Saturday, June 28, 2008

Too early for Santa?

Emily has been a thumb sucker since she was 3 months old. She doesn't suck her thumb all day but she likes it when she is tired or watching TV. We know we need to break this habit soon before she causes major damage to her teeth. David always jokes that we are going to "cut that thumb off" and "get the scissors". She thinks it's funny and giggles as she hides her thumb. I decided it was time to really try to do something besides threatening to cut off her thumb. I cut the fingers out of a glove so it wouldn't be too hot. I figured she could start wearing it during the day as a reminder to not put her thumb in her mouth. She thought the glove was pretty cool at first. She looked like Madonna circa 1985. She didn't want to wear it for long though and would sneak it off and suck her thumb when I wasn't looking. We had some errands to do today and we told her she needed to wear her glove. At some point in the car, she took it off. I don't know why David said this but he said something like "Santa is watching and you won't get presents for Christmas unless you start listening to us and stop sucking your thumb". Emily was most intrigued by this. David secretly used his cell to call my cell and I pretended it was Santa. She fell for it hook, line and sinker. Are we evil parents? Later, she wanted to talk to Santa so David went in the room and we dialed 1-800 North Pole and spoke with Santa. Santa told her that if she didn't stop sucking her thumb he'd bring scissors at Christmas. Great babe, scare her to death. Then, Ben started complaining and Emily quickly informed him "Ben be quiet or Santa will come cut off your head". Okay, we just made Santa the next star of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Anyway, it's working. She left the glove on all day and even went down for her nap with it on. I was shocked. Is this all it takes is a little bribing from Santa? I know people sometimes think that Christmas has gotten too commercial and that God and Jesus are all too often forgotten. Maybe Santa is God's brilliant idea to get our kids to behave better. As a child you feel accountability because you believe that Santa is watching you. As you get older, you replace Santa with God. Maybe they aren't so different after all. Let's hope she doesn't have nightmares tonight!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dancing Around the World

My friend Jae had this video on his blog. I thought it was so cool. This is what I want to do one day. Not the dancing just the traveling and meeting people, well maybe the dancing part too. It looks like fun. Luckily my hubby would love to do this as well, so we'll put this dream on the back burner for the next 20 years and see what happens when we are empty nesters. What an inspiration...

For more info about Matt and to see more videos, go to

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wear Sunscreen

Yesterday the kids and I went to the community pool with the Mommy group here in our neighborhood. I figured we'd only be there for an hour or so. I lathered the kids up with sunscreen and didn't bother putting any on myself even though the little voice in my head told me to. After more than 2 hours at the pool, my shoulders and back are red. I taught Emily how to put lotion on me so that helped. My stupidity reminded me of this song that I remembered hearing on the radio almost 10 years ago. It started out as a graduation speech and got put to music. I always thought there was some great advice in this speech. I'm only listing the lyrics as the actual video is over 5 minutes. If you'd rather watch the video, go here:

Baz Luhrmann Sunscreen Speech

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

Monday, June 23, 2008

Who's Pam???

I didn't quite realize that a few of you may not know who Pam is. We met in high school. We had big bangs, high waisted shorts and wore scrunchies in our hair. It was 1988 and we had both made the Spiritline which was the cheerleading and dance squads combined. If it wasn't for cheer and dance our paths may never have crossed. Pam was in all the smart classes, and I well, I didn't want to try harder than I had to and prefered to be up late talking to boys on the phone instead of studying. She's stuck by me through thick and thin over the last 20 years. When I was single, we would take a best friend trip every year. We've been galavanting all over the US from Hawaii to the New England States and everywhere in between. It's been a fun filled friendship for sure. Happy 20th Anniversary Friend and here's to 20 more!

I don't have a scanner, but I found a picture from 1988 that I took a picture of. Have a good laugh at our expense. Posting this photo could actually end our friendship. :o)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anyone Up for Downward Dog?

Aunt Pam came to visit us for the night on Saturday. Since we moved up here, she comes up for the day and stays the night about every other month. My parents both do this as well. Although, they will stay for several nights or a week sometimes. Before when we lived in the Valley, everybody was so close that there was no need to stay over. When we moved up here almost a year ago, my Mom and Dad spent the night. I realized that I haven't spent the night with either of them since 1991. It's nice to spend more quality time with loved ones.

