Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Since iPhone/iTunes lets you create your own tone, I have done just that - The Cure, "Close to Me" as a feeble replacement to my previous favorite. I am so missing my old ringtone courtesy of Beck - all 11 seconds of it - which I had programmed in my brain.
So here it is my long lost ringtone that I knew was mine all mine rather than the one I have now which I give dirty looks to strangers thinking, "Answer your phone already" only to discover that it is I who needs to answer my own phone.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Here is the innkeeper role in the Nativity as described by JG:
AE: So what do you wear?
JG: I not know - innkeeper clothes. (He actually wore a sack looking thing which his partner innkeeper #2 told his mother after donning the garb - "Mom, this is so not my look.")
AE: So what do you do as an innkeeper?
JG: Well, I run the show-tell (inn). Then the lady having the baby and the guy with the same name as me come to the door. I tell them we are full up and they have to go sleep in the barn.
I was a little worried, but he did great. Mary and Joseph made it to the barn and had baby Jesus then JG sang "Go Tell the Mountain" with his classmates and all was well with the world.
On a side note, we got to laughing last night after caroling when I told my friends about the show-tell. My friend Jen informed me it could be worse, her littlest wanted to go stay at the "ho-in-tell".
Yes, there is always an upside isn't there?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This is the response I received:
"I would rather stare into the sun."
Guess that's a no.
Too bad, I was really looking forward to him leading us in a round of "Silver & Gold".
Monday, December 10, 2007
The game went into overtime, then to sudden death - so someone had to score just one basket to win.
AE had a chance for redemption and somehow the basketball Gods were smiling down on her. Maple Grove won 14-12. AE is #41.
The video is courtesy of AP's dad Rob (thank you Rob!) - thank goodness someone documented it because I think our daughter was the most surprised person in the gym and needed to see it again to believe it.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Dan: AE do you know what the three second rule is?
Dan set AE straight, she didn't get called for it today, so it must have stuck.
The Maple Grove Mustangs took 2nd. Not too bad for a team in mis-matched uniforms (our new ones didn't make it in time) and two practices under their belt.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
They are in no particular order:
1) The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
He sings this in the style of Bob Dylan.
2) Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Once, when I returned from a trip AE and I had the following exchange:
Mom: How did things go when Mommy was gone?
Mom: Did daddy sing you goodnight?
Mom: Really? What did he sing to you?
She paused and began to sing, "She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean..."
3) Oh, Tannebaum
Only in German. Go figure.
4) This little tune...
All I will say is that it has been a long 17 years, think it is about time to get him some new tunes. I sure hope his song retention does not portend any serious issues which will arise when we are in our 80s.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Like every other year I asked her what her favorite subject was and she answered, "Remember that one time when you asked me in kindergarten?"
Yes, AE I remember.
AE attended a parochial school here in Maple Grove and wasn't really thrilled with her school, her teacher, the uniform...I could go on and on...
After listening to her daily litany of complaints I asked, "Is there anything you like about school?"
I got the look that said, "Mom, you CANNOT be serious, there is NOTHING I like."
"You have to have a favorite subject right?" I probed. "What is your favorite subject?"
She sat there and finally said, "Yeah I like MASS." The school attended daily mass - it was a Catholic school and that's what they do.
"Oh, good. I am so glad you like MATH. Mommy is really bad at MATH, so it's good you like it."
"No mommy, I didn't say MATH. I don't like MATH. I like MASS."
"Not MATH?" I asked. "What was it again?"
"MASS. You know MASS." she started to speak slower, so her slow mom could get it.
"MAA-AAASSSSSS." She spoke it with the same accent as a Southern belle, so it came out even better.
Needless to say, I didn't ask her to repeat it again.
All I have to say is thank goodness her favorite subject is now science.
Monday, December 03, 2007
We all know how much the home office loves the Holidays. Kidding, I said if he had some free time he could give the annual letter a shot...well he surprised me and did just that. After reading, I do not think we will be sending it out, but just had to share because it was so funny.
I am proud of my non-letter writing husband, here is his version of the Schmidts '07.
You are about to read one of those lame Christmas letters so many people feel necessary to include in their Christmas cards. For those of you that find these things offensive, read section A (the short version). If, on the other hand you want the full experience, proceed to section B.
We’re doing fine. Hope you’re well, too.
Select one of the options below:
a) Merry Christmas! The Schmidts
b) Happy Hanukkah! The Schmidts
c) Have a swell Kwanzaa! The Schmidts
d) Happy Holidays! The Schmidts
You’ve decided to read section B. We commend you for your good taste and intelligence. You have so much more going for you than those who just read section A.
The past year has brought one major change to the “Schmidt House “. Susan has gone back to work and we have traded a lot of the daily chores around the house, along with the responsibility of the Family Christmas Letter.
I didn’t think writing this letter would be that difficult. I thought all I had to do was Google “Family Christmas Form Letter “ and change the kids names, ages, and activities, and send out the letter.
How different can life be in suburbia?
What I found surprised me, because I have always enjoyed finding out what friends and family have done in the past year and have always been happy to hear that things are going well.
It appears that there are a large number of people who do not care to receive these letters because they believe that the letters contain too much bragging about their family and the previous year.
So, I have decided to write this Christmas Letter to the people who don't care for happy letters. Instead of bragging about how great our past year has been, I have listed all the negative aspects of the past year.
I have bought into my present company, a small engineering and surveying firm that does residential development. This was just in time for to be part of the largest housing recession in the last 60 years. Revenue was down about 30 percent in 2007 and is expected to be down another 30 percent in 2008.
Susan has begun working again and is employed as an independent contractor. Susan doesn’t really like working EVERY SINGLE DAY and would sometimes rather sleep in and be at home with the kids or playing tennis. Susan has been blogging over the past year about our family’s adventures and her blog can be found at http://schmidthouse-maplegrove.blogspot.com/
Allison is nine years old and is in the 4th Grade. Allison is the tallest child in the 4th grade and hates it. Allison spends most of her free time arguing and fighting with her brother and whining about doing simple chores.
Joe is five years old and is in kindergarten. Joe plays hockey and has worked his way up from the worst skater on the team to top of the bottom five skaters. Joe also spends most of his time arguing and fighting with his sister.
