Sunday, January 24, 2010

Up Late, With the Rest of You Insomniacs!

Tonight, my nerves are so shot, that I just can't get to sleep. I have been blog-hopping and facebook cruising. Oh so fun! But... it is!

I have found a host-load of old friends (no... they're not "old") and a lot of new ideas for different things. I can't tell you how many times tonight I actually said (out loud), "Oh... that sounds like a good idea!" or "hmmm... I'll have to try that one..."

I certainly am bummed I missed CHA (Craft and Hobby Association)'s Consumer Craft Supershow in Anaheim this year. I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately (for me), circumstances as they are prevented me from going. Oh well, another time.

Cricut (Provo Craft) released something I would never buy (thank goodness for that!) in the form of a Cricut for cake decorating. Uh... hello... I can do it the old-fashioned way with much more creativity than just cut gum paste stuff! I'm not being sarcastic, either. This new machine that does the same thing my current machine does, only "food safe" would cost another $399 ($400 to me)! Ugh! Will it never stop?

I already own the Gypsy, which I love, 2 machines, multiple cartridges (but not enough, of course), Design Studio, and the Jukebox... don't need another machine. Plus... where the heck would I put it? I've already got the whole dining room area filled up with my stuff. (I seriously need my own room.) I don't need to be filling it up with another machine I would seldom use. I already use my current machine(s) for stenciling on cakes. I don't think I want to cut gum paste or other certain edible things.

For one thing... I (personally... and yes I've tried it!) don't like the flavor or texture of gum paste, fondant, or any of those other edible things you might use like paper. Yuck! I like the flavor and texture of good old FROSTING! I know the current trend is to use the foo-foo stuff like fondant (gross) or gum paste (just weird!) to make the cakes appear "smooth." So, it takes a little extra work to smooth out frosting... take the time. It is well worth it.

Hmmm... yes... I need my own room. I have a stepson who seriously never comes out. He has not been (to stay the night) more than twice this past year. My husband insists on keeping a room for him. Uh... he'll be 21 at the end of this month. At what point do you takeover the room? Help! *Sigh* I think it's ridiculous to keep a room for that long that is not being used. I could completely put this room to use and free up the dining room (and the cluttered area) once again. Oh, it would look so clean! I would love to be able to put the bunkbeds in there and other furniture up for bidding at my next garage sale. I could use the proceeds for Rey's Europe trip (if she gets to go...) or to decorate my new craft room. Oh the things I could do...

My shotty nerves are from the almost 5-year-old... I'm tired. She's not. She wants help with the Wii... I don't have the patience tonight. Let's just say that some of the Wii games, while they may be rated "E" for Everyone, are not necessarily age-appropriate. I find the game Barbie Horse Adventures particularly difficult. Yes... this is rather funny. Especially since it was supposedly geared toward the 5-10 age group. Well, guess what? It needs more skill than what those kids know. Even my teenagers think it's a lot harder than what they thought it would be. Does anyone know of any other games (besides Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports) that a kid would like? Let me know.

So... now that I've cooled down a little by exploring my emotions here... I guess I better try to get some sleep. The morning seems to come so much faster... the older I get... lol!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Rainy Day...

So many of us are saying, "Who says it doesn't rain in California?" As, we were rained on last week and so far... a couple of days this week. This week, however, has been littered with tornado warnings, lots of thunder and lightening, and small amounts of hail. Very rare for us, but should make a nice trip to Big Bear... hopefully sometime soon.

Miss Marissa has been such a joy to my heart and sometimes... oh such a pain. Today, we went through massive dramatics to get her dressed to go to class. She doesn't want to wear anything but her "old" clothes and flip-flops. Well, guess what? Who should win this war? Me! She seriously needs to wear other things than the same exact thing every day. No one wants to wash that much!

She is seriously into the tattling stage. AND it totally gets on my nerves!!! Today, she tattled that another little girl "punched" her. Ok... I get it if a kid is getting hurt, but this was nothing. The poor little girl was only rocking back and forth, on her knees, and happened to bump into our little Missy. Seriously? NO BIG DEAL! And then add the older girls (Miss Marissa's sisters)... they are getting to be just as bad. Is this ever going to end? I presumed that as the girls got older, they would "mature"... But, they seem to be regressing into a younger age and showing their lack of maturity. Yikes!

