Sep. 29: In which I barely mention school

I know I should post something just to say that yes, I am still alive. The problem is that I can only talk about school stuff right now and that means I will absolutely put you to sleep if you read this. Much as it might surprise you, I never intentionally set out to put you to sleep. So… here’s my effort to share things that are in no way related to school or school accessories:

  • Vic and the kids are going to Seattle for the weekend. On their agenda: BrickCon and a Seahawks game. If they have garlic fries at Qwest like they do next door at Safeco, Vic is going to eat them and reek for days. Last week he posted on Facebook that he ate a bunch of garlic and then I told him he stunk, making me sound like the meanest wife ever. In my defense, though, he totally stunk.
  • With Stinky & Kids away, I have a peaceful house to myself for the entire weekend. Bliss.
  • My dear friends Deanna and Debi are going to be in town next week. They’re bringing their daughters and have invited me and Katie to join them. I look forward to seeing everyone and doing girly things.
  • Do you know who this guy is?

It’s Nick Offerman.
You might know him better as Ron Swanson.
Also Megan Mullally’s husband.
Without that crazy hair and thick ‘stache… he looks so young.

  • Parks & Rec is such a great show.
  • (I just can’t get over that pic up there.)
  • (You try to look away! You can’t!)
  • OK, I tried. There’s nothing else left for me to say. I almost wrote about the digital cable TV channels I recently found. Yes, life so boring here at the House of Manullang that I started to write about what happens when I push the channel button on the remote. Sorry.


Sep. 24: Currently

In an effort to get back in the habit of blogging regularly, I present the following very boring post.

I am currently:


…to the original Broadway cast recording of Les Miz. It’s just about the only thing I’ve listened to for the past two weeks—I’m absolutely in love with this soundtrack. And after the disaster that was Shrek The Musical last week (ugh—terrible!), it’s good to listen to music that doesn’t make me wanna shove icepicks into both ears.


…nothing at the moment. I had pizza for breakfast.


…water. An iced coffee is sounding good though…


…the clothes I slept in. I’m gonna do my darndest to stay in them all day. (You might want to call before you come over.)


…good. Better. Long talks with Mom and a couple of friends yesterday helped. I really overdid it this week—I had a bazillion things to do and was terrible about asking others for help; I let myself get totally stressed. I’m a moron. I shall work on that.


…iced coffee. And a maid. And a butler. And a vacation. And another vacation. And maybe one more just for fun. And a puppy.


…to ignore assholes. They’re just assholes. They think they matter, but they don’t.

…to get organized. My desk is piled with papers and projects. That’s my goal for today—I want to see the top of my desk, even if it means shoving everything onto the floor. I’ll do it, I will. Don’t tempt me.


…about that iced coffee…


…the support of friends and family, the goodness and generosity of people who ask for nothing in return, and the gorgeous blue sky outside my window. Life can be a lovely thing. Today, for sure, mine certainly is.

I hope you’re feeling the same. Unless you’re an asshole—then I hope you trip into a piranha-filled pond. Twice.

Finally, I leave you with this little giggle I found at When Parents Text:



Sep. 23: Jen’s birthday came and went

My birthday was last weekend and my friends and family showered me with delightful gifts. It almost made it fun to turn 43 years old. OK, nothing’s fun about being 43. But as my friend Carla says, “Every birthday spent outside the urn or on top of the grass is a GOOD birthday.” She is a wise woman.

Still, the night before my birthday I pulled a muscle in my back while plucking grey hairs from my head. A reminder of my age could not have been better-timed, and I spent much of my birthday hobbling around like an 80-year-old. Pffft.

One of the most amusing things this year was that almost every card I received had some reference to drunkenness. Is that really what people think of when they think of me? Don’t answer that question. Here’s one of the hilarious cards—this one’s from the Jordans:

010 011

Funny, right? Sweet Emma, April’s 10-year-old, added this:


(Heh heh heh. Best they learn early, right?)

On the same card, April’s 8-year-old declared his very poor taste in Broadway musicals:



Here’s a sampling of the other fabulous things I received on Sunday…


Most oversized edible gift:


Yup, it’s a ginormous gummy bear.
Someone suggested I post pictures of the bear as I eat it—missing an ear, missing a leg, etc. 
Good idea, right? 
I think it’s super-funny that people think it will take me more than one day to eat it.


Most practical item to use when working

with all those kids at school:


Fancy Anthony™ said, “If you’re using it at school, you should just cross out the ‘maybe’.”


