Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

I had to tell you this before we get started. I mentioned in a previous post that we swapped the Youngest child's room and the office last weekend. Aside from closets and bathrooms, the office is now the smallest room in our house. It's tiny. Anyway, last night our entire family was camped out in the office. The Mister and I were on our PCs, the Oldest child was on a laptop, the Youngest child was on an iPad, the cat was asleep on the Mister's desk, and the dog was asleep on the floor. I just thought that was so funny and I had to share. 


  1. My first memory is something I'd rather not remember and something I'd certainly rather not share. :)
  2. My first love was my husband. He's also my bestest best friend and my partner.
  3. My very first favorite color was probably pink or purple. It's kind of hard to remember back that far but I think that's a very safe guess.
  4. The first time I really felt like a "grown up" was driving around Pensacola on my own trying to find furniture for our very empty apartment. Considering the fact that I was 20, married, and a mother by this time, I'm probably not remembering accurately. 
  5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn off my alarm and walk down the hall to wake up the Oldest child. I don't hit snooze.
  6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc.) that I ever bought was...Ok. The first tape I ever bought was True Blue by Madonna. The first CD I ever bought was Metallica's Black Album. I never bought a record. That was just a bit before my time.
  7. My first car was...This is kinda hard. When the Mister and got together, he was driving a 1993 Ford Tempo that was his parent's car but that they let us drive when we moved out on our own. The first car we ever bought was a 1997 Chevy Cavalier. The first car that we bought that was in my name was our 2006 Toyota Rav4.
  1. Do you prefer to drive to your vacation spot or fly? It depends. When we went to San Francisco and to Paso Robles, I very much enjoyed the drive both times because I got to see parts of California I had never seen before. I also loved driving to the Outer Banks too. If it was more than a six hour drive though, I'd probably prefer to fly. Again, it would really depend on the location and what we would or wouldn't see on the way.
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Easy. The countryside in England. I want to see and experience the history that I've only read about, first hand. I also want a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle. San Diego's the best city and I love it and I'll probably always want to come back if I ever move away, but it's fast-paced and I'm tired of California drivers.
  3. Should grown up women wear leggings? Why not? If that's the worst fashion faux pas a woman is committing, we're better off. I'm really tired of seeing butt cracks and boobs hanging out where they shouldn't be.
  4. If you could change your name to any other name, would you? And what would it be? I really dislike my middle name but at this point in the game, I wouldn't bother changing it. I used to want to change the spelling of my first name from Trisha to Patrica because everyone misspells it but I've gotten over that too. Who cares? Nobody calls me by my name anyway. All I ever hear is Mom. And actually, I have two different aliases that I use online to avoid spam mail, junk mail, and sales calls.
  5. What magazines do you have subscriptions to? I subscribe to San Diego Magazine, Readers Digest, and National Geographic. I've let my subscriptions to Allure and Cooking Light lapse but would like to get them back.

  1. When I was little, I was called Trisha. I didn't have nicknames.
  2. Chewy Sweettarts, Runts, Chewy Sprees, Gummy worms, and Starburst are my favorite candies. I'm a sour candy kinda gal.
  3. If I could have one magical power it would be the ability to fly so I could travel more.
  4. If I could go back to school, it would be to become a dunno. I'm in school now getting my BA in English. I plan on following that up with a Master's in Library Sciences. We'll see what happens if and when.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Going for Normal Today

The Escape Artist

Because yesterday was just weird. 

Last weekend, we swapped the Youngest child's room with the office. The original office was bigger and had a bigger closet. Now that I'm not working from home, it barely gets used. It only seemed right and fair that the Youngest get a bigger room because, frankly, this room, the new office, is a glorified closet. 

