October 31, 2012

Returning to Normal

Well, Hurricane Sandy was quite the cranky bitch. I'm very thankful that our home did not suffer any damage and did not lose power during or after the storm. I suppose having underground wiring is a big plus in situations like this. However, our beloved shore towns have been utterly battered. The pictures and news reports coming out of the damaged areas are heart breaking.  I have a few friends who own property at the shore and they are hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

During the height of the storm, the boys were playing in the kitchen with the dog and Gunner jump up and pushed my younger son right into the corner of the counter, splitting open his eyebrow. Did I mention I didn't have a car at the time? I quickly texted my neighbor who is a nurse to see if she was home - she was - so she came over to take a look.  He did likely need a stitch but we decided the "trauma" of getting one stitch wasn't worth it and used steri-strips instead.  It turned out to be a great decision. The cut looks great! We are also treating it with Mederma, hoping that will minimize any scarring. Last year he smacked his face into the front door and got a nasty scrape on his cheek that left a tear-mark shape scar on his cheek. It seems to be fading but you can still see it.  I really wish he'd stop scarring his handsome face!

Gunner drove me n.u.t.s. during the storm. He would not go to the bathroom outside, even if I stood out there with him holding a freaking umbrella over his head.  He eventually let loose in the kitchen, first pooping ... and then peed the entire perimeter of my kitchen not 10 minutes after I cleaned up the poop.  Then I drank wine. Lots of wine.

My poor husband had to work during the storm. A police officer's job is never done, you know.  I hope he kept his temper in check last night.  People *love* to call 911 for the most absurd things during storms.  They had someone call 911 and asked if the police would go check on their cat ... yes, this happened and happens frequently.  I was happy to hear his department was handing out $500 tickets to people who were out driving during the storm (for no authorized reason) and got their cars stuck in flood waters. Maybe that will teach them to use some common sense!

School is back in session today but Halloween has been postponed until Saturday. A bit overkill for our neck of the woods but gives us more time to work out the costume situation.

Happy Halloween!

October 26, 2012

The End is in Sight

Football season is almost over. I'm very excited. Don't get me wrong, I like watching my boys play but the time commitment is huge. This is our third year on this football team so I clearly know what to expect but still, I'm happy when it's over.  We all need a break.

It's also been a long year due to our problems with my older's son coach and other adult drama that seems to plague children's sports e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  It's getting old. I don't understand it and I try to stay out of it because it really is pointless. I'm all for having hopes and dreams for your kids but when it makes you look and act like a complete asshole, I think you need a reality check and admit whether you are doing it for you or for your kid.

We won't be staying with our current football team next year. I don't have much hope that it will be different on the other team but one can hope, right?  This new team is a  "feeder" program for the regional high school my sons will eventually attend so if they want a shot at playing high school football, this is the right move.

October 25, 2012

Nutella Cookies

Aother recipe that is all over Pinterest.

I was skeptical that I'd actually end up with edible cookies.  But since I had a jar of nutella that no one was eating, I figured I had nothing to lose.

Just 3 ingredients:

1 cup of nutella
1 cup of flour
1 egg

Mix that all together. The dough will be stiff. I did add a few drops of water so that I didn't break my wrist or my spatula. Rolled into balls and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees ... and presto, cookies that taste like brownies. They really taste like brownies! My picky 10 year old likes them so I'm calling this one a success!

October 24, 2012

Easy Halloween Costumes

I don't know about your house, in my house, deciding on a Halloween costume is torturous.  My boys really don't enjoy dressing up. But since they both still have Halloween parades at their schools, dressing up is expected.

I do not like spending a lot of money on costumes anymore. When they were younger and I picked the costume, I spent the money. But now I'm older, wiser, and don't want to spend buckets of money on overpriced costumes for what amounts to about 4 hours of wearing the costume.

I'm all about simple costumes. Wordplay costumes are my favorite. Below are some of my favorites:


~ Dress in pink and carry a feather ... You are tickled pink.

~ Attach Smarties candies (w/ the wrapper still intact) to your pants ... You are a smarty pants.

~ Pins socks, dryer sheets, etc to your shirt ... You are static cling.

~ Wear a shirt with a large question mark on it and tape popcorn to it ... You are a pop quiz.

