Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This is not good for my rage!

Just about a year ago I posted about a certain company who I have done business with since college. I really do love their products.

I recently ordered myself a new calendar from them - recently as in THREE WEEKS ago. I haven't recieved it. My last three emails to them have gone unanswered, as has Bubblehead's voicemail to them earlier today.

As you can see by my previous post about them, I have always been nothing less than happy with them, but this has got me so mad! I understand that sometimes the postal service leaves out the "service", and problems happen, however the fact that I am basically being ignored makes me furious! They have had my money for 3 weeks! I have nothing to show for that.

Not to mention the fact that I am basically a big kid, my id just barely masked by many years of education and longs hours on my parents' part. Meaning I am impatient and selfish and I want what I want the way I want it - when I want it! It is hard enough for me to wait the usual 5-7 business days you'd expect when ordering something online.

I am going to give them another day or two, (gritting my teeth the entire time)to respond to the voicemail before I start filing a complaint with the better business bureau. I do feel bad that it's come to this, because this is a company I would like to continue to patron. Unfortunately their products are generally only found in university bookstores and large office supply stores, so I pretty much have to go through the internet for this. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I just realized

that one day I will tell my children that when their dad and I lived in Seattle, we saw Spoonman perform down at Pike's, and they will be completely unimpressed.

Oh wait, let me guess. You aren't impressed either.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Gabriella's quip du jour

"Alex likes you more than I do."

Perhaps I should note here that this was said in her happiest voice with a smile on her face. I think she meant it as some sort of a compliment - I choose to take it that way, although my responce to her was "What did I do to you?"


Thursday, February 23, 2006

The average 4 year old....

asks 437 questions a day. (I read that - I didn't count.) Just think about that for a minute - 437.

My four year old is rather chatty, so I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that she is skewing the average for those less-talkative 4 year olds out there.

I have another theory that really there are only about 50 questions a day, and they are asked over and over and over to equal 437.

At any rate, it is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why does this always happen?

Here we are how many days past Christmas? And guess what I just found....

Yep - I found some Christmas decorations staring me right in the face - pointing at me and laughing that I've been looking at them for over 2 months without seeing them.

I guess I'm not the most observant person in the world.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Who the hell are Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and where did you put that Laurie Berkner CD?

Music is a big part of our lives here at Mommy Matters Central. Both Bubblehead and I are musically inclined, and have played instruments from a tender age. (The two of us to this day argue over which of Greig's pieces is the best. - Don't mention Humoresque is all I have to say.)

We have fostered a love for music in our children without even really trying. I always get a smile when I turn on some music in the evening to accompany our clean-up and see them dancing around the kitchen, whether it's music they know and love, or something they've never heard before.

Bubblehead actually introduced me to much of the music I love today. Some of my all-time favorites (Depeche Mode, The Cure, They Might Be Giants) are all bands he introduced me to.

Somewhere along the way, however, our musical interests diverged. (Against my will, mind you. I think I can pin it down to right around March of 2001). I stopped listening to the radio and started listening to lullabies. I rejected a whole series of songs that I refer to as "penis songs" (bring it on Google!) and instead somehow The Wiggles got into my repertoire. I am now enjoying classical music again with The Little Einsteins while he is listening to Dropkick Murphys. I walk around the house singing "You are my friend, good good friend, on you I can depend....", while he is singing "Start wearing purple, wearing purple, wearing purple..."

So I'm not up on the latests bands or music anymore. My brother use to tease me that I knew all the words to every song on the radio, whether I liked the song or not. Now the best I can do is every song on my ipod. I have found these things come full circle. It was a great thrill for me when They Might Be Giants started making children's CDs. I can't even tell you my excitement when I found a version of "Mah Na Mah Na" by Cake. I'll just wait patiently for The Killers to contribute to that Doodlebops tribute album.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I've been nominated?

I had no idea! I am honored to find out that I have been nominated over at One Woman's World in her new Share the Love Blog Awards. (I was nominated for best blog design, which thrills me, because I do love my new design, with "Sally and Oregon" up there on top.)

Voting is open until February 20th. Head on over and check out the many fun categories, and wonderful nominees. (Oh, and if you feel like voting for me, I won't stop you. ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy Winterfest

I know the first thing you are going to say to me. "But Christine, Winterfest was Saturday - you're late!" Yes yes, you are correct. Forgive me my oversight please - I've been a little busy what with the festivities and all. Add to that I'm the only one who travels over 100 miles to participate. (Annie, there should be a prize for that next year. Just something to think about.)

