October 31, 2009

Happy Haunting

It's chilly in the arctic (39°F), but at least it's not raining or worse, snowing. We had the ILs over for white chicken chili yum before Hubby and Chunky went out. The rest of us waited for Sassy's boyfriend - evidently his mother was checking his homework. Do other parents do that for their teenagers? He finally arrived for the inevitable 20 questions and off they went. I handed out candy for awhile but it was mostly older kids. I miss the little kid stages - princesses, pirates and Disney characters. My kids say that's so "uncool". Now the darker, more macabre, the merrier.

How did we go from this -

to this in four short years?

October 29, 2009

Driving Miss Sassy

Sassy drove for the first time tonight. I picked her up from driver's ed and surprised her by bringing her up to the gradeschool parking lot while Chunky was inside for basketball practice. He "made" the 5th grade team as a 4th grader - no tryouts, just needed more players. Sassy did fairly well, only a few curb swipes. I knew stopping was going to take some practice, but I really should have worn something thicker where the seat belt hits - I'm pretty sure I have bruises. It was all good though - she's got to start somewhere sometime.

Minnesota Dreamin'

October 26, 2009

Photo Shoot

I am bound and determined to send out Christmas cards with photos AT Christmastime this year unlike last year when I ended up sending Easter cards :)

My friend and co-worker Emily is starting a photography business and offered to do a photo shoot with the kids. It was a little chilly but the local park was a beautiful setting with the leaves changing colors and some sun. I was a bit of a stage mom at first (stop hitting your brother, quit acting like a dork), but loosened up after awhile. The photos turned out awesome! They're all so good - it's definitely a tough choice.

Thank you for putting up with us Emily!

October 25, 2009

Sassy Story #1

Sassy attended a montessory-style "center" from age two through kindergarten. She absolutely thrived there (Chunky, um not so much - but that's another story). I recommend it highly and one of the things Sassy liked most was the weekly field trips. The school is very conveniently located within proximity of two intersecting freeways. It's very close to where my husband grew up and we lived nearby. The kids almost always took a school bus for field trips and the shortest route to the nearest freeway was turning east from the center. One day when Sassy was about four or five, the bus headed west. I can't recall where they were going, but the teachers practically ran over one another when I arrived at the end of that particular day to tell me about the first 10 minutes of the bus ride. Every one of them was laughing so hard it took a few trys to get the whole story.

Just west of the center is the cemetery where hubby's grandparents are buried. Sassy saw it and yelled, "There's my cemetery!" I'm sure everyone was impressed. Just west of that was our bank where my BFF (and Sassy's godmother) worked. So only a minute later, Sassy yelled, "There's my bank!" Again, everyone was duly fascinated. Just west of that was a business we knew well - it was owned by hubby's best friend's family (the friend now owns it) and hubby was welcome in "the back" when he visited. As soon as she recognized it, Sassy jumped from her seat and exclaimed with great glee, "And there's my liquor store! My dad is there ALL the time!" We are legend at that center.

October 24, 2009


I wasn't sure what to name this post - Scarred for Life or Goodwill.

This morning hubby and I were discussing our plans for the day while Chunky was outside picking up doggie doo. I mentioned that I may drop some things off at Goodwill. Evidently this got hubby in a "charitable" mood and next thing you know we were making hot fudge sundaes. This is the point at which Chunky barged into our bedroom. I should note the door was closed, tight. He says he may never be the same.

October 23, 2009

Cute Cherubs

I took a half day today to work on my school assignments - group project and another paper. I couldn't help myself though - I just had to stop by MPB's house to see [my] baby Nora. She had on the most adorable pink sweater onesie with argyle pattern. I could eat her up she is so cute. Speaking of cute, here's a photo of Chunky and my BFF's youngest, Eva. BFF and her three girls came to one of Sassy's games a couple of weeks ago. Eva is a sassy, spirited ham. Everyone - people we didn't even know - remarked how cute she is. Good thing! Chunky was so super spirited in his younger days that I would say it was a good thing he was cute or he'd be out on the curb. I also said he was cutest when he was sleeping. Parents can say things like that - we live the challenges with love in our hearts. Now I simply refer to him as "the cherub".

