Friday, October 31, 2008

Didn't anyone tell you the war is over?

A conversation with Miley the fifth grader.

"I can't stand my Latin teacher," Miley suddenly declares. "She wears the same ugly skirt every day."

She continues.

"And the skirt has pockets."

"I am sure the skirt is pretty to her," I say.

"Hmmmm...well yesterday one of the boys stood up to ask a question and she started yelling at him and calling him rude because he put his hands in his pockets. She said you should never address a group of people with your hands in your pockets because it was disrespectful," she starts to giggle. "But mom she had her in skirt pockets during this entire conversation. And she kept calling him rude and impolite."

"That wasn't very nice," I begin. "It's not polite to bring up someone's bad manners in front of a group."

She nods and I hear an angel chorus. My child understands manners. Praise the Lord!

"Anyway, she's from the North,  so what does she know about manners?"

The music stops and I suddenly feel this little Southern girl has watched too much Ken Burn's Civil War.

"Miley," I speak in a sweet, genteel voice." You do know I am from Ohio and I have manners."

"Yeah, but you've been here a long time. And I think Latin teacher is from even more North like Michigan or New York. New Yorkers know nothing about manners."

"Honey, that' s just not true."

"I've been North mom."

Did I mention Miley licks her food so no one will eat it when she has to leave the table?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And this, this is the best news

Yesterday, a beautiful baby boy was born against all odds. His name is Stellan and his birth story is here

Please take a moment to say a prayer of thanksgiving for this wonderful miracle and give your kids an extra hug!

I promise Stellan's story will warm your heart and soul :)


Comments closed because it's all about Stellan :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WW--Let it Be Known I took a Picture of All 4 Children At The Same Time

A Four Things Meme

I got tagged from Mamasphere, a very funny lady whose husband officially became an American citizen the other week--woohoo!

Four jobs I’ve had:
*waitress at mob run restaurant
*tech writer
*party hostess at a water park

Four movies I can watch over and over:
*Gone With the Wind
*Fight Club
*High School Musical (HA--kidding--it's Casablanca)

Four places I’ve lived:

Four TV shows I love:
*The Office
*The Soup
*The Amazing Race
Hooray for the new fall lineup finally starting!

Four places I’ve vacationed:
*Fort Myers Beach

Four of my favorite dishes:
*Chicken Parmigiana
*Baked Ziti
*Rigatoni with kale, sausage and butternut squash
*Wild Salmon

Four sites I visit daily:
*my blog
*Food Network
*various blogs

Four places I would rather be right now:
*a beach, any beach 
*wherever the Cleveland Browns are playing
*a warm, cozy local coffee house
*a cooking class in Italy

And I will tag anyone who wants to play ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Night To Remember

The tickets were bought three weeks ago. I arrived with my daughters and their friends an hour in advance. We were the first there and sat patiently behind the velvet rope playing the newly downloaded songs from the iPhone. More and more moms with children arrived. The atmosphere got louder and louder. The excitement of opening night was contagious as I looked at the various groups of children and fellow moms.

A man came and unhitched the velvet rope. Grabbing hands, we ran inside, giddy and screaming with joy. We waited as everything grew dark. We watched various ads as the excitement grew. 

Then silence as we saw a giant sweat drenched Troy Bolton on the screen. Screams and claps flooded the theater. 

I would be lying if I said I sat glued watching the screen,  but I will say I had a sore neck as I spent most of the moments turned to watch the girls reaction as they saw their very favorite characters dancing and singing on the big screen. That was magical.

They laughed, they cheered, they screamed 'ewwwww' at the kissing scene (this was followed by some very intense mommy laughter by every mom in the place) and they even danced in front of the screen during the credits. 

Watching them, I knew this was one of the moments they would never forget, a night to remember--for all of us :)

For those without a preteen in the house, High School Musical is a massive hit of this generation. And the songs are pretty catchy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WW--This grocery inflation is insane ;)

**Yes, it was a mistake and yes my sweet cashier Michelle caught it right away. There's no way I would ever pay over $75 a roll ;) **

(Please excuse the messed up lines--I'm new to this)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I Don't Have Tons of Pictures

The other day I took my children to the Pumpkin Patch. I was so excited--it was cooler than usual and slightly overcast--perfect light for taking pictures. I pulled out the giant super cool super sharp digital camera and made myself a cup of coffee. I was going to get great pictures. I was determined.

And this is what happened.......

We get to the patch and I see friends. 

Yak, yak, yak.

The kids are playing by the maze. Oh look one is doing blah blah. Too bad I don't have the camera out of the case.

I take the camera out, ready for the next move.

See more friends.

Yak, yak, yak.

Can my kids look any cuter? Crap I didn't turn on the camera yet. I swear if I paid this much for the camera, it should turn on instantly.

I turn on the camera.