Yesterday,  I was in the new office gaming it up (Yep. This is how I'm spending my time until my semester starts next month. Go ahead and judge, fat head.). I hear this crash behind me and look over only to see the cat on the freaking roof (I had the window open because our heating/AC is stupid. My bedroom is a stifling furnace every night while the new office and downstairs bathroom feel like a walk in freezer. So I opened the window to let some heat in because I was freezing my butt off.). I panic and try coaxing him back in the window but he was having none of it and disappeared over the top and onto the neighbor's half. I run downstairs, out the door, and over to the neighbor's, and he's up on their roof meowing his head off. He was scared and trying to figure out how to get down. If I was just a few inches taller, I could've grabbed him, but alas, I'm short. I finally remember that we have a ladder in the garage and run in the house to open the garage door. By this time, Kit-ten had wandered back to our half of the roof and was still meowing very loudly. I set up the ladder and kick off my shoes (I was wearing wedge sandals. Not the shoes for climbing ladders) and climbed up. At this point, he was beginning to enjoy the view and was chasing birds and flies up on the roof, completely ignoring me. I was edging away from panic and towards angry. I went back in the house and grabbed his cat treats and a can of food and a pair of flip flops because the treads on the ladder hurt my bare feet. Back on the roof, the cat had disappeared over the top again. I rattled his cat treat bag to get his attention and he came back to see if I was faking. I threw a treat at him and he chased it across the roof but still wouldn't come near enough to me to reach. I cracked open his can of food and he ran right over and started sniffing the can. I grabbed him and descended the ladder, food and treats left on the roof, lol. I tossed the escape artist into the laundry room, ran upstairs to finish ripping out the screen and shut the window, and then I had to clean up my rescue tools outside. Grrr! He so did not get the can of food. He had dry food instead. He and I were not friends yesterday but we made up last night. 

Also yesterday, I had to take the Oldest for an interview after she got a message on a Facebook page that I made up more or less as an example ages ago. I made a dog walking and grooming page for her as a way of showing her how easy it would be to start making her own money. We never really did anything with it and it sat stagnant for about a year. Then on Monday, a woman sent her a message asking if she was available to walk her dogs four times a week. So, we met up with her at the local dog park (I had no idea that park even existed. It's about a ten minute walk from our house), met her dogs, went over the details, and now her dog walking business is a real thing. The Oldest is very excited and is probably already mentally spending her money, lol. The lady told us that the Oldest's page is the only FB page in our immediate area offering dog walking services. She could really clean up if she actually started looking for more customers. 

THEN, the Mister came home from work yesterday saying that his right eye felt like someone had punched him. It didn't look like anything but he said it was very sore to the touch. By the time we went to bed last night, it was noticeably swollen. This morning when he got up for work, it was almost swollen shut. He insisted he was alright to drive to work (men!!) and he has an appointment in about five minutes at the clinic on base. We'll see how that goes. 

And all day yesterday, I felt like it was a Friday. Sincerely disappointing to realize I was getting up to Wednesday this morning, lol. Aside from the Mister's eye, I'm hoping nothing else out of the ordinary happens today. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

Before we get started, I have to acknowledge the importance of this day to my family. 15 years ago today, my husband began his enlistment in the Marine Corps. It's been quite a journey...and that's the most massive understatement I've ever made. We've lived in four different states and three different coasts:  Florida on the gulf coast, California (twice) on the Pacific coast, Vermont, and North Carolina on the Atlantic coast. We've moved nine different times. The oldest child has attended nine different schools, four of those were elementary schools. The youngest child has attended six different schools, four of those were elementary schools. The Mister has deployed to Japan and Afghanistan (we've been extremely lucky that he's only deployed twice in 15 years). Our experience with the Marine Corps has been, and probably will continue to be, the biggest love/hate relationship of our lives. I don't regret the bad times though, because they have only served to make us a stronger both as individuals and as a family. The Marine Corps is my little brother and it's best if everyone remembered that. I may dog on it, pick on it, and call it names, but unless it's your little brother too, you'd best keep your mouth shut about it or I might have to pound on you a bit. ;)

And now to our regularly scheduled Friday program.

