Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weekend in San Francisco

This weekend we decided last minute to go to San Francisco and spend a couple of nights. Liv and Matt love the city, and Grace has mixed feelings about it. The hustle and bustle, but mostly the large number of homeless folks in the city just isn't her bag.

One of the things the kids have taken to doing is counting the number of homeless people and comparing that number to our last visit. And since we come pretty often, they are able to keep their finger on the pulse of the homeless population.

Today as we walked and shopped, Matt was keeping track.

This is the conversation I overheard between the King and Matt:

The King: "Matt, so counting that guy, you've seen a total of eight homeless people, right?"

Matt: "Well, yeah, but....."

The King: "But what?"

Matt: "Well, we actually saw nine, but one guy had no legs and it made me feel bad so I don't want to count him."

Oh, kids in the city.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

From my house to yours, have a wonderful, laughter-filled and grateful Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Greenbelt at Midnight

When we first moved to our great little CA town, we bought a small but cute house across the street from a beautiful greenbelt. We loved it for lots of reasons, but mostly because it was really like having a park right in your backyard, and you didn't have to take care of it! It was a really nice place to live, and the greenbelt was a place where families could go, ride their bikes, play with their kids, walk the dog - you get the picture.

One night at about 3am, Layla, our chocolate lab, woke me up crying to go outside. This was unusual for her, so I knew I couldn't ignore it. And since we were trying to grow some new grass in the backyard, I quickly put the lease on her, grabbed a bag and headed out to the greenbelt. Our front door at the time was really squeaky, and although normally the King can't be roused by an earthquake, apparently the squeak of the door alarmed him, and he got up to find that not only was I gone, but the front door was wide open.

As I stood there waiting for Layla, I turned to see the King crossing the street and heading in my direction. I was surprised to see him coming, and even more surprised when I looked more closely at him as he asked me "What the heck are you doing out here?"

My response was one I'll never forget, and I'm sure he won't either.

"Honey, that is the least of your worries. BECAUSE YOU'RE NAKED!"

I swear on a stack of bibles that this is a true story.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Improvement!

In July, we adopted a mutt. We met her at Matt's baseball game, she had been abandoned and she just seemed like a good fit for our family.

We brought her home on the condition that if she didn't get along with Cali, our four year old black lab, she'd have to go back to her foster home.

When she came in the door, she had total "little dog" complex. She barked and growled at Cali as if to say "I'm small, but mighty. Don't get in my way." And Cali, being a lab, let her push her around.

We named her Fergie, mostly because it is so cute to hear Matt say it - it sounds more like "Foorgie" and we love it. Fergie appears to be part Jack Russell and part daschund. She has a really cute face, and as time as gone on, she and Cali have developed an understanding.

Here is proof of this understanding - and this folks, is about as close as they'll get.



Cure for Hiccups

Poor Grace has had the hiccups for two days. We tried it all: holding her breath, scaring her, drinking while bent over, eating a spoon full of peanut butter upside down.........nothing worked.

So I googled "getting rid of hiccups" and one of the suggestions was to hold your arms out like a "T" and take five deep breaths.

It worked!

Consider this my handy tip for the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Current Conflict

Blog land - please help me out with some advice.

Olivia, 11, is an amazing athlete. She is really, really good. So good that sometimes when I watch her play a sport I am so proud I could cry. Moms out there, you know how I feel.

Our regular soccer season just ended and kids can try out for a "Select" soccer team of kids who are skilled and want their soccer season to extend for a ridiculous amount of time - like until next June. Olivia is one of those kids. She was chosen last year for a select team and learned an incredible amount, although it was a huge time commitment both for her and our whole family.

This year, after much deliberation, she put her name in once again. It was a really hard decision since she also plays softball all year and loves that too, but she wanted to do it so we put in her application.

Last night I got the call that she had made a select team. Hooray! This is exciting news!

But there is a small problem.

The assistant coach of the team who chose her is the dad of a kid that was extremely, extremely mean all year last year to Olivia's best friend (different schools so Liv doesn't have too much contact with this girl). And the kid knows that Liv and her friend are the best of friends - and we know that because at a soccer game recently, this girl wouldn't shake hands with Olivia at the end of the game - she actually pulled her hand away when they went through in the line. It probably didn't help that this kid's team had lost and Liv had scored the only goal to beat them. Whatever.

So I just cringed when this coach called to congratulate Liv for making the team and told me who he was. And when I told Olivia she cried - hard. Her words were "I was just hoping for something better." Ugh. To have made a team of elite players and be so disappointed just kills me.

So what do I do? Get her off the team (which might be impossible)? Tell her to make the best of it? Let her quit altogether?

Help!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Love Walmart

When the economy really started tanking, and gas prices soared, I took a good hard look at what I was spending on food. To be honest, I never really looked that hard at the prices of the things I generally bought every week. But realizing that I had less and less to spend thanks to gas and everything in general being so much more expensive, I started to look and to really pay attention.

And then a new Super Walmart opened not too far from me - maybe a 10 minute drive away.

OH MY GOD! Exactly the same items that I had paid $2.50 at my local grocery store were $1.75 at Walmart. One one item! That is huge!!!!! What astonished me is that these things weren't on sale at Walmart - that was just the regular price. There are many many items that are priced so much cheaper than at a regular grocery store. The savings can be huge.

So I became a convert. I shop for food at Walmart each and every week. I will admit that sometimes the produce grosses me out. If there is even ONE fly around the fruit, I'm out. I just can't do it. I've joked that my rule is that flies are okay around produce with a hard skin.......potatoes, carrots, wrapped lettuce - I'm good. Peaches, tomatoes, pears - no can do if there are any flying things around them.

So this is my announcement for the day. If you have a nice Walmart close by, go there to shop. If your Walmart is like the one near my sister Jenna's house where there is a good chance you could be shot while you are in there, reconsider. Or the one near where my father in law lives where it is totally fine to SMOKE in the Walmart, don't go.

But otherwise, run, don't even walk, and give Walmart a try.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Spectacular Fall

Last week I had an accident.

I was in a hurry to get to school to pick up the cherubs. Of course, because I was in a hurry, I had to park about a mile and a half from school. Perfect.

So I was walking - fast. And in front of me there was a man. With a toupe. A really really really bad toupe. Like the worst toupe you have ever seen.

I just don't understand toupes. I know you don't want to be bald, but don't you realize that wearing a toupe only calls attention to the fact that you ARE bald, and are covering that fact up with a very bad hunk of fur? Men out there - this is not a good idea.

So I was walking, minding my own business and slightly obsessing about the horrificness of the toupe on the gentleman in front of me.

And then it happened. I fell.

My foot hit a small grouping of rocks on the sidewalk, and I lost all control of my limbs. I mean all control. On a small bunch of rocks.

On my way down I screamed "What the hell!" And then I hit the ground. Hard.

But being the extremely self conscious gal that I am, right after I screamed "What the hell?" I also screamed "Nobody better have seen this!" and hopped onto my feet in about two milliseconds. Really fast. Miraculously, there was not a soul in sight. Not even toupe guy. No one. There really is a god.

As I continued my walk to school I assessed the damage to myself. My palms were ripped open, my elbow was already showing signs of a bruise, and we won't even get into my ego. But the worst part was my neck. One minute after "the fall" it was already bad. Very bad.

