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Amber in SJ

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About Amber in SJ

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  1. Poo-Pourri (I hear Wal-Mart has an equivalent), a pack of flushable wipes and/ or the cushiest TP you can find. It is silly & useful. Amber in SJ
  2. It took me forever to get used to and I still cringe when I brush the backs of my upper teeth. It took me a good 6 months to be able to go the whole 2 minutes. However...... Between the sonicare brush & the air flosser I no longer have the deep pockets that they have been worried about for years. My mom lost teeth to periodontal disease and I have struggled with the same thing for years. Needless to say all of the kids have them too 🙂 Amber in SJ
  3. I happen to be considered the "most granola" mom in my mom group at park day because of my cloth diapering & other frugal ways, but one day I had my title stripped from me, when another mom said she used generic instant pudding mix to make fudgesicles. That wasn't the shocking part. The shocker came when she told us she used the leftover milk from her kids' cereal bowls to make the pudding. I admit I gagged a little. I will collect shower water in a bucket to water my garden, I will ration toilet flushes, I will wash baggies, line dry laundry, pay for my groceries with my change or re-purpose leftovers like a mad fiend, but I will not save the last bit of scummy milk with cereal flakes in the kids' bowls. They just have to drink it. Amber in SJ
  4. My ILs are funny about Thanksgiving food. The menu never deviated: A turkey cooked in an oven bag, stovetop stuffing, green bean casserole with canned soup & crispy onions, canned yams with marshmallows, mashed potatoes made in a mixer until they are glue, cranberry sauce out of a can, Costco rolls & pie with no deviation. None at all. Every year I have brought something "weird" that no one except my family eats: One year I volunteered to bring the green beans. I made bundles of steamed haricot verts tied with roasted red pepper strips & crispy bacon. Everyone complained. I made cranberry orange sauce from fresh cranberries. Didn't get eaten. Stuffing made with sourdough bread, sausage and caramelized onions. Where's the stove top? They literally threw away the full pan of this in front of me. I filled the bread basket one year with fluffy potato rolls, sweet potato cloverleaf rolls, garlic knots, focaccia squares and anadama rolls. FIL demanded that someone go to the store for the "good" rolls. I have brought salads that don't get eaten. I made quinoa salad with cranberries, green apples,almonds & feta, dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette. FIL complained about the "girl food." Several members of my family are lactose intolerant. My ILs don't believe this is real, so they refuse to make substitutions. I started bringing mashed potatoes made dairy free and my FIL's wife was so offended that she insisted that she would make them next year, and she did.....with CoffeeMate. Hazelnut CoffeeMate. Anyway...we go and eat what we can. My kids get their year's supply of canned/ processed food. They buy tons of Sunny D for the kids and guilt them into drinking it. I am not looking forward to this year because my 15yo dd decided to be a vegetarian at the beginning of the year....I am sure that will go over like a lead balloon. Amber in SJ
  5. I have 2 of these: If I bake more than 2 loaves at a time I freeze the "extras" Amber in SJ
  6. I second the photo calendar with the important dates filled in. One year, before the era of photo calendars, I got a calendar that had a the calendar part had a big pocket on the bottom that I think was meant to hold bills. One year after my aunt passed away I gave my uncle this calendar with all the dates filled in & in each pocket there was the appropriate card with an addressed, stamped envelope so all he had to do was write a note and put it in the mail. He really enjoyed that. One of my mom's favorite gifts (according to her) was the year we realized she needed a set of large print scriptures for church. She was really resisting the large print thing. She said it made her feel old. Well before her birthday, I bought her a set of large print scriptures and had her name put on the front. My kids went through and each one underlined his/ her favorite scripture and wrote a little note to Grammy in the margin about why he or she chose that one. Then I sent it to my farthest away sibling, he and his kids did the same and boxed it up and sent it to the next sibling and it traveled on & on until it had gone to all 5 of us and all of our kids had written in it or at least drawn a picture in it. The last place it went was to my sister's house in the same town where my parents lived. After they had marked their favorite scriptures, she wrapped it up and gave it to my mom for her birthday from all of us. She adored that present and when she passes, I took it home with me and found that she had also marked her favorites and after some of the little notes written to her she had responded with notes of her own. Amber in SJ
