Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Foot

The call came at 2:20pm.

When the boy in the middle calls and says he's hurt, my 'mom radar' immediately goes into overdrive.  He doesn't ever admit to pain and when he does...well, it's often pretty bad.

 His foot most likely had a hairline fracture in it but today, while in a heavy work boot, he felt a pop.  It's a full on break, a Jones fracture, and we have a surgical consult tomorrow morning.  The doctor walked in after the x-ray and just shook her head and said, 'it's not good.'

He got a temp cast, has some pretty strong pain meds and is pretty much driving us all crazy. 


Tonight, I pulled out a full, unopened box of See's candy and let the boys dig in.  

It was needed.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Right Place at the Right Time

Fifteen years (and a month) ago, a few weeks after we had our third baby, I was having a rough time. Having one baby with no family living nearby wasn't easy.  Having two babies with no family living nearby wasn't easy.  Having the third with no family living nearby?

I was a mess.

One afternoon that guy that I like so much was at work and I just needed to get out of the house, so around our neighborhood lake I went, three boys in tow.  Halfway around, with two extremely whiny and fighty older boys and a screaming two week old baby it hit me.

I can't do this.

And I started to cry.  Hard.  We must have been a sight...three crying boys and a crying mom.

At that very moment, two older women were walking around the lake.  They recognized me, their husbands worked with my husband, and even though I tried to put my head down and go by unnoticed (with three crying children) they stopped to say hello.  

I couldn't even fake it.  I was SOBBING and so were my children.  Within minutes I was in this woman's home, whom I didn't really know but in the world that guy that I like so much belongs to, well, everyone knows everyone.  She immediately went into Grandma and snacks for bigger boys, a rocker and a cup of tea for me, and two women fussing over a newborn baby.  

I cried and they listened.  They loved on me and prayed for me and took care of me that afternoon at a time when I had hit my breaking point.  

Over the next few years, as often happens, we drifted moved away and the other filled her time with grand babies and I filled my time with my young family, but I will never, ever forget that afternoon when they so unselfishly took care of me.

Every time I saw either of them, they always greeted me with a big hug and a knowing smile.  

One of those woman passed away this weekend.  She was a lovely, lovely woman who taught me more that day than she will ever know.  Kindness.  Compassion.  Love.  I will forever be thankful that God put her in my path on that afternoon so long ago.  


This weekend our crew, which has always been so heavily weighted on the testosterone side of things but is showing glimpses of estrogen here and there, went to the Phoenix Club's OktoberFest after church.  Fun music, good beer, and our not so little family just hanging out.  These boys of mine...well, I just really like them but why oh why do they have to touch and push each other so much?  Will they ever outgrow that?

I don't think so.  If you invite us over, hide your breakables.  Seriously.


Laundry is caught up, the house is clean, my in box is down to TWO emails.  

Monday, I'm ready for you!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Expensive Day

That guy that I like so much has a cute car that needed a service and when they lifted the hood, they found sweet little footprints, snail shells, and well, droppings.

Rats in the car.  Nasty, nasty, nasty.  Nothing a few moth balls can't cure, but the fact that I live in the middle of town, three coyotes ate my neighbors cat outside my bedroom window and now there are rats living in the cars...well, I'm just (for lack of a better word) disturbed.  And grossed out.

Oh, and perturbed.  The rats haven't (yet) caused any damage but the two headlights on his cute fancy car that needed to be replaced?

$650.00.  For BULBS. 

How many flashlights can you buy for that amount of money?

We did what any people do who are just over reality right now...we ditched work and went to Disneyland.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.

I was starving when we got there so we shared a breakfast...a comfort food breakfast.  Biscuits and gravy.  Low cal?  Nope.  Cheaper than therapy? Yep.

Nuthin' beats a good biscuit.

We rode the Haunted Mansion and then just walked the whole park, park hopped on over to CA Adventure, got a coffee and rode Soarin' Over California.  It was chilly (chilly in SoCal means I should have brought a sweater) and not at all crowded (love Disney in the winter) and it felt good to be in the fresh air.

We then picked up that guy that I like so much's car and I went one direction and he went another.  His direction was more expensive than mine because, I guess, we needed another something or other to make our lives run smoother.  Or faster. Or easier.  

I don't ask questions but apparently it is doing what it is supposed to be doing.  I'd rather it mop a floor or clean a bathroom, but speedier internet is more important to males than clean floors and toilets.


 Supper?  Grilled pork chops and a green panzanella...arugula, olives, cucumber, capers and grilled bread tossed with a basil vinaigrette.

I followed this recipe and it was super yummy. 


