After almost a year of not using this bathroom and two(?) of being in various states of reconstruction, the powder room is finally finished, minus a few trim pieces that need to be put up and painted. But whatever. The toilet is working (again) and he connected the sink last night.
I snapped a few pictures this morning, but the lighting isn't the best as there is no natural light near this bathroom. I'll have to see if some better pictures can be taken on a brighter day (it's currently raining).
The counter top is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. And it should be for what is cost! Details soon. It was custom made (from Lowes) for this space since the measurements we needed were not standard. That's the same cabinet that was there before, once a honey oak. Painting it was a success!
I love the decorative faucet we picked.
And yes, the ceiling is a very light blue. It looks great with gray-slate tile floors.
I am wrapped and pretty much ready for go time. I have one more gift card to pick up this weekend and I'm done! I'm still waiting for one box (ahem, OLD NAVY ORDER that I placed on 12/11) but I did finally get a shipping notification early this morning so hopefully it will arrive by Monday.
Now it's time to focus on cleaning the house, finishing the baking and gathering what I need to host our family for Christmas dinner.
And that bathroom? Still not done. I think he's trying to see how far he can push me.
On Friday night, the boys and I (along with some help from my sister) prepared 100 PB&J sandwiches + a complete bagged lunch to be delivered to a local kitchen and passed out to disadvantaged people in the area. A wonderful mom I know does this every year and she called out for help this year and many people responded. As a result, 1,700 lunches were delivered on Saturday!
100 brown paper bags, labeled with an encouraging message
100 Christmas themed sandwich baggies
100 Nutrigrain & granola bars
100 juice boxes
100 pieces of candy
11 loaves of bread
4 small jars of peanut butter
1 large jar of jelly
... and about 3 hours of our time...
a priceless lesson for my boys to remember not all people are as fortunate to live in a warm house, with wifi and a stocked pantry.
My children have a serious problem adapting to cold weather. You'd think we once lived year-round in a warm climate like Hawaii, but no, we have been born and bred in NJ ... and they refuse to wear pants or jeans of any kind.
In years past I just set a date and said "no more shorts after 11/15" but after much backlash from them (and rising and falling temps), I pushed the date to 12/1 but they are still wearing shorts to school!
This morning there was actual snow on the ground and I told Boo to wear pants. You might have thought I told him the internet died and wifi ceased to exist - it was that horrible. Tears! Seriously? Over wearing weather-appropriate clothing? Someone please help me to understand why this is such a big deal. He told us he's "known for wearing shorts when no one else does" ... wait, what? Why is that a thing? You're in 5th grade! Am I seriously going to ruin his social stature at the age of 10 by insisting he wear pants during the winter? Am I being unreasonable here? They go outside at recess and he only wears a hoodie as a coat as it is!
One part of me says why does this matter, if he wants to freeze, let him freeze ... but the Mom part wants to stand firm, avoid any conflict at school because he isn't wearing weather-appropriate clothing, and for heaven's sake - it's 30 degrees outside - cover your chicken legs!!
School uniforms would be welcomed right about now.
It happened again. Another problem in the house. As if replacing the heating and air and the mini flood in the basement weren't enough ... let's add a leaky toilet in the master bathroom to the list. Not exactly a big deal, until my husband replaces the toilet and finds a corroded pipe, capable of bursting at any moment.
So then this happened:
Just what every one wants just a few weeks before Christmas!
Dare to ask why there are two holes? The Husband temporarily lost his mind and cut the first hole (near the window) in the completely wrong spot. Even *I* knew the toilet wasn't in that corner!
Don't you think we should be eligible for a discount from our homeowner's insurance? We proactively fixed a problem before it became a giant, messy claim!
The good news is we've been talking about getting the ceiling repainted so now that will happen. And if you're wondering about the never-ending powder room renovation, well, it's almost done. The walls are painted, new counter top is installed but it still needs some trim pieces and we need to buy a new faucet. We realized after hanging the new light and mirror that the faucet need to be brushed nickel, instead of chrome. And he still needs to reconnect the toilet and patch the wall in the kitchen from the other leak. All of that will be finished this weekend or you might see me on the news.
