My Birthday Mirror/rorriM yadhtriB yM

Today I am 32.

32 years ago, I made a young lady a “Mom”.  (And she’s done that title proud, I might add.)

For some reason, birthdays always trigger my wee brain to reflect

To reflect on my life, and where it’s taken me.  What remarkable events have taken place in these grand 32 years of mine?  What things would I like to forget?  What’s been left undone?  What parts of myself have I lost in the void?  What do I think of the reflection that looks back at me from my mirror today?

For me, it’s so easy to get sucked into the past and all of its memories.  I am a dweller.  As in, I worry about things when it’s decision time, to the point of over-analyzing them.  (And irritating everyone around me at the time.)  Then, dwelling on whatever decision WAS made, and its impending outcome.  Good OR bad.  I have NO idea why I put myself through this.  But, the cycle is repeated.  Again and again.

So, I  force myself to take pause.  I take stock of what I have in my life right now that can make me smile.  And all that can take my mind off of all the tiresome reflecting.


Because these?

Ice pack up the shirt ~ a sure cooler-offer

Ice pack up the shirt ~ a sure cooler-offer


These goofy girls right here?


NOW I'm glamorous.  I have my scarf.

NOW I am glamorous...I have my scarf.


Are the reason I get up and face that mirror every. single. day.

Thanks girls. 

For your infectious laughter – it is the most beautiful sound to my ears.

For your constant activity – it is what keeps me on my toes.

For your never-wavering love – it is what holds me up.


For your beautiful eyes.

blue eyes

blue eyes - Mommy's match


green eyes

green eyes - Daddy's clone

In which holds the reflection of the perfect love that brought you into this world.

Published in: on September 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm  Comments (4)  

End of an Era

In August of 2002, a recently unemployed me decided to delve into the wild world of child care providing.

Little did I know that one of my little guys would stick with us until now. 

Tuesday will be our very last day with *Cal.

When I first started watching Cal, he wasn’t quite one yet.  He was just learning to walk.  He couldn’t talk.  He had never been around a dog before.  He was extremely shy.  He carried a blanket everywhere that he sucked and chewed.  The blanket’s name was “Chewy”. 

Cal has been a part of every major event in our lives these past six years.

In the time we’ve had him:

  • I watched several other children – 4 boys and one girl – varying  in ages and at varying times
  • I gave birth to Kae
  • Hubby went back to school for another Bachelors degree
  • We moved into a bigger house
  • All three kids took swimming lessons together and learned to swim
  • Noelle and Cal learned to ride bikes without training wheels
  • Noelle started school
  • Hubby got a new job, and moved
  • Cal started school
  • I took classes to renew my teaching license

Needless to say it will be really weird on Wednesday when Cal no longer comes to our house on a daily basis.  He will be starting first grade (at a different school from Noelle – same town, different schools – so close, yet so far away!). 

No more waking up to greet him as he performs a secret knock on my door.

No more boy toys (or boy play, for that matter) around these parts. 

To be honest, I’ll kind of miss hearing all about the latest adventures of any given superhero.

No more asking how many days until Cal comes back again.  (As my girls do every Saturday.)  Actually, they will probably ask SEVERAL times before the fact that he WILL NOT be coming back sinks in.

No need for the extra car seat in my car.

No need for the Transformers place mat on my table.

No need for the blue and green cup in the fridge.

And no more need for all the extra food and snacks in my house that a growing-like-crazy-little-boy-munches-non-stop.

It’s sure going to be sad, but for what it’s worth, It’s been a fun and crazy ride, Cal!  We’ll miss you, sweetie!!!

Noelle, Cal, Cal, Noelle
Noelle, Cal, Cal, Noelle


Cal, Chewy, and Noelle

Cal, Chewy, and Noelle

Cal and Noelle - stylin' toddlers

Cal and Noelle - stylin' toddlers

Chillin' on the deck

Chillin' on the deck

Ring around the baby

Ring around the baby

Christmas '06

Christmas '06

"Grown Up Faces"

"Grown Up Faces"

Fun in the Whale Pool - Summer '07

Fun in the Whale Pool - Summer '07

Slip n' Slide - Summer '08

Slip n' Slide - Summer '08

7 now, and ornery as ever

7 now, and ornery as ever

Knock ’em dead in 1st grade, buddy! 😉
Don’t forget to write!!!
*Not his real name.
Published in: on August 10, 2008 at 5:00 am  Comments (5)  

Luck be a lady…with raging PMS

Wow, has it really been 11 days???

Yikes.  Sorry about that, folks. 

