Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gag me with a science project

My boys go to a fabulous school. #1 is in 10th grade and taking physics. He has a project to do, build a Rube Goldberg machine. Here is a picture of one:

What they are planning is along the lines of the photo, but with 2 bowling balls and fireworks...I kid you not. Neat project, eh? In theory yes. The reality is more along the lines of shoving a red hot poker into one's eye socket. The biggest problem is that he isn't doing this on his own, he is teamed up with 2 other whack-job 16 year old boys! We have affectionately dubbed them the Squirrel Twins. On their own, they are probably marvelous, intelligent guys; together they have the combined IQ of a brussel sprout. They haven't done the physics involved, they have come up with the idea and then want to go buy the supplies. We went to the home of ST1, I went along because his mother wasn't home, so I had to "supervise", ST2 came over and they began planning...while playing Guitar Hero! I like loud music, but my fillings were jarring loose. I just sat and read my book. While ST1 is telling me that they can build anything with wood we want, he has the problem...his mother comes home. She wasn't aware that people were coming over and apparently the little darling wasn't supposed to be playing video games...oops. She removed the gate from the stairs & heaved it across the room while shrieking for ST1 to GETINHISROOMNOW! #1 shrunk to about the size of an armadillo, whispered to me "I told him to tell his mom.", and asked if we should flee now. We got the rest planned and fled.

We went to the handyman's hideout and I asked if someone could help us. A nice man named Alan did and began asking incredibly complicated questions like; what is it supposed to do, how big is it going to be, and (worst of all) with what are you going to make it. Turns out these Einsteins haven't...even...done...the...physics! #1's response to my asking if they had done ANY calculations was, "oh, we're going to try it & if it doesn't work, we"ll try something else." It is due on Monday. I'm walking this very fine line between helping him and letting him do it. ST1 really doesn't seem very reliable, so I tentatively set up a rendezvous with my dad to do the construction.

Will I ever survive my kids' education?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Makes Me Smile

So I've been surfing around checking out new blogs. I've read things that made me almost spit tea on my keybord, things that bored me to tears, and things that actually made me have real tears, they were so touching. A couple times I saw lists of things that annoy the author. While I'm all for making a list of annoyances, there are really untold opportunities to get peeved every day, I thought I'd go against the grain (who me?!) and list what makes me smile.

I got this photo from someone at work. It was in a chain with a bunch of other interesting/silly/amazing photos. I set this as the wallpaper on my computer. Everytime I see him I smile. I do realize that it is most probably photoshopped, but admitting that is like admitting the Easter Bunny is real. It pains me. Either way...I wish I had taken and/or photoshopped this picture.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My dad's doppelganger

My dad is remarried. His wife is wonderful, so good for him and we love her. But, like with most newly weds, we don't see them with any kind of regularity. When I heard about the nursing home killer, and that he looked like my dad, I had to check it out. This is the man...and, yes, he does look an awful lot like my dad...when his hair & beard are untrimmed...without the red.

I just found out that I don't have a picture of dad on my work p'uter. I'll have to add to this later.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It may not be much to you, but I made my own background. The creating of it wasn't difficult, I just used a cool freebie kit made by Nicole Young at DSP. I highly reccomend them, lots of incredibly talented people there. The biggest problem was sizing the stinking thing so that it would fit correctly on the screen. Now it is done, I'm happy...until I can find enough time to make my own elements...that will come...some day.

For now, here is a picture I wanted to share:
I received this in an email...from whom, I don't know. I just know that I would love to have a tree like this!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Light Grocery Store Reading

DM wanted to go to Sprouts early Saturday morning for their Easter egg hunt. Why this was important, I'm really not sure. The best part about it was the weather. Cold, grey and rainy...perfect weather for only one day! The hunt for kids ages 0-5 was to start at 7:45. AM. Yes, the morning. Even though we only live about 10 minutes away we had to get up at 6:15 to get ready.
Why, you ask? Because Driven Man was driving this bus. One wouldn't want to be *gasp* late for an egg hunt at Sprouts! The world as we know it would come to a screeching halt. Dogs and cats would begin living anarchy would ensue. The Princess was awakened and of course she was interested, she's 5, a girl and, well, all her brain cells are not yet fully formed. If she were 40 and had this mental capacity she would be referred to as retarded. I was commanded to go since this was a "bonding experience" for the Princess and her parents.

