12.31.2010

Haiku Friday Belated Edition

A Bloody Mary
Started the day off just right
That was 9 a.m.
***
On to beer tasting
At the Ballast Point Brew Co
Growlers for the road
***
A glass of bubbly
Ring in the new year proper
With a hangover

12.30.2010

TGTBTU - Belated Edition

The Good
I had the day off which we used to drive down to see BFF & Co.

The Bad
It took us 4.5 hours to drive to San Diego from Oxnard. Traffic was a Bye-otch.

The Ugly
The Amezquitas gifted Casey with an "Ugly Doll" named Big Toe.

12.29.2010

How I Love A Good Letter

To My Landlord and The Property Management People,

This letter is in regards to our professional relationship with the employees at **** and their handyman, ****. I would just like to say that there has never been an instance where it hasn't been an absolute pleasure working with this management firm. They are always available by phone and **** even extended me the courtesy of giving me his personal number in case he needed to be contacted outside of office hours. Whenever we have had an issue, they have dealt with it quickly, effectively and professionally. Not only are they professional, but they have consistently treated us like we are not only tenants or renters but friends. Each time I have seen **** since I was pregnant, he has made an effort to ask about my son and each time I speak with **** it is always a casual and enjoyable conversation. I think that sort of personal touch is what really makes this professional relationship even more special.

I would also like to thank you for finally putting up the bird strips to get rid of what is essentially a vermin problem with the pigeons. For a year and a half we have dealt with pigeon excrement on and around the rental property, personally trying to deal with a situation that is no less than a health risk. On a number of occasions, Husband has done his best to try and hose down the nests and excrement on the arches. What a pleasure it was to see **** finally rectifying the situation yesterday afternoon when we initially asked for the problem to be handled upon move-in in 2008. With a new baby, his health is of the utmost priority to us and without pigeons nesting above our windows, I feel all of us can only benefit.

It seems like an ideal time to address the termite problem we also noticed when we moved in June of 2008. When **** took over the property, they had an exterminator come and assess the situation. He determined there was indeed a problem and recommended a tenting. Here we are, years later and there is still a very real termite problem. Our garage and perimeter fence seem to be suffering the most damage. While it is not affecting our quality of life, the garage door is quite close to falling apart and if it could be structurally reinforced we would appreciate it a great deal.

Before I close this letter I would like to note that while we had requested early termination of our lease, our circumstances have changed and we will be able to complete our lease, vacating the premises prior to June 30, 2011. We were going to have to vacate because my grandparents who are in poor health were going to have to be put into a home and we were going to purchase their house. We requested to break the lease early and were told we'd be able to work something out. Unfortunately for my grandparents, other arrangements must be made because my grandfather's health is rapidly deteriorating. Thus, we no longer are in a rush to move out of our place or into theirs while these new arrangements are being put in place. On Christmas eve we received a letter basically saying we would not be able to work anything out and we'd be responsible for the remaining months in the lease. First of all, that is in poor form to send a letter like that to arrive at our home on a holiday. I gave that notice months ago and should have been told then or I'm sure it could have waited another week. To get that letter on Christmas Eve, it was both a disappointment and a point of frustration for us.

I feel that we have been better than average tenants who have paid rent on time if not early every month. We came into our rental agreement with an overgrown and dead yard that had to be torn apart and replanted and we have maintained nice looking landscaping in the back and the front of our unit for years at our own cost. I am quite sure this small effort will go a long way in helping you rent the property more quickly when we vacate. When the most recent tenant in B was clearly destroying your property, we tried to keep you abreast of the situation not to be irritants but because in the long run he was going to do more harm than good. The longer he lived there and harassed the other tenants with his extremely loud music and drunken antics, the more of a burden you would have. It would have been nice to have received the same kind of courtesy in our time of need.

We look forward to working with you for the next six months and wish you the best of luck in filling the vacancy next door.
Have a happy new year.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: You start off with some warm fuzzies, stab 'em a little in the middle and close off with a kiss and a hug.

