Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dancing, Christmas, and Roses

I am so out of breath right now and am sweating like, I just realized I don't know any similes that make good, un-gross comparisons between people and stuff that sweats.  There's "sweating like a pig", but I don't really want to be likened to some damp, shiny swine.  How about "sweating like a tiger lily in the glistening morning dew"?  Yeah, let's go with that.  Okay, so right now I'm completely out of breath and I am sweating like a tiger lily in the glistening morning dew, and it's all Trinity's fault.  She got "Just Dance 2" for Wii for Christmas, and she talked me into trying it out with her two days ago.  Ever since then, I have been hooked.  The game is such an awesome workout, requires virtually no real dancing skills, and is SO much fun.  I might have to quit working out on the exercise bike for awhile in lieu of rocking out to "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "It's Raining Men." 

I promised to write a better post about Christmas, but I have sort of already lost steam with that whole topic.  However, for the sake of having something to read in the years to come regarding this particular holiday, I'm going to attempt to say a few words. 

On Christmas Eve, Clint's family came over to our house for our annual pajama party.  Like last year, we all wore our jammies and ate breakfast for dinner.  Clint and I cooked pancakes, homemade waffles with blueberries, eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits and gravy.  We wound up with way too much food, but it was all so delicious.  After dinner/breakfast, we exchanged gifts.  Mike and Amanda bought me a new white coat with black trim and giant black buttons adorning the front.  It is very cute; I wound up wearing it on Christmas day.  Clint's parents bought me a 410 shotgun.  I was utterly shocked.  I had no clue whatsoever that they were getting me a firearm, other than the fact that when I went to open up my gift, they kept telling me how much they loved me and acted like they were getting ready to dive for cover.  It was pretty hilarious.  The shotgun is the perfect size/weight, and when I hold it, it feels comfortable and smooth.  I absolutely love it.  I'm hoping to go out after New Year's to try it out.

Other than the mild, inner mood swings I was experiencing on Christmas, Christmas morning was wonderful.  The kids woke up way too early and raided their stockings.  We ate breakfast (leftovers from the night before) and then took turns opening presents.  The kids favorite gifts were their electric scooters, and then of course Shelly the tortoise.  Clint got me an iPod and a Ram-Bear (yes, he actually turned my crazy vision into a real item!  It's amazing!).  I got him a Nintendo DSI and some games, but in actuality he already knew what he was getting.  We both got each other a mutual gift of a new big screen TV, but both the TV and the new TV stand were broken, even though the two came from different manufactures.  So now we have to wait until the 4th of January for our new one to arrive.  Until then, we're still making due with our old big screen that only shows the image about 50% of the time.

After our own personal Christmas, we got dressed and headed out to my parents' house in Silver Lakes.  I'm not sure why, but every year, Christmas with my extended family gets more and more fun.  My sister pretty much outlined the day (link on previous entry), so the only thing I'm going to add is the whole wrong-gift hoopla.  My grandma makes my grandpa wrap and tag all the gifts, and in the last couple of years, he has begun to make small mistakes in which he accidentally tags the gifts wrong.  This happened three times on Christmas (although only two of them were Grandpa's fault), and it was so ridiculously funny.  The most hilarious incident was with little Shelby.  She tore off the wrapping from her very first gift, and it was a size XXL men's T-shirt.  She's only two, but she was so cute and polite, saying "Oooh, I like it."  And Shannon was like, "Um, thanks.  I'm sure she'll eventually grow into it."  Then my grandma started hollering, "Dang it Roger!  You tagged the gift wrong again!  That's Jeremy's gift!"  My grandpa just looked really confused, and my mom and I were busy crying with laughter the whole time.  Later, Cassidi opened up a throw blanket that was supposed to be Shannon's, and Samantha opened up fabric that was supposed to be my grandpa's.  I suggested that we might have better luck if we tear off the tags from all the gifts, throw them all in the middle of the room, and just go for it.

Wow, that was more than a few words.

