Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Scare

This poor kid's pic has gone viral since the outbreak...

Over the weekend, the president tried to assure everyone that this new strain of swine flu is a "cause of concern, not alarm". News reports spiral on the first documented death of a toddler in Texas this morning, after having traveled over from Mexico.

It's all over TV. It's all over the radio. It's all over the net. It's all over....

I'm in California for pete's sake. Every other person here probably knows someone who knows someone who have recently been to Mexico.

Case in point:

Just found out this morning that one of the guys that work for us is getting tested as we speak for the swine flu. He went to Mexico over the weekend and came back sick. I'm not sure how long the process is for finding out if you're infected with the virus... but we're all getting somewhat nervous. I'm hoping they shut down the office and desensitize it, but most and foremost, I hope he doesn't get tested positive.

The World Health Organization just raised its alert this morning another level -- two levels short of declaring a full pandemic. News reports also confirm that the virus is being transmitted human-to-human, not pig-to-human. Forgive me for not craving for pork chops, but I think I'll stay away for now until all this is over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is Your Emergency?

A few months ago, Ethan picked up the “You’re not my friend” bit from school and would strategically use it against anyone that does anything he doesn’t like.

Lately, his threats have escalated to “I’ll call the police on you” whenever he doesn’t get his way.

When my brother was 3-years-old, he called 9-1-1, told the operator “my sisters are being mean to me” and hung up. They traced the call to our house and sent patrol over to check on him. My mom finally convinced them that was no harm done, and he just learned how to call the police if something bad happened. They let us off with a warning.

So I guess we’ll hold off on teaching him how to call 9-1-1 for maybe another year.

Last thing we need is Ethan calling the police whenever we put him on time out.

FREE Chicken at EL POLLO LOCO: Tuesdy, April 28th Only

Details from the official El Pollo Loco website:

Taste the Fire® for FREE
at El Pollo Loco on April 28

Official Rules

  • The Taste the Fire® Offer (“offer”) consists of one flame-grilled leg and one flame-grilled thigh, two tortillas (choice of flour or corn) and fresh salsa.
  • Offer is available upon request only.
  • Valid only at participating locations.
  • No coupon necessary.
  • Limit one offer on April 28, 2009 until 8:00 p.m. per customer.
  • Must be present to receive. Sides, drinks and breast substitutions are extra.
  • Available for walk-in orders only (dine-in or carry-out). Not available for delivery or drive-thru. While supplies last.

Remember: CALL before you make the trip, to make sure your local store is participating.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend at the Gaslamp District

Just before the free hotel stint went kapoot, I managed to book a couple of free hotel rooms spread out for the rest of the year, including this past weekend in San Diego. Not just anywhere in San Diego, but right smack in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter (aka Gaslamp District)… which was a perfect getaway, even for just an overnighter.

After eating $20 to valet, we set out to discover block after block of bars, lounges and restaurants.

View from the Ramada rooftop just before our drinking binge...

This is us before hitting happy hour at the Double Deuce...

Alcohol makes you do stupid things....

Yes, Sissy's hat does say "I put out"....

Roro looks a little drunk, even if he wouldn't admit it....

View from our rooftop before we retired for the night....

Our First Offer

We’re putting in our first offer for a house this afternoon! I know I shouldn’t be getting all emotionally attached to the house, since it’s never a guarantee… blah, blah, blah. But I can’t help but get excited that we’re on our way to finally getting our own home. It is after all the American dream, isn’t it?

We’ve only been searching for 2 weeks (seems like forever) and have seen about a dozen or more houses across two neighboring cities. Many had potential, some were just “ok”, and others were just too disgusting to even talk about. This was the first house that we both like that is within our range – in the lower end of our range, even. It fell off escrow on Friday, our agent told us about it immediately, and we looked at the house first thing Saturday morning. Spent Sunday mauling over the “big” decision, and concluded that the only deciding factor would be my commute to work. So I woke up really early this morning, went to the house, and timed my commute from there. It took me roughly the same time to get to work compared to what I drive now, so at 8am this morning, we gave our realtor the green light.

Only to find out that someone else had made an offer late Sunday night and so we’re technically not “first in line” but we were assured our offer will be considered just the same.

While we’re hopeful about this one, we’re not wasting any time. There’s another house that went on the market today that we’ll be looking at.

We’re keeping our fingers cross though. Hopefully, the bank will get back to us with an answer by the end of this week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scooting By


Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a week since I posted any photos of Ethan!

Well.... I'm so glad I get to hold my camera and take photos again! I still can't carry much weight with my right hand, but all I need is the trigger finger and I'm good to go!

These photos are taken at the sandbox at the park the other day. After a couple minutes of unsuccessful hunt for treasure, Ethan decided he'd to bury himself in the sand. Too cute!

Is it yummy?

