Monday, December 8, 2008

Midnight Snacks

Sugarplum has really been pushing the bedtime routine. She's up, she's down, she has to go to the potty, she neds this animal or that, she wants her blanket just so, and on, and on and on.

Last night, she was angling for popcorn and both daddy and I had to tell her to get in bed, she was not getting popcorn, she already brushed her teeth.

On attempt 4,692 she came to the door with something she had to show me:

SP: Mommy, I have something to show you

Me: What? Get back in bed

SP: Here Mommy (hands me something from her empty hand)

Me: Thank you so much! Now get back in bed

SP: It's a booger

Me: Great - get back in bed

SP: Did you eat it?

Me: NO! I don't eat boogers! Get back in bed!

[husband laughing from the couch]

SP: Don't Mommy and Daddy! Don't laugh! [heavy sigh]

It's a good thing she makes me laugh as much as she does.

Friday, December 5, 2008

November ROFL


About 3 years ago, I participated in a weight loss forum. One of the mom's there posted a link to a blog that she found hilarious. Being curious as I am, I followed that link and was introduced to Jessica at Oh, The Joys. I read her blog religiously from that day on... and would get downright disappointed if she went too long without posting.

Eventually, Jessica inspired me to start my own blog to capture these precious memories of my own daughter growing up. Many of her posts are quite thoughtful and inspire me to want to be a better person... and then there's those that just make me giggle.

So, I've decided to award Jessica the November ROFL award for TWO posts. I couldn't decide which one made me laugh harder. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Santa's Little Gangsta's
A Matter of Minutes

Visit Oh, The Joys and Chicky Chicky Baby for more ROFL's and nominate your favorite giggles next month!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Now, if only the writing would improve...

I'm trying to be better about blogging.. I enjoy blogging but sometimes I get typer's block. So I'd like to thank this lovely lady for giving me a quiz and thus a post for today. Thanks!

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dreams of Gerard

I've been having weird dreams lately. The other night I dreamt that my ex-boyfriend's wife was very pregnant with their second child. (She just had their first in June) and this was to be a girl named Charlotte.

Last night, I dreamt that I was with a bunch of girls at some party with my brother and his friends. One of his friends was an english guy with long dark curly hair named Gerard Gerard. I guess his parents were not very creative with naming.

He was showing off his ab work from the gym and someone decided all the women should touch his stomach and decide if he needed harder abs or not. Like anyone with a six pack needs to have harder abs.

I decided to confuse the guy and make him hold my hand. Then I became totally relaxed and nearly fell asleep. He was completely baffled. Then my daughter woke me up.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mother of the Year, right here, that's me

Yep... I win the Mother of the Year award for my good deeds on Sunday.

When shopping on Saturday at Tar-jay, I bought DD some strawberry applesauce. No big deal. She's had it before. It's nothing special or new. I even let her eat some on Sunday.

Before her nap.

Can you see where this is going?

When she got up from her nap, she proceeded to throw-up said applesauce on me. So we hopped in the shower and got all cleaned up where she proceeded to tell me she felt better.

Then I completely ignored her when she said her tummy hurt but that she didn't have to throw up again. So what did I do?

Whisked her out of the house to finish running errands of course. A trip to the pharmacy where I did NOT get any kind of sick kid medicine for her.

Then to the grocery store because god forbid I be stuck one more day without corn dogs in the freezer.

That's where she proceeded to yak up the rest of the applesauce. Right in front of the dairy case... and did I take her home then? Of course not. SHE insisted on finishing the shopping. Because then her stomach felt much better.

Then when we got home, since she'd already puked everything up, I granted her wish for a warm cup of milk. Yeah, that ended up on the clean couch. At least it's leather and easy to clean again.

On the upside, I wised up and gave her dry toast for dinner which she kept down and she was totally fine today. So now, I'm off to polish a spot on my bookcase for that nice new mother of the year trophy I'll be receiving any day now. I'm pretty sure I've reached some kind of parenting milestone right? Because no parenting experience can be complete without a yakking kid in the grocery store right?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Shopping Already?

I had every intention of attempting to participate in NaBloPoMo.. but I missed it didn't I? Ah well.. sometimes life is just too busy.

The feast is over and I'm still doing dishes. At least a majority of the pots and pans are in the dishwasher now. I'm determined to have my kitchen cleaned up just in time to have my mom, aunts, gramma and sister-in-law over to celebrate the December birthdays next weekend. Mine, my mother's and my SIL's. December is expensive for my brother.

We don't have our Christmas tree yet, but probably will in a couple weeks. I did pull out decorations yesterday and put my Christmas village up on the mantle. I also found cute indoor/outdoor pre-lit 2 foot tree's at Tar-jay... except that the indoor part is only the lights. There was no way to stand them up. I made do with a planter and a big styrofoam ball though.

We have yet to get lights on the house in spite of the fact that I've had them in the garage for 3 years now. Maybe this year..

My Christmas shopping is almost done except for two people. My mother being one of them. She always claims to only want socks. One of these years she's going to get a big empty stocking. That's a sock right?

Happy Holly-daze!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Additions to the Family

NO, I'm not pregnant. But Sugarplum has expanded our family. I'm not sure why, but sometimes she picks out random people in the grocery store and proclaims that they are her new parents. Most recently it was a nice looking lady at the meat counter. She had her back turned to us so she didn't know she'd just inherited a carefree, imaginitive 3 year old.

Most recently, we went out to dinner with my mom and on the way back to mom's house she announced from the back seat that she had quite a large family.

"I have a brother and a sister and a mommy and a daddy and you and daddy"

"Really? That's quite a family. What is your brother's name?"

"Twinkle Little Bug"

"Really? Wow. What is your sister's name?"

"Twinkle Butt"

My mom and I dissolved into quiet laughter. Our attempts to contain ourselves were almost successful.. until Sugarplum started singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little BUTT!"

The things these kids come up with... I hope her imagination will always soar like that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap Backward for Mankind

So the election is finally over. The people have cast their ballots and the first black man in the history of the United States has been elected to the office of President. This is a monumental moment in our nation's history. One that makes me proud. But this is only a small step.

Never have I witnessed the amount of racism that came running out of the woodwork during this campaign. Slogans like "Keep the whitehouse white" Allegations of Barack Obama being a muslim terrorist. Really? I thought Americans were smarter than that these days. So, while this is a really important moment, it's a small step on the way to ending racism.

In California though, we are witnessing a giant leap backward for mankind. Though it hasn't been called and there are still absentee ballots being counted, it looks as though Prop 8 is going to pass. For those that don't know, Prop 8 was a proposal on the ballot to re-write the California State constituion to say that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and will be recognized. So far with 95% of the precints reporting, it looks like a 52% vote in favor.

I have never been so disappointed in my fellow Californian's. It's one thing to morally and religiously oppose same-sex marriage. It's quite another to actually write that discrimination into the foundation of our state's laws. That's what this is. Pure and simple, discrimination. Disagree with it all you want. Don't marry someone of the same sex then. It does nothing to harm you. It is no way a threat to your heterosexual marriage. My marriage is not diminished in the slightest because my best friend's brother-in-law gets married to his partner.

The ridiculous arguments supporting this change are the same arguments that were used to outlaw inter-racial marriage too. I hope that people who voted yes on this prop have a child who turns out to be homosexual who will not have the ability to marry the person they love. I hope they can live with themselves knowing that they have denied their own children the rights they get to enjoy. I hope they agonize over that guilt of denying their children happiness. Maybe once it hits home, people will start to think about other people's happiness instead of their own personal agendas.

I am sick to be a Californian today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Circle

I read a few blogs. I wake up with them and my first cup of coffee most mornings when I get to my desk at work. Shh.. don't tell my boss. Not on really busy days of course. Ahem.

Today, I read this post from a blogger I don't often read. She reminded me of my great grammy.

I met my great grammy once in a nursing home on a trip to Pennsylvania when she was 98 and I was about 10. She was my paternal grandfather's mother and the only one of my great grandparents still alive. I don't think she knew who any of us were. We explained who we were and I saw her searching her memories for distant visions of the past. Recognizable, but faded and just out of reach. Two people became one and separate events were intertwined and mingled like tendrils of new spring plants. Searching and winding their way around the deepest reaches of her mind.

She knew she had children, she remembered one son and one daughter. My grandfather also had a brother. She knew my grandfather, but called him by his sister's name. In that moment I saw in my grandfather's eyes a sadness and loss that I did not at the time understand. His family never got along well with each other, none of them, but in that moment, he became a child yearning for his mother's affections.

