Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Day with my Son

Jacob and I went to visit his paternal grandfather.  His grandfather is fighting stage 4 cancer (esophagus, liver, etc.)  It's not good.  We went to visit him because we're not sure how much longer we'll have him around.  It tears my heart apart.  Last time we saw him was in April.   This man is one of the best men I have ever know.  He was a single, young Italian Marine Sargent who met a pretty little gal from the country with 4 kids of her own.  He married this lady and adopted all 4 kids.  He raised them as his own.  He's not politically correct AT ALL and cracks me up to no end.  The Puerto-Rican vs. Italian jokes we swapped throughout the years are horrible.   His wife passed away in 2006 from lung cancer and Jacob lost a fantastic Grandma.  In 2011, Al goes and marries a Puerto Rican.  Ha!

He's an awesome person and my heart breaks for Jacob and the entire family.

We went alone.  Once our visit was over, Jacob asked if we could go to Downtown Disney, which was like a half hour away.  Wanting to bring a little joy to a heavy day, I said yes.  We drove on the HORRIBLE 192 in Kissimmee. Holy horrible traffic.  Took us more line an hour to get there.  Jacob drove; baptism by fire, I suppose.  

We stopped in the Vinylmation store.  So many cute little figurines, but I think I'll stick to collecting pins.  Much smaller.

Mickey made up of other tiny Mickey's.

SO cute, but $850?!?!?

Yay! They are FINALLY doing something with the huge space left
empty after the Virgin Megastore closed!  Bowling!! Yay!

Jacob used some Christmas and birthday money to buy himself some loose leaf tea (we're into teas right now) and a Mickey T-shirt.

One handsome kid.

I hope the trip to Downtown Disney helped make him feel a little happy on a sad day.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Harry Potter Legos Return

Remember that post about Harry Potter Legos?  For Christmas, David and I got Isabel a Lego set: The Burrow, the Weasley's home.

Whoops. I'm too lazy to rotate it.
(Holy expensive, Batman!  For the size, this thing is WAY too expensive!)

Isabel LOVES IT.  It has Ginny Weasley, which is what she wanted.  This way, she has a girlfriend for Harry.  Tee hee.

We spend a lot of time playing with this set.  I end up being Mr. & Mrs. Weasley, while she gets to be Harry and Ginny.

The Burrow.

Mr. & Mrs. Weasley in the kitchen.

I love all the detail.

Ginny in her room and Harry in the room with
bunk beds that he shares with Ron. Hi Hedwig!

Oh, Mr. Weasley is late to work. He's going to use
the Floo Network.  Just take a little Floo powder,
say the name of the location you wish to go to, slam down
the powder and...

"Wooosh!" you're taken to the fireplace of the location you named.
Bye Mr. Weasley, have a good day at work!

Oh Oh!  The bad guys are just outside the Burrow!

The set is so cute, but was just so expensive.  I would love to get her the Hogwarts castle but it'll have to wait.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gals at the Zoo

We've hit a rut recently with our weekends.

My husband works nights.  He comes home very late/early and of course, does not go right to bed.  Do you, when you come home from work? No. You have dinner, watch tv, surf the web, etc.  Same with him.  So he goes to sleep around 4 or 5 in the morning.  A few hours later, Isabel's awake, and I drag myself up an hour or so after that.

But with the men of the house sleeping sometimes until noon or 1 p.m. (the teen because he's a teen), the day is gone.  Gone.  This is not a blame thing, it's a fact of our lives at the moment.

I work Monday through Friday.  I commute, work, commute, come home, cook, clean, work out, watch tv/read, etc. etc.  I want my weekends to have some kind of fun to them.  Not both days, not every weekend, but at least one day out of every 2 or 3 weekend days, I want to do something as a family.  Fun time.

Like I said, rut.

So Sunday morning, I was up with Isabel. I made pancakes, cleaned up and then told Isabel to get dressed - we were going to the zoo.