Upon arriving at school and seeing everyone I knew, I calmly said "I just fell. Do you have any Advil?" Thank goodness my friend Lori was there to rescue me. And everyone gathered 'round to make sure I was ok. I was laughing on the outside, but you know how humiliating a good fall can be.

I came home and spent three hours with the heating pad laying on the floor. All is well now, but man, it hurt. Falls suck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Wii Obsession

Last year, miraculously, Santa was able to get his hands on a Wii to give the cherubs for Christmas. It was an extremely exciting gift, and has led to hours and hours of family fun. I personally happen to hate all manner of games, especially video games, but the rest of the fam loves it. So I am a fan.

Until tonight anyway. All three of the kids desperately wanted to play each other, then Daddy, then each other again, then Daddy, then each other.......you get the picture. And all I wanted to do was sit and watch a taped episode of "Wife Swap".

But I lost the battle and on they played. If you don't have a Wii, one of the most fun things is to make your own "Mii" which can be your "guy" when you play the Wii. The features that you can use, like hair color, nose shape, eye shape, etc. are really amazing.

And I won't tell you what my Mii looks like, and of course I didn't make it, the King did.

What's that? You really want to know what my Mii looks like? Well, I'll give you a hint. I'm cute, blond and my mouth is open in the shape of an "o". Yes, the King is a pig.

Anyway, tonight the King and Matt decided to make a Mii of Fergie, the dog we adopted over the summer. So down they sat, pouring over the options, when Matt stood up, ran to the dog and said "Hey Fergus, what color are your eyes? Stick them out for me!"

I laughed for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Little Things, Part 2

I love my kids, but they can really drive me crazy. They are so "up in my business" sometimes that I want to just freak right out. Sometimes I scream when they are talking to me - I really do, I admit it.

But I discovered another simple thing today.

This afternoon I took two of the three cherubs to Target because Grace had just had a pretty traumatic trip to the orthodontist after school. This was the "xray/molds" visit, which if you know about the molds, can be pretty yucky. Well, couple that with a nervous kid and you get kind of a messy situation. Let's just say we had to step out of the office a time or two to calm down, take some breaths, etc.. In the end she admitted that she was much more worked up than she needed to be, which is good because we go back tomorrow morning for ANOTHER set of molds. Yup, another.

Anyway, I thought a trip to Target for a little treat was in order. And what did my darling girl want from all of the options at Target? New markers and a pad of paper.

I haven't seen either one of the devils for about 90 minutes now - they have been upstairs coloring. I LOVE THAT!

Simple people, simple.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's the Little Things

It cracks me up that it is really the little things in life that matter.

Every day, I feel like I do a million things for my family and for others too. I cook great meals, I keep the house spic and span, I run the kids around like crazy all day, I volunteer so much I should sit on my hands when people are looking for helpers......you know how it is.

But really, while those things are great, it can be even more simple.

Last night, I put the kids dinner on the table, realized we had no milk because I hadn't been to the store in three days, and I took a frozen can of Minute Maid Orange Juice from the freezer. As I was getting out the pitcher, Matthew said "Hey Mom, is that the kind of orange juice you make yourself?"

"Yup." I said.

People, it was like these kids just won the lottery.

"Yahoo! Yeah! That is our FAVORITE!"

Matthew even said "Mom, you are the best mother ever! I just love you!"

All this for making a can of frozen oj. Who knew!

.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Time Gets Away

Some of you have commented on how incredibly lame my posts have been lately - or I should say, my lack of posts. You couldn't be more correct. I have been lame.

And I have all the best intentions. I sit down, attempt to put up some pictures to go with a post, the computer locks up, the pictures get placed in the wrong spots, I get mad and I walk away from the computer without putting up a single word.

Last week though my very helpful sister Krissa walked me through getting a picture up, and (here is the key) being able to move it where I want it. Others have tried to help me with this (thanks Jenn! I'm dumb though) to no avail. But she did it! And the result were those two random pics of my family with my cousin's family at the beach, and the pic of Matt and Fergie taking a nap. Whatever.

This week is a new week, and I will have a new attitude.

And since I don't have three parent teacher conferences, three shifts working at the school book fair, floor time at my real estate office, a PTA meeting to take notes at, an election to vote in, a book club meeting to go to, and six different practices to get kids to after school I should be in much better shape this week.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

THE Party!!!!!

The weekend before Halloween, my sister Jenna and my brother-in-law Sam had their annual Halloween party, which has become a huge event and they spend immense amounts of time decorating and planning for it. Each year it gets better, and this was just amazing.

Let me set the scene for you:

You enter the party through the side gate which leads you into the alley which has been transformed into a white billowing gateway - to heaven. Heaven is the courtyard, which you can see in the two pics below.


This is what heaven looks like - can you even believe this?

When you enter heaven, there is Dean Martin music playing, a table filled with glasses of champagne, and out pops St. Peter, dressed to the nines in his white tux, halo and wings. When Dan and I came in he greeted us with a warm hello, asked us how our trip was, and handed us glasses of champagne. After exchanging a few more pleasantries, he asked us to sign in and pointed to the guest book on the table.

Dan signed us in, St. Pete took back the book and began to do some checking. But something was wrong. Looking troubled, he uncomfortably told us that we actually "weren't on the list". "Oh, this is awkward", he said. "I really hate when stuff like this happens guys. But unfortunately, I'm going to have to ask you to step "that" way." And he pointed to a black area that looked horrible compared to heaven. But forward we went.




The alley lined with black sheets and creepy sounds and things hitting you in the face led to the cemetery. (Are you getting the picture here folks? Yes, we were going through purgatory straight to hell.....how clever is that?) At the other end of the creepy walk, you enter a graveyard.

Here is a picture of it, and the light in the back coincided with the crashing sounds of thunder in the background. There is a body hanging there that gets lit up when the lightening strikes, but it didn't come out well in this shot. Sorry. But see the hand coming up from the grass? This is just one example of the many many things that you might not even notice on your first walk through but you see more and more with each look around.




This is a coffin filled with shots - you have to do one before you can proceed. I did two.


Jenna and Sam's house is perfect for a party like this. Two big courtyards, the one below is where the party is really held, make such a great party atmosphere.


Heads floated in the pool.................

In this picture, awards are being given for best costumes......my sister Jenna is the one holding the envelope.



This is St. Pete and one of the best costumes - John Bobbit (note the bloody crotch and in the bag he is holding is a sausage carved to look like his weiner). How great is that!

This is Sam and another party-goer - note his cool white contacts. Freaky.


Great job guys! Can't wait for next year!!!!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Thought: "What the?"

Does Richard Simmons need to wear shirts like this?



Really.





http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/baked-pumpkin-ziti/27480.html

How awesome is she?!!!!!!

I know, two posts in one day! Crazy, huh!

I'd like to give a little shout out to my baby sister Jenna (Jen, do you love that or what!!!!), who ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco this past Sunday with a pace of slightly over 8 minutes/mile!!!! How amazing is that?

As an 11 minute miler myself (and even that isn't pretty), it seems simply impossible that you could run 13.6 miles so fast. I know lots and lots of bad things would happen to me if I even attempted that.

