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


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


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!