Our dog Mia barks too much. She also continues to go through the garbage and make a mess of the house.
Merry #*&(@*% Christmas!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Yesterday in the middle of the snow, I finally decided it was time to do something about my sub-par cell phone. I have had a love hate relationship for quite some time now and have been enamoured to say the least with the nice shiny iPhone.
I am loving it - other than the fact I had to change my phone number (long story) and email address (another long story). I can't believe how much I can do on it!
- Know where I am supposed to be when I am supposed to be somewhere
- Watch movies/videos in the car
- I can play music (only 8 GB, but I will live), since the other iPod is still MIA
- I can get my email at work now, since I can't get to Hotmail through the Cargill infrastructure
- Will cut down on domestic disputes because we will actually know where we are going since we can check a map
- Get YouTube
- Find out if I should take 394 or 169
- Take pictures
- Know what the weather is like in Madrid - why Madrid? I don't know, but somehow I tried to set up Minneapolis and ended up with Madrid. Think I would rather be in Madrid right now - its 43 and fair vs. 21, but it really feels like 7.
My new email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the new phone number is 612.850.3830.
Friday, November 30, 2007
This being iPod-less has made work more difficult because I used my music as a little escape from my I/T Alice in Wonderland world since I moved again and am now sitting by the guys who do tech support for the elevators - whole 'nother blog in itself.
So, I have had to go back to my pre-iPod world of CDs until the "new" old one arrives. It has given me a chance to dust off my vast, eclectic CD collection.
It has actually been rather pleasant because I have been reacquainted with old friends that were lost in the 3,974 song abyss that was iPod #1.
Most notably is Mindy Smith - I forgot how much I love her voice. The first summer I was home full-time I heard her song Come to Jesus on NPR, went out got the CD and listened to it
Her most beautiful song, One Moment More - she wrote for her mother who she lost - very powerful and healing song. I wanted to put it here, but it is too raw for our little blogging family right now. The video is out on YouTube.
She is perfect for documenting processes - slow - steady - calming. However, after I lost an hour of work today I put on some angry music, then went back to Mindy.
Take a listen you will hear why I love her and her music - here is her cover of Dolly Parton's Jolene - totally reminds me of when I was little, I used to sing this, but had no clue what it was really about. I had to laugh, I didn't realize Dolly made a cameo in the video...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We decided as a group that we did not want to go the general admission route and have to be stuck with screaming and potentially intoxicated college students all night. As we are getting older we are all about our personal space.
Now we just have to wait 90 days to see Dave, Taylor, Nate & the other guy who I can't remember what his name is right now...
Guess that little tidbit has escaped the steel trap. I am slipping.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
You are in all of our hearts and minds right now.
As you,your mom, and your family are going through this journey you are sharing your deepest thoughts, fears, frustrations so eloquently and strong.
Thank you for your honesty and your example - we are here when you need us.
Not loving the video, but the song.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Dave Grohl and gang are coming to Mpls in February - I can't wait. I have missed them the last two times they were here so I AM GOING THIS TIME.
Shelly B. are going to be poised and ready to go at ticketmaster.com on December 1st 12:00 p.m. when Foo Fighters tickets go on sale.
Until then, here is their "Learn to Fly", one of my favorite Foo videos - I can't find their latest that I can embed - A Long Road to Ruin - as usual it is hilarious. Rashida Jones (Karen from The Office, plays Dave's love interest) as soon as I find it I will add that too.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I asked the home office, "What happened here?"
"Oh, that. That's a long story."
Guess when Dan was fixing dinner, our son decided that everyone should have their respective spot at our kitchen table labeled with our names. Thank goodness for the magic eraser, wish I would of had that when AE went through the same stage.
About 5 years ago I came home from a business trip and was welcomed to "A"s all over the house, it was like anarchy had taken over. We had "A"s up and down the stairs in lipgloss, "A"s on the floor and fridge in Sharpie marker. Managed to get all of them off by finally resorting to using fingernail polish remover - that stuff is toxic.
I am so very glad to be home - I even left the laptop locked in my drawer at work for FOUR DAYS. The next few weeks are going to be pretty intense as I pull together all of the documentation, so I need to recharge for a bit.
Thanks again to Carey and her family for their hospitality while I was driving around SD sitting in grain elevators. We had a good time and a lot of laughs.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Our son said he liked having people shoot pucks at him, however said he needed some new elbow pads - that is why the pucks went by him - faulty elbow pads.
Dan listed off the items JG has outgrown and said, "We need to get some new elbow pads, probably some new shoulder pads too."
Not missing a beat, AE chimed in, "Maybe we can also see if we can pick him up some catlike reflexes too."
Saturday, November 17, 2007
AE was most excited about being on the jumbotron and hearing her name over the PA. I told her that it will be just like that when she goes to the state basketball tourney in 2016.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have tried my darndest to get an earlier flight home, out of Peoria, Bloomington, Springfield, St.Louis, but to avail - it is just not going to work with the schedule tomorrow.
My mom, Dan's folks and Dan will be there to document the event, so I will get to see it, but it isn't the same as being there. Dan tried to make me feel better by telling me I am there 99% of the time, so don't feel bad.
Well, I am going to let myself have a bit of a pity party, I am sure they will have a great time and be great captains, but it would be better if I was there.
BTW - I will be in South Dakota next week - Tuesday for sure. Don't know if I will be there Monday or Wednesday as well. I think the elevator is in Parker, so will be tooling around the plains talking bushels and hedging.
Does anyone have an extra bed? Not to invite myself or anything - oh wait maybe I am - had my fill of hotels for now. However, according to Yahoo there is a Super 8 in Freeman - anybody ever stay there?
Friday, November 09, 2007
These two guys Kent and Kurt (twins) were the funniest - they own half the county and corn coming out of their ears. They were out clearing a field they just bought with a backhoe and a bulldozer. Kent and Kurt stopped long enough to talk some grain sales and didn't know about me at first, but after a few minutes of chatting guess I figured I was OK cause they started telling some old guy jokes mostly about old guys' wives kicking the bucket - wonder what their significant others think about that?
