Saturday, December 31, 2005

Meet Marlin

Yep, we made it to Build A bear as planned yesterday. Even with it NOT being part of a regular mall, it was pretty crowded. Thing Two knew pretty quickly what new critter he wanted to add to his collection. Marlin the Koala Bear. Thing One, as is often the case, took a bit longer and finally decided on a boxer dog. I can't disclose his dog's name. Yep, as is often the case, new friends receive a variation of his own name. So, we have loads of "thing ones" living under our roof.

So, today is the last day of 2005. All in all, it has been a good year for us. We've stayed relatively healthy, found contentment in both our professional and personal lives and have some degree of financial security. Can one really ask for more and not be considered selfish or spoiled? Yeah, I didn't think so!

Happy New Year! And well, you know where we'll be tonight: tucked in safely at home, MIGHT make it up late enough to watch the New Yorkers usher in 2006. Certainely won't make it up for a Rocky Mtn. New Years welcome!

Friday, December 30, 2005

House of Homebodies

It is a well known fact that in order to qualify for membership in the House of Chang you must be a homebody. We go to bed early. We are morning people. We prefer to avoid places that are crowded. And about our favorite thing to do is just hang out at home. With the Things being off for Winter Break, we seem to have taken this habit to the extreme. Thing One is the most content to just stay home. With hubby and myself following close behind. It is Thing Two that seems to have a bit more of a desire to go and do stuff.

So, with this being the last day of their break, I've agreed to take them to Build A bear workshop to spend their gift cards that they got for Christmas. I know,it is mostly a place associated with girls, but my guys love this place. And they've spent all week trying to decide whether they will buy stuff for their bears OR build new ones. I've not told them there is probably enough in the gift card to do BOTH!

And I of course, will take way too many pictures of the process...because you know, I got this fancy new camera and NOTHING on the immediate horizon that will require such a high tech camera. So, until then, I will practive my skills by photographing the events of every day life.

That is until I get the urge to plan another outing..

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Having a Very Merry Time...

Well, the BIG day has come and gone...and all in all, The Things had a very Merry Christmas and so did the parents. Santa must not have "SEEN IT ALL" as the boys really scored with the guy in the big red suit. As is always the case, they got the most excited about the unexpected... For Thing One: the stuffed moose that sings almost as bad as I do, a Simpsons DVD for Thing Two and a TuTu for Moosey who had been warned "if you don't behave, we'll dress you like a girl!" (Thing One had reported that Moosey was the reason for all the mischief and messes we'd discovered! Hmmmm) I've now found a new and effective threat: keep it up, and I'll dress you like a girl is sure to result in improved behavior.

So, without further are some photos of all of us enjoying the day.
In case you are wondering, hey, how can Thing Two have the camera AND a picture is being taken? Well, hubby really scored by giving me a new camera! Oh my, I guess I have been a good wife, mother, friend this year!

And as for the man in a kilt, well, if you are local, you'll know that is Dom's bestest buddy. And if you aren't local, well, seriously, they are just good friends!

Merry Belated Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Equal time for each thing...

I posted a photo of Thing One contemplating his Gingerbread Creation. But, with the templates that you use on Blogger, I can't seem to figure out how to add multiple photos to the same entry. So, here is a photo of Thing Two creating his house.

Each year they have so much fun making their houses. And, I work SO hard to keep my hands out of their creations. With a name like Martha, well, you can imagine how hard it is to not interfere with their creativity. But, I managed. And now, presenting the House that Thing Two built...

London Britches Falling Down...

That's what the Things were singing as we left the grocery store this morning. And the funniest part is: that YES both of their pants were falling down. They've inherited their father's waist line, making it a never ending challenge to find pants that fit. For awhile, slims worked but then they thickened a bit through the middle so we stocked up on they've both had a bit of a stretch in growth but not in girth and I'm wishing we had a few more slims in the drawer. Both are constantly hitchin' up their pants. They look like teens...only difference is, they don't want their boxers (or briefs in this case) showing. Here's hoping Santa brings them boys some belts! Or else, I"ll be hitting the after Christmas sales in search of pants that fit!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Ok, I'm a copycat when it comes to blog entries, but this one looked like fun.

1 Minute ago: Surfing the web, realized I should probably update the blog
1 Hour ago: Relaxing on the massage table next to my good friend Carol (which
by the way was awesome. If she invites you, GO!)
1 Day ago: Hosting a college buddy of Dom's and his two kids (good people)
1 Week ago: Winding down after my weekly volunteer gig at the Things school
1 Month ago: Wondering how I could get out of cooking Turkey Day dinner (thanks
to the H's I once again managed to get out of cooking the big meal)
1 Year ago: Ok, these first 5 were challenging enough, you expect me to remember
LAST year? Sorry...Couldn't tell you.
1 Decade ago: Hosting our wedding reception for our friends in VA...Having gotten
married out in CA the month before with just immediate family
1 Score ago: Ok, first I confirmed a score is 20 years ago, so lets see I would
be on Christmas break from my Jr. Year in college. Wasn't that
the semester the folks graciously agreed to have me and 6 of
classmates spend the night between our two clinical rotations at
the house? Yes, my parents were gracious entertainers (a trait
I'm hoping I inherited)
1 Quarter Century ago: Just finished my sophomore year on the HS swim team and
playing clarinet in the marching band. Enjoyed both greatly
although I did not excel at either.

Hey, my memory isn't so rusty after all!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's beginning to feel a lot like FIESTA time?

With Thing One doing Second Grade-Take Two this year, a lot of the things become repetitive. I recall last year being so annoyed that his class wasn't going to have even a Holiday party, but instead a Fiesta?! Ok, I ranted, that is taking this PC crap a bit too far.

