Saturday, December 24, 2011

So much...

I have so much to be grateful for this year. My blessings are abundant with love and laughter.

There is her...

And him...

These fellows...

New friends...

And so many more people who make my life complete. I love you all!

Please go and visit the lovely, wonderful and talented The Bloggess today. Her post today is a beautiful one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

More from Denver next week.

happymommy

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My dreams...

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I belong and where I plan to go. Life as a wife and mom tends to get lost in the mundane of existence. I have failed at two jobs in the last two and a half years. But this is because of me. I don't have a goal. I need a goal. Damn, I need a dream. I can't picture myself beyond being a wife and a mom. 

I heard something on the radio today that really made me think. I look around at my "alright," and I am pleased. This may be the best that I have, and you know what, "that is alright." Because you know what, this alright, it is my dream.

Thank you Bill Withers for putting words to my figuring it out...
I love this...

And thank you for this song as well Mr. Bill Withers!

Such a beautiful song, but couldn't find it live. So, mom, please excuse that one part!
**these videos are via youtube. I give complete credit to both Bill Withers as well as the artist that put them together! 
Thank you!**
**FIND, BUY AND WATCH THE BILL WITHER'S DOCUMENTARY OF HIS WORK AND HIS LIFE UP TO THIS POINT. HIS CONTINUED BELIEF IN WHAT EXISTENCE MEANS IS GENIUS.**

I will continue to search for my dream, beyond this "alright." I have plans to write, research and make some hot sauce. I couldn't be happier, more blessed or confused.

happyrachael

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hello, hello? Is this thing on???

Is anyone there? Hello?

It has been exactly one month and one day since I last visited this lonely little blog. And I miss it. I miss writing, sharing my stories and my family with the thousands and thousands of people who care about me. The truth of the matter is, I haven't really known what to write. I think for a while that I went away in my mind. I have been trudging through life worried about my home, my husband and my kids. Not really worried exactly, just existing. Since we moved home, it has been an up and down roller coaster of settling in and adjusting to our "real" life. Not until recently did I feel at home. We dealt with the unfinished aspect of the house, personal issues that aren't mine to discuss, a scary health scare with Lilly and a general feeling of unrest. I wanted to write about all of this, but instead, I took naps. (Oh yeah, I also lost my job. Napping may have lead to this.)

I miss this space. I miss sharing pictures and antedotes of my life with others. This space is my safe place where everything is mostly happy and my children grow without developing attitudes and are never sick or unhappy. It can't always be that way, but I am going to attempt to share it again.

So for now, here are some pictures showing the happyrachael family doing our thang!

JAMES GOT A BELT!

Lilly got a desk...
And in the words of Jeff, don't we wish she would always be this little.

I ran out of hot sauce and attempted to make my own.
Jeff's eyes are still recovering and the paint peeled off the walls!

I didn't get a picture of our movie event, but I did see this...
with the wonderful, Sara - Periwinkle Papillon
We laughed, we cried
And we shook our head...
(I would share pictures of the movie poster, but turns out I will get sued.)

This fabulous woman/blogger/friend invited me to a blogging event sponsored by Driscolls!

We spent the evening at a food and photography event sponsored by Driscolls.
I met Chef Rick Rodgers and ate some amazing food which featured Driscoll's fruit.
I was surrounded by amazing bloggers and watched how companies are beginning to understand the importance of social media and how branding through bloggers is powerful. No one is interested in using me to brand their company, but the food and company were simply fabulous! I learned a lot, laughed and spent a few hours with my friend. It was a great night!

Which was not upstaged by...
Lilly's Ballet performance.

Or...
James' Christmas Preschool Program
Disclaimer: James spent the entire time waving at Jeff and I, or putting his hands down his pants.

I turned 41 and...
Morphed into a version of my mom and my sister. 
I now wear reading glasses and I am not sure how I ever survived without them.

Somewhere in between all of these events we had Thanksgiving. We showed off our house. We ate. We had family time. I got no pictures but Jeff cleaned the whole kitchen.
I fell in love all over again...

Today the most recent version of the Top 100 Mom Blogs was published on Babble. I read and follow most of these writers, so I get the list. However, a pretty big controversy is evolving as to what makes a top mom blogger and I want no part of this. But what I will say, is as a mom blogger who gets around to writing every once in a while, this top list, any top list, doesn't negate MY OWN experience or my writing. I do know, it would be hard to be them. I want to write when I can and about what I want. I may never make a cent. No one will ever pay attention to me. For now, I am fine with this. So, there is that.

happyrachael

PS: I am turning off comments for the foreseeable future. I just want people to enjoy that I am back, not worry about saying anything. Hugs!

PSS:  THIS BLOG IS NOT SPONSORED BY DRISCOLLS. I was a guest of an actual invitee and did receive a gift bag of fruit and other fruit related items. All opinions expressed are my own.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

You know that moment?...

I looked around this evening at my beautiful house, my healthy children (well, except for Lilly who seems to have come down with the plague) and my husband who loves me and I wondered how I got so lucky. Then, I looked at my schedule, my contacts and my social life and I was sad.

I get bogged down in life and circumstances and I am faced with the fact that I am constantly left out of the loop and I'm not important enough to be considered for a social event, or a night on the town. Does this matter to me? Should it? YES IT DOES. 

Right now I feel the exact same way I felt in 5th, 7th, 8th grades, all of high school and the first three years of college. I am sad. Actually really sad.

But oh well. I will wake up tomorrow and my kids will need me. My husband will love me and still, my house will be beautiful.

happymommy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just like my dad...

