Random Tuesday Thoughts

The first full lunar eclipse on a winter solstice since the 17th century, and Southern California, the place of eternal sunshine, is in the middle of an unending rainstorm.  Hopefully some of you were able to enjoy it.

I am looking forward to the big royal wedding. Hopefully, this marriage actually lasts more than a few years . . .

The Big Cheese is rather obsessed with The Grinch.  She’s really afraid he’s going to steal her toys on Christmas.  She asks us several times a day if we’re “really sure the Grinch isn’t real.” She loves the movies, the book, and stuffed Grinches, and she is a huge fan of the song. But some part of her just can’t give up on the fact that the Grinch might steal her Christmas presents.

My little bro is getting married in June, and The Big Cheese is gearing up to be the flower girl.  I am taking her dress shopping this week, and I am so excited to see her try on the “princess” dresses and tiaras.  She’s going to be gorgeous!

It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays, but I want to take a second to make a little public service announcement.  Remember that the extra time off right now is a chance to spend time together as a family, doing things you don’t normally do.  Take a morning and head to Chuck E. Cheese, and leave your cell phones in the car.  Go to a theme park or museum you’ve been meaning to hit and just haven’t gotten around to it.  Also, call up friends you don’t see very often and make a point to get together. 

I tried Kraft’s new Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese tonight.  It requires that you make a cheese sauce, add crumb topping, and throw in some shredded cheese.  Dear Hubby and I thought it was some of the best mac and cheese we’ve actually ever had, but the kids weren’t such big fans.  Bugster really didn’t like the visible herbs on her pasta, and The Big Cheese also wasn’t a fan of the green stuff.  I personally thought it was scrumptious!

OK, Gleeks. What do you think about Sam?  I just don’t think he’s hot enough to be with Quinn, and I really think he’s pretty mousy.  His voice is just O.K.  I just can’t jump on the Sam train.  What am I missing?

Totally scarred The Bugster.  We visited Santa over Thanksgiving weekend, and I went up to him with the girls.  The Big Cheese wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the whole thing, but she was O.K. since I was up there, too.  The Bugster started screaming and asking for Daddy, but we stuck it out.  The Santa picture is priceless, with her bawling at the top of her lungs.  Now, whenever Santa is mentioned, seen, or even comes in to her thoughts, The Bugster says, “No Santa bup.” (Bup = Bugster-speak for sit.)  We have assured her repeatedly that she doesn’t have to sit on his lap at all this, but I don’t think she believes us.  Dear Hubby is convinced she’ll forget by next Christmas.  I’m not so sure . . .

Oh, and I need to tell you about my Christmas present to myself, because I think you, our readers, will actually appreciate it, unlike some of my “friends.”  I bought a ticket to see the New Kids on The Block in concert in July.  They’re performing with The Backstreet Boys, but NKOTB is all I really care about.  I have wanted to see them since I was about 12, so I am having a lot of trouble containing my excitement!

Have you heard our new tagline?  Gen X Moms Blog: For when you don’t get carded anymore

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Nothing is Forever

Do you recognize this character?

I know the Christmas season is all about being charitable but it seems everywhere I  go now I get hit up for more money. It used to be I could just give to the Salvation Army reps who stood outside the stores with bells and buckets, alerting me to their presence but  never harassing me when I walked by. There were school and church fundraisers where I could buy from people I know. Now I get people who want money and food for a homeless shelter actually accosting me EVERY time I go to the grocery store, not just for the holidays. “Don’t make eye contact,” I tell myself. I don’t like being this way but otherwise I feel the need to explain why I’m not contributing each and every time I shop for food. Retailers now make the employees ask outright, would you like to add a dollar to that for this or that? In this case, I usually end up saying yes because they all sound like good causes and who wants to say no to the children’s hospital in front of all the other customers? Plus there is no way to avoid eye contact with a cashier. Unfortunately, it all adds up and by the time I find a cause I really want to give a more sizeable donation to, the money is gone. Then I feel guilty like maybe I shouldn’t have splurged on a facial I got last month.  (It was AWESOME by the way.) Too late! Guess I’ll be signing up for more volunteer hours instead. Letters to the military is an easy one. I can’t remember what blog had the idea about giving kids allowance and asking them to save a portion of it in a jar and then choose what causes to use it for the following year, but maybe it’s time to inspire my little man.

