Life of an Albuquerque Mommy

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Something about Chocolate

I guess its true what they say. Girls love their chocolate...

Last night I made a german chocolate cake. That is a chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting. I'm not a big fan of pecans but I love this cake! I discovered that I'm not the only one. Of course my husband likes it, its chocolate, and my son likes it, its cake. But today I discovered my little girl likes it too.

We had a small piece this morning. One plate, one fork, three mouths, you know how it works.

Tonight I made dinner. Fetticine with a sun dried tomato alfredo that I kicked up a notch by adding bacon and garlic cooked in oil, and a seasoned breaded(paprika, black pepper, and thyme with bread crumbs) chicken breast and garlic bread. Yummy! My daughter ate quite a bit and seemed to love it but before I thought she was really full she just stopped eating. She was crying and screaming. I took her down from the high chair and she just wandered around the kitchen screaming and crying. Every so often she's stop and look up at the counter. Like she was still hungry and looking for something else to eat. It was so strange. She ate a few more pieces of chicken off of daddy's plate but then refused to eat anymore but she was still crying like she way hungry.

Thats when it occurred to me. She was pacing the kitchen looking up at the kitchen counter where she knew the chocolate cake to be. She was a girl who needed some chocolate! I laughed to myself as I dished up a small piece of cake. Sat down at the table pulled her up to my knee and fed her some chocolate cake. She was content to sit there and eat her cake, not another peep was uttered from her lips. She even contently tapped her fingers on the table between bites.

When a girl wants chocolate, a girl wants chocolate and nothing is going to stand in her way! If only we all could be so vocal about our chocolate fix when its calling to us...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/29/2005 06:08:00 PM :: 3 Comments:

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September 29th, 2005

First I want to say it is raining outside right now. Not only is it raining but we have thunder and lightning. AND its been going NONSTOP since 4pm yesterday! COOL. Two days ago we reached 89 degrees yesterday barely made 75 and today we'll be lucky if we break 70 degrees. YEA its finally fall like weather! Time to break out the long pants and sweaters.

September 29th is the half way mark I made for myself for my weight loss regime. Three months ago I started trying to loose weight. The goal to try to get as close to loosing 30 pounds by my birthday. My birthday is December 29th. Today at my half way mark I have lost 10 pounds. My goal was to have lost 15 by this point. It has been amazing to me how HARD it has been to loose this weight. I remember being able to eat anything I wanted as much as I wanted and never having to exercise and never gaining a single pound. NOW I have to watch everything I eat, count calories, and exercise all the time! This is so not fair!

Now that its getting cooler its becoming that much harder to exercise. I worry its too cold in the mornings to walk with my kids in the stroller. I don't want them to freeze you know! Pilates is starting to get boring, I'm tired of refraining from sweets. I have an exercise ball but no workout video/routine to go with it. I need to keep at it and find something to motivate me a little more and make it fun and exciting again. Plus some way to exercise when it gets too cold to push the kids. If only I had a membership to a gym! Take the kids to the play area, work out, maybe swim, pick up the kids go home! YES!!!

This is just a half way point. Its not the end. I need to keep this momentum going till my birthday. If I get close to 30 pounds lost by then, WONDERFUL! If not as long as I continue to loose I'll still feel good about what I have accomplished.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/29/2005 08:28:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sleep... Who Needs it?

Is it possible to function as a normal human being when you're woke up ever 20-60 minutes all night long by a baby that has a cold? And top of having a stuffy nose, horrible cough, and fever keeps loosing her binkey? And then be woke up at 5am by a husband getting ready for work and not being able to go back to sleep because a toddler gets up at 5:30am?
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/28/2005 05:38:00 AM :: 6 Comments:

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do you want to go to the Zoo?

This morning when I woke up I decided I needed to take the kids somewhere fun. My husband rode the bus today and I might as well take advantage of a day with the car. I could take the kids to the aquarium and botanic gardens or I could take them to the zoo. Hmmm... choices, choices. We went to the aquarium the last time, kids are back in school, and the weather is a bit cooler. Let’s go to the Zoo!

I called a friend of mine at 8:30am and asked her if she wanted to meet me at the zoo in 2 hours. She has a daughter two weeks older than my daughter. She agreed and we decided to meet at the Zoo at 10:30.

First we went to go see the apes. As we were walking to the gorilla exhibit I wondered how my son would react this time. Last time we went there was a big male gorilla sitting right next to the glass. He was about 8 feet away from the glass, and my husband thought he wasn't getting closer because there were other kids standing next to the glass. He thought he would help him get closer. At first he just suggested to him to get closer, when he wouldn't he kind of nudged him closer, but he still wouldn't get closer, then daddy just picked him up and stood him next to the glass. I could see why he wasn't getting closer, he was afraid, but my husband didn't get it. Not until he full out started crying and fighting daddy to get away from the glass. This time no such catastrophe. We saw two gorilla mommies with their babies. One mommy and her baby sat next to the glass and munched on some yummy leaves. My kids and their little friend thought that was really neat!

Then we saw orangutans hanging out in the trees, usually they're down on the ground and hard to see, but this time one was perched way up on a tree and another was in a tree-house hanging out, doing what appeared to be reading the newspaper.

We saw hippos, and giraffes and zebras, and alligators, and elephants. There were two new giraffes born in April and May of this year. An older zoo-worker told us about the giraffe babies. The one born in April was named April and is doing great. The one born in May is called “B.B.” When the may baby was born one of the other female giraffes got to her before the mother and started cleaning her off. This made the baby bond to the wrong mother, and the real mother wouldn’t have anything to do with her. So she has to be bottle-fed. This is why she’s named “B.B.” (baby-bottle).

When we got to the elephants they were being fed. The trainers were having the elephants do all kinds of tricks. And there was even a baby elephant they were working with. It was quite entertaining to watch them.

