Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last day of 2005 and...

I do not usually drop "F" bombs on this blog but in this case it is deemed necessary.

FUCKING STOMACH FLU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Or, for my fellow medical transcriptionists....


Friday, December 30, 2005

Last SPF of 2005

new year 2006
Originally uploaded by Vajana.

I started reading Dooce when she was pregnant with Leta, but I did not start 'blogging' until this year. It sounds ridiculous, but it has changed me, and i'm a better person for it.

Kristine, our ever faithful sponsor, has one last task for us for SPF and I am happy to oblige. Happy New Year everyone, hope you are all blessed beyond your belief in 2006.

SPF theme: New Years, duh.

*Your New Year's resolution

*Your favorite pic from 2005

*What you'll be glad to be rid of

New Year's Resolution

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Think no apathy. That is what I want for me in the New Year. I want to be less of a scapegoat and a stepping stone and more of a lion and a rock. I want to empower myself to be stronger and self-dependent than ever. I want my daughters to have a role model and not a Tootsie Roll. I want to rock the boat this year. I want to learn new things, explore new places, and break out of the Soccer Mold I am in.

My Favorite Picture 2005

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

I sorted and scanned through them all, and I kept coming back to this one. I was trying to NOT use one from DisneyWorld, because how corny is that? But, in the end, it was by far the most fun we had this year, and in this picture it totally shines through. The smiles on our faces are not forced. We were exhausted but at the same time ecstatic. We were together as a family, and it felt awesome. We had just finished a day at MGM studios, awaiting "Fantasmic!" and some German girl took this pic of us in exchange of me taking one of them. I hope theirs turned out as happy as ours did.

Rid of this!

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

I know, avert your eyes, it is pretty hideous. Of course I am so Ultra glad to be rid of, and finished with, the old Romper Room kitchen I had. It's like someone puked denim jeans in my kitchen. And the nasty carpet that had Gogurt stains on it, glad those are gone too.

I still have that cute butt though, he isn't going anywhere thank goodness!

sorta after

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

For good measure here is another 'almost after' of the kitchen. The backsplash will be done next week, and then I will be able to show true after pictures. But aye, this will hafta do for now. Last pic of 2005.

Have a very happy New Year. To all my blogging friends, I am so thrilled to have met all of you! I have met people I may not have ever met outside of the blogworld, people who have made me laugh until my sides hurt, cry without notice, and be in awe of the talent and wisdom I have discovered in all of you. Thanks for becoming a part of my life, here is to a New year of blogging and more fun yet to come!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Appetizer Exchange!!

So i'm sort of ripping this off but I truly am doing this to get ideas...I have a New Year's Eve Party every year, and being the MILF and Soccer mom that I am, it does not involve sexy martinis and swinging. No, sadly it involves a bunch of old foagies playing dominoes while the kids are locked in the basement to go crazy with wild abandon. The adults will stay upstairs, toasting to another year of living in Middle America and discussing what is funnier, that velour is actually back in 'style' or that people really believed Nick and Jess had a chance.

For this festive occasion, I have tried several different appetizers in the past, some regulars, other non-standards that usually ended up falling apart. I am in need of some new items to spice up the night. For heaven's sake people, I am a Soccer Mom. I need SOMEthing in my life. Do you think I should whip up Velveeta cheese dip just cuz I live in the heart of landlocked lard-loving 'llinois? No. I deserve snaz just like anyone on the East or West Coast.

So I come to you my fellow bloggers. Let us share in the joy of the new year together, and share those appetizer recipes. It will do us good to learn from one another, and to indulge in a new treat before our resolutions kick in, for the few first weeks anyway.

I will give you two of my standbys, and hope you will contribute!!


1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 tortillas

1 cup refried beans

1/4 cup cilantro leaves


Mix cream cheese & garlic powder with mixer until blended. Spread each tortilla with a thin layer of beans, spread cream cheese mixture over beans, top with cilantro.

