Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 49 - Kidisms of the day

"Mommy, let me see your boobies. " "Come on, let me see your toys." - Nora

"Mommy, I'm gay." "Mommy, what does gay mean?" - Maggie.

When I told Maggie that gay meant "happy" she said, "no, what else does it mean."
Hmm.... how did my girly-girl eschewing, pants wearing kid know that. There was no snowing her. So, I told her being gay means that a girl can love and marry another girl, and a boy can love and marry another boy. It is not a big deal, that love=love I added. She nodded.

"I'm going to marry a monkey." - Maggie

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 48 - This is a familiar number

For 17 years, I lived at 48 Plymouth Drive. Until I moved to Arizona in 1989, I never realized street addresses could be more than 3 numbers. Yeah, I didn't get out much. I went from 48 to 8701, then to 1900, then to 8767. My mother and father have five numbers in their street address - 13662. Whoa! Almost too much to handle. Anyone out there ever lived at a 1/2 number? That would be some crazy shit.

In other news, Corbin cried the entire day. My kid still isn't talking. But Norm is doing fantastically well.

What do you want from me? It's Monday. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 47 - Did I tell you about my perfect day? DId you ask?

After my jewelry-making extraveganza yesterday, I came home to find Scot preparing lunch for the kids. Score. Any day I don't need to make all three squares is a pretty fantastic day. After lunch, we all jumped into the car and did some errands. We dropped off some left-behind child shoes at a friend's house, hit the library, and went to Whole Foods where I picked up my beloved Grains of Paradise. After that we got frozen yogurt. Late afternoon we sat on the front porch and I helped the kids string the new beads I bought for them. For dinner, Scot and I picked up sushi. We ate it in bed, on tray tables, after the kdis went to bed. We watched M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening." I liked it. He takes a lot of heat for his movies, but I have liked every one. Perfect day! Oh, and I walked through a neighborhood "open house" - my favorite way to kill a Saturday. I could go through open houses for hours on end. Wrap it up- my favorite Saturday in a long time. I'll take it!

Day 47 - Running Against The Wind

The scale depressed the hell out of me today. I'd like to think it was last night's sodium sushi haze clinging to the hips, but I get the feeling it was four nights of cheesecake on the cruise. And not working out in two weeks.

After a delightful fat-free vanilla mixed berry compote (which does rival many of the ship's desserts) I laced up my shoes and went for a run. What does it mean when your body itches when you run? I'd love to know the meaning behind that, for I was itching and burning and by the end of the run I had scratched myself red and raw. The cars driving by might have guessed I was attacked my bees, but I know it was the thick, sticky sweat trickling out of my pores. Halfway through the 3-mile run I felt the right side of my bladder start to fail. I wasn't quite wetting my pants, but close. Things have slipped. Like my eating habits. And my training. And my uterus. I will get back on the horse tomorrow, and hope for a better run.

Norm Update - Norm has found the key to his comfort. No eating. He ate a half of a banana yesterday, and the pain sent him through the roof. Instead, he takes long sips on nutritional drinks. That keeps up his energy without ravaging his pancreas. It's not quite what he had in mind this weekend (Key West with my mom and Tim and Cindy) but he's learning what works and doesn't work to heal his damaged pancreas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 46 - Going Beady

Last Mother's Day, I received a gift certificate to an "Introduction to Beading" class at Bead World. Here it is late March and I still hadn't redeemed the thing. Not for lack of trying. The class is two hours, and is offered about twice a month, at off-times. Any time I checked, Scot had class, or I was working.

Three weeks ago, I lined up Scot to sit with the kids. This week I roped my mother into going with me to take the class. I figured it would take her mind off things with my dad. From 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. we learned how to crimp and tie our creations. The class included the kit to make our own bracelets. We got to pick our own color family and I chose the clear crystal Swarovski beads and pearls in taupe and olive green. There were six woman in the class, and all were relaxed and friendly. After the instruction, I picked out green and coral beads to make the bracelet I've been looking for you years, but have never found. Now I will make it. The class was $30, and I walked away with some new knowledge, great time spent with my mom, and a new bracelet. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 45 - Pancreatitis Means Drinking Quite Mighteous

There is a reason college kids drink as much as they do. Their lithe, clean systems can tolerate some abuse. Your body can't handle that amount of liquor when you're 68. But God love Norm for trying.

