Archive | December, 2012

The Last Holy-Crap Moment of the Year

31 Dec

With glittery party hats on, noisemakers on hand, champagne glasses filled, beer cans being popped open, and chocolate being munched away, every part of the world counts down to the end of 2012. Sometimes New Year’s Eve is surprisingly great, fireworks spectacular and hugs galore. Sometimes it’s quiet, cozy, and nice. Other times it just sucks. Sucks. However it is that you celebrated, you’re there to say good-bye to your 365 day journey and begin another. Day one of possibilities.

But before my day one of possibilities begins I must share my last holy-crap moment of the year 2012. An unexpected moment … a little gold star.

Thanks you Hand Written Life

Thanks you  The Hand Written Life

Can you believe it?

No … no I can’t.

I know most people who get surprised for one reason or another and say they were utterly shocked are really full it. Utterly … that’s the key word. So not true because in the back of their mind they were hoping something spectacular would happen, so they kind of expected it. But I can honestly say I didn’t expect this blogging award. I’d seen it at a couple of other worthy sites and thought … yeah these blogs are awesome and worthy of this 2012 Blog of the Year Award. They take awesome pictures with fancy cameras, they travel and inspire others to do the same, they produce writing that’s worthy of a Freshly Pressed sighting.

Me … I have a banged up Canon PowerShot. I travel to the supermarket. And I try to transform my life’s lows into Saturday Night Live skits in Guat Style just so I can get through the day. I try to laugh. That’s what I do.

So I don’t know how I was honored  with this award, but I am extremely appreciative and humbled that Andrea over at The Hand Written Life thought that my little blog was worthy enough to be acknowledged for something like this. Have you met Andrea? She’s quite awesome herself. Other than making me laugh with her “Why I  Don’t Have a Boyfriend” series, she explores the creative world of television, books, and movies. I had no idea that you could have an arts and entertainment soul mate. But there she was posting good stories about music, television shows, and movies … she had me at hello. So thank you Andrea, I appreciate the honor and will be sure to pass it on to some other fantabulous bloggers whose work consistantly makes me laugh, think, and smile. Bloggers that inspire me. Bloggers that make me forget about the crappy day. You know … bloggers who are my chocolate … like you.

So who are my 2012 Bloggers of the Year?

This Man’s Journey  writes heartfelt pieces about family and life, and shares stories through the great Kodak moments captured on film. I always look forward to his Weekly Image of Life Challenges because they make me focus on the positives in my life. And not only does he inspire me to be better at whatever it is I’m doing whether it be with family, photography or writing, but he always inspires me to look out for the silver lining and sometimes when you’re down in the dumps that’s very helpful.

Drinks Well With Others cracks me up. There’s just no other way to say it. He’s awesome, he’s refreshing … like swimming in a river of 7-Up. Making people laugh is not an easy task, but he does it with such ease. And he’s not a one-dimensional, one-liner ha-ha blog either. He’s a genuine HA-HA-HA laughing on the inside and outside blog. He’s the all-knowing life guru that provides deep thoughts and a comic spin on life and whatever it may bring you. He shares his life and makes you feel glad you stopped by. He’s like a visit to Cheers. And when he visits you … Dude … you end up feeling like you’re a size 4, when really you’re just a Chapstick kind of girl whose size varies according to jean maker.

The Landy – Out and About brings adventure to my life. He’s the Down Under Adventurer who makes me feel like I can climb mountains, go water skiing, and kayaking all in one day. He brings the Aussie magic my way and reminds me of how awesome that country is and why I fell in love with it the first time I went out for a visit. He inspires me to go back, but he also inspires me to find adventure in my own neck of the woods.

Lame Adventures always makes me laughs. She’s one of the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to satire and life. Maybe it’s because she’s from New York … could be. She’s one of the best writers I’ve encountered in the blogosphere and I am so glad to have found her at a virtual blog party hosted by Wild Rider Susie Lindau. Lame Adventure stories explore the daily grind, weekends at home, visits to the post office, air travel, theatre, family, friends and more. And with every topic she finds a way to put humor in the works. And when she visits you … forget about it. Those comments are not only awesome, but they crack me up. She’s funny even in her comments. I’m waiting for her book to come out so that I can meet her in person at a signing.

