Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day

Yay Labor Day! End of summer! Woohoo! As my northern friends get their sweaters out of storage and put away flip flops and seersucker for another year, we all here in Florida know we've got about another month of shorts and sandals before the first balmy breezes of Fall blow in. (And another three months of potential hurricanes. Gulp.) However, to console us in the meantime, we DO have:


I'll be bringing out the orange and blue tomorrow for the UF-Hawaii matchup. College football season starts tomorrow and although I may not follow eachandevery game as faithfully as I did pre-kids, I still manage to watch as many Gator (and other SEC) games as I can. GO GATORS!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hot, sick

There is a sore throat bug going around D's class. She & I had it over the weekend. A has it now - and in spades. Amazing how a little thing like that can spread so quickly. It's only fifth day of classes! Poor A. Everyone else just had a 24 hour sore throat. He gets a fever, sore throat, nasal congestion and now he's wheezing like an accordian. Or maybe a bagpipe.

It's too hot to do anything or go anywhere anyway. My MIL and I made the rounds of the home stores this a.m. looking for handtowels for the downstairs bathroom and curtain rods for the kids' rooms to go with the curtains I finally got around to ordering. Pottery Barn Kids had the gingham panels I've been wanting on super, duper triple-deep clearance, $12.99/panel! Woohah! I hardly ever get good bargains because I'm too impatient to wait for things to go on sale, but in this case I'm glad I procrastinated.

Gotta go dose the kid with Pediacare. I don't care what they say about kids and cold medicines. I think it makes them feel better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Do you want to be friends?

I was looking at the list of blogs that I read on a regular basis and it has gotten huuuge. I love the variety of blogs that I read; I love each and every blog and the bravery of the people writing them to put a little bit - or a lot - of themselves out there every day. And it is addicting, this blogging. I don't always feel my "muse" compelling me to write, but I compulsively check in on each and every blog I read. Sometimes daily, sometimes more often. So if you've gotten a lot of hits from "St. Petersburg, Florida," I'll betcha it was me.

The blogs I read are widely varied, but I feel like I have something in common with all of the authors, even if it is just a little thing. SAHM? Preppy? Like to shop, read or cook? Travel (or live) abroad? Are you a little bit - or a lot - snarky? Do you gripe about your kids and husband? Can you be counted on for a dissenting opinion? Me too! There's a big group of blogs I read that I started reading ages ago when a really creative woman named Elizabeth had a wildly, widely popular blog called Preppy Cafe. And I found other blogs through those blogs and so on and so on... you get the picture? The blogs I read are sort of like my group of close friends: from a distance we all seem very similar, but within the group there's a huge variety of opinions, backgrounds, beliefs. I think it makes for a more interesting life, I think it brings more ideas to the table, I think it reminds me that I am part of a big picture and although I may just be one little voice, if my voice weren't out there then there'd be a little blank spot in that picture.

Alright. Enough contemplation. Back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I woke up this a.m. with a horrible sore throat, fever and headache. Ouch. I'm going to put on my comfy pants, softest tee, get a hot cup of tea with honey & lemon and curl up on the couch with a blanket, stack of magazines and some good movies.

I wish.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Still raining

Bleh. I've got to go wake up A from his blissful 2 hour morning nap (yes, I said morning nap) and drag him out into the rain to pick up D at school. Dang.

Rain, rain, go away

Letssee.... a million errands to run, house to clean, in-laws coming in 2 days, grocery store, b-day gift to drop off, D has a half-day (wha? why? the first week of school?!), M out of town and OH YEAH it's RAINING AGAIN. Ugh.

And, by the way, David Lebovitz, I love your ice cream, your recipes are devine, The Perfect Scoop rocks my world, but you have seriously jumped the shark with Candied Bacon Ice Cream. No, no, no. That is wrong. Just wrong.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First taste of fall

I can't wait for cooler weather so that I can wear my new fleece-lined hoodie:

My stylish sisters may laugh at me for wearing something so mom-like -- perhaps even (gulp) frumpy? --but it is the perfect thing to wear to the playground in cooler weather.

