Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2k9

There are many reasons to be thankful this year. First, my immediate family. My husband (though, yes, he can be a royal pain in the tuchas at times) is my missing puzzle piece. He is the yin to my yang and whatever other cutesy metaphor you can come up with. My children are daily, hourly, minutely reminders of my love for him. They are amazing. One may be sassy at times, the other may be scatterbrained occasionally, but 'nuggling up with them seems to make everything all better no matter how bad the day had been. The light in their eyes show me a daily path towards how to be a better person. Next, there is my mom. That woman is incredible. Sure, she may be a little rough around the edges, but if you know her, I mean REALLY know her, she is gooey and warm inside like the perfect brownie. I mean that in a good way, of course. They say you turn into your parents when you get older. I see that happening already and I can't say that is a bad thing. Next is my in-laws. Anytime I ever need a pick-me-up I can always count on my mother-in-law. She is the personification of what I always aspired to be, Susie Homemaker. She gives 110% and then 20% more and manages to keep a smile on her face all the while. Then, of course, there are my friends, old and new. They help me keep my sanity on a daily basis, put things in perspective, and offer small pearls of wisdom without even realizing it. I am, of course, thankful for other things like my new home, being a SAHM, health, etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

12 MORE things I have learned

12. The more rain there is, the less my husband sleeps. Not from the rain, mind you, but from the frog orgy that occurs later in the evening. "Hey, tadpole! I LOVE what you've done to your croak!"

11. I adore my David apron. I just don't feel right wearing it in front of my mother-in-law. You know, THE David by Michelangelo? Thank you, Dinki! ;) My children chuckle every single time, though. It just never gets old!

10. No matter how many stupid applications I ignore on Facebook (and I ignore them all), there are still 15 more sent to me every day. How on earth do people have time for them?

9. Fat may be unattractive but so is skinny... Have a cookie for God's sake. You look like you're about to fall over! Diet Coke is not a sustainable source of life!

8. No matter how angry or grumpy I get at my husband sometimes, I cannot imagine life without him. I think that is why I do not sleep well when he is out of town.

7. One deep dish quiche is only enough for one breakfast for 4 in my house and for some reason that just doesn't seem right...

6. I am a very determined person when I am passionate about something. Sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes, not so much.

5. I do not understand why in GA my daughter must be in AT LEAST a booster seat for the next couple of years but in FL she could be in just a seat belt. It is probably the same as the Darwin Theory law that allows motorcyclists the choice if they want to wear a helmet.

4. Most motorists in AT LEAST California, Georgia and Florida believe turn signals are optional. Maybe this should go with #5...

3. PTA volunteering is a full time job... and 100% worth it

2. Old people and birds vacation in FL in the fall and winter. The rest of the world vacations in FL in the summer and spring. Insects, on the other hand, vacation in FL all year round and their favorite pastime is taking steroids.

1. Halloween should be once a month. Not for the candy. Candy is just whatever... But for the dressing up! I think I will have Halloween once a month... The rest of the world can follow my lead!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

12 Things

12 Things I Have Learned:
12. For some reason, stores and restaurants in Tampa like to crank the air conditioners incredibly high. This makes it so that people with glasses fog up when they exit the stores… into the parking lots… BLIND!

11. In Georgia, it is typical to see people wave at you from their car when you are in a neighborhood of any kind. Not in Tampa.

10. No matter what kind of a house you have, it is a pain in the ass to clean it. But the bigger the house, the bigger pain it is to be had.

9. Trying to budget a household groceries is an enormous headache and pretty much a full time job! It is a job that my darling husband doesn’t get… at all.

8. Public school is NOT private school. When my 2nd grade son is doing the math work that my kindergartener daughter was doing over the summer, there is a serious problem.

7. Shopping of any sort is cheaper, faster and less stressful without my children. I think that is a painfully unfortunate reality.

6. When you have your own pool it is just as disappointing when it rains. But, you get more hand and face prints on the slider door from children watching for it to stop.

5. Laundry multiplies like bacteria if you leave it alone in a dark room for more than 24 hours.

4. My feelings are squashed a lot less if my children do not like their “take out” dinner as opposed to my cooking. Why on earth do we cook? Oh that is right, refer to #9.

