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Friday, November 30

rain, rain, go away.....come again another day

It actually rained here today - like...all day....all daaaayyyy long... and I really tried to not be grumpy about it....you know, since our typical average yearly rainfall is 4.13 inches, and Lake Mead is pretty much drying up to nothing, and the water company has imposed very strict watering schedules (which I adhere to methodically) - we could really use the rain, I suppose. So I took this quick shot with my little camera, since all the better photos I took with the big camera don't exist because I didn't have the CF card in it. Damn I hate when that happens.

Oh and in case you needed to see a picture of me while I am driving in the rain:


Oh and also - I found out today that I need glasses. "Keep your eyes on the road, Gini".

Thursday, November 29

wiped out

My two year olds hectic morning -

8:30 - get awakened only because I have to bring my sister and brother to school
9:00 - get back home and eat an ooey-gooey cinnamon roll that my mom is drooling over but is testing her ability to JUST SAY NO.
9:30 - watch a few cartoons, play with trucks, let Lucy in and out
10:00 - help mom prepare home made spaghetti sauce, whine to help her with the onions, and then cry because the fumes have over taken my eyes and nose
11:00 - follow the bug guy around the house with bare feet while he is spraying
11:30 - happily put on my bathing suit and wetsuit for my swim lesson
11:55 - fall asleep just as mom is pulling into the pool parking lot
12:00 - swim lesson
1:30 -

Wednesday, November 28

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Now it is certainly that time of year when us parents are thinking about what to get the kids for Christmas. I know I like to check out what the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio has to say about what our kids should be playing with. If you have never seen the website, here is the link:
http://www.toyportfolio.com/Index.asp

I am obsessively cleaning my bathroom and bedroom this morning, while Garrin is going from room to room playing. While cleaning I am thinking about the fact that my kids have every toy under the sun and am not sure what to get them for Christmas. As I leave my bathroom heading into my bedroom here is Garrin busy playing.

A new whistle, perhaps?

A piece of a Lego building set?


A homemade mini maraca?

NOPE!

It is amazing how kids entertain themselves when you are not looking, isn't it?




Tuesday, November 27

Photoshop


I recently just legally obtained a lawful copy of a legitimate reproduction of Photoshop which I had read on someone else's blog that this is THE software to have to edit photos. Now trust you me, I am by no means a good photographer. Amateur is not even a good word. See definition that follows:


1. somebody doing something for pleasure: somebody who does something for pleasure rather than payment, a competition open only to amateurs


2. unskilled person: somebody with limited skill in, or knowledge of, an activity. Whoever fixed your car must have been an amateur.


Well, maybe #2 is appropriate. Anyway - back on point....


So I have now installed this software with the help of my personal technical support guy. (A big shout out to you - Oyray!!!)(He needs to stay anonymous - you understand). I know I am off point again - but I must say - EVERYONE should have their own personal technical support guy.


OK.


So I am just screwing around with this software to see what it does and here is what I came up with so far. Let me know what you think.



Here is a pretty picture of Lucy I took today in the car while we were waiting for Hannah and Connor to get out of school.


A pretty basic and easy black and white conversion of same photo of my sweet Lucy girl.



This is Lucy if she eats a whole bag of chocolates that she has snuck into her crate when I wasn't looking.


And this is Lucy in about 10 more years when she is pretty much on her death bed.



What fun! I can't wait to learn how to really use this thing. My goal is to get a great Christmas Card picture done. We will see.




Monday, November 26

Get Braces or not to Get Braces........

...that is the question?


Today was our very first experience with the ORTHODONTIST. Hannah's dentist has been recommending we go for a consult for about a year now. I have managed to put it off, until Hannah's last cleaning when I could tell she was a little annoyed with me - having to ask me a third time, if we had been. So I finally, bit the bullet and took Hannah today. Here is what I found interesting:


1. They had sent some paperwork to be filled out at home prior to coming in. They had also asked for all of our dental insurance info ahead of time. Surprise!.....when I got there they told me that our dental plan covered NO orthodontics. "Really??" I asked. "Does ANY dental plan cover orthodontics??" I sniped. Who the hell has orthodontic insurance? We all end up paying for the stinking things out of pocket, right? Anyone have orthodontic insurance?
2. The orthodontist seriously, asked my daughter what about her mouth, teeth, smile, spaces, etc, that she didn't like? How to make the parents feel guilty, if they didn't go along with the recommendation of putting braces on the kid!!!!


