Monday, May 26, 2008

Future rock stars??

Jackson may be the lead guitarist....

But Mia has future lead singer written all over her....

I know the video quality isn't so great, but it was taken on Kenny's phone. LOL. We were at some friends' house and they had a Rock Band game. Amelia picked up the microphone and just hummed along to Rush's Tom Sawyer. The way the game works, if you mess up too much (miss notes etc.), your turn ends and you get boo'd off the stage. Amelia lasted with the other players doing the guitar, bass and drums. She's a musical prodigy!!!! *wink*

Here is one more of her singing to Iron Maiden:

Jackson is more comfortable singing songs he knows the words to. I don't think he'll be good at improv at all. Some of you may recall his "American Idol" videos he did when he was two and three years old.

Jackson April 2006

Jackson April 2007

We DON'T live in the south. I suppose if we moved there, Jackson would take on a Southern accent pretty quickly- he seems to have the ear. ;-) I can't believe these were taken over a year (and two years) ago! Where does the time go??

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A bicycle built for FOUR.

We had a great evening last night. We went to Lake Murray to go ride on the quad-bike that Ellsworth (the company Kenny works for) has as a prototype. It definitely turned some heads...
What IS that thing??

How it works is there are four seats and four sets of pedals. The kids couldn't reach them, so Kenny and I did the pedalling. Each set of pedals has its own shifter and it took us a while to figure out the best way to shift up and down for the many little hills at Lake Murray. Four adults could get this thing cookin'. I didn't want to get it going very fast because a) we had precious cargo aboard and b) I have a huge race coming up and don't want to be battered and bruised from falling off a bike. :-)
The kids really enjoyed themselves. They looked at the lake, the people walking their dogs, birds etc. I hope that Ellsworth manufactures these bikes because I definitely think there is a market for them. At least there was plenty of interest among bikers and walkers along the trail at Lake Murray.

Friday, May 23, 2008

We may have a future bibliophile...

Or at least I hope! I actually hope that both my kids have my love of books and reading.

Last night Kenny came home from work late. It was well after 9 p.m. He was able to tuck Jackson in (his bedtime is around 9), but Amelia was already in bed (we put her down at 8). He went in to give Amelia her kiss (he does this if she is sleeping or awake). She was still awake. She is often known to talk to herself and play in her bed for an hour or more. What Kenny found warmed my heart. I now kick myself for not going in and seeing myself, but I don't want her to stay awake longer than she needs to.

Kenny found Amelia laying in her bed with her legs bent. She had a book propped up on her thighs and she was calmly turning the pages to her book. She looked up at Kenny as he kissed her and continued to read her book. She has a reading lamp next to her bed and we leave it on dim when she goes to bed. I'll go in sometimes and find the lamp turned up. I guess I know now that she turns it up to read.

How can I be upset at her staying up late "reading" when I do it myself on a regular basis?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You know you've done something right.....

when your son makes you proud when you aren't even around. My job as a parent is to instill values and a sense of right and wrong in my children. I hope that they behave as though I am there watching them.

Jackson spent the day with our friends' daughter. Lisa had to work all day and she had a sitter for her girls. She thought that having Jackson there to play with would take some of the boredom out of being in the house with a sitter all week. Apparently, Jackson behaved well and he and Kristen had a great time.

The pride I felt came when I said to Lisa, "I hope that Jackson was good." She replied, "Jackson is always good." We all know that isn't true, but it is so nice that he has that reputation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crock pot roast beef....a failure of a meal

I actually consider myself a pretty decent cook. I make simple things that taste good. I am also married to a man who isn't a very picky eater. This combination makes mealtimes incredibly easy (except for the kids, but that is another post entirely). He is easy to please, so I can experiment and try new things without much risk. No matter what I make, Kenny eats it. He will give feedback if I ask and let me know when something wasn't his favorite.

Tonight's meal wasn't even an experiment. It was a simple roast in the crock pot. I figured that it would be easier to do the crock pot so I could get some other things done around the house. I threw in some carrots and potatoes. I browned the roast on the stove before putting it in. I added some water and some lipton onion soup mix. Various recipes indicated various times. I set it for 6 hours and turned it off after 4 or so.

It was HORRIBLE. The meat was super super DRY. Way overcooked. It also had very little flavor. I would have been better off roasting it in the oven. Even my hubby who likes everything didn't have a second helping. He did, however, raid the fridge and eat some leftover pasta. *sigh* Oh well.... you can't win them all.