Patrick Latter Photography Patrick needs no words … his photos are that good. I never miss an opportunity to drop by and check out his work. He makes me want to buy a better camera and travel the world. But seeing how I’m a starving writer, I just have to make do with my Canon PowerShot, yearly vacations and constant visits to his website.

Those were my Usual Suspects. And I know what you’re thinking … I’ve heard some of these before. Yeah … I know. But sometimes you just can’t get enough awesome in your life. So start off your new year right, click the links and visit.

And for my blogger nominees … here are the rules/guidelines. I’m sure there were more rules, but they got lost in translation. I hope the CliffNotes version is acceptable.

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

4. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

5. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars… As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Blog of the Year 6 stars

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different.

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star.

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars.


Silver Linings Playbook

30 Dec
Image via

Image via

With the year coming to a close and some people thinking about upcoming resolutions, bucket lists, Happiness Projects, or strategies, I began to do the same and wonder if I had accomplished some of the adventures on my list.

I wasn’t sure I’d finish a triathlon, but a finished two. I wasn’t sure I’d get through the unknown Warrior Dash, but I made it through the mud, muscles burning, but I made it. I wasn’t sure I’d survive the minimal to no work accompanied by the stay-at-home mom adventure, but I’m still here, more gray hair yes, but still here.

The list goes on … not everything completed. But it wasn’t my 2012 list, it was my Bucket List and I’m not dead yet. It was my Happiness Project, and I’m still under construction. I’ve got time. The Bucket List continues. The Happiness Project is in the works. My strategy is still in the works. Resolutions? My only resolutions are to keep The Bucket List and Happiness Project going. Brick by brick.

I wasn’t sure what I was doing in the beginning. I wasn’t sure of my starting point. I knew I’d probably fail a few times, but no worries. I began anyway. I began anywhere.

The point is I started and I’m not done yet.

2013 … it’s just another “365 day journey around the sun” … another 365 days to add to the Happiness Projects and to The Bucket Lists and to the strategies — all of it in search to find the silver linings. All I had to do was to begin … somewhere. And in 2013 I will begin again with all the plans, projects, adventures, and failures– all of them tucked into my silver linings playbook in hopes for a better something … a better version … a 2.0 … but still with a lot of chocolate.

It’s The Holy-Crap-I-Wonder-What’s-Going-to-Happen-Next Wrap Up

29 Dec

Thinking back to January … everybody’s doing it. Everybody is thinking back 365 days, giving the year-round wrap up of the highs and lows of 2012 … well mostly highs. Very few people want to share the crappy … but me … me … I give it all to you. But not today. Today it’s about a suave looking ad man, a meth kingpin, a motorcycle gang, a good wife, and a person of interest.

Today is not the year in pictures wrap up (that’s in a couple of days), or the life of Guat 2012 wrap up. It’s the holy-crap-I-wonder-what’s-going-to-happen-next wrap up.

Other than all the important things people wish for in the coming new year like health, good times, job security, or well wishes for their family, I’m also looking forward to — desperately looking forward to — what’s going to happen next. I know some people out there are like yeah … I don’t watch too much television, or I’m not into television. I read 24 hours a day. Me I read, yeah. I go out and have a life, yeah. I have adventures, yeah. I have great meals, yeah. But television … dude … I always make room for television. Always.

And next year … that DVR is going to be blowing up.

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Image via

Mad Men. Have you seen this television addiction? Don Draper. Genius Ad Man. Newlywed, possibly reformed womanizer. Dude … he left me thinking as he was sitting at the bar with his wife in the background and the hot lady down at the end of the bar. Feeling deflated that his wife had used him for a job, and disappointed with how it went down, he sits at the bar and ponders his future. Fade to black.

Dude, I want to know what Don Draper does that night, because you know it’s gonna be good. I wonder if he’s going to go back to his old ways and if he does how’s he going to work it.  Gotta wait until 2013.

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Image via

Breaking Bad. Awesome cliffhanger. Walter White. Chemistry teacher with cancer, turned meth lab creator and ultimately a kingpin of the meth industry in Arizona … he finally decides to retire. He moves back in with his estranged wife and invites the family for a BBQ. Everything is hunky-dory until his DEA brother-in-law, who’s been trying to take down this unknown king of meth, decides to use the bathroom and finds a book on the toilet with an inscription that reveals Walter White’s secret identity. Fade to black. Dude. I know that he knows, but I want to see that happens when Walt knows. It’s unraveling and I want to be a witness.

