Friday, February 29, 2008

I might be crazy, but I'm so excited!

We're planning a big family trip to Disney next year around this time (exact date still to be determined). I love, love, love car trips (that's the one of the crazy parts), so we're driving, probably halfway one day and the rest of the way the next. With a six-month-old (that'd be the craziest part), 3 year old, five year old and seven year old. But we're going with my whole family - sister, brother, their families and our parents. Some families might kill each other, but ours actually can get along for a whole week - especially someplace like Disney or other resort where you don't have to be in each other's space the whole time because there's so many other things to do.

So I'm going to start researching our trip, probably way too soon, but I'm excited now and not stressed about gas prices or all the other stuff that will take over once we get closer to the actual trip.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Idol Ladies night - Week Two

So I loved the 70s theme from last night (dare I hope for the 80s next week?), more than I expected to, since the 70s incorporates disco and that can get rough. I'd like to see one of the girls play an instrument tonight (is Brooke who played the keyboard?). I think some of the guys are going to set themselves apart with that extra feature. Yes, it's a singing competition, Simon, but it makes those people more memorable and in some cases distracts from less than perfect song choice.

My wish list for tonight: more Fleetwood Mac, easy on the disco, maybe some Carole King or Carly Simon or other singer/songwriter - one of the styles of music that MADE the decade, if you ask me.

Carly - missed her, damn it.

Syesha "Me and Mr. Jones" I'm kind of meh on the song choice, but it's nice for her. The judges disagreed, but I liked it. Maybe the offness I felt with them last night is still working here.

Brooke - "You're so vain" Yay, Brooke plays guitar AND Carly Simon. Okay, she wins automatically. She fulfilled my main requests. YAAAAAAAY, Brooke!

Ramiele "Dont' Leave Me This Way" Fun song, but it started slow and kept getting back to that boring slow part. I'm not sure it was the best song choice for that reason.

Kristy Lee Cook "You're No Good" The weird shimmy thing doesn't usually carry one as far as one might think. Stop making cute little faces at me. I can't even concentrate on how she's singing (not bad, but nothing special).

Amanda Overmeyer "Carry on, my wayward son" Probably not the best choice for her. In theory, I love her - love rockers, love Janis Joplin, love someone outside the cookie-cutter blond mold they seem to have created on here. But that? That was rough.

Alaina Whitaker "Hopelessly Devoted to You" So at first, I was all - hey didn't they specifically tell this girl to speed it up? But then I saw her name and realized I'd gotten two of the blondes confused. They really are cookie-cutter. It was okay, but taking on this song for most American females is taking on Aretha or Celine or Whitney.

Alexandrea Lushington "If You Leave Me Now" Ah, takes me back to my Lite 102 days. I got hooked on it at the orthodontist's office. I was a weird kid. But seriously? What a boring song.

Kady Malloy “Magic Man” Okay, she’s the one who’s supposed to kick it up. It was kicked up more than last week, but not really great.

Asiah Epperson “All By Myself” I think this song’s been done enough on Idol. Or maybe I’ve watched Clueless a few too many times. I don’t remember what she sang last week (Piece of my heart?), but I think this is a change. No, Randy. This is not a Celine Dion song. It’s ERIC CARMEN. They made this mistake last year. Why the hell would she sing Celine Dion during 70s week? Idiots.

Wow, not really a great night for the girls here in general, though. I’m not sure I even have a good handle on who’s leaving. One of the blondes, probably. And probably Amanda, even though I theoretically like her and I'm willing to stick with her for another week to see what she does, I'm not sure America is so willing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Idol Guys Week Two...

I have some very clear favorites from last week so I'm hoping they do well enough to stick around into the top 12.

Michael Johns- "Go Your Own Way" Oh. My. God. I'm like, the biggest Fleetwood Mac fan. So major, MAJOR bonus points for song choice. I don't know, though, he sounded strained during the second verse and he's not Lindsey Buckingham. But maybe when someone sings one of your favorite band's songs, you're a little pickier.

Jason Castro "" He's one of my favorites from last week. Oh, that's a BeeGees song? I totally didn't recognize. And that's a good thing. Whatever, judges. I thought he was great.

Luke Menard "Killer Queen" I recognize that most young people might not be familiar with this particular Queen song unless, like me, the 70s is your first choice for music. Even still, taking on Freddie Mercury is a risk. And it doesn't pay off for Luke. He looks like a pale imitation.