  7. I only have four, so I never consider us to be a big family but around here we are certainly outside the norm. I have had strangers at the park ask me if they all have the same Daddy. Maybe it is because of where I live but many of the comments I get are about how selfish I am because my "giant" family is using up more than our share of the planet's resources. So I would say, "I am not trying to overpopulate the planet. I am just trying to outnumber the idiots." My family was excited by each pregnancy announcement, and my in-laws kept their thoughts to themselves for the most part. Except when pregnancy announcement #4 coincided with our purchase of a newer/ larger vehicle and my MIL blurted out, "Oh my goodness! It isn't like a goldfish growing to fit a bigger bowl! You don't have to fill all the seats of that new car!" I did have one shocking comment that left me speechless. Years ago when #4 was a toddler, my youngest brother was getting married. I had never met his fiancee and the wedding was being held in another state in her home town. After the rehearsal dinner I was juggling the baby & watching all the kids who who were not a part of the wedding party when the pastor (a total stranger) came up to me, introduced himself and asked me which children were mine, so I pointed out my kids in the pile of cousins. He then asked me if I was planning on having more.....which I felt was awfully surprise must have shown on my face because he rushed to explain his interest by saying, "Because you have perfect aryan children, so pure and lovely. We need more of them." And then he walked away. I have never been so shocked. For a split second I thought I must have imagined it, like maybe I had sunstroke or something, but my SIL was standing nearby with her kids and she said, "Did he just say that?" What would possess a person to say that to a stranger? Just because my children are blue-eyed blonds I must share his racist views? Congratulations on #4. The more the merrier I say :) Amber in SJ
  8. To be fair, this has been an ongoing problem for me for the past 28 years. I got married while in college, and I was the first in my family to go to and graduate from a four year university. I wanted that diploma to have the name I started with on it, so I didn't change it for the first few years. Once I graduated and went to work, it seemed like a hassle to change it, so I didn't. A couple years later when I became an at home mom, I figured it was time to change it so I would have the same last name as my kids. Unfortunately, Dh's last name is two words, so a hyphenation would have been awkward. I had already put my last name as one of the kids' middle names so I did that with my own. Now I had one first name, two middle names and a two word last name on my ID & SS card. This was fine until the last time (10 years ago) I had to renew my ID. When I got it in the mail it had my first name correct, but now I had three middle names including the first word of my last name and my last name was only the second word of my last name. The thought of returning to the DMV & fixing it was just too much, so I let it be. The only time it has been an issue is the rare occasion when I get on an airplane. And even then it really only matters that the name on the ticket matches the name on the ID, so Amber "second word of last name," has taken a few flights in the past 10 years. Interestingly, my FIL's wife has the same problem; her ID only has the second word of our shared, two word married name as her last name. The DMV refused to change it when she went in with her marriage certificate, because on her marriage certificate, someone made a mistake and took out the space so the last name is one word, which in their minds made it a completely different name. So there I was with a birth certificate that said one name, a bill that said another name (married name only,) a SS card that had all my names and an ID that had all the right names, but not in the right places. The moral of the story might be; if your spouse has a difficult last name, consider keeping your own :) Amber in SJ
  9. I didn't see it either which is why I dared to darken the DMV doors without all my ducks in a row. I don't have a passport, but I might get one now :) Amber in SJ