McDonalds - 2 for 1 Drinks M-F 2-5pm

Sissy got me addicted to the Vanilla Iced Coffee with 2 extra pumps - which by the way is an extra .30 PER pump!

So the deal is every Monday-Friday, from 2pm-5pm, you can get 2 drinks - MIX and MATCH - for the price of one, which I'm guessing would be the higher priced one.

Details here

Apparently, It's Not Friday

I think I’m losing my mind….

I was on my non-merry way to work this morning, listening to the news on SIRIUS. I was barely listening to the commentator finish griping about the whole water boarding controversy when the segment switched over and the next anchor said “Happy Thursday”.

Then I realized I was wearing jeans.

Checked my cell phone, and sure enough, it’s only Thursday. For a second, I attempted to concoct an excuse to tell my boss why I was dressed like it was a Friday, but all of them made me sound stupid. So instead of driving back home to change, I stopped at a nearby Target and bought slacks that were on sale for $10. Surprise, surprise, I couldn’t justify buying a whole outfit. My top and my shoes are passable. No one would ever know.

I HONESTLY thought it was Friday.

How in the world did I lose a day?!?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House Hunting Sucks

So we’re looking at 2 other houses tonight, nothing we’re terribly excited about, but they fit our general criteria and at this point, we’re keeping our options open.

There was one property that really tickled my fancy. And, of course, as these things go, I fell in love with it. I even sent Mike to scope it out before telling our realtor how much I would REALLY like to consider it. I mean, it’s perfect. It has everything we want, good-size backyard for the little one, in a great neighborhood, ready for move in, comparable commute, it’s beautiful, magazine-esque and did I mention perfect?

So what, you are asking yourselves, is the drawback? Isn’t it perfectly obvious? The price. Their asking price is just above our upper upper limit (and yes that’s two uppers which means it’s high. Excuse the pun). It’s perfectness has, to no surprise, attracted more than a few offers and it’s a jungle out there. And as much as we (meaning I) love it, we have to be really careful not to get in over our heads. So sadly, we’re moving on…

See, that’s another reason why house hunting sucks. All the feeling that get wrapped up in finding a house. The hope, expectation, excitement, despair, desire, anticipation and a million other wonderful and uncomfortable feelings following you even to sleep.

You don’t understand. I have been planning for this for months and months. I’ve bought furniture for spaces I don’t even know if they would fit. I’ve picked out color schemes. I’ve decorated the living room, picked out paint colors, planned for a to-be nursery…


Chugging along....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Racing for our Heroes"

The Gang

Chillin' in the Bell Micro Sponsor Suites....

On Saturday, we were fortunate to be invited by “Racing for our Heroes” to attend the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. RFOH is a non-profit organization, started by American Le Mans driver and Marine veteran Jason Carter, that takes veterans and their family members to International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) races throughout the country as a way to say “thanks”.

There were about a dozen fellow veterans from the Los Angeles VA Hospital and Naval Medical Center in San Diego, including us. Not only did they get us into the Grand Prix for free, but also gave us unlimited access to the Bell Micro sponsor suites AND we got to meet the drivers and look at the cars that they were going to race that day.

Compared to the NASCAR race we went to last year, I’d say I like the Grand Prix better. Even though we only saw a fraction of the track at one time, the race was still pretty exciting to follow. The coolest thing was that it was a true street course race set up in downtown Long Beach — Shoreline Drive and Pine Avenue were shut down and turned into a course for Lamborghinis, Corvettes and Ferraris speeding past high-rise condos.

Big names like Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti were there, but the real treat of the day, I thought, was the celebrity race – come on, it’s Southern California/Hollywood after all. It was pretty entertaining watching Raven Simone crash a few times, listening to people yell “Go Neo!” every time Keanu Reeves tried to pass, and chuckling with the rest of the group when Alex Trebek drove by last in every lap. Poor guy….

We had a great time. They told us we were welcome to come to any race, so maybe this won’t be the last for us :)

Oh, and did I mention we got to meet Mike Metzger? Craziest dude I've ever seen on two wheels....

Visit my flicker set to see the rest of the photos from the race

ROFH page for more photos

Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's TODAY

Today, April 21st, is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's from noon to 8pm. Details here. Please check if your local B&J's is participating before going.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coupon: Dollar Entrees and Penny Appetizers at TGI Fridays

I've been meaning to share this with everyone, but keep forgetting. We've personally used this A LOT at our local TGIF.... you can' really beat .01 appetizers (you have to purchase a drink, sodas are $2.50). An awesome deal for $3, if you ask me.

The catch is you're supposedly only allowed to use the .01 coupon at the bar, and the entree coupon in the dining area. But it depends on the waiter, and the manager on shift. There were times they let us use both at the bar, or both at the table. Also, it is PER PERSON, not per table. So as long as each person orders a drink, it should be good all around.

