A Post I Never Thought I’d Write

I killed seriously the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life last night.

Like many people out there I am terrified of spiders. I grew up in a house that backed up to a forest. We had large tree spiders around the whole time I was a kid. One lived outside my window for a while that my family called “Goliath.”

We’ve been cleaning out the garage and luckily I’ve managed to stay spider free. Until last night. I picked up some old burlap coffee bags Russell had gotten years ago in Colorado. We’d been using them as mats on the floor in front of the washing machine. That is until our cat starting using them as a litter box. Time to go. So I gave those a little shake and threw them out. Then I picked up the trash can by the dryer that we use mostly for the lint. It doesn’t get full really fast, or stinky at all so it doesn’t get emptied very often. Well, that’s when I saw him.

The beast.

At first I wasn’t sure if he was alive, or even really a spider. He was surrounded by webs, but was so big I almost didn’t believe it. Now, Russell was on his way home at this point and I could have left the spider for him to deal with, but after I had unearthed him from his hiding place I didn’t trust him to stay out in the open. Our deep freezer was only about two inches away, and the washing machine and dryer were not far either. The fact was, doing nothing and possibly losing track of this spider was more terrifying to me than dealing with it myself. I searched around for any spider killer spray that I could use from a safe distance, but found none. He was on the edge of a little ledge, so trying to hit him with something or step on him was out of the question. I ended up poking around him with the broom enough that he climbed on board. Once on the broom there was no doubt he was alive, and his size startled me even more. I kid you not, he was roughly 2/3 the length of the bristles on the broom. I carried him (as outstretched as possible) to the street before whacking him. Literally.

I took a picture, but it is a little hard to see. On the right there is one of those things that go in men’s dress shirts to straighten the collar. You can use that for size reference. He was about the same size. Also, in the foreground you can see the carcass of some other spider or creature that he killed.

spider 001

Published in: on September 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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25 Things About Me, Almost 5 Years Later

Remember years ago when everyone was posting “25 things you don’t know about me” on facebook and tagging people in it? I did one (almost 5 years ago) and since I can’t seem to get a thing written on the blog recently I thought it would be fun to go back and look what I wrote then, and how much has changed. See my new commentary in bold.

1. I love early American history. I can’t get enough of it. I enjoy presidential history such as: Who was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms? Grover Cleveland #22, #24. What calendar year did America have 3 presidents? 1841- Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler. Yep, this is still true. The only difference is now I am a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

2. I have an irrational fear of fisherman. I grew up in Monterey, I know. They terrify me. Once while I was working at an ice cream shop in PG a man came in that looked like a fisherman and I ducked behind the counter and made my coworker help him. Still true also, although living in Las Vegas I don’t come across many fisherman.

3. I bite my fingernails. I am 25 years old and have my whole life. I don’t know if I will ever stop. I had acrylic nails for 3 months when we got married. As soon as they came off I started biting again. Oh well. I’m about to turn 30 and this one is not so true any more. I stopped biting my nails about a year after I wrote this. Just up and stopped one day. If I actually take the time and effort to have manicures my nails looks pretty nice. Except that I don’t and they don’t.

4. I loved high school. I know most people hated their high school years, but I had such a blast in high school. Art Academy?… two words: group finals. We got to do music videos and 80’s skits instead of writing papers. Robin and I in Swartz’s class? 7:45am lasagna/ pie/Dr. A+ parties. Giant pencils, cat throw up notebooks. Disco balls and lychee. Mr. Locker Fish. The dark room in photo. Gosh, these were some of the best times of my life. I’d live it all over again in a second. Oh so true.

5. I have two tattoos and 5 piercings. 4 ear and 1 nose piercing. One tattoo on my back of a tiki guy and a hibiscus from our honeymoon (Russell has one to match) and one on my ankle of my Boo Kitty’s paw print. I have been wanting another tattoo for about a year or so. 5 small birds flying on my chest/shoulder area. One for each of us. Maybe someday.

6. I love Bon Jovi. o.k. so I know this is supposed to be things you might not know, but I can’t not include something about Bon Jovi in a list of things about myself. Robin and I were lucky enough to see Bon Jovi in concert in 2007. It was an incredible night I won’t soon forget. I still love Bon Jovi, and I also had the pleasure of seeing them in April with Russell’s boss. I am a lucky girl.

