I knew there was something pulling me to Phoenix yesterday, other than getting my glasses fixed and picking up our lame summer reading prizes from the library. SO thankful Jackie and the boys weren't injured seriously yesterday in her accident - could have been ugly.

I'm kicking myself for not reporting the Dad I saw, schlepping his kids around in his little car with ZERO carseats. I could have easily told the policeman that was standing RIGHT THERE.

Jackie is amazing, did you know that? She wasn't hysterical and crying, like I would have been, she was honest with the police and took her "kid not in a carseat" ticket with a thank you. She even came home and hosted my crazy kids for a few hours while helping Lorena do a sewing project for the young women. I swear I would have cancelled everything, taken a valium and gone to bed.

I only splurge on pedicures a couple times a year, and my crusty heels were begging for some love yesterday. Even though it's under new management, and "Jimmy" isn't there, I can still recommend the place on 35th Avenue and Southern. "Essence Nails" I think.

I am literally losing sleep over ceiling fans - and not just because my master bedroom fan has taken to swinging erratically and CLICK CLICK CLICKING constantly. I know I'm ridiculous about these things, but I have very specific opinions when it comes to ceiling fans.
#1 - I want a Hunter fan. My dad swears by that brand, and we've had very good luck with them as well, so I'd like to stick with it.
#2 - I do not want to be able to see the light bulbs. Until they make cute CFL bulbs, not the swirly kind, I'm NOT buying any light fixture that displays bulbs.
#3 - I want the hardware to match everything else I have in my house (and since we've already got (mostly) oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs, that choice has been made)
#4 - I want all the fans in the house to coordinate with eachother. I know, I know.
#5 - Anything with this shape of blade looks totally dated to me.
#6 - Anything with this shape of light also looks dated to me, and cheap Walmart as well.
#7 - I do NOT want to see any pull chains. I'm short, and several of my ceilings are 9' or taller. Wall control and/or remote is a must.
#8 - This is my BIGGEST COMPLAINT with fans. I loathe what I call "nipple lights". You know what I'm talking about... something akin to this...
Unfortunately, 70% of the fans on the market, I think, have nipple lights on them. Another 20% have multiple shades where you can see the bulbs. Another 8% of fans are "novelty" type with weird kid themes, or overly designed with the funky blades, etc. So that leaves me with 2% to choose from - and those choices are three times the price of anything else. Grrrrr...... this fan, I think, is almost perfect (or would be, with a bright WHITE glass dome, instead of amber):
This one I could live with as well, even though I don't like the blade shape as much...
But again, both of these are more than three times the price of something like this: This is called the "Stratford" from Home Depot - totally affordable, love the shape of the blades, and the hardware is the right color. (But it's got a nipple light.) A Hunter rep that happened to be in Home Depot this weekend also told me that I could call the company and they would send me new free domes, so I technically COULD get the glass in white like I want, instead of this amber color...
I like the idea of having three of the dark-wooded 52" Stratford fans in my main areas - family room, loft, and my master bedroom, and having coordinating white 44" Stratford fans in all the rest of the bedrooms.
Bonus of this one is that the white version also comes in a bigger size of 52" as well, so I could put a bigger one in J's huge bedroom and have the 44 inchers in all the rest of the bedrooms, and they would still coordinate.

SIGH. What to do, what to do. I guess become a fan designer at Hunter, that's what. Anybody want to hire me?


Phoenix vs. Mesa, the showdown

So far:
Mesa neighborhood vs. Phoenix neighborhood - Mesa wins.
Mesa car insurance rates vs. Phoenix - Mesa wins.
Mesa commute to work vs. Phoenix - Mesa wins.
Mesa libraries vs. Phoenix - tie.
Mesa library website vs. Phoenix - Phoenix wins.
Mesa schools gifted programs vs. Phoenix - Phoenix wins.
Mesa Walgreens vs. Phoenix Walgreens - Mesa wins.
Mesa Fry's vs. Phoenix Fry's - Phoenix wins.
Mesa post offices vs. Phoenix's South Mountain Post office? - come on, you know the answer to this one.
Mesa swim team vs. Phoenix swim team - Phoenix wins.
Mesa's AZ Desert Dolphins synchronized swimming vs. Phoenix's ..... - Mesa wins.
Everything else is TBD ...



