Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Really Over

It's really over. Summer, that is. Tomorrow I can get into my classroom to start setting up, and I'm going to be spending every spare minute getting ready for the new school year.

That's tomorrow though. I made a little deal with myself that I have to get this post up before I disappear into the abyss of classroom prep. Let's just call it my little end of summer recap.

The picture above is Zoe Bug wearing her new, wearing on my nerves, attitude. I believe I snapped this picture and grumble-whisper-scolded her, "You give me a smile or there will be no ice cream."

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't 10 a little young to enter the grouchiness of puberty? I'm always getting eye rolls from Girlfriend here, and if she chicken necks me one more time, I'm going to turn her into a Bobble Head and put her on my dashboard. At the very least, I'm going to get a crick in my own neck from exaggeratedly mimicking her.

In this picture, we were at the San Diego Zoo, having a good time. It would be nice if you could tell that we were having a good time, Zoe Bug.

I'm happy to say that at least this put a smile on Zoe's face. Isn't it the cutest little paw you ever did see?

It belongs to Mr. Taking a Nap Polar Bear. I just wanted to climb in there and snuggle up with him. Except that he would probably eat me for lunch.

The glare of the glass makes it look like he's holding a water bottle, but I promise that is not the case.

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I went to BlogHer '11 while in San Diego. This is an Ivory soap sculpture from the conference. I think that means Ivory was one of the sponsors. There were a lot of sponsors, and let me tell you, they treated us well.

They were feeding us every time we turned around, and it was good food. I think I gained eight pounds in two days.

I'm talented like that.

This is my new BFF, Erin, at the Dove chocolate booth. 

The only reason I remembered her name is because she's wearing a name tag, and I was able to zoom in on it when I was editing these pictures. I guess that means that technically I didn't remember her name.

I love her though. She fresh dipped a Dove bar just for me. 

I've always had a special place in my heart for Dove chocolate.

And special padding elsewhere that is always happy to rent space. I don't love that part.

After eating lunch and the Dove bar, I stumbled into this Hershey's S'more Bar. I was in a sugar stupor.

Then I came across these Truffles on a stick at the Red Envelope booth. Seriously. I am a chocolate junkie, and I was surrounded by pushers. Since I was already hopped up on chocolate, I was able to leave the convention center with the entire truffle completely intact. I had plans to bestow it upon my prepubescent offspring.

I got all the way back to my mom's house with it too, and as I was pulling it out of my bag to bestow the gift, I snarfed it down.

I have no idea what came over me, it was an involuntary reaction to the raising of the truffle next to my head.

The next day I went back and got another one, and I'm happy to say that I delivered it to my babies untouched.

All of this stuff, and then some, was free. Apparently it's called swag. Swhat? I know. That's what I said. I had to Google it. It stands for Stuff We All Get. Please tell me I'm not the only one that has never heard this term.

I mean I've heard of swagger. Kesha's got it, and I think I have it. The Minivan Swagger anyway. But swag? I must live under a rock.

Guess. What. This. Is. You won't believe it. Of course it's Lady Liberty, but can you believe that she is made entirely out of Twizzlers?!!!!

Get. Out.

Seriously, who has this kind of time?

Somebody needs a more productive, useful hobby because they even made the Space Needle.

It looks kind of creepy up close, doesn't it?

Try not to think about it. Just try to appreciate the art for what it is.

A waste of some dang good Twizzlers if you ask me, but nobody cares about my opinion here.

I never got to see the Pioneer Woman because she left before I even got there. That was messed up. I did, however, get to attend a session by these two fabulous bloggers. That's the Nap Warden on the left and Scary Mommy on the right.

I learned about a lot of things that I didn't even know I didn't know. Does that make any sense? It's like my ignorance is so . . . ignorant. That's the only way I can think to describe it.

One of the many things I learned is that my sidebar was a train wreck. Did you notice that I cleaned it up? It was too distracting and cluttered. Not at all the image I wanted to project.

