Monday, February 27, 2012

"Hello Me, it is I"

For My Mother In Law

Author: Wendy Johnson

You are the mother I received the day I wed your son. And I just want to thank you, Mom, for the things that you have done. You have given me a gracious man with whom I share my life. You are his lovely mother and I his lucky wife. You used to pat his little head and now I hold his hand. You raised in love a little boy, then gave me a man.

We miss you, Mom. Not a day goes by that you are not in our thoughts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So... this busy mom really needs to focus. I think I need to get more cameras, or maybe binoculars to focus on everything happening simultaneously recently.

I heard about the new movie "I Don't Know How She Does It" (just watched the preview and it's ME!) and it got me thinking, how does any working mother (stay-at-home-Mom's included.... nw THAT'S work) do it? Is it any wonder why there are SO many sayings about us mom's doing it all?
Even as I try to find time to blog realy quick, I am constantly being pulled in all different directions... knowing I don't really have spare time to blog. But I'm a "list-maker," hence I conclude that this could very well be my list for the day.

Speaking of which, today's list includes:

making vet appointment for Chief... his limp came back. *pout* 9:00 am tomorow, check.
--sending invite to Annabelle's quilt show (which reminds me to look up the date... "ALT-TAB" to to search... okay. October 14th & 15th. Mountain View Church. 10am-4pm. Done

-laundry... a daily thing

-dishes. Technically this is a chore reserved for my "live-in babysitter" or the kids... but when I'm at work and cannot enforce this assignment, I run out of my iv bags (read: coffee cups)

-garden. usually my little relaxing time, however; with a quickly fading front lawn, it's more of a plea to the neighbors to not be mad at my unsightly yard and a cry for their compassion and understanding so they see that I'm trying!

okay... this is taking too long...speed-list:

vacuum, windows, garbage, recycling, bills, get DaniSue from preschool, lunch, shower, put face-on for work, commute... ahhh. finally work.

Working from 3:30 to midnight. Sad that this is the most relaxing part of my schedule. Real adults (for the most part).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ok... the big question of the day is: How can I make my kids stay kids just a little bit longer? With so many "anniversaries" happening this month, I have been really reminscing about the last ten years and all that my little family has been through. I mean, ten years ago, I was a newly-wed who was also pregnant with my first little baby. Now look at these guys!!! Danielle will be four years old on Monday, Annabelle's almost ten, and Gabe is seven. This time next year, all three of these beautiful munchkins will be attending the same elementary school. What happened? No more diapers, sippy cups, or "binkies" (pacifiers for all you non-slanguists).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get thicker hair, stronger nails, and healthier skin!

Is it time for an informercial? I guess it IS slightly past midnight...

I'm not much of a "seller" or "advertiser" at all. But I've been taking these vitamins "Nature's Bounty Hair Skin & Nails" for two months and finally have nails! Real nails that extend past my fingertips! (gasp!)

Not to mention, I am horrible at remembering to take my vitamins. So this is the best of both worlds since it appears to be an all-in-one supplement, with extra biotin (the stuff that strengthens your hair and nails) hence the name.


Just wanted to share. You can thank me in a few months... better yet thanks to Andrea, who recommended I take something with biotin when I was admiring her nails while complaining about my own.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm not much of a "blogger"

As you can clearly see, I don't post here much. I'll try to make a commitment to write something at least one a year. :)

Renner Family Update

Matt is still trying to get hired full-time as a firefighter. He's got a bunch of applications in from San Diego all the way up to Bakersfield. We are praying that he will at least get one interview, somewhere. I'm sure that if they would at least talk to him, he'd be hired. The tough part is that he is not a paramedic, he is an EMT, though. Paramedic school is really expensive and he would have to attend full-time school for approximatley 9 months. We really cannot afford for him to take that kind of time off from work right now. :( He also needs to complete a 67 hour academy, which we also don't have time to do, not with our current dept to income ratio. Prayers would be appreciated for his career advancement.

I am still working at GEICO and I really do LOVE my job! I'm on the internet team, meaning that in lieu of talking to policyholders on the phone, I get to email them. It's really nice to be able to think and re-think exactly what I need to say to propery explain procedures and offer the best coverages. I am currently working the "swing shift" from 3 p.m to midnight. It's not the best shift in the world, but I love the folks I get to work with each night! Once Danielle is in school, I will hopefully have the luxury of taking a day shift.

