Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ok, so maybe I"m not soo spoiled...

Yep, I'm resorting to a dial up connection to check in online. Freely admitting now I've got me an addiction problem when it comes to all things gadgetry! While the condo has an Internet cafe, they charge an arm, a leg and might even want to hold a kid as a deposit to use this service. So, instead, I"ll give ole dial up a try. Gotta save my money for those $8 margaritas ya know (served in a lovely plastic cup, with only a hint of booze noted in the entire thing).

Seriously, we're having a lovely time. The trip out here was uneventful. Except that the movie they were showing was Happy Feet. Hello: it is a nighttime flight, filled with kids who not only want to sleep, they need to sleep. And yet, United offers this very kid friendly movie for free. Luckily, Thing One didn't realize he needed to change the channel to hear it in English so he gave up and went to sleep when he realized his Spanish wasn't good enough to appreciate this movie. We did manage to all catch a couple snoozes.

The vacation is going great. The cousins have just picked up where they left off and are playing like great pals. They've played mini golf, shot a few water basketballs hoops, checked out the Lazy River and watched fireworks at night (we're on the back end of Magic Kingdom, so we are enjoying a very obstructed but totally free show). Yesterday, we visited Grandpa's house. House is a term used very loosely but luckily he's decided to move on up to a bigger place so just maybe this will be our last visit to his winter "campground". (for those who love camping, I do to, but just not all the time). We also checked out a Carriage museum where Gramps works as a docent. He gave the kids a very nice personalized tour and we all learned a thing or two about horse drawn carriages (who knew there were so many types?).

But without a doubt, the highlight of the trip has had to be the Hippo. A giant inflatable water slide. The boys just can't get enough of this thing...

Here I go, try to upload a photo. Do I have enough patience to wait? Fingers crossed...Sorry for the tease, Blogger isn't cooperating with my attempts to load my large images at such a slow pace. Will try later on.

And now I"m off to get ready for another day of soaking up the sunshine...

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Red Eye

The Things and I are flying out tonight to spend a week with family in FL. I need to file this under the "what was I thinking?". In theory it should be fine. In reality: well, since Thing Two is just like his momma when he gets tired, it could get ugly. When he's ready to sleep, he's ready to sleep and any attempts to tell him otherwise will be greeted with loud sounds of frustration.
Fingers crossed that it all goes well.

But, if you hear of some middle aged woman getting kicked off a flight because of a cranky thing, it might be me.

In my usual pre-trip frenzy to try and catch up on all unrelated tasks, I looked down at the boys yesterday and realized they were looking rather shaggy. Not totally over due for haircuts, but if we go to the ocean (which is part of the general plan), we could find ourselves dealing with lots of sand in their hair. So,we made a quick trip to the hair cut place for their buzz.

Thing Two announced to the lady, "Give me my summer buzz, not my winter one, OK?".
Ah, he's his daddy's son after all!

Not making any promises about updating the blog. I'll have the stuff do it but timeshares are notorious for having limited Internet access. And I'm way to spoiled to put up with dial up unless it is a true emergency.

So for now, I'll sign off and catch ya'll when I can....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Seeing Double

I get asked a fair amount if the Things are twins. Between their genetics (one is blessed with his mother's short stature, while the other one we're hoping has inherited his dad's genes for at least average guy height) and my habits (might as well out myself, because if I don't, Hubby will: but yes, I often dress them similar if not identical and they sport the same haircut), I understand why people get confused.

No, they aren't twins but they sure look like they could be is my standard reply. People don't like learning their guess was wrong so I've learned over time to reassure them that their vision isn't failing them.

Today was our track off day and as is school tradition, we had the awards assembly for quarterly achievements in math and reading. Thing One knew he'd earned the final math prize: a t-shirt. Poor fella had been stuck on that last test for weeks!

But Thing Two: well, as a first grader, this whole math master stuff is still a mystery to him. Imagine my delight (along with his older brother's) when we learned he too had reached the final prize.

And of course, I was there with camera in hand to capture it all. Because well, sometimes a post is worthless without pictures, eh?

Yep, they sure could pass for twins today...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And then there was one...

*One day until Spring Break starts
*One lone daffodil announcing it is Spring Time in the Rockies. Will he remain alone? One doesn't know here in Colorado. Mother Nature can turn on us in a moment, and dump loads of white wet stuff. But for today, we enjoy.
*One clean house. I'm going through my pre-trip cleaning frenzy. So, the floor has been mopped, the basement carpet has been steam cleaned (no more smells like wet garbage), the craft room straightened up and well...that's good enough for today.