Happy eating! :)

Download coupon here

Expires 4/30

Friday, April 17, 2009

Progress Report

• Like the new 'do' that Ethan's sporting? I'm trying to grow it out, but it's getting there ever so slowly. I'm kinda digging the shaggy look...
• We’re officially back on house-hunting mode. It’s a little more stressful than I anticipated, but the goal is to be in our new home for the summer.
• On the potty training front, Ethan’s doing well with #1 (we’re down to 1 accident a day), but he’s not doing so well with #2. We’ve been finding him with chocolate delights all over the house…
• Ethan’s spring break is over, and while it was fun to spend all day with daddy, we’re sure he’s anxious to see his friends again.
• Day 3 of being free from the cast, my hand is still a little stiff, but I’m excited to report that my thumb can touch my forefinger again!
• Mike has a new obsession -- Guitar Hero Metallica. I guess he’ll have plenty of time to master it, while he’s recuperating from his foot surgery (scheduled in the beginning of May).

I'm keeping it short today... have a great weekend everyone!

Coupon: Macy's Friends and Family 25% Sale (Includes Clearance and Coach!!!)

Valid April 29-May 4th

Download here

Time to scope out my Mother's Day gift! ;)Add Image

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Cast is Off!

Day my butt fell on the slopes

6 Weeks after

Before they took the pin out

6 weeks after the gracious, snowboarding mishap, I am finally free from the cast. Doc says the x-rays “look good” and proceeded to tell me he’s going to now pull the pin that’s been sticking out of my hand and holding my shattered bones together the past month and a half. ‘Holy shit’, I thought to myself (although my face probably showed exactly just that). “Don’t worry, I’ll give you something to numb it”, he said. “It should slide right out.”


Don’t let anyone tell you any different… that shit hurt. Pardon my French, but I think I’m still a little pissed. And he was COMPLETELY wrong about it “just sliding out”. He sprayed some stuff on my hand which I assumed was the fake anesthesia and proceeded to yank on the ball while I squirmed on the examination bed, watching in horror. I think I was still waiting for the numbness to kick in, when the ball unexpectedly pops out…. leaving the pin still stuck in my hand. After deflecting the moment of ooops splashed across my doctor’s face, he calmly asks the tech if they had any pliers. I may have been hallucinating at that point, as I pictured Handy Manny and his pliers yanking that foreign object out of my flesh while singing in spanish. Weird, I know.

Finally, after much pulling, the thing comes out and they give me gauze and tell me to put pressure before I lose too much blood. Ok, I’m kidding. It didn’t bleed that bad.

Doc said I should have full use of my hand in a few months……… A few months really? I was thinking a week? Maybe two? He sent me off with no PT, only advice to get try to get back on my old routines, squeeze a ball every once in a while and come back in a month.

My wrist is really stiff and I have zero mobility on the broken finger. I can wiggle my other fingers ok and even bend them to make half a fist, but that’s about it.

This is going to be the longest summer ever……..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Recap

Belated Happy Easter everyone!

We had a lot of fun over the weekend. Ethan went Easter egg-hunting 4 times, 3 days in a row – Friday at school with all his friends, Saturday at a local town center put together by a Kiwanis club, Sunday morning at home and then another one after church. I’m telling you, this boy is an egg-hunting machine!


I remember last year when we still had to kind of lead him to where the eggs where… but not this year! He tracked those eggs down like there’s no tomorrow. Granted he was with his own age group, I almost felt (a little) bad for the other kids who just stood there and stared at the eggs in front of them while Ethan swooped in to grab them with no remorse. I couldn’t believe how competitive he’s gotten!

After church with family, Mike, Sissy and I headed to LA for a Meet and Greet with the Lakers. My plan was to get my cast signed (which I’m hoping to get rid off today) and sell it on eBay, but we didn’t quite get that close to the players.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a blessed Easter like we did!

I’m off to see my orthopedic. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

150 Fun Songs for Kids for only .99 on Amazon

Here's the link to Amazon

Thought I'd post a quickie for those who have kiddos. Downloaded it last night and Ethan LOVES it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coupon: New York & Company Free $15 off ANY purchase

I’m still recuperating from working 24 hours straight so I’m not in the mood to blog, but I wanted to share this in case someone could use it over the weekend. I buy a lot of my work clothes from New York & Company.

Link to printer friendly coupon here

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chinese Fortune Cookie

This was in my fortune cookie tonight......

"You have a strong desire for a home and your family comes first."

It's found a spot on my wall, next to my family, where I can see it every day.

Works For Me Wednesdays: How to get Cheap Prints at Walgreens

Once upon a time, in the world of film cameras, most of us didn’t have a choice but to get our rolls of film printed. Otherwise, we’d never see the photos we took. Nowadays, it’s become quite normal to have hundreds (even thousands) of photos sitting in a hard drive without having to be printed.

