Sunday, September 27, 2009

Snow White and the Blue Egg

Snow White finally laid her first egg today! We have been anxiously awaiting this day because we were told she would lay blue eggs - and she did! It is a little bit of a gray blue - but I think after a few days it will get more blue. When Cinderella laid her first egg it was a very light brown - and it got a bit darker after a few days - so I imagine the same thing might happen with Snow White. Anyway, now we'll be getting 2 eggs a day and hopefully Ariel will join in soon - nothing like a little peer pressure from the other two, right?

Every day Cinderella lays her egg in a new spot (well, she has about 5 or 6 favorite spots that she alternates between) - it's like an Easter egg hunt every single day! We'll find out soon if Snow White will send us hunting as well!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Haylie has been saying a lot of funny stuff lately. I think she is picking up a lot of new things at preschool and it's pretty hilarious.

Every time we go out and collect the egg from our chicken (once a day) she says, "Thank you, Cinderella". One time she said "You're the only one who lays eggs for us!" We have 2 other chickens who have not started laying yet.

One day, we were playing ring around the rosie - and I think it was the first time Anna played with us - and Anna fell down right on cue. We all laughed and Haylie reached over and hugged Anna and said "Oh, I'm so proud of you!"

One of Haylie's teachers called her a silly goose one day, so at least once a day she calls me a silly goose.

Yesterday, I found out that there is a "thinking chair" in preschool. That is another word for a time-out chair. My friend's son always tells her who sat in the thinking chair that day - but Haylie doesn't tell me anything unless I ask her directly. So yesterday I decided to ask her if anybody went to the thinking chair. She calmly replied, "Yes, I did." Like it was no big deal! She said "Me and Crystal were running around and we didn't clean up." So they each took a turn in the chair. She was so completely unphased by this! So I told her that she needed to make sure she listened to her teacher and didn't go back to the thinking chair again. The strange thing is that "time outs" have been the most effective "punishment" we've used with her. She gets very upset and it is usually the best way to get her to behave. I was shocked that she wasn't upset by this at school. Perhaps because they do not call it time out?

A conversation we had just a few minutes ago:

Haylie: If I was a real girl, then I wouldn't be me anymore, and I would be sad.
Me: (???) You'll always be you, no matter what.
Haylie: I knoooow. (in a "DUH, MOM" sorta' voice)

She has such a fun, silly personality:

Yes, those are chicken feathers in her hair. Silly goose.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover

Ok, so not that extreme, but I just finished painting my bathroom and the change in color is pretty extreme. When we first moved into this house, I wanted my bathroom yellow. I wanted a nice buttercup yellow, but as I was looking at samples, a lot of the yellows looked like off-white. So I decided on a fairly bold yellow because I wanted to make sure it could not be mistaken for off-white. Well, it turned out much more bold than I had anticipated - pretty, but wow, it was loud. Here's my yellow bathroom (I forgot to do an official "Before" picture, so this is just one I found in my archives):

I think the picture may make it look a little more neon that it actually was, but you get the picture - it was bright. When I first did it, Eric said "Well, it'll definitely wake me up in the morning!" So I've never LOVED the color, but we've lived with it for almost 4 years now...time for a change.

Ahhh...isn't that refreshing? A nice, calm, soothing blue. It's such a different room now!
Thanks for all your help, Erin! We banged this project out in just a few hours - it's so much more fun painting with a friend!
And while we're on the subject - I never posted a picture of our finished living room - I painted one wall of the living room burgundy back in March. But then I (and Erin!) went back and painted the other 3 walls off-white. And then Eric got his dream TV and a new entertainment cabinet with a portion of our tax refund. So here is a shot of our "finished" living room (at least one side of it):
I love having the freedom to paint and do what I want to beautify my home. The only room I haven't painted is the office - hmmm....

