Thursday, January 31, 2008

A few words on Mardi Gras

For all my out of town readers I thought I would compile a few blog posts that might be of interest to you. Learn a little bit about a tradition that is so heavy down here I can't even explain it well. Maybe these blog posts will help!

Oh, and NolaNotes, I got that Pecan Praline King Cake I wanted from Nonna Randazzo's today. It is resting on my counter as I salvate each time I walk by. I will be sharing with my friends friday night when Orpheus rolls.

A newbie view on Mardi Gras

Le Krewe Detat

Preparations for Carnival

2005 Krewe of Barkus

Pics from Mardi Gras Past

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

gotta love what kids say

My four year old (who will be 5 in Feb) was sitting on my chaise lounge in my bedroom while I was working out. I had the tv on and lo and behold what is on . . . "Real Housewives of Orange County".

I am doing some exercise where I am not able to see the tv and out comes a horrible shriek from my daughter. "Why are they sticking needles in their eyes!"

I explain to her that they are getting botox treatments. "What is botox?", she asks.
I explain what it does. She asks if she will have to get shots like that when she grows up. I say, "No, mommy doesn't get them." I ask her if she thinks those ladies are pretty. She says yes. I tell her they pay a lot of money to look that way but are much older than mommy. I ask if she thinks they are prettier than mommy.

She says . . .

"Yeah, but keep exercising mommy. You will get there."

Monday, January 28, 2008

I should be on "What not to wear"

Yesterday I was wearing very green mesh garden shoes, slate blue crop sweat pants that are too baggy and a light pink Old Navy t-shirt I've had since we moved here - so four years.

We were getting ready to head out the door to the grocery when hubby said, "You are going to change aren't you?" I said, "Why? You don't like my outfit?" (Giggling and planning to change anyway) He said, "Your boy Clinton would not approve!" Clinton is the male host of "What Not To Wear".

I have to admit, when I watch that show I see myself in many of the victims.

Confession #1: I have clothes that are at least 7 years old.
I used to work (pre-children) at places where I had to dress business casual on most days so any "nice" clothes I have are from that time in my life. I haven't worked out in the workplace in 4 years. And my last job I had was for 3 years. And some clothes I remember wearing to work at the job before that. So you do the math.

Confession #2: I only have one really nice outfit in my wardrobe
That is right. I had to do some interviewing last fall and I bought one outfit and wore it to three different interviews in two weeks. Thankfully, none of the companies called me back for a second interview. I don't know what I would have worn!
The good news about this outfit is I love it and it makes me look good! Even a little sexy. I got it right with this one. The other two I bought were, well, returned.

Confession #3: I have no time to shop
Getting outfits right for your body and finding good deals take a lot of time and patience. Well, my kids steal both of those from me. Hubby would be more than willing to let me go out by myself but I am often too tired to think about trying on clothes. I like to shop leisurely for clothes and if I was on a schedule to be back the pressure would be on! And that doesn't work for me so I just pass.

Confession#4: The shoes are bad!
I have a pair of black boots that are my "go-to" boots and hubby just groans when I get them out. He won't even try to polish them for me anymore. He always starts looking in my closet for another option which he quickly discovers I do not have. I always replace my sneakers about every 6 months because that is important to do and I of course wear them that most. Also, I have flip-flops galore. They are cheap and easy to find when shopping with kids. I need all sorts of shoe options!

Confession #5: I have one really good pair of jeans
I have several pair of jeans, but only one really fits me nicely. The others make me look fat and are unflattering. The problem with my one pair of good jeans is that they too are a couple of years old. I wish I could find 5 more pairs of that same jean and buy them all!

Confession #6: I still have maternity clothes in my closet
When I quit my job 4 years ago we had just moved down here. I had all these northerner clothes. So I bought a bunch of cheap t-shirts and crap for warm weather. Everything was super casual. Then 16 months later Katrina hit. I got pregnant during evacuation and had to go to Maternity clothes. I bought all these cute clothes to wear. Then, I had the baby and was back to clothes from two year before. Well, you have to lose that baby weight first right? So a year later I start working which took most any free time I have on top of having very little money to shop for new clothes so I stick with what I have. And some of those things are maternity tops that are so cute I hate to give them up and occassionally wear them out!

So there you have it! I should be on that damn show! And I am not embarrassed to admit it.

Blueberries 98cents!