I haven't written a damn thing down in over two months. I haven't blogged about life, my children or the state of affairs. How many people want to listen to me moan about my brand new house? How many people want to read about my first world problems? Who, in their right mind, wants to be part of my pity party. NO ONE. I don't even want to be part of it.

Tonight, I learned a lesson. And I am better for it, and a tad bit poorer. (Sorry Jeff!)

I took James to dinner. We sat, ate, played on the ipad and reveled in the fact that our lives are not so hard. Well, James is 3 so his life is never too hard. How many 3 year olds get to say that?

We watched 46 high school seniors sit down at the tables surrounding us. They were dressed in prom like attire and were clearly reveling in the fact that they were in the "fancy" restaurant. This restaurant was my everyday, let's avoid it at all costs, restaurant.

These high school aged children, ages 16 - 18 have spent the last year raising money to tour California looking at colleges and lifestyles. These kids were beautiful and they made me cry.

I have never wanted for anything. The kids I watched tonight in the restaurant???? The rest of their lives will be a struggle. Will anyone care about them?

No one cared enough about those children abused by "Mr." Sandusky at Penn State. Who is caring about the thousands, most likely millions of nameless children around the globe who HAVE NO ONE?

Tonight I watched ten tables of young people on their best behavior. They raised hundreds of dollars to visit the colleges around my area in hopes of finding a place to belong.

I "gifted" a size able amount of money towards those young people's dinner. You know why? Because I could. My dad taught me to do this: GIVE.

happymommy

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'll be back...

I promise.

Taking a break. Getting things together and starting brand new. Just like my house and my employment status.

See you soon!

Hugs! And Happy Halloween!
Pumpkin courtesy of the famous Lilly!

happymommy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Almost 41...

I will be 41 in 7 days. This is crazy to me. My first day of blogging as an almost 50 year old will commence next Tuesday. But for today, I offer up my number one goal for my first month as someone who will soon have access to senior citizen prices.

I will spend more time with my husband. I will love him, take care of him and make sure he knows how much he means to me and my children.

Coming up next....

My second goal for my first month as someone who will soon be able to apply for AARP.

happyrachael

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Customer Service, it isn't a myth...

As everyone knows, we are dealing with a major renovation that is almost done. I mean, it is really almost done. The port-a-potty is set to leave my driveway in the near future. Not sure when, but it is. Today, we made major progress by having the majority of trash removed from the hills surrounding our house and into a dumpster sitting in said driveway. Ok, that doesn't sound like progress, but really, it is HUGE progress. I couldn't be happier and for the first time, in quite some time, I felt like the end of this process is near.

Because we basically have a new house, we are buying an enormous amount of furniture to accommodate our new space. We bought a bed frame with a headboard; the first for us, even after seven years. We bought shelves, toy boxes, bed stands and tv stands. We are full on grown ups at the old age of 40.

In an attempt to centralize arts and crafts for the kids, we even bought a craft table from LandOfNod. We also bought craft mats and made our new children's area a picture perfect replica of a page from their catalog. We were so excited to put the table together and were equally devastated to take the table out of the box and see it was damaged.

What do I do? I take to twitter. I tweet the picture and ask theLandofNod what to do. Jeff takes to the old fashioned phone to speak to customer service. Within five minutes, we are told to assemble our current table, use it as is and then when our replacement is shipped, we will take apart the current table and send it back on their dime? Um, what?

Does this happen anymore? Does a company really care about clients enough to actually take care of them and make sure they enjoy the product purchased? I do believe this company does. It is rare. AND I APPRECIATE IT! Thank you Land of Nod!

happymommy


PS: No disclosure required. This is my experience. No one asked me to write this and I was not compensated for this in any way! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No blogging today but there is a contest link for you...

A tad bit overwhelmed with life these days. I can "hear" you rolling your eyes and saying what's new? Instead of writing about woes, renovation and doing laundry in a laundromat at the age of 40, I am sharing with you a very important link to a contest today. 

Remember my new very good friend? My 3Day team leader and tent roomie, Sara? She is currently running a contest over on her blog, Periwinkle Papillion. It is for  Lee National Denim Day Campaign  and their continuing support for the fight against breast cancer. This cause is very near and dear to her heart, and to mine. Please take the time to check our her site, and her contest. 

You can also access the contest by clicking on the Lee's National Denim Day link to your right. See it? All the way up top to the right. Now go visit Sara's website, enter the contest and donate some money. That is all for now!

happymommy
ps: You can now access the happymommy blog directly through my new domain www.happyrachael.com. My very own little place on the interwebs. For now, you can still find me here at this blogspot address. Soon enough though this address will be gone, but the blog will remain the same. I'll make sure to tell you before this spot is gone forever.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kids say the darnedest things, and sometimes they aren't funny...

I have been struggling as of late with some body issues. I feel larger than ever, even though I weigh about what I weighed this time last year. Which means I am the heaviest I have been except when I was first pregnant with my kids. I tend to hover around the same number on the scale, and just like this time last year I weigh about five pounds more than my normal. For a short person, this is a lot. I am not happy. I feel big. I certainly don't feel pretty. 

My house is almost done (can I get a WOOT WOOT?). I am no longer driving across the bridge four times a day. I get to reconnect with old friends and establish a schedule. It also seems to be a blessing that even though the house is close to being finished, there are no mirrors hanging anywhere. They just lay on the floor. I can only see my bottom half, which allows me to disconnect my head from my body. I can't make a mental connection between the two and until this afternoon that was allowing me to pretend. 

