Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why Soccer is Stupid

I used to think I wasn't a big sports fan. After yesterday, I decided, "Mmm...not so. I LOVE to sit and watch a good ballgame in the SUN and drink a nice, cold $8 beer." Baseball never makes you sit in the rain...

And after last night I decided I am not a soccer fan, but apparently, my children LOVE to play it, so I'm stuck. I will not EVER consider myself a soccer mom know the moms with mini-vans and a "Go Jack" sticker on the back window, and the lawn chairs they lug to every game and practice. I've got the van and I stop there.

Jack had a game last night. In the rain. The e-mail from the commissioner of soccer actually read something like, "The fields may be wet, but we're still playing". Yah, the fields were soaked. And it was still raining until about 10 minutes before the game ended.

To top it off, the fields were not only wet, but freshly mowed. So the kids were all covered in grass and mud and sand and WET! It was Murphy's Law that I had decided to hand wash my kitchen floors to rid them of the hops and other grains that have been living there since Saturday's brewfest.

I had the kids strip naked in the garage, dusted off most of the grass, and shuffled them into the tub, before dinner. The floors are getting dirty already, but I avoided a major grass and mud situation by having naked kids running wild in the house.

In case you're wondering, Jack scored a goal and blocked a few others. He really likes soccer. Sigh.... Does that make me a soccer mom by default then?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Memorial Day Weekend To Remember

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband of almost 9 years. I do believe this is his 15th consecutive birthday we have spent together, or something like that. Here's how the weekend went down....

I called my mom to have the kids over for a sleepover Saturday, so that John could have the day to do what he wanted and we could go out on a much needed date. Not counting my hospital stay, the last time we were out without kids was probably January or February. I took the kids to my mom's and he made beer. I went shopping at Ikea and spent my next 3 paychecks, but my new photo gallery area looks totally rockin'. We got home and went to see the new Star Trek movie...which was fine with me for 3 reasons.

1.) Eric Bana
2.) I HATE chick flicks, and though the story lines for Star Trek stuff are all kinda stupid and the same, it is at the very least entertaining.
3.) The new Captain Kirk isn't too bad either.

My hubbie is such a cheap and easy date that we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for a fancy dinner of Wings and beer and some bar trivia (at which, I totally kicked John's butt. I am a treasure chest of useless information). We went home, and here is where the evening turned slightly sour. I was SOOO excited to give him his gift, a Garmin Forerunner GPS enhanced heart rate monitor. This thing does everything, except scrub the kitchen floors. It tracks your running/biking/swimming course. It tells you how far you've gone, and how far you have left. It tracks calories and fat burned. I thought it'd be awesome since he's lost about 20 lbs since Christmas and has taken to running through the neighborhood, enjoying a 5 or 6 mile jaunt every other day or so.

He didn't like it. And I quote: "Yeah, I gotta be honest. I'm never gonna use it. You should probably send it back". Aaaaaannnnd deflate.

The next day we started staining our 3,000 square foot deck. It's still not done, but we got a huge chunk done because my mom made an executive decision to keep the kids an extra day because (and I quote again): "You can't get ANYTHING done with these kids around!" I swear, that was news to me. Some other fun quotes from my mom over the course of her weekend with the kiddos include:

"Your kids destroy things just to destroy them." Huh? I had NO idea.
"Nate can't do anything without getting messy. He's a little disaster." Mmmm, really? Have you seen my house?
"Nate tells stories. He's a liar." Uh, yah. Have you not paid attention when I told you about how he thinks he's Jesus?
"Jack is in time-out for running into Nate on purpose". He NEVER would do that at home, right?

But, the kids were having fun and the deck is mostly done, which we really couldn't have done with the kids there. I picked them up on Monday, daddy's real birthday and we made a cake and some bleu cheese flank steak, since he loves steak and bleu cheese. It was a lovely family dinner, even if it took the little ones about 45 minutes to finish their meal (every meal with them is a battle. Every. Single. One.) John got to open his birthday presents from the kids, since I took them to the dollar store to find something to give to someone else-not pick out what they would want. That was a small battle, trying to explain that "No, daddy does NOT want a remote control motorcycle or Barbie doll." John was soooo excited to open from the kids:

1.) From Jack-Garden gloves and a small shovel
2.) From Nate- a Jug of Hawaiian punch and a garden rake
3.) From Maddie- A squeaky dog toy and some Pork-n-Beans

In fact, he was so excited and happy about those gifts, that I decided next year I am getting him a few things from the dollar store myself.

