Monday, September 29, 2008

Look Dad, Look Here!!

Dad and Nellie came to visit us on Saturday in honor of my birthday. They live a little under 2 hours away, so a weekday visit is out of the question.

Dad read my blog about my great birthday and wanted to make sure I share this with you all:

My New Purse, courtesy of dad and Nellie. :)

(Click the pic and look closely at the door knob. Hidden Kaaren!)

Cool, aint it?

Thanks Dad...

and Nellie.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Donate to BORP (Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program)

Hi All,

I wanted to put this on my blog for anyone looking to donate to a worthy cause. The year is almost at an end; have you made a charitable, tax-deductible contribution? Every year, David and I donate to The American Red Cross, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk a friend of mine does annually in honor of her aunt, and the United Way. This year we added a small (teeny, sorry) donation to another group: BORP.

The following is a cut and paste from a fellow letterboxer's site:


About two and a half years ago, Robb was working in the theater department of the University of California. He was working with a student, taking down some fluorescent fixtures. Apparently, the light they were moving was hung in a non-conventional manner, and as they were de-installing it, the entire unit broke loose from their control, and swung directly at the face of the student worker.

Robb did what anyone would have done: he pounced on the light, and in doing so, disrupted the balance of his ladder, and fell to the ground. He landed on a concrete floor, shattered one of his vertebrae and suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury.

His career as an actor and scenic artist ended abruptly that morning.

Luckily, we live in a part of the country that understands that a disabled person should have the chance to live a full, fun, adventure-filled life. And that's what Robb and I have been trying to do, since the time of his accident. Shortly after Robb got out of the hospital, we discovered the Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program (BORP), whose mission is to offer sports and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. It was through BORP that we realized that Robb could continue many of the outdoorsy activities that he and I had enjoyed prior to his accident. Among its many other programs, BORP maintains a "lending library" of cycles adapted for use by people with disabilities. We started out riding BORP's adaptive trikes, and eventually got one our own.

Since this time, Robb has cycled over thirteen hundred miles, which is amazingly great for a guy who can't walk particularly well. Not only is this a total blast, it is also highly therapeutic. Rhythmic repetitive movement seems to help regenerate damaged neurological connections, both for sensory and motor neurons.

As our way of expressing our gratitude for everyone who has helped us since the accident, we participate in BORP's annual fundraising ride, the Revolution. You should see this event! Blind cyclists ride tandem bikes with their friends. Paralyzed kids zoom around on pint-sized hand cycles. Legless athletes blast through the hundred-mile course, leaving slugs like me to eat their dust.

It's awesome!


Let us tell you a little more about BORP, particularly its work with disabled kids.

BORP’s website states that it “uses sports, recreation & outdoor adventures to build educated, productive citizens, one life at a time.”


Okay, that sounds good, but what does that mean?

Well, the statistics for young people with disabilities are grim, and BORP aims to do something about that.

Disabled kids are twice as likely to be depressed, commit suicide, and use alcohol or drugs than their able bodied peers. 28% of disabled Americans drop out of high school, and of those who graduate only 20% manage to get a college degree. A staggering 73% of disabled Americans are unemployed.

By contrast, 100% of BORP participants have graduated from high school in the past eleven years, and 80% either have university degrees, or are in college now. Over 80% of these college grads are employed.


So, how does it work? Why do BORP participants succeed?

While studies have shown conclusively that kids who participate in sports and outdoor adventures have better grades and better habits, there’s more to the picture than a bunch of kids in wheelchairs, playing basketball, or riding bikes.

BORP works closely with participants, their families, schools, and service providers, providing strong, weekly support from disabled role models. Where possible, kids start with BORP at the age of 5, and stay with their programs until they are 18. BORP asks a lot of their participants, and – given support and mentoring-- the kids are able to meet those expectations.


We’re asking our blog readers to help us support this great organization. In a tangible sense, the money goes to run recreational programs for kids (and adults) with disabilities. But in a deeper way, it helps give disabled people the skills and confidence to face life’s challenges, and to have fun while doing so.

And it works. Instead of being the stereotypical "burden to society," BORP graduates overcome tremendous hurdles and lead full productive lives.

Thank you for considering a gift to BORP, and please, please, please be careful on ladders!

Please consider donating to this amazing organization. Times are tough I know, but every little bit helps. Tax-deductible, did I mention that? :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

REALLY Great Day

I remember saying last year how my birthday was a bit of a bummer. I think I gave it a 4. No one at work did anything, other than wish me a happy birthday and tell me to go pick up my own lunch and the company would pay. I was sad. Then, when I came home, David had to work so the rest of the night was a little blah.

I LOVE birthdays, almost as much as I love Christmas.