Anyway - her consultation yielded the same results as all other kids consults these days. EVERYBODY needs braces...sometime.....


Hannah gets to wait though. Wait for 8 months for the tooth on the x-ray that is supposedly coming in a little crooked to emerge so we can yank it out and put on her braces. I don't know - I sucked my thumb forever and have a bit of an overbite and survived pretty good without braces!


The real kicker is - Hannah was disappointed that she left without "metal-mouth" and has to wait another little bit to go back there.


Show me the glamour in that....


Sunday, November 25

The Pea Green House

Parker, Colorado
The Wilson's
Thanksgiving 2007

We flew to Parker to spend Thanksgiving with our friends who high-tailed in out of Vegas about 6 months ago. We were excited to catch up, eat some good food, maybe see a little snow, and see if they are gonna move back here anytime soon.


Here is their pretty house, that MaryBeth so fondly calls the "pea green" house. I like it, actually. This is a picture of some snow they had gotten a couple of weeks ago.








Here we are in the dining room getting ready for our Thanksgiving Feast on the day we flew in.
















Hannah got to swim (at altitude) with Makenna's team - the Colorado Stars.











Check out how tiny she looks compared to Makenna's team mates. They are all 11 and 12!! I must say, that Hannah kept up for most of the two hour work out. She only took a couple of "I can't breathe up here" breaks!!!!







On Friday, it was very, very cloudy and foggy. We kept waiting for the snow to roll in, which eventually it did. The kids got all bundled up (in borrowed gear, because we don't own that kind of stuff) and enjoyed the snow that had fallen. Here is Makenna saying - "No, really.....it's gonna be fun!!!!".


Matt wasn't around for the picture above, because he was already dressed and out the door before anyone knew it!!







On Saturday, the girls skipped workout, and instead we drove around checking out Parker and its wildlife.




The weather was clear and sunny and we got a good look at the Rocky Mountains which are all snow covered. There was a ton of deer everywhere. We were also looking for the perfect picture spot to get a family picture for Christmas cards.




















Me and my friend.









Bill and Brad posing for their "friend" photo!! Can you tell we had a fun time with them???




Here is my sweet Garrin, experiencing snow, cold, the woods, and a big fluffy coat - for the 1st time.
Love him.









So all in all, Parker was terrific. Not too cold, not too much snow! Still couldn't wear my flip flops, but had a great time talking about all those things you just forget to talk about on the phone, or can't type in an e-mail. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, as we did. How many day's until Christmas now??

Wednesday, November 21

Being Thankful


I am sure a lot of posts right about now, will be similar. Being thankful - we all take a moment to actually think about it now that it is the season.

In all of life's hectic-ness lately, I had heard a news story pertaining to a girl who had committed suicide and it had something to do with myspace. I was sitting with the kids this morning while they ate their breakfast and was reading the paper when I came across this article. I learned the details of that story.