October 21, 2009

La Vida Loca

It's pretty much the same old crazy around here.

Sassy's team won the last game of the season. Yeah! She's #14.

Today was Sassy's first day of driver's ed. gulp! She'll be 16 in February so we figured it was probably time. She informed me she needs at least 7 hours a week practice in the car before she can take her permit test. I. AM. NOT. READY.

Chunky is doing his thing - between Club Penguin, reading his favorite book and building a model car, he barely fit in time to carve a pumpkin. I'm not sure what's going on here. I'm thinking it's either a sidelight or very symmetrical scar.

I'm half way through my first grad class! My first paper was due two days ago - I submitted at 11:20pm. Nothing like getting it in under the wire. My second paper is due next week. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend?!


October 16, 2009

Colds (and the cold) Suck

I have been absent from blogland for an extended period as I battle a hellacious cold. I got a flu shot (regular not H1N1) last week and the very next morning my throat was really sore. It was downhill from there. I'm feeling more human with each passing day, but Peter, Paul & Mary I didn't know someone could have so much gunk in their nose/head. I sound like a dying goose when I blow my nose.

It is cold and rainy (sometimes snowy) - earlier in the season than normal though this is the arctic. I hear El Nino is making a comeback but won't believe it 'til I see it. Not a lot of other things to report. Sassy's team won their second to last game of the regular season so just one more to go. I believe they're B Squad conference champs. I bought Chunky another Halloween house kit, but one of the furry kids got into it and ate the gingerbread and powdered frosting right out of the bag. I went to the grocery store last night and one of my purchases was bite-sized candy bars for my work candy jar. I should have acted on my intuition to leave the candy in the car, but was lazy and left it on the counter. That was dessimated within two hours of being home. Geesh, some people's kids. I have class tonight, coffee with my BFF tomorrow morning (my lovely niece plays violin for the Minnesota Youth Symphony and practices nearby), my mom comes home from Italy so we'll be catching up by phone, and I'm making apple squares with my in-laws on Sunday. It will be a fun-filled, action-packed weekend. Oh, and my first grad school paper final is in three days. My professor wrote a note on my draft that I have a tendency to use run-on sentences. Picky, picky.

October 10, 2009


Sassy's team had another pairing against their main rivals (remember this post last month?) two days ago and it was not pretty. They lost. Bad. This has been their only regular season loss (they came in second at a tourney last weekend). Fast forward to today - tournament with four teams, including the rival and the team they came back from behind to beat earlier this week. They won all four matches!

I've noticed some bad sportsmanship lately - by parents! On Sassy's team and others. It's disappointing. I'm a vocal supporter, but I just don't think it necessary to yell derogatory remarks about the other team or to make it seem like a lost point is a failure. You can't win all of the time and you never know when someone from the other side may be your friend, neighbor, coworker or in a position to render aid someday. Lighten up, Francis.

What am I going to post about when the high school volleyball season is over? Well the JO volleyball season is right around the corner and Chunky starts basketball in December. One of these days I'll post some deep thoughts. I've been pretty busy studying and writing papers for my grad course as well as some revelations at work that are timely given my study of leadership and ethics. LOTS to think about. I'll admit I've reached the point where I'm a bit weary and overwhelmed - I tend to overthink anyway, buy now my brain is on overload. Add to that a hellacious cold and my head just hurts all the time. Someone out there is calling me a whiner. Don't judge me!

October 7, 2009

How 'bout them ...

Sassy's team remains undefeated as they made an AMAZING comeback tonight. They lost the first set by 11 points (25-14) and I figured they were done - they were just completely off. They were losing the second set 24-17 and came back to win 28-26 (sets play to 25 points but must be won by two points which means they clawed back 7 straight points to tie and then won one back for every one the other team won). They won the third set 15-10 with Sassy winning 8 of those 15 points!

Following Sassy's game we went out to eat and catch the Twins vs. Detroit Tigers game for the AL Central championship. It was a nail biter through 12 innings and it looked like the Twins were going to give it to them on a silver platter when the bases were loaded in the 11th. Way to go Twinkies!

October 6, 2009

Not So Favorite Things

Edible Craft Projects - No sign of the haunted house today. We think the furry inhabitants of our home ate it (we just pay the bills). Not one crumb to be found.

