Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Who needs a bed?

When you can be just as comfortable under a chair?

Monday, October 29, 2007

I *HEART* Autumn

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower". ~Albert Camus
Garrett, Jacob, John, Emma and Grace


Jacob (I messed with this picture and now it's distorted)

Emma and John

Sunday, October 28, 2007

That's not allowed, either!

Look at these multi-taskers. They managed to pull a chair into the kitchen, climb up onto the counter together, play with the glasses alerting mom that they were up to no good, and when I catch them, John makes time to reach on top of the fridge and Jacob decides it's the right time to clear that nose.

New DVD storage

FOUND: Lost DVD's. Clever hiding place, boys.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


In the wake of J K Rowling's revelation about the most powerful wizard in her magical Harry Potter book series, other authors who also know that focus has started to shift away from their literary works have come out of the woodwork to hold press conferences and grab back the limelight that they once enjoyed.

No doubt ruing the fact that he had not exercised the gay option before Ms. Rowling seized upon it in a wanton act of publicity, Mark Twain announced in a sparsely attended book reading of Huckleberry Finn that the work's title character actually enjoyed dressing in girl's clothes. Reaction from fans was mixed with a majority of prospective readers wanting Twain to have revealed Huck as an in-the-closet gay.

Not to be left out of the action, Jane Austen announced from a cottage on her brother's estate in Chawton, England, that she had always thought of Elizabeth Bennett as not really ever coming around to seeing Mr. Darcy's finer qualities, but as a brazen coquette who fell in love only with Pemberley, the luxurious Darcy family estate. Sales of the book have not improved, but all the women attending the cramped sitting room press conference cheered merrily and swooned at the thought of passing their days at Pemberley. Smelling salts were applied judiciously, and none of the women sought further medical treatment.

Other post-publication revelations from prominent authors following in the wake of Rowling's announcement:
Odysseus wasn't trying that hard to get home, not really having enjoyed the idyllic family life in Ithaca.
Clive Cussler, also having missed the gay boat, announced that he had written Sahara and other books with the thought in mind that Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino were actually long lost half-brothers, both unaware of there real ancestry.
Fyodor Dostoevsky claimed that had always though of as Raskolnikov as a chronically-depressed dropout with financial issues. Disappointed devotees of Crime and Punishment were quick to point out that the author's statement held no surprise for them as all these characteristics of Raskolnikov are easily garnered from even a casual reading of the novel, and quickly dismissed the author's statement as hype intended to sell more copies of his book.

I copied this from my friend Jeremiah's blog. I thought it was so clever I couldn't resist publishing his "faux news article" here.

Have I mentioned that Garrett LOVES preschool?

Now I know why. At dinner last night Grace asked Garrett what he is learning in preschool. He promptly replied, "about toys". We thought he'd already learned about toys at home, but apparently there is much MORE to learn about the art of playing.

And onto a different note. I need suggestions. My big 200th post is coming up, and if I do it on my blogs ONE year birthday (November 2nd), I need to get cracking. I'm going to do a little giveaway. I have a couple of things in mind, but I do have a few male viewers so I want it to be appealing to them too....I also have to decide what I want to post about. I'm thinking maybe posting 200 little things that drive me crazy. j.k. Suggestions here would be welcome, too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I knew it wasn't a train because........

OK, here's the big journal entry from October 1st, 1987. Was it really 20 years ago? GULP!

"Today we had a 6.1 earthquake. I was in the kitchen putting away dishes at 7:42 and everything started shaking-at first I thought it was a train but then it dawned on me it was an earthquake-I figured that out because the house was shaking and not vibrating and it was rumbling, not tooting. It lasted about 15-20 seconds. 7 people were killed-one a wall fell on her, one a man was buried under 30 feet of dirt so- There was another guy but I forgot what happened to him. Then 4 other people died of heart attacks. If you are wondering, I am in 7th grade and go to Goddard Middle School. Anyway, about the earthquake-it was freaky. People were saying we were going to have another one at 1:00 pm-they were full of crap. Poeple say we're going to have another earthquake in 1-5 days. I personally think they are wrong. If they could predict earthquakes they would of predicted this one and they sure didn't predict it."

