Friday, December 22, 2006

More pictures and Christmas Meme

More pictures of Little P. This time with her uncles! Buzz (right) wasn't able to see her the first day. The nurses wouldn't let him back because he was too young. We snuck him through on day two! He asked me to print out pictures, THAT NIGHT, so he could bring them to school to show his class. The baby went home yesterday, is doing fine and as of today now has a name! However, her blogger name will remain Little P(rincess).

Christmas Song Meme:

I got tagged by Valerie (Adventures in Parenting) to blog my top 5 favorite Christmas songs. Here they are:

1. White Christmas (sung by Bing Crosby)

2. I'll Be Home For Christmas

3. All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth

4. Grandma got run over by a reindeer

5. Silent Night

I'm supposed to tag 5 of you. Since it's easy I won't feel guilty about it... so just do it (please?) Just for fun I'll tag: Jen, Bonnie, Jodi (cuz, she loves memes the most!!), Crazy MomCat and Jennifer.

If I don't check in before Christmas... MERRY CHRISTMAS! And many happy returns (hee hee :-) )!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Introducing... Little P(rincess)

Here are some photos of Drama's little girl. I'd like to say they are the first photos taken, but she was already 12 hours old by the time I got to see her and I think this was about her 10-15th photo shoot. Not even a day old and already a professional!

Drama had a name picked out for her, but decided after she was born the name didn't fit her.
The hospital staff told her she had 10 days to name her, so she is going to take a few of those to come up with the "perfect" name. Since I probably won't post her real name anyway... I have dubbed her Little P, for Little Princess.
I never once saw her little arm come down. We kept trying to move it, but she would make it stick strait back up like that. And so begins a new life... *sigh*

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

She's Here!

Drama had her baby this morning! Six pounds, three ounce baby girl! Her water broke last night around 11pm. Labor was about 5 hours and she delivered her this morning around 7:00 am. We are going to go see her this evening after I leave work. More details and pictures (!) to follow... (yikes! I'm a grandma)

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's The Small Things That Count

I have a cd that I made with a collection of songs that make me cry. They remind me of times or people in my life or are just about really sad things. I “creatively” titled the cd “Sad Songs” and even made a nice label for it and keep it in my cd case in the car.

My husband is a big believer in the small things in life. While he is as appreciative as the next guy when he receives a birthday or Christmas gift, what really touches him are the small things. The things that let him know I’m thinking about him or that I love him. Through him, I have learned to appreciate the small things in life and to sometimes stand back and drink in the moment when someone is thinking about me.

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of my mom’s passing. I wasn’t intending to write a post about it, but rather reflect privately and mourn the day in my own way. I did write a post about her some time ago here if you would like to read more.

As the kids and I were leaving yesterday, Woody opened up my cd case and pulled out a cd to play. He did his usual routine where he teased Buzz about playing the “Bad Day” song (Daniel Powter) and waited for Buzz to cover his ears and scream “nooooooooooooooooo...” Which he did. Only? Woody really put in another cd that they both really like and they both laughed thinking this was still funny even after the 36th time it's been done. After a song or two, Woody took out the cd and put in another one. It was my “sad songs” cd.

After listening to Frank Sinatra sing “My Way.” I turned to him and asked why he chose that cd to play. He turned to me and said, “Daddy said that you were feeling sad today.”

“So, you put in the ‘sad songs’ cd because I’m feeling sad?”

“Uh, huh.”

It was a small thing on his part, but it ran deep and touched my heart nonetheless. Isn't that what really counts?

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I got one of these yesterday from a friend of mine. I could not stop laughing. You can type in a message and the snowman will voice simulate your words. The one I got was full of "inside" jokes that no one else would even understand or think were funny. I was in tears! Do you have someone in your life that you share that inside humor with? You have to create one of these S.N.O.W. (simulated niceness of winter) cards and send it to them. Even if you don't send one, it is fun just playing around with it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dusting off the old blog...

I am so sorry for all the dust that has collected around here over the last month-and-a-half 2 months! It isn't that I haven't had anything to say... just no time to say it. There, now I am officially a blogging cliche! Wait, hold on. Let me get that cobweb over there... Omg! Is that mold? Ugh, disgusting. Sorry about that. Let me just pull out the bleach and a sponge and we'll be all set. You might want to wear a surgeon's mask if you are going to stay more than a few minutes. Do you mind if I scrub and write at the same time?

Where to start? Well... how about where I last left off.

Hawaii: The trip went well. My aunt and I spent most of our time there with my grandfather. The first day there was his 90th birthday. We took him out to lunch and then to the
cemetary where my grandmother's remains are kept. He seemed in really good spirits which was exemplified the second day when we came in the morning and he was dressed and ready to go with the day planned out for the three of us. The whole trip was like that. We stayed in a hotel in Waikiki and left each morning for Kaneohe where we would visit with grandpa and take him out for the afternoon. Then each evening returned to Waikiki where we would indulge in tropical adult beverages with umbrellas and solve the world's problems.

Trip to the Emergency Room: Well, what can I say? Our family was due for a visit sooner or later. We managed to make it through the summer but were only living on borrowed time. The very next weekend after I returned from Hawaii, Woody was playing in (what else?) a soccer tournament. On Sunday as he and his teammates were gathering around one of the unused goals just before taking the field for warmups he decided to jump up on and hang from the crossbar. He jumped down and as he did the muscle in his neck spasmed and he couldn't move. Of course nobody knew at that moment what had happened, how he was hurt or what to do, so the paramedics were called and I very nearly (Okay I totally panicked) panicked that he had some kind of spinal chord injury. The paramedics determined that he had a severe muscle spasm of the neck and helped me get him into the car and off we went to the emergency room. There he was given a muscle relaxant, anti-inflamatory medicine and something to manage the pain, all through an IV. He was released to my custody care and was excused for the week from PE.

The Baby Shower: Drama's baby shower was an outstanding success. We had it in her apartment complex's club house which turned out to be very luxurious and boasted a huge kitchen and seperate TV area where most of the kids hung out. True to form, my kids took early control of the remote and kept it on the Sharks game most of the evening (and kept their mom continually updated on the scoring). She got a lot of really nice gifts and everyone had a nice time.

Soccer end of season: For one child at least. Buzz's season ended with a perfect 10-0 record. They had their end-of-season party at Roundtable and won't start up again until late March. Yay! A break. Not really. Woody's team still had one final district-wide tournament to play in and then he would be done for the season. Not. He was invited to play with another team (whose goalie broke his ankle playing basketball) through the winter in two different tournaments. This team is much better then Woody's team and play against much tougher competition. Woody seems to be really into it and hubby says it will be good for him to play up against better skilled opponents.

Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving started out early with me stuffing the bird and getting that sucker in the oven. Only not in my oven, because my oven is broken. *Sigh* Hubby was able to ask a friend who owns a restaurnant nearby if we could cook our turkey there in his restaurant, and he agreed! So, I stuffed and he hand delivered the bird to the restaurant to be cooked. Then we took Woody to a soccer scrimmage. Because doesn't everyone play soccer on Thanksgiving? It was fine and probably for the best for Woody to be able to play with his new teammates before the played in a real match. When we got home I prepared all the sides while hubby went to pick up the cooked guest of honor, our turkey. #91 came over and we had a really nice Thanksgiving feast together. Then? He took the kids with him to spend the night at his apartment! Happy Thanksgiving to us! Hubby and I got some much deserved alone time and all was well on our Thanksgiving holiday.

Black Friday: I had never gone out shopping before on Black Friday. That's not exactly true. I've been out, but never at the crack of dawn. So, wanting to truly experience "the hunt" I convinced hubby to venture out for a 6:00 am opening at Target. Ha! It was hilarious! I didn't end up really buying any gifts for anyone (I mostly bought gift wrap, boxes, etc.), because we were having too much fun watching the half-crazed people shopping. People, I saw a woman in Target with 3 shopping carts. No lie. Flat panel televisions seemed to be the most popular item. Every other person had one in their cart. There must not have been a limit because the woman with 3 carts had four of them. Again. No lie. Maybe one of you or someone you know is on her shopping list? We eventually transitioned over to the mall where, the wine from the night before and lack of sleep got the best of me and I begged to be taken out of there. We went out to breakfast and then went back home to bed.