Editorial: An Internet tragedy
A girl's suicide after cyber hoax shows that children aren't the only ones who can be cruel
Megan Meier was three weeks away from turning 14 last year when she hanged herself after an online relationship with a boy named Josh Evans ended in a flame of Internet vitriol.
Her world crashed suddenly, within the course of a day, as even her friends joined in on the cyber dumping, trashing her on the social Web site MySpace.
What Megan never knew is that she was the victim of a vicious cyber hoax. There was no Josh Evans. He was made up by a woman - a mother, making her actions all the more despicable - who lived four doors down from Megan's home in suburban St. Louis. The woman told police she wanted to monitor what Megan said about her daughter. The girls had been close but had had a falling out. The woman involved her daughter and others, but she was the mastermind.
She had Megan pegged, creating the perfect lure for a girl she knew struggled with depression and low self-esteem - a cute, sympathetic 16-year-old boy. In online conversations "he" complimented her. He said she was pretty.
And after six weeks of niceties he unleashed the terror of the Internet.
He wrote that she was mean to her friends and that he wanted to end the relationship. A chorus of people she knew quickly joined in to agree. An Internet poll appeared. Was Megan fat? A slut? During that single day of online piling on, Josh wrote that the world would be better off without her.
Megan's parents said they closely monitored her Internet use, but in the hyperspeed of the Internet, it all happened too fast. Prosecutors say no laws were broken because the law doesn't cover such online behavior.
Megan's tragic death is a sobering lesson for parents. Bullies aren't just in the schoolyard but also in their victims' homes via the Internet. It is up to parents to teach their children how to deal with bullies, and to teach them the sad reality that it isn't only children who can be cruel.


I was hit hard by the details of this story. I am ashamed to share a label with this instigator - MOTHER.


It made me think: Aside from the obvious things I am thankful for - first and foremost, my husband, and then my beautiful children, I am most thankful for being given the opportunity to be a mother. To be in charge of teaching someone how to be a good, honest human being. To live life with love and respect. I am the first to say - that sometimes on the exterior, with everyday pressures to live life in high gear - I may not always come across that this is an easy,fulfilling job. The underlying reality to all of it is - I am very, very thankful for all I have in my life.


I made it a point to read this article to the kids this morning. It has and will continue to be important to teach our kids what bullying can do to others. I was sad to have to tell them, that mothers can fall into that category as well.



Tuesday, November 20

MOTHER OF THE YEAR



There are so many times that we (us mothers) joke amongst ourselves, saying "Yeah, I guess I won't be getting mother of the year award for ....." whatever stupid thing we did at that particular moment. But what kid wouldn't vote for me today? Chocolate chip cookie for breakfast, without even a second of hesitation from me when he asked for it!!! Anyway - how can you resist this sweet face?




Monday, November 19

a day like any other day....


or is it?

Today I have decided to make the commitment to stop taking my HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I have been see-sawing about this decision for a couple of weeks now, totally screwing my body up - I am quitting - I am not quitting - I am taking a lower dose - no, I am quitting. Anyhoo. Today I quit - for good. (I feel like a "stop smoking" ad). Why am I quitting? Because I have blamed my sudden, slight but uncomfortable weight gain on the meds. So this means that I am going to have to try to deal with my hot flashes, moodiness ('cause I"M NOT moody EVER), and night sweats on my own. If anyone can relate - whatever I have to encounter to lose a couple of pounds is worth zipping up my jeans without cursing! I am not kidding when I say - A Muffin Top is a Muffin Top no matter what you weigh. A 129 lb person with a muffin top is just as uncomfortable as a 200 lb person with one!! I mean it! And I must say now is a perfect time to try this little experiment of foregoing HRT, because it is fairly cool outside and I can just open every single solitary window in this house to stay cool. That's what cozy blankets are for - Bill, Hannah, Connor, Garrin, and Lucy........
Along with the ease of controlling my hot flashes and night sweats, I have also found a way to make my somewhat short fuse, a bit longer. Both of my kids, tonight, did not follow the usual, steadfast routine I like to stick to regarding getting homework done. But in true effort of handling any moodiness that might occur - I just chilled. On most days - Connor does homework while Hannah is at the pool. Hannah does homework at the pool while Connor is working out. Afterward we go home. Eat dinner and finish remaining homework, which usually consists of 20 minutes of reading for both kids. After that - a little studying and then bed. Tonights new arrangement had Connor playing with a friend after dropping Hannah at the pool. Bringing Connor to the pool and Hannah hanging out with friends. Home to eat dinner. Connor spending - I don't know - 4 or 5 minutes zooming through his math homework. He leaves to go get a new Playstation game at Best Buy with his father. Hannah asks to do her homework in the kitchen which is typically off limits. She is allowed to as I proceed to pretty much walk her through her essay questions. I check over her math, make her correct the ridiculous mistake she made. Meanwhile Connor gets home and I allow then to both lie about their reading homework for the night. Hannah then remembers she has to type a letter to some pen pal she has in Kenya - which I pretty much type for her - because I can just get it done faster. End of homework - No yelling at the kids.