~ Attached a picture of an enlarged quarter to your back ... You are a quarterback (currently trying to convince the 8 yr old to do this since he is, in fact, the quarterback for his football team)

~ Wear rain gear and attached cat and dog stuffed animals to an umbrella ... It's raining cats and dogs.

~ Take a stuffed dog and attached it to a long-sleeved shirt ... You are an attack dog trainer.

~ Dress in a suit and attach legal documents to yourself ... You are a law suit.

~ Carry a toy airplane ... When asked what your are, hold it in your hand and say, "I'm an aircraft carrier."

~ Put a sign on your shirt that says "Go Ceilings!" and carry pom-poms(?) ... You are a Ceiling Fan.

~ Attach a muffin to you hat ... You are the Muffin Man.

~ Wear all white and paint/attach a yellow circle on your stomach then add horns and a pitchfork ... You are a deviled egg.


~ Dress in all black and tie a shot glass around your neck .. You are a shot in the dark.

~ Wear all black and put an enlarged postage stamp on your chest ... You are black mail.

~ Wrap yourself in wrapping paper with a tag that says, "From: God, To: Women" ... You are God's gift to women.

~ Attach sugar-cubes all over yourself ... You are a Sugar-Momma/Daddy.

~ Using a box, cut a hole for your head. Attach a book, tissue box and lamp ... You are a one night stand.

~ Put crosses all over your clothes ... You are a cross dresser

~ Wear an extra-large bra over your clothes. Stuff it with spices ... You are a spice rack. My 2nd Favorite!

~ Attach unlit cigarettes to a hat ... You are a butt-head.

~ Using an empty box of cereal, attacha toy knife and some fake blood ... You are a cereal killer.

~ Wear normal clothes and make a sign that says, "Nudist on Strike!"  MY FAVORITE

~ Wear all white and attach old cups, paper plates crumbled paper to you ... You are white trash.


October 23, 2012

We Have Ears - Again

German Shepherds are known for their large ears standing at attention all the time. Those ears are naturally supposed to stand up, usually by the time the pup is about 4 months old. But they can go up and down during this time while the puppy is teething.  Gunner's ears were both up for a short period of time but then one went floppy.  We contacted the breeder and she linked us to a few sites that had suggestions on how to help get that ear up.

We decided to glue it. It was that or tape and he recently had an annoying infection in his ears so the tape and the moisture it would trap underneath it didn't seem like a good option for him.  The Tear Mender glue is supposed to hold for about a month and then should just naturally wear off.

It only took Gunner a week to get his ears apart. But it worked!

You have to admit, he's a handsome boy at only 6 months old. Let's hope that ear stays up because I don't want to glue it again. We haven't figured out how to get the residual glue off ... hoping that time, a little bit of baby oil, and gentle snipping will take care of it!

October 19, 2012

Lost and Never Found

Note the date.  We are already missing one zip-up hoodie.

Did you take it off and leave it on the bus?


Did you leave it on the playground at school?


Did you leave it in your classroom?

No, I checked.

THEN WHERE IS IT? Because you wore it to school but it didn't come back home!

I'm considering buying a glittery purple hoodie with butterflies and rhinestones all over it - and they can wear that when they can't keep track of their stuff.

Is that mean?

October 18, 2012

Party Scenes

Well look at that.  This party was only 10 days ago and I uploaded the pictures already.  I'm on a roll!

October 17, 2012

Christmas is Coming ... fast

This Sunday my son is celebrating his 8th birthday with school and football friends at a local bowling alley. It's a bit late, yes, but it was the best we could schedule with football and other family obligations.  Now that his birthday is technically over, I have to start thinking about Christmas.  It's daunting.

The boys are getting older.  My 8 year old does not play with toys so buying gifts has become increasingly difficult.  I realize Christmas is not all about gifts but to kids, that's most of it.

I've thought about taking a trip somewhere, maybe take them skiing. They've never been skiing and we keep saying we want to take them but we haven't.

I've thought about buying a new TV and gaming chairs for the (unfinished) basement so I can reclaim family room TV from the PS3 system. The toys we do have are down there now. To have the ability to shut the door to the noise when they have friends over to play video games would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

I've thought about buying a new family computer but the thought of transferring my iTunes account and all of the pictures off the old computer makes me want to run away and hide. I also don't want to spend that money just yet.