3. Telling a child “no” today does not equate to “no” tomorrow in their brains. Repetition is part of every parent’s routine.

2. Even though I couldn’t wait for school to start, I missed my children more than I ever thought possible.

1. I never ever want to move or sell a home again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Knead a little help...

I have been on a bread making kick lately. I first made a cardamom braid that was a sweet, Swedish bread I had never heard of. It was GREAT but far too large for our family. Next time I will break it into 2 loaves and give one to a neighbor. The second recipe I did was a challah bread for Shabbat dinner last week. It was amazing! I will never buy store bought challah again! I actually had Ed take a picture of it. I think I need my own camera…
In all my years of baking, home ec classes and bread making I never imagined bread you didn’t have to knead OR FEED! I for sure thought when I saw the recipe it was a typo so I did a little research and found it is true! I then found a second recipe that was completed in less than half the time suggested on the original recipe. Needless to say, I decided to do the second recipe as I was SURE the recipe would flop anyway. I added ¼ cup of chopped kalamata olives and a whole head of pre-roasted garlic cloves. Next time, I will not pre-roast the garlic, only use ½ a head, not use olives and toss in a handful of fresh chopped rosemary or sage.

If anyone has a tried and true recipe for a sourdough starter (I like a STRONG sour… raised in the SF bay area ;)) I would be glad to try it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Busy few days!

So, I moved to Tampa on Friday, July 17th. As I came down my new street, I could see the big red bow that my FIL placed above the porch to welcome us. I was so HAPPY to see my boys! The boy gave me a running, jumping hug and kiss, and Ed (who was working with the plumber) was able to break away for a moment to greet me and the girl. My in laws were also there to greet us! That night we had Pei Wei which is amazingly yummy!

The weekend was spent cleaning and prepping for our best friends to come and visit! We had a blast with them on Monday the 20th. I miss them tons… The rest of that week and following weekend was spent unpacking, cleaning, arranging and settling. Monday the 27th I woke at 5:30am to meet Ed’s friend from high school, Kim, to learn the ins and outs about a vegetable co-op. That was fun, but WAY too early for me! Wednesday the 29th I took the kids to a puppet production at the library called Micetronauts. They had a really good time! I also got them their own library cards and let them choose one book each to check out. Checking out a book earned them a coupon from the library for a free shake from Steak 'n Shake! HOW COOL!

The following day, Thursday the 30th, I took the kids to another library for a live play of Rumplestiltskin. It was a 25 minute drive to get there and as we got closer, the area started to remind me a lot of the area we left in Georgia. It seemed like there were many stay-at-home moms there and like the surrounding trees, yards and common areas, they seemed to be well manicured and taken care of! The area of the library that was showing the play only allowed for 80 people. They let all the children in first then whatever parents were left, they would squeeze in. Only 2 moms got in so you can imagine how packed this show was. I sat outside for the hour the play was going on and finished working on a knit scarf project. A woman was sitting across from me on a cell phone loudly discussing the details of a custody battle with what appeared to be her attorney. A gentle rain began to fall though the sky was still bright. Then it began to pour and oddly, the sky was STILL bright! It was really beautiful and had the obnoxious woman talking on her cell phone not been there, it would have been really peaceful. That evening we went out to Sushi Alive for their “Happy Hour”, sushi… not drinks. It wasn’t bad as far as sushi goes! That Friday, July 31st, we went to Longhorn. I was so disappointed after getting my steak, cutting into it and seeing it well done when I ordered it medium rare. I expected a warm red center as she described. When I sent it back the manager brought me out a steak that was cooked exactly how the first one was. He said he would cook another for me himself. I told him not to bother and let Ed eat the steak. After all, it would be free and I would hate to waste something free!

Saturday the 1st we went to Pei Wei for lunch, Jamba Juice for dessert, Bucs Heaven to prep for the evening and then Bucs training camp! We got to meet a few cheerleaders, hear the cannons fire and watch the players run around. WHAT A BLAST! Sunday we took the kids to Whole Foods where they got to join in a free cooking demo: sparkling lemonade, homemade hummus in pita bread and yogurt parfait! We got tenderloin steaks to cook for dinner that night. YUM! They were seriously fantastic. Monday I registered the kids for school, my MIL came over for dinner, took the kids home to spend the night THEN brought them back WITH lunch from Hungry Howie’s the next day! I had not had that since my days at Kinko's. How spoiled am I?!?!?

