Wednesday, January 30

Counting to 10

All is fairly quiet around here today, which much to my dismay, is one of those days for lots of "thinking". You know - going from thought to thought to thought.....over-analyzing everything.....yadda yadda yadda.

So, I might just jot down a few things to hopefully get them off my mind and put them to rest.

I have totally figured out, you know, now that I am 42 - that counting to 10 in necessary situations, actually works. Not only in times where I feel like I am going to explode with the kids, Connor's laziness, or Hannah's forgetfulness (which, man, now that I am typing it, seems so very lame), but in the heat of it all is rightfully disturbing - I can count to 10 and usually put a cap on the explosion. But ask me how many times I really do that - counting to 10 - I am sure my neighbors wonder what all the yelling is about sometimes... Back to point - it does work.

Today, for instance, I am really trying to count to 10 fairly consistently - otherwise someone is going to have to call the psychiatric unit at St. Rose and involuntarily admit me. I am feeling very stressed.

As in my previous posts, the kids are sick. So that's really where this all begins.

If you are Italian, you will appreciate this. The admission that all of us are born with the "guilt" factor. Many of my Jewish friends can also relate to this. I think that's why I have always had a lot of Jewish friends - we can relate. We can compare - who feels the most guilty about this or that.....

So here-in the guilt lies with how I am feeling about my kids being sick. I unfortunately feel like I am making a bigger issue about Hannah being sick, over Connor and Garrin. I even called my brother yesterday to MAKE him understand that I don't want to come across like I only care about Hannah. Because I don't. Really. Connor has been home since Wednesday of last week. Garrin developed a fever and a cough during the night last night, but I am definitely more stressed about Hannah getting well for this upcoming weekend. I am trying to clarify that in my own mind, how being stressed about Hannah is entirely unrelated to how I feel about the other two being sick. I suppose I prioritize it differently, is all. yeah, yeah, that's it!

And this guilt unfortunately extends to my "healthy living" plan I have started for myself. Last night I didn't go to the gym. Between not feeling so hot myself, and the fact that my body is still recovering from Monday nights weight training (I'm dyin' ova here...), the need to scour the towns pharmacies for cold medication, and get the kids homework underway - I didn't go. So I feel guilty.

I am counting to 10 - hold on a minute.

So there's always tonight. There has to be tonight. I have not lost one stinking pound, since my workout regime started. I am staying at the calorie count that I am supposed to be at. So what the hell...

I am totally counting to 10 right now - hold on.

When is Monday? Because I am sure things will be so much calmer then. That will be when I will have gotten over the stress of Connor being out of school so long, all three kids getting over this sickness, and Hannah done with the Junior Olympics. I will be over the guilt I feel over possibly slighting one kid over another. I will have more time to figure out, realistically, why my butt is not getting any smaller. I can rejoice in the fact that my husband will be home for a whole couple of weeks!! I feel better already, just thinking about this....ahhhhhhhh.

Think of me today when I am:

1. Driving to the swim shop to pick up Hannah's racing suit.

2. Cleaning out the car before I can even think of packing it up for the trip.

3. Finishing the laundry.

4. Putting away all the clean clothes I have already folded.

5. Scrubbing the two downstairs bathrooms - so Bill can have a SuperBowl Party, while I am gone (you suck, by the way!) (Go Giants!!!!)

6. Pay a couple of bills

7. Finally check the mail - the mailman is probably wanting to shoot me right now.

8. Get cash for the weekend

9. Pack our bags

10. Pick up Hannah at school, get her to the pool, come home, cook dinner, go back to pool and pick her up, etc etc...

11. Counting to 10 in between each of these.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 29

Sickness Alert

Here is our daughter before she left for school this morning.

Now if you asked Hannah, she is just fine. This morning, I ask her in my own hoarse voice "Honey, how are you feeling this morning...really?? Honestly, tell me - how are you REALLY feeling??". Hannah - "cough, cough. Good, real good, Mom. I feel fine, just fine. I actually, sniffle sniffle, feel better. Can I have a Q-Tip? My ear is a little clogged. But that's it, Mom. I am, cough cough, doing great."

So I know I am going to hell for this, but Hannah is now on Connor's amoxicillin as you can see proof in above photo. I asked Bill, who could snow just about anyone, to call Walgreens and tell them we spilled the bottle of amoxicillin, so we could get a refill. SHAME ON ME, now. But, dammit, this swim meet is so freakin important to her (and me) that she needs to get better NOW!!