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Sons of Anarchy. I wrote an entire post on the season finale. I am so obsessed with this show, I could be classified as a stalker. Jax Teller sits there as his wife, awesome surgeon, gets arrested for conspiracy to commit murder and she didn’t even do it. I mean he sits there and does nothing as the sheriff hauls her away in handcuffs and her youngest cries. Nothing. Jax just sits there. I want to know who turned her in and what’s going to happen at the station? Is she going to jail? Is she making bail? Is she still going to get out of Charming and take the job in Oregon. She needs to win this power struggle with Gemma, her crazy biker mother-in-law, because the battle of the bitches is on.

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The Good Wife. Dude … no one is that good. Alicia Florrick. Get a grip, chick. I mean who sleeps with their soon-to-be ex husband, who was a lying politician, who slept with prostitutes and recorded it. Who does that? Just because time has passed and he was out of jail and re-elected to the District Attorney’s Office and supposedly trying to be a good Samaritan do you sleep with him again. Who does that? Just because your mom tells you that your soon-to-be ex husband is a jack ass and should leave you alone, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true. Is she going to get back with Peter? Dude. I hope not.

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Image via

Person of Interest. Finch and John always rescuing people from ill will, usually murder, using The Machine to help them scope out the corruption and crappy people behind the drama. Crazy CIA and FBI agents on the lookout for them trying to take them down, partly because of The Machine’s existence and partly because John is ex CIA. Government … always trying to protect their secrets. The last episode? Finch gets caught with four others operatives and is taken into FBI custody. Dude. How’s he gonna get out of this one? I know Finch will find a way, but how … I’m waiting for the drama.

There were other shows burning up my DVR and television in all of 2012, but these were my top basic cable cliffhangers. I’d tell you about HBO or Showtime, but I’m on a budget and got to wait until Netflix releases them.

2013 is gonna be a good year for television holy-crap moments. I’ll be waiting.

Plan B Urban Adventure

28 Dec

You’d think once you were connected to a person through blood or marriage that it would mean something, right. You’re family. You’re bonded. You’re interlinked. You wouldn’t necessarily get shafted. Especially during the holidays, right? With all that ho-ho-ho and Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings oozing out of people.

Not true.

At any age, and in my case, with any relationship it still happens. Hard to believe that someone of my George Costanza caliber would get the shaft. But yeah it’s true.

And I guess the normal reaction would be disappointment, anger, or disbelief at the WTF just happened moment. I mean you’re tied and bonded to this person right? So during this Christmas vacation when everyone is free and available to hang out why wouldn’t you assume that when someone has plans to go to the snow, to a parade, to an amusement park, to a light festival or to something involving fun, you’d think the ‘wanna come?’ was implied. You’re interlinked, right? You’re family right? Am I right? Am I right?

Dude … I was so wrong.

‘Twas the night before The Shaft and as they were making their plans I thought to myself … yeah I need to pick the clothes out the night before and wake up early the next morning to pack the kids their snack. I even charged the camera battery.

But as I awoke in the morning all I heard was the front screen door slamming shut. I looked around no one was home. Just me and the kids … still in our PJs.


We could’ve wallowed all day with Nickelodeon, but instead I made plans for our own urban adventure … no snow, no parade, no amusement park, no light festival. Just us … Guat Party of Three enjoying a crisp Southern California winter day at 61 degrees with the sun shining.




The famous pits.



Ready to check out some fossils.

The Biggest fossils we encountered.

The biggest fossils we encountered.


Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister was only interested in the Ritz crackers in her hand.

Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister however was only interested in the Ritz Crackers in her hand.


My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.

My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.


Checking out the real deal.

Checking out the real deal … where my son tapped on the glass, smiled, and then decided to loudly introduce himself, and say “I like your fossils.”


A reenactment of the past ... to which my son replied ... "wow he was very hungry mom."

A re-enactment of the past … to which my son replied … “wow he was very hungry mom,” to which my daughter replied “Raaaaaawr.”


After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.

After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes, we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.


It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome.

It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome Plan B.



We found "dinosaur" footprints and decided to investigate.

We found “dinosaur” footprints and decided to investigate.


My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.

My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.


We finally made it to the famous Pit 91, where we found out that the tar was not hot, the pit was 15-feet deep, and no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.

We finally made it to the famous Pit 91 and Project 23, where we found out that the tar was not hot, that Pit 91 was 15-feet deep, and that no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.


