My week off.

Happy New Year!
I went to the zoo twice this week. I had this week off from work, which was very nice. I spent Monday home with two sick boys, and I got caught up on my reading some while they napped. Tuesday everyone was better, and I took them both to school. I have to pay for school this week whether they went or not, so I decided I had earned a little me time. Tuesday, I went to the Zoo. I took my camera and took a ton of pictures of the animals. It was so much fun! Also, the zoom on the lens made it feel like I was in the cage with the animals! I loved it.

On Weds I kept Landon home from school, (Ollie is only enrolled Tues/Thurs, Landon goes Mon through Thurs.) and we went to the zoo again! This time we went with friends, and it was raining! So weird to be out in the rain like that, it so rarely rains all day here. We had a lot of fun. We were there for about 2.5 hours, and once it started to get cold we loaded up and went home. I did not take my good camera, because of the rain. Instead I took my waterproof camera, so the pictures are not as nice, but we got a few cute ones of the kids. Full Zoo Picture Set Here, both days, both cameras.

I really narrowed it down, on my first day out at the zoo, I took 1,024 pictures with my camera. I only took 36 pictures on the day it rained with the kids though.

Thursday I had a Groupon that I was given by my wonderful SIL Chandra for a mani-pedi over at La Vive Nails . They were the place that was in the news last year for having the fish do pedicures! The fish were gone now, thanks to the ruling that they couldn’t properly sanitize the fish between users. I was rather amused to find my niece Nicki using her groupon for her birthday at the same time as me! I haven’t gotten to spend any one on one time with Nicki in forever, it was great to hang out with her! I also tried something new and got my nails shellaced. The polish is supposed to last at least 2 weeks without chipping! We will see, but so far, so good. I had a pedicure with a sugar scrub, which was nice. My toes and fingers look so cute!

I spent the rest of Thursday reading a book and making Buffalo Chicken Dip to take to Laura’s for Hench Dinner. It was a fun dinner, and I enjoyed staying late, as Bobby was sweet and took Ollie home so Landon and I could hang out. Landon fell asleep on the way home! Hench dinner is one of my most favorite things.

Landon had some excitement at school on Thursday, it SNOWED! His whole class got to go outside and catch snowflakes! How totally awesome is that!

Today we went out to eat at Jason’s Deli and then got Ice Cream over at Sub Zero Ice Cream. Landon requested it, even though it is freezing out there. He doesn’t normally get ice cream, but they have soy (dairy free) ice cream. He loves it. After that we hit the mall. Right now we are hanging out and doing some chores before heading over to Laura’s for a small New Year’s gathering and board game night! Should be a blast!

Also, check out the full list of Books of 2010, now complete.

Wolf!

Elephant Boys

Me and Ollie

Wet Boys

Tiger Tongue

real men wear kids

unicorn (oryx)

Pierced Rhino Iguana.

Tortoise foot!

Baby Orangutan

Orangutan artful pose

peacocks!

I love the reflection in this one

giraffe tongue!

Out for a walk

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New Years Resolutions

I didn’t really do any last year. Here are this years.

1. Lose 15 lbs. I know I can do this, I just have to put out the effort.
2. Put a chunk of money back into savings.
3. Read 52 books for the year.
4. Have done one wedding and at least 4 paying photo shoots by the end of the year.

That’s it. I like to keep my achievable.

Christmas

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Christmas and sick boys.

Christmas Eve was pretty uneventful, we had pleasant day off of work, and after work a couple of friends came over and we played Rock Band 3 till fairly late. We let the boys each open one present before bed, which Landon really enjoyed. It reinforced that Ollie wasn’t going to “get” Christmas this year, which is fine. He’s pretty young still.

I forgot to mention that Henchmas was a lot of fun, as usual! Ollie crashed out before we got to the presents, but I got some nice pictures of everyone. The pictures can be seen here, and I’ll add some of my favorites at the bottom of the entry. Also, for Solstice, Bobby gave me a new lens for my camera, I got a new lens for my camera, it’s a 50mm f/1.8D.

Christmas was good! I didn’t get a lot of gifts, mostly because Bobby had gotten me the Nikon D90 earlier this month, which as honestly way out of budget, but I’ve been loving it. Not to mention needing it for Jen Mayer Photography. Landon and Ollie made out like bandits, it’s so true. My house looks like a whirlwind hit a toy store and then came through my living room. I overspent. I feel this need to rival the Christmas of my youth, which is bad, as my mom always spoiled us and overspent as well. Anyway, after the kids opened everything up, we spent some time hanging out at the house and playing with everything. We observed Ollie was extra cranky. Then we kissed his forehead, and he was burning up. Rather than take his temp, we just dosed him with some motrin, which seemed to cheer him right up. I was pretty sure it was an ear infection at this point, he was tugging on his left ear all morning.