Please note that the pictures that do not have Isabel in them were taken by Miss Iz with her camera (thanks Titi Brenda.)

Isabel proclaimed this her best shot.

We stopped at the new playground area.  It was not there the last time we went.

"That's Wizard's Chess!"

Aaaah!  She was really scared even though it was fake.

 The day was cool, it was not too full and she and I took our sweet time walking about.  We got a soda and a salty pretzel to snack on.

The Zoo also has an area called ZoomAir Treetop Adventures.  It looks like so much fun! Isabel is very interested in trying out the two kids courses, climbing though trees and doing the zip line.  The fees are separate from the zoo.  I think one day we'll go just to try it out.

She and I had a fun Girl's Day at the Zoo.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sci-Fi Hoedown: Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1

Oh My Word, did I love this show when it aired!  We watched this show religiously.

The EYE candy.  Geez.  I loved Scott Bakula/Captain Archer.  He has such an odd face (the nose) and yet I loved him here.  Rawr!  But not quite as much as Conner Trinneer/Trip  Really, they were all good looking.

Enterprise Cast Pictures, Images and Photos

When we realized this series was on Netflix's streaming service, we squealed and starting singing "It's been a long road....", one of the most hokey (yet catchy) theme songs for a show EVER.

The blatant "see our show, we have half naked people in it!" is kind-of lame.  FIRST episode and we have a "rub-down" fest in the decontamination room.  Now, they do not play it sexual.  Everyone in the room is being completely nonchalant about being half-naked and having to rub this medicine all over themselves and into each other's backs, but it's just so out-there.

Joleen Blalock as T'Pol needs to EAT A SANDWICH.  It's disgusting how skinny she was and yet how large her chest was.  That's not normal.  You lose weight, you lose fat; you don't become a size zero and  keep your size D's.  Yuck.  When your 40-something husband and your (then) 17 year-old son both say "Ewww" when they see her in her short-shorts and tank top, bra-less, in the decontamination room, you know she's too skinny to look good.  And no, they're not afraid to say a woman is attractive in front of me.

I love seeing how the entire space program "started" before Captain Kirk.  It was fun "meeting" Klingons for the first time.  Watching T'Pol slowly shift from hard-nose Vulcan to slightly less hard-nosed was entertaining; for all my skinny-whining, Blalock is a good actress.  I enjoyed the sets, the costumes and all the aliens. Not-so-much a fan of the Hoshi Sato character; she's in SPACE on an amazing adventure, and she spent the first half whining and scared.   Dr. Phlox is such a great alien.  The story lines are good, but sometimes they get lost (time war?  Never really figured out who was behind all that this season. )

Although we watched these live, I have Swiss-cheese memory and can only remember bits & pieces, so it's like new!  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

5k Update

The day after I registered for the 5k was a Saturday. The very next day.  December 3, I think.  I decided to try and test my running outside, rather than just on my treadmill.

David and Isabel volunteered to ride their bikes while I ran/walked.  I had figured out how far 1.5 miles was one way, and decided to run there and back.  A 5k is just a little over 3 miles; 3.1 miles.  I was not concerned about the .1.  I just wanted to make sure that I could complete 3 miles in under 50 minutes.

I ran, I walked, I ran, I walked.  1.5 miles to Isabel's school, 1.5  miles back.  David would yell times and Isabel would yell "Go mom!"

I made it back in 44 minutes!  I was stoked! I was red as a tomato.  I was happy!

Then, my knees started to complain.  They swelled up.  I iced them. I elevated them.   It was bad.  My knees never hurt from the treadmill at all, but I guess concrete does not "give" like a treadmill.  Who knew? LOL  Sunday, December 4th, I was supposed to take the kids to Busch Gardens.  That never happened.  Sunday morning, and I could barely get out of bed.