Can we have Skip-a-Christmas this year?

October 16, 2012

Weekend Recap

~ 5th Grade Camp was a big success. He had a great time. He didn't starve. Nor did he shower ... but hey, he brushed his teeth each night!

~ My mother moved to a new apartment over the weekend. She has moved 6 times in the last 8 years. I asked if she's done now because we are done moving her. She has so much crap - it's bordering on hoarding. She still lives like she lives in a 4 bedroom house.

~ Why does she move so much? Well, she finds the smallest issues with a place and blows the issues out of proportion. The reason for the latest move? At the old apartment building, there wasn't air conditioning in the hallways. Seriously.  We live in NJ not the deep south!

~ With this last move, she gave my brother a garment bag with a note attached to it.  The notes says,

"Bury me in this dress 
Love, Mom" 

After reading the note, my brother asked her, "How long do we have to wait?"  Love him!! 

~ My mom turns 66 this year. She's in good health but I think she might be crazy. I know she drives us crazy!

October 12, 2012

Redbox is My New Best Friend

The cost of NFL game tickets is insane. It's a huge scam, if you ask me.  I've been wanting to take my boys to an NFL game for some time now but the ticket prices are making that impossible.  I refuse to spend at least one thousand dollars on FOUR tickets 10,000 rows from the field. And that $1k would only cover the cost of the tickets!

I don't think so.  I'd rather take that $1k and fly somewhere fun instead of funding some thug's undeserved huge paycheck. Do I sound bitter? I am.  I think each team should be required to designate one home game each season and make it affordable for families to attend. The added bonus here would be we wouldn't have to worry about the drunk guy with a colorful vocabulary sitting near us.

Then this morning, in my email, a ray of sunshine!

Redbox is now selling event tickets with only a $1 surcharge! Are you kidding me?

I LOVE YOU, Redbox!

That email alerted me to an upcoming Villanova Football game.

I purchased FOUR tickets to this game  - center field - row SIX - for $54 dollars. $54! 

Suck that, NFL!

Redbox, I love you ... I really, really, love you!

October 11, 2012

5th Grade Camp

Yesterday my 5th grader left for camp. His school takes the entire 5th grade class on a special trip every October.  It's anxiety inducing for parents who cannot chaperon for one reason or another. But on the other hand, it's a great opportunity for him to exert some independence and not have Mom there to save the day.

He was in tears before he left which had me in tears too ... but I kissed him good bye and told him it's normal to be nervous, he's going to have the best time, and he'll always remember his 5th grade trip.

So far, so good.  And lucky for me I have a friend who is chaperoning this trip with her daughter. I have a spy!  She has sent me a text a few times to let me know that he's fine.

Last night around 9pm my younger son was really feeling the absence.  He said, "I guess I know what it's like to be the only child. I don't like it. I have no one to play with. When does he come home again?!"

Awww ... he loves his big brother. A feeling that isn't exactly reciprocated!

5pm Friday can't come fast enough!

October 10, 2012

Delicious Pumpkin Muffins

Have you stumbled upon this delicious recipe yet? I've seen it everywhere online, including Facebook.  Two ingredients. That's it. They even taste better than the pumpkin muffins I purchased from my grocery store's bakery a few weeks ago - and everything from this bakery is typically very good. But not this time. These muffins are better!

Two ingredients.

A spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. That's it. 

Mix them together, plop batter into muffins cups, and bake.  In my finicky oven, the muffins were perfectly baked after 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Oh, and let me know if you grocery store is running low on canned pumpkin. I'm curious. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and at my store, there was only 1 can left on the shelf! Is there still a shortage or are people hoarding canned pumpkin? Maybe that many people are making these yummy muffins!

October 9, 2012

The Awesome Snackadium

Are you familiar with a Snackadium? No? Well, let me show you what my version looked like:

It was party time over at my house this past weekend. And in my never ending quest to do something fun while simultaneously making my sister-in-laws mad at me, I constructed this beauty.

Everyone loved it. Many versions of this show cut up hot dogs to simulate football players on the field but I ran out of time and decided to leave them off.  No one missed them.

The field goals are yellow straws with a wooden skewer glued in with a dab of hot glue and then stuck into a thick square of cheese to make sure they stand up - and they did! Never fell over.

