April 27, 2011

New Word Wednesday #15


– noun
– a scolding or a long or intense verbal attack; diatribe.
– a long, passionate, and vehement speech, especially one delivered before a public gathering.
– any long, pompous speech or writing of a tediously hortatory or didactic nature; sermonizing lecture or discourse.

–verb (used with object): to address in a harangue.
–verb (used without object): to deliver a harangue.

April 25, 2011


Chunky has always been a "spirited" soul. As a toddler, he was a whirling dervish. He was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder at 15 months and attended weekly occupational therapy sessions for a year to work with boundaries, impulsiveness and adjusting to multiple stimuli which the average person processes organically. We learned a lot of techniques which served us well over the past several years. Recently however it's become clear Chunky is struggling. He's forgetful about the most basic things, interrupts at home and school, has a lot of challenges with completing school work, especially on time, and seems to take the most difficult route possible to get things done (often resulting in being reprimanded). The tried and true techniques used in the past just weren't working. There was an undeniable nagging feeling we needed to take the next step - a thorough behavioral/psychological assessment. He took a battery of exams over the last couple of months, including IQ, behavior and mood. The counselor obtained information from us as well as his teachers and engaged Chunky in "talk therapy" to detect any underlying issues. Read: is it because his mother is crazy

The good news: Chunky has a high IQ (89% above average), is resilient and very self-aware (understands he has trouble processing and tries to do his best to work through challenges). He does not have low self esteem, anxiety or any learning disorders. Nor did they mention the crazy mother thing He does have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This means the chemicals in his brain do not work the same as the average person's. The counselor described it as lacking the "just do it" trigger in the brain. Those lacking this trigger use every other area of their brain to process and organize information which means they often take the most difficult way possible to accomplish the same thing as the person with the "just do it" ability. Those with ADHD can't engage this trigger without help, which is often medication due to the need for an effective/efficient chemical reaction. Interestingly he has been high functioning for the most part due to OT experience and our advocacy. Now however he is in the onset of puberty and the wires are getting all crossed again. He even sounded different on the phone the other day - I almost cried when I realized his voice had changed slightly
So our next step will be to work with Chunky's primary care physician to determine if medication would be appropriate to help him focus. I was relieved when I heard the diagnosis - I knew in my gut something wasn't right and it wasn't just behaving badly. I knew he needed help but I wasn't sure what or how much. I am a little sad that my cherub has a condition with some stigma associated with it. The goal now is to figure out which tools will help him reach his full potential and become a happy, healthy, caring, productive adult. Lord willing we all make it

April 24, 2011

Frohe Ostern!

Today is our first day of sunshine in a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time and we thoroughly enjoyed it. This morning we had a traditional German brunch at one of our favorite places. Here is Sassy and Papa going at it - while the accordionist plays "Beer Barrel Polka".

April 20, 2011

New Word Wednesday #14

In honor of Will and Kate's impending nuptials I selected one of Britain's top 10 favorite words.

- short "i"
- to complain fretfully: whine
- predates whine as Old English ancestor mean to "moan"

April 18, 2011

Drop out

After much soul searching and a weekend of insanity, I have decided to drop my Marketing course. It was just too much. I had a 9 page paper due tonight (one week ago was first class) and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Also, the course ran until the first week of July. Yuck! I'm not dropping out of grad school, just taking the Spring term off. I've come to terms with the fact that I can't be all things to all people. I need to get my work life in order and take a breather. ahhhhhhhhh A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have a feeling I will sleep very well tonight. zzzzzzzzzz

April 17, 2011


It appears Sassy lost the camera battery charger in Europe so I haven't been able to share some of my favorite photos from her trip. Nothing a $30 universal charger from my home-away-from-home (Target) can't fix.

This is the Rose Window at Notre Dame. It's also the logo for the University of St. Catherine (my grad school) -

Port of Hercules in Monaco -

New friends sitting on a wall overlooking the Mediterranean -

I 'heart' you -

Just for good measure, I thought I'd throw in the flowers Hubby brought home yesterday. He was out of town for my birthday and wanted to make it up to me. I told you he was THE BEST flower picker-outer ever!