No spending of money.


No spending of money.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Weekend

A meet up at a local gourmet donut shop with a friend.  The flavors?  Maple/bacon, cinnamon crumb, pumpkin mousse, chocolate, and huckleberry.  Not shown?  A fig/marscapone doughnut that would knock your socks off.  These are simply the best donuts ever.  

Where?  Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa...recommended by a police officer.


Costco with my soon to be 20 year old.  He's a great shopping partner...frugal, fun to be with and strong.  The people giving the samples were probably irritated, but that's ok.  The kid likes his food...all 6'2" of him.

Feeding a houseful?

Not cheap.  Not cheap at all.  All three are home for the weekend and we're ready...4 gallons of milk, 4 loaves of bread, 3 dozen eggs.  Should hold us until Monday...if we're lucky.

Brian was up early on Saturday morning...his turn, at 15, to take the pre-ACT.  His weekend was packed, this youngest of mine.  Knotts Scary Farm, a basketball game, a surprise birthday party for a friend, and the test.

Pre-test breakfast?  Eggs in holes.  I'm not sure I can count how many of these I have made over the years...though I am pretty sure it is in the hundreds.

Saturday afternoon found me and my cat, on the couch, watching the Hallmark channel.

Peace and quiet is a gift, especially if you live in a houseful of boys.  Not complaining, at all, but I do like the quiet times.

My oldest, home for the weekend.  Life just feels right when he's back home.  Lots of brothers yelling at football, wrestling, throwing footballs, throwing each other into walls,  leaving their stuff everywhere.

It used to be legos and army guys.  Now it's bikes and basketballs and shoes and laundry.

Sunday morning, a clean out the fridge frittata.  Leftover roasted short ribs, potatoes, zucchini, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes.  This, some orange french toast and multiple pots of hot, strong coffee.

I'm behind schedule for this coming week...I normally like to have all my laundry done, my house cleaned and menus planned for the coming week before Monday morning hits and this weekend I did none of that.  I did spend lots of time with my boys and that is something that is not a normal thing these days...especially with my two oldest who are so independent.  

It's currently Sunday night and my boys have a houseful of friends over watching the Bronco's play.  I made a huge pot of gravy and pasta and meatballs and they're moving from sitting in the family room to throwing a football out front.  It's loud and quite crazy and I love that.

The house clean up and laundry and menu plans?

That all takes a back seat to real life.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let Me Tell You About My Day

This morning was just a no good, very bad morning.  It really was.  My phone rang at 6:00am and didn't stop for a long, long time, there was much drama in the world of crossing guards, I went to the hand car wash (in an attempt to save a few $$'s), used the big vacuum to suck up all the leaves in my car and accidentally sucked up the big pile of quarters that were in my cup holder,  and I broke three fingernails in one swoop.

And then my boss got irritated with me.  Again.  

So I ditched dodge and drove to Disneyland, monorailed it into the park, ordered a ginormous turkey leg, sat in the perfectly perfect shady spot and ate while reading a trashy novel.

Life was looking up.

After polishing off approximately 18 lbs of turkey, I wandered the park for a bit.  The weather was actually quite warm and in a moment of weakness, I bought myself an ice cream.

Me.  The girl who doesn't eat sugar.

I ate one bite and tossed it...but that one $4.25 bite?


Seriously, the sky is always this blue over Disneyland.  It's like Walt made a deal with all of So Cal that the smog will settle everywhere else but over the happiest place on earth...and all of So Cal listened.

Thanks, Walt.  


I came home and cooked...steak pizzioli.  It's basically just cheap round steak smothered in tomatoes and peppers and onions and cooked long and slow until that cheap piece of meat doesn't taste cheap anymore.  At all.

The problem?

The pot boileth over...all over my oven, which meant our little house on our little street smelled deliciously burnt.  

Thankfully it tasted just fine.

We then all face timed my brother in law, who was having a birthday today.  And how sad that this is the most we've seen them in the last few months and they live two towns over.  

Gotta fix that.

In honor of his birthday, and in honor of the fact that it's Wednesday, I baked him a cake, which promptly overflowed all over the our little house on our little street smelled deliciously of burning cake.


And when oh when was the last time you made a pineapple upside down cake?

For me, that was today.


Our neighborhood is always a party waiting to happen and just as I pulled this baby out of the oven, there was a knock on the door.

Good thing so I could send cake home with them, otherwise I would've eaten the whole entire thing.

Wait a minute.  I don't eat sugar.

Seems I keep forgetting today.

Yum to the tenth degree.  It was SO good.  No was mainly from a box and I just followed the directions.  I'm not normally a box kinda girl, but this might change my mind.


