Peace? Anyone?

September 21 marked the International Day of Peace (did someone say Peace? Where? Where?) so Big E's Brownie troop made over 60 pinwheels to put on the fence in front of the school. It was a lovely display which joined over a million other pinwheels being displayed all over the world. This project started just 2 years ago with a couple of art teachers in Florida and has taken off. Our Brownie troop has corresponded with a medical unit stationed in Iraq since last Christmas so it felt really good for them to share their feelings regarding war and conflict with those troops in their minds.


Skinny Dippin'

Once - Trailer

Posted Apr 19, 2007

A modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin. It tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.

Every morning when I send my kiddos off to school, I feel it's my Stay-At-Home-Motherly duties to fill that time with productive activities that will directly benefit my whole family. I may rationalize that a 25 mile bike ride benefits my family by making me a healthier, stronger, more energetic person that is happier and more willing to accommodate quirky requests and bad attitudes, tired or wired children, and any number of critters flinging themselves across my living room in order to haunt me, but still, it benefits my family. Not to mention the obvious, laundry, volunteering in various capacities, maintenance of the family abode.

But to go to a movie, during the day, child-free seemed so decadent. Such a splurge. So much freedom. So naughty. As one friend put it, 'it's like skinny-dipping'. But whatever it is, I went today and I'm oh so glad I did.Touching. Real. Organic. Authentic. Bittersweet. F@#king Brilliant. All describe Once. Beautiful music. Deep, thoughtful, emotionally honest characters. I loved this movie and the music that went with it. The characters are never named, but they don't need to be. They are you, they are me, they are anybody. I won't go into the plot or anything, but if you haven't seen it, either find it at a theater near you or be sure to rent it. Buy the soundtrack. But I guarantee the soundtrack will mean more to you if you've seen the movie. I hope there is more skinny-dippin' in my future and I really hope that it can be as rewarding as today.


Attention Arachnids

Now Hear This! Your days are numbered. Come October 12 things won't be so cozy around here for your nasty, prehistoric-looking, terrorizing, venom-filled, needle sharp tails. I know you didn't think I'd do it. You thought you could count on my dislike of potent chemicals and desire to do the "green" thing. How wrong you've been. You got lazy and cocky and I'm here to tell you that I won't take it NO MORE. Do you hear? I'm not talking some Pied Piper resolution either. Oh no, no, no. You won't be getting off that easy. You think you can hurl yourselves through the freakin' air all around my head with no consequence? Think again, my little friend. Oh, I've imagined countless scenarios with a euphoric smile on my face. I'm reluctant to go into too much detail here, lest the Internet dub me sadistic and put me on some sort of watch list, but suffice it to say, your crunchy exoskeleton will not withstand the heat of a blazing bonfire.

But I've gotten off track. October 12 marks the day that will forever be remembered as The Last Days in Your World. And by Your World I mean My House. I'm giving fair warning right now. Any of you who choose to stick around and continue to terrorize me and my family will pay a hefty price. If you leave now, embark on a pilgrimage back to the greenbelt where you belong, we'll call it quits. No hard feelings - we all go our own happy way. If, however, you choose to stay, you should be prepared for the onslaught that you will encounter. You will have left me no choice. It WILL be ugly. It WILL be complete annihilation.

You've been warned.


Couldn't resist

Look at me! Two posts in one day! As I was looking through the link I put in my earlier post about Gerard Butler, I saw this preview for a movie coming out this Christmas.

Not only two posts in one day, but one including video! I've come a long way, baby!

I'm so happy Gerry (that's what I call him...Gerry), is getting some great roles. He is a great actor and deserves to be in movies with the likes of Hillary Swank and Kathy Bates. And how about Lisa Kudrow? Love her.

Getting to know Bubble Girl

A year ago if someone had asked me what a blog was my answer would be something along the lines of "That's one of those internet things for people with way too much time on their hands to blather endlessly about their right-wing tendencies or liberal conspiracy theories.", then I'd quickly change the subject because it was rapidly becoming obvious I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. But then a friend mentioned that her friend blogged and I started reading. Then another friend said she had a blog. Then another and another. Then I started following links to other blogs, and then more blogs. Suddenly I noticed I'd spent the equivalent of years of my life reading all the little details of lives of perfect strangers. Fascinating! I've always been one of those people who when driving or walking at night, loves to peer into people's lit houses and see what's going on. How have they decorated their dining room? What color is their kitchen painted? What movie are they watching? Damn! Why do so many people draw their curtains? The voyeur in me was enjoying this World of Blogging.