Robbie Carrico "Hot Blooded" Really? I mean of all the 70s rock songs, of all the Foreigner songs, of all the freaking songs in the world, you think this is the best choice to display your vocal talents? Sorry, but I think you just bought yourself a ticket home.

David Hernandez "" I just don't like him for some reason. DH thought he was about to sing Shaft. I really did too. I did NOT like this, though the judges and everyone else seemed to.

Jason Yeager "Without Love" I may be misinterpreting the lyrics, but I thought "She left her home and her family and she won't be coming back....without love." was kind of sad and hard. But dude sings it with that big cheesy grin. I want to smack him.

Chikezie "" Yeah, don't know this song, but he's much more interesting than he was last week. I'm curious enough about him to want him back next week just to see what he'll sing.

Danny Noriega "" Crappy song. Annoying dude.

David Cook "All Right Now" Yeah. Now that's 70s rock. And I ADORE that he's a "word nerd." Dude! Me too! He seemed totally at ease working the crowd and just right at home up there. I was totally annoyed by what Simon said. In this rare instance, I have to agree with Paula ("women like smart men").

David Archuleta "Imagine" I liked his version of it. He sang it well and all. But there's a part of me that's disappointed in whoever owns the rights to that song allowing it to be sung on American Idol. I guess it brings the song to a new generation and that's cool and all, but what if he'd butchered it?

I think I got everyone (trying to do this after the show from memory). My picks to leave are Robbie Carrico and Danny Noriega (alternate because I just dont' like Danny and that's the only reason I picked him to leave: Jason Yeager).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sometimes you just have to fake it...

The first trimester of this pregnancy really sapped me of my will just about anything. I haven't really regained it yet. I've picked knitting up again and even got an entire baby sweater knit, but the hobby that I'm really missing but still lacking the motivation for is photography. I'm trying to just get up and do it, since I'm mid-second trimester and still not showing, I can contort on the floor the way I need to and I supposedly have energy (the insomnia's kind of countering that, though).

I was looking at buying a new camera last night, but I just don't feel like I can do that if I'm not using the one I currently have. That's how I mentally "earn" new hobby supplies in general. If I scrapbook, I can buy new scrapbooking items. If I'm actively knitting, I can buy new yarn. But I'm not habitually taking pictures lately - I only have a handful from Christmas. How sad is that? Last Christmas I think I had over 100. This Christmas I had maybe 10 and I didn't even upload them to my computer until the middle of January.

I'm feeling guilty that I'm not more excited about this baby. I guess it's partly because I'm not showing and well, it IS the fourth time I've done this. I'm still just as nervous and panicky about stupid things as I've ever been, but I haven't gotten all the little clothes out or obsessed over the baby name book (I think we have names picked out anyway, but I still looked even after we'd decided on the other kids' names). Of course, maybe if Baby hadn't been so stubborn when we were at the ultrasound and showed off its goods, I'd be getting out the pink or blue from when the others were babies.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beanie Babies v. Webkinz: A Review

My kids are new to the world of Webkinz. They each got their first pet for Christmas, so it's only been about two months. But they love them. Mr. T is newly motivated to stay on "green" (the school's method of tracking behavior follows the stoplight - green is good, yellow a warning and red is bad news) since he can only play with his Webkinz if he stays on green.

Since they love the Webkinz so much and their favorite animals to actually play with are Beanie Babies - Mr. T still has the first one he got when he was two and still picks it as his two choices to go with him on overnight trips, I thought the combination of Beanie Babies and the online play might be something they'd enjoy. So I bought myself one to check out before getting the kids their own.

I think you might be required to listen to the site. I hate all the random internet sounds, so I don't even have speakers. We have headphones that can be plugged in when we need to hear something. But based on no sound, I just don't get it. It starts with a very creepy, Frankenstein-like electrocution of the pet I got. It was assigned a name, a name that seems to be given to all pets of that variety. Then I got some tour from a big bear, but since I didnt' hear him and there were no actual words to help me out, I have no idea what was going on. I played a game and won a flag. What? What do I do with that? I don't know. It seems I have to make 10 friends to advance. Um, no. My kids aren't allowed to use that function of Webkinz and I'm not going to allow them to use it here either. I am very quick with new applications/websites, but I just didn't find this remotely intuitive.

All in all, it was completely confusing and if I couldn't get it, I'm not letting my kids loose on it. Since we weren't around when Webkinz started, I'm willing to give BB2.0 another chance as it continues to grow. For now, I'm putting the guinea pig away and not letting the kids know of its existence. We're going to stick with Webkinz for now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You know what drives me CRAZY?