Coming up: Jennie Zuniga from high school is coming to visit me tomorrow. I haven’t seen her in 16 years! Uncle Greg comes to visit Friday-Sunday. I am EXCITED!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update pl0x!

A friend of mine wanted an update so I will take a small break from my carnival of paper and boxes. Friday we arrived to a beautiful home adorned with a red bow above the porch. I got a leaping hug/kiss from my son that was the best ever! A plumber (or 2) was here doing something or other so I had to wait for a moment to kiss my husband. My in laws were here too, so the girl and I were greeted wonderfully by all the Tampa Rosens. I unpacked my car and an older woman walking a dog said “You can’t possibly lift that” to which I responded, “I am stronger than I look”. She chuckled as I hauled a huge roll of new carpet remnant into the house from my car and said “I guess so!” We had Pei Wei for dinner which is AWESOME! The next day we kicked ass and took names and got several boxes unpacked and the electrician came to install 8 fan kits. Sunday we bought a mattress for the boy’s trundle and unpacked more boxes. Monday I picked up the mattress from a warehouse and greeted our best friends. I got some help unpacking and we got to have lunch and dinner and play a little. 8 of us got to break in the pool while the other (me) got dinner from Pei Wei. Did I mention I love Pei Wei? Today is Tuesday and I have been unpacking slowly. I am running out of steam. The kids are going with my mother in law in the afternoon through dinner. This will help IMMENSLEY because the kids are driving me insane. I don’t have the time to invest in them right now and they are fighting a ton causing me to stop a lot of what I have been doing.

It is truly a castle… I cannot wait until it is fully unpacked. We have a long way to go! I will take pics when things are in the proper places. My uncle comes in about 3 weeks and school starts in about a month. Lots to do! Better get back to it ;)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Today my heart is beating so fast I think it may explode. So MUCH is going on I cannot even begin to wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into. Last week I had 3 carpet companies give me in-home estimates. I weighed price against product and went with the lowest price since we will not be the ones enjoying the carpet anyway. It is a good carpet though

Also last week and yesterday I interviewed 3 realty agents/teams (I tried to set up meetings with 5 more but got no responses from them) so I could make a more educated decision about what path we should take in replacing our current agent. The first was a husband and wife team and when they left I felt like I had been drugged. They were strong minded, gave a powerful presentation and made me think I needed them and only them. They even called their carpet guy and undercut my lowest bid by $400! WOW! I needed THEM, right? Wrong… 2 days later I asked one of them to get the carpet guy to come over so I could see a sample of the carpet he intended to use. Somehow, it went from “We can get you a better deal than the one you have” to “If you SIGN with us we will extend to you the information. Until then, sit n spin”. And the tone changed in the conversation to insinuate that if we didn’t list our house at a price they deemed reasonable, they wouldn’t even offer us a contract. The GHB had worn off at that point and I needed a shower… Realtor #2 was a very nice guy but less prepared than the barracuda and her Boy Wonder. He had an idea of where he would like the house to be listed but no idea where he thought it may sell. He reminded me physically and socially of my father, which was odd but it made it easier to talk to him. He was cordial and seemed to know his stuff, he just didn’t invest the time in me or my home before hand that #1 an eventually #3 would. Before I met Realtor #3, #2 was it by default! When #3 came in I was worried. She was young and beautiful and I assumed maybe she didn’t have the experience. I should know better than to judge a book by a cover, but only time will tell if she can get the job done. She had prepared information in a similar fashion to #1 but didn’t offer the marketing #1 did citing specific reasons why; 0% yield is not the way to go and efforts/funds are better spent elsewhere. Just because a marketing plan seems grandiose doesn’t mean it is effective. She was very sweet, chatty (like #2) and seemed to care about all parties involved, including our current realtor. Sympathy and empathy go a long way in my book. I am not of the opinion that just because you need to get business done, you need to be brutal, pushy and step on others for your clients or for yourself. So, #3 is it and I will update you on that situation as soon as there is some to update.

