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Monday, September 29

Making Friends with the Enemy


I totally stepped out of my comfort zone today,
and had a coffee with someone who has been
on my short list of people I don't want to spend time with.


I feel like a better person.


For a couple of years I have co-existed with this person
in my neighborhood and at my children's school.
I have made a commitment to Connor and to myself
to be more involved with his school and his class.
Because of this, I will be within close proximity to this person
quite often for the next 8 months.

So in order to calm the fury that boils within me
every time I am in such a situation,
I chose to be the bigger person and try to
make amends,
feel less uncomfortable,
put hurt feelings aside,
and take the first step.


All the while, just keeping it on a very real level.
Whatever that may be right now.
Hopefully a good start to a great week!


Saturday, September 27

So Alike, Yet So Different

You know what I am talking about, when I say,
as adults, taking that "alone time" with a good book,
or even a great magazine, is just what it is.
Nice relaxing, quiet time.

With kids these days, quiet time is all about the electronics.
You know, the iPods, the texting with the cell phones,
the handheld video games. It's just not the same
quiet time that we like.


For example.


video

Friday, September 26

Tonight


200 laps
5000yards
2.84090909 miles
4.57200 kilometers
one 11 year old
one 8 year old
2 water jugs
2 hours


and this new toy:

check.it.out


video

if you don't have one

you better get one.

130 bucks

flip video

Thursday, September 25

Eugene Struthers

I don't know about you, but around our house,
once a joke gets started, we just can't let it go.
For a long, long time.
Some how that joke works its way into different instances
during the day. More often than not,
it helps lighten a particular stressful moment.
So I don't know how many of you watch MadTV on Fox
on Saturday nights. Here is our favorite character:







So lately


we have been taking just about anything
and everything...........
to a
ho
nuva
leva
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e.e. cummings

Wednesday, September 24

If I die from cancer, at least my life is documented.

One whole stinking year
of my fabulous life
written down
for all the world to view.

Wow.

So what the heck does one write about to pay tribute
to such an accomplishment?

Beats the hell outta me,
but here goes nothing.


The PRE-Tao of Gini?????

(chime in music.......)


I am the wife of Bill.
17 years ago we fell in love
at the most in-opportune time,
but managed to make each of our dreams
for life in general, meld together
to make this marriage one that many are envious of
and many just say "huh?".
No, seriously. We make "us" work by working hard at it.
And year after year, we just celebrate the fact
that we still truly love each other,
and are in love with each other.
"So first comes love,
then comes marriage...."
Well, we got married twice.
The first time, we eloped on a Thursday night
and invited 8 of our closest relatives.
Surprise!
Later on down the road, we actually got married in church.
More on that later.
We spent the first 5 of our years together
doing what all married people should do.
Stuff you can't do later when you have kids.
So we traveled a lot.
To very beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
Where I want to live someday...
making baskets or something...
someday.
Anyhoo.
We also opened a flower shop.
(WE in the sense that Bill kept his real job so we could pay the bills,
and I could have a job that I so loved going to every single solitary day. LOOOVED it!)
Even when the week days, turned into very long,
very busy week ends.
It was worth every dime I made minute spent
doing my dream job!
So then we got pregnant 5 years later,
got married in church (because it was the right thing to do)
and had Hannah Banana.
Closed the shop.
Kept the business name (and all the large accounts)
freelanced and became a mom.
Hannah was any parents dream child
(except that I wanted her to have my dark hair,
so she would in some way resemble me, way back then).
She did "everything" early.
Dang! Parenting was easy.
Then three years later we had Connor.
(no, that's not how I meant it.....)
Really, three years later it was Connor.
Then I retired.
Or so that was the joke, back then.
So we have Connor and are literally moving across the country
6 months later.
Bill's company was relocating.
Were we crazy?
Packing, nursing.
Packing.
Moving and more nursing.
And then we found what would be our heaven on earth
for the next 8 years of our life.
The Desert.
Nevada.
I'll guess here - 360 days of sunshine?
No snow.
Right
ON!
And this is just about when parenthood,
was kicked into overdrive.
With Hannah off to pre-school
and Connor in Nevada Early Intervention
for speech delay issues,
Bill and I became less known as Mr. and Mrs.
and more known as Mommy and Daddy.
Can you say -
Soccer, tennis, golf, swimming, gymnastics,
cooking, PTA, Speech therapists,
Disneyland, Disney World?
Let's throw in a little
build a house, start a soccer team,
start on a swim team,
get deeply involved in school and school issues...
ahhh, yah.
Lots.
So what does one do?
Turn 40 and have another baby, you say?
Right.
hello, Garrin!
goodbye, the thought of every owning another flower shop....
for at least another 5 or 8 years...
at least......
Oh and wait.
When we decided to have Garrin -
uh...yah -
Sold the perfectly fine house we lived in
and built a new one.
What did I say before?
Packing and nursing?
This time.
Packing, showing the house, packing, showing the house,
helping out at school....
(this one's for you Jer)
GOING INTO LABOR WITHOUT KNOWING IT
while helping at school.....
and not leaving the hospital until 3 days later.
Garrin didn't come home with us though. A blessing when looking back,
I suppose. He was born with pneumonia.
But had to go home, so we could
finish packing, get out of our old house, and
move into a rental, 'cause the new house wasn't ready yet.
And I will admit that that was the most humbling moment of my life.
Leaving the hospital without my baby,
moving into a very small house,
not intended for 5 of us,
and learning that all those things I had packed up and
put into storage,
meant nothing really.
We survived more than OK, without all the "things" we had surrounded
ourselves with in the old house. We just wanted to be all together,
with our new baby.
And the day he came home, we knew that finally,
we were a complete family.
So the humbling part?
that was short lived
because I ABSOLUTELY HATED LIVING IN THAT HOUSE.
Fast forward 6 months, and we finally moved into the new house.
Finally.
Our time progressively became more
hectic,
stressed,
over-committed.
We, increasingly, became more
hectic,
stressed,
over-committed,
gray-haired
and
totally digging our life.
The ups and downs
the good and the bad
the fun and the painful.