Today, I picked up James in his classroom and after I tended to another boo-boo on his knee, I started to load both him and Lilly into our car. A little boy and his father were also finishing the day and getting into their car. This small, very cute boy started to talk to me. I played along, smiled and continued to get the kids settled. Then, the little boy said something to me that immediately brought tears to me eyes. "You are chubby" 

Um, what? Did I hear that right? I said nothing, but smiled and got into the car. I cried. Have I really let myself get so far gone? In my own vain way, I do care a bunch about how I look. I always have. For years, this was how I measured my worth. Unfortunately, this hasn't changed very much. Sad, but true.

Lilly was in the car as well, so I didn't let her know I was upset. I couldn't explain this. Why did it matter that much to me what a child, most likely a 3 year old child, said to me. Did this boy even know the power of his words? Of course not. Well at least not the part where saying it would hurt someone. Was it like the time where I rhymed every word under the sun with duck?

It is hard enough to deal with the ideal perfection that seems to permeate the area I live. I know no one is perfect, but realizing I don't even come close hurt today. It really hurt.

Children are funny. For the most part, they are too innocent to really mean harm with words. But a mirror is a mirror, even one from the mouths of babes.

happymommy

Monday, September 12, 2011

My The3Day Walk for the Cure in pictures....

I have so much to write about my 3Day Experience this past weekend. Currently, I am laid up in bed with my left leg up resting both my knee and my ankle. My right foot, well my right foot looks like something out of a horror movie. I will spare you pictures. 

For now, I do not have the energy to share words, but I will share pictures of one of the many favorite moments of the3day Walk for the Cure!

Cheering Section #1, Day 3.
MAMA!!!!!!!!  JAMES!!!!!!!

Remember to breathe...
(and, I really need to get my color done. Or brush my hair. Better yet, wash it.)

Lilly made us a poster! The best poster ever!

High Five to the Maidens for Mammograms and Margaritas!

Don't cry mama!

From this cheering section on the last day, I did go on to walk a few more miles, then get "swept" to lunch so I could get my knee fixed. From there my team mates and I, along with thousands of others went on to complete 60 miles. I will write more about my wonderful team, the overall experience and what it all means to me soon. I promise!

I can not leave this post without a few words, not the full story yet, but simple words to describe my teammates on Maidens for Mammograms and Margaritas. I met three women who were simply wonderful, fit into my life like a glove and who will remain in my life until they kick me out of theirs. I spent 36 straight hours with the team captain, Periwinkle Papillon (or Sara as I like to call her). I can't imagine how we haven't been friends forever, and I look forward to a lifetime of laughs, hugs and friendship!

We were so very tired! Can't you tell?

happymommy


PS:  I haven't updated my widget in the right column, at the top yet. I did complete the3Day but if you still want to donate to this amazing cause, please do so. As soon as they stop collecting donations in my name, sometime in October, I will put up a new one for general donations. Thanks!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's review shall we...

In the next five days, we must pack up eight months of apartment living in the city all while wrangling normal life, activities and the dreaded commuting. Then we must unpack ten years of life into our newly remodeled house. All of this would be wonderful and I would be a tad bit less stressed out if I weren't participating in the 3Day Walk for the Cure. I am so very proud of myself for being part of this huge event to help raise awareness and money for the Susan G. Koman foundation. 

To review: I will be walking (yes me...) 60 miles in 3 days and camping out (yes me...) on Treasure Island for two nights. I have to purchase 9 million dollars of equipment for the walk and the camping. This, I have not yet done. Tomorrow, I will spend the day with the kids at Target, Sports Basement and Big 5 trying to find a way to fit 3 days and two nights of walking/camping equipment in a bag that weighs no more than 35 lbs. Oh yeah, I need a bag too. As with everything dealing with this walk, I have left it all to the end.

I should have done my fundraising sooner. I needed to start training earlier. I could have scheduled better. But it is what it is. I am training. Today I walked 9.4 miles with a friend. Friends are stepping up and donating quickly. But I still need to raise more money. I am $774 short of my goal and I have seven days to get there. If you are reading this, and you haven't yet donated, please take the time to donate anything you can. If you can't, but you live in the SF area, come cheer on my team, and all the walkers! Before next Friday, I will post the cheering section locations throughout San Francisco, Oakland and Marin. 

My mood isn't the best, and even though I tried to put on my big girl panties and face the day, I am having a hard time. In so many ways, I am ashamed of this. Right this very second, a very dear person in my life is lying in the hospital recovering from major surgery. His family and friends are surrounding him with love and kisses as he struggles to recover and move onto the next step of his experience. He is a survivor and is fighting the battle of his life. I can see him flirting with the nurses.  I picture him getting grumpy because he can't get up and walk out the front door to get home and mess around on his laptop. I imagine the physical pain he is experiencing and the psychological struggle of everyone to be positive and upbeat. I cry that I can't be there to hold his hand and tell him how proud of him I am. Instead I am at home bemoaning everything I have to do. It is sad and I am off to look in the mirror and give myself a really long lecture.

Two weeks from tomorrow, I will be home. I will be settling into a schedule and a "normal" life. My children will be back in their neighborhood. Commutes will be a thing of the past. I can make plans for the afternoons and not worry about traffic.

Two weeks from tomorrow, the very dear person in my life will be figuring out the next steps he has to take to make sure he is around for everyone to love for a long time.

Perspective, it is time for me to have some.

happymommy

PS: Today, someone congratulated me on my pregnancy. Someone I KNOW! It has been a banner day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tomorrow...