Connor's teacher sent some of this home yesterday. A packet for Connor and a packet for Hannah.

You just mix it in some water. Hey, whatever helps at this point. Anyway - I brought some to school today, and the nurse said that I would have to go to the classroom and mix it for Hannah, because no one is allowed to touch it, in case of allergies. I am thinking - who the hell is gonna touch it besides Hannah, but whatever. I did one this morning and am going back at lunchtime to do another. I think I am truly walking the line between being a good mom and a bad mom this week, for sure. (sigh.....) I AM FREAKED OUT, AND STRESSED OUT!

And just for that added kick - thanks to my friend Trish's suggestion, all three kids are now drinking the "green drink of death" or so it looks...

They actually LOVE this stuff............I'm not goin' near it.............
Can you overdose on healthy stuff?

Monday, January 28

If it was any other week..

I will admit it right here on the blog. If it was any other week I probably wouldn't be
like I am. Poor Connor has been sick since Wednesday of last week. Not really a big deal at the time. Short week at school. No school Monday or Friday. So he really missed only a couple of days. He has had this never-ending cough, and yes, reaching for my Mother-Of-The-Year award has been quite a stretch these past days. Me yelling at him every 3 minutes, to "PLEASE, PLEASE, try to STOP COUGHING, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!".

Well, according to the Doctor at the walk-in medical clinic Bill took him to yesterday - he can't stop. Double ear infection and severe throat infection.
S%&t, s%&t, and double s%&t!
Amoxicillin two times a day for 10 days, and Claritin once a day, with a chaser of Delsym cough syrup. Home today, probably home tomorrow.

So Hannah comes down this morning, STUFFY NOSE, tiny cough.
We leave for California on Thursday for Hannah to swim in the Junior Olympics - hence - my frazzled state right now.

Not that I would even consider this, not even for a second, or just one tiny bit, but a friend suggested I screw giving the amoxicillin to Connor and just give it to Hannah.....SHAME ON YOU, MY FRIEND.....SHAME ON YOU....
Check back with me tomorrow, though.....


Sunday, January 27

wet and weary weekend....

Believe it or not, it rained here in the desert today. Actually all night long. Rain is always a welcome change. But whatever the weather - living in a valley is awesome because you can see so far out and the sky is magnificent!

Here is the view of our neighborhood out on Connors balcony - lots of fog rolling in...

Here's our view of the Strip....uhh, where is the Strip?....Helllllooo Chris and Allison....where are you????? We can usually see clear across the valley.

Here is a shot at the mountain behind our house. You can see the fog coming closer...

and a half an hour even closer.....

Cool, huh?
The perfect day to just hang out with the cutest dog EVER and just watch Disney Channel, isn't it? And being naked to boot is most awesome!

You see...Lucy will sleep with who ever she can...

This was my post-workout nap from Saturday.

Here is Garrin last night when we all went up to bed.

A lot of lazying around this weekend. It was pretty terrific, I must say.

Saturday, January 26

Photoshop for TypeA personalities

So on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog (see sidebar for link) that I read constantly, Ree has posted a few notes on how she got some of her photo's of her mustangs so flippin awesome looking. Kind of like a shortened condensed version of Photoshop. Which is the only way to go for me, baby. If I have to actually spend time reading the Photoshop for Dummies book my kids got me for Christmas - it WILL be next Christmas before I can figure anything out. And being who I am, I just want to know how to do Just like my quest to figure out how to use my Canon Rebel with the expensive new lens the right way.........just show me, man. I don't want to/have the time to read the book.

So today I tried a few of the ideas from Ree's blog. This is my all time, at the moment, most favorite shot of Garrin. God, I love him. Anyway, this is the before shot:

This is the after PS shot:

I'm diggin it. It's not perfect (like I like things to be at all times) but its working for me right now.

Friday, January 25

Bill was bored...

with my post about my little "5 finger discount" re-cap. He said he'd rather see pictures of his kids (well, maybe if you stayed home a little more often - wait, if you did stay home more often, maybe you wouldn't have such a great job, and I would have to go out and get one....never mind - keep travelin' baby!) so back to the post - he'd like to see more pictures of his kids or something exciting like a FIRE.

Well - wouldn't you know, the Monte Carlo was on fire today. And we drove by it. Here is a picture we took. Well, Hannah took it actually, because I was driving safely and obeying all the rules of the road................for once.