Happy, happy Wednesday.  Tomorrow I need to clean the oven, but first I need to finish my cake.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Getting My Fall On

 I am finally feeling like my home is my home again...the termite removal is complete (aside from having to patch and paint inside and a bit more repair work in the garden) and the workers have moved on down the block.  

They were nice, but I'm glad they are gone.  The workers, that is.  The termites were also nice...they were very quiet, totally kept to themselves and aside from eating away all the wood in and on our house were the perfect house guests.

Until they wore out their welcome.

I unpacked the Autumn decor the other day and can't find the front door sign.  I'm sure it's upstairs in the attic somewhere, but I've looked and looked and I can't seem to find it.  I'm also thinking of not getting a bale of hay and a cornstalk for the first time in a long time, but after all the dust and dirt of the termite repair, I'm leaning towards clean and simple.

I think it's fine just the way it is, but man oh man...pinterest makes me question everything.  


My work is kicking my butt lately.  There is so much to do and such a big area to cover; there's needy people and independent people and angry people and (sadly) incompetent people, complainers and go getters.  It's a....challenge to manage them all.  

Don't get me wrong, I like what I do...but lately it's just seemed overwhelming.  This morning I donned my pink tennies, got in my (free) company car that has a full tank of (free) gas, turned on the (free) satellite radio to classic vinyl and drove way, way south...and had to laugh.  I've got nothin' to complain about.

I am so thankful for all of it, but especially for the person who originally hired me.  She took a chance on a stay-at-home mom and that simple act has shaped the way I treat everyone I interview, train, work with.  Don't just judge a book by it's cover...because usually there is something pretty darn good in the middle pages.  If she hadn't looked beyond the cover...the cover that said that I hadn't 'worked' in 19 years, well, I wouldn't have had this job.

On the good days, I'm thankful.  On the not so good days....well, not quite as much.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Weekend

That guy that I like so much had a 4-day weekend...a weekend he so very, very much needed before the long push to Christmas begins.  We pretty much hung out on Thursday but on Friday?  

We got out of dodge.  Or Irvine, if you will.

Our original plan was to head to the The Getty, an art museum in LA.  Not sure how the plans changed, but by the time I sat down and turned on the seat warmer in his cute little car, we were heading south for breakfast.

Not just any breakfast, but my most favorite breakfast place...Snooze.

Snooze is just freakin' awesome.  It started in Colorado by one of our former babysitters and it just plain old knocks your socks off.  

Even their coffee cups are perfect.  Big, heavy, YELLOW...and expensive.

Oh well.

They are only open for breakfast and they have the bestest pancakes EVER.  Seriously, the cinnamon roll pancake is amazing...and so is the carrot cake pancake.  Oh, and the pineapple upside down pancake?

Heaven, people.  Heaven.

We just ordered a bunch of stuff...corned beef/poblano hash and eggs benedicts.  One was on a bed of polenta, the other had arugula/balsamic.

I almost can't handle the reliving of it.  Why does it have to be so far away????

Our dream would be to spend a night down there but, well...we have a houseful of boys and our parenting gig, while winding down a bit, is still keeping us on our toes.  Somewhere in our contract it states that we still need to be responsible, somewhere between the clause that says 'do lots of laundry' and 'cook lots of food'.


So breakfast an hour away will have to do...and then a long drive back home along the coast.

We stopped and walked along the beach...turns out the state beaches are open and parking is free.  Took some time to pray for all those not getting paid right now because someone else, who isn't affected by this madness, made that decision for them.  The nice person who works the state beach?  Not allowed to work and not being paid.  The people fighting in Washington?  Getting paychecks.

Not saying anything everybody doesn't already know, but it makes me very, very mad.

Back to our weekend.  

Home to laundry, a little Autumnal decorating, a card game or two and a leftover puff pastry that I stuffed with a little ham and fresh parmesan, baked until golden brown and served with a cocktail.

Or two.

Supper was beef stroganoff, which I make with roasted short ribs.  On the side?  A pan full of brussel sprouts (is it brussels sprouts or brussel sprouts?  Hmmm...) tossed with olive oil and lots of salt and roasted until crispy.

The adults loved them as did one boy.  The remaining males weren't as impressed.

Our nephew, who looks like my younger two (and acts like them too) came for the weekend.  

Lots of testosterone around these parts.


In conclusion...a surprise 75th birthday party,  church,  and a real Chicago pizza.

Can't wait for lunch today.


Happy Monday, everyone.  I'm hanging with my favorite 15 year old today...he's off of school.  Lucky him...lucky me!


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