We went in to the gator swamp while my friend and her daughter waited outside. Something about the smell in there she said... When we got inside we saw tons of alligators in this big tank. My son was looking eye-to-eye with all these alligators. He pointed at them and told me "mommy, they're bad, look, bad!" I guess that means he thought they were a little scary?

We saw the big cats, the tigers, cougars, snow leopards and lions, and cheetahs. The kids all knew what sounds these animals made!

Next we saw sea lions, seals and polar bears. Seeing the seals and sea lions reminded me of one of my favorite family vacations as a child. We went to the Oregon coast. On this trip we went to the Sand Dunes and rode these huge bus dune buggies. We went to Newport and saw Ripleys Believe or Not Museum and a Wax Museum and an aquarium that is on a glass bottom boat. But specifically I remember we went to the Sea Lion Caves. I remember going down an elevator for what seemed like a long time and coming out into this HUGE cave and just being overcome by the extreme loudness in there. There were thousands of sea lions in this cave and they were all making a huge racket. Seeing the sea lions and seals swimming around, so graceful was quite fun. The kids loved the colors of the water, and seeing them swim.

Even though it’s almost October we are still reaching the high 80’s here in Albuquerque. Yesterday we got to 89 degrees. By Noon the kids were getting tired, and we were getting hot and ready to go home. We didn't get to see the Koala Bears or the Rainforest exhibit. We'll have to do that part first next time. Even though we didn't see everything the kids still had a great time!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/27/2005 02:37:00 PM :: 7 Comments:

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Trapped in the Southwest

Some days its really hard to be in Albuquerque.

Today is one of those days...

Every so often I find myself in a bit of a funk. I start thinking (and secretly wishing) about how wonderful it would be to live closer to family and friends. Its so hard (on me mostly) to be so far away, especially when they're going through hard times. I always feel like my hands are tied and wish there was something more I could do to help. Most times I feel like packing a bag, loading the kids in the car and driving down the freeway so I can be there to help. Even if its just as a shoulder to cry on. I hate feeling like I can't help.

More than anything right now I wish I was in Portland, Oregon. My best friend and her family live there right now. We met when we were living in Phoenix. Her husband and my husband were attending DeVry at the same time. We instantly hit it off and have been great friends since. Her 3rd child was born just two months after my 1st. A few months after we moved to Albuquerque, they moved back home to Portland. Since my family is still in Washington we try to see each other at least once a year, and we talk all the time. She is pregnant with her 4th baby. She was put on bed-rest at 25 weeks. Her oldest just started 1st grade, her 2nd is in kindergarden this year and her youngest will be 3 soon. Her husband starts a new semester at Portland State on Monday, and I just wish so much that I could be there to help out. How I wish I wasn't a 24 hr drive away. How I wish I was only 3 hrs away. I know she has lots of help. She and her husband grew up in the Portland area, if they need help they have tons of friends and family around.
Maybe its just me. When a friend or family member is in need I do everything in my power to do what I can for them. The long-distance help is all that I can do and I just feel so limited. Seriously if I could jump in the car and be there to help her I would in a heartbeat. Every time my mind starts to wander I find myself thinking about them. Trying to figure out how I can get there. Drive? No, only one car. Fly? No money for tickets. Dana, stop thinking about it. She has family and friends THERE already to help if she needs it. But I can't. I CAN'T! Whats wrong with me?

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/23/2005 11:09:00 AM :: 8 Comments:

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Vacation from the "city life"

While in conversation with a dear friend of mine this morning, she asked me about my "city life vacation" yesterday. This friend was a roommate of mine from college and have shared in the high's and low's of each others lives since that time. We have "talked" with each other online almost every day for a long time. Shes the one that introduced me to Indigo Girls. I thought that sharing our conversation would be a fun way of telling you about our vacation day.

cg: Tell me about your rural day yesterday.

d: okay so our day started at 5am yesterday.

cg: and holy crap, that's early!

d: if you read my last blog entry you would know that "S" worked late tuesday night, and "W" was upset about going to bed without seeing him. I made the mistake of saying "the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner it will be morning and the sooner you can play with daddy"
d: he took it seriously
d: he was up at 5am and would not go back to sleep
d: Monday we discovered there was a nail in one of the tires of the car.
d: 7am "S" left to get the tire fixed. 8am he was back said it was a 2 1/2 hr wait

cg: oh man. I hate that. Always hits when your headed or on vacation!
cg: so what did you do?

d: So we left the house at 9:45am and went to another store to get the tire fixed. We walked down the street to return a movie and ate a very early lunch (10:30am)
d: after the tire was fixed we went to a couple of different stores to look at window replacement and granite transformations (maybe someday redo the kitchen counters with that granite overlay)
d: THEN we went to the bank to get some cash. it was the lunch hour so shane stood in line and the kids and I played with magazines
d: THEN we went to walmart to get ziploc freezer bags. THEN we went to a privately owned family farm that has their own store where they sell their produce.
d: the kids fell asleep on the way there (it was only 5 minutes away from Walmart)
d: I waited in the car with the sleeping kids while shane got a bushel of fire-roasted green chiles. and a dried red chile ristra (decoration for the front door)

d: we had to get gas on the way home, then we had to peel all the roasted skins off the chiles.
d: Then we packed them in ziploc bags. The car and house smell like green chile.
d: The kids ate a little bit and watched Lilo & Stitch while we peeled the chiles.

cg: so did you ever make it out of town?

d: No
d: we never left town.
d: we just pretended we weren't in the city
d: did all RURAL type things

cg: fun!