Let me add here that Jenna has run several marathons, so this was probably like a little jog to her! Whatever!

Anyway, I am so proud of her, and had to share it with you all.

Way to go, June! I love you!

Love,

Your big, old, fat sister -

tee-hee

The Big Trip


A while back I mentioned that the King had taken Matt (7) on a trip to New York. Because I am slightly picture challenged on this blog, I have not written more about this amazing journey. So here goes.

The King is a huge, huge baseball fan. He grew up watching the Yankees, his whole family loves them, and growing up in New York, they were his team. In college, he actually worked at Yankee Stadium, a job he loved because he got to be at the stadium all the time.

Well, Yankee Stadium is old and needs to be rebuilt. So this season was the last season the team would play in the original stadium, and a new one is currently being built right next to it. Knowing that this would be the only chance Matthew would get to see the stadium, The King and his friend Kevin concocted a plan to go to one of the last games and bring the boys.

How cute is this picture above? Look at Matt's skinny little arm with the glove hanging off of it! Could he be any more adorable?



Here are all of the boys - The King, Matt, Zach and Kevin.
























As Kevin said: "$100 for the tickets to the game, $50 spent on drinks, hot dogs and cotton candy, $50 for the beer the King and I consumed at the game. A weekend spent with your best friends watching a baseball game - PRICELESS".

Well said.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

He Speaks





The King, aka "The Blogger of Truth" wants me to add some additional details about Liv's home run on Saturday.



What he'd like made clear is that this was not a bobbled ball that resulted in a homer, there was no through the legs mistake in the outfield that allowed this ball to make a slow return to the infield.

As you can see in the above picture, this ball was hit hard. Really hard. Hard enough that it flew into the outfield, landed and then hit the fence before anyone could even get near it.

So folks, I've done what the King asked. Thanks for bearing with me.

The Big Day

Ta-da!!!!!

Yesterday, after 17 months, Liv got her braces off!
Her teeth look just beautiful, and all she wanted to do was go back to school to show them off.
She is getting so big and growing up so fast, it makes me want to cry. At 11 1/2 you can really see the beginnings of her becoming a teenager. I don't know if I am ready for that.
But this morning when she came down for breakfast, she came and sat in my lap.
She's still my baby girl.
I love you, Liv.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Part 1

This past weekend Liv's softball team had a tournament in Reno, NV, just a couple of hours away from our house by car. All week we'd been getting excited about the trip, packing and looking forward to a little vacation interspersed with some softball games.

The whole team stayed at the same hotel, which is lots of fun since the girls spend lots of team building time together. Not having done anything like this as a kid, I see how much fun Liv has with her team and it makes me happy.

Our first game was at 8am on Saturday and we lost. The second game looked like it was heading in the same direction, and then things changed.

Let me set it up for you.......The score was 7-1, then we scored 1, then another, bringing us to 7-3, two girls on base.

Liv got up to bat. Fingers crossed, she watched as strike one crossed the plate. I had to stand up and pace at that point since I couldn't sit still. It seemed like slow motion as the pitcher threw the ball, Liv swung and hit A HOME RUN!!!!!!!! I started screaming and jumping up and down and just might have peed my pants a little.....just a little.

Love that kid!

That brought the score to 7-6 and we ended up winning the game 9-7.

GO LADY DEMONS!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Sad Tale Gone Bad

Yesterday I had to run to the post office.

On my way there, I stopped at a red light where a number of folks were crossing the street in the crosswalk. One of these was a little boy, who looked to be about 8 or 9, crossing with his backpack on his back on his small shoulders. As he crossed, he looked up to see that a bus was approaching the crosswalk that he was in. I too noticed the bus, and noticed, as this little boy did, that the bus looked to be going really fast, almost as if it wasn't going to stop at the red light. He continued to cross, but kept his eyes on that bus, all the while I am sure realizing that if it didn't stop, there was absolutely no where for him to go.

I felt so badly for him! His little face looked so nervous, and I felt nervous for him too! What if this crazy bus driver didn't stop and just plowed right into his little body?

But the bus did slow down and came to a stop before it hit the crosswalk. Slightly sweating myself, I started thinking about my own kids and how scary that would be if it happened to them.

I looked at the little boy who was still crossing the street with his eyes on the bus. And when the bus stopped, he stopped, put his tiny little hands out to the side and yelled:

"What the fuck!"

and continued walking.

Suddenly I didn't feel badly for him anymore. Brat.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Classic

Last night the King and I, and my sister Jenna and my brother in law Sam went to see a classic - Neil Diamond. Jenna and I have always wanted to see him, and when Dan scored the tickets we were totally excited.

I have to say that when I heard he was coming to Arco Arena - a huge stadium - I was a little bit surprised. Would he fill it, or would it be a weirdly embarassing show that made you feel bad for him? After his appearance on Idol last year, I just wasn't sure what to expect.

It was freakin' packed! I couldn't see a single empty seat in the whole arena. There was no opening act, just Neil and his band. He came out doing a little dance, guitar in hand and played for close to two hours. He is amazingly good- and not for a man of 67 - but for anyone!

The crowd was completely mixed - young and old there to see the Neil and sing their favorites. And sing and dance they did. Right in front of us was a man with his wife and college age daughter totally rocking out together. Like Krissa, Jenna and I, this girl obviously grew up listening to Neil with her parents, and last night they got to enjoy him in person all together. It was a really cool thing to see.

Although Neil has a new album which I'm sure is great, he didn't push it too hard, and played almost all of the classics. The crowd was so into it that there wasn't a dull moment even during the slowest songs.

Now that I've seen Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond, nothing else matters! If you have a chance to see this legend, go. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It Takes a Village

Davis is a really great place to live. The main crime is bike theft and because it is a college town the town is alive and vibrant. We are a real community.


Having grown up on the east coast, a place where I could see a neighbor at the supermarket and they would not even necessarily recognize me, Davis was a real change. While it took me a while to get used to all of the friendliness, I now love it.

I really think that it is because we have no weather issues to deal with. Here in Northern CA we don't have "hard" weather. By that I mean snow, ice, incredible rain, cold wind, muggy days.....the list goes on. It gets very very hot here - 110 degrees in the summer - but it is different. It is dry, and without the extremes of the winter weather, people here are just much NICER!

Davis is small enough that people really get to know you and get to know your kids. You see people at the farmer's market, at sports, at Nugget (our supermarket) - everywhere. And it's nice to know that people know you and you know them.

Having three kids with busy schedules makes me value this small town even more. I need help! I can't get my kids everywhere they need to be without some help from others. At the end of the day they all make it home, and I am grateful. This was all illustrated tonight for me tonight at my son's first baseball practice, when a dad that I don't know well at all came up and said:

"Lisa, could you drive Ryan - he's number 8 - home for me after practice?"

I was happy to do it and glad to be asked - especially by someone I barely know and whose kid I don't know at all. But he knows me, has the faith that I'll get his kid home, and I did. And I was happy to do it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Born Without It

The gene for shopping that is. Thanks Mom. :)

This weekend the boys (The King and Matt who is 7) headed off on an amazing father/son trip to New York to see one of the last Yankee games to be played at Yankee Stadium. More on this in a future post.....

But since the girls were slightly sad at not being able to take a fun trip like this, we sat down to figure out what fun things we could do while they were gone.