The wheels started turning. I could chronicle our lives. Keep track of things the Bubble Kids do and say. My memory is so bad (why? have I smoked a lot of marijuana? NO! Have I been hit in the head? No.) I wish I could say I had something fun to blame this poor memory thing on, but it is apparently just a lazy mind. Plus, I could share what was happening with us with our family and friends that are spread out all over the world (I'm looking at you, Belgium!). So, My Suburban Bubble was born and I've been feeling my way and slowly learning the blogging ropes since February when I took The Plunge.

One of the things I've learned We Bloggers do is to "tag" one another. This is my first time being "tagged", so now I'm It. Thanks, SJ! I get to explore my deepest, darkest self and share all my little secrets with the World of the Internet. Here we go...

Name four jobs I've had:

1. My first official job was at Piccadilly Cafeteria. I had the unbearable chore of wearing the most hideous dirt brown, polyester dress uniform, with a horrible orange and brown plaid apron. I had to wear white, closed-toe shoes with NO socks. This was during the era of big, scrunchy looking socks, so the thought of baring my ankles in Keds sneakers was a tragedy of the highest order. I did have the honor of pouring iced tea for Bart Connor once, but he was a little bitchy, so all in all, it was not worth the $3.35/hour I was making. When they asked me to wear a hair net, I'd reached my limit and chose to end my employment at that time. Right then. But if I can believe what I read in Naked, my favorite humorist/writer, David Sedaris also worked at Piccadilly, so THAT does make it worth it.
2. Bill collector. I started out as a skip-tracer (not unlike my new friend, Stephanie Plum, but without the gun and tear gas spray), then got "promoted" to bill collector. This is so funny on so many levels that I can't even get into it. I would actually call people and go through the "Open, Fact, Dun, Close" system we used to get people to pay the bills they'd decided their either couldn't or wouldn't. I had a pseudonym. It was Nicole Simms and yes, it was during the Nicole Simpson murder/OJ trial time-frame. And yes, lots of people made the connection.
3. Cocktail waitress. At a bar called Bimbo's. J.W. Bimbo's to be exact. It wasn't the sleazy place the name would lead you to believe, I swear. The work was easy and fun, the tips were great because it was a place for more middle-aged people who actually had money instead of the cheapskate college students whose number one criteria on choosing where to go is Where's coin beer night? and I only had to work 3 nights a week and could focus on my college learning the rest of the days. It was really a pretty sweet gig.
4. Jewelry salesperson. I was certified in the 4 C's and everything. That was during a time in my life when I actually had acrylic nails and wore shoes that were patently uncomfortable with pointy toes and heels higher than a Birkenstock.

Movies I'd watch over and over:

1. Spiderman 1 or 2. I've developed quite a love of comic book type movies in the last couple of years. Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, X-Men...loved 'em all, but Spidey...well, he's Spidey.
2. 300. Gerard Butler as King Leonidas. I need say no more.
3. Toy Story 2.
4. The Breakfast Club. This movie helped define my high school years.

Favorite TV Shows:

As has been mentioned here and here, we no longer subscribe to television service in the Bubble House. As a result, we buy shows from iTunes or rent DVDs through the library or Netflix. Here's what we buy or rent, or will when the time comes.

1. The Office. The funniest network show I've ever seen.
2. The Daily Show. I need me my Jon Stewart and daily dose of fake news.
3. 24. Jack Bauer Rocks. Lord save us if Kiefer Sutherland ever decides to run for President. (a la Fred Thompson). Personally, I just have a problem with a candidate who has a longer imdb page than political accomplishments. That's just me and my predetermined bias.
4. 6 Feet Under. We're working our way through season 4, and it's as morbid and intriguing as ever.
5. The Colbert Report. I don't watch this as religiously as The Daily Show, but it's so great. There's just not enough time in the world for everything.