The suggestion to repaint to neutral colors has been made more than once. Ed is not interested in spending the $ but I disagree. And instead of making this a 700 page essay I will leave it at that. So today I started getting estimates. One estimate was high, over the phone (didn’t even offer to see the rooms) and I wont be going with them. #2 is a friend of a friend and offered to do the patchwork for $50 when he came to do the estimate. #3 is a friend of my friend’s mother and he is coming tomorrow to give an estimate. I am waiting on 3 calls back for other estimates from recommendations from friends and neighbors. 6 estimates should be fine I think…

I cleaned the fridge, freezer and pantry of the junk but I still need to scrub the freezer and fridge next week. I have light packing to do of things that will be coming in my van as opposed to the moving van. I cannot start that until tomorrow when the pictures are done. I promised Jessie we would got to a movie tomorrow but as soon as that is done, hell begins.

Dinner will be out tomorrow with a neighbor, in tomorrow with another neighbor, at a friend’s home Friday, out Saturday and Sunday (more than likely) Then starting Monday I will be living with a neighbor for the week. Monday we get packed, Tuesday loaded (at this point I NEED to get loaded), Wednesday painting, Thursday carpet and Friday drive to Tampa…. Home… to my castle on the sand… with my BOYS!

Now, can someone buy my house in GA please?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yesterday is lonelier

I wake where shadows are fewer
I sit where time is longer
I linger where days are harder
I lay where quiet is lonelier

I imagine the sighs are fewer
I remember the hugs are longer
I anticipate the kisses are harder
I hope that yesterday is lonelier

Monday, June 08, 2009

We are in for a LOOONG summer....

The girl and I said "see ya later" to the boys yesterday. Our house in FL closes on the 15th and the house in GA has not gone under contract so the girl and I will try to keep up a furnished home for potential buyers to view until it is sold. I think the hardest part about yesterday was when the boys were pulling away, my overly emotional and dramatic daughter looked up at me with wet eyes and a shivery chin and said quietly, "This is the worst day of my life". I could only reply... "Yep, probably". The only other time she ever said that was in an angry way when she got in trouble so it was sad yet sweet all at the same time. I know it is only temporary but we sure are going to miss our best friends.... I cannot get the song from Pink, Please Don't Leave Me, out of my head. *sigh*

We had a showing today which is good, but they were in and out in 8 minutes. The feedback was wishy-washy but the realtor said she LOVED the house and will be bringing another client to see it hopefully this weekend. At least the realtor liked it enough to bring someone else! I hope that means something.

The girl and I slept on couches last night for 2 reasons. First, it was a novelty for her... Second, I had the entire upstairs done for the showing before we even woke this morning!!!! SCORE! And I let her have ice cream for lunch.... Yep that is right... call DEFACS :P

Tomorrow I have to run around like a chicken with my head cut off correcting a lawyers mistake. I also promised the girl I would take her to the movies to see a Tale of Despereaux. I am taking our neighbor girl (teenager) as well. Should be a fun day!

OH! And my phone is starting to self destruct. I looked at the screen today and the screen spontaneously decided to change color.... but only in parts.... LOVEly...

Is it August yet?

Friday, May 29, 2009

American Girl

I had never heard of American Girl dolls (geared toward 8-12 year olds) until a few years ago when it moved into Northpoint Mall. Now, I hear about them quite a bit. There was even an American Girl event at my son's school the last couple years and every single girl in first grade (about 40 girls) had one. Keep in mind these dolls are about $100 in price.