Roll tortillas up tightly. Fridge 30 minutes. Cut into slices, serve with salsa.

and my other stand by, artichoke dip, but someone else is bring that:

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 can artichoke hearts, cut up

1 cup mayo

Blend all together, bake in 2 quart dish on 350 for 25 minutes, serve with wheat thins.

Let me know if you played!!!!

Not Christmas but not yet New Year...

Ah, how was your Christmas? We had a very nice one this year, especially due to friends and family visiting from out of town we got to see that we hadn't in awhile.

Both of my kids got American Girl dolls, much to my resistance, but I am no match for the force of that which is the Aunt, so I was outvoted. I am really pleased with them though, the girls are learning a lot about history and the American Girl website etc. is very positive and empowering for girls. Ah, but before this turns into a "The More you Know" spot, let me tell what my favorite toy was--the Dance Dance Revolution!!!! Oh my gosh this is so fun. Have you seen in the arcades where they have the dance pad with the arrows and the only people on it are teenagers who seem to be having some sort of convulsion? Yeah, we have one of those now! It is soooo fun and I can rock to "Pump up the Volume" in my own basement. Oh yes, pics to come for sure.

And on a rather surprising note...LP got me DIAMOND earrings!!!! OMG! They are so beautiful. He totally tricked me, I thought I was getting pajamas. LP has not been the best gift giver in the past, okay, he SUCKED at it. Have I ever mentioned the magazine rack? Yeah, he got me one. But this year, he has absolutely made up for it. Diamonds baby!

Speaking of baby, and using a little bit of word association, I also got the Michael Buble CD and he may just very well replace Rick S. as my new number one crush. He. is. So. Hot. That is all.

Today I am taking Al to the Titanic exhibit with a few of her friends. It looks interesting, and they are reading about it in school so she is very excited about going.

Is there any way we can do an 'appetizer' exchange?? The cookies were delicious, and I am having friends over for New Years so I need some ideas?!!!!! ANYONE??

Friday, December 23, 2005

stuffportrait Friday!

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Happy Holidays from Vajanaland! I cannot believe today is Christmas Eve Eve. The year has flown by. I have met so many wonderful people this year, I cannot tell you how grateful I am. But that is a post for next week.

I woke up early enough this morning to participate in SPF. The categories are:

* Your favorite wrapped gift
* Something you added to your decorations this year
* Your Christmas Cards.

If I don't post tomorrow, I am wishing all my fellow bloggers the happiest Christmas and Merry Boxing Day ever.

Favorite wrapped gift

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Yeah, that is the suckiest bow ever. This is only my favorite wrapped gift due to what is INSIDE, and I had to hurry and wrap it before LP started peeking. It is for him and I will forever be his love goddess after he opens it up (not that I'm not already). And yes, that is a birthday gift in the background, I didn't just run out of Christmas paper.

Something I added to my decorations

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

I actually got this snowglobe at a gift exchange this year. Normally snowglobes have been banned from our house, as they have resulted in two trips to the emergency room and a few messes that could have been prevented. We shall see how long this one survives.

Christmas cards

Originally uploaded by Vajana.

Here are some of my cards, but as you can see in the bottom right, there's a huge pile of them and I don't know where to put them. I prefer to put the picture cards up on the mantle, and I guess all my friends are out procreatin' so there are more of those this year!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sneaky Peeky

Well, seeing how it is the last few weeks of December and all, I thought I would show you a little bit of my kitchen. After 4 months of stress and construction and making do without, I can say it is almost done. The only thing left to do is the backsplash, but other than that my kitchen is fully operational. We are going to go tonight to Lowe's (NOT Home Depot) to figure out the backsplash design...btw, I have learned that the easiest way to get my kids to behave is to threaten them with a trip to Home Depot...they loathe it and straighten up right quick with the mere mention of it. So with that, I offer you the before and almost after:

Granted it isn't done yet, but you can at least see my Christmas colored cabinets are gone, and now i have a beautiful not-1970s-orangerust countertop. And a Lazy Susan! And look, there's that damn spice rack LP had to have. More pictures to come.......

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Festivus

Haiku for you:

Circus Kelli rocks
Makes me happy via mail
Norah Jones CD!!!!!!!!

