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


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?


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 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 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 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 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!!!!!