It was a quick conversation since after the first two lines of it, I am pretty sure I died.

Olivia: "Can we go SHOPPING?"

Grace: "Yeah! That would be awesome! Can we go to Justice?"

My heart just fell. A whole weekend and all they want to do is SHOP. Kill me now. Right now.

So yesterday after two soccer games (one at 8am!), soccer pictures for both kids, and going into Sacramento to show five houses to a client, we shopped. And I really, really, really tried to be fun.

We went to Nordstrom Rack where we spent an interminable amount of time in the dressing room trying things on. We then headed to the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento (where you actually take your life in your hands and hope that this is NOT a day where there is a drive by shooting) to go to the Gap, Abercrombie and various other stores. Bags heavy and feet hurting, we came home.

But that wasn't enough. We hadn't gone to Old Navy or Justice. So this morning I showed five houses to yet another client, and then we shopped - again.

Can I ask why the hell Justice is so expensive and why the kids this age love it so much? The clothes are UGLY and they cost a fortune! I hate them! The freaking monkey on everything makes me want to hurt myself badly. I just don't get it.

So our girl's weekend is almost over. While I love being with my girls, I'm glad the shopping is done.

Girls, if you log on and see this, consider this a loving message from your mother. I love you. But I still hate to shop. I do it for you......

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Off to Bigger and Better Things.......:(

Today the absolute best babysitter in the world left for her new life at UC Santa Cruz.

Libby has been taking care of my cherubs for the last four years, and has become a part of our family. She is always there to bail me out of my last minute childcare needs, can handle whatever comes her way when she is here (like helping me with every single supper club dish I have to get ready at the very last minute), and always, always, leaves the house better than when she got there (even when she doesn't feel good and the last thing she wants to deal with is a sink full of dishes). She has that "can do" attitude, like when the kids wanted to make a cake, but we were out of eggs. What did she do? Walked with them to her house to borrow some eggs so that no one was disappointed, and they got an adventure to boot. She is amazing, and we were lucky to have her for as long we did.

Today as she was leaving and saying goodbye to us all, I thought about all that she has in store for her in the days, weeks, and years to come. It brought me back to the day I was delivered to UNH, nervous but excited. I could see that she felt that way too, and while it made me feel a little bit old, it made me remember all of those feelings which in a way made me feel young too.

Libby, have a ball.......we know you'll do great!!!!!!

But we'll miss you tons..........

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poem by Grace

Grace came down this morning with a little poem she wrote last night before bed.

Here it is:

Violets are blue
I play the kazoo
A clog is a shoe
You need to shampoo
My toenails regrew
I believe this is true



Isn't that so creative? Just had to share it.......with her permission of course!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If You Want Something Done.....

Ask a busy person. I can't tell you how many times over the years I heard my mother say this. She was always involved at school when we were little, running the fairs, being on the PTA, etc. and this was one of her favorite sayings.

Now that I am a mom, and let me just say a "super" one, I realize how true this is! I have three kids, am on the PTA at school, work two "jobs" in addition to being a mom, all three kids play sports, most often The King or I am coaching them, every moment of the day seems booked with something. But if you need some help, I am your girl. I'll pick up your kids, do an extra volunteer shift at school, you name it, I'll fit it in. I continue to be able to take on more while perhaps being just on this side of crazy while doing it all.

But man, there are some people who just can't handle A THING! This was made very clear to me the other day when I was at an event with Grace that required five moms to get out their calendars and make a plan for the coming month's meeting.

This particular mom is one of those people that I refer to as "fragile". This is not my type of person. This type of person can handle only one large activity per day, and if anything rocks that one activity, the sky will literally fall on her tiny little head. I guess it is a good thing that this person has just one child, since the scheduling of this one child's activities causes a stress level in this mom that must be similar to what Bush feels as president. I am not kidding when I tell you that when we get out our calendars (or in my case, I mentally run through the three kids schedules in my brain since I don't yet have things in a calendar) it literally takes close to thirty minutes for her to get a date in the books - I swear.

Have you ever felt like you just want to scream really really loud at someone like this? I so want to say "Shut up! Don't come if it is too much for you! But please, just shut up!"

Anyway, we got a date for the next meeting. I hope we don't have to change it since this person also doesn't allow phones in their house - cell or other types of phones since she recently read an article that absolutely proved to her to correlation between phones and brain cancer.

Help me please.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Begun

The Fall Season of my "programs" that is!

Last week a few shows started (but not ones that I watch), and last night there were a couple that I couldn't wait for!

They were True Blood and Entourage......

True Blood is a vampire show that I was skeptical about because of all of the vampire books and talk going around these days. It expands upon what life is like for a vamp and those who are fool enough to fall for him. I think it is worthy of another week of my time, then I will cast my judgement.

Entourage is just the best. I just love that show. It is so hilarious, I love the characters and my only criticism is that the 30 minutes goes by way way way too fast.

Did anyone watch them? What are you looking forward to this fall?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Matt

My seven year old son Matthew is just entirely too cute for words. He has the most adorable little face, his has an amazingly huge smile and he has a speech impediment that I hope and pray never goes away. Every day that he still says the work "sure" as "shouwa" I just thank my lucky stars.

The King and I find ourselves laughing real belly laughs at Matt more than should be legal. But he is just so freakin' cute! Maybe we think this because he is our baby, but I don't really know. He is just the greatest.

On Friday when I went in to wake him up, he was so tired and cozy in his bed. I told him I was going downstairs to make his lunch and that I was going to pack him some cookies.

Matt: "What kind? Are they the Captain Cookies?"

Me: "Huh?"

Matt: "You know. The ones what we had in North Carolina?"

Me: "Oh. Do you mean Chips Ahoy?"

Matt: "Yup! Those are the ones!"





I just love this kid.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

UGH

I admit it. I am sooooo super bored by life without my shows. My grandmother would call them "my programs". Without some tv shows to keep me going, I don't seem to have a meaning to my evenings. While I love to read, knit, blog, I really look forward to just relaxing on the couch at night with my favorite shows.

But they haven't started yet. They are coming, but not yet. We'll get into my faves in another blog for sure.

My "go to" stations during the off season are MSNBC, which I have on all day long, and the Food Network. So last night when dinner was almost ready (but not quite), I sat down ready to turn on the Food Network, yet decided to spin through the network offerings first. I came upon a show that I forgot was going to be on, but that I had heard a lot about - "Stand Up 2 Cancer". All three of the networks got together to air this show simultaneously in an effort to raise money to cure cancer once and for all.

Oh, good!, I thought. There will probably be some good people on the show, some interesting facts, maybe some music. Let's watch!

People, I think I had the show on for a max of 15 minutes.

It started out great with some stars talking, and then the news folks coming out and telling about their loved ones who had been stricken by this hideous disease. At that point, I was shaky, but holding on.

And then came the kids. Dear Jesus, the kids. I swear I went hysterical in 2.2 seconds and barely was able to breathe. I just couldn't stand it. That segment ended, and I tried to pull it together while my kids all gathered around me, kissing and patting me, trying to make me feel better. "Why is Mommy so freaked out?" they must have thought.

As James Taylor and Sheryl Crow sang "Fire and Rain" my emotions really started to take over. I just could not keep it in check. More stories of folks who had cancer themselves, or had a loved one taken by cancer kept coming and coming..........

