Thursday, August 28, 2008

Use Mapquest for finding addresses

I'm trying to locate some physical addresses for two large companies who have locations in my city. I will make a long story very short and tell you that Mapquest was a heckuva lot more helpful than Google or the company websites. See, when you go to Behemoth Company's site, they want you to know everything but where they are actually located. Because no one should ever need to go there. Or, my word, send them a piece of mail! On paper! We might sacrifice 1/1000000th of a tree!

Anyway, all I did was go to Mapquest and put in what I knew: the name of the company and the street name. It instantly popped up the physical address, or at least a very short list of possibilities.

And in case you're wondering, the big companies I was trying to look up are not listed in my local phone book. Guess they don't want us calling them either.

It's a bit baffling when you consider the companies I'm looking up are in the business of communications.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First day of pre-school

In a word: smoooooth! The boys went happily to their classrooms and I had five hours of daytime to myself to do important things like consolidate the partially-used Altoid containers in my purse.

I took this pics this afternoon, but it's almost what they looked like this morning when we got to the school parking lot.

...and then splashed into their classrooms.

Let's hope that eagerness lasts another 12 years or so.

* Thanks to JW for that quality cell phone pic.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So busy I forgot to feel guilty for not blogging

I'm attending the Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking convention here in town tonight and tomorrow morning. It's a lot like going to BlogHer '08, actually: have a passion for Hobby, do a little of Hobby at home, go to a conference where everyone else is leaps and bounds ahead of you in their progress on Hobby, come home and vow to spend 25 hours a day developing Hobby.

Anyway, Pete and the boys are busying themselves at the Grandparents' while I feed my feelings of inadequacy on this week's Hobby, and in all the busy-ness I haven't even thought about the Hobby you're reading.


So I will leave you with this rather amusing story from this afternoon: we returned from a car trip to find some trash in our typically-manicured-and-perfect front yard. Pete casually remarked to the boys that they needed to go pick it up and put it in the trash can.

You'd have thought I'd said "...who's going to eat all this ice cream..."

I could not move fast enough to unbuckle them from their carseats amid their flailing legs. Then poor Mickey...he had to watch Alex get unbuckled first and dash out of the garage. "Nooooooo!" he screams. Then he gets released and he's off to chase Alex and the trash.

Thank goodness there were TWO pieces: one for each of them. Otherwise I may have been tearing front yard trash in half.

Hmmm...maybe a new hobby for me...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

To Football: a small favor to ask

Dear Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, and the Blind Squirrels*,

It's a mere ten days until you begin invading my TV. One could say you already have, what with your pre-pre-pre-season speculations, your pre-pre-seasons media days, and of course the pre-season games that don't really matter but your fans watch anyway. And then come the schedules around which your fans plan their lives every fall. I'll have you know I've already been informed of Big Game days when I will need to severely lower my expectations of The Fan Who Lives With Me. These dates are penciled on my calendar (because I believe he couldn't find a pen at the moment).

Anyway, because of The Fan's enthusiasm for you, I PLEAD with you: have a winning season. And if it's expected of you, and you know who you are, get a berth at the championship game.

You see, I think you don't know the power you wield over households like mine: if you win, I win. Simple as that. If you win on game day, I get sweet pleasantries and an extra skip in The Fan's step. I get a happy, happy camper for seven whole days, until your next chance to disappoint. (And by the way, it wouldn't hurt to not only win, but win decisively. One, two, three point wins are good but not the greatness The Fan expects.)

If you lose....well, let's just say it's easier to leave The Fan to his mourning until he gets over it and begins looking forward to the next game. This could take a few hours to a few days, depending on just how big you lost.

Some would say this letter is ridiculous and one's disposition shouldn't be decided by the performance of a sports team. That may be true to a point, but the fact is I married The Fan. I knew he was The Fan when I let him slip that gorgeous ring on my finger. Maybe in some way I was even attracted to it...the way kids play with matches, I suspect. Bottomline, I signed up for this gig and I make it every year just fine. Mostly.

I'm just asking for a little help here. Make my life a little easier this fall and win your conference, your league, whatever it is you're shootin' for.

And while you're at it, Big Name Quarterbacks, Running Backs, etc...don't get injured.


The Fan's Wife

*Fantasy league team est. circa 1998. The team name refers to a saying I'd never heard until I met The Fan: "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes..." Amen, honey.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lost the race so now I'm endorsing...