I have wanted to record for posterity here the true meaning of Winterfest. I did post about it last year, but of course I did not do it justice. This year as I sat at the closing ceremonies (stifle your giggles please) and listened to my sister-in-law's brother (that makes him my brother-in-law once removed?) talk about the first winterfest and what this holiday has become to our families it hit me that he said it better than I ever could. And so because he is a very generous soul he agreed to let me reprint it here for all of you (and more importantly for Ella and Alex). It may look a little lengthy, but I haven't posted many long posts lately, so indulge me and please give it a read.


My sister asked me to contribute. However, as her big brother my contributions usually involve mockery and skepticism, so this time I figured - why mess with a good formula.

I want to take this opportunity to say a few words about the origins of
winterfest, and to comment on the success the holiday has become. Then I
would like to mention some concerns I have about its future.

By now, we are all familiar with the story of the first winterfest. Jeff
and Annie had just moved back to (their hometown). It was a short while after
Christmas. Annie was blue. Rather than let what I saw as the obvious symptoms of an undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder 'bring her down', so to speak - she used
this grand funk as a source of inspiration.

The problem, Annie felt, was the gap, the downtime, following the
christmas season and before the next group of major holidays. Combine
this with the knowledge that we are still in for a few months of snow
and dreary weather, and you have what Annie saw was a clear need.
We needed a holiday to fill the gap.

Naysayers did mention Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, President's Day,
the Chinese New Year... but none of these fit the bill. This new holiday
should not hide from winter - it should embrace it. It should be a
celebration of family, a time of togetherness, and the entire day should
be blocked out and meticulously scheduled from sun up until sun down.

In the end, my sister had the nerve and the audacity to take it upon
herself to create a new day of celebration. This is an act that rarely
takes place without a 'great cause', such as the remembrance of a
significant cultural, religious, or historic event, eventually followed
by the endorsement of a major gift card company - but she pulled it off.

And as simple as that, winterfest was born. The very word 'winterfest' showcases the dramatic potential of this holiday. Fest, short for festival, which, from the American Heritage Dictionary, means: "an occasion for feasting and celebration, an often regularly recurring program of cultural performances, exhibitions, or
competitions". Winter, the season we are embracing with this holiday, from the same source: " A period of time characterized by coldness, misery, barrenness, or death."

This new holiday would fill an entire day with gifts and games, and it would involve competitions and exhibitions. A central event was needed, preferably revolving around a winter sport - sledding was suggested, ice skating came up as an option... Eventually and inexplicably, we opted for bowling. Simple, handmade gifts were exchanged. A winterfest theme was created, and molded into our very first winterfest song. Winterfest, the product of a flash of inspiration followed by an act of determination, became itself about artistic creation and the sharing of ideas.

Fast forward to the present. Look around you - the humble roots of the
first winterfest have taken root. They have sprung up, branched out, and
borne the fruits we have tasted today. A record number of participants,
an insane level of preparation, RSVP's, itineraries, treasure hunts, Bowling...
The budget for this tour de force easily matched the weekly income from
a small paper route. The amount of preparation involved rivaled that needed for the ongoing Olympics in Torino. I met the most interesting woman today after the treasure hunt, and I later found out from Aunt Edette that she was my wife.

More importantly, we have a room full of very young people who do not know a world without winterfest. At the time of the first event, Jonah and Gabriella were toddlers. Ethan was just a baby. My absolute favorite picture of him, hanging on my wall at work, was taken by Jeff while Ethan looked on from his car seat as we all played our first annual game of winterfest 10-pin at the sunrise lanes.

When this all began, there was no Alex, no Matthew, no Megan, no Hannah... To the children there is no difference between winterfest and thanksgiving, other than the fact that one is a noticeably more obsessive-compulsive holiday, and their classmates look at them blankly when they mention it during recess.

My children bowl about as often as they eat cranberries - once a year,
on their respective holidays.

At this point in my life I measure success and failure with three
yardsticks - one is six, one is four, the other is nearly two. From
their viewpoint, this has been a day to remember. They see this day as a
tradition we keep.

Last, I want to provide a warning. That may be ending on a sour note,
but I cannot remain quiet in the face of something that could potentially be so devastating. One recent random evening I went to Target to shop for my 'spectacular
super swap gift exchange extravaganza' gift, as has become the tradition (starting this year) and I ran into 5 other people also shopping for their gifts. Retailers will not ignore this ramp up in sales the week or so preceding February 11th. Soon, we will see countdown-till-the-holiday sales and 'May your winterfest be fantastic' cards from Hallmark. Mind you, I am not lamenting the loss of our innocence. It was touching, in the olden days, to receive a handmade gift. I also really like my
springy clock.

