April 28, 2003
Usual Monday Entry

Well, I've been pretty consistent about doing an entry on Mondays, so here it goes......

My Weekend

Was great. Didn't really accomplish too much around the house, but did manage to get a grocery shopping trip in. Woo-hoo. Kind of a low key weekend. Had a fantastic thunderstorm on Saturday night. I'm just amazed by the storms here. Did my phone calls to family on Sunday, which is just stressful, which it shouldn't be! Which leads me to my next thought/rant.....

Critical Family Members

I don't understand, nor will I ever understand, why certain members of my family feel the need to judge the way John and I live our lives. Why does the topic of whether or not John is going to "find a job" even have to come up? Why do people think that putting the kids in daycare so John can "provide for his family" is even an option? Ummm, let's see, yes, that makes sense, pay someone else to raise my children so that John can go and work. Oh yeah! That's the ticket! Grrrrrr......and then to use the pretense of "concern" for my "well-being" really gets me. Another good one is "we just don't understand what John does all day." Look, just because we don't have maid service two times a week and housekeeping is not one of John's forte (which he will freely admit, and, oh by the way, he's getting better at!), don't think that you can be the judge as to whether or not John is "pulling his weight." I know for a fact, that John has to put up with a lot of comments about him being a stay-at-home dad, but I will tell you, I wouldn't have our situation any other way. He's a great father to the kids and does take care of the household and me. Dinner is prepared almost every night for me, laundry is done (much easier now with the indoor laundry!), the kids are happy (which should be the #1 concern!), and Sebastian's homework is done (and his father is THERE to help him). Sure, there are things I need to do when I get home, but remember people, this is a PARTNERSHIP.

My point being, to my family (and some close friends) is that, look, John and I have been together for 16 years. He makes me happy. We have 3 very happy, healthy children, that get to live with both their parents. I guess if you have to find something to ding John and I with, I guess that is your perogative. But, before you start judging my life, and my choices, take a look at yourself. Would it really be better for my children (and me, really) for both John and I to be working 40-60 hours a week? What really would that solve? Okay, before I get further into trouble, I'll move onto the next issue.....

Pervasive Development Disorder

For those of you who have read John's post about Sebastian, I wanted to post a couple of links regarding PDD.

Good "general" definition of PDD

Another informative definition

Just in case you want more information about it. It's really just a throw-all diagnosis, which can have many subcategories. Do I think Sebastian is autistic or has some form of autism? Maybe. It's hard to tell, without getting any formal diagnosis. He definitely has his own unique way of seeing the world. We are just taking one step at a time. That's all we can do! If it is a form of autisim, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Just like everything else in our lives we will handle it TOGETHER!

Later!

Posted by Brie at 10:17 AM
April 25, 2003
Friday Five

1. What was the last TV show you watched?

Hmmm, the last show I watched that I was actually paying attention to was Graham Norton on BBC. He had Isaac Hayes on last night, which was cool. Right before that I watched the Dixie Chicks on Primetime (GO CHICKS!).

2. What was the last thing you complained about and what was the problem?

For a chronic complainer, I think this is hard. I think the last thing I complained about was how many people at work apparently could not clean up after themselves in the break room.

3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say?

I just complimented my maintenance guy at work for doing such a great job at helping with the facilities clean-up (BIG visitors today).

4. What was the last thing you threw away?

Do work papers count? I just threw out a bunch of paperwork I didn't need that was cluttering my desk.

5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited?

Why, Silveriafamily.com, of course! Before that, I think I was doing some research on makeup at Aromaleigh.

Not an exiting F5, but there it is!

Posted by Brie at 04:49 AM
April 22, 2003
This or That

1. Yummier: Chocolate ice cream or strawberry cheesecake?

Can't I have Chocolate Cheesecake? Okay, then Chocolate Ice Cream!

2. Better to watch on TV: Movies or sports?

Depends. If I'm allowed to watch the movies from my DVD, I'd say movies. If I have to watch movies that are on the TV stations, I'd have to say sports.