 1. What is one grammar issue you cannot let go without correction? I always correct my kids on grammatical errors. When it comes to texts, I ignore most of them because texting seems to equal ignorance of the English language. Basically, I don't correct people because it's been my experience that nobody likes to be corrected.

2. What's your favorite thing about fall? Thanksgiving without a doubt.

3. What's your favorite dish to take to a potluck? I've never been to a potluck that I haven't been told what to bring ahead of time.

4. When do you start Christmas (Holiday) shopping? Whenever I get to it. I'm already storing up ideas in my head though.

5. Did you move homes a lot growing up?  If I remember correctly, I lived in six different houses/apartments growing up. I don't count the houses that either my mom or dad lived in when I wasn't living with them though. 
  1. The last time I was on vacation I went to Paso Robles, CA with the Mister to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It was fantastic.
  2. For Thanksgiving I like to eat turkey and for Christmas I like to eat ham. Anything else is just being a communist. :)
  3. My heart hurts when I see the Youngest struggling with school work or being picked on by other kids because she has the kindest heart and the most generous soul I've ever known and doesn't deserve the hard hand she's been dealt in life.
  4. Why must people degrade, bully, insult, and intimidate just to make themselves feel or look better?

  1. Something I am very proud of is persevering to get my undergrad. It's taking me an epic amount of time, but I'm still plodding along. It would have been easy to give up on it over the years and I've come close a couple times. 
  2. My favorite thing about myself is my honesty. I answer honestly and I want honest answers.
  3. My favorite color for fall is cranberry. I just bought a cranberry colored case for my iPad. ;)
  4. Something I've learned lately is red lights are just suggestions. Kidding. I learned what the steam punk genre of novels is.
  5. A book I am reading now is The Strange Case of Finley Jayne. It's a steam punk prequel to a series. I downloaded it for free on Kindle ages ago and just pulled it out this week. It's not too bad so far. Being a steam punk novel, it definitely takes some getting used to.
  6. My favorite Pandora Station is I don't have one. I listen to Pandora but I create my own stations. I really like my Of Monsters & Men Radio if that counts.
  7. This weekend I will attempt to relax and get a decent night's sleep. I'd also like to get a hike and geocaching in but it's supposed to be hot again this weekend. 
That's it for this week. If you'd like to play along, and you SHOULD!!, click on any of the accompanying pictures to go to the hosting blog. Have a fab weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday

 1. How long did it take for you to find your wedding dress? (Wedding dress pics anyone?) Doesn't apply.

Someone in your general vicinity releases a NASTY smelling fart. Do you say anything or blow it off? Ignore and walk away.

3. What is the scariest thing that happened to you or scared you recently?  I can't think of anything off the top of my head besides having nightmares almost every night for the past few weeks.

4. Favorite brand and flavor of ice cream.  Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

5. Are you able to sleep well in hotels? It depends. I'm not sleeping all that well in my own bed these days soooo...

  1. Right now, the weather where I live is  HOT. And it's been mildly humid. The humid part is actually kind of ok because it keeps the fire hazard lower but we're not used to humidity so we complain, lol.
  2. The best piece of advice I've been given is only you can decide when enough is enough.
  3. My most favorite person in all the world is Bailey. My dog.
  4. If I were to have a "mission statement" for my life it would be I'm drawing a blank here.
  5. My most favorite item in my closet is my Michael Kors clogs, lol. I love them. I also like this sweater/cardigan thing I have made out of alpaca. It's like wrapping myself in a hug it's so soft.
  6. The best cure for a bad day is go to bed early and try again the next day.
  7. Today is going to be better than my morning has been so far. 