On May 31, 2009 American Girl is debuting a new doll in their historical line. Her name is Rebecca Rubin. She is from 1914 and is a Jewish, Russian-American immigrant from the lower east side. This interests me, why? Well, My husband is Jewish and we are raising our children to be Jewish. OH! And I have a little 5 year old girl who loves... you got it.... DOLLS! They have apparently been working on this doll for roughly 9 years making sure they didn't piss anybody off by making any stereotypical remarks in her books (they come with a storybook series) or by making her features too... stereotypically Jewish... COME ON! They teetered on what color her HAIR would be... Auburn is too atypical, brown is too typical... OK! How about brown with auburn highlights! BINGO! I guess they got slammed a while back for the African American doll being a slave. Well... they are historical dolls right? Are we to forget our history just because our history contains awful things? NO! We learn from them and move on. Why wouldn't 8 year old girls learn the history of what African American girls in that day and age went through? Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I see things all backwards. I suppose it is possible.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The First Goodbyes

My mother joined us for the boy’s birthday this year. This was her final trip to Atlanta as the impending move to Tampa draws closer. While she was here we visited Zoo Atlanta for the last time. We have had a membership for about 5-6 years and since my mother got us the first 3-4 years of our membership, it seemed fitting that she be there for the last. We visited the brand new baby panda, Xi Lan (Atlanta’s Joy), and his sister Mei Lan (Beautiful Atlanta) and of course their parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang. We paid our respects to the Elephant house where Dottie used to roam. We saw the elusive leopard. We only saw it one other time in the 5-6 years we were members! The children climbed the rock wall one last time and we all rode the train… one last time… We were sad to hear that 2 days after our membership was due to expire, the Parakeet Adventure was due to open.

Another goodbye (more like a “see you later”) was to our best friends who moved to New Jersey. Their whole life is being flipped around right now and I wish I could help. I keep them in my thoughts every day and hope the dust settles soon for them.

Our realtor for our Atlanta home suggested that we write a blurb with some memories and what we will miss about the home. An hour and many tears later this is what was made:

“Nine years ago the man of my dreams built me the house of my dreams. He was literally here for every day of construction. The first memory I have was meeting a neighbor while we signed the contract to purchase. She and her husband still live in our cul-de-sac. She was pregnant with her first child who is now 9 years old. We have been able to watch him grow right along with his little sister who is now 7. We met our best friends at a backyard Cinco de Mayo party that we hosted. They have since moved 3 times but are as close to us as any family members. I remember coming home from our wedding reception and parading around in the cul-de-sac in our wedding attire and being greeted by our neighbors with hugs and congratulations. Both of our children were born while we were here and the neighbors in our cul-de-sac greeted us immediately when we came home from the hospital. I will miss the love and kindness by our neighbors who not only threw us a baby shower and decorated our front door for the arrivals of our newborns, but also brought us a meal every night for 2 weeks each time we grew our family. I will miss the original “playgroup” of which 5 of the 8 children still remain. I will miss the annual 4th of July parade that we have participated in the last 8 years and will also miss later in the day when every neighbor comes out of their homes at dusk and congregates their chairs in the streets to see the fireworks at Wills Park. I will miss the Association BBQ to kick off the opening of the pool every summer and the monthly “Girl’s Night Out” dates. I will miss having the babysitter 2 homes down who we watched grow from elementary school. As our first home, it holds many endearing memories and my only wish is it will hold many more to come.”

I sent this to many of my family and friends that I thought would enjoy it. What I got back was a flood of responses with THEIR memories and what they will miss. And the tears came again.

There will be many more goodbyes before our departure and I do not pretend it will be easy. But as I sit here at my new Honda dealership in Tampa waiting for my car to be finished I know this is my new home and I am happy. I will enjoy being close to family once again. I will LOVE being near the beach…. Again… I will soon fall in love with my new kitchen, and pool, and I will make new friends AND get to keep the ones I have already. Now, someone buy my Atlanta house ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I have a 7 year old....

Tomorrow is the boy's birthday. How did I get to be a woman with a 7 year old? It seems like just yesterday he was teething and now he is losing his second tooth! For those of you that do not know already, the time goes by too quickly. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Make sure you hug your child(ren) every day, more than 5 times, and make sure they know how very special they are. They are your legacy. They are the most perfect extension of you in the flesh. Treat them as such, even when it is the most difficult to do so.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I got into a conversation with an old friend of mine the other day. This person isn't just any friend. He took me to my Senior Ball (which was one of the romantic things I can remember from my life). My WHOLE family considered him to be part of their family for a long time and I broke his heart because I was young and stupid. My whole family expected me to marry him someday... Little did they know...