After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.

After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.


However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the museum next door.

However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the art museum next door.


My kids decided to be "hands-on" experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.

My kids decided to be “hands-on” experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.


After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that's been on my son's "sandbox bucket list" for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.

After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that’s been on my son’s “sandbox bucket list” for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.


Being shafted still sucked, but after this day … not as bad.


Daily Prompt Challenge: I’d Make a Statue of That

27 Dec

Twenty-Twelve didn’t have too many moments that I’d want immortalized in stone, more like instances I’d prefer to be plopped in some quicksand. Statues seem to be a little permanent … you know like a tattoo on the face. Besides, I’m really not the statue kind of person. I’m more of a gallery of images kind of person, like a slideshow tribute they have at an award shows like the ESPYs or Oscars. I’d like to see my life in film … directed by Nora Ephron of course.

But a statue? That is a challenge. However, I’ve found it … the sculptor may need a lot of plaster …

Most of the time it’s hot, filled with long lines, hyper kids, and parents who need some sort of timeout during the long corn-fructose syrup filled day. But there are instances that are permanently embedded in your head. Moments you capture with your beat up Canon PowerShot — statue-worthy moments that once remembered make you smile, or crack up so hard that you cry.

Dune Raiders. It’s called Dune Raiders. A 30-foot blue slide that could probably be found in any amusement park, but we happen to discover it at LEGOLAND this year. Now there were many rides we ventured on that made us smile, even laugh. But this one had unstoppable giggles as my son zoomed down one of the 50-foot-long racing lanes and pass the pair of double-helix corkscrews in his worn-out potato sack. A first place finish, with me a close second — both of us laughing at the bottom, and me extending my hand out to my son in my most animated AHA!-Congratulations gesture. And him just cracking up. It felt better than chocolate.

Immortalized in stone

I know you can’t really see our faces, but it was awesome …

It was one of those moments that everyone has in a lifetime with parents, friends, boyfriends, dudes, children, or pets — the kind where you want to bottle up the feeling and shelve it because you know that you’ll probably need it next week during one of your many quicksand days that usually involves family, defeat, drama, bills or rejection letters. It’s a feeling you want captured and embraced, so that it can take you back in time to be relieved again. It’s what I want to remember, but in truth it’s what I want him to remember. It’s how I want him to remember me.

I’d make a statue of that.

But the only change would be having my one-year old daughter sitting on my lap, laughing it up with us.

Yeah … that statue would be awesome in front of a bank or something.

Immortalized in Stone Writing Challenge provided The Daily Prompt

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

26 Dec


parade floats and fridge 077




He knew she ate in the morning.

He knew she waited anxiously.

He knew he couldn’t open the air-tight dog food container.

But nevertheless … he forged on.

He knew he had to do something.

He stretched, he tiptoed, he reached the kitchen table … he got it.

Surprise Pinta … Cheerios for breakfast.



Weekly Image of Life: Christmas Day

25 Dec

Christmas began early … a little bit before midnight.

As everyone turned in early … weary from too much shopping, from too much wrapping of the presents, from too many tamales, from too much Guat punch, from too much food, from too much family. I sat there energized ready and willing to go out into the 49 degree chill and watch the neighborhood Christmas Light parade.

Did I have any takers?

Just my four-year old son, awake through pure willpower.

Everyone else was sleeping. At 10:30 p.m.! Where was the Christmas spirit? Taking a snooze. I was looking forward to the parade all day. I imagined sitting there on the corner with my scarf and hot chocolate, surrounded by family and waiting in anticipation for Christmas floats and carolers to sing and dance down my little neighborhood streets.

But no … in the end it was just me and my son. However, seeing how excited my son and I were about the parade, my dude decided to join are little Guat party of two. We all enjoyed the midnight Christmas Day parade. And then crashed when we walked in the door.

Christmas Day wake up call … 6:30 a.m. My nephew enters the room …


My son wakes up, lazy eyes, but giant smile.

It’s a race downstairs.

The day begins with pajamas, smiles, and cameras.

It continues with family traditions.

Family stress.

Moments of peace.

Moments of laughter.

Thoughts of my Dad.

Thoughts of my uncle Erick.

Thoughts of Pinta.

Guat tamales.

The famous Guat punch.

The Connect Four Showdown … where I lost in the semifinals to my cousin.

