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Stuttering Shell: December 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Tunes!

So, I was skimming through the Blogger Buzz the other day and came across another nifty widget that you can add to your blog:

After playing around with it a bit...I decided to add some tunes to my blog. It doesn't automatically start playing whenever you open the blog which is a nice feature. I don't know about you, but I really dislike being startled by someone's music when I open a blog or website. I know, I know...I should just keep the volume on the 'puter down or on mute.... only gripe about the feature is that not all of the songs they have are FULL length versions of the get a snippet or maybe a minute's worth of the song. Ew.

Alas, despite it's flaws (it's still in beta mode, I believe) I added some music to my page and named it "My Tunes." Ha ha ha. It's all Jack Johnson with one Jonas Brothers song tossed in for my Malia. She's a big fan and, well, so am I. Those boys are so damn cute.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Mentally...I'm soooooo there.
Si'an Kaan Reserve, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico


And they're off!

I kissed the kids goodbye and waved to my mother (a.k.a. Po Po or as the kids say "Paw Paw") as she backed out of the parking lot...they were off to Richmond to pick up my father who was on his way home from time spent in Mississippi.

They have been gone for about an hour and I already miss them!

Adam and I have been quite fortunate to have been blessed with quite possibly the world's greatest grandparents for our children. My parents do anything and everything for our kids (and us) and this includes keeping the kids for extended periods of time. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm passing off my children, but when long holiday breaks come about (like this winter break from school that doesn't end until the 20th of January) my parents step up and help us out.

Tomorrow, they will leave for Connecticut to visit my sister and her husband and also spend some time with the cousins who live nearby. I have heard rumours that my kids will get to play in the snow. How exciting! As for us...Adam and I will pass the time wisely, I hope! Aside from pouring ourselves into our work, it's my goal to get some work done around the house (i.e., paint part of the master bathroom), clean out the kids' dresser drawers, etc. We'll also be able to just act like carefree adults which is always nice to do every now and again.

I really do miss the kids, though. Ugh...and it's only been just over an hour! How am I going to last a few weeks?!

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Can't get enough of this man!

I really like Jack Johnson. I listen to his music as often as I can which - here lately - isn't often enough. There is just something relaxing about his's like I get so calm and so happy all at the same time whenever I'm listening to Jack. I love how music can instantly transform your mood and take you back into your memories into another time, another that's what listening to Jack Johnson does for me.

Without a doubt, I believe "In Between Dreams" is my favorite Jack Johnson album and I'm instantly swept away to the beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico with not a worry or care in sight. That's a good thing!
I've seen him in concert ONCE...and I would really like to see him again. Live Jack Johnson is amazing and I'll never forget that night at The Norva with my was our birthday presents to each other (and I was also about three months preggo with my was THAT long ago).

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Mmm...I heart cuppycakes!

I love to bake. Of course, having just typed that I'm ashamed to admit that my most recent batch of cupcake burned. It was horrible. I cut the bottoms off of all of them and put them each into new paper cupcake liners. It was a sad, sad evening in the Chissler household.

But, it was the first time in a VERY long time that I have burned anything that I've baked. So, I guess that's a good thing, eh? Anyway, I found a bloggy blog that I'm now addicted to:

The pictures make my mouth water! I'm also more inspired to make more interesting and more "from scratch" cuppycakes. I tend to gravitate towards the box mixes only because with my hectic schedule it allows me to satisfy my cupcake craving pronto. But, after having turned my carrot cake recipe into cupcakes I really just need to take the time to experiment more with different flavors and recipes...I need to brush up on my decorating skills, too, so maybe one day I can share my cupcake photos on the Cupcakes Take The Cake blog.