Three weeks later, and my knees were still hurting. I was in a PANIC about the 5k.  I was freaking out!  I mean, I could barely walk.  THREE WEEKS LATER.

I guess my shoes might have not been the best thing either.  A Fairy God-Person at work bought me a pair of $120 shoes, plus $20 cushioned insoles for Christmas! Seriously!!!

They have this weird back thing and feel WONDERFUL.  See the heel?  It's open for shock-absorption.  I've been waearing then and started to walk on the treadmill.  I've been icing my knees, elevating my feet, taking it easy.  And feeling better!!  Not 100% but WAY better than before.

I have until February 25.  I still don't have anyone running with me, which makes me sad and I am a little freaked that I have to leave my house at 3 a.m. to get there by 4 a.m. I almost want to stay on site, but that's $149 I really don't want to spend.  Jacob will need to set me up with some running music on my teeny nano-fake ipod thingy.

Here's hoping I make it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 Buffyfest Ornament Swap: Third Ornament Received

The third ornament received was from Bri.  She asked who our favorite "Whedon" couples were.

Fred and Wesley Ornament

I chose Fred and Wesley. Tee hee!

She also sent a clay Buffy stake, like the one I received from her two years ago.  (She was in my group 2 years ago.)

We're all missing one ornament.  There are 5 in our group, therefore we are supposed to get 4.  The person with the 4th ornament, who got all ours, said they would send theirs soon.  So, hopefully I'll have one more to post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 Book List

Thank goodness for Shelfari.com.  If I had not been keeping track of my books on this site, I would have lost the list.  See, our computer died in August and I lost a lot of pictures and documents, including my list of books read up to that date.

In 2010, I read 56 books.

In 2011?  75!!  (76 if you count the fact that I reread a book in November that I had read in March, cause I was bored and had my Nook with me at the time, so I re-read a book.)

I know there are people who read more, but for a working mom with a household to run, I am stoked!  Also, I don't count audio books in my car, which I listen to every day to and from work. I don't count comics that I subscribe to. I also don't count the books I read with Isabel, especially now that she reads them to me. They're way too small for me to add.

Here's my list that I had to hand-type because unfortunately, Shelfari won't let me export my list unless my profile on their site is 85% complete. Absolute poppycock, if you ask me.  What does that mean? Stupid things like "adding friends" or "editing book reviews" will make my profile be "more complete."  It's at 70% right now.  So, Shelfari is not being my friend right now.

Sh*t My Dad Says - Justin Halpern (yep, this is how I started 2011.)
The Likeness - Tana French
The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Alexander McCall Smith
Commencement - J. Courtney Sullivan
*A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Girls Night In - various authors
*1984 - George Orwell
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove - Christopher Moore
The Brambles - Eliza Minot
The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
The Full Cupboard of Life -  Alexander McCall Smith
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
*Wives and Daughters - Elizabeth Gaskell
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson
*The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
*Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Good in Bed - Jennifer Weiner
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies -  Alexander McCall Smith
InterWorld - Neil Gaiman
Florabama Ladies Auxiliary & Sewing Circle - Lois Battle
The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas - James Patterson
Naked Heat - "Richard Castle"
The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
A Jane Austen Education - William Deresiewicz
*Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Undead & Unworthy - MaryJanice Davidson
13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson
Charming Billy - Alice McDermott
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - Stephanie McAfee
The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel - Sarah McCoy
Hand-Me-Down - Lee Nichols
*Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
All the Names- Jose Saramago
The Angel Experiment - James Patterson
Knit Two - Kate Jacobs
School's Out Forever - James Patterson
The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
Saving the World and Other Experiments - James Patterson
Blue Shoes and Happiness -  Alexander McCall Smith
Fablehaven - Brandon Mull
These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Monster Island - Christopher Golden
The First Four Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown
Comfort Food - Kate Jacobs
Pendragon - D.J. McHale
The Merchant of Death - D.J. McHale
Mr. Chartwell - Rebecca Hunt
*Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Avonlea -  L.M. Montgomery
The Lost City of Faar - D.J. McHale
The Help - Kathryn Sockett
Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Windy Poplars - L.M. Montgomery
The Alchemist - Michael Scott (that's what she said)
Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves - Karen Russell
One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
The Yada Yada Prayer Group - Neta Jackson
Anne's House of Dreams - L.M. Montgomery
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive - Alexander McCall Smith
Two for the Dough - Janet Evanovich
One Day in May - Catherine Alliot
Heat Rises - "Richard Castle"