  10. I had a friend who delivered at home (accidentally) assisted by her 14yo ds who was on the phone with 9-1-1. She said she had a bit of an upset stomach, sat down on her (white) couch and 10 minutes later asked her ds to bring her the phone because she was going to call her dh. Her water broke while she was talking so she hung up on her dh, she called 9-1-1 and handed the phone to her ds. The baby arrived before the ambulance. I almost didn't make it with #3. I woke up at 3am at 36 weeks (after being on bed-rest with pre-term labor since week 20) feeling uncomfortable. Called the on-call doctor who "guaranteed" I wasn't in labor. He said I would only embarrass myself by going in & having to go home. It was about a 35 minute drive, so Dh hustled me out the door and my the time we got in through the emergency entrance I was in transition & everyone was yelling "Don't Push!" Dd arrived in the hall between the emergency room and the elevator, with me half- sitting on a gurney, a nurse kneeling on the gurney with me & the doctor, who said I wasn't in labor, running down the hall toward us. He apologized profusely. He said I was too calm and because I could talk, I clearly wasn't in enough pain to be in labor. Babies have their own time table. Congratulations, Auntie! Amber in SJ
  11. So my CA ID expired on my birthday at the beginning of July. CA is attempting to align its standards with TSA standards by 2020, so you can either renew the easy way & go in to the DMV with your old ID and get a new one that will not be TSA compliant by 2020, or you can renew the hard way and go in to the DMV with a stack of documents that ID you as you and get what is called a REAL CA ID. I decided to get a REAL CA ID, so I looked at the list and gathered my birth certificate, my SS card, a bill in my name that shows my current address (this was difficult,) my expires in 3 days old ID & off to the DMV I went. Apparently if you are a married woman you can not get a REAL CA ID without a certified copy of your marriage license even if you didn't change your last name. After 3 hours at the DMV I got to go home. At home I couldn't find a copy of my marriage license anywhere. Not in the fire safe with the other documents or the file cabinet with the copies. I went online to the website of the county recorder's office, I downloaded the official form, took it to a notary to be notarized (did you know your license is expired, Ma'am?) and sent it off with a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Three weeks later I received (in my self-addressed stamped envelope) a letter which explained that no record of my marriage or my having applied for a marriage license could be found in the year that I claimed to have been married. They would be keeping my payment because they tried. Because I indicated that I had been married in a different county, perhaps I should try that county. I went to a different website for a different county recorder's office, downloaded the form, took it to the notary who looked at me with suspicion. Why did I need another copy of a marriage license from a different county? Why am I trying to get multiple marriage licenses with an expired ID? Again with the self-addressed stamped envelope and check payment. 5 weeks later I received a call from that county because they also have no record of my marriage. The lovely person I spoke to is someone with whom I attended high school. She informed me that she looked in the month before and after the date I put on the form, but she just couldn't find it. She told me she found all 3 of my sister's (not sisters') marriage licenses, but not mine, which was so strange because she thinks that her cousin was at my wedding, or at least at the reception. She remembers that I got married to that boy I was dating in high school, right? The one on the football team? And am I still married to him? She asked me who was responsible for turning in the paperwork after I got married. I told her it was my mom. She told me I should ask her if she hand carried it to the recorder's office in the county where I got married or if she mailed it to the county where I was living at the time. I told her that would be difficult because my mom is deceased. She blessed my heart and let me know that the county would be keeping my check because the payment is for the search and by golly she had searched. I was at a loss. I started having dreams where my Dad called me to say, "So we finally moved the furniture out of the bedroom and you'll never guess what we found in a big white envelope behind your mom's nightstand!" Maybe I wasn't even married. Maybe these past 28 years of "married filing jointly" taxes have been a lie. What now? Should Dh & I have a re-commitment ceremony? I think I have seen this sitcom. Four months after my ID expired, I received a letter from the county I started with, saying a clerical error in the spelling of my married last name at the time of the search caused my record to not come up on the computer, but now it has been found and if I would like to submit another notarized form and payment I can get a copy. Maybe I will find a different notary..... Amber in SJ