And then a quiet night … again. All ending at 10:30 p.m.

Hugs to my children.

Christmas Day … It’s a day-long journey that’s got everything, including Sal De Uvas antacid for all the food I ate.

Weekly Image of Life Challenge Courtesy of This Man’s Journey.

Christmas Eve Guat-Style

24 Dec
Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas...

Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas…


Never a Christmas Eve without tamales and Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch.


The Pre-Tamale Feast

23 Dec

It happens every year … well at least for the past seven years. My people splurge on the Guat tamales every year. At least fifty tamales packed in our fridge for the holiday eating season. And believe me, they get eaten. So what happens before the Guat holiday feast? Before I’m bombarded for tamales for days?

The Pre-Christmas Eve Carne Asada BBQ.

The grills are unveiled and we get to work.

There’s nothing like good food to help you get through the family holiday dysfunction.

And so we begin ...

And so we begin with salsa … sometimes the master of heartburn, but we all love the spicy tomato dish that accompanies the bag of chips we’re scarfing down.


For my cousin ... the vegetarian.

For my cousin … the vegetarian, an aluminum envelope packed with seafood and with flavor.


For the carnivore in all of us. As you can probably tell ... there were no leftovers.

For the carnivore in all of us. As you can probably tell … there were no leftovers.


I'd like to thank Pappy's Seasoning for making this possible. Yeah none of these shishkabobs made it to the "save-it-for-lunch" container.

I’d like to thank Pappy’s Seasoning for making this possible. Yeah none of these Shish Kabobs made it to the “save-it-for-lunch” container.


A plate ready to be taken out to the table, with all the essential accessories. Apparently they decided on light beer ... because of the holidays. You know ... people tend to gain ten to fifteen pounds.

The last shrimp plate ready to be taken out to the table, with all the essential accessories. Apparently they decided on light beer … because of the holidays. You know … people tend to gain ten to fifteen pounds.


It was a great bounty of seafood and deliciously marinated flank steak, accompanied by cilantro-lime rice, beans, corn on the cob, tortillas, radishes, and big pants. I felt like I was surrounded by dishes from the Food Network All-Stars. I was pretty proud of my beginning culinary skills. But I wasn’t able to take pictures of the rest of the side dishes. I figured you knew what all that looked like … well in truth everyone attacked the kitchen at once and I couldn’t snap my shot fast enough.

But I did get a plate. Both shrimp and steak.

And for once … for once I didn’t have to wash the dishes after the meal. Thank God my brother-in-law was here. Taking one for the team.


I Should Have Known Better

22 Dec

Relatives coming to town should be a joyous occasion. You should be excited for their arrival. Excited.

But, no.  Stress … Stress is what consumed my Guat mind and body. The mental and emotional strain infested my being as project sister-coming-to-town was initiated.

7:00 A.M. Mother comes in and announces that sister is coming to town.

7:01 A.M. I know this already as my sister, A.K.A. Queen of the Nile, informed me that I was to pick her up promptly at 7:00 P.M. Promptly.



I had my day planned out already. The entire day revolved around her arrival and making sure she wouldn’t sass me if I arrived late for any reason. On time. I needed to be on time and leave the house presentable for her. My whole mission was to avoid the older sister attitude. Does that ever happen to anybody else? You spend the whole day trying to prevent a hostile situation because you know it’ll burn  you out. Plus it adds to your gray hair. Yeah that was my mission. Prevent hostile Queen of the Nile encounter.

I tried to give myself a two-to-three hour window to clean the place. Baby’s nap time … that’s when operation Mop&Glo-Comet-Simple Green would commence. My son would work on his puzzles, monster trucks, or Curious George computer adventures, while I swept, vacuumed, mopped, washed, and scrubbed.

But prior to all this domesticated fun and games, I was to go to the cemetery and decorate my dad’s site with ornaments and a mini tree — you know bring a little Christmas spirit his way, this would be followed by a trip to the post office to mail off my Christmas-Happy New Year’s cards to my local buddies, then it would be off to the park to hang out in the sandbox and catch some seesaw, slides action, then back home for lunch.

But I should have known better. I really should have.

8:01 A.M. As I roll out of bed I find clean laundry, which I had folded the night before, evenly distributed between the floor pile, the top-of the dresser pile, the mix-it-up with the dirty hamper pile, and the under-the-bed pile.

