Friday, May 30, 2008

New Shoes!

As I'm sure you're all quite aware of, I'm going to Mexico in 2 weeks (yes, 2 weeks, neener-neener-neener!). Anyway, I plan on doing alot of hiking, walking on rocky terrain (as Cozumel is not known for it's sandy beaches) and playing in the ocean. I was wanting a decent pair of all purpose shoes. Big Daddy went online and found an amazing pair of Teva's that fit this bill. He ordered them for me and they came in yesterday. They are SOOO cool! They are like sandals, sneakers and water shoes all in one! Now we bought a close-out on last year's model, but that was cool anyway since the color was better and the price was significantly less. Hooray for internet shopping! So, I just thought I'd show off my nice new shoes. Feel free to tell me how cool they are!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Front flower bed, almost done!

I've been working hard the past week or so trying to get all the planting and mulching done. I still have a bit more mulch to lay down, but I'm happy with how well the plants are acclimating. Wish I could say the same for my vegetables! Anyway, here are some pictures of all my hard work!

Little Blue Daze
Blackfoot Daisies
Sweet Lollipop Plant

Recovering from Rockin' Out!

Well, Iron Maiden was a blast! Dropped the kids off, and Jorge and I headed to San Antonio. Traffic wasn't too bad, we had enough time to actually stop and grab a bite to eat, which is good because food at concerts sucks and is expensive! We got there early enough to see some of the opening band which was Lauren Harris (Steve Harris' daughter). She wasn't anything to write home about, but it must be cool to have a dad that you can open for on tour! The weather was awesome, cool breezes all night, however, the breeze did screw with the sound a bit, depending on which way it blew, it was kind of weird! The band was all original members (well, I guess the original members from when Bruce Dickinson was in the band) plus some other guitar player. If I'm getting the story right, this guy was playing with Maiden before Adrian Smith came back and I guess they didn't have the heart to fire him! Needless to say, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith were so much better, but hell, this other guy was so involved with swinging his guitar around his neck and grinding on it and throwing out all of his best 80's butt rock moves that he hardly played a note! Guitar players aside though, the highlight of the show was seeing Steve Harris. That is one bad dude! He is a great bass player (for that style of playing) and he is fun to watch. You can tell that guy is REALLY into his music and it is always cool to see someone really into what they're doing, it just makes it come across so much more authentic, you know? Bruce was pretty bad ass too, I had to laugh because he would run off stage and come back on with capes and shit. It was like watching my son play dress-up! It's nice that big boys still like to pretend! And of course let's not forget Eddie. Since this was my first Maiden concert, this was my first Eddie. He was big and menacing, but for some reason they couldn't or didnt' bring his arms up very far, so he looked more like he was performing at the piano bar downtown rather than being a monstrous, undead mummy full of vengeance and woe! I mean it was cool and my 6 y.o. would have thought it was the awesome, but I was having Spinal Tap's Stonehenge flashbacks!

All in all, Iron Maiden put on a good show, but so did the crowd of people attending! I had the best time watching all the guys who are like 50 and still stuck in the 80's. You know the ones, long, frizzy hair, tight black jeans and big honkin' John Holmes porno stashes! And let's not forget all the hoochie mamas in thigh high patent leather boots and patent leather corsets, which back in the 80's when they were 20 might have been hot, but with age and gravity, not so much anymore. And the entire place was filled with black concert t-shirts as far as the eye could see! And note to self for future reference, it is stupid to go on a beer run alone. Something about a girl walking through a crowd of hyped up, half-drunk, men holding a beer in each hand leaves the door open for ALOT of lewd, crude and not so attractive offers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mama's Steppin' Out Tonight!

It took a crap-load of finagling, but in about 30 minutes I am heading out the door to drop kiddos at a friend's house and pick up her boyfriend and head to San Antonio to see Iron Maiden! Oh yeah, 80's butt rock at it's finest! It's cool, Big Daddy isn't a fan of Iron Maiden and he saw them back in the day anyway and my friend could also care less about IM, so we have agreed to "hubby swap" for the evening. Big Daddy will head to her house after work to have dinner and pick up the kids, while her boyfriend and I head to the concert to rock our asses off. Please picture me with my fist held high, my head bangin' and my tongue sticking out in a lewd gesture! It's always good to have at least one friend who can still appreciate the finer things in life! I'll give the down-low tomorrow! Rock-n-Roll Baby! Rock-n-Roll!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trina's Observation of the Day

