Life of an Albuquerque Mommy

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Quotes on my mom's desk

There are quotes on my mom's computer desk. A few have been there as long as I can remember a few are new. If she stumbles upon a cute quote she'll write it on a sticky note and put it on her desk somewhere. I want to share the few that I've seen this week with you.

"We can't all be stars, but we can all twinkle."

"To the world, you might be one person; But to one person you just might be the world."

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Dr. Seuss

and the one I've seen up on my mom's desk the longest...

"One day I shall burst my bud of calm and blossom into hysteria!"
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/27/2006 11:30:00 PM :: 5 Comments:

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Arr, I'm a Pirate!

I first learned that phrase shortly after I was married. We became good friends with another couple in our ward. I've know I've mentioned them before, but I'll give you just a short recap. They were from Washington and he was going to DeVry with my husband. They had two small children, a 3 yr old girl and a baby boy. We often went over for dinner. I first heard Christy use the phrase.

Christy: "Oh I'm about to go crazy!"

D: "Why? What's the problem?"

Christy: "I'm stuck in the house without the car, it's 113 degrees outside and the kids are going stir-crazy."

D: "oh, I see. I'm sorry."

Christy: "When I'm frustrated I've often said to the kids 'Arr, I'm a Pirate!' One time Ciela responded, 'Mommy, you're not a pirate, you're a mommy!' I laughed and she laughed."

D: "I'm laughing too. I'll have to use that in the future!"

...and I have. I've become so frustrated I didn't know what to do or say. I've let out a sigh and told W "Arr, I'm a Pirate!" Then we both giggle. I've said it to Proud Mum too. It's become almost a code phrase to each other!

I saw this on April's blog and just had to try it out myself!

My pirate name is:

Iron Anne Flint

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Have I mentioned that we've played the music from the soundtrack of "Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean" in our Concert Band? It's been a lot of fun playing it. At one point it goes to 3/4 time but it's so fast the director starts conducting in 1. So fun!

I am so way excited to see the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie!

Arr, Matey, want to hear a true Pirate's song?!?! "A Pirate Says Arr!"

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/16/2006 09:51:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

War of the Irises

When I see an Iris flower I have fond memories of visiting my great-grandma's house in downtown Salt Lake. She had a beautiful yard with huge flowerbed's full of irises. Irises need to be split when they get bigger and older. My grandpa (my mom's dad) would take divisions of the different flowers from grandma's house (his mom) and then plant them in his yard. As they got bigger and needed to be split again my mom would take them and plant them in her yard in Washington.

I see an iris in my grandpa's yard or in my mom's yard and I immediately think that it came from my great-grandma's house. Of course that's just a child's fantasy. I know they bought some too.

These are a few pictures of irises I remember in my great-grandma's yard.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9

My great-grandma passed away when I was sixteen. The house was sold and now someone else is enjoying all those beautiful irises.

I have yet to take divisions from my mom's yard for my own yard.

I was reminded the other day of another fond memory involving irises. This memory wasn't of the beautiful flowers though. I was outside looking at my daylillies when I noticed that they were producing seedpods too but on a much smaller scale.

That's when I remembered these. This is a picture of a seed pod of an iris flower after it's done blooming. From what I've read if you leave these pods on the plant for a little longer they're dry up, turn brown and crack open. The seeds are inside. I don't ever remember actually seeing one stay on the plant long enough to turn brown!

My brothers and I thought these were the coolest things ever. For wars! We'd gather up as many as we could and pelt each other as hard as we could! I don't remember how it started, I'm sure one of us was mad at another and we reached for the closest thing we could throw. I think when it hit the other person in the back and it burst open we realized what kind of armory we had! We'd chase each other all over the yard chucking these things at each other. Sometimes they'd burst open sometimes they didn't and we could throw it back at the other person. I'm sure there were times when we'd claim that we hadn't been hit.

"No you missed me. It didn't hit me!"

"oh come on. Don't lie. I can see the welt on your arm! It totally hit you!"

The game would then continue with someone throwing another pod at the other.