7. I can play almost any instrument placed in front of me. In elementary school I played piano, flute, trumpet, and saxophone. The band instructor at the middle school I would be going to heard about me and the summer between 5th and 6th grade she had me learn the french horn. I started 6th grade in advanced band playing french horn. I can also play piccolo, clarinet and bass guitar. I haven’t touched an instrument in years. We have my flute and Russell’s saxophone in the girls’ closet, but they have yet to emerge and be played.

8. I can’t clap. O.k. I can clap like for a show or a play. I can’t clap on beat. Weird huh? Since I can play all those instruments. I have no rhythm but I can hear a song and replicate it. People always think I am upset at church because everyone but me is clapping. I really can’t, it is terrible. True. Still true. Don’t make fun of me.

9. My name is a palindrome. For those of you who don’t know what that means it is when a word is spelled the same forward and backward. Like bob and racecar. Anina. Check it out. I didn’t change my name, so this is still true also.

10. My first zoo visit was when I was 24 years old. Technically I went once when I was like 6 months old, but I don’t remember it at all. We took the girls to the Oakland Zoo when they were just over one. Wyatt got to go to an Alpine Zoo before his first birthday, and we might be making another visit to a zoo on our summer vacation. We’ll see!

11. I have never smoked anything. ever. no cigarettes, no pot. In fact alcohol is the only “drug” I have ever used other than aspirin. I am proud of that. I even just had ibuprofen when I had my wisdom teeth out. I have had two c-sections since writing this, and have managed through with very little drugs. I took mortin in the hospital after the operations, and came home taking only Tylenol for a day or so. I guess I have a pretty high pain tollerance.

12. I broke my nose. Let me say that again… I broke my own nose, myself. I opened a door right onto my face and broke it. Oops. Ya.

13. I am allergic to mosquitoes. Once in Texas I was sent home from work because my mosquito bites were “freaking out the customers”. I had one bite and my hand and it was so swollen you couldn’t even tell I had knuckles. I was on steroids for a week to help me fight it off. Luckily we don’t have many mosquitos where we live, so it has been a long time since I’ve been bitten.

14. I love water sports. I feel so comfortable being in the water and can’t imagine now knowing how to swim. It would be like not knowing how to walk. River tubing, kayaking, tubing behind a speed boat on a lake, (I haven’t had the opportunity to try water skiing/wake boarding yet) swimming- even in the ocean (unless there are fishing boats near by!) I love it all. This is our first year having a pool in our backyard. It seems our girls like the water as much as I do.

15. I don’t like hamburgers or chocolate. What did my mom do with me as a kid when I went to birthday parties?? Answer, we went to McDonald’s before hand and I ate chicken nuggets. Once my parents told me I couldn’t eat my watermelon until I finished my hamburger, so I threw it away in their bathroom trash. I never went in there so I assumed they didn’t either. They found it and I got caught. I wanted my watermelon… I will eat hamburgers now. They are not my favorite thing in the world, but I will eat them from time to time. I like hard chocolate (like candy bars, and chocolate chips) but still do not enjoy brownies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, fudge and all those other things you might be thinking are delicious. Not for me.

16. I love board games and card games. I think some of the best times happen around games and am lucky to be a part of a family that played together a lot growing up. I still love games, and have many new favorites like Kingdom Builders and Dominion. I can’t wait for the kids to be able to play games with us. It’s almost time to get Candyland!

17. I would rather eat fruit than almost anything. As a kid my parents would have to hide fruit when they bought it otherwise I would eat it all and no one else would get any. Still true. And my kids feel the same way. Like 75% of our food budget is produce.

18. I like things that are familiar. In fact I read the same books, watch the same shows and movies over and over and over. I have read Angels and Demons more times that I can count, and know Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure by heart. I never get tired of them. I have branched out a little and am reading my way through the John Grisham novels. But I still love my old favorites. I also order the same food wherever we go.

19. When I was a baby people used to think I was adopted. I have olive Italian skin and tan very quickly, while my mom is very white and Danish. Also, my mom lost her baby weight immediately after I was born, she left the hospital in her pre-maternity clothes! My husband really was adopted. My girls at least have my skin as well. Even though I load them up with SPF 50 every time we step into the sun they are already getting so dark. Summer has just begun!

