Friday, July 31

The game is really very cute

Thank goodness this week's Pajama Camp is over. Yet another day of taking off the previous night's pajamas so she can wear tonight's pajamas.
Happily, we are leaving the house tomorrow for a fun adventure that will occupy the entire day, and will keep us all away from any electronics. I've lately downloaded and gotten obsessed with the Inside Out app game. It has the same usable life structure as Candy Crush, so you're preoccupied until enough time has passed for you to have earned more lives to play. Brian downloaded it this afternoon, and now he's got the itch, too. I am eager to get away from the house in the morning. Because if we stay home, as a group, for another consecutive day, I will go batshit crazy.

Thursday, July 30

My pretty good day, in two parts

SKIN: I had my annual skin check at the dermatologist this morning, and all is well. Of course, since I'm a bit freckly and moley, she had a couple spots to photograph for next year's check, but nothing that needed to be carved out of my skin today or this month. The best part of my visit was bringing Sydney along, so she could see what was up with being older. "Why are you doing this?" Because I wasn't as careful with my skin when I was younger and your age, and I need to check it regularly to be sure that I don't get any skin cancers. "Why weren't you better with sunscreen?" I don't know. I thought I would always be okay, and that nothing bad would happen after each sunburn. "Will I need to be checked?" Not until you're quite a bit older. But that's why we're so careful with your skin, so it will always be healthy. ... I love giving real-world lessons. They're so much more effective.
MARGARITAS: Julia texted me this morning that she was in town for business for the day, and realized she would have a few hours free in the afternoon, and wanted to know if I would be able to meet her. I was like, "Hell yes." So I had a lovely several hours catching up with Julia, and drinking margaritas. We told each other all kinds of nifty stories, and laughed a whole lot. It was best because it was just the two of us. But let me tell you, the margaritas totally messed with my stomach. I am not such a lightweight that two margaritas will intoxicate me, but they certainly did bother me today. After I finished the second one, it's like all of a sudden I was Drunk Nauseous, and felt that random "would it be better if I just puked right now" queasiness. I didn't, of course, but we did leave the bar and chill in the car with the air blowing on me for several minutes. After that, I was fine, but the nausea was troubling. It was not the ending to the day that I wanted, but after the awesome day I had, it was okay.

Wednesday, July 29

I'm watching "Terminator 2" right now

ITEM!: I am ridiculously pleased to see that my local Safeway grocery store is installing solar panels over the parking lot, providing shade for the customers' cars while obviously using the solar power of the Arizona sun to its advantage. Sydney and I arrived at the store today and got a bit too giddy when faced with the construction in the parking lot, and the signs proclaiming that it was a solar installation. Sure, the solar power is a fantastic thing, but really, there's nothing better than a grocery store with shade makers in the parking lot.
ITEM!: Brian is in a snit because they keep talking about the dentist that killed the lion, and referring to him as a "dentist." He would like to know why they keep saying his profession, because apparently, he thinks it's bad for the perception of dentists. He's taking this quite personally, I said to him, because if the killer was a gym owner, or an attorney, or a postal worker, the media would be saying that. I say, "How about some upset because the guy killed an animal for no reason?" And that just started a thing about how if Zimbabwe wanted to stop the practice, they would. Just because it's government-permitted murder doesn't make it right.
ITEM!: I started and finished a book today, and it was good, and I enjoyed reading it. You want to know something? My kid picks on me for how much I read. I remember that I became a better and more engaged reader the summer after I turned nine, so I'm really hoping the same for her. I'm going to be bummed if she takes a more ... paternal ... approach to reading throughout her life.

Tuesday, July 28

My goodness, get out of the house

I think I might leave my house tomorrow.
I haven't left my home since Sunday.
This is due to a couple reasons, but mostly because my partner in crime has decided that Monday and Tuesday this week should be Pajama Days. My child has been in pajamas since Sunday night.
Do. Not. Judge. Me.
She's had a lovely couple days, but it's over now. I am going insane. We went out to get the trash can tonight, and it was like we exited a movie theater after so many hours and hours. We were amazed and delighted by the light and fresh air. The sun blinded us with its pure beauty. It was delicious to breathe not air-conditioned air.
I wonder what it would be like to walk farther than the 50 feet into the kitchen, or up the 25 stairs to the bedroom. A bit of exercise is definitely on tap for Wednesday. I would say that we're going to the zoo, but really, that gets super hot this time of year. Maybe a museum of some kind? Who knows, but I definitely have errands to run, and if we land someplace outdoors and "not my house" for an hour or more, so be it.

