Friday, January 30


We are having fabulous weather here in California.
The pool is fantastic.
Literally right on the beach.
After she swam,
Hannah and I were able to spend some
time just digging our feet into the sand,
feel the warm sun on our face,
and just talk.
Mother and Daughter.
I wanted to tell her how very proud I am of her.
How, even if she thinks I don't know it, she is very
dedicated to this sport and her hard work
pays off every single time she dives into the pool.
Even when she has an off swim, she must know
that there will always be another chance to do better.
That it breaks my heart when she is sad, or
mad or disappointed.
And that I just love her.

Thursday, January 29

I'll leave you with this....

This is a clip from Saturday Night Live
that I am just loving right now.
And I thought Bill would appreciate it
since it is his favorite song
and he can play it over and over
and over again, until we get home on Sunday night.

We will be updating this weekend
from the Junior Olympics!

Wednesday, January 28

So far, So good

We are thankful,
that so far,
with only 3 days to go,
Hannah Banana
is healthy,
and ready
to swim
Junior Olympics,
Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool,
Long Beach CA......

(did I mention it's right on the beach????)


Tuesday, January 27

Garrin and Eve sitting in tree....

Have you seen the movie Wall-E?
It was Garrin's first movie in a movie theater.
He just loved it.

Time had passed since the movie had come out,
and then Christmas rolled around.
He got many things Wall-E.
Coloring books,
and best of all -
throw blanket.

He got right into all the items -
all except the blanket.
It is a very soft, fleece blanket and here
is what it looks like.

For a while, Garrin didn't want it on his bed,
to be near it or to touch it in any way.

Slowly he warmed up to it.
Now he sleeps with it every night.
But it has to be "on him" a certain way.
When we cover him with it,
he absolutely MUST be able to see EVE.
See her in the upper right corner?
Yah, she has to be totally unfolded
so he can peer down at her.
Weird again.

So today, I am prepping dinner
and Garrin is at the kitchen counter
getting ready to color in his Wall-E
coloring book.
He opened it up....

and just stared at it...

for like 10 minutes....

just staring.....

at the uncolored picture of EVE....


just staring.....



at EVE.

Finally, he snapped out of it.
And began to color her.

(color her with beady red eyes)

A boy in love.
How sweet.

Monday, January 26

Chinese New Year vs. an American Girl

The Tao of Gini

Well ya'll know I'm not Chinese.
While I may enjoy a large serving of
General Tso's Chicken,
or Beef with Broccoli sometimes...
I mean...who doesn't?
But today is the Chinese New Year
and since it is, and my blog name is
derived from ancient Chinese philosophy,
I thought I would give a little explanation
why I chose it.

Tao [ tow, dow ]

1. ultimate reality: in Taoist philosophy, the ultimate reality in which all things are located or happen
2. universal energy: in Taoist philosophy, the universal energy that makes and maintains everything that exists
3. relationship between individual and universe: in Taoist philosophy, the order and wisdom of individual life, and the way that this harmonizes with the universe as a whole

OK - So when did I start this blog?
Late 2007?
So I was 42.
When you are 40, I think you actually start
to look back on your life.
You have enough years behind you,
to have had considerable experiences,
that really makes you,
become you.

I say now that my 40's are truly the best
years of my life so far.
Hopefully in 6 years or so,
I can adjust that statement a bit -
(insert 50's....).
Let me get back on point.
Why these are the best years.

Right now in my life,
I do not practice my religion.
I've got a bunch of excuses.
And that's what they are,

But tao.
Ultimate Reality.
Universal Energy.
Individual and Universe Relationship.

This is me.
This is how I live my life.
Though not religious,
very spiritual.

While living in ultimate reality,
cannot guarantee life is all glamorous.
It is what it is, and it's real.
There may have been a time in my life
where admission to the not-so-great things
about myself or my life,
would have been kept private.
But now. I guess I just don't care.
We ALL have good and we ALL have bad.
All of us.
And that's what makes it the ultimate reality,
doesn't it?

My universal energy?
Well, realizing that I can live how I want to live
makes my life happy and full.
Happy knowing that I have finally surrounded myself
with people and things that can support me
fully, honestly and willingly,
when things aren't so great.
I have always believed that we all have an "energy"
and I am fortunate to say my energy
has drawn me closer to a good group of people -
both family and friends with "like" energy.