  1. I like to drink tea and have soup when I am not feeling well.
  2. Roasted potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower are my favorite vegetables. 
  3. I get happy when I have had a pitcher of sangria with the Mister
  4. I'm surprised by cat when he attacks my hand when I'm leaning on a wall or walking up the stairs and it usually makes me laugh because he doesn't use a lot of claw when he does it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Old Hobbies Made New Again

Hiking at Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
If you live in San Diego county and you have never gone hiking here, you're just a big dull dud. Within the county, you can go hiking in the city, along the beaches, in the mountains, in the valleys, or out in the desert. We have it all except for the tundra. There's trails for all skill and age levels too. We have day hiking, overnight hikes, mountain biking, trail running, trails for kids, dogs, and horses. Seriously, there's at least one trail in this county that will appeal to everyone.

The first time we lived here, we did quite a bit of hiking. All of it was day hiking trails though or, trails that only take a couple hours at the most and didn't require much more than water and sunscreen. Since we've moved back, we've gone out a couple times here and there. We're taking it to another level now though.

Ever heard of Geocaching? Basically, it's using GPS (or one of the many phone apps out there) to locate a hidden cache. Caches can contain anything from a simple log to sign into, to items that can be tracked, to items that have actual value. The Mister works with a woman who found a $50 iTunes gift card in a cache. We went geocaching for the first time on Monday and out of the six caches we searched for, we found four of them. It was such a total blast! One cache had a trackable item in it. This is an item that has a code on it that allows you to see where it has been. We found one called a travel bug and it started out in Minnesota and traveled to Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, and finally here. We didn't even go out of our way to find caches because our favorite hiking spot is the Mission Trails Regional Park and it is full of caches. One cache was a few hundred feet from the Youngest child's school and we found that one while waiting for her to get out of school for the day.

View from QuarryHill at MTRP, San Diego
Another twist we're adding to our hiking is birding and identifying plants. We haven't done much of that besides buy some books and pocket guides, but I'm looking forward to giving it a go which we'll be doing on Saturday during our next hike. The weather forecast is predicting a high of 93 so we're getting up around 6:30'ish to try and beat the heat. We tried that last Saturday, getting up at 7:30 and the trail was already hot by the time we got there which was about 7:45. Which reminds me...

Check out this picture:

Do you see the lines painted on the road? This is the staging area to the park entrance that we use. This was taken on Monday so there were only a few cars, but on the weekends, the parking area is packed. Do you know what? Those lines are not parking spots. They are to show that cars aren't supposed to drive on that part of the road. See that lady on the left? She was giving parking tickets to all the people parked at an angle. She was in the middle of writing us one when the Mister asked if she was, indeed, writing us a ticket. She explained why and because we were standing there, let us move our car and park it parallel to the curb (that's our car at the end parked parallel). In all the times we've gone hiking here, we have never once seen cars parked parallel. They are always parked at an angle in what looks like parking spaces. I felt like I was in the middle of an episode of Parking Wars. 99% of the time, I'm on the side of the parking authority on that show. This, however, made me sympathetic to the drivers. There are no signs to indicate that parking within the painted lines is illegal (the sign in the picture that you can't read says "No Dumping). I'm willing to bet that nobody besides us and the people who got tickets that day are aware that you're supposed to park parallel to the curb. It's just not right, imo. Grr. What else are you supposed to think when you see lines painted a car width apart like that???

Anyway, we bought a Camelbak daypack (mine is purple) today at REI. A Camelbak is pack that has a bladder inside of it that holds water. It has a long tube that comes out of it with a bite valve to make it easy to drink while walking, hiking, or running. Our daypack has the water bladder in it plus two other zippered compartments with enough space to hold a first aid kit, snacks, pocket guides plus quite a bit more. It's not big enough for overnight hikes, but it's plenty big to go on 2+ hour hikes. It matches my new shoes, heheheh. I can't wait to take it out on Saturday.

Friday, September 07, 2012

September 7, 2012: Blog Hopping Friday


1. What is your favorite fall family tradition?  We don't really have a specific fall tradition. I do love putting out my fall decorations though. I suppose you could say that we do up the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game pretty big every year though. I think that's still in the Fall or maybe that's in the winter. I don't know.