Even though much time has passed, it was sad that my first thought was that some lunatic drove a plane into the building....

Anyway - onto my kids. Here is a funny thing that happened today with my daughter.
Hannah - "Mom....Where are my skinny jeans?" Yeah, she's 10, has zero body fat from swimming constantly, wears a size Girls 8, cinching the waist, but needs the length, and weighs less than 60 pounds. Did I say she's ten and is looking for her "skinny" jeans. Add fashion-aware to that list......

So then - Hannah - "MOM.....I can't get these buttoned!!!!"

So this is what I showed her how to do it when that happens:

We ALL do it sometime in our life, right??

Here is my Super-Fly Super Model.
What did I say the other day? "Oh to be a 5th grader...."

If I go to jail, can someone watch my kids?

I shoplifted accidentally, yesterday.

I went to the store I am not naming, you know, in case the manager or the security guy or homeland security or something, reads this - anyhoo. Hannah needed Velcro at school, because she said her pants were falling down - just kidding - her science fair project. So I picked the Velcro up first and then proceeded to buy 6 18x18 pillow inserts (post to follow shortly pertaining to pillows) which I then shoved in the carriage. I then rolled on over to the scrapbooking section and picked up some little scrapbooking supplies (post to follow shortly pertaining to scrapbook). Now if it sounds at all like I am at Joann Fabrics, just put it right out of your mind. With my carriage practically overflowing it was time to check out. I unloaded all the minuscule little scrapbooking doo-dads and then gave the lady one of the pillows, telling her I had 6 total, so I didn't have to take them all out of the carriage. Done - paid - out to the car.

I started shuffling through the bag with all the doohickeys in it looking for the Velcro to take to Hannah's school and it is not in there.

Because it was on the bottom of the carriage under all the pillows!! And in my lack of an extra 5 or 6 hours each day to do what I SHOULD be doing everyday, no time to go back in and 'fess up. So I brought the stolen merchandise to school.

As soon as I got home I went here: and confessed my sin.

Man, I feel better.

Thursday, January 24

ANYONE'S best friend, I guess

As long as it involves a couch, a blanket, and The Dog Whisperer on TV......

Its especially awesome when Bill comes home from a long trip....

And when Connor is home sick with a fever and a cough....

Wednesday, January 23

Oh, to be a 5th Grader...

Here is my beautiful daughter. Love her. How could you not love such beauty? A bit about her: she is 10, in 5th grade, straight A student, which is a strict pre-requisite for her out of school activities, which solely consists of competitive swimming. Now swimming, she is quite good at - as a matter of fact, she will be swimming in the Junior Olympics in a little over a week, and has qualified to do so in all 11 events. Let's get back to the straight A's.

I do admit, Hannah knows that she has to do well in school, so for the most part, she takes it upon herself to work very, very hard - math, reading, science, etc etc. There are moments that I ride her about being more diligent with homework - you have to in this situation because she is literally dividing every night between 2 hours of swimming and then 2 hours of homework. Long story short - she gets done what she needs to get done.

So I am reading my hysterical girlfriends blog last night with a post pertaining to her 5th graders homework last night - (check it out ) and decided to share my own experience with last nights homework here at our house. Hers was math - this one is spelling.

Now Hannah is by far the WORST SPELLER ON THIS PLANET. Good thing computers have spell check!! Anyway here is part of her spelling page:

How? How does this happen? How can you answer the first part of the question correctly - and then MISSPELL THE WORD WHEN IT IS PRINTED CORRECTLY RIGHT NEXT TO YOU??? And not only that, you can't see this part, but the words are also listed vertically on the right on the upper portion of this paper!!! TWICE they are right there, spelled correctly, she re-writes them - and spells them wrong. Oh, well. When does Middle School start?

While we are on the subject..

not really spelling, but grammar in particular. I am by no means a fanatic about grammar, but there are certain things....I mean, really. This was on the front page of yesterday's newspaper. "IT DON'T GET ANY BETTER"????? What the hell? Isn't it "It doesn't get any better"?? Its a pretty decent article too. When we are quoting people, is it a must to quote someone who doesn't speak correctly?
And going along with that - Do news reporters have to broadcast the people who look the trashiest and can't speak well because they don't have any teeth??? Did they NOT interview someone a little better put-together for that particular story?? Why is this OK?

Tuesday, January 22


..........and I wasn't the one doing it.