The Sharks: The Shark's are off to a great start and we finally went to our first regular season game! It wasn't one the more exciting games but it gave us the bug again and we have tickets for two more games at the end of the month when the kids are on break from school.

Hawaii, epilogue: Since the trip grandpa took a nasty fall and was hospitalized over Thanksgiving. He has a severely bruised hip and the doctors say his heart is getting weak as well.

The Wedding: The weekend after Thanksgiving (12/2) in Mesa, AZ. My cousin Jeffrey (son of my aunt that I went to Hawaii with). Buzz and I made the flight out to Arizona on Friday (Woody stayed home with Hubby so he could play in his soccer game). Buzz was great company and very well behaved. Buzz (and Woody too) was in my other cousin's wedding two years ago and a lot of people at this wedding remembered him and gave him lots of attention. The outside ceremony was beautiful despite the chill in the air and the reception was snazzy and fit my cousin and his wife's great style and taste perfectly. The best part? There were cakes at every table. And they were goooooood! Buzz danced the night away with some of the bridesmaids (much to the chagrin of the single guys) and had a great time.

Well... this pretty much brings us all up to date. Thank you everyone for your comments and I promise to be around to visit soon. Be careful as you leave, the floor may still be slippery...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I Never Meant To Make You Worry...

Hello All! Yes, those of you who clicked over from your bloglines, you are not imagining things... I am writing a post.
After my Hawaii trip back in October I have to admit I've been caught up in a bit of a whirlwind. I hope to share some of my stories with you and get back into visiting my favorite blogs (you know who you are!). But, in the meantime I just wanted to pop in briefly and say thank you for your nice comments and to say that I never meant to worry anyone!
Oh and a special "Thank You" to Zephra for her very sweet e-mail. You are the best!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bad Babaloo

Wow and holy hell wow. What the heck have I been doing? Bad Babaloo. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Well, hopefully I'll have some new posts up soon. I didn't even do the Friday quotes. Man I suck. Anyway. I am going to Hawaii next week for my Grandfather's 90th birthday.

I was going back and forth on this decision because I am so slammed with the kids and their schedules right now that I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.

Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who encouraged me to do this and assured me the kids won't be roaming the streets, begging for food or waiting alone in a dark park somewhere, waiting to be picked up after soccer practice. I'm cashing in on a bunch of favors and asking a few new ones, so I better alott some time over there for "thank you gift" shopping.

If my mom were alive she would be taking this trip with her sister to see her dad and celebrate his birthday. His health is failing, his mind slipping. He now requires 24 hour care. In many ways this trip is more of a "goodbye," as I'm not sure that I will see him again before he passes away. I am also doing this for my aunt who has always done everything for me and asked nothing in return, except now. For the first time that I can ever remember, she is asking me to do something for her. She is asking me to accompany her on this trip.

The very least I can do is light up my credit card a little bit for airfare, temporarily put up the kids for adoption juggle the kids' schedule around and take a few days off of work to be there for her.

I'm taking off next Thursday and returning a few days later on Sunday.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you
around is another.
-Katherine Paterson

Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.
-James Bryant Conant

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never
thrown away.
-Sir Arthur Helps

If you were born lucky, even your rooster will lay eggs.
-Russian proverb

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten,
but they may start a winning game.

Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else's life.
-Kobi Yamada

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. NHL opening night for the SHARKS tonight! We are sooooooooo excited. I took the kids to the last preseason game on Saturday. It was a birthday present for Buzz. He picked out this game because he wanted to see them play Calgary.

2. It's raining. I have the heaviest period in the history of periods. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I'm not much fun. This should count as like 6 blurbs.

3. I'm taking Buzz to a "multi-cultural" fashion show at his school tonight. One of his friends is going to be in it so he is really excited to go. And there is a spaghetti dinner to follow... that might have something to do with it.

4. Drama is getting close to her due date. She hits the 30 weeks mark this week. Her mom and I am planning a baby shower for her in early November. Any suggestions for games? I told her I'd put a list together for her to choose from. I've never actually thrown a baby shower before which makes me wish I had paid more attention to the ones (including my own) that I have gone too. Help!

5. My old high school basketball team is getting inducted into the school's "Sports Hall of Fame." There is a dinner and everything. When I heard the news from my friend and former teammate we both had the same thought: "Even us? (the scrubs)" Yes, she said. Even us! Whoohoo.

6. The latest in the soccer team drama is that we are very close to kicking out the current manager. Unfortunately the league requires at least one adult (coach or manager) to hold a coaching license. This is what the current team manager brings to the team. A piece of paper. Our trainer holds a license in the UK, which doesn't transfer to anything significant over here. We have someone lined up who is licensed and willing to take over the team in name only. As soon as he is added on, "dillhole" (as we fondly refer to him) will be gone.

7. Management issues aren't all we have had to deal with. It seems we have another coach attempting to poach two of our players. Oh and did I mention one of our team's old coach and manager was involved? Yeah, he called this other coach and encouraged him to contact the two families... It goes on and on. These kids are 10 and 11 for crying out loud. These people men act like they're trying to build a World Cup team. Watch out when the mommies take over!

8. The autopsy report on my neighbor's daughter who died unexpectedly last week said she died of alcohol poisoning. No foul play, just sadly irresponsible behaviour. The girl had a lot of friends... and her son. Her little 16-month old son will be living with her parents and is now my newest neighbor. I just wish it was under happier circumstances.

9. Focus: I wish my kids would focus on their school work half as much as our dog focuses on someone with a sandwich. I just wish I could somehow bottle that patience and determination.

10. Woody is sick. He has a sore throat and runny nose. He is tired. He is cranky. He is not much fun at all. This sounds familiar.

11. It is still raining (((sigh))).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Proud Parent Moment #6,136...

The scene: Buzz's soccer practice. Woody is sitting with myself and two other moms.

The conversation: Is random. We are bantering back and forth about mostly mundane things. I turn to concentrate on the practice and sort of "tune out" of the conversation for a few minutes. The two ladies continue their discussion and I tune back in just as one mom says to the other, "Oh no. No more kids. The factory is closed."
"Really," the first mom says. "You don't want any more kids?"
"Oh, no," she says adamantly. "I'm done."

Proud parent moment:
Woody turns directly to the mom who is not going to have any more kids and asks, "Do you take pills so you won't have any more kids?"

Thank you ladies and gentlemen. No applause is necessary. Just knowing you all wish you could be me is satisfaction enough.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Don't Want To Hear About Your Tingles

I love my boys. You know I do. But? The things that come out of their mouths sometimes just kills me. Seriously.

Picture the three of us on a plane together. We have just taken off and the youngest, Buzz (who was then 6) turns to me and tells me, "Mommy, you know why I like to fly in airplanes?"
Why no son, why don't you enlighten me?
Is it because you like to try and find our house from up in the sky? "No."
Because you like to calculate the vector addition of the airplane's airspeed and the wind velocity? "No"
The free peanuts? "No. I don't even like peanuts."
Then why? "Because when we take off, I get a tingle." Oh God. Please tell me he did not just say that, like, out loud.
Then, picking up on my obvious discomfort, the older one chimes in. "Yeah, I get a tingle too mommy. Right when we take off from the ground."
Okay, I think (obviously not all the way through). I can save this. "Oh," I say. "You mean in your tummy?"
"No." They say in unison. "Down there," they both say pointing, well, down there.


A year later I am alone on an airplane. A man is sitting in the seat next to me and as we are about to take off all I can think of is my two sons and their "tingles." I shut my eyes as tight as I can, and try and erase the thought from my head.
"Think about some thing else. Think about something else. Oh God. Please think about something else..."

"Excuse me," the man sitting next to me says. Oh God, he's talking to me. Why is he talking to me? If he tells me about his tingle I'm going to scream."

"You seem kind of anxious, is this your first flight?"


Friday, September 29, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
- Harold J. Smith

When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.
- Anthony J. D'Angelo

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
- Herm Albright

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

There are two kinds of people: those who do the work, and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
- Indira Gandhi

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
- G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Wow, it is THURSDAY already. I have not been posting much. I have not been making it to most of my regular blog reads either. I'M SORRY! I know you all miss my witty comments. Ha!
Please forgive me / Please enjoy my absense while it lasts (you pick whichever applies to you!)

