when you wish upon a star...

Like a mother who keeps having kids because she forgets the pain of childbirth, hubby and I decided to take the kids to Disneyland this past weekend. :P Our Knott's Berry Farm trip was a nightmare. Two years later we lost our minds and tried another family trip Disneyland. It was better that time around if you appreciate urine soaked hotel lobbies and Cops. Round three: a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth because after all that, our sense of humor prevails. 

If the first hour of the trip was a sign of what was to come, we probably should have turned around and just called it a day. Hubby and his lead foot got us a speeding ticket. Don't know what irritated me more, thinking about the cost of the ticket or the police officer's hotpants. Ha!


Still we soldiered on. WIth a rented SUV (our poor six-footer child can no longer fit in my Jetta), a cooler filled with drinks, every salty and sweet snack WalMart could offer, iPods, DVD players, my blankie and my pillow, we made it to the Hyatt.


It was a beautiful hotel. Complete with a King Bed and bunk beds overlooking the hotel lobby (stalkers!) and the Disneyland sky (all the better to see the fireworks).
IMG_1365  IMG_1367

It gets harder and harder to get the kids to take photos anymore. I think they are too cool for school. :P This is why we make them carry around a Walgreens bag full of bottled water. Yes, we try to be green and cruel to the children at the same time. And yes, we put the bag in the picture. Ha ha. :)


Photo 1
As a whole, we had a fun time. I get a little bit of guilt at the cost of a family trip but I have to remind myself that we are worth it and that we don't get to do this type of thing all the time. Abigail is only here for 6 weeks and now we have memories: getting soaked on Grizzly Bear water ride, Soaring over California, Star Tours, Ariel, It's a Small World, chafing, chocolate brownie sundae room service, "Chedda Bannies," Mama Cozza's restaurant, shuttle rides, heat exhaustion, family naps, fast passes, Fantasyland overload, frozen chocolate bananas, fart jokes, etc.

Shall I dare say, we might do this again next year? OK, maybe in two years. :)



hello? is this thing on?

Does anyone read this blog anymore? I guess I have not been very good at blogging lately. What's my excuse? It's been pretty busy in these parts lately. I am still a Nurse Manager. I have been contemplating what I have sacrificed in my life (creative and personal) to become a nurse leader. It's been pretty rough and I've had a few meltdowns. Lots of stress at work and no creative outlet. I miss scrapbooking and creating and participating in the scrapbook sites. I miss catching up on the newest scrappy trends and being part of such a wonderful community. Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter. Otherwise, I would feel pretty isolated.

Truth is, I am selfish. I want it all. I was stagnant as a Charge Nurse and needed a change. I had been doing the job so long, it was no longer a challenge. When the Nurse Manager position came up, I thought about it long and hard and discussed it with my husband. I would work 5 days a week instead of 3 long nights and come home and still scrap. It's been 2.5 years and that has obviously not happened. I come home exhausted and wanting to only vegetate in front of the television. No energy or motivation to pick up paper and glue. Nothing to scrapbook. In wanting to advance my career, I sacrificed something I really truly loved- scrapbooking. Sounds strange to my non-scrappy friends, but all you scrappers know what I am talking about.

I don't utilize this blog as a venting tool anymore. For confidentiality's sake, I cannot blog about specific job duties or events. My life has been so much about work lately and I have a lot to say. I just can't publicly announce my feelings to the world. At least about work.

So. Maybe I need to make an effort to blog about other things. Like my crazy, brown family, my husband, my stepson. My family is as big and as nuts as ever. My nephew, Jared, is growing like a Sumo wrestler. My husband is as handsome as ever. My stepson almost failed Sunday School. Yep. Almost failed Sunday School. Who the hell does that? Well, the teenage boy who lives with us almost did. This is the year he was supposed to get confirmed as a Catholic. Confirmation is a big deal in our religion. He needed to attend 2 years of Confirmation classes and to complete 10 hours of community service. 10 hours. That's it. I did that in 2 weeks of extra-curricular activities in high school. He didn't feel like doing any of it. And we were not going to be forcing him to do anything. He needed to get the motivation on his own. He is almost 17 years old, after all. So we let him figure out what he needed to do to complete his hours in a few weeks. Otherwise, he was going to have to repeat this whole year. We didn't care if it was going to inconvenience us to have to take him every Sunday. Again. We were going to teach him a lesson. In the end, he finished his 10 hours of service. Grudgingly. Grrrr.

This teenage thing is harder than I thought. I always say it feels like I gave birth to a 14 year-old boy. He came to us at the age of 14 and it has been painful. Okay, it isn't torture all the time. But it is like pulling teeth to get him to think about something other than himself. My friends tell me this is normal. Is it normal to want to throttle him? Because I do. Most of the time. Especially when all he had to do to get confirmed is to sit through Sunday school, learn life lessons about God, and to have some motivation to complete community service. Is it a teenage thing? A boy thing? I don't ever remember doing that as a 16 year-old girl. Of course, I was a big nerd. Our child is too cool for school. Sigh. I guess I am a mother after all.

Leah  notecardsBesides wanting to kill my child, life has been good. Yes, my job is stressful, but I have one. I am trying to get some motivation to scrapbook today, but to no avail. I did complete note cards for my friend at work. This took me hours to complete. So simple, yet so difficult for me. What is wrong with me? I forgot to create. I hope it's not like riding a bike because I can't ride a bike. :P

Until next time...


down with the brown.

Our little boy has grown up. And I think I am going to hurl. Junior turned 16 years old last month and with this milestone, it is well known that he is now allowed to date. I never thought it would happen because we told him that he is welcome to date anyone he wanted--if he can afford it. Since he does not have a job, we never thought it would happen. We thought we were safe. At least for a long while.