She was:
Ladies and gentlemen - meet my personal trainer - Carmen Brady. Yes, yes, look closely. She looks a bit familiar now, doesn't she?? Maybe in a movie, you ask?? Yes, yes, a movie. Yah, uhh try NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. She played Starla. Oh and by the way, you can also check her out on her myspace page: . And then you will realize why you may not see me leave the house for a few days.................

She friggin' KILLED ME. Holy AbCrunches!!!!!

Anyhoo. I feel good - sort of.......

Anybody looking for a guest pass, just let me know!!! Day 2 on the healthy trek - down - many, many more to go. I meet with Carmen again on Saturday.

Laziness WINS!

Bill told me about this stuff - he saw it at Albertsons - Pancake batter in a "whipped cream" dispenser. Shake, squirt, flip, serve. (that doesn't sound good, as I re-read it). Anyhoo. All I could thing of - Oh My God - HOW FLIPPIN' LAZY could I be using THAT stuff.

Ok, so who am I kidding? I don't have time (I don't get up early enough) to make my kids homemade pancakes, and they are addicted to Krusteaz Frozen Mini Pancakes, anyway. So what is the big difference, I ask myself?
So Connor and I are doing a Costco run on Sunday, and low and behold, they are "sampling" these pancakes. They taste pretty darn good! So we, of course, bought the mega-pack - 3 to a package.

So there you have it. Breakfast for the kids this morning. And I didn't get up early. (Damn, my grill looks nasty, dirty in these photos.)

Monday, January 21

My Journey to "Healthy"

Since I am officially a member of Golds Gym - I am going to try to post my progress on this trek to get my a$$ in shape. Also, I have a follow up appointment with my new Doctor on Wednesday, and I need to prove to him that I took his words seriously enough and joined a gym. So the journey begins.

So, I know a lot of people who are uneasy going to a gym because of the stigma that it holds. We are not talking LA Fitness here, where I, myself may feel a little intimidated by all the BEAUTIFUL-NESS. We are talking Golds Gym. And I must say, walking in today, I felt pretty comfortable. I went at 10am - not showered, looking pretty freakin good in yesterdays makeup, with my hair pulled back in an adorable ponytail, cellphone and iPod in hand. So here is a quick overview of what I was a part of:

This is what my personal trainer scheduler looked like. I had to speak with her to schedule my first of 6 FREE personal trainer appointments. Right, Gini - nothing is for free. Whatever. Anyhoo - she scares me. Hopefully I am not meeting with her - she could kick my a$$ from here to home with one good boot! And it's all uphill, at that. She could do it.

This guy and all his friends were there. They scare me. Why do they walk around with a smile plastered to there face constantly?

Moving on.

Grandma was there - lots of them. And Grandpa too.

He was there. That pretty much goes without saying.

A division of our local fire department - also there. I actually took comfort in this - knowing that in case I passed out from not working out in forever - they wouldn't have to call 911. So now, not only do I see this crew, always grocery shopping at Albertsons - I can catch them all over at the gym.

This guy was there for sure.

As was she.

And here is little ol' me. Well, I guess according to my BMI - obese ol' me. Well just see what we can do about that.
So there you have it. The start of something big for me. Exercising and getting in shape. I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 20


Yah, BABY!!!! Giants are IN the SuperBowl!!! Love the Pats but I'm goin' for
THE GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(even though we will be at Junior Olympics, and I won't be able to watch it with everyone :( ).

Saturday, January 19

We Are Doin' It...

get your minds out of the gutter...

Since we have been hanging this sign everywhere,

we joined Golds Gym today, so that we can then hang THIS sign everywhere:

Friday, January 18

He's Here!!

Welcome the newest addition to our family.


We love him already! And we love Kimmy and Dennis. Nice work guys!

'member the post...

about the pee-ing and the sound it makes when Connor 1st comes down in the morning???

I wonder if that is what it sounded like...


Will keep you posted...

Thursday, January 17

I's like riding a bike... never forget.

Garrin hasn't had a swim lesson for a couple of weeks, with the holidays and all. So here he is back with Debbie today. He is doing amazing considering he's been out of the water so long.

Wednesday, January 16

Hi Daddy!!

I am ec-STATIC that you are coming home to me tomorrow!!! I have been driving Mommy especially crazy!

Tuesday, January 15

My Pet Pee-ve

OK, so I am talking about all of us moms who have boys. I happen to have a seven year old, and a potty-training 2 year old.

If boys pee-ed more often, would there potentially be less clean up?