I was putting Boo to bed the other night and he was being his normal, goofy self. I was sitting half Indian-style on his bed and he starts poking at my leg, where your thigh meets your knee and he says,
"Wow, it's really squishy"
Nice, Boo, just what every woman wants to hear - that she's squishy...
As I get older, I find myself simplifying a lot of things and wondering why I made my life more difficult when my children were younger. I don't think I ever felt like I had to do anything to prove something to anyone, but it was just this sense of "I have to do it this way." I'm really not sure where it comes from. If anything, it probably comes from a place of wanting to do things differently from the way my parents did things, but that's not to say I had a bad childhood because I did not ... if any of that makes sense to you, you should be my new best friend.
Anyway, over the past two Christmases, I have scaled back on the decorating I do. And this year, I only put up one tree. It's throwing everybody for a loop! Soon they will insist I be committed!
Less is more, right? That's my new motto.
The Santa was a gift from my MIL many years ago. Her friend handmade him. He's made of wood and dressed to the T. He's fabulous. This year I adorned his tree with battery operated (with a timer!) LED lights. No cords - love it!
The Be Merry pillow is from Target's dollar section. It was $3, I believe.
I'm all about free prints on the Internet. They make fantastic, cheap home decor.
The (fake) flower arrangement was made by me a few years ago, complete with the Santa buckle tin vase.
The cut-out tree box candle holder I've had forever.
How is your Christmas Shopping coming along? I don't want to talk about it! Shopping for tween boys who no longer play with toys is hard. HARD.
In case you're curious, I'll be swearing off all news outlets for the foreseeable future. I wish one, just one, would get it right.
~ Brown was not a "teenager." Saying someone is a teenager, it implies a 14 year old boy. He was 18 years old, a legal adult, capable of voting, and larger than most adult men.
~ Brown robbed a store, using his stature as a weapon.
~ Officer Wilson was the RANDOM officer who responded to the call of the robbery and saw Brown walking in the middle of the street, matching the description given to him by dispatch, holding the box of cigars he allegedly stole. HE WAS NOT RACIALLY PROFILING BROWN. Brown matched the description of the person suspected in the robbery.
~ Can we stop saying that Brown allegedly robbed the store? He robbed the store. There is video to prove it.
~ Brown assaulted Officer Wilson while still in his police vehicle and as a result of that assault, Brown was shot and killed.
While I acknowledge that white privilege does exist and there are instances when black people are unfairly scrutinized, this case is not an example of that. The fact that people believe it is, makes my head hurt.
I don't have the answers. I don't know why Brown chose to not obey Officer Wilson's demands that day. But Officer Wilson had every right to defend himself that day, when his authority as a law enforcement officer was physically threatened. Was he supposed to just hand Brown his gun and run away?
I don't want to live in a society where the thugs win. If you're a thug - black, white, green, or purple - and you threaten a police officer's life, be prepared to accept the consequences. It's really that simple.
On Thursday night I was sitting all snug on the coach when my phone rang. My husband was being rushed to the hospital from work with horrible chest pain. So I gathered up child #2 so we could go pick up child #1 from football practice and headed to the ER.
When we arrived, things were calm but the boys were scared. They were trying to figure out what was causing the pain, since an EKG didn't show any signs of heart damage and thus, he probably did not have a heart attack (but were reminded that sometimes it doesn't show up right away on the tests.) So we waited for blood and xray results - all clear. By this time it was pushing 1am and we were all exhausted so the boys and I headed home. The Husband was staying the night.
The next morning came more tests and finally a diagnosis: pericarditis. "Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin
sac-like membrane surrounding your heart. Pericarditis often causes
chest pain and sometimes other symptoms. The sharp chest pain associated
with pericarditis occurs when the irritated layers of the pericardium
rub against each other." The symptoms of pericarditis mimic heart attack symptoms, which is what makes this so scary. He was released from the hospital late Friday afternoon with orders to follow up with a cardiologist for some other tests and with his general practitioner to test for various autoimmune disorders.
Saturday was spent recovering from the Thursday/Friday fun.