Speaking of charitable causes, here’s one that won’t break the bank. All you have to do is have your child write a letter to Santa and drop it into a designated mailbox at any Macy’s store. For every letter they receive, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to a million. They even have a cute web site for you to create and print the letter: http://social.macys.com/believe2010/#/home. Rocky sent a letter asking to be surprised and then added “unless I am on the naughty list for not following the rules at school and yelling at mommy”. He’s pretty curious to know if Santa really would give him coal. He’s torn between testing the theory and risking his presents.

Does anyone know if a Swiffer Wet Jet really is a good buy? Rocky got hooked on the idea last year after watching a commercial. He continues explaining to me that I need it because it is especially good at cleaning corners.  My sister’s son has a similar affection for Aqua Globes. Do those work?

What is your best bargain find so far? I got one of those free $10 certificates that JC Penney sends out every now and then and bought a gift that also happened to be 65% off the day I went in the store. I paid about $5 for a $45 item. Sears sent me a certificate from their club program that I used to buy $65 shoes for $6. Should I even bother putting a gift receipt in those boxes? Found a $90 Lennox table cloth for $12. Oh and so far I’ve managed to get three free magazine subscriptions just for being a member of magazines.com and for ordering flowers. Just in time to let all my paid subscriptions slide.

Just heard the tune “Hey Ya!” on the radio. Always puts a pep in my step even though if you listen to the lyrics it’s not an entirely happy song. I hate being tricked like that.

Sent your Christmas cards yet? Me neither. Quit your bloggin’ and get to it! I mean me, not you. You can hop on over to the Unmom for more randomness.

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Fa La La La La

Fell off the exercise ball at the gym today. I swear is just rolled right out from under me. There was a nice loud echo through the class as my rear hit the hardwood floor.  Loud enough for the instructor to stop the class and ask if I was alright. “Yes, fine”, I say as everyone stares at me. But it hurt and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it by the time I post this. Last month I tripped during a sprinting exercise and bruised my knee pretty good. I just kept going like nothing happened, trying not to draw more attention to myself. It’s tough being accident prone.

No pilgrims present at this Thanksgiving feast.

My child’s kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving feast at school. Out of three classes, none of the teachers decided to designate any pilgrims. And so the feast consisted only of Native Americans who I’m pretty sure weren’t all that thankful to the colonists after receiving small pox in return.  Just struck me as an odd (and horribly inaccurate) history lesson. They sure looked cute in their little headbands and vests, though.

So I was at a fast food place one day, watching the kids play in one of those indoor playgrounds that resemble a big hamster cage. While at first it seemed like a fun idea,  it annoyed me that the openings are so small that adults cannot go in and retrieve a child when it’s time to leave and you can’t actually see where the children are until they appear in one of the little bubble windows. Then I saw a toddler go in wearing nothing but a diaper and it occurred to me that if that diaper leaks in there or someone gets sick, no adult is going in to clean it. Like ever. And then I glimpsed a girl who seemed to be bleeding and crying but I couldn’t quite tell through the blurry plastic window. I informed the mom who was so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she didn’t bother to check it out. Found out later that another child actually hit her and that is why she was bleeding. So now I have to be concerned about:

  1. extremely unsanitary conditions in there
  2. not being able to yank my boy out when it’s time to go
  3. bully’s preying on him

I think I’ll just stick to unenclosed outdoor structures from now on. That is a definitely a plus of living in SoCal. My child envies his cousins back east for their basements full of toys. He doesn’t realize it is a substitute for playing outside during the colder months and many rainy days. I remember well the hours my friends and I spent rollerskating in my parent’s basement. My brother and sister’s rock band practiced down there. Yes, a basement has its privileges, I guess. But I still prefer the sunshine.

I love the Christmas season but it seems to be getting longer every year. I do not want to see decorations two weeks before Thanksgiving and I certainly don’t want to look at Christmas trees at retail stores in October. Let’s give Halloween and Thanksgiving their due!

Rocky can’t decide what he wants for Christmas so he is going to tell Santa to surprise him. I said what if he brings you underwear? “No, Mom,” he argues. “Santa only brings toys.” I have no clue what the hottest toy for a 5 year old boy is but I guess I don’t have to spend any time hunting it down since it’s not on his radar. Whew!