It's funny to read it now in a sort of analytical way. Looking not at the writing style, or lack thereof, but content. It was so factual. I didn't say at all how the earthquake affected me emotionally. It was a really scary time. It was the first big earthquake I had experienced and although it didn't claim a huge number of lives, it caused tons of damage. I remember sitting at school that day wondering what would happen if there was another one and the school fell down. Classes that day were empty. More than half the students stayed home, and there was a steady stream of students leaving throughout the day. After shocks continued for a few days, and each one was terrifying....more scary than the big one because we didn't know if it was going to be "the big one". Yet I didn't say anything about that. I wasn't surprised to see that I didn't forget the gory death details. Geez!

Hope this wasn't too anticlimatic!

Anyone notice that in both journal entries I mentioned work that I had to do? Ours was a family that worked. I was bitter about it growing up because no one I knew had as many chores as I did, but I'm thankful for that training now. Not grateful enough to say thanks for working me like a horse though. ha ha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Flashback to the 80's....

I just ran across my old diary from middle school. Oh boy. I could hardly even stand to thumb through it. Seriously. That bad. Here's my plea: please, please don't let my girls be so inane.

So, here is a little sampling (word for silly word)-I was in the 7th grade when I wrote this-and I can't stop laughing at the latest greatest invention that rocked my world in 1987.

"Hi! Today is so hot-I had to do yard work today in the humid 105 degree temperatures. I was so mad I had to come out front and pick weeds out of the rose garden-my mom said I had a bad attitude and that I have to mow the back yard I just mowed 2 days ago. I was so mad. We have this cool thing on our phone it's called "call waiting". If your talking on the phone and someone else is trying to call it will beep and so you will kow someone is calling-you push the recivier and you can talk to 2 people at once. gotta go. Angie"

I'm still debating whether or not to post my entry from the previous day (for purely historical reasons). October 1st 1987. The infamous day of the 6.1 Whittier quake. Anyone intersted in hearing how I brillantly concluded it was an earthquake?

What flavor are you?

I can't vouch for how true these are, but they are fun! Click on the picture to play.

So what do you eat for lunch?

Making lunch for myself is one of the banes of my existence. I hate making meals 3 times a day, and I don't like to eat what my kids do for lunch. That's their "free" meal, meaning I let them eat things like macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, most of the time I just pick at whatever is around and junk, and never sit down to eat. So here's my question to all of you that eat lunch at home. Do you make time for a real meal? Do you make an effort to eat good healthy foods? I'm trying to do better......today I still stood up to eat, but I ate a bowl of endaname and a vegetable patty. Hope that's a step in the right direction!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Breaking News.....

Here's a sure fire way to get the news spread:

My dad is getting married. In January. To his longtime girlfriend, Margaret. It's kind of weird to think that the two families will be joined, and that I'll have 3 "step brothers" whom I don't even know. I hope my dad tells them I'm pretty much MIA all the time. I'm happy for them, and looking forward to seeing everyone in the new year. Oh.....that also means I'll finally get to meet my newest brother in law and nephew. Can't wait.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Opening soon........

...in a city near me.

Let's just say I'm beyond thrilled. Check out their website here: Panera Bread They have these really great soups and sandwiches, and don't even get me started on their cinnamon roll bagels.

Variations on some of my favorite quotes...

Rough night last night. Two vomiting children, no power. I've got a lot of cleaning up to do......before I tackle it though, I thought I'd have a little fun (see quotes in sidebar for comparison):

"It takes practice to grow up and barf in the toilet".

"Gratitude is healthy children."

"A room without children is like a tornado without a vortex".

"An impish smile is the light in the window of ones face that tells mom that you've been in trouble".

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guess what came in the mail today?

Are these big enough clues?

