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Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today is "Hulk's" birthday. That is to say, Crackle. He is now 15. Just checked the clock, and yep.

His birth was not my fave. I had a lousy epidural that not only didn't work but hit a nerve (literally) and caused all kinds of extra pain. Yes, more than childbirth without meds.

My Hulk was born blue (not green) and didn't cry until they poked him to take the blood from his heel. This was disconcerting but considering the delivery I had I just sent Superman to oversee the doctor's care of our newborn while I counted the minutes until they removed that thing from my back.

Hulk was an incredible baby. He rarely cried, ate well and slept fantastic. He liked sleeping in his cradle rather than with me (this was new). I knew right away something was not right but it took me nine months to convince his pediatrician and another year+ for us to see the right doctor to get the correct diagnosis.

If you're wondering my Hulk has Klinefelter's Syndrome XXYY variant. Yes, that's the whole title and it affects every strand of DNA in his body. He struggles with everything physical (from eating to writing) and gets frustrated easily.

I know I have written about my struggles with Hulk from time to time but I would never EVER trade him for another child without the diagnosis. He is my Hulk. Mine. I love him. I want him to be happy. I want him to be successful in whatever he wants to do. Right now he says he wants to be a mechanic (he loves cars) and I want him to be able to do that.

What any mother wants for her child. Okay, any good mother.

I was happy to wake him up at 5:00 AM so we could sing to him this morning. I was happy to take him and a few friends to a pizza place with an arcade so he could enjoy his day. I was glad to stop by Toys R' Us and let him get an R/C Car (cars, I'm telling you!) and glad his brother helped him to buy an Android tablet from Ebay.

It's a good birthday for him. Yay!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Boys

My kids have taken a disliking to their nicknames so I promised them I would give them new ones. Since Snap, Crackle and Pop are more from my era (don't they still use them for the Rice Krispies ads?) and my boys think they aren't "manly" enough they've expressed a desire for change. Fine.

My boys love the Superheroes and each of them really identifies with specific comic book heroes. 

The oldest, who I have (up to now) called Snap really identifies with Captain America. Honestly, to me, he is a super hero! He has been patient and hard working all his life. Even though Cap. Steve Rogers had to go through a process to go from scrawny to spectacular, Snap only had to go through puberty. The comic book Cap looks more like my son, but who doesn't love Chris Evans' Cap? I know I do!

Captain "Steve Rogers" America

Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

My youngest boy, who has been known as Pop, we sometimes call Thor but he is a huge Batman fan so from henceforth he will be known as Batman. He's smart (like the Dark Knight) but coloring wise does resemble Thor more. He would be greatly distressed if I did not call him Batman, however, so Batman he is!

I'm Batman

Crackle is a challenge to rename because he loves so many different heroes. I considered The Hulk because he can go from reasonable sweetheart to raging jerkwad in a little under 60 seconds. But that's just mean. 

The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)

I also considered Iron Man, because who doesn't love snarky Tony Stark? (or RDJ as Iron Man? Hubba hubba!)

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Then there's Spiderman, but he's never been bit by a spider--radioactive or otherwise; Hawkeye (mmm... Jeremy Renner!); Aquaman--Crackle does love to swim; The Flash--because he's also a runner, but that's not necessarily a good thing...

The Amazing Spiderman!

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)


The Flash

You see my dilemma?

So I am asking for a vote, who do you think Crackle should be named after?
Let me know on my Facebook page!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet the Parents

So I didn't write a post for Mother's Day or Father's Day so I thought I'd elaborate on my parentals now. It's my Thankful or Thoughtful Thursday post (I am skipping my Review Wednesday because I've been behind all week and this is the one post I've actually had in my head all week!) and I am very grateful for both my parents. They are both amazing and wonderful people even though they are very different from me and from each other.

Well, hopefully I am not so different from them but I fear that I probably am.

My Parents 1959
My mother was born in Oklahoma and raised in California by a (mostly) single mother. All she ever wanted from life was the white-picket-fence life she never had. She got that, for the most part, although my father left her to do a lot herself because he worked so much. I won't say she never complained but she was always appreciative of my father's efforts.

There are six children in my family. Five of them are boys. Then there's me.

My mother and I did not get along when I was a teenager. I was difficult (no, not much has changed...) so I do not blame her. However, I do think she thought I was going to be more like her (read: good) as a teen than I was. I also think she hoped I would be more compliant (What?) and less stubborn. We clashed.