When Norm went to the hospital last Sunday, the doctor asked him if he had been drinking a lot lately. Norm replied, "We
were on a family cruise. I ate a lot and drank a lot.
"Yes, 10 beers a day." It's a wonder the man isn't fossilized.

Here's proof of the good time my father had.

(At left is my dad (or as we call him 'the guy from Weekend At Bernie's) on the last day of the cruise. He was taking a nap, and was starting to feel the pain of pancreatitis.)

(At right is Natalie, my dad's UofA crush. She was on our ship and my dad thought she was a cute, little thing. I have no idea what the heck was going on when I snapped this photo, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to know.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 44- Future Blog

GET READY - soon I will be blogging about DVDs, and what SHIT they are. THIS is one big-ass rant you won't want to miss. Or maybe you will.

Day 44 - Norm Update

Norm is resting comfortably at home. He saw a gastro specialist yesterday to be told that he does indeed have a case of Pancreatitis. The doctor thought it was probably caused from the excessive drinking on the cruise. However, my mom and I have our own theories. My dad has binged on alcohol before (NO!) and we think that Prednisone, his medication he takes for his lung disease is the culprit. Prednisone suppresses the immune system and decreases inflammation. And when you Google pancreatitis and prednisone, there are a huge number of hits concerning the correlation between the two with dogs. Hmmm..... dogs and people aren't that different. Besides, I think all drugs have such an effect on the whole body.

I'll keep you posted...

Day 44 - What's NOT Broken?

I'm in the bedroom on the laptop. Watching a rerun of "Millionaire Matchmaker." Not really a choice. Driven here. By broken things. The keyboard in the office is beyond repair. The 'shift' and 'control' buttons are stuck together with blue raspberry Popsicle juice. So when I hit shift, a third undetermined (to me) function happens. Sometimes the entire page becomes underlined, and other times I'm thrown off the screen I am working on. Rather than clean the keyboard, or purchase a new one, I've become adept at hitting the shift button on the left side of the keyboard. I am now typing with one hand exclusively, and this blog has taken me entirely too long to write. I started writing this on the laptop in the family room, but ended up in my bedroom. After the TV turned off. The 11-year old family room boob tube stays on for about twenty minutes until, without warning, the screen goes completely black. I would be watching one of the chick flicks I checked out of the library in my bedroom, but I can't. Damn player is broken.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 43 - Deja vu - Julie, Tim, Toni

Top Picture : March 2006
Bottom Picture: March 2009

Damn. I think we all look better now. Julie looks
fresher, Tim appears richer , and I lost my ripcurl. Not bad for the collective stress of three years filled with lawsuits, cancer apprehension, becoming a grandfather, family illness, unemployment, and two preschoolers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 42 - We Can Breathe Again

Poster Boy for Pancreatitis has been released from the hospital.

AMEN!!!! Glory Glory!

After a grueling 20-hour turnaround on the MRI results, my dad was given the all-clear. For now. His film gave evidence of inflammation, so he must retest in 3 weeks, but the doctors did not believe it was cancer.

Which is a darn good thing. At nine-o-clock this morning my mother had him dead, in the ground, and she instantly became a grieving widow with "no joy in her life." Those exact words. Dying is a heart-breaking bitch, so I'm glad we don't have to go through the exercise yet. Joking aside, it was a damn scary agonizing wait and I'm sorry it aged my mother 10 years in one day.

My father is a wonderful man and to have him taken from us right now would lend credence to the saying "only the good die young." He is magnificently smart and kind. The man has had enough health problems in the last 11 years. To spare him any other maladies (isn't pulmonary fibrosis enough?) is the right thing to do.

"Leave him alone," my mom said. "Leave him alone."