April 15, 2011


Ba-bye 4.0. I got an A- in Finance - better than a B and definitely better than I thought I did. Nonetheless it breaks my 4.0 streak for the previous four classes. Excuse me while I cry in my beer and pizza while writing my Marketing paper due in three days.

April 13, 2011

New Word Wednesday #13

– noun
– the making of profit out of sacred things

I looked up this word after watching The Borgias. I swore I was only going to start one new cable series - Camelot - but thanks to my MIL I am hooked. It was on while Chunky and I were over at their house the other day and I immediately came home to look up if the events were true. We Catholics have some nasty skeletons in the closet. Good Gravy.

April 12, 2011

Real Housewives of the Arctic

Chunky had a Dr appt yesterday and I planned on taking only a half day off of work. But it was so beautiful out and with all the craziness going on up in that place the past couple of months I decided to take the whole day off. Decadence I was a carefree, no job, all the money in the world, real housewife for a day. It was totally awesome. With Chunky at his appt, I took myself to breakfast at Cupcake. I had the Caremelized Onion and Gouda scramble with rosemary potatoes and purchased four cupcakes to go. Surprisingly two are MIA After I took Chunky to school, denying his requests for McDonald's at 11am, I went to Barnes & N0ble and Macy's at the local mall. No. one. was. there. Heaven I purchased two gardening magazines for back yard landscaping inspiration and a sun dress. Then I went to the post office. Unfortunately it was almost 1:00 so there were lots of people there on their lunch break - I didn't plan that one very well. Then I went to my home away from home - Target. They missed me - I hadn't been since yesterday afternoon. I fully expect them to yell my name like Norm from Cheers one of these days I returned home and continued living the life of the rich & famous by taking a nap. I am not a napper but it felt fantastic to recharge for an hour before going to a 3 hr class I greeted my cherubs home from school with a cupcake and a smile. Then I left for grad school where I met a friend from our very first class nearly two years ago for dinner in the cafeteria before we started the fun that is Marketing. The class was awesome - a far cry from Finance. Though I have a 9 page paper due next week. This is why I eat cupcakes :) No scandals, no botox - just a carefree day in the thawing arctic.

April 11, 2011

First Date

Chunky went on his first date yesterday. With his mom. And his girlfriend's mom. We took the kids to see Hop - it was better then I expected - and then hung out at MD's house for a little while. Chunky opened all MD's doors for her and used his best manners. He was all Axe'd up and smelled like a proper tween boy. No hand-holding, but I'm sure their fingers lingered a little in their shared popcorn :)

April 10, 2011


Kudos to AccuWeather for accurately predicting this past winter's record snowfall and freezing temps. I am making a prediction that Spring will be fantastic! I can't be too far off - compared to the winter we had anything looks good, right?! We saw deer in the front yard last night, ducks this morning and it's going to be 70 degrees. Things are looking up!

Friends will come and friends will go,
The seasons change and it will show,
I will age and so will you,
But our friendship stays, strong and true.
Happy Birthday, my BFF!

April 9, 2011

Houston, We Have A Girlfriend

Chunky has a girlfriend! MD is a girl in his class and he is head over heels. He's been dropping hints lately - a big one is his paying more attention to grooming habits :) Last week he stayed after school to help set up for Game Night (he's on Student Council) and stayed late to clean up. I had a PTA meeting at the same time so asked Sassy to pick him up. I expected to find a very grumpy, tired boy when I returned home but instead found a hyper, giddy one who couldn't stop beaming. I casually asked if it was a girl who had made him so happy and he answered 'yes'! I asked who and he wouldn't tell me until I threatened to ground him (I may have followed through on it, not sure). I know MD well - unfortunately she missed a lot of school last year as she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and in the hospital for many months with ATG treatment and platelet transfusions. She's doing very well now - of course she's "dating" my son - and is a darling girl. They were both appalled that MD's mother and I corresponded via email about our "sweethearts", but with all the texting and such these days it's important to stay connected and monitor boundaries. Chunky asked to attend her swim meet at the big University last weekend - I thought that was a little too much and we had other plans. Yesterday he called to tell me he was going to the fish fry at school. I asked if MD would be there and of course her Girl Scout troop was working the event! Off he went on his bike with $4 in hand. So cute!