The girls run off with friends. I am hoping a mother is somewhere in the crowd with them. My boys are doing cute stuff and I need at least one picture.

Dino and Spanky smile at each other. 

I need to capture this. Darn, there's no where for my coffee. Great, now they are doing something else. I can't see the girls any more.

I gathered up the boys to hunt down the girls.

Look, there's Miley doing cute stuff. I'm going to get this shot--wait, Spanky don't rush out in front of the car. Where did Miley go?

I bump into more friends. 

Isn't this so much fun? Look at how cute Sarah is in the bounce house. Why must this camera be so big? I can't get it positioned in time.

I decide that I do not care how dorky I look. I am going to walk around with the camera in my face to get at least one picture.


OK. One more.


OK, let's go home. Oh wait,  is that so and so?

And this is how a mom of four beautiful children has less pictures than most people who only have pets.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It was a very good weekend (minor correction)

Even though the Cleveland Browns lost, I still felt like winner! First I got the make-up and bag I won from the great blog give away for victims of families of 9/11 on Burgh Baby'. (I will post when she does this again--she donated all money made that day to the fund--how cool is she?!)

**Quick Correction--She donated the entire month to the fund--wow!!**

Look at how awesome all this stuff is--I am not going to be needing skin care til the spring. Woo-hoo!

And if you can believe it, the Saturday got even better. As you might remember, my wonderful panini/indoor BBQ  broke last month. Mike (the husband) has been insisting that because he bought it at Williams Sonoma that they would replace it no questions asked. He insisted this was their policy, no matter what.

I thought he was crazy. We have had the press since two Christmases ago. I figured they would just say the warranty expired and beside they were not responsible.

So this Saturday morning, I attempted to make french toast on the stove--it was horrible. Mike once again mentioned he would bring it to Williams Sonoma after getting a contract from a client. I told him to give it a try.

Hours later I get a text 'All is Good'. He took my broken appliance into W-S and they replaced it no questions asked, just like he said.

And I was a very happy mommy! 

Paninis anyone?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Real Housewives of AIG Executives

Seen the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' yet? These beautiful women are smart, quirky, sometimes goofy and let's face it--materialistic beyond belief. I swear I watched that show like a car accident. I could. not. look. away. Even when one lady explained she needed both a governess and nanny (I thought they were the same but then I am a merely middle class) for her three children. I was just glued.

But I bet the Bravo Network could do better. The Real Housewives of AIG Executives. Think of it. The viewer can watch and be angry and annoyed as they galavant from Prada to Versache to Gucci and back. Run around the nation's capitol to party after party while their husbands are busy with our elected officials.

And then later in the season we'll watch them get all dressed up in last season's clothes (oh the horror) and take a cab (shocking just shocking) straight to the jail cells to visit their husbands (total viewer satisfaction).

I personally would love it. Anyone else or is my evil side showing through again?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Well the boy is in the right state

Yesterday we took advantage of the pretty weather outside and enjoyed lunch on the patio of a fab Tex-Mex restaurant. The kids loved the chicken quesadillas and guac.

And for a few moments, having lunch alone with my four children was truly fun :)

Then Spanky climbed down from his bench and went over to the wrought iron gate pointing at the movie theater behind us. He was giggling, screaming and going just nuts! I thought maybe it was the poster for that puppy movie so I just smiled said "Puppy" and we paid the bill take him to the poster.

And then he raced to this:

And started saying "fussball, fussball" over and over again.

Dino wanting to join in Spanky's joy ran to the movie poster too:

And you can almost hear Spanky saying "Back off bro--when they have a Michael Phelps movie, it's all you. I am the quarterback in this family" and proceeds to try to knock him to the ground.

I'm thinking linebacker might be the better position :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

In the Spirit of Elisha Hunt Rhoads

Reader Note: Elisha Hunt Rhoades was a Union solider who wrote A LOT of letters home during the Civil War and was featured in the PBS Civil War series

Dearest Miley,

It has come to our observations that you seem to show a lack of desire to truly explore and study the great steps your forefathers have taken in this country. I am filled with distress as I find you do not feel the need to pour your heart into the history of our great nation.

When you were told that your father's family and your mother's family fought against each other not only in the Revolutionary War (your mother's family was from Hessians who consumed far too many spirits on Christmas Eve and your proud father's family served directly under George Washington) but also the Civil War (your now established mother's family helped free the slaves and your father's family fought for the ways of the genteel South),  I regret to say you show little emotion nor concern.

I admit this saddens your father and I as we watch you slowly drift to sleep when we watch the Civil War Series produced by the great film maker Ken Burns. I can only wonder what is going through your mind that is more important than your history lesson.

At the moment the great Southern writer described an encounter among Union soliders and a trapped rebel--"Why are you fighting?" "Because you are here."--both your father and I found the comment interesting and truly a satisfactory answer, you had turned you head against the pillow and had closed your eyes. 