Day 42- Cruisin'

The cruise was fantastic. Simply simpatico. There were 12 of us. My family, my mom and dad, my sister Julie and her three kids (her hubby had to work) and my brother Tim and his wife.

Every day played out the same. When we had days at sea, we cornered a dozen deck chairs by the pool and used it as our home base. Some people read, others exercised, and all of us went on food runs. Too many food runs. We took cabs to the ocean in port, and walked to local supermarkets for cerveza that washed down the fish we ate on the beach.

We really lived it up at night, when we met up for dinner at 8:15 p.m. in the ship's dining room. By that time of day, we had all had our fill of sun, beer and wine, and our happy state contributed to the lax dining environment. What that translates into are absolutely atrocious table manners. I cannot even recall how many items were hurled, tossed, or rolled across our gigantic table. One evening my brother flung some mysterious looking beet matter at my mother with a fork. All so that she could figure out what the heck the stuff was.

The only ugly moment I can remember is when my brother told our short mom she looked like our old, dead aunt falling over in her dining chair. Don't tell Mary she looks old. Ever. Or you will pay. For days.

We had fun. So much fun. And I hope all 12 of us can do it again soon.
Thanks mom and dad.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Enjoy this brief intermission....

HELLO READERS! I am back. Sort of.

The cruise was splendiferous. But I must resume blogging tomorrow.

You see, my mind is elsewhere. My father is in the hospital. Suffering from pancreatitis. That is a condition caused by too much drink in a short about of time. Hmm.... like a cruise? While in the shop, they found a growth on his pancreas. We are currently awaiting results from the MRI.

I have so much to share. Lots of pics, and good times.

Stay tuned.....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 41 - Over and Out....

This will be my last post for a week. The ship sails tomorrow. I vowed to blog every day for a year, but I can't get wireless for the laptop.

So, it's goodbye for now. Don't cry- the distance will make our hearts grow fonder. :)

Day 41 - Ears The Story

Peridot studs, if you please.

Piercing Pagoda is still alive and kicking. Did you know that? I visited the kiosk when I was a baby child of 4, so it was only fitting that Nora get pierced there as well. But, times have changed. We did her tongue. Even with the promise of dolphin or monkey earrings, Maggie opted out of the whole deal. Here are the live action shots. Only they are not so live action because I'm a real tard with the photo editing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 40 - Me and my sister and brother who share the same mother

This picture was taken on our last family cruise in March 2006. It was on the same ship we will be on this Saturday, The Sapphire Princess. My parents took us no-good ingrates on that trip as well. Julie was 44, Tim 41 and I was 33. Since then Tim has become a grandfather and Julie has weathered two teenagers living in the house. The third teenager has been studying in Japan for four years. God bless her. My kids have gotten easier during the same time. Maggie was 4, and Nora 22 months, the last go-round. I will take the same shot next week and we will compare the shots when I get back. Just curious to see how much damage life has dealt our faces in the last three years.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 39 - "What Did You Say?"

"He's hot." - Maggie, the commercial junkie, talking about Mighty Putty hawker Billy Mays.

" I like it. It's my own Renuizit." - Maggie, on how she likes the smell of the stinky dog bed in her room.

"This can't be what you do all day! All you do is pick up dog poop and change diapers."
- Nora, following me around yesterday. As my mother chimed in , "tell her to get her master's degree so she doesn't end up doing the same."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 38 - Travel Tuesday

Cruisewear- A Category of Clothing that is worn on the open ocean. So unique is the clothing that wearer might be subject to laughing fits and ridicule from family and friends if said items are worn around the house or to wash the car. Such items include Lycra pants, flashy sundresses, flowy tunics, white jeans, silver sandals, straw hats, and pineapple madras shirts.

Oftentimes the genre extends into the purchase of fancy luggage for the voyage. This expenditure is made so that the traveler doesn't look as though they are traveling by bus or VW van with the usual nylon duffel bags reserved for travel. (photo at right)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 37 - Finally, great pictures

Since I'm sick of talking about myself today, I thought we should talk about Joelle, who is one of my other favorite people. It took about 20 minutes for these pics to come in. But I think they were worth the wait. Joelle snapped these back in November when she did the family Christmas picture. She is unbelievably talented. My kids don't give smiles to just anyone. But they do for Joelle. She is the kind of photographer who puts you at ease, and doesn't set up phony situations. We are lucky to have her as our family photographer and friend.