They were nice and said I was could come out and help them clear a field anytime. Don't think I am going to take them up on that. Tyler walked away with a 25,000 bushel contract and said it was the best call he ever had with them.
I took a little detour through Clatonia and took some more pictures of some gravestones then headed home until Sunday night when I have to fly to Chicago and hang out with farmers in the Land of Lincoln.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The room right next to where we met had the scale info and this really nice lady Renee would dump some of the corn through this machine that would determine the weight of the corn based upon how much moisture it had in it and then she would dump it in a bucket, over and over and over.
Learned a lot and met many new people, the farmers love to come into the FSG (Farm Service Group) and shoot the breeze which we all know I am not too bad at either, so it was fun. I met this little old guy named Dale who asked me if I was a single lady and why in the world would I ever want to live in Minnesota when Nebraska is right here in front of me.
He also told me a lllooonnnngggg story about a hunter who visited "back in the '70s" who brought him some moonshine in exchange for letting him shoot some pheasants. Evidently the moonshine is in the machine shed, probably along side the plow he began farming with "more years ago than I would care to know"which he used to pull with two one-eyed mules.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings - I get to go out with one of the farm marketers visiting farmers and talking about corn and collecting contracts.
Monday, November 05, 2007
- "Milo Capital of Nebraska"
- Carleton is a village in Thayer County.
- The community was named for Carleton Emory, son of a landowner.
- The latitude of Carleton is 40.300N. The longitude is -97.678W.
- It is in the Central Standard time zone.
- Elevation is 1,565 feet.
- The estimated population, in 2003, was 128.
Here is a silly little tidbit, I have "almost" been to Carleton before, back in '05 when my sister lived in godforsaken Garden City, KS, my mom, the kids and I took a little roadtrip through Nebraska looking for long passed relatives.
We found them close to Clatonia, NE in the middle of NOWHERE, but not so far from Carleton.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
After looking through various places where I squirrel stuff away to no avail I have come to the conclusion that the only cookie recipe I ever used was the good ol' American standby: Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
So Carey - give it another go. It is all about taste, like I said maybe I will be there next week and we can try it out together.
TO: Grandmas, papas, aunties, uncles, friends, friends of our children, various others who may have a desire to purchase our children any toys whatsoever
FROM: The Schmidt Parents
DATE: November 4, 2007
RE: Schmidt children toy moratorium
We truly do appreciate your past generosity to our offspring, AE and JG, however we - the parental units - simply cannot deal with any more Legos, game pieces, Littlest Pet Shops and movies at this time.
While the Schmidt children were away today their parents decided to take it upon themselves to "organize" the mess under the stairs since we have fully acknowledged that our children do not understand that cleaning up their toys does not mean building a 2 x 3 foot pile of crap in the toy closet.
After 3 hours we managed the separation of 985 both big and small Lego pieces, location of 349 Thomas the Tank Engine rails and engines and the location $5,498,387 in Life money (do I need to mention how bloody hard it is to find those little people in the carpet?), we decided that we can take no more.
So until our minor children take responsibility for the cleaning up of their belongings after playdates we will have no more additions to our already full household.
Again, we do thank you for your generous past contributions and will let you know if Santa will be allowed to "stop by" this season.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
When I was about 8 we were home visiting my grandma and grandpa in Pine City. My grandparents had moved out to the country and my grandpa was loving every minute of it, he had quite a bit of land and spent a lot of time hauling stuff around in a little wagon he built for his riding lawnmower. He would move brush from his land to the dump across the county road.
One afternoon, my sister and I were bored, so grandpa decided he would have us paint his little wagon. Amy and I painted it a light blue and decided to add some pictures with this brown paint. So Amy painted a picture of grandpa and his dog Buster and I decided to add a message to the back of the wagon. So in large letters I wrote:
Upon inspection, grandpa started laughing and asked if I had something against him cause he wasn't going to be able to drive his little wagon across the road because someone might take him up on the invitation on the back of the wagon.
I can remember being completely confused and soon realized I didn't quite plan out the spacing and my Hi There!, looked like:
Well, the two sick kids ended up being fine - AE went to school by 10:30. By 11:00 it wasn't a sick kid I was worried about, but a sick mom. I ended up with the flu. I went to bed, JG missed the bus (my fault), so I had to drop him at school ala ride back from Girls Weekend in Madison '97 style (Shel - you know what I am talking about). Not good.
I went into my infirmary at 12:45 yesterday and just left about an hour ago. No good. On the positive side - I lost 7 lbs, managed to watch a few hours of "The Tudors" and think I am completely caught up on my sleep.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I left work, frantically trying to get to the Halloween Parade for little man, it's his 1st school party event and I just could not miss it. So I was booking it because I was on Schmidt time (translation: about 5 minutes late).
I got to my car and noticed a HUGE scrape on the back side bumper. I stood there shocked that I had not noticed it before. I thought to myself, "It's mud, gotta be mud." Went up and started trying to rub the mud off the truckster, but no dice. It wasn't mud, but instead a huge scrape like I originally thought. It was about 6in x 6 in and the paint was flaking off.
I started to get that mad, "I can't believe I didn't notice I hit anything" feeling which soon turns to "someone had to of hit me in the parking garage" certainty. The nerve of some people, how could you just do this to someone's new car and drive away?????
I took a deep breath, realized there really wasn't anything I could do about it now, since I was now 8 minutes late to the Halloween parade. So I pulled out my cell to call the home office to let him know I scuffed the new vehicle I have had less than 4 months, probably because I hit something - DLS always thinks it was me hitting something - which has been the case more often than not - stories for another day, another blog.
While I dialed the number, I turned and again looked at the back of the van and thought to myself, "I didn't know we had a hitch on the van?"
Well, that would be because we don't have a hitch on my van, but instead the hitch was on the other gray minivan parked one spot away from my unscuffed, unmuddied truckster.
I closed the phone, looked around to see if anyone else saw me scraping the mud and stomping around by another's van, I didn't see anyone and quietly drove away - laughing and thinking I really need to get to bed a little earlier tonight.
Seriously, it feels like yesterday was September and the kids were starting school - little man, was just getting into the swing of daycare and then BAM - November, turkey is just around the corner.
