How Much Do I Love You?

2:09 AM Edit This 3 Comments »
Today, while we were driving, we'd been talking about stories and books. And, out of the blue, Anna said, "Mommy, tell me how much I love you and Daddy." I melted a little, thinking that she must have taken our bedtime "Guess How Much I Love You" story to heart.

"All the way to the moon....and back?" I asked, smiling at Curtis.

"No. I don't love you THAT much." (This was quickly followed by the usual, "HEY! What are you both laughing at?!")

Anna Oakley

11:20 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

You may, or may not know, that my sweetie and I met because we share a love of shooting. We both shot competitively in college. We have both done a bit of hunting (I usually just go along for the ride) but mostly we target shoot.

So, today, our baby girl shot her first gun. At 3 flippin' years old. Even as much of an enthusiast as I am, I balked a little. I think even *I* was 5 years old when I started shooting. It was a spur of the moment thing, but she had so much fun. She jumped up and down and said, "I learned to shoot a BABY GUN!" We had to explain that it was a "BB" gun, not a "Baby" gun.

We were visiting Curtis' parents. They live in a very affluent neighborhood, and their house backs up to forested open space on a hill. The deer come down routinely and eat all of the flowers in the garden beds. So, they have always had a BB gun in the wash room to scare away the deer. Curtis was plinking away this afternoon, and he asked Anna, "Do you want to try?" (For the record, there were NO deer today, just cans. I don't want her shooting *at* anything for a VERY long time to come - if ever.) She was so excited. She really just stood between his knees and after he aimed, she pulled the trigger with him. It was very cute. She doesn't generally like loud noises, so I've wondered if she would ever be interested in shooting, like we are. My little brother never has been, until very recently (he's 16 now). If she's not, that's fine, but it's kind of a family thing to pass on. But, paranoid Safety Officer that I am, we spent the rest of the afternoon drilling gun safety. I am a certified firearms instructor, and so we are going to be spending a LOT of time on this from now on. All of our guns are safe - but you never know what they might come across somewhere else.

Anyway - a milestone today. And a cute "Daddy & Daughter" moment. She'll probably be a better shot than EITHER of us are.

*For what it's worth*
I hope no one is appalled or offended at the content of this post. I know that "guns" are an emotionally charged issue for a lot of people, myself included. For us it is about a hobby and a sport that has been shared and passed down for a number of generations. It's something very special that I share with my Dad, my husband, and is a part of some of my fondest memories growing up. I respect other people's opinions, and never push my own on them. If you ask me, I'll tell you what I think. But I don't think I've ever told someone that felt differently that they were wrong to feel that way. To each his own.

Things that made us cry...

8:50 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
...laughing today.

I said to Anna, in a playful voice, "What's up?!" She replied, "THE SKY!!" (I know this is a common 'joke' - but neither of us ever says it, so it cracked us up.) Curtis asked, "Where did you learn that?" Anna said, "In college."

This morning, Anna was playing dress up in her Barbie Princess clothes (her favorite thing to do lately). She put it on and said, "Do you like it? I got it on sale." We both started laughing again. She said, "Ask me where I got it on sale. (We complied, and the she said...) ...IN COLLEGE!"

Such a funny girl. I'm not ready for college yet. Pre-school in the fall is going to challenge enough!

We're under way!!!

12:44 AM Edit This 4 Comments »
We finally got the city to accept our addition plans for review today (after some fancy footwork by yours truly). It was cute...Anna actually carried the whole big role of plans in all by herself, and put them up on the counter. And we made a special request that they approve "Pink" for Anna's new room. Now, we wait for the first set of comments and hope for no BIG surprises! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

*sigh* I have the best friends...

5:29 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Look what my friends sent me....Just because. I feel so incredibly loved right now. I can't even say how touched I am. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you - from the bottom of my heart. You made me cry today - but every day that I look at my beautiful lamp for years to come, I'll smile when I think of you guys.

MH Meeting tonight.....

12:08 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
Tonight was great! I got to finally meet a few friends who I know from my mothers' board. It was so neat to finally meet them in person. Jen was out from New York for a work trip, and Renee and I (shamefully) only live about 2 hours apart and have never met until tonight.