As an adult our relationship greatly improved as I realized how FREAKING Awesome she really was and how much she did and always had done for me and my sibs. My mom was pretty much always around so I didn't know what it would be like to NOT have her around until I was the one that left.

My mother is the most thoughtful person I know! She is the one that remembers everybody's birthday and makes sure to send a card. If she's late sending one she feels terrible and will call to tell you it's on it's way. She makes food for people, good food! My mother is one of the best cooks I know (I did not get that gene!) and if my father were a different kind of man he would weigh 1,000 pounds!

My mom is the one that wrote to me when I traveled all over the world. She sent me letters and pictures regularly. I always knew what everyone was up to because of those letters and pictures. I still have them.

Once I had children of my own I really realized how wonderful my mother was/is and grew to really appreciate her! She would laugh her head off when I would tell her things Sunshine would say and do (even as a baby). She cries with me when I talk about the difficulties with Crackle. She encourages me when I tell her I want to be more than "just" a mom (terrible of me, I know, but it is what it is). In short, my mother is now one of my very best friends! I love her more than I could ever express in words (even me!) and I doubt she knows that.

My father was born in Canada and raised in the boonies until high school. His entire family moved to California in the 50s. He was raised with both parents and gaggle of siblings. He has always been a hard worker and proponent of education.

My father got his BS in Physics from Cal State L.A. while married (with children) and working nights in the Dairy department of Safeway. Around the time I was born (#3 of 6) he finished college and got a job with TRW working on the Apollo program. He had a little something to do with that whole Apollo 13 thing... If you ask him he will show you his five-inch-thick manual he wrote for it!

In the early 70s he started his own business and has been an entrepreneur most of my life. In the beginning he worked long hours, seven days a week (or so it seemed to me). Nowadays he still works (although he should be retired) but mostly from home, which he has done for a long time. Because of my dad's hard-working efforts my mom was always able to stay home, which is what she wanted.

My Parents 50th Anniversary
My dad has always been my Super-Hero. Even though he was gone working so much when I was young, I still thought he hung the moon. I think it's a little-girl thing, but I'm not sure. He has always made me feel special.

My father is the smartest person I know. He is also the most optimistic and most stressed out person I know. That might sound conflicting, but if you know him you know what I'm talking about.

He is calm, he is kind and he is funny. At least I think so. That is the dad I know.

I only remember him ever being mad at me less than a handful of times. I know my brothers have different stories, but for whatever reason he has never really been mad at me. At least not to my knowledge.

My dad is the pillar of strength in my life. Next to Superman (my husband), I admire him the most. I strive to make him proud of me but know that really, he will always love me no matter what. Actually, I know this about both my parents.

I feel so very grateful to have had two parents that love me, make me feel loved and are still together after 50+ years! I know that's unique and I still lean on them in many ways.

So this is my *sort-of* tribute to my parents.

Happy Mother's/Father's Day, Mom & Dad!
And Happy Early 54th Anniversary (next week) too!!!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"No Poo" and Earth Girl

So I tried going "No Poo" for one week and gave up. Tried again for two weeks, forgot why I was doing it, broke down and freaking washed my hair. Granted we went camping and I went five, yes 5, days without rinsing, washing or anything and it was Naaaaaaaaaaaaasty!

Basically what I was doing was putting 2T. of baking soda in an empty water bottle, adding about 1c. of water, shaking it up and massaging it into my hair and scalp. Then I would rinse that off really well and spray my whole head with a mixture of 1 T. vinegar (I used both apple cider and white) with 1 c. water in a spray bottle, paying close attention to the ends and basically all over. The vinegar was supposed to act as a kind of conditioner but my hair felt like straw for the most part. Yuck.

After rinsing that out really well I would towel my hair (I use those hair-wrap-towels) as much as possible then add Moroccan/Argan oil to my hair and comb it out.

My hair smelled to me. Like sweat. Bleck! Not the look I'm going for.

I hadn't bought any shampoo for a bit and wasn't going to use Superman's "man-scented" stuff so I went to the dollar store and found some Finesse; shampoo and conditioner. I washed my hair twice. Yes, that's 2 times.

And. Oh. Baby, that felt nice.

I haven't decided if it's because it's summer and I just feel Ick. OR if it's just not for me. I don't think I'm going to try that again, however. I don't care how great it is for the environment. I will continue to use my chemically enhanced shampoos and conditioners. I can't wait the three (yes, 3) weeks it's supposed to take to finally "work." No thanks.