My great grammy was wearing a watch. We asked her if she knew what time it was. I understand she had quite the quick wit in her younger days and would show us her watch and ask if we could see. Then she stared at the face for a few minutes and pronounced it 8:15 in the morning. It was 2:00 in the afternoon but her watch had stopped and she was only about 5 minutes off.

In the next room, bingo was being played and she started repeating the callers. I-23. N-42. 0-65. BINGO! We took her to a table and made our quiet exit. Her connection with us was over and she was focused on something else.

I learned then, but didn't understand, that life truly is a circle. We enter this world not knowing, not understanding, not capable. Many of us become infants all over again. Helpless and reliant on those around us. Some are cast aside and forgotten and some are taken far too soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Mother's Soul

I'm fascinated by Psychology. I took an abnormal psych class in college and loved it. I studied Schizophrenia for my final term paper and am always truly fascinated by what makes people tick.

I'd like to think I'm a good friend and a good listener and occasionally I even give advice to those discussing their problems with me. I give much better advice than I take.

The hard part of providing that kind of friendship is that sometimes I get too emotionally invested. That's not a bad thing where friends and family are concerned, but it's really difficult to separate myself from other hard stories that I read in the news or on blogs. Today I was moved to tears reading about her mother.

3 years, 5 months, and 2 days ago, I gave birth to my Sugarplum. She is my light, my heart's every happiness, my conscience, my soul. Just like her, my daughter is part of me. I can't ever imagine living apart from her. As a mother, I can't fathom turning my back on her leaving her to wonder why her mommy isn't there. These stories break my heart and they're the reason I don't think I could ever be a therapist.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I LOVE this song...

and this parody just cracks me up... Happy Monday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

..and The Award goes to..

When I first started reading blogs, I noticed that at the beginning of the month, there were a number of bloggers who posted awards for the posts that made them laugh the most. It's been awhile since I've seen any ROFL Awards, but thanks to Jessica at Oh, The Joys and Tania at Chicky Chicky Baby, the ROFL Awards are back!

There's a number of blogs I read.. mostly moms but a few Dads too and one of those Dads always makes me smile and giggle just a bit. Not at him, but at his daughter. Not only do I think his daughter is completely adorable and I wish I was real life friends with them, I learn from them too.


I'd like to present the September ROFL award to Doodaddy.. or rather to his daughter for this post that taught me that 2 year olds can make fun of you just as easily as any adult. Congratulations Doodaddy and Boobaby!

Visit Oh, The Joys and Chicky Chicky Baby for more ROFL's and nominate your favorite giggles next month!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ends of the Earth

When Sugarplum had her surgery last May (which you can read about here, here and here)we met the family of the little girl in the bed next to her. Her name is Maida and she was 9 months old at the time of her surgery.
Her family is from Pakistan and she was born with 4 holes in her heart. The family was told in Pakistan this would require many surgeries to correct and they didn't know how successful they would be.
Fortunately, the mother, as most mothers do, refused to accept these answers and began doing plenty of research on her own. With the help of family in the US and the good fortune to be able to travel, they decided to come here to care for their daughter.
With two older children in school, mom came here with little Maida who became a patient of Sugarplum's own cardiologist. Dad followed once school was out for summer with the older children.
Her surgery was a success and her prospects were great. She seemed a little unstable at first in the ICU room, but once the breathing tube was removed from her tiny lungs, she immediately settled down.
Our cardiologist was nice enough to schedule a reunion of sorts by scheduling follow-up appointments with both of us on the same day, one after another. She was doing fabulously well.
Our Dr. informed us that this mom was his hero. They found out about their daughter's condition, and she immediately began to work to find the best solution to get her daughter help. In his words, she went to the ends of the earth to help her child... so he refused to charge her for the exams and helped coordinate the charity efforts of the children's hospital to cover most if not all of the expenses of the surgery.
Today, on another bulletin board I frequent, someone posted this site. This is an orgranization helping other children in the middle east get to Isreal to have heart surgeries they need. Surgeries that are needed for the same condition Sugarplum had, and many worse.
Seeing this site today, reading these stories, makes me remember just how fortunate I am to live here with access to health care and technology that so many others don't. Even if our economy is presently in the toilet, even if it's hard to pay the bills every month, even though our political future is in turmoil right now, we are still so lucky.

I've decided that for the month of October, I'll be compiling donations for this organization. If anyone wants to donate, please e-mail me at sugarplumsmom @ gmail dot com and I will send you information to either mail a check or send money through paypal. Or you can obviously donate directly on your own. Donations collected will be used to sponsor as many kids as currently need it, or will be sent in as one general donation to be used wherever it is most needed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Tracks

September 20 Theme: Road

This one was actually taken by my husband. We used to snowmobile together and it was great fun. Then I went back to finish school and we had Sugarplum and she's too young for it to be a family sport. This is the logging road leading out of the parking lot by the meadow that is transformed into a sparkling sugary white playground every winter.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've always thought the word coupon was a funny sounding word. I was watching a Ron White show and he pronounced it "Coo-puns" so I always hear it that way in my head now.


Every year, coming into fall, I get all kinds of ideas about how I'm going to be better organized in the coming year and I start practicing around now.

A couple years ago, it was buying Quicken to manage my checkbook better. Last year it was a new Franklin Covey organizer set which lasted until about January 12th.

Then about halfway through the year I get re-inspired and find some new tool for the second half of the year. I love tools. I love re-organizing myself. I work with financial information in spreadsheets and I have spreadsheets to balance other spreadsheets. I love making things ordering and concise. I just have a hard time keeping them that way.


This year's organization endeavor is into the world of coupons and saving money. Gas prices are up over $4 a gallon and we're getting a double whammy at the grocery stores because of it. We're not in any danger of losing our house or anything, but we're definitely feeling the pinch. So today, I took that Franklin Covey binder and bought some supplies for it to turn it into a coupon binder. I don't end up using those planning sheets very well so I may as well make the leather binder useful.

I also scored a great deal on a new tote bag to drag my personal household paperwork that I do at lunch time to work for $45 marked down from $99. Score! I signed up at an online coupon site, printed a bunch of online coupons and even still had Wednesday's junk mail on the table and cut some coupons out of that too. Here's hoping the grocery dollars stretch a little farther this weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Words

Apparently Sugarplum has decided that there are two words that best describe me:

Sour and Curdled

Witness this morning's conversation in the car:

SP: Mommy, are you old?

Me: NO! I'm not old!

SP: (With the high pitch of insistence that only a 3 year old can reach) YES YOU ARE!

Me: You really think so? Is Daddy old?

SP: No

Me: Is Oma old?

SP: No. You are old like the milk in my ba-ba (sippy cup)

Maybe I've not been doing a very good job leaving my work at work these days. I've found myself often frustrated and feeling sour toward the condescending harpy I have to work with. Yesterday I actually counted the days on the calendar left until her upcoming 3 month vacation. 47 including today. It. Can't. Come. Soon. Enough.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Monday

Wow, my last post was August 24th. I guess that means I have completely fallen off the blogging band-wagon but I would like to get back on. The trouble lately, is that I feel like I really don't have much of anything to say. So I'll complain instead - aren't you glad you stopped by?

Today is a gloomy and grey Monday. It's the kind of morning that makes me want to crawl back in bed with a good book. Except that, the Sugarplum needs to eat on occasion so I'm here at work instead.

I'm feeling decidedly underwhelmed by all the election nonsense floating around. I'm starting to lose sight of what the "issues" are since the mudslinging has begun. I also hear that the McCain/Palin Campaign is pulling ahead, which frankly just scares me. I abortion issue is my number one issue and any candidate who is behind overturning Roe v. Wade automatically loses my vote. I also worry about the ability of Sarah Palin to effectively govern with a 4 month old special needs child at home. I realize she's the Gov. and has been for a couple years, but isn't Washington a whole new ball game? How will she find that balance? I suppose her personal life is none of my business, but as a working-outside-the-home mom, it's hard enough for me to keep the balance in my 40 hour a week job, let alone a 24-hour-a-day job.

I work with a condescending, micro-managing, harpy wench who has stepped up her level of condescneding harpiness lately.. and it's driving me bananas. At least I don't have to report directly to her... and she drives my boss nuts too which is the only thing that keeps me sane when I have to deal with her on a more frequent basis.