3. A better web browser: MSIE or Netscape (or tell us your own favorite!)

I've been using IE for so long, but do have fond memories of Netscape. Yet another victim of the evil Microsoft.....

4. A better way to travel: Automobile or bus/train?

Automobile. You can listen to music or talk to the person/people you are driving with. I've always hated buses and have not done much train travel. I guess if train travel were quicker, I wouldn't mind it so much. At least you can read while traveling.

5. Your preferred camera: Digital or film?

What's this film you speak of??? Digital all the way!

6. A Cooler Vehicle: Motorcycle or sports car?

Definitely a motorcycle. But it has to be like a Harley or some street cruiser. Not those racing bike (crotch rockets?).

7. More fun: Video games or board games?

Hmmm. Depends on the game, really. I like video games, but then there is nothing funner than a rousing game of Scrabble with close friends.

8. Sexier: A perfect body or an intelligent mind?

I know I should say an intelligent mind, but being "sexy" has so much to do with the physicality of a person, unfortunately.

9. A stinkier smell: Skunk or gasoline (petrol)?

Dead skunk! Dead skunk!

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: What is more important to you: making a ton of money and being at the top of your field, or finding your soulmate and living a comfortable but not wealthy life?

Well, since I have found my soulmate and am living a comfortable, but not wealthy life, I'd have to say that is most important to me.

Posted by Brie at 04:08 AM
April 21, 2003
Monday, Again.....

Well, here it is Monday again! OCIM (Oh Crap, It's Monday!).....Here is my update and random thoughts......

EASTER

We had a good Easter. Aside from the bickering and whining, it was quite nice. The EB (Easter Bunny) left his usual letter and treasure hunt for the kids, which they enjoyed. Sebastian led Keegan and Madeline on the quest to find the baskets that were hidden. Later, after breakfast and a light lunch, we did the egg hunt in the front yard. I love our new front yard, but more on that later. The kids were successful in finding all of the eggs, but Keegan got upset because Sebastian found the last egg. Apparently everything in Keegan's world is a competition. After somewhat convincing him that it was a team event, he calmed down and moved on to other things.

Dinner was great. We had ham with all of the fixings. While the adults enjoyed the ham, the children, of course, whined about how it was gross. I sometimes regret that John and I have been so lenient on the kids' diet. They've pretty much been able to eat what they want, when they want. This is generally okay, however, now that they are getting older, they need to start trying new foods. Sebastian finally ate his ham, begrudgingly. Keegan, however, was a bit more of a challenge, causing me to use the "F" word while explaining to him I didn't care whether or not he liked the ham. Bad mother! After a mutual tirade, battle of the wills, we finally compromised and I made him a ham sandwich, which he ate. Now, looking back on it, I would have been better off just asking him what he wanted and made it for him. He would have ended up with a Peanut butter sandwich, but dinner would have been less stressful. This leads me to my first random thought....

CHOOSING YOUR BATTLES

This has always been my mantra with the kids. Eating habits are good example. The kids pretty much run their own diets, within reason. You have to eat something good for you, in order to have junk food. However, the kids would probably never try anything new. They would be quite content to remain on their starch, cheese, and sugar diet. Should I let them do this? Now my wise peditrician once told me that children were very good about balancing themselves out. A perfect example of this is last week, when Keegan suddenly went on a broccoli kick. He ate a lot of broccoli in one day. Obviously needed that. See, in my opinion, if you keep healthy food in the house (which we, for the most part do) then let the kids eat what they want, within reason. Why spend your time arguing about food and just giving them eating disorders later in life? Now, some nights we end up cooking 2 or 3 different dishes, just to keep them happy, but that's okay.

NEW HOME

I love my new home. I can not stress how perfect our new home is. It's the right size, has all of the amenities, and a great space for the kids and dogs. What more could I ask for? Nothing! There are some changes I would make if we owned it, but for the most part they are just cosmetic. Things like tile instead of linoleum, painting the walls, new refrigerator, resurface the deck, etc. I just don't think I've felt more at "home" then I do in this house. It's just so great! My hope is that in a couple of years the owner will decide to sell the house, then we will be ready to buy again. Dream of home owning again!