"Our area is going to be SLAMMED by a winter storm...Details on tonight's news."

"More about the upcoming winter storm...after this break."

"And we'll get you the details on how much snow to expect in just a few minutes."

This might draw out the drama on American Idol, but my weather forecast? Not the place for heightening the suspense. Especially since our area rarely actually gets the storms they forecast. Dude, just spit it out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Idol Girls Night...

Okay, I'll try it again. I have high hopes for the girls - after all they should have learned something from the guys last night, right? Of course experience teaches that this is rarely true (and how could it be? It's not like they just picked their songs this morning)

Kristy Lee Cook - "Rescue Me" She seems more into being cute than singing. This is pretty dull. Ah, yes, that is the problem - it's too big a song for her.

Joanne Borgella "I Say A Little Prayer for You" I love this song, but she just doesn't seem to be having as much fun with it as one should. I don't know - maybe it's a little too high for her to do that. Meh.

Alaina Whitaker "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" I kind of liked this. Interesting and she made it unique without butchering it.

Amanda Overmeyer "Baby, Please Don't Go" Let me start by saying I'm biased toward all the rockers. Always. I love her. And I can't wait to hear what she does in some of the odd themed weeks. I mean, the 60s was easy for the rockers, right? But what does she do with Crooner Week or Sappy Love Song or whatever? I hope she sticks around so we can find out. She's just the most interesting to watch.

Amy Davis "Where the Boys Are" This should go on the list with Moon River. Boring. Old. Don't sing this. And didn't someone unsuccessfully sing this in the past, just like Moon River?

Brooke White "So Happy Together" A completely different version than we heard last night (do they not tell each other what they're singing?), but still kind of interesting and unique. I like her too, so maybe that's why I'm being more generous. I mean, it wasn't captivating, but it wasn't bad at all.

Alexandrea Lushington "Spinning Wheel" Okay, I love this song too. The 60s seem to be my era. Which I already knew. Her whole thing, though, is just not my style. The dancing, the treatment of the song. It's all just not anything I'd ever listen to. That doesn't mean it's bad, just not me.

Kady Malloy "Groovy Kind of Love" I don't know that a ballad is the right choice for your main introduction to the voting public in general - they just tend to be boring (please see Amy Davis above), but I think it works for her. I really hate this song (can't get freakin Phil Collins out of my head and man, I hate his voice), so the fact that I didn't hate this performance is probably a good thing. Paula tells her she looks pretty - ouch.

Asiah Epperson "Take A Piece of my Heart" Oh, another favorite. And I love both the Janis Joplin and Faith Hill versions. I like hers too. It's got elements of both versions and still unique.

Ramiele Malubay "You Don't Have to Say I Love You" Okay, when Ryan said Dusty Springfield, I was sold. I love Dusty. I was hoping for Son of a Preacher Man, though. I like this girl's voice, but again the ballad for the first week...I think she's done the best job with a ballad this week, though.

Syesha Mercado "Tobacco Road" I will admit right now that she's been one of my top choices since her first audition. And when I heard rock notes, I was sold. She doesn't dance or do all the strange motions a whole lot, but then she doesn't have to to make it interesting.

Carly Smithson "??" Hmm, a sixties song I don't know. And I know she's one of the chosen ones this season, but that was just dull. I do like her new makeup look, though.

So Amy Davis is my top choice to leave. I'm also picking Kristy Lee Cook.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Not sure I'm feeling it this year. I was thinking about blogging it all like I tried to last year (probably as sporadically as I do anything else). Maybe I'll get into it as the group gets narrowed down to an accessible number of contestants. Apparently I'm in the minority, but I hate Hollywood Week - too much focus on the whining (which is part of the reason I hate reality tv - things like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars don't really have time to let people whine for too long).

And sixties week? I didn't think the top 24 had been themed in years past. I could be wrong, though. My memory's sketchy at its best.

David Hernandez - "Midnight Hour" Okay, he's good, but I was pretty bored. Maybe it's the confidence thing that Simon mentioned, but I just wasn't interested. Hopefully not a sign of things to come. I'm starting to think my interest in Idol may have run its course.

Chikezie - "i love you more today than yesterday" I don't think that was the right song for him. I appreciate the motivation behind choosing Stevie Wonder, but I don't think it suited his voice. I liked him better than the first guy, though.

David Cook - "Happy Together" Much more my style of music. I'm not a pop/r&b type. I'm more pop/punk/alternative/rock. I would totally download this to my iPod.

