) I ate a bacon cheeseburger for lunch, and beignets for dessert afterward. I bailed on the protein shake for dinner, and ate That Which Should Not Be Named. I seriously considered purging. (I don't say that in making light of eating disorders. In fact, I actually really thought about purging my dinner.)
But instead, I sit here on the sofa, not even doing static exercises, but watching television and drinking as much water as I can force down my throat before I go to bed. Because that will help WASH all the impurities from today's food through my body without any of the fat or calories attaching to anything. Right? Anyway, I'm kinda grossed out by myself right now. (Don't worry, I'll get over it.) So I'll call today my Cheat Day.
It was a lovely lunch with Marlo, and it was an easy and good-tasting dinner with the kiddo. So, really, even though I'm in a diet shame spiral, it was a good day.

Wednesday, May 22

There's a theme. You'll figure it out

Grandkids, man. They suck. Okay, some of them suck, and those that do, suck a whole lot.
Something that makes some grandkids suck a whole lot: the death of their grandparent/s.
I'm telling you, it brings out the worst in those grandkids, especially when there's some money involved.
Here's something interesting for these kids to know: any money that you get from a deceased grandparent is not something you are entitled to, it is a gift. It's not something you deserve as a grandchild, it is something bestowed upon you by your parents and/or executor. It is not something that you argue, contest or get bitchy about, it's something that you accept graciously, and use in a way that you think the grandparents would approve and enjoy. Don't be an asshole about it.
Unfortunately, more times than not, the valuable information written above is too late to keep these grandkids from being assholes. These kids think they deserve more; think they know better than the person in charge; and think they are doing better for their grandparents. I can't stress enough how you do nothing but shoot yourselves in the foot, face and asshole when you take on the executor of your grandparents' estate, and demand more than your share.
I've got two cousins of my own who can attest to the fact that fighting over a grandparent's estate doesn't get you very far. In fact, it gets you less money than you were getting in the first place, and it also cuts you off from your family. Sure, you may think that your wife and her family (or your own independence) are all you need in your life, but the day will come when you realize how much you've screwed up, and you'll be out in the cold. Honestly, when you make this move against your family (not to sound too mafia about it, but really, it kind of is), you deserve to be excommunicated. There's no excuse for this measure of greed. And you're an asshole for displaying it, and even more so for acting on it.

p.s. I chose this picture because it represents this particular breed of grandchild: they are an elephant's asshole, walking away from their family, into a lonely future, holding a check that's smaller than what they were going to get, and more than they should get. Gifts are amazing things. Grandkids who don't appreciate them are ... wait for it ... assholes.

Tuesday, May 21

Be careful out there, folks

Weirdest thing. I jammed the top corner of my toe into one of the concrete and stone stairs this morning on our way up from Oliver and Daisy's morning walk. I've got a blood blister on the toe now, and it's super sensitive. Even if I step on my foot a certain way, and it maybe tilts and veers to the left off its center, the toe hurts. It's a very unexpected sting of pain. I even hesitate to call it pain, because it's more like a sharp twinge. But I don't think I've ever had such a bizarre injury.
It's also weird because I noticed, and we discussed, Ryan's blood blister on his hand this past weekend, and it's probably been years since I've seen one on anyone, and had one on myself. And now, there's Ryan's and mine. If bad things really do happen in threes, I'll be very concerned for all my friends and family, and hoping that no one else gets a blood blister this week.
Also ... stupid stair busted my pedicure.

Monday, May 20

Boxes are no longer being counted

I've stopped keeping count of my boxes. I did pack another two today, and started three others, but as to the whole number, I have only an inkling. I'm thinking more than 50, definitely. As the movers arrive three weeks from today, I am getting quite excited about leaving the state of Texas. I've got most of my kitchen done, and a large portion of the office. I'm starting my list for the last couple weeks here, and also for once we get to Arizona. I'm a "short timer," which is fun and exciting, but also it's getting a bit stressful. I can tell because I feel like this blog post is rambling.
Also, Sydney lost one of her front top teeth tonight. She's got a huge gap in her smile, and she's incredibly happy and excited about it. The Tooth Fairy will be visiting our house tonight.

Sunday, May 19

Since when is candy this irritating?