2. I was in a panic last Friday. My oldest son mentioned, casually, earlier in the week that he "might" pick up the kids from school on Friday and take them out. I didn't think he'd actually follow through. When he says he "might" do something it usually means that it sounds really good at the moment but when the time comes to do it, doesn't sound so great anymore.
So imagine my surprise when Friday afternoon he calls and asks me if I remembered that he was going to pick the kids up from school! Did I remember? Um, yeah. Did I 100% expect that he would follow-through? Not so much.

3. So, I get off the phone with him and realize that I have nearly 3 hours free! To myself! No kids! What should I do? That's where the panic set in. I didn't know what to do. I really need to adopt an emergency plan for these type of situations.

4. After I ran an errand I went shopping at Target. Alone. Of course nothing looked appealing. It only looks appealing when I don't have the time to stop and look at it or try it on. So, I bought hubby some deodorant and some snacks for his (and Woody's) drive the next day to a soccer tournament and went home. Alone. WooHoo! I am so exciting!

5. Saturday's soccer news: Buzz's team won, 7-1. He scored two goals! After his game we immediately jumped in the car to head up to Woody's tournament which was about an hour-and-a-half drive away. I was hoping to make it there in time to catch the last 10 minutes of his second game.

6. I was foiled, however, by traffic. I passed three accidents and when traffic slowed down for a fourth, I decided the "powers that be" were urging me to slow down and not be part of a fifth accident. Fortunately, one of the moms was calling me every few minutes with game updates.

7. I apparently missed a fabulous game. At one point she called and while on the phone the referee had called a penalty kick (against our team which means the other team would be shooting on Woody). I got to hear the cheers live as he stopped the penalty kick! Then, seconds later he was faced with another penalty kick because the referee said that he moved off his line and the other player would get a second kick. This was all explained to me much, much later because all I heard was cheering and yelling as he saved it a second time! They won the game 5-3.

8. Why won't anyone/anything let me sleep? Our automatic sprinkler system has decided (on its own apparently) that it needs to turn on and water the yard at 2:00 am. The garbage truck has (on its own apparently) changed its regular pick-up time from 7:30 am to 6:00 am. WHY?
And Nico Po-Po has (on his own apparently) decided that waking me up once during the night (to go outside) isn't all its cracked up to be, so why not do it twice? AAAARRRGGHH!

9. On an extremely sad note: my neighbor's daughter died Saturday night. She was in her early twenties and had a 16-month old son. We came home Sunday and there was a flood of people milling around the neighborhood. My husband, who came home before I did (I was about an hour behind him), went over to find out what was going on and the mom (our neighbor) told him her daughter was out with her boyfriend and they think someone put something in her drink and she went into cardiac arrest. That is all they knew at the time and we haven't heard anything further. I went over, too, to offer my condolences and, as you can imagine, the grief was overwhelming. I only spent 5 minutes over there, but came home and cried for 20.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Help! My child is an addict...

Please help me internet because I don't think I can keep it together anymore. My son has a problem, an a-d-d-i-c-t-i-o-n. And I am an classic enabler. I even unknowingly gave him his first "taste." And now I am also his supplier! OMG, that is the first time I have ever admitted that to anyone. It is a relief just to say type it out loud. I know it doesn't make it go away, but now it is out there and no longer a dirty secret.

It is a common story, one that you've heard many, many times. The first time was just to make him feel better after he had gotten a "boo boo." You know, take the edge off. Take his mind off the searing pain associated with a scraped knee. The reaction was incredible, as he relaxed immediately and went into an almost semi-trance.

Then one day, out of the blue for no reason he asked for it again. "But you're not even hurt or in pain." I said. So he made up some phantom pains that he felt "all over." I even thought at the time that it was a little like an addict inventing symptoms so his doctor would re-fill his prescription.

After he saw how gullible I was, he got demanding.

If he doesn't get it, he gets upset. "But mooooommy, I need some now." He'll complain. He has actually sent me out in the middle of the night (in a not so safe neighborhood) in order to replenish his supply. And, I have to admit, I'd probably do it again.

It is a daily thing now. Sometimes it can be two or three times a day. It is out of control. We both ignore the stinging reality that it is a full blown problem. He pretends everything is normal, but I know it's not when I see the remnants of his usage left carelessly on the table or on the floor. Sometimes I even find evidence of his addiction when I'm cleaning his shower. And that is when I lose it, and cry for the little boy my son used to be.

Hubby insists he goes cold turkey and stop his using immediately. But then when he sees the quivering lips and the perceived trickle of tears he knows I don't have the strength to do it. So he pretends too. That everything is okay. He enables my enabling. We are a sick family.

I am faced with the very real possibility that if this doesn't stop before he is 18, that I will have spent nearly the equivalent of a year's college tuition, just so he can have his daily fix.

Tell me what to do internet. Should I take a second job to pay for his supply?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.
-Abraham Maslow

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.
-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.
-Alice Mackenzie Swaim

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.
-Leo Aikman

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
-Albert Einstein

To err is human; to refrain from laughing, humane.
-Lane Olinghouse

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Soccer notes from last weekend: FABULOUS! Buzz had a morning game and his team won 4-0. On a sad note one of the boys scored his first goal (ever) and neither of his parents got to see it. They were crushed! The mom was late and missed the first few minutes (she came from her daughter's game which ran late) and his dad (the coach) was talking to another parent whose son had come late to the game. I was a little frustrated that two kids from the other team were slide tackling and neither the referee or their coach was telling them not too. These kids are 6, 7 & 8 year-olds and are not allowed to do that until they are much older. Fortunately no one got hurt and the coach is going to send an e-mail to the league.

2. Woody had a late afternoon game and all I can say is WOW!! They were losing 3-0 at half-time (not one of Woody's best performances at keeper) and came back in the second half to win 5-4! It was incredible! The parents were so excited. We were all screaming, jumping and high-fiving eachother. Oh, and the kids enjoyed it too. LOL!

3. Back to school night went well. I met both of the boys' teachers and both seem as excellent in person as their reputations have led me to believe. Buzz's teacher in particular is so enthusiastic. This woman spends an allotted amount of each paycheck for her classroom supplies. 80% of what is sprinkled around her classroom she purchased with her own money.

4. Woody has three other boys in his class with the same name! One of the three has the same last name. I walked in and the teacher asked me whose mom I was and I said "Woody."
"Which one?" She asked. "I have four!"
"Oh, Woody 'Clark.' " I said, just before recognizing the other Woody 'Clark's' mom sitting at one of the desks.
"Er, the other Woody 'Clark.' " I added quickly.
"Oh, it's nice to meet you." She said.
Apparently they now have to differentiate by middle name. So Woody is now known as Woody "J."

5. Ha Ha Ha! I was messing around with the kids and we were figuring out how many months-old they were. Woody is 135 months. Buzz is 96 months. Then they asked how many months old I was...482. Then I got really, really depressed (((sigh))).

6. "He sold the Cadillac and bought a WHAT?" My dad. The most habitual creature still roaming the earth at the tender age of 84 has sold his 1976 Cadillac (that he actually bought brand new in 1976) and bought himself a fully loaded 2002 Ford Mustang. GO DAD!!

7. The car apparently, aside from being fully loaded, has ridiculously low miles and a 6-cd changer. I don't think my dad owns 6 cd's. Time to trade in those 8-tracks.

8. It is like having a newborn all over again. My poor neglected dog that is. The second most habitual creature to walk the earth holds out every day for someone (me) to take him for a walk so he can do his business (poop). During the week it is near to impossible to find the time with our schedules. I let him outside (in the back yard) multiple times every evening to relieve himself and he stubbornly refuses to poop! He is waiting to be be taken out properly on his leash! So now, anywhere between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when he can't possibly hold it in any longer, he scratches on my door so I will get up and let him out. I tried ignoring him (once) but had the unfortunate experience of finding his poop on the bathroom floor the next morning and him hiding under Woody's bed. Refusing to come out. I love him and his little quirks are endearing, but he needs to start sleeping through the night!

9. One of my soccer-mom cohorts and I are planning a coup to take over the team management of Woody's team. We are doing all the work anyway, we might as well have the title as well. Which isn't the point. The point is the current holder of said "title" is sadly incompetent and we suspect know for a fact at times has willfully tried to undermine the team, the coach and the over all success that the boys have been building.