Sunday we watched a debacle. One live in person, and the other (gleefully) on TV. Our football season ended yesterday with a terrible loss. There's no way to sugar coat a 49-6 loss. But what we didn't count on was how the Eagles would lose in such spectacular fashion too!
Should I mention we a Dallas Cowboy fans?
Troy Aikman was rockin' that scruffy beard! Is he single?
I might be jinxing myself but I've reached the I-don't-care-point. This soccer season has been absolutely dismal. There is nothing good I can say about it. When your team goes from being undefeated to only two wins, 5 losses, and a tie - something is wrong. Something has changed. I can tell you what changed: the move to a Flight 1 team (we are not a flight one team - I wish someone could tell our Coach this!) and the focus on the "club" side teams. It's ridiculous!
The Coach made the announcement about a week ago that he would not be coaching this team in the Spring or beyond. No shocking information there! He's taking his kid and focusing on the club team. Bon Voyage is what I say! We do not want to sit in the back seat behind a coach that is focusing on the side club team.
I wish there was a national law prohibiting you from coaching ANY team when your child plays on the team.
We still have one more game scheduled for next Wednesday night. If practice is cancelled on Monday night, which it has been for the majority of this season, we will not be playing in the game. I will not subject my son to being yelled at because he's crossed into the wrong position or he didn't pass the ball well enough when it's clear that practice is not a priority. How can they be expected to play well together as a team if practice is always cancelled?
I'm done. So very done.
Football ... we've made it to Round 2 of the playoffs. Game is this Sunday ... stay tuned!
Sunday night we came home from celebrating my nephew's birthday and I had a burst of energy. I decided to put away the Halloween decorations I had around the house and put out the few Thanksgiving things I have. I went into the basement and I hear water ... and it takes a second to register and two thoughts immediately entered my mind:
1. I'm in the basement
2. I should not be hearing dripping water.
But there is was, a giant pool of water on the floor and water leaking from the ceiling. Care to guess where the water was coming from?
THE HALF BATHROOM, that we've been renovating forever.
It turns out that when The Husband planked the walls (about 4 weeks ago), he hit a pipe, piercing it straight through. The drip was probably slow at first until the nail started to rust and then came the waterfall.
So now I have a hole in the wall of the kitchen:
I am lucky my Husband is handy .... he saw off the damaged pipe and put a temporary shut-off valve on there while we let the wall/floor/ceiling dry out. The good news is my refrigerator covers this spot so at least there's that. The bad news is that once again I do not have a working toilet on the main floor. I'm convinced it's all a damn conspiracy.
Have I mentioned that The Husband did a similar thing in the master bedroom of our old house? He did. That little mess severely damaged the family room ceiling and rug in that house.
I've said it before - home ownership is not for the weak!
Because I'm lazy and pressed for time these past few weeks, I'm combining three Halloween-themed posts into one. You can thank me if you want.
On the right you'll see a wreath I made last month. The inspiration came from Pinterest, of course. I used a hay wreath, wrapped it in black satin ribbon, then used furry yarn to wrap around and around and around the wreath until it was covered. I secured the "Boo" sign using floral picks. The ghost was kind of pain in the butt. Originally I had plan to use a styrofoam ball but the size ball I needed was too big and wouldn't allow me to close my front door without squishing the styrofoam so I had to improvise. I balled up an old white undershirt. It worked and I'm a genius! I then added a few finishing touches - the eyes and ribbon - and called it done. I really like the way it turned out!
On the top left you'll see a cauldron of delicious cookies. I ordered them through Cheryl's using an awesome coupon code. I placed 3 orders, sending one to us and the other two to my SIL's. The total cost came in at $64, including shipping. The cookies were delivered on-time and they are fanfreakingtastic!! So good!! I'm planning to place another order at Christmas time. You can visit their website here:
Dinner inspiration smacked me right in the face while I was looking through the ad for ShopRite over the weekend. They had the recipe printed right there and all of the ingredients were EASY and some of them were free if you used your store loyalty card. I jumped all over that.