But all in all, I think he had a nice birthday. He got a break from the kids. He got to make beer. He stained his deck.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Garden Of Eden

I began planting yesterday, though I'm not sure how all this is going to work. The ground has a lot of clay and though I dug and broke up clods of dirt, and bought 3 bags of organically enriched soil and some cow manure compost, I'm thinking it may take a couple of years to get it to where I want it.

Pepper plant...I planted 3 of them, hoping at least one works.

My favorite, Mr. Tomato. Although Jack and I are the only ones who actually eat tomatoes, I'm hoping to make my own pasta sauces and freeze them, along with John's favorite fried green tomatoes. The dude hates tomatoes, and hates fried food in general, but for whatever reason enjoys fried green tomatoes. I don't's all yum to me!

Of course I had to plant a row of marigold's, just like Grandpa Z taught me. It keeps the rabbits away. Now to prepare for cutworms....

I also started an herb garden in a little planter, since buying fresh herbs is somewhat expensive. My sweet basil...

Rosemary-I love how she smells.

More rosemary, and cilantro.

I also started from seed cucumbers, zucchini squash, cantaloupe and carrots, but since I'm not a very good seed grower we'll see. I also want to add to my herb garden with chives and oregano and parsley from seed, but again, we'll see. I'm also experimenting with planting my white strawberry bush (I hardly get any strawberries since the birds eat them first, but the ones I do get are SO good) and a blueberry bush.
I figure with all this I will save money at farmer's markets this year, but I have decided I will be buying those organic eggs and since we are going to be drinking less milk thru the summer, I'll be buying organic hormone free milk. I know it's expensive, but I think there's a reason all these kids are developing and growing up too early, and maybe it's our hormone laden food. Next step of course, will be our meat products, but that may have to wait until I'm working more, because that gets pricey.
Summer is off to a good start though! Wish me luck on my seedlings!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Well, Now I've Gone and Done It

I just officially registered for another triathlon race. This one will be held on Sunday, June 14th, and benefits ovarian cancer research. Of course, this is in addition to my Danskin tri, which helps the breastcancer cause. Because we all know I can't do something unless there isn't a CAUSE involved.

I'm sooooo not race ready, especially after taking a month of R & R thanks to my appendectomy, but I AM ready to put my sweet new bike to good use.

You can read more about this particular race here:
and I am doing the Naperville Sprint race. Wish me luck...I will need it this time around for sure!

So, uh, Wanna come over after for burgers and a beer?

Happy Mother's Day to Me

My mother's day this year was spent at church, Maddie's first dance recital, and then bbq'ing at home with my family-who of course wouldn't have missed Maddie's first recital for the world.

This is Ms. M at her rehearsal the day before. I had Jenny braid her hair. See her "Madditude"? It didn't leave her. She didn't even smile in the professional photos. So like her father...not shy exactly, but really not a fan of having a lot of attention and eyes on her either. So, here she is at said recital. I'd post video, but she didn't do anything but stand there shooting darts with her eyes at her teacher in the wings. At one point, she moved her arm slightly. Sigh...I didn't expect much, really. She IS only 2...and she DID look super cute, thanks to Auntie doing her hair in a cool circle braid and accessorizing with make-up. I suppose I'm just glad that a.) she didn't run off stage screaming or stand there crying and b.) she really does enjoy ballet class. She does everything she's supposed to in her little ballet room.

The first "daddy-daughter dance"? Not a chance...check out the 'tude on the chick, saying "Yah, uh, NO dad. I don't think so".
Lastly, I got some beautiful fluers on Mom's day. I am a lucky lady.