We noticed some subtle changes the past few weeks:

  1. He has been on MySpace and Facebook more often (with supervision, of course). He was never one to partake in social networking before.
  2. He went through his 400 texts a month in 9 days. This boy does not like to talk let alone spell.
  3. He cares about what he wears.
  4. He showers. Without being threatened.

I didn't attribute all these good things to a real girl. Maybe she can get him to keep his room cleaner. And guess what? The girl is 15 years old, very protected by her family, and she is brown. I've loved her like my own daughter and she is a sweet girl, good in school, does not wear any makeup, and sings like an angel. She has been in our church choir for a couple of years and our families have always been close. The bad thing about her is that she has boobs. And now it is our jobs as parents to keep those two from discovering them. The two kids grew up playing video games together, basketball, and now tonsil hockey. Just kidding, husband. They remind us of US: hubby and I; white boy, brown girl. Good luck.

I don't know what to think. I am truly a parent of a teen. My husband has had THE talk with him before. I have tried to keep the lines of communication open. Remember this? I obviously don't know what I am doing. So in this case, I am letting my husband do all the talking.

it's vulva, not vajayjay.

I'm an Oprah fan and I catch up on my DVRd episodes from time to time. I love all of her shows. Except this particular episode. Last week, she had a show about how to talk to your daughters about sex. I learned about "sexting." I didn't know that the photos my husband and I send to each other had a name. Ha! :) Anyway, what the heck? I can't even figure out how to text punctuation on my phone let alone send any photos of myself. Naked. And I am 35 years old, not 14. I had homework to do at that age. Teens know way too much about sex, more than me, I think. I learned that first base is kissing. Second base is feeling each other up. Third base is oral sex. WTF?! Fourth base is coitus. Girls give oral sex to boys in between periods. Can't they just smoke in the bathrooms before they get to their next class like the girls in my class did? Where are the smelling salts? I have the vapors.

The sex doctor on the show believes that we should teach our daughters how to pleasure themselves so that she does not have to depend on a boy to make her feel good about herself. When I say "pleasure" I don't mean the feeling you get when you eat a whole box of chocolate. I get what the doctor says in the sense that I would not want my (step)daughter to try to make herself popular or do anything stupid like make me a (step)grandma before I became a mom of my own. And then she mentioned vibrators. Oh, holy Lord. How do I even present this to my stepdaughter? In poster board form like I do for my staff when I present an in-service about medications and new supplies? I like to make my presentations interactive ya know.

I am so glad that my husband talks to Junior about that and that I am not really involved with these talks. Junior is a little uncomfortable and I am a LOT uncomfortable. Remember the hot dog talk? I rest my case. At times, I wish Abby lived with us, but after watching this show and the responsiblity of a mother to a daughter about sex, I say, Thank God. Then again, I could show her a few episodes of Rock of Love. She'll learn everything she ever needs to know.

bastards and strippers.

Sometimes I forget the kids are here, namely Abby. Jeff Jr. is older and is more mature and we can watch most TV shows with him while he is here by himself.  He knows I am always kidding and tries not to take me too seriously. Abby is another story. I try my best not to curse in front of her or to say very adult jokes as is my tendency. In many ways, I try to censor myself so as not to set a bad example or to offend her, meaning I don't want to send her back to her mom with a new colorful vocabulary. Last week she called her brother a "bastard" not in the literal sense of the word since we all know from which he was spawned, but in that playful, kidding way. In other words, in the context that I usually use it. We would have corrected her but, of course, she used it in public. And in front of her maternal grandmother. Oh, shit.

I just said it because Cynthia calls dad that word ALL THE TIME. Lovingly, of course. :) What am I supposed to do with that, except laugh, I mean? Hubby was not that happy. The inappropriateness doesn't stop there. Hubby and I asked her what she wanted to do on her last week of her visit and she stated that she would like to see a show. Just like when we saw Mamma Mia! last summer. Can we see Thunder from Down Under? Cynthia and Lola (Cynthia's mama) say it's a good show. Abby, give me a few years and I will take you there. In the mean time, let's not give your dad a heart attack. Can't I just sneak in? You're not old enough to go to shows like that. Besides, your boobs are not as big as mine, Abigail. I can stick watermelons in my shirt.

Good plan, Abby. Before I send you home, you will be fluent in truck-driver talk and appreciate stripping men with Australian accents. Be patient, my dear. It will come soon enough.

parenting lesson #136.

Needless to say, I am very green at the parenting, especially to a 14 year old boy. Yesterday, I was catching up on my Dr. Phil episodes and Junior happened to be around as is the case every day now. They were featuring teens who were having sex and getting pregnant. Thank goodness for shows like Bret Michaels' Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, and Dr. Phil. They teach lessons I didn't have to explain myself. Of course, I encouraged an open dialogue (please don't have sex). I asked him what he knew (please don't have sex). He explained that his mom told him all about it- you put your thingie in her thingie (you better not have sex). WTF? This is one of my pet peeves, when people don't give private parts their given medical names. But I guess I should be grateful that she was not telling him about his schnitzel and her bun, know what I mean? Anyway, I digress. Throughout the course of the show one of the teen girls on the show stated that she was afraid to have sex because she heard it hurt. Of course, Junior asked why all the teens were doing it if it hurt so bad? I set him straight and told him that yes it hurts. Her Veronica will bite yours off. OK, I didn't say that. But I did tell him that at first this act hurts the female (don't have sex) but that we want him to wait until he was married and that this act was very special to both a husband and a wife. In other words, I lied to him. Ha! But he kept insisting on knowing why sex hurts so much. In my infinite knowledge of sex and parenting, I asked him to think about a hot dog going into his ear and see if he would like it. Got that? It hurts. So don't do it. Dammit.