My First Day As The "Class Mom"

10:51 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
When I dropped Anna off at pre-school this morning, I told her teacher, Miss Jenny, that I would be happy to help out in the class if they ever need volunteers. She said, "Actually, I could use some help later on today, if you can make it!" Cool! I have SUCH fond memories of my mom always being there when we had special projects, parties, crafts, and stuff.

(OK, except for the time in the 5th grade when the teacher was introducing all of the kids to my mom, and when she got to my crush du jour, Taja Hamilton, my mom made this wide eyed little smile and drawled, "I've heard ALLLL about you." I could have died. Really. Just sunk into the floor and died. Except for that time, it was great. Not that it scarred me for life or anything. Just for the last 21 years. But I've had therapy, and we're working on it. But I digress....)

Anyway, I got to go help with the science project. Each kidlet had a ziplock bag with their name on it. Miss Jenny put a scoop of blue jello and a scoop of yellow jello inside. (WAIT - this is MY PART!) *I* got to tape the top of the bag closed, to avoid jello carnage on the clothes and floor. Then, the kids mushed it up with their hands to see what NEW color blue and yellow make when mixed together. It was very cute.

It was so fun seeing all the kids, and watching them. They are so sweet. I'm not sure, if I had that job, if I would laugh all day at the cuteness, or want to hide in a quiet dark room at the end of the day. Maybe both. Anyway....that was my first day at school. Very fun stuff.

As if it was never there...

11:50 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
(Except for the back aches, blisters, sprained ankles, cursing, etc., etc.) We filled in the hole where the step used to be with concrete this weekend. Anna even helped out with her 'pink' tool box and a special handprint while we poured the concrete. Next, we'll build steps back in where they need to be. Another weekend....

The Playhouse goes PINK, Baby!!!

11:39 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Well, after waaayyyy too much time had passed between building the playhouse, and decorating the playhouse, Grandma & Alisa agreed to take on the task while they were watching Anna (which they have generously agreed to do on weekends while we are working on the house). And, you'll probably be surprised to learn, that Anna decided that everything should be PINK!

So, the playhouse is now painted inside. In fact, if you lean your head out the nearest window right now and look at the sky, you'll see a pink glow. That's from the walls of Anna's playhouse....I'm sure you can see it WHATEVER side of the globe you're on. It is partway decorated, and it still needs the white trim paint, but here are some inprogress shots. She is thrilled beyond belief already!

Thanks, Grandma & Alisa!

First Day of Pre-School

4:11 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
What a milestone. Our baby started school today. There were tears, anxiety, happiness and fear, some uncertain moments. But, in the end, I got through it and didn't let Anna see me cry. (I saved that for the parking lot afterwards.) She was all smiles. She asked why we were leaving, and we told her it was time for the mommies and daddies to go so that school could start, and she said, "OK" and ran back to play some more. Curtis and I are so proud of her. She just ran right in and made herself at home, just as we suspected she would. It's a great place, and it will be wonderful for her.

Here are a few pictures of this morning. Of course, Anna was decked out head to toe in her signature color. If it touches her body, it HAS to be pink. I love my 'girly-girl'.

Our Mastercard Commercial

11:11 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
(Could also have been titled DING DONG THE STEP IS DEAD!")

The cost of building this simple, concrete step in 1971 when our house was built.....$32

The amount of time Curtis and I shed blood sweat and tears trying to rip is out last weekend, and only got this far.....13 man hours.

The cost of the jackhammer rental from Hertz Equipment Rental....$63

The time it took Erik to get the step out with the big ass jackhammer....52 minutes.

Having a friend who shows up to your house to do ONE project for you (awesome) but stays to take over another as well.....PRICELESS.

Such a smartie.

10:50 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
With all of the house excitement, I haven't posted as many Anna-isims lately. But trust me, they still occur with frightening regularity. She is so darned SMART. She just amazes me sometimes.

This morning, the first thing I heard from her was (peeking through the blinds over her bed):
"Mommy! It's MORNING!! And it's really foggy outside today."

We've been getting these little string cheese sticks with riddles on them. Yesterday's was, "What kind of room has no doors and no windows. A MUSHroom." Ha. get it? Mushroom? What, you don't think that's HILARIOUS?! Well, then you obviously haven't heard Anna's delivery, because everyone she's told so far has laughed...HARD. It might be her stage presence. It usually goes something like this...
"What-has-no-doors-or-windows-a-mushroom-AHHAAHAAHAAHAAHAA!!!" (you'll have to picture the arms thrown up in the air from laughing so hard at her own joke.)