After all my errands today, I happened to be in downtown Pflugerville at the time their farmer's market was happening. This was exciting to me since I have been looking for a farmer's market that is not way the hell down in S. Austin. This is a new market, so not alot of vendors yet, but I hoped still had potential. I was sorely disappointed. There were two over-priced veggie stands. Call me crazy, but organic or not, I'm not paying $3 for 4 squash! And a bag of small carrots (less than a pound) was $5! Carrots for $5, Bugs Bunny would be outraged! The rest of the tents had various other items, tie-dyed shirts, jewelry, honey, jams, etc... All nice enough, but I want a farmer's market so I can buy local produce... affordably! However, there was one thing that made me giggle. There was a tent with these 2 young women selling organic, vegan, baked goods, cookies, cupcakes, etc... The Monkey Man asked if we could get a cupcake, I figured, what the hell, I wasn't going to buy anything else so we walked up to the table and those cupcakes were (and I shit you not) $3.50 A PIECE! I'm sorry, but unless those bastards are laced with pot, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY they're worth $3.50 a piece! Maybe I should get a booth, I can make cupcakes, they wouldn't be vegan, but I could sell the damn things for $2 a piece and undercut the vegan girls and make a hell of a profit! Hmmmmmmm...

Death of a Squash

My first zucchini plant bit the dust today. I fear the other two squash plants are soon to follow. I'm so sad! I knew I couldn't expect my first gardening experience to be perfect, but I from what I always knew, there was just no way to kill a squash plant! Well, looks like I can! All three plants starting getting yellow, although they did produce blossoms and this was the first to blossom and had several blossoms so I was optimistic, but it is a curled and sad little stump today. Are they getting too much sun? Everyone tells me that squash flourish in full sun, hence the reason I bought them. Wonder if I would have had better luck if I would have had stuff ready to plant early and planted with seeds? I was SO looking forward to fresh zucchini this summer! Sigh.

At least the tomatoes seem to be holding their own, as well as the bell peppers, although they are looking a little weak. I don't think anyone in town has anymore zucchini or crookneck plants, so I don't know what to do with the rest of the garden. Maybe I should plant nasturiums, pretty flowers and edible too. Anyone with gardening experience in TX, please let me know if there is anything that might help save my squashies. I dosed them with liquid seaweed per the nursery I deal with, thought that would give them a little boost. That was two days ago, but alas, it seems to have not worked at all. Oh well, I'm bound to have disappointments in a vegetable garden, I suppose we all do. Guess I should chalk it up to a learning curve and move on. It's true what they say about the $20 tomato, except in this case it's the $20 zucchini!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Only Four More Weeks!!

Yea! Four weeks until we head off to Cozumel! I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!!! We went out this past weekend and bought another bikini (figured I will need at least 2 suits while we're there) and it's really cute! Big Daddy has new sandals and shorts and we are just counting the days! We need to sit down and start planning things out a little bit. As much as I want this to be a totally relaxing and enjoyable vacation, there are several things that I want to do while down there. I want to see the San Gervasio Ruins, which are on Cozumel, I also want to see Tulum, which is on the mainland. I will have to figure out how long the ferry ride is and ask my doctor what the best sea-sick meds are. If the ferry ride is only 20 minutes, I can probably withstand the motion sickness, but if it's like an hour or something, that may put a kink in things. I HATE boats! Of course snorkeling is a must and we plan on actually going out to party at night. We haven't had a taste of the nightlife in years! I want to rent a scooter and go to the East side of the island where the sandy beaches are and very few people! And of course the Dolphin Experience, this comes with the "all-inclusive" portion of our stay and an hour in the water with these wonderful creatures is going to be amazing! This is going to be such a WONDERFUL vacation and I cannot thank my in-laws enough for making it possible! Without them offering to stay with the kids, this would have never been possible! I am eternally grateful!

Too much to do!