THE CHILDREN GO BACK TO SCHOOL TOMORROW. THE CHILDREN GO BACK TO SCHOOL TOMORROW!

That is all...
happymommy

PS: James has taken to "talking" on Jeff's old blackberry phone. He mainly calls Jeff's friend, Mark who seems to be an endless source of hilarity. Even in the bathroom.


PS: PLEASE Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Group therapy by myself...

During my 3Day training walk today, I gave myself some group therapy. It went much better than the last training walk I attended with myself. 

It is time for me to pull myself up by my bootstraps, put on my big girl panties, wake up each day and clap  my hands and say loudly, "Today is THE DAY for greatness." I will be kinder to everyone in my family. There is so much on my plate, our plates really. It has become more than I can bear, so instead of just facing the storm, I have avoided it.

Over these past months, I have relinquished so much to Jeff. I have asked him to make all the house decisions, and I am fine with that. It was what I wanted. But now that we are so close to moving day, I HAVE to be a bigger part of the process. This can't involve me being grumpy about everything going on around here. I am going to buck up, turn my frown upside down and accept what must be done.

I will no longer yell and scream about the boy who lives downstairs who plays his horrid music all hours of the day and night loud enough to shake the house along with partaking in other activities that I don't need to hear. I won't yell at the kids to stop jumping and being kids. Well, I might a little because it is annoying. Our circumstance is what it is. I can't change it. But it is time for me to change.

I will smile. I will work at getting things done. I will maintain a family atmosphere that is supporting and loving. It is time.

happymommy
PS: Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7.2 Miles and a great day...

So, in case you haven't been reading or keeping up with me on twitter or facebook, I will remind you how I am walking in the 3Day Walk for the Cure. I have been training, and today I walked 7.2 miles through the city of San Francisco. It was great!

I had James with me in his stroller while we walked from our apartment to James' 3 year well child checkup. Turns out he is really healthy and much to his doctor's delight, quite the talker. He is quite simply perfect. Just like his sister!

We left the doctors office for a full tour of the city, and I had such a great day. We stopped for a milkshake, some perusing Bloomingdales where I coveted the new Michael Kors' watches and some bling. We stopped by the Disney store for new pjs for the kids. We walked through SOMA and accidently passed the new SF division of 4Square headquarters, Twitter Corporate Offices and the much talked about Taptera Headquarters. The latter company just received some amazing funding yesterday, so just seeing this office along with the other companies from the street was pretty exciting for this social media addict.

We made a few other stops, to include AT&T Park to do some shopping at the DugOut. It was a game day, so the crowd was already gathering and the pusle was hopping. We made our purchases and then headed to my parents. Along the way, we encountered cruise ship passengers and even one man dressed as The Hulk.

I am proud of my progress and while I am now icing my ankle, I am confident that I can get to 20 miles in the next week and be ready for my 3Day.

James' first experience with a hospital gown at his 3 year checkup.
Not quite sure why he is doing the Brian Wilson gesture, but it is cute!

AT&T Park
We Got a Hat (Lilly got one too!)

And you are welcome!

Ummm....
Ear Muffs, new Woody PJs and McQueen Slippers.
Not much to say to this...
happymommy

PS: Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh college...

We currently live two blocks south of a private college that has an undergraduate population of about 5000 students. It wasn't until tonight while shopping for milk and wine, you know the staples, that I realized what an impact these students have on this small neighborhood. We live in a huge city that only spans seven miles. This city officially houses 805,235 people. This doesn't include any non census taking people, which I believe would make this number much higher. I am not a government official or anything, but I KNOW I am right.

The happymommy house went out to dinner tonight in this little university area of ours and I ventured over to the local grocery store after we ate. It was like a pickup bar. I stood behind these young people and watched a man/boy introduce himself to two attractive girls/women. He started with, "Are you a Freshman?" Followed that up with, "You may know my brother, he is a senior." And then finished it up with, "What are your names again? If I see you around, we can say we are grocery store buddies."

I almost fell down laughing. I remember these boys. It was never directed to me, but to my best friend or others. I always watched from afar, and looking at this through 40 year old eyes, instead of 18, even 25 year old eyes was so much different. I had that boys number. I knew who he was, and watched as the girls/women took stock and figured out if he would fit in their lives at some point. Most likely, he will not. But what do I know? I am an older woman, with life experience and I know what I saw. A pickup place hidden in the self check out line. Times, they don't change. They just evolve. And then Steve Jobs retires. 

Quite the world we are living in these days. I am currently locking Lilly in the closet while I fill out her application for the non-catholic convent with liberal teachings. You know, not the grocery store.

happymommy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Training...

As you all know, I am doing the3day Walk for the Cure in less than three weeks. I haven't trained at all. Life got in the way because there are just a few things going on around the happymommy house. There is this and there is the new job, which I started in March and am now taking a little breather from because, well I have way too much happening. Oh, and there is the driving.

Currently, we are moving back into our house two days before I take part in this 3day Walk. Yeah, because I am great at scheduling and not creating more havoc than necessary. I know it will all work, but it can be overwhelming to think about it all at once. Not to mention, we have a personal family issue happening that is taking Jeff away for three days next week while I sit at home and worry about the personal family issue from afar. When we got this news three weeks ago, I cried for twenty-four hours. I am "sure" next week will be fine and everything will go great and I will not cry. I know it!

So back to my story: I haven't trained at all for this walk. I meant to, but I didn't. I will be walking 20 miles a day for three days in less than three weeks. So today, I started my training, in my new shoes. I took off with a backpack of water, a cookbook I dropped off along the way and my sunglasses. Well, my broken sunglasses that I stopped and had fixed. See, training is going great. I made it five miles. Then I took the bus home. I am ridiculous.