I downloaded the Candy Crush Saga game the other day, and have been digging in to it regularly since then. It's a puzzle game that can drive you crazy. The worst part is that your "lives," as in chance you have to solve each puzzle, are limited. You only get a certain number. After that, you have to either wait a specific amount of time, or ask your Facebook friends who also play the game to send you some lives, or you can buy them. Also, you can't move forward in the game until you've solved the puzzle you're working on.
I'm at level 30, and I'm stuck on it. I refuse -- absolutely refuse -- to purchase lives for this game with real money. I have begun bugging my friends for lives, but usually, I just end up putting the game away until I can play again. This aspect is actually quite helpful, because without it, I'm quite certain I would have thrown the phone against the wall out of frustration by now.
I spent so much time working on the game today that I got a raging headache and had to step away from all screens of any kind for a few hours. Closed eyes and a cold pack helped a lot, but just avoiding the phone, computer and television was the best medicine.
But yes, the game is a bit addictive, and I'm going crazy with this one level. I may be planted on it for a few days before I can move on. Just what I needed, right? Another silly thing to drive me crazy in my life.

Friday, May 17

They weaken and frustrate me

Children's museums are my kryptonite.
I hate them in general, and the one in Houston is the absolute bane of my existence. Even so, we go fairly regularly (because I like it when she smiles), and Sydney loves it. While there, I suck it up and allow the venue to destroy my psychological and emotional core for an hour or so, and then we leave before I get too bad of a headache. It's a trial.
Today, I got peer-pressured into taking Sydney and Lydia, and Andrea and Ryan, to the children's museum. But when we got there this afternoon, there was plenty of parking in the covered parking lot. There was no one in line ahead of us for tickets. And more chilling, there was hardly anyone in the main lobby. And then, there was only a small amount of people in the museum itself.
I was confused. Disoriented. The environment was cool in temperature, relatively quiet in noise, and spacious with few people. It was like being in an entirely new place. I looked around, confused and intrigued. Was this really the children's museum? It almost seemed ... pleasant.
We spent more than two hours there, and the girls checked out every corner of the place, and investigated each display, activity and project space. I didn't have a single moment of, "ohmygod, someone get me out of this disastrous place and may I have a margarita please."
Because of that, I think this may be the last time we go to the children's museum in Houston. It was entirely too lovely of a visit. I wouldn't want to sully this experience by having another that will return my thinking to what it was before. Even though I know this was an anomaly.

Thursday, May 16

A few of my favorite things

I'm very happy with my movie choices lately.
After watching The Impossible yesterday, I didn't know if I could thoroughly enjoy another movie so soon, but Star Trek: Into Darkness totally delivered. It was very awesome to sit and get completely sucked into another film, so involved was I that even my bladder cooperated by not making me pee halfway through the movie. This hardly ever happens. I am paying the price for eating an entire bucket of popcorn though. While my taste buds were all, "yeah, yeah, yeah," my stomach has finished the day, being all, "ugh, ugh, ugh." Still, my movie experience today was totally worth it.
I love going to the movies. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, May 15

I like drinking water in a big way

A few months ago, my big bottle for water drinking went missing. I think I packed it into the car for a road trip at some point, and then it didn't come back upstairs, and now it's nowhere to be found. I've checked the car, many times; the house, and every corner of it; and in the grass outside, because why not. Anyway, I've been without this bottle, and have been getting by with an awesome Starbucks reusable venti cup. The cup though, doesn't hold as much water, and therefore, I'm not drinking as much water. (It doesn't sound like that makes sense, but really, it does.) I realized the other day that I really don't like drinking my big water drinks out of a straw.
Thus began the search for a new water bottle. And wouldn't you know it, the first place I looked, my local grocery store, had an excellent replacement. It's comfortable in the hand, holds more than 30 ounces of water, and is, by Sydney's description, "a good color of purple." All very important attributes.
I filled up the bottle for the first time this afternoon, and have had to refill it twice already. Lots of water means a whole lot of healthy flushing through my system.
Daisy is less enthusiastic about my new water bottle, but I continue to enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 14

