Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!!!

Wishing all of my family, friends and Twittertown neighbors a healthy and happy 2010!

xoxo *smooooooch*

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome Home

For the second consecutive Christmas, our family guested in Costa Rica. The ten days went by quickly, as vacations tend to do. We stayed in Jaco Beach on the Pacific Coast at the Club del Mar resort. You won't find a nicer staff anywhere on the planet.

After four straight days of tropical rain which led to a bazillion calories of food and drink, I was ready for some sun. Tuesday, I was awakened by a lawnmower coiffing the grounds outside of our garden condo, it was a welcome sound, as it meant that it was no longer raining. I jumped up, awakened the husband and tadpoles, threw on my swimsuit, sucked in my gut, grabbed my book and soaked up a healthy dose of Vitamin D (and some daiquiris). We had great weather the rest of the week. The husband and tadpoles went ziplining...I passed. The male youngling took a two-hour private surf lesson, the little kahuna is a natural. The female youngling and I played competitive pool volleyball...while the boys went on a horseback ride. Nothing says family fun like whacking a volleyball at each other. The people of Costa Rica are some of the nicest in the world, you go from being treated like a special guest to being treated like an adored family member. There were warm embraces as we said goodbye (and yes, the warmest went to my favorite bartender). Visit, just stay clear of San any big city it's dirty and higher in crime.

Our flight home on December 27th was just two days after the crotch bomber incident, so air travel was even more inconvenient. We arrived at the San Jose airport (we spent our last night in San Jose, as Jaco is about two hours away) at 10:30 am for a 1:45 pm flight. The lines were long, travelers were tired and confused. Between the flaming nutsack and all of the snow in the states, there were more than a few delays. Continental Airlines out of Costa Rica would not allow *any* liquids or make-up powders in your carry-on bag. So, after waiting in line to pay the exit travel tax of $26 and then waiting in line to check our bags at the airline counter, we were scrambling to locate all of our carefully packed ziploc bags of liquids and powder make-up in our carry-on bags to place them in our suitcases. I said a little prayer for my baggie full of cherished lip glosses to make it back to me unscathed, it did. I will say that the Continental Airlines counter agent, Roger, was both kind and professional. He noted that our seats were not together and moved us around so that our family of four had and entire row to ourselves (the flight was not full).

Bags checked, through security and still about two hours before our flight, we decided to peruse the gift shop where the most popular t-shirt read "Costa Rica No Army", we grabbed some food court fare and made our way to the gate. They made us all show our boarding passes and passports once again at the gate counter, then they lined us all up and checked our carry-on baggage for contraband. They confiscated all liquids that they found, pissing off (mostly women) left and right. After that we were all frisked in the bridge, just before boarding the plane. Our flight left about 40 minutes late, due to the new security measures and in spite of our early arrival to the airport.

Our 737 was equipped with Directv programing, the television screens are located in the back of the seat in front of you, the charge is $6 per person. The tadpoles and husband enjoyed this feature on the flight to Costa Rica, I slept. However, this time, due to new security measures, there was NO in-flight entertainment allowed on this or any International flights entering the US. Apparently, there is a map option that shows you (with accuracy) what you are flying over. To be honest, I think the husband was more upset than the kids were. No worries, after a couple of Bacardi and diets he went to sleepytown. Other changes in security, that we experienced, have since been relaxed: 1) not being able to get out of your seat the last hour of the flight 2) not being allowed to have *anything* on your lap during the last hour (including a book, also the tray tables had to be word on what happened if you were traveling with a baby...I guess you would've had to hold junior over your head) 3) no blankets or pillows

I guess the TSA realized that punishing patrons with ridiculous new regulations isn't the best policy against real threats. I'm a US citizen with a passport, traveling with my family...until a domestic terrorist blows up an aircraft with his wife and kids on board, you can leave us alone.