d: going to a family farm, get some fresh produce, put it up ourselves
d: after the chiles we told "W" we were going to ride the bus to the fair.
d: We had to drive about 1/2 mile to the park and ride to get on the bus.
d: When we were getting the kids in the car "S" asked "WW if he was excited to see the animals at the fair.
d: long pause... then he said. No (matter of factly) ride the bus!
d: he was more excited about riding the bus to the fair then seeing the animals at the fair
d: we got to the fairgrounds and "W" immediately started pointing out all the rides.
d: He was a little sad that he wasn't big enough to ride on them yet. We found the city police "tag your tots" booth, got an id tag for him (because he has a tendancy to run away from us)
d: then we went to look at all the animals.
d: He got to pet some cows, loved looking at the calves, and he got to feed a LONG-HORNED Bull!
d: I helped him, he got his hand all slimey.
d: but he still thought it was cool.
d: We looked at horses. (all the pigs and sheep had already been sold)

cg: it is cool

d: we saw geese and chickens (thought of you!)

cg: geese! we didn't have any geese. just lots of pigeons and a couple of chickens by the time we got there

d: we saw ducks too. I asked him if he remembered seeing ducks at "Auntie 'C's" house
d: he did.
d: there were TONS of chickens!

cg: nice! I loved those ducks!

d: saw baby goats.
d: I always liked goats better than Sheep.
d: "S" had pet sheep as a kid.
d: goats are much cleaner animals

cg: man, we both LOVE goats!

d: they had an "extreme diving show"

cg: I would love to have some and take them into the mountains!!

d: that was really cool. Next to it was a kiddie cars race track.
d: "W" really wanted to ride in the cars.
d: But by the time we got there they were putting them away. We stood nearby to watch the diving show. He just sat there with us and pretend cried the whole time as he watched all the cars be put away i nthe trailer.
d: We were like 10 feet away from them, he just wanted to climb in them
d: Then we went to the Rodeo.
d: First rodeo in my life.
d: So fun!

cg: really?

d: Everytime she saw a horse she'd start yelling and screaming, and jumping up and down in my lap!
d: Waving her arms around and pointing at the horses.

cg: well that's pretty dang cute

d: They started with the bare-back bucking horses.
d: She thought that was so cool. She liked that way much more than the calf wrangling.
d: The rodeo clown had a mic and he and the announcer kept joking around, going back and forth at each other between the action, HILARIOUS.
d: the whole day I kept forgetting "S" had to go back to work today. So after an hour at the Rodeo we had to leave.
d: We rode the bus back, it was like 8:30pm and the kids were just wired.
d: We thought "they are so not going to sleep when we get home"
d: but as soon as their Pjs were on they were out like a light

cg: big day!

d: Will actually slept till 7:15am today
d: The state fairs advertising slogan this year was "too much to do in just one day, thats why theres 17"
d: Now I just need to write that all into a cute little story and post it on my blog...

cg: you should copy and paste all of this into a word doc!---you've covered all the bases!

d: definitely! Good idea.

there are just a few little things I forgot to mention. When we got to the park and ride there was a long line of people to get on the bus. Yesterday was 1$ day at the fair and rodeo. Thats always a popular day. My husband, the kids and I were the last ones to get on the bus. I can only imagine the scene "W" would have caused if that bus had driven away without us on it!
He wanted to wear a hat and sunglasses at the fair. He was the cutest guy there. You could just catch the wisps of blonde hair under his hat. And of course "Sy" was the star of the bus! Everyone just thinks shes so cute. She even let someone else hold her. The girl holding her got bored before "Sy" did. That NEVER happens!

While wondering around the fairgrounds we passed a New Mexico state police booth. They offered "W" a sticker that looked like a police badge. He also received an eraser for a pencil that looked just like their badge. He thought this was the coolest thing ever. He has worn his "badge" nonstop since yesterday. Its been transferred between 3 different shirts. Including his PJ's last night. He wanted to be the helpful big brother yesterday. He pushed his little sister all over the grounds in the stroller. At one point he dropped his eraser and just melted into tears. It was the saddest thing ever. I had to rescue it before it got ran over by another stroller. "Sy" got tired of riding in the stroller and she got to push the stroller around. But every so often she'd get distracted and take off for someone's "dragon" balloon...

Overall it was a very eventful and memorable day.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/22/2005 01:34:00 PM :: 3 Comments:

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

things kids say

My sons favorite argument right now is "The Suns Awake".

Its so funny to hear my own phrases used against me. I used to tell him when he first turned two that when the sun goes to bed then its time for him to go to bed. Then as I left the room I'd say "see you in the morning when the sun wakes up".

Now when he wakes up early (too early for me) in the morning I ask him to go back to bed. He says "No Mommy, the Suns awake!" If he catches us trying to catch a few extra ZZZZ's in the morning or pretending to sleep on the couch he comes over to us (this happens to my husband more than me) and says "WAKE UP, NO Sleeping, daddy the Suns awake!"

And if I dare ask him to take a nap, its the same thing, "Mommy, Look(as he pulls back the darkening curtain and points out the window) the Suns Awake."

Tonight my husband had to work late. Usually he's home by 4:30pm but tonight he didn't get home till 7pm. For our little family thats really late. If he doesn't get home before 6pm the kids won't see him till the next day. They go to bed at 6pm.

Tonight my kids went to bed like normal. No big fights. But 30 minutes after closing the door of my sons room I heard him burst into tears. He was crying for daddy. I told him Daddy had to work late tonight. He started crying harder. I told him Daddy will be home all day tomorrow. (we're planning on taking a vacation from the city life tomorrow. to be explained in a future blog.)

He just said "want daddy hugs, want daddy kisses..." It was so sad. I finally asked "do you want to go for a car ride with daddy tomorrow?" He said "yes", while trying to choke back tears. I said to him "the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner it will be morning when you can play with daddy all day". He excepted that, stopped his tears, rolled over on his pillow and went to sleep. I'll have to make sure to tell my husband how much he was missed for bedtime tonight...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/20/2005 07:15:00 PM :: 6 Comments:

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Grover's Apple Orchard Hay Ride

Question: What happens when you have a hayride through an apple orchard with 50+ 12-18 yr old kids on a wednesday night?
Answer: Memories that will last the rest of your life!