It's a dish; use it as a platter

ITEM!: So, when you move, and you are a DirecTV subscriber, they say to take the receivers and remotes with you, but to leave the satellite dish. What happens to the dish? Oh, they toss it out. Because apparently, there's no money in recycling them or anything. I said, "Wait. What? So you want me to just throw it in the trash?" That's what they want me to do. "So how many dishes are sitting in landfills right now because of this?" No idea, she said, but that's just what they're supposed to tell people. I'll get a new dish in Arizona. Still, that seems incredibly wasteful to me.
ITEM!: Oliver decided that I should hand feed him dinner tonight. I was sitting on the sofa, as he wandered through the living room and dining room, when he sniffed at his food bowl, looked at me, and then laid down next to the bowl. And then he just laid there ... staring at me. For like, 10 minutes. I finally crawled over to him, where he consented to a couple minutes of snuggles. But then, he stood up, circled back to his bowl, sniffed at the food, and then sat down next to it. And stared at me. I said, "Really? Am I supposed to react to that?" Then I fed him a piece of food. He ate it. I fed him another. He ate that, too. And because I'm a total sucker for my dog, I fed him his entire bowl of food by hand. And now, he's happy. Totes worth it.
ITEM!: There's something cathartic about cleaning out the pantry. It's even better when you're moving a longer distance, because then there's no guilt about tossing food that you just aren't going to eat, rather than move it "just in case I decide to make caramel apples or go on an instant oatmeal binge." I had a trash bag full of stuff, and I tossed it out. My pantry is now lean and mean, with nothing but cookie mixes, pastas and unopened salsas.
ITEM!: Also, I'm having awesome company this weekend, and I'm giddy about it.

Monday, May 13

Float like a protein shake

This morning, I woke up feeling better. I am almost absolutely positive that it has something to do with the Special K protein shake I drank for dinner last night. I woke up with a clearer head, and more energy. I am convinced that it's because I didn't eat anything nasty, bursting with badness, or loaded with a whole bunch of carbs before bed. Isn't that weird? By drinking/imbibing something healthy, I felt better. So weird.
I had another protein shake for dinner tonight. I'm all healthy now, you guys. But, I think I'm going to roll with the protein shake as dinner for a while, anyway, just to keep the healthy going.

Sunday, May 12

Mother's Day is a brilliant invention

Well, even though my Mother's Day started off with Daisy vomiting on the bed; Sydney refusing to let me sleep in; Oliver's dingleberry incident; and, perhaps worst of all, no Starbucks waiting for me when I got up, it turned out to be a pretty decent day.
I got a card from my kid that, among other loving platitudes, thanked me for taking care of her when she was little (this is definitely a keeper, because it is totally awesome). ... There was plenty of parking at the mall, which was good, but there wasn't anything there that I wanted to buy, which was boring (and also good, because I should not be shopping). ... I had a plan for The Cheesecake Factory, which consisted of Sydney and I walking into the bar and eating there, since there was only two of us. And it worked brilliantly. ... My Starbucks, once I finally got it, was delicious. ... Sydney did a good job of keeping herself entertained in her room throughout the afternoon, so I could binge read my final Percy Jackson book. ... And the chocoholic cupcake is among my favorites at the cupcake bakery.
And since I haven't finished the Percy Jackson book yet, I'll be finishing here and shutting down the computer. I still have an hour and 15 minutes of Mother's Day left, and I'm going to spend it doing one of my favorite things: reading in a quiet house.

Saturday, May 11

Oliver and Daisy are my muses

I follow the comedian, Dane Cook, on Twitter.
Most times, he's a bit of a ... comedian, but sometimes he breaks out with something awesome.
One of this evening's tweets: "If you're staring at an empty tweet box, trying to think of something to write for more than six minutes, you need to give up and walk away."
This is brilliant for most every writing forum, from Twitter and Facebook to blogs and your run-of-the-mill Word document. If I had a dollar for every time I sat staring at an empty Blogger page, I'd be a gazillionaire who wouldn't have to sell a book to move back to California. You can bet that most of the days that go by without a blog post, have included me sitting at the computer, fingers at the ready, but completely blank as to how to fill that Blogger page. And then, there's that moment, where I either have a somewhat-enthusiastic idea (or maybe even an epiphany), or I just say to myself (more times than not, aloud), "Forget it. You're not helping anyone with this. Be done and go to bed."
I like the six-minute time frame, though: the Six-Minute Inspiration Rule.