I also love these:

But there is absolutely no justification for wearing them in Florida. Even on the wettest, windiest, muddiest, coldest day it is not nearly wet, windy, muddy or cold enough. Not that it stops me from putting them on my wish list. Maybe M will see this and get them for my birthday. Other people may have fancy jewelry or exotic trips on their wish lists. I've got wellies. Whatever.

D had a rough Day 2 yesterday at school. She got put on "red" for the first time ever for talking in class. She was appropriately upset as I explained that no, I wasn't mad, just a little disappointed, and that she needs to make more of an effort to listen, not talk. I felt a little hypocritical as I was/am a chronic chatterer (still am) and can't shut my mouth to save my life. So she comes by it honestly.

A is loving the extra one-on-one time with me. Yesterday we went to the park and played Jack & the Beanstalk all morning and today he went to his first music class. He surprised me by loving it - he had no problem participating, playing along, "singing," marching, etc. The teacher even said she was surprised to see a first-timer so involved. I was pleasantly surprised too since D absolutely hated music class and the crowds of kids and having people watch her do stuff. She would much rather have just watched everyone else and I remember the teacher telling me not to worry about "forcing" her to participate, she'd get to it in her own time. A is the exact opposite and I felt very much like "that mom" as I chased him all over the room, tried to stop him from taking the teacher's props and grinned as he screamed/sang along with every song.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well hello, there

CAUTION: Griping mom ahead!!

While most of Florida, especially kids & teachers who were supposed to start school today, are rejoicing in an unexpected day off, my heart goes out to parents everywhere who fully expected their little darlings to be off to school and constructively occupied today. Double-sucks because it's NOT EVEN RAINING and the least that could happen if you're going to close school because of a storm is a little rain. Not that I'm wishing a hurricane on anyone, but I think it was pretty obvious by around 9 last night that we were in no danger here. I think they jumped the gun a bit by deciding to close everything down yesterday afternoon.

So, lucky us. No storm damage and another day of "summer vacation." But I'm plumb out of good ideas. My mommy-battery definitely needs a recharge because I can't seem to think of any good activities to entertain them, I'm short-tempered, I'm a bit apathetic about housework, cooking, etc, and I really don't want to play with beads, the pizza game, blocks, Little People(TM), and I really, really, REALLY don't want to haul the paint out. Esp. since A tends to paint about 3 little dabs on the paper, gets the rest all over himself and then declares he's "done."

Here's what I'm going to do: let the kids eat breakfast in their pjs, reassure D that there WILL be school tomorrow and that she is STILL in first grade, let them watch PBS for a while, get them dressed, yell at them for bickering, put someone in time out, be amazed that I still have " storm preparations" that I didn't get to, fold laundry, plunge a toilet, clean up breakfast, turn on the emergency TIVOd episodes of SuperWhy and Hi-5, reluctantly play school, read some stories, yell some more, make endless snacks and meals and refill water cups all day long.

Day off? Not really.

Now, THAT'S tragic

So I am L-O-V-I-N-G that sweet A has decided to start taking a nap again! And right as School starts up! Hooray! You know what that means, right? That if I work real hard, get all my chores done and errands run then I get to plop my sweet patootie down on the couch for at least an hour before I have to pick up D from school. Hot damn. I mean, I guess I could break out my Tae-Bo or pilates tapes (yup, that's how old those suckers are -- I don't even have them on DVD) and do a little work out, but isn't it more fulfilling to read a book intended for grown ups, or munch a bowl of popcorn unmolested or watch a couple TIVO-d episodes of What Not to Wear? Or, as I did today, catch one of my very favorite Guilty Pleasure Movies of all-time, "The Perfect Murder." Now I can only describe the plot in the barest of details because I am so entranced with 1) Gwyneth's clothes. Oh such clothes. and 2) Viggo. But, as I was watching today, a line did jump out at me, even though I was deep in thought pondering if I could pull off the scoopneck-sweater-tucked-scarf look. The scene: After the attempted murder (I'm not too worried about spoiling the movie for anyone since it's been on basic cable for about the last 2000 years), when Gwynnie has left to stay with her "best friend" for a while and pull herself together. The line: The "friend" offering Gwynnie hot tea, clean towels and (here's the line) "your favorite yogurt in the fridge." Huh? What? You startled me out of my cashmere-induced trance. Letsseehere: someone tries to kill you, you decide to leave your husband, and your "best friend" offers you YOGURT? Not chocolate, wine or, as I would want, full-fat, premium-brand mint chocolate chip ice cream, a bottle of Woodford Reserve and some Valium? Some friend.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Well, hello there