Question: What kind of hayride can accomodate 50+ kids?
Answer: One that occurs on long trailers with rows of hay bails, pulled behind tractors.

Question: What happens when you have a group of 12-16 yr old girls sitting together?
Answer: High-pitched squealing every time you hit a bump.

Question: If there are girls sitting together giggling and squealing whats likely to occur?
Answer: A group of 13-16 yr old boys and one 17 yr old tomboy(me) sitting together begin mocking the squealing girls.

Question: What happens when the girls realize they're being made fun of?
Answer: they start throwing hay at the boys in an attempt at flirting.

Question: When hay starts being thrown while traveling through an apple orchard what do you think that will lead to?
Answer: apples being picked up off the ground and tossed back at the girls.

Question: Where does the hayride lead to?
Answer: After going through the orchard the tractors slowly make their way down a long winding dirt road into a canyon.

Question: Whats in the canyon?
Answer: At the end of the canyon a large bon-fire is being built up. The tractors follow the canyon down to the end where the bon-fire is.

Question: Why is a hayride through an apple orchard cause for a good memories?
Answer: After all the kids unload from the tractors the haybales are put into a circle around the bonfire. Hot chocolate, apple cider and donuts are served. An inspirational message is delivered. And even though an all-out apple and hay war occurred on the way to the bonfire everyone feels a little closer to those around them.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/19/2005 10:44:00 AM :: 6 Comments:

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Creepy Crawlies

While the kids were playing outside,
a little lizard found his way into our house.
tried to catch him and put him back outside,
he kept running under couches and chairs,
stereos and VCRs.
Finally caught him, the kids wanted to see.
But you know that defense mechanism that lizards supposedly have?
Well, Its true.
While the lizard was in my hand he tried to jump away,
he detached his tail at the same time.
In one place is a tail wiggling all on its own,
in another place is a lizard running away.
Finally caught him again,
set him free in the flowerbed outside.

Cooler Weather Outside = More spiders inside!

I am not a big fan of spiders,
ask my mom, dad and brothers, they'll tell you.
My mom has said that I would catch rollie pollies, and worms as a child.
I won't go near a spider.
Last night before going to bed we killed two in our bedroom,
in less than 30 minutes.
Hobo Spiders in Idaho are one thing,
Yes they're scary,
Yes they chase you,
but NO they can't climb walls.
Our spiders here LOOK like Hobos,
but they can climb walls,
and hang from a webline.
My roommates in Rexburg always designated me the Hobo killer,
even though I was scared to death.
Here, I'd rather kill the spider,
then find it in my bed.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/19/2005 08:57:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Before and After of our Yard

I decided maybe showing a few pictures would give you a little bit more understanding to the sadness we are feeling with the closure of Rowlands.

(the front yard BEFORE )

(the back yard BEFORE)

(the Front yard NOW)

(the backyard NOW)

(Last summer after we built the Pergola)

As you can see, Rowlands has become a second home to us. It will be missed dearly.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/17/2005 10:37:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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small mom and pop vs. BIG CHAIN stores

It was announced yesterday that Rowlands Nursery will be closing its doors after 50 years of serving Albuquerque. This is sad news. The reason they're closing is that they can't keep up with the competition. They had 5 stores in this city. Yes, there are other locally owned nurseries, but the competition that did them in was Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot.

Rowlands was always a little more expensive than BIG CHAIN stores, but it is SOOO worth it. The quality is so much better. You may not notice when your looking at the plant in the store but once you plant it you start to tell the difference immediately. The plants from the BIG CHAIN stores, don't do as well, they don't grow as fast, they may even die. If they have flowers they don't bloom near as abundantly as the plants purchased from Rowlands. Every spring Rowlands has the largest selection of Roses you have ever seen. The people that work there KNOW their plants. Every year after christmas they run a FREE christmas tree recyling program.

Its sad that this company which has added character (and beauty) to the city will now be closing its doors forever. Not just because of the great plants and the knowledgeable staff. The small mom and pop stores are what distinguishes a city from any other city in the world. Its what makes each city unique. We as a society NEED to support the small locally owned stores. As a young mom on a tight budget I can see the draw of "saving money" by buying from the big chains. But in the process of saving money you would be destroying your community. In the plant world specifically, if you think you're saving money by purchasing your plants from Home Depot, you'll be surprised to know you'll probably end up spending MORE money to replace your dead or dying plant down the road. Spend a few dollars more and buy HIGH quality.

My husband is currently out taking advantage of the 50-75% mark down on these quality plants, trees and shrubs for their "going out of business sale". I would be there with him but because we have a small car, and two kids there would be no way to get home all the things we would want to get. He's planning on getting a couple of Purple Robe Locust trees, some daylillies, and flox. We'll see what else he gets. We're going back this afternoon so I can see if there is anything else that I want that he missed. (If you had the opportunity to get plants marked down 50-75% what would you want?)

When all 5 of their stores are closed it will be a very sad day indeed. One of the stores closed its doors forever yesterday. The other 4 closures will be spread out over the next couple of months. There are other locally owned plant nurseries around the area, and we will support these stores with our patronage. It would be wonderful if
Santa Fe Greenhouses opened a store in Albuquerque. They currently only have one store, which is located in Santa Fe. We'll just have to wait and see.

Please support the specialness of your community. Thats what makes it unique from all others. Support locally owned businesses in your town.

Because I'm talking about greenhouses in the Albuquerque there is another rage about plant life that I could go on. But I'll save that for another post another day.