12.28.2010

Casey Tuesday

  • Casey is 18 weeks old today.
  • His 1st Christmas was a success. He was spoiled rotten. His gifts covered our entire couch.
  • His 4-month milestone portraits came out no less than stellar.
  • He is really into making monosyllabic grunting sounds right now. It's reminiscent of Eep Op Ork Ah Ah (that means I love you) or Ooh Eee Oh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Wall Bing Bang.
  • He and I have the pleasure of his Dad's company since Thursday the 16th.
  • On the 30th we'll depart for a 2-day visit to see BFF & Co. in San Diego.

12.24.2010

Christmas Eve Haiku Friday

Baby's First Christmas
Twas the night before at least
He's sure to be spoiled
***
He's so very wee
Yet the tree's overflowing
All gifts for Casey
***
Can't wait to see our
Apartment burst at the seams
With loads of his toys

12.23.2010

TGTBTU - Christmas Edition

The Good
I only work half-day today and from the looks of it "work" is in theory only. And the word on the street is we're all getting pre-paid Visa cards from the Bossmen today so HOLLER! Also? It stopped raining, there were no cars on the street and I didn't have to take Casey to Maria's this morning so I had time for a Caramel Brulée latte at Starbucks. Yum!

The Bad
Husband and I have to take Casey to the mall for his 4-month portraits at JC Penney's at 3 o'clock. Essentially the day before Christmas. To. The. Mall. Looking for parking oughtta be lots of fun but hopefully everyone else will be shopping instead of waiting to get their pictures taken.

The Ugly
Holiday blues or a Blue Christmas if your Elvis. This week I've not only been under the weather but utterly depressed and it has effected not only me but my entire family and most likely my friends that have listened to me be upset over it. Crying at my desk. Angry at home. It's just no good. So hopefully today is a new day and I can put all that behind me.

12.21.2010

Casey Tuesday

Casey is 17 weeks old today. He'll be 4 months old on Christmas eve. I can hardly believe how fast the time is passing. He is developing so quickly and can now really grab on to things, including but not limited to my nose, lip, his dangly toys and hair. He's making a lot more noise and I love it. Yesterday I dropped him off at home with Husband on my lunch hour and when I left to go back to work, Husband said Casey looked at him and the door repeatedly as if asking where I went. If that doesn't melt your cold, dark heart nothing will. We think he'll probably be left-handed like Husband because that's the hand he uses most to reach for things. I'm really looking forward to his first Christmas, but already he has made the holiday so much better than its ever been.

12.20.2010

Movie Review Monday

We'll start today's reviews off with the one in theaters now: Tangled. I'm a bit behind in seeing this one as it came out on Thanksgiving but normally Disney cartoon releases are a priority of mine. I will say that I really enjoyed this movie all the way up to the end. I can't tell you what the last minute was about unless I use my imagination because there was no volume at our viewing but I won't complain too much about it because we got comped with free tickets. I really like that Disney is getting a bit more modern in their fairy tales but are still able to remain true to them. Gone are the damsels in distress yet they still manage to keep a pretty good romantic storyline going. Even the songs were fantastic (atta girl, Mandy Moore!). I totally loved the wee animal friends as well. And the best part about it is, even in 2D, the movie didn't lose any of its appeal. I like that. It's a sign of a good movie when it doesn't rely on stupid tricks and just tells a great story. And I also can't wait to watch this one over and over on DVD.


Next is a movie I blogged about a while back but can't seem to find a link to. It's a documentary done by the brilliant minds at Dickhouse (a.k.a. Johnny Knoxviille): The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. We've been on a long waiting list for Netflix but it finally showed up over the weekend. From the trailer you basically think you are going to see the definition of white trash incarnate. This is sort a follow-up on a PBS special from back in the day called The Dancing Outlaw about a tap dancing, Appalachian legend named Jesco White. Instead of just focusing on him, though, they decided to do a documentary about his extended family as well: an outlaw group of law-breaking, state-certified crazies. You think they're going to be exploited for the sake of entertainment but then you really see how these people, as insane as they may act, are just like you and me with family troubles and real-life issues. It was as touching as it was jaw dropping to watch. I wouldn't recommend this to just anyone but if you like to take a look into the seedier, more random underbelly of these United States, this documentary paints quite a picture.