This of course is nothing new, I ALWAYS have too much to do, but trying to get shit together again after that damn virus has been hard! I was supposed to participate in the neighborhood-wide garage sale, but that was the first weekend I was sick and was in NO shape to be outside haggling with people over 25-cent shirts! So now I have a garage and bedroom full of all the shit I culled from the wardrobe and the kids' closets with nowhere to go. Part of me thinks I should just pack it all up and take it to Goodwill, grab that donation receipt and run like hell, then part of me knows I could make some decent money, THEN dump what doesn't sell at Goodwill and get the same donation receipt! It's just taking the time to price, advertise and get up early on a Sat. morning! It's all about committing to it and I suck at that!

I have basil that I need to plant next to my tomatoes in back, I have flowers that I need to plant in the bed out front. I need to schedule an appointment with the dentist. I need to finish putting away my Costco run from Friday and I need to finish laundry and wash the dog and vacuum... it seems never-ending (did I mention dusting and cleaning the hardwoods) UGH!! And just so you know, I'm aware that sitting on my ass, swilling tea and blogging is NOT the way to get all this crap done. But hell, the kids are upstairs playing (not screaming for once) and I have a teeny bit of piece to revel in. I'm sure it will change in about 2 minutes, but for now, I blog, I drink tea and I am happy! Everything can wait a few. It will all get done... someday, right?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chicken in a Pot!

It has been awhile since I have posted anything "foodie". In fact, I don't think I have ever posted food stuff on this blog, but since I let my other go by the wayside, I decided why not? This is the everything blog now! I was desperate for a meal idea as we are getting to the bottom of the freezer in the meat department. I had a whole chicken and decided to figure something out. Usually I only keep whole chickens in the house for Green Chile Enchiladas, but since the kids can't handle those, I don't make them often. I didn't want to mess with this chicken much and I didn't want to tend the oven and heat up the house, so I thought about the Crock-Pot. Now I know alot of people have issues with Crock-Pots. I don't understand why, granted I don't use them daily, I do make some really wonderful stuff in Crock-Pots, roasts, stews, spare ribs, hell even lasagna sauce on occasion. I've never done a whole chicken, but found directions of how long I would need to cook the little bird, but decided to experiment with the preparation.

I sliced up some celery, onions, and carrots, then I plopped the little chicky-poo down in the pot. I sprinkled with salt and pepper, then whipped up a rub with butter, crushed garlic, fresh thyme and parsley (from my herb garden, yea!) then I smeared it all over the skin and under the skin of the chicken. I added some vegetable stock and a bay leaf to the pot. Now it is happily simmering in its little pot, making the house smell AMAZING. I am actually looking forward to my little chicken dinner tonight! I may buy more whole chickens from now on! I'm still deciding whether to make new potatoes or some sort of rice. Emeril has a recipe for Cheesy Rice Pilaf that looks yummy! We'll see. I'll report tomorrow on the outcome! And... Crock-Pots do rule!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nice ending to a crappy weekend.

As you all know, this past weekend was Mother's Day. At first we were supposed to go camping, but the 2 week illness that kicked me in the teeth beforehand made it impossible for me to even fathom a camping trip. Sucks too, because I was actually looking forward to that! I got up Saturday morning and made a nice breakfast and resigned myself to the fact that the weekend would be spent cleaning in order to get the house back in order after two weeks of illness (not glamorous or fun, but necessary). Then it dawned on me that I still didn't have a dress to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding. So after breakfast and morning naps, we packed up the kids and headed out to shop. You have to understand something about me, when I was 18-23, I LOVED to shop! I worked in retail and the mall was a second home to me, literally! But once I got married and started college and left the world of retail, my hatred and disdain for the mall has grown. To put it bluntly, I would rather jab sharp sticks in my eyes repeatedly than spend ANY amount of time in the mall. Now I did have the option to buy a cute little dress online, and normally that would be great, but I am hard to fit and haven't bought a dress in so long that I had no idea what my size was, so off we went. (Cringe)

The moment I walked into the first store, I felt the panic of defeat instantly, then after trying on like 20 dresses, I was really feeling defeated! Finding a black dress in spring that isn't completely formal is hard! Everything was various degrees of taffeta and ruffles and floor length with sequins (which would have been fine if I were going to prom or I was one of the bridesmaids), or they were short, skimpy and generally on the hoochy side (some of which were cute, and I might have bought them for partying on 6th St., but not appropriate for a nice wedding!) So it was off to more stores. I found a gorgeous dress at one store, but the price tag was exorbitant! So I walked out of the store and continued on my way. This continued ALL day on Saturday. We even closed down the outlet mall!