If you've stuck around to reading this long, now I'll give you some of the positive stuff:

My husband has gone back to flight training so he can learn how to teach other aspiring pilots to fly. It won't be able to serve as a complete career change, but will eventually bring in some extra dough and give him a chance to do something he really loves a lot more often than he gets to now... and who couldn't use some extra dough?

I have been feeling a little more domestic lately - I've been planning and cooking meals at home a lot more often which is a challenge with a spouse who is a fairly picky eater. Nevertheless, I feel like some of my cooking skills are improving and that makes me feel good. Occasionally I even come up with something new to try which sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. I'm terrible with sauces and don't have the patience I should but I'm working on it.

Sugarplum has started a dance class that is lots of fun to watch. She gets to wear a leotard and tights and I get to put her hair up in a bun, it really looks more like a donut hole than a bun, but is cute nonetheless. She's having fun and getting some activity that is led by another adult besides me and has other kids to be around. Special thanks to Sandy for great advice about what to look for in the dance studio.

I have also started taking a Body Flow class at the Y. It's a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. It doesn't get me breathing really heavily but is proving to be a great work out. My muscles are tired at the end and I go home feeling like I've done something good and healthy for my body. I just need to learn to stay away from the Oreo's and milk when I get home.

That's been my life in a nutshell for the last month... for now, I'll just keep on keepin' on

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Plum Shot

Sugarplum is 3... and she's begun taking shots at me. The other night we had this conversation in the car getting ready to go to dinner with Oma.

SP: "Where's your mother?"

Me: "Getting her purse."

SP: "This is your mother's house?"

Me: "Yes.. Oma is my mother, just like I'm your mother."

SP: "Oh... you're old."

Thanks Kid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Struck Down

I've always said that pantyhose are the Devil's play things. Apparently God does not agree.

My brother got married on Saturday. It was a beautiful day and I absolutely adore my new sister-in-law.

This also gave me occasion to go out and buy a new dress because I had absolutely nothing to wear. I found one on-line and when it arrived I showed it off to my husband. He asked "are you going to wear pantyhose?"


"Why not?"

"Because the wedding is in August and the reception is outside and I'm wearing sandals. And they make me itch and scratch for 20 minutes when I take them off"


So Saturday comes and we're happily getting ready to leave and I put on my dress and sandals and make-up and perfume and jewelry and NO pantyhose.

We get to the church where I am in charge of receiving the flowers and getting them handed off or attached to the appropriate members of the wedding party and family.

We have a lovely ceremony and everyone takes off to the reception while the wedding party takes pictures and I help clean up the church chapel for another wedding coming in that afternoon.

You can see where this is going right?

So I'm running around in my dress and sandals and no pantyhose. Which for a lot of women is no big deal. Me? Well lets just say I don't have the thinnest of thighs. So mine, yeah, they rub together and cause friction. Not enough to start any campfires, but enough.


Never again will I go out in a dress without pantyhose. I have seen the light. God has struck me down in my pantyhose-avoiding ways. By the end of the night, my thighs were red, bruised and swollen just from running around all day.

BUT, it was a beautiful day, with a fabulous couple who I adore and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Time Warp

Forgive me blogosphere, for I have sinned. It has been 32 days since my last post.

We've been busy! At the end of June Sugarplum had her second post-operative check-up with her cardiologist. He gave her a clean bill of health and said she was all clear to go on a family vacation/reunion we had tentatively planned.

The last weekend in June brought us to Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim. She had SOOOO much fun. She went on a good number of kiddie rides and even a couple big kid rides and did really well. She even got through the 6 hour car ride remarkably well with no potty accidents. WOO HOO!!

The following week was spent in San Diego with my husband's family culminating in a family reunion at Gramma's house for the 4th of July. It was a great vacation and we all can't wait to go again.

We came home to a pool which turned green again in that first week we were home but at least there were no conspicuous business cards from the code enforcement officer in our front gate so I guess the neighbor took a break from her chore-tracking activities.

I took water samples to the pool supply store and my husband and I *almost converted to a salt system. Through a couple tests and adjustments in chemical levels, our pool is no longer green and we've managed to get rid of the algae. Unfortunately, playing mad scientist with pool chemicals is not always the best strategy for fighting algae. Who knew?

*I actually bought a salt system but had to return it because our washer decided to die last weekend, so I needed a couple new appliances instead. I'd rather be able to do laundry than swim in saline so I am now the proud owner of a Kenmore Elite Oasis washer and dryer set. No, it's not front loading because I don't want to have to keep the door open in order for it to not mold.

I'm now back at work and back to real life. It's a bummer because I felt like I was just starting to get into a stay-home-mom groove but alas, I'd like to keep paying my mortgage bill.

Thanks to everyone who has sent their warm wishes and good thoughts for Sugarplum's speedy and healthy recovery.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Elusive #2

When Sugarplum was first born the doctor's and nurses drilled it into our head that we had to count wet and dirty diapers as an indication of whether our new little wonder was eating enough. She was breast fed so she would sometimes go DAYS without a dirty diaper and we were assured that as long as she wasn't in any pain and discomfort it was fine.

This assurance wasn't enough for us, oh no... we made a list to keep track of her wet and dirty diapers. Then we had conversations at night about how amazed we were that poop became so interesting once our dear sweet girl was born.

"Did she poop today?"
"Oh YAY! How many times? What color was it? Was it thick or runny?"
"Once... it was like grainy mustard. I never thought I would be happy about poop when I was growing up."

Entire conversations.

Now that we've been on the potty training journey, poop is once again interesting. I finally wised up and started paying attention to when Sugarplum would go play in her room by herself in the evening. Because she decided that was the perfect time to poop in her pants. UGH!!! I made her sit the other night and she finally went on the potty. WOo HOO!! We have achieved both peeing and pooping on the potty... I think we may be on the backside of this mountain.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

Since I am getting to spend a few weeks at home with Sugarplum while she recovers from her heart surgery, I decided it would be a good time to tackle potty training. Sugarplum has not been the least bit interested in going on the toilet and has only been curious enough to sit on it at my mother's house and at daycare one time.

Generally she responds very well to the timer. So I decided the best course would be to set the timer for trips to the bathroom. After all... it's supposed to work in two days right? Just put them in panties or let them go naked and keep going into the bathroom until they get the idea right and SNAP! Potty Training is done!


I think now she's relying on the timer and not really paying attention. Sigh. So today, I've set the timer for longer intervals until she gets the idea to notice that she needs to go between the times it goes off. We've been working on it since Tuesday. My 2 days was gone yesterday and it's made for a very monotonous week.

On the up side, it looks like I may be getting caught up on laundry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

24 Hours

This fabulous lady posed an interesting question. What would you do if you had 24 hours completely free to do whatever you wanted, just for you, that no one would know about. Hmm.

For starters, I think I would sleep in. I would want to get a massage. I might read.. I might work on some scrapbooking project.. I might play video game I enjoy. I would probably want to bake something yummy. I might indulge in some completely mindless television. I would probably shop for some fabulous new outfit complete with shoes, purse, make-up and perfume. That I would not wear all the time.

I say I *might* do all these things, because I really don't know what I would do. I think I would go wherever the breeze takes me on that day. I guess maybe I don't have an answer.. because I wouldn't plan it.. complete freedom to me is being able to do whatever I want when the mood strikes.

How about you - what would you do?

Post your answer with a link to the original post and let her know about it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Big Helper

May 24 Theme: Shoes

Occasionally Sugarplum will help her Daddy put on his socks and shoes before going somewhere. She sits down with him, grabs the top of his shoes and pulls. While she grunts. Then tells us how it's "hard work". She's a great helper!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Road to Recovery

Well, we are firmly on the road to recovery. Sugarplum's heart surgery went very well and the surgeon does not expect that she will have any further complications or need any further operations on her Mitral valve. She was sedated the first night while she had the breathing tube in and on Saturday morning they took it out at about 11:30. She had to wait another 4 hours before she could swallow anything making it about 30 hours total without food or water by mouth. She was receiving IV nutrition but that does nothing to help the empty tummy. She was very happy to get some apple juice Saturday afternoon and milk later that evening.

Sunday she got the chest tube out and got a lot more comfortable. Monday she was awake all day and she even got to go to the play room upstairs and was happy to be able to move better.

Yesterday we got to come home! She's playing and moving around the house without any problems and is pretty well back to her normal self. We just have to be careful about how we pick her up but she's dancing and walking just fine and even climbing up on our bed and the couch all by herself.

We are so happy to have our Sugarplum back home!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trick or Treat!

May 17 Theme: Candy

Last year was Sugarplum's first time Trick or Treating for real. We dressed her up in a Dorothy dress and walked around with friends of ours. Once she got a lollipop, she was a happy camper!