There are some TV shows that are in the queue but I can't judge them yet. Lost, The Soprano's, Curb Your Enthusiasm are all shows that I plan to watch. We watched and enjoyed The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Futurama, Arrested Development...something about that Sunday night line-up on Fox. Then they started messing around with it and ditched Arrested Development and moving things around. Idiots. Like the same ignoramous that canceled Sports Night, whom I will never forgive. I mean, we had Felicity Huffman and Peter Krause in the same show! TV executives are so clueless sometimes. And Yes, I'm still bitter.

Favorite Hobbies:

I feel woefully weak on this one. Hobbies? For myself? Yikes. I'm not as complete as I thought.

1. Reading. I only wish there was more time for reading and more fabulous books. I hate when I've wasted a week or two on a book that was only mediocre. Thanks to my book club, there's much less of that. You'll be able to see our books here soon. Stay tuned for LibraryThing links and you never need wonder again what Bubble Girl is reading or has read.
2. Cycling. I feel a little strange calling that a "hobby" since it's pretty new in my life. But I am enjoying it and training for a 60 mile ride in November, so I guess it counts. I mean, I got the shoes and everything.
3. Can cleaning be a hobby? I feel like I do it a lot. It makes me feel better about it if I can put a positive title on it.
4. Cooking. I do love to cook. There's not enough time for it. I love looking at recipes and talking about recipes, cookbooks, little tweaks people have made to familiar recipes, planning menus. Not so much the clean-up, but I guess I could file that under Hobby #3.

Places I've lived:

1. Oklahoma (Red Earth Country)
2. Yuma, Arizona (Armpit of the U.S.)
3. Wisconsin (Yes, they really do eat that much cheese)
4. San Francisco (Fabulous if you have money oozing from your pores. Still pretty good even if you don't)
5. Austin, TX (an oasis in a big ol' state)

Places I'd rather be:

I like it pretty well right here, right now. But if we're talking "vacation" kind of things....

1. Hawaii. Wanna go. Looks so nice.
2. Italy. Love Italy. Want a summer house there someday.
3. Greece. Never been, but again, one must dream.
4. Spain. Ditto.
5. Scotland. To feed my love of All Things Scottish.

Websites I check daily:

Daily is an overstatement, but here are some of my favorite friend blogs...

1. KT's Coolboots
2. SJ's Adventures
3. JC's Story
4. I heard a rumor there's another friend blog coming soon, so I'll have to update later...

And my favorite non-friend blogs where I lurk...

1. go fug yourself
2. dooce
3. finslippy
4. fussy
5. mighty girl
6. suburban turmoil
7. bizzyville
8. yetanotherbloominblog

So, that's the short list. There are a few others like America's Finest News Source, The Onion and Boobs, Injuries, and Dr. Pepper that get my attention on a semi-regular basis and I'm never disappointed.

That wraps up this episode of Getting to Know Bubble Girl. I hope you all feel a little closer to me now that you know I served cocktails at Bimbo's and consider cleaning a hobby. We'll be BFFs always now.

NOW, I get the pleasure of spreading the love and tagging two lucky fellow bloggers. I'm looking at the aforementioned KT's Coolboots and JC's Adventures.

Let 'er rip girls!


She scores!

I'm not the shopper I used to be. Times were I could set out bright and early in the morning and find bargain after bargain to suit my needs and desires. Or if my needs and desires were specific, a pair of shoes to match a new ensemble or a new sweater for a ski trip, I'd always find something that worked perfectly. That was BC (Before Children). Not only did I have eons more time but all my income was focused in on me, me, me, rather than four people, a house, 2 cars, piano lessons, swim team, soccer, PTA junkity-junk, not to mention that I no longer produce an actual income. So, shopping has become more of a chore than a pleasant pastime.

But today. Today! After an hour and a half, way too many questions, and very looong, thorough answers from a very helpful salesman, I walked away with beautiful SIDI cycling shoes. Then, as if that wasn't great enough, after a yummy lunch, CCC and I headed to the north Lamar Goodwill which is THE place to go for cheap books. We teamed up and went through thousands of books and came up with enough great reads to get us through the next six months.




Little A says he's given me proof of his Power of Invisibility with this photo of his finger.

"See how it glows?...that's my Power!".

"See! I told you!", he says.

"But I can still see it...it's not invisible", I say.