April 6, 2011

New Word Wednesday #12


- noun
- pharmacology
- a
substance used to bind the contents of a pill or tablet.

I've heard people say the generic version of a brand-name drug doesn't work the same which seems illogical since the generic equivalent* uses the same chemical as the original brand; however, it is not uncommon for the excipients to be different which could result in a difference.

* a generic therapeutic alternative is a drug with different chemicals but intended to have the same effect

April 5, 2011


I can't believe I wrote 22 posts in March! I was a stressed-out hot mess last month. I must have been posting when I should have been writing something for work or school. I haven't posted that much since November 2009 when I wrote a post a month and it almost killed me (and bored y'all to death I'm sure).

April 4, 2011

Who moved my cheese?

I called home on my way from work and Sassy requested that I make her favorite dish for dinner. It just so happens her favorite is pre-prepped and ready to cook from Let's Dish. I suggested she get it started since she is perfectly capable and has volleyball practice at 7:00. She greeted me at the door and we got to talking. All of a sudden I realized the dogs were nowhere in sight. I asked Sassy if she started dinner. Yes I asked if she left the bags out on the counter. Yes I thanked the Lord immediately that I always kept cream cheese and Parmesan on hand because I knew these key ingredients were no longer in the pre-prepped packaging. So here's what we're having for dinner - thought we'd share because it's delicious, even if the furry kids ate the cheese.

Risotto-Style Chicken With Asparagus

Prep To Freeze: 10 minutes
Time To Cook: 20 minutes
6 servings

3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 cup instant rice 3
Tbsp chicken base
2 teaspoons minced garlic, or 2 cloves, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup fresh/frozen asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (substitute green beans or broccoli, add 1/2 cup red bell pepper if desired)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 ounces cream cheese

Place chicken in gallon size freezer bag and seal tightly. Place the rice, chicken base, garlic, pepper and olive oil into a sandwich size freezer bag and seal tightly. In another sandwich size bag combine the asparagus, red bell pepper and cheese. Seal. Wrap cream cheese in foil (or use fresh when preparing meal). Place the chicken bag, rice bag, vegetable bag, and cream cheese into another gallon size freezer bag. Seal and label. Freeze flat for storage. Use within two months.

To Cook: Set the cream cheese out to soften while you cook the rice mixture. Place the frozen rice mixture into a skillet or wok. Add two cups hot water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked (medium to medium-low heat). Stir in chcream cheese and contents of the vegetable bag into the rice mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and asparagus is tender. Sprinkle with bacon before serving.


April 2, 2011

April Fool

The only things I'm expecting are a "B" in Finance, to quit my job and join the circus (I expect it will be saner), and to serve giant pickles and ice cream amongst other things at my fourth year running the Spring Fun Fest kitchen (past posts here and here). Those are the only reasons I'm plump, tired and cranky!

Today is my birthday. My friend MPB came over last night and we partied in the garage I may or may not have drank a half bottle of sangria, hiccup. I slept for awhile (I don't sleep for longer than 4 hour stretches lately), watched the new Starz show 'Camelot' (great show and I've had a huge girl crush on Eva Green since 'Casino Royale') then slept in. My mother called this morning and I received four cards in the mail yesterday - I feel very loved. I'm waiting for Sassy to get up and then we're going to get pedicures. My in-laws are taking me to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner and then Chunky and I have a hot date to see the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. A great day!

April 1, 2011

Pickles and ice cream anyone?

Have you noticed I've been looking a little "thick" lately and am tired, and perhaps a little cranky, all the time? Well ... there's a reason. We're expecting!