12.17.2010

8 Days 'Til Xmas Haiku Friday

Letters to Santa
Weepy segment on the news
Bad economy
***
Much different wish lists
For food, clothes, necessities
And gifts for others
***
Makes me feel grateful
We have much more than many
True Christmas Spirit

12.16.2010

TGTBTU - NuvaRing Edition


The Good
I can't endorse this form of birth control any more than I do. I swear I should be their spokesperson. Literally 2 months after I took that thing out I was pregnant. I had been using it for a couple years prior and NOTHING. I'd say that is some spectacular protection. Also? I think it helped dry up my boobs when I put it in after the decision was made to stop breastfeeding. Like clockwork, when I took that thing out 3 weeks later, Aunt Flo came knocking. And I don't get migraines with this bad boy like I did with the pill. Holler.

The Bad
I think the weight gain side effect is a reality. Either that or it's the PMS. Whatever is to blame, I can't stop shoveling sweet and salty goodies in my mouth and thus I believe I will be morbidly obese by the arrival of 2011.

The Ugly
While I'm glad to have a legit period again, I bled for like 10 weeks straight after Casey was born so I'm not too pumped on the idea of bleeding again after only a 6-week bloodless run. Blood.

12.15.2010

Changes

When I was younger, I always wondered why my parents didn't have more friends. I always had lots of friends I talked to or visited or did things with and my parents just seemed to have each other. I thought it was so weird and that they were kind of lame because of it. Here I am, years later, married and a mother, and I look at my life and I realize I've become my parents. Sure, I still have friends but I'm lucky if I talk to them once or twice a month on the phone and maybe if see them once or twice a year in person. We're scattered all across the country and we're busy with our own jobs and families. My husband has become my best friend and he is the one I talk to and do things with. My spare time is completely devoted to him, the baby, our extended family, chores and errands and at the end of every weekend I want to kick myself that I didn't find the time to make overdue phone calls to catch up with my girls. I find myself thinking about my friendships quite often and always try my best to acknowledge my girlfriends with emails or cards ore pictures of the baby each month. I want them to know that although our communications have dwindled, they are always in my heart and in my thoughts. Sometimes I feel a bit melancholy and mourn the loss of the girls' nights out and hour long gossip sessions that made the telephone burn up my ear but I imagine those will return in time when I am not a single, working mother for most of the week and spending my weekends trying to make up for lost time with my husband. I want to be able to do nice things like buy Christmas and birthday presents for our friends but our budget is tight because Husband and I are buying a house yet continue to live two separate lives in two separate cities. Plus, we're parents now and any spare change really belongs to Casey. However, when I say these things aloud, they always sound like excuses I'm making to justify why I am failing as a friend. I don't know what brought on this overwhelming sense of loss and sadness but here it is. Spilled on the pages of this blog to lighten the burden on my mind.

MORAL OF THIS STORY: Girlfriends, if you are reading this, please know I still love you and hold you in the utmost highest regard, I just haven't figured out how to balance my life yet. I wouldn't be the woman I am without you and can't imagine a future where I couldn't call you friend.

12.14.2010

Casey Tuesday


  • Casey is 16 weeks old today.
  • In 10 days, he'll be 4 months old.
  • He is very chatty lately, especially so at 5 a.m. today.
  • For weeks he has only woken 1 time at night, usually around 2 a.m.
  • I weighed myself then weighed myself holding Casey and we think he's about 15 pounds.
  • He's definitely wearing clothes intended for 6-month old babies.
  • Over the weekend we went to Ojai and the guy at the candy shop gave him his 1st red balloon. It got away once and flew into a tree but Husband picked me up so I could retrieve it. The 2nd time it flew into the blue sky, irretrievable.
  • We got stopped 3 times at the supermarket by 3 different people who wanted to tell us how cute our son was. I love that.