Enough for today. I've probably put y'all to sleep by now.....Cheers!

Posted by Brie at 08:59 AM
April 18, 2003
This or That

Following Ms. Cait's lead....

1. File taxes as early as possible, or wait until the last possible minute?

We usually try to file as early as possible.

2. File electronically, or mail paper forms?

Electronically.

3. Prepare your own taxes, or have someone do it for you?

For the last couple of years we've paid someone to do it (thank you H&R Block!)

4. Are you a saver or a spender?

Definitely spender. This is a real challenge, as I can't get too much on credit these days.

5. Do you prefer to carry cash, or pay with plastic (credit/debit cards), or by check?

Debit Visa Check Card. It's the preferred method. Checks seem so 1980's.

6. You're broke and desperately need a job, but the only places that are hiring are retail or fast food places. Which would you pick?

Definitiely retail.

7. Keeping track of your money: are you more meticulous or careless about it?

Sometimes meticulous. Sometimes careless.

8. What do you do if you find yourself with a lot of change weighing down your purse/pocket/wallet? Do you try to spend it to *get rid of it*, or do you put it in a jar or a piggy bank?

Usually goes to the kids for video games or vending machines.

9. Which form of fake money do you like better...Monopoly money or those chocolate coins covered with gold foil?

Monopoly money. That chocolate tastes like crap.

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You find a wallet containing $5,000 in cash, as well as several credit cards and the owner's drivers' license. Your rent is due tomorrow and you're short $200. Do you take the money (some or all of it) and mail back the wallet anonymously...or do you return the wallet with all contents intact?

As tempting as it is, I return the wallet with everything in it. Karma is a powerful thing.

Posted by Brie at 05:27 AM
Friday Five

1. Who is your favorite celebrity?

My favorite celebrity is......ummmm....gosh, so many come to mind, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Barbra Streisand, Katharine Hepburn, Eddie Izzard, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. I guess the best way for me to judge this is my magazine rule. If I saw Katharine Hepburn or Eddie Izzard on a cover of a magazine, I would probably buy that magazine.

2. Who is your least favorite?

Again, hard question. I guess my least favorite would have to be J. Lo, and not because I think she is bad or anything, I just hate seeing her EVERYWHERE!

3. Have you ever met or seen any celebrities in real life?

Outside of concerts, I've seen Tifani Amber Thiesen, Tim Conway, Brad and Jennifer, Elvis Costello, and Rebecca De Mornay all at an Eddie Izzard concert. Most recently I sat across from Maureen McCormack (Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!) at the Norfolk Airport. I've met all of the members of Depeche Mode.

4. Would you want to be famous? Why or why not?

I think I'd like to experience fame, but wouldn't want to be famous for a long time. I, of course, would like all of the privelages and wealth of fame, though. Just don't think I'd like the mobs.

5. If you had to trade places with a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why?

Hmmm, I guess I'd like to trade places with someone like Nicole Kidman, or someone beautiful like that. There really isn't anyone I'd like to "be." I would just like to look like them for a day! How vain....


Posted by Brie at 05:21 AM
April 15, 2003
Friday Five - a little late

Okay, so it's not Friday anymore, but thought I would do last week's list....

1. What was the first band you saw in concert?

Ummmm, Whitney Houston was my first ever concert. She doesn't quite count as a band, per se. So I guess Van Halen (with Sammy) was my first official "band."

2. Who is your favorite artist/band now?

Dixie Chicks, Barenaked Ladies, Peter Gabriel, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith. Kind of in a country mode, right now....

3. What's your favorite song?

Right now, although I don't have the album, my favorite song is Alan Jackson's "That'd Be Alright."

4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?

I always thought I would like to play the guitar, flute or saxaphone. I would like to eventually get a piano and, although I can play it, I would like to be more proficient.