Monday, July 27

Do actual ninjas really do all that?

It's official that we now, as a family, enjoy sitting and watching American Ninja Warrior together. These people, and their feats of strength, are super impressive, and very fun to watch. I'm not one for the slow and weepy home-grown stories, so the DVR recording really works to my advantage there. Sydney, Brian and I sit and watch, and cheer and groan for, the athletes. And we discuss the pros and cons, and strategy behind all the obstacles, too.
I'm fairly convinced that I would do horribly on the course, and may or may not make it past the first obstacle. But that doesn't stop my body from its unintentional tensing and slight weight shifts to "help" the people on the television. This show is fantastic.
We're really only watching it for the first time, so our knowledge is limited. Having said that, we are loving it. It's about as cool as the blind auditions for The Voice, but less sad. The people who fall and don't finish the course are so much stronger for their stumbles, and always are very motivated to get back to training. I like that none of them seem to take their falls very hard, emotionally. It's good stuff.

Sunday, July 26

The grass makes it all so much prettier

For some reason, I chose to do some things outside today. It was hot.
What with our new artificial grass, I still had our old lawn decorations to return to the yard. I call them "lawn" decorations, but really, up until a few days ago, they were "rock" decorations. The awesome red and white lighthouse is back out in the yard. I cleaned out a terra cotta pot and then filled it with the old yard rocks, then stuck in the two light-up decorations, and the awesome saguaro cactus decoration I got a in California. It all looks super great. I put the plastic flamingos in the rose garden, since there is some room in there. I moved Auntie Donna's iris plant decoration from the rosemary in my garden to the cactus in the pot. I think I may be happy with it all, now. Unless I can get one of those bicycle planters over there.
Also, I covered mine and Brian's bikes with the tarp, and moved Sydney's bike to the side yard. And while Brian was barbecuing chicken, I trimmed the rose bushes and made friends with a very wee baby lizard.
As for indoor plants, I also exercised my green thumb by way of repotting the living parts of a dying philodendron. We planted the seeds that Sydney got from the summer camp at the zoo, too. So much greenery happening around the home today, as well as more laundry than ever.

Saturday, July 25

I ... see ... that you are home this night

Why is it, on Saturday night, I feel like nothing has happened all day, and that I have nothing to tell you? Is it that my Saturday nights should be too full up of fun and trouble that I shouldn't really be blogging about anything at all? I should be out and about in the world?
Perhaps that's it.
Oh well, I had a lovely day. We did a bunch of shopping for school stuff. We spent some time at TopGolf, which, I've decided, is among the better activities on the planet. And Brian's mom and dad took us to a delicious bakery and cafe for dinner tonight.
Such that it is though, tomorrow is a day for laundry and random backyard activities. And repotting plants and all that. I'm looking forward to a day at home with running hot water.

Friday, July 24

Cinnamon-y goodness for me

Cinnamon rolls are a serious favorite of mine. They need to be specifically perfect, but once I find ones that are, I am in love with them for life. The Coffee Plantation out here used to have delicious cinnamon rolls while I was in college. It closed, and I've been pretty despondent since. Having none of those, I've been hunting for suitable replacements.
Ikea cinnamon rolls are incredibly good, and I can power through a six-pack in a startlingly short amount of time. I went to Ikea today with Brian's mom and dad, and I came home with two six-packs, which I promptly put in the freezer. (FYI, I always scrape off the frosting. I don't like them too gooey.)
They are in the freezer because the mom and dad stopped at a bakery near us this morning and brought over a loaf of cinnamon roll bread, which is amazing. We opened and sliced and ate some this afternoon, and I've been fantasizing about it ever since. In fact, as soon as I'm done blogging here, I'm going right downstairs to have some more.
I can't think of a better situation in the kitchen then the plethora of cinnamon roll options I've got going on in there. Bread goes first. I'll wait a few days before I defrost the first package of cinnamon rolls, and may just save the last package as my prize for getting through the next two weeks of summer with no camp and my kid home every day.