I will try again on Thursday in the late evening. I need to do at least ten miles that day, and then over the weekend get up to 12. Clearly, I have put a lot of thought into this. :(

I got lost in Golden Gate Park today. How I did that, I don't know. I refocused myself, headed west and eventually found the ocean. During my very productive refocusing, I did manage to think way too much. Please find my train of thought below:

  • What if I get attacked? I have no mace, or a rape whistle. Can I yell loud enough for someone to hear me? Would I?
    • In all honesty, I did tweet that I was lost so if I did go missing, my followers would know when I went missing and approximately where I was. Now, how this information would be helpful, I don't know. Twitter did tell me to ask the bison for directions, which made me laugh and I forgot about being attacked.
  • If I am attacked and do die and if I am creamated will it cause the creamation people to get Poison Oak because I STILL HAVE POISON OAK. (Clearly, I am insane.)
  • When Jeff goes away next week, what will happen if his plane goes down. (Once again, clearly, I am insane.)
  • Do the new light fixtures Jeff picked out for the renovation match? (I don't really need to say it do I?)
  • Did I remember to close the door all the way?
And then I found the ocean.

All in all it was a good first day of training. I probably should listen to a book while I walk and stop listening to my brain when alone. I think this is the smartest way to go.

happymommy
PS: Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Driving and children songs...

As I have mentioned 30 bazillion times, I am spending a lot of time in the car communting from our temporary apartment in the city, to activities in our actual home town across the very famous bridge. We drive over, back, over and back many times a day. During these lovely commutes, I have the "honor" of listening to a million children's songs. Our car has a broken CD player, so we listen to Sirius XM from dusk to dawn. They have a children's station, Kids Place Live, which is my children's favorite. We have not graduated to Disney XM, thank goodness as I can't take hours upon hours of Hannah Montana and Selena Gomez. The current selection of music is plenty.

For the most part, I don't mind the songs so much, kind of, sometimes. The DJs (are they called this anymore?) are actually entertaining and the songs, mostly, are engaging. The kids love them and it makes the constant time in the car bearable. At least for the little ones.

So today, I will be sharing YouTube video of some of the songs we hear every morning. Some are crazy, some enjoyable and a few make me want to put forks in my eyeballs.  Enjoy!

Toast...
James has taken to screaming TOAST at various times throughout the day...

I can't get this song out of my head some days, and yes it does become annoying.

Um, chicken monkey duck, chicken monkey duck. This says it all!

Now, this is a really nice message...
Lilly loves to sing the high parts at full volume.

And now you know why I have visible grey hair and sometimes twitch involuntarily.

happymommy


PS: Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Books...

I have always been a huge reader. I remember riding around on my bike with my dad when I was five and reading the names off the officers' quarters on the army base where we lived. I remember my red bike and I assume my dad was jogging beside me because I don't ever recall him riding a bike. I loved to read. Back then we had very little tv, and no remote for said tv. We had family dinners around the table and my mom wore pearls and dresses and little fairies sang to us while we moved about the house. NOT. It was more like we rushed around after my sister's swim practice/drill team/football game/social event and sat around the table talking about our day. It was a great life, at least how I remember those days.

My love of reading has been lost in the raising of the children, marriage, work and let's face it twitter. I don't hide my love of twitter and my addiction to constantly checking in and seeing what everyone is doing each second of the day. It is slightly ridiculous, and I realize that. But it brings me joy, so I continue. And will continue. Until someone takes my phone from my hand and flings it across the room and breaks it and I end up in jail because I caused bodily harm to that person.

This past Christmas, my sister and I "gave" my mom a book club. Meaning, we promised to read one book together as a group every two months and meet for dinner to discuss the book. Not only has this led to me recapturing the love of books and reading, but it has given us all a chance to spend at least two hours together every two months. We go to a great restaurant, talk about the book for maybe 5 minutes and just hang out enjoying each other's company. I love it. We spent two hours together today talking about The Book Thief, which was breathtakingly wonderful and horrible all at once.

My rekindled affair with books has somehow intertwined itself with my love of twitter. I follow a funny woman who is a stand up comic, writer and starred on television. Suzy Suro lives in LA and she is funny, endearing and I enjoy reading her tweets and her blog. One day she tweeted something, and somehow I tweeted something back to her about BossyPants by Tina Fey. With trepidation, I offered to send her my copy not thinking she would want to be part of a crazy book sharing situation. But she did. And so began a twittership born of books. I recently sent her four more books and I hope she loves each of them as much as I did. She will pass the books forward once she has read them and the cycle will continue. 

The interwebs are a wonderful place.

happymommy

PS: Please go donate to my 3Day Walk for the cure. Click here, or look to your right, click on the 3Day widget and go donate a mazillion dollars! KTHXBAI! (Or don't, whichever!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PoisonOakGate of 2011

This is what I have taken to calling my poison oak dilemma. If you are wondering how I managed to get poison oak, read here, and then here. Really all that happened was I attempted to exercise and be part of nature all at once and my body exploded in an itchy protest. I have this friend, let's call her Kelly, well her name is Kelly, and she has been hearing about this affliction since Friday. Poor woman. If she has to hear one more thing about it, I think she may drive down south and shoot me up with steroids herself! (Oh and Jenny too. Sorry ladies!)

Since PoisonOakGate of 2011 traveled from my arms to my face and finally close to my eye, I decided to take a trip to our lovely urgent care. I do not have a primary care doctor other than my OBGYN at the Women's Health Center. I am not sure she could do anything since it is nowhere near my lower regions thank goodness. Can you imagine the post describing that issue? Better yet, don't imagine it.