5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?

Hmmmm, that's a hard one. I always thought I would love to meet Danny Elfman (formerly of Oingo Boingo) because he just seems like such a cool guy. Other than that, I can't think of anyone specific.

Posted by Brie at 05:33 AM
April 12, 2003
Just Checking In.....

Well, the whole dang family is back together again! Yippee! John, Cindi and the dogs arrived on Thursday, early evening. After much panic attacks, etc, I was quite relieved that John liked the house as much as I did. He was a little overwhelmed with the whole boxes everywhere-thing, but there wasn't much I could do about that! We had a minor/major squabble on Friday morning, but have gotten past that now. Thank goodness.

Just went down today and picked out a loverly new dryer. I can't wait for it to get here next week, as we are without a working dryer right now. Not fun. Got LOTS of laundry to do, and will just have to hang them to dry, I suppose. Now we have to do all of the unpacking and organizing stuff, which, no matter how you look at it, is tedious, BORING (as Maddie and Keegan would say) work!

Oh well....will post later!

Posted by Brie at 06:10 PM
April 04, 2003
Friday Five

What an appropriate, albeit familiar, Friday Five!

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?

Ummm, I'm getting ready to move into my 22nd home (I think). Can't even begin to split it up between houses and apartments......

2. Which was your favorite and why?

Oh gosh, I don't know. It's easier to say what my least favorites were, because I think that sticks out the most. But, if I had to say, probably my two favorites were the house in Modesto, right before we moved to San Jose, because it was the "ultimate" party house. John and I lived with 3 other people but we had a variety of friends in and out all the time. It was great fun! The other house that was my favorite was probably the house we lived in right before we moved to San Diego. It was a big two story house, and I think probably holds the most memories for me with the boys (first steps, Keegan's birth), new puppy (Emma Jean Jelly Bean), family BBQ's and visits. I also think that John and I were at a really good place during that time (not that we aren't now, but we've had our ups and downs).

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why

I probably find in more exciting than John does, as he generally handles the bulk of the details. I just like the FRESH start aspect of moving. Dumping things you no longer need/use, major reorganization of your life, etc.

4. What's more important, location or price?

Definitely location, within reason, of course. Especially with the kids, I want to feel safe and secure, have access to good school systems, and be in a nice neighborhood.

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?

My dream house has a spa, pool, spa tub in a glorious master bath, big yard for my 3 dogs (including a Great Dane) and 3 kids (with a nice playground for them), a zen garden for me where I could go to meditate and be alone. I would love to have a large kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances with a personal chef to go with it. My dream home would also include a groundskeeper and a housekeeper!

Posted by Brie at 07:04 AM
April 01, 2003
Update from Me....

Good morning! Don't really have anything to update, but just wanted to keep the posting thing going. Here are my random thoughts....

KIDS

The kids are getting a little stir crazy and getting on each others nerves, more than usual. Such a small apartment for 3 active kids and one tired grandmother for the entire day. I took everyone out on Saturday and drove around for a long time. Of course after 10 minutes in the car, the kids wanted O-U-T! But they managed to stay relatively calm for the car journey. On Sunday, I took just the kids to Barnes and Noble for about 2 hours and the Fuddrucker's for lunch. It was rainy and cold, but we still had a great time. Grandma stayed home and rested. Yesterday, Grandma took the kids to McDonalds to let them run off some of their energy for a couple of hours. It's hard to try to keep them occupied and entertained. Hopefully on Sunday we will be able to move our stuff to the new house, so at least they will have a backyard to run around in and more space. I'm so excited!

WORK

Work is going great. I just can't express how much I am enjoying my new job. There is so much to do and I feel like I'm such a big part of the management team. I feel like I belong. What a great feeling, after feeling so disjointed and an outsider at my last two jobs. I'm very busy, and am trying to stay on top of things so that I don't get overwhelmed (bordering on that right now).

Speaking of work....must get back to it!


Posted by Brie at 06:03 AM