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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fresh World

So we ventured out on Saturday afternoon to a new grocery store that we had heard about from family & friends. It's a multicultural grocery store called Fresh World (googling them only gives reviews on the stores in the NoVa, D.C., Maryland area). The store is located in the old Kroger building at the shopping center at Princess Anne Road & Lynnhaven Parkway. You know...the one with the Super Wal-Mart and the parking lot so crazy retarded that they have a rent-a-cop directing traffic...yes, that shopping center. Don't worry, though, getting to and from the Fresh World store isn't nearly as stressful as heading to the Wally World on the opposite end of the shopping center.

Anyway, the grocery store isn't completely stocked yet and there are signs everywhere saying that beer & wine sales are coming soon (ABC licenses take time, people!), but there is just so much to look at! Their produce section was phenomenal. I don't know how many times we circled the produce. We sniffed the Durian fruit (phew!) and touched Indian Bittermelon (the thought of all those bumps still gives me the heebie jeebies). We got our usual staple of onions and potatoes, but this time we purchased Spanish onions and purple (Peruvian) potatoes. The kids are gonna like the purple taters. There was Kim Chee galore!! Needless to say, we bought a bag of it...yes, a bag...I think it was at least 2 pounds. We're splitting that with family.

There was a ton of fresh seafood...they had tanks of lobster and tilapia swimming around. They also had a ton of already caught fish that were ready for cleaning by the fishmongers. Beef, chicken and pork were plentiful along with any necessary parts that you enjoy. Their frozen foods section carried a lot of ethnic specific treats as did their dry goods section. You could also pick up your favorite "American staples," too. We did need milk and eggs and opted NOT to go to Wally World if we were already at the store so we settled for some brown eggs and a half-gallon of milk that did not have any of the growth hormone in's a bit of a stretch for us since we buy our milk and eggs organic but it was a good compromise to avoid the chaos of the parking lot and a trip to Wal-Mart.

We have so much yummy food in our fridge right now. Adam has already marinated some thinly cut ribeye steaks in Bulgogi sauce. The Kim Chee has been divided. I've already devoured my two red bean mochi cakes (I had the pink ones). I am hoping that I'll head back to the store today for more...after all, my mom is on her way down for a visit and she's never been there. The only drawback was that they didn't take American Express...and we had an American Express gift card we wanted to use. Ah, well.

OH! It's not just Asian food...they have a big selection of Hispanic favorites as well as Peruvian foods, Jamaican foods, etc. I'm anxious to see their beer selection once it's up and running...I'll be a happy, happy girl if I can get Leon in the states...I'm not holding my breath, though.

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Real men eat quiche

Or, "egg pie" as my 5 year old son calls it.

We came home from Adam's dad's house with a quiche...there were three for Christmas morning brunch and only two were eaten. My son has polished off most of the quiche himself.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

So, my last post was way harsh, but thank goodness for this blog! It's good to let the emotions out every now and again.

Update: The "harsh" post has since been removed because I am paranoid. =]

So, in my post-holiday funk...

can I just say that I'm really NOT looking forward to working only 2 days next week?!

I want to work. I need to work. I'm an hourly wage earner. Two days equals to 16 hours which equals out to a really crummy paycheck. Combine next week's really crummy paycheck with this week's really crummy hours (we worked only 2.5 days the week of Christmas) and I'm still not making what I would make in just one week. This sucks, folks.

I don't have the luxury of being a salaried employee, so I don't get paid for the full week regardless. Fortunately, my husband does. You would think that since I've been with the company since it's inception (I quit a salaried, management position to work for my FIL and hubby) and that I am married to the Vice President that I would at least be making a salary wage, but no. *sigh* OK, so maybe the whole "married to the VP" thing should not matter, but the fact that - aside from my FIL and husband - I've been with the company the longest out of everyone who works for the company really SHOULD matter and, unfortunately, it doesn't. Trust me...there are other issues with this job that I'm not happy about and it really is quite unfair (and, no, I'm not being petty).

So, part of me wants to protest and just not go into work on Monday and Tuesday as I'm scheduled (ha ha funny is that?! I haven't had to follow an actual written schedule since my restaurant days.). The other part of me is saying to just go in because I do have bills to pay.