(Ten Minutes Later) My husband just got home from Rowlands. He only purchased a few juniper bushes and some purple sage. Even though he was there as soon as the doors opened this morning it was an absolute mad house of people, and he doesn't do well in large crazy crowds. As he was checking out a woman asked if she could have his cart. She said she would even help him unload! And she did! :-)

(6 hrs later) ...okay I have more to add! I've been thinking about this ALL DAY! I thought about the movie "You've Got Mail!" where her little bookstore gets blowed under by the big, bad bookstore. Which reminded me that is another bit of nostalgia that we've lost in Albuquerque. A few months ago a bookstore called "Bound To Be Read" closed its doors due to competition by Borders and Barnes & Noble. It was a quant little bookstore that had an awesome kids section. The rest of the store was awesome too.

Then it occurred to me that we ONLY go to "hole in the wall" restaurants in Albuquerque. We're not really big fans of the big chains. We never leave feeling like we got enough food for our money. But all the small restaurants we go to we leave with very full tummies and think "how can they stay in business serving so much food for such a small price?" But they do it, and they do it well. A lot of them have been in business for 30 yrs OR MORE!

I guess the reason I thought of the "hole in the wall" restaurants is because we went to lunch at a small chinese restaurant today. HUGE amounts of food for only $3.95!!! Its the only chinese restaurant in town we'll go to! They recognize us when we walk in, they know our children and our children know them. They often give us free soup and egg rolls for our kids and the cook will come out with cookies for my son. We have gone there since he was 6 months old, and have seen me get big in the tummy with my daughter, and then see her grow from an infant to a toddler. My husband goes to this restaurant at least once a week with friends from work.

Anyway, I guess I'm just trying to reemphasize the need to support the small local stores and restaurants.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/17/2005 09:22:00 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Friday, September 16, 2005

the best of times, the worst of times

I've decided that I would like to be remembered as the young, crazy, social, energetic, funny, silly girl I was my first year in College. (Isn't it just a little sad how age and experience often changes a person?) If people want a visual of the person writing while they're reading my posts, this is how I would like them to see me. This was taken 8 years ago. My freshman year, first semester at Ricks during a band disco party. I've always loved this picture. Some people see it and don't even know it was me.

Heres to the times that we look back and we feel like laughing and crying at the same time.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/16/2005 08:32:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Family Curse

It effects all the women through my maternal line. It happened to my mom, her older and younger sister, and their mom. I believe its also happening to a few of my cousins (at least one I know for sure.) I truly hoped that it would miss me, but alas, I have also been hit by the curse. Want to know what the curse is?

The dreaded curse of going gray early!!!

For as long as I can remember my mom had been dying her hair. If it started to grow out I remember my brothers and I pointing out her gray. Her younger sister has it really bad too. They both have had a red hair (thats not their own) for many, many years. Their older sister, (I can't remember if she dyed her hair or not) is now completely gray.

It started happening to me when I was 19. Before that I would dye my hair just for fun. It started with the wash in color shampoo. Then it was the 28 washes color. Then I got a little bit more brave and started going for the permanent color. When I got to college, I realized that my hair coloring wasn't just for fun anymore. It became a requirement! When my hair would grow out and you could see my roots there would always be a few more gray hairs show up then the last time. I had finally received the curse. My dad's genes weren't going to protect me from the family curse of early gray. So since the age of 19 I have been coloring my hair to hide my grays. A few months after our marriage my husband asked why I colored my hair. I showed him. He gasped. He asked, "does this mean you're gonna color your hair for the rest of your life?" I said, "Are you kidding? Of Course!"

A year after our marriage we drove up to Lake Powell for a family vacation. My husbands younger sister and their cousin rode up with us. As my sister-in-law was putting my hair into a million braids for the week she gasped and started to laugh. She saw my gray hair. I was only 22. She found this quite funny at the time. And still does. (Shes a hair stylist now).

That was 4 years ago. Before the birth of my first child. It has only gotten worse since then. My husband doesn't think its that bad. Just a few flecks around the face, he says. No one will even notice, he says. I say HA! Your sister noticed!
As I'm sitting here writing about my hair coloring neccessity, I wonder. I go to church on Sundays and I see these older women with their saintly white or gray hair. I think, can I ever be brave enough to stop coloring my hair and let the gray show through? My mom and my aunts are fully gray now. The oldest of the three has let her gray become a part of who she is. My mom and her younger sister are still trying to deny the inevitable. Still trying to pretend that they still have color left in their hair.

Am I fooling myself? Do I stop dying my hair and be proud of the family curse that has left me with salt and pepper hair? Do I continue to hide the truth? Deny that theres a single gray hair on my head? I'm only 3 months away from my 27th birthday. Is that too young to admit to gray hair? What should I do? What would you do if you were me? I feel my hair has grown out enough that its time for the next color job. Those gray hairs are mocking and taunting me! Do I go to the store and pick up a bottle of my favorite shade?

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/16/2005 02:47:00 PM :: 7 Comments:

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

5am Wake Up Call

Sulley: "Mikey, I don't remember ordering a wake up call."
Mike: "Less talk, more pain Marshmellow Boy."
Monsters, Inc.

This morning just like every morning this week my alarm has gone off at 5am (or at least in the 5 o'clock hour). No I don't have an alarm clock set next to my bed. My alarm clock is my son. Every morning he has woke up at 5am ready for the day to begin. I think I'm going to go insane! As written in a previous post I am not a morning person. Its still dark at 5am. I think I could possibly get him to go back to bed and back to sleep. Theres a problem with this theory though. My husband gets up at 5:15am to start getting ready for work so as to be out the door by 6am. There is no way my son is going to go back to sleep when he knows his daddy is awake as well. Thus we're up, and grumpy sitting in the darkened living room till the "sun wakes up."