Finally, I reached out, grabbed the remote and stated (kind of like a lunatic I realize) "I can't watch this anymore, not for one more minute. I just can't handle it, sorry. I just can't do it. I just can't." And quickly turned the station back to the Food Network.

God, cancer SUCKS! So freaking bad! Why can't we cure it? Will money help? Will anything help? Are we all destined to fall to this disease? Is there any way to avoid it? In my own experience, I had a father who was always taking vitamins, taking good care of himself, was a doctor for god's sake!, exercising and doing all of the right things.......yet he died of prostate cancer at age 65. What could suck more than that?

Let me tell you......Nothing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Matthew came home from his third day of second grade with a story of a girl in his class whose father had just died.

Here is the conversation we had about this extremely sad event:

Matt: "Mom, Kallia wasn't at school today because she was at her father's funeral."

Me: "WHAT? Are you sure Matt? She was there for the first two days of school but not today?"

Matt: "Yup. He died a while ago and his funeral was just today so she wasn't at school. A couple of kids starting crying in school when we were talking about people dying, but I didn't say anything about Papa dying because it would make me too sad."

Me: "That's ok. Wow. What did the teacher say about the whole thing?"

Matt: "Well, she said not to ask Kallia too many questions because it might make her too sad. And then she said that Kallia's dad had some disease what (yes, he said what) begins with a P, and that sometimes when you get something like that, it is just (long pause and then gave a small clap of his hands)..........boom."

***********************************************************************************

WHAT? Did the teacher actually give seven year old's this information? That you can get something and then it is just.......BOOM? WHAT?

We talked a bit more about it although he seemed relative unfazed by the whole thing so I didn't go crazy. But I'd still like to know what really was said......

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kids In the Kitchen
















As my profile states, I love to cook. I love to look at my cookbooks, pick out what I am going to make, and the whole process is fun for me.
This is a love I have passed on to my kids, and as they get older, it gets even better! They actually can help! I won't say this is a neat proposition, but they love it, and I do too.
Today as I shopped for dinner, I saw a package of Chocolate Wafers, and it brought me right back to a dessert I used to make when I was little. Krissa and Jenna, do you remember this? I was so excited to let the kids try it tonight, and they were too.
All you need is the wafers, some Cool Whip and a big rag to clean it all up with afterwards! You spread the cool whip on a cookie, and line them all up like a log and frost the whole thing with the whipped cream. When you put it in the fridge it becomes more like a cake and is delicious. I am going to try to block out the memories of what the kids looked like when they were making it and touching the cake, etc. Just look at the pic above to see what I am talking about.
After the cake was done, they helped with several other parts of the dinner. It was fun and they really didn't fight, do anything really bad or super annoying.
My favorite lines uttered while they were making it were:
Liv: "Matt, your station is a mess! Who are you, Petroza?" (those of you who watched Hell's Kitchen know what this means!)
Grace: "I think I am going to take off my shirt. I feel so much freer that way!"
Matt: "Mom, this is so fun. It is like a kitchen in here!"
Good memories!

Kids and Pets - Priceless



I grew up with lots of pets around - dogs, cats, chickens, horses...........I can't remember a time without animals in my life.
The same holds true for my kids. No chickens or horses, but my kids have never known a time without a dog in their life. When Liv was born, Layla had been a part of our family for five years, then came Dakota, and when we moved to CA and Matt was two, we got Cali.
Sadly, after we said goodbye to 14 year old Layla this past winter, we knew there was room in our hearts and in our house for one more dog. Crazy? Probably. But it was fate. All it took was a trip to the Little League field on July 4th, and there we met Fergie. Abandonded, adorable, and SMALL, and she stole all of our hearts.
It seems like she has always been here. Nothing makes me happier than to see my kids with their pets. I think it teaches them so much. Compassion, empathy, responsibility.

Happy Labor Day everyone!






Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Memory


About two months ago, we had a disaster in our house.


It was early, the kids were still sleeping, and I got up, got my coffee and went to the computer to check my e-mails, do a little work and check my favorite blog sites.

But the computer wouldn't turn on. It seemed to be in sleep mode, so I wiggled and jiggled the mouse, but no luck. So I turned the computer off using the button on the tower, gave it a minute and turned it back on. Nothing. So I tried again, and again, and again. Nothing.


Finally on try number 3 it worked! Yahoo! So I sat and waited while it started up.


As this was happening, I smelled something weird. Like burning rubber, or plastic. And then I saw it - SMOKE! Coming up from under the desk around my legs! I screamed for Dan, who really hustled to get upstairs (NOT!) and by the time he arrived I had everything off and unplugged.


But I was in a panic. All of our pictures, many of them saved to CD but not every single one, are on that computer. I was afraid to turn it on for fear that it might actually really blaze this time.


In the end, after a visit to a computer place and some help from our friend Dan, our pictures are safe and are on our new computer. But I was frantic to save them ALL to CD's so as never to feel this stress again.


In the course of doing this today, I came across this beauty. Is there anything cuter?

Oh, the memories......

I'm Conflicted

Those of you who know me well probably know that I am a little overprotective of my kids and what they watch, read and do. Call me a nut, but I really just think that as long as I have "control" of them (and I use that term loosely) I should be able to have ultimate say in what goes into their heads.

I held strong on not watching Spongebob for a long time, and caved. I fought like crazy to keep Raven off my screen, and caved. And just recently, with the assurance of my sister Krissa, I've allowed iCarly to be seen by the kids. I really held off on the one......but again, I caved.

But I am totally and completely boggled by the folks around me who have let their 11 year old children read the Twilight series.

I know, I know, Bella and Edward don't really "do" anything, they don't drink, smoke, do drugs.......but the descriptions of how they feel about each other, and the little bit that they do do, are enough as far as I am concerned. Yes, Liv is much more the sporty girl, and not into boys at all, but even if she was, this book would still not be on her nightstand. I guess this is the one good thing about her hating to read - she isn't asking to read them anyway.

What do you think? Am I being crazy?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll Say It Again

Well, actually, I won't say it - this guy will say it for me.



Watch this totally hilarious video.....



Enjoy, and think of my previous words......





video

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Great Friends Make a Great Vacation

At long last, a post from our trip. Although I had high hopes for a daily post, things get a little big crazy and time got away from me.

In case you are reading this and don't know us, let me give you a little background.

This group of families came together from our men. They met in college, over several different years and graduating classes, yet bonded in an amazingly strong way. They may have left school from time to time for one reason or another, may have overlapped in different ways, but were in the same fraternity and that brought them all together. Friendships were formed......and kept. I think this is unique among men.....not so much with women.

Over the years, and one by one, they introduced their "women" to the group. Would that make or break them? Would the women get along?

Well, the answer is yes. Some of us are celebrating our 16th anniversary this year, with others not far behind. We are godparents to each others children, and we care for each other's kids as if they are our own. I feel a great comfort in knowing that these friends would be there for me whenever I needed them. I have no doubt.

For years and years we have planned our summers together, forgone other vacations to be together and it is an amazing thing to me. Our children have an unbelievable bond. From the minute they see each other, it is like not a moment has passed. That bond is there, between us all, and both Dan and I hope it always will be.