Sunday morning it was up again. We headed down south to hit the only Nordstrom's I know of. I wish I could say the trip south proved fruitful, but it did not. We did however manage to find a cool pair of Teva's for the Monkey Man. We also managed to fit in a lovely outdoor lunch at a local hang out with friends, which was a nice break for me! After lunch I gave up! I told Big Daddy to bring me home as I was tired from being out and the baby was tired too. I put her down and went to crash out myself. Hubby and boy decided to go run around to get out of the house. I got up when they came home and I was informed that they bought me a Mother's Day surprise. How nice! I was then presented with the first season DVD's of Dexter and the Raiders of the Lost Ark trilogy. I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed, seemed more like presents for hubby and boy! Then the Monkey Man, who has no talent for secrets, blabbed that those weren't my true presents and he ran to the pantry and opened the door and there in all of it's glory was that beautiful, bank-breaking dress (in my size even!) It was so sweet! I did however nag Big Daddy relentlessly for spending money so recklessly when we have car repairs and home repairs looming, but he said he wouldn't listen because he knew I would have never bought it for myself, it was the best-looking dress I tried on and he was sick and tired of shopping for damn dresses! You gotta love the way men rationalize things!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

To be a mother...

It's been a little over 6 years since I embarked on the path of motherhood. Six years of joy, six years of tears, but never once have I EVER looked back. At the beginning, I just did what it took to get myself and my son through each day. Your are in shock from childbirth and the daunting responsibility of another life, things are so hectic. The next thing you know, your child is 6 months-old and you have completely forgotten what life was like before a baby. That is one of the miracles associated with motherhood, complete overload of mind and body, to keep you jumping, leaving you very little time for fear and regret!

I'll be the first to admit, parenthood was not in my grand plan. I never babysat as a teenager, I didn't have younger siblings or cousins, in fact, I was not fond of children (to put it mildly). Kids were annoying things in restaurants, airplanes and grocery stores, but luckily they were someone else's problem. Then I had my son and became blatantly aware that the one thing I thought I never wanted in my life was the one thing that actually made me whole. How does that happen? However it happens, motherhood seems to have a knack for taking all of your preconceived notions about life and kicking them square in the ass!

And what have I learned over the last 6 years? Mostly I have learned to eat crow! I have learned never to say never! I have learned that it's almost an addiction, you fall so head-over-heels in love with your first that you just have to do it again! So blissfully entrenched in the idea of that sweet little child that your forget the about the vomiting and the belly and the swollen ankles, you forget about the sleepless nights waiting for test results, you forget the pain of childbirth and the sleep deprivation that follows. All you can think of is that wonderful smelling little bundle comfortably nestled against your breast and nothing else in the world matters. Due to this addiction, I have learned that two children are exponentially harder than just one child! Which leads me to a whole new level of respect for the mother who has 3 or 4 or 6! I have learned patience, not just for my children, but for myself and for other mothers and children. There is a sisterhood amongst mothers that I never knew existed and while we may not all agree how to raise children, we do agree that every once in awhile we all need help and understanding, even if that help is just simply holding a crying baby for 10 minutes to give her Mommy a break, or reassuring a mother of 6 year-old that her son is perfectly normal and absolutely will NOT grow out of it until his twenties! I have learned that you never stop learning!

I am still learning... everyday.

I am learning that I cannot do everything on my own. No matter what I think, I am NOT Superwoman! My house will never be clean as long as 2 children, a husband and a dog live in it. I am learning to get over the guilt of not bringing in an income and still asking my husband for help when he comes home after a hard day's work. I am learning to pick my battles, with my children and my spouse and myself! And most importantly, I learn something about myself through my children everyday. I see who I am and who I hope to be. I know I am not perfect, I know my children are not perfect, I know I want to be a good mother who raises healthy, happy, well-adjusted children and I learn everyday that there are things I could do differently, but usually my instincts are right on and I should follow my gut. I have learned that I need to look toward the future and be aware of my impact on the environment, what I do today effects my childrens' lives tomorrow, however, I am still learning that I also need to live in the moment because the daily drudge IS life. It's not the trips to Sea World or the "big game" or graduations, it is our everyday interactions and actions that are the very basis of our existence. To forget that is losing sight of what is real. And believe me, it's that real, everyday interaction that makes life worthwhile. The quick glimpses of happy children jumping on a trampoline, the kisses blown from a sleepy baby in her crib, the small triumph of learning the multiples of 4, the family centered around a paper plate full of strawberries, bananas and grapes enjoying each other's company, that's life, and that's what I constantly have to remind myself. It happens so quickly and if you're not careful you'll miss out on the most precious moments!