Friday, September 11, 2009

National Day of Service and Remembrance

Did you know that that is the official title for 9/11? Kinda' silly, I think, but I've seen a lot of people posting about what they were doing that day and I don't think I've ever written down my for posterity's sake, here it is:

At the time, I was 22 years old and living at home. I had been working as a civilian contractor on the U.S. Naval Weapons Station in Fallbrook, CA (where I grew up). This is basically a huge storage area for Navy weapons - right next to Camp Pendleton, CA. I was the "Ordnance Secretary" - for those who don't know, ordnance is just another word for ammunition or weapons. On the base, there were probably about 50-60 personnel who were also civilian contractors who took care of the ammunition - that included cleaning out the bunkers where they were stored, moving the ammo if the need arose, etc. It was my job to make sure those personnel were taken care of. They had to have yearly physicals, eye exams, etc. They had to wear protective equipment such as respirators and safety glasses, etc. I made sure they got their physicals on time and kept all their licenses, etc. current.

I had to obtain a security clearance in order to work on the base. They did a huge background check to make sure I was a good person and I obtained a "secret" clearance. That's one step below "top secret". I sometimes felt like a spy. ;-) With that secret clearance, I was responsible for downloading secret navy messages that would come in from the ships out at sea - I would deliver those messages to the head of security on the base. Pretty important stuff, if I do say so myself.

Ok, so each morning to get onto the base, you have to show your badge so they know you are cleared to be on the base. I lived about 5 minutes from the base. A very nice commute!

On 9/11/01, I awoke at my usual time (prob. around 6:45) and turned on my radio and began getting ready for work. I heard something about a plane crashing into a building in NYC and went out to see if my mom had heard. We turned on the TV and saw the footage of that first plane going into the building. Then we witnessed the second plane hit. I watched as much as I could then finished getting ready for work and left the house. Clearly, I was not thinking, because I did not anticipate the line of traffic to get onto the base that awaited me. Duh...this was a terrorist attack - of course the base is going to be on high alert! So, my usual 5 minute commute turned into an almost 2 hour commute. I sat in my car - in line with civilians and military personnel - and listened to the radio. I cried. I'm sure there was not a person in that line that wasn't crying. All those people that were trapped. All those firefighters running towards the rubble instead of away from it. (My dad was a firefighter - he just retired after 35 years of service) Thanking my lucky stars my dad was in CA and not NY.

So when I finally got to the gate, I found out the reason it was taking so long to get onto the base. The Military Police who man the gate had to search every vehicle that drove through for any sign of foul play. They had mirrors attached to poles that would allow them to see under the vehicle, they popped the trunk and searched, they had me get out and proceeded to search the entire inside of the car. Well, I passed and finally got to go to my office.

We were not allowed to park next to the building. Just in case, for some reason, a car got past security with a bomb attached, it would not be within 100 ft. of the building in case there was an explosion. (It was like that for MONTHS after). As you can imagine, the military personnel were very busy. There was really not a whole lot for me to do - so several of us "civilians" sat together and talked about what this could possibly mean. Are we at war now? Is it going to happen again? Could something terrible happen here on our little base? After a couple of hours of accomplishing nothing, all "non-essential" personnel were told to go home. Mostly just the military personnel remained. I went back home and glued myself to the TV. It all felt so surreal...could this really be happening?

I have a hard time remembering now - I don't think I went in to work the next day - and maybe even a couple more after that. But the long line to get onto the base continued for some time.

I'll never forget the amazing patriotism that was shown as a result of the attacks. Seems like one of the only times we all came together and we were just Americans. We were not Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans and we all felt the pain of being attacked. Seems like, politically, we're in a pretty yucky place right now - if only we could feel united like that again (without the devastation, of course).

So on semi-related note, about a month or two after the attacks, I was at work and I was in my "secret room" downloading my secret messages when a man came to the doorway and asked me where Linda Dresser's office was (she was a co-worker of mine). He was a white man wearing jeans and a t-shirt and a baseball cap. (you'll know why that is important in a minute). I gave him directions to Linda's office which was right down the hall. He said "Well, I don't have a lot of time - she left this (points down at a large black briefcase) down at the cafe - can you return it to her?" I was kind of annoyed because her office was literally not that far away, but I said sure, I'd deliver it. The man turned around, and as he began to walk away, he yelled "Long live the Taliban!" and RAN OUT OF THE BUILDING! Then... slow motion...I hear him yell that and I look down at the briefcase and I immediately knew that I was looking at a bomb. I ran out of that room so fast (which, by the way, I'm not supposed to do because I left all the secret messages on the computer screen for anyone to see, but I wasn't exactly thinking about that at the moment!) that I was probably no more than a blur...and ran into someone - he caught me and had to restrain me because I was still trying to run - I wanted nothing more than to get out of that building - and FAST. "Kristie, it's're ok". I looked up and realized that it was the head of security. Then, instead of restraining me, he was holding me up because I crumbled. I was bawling and he had to tell me repeatedly that it was only a drill. "Kristie, it's not real, it's only a drill - I need you to go tell everyone else in the building that we are having a drill for a bomb threat".