This time, I had a really great day. The day before, I received a card from my mom, with a $50 Wal-Mart card. I also received a package from my Big Sis with a pair of jeans and two tank tops. Here are the jeans and one top.

I went to work on Wednesday, and had a birthday card from the guys over in Charlotte waiting for me in the mailbox. $40 cash. Yay!

My boss picked up lunch for me and my co-worker (Sushi). He also got a Tres Leche cake and they got me a gift. A really big umbrella. My boss listened to a story abut how I threw away four umbrellas last weekend and how could all 4 be bad, yada yada. So he got me this.

THEN, I received a cookie bouquet at work! I LOVE cookie bouquets, from This came courtesy of my youngest sister Lissette, who SHARES THE SAME BIRTHDAY AS ME! This came as a total surprise. She said it was her and her husband's way of saying Thank You for being there for them, calling them just to say hi, sending clothes to their daughter, etc. I was so excited!

I arrived home to David and the kids. David took the night off work. :) He had steaks on the grill. Isabel kept saying "Look mom, dad got you a CAKE!" and opening the fridge door. LOL

After dinner, it was time for "prez-nints!" First up, a dvd/cd tower, because we are running out of room in the family room for all the ones we own. (and if you stare really close, you can see Buffy Season 7 on the box picture there. Hee hee).

I opened cards.....

I opened a book light (yay! The lighting in our bedroom is horrible, even with the bedside table lamp on.)

I opened "Brisingr," the third book in the Eragon/Eldest series.

and I opened Supernatural Season 3. This picture here is in Mid-Squeeee!

I also received some gifts from David's parents. Pampered Chef Food Chopper and Sandwich press thingy which is so cool.

Then it was time for cake! Florida Gators Style. :)

By the way....I am putting myself down for ZERO WEIGHT LOSS this week. Tres Leche, cookies and chocolate cake? Yeeesh!

After cake and coffee, we put the kids to bed (well, we put KID to bed. Jacob can pretty much do that himself) and watched a couple of episodes of "Dexter." (creepy-good!).

I had a terrific birthday!! I am spoiled and loved. Thanks everyone.

(p.s. - Today I received a $50 Old Navy gift card from another sister, Vicky. LOVE me some Old Navy. Thanks, V!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

4,  Image Hosting

My sister made this for me! This post will auto-magically post at midnight, officially

September 24, my birthday!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Isabel and her new VPK program bring all sorts of fun things home, especially sickness! Yay! I'm enjoying all sorts of phlemy yuckiness.

Still reading "Don Quixote." Also reading "Pretties" when Don Quixote makes my eyes cross.

I was upstairs and left "DQ" downstairs (oh how I wish that meant Dairy Queen! *drool). I yell down for Jacob to bring it up for me. He comes up stairs, hands it to me and says "Your Don Quixote."

Only he didn't say it "Your Dohn Kee-ho-tay" like a Spaniard. He said "Your Don (like Don Johnson) Quick-Soat (like soap only soat)."

Cracked me up! Every time I have the book now, or need the book found, it's "Don Quick-Soat"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Off The Road, People!

Yesterday we went to Disney (what else is new, I know). We were at Epcot.

Back in 2000, for the New Millennium celebration, I had my and Jacob's picture etched onto the...monoliths I suppose, at the entrance to Epcot. Here's Jacob yesterday, pointing to where we are.

Here's the close-up. Isn't it cool? We're a little piece of Disney history. Jake was 6 and I was 31 or 32.

The lines were minimal. I'm telling you, now is the BEST time to be in the parks. In the queue to Test track, we found this Hidden Mickey. You can only see this one if you are facing it head-on. The ears are on another contraption behind the round # 7, so if you are looking at it from any other angle you can't see it. Pretty neat.

On the way home, we decide to take I-4. All of a sudden, swarms of police and deputy vehicles surround us. SWARMS. Seminole county, Orange County, Orlando City, Maitland, Oviedo, Florida Highway Patrol. You name it, they were WHIZZING by us. Traffic was touch and go on the brakes.

Obama was in Daytona, Palin's somewhere in Central Florida. Was this hubbub for them? We scan the radio stations - nothing. Not a thing!

Right around Sanford/Lake Mary, we're complety diverted off the Interstate. Sorry, blurry pictures ahead.

Below, you see a car in the grass, rammed by a police car. It's a Dodge Intrepid. We still have no clue what is going on.

This morning, I check the news channels on-line, and this is what was happening.

Carjacker Arrested After Highspeed Chase on I-4


Where You Lead, I Will Follow

We've been watching a LOT of Gilmore Girls. We've already finished Season 4 and are halfway through season 5. Isabel tends to memorize the theme songs from whatever show it is we happen to be watching (she could tell you just by the music what show we were watching, no matter where she was in the house). Gilmore Girls' theme, though, has lyrics.