And speaking of delivered packages, yesterday my father in law sent us these incredibly delicious and gigantic danishes from a bakery in Michigan. Yummy. Thanks!

Duct tape.....a new look

I finally got serious with the duct tape and put it on their diapers at each change. This is the second day with no stripping incidents, and I'm one happy mama.



Monster slugs. You know how when you move to a different place you find new and interesting things surrounding you? Here's a perfect example. The slugs we have up here are enormous.....and plentiful, and just downright nasty.

This one is about 4.5 inches long.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

cheap, cheap......

I did NOT want to buy a new camera battery. So, I convinced Jeff (or rather together we decided) to go under house with this plan: cut through the PVC pipe, retrieve my battery and then repair the pipe. Easy. It seemed simple enough, and would have been if he hadn't sawed through the pipe right where the battery was. What are the odds, right? So, now we have a central vac pipe that needs repairing, a hot, un-usable battery, Jeff's time was squandered, AND I still have to buy a new one.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Busy Bee's

I bet some of you are wondering if I was productive today while Garrett was at school. Let's just say we were ALL productive. I cleaned, painted and organized my storage area under my stairs. I even cut a carpet remnant to cover the linoleum floor. I also touched up the paint in Garrett's room.

Jacob got into Garrett's room and touched the paint and then wiped it all over his shirt. When he was done with that he wiped his hands on Garrett's bedspread. In the meantime, John was busy taking his diaper off, again and again and again......and he still wasn't done.

I wanted to get pictures of my handy work.........and Jacob's too. But, I can't because the twins threw my camera battery down the central vacuum shoot never to be seen again.

And did I mention that while I was rushing Emma from ballet to another activity I totally scraped up my car?

Were we productive? Oh yeh! Proof that some days you should just stay in bed.

First day of Preschool

Garrett "officially" commenced what I hope is his lifetime of learning. Today he headed off to "real" pre-school. One day a week I also do a co-op preschool with him, but he considers that "pretend". So, for 1 hour and 45 minutes two days a week I only have the twins at home. Very strange! Time will tell whether or not I am more productive during that time. First on the list? I'm going to be elbow deep in paint today as I attack a storage area under my stairs. Wish me luck!

The twins are going to miss Garrett while he's gone!

My silly-billy's!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jacob said...

his first voluntary 3 word sentence. No, it wasn't "I love you". We all have to start somewhere, though, right? Are you ready for the magic words?
"I poop mom".

I'm SO lucky!

Laura and I won an awesome 6X6 album in tipjunkies giveaway. To see what she and I are lucky enough to have sent our way, go to www.tipjunkie.blogspot.com. I just recently found this site and am loving all the great ideas that have been showcased. Hip Hip Hooray!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm converted.....

I never thought I'd be conceding this, but I'm beginning to believe that my eye issues *are* a result of hard blinking. Went for my eye exam this morning and was assured by the surgeon that in the thousands of eye patients he has seen, he has never seen what has happened with my eyes. It looks like the danger of those nasty epithelial cells moving up and under by flap has diminished drastically, HOWEVER, it appears as if my flap has smooshed up a little more. We're talking like less than a millimeter, but it's still a concern, and I'm back to weekly to bi-monthly visits. Being crinkled a little on the edge makes an uneven or slightly raised surface, so it's possible that as I blink over time it's slowly pushing it up. So, he'll keep an eye on it, I'll try not to blink so hard (smile), and pray that it doesn't move anymore. I know I've said it before, but I do NOT want to have the flap lifted and re-smoothed. Not only am I terrified of it, but it increases my risk of epithelial ingrowth the second time around by 25%. Both doctors, by the way, are amazed that the cells didn't move up under my flap. As one put it, "the Heaven's opened and the angels sang" and those cells stopped moving. Call it divine intervention or just plain luck, but I'm thankful.

And, the oral surgeon doesn't think it's necessary to do a biospy. Music to my ears. WHEW!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'll give you one guess...

which "angel" this is:

Some Cousins at Tryon Creek

10 of the kids were up for the hike....