Headbands - I cannot get these things to stay on my head for the life of me. I've tried every kind imaginable. And if I do get one to stick, I have a blazing headache a couple of hours later. Is my head mishhapen or are these things just pure evil?!

Gum - I have a love/hate relationship with this treat and I'm currently in the hate phase. Two words: intestinal gas. It's not pretty I know, but we've all had it so let's not be pretencious okay?

Puppy Press-On Nails - In a moment of desparation at attempting to save the beautiful hardwood floors when we moved to our new (old) house, I purchased these. Bad idea. For the record, I only bought them in black.

Twitter - I think it's a cult. I just don't think any good can come from constantly updating others about my goings-on or whereabouts. It's bad enough I've asked people to read this blog!

October 5, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation - I have porcelain (okay, ghostly) skin and have a hard time finding foundation to match. I've been using the lightest shade of Bare Escentuals for the past few years and like it very much, but sometimes I want something with a bit more coverage without being cakey. This stuff is light and has a wide spectrum of shades. The price is nice too. I found this in Sassy's makeup bag while on our Up North vacation (ah, the joys of five people sharing one very small bathroom - rummaging through your daughter's stuff).

Trader Joe's - What's not to like?! I love their dried fruit and trail mixes. They always have beautiful flowers for a beautiful price too. On a recent visit I scored a fresh guacamole kit - 2 avocados, 2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove and 1 jalapeno pepper. It was nirvana. The Reál Sangria I enjoyed with it was excellent as well :)

Silpat Mat - Easily the best piece of kitchen equipment I've ever purchased. It makes cleanup a piece of cake! It works equally well with handmade delicacies and frozen cookie dough 'cause I'm not always channeling my inner Martha.

Crock Pot Liners - If summer means it's time to fire up the grill, then fall means it's time to simmer up the slow cooker. There is nothing like having a meal ready and waiting after a long day of work or play. These are pure genius - line your pot, throw in ingredients and cook; when all is said and done, lift out the liner and toss. Easy peasy.

Chico's - Three words: Garanimals for adults. The philosophy behind Garanimals is that by making it easy to choose coordinated outfits by themselves, children gain self-confidence. 'Nough said.

October 4, 2009


We had a family cleaning bonanza today. The kids were sooo excited. I'm sure you can imagine. We spent the afternoon chilling, though for me that means I'll still be doing laundry 'til 10pm. Sassy took still life photos for her digital photography class and Chunky helped me decorate a bit for Halloween. He also decided to tackle a craft project. These are a cross between letting your wee one go hog wild with their creativity and volunteering for more cleaning as everything needs to be hosed down and de-gooed. If you're a mom of kids over 12 months, you know what I'm talking about. When Sassy was little I'd set her up with a mat and an apron, everything just so for collecting all the creativity that didn't make it on the desired object. With Chunky I just give the kid a roll of paper towels and tell him not to wander too far from the kitchen sink.

Craft project: Haunted Cookie House

Decorating ideas from the box -

Chunky's final product -

He's a bit of a storyteller and said he thought his house had been in a bad storm or tornado. I responded with something like "oh, that makes sense." To which he replied, "Mom, that kind of hurt my feelings." What can I say, the truth hurts sometimes and I'm all about giving him the tools he needs to be a well-adjusted adult. That and all my sugar-coating skills have been snuffed out by cleaner fumes.

October 1, 2009


Sassy's volleball team is undefeated! It's very exciting and Sassy's skills are improving with each game. She is a middle hitter and made great attacks tonight as well as blocks and a couple of kills. They have a tournament this weekend and just four or five more games until the end of the season. It would be nice to see them finish on top. I hope I didn't just jinx things but I don't believe in bad luck - I got married on a Friday the 13th and have a black cat (my third one no less). It's freezing here in the arctic (I know, what do you expect) - hubby finally callled it when we could see our breath and turned on the heat. Do you hear the sound of money flowing out of our front door? ch-ching. Homecoming is tomorrow night but I have class so may not have photos as hubby is not as adept at recording milestones. I say that tongue-in-cheek as I'm the mother who forgets the camera for visits with Santa. Smile kids and hold the memory in your heart :)