Speaking of craft room: I've had my altered art up on the wall for a couple weeks now. But, I keep forgetting to snap a picture when the lightening is right. I'm rather pleased with how it all turned out. I plan to add a couple more items to this wall grouping but it is a good start. I forget how good it feels to do just a few different things now and then to the home decor.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My turn for a pet peeve...

She sends me an email with a smidgen of gossip in it...and then doesn't reply to my request for more information. Or even validation that the people sharing the gossip are the ones that I'd guessed. What's up with that? Doesn't everyone know I am the Park View Woman in the Know? How can I maintain this role without all the details?

You'd think she has a life or something...
Maybe after we track off...which is in just 3 short days! (because another pet peeve, someone who starts something fun like a countdown and then BOOM...fails to finish. Leaves us hanging...just like with that juicy morsel of gossip).

Giggle Giggle...if you read this locally and see yourself in this post, you betcha I'm blogging about you! And it really all is in good fun. I'll keep my own personal rants to myself, thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pet Peeves

My good pal and fellow blogger Colleen recently posted a great rant. After I got over the initial moment of panic that she was talking about me, I thought "hey, that bugs me too!". Why is that? One moment, it isn't my pet peeve, and next thing you know, I'm noticing this bad habit in everyone and getting annoyed with them right along with Colleen. Go Figure!

She who laughs...

This week's blog challenge:
  • write about the last time you had a really good laugh. A belly laugh. A laugh that took your breath away. A laugh that starved you of oxygen and gave you a headache. A laugh where you tossed your head back and really let 'er rip.If you can't recall a time when you've laughed that hard, then figure out WHY NOT, and write about that.Laughter.It's good for the soul.If only it burned more calories

At first I thought, hmmm...when did I laugh last? I snicker, giggle and smile more often than belly laugh. And when I do go for the belly laugh, well chances are alcohol was involved. My hubby and Thing Two are the Laugh out Loud laughers. Thing One is the social laugher. Half the time he has not a clue as to why everyone is laughing but he's right alongside them all, laughing it up.

Yet sadly, every little laugh I've enjoyed these past couple days just doesn't make it to the written word as well as being there. There were the jokes about my friend's teenaged daughters and their beaus (making up knicknames for their boyfriends based on their personality quirks). There were the jokes shared between Husband and Wife that probably don't need to be broadcasted on the world wide web. There were the snickers as the kids in the cul de sac performed a little play for us grownups this evening.

Without a doubt, there is always something worth laughing about. I even noticed the neighbors outside Sunday evening, sitting around their table, laughing. Seeing them return home in the funeral limos, it looked like laughter was the last thing on their minds. But as with everything in life, once you take time to laugh, you know that happier days have got to be ahead.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Top of the Morning to you all from the O'Changs..

It is indeed a lovely day here in the land of sunshine. Yet despite the warmer days and little hints of Spring popping through the brown earth, there isn't a whole lot green to be seen. It could also be that I did a really crappy job of putting my backyard to rest last Fall. All the debris from last year needs to be cleaned up I suppose.

As for us, well Thing One, whose real name might suggest he REALLY would like today, has decided he hates it. He said that people pinch you which is mean, they drink too much and do silly stuff and he doesn't like being named after such a day. He's also most upset with us for naming him after that stupid guy on Sponge Bob. I keep telling him he was named first as we wouldn't have intentionally done that to him. But, he's not buying it. (I just looked it up on wiki, the show premiered a full 2 years after he made his debut into this world. Thank heavens, or else I might have just a hint of guilt!).

Thing Two on the other hand is all about the mischief that comes into play on this St. Paddy's Day. He wondered last night if the leprechauns would visit his room while he was sleeping. I remarked it would be hard to tell because the state of his room is currently in chaos. Wishful thinking on my part that this might inspire him to clean up his room. He's dressed in green from head to toe and even has loaned his stuffed Homer Simpson dude (my son doesn't play with dolls I'll have you know) a bathrobe belt that is green because he doesn't want Homer to get pinched.

Ah yes indeed, there are those days when the Chang boys are indeed ying and yang...
As for us grownups, we're hoping to enjoy a wee bit of Irish cheer over at some neighbors house later on this afternoon.

So until next time I leave you with this Irish Toast...
  • May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead .

Thursday, March 15, 2007

According to Thing Two...

"Brother, you don't know anything! You can only call it snuggling if you have someone with you!"

Our evening bedtime routine is to "talk about the day". I snuggle in with Thing Two and we chat about what the favorite part of his day was. Thing One is usually not interested. But tonight, he decided he'd go for the snuggle. Only problem was, he announced in his overtired grouchy voice "alone!".

That's when his younger, yet perhaps wiser brother pointed out the flaw in his plan.

Oh how I wish I could bottle up his sincerity and kindness so when he hits that next stage, I'll be able to remember the time when he was my sweet little snuggling pal~

On a much more somber note: all you mommas out there: no matter what: cuddle up and snuggle with your children whenever you get the chance! For tonight we learned that the neighbor kid (a 20 something college kid, living with his sister while going to school) was not able to overcome the serious injuries he sustained in a car accident almost 2 weeks ago. I can only imagine the heartache his family is feeling tonight and for many nights to come.

Gotta celebrate these little moments for sadly we never know when that's all we'll have left of our loved the memory of it all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Flying Finger...

*this post is dedicated to CFD. She's feeling all "Barb-ish" in that she's usually the last to update her blog but today she's the first to update. So, yeah, this one's for you, sister wife.

As I escorted my students to the cafeteria, my own son, Thing One, comes searching for me. Just barely holding in the tears, he said "Mom, I've got to tell you something". OK, walk with to me.

It seems as if he was sitting in class, listening to his teacher, with his head nestled in his hands. He had a finger from each hand stretched out, touching his cheek. But sadly, it wasn't just any finger. Yeah, it was THAT finger. He of course is clueless. He's just listening. Well, mostly listening, with a dash of cutting up sprinkled on top.

But a couple of his classmates noticed and they knew which finger that was. So, they started to giggle. And the more they laughed, the happier this made him feel, so he started to ham it up.

That's when his teacher stepped in. She pointed out that this was an action requiring immediate contact of a parent. Did he want her to call me? Oh no, he was scared. A phone call to mom means no special lunch delivered on Friday. I could tell he was still rather dazed and confused by it all but took it like a man, and stopped the action. But, he wanted to tell me before I got the message from Mrs. D. (have I told you how much I love his honesty?)

Of course, I didn't get the full version from him. All I got from him was the choked back sobs that he was doing something that made his teacher angry and he felt really bad. I told him "just be sure to apologize and we'll figure the rest out later on".

Later in the day, I ran into his teacher and she kindly filled me in on the details. She of course agreed he had no clue what he was doing was wrong in the first place ( well, except that he shouldn't be acting like the class clown. But as for flying the finger: totally clueless! Yeah, that's my boy!). Yet at the same time, the gesture is inappropriate whether you are clueless or not.

So, today my son learned that there are ways to call someone a bad name without ever opening your mouth. Hopefully, it will be years before he learns what that really translates to.

And I learned that we've all made a lot of progress this year...and for that I'm most grateful.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Where did that extra hour go?

Cowtown Stacy challenges us this week with: We had an "extra hour" of daylight today. How'd you spend it? Any regrets? If so, describe how you'd spend it differently, given the chance. ('Cause you have another chance tomorrow!)

Extra hour my buttocks! I'm a morning person. I found little to celebrate with this time change. In fact, if anything I found myself frustrated.

My most productive time of the day is in the morning: I thought I was making great progress yesterday when I realized "It's 0900 already? Seems like it is only 0800"

And if you are early eaters like we are, dinner time arrived just too darn soon. What? Time to fix dinner already? But, it seems like only 4pm.

And if you are a control freak who likes her boys washed, jammied and in bed by 7:30pm, all that extra evening daylight just does nothing for you!

And well this morning, was just rough getting my morning boys up and moving and still have time for them to do the things they like to do before school.

And as I was starting to grumble to my walking Buddy she shared with me "if you think you had it rough, try having a night owl! He did not want to go to bed last night. No how No Way!"

So there ya have it, we both agreed Springing Forward provides us with little added least as long as school is in session and routines must be followed.

Now what has put a smile on my face is the clear blue skies and the windless 70 degrees out there. But, I'd be enjoying that just as much without the added hour to go with it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Crop Crashers

Yesterday my friend and I decided to crash a scrapbooking retreat that TZ (my friend and fellow blogger) was attending. I mean: come on, how dare she go somewhere without bringing the entire neighborhood gang along? (just kidding, I seriously think it is neat that she makes time to spend with one of her dearest friends. You know that whole girl scout motto of make new friends but keep the old. See, already I 'm learning from my son).