Before I could go to the doctor, I had a very important business meeting this morning. It was at a very important place that holds famous people and history making things are done at the place. I covered up the rash on my face with enough makeup to make the local drag queen envious. I did tweet that I might need to wear a bag over my head to sell the services of my company, but that would have just been weird.

Needless to say, the meeting went great. I did a good job of communicating and asking the right questions without clawing my arm off to relieve the itching or putting my face on the table to get rid of the pressure of the welts under my chin. All in all a success!

I left this very important place that houses famous people where historic things happen to head to urgent care. Now let me say this about urgent care. Don't ever go expecting not to spend at least three hours there. I had my book, my phone and my patience. The latter isn't easy to come by but from experience I knew I had to have it today.

I tried to read my book but it is VERY hard to do when the older person on your right is about to cough her lungs out onto said book. It is also hard to concentrate when the obviously mentally ill person is standing just far away from the check in desk to not be heard by the staff, but she is speaking Russian loud enough to know that it wouldn't make sense anyway. She does this for 30 minutes before being removed to a place where someone may help her. And it is really hard to concentrate when the woman who arrived before you is constantly yelling about how long she has been there and when is anyone going to see her. I arrived with patience. She did not.

All in all a good day. I got meds for the scratching, steroid cream for the spreading and prednisone should I want to have insomnia and a weakened immune system. I am waiting two days before I chose that option. I learned a good lesson in all of this. Do not exercise. Do not attempt to be one with nature. Sit on the back of a houseboat with a book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other and enjoy. No need to rock the boat, so to speak.

happymommy

Monday, August 15, 2011

I went on a vacation?

If memory serves me, last week I was on a houseboat with no cell service, Internet access or twitter. I read books, listened to my daughter laugh, ate and drank myself into an extra five pounds. I also came home with poison oak, which has spread from my arms to my face.

I don't feel like I went anywhere. Except for the five pounds and the blisters lining my arms, my check bones and jaw bone, there is no evidence of relaxation. (I asked Jeff for the name of this body part and he said mandible, but I refuse to use that word.)

I am lucky to have had the opportunity to go away. I spent endless hours with a best friend, my sister, her children and many others. I even laughed with my brother-in-law. That in itself is monumental.

I should have remembered this as I cussed my way (in my head, not out loud) through putting the kids to bed last night and figuring out how to get back into the routine of driving across the bridge four times a day because we aren't back in our house. We have four weeks left of this temporary life. To get through, I will be eating out at new restaurants every evening and exploring with Jeff and the kids the city that I will claim to miss once we are back home.

happymommy

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Once again...

I would like to take this opportunity to say that cancer can kiss my ass. (Sorry Mom!) And that is all I have on that subject today. Except for this:  Failure is not an option people. Not an option at all.

Lilly and I have had quite the world wind of trips these last two weeks. There was Lego Land two weeks ago, and then this week, we went to Lake Shasta. I was disconnected from civilization. It took me a few days to overcome the need to tweet all of my activities. I never actually got over not having ANY access at all to text or phone service. I could do without that. No access to my husband, child or my parents. It was hard. Turns out I didn't need to worry, but what if there was a problem? Remember the days when there were actual pay phones and we didn't have immediate access to people? Were those the days? Hard to figure out if they were or not.

Lilly and I, and each one of the other 15 or so people on our houseboat had a great time this last week. We swam, read, laughed, skied, danced, ate and generally had more fun than should be allowed. Friends played. Cousins swam. Men and women cooked. Others washed dishes; many many dishes. People hiked. I hiked. I got poison oak. I won't be hiking again. Ever.

Lilly and her BFF had quite the time...
They are totally not having any fun...

Many times this past week I sat on the deck of the houseboat, reading a book listening to the laughter of my daughter radiate off the water and I wondered, how did I get here? What did I do to deserve this time in my life? I have my husband, my children, my family and friends. We are all intertwined in love and blessings. No matter what, we have each other. Every day, I am lucky. Every. Single. Day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Out of service...

Lilly and I are once again headed out of town. We will be hitting the road for Lake Shasta to spend five days on a house boat. We will have next to no cell phone service. I will have no access to twitter, facebook, email or the internet. I am not sure I will survive.

I will check in next weekend with some pictures and thoughts on how I survived the week without access to the outside world. Hopefully, it will be wonderful!

happymommy

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So close, yet so far...

Lilly and I spent the last three days 30 miles from San Diego at the not so fabulous Carlsbad by Sea "Resort" in Carlsbad, CA. We had two fun filled days at Legoland. It was a good time for Lilly/Mommy bonding. We rode rides, stood in lines, paid $3 Million dollars for a bag of chips and a fruit plate and learned to "drive" a boat.

Just a few miles away from us, there was a conference being held at the San Diego Marriott. It was the famous blogHer conference known to the blogging women and men around the world. It is a chance for many to meet everyone they "know" from twitter and the blogging universe. I couldn't help wonder as I watched the twitter feeds from #blogher11 each night if I was missing out on something grand. In some ways, I was. But in most, I wasn't. I had the privilege of spending almost four days alone with my Lilly. It wasn't all magical in my eyes, but in hers, it was an experience of a six year old's lifetime. I have to remember that.

Lilly was eaten by a shark...
Oh no....

But she escaped because...
 She learned to drive a boat...

She hung out near the L...


But most importantly, she hung out with me. We had a great time. An interesting experience. We are learning how to be with eachother as a mom and a young lady.