We went ahead and went to Bobby’s parent’s house for the Christmas gathering. Apparently there was some confusion as to when it started, and we ended up with a house full of excited boys who were running pell mell through the house, and not everyone had arrived. We gave up on the last couple of people and dove into the presents. I think Bobby’s parents really liked the clock, it is already hanging in the house. It’s hard to gage what people get, what they think of stuff, in the confusion. Ollie was not happy, so we spent a lot of time passing him back and forth. Given that, plus the fact that not everyone was there, and the fact that I’m a lot less sure of myself in the midst of my inlaws, versus the midst of the Hench, resulted in much less in the way of pictures than I would have liked. I did not pull families aside for pictures, and did not get a group shot. What I did take is here.

It was time for more motrin when we got home, which Ollie took without issue. We unpacked and tried to relax for a bit, but Ollie was very unhappy. A little over an hour after his last motrin, I observed he still was rather warm. I packed him up and went to Good Night Peds. Ollie weighs 28 lbs already. The doctor there was very fast and matter of fact, Yes, Ollie has an ear infection in his left ear. What we are going to do is give you a prescription for antibiotics, give him a dose of Tylenol, Benadryl, and drops in his ears before you leave. I said Sure! And we were out of there rather fast. The Walgreens was backed up though, when I dropped off the RX they told me it was an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Rather than hang out with Ollie we went home and they texted me when it was ready, almost 100 minutes later. Ollie had already gone to bed at that point, so I had to wake him up for it, but he went back to sleep and slept through the night till seven the next morning. (Of note, Landon had a bad ear infection on his second Christmas as well)

I however, being paranoid about Oliver with a fever, was up three or four times during the night to check on him. I got up just after six to check on him, only to have Landon stumble out of his room. So Landon and I were up at six, and Landon was rather lethargic. I suspected he might be coming down with something, but I wasn’t sure until he became fevered around noon.

To top that off, Bobby hasn’t been feeling great for about the last week and half. So needless to say, it’s been a sad day around here today. On the upside, if Landon ends up staying home sick from school tomorrow, at least I don’t have to take the day off to keep him home. I’ve got this whole week off! I hope the kids are better by Tuesday, because I’ve got a lot planned this week!

I hope the winter holiday of your choice was wonderful!

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Musing on Superheroes

Happy Henchmas!

I’m rather excited for tonight’s Henchmas dinner. It’s always so much fun to get together and share each others company and see what weird, creative, and geeky gifts we got one another.

Now, I have a theory on a couple of super heroes and want your thoughts. See, most superheroes have a secret identity to protect themselves and their families. Keeping in mind that different writers will write the characters or re-imagine them every few years, I still find myself reflecting on the juxtaposition between Batman and Superman. Tell me what you think.

I always feel that Batman is Batman. Bruce Wayne is just a façade Batman puts up with in order to fund his nights as Batman. He understands that Bruce is necessary and part of his life, but it’s not WHO he is. He’s Batman.

Superman, on the other hand, is Clark Kent. He wants to be Clark, he likes his life as Clark. Superman is a face he puts on in order to be able to save people. He’d rather not be Superman, it’s just what he has to do to keep his loved ones safe while he is out saving the world. He understands that Superman is a symbol, not a man. Superman isn’t who he is, it’s what he has to be. He’s really Clark.

So that’s my thought. What about other Superheroes? I’m always trying to decide if Spiderman is Peter or Spidey. I lean towards Spidey though. Wonder Woman is a hard call, partly because there are so many versions of her, but overall, she seems to be Wonder Woman more than Diana. Any others?

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice!
May you come out of the darkness and into the light, and may you find joy and peace in the coming new year!

Party Weekend!

This weekend has been a blast.

Thursday night my work was hosting a party for my group. My coworkers and I all got to go to Tempe Center for the Arts and have a lovely dinner together. Bobby and I dropped the kids off at Laura’s for Hench Dinner and enjoyed a date night together. I am mildly uncomfortable in social situations like that, but I managed to have a good time with Bobby. He’s very easy going and sociable, very approachable at events like that. We won a $50 gift certificate to Roy’s. We’ve never even heard of it before Thursday. It’s not the type of place you bring the kids too, so we’ll need another date night next month to use it.