We are troubled and pray we will find a cure for this seemingly disrespect that has plagued your disposition. 

In God's Hands and Hope,

Your mother 

21st Century translation--Miley, FOCUS darn it. This movie will help you understand your roots and help you get good grades in history.

Friday, October 10, 2008

There was nothing said about the food....

As I have been mentioning (each time I see a Christmas catalog), I love Christmas. And because some direct ancestor of my husband is either Scrooge or the Grinch, I am only allowed to listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas CDs after Halloween. It is very hard to be strong--I can almost smell the spirit of Christmas--the turkey, the pies, the cranberry sauce...or is that smell coming from my kitchen on this sunny October 85 degree day in Dallas?

Why it is!

See today at the grocery store, I clutched my list and made my way through the produce trying very hard to watch prices and stay in budget. And then I saw them. A beautiful little box of fresh organic cranberries--so plump, round and red. I had to have them. I could not leave them there. They had to be in my cart. And that is where they went.

When I got home, I told the girls I was making some orange cranberry sauce to go with dinner that night.

"Mom," Miley giggled. "It is not Thanksgiving. It's not even Halloween." (The scrooge blood runs strong through her little veins.)

"Well honey, "I had to think fast. "You know I like to try out various side dishes before Thanksgiving to make sure it will be OK."

"So what kind are you making?"

"Orange fennel."

She shook her head. "Mom, we had the orange fennel cranberry sauce last year and I hated it because I hate fennel."

She had me. I was busted by the ten year old with the memory of an elephant.

"Well, I wanted to make this again to compare to the new stuff," I blurted out and began to zest the orange.

"Whatever. Have you bought the High School Musical 3 tickets yet?"

"After we enjoy the cranberry sauce and ham dinner--without complaints," I smiled.

The magic of HSM works again ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Update on Dino (and a winner!)

Dino had his appointment with the neurologist yesterday. The doctor had him answer questions, perform various activities. When he saw the bump on his head, he named a few odd genetic disorders which he, thank God, discounted almost right away. And his final diagnosis? 

He is not sure.

He thinks it may just be a delay that he will grow out of or there is a mild chance the scar on his head is putting pressure on his skull. So for now, we are going to continue the speech, physical and occupational therapy and then schedule an MRI to see if the scar is doing anything. The doctor is not too concerned about Dino--he is leaning toward a delay he will grow out out of but he wants to be sure.

I am just so happy it is not something like his physical therapist thought and now we can move on and help him get past his delays.

Thank you so much for all your your support on this. You have no idea how much your kind words and prayers have helped!

And now we have a winner for my very first giveaway:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-10-09 10:32:04 UTC

So our winner of the fab $10 gift card is Jennifer H of Thursday Drive who wrote:

I wish I were the person to ask for help on this...but I'll check out what your other readers say!

Congrats Jennifer  and thanks to everyone who commented. I am proud to say I now have some very cool songs on the playlist :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WW-Yes we are THAT family in the matching PJs on the Christmas Card

You have to wait til Christmas to see the whole family (including VB daddy) in PJs ;)
Update--*This is last Christmas--the husband/children would throw a fit if I dressed them up for Christmas now ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gender Stereotypes Broken Daily

A typical meal at the Very Busy House

Food is served and it's a favorite--salmon with bok choy. Well,  everyone is happy but Sarah.

"I don't like it, "she wails.

We continue to eat and ignore her. Everyone else is enjoying the meal after all.

Suddenly there is a big tooting noise followed by a giggle. Sarah cannot longer be annoyed.

"That's ruuuuuuuude," screams Dino as he sets down his fork to fan away any nasty smells.

Miley giggles, "Gosh Sarah."

More giggles from Sarah as Spanky stands up points to her and says "ruuuuuude."

Dessert is brought to the table--apple pie. 

"I need water, " Miley suddenly stands up and sees Sarah licking her lips.

Now even though Sarah has her own piece, Miley declares, "Don't touch my food!" 

And she leans over and licks  over her pie.

"There," she mumbles and gets up.

"That is disgusting!" Dino screams again.

Spanky's eyes get big as he watches the whole thing unfold.

"Mommy, the 'gurls' are  gross," Dino looks at me for help from the manners fiasco (I swear he is teary eyed!) as he picks up his napkin and dabs his mouth even though he always eats so neatly, it's rare to see a crumb out of place.

Sarah pulls herself over Spanky and acts like she is going to eat the pie anyway (remember the girl has a full slice in front of her)  and Dino wonders what type of barn he is growing up in....

(Yes, I am in Christmas pjs reading some Christmas stories--it was a sort of cool night.) You know I love Christmas :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I guess I never was meant for glitter rock-n-roll (so I'm giving it away!)