If you're out on the road
Feeling lonely, and so cold
All you have to do is call my name
And I'll be there on the next train

Where you lead,
I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow oh oh oh

Where you lead, I will follow
Any-anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow, where you lead

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh yea, by the way....

Remember that list? That "Kaaren Can't Do" list. This one right here. (Warning: I say "damn" in it.)

So yea, # 3? Yea, you can scratch that puppy right off the list there.

I lost another 2 pounds, making it 27, making me officially the weight I was when I got pregnant with Isabel!

Ok, stop partying. That's not to say it's where I want to be, because the week I found out I was pregnant, I had just started dieting because I have gained like 13-15 pounds since I got married. I still have more to go and it took 4 years, but still. Continue partying.


I bought this teen fiction book as a stocking stuffer for Jacob this past Christmas and decided I needed a quick easy read after 'Wuthering Heights.'

"Uglies" by Scott Westerfield is set in the far, far future. Humans have pretty much destroyed and rebuilt Earth, including our physical selves. At the age of 16, everyone gets made pretty. You undergo an extensive operation that makes you a "Pretty." Everyone over the age of 16 is a Pretty. Young kids are called Littlies, and when you hit 12, you are taken to a boarding school for you and your fellow "Uglies." It's society's way of making sure everyone is equal and there is no discrimination.

The book follows an almost-16 year old girl Tally, who is very anxious to become pretty and join her friends, who have moved into Pretty Town already. She meets another girl who will turn 16 the same day as she. Shay is an independent thinker who is really not sure she wants to be pretty. She's happy the way she is. Shay reveals a secret; there's a place you can go where no one gets made pretty. A commune of sorts, and Shay's going there. She invites Tally, who refuses, and leaves Tally cryptic clues on how to get to the commune known as The Smoke.

The rest of the story deals with a creepy government, blackmail, searching for Smoke, re-evaluating this society and her ideas, etc. It's a great teen book. Don't expect "The Grapes of Wrath," but expect a good time. The book ends in a cliff hanger.

It is one of four out right now. It was supposed to be a trilogy, but it's expanded. I checked out the next one "Pretties," but....I'm reading 'Don Quixote' right now. All 954 pages! Help! But once I am done with Don Q, I will pick up "Pretties."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Aren't they beautiful? I told him not to get me anything for our anniversary. I'm glad he didn't listen. :)

Another First

Isabel had another first. Her first haircut. Now, I've cut (mangled) her bangs, but her hair has never been cut in the back. It was time. It was down to her butt. They cut 3 inches but you really can't even tell, it's still so long.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wuthering Heights

I don't get the hype. Nope, I don't. Reading this book dealing with the very extremes of people's crazy personalities was not fun for me. Super effeminate fops, incredibly evil scoundrels, whiny spoiled women, nosey servants; it was too much. Honestly, I felt like I was reading an 1800's version of The O.C., One Tree Hill, 90210. I don't enjoy nighttime soaps that deal with plotting, conniving, lying ridiculous people who all date each other. This book was like that. Cousins marrying cousins. Yee haw. I guess it was ok back then to marry your first cousin? Eww.

Several times I slammed the book down and would yell "I don't CARE about any of these characters!!" David would laugh and say he knew someone else who said the same thing about the book. I didn't care about Heathcliff. I cared even less about the first Catherine. There was nothing redeeming about them to make me want to like them. Some reviewers say they are two people sharing a soul; he the evil, she the good. But she was a spoiled brat. There was nothing angelic about her. She hurt her husband with her love for Heathcliff. She was selfish.

Heathcliff's son Linton was even worse. An exaggeration of a femme male. He was spineless. All the characters were ridiculous and vapid. The only time I felt I knew an inkling about what made evil Heathcliff tick was when he gave his speech to Nelly right at the end. That's it. The rest was told through the servant Nelly's eyes. She can't have insight into these people, therefore she can't tell me why they act as they do. I want a book to make me care, and in the end, I didn't care.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There's a Party in My Tummy!

You know how I like to post about random things my kids see & do.

Yo Gabba Gabba is a new show and it's weird, crazy and fun. It's got a skinny host in a fuzzy orange hat and spandex, who carries around 5 monsters in his boom box.

Yo Gabba Gabba Group Pictures, Images and Photos

Someone's seriously smoking something over there. It's geared towards toddlers, but with a tongue-in-cheek-i-ness that adults will laugh at.

Special guest include guests like Elijah Woods, Hector Jimenez (from 'Nacho Libre'), Mya, Biz Markee, Tony Hawk, who dance around and basically act like fools. And they have fun! The show received Emmy nominations in their first year! Yay for them.

Who can say no to songs like:

Don't Bite Your Friends?
It's Fun To Brush Your Teeth!
Try It, You'll Like It!
Wait Your Turn!