Which brings us to a year ago.
WHY NOT JUST WRITE ALL THAT SH*T DOWN?
the good
the bad
the indifferent.
For one - our family near and far stays updated.
For two - our friends realize how darn funny we can be.
For three - all the strangers that read this blog can just see that
this is my life - The Tao of Gini.
And I am loving it and living it
my way.
So here's to another year of funny posts
Blatantly bragging about my Hannah,


Finally, after 43 years, I think I am OK with that.

Tuesday, September 23

It is.......isn't it????

"It is CRAZY HAIR DAY at school today, right Mom?"

That's what she asked on her way OUT the door this morning.

Hopefully it is.


Monday, September 22

Hurtful Words

Never tell a mom, after the first day of preschool,
"He never shed a tear."


So I am not saying I wanted him to ball his head off,
nor am I saying that I was looking forward to a phone call saying
"Please come get Garrin, because he is crying inconsolably".


Just because I had a lump in my throat all morning long,
thinking about the very moment that he would realize I had left him there
at school......by himself.......without me..........


Didn't happen.


Really, I am glad for that.
So here are the after pictures.


Mr. I-don't-take-naps-anymore.....


And here is the before:

How dang cute is the backpack?

And how about that lunchbox??

He can't wait for Wednesday.
But I can.

The Seal Concert

Huge weekend.
Lot goin' on.
Gonna start with the
Seal Concert.
It wasn't that good.
I sat in my seat all night,
respecting the fact that others
behind me, should see and hear
the concert without some crazy
person, standing up, dancing, screaming,
shouting.
I did not rush the stage like the first
five rows of people did, because the
security guards allowed them to and
even though Bill and I were in the third row.
I did not see anyone there I knew from
ahem....school.
I did not go home hoarse and sweaty,
you know,
since I stayed in my seat
didn't rush the stage
didn't sing
didn't dance
and best most of all.....
didn't t. t. t .t ..touch his hand while he sang to me looking directly into my eyes....
Any comments?