10. The man is negative, full of excuses and nothing is ever his fault. He knows how the league and the club work. He has been coaching/managing for 15 years. Hmm... or has he? I will have to research that considering all the other mis-information we have uncovered. He knows what forms need to be filled out and how to check when tournament applications are due. He knows how to get a player registered and how long it will take to get his player pass. He knows the team currently has 12 players which allows for only one sub (if all 12 kids show up). So, why if you are an experienced manager and know it takes 5 days to process a new player's paperwork and you have that player's completed paperwork in your hands on Thursday evening, would you wait one whole week to turn it in to the registrar making the new player not eligible to play the following Saturday? Why would you be taking your own son to tryout for other teams when you are supposed to be recruiting for the team he is already on? Why would you tell the team parents the team will be in a tournament that you never applied for? Why would you sit on the sidelines with a sour face after the team has won a game?

11. So many questions to be answered. So for now we have been following up on every administrative detail to make sure things get done and the season is not compromised or jeapordized. We decided to stop complaining, wallowing in his ineptitude and do something about it. Yesterday we signed papers with the league to become team managers. The coup is on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Someone is turning 8 today...

...It's Buzz!

On this very special day in the Babaloo household I would like to share some memories of my youngest, whom I gave the blogging psuedonym of Buzz, so that you can get a better idea of what makes Buzz, well...Buzz!

It all started back in early 1998...Hubby and I were enjoying a rare dinner out alone. I ordered a cocktail and as I was perusing the menu I blurted out to hubby that I had been feeling weird lately, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. "What do you mean?" He asked over his menu. "I don't know, I feel like I did when...oh."
"Oh, what?" he asked.
"Um, like when I was pregnant with Woody."
"You can't be pregnant." He said matter-of-factly.

Well, he was wrong, of course and thank goodness for that. Just like he was wrong that I wasn't going into labor 11 days before the baby's due date. "Go back to sleep, you aren't in labor, it's too early." Hubby pleaded desperately at 3:30 am, exactly eight years ago today.
"No, I'm pretty sure these little waves of 'crampiness' I'm feeling every 10 minutes is labor."
By 6:00 am they were every 5 minutes. "Okay, let's go." He said. "But I have to stop at my work and tell them I'm not coming in."
"Can't you call?"
"No, it's Saturday. No one answers the phone."

So we went to his work. He parked the car and left me sitting there. Alone. In the parking lot. With contractions only 5 minutes apart!

Buzz loves hearing the story of how he was almost born at daddy's work.

Buzz also loves the story about how he never cried when he was getting his immunization shots. Honestly, I don't even think he felt them through his multiple layers of baby fat. He was the
chunkiest thing you've ever seen. Of course, the story is only good when it is mentioned how his older brother had the very opposite reaction when getting his shots. Especially when it is explained how I regularly had to blow on his face to get him to breathe. But not Buzz!

Buzz never crawled. He went strait to walking at 10-months old.

At two years old, just before Thanksgiving, Buzz got seriously ill. He had pnemonia caused by the RSV virus and was hospitalized for five days. For the first 12 hours they did not know what was wrong with him and he was less than an hour away from having a hole cut in his throat so they could place a tube inside to help him breathe. Fortunately a diagnosis was made and they were able to begin the proper treatment. He was so brave through out the whole ordeal and because of it, became one of my heroes.

In pre-school Buzz had two little classmates, both named Justin. He called them "Justin and the other Justin." I'll never forget picking him up one day and saying "goodbye Justin" to one of the Justins as we were leaving. When we got into the car Buzz told me very sternly, "Mommy, that wasn't Justin."
"Oh? Who was it?"
"That, was the other Justin."

I never made that mistake again.

Buzz was one of those kids who could not wait to start school. In fact, he insisted that his first day of kindergarten he wear his "sharp" clothes because he wanted to look nice his first day. He definitely knocked the socks off of everyone wearing a shirt and tie to public school!

It was in 1st grade that Buzz made the announcement that he knew who he was going to marry when he grew up. Her name was Tiffany and the reason Buzz knew he was going to marry her was because she had the same exact birthday as Buzz. How can you argue with that?
That year as a regular exercise Buzz's teacher would have the kids write letters to each other that said at least one thing they liked about that person. Buzz got a letter one day from Tiffany that said, "Dear Buzz, I like you because you want to marry me. From Tiffany."

I still have it.

Buzz, unlike his brother, is not what you would call the most athletic or agile of kids. He can be physically awkward and clumsy. His fine motor skills are hugely lacking compared to the average child. But, I see that slowly changing as he gets older. He loves to play soccer and has gone from the slowest kid on the team two years ago, to one of the fastest. He loves the challenge and loves the competition. His confidence in himself is overwhelming to me. In fact, what he lacks in raw athletic skill he more than makes up for in confidence.

Buzz, since that unexpected wave of nausea announcing his presence in our lives, has never conformed into anyone's time frame or anyone's mold, nor has he ever tried too. He does things in his own way and at his own pace much to the chagrin and amusement of those around him. You can never rush him, nor can you slow him down. He'll get there...eventually...when he's ready.

He has an absolutely infectious laugh and a smile that will melt your heart. He wakes up every day happy and usually with some countdown to an upcoming event. "Two more days mommy..." he'll say before even opening his eyes. "...till the first day of school...till we go to the Sharks game...till my first soccer game...till we go to the movies...until the new 'Zack & Cody'..." You name it, if we have a plan to go somewhere or do something, he is counting down the days.

He has surprised me with something new almost every single day for the last eight years and I look forward to each and every new surprise headed my way.

Happy birthday beautiful boy. Your mommy loves you.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy.
- Janet Long

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.
- Sophocles

People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too.
- Malcolm Forbes

Yearn to understand first and to be understood second.
- Beca Lewis Allen

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Opening day for Buzz's soccer team went well. They won 5-0. Buzz scored the fifth goal and had three heart stopping saves in goal during the second half. Did I mention that the team's jerseys and socks this season are white? Yeah, it puts a whole new meaning into "stay on your feet."

2. Opening day for Woody's soccer team was last month when they played in a tournament. But, they did have their first "league" game this weekend and it ended in a 0-0 tie. The other team was happy with the tie because Woody's team was definitely the stronger of the two. They had soooo many chances, but nothing wanted to go in the net. They have a lot to work on, but also a lot to build on. Woody's goalie jersey is black, all black with a couple of orange stripes on the sleeve. He can fall all he wants.

3. WHAT? Did I pick out Woody's goalie jersey? Of course I did! But, I did it in a way that it made him think it was all his idea (his shoes are black too, *ahem*).

4. The throbbing in my head goes, throb throb throb. Hmmm, much to the same rhythm as
THE DAMN CONSTRUCTION GOING ON NEXT DOOR AT EBAY!! Somebody. stop. the. pounding. Please! That place better be no less than a royal shrine when they are done. This is week four. "POW-POW-Pow-pow-pow-pow..."

5. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday reading (as many of you did) through the 2,996 project tributes. While they were all amazing, poignant and often sad, I would like the opportunity to share a few of the extraordinary tributes that I read. If you haven't read these, please do yourself a favor and read them now.

6. The first one I'd like you to visit was posted by Joelle who honored Jeffrey Hersch in a tribute entitled Dear Jeffrey. If you are like Joelle (and me) don't be surprised if you get seduced by Jeffrey's smile.

7. The next one I'd like you to visit is Missy who honored David William Nelson. Missy came up with the wonderfully clever gesture to time stamp her tribute to the exact time that Mr. Nelson's tower collapsed on September 11th. Oh? And by the way, Missy is 12 years old. Please read it and be amazed.

8. Please also go and visit Dayngr Girl's tribute to Vincent Litto. Scroll down a bit and read his daughter's poem, you won't be the same after you do. As you open the page to her tribute there is a song that plays so please turn up your sound and grab some tissues.

9. Finally, if you read only one tribute from the 2,996, please go on over to Kate's tribute to Ruth Magdaline (Clifford) McCourt. This was the most compelling story I read. The tribute honors Ruth and her life but also tells the story of Ruth's daughter Juliana and how they both were on flight 175 while Ruth's best friend Paige was on flight 11. The three were going to meet up in L.A. for a mini-vacation. Not only that, but Ruth's brother Ron, was in the lobby of the WTC when flight 11 crashed into it and helped an injured woman to safety. Please go over and read the whole story, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and BTW, Kate is Missy's mother.