This past week has been busy - which is obvious by my lack of blogging - I enjoy it so, however just don't seem to be able to fit the time in except for right now at 4:25 a.m. because I can't sleep because I am stressing about work.
How can you stress about a contract job? Well, leave it to me to figure that one out - I forgot to book my travel for Omaha (actually York, NE) and remembered in the middle of the night.
I guess when you are a contractor you become your own travel agent as well.
My forgetfulness left me with a longer drive - Omaha to York vs. Lincoln to York - the Hampton Inn in York, NE population 8,081 and a Chevy Cobalt car to drive the 106.52 miles from Omaha to York, NE home of the Nebraska Correctional Institute for Women.
I forgot the life of an agricultural "employee", I get to drive around with a Farm Marketer for a few days while they set up grain contracts with farmers so I can document their job and what processes would make their lives easier with a new system to track their sales calls. It should be interesting - always is - the best part I am sure will be the stories, which you know I will share upon my return.
Oh, guess what? Next stop may be Southern Illinois or Sioux Falls? Hear that girls? I may be able to meet for lunch and meet up with my blogging buddies.
Carey - if I do come I will bring you cookies. I have been trying to fit in baking a couple dozen to send to Montrose, SD as a surprise - however, have not been able to find the time nor the recipe.
You know what would maybe be even better? Having a sleepover and baking cookies at your house!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Mom: JG is time to get up.
JG: I not want to.
Mom: You have to go to Barb's (daycare).
JG: I not want to.
Mom gets little man dressed while he lays there like a slug.
Mom: OK let's go.
JG: I not want to.
Pause, while mom collects her wits and takes a deep breath.
JG: Mom, I want to stay home and play with NB today.
Mom: Sorry, I won't be here today.
JG: That's ok. NB and I can stay here, I promise we won't start a fire, the police not come either.
Mom: Well, if mommy leaves you here alone the police will come and take mommy to jail.
Another looonnnnggg stalling pause.
JG: That's ok mom. I will come visit you in jail.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Number of days I have been paid for: Zero - haven't figured out the contractor time tracking system
Hours I have spent wandering "the Complex": At least 2
**Disclaimer: I truly believe whoever designed this building must have done some previous work at the Winchester Mansion.
Average number of outfits tried on each morning: 2.5
Number of times I have heard the word "server" while sitting at my desk: 3,249
Dinners on the table by 6:00 p.m.: 2
Minutes of sleep I am deprived of each morning: 90
Tennis matches played: Zero
Books read: Not a one
Loads of laundry done on Saturday vs. throughout the week: 8
How many stops the bus from 394 to Vicksburg makes in afternoon: 7
Minutes to spare if I get behind said bus: -3
Times I have asked myself: why does it feel like I never left the workforce?: Too many to count
Monday, October 15, 2007
However, knowing my husband like I do I would imagine he would rather have a root canal than read a web ode to him on his 39th birthday.
So I will keep it simple.
Happy Birthday, honey!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Basically JG scammed another Webkinz. He is getting quite creative.
It took us a good 10 minutes to come up with a name for his Big 'Kinz elephant because mom wasn't really cool with the name he came up with.
JG originally decided that the elephant should be called "Horn" because according to him the elephant has horns. I couldn't talk him into believing that the horns are actually called tusks. NO GO. JG has this little habit of adding a "Y" to end of pretty much everything these days which is why I was leery of the name from the get go. After a few minutes the elephant became affectionately, "Horny".
You see now why I was having issues. I am cool with a polar bear named "Snowy" but just can't deal with an elephant named "Horny".
So we started the conversation again when we actually got to the adoption page and needed to type in elephant's moniker.
Mom: How about George?
JG: Mom, we can't name him George - that's a monkey.
Mom: OK, well then how about Dumbo?
JG: Yeah, that sounds good.
I begin typing, D-U-M...
JG: Wait mom I can't have a name with dumb in it, that's not nice.
Mom: What about Jumbo?
JG: OK - no not Jumbo. I don't want a name with "Bo" in it. It's weird.
Mom: Maybe Pete?
JG: Why would I name my elephant Pete? He doesn't like that name.
Mom: Well, JG I don't know. I gave you all of my suggestions I can come up with right now.
After much thought and re-typing the elephant has a name.
FUZZ - or 10 minutes from now - FUZZY.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I held my breath when the big day arrived, AE put on her big smile and led the class in a sing-a-long. I knew then we were going to be in for an interesting ride.
This basketball season for AE thus far has been very underwhelming, compared to previous years. She is the tallest girl in the 4th grade league, but has scored maybe 4 points and 3 rebounds a game. She is just very lackadaisical about the whole thing, which is frustrating for her parents who must sit and watch the devil may care basketball.
On the way to her 8 a.m. game AE was all about trying to talk her parentals into letting her get a guinea pig. DLS pretty much put an end to the discussion when AE brought it up again.
Finally he said, "You know what AE? You score 18 points today and we will maybe talk about a guinea pig."
So what does our daughter do?
She goes out and scores 18, plus had just as many rebounds and a bunch of assists.
So after the game we Schmidts went guinea pig window shopping. DLS has now thrown down the "continue the triple double" gauntlet and maybe Santa will bring you a little furry pet for Christmas.
Knowing AE, we will have a new pet in the Schmidt house by the beginning of '08. Who would ever of thought our daughter would be motivated by rodents?
Friday, October 12, 2007
I was a third chair clarinet all through Junior High and I seriously believe I could probably do a better job playing the trumpet. Check out the '80s hair, it makes me a little teary because I had the same exact style from '88-'92.
You know the funniest thing is that little man thinks Stacy is really cute and she plays the trumpet way good.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Do you know how many #&*$@()# silver minivans are driven by Cargill employess?
Finally had to push the panic button, unfortunetly it wasn't my car I was aiming at and had to run like a bat out of hell to get to mine and turn off the horn announcing - HEY SHE LOST HER CAR!!!
I think I will just take the ironic advice from my horoscope from today - should have read it BEFORE I went to work, instead of after.