2. If money weren't an issue, how many kids would you have? 
Just the two that I have. The Mister and I made a conscious decision not to have any more children and money didn't have a thing to do with that decision.

3. If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and where would you put it? 
I wouldn't.

4. What condiment is a must in your house? 
A variety of mustards.

5. How did your spouse/fiance propose? 
Ha! He was sitting next to me while we were awaiting the results of a home pregnancy test. He wanted to make sure that he asked me to marry him before we knew one way or the other if I was pregnant so that there would never be any doubt as to why he proposed. He simply asked and I said yes. It wasn't terribly romantic but it was very us.

  1. I wish I had more ideas for new authors to read because I'm out. I've read all the books currently published by my favorite authors. I'm re-reading the Outlander series because I have nothing else and they're HUGE!
  2. I stopped wearing my old running shoes that were the wrong size, didn't support my high arches and killed my shins. I LOVE my new running shoes that I got last night. 
  3. My favorite new song right now is Little Talks by Of Monster and Men because I love the rhythm, lyrics, and sound of the singers voices. I also love that I've never heard it on the radio. I like just about every song on their CD.
  4. I always sing while driving. I would say that always is a strong word though. But I very often sing while driving in the car by myself. I wouldn't want to kill anyone's ears by making them listen to me, lol.

  1. My favorite grade in school was second grade. I loved my teacher. 
  2. My favorite teacher was my high school government teacher. He really made me think and out of all my teachers, he made the biggest impression on me.
  3. The highest level of education I have complete is high school but I'm 12 credits away from my bachelors. If my classes don't keep getting cancelled, I'll have my degree in the spring. May'ish I think it is.
  4. School lunches for me were varied. There were times in elementary and junior high when they were painful for me. High school, for the most part, was ok. 
  5. The amount of money you'd have to pay me to go back to high school would be a lot. Being a high school student is a lot simpler than being married with kids, but it's not something I'd care to repeat and I couldn't graduate fast enough. That's saying something considering I graduated a semester early, lol. 
  6. A few things that will always remind me of going back to school are buying loose leaf paper, binders, folders, pens, pencils, etc. I loved buying back to school supplies and still do for my kids.
  7. The first day of school was always scary. I always worry about my kids' first day back to school but they seem to take it much more in stride than I ever did.
That's it for this week. If you'd like to have fun (and an easy Friday post) and participate, click on any or all of the accompanying pictures to go to the host blog. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

First Day of School 2012 Edition

Today was the first day of 7th grade and the first day of 10th grade for my daughters. It was a day that we were all dreading for different reasons.

The Youngest child is afraid she'll get a mean PE teacher, lol. She didn't really care for her PE teacher last year and is hoping that she gets a new one this year. She also agonized over which new ensemble she had would have the honor of being her back to school outfit. Other than that, she was excited to start back to school. She loves her new clothes, shoes, backpack, and school supplies. It's just the way that it should be for a kid her age.

The Oldest isn't looking forward to anything this year. Again, par for the course for someone her age. She isn't happy unless she has something to complain about so she should, in theory, be ecstatic to go back to school. She hates math specifically and really isn't looking forward to any of her new classes this year. There's also this girl that's been a thorn in her side since last year that she's not looking forward to dealing with this year. Normally, I chalk this kind of thing up to normal girl teenagery-type angst. But I've seen this girl in action. She copies the Oldest child's hair for cripe's sake and spreads rumors about her too. If she, the Oldest, doesn't end up suspended from school for fighting this year, I'll be amazed. Not that I condone violence or fighting and there will a punishment at home in store for her should she resort to violence. But some people don't learn lessons until they're slapped in the face with them...literally.