Life is Great.

Sunday, November 18

S.U.N.D.A.Y


It has been quite awhile since we had one day out of a weekend to just stay home. Here is what one or a combination of all of us did today:


S: slept late


U: under the covers


N: napped


D: dozed


A: asleep


Y: why??? because we could..........

Super Saturday

Can you say - "UNDEFEATED" this season?? Connor's soccer team (or should I say - Bill's) played their final game of the season and creamed the other team 7 to 1. So to date that puts their standings for the last 5 seasons - 1 loss, 1 tie, and 48 wins. Holy Cow! Scorpions Rule!! We had an end-of-season party for the boys at PumpItUp. Here are some pictures.









Friday, November 16

I'm Ba...aaack!


So my last post was what? like a week ago? Things have been a bit busy. So I will quickly re-cap - for those of you not a part of the busy-ness of the last bunch of days.


Where do I start?


OK so I last posted about dumping off my 2 kids and Bill at the airport on their way to the NV State Swimming Championships. Well long story short - all went well.........uh, without me.....Everyone survived the wrath of mommy when it comes to swimming. I was not there to pretend I know anything about what they are about to do - and give them advice. Bill was that parent this time. Not sure what, if any, advice he gave our kids but they swam terrific. Connor took time off the two events he had qualified for, and swam his leg of the relay like an old pro. Hannah - took all thirds in her events, except for one fourth (grrrr...) and 2 first places in their relays. The girls actually broke both state records for the relays - that was a huge accomplishment in itself. Over all - BCH won the meet and are the 2007 State Champions. Great job to everyone who worked hard at the meet!!! I will post pictures of the swim meet, on the side bar.


I, myself, took the baby and went to the east coast to throw a hell-uv-a shower for my sister. The weather was actually bearable. I was not nearly as grumpy as when I went to Carson City for the state meet last year - it was frikkin' FREEZING there. But all went well. Got to catch up with some friends and hung out with what little family we have left. Kimmy and Dennis hit the mother-load with stuff for the new baby. All they have to do now is sit back, put up those swollen feet (not YOU Dennis, Kimmy!!!), and wait for Matthew Frances to arrive. I can't post pictures of this trip - because Bill had the camera! Check out Allison's blog to see a couple shots of the visit. (Link to her blog on the right side of mine)


Came home to the same ol' same ol' - kids back in school, swimming, a little 'trowing up' from Hannah, Book Fair volunteering at school, preparations for the last soccer game and soccer party, picking up trophy's and then getting ready for our trip to Colorado the see the Wilson's over Thanksgiving.


Good to be home though. Always is. It's fun to hop on a plane and go somewhere, but it's always great to come home - even to the chaos were happily refer to as Our Lives.

Thursday, November 8

What to do????


It was about 12:20 this afternoon, when I was driving in my car, just having dropped off Bill, Hannah and Connor at the airport. I had swung by the trophy store and ordered (very late) the trophy's for the Scorpions for next Saturday's end-of-season party. So I glanced at the time and I thought to myself:


WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO NOW???


The only person I was responsible for was Garrin - for the whole rest of the day.


My first thought was, did I get up extra-early, because it stills seems "early" to me? And then I thought about


1. NOT going home and getting Garrin lunch and maybe a nap.

2. NOT cleaning feverishly for the next hour or so.

3. NOT having to pack up 2 swim bags with towels, suits, caps, goggles, Gatorade and a snack.

4. NOT rushing out the door to get a good parking space at the park near school.

5. NOT having all of 5 minutes to read a little of the book that I only read while I am sitting at the park waiting for the kids.

6. NOT leaving the park as safely as possible as to not hit any students, but get out of there fast enough to get Hannah to the pool.