In other news: Her heart surgery went really well - she's still in ICU and we are headed back to the hospital shortly. I'll post a more detailed update in a few days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Neglectful Home Owners: 2

Spiteful too-much-time-on-her-hands neighbor: 0

Code enforcement came out to look at the pool this afternoon.

"Oh.. is this how it looked when I contacted you?" (which was yesterday)


"Well... ok, there's some algae... but it's not even built up and accumulated on the sides"

"nope.. this is the typical algae bloom when the weather changes"

"how long does it take to clear up when it gets like this?"

"A few days.. we use shock treatment, chlorine, and we're trying a new product that is supposed to help clear up an algae bloom. I can show you what we use if you need to see it"

"No.. is it chlorinated now?"


"OK.. I'm just going to take a couple pictures for the file and close this violation out. When it clears up, send me an e-mail so I know. I'm going to put notes in that it's in the process of being cleared. "

"ok.. I don't know how soon that will be. The surgery is this week and we'll be in the hospital."

"of course, just whenever you get a chance"

"ok, thanks"

so glad that's over.. one more hassle I didn't need this week. Thanks neighbor!

Monday, May 12, 2008

As if...

As if I don't have enough going on right now, this bitch decides to up and call code enforcement again. I'm pretty certain now that it's she who called. What I don't know, is what on earth we ever did to offend her. Maybe she's just one of those people who doesn't have enough going on in their life, they have to pay attention to everyone else's.

Today the business card from the inspector nicely says that she's going to have to start issuing citations for lack of maintenance. Thing is, the algae blooms and takes us a few weeks to get it cleared up and in good shape every time the season changes. I called back and left a message that we'd be happy to have the pool looked at again, but it'll have to be in a couple weeks because of the surgery. I haven't heard back from her yet. I also sent an e-mail.

Like I really need to be dealing with pool shit right now too. What's a girl gotta do to catch a break around here?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

After 10

"Sugarplum, can you count to ten?"


"What comes after ten?"

"Ready or not, here I come!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cookie Toes

May 10 Theme: Share ANY Photo

This was taken the first time Sugarplum helped me make cookies. I had her up on the counter to help pour in and stir up the flour and sugar for Snickerdoodles. Needless to say, she needed to work on her aim a bit.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mama Carrots

Sugarplum likes to help me pick out produce in the grocery store. Right now, it's the bargaining chip I use to get her into the cart so I let her help and buy whichever vegetables she gets her fingers on. She usually asks for Brocolli and sometimes Asparagus. She'll even eat them too. Last time we also picked out zucchini.

After we were done with the green veggies, she wanted carrots. I like baby carrots so I grabbed a new bag of them, and told her "here you go honey, now we have baby carrots"

>commence whimpering<

"Noooo.... Mommmmmy... I want mama carrots!"

How could I be so clueless?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Sugarplum

Today is your actual birthday, Sugarplum. Even though we celebrated on Saturday, you turned 3 an hour ago. I called you at daycare and you have been happily playing all day in your new Cinderella dress-up dress. You are having such a good day, you even turned down "Old Mac Donald's" for a birthday cheeseburger and french fries.

Three years and one hour ago, my life changed in immeasureable ways. I continue to learn how to love, teach, cherish and respect another human being in ways I never thought possible. Even when I get frustrated, I always love you and cherish you and am so grateful that I get the honor of being your mom.

I love you Sugarplum, Happy 3rd Birthday.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Sands of Time

May 3 Theme: Time

Today we are celebrating Sugarplum's 3rd birthday. For a present, her daddy and I got her a sand box to play in. So far she is loving it. I can't believe my baby is already turning three. The sands of time seem to flow faster and faster with each passing year. Today, I'm going to slow down and enjoy the celebration.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Two Weeks

In two weeks time, I will have to work through the longest day of my life. I will have to hand my Sugarplum over to a stranger to be fixed.

At three months old, we found out she has an ASD that we were told would eventually require surgery. When we found out we cried, we fretted, we researched, and we accepted that someday, this day would come. Now, as each day brings us closer to the final moment, when "eventually" becomes the past, my anxiety builds steadily.

In two weeks time, I will put my heart and soul into this man's hands. For him this is routine. For him, this is common practice. We met him today. He was warm and kind even though he was pressed for time and couldn't sit with us for very long. He explained that her procedure is not complicated for his skilled staff. He explained that within just a few weeks, our Sugarplum would be back to her normal self but with a new badge of honor. A battle scar to prove she's one tough cookie.

I've never had to put so much faith and trust into one person. I've never contemplated what it means to hand over my most precious gift to be cared for and kept safe. In two weeks time, that is what I will do.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nap Time

Well ok.. a few words... Sugarplum got time out this weekend for hitting. She has a spot to server her time at the end of the hallway. Sunday, she didn't want to come out of her time out when I called her. So I left her. I think she's been checking out my Google Reader and getting ideas because she decided it would be a good idea to lay there and take a nap. In the hallway.. and SOMEONE was just recently taking a nap in that very same position behind the couch.. but I can't for the life of me remember who it was.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Have A Head

It's true... Sugarplum has figured it out. I have a head.

The other night, she again asked for Daddy to tuck her in to bed. A rare occurrence which happened twice last week which I'm sure warmed his heart beyond measure. After he did his part, she summoned me to also tuck her in. Not only am I a good helper, but she noticed when I came in that I have a head.

"You have a head mommy."
"Yes, I do."
"And you have eyes mommy."
"Yes I do."
"And Mommy? You have a nose."
"Yes baby, and I have a mouth too. Goodnight Sugarplum. You have extra sleeps, and night night and sweet princess dreams."
"Night Night Mommy."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good Helper!

Sugarplum has been getting praised and told she's a good helper when she participates in cleaning up the toys at the end of the day at daycare. We're also trying to teach her to pick up her toys from the living room at night and put them in her room. They don't get put away so well, but at least they make it into her room.

Last night I got kicked out of the bathroom during bath time. I was good for washing her hair and soaping up her body, but when it got to the fun play-time, she wanted Daddy to sit with her. Ok.. I can go read some blogs, that's alright.

Then she was promised a lollipop (because she DID eat a great dinner for once) so she wanted to sit on the couch with Daddy and her lollipop and watch a documentary about the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier. Guess who picked the show?

SO then it got down to bed time. She has an evening ritual where she has to chase and be chased by Daddy up and down the hallway while screaming her little heart out and giggling. It's too darn cute. This is when I gather up the required bed-time stuffed animals and blanket and wait in her room. She comes in, sits in my lap and takes a few last sips of water and climbs into bed.

Generally, if I'm home, I'm the one that has to tuck her in. Then check on her. And wish her "extra sleeps, night-night, and sweet princess dreams". Well.. in a rare moment, she decided she wanted Daddy to tuck her in. Woo Hoo! Escape! I don't have to wide up the pink elephant 14 times! I don't have to keep re-starting the glow-worm! No yanking on the green dinosaur so he'll play his lullaby while being tucked back under her blanket!

Then he went in to check on her a few minutes later to make sure she was "all set". Then she asked for mommy. So I went in for one last tuck and snuggle, and she gave me a big hug and kiss and said "you're a good helper, Mommy"

So are you Sugarplum!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

First Trip to the Dentist

Sugarplum had her first check-up with the Dentist this morning. She's pretty good about brushing her teeth even if she takes her time and fiddles around (I always help her finish her back teeth) she even gets upset if we forget to brush in the morning before leaving or before going to bed.

Aside from having to hold her down in the chair while they brushed and scaped her teeth, the promise of Dora stickers and a toy made for a very cooperative little girl. That and Mommy letting the dentist look in her mouth first.

She has 20 teeth so far, her back molars aren't up all the way, but they are all broken through. They're spaced well but a little closer on the left side so now we get to start flossing. YAY! I'm terrible at flossing..

But, her teeth look great so she has the dental green light to go ahead with her heart surgery and we don't have to re-schedule due to dental issues. YAY! One more step in the prep process out of the way.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maybe Someday

Sugarplum likes to listen to a CD of songs from Barney. One of them is about learning things a little at a time. "To walk right up a mountain, first we learn to climb. Because we learn big things a little at a time"

I can't remember the line but there is also something about flying an airplane... and she says "I can fly an airplane" This thrills my husband D because he is a pilot and is training for all his ratings to become a flight instructor.