Jason Yeager "Moon River" Didn't someone else try this and fail miserably? Unless dude shakes this up, I'm putting money on him going home this week.

Robbie Carrico "One" Not a song I would have liked him to pick. But I love the rockers, so I forgive.

David Archuleta "Shop Around" So I guess he's the choice this season? And yes, I do seem to remember that he's 17. No need to not-so-subtly ask again, Randy. I liked it, but it wasn't really my style. But then few of the winners have been.

Danny Noriega "Jailhouse Rock" Wow, that's fast. Kind of a manic version of this. I don't hate it, but it's a little...I don't know not very accessible - boring almost it's so fast.

Luke Menard "Everybody's Talking" Dude, could you have chosen a more boring song? I admit this is a modernized arrangement that's less annoying than the original (which I can only hear in my head in the context of the Forrest Gump soundtrack).

Colton Berry "Suspicious Minds" I love Elvis. Two in one night. And yes, this is much better, if a little nondescript. Nothing really set it apart from the original. The backup singers especially dated it.

Garrett "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" Boring. Are all the guys boring tonight or is it just me? And did dude say he's been watching this since he was NINE? NINE??????? Damn, I'm old. They're music is headed up by Ricky Minor? Isn't that who Wayne Brady tells to play the "Don't Forget the Lyrics" songs?

Jason Castro "What a Day for a Daydream" Love the guitar. Actually, just love this guy. Yay, someone not boring.

Michael Johns "Light my Fire" Yes, breaking out the flame background. Love the song. He gets a pass just on song choice. Tom (the musician) says dude sucks, but I know my Idol and he's got something more important than singing well - he's interesting. That' s the thing on Idol - be good or be bad, just don't be boring.

Side note: I do not watch this show to see Simon and Paula snipe at each other.

I predict Moon River Jason Yeager is leaving. Second to leave - ugh. Don't make me choose who was most boring after that. The Leif Garrett lookalike, maybe, or the first guy (who was so memorable I can't even think of his name without going back) or Luke.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Around October of last year I was feeling completely overwhelmed by all the toys in our living room (our only living space). And aware that Christmas was coming and more toys were headed our way, I started to clean them out, as I did once a month. At first I did my usual sort-through and took out all the crappy McDonald's Happy Meal toys. But then I started really looking at the stuff I was sorting back into bins. Did they really need ALL of these toys? Before I could think twice about it (and before anyone woke up/got home from school), I sorted down to the true loves, classics, and, well, stuff I wanted them to have. We went from three racks of toys to two, one of them only half-full. I'd been hanging onto Mr. T's toys that he hadn't played with in possibly years. I'd kept every little necklace, purse and trinket we'd picked up for Miss G. And although Miss S was over two years old at the time, I still had out infant toys.

All of that is now in my basement, waiting for donation. I tend to hang on to things just in case one of the kids (the slightly anal-retentive Mr. T, if we're naming names) notices it's gone and wants it back. I'm just about up to donating.

But today I noticed (while my crazy sister had Mr. T and Miss G at hell - I mean Chuck E. Cheese's), that Miss S was really able to play with a lot more and keep up with putting it away since it was all in bins with nothing else but its own type of toy. She didn't just drag everything out looking for a few things to play with. THEY were overwhelmed too. I don't know why it took me six months to notice this.

Now I need to do the same thing with my own stuff. Maybe I'm overwhelmed too. I guess I could actually throw out the box of acrylic yarn I keep holding on to but know that I will never use. Or sort through my giant dresser full of other yarns. Or my books. Or papers from college (seriously, I think by now if I ever do make it to grad school, I'll just have to start over). And all the hundreds of other clutter maker I keep around.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Ash Wednesday...

So Lent has officially begun and I'm starting on my destash/no new stuff. So far, so good. Although I did go to Wal-Mart for the first time in months and they have beads! But no, I was good. I even resisted the last minute trip yesterday to get some blue cotton for a baby sweater - you know, in case I'm having a boy. Three ultrasounds say girl, but all were more of the "we don't see anything sticking out so we'll guess girl" variety rather than "hey, that there is a girl!" like we had with Miss G and Miss S. I did get some pretty variegated pink yarn for a little sweater.

Why is that I was all set with a name for our baby, boy or girl, before the ultrasound, but now that I've heard it's a girl, I'm completely changing my mind. I don't even know where to begin. I'm sure we'll come up with something - we have four whole months, but I'm feeling clueless.