Thursday, July 23

Overly dramatic, but clean and happy

Since I know you all are super curious, I will let you know: I finally have a working, non-leaking water heater in my house again. I have to tell you, you don't know how dependent you are on hot water until the option is taken away from you. It's been five days since I've been able to take a hot/warm shower. I haven't been able to run my dishwasher. I've not done laundry.
To be able to start the dishwasher this afternoon was a special treat, and I bow down to the goddess of magical things. Also, I have a load of laundry in the washer. And my entire family is super, squeaky clean. It felt so good to be officially showered.
And since it's all fixed now, and I can stop living without it, my intention is to begin, once again, taking hot water for granted. From now on, I will assume it will always be available. It will be expected to arrive in a timely and steamy fashion, regardless of the circumstances. I will forget about this ugly chapter in our lives, and move on, like any survivor.

Wednesday, July 22

The grass is greener when it's faux

I have a new obsession, and it is the artificial grass in my backyard.
It is beautiful, yes?
My homeowners decided a couple months ago that their rental properties needed some aesthetic upgrades. She figured artificial grass was the best way to go. I thought it was a great idea, but refused to get too exited. I just kind of hung out and waited for her to make her final decision based on the number of estimates she had received. This one company won the job, and based on their performance today, they probably got another three or four yards.
But here's my grass! It's so pretty, and GREEN. My dogs have already christened it, though Cooper still seems to fear pooping on it (he's sticking to the rocky side yard presently). They seem to like it quite a lot. You can see Oliver checking it out in the picture.
And me? I'm loving how clean it looks. I've been outside a couple times to pick up the leaves and whatnot that have fallen on it. I find I prefer a clean and uninterrupted green space, and fallen leaves mess with that. I'm going to be super vigilant about poop on it, and look forward to moving some of my lawn decorations back (the lighthouse will look amazing on than greenery).
I'm so excited to show it off to Brian's mom and dad tomorrow! Yay green grass!

Tuesday, July 21

An ode to still no hot water

Oh my gosh, you guys. Guess what I did today!
I washed a sink full of dishes by hand! Yes, by hand! It was ... inspiring! It was magical! It was everything I had ever hoped that washing a whole bunch of dishes by hand could be!
Final tally: 1 dinner plate; 7 small plates; 4 drinking glasses; 1 plastic drinking cup; 2 water bottles and tops; 8 forks; 12 knives; 3 steak knives; 2 kid forks; 8 spoons; 3 measuring cups; 3 assorted Tupperwares and lids; 1 frying pan; 3 small bowls; 2 small cups; 1 coffee mug; 1 small container. That's a lot of dishes to wash by hand in cold water!
It was such a great character-building, life-affirming, psychologically cathartic, and emotionally uplifting experience! I highly recommend that you all try doing dishes by hand. To plunge my hands into that deliciously cool water, all filled up and bursting with bubbles, was very much an opportunity to get back to my roots, as it were, and live life in a simpler and more austere way. It was ... so fantastic. I wish I could do my dishes by hand in cold water all the time.
Also, I discovered that I am not at all suited to drying the dishes, as I ended up dropping a small plate (which is why there are only seven of the eight-plate set in the final tally) and shattering it. Luckily, it was a small plate. A dinner plate would have obliterated my toe, since this entire incident happened right next to my foot.
Anyway, the dishes were done, and they were done with all pomp and circumstance. I had all kinds of towels out to catch the wet and clean dishes. I probably used a lot more soap then I should have, so I could be sure everything is super clean. There may have been some dancing to music on my phone.
Of course, the dishwasher is still packed full of dirties, but I'm not at all interested in washing those by hand. In a perfect universe, I'll have a water heater tomorrow night, and the dishes will then be done magically in that beautiful machine in the kitchen.