Trying to get an almost five-year-old to act her age is extremely difficult, especially when you have older siblings around that are definitely acting like teenagers. I would love it if respect and kindness once more found a place in my home. But, unfortunately, it seems to be infiltrating into the heart and mind of my little one. It makes me really sad. I hate to punish the older kids for something all of their friends are allowed to do, but hey! I gotta get control of the situation and nip this in the bud before it gets any worse. What they don't realize is how hurtful it is. I'm sure they won't want to be treated that way from their future children... if they ever have any...

On a different note... my "wonderful" husband (although he does have his faults!) surprised me with tickets to see the Eagles in concert at the Hollywood Bowl in April. This should be a blast... especially since I though the concert-going portion of our lives was over. Move over! There is a "New Kid in Town!" Maybe he's changing for the better.

Different topic... if any of you Californians out there have done your state taxes yet... have you seen the dramatic changes in the exemption amounts? It completely bites the big one! Last year, we were able to deduct $309 (or something like that) per dependent. This year, it is a measly $98 (same as standard deduction per filer). Whoa! So... needless to say, this year we owe as to the previous years, where we had a little or none coming back. I really don't care for that. But... we all have to help with the bailout. We all took cuts somewhere, and hikes (in prices) elsewhere... did the big boys up north all get jacked, too?

The rain is still pouring (as is California's money going... where?), so it's time to enjoy some comfort food... tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches... Mmm... mmm... good (think the Campbell's slogan of yesteryear, if you don't get it).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Year is Turning Out All Right...

The girls and I are finally over all of our little illnesses (you know... the things ya'll had at the end of last year and some of the things some of you have now?)... we are having fun playing the Wii, with little Mii's all over. Miss Marissa wanted hers to be called "Mo", which (for those of you who don't know) is her nickname by some family members. Marissa went back to school today, didn't want to go (didn't want to get out of bed!), but had a great time going.

It's (sort of) a rainy day here... very rare for us... so she got to use her Disney Princess Umbrella. Even when it wasn't raining, she still wanted to use it. Oh! And her new Disney Princess backpack (that Santa got her). She was wearing her new Skechers TwinkleToes shoes (that Grandma and Grandpa got her), which was a HUGE accomplishment. (We have "issues" with her, as she normally only will wear flip-flops... for school, we've gotten her to wear strapped sandals, but this was major!) She stomped in every puddle she saw... couldn't've (love that contraction, don't ya?) done that in her sandals or flops... ha ha... But she learned and had fun participating in class, as well.

Nights have been a problem for us, as she is constantly worried that Mommy is going to leave her when she goes to kindergarten. Me, oh my! That is another 8 months away! All I can do is sigh and try to get her to sleep. I've explained that Mommy or Daddy may go to work, but we will always come back. She isn't getting it. Helpful hints? Suggestion? Needed here...

(btw... these are just random thoughts and stuff until I can figure out what I "really" want to write about here...)

Back to the year turning out all right. Facebook (the socializing site) is truly my friend right now. I am grateful to all of my friends in the "real" world. But facebook has brought lots of friends from my past back to me. A wonderful friend just found me after 5 years (well... almost) of being lost (that's what I'm going to classify it as... there is much more to it, but this will suffice). I'm glad she looked, and I look forward to the wonderful times ahead. So... anyway, facebook is a great way to stay in touch with "everyone" without having to repeat everything you say/write to everyone else. Love it! Much the reason why I began this blog in the first place!

I haven't been doing much, creatively, lately... all of my tables are occupied. For those that have seen my home, my decor (if you can call it that!) is Coca-Cola. For Christmas (from another great friend), I received a vintage Coca-Cola puzzle. When done, the puzzle should be a little bit larger than poster-sized, and so... it is getting framed and put up on my wall. At 2,000 pieces, that kind of work needs to be shown off. And so... this puzzle (and all of its pieces) are occupying large pieces of cardboard (so they can be grouped together) and two tables. Gotta have space to work besides the actual puzzle space, right? Once I (or rather "we) get it done, photos will definitely be posted! But... gotta get it done, so I can work on other things... SOON!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Still Thinking....

And so, another day has gone by. My two daughters are now 16 and 17, and we still have a little girl about to turn 5 soon. Yikes! Too much in a short amount of time. Not to mention my step kids birthdays coming up just as soon...