Fresh Market in Mandeville has blueberries for 98cents! That is cheap and they are nice size! Get them while you can! Just got a few boxes last night.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm about to kick Chuck E Cheese's Ass!

Yes, I used a curse word in my title. Sorry. But I am heated up and hubby had to make me a cocktail to cool me off.

I just called Chuck E Cheese to make my daughter's birthday reservation at the end of February. Ya know how I just coordinated flights and visits with both sets of grandparents? Well, they tell me there is no availability for the date we want until 6pm at night? Who the hell is going to have a party for 5 year olds at 6pm on a weeknight? Are you freakin' kidding me?

I am trying to schedule the party for a Tuesday at 10am. Their website pushes having your party during the week when it is not as busy! I was just at CEC last Tuesday and it was DEAD! Not one party. Only two other moms there with their kids. It was 10am when we arrived. A few more showed up by the time we left at 1pm. DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! I have been there so many times during the week and it is never busy. You have to make your reservation over their 1-800 number only. The lady said they are booked. I find it curious that they could be booked when I tried every week day for the next month and all say only available at 6pm. Hmmmm? Doesn't sound right to me!

The hammer is coming down Chuck E Cheese so look out! My girl has been wanting her party there since she turned 4. (Much to my dismay) She has her heart set on it and is telling everyone. So look out CEC I am calling tomorrow and if that doesn't work I am driving there! So get ready! This momma is hot!

UPDATE: Ok. we are cool now. I spoke with the manager at CEC. He assured me I could still have a party there during the week. It would just have to be a walk-in party - meaning I bring my own table decorations, order the food off their menu, buy my own tokens and provide my own cake. Chuckie would still make an appearance. Well, heck, I can do that. The difference is I won't get a party hostess to assist with the party. I am not worried about that. I will have enough willing grandparents and parents to help! So we are on!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Little Miss Susie Homemaker

I am a stay at home mom. I work part-time as a web designer from home. I have two kids under 5. Today the hubby came home and called me "Little Miss Susies Homemaker". I will take that as a compliment.

He pointed out all that I accomplished today. (Thanks for noticing!)

I cleaned. (I vacuumed the entire house which hadn't been done since before Christmas! I also loaded/unloaded the dishwasher and wet swifted the kitchen.)

I entertained. (I had a friend of my daughter's and her mother over for lunch and playdate - hence the cleaning!)

I worked. (I got an hour and half of work done while my son slept.)

I cooked. (He came home to the aroma of Mushroom Bistro Chicken brewing in the crockpot that was prepared during the playdate!)

I folded laundry. (It had been sitting on the counch for two days!)

I wrapped a birthday gift. (Preparing for tomorrow!)

I made birthday plans for my daughter's upcoming birthday. (And called both grandparents and made flight arrangements, secured dates, etc.)

Today beats the day I had on Monday!

Now, honey, can you please get your lovely wife a cocktail?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Time to write about King Cakes

Yes, I have been putting it off. I waited until I officially had my first bite of king cake. Today was the day and let me tell you I started with the wrong one. I won't even say which it was.

Next stop is Nonna Randazzo's and to get it right this time!

Anyway, ran this article about King Cakes that is a great article for any out of towner to read! Get more on the local addiction to what i consider just a silly coffee cake - read my girl NolaNote's post on king cakes.

New Orleans has some wacky traditions and this fanfare over coffee cake never seizes to amaze me! (But I do enjoy them! He he!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Random Band

A fellow blogger had this on her blog and it reminded me of something from my childhood so I chose to participate myself. When I was a kid I heard an interview on the radio of how a band picked their name by opening the dictionary with their eyes closed pointing to a word and whatever it was that would be their band name. And they stuck with it. So of course I tried that over and over and just kept coming up with these awful names and my brother made fun of me about it.

So here it is - create your own random album cover!

1. Click on this link:
The first title on the page is the name of your band.

2. Click on this link:
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. Finally, click on this link:
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your picture.

Ladies and gentleman I introduce to you my band's album cover!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday Mission-Impossible

Today's Mission was to accomplish a short list of things. And I will gladly accept the award for Mission-Impossible.

List was as follows:
1. Pack up christmas decorations (that have been sitting in guest bedroom for weeks!)
2. Vacuum house with new vacuum cleaner purchased over weekend
3. Clean up mess in daughter's room
4. Mop kitchen floor
5. Pay bills

Seems easy enough. Except when it is MLK day and both kids are at home with you and they haven't been outside all weekend due to unusually cold weather for Louisiana.