Even though I knew it as not real, I still couldn't pull myself together. The feeling was still too raw - it was too soon after the attacks. So I walked down the hall with the head of security, whose name I am trying desperately to remember...I think it was Kenneth...something along those lines. Anyway, I get to one set of offices and let them know we're having a drill and everybody needs to evacuate. They all look at me like, "If this is a drill, then why are you crying?" - hello embarrassment. Then I had to do the same for the other side of the building. So we all met outside at our rendezvous point where I finally get to tell my coworkers why I am hysterical. We remained outside for some time where we were all questioned. They asked me about the man who brought in the briefcase - I had to give them a description of him. Have you ever thought about that before? Like when you see TV shows where people are asked to describe a person they saw for only a few seconds? I don't think we realize how much we DON'T pay attention to the details a lot of the time. So I did my best. Then not long after that, the man approached me. I must say, my description was fairly accurate. Probably could've been better, but nobody scolded me. (-; He shook my hand and apologized for scaring me. A few days later, he came to my office and handed me a folder with an x-ray image of the "bomb". Now obviously, it was not a real bomb, however - they had it rigged so that if I had picked up the briefcase, it would have triggered a reaction. It may have just shook the briefcase or made a popping noise, I don't know exactly. But if I had picked it up, something would have happened and scared me even doubly bad!

I've kept that x-ray all these years...

This note was attached...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Fun

We had such a fun day today! Eric made pancakes for breakfast then we hit the road and went to the zoo. The weather was fantastic! We had lots of fun seeing the usual; we asked Haylie what her favorite animal at the zoo is, and she responded with a list of just about every animal at the zoo! She loves it.

Thank Heavens she was not 6 ft. at birth!

I thought this was a cool picture - the snake was "crawling" up the glass.

Me and Haylie in front of "Marty" the zebra (that's what Haylie calls them cuz that's the zebra's name on Madagascar)

Anna wanted to help push the stroller. That maternal instinct kicks in early, doesn't it?

Anna Banana

After we got home from the zoo (Anna zonked out in the car and napped for a couple hours), we played outside for most of the afternoon. Haylie and I weeded the garden and caught rollie pollies, Eric made some improvements to the chicken coop, etc. Speaking of chickens, it's been a while since I've posted pictures of them:

Snow White - she is supposed to lay blue eggs, but has not started laying yet. I love her puffy cheeks.

Ariel is on the left and Cinderella is on the right. Cinderella is laying an egg a day! Looove it!

I was playing around with the get a gold star if you can tell me what insect is in this picture!
We decided to have a nice barbecue at home as a family. Tri-tip, potato salad, and corn on the cob!
I wanted to get a picture of Anna eating her corn on the cob...when I grabbed the camera, she actually posed for me!! That is the first time she has smiled on cue for the camera! She looks so funny, but so cute!!

Pinkies Up! She LOVES corn on the cob!
Well, needless to say, we had a fabulous day. The girls were wonderful, the weather could not have been better, and the food was DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm About to Be Replaced

Haylie really wanted to take some books to preschool with her today. She wanted her teacher to teach her how to read them. I told her that the teacher had other things to do, but that I would read them to her when she got home. She did not like that idea. She said "Mrs. Garcia is going to be mad at you and she is going to call the police and I'm going to get a new mom."

So, if you don't hear from me for a while - it's because I've been replaced. ;-)

PS...I asked Haylie if she wanted a new mom and she said no. Whew!