I don't often think of including sausage into our dinner rotation, mostly because I prefer leaner meats and The Husband and I are the only ones who will eat it. Cooking in my house is exhausting. Eating is a battle I refuse to have every night. It's just not worth it in the grand scheme of things to battle over so I happily cook when I want to cook. It's a beautiful thing.
The only thing I did to change up the recipe was I pureed the diced tomatoes. The Husband isn't a fan of tomato chunks in dishes so this solves that problem. Plus, I think it made the sauce cook up a bit thicker, more like a jarred pasta sauce so it was a win-win.
I will make this again! You could substitute chicken or ground beef if sausage isn't your thing. I plan to try that next time.
I've gotten a little lazy. I blame our schedule. I think it's week 7 and I think I haven't done this post since week 3? I've lost track. In my defense, Boo's soccer team had a 2 week game hiatus due to a blip in the schedule and Columbus Day weekend tournaments but we did not participate.
So let's recap:
Fall lacrosse ended yesterday with a "championship" win over an undefeated team. It was a crazy good game. We won 13-7. And it was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g. And I really hate 8am anything on Sunday mornings! Moving on...
Soccer games started back up yesterday and it was not a good day. There was no practice this past week due to rain and a 5th grade school-sponsored camping trip (Boo had a fantastic time!) so that did not help. We lost 4-1. I hate to pin a loss on our goalie but he literally dropped two caught balls which rolled over the line ... very frustrating the entire team. The current record is 1-3-1, which is crazy after we went undefeated this past Spring. I have so much to say about this soccer team but I'll save it for another time.
Football. The Varsity team is hanging in there (3-3, I think?) and the JV team is undefeated. Last night the Varsity suffered a heart-breaking loss. There was 20 seconds left in the game and we're on the 4 yard line about to score for the win and the ball was stripped away and recovered by the opposing team. It was awful ....
Now that lacrosse has ended, our weekends are looking a bit lighter. The final Varsity football game will be played this weekend. There is one more game on the schedule but that team was unable to field a team this year so it has been forfeited. The JV team has a few more games on the schedule, provided they aren't canceled (which is often the case with JV games.) Soccer continues until November! 19th!
Me? I'm ready to become a lazy, lay-under-a-warm-blanket winter slug!
I switched over to solely using laundry detergent pods well over a year ago. I was tired of buying and lugging the heavy liquid containers around, not to mention storing them. And the dripping down the sides of the containers - it's just a mess. The pods are so much easier and ensure you aren't using too much detergent which I'm fairly certain my husband was guilty of all. the. time. It's amazing to me how long just one package of the pods lasts.
I am not picky about my detergent. I'll use whatever is on sale. I've used the more expensive stuff and the cheap stuff and I cannot tell a difference in the way it cleans our clothes.
This week, Ajax is on sale for $1.99 per pack at my local grocery store. Since my stash of pods was running a bit low, I grabbed 2 packages. Out of boredom (maybe?) I decided to count the pods because surely, I paid for 40 pods so there should be 40 pods in the package, right?
There were 19 pods in each package. Not 20, 19! Seriously, Ajax?? I can possibly forgive being one short in one package, but in both packages I bought?
I called the 1-800 number on the back of the package and was met with a perfectly nice customer service representative who really didn't seem concerned about the issue at all. She did offer to send me a voucher for 1 new package of pods but I got the feeling she thought I was lying or crazy ... but alas, I'm not. I counted them 4 times, took a picture, and even let the 10 year old count them too. I opened the packages on the counter in my kitchen so it would have been easy to see if one dropped to the floor.
These packages were short 1 pod each, plain and simple. And now anal me will be counting all the laundry pods when I open the package!
Boo's birthday was this past weekend so we had our normal family dinner celebration. The weather ended up being perfectly chilly for the menu - Chili & Cheesesteaks - so it worked out perfectly!
Appetizers were pretzel bites, tomato-basil-mozzerella on toothpicks drizzled with a balsamic glaze (which we ended up calling them "Tomato People,") and Loaded Baked Potato Bites. Everyone loved them. You can find the recipes here:
I'm proud to say I made this soccer cake myself, using black fondant to make the hexagon shapes. If I had tried to freehand this part, it would have been disastrous.