Needless to say I was a little burned out that my late night efforts to fold all my clothes, my son’s clothes and my daughter’s clothes would be effected by my mom “watching” my one year old while I slept an extra thirty minutes.

Mom left to work, I exhaled loudly and began tackling the hurricane of clothes once again, but the kids didn’t mind as they got an hour of Saturday morning cartoons under their belt. After a late breakfast, I rushed out the door.

10:20 A.M. On my way to the cemetery my mom informs me that she can not make a wholesale delivery, because she doesn’t want to leave the store. The store wouldn’t be unattended. She had three workers there. She just didn’t want to leave her supervisory role at the time. I needed to drive forty minutes to the shop, pick up the chicken and drive it over to the restaurant to drop it off.

What time?

Yeah .. the baby’s nap time. She’s aware of the kids’ schedule. She’s aware of how sleep deprived I am and how when the baby actually decides to listen to me during the day and take a nap I feel victorious. I feel Woo-hoo! It’s a time when I get to eat lunch, clean up the tsunami of toys sprawled across the floor, wash dishes, play with my son, or perhaps even take a shower if my son decides to take a nap. Nap time is a cherished event for all worn-out defeated parents. And those of you who rob of us this luxury should really be penalized in some form. I don’t care who you are, you should suffer some consequence.

But this did not happen.

So I shortened my stay at the cemetery, picked up my cards at the stationery store, did not address them or deliver them, and reluctantly picked up a sandwich and french fries from the deli so the kids could eat lunch in the car (never a good idea as bread crumbs and parts of mayonnaise, salami and french fries always find their way to the floor mats, back seats, and nooks and crannies of the car).

12:25 P.M. Usually nap time. But drove to the shop.

1:05 P.M. Arrived in a salami and mayonnaise smelling vehicle.

1:10 P.M. Left with 30 pounds of chicken to be delivered.

1:35 P.M. Daughter, in a cranky mood for the last ten minutes, finally falls asleep. Get to the restaurant, make the delivery, and head back home.

2:10 P.M. Arrive home. Try to sneakily take baby out of her car seat and continue the napping experience, but failed as the neighbor’s dog begins to bark. I take her inside and try to put her back to sleep for the next fifteen minutes … denied. She’s up and running.

2:25 P.M. Could really use some chocolate right about now.

2:26 P.M. Try and begin Operation Mop&Glo-Comet-Simple Green on the first floor. It’s hard to do while carrying a baby in your arms, but I think my biceps are getting up to body-builder status.

2:30 P.M. They want a snack. Fruit. We ran out of fruit. But they want fruit. But we don’t have any. But they want it. Field trip to the grocery store.

3:30 P.M. Baby falls asleep in the car again. No fruit for her. I take her out successfully and put her in the crib. I fix my son a snack and commence the cleaning phase.

4:00 P.M. Baby wakes up.

4:01 P.M. Dizzy from all the cleaning, I decide it’s time to go to the post office, and drop off the cards before they close at five.

4:20 P.M. Arrive at post office. It closes at four on Saturdays. I should have known. I exhale and mail the cards anyway.

4:40 P.M. Return home.  I begin emptying out the car so that my sister, Queen of the Nile, isn’t burned out from the toy clutter.  But according to my son, it’s family play time so I need to go inside.

5:20 P.M. My dude comes home from work and just as I am informing him that he needs to assist me during the Comet phase of this operation. My mom calls. Says she has run out of chicken. Can my dude go get chicken from the distributor, before they close at six, and then drive all the way over to the shop to deliver it.

I remind her that Queen of the Nile arrives at 7:00 P.M. and that she gets a little hostile when people are not on time. I remind her that I can’t take the kids with me, because my sister and her family have brought six ginormous suitcases. She reminds me that they’ve run out of chicken and that she’s pretty hostile.  He leaves, kids finish dinner, then watch some Nickelodeon while I continue my cleaning project.

As the clock winds down, I feel like one of those Price Is Right contestants scrambling to finish before time runs out, only I don’t get prize.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

6:57 p.m. He returns.

6:57 p.m. I’m out the door.

I’m lucky that baggage claim takes forever. I’m lucky we only live fifteen minutes away from the airport.

7:18 p.m. I pull into the airport, she’s standing outside with her entourage and baggage. I eat a piece of chocolate, take a deep breath, and open the door.

She’s not smiling, but she’s not hostile either.