Pam's visits are always great. The kids adore her. She must read at least 20 books and play countless games with them. They'll go out on the swings or down the slide. Aunt Pam is always up for anything and the kids love the extra attention. Pam always seems to bring them little gifts either it's Christmas time, their birthday or one of the many other holidays that Pam just gets them something thoughtful like Valentine's Day or Easter. Sometimes she'll buy something for Emily (like a cute sundress at Old Navy) because she can't resist. So Ben wakes up from his nap, sees Pam and says, "Where's my present?" I could not believe it. He's like Pavlov's dog and the sight of Pam triggers presents in his head. How embarassing. Lucky for him, Pam did have presents. Actually, they were from Pam's Mom. She volunteers at a domestic violence women's shelter/thrift store and can't resist sometimes when she sees a great deal. Now I know where Pam gets it from. So, Emily got 3 new pairs of shoes and they got about 10 Beanie Babies to share between them. They are a bit spoiled that's for sure.

One of the highlights for me of Pam's visits is always our girl time out. This is sometimes the only time I have alone to myself in months. When we were single, we went to Wildflower Bread Company and a movie almost every weekend. When we go out now, we do the same thing. So it was off to Wildflower for salads and pasta and then off to see Sex and the City. Pam used to come over every Sunday, and we'd make dinner and watch the show at my house. The movie was great. We laughed, we cried, we thouroughly enjoyed it.

This morning Pam stayed for our traditional Sunday morning breakfast. We had french toast with strawberries and powdered sugar, bacon, sausage and eggs. Afterwards, Emily was showing Pam how she can almost do the splits. So, Aunt Pam and Emily went to the family room to do some yoga. Emily was more than willing to follow along and tried to do everything just like Aunt Pam. It was really cute.

We will all be looking forward to our next visit with Aunt Pam. She is the true present.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Big sigh... I remember when I used to sleep through the night. I didn't use ear plugs, a fan for noise or need the temperature just perfect. I call this time B.C. No, not Before Christ, Before Children. I used to sleep 8-10 hours and need an alarm to wake up. Neither David or I have used an alarm in years. We have 2 that do a great job and don't need electricity or batteries, Ben and Emily. Although, they rarely wake us up anymore, so I can't really blame them for our sleep issues. We are both exhausted every night before we go to bed. We both fall asleep fairly quickly. We each have a different set of problems after that.

I have all these things that I have to do before bed in order to sleep. I need ear plugs. Something that started A.C. (after children). I could hear Emily barely fuss across our 3,000 square foot home without a monitor and both doors shut. I started using the ear plugs and haven't been able to stop. I have to have Carmex on my lips and water by the bed. I need my stuffed animal to lump under an arm. For those who have known me forever I still sleep with Bubbette. Some of my high school friends used to torture her. Anyway, I fall asleep quickly and wake up around 1:00 and can't go back to sleep after that for hours. I usually see the clock almost every hour with the exception of 11 and sometimes 12. Is this normal? Is this what happens as we get older? My best sleep usually occurs on weekends once David gets up at 6:00 or so. I know the kids will be taken care of and I can sleep until about 8:00 without any interruption. I long for the weekends and those 2 hours of solid deep sleep.

David has the opposite problem. He sleeps great for about 6-7 hours and wakes up every day without fail between 5:00 and 6:30. He hates that he can't get more rest than that. He hasn't slept past 7:00 since B.C. He got used to waking up with Emily and then to take Forest for a walk. Now, he can't break the cycle. Why is it so much easier to get into a habit than break one?

Here it is 6:04 and he just woke up. He is going to faint that I am up before him. I can probably count on one hand how often that happens. David always jokes that if I'm up before him to check his pulse. I had a headache last night and it was still bothering me at 4:15. I got up to take 2 Excedrin and here I am. I'm going to need at least 2 big cups of coffee this morning just to attempt to make it through the day. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We're home...

safe, sound and completely exhausted. Why does it seem like you need a vacation after a vacation? We had a great time in Idaho like always. Unfortunately Suzy wasn't there as her Mom passed away the day we arrived. Suzy's Mom used to be a regular at our Dunkin' Donuts, so I knew her well. I served her hundreds of cups of coffee and we had some great talks. She was a good woman and will be missed by many.