My case in point:

Every morning, Connor comes down the stairs. Now he is a pretty sound sleeper and I know he does not get up during the night. So he hits the toilet first thing (with the door open of course). EVERY SINGLE morning, it sounds like he takes a bucket of water, and is holding it about 3 feet above the toilet, and then dumps it in. And EVERY SINGLE morning I say "Connor, are you SURE that all of that is going where it needs to go???" Every day I say that! "Yes, yes" he says. Somedays I watch. He is sometimes standing with his eyes closed, because he is still half asleep, and he is holding the toilet seat up. Not all the way, mind you. But a little less than halfway. And then he lets 'er rip.

And then, more times than not, after school, he gets to the car, having to pee. Because like most kids these days - they don't pee at school! Whatever. So we still have to get to the pool, and I would say, two days out of the week, he absolutely has to go when we get to the pool, because he can't hold it til we get home. That I could care less about. It is those 3 days that he waits to get home. And then again, with the door open - lets loose.

This is bugging the crap out of me right now, because as I am vacuuming downstairs today, and both bathrooms, which I scrubbed 3 days ago, need to be scrubbed again. Keep in mind also, there are three more bathrooms upstairs - one of which my biggest boy of all, Bill, uses. So my question is, if boys went pee-pee more often, and didn't hold it, would it make such a friggin mess each and every time they went in there??????

Monday, January 14

Souper Sunday

I must, of course, start this post out by saying that My Boys WON yesterday. Right on!!! It's actually kind of fun when you are the only one in your family that is going for the under-dog. But the Giants rock and here we go onto the next round.........If it can't be with Peyton, then I will take Eli.

Anyway. With the soccer tournament behind us, we still had another day at the swim meet. Hannah did great Saturday. Took time off both her events, and did great Sunday - took time off. That's what we went for, right??? My friend Trish and I are determined to understand how to use our camera's properly. She is definitely one up on me, because she still has the owners manual for her camera - I'm sure I threw mine out long ago. Anyway, she showed me a couple of things yesterday. Here is a shot of Hannah warming up. Now mind you, I am probably about 40 yards away from her and up in the seating area that is about 15 or so feet high. Not too bad of a shot. Actually changed some of the settings on the camera....go figure. (Never done that before).

After the meet, I was still feeling like I can't shake this cold/flu thing I got goin' on. Besides that fact that I have a cold sore about the size of a half-dollar (well, it feels that big, anyway!) and am trying to keep pink eye under wraps, it felt like the perfect day for SOUP.

Progresso was not gonna cut it today though. So I made Bill a list and he went out to get me the ingredients. Here is my recipe, a take on my Grandmothers soup. I took a couple of short cuts, but it still came out quite delicious.

1 bunch of celery, about 10 carrots, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 bay leaves, fresh or dried basil and oregano and parsley, 3 large containers of chicken broth, 1 roasted chicken,1 bunch of escarole, 1/2 lb. of ground beef, breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, grating cheese, milk and 1 pound of tiny pasta (orzo or acini de pepe).

Soften chopped onion and garlic into some good olive oil in a nice big soup pot. Add chopped celery and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes. You want to have the veggies chopped medium size. Add bay leaves and herbs, salt and pepper if you like. Continue cooking about 10 more minutes. Add all chicken stock and then an equal amount of water, maybe more. I don't really know, I rarely measure anything. Simmer for about an hour. That I don't really know for sure either - it just seems like an hour.

While this is simmering, in a mixing bowl put ground beef, about 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, about 1/2 cup milk and grating cheese according to your liking. (I personally don't know the exact measurements, I am just guessing). Mix together. Use this mixture to make many, many polpettas (meatballs), mini sized. Set aside.

In separate spaghetti pot, (that's what we call it here - we make a lot of pasta), boil water and cook pasta in salted water. Drain and set aside.

Taste broth and add salt to your liking. It may need it, it may not. Bring up the soup to a boil. As you are doing this, with slotted spoon remove all veggies. If you have one of these babies:

use it. If not a blender or food processor will do. Mash up all veggies. Throw back into broth. Add all your baby meatballs. Chop up chicken and add to soup. Chop up escarole and add to soup. Cook about 20 minutes until meatballs are done.

Ladle into bowl and grate some really good peccorino romano (that's what we use) all over it! Call it SOUP.

The best ending to a weekend filled with lots of soccer, lots of swimming, and lots of kick-ass football!!!!!!