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/15/2005 08:10:00 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

in the eye of the beholder

Isn't it funny how ones person's idea of a beautiful work of art is a total disaster to someone else? Today my almost 3 yr old son thought he had created a masterpiece that could never be topped. I saw it and almost cried...
Its funny that it happened today of all days... A friend of mine had written a blog entitled "danger boy"(see proud_mum). Someone had commented that when babies become toddlers we have this silent timer inside us that makes us panic and say "where is he?"
Well that timer went off today. I realized my son had been awfully quiet for awhile, then I remembered I heard the garage door open and close. I panicked. I went running into the garage expecting to see him dead on the floor from drinking some poison or another. When I opened the door I found my son with a red sharpie marker in his hand, standing on his "potty" stool in front of his daddy's toolbox. He pointed to his artwork on the freezer and said "Look Mommy, Pretty." I couldn't help but laugh when I saw what he had done. He pointed out the different colors he had used. He was very proud of his artwork. I knew I couldn't keep laughing. I tried hiding it.I told him that I wasn't very happy with him. I immediately went inside to get the camera though.

I wasn't too worried, my best friend had had the inspiration to send me a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I had used it before when the walls had been under attack by a sharpie. I got it out and started cleaning. My son seeing me trying to clean his creation tells me "No, Mommy, NO!". But lucky for him Mr. Clean wasn't my friend/helpmeet today. I called up my inspired friend and asked her if she had any other bright ideas. i.e. cleaning product suggestions. While she tried to control her laughter she told me to just take some pictures the kids had drawn and cover it up, that my husband would never notice. Or just repaint it with the awesome stainless steel spray-paint thats become quite popular for appliances. When she was done laughing she did give me some good cleaning product names. My husband came home, walked into the house from the garage, made eye contact with me and said "oh my". I couldn't help but laugh again.
After the budding artist and his baby sister were off to dreamland, I made an emergency trip to the store to get some cleaning supplies for this disaster and to keep on hand for future emergencies. If you would like suggestions on which products worked and which ones didn't I would be happy to give you a review.

It is now bright, white and clean again. I'm sure my little picaso will be a little disappointed tomorrow when he sees that I didn't leave his artwork up a little longer.

My husband and I were talking about this after it was cleaned. We noticed his "potty" stool was out in the garage. I thought he had taken it out there, he thought I had done it. It occurred to us that like in the Shawshank Redemption this had all been pre-planned. Our "too smart for his own good" son had been planning this for at least a week. Take the stool out to the garage one day but don't do anything with it at that time. Just make sure its out there so that when the time is right his plan can be put into action...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/14/2005 08:46:00 PM :: 4 Comments:

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The Worst Cry in the World

I would have to say that MY baby girl takes the cake! Ya I know every mom would probably say that THEIR baby has the worst cry. But I think thats just because no mom likes to hear their baby crying. But seriously, my baby has the worst cry ever.

When she cries her faces gets all red, huge tears roll down her cheeks, and she can get really loud and screechy. But thats not even the worst part of it! My little girl rolls her tongue when she cries. It is the most grating, sad sound you have ever heard. My son did it when he was a baby too. He stopped right before he turned two. It's the hardest thing to listen to. All I want to do is get her to stop crying just so I don't have to listen to the tongue rolling thing anymore...

this is when she was 6 months old, shes 14 months old now, but it gives you the idea.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/14/2005 09:22:00 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Old Ladies

I just got back from our morning walk. I let my son decide which trail we go on and today he chose to go around the golf course. About half way around the golf course we passed this older woman (in her 50s or 60s maybe?). She saw us coming and looked down at my kids in the stroller. She stopped, said "Hello Babies. Oh, are you so pretty, oh you are so pretty too". She softly caressed each of their cheeks. She looked up at me, said "oh they're beautiful". Then she made the sign of the cross on each of their foreheads and said "God Bless" to each of them. My children are very shy around strangers. It takes them a good 30 minutes to warm up to people they just met, so this whole time, they just looked at her without smiling or saying anything.

I don't know if she was hispanic or native american but it seems to me that grandma types of that origin are often nicer than caucasian grandmas. A friend of mine and I were talking about this one day. We decided we liked grandpas better than grandma types, and that we hoped that we would be nice grandma type people we got old. I remember a few months ago I went to The UPS Store to send a package. While I was filling out the form my son was looking at some birthday cards on a rack. He found one with cars all over it. He took the card out and showed it to me. I said "yes, thats very nice, it has cars on it, please go put it away now." While this was happening an old lady came into the store to make copies. He went over to her to show her the card with the cars on it. Instead of saying "Oh, thats very nice, it has cars on it." She said in a stern voice "Thats not yours, you need to put that away right now." I was shocked! First of all how dare this woman tell my son what to do. Second, how dare she crush his little heart by not even acknowledging his favorite thing. Cars!

I was beginning to think that all old women were like this. But the nice lady that blessed my babies today on the walking trail helped restore to me my faith in nice old ladies. And this wasn't even the first time my babies have been given the sign of the cross on their foreheads and told "God Bless" by a total stranger. Its happened in the grocery store by a really old (in her 90's maybe) woman once. Its sweet.
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/13/2005 10:54:00 AM :: 4 Comments:

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New Mexico Mom's Rage!

I have something to day about D.W.I.!!! New Mexico has received the reputation as one of the worst places in the country for D.W.I. It makes me really mad. When I first moved here I thought, No it couldn't be as bad as they portrayed. Anyone watch COPS recently? Tons and tons of episodes on that show were filmed in Albuquerque. But thats another story!

Every night on the news they're talking about one D.W.I. related accident or another. Sometimes the accident relates in death. Its really sad how bad it is. Sure Governor Richardson is trying to crack down on the D.W.I. and they say that the number of related accidents/deaths is lower every year it is still a lot.