Every summer there is also a bike race that goes through town right by daycare. So on the afternoon for that leg of the race. they go watch it. She tells me then "I can ride a bike race"
This morning we were watching Elmo's World about pets. She talked about having a hamster. I said maybe someday when you get bigger. Her response?

"Maybe someday I can have a hamster. Maybe someday I can fly an airplane. Maybe someday I can ride a bike race"

Maybe someday indeed Sugarplum - you can fly airplanes and win bike races and climb mountains. You can do anything you want.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Goodnight Friend

April 19 Theme: Unique/Funny Signs

This sign is not funny, but it is unique. Today my husband and I are headed to a memorial service for our dear friend, Paul. Paul was a wonderful man we met nearly 10 years ago on a snowmobiling trip. He was a great guy, a friend to everyone, a husband, father, grand-father, and untamed spirit.

He invited us into his motorhome for breakfast before the days ride. (He used to tell us "the service at this restaurant sucks, but the food's pretty good") He played practical jokes on the waiters and waitresses when we went for burgers at lunch. He loved to stop for pizza on the way home. He told great stories of adventures growing up and the life lessons he had learned.

The snowmobilers at Yuba Pass are like a family, and at the head of that family was Paul. He cared for everyone and gave whatever he could whenever anyone needed anything. He was kind, compassionate, warm and inspiring. He loved a good time, a good laugh, a good ride. Those woods will never be the same and the sign above will be posted in his honor and in loving memory by the riders whose lives he has touched.
Paul - we will always love you, we will always miss you, we will always remember you.
Goodnight, dear friend.
*Memorial sign created by Jeff Schauer

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Jen at One Plus Two posted about windows to her soul and invited the rest of the blogland to join in.

Two nights ago, we received a phone call that a dear friend of ours had died unexpectedly. The last few days my husband and I have been reflecting on our lives and what is important and I've been thinking about moments that have had an impact on my life, not because they are necessarily life changing moments, but because they make me stop for a moment and consider what is truly important and what truly matters; or because they are memories of some of the happiest moments in my life.

1) The birth of our daughter
2) Gazing into my husband's eyes as we danced our first dance at our wedding reception
3) Witnessing the moments after a woman nearly lost her life on the freeway
4) Dropping everything to fly across the country when my grandfather had a stroke
5) Walking through Sleeping Beauty's Castle on a spur of the moment trip to Disneyland
6) Making snowmobile tracks through virgin snow
7) The smell just after the first spring rain
8) My daughter's discoveries
9) Watching the fireflies in my Grandparent's backyard
10) The memories of my father as a young and vibrant man. He would not allow us to see him in the hospital in his last days, and it was many years before I understood what a gift he bestowed on my brother and I.

For more windows, visit these blogs. Feel free to jump in and add this list to your post - don't forget to put your name on the list.

Jessica with Eleven Windows
Tracy from Tiny MantrasDefiant
Muse from Musings...
Sugarplum's Mom with 10 Windows

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My New Toy!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sugar Snap Peas

April 12 Theme: Twisted

My mother is growing a container garden this season. This is a shot of an itty bitty Sugar Snap Pea tendril. Sugarplum and I can't wait for the peas!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Flashback Friday: Prom Night

So I'm not officially in on the Flashback Friday writing prompt, but I'm jumping in anyway. This week's theme is about the Prom and what you did (or didn't do) Prom Night.

When I was a sophomore I started dating the guy I went to the Jr. Prom with. We got together with two other couples and all pitched in on a limo. I don't think we went to any fancy dinner, but we rode in the car to the Prom and then around town killing time for about an hour or so before going to my friends house for ice cream.

The idiot boys were absolutely dying to stand up through the sun roof of the limo. I kept nagging at them about how it was illegal and we'd get in trouble. The driver heard all this of course and said nothing.

After the prom (while driving around town) they just couldn't stand it anymore and stood up through the roof. Right in front of a cop. We got pulled over. In a limo. The driver immediately put up the divider between us and him when he pulled over and calmy obliged the office asking to speak with his passengers. We all got warnings and went on our merry way. Needless to say that put a damper on the rest of the night so we headed home for ice cream. My boyfriend and I broke up two weeks later.. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it or not.

Exciting huh?

The Friday Flashbacks are created by Catherine and Tracy. You can read about more Prom memories from your favorite bloggers here:
Sassy Irish Lassie
Mrs. Flinger
The Berg Circus
Single Supermama
Hey You!
Oh, The Joys
Mean Girls Need Not Apply
A Fine Frenzy

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bagel Bed

Sugarplum is almost 3. We've finally taken the front of her crib off and turned it into a toddler bed. We've talked about doing this for a year now, and never really got around to it. She wasn't trying to climb out of it or anything so, eh, it hasn't been a big thing.

Well now, she has a "bagel bed" (at least that's what her "big girl bed" sounds like). Knowing we were going to do this, I took her to the store and let her pick out a toddler bedding set. Of course, she had to go with Disney Princesses. At least I got a bunch of the stuffed animals out of there.. here's what her "bagel bed" looks like now.

So far, when she's woken up, she's stayed in her room... it hasn't occurred to her yet that she can actually walk out of her room and come to our room... I'm hoping it actually stays that way.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Jellies On The Wall

April 5th Theme: Glass

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a great Jelly Fish exhibit. This is a picture I took of a display of blown glass "Jellyfish" that hangs on the wall. The sculptures are in different colors of glass, which did not come through in the picture, but I think it's kinda neat anyway.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Astounding Level of Petty

So I was cruising around local news stories on-line when I ran across this.

The level of some people's pettiness astounds me. I get not wanting the neighborhood to look like a dump. I understand not attracting rodents and bugs and go knows what else to the area... but come on - your garbage can on your driveway? Ours happens to be kept in our garage simply because of the way our house is laid out. I guess most of the other neighbors are too... but not everywhere. I drive all over San Jose and see garbage cans tucked neatly on the sides of houses or driveways. Still in public view obviously if I can see them from my car.. but come on... do we really have nothing better to watch out for and complain about? ESPECIALLY in Oakland of all places?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The First Break-Up

I think maybe Sugarplum has broken up with the vacuum.

A few months ago my friend gave us an old red miniature sized dirt devil. Her kids loved it. It takes batteries and when you switch it on makes a whirring motor sound, shines a light and as you push it back and forth it blows little balls around in the canister in a halfway decent imitation of a vacuum. It has even been known to pick up some lint or the occasional stray cat hair. This little toy vacuum made it through both her kids and has got to be about 12 years old. But it still works.

Only Sugarplum doesn't like it. It's been in her closet, and she doesn't play with it much since we brought it home. She loved it at B's house. The vacuum is now in our bedroom... and not as a hint from my husband either.

Two nights a week I go to an exercise class after work and get home after Sugarplum goes to bed. Last night she was playing with D in her room and they decided to play with the vacuum. As soon as he turned it on, she decided that was a bad idea. She freaked out. He turned it off. She nuzzled him. He held her and comforted her. He offered to take the vacuum away. She said ok.

When he tucked her into bed, she made sure the vacuum wasn't in her room anymore. She made sure it couldn't hurt her. She made sure it couldn't scare her.

She doesn't talk to the big vacuum nearly as much as she used to. She is a little leary when it comes out of the closet to work. She'll push it along the carpet with D but only for a couple passes, then she comes to hang out with me. I think she must have ended the affair.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Age of The Mouse

Well... it's finally happened... Sugarplum has discovered Disney movies.

Up to now she hasn't really had too much attention span for movies. We put in Cinderella 6 months or so ago and she watched a bit but it was mostly background noise while she played throughout the house. Same with Lady and the Tramp.

For the last two nights she has asked to watch Cindrella before bed and I *think* she may have also watched at daycare. I already warned my husband that this is what we'll be watching every night for the next 14 weeks at least. He was thrilled.

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It'll do magic believe it or not
Salagadoola means mechicka booleroo
But the thingmabob that does the job is
Salagadoola menchicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Monday, March 31, 2008

Potty Politics

Isn't it funny how in certain situations or places there seems to be unspoken rules that you should follow? Kinda like etiquette, only I don't think anyone would actually send you to the fire and damnation of etiquette hell.

There are 5 stalls in the bathroom at work. It's common knowledge that if you have to stink up the place, you do it in the last stall to minimize the stinkage for others who may need to use the restroom. I for one do not like to do anything but pee in any public restrooms, but I make the occasional exception if I have to at work. And I ALWAYS go to the last stall. And I always wait until no one else is there. And if anyone comes in, I wait until they are gone before I come out, lest they see me and know what I did.