Here's my beautiful daughter D this morning on her first day of first grade. I. Am. So. Proud. And she, evidently, is so happy! Happy to be seeing her friends, happy to be at school, and happy to be away from her baby bro for a bit, I suspect. A was not so happy. Today during snack time, he looks up at me and says "I miss D...." Oh my. I didn't think he even understood the concept of "miss." Hm. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Unfortunately everybody's happiness may be temporary since they might cancel school tomorrow due to the impending arrival (or not?) of Tropical Storm/Hurricane/Whatever Fay.

So. Lots of other stuff going on today as we get ready (maybe) for a tropical storm/hurricane/whatever. Let's check: water? (got it), tuna? (got it), millions of packaged snacks? (got 'em), refried beans and tortillas? (got it), nutella? (got it), pb & j? (natch), UHT milk? (yup). I'm all ready! Unfortunately, because I was too lazy/tired/distracted by the Olympics I had to go yesterday so I battled the crowds of panicked senior citizens in the grocery store and I also missed getting water at the low, low price of 10 bottles for $10, but hey. At least we won't be hungry for a day or two or ten. Then I sent M to Target to get batteries for the flashlights. He came back with a new Coleman camping lantern and a pack of men's undershirts, size L. OK, close enough! I'm sure those are things we can use in an emergency too!

Now I'm busy making a double batch of pancakes to freeze. Because who doesn't like delicious breakfast foods during a tropical storm?! I'm also doing laundry and cleaning the house because I have an odd compulsion to make sure everything is clean in an emergency. So that will keep me busy between compulsively checking The Weather Channel for updates and taking inventory of our household goods.

I'm sure other people's hurricane/tropical storm/whatever preparations are more practical, but then they probably won't be eating buttermilk-banana pancakes while they wait for the power to come back on.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

I'm half-dead from six nights in a row staying up to watch the Olympics, but boy was it worth it. Can you imagine if Michael Phelps (in the 100 b'fly) or Jason Lezak (in the relay) pulled up like Usain Bolt did in the 100M dash? Can you imagine if Usain had actually kept running full out until the finish line? Wow. I'm so full of adrenaline I feel like I could run something.

Gotta run now and start thinking about Hurricane preparations. Yeah, and it is supposed to hit on the second day of school. Great timing, eh?

Oh who cares! I want more races!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dear housemates..

Just a little request here re: microwave use. Whether you are reheating dinner or just nuking a cup of cocoa or whatever, if the food splatters, boils over, or otherwise escapes it's confines the appropriate response, unless you suddenly lose consciousness after cooking, is to clean up your mess. Do not leave it to fester in the microwave. Because I have to clean up the mess after it has been baked on. Also, when I discover evidence of a potential boil over, let's say for example an abnormally sticky and disgusting Pyrex dish, and you hear me make a comment like, for example, "eew gross, what happened to this dish?" do not feign ignorance or innocence. Because I have to clean that up too. I'm just saying.

What's the reverse of Murphy's law?

After a whole morning of M & I arguing with the warranty company and tricking the a/c place into talking to us, they agree to come out. And inexplicably, the dang system starts working perfectly 20 minutes before the guy gets here. So now we (I) get to babble on about how it's an intermittent problem and oh yeah, it's OK now and our bedroom is 75 degrees but I promise you by bedtime there'll be no a/c at all and it will be 87 in there. Somebody help us.

So it's not if anything can go wrong, it will. It's when you want it to be wrong, it's suddenly right. Mostly, I think we just need to stop fixing the dang thing and replace it.

Knowing me, knowing you

Mamma Mia was great fun! We were lucky enough to see it at a small show and the theater was full of ABBA fans who didn't mind singing along to the songs. Christine Baranski was hilarious as usual and Colin Firth showed us a whole new side of his acting range. Meryl Streep was amazing. I had just seen "Devil Wears Prada" a few weeks ago (on cable, natch) and she was great in that as well. Strangely, I came home and found M watching the cinematic exact opposite from Mamma Mia: "The Deer Hunter" (also with Meryl Streep -- I think it was her first big movie.) Anyway, the two movies were totally different in every way, except for reinforcing Meryl as a wonderful actress.