The girl woke up cranky and remained that way all day. She lost TV viewing rights immediately. Which of course made my day miserable. The boy was just being his new 18month old self. Climbing on everything in site. Getting into anything he could find and screaming at his sister every time she ripped a toy out of his hand. The battles were dragging on. It was time to take a get well card to the neighbor and the girl lost her mind over what to wear! Happens daily. Did I mention she will be 5 next month?

The get well card suddenly was lost after the clothing battle. After 20 minutes of looking (I knew the damn thing was in the house!) we finally found it wedged between the girls bed and the wall.

After that errand we returned home to more screaming, whining, fighting, etc. Mom couldn't take anymore. I had only one solution to save my sanity. Starbucks! Packed up the kids and even the damn dog (per the request of the boy in his toddler language) and off we went. The girl complained the whole way and the boy fell asleep. I think her complaining bores him. I know it does me! Anyway, I got my skinny mocha (don't try it, not good. Stick to the other sugar free flavors!) and drove around for awhile until we all cooled our jets!

Back home I put the boy to bed and set the girl up to paint. I started dinner, loaded the dishwasher. I checked my to do list. Not a one thing done.

It was a Monday Mission-Impossible!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What would you do if money didn't matter?

I don't know how many times I catch myself thinking or saying "If I had a lot of money I would [fill in the blank]". So just to start a record of such wishes I decided to blog it and that way I can do such things when I do have the money! I mean like big money. Money that can be spent and you don't even have to think twice. Here are a few things I have recently thought of.

1. I would take my mom and daughter Christmas shopping in NYC and we would catch a broadway show. We would stay at the PLAZA because Eloise lived there and my girl loves Eloise.
2. I would pay for the school crosswalk signals to be installed at whatever school district it was on the news a few weeks ago. The news said they couldn't afford it. I would just take care of that issue for them.

3. I would setup a non-profit that would supply new children's books to libraries in rural/poor areas of the US. I would quit my job and devote my spare time to this cause.

4. I would take my best friend on a no limits shopping spree and the catch would be we both would have to ditch our entire current wardrobes and buy ALL NEW! Then we would get new hairdos and buy all new makeup!

5. I would send my closest friends a little "extra" check in the mail if I got wind that they could use it. It would arrive unexpectedly and would be enough to ease the pain.

6. I would take my entire family (parents, in-laws and neice included!) to disney because we have never been! And I would pay for it all. I would stay at one of the nice resorts right in the park and go all out on everything!

7. If I came across another person like the one I wrote about in this post I would furnish her apartment, buy her new clothes, stock her fridge and pay her rent and utilities for a year. Not until she got on her feet because i feel people need a deadline for such help to end so they can take it from there.

8. I would buy gifts for people for no reason other than when I saw the item I thought of them and just knew they would love to have it. I love to give gifts!

9. I would take my best friend and 4 college friends on a week long spa vacation out in the middle of the mountains or desert. All expenses paid by me!

10. I would retire both of our parents.

So tell me. What would you do?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I want your sex

I don't know why I remember this incident in my life, but it is one of those things that doesn't go away from my memory. Maybe because it has to do with a song and you know how music plays such an important role in our memories.

I was in 7th grade. My first year of junior high. The first year where you have to change clothes for gym class in a real locker room. It was also the year that George Michael released his controversial song "I want your sex". I arrived home from school one day only to be questioned about this song by my mom. Apparently, another parent called and informed her about this new song with suggestive lyrics - to say the least. Of course, I had heard about this song in the said locker room and actually had heard it on a friend's walkman. But, I think what makes this incident remain etched in my memory is the fact that I was horrified that my mother was confronting me about this song. Or maybe I was more horrified that my mother used the word "sex"! Sorry mom, but I believe I lied and said I had only "heard" about the song, but had never actually listened to it. Not because I was afraid of getting in trouble, but because I was so embarrased!

And this was just the beginning. 2 Live Crew topped the charts 2 years later with "Me So Horny". And so on . . .

So I wonder, who was this other parent who called my mom? Will I be like that one day? Calling other moms to notify them of the horrific music our kids are listening to? Or are those days over because we are numb to such titles and lyrics anymore. Tipper Gore had her day. But what now?