It was a game that could only be played for a small window of maybe a week in the summer. But every so often the war would resume when we found a lone seed pod hidden in the grass.
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/14/2006 11:08:00 AM :: 8 Comments:

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Life is the Pits

One of my favorite summertime treats as a kid growing up was a big bag of frozen cherries. As a family we would go to Grover's Orchard and pick cherries. I remember standing in tall wet grass under these old narled trees the limbs weighed down with red. We'd then come home, clean, destem and pit the cherries. Then my mom would either bottle them or freeze them as snacks for my brothers and I for the summer. We would come inside from a long day of playing in the hot sun and open up a bag of cherries. We'd sit outside in the grass and eat that sweet cold goodness until I teeth hurt from the cold or the cherries thawed. "Ooh, it's So Good!"

Our Stake had a welfare farm. They grew cherries, apples, apricots, peaches, grapes, asparagus, potatos, tomatos and countless other things. The food from the welfare farm went to the Bishop's storehouse for families that might need assistance. The farm was a way for people that have received assistance to pay it back you could say. The farm always needed help when it came to harvest season and I remember my family would often volunteer to go help. (Though I do remember not being really happy about the idea. Especially when I had to wake up at 5am). But I do remember that once we were there and awake we enjoyed the work. Plus there was practically a 2:1 ratio of cherries that went in the bucket as what went in my mouth.

Bing cherries are good. That's the kind most people associate with fresh cherries. But being the Washington girl I am I KNOW that there's another species of cherry; the Rainier Cherry. The Rainier cherry is really great for just snacking. They're my favorite. They always have.

July 2002 was the first time we visited Washington during the summer. I was so excited to show my Idaho-grown-potato-harvesting husband how beautiful it was there during the summer. We made a trip up to Grand Coulee Dam with my brothers. And we went over to Leavenworth with my parents, and drove by Mt. Rainier and through Vancouver, Wa. We stopped in Wenatchee for dinner on our way to Leavenworth. We pulled into the parking lot of a grocery store and because we had our little dog with us we waited out in the camper while my parents went in the store. We were sitting outside on the bumper when I looked across the parking lot and saw a guy selling cherries out of the back of his truck. I started jumping up and down all excited. For one I was 5 months pregnant so was "jonesin" for some cherries, but for another I was so excited to introduce my husband to real Washington Cherries. The vender was only selling Bing's at the time but that was okay. My hubby wasn't all that enthusiastic about buying a bag of cherries out of the back of a truck until he ate one. He ate almost the whole bag in less than 24 hours! He was then on a mission scanning the horizon for more trucks selling cherries. When we got back to Kennewick he wanted more so we went to a local grocery store that I remember selling really good produce. They had Rainier cherries! I was way excited at that point. Though my hubby did like them he admitted he liked the Bing Cherries better.

From that time on we've bought a bag of cherries (or a few) from the store every summer. Even though they're not from Washington and especially even though to get them at the store in New Mexico is $4.98/lb when we had only paid $1/lb off the back of a truck!

The first tree we planted when we bought our house was a maple tree that had leaves that would turn red in the fall. Next were two bing cherry trees! This is the 4th summer for those trees. They do produce fruit, but they're kinda on the small and sour side. The kids have discovered the hidden fruits of the backyard. Cherries and Stawberries. Sy will go outside, point and say "bewwie, bewwie". It's so cute.

This summer my kids discovered what we had been hoarding/hiding. Every time I turned around I would find W in the fridge getting out the bag of cherries. Daddy taught them how to eat the cherries like an apple so they wouldn't eat the seed, but after a week of finding stems and seeds and half eaten cherries all over the house I needed to come up with a better plan. Besides my husband and I only got a small handful out of that bag!

I bought a new bag of cherries with the groceries yesterday but this time I had a plan. I would also buy a cherry pitter. Too bad Wal-mart didn't have one and the associate I asked didn't even know what I was talking about! I took a chance and drove across town to this little kitchen supply store called "Now We're Cooking!". Seriously, it's the coolest store ever, if I had extra cash and free time without worrying what W was pulling off the shelves I could go crazy in that store! I walked in and they asked me what I was looking for. I told them and they immediately pointed me in the right direction. The didn't just have one. They had three to choose from! From the low end, to the one that had a bowl where you just poured the cherried in and they fell into a little slot voluntarily where I could pit them. I chose the cheap one and came home. I set up the sprinkler in the backyard so the kids could play and I set to work pitting the cherries. Juice was splattering all over my hands, face and clothes. Soon the kids discovered what I was up to and for every three cherries I pitted I'd have to pop one in each of their mouths!