Speaking of disastrous, my wonderful German Shepherd almost ate the cake. I had just finished cleaning everything up and was in the process of mixing a batch of cornbread when I turned around to see his paws up on the table and he was licking, eating - and oh my god I'm going to kill him - but as I screamed, he jumped back down and he had only licked the chocolate writing off the cardboard. Thank God!! Needless to say, he was banished to the backyard until I was completely done in the kitchen and could place the cake in a safe place. This dog has such a taste for chocolate it's almost ridiculous, especially since dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate!
Another birthday in the books and this one was bittersweet as my youngest son reached double digits and will ascend into tweendom soon. Give me strength!
I've been an eBay member for over 14 years. During that time I've bought and sold many things. I consider myself a "seasonal seller," meaning I sell some of the boy's clothing that is in great shape and worthy of reselling during the correct season. Over the past year I've been a bit lazy and I only had one small listing last spring but decided to get my butt in gear this fall and make a little money.
But the funny thing is, making money on eBay isn't what it used to be. They are essentially feeing-out all small sellers!! The fees are INSANE. Sure you can list for free now and add as many pictures as you want, but why in the world am I charged a fee on what I charge for shipping? I'm a fair seller and do attempt to not overcharge to ship an item but sometimes it happens. If a buyer isn't happy with what I'm charging for shipping, they don't have to buy it!!
I understand why they did this but they are killing off the small, home-based sellers with all the damn fees.
Here's an example:
I sold a costume for $8.05 and based upon the seller's zip code, eBay calculated the shipping costs as $6.00, which the buyer paid. The final value fee on the auction was .81 cents. The shipping fee eBay collected from ME was .60 cents. It cost me $5.35 to ship the item to the buyer while Paypal then charged me another .71 cents to get paid.
So let's add this up:
8.05 + 6.00 - .81 - .60 - 5.35 - .71 = 6.58 profit ... but that's $2.12 in fees, or 26% of the winning bid.
What I've learned is this:
On average, I will pay almost $2 in fees for each auction I list so it makes no sense to list any item that isn't worth at least $5.
Saturday morning were pictures for soccer and football. When we got home, I was a woman on a mission. I painted the ceiling in the 1/2 bathroom and another coat of paint on the walls. The toilet has been reinstalled but 2 walls still need to be planked. I'm hoping he finishes it up this weekend.
Saturday evening's football game was in an undesirable area so Boo and I didn't go. I watched The Fault in Our Stars. Target made me buy the DVD.
It was totally worth it.
Skipping the game turned out to be a good thing because the team got slaughtered.
Sunday morning we had lacrosse but no soccer game. My father is up from Florida so he spent the afternoon with us and we enjoyed a homemade lasagna and garlic bread for dinner.
It was delicious.
Monday was a glorious day off from work. The weather was sunny and chilly - my idea of perfect weather. I spent the day running some errands and finalizing from 10th birthday plans for my Boo. Double digits are coming up fast. It's bitter sweet.
So sadly, I just realized how much I've been ignoring this blog. Life gets in the way, I guess.
The most amazing thing happened last Saturday night ... at half time, our team was losing 40-19 and it was a safe bet the second half was going to be awful. Would you believe me if I told you we tied the game at 46-46 in the final minute?
Would you believe me if I told you we ended up winning the game in overtime, 52-46?
WE DID!! It was THE BEST second half of a football game I've ever seen!
Boo's soccer team also had great success on Sunday against a team that was supposed to be really good. They weren't a bad team but I don't see what all the stress was about ... we won convincingly by a score of 3-0.
Once again we had the way-too-early lacrosse game on Sunday morning ... it was a blow out. Our team was actually trying NOT to score. It was 18-0 by the end.
One day soon I'll have more to share. I hope?
New heat & air was installed yesterday. Just in time too because apparently I have seasonal allergies and I was on the verge of death! I really do like to open the windows on a cool night but I also like breathing ... decisions, decisions.
Fall sports are in full swing and we just wrapped up the first weekend of games. It was a busy one, that's for sure.