As for me, I'm not the type of mom that looks forward to the first day of school like an oasis in the desert like most parents do. Having a kid with learning disabilities makes school and homework a challenge beyond the norm. It's just easier having her home. Secondly, I really dislike dealing with the traffic three times a day. It was a nightmare at the Youngest child's school this morning and we even left early in anticipation of the back to school rush. ::sigh::

Other than the traffic though, today has gone off without a hitch so far (knock wood). I still have to pick them up and stuff. But I made them both the breakfast of their choice. Well, mostly. I served up scrambled eggs to the Oldest because she's not a morning person and I thought the extra protein would help her through her day. She is, after all, used to sleeping in until noon or later. She also had toast and Ovaltine. The Youngest had a waffle, banana, and a glass of Ovaltine. I felt very soccer mom-ish this morning, lol.

I found out today that my class that was supposed to start on the 10th is cancelled due to low enrollment. I was switched out to the October 22nd session which is when my other fall semester class is starting. I was hoping to have a staggered schedule this semester but no luck. At this point, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that neither of my classes are cancelled because the October 22nd start date is the last of the fall semester and I've already bought my books. I only have four classes left for pete's sake. Let me get it done!!!

Tomorrow is a run day for the Oldest and I. It's one more thing for which I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Having to get up an hour early to go running before school will take a lot of willpower on both our parts.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Let Me Tell You a Story About a Man Named Jed

This really isn't about Jed but I've had this song in my head since four this morning. I have no idea why. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw that show. Anywho...Why was I up at four am? That is what this story is all about.

I'm sound asleep (for once) and I hear knocking on my bedroom door. After three attempts to hear what the person is saying through the door (I don't function at 4 am), I finally drag my butt out of bed to see what's what. It's the Oldest child and she's telling me that there's a cop at the door. Fantastic. I say jokingly, "You and A weren't running around the neighborhood were you?" She answers back, "Well, A was at the park looking for her ID." It's four in the morning. I have no reply to this so I go down the stairs to talk to the cop who turns out to be housing security.

He informs me that he found A walking around at the park and that city curfew is 2200 for minors. Duh. Then he asks if I was aware that she was out of the house. Again. Duh. Don't I look like I've been roused from a sound sleep?? Then he tells me that he's supposed to call the San Diego police because she's broken curfew, but since she's a guest and doesn't live here, he was going to give her a break. Fine and dandy although, I think he should have called the police but at the same time, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the police too. He tells me that he's going to call her dad though which is again, fine with me. I go into the house, look at A and tell her not to step another foot outside the door, tell both her and the Oldest to go to freaking sleep, and go back to bed myself.

I finally get back to sleep around seven.

A's dad shows up at our house first thing this morning looking very unhappy. I tell him what I know of what happened, which is very little because I hadn't had a chance to ask questions. We apologize to each other and he leaves with A, who has said absolutely nothing and won't look me in the eye. No big surprise. First of all, her excuse for being out of the house was weak and LAME. Kids are so dumb. She doesn't live here. After her dad dropped her off, she didn't leave the house at least until midnight when the Mister and I went to bed. If she was, indeed, looking for her ID at the park, she lost it there sometime after midnight which still means she sneaked out of our house after curfew. I hope she came up with a better lie for her own parents because that's just the worst.

The Oldest child claims she doesn't know why A left the house. If that girl wasn't meeting a boy at that time of the night (she used to live here and still has friends in the area, obviously), then I'm a monkey's uncle. I cringe to think of all the heinous things that could happen to a beautiful, stupid, ignorant 15 year old girl walking the streets in the middle of the night. Military housing or not.

Even though the Oldest child didn't go out with her, she's still guilty of letting her go, not telling us, and for making bad decisions. She's grounded and I'm making her do chores that I don't want to do myself.

I've been through the terrible twos, potty training, babies crying in the middle of the night for no good reason, smeared diapers in the hair, and projectile vomit on the ceilings and walls. TWICE. I would do it all over again fifteen times if I didn't have to do the 14-18 year old stage. Teenagers suck wide. If it's not one thing it's another and it's ALWAYS something. A's dad is an injured war vet who survived cancer. Doesn't she think he's suffered enough?