Tomorrow I'm going to Pasadena with my Builders Club to work on the Kiwanis float for the Rose Parade.  Me and the advisor for the high school's Key Club decided to take our clubs together, that way we can save expenses by sharing one bus.  I am really looking forward to this field trip.  I have 22 kids going, and they are so excited.  Plus I love the Key Club.  We've worked with them a few times now (our town's fall parade and Salvation Army Bell-Ringing), and they are a very fun, lively group.  Key Club has somewhere between 15-20 kids going, so between both clubs, we will be chaperoning for a total of 35 to 40 middle-schoolers and high-schoolers.  Since we are volunteering only two days before the parade, we get the desirable job of "petal-pushing", which means that we will actually be applying the flowers onto the float.  The only downfall is that it is going to be a long day; we're leaving at 6:00 a.m., and returning at 6:00 p.m.  I'm curious how these kids are going to do, pulling off a twelve hour day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our New Tarantula...Sort of...

This is the only picture that any of us took on Christmas.  All of the beautiful presents, the sparkling tree, the lovely decorations, the huge smiles lighting up our kids' faces on Christmas morning, and the only evidence I have to show for any of it is this one very random picture of a tortoise.  Trinity took this photo with her Nintendo DS (yeah, I didn't know those things could take pictures either).  This is "Shelly," Trin's absolute favorite Christmas gift.  She was supposed to get a pet tarantula for Christmas (she's been begging for one for over a year now), but every single pet store in the desert had sold out of them.  Who knew that big hairy spiders were such a popular yuletide commodity?  The problem is we had already bought everything for her new tarantula weeks prior, so here we were with probably over $100 worth of glass tank, rocks, plants, heating lamp, etc., but no spider.  In our desperation to come up with something to put in that glass tank, we somehow wound up bringing home a Russian desert tortoise. 

Shelly came with a 15 day exchange, so after Trin opened up her gift and finished shrieking with delight, we told her that we could take the tortoise back to the pet store if she wanted and exchange her for a tarantula once new shipments arrived.  The reply we got back was basically the ten year old equivalent to a hell no.  So we had to go back to the pet store, buy a bigger tank, exchange the little tarantula cave for a bigger log, and get more supplies. 

Trinity just adores her new pet, and has been obsessing over her for the last 48 hours.  Shelly is only a toddler and has a life expectancy of about 75 years, so it's good to know that once the thrill wears off, we only have 74 years, 11 months and 22 days left to care for a tortoise.  Trin says she can't wait to introduce Shelly to her great-grandchildren. 

I was going to write a real entry about Christmas, but I spent too much time talking about our stupid tortoise, so I'll attempt a better post tomorrow.  Until then, here is my sis's entry about Christmas.  Just substitute her family stuff with my own, and it's close enough.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Cards

I have to post something else today, or once again I'm stuck with moodiness on the top of my screen.

Here is our Christmas card for 2010!  That statement is followed by an exclamation mark only because, for awhile there, I didn't think I'd be able to pull one off for this year.  I usually have our Christmas cards mailed out toward the beginning of December, but with Master's Comps and other added pressures, it just didn't happen.  Yesterday I woke up feeling hell-bent that I was going to make these damn cards and they were going to be in today's mail, in the same way that my sister woke up feeling hell-bent on crocheting a stupid pot-holder for no apparent reason.  ;-)  At this rate, I'll be lucky if these cards reach their destinations by Christmas Eve, but better late than never and it STILL friggen' counts.  Like last year's, I put the card together on a PowerPoint slide, using background images that I found from Google.  I saved the final product as a JPEG and sent it to Costco for print.  I will forever love the teacher who taught me how to use PowerPoint for stuff other than presentations.  Photo cards cost about $1.50 each when you use the pre-fabricated templates from the machines; these ones cost me .39 cents each.