Lately, everything that she denies us, is followed up with a "but I DO still love you."
ME: Anna, can I have a bite of your apple.
ANNA: No thank you.
ANNA: But I *DO* still love you, Mommy.

To my mom, on my cell phone while we were on the way to visit Grandma.
GRANDMA: Are you coming to see me!
GRANDMA: All by yourself?
ANNA: No, I'm bringing your daughter with me.

Grandma told Anna that she could only bring her popsicle into the living room if Mommy would be responsible for the ensuing mess. Anna said to me:
"Mommy, will you be res, resp, that word that Grandma said, so that I can have my popsicle?"

Anna doesn't like driving in the truck because it doesn't have a DVD player in it. (Don't get me started....'When *I* was a girl, we didn't have....'). But we've been doing a lot of switching back and forth because we need the truck to do house projects. So, every morning this week, when we went outside and hound the VAN there, Anna kept saying,
"That Daddy of mine is such a sweetie. He's so sweet. He left the van for us. What a love."

Anna has decided that she is the mommy of her stuffed kitten. More frightening, is that she has decided that Kyle is the father of her kitty, because he makes a "really good Daddy." Not that Kyle won't make a GREAT father some day, I'm just not ready to talk about the father of ANNA'S children yet!!!

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

10:45 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

No. Seriously. Well, if you count the ceiling in the hallway as "sky", it is. That's what we came home to yesterday (there was actually a big stick propping up the remainder when this pic was taken). The drywall portion of the hallway ceiling had collapsed while we were out. When we removed the other portions of walls around it, I guess there wasn't much left to support it anymore. It wouldn't have been THAT messy, except for that DAMNED blown in loose insulation up there. It was a freakin' mess. Everywhere. Again. *sigh* Thank heavens for the shop vac.

Our mantra....

This will all be worth it.
We're having fun.
We DO still have our sense of humor.
This will all be worth it.
We're having fun.
We DO still have our sense of humor.
This will all be worth it.
We're having fun.
We DO still have our sense of humor.

[Funny note. Spellcheck suggested "foreskin" as a replacement for "freakin'" above. I don't know why, but I find that very funny, in a grade school sort of way. ]

Diddle diddle dumpling

11:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
One wall off
one wall on.
Diddle diddle dumpling
my son John!

That how it goes right? Hey - feel free to stop by. Just let yourself in; the wall is open. (Don't mind the 210 lb mastiff and the wicked pomeranian in the house - they don't usually do PERMANENT damage. Mostly.)

It's kind of like camping around here lately, except dirtier, and our camper has central heating, which our house does NOT right now. So, in my book, THIS is roughing it. We do have better plumbing than the camper (port-potties suck), but no wall in the house bathroom - so that one is a toss up. Since the walls and windows are open, the bugs are a draw too. Our shower is better, if you can get past the "no wall" thing.

Open letter to my husband.

10:32 AM Edit This 7 Comments »
Dear Curtis,

I don't really know where to begin, so I'll just say, I'm sorry. Truly sorry, from the bottom of my heart. I know that you are going to be disappointed in me. I know that we have talked about this before, and promised eachother that we would never let it "happen to us" - but it has.

When we decided, 4 years ago, that I would be a stay at home mom, I truly felt that I would be good at it, and enjoy it, and that it would be the best for our children. Today, I think I have failed. You KNOW that Anna's well being is of the utmost importance to me. And what happened this morning was inexcusable. I did call the urgent care line at Kaiser though, and I talked to her pediatrician as well. Although they understood my panic, they said that they think she should be fine, as long as we're sure that it never happens again. I'm so sorry. I think she's going to be OK, but I do realize that this is a very serious situation.

I'm not even really sure how it happened. I turned on "Dora the Explorer" for her, and started doing some work stuff on the computer. I just lost track of time. I did notice she was quiet, but I didn't notice WHY until it was too late. Gosh - when I saw what she was doing, my heart just stopped.

I hope we can get past this, someday. I know I will have to earn your trust again. I'll do whatever I have to. And from this day forward, I make my most solemn vow to you, I WILL NEVER, EVER LET ANNA WATCH BARNEY AGAIN. It makes me shudder to think that she almost saw an ENTIRE episode.

I hope we can work this out. After all....I love you. You love me. We're a happy family.


Anna and her brother and sister...