7. NOT dropping Hannah off at the pool and getting Connor home so he can get his homework done, before he heads down to his swim workout.

8. NOT getting dinner started while Connor works on homework.

9. NOT getting Connor loaded in the car as soon as Bill gets home, and go sit at the pool for an hour and a half watching his workout, while Hannah supposedly does homework, but she's really socializing with her buddies.

10. NOT coming home and eating dinner at 7:30, which by the way, is doing absolutely NOTHING for the size of my butt!

11. NOT riding the kids because they are lolly-gagging and not finishing dinner, so they can finish homework.


WHEW - What's a girl to do in such a situation?????


I went shopping :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, November 7

Stopping to Smell The Roses

The past few days have been pretty hectic, to say the least. I have been getting us ready to go on two separate trips. Between getting things embroidered for Connor from Swim 2000 (nothing like waiting til the end), buying necessities for my sister's shower, doing laundry, dealing with school district stuff, etc, etc., I haven't had any time to blog. Who wants to hear about all this crap anyway.

So driving the kids to school today, I actually took time to enjoy the moment.

How much better could an anticipated busy day start out, then with a nice hot cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee that my brother brought by, driving the kids to school with the radio blasting the new Seal song, windows rolled down enjoying the amazingly beautiful sunny fall day, with Hannah and Connor actually NOT fighting at all this morning, and my awesome baby boy? I can't think of another morning, a mom of three, could love more than this!!!!



So thank you Chris, for the "1st day it's open" Dunker, and more so thank you Bill for our beautiful family. I am very thankful for all that I have - I should just say it more often.


Monday, November 5

Looking Ahead - The 6-Day Forecast

Home -
Today- Fair, high 80
Tues - Clear, high 81
Wed - Clear, high 81
Thurs - P.Cloudy, high 77
Fri - Cloudy, high 74
Sat- Fair, high 74
Sun - Fair, high 72




The State Championships -
Today - Clear, high 67
Tues - Clear, high 67
Wed - Clear, high 68
Thurs - PMClouds, high 63
Fri - Clear, high 61
Sat - Sprinkles, high 59
Sun - AM Rain, high 57




My sister's baby shower -
Today - Fair, high 58
Tues - Showers, high 54
Wed - PM Clouds, high 48
Thurs - Fair, high 47
Fri - Cloudy, high 40
Sat - Scattered Flurries, high 44
Sun - PCloudy, high 50

How come the temperatures are plummeting where I am going????

Saturday, November 3

A Typical Saturday




It is usually a sports filled day, here at our house. Soccer games, swim meets or just workout. Most Saturday's Bill and I just go our separate ways with one or two of the kids to get whomever to their sport.

We were up at both out by 8:30 this morning. Poor Garrin who may have slept in today, had to be woken up to throw on some clothes, throw some food in his mouth, and thrown in the car. He came with Hannah and I - she had to be in the water at 9am for workout.

Bill and Connor headed to the soccer fields, and I had hopes of speeding to the game after dropping off Hannah. I cannot stand being late. Garrin and I arrived about 10 minutes into the game - we were up 2 to 0 already. Right On - It's gonna be another blowout - I can feel it. Scorpions played awesome as usual - final score 11 to 0. With the energy pumping (the caffeine, really..) I glance around the soccer fields on my hasty retreat to the car, to see if I can see any friends/their kids playing (Hello Jer, Hello Gail......) didn't see anyone so I headed straight back to the pool to pick up Hannah.

Arriving right before 11, I got to chat with some friends and watch the kids - in the water for another 1/2 hour. They are on what is called a "taper" - meaning the yardage they swim is cut back day by day to get their (in Hannah's case - little) bodies ready for a big meet. So let's say they typically swim 5000 yards a day (which by the way is totally incomprehensible to me, I lose count after about 10 laps) - day by day, yardage gets cut down to, let's say, 3000 yards. Which that too, is incomprehensible to me because I can't swim 25 yards without the lifeguards calling 911 - hence the size of my butt!! Anyhoo....after Hannah swimming 2 1/2 hours, we head home.