It makes me happy and sad at the same time. So incredibly happy that they have these friends that they call their "cousins", and so so sad to have to take them away from them. I am sad myself that we don't live closer.

So to the Papa, LaRocca, Skala and Hennig families - we love you and will miss you.....

We'll see you next year.





The people who make it happen........

Kids, don't forget that. Value your friends. Your parents are amazing and gave you this time. It is no small feat to get five families together, and we do it not only for us, but for you.















Part of the clan being fed......a long task. But we laugh.












Just the boys......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quote #2

One more quote...

Commenting on his dislike of Crocs after seeing someone in our group put theirs on, Kevin announced:

"Crocs are for nurses and fags."

Cracked me up.

Quick Quote

A longer post to come later, but wanted to share a quote from Matthew in the hotel yesterday:

"Mom, I need you to wipe the cream cheese on my bagel for me.....I can't do it myself."

Love it!

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Olympic Sport

There are some amazing devices and gadgets created for the elderly and disabled. My grandmother had one of those "grabber" things that helped her pick things up when she couldn't reach them. Another one of these genious inventions is the elevated toilet seat that makes getting on and off the bowl and little easier.

If you haven't seen one, here is a picture.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PXTZZI?smid=A2I5F040537F9&tag=nextag-hpc-20&linkCode=asn

My question of the day though is this.......What do you do when you come upon one in a bathroom?

We had this quandary this week when we visited The King's grandfather, who has one of these in his bathroom. Hey, at 97, he deserves to use anything that will make his life a little easier!

When we arrived in NC, we all needed to use a bathroom. Grace headed in first, came out and in went Olivia. After a few minutes of talking and saying hello, I went in too. When I got there, I noticed the elevated seat, I wondered immediately what the girls had done when they saw it. But in all of the excitement, I forgot to ask them until later that night.

It was worth the wait.

Me: "Hey girls, what did you do about that thing over the toilet when you were in there?"

Grace: "Yeah, I didnt know what to do, so I just moved it out of the way and then I put it back when I was done."

Me: "Good job honey. Liv, what did you do?"

Liv: "Well, I wasn't sure what to do either, so I left it there, but I grabbed on to the bars on the side and just put my legs out straight while I peed so I wouldn't have to sit on it."


Is this how the pommel horse began? Hey, if TABLE TENNIS is a sport, why not this? Hmmmmmmm .....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Unbelievable

Here we are today in Matthews, North Carolina visiting family before we head to the beaches of the Outer Banks of NC next week.

One of the people we are visiting here is The King's grandfather. Given the fact that The King is a mature man, with three children who are not babies, and who has been married for 15+ years, you will surmise that his grandfather is a man advanced in age.

In fact, The King's grandfather is 97 years old. In the video below he is teaching our kids a card trick while we are out for dinner, and as I filmed it I just couldn't stop thinking about how lucky they are to have this incredible time with their great-grandfather.

His passions are cards (he knows every game and all of the rules) and the New York Yankees, and he is fully and completely with it and aware of every trade, score and pitching change. He is totally amazing, and we are so lucky to be a part of this time in his life.

How rare and unbelievable. Grandpa (and Great Grandpa!!!), we love you.

video

Two Different Sneakers

Today I was lucky enough to hear a story about a friend who has recently re-entered the dating scene after many, many long years in a relationship. She has a real "get out there, and "get on with it" attitude that I totally admire.

She joined a dating service, began chatting with someone on-line, things progressed and they set up a date. Exciting! When they were on the phone setting up the date though, he told her he was planning to bring a camera with him on the date, and hoped that would be OK with her. What? She said her response was less than enthused, and suddenly a red flag went up. But the date had been set, so she forged on.

She picked him up at the train station, and as she saw him coming down the stairs, she knew she was in for trouble. How? HE WAS WEARING A FANNY PACK. Yes, a fanny pack. The fact that his socks were pulled up to his knees was also a problem, but the fanny pack was really all that was on her mind at the moment. But again, she forged on.

The plan had been to play miniature golf, but it was raining so they bowled instead. Desperate to get an end to the date, they played two games and headed off to dinner. Forging on.

During dinner, clearly oblivious to the signs she was showing, he reached across the table for her hand. When he touched it, she said she responded without thinking about it and said "Wow, your hands are so soft!" He got a big smile on his face, pulled his hand away, quickly unzipped the fanny pack and whipped out a bottle of Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon lotion. "It works so great", he said. "Do you want to try it?" Ever the lady, she said politely no, and forged on.

During dinner, she happened to look down at her date's feet. At first, it just didn't make sense, but after a few more glances, she just had to ask. It looked distinctly like he was wearing one Converse and one Nike. "Are you wearing two different sneakers?" she inquired as politely as possible. He didn't skip a beat, looked down and said "Yeah, I guess I am." That was pretty much it.

They split the check and began to leave the table. After a step or two, although eager to escape, she noticed that one of his shoes was untied. She pointed it out, and he bent down to tie it up. She continued to move along, planning to meet him at the hostess station, when she heard her name called in a hysterical screech at top volume. The entire restaurant glanced their way to see what the scream was all about, only to realize nothing was wrong but that her date was just afraid she was going to flee and leave him there tying his shoe.

Obviously, there will not be a second date with this man for my friend. She will forge on, hopefully to find the person she deserves and who deserves her, and who wears just one brand of sneaker at a time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

He Disagrees

The King, that is.

He feels that he has been inaccurately represented in my blog. He takes special issue with the story of the pasta for dinner event, which he thinks makes him look bad. (Wasn't that the point?)

Tee-hee.

So he has threatened to start his own blog to counter any attacks he feels are unjustified. He says he will call it "The Blog of Truth".

While I think this would be hilarious, I hold no hope that it will actually happen. He isn't technically savvy at all......but if it does happen, I can promise that I will provide you all with the link.

Stay tuned.....

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dinner Dilemma

The King, as I have implied before in this blog, is particular. I say "particular" rather than many other words that describe him that might not be quite as nice.

To be honest, I blame it partly on myself. I have created, in many ways, a "monster". Not because I do everything for the King, because I don't. But in all ways food, the King is getting a little big for his britches. I like to cook, and The King loves to eat. And it isn't usually a simple dinner....I look up recipes and make something different every night. Spoiled he is.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the King and I had discussed what we'd have for dinner. He asked if we could have this shrimp dish, which he loves, but it is a total pain in the ass to make. I guess I said OK at the time, but when it came right down to it at the end of a long day, I wanted to beg out of it. I started making shrimp fra diavlo with pasta.

When he came home and looked into the pot, The King's response was: "Having pasta is like having cereal for dinner."

Well folks, the war that this comment started lasted for a long, long time, and that war began with me dumping the half cooked dinner into the sink. The King went out for a sandwich.......But I digress.......

This "too big for his britches" attitude was again illustrated during a conversation today at the pool in Florida, where we were discussing our dinner plans. It was getting late, it had been a long and busy day, and my mother-in-law said "How about hot dogs for dinner tonight?". This one seemingly innocent comment caught the attention of The King.

The King: "Did you say we were going to have hot dogs for dinner? You mean hot dogs will be the meal?"

Mother-in-Law: "Yes. Hot dogs will be the meal."

The King: "How will they be cooked?"