But my favorite? "There's a Party in My Tummy!"

Seriously. Does not get better than Brobee!

So imagine my surprise at the following. I'm in Hot Topic, because the expanse between by toddler and teen isn't quite enough to get me to drink. Jake and I are looking at all the shirts that I won't let him buy, (Sorry bub, skulls and yucky zombified things are not cool) when I see a "Don't Bite Your Friend's" vest. I ask the heavily tattooed but very nice and pretty sales lady if they have any bags. She points me to a black one with the characters in a car. I'm "Meh" about it. Then she says "Oh, I have one more over here." and I go "Squeeeeee!"

There's a Party in My Tummy people!

EDIT: Yes, Niki. The two pictures were take on my loft floor. Totally my bag!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Enough with the plateau already!

This plateau-ing thing is KILLING ME. Last week Monday was Labor Day, so I was off and did not weigh myself. I like to weigh myself on the same day, same time to have accurate results. I decide to weigh myself on Tuesday. Gained 3 pounds. WHAT? Is that right?

I weigh myself yesterday, Monday, LOST those 3 pounds. Back to where I started from. I'm still at -25 pounds, but I'm a little bummed.

The good thing though, is this:

Click. Make Bigger-er.

Those shorts up there? Size 8. From before Isabel was born! Whoot! I pulled them out this Saturday just to see. A while back, I could not get them passed my thighs. Then, I could, but I could not button. Then I could button but not breathe (not to mention the "muffin-top" issue). Saturday, ample breathing, zero muffin-top.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scrappy Gals & Halloween?

Last weekend Saturday was spent at home in our PJ's ALL DAY. I decided to bring out all my scrapbook stuff and make some cards. I asked Isabel if she'd like to help. She thought it was great fun. Check out some Isabel originals.

Sunday we went really late to the Magic Kingdom, but they were open until I think 11 p.m. anyway so we had plenty of time. Jake, on the other hand, opted to go to the mall with a girrrrrl and the girl's mom.

As we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, on September 1 mind you, we realized something was different. They had decorated for Halloween. Click the pictures to make them bigger.

We like it! I love the pumpkin man behind pumpkin lady here. He's holding a Mickey Doll. Speaking of Mickey's, we found this Hidden Mickey in the garage of Mickey's House. There was another one; rocks in the grass of Mickey's backyard of his house, but it was too dark and my camera's night shot stinks.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Je Ne T'aime, Brassiere!

I hate them. Do you? Cause if you love them, you're kind-of twisted. OUCH! First thing I do when I come home is take the darned thing off (and change shirts if necessary). Usually one can find one laying about the house, discarded like last week's leftovers.

And no, they were NOT invented by Otto Titzling. That's a joke. If you don't get why it's a joke, keep saying that last name until you get it. They've been around for centuries, so I don't even really know who to point my disapproving finger at.

Evil, evil slings of doom!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Son of a Witch

The Follow-up to Wicked, which I throughly enjoyed, "Son of a Witch" follows Liir's life after the demise of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. If you haven't read "Wicked" you should, but note, this is NOT your mother's Wizard of Oz. It is chock full of adult situations.

I felt "Son of a Witch" was a little toned down, but still, it deals with adult themes. Lirr doesn't know who he is. Is he Elphaba's son? No one knows. No one cares. For him. He's all alone. The book is basically Liir's journey to find himself, because he does not know who he is and he does not believe in himself.

Is he a witch's son? Is he a military man? Is he the leader of a rebellion? Is he a father?

The book left a lot of details hanging, and in researching, I see that a third book in the "Wicked" series is in the works: A Lion Among Men. Can't wait.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gilmore Girls Season 3

I forgot to mention that we finished season 3 of Gilmore Girls.

Rory is stupid (i.e. Dean)

Did anyone actually like Jess?

Poor Lorelai, watching Chris be the dad he wasn't with Rory (but really, it's not his fault. She pushed him away.)

Loved the 24 hour dance marathon, except it lead to the demise of Rory & Dean.

Not happy with Richard and his sneaky way of getting Rory an interview at Yale. A little warning??

Paris needs help. A lot. All the school scenes with those yuppie wanna-be's were annoying. Thank goodness she's graduating.

The Inn! The Inn - burned. Wahhhh! But I'm glad they finally get to buy The Dragonfly.

Emily Gilmore would make me want to jump off a cliff.

Sookie & Jackson preggers - Yay!

Dean's getting married? HUH? He's 18!

Graduation was great, did Paris NOT get Salutatorian? I don't get that. How'd what's-his-name get it?
It was fun but for Pete's Sake, when are Luke & Lorelai hooking up? I KNOW they do - I saw some episodes when they were running live.