Any suggestions for cooking a roast beef in the crock pot? Am I better off cooking it in the oven?

Monday, May 19, 2008

New and improved hubby on the way....

Kenny is getting hip surgery on June 6. It has been a long time coming. He has had a bad hip since I have known him. Actually, it was re-injured when he was in Costa Rica with his friends right before our one year anniversary of finding each other. He hasn't been the same since.

For the next few weeks, he needs to eat a diet high in iron in preparation for the surgery. It makes sense, but it also seems like a convenient way for him to get steak every night ;-) So during the same time I need to add carbs to my diet, he needs to eat steak. Hmmm... it seems like there should be some sort of nursery rhyme in there-- "he could eat no carbs and she not too much protein...."

I also have to be prepared to give him shots in his stomach. Eek! I am the most squeemish person I know. I know that subcutaneous shots are the easiest to do and the needles are small, but I can't even look when they give me shots, let alone my kids. Actually giving the shot? All I can say is good thing it's true love.

I am nervous and excited. Obviously, I am nervous because this is major surgery. I am excited for Kenny to be pain free. At least his hip will be pain free. I'm not so sure about the rest of his body. In the past 6 months he has torn his MCL, sprained his shoulder and came very close to crushing his heel/achilles. I hope that the hip surgery will be the beginning of a completely pain-free year.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Strange karma going on....

For some reason my electronics mojo is suffering! Yesterday, my favorite toy, my iPod (and the speaker case it was in), was lost at the park after bringing it to playgroup for a dance party for the kids. I am just sick to have lost it. I had hoped that a child (or even I) had put it on the wrong stroller and that I would get an e-mail that one of the moms had it.

Then, my cell phone took a poop. I can't hear anyone when I am connected. When I use the headphones, I can hear, but no one can hear me. I took it into Verizon and they couldn't fix it. I am not 100% confident in that person's ability due to her utter lack of caring, but she did reset it to factory settings and it still doesn't work. I have never been in love with that phone anyway.

EDITED: I got a brand new Razr for free from Verizon by renewing my plan AND Jen found my iPod and speaker!!! Yeah... the universe is back on track.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Man....doing a post a day is tough!

I missed another day! I suppose I could cheat and change the date, but that wouldn't be keeping with the spirit of things, would it? I'll try to do two today to make up.

This is yet another story about Amelia. I feel like I write more about her. But she is two and I want to remember all the cute things she does. I have forgotten so much of what Jackson said and did when he was two.

The other day, Amelia told me that she wanted to go pee pee on the potty. She sat there and I got close so I could listen for the tinkle. She pushed me away and said, "go, Momma...I need privacy." Jackson is barely wiping himself and Amelia fights me to do it saying, "I do it!" That little girl is my independent one.

Now... if I can just get her to ask to go pee pee in the potty before she goes in her diaper instead of after.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

our little princess...

For a while now, getting pajamas on Amelia has been a battle unless they were one of two PJs. She will gladly wear her Dora jammies or her princess jammies. On those nights when I havent' done a load of her clothes and neither jammies are clean, it is a battle of wills with this independent little two-year-old. It is either convincing her of the merits of flowers or polka dots or forcing them on her in an all-out battle. Neither are appealing after a long day.

SO.... I decided to buy additional jammies that would excite our little girl who is every bit of a two-year-old girl. Thanks to Jen, I found Disney Princess nightgowns at fabulous prices at These were seriously good deals (i.e. $2.99 for a nightgown). I found four velvet nightgowns of various princesses. When they arrived today, Amelia was SO excited. She started taking her clothes off to put them on. "No," I said, "not until after dinner for night-night." The minute dinner was over, she was asking to wear her Princess jammies. She chose to wear Princess Aurora tonight (from Sleeping Beauty).

Look how flippin' CUTE she is!!!!
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And Jackson wanted to show off his new jammies too! FYI... Jackson is NOT picky about which jammies he wears, but he has discovered Power Rangers recently and can't get enough....
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Singing herself to sleep...

Amelia is the funniest kid. I am not sure if I can remember the last time she just went to sleep quietly. She talks and sings for at least a half an hour (sometimes it is well over an hour). Kenny and I often hit mute on the tv just so we can listen to our daughter on the monitor. Lately, she sings more than she talks. Much of the time she sings made up songs. Sometimes they are recognizable songs. For example, the other day I heard her sing Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty. She loves to take her Cinderella doll and Prince Charming and have them dance together while she sings that song to them.