Annabelle is in 2nd grade and doing well. She is very intelligent and her teacher knows it. The most difficult thing for her is motivation. She would much rather just hang out in class and talk to her friends than do actual classwork. I know that most girls are like that, but in 2nd grade? Yikes! :)

Gabriel has really taking to school like he takes to everything... it's all just too easy for him. He is in Kindergarten, but that's only becuase of his age. He started of the year reading at a 2nd grade level and was even going to a 2nd grade class for English/reading (not Annabelle's class, thank goodness). And he recently moved up to a 3rd grade class for reading! That is just amazing to me!!! He really loves all sports, I don't even know if he has a favorite one. He is very skilled at baseball already. We really need to get him in T-Ball (although he can hit with ball at any speed pitched without a T). If only I didn't work nights, I could take him to practices. He would do so well.

Danielle has really come into her own. She's two and a half and her personality is just shining though. She is obsessed with all the "girly" stuff. Especially Disney Princesses and Tinkerbell. :) This was all before she had seen any of the movies, too. Silly girl. We are slowing introducing her to each Disney movie, and she really LOVES them. And she enjoys singing all of the princess songs and now she likes country songs (that's my girl!)

To summarize, life if busy, crazy, and wonderful!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tween Dora?

After Dora uproar, Nick and Mattel soothe moms
March 16, 2009, 10:16 AM EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- When toy maker Mattel, working with Nickelodeon, announced earlier this month that a "tween" version of Nick's beloved "Dora the Explorer" cartoon character would be unveiled in the fall, the response was overwhelming ... overwhelmingly negative.

Dora the streetwalker. A sexed-up version of a children's icon. A poor example for kids.

Those were just some of the terms tossed around the blogosphere after Mattel released a silhouette of the "new" Dora, whose image was drastically changed from the endearing tomboy look Dora fans grew to love, with her bowl-cut hairdo, T-shirt and red shorts. This new Dora appeared to have long flowing hair, and was wearing what seemed a scanty skirt, emphasizing her long, shapely legs.

"Did Mattel turn Dora the Explorer into a Tramp?" read one headline from The Huffington Post.

But not so fast.

Mattel and Nickelodeon both say there are two major misconceptions about the new Dora, which is not replacing the "Dora the Explorer" cartoon, but will be a new interactive doll aimed at the 5- to 8-year-old, or tween market.

"People care so deeply about this brand and this character," Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products, says. "The Dora that we all know and love is not going away."

"I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this," Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing at Mattel, says. "Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don't understand. ... I think they're going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn't what they are conjuring up."

Part of the confusion stemmed from the silhouette that was released, which made Dora look more like a Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan than a young girl. For the record, the doll does not wear a short dress, but a tunic and leggings. And while she looks older (she's supposed to be about 10), with longer jewelry and longer hair, she doesn't have makeup and seems pretty much like a 10-year-old girl.

Nickelodeon and Mattel say that as part of unrelated research, they found parents wanted a way to keep Dora in their children's lives and have their daughters move on to a toy that was age appropriate.

"The idea is Dora for more girls," Brodsky says. "The whole point was this was created because moms said help us."

But the new version is a significant switch from the Dora many preschoolers have known, aging her so the kids who tend to drop Dora once they hit kindergarten and first grade remain connected to the new character, who has a new group of girlfriends to go exploring with (Sorry, but Boots, the Map, Swiper and other characters from the show didn't make the transition).

The doll, which comes with a USB port and is compatible with online story lines that take Dora and four friends on new adventures involving the environment, social action and more, still has, as Sirard called it, the "Dora DNA."

"What would Dora be if she grew up? You'd have what you'd have before you: a very sweet, wholesome adventurous. ... She's a perfect role model in that regard."

But as Coca-Cola infamously discovered when it trotted out "new Coke" almost 25 years ago and Tropicana recently found out when it changed — then reverted to — its famous cover design after public confusion and outcry, making any changes, or even additions, to a famous brand can upset consumers.

