Did You Hear The One Where I Told Grady To Go Play With His Balls?

Yeah ... I really did. And I really meant it. Just not quite the way it was interpreted...

See, he was trying to run outside, and in order to keep him corralled I suggested he stay inside and play with his balls ... his soccer balls.

Whatever it was ... the double entendre, the Freudian slip ... I laughed at myself like a teenage girl for much longer than was socially acceptable.

Why? Because ... boys are gross.

For the past 22 months I've been asked if I notice any differences between having boys and girls. And up until recently I really hadn't. Sure, I have to make sure I remember to angle Grady "down" so I don't have pish coming out the top of the diaper. But other than that? He sings the same songs the girls do (and did at that age). He plays with the same toys that they do (Barbies, high heeled shoes, horses and cars). He'll even sit with them and read books.

However, though he plays with THE same toys IN the same way, I have noticed in the past few months that his mannerisms are ALL boy.

It's as if he automatically knows that the second his diaper comes off for a bath or a diaper change, it's time to grab his nether regions like he's vying for a gold medal in the new Olympic sport of penis pulling and testicle tugging. He also knows that sleeves are solely for wiping noses and shirts are unlimited napkins. Sir Edmund Hillary? Eh ... he has nothing on this little climber, who amazingly scales every single thing in his path.

He throws. He hits. He screams. He runs around. He laughs. He does it all again. And again. And again. The boy is full of energy. More energy than I remember the girls having at that age. He keeps me busy. He keeps me very, very busy.

But the biggest noticeable difference between the girls and my little man?

He sure does love to play with balls.


Whoever Said Moving Domestically Was Easy ... LIED!

So here's what I know from my conference call with the builder, the contractor, and my real estate agent yesterday. We have foundation. Lumber is getting delivered next Monday. And framing starts Tuesday.

Here's what I also know. This domestic move has more nomadic parts than any international move I've had. COMBINED!


Because though the support I get from the State Department is often more frustrating than helpful, they're actually responsible for handling some of it. *insert eye rolling here on how much they're supposed to do versus how much they really do.*

And right now? I am the one who has to coordinate ABSOLUTELY everything ... and it's much more time consuming than even I had anticipated.

Our initial plan when Matt left for Iraq was to meet in Virginia in the winter time, decide on an area to live, buy a house in the spring, and then move in once school ended.

However, as we all know, that's not entirely what transpired. So instead of moving out of this rental house in mid-June and directly into our new home, we're now heading to a hotel ... though we're not exactly sure where ... or how long we'll be there ... or what state we'll be in ... while we wait for our brand new home to be built.

I'm not really complaining **cough ... bullsh*t**. I'm just busy. So if you don't hear from me in the next few weeks ... here's what I'm doing:

* Schedule / coordinate mover for early June - get house and personal items organized.

* Sell items on Craigslist. Restrain self from selling Sheridan.

* Purchase furniture for new house ... bedroom furniture for kids, kitchen table, dining table, and leather L-Shaped sofa.

* Coordinate all new furniture items delivered before pack-out date.

* Find money tree.

* Take kids to Las Vegas for spring break.

* Solidify home loan.

* Work on California tax issue.

* Find hotel in CA. With a kitchenette. That falls under the USG TSMA rate.

* Find hotel in VA. With a kitchenette. That falls under the USG per diem rate.

* Summer camp? Where?

* Ship car or drive to VA?

* Map our trip to VA if driving.

* Stop for several triple grande caramel macchiattos. And wine.

* Coordinate delivery of storage items from Maryland, and Belgium.

* Buy car for Matthew

* Decide what to pack in bags for the 2 - 3 months in hotels.

* Enroll girls in school next year.

* Find preschool for Grady.

* Eat remaining Girl Scout cookies.

And hope that when the builder emphatically states that barring any weather or unforeseeable issues, that the house will be finished by the end of July/first week in August, that he's really done by the end of August. Because let's be real folks, it'll take me that long just to get through the list.


In Sheridan We Trust?

Oh I sure wish these actually worked ... because I need a lot of them. Especially now that our house in Virginia finally has foundation, and framing starts next week.


Does This New Look Make My Butt Look Big?

What new look you ask?

Well ... my face lift of course.

You didn't know I was having a face lift? That's okay, nobody did.

Because it wasn't really me that was having the makeover. It was my blog.

And doesn't it look GRAND?

My friend Cynthia at Nap Warden Designs is the one to thank for my amazing transformation. I've known her for several years and have always loved her work. And when I met and hung out with her last year at BlogHer, I knew that one day, she'd be giving me my fresh new look.

While I still have a few things I want to tweak, to update, to add, I just couldn't wait to share it with everyone.

So go ahead ... tell me what you think. Just don't tell me that my butt looks big.

For those of you who get the updates delivered to you in an email ... click here to take a peek. You'll be glad you did.


A Milestone I Could Have Done Without

Imagine waking up to this. Clothes discarded. Diaper discarded. Freak-out Ensuing.

And yes ... it WAS dirty.

EVERYTHING was dirty.


Picture intentionally blurry to protect the guilty.


40 Is The NEW 30 ...

... or so I keep telling Matthew.

Who today, March 15th, is celebrating this milestone birthday.