And my relationship with the universe
has certainly become more fulfilled,
more meaningful.
My desire to give back,
give love,
to those who are near me.
Those within that circle

the yin and the yang

Right now.
I feel OK knowing that God still loves me.
That the way I have chosen to live my life
has been a good choice.
I believe we must all live in the reality of God's love
and his idea of what our mission here on earth is.
This IS The Tao of Gini.

Sunday, January 25

2 plus 2 equals 4, right?

It has been quite nice to see the kids take an interest in the kitchen.
They often ask to help out,
and often suggest cooking meals for us

Many a time, friends have been over and the second
they "are bored" they automatically come down to the
kitchen and ask if they can bake something;
homemade frosting.

So Friday was a dreary day (I am exaggerating),
it was raining on and off all day
resulting in an unmeasurable amount of precipitation,
but rain and clouds here in the desert
is quite a change to the usual cloudless sunny skies.

Hannah and Connor decided to bake homemade cookies.
They went on the internet,
picked out a recipe,
asked me if we had all the ingredients
in our pantry,
and proceeded to start.

I decided to "not pay attention" and see
how they handled things.
Toward the end, I got out the cookie sheets,
lined them with parchment, as Hannah read to me -
"roll each cookie into a ball and place on cookie sheet".

Pans are ready and I watch Hannah and Connor
trying to roll the dough into balls.
What I am seeing is dough seeping through their fingers
at which time I say,
"What the hell happened? I think something is wrong
with the dough. There doesn't seem to be enough flour or something."

So we look over the recipe.
2 1/4 cups flour

Hannah says,
"Mom, I know I did the flour right. I put 2 one quarter cups of
flour in the mix. I used the 1/4 cup measuring cup and put 2 of those in."

After I came back to life after dying laughing,
I explained that it was 2 cups plus 1/4 cup of flour.
If it was 2 quarter cups they would have just written 1/2 cup.

She has straight A's in Math.

Saturday, January 24

Trading one commitment for another.

Today is an odd day for Bill and I.

We have decided that we are going to re-home two of our dogs.
At this time in our life, we have not had,
and do not foresee having, the time
to devote to giving these two pups
the quality of life they need and deserve.

Unfortunately, in all our anxiousness to find
a playmate for Lucy, we didn't fully understand
how much time they would need from us
to be living how they should.
While our Lucy is older, these two
are young and need someone to be able to
run and play with them, more than
we are able to right now.

We have worked with the rescue organization
that we originally got Mick from
and they found two great homes for them. Homes
where they will not have to spend so much time in their
crates or be boarded at the vet.
So that is certainly good news for them.

As we are sad that they are leaving,
this morning we are excited to
explore the possibility to welcome a new addition,
by becoming foster/adopt parents.
Our forward thinking about this possibility
was another toward our wishes to place the dogs
in a new home.
So today we attend our first meeting in this
process than one has to go through
to become adoptive parents.

After Hannah and Connor,
we said we were done.

Then we had Garrin.

And then I was done because of my hysterectomy.

We said that if we could, we would have had another.
(oh sure, now that we can't, right??)


We think we are pretty good at this whole
parenting thing.
So, if it can't be one of our own,
maybe we could give a good life to
someone less fortunate.

And I am hoping for a girl.
We will see.
What will be, will be.

So as our day is filled with mixed emotions,
only good can come in the end.

Friday, January 23

I just love magazines.

Aside from the fact that about 63 catalogs come in
my mailbox everyday,
I most enjoy paging through and hopefully reading
the many magazines that I subscribe to.

Maybe you remember way back when,
when I was forced to asked ever so sweetly by
my just starting to fit in to middle school
daughter to help support her magazine drive.
After so many (I am NOT even gonna say how many)
subscriptions were sold,
they could take a limousine ride down to the Strip
and play at Game Works for a few hours.

I obliged.
She played.

It has been interesting how my magazine read-list has evolved.
How important is was for me to read
Glamour (in the hopes of picking up some must-have
beauty tips)
Cosmopolitan (in the hopes of picking up some must-have
"relationship" tips)
Bon Apetit (in the hopes of luring Bill to my house and my
dinner table)
and so on and so forth.

Now you can tell I am getting old(er), by what I am reading.

My favorite magazine now happens to be MORE.