Since I arrived back in the AO (area of operation for those not schooled in army brat talk), I was met with some devestating news. Once again, this is not my story to share. However, most of my readers know the story. We are in battle mode around here. We are fighting for a life and we will be victorious. I have said it, and I say it again. Failure is not an option!

happymommy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And the begging commences...

If you look over to the right you will see that I am walking the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk for a Cure in September. Currently, I have raised $750, which is just a TAD less than I am required to raise. I need me some monies people! Click on the link to the right or the link below. In fact, click on them both and donate twice! (Just kidding, any donation of any amount is much appreciated and goes to a great cause!)


In the past six weeks a dear loved one has been touched by the ugly that is cancer. We are optimistic that this will just be a tiny little nudge and not a push that requires pushing back. But if it is, we will fight and fight for a healthy ending. This is non-negotiable.

Please help me be a part of something as big as bringing awareness and helping find a cure for breast cancer. For me, it has become not just about breast cancer, but all cancer.

happymommy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mean people...

No one has been mean to me, at least lately, so let me get that out of the way.

I am not going to link to any story, post, facebook comment or tweet from the world wide web. I do not want to bring attention to anyone or anything specific. This being said, I am finding it so very hard to understand how anyone can say anything to someone they don't know that is mean spirited and deliberately cruel.

What makes someone do this? Is is the anonymity of the Internet? I certainly don't know any adult person that would walk up to a complete stranger and say, "I overheard your conversation and I don't agree with you. In fact, I think you are stupid and dumb and you should die." I don't surround myself with people who may send me an email that states, "I read your post today and you are an idiot and your children are ugly." I would never stop to talk to a grieving person and say, "well he certainly deserved it. Look at the way he lived his life and you should just get over it."

Today, I have come across three separate, completely unrelated posts and news articles in which commenters directly and verbally assault the writer.  Then there are the comments, mostly anonymous, that lambaste either the writer or the subject of the post or article with unbelievable hatred. It saddens me. It makes me wonder what started all of this? We are clearly no longer a civilized people who want the best for our neighbors.

Do we look at the nonsense happening in Washington and wonder how in the world we got here?  Do we look at the horrific tragedy of Oslo, Norway and wonder how someone becomes that way? When and why did some of us become such awful people?

My main goals for my children are for them to be nice to everyone, to be grateful for everything they have and to be individuals. (I also spend a lot of time telling them to settle down and stop jumping up and down on the floor so we don't make our downstairs neighbor crazier than he already is!) At what point do people change from having basic human compassion to attacking, abusing and hurting their fellow man.

I know people have fought wars since the beginning of time because of hatred and misguided beliefs on either side. This is different. It is the "mean girl" effect manifesting itself in written verbal vitriol. It infuriates me, saddens me and makes me want to hug my children and wish that we lived in a time when people were simply nice.

Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect. Today, I even thought about some things I have said behind other people's back to my husband, or even friends. Now granted, these people I may have been talking about are ridiculous, but these thoughts need to stay in my head. I am a notorious gossip who tends to stick my nose in other people's business. I started trying to change this personality trait when I lost a dear friend a few years ago. Not because of gossip but because she didn't want my help nor my opinion. It is time for me to continue to keep my mouth shut no matter what the truth of the situation. I will not be part of this being mean movement. At least I will try.

happymommy

ALSO: There is this crazy thing that started a few years ago, that I just recently realized. There is now only 1 space after a period. It is documented and everything. Hardest habit I have had to break and am I am not doing a very good job of it. Please be patient with my many mistakes in this area. And let's be honest with all things grammar and spelling. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

I won twitter today...

Last week one of my favorite bloggers, @backpackingdad put down the gauntlet on twitter. He made a deal with his friend @fiatluxsf, indie boutique owner of Fiat Lux Galleries, that he could get him to 200 followers on Twitter. The full explanation of the giveaway can be found at backpackingdad's blog and since I don't feel like typing out the entire process, should you be so inclined to see how this worked, go review the complicated (not) rules and regulations.

Guess what everyone: I won. I was randomly picked from over 200 twitterers (?). I won one of these beautiful rings!


I actually won. I never win anything. I will be visiting Fiat Lux Galleries on Saturday to pick up my ring and probably buy other stuff because I can't pass up beautiful jewelry.

I won Twitter today people! I totally won!

Update: as soon as I finished posting this, my newly potty trained son pee'd on my feet. So there is that!

happymommy

**Not sponsored. Nobody paid me anything, blah blah blah!**

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today...

I spent a wonderful, yet not stress free day at the pool with a friend and her kids. Since James is 90% potty trained during the day we spent at least half the time at the pool with him telling me he had to go to the bathroom. Run to bathroom, take off bathing suit, sit on toilet and put back on swimsuit. Lilly swam and swam and then swam some more. My friend and I talked and joked and talked more about my current career. I am truly hoping that it works out and that I start making money hand over fist and it is worth my time. If it doesn't work, then I will quit. Currently, I am spending more money to work than actually bringing home money. And since I am still commuting across the bridge four times a day, my stress level is through the roof. But I am not different than about a million working moms and dads around the world. I am not different than a million stay at home moms and dads around the world either. It is about finding a balance; in life and family. This is a task in itself. It is a lot of work, but for most of us, it ends up being worth it.

I came up with a business idea while sitting in traffic today and I think it is brilliant. I won't share it because I don't want any of my four readers to steal my idea. I must research, plan and discuss this with many. I will let you know if anything comes of it.