For the past year I have been dreaming about throwing him a kick-a** party, sending him on a all-guys vacation, surrounding him with lavish gifts. But ... being 8000 miles away makes it quite difficult.

So I started brainstorming. Thinking of a way to commemorate this very special day despite not being together. And I realized there was one thing I could do.

Bring the party to him.

So, without further ado ...

Turn up your speakers. Put on your party hats. And enjoy this amazingly orchestrated 40th birthday tribute from ALL around the world. To a man, who like a fine wine, only gets better with age.

Happy 40th birthday Matthew. I love you ...

As a side note ... you can click the arrow button on the right-side bottom of the video to watch it in full screen!
And if an ad pops up, just click it once and it'll go away. Happy watching...


Here's How I Spent MY Saturday ...

... filing a police report for the break-in of my car and detached garage.

Unfortunately, late last night or early this morning someone broke into my car. Since a majority of the time I leave my car parked directly beside the garage because it's such a tight fit, I guess it was only a matter of time.

I immediately knew something was wrong when I walked outside around 10:30 am and noticed that the garage door was open. I know I didn't leave it open yesterday. And really ... my neighborhood is so nosy that if it was open with all the lights off, somebody would have knocked on my door and told me to close it. After looking around to see if anything was missing, I closed the door from inside the garage, walked out our gate, and put Grady in the car. I then saw that my driver's seat was moved all the way forward, almost touching the steering wheel.

But the kicker was when I climbed into my seat and immediately reached down for my brand new sunglasses that were no longer there, and then reached up to my visor to open up the garage door to look inside for them ... and the remote to the garage door was gone too.

Surprisingly, nothing else was missing. The quarters for the parking meters were still piled high in the console. The large sleeve of DVDs for the kids was exactly where we left it. The bags of clothes to be returned to stores like Gap, Banana Republic, and Target were still strewn around the backseat. I was perplexed.

I called the Newport Beach Police Department and reported the crime. I seriously have no clue how they got into the car. They didn't break the window. It doesn't look like they used a slim jim. But I'm positive that I locked the car when I went into the house yesterday. I'm positive! I mean, I think I'm positive...

The fact remains that I'm now missing the sunglasses that I bought while Matt was in town. And I have to deal with getting a new garage remote, re-programing it to a new setting, and have the side door to the garage re-keyed as the burglars appear to have broken something off in the lock, and my key no longer goes fits ... The landlord knows all about it now. I've sent several text messages and followed up with a phone call. She told me that she'll talk with her husband and take care of things. She also mentioned that her neighbor had her car broken into this morning as well, and the police told her there were a rash of break-ins this morning in our neighborhood.

Armed with this knowledge, let's just see how long it takes her to react. So far, I never received a return phone call or text message. Nor do I have a new remote, new lock, or new key.

Tonight I think I'll be skipping the Trader Joe's marinated garlic mushrooms and going straight for the big guns.

Left over Girl Scout Cookies...

(post edited to remind everyone that according to the girls there WAS a bright side ... The thief thankfully didn't find their bubble gum or play horse in the backseat ... otherwise I would have had to replace them. Whew! I was lucky ...)

Trader Joe's Marinated Garlic Mushrooms Make Everything Better ...

So does seeing this sheepish grin on Sheridan's face after she put on her oh-so stylish outfit. And her boots. Don't overlook the sassy boots.

It's been a week ... a doozy of a week. And I'm tired.

... The baby cr*pped in the shower tonight.

... A friend has been going through personal struggles which have me sad and sleepless.

... I have a never ending cough.

... The girls have been fighting. Ugh the fighting. The time-outs. The missing movie night.

... The dog escaped from the yard. Again. She wandered several blocks away and was returned by a neighbor.

... And the girl's school, located directly on the beach, was canceled today due to the tsunami warning.

But after taking a few deep breaths, I reminded myself that I appreciated many things too. Like my friends ...

... And P.F. Changs.

... And sorority sisters.

... And for babysitting in-laws.

... And day-care.

... And Skype.

... And Words with Friends.

... And an email from the builder stating that our house should be underway in the next few weeks.

... And for Facebook ... with its ability to reach out to friends in Japan and surrounding countries to find out if they were OK after yesterday's devastation.

But most of all? I'm truly thankful that I didn't have to share the garlic mushrooms.


I Won The Lottery ...

... or so it feels.

After 21+ months, I finally figured out a way to keep this busy boy occupied for more than 2 minutes at a time.

Please give a BIG round of applause to ... the iPod.

The only problem now is that he thinks it's his ... and sadly, I think he's probably right.


May I Have A Drumroll Please ...

The Grand Totals for the GREAT Girl Scout Cookie Sale Are In. Here's what we've done over the past month ...

... 11 trips to the Post Office

... 38 flat rate, priority, and parcel post boxes sent

... 30 custom forms filled out

... $635 spent in postage (of which I subsidized about 1/4)

for a WHOPPING total of 442 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies Sold


20 different countries ... including Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Barbados, Benin, Philippines, Uruguay, Venezuela, Burundi, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Thailand, Gabon, Nicaragua, Mexico, Malawi, Ecuador, England, and Indonesia.

Thanks to everyone who ordered cookies. We hope you enjoyed them!

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