Whelp, today we rented "Inkheart", which I still have not seen, because the girls and their friends have been playing the Wii all night. It's really funny, though. And fun, too! Since today was Stacy's birthday... first she wanted to go to a basketball game, then changed her mind. Then she wanted to go cosmic bowling, then changed her mind. Her final decision was to ask if her friends could come over and if I could make pizza. Sure. And so... they had a Wii party! They are still playing and eating pizza. It's great that they prefer homemade pizza over store-bought or ordered pizza. Much cheaper to make, too. With about the same wait time.

Earlier, I let my 4-year-old and 16-year-old put makeup on me. They thought it was fun. I'm not so sure... I am still feeling a little weary. The little one poked me a couple of times and the 16-year-old has not completely learned the art of applying makeup to another person and nearly brushed my eye out with the eyelash wand. At first I had the Joker's version of lipstick... all over... But then the elder showed the younger what to do with the lipstick. And now it looks oh so much better. Phew! Glad that one is over with! However, the little one is wanting to do it all over again... soon.

Every Thursday is laundry day in our household (unless it falls on a holiday, then it gets done on the Wednesday). Today, however, laundry started much later than planned. The girls didn't sort theirs last night. I didn't wake up until almost 11a.m., and then I had to sort mine and wake the girls up to do the same. Laundry did not get started until around 12... Usually, it is almost done by that time. Today it is sluggin' through. I'm tired, and not really in a hurry to finish it up. Plus... I'd like to wash what I have on, so I'm holding off for the last two loads, which will probably get done tomorrow. Vacation is over next week, so it will be back to normal and no sloughing it.

Routines are nice sometimes, but a small vacation is good, too... even if it is in your own home. Staycations are the awesomest! There is nothing to pack up and nothing to take. Everything is right where you put it in the first place, and when your staycation is over... everything is still where it should be! Yay! I believe this is the way to go. At least it was nice this time. But, it will be good to get back to the old routine and feel "whole" again. I feel more like I have purpose during the routine moments. Otherwise, I just plain feel like I'm wasting time, which I probably am. But hey! It was good while it lasted, and now it's time to move on... lol!

Maybe next week I'll get some ideas what to write about... hmmm... comments are always welcome, but then again, I seriously doubt anyone is reading this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Airing Out Some, and only Semi-Walking on Eggshells

On the eve of my daughter's 17th birthday (that means tonight), I have been thinking about some things that really bother me... quite a bit.

I have been walking on egg shells so much around so many people. I have tried to post as an honest person, but have really skirted issues that bring up much controversy. So... I am turning to Julie Powell and becoming as honest as I can, without mentioning names. If you know this is you, please understand that I went through great pains and many years of holding it in. I also went to great lengths and re-wording just so nobody could figure out it was you. But... I seriously doubt any of you read this, so... here goes.

There is a person in my life... he/she can be a friend or relative, it really doesn't matter. But... this person indirectly hurts more than 9 people (yes, I counted!) because of his/her lack of respect. This person blew at someone else (in the someone else's own home) very much disrespecting the someone else, and alienating others. So, "this person" feels that he/she should be able to keep everyone else moving around in circles to accommodate him/her, thereby forcing those of us who want to keep in touch with "this person" and this person's family by walking on egg shells. Now I'm sure there are some other issues... but in the end, the "right" thing to do would be to apologize. Afterall, if the "someone else" blew up at "this person" in "this person's" home, "this person" would have thrown out the someone else and expected an apology. But no... "this person" feels he/she has done no wrong and that the apology that should be given is not deserved. Whatever! Grow up and grow some balls yourself. Apologize out of respect, not necessarily out of right or wrong, but hey... you shouldn't have reacted so foolishly in the first place.

There is another person... he/she could be a friend or relative. (how vague is that?) This person constantly challenges me in front of my children, who might I remind you, are easily-influenced teenagers. This person has not reached the level of maturity that he/she should have by now. He/she is easily influenced by others, as well, but doesn't see it. He/she also doesn't see how much he/she has changed in the last year. It is not for the better. He/she's judgment and maturity has gone downhill. He/she just simply doesn't care what others think and therefore doesn't think before he/she speaks, no matter how hurtful it is to others. When called into question the things he/she says to me, in front of my children, he/she simply replied, "It's just issues I have with you." Well then, I say... you have issues with me? No worries, but you will not be displaying those in front of my kids. You have no children, you do not have the maturity to deal with children. Until you display a little more maturity and a better sense of judgment and responsibility, my kids will not be alone with you. No problem. Act like an adult. Act like the Christian you say you are. How dare you pass judgment on me, especially in front of my kids, when you know nothing of how to raise any. I will be blatently honest with this person for now on, as now I know it has to do with "me" and not just how stupid he/she can be.