  12. I made Dh do all the key turning because it was too gross for me. My advice would be to tell your daughter not to put anything in her mouth that isn't food.... You know when you buy buttons on a card, if they are buttons with a shank, they are held on the card with a little plastic piece that looks a bit like a bobby-pin. Well, I had bought buttons one day and somehow one of them came off the card but still had the little plastic piece dangling from the shank. The palette expander looks like a plastic/ resin butterfly with a wheel in the middle. The wheel has holes that you stick a skinny metal (think paper clip) thing into and turn for the expansion. So dd, then 10yo, for some reason popped this button into her mouth while sitting on the couch, watching TV. All of a sudden I hear this rapid clicking noise, because the plastic thingy has become stuck in the wheel and the button is dangling by the shank from the roof of dd's mouth and she can't seem to make her tongue leave it alone. Dh is on a business trip to Japan. I can't leave it there, I can't yank it out, dd is freaking out so much I can hardly see what is going on. I end up practically pinning her to the couch while her head hangs off the side, mouth open under the strongest light in the house. Somehow, I manage to get it all unhooked. Just don't do it. She used to feel the ache most in the space under her nose. Amber in SJ
  13. My MIL is hilarious with the Christmas presents. As in you have to laugh so you won't get stabby. No matter what I said I didn't want the kids to have, that is what she would get. If I said no toy guns that were realistic looking, my three girls would get toy weapons that could fool my SWAT BIL. If I said I wasn't a fan of Barbie then my girls would get a collection of Barbies and any clothes that would make Barbie look like a mini-hooker. She would stare at me with a smirk on her face while the kids were opening presents. I did figure out what was going on pretty quickly so one year I expressed my opinion that I didn't want a DVD player for the car because I would rather read-aloud to the kids during long car trips. That year the kids got a really nice portable DVD player and a collection of movies that I am pretty sure I made up some reason not to allow. That all ended once my last child (a boy) was born. My daughters no longer got actual presents. The year ds was two he got 11 presents from grandma and each daughter (4, 9 & 12) each got a chapstick from the gas station down the street and an antenna ball from Jack-in-the Box next door. She also tried to convince me that because she raised 3 sons and I had only had girls until that point that I should leave ds with her to raise. He was a nursing infant at the time. But she is nuts, so we ignore & move along. The PP whose mom buys oddities from her vacation, reminded me of the time my FIL & his new wife (not my MIL) gave all the grandkids souvenirs from their honeymoon to Mexico. The other grandkids received wood carvings, silver jewelry and woven blankets. My four children received four frog figures, one each, that were different parts of a mariachi band. But here's the thing; they were real frogs. Dead frogs, whose guts had been removed, then inflated, lacquered, dressed in clothes, had little instruments placed in their arms and their feet nailed to little wooden stands. My children were horrified. It was disgusting. My FIL thought they were so cool, and he thought the kids would be so excited. I wanted to toss them as soon as we got home, but Dh thought his dad would be offended so I insisted that he keep them in the garage, far away from me. Amber in SJ
  14. I have the leakproof ones from Amazon I wear them as a back up for tampons on heavy days and alone if I think I might be starting that day. They generally go into the laundry that gets washed once a week with no problem. Wash on cold & hang to dry as the heat of the dryer can damage the leak proof layer. This might be TMI, but there is a container that sits in my shower to catch warm-up water and if something really messy happens to the period panties that I don't want to put in the hamper, I put a little cold water in the container, and toss the undies in to soak. The next time I am in the bathroom I wring them out and toss them in the hamper. This has helped even the light colored ones remain stain free. They do come in beige (nude) for wearing under white items, or in pale pink. They all do have that light gray jersey lining. I also have the absorbent ones from Modibodi. These come in light, medium & heavy absorbency. I have worn these by themselves on regular days, but I am not quite brave enough for my heaviest days. They are comfortable and easy to wear but the extra layers in the crotch take forever to dry on the line. For what it's worth period underwear has kept my bed sheets from looking like the flag of Japan every month and for that I think they are totally worth the cost. Amber in SJ
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