Try not to think too much about what is "supposed" to happen next, dear Libra. The truth of the matter is that things don't necessarily work out the way they are planned, so don't count on something that has no guarantee of ever coming to fruition. Stick to your own way of doing things and try not to get too hung up on the results. The key now is to enjoy the process.
On a side note, one of my co-workers went into great detail about an alien today. It is the most he has ever talked to me and it all centered around a "chia-pet" alien thing his son received as a gift. I guess he had to get up at like 4 a.m. for the care and feeding of this alien life form that was living in some bubble thing. He did seem rather sad when he told me the alien recently met its demise.
The other hot topic of conversation today in the bullpen was whether an egg would truly stand on its end during the vernal equinox - yes, five people really did have this conversation in front of my desk. They wondered if this would only happen if you were on the equator, so began trip plans for Equador in March, since darn they just missed the autumnal equinox.
Oh, another thing I am really finding funny is that we are are seriously sitting in the basement - just like in Office Space - I do believe one of these days I am going to turn the corner and Milton will be sitting at a desk with his red Swingline. They try to tell us we're on the "Garden Level", however I know way better than that. G is for Ground Level not Garden. :-)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I am in the middle of IT land with programmers abound. I get to share a "bullpen" (four desks in a common area with a table in the middle - the table is the home to 2 monitors, a bunch of cables and is surrounded by boxes full of more techie stuff) with Mike and Larry - both are rather interesting. Larry likes the NY Jets and Mike evidently likes Amish furniture. Those are the only things the two have talked about. Haven't quite figured out why Mike carries around a 1% milk jug full of water wherever he goes - haven't seen him drink the murky water - then again I don't think I want to see that. You know I will eventually ask what the is the purpose of carrying around a milk jug...
I am feeling a bit disconnected from the outside world since I can't get to my home email on the Internet - everything is blocked. Plus I messed up one of my 3,239 passwords to get into the Internet - I did decide after today's exercise in patience I AM NOT CALLING THE HELP DESK UNLESS MY LAPTOP STARTS ON FIRE. The help desk support is in India and it took the poor girl 17 minutes (14 minutes of which I was on hold) to figure out she couldn't help me anyway. We did spend most of the three minutes she actually conversed with me trying to figure out if one another was saying "e" or "c" in Schmidt. Let's just say it was painful.
Overall, it is going fine now that I know where the cafeteria, the bathroom and the parking garage are located.I am sure there will be more adventures to come, let's just say Cargill has definitely got their moneys worth out of me so far.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I did however:
- find a pair of brown shoes (it seems easier than it really is)
- try unsuccessfully to get out of Turkey Bingo
- split tennis matches
- get stuff together for Goodwill - haven't made it there yet - must get done because it is rolling around the back of the family truckster
- cook two Costco stew dinners
- wash the same load of laundry three times thanks to something red in the mix
- decorate for Halloween
- decorate the laundry room - yes I think it is time to go back to work if I am putting foliage in the place where I sort dirty socks, however it makes me happy, the foliage that is not the socks
- help 9 year old girls learn an inbound play for basketball
- watch same 9 year old girls run the inbound play successfully - 50% of the time
- read two books - neither of which are the book club book I need to read before next Thursday
- organize Schmidt family calendar on Google so we will hopefully know where we are supposed to be
- had pancakes with Gigi and Mom
- drove all over creation in search of racoon and polar bear Webkinz
- started a diet - the year of gluttony must come to an end - can't continue to use excuse of bad wheel - wheel is fine - workout and eating habits are not
- realize the kids only have school the next 7 out of 10 days - now that mom is not at home must find somewhere for kiddies to go
- start to get nervous about work on Monday.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
While we were on the way a passenger in the family truckster really began to stink up a storm.
I asked, "Who tooted?"
AE immediately said, "NOT ME MOM! That's a JG toot."
JG was half asleep in his carseat and immediately denied any involvement in the stench.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
There was a pause.
"I not know, maybe it was me, but I not felt it come out of my butt."
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Hope you enjoy this as much as I have today.
Last Sunday, as JG sat eating his cheesy pretzel at the Wild vs. Blackhawks game, he asked dad, "You know that part where they drop their sticks and gloves and then like punch each other?"
"Yeah," Dan replied.
"I like that part," JG said, then went back to eating his pretzel.
Then there is my personal favorite:
JG and Dan went to a Gopher game last season, AE and I were up reading in her room when they got home. We heard JG running up the stairs to tell us about the game, "Mom, the game was way cool. The Gophers won!"
"That's great honey, who did they play?"
Without blinking an eye he replied, "The a**holes."
"What? Who did they play?"
"I told you. The a**holes."
At that moment, I yelled for little man's hockey escort (aka the Home Office) for an explanation.
Evidently, JG and Dan's seats were smack dab in the middle of the student section and there was one lone Michigan State fan in the middle of Gopher territory. When Michigan State would score the brave Spartan would cheer to which he would receive the entire student sections taunts of "A**HOLE". I guess Dan was looking to the right, little man was to the left and JG joined in with the taunting after being encouraged by some of the students.
We explained that the name he was calling the other team was a bad word which he shouldn't repeat, although after my reaction and subsequent explanation I wouldn't be surprised if he still thought Spartan was a bad word as well.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I'm thrilled we get to work together again. This is the most important project our business unit has taken on in a lot of years so I feel a lot better knowing you're going to be part of it.
OK now I'm nervous. Eeek - the most important project? Whoa, better bring the A game, but you know I am excited - scared - but am ready to go.
I have so much to do before the 8th, gotta get the list together to make the most of my kid free week (now that litte man is at daycare in the a.m.).
1) Paint basement.
2) Purge house of clutter - how can we accumulate this much crap?
3) Goodwill and library drop off - Maple Grove Library is taking donations until Oct. 6th!!!
4) Get the yard ready for winter - should I plant more bulbs?
5) Put basement back together - IKEA run may be needed.
6) Talk to school about not chairing Turkey Bingo - I think Turkeys may do me in this year.
7) Is it too early to decorate for Christmas? It would be really helpful if I could just get that out of the way considering last year it took me three bloody days to accomplish the task.
8) Get the dishwasher fixed, that is if it is still leaking. Every time I call Sears out it stops and I have to still pay the $65 for the call.