20. I buy mens jeans, and shoes from time to time. The shoes are because it is hard to find womens shoes in my size, and the jeans because they have figured out to size them by waist AND length. Why can’t women’s clothes figure out how to do this?? Ok, I don’t do this anymore. I still think women’s sizes need some serious help, but I have found a couple places that have stuff that fits me right.

21. I like puzzles a lot. Set, Sudoku, I have even beat Tetris a few times. Did you know you can actually beat that game? I don’t have much time for this anymore, but sometimes moving things around in our fridge feels like one of those puzzles when you try to free one block by moving everything else around one space.

22. I actually enjoy doing all the housework things of being a stay at home wife. Except floors, I hate cleaning floors. Ha! Who has time for this?

23. All my pets have presidential names. John Adams (bird), Rusterford B. Hayes “Rusty” (dog), and Tanklin Roosevelt “Tank” (cat). See #1…. We now have a cat Leila who doesn’t have a presidential name. We didn’t name her, her old owners did and I just couldn’t change it. We do call her “Monster” almost all of the time though. She is the sweetest cat.

24. I am taller than my husband. I didn’t wear shoes to our wedding so I wouldn’t be taller in the pictures. All three of our kids look like they will be taller than him too. Poor Russell.

25. I love my life. πŸ™‚ It is a totally different life than I had almost 5 years ago, but I still love it.

Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Um, What?

Have you seen the site Pinterest You Are Drunk? It is fabulous and funny. It puts together all the ridiculous things out there in the world of Pinterest with some entertaining commentary.

Today I feel like I found one of my own. I was reading an article called “Be happier in your home.” It has some nice tips like make your bed everyday and display sentimental items around your home. But honestly, I didn’t read all ten tips. I couldn’t seem to get past number five. Here is what I was instructed to do:

“Get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles … do a couple fist-pumps while shouting β€œCan I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!”

Um, ya. I can tell you right now that’s not gonna happen. If there are people out there that do this… more power to them I guess? Also, I’d kinda like to meet them. And maybe smack them around a little bit.

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  


Things have been a little crazy recently. Our second car died which means Russell is taking what is normally my car everyday. We have spent almost all of our weekend time the past two weekends trying to find a replacement with no luck. He has a short weekend (yesterday) and a long week starting today. An extra day, earlier mornings and one later night. Oh, and the girls are going through an “I’m gonna have random fits over nothing every other minute” phase. I am tired. Also between Halloween costumes, Wyatt’s Christmas stocking, diaper orders, and aprons for a family reunion I am a little overrun in the craft department. (Which didn’t stop me from buy a new machine and entering a whole new crafty world, but more on that later.)

I don’t really have much energy left to be entertaining on my blog, so I won’t especially try. I do want to share a couple things I thought were interesting with you. Funny, sad, a little of both maybe. The first is a comment left on a blog I read. It was a post about their families transition into the world of kindergarten. This is a comment left by another follower, not the author of the blog. I copied and pasted exactly as it was, with no editing.

“I am a teacher of preschooler and I think that the school put a lot of pressure on the kids and their parent for they learn to read…

when they want and be interesting in read the will do,do not worry about that”

Please don’t teach any of my kids!

The second thing I wanted to share was from Netflix. We got down to only one movie left on our queue so I needed to add some more. A problem we have is that we don’t have TV at home and never go to the movies, so I am not really up to date on what movies are out there and what might be worth seeing. So I was looking under the “suggestions for you” section. If you don’t know it’ll say something like “because of your interest in X, Y and Z we think you’ll like A” (except movie names, not letters) Here is one of the suggestions.

Really? John Adams and SNL: The best of Chris Farley?


Are there any two shows more at opposite ends of the spectrum? How could anything be suggested for me based on these two shows? While I am on the subject of Netflix, did you know “Emotional Social Issue Dramas” is one of their categories?

Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Wipe-d Out

The girls are into all things baby right now. They love to give their dolls and stuffed animals baths, pacifiers, suck out their nose boogies and change diapers. Very early this morning I was up feeding Wyatt and the girls had just gotten up as well. Russell was sitting next to me on the couch and we commented on how good the girls were being playing in their room by themselves. When the feeding was over I went to their room to tell them I would be going back to bed for a little while before Russell needed to start getting ready for work. They were being so cute changing their baby dolls diapers and putting them to bed. Except for the fact that in doing so they emptied about 1/2 a package of wipes onto their floor. All neatly balled up after being used and discarded. I gasped when I saw their work on the floor, and they both looked up at me with this “what did we do wrong? we were just taking care of our babies” faces and I couldn’t even be mad at them. I am not sure how long they played like that for Russell, but after breakfast they went right back and continued to play with those wipes for almost 2 more hours. Frankly, for that kind of peace and quiet they can use all the wipes they want!

This was later in the morning, after the wipes had gotten moved out of a nice neat pile, but you get the idea πŸ™‚

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s My Monday, Give Me A Break

Many of you who know me know I like to be organized, and to plan ahead. So I am not sure it needs to be said that I am struggling to be patient about moving the girls into their “big girl room” (currently known as “the guest bedroom”) and get the nursery ready for the baby. Maybe it is nesting, maybe it is just me, but it drives me crazy that it isn’t done yet.

Yes, I know I am only 22 weeks.

But the books say you shouldn’t make any changes for older children during the 3 months before, or the 6 months after the baby arrives. Which means by those standards we should have the girls completely transitioned into their new room by the end of this month. Here is a sneak peak as to what that room currently looks like.

Did I mention we have guests coming for Thanksgiving?

We are so thrilled Russell’s brother and his wife are coming over to spend Thanksgiving with us, but that means I really need to get my butt in gear getting that room decent for guests. And then immediately after they leave get it completely switched out with all the girls stuff.

Here are the big problems I am having.

1- I can’t put the baby stuff in the nursery until we move the girls stuff out. BUT, I don’t want to move the girls stuff into the guest room until we are ready to move them too.

2- We have a ton of old clothes for them, but nothing to pack them up in, so they are just laying on the bed.

3- I haven’t decided whether to keep or toss our clothes that were covered in lighter fluid. I washed them about 50 times, but you never know. (If you don’t know about that I need to do a post soon with all the craziness the girls have been up to)

All of that is to say, this girls room/guest room problem is making me crazy. So this morning to take my mind off of it I spent a little quality time with my sewing machine. I made a super soft, cozy cover for the diaper changing pad

and two pairs of (already loved) owl flannel pants for the girls.

owl print detail

We also spent a lot of time yesterday searching for sturdy and functional pieces of furniture for the “big girls room”. The girls went with us to nearly 10 stores and they did AWESOME. They were so patient, listened when we asked them to follow us, and didn’t break anything! Major success. Although by the end of the day (and three trips total) we ended up buying everything we were looking for at the first store. Now it is time to assemble some furniture and store it in the garage until after Thanksgiving. Also I need to make curtains for their room, which I am very excited about now that we have picked a theme!

This really should have been about three posts, so if you are still with me you must be a true friend.

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm  Comments (2)  

If I Had A Time Machine

There are a few moments I would love to go back and witness.

One would be the signing of the Declaration of Independence because I am just a dork like that.

Another would be to this time right here…

Where would you go if you could?

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm  Comments (2)  

Some Rockin’ New Shoes, And Other Random Things

It was time to buy the girls some new shoes for fall/winter. Sandals won’t work year round- even in Las Vegas, plus the ones they have been using the past few months are pretty beat up (they may have been super glued back together more than once), not to mention since my girls are growing so well they barely fit in them anymore. So off to the store we went.

After trying on many pairs we finally hit the jackpot. Check out these awesome shoes!

Seriously, how Jem and the Holograms are these things?

While we are talking about some old school 80’s, check out my awesome Barbie and the Rockers lunchbox… with matching thermos.

AND my Cool Times Barbie lunchbox, which reminds me a lot of the Saved By The Bell intro.

While I was looking for my old lunchboxes I found something else interesting. Look at what I found with all my Barbie stuff.

A double stroller.

Apparently even my Barbies had twins. I guess some things are just meant to be. And leave it to Barbie… those car seats even snap in and out for added convenience.

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 10:36 am  Comments (1)