MIL: "On the barbeque. Why?"

The King: "Well, that makes it slightly better, but usually I don't eat hot dogs as the only thing during a meal, but maybe more like a side dish."

MIL: "WHAT? What's the matter with you?"

The King (looking a little sheepish now): "Well, can't we have something else too? Like chicken on the grill? Or something?"

MIL: "Chicken takes too long to cook. No. Hot dogs are quick. We're not having chicken."

The King: "How long does chicken take? Is there some rush for dinner? Is there some kind of a rule that dinner has to be shopped for and cooked in less than thirty minutes or something? I don't get it."

MIL (now laughing, as we all so often laugh with and at The King, who is pretty witty, but a little dumb too): "Fine, maybe we can have chicken too."

We all sat and listened to this convseration, laughing totally hysterically.

We did have both hot dogs and chicken for dinner, which McGuvyer made easier and quicker to cook on the grill by pounding the chicken out with a hammer....not a kitchen mallet, but an actual hammer. McGuvyer rules!

It was a great dinner, after which my father-in-law said:

"When I heard earlier today your mother was thinking of hot dogs for dinner, I thought to myself "Yeah, let's see how that goes over with The King."

The reputation of The King preceeds him.

:)

We Call Her McGuyver For a Reason

Greetings again from super hot and muggy Florida!

Yesterday we left my sister's house (where we had such a great time in her new beautiful castle! Thank you Krissa and Fred for being such amazing hosts!) and drove 2 hours to Apopka Florida to visit my in-laws and my sister-in-law Dana. The kids were super excited about this since they have great memories of being here last year, swimming, playing mini golf and just having a relaxing time.

So last night, the kids were literally pooped. We had gone to the pool, ordered pizza, visited with everyone including Dan's cousin Nicole who is here visiting from New York. I was just thinking about getting the kids to bed, when I heard some commotion coming from my father-in-law's office. I went in to see what was happening in there.

And then I saw her - McGuyver.

For many years, I referred to my mother-in-law as this icon of adventure. For perhaps the first ten years of my marriage, this was done in secret, but one day I said it right to her, and now it is just out there. She really should have been a hero of stage and screen with her abilities to solve a problem, big or small, in a creative, and sometimes dangerous way.

What McGuyver was doing tonight was trying to blow up the air mattress for the kids to sleep on. She had the mattress unfolded, the pump in hand, and was furiously turning it on and off. But not a breath of air was coming out. Frustrated, McGuvyer continued her efforts. After watching her struggle for a few more minutes, I asked her if I could take a look at the pump.

This is what I saw:



If you can't read the fine print here, it says that the pump needs to charge for 12 hours before it can be used, and it doesn't work if it is plugged in. Bummer. It was already 9:00pm and we didn't have 12 hours to spare.

McGuyver, we need you! And hearing our call, she came to the rescue.

Thinking that perhaps a hair dryer would do the same as the air pump, she began her work. And tedious work it was. It seemed that the air flap wouldn't stay open so not all of the force of the air from the dryer was getting into the mattress. Ahhh....if this isn't a job for "you know who", I don't know what is.

At first, she took a risk and fished out a paper clip and began trying to attach it to the mouth of the nozzle on the mattress. With a scream from Dana though "Ma, you can't stick a paper clip in there with the hot blow dryer! Geez!", she searched furiously for another option.

And came up with this:








Can't see it well enough you say? Sorry - here is it a little bigger:














Yes folks, it is a straw, wedged in the hole to keep the flap open. And it worked! It really worked!

Proof that it worked is Matt, a short five minutes later, laying in bed looking very tired.






Not every kid can say that McGuyver is their grandma.

:)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Serious Injury List

We all know that traveling, especially on an airplane, is like putting yourself in the middle of a germ factory. I want to scream when I hear the words "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." while we are mid-flight. Those bathrooms are so nasty I just want to let the kids pee in their pants instead of going in there. But on a nine hour journey heading east (two flights, total trip time is 9 hours if you are lucky), what can you do!

That being said, let me recount the numerous ailments and injuries we have sustained thus far, some I can blame on the germ factory, others just plain stupidity, and some can't be categorized. None of them are serious, thank goodness, just annoying.

The first full day here was a great day. Went out to lunch, got ice cream, had a nice dinner at home, and come six o'clock, Matt becomes the king of poop. Said king actually did not manage to make it all the way to the bowl during one episode, which was awesome. Blocked him up with some immodium and all was well.

Except when he woke up in the morning......with conjunctivitis. Kill me now. Eyes all stuck together, green goop everywhere - nasty. Luckily my sister had the drops so that regimen began right away.....but still, what a disgusting thing that is! What made it worse though, was that the next morning, Olivia had it! UGH!!!!!!!

But swimming seemed to help, at least to keep their eyes clean, so that was happening a lot. I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to join them one morning. Donned the suit, went out, was sitting on the edge tolerating the splashing and heckling by the kids trying to get me in, so in I went. I slid off the edge, dipped under the water, and smashed my right knee so incredibly hard on the bottom of the pool (much shallower than I thought it was!) that I literally came up to the surface crying. Yes, crying. It hurt so wicked, wicked bad, had a huge bloody cut on it, but the pain in my kneecap was incredible. Maybe I am being a tad dramatic here, but it really, really killed. I floated on a raft with an enormous ice pack on it for a while, but the pain, oh the pain....I still don't have full movement in it, and the cut will be around for a long time. Which is great since we are on vacation and there is nothing better than seeing a woman in shorts with a huge scab on her knee. Love that.

The last ailment to report is that Grace and my nephew have developed this red and painful rash on their sides and chest from sitting too long in a wet bathing suit. This rash requires the constant application of multiple creams all day long and has turned the counter at my sister's house into a virtual pharmacy.

So there you have it - the serious injury list. Let's hope there are no more additions.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Take a Bow -

As promised, here she is. As far as I'm concerned, no more words are needed.

video

Monday, July 28, 2008

We made it!

Greetings from Florida!


We arrived on Saturday afternoon after an easy flight. Well, the flight was easy, but there was another slight problem. Matt put a 20 oz. bottle of water in my bag as we were getting onto the plane, and the ENTIRE thing spilled all over everything. I didn't know it until I sat on the plane, put my bag in my lap and it immediately appeared that I had wet my pants in a big, big way. Not good. But what was worse was the my cell phone and blackberry were in the bag and were toast. The blackberry has recovered for the moment, my regular phone is gone. Don't call me on it folks.......the screen is a lovely light pink color, but there is no action on it at all.

I do have a couple of highlights to share. The first is hearing my five year old niece Elisa sing the song "Take a Bow" by Rihanna. I am going to try to video her today and get a clip on here to share with you. She takes it so seriously that mid-song yesterday she asked us to start it over because she "wanted to do it really really good". I laughed so hard in the car yesterday a couple of drops of pee escaped. It cracks me up that much.

The second highlight happened last night back at Krissa's house after dinner at my mother's house. I will add here that it was a great great dinner - a full turkey dinner which we referred to as "Summergiving". So good! When we came home we were sitting in the living room talking about toe cramps. I haven't a clue why it came up, but that comment suddenly turned into all of us trying to give ourselves a toe cramp so we could laugh hysterically at how weird our toes looked all curled up. Krissa described mine as looking like a lobster claw, which isn't that far off from what my feet look like on a normal day unfortunately.