* - Classics List

A few notes:

Notes on some Classics:

I really enjoyed "A Tale of Two Cities" by Dickens.  Really well done.

"Madame Bovary" and "Jude the Obscure" were both written by different authors who got in trouble for being too progressive for their times.  Both books deal with adultery and are actually quite similar.

Books I Want my Money Back For:

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - Stephanie McAfee (paid .99 and I still want my money back.)
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
The Likeness - Tana French (It was free; I want my time back.)

Favorites of the Year:

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde (and all the rest in the "Tuesday Next" series.)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson
A Jane Austen Education - William Deresiewicz
*Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Fablehaven - Brandon Mull
The Alchemist - Michael Scott
The Yada Yada Prayer Group - Neta Jackson (*this* is how I grew up getting my "praise" on.)

New Series I am enjoying
I just started Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.  I was prepared to be haughty and look down my nose at it (book snob here) and yet I love it!

Continuing Series I Love
I still love Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.  I love its sweetness, kindness and slow pacing.  As I get closer and closer to his newer releases, I am getting sad that eventually I will have to wait for more books to be published.

What did you read?  Anything you think I should read?  Let me know. Let's talk books!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Recap

We spent Christmas on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.  It's such a great place.  My in-laws (all of them on David's side) live on or near the mountain, so David was with all his siblings, parents, nieces and nephews and his grandmother was there too.

Isabel and Grandpa

Isabel received a couple of things from Santa that were on her list.

Wuggle Pets and an American Girl doll

Our stockings

Jacob mainly got cash or gift cards from the family, plus some nice ties, a dress shirt and a fun T-shirt from us.

Opening his Giga Pudding shirt

She was completely over the moon about her doll

And then superdiduper excited that we got her Disney Universe.

The rest of the family arrived to exchange their gifts to each other.

Notice Isabel is wearing the same outfit as her doll. Gifts from my
sister Brenda and her husband Freddy.
Spoiled Ripley
We also celebrated David's birthday, which is on Christmas day
We played board games or watched tv the rest of the evening.

The next day we all went to the movies.  David and 5 kids watched "Tin Tin" while the rest of us (8 adults - 2 could not come; they have babies) watched the American version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."    Then back to the house for dinner and more board games.

The drive down took about 9.5 hours.  The drive back too us 12.  UGH! Traffic was a mess.  

We had a great Christmas though.  Hope yours was good too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm the Parent of an Adult!

My son turned 18.  Eighteen!  Wow.  Just...wow.  Time flies, people.

His actual birthday was on a Wednesday, so I took my last vacation day off and we headed to Busch Gardens in Tampa.  The kids were already on school Christmas break.

Isabel and Jacob are in the front seat.
We caught a show while eating lunch
Isabel loved her lunch tray and refused to part with it.
Awwww, Big Bird.

We did a lot of coasters, had a lot of fun and then drove home because we were expecting guests that night. We planned a party at our house after all the Christmas hubbub.  It was held on Friday night, the 30th.

We had Noms.

We had cake that was not a lie.  

(more on the cake on my Kake Blog)

We had friends.

We had "Just Dance 3."

They danced,  ate pizza and snacks, played "Rock Band," "Scene It Trivia," ate cake and then watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Jacob had a great night and thanked me profusely for it when everyone left at around 1:30 a.m.

Happy 18th, Jacob!