I'm supposed to be finishing my Grandpa's scrapbook today, but I'm having a hard time finding the motivation.  I just want to read a good book, eat some nachos, and pet the cat.  Tricky since I don't have a book to read, I have no nachos, and the cat doesn't like me right now.  I guess I'll get back to the joyous world of cutting out photos and gluing them to stuff.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rise and Shine Pills

I am sooooo tired!  I have been back in psychotic insomniac mode for the last few days.  On Sunday evening I took a real-life, actual sleeping pill for the first time.  I've taken the occasional herbal sleeping aids before, such as Melatonin, but never actual chemical-infused sleeping pills.  I figured since I was a sleeping pill virgin, it would have a huge effect on me...sort of like the impact liquor has on your body your first time drinking it.  I expected to be lying unconscious within a half hour of taking that pill.  Instead, two hours later, I was wired.  I took the pill at 9:00, and by 11:00 p.m., I was all over the place and feeling giddy and silly.  At about 11:30, I started texting Clint from bed, message after message, and I don't really remember what I was texting him about, but I pretty much wouldn't shut up.  I know at one point I told him that I had a great idea for a new invention:  a fluffy, cute stuffed bear that stores a 9 mm in a hidden slot, for females such as myself who are packing heat every night due to their hubbys' work schedules.  I told him I'd much rather cuddle with a teddy bear at night than cold, not-so-cuddly steel.  Plus on the occasions when I hear a noise and am forced to cruise the house, it looks much better from the kids' perspective if Mom is wielding a fluffy purple bear instead of a firearm.  And yes, I want a purple one (not sure why; purple isn't my favorite color).  I think after posting this blog, I'll check out e-bay and see what they have in the way of purple Rambo bears.  I wonder what my keyword search should be?

Oh yeah, but back to my original point.  So it turns out that sleeping pills are bad on me.  I did eventually crash toward midnight, but when I woke up the next morning for work, I felt a little drunk.  It took half of the day before I felt like myself again.  Maybe I should cut the pill in half next time.  Or try a Starbucks instead.

The rest of the week has been very normal so far, although I've been having these daily back and forth conversations with a troubling parent, and this has been a little stressful.  I won't get into the details, but she is one of those enabling parents whose darling little angel (same angel that threw Ms. Frisbee across my room) could never ever do any harm, and of course all of her son's shortcomings are somehow his teachers' fault.  I've lost so many valuable hours every week due to this mom, and it's starting to wear me down.  The vice principal offered to have her son removed from my class a few days ago, and it was the most tempting offer.  What a sigh of relief it would be to have both him and his mom forever out of my life!  But before I could stop myself, I told Mr. A that "I'm not a quitter."  So until I say the word, this kid stays in my class.  And since I will never say the word, that's that.  It's going to be a long rest of the year.  On the plus side, at least this whole thing is going to really test my patience--and hopefully strengthen it--as the school year progresses.

I'm not going to go back and re-read any of this cuz I am really tired, and hungry now, too, so sorry if this whole thing came out as gibberish.*

*Update: Okay, I lied.  Two hours after posting this, I added two commas and the word "although" into one of my sentences.  I can't help it--I'm an editing-addict!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Suckered Yet Again

This evening we went out for a few hours to do a little bit of Christmas shopping.  On our way home, we decided to swing by the pet store.  The kids love going in there to look at all of the lizards and snakes, and to pet the guinea pigs and rabbits.  Somehow, we wound up coming home with this:

She looks all sleepy and innocent in this photo, but she has been a hellion all night, wreaking havoc on our Christmas tree and climbing up every thing.  We lost her for about an hour and finally found her here--in the top drawer of Trinity's dresser, napping in a pile of belts, hats, and socks.  I named her Shera.

I'm not much of a cat person, but I am a sucker for animals in general, and I finally caved in to all of the begging and pleading.  Not from the kids (although they chimed in too), but from my ever-mature, feline-loving hubby.  On the bright side, at least we came home with just a kitten, and not a chinchilla, bearded dragon, and baby desert tortoise.  We really need to stay away from pet stores.