And so, I impart my latest top 10 list in honor of Mother's Day:
1.) Poop is important. As a mother, you will discuss size, frequency, color, duration,consistency and other oddities in reference to your children's bowel movements. You will also do this with the clinical judgement and coolness of a true physician. Life is measure in poop people.
2.) I hate Caillou. I also have a serious problem with talking bunnies with no mother.
3.) Even if you try to prevent guns in your home, boys will find a way, so don't bother. They will break their hangers, bite their toast, chew their gum, and snap Lego's all into gun formations.
4.) Creative parenting is when you get to tell your child that if they touch another dead field mouse again they will be taken to the hospital for fear of "BACTERIA" and could wind up with 100's of shots and needles in their belly.
5.) Watching your child's face as you ignore a tantrum is as pricelss as a Van Gogh painting.
6.) Mom's nights out are a must, if you plan on retaining any form of sanity and maternal instinct that you care to act on.
7. That (number 6) goes double for a bottle of booze...any kind.
8.) Oma's and Opa's are a good deflector strategy when your child is talking incessantly and/or performing a behaviour they don't care about bothering mom and dad with. Start dialing Mom's mom...she puts things to rights.
9.) I now know where kids eat free and on what days. I love not having to cook, maybe once or twice a month. And I also know to avoid those places at any other given time....
10.) Toothpaste and boogers can and will stick to walls,sinks, bathtubs, toilets, doorknobs, drawerpulls and lightswitches...and they are like magic...just as you wipe it off it will somehow reappear....

Monday, May 11, 2009

We Went to Disney and Lived to Tell About It

We had SUCH an awesome Disney vacation last week! John and I are so proud that we did it all on our own and still didn't lose anyone! I took over 500 photos with my new Canon SLR camera, over 200 with my little camera, and my parents gave Jack his own nice new camera to create a "Jackumentary" with. Watching the photos on the t.v. yesterday, my dad said it was as he expected it to be...lots of pics of his face, balcony railings, random grasses and twigs, and also some legitimately good ones.

Here are just a FEW photo highlights....

First day and first time EVER at the Magic Kingdom. While our time there couldn't be beat, the kids totally enjoyed the pool and wanted to do that all day every day. We DID spend a good amount of time in our cool piratey hotel pool, but probably not as much as the kiddos wanted to!We met a TON of the characters, esp. at Hollywood Studios. We found a place where they were hidden and there were virtually NO lines. Sweet!

Nate took this one. You can hardly tell, but it's me and the evil Snow Queen. I liked her. She barked orders at the boys and they listened.

The ONLY time Maddie let any character near her without John or I holding her. Even during our princess dinings, she got a bit star struck. While it was cute, it was slightly irritating because I always had to find someone nearby to take our picture. Luckily, the characters travel with "helpers" who did a lot of snapshot shooting for me-esp. when John and the boys were doing big kid stuff.

There he is, the man, they mystery, the mouse himself!

I LOVE Mary Poppins. She's my favorite. And no, I'm not that fat. I had to still be wearing loose fitting shirts and shorts because at that point my belly button still hurt to have anything touching or pressing up against it. It still hurts a bit when I wear certain jeans...grrrrr.

I still love her.

As far as I'm concerned, I am Mrs. Incredible. We did meet Mr. Incredible too. He was fun.

The boys liked the "Star Tours" star wars ride. And the speeder.

Getting ready for a day o' fun.

Other highlights of our trip include:
-Nate getting gummy bears at every sit down character dining experience and having "Jelly Bear Wars". He had those things all lined up and doing battle. Hilarious.
-Jack telling air port security at check-in on our way to fly home that he "has a new gun packed in his suitcase, it's red, and you only need to shoot it once!" He saw our other Disney bags and laughed while John and I were slightly mortified...uh, son??? Not the guy you tell you have a gun in your suitcase to!
-Our 2 hour flight delay to get home, because the airlines entire computer systems crashed. Other than that, the logistics of our trip were all silly easy.
-Nate and Maddie having a serious discussion in the hotel room about how Minnie Mouse is a girl because she has a jinie, and Mickey is a boy with a penis.
-The boys favorite ride together being the "Tower of Terror". Sometimes, boys just rock.
-Maddie's face on "Small World". She LOVED that ride and would occassionally break out into singing the song. We also went on that ride no less than 7 times. At least.
-Nate declaring his favorite ride was the tram rides into the parks every day. Seriously. We coulda saved a lot of money buddy boy!
-Mary Poppins asking the kids their ages and then telling ME that I have my hands full. You know when Mary Poppins tells you you're a busy mama, then, well then, you are truly a superwoman!