Bud's Friday night Varsity football game - lost 25-15.
Bud's Sunday morning LAX game - won! (I don't recall the score)
Boo's Sunday afternoon soccer game - ended in a 1-1 tie, both scores on penalty kicks (more on that in a minute)
Bud's Monday night JV football game - won 36-6
So as you can see, my 12 year old is a very busy guy right now and we're busy playing chauffeur to all of these events.
Soccer ... Boo's team was recently "upgraded" to a Flight 1 team. Do you know what the means? Yeah, me either. I am still baffled by how this is all considered town soccer since so much emphasis seems to be placed on the Flight status for our team. In a nutshell, it means we play the "best" teams in the area and play on a bigger field. In my opinion, after what I saw this past Sunday while playing on the larger field for the first time? NO ONE on our team is ready for it. Not one boy. It's too much for these 9 and 10 year old boys.
My son is feeling discouraged and he's still feeling unwanted due to the roster issue we dealt with back in May. I also recently discovered the coach lied right to my face regarding that roster issue. So all in all, it's safe to say this might be our last season with this team. We may sit out for the spring season or play soccer somewhere else. It's "town" soccer but it's run like a club and we don't play club soccer for a reason. It's sucking all of the fun for Boo right out of the game. He's (almost) 10 years old. It shouldn't be like this.
It may not be a gift they want but if they like the house cool, it's kind of a necessity.
Our A/C went on Saturday night. The unit was shaking so bad it looked like it was going to walk away. Then came the leaking. And the searing heat coming off of the unit. But inside the house it was still blowing cold air! So instead of risking a fire, we shut it off.
Please say thank you, Homeowner's Insurance Company.
We were warned a few years ago that we were on borrowed time with the unit so we weren't completely surprised. We are happy it happened now instead of the middle of July and lucky for us, the weather has cooled off this week so it hasn't been too bad, but still... ugh. What an expense.
We had one guy we know come take a look at it yesterday and another (who was recommended) will hopefully be coming later today or tomorrow. With any luck, all will be replaced by early next week.
The funny thing is, once this is fixed? I have officially replaced every key piece of equipment in my house in the past 6 years. We deserve a break and a lottery win, wouldn't you say?
When we moved into this house 6 years ago this week, I immediately hated the stove. The burners never lit without assistance from a lighter and the oven didn't bake evenly. I wanted the stove to die. Two months later and three days before our first big Thanksgiving Dinner at the new house, the dishwasher broke. A year after that we went away for a long weekend and came home to a refrigerator (and freezer) full of spoiled food. Good times. We replaced the dryer when friends of ours were moving and couldn't take their newish dryer with them. A year ago the washer died.
The one appliance I wanted to die for the past 6 years refuses to stop working! It's crazy, right? The old white stove was given its death sentence this week. Behold the beauty that now sits in it's place:
I now have matching appliances for the first time in six years.
And a double oven!!!
I was seriously giddy when the delivery guys showed up to install it yesterday. So I got two gifts yesterday: 1st day back to school and a brand new shiny stove and microwave. My kitchen looks completely different now that the "white" is gone.
Seriously, don't laugh. I'm aware this the longest 1/2 bathroom makeover e-v-e-r on record. I started removing the wallpaper two years ago? When we finally got serious about it, my Husband ripped out the toilet this past February so we've been without a bathroom on the 1st floor since then. And then the project sat. And sat. And sat. I love my Husband, I do, but he has ADD when it comes to home projects. He can do it and does a beautiful job but getting him to commit can be a challenge. I finally kind of lost it and let him know how ridiculous it is that it's still not done, he finally saw the light. It helps to have a son's birthday coming up too.
So here is where we stand now:
The floor is in and grouted - check!
Cabinet and doors are painted - check!
New light - check!
Wall planks are going up, about 70% done... filling in all the little nail holes won't be fun but the finished product is going to looks awesome!
Trim pieces going in...
With any luck, I'll get home today and the toilet will be installed!
Next up, painting the ceiling "Niagara Falls" (my Husband is against this, but I told him to "trust me" as he's told me time and time again ... it's his turn now!)