All article titles contain the words
"over 40".
Doesn't matter what it is..
OVER 40.
and that would be me.
I guess either they figure
1. you are getting up there in age and don't know how
to do these things anymore
2. they are trying their hardest to make you change how you
do these things to not look like an ass anymore.

Another one of my favorites.
Women's Health

I mostly drawn to the
BURN FAT FAST title on each
issue. At my age, when it's not so easy
to BURN THE FAT - I wanna know how to do it
and do it super quick.
Besides that, it IS a pretty informative and interesting

Another of my favs.
Cause seriously.
Any and I mean ANYthing I need to get done nowadays,
needs to be done the most simplistic way possible.
(or it might not get done).
I'll never forget an article I read when the magazine first
came out.
Buy all white dishes. That way you can use whatever table
linens you like to change up the look.
We tossed everything. Bought all white.
Now eight years later - tossed those
and bought colorful.
Anyway - the point being -
real good tips,
easy, and they make sense.

And then there is O Magazine.
Where else can you get yelled at by Dr. Phil,
and Suze Orman all at once, feel like shit,
and then feel pretty stinkin good about yourself because
if Oprah can pack on 60 pounds and still be Oprah,
the 20 I put on, seems like nothin'??
And dang it, I am still Gini.

Since my commitment to being healthier from last year,
I have really gotten into reading
just plain old Health.
This is one magazine that I typically read cover to cover.
Of course there is always that weight loss story that
gets me motivated for like 4 seconds....
hey if she can do it, I can do it....
love it nonetheless.

This is a good one.
Family Fun.

Because you know we have so much time on
our hands around here to do something Fun
as a Family. It is a good read though. My kids are
at an age where the projects/trips/ideas are appropriate.
Sponsored by Disney,
so we love it just for that around here.

And of course my favorite cooking magazine
Cooking Light.

This was a great magazine,
back when I actually had time
for meal planning.
I remember trying new recipes out each
month's issue.
I still get and still love it.
Mostly for the pictures now.

So that's my read list right now.
I always carry one of these in my purse,
or in the car,
on the off chance that I will have time to
glance at it while
I am waiting to pick up my kids from school,
or the pool,
or sitting at a doctors appointment,
or dentist appointment.
That rarely happens,
in which I usually end up
sitting in my living room,
with a few candles lit,
I hit the switch for the fireplace,
make a cup of green tea
and read them all
cover to cover
in one night.

What are your favorites?
Am I missing out on anything that's out there?

Thursday, January 22

Full Circle In Less Than 30 Minutes

So this morning, I slept in a bit.
I was lazy and fell back to sleep once Bill
got up and he got Hannah up.

7am rolls around and I finally
greet the day.

As I am walking past Hannah's room,
I see her laying on her bed,
dressed for school,
but also
and using her laptop.
So as I head downstairs I say,
"Hannah, shouldn't you be getting ready for school?"

She replies in her
"I'm just checking my email!!!!!"
followed by huffing and eye rolling.
Bill is heading upstairs, hears what I said,
and says to me something to the effect of:
"Leave her be. She is fine. Did you hear
how you spoke to her?"

Within the next 5 minutes,
I am straightening her hair,
asking if she brushed her teeth,
made sure she had the 5 bucks she
needed for art class,
and got ready to take a shower myself.

No sooner as I was getting in the shower,
Bill had come upstairs to say goodbye,
and was laughing
because our daughter had just said to him,



....because she hadn't made her lunch and it was time to leave.

Funny Bill. Didn't I ask her why she wasn't getting ready for school?
(insert Mommy Eye Rolling here)

Wednesday, January 21

The first 100 days....

I am giving myself 100 days
to get the
dog/workout/swimroom/backpack/converted garage/

Tuesday, January 20

Take Me Back Tuesday, again.

Gas prices Dec. 2001, Henderson, NV
On this day of change.....
Maybe we can get back to a better time.

Saturday, January 17

Why we like it when Connor eats dinner at a friends house.

1. We can go out for sushi, without listening to all the complaining
about how he doesn't like it there.

2. We get to watch Garrin hone his skill of using chopsticks.

Thursday, January 15

Never taken for granted.