I do fear that we may someday see the slickness and unnatural sheen that
accompanies a holiday that has hit the big time. I also fear that this
will happen and none of us will profit from it. I am also a little nervous because I recently read of fresh initiatives for the inclusion of bowling in the Olympics, starting in the 2008 Beijing Games. I say only 'a little nervous' because they have made a tactical error. They are attempting to have the sport added to the
roster for the 2008 Summer games.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings, Please heed my warnings, and
We'll see you next year.

Thank you Steven for letting me borrow your words. To the rest of you I'll also mention here that Steven confided in me when I revealed the existence of my blog to him that he has thought of doing a blog-of-sorts himself. Join me in encouraging him to do so! I would certainly read it!

Monday, February 13, 2006


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This post brought to you by my beloved little brother. I see it as an experiment of sorts -I can't wait to see your comments.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Gabriella's quip du jour

"Come on, Alex! Let's go where ever I want you to go!"


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Uncle Bubba's Oyster House

The first stop on our trip that I was really excited about was Savannah Georgia. As you may or not be aware, Bubblehead was stationed in Georgia for over 4 years in the Navy, so this was visiting our old stomping grounds for me. All the way from the highway into Savannah I am babbling away about my favorite restaurant in Savannah, Snappers.

(aside) Bubblehead and I use to love to visit Savannah while we lived in the Southeast. We had found Snappers completely by accident, and when we went in for lunch they were offering free cups of their shrimp bisque. I wouldn't have ordered it, but because they offered it, I decided to try it. Oh. My. Goodness. That was the best soup I've ever had! And so we always went to Snappers when we were in Savannah so I could get my fill of shrimp bisque. I would even get an order to go when we left, and take it home and put it in the freezer for a later day. I loved it! (/aside)

So it just became a given with my parents and I that we would eat dinner at Snappers after getting settled in the hotel. Because I never did the driving in Savannah (and it had been 8 years) I didn't know exactly how to get there, but we found directions online and headed off.

We pull into the parking lot and what do we see? "Uncle Bubba's Oyster House". Damn it! No shrimp bisque. But we were there, so we went in for dinner.

Everything had changed, of course. They had live music by a local duo, Bucky and Barry, which was very loud. Gabriella had her hands over her ears at first, but then as we sat waiting for our meal, we watched her arms drop down and she started bee-bopping in her seat. Bucky and Barry did some wonderful covers of "Brown Eyed Girl", "Hotel California", and the like, and pretty soon Ella was out of her seat and dancing around her chair, as if she just couldn't help herself. It was the most adorable thing! We enjoyed Bucky and Barry's music so much, and the way they brought Gabriella to her feet, we bought their CD on the way out.

So the lack of shrimp bisque was made up for by a nice evening and good music. I wish Bucky and Barry had a website I could link you to. But if you're ever in Savannah, (and if you have the chance you must go to Savannah!)find out where they are playing and go see them! (And if anyone out there knows anything about the shrimp bisque recipe from Snappers, please email me!!)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Alexander's quip du jour

This occured during our most recent germ fest, while Gabriella was so very sick she spent an entire day groaning and moaning and sleeping. Alex came into her room, climbed up on the bed and laid his head upon her back, looked at me and said quietly:

"I wuv her, Mama"

All together now: "Awwwwwww!"


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I told you she hates people dressed as over-sized characters

Okay, so it's time I start writing about this vacation before it leaves my memory. I will do this in no particular order or deadline.

So there we are at Disney World (on my birthday - you can't do better than that!) and I've never made a secret of the fact that I'm a big kid at heart. I decided, knowing full well that Ella doesn't like characters, that we would go to a character lunch featuring everybody's favorite friends of Christopher Robin.

It was a buffet-style lunch, which Ella loves because she can choose her own foods. The food was very good - not your typical buffet food. As we ate, the characters made their rounds around the room so all the children could say hi and have their pictures taken with them. I told Ella she didn't have to see anyone she didn't want to, secretly hoping she would change her mind.

Of course she didn't, although she was good about it. The result was I got several mediocre pictures of Alex with some of my favorite Disney friends, and one of Ella all by herself. Yes, she's hiding under the table.

Name: Christine
Location: Wyoming, United States
I'm the Mom of two. They drive me crazy. I love them dearly. I want one more. I'm not insane, yet. My hubby says I'm a snob with an inferiority complex. There is more to me than being a mother. I just don't remember any of it.

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