More to come when I have some video footage.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pea Brain, But He's Mine

I love the King. I really, really do. He is funny, a great Dad, and a really good guy. I love to be with him, to see him with the kids, and I'm glad I married him.

But seriously, I don't get him sometimes. In fact, I'm not sure I get men in general.
A wise, wise friend of mine gave me an important piece of advice/wisdom a few years ago. It was incredibly helpful.

She said "Lisa, men are really so so simple. You just have to remember that. When you ask a man what he is thinking about, and he says "Nothing." we women just don't believe it. We push and push...."No, tell me, what are you thinking about? You can tell me, I won't be mad." But really, when they say they are thinking about nothing, THEY MEAN IT! They literally have NOTHING going on in the brain area. NOTHING!"

I can tell you from my own experience, that once I learned that, my life and my marriage changed for the better. I stopped worrying so much, and I started to realize that all of the things I was worried that the King might be worried about, were actually all just figments of my imagination! Figments I say!

The things that actually do take up space in the King's brain astonish me. Take this morning for example.

The King takes a shower, gets dressed, and when he comes down he is holding a sweatshirt in his hand. I looked at it, wondered for a minute why, figured there must be a good reason, continue to make breakfast for the cherubs, and then I heard it:

The King: "What in the name of holy hell is on my sweatshirt?"

Me: "Huh?"

The King: "What the heck is this all over my favorite sweatshirt?"

I take a quick look, see a bunch of brown crap on the sleeves and front of the sweatshirt.

Me: "How should I know? It's your sweatshirt. It looks like it needs to be washed."

The King: "I think it's ruined. (The King is always very very dramatic...) I tried to get it off, and I scratched at it, and the stuff is all furry. Look! The stuff is stuck on there! It won't come off! It's ruined."

Me: "Yeah, I'm sure. Ruined."

The King: "Why can't people just keep their mits off my stuff?"
Me: "Yeah, it is a conspiracy we've been working on for a while here. Let's ruin all of your stuff. I'll wash it, go to work."

So there you have it folks. This, THIS, is what is taking up space in a man's brain.The furry stuff that someone deliberately wiped all over his sweatshirt.

PS - The furry substance was chocolate....I washed it off with a paper towel. It was brutal.





Wednesday, July 23, 2008

They're Back!!!

For the last three days my awesome sister Jenna and her husband Sam have had my three darling cherubs at their house for a little "vacation" - for them and for me and the King. They had such a great time, got to spend some quality time with their cousins (all four of them, age 7 and under!) swimming, watching movies and playing together. It was so unreal to have the house to ourselves, to be able to think without being interrupted, to clean something up and have it stay that way for more than five minutes, to have the peace and quiet and be able to really enjoy it.

Yesterday I brought them home.

Yeah. They're back.

Please don't misunderstand me. I love my kids more than anything in the world. I am proud of the little people that the King and I are working on here, and my life would be nothing without them.

But people, they bug me sometimes. I hate to say it but about ten minutes into our car ride, I was already annoyed. After three days "off" you'd think I'd have a little more patience. But alas, no. Annoyed in ten minutes.

Right now I am downstairs listening to the sweet sounds of Matt telling Grace "You're so mean!" and Olivia laughing at them both as the fight escalates. Hang on, hang on.......that has now progressed to Grace saying "Liv! Liv! LIVVVVVVVV!" Let me scream up to them to stop it......OK, did it.

I know when I go upstairs there will be clothes everywhere, no doubt scraps of paper all over Grace's room (her nickname is Edward Scissorhands as she can craft an entire city out of a piece of white paper), the bathroom will be covered with a fine sheen of blue toothpaste, and the place will be destroyed. Call me a mind reader.....but I am pretty sure that is what I will find.

Maybe my stress level is ultra high since in the next two days I have to pack for our upcoming three week trip back east. That might be it. And while I am excited for the time away , especially relaxing on the beach in North Carolina, the packing is a daunting task. I don't even know where to begin......I guess some laundry would be a good idea. Ugh.

But for those of you out there in blog land, this trip will no doubt be filled with some amazing stories......I know you won't be disappointed. If you know me and my family at all, you'll know what I mean.

Maybe I'd better get started on my packing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Words She Hates

The other day my nine year old daughter decided that there are several words that she will never ever utter again in her life. She literally came downstairs and said "Mom, I really hate the word unique and I am never going to say it again." I had to laugh!


This lead to a discussion of what other words she doesn't like.....to round out her list are the following words: tender, vomit, moist, unique, juicy, scrumptious, luscious, tasty, wonderful.


This just cracked me up. And of course, she has opened herself up to lots of harassment by her siblings by letting them in on this little secret. You just know that during the next kid fight, one of them is going to say every single one of these hated words just to make Grace mad. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to so publicly announce this list.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's Just a Greasy Spoon Without You

I am so sick and tired of hearing Spongebob Squarepants in the background of my life. For years I fought to never allow this show on my television. Kicking and screaming were involved, yet I held strong. No Spongebob for you - your brain will rot and my reputation as a mother will be soiled.

At some point though, I became weak. Probably after a long day of all three of my cherubs talking at the same time, or crying at the same time, and they broke me. "Just one time Mom? Please?" I gave in, and the battle was lost.

I will admit though, sometimes I do chuckle while listening to it in the background. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes. Especially when Spongebob sings. Have you ever heard it? Check it out. Maybe you'll chuckle too........I also love how he gets dressed in this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcRd5hhN88

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ina Wanna What?

This will mark my first post to this blog. Yahoo! We all have to start somewhere, so bear with me as I get going. I hope you'll like what you read and come back for more.

Wondering about the title? While you may find this odd, I aspire to cook, and live, like Ina Garten. Haven't heard of her you say? Turn on the Food Network.....Ina Garten (also known as the Barefoot Contessa) is a caterer and chef (her second career) who lives in the Hamptons (Long Island) with her husband Jeffrey. Ina is happy, chubby and amazing. Everything she makes, and the way she entertains and lives, looks ideal and effortless. Her home is to die for, and her food is simple, basic and totally delicious. I have yet to make a recipe of Ina's that didn't turn out perfectly.

So this past Christmas after getting three Ina cookbooks and reading them from cover to cover (I know I am not the only one who does this - be honest), I decided to adopt a few things from Ina's life.


On Friday evenings, to welcome Jeffrey home after a long week of travel, Ina has a cocktail ready for him, as well as his favorite dinner, Chicken Picatta. This is such an easy but delicious dish, and if you make it people will think you slaved all day long in the kitchen. Even my kids love this dish, and as you'll no doubt learn in the blog, my kids eat NOTHING!!!! I mean NOTHING! Oh, well, candy, but not real food. No way. But I digress....

So on Friday, The King (which is what I will call my husband for the purposes of this blog) is greeted with his favorite drink, and this amazing meal. I hear you snickering now people........
I can actually hear it. Don't think that I am a sad little housewife waiting on the King hand and foot. I do this because I enjoy it. I love rituals, and this one is a keeper. Friday night at my house is my favorite day of the week.

So this is the reason behind the name of my blog. I am an Ina Wanna Be. Watch me try.