It makes my heart melt.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone! Mine was extremely uneventful, but not altogether unpleasant. We decided not to go to Dana Point to see Kenny's parents because we all have a bit of a bug. Amelia is the worst... she is FULL of snot. She coughs at night etc. I have some chest congestion, but am feeling ok. I think all this exercise, eating well and supplements is helping my immune system. We didn't want Kenny's dad to be exposed to infection. He is very sensitive to that right now... It was a bummer because we haven't seen them in a while.

We didn't do anything. In fact, we were downright lazy. We barely got out of jammies all day. Kenny and I watched nearly the entire Lonesome Dove mini-series (we watched Part 1 last night). Kenny made me breakfast this morning (or was it afternoon LOL). We ordered pizza for dinner. The kids played with bubbles in the backyard and watched a few *blush* movies. It was a nice, relaxing day.

oops... I missed a day in May!

So much for that quest *blush* I was so tired last night that I didn't really think about posting.
I ran the twenty miles! It was great. I am composing a post with more details in hopes that my other blog will get up and running soon. It is going on a week *sniff sniff* I feel REALLY good about my run. It was HARD, but I am pretty sure I'll be able to tack another six miles onto it in a couple of weeks. I was pretty sore today. I used my "stick" and worked out the worst spots. I think I'll be fine by tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wish me luck!

Since I don't have my running blog, I thought I would post a quick note here about my run tomorrow. We are running twenty miles. That is something I never thought I would actually do. I have a mixture of excitement and nerves. I have actually been looking forward to it. I have had a stressful week and the thought of over three hours of doing nothing but listen to music and chat with friends is nice. I am nervous because...well.... because it is TWENTY MILES. I really want to finish strong so I have confidence in my ability to do the additional six.

I'm off to bed. In a few hours I will be running. Yay me!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Blogger vent...

I have two blogs. My original blog is what I have used to document the huge undertaking of training for my first marathon. There are blood, sweat and tears in the words on those pages. I started this one to talk about the non-running stuff like my kids, my thoughts on random things etc. While I love the things I write about here, the running blog is something incredibly meaningful to me. Several friends and family check in and read it and it encourages me daily.

I didn't know how much that blog meant to me until I lost it. Or at least I thought I lost it. When I clicked on the link the other night and it said that it had been removed, I seriously freaked. I panicked that one of the kids had accidentally hit a key or something when I left the dashboard up on the screen. I was in tears. Now I know that I over-reacted a bit, but at the time, I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of losing so much of my journey. My friends have told me that it means a lot to them, too. It documents the journey for Laura, Lisa and Jen as well.

I did finally figure out what happened (after my computer locked up and restarting it), I found this message:
"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive."
That was Tuesday night. It still isn't back. All it needs is a human to click on it once to realize that a computer did NOT generate my blog. What is taking so long???? I feel naked without it. I have had several e-mails from friends asking me where it went. I had just registered with a running blog forum and I was getting hits outside of my circle of friends/family and it was cool. I was getting support from other runners. Now I may have lost some of those people.

It irritates me a LOT. Now I am wondering if I should move to another blogging site. It really isn't fair. What if I was using that blog for my business somehow? And if you have a computer generated screen, why not just e-mail someone and make them jump through a hoop or two to prove they are a human rather than just removing the entire content?????? I mean, for crying out loud, they make you fill in numbers/letters to prove you are not a computer before commenting, why couldn't they do that to make sure your blog is not some sort of "link spam."

Just writing about this makes me mad. I think I'll go to bed now.....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jackson's grin....

These pictures were taken sometime within the past year. I believe that they were taken (from left to right) in August, December, March and April....

It is one thing that makes my day. I can be SO mad at him for some reason or another, but if I look over at him and he has that big grin, I'm toast. Unfortunately, he doesn't smile all that often when I am angry at him. Luckily, neither he nor I stay angry very long. He can go from crying one minute to happy-go-lucky the next.

He used to do this thing when he was younger (around 2 or 2 1/2). He was (and still is) a bit of a whiner. So I would tell him that I didn't hear him when he was whining. He would get this big ol'
grin on his face, tilt his head to one side and say with animation, "I'm not whining." I think he thought that the lilting tone of voice and big grin would fool me.... and it did.
This picture was taken when he was 2 1/2.
God, I love that kid.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's Tuesday!!