Friday, May 10

That's how they roll in Texas

I'm seeing vehicles in Texas lately that I've never seen before. Not a specific make or model, but, we'll call them "customizations." Three come to mind immediately. And they are so Texas.
A couple weeks ago, I saw a man who had a trailer being pulled behind his truck. The trailer was one similar to the kind that landscapers typically pull, so, low, flat and rectangular. The gentleman had added taller sides to the trailer, so they were about three feet tall along all sides, and had painted them brown, with some subtle lines and horizontal striping. He had then fashioned a cover for the trailer, exactly as a stagecoach top. Rounded on the top and attached to the right and left sides of the trailer. The cover, in perfect complement, was painted as the Texas state flag. That particular car I was unable to photograph. Much to my disappointment.
Today, I saw a pick-up truck with blue duct taping on the bed's rear hatch, that read, "For God is Love" and a Bible notation, and "Follow Jesus," with what looked like actual Jesus feet fashioned out of the tape, too. Also, a cross, because, well, it belonged there. In the truck, a barbecue. I think Brian's assumption that Jesus must love barbecue is spot on.
And then, tonight, on our way home from a birthday party, I saw the little beauty there to the left. A camouflage truck, with a hunting blind atop it, also in camouflage. It was just hanging out, there by the side of the road, looking for someone to love it and take it home. As Marlo told me, they hunt and shoot and eat their food out here (with her Texan accent on full, and I'm sorry I can't replicate that here), so this is how they roll.
The awesomeness of these vehicles is matched only by the fact that I saw two of them on the same day. Texas, man.

Thursday, May 9

The not-at-all-great Gatsby

I have no desire to see The Great Gatsby movie. I didn't like the book, and I don't want to see the film. People are going nuts over this film, and they're all talking about the book. I say, "phooey." Neither are worth my time at this point in my life. I read the book years and years ago, during my Fitzgerald phase, but didn't like it much. Right now, you couldn't pay me to watch the movie, especially in 3D.
I feel unpopular for feeling this way. Oh well, there's nothing wrong with being unpopular when it's regarding an overblown, falsely literary, crazy shiny movie about a meh book.

Wednesday, May 8

Ice cream really is the best

ITEM!: I tried the Lemon Bliss flavor of Blue Bell ice cream tonight. It's actually really, really good. Lemon ice cream with chunks of vanilla and cream cookies in it. I like the idea of the lemon ice cream, and it didn't disappoint me.
ITEM!: So, what's happening is that I'm getting so done being here, that I latch on to things that bug me and I get bitchy. I'm in the middle of a verbal and stubborn tussle with the corporate office of my apartment complex over their bookkeeping issue, and I'm dragging my feet about helping them clear it up. Someone tell me why I should pay them a $75 deposit for a satellite dish that I already paid once but they categorized it incorrectly, when they'll send me the deposit back in June after we move and the dish is removed. It's dumb, I think. So I'm being purposely irritating about it.
ITEM!: We have a signed lease for our new house in Arizona! A backyard and doggy door, rose bushes, a garage, a large closet in my room, and no downstairs neighbors, so the kid can run and jump as much as she wants. We are getting very excited about being a family in a house again!
ITEM!: I think I may get to bed early this evening. As of now, it's just a few minutes after 10:30 p.m., and once I'm done with the blog, I'll be ready for night nights.
ITEM!: I haven't watched any of my Netflix movies, because I've been too busy reading the Percy Jackson books on my Nook. I just started the fourth book, Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth. I enjoyed the movie based on the first book, and with the second movie coming out this summer, I wanted to know more about the stories. The books are quite good, and I'm enjoying them a lot.

Tuesday, May 7

A day for haikus, because I wanna

A few she-may-be-going-crazy-soon haikus:

Houston just sucks at my soul,
I can't wait to leave;
Desert is better, you know.

A dog sleeps on my left side;
one snores on the chair;
warm and fuzzy sights and sounds.

Haikus make sense in my head;
some aren't that good, though;
thanks for letting me be weird.

Monday, May 6

At some point, no more moving posts

Well, life in Arizona is coming together nicely. We've got someplace to live, which is incredibly positive, and I've got a lease to sign and a deposit to pay tomorrow.
Can I just point out that the movers will be here in just a couple days more than a month?
I'm in good shape with the boxes. Though, as I predicted, I've lost interest in keeping count of them. I've done a few since my last note, but that's all. I don't have many more until we get closer to moving out, then it'll be all boxes, all the time. Also, the boxes have been around for so long that they're gathering dust. Tomorrow, I also run a duster over my boxes.