I assure you we didn’t slip into the depths of the Hoover Dam.  (Though we did get pretty woozy on our “dam tour”.  Whooo, is it dizzying for two admitted acrophobics.  We were so brave!)

No.  My absence can be blamed more on not only BEING on vacation, but also on squeezing every last moment out of our time together (partly child-free) upon our return. 

That, and sheer exhaustion.  *yawn*

We really did have an all in all fabulous trip to Vegas.  The whole experience was partly what I had expected, partly not.  Everything was very glittery and glamorous.  Yet, it was clear to see why the place has been dubbed “Sin City”.  Yikes. 

The vacation as a whole?  Can best be described as a roller coaster ride.  It had its ups and downs.  It had scary twists and turns.  As well as unexpected dips and drops.  Yet, it was entirely thrilling, and left me with a big smile on my face and unkempt hair.

We were really lucky our first night (morning) in. 

First pull on the quarter slot machine?  $120.  Woo hoo! 

Second machine?  $45.  We were on a ROLL!  The winnings continued throughout the morning.

Then, hot and tired, we decided to cool down with a swim.  Afterwards, we showered, and apparently with the dust and grime, we had washed away our good fortune. 

The generous, loose slots of the morning?  Now hungry and greedy – feeding upon our prior winnings. 


And so it went.  Win, lose, win, lose, win a LOT, lose a lot.

But, we did a lot of really neat things along the way. 

We walked and walked and walked and walked – my feet will never be the same the infamous strip – taking in all the grand sights, sounds, and even smells.  (And this whole time I thought that acrid, floral smell in the deserts dome at the zoo was fake.  Nope.  It’s how the desert really smells.  Who knew?)

We played Blackjack at virtually every casino.  A personal quest of my husband’s.  Check!

We toured the surrounding sights – Hoover Dam!

We donned our dress up clothes one evening for a fancy night on the town.

And all the while we were annoying tourists snapping a bajillion and one pictures lest our memories evaporate with the scorching desert heat.

We even had our “thing that stays in Vegas” moment.  It won’t be discussed here, obviously, since it’s still, you know….in VEGAS.  Let’s just say that mixing a very tired, uncomfortable Mandy with a very eager beaver, “the night’s still young, what’s your problem?” husband – miles away from our hotel at 3 am – VEGAS TIME – is not a good combo.  ahem

Our last night there ended on a good note, though, as we won back the majority of our lost/spent money at the Blackjack tables of the Paris casino.  Our dealer couldn’t have been more fun, either.  A truly great ending to our teeter totter of a vacation.

The luck ended there. 

Coming home after vacation is always suck-a-licious.  I mean, really. 

Back to life, back to reality was our theme song for hours days after returning home.

Bite me, reality.

In the middle of load two of thirtyfivebajillion, our washer decided to conk out. 

Clothes?  Who needs clothes?

Our dryer has been on the fritz for months, and this just confirmed the notion that we needed a new set ASAP.

So, a-shopping we went yesterday.  A-same-day-delivery-fee’ing we went.  A-let’s-get-this-bad-boy-going-since-I-need-clothes-for-this-long-week we went.

A-leaking-all-over-the-thank-God-you-got-a-new-one-drip-pan-the-new washer went.


It’s not all bad, though.  We were blessed with a sweet salesman, and he is taking care of us by having another new set delivered and installed tomorrow.  Whew!

Then last night?  As I was mowing my very. last. littleteenytinypatch of grass by twilight since we had spent so much $&*# time dealing with the washer,  the mower ran out of gas.


In my haste to fill the tank, I grabbed the wrong can of gas from the garage.

(In my defense, both cans are marked “gasoline”, so yell at me all you want, dear, but I don’t think I can really be blamed.)

I poured the oil/gas mix (for the weedeater) into the lawn mower’s tank.  *sigh*

Aaaaaaand, lady luck is just laughing her ass off.






slots - whee!!


Ceasar's Palace

Caesar's Palace


Looking at the Luxor - Everything's so HUGE!

Looking at the Luxor - Everything's so HUGE!


Scenic overlook - on the way to Hoover Dam

Scenic overlook - on the way to Hoover Dam


GULP!  Looking down from the dam

GULP! Looking down from the dam


Snake on the Strip....whaaaa????

Snake on the Strip....whaaaa????


When Lady Luck Smiles

When Lady Luck Smiles


Last day - in front of The Bellagio - waiting for the fountains (my favorite thing)

Last day - in front of The Bellagio - waiting for the fountains (my favorite thing)


Bird's eye view - see ya next time!!!

Bird's eye view - see ya next time!!!

Published in: on July 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm  Comments (7)