Friday, September 19

Convenience foods and a Preschooler

I am just gonna say it like it is here.
Aside from the weekends, the morning of a swim meet, and let's say...a week before the Junior Olympics, (for all of you swim coaches reading this.....ahem)
we are all about frozen breakfast items
around here.
Now I know you all think that I get home from the gym in the morning and quickly don an apron, get out the flour, and start whipping up homemade biscuits and jam for my sweet little angels every morning. And while all that is cooking, I am squeezing fresh juice from the fresh oranges I had shipped in from Florida. Shockingly - I DO NOT.
It is all about the frozen breakfast items most school days. Seriously!
We buy them all.
the mega pack of Eggo Homestyle Waffles from Costco
Toaster Strudel
Krusteaz Mini Pancakes
Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwiches
Batter Blaster
French Toaster Sticks
you name it
I've bought it
they've tried it.
Now keep in mind - I, for the most part, do not partake in any of these convenience items. I also do not swim 4700 yards a night like my kids do. So I need to worry about which butt cheek all these added calories may wind up on. But back to the convenience of it all.
Having these items in the freezer (bottom drawer freezer, I might add) allows my littlest one to go right in and check out what's for breakfast on any given day. Unfortunately, in addition to waffles and the like, there are bags of frozen broccoli, frozen corn, frozen shrimp, frozen mini pizzas, frozen boca burgers etc. Just way too many options for Garrin.



Mini Pizza for breakfast today.
Nice.

Thursday, September 18

When A Blog Post Lands Right In Your Lap!

A picture perfect morning here, with cooler temperatures, prompted my friend Jer and I to head over to the park with the kids. We needed some time to catch up and thought the kids would have fun together while we chatted.
It took no time at all for them to run off and get to playing.
So cute!

It didn't take us but a few minutes to be deep in conversation, when we glanced over to see where the kids were playing and
we saw this:


OK.
In case you didn't quite see that right,
here is a larger shot.




ugh....

SHE IS CLIPPING HER FRIGGIN' TOENAILS AT THE PARK!!

oh
my
lord.

STEP

AWAY

FROM

THE

PLAYGROUND

EQUIPMENT...





PLEASE.





Wednesday, September 17

can you say....

P.R.E.S.C.H.O.O.L?


ya. Preschool.

It's time.


Can you also say...

THANK GOD WE HAVE OPTIONS??


Here is what I wasn't looking for in a preschool.

1. Easy admission to the building. I just walked right in. No lock, no doorbell, no problem.

2. Two young girl dressed like the kids dress in middle school. And I am not talking about how my modest daughter dresses.

3. The knock-you-on-your-ass smell of urine in the room Garrin would be in, even though it is supposed to be the 3 year old - we are potty trained - room.

4. Dirty kids, dirty backpacks, dirty lunchboxes. I am talking the kind of dirty that these items get after at least 4 months at school.

5. No teacher in the room because "she's at lunch" at 10 am in the morning.

6. A diaper pail. In the room that is for the potty trained kids.

7. The schedule for the month........for August......It's September 17th.


ya - buh bye.


Here is what I was looking for in a preschool.

1. A lock on the front door. A doorbell. And someone who comes to the door and opens it once she knows I am not carrying an AK-47.

2. A handshake and a welcome. And most of all, actually remembering our phone conversation 2 days ago. And being attentive to my concern about Garrin's speech delay. Talking about it without my bringing it up first.

3. Garrin walking into the 3 year old (clean) room and getting a giant smile on his face at the sight of:

the teacher

the other kids

the toys

the books

4. Feeling right at home.

5. The love for children that the director expressed in words and actions.

6. And Garrin asking every couple of minutes "Me, Garrin, School?"


So what was this mom to do?


I asked if I could leave him there today..

No

Just kidding.


He starts on Monday. We get to go by a "Ka-Chow" backpack (Lightening McQueen) and lunchbox, as requested by Garrin.

Tuesday, September 16

I'd give my right arm.....

All the aches and pains that become part of your everyday existence, when you are 43,
SUCK.


What ever happened to just getting a cold every once in a while?


And coming from someone who, I pride myself, has a very high tolerance for pain -


DAMN if my right shoulder isn't killing me.


a


slow


dull


aching


pain...


arrrr.....


So I've tried a little of this:
and this:
and some of this:

But in the end when all I can think about is buying one of these:

or all of these:



or go in the garage and get this:



or get one of these:

or perhaps even this:





AND DO THIS:




It's time to go to the doctor.
So he asks me today,
"So Gini, what do you do with that arm that could have triggered the pain?"


I don't know - dumb ass.


Maybe


lift my kid
carry my purse
write
type
push the vacuum
lift some weights
carry sh*t to school
carry in the groceries
load the dishwasher
shove laundry into the washer
steer the car
cook
wipe down the counters
feed the dogs
dress myself


I don't know??


PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING!

did I already say - "arrrrr......." ????

Monday, September 15

Love/Hate Relationship

Well I am new to this :


Have you heard of it? For a while it was limited to Middle School and High School, up until this year. But now it is offered from Elementary School up to High School.
It is a communication tool between your kids school and their parents.
WOW
Who thought of this?
Because up until this point
I WASN'T PSYCHOTIC ENOUGH ABOUT MY KIDS GRADES.
I DIDN'T RIDE THEM EVERY NIGHT ABOUT THEIR HOMEWORK.
I DIDN'T SCAN EACH AND EVERY PAPER THAT CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL.
I DIDN'T SIT AND ASK WHY THEY MADE SUCH SILLY MISTAKES ON THEIR WORK.
I DIDN'T HYPERVENTILATE EVERY TIME A GRADE CAME BACK THAT WASN'T WHAT I CONSIDERED TO BE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT AND MIGHT LOWER THE TOTAL GRADE POINT AVERAGE TO POSSIBLY PUT OUR (notice I said "our" - like it's mine) STRAIGHT A'S IN JEOPARDY.
Now I can check the friggin' thing a hundred times a day, so that way...
I CAN GET ON THEIR CASE AS SOON AS THEY STEP FOOT IN THE CAR TO COME HOME.
great.
just great.
'cause they love that I am crazy as it is....

So do I love this?
Or do I hate this?
(I think I might love it!!!)

Sunday, September 14

Being Naked

I don't know if it is just a boy thing. Connor, like Garrin,
totally preferred to be naked most of the time.
Connor - full on naked.
Garrin - prefers a shirt on at least.
So why?
Why do my boys like naked-ness?


Because wearing your pants on your head,
is waaaay cuter
than wearing them on your butt.

Saturday, September 13

300 of their closest friends....

When you are part of a large swim team, that's what you get. 300 or so
new friends.

Today was Team Picture Day.

Here is Hannah, in a sea of blue team suits.
One more fabulous reason to be part of a big "family" like this...

you have great friends to take care of your other kids while you
are busy playing photographer.
Thanks Trish. Love ya.

Connor missed pictures today because we are 2 weeks into soccer,
and my superstar needed to be on the field instead.

Scorpions won - 6 to 0.
Whoo hoo!!!!




Friday, September 12

middle school rocks!

or so Hannah thinks.
Today was mix and match day at school. The kids earned this fun
day with some awesome magazine sales numbers for their fundraiser.
Who doesn't like a day, when you can look like a total lunatic
and blend in with every one else???


OK - those are clear (plastic) Converse. She loves them.
I hate them.


Poor Connor.





Thursday, September 11

the slow decline....

down
down
d
o
w
n
if you have been checking out my little weather
indicator on the left, you will have noticed
a slight lowering of the temperatures
around here lately.

great time to spend a little time at the park
playing


and practicing soccer

especially in the evening.

glorious.

Wednesday, September 10

I had THAT coming.....

Reason #472 why I love my kids.


Over the weekend I was rolling one of these around
collecting the laundry from each bedroom upstairs
(I mean, who wouldn't, the stinking thing is on wheels)
when Hannah said -
"Mom, you look like a maid"


What do my kids think it's called - what I do all day???


And last night while I was watching the news
(because that is pretty much all I watch on TV lately - I must be going through something...)
Connor said -
"Mom, what's prostitution?"


Uhhh, yeah. Talk to your father when he gets back from his trip.

Tuesday, September 9

Tell me when..


When is my kid's OCD going to kick in?

(I asked the kids to put away the clean swim towels)

Now, I am not asking that the swim towels be organized according to color, size, place purchased, year bought, or that like-colored towels be next to each other, while keeping them all in alphabetical order by color, or anything crazy like that.



.....like I do........

Monday, September 8

Back open for business


As of today, September 8th, 2008 we have a vacancy. Allison, James, and baby Ella have left to join my brother Christopher back in Connecticut. I just have to launder the sheets and towels, and the room is ready to go for whomever is next to visit us.
On a serious note.
Good luck to Chris and Allison and their newly expanded family and their renewed venture to Connecticut. We will miss you all.
Here are a couple of pictures that sums up the last couple of weeks.



Things will definitely be a little less colorful
around here.