Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've done it now...

The game is on... I just registered for the Tower of Terror 13K (www.towerofterror13k.com) and I am in trouble. I've got to be able to finish 8.something miles in under 16 minutes per mile with just under 3 months to train for it. And something you probably don't know is that I am the "girl who cried "I'll do it, I'll do it" and backed out of a 1/2 marathon and this very same event last year. Shit. I am so screwed. I have to do it or my name is mud. Main reason I'm doing it? I need to lose 10 pounds before next summer -- 20th high school reunion, I am not going there at this weight. Period, end of story.

T-minus 17 Days and Counting

Jake starts kindergarten on Monday, August 18th. This is a big step. Little did I know that all of those people who say "enjoy it, they grow up so fast" would be so right. I am delighted that the little guy is going off on his own to this brave new world, but at the same time it freaks me out because it seem like just yesterday that he was born. He's going to a great school -- BayHaven, has lots of friends that will be there (Malcolm, Isabelle, Logan and Jack), so it's likely that he will have someone he knows in his class.

I remember my first day of school and I have a lot of great memories of my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Moyer at Tuttle Elementary. Here's wishing the same for Jake. Love you, buddy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disappointed Customer

Yesterday I took the day off to bring Jake and Bryce to the Dentist, get their hair cut, shop for school clothes, etc. My dentist appointment was a 9 a.m. I arrived promptly at 9 a.m., got a rude look from the harried (and not so bright) receptionist and was told that my appointment was at 8:15. What??? Huh?? So, I reluctantly left, pissed off at her, but even more peeved at myself for screwing up... or so I thought.

I get my car washed at Johnny's. No one in line. Get car back, inside area still sticky between kids seats and foot prints on the back of both seats.

Go to Stride Rite in Sarasota to buy kids shoes for school. One grumpy old guy on the floor, ten moms ready to use "buy one get one 1/2 off coupon." He is downright nasty, rude and can't seem to find even ONE pair of shoes that I like in our size. More rudeness at the cash register when I try to use the coupon, and even more when I tell him the one pair we got was priced at $5.00 a pair instead of $19.99.

Go next door to Cost Cutters hair cutting place. Lady is nice enough -- just barely social, but I understand, not everyone has a great day everyday... but the cut on both of them is pretty crappy. Bryce's bangs are too short, back is uneven and she missed a huge chunk in the front. Jake has a huge piece in the back that I have to fix when I get home. (I didn't notice it right away or I would have had her fix it.)

Lunch at Pincher's Crab Shack -- awesome! Lady is really sweet, food is good and she is nice to the kids.

Go home. Find the appointment card for the dentist appointment at 9 a.m. I was right. Drive all the way back to dentist because they won't answer the phone, answering service is picking up. What do I get? Not even an apology.

What the hell happened to customer service? I am over it. Would much rather shop on-line and not have to deal with people who truly do not care at all about the people they serve. It is a scary statement about the state of our society and country.

Future Model... you decide!



Bryce asked me to take some photos of her modeling, so here is the best one. This has been going on non-stop since she posed for my friend Michelle's organic children's clothing line (http://www.obliorganics.com/) Christa, I need to know, does she have a future? She sure as hell seems to think she does. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jovial Dining at the 3B Restaurant





Blake and Bennett (our nephews) finished up their visit from Texas with a weekend at our house. To say "thank you" to their Nana and Papa and their Aunts and Uncles, I suggested that they invite them all over for a home cooked meal planned, prepared and served by the kids. Wow... little did I know that they would get into it so much! We discussed it briefly on Friday night -- Blake and Bennett loved the idea. On Saturday we made handwritten invitations, decided on our menu, grocery shopped for all of the items, wrote and decorated our beverage menus and prepared our dessert "Strawberry Surprise," which then needed to set in the freezer. Jason assisted with the restaurant name, each word represented one of the six kids: Jake, Dane, Blake, Bennett, Bryce and RaeAnn. Cute, huh?
On Sunday we set the table, made our restaurant sign, made menus for each person, cut herbs from the garden for garnishes and for cooking and watched Ratatoille to brush up on our kitchen and dining room skills. (Of course, they were told to focus on the humans in the movie and not the rats, but I think our execution was a bit more like the rats.)

When the guests arrived they all jumped into action, eager to please everyone -- kids screaming, scrambling, bumping into each other. Total chaos. Just like a real restaurant. Needless to say, everyone had a great time and complimented the team on the food -- shrimp cocktail appetizer presented in margarita glasses, mini-chicken pot pies and the frozen strawberry dessert.

After the dinner the kids went for a dip in the pool, did a little dancing and posed for some photos of the cousins as a group. It was fun, but I am exhausted. I was the Gordon Ramsay of the weekend, but I wasn't as tough on my team. Maybe, we've got a future Executive Chef on our hands... you never know.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Sling Shot

Here's a movie of Chris and Jodie going on the Sling Shot... just to give you an idea of what it was like! Jason and I rode it twice on Saturday night -- OMG! It was amazing fun and a beautiful view! Our first ride was right at dusk and the sky was clear, you could see for miles! Just as good as skydiving, but even more fun! The second ride we flipped over two or three more times and the guy said it was because we were probably more relaxed, we also had a lot more wind gusts.
video

Good Times in Kiss-issi-mmee!