Monday, July 20

Hot water is totally not overrated

Cold showers are not at all comfortable. I had to take one today because the water heater was leaking and the plumber removed it this morning. You know what else sucks about taking a cold shower when there's no water heater? A complete and utter lack of water pressure. The majority of water flowing to the baths and showers is hot, and the cold has just enough to regulate the heat. So, minus the hot, it's just a bizarre trickle of cold water from the shower head. I managed to get my shower done okay, but when it came to washing my hair, I went to the kitchen sink. It has normal cold water pressure, of course, so I was able to take care of my business in two parts.
The water heater had been leaking for a few days, so there was some water damage to the cabinet that holds the heater up from the ground. So that has to be replaced. And until that's done, there can be no new water heater installed. There's an accepted bid on the cabinet construction, but the guy said he wouldn't be able to do it until tomorrow late afternoon or evening. This timing is not cool, at all. It means that the heater may still not be installed until Wednesday morning. That is insane. Could I get any more pissy about this situation? Of course.
I've got laundry piling up and more dishes in the sink than I know what to do with. What, you mean wash the dishes by hand? Yeah, no. That's not going to happen. I need a functioning water heater so I can run my dishwasher.

Sunday, July 19

The quiet is the nicest part

It may not seem like it to you, since you've been pining away for my prose ever since last Monday, but really, this week went by really fast. Sydney and I had a lovely several days in California, and were hating to see it end. Another week or so would have been lovely. Alas, Tuesday is my wedding anniversary, so really, I figured I should be home for that. To not be would be considered a faux pas.
But we're home now, with the myriad of fun (read that sarcastic and not) issues that could possibly be included in that.
Anyway, all good things come with Monday, when the husband is at work and the kid is at camp. I get to wait for the plumber because of a leaky water heater. I get to pile up dishes and laundry because I don't have any hot water. I get to clean up and clear out the backyard because I think we're still getting artificial grass on Tuesday. I get to call State Farm and bitch about how Brian's auto insurance is less than mine ... why? I get to finish cleaning my house. I get to have quiet. Quiet is very important to my state of mind!

Monday, July 13

You may see me, you may not

Here's the thing. The blog can be a bit of a guilt trip for me some times.
I love it, and find it incredibly cathartic. I also sometimes find it to be a stone around my neck, where I feel like if I haven't written in a few days, I'm failing in my responsibilities. I'm failing the blog somehow.
Anyway, I'm in California this week, and am looking super forward to spending time with my family and friends. This means days and evenings full up of laughs and activities. I will be tired more days than not, and I may or may not blog at all throughout the week. So, I'm saying it right now: I may or may not blog at all during the next several days.
Try to survive with, or without, me!

Sunday, July 12

Thorns be gone, seriously

It's super late, and I'm getting up early tomorrow to drive all day, so I'm gonna make this one quick.
Brian and I had a very Lion and Mouse moment with Cooper tonight, wherein we had to remove a thorn from his paw. He'd been outside, and had come upstairs, only to show signs of obvious issues on one of his feet. We quickly picked him up and flipped him over. On his right front paw, we saw three thorns stuck in his toe pad. It was so upsetting for all of us!
Anyway, I held him on my lap and trapped the foot in my hand. Brian found the flashlight and tweezers. It was done in a matter of a minute, but still, it was very serious surgery. Once the thorns were gone, we could see where there was actual bleeding on his toe pad. Not cool, thorns! Not cool!
I'm all paranoid that it's going to happen again this week while I'm gone. Like, it hasn't happened to him in all these 18 months, but I'm all afraid that it'll happen for a second time within a few days. Because I'm a ridiculous mom that stresses about everything.

Saturday, July 11

Candlelit dinners would be ruined

I stole this from a photo exhibit I saw online that ran with the idea of What if Fire Were Water. This particular image struck me as the coolest of the super cool, and I was quick to swap it onto my desktop so I could share it. It's just breathtaking, really.
If fire were water, we would never be thirsty.
But would we ever be warm?
A contradictory thought, to be sure.
I can't even decide if I wanted that to sound deep or not. But rest assured, in my head at this moment, it's really cheesy.