10. If you have any "must reads" from the tributes or any other 9/11 posts that really struck a chord with you, please share them with me. In fact, why don't you all send me at least one link (you can send more) of a 9/11 tribute or post that you admired and I will put them together in a post for everyone to see.

11. Many of the images from 9/11 were grim and disturbing, but not quite as disturbing as this photo of three dogs viciously attacking an alligator... courtesy of ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 1... Of The 2,996

**updates at the bottom**

Today, thanks to the 2,996 project, I am remembering Richard Peter Gabriel. Richard was one of the 64 passengers who perished on flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Richard Gabriel was from Great Falls, Virginia. He was a decorated Vietnam War veteran and had been awarded a Purple Heart after losing a leg during Operation Meade River in November 1968. Richard was a native of New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. He received a master's degree in business from Columbia University after the war and worked for General Foods and other companies before starting his own company, Stratin Consulting Company.

Richard was en route to Australia on business for his company, via Los Angeles, on flight 77 when the fateful events of that day ended his life. He was 54 years-old. Richard was survived by his wife, Ann, his daughter, his four sons, his mother, sister, brother and five grandchildren.

Richard's daughter, Patricia, was working in midtown Manhattan that Tuesday when the attacks occurred. When she heard that they involved a flight to Los Angeles, the first leg of her dad's trip, she said, "the first thing I thought of was my father."

His colleagues at Stratin Consulting have these words up on the company website in memory of Richard:

"The Stratin family mourns the loss of co-founder Rich Gabriel, who perished in the hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on September11, 2001. Rich was far more than a colleague. He was a friend, guide and mentor to us all. Many remember his quiet but effective style, his strong belief in high principles, and his dedication to important values. We will miss his steadfast commitment to our goals, his total professionalism and especially his wry sense of humor."

Other people who knew Richard had these words to say:

"It was in 1979-80 that I knew Rich at general Foods and I will never forget the care he gave me as a kind and patient boss to a former fellow Vietnam Marine. In 1992, as GF "alumni", we explored a possible business arrangement..., a good memory & a road not taken." - Dick Frankovich

" Richard, may you rest in peace. What a horrible tragedy this is. My husband Stephen and Richard were friends years ago, and both men served valiantly on behalf of our nation in Vietnam. I'm sure if they could, they'd rush to serve our country once again." - Dana Charlton

"All members of Hotel Company 2/7 would like to extend our sincere condolences to all members of his family. Semper Fi Brother Rich. You will be sorely missed." - Jon Peterson

"Rich was a super guy and person and you all must miss him dearly. I know I will think of him always when I recall my childhood."- Bruce Sabin

This is a security camera image of the moment that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

Just as the friends and family of Richard Gabriel will never forget their father, husband, son, brother and friend, we will never forget the events of that day and how they changed our lives forever. Richard was more than one of the 2,996 people that died on September 11th. He was one of us.

* Rest in Peace Richard * Richard's "United In Memory Quilt" can be seen here.

A special thanks to Dale who put together this project. Please go visit his site for links to more tributes and a little insight into his vision and all the tireless work that went in to putting 2,996 bloggers together to honor the victims of 9/11. It has been a privelege to be a part of this truly inspirtational idea.

Thank you!

***update*** Dale's (D.C. Roe) site seems to be down. I imagine from the high volume of traffic. But if you are interested in reading more tributes, you can find some linked here, here and here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid.
-Harlan Miller

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
-Maurice Setter

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
-Vernon Law

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
-Agatha Christie

Pain is only bearable if we know it will end, not if we deny it exists.
-Viktor Frankl

An ungrieved loss remains forever alive in our unconscious, which has no sense of time.
-B.G. Simos

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Today will be the day. Today will be the day. I will not eat my Lean Cuisine Pizza to soon and burn the roof of my mouth. Today is the day. I can feel it. Just be patient. Just wait a little longer...What? It's not a Lean Cuisine Pizza? It's a Lean Cuisine Panini? Oh, that's different! Bite...Crunch...OOOWWW! Groan, not again... :-(

2. tap tap tap... "hello? Is anyone there? I think I'm trapped in here. Can you please help me get out?" tap tap tap... "hello? I can see you! C'mon! Please?"

3. Heard on the radio after a news blurb about the recent downgrade of Pluto to a dwarf planet... Apparrently there is a new slang term for when you are in a hot and heavy relationship for a long time and everything is all passionate and sexy, then after awhile the attraction wears off and the relationship is downgraded to being "just friends." The new word for that is "plutonic."

4. Have some courtesy when making things convenient for me, please! If you (my local big chain grocery store) are not going open any checkout lanes and force me to use "self-checkout," (which is great btw if say I'm buying a pack of gum and nothing else) then please have the courtesy of making sure all of your produce codes are updated so your convenient self checkout computer doesn't freeze when I input the code for peaches and red plums before telling me the code is invalid.

5. Oh, and? What is with the attitude when I put something in the bag before ringing it up? Ya don't have to get all "uppity" with me with your "UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!" I'm not trying to steal anything, sheesh.

6. Three signs that I am slowly losing my mind: 1) I totally space that one of my kids is not at home and that it is 5 minutes past the time I am supposed to pick him up 2) In my rush out the door I realize I forgot my phone inside 3) Go back from the car to the house, try three times to open the front door... with my car's remote key (yes, actually aiming the remote at the front door and pushing the "unlock" button).

7. Note to self: ask IT guy at work if it is possible to hook up my car and my front door to the same LAN.

8. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.... I got picked!

9. I need to find a new "happy place." Would it be wrong if my new "happy place" involves a visual of me kicking a certain aquaintance (as in not a family member or friend) in my life repeatedly?

10. dreamy music... one, two, three, KICK. one two, three, KICK. Harder. one, two KICK. one, two KICK... record scratch. Oh, Hi! You still here?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Three reasons why 3-day weekends should be "permanent"

1) Saturday- Kids and I spent all day at local them park with my friend and her two kids. Stopped for takeout on the way home, watched a movie and crashed around 12.

2) Sunday- Spent all day in the house impersonating a vegetable. One of the cable channels (TBS? USA? AMC?), I can't remember which had a "Women with Issues" movie marathon so I burrowed under a blanket and watched. Yes, it was a beautiful day outside, but c'mon! Women with issues? All day long! I also watched at least 4 episodes of "Crossing Jordan." I'd never seen it before. I actually at one point started to get up to do something productive, but another show started and sucked me right in. Before I knew what happened it was 6:00 and the kids wanted to know what was for dinner (Pizza, of course.)

3) Monday- I got up early, made a grocery list and planned the menu for the week. I started laundry and cleaned the kitchen (top to bottom) before the kids woke up. I mopped all the floors, cleaned the bathrooms and did 5 continuous loads of laundry(throughout the day). We went grocery shopping, I cleaned the garage and the back yard. We took the dog on a nice long walk and then came home and made dinner.

Monday, September 04, 2006


A road map to the deterioration of male communication skills.

We are a busy family. No busier than most, but busy nonetheless. We bought a house a few years back in the eastern suburbs of our fair city while the remainder of our lives (except for the kids' school) remained approximately 20-30 miles away (work, soccer, friends & family).

Hubby works as a technician and has the early morning shift from 6am to 2:30pm. I work as an office manager and have very flexible hours as long as I put in at least 8 each day (i.e. I'm not on the clock). We have worked it out so that I take the kids to school in the morning and hubby picks them up in the afternoon. On a regular "no activity" day they all stay home and I join them around 5 or 5:30 when I get off work. I check homework, make dinner, they take showers and everyone is in bed by 9:00.

Okay, that never happens. Why? Because something is always going on for someone. I've mentioned the 5 practices a week schedule we are on now. I've mentioned hubby's bartending job at HP Pavillion and, oh yeah, I don't think I've mentioned the small business (45 minutes away when there is no traffic) that we opened several months ago. In all fairness, we have an employee that manages the place and runs things on a daily basis, however, hubby's presence is required a lot of the time. Anyway, fortunately my job (with the flexibility) is also a convenient meeting place for hubby to bring the kids so he can dash off to his bartending job or tend to the business. At my work I have my own office with lots of room and a door. I can have the kids come in and there is room for them to do homework, read or draw until it is time for us to leave.