Sadly, I was not one of the finalists in the 5 Minutes for Mom photo contest. But Jenni at One Thing was! And who could use $500 more than a mother of 12? Get on over there and vote for her (the photo is she entered is enough to make you want freckles).

Good luck, Jenni!

Note to self: set alarm to read this in January, 2009

In the throes of the Beijing Olympics, I've sorta forgotten about the fact that summer 2008 is also coming to the end. Since summer is my favorite season, I like to daydream about it when Oklahoma is dealing with sometimes ice and snow but mostly just dreary, overcast, drizzly winter days that are too cold to amount to anything but an hour in an indoor germ-infested playground.

So sometime in January I'm hoping to re-read this post and be lifted out of the winter doldrums that I'm already dreading. What?! I really am a positive person. Mostly.

Summer 2008

1. My last summer of buying swim diapers at almost a dollar apiece. (Hear that, Alex, last summer.)

2. Swimming, swimming, swimming! This is the first year both boys could really get around a pool with the help of lifejackets. Except for nearly losing Alex, we had lots of fun and stress-free visits to Big Waterpark.

3. BlogHer '08! Pete is still wondering what I'm getting out of this whole bloggin' thing; it was nice to spend three days with souls who don't question the addiction.

4. Giving way too much unsolicited advice to my neighbor who just had her first baby (but looks like she listened).

5. Listening to Mickey and Alex have their first real conversations with each other. As much as they bicker, I believe they will soon start combining their powers for use against me and Pete.

6. The Moms' Garage Sale. I told them all I'd like to host another one next year...if I can get certain people to control themselves.

7. The front of our house finally got some bling.

8. ...and Alex graduated seamlessly to his bbb. Bless him for making that so easy for us.

9. Watching Aunt J and her family further endear themselves to my boys... spite of her idea of fun.

10. The Olympics. Wow. I never get tired of them and I truly wish they would happen every year. In prime time, please. Because watching has been like my second job.

(Okay, now I can get back to doing laundry of jeans and sweaters...)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Softest thing on the planet

My neighbor had a baby yesterday. I thought my own babies had soft skin when they were born, then I got hold of this little guy today. Like buttah, I tell ya...

Welcome home, little J!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Games of the 29th No Sleep-iad

I don't think I can take another 11 days of late night Olympic action. Thank goodness I don't have to get up and face a real job every I get to fall asleep on the sofa instead of sitting in a cubicle. Lucky for me (and my kids) Vancouver 2010 will occur in Pacific time; maybe I can handle a two-hour difference.

Instead of attempting to recap anything, though, I will say I am enjoying the brainiacs who are doing commentary. I'll leave you with these two gems. They are paraphrased to pretty-darn-close to what they actually said.

During synchronized diving:

"...we are often asked why the divers go directly to the showers after their dives. The answer is that the water in the pool is quite cold and they go to the showers to warm up, stay loose, and just have fun..."

During women's gymnastics after a floor exercise:

"...two years ago she begged her mother to let her leave the sport, but aren't we lucky she didn't because that was magical..."

Those whip-crackin' Olympic moms: what would we do without them...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy late anniversary to myself

The Home Team's blog celebrated an anniversary two days ago, but since I was busy losing sleep watching the Olympics and trying to figure out how to will Alex to a new developmental phase since his current one is having me chant to myself repeatedly "he's only two, he's only two..." I just flat missed the opportunity to thank those of you who read me daily.

And endure my run-on sentences.

Two years is a long time in Internet years, but I still feel like I'm just getting started doing this. Seems there's always something working in the back of my mind that never makes it on paper.

So maybe that's my anniversary resolution?

Or maybe I just hang on and keep writing whatever comes to me, and maybe you'll keep reading, and maybe one day my boys will read it.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight, eight, oh-eight!

The Home Team is pretty pumped about the Olympic Games starting; time to stay up late with Jim Lampley and Bob Costas and hear all those annoying and inspiring backstories about the Olympians and watch sports like trampoline and handball that are painfully neglected but for a few days every four years.

I know NBC has tons of online info, but if you're looking for a true fan who is customizing the Olympic Games experience for her homeschooled kiddos, visit my friend Stacey at Shootin Straight. The woman is freaking out over these games! So go get freaky with's quite a spectacle.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Everything's Hotter in Texas

You know, sometimes I wonder if anyone cares What We Did On Our Summer Vacation, but I promised a recap so I will try to make this as painless as possible for those of you who have better things to do:

The Agenda: Ride the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas. Rent a car and drive to Pete's very sweet cousin's home just a few minutes from the station, and stay there for three nights. Go to Six Flags and a Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees baseball game. Swim at my sister's house in Fort Worth while Pete golfs with business associates (whatever!).