That is one thing I have learned since
dealing with speech issues back when Connor was 18 months.
Having had to re-visit that challenge with Garrin,
Let's just say it was way easier this time around.
Knowing, is everything.
While Garrin has made leaps and bounds
when it comes to his speaking,
he is facing the same ol' same ol' challenges
that Connor did.
Things that parents of kids that spoke well
and right on target, never had to think twice about.
I was one of those parents for sure with Hannah.
I definitely took speech for granted.
For Garrin, he has two siblings to deal with.
And stereotypically has to stand up for himself
against two older kids.
Keeping that thought in mind,
it is hard for us.
Bottom line is - he is speaking (to them),
but we are like "Did he just fricken say that???"
When he says something mean to them,
instead of reprimanding him,
we end up turning around and snickering.
I chalk it up to -
he has a lot of catching up to do.
Catching up and giving his brother and sister
as much sh*t as they have coming to them.
"Get, get 'way from me!"
"Get, get out uh here!"

Lately I have found myself smiling and feeling incredibly
lucky to finally be seeing some results of all of our hard
work with him.
When they don't speak, it is hard to pinpoint
what kind of little personality they are going to grow into.
I am going to go out on a limb here.
He's not going to take any crap from anyone.
Watch out!

A birthday

Today would have been my mother's
64th birthday.
I copied this photo of her off my brothers Facebook
since he and my sister have all the photos
and I don't have any.

I have out lived my mother by a year.
She died at 42.
I am 43.
She will have passed 22 years ago this year.
How effed up is that?

In this photo, she was sitting at the hospital ready
to give birth to my brother, with
some alcoholic sperm donor
my father,
my sister and
my grandmother.

Cigarette in hand,
open TAB on the table.
Looking at that today.
But she was beautiful, just the same.

In a perfect world, I would think of her everyday,
but I don't.

As the years pass, and my life becomes more defined
as a mother,
I cannot relate.

When I need advice, or love, or maternal support,
I look inward.

Because even though I don't remember things about her,
I always knew I wanted to be like her.

I want Hannah
to want to be like me.

Wednesday, January 14

There's no turning back now.

"Mom. Can you buy me some WATERPROOF mascara? This one runs when I am swimming."
She certainly doesn't need it.
But how do you say no?
Especially to a girl?
A girl growing up today?
A girl who is extremely independent?
A girl who is responsible?
A girl who is so flippin' cute?
or beautiful, should I say?

Console me, people.
I'm dyin' ova here......

Tuesday, January 13

Take Me Back Tuesday

yeah, that's a good name.
A lot of blogs have days like
Wordless Wednesday
where instead of saying something
they just post a photo.
Well, believe it or not I have nothing to say today.
Other than the fact that I am glad my son is not sick anymore,
I have it now.
(deep inside, every time my kids get sick, I pray
to God, to transfer the sickness to me)
God is good.
I always get it.
for not having anything to say.......
I am going to try to do this once a week.
Post an old photo.
Here is today's.

This, indeed, is one of my all time favorite pictures of Bill.
If you know anything about him,
he is truly in his element here.
Somewhere on the East Coast.

Monday, January 12

An Update

I know you are all waiting with bated breath for this one.
The first weeks result of the newly instituted fake money motivator

Let me first clear the air on one thing.
I am not copying money on a copier.
I know it is a federal offense and would be totally pissed off
if that was the reason I got arrested. I'd rather it be for
something like choking someone on my HOA,
or something like that......

Anyhoo. Here is a picture of me holding
the fake money. It is teeny tiny compared to the real thing.

I know, I know. I need a manicure. Maybe I could take some of this money...
oh wait.

So I counted how much money is in Hannah's envelop - 17 bucks.
And Connor's - 21 bucks.

So here's what this tells me so far.

Guessing at first, that my kids would run though this money right away,
apparently I think they behave way worse then they actually do.
You know this for a fact. Someone comes up to you in a restaurant
and say "My. Your children are so well behaved."
You smile a very fake smile while saying "Oh, Thank you. Thank you for
noticing" while thinking " you have GOT to be kidding me??"

No. For real. I thought they would be done with it quick.

This also tells me that money obviously motivates my kids way more
than any punishment from electronic devices, cell phones, computers,
wii, playstation, etc etc...I fully admit to bribing my kids to swim well
with a little cash as a reward. And don't give me that look,
a lot of you do it too.