9) Have Comcast come out and fix/upgrade phones/cable.
10) Maybe play one last round of Thursday tennis with my favoritest partner Pat.
11) Read book club book.
12) Make/freeze dinners for next month, so while the home office is doing his best Michael Keaton as Mr. Mom imitation he won't have to start from scratch.
13) If there is anything I left off, please add.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
JG has also discovered running right now, he went to the Woodchuck Run (school fundraiser) on Monday and ran like a fool. My very own Forrest Gump. When I told him "run Forrest run" he informed me trees are stuck in the ground and couldn't move. I hate it when really great lines for the appropriate occasion are lost on the audience.
Last night, Dan took JG and the neighbors, MW and EW to the Crimson Run. The kids had a great time, JG took 4th in his division, EW took 8th and MW did a great job finishing the race in 26th place after taking a nasty spill, but he did it!
AE and I missed the Crimson Run and instead went to get her eyes tested and she needs glasses for school. She had a blast picking out frames, thank goodness she rethought the lilac frames after we reviewed her entire wardrobe which has not one stitch of lilac in it. Her decision to go with a neutral pair will make our morning routine so much easier, I was dreading the meltdowns because nothing would go with the "major accessory" on her face.
Kids glasses are so much cuter now than when I had to pick my first pair out. I had a choice between Lucy, Sally or Peppermint Patty. All looked the same - except for the color or brown, medium brown and tan - has anyone else noticed that they don't use tan much anymore as a color? Tan is now taupe or ecru.
Oh the good old days of bad glasses, bland color descriptions, culottes, gaucho boots, retainers and a Dorothy Hamill wedge.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My sister and I instead had to beg mom to let us take swimming lessons at the YMCA in downtown Rapid City so we could experience riding a bus. All we really ended up with was pneumonia (it was the winter when we took our lessons) and the knowledge of how to do the sidestroke, which I truly believe is an extinct swimming stroke.
Now that little man has started kindergarten, both of our children take the bus to/from school and my how their experiences have varied.
For AE the bus has been fun, albeit painful at times. We have had musical seats with a couple of her friends which leads to elementary angst, but overall it has been positive. Each year she moves a little farther back to big kid territory.
The 6th graders get the really cool back seats and the kindergartners must sit in the front or with a sibling. I have worried a bit about little man and the inevitability that he may actually have to sit with his sister. I was having flashbacks to my sister and I having to do anything together and my father worrying we would make completes asses out of ourselves. I too have this fear with our children - they just can't control themselves when it comes to their sibling and the opportunities for public humiliation in front of the entire neighborhood really are endless on the bus.
I guess all of my worrying may have been for naught. JG has completely circumvented the whole bus hierarchy thing. He has somehow weaseled his way to the back of the bus and is sitting with the 6th graders which has been unheard of, however which is now possible thanks to unassigned seating.
AE is a bit miffed that he hasn't put in his bus dues, but she will get over it. I am just waiting for the day when she gets in the back of the bus and may have to ask her "little" brother for a seat.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
(I promised my friend's little guy no names would be named so he will remain anonymous)
My friend's youngest son has been reading quite a few of The Magic Treehouse series and one night at dinner wanted to discuss his latest read, Civil War on Sunday.
During the conversation, my friend's son asked, "So did anyone in our family fight for the Confidant?"
My friend asked, "The what?"
"You know the Confidant. Did anyone in our family fight on the side of the Confidant?"
My friend started to smile, then began laughing when her little one said, "Or maybe they fought for the Onion."
Oh, what would our country be today if instead of the Confederacy and Union, we instead aligned ourselves with the Confidants and Onions?
It was so cute, I just had to share.
Friday, September 21, 2007
"Mooooommmmyyyyy, caaaannnn yyyoooouuu ggggeeetttt meeee someeeeething to drrrrrink?"
"Like what?", I asked.
"WWWeeeelllll, how about a whaaaaattttt do theeeeeyyyy call it?"
"A what? What do they call a what?", I was not following it. All he drinks is OJ and water how did he not know those?
"Oh you knooooowwwww, that thing I drinkt (JG's version of drank) in Mexico."
"Orange pop? We don't have any orange pop."
"NNNNooooo, that other thing, you knooooowwwww let's see, aaaahhhhhaaaahhhhh. Oh yea. A Peanut Cornado."
"Never heard of it."
We then had a complete meltdown because mom couldn't make the quickfire translation of PEANUT CORNADO = PINA COLADA. The only thing that came to mind when he said Cornado was Cordoba, as in Chrysler Cordoba. Like the car my aunt drove in 1978 with this funky tapestry interior.
So at 9:34 a.m. my child wanted me to haul my cookies upstairs to make him a Pina Colada just like in Mexico with and umbrella and garnish.
Yeah, like that was going to happen.
He received a glass of water, which I served to him as "Windmill Punch". He took his punch, said thank you and I haven't heard about the Cornado since...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
After about five minutes she walked out, there was no flushing, water running - nothing.
I asked her, "What's going on. Are you o.k.?"
"Yeah, I'm o.k." she turned her head and walked past me down the hall.
I went downstairs to make her some eggs, while sitting down to eat I looked over and saw Tammy Faye Bakker (during her PTL heyday) sitting next to me, where my little girl used to sit.
AE decided September 19, 2007 was to be the day she tried out mom's makeup and let's just say the mascara application did not go as planned and was nowhere near to getting under mom's radar. AE already has long eyelashes you can't miss, however the mascara made her look like a doe in headlights.
We did some quick makeup removal and my little girl got on the bus looking like the 9 year old that she is.
You know, this isn't AE's first foray into the world of makeup, in fact this time was a lot more low key.
When AE was in kindergarten she was over at a friends house after school when AE, her friend and the friend's older sister decided to sample our neighbor's makeup. The girls dabbled in blush, eyeshadow and lipstick - really did it up good.
At the end of the fun they tried to remove the makeup and it wouldn't come off, so in a moment of panic the eldest sister dialed 911 because to her this was an emergency. The police came to the house and our neighbor found out about the beauty course going on in her bathroom when the police came to the door. AE learned her lesson about makeup and we hadn't touched the stuff until yesterday.