Wow, this is a lot of background information, but hang in there. I will eventually have a point.

On the days where somone has to be somewhere (read: almost every day), hubby will pick up the kids from school. He will take them home, feed them and get them started on their homework. Somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 he will bring them to my office. From there I will either take them back home, take them to practice or wherever else they need to be.

Okay, we're almost to the point of the story. Whew!

When we started the dropping-the-kids-off-at-my-office-thing the communication went like this:

1) phone call from home saying they just left and would be there soon.
2) phone call from the freeway exit saying they were 4-5 minutes away.
3) phone call from the parking lot (which I can see from my window, did I mention I had a window too?) announcing their arrival and could I please meet them downstairs?

Communication Deterioration Phase I: After awhile the phone call anouncing their departure from home was dropped, but I would still get the the "we're getting off the freeway" call and the "we're in the parking lot now" call.

Communication Deterioration Phase II: Then there was a fateful day where nothing was going right for hubby, the kids were not behaving, his car was acting up and he was running very late to work. I got a very distressed call from the exit of the freeway basically demanding that I be waiting outside the door of my building by the street so I could catch the boys as he nudged them out of the moving car he could drive by and drop off the kids quickly because his last nerve had been stepped on and he was L-A-T-E! Even though it was later chalked up to just a bad day, it set a precedence.

After that, I got only one call. From around the corner. Asking me to meet them outside.

Communication Deterioration Phase III:
Then hubby got the brilliant idea that he didn't need to call me at all! No time! He would have Buzz call! So I started getting "happy boy" calls from Buzz (he giggles when he talks on the phone). i.e.
"Hi mommy!"
"Hi Buzz, how are you!"
(giggling) "Fine!"
"How was school?"
"Good. (giggle) What's for dinner?"
"Not sure, what's up?"
"Oh, (giggle) daddy says we are around the corner from your work, can you come meet us downstairs?"
"Okay. bye."
"Okay, love you."
(giggle) "Love you too. Bye."

Communication Deterioration Phase IV: "The Game"
I used to love those calls. So sweet. Anyway. Soon hubby got an even more brilliant idea and made a game up with Buzz to see how short he could make his calls to mommy (our cell phones show the length of each call as soon as you disconnect). My next phone call went like this:

"Hi-mommy-it's-me-Buzz-we're-around-the-corner-can-you-meet-us-downstairs?-okay-bye-love-you-bye." Click.

WTF? Did my son just drive-by phone call me?

After the "game" was explained to me the drive-by phone calls went on for a few days with each one getting faster and faster so he could break his "record."

Communication Deterioration Phase V: The Game Gets Serious
Then one day I got a very serious phone call from hubby telling me that it was very important to answer the phone "right away" because Buzz was not getting the best "times" for his phone call and that he really wanted to break his record. Apparently the phone's timer for length of calls begins once the call is placed and not when the other party answers. So, I was instructed to answer on the first ring, only say "hello," and that's it.

These guys take their drive-by phone calls seriously. Alright, whatever.

A few minutes later my phone rings, I was on! I quickly picked it up and heard:

"Mommy-we're-around-the-corner-meet-us-downstairs-love-you-bye." Click

Apparently it was a new record! 16 seconds! He was thrilled when he got out of the car.
Again, whatever.

From there it went to:

"Mommy-we're-around-the-corner-bye." Click

Communication Deterioration Phase VI: The Final Phase
Two days later I get another very serious phone call from hubby explaining the absolute importance that I answer the phone as quickly as possible because Buzz was going for the all time drive-by-phone-call record (Alert the Guiness people, as in world records, not beer).

Twenty minutes later the phone rang, I picked it up before the first ring even finished, said my quickest "hello" and I heard:

"Corner!" Click

It has been like that for the last 3 months. From severeral phone calls with endless opportunities to catch up, talk about our day, you know actually communicate? To one call consisting of one word. (((sigh)))

Deterioration of Male Communication Complete.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
- Russell Lynes

We must have the courage to allow a little disorder in our lives. - Ben Weininger

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself. - Benjamin Franklin

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. - Doug Floyd

Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it's not the end.
- Unknown

Learn to pause ... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you. - Doug King

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. One part Rose's Blue Rasberry Mix + one (or so) part vodka = one sweet tasting blue rasberry martini (shaken, not stirred). Recommended highly for Saturday nights after spending all day outside watching soccer.

2. Thank you very much to our "friendly league rival" team for inviting Woody and his teammate Jordan to play with them as guest players for their tournament. They had a fabulous time, especially Woody who, normally a keeper, doesn't get much playing time out in the field. Your parents are extremely gracious and I hope Jordan's mom and I didn't do to much damage with our loud cheering!

3. That (loud cheering) was just a preview for what you can expect when our teams play each other in October!

4. Oh and a special "thank-you-shout-out" going to Buzz's coach for deciding to hold practice on Mondays and Wednesdays this season (instead of the old Tuesday/Thursday schedule) because it fits in nicely with Woody's Tuesday/Thursday/Friday practice schedule. Yes, you read that right, soccer everyday through mid-November.

5. I'd better stock up on the Rose's Mix and vodka. Do they sell it in bulk?

6. Is it wrong to be secretly happy that of seven brothers in the family, my husband and one other brother are the only ones not going bald? Ha! Well, maybe if you knew some of my sister-in-laws you'd be more happy for me.

7. Like the one who was visibly PISSED when we bought a new car a few years ago. Oh, wait. Her husband is the other brother not losing his hair. Nevermind. We can't really afford a new car right now, but it might be worth it just to see that look on her face again!

8. Speaking of family...Hubby leaves today for Mexico to go visit his mom. She normally comes to stay with us once or twice a year but she had to cancel her plans twice this summer due to health problems. She suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritus. I really hope she is going to be okay.

9. I so much love and admire this woman. She gave birth to 13 children (and knows all their names), how can you not admire that?

10. Seen on a t-shirt of a student (on the same campus my boys attend) on the first day of school: "Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver." I wasn't sure whether I should be scared or merely amused.

11. I am the world's biggest hypocrite! Is there a "hypocrite" button I can post on my blog? I have no principals or values. Uggh! I did it kind of as one of those "wouldn't it be funny if..." things that you just laugh about but don't actually do. Then? I went ahead and did it. If you want to know what "it" was, send me an e-mail, cuz no way I'm gonna post it here!

12. No plans for Labor Day. Hubby will be gone, so I guess it is the perfect opportunity to check some stuff off the old "to do" list. But? Who knows how I'm going to feel come this weekend. I haven't checked my calendar, but I may be in "slug mode" for the next week or so.

That is all! :-)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Our Kids' Education Courtesy of Nickelodeon

One day driving home in the car...

Radio: "blah blah blah blah something something, Atlantis, blah, blah, blather, blah, something..."

Woody: "Mommy, what is Atlantis?"

Me: "Atlantis? It's um, er (concentrating hard on putting some brain cells together to connect to the far reaches of my brain where my memory is located and occasionally retains useful information that I can retrieve and answer my children's questions) well, let's see...
Over 11,000 years ago there existed an island nation located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean populated by a noble and powerful race. The people of this land possessed great wealth thanks to the natural resources found throughout their island. The island was a center for trade and commerce. The rulers of this land held sway over the people and land of their own island and well into Europe and Africa. This was the island of Atlantis."

Well, okay. I didn't really say all that. I googled Atlantis later to impress the internet with my vast knowledge of Greek Mythology. What I really said was more like, "well, it was a city and I'm pretty sure it is a myth but supposedly the people of the city angered the gods so the gods basically destroyed the city and sank it under the sea."

Woody: "What do you mean? Like they made a big earthquake or something?"

Me: "Yeah, something like that. It was a myth though. I don't think it really happened."

Buzz: "I thought Cosmo [from Nickelodeon's Fairly Odd Parents] did it."