It reassures me that my kids have the capability to shut off lights behind them.
They can bring backpacks, lunchboxes and swim bags directly into the rooms
they belong in immediately.
They can speak to us and each other respectfully.
They can get along with one another.
I now know that my fears of my children growing up
to be irresponsible, uncaring, lazy individuals
is about as ridiculous as me losing
25 pounds by tomorrow night.

As I told my girlfriend about how all this is working in our house,
I have to admit.
There is not a lot that I ask of my kids
during the week. With their very full schedules,
I am happy knowing they
1. go to school everyday and work their butts off
2. swim everyday
3. master the art of time-management
to get "it all" done and done well every single week day.

So because my kids don't do too many chores during the week,
they are pretty loaded down with stuff they are responsible for doing,
all weekend long. And my point here is - it is almost
like giving them an allowance,
only I can take it away as quick as a wink.

But I have to say, my daughter initiated doing a puzzle with Garrin.
Which I love. I love to see she wants to play with him.
Yes, I gave her a dollar for that, but the point I am making with
all of this that I am not just on their backs constantly about what they
are doing wrong, but that I watch very closely and do notice
what they are doing that is right.

My son has taken the garbage out to the garage more times than I can
count and putting a new bag in the basket. All without our asking.
I thanked him and gave him a buck. I like that he takes
the initiative to do something on his own.

So they both earned a couple of dollars
but got a few taken away. Hannah, a few more,
than Connor. (It's the tween attitude thing that's getting her
in trouble.....)

In closing. It has been a miracle.
This has been the best week.
I, too, have behaved myself.
I find I am yelling a whole lot less
much to my kids and my neighbors pleasure.
Let's see, if the new-ness wears off this up-coming week.
I'll keep you posted.

This might be one of my best ideas yet.

Sunday, January 11

The Boy

well, it is Sunday night,
and he is still sick.
We will see how he does tonight. He was a little better today, Bill said.
Check out this fine dining.
We got this tray thingy as a Christmas gift.
It was all packaged up with goodies
that you're like....
"am I ever going to eat these Gourmet Cheese Straws,
while sipping on a streaming cup of Gourmet Hot Chocolate,
as my Gourmet Three Bean Soup is simmering on the stove,
and I am ripping open the Gourmet Smoked Red Alaskan Salmon,
that all came so neatly tucked together in this
exceptionally awesome footed tray?"

Back to my kid.
Dinosaur Jammies
New White Footed Tray.
now that's a combination that goes nicely together!

Saturday, January 10

It's a good day for a "TAG"

Blogging Buddy
tagged me.
6th folder
6th picture
Spending the weekend at a pool.
All day Saturday.
All day Sunday.
Watching my babies swim their little tushies off.
Think good things.
In the meanwhile,
soak in every
piece of these cheeks.

taken Jan. 16th, 2008

Friday, January 9

I'm Good.

This post is for all the moms or dads out there who are
terribly hard on themselves at times.

Just remember -
there is always gonna be some
loser parent out there wayyyyyy
worse than you!

Police: Shoplifting mother caught with parenting book
Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A 37-year-old Oxford woman was arrested Jan. 2 for allegedly shoplifting a parenting book while accompanied by her two young children.
Callie Rough, 5032 College Corner Pike #38, reportedly entered the Dollar General Store on College Corner Pike along with James Rogers and their two children. An employee told officers the four seemed to act suspiciously while in the store, but it wasn't until they attempted to leave that she noticed Rough's purse appeared to be noticeably larger than it had been minutes earlier.
Rough reportedly refused to allow the clerk to search her purse, then ran to the back of the store and began unloading stolen items from the bag. As the four subjects fled from the store, the clerk said Rough threw an additional handful of items at her.
The clerk told police Rough had concealed wash clothes, small hand towels, a small rug and a book entitled "101 Ways to Be a Great Mom" in her purse.
Police located Rough, Rogers and their children running along College Corner Pike in front of the Hampton Inn. Officers spoke with the family and placed Rogers under arrest after learning of an active warrant out of the Butler County Sheriff's Office for a traffic violation. Rogers reportedly had a package of garbage bags hidden on his person, which he told police Rough had given to him.
Rogers was issued a citation for receiving stolen property and turned over to the Butler County Sheriff's Office. Rough, who had an active warrant out of the Monroe Police Department, was charged with theft and later released.

Thursday, January 8

I think there's something wrong with me

So here we have a crock pot.

An extremely popular kitchen appliance.

I have one.