I really love this picture because it shows how much fun these cousins are having together. This past summer Jeff's brother and his family came up for a visit and the kids had a frenzy of fun. 17 cousins 10 and under. Just the parents as supervisors.....a free for all of memory making chaos. Just like I remember as a child with my cousins.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hot tip #5

Don't leave anything on the counter and walk away. Ever. Under any circumstance.

Friday, October 05, 2007

What did your kids do today?

*unrolled a whole roll of toilet paper
*slathered shampoo all over his head when he was not showering
*enjoyed some indoor gardening: i.e. threw potting soil all over my floor
*unloaded a whole bag of wipes
*got into strawberries at Costco and started throwing them everywhere
*lost my Costco card while shopping necessitating a new card
*got into the eggs while I was unloading the groceries, and threw one.....for fun
*took off his poopy diaper and came to find me
* the getting naked/taking off diaper count is up to 9 between the twins.

It's not even 3 pm. I can't wait to see what else is in store. Where was I you ask? Right there. The slippery little monkey(s) did it right under my nose. Wondering who did what? Jacob, Jacob, Jacob, Joacob, Jacob, Garrett, John, Jacob......sometimes it just takes writing it out to see who wreaks the most havoc in my house. I'll have to be more careful not to implicate John as often as I do! And, just so you know, this is pretty representative of the mischief that is played at my house each day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's happened........

the twins have hit the stage that I dread most. The stage that doesn't end soon enough and makes me want to bang my head against the wall. It has been going on for about two weeks, and I was foolishly hoping that they wouldn't find it fun for long......but I was wrong. They find it infinitely amusing to take off their pants and diapers. It's apparent that I need to invest in duct tape. Oh how I wish they had skipped over this phase.

Special Issue Smithsonian...

Have any of you seen it? It's all about 37 young innovators in the arts and sciences. And, they are all under 36 years of age. These men and women are my generation, and I really enjoyed reading about the ways they've contributed to our society. I love that a name and face is put to these individuals that have done something pretty spectacular in their own sphere. I was not familiar with even one of these names, and in most cases, not even with the contribution that they have made. But, the things they've done have made a difference. A big difference in the lives of many. Their determination, vision and intelligence has set them apart in my opinion as real players in the game of life. It made me think about the the influence I have on my sphere in life. What I do may not have an beneficial influence on thousands or even hundreds.....but maybe it will. I do believe in the trickle effect, and perhaps if I always strive to do the best I can in all that I do, it will rub off on others and those others will rub off on more people than I'll ever know. It takes all sorts to make up our world, and wouldn't it be great if everyone just did the best they could? The possibilites are limitless. I challenge you to think about what you do to inhance your world. I bet you'll be surprised!

Here are my favorite innovators featured in Smithsonian:

Michael Wong: he invented a "detergent" made of gold and palladium to clean up toxic waste faster (like a 100 times) and maybe even more economically, too!
Christina Galitsky: she invented a highly energy-effiecient and portable cookstove for the Darfur refugees so that the women wouldn't have to leave refugee camps in search of dwindling kindling. Couldn't we all use a stove like that in case of emergency?
Beth Shapiro figured out how to trace evolution and extinction in animals with DNA research.
John Wherry is developing a vaccine that provides immunity against influenza.....for life.
Luis Von Ahn has invented internet games in which players do work to help others. They may translate documents from one language to another or label internet pictures.
Amber Vanderwarker, an anthropologist is learning about the Olmec people by studying what they ate, rather than looking at alters or temples for the elite.
And my favorite, Terence Tao. The epitomy of a child prodigy. His work in prime numbers is famous, he's the youngest full professor at UCLA, ever, he's published more than 140 papers. This guy is amazing, and his vision is solving problems others can only scratch their heads at.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Evil twisty and boba

This is John's new trick. He makes this smile and then twists his head back and forth with this expression on his face all the while. When he performs this treat for us we call him evil twisty. His side kick is boba. Don't even ask how this originated. Gotta love it. The boys are 22 months old! Time flies when you're having fun.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Two years ago last month...