I used salsa, ranch dip (with a dab of green coloring gel or you could use guacamole) and cheese dip as the field. Sour cream was used to created the lines on the field.

One long loaf of italian bread was used as the barrier, secured together with toothpicks. Then it was simply filled with a variety of snacks. Easy, right?

Easy. And a great table centerpiece for any football party.

October 5, 2012


Today my baby turns 8 years old. According to him, the best gift is the fact that he does not have school today or on Monday. So he got a 4 day weekend birthday gift from our school district.


I have to keep saying it over and over to make it sink in. If you closed your eyes and listened to him talk, you'd swear he was 16.

I'm in so much trouble with this one.

But he still climbs in bed with me in the middle of the night. He still sleeps with two receiving blankets he's had since he was a baby. He's still my monk-a-chunk.

Happy 8th Birthday, Son.

Please time, slow down!

October 4, 2012

Football Birthday Party

My older son has had a  football themed birthday party for three years in a row. Now my younger son is joining in with the monotony. I say that with love, people.  Since they are 10.5 and almost 8 years old, I guess I can't expect them to still want a Batman or equivalent birthday party.

Since I've done so many football parties, I have many football decorations in my arsenal of party supplies that I get to reuse and/or re purpose.

But with every approaching  birthday, I always search the Internet (and now, Pinterest) for some new ideas and printables. Below are some awesome free printables I found with working links that print correctly!

1  http://www.astepinthejourney.com/2011/09/are-you-ready-for-some-football_06.html




Happy Printing!

October 3, 2012

To the Vet - Again.

Dog ownership is fun!

The puppy has a yeast infection in both ears.  It smells nasty and he keeps flipping his head all over the place.  Poor guy.  Now I have the pleasure of squirting cream in his ears twice a day for the next two weeks.  If it doesn't clear up, we will have to start looking for the cause. It could just be an annoying thing that will pop up every so often or he could have a food allergy.  So let's hope it clear up!

The only fun thing about going to the vet is seeing how much he weight he's gained since his last visit about a month ago.  He gained 20lbs IN A MONTH. Dude!  He now weighs 65lbs at just over 5 months of age.

While we were sitting in the waiting room, another patron was gushing over Gunner and how beautiful he is. And as usual, people are always shocked when I tell them his age. And then she said,

"Did you want an elephant?"

That was funny. No, I didn't particularly want an elephant but a dog is not a dog to my husband unless it weighs 100lbs or more. No doubt he will surpass that goal!

October 2, 2012

Science Project

After a weekend of football, many drinks with friends to celebrate our anniversary, and two birthday parties, I also had to squeeze in time to help my 3rd grader with a science project. Yipee! I love projects. They are my favorite.

They are studying the solar system during science class so it just screams "project"!

Because I knew we were short on time, we googled to see how we could make this as easy as possible and discovered that yes, you can make the solar system out of candy.  Candy is right up my kid's alley so I figured why not.  We went shopping at the Dollar Store for our supplies.

First we found a shoe box and painted the inside withe black acrylic paint.  Two coats did the job.  The "sun" already came with a black elastic cord attached to it so it made the perfect sun!

Because I'm lazy, I didn't take pictures at every step of the way. I was even burned during the process ... but here is our result:

The details:

Each child had to pick a planet to report about. My son picked Mercury so we also hung Mercury, an orange jujubee, and the rest of the planets were glued to the back of the box.

Venus = a mini nonperil
Earth & Mars = m&ms
Astroid belt - rainbow jimmies (should have used white glue instead of a glue stick but it worked)
Jupiter = puff mint
Saturn = yellow gumball with a gummie life saver glued around it
Uranus = green jujubee
Neptune = blue sour gummy
Pluto = purple nerd (might be hard to see)

Then we poked small holes through the back of the box to let light in which represent stars. Total time to complete this project, along with the written portion, was about 2 hours. Not bad.

You want to know how I was burned?  Son decided to mess with the hot glue gun even though I told him twice to leave it alone, don't put another stick in ... and as those words are coming out of the my mouth for the second time, glue is squirting out of the gun. So it was grab at the glue or the hot glue lands on his leg. I took one for the team.  My middle finger/palm on my right hand was burned pretty good.  I may have cursed, loud. It really hurt!!

Project #1 of the school year is complete!