Also, I have been loading my pictures way too large. I always edit my photos and save them in Photo Shop at the maximum resolution, when all this time I should have been selecting medium, or 72 dpi. Apparently the pictures don't look any better on the web at the higher resolution, but they make my page load slower than a snail excreting concrete.

That's S-L-O-W. So I apologize for wasting your precious time with my lethargic page loads. From here on out my pictures will always be 72 dpi, and hopefully my pages will start loading faster as I make the transition.

I am not going back and reloading all of my pictures though. Life is too short for that mess.

And guess who this is?

Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser.

My favorite show on the planet.

The show that I plan my life around.

And no, before you ask because I know you will, he was not at the conference as a blogger.

Quaker, another sponsor, brought him in to do a group workout, eat breakfast with a group of bloggers, and sign autographs and take pictures with us. 

And I'm still upset, but I didn't even know that he was going to be there. 

I didn't get the memo, it was not in the program, there were no announcements, and blah, blah, blah, I am disgruntled.

The only reason I saw him is because I just happened to walk in on the breakfast in progress.

Yep, I crashed the party and stumbled around trying to get a picture in the horrid lighting of the conference room. None of the pictures turned out, but later he was in the Quaker booth which had glorious natural light streaming in from above. I couldn't get him to look at me because he was doing an interview, and I was a chicken butt, so I settled on this one. I was too impatient to wait 20 minutes for his interview to finish so I could get a proper picture with him.

But I was close enough to see the dangly unraveling thread on his shorts. That's pretty cool, eh?

So that was BlogHer. I don't know if I'd ever do it again, but it was a good experience.

While in San Diego, we went to the beach a few times. That's always fun, except that somewhere along the way I've lost my ability to catch a wave on a Boogie Board. My Internet Friend, Anne, very snarkily asked me "Can't you just flag one down?" As if it's a taxi or something. Hardy, har, har, Anne.

The girls and I fell in love with this German Shepard my mom is fostering. Her name is Stella, but we like to call her Stellaluna and Stella Bella. She's scary smart, she loves kids (obviously), and she has a very gentle nature.

So if you are in Oceanside, CA, and you want this dog, I can hook you up. I almost kidnapped Stellaluna myself. The only thing that kept me from snatching her is the knowledge that two dogs equal way too much poop, and the extra floaties of dog hair poufs around the house would cause me to jump off a bridge.

I took Stellaluna on several runs while I was visiting, and she is an amazing running partner. She was always right next to me and never pulled on the leash, so it felt like I was running with an invisible dog. Now, I realize that I'm not exactly built for speed, so she didn't have to exert herself while running with me, but my point is really that she didn't drag me or make me drag her.

There was one point where we were running up a hill, and I was huffing and puffing with exertion. It was kind of like one of those nightmares where you are running as fast as you can to get away from the monster, but really that is only slow motion like the Bionic Man, but without the hot bod. Then I looked to my right and Stella Bella was walking in a very untaxed manner. It was difficult not to be offended, but at least she had the people skills to roll her tongue out at the end of the run and flop it around like a tired insole.

Stella likes to play with my mom's dog, Cleo, aka Naomi Campbell, on account of her popping eyes and fabulous bone structure. Cleopatra, however, is a bit of a box of rocks. She and Stellaluna play tug-o-war, and Cleo gets all agitated and growly. Stella Bella keeps her cool and just waits for the mistake.

The mistake comes when Cleo fumbles with her end of the rope, and Stella doesn't miss a beat when she casually drops a paw on Cleo's rope end and then "Game Over, Sister Girl."

Cleo then becomes discombobulated and wants to know "Where did it all go wrong?!"

It's a comedy, I tell you.

This is my little brother, Pickle.

He never cooperates for pictures, so I write mean things about him to exact my revenge.

This is Uncle Billy Flop giving Zoe a ride on a Boogie Board. I just this very minute bestowed that name upon him. His name is Billy and he does belly flops in the pool so it shall be known.