Monday, August 28, 2006

First Day of School Bios

Name: "Buzz"
Age: 8 (in 22 days)
Grade: 3
Today's outfit: maroon & black basketball shorts, black "take your hands off the controller and no one gets hurt" tee, red & black track jacket and black "turf "shoes
Breakfast Food: two toasted Eggo waffles, syrup and strawberry/kiwi Hi C cooler.
Contents In Back Pack: none (we always wait for "the list" from the teacher so we know what to buy)
Goals For The 06/07 School Year: 1. To not lose any outerwear (sweatshirts, hats or jackets) 2. To not forget to bring homework material home 3. To get my mom to drop me off on time so I don't have to many tardies To be better organized.
Most Exciting Thing About The First Day of School: "It is also the first day of soccer practice!"
Hardest Thing About The First Day of School: "Not being able to sleep last night because I was so excited!"

Name: "Woody"
Age: 11 (for the record: 2 years away from being a teen and 5 years away from getting a driver's license)
Grade: "6th baby, oh yeah!"
Today's Outfit: Black "Jordan" tee-shirt, black & red basketball shorts and black "my mom almost peed when she found out how much her aunt paid for them" Nike (some fancy name) running shoes.
Breakfast Food: "I usually skip breakfast but my brother's waffles smelled good so I had some too and a glass of juice."
Contents in Back Pack: Hmmm... I really should have checked (note to self: check tomorrow).
Goals for 06/07 School Year: 1. To get back on the honor roll. 2. To not get in any trouble (even though if I do it absolutely won't be my fault. I swear.) 3. To finally get to go on the "good" field trips. 4. To be and to walk to school if my mom doesn't start dropping me off on time every day!
Most Exciting Thing About The First Day of School: "To see everyone again. To show them my shoes (I didn't know how much they were and she wanted to buy them for me!) and to check out the girls see who is in my class."
Hardest Thing About The First Day of School: "Waking up at this ungodly hour and having to pose for 'first day of school" pictures, again. When does that stop anyway? When I'm in college? Enough already...we're late!"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.
- Phillips Brooks

The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers

Just when you think you've graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course.
- Mary H. Waldrip

Once you have them by the funny bone, their hearts and minds will follow.
- Robert Wieder

If you can accept losing, you can't win.
- Vince Lombardi

Destiny is not matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
- William Jennings Bryan

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. A warning to all moms: please don't let your babies grow up to tell their own birth stories to people you know (but not that well) and who are a captive audience because you are giving them a ride home in your car. I'm just saying ladies, it's um, a bit awkward.

2. But not as awkward as when they tell the birth story incorrectly and confuse it with their sibling's birth story and you feel compelled to set the record strait and tell the correct birth story not really taking note of the confused and "why the hell are you telling me this?" look on the person's face, because of course you are driving and not looking at their expression...but once you realize the "ickiness" of what you are saying and how it must sound you decide since you've almost finished the story it might be too weird at that point to just stop... so you finish telling it...albeit very lamely.

3. Does anyone's dog howl at police/ambulance sirens? If they do, are they in a semi-trance when they do it?

4. To the parents of the kids that were playing soccer against my son's team last weekend for the tournament championship and called our boys a "junk team," you might want exercise a little restraint with your comments or at least use some volume control on the sidelines. You are there to cheer and support your kids not berate their opponent.

5. A special note to the mother that yelled "FUCKING JUNK" at the top of her lungs after one of our boys committed a foul on the field, ummm... just be grateful that when you went to use the portable potty after the game was over that it didn't get tipped over. I'm just saying.

6. Maybe it was just me because I was tired when I saw it, but that movie Monster House really bothered me. The premise was really dark and bizarre and I just didn't like it. I think it must have been written strait out of someone's real life reacurring nightmare. It made no sense otherwise.

7. We're going to see "Invincible" and "How To Eat Fried Worms" tomorrow. Hope those work out better.

8. I wish that before I called the man, told him that my kids found his cell phone at the park and put it out in my mail box for him to come pick up at his convenience... that they told me they had used it to take pictures... (((sigh)))

9. There has been a dilemma brewing for the last six weeks or so and today, suddenly out of nowhere about 10 things fell into place and our path has become clear. It just sucks that someone has to show their true ugliness and selfishness before we are able to make the correct decision.

10. Drove by the kids school earlier today and there is still construction going on with a chain link fence closing off the entire campus. The kids think maybe their summer will be extended a few days until they finish the job. I had to shatter that fantasy mid-smile because I will cut a hole in that chain link fence come Monday morning and bus in my own teachers if I have to. SCHOOL WILL RESUME ON MONDAY MORNING!!!!

11. Buzz got $5 from the tooth fairy (WHAT? Doesn't everyone?). On our way home today the kids asked me if we could go to 7-11. Buzz offered to pay with his $5. I asked if he had brought it with him and he pat his pocket, pulled it out and showed it to me. I parked outside and let the two of them go in by themselves. A few minutes later Buzz came running out and said he left his money in the car. We looked around and didn't find it. I pulled another $5 out of my wallet and sent him back in to pay for their stuff. I have no idea how he lost his money. I asked him later when he was going to pay me back and he said "the next time I get money from the tooth fairy."

Monday, August 21, 2006

4 Days In My House... A Pictorial

Day 1 - hubby's bartending shirt is left draped over the kitchen chair
Day 2 - a second shirt is added Day 3 - a third shirt? why not...
Day 4 - the shirs are spreading to another chair

On the fifth day I couldn't take it anymore.
They had to go.
I put them in the washer.
I put them in the dryer.
I hung them up in the closet.
But I took pictures for evidence...because I seem to be getting weird like that.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Most Quotable Friday - a parable

An old man, a boy, and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some people that remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk". They then decided they both would walk.

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey.

As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story?

If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass good-bye.

- Author unknown

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Yes, this is a blatant rip off of the already established "Thursday Thirteen" that you see on some of you favorite blogs. Oh, you've never heard of it? Umm, then nevermind. However, if any one is offended please send me to blogging jail or whatever it is they do to people that steal borrow from other blogs.

2. If you are not offended by stealing borrowing ideas from other blogs then you won't be offended that I stole borrowed this cartoon from the internet, so that I could share it with you (enjoy).

3. Starting this weekend, all weekends thru November 19th will be scheduled around a minimum of 2 soccer games and for those really special weekends, let's squeeze in 5 games... just for the heck of it.

4. Oh, and for those "special weekends" when there will be 5 games? Let's make sure I have snack duty for at least two of those games, that hubby will be working both of those days, is unable to help me get two kids to two different games which start at exactly the same time and that at least one of the games is really, really, really far away.

5. My grandfather is turning 90 in October. Awhile ago my aunt asked me to join her for a few days in Hawaii (where he lives) to celebrate his birthday. By myself. No kids. HAWAII. Let me re-cap that. 4 days-Hawaii-no kids. I told her I'd think about it (I'm so there).

6. Some alternate titles for this post, which I'm considering to be a regular feature in addition to my "Most Quotable Fridays": a) Thursday Buffet b) Thursday Offerings c) Thursday Pick-It (pick one and leave a comment, uh please?) d) Thursday 's Week in Review e) Thursday's Blog Filler

7. I finally saw#91's new place! It is nice. A newer condominium complex that he shares with one other guy. I think his bedroom is bigger than mine. Somehow, I don't think that is fair. On second thought, he doesn't have any furniture in there besides his bed, so I guess it isn't that big after all. He is babysitting his brothers this week (Woody and Buzz).

8. Drama is creating lots of drama for herself. I won't go into detail but knowing her as I do, this is part of her pattern. She is not putting her health or the baby's health in danger, but she seems to be demanding a lot of attention. If I sit back and resist the urge to "rescue" the situation will resolve itself. But, yes, I worry.

9. I am on vacation next week. The last week before the kids start school. We will mostly be staying in town (because in addition to the multiple games per weekend, there is also 4 days/week practices). Monday, however (no practice) I promised the kids I'd take them and a guest (to make an even 4) to Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, CA. Buzz was in a stoller the last time we were there. It should be fun. Other planned activities include, school shopping, bowling, maybe a movie and ice skating at Logitech Ice. This is the same building where the Sharks train so (maybe if we're lucky) we'll be able to get a glimpse.

10. Speaking of hockey. We saw the funniest thing yesterday! We were looking for a new stick for Buzz and in the store was a life size poster of Joe Thornton. However, the picture was from when he played for the Boston Bruins so someone from the store took a pair of Sharks' colored hockey socks and a Sharks' jersey and positioned them strategically on the poster to "replace" the Boston uniform. I wish I had my camera.