Okay imagine your driving home from the grocery store. Its the middle of the day. You're two kids are properly strapped into the car seats. You're driving the speed limit. You pull up to a left hand turn, you could run the yellow light and make the turn but instead because you want to be a safe driver for your kids you don't. You sit through the red light. You look up into your rear view mirror and you notice the car behind you. The driver is chugging back a beer! You wish you had a cell phone, you wish a cop was driving by at that exact moment. But there's nothing you can do, this man is going to get away with drinking while driving.
Okay now imagine that you're driving to a church function on the other side of town at 6pm. You pull up to a red light at the freeway. You're in the lane to cross the freeway, you look to your right and there is a truck with a couple of cowboys in it, in the right turn only lane to go onto the freeway. While they're sitting there waiting for the light to turn green both the driver and the passenger are throwing back a couple of beers!
Right now the State Fair is going on in Albuquerque. Last night on the news they reported the road blocks the police dept has set up around the fairgrounds. These road blocks are to do D.W.I. checks. They showed people in the fairgrounds with these huge beers. Within a few hours they fill the D.W.I. truck with enough arrests to take them all to jail. The fair has only been running for 5 days and if I remember correctly last night they said they've already made 57 arrests.
I have never drank beer, I have never seen the appeal. Okay if these people want to drink, thats there puragative, but why do they have to get back into their cars where there's a good chance that they will be in an accident?

The saddest part of the D.W.I. problem in New Mexico is the repeat offenders. Most people that have been arrested have been arrested before. A man was arrested this week for driving under the influence and causing an accident. When they booked him they discovered that he had been arrested for killing a woman in an accident 15 years ago. He had been sentenced to 2 years in prison and only served 6 months. But don't get me going on the sentencing for D.W.I. related deaths. That's another whole rage in itself! How after killing someone could he feel it was okay to go and do the same thing again?

I really hope that something can be done to stem the problem of D.W.I. At first I was nervous to drive after dark because of party-goers, etc. But after seeing people drinking while driving in full daylight I'm nervous to drive at all. My personal opinion is that they only way they are going to minimize the number of arrests is by making the sentences stronger. They've tried passing laws for seizure of the car after the first arrest but that was voted down. Its sad that the really good tough laws/bills get never get passed. Something needs to be done! And now!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/13/2005 08:43:00 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Fair Time

Its State Fair days in New Mexico. Opening Day of the fair was Friday Sept 9th and it goes through Sept 25th. This time of year always reminds me of much simpler times when I was a child. We went to the Arizona state fair once when we were first married. Maybe its the fact that it was October and it was
still over 100 degrees. Or maybe its that there was no sight of green grass anywhere, just cement, or maybe its that it was a state fair in the Southwest, and us growing up in the Northwest in small rural communities were spoiled by our county and state fairs. We went to the New Mexico state fair the first year we were here. Our son was 10 months old. It was fun to go and see how it was different, but still, not really as I remember it was when we were kids.

When we were growing up, the county fair was always the last week of August. And the first week of school followed the next week. My parents would pick one day during the week of fair and take my brothers and I. We would go early in the morning. Going with my parents it was a requirement that we had to go through all the booths before we could go ride the rides. We might have said that we didn't like going through all the booths but we didn't mind THAT much. A lot of my friends were in 4-H or FFA. So we'd wander through all the animal barns and run into a lot of our friends with their sheep, pigs, cows, chickens, etc. Some had already won ribbons, some had been sold at auction. It was fun to be able to see them after not seeing them all summer. We'd go through the commercial buildings, get bags full of "free gifts". (It was really just things they gave away to advertise their product, but we were naive kids, we were just happy to get something for free). After the commercial buildings we'd go to the craft buildings and the agriculture buildings. We always had to go to the craft buildings because my mom often entered different things she had done. This is where they would display quilts, home sewn cloths, porcelian dolls, toll-painted crafts etc. Mom always won ribbons on her things. The agriculture building was fun because this is where they would display the largest vegetables competition. The tallest sunflower, the largest pumpkin, tomato, squash, watermelon, whatever people could find that they were proud of. The most beautiful jar of canned peaches etc. In this building the different FFA groups from around the region displayed their seed/grain arts. Every year they were assigned a different theme and they would create this huge 10 ft square picture created using only grain and seeds. It was really cool to see all the different colors portrayed with seeds and grain. Once we were done with all the buildings and booths then we could go to the food court and the rides. The food was worth it all by itself. Things that you could only get once a year. Elephant Ears (they're big scones covered in cinnamon sugar), Turkey Bobs (marinated turkey breast Kabobs. Interested? I have the recipe!), and Piggley Wiggley Fries!. And numerous other things to make you sick. Then there was the rides! Always a good chance of puking on a ride after eating all that food.

As we got older we still set aside AT LEAST one day to go to the fair. But this time it was meeting with friends (or boyfriends) and hang out all day. We'd still go through all the booths just to try to catch a glimpse of a friend or two, and the food was tradition. But its seems to me that as teenagers the only place we wanted to be was around all the rides. Since fair week was always the week before school, we'd want to wear our new school clothes.

Even in college, we'd go to the Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot, Idaho. That was a great state fair, a lot of animals and agriculture. Now that we're married, and we've attended the state fair in Arizona and New Mexico it just doesn't seem to be as great as it once was. Maybe its that we've realized how dang expensive everything is, maybe its that there isn't as many animals and agriculture as there was in the Northwest. We don't ride the rides now.

I hope to take my kids to the fair this year. They're still very young. Almost 3 and 1 is too young for the rides. But they'll enjoy seeing the animals I'm sure. Maybe the fair will become something we enjoy again as we see our children experiencing it. We might as well start them out young, so it becomes a tradition and something to look forward to all year just as it was when we were children.