I finally got the pitting done, got them divided into two bags and stuck in the freezer. Just then hubby walked in. He walked over to the cherry tree and plucked an almost ripe fruit from the branches. I then whispered to him that he might like whats in the freezer better. He hurried in and got a bag before they were frozen, as he was eating and sharing with the kids he commented "these are even more enjoyable without the seeds!" I had to giggle.

I'm hoping that by putting the cherries in the freezer they might last a little longer. They won't all get eaten in one sitting. I've done the same thing with grapes and blueberries. It gives them a little summertime snack, and they don't sit and eat them all at once. I just hope my kids enjoy it as much as my brothers and I did as kids.

(P.S. I thought about entitling this post "Big, Black Horse in the Cherry Tree".)

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/13/2006 08:17:00 AM :: 9 Comments:

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Do you know?

I heard this on the morning radio show on the way home from tennis this morning.

"What is the only word in the English language that ends in 'mt'?"

Do you know the answer?

It came to me immediately and I was yelling the answer at the radio but alas they couldn't hear me and I didn't win the 1 hour massage. (If I only had a cell phone!) But it made me curious. Does any of you know what the word is?
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/13/2006 08:14:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Meme Bandwagon

THE NAME GAME (as copied from Julia and Karen and Heather)

1. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your Father's side/ favorite candy) :

Gloria Andes

2. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of your first name followed by "izzle", first two or three letters of your [middle] name followed by "dizzle") :

Dizzle Lyndizzle

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and favorite animal)

Teal Panda (Bear)

4. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your name, first three letter's of your mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your [former] pet's name repeated twice) :

Dan-Vie Jac Jac

5. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" favorite color, the automobile you drive) :

The Aquamarine Ranger

Like Proud Mum said on hers it's hard to think of favorites right off the top of my head. So this represents my favorites as of right now. My kids are napping, might as well do something fun with my free time! And for number 5 I used our other vehicle so I wouldn't be the same as Proud Mum. We drive the same car! WOOT!
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/10/2006 02:00:00 PM :: 4 Comments:

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Unsystematic Saturday

Today I had the opportunity to play with the Albuquerque Concert Band for a G.E.D. graduation. A local community college provides a program for people to earn their High School equivalency.

It was interesting to sit there near the stage and listen to a few of the speakers talk about the trials they faced in their lives, and what made them decide to change their lives around and seek out an education. It was really quite inspiring and at the same time made me and others in the band comment afterwards on how appreciative we were for the lives we have led.

One speaker that was a part of this year's graduating class told of his experiences. He is 33 yrs old. At the age of two he went to the hospital for injuries from abuse of the hands of his father. At the age of 15 he dropped out of school. He worked in construction for awhile, and through that job he was introduced to cocaine. At the age of 21 he was convicted of aggrevated assult and numerous other crimes that were related to his drug abuse in Texas. He was sentanced for 10 years. After 2 years he went before the same judge that sentanced him. The judge could tell he had done a complete 180 and allowed his sentance to be reduced. He then returned home to Albuquerque and went back to working construction. He got married and had two little girls. While on a construction site the ladder he was on broke and he fell 18 feet breaking his shoulder. After two years of worker's comp the insurance ran out and his employer let him go. He didn't know what to do. He decided to go back to school. He got his G.E.D. and a few specialty employment type classes.

Another speaker only had 2 years of formal education. She was born in Louisiana. She and her 8 brothers and sisters were all abused. One day they loaded up into their family bus and drove around the country. They would sell things on the side of the highway in northern New Mexico. They spent a lot of their time following the Greatful Dead around the country. She was able to meet a lot of different types of people. While living in New Mexico she went to 1st grade and half a year of 2nd grade. She taught herself how to read using the "hooked on phonics" program. She spent most of the time while traveling the country reading books. From age 14-16 she travelled with some different people still following the Greatful Dead. She then went back to her family who were in California. After a few months she left her family again to try and figure out what to do with her life. She somehow ended up in Albuquerque and at the age of 21 was the mother of two small boys. With the support of her fiance she went to the community college to take some beginning math classes. She took the equivalency test and barely passed. Her english, writing and science skills helped her to pass the test.