10:38 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
...well, if she had her way, that's how it would be. Although that would make a really weird custody thing with Kelly & Erik, so I guess we'll just get our own, when the time comes. But if you ask Anna, she wants a BOY baby brother, and she's going to name him Kyle. And if it's a girl, she's going to name her Dara. It makes me so happy to see her forming such wonderful friendships, even this young. These three are so cute together...the best of buds.

A little remodeling quiz...

6:57 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
We found that we have to tear out the two concrete steps, to get to the siding and the floor joist that has some rot in it BEHIND the step. When it's out, we'll replace it with wood 'deck type' steps (the deck is WAY down the line), so it doesn't have to be pretty, and we only need the TOP step gone.

We've only gotten HALF of the step off so far. So, how long do you think this little piece of demolition took, with Curtis and I both working on it, using sledge hammers, pavement breakers, concrete saws and jack hammers?

A. 6 seconds
B. 6 hours
C. 6 days
D. 6 weeks
E. 6 years

The answer is B. However, it only took us A to realize that this was going to take about E to complete. So far, it's going to take our backs and arms D to be able to move without screaming out in pain and be functional again, but we only have C to finish the project. CALGON - TAKE ME AWAY!!!


6:14 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
My poor baby. He got that big abcess, and it turns out that we had to do surgery to remove the dead skin that wouldn't heal (which turned out to be a fist sized chunk of flesh). Since he was down for that, and mastiffs are really hard to anesthetize because of their size, we decided to cut out the rest of the little cysts, so that he wouldn't have to go through this again. Long story short, he looks like Frankenstein dog. He's such a trooper. I got to stay with him and watch the whole surgery, and recover him myself, so that was great. Our vet, Dr. Hoskins, is AWESOME, and an amazing clinician.

Anyway - everybody send a big slobbery hug and a kiss for my poor baby. He's doing much better now, but he just looks so pathetic.

House Pic...

4:55 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

From the park behind our house. Ours is the big one wrapped in house wrap. hahaha


2:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
We made a fun trip (although way too quick) to Tahoe a few weekends ago. My aunt, uncle & cousins have been going to the same condo for years and years, every summer. We always went up for part of it with them. Now, my mom has rented one right next door so that we can make this an ongoing 'family tradition'. With all of us having families of our own now, it's rare that we all get together in one place, so it is so fun to spend some time just hanging out....kind of like when we were kids. Even more special now that we are having kids of our own to share the tradition.

Here are a few pics of this years trip.....good times. Next year - we're going to try to make it a little bit longer than 2 days...provided that we have a roof on our house when we leave house this time!

Busted by the traffic police.

1:48 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
Uncle CARL, that is. Apparently, following him up on the drive to Tahoe made quite an impression on Anna. She and I were following Curtis home the other night. When we pulled into the driveway after him, she said,

“Daddy beat us! He’s a really, REALLY fast driver, just like my Uncle Carl!”

But, to be fair, she's been a little tough on me too. I went through a SLIGHTLY yellow light the other day, and we had the following conversation…no joke. I’m just glad it wasn’t in front of a police officer while I tried to sell MY side of events.

ANNA: Mommy, why did you pass the red light. Red means stop.

ME: I didn’t pass a red light, Sweetie. It was yellow.

ANNA: No, Mommy. It was red. Red is different than yellow.

ME: No, it was yellow when we went through. It turned red after that.

ANNA: NO! The light was RED and you passed it. Why did you pass the red light, Mommy? Red means stop.

(You can just repeat the above sequence in your head four or five or sixty times….that’s about how the rest of the conversation went.) Funny girl…this one.

One Coherent Thought....

10:58 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Nope - lost it already. It doesn't take long. So, I'll just ramble on here with stuff I keep meaning to write, but not finding the time to:

The roof is almost done! Whoo hoo!! Just need gutters. Curtis fell off a ladder and sprained his ankle on Saturday while we were working on our part of it. OK, well, he takes exception to the phrase 'fell of a ladder'. He 'stumbled down the last few rungs while trying to get off of a ladder' and injured himself. (There - how's that?) So, we didn't finish all of our part before the real roofers came on monday, and some of what we did just did NOT go well for some reason. So I TOTALLY took one for the team here. *I* was the one that had to stand there with the roofer Monday morning and look at the piece of crap repair work we had done. I think his exact words were "A child could have done this. It is THE worst roofing work I have EVER seen." So - I played the silly girl card and said, "Gee, can you just fix it?". They did. I just hate being the dumb girl. I am pretty damned capable, if I do say so myself.