In closing I'd just like to say: I love my country very much. The freedoms that we have here are something to be celebrated. The opportunities for success in our country are longed for in others. Our comforts are taken for granted...when the Customs Agent said "welcome home" I felt warm and fuzzy all over.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Six Years Ago Today...


Today is the female youngling's birthday. She is officially old enough to make me feel *really* old. If you know me IRL, then you know precisely why...if you don't...well then I guess it remains a mystery...for now.

You see, when I started this blog, I made the very conscience decision not to make it about my tadpoles...but it bears mentioning that it is her birthday...having a December birthday is the worst, but six years ago today, she had the best ever because that was the day that Ferguson joined our family. Also, her parents are pretty awesome (especially her mom).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the Season to be Frazzled

It's almost Christmas, which means a fa la la la lot of stress. Pardon me, while I vent (I won't even mention the blizzard):

Saturday, December 12th: My Volvo sent me a message, it read: ABS Service Required. Translation: something brake related is frozen, tow to shop on Monday (no biggie, right? Keep reading)

Sunday, December 13th: Husband is driving to FARGO, ND, for a meeting tomorrow morning. You may have heard of Fargo, thanks to the Coen Brothers. I'm sure the people there are nice and all's not exactly the time of year you'd wanna visit the great state of North Dakota. (anddd, my car is outta commish)

Monday, December 14th: Female youngling's birthday, husband will be out of town all day...ugh. Also, I have last minute shopping to do and errands to run, because we're leaving on Thursday for vacation, but my car will be hospitalized...double ugh.

Tuesday, December 15th: Husband has GMAT exam at 8 am, hopefully he has made it home from Fargo, had time to thaw and get a good night sleep before taking hell-test. *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, December 16th: LAST DAY before ten-day vacay (I know, poor me). This day will be hell for my family: I will be ten kinds of crazy, running around with at least five different lists (at last count), asking questions that they may or may not be able to answer or have already answered twelve times. And then...I have to drop my precious baby, Fergie off at his vet's office to be boarded...I will cry, I always do, because I love that animal more than I love most people which is why, I only trust his vet to keep him.

Thursday, December 17th: VACATION!!! We have to be at the airport at the crack of smack, which is always painful....but, by the time we board our second flight in Houston, I hope to be comfortably numb and cuddled up with male youngling for in-flight movie and in-flight nap. We should be in Costa Rica by 3 pm and after about an hour long taxi our resort in Jaco Beach in time to freshen up and officially begin: The Grunewalds Costa Rica Christmas Vacation, Vol II

Ahhh, are such a good listener, I do feel better.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to Avoid a Marriage Fail

A friend of mine proposed to his on-again girlfriend last night...she said: "yes." I said: "Congratulations, but don't get married."

The husband is pro-marriage, because I am awesome and being married to me is the greatest thing to *ever* happen to him. I am not pro-marriage...this feeling has nothing to do with my other half, he's great...most of the time. *wink*

If the love of your life suddenly morphs into some sort of she-wolf from hell over the wedding may want to rethink spending the rest of your life with her. However, if she remains relatively calm, suffering only minor, sporadic tantrums you're good to go...BUT...You should get married, if and only IF:
  • you love each other very much
  • you have discussed finances
  • you each have a job that sustains your current lifestyle
  • you know your lover's credit score
  • you've both been tested for STDs
  • you communicate very well with each other
  • you have had *successful* sex together (say that five times fast)
  • you have never cheated on him and he has never cheated on you (if you have to ask...yes, it counts)
  • the things that you agree to disagree on, you will continue to AGREE to disagree on
  • If one party is entering the marriage with more money, a prenup is signed
  • you have discussed children, whether to have them and how to raise them
  • he has NEVER hit you (not even once, when he was really drunk)
If these statements do not describe your relationship and you get married anyway: Your marriage will way or another. I promise. This list does not depict my friends' courtship...if they decide to follow through with their engagement, I'm buying them a collection of self-help books as a wedding present.