12.10.2010

Palin Hatin' Haiku Friday

Damn Sarah Palin
Why won't you just go away?
I'm sick of your face
***
And Barbara Walters,
You should be very ashamed
"most fascinating"
***
She's an idiot
Who makes women look so bad
We must boycott her

Extra: Why Husband Thinks She's Awful

She's a cartoon that totes a gun and a fishin' pole but wears short suits and pushes her tits up to look hot. She barfs out all these redneck ideals veiled under a hairdo and a complete set of teeth. And, when it all boils down, she's a full on fraud that plays like she's country and down home when in reality she's slapping every Midwestern hard working blue collar American in the face by insisting she's just like the rest of us. She doesn't even have a thought in between her ears that can come close to predicting the pulse of America, mostly because she's drunk and sick with fame-whoring and getting attention any way she can get it. She's a political Kardashian plain and simple and should be kept far away from influencing her own children, not to mention the future of our nation.

12.09.2010

TGTBTU

The Good:
Karma. Here's the scoop: I ordered something via Macy's online on Black Friday at like 5 a.m. or something stupid because I was up with Casey. The cancellation policy stated I had to cancel within an hour of ordering and when I realized I messed up the order I tried to do just that. However, unlike Amazon.com or any other commerce website I've used, there is no option to just cancel your order online which is absolutely ridiculous but whatever. I call the 800 number (which, by the way, automated dialing that takes ages to get to what you need can suck my dick) and they aren't open until 9 a.m. so I call at promptly 9 a.m. but by that time apparently the order has already been processed. How retarded is that? Seriously. They ended up shipping me the stuff, I get it a few days later and I return it to the store. Inconvenient but ultimately no biggie. Then I get an email saying they received my stuff and were crediting my account. I just figured they were confirming my return to the store. Nope. I got credited twice. I wonder if they'll catch that. Either way I'm pumped to owe no money to them other than postage!

The Bad:
Husband had to work all 5 days this week. This is the first time this has happened since before Casey was born. While being a single mother is getting easier as Casey gets older, it's no fun not having my partner-in-crime around.

The Ugly:
My hair is falling out and my boobs are deflated.

12.08.2010

Fillmore & Western Railway

A while back Husband proclaimed he wanted to cut down his own Christmas tree this year. In an issue of our AAA magazine, they highlighted the Fillmore & Western Railway Christmas Tree Holiday Train. I thought it would be a slightly cheesy yet fun way for our little family to celebrate Casey's first tree experience so I bought tickets because they were reasonably priced and we were on our way. It's about a 24-mile drive from Oxnard to Fillmore so we got up bright and early, as we would any other day with a baby who despises sleeping in, and got on the road to get to the station 45-minutes prior to our 10 a.m. departure per the recommendation. Will-call tickets were easy to pick up and I don't think we needed to be there that early but there was a holiday craft shop and a carousel and stuff to help pass the time. There were no strollers allowed on the train because it was at capacity and that was kind of not ideal seeing as we have a 3-month old but c'est la vie. Santa walked up and down the center of the train that was decorated with garland to visit with the kiddos and hand out candy canes. We were on the train for a good 40 minutes when we realized we were headed to the Santa Paula Tree Farm. What's funny about that is we had driven through Santa Paula to get to Fillmore. The drive from Oxnard to Santa Paula is about 15 miles. So... yeah... a bit redundant. I had assumed we'd be going to a tree farm that was a little further off the beaten path. I guess I'm a bit of a tree snob because I didn't find the trees all that gorgeous out at the farm but Husband managed to find a suitable one. Mind you, this was after a pretty lengthy - and mildly exhausting thanks to carrying a heavy baby - walking tour between rows and rows of trees. He claimed it was anticlimactic to cut the tree down because I was not there to watch him do it but Casey needed to be changed and fed so what can you do? There's not exactly a baby-friendly place to handle your business so I ended up changing and feeding him on a hay bail where other children were running and jumping all around us. The tree farm also had pony and camel rides, a hot dog stand and sno-cones. If you are a retard (and I will not be PC and use another word so there) and need to be told this, hot dog stands do not take debit cards. Lord help us all to remember that one should always have cash on one's self in the case of emergency. Amen. The train departed promptly and our return was only remarkable because we screeched to a halt for some unknown reason. We managed to disembark and unload the tree in reasonable time. All in all, a pleasant experience with some pretty views of orchards and California's finest landscapes but sort of unnecessary in the long run.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Skip this if your child isn't old enough to appreciate it otherwise you're just spending more time and money than you need to in order to chop down your own tree.