That’s me. Guilty as charged.

I have more photos that what I can imagine to do with it, and yet, I don’t have any albums of actual printed pictures.

Every once in a while though, I run into mini-deals like this and I try to take advantage of it.

Upload your photos at Walgreens online and select in-store pick up to save shipping. It’s $5 for the first 50 prints by using code 5dollars. If you have more than 50 to print, don’t worry, it’s still .10 per print.

This coupon expires in April 11th, but they'll have this sale again, in cae you miss out.

Say Hello Big Boy Underwear!

It’s guess it’s time. We’re saying goodbye to diapers and hello to stench and stains and public restrooms and plastic bags in my purse waiting to be filled with little peed-in Spiderman underwear.

Ethan’s been ready but lazy for a while.

I’ve been not ready AND lazy for a while.

We actually started to introduce him to the idea wayyy early in the game – which I now learn that starting too early could actually mean the longer it takes for them to acclimate. He did extremely well for a few weeks, and then just started to show zero interest in transitioning.

Around October of last year, we thought we’d try again. Our goal was to get him potty trained by the time he turned 3. Lola (the potty Nazi) would make Ethan sit on the toilet until something came out. Sometimes, that worked… although I worried if it was because of the encouragement or if we just scared the shit out of him – literally. So we turned to what any parent would resort to…bribery. We promised him he would get “candy” every time he would make a deposit in the toilet – liquid or solid. And that worked well for a few weeks, until around Halloween where we got an abundant supply of sweets in the house, and Ethan learned to exchange 2 drops of pee for a Snickers. Sly little fella……

We then transitioned away from treats to compliments. There were plenty of “Great job!”s to pass around. Last week, he actually went potty at Disneyland which earned him a deserving new puzzle book. A few times last weekend, he stopped in the middle of playing to dash to the bathroom to pee. It was a sign…

Then yesterday, his preschool teacher said he’s been doing so well with telling them when he needs to go to the bathroom, that they asked if we could bring in some underwear (and LOTS of change of clothes) to school.

It was like bringing home an A+! I was a proud mama!

So after my unexpected premature trip back to the ortho (warrants a separate post), we dashed to Target to get cute-sy Spiderman, Madagascar and Batman underwear. Mike insisted on the plain (cheaper ones) but that’s boring! I thought it would maybe encourage Ethan NOT to pee on his favorite superhero.

Or not.

He had 2 accidents before we reverted back to the diaper for the night. While both Mike and I are terrified of stepping on yellow puddles and little nuggets all over the house, we know Ethan will do just fine. I’ll post updates!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fun-filled Weekend: Part 3

Sunday afternoons are my alone-time with Ethan (while daddy goes to school for a few hours). I don’t get to spend a lot of time with him during the week, so I always look forward to being with him on the weekends.

It amazes me how little it takes for him to make me laugh and vice versa. On Sunday, we spent an hour taking turns laying on the grass while the other jumps over, pulling the wagon back and forth, and then the next 2 hours blowing and catching bubbles in the yard until sunset.

It’s always sad when we run out of daylight… since it always means we have to start winding down and getting ready for bed. But we still have a blast, and I’ve learned to appreciate every minute I could get.

Fun-filled Weekend: Part 2

Throughout the summer, our city is hosting a family fun day every first Sunday of the month downtown. They set up booths in front of the library and several museums and have arts and crafts stations for the kids. This was the first time we checked it out, and we’ll probably go again. It gave us an excuse to walk around, hang out, Ethan proudly went home with stuff he made that is now prominently displayed on the refrigerator, and best of all… it was FREE!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Fun-filled Weekend: Part 1

This weekend was an “Ethan-weekend”, like most of our weekends. It’s so much fun to take him out now that he can participate and appreciate a lot of the places we take him to, instead of just admiring from the stroller.

We took him to a place called Camelot (Ethan called it “the castle”) to play miniature golf -- or as Mike calls it, “putt-putt” -- for the first time.

Ethan’s not a stranger to golf. In fact, we took him to his first golf course at 5 months in muggy West Virginia.

But it was fun watching Ethan try to handle the club like a hockey stick, and it was great to see him celebrate with a “Yes!” when he sank his putts in.

There was a part, where Ethan got a little frustrated with the windmill door… after trying to swing uphill about 15 times, he finally went up to the door, watched it intensely like he was plotting an attack, peeped into the house for the few seconds it stayed open and then knocked twice (as if a nice little leprechaun’s going to answer and Ethan would ask him to please keep it open so he could hit his ball into the windmill). Of course, no one answered…. so Ethan did what any problem-solving 3-year old would do…. he tried to pry it open!

He was disappointed to end the game after 9 holes, but it was so hot my poor boys were easily turning to a crisp so we just spent the rest of the afternoon indoors playing in the arcade.

Stayed tuned for Part 2 and 3 of our weekend!


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