So, why is it then when I am happily tinkling away in stall #2 all by myself in the bathroom do you, Ms. bathroom-stinker-upper-co-worker, have to come in to the FIRST stall, RIGHT next to me? Not only do you make me gag, it creeps me out to hear you splashing right next door.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Hard Boiled Egg Day!

Happy Easter! To those that celebrate Easter... and happy... first Sunday of spring to those that don't.

Growing up, Easter was never a huge church holiday for us... we weren't really involved with church, which is ok by me, but we ALWAYS colored eggs and had a hunt and got treats from the Easter Bunny. Sometimes, we even found eggs from last year.. how we didn't find them by smell in August is beyond me but there you go.

Now that we have Sugarplum, we have carried on the tradition in our own home... but just how many egg salad sandwiches can you eat in a week? So what else do you do with the eggs? If you're anything like me, you draw a total blank and can't think of anything else to do with Hard Boiled Eggs. Until now.

Here are some recipes I found for good 'ole hard boiled eggs:

Dandelions With Hard Boiled Eggs (I don't think I could ever really eat this...)
Hard Boiled Eggs with Celery and Oysters (In case you wanna get down to bidness?)
Hard Boiled Eggs with Finnan Haddie (too bad Hubby doesn't like fish)
Hard Boiled Eggs with Creamed Onions (So I can summon my mighty wind)
Asparagus Mimosa (Where's the Champagne and Orange Juice?)

Maybe I'll just stick with Egg Salad sandwiches and Potato Salad.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Reality of Lies

Human beings have an amazing capacity to lie to themselves. Or rather, tell themselves all sorts of things to make themselves feel better.

When Sugarplum was born, her pediatrician heard a slight heart murmur. No big deal. Most babies are born with heart murmurs that close on their own within a couple weeks. At her 6 week check-up, it was still there. So, just to make sure it was nothing, and catch it early if it was something, she referred us to a pediatric cardiologist.

So we went... and our lives changed.

Her cardiologist is great and took a pretty thorough echo-cardiogram. He told us we were lucky - we'd get to come back.

Turns out, Sugarplum has an ASD which is a small hole between the upper chambers of her heart that a small amount of blood flows through rather than circulating through the entire heart. She also has a small kink in the valve that passes blood from the lungs to the heart that causes is it to not close completely tight and some blood leaks through. Not a huge problem, but one that requires open heart surgery.

Open. Heart. Surgery. On my baby. We both burst into tears in the parking lot. As parents, we never wanted to hear that there was something wrong with our baby.

So when we went home we turned to the great and powerful Google to answer all our questions. We found that of all the possible congenital heart defects she could have, this is probably the best. It's relatively common and operated on all the time.

We are also blessed to have some of the best pediatric medical professionals close by at Lucile-Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

For nearly three years, we have taken her for check-ups every few months. Her weight gain has been steady, she's hit all the right developmental milestones at all the right times, and has been an absolute joy and the light of our lives. Her heart hasn't slowed her down one bit and you'd never suspect a medical issue looking at her.

Now the time has come to actually have her surgery. She's scheduled for mid-May and hubby and I will be spending our 4th wedding anniversary in the hospital with our precious baby girl. Even though we've known this was coming. Even though we've been preparing for it for the last couple years, it still came as a shock to find that she is actually on the calendar for surgery. It's really going to happen.

Somehow, as long as it was in the undefined future, and something that "would have to happen eventually" it was never quite the same as it is now. It's certainly no surprise, but in some way, the reality is just now beginning to set in.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sugar Van Winkle

Doodaddy created a fun post about where his munchkin will be in 20 years and a day.. and decided to turn it into a meme. Then he went a tagged me for it. So here it is: my fantasy for Sugarplum in 20 years:

It is just a couple months before her 23rd birthday. She's looking forward to finishing college and already has a great job lined up. It's even near home so she'll be able to have Sunday dinners with her dear 'ole Dad and me once in awhile. If we're lucky she'll bring her new beau over soon. They've only been dating a couple weeks so it's a little scary to meet the parents. He's been accepted to grad school near by so things are looking up for the both of them and they've already found a great apartment to rent that comes available in a few months.

Her life is just getting off the ground and she's got a great start. She's happy with where she is and looking forward to a bright future. She's doing what she loves and gets to spend lots of time with various volunteer efforts that are important to her, including Angel Flight, an organization where private pilots donate their time and energy to flying sick people around for treatments with specialists they wouldn't otherwise get to see. Her daddy was a great inspiration to her in that venture, teaching her to fly when she was just a teenager and letting her use the plane whenever she needs. You know, the one we bought when we won the lottery?

Sugarplum has the world at her fingertips and the luxury to do anything she wants with it.. and best of all, the courage to take the chance.


For this meme, I tag Liv, Rimarama, Avery and Amy. Where will your kids be in 20 years and a day?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Falling Pants

Last winter Sugarplum slept soundly through the night easily until 6:30. This was just about perfect because it gave me time to get up and get ready to leave, and then get her up and ready and out the door around 7.

Somewhere around the Daylight Saving time change, she started waking up around 5. This simply will not do, so we would bring her into our room for some extra cuddles. She asks for a hot baba and then settles back down to a good sleep while I keep hitting the snooze button.

Now... occasionally, married people will, at some point after their children go to bed, get down to bidness. Mom, you can stop reading now.

Last night, our bedroom was rather warm following the great turn in the weather, and I went back to sleep (ahem) with just my t-shirt and underwear. So this morning, when Nicole asked for her baba, she stopped me walking out the room.

"Mommy! You're pants fell down!"

My but she does have keen powers of observation, even at 5 am in the dark.

Friday, March 7, 2008

School Already?

Ok.. so Sugarplum is only going to be 3 in May and we have plenty of time, but I'm starting to take a look at the school programs in our area. I found a program for K-6 (which is working on becoming a K-8) which is a parent participation program. More like a charter or co-op but in a traditional elementary setting. So the classrooms are portable buildings on the campus of one of the elementary schools in our area.

Here's the things I really like:
Low ratio of adults to students - 20 kids per class, 2 parents and the teacher are in the class at all times
8-10 field trips a year
Weekly music and art
Physical Education
Other enrichment activities like cooking, gardening, sewing etc.
Hands-on and group learning rather than traditional "answer the questions at the end of the chapter" type study
Relatively low cost (They're asking $350 this year)
Full day Kindergarten

We went to an open house last night - which seemed fantastic. My hubsand is a little concerned about Sugarplum being able to transition out of this style of learning to a more traditional "book study" philosophy. I wonder about that too.

So I'm turning to you in blogland for opinions.

Have you participated in a parent co-op or charter program?
What did you like about it?
What didn't you like about it?
Would you do it again?
How well did your child succeed or not succeed?
How well did your child transition to a more "traditional" teaching style in higher grades?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Not Born Yet

My husband's cousin is having a baby. Next weekend is her baby shower and I will be taking Sugarplum with me. So of course, we had to go buy a gift for the new little bundle. Since we were going into BRU and Sugarplum ALWAYS asks for toys... I explained we had to get a gift for A's baby. She looked perplexed. She had no idea who this baby was. I explained that he's not born yet, he's groing in his mommy's tummy. And she grew in mommy's tummy before she was born too. She seemed to accept this... but decided the baby must be groing in MY tummy. No No... I explained, I'm not his mommy. A is. That was the end of that. I figured that was enough of the "Where do Babies Come From?" topic for now..

Fast Foward to Monday morning on our way to daycare.

SP: (from the back seat) "Mommy, I two."

Me: "Yes Baby, you are two. When is your birthday?"

SP: "No... I not born yet."

Me: "Honey, you were born almost three years ago."

SP: "NOOO! I NOT born yet!"

That is one long pregnancy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The First of Many

BUSTED! The daycare lady's husband is B-U-S-T-E-D.

The other day we're sitting on the couch and Sugarplum reaches her arm over and lays it across my chest and says "butt-head". Only, I've never heard this word escape from her lips... so that can't possibly be what she said.

Me: "Did you say bed time?"

SP: "Noooo"

Me: "Did you say Bologna?"

SP" "Noooo"

Me: (disbelieving) "Did you say butt-head?"

SP: "Uh-huh"

Me: "That's not a very nice word Sugarplum. You shouldn't say that. Who taught you that word?"

SP: "Bob!"

Hubby and I laughed... he was busted; and I'm sure there will be much more colorful words to come home, this was just the first of many.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I like you SO much

"I like you so much, that I didn't have ANY"

I heard those words from a co-worker today who brought me a whole bag of my favorite See's Candies - Scotchmallows.