I am evil, I know, I just couldn't walk out of the house and leave my minions sleeping. 3 blissfully slumbering boys in a nice warm house while I have to be up and attempt to be cheerful? JUST PLAIN WRONG. I asked the Princess if she wanted her brothers to go. She seemed hesitant, but said she wanted one. I burst into their room asking for a brother representative. After the moaning and writhing ceased, #1 said he would do it. I was shocked really, it wasn't that difficult to convince much for my fun. We picked up Wawa...why? Because nothing says Forced Family Fun like pre-dawn grocery shopping with Grandma!
We arrived at Sprouts, which is probably my favorite store right now, around 7:25. There were almost no cars in the lot. DM didn't know if the hunt was inside or outside, maybe they cancelled it because of the weather! I said (stupidly) "There are people inside". You say it, you check it, is the DM motto. I got out of the car, because apparently I don't have many more functioning brain cells than the Princess. There was a cute blonde cashier dressed as a bunny and they were putting up balloons and placing plastic eggs all over the store. IN PLAIN VIEW! There was really no attempt made to actually hide the eggs. I returned to the car with the recon report and Wawa, the Princess and #1 got out. We STOOD IN FRONT OF THE STORE waiting for it to open. While waiting in line, freezing my tuckus off, I realized we were missing someone...a particularly vital someone...the sumbich who was responsible for all of us being there! DM was in the car getting himself a little ole beauty nap. I glided over to the van (stormed), sweetly asked (growled) what he was doing, and asked kindly (demanded) that he join us (get his ass out of the car). A pregnant woman with a 3 year old spotted us & GOT IN LINE! The manager (in the background of the photo) poked his head out the door and said they will be opening in a few minutes. More "customers" arrived to wait in line behind us. Think Grapes of Wrath meets Black Friday. Boy were we a motley crew.
When they finally opened the doors, we were informed that the kids should only take 5 eggs each, so there would be plenty for everyone. It took the Princess all of 30 seconds to get her eggs and then put enough back so she only had 5.

The best part of the whole event was looking up and seeing #1 reading the Communist Manifesto. The irony was lost on him. If you look closely at the picture, you can read the title...I couldn't make this stuff up!
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photo Challenge

So I saw this photo challenge on Toni's blog. I love her muchly & miss her just as much.
Unfortunately, the sixth picture in the sixth folder on my computer is just the compeletly sweet, standard Christmas picture. Every year on Christmas we take a picture with Wawa, by the Creche. Hey I could scrapbook those! Yeah right, when my kids are gone & I've caught up on my sleep. One special thing we do is put hay in around the Baby Jesus, to keep him warm. I think the Princess is holding some in her hand.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Offending Pustule

#2 had a dermatology appointment. He's supposed to go every had been more than that...much, muuuuuch more than that. DM took him as I was in the midst of one of my grueling 11 hour work days.

I got a text from the boy, "they put a needle in my nose."

See, he had had a...pimple, zit, growth, protrusion...whatever. It had been on the side of his nose for nearly a month. I thought it was going to burst and spiders would come crawling out of it a la "The Believers" . He had squeezed it a couple times and the substance that erupted from it was neither puss nor blood but an evil combination of the two.

The quack said, "That is no's an infection." Hence the needle in the nose.
He texted me again saying, "they hurt me." My poor baby. After a rousing course of antibiotics, he is clear complected once more.
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The Track Meet

So, I insisted on bringing all the kids to #1's track meet on Saturday. It was at my alma mater-ish. While it is not the school I graduated from, it is the school that I claim.