I guess I can be thankful for a few things, 1) she didn't call the police because she thought she looked really good, 2) I don't own any of the sky/peacock blue, purple orchid, pink sunrise eyeshadow of my youth that I tried out in Junior High.
I wonder, do they still sell those?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So little man starts daycare next Monday and can't wait, Barb has a Golden Retriever puppy named Casey who is just adorable (his dad is in all of the Target ads), plus there is another really cute little blond - Nicole.
Now that JG will be gone pretty much the entire day I figured I should look for something more productive to do other than wandering aimlessly through Pottery Barn and Anthropologie (I think they were beginning to worry about the lady who would come in between 1:00 and 3:00 any given weekday). The Cargill thing is still in the hopper, but they are waiting for budget approval which could take who knows how long, so I decided to go to a few companies and check on temp/contract work.
I had to laugh because I went to a temp agency where I had to take Microsoft Power Point, Excel and Word tests. I put down on my information I was advanced in the products, but didn't tell them I haven't really used any of them in the past three years with the exception of sorting tennis competition and putting together a Turkey Bingo flyer. Needless to say I was a little nervous.
When the test started I tanked the first question right off the top, I found out the test didn't allow for any right mouse clicking (not very efficient - I told the girl monitoring the tests that!). Anyway, rather than get into a debate just got about my business there were some dreaded pivot table questions and icky table of content questions with field codes. Let's just say I wasn't really looking forward to my results,
In the end I found out you had to have scored an 88% on each of the tests to be considered an expert and Microsoft Certified.
I got a 92%, 95% and 95% - plus a pretty good laugh, guess I still have "it". Whatever "it" may be.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This is the favorite of the day - nothing entertains 5 year olds better than a little hamster cage match between Rose and Fred...
Monday, September 17, 2007
THANK YOU MOM FOR...
putting bells on my shoes so you could find me, taking a deep breath and counting to ten when I decided to cut windows in my brand new playhouse, letting me stay up to watch Sonny and Cher and singing along with me, throwing awesome birthday parties with homemade double decker cakes which seem to completely elude me as an adult, letting us paint on the windows, not losing it when I drew artwork on the walls right before we were supposed to move, giving us freedom to figure out things for ourselves, driving us to a bazillion activities every day of the week, singing "Good morning, good morning it's time to start the day..." every day, being the president of the PTA, being our Brownie troop leader, making paper mache puppets of the Seven Dwarfs and Snow White, sewing us beautiful little girl dresses, being ok with a fort in your living room every day after school, playing Barbra Streisand - all of the time - ok maybe it was a little too much, taking care of us when we were sick, letting us eat off of TV trays on Monday night so we wouldn't miss Little House on the Prairie, making new hair for my Hollie Hobbie doll when I realized she was really bald under the bonnet, letting us know we were special when we didn't really feel that hot, laughing so hard we cried, driving us cross country many, many times and letting us stay in really cool hotels, letting me order new things off menus even when you knew I wouldn't like it - just so I could say I tried it, being our camp counselor, teaching us really great sing along songs in the car, not really pulling the car over after saying "Don't make me pull this car over", going to Grease six times in the summer of '78, baking cookies, baking bars, baking the best blueberry pies in the world, letting me go to Japan when I was 16 and didn't have a clue, checking in on me in Japan because you knew I didn't have a clue, giving up a lot so we could do our things, getting us some interesting dogs - many neurotic pets we have had, driving me to college, sending me care packages in college, trying to understand teenage girls, letting us use the bathroom first, telling us getting another perm probably wasn't a good idea, letting me dye only my bangs blond, telling me I needed to get a job, not letting me quit my hated summer job, letting me manage my own money, bailing me out when money management went awry, pretty much planning our whole wedding, making all of my bridesmaid dresses, helping us find a house, staying with both AE and JG so they didn't have to go to daycare, making me laugh, being an awesome grandma, showing me all of your estate sale finds, being my friend, being you.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Has anyone else gone through this?
Maybe it is because my little muse has left me for the big wide world of kindergarten...
Little man did tell me the other day that the kiss I gave him reminded him of "dog vomit" cause it was too "slobbery". Hope he brushes up on the sweet talk before he meets his first girlfriend otherwise it may be his last.
BTW the picture above is not our yard, just wanted to make sure no one thought it was that bad. I mean the home office did turn off the sprinkler system because he no longer wanted to mow, but I will figure out how to run the #*($@& home office installed system if it gets to this point.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Amy sent up another bag of things ZE had outgrown which I finally had a chance to go through this weekend and had to laugh, among the clothes was a black concert t-shirt from 2001, before Britney became the trainwreck she is today. I don't know what is funnier - the shirt or the fact that yes, my sister really did go to this concert.
Wondering if we should put the keepsake on eBay and let it ride...
Monday, September 10, 2007
Our kids ran non-stop for five hours, they rode the firetruck, bounced, played hockey, football and soccer, got their faces painted and ate a bit.
I helped coordinate it with a few of our new neighbors, Kim, Julie and Jen. I think they had the opportunity to meet many new neighbors which really is the reason for these get togethers anyway, right?
Hey Karen - I know you love our neighborhood, so when you get tired of Alabama there is a house for sale down the street with your name on it!!!!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
JG: Mom, do you know how to cook a squirrel?
Mom: Where'd that come from? We don't want to eat squirrel.
JG: Yeah, we need to find a respee (recipe) for when Mia finally catches the squirrel in the back yard.
Mom: Let's hope Mia doesn't catch the squirrel.
JG: Well if she does let's go to the Intertent (Internet) just in case, I bet there is lots of squirrel respees, we can surprise Mia with a special dinner.
Let's hope he forgets we ever had this conversation in the morning. Also must make mental note to make sure he does not watch any more episodes of Top Chef - cause you never know what they will have on there. A few weeks ago little man was fascinated people actually ate the ostrich and sea urchin.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
We have had a full day already, we got AE on the bus, went for a "short-cut" as JG calls it, ran errands, went to a Kindergarten luncheon hosted by JG's friend KL. Then off to the bus - JG got on without looking back. All of the parents raced up to the school to make sure their child made the 1.2 mile trip to the school. I could not believe how many parents were at the school - it was the Kinderazzi. Crazy.