Friday, July 10

Something else on my Bucket List

Some day, I will make it to Comic-Con in San Diego.
The entire premise and promise of Comic-Con is awesome to me, and I sit on my phone and computer every year to live vicariously through the entertainment reporters on site. I watch all the videos, I look at all the pictures, I read all the articles. When there's video, I watch it. I'm a bit obsessed, I guess, but all the shows, movies and whatnot that I love all make appearances at this wonderful convention.
I can't imagine a better way to spend four days in San Diego than hanging out with all the fantastic people that go there, and it would be the most amazing place to people watch ... obviously. I am green with envy, and so totally jealous. I want to be there so badly!
Mark my words, I will make it to that convention at some point in my life.

Thursday, July 9

They're rubber, black and round. Tires.

This might be one of the most ridiculous things to be super proud of, but when I got my tires on the car rotated today, the guy told me that they were in "fantastic shape." I've been incredibly vigilant about getting them rotated regularly, because they're the first top-of-the-line tires we've gotten in a while, and I want to keep them that way. So, every 5,000 miles, I call up Discount Tire and get my appointment for rotation. Since the cost of the rotations are included in the cost of the tires, there is no money changing hands, which is awesome. And since I do this, there is no wear on my tires at all, and they look magnificent. I am puffed up and unreasonably proud of this.
But here's the other thing. I had a 9 o'clock appointment this morning. I was there about three minutes early. I asked the guy when I came in if they were running on time today. He said yes, that it'll be about 45 minutes because I have an appointment. So I hand over the keys and go sit outside. And there I sat, for 20 minutes, with my car still sitting in the parking lot.
So I went inside: "How come with a 9:00 appointment, my car is still sitting in the lot for 20 minutes?" ... The man says to me: "Not to worry; we'll get to it soon. It only takes about 15 minutes to rotate the tires anyway, so you'll get out of here in your 45 minutes."
And he was right. they took the car into the garage about three minutes later, and the car was done about 15 minutes after that. So I did get out of there within the 45 minutes he approximated.
Um, okay. Here's my question: Why not just rotate the tires at the appointment time, and get me out of there in 15 minutes, rather than procrastinate on the appointment time, and build in a 30-minute waiting period? Why not just do that? Why make me sit there and pick my nose for 25 minutes, and make me wonder if you've forgotten about us? You are capable of scheduling appointments, Discount Tire. Stick to them.

Wednesday, July 8

Let's get some blue going on here

Obviously, there have been some changes to the lovely blog tonight. It was that time, you know? I don't think it's ever been blue before, so I'm actually pretty excited about what's happened here.
But it did take me quite some time to customize everything, so I'm running out of juice on the laptop here. Time to post something of haiku-ish brevity.

The mid-summer heat is here.
I'm bugged because I
just want to open windows.

I like this picture. What an amazing adventure she must be on. I don't remember if the caption said where this photo was taken, but I love that it could be any number of places. She could be anywhere going everywhere. She's awesome.

There's so much random good happening on It's All About... tonight.

Tuesday, July 7

Chafing is, no joke, the worst ever

ITEM!: Mom found me some of those super awesome mid-thigh panties I was telling you about and sent them to me. I wore my first pair today, and I have to tell you, they are indeed very awesome. I wore them under my dress, and beyond the minor issue of them riding up every once in a while, they were a perfect solution to my chafing problem. I'm so looking forward to wearing more dresses and skirts for the rest of the summer!
ITEM!: I'm constantly amazed with the amount of dust that can build up on an air conditioning vent and filter. I change the filter once a month during the summer, of course, but the actual dusting of the vent is something I avoid until it absolutely must be done. Today, it had to be done. And I made a big, fat mess doing it, but at least now it's all clean. So now the whole situation should run more efficiently.
ITEM!: The trip out to California is coming together nicely, and I'm getting very eager to put the desert in my rearview mirror next week. Friends! Family! Fun! Oh, my!
ITEM!: I subscribed to two magazines this morning: Raising Arizona Kids, which I had already been a subscriber to, but allowed the subscription to lapse a few months ago; and Martha Stewart Living, because I enjoy the issues that I buy here and there, and I've wanted to have it delivered for some time, but for whatever reason haven't subscribed to. These two random tasks have been crossed off my list now, and that makes me happy.
ITEM!: Also, my period started today, so I'm also super looking forward to my pre-menopausal hot flashes over the next couple days. *sarcasm.* I don't think any amount of mid-thigh panties and flowy skirts will make the next two or three mornings at all comfortable. Ugh.