We met at Pier 39 and rode the carousel, went to see the sea lions and had dinner at Bubba Gumps. Jen was so sweet - I love her accent. Silly California girl that I am, the sound of a New York accent just tickles me. :D And she brought Anna the cutest little bear. Anna was instantly sold. I hope we get to meet Kate one day soon! And Renee and I totally hit it off. She and her husband and their son Kainoa were all awesome. We HAVE to hang out sometime soon! Thanks for meeting up with us guys! We had a blast! Here are some pics!

Permit application - First Try.

2:06 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
I can see that this process is going to piss me off. (Although, I was all sweetness and light at the building department. And I took Anna along to up our "cute co-efficient".)

So - first try, no go. We need:

1 - The plans 'wet signed' (and stamped with their seal) by the architect (which is our neighbor) and the engineer (which is Curtis). All 6 sets...on each page. Fun.

2 - 2 sets of Title 24 Energy calcs (in addition to the 6 copies already included in the plan copies)

3 - Structural plans??! WTF? I don't think this is a requirement, but she said it is. She's checking and is supposed to call back this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed. That would be big bucks. The docs that I saw said that we need a soils report and a structural calc if the addition has greater than a 500 sqft FOOTPRINT. Well, our addition is 900 sqft, but it only has a 450sqft FOOTPRINT because it is 2 story. I hope she's wrong. Ugh.


11:29 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Does anyone else find it ironic that if you blog about something, in your blog, on Blogger, that Blogger's spellcheck does not recognize the word "blog"?

No? Just as I thought. Too much free time. Gotcha.

Drum roll please...

11:23 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
It's D-Day. (Or, maybe "P" day - for "Plan Submission. Or "P" for, I'm so nervous I'm going to pee my pants. Hell, who am I kidding. After Anna, it doesn't take a hell of a lot for me to pee my pants. Anyway....I digress.)

Tomorrow, I am going to the city to submit our plans for review to get our building permit. I'm soooo skeered! Argh. Maybe it's because Curtis and I are both anal, perfectionists - but we still see lots of little things on the plans that need correcting. But, after so many drafts, and so many delays, we're going ahead with what we have. We know they will have some revisions anyway - so hopefully, this will get us started. Keep your fingers crossed for us! This is SO nerve wracking!

Da Boys

12:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
(You kind of have to read that like the 'Da Bears' in the old Saturday Night live skits.)

Just channeling the love for my boys. Well, actually, Anna claims Rigby (the little one with the big attitude) to be HERS. And Kodi, she asserts, is Mommy's. Daddy doesn't want a dog of his own. Too much mess. She's got it all figured out.

She and Rigby really *DO* love each other. They drive each other crazy, but they are pretty inseparable. And I have to admit, he's grown on me, now that he's getting past his 'puppiness'. He only barks about 100 times a day now, instead of the billion that he used to.

And then there's Kodi. Kodi is my boy. He was my BABY before Anna came. Our dogs are dogs, but they are a bit spoiled. They live inside - all the time. It's pretty cushy. Kodi - well, he's not just a dog to me. He's my boy. Kodi just has something to human about him. I swear he can speak by looking at you. He has so much expression in his eyes. (Yes, it's OK to think I'm a fruit at this point. I know I sound like one.) Mastiffs are the coolest dogs, but Kodi is rare, even among the breed. For a dog that weighs over 200lbs, I have NEVER known any dog that was so absolutely trustworthy around other animals, dogs, people, children. Anything. Anyone. Anytime. (Hell - he puts up with Rigby in his face all day - he'd HAVE to be a saint.) Awww....just wanted to gush about my boys.

We're gonna do it!

11:15 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
We're going to do the addition! Yeah! I am excited, scared, nervous, happy. We did our usual 'spread sheet analysis' last night. We're admitted spread sheet geeks. Everything needs a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet does not lie. So, when we looked at building, versus selling our house and buying new - we can ALMOST afford to buy our own house. It's actually pretty funny. Despite the fact that our house has appreciated a GREAT deal - by the time we pay realtor fees, fix the roof, increase our mortgage interest rate by over 1% (we have a GREAT rate right now) - we just can't afford it.

So - we're going to take out a second and make a leap of faith! We've been praying about it - so hopefully there will be a way somehow! Keep your fingers crossed for us!


11:44 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
My sweetheart comes home tomorrow!! Yeah!! I miss him sooo much when he's gone. It's been four days. WAY too long! I can't complain, because he doesn't travel often, but I'm ready to have him back.