I know he's going to love it.

I didn't include any belly flop pictures because there was some crackage showing, and this is a family blog.

And crack is illegal.

Uncle Billy Flop is a big kid and the girls looooooooove him.

That was our trip to San Diego in a nutshell.

This picture has nothing to do with our trip, but I need to tell you about it anyway. We went to Yellowstone with Zoe's Girl Scout troop last weekend, and this bison statue was on the lawn outside the Visitor's Center. Peanut Head walked Gunny over to it and our little Bunnery Sergeant went berserk. He started stalking the statue and growling real low in his throat. He dang near wet himself, he was so intimidated by this obvious statue. Doy.

That Gunny Bunny, he has the brain cells to maintain life support and we're not sure what else.

His pretty face, I guess.


  1. Had written a beautiful comment and it got eaten so I will summarize.
    Great post and glad you posted.
    Zoe Bug will start with the attitude but you will be fine.

  2. How do you do it, girl? You could make my trip to the post office sound witty....talent! Hope your first day back is good.

  3. Yes, your daughter is too young to have attitude already. Straighten her out real quick!

    I never heard the term SWAG either.

    Your blog looks very clean. I know I have lots of stuff on my sidebars but I do remove things once in a while.

    That's sad you didn't know Trainer Bob was there. I bet he didn't eat any of that good chocolate stuff!

  4. sounds like you had a good time... i want that ice cream bar...

  5. How are you still even walking around, Jill? Don't you know that is the "wither up and die" look?! : ) I don't think 10 is unusual. My daughter was 10 when she started and we both survived - she is 25 now and has her own attitude-waitin'-to-happen in the next 10 years! {Paybacks, baby!}. I remember not believing it at 10 either and would start to wish she would just get "it" already! It sounds like you had a great Summer and I'll bet the girls have some great memories, too {going by what you've told us, of course}.

  6. My Zoe is 10 as well and her ATTITUDE is in full swing... look out!

    That Dove chocolate looks heavenly :)

    Good luck for a great school year

  7. Ah yes... the 'tude'... Looking forward to all of the teeth sucking, eye rolling, chicken-necking at school in a few weeks too. They're putting in new air conditioning & NONE of the classrooms are ready at all!! After that's done custodians need to wax the floor. Did I mention that they tore apart our classroom storage to put in the new AC units? Mmmhmmm, and NO getting in there soon to reorganize. Aaacckk!!

    BlogHer sounds wonderful... Chocolate & Bob Harper - that's an oxymoron! *sigh* Dreams are made of those two things...

    Had to laugh about running with Stella - wouldn't work around here - we'd have to rename our dogs Winston & Salem and take them out for a drag. Also our new baby is only 2.9 lbs & gets his workout running from the kitchen & back (chihuahua rescue)... lol

    Good Luck this year!!

  8. It looks like you had such a great time. I can't imagine anything better than being in a chocolate stupor.
    I also can't imagine anything worse than being in a chocolate stupor and run into Bob from the Biggest Loser!
    I have heard so much about Blogher. You are one lucky girl.

    I love your pictures. Now I need to go find out what else I'm doing wrong.

  9. with all that chocolaty goodness- i need to stay FAR away form blogHer. although the swag is calling my name ;) and yes- I have heard the term swag. I knew it was a buncha free stuff- but I had no idea that "swag" actually stood for something. weird.

    and on that note- my 5 year old told me the other day, "its all about the swagger, mom" WTH? where does he get this stuff?

    although I dont have pre-pubescent girls- I was one once. and your life now sucks worse. im so sorry. thats why i had boy babies.

    I almost fell out of my chair reading about Naomi Campbell. FREAKING HILARIOUS. and she does look just like her. As for her rock filled head- I have a dog like that. I ask her all the time if she can hear her rocks rattling around like I can. :) Cause im a nice dog mommy.