Well, guess what, it wasn't his teacher being party phobic like I thought(although I still stand by my assessment she was parent-phobic!) is the "plan" or curriculum or whatever you want to call it for second grade at our area school. Their big country social studies unit is Mexico and the party marks the end of the unit of study. The teachers apparently time it to occur around Christmas: gotta have a party yes, but lets tie it into what we are already studying.

So, today was the "fiesta". And you know what? It was such a sweet event...the kids had done an assortment of crafts this past month and the teacher had the room very festively decorated. They had made serapes out of brown grocery bags. They had made woven placemates and Gods Eyes (I think that is what they are called: we made them as kids, yarn wrapped around two pieces of sticks). They feasted on tacos, beans (well, not Thing one! I was thrilled he at least tried the ground beef and had two chips). They made pinatas out of lunch bags and the teacher quietly filled them with treats for the kids to take home. And they finished off the day with a Mexican Hat Dance. Even our "stage frightened" Thing One got up and performed!

So I guess this grumpy old mom should was a very festive holiday we celebrated the culture of Mexico. This kids had a blast and really did put on a show for us parents. I'm so happy to have a teacher this year that isn't parent helps me see that my Thing is fitting just fine with his new set of classmates.

Finding My Inner Martha...

Well, I'll be...Maybe I can bake after all! For those that know my extended family, you know I come from a long line of excellent bakers. There was Grandma G. and her famous sugar cookies. And Grandma B: well, she did indeed work magic in that kitchen of hers. Yes, she made doughnuts from scratch that would make the folks at Krispy Kreme green with envy! Good thing she passed away before we all became aware of the dangers of carbs: as breads were indeed her house speciality! Both my parents enjoyed cooking and baking. But it seems lately, I've not done so well with the baking. Maybe it is the altitude: I"m living a lot further above sea level than my ancestors that excelled at baking. Maybe it is attitude: Thing Two and I are the only ones that eat the treats so I don't always put the effort into baking like I would if more of the family enjoyed the final product. Who knows...

But, with the holidays fast approaching, and Thing One being assigned "Christmas cookies" to bring to the fiesta today (ah, another topic for another mood), I figured I should give it a try.

I bought this box of mix

And guess what...all three types turned out PERFECT. They had that "holiday" flavor to them but without the hassle of measuring the flour, adjusting for altitude and so on an so forth.

Martha...giddy with success and wondering what shall she try next?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Retro Week

We'll be hosting Retro week in the Chang Kitchen this week. Yep, the microwave technician showed up Friday (actually, pretty promptly: we'd had a arrival time window from 0800-1200 and he had come and gone before I'd gotten back from dropping off the Things at school at 0800, Dom let him in). And, yes the microwave isn't working. But, he doesn't keep the part for the smaller sized microwaves on hand so he'll have to order it. Should be in next week.

So, until then it is retro week in the kitchen!
.............I'll be popping popcorn on the stove just like Grandma did
.............I"ll have to plan out my menu in advance just like my mom did to make sure things have time to thaw
.............I'll be hollering to my family "COME AND GET IT WHILE IT IS HOT" just like housefraus have been doing for generatins. Heck, I might even reinstate the use of the dinner bell!

And if we still find ourselves cranky and spoiled...well come on folks it is only a week... I think we can manage (now, if this were my TiVO there would be NO chance in H*%! I'd last more than a day without sending the hubby out to buy a new unit ASAP!)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cold and Cranky...

No matter where you live, you've probably noticed that we've had a bit of a taste of winter. Out here in the Land of Sunshine, yes, we expect winter weather. We don't expect the weather to linger for more than a couple days. We've had a run of rather severly cold much so that the snow we got last weekend is still on the ground! That is practically unheard of! Usually when it snows, I have to agree to take the Things sledding IMMEDIATELY or else you run the risk of the snow being gone by the next day.

But, it isn't the weather that is making me cranky. It is my darn microwave. I tell you: I'm cursed when it comes to small appliances. I'm on my 3rd microwave in 8 years. And right now, we've got light, we've got sound, but we've got no heat. What good is a microwave with no heat?

And a microwave is one of those appliances that you use alot more often then you realize. Want to defrost the chicken for dinner? Usually not a problem. Lately, it has been. Hubby running late with work (or gets an important work related phone call right as he's sitting down for dinner) and his dinner gets cold. Again, usually not a problem. Just warm it up in the microwave. Lately: not a workable solution. The things favorite breakfast is "cooked pretzels" (those giant pretzels that I put salt on and nuke). Yep, a problem and challenge to fix without a microwave.

Oh sure, there are ways to work through these problems but it all just makes me CRANKY!

Hopefully the technician will fix the problem tomorrow and we'll be on our merry way to defrosting chicken, warming dinner, cooking pretzels and most importantly this time of year: making Grandma Audrey's famous family fudge!

Friday, December 02, 2005

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well...the card went postal yesterday. The online ordering is complete. The tree is going up this weekend. Yep, I'd have to say, we're well on our way to enjoying Christmas!

Hello to any new lurkers! I hope you aren't too bored with my stuff. Oh who am I kidding, nobody reads this but me. That's ok, I write for that I can remember the fun stuff that happens in my life.

So, yes, I'm well on my way to my usual orderly Christmas celebration. Yes, I get those cards out early. But you have to understand the way my brain works: I can't start the baking until I've done the decorating. I can't do the decorating until I've done the shopping. And I can't start the shopping until the cards are done. For me, they are like the starter pistol to a race.....BOOM, and she's off!

And so there ya have it: I'm not really uber organized...just have an overly orderly mind and things must follow a predictable pattern! Ha, and we wonder where Thing One gets his "issues" from. Yep, that apple fell right from the Martha tree!