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/12/2005 12:31:00 PM :: 6 Comments:

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Sunday, September 11, 2005


Zozobra: Spanish Translation means 'anguish', anxiety', 'worry' or 'gloom'.
"Fiestas De Santa Fe" is the oldest civic celebration of its kind in North America. It first began in 1712, to celebrate an expedition by Don Diego De Vargas. But since 1926, with the help of artist William Howard Shuster, Jr and his creation of Zozobra, its become an 8 day celebration that begins the weekend following Labor Day.
The first night of the celebration they burn Zozobra. For the past 81 years people from all over New Mexico (and elsewhere) have gone to Santa Fe for the burning of Zozobra. The giant papier-mache man has also been referred to as 'Old Man Gloom'. The ritual burning of Old Man Gloom, is to get rid of the hardships and bad times from over the past year. He represents to everyone in attendence all the negative things that have happened over the past year. People go with divorce papers, pictures, medical bills, etc, anything that reminds them of things from the past year they would most likely rather forget. They shred these items and then are used to stuff the giant man.
Every year Zozobra has been bigger than the year before. Just this past thursday night they burned 'Old Man Gloom' for the 81st time. I haven't been able to find in writing how big he was this year, but if I remember correctly they said on the news thursday night that he was 58 feet tall.

(zozobra burning 1988)
Old Man Gloom, is a giant animated wooden puppet with his arms, waving madly, and his head turning. At dusk dancers come out waving fireworks and torches. Dancing and chanting around the giant old man. Zozobra is moaning and groaning and can be heard from all over town. The crowd is chanting, 'burn him, burn him'. His moaning doesn't help him, and he is soon set fire. Fireworks come bursting out of his eyes and mouth. The crowd yells in excitement, and soon, he is nothing but a large pile of ash.

(zozobra burning 1996)
In 1964 Shuster (the artist) passedhis Zozobra creation over to the Kiwanis Club, and since that time the event has raised money for scholarships. The event has become so popular that children arrive at the park early in the morning and hang around all day to watch the construction of the 50+ foot marionette boogeyman.
We have lived in Albuquerque for 3 years now, and haven't yet attended the Zozobra burning. But because we are truly trying to embrace the culture of New Mexico I wouldn't be surprised if we also one day make the trek up to Santa Fe to attend "Fiestas De Santa Fe". It will be quite an event to see 'Old Man Gloom' moan and groan and burn till gone. It would be the biggest bon-fire we have ever attended I'm pretty sure of that! And I'll bet the kids will get a kick out of it too!

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/11/2005 10:44:00 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kid Fears

Its common knowledge that Kids' have "Fears". When they're babies, they wake up crying, and you can tell they had a bad dream and you just wish that you could see inside their mind and know what they were dreaming. But as they approach toddler years' and older they are more able to verbalize what their "Fears" are.

Most kids go through the phase of being scared of the dark. But through careful study (not really but go with it) I have discovered that its not always the dark that scares them but what they think is IN the dark. For some kids, its the "Monster in the Closet". For others, its the "boogeyman" under the bed. Other kids had "ghosts". (For me it was the coyotes I believed to live in the hills in view from my bedroom window. I always thought they would turn into Werewolves and come and get me. I was only safe if I was under the blankets with only my face showing.)

My son has reached this stage in his young life. He's not really scared of the dark, he has no problem going to bed. He doesn't have "Monsters in the Closet". For one, he doesn't have doors on his closet for them to hide behind, for another, Monsters, Inc. is his one of his favorite movies, and if a Monster DID come into his room he'd know it was 'Sulley' or 'Mike' to come make him laugh... No "boogeyman" under his bed, he has a bunkbed and lately likes to sleep on top. But even when he did sleep on the bottom, Jack, his dog; checks it out under there often... He also doesn't have "ghosts", he's not really into the whole "insubstantial" thing yet...

My son is afraid of Robots...

Yes, you read that right! Robots! I know, what is there to be scared of Robots? My guess is he's watched "The Incredibles" recently... but I don't know for sure. What I do know is he thinks Robots are going to come out of the shadows and get him. This "fear" doesn't occur near bedtime, or after dark, its in the middle of the day! In the hallway of our house where the laundry room, bathroom and the kids' bedrooms meet, if all the doors are closed it makes the hall very dark. If the wind blows it makes the vents in the laundry room and bathroom rattle. These sounds, along with the doors making the hallway dark gets his imagination going! He thinks Robots are going to come out of the dark. He runs to me and says "they're coming, the orobaughts are coming!" He makes me pick him up and we have to go investigate the hallway, open all the doors, etc. Daily life now includes that when he goes through a door he ALWAYS makes sure to lock it behind him. The Robots can't get past a locked door, in case you didn't know! :-)

The bright side of this fear is he's also discovered how to conquer it on his own. I didn't have to fight off the Robots! (Yea, I don't know if I would have done it the right way to get rid of them) He's become a Super Hero! Super Hero's aren't afraid of Robots! They're strong! They're quick! They have Super Powers! He "flies" around the house! No need for a cape, he's "incognito-man"... But not only is HE a Super-Hero, his hands can be Super-Hero's on their own accord. His cars are ALSO Super-Hero's when he feels out-numbered!

Its quite funny to watch him run around the house till close to passing out from sheer exhaustion. That is, of course, until his Super Powers are corrupted and he be comes a Super Villian (Duh, Duh, Duh, listen for "bad-guy" music playing) and starts chasing the dog... (theoretical question: How do I convince him that a Super Hero would NEVER chase the dog?)

But I'm happy to say that I believe this is going to be a short-lived phase. That is until he discovers something else that lives in the dark. He hasn't brought up the Robots for a day or two, but he still likes to lock the doors behind him. ( I think this is now mostly because he thinks its funny to lock Mommy out of her own room!)

And in case when you saw the title and thought this was going to be another Indigo Girls blog and were disappointed to read that the topic of my post really did have to do with Kid Fears; Here's a little "Kid Fears" lyrics to go with it...

"Are you on fire
From the years
What would you give
For your kid fears

Secret staircase, running high
You had a hiding place
Secret staircase, running low
But they all know, now you’re inside

Are you on fire
From the years
What would you give
For your kid fears
Your kid fears"

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 9/04/2005 12:15:00 AM :: 2 Comments:

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