Happy Sunday!

happymommy

Friday, July 22, 2011

My addiction to Twitter made James famous...

I have an unhealthy relationship with Twitter. I am on it all the time. Mainly lurking and reading other people's tweets, but sometimes I do a little tweeting myself! Over the course of the last year, this has lead to some actual friendships. I mean, I don't go to their houses and drink wine or anything. At least not yet because that would be fun! We just interact with eachother and share links and posts and stuff.  Jeff doesn't get my twitterness. What he didn't know was that it would lead to James' becoming a famous star on the interwebz.

I started following @imommygame for some reason. I can't remember why, but one evening I tweeted something and she tweeted back something that made me actually LOL. Instant fan! Turns out this lovely woman created an app for the iphone and ipad for children. I don't want to explain the whole game to you, but you can check it out at the imommy website for a full explanation. Did you go see? Whose precious little face is front and center of the imommy website? The picture is a perfect example of how great this cute little game is. Both Lilly and James have spent time together and separate playing with the different babies in each room. Weird that James' favorite room to play in is the one where he changes diapers. (He is now potty trained people. POTTY TRAINED! Maybe he misses the diapers.) Anyway, the kids enjoy the game and I highly recommend it to parents with small children.

I would like to apologize now if someone ever sends me a Goggle + invitation. I think it would be the end of me communicating with actual people. I would also like to apologize to Jeff for making him watch Big Brother 13, AGT and So You Think You Can Dance. He tries to hide from me each night. To compensate, I watched a documentary reality series on the San Francisco Giants called the Franchise. Does that count since it is still reality tv? I don't think so, it is sports. But it was really good!

happymommy

**This is not a sponsored post. No one told me to write it nor was there any monetary or otherwise compensation. James was also not paid for being in cutest picture on the internet.  Neither were Lilly's legs.  Thank you and good day!**

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face...**

I looked at myself this morning and I realized that all the things happening in my life are marching over my face. I am wrinkled, have bags under my eyes, cellulite that won't quit, a belly that frightens small children and age spots instead of freckles.  My chicken neck and double chin make me physically cringe. I am sad about this. I realize we all age but I didn't think that turning forty in October meant I actually, physically turned forty. What happened to my smooth skin? My young hands?

My life is full of obstacles these days: constant driving, working with little to no results, growing children who seem to constantly act like teenagers. I smile, but do I do it enough? Should I? Does that cause more wrinkles?

I don't mind being older, but I truly don't want to look it. Getting back in our house won't make me look younger. Spending less time in the car won't take away the bags and extremely alarming crows feet. Selling a million dollar contract to a large corporation won't make the thing hanging under my neck suddenly disapper.

I am older. I have never been the prettiest in the room, so it's not like all of the sudden I was the beauty queen or supermodel and now I am the dowdy old woman who never gets a 2nd glance. It depresses me and makes me think about lifting this, suctioning that and implanting those. Will I do any of these? Of course not. My husband wouldn't allow it, even if we could afford it. My father would have a coronary on the spot. My mother, oh the look I would get if I even mentioned such procedures in a serious way. My sister, well my sister would probably see if we could get a two for one deal, but it still would never happen.

I am the way I am. What do I do to change this? I don't know. Dr. Google only knows what to sell me not how to change me.

I can start exercising more. Ok, I will start doing this.
I can eat better, and not late at night. Ok I will start doing this.
I can wear more sunscreen. Ok, I will start doing this.
I can stop stressing out about everything and start enjoying life more. Ok, I will start doing this.

WHEN WE GET BACK IN OUR HOUSE, I WILL START DOING ALL OF THIS! Jeff and I have spent a lot of time talking about how our return to our HOME will be a rebirth of sorts. It will essentially be a new home. We will be essentially new people. We will be happier and healthier.

We are all excited about getting home. I am not sure anyone is more excited than me. The new me is ready to emerge from the darkness.

happymommy

** The title of this post is from the great Truvy (Dolly Parton) in Steel Magnolias. It is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I could not find the quote on YouTube, so I am sharing you two others. Both apply to me. Not just today, just most days! Enjoy!



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On empty...

Today, I am on empty. No words, no energy and no motivation. Maybe it is the four and a half hours I spent in the car attempting to run errands, but instead stalled in traffic. Maybe it is the heat.

Today, I am on empty. Tomorrow, I hope to be full.

happymommy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On a blog vacation...

Sorry folks, blog is closed for a while.  Those of you loyal readers (hi mom!) are sad, I know, but I just don't have the mental bandwith to blog these days.  So very much going on personally, and I seem to spend a massive amount of time driving. 

I promise to be back.  When, I don't know.  But check back every once in a blue moon and I will be here.

happymommy

Monday, June 27, 2011

1st World Problems...

I talk about 1st World Problems a lot on happymommy.  We have a few; house renovation, living in the city while we wait and other silly type issues.  They are our problems, but we have it so much better than many.  In fact, we have it better than most.  Don't think for one minute that I don't appreciate this more than words.  Family, friends and life that is almost 99% wonderful.  I am swimming in appreciation and love and thanks.

This being said, I find this video hysterical.  My friend, let's call him Av (hey there AV!) sent this to me and I laughed out loud for a bit.  Shared it with my Father-in-law and he didn't laugh out loud but once (Hey there FIL!).  It puts a funny twist on the silliness that is priviledge.

happymommy

**Please know how I get this is beyond ridiculous, but it is funny. Ridiculous but funny!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I can live without...

I can live without,

Sadness, snow, sickness and pain.

What I can't live without is...

Love, life and laughter.

happymommy