So, this past weekend we went to Kississimmee with Nana, Papa, Jodie, Chris and Josh (and the six cousins) to stay at Nana & Papa's timeshare resort called Star Island. Well, I guess it is appropriately named because anyone (including me) can be a star there just by doing karaoke that is blasted over loud speakers that carry through the resort. I need to get the pictures from Jodie, but I belted out five songs on Friday night -- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (with Jodie laughing more than singing along with me), Takin' Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive, Under the Sea by Sebastian the Crab (singing along with the kids including Bryce), Bust A Move by Young MC (that was hard -- lots of words very fast) and Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel (Wow... that one was really bad). Saturday we hung out at the resort and then went to Old Town (cool antique car show) and the Fun Spot next door for some viseral fun... kiddie rides and the awesome Sling Shot, which Jason and I did twice! (That's me waving good bye on my second turn on it -- Look, no hands!). We had lots of fun and laughs, including delicious burgers and hot dogs on the grill, handwriting analysis by Josh Bennett and a paper airplane contest in the room Sunday morning. It's been great seeing Blake and Bennett and having Jake and Bryce connect with them is terrific. I'll miss them when they go back to Texas next week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How does your garden grow?


Here is our family's sad little attempt at gardening. I bought two rosemary plants, two basil plants, one Italian parsley and one thyme. Would anyone be like to wager on how long we can keep these green, or should I say partially green? Wish us luck... we need it!

It runs in the family...



Well, what a crazy week it has been, as you can see with photos of those crazy cousins from this past Saturday... forget the pool, we love the dress up closet. Don't some of these kids look a bit too old to enjoy this? And, don't they seem to be enjoying it a bit TOO much? Oh, well. That's our family for you.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I HATE Being a LANDLORD

OK. Well, this post should have been a glowing report about how relaxed our week at Vero Beach was and what a nice vacation it was, blah, blah, blah. BUT, it wasn't THAT great, the kids were hacking from the touch of red tide in the Atlantic, the room was small and beds even smaller, the "view" of the beach didn't exist and the resort itself was just not that spectacular. Not up to usual Disney level except for the sweet and attentive staff. SIDE NOTE TO MAINTENANCE PEOPLE AT DISNEY'S VERO BEACH RESORT: CLEAN THE POOL. SHOCK IT, SCRUB THE TILES, EMPTY IT OUT AND RE-FILL IT UP AND THEN KEEP CLEANING IT. IT IS REALLY YUCKY, AND I AM REALLY NOT THAT PICKY, SERIOUSLY, FOLKS!!!!!

So, unfortunately, I have no photos to share of our getaway. Oh, well. We were really just checking it out to see if we'd like it.. and we don't. So sorry. Instead, I'm going to bitch about what a crock of crap it is to have to be a landlord to my own Mother. What a pain in the ass. She is so difficult that I cannot believe that we ever even decided to help her by buying the condo so that she can rent it from us. (Purchased in April of 2006-DUH... this wins the title for Jason and Alisa's worst investment EVER!).

Last night we get a call at 9:30 at night. She's got water on the floor in the bathroom. But she doesn't know where it's coming from. It's in both bathrooms. Jason had to get out of bed and drive over there and figure out that one of the toilet o-rings needs to be replaced.

Well, this morning, Jason gets a call on his cell (he's SOOOOOOO happy she has his cell number) and she is now locked out of the apartment, because the new lock (which he had to install last week) doesn't work. So instead of spending this weekend putting down all of the top soil we had delivered, taking out the dead palm trees and start the urban garden we want to do with the kids, he's first got to play handyman at the condo. Yipee. My stuff will have to wait.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July


Here's wishing all a wonderful Independence Day. Little Bryce is going to the Doctor this afternoon, so let's hope she's all better for the big party tomorrow at Auntie Karen's house!!!! I hope to see some fireworks this weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mom Required Reading: Nation of Wimps

I was talking to a Mom at my Boot Camp workout last week and she reminded me about this book which was publicized a year or so ago... I promptly ordered it and I have to say that I would make this required reading for all U.S. Moms and Dads. Yes, I know that's broad, but this book uncovers one of the most depressing social problems that will have lasting effects today, but most importantly, into the future. There is some psycho-babble and big words that even I had to look up (ha ha), but it's a great book to figure out what NOT to do with your kids. Since my friends (affectionately) call me 'Castro' when talking about how I deal with my kids, I was happy to read that most (not all, there is still room for improvement) of what I am doing is not going to scar them for life. Hopefully the toughness will make them productive, self-efficient individuals... but you just NEVER know!!!!!!! :)