In this case, Dora is more than a just a cartoon character. The bilingual adventurer, praised for encouraging kids to explore and use their imaginations, is a not only a TV sensation, but a global brand that attracts millions of kids through dolls, clothes, touring shows, DVDs and other merchandising and events.

"A lot of people think of Dora as something for their small kids. And part of the reason people like Dora is because it teaches their kids to be inquisitive and curious in an educational way, because no one wants their kids to grow up fast," says Jean-Pierre Dube, professor of marketing at the University of Chicago's graduate school of business.

Dube says it's not uncommon for children's characters or products to evolve and mature with their age group, but Mattel and Nickelodeon may have complicated matters because instead of aging the actual character, they are introducing an extension of it.

"What we learned from this is people really cherish and value what Dora represents, and if you start trying to license that out or extend that brand, this is a really risky thing to do," he says.

"We could certainly make a case that the public is overreacting and that they're drawing conclusions that aren't there, but there's some important information there, and that is, 'Don't mess with this brand unless you're very careful.'"

So..because I was bored and maybe someone will take my advice, I created my own "Tween Dora" from the silouette they released.

What do you think? I'd be ok if she looked like this. Don't change her "style" or cloting colors, that was your audience will still make the connection.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The pain is gone, but the worry is still there

Yesterday didn't start out so well.

Danielle and I were up most of the night. She had an on again, off again fever ranging from 101 degrees to 103 degrees. She was just miserable, poor baby.

To top it all off, around 3 am I started to feel strange. I had this piercing sharp pain in my lower abdomen that would hit really hard, then go away with no pain. It was so odd. It was so random, that I was able to sleep through some of it. Then when 'morning' came (for us that's about 6:30 am) it was MUCH worse.

I passed it off as just gas, and decided I'd be fine and I had better figure out when to take Danielle to the doctor for her fever.

Matt was pretty worried since this kind of pain for me is unusual. I convinced him I'd be ok and let him go to work. 7:00 rolls around and I'm hurting so much that I don't think I can even drive the kiddos to school. Luckily my Dad was still home, so he and my Mom came over and picked us ALL up. They dropped Annabelle and Gabriel off at school. I was getting much worse and Dad decided I needed to go to Urgent Care. So Mom took Danielle home and may take her to the doctor later if her fever wasn't getting better, and Dad drove me down-the-hill.

The drive sucked. Every bump make me hurt worse and the pain was still off and on every few minutes. Got to the new Urgent Care Center in Poway. Waited for 15 min until they opened at 9am. All this time I haven't eaten anything and I had only had 1/2 cup of coffee. Was in Urgent Care for only an hour, and I was in pain about half the time. Every time the Dr. walked in I was fine, whenever he left and the nurses were there, I was in agony. They took my blood (poor nurse, took her 4 times to find my teeny veins) then they gave me a lovely shot of a fabulous pain killer and scheduled an ultrasound.

Unfortunately, I was unable to have the ultrasound until 3:30pm. The Dr. was reluctant to send me home for fear that the pain would get worse, but there were no other ultrasound machines apparently until then.

The meds hit me about half-way home, I could still feel the pain, but it was a lot duller (is that a word?)

Got to my Mom's house and hung out on the couch the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING until after my ultrasound. :( Watched a lot of TLC's What Not To Wear and HGTV's home shows. They make me happy.

Matt left work early to take me to my radiology appointment. I totally forgot that I was supposed to drink a bunch of water before my appointment, so since I was starving, I chugged a few bottles on the drive down.

To make this seemingly long story, a bit shorter.... got to the appointment. They checked my upper and lower abdomen and found the problem.

Lucky me, I had a ovarian cyst that had ruptured. Ouch. The pain I was experiencing was the process of the burst. I guess I'm happy it wasn't anything more serious. I was nervous about the possibility of surgery, understandably.

I don't know how or why I got this cyst. After reading up on it, I guess they're pretty common. But am I at higher risk since I have had my "tubes tied"? What do I do if this happens again? Who knows. I was just so relieved at being ok, that I neglected to ask a bunch of questions.

Now I am to make an appointment with my OG/GYN for follow-up. Hooray! Maybe she will know my future risks and possible complication. :(

And just in case you were wondering, Danielle is all better this morning. Her fever broke early this morning and she's back to her mischievous self. :)