I am excited for Tuesdays because I get to enjoy my guilty pleasure. I tune in every Tuesday night to listen to my new favorite singer. Yes... my guilty pleasure is American Idol. I know I am not alone on this one.... millions of people do it.

So who is my favorite? David Cook, of course. He is the best one on the show and probably one of the best singers out there right now. I love his voice and his music style. I have already purchased three or four of his songs off iTunes and will most likely purchase his album when it comes out. He is incredibly talented.
I used to make fun of people who watched American Idol. I thought it was silly and brainless. I completely understand how it might drop me down a notch in some people's opinion. Oh well... Sometimes we need silly and brainless. It is one of those shows (along with America's Funniest Home Videos) that we can watch as a family. Well... Amelia is in bed, but Jackson enjoys American Idol and what can be wrong with an hour of music? Heck... the last two seasons, Jackson's favorites have been different than Kenny's and mine (Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks). Ironically, his favorites were also the favorites of the majority of fans where my favorites didn't win (Blake Lewis, Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry).

So there it is. My guilty pleasure is out there. Judge me if you will......

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo!

It used to mean such different things when I was younger. It was a day to party. There was always something going on on May 5.

Today is just another Monday. I am making tacos for dinner and I am planning on drinking a nice cold beer tonight. That is my homage to Cinco de Mayo of the past.

Do I miss the partying days of Cinco de Mayo? Nope. I wouldn't trade it for the world. This is exactly where I want to be on May 5, 2008.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Note to self: pay it forward to someone this week...

We had a good weekend. On Saturday, we went down to Coronado and watched part of the Red Bull Air Races over the bay. It was pretty cool. Sean and Suz were there and it was so nice to see them. We really don't see our old group of friends very often any more. Sometimes Kenny and I wonder if we saw them more when we lived in Palm Springs. I know we had more quality time because people would come out and stay with us for a weekend at a time, not just a party or afternoon of volleyball every few months.

Oh... the nicest thing happened. Parking was a nightmare down there, so Kenny was in the process of dropping me off with Amelia and the stroller while he and Jackson went searching for a place to park. As I am unloading, a woman comes up and asks if we need a parking spot. She had a great spot just across the street and wanted to give it to us because we had small children. HOW NICE! I promised her that we would pay it forward. Unfortunately, by the time we left, nobody was looking for parking anymore. I will definitely remember that I owe somebody a good deed like that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Post a Day in May....

I may be just a follower, but I am new to this whole blogging thing and I thought this was cool. I saw on Penny's blog a challenge to post every day in May. I thought, what the heck. It might also help get traffic to other blogs. Penny's blog was linked back to her friend Jenny, who came up with this cute little design for the challenge.

So to any of my blogging friends, I issue you the same challenge to do a post a day in the month of May.

Friday, May 2, 2008

sweet girl of mine....

My friend, Heather, told me that I need to write down the cute things my kids do. Isn't that why I started this blog to begin with?

Every day and night after I read her a book, Amelia and I say her prayers as part of a bedtime routine. We say them before naps as well as at night (so I guess our family and friends are getting doubly blessed *wink*) Lately, this is the time when she gets very snuggly. She puts her arm around my neck (I am laying in her bed with her) and I usually stroke her hair or arms or back. She gets her face really close to mine and on particularly sleepy afternoons (or nights) she starts to whisper some of the names.

Her prayers always end the same way:
Mommy: "Who loves you most of all?"
Amelia: "Mommy Daddy mo' m'all..... and Jacks-non" [Mommy and Daddy love me most of all...and Jackson]
After this... she pushes me away and says "seep deems" [sweet dreams]. On the lucky days she also says "I 'ove you too, Mama"

It really does make everything worth it, doesn't it?

For those of you who pray...

I don't pray much myself, but I do believe in the power of prayer.

Our friend, Mark Arnold, is in the ICU with severe pancreatitis. He went into septic shock two weeks ago where his organs shut down. They don't know what has caused this. It is scary to hear about a very healthy 44-year-old (only a year or two older than Kenny) having such a health scare. Mark has been a world-class athlete and still stays in shape.

Here is a link to the website they have set up to keep friends and family updated:

So any prayers you can spare for this great guy and his wonderful wife would be much appreciated. Jill is so strong, but this isn't easy for her. It also can't be easy for their two teenage/preteen kids....