Oh wait, I forgot. Justin Timberlake brought "Sexy Back". ( and I didn't even know it left?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Still recovering in new orleans

This is a blog I occasionally follow and thought it was worth reading and maybe someone has the resources to help.

Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

I never mean to offend

You know how when you leave your parent's daily guidance that they are always in your head reminding you of the right thing to do? This happens to me still today at age 33. When I got married I inherited another voice in my head to guide me daily. My husband's.

He reminds me how to use correct grammar (which if you can't tell by my writing I still need to work on it) and he often tells me I am being offensive to people. (Oh. If you knew him you would think that last one pretty hilarious!)

For instance, he always tells me that when I ask people the ethnicity of their last name I could be offending them. That is not my intention at all. I am just curious. If I have never heard of a name such as theirs I want to know where it originated. I don't care one way or the other what their family heritage is I just want to be more knowledgeable about names and it sometimes leads to great conversations about that person. Living down here I tend to run into so many different last names than those that are more common up north. So the other day I was out with some gals for coffee and one of the ladies's last name was Ybarzabal. With my husband's warnings ringing in my head I went forward and asked her how to pronounce it and what ethnicity it was. Turns out it was from Spain. She didnt' seem to mind answering my questions but I immediately felt uneasy because I was thinking of my husband always telling me that it is rude to ask. But I am just curious. I am not trying to offend or be rude. I genuinely want to know about people.

Today it happened again. At my daughter's preschool they have a letter of the week and need to bring in a pic of something that starts with that letter. This week it was X. Seriously, there are 14 kids in the class. How many things can you bring a picture of that starts with an X without there being 7 x-rays and 7 xylophones? (I did a little research online and my daughter and I picked out Xebec) So later that day while reading a blog I saw the word Xanax and laughed out loud. I thought wouldn't that have been a funny one to send in. The kids wouldn't get it, but the teachers would have a good laugh. So I sent an email to all the class moms and asked if anyone thought to send that one in with a pic? If not, send it tomorrow! Then, I woke up this morning with so many feelings of guilt and regret. My husband's voice ringing in my head saying, "What if someone really takes Xanax and gets offended. What if they don't think that is so funny?" Again, it is never my intention to poke fun at someone or offend them. If anything I was making fun of myself (At least once daily I think I could use a Xanax!) and I was thinking I bet every mom feels that way and we are all moms!

So if I ever offend you or have in the past. It is NEVER my intention. I like to laugh at life and myself before I would ever laugh at you. Trust me. I am more curious about you than I am judgemental. I like to talk and genuinely want to get to know you. So please don't take offense.

The Real Housewives of Orange County needs real housewives

Does it bother anyone else that the reality show "The Real Housewives of Orange County" features a bunch of women who aren't even married. My mind is only bringing up one who is currently married. Another is seperated and the rest are either dating or engaged. So where are the real houswives?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

blogging and a quasi new year's resolution

I blog in my head all the time. See, when I am driving, in the shower or anywhere where my thoughts can go uninterrupted for any period of time I blog in my head. I always think of a topic and write it in my head and promise to go home and type it up. Rarely seems to happen. Then I started keeping a list of the topics I think of so when I am ready to write I can go back to it. But, the passion is gone and so is the story in my head. I look at the list and go "eh", not interested in writing about that now. Usually the topics are something from my daily life/thoughts that spark what I think would make an interesting blog post.

I have actually always been this way. I have written since I was a kid. Used to write short stories and such before I became an adult and life got in the way. As an adult I used to write short stories in my head while driving. The problem is I rarely sat down and put them on paper or in digital format. A shame.

So here is my blog post I wrote while in the shower 15 mintues ago. I think you will see why I decided to sit down and write it this time. (Besides the fact that both kids are napping at the same time for once!)

I don't make new year's resolutions. But, I like to say what I will TRY to do differently in the new year. This year it is to FOCUS. I want to focus on my life this year and get it under control. Since Katrina and not necessarily only because of Katrina I feel my life has been out of control. Katrina just seems like a mile marker in when it started to get crazy.

So I am going to focus on myself personally. And we all know that "If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I want to work on eating better and FINDING the time to exercise. The exercising has been the most challenging now that I am working part-time. Something had to give and unfortunately the exercise went first. I think if I focus on myself then the family life will only get better.

My second area of focus is our family finances. I used to have such a tight grip on that area and it seems it has gotten so out of control. Again, an area that I used to spend more time evaluating, adjusting, researching, etc. Now, I seem to pay the bills and let it run on auto pilot. Not good!