Does anyone else do their shopping in the following matter? One for so and so and one for me. Oooh, I like that and I found a great deal on it – half off! One for a relative and another one for me equals the original price so that’s fair. Like buy one get one free. With so many items on the Christmas bill, no one will notice it is padded with stuff for me, right? After all, Hubby is a last minute shopper so he only gets what’s left …

Hop on over to the Unmom for more random thoughts today.

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More Tuesday Ramblings

My son turns 5 this week so I’ve been clearing out old toys to make room for new ones. Wish I could include more from my list of most annoying toys but most are still beloved and in use.

Is it bad to expose your kid to extra television in pursuit of good cleaning habits? It only took a couple of episodes of Clean House to convince Rocky of what can happen if we don’t pick up after ourselves. Plus it always makes me feel better about my house even when it’s not looking its best. Which, of course, won’t be this week because my mom and dad are coming to stay. Look Mom, no dust! Oh how I used to argue with the sibs over who got the worst chore. Like there’s any difference between vacuuming, dusting or folding towels all afternoon (Each of us kids used at least two towels at a time and never reused them before throwing into the laundry – sorry, Mother Earth).

Took this snapshot of some meerkats at the San Diego Zoo. One can only guess what must be going through their minds as they mug for the cameras.

Football season arrives at last. I must pick a winner and a loser each week for the family pool. The kicker is that we can never pick the same team twice in each category. Losing the first week will set the tone for the rest of the season. Ah well, maybe I’ll just flip a coin. Too early to know who will be good. This year dear Rocky’s name is on the roster so he gets to pick. Should be interesting.

Today I have to go to the dentist to have 3 cavities filled. I got a clean bill of health during my last 6 month visit. My diet hasn’t changed. I got the (supposedly) kick-ass electric toothbrush. What gives? I asked the dentist and the gals who work in the dental office. They just shrugged and said as you get older, your teeth go downhill like the rest of your body. That’s it??? The assistants both said they had teeth problems and one of them went on to say her solution was to brush at least 6 times a day! Should I be worried that the people working at my dentist’s office have these issues?

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Random Tuesday Thoughts

In November I had a teenager come to my door selling magazine subscriptions for college.  I figured that since it was Christmastime I would get a subscription for my 12 year old.  I ordered Nintendo Power for 3 years.  5 months later (yes, 5 months!!) Game Informer arrived.  The games featured in this magazine are mostly M for mature.  What the heck, I ordered Nintendo Power.  Where is this teenager and why is the company switching subscriptions on me.  The worst part of it is I can’t find the receipt on who to call and complain.  Then more recently I had another teenager trying to sell me the OC Register to earn money for school.  When I told him I wasn’t interested he got rather nasty towards me.  I told him I have 2 kids of my own I am trying to support, he retorted with “I hope when they’re out trying to make money they encounter bi&@hes like you”.  Really?  You hope that for my children?  I’m a bi&@h because I didn’t want the paper?  I don’t understand teenagers today, when did we lose respect for authority.  I certainly hope I’m raising my children better than that kid’s parents.


"Abstract fishies" taken by little C

Little C has discovered how to use the camera on my iPhone.  Usually the videos are pretty darn funny, but lately he’s been recording himself doing REALLY annoying stuff.  He loves the song “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, but he records himself over and over again p-p-p-p-poker face.  He also LOVES fans, like almost making me scared he’s Schizophrenic type love for fans. When I take him to my office, he runs in, hugs the fan, says hello to it and kisses it.  When I manage to get my phone back from him it has at least 40 pictures of fans.  I’m actually pretty surprised at some of the abstract art he makes with the camera.  I guess he’ll be my little successor.


I saw the Runaways this weekend with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.  I was really pleasantly surprised at the movie.  First, I love Joan Jett but don’t know much about her so I found the movie really interesting how they were the first chick rock and roll band back in the 70’s.  Second, after watching Kristen in the Twilight movies (same with Dakota Fanning) I had forgotten that both these girls have some serious acting chops under their belt.  I think they both did great. Which makes me wonder, what is it about the Twilight movies that make the actors act so horribly?  Rob Patt is also a phenomenal actor, it’s as if the moment they step on set for the Twilight movies they all act super lame.