The Train: None of us had ever ridden an Amtrak train. Ever. To say we didn't know what to expect...well, understatement of the year. For example, we took seven pieces of luggage. Monumental mistake, unless you also pack small UHaul. Seems the passenger is responsible for loading and unloading, not luggage handlers. And by "passenger" I mean Pete. He was not a happy man by the time he sat down in his seat.

But then the seats...oh, the seats were heavenly. Maybe they made up for the manual labor as we boarded. Can you imagine having this much legroom on an airplane?

I had packed a bazillion snacks and activities for the boys and they were happy most of the time. Then about two hours into our four-hour trip, Conducter Man informs us there will be a two hour delay. For freight train traffic.

That's when the wonderful seats weren't so wonderful anymore.

But we endured; the boys endured. And we had cell phone service so we notified Pete's cousin and I sent text messages to the family so they could have a laugh. It was all fine when we got to the station only six hours after shoving off. Then we had to contend with the luggage once again and wait in the train station while Pete took a cab a few blocks away for a rental car. Longest 30 minutes of my life.

So yes, we took the train. Yes, the boys got a big charge out of it.

(And yes, we forfeited our return tickets, rented another car, and drove home.)

Six Flags: A blast! HOT! Record setting temp that day for Arlington. I felt a little nuts for going but oh, my...Mickey was LOVING the rides. Alex, not so much. At one point I spent 20 minutes in an air conditioned gift shop while he rearranged necklaces on a rack. Maybe that attraction should be listed in their next brochure. Oh, he liked a couple of rides, but then there were these moments:

(Calm down, wasn't all bad!)

(What, you can't tell he's squealing with excitement?)

Mickey, on the other hand, was grinning the whole time.

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees: HOT again. But our seats were in the shade so all we had to contend with was the heat and not sunburn, too. We left Alex with my sister (who I love) and Mickey ate up all the kid-tivities there. We lasted through the sixth inning and missed the exciting finish in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Grand salami by the Rangers to win the game. Nonetheless...

I'll let the pics speak for themselves:

And lastly, that would be Alex Rodriguez. (What's that saying about being married, not blind?)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: paint pushed to its limits

Since I have so many pics from the vacation, I thought I'd participate in 5 Minutes for Mom's weekly carnival for photos.

Home Sweet...

...unpacking, sleeping-in-our-own-beds, playing-with-our-own-toys, what-am-I-gonna-fix-for-dinner...


Pics and details to come. Just let me figure out where my camera is...

Monday, August 04, 2008

I love my sister

She just set me up with her laptop. And chocolate coffee. And she's watching the boys while I get my computer fix. And chocolate coffee.

And I just heard her say "...yes, we can play that!"

Details on the trip to come. Unless I melt from the record temps here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

...yeah, and ya'll know I'm lyin' cause it's only 9:30 and no way could anyone with kids be packed that early the night before a vacation.

So yeah, we're almost there and of course it'll all get done, just a matter of how much sleep we get.

Bottomline to this post, and there is one, is that it's looking doubtful I'll be taking the laptop. The load is increasing as I speak so I must start eliminating things. I may get online Monday or so but no promises. Try to live without me for two days.

Ya'll be good and I'll be checkin' in soon.

Photo contest at 5 Minutes for Mom

Update: 5 Minutes for Mom will select finalists and then the internets will vote. That means you. I will post the news here if my photo is selected for the voting round.

One of my favorite sites, 5 Minutes for Mom, is hosting a photo contest with a summertime theme.

I know, the photo below has made an appearance on this blog once if you've seen it you can go about your business.

If you haven't, this is my littlest son. In this picture he looks like he's about to kick back and relax in that (freshly watered and mowed) green grass, maybe have a leisurely conversation with his brother while lounging on a lawn chair and sipping some lemonade.

But you'd be wrong.

This would be the nanosecond he was standing still, since walking out the front door of our house is like flipping a switch to run-around-as-fast-as-I-can.

So I like this picture because it captures him standing still. But if you look really close at his eyes you can see he's got fleeing on his mind...