I am also going to focus on getting organized and completing projects in the house that I have longed to do but AGAIN, just haven't had the time to tackle them. Projects like - hanging all the black and white old family photos my hubby and I have collected from both sides of our family; finishing my son's baby book and putting pictures in it; going through the boxes of old files and paperwork that has accumulated in the corner of my room and either burning them or refiling in my new file cabinets I purchased a year ago!

This may sound a like a new year's resolution to you but it is not! It is me verbalizing that I will FOCUS this year and get some shit done! I am taking back control of my life!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Who the heck reads me?

Nolanotes writes that it is National De-Lurking Day and that if you lurk around blogs and read but never comment you should do so this week. So if you lurk around my blog and I have never heard from you I would love to! Leave a comment. Anywhere. On any post! I would love to know that someone other than the handful of regular commenters are reading me. Heck, if you have nothing to say, at least leave your blog address so I can read you!

I know you are out there. I can feel your presence . . . Hi mom.

P.S. To leave a comment, just click the "0 comments" link at the bottom of the post. Occassionally it says another number other than zero. Only on good posts. :-)

Image borrowed from Mamma Loves

Our Hobby: Finding Sleep

Last night both kids ended up in our bed. Thankfully it is king size and they are still little. The boy arrived 1 hour after we went to bed. The girl about an hour later. I spent the next four hours being kicked in the cheekbone and throat by my son who always sleeps horizontally. Usually his feet kick my husband's back and his head is jammed up under my chin on my neck almost choking me. By 4 am I had enough! I moved him back to his bed but while in transit he woke up and then required rocking to go back to sleep. So I was up another 30 minutes. Then, I carried the girl back to her bed. She too woke up and I had to convince her that when the sun came up she could come back in - just give mommy a few hours to herself!

I mean seriously, isn't sleeping the only time mom's get to themselves? I don't even get that! I want to take that time to have my own space (no one sitting on my, hanging on me or touching me!) and have my own thoughts and dreams. I want to spend that time in peace and quiet. Ugh. This mom doesn't even get a break when she sleeps! My mom always says I haven't slept in 5 years - since the first one was born.

Monday during the big LSU/OSU I was commenting to my hubby about how crazy it was our friends from Pittsburgh drove over 18 hours down here for the game. He said, "Well, that is their hobby - Football. Just like some people camp or travel or whatever." I said, "What is our hobby?" He said, "The constant quest for sleep."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Skuut over bikes, we've found something better!

My brother has always been a good gift-giver. This year he hit it big with my daughter who is almost 5. He bought a Skuut. He actually bought this gift for my son who is 18 months, but it is too big for him. It is designed for ages 2 and up.

So my daughter took over the gift immediately in true big sister fashion and she is in love! The Skuut is a wooden bike with no pedals. That is right. NO PEDALS! And it is nicely design to roll easily and glide along! To quote the Skuut website here is what a Skuut is for: "Kids learn balance, steering and coordination while quickly gaining the skills to transition to a "regular" bike - without fear, and without training wheels. "

Prior to receiving this gift my daughter asked to have her training wheels removed from her bike. I took her one time to learn to ride and it was over. She was so afraid because she didn't know how to balance. She never wanted to try again.

So we let her ride this Skuut for one week (everyday, whenever she could get on the dang thing!) and then I had her try her bike again. The transformation was amazing! She could ride wth me just holding on lightly to her shirt. I know she could ride alone but in her head she still has the fear and needs me to hold her shirt.

She wants to take the Skuut everywhere we go. The playground, the Trace, the lakefront. People everywhere stop us and inquire about what it is and are just as impressed with it as we are. She had it at the lakefront the day of Christmas and the video below shows her ability in to ride it in just a few hours!

Check out the customer testimonials on the website if you need more convincing. Some of the testimonials even say it is a great bike for kids with autism!

Happy Skuuting!

UPDATE 1/12/08 - The girl can officially ride her pedal bike with no problem thanks to the Skuut. Less than one month after receiving the skuut!

See New Orleans isn't all that bad!

My internet friend NolaNotes wrote this blog recently - Karma Must Exist.

And not that long ago I wrote this one that is similar. - There are good people in this world

So to all you New Orleans Negative Naysayers - Pooey on you! Go find something else to be negative about!