It also reinforces how totally different M & I are in our movie tastes (and TV, books, music, art, etc.). Not that the Deer Hunter wasn't an amazingly powerful, deeply upsetting movie packed with great performances, but would I have picked it for my Thursday night entertainment? Nope. And he would have been asleep in the first 15 minutes of Mamma Mia and then would have waked up briefly during "Voulez-Vous?" to comment how much he hates ABBA. Although he loves me, so we'll see how well he tolerates a weekend of me walking around singing "S.O.S."

Send prayers and good wishes -- the piece of crap upstairs A/C is out again and in a new twist to our ongoing saga, the repair people sent by the warranty company aren't returning our calls AND seem not believe us that it's not working. Like we'd lie, when it's 90 degrees out and the bedrooms are uninhabitable. S.O.S.!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Independence day?

Tonight I am going to do something that I have never done in my entire six years and twenty-seven days of mommyhood. And maybe only once or twice in my entire almost-nine years of marriage.

I am going to a movie with a friend! Just me and a friend! That's right, although I've seen a couple movies in the theatre with M, it's been a long time since I've gone to one with a friend. At night. During the week. It's like....a small reprieve, with popcorn. I'm sad to say the last movie I went to with a friend was "Traffic" back in 2000? 1999? I don't remember. And before that it was, believe it or not, "Clueless." But tonight I'm seeing "Mama Mia."

A huge step. But M said he had no interest in seeing it. And I do. And he can be home by 7 to watch the kiddos. And although I pushin' the envelope a bit because we're going to the 7:35 show and so I'll be in public right smack in the middle of the time I'm usually falling asleep on the couch, I'm really looking forward to it.

I'll be the one singing along to every song.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fools like us

Only I would decide that TONIGHT is the night I'm gonna finally learn how to use the chimney starter on the grill. In the pouring rain. While A is nap-less and five seconds from a bona fide blow out. And I've got $16.00 in tri-tip steaks on the line.

Why? Because the women's team gymnastics finals are on tonight, because I made a killer batch of chimichurri, because I've got a whole fresh, crusty loaf of bread and a bunch of organic green beans. And what goes best with all that goodness? Why grilled steaks of course!! (And an ice cold Fosters for after the kiddos are a-bed.)

I've got the charcoal lit, I think. I'm waiting for a "medium ash" to form. Hopefully sometime tonight.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well hello there

I'm back in blog business. The kids and I took our last vacation of summer vacation last week and spent a fab week at my parents in Naples. We got a little shopping in, had a belated bday party with their Florida cousins and Dad made his awesome homemade egg rolls. I've been craving one of those little babies since we were in NC in July and finally, finally, finally I got one. Mmmm.

We had a nice weekend, took the kids to the pool, had some good family time, and stayed up way too late watching the Olympics. I love them. I love the marquee sports and I love the obscure ones. I love athletes and I love competitions and I love watching huge, awesome spectacles like the opening ceremonies, which was better than any other opening ceremony I can ever remember watching -- and I watch them all. I love that Beijing looks like a real city and that China is presenting itself proudly and positively. And I love all the coverage of Dara Torres and her amazing abs. At first I thought there's no way she could be doing this without 'roids, but after watching endless reports and interviews, maybe just maybe it IS pure and simple hard work -- and God-given genetics, obviously. Because I don't care how many laps I swim, weights I lift or how many people walk all over my legs and back I'll never, ever, ever look like her and it's not just because of my deep-rooted love of ice cream. I just can't believe she's my age.

So. Busy week ahead as D gets ready for first - gulp! - grade which starts next Monday! Zowie. We had planned to do her school supply shopping today but unfortunately the crapping upstairs a/c crapped out again yesterday so after a sweltering sweat box of a night, we'll be spending this morning in the cool downstairs waiting for the a/c guys. Again. It's OK though because I've got 8 hours of TIVO'd Olympics to catch up on.