12.07.2010

Casey Tuesday

Casey is 15 months weeks old today and he has been blowing my mind lately. The other night we put him on his stomach for some post-bath tummy time like we always do. I looked up to say something to Husband and when I looked down he was on his back. Naturally, since I missed it, I put him on his tummy so he could do it again. And he did! I was screaming! So neat! When I tried for a third, he was over it and he wouldn't do it again last night so I don't know if it was a fluke or not but it was still very exciting. Last night I was "zerberting" (Thanks, Cosby Show!) his belly and he was laughing. Not just a little "heh" but a full on giggle. My heart officially melted. Over the weekend we schlepped him on the Christmas tree train and all over the Christmas tree farm and he was 100% well-behaved. I'm so glad he does so well when we're out and about. The only thing about a tree farm is it isn't exactly baby friendly. The train wouldn't let us bring a stroller on so I was carrying him and a diaper bag all over the place and let's just say that Casey isn't exactly light. Then I had to change his diaper on a hay bail and that was a whole other level of ridiculous. The good thing is, he didn't seem to mind at all. Love my little friend! Such a trouper.

12.03.2010

Spreading Christmas Cheer Haiku Friday

So dang much to do
Laundry and grocery shopping
Other household chores
***
Saturday the tree
Taking the Fillmore Choochoo
Chopping ours down, son!
***
Tonight and Sunday
Helping my family members
Decorate their homes

12.02.2010

TGTBTU

The Good
My darling son had a fantastic night last night. Not only did he sit nicely all through dinner out with my mother, he only woke up once at 2:30 a.m. Being rested makes such a huge difference in my life and I am sure it does in Casey's as well. I'm also stoked that Husband will be home tonight ending my shift as a single mommy until he leaves again on Monday at oh'dark early.

The Bad
My 9-year old Husky-Malamute mix is not adapting well to the idea that Casey isn't going anywhere. She's so used to being the focus of attention that she's turned into this abused shadow of her former self. I hired people to walk her during the day since it is too dark for me to do so with the baby after work but it doesn't seem to be placating her. I try to play with her and she rolls over submissively or cowers like I've just beaten her. She's constantly under my feet and as much as I know she's trying to be affectionate, her being that close to me and the baby makes me nervous and claustrophobic. It's quite stressful trying to be a good mommy to both her and Casey. I sort of just wish she'd be the old dog that is content to just lay around rather than this ever-youthful bundle of neediness.

The Ugly
Every winter when the heater comes on and the cold weather becomes dry, I get this cold-sore like blister on the inside of my nose. It gets all crusty (not to be confused with Crusty) and bloody and swells up so my nostril becomes this tiny sliver of a hole. Pretty huh? Boogers.

12.01.2010

Casey's 1st Mall Santa

When your babysitter isn't available in the morning and you have to go to the mall anyway, it is the ideal time to get your 3 month old's picture taken with Santa. Not too many people at the mall at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday. It's especially special when your son decides he won't smile for a picture but he'll smile his fool head off for the ladies at the jewelry store. Also special? The spit up on the sleeve and the fact that his jeans finally fit him.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: If a Saturday or Sunday in December was the only time I could have gone to the mall, Casey would have no Santa picture unless we found a Santa roaming the streets randomly and we captured that special moment with our cell phone camera.