We just completed a fiscal quarter at work and I helped her straighten out some last minute budget stuff... she asked what my favorite See's candy was. Ironically enough, it's her favorite too. And today she brought me a whole bag to myself. And she likes me so much, she gave them ALL to me and didn't have any herself.

These are the days I like my job most. Not because anyone gives me anything, it's not necessary to bring me candy, but because someone cared enough to make the effort to give me a little thank you that they knew I'd enjoy. Thanks K!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Little Gymboree Punk

Saturdays are Sugarplum's day to play at Gymboree. This means we go to the mall and this means that periodically we get discounts to their clothing store. Which has the cutest clothes at the most astronomical prices so I only buy them when I have a discount.

One of the nice things about this store is that they understand mostly moms will be in their with their small children so they have a television set up with a kids video and a couple small chairs. When we were there today all the chairs were taken. That's ok, Sugarplum is doing alright with her sharing so I reminded her to share and not get right in front of the TV.

Well... three-year-olds (almost) need to be told things more than once. And sometimes they need to physically be moved when they won't get out of the way. Ok, fair enough. But in between all this, what do I hear one of the kids saying to my Sugarplum? Who is a boy about the age of 7 or 8? "I could slap you in the face." I turned around again, moved her again, and told him "No, you can NOT slap her in the face." He just stared at me.

Mom didn't even notice, she was trying to pile up clothes at the counter and pay for them. I briefly thought about tattling to her, but really, what would it have done? She probably would have thought some crazy woman was picking on her son for no reason. The little punk. If he has learned that it's ok to slap other people in the face for any reason, I hope he gets knocked on his butt before he's too old and learns it's not ok. And I hope it's by a girl who's smaller than him.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I need an extra weekend

I need an extra weekend.. to make up from last weekend. It was my Grandmother's 80th Birthday last weekend and the festivities began right after work at 5:30 on Friday night. An hour drive to my aunts house and dinner at the Country Club seemed harmless enough. But then there was the cake and ice cream afterwards and cards until 11:30 at night.

My brother and I spent the night at my cousin's house. It was my first night away from Sugarplum. I know I know.. she's almost 3 and I've never been away.. not because I worry about her, just because I don't like to be away from her. I had a surprisingly easy time of it.

Saturday I got up after 6 1/2 hours of sleep for a morning coffee and walk by the beach with three of my cousins and two of the teenagers. Followed by breakfast at a little diner that one of my out of town cousins adores. Then it was back to the aunt's house for more visiting, a big pasta dinner and more cards.

I got home at roughly 8:15 Saturday night only to promptly fall in bed just so I could get up at 8:30 the next morning and drive back. Sunday I took Sugarplum to visit and go to the aquarium with another cousin and her two little ones.

A good time was had by all, it was great to visit and it was a fantastic weekend, but here it is Thursday, and I still feel exhausted.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Callin' Mommy Out

Sugarplum is almost 3... and has no filter. When do they get a filter? This morning she felt like being sassy. When we went over to the daycare lady's house after saying good morning to Oma, she still felt sassy. She was being fussy and I tried to cheer her up giving her a big hug and jiggling her. She yelled "NooO!" Stopped for a second then looked at me and got upset yelling "It's stinky!! Mommy tooted!!"

Because she was being fussy, we were able to laugh it off, deny deny deny. I sat there.. if I sat still it wouldn't go anywhere right? The daycare lady wouldn't get too close right?

Most. Embarassing. Dropoff. Ever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Ugh. One of the worst things happened. This weekend is my grand-mother's 80th birthday celebration. My aunt's have organized a party at a country club. There is a dress code. No jeans allowed. Just about all I wear is jeans.... I have 2 skirts I can wear, 2 I can't and 1 dress. I thought it would be a good excuse to find a new outfit; so off to Kohl's I went.

Most of the dresses I thought were really ugly... but I did find 2 possibilities. So I trotted off to the dressing room with the sizes I hoped would fit. Then it happened. I got stuck in a dress. I got into it just fine - but sleeves had no elastic and were too tight. So I tried to lift my arms up to get the dress off. I started to panic... I thought I was going to have to buy a ripped dress - ripped because that would have been the only way I could get it off. Or I was going to have to go to the lady in the next dressing room to help. How embarassing would that have been?

Well I was able to get out of the dress and left totally deflated. Guess I'll make do with the dress I have or one of my skirts.

On an unrelated note, I've been having really weird dreams lately. I don't remember much about them... but I do remember that last night, I dreamt that Darth Vader was an accountant.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

How Far

How far does a stick have to be shoved up your rear end sideways in order to ignore and even give dirty looks over a 2 year old trying to talk to you?

Sugarplum and I went to the Garden Center this morning with my mom. It's my favorite garden store and in the outdoor area they have red Radio Flyer wagons that you can drag all your plants around in. Sugarplum of course wanted to pull it herself. She was doing a really good job too. Until she got tripped up on a corner, literally, and skinned her knee. She's ok but it was rather sensitive. As we were checking out she was trying to tell the lady about her boo boo. "Lady - I got a boo boo. Lady. Lady! Lady!!" The woman just ignored her and looked sour ringing up my mom's plants. I had to take Sugarplum outside and all I could think to tell her was the lady had to concentrate and that sometimes people don't like to talk.

My heart broke for her - she doesn't understand why the plant lady wouldn't talk to her. Everyone talks to her. She said "Nooo Mommy!!! People talk!!" It was so sad. I found myself being increasingly irritated over it all afternoon. All we could come up with was that she did not seem to be a very happy person at all. Now I'm sad for her.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Take THAT Nosy Neighbor!

Code enforcement came out tonight. Last week I think I posed about some nosy neighbor calling in a complaint about our pool. Well.. tonight was our "inspection"

The lady who came over was very nice. It was late dusk so she really couldn't see a whole lot.. but she could tell from the pump being on and the fact that she could see through the water that the pool was not green. And we fished out the chair in case you were wondering. She saw leaves on the bottom and could smell the chlorine so knew something was working the way it was supposed to.

I explained how we fight algae growth every winter as soon as it starts raining and the storms blow leaves and other yard debris into the water. She just said "ok, I'm going to close this out and sign it off"

So take THAT you complaining neighbor!

Friday, February 8, 2008


All the parents were late to daycare that day. It was a beautiful late June afternoon when I headed out from work. I packed up my office with bright thoughts of the coming weekend and what fun Sugarplum and I would have hanging out at my best friends B's house. I tossed my backpack and purse in the trunk, plugged in my cell phone headset and dialed up B on my way out of work as I so often do.

The children didn't understand why I was upset when I arrived. I assured them all as best I could that I would be alright. They were skeptical. They knew someone was hurt.

On the freeway there had been an accident. It was in a common spot with a short space to change lanes for oncoming and exiting traffic. I got past it and we all cruised back up to normal speed. As I was reaching full free-way speed, I saw the smoke. Someone had just rear-ended someone else. I instinctively took my foot off the gas. Then I saw her.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. B I have to go" I heard my own voice telling her what I'd just seen still not completely believing it. I pulled over. I tried to call 911 but couldn't get through.

With traffic at a stand still behind me, I finally was able to get out of my car. I stood right next to my trunk and got through to 911. Emergency crews were already en route. Several people had stopped and were at the scene. A few crouched over her body searching for signs of life. Someone else was directing traffic off the freeway. The firetrucks arrived. The highway patrol arrived. I stood.. watching.. waiting.. unsure. There was no movement. I could see the red pool against the dark pavement. It was too big.

I saw the officer with the yellow tarp. Then gasps as she moved. She was waking up. I started to approach and was sent back to my car. The fire chief came to me. Was I witness? Kind of. The highway patrol officer came to speak to me. Did I know which car hit her? I stared back. Had I seen it happen? No. I honestly didn't know. I saw her fall and roll.. but I didn't see exactly where she came from. I was sent on my way.

For days I could not shake the image of the woman on the road. I drive the same route every day. Every day I think of her. Every day I pray for her.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm In My House, Spying on Your Backyard

I hate nosy neighbors. We have a neighbor next door who likes to police the neighborhood. Of course, none of her complaints are ever confirmed but because she has made noise about all the neighbors at one time or another, we all assume it's her. It might also be the people behind us because they can see directly into our backyard.

So we got a visit today - from the city code enforcement office. They inspector couldn't get into our backyard so we got a note on our gate to call her right away. Turns out, there has been a complaint filed about our pool. Which means someone is spying on our backyard. They complained that there is a chair in the pool and it's green.