As we are visiting with the two croppers, we start grilling The New Girl. Where are you from, where did you grow up. All those initial chick conversations. Hoping to find some common connection (which we already had because well, she's a mom, who scrapbooks and loves Big Love.) Next thing you know, we've moved on to her husband's bio. When she said where he went to high school, Carol and I both chirped in "I wonder if he knows Allison" (a neighbor who has since moved away but another real fun friend).

Well, we call up hubby and sure enough he knows her. In fact, had dated her for awhile back in the mid 1980s when they were both in high school (yeah, I know I was hanging out with kids yesterday). Imagine the odds? I mean, we do live in a rather large metro area and on the other side of town from where these newly minted friends grew up.

So, now everybody join in the chorus...It's a Small World After All...

To thine ownself be true

I'm joining Thing One for lunch on Friday. His buddy Ry-guy sits with him. We're chatting and I notice he is rolling his eyes. I thought only 9 year old girls did that, but apparently boys do it to. So, I asked him "what's up". He said "Oh Park is mad at me because I"m eating with Thing One". In my innocent mom voice I said "well, he can certainly join us". To which he answered "No, you see Mrs. C, he doesn't like Thing One".

Now, I'm fighting back the tears, with Thing One sitting right next to me. How could anyone NOT like my very lovable child?

When suddenly Thing One enters the conversation with the very proud proclamation "Yep, that's right, he doesn't like me because I chat chat chat. That's me, Mr. Chatty". Not even the slightest glimmer of disappointment with the reality that not everybody is his friend.

Yeah, us moms could learn a thing or two from our kids, couldn't we?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Life is in the details...

A few little things to be happy about this morning. (gotta find the positive since my cold is still lingering).
  • There are little tips of green poking their heads out around my Aspen tree. Could it really be possible that tulips and or daffodils will be arriving soon? Gosh I hope so.
  • It was warm enough this morning that the Things rode their bikes to school. The weather man said that yesterday's temp above 60 was the first time we've reached that level since early December. Gotta love the warmer weather that is finally starting to become more frequent.
  • Walking home, I heard the birds chirping and the knocking of a woodpecker somewhere off in the distance.

Spring: I can see it, I can feel it and I can even hear it. By golly, she's on her way! Yahoo...

Other good news to report in the tooth department: Thing Two conquered his fear and wiggled that tooth right out of its double parked spot. Bless his heart: he didn't want the dentist to help him with his special tools so he kept working it last night until finally he started to grin from ear to ear. He barely freaked when he noticed the blood that came with it. I too am over the moon and gladly paid on my promise of $10 if he pulled it himself. I figure the dentist would have charged me ten times that amount AND I'd have had to endure the pain and suffering of taking Mr. Anxiety in for the removal. Yep, priceless I tell ya!

So, what little detail today put a smile on your face?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just one word

This week's blog challenge
  • Have you ever tried to describe yourself in one word? One word that sort of sums up who you are, what makes you tick, what sets you apart. It's not as easy as you think. As women, we need to spend more time recognizing and celebrating the talents and positive traits we've been adorned with. Whether we're suburban upper-middle class moms or urban, poor, living-the-moment teens - we all have one thing in common: we're beautiful women with amazing talents, unbridled potential... and we're fabulous, baby. Fabulous.Go ahead. Describe yourself with one word. Then ask three other people to describe you, too. Celebrate yourself. I dare you!

Kind. Yep, I'm a kind hearted person. Although it isn't always easy, it is what comes most natural. I feel gifted in being able to read the cues of others and find ways to be helpful. Helping others makes me feel good about myself. Now one should note that being helpful is totally on my terms. I'm pretty good about setting boundaries and establishing limits (at least eventually I figure that part out). I will be your go-to girl for only so long and then....well, times up, you've exhausted your limits of Martha kindness.

So even on those rough days when I really want to give someone an earful or a dose of their own medicine, I find myself choosing the safer approach and just "smile and wave". It just isn't worth getting all worked up about...because well, my kindness ends up making me feel bad for spouting off. Even if they deserved it in the first place.

OK, now the rest is up to you all...using just one word, describe me. But remember, be kind!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Even if I can't hear you...