Day 37 - I Got Nada, Nothing

Really, this was going to be a blog about something. My friend Joelle's photos. But the site is running very slowly, and the images won't download in a timely fashion. I've got kids to get to bed, and packing to do. My bathroom is a war zone of clothes and liquor-essential items for a successful trip. Stay tuned for some gorgeous photos tomorrow. Until then, check out her blog.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

day 36 - Jonathon Krohn

Have you heard of Johnathon Krohn yet? Prepare yourself, and get out your best belt because you're gonna wanna spank the lad silly after you listen to his conservative pedantic bullshit. Krohn is fourteen years old and with Rush Limbaugh shares the honor of being the new face and voice of the GOP . I'm not kidding you. Last week Krohn addressed the conservative Political Action Conference.

It kills me to say this, but... the kid can speak- seriously. He is dynamic and electric. Watch the video. But, I'm not sure he knows what the hell he's saying. He just utters "conservative" in enough octaves to make Julie Andrews proud. His web site's home page has a letter of welcome from Krohn, and in it he mentions the word "conservative" 23 times. He also "prays that you will use (his) book to better understand the ideas, principles, and values of conservatism." Oh yeah, last year, Krohn published a book on conservatism where he introduces his four pillars of conservatism. My favorite is "less government." I don't want to hear another Republican say that again. The last eight years were spent invading a country, tarnishing our good name with our busybody arrogance and reversing gay marriage laws. That doesn't sound like less government in my life. For God's sakes, get another rallying cry.

Boy wonder is precocious like Doogie Howser, exceptionally well poised for a teen, but seemingly programmed by parents and his ever present baptist faith. To be fair, I won't be asking Hannah Montana or The Jonas brothers for their take on Obama's policies either. I am genuinely excited that a youth has such an interest in politics and our country, but I won't be listening till you've voted, had a drink, gone to college, lost a job, and paid some rent. Period.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

day 35- broken

Everything is kind of broken today. well, just the keyboard and my body. Years of abuse and neglect are breaking down both. with the keyboard, it's been an excess of popsicle spills, Oreo crumbs and gatorade. The kids have claimed this computer, and as goes for most things in my life (refer to old blog entries), the keyboard is the latest victim of their use and torture. I can't capitalize 'w' and 'b'. SSSSSSSsticks sometimes, and at times the whole thing locks up. scot's golfing this morning, so I have entertained the notion of taking the keyboard out back and frying the works with the garden hose. If he was home, I wouldn't attempt such a fantastically stupid feat. Left to my own devices, i follow my kids' lead and conduct my own science experiments.

I've logged on early today, as I've got a touch of the black lung, and might have to take to my bed for the remainder of the day. Or at least after I cook breakfast for the children, and ferry their butts to the choo-choo park for a morning's activities. Last night was night 3 of not sleeping well. Upon ssseing me after night 1, my friend Kelly asked if everything was okay. I wear my sleepiness on my face with deep, black circles. I'm achy, though not entirely sure it's not a result of driving the bike and trailer at break neck sspeed.

I'm also doing this entry now because this evening, my selfless wonderful parents are watching the children so scot and I can go see "slumdog Millionare" and down some sushi and Kirin. that's right, i give heaps of credit to the people who make my life happier and easier. plus, they read my blog. off to repair my body with tylenol and coffee. i'll let you know how the sparks fly with the keyboard.

if you consider flossing your teeth a more valuable exercise than reading this blog, please suggest some topics. I hate to think I'm in this alone.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 34 - Spring Fever

Everyone was out sick this week. While it makes for less money, it has freed up time to take walks and hit the treadmill. On wednesday morning, Nora and 16-month old Maddie followed me around while I picked up dog poop, and dragged the trash can to the curb. Scot had left his bike in the driveway, with the trailer still attached. On a whim, I put the two kids in, and rode to the mailbox. And I kept riding.