Yes, there's a chair in the pool. It's a white plastic backyard chair that ends up in the pool every time the wind kicks up. Being winter time, there is a lot of wind around. Imagine that. There's also leaves blown in the pool. There's also algae in the pool. This happens every winter. The water itself is clear, not murky, but yes, there is some algae on the sides of the pool, which we clean, all the time. It's not standing water. It's not mosquito season, it's not like the West Nile virus is a risk right now. If it was, I could give a little leeway for the concern. But it's not. So I can't.

I hate it when people feel like they have the right to police everyone else instead of take care of their own crap and mind their own business. Like, oh I don't know, take care of the trees and plants that droop over the fence and are partly responsible for the leaves in the pool! GRRRR!

Monday, February 4, 2008

You're the BEST!

So this weekend, we had been invited to a stupor-bowl party but decided to chill at home instead. Good thing we did because I was sick. Don't know if it was food poisoning or a flu, but I was down for the count.

Hubby D was fantastic and ran interference with Sugarplum and kept her from climbing on me. She did want to come to take a nap with me and rubbed my cheek saying "sweet dreams, Mommy"

Later after my 18th nap, D went to the kitchen to cut some warm bread I made. It was brown -n- serve lest you think I was making bread while sick. (I'm no where close to achieving that level of domestic goddessness yet)

As he was walking into the kitchen, Sugarplum stood up and called after him "You're the BEST, DADDY! You're the BEST!"

On a side note, I received this blog bling from Amy over at Milkbreath and Margartia's - Thanks Amy!!! I'll pass it on as soon as my temperature is back to normal and I can think straight.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Love for the Vacuum

Sugarplum has always been somewhat nervous about the vacuum. She's interested in it, and will help her Daddy push it around the living room, but gets nervous and keeps her distance if she's not helping control it. So imagine my surprise when last night (and again this morning) she was giving love to the vacuum.
I should mention that she has a goodbye ritual. When she says goodbye to someone, or goodnight to us, she gives a "moko" kiss (Eskimo kiss), hug and snuggle, and a real kiss.
Back to the vacuum - she was opening the closet door, saying hi, then saying "Goodbye, see you next time. See you next week. Moko Kiss, Hug, Snuggle, Real Kiss (and kissed the vacuum), Goodbye!" then closed the door.
I only hope this love affair continues when she's old enough to actually be able to vacuum the living room herself. It will have probably worn off by then, but what the hell, I can dream right?
Sugarplum loves Curious George. This morning as George was coming on, we decided to go change her diaper and we set the TV on pause to leave the room so that Sugarplum would not have to miss any of the show. We just happened to catch the title of the episode in the freeze. I thought it was incredibly funny although I am now slightly curious myself about WHY Sugarplum likes George so much and just what exactly he must be teaching her. Maybe I'll ask Swearyn Shakeabitch to do some investigative reporting for me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Be In Charge of Yourself

Why do people feel that they have to be in charge of everyone else and their actions? Why can't we just be considerate of each other?

I live in a pretty densely populated area of California. You have to be somewhat aggressive on the roads because there are so many other people out there. Yesterday, I had to change lanes to change to another freeway on my morning commute. Fortunately, since I take Sugarplum to daycare, I get to take advantage of the carpool lane (on the other side of the freeway)
So I'm merging over.. watching the lane next to me.. with my turn signal on and manage to do this successfully through 4 lanes without a hitch. It comes time to move over to my last lane and (with my turn signal still on) I calmly wait for the dude who is in a hurry behind and to the right of me to get in front of me. Then I take my place behind him. In front of another car.
I guess I didn't get the appropriate approval first though because the lady I got in front of decided I cut her off and started screaming at me and putting on her high beams. Like blinding me is going to make me get out of her way. Sorry, it just makes me slow down because now my vision is compromised.
Then she changed lanes and pulled up right next to me and is screaming at me waving her fist in the air. I glanced at her.. rolled my eyes and looked straight ahead. So what does she do? Increases her speed gets in front of me and continues to wave her fist in the air.
In a moment of great calm and maturity, I flipped her off. Sugarplum was clueless to the whole thing.
But it left me thinking, why do people have to be so rude to one another? Why can't we have a little common courtesy so as to let someone change lanes? As though the 3 second delay she might have experienced from having one more car in front of her is going to ruin the entire day. I just don't get it sometimes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dying For Fun

The other night my husband and I were watching a documentary about base jumping. I must be a grown up now because I like watching documentaries on various topics. Anyway, this one talked about base jumping but was really about adrenaline junkies. They said that we are the only species on the planet who will deliberately put our lives in danger just for fun.

So it got me thinking - why? It's fun.. it's a rush.. it's exciting. I used to work with a guy who loved ski-diving and he said it was unlike anything else in the world. It was exhilarating and made him feel really alive. Moments before possible death.

So I got to wondering.. what makes me feel alive? When did I feel most alive in my life? Giving birth. No other time can I think of in my life have I been so totally involved in the moment and focused. No other time have I felt more alive than when I brought another living, breathing, human being into the world.

What makes me feel alive? She does.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's In A Name?

When I was earning my BA in school I had to take a Business Ethics class. The class was split into 2 week sections where each section focused on a different ethical point of view. Themes like, if something is good for a majority of people involved, it's ethical. The end justifies the means. If something is bad for the environment, it's unethical. If even one person is harmed, the whole darn thing is unethical.

One of the main lessons I learned in that class is that so many things are neither right or wrong but sometimes both depending on how you choose to examine the situation.

The other morning my mom and I had a discussion about the controversy surrounding lethal injection as a method of execution in California which has been on the news lately. If you don't know, the method is being examined in the courts because two doctor's refused to witness (as required by law) an execution of a prisoner sentenced to death because it would be in direct conflict with their Hippocratic Oath. Of course that got people talking about "cruel and unusual" punishment.

My mom and I both go back and forth on our feelings about the death penalty. Sometimes we're all for it, other times we wonder how we would be any different from the criminals. On the one hand we would be different because we take a far more humane approach to executing someone by lethal injection rather than they would have if they murdered someone, and it's far more humane than say firing squad, lynching, or using the electric chair.

On the other hand, someone is still going to be dead when it's all said and done. If that in and of itself is considered cruel, then does the method really matter?

Depending on how you look at it, either the fact that someone gets killed is irrelevant, or the manner in which you kill them is irrelevant. I don't think either point of view is right or wrong. It got me thinking about how much of our viewpoint is guided by the definition of just one piece of the puzzle. Sometimes a small piece. So often we are so sure of ourselves and our own definitions, we fail to remember that other people have different points of view.. and it's OK. It doesn't mean they're wrong.. it doesn't mean I'm wrong. It just means we look at the same situation from different angles. We would all do better to leave it at that and cut each other a little slack sometimes.

Friday, January 4, 2008

We'll all die of stupidity

That's right folks. It won't be starvation, it won't be over crowding, it won't be some disease epidemic like avian flu, and we won't blow ourselves to smithereens in a nuclear war. It will be stupidity that kills the human race.

Sometime early in the year, the Darwin Awards are updated and each story tells the account of someone dying because of sheer stupidity. Although, I do have to say that I'm pretty sure I've found a couple stories from the past on Snopes and one was even tested out on Mythbusters.

This year I have two nominees myself for the Darwin awards. One has to be for the hitchiker here in California who was killed because he fell on the freeway and was hit multiple times. It's a pretty gruesome story but I'll sum it up by telling you that this dumbass was turned down for a ride so he decided it would be a brilliant idea to hang on to the bottom of a truck, and what a surprise, he lost his grip for some reason and was killed on the road.

My second nominee is a recent and tragic story. On Christmas day a tiger got loose at the San Francisco zoo and killed one person and severely wounded two others. It's all over the news locally, and you can find lots of articles by searching Google on "SF Tiger Attack"

There are allegations that the boys attacked were taunting the tiger and that she passed up others to go specifically after them. Nothing has been confirmed of course and the two survivors apparently aren't talking to the family of the boy who was killed. He was only 17 and he died at the zoo on Christmas day. (What the hell was he doing at the zoo on Christmas Day without his family?) If he was taunting the tiger, then he died from stupidity.

The fact remains that there are two families (and many more out there) who are mourning the loss of loved ones. While I'm sad for these families and their loss, I just can't get over how stupid people can be sometimes. Holding on to a truck on the freeway? Taunting a wild animal? These are careless and stupid ways to die.