Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Maggie's First Earthquake

Actually, it might be Bridey's, too. I can't remember. I think Ems slept through hers... If Bridget's had one before, she did too.

It was just a little one. But you never know when it starts if it's going to be big or little. We were watching tv, and our tv is not bolted down, so I unplugged the laptop from the cord (which was in the wall), just in case, scooped up the baby, and got Bridey to follow me. (She wanted to watch tv, and wasn't sure what was going on. We have had drills, but she had never felt it, so she didn't know it was an earthquake! I had to say "Emergency!", which is our "obey right now because this is serious" trigger word, before she followed me to a clear spot, where we sat down and practiced "duck and cover" even though I was sure by then that it wasn't a big one (it never hurts to practice!)

Nothing even fell off the shelf, but outgoing calls weren't working on the home phone and the cell service was too busy to get a call through. (We got texts through, very slowly.) Same story with Jeff's work phone, only incoming worked. He kept trying on the cell and eventually got through to Emma's preschool (they were fine-- they thought it was a drill!) and then to me to tell me Emma wasn't scared. We're glad that it wasn't any worse! It was a scary time for me having Emma at preschool and not knowing whether she was scared or okay (I was sure she wasn't hurt but, you know, emotionally.) I was really glad Jeff was able to get through, in case she had needed the comfort of hearing a parent's voice.

Update: we went to Grandma Pam's house in the evening to pick peaches, and she had lost a picture frame, but that was the extent of the local damage we've heard of. We're lucky enough to live on solid bedrock, which really dulls the damages when we have quakes!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Rayann and her kids are coming tomorrow afternoon!

I'm so excited! The reservations are made, Disneyland tickets bought, loose schedule and dinner menus worked out... Hooray!

Tomorrow we're going to rent a van (there will be 11 of us total, 10 without Jeff along, 5 kids in carseats), put the carseats in, pick them up, and go see Rayann's uncle in Palm Springs. Later this week we're shopping (thrift store, using my Gymbucks, and getting advance souvenirs from Disneyland at the Disney Store, where they're cheaper), going to IKEA, going to the beach, having a little poolside hangout with the Meeses from Hatrack, seeing our friend Rivka (also from Hatrack), but not in that order, and going to the ward chili cookoff; next week we're doing Disneyland before she goes home next Tuesday. Squee! A whole week! Of course, when it's the once a year you see your best friend it's never long enough... But we'll enjoy ourselves. Emma is VERY excited.

Did I mention, SQUEE!!!???

Oh, and I probably won't be around teh interwebnet much this week. For obvious reasons. ;)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Public Service Announcement to All Two Year Olds:

Finger painting is to be done with finger paints (and permission.) Not poop.

I just spent half an hour scrubbing poop off crib and wall (and disinfecting the mattress to boot), while Jeff (who got home just after I found the mess, thankfully) bathed Bridget (the tub is now soaking in hot bleach water so I can drain it in about 10 minutes, scrub it out, and rinse it), and got her shirt soaking (luckily for us, all she had been wearing, other than the training pants she pulled off.)

We threw out the sheet. It was already stained and has seen the births of three kids, and, well, it was such a mess it wasn't worth the work to clean it at this point. We have other sheets.

I almost took a picture but have decided that I really don't want to remember it that vividly.

Thank goodness for Lysol wipes.

Please, two year olds, give your parents a break. Respect the finger painting rules. Poop is for potties and diapers, not for artwork.

That is all. Thank you.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Please pray-- scary time for my family as fires threaten

As we celebrated, Goleta, where I have family, was on fire today.

The news as of this past afternoon:

My second cousin, once removed, and his wife have been evacuated. My second cousin and his family (other cousin's father, this is my dad's father, evacuated cousin is his son) are on the street that is the boundary between evacuated and non-evacuated homes. One block over, their neighbors are gone, and the car is packed in case they have to leave at any moment. My great-aunt is less than a mile from them.

I know things are just that, things, but memories are precious in a place where you raised a family, and even if things can be saved or replaced, the stress of losing or nearly losing them is always hard. Please, pray for my family, for their safety and well-being. Pray for the city. Pray for rain, for the heat to break and the fires to be contained, for no lives to be lost and for property and the memories that go with it to be saved. Pray for the firefighters and other emergency workers who bravely battle for the property of others. Thank you.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Happy Fourth of July, readers!

We hit the thrift store this morning for a 1/2 off everything in the store sale, yay. Got an end table, clothes, movies, and toys for the kids, items to sell. Fun times.

Also went to dinner; on the way back, saw a ton of fireworks (we managed to catch parts of about 5 shows while on the freeway, then when we got off, turned and sat on Apperson for a while and caught the bulk of the show at CVHS. Emma had fun, but Bridey LOVED the fireworks! She said, "Look! Look! The fire! The flower! The pretty! Look!" Over and over again she said it. :D She was just totally thrilled by the fireworks. It was a great spot to view them, too! I tried to explain to Emma why we have fireworks on Independence Day but she was too distracted to listen; I'll try again sometime in the next few days. (I also tried to get her to sing a different patriotic song besides "You're a Grand Old Flag", which I am decidedly NOT fond of and which she learned in preschool, but no dice. She shot down "America the Beautiful", which is probably my favorite, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", and "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." She just wasn't in the mood, it seems. Well, except when I got sarcastic and said if she HAD to sing a patriotic song, "how about "God Save the Queen?" She wanted to know how that went and actually showed some interest. Of course. Note to self: sarcasm backfires with this one.)

Then we hit the grocery store, we had to get some more bread and some Tylenol and cereal and things like that. I am annoyed that Ralphs no longer doubles coupons the same way (but still advertise their policy the same way.) So we went to Vons because the sales on things we needed were better this week and now that Ralphs has a stinky policy their coupon doubling policy is the same, and Vons has the store-brand rapid release acetominophen that work EXACTLY the same as the rapid-release extra strength Tylenol but are way cheaper (and even on sale this week.) Then we came home and the kids pretty much crashed! Us, too! Tomorrow morning we're going to my dad's for breakfast since Jilly and Craig are in town, so it's nice that the kids went down fairly early (compared to what they sometimes do.) Though I think we're going to sleep in anyway, get up at 9, and the kids just go in jammies (and Jeff and I throw on some loungewear.)

Anyway, hope you all had a great Independence Day!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Congratulations to Jeff

Jeff has officially passed all 3 parts of his EA exam! Woo-hoo!

Besides being a qualification that he can take anywhere in the country, getting his EA comes with perks at his work-- besides paying for the tests, prep materials, fees, etc., once the official notice comes (in about 6-8 weeks), he'll be getting a $5000 bonus, be allowed to take a 4 day work week every other week, and get higher performance bonuses.

He's worked really hard to overcome his test anxiety with sheer knowledge, studied his rear off to learn tax law in and out, and I'm really, really proud of him! He's one of very few-- only about 15% of people who apply for any part of the exam pass all 3 parts. Wow!

In a few months, his card will come and he will officially be an Enrolled Agent!