I'm hoping to order the new counter top this weekend once all the walls are done and I also need to pick out a new mirror.
I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Can we talk about the onslaught of advertising on blogs? Am I the only one who finds it incredibly annoying? I can understand wanting to monetize your blog especially if you are very popular, but to the rest of us, it's a bit much. It's pretty bad when I can't even read your entry because a stupid pop-up window will. not. go. away. Seriously?!
I am one of the people who will not stay and peruse your blog when flashing advertisements line blog or when videos automatically start playing. And no, I do not want to participate in a !@#$%^&* survey. If anything, it honestly makes me less interested in whatever the advertisement is for.
And if we're being really honest, it's really hard to accept your glowing review of a product when they send it to you for free. If someone sends you something for free, isn't it a sure thing you'll love it (even if you don't) so more companies will be inclined to send you free stuff?
It's a sad day when it's okay to strong-arm rob a store and you're hailed as a hero.
It's a sad day when you can violently beat a police officer and the "President" sends three White House officials to your funeral to comfort your family. They sent no one to a Two-Star Army General's funeral. Not only is that sad, but it's absolutely sickening.
Harold Greene is a hero. Not the "good boy" who was supposedly on his way to "college."
For the "President" to go on national TV and comment on what happened hours after the incident is downright stupid and completely unprofessional.
I understand the young man was unarmed but he made a series of bad choices that day. What if he had just said, "Okay Officer, I will stop walking down the middle of this busy street" and moved to the sidewalk where pedestrians belong for their own safety, none of this would have happened. If he had shown the law enforcement officer an OUNCE of respect, none of this would have happened.
This is what most people fail to see.
Once he started punching the officer, he's now committing another crime.
Officer Wilson had every right to fight for his life that day when a 300lb 6 foot beast was assaulting him. Color has nothing to do with it in my eyes. Officer Wilson was assaulted and he fought back.
Kudos to you, Officer Wilson. My hope is that you are completely exonerated and hailed as the hero you are for the job you do every day.
I went shopping for 3 glorious hours by myself on Saturday. It was blissful. While shopping I came across one of those "As Seen on TV" items - The Perfect Pancake Pan - and I thought, hmmm, that's the perfect size for egg sandwiches. I like to bring them to work for an easy lunch and also for a quick dinner sometimes. And sure enough, I flip the box over and it shows using the pan to cook eggs. The price tag on the box said $7.99.
My only mistake was not lightly spraying the top/flat side of the pan before cooking the eggs so they didn't stick when I flipped it. Duh! But it worked perfectly, even when I flipped the pan over to ensure even cooking. Just make sure not to flip it too soon and do it fast, or you'll be stuck with a runny mess!
I've been wanting to purchase a new kitchen table for some time. The one we had was a rushed purchase when we moved into this house almost 6 years ago. At the time, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a table that I knew my children would beat up because they were 6 & 4 years old. That $250 table held up surprisingly well but it was time for a change.
Initially I thought I wanted an island in my kitchen and since a kitchen makeover isn't in the cards right now, I started looking at the various "kitchen carts" that are available. There are A LOT. In many different sizes and styles.
I finally settled on one from Ikea. I even taped out the dimensions of the island on my kitchen floor to get a feel for the size. I thought it would work. I was excited for it to work!
However, when I got it home and started assembling it I realized pretty quickly it was going to be too big, massively too big. (I also must note how EASY this thing was to put together. It is sturdy too. I'm very happy with the quality!) I was determined to at least give it a shot and live with it in the "island spot" in my kitchen for a few days.
It just didn't work. Maybe I'm just too used to having an open kitchen with no island in the way? In the mean time, I decided it would make a fabulous kitchen table! We sawed out the supports for the two shelves on the back side of the island-turned-table and I was suddenly in love.
It has a butcher block top that I had to lightly sand and seal. The stools have swivel tops and were found on Target.com ... total of $88 shipped for 4 pre-assembled stools!! Can you say a-w-e-s-o-m-e?
We love our new, updated, casual dining kitchen table!
I'