I had a dozen things on my to-do list today, most of them in SoPho. After making the trek over there and getting my hair cut, leaning once again on Jackie, letting J play with Finny, buying a bed frame from Craig's List, visiting the Meadows and returning stuff to CC library, I popped in to see our renters at our old house. Literally, popped in, with no notice. Not only were they totally gracious in letting me barge in and drill a hole in a cabinet door (don't ask) but they let me walk through and see what they've done to the place. And wow, was I impressed. Never, never, did I ever have that house so clean and put together. Their furniture is huge but very nice and looks great. They have pictures hanging in every room already. The counters were all clear and the tables had placemats set on them - it was like walking through a staged model home. (I mean really? Who lives like that?) They painted the brown dots pink in J's room and now it belongs to their little 6-yr-old girl, whose bedding and furniture and everything match beautifully. I'm so totally grateful. This family is awesome, and I couldn't have asked for a better situation. Hopefully they will stay there forever like they plan to right now!

Beach kids. Edit.

My cuties could stay at the beach ALL DAY LONG. As could their mother. We made a quick trip last week with the Foushees to California and spent two days at Newport Beach.  Aaaaahhhhh. J spent his time playing in the sand and collecting shells.
I.Love.This.Photo. Maybe I should make it sepia tone and print a big poster for J's room???
M and A played in the surf. Beach babes, these two! M says her favorite part was jumping over the waves with A.
I tried to get in as much reading as I could while still keeping track of six kids. A discovered the art of laying out though - she was just laying on the sand in the sun  "Oh, mom, this is SO nice. M you HAVE to come try this - just come lay down and relax!"  It.was.awesome.  Next month's family beach trip is going to be SO MUCH FUN! 

Slowly but surely...

Projects finished:
Kitchen pantry painted
New garbage disposal installed
R/O system taken out
New sink cabinet floor cut and put in
Pool drained & acid washed
Rose bushes trimmed
Holes in the drywall patched
Doggie door removed
New programmable thermostats installed
Built-ins ripped out in craft room
Furniture left in the house sold on Craig's List - YEAH!
J's room and closet painted
One wall in master bedroom painted

Projects in progress:
Shutters being installed TODAY in J's room and master bedroom
Block fence being repaired
Painting rest of master bedroom
Patching in rest of laminate floor in craft room
Painting craft room

Projects on horizon:
Installing craft room cabinets
Getting craft room up unpacked and up and running
Painting J's ceiling
Building shelves in J's room niches
Finishing J's quilt, or giving up and buying one
Getting garage door fixed
Getting garage door opener wires installed
Spray painting several ceiling fans & light fixtures
Buying and installing water softener
Buying and installing a new microwave
Dead tree ripped out and taken to dump
Somehow weather-proofing all the windows and doors, and getting the broken/missing screens made and installed
Getting a functioning latch/lock installed on J's window



NEMO party *edit*

I have a great kid. Actually I have three great kids. My baby turned four this week, and I threw him a big fun NEMO-themed birthday party today and invited a whole bunch of So Pho friends out to see our new house. I think we had 18 kids here? I admit it was a little ambitious to host such a big to-do after just moving in. Thank goodness the other CHICK was around to help me get everything ready.  Luckily my birthday banner I made last year for Josh still sort of matched our theme, so I was able to use that again. We decorated with fish nets (courtesy of my kids' already fishy-themed bathroom) seashells (courtesy of J and our beach trip last week) and sand buckets. I also brought our goldfish in their bowl downstairs to be a centerpiece. Fun!  Soren I think had the best quote of the day, while watching our fish "I just can't stop watching them! I'm trying! I just can't stop!"  I also bought a big coral reef mural that went in our front room, where we played "Fish Fish Shark"  (instead of duck duck goose)  and read J's favorite book.  Also bought a big ride-on shark (Bruce) for the pool.
It was J's idea a while ago to have a NEMO themed party, because his favorite book in the world right now is "The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark" which we read every night. So, we called it a Nemo party and had everyone over to swim. Lisa did a dramatic reading of the book, and all the kids were enthralled.
  With orange and white napkins, plate, and orange striped cupcake pops (which were too expensive, next time I will make them myself) and lots of themey food, I think it turned out pretty well. We had Gil's Sea Shells (pasta roni shells and cheese), Dory's Doritos, Goldfish (which should have had a tag that said "Mr. Ray's school of Fish") ,
Swedish Fish (also should have been "Krill") , Peach's Peaches (we happened to have fresh peaches this week), Inky's octopus hot dogs with blue "ink" ketchup, (Can't you just hear it? "Aaaaaw, you guys made me ink!" )
and orange baby carrots with blue ranch dressing. Fun.
Finny enjoyed the hot dogs too!