One year as the invisible girl at Alhambra, does not an alumni my way of thinking anyway.

So Bourgade is "my" highschool. I may have been back there once or twice since graduation and have successfully avoided any reunions in the last century, but being there with my princess was really a nostalgic, angst filled, neck ruffling way. I think the reason I was finally ready to enjoy being back is because I've finally grown into myself. I'm no longer the dorky, shy, insecure teenager. I'm the dorky self-assured old lady. I really like this stage sooooo much better. I enjoy, even revel in the weirdness that is me. I like who I am and really don't care what others think. Now this doesn't mean I'll go to the store unshowered and bra-less...I might kill someone! But if I don't look perfect, it really is okay. I am not my appearance, tho' I still do, occasionally, shave my legs and consistently wear a minimal amount of makeup.

It was fun showing the princess where Papa & Mama met and, unlike the boys, she thought it was neat.

Maybe I'll go back, before another hundred years passes.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Flipping Gluten Allergy/Intolerance...whatever!

So I have this awesome chiropractor. She has helped me so much in the past couple years I can't even begin to articulate it.

After the princess was born & I was so sick, I also developed an anxiety disorder...apparently not uncommon with cardio problems. So, for the past almost 6 years I've dealt with this amazingly annoying condition. I finally discovered that when my life is actually super stressful I do okay, but let things mellow out a little bit, the anxiety rears it's ugly head. When Doc & I talked about it, we came to the conclusion/assumption that I'm sort of an adrenaline/stress addict and when it is removed my body doesn't know what to do. I thought it was a good theory, but what do I do about it? At that point she suggested an elimination diet...removing wheat, dairy, sugar. I thought about it for a while, because that is a daunting task.

I started realising that I had been having digestive issues, for a while now. Bound up and abdominal discomfort quite frequently in the past year. The more water I drank & exercise I got, the worse the's really not supposed to work like that! The whole elimination diet kept ruminating around in my brain while I was busy doing other things.

About a month ago, out of the blue, I decided to eliminate wheat and see what happened. Tuesday was the day I began refraining from the offending grain. Wednesday I was going REALLY fast. Almost like an anxiety attack, but different. I couldn't turn my brain off and was extraordinarily manic. I started thinking that the crazy psycho doc I'd been to, who thought I was bi-polar, might be right. Thursday I felt better but my muscles started twitching periodically & I didn't know what was going on. When I saw Doc I told her I was feeling weird and she asked what changed. I told her about eliminating wheat and she asked how I'd felt the day before and proceeded to tell my symptoms I was having and said I was allergic to wheat. Very strange.

It really hasn't been hard for me to stay away from it, mentally I don't miss it that much at all. Now when there are big cookies at work or a nice loaf of crusty bread for dinner, I go, aaaawwwwwww. Most of the time though, I'm fine.

Last week DM made meatloaf for dinner. When I asked what he put in it, he said just seasoning. That night I couldn't get to sleep, just couldn't turn my brain off. The next day I was psycho manic girl again. When I got home I asked DM if he had put bread crumbs in the meatloaf, he apologized & said yes, but he had forgotten. It was nice to have the confirmation that I do have a problem with wheat.

Today #1 has a track meet. While at the meet I got a cheese burger, no bun. I sort of felt like a loser, but oh well...when has THAT ever stopped me? The princess had nachos and I ate a few of them. Corn is okay right?! Approximately 45 minutes later I started feeling weird. Going fast, shaky, etc. I started wondering about the cheese sauce for the nachos, but tried to blow it off. As more time passed and I was feeling worse, I went to the snack bar, dug the nacho can out of the garbage, wiped the coffee grounds off and read the label. It has modified food starch and natural flavor in it...both can be hidden wheat.

It pisses me off, but again, it is good to have the confirmation that I really do need to stay away from a big way.

This has probably taken me twice as long to type as it should since my hands are shaking and not behaving like they should.