When I was young, I vowed I would always keep track of the latest music, the hottest styles, the popular slang. I was not going to be my mom, saying 'cool' (not cool in the '80s) and dancing to the Big Bopper. No,  I was going to be hip.

Fast-forward 25 some years, and I have not become my mom. No, I am more like my grandpa. Like Papa, my car radio seems to be permanently stuck on the local classical station. And I have on occasion actually turned up the volume when a favorite movement starts--ask my kids.  They know the DJs and the commercials this station plays by heart.

It wasn't always this way. At first, we listened to the more hip stations until I started to drive my kids to school and discovered pre-school and the morning DJ don't mix. So we tried Radio Disney until a girl called in and sang a song she wrote 'My Brother is Stupid'. Not being played in this car. So we tried the Christian station. This was actually OK but I heard the faint twang of country and had to turn it off. I am sorry--I hate country music, really hate country music. 

So we turned it to classical 101.1 and the radio has not budged in over two years. And the music has grown on me. I am catching myself downloading sonatas and concertos more often than any of the new stuff out there.

Luckily (and I use the term loosely) for me, I have a tween daughter so I know all about HSM and the Jonas Brothers. But as far as, let's say the entire top 50 on iTunes, I am at a loss. TI and Pink--are they big? I thought all the kids these days were into 3 Doors Down and Coldplay. Right?

Obviously I'm at a loss and I would like to know if there are any good NEW tunes out there. So I am asking y'all for help. Please tell me what you think one of the better new songs is right now for October 2008. 

And just to say thanks, I am doing my very first give-away. Out of all the comments received by Wednesday, October 8, 11:59 pm, I am going to randomly select someone for a $10 iTunes gift card. I know that doesn't seem like much (remember I am a mom of 4) but it is 9 free songs to add to your player :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

How to Get Your Kids to Give Away Their Halloween Candy

Halloween is a huge event in my kids lives' --I am betting in almost all kids lives (except those who do not celebrate which seems to be more common than you'd think in Texas). My kids love to dress up--this year Miley wants to be Nancy Drew so Sara wants to be Nancy Drew; Dino plans to be Michael Phelps and Spanky may very well be Spanky from 'Our Gang' if I can find the right golf hat and pants. And then they love to trick'r'treat and bring back bags and bags of candy.

After they trick 'r' treat, we go through the bags and they tell me what their favorite ones are. They each eat one piece of candy. And then they take their entire bag of candy, dump it on the foot of the fire place and excitedly run to bed.

The next morning, the candy, except for a few of the favorites, is gone and replaced with a toy.  

Confused? Let me explain. We have more than Santa, the Easter Bunny (they never fell for her), and the tooth fairy. We also have the Great Big Pumpkin. 

The Great Big Pumpkin as you Peanuts fans might remember, lives in the Great Pumpkin Patch. He comes out on Halloween and searches for candy. If you leave a little bit of candy for him, he leaves a little gift. If you leave all your candy, he leaves the gift you asked for in a letter earlier that month. (Naturally, the gift has to be in reason--he is not allowed to upstage Santa so nothing to be big or special. Santa gets mad when the Great Big Pumpkin gets more attention.)

And that candy? Well, it turns out The Great Big Pumpkin has access to the conference room at a real estate office. He leaves it there. And the Very Busy House with 4 is almost candy free on November 1.

So does the Great Big Pumpkin visit you?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tag Anyone ;)

Amanda tagged me for this interesting one :)

The Rules

1. Link the person who tagged you
2.  Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4.  Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

Let's see.......

1. (Let's start with my craziest) I time myself when I unload the dishwasher and then I try to beat my time the next day. I am betting that wins for lamest housewife game ever.

2. I only like to fold/put away warm clothes from the dryer. If they aren't warm, I run them through a quick 'refresh' cycle. Cold clothes from the dryer don't feel as fresh. 

3. I love my husband's grandma like she was my own. She died a few years ago and I still look at her pictures and get teary. She was an incredible woman. I am looking at her picture right now--Grandma Mary, you are one in a trillion!

4. I am insane about saving electricity--I am always unplugging things not in use (toaster, coffee maker, cell phone charger, etc) and turning off lights which is odd if you consider point #2.

5. I avoid WalMart at all costs. We live next near one and I have not stepped foot in there. I call it a giant corporate monster.  Target on the other hand is a place you will find me at least twice a week (I am a walking contradiction!).

6. I like eating dinner with music,  lit candles and flowers--this does prove hard since Spanky has this great habit of crawling up on the table to take food off other's people's plates. You'd think the lit candles would discourage but no, they ENcourag climbing. And yes, I have two specific dinner playlists (vocal and instrumental). (Breakfast has its own playlist too!)

And now I am supposed to tag six people......
I'll steal an idea from Elaine and tag the first six people to post :)