Since he's been gone:
- Anna has refused naps 2 out of 3 days.

- I slept 3 hours or less both nights so far.

- Kodi (yes, the BIG dog) has peed on the carpet MULTIPLE times. (My poor boy is getting old). Do you have ANY idea how much pee a mastiff bladder can hold?! I have run out of garage towels and had to re-launder them twice, gone through half a bucket of Oxyclean and a full bottle of Resolve. Tomorrow, I'm buying a steam cleaner. I swear. This is gross.

- It's been raining (that just sucks in general).

- We got ants in our kitchen. (Have I mentioned that I HATE ants?!!)

BUT....Anna and I have been having some fun 'girl' time. We've played dress up, danced, played Legos, read stories and made new potty charts. She's pretty good company, if I do day so myself.

And I got all of our china packed up to store, so that we can hide our garbage cans in that cabinet. And I got our desk cleared off and about a year's worth of filing caught up. See? Sleep is over rated!!


11:18 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
*** Be warned, this blog note is probably a total downer. ***

I have a friend who's husband was just diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He's young - maybe mid-30s. They have 2 young children, one younger than Anna. It just makes me so incredibly sad. I don't doubt that God has a plan in each of our lives, and I don't pretend to understand what it is all the mine or anyone else's. But I have faith that He has our ultimate good in mind. I just feel so sad.

I keep thinking about all of the effort that my brother-in-law John, who is in Iraq on tour #2, went through to prepare to leave mementos of himself for their daughter to see and have while he was gone for a year. She was only a few days old when he left. And that is seemed so unbearable to think of them being apart for a WHOLE year, and how hard it must have been to plan his departure. And then I think of my friend and think, 'How do you do that for your child's whole lifetime?'

I've been thinking of them constantly, and praying that God will somehow give them peace and strength. They're going to need it.

So, tonight - even more than most nights, I am feeling undeservedly blessed with my health, my husband, our daughter, my family who loves and supports us, and the wonderful friends that we have.

Chopped liver?

1:02 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Curtis had to go away on a business trip to NY. Last night, he was explaining to Anna that he'd be gone for just a little bit, and then he'd come home again because he'd miss us so much. Anna's response to this conversation wen something like this....

Curtis: I'll come back REALLY soon, because I'll miss you both so much.

Anna: (Looking worried)Is Mommy going to go with you on your work trip too?!

Curtis: No, Mommy is going to stay right here with you, Sweetheart!

Anna: (Looking relieved) Oh, good. I'm glad Mommy is going to stay here with me.
( sweet is she!?!?!)

Anna: Because if Mommy went with you on your work trip, no one would be here to turn on a show for me.
(So much for sweet!)

Bek: Is that all Mommy is good for? Turning on a show?

Anna: (Cradling my face in her hands) YES Mommy! That's all!

Curtis advised me not to ask questions that I don't want to know the answer too! Wise words!

Prince Charming

4:32 PM Edit This 3 Comments »

I met my Prince Charming over ten years ago. And, lucky me, I married him. He will always be the love of my life, and the most wonderful man in the world to me. Right up there with my Daddy, which is pretty high praise. Well, now Anna has met *her* first Prince Charming. It's *HER* Daddy. They are so cute. When he comes home from work, she dresses up like a princess and says,

"Daddy, how about I be a Princess and you be Prince Charming. The Princess is supposed to dance with Prince Charming at the Royal Ball. Do you want to dance with me at the Royal Ball?!!"

How could that NOT melt you? Today, I told Anna that I loved her. She said,

"You know who else loves me? Daddy does. He loves me lots and lots. Have you noticed that?"

I told her, "Yes. He loves us BOTH lots and lots...I notice every day."

The Blue Screen of Death

1:37 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
It came to visit. And stayed. And would not go. And it did not give prior notice that it would be coming. And when it finally packed up and went took our data with it.

Well....some of it. Actually, for once, I had us backed up fairly recently. But, to be honest, I'm pretty handy with computers - I think. I can figure most stuff out. This, stumped me. It came out of no where. I could not get past it ANY way I tried. I had a friend who does IT for a living help - no luck. I spent HOURS on the phone to Dell tech support (who ROCK, BTW. This computer is over 2 years out of warrantly, and they spent all that time, plus Fedex Overnighted me a new boot disk at NO charge. Awesome.) I replaced the hard drive. I tried to repair the OS. Nada.