"That's because it's a PICTURE, Mom! Invisibleness GLOWS in pictures.", he says, eyes-rolling from my complete stupidity.

When am I going to get it?


After watching his sister and neighborhood friends go off to the magical land of School for the last three weeks, Little A finally got to climb the hill to the 1880-era house where he'll be attending preschool FOUR days a week. BB and I walked him up, snapping photos and chatting it up trying to keep it all positive lest he remember that for the last 10 weeks of preschool in the spring we practically had to drag him kicking and screaming up that damn hill and walk away from a either a wailing and flailing child or a pitifully tearful child. Either way, it pretty much sucked. I left either feeling like a complete loser for forcing my child to endure 4 hours without me (maybe a little ego talking there) or like I was being smothered and must RUN, RUN AWAY, QUICK! BEFORE ALL THE LIFE IS SQUEEZED OUT OF ME.

But there was to be none of that this week. He scampered up the hill, walked into the little house like he owned the place, set up business in his cubby and started marking his territory in the big classroom. I tried not to knock anyone over as I skipped gleefully back down the hill giddy with the knowledge that I had a whole 3 1/2 hours to MYSELF.

And what did I do? I SHOPPED, of course! Having fun shopping with children is an oxymoron and I'd had no desire to attempt it unless there was absolutely no way to avoid it. It's amazing how much I can get done in 3 hours when I don't have to keep begging certain someones to please put their seatbelts on already. Or get out of the car for pete's sake. The best was when I realized I hadn't had to get down on my hands and knees even once to search for a Star Wars or Superman or Spiderman action figure.

When I picked up Little A, I had to drag him off the playground and back down the hill. He didn't want the day to end. I'll take that.


Bubble Bars

I've been yammering on to just about anybody who'll listen about some protein bars I made recently (I'm sure Crossing Guard Man is tired of hearing about them and maybe would like a sample instead??). I've had a few requests for the recipe so, here goes...

Bubble Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 heaping scoops whey protein powder (I used 365 Vanilla Whey Protein)
2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I pulsed these in the food processor to chop them up a little)
1 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal (I used the brown rice kind from Whole Foods)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter until fluffy. Add protein powder, brown rice syrup, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Blend in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Press firmly into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

These turned out so great! I don't even have any pictures because I had to hurry and wrap 'em up and freeze them before BB could eat the whole pan (he ate about HALF in one evening...oink!). I needed something to tide Big E over her 5+ hour gap between breakfast and lunch that would keep her going. So, a little sugar (OK, a bit more than 'a little'), some oats & rice, extra protein, and Bubble Bars are born. The protein adds an extra 32 grams per batch (16 good size bars), so it's not like they're fully loaded with protein, but it's something. I think I'll try 3 scoops next time. I tried it in waffles this weekend and it was fine. The key is to not refer to them as "protein bars", they are strictly BUBBLE BARS. I can't let the kids believe for even a second that these are anything besides a huge treat and that I am the COOLEST mom for sending a big ol' cookie for snack every day. Bwa-ha-ha! My evil plans continue...


That Look

The Set-up: Little A is allowed 30 minutes of computer time a day. He could easily sit at the computer forever. I'm sure if we were to construct some sort of toilet / desk chair and hook him up with IV food, he'd never let the mouse out of his chubby little hand. Oh, unless it was to watch TV, especially something relating to Spiderman, Go, Diego, Go, Fantastic Four, or Star Wars, but really anything will do. But as you may know from previous posts, we don't have TV so it's easy enough to avoid getting caught in that trap. HOWEVER, we have three computers around the house at any given time, often four, so regulating computer time is getting trickier.

Today, as I was worked diligently on a little PTA project, Little A was set up with his collection of thousands of Hot Wheels and a few planks of wood of various sizes. This is more than enough to entertain him indefinitely but for some reason he was fixated on either watching TV or getting in some more Noggin time. He was shot down time and time again, and finally seemed to settle in to playing cars or knights. Until I noticed that he wasn't. All was quiet. And if you have kids, you know. That Isn't A Good Sign.

I knew where he was. He'd helped himself to the 24" monitor in BB's office to play his Spiderman video game. I knew this the way mothers Just Know. So, I call out to him...

Me: Little A! Whatcha doin'?

Little A: I'm upstairs.