And here is a quick little description of a crock pot
that I came across.

"A crock-pot is an electric pot used for slowly cooking a meal. They are fairly inexpensive, between $15 and $50. Though not as popular as the microwave, the crock-pot is a necessity in a home where the cook has little time and wants a home-cooked meal. Like the microwave, they don't heat up the kitchen or require a lot of maintenance. All you have to do is add the ingredients in the morning before you leave, turn on the heat setting required, and when you come home dinner is served! "
Me and The Crock Pot
A marriage practically made in heaven,
wouldn't you say?
So yes, I stay home during the day,
for the most part.
But on some days, actually starting,
preparing, and cooking a meal in the late
afternoon, to have ready for dinner time,
just isn't in the cards for me.
Once 2:15 rolls around,
the driving begins.
Hannah's school, then home.
Then Connor's school, Hannah's pool, home.
Connor's pool, Hannah's pool, home.
Connor's pool, home.
Throw in a doctors appointment,
a haircut,
a school dance,
it just throws me all outta whack.
So that's when it is
"Hello, Crock Pot".
On more than one occasion,
I have actually purchased the ready made
prepared meals in the freezer section,
especially made for the crock pot.
When I feel like its OK for my family
to consume a meal with about 187 grams of fat,
and more salt than I put into my water softener,
I've popped one of those suckers into the crock pot
bright and early in the morning,
and am sweetly reminded throughout the day of
the impending, scrumptious, bloat induced meal,
with the wafting heavenly aroma of
Swedish Meatballs,
or Chicken and Dumplings,
or Beef Stew.
More often though, I have chosen healthier options.
A pork roast,
a whole chicken,
and most times - chicken breast.
I've got to tell you,
there has not been one time,
not once,
that I have EVER
prepared a meal
So when Bill asked what was for dinner the other night
and I said chicken in the crock pot,
and Connor didn't hear what I had said,
so Bill re-iterated (somewhat)
I was not surprised the least bit
when he walked in the door an hour later
with a pizza.
So the bottom line here is,
this appliance is not good
for just throwing in some chicken,
a bunch of other stuff that you think
is going to keep the chicken moist and make
it taste good, and let it cook all fricken day
without turning it into
Chicken Jerky.
You need to actually read a
Crock Pot Cookbook
and follow the directions explicitly.
That just doesn't sit right with me.
I don't want to follow a recipe
to prepare a
crock pot meal.
If I want to do all that,
I might as well do it in the oven,
where I know it will turn out well
no matter what I do to it.
Who invented this damn thing anyway?
And what am I doing wrong?

Wednesday, January 7

No school today **

for this little guy.....
up all night with fever and a cough.
get better quick,
ice cream makes everything better, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 6

I wish

that the media and the rest of this
celebrity obsessed world,
would just back the f#$% off
of reporting anything and everything
they can about the death of Jett Travolta.
While I firmly believe that celebrities
unfortunately agree to give up most rights
to a private life,
in the instance of death,
this one being the death of their child for God sakes,
how is it that the media can't let
these people have some semblance of privacy
to mourn?
Do I have to listen to the EMT guy, tell the world
what John Travolta or Kelly Preston said in the ambulance?
Do I have to see a picture of a wooden crate, with
the reporter saying "Could that be Jett in that wooden
Does the speculation of how he died have to
overshadow the simple fact that a young child is gone?
How about the ripping into the whole
Scientology way?
When someone's child dies, to me it
really doesn't matter if they where
Catholic or Jewish or
They are dead.
And let's not forget
to pre-judge them all
because maybe, just maybe
they didn't medicate him properly.
Are you kidding me??!!!
I am sad just imagining
what they might be feeling -
as a parent losing a child.
It chokes me up actually.
Mourning is hard enough,
it is a shame they are put in a
position to do it in front of the camera.
I'll leave it at that.
(I am now stepping down off my soapbox)

Monday, January 5



1. giving of reason to act: the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something
2. enthusiasm: a feeling of enthusiasm, interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something, or something that causes such a feeling
3. reason: a reason for doing something or behaving in a particular way
4. psychology forces determining behavior: the biological, emotional, cognitive, or social forces that activate and direct behavior

Let's just take a look at this word for a sec.
Number 2 - how appropriate a word
to ring in the new year of 2009 with.
With "things" being so shitty and all lately,
feeling enthusiastic toward making life better/happier/
more positive sounds good right about now.