She is the coolest ever! At first I thought, no way, no one would be so generous to send me a CD for Pete's sake. But...even Pete didn't realize what a cool chickadee CK was. I am thrilled.

Hm. Now to think of something cool to send back, this will require some ingenuity...stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blog cookie Exchange

Brought to you by Susie, and I almost didn't catch it but the kids and LP are asleep so I can sneak in before midnight....

Categories, please...

Favorite holiday recipes
Special traditions
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel :)

I shall start from the bottom and work my way up...

What you wear when you don your gay apparel:

I love my white sweater I got from Old Navy last year for $7. It is warm and wooly and I love it. I think a lot of people hate wool cuz it is so itchy, therefore that is why I got it for $7. But I love the heck out of it.

Favorite gift to give:

I agree that sentimental gifts are far better than anything else, well, duh! I used to give out family portraits but then thought that was sort of vain, but I love the idea of a scrapbook; I got one from a friend of mine this year for my birthday and I treasure it. I also love the gift of a good book, whether it's a classic, worn book or a new book to read, but certainly NOT a self-help book or how-to book, usually those imply too much! I think movie passes are nice gifts too, because movies cost a heck of a lot these days, but who doesn't enjoy going?

Special traditions:

When we got married, LP and I both agreed we always wanted a real tree for Christmas. Fast forward 8 years and cutting down your own tree and the pine needles and the cats drinking the water and...well Wal-Mart had some nice fake ones on sale the day after Christmas last year so guess what, there goes that tradition.

We do read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" every Christmas Eve before the girls go to sleep. That is our time, amid the chaos of running house to house to house.

Favorite holiday recipes:

Those peanut butter Kiss cookies are the shizzle, but I do have one recipe I make every year:

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups (12-ounce pkg) Nestle toll house semi-sweet morsels divided
1 1/4 cups (14 oz can) Condensed Milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter in bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. With floured fingers press 2 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of greased 13 x 9 pan; reserve remaining mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are brown.

COMBINE 1 cup morsels & condensed milk in saucepan, melt over low heat until smooth, spread over warm crust.

STIR nuts into reserved crumb mixture, sprinkle over chocolate filling. Drop tsps ful of jam over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with remaining morsels. Continue baking for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool.

Now, go check out Susie's place for more recipes!!
Santa ClauseNorth Pole, Earth
Dear Santa,

I have been a good Girl.

It really wasn't my fault what happened at Circus Kelly's office party. It was Kathy who spiked the punch with too much Buttery Nipples. I can't help it if I drank 35 glasses. It was so good---smelled and tasted just like "georgio".

I thought it was funny when I put Circus Kelly's skirt on my head and danced the mambo on the desk while singing `We are the Champions'. I didn't mean to break Circus Kelly's iPod and don't know why Circus Kelly would accuse me of treason.

I don't remember calling John's wife a saucy pig---even though she looked like one with blue eye shadow and red lipstick!

And when I threw up on Mrtl's husband's arm, it was only because I ate too much of that pumpkin pie.

After all that fun, I admit I was a little tired. So I fell asleep on my way home and drove my minivan through my neighbor's den. I don't think that was any reason for my neighbor to call me a crazy lion and have me arrested for assault!

So, I sit in my jail cell on Christmas Eve, all weak and dirty. And I'm really not to blame for any of this fuzzy stuff. Please bring me what I want the most---bail money!

Sincerely and quietly yours,Vajana (Really a nice Girl!)

P.S. It's only 58 bucks!

P.P.S. I borrowed this from Nessa who got it from here!!!

Ho ho ho

My kids are goofy.
And oh my, all the typing errors I have discovered in my blogging! I must be better at editing myself. Geez.

Last night we went to see the Big Man at the mall. There was much conversation about his address and how to contact him, and I informed them that he also sends a survey out to all parents regarding behavior. That one threw them in quite a tizzy. I expect excellent behavior for at least 11 more days.

One in the pink I shall refer to as AJ. RUG is in blue. Both crack me the heck up on a regular basis.