So, we had to format and reinstall.

The good news - my computer is brand spanking new and sparkly clean and fast.
The bad news - I have to reinstall around 100 programs (literally).
The good news - I was backed up.
The bad news - I have to unpack about 80GB of data.
The good news - I can get e-mail again.
The bad news - First I have to sort through the 894 that I missed being down for 24 hours.
The good news - I didn't need to replace my hard drive afterall (even though I installed and uninstalled it about a dozen times while trying the new one.
The bad news - Now Best Buy probably won't take back the one we bought, because it has been installed.

Oh well....I guess it could have been worse.

Hey! Why are you guys both laughing?!!

6:16 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
So we're all doing stuff around the house today, and Curtis had been prompting Anna to start cleaning up some of her own toys. Out of the blue, we hear from the other room...

"Daddy! Daddy, could you come here and do me a really huge favor. Like pick up my toys or make my bed or put away my clothes. Yes. Any of those things would be good. [pause while Mommy falls off of her chair laughing] Mommy?! Why are you laughing? [Daddy joins mommy doubled over in laughter] Daddy, why are you both laughing. HEY! Why are you guys both laughing!??"

She is so much fun. We could not be any more blessed.

Mommy got busted.

2:19 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

My toy clean-up threat is no longer top secret. OK, not that it was. And not that it was working or anything. It was, I confess, one of those end of your rope, as soon as it's out of your mouth you think (would I really do that?!?) things that I said to Anna that came back to haunt me today.

Curtis left his shoes sitting outside on the patio table after he mowed the lawn because they were all dirty. Anna peered out the window behind him while we were eating dinner and said, in her most sincere and patronizing voice,

Daddy, you should have put your shoes away. If you don't put your things away, Mommy will throw them in the garbage can.

Living with Miss Manners

8:21 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
So, our efforts to have a polite, well mannered child just may be backfiring. LOL!! It's not like we're SO rigid about it, but we've just always reminded her to say thank you, please, be polite, etc. Now she's starting to correct US!

In the past several weeks we've (repeatedly) heard:

You didn't ask nicely. You need to say please.

Thank you. THANK you. I said THANK YOU! You're supposed to say 'You're welcome'.

It's not nice to talk with food in your mouth.

She's such a crack up, this one.


2:50 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
We have a PO box for our business mail - but I rarely use it. To that end, we only check it a few times a year. And usually, that is when we're all out together running errands, and Curtis or I just hop out and run in (without Anna). So, she's been there MAYBE 2-3 times over the past 3 years.

We went to the post office to pick up a package, and I said "Let's go check the mail in our box too." Anna said "OK" and ran off down the hallway, choose the right hall and ran directly up to our box (amidst the thousands of other identical looking little silver boxes) and said, "Here it is. I need the key, Mommy!"

Holy ever lovin' crap. How the heck did she do that?! My jaw probably hit the floor. She's amazing. Scary. But amazing. Definitely Daddy's girl. :D

1 kid. 2 kids. 3 kids. - AHHH!!!!!

9:52 AM Edit This 1 Comment »

Yesterday, one of my closest friends had to work so we got to hang out with her two kids (Anna's bestestest friends) for most of the day. It actually went really well. I wasn't worried, because I know them well, and they all have a blast together. But I have to admit - 3 kids is *WAY* different than one. I think it was the general level of chatter that I noticed most. I totally different decibel level than Anna on her own! hahaha

But, I am quite pleased with myself, because not only did we play, and do a craft project and eat good healthy meals. I also.... Are you ready for this? Prepare to be amazed. I also.... got all THREE kids down for naps at the same time. Feel free to bow or throw money if you're impressed. I was. I know it would never happen again - but I'll take what I can get.

Here are some pics from our fun day. I think everyone had a blast!

I used to enjoy stand up comedy...

9:43 AM Edit This 1 Comment » we have Anna. Seriously, there is no better medicine than laughter, and with Anna around there is no shortage. Some recent funnies...

Anna was in the other room singing, so I called out to her, "You have a beautiful voice, Anna!" She replied...
"Umm...I know. Thank you. Now can you please be quiet. But I really do still love you."

Curtis & I were sitting in the kitchen discussing house plans, and Anna called from the living room...
"Are you guys talking to yourselves again?!"

I should blog more - I keep forgetting all the good ones.