11. Hubby still hasn't told me that, a) he found my blog b) he reads it semi-regularly and c) I'm not going to be mad when he does tell me. If he doesn't fess up soon, I'm going to start telling embarassing stories about him (which may or may not be true). Hint: Remember how I got you to smile in our wedding picture? Cuz, I'm sure the internet is dying to know...

12. OMG! Only 11 days (here) until SCHOOL STARTS!

13. (because let's make it exactly like the "Thursday Thirteen" idea that I stole borrowed) Bonnie B., if you are back in town and checking in, please see the Bonnie Made Me Do It Post, because, well it was dedicated to you (and your mom).

That is all!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Restored Balance

Woody got back safe and sound last night. And suddenly out of nowhere, balance was restored. I didn't really realize how much I missed him (how much we all missed him) until he was back in our home. And? He brought gifts!

As I retired to my room to finish folding the last of the weekend laundry I listened to the familiar sounds. The joy in my younger son's laughter as the two of them played one of their made up games. The lift in his voice as he peppered his older brother with questions and the excitement he gathered when updating him on the latest round of the Disney Channel Games.

As I sorted the socks I resisted the urge to turn on the T.V. and opted instead to let myself be entertained by the giggles, the whizzing sound of a flying hackey sac and the thud it made upon contact. The dog was barking, trying to get in on the game and his paws were making the rapid clicking noise on the tile floor as he ran between the boys. I heard my husband speaking to them, his deep voice vibrating down the hallway. At one point he offered $5 to anyone who could catch one of the flies that had infiltrated our living room while the front door was open. This set off another rush of sounds and peels of laughter as their bodies moved around to face the challenge.

"Enjoy it while it lasts," I thought to myself, smiling. "For tomorrow the battles will commence." Yes, tonight they rejoice, but tomorrow the rivalry will resume, the feelings will be bruised and the mind games will be picked up where they left off.

The last pair of socks was folded and placed neatly in my husband's top drawer as I let out a deep sigh. It was getting late and I looked around for something else to tidy up or otherwise occupy a few more minutes before I would have to end the evening and send everyone to bed.

A little while later the house was quiet. The kids were in their beds, Nico was happily in his spot under Woody's bed and there would be no late night sneaking in my room to sleep with us. His nighttime companion was home and I could sense his happiness and feelings of security.

As hubby and I settled down to go to sleep I could physically feel the restored balance and I was momentarily content. I closed my eyes, but something in the back of my mind wouldn't let me take that final step into unconsciousness. I just had to know something.



"I was just wondering. That fly catching thing? Is that retro-active? Cuz, I'm a little short on cash."

Monday, August 14, 2006

He's Back...

...well, almost anyway. Woody comes home tonight from his week long visit with my aunt and uncle in Oregon. Right now they are probably loading up the car and closing up the beach house in Manzanita. Then they will head back to Hillsboro (suburb of Portland) and get him ready for his 6:15 flight. It has been sooooooooooooo quiet! I've had a lot of one on one time with Buzz which has been great. He is becoming very independent and I am amazed at how he seemingly entertained himself for the entire week. The last two nights he has gotten on the San Jose Sharks' website and played highlights from last season. He turned up the volume really loud and ran around the house celebrating each goal. Oh, and bless his little heart for him asking me my opinion on where he should have his birthday party.
"Mommy, where do you think I should have my birthday. At really expensive place A? Or less expensive place B?" Hmm. Let me think about it honey (gah!).

The funniest thing about Woody being gone was the dog sneaking into my room to sleep with us. Normally he sleeps either under Woody's bed or in Woody's bed with him. Buzz, who has the top bunk and doesn't like to sleep alone, set up camp on our floor, which left the dog to sleep on his own. Hubby is normally able to keep the dog in check. He knows he is not allowed in our bedroom, especially if hubby is home. However, Nico, who has a healthy fear of hubby, would not be deterred and was very persistant in not giving up. Hubby kicked him out several times each night but every morning there he was, fast asleep on Buzz's blanket. Apparently, like Buzz, he doesn't like to sleep alone.

Although I enjoyed my time with Buzz, valued the break from being "mediator extraordinaire" and relished a week off from the heavy commute to soccer practice I really ran in to a major road block mentally. I'm really bad with facing and accepting change. On those quiet evenings while Buzz was entertaining himself and hubby was out, the winds of change were whispering to me and I tried so hard to shut them out. I didn't want to hear it, I certainly didn't want to think about it and I most definitely didn't want to accept it. So, a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies, half a box of fudgecicles and all my emergency chocolate later, I had the largest sugar induced headache known to man. And through my self-induced pain I still denied the truth. Saturday and Sunday I nursed a bottle of chardonnay for what was by then a blatant attempt to stuff down any thoughts of change and simply float the weekend away.

This morning I woke up not only to the fact that Monday mornings are a bitch in more ways than one, but to the reality that changes are coming at me, whether I see them, want them or accept them. They aren't so much tough changes as they are"part of life" changes, but the volume of them is what has got me overwhelmed. They run from the mundane (getting the kids ready for school) to the worrisome. From upcoming family obligations to upcoming constant demands on my time and a miriad of other little things sprinkled in between. Nothing earth shattering but enough to get me rattled and enough to shake my calm. Nothing like waking up in the morning and getting slapped in the face.

Mondays are funny like that.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bonnie made me do it...


The Babaloo family.

The happy looking fellow on the left is my (11 y/o) nephew, Ya Ya. His actual name is Eduardo, however, when my son was little he couldn't pronounce it and it came out as Ya Ya. Everyone (even his own mother) has called him that ever since (hmm... maybe that is why he is not smiling?) Next to him in the dark blue polo shirt is another nephew, Jacobo. He is 25 (26?) and single ladies! Next to him in the black shirt is #91, my (step) son (he's not so single, see the next photo with his gorgeous girlfriend, Flo). In green is Woody and next to him is younger brother Buzz. The two old-farts? That would be I, Babaloo and hubby (who is also taken and might freak if he sees I posted his picture... if this post disappears suddenly, you'll know why) I think this is how we look most of the time...although I seem to be having an awfully good hair day so I'm going to say I DON'T ALWAYS look like this.

I guess Ya Ya is just really anxious for cake... either that or he is really growing to resent being called Ya Ya. He's usually a very happy kid, honest!

This is my (step) daughter, Drama. She'd kill me if she knew I posted this one. I'll try and find a more flattering picture. She is absolutely beautiful (I think), even when she's windblown and cold at the beach!

So, that's them. I hope Bonnie's mother approves. If not, Patti (Bonnie's mom), I'll send you some others for you to post on your blog!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fun With Blogrolls

OR, the one where I was really bored and this is what happened...

There Once Was A Girl who grew into a Busy Mom . It didn't bother her that amongst the other moms she was considered a White Trash Mom . She thought herself, instead, more of an Average Mom with Tightknit Mom tendencies who always aspired to be a laid-back and casual Sweatpants Mom. She would often daydream Of Socks and Men while living her true-life Adventures In Parenting and writing her memoirs titled Chronicles of an Exhausted Mom under the pseudynym of Babaloooo (yes, I know I don't have my own blog on my blogroll, but this is my time wasting, blog filler excuse for a post, so I'll just take that liberty). Most of her life was an Open Book and with her bunch of kids that took up Half of the Sky, she was one Crazy Momcat most of the time.

In other (non-related) news:

Did you hear what's going on in Jodi's World? She left her job as a Socialworker/Frustrated Mom and moved to Vegas to become The Great Sparlini! I mean one minute she's all Debbiedoeslife and the next she's all "Nothing To See Here, I'm moving on and am no longer The Kept Woman."

Yeah, whatever. I'm always the last to know. I mean, things like This Could Only Happen To Me, right? And, can somebody please tell me, What About Mommy? I never get a good answer to that question. You don't have to be a Sarcastic Journalist to do a little Soul Gardening amidst all the Suburban Turmoil. So come on, you can be Mommy Off The Record and tell me. ..
Exactly what is a Niihaus? Is it the kind of Joy Unexpected you experience on your first trip to Mamaritaville?

Luckily (for anyone reading today) I don't have a longer blogroll.

Thanks for playing.