I still have plenty of more shopping left to do, and have no clue as to what I'm getting those I haven't yet shopped for. Crunch time, I work great under pressure.

My dear husband has requested two things for Christmas: memory for the computer and "Good Times" on DVD. Yes he is a peach and totally taken, mine all mine.

Have you seen these Chocolate Fountains? Oh my, that is dangerous for someone like me. I would have that sucker on constantly. Hmm. Upon further review those last few sentences look a little naughty, better watch myself. AJ did my Naughty/Nice factor last night and it turned out not so nice.

I guess Santa heard about the garbage man situation.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Garbage wars

"Aurora looking down at me with disdain"
This is where she spends most of her time. We have this ginormous monitor, and she sleeps on top of it most of the day, especially when I'm working.

Yesterday I got a nasty note from my garbage man. LOTS of exclamation points, and they weren't just regular exclamation points, they were the ones with little 'x's instead of dots at the bottom. He writes, "TOO MUCH WASTE!! You have had 4-5 weeks of too much and next week I will NOT pick it up!!!!!" And the paper was this bright orange.

I am totally aware there is too much out there. We are remodeling our house. There's trash. Lots of it. So I called the waste 'management' company a few weeks ago (probably 4-5 weeks ago, according to Mr. Garbage's note) and ASKED them if I needed to rent a dumpster as we'd be having an excessive amount of waste in the next few weeks. The woman on the other line looked up my address and said to me, "Ma'am, we are showing here you have UNLIMITED pickup, so no problem."

Okay, see my point here? I was MISLED by the MAN. Or, the woman.

I called them up yesterday and told them about the note. She asked for my address, I gave it to her.

This is where I turn into 'Elaine' from Seinfeld. Apparently, my file has been marked "DIFFICULT."

"Uh, yes the driver said you've been leaving too much out for weeks."

"But I called you guys to make sure that was okay, and I was told it WAS."

"The driver has also said you left out a toilet?????" (now the sarcasm is dribbling through her voice)

"No, I don't recall that..."

"The driver said you also left a bicycle, a hot air balloon, a Chevy Malibu and the Elephant Man's bones????"


(wait a second, why am I on the defensive here? I AM THE CUSTOMER!")

"LOOK. I called your place on the very premise that I didn't want to look like an ASS when we left all this stuff out there, so if this guy had a problem with it, why didn't he tell me this 5 weeks ago instead of leaving this nasty little note with the 'x's instead of dots on his exclamations???"

"Hmm. The driver also said you left a Mack truck, a float from the Macy's Parade and the set from the Merv Griffin show???"


Well, after all that I have to pay them extra for a 'special' pick up to pick up what is left. I have a friend who is a garbage man, and he tells me of all the things he finds in there, so you KNOW that guy has gotten some treasures out of my TRASH, yet I bet he had a nice little conversation with this garbage phone lady yesterday about ME.

And I always make cookies for him for Christmas but by golly this year they aren't going to be send with LOVE.

At least I know he can spit in my garbage and it won't affect me. Bah!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I can see clearly now

I call this "Aurora with Flair."
I have not had much gumption lately to blog. I don't even have the time to comment on anyone else's blog, and I am continually apologetic for this, but I really do not see an end to this behavior any time soon. *Sigh* the days of blogging for 8 hours straight are unfortunately behind me I think. BUT I am going to make a solid effort to post every day this week. Everyone is equally allowed a spanking of me if I do not reach this goal.

This weekend was fun. Busy, but fun. Friday night LP called and said, "Be ready by 5:30, wear something nice." Assuming this meant no jeans, I got all dollied up, and he took me out to dinner at a very nice restaurant. for NO reason at all!! Amazing. And hell YEAH I had the crab legs! Kings baby! Big honkin ones too. Deeeeeelicious.

Later, after a bottle of wine or two we went to a WINE tasting. Note to self: Wine all tastes great after you've already had a bottle or two! And it was SO unbelievably cold that night, hmmmm, wine makes ya warm and cozy and.....

AH I digress.