Ok... one more person in my life that I walk on eggshells with... this one is a little harder to be super pc with. Ugh... I hate having to hide things. This person doesn't like drama, but expects me to share everything and anything with him/her. But, because life encompasses drama, I end up leaving a lot of my life out of our conversations. I don't feel I share all that much. (I don't seem to share all that much with anybody, as I don't want to seem "drama".) Anywho, so now I hide a lot and don't share a lot, so I am not exactly making my portion of the relationship, no matter what type of relationship it is. I don't tell this person what I am feeling when it comes to his/her family, especially his/her kids. This person is probably in total denial as to what is going on in his/her own family, especially with the kids. But... if he/she can't see it, I'm not going to be the one to burst his/her bubble! Sometimes denial or ignorance is the way to go... I guess. It probably makes life easier to deal with.

So... that's enough sharing for now. I'm still trying to think of what exactly to write about, but this came to mind. I really wanted to air it out. I have no one to really talk to about it all, because you never know who it's going to go back to, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, especially when most of my friends/relatives are so hard-headed that they don't think they do any wrong anyway. Don't get me wrong... I do plenty, but at least I admit it.

I am not a perfect parent. I am doing the best I can and learning through my experience. I am trying to be a good person. Once again... I may not be perfect, but I'm doing the best I can and am learning through experience. Experience can be something to write about. Let me think on that one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Re-thinking... a lot...

Tonight, I finally watched "Julie & Julia". I know... for some of you that know me, you might think that I'm a little behind and you thought I would've seen it by now, especially since I love to cook so much. The truth is... I knew the premise, and I felt saddened.

How could I have let so much of life go by and not feel that kind of ambition, determination, or commitment? Julie Powell made a goal and braved it on. She had many deterrents and many errors, but she kept on. Even when she found out her idol (Julia Child) was disinterested in her work, she finished her project. And what have I done? What do I want to do? Who knows... least of all me.

As I'm sure some of you have done (and lots of others, too... as I've read their comments to the now famous Julie Powell), I felt a little inspired by her story. I felt the need to return to my blog and update it. I have been extremely neglectful in the past 6 or so months, but here I am. What to write about is another issue, all its own.

After I watched the movie, I researched Ms. Powell. She came out with another book recently and is touring the country with it. It seems much darker than her first book, but still with the brutal honesty of herself. Can I be that honest? We all have skeletons we would like to keep hidden, some more so than others. There are things that some people would rather we not publicize. Hmmm... so, once again... what to write about?

But again, back to the research... I read several things about Julie (Powell, of course, I feel like I know her well enough now to be on a first-name basis!). I told my daughter about the (SPOILER ALERT!!!) affair Julie had, that it sure was different from the "perfect marriage" we thought she had from the movie. I told my daughter about various other things. My daughter seems to think I go "full out" too much. I like to research things, to find out information, gather different opinions, get the "full" scope of the matter prior to forming my own. I like to know as much as I can about a subject (sorry Julie - I don't mean you are a subject!) as I possibly can, or as much as I can understand, since it is not always possible to understand everything.

As I sit here, writing this, I am again saddened... I simply adored the movie. It was quite delightful. However, at its end, I needed more. When I researched and found more, I was rather happy with the knowledge (not of the adultery, mind you, just that I learned more) I'd found. But it is hurtful when your own child(ren) thinks you know too much, or that you shouldn't do things completely ("full"). I would hope that I was instilling into my children that to do things 100% is the way to go. Did I miss sending this message? Let's hope that she (my daughter) means it when she says, "I didn't 'mean' it, Mom."

Maybe I shouldn't be so sad or feel such the failure. I have three great kids that are growing up well. If I didn't do things "full out", where would they be now? I have to laugh at myself, sometimes. We all do the "if" question, do we not? Sigh... enough rambling for tonight. I have to think about what to write!

By the way... if you haven't seen the movie (Julie & Julia), I suggest you do. It is truly an inspiration!