But today I am talking about number 1
and number 3 here.
Check me out on this one.

As a parent, I am always looking for ways
to get my kids to

a. be nice to each other
b. shut off the lights in their rooms
c. turn off Playstation and Wii so it doesn't run
all night
d. clean up after themselves
e. speak respectfully
f. stop shooting the evil eye
e. put their swim bags/backpacks/lunchboxes
f. shower in their own stinking showers
g. etc etc etc

Pretty much be the perfect little angels I want them to be.
Motivate them somehow.

How do I think I can do that, that is different
than everything else I have tried?
Yup. Money.
Look-ey here:
How cute are my little dollar bills?
So here we have three envelops.
Hannah's Money.
Connor's Money.
The Bank - a.k.a. Mom and Dad's Money.

And all these cutesy little dollar bills. Which may in fact,
turn into REAL little dollar bills.
May, I said.

So here is the game plan.
The kids each get 20 fake dollars every Monday morning.
For each of the above infractions
(and the extended list that is in my brain),
they pay us a dollar.

I suspect that their 20 bucks is gone by tomorrow evening at the latest.

That being said, they have the opportunity to
also earn (back) money.
Good deeds will not go unnoticed here!!!!!!
After I pick myself up off the floor,
I will pay them 1 fake dollar for each
unsolicited and surprisingly unexpected
nice thing they say/do.......
Where may this all lead?
When my daughter wants "more black" in her hair,
or my son wants a new football because he only has 17 others...
They can turn in their fake money
for the real stuff.
And earn things.
What a friggin' concept, huh??
Maybe THIS will work.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 4

is it tomorrow yet?

the kids go back to school!

Saturday, January 3

I am sad.

For one thing,
my little guy
hates (and hate is such a strong, but accurate word)
having his extremely
cute picture taken.

at eight is beginning to look too skinny
because he thinks if he eats too much
he is going to get fat. He said that when
we beg him to eat and eat and eat,
(all those "eats" are never all at the same time)
he is afraid he is going to get fat.
Not how I wanted my kids to feel at all,....ever...
and certainly not at eight years old.....
and I certainly didn't expect this from my son.

I was just having a conversation with one of my friends the
other night about the amount of food our kids eat (she has two swimmers,
as well). They are at an age where they can comprehend the
thought that they need to eat more than most people,
and that as long as they are as active as they are now, they
will continue to be able to eat whatever they want. We did agree
that they probably do not realize that the kind of food they eat
may not be the best food for them when they get older and are no
longer swimming 5000+ yards a day.

I am in disbelief that my Connor is afraid of eating, eating
too much and gaining too much weight.
I have tried to be so careful to not project negative body
image issues where any of us at home are concerned.
Where did this come from?
I feel I can only blame myself.
this one's gonna take a bit of work.....

And last but not least.
Hannah Banana.
Look at this face.
Does she look like she needs
this is a good one...
What the hell is going on over here!!!!
Where have my babies....
all three of them,

Friday, January 2

Guitar Hero World Tour

Let me just say a couple things first.
1. We didn't get up this morning until 9:30.
2. Hannah missed her 7am swim workout today.

So have you heard of Rock Band?
Guitar Hero?
Well last year we bought the kids Guitar Hero for Christmas.
Now mind you, there is not one person in this house that is inclined
whatsoever to play a musical instrument. While we all love
music and play it all the time, we don't want to be the ones
playing the music - if you know what I mean.

The point - the "in" thing last year was Guitar Hero.
So we bought it and I don't think I can remember seeing the kids play it once.

Fast forward to the New Year's Eve party we went to.
Well our friends kids were playing Guitar Hero World Tour.
So much more than Guitar Hero with just a guitar.
World Tour has a drum set, a guitar, a bass and a .....
Well I (now mind you, I don't drink) opted to give it a shot.
and MAMA,
It was pretty fun.
So needless to say, I begged like a child told Bill
I thought the KIDS would really enjoy having it.
So we went to Best Buy yesterday and got it.

Here's what it looks like.

"IT" looks like a tornado flew through my house.
Here's what it really looks like.

We played before,
and after dinner.

The dogs were NOT impressed.
So - do you have one??
and we all get to play together,
and look like fools......
Anyway - gotta run.
They're playing my song.