The gift I am totally taking to Jack’s

next early-morning football game:




Most semi-automatic gift my kids

have already stolen from me:


Sunday at 7pm: Manullang Family Nerf Gun Fight.
Be there.


Best excuse to get my frozen treats

and coffee on the outside:


Seriously, aren’t these the best gift cards a person could ever receive? 
In my world, they are.


Most inedible gift that I am totally gonna

try to eat anyway because

OMG it smells like deliciousness:


Seriously, these candles should be approved by the FDA.
Someone get me a spoon, stat.



The thing I’ve been asking for since I was 6

and still have not received, dammit:

All things considered, it was a good birthday. I felt loved and happy, and there’s not much better than that. Thank you for knowing me so well, and for your generosity, goodness, stolen music, floor deck food, friendship, and everything else that makes me smile on non-birthday days too.


Sep. 7: This ain’t cool

Today is my kids’ second day of school. They both left wearing shorts. It’s 90,000,000° outside (I *might* have some extra zeroes there). The A/C already came on, promising the indoors will be a cool respite from the outdoors, even though having the windows already closed means the air will be stale and icky within hours. The car’s interior is seventh-level-of-hell-hot, and second degree burns to any skin that comes in contact with said interior is a given. And yet… I see people posting on Facebook and in their blogs about the cool fall weather, even rain. WTF???

I’m not complaining—the warm weather here is lovely, even when it’s too hot to enjoy. Just knowing it’s out there makes me happy.

But it ain’t fall here, folks. It ain’t. You are wrong, people who live in other parts of the country. Wrong, I tells ya. The calendar says it’s still summer and so does the thermometer in my car.

Now, pass the iced tea before the heat exhaustion kills me dead.


Sep. 4: Yay! Grrrrrr! Yay! Grrrrrr!

Last week was completely, totally, 100 percent chaotic. I’m not even going to try to share all that’s been going on, but I will say that it pretty much begins and ends with PTO. You’re shocked, I know. This is a crazy time of year for PTO—school starts on Tuesday and there is SO much to get ready—and while I have the most amazing team to work with, my brain just won’t shut off. Argh.

yayI got the original Broadway cast soundtracks for Les Miz and and Mamma Mia yesterday. Having new music is such a lovely thing. I look forward to having time to sit down with the lyrics so the stories of both shows make more sense—though I suspect Mamma Mia is as stupid as it seems.

grrrrJack got the teacher I was hoping he’d get, and one of his best buds is also in his class. BUT I’m actually kinda mad at Jack right now, so I don’t really care whether or not he’s happy. Seriously, you know how sometimes your kid can act like a complete fartknocker, like you even consider driving him out to the country and leaving him in a beet farm somewhere? That’s Jack the past few days. Vic and I are ready to kick him out of the house, which we didn’t expect to want to do for another six years or so.

yayI’ll be honest; I’m glad the kids are going back to school and won’t be around home, whining whining whining. Where are my clean clothes? I’m bored! When will you feed me? Geez. It’s EVERY DAY with that stuff. Good riddance, whiners! (Seriously, I’m tha-rilled that they’re growing up as quickly as they are—most the time, anyway.)

grrrrThe pup will not stop barking at anyone who dares to walk past our house. He’s making me crazy. It’ll be all quiet in the house and suddenly he sees something outside and goes NUTS at the window. It makes me pee a little. OK, not really. But it’s scary.

yayThe PTO has already received several donations in response to the solicitations we sent out last week. It always surprises me when people are so eager to sponsor our efforts!

grrrrI read a local headline the other day that said someone threw a bunch of kittens out of a minivan on a busy road. Can you believe that? It makes me want to throw that person out of a minivan on a busy road. People are jerks.

yayWe went up to Mt. St. Helens today. The last thing I should be doing right now is taking off for a non-school thing, but really, it’s exactly what I needed. Tuesday morning, when I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I’ll be glad I had a little break. The weather was perfect today—clear and sunny, even hot at times—and the views were amazing. Want proof? Here’s a pic I took from Johnston Ridge Observatory:

Mt. St. Helens

The viewpoint is 5½ miles north of the crater. We never see the big hole from Portland—in fact, from Portland, St. Helens looks a bit flatter but otherwise the same as she did pre-1980. It’s really fascinating to be right there. We stopped at two other visitor centers on our way back to I-5. It was a perfect day to be up in the mountains. It was a perfect day to be with family. It was a perfect day.

Bring it on, Tuesday! I am soooo gonna kick your ass.



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