Monday, September 03, 2007
After many tests it has been determined he has blood clots in his lungs (which caused the congestive heart failure), pneumonia and his Lyme's Disease he thought he kicked ten years ago has flared up. Not good.
I spoke with him and he is in good spirits. He is miffed because the clicker for the TV requires you go through the entire 60 channel rotation before you can get back to where you started, also he can't stand the food and has a lovely view of the hospital's ventilation system. Other than that he says he is fine. He is going to be staying for another three days in ICU so they can try to break up with clots with Coumadin.
My dad (and my family) have had a pretty good scare, let's hope they can get this cleared up. In the meantime dad is being his curmudgeonly self, giving whoever enters his room a really bad time and wanting to just go home.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We Schmidts are heading to Ruttger's with our neighbors - 8 adults, 8 kids until Sunday and I think we have enough supplies to survive in case of a National Emergency...
I know we are going to have a great time, I just want to get there already.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I have long said the most dangerous parking lot in the Groove is the library parking lot, I have been flipped off and almost picked off more than once, but taking your life in your hands all for the sake of literacy no more, there is also going to be a 350 car parking ramp.
It won't be ready til 2010, but it will be here before we know it...
Happy, happy, happy.
Today we were leaving the house and I said, "Come on baby boy let's go. Oh, wait you're not my baby anymore. Let's go big boy."
I got out to the car and JG was still in the house. I went back in and he was standing in the laundry room with big crocodile tears running down his face.
"What's wrong? Are you OK?"
"Mommy, I will always be your baby. Don't say I not your baby anymore."
I picked him up, hugged him really, really hard and smiled a big smile because he still wants to be my baby boy.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
I'm a bad mom, you can hear me laughing in the background.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
They did kind of look like this at times over the past few days while laid up on the couches in the family room fighting over whether to watch SpongeBob or Drake and Josh...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
They have been wiped out, however not wiped out enough to restrain themselves from beating their sibling to a pulp... it has been a LONG TWO DAYS.
One good thing is I managed to finish up three books, which I will review - tomorrow. I am going to bed to enjoy the silence of no one yelling,
"MOM - I CAN'T FIND THE REMOTE" or
"MOM - CAN YOU GET ME A WATER, I'M TOO WEAK" or
"MOM - HE'S BREATHING TOO LOUD" or
my personal favorite: "MOM HE/SHE WIPED HIS/HER SNOT ON ME."
When I asked why the last declaration occurred, I received the following answers:
JG: I not know where the Puffs is.
AE: His shirt was already dirty from lunch, so I figured it wouldn't matter.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
"Hi, it's me. I am trying to get a hold of you for the seventh time, yes I said the seventh. I am not going to try to call you again, you can call me if you want to know why I have been calling seven times. Everytime I call JG picks up the phone and says, "Who is this?" I tell him it is Auntie Amy and I want to talk to your mom. He then hangs up on me - seven times this has happened and I am not calling again. Goodbye."
I then remembered JG mentioned someone called when I was in the shower, but he didn't know who it was. I didn't check the phone because I assumed it was a telemarketer, not my sister.
For some reason JG has this disdain thing going on for his Auntie, why I do not know. However I believe it began in 2004 when she was kidding around with him and gave him a wedgie, I guess our son can hold a grudge. Anyway, the saga continues...
I must go now and call my sister.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
It is as if they spin the beverage roulette wheel to see what the caffeine deprived mother will receive today in the Starbucks Showcase Showdown. They must watch out their little window to see how long it will take for the mom in the minivan with 4 screaming kids singing High School Musical for the billionth time to realize she did not get her proper dose of espresso to make it through the day. Then the peeved mother must turn around and enter the line again because she refuses to bring FOUR SCREAMING CHILDREN into the Starbucks to correct the drink order she wanted to expedite by entering the drive thru in the first place so she WOULD NOT have to enter Starbucks with screaming children...
To give the 14 year old taking my order the benefit of the doubt, I am beginning to think my results may have something to do with the small person in the backseat yelling, "I WANT COFFEE CAKE" at the top of his lungs. It must make it difficult for the pre-teen taking my order to hear that I would like a 2 sugar grande latte with a Pterodactyl screaming from his car seat.
Last Friday was no different. While we were waiting in the car for the right order, little man asked why the hold up. I told him that the person must have a hard time hearing me with all of the noise. Our conversation from there went a little something like this:
JG: Why can't she hear? She not that old. (The girl seriously looked like she was 16, 17 tops)
Mom: No, she isn't old. Her hearing I am sure is fine.
JG: Well, maybe she is old. Maybe she is like 50.
Mom: JG, she is not 50. Wait a minute, how old do you think mommy is?
JG: Mom, you gotta be at least 86. Yeah, 86.
86, eh?. On a positive note, I finally did get the correct order because I taste my drink before driving away. Little man did not get coffee cake and I think I look pretty damn good for being born in 1921.
Friday, August 03, 2007
The cloud is panic or maybe it has been dread. Dread for starting a new job, right in the middle of summer. Deep down I am kinda excited to get back with adults all day talking about adult project things, however I wanted this to all start in September when the kids go to school, not in August when summer is still in full swing and completely crazy.
We are also in a complete childcare quandary. Little man will be going to kindergarten, however kindergarten here seriously feels like it is only about 43 minutes per day. Actually he will be gone 2.5 hours which is not really a long enough duration for accomplishing much of anything from a job perspective so I needed to find additional childcare.
The other kicker is I really only needed childcare for about 5 weeks. Oh, yeah and did I mention he would have to attend morning kindergarten instead of afternoon with the rest of the neighborhood? Oh and another thing...all of the childcare options I have found through the district or through gracious friends are full. The hits just keep on coming... AAARRRGGGHHHH.
Deep cleansing breath...
Well, somehow I got my wish. Cargill called yesterday and the project has been delayed due to another project "crisis" and will not begin until September. Plus, my lovely mother has offered to stay with little man each morning and will get him on the bus for as long as the project takes.
Last night I slept better than I have in weeks.