It's a four day work's not even a full week. But, I'm only allowed to work 2 days that week because the other girls in the office have to work, too. One makes salary, one the company caters to because she's her only source of income and the other just wants to work like I do. I remember the days of it just being two girls in the office. I remember WORKING all through the holidays last year. I mean, really...we don't get paid holidays, we don't get personal days nor do we get sick days and, ha ha ha, if you want a paid vacation you're just out of luck.

I'm sorry, but I have things I'm working on that have to be done. I've got things that will just pile up on my desk that week (because no one else will do them) and when I get back after new year's my workload will double...maybe even triple. I don't want that. I want to work now and get what I need to get done now...because I know that it will come back to bite me in the ass later. Yes, that is how unfair the office really is sometimes.

Bottom line is that I'm very unhappy. I was asked to take a position with this company. Asked. I didn't ask. I was asked. I quit a job only to come on board and not get paid for nearly two months. Did I question it? No. Maybe I should have negotiated my way to something I wanted, but I didn't. I figured that since this was my husband and FIL that I would be compensated in some way to make me feel like I shouldn't have to negotiate. Wrong. I have a degree, too, people. I'm a few semesters away from a fucking Masters, too. But, with the way I'm treated you wouldn't think so.

I hate to sound so "money hungry" but I have bills to pay. I have debt I want to get out of. We live for every last dime we make. It's imperative that I work so we can have a better tomorrow. So, my new year's resolution is to find a new job. It's going to be a bitch considering how shitty the economy is, but I really need to find a new that will at least make me happy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve wouldn't be Christmas Eve without...

A trip to the mall.

Yep. You read right...I'm headed to the mall. I'm going for nothing in particular, but my dear, sweet husband is going because he HAS to...can anyone guess why?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

More ornaments!

And, hopefully this time one doesn't have a va-jay-jay mysteriously appear on it...damn paint has it's own mind!
So, here they are...12 more hand painted ornaments in all of their glory. These are smaller ornaments than the ones I previously painted and, again, the photo quality is crappy because I still haven't put batteries in my camera and my camera phone is obviously crap. Enjoy!

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I baked cookies tonight. Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I don't bake cookies...and, if I do, it's with some help from Toll House or Pillsbury from the refrigerated section of Wally World.

Anyway, I decided to bake cookies tonight...I wanted something simple to make and something I could make without having to go to the store. So, I made Snickerdoodles. I used a recipe that I found at

Surprisingly, they turned out quite well. I was a bit worried at first because I'm NOT used to cookie dough...I'm used to cake batter and the consistency of cake batter, so when it started becoming difficult to stir the cookie mixture I started to panic, but Adam reassured me that it's called cookie DOUGH for a reason...duh (I have been offense to my blonde friends, that I am the blondest Asian, or Asian-American, on the face of the planet...but that's a different blog entry!).

So, I got the cookie dough made, rolled out 1 inch balls and coated them in a cinnamon/sugar mixture and baked them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. I don't know if I found a recipe that I really liked and worked well with or if it's my Pampered Chef cookie sheets, but they turned out perfect!

I have some already packaged up for Aidan's teachers at Childtime since tomorrow is his last day of daycare until school starts again in January. The kids each had one for dessert...they loved them! And, Adam said they were great. So, I am thinking tomorrow I'll head to Wally World during my lunch break and pick up some more flour, sugar and eggs (since I used the last two eggs tonight) and make some more Snickerdoodles tomorrow night.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is a stick up!

Well, wasn't.

But, I did feel semi-violated.

I was at the mall today with my mother and we went into Old Navy to look around. My mother and I were checking out the $30 cashmere sweaters (aaaahhh!) and I walked by a woman. She said hello to me and I smiled. I figured she was just being nice. Well, she said hello again and this time walked up to where my mother and I were standing.

My mother walked away...thanks, Mom!