I can say without a doubt that my journey into motherhood has been a trip! I feel like I've learned so much, yet I still feel like a rookie! I do feel like all the sacrifices I have made, my husband has made and my family has made are worth it. My kids are a noble endeavor, my contribution to the future and my greatest achievement thus far. They give me pride and humility. They give me hope yet keep me grounded. They give freely the purest most innocent love there is and for that I am eternally grateful. So, I look to my future, one day at time, reveling in every sweet baby kiss, every terrible knock-knock joke, every crooked smile, and always knowing that this little slice of history and humanity is mine to have and hold and embrace. This is my life, my children and my moment to live and what a wonderful thing that is!

Happy Mother's Day to all the women out there who have ever worn the many hats of "mother"!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Little Visitor!

Although I have been sick as a dog this week, there have been moments here and there worth blogging about. While working on the computer Big Daddy groaned and said there was a baby bird hopping around on the front porch, running into the storm door. We have had ALOT of mishaps with the sparrows this year, they keep nesting in precarious places that are not fit for baby birds and I have found several dead. So I was a little wary when I came to check on this bird. As it turns out, it was a nice surprise. Not only was it healthy, but it was a lovely little fledgling blue jay! Normally I would have been worried, but the first year we were here, I found a fledgling starling and got very worried about it and called an animal rescue place. They stated that fledglings end up on the ground, not ready to fly yet, but that the mommy and daddy stay close to it and feed it until it masters flight. So I was happy to see this little guy and had to take a couple of pics as he was just TOO cute! The bright, radiant, blue feathers contrasted with all the fuzziness of his baby down! So sweet! I am hoping he did alright, he rested a bit in my bottlebrush, then I haven't seen him since. On occasion I hear him call for mommy, but no visuals. I suppose as long as the neighborhood cats stay away, he'll fair just fine!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sick, tired and completely at a loss.

Whatever this nasty virus is, it shows absolutely no sign of letting go anytime soon. I ended up at the doctor on Friday as I had not been able to get my fever under 101* F. for 5 days. The nurse insisted I be seen since having a fever for that long is a bad thing. I thought maybe they could help me. I thought wrong. As I expected, I drove myself across town in a highly impaired state, not that I was on drugs or drunk, but very foggy, very weak and hurting badly from a migraine-like headache. Anyway, I was told I had a virus of sorts and nothing they could do for me. I wanted to kick the shit out of the nurse that insisted that I come in. I was told it would probably last another 2-3 days. Well, it's Monday, three days later and it's still here. Fever is finally gone, body aches mostly gone, coughing on occasion and congestion mostly gone, but now I am just weak, torn up and to add insult to injury, NAUSEOUS of all things. Everything smells terrible and tastes even worse. Trying to eat toast this morning caused me to wretch more times than I can count! How do you build yourself back up when you can't eat anything? I honestly feel like I'm wasting away.

I don't know if I've discussed this much, but my Homeowner's Association (the good 'ol HOA) has been breathing down my neck for a couple of months because we are missing a shingle and I guess they think our chimney needs painted. I was given 45 days to fix this "infraction". Well, we've had a couple of different contractors come out, including one today to look at the work and everyone of them has turned the work down, stating that it is too high and they'd have to have specialized equipment to do it. Son of a bitch! I have never in my life had contractors turn down work! Between this stupid chimney and painting the stupid art niches inside, I have never had so many hassles with a house! Had I known the problems I would have had maintaining this stupid place I would have NEVER bought it. So now I have to go and try to convince the HOA, who seemed VERY skeptical when I informed them that contractors were turning the work down, that we still don't have a way to fix the problem. Note to self, future home must be HOA free! I don't care if the rest of the neighborhood looks like crap, I can't stand having some bunch of little Nazis telling me what I NEED to do to my house and when I NEED to do it! I was just so bummed when this contractor called me back today. Just another damn thing on my plate that I can't deal with right now. I need to get well and I need someone to come and fix this damn house!