During the ceremony they present an award entitled "The New Reader Award". It was given to someone that overcome the inability to read and write. They told of a woman that had dropped out of school in the 10th grade because she couldn't read. She had always been a shy and quiet girl and she thought that is why she kept slipping through the cracks. They told of how the woman felt that life had been so difficult for her because she didn't know how to read. Now today at the age of 75 she can now read and write. As they told the story of this woman it was hard to choke back the tears. When they presented her with the award everyone stood to applaude this woman.

The morning truly was an inspirational time.


My hubby also had a music related gig today. Actually 2 to tell you the truth! Two weddings on the same day. And with my band thing today our schedules overlapped. The older couple in our ward that has given us now TWO sets of tickets to the symphony are like honorary grandparents. They volunteered to watch the kids for a few hours. I'm so greatful for people that understand what it's like to not have family nearby and are willing to fill that roll. My kids refer to them as "grandma jill" and "granpa harold". It's really sweet.


Tomorrow I will most likely be leaving after church to drive up to Kennewick. It would be another trip for just the kids and I.

I have known for a couple of weeks now that my grandpa is dying. For awhile now he has had multiple myaloma. It's a cancer of the bone marrow. He's had diabetes for a number of years, so it was tricky to try to treat the cancer. They had to give him a drug specially for diabetics. About a month ago my grandma had broncitis. My grandpa caught it and it turned into pnemonia. Because of the chemotherapy he was on he had no way of fighting the infection. They took him to the hospital where they discovered that the chemo hadn't been helping. The myaloma had spread throughout his whole body. They gave him a few blood transfusions while in the hospital and antibiotics to help with the pnemonia. The pnemonia improved and he was starting to feel better but the cancer was beyond their control. He was released from the hospital but not to go home. They admitted him to a long term elderly care. After much prayer and fasting my grandparents and my dad and his siblings decided to stop having grandpa receive transfusions. Continuing with the transfusions would only extend his life by maybe an extra week.

It's almost two years since the last time I was in Kennewick. My daughter was only 3 months old. She'll be two middle of July. I am going up to see him while he is still semi-good health. I don't know if I could handle it seeing him going down hill.


I feel like the walls are closing in around me. Maybe it's that there is so much stuff between me and the walls that the rooms seem smaller. Whatever the case maybe I feel like I'm about to go insane. Everywhere I look I see chaos. With the bathroom remodel going on we don't have a closet. All our clothes are in the 3rd bedroom. This room has also been designated as the computer/piano room and the toy room. The kids have been sharing a room for a few months. Little Sy has figured out how to climb out of her crib. There was no keeping her in. Tuesday of this week I took the crib down. I made the bunkbed into two separate beds and bought some cute girly twin-size bedding. She's been doing really well with it. She has been taking naps without a problem and sleeping all through the night. It's wonderful.

I have this urge to purge. I want to get rid of all the baby stuff. The crib, swing, bouncy, crib bedding, carseats, maybe even baby clothes and toys for 12 months and under. When the time comes to have another baby then we would get all new updated baby stuff. I would try to sell the baby stuff through the classified newspaper at my husband's work. The money would go into a savings account to be used for future baby stuff.

Am I insane? Why do I have the urge to get rid of all this stuff? Is it the right move to clear the house of things that aren't being used? I feel so wishy-washy about the idea.


Today my hubby asked if he should become a jr high/high school orchestra teacher. He's been having a rough time at work. Over the past year there has been a big shake up in management. A few have retired. A few others have moved on to something else.

He had always planned on staying with this job for a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10. One of the hiring perks when he got the job was that when he wanted to get a master's degree the company would pay for it. I had always assumed he would have started that immediately but after some discussion I learned that while he felt comfortable and relaxed with the job he wouldn't pursue other positions or even think about going back to school.

This morning he was looking at Master's programs at University of Phoenix. He said he gave himself maybe another 3 years at this job. (That would be between 5-7 years here).

I knew he was having a rough time at work, but I guess I didn't realize it was that bad. He's ready to move on to the next step.


Last night on the news they showed a restaurant on fire. El Bruno's was a favorite stopping point for my family on the way down to Albuquerque. It's a tiny little town called Cuba between ABQ and Farmington. A little (New) Mexican restaurant that seriously had the best chips and salsa I have ever had. It made me so sad to see it in flames and smoke. I immediately called my parents in Washington to tell them the news. My husband admitted he was bummed because he hasn't had the chance to eat there yet.