Sunday, May 5

Cool kids dig dinosaurs

Sydney loves her dinosaurs, and I love the love she has for the dinosaurs. I admit to thoroughly enjoying the intense interest she has in dinosaurs, and you know that I do everything I can to encourage that interest. Today, as a matter of fact, I drove us two hours into the middle of Texas so we could check out a dinosaur park just outside of Austin. I had my concerns, of course, about traveling so far to discover a dud of an activity, as well as the general worry about finding something that is, instead, "scary Texas." But upon arrival there was a parking lot full of cars and minivans, parents and children, and strollers and picnic baskets.
The park was nestled (yes, nestled) among the trees and pines in Cedar Creek, Texas, and featured a half-mile hiking trail with life-size replicas of more than 15 dinosaurs along the walk, as well as several spots to play "I Spy." Also, there was a fossil dig in the sand, which actually were long boxes filled with sand and "bones" on legs, so the children didn't get to sit in the sand and get it everywhere on them (YAY!!). Also, a playground, swings and a life-size Tyrannosaurs Rex head for them to climb into.
We walked the trail twice, discovered fossils twice, played on the swings twice, and finally ended our visit with a stop in the gift shop, where we were able to increase the size of her Dinosaur Train figurine collection.
I took a ton of pictures of the paleontologist, who just loved the entire experience. There is nothing that makes me feel better than treating my kid to an activity like that, chockablock full of her favorite things. I love that she loves dinosaurs so much.

Saturday, May 4

Longest 30 minutes ever

That moment when you're watching a movie you really don't want to be watching, but every time you're ready to change the channel, something interesting happens. And then, there's only 30 minutes left. And you know that the 30 minutes are going to be awful, and stress you out beyond, but you know you have to watch it.
Holy crap, I don't want to watch it, but there's an ending to this, and I need to know it. Movies, man, they drive me crazy. I can't wait for this to be over. What a horrible movie.
This entire experience, right now, is cracking me up inside.

Friday, May 3

No more fire, please

ITEM!: Iron Man 3 is a really good movie. I thoroughly enjoy going to the movies alone, and today I indulged that love by hitting the theater solo. I happily inhaled a medium popcorn, while reinforcing my crush on Robert Downey, Jr. and his awesomeness. It was such a good movie.
ITEM!: This cupcakery down the street from our house is becoming a bit of an obsession. The cupcakes have the perfect amount of frosting, and an excellent selection. This week, I picked up the choco-holic cupcake, and the snicker doodle, which I tried tonight and found quite delicious.
ITEM!: I'm obsessed with this new show on Starz, called DaVinci's Demons. It's scripted, of course, but still about the real inventions and timeline from Leonardo DaVinci's life. The whole mythology and history behind that time in Italy is plot for the series, and there is enough sex and intrigue to keep me intrigued. New episodes are broadcast on Friday nights, so I've been occupied with watching that this evening. I'm digging it.
ITEM!: I hate, hate, hate seeing my lovely, little hamlet of Camarillo on the national news. The fire is very distressing to me, and I'm concerned for the people in the way of it. But to see newslines saying Camarillo, Calif., or to see Camarillo front and center on CNN, is problematic for my heart, especially so soon after the part of my heart in Boston was terrorized. I feel like my heart is being targeted by crazy, mean karma.
ITEM!: I was told this evening by Sydney to not wake her up in the morning, because she's going to sleep in. Irony abounds. Let's see if I'm afforded the same consideration.

Thursday, May 2

"Uh, hello. Um, I like your books."

I just saw an ad from something, about winning a phone call from the author Anne Rice. Interesting thought, I ponder. But, I honestly don't know what I would ever say to her if I had the chance. She changed my life with her Vampire Chronicles books, and expanded my horizons in reading supernatural horror/thrillers. Her books were among the first that I ever looked forward to reading, and bought the day they were available. She put me on the road to vampire lore, and I'll forever be thankful to her for it. (I fear it would disappoint her to know I read the Twilight books. I've tried to forget them, and donated them shortly after I finished them. That must count for something.)
Other authors I would be afraid to talk to on the phone (quite similar to who I would like to have dinner with at my imaginary table): J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Jackie Collins, Brad Meltzer and Elizabeth Peters.
Oh! My imaginary table/phone call center has dead authors, too: Sidney Sheldon! Agatha Christie! Margaret Mitchell! Dr. Seuss!

Wednesday, May 1

Many exciting things are afoot

Today being the first day of May means that I can say that I'll be moving to Arizona "next month." This is very exciting for me, as I can not wait to get out of this place. Also, this being May 1, means that Mom will be here one month from today. This also is very exciting.
And two weeks from tomorrow, Andrea, Ryan and Lydia are coming out to Houston for a visit. They're coming out for a wedding, so a visit with Sydney and I is secondary, but I'm excited to spend as much time with them as I can.
There are a lot of things to look forward to in May, but I'm especially looking forward to it being over, because then it'll be a matter of days before we leave Texas.