Friday we were all pretty tired from staying out late, but alas, work called. I went to grab Ollie out of his room and toss him in the car Friday morning, only to discover an explosive diaper had occurred in the night. Bobby had already left for work, so I got to strip and bathe Ollie way too early to function in the morning. I got the kids finally ready to go and took them to Laura’s for the I got back in the car only to realize I’d left my work bag, and thus my laptop and badge, back at home. So in rush hour traffic I got to go back across town, and then back to work. Despite all this, I was in a fairly good mood all day.

After work, Bobby was feeling under the weather, so I left him home to rest and went back to Laura’s to run my Deadlands game. The game went really well. Laura fed me some tasty potato soup for dinner, helped me with the boys, and everything. She’s pretty awesome, that Laura!

Saturday morning I got up with the boys and we had some fun, then we got Bobby up and made a quick trip to the store before heading over to Laura’s house AGAIN for Baking Day! So yes, other sleeping and a couple hours Saturday morning, my boys were basically at Laura’s from 5PM on Thurs till Midnight on Saturday night. (See, told you Laura is awesome, and so is her family for taking care of my kids!)

Laura made us Taco Soup for lunch, and we made marshmallows, no bake cookies, popcorn balls, experimental orange candy canes, gingerbread men, bread, caramel, and other tasty treats! Also, I noticed that after Oliver’s nap, he had a new tooth! I swear it wasn’t there Saturday morning, but it was there Saturday afternoon!

Baking day rocked, as it usually does. I took about 400 pictures, just to try some different shots and see how I felt about some things with the camera. My favorite Pic was this one:
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I know, I’m weird. I got a few where I think my friends look absolutely stunning, and I posted a bunch thataway if you want to see the whole set. That set also includes our Sunday night outing, which I’ll get to in a minute.

After baking day, Bobby and I went over to the Lucky Number 13th Annual Holiday Party hosted by our friends Rosa and Brendan. The party was epic, and I met a lot of cool people, ate some tasty food, and had a blast. The White Elephant exchange went on forever. I thought the gifts were interesting. There were a few actual good gifts, and a lot of strange gifts. The rules said that it had to be something you already had. I enjoyed what I brought for the exchange! I had a five opening photo frame (a nice one!) and I printed out five pictures of Wil Wheaton from his blog/flicker account, and filled up the frame with them. I also threw in all four matrix movies, which is what I had brought home from my work White Elephant exchange the week before. I was happy to see it even changed hands once! It was hysterical to watch and participate in. We left with some loose leaf tea, (from the very hotly exchanged teapot set, turned out the final owner wanted the tea pot. I’d been after the tea!) an artists book, some cards with cheap poker chips, and a strange CD called “The Priest” that we have since misplaced. Oh and a 1968 copy of a sci-fi novel!

A little later there was a secret santa exchange. I think the person I bought for loved the gift, I hope she did! Rose actually had me, and I got such an awesome present! I got the “Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock” shirt, and an amazing Dr Who pendent.
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Also, I blame this party for making me want a tattoo. After seeing a particularly epic tattoo of a Dalek, I realized I want a tattoo of the TARDIS. I have no idea where to put it, and I’m too scared of needles to go and get one, but Dude, I WANT ONE. I’ve never actually wanted a tattoo before.

We left the party just before midnight, picked up our sleeping boys, and went home. Ollie woke up around 6:30AM, so Sunday I was rather tired. We spent most of the day hanging around the house and wrapping up the final presents (not counting the few that I still want to wrap for the boys). I took Landon out to buy Ollie a Christmas present finally. He got Ollie the Leap Frog cooking pot thing.

Once the sun set, we took the boys on our annual expedition to Val Vista Lights “Holiday Hill.” We always go, every year. When we got home I even showed Landon a picture of his first time there. The boys loved the colors and lights, and we had a very fun time.
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(More photos on Flickr)

Bobby and I put the boys to bed on time for the first time in three days and then watched one of the two Leverages that aired last night, along with last week’s Big Bang Theory. I love both those shows, and Eliot was particularly hot and also apparently has super powers.

Awesome weekend, looking forward to attempting to see tonight’s Lunar Eclipse, if I can haul myself out of bed at 1AM, and to both Solstice and Christmas!

Also, I literally did a happy dance in cube about a half hour ago when my friend who I am going to lunch with today asked if I wanted to go to Old Spaghetti Factory. Unbeknown to me, they opened up a location right by my work in Chandler! They have Gluten Free Pasta and Pasta for Landon. I love this place! We used to live right by one in Portland and I have MISSED IT. SO HAPPY!

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