Ok, I can be more specific than that. Two years ago on September 19th I kissed my darlings goodbye and embarked on two days of uncontrollable tears. It was the beginning of my 2 1/2 month hospitalization and I didn't know if I had the endurance to do it. Since we already know the end of the story, I lived through it, and it really wasn't that bad. I'd do it again in an instant for my little twinnies. We all sacrificed to get the babies here safely, and I'm especially proud of my husband and children for their willingness to sacrifice the normalcy of their lives in order to add to our family by 2. After the first week, my incarceration got much easier, and after a few weeks, this is what I found:

I knew I had been inpatient WAY too long when...

1. I knew the housekeeper by name, she knew mine, but most importantly, she knew the boys names.

2. I had had EVERY nurse in the department at least 2-3 times.

3. The day the cafeteria forgot my yogurt I was MAD. The day they forgot to send my breakfast,I cried. The day the cafeteria forgot to send my breakfast AND lunch I was ready to go home.

4. I was better at putting the babies on the monitors than most of the nurses.

5. Taking a shower was THE highlight of my morning and the day a nurse didn't change my sheets while I showered was the day I almost lost it.

6. The nurses knew my babies by name, rather than baby A or B.

7. I had a schedule that I strictly adhered to. When things didn't go as planned I had to remind myself it was OK.

8. When my son cried when it was time to go. I thought he was finally showing that he missed me. Then I realized he was crying because he wanted to take home a stuffed bear.

Revealed....a panicy moment from long ago

Now it's funny. Then it wasn't. It was like a scene out of movie......could have been a comedy, could have been a drama, but I didn't want any part of it. I was about 16 and I was with my best friend at work. We had this really unique work situation. We pulled files for a dental office and these wonderful dentists trusted us with a key to the practice. (What were they thinking?) We alternated weekends and when it was our weekend we were supposed to go into the empty office and pull the charts for the week. We were supposed (here's the operative word) to be alone, but many times we went together. It was understood that we should go during normal hours, that we be honest with our time cards, that we do not bring friends with us and that we do our job in a timely manner and then leave. On this particular Saturday I went with Julie to help her pull the charts so she could finish faster. Julie turned the music up quite loud and we were having a great time hanging out. Julie was pulling the charts for the week, and I was putting away ones from the previous week. Then, we heard a key in the lock. Ahhhhhh, that could only mean one thing. One of the dentists had dropped in. Julie ran down the hall to turn the music down and I hid in one of the partners' bathroom. I picked this bathroom with care because I reasoned that that doctor NEVER came into the office during the weekend. If he did, he certainly wouldn't come in just to use the bathroom. So, I slid behind the open door and waited in the dark for whoever had entered the office to leave. Soon I hear a "hello Dr. Keegan". What? Dr. Keegan? The Dr. Keegan that never comes in? Deep breath. Everything is going to be fine. Surely he will grab something from his office and leave. Here comes the footsteps. Closer, closer, closer. Crap. Too close. Way too close. He's coming straight for me. Panic. Panic. Panic. I'm thinking: What am I going to do? How am I going to get out of this one? We are dead! And then the scene resumes. Uh oh. There's the light. There's the door closing. It appears he had one reason for coming into the office and one reason only. I'm exposed and nooooooo......but yes it's true. His belt is unbuckled and his zipper is down (dont' worry, I didn't see anything). Then he sees me and jumps about a foot. I don't know what to do. He's so startled that he doesn't realize I was standing behind his door in the dark. He says excuse me. He didn't hear me in here. I say it's OK and bolt. I wonder if it ever occured to him that things didn't quite add up. I do know I kept my job. And, I avoided him like the plague after that. But, that panicy, dishonest feeling has stayed with me, and I learned a lesson. I no longer loiter in places I'm not authorized, and if I'm going to hide, I don't do it behind bathroom doors.

Let's try to win