Monday, July 6

And then, it's a Monday night

I sat down tonight with every intention of writing something great, but ended up staring at a blank blog composition page for 90 minutes. I've got dogs all around me: one sleeping between my feet and one squished up against my leg. And for some reason, I've settled on A Million Ways to Die in the West to be my background movie for the moment. And finally, decent cookies for my Midnight Snack, since I baked them this afternoon.
It's late, and I'm tired of thinking for today.

Sunday, July 5

I prefer my girls strong, bold, awesome

The beauty of the library book is this:
If you realize, about 150 pages into a book, that you really don't like it, you can stop reading it without any guilt. In fact, you can return the book. You can return it and not have to look at it while it guilts you from a corner of the bookcase. And it won't cost you anything, either.
I read about half of this book, Matched by Ally Condie. The characters weren't doing anything for me. As a matter of fact, the main protagonist was irritatingly obtuse, willingly naive, and unapologetically milquetoast. I don't like girls like that. I prefer my female heroes to have a backbone. To have the capacity for independent thought.
I mean, she doesn't even seem to want to question anything. There are a thousand red flags in her life, and she's all, "La, la, la, I'm fine. I won't ask any questions."
Now granted, the character of Cassia may very well become that strong girl later in the book. Or probably later in the series. (This is the first book of three.) She could become the most kickass heroine ever. But I don't think she will. Because if you're halfway through the first book, and your "hero" still doesn't grasp the concept of the plot, the identity of the bad guys and the stirrings of an independent soul, then she's kind of a lost cause.
The solution to such a disappointment as this is a simple one: Close the book, and return it to the library.

Saturday, July 4

It's all about the patriotism, you know

I have a whole lot of great memories regarding the Fourth of July, our trips to Lake Tahoe among the best, but my favorite Fourth is our last one in Boston.
Our apartment in the South End wasn't super close to the venue, but it was walkable to Storrow Drive, a main thoroughfare that is closed for the holiday right near where the Boston Pops play their concert and where the fireworks are launched. I was six months pregnant, so not huge but probably too big to make the walk I did. It was warm certainly, but it was a clear and gorgeous night. We climbed down a small fence to make the last of our way to Storrow, and found our own small patch of asphalt to stand on during the show. We couldn't see the Pops, but had a view of the top of the clam shell, and there were speakers everywhere for anyone to hear them. My feet were sore, and I probably should have brought a towel so we could sit, but I wasn't thinking that far ahead. I think maybe I did sit on the ground?
At any rate, we listened to the amazing music, watched some fireworks through the trees, and chilled out. It was our last big event in Boston, as we were moving back to Arizona in a couple weeks.
We were still just the two of us; it was super fun to do; and it solidified how awesome our time in Boston was. Totally my favorite Fourth of July.

Thursday, July 2

Are you my Stardust? Yes, you are!

How amazing is the universe?
I mean, this is totally true, and it's a fantastical thing to consider.
That I could honestly and truthfully start calling my kid "stardust," and have it be technically true is one of the greatest gifts ever.
And to think, this family made of stardust spent the entire afternoon playing a video game, not at all contemplating how amazing our existence is. What a waste of a day.
However, I would argue that eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut, which also is made of 93 percent stardust, was an inspired way of communing with the universe. So, there's that.

Wednesday, July 1

She's super happy, and heading west soon

I like this avatar for July. She looks happy.
As I will be on my visit out to California in a couple weeks.
I've only got a couple things planned for the days I'm visiting, but the potential for an awesome several days is there. And I am looking forward to having fun with the family and friends. Honestly, nothing is better for my peace of mind and emotional state of being than a visit out to see my happy place. I get to laugh a lot, hug a lot, and thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by my people. There's no better kick to my spirit than hanging out in California.
In my heart, the days can't go by fast enough.