I discovered Krazy Ketchup recently at Whole Foods.  This stuff is super yummy, its organic, has sweet potatoes, carrots AND squash in it, and to top it all off its made with agave instead of sugar.  I highly recommend it.  And speaking of organic and healthy eating, I’m going on record stating that I am going to lose 30 lbs by the end of the year.

Head over to the Un-Mom for more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Mouse was the most easygoing, mellow baby you’d ever meet. One of the moms in our group once commented, “I’ve never heard him cry!”

Well, those days are over. While the Librarian’s Rocky skipped over the Terrible Twos (only to rear its head as the Fearsome Fours), Mouse is definitely not taking that detour. Oh, the wailing! The histrionics! The drama! He responds fairly well to the “no audience, no behavior” approach, walking away from him where safe or turning my back where it’s not safe to walk away, but let me tell you, the tears get old very quickly.

He would like me to make a list of the current Tools of Baby Oppression being foisted upon him on a regular basis by the Evil Parents. They include:

  • Diaper changes
  • The car seat
  • Shoes
  • Bibs
  • The church nursery, specifically being left in the care of people who absolutely love and adore him and have known him his entire life
  • Taking away something he is holding, has just recently held, or might at some undetermined time in the future want to hold

He begs for your support and assistance in thwarting these continual injustices. Thank you.

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My beloved elderly beagle, Scout, has injured her back. She needs to be confined to a small space until she heals, which is challenging. I’m not sure what’s worse–the injury, or her incessant complaining about it.

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I started working on another graduate degree, an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. This is a low-residency program, so twice a year (July and January) I travel to Vermont for an intensive 10-day residency and in between I correspond with my faculty advisor. I completely my first residency a couple of weeks ago and it was an amazing experience. I forgot how much work graduate school is, however. By December 9th I will have to have read 50-75 books, primarily for young adults and middle grade (9-12 year olds). Good thing I like reading.

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The heat this summer is NOTHING like last summer. Thank GOD.

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My brother the rocket scientist (no, really–he’s actually a rocket scientist) turned 40 this week. I can vividly remember as a child thinking that being 40 was pretty much akin to having one foot in the grave. Now I find myself thinking “40 is old??? Old is, like, 90.” Funny how our perceptions change.

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Does anyone have a PedEgg? Do you like it? When I first heard of them it grossed me out (cheese grater for your feet!). But my feet are now in need of some serious attention and the pumice stone isn’t cutting it. I’m a little nervous though. I mean it’s got its own infomercial, so clearly it’s the best and most effective product available, but I’d hate to throw away 10 bucks (or whatever) on something that is going to make me nauseous as it doesn’t work.

Head over to the Un-Mom for more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I’m reading Eat, Pray Love right now and absolutely loving it.  What a fabulous story.  I’m hoping to finish it before the movie with Julia Roberts hits theaters.  While I’m not a very religious person by nature, I do miss having spirituality in my life.  The last time I was religious was in the second grade when my teacher, Mrs. Milam actually impressed me so much I wanted to become a nun!  28 years later I have no intention of becoming a nun, but I do think I will take Elizabeth Gilbert’s lead and begin my own spiritual path.


LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

Speaking of movies that are coming out… did you know they are making a live-action Smurf movie starring the one, the only NPH (Niel Patrick Harris)?!?! I am so excited I can barely contain myself. My brotheer and I were so into the Smurfs that we had all the little action figures and made a Smurf village in our backyard complete with a pool, well and ski slope. I just really hope they don’t mess it up and keep the nostalgia of it. And come on… Hank Azaria as Gargamel? I’m still geeking out over it!”


My youngest son little C has started singing.  He sings (or hums) everything!  We’ll be in the car and even if he doesn’t know the words he’ll mumble to the tune as if he’s singing.  His favorite song to sing?  Poker Face by Lady Gaga.  I think its all the p’s.  It too stinkin cute.


ARRRRR! I'm Godzilla!

And since I’m talking about little C, he is obsessed with Godzilla!  Lucky for me there are over a dozen Godzilla movies on Netflix streaming.  I thought it would be too scary for him but he loves them.  We started with the old 1950’s version and he was hooked.  I’m a little shocked though, Godzilla is different in every movie, sometimes he’s the bad guy, and sometimes he’s the good guy.  I wish the Japanese would just make up their mind how they feel about him!