Saturday the girls went to a 'pom camp' where the high school pon pom (or whatever) squad teaches the little kids a cute routine and they perform it at a basketball game. The girls love getting a sneak peek into the minds of teenage girls, and I enjoy an afternoon shopping. HOWEVER I chose to bring my husband along this year, and well, let's say it would have been better had I had a 2 year old along with me. After the second store you'd thought I had driven needles into his eyelids. "But Jaaaaaaaana, I'm tired. I don't waaaaaaaaaanna go to another store." Okay, enough, enough. Next year, I'll be Jana-SOLO on my shopping spree.

So, after 5 hours of shopping we got ONE gift. One. And I got a cute outfit for a Christmas party we are going to this weekend.

Sounding board here: it was a relatively positive weekend and I'm trying to be upbeat but let me give you two pet peeves of mine: Price tags. And people who don't seem to get it when their kid is screaming BLOODY FREAKING MURDER when they put her/him on Santa's lap. Enough already! First off, don't most merchants realize I am probably, more than likely going to buy something as a GIFT and so therefore WHY do they insist on these price tag stickers that require a blow torch and a machete to take off? Especially when they put the price tag smack dab in the middle of a picture frame. Brilliant, just brilliant. Oh yeah, and the baby on the Santa lap thing too, that irritates me.

Okay. Well, I did get some nice things for the house too, I'd been wanting a tart burner and I finally found one I liked. If you do not know what a tart burner is, well, the better off you are cuz you can say tart burner without it having the boring connotation it actually has. Mmmm tart burner.

Today I went to my friend Sarah's house. She has a "Christmas Card" party every year where we all sit and write out our cards together with music and stickers and stamps and food and whathave you. Her husband was there and he says THIS to me: "Oh, you want to hear something weird? This guy I know has a Web Log. Have you heard of this? It's like a DIARY that ANYONE can read. I mean, how insane is that???" Seriously, he said that. I said, "Uh, I have one of those."

"YOU DO????????"


"And you let people you don't KNOW read it? And like, comment??"




Hmm. Apparently I'm more of a risk taker than I thought!!!

Ah, and lastly we took the girls to see "Chronicles of Narnia". I never read the book so i didn't know what I was in for. I still don't. Go see it, formulate an opinion and let me know.

I shall be back tomorrow!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I was seven.

I was playing at my neighbor's house, probably playing house like we always did. House rules, that was our thing. If she wanted to be the mom, and I had to be the dog, that was fine, it was her house.

Her mom opened the door to her room and said, "Go home and tell your mother right now that John Lennon was shot and killed." Her voice was cracking, and I knew this was a message I needed to get to her right away. It was morning so that meant cleaning and waxing the floors, Mom would not be listening to the radio or TV.

I was anxious to see my mother's reaction, I didn't know who he was but I knew I recognized his name. I burst into the kitchen and said, "Mom, Mrs. Keen told me to tell you John Lennon is dead. He was shot."

She stopped what she was doing, and just looked out the window. She started to cry, not weepy crying, just tears down her face.

"He was in a rock band right?"

"Yes, the Beatles."

Well then I knew. The Beatles were a regular on our radios and record players growing up. We knew all the words to their songs, and would sit for hours staring at Sgt. Pepper's record cover trying to find something new.

Years later I did a report on the Beatles for my high school speech class and learned more about John Lennon than I ever knew. He was an absolutely amazing individual.

Read here for other people's memories of the man who was shot 25 years ago today.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Well, the Frog has come and gone, the Christmas Bazaar has come and gone (thank goodness!) and my Girls weekend is gone too. The rest of December should be easy breezy.

I am fielding a LOT of questions this year about Santa ("How much income does he make?" "Does he ever go shopping at the mall?") so I need to make sure my daughters know he is alive, well, and totally exists. Maybe I can get him to email them or something. I know he is busy.

It is frickin cold here today, I think when I took the girls to school it was 15 degrees. No thank you.

Well I have little to nothing to say this morning, just wanted to say I'm still here.

P.S. I know you all are Tivo'ing each and every time Rick Springfield is on GH, right?