This morning my brother in Farmington called to see if I had heard the news. He saw it on the front page of a newspaper on his way to work. He asked how W was doing. I casually (and with humor) said "Oh, he's a terror..." My brother responded "oh ya. Like me." In response I joked "ya but you didn't have a younger sibling!" We both said "oh poor Sy".

He is driving me crazy. He's constantly getting into things, and he's pestering his little sister just for the heck of it. Daddy and I have both caught him pulling her hair. We've found him chewing up bit of food and spitting it on her. And she's come in the house from playing in the backyard with her hair full of sand. Half the time she's giggling while she's being tormented. The other half she's crying. It's the constant crying I hear from her that is driving me crazy the most! I don't know what to do. I've tried the normal punishments and they don't seem to be working.


I've now purged my head of all my thoughts. When do I start feeling better?
Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/10/2006 01:30:00 PM :: 7 Comments:

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Of Singing and Updating...

Yesterday we ran to Home Depot really fast. A few things I wanted to pick up. Sy was happy sitting in the seat of the cart and W was content sitting in the basket of the cart while I quickly wandered around the store. We had gone to Wal-mart just before and they were happy eating their popcorn chicken I got at the deli.

While we were standing in line W started singing. Specifically he began singing Dvorak's New World Symphony #9, 2nd movement. He doesn't know it by that title though. He knows it as "Rocket has come home" or "The Butterfly song" from Little Einsteins. (Sariah I know Aiden loves that show too, if I don't have my episode references right let me know. :-P )

I hadn't even noticed that he was singing, shortly Sy had joined in (though it wasn't exactly what her big brother was singing). I was paying for my purchases and heard a *noise* coming from the basket but I must have been tuning it out at the moment. It wasn't until the cashier I was working with and the one next to her and one 3 aisles down were all giggling, and smiling that I really began to realize what was going on. One cashier said "That's the cutest thing I've ever seen. Thank you so much for singing." She then began clapping. Another cashier asked if she could sing with them and she tried singing along.

The funniest part to me was looking at the kids and noticing that they could care less that they were putting on a concert for a large audience or that they were receiving praise and admiration. They were singing at the top of their lungs for themselves and them along!

My journey to Home Depot was to get new faceplates for all the electrical outlets and light switches in the house. The majority of them were this awful oak. I had hated them since we bought the house and always wanted them replaced. My hubby always tried talking me out of it saying that they were expensive, that they looked okay. Here's the problem: Like I said it was a majority there were a lot of normal white faceplates in the house. And the oak one's weren't all the same style!

I just couldn't take it any more. I knew the white one's I wanted were only $.25 a piece. I couldn't allow the cost to stand in my way any longer. Along with the faceplates I also bought some miracle-gro. With my bag of goodies I came home. Put Sy down for a nap and set forth replacing the faceplates.

To my utter horror and astonishment I discovered that the bright white faceplates I bought didn't match the lightswitches or electrical outlets. They're either an almond color OR they WERE white 25 years ago and over the past 25 years of smokers in the house and time they are now an offwhite/almond. In the entire house a few are white, but they were either replaced later or we had replaced them. There are a few others they painted over the top of when they did a sloppy job of painting before they moved out. So those are white but the paint is scraping off and you can see that awful almond color underneath.

I'm just disgusted. Now I want to go back to home depot and buy all new outlets and switches. (All the light-switches are those big fat ones that are the same size as a dimmer switch.) But those cost a little more then the faceplates...I went ahead and replaced them all anyway. I don't care that much. I just hate that they aren't white like I thought! : Plus NOW I'll have to do some touch up painting around a few in the second bathroom (that I just painted a few weeks ago) and the kitchen (about 18 months ago) because the plates I got are smaller than the oak ones.

Even though these new faceplates don't match the switches and outlets, and I will have to do some quick touch-up painting I do think it looks tons better than those oak one's.

There are a few other things in the house I would like to change too. But those will have to wait till farther down the road. Like replace all the bedroom doors or at least paint them. And I want to make a few changes to the second bathroom as well. It seems like there's always something that goes along with the ownership of a house...

Posted by ABQ Mom :: 6/08/2006 07:43:00 AM :: 5 Comments:

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