After my sitting at the pool, and Bill standing on the sidelines yelling at the boys at the game, we decided we really, really, really...
needed a NAP.

Two hours later.....we wake to the kids "high" on candy and soda that they have been enjoying while watching Disney Channel. Candy wrappers are everywhere, Garrin is dirty, and naptime for us is OVER.

Because the weather is just perfecto right now - we played outside with the kiddos, took down Halloween decorations, rode bikes, etc etc.

The big boys are off to a quick birthday party and then a hockey game. Us girls - we are going to pop some popcorn, get an on-demand movie and put Garrin where he needs to be - IN BED.

Another fun filled, stress filled, tiring Saturday at our house. Is is Sunday yet?

Friday, November 2

Dedicated to Bill


A friend said to me today, that all he reads about on my blog are my kids - what about Bill? Well, here it goes, all you "Bill" fans. What do you need to know about Bill? (Great album above, by the way!!)




Where we met? Lived in the same apartment complex. We used to play walleyball (volleyball in a raquet ball court)


What attracted me to him? His legs


What we have in common? We love Seal, vacationing, the Caribbean, the beach (except for Seal - are you seeing a trend here?), we had the same game plan for our futures when we met.


Favorite color? Blue


Other favorites? Nothing because he just can't decide things like that - there is always something better to like, in his mind.


What he does for a living? I just got this down, guys....The company he works for manufactures industrial grade diamond products. He has been doing this for like 20 years now. He is good at it, and despite all the stress, loves going to work everyday.


What he does for fun? Coaches soccer, gets his hair done - I mean gets a haircut - no, I really mean gets his hair done. (like every 3 weeks), hangs out in the sun by the pool (no, not Whitney Ranch pool), shops (jealous, girls????), watches sports, goes to hockey games with Connor, entertains friends at the house


What he doesn't like to do? Play board games, be THE parent at a swim meet, do puzzles or brain teasers, drive on or near the strip


Some things you would never guess about Bill - He is a freak when it comes to ironing, his hair, his clothes, his shoes, is a great bowler, pool player, breakfast maker, kitchen cleaner-upper.


Things that drive me crazy about him - All his clothes are inside out when he takes them off, he can go in his closet and not have anything to wear, he typically wants the underwear/shorts/shirt/socks/whatever that is in the dirty clothes pile, he irons my clothes WAY better than I do, hates my hair if it is anything but short, always wants a different or can't decide on: a car, house, couch, dog, hotel, rental car.....


What I love about him - How much he loves his crazy, busy, chaotic, hectic, stressful, beautiful life and family - and tells us during moments when we least expect him to.
Love you babe.

What are we missing here??


What is the fascination that babies have with stuffing a wet, soapy Pampers butt wipe into their mouth? I thought my baby was the only one who did that, but James is spending the night tonight and I caught him too!! Now I must say that James gets that whole dang thing in his mouth while Garrin just puts in half - and chews and sucks and chews and sucks......Maybe it is a teething thing - James - 1 year molars - Garrin - 2 year molars??

Thursday, November 1

A Great Way To End A Busy Day

"Here I am, taking a nice Thomas The Tank Engine Bubbles bubble bath. Relaxing from a busy day of getting up late from my mom and dad's comfy cozy bed, playing with some toys, takin' a ride to have my mom meet with the school principal about some crazy lady my mom doesn't like too much, then go listen to my mom chat with Debbie while I am supposed to be getting ready for my swim lesson, have a fun, giggle filled swim, take my usual power nap after my lesson,

takin' another ride in the car to get my sister and brother from school and get to the pool for Hannah's workout, come home and play some more while mom pretends to make a lasagne, but I really know it is a frozen one from Costco, go back down to the pool and play with trains while I wait for my sister to get out of the pool, stop talking to her friends, get dressed, make mommy carry all of her bags out while she continues to talk to all her friends, go home, eat Costco lasagne and Halloween candy, etc etc. I just want to relax in my bubble bath..........when my brother comes in and wants to get in with me"
GET


OUT!!!!!!