She had a notebook in her hand and some pamphlets and a sign-up sheet. She was asking for donations for a group that sent Christmas gifts to children in Asia. Where in Asia? I don't know. What was the name of the group? I don't know. What was HER name? I don't know. She just wanted my money. I noticed that there were four people on her list with their donations listed next to them.

Don't get me wrong people, I'm not a scrooge. I'm not stingy in the slightest and I do like to help different charities and fundraising groups. However, I am NOT fine with being solicited in the mall while I'm in a store. I don't know if that lady was crossing any "go out and ask people for donations" line, but I really did not appreciate being approached like I was. Perhaps it is no different than someone knocking on my front door, but I just found the whole situation odd.

Needless to say, I did not donate any money. I didn't get a cashmere sweater either.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Can it already, will ya?

Is it just wrong of me to want to march down to my ex-MIL's house (yes, I can walk there) and tell her to shut her pie hole and give the insults, lies and other bullshit that comes out of her mouth a rest?!

I'm sorry that she's no longer married to my husband's father. I'm sorry that their 10+ year marriage fell apart. I'm sorry that they, unfortunately, have a nearly 4 year old adopted son stuck in the middle of what STILL seems like a ridiculous pissing battle over custody. I'm sorry that she's done a complete flip and has become the most vile, disgusting, vindictive person on this planet (or so it seems).

What makes my blood curdle the most is the fact that after knowing her all of these years and allowing her to come into my life and my childrens' lives is that she doesn't hesitate to stoop to the lowest level of all and drag my name and that of my family through the mud. I'm sorry, but the minute you accuse me of being an unfit, drug addicted, slob of a mother you are just barking up the wrong tree. MY children are not with a babysitter for nearly 8 hours a day for most of the week. MY children actually wear jackets when it's cold outside. MY children don't have an everlasting runny nose. MY children know how to share. MY children are not bullies. Wait...I'm stooping to her level.

Bottom line is, she's still talking. She's burned her bridge. We've tried playing nice. It sucks living down the street from her but it's MY house she has to drive by in order to get to her's. In my heart of hearts, I know the real me. My family and friends know the real me. Those who choose to listen to her false accusations and her concocted stories of bullshit really shouldn't even consider themselves a friend of mine.

I know, I know...sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. But, when you've been betrayed by someone you once called family the sting hurts a little worse. I have not done anything at all to make her turn on me like she did. All I did was side with my husband who sided with his father. Big. Freakin'. Deal.

Anyway, my wish for 2009 is that she will:

a) drop off the face of the planet
b) forget who I am
c) remember that karma is the biggest bitch

You make your lay in it. You reap what you sow. Yep, all of those cliches. All of 'em.

OK...thanks for letting me grumble.


Ho Ho Ho-liday break

Today is a half-day for the kids (but, of course, each child will go to his/her respective after-school care program since I'm at the office)...the day is filled with parties, food, sugar, movies and fun. Both kids were so excited this morning to get up for school...if only every morning could be like that.

Yes, folks, today is the last day of school before the holiday break. My kids attend a year-round elementary school so, unlike their standard calendar counterparts who have a full day today, they get out early and start their break a bit earlier. Much to my dismay, they don't return to school for a full MONTH. Yes, a month. M & A head back to class on January 20th.

I can already tell you that by this time next week I'll be very ready for school to be back in session again. Very ready.

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Decking the halls...

Well, just Christmas trees...this year I decided to make ornaments for friends, teachers, etc. After 12, yes TWELVE, failed attempts, I finally got it right and did NOT forget the key step of cleaning the glass (duh!). These pictures don't do the ornaments justice and this is only a small sampling of what I've done. But, I'm proud to say that the kids' teachers have all received one and I'm making more this weekend...handpainting ornaments my way (thank you, Google!) is a lot of fun. The pictures are not the best...I used my cell phone since both of my digital cameras were D-E-A-D...guess I need to plug in the charger for the batteries, huh??

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ridin' on the funk train...toot, toot!

Funk as in "I'm in a bad mood so leave me alone" and not George Clinton kinda funk. Ya dig?