Me: Whatcha doin' up there? [I'm tip-toeing to the office at this point]

Little A: Playin'.

Me: Whatcha playin'?

Little A: Uhhhhh......uhhh...............Stuff. [He walks out of the office to see me standing there]

Me: How'd you get down here so fast?

Little A: [sly smile giving me That Look*] Uhhh...My Power.

Me: Really? What power is that?

Little A: [He holds his hand up to my face, palm in] Invisible.

Me: Oh! You can make yourself invisible!? Cool. What about me, do I have The Power?

Little A: Hold your hand up like this [he shows me how...palm facing toward me...I do..]. Oh yes, you do.......but just your hand. Not your whole self, like me [more of That Look*].

*That Look: When one knows they're Oh So Busted and also know that if they crank up their Cuteness Quotient it'll save them from anything short of torturing puppies.


House of Terror

A week or so ago, BB and I had snuggled down for a quiet evening watching something I can't even remember what. To really enjoy whatever it is we're watching we regularly turn out all the lights and watch in darkness. As we sat, darkness surrounding us, TWANG! followed by a THWACK!

Hmmmm, what could that have been? It sounded like it came from upstairs or the ceiling or something. Like maybe if someone put an object in a plastic spoon and flung it toward you. A thorough search of the floor turned up nothing at first...after all it was pretty dark. Just as I had decided it was probably the house settling or the ghost that regularly haunts me here by dropping ceiling fans over my head, I see it. Barely. It's brown exoskeleton scurrying on the floor. Tail erect. A Scorpion. My first thought is It Could Have Landed ON ME!!!!! In retrospect I'm certain I felt the air disturbance as it fell the 15 feet from the ceiling fan. It was that close to my head. I mean, can you imagine? Oh God.

Scorpions fluoresce under UV light.

I know, I know. Supposedly beneficial arachnids keeping down the fire ants and roaches. I can't accept it. They're evil and they're in our electrical system. I'm normally an organic type gal, go the natural route whenever possible. But I'll break out the big guns if I'm going to have to deal with scorpions crawling out of light fixtures and flinging themselves around the house. I think I may walk around with a black light and to see what we're dealing with here. I do have a mattress on the FLOOR to think about.



Seems like weeks have gone by since I've had anything to say here. Guess it's not that I haven't had anything to say, just no time to say it. Don't get the wrong idea that we had a big trip over the holiday weekend, or visitors or something else fun to do. Oh no. I woke up Saturday morning with a major case of OCD. I simply could not allow all the kids' craft, playdoh, paint stuff, etc...to reside in the crummy little plastic drawers that have been occupying way too much laundry room real estate one minute longer. There was a logical process to it that is way too long to recap here, but what that ended up meaning was a new kitchen table, chairs and cabinet. So, off to IKEA we went. This turned out to be a 6+ hour Adventure in Torture. There are good, valid reasons why BB and I are STILL sleeping on a mattress on the floor (2 years this month!). When looking at a book for ideas he points to a large concrete room with huge windows that contains a coffee table and a plant as something we should strive for. I'm more of a Crate and Barrel girl myself, actually enjoying furniture that I can sit on, but it's not like I'm putting up frilly lace curtains and asking him to sit on floral chintz.


Hours go by. Flat packs are unloaded. Furniture is assembled. Screw punches hole through table top. Panic ensues. Is this the right table for us? Maybe this is A Sign? Back to IKEA with brief stop at Crate and Barrel to calm my irrational fears. All is well. Here's what we ended up with:

Not quite content to let the torment of the weekend shopping sprees end, I take both kids to the fabric store so I can recover the seat cushions. And THEN, to make it truly a day to remember we go to The Container Store...TWICE! Somehow, this project morphed into needing to transfer all the pantry stuff from plastic to glass.

After a frantic day of cleaning, purging, sorting, and more cleaning, Voila!

Theses 'woven totes' were my sweet find of the day. They fit perfectly under the cabinet and the color was spot on. BB insists that they're baskets in his "see how you're trying to Frou-Frou everything up?" kinda way, but I'm standing firm on the 'woven totes'.
Many people can't truly appreciate an orderly pantry. They miss the joy of standing in front of dried goods and admiring everything neatly displayed in comforting rows. So, so sad.