Monday, May 31, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Raving in the Backseat

Couldn't help but post this video of Ethan dancing his pants off in the backseat. He literally danced like this for 10 minutes straight!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Mom Called me a Bore

Notice anything different?

I actually had my hair done (not well, I might add) for Mother's day. My beautiful sister decided she would spend her hard-earned mula to break me from my comfortable long black do.

I liked the fact that

1. I got to spend some girly time with my mom and Sissy, but mostly

2. that I didn't have to pay for it.

But I had reservations.....

My mom ended up taking us to this lady that she goes to. We went to this lady's house and she propped me in front of a mirror in her family room. "She used to work at a salon," my mom reassures me. Apparently, I looked a little worried.

I really didn't want to color my hair. I've dyed my hair ONCE my entire life (on a spur of the moment kind of thing in Italy years ago). And guess what... I dyed it jet black! Ha! Talk about adventurous.....

"You're boring!" my mom finally said. "You shouldn't look older than me!"

True, I thought. I shouldn't look older than her. So I popped my big girl pill and (with hesitatation) agreed to everyone's suggestion to chop my hair off and put blonde highlights.

You know when they say stick to your first instincts?? Well, let's just say I wasn't a happy camper when this lady was done. I was so mortified, Sissy had to dye it back to black that same night.

Well, it's been over a week and a half and the black over-the-counter dye is now starting to fade so my highlights are coming back. They're more subtle than they were that fateful Saturday, but I'm afraid it's going to go back to the chunkly platinum blonde highlights. For now, I'm trying to get used to it, but I think I prefer my long black hair. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ethan's First Tball Season

Well! The season's over... and we're all a little bummed about it. It was the first team sport we put him in, and he enjoyed it a lot... looking forward to every baseball practice and the "real game" on early Saturday mornings. The early wake up calls aren't going to be missed as much, but being able to give Ethan the opportunity to make friends, learn the fundamentals of a sport he clearly loves and learn about teamwork was priceless.

And because I was a bad mommy and didn't post after every weekend of tball, here's my sad attempt of a season wrap up.

The kids were all a hoot, 9 boys and 1 girl. They don't have much concept of "positions"... it's more like "whoever gets the ball first wins". For the first few games, the kids were like puppies climbing over each other to get the ball, arms and legs flying wildly in the scrum. Frequently, whichever kid won the ball in the scrum would just hold it up over his head triumphantly... then look around while the coaches and parents (including myself) yell "Throw it to first base!" Eventually, towards the end of the season, they started to learn to stay within their own boundaries.

But attention spans being what they are, each game would start to deteriorate a bit after the first two innings. The trick was to rotate the kids so that they all have a chance to "do something" other than wait. Seeing as we played 90% of the games on grass and not dirt, the balls didn't normally go past the pitcher's mound, so unless you were the pitcher, the short stop or the first baseman, there really wasn't much action to go around. In Ethan's case, there are times when he said he didn't want to play anymore because he didn't get the ball... but when he did get the ball, you would think the boy had just won the World Series. Their favorite part was batting and running around the bases. They all got considerably better in the few weeks they played, and Ethan especially loved wacking that ball as hard as he could!

He also loved being the catcher, or as we called it, the "Transformer". Putting on all that gear never appealed to the kids until we started calling it that, then everyone wanted to be the Transformer. Since the kids hit from a tee, the catcher's job was solely to get the ball thrown from first base and put it on the tee and sometimes tag the kids running to home plate.

During one of the games, several outfielders got into a wrestling match, which the coach decided wasn't worth the effort to defuse. There was one particular kid who would sporadically take himself out of the "game" and just hang out with the rest of us on the side. Ethan danced when he got bored......

The sidelines (ie makeshift dugouts in the outfield) were always filled with proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in lawn chairs, many with dogs and/or younger siblings trying on helmets that covered their whole head. One of the best parts of the season was watching parents step up to be base coaches. EVERY SINGLE PARENT of the kids on the team were at some point on the field cheering on every player (not just their own). Of course, I instinctively became the unofficial team photographer. Everything was so chaotic, not necessarily in a bad way, but most parents were too busy either coaching on a base or getting the next batters up ready, that they got too busy to take pictures on their own. I made sure all the parents had a chance to have some of those memories preserved....

Coach Mark and Coach Mando were great with the kids, especially Coach Mark. His kid played in the same league last year, but this was his first year coaching. Practices were at 4 on Tuesdays so my mom and dad took Ethan to practice, so my interaction with the coach was limited to the Saturday games.... but he was GREAT with the kids. He coached them no different from coaching his own. And the best part was that at the end of the season, he was truly and genuinely proud of each of one of them. So proud, in fact, that he ended up buying personalized trophies for all the kids (the league would only provide medallions).

The end of the season was bittersweet. Yes, these are only 4 year olds, and yes, there will be plenty more baseball seasons in our future. But this was his first. His first uniform. His first team. His first single. His first slide home. His first coach. His first trophy.

Way to go Ethan! Mommy and Daddy are PROUD OF YOU!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cedar Fair Announces Free Admission to Military Personnel

Just passing on another great deal from the generous folks at Cedar Fair....

They are offering FREE admission to active and retired United States military personnel on Sunday and Monday of both the Memorial Day and July 4th weekends as a part of its Tribute to the Armed Forces program.