Now on to better things. I have this freaking, amazing, 9-year-old niece that is brilliant, can sew and has started her own business. Her business is called Earth Girl and she makes lip balms and sugar scrubs. My brother so very kindly brought me some to sample a few months ago and I've been using it and wanting to talk it about it on my Beauty Blog-day but haven't been very consistent so haven't done it until now.

I have tried and LOVE the cinnamon and chocolate lip balms! I can't decide which one is my favorite! I'm still working on trying some of the other products but my guess I will love them as well. Yes, I'm biased, but really, can you blame me? I mean she's NINE! So creative! and they are wonderful products! Check out the site yourself!

So, I say no to "No Poo," and recommend checking out Earth Girl!

Monday, July 8, 2013


I have a love/hate relationship with vacations. You see, for me they are never really vacations. I like camping because Superman does most of the work, actually. He puts up the tent, he makes the fires and cooks the food. I help but not a whole lot. So in that respect, it is a vacation for me and I love that.

I also love being with my family. Everyone but Sunshine was there! Last week we went to Mammoth Lakes, the last time I was in that area was when I was 11-years-old and stayed at my friend's cabin for week. Her parents took us on a horseback ride up in the mountains where we stayed overnight (I think). I got to go twice with them, once in the summer (for two weeks) and once in the winter for skiing (one week). It was awesome so I had good memories.

We drove up there without a reservation and were able to get a pretty good spot at June Lake, which is about 20 miles north of Mammoth (City of). It was hot enough for swimming in the lake (June Lake is one of the few lakes up there you can actually swim in) but I didn't. Crackle and Pop did, of course. They have been known to go in the ocean in the winter so ... yeah.

On the 4th we drove south above Crowley Lake and watched some awesome fireworks. We have a tradition of getting KFC but the closest one was over an hour away so we ended up getting Vons chicken instead. It was good and their Mac & Cheese is mighty tasty, if I do say so myself. Superman prides himself on finding the most remote spots and we did pretty good. I was actually a little nervous on the dirt road up a steep hill that basically went nowhere... but then we were joined by another vehicle. Haha!

We spent one day driving around Mammoth and seeing the sights. There are some beautiful mountain views, although we did not go for any hikes. We stopped at the actual Mammoth Resort where the ski lifts and infamous Gondola take people up the mountain. There were lots of mountain bikers, an activity area for kids with a rock wall for kids to climb (Pop did).

We took our puppy with us. That was both entertaining and OY frustrating. She is really good with strangers. So good that we had to tie her up from time to time. She actually barked at some boys who surprised her by coming near our campsite from the road. For the most part she entertained herself, and us, by chewing on sticks, pine cones and anything else she could sink her teeth into; including daddy's face and water bottles.

The drive up was good. We left around 4 am on Wednesday (the 3rd) and arrived mid-day since we had to stop for food and potty (pup, remember). We drove around Mammoth (4-5 campgrounds) before finding the one ... finally.

The drive home was okay. A little stressful. Packing up always stresses out Superman and this trip was no different. We got packed up and headed out by 10 am. Ellie-Mae (the pup) seemed a little stressed and wouldn't pee at stop one (at a rest area) or stop two (in Bishop, where we had lunch at a very crowded Carl's Jr.). She did, however, show her love for daddy by hopping on his lap about a half hour out of Bishop and proceeded to pee all the water and ice we'd been giving her because of the heat.

Needless to say Daddy was not pleased, but puppy is still alive (well and happy) and Daddy still loves her. We did have to make an emergency stop to sop it up and Daddy to change his clothes by the side of the road, this involved rooting through the packed trailer for his bag. At this juncture Ellie-Mae decided she did need to poop. Thank goodness!

Superman was not a happy camper at this point.

Then we hit "going-home-on-the-fourth-of-July-weekend" traffic. We were at a standstill in what felt like 100+ degree heat. Superman turned on Highway to Hell at full blast and we sang as a family.

Good times!

We finally got home around 5 pm-ish, unpacked, showered (so happy to shower after 5 days of grime!) and ate what we could find and took ourselves to bed in our own beds.

Our next trip is in 3 weeks when we take our annual houseboat trip to Lake Powell. I am looking forward to that one. A week+ on the water with extended family where I will get to see Sunshine again!