I don't know if it's the weather -- because it is nasty outside (rain, rain, go away!).

I don't know if it's the stress of the holidays -- bah, humbug!

I don't know if it's because my children just absolutely, positively would not listen this morning -- why does it take 20 minutes to get shoes and socks on?! Why??

I don't know if it's because I'm unhappy -- because I don't really have anything to be unhappy about, I suppose.

I don't know if it's financially related -- because right now the economy sucks.

I don't know what it is, but what I do know is that I am in a very, very, very bad mood today. Very bad. So bad that I'd rather be at home in my comfy pants curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee watching "Live with Regis & Kelly." That's pretty bad.

I know I'll snap out of it...when, I don't know. But, this wave of miserableness (is that even a word?) will pass...hopefully, for everyone's sake, it will be soon!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm feeling Luna Blue =[

Our December Mexico trip fell was for the best, though. There's always next year, right?!

At any rate, I'm still feeling Luna Blue...those who KNOW will understand. ;-)

The Luna Blue is the small, boutique hotel Adam and I stay at when we are in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We absolutely adore the owners, Tony & Cheri Head. We are treated like royalty when we are there. I miss it, I miss it, I miss it!

I was reading through Tony & Cheri's blog to see if anything had been going on. We missed out on a great art show benefitting the Peanut Pet Shelter last month. Adam and I fell in love with the tiled artwork done by a really gifted painter named Barry Launius (people "In the Roo" know him as Popeye). They also had a post about good places to eat while in Playa del mouth is watering thinking about the tapas at Las Cazuelas. My toes are longing to wiggle in the sand on the beach at Mamita's Beach Club.

Oh, boy...this December winter weather we're having in Virginia can take a hike...someone put me on a plane that is headed for Cancun and I'll take the ADO bus from there! It is my hope that Adam and I can plan a 2009 Playa del Carmen trip as soon as possible. My mind, body and soul need it!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things I need to remember to do...

With all that I have going on these days (and with Chrismas only a few weeks away...yikes!), I need to remember to do these things:

  • email Jennifer some recipes...I mean, she only asked me weeks ago!
  • mail Emi's Elmo book
  • wrap Christmas gifts as they arrive not all at one time (because I absolutely LOATHE wrapping presents...believe it or not)
  • clean out my closet (not likely to happen)
  • renew my car's registration (it's due January, but I will forget so I have my DMV stuff taped to my monitor to do this week)
  • stay healthy (we'll see how that goes)
  • don't overspend (which, so far, I think we've done good considering all of our Christmas shopping is done except for about 3 more things -- 2 of which are for the kidlets)
  • clean out the pantry (I know there is stuff in there that could get thrown out or given to the Food Bank)
  • stay stress-free (but, with a set of divorced in-laws that means Christmas happens more than once around here...ugh)
  • smile, smile, smile!

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I need a holster for my Lysol can...

'Tis the season for viral illnesses and the most dependable of all the viral illnesses is the wretched stomach virus. At least it seems that way in our household. Without fail, one or two of us always come down with it this time of the year.

As soon as I pulled into the parking lot at work yesterday morning, my cell phone rings and it's Nurse Nancy at the kids' school. Sure enough, Malia is sick. She didn't even make it off of the school bus before she got sick. I show up at school and she gets sick again. Poor thing. She looked awful.

Once we get home she gets changed and snuggles in her bed to watch "Milo & Otis" and seems to do well throughout the rest of the day. She managed to eat lunch (gotta love Amy's Organics Mac & Cheese!) and drank water and nibbled on crackers throughout the day. Dinner didn't set too well with her...I think she just didn't like Adam's concoction...but she made it to bed without incident.

This morning was a different story, however. As I type this, her bed linens are in the wash and her mattress has been hosed down with Lysol (as has everything else in this house that will stay still long enough for me to spray it). She's snuggled up in my bed watching "Max & Ruby" and, hopefully, will be better by tomorrow so she can head back to school and I can head back to the office.

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