[Click on image to go to their website]

Last year, we visited Knotts Berry Farm for free during Veterans Day weekend, and had a blast.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BOGO Sonic Milkshake

I'm technically trying to cut back on sweets, but if see a Sonic, I just might bite (no pun intended). Sonic is offering buy one get one free milkshakes through June 27. You can redeem your freebie at the time of purchase or on a future visit! The cool goodness continues on Memorial Day when after 8 p.m., the Real Ice Cream Sundaes are only 99 cents through Labor Day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five on Fridays: Five Lessons About the Way We Treat People

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz I was a conscientious student And had breezed through the questions until I read

The last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers,you will meet many people. All are significant.. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson.. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2 - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 P.M., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm.. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and
put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.

It read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's' bedside just before he passed away... God Bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's' wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying,

"Yes I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice,

"Will I start to die right away?".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I am Truly Blessed

A coworker shared something funny with me on Monday. Her son told her that Mother's Day is just an arbitrary holiday. Something that was cooked up, probably the same people over at Hallmark who supposedly cooked up Sweetest Day, with nothing more than the sole intent of generating sales.

Arbitrary or not..... commercialized even..... I love Mother's Day. My sentiments, of course, have changed since I became a mom myself, but I loved it even before I was blessed to join the club.

Mother's day, to me, is another time when we take stock of how we have been blessed in life.

I am blessed to have a beautiful relationship with my mom, who is always there for me no matter what. She raised me, taught me to be an individual, and made me who I am today. She taught me to be strong, to be brave, to be aggressive with my dreams, to be respectful, to be loving, to be grounded. She has sacrificed so much and have raised three strong-willed children.

My mother-in-law, who's become my second mom and despite having to deal with my crazy antics, have found herself attached to me and treats me like her own and has welcomed me into her family in every way. But because she lives thousands of miles away (she thinks I'm the devil for stealing her son away), I don't get to express my appreciation enough, but I hope she knows that I appreciate everything she's ever done for me and my family.

This weekend, I spent my time spending it with the people I love. It started with a semi-surprise breakfast in bed from Mike and Ethan, and then went shopping then to lunch with my mom, sister and brother (dad had to work). Nothing extravagant, just the company of the people I care most about.

Grrrr... the only pic we got with mom... and she decides to blink!

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. ~Honoré de Balzac

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along. ~Margaret Culkin Banning

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all. ~Washington Irving

There’s nothing like a mama-hug. ~Terri Guillemets

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not. ~James Joyce

It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it. ~From the television show The Golden Girls

My mom is literally a part of me. You can’t say that about many people except relatives, and organ donors. ~Carrie Latet

A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done. ~Author Unknown

All mothers are working mothers. ~Author Unknown

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. ~Jane Sellman

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Coupon: Save 30% off $250+, 20% off under $250 @ COACH FACTORY STORES

For Coach ♥ers (like me).......... and late Mother's Day shoppers........... :)

Click on image to print coupon

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Under the Vegas Sun

Weather forecast today is nice and comfortable with a little breeze at 75 degrees. It's a BEAUTIFUL day outside but I'm stuck indoors with the AC blasting and a stunning view of a concrete wall outside my window.

What I need is some sun.......... get some colors in these pale legs!

I did get a little bit of a tan last weekend when we all went to Vegas for a few days. Thanks to my mom's high-stakes "playing" habits (she will not admit she's a gambler), she can pretty much get comped rooms any time she wants. So north bound we went, and 4 hours later, we were in Paris........

I could only wish the real one is that drivable.

So we did a little bit of sightseeing -- checked out the new Aria hotel and the City Center that's not quite done with the construction. Spent a few hours at Circus Circus. Saw the Lion King Musical. Hung out at the pool with a margarita while sulking in the tragedy of not having a bathing suit that fit. No gambling for me, but Mike did manage to lose $60 on a poker table in 10 minutes (see why I don't like gambling?). But the highlight of the weekend was the buffet of all buffets......

Free rooms and all we could possibly eat in 24 hours for $30 in 5 different hotels. You had me at buffet. :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lifehouse + Daughtry Concert

For a (very) belated Valentines celebration -- it was a gift from me to Mike -- we went last night to see Lifehouse and Chris Daughtry (and band) perform at the Nokia Theatre in LA.

Now I've seen my share of concerts....

From two-stepping to Willie Nelson in the middle of Oklahoma July heat.

To my teeny bopping days with NSYNC (not to mention Britney Spears!).

To the gel-wearing college punk crowds of the Warped Tour.

And I have to say... I would jump on the first headline tour that Lifehouse puts out. I really enjoyed their show.. even though it was only 45 minutes long, AND the fact that they didn't sing our song ("Everything"). Hmmmmph!

Lifehouse performing "You and Me" and "Home" with Chris Daughtry - Nokiea Theatre

Bought the tickets from Craigslist back in January... and you never know these days, as much as you want to believe the goodness in everyone, I was still a little nervous about

1. the printed tickets that I bought would actually scan, and

2. that I would get seats that are different from what they advertised it to be.

But I was pleasantly surprised to sit 27 rows from the stage (although a side view) was still pretty good considering we paid face value for the tickets AFTER it had already sold out. It was a plus to sit at an aisle so Mike could stretch his knees.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Crawling Visitor

We had an unexpected crawling visitor last night... otherwise known as Jacob. I can't believe not too long ago, he fit in Ethan's arms perfectly...

Now, he's big enough to sit on Ethan's head!

Despite that, Ethan loves having him around. We can't help but think this will only serve as best practice for whenever he does get a baby brother or sister. He hasn't quite figured out yet how to "play" with him for more than a few minutes at a time since Jacob can't exactly reciprocate the excitement. Every once in a while, you'd hear Ethan "clicking" his tongue like when he tries to lure Bella (our dog).

Of course, you can tell when he starts feeling overlooked when he goes out of his way to get your attention.....


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