The temp had to have been 75, and a light breeze was blowing. I sat high and comfy on the cruiser seat. When the air brushed over my skin, it had the same feeling of jumping into a pool on a sweltering day. It felt downright refreshing. The orange trees have just started to blossom, and I swear they are laced with LSD. I'm not sure why that smell is so intoxicating, but to smell it is to be happy. I rode in lazy circles, head in the clouds. I crossed Mountain View road, and checked out nearby neighborhoods. Usually when I ride, I'm riding for speed and a workout, but this was a cruise. Birds were all partaking in the day, creating a cacophony of music from the high trees. I cut down to the greenbelt and passed old ladies and small dogs. I had become oblivious of the kids, and suddenly remembered I wasn't alone on my sensory feast. As I turned for home, Nora begged me to keep biking. Strange request from the child that's always bored and looking for the next adventure. She must have been feeling the magic of the day, too.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 33- A Picture You Can't Argue With

Mary and George (Mother and Her Brother)

Mary is 67. George just turned 70. Both were born to parents in their 40's, who died young. "I love my brother!" Mary always says in the same sing-songy way. I see myself in my mom, and in my Uncle George. I see the grandfather I only know from pictures in my Uncle George, and the gentleness Nana possessed in my mom. All of their family is gone now, and has been for over 40 years. They are each others only link to the past. They have a very special bond, and I'm glad they have each other.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 32 - Chiwuawua Stereotyping

Hey Gringo, Do not look at me here under this table. This toy, it's Patrick, No? I am begging of you, por favor, to let me indulge in this treat. I simply had to have it. It is my namesake, and me gusto.

Hey, who you calling gordito? So what if If have gained 3 pounds living with you Northerners. I have suffered through mashed potatoes and pot roast. I miss my mama and her tamales. That was living right!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 31- Continued... The Wrath of The Mother

Mother, you are adorable. That last blog pic of you was NOT bad. You just had a funny look on your face.
To show you that I meant no harm, and would never intentionally post a bad picture of you, you can stop digging through the photo archives.

Here you go...

Natural Instincts B23- Nutmeg

Day 31- Travel Tuesday - "Priceless"

Upcoming Mexican Riviera Cruise (courtesy Norm and Mary) - $2400

Cruise Essentials - $400

Dog Boarding - $150

Formal OnBoard Dinners With My Family - PRICELESS

Mary on Princess Sapphire Mexican Riviera Cruise, March 2006 .

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 30- For Your Consideration

From McCormick Ranch Lifestyle Magazine:

McCormick Ranch Family Photo Contest
Share a great photo of your family riding bikes, swimming, or just enjoying life on McCormick Ranch. Please email your photo to the editor by April 20th. Be on the cover of our Summer issue!

From the Editor:

Good morning, Toni!
Thank you so much for the lovely photo. I will let you know if your family is chosen by the end of April.
All the best,

Jane Doe
McCormick Ranch Lifestyle

Go Joelle! Go Joelle!

Joelle Massari Photography

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 29- Magnificent

Nora Ruby chomping on a pretzel

Scot not looking because he had not showered. It's 7 pm and I still haven't.

Everything today was "magnificent." That's because this morning I finally found "Magnificent", U2's new single on YouTube. For weeks, Sirius radio has been playing the single, but I haven't been able to listen to a bootleg copy online. Till today. What a great song. It's soaring vocals, awesome guitar riffs and beautiful lyrics have me peeing my pants. The album is released on Tuesday, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

So today, things were "magnificent." We celebrated Scot's birthday today. A bike ride, steak on the grill, and ice cream cake were on his easy daily agenda. Even laundry folding got a punch from pretzels and beer. What a magnificent way to spend a Sunday.

It was a magnificent 80 degrees, and Maggie is on the mend from a bout of bronchitis. Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Scot. You're 38, but you don't look a day older than when I met you. You were 24 then. Where has the time gone? I love you, you magnificent man.