This story starts about 10 years ago. My boyfriend, who is now my husband, moved away to Georgia while I stayed behind in California. He could not bear to move me away from my family (who were all in California) solely for him. He worried that I would resent him if our relationship did not work out so we decided to break up and remain friends. While he was gone, he and I both dated other people. I decided to revisit the affection I had for my old friend mentioned above. He and I had gotten close, again, after Ed left for Georgia. One night, we went to a club with my boss. My boss at the time was a very cool guy... Still is :) My friend danced with another girl and I spent the whole night upset and crying to my boss. In my mind, I remembered the night I broke his heart. I could remember it so vividly. I will never, ever, forget the look on his face that night. The night at the club I "knew" he would never let me in his heart again so I stopped trying. The next day my friend and I had a fight about the night before and I didn't speak to him again until after I eventually moved to Georgia. We never talked about that night, though, and until a few days ago I assumed everything was as I saw it. Come to find out it was not. In movies, there is usually a point where a decision is made or where the plot becomes definitive. The night at the club was that for me, but I did not see that until the other day. Had clear lines of communications been had, destiny would have played out very differently for my life and the lives of those now in mine.

I do not believe in soul mates in the traditional sense, if at all. If soul mates exist, I think it is our children who are our soul mates. The powers at be would have the ability to "plant the seed" so to speak rather than letting destiny guide you towards a single, solitary love. Let's examine the traditional idea of a soul mate, one person for each person. What if your soul mate dies? What if that person is halfway across the world and doesn't know how to communicate with you? The concept is flawed. But, destiny? I can see destiny being a reality. I cannot believe that the cosmic world we live in has no plan for humanity. I believe we have a direction but not a clear-cut answer. I do believe things happen for a reason, even the horrible. Had things been different that night at the club with my friend, my life might be drastically different. The 2 beautiful beings I helped create would not exist. I would not have the best mother-in-law in the whole world (though I would still have the best mother ;)). I would not have a man with whom I laugh at the stupidest things like an 18k gold plated feeyokioke. (That was an inside joke that no one will get but us LOL) I would not have my Muppet, nor would he have his Peege. I love my life. I love being Ed's wife. I love my children. I love every molecule of our quirky little family. I am truly happy. Thank you GOD for destiny!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bring on Y2K9!

This past week or so has been wonderful! Ed has been off work and the kids have been home from school. We have been tinkering with new toys and games together. We got replacement couch cushions for my couch (oh so needed). We celebrated every night of Hanukkah with excitement and joy and love and FUN!

We have been going out to dinner a little more than usually for the last couple months. Still not what we used to (which is good), but it is a little break. The girl and I broke out the easy bake yesterday. She insisted on baking a cake to take to the Denneen’s house for the NYE party we were invited to. She insisted her very first layer of the cake be blue in honor of her brother. I only wish they both share that love through the years and beyond. It is so sweet to see. We actually cut into the cake at the party. I wish we took a picture of the mini slices. They were cool with the colors! And the cake was surprisingly good! I mean… REALLY good!

The kids got all dressed up and we headed out to the Denneen’s for a wonderful dinner party. Jeff cooked an incredible dinner of roasted veggies, asparagus, green beans, mashed potatoes, lamb, beef tenderloin, salad, and I am sure I am missing at least one thing but that about sums it up. The kids were all incredible. I cannot believe how well behaved they all were considering we were there about 5 hours. There was an assortment of wines and such. I, of course, brought Voyant which wasn’t opened until the coffee came out and I put some in mine. I encouraged Anne to try some and she loved it! It was the first time I put it in coffee and have to say, it is YUMMY!

We were supposed to go to the Zazzaro’s for a party today. There is no way. We are beat. We were one of 2 families (besides the hosting family, of course) out of 6 families to make it until midnight and we paid for it today! We didn’t wake until 11 and didn’t eat breakfast until noon. We are going to take it easy and watch some Survivorman on the HD Science channel which the kids love. We may even go to a restaurant that was suggested to us by a woman at the party last night. I am sure my wonderful husband will give a review if we go. If he leaves anything out, I will be sure to chime in ;)

As for Y2K9, I am looking forward to the move to Tampa. We have a lot of big changes coming up and I am getting very excited!