It was a little more stressful this year with both kids and the water. The river is right there and it was really flowing due to the wet winter. There was still snow on some of the surrounding mountains. The first few days were cold and bit rainy which was a great change. Then it warmed up and we were outside most of the day. Emily is a monster on the jet ski and just wanted to keep going. Ben got used to it, but ended up falling asleep. Yes, on the jet ski! He'd lean his head against the steering well and fall asleep. He feel asleep on the jet ski, pontoon boat, peddle boat. If it moved, he was out. We went for some nice walks, but the mosquitoes were pretty bad because of the wet winter. Usually, they are long gone by now. The kids each "caught" a fish. Basically, we'd leave the poles in the water and after several hours we'd catch a fish. So, we'd bring the kids out and make them think they had just caught it. That was my Dad's brilliant idea. They were really excited. Emily was saying she didn't want to leave and Ben started crying when we got home that he wanted to go back. It was a great trip, but it's always nice to come home.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We're Off...

We are heading to Phoenix tonight to stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown. Then Tuesday morning is a quick trip to the airport and we are headed to Idaho. We call it Camp Carpanzano. We do nothing but relax and have fun for a week. There are jet skis, a speed boat, pontoon boat, paddle boat, canoe, trampoline, BB guns, archery, walks in the forest, fishing and we always make smores by the campfire. We are really excited and spending time with my Dad is always great. Unfortunately Suzy won't be there because her Mom isn't doing well so she is in Phoenix with her. Rocco (my sister's son) is flying up with us. He always spends a few months with my Dad every summer. We will also be celebrating David's birthday on the 12th and Father's Day while we are in Idaho. I haven't spent that day with my Dad in over 5 years, so it will be nice to be with him. Here are a few photos of the cabin from our last trip in 2006.

I love sitting out on the dock in the morning with a cup of coffee. In the afternoons, it's nice to put your feet in the water and read a book. This dock is actually one of the best parts of being there. I'm sure this will become another family tradition, our annual trip to Papa's cabin.


Since I started my own family, I often think about traditions. At Christmas time, everybody seems to have a list of things they do as a family. During the rest of the year, traditions seem to not be as prevalent. I don't recall anything from my childhood that we did on a regular basis like Pizza Night or going to church on Sunday. Although, my memory for these things is not the greatest. My Mom and Auna (my brother's daughter) are visiting for a few days before we leave for Idaho. Having them here made me realize that we have a few traditions already in place for our family.
Last night after dinner, we took Forest for a walk. We do this every night without much thought. Forest is a 100 pound black lab who obviously needs some exercise daily. We've had him for 4 1/2 years and have walked him for 1-2 miles every day. When we lived in Phoenix, David did this walk a lot by himself at 5 A.M. due to the heat. Now that we are in a cooler climate, we all go on our walk every night after dinner. Even in the winter we'd bundle up the kids in the wagon and go walking in the snow. So for the past year, it's been our family tradition to go for a walk every night. The kids count on it almost religiously and Emily will often ask hours before if she can bring a certain doll or toy on our walk. Lately, Emily has been riding her bike and Ben walks, rides on David's shoulders or sits in the wagon. He doesn't know how to peddle his bike yet. I never realized that is a learned skill but it is. Forest also knows that this is our tradition. About an hour before our walk every night, he starts to get excited in anticipation of what is to come. I realize that this tradition never would have happened had it not been for Forest. David and I share some great conversations on our walks. It's time with no distractions where we can talk about anything and everything. I cherish these walks and the time alone with my family.

Our other family tradition is a nice big breakfast on weekend mornings. David and I have been doing this since we met almost 6 years ago. Back then, breakfast was more elaborate and quiet. We'd sit for hours, eat our breakfast and read the paper. It's all a little different now. We have sticky hands, spilled juice and the paper is used to color on, but it's still our tradition. Emily looks forward to it so much that she plans on Friday night what kind of pancakes she wants the next morning. She likes banana, blueberry or chocolate chip. Ben starts asking for bacon first think Saturday morning. They instinctively know that when Daddy does not go to work that a pancake breakfast is coming. And on that note, I'm off to enjoy my stack of pancakes and one of our family tradition.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jumping on the blog wagon

We live in an age where technology and communication are at our fingertips, yet we fail to keep in touch with the people we love. I was telling David last night how much I enjoy reading blogs. Not from random people but from a handful of friends who have one. I love it because it keeps me up to date on what is going on in their lives. I often learn more intimate details about who they are and what they think. I like reading about the little things as it's usually forgotten when it comes time for the monthly phone call or yearly Christmas letter. David really enjoys writing and has tried to keep a journal, but somehow he strays after awhile. Last night, I told David that I thought we should do a family blog. I can blog. He can blog. We can blog together. It'll be a way to keep family and friends in our loop. I hope you enjoy it.