I still love you! That's what Thing One told me this morning. How sweet is that? Yeah, he knows tomorrow is allowance day, he'd better start "kissing up!".

I've caught the neighborhood crud and although I don't feel all that terrible, I sound horrific and that's what prompted his comments.

On another note, a shout out of thanks to my sister. She sent Hubby a care package and he remarked "see, she loves me, she takes care of me!". That's because apparently, they still sell Twisted Cheetos in Michigan. What a special treat for him and it arrived on a day when he most needed a treat (working on a problematic server for one of his customers). Thanks again, Laura!

Yesterday marked Dr. Seuss's 103rd birthday and we celebrated by going to see the area high school perform Seussical the Musical. Thing One was fascinated by it all. Thing Two is more like his dad and not all that into the musical theatre. He announced there was "too much singing". But, he hung in there until intermission when his kind and caring father rescued him. Of course, it doesn't help that Thing Two is very much like his mother and enjoys and prefers his early bedtime. He was tired on top of having to sit through a bunch of singing. All in all, it was a good evening.

I'm predicting it will be a quiet weekend here for me but hopefully a little bit productive.
Stay Warm and germ free...

Friday, March 02, 2007

February Round Up

I saw this idea on another blog ( )and thought I'd give it a try. She calls it her monthly Round Up and it looks like a good strategy to use and might help with the issue of memory fatigue (doesn't that sound better than can't remember crap?). So, here it goes. Sadly, it shows what a boring family we are!

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

  • For books, I managed to finish Full House and Full Tilt by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughs. Not really great works of literature, but fast and fun reads. Sometimes that is all you need/want when it comes to reading. People gets read weekly because I just really like my celebrity gossip.

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?

  • You've gotta love that February is sweeps time on TV ! Our TiVo list always had something new to watch. I got my fill of my favorite shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives (although that show is getting tiresome), CSI (all three versions) along with House and 2 1/2 Men. I didn't take in any movies at the theatre, but watched a couple DVDs (I, Robot and Garfield with the guys in my life) and of course Big Love. I even found a couple afternoons to catch the Ellen Show and I try to get my morning fix of The View (at least the first 15 minutes of Hot Topics. Yeah, I know...just more signs of my addiction to celebrity snark).

What special days did I celebrate and how?
What gifts did I give and/or receive?

  • I"ll group these two together because A: Blogger is being difficult this morning and I just want to get on with some other tasks. And B: they sort of go together. We celebrated Chinese New Year and Valentines Day although neither holiday resulted in gift exchanging. We've never really done presents for Valentines Day. Most years, we go out for dinner for Chinese New Year, but this year, the Visa bill from our January spending spree (vacation and a fancy snow blower) came that same week. Spending more money just didn't make sense, ya know?

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

  • Well, of course there was that issue with the cysts. That was more than enough medical excitement for all of us.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?

  • We managed to get the gang of Merry Wives together for an evening of crafting. That's always a fun time. Got together with a couple friends for after school play dates and coffee. But not much beyond that. With continued winter weather, we are still pretty much in hibernation mode and don't get out and about as much as we really should.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?

  • Thing One tried and liked lasagna. Well, not loved, but he's making continued good progress in his willingness to try new foods. Can't say I tried anything new this month but did pull out the crock pot for a few old favorites meals that I hadn't fixed in awhile. Gotta love smelling dinner simmer all day long. Yum Yum.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

  • Actually been sluggish on the spending. Between vacation in January and Spring break later this month, it seems prudent to put retail therapy on a hold for now.

What were this month's disappointments?

  • There will always be those little disappointments in life. I prefer not to dwell on them in a blog format.

What were my accomplishments this month?

  • In crafting, I managed to help the Things make over 50 valentines. I tried my hand at Altered Art (and once it gets hung up I'll share pictures with you). Scrapbooked about 6 pages and managed to get the pictures from last month's vacation printed. In home stuff, not so productive. Just more of that hibernation excuse I suppose.

Anything else noteworthy to record?

  • Not really. Just ready to say goodbye to winter. I had hoped to head out and get some errands accomplished. But, it is cold outside and the coffee is warm in here. Whatever is on today's list can easily wait another day or so. Sadly, that's been a theme for more than the month of February.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Our morning surprise...

A Delayed start to school!!!! YAHOO...
I just hopped onto the computer just to see. Thinking maybe but probably not.
There, in bright big red letters: Delayed Start...

Yeah...I think I will have that extra cup of coffee...