Windows and doors go in this week. House wrap and siding after that. Yeah! It is so exciting to see it all come together. This weekend we're starting the electrical, working on some of the new mechanical system and doing some exterior demo to get ready for the new siding.


Oh Anna. What a crack up these days. What are some of the best ones?
This morning I was expecting someone, but I couldn't tell the difference between the pounding on the roof and the knocking on the door. So after checking the 10th time, I said, "Hey - can you tell Mommy if someone is here? I can't tell if it's the roof knocking or someone at the door." She replied, "The roof doesn't knock, Mommy. The people on the roof knock." Ahhhh....yes. I stand corrected. Thanks.
She walked into our bedroom today to find our whole back wall gone, and she proceeded to walk over to the contractors and say, "Oh my, you made such a terrible mess. Why did you do that?"
After hearing the guys out back talking and joking around while they were working. I hear her call out, "Mommy, they're laughing at you." I started to correct her, but hell, after the roof work I just showed them - they probably WERE laughing at me.
This weekend, she informed me that "boys and girls are different". Fearing the OBVIOUS, I asked, "How"? She said, "Boys are always asking where everyting is, every time. And the girls have to tell them where to find it. " Ahhh.....I couldn't have PAID her to say anything better than that. However, Curtis was quick to point out that she also asked me to sit in the passenger seat last time we all got in the car to drive to the store. When I asked why, she said, "So Daddy can drive. He's a much better driver than you are."

Curtis is doing pretty good. He followed the doctors' orders closely and kept his foot elevated and rested and used the crutches they sent him home with. Yeah...I didn't figure you'd buy that. Actually, he went to the Giants' game the next day and left his crutches at home on monday morning. His foot is doing better, but it's gotten more swollen and bruised now.

Just so you know how my morning is going...

10:02 AM Edit This 4 Comments »
I spent the last 10 minutes talking to a roofer who showed up at the door (Why did it take 10 minutes, anyway? Dude - we picked someone else....weeks ago. Do you have issues with rejection?) looking like this.

Apparently, sometime during the chaos that has been this morning, which included a 200lb dog with a BIG bleeding abscess (which made my house look like a crime scene), trying to find a place on the destroyed carpet that is not wet with Resolve (from said bleeding abscess and an old mastiff who can't hold his bladder anymore) to clean the bleeding abscess, Doritos for breakfast (chosen by Anna while I was trying to clean up Kodi), Anna decided that I really needed to be a princess too (I DO recall declining at that particular moment. I do NOT recall her bestowing a crown upon me anyway.)

*sigh* I'm still keeping my sense of humor. That's good, right? Or does that mean I've just cracked completely?

P.S.: I quit. This is what Anna did with her strawberry yogurt (I wasn't going to let her have JUST Doritos for breakfast!) while I was typing this.

House progress....

2:04 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Here's a few pics of our recent progress. The roof is torn off, and the repairs are almost done. We'll finish the facia board this weekend. The REAL roofer starts installing the new roof on Monday. I'm to excited to have a ROOF!!!

The interior framing is just about done. Next I think the doors and windows get installed, then siding. Then, the wonderful Timberwolf Construction is out of here and we're on our own. I'm SCARED! They have been awesome. I'm not sure who I'm going to ask all my questions to now!

Anna and her stairs. She LOVES the stairs. To the left will be the hallway. To the right, a wall that has closets for the bedrooms. This used to be Anna's room.

The view from the side of the house, standing on the kitchen patio looking toward the park. Family room on the bottom, "my brother or sister's room (Anna's words)" on the top.

More stairs. Used to be Anna's room. Now the closet is framed in.

Anna & Kodi

1:33 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Kodi has been back and forth to the vet a bunch lately. He has a big abscess (I'll spare you the pictures.) So, the other day, as we're leaving the vet, we have a conversation that goes like this:

ANNA: (sounding totally exasperated) Kodi! Will you PULEASE stop slobbering me. You're always slobbering me, every time!

ME: You know, when you were a baby, you slobbered all over Kodi, and he was VERY patient with you. You should be patient with him too. He can't help it either.

ANNA: Ok, Mommy. (Note, the "Mommy" - I'm making my case, huh?)

So...the next morning, I hear Anna talking to Kodi. She says:

"Kodi, it's OK if you slobber on me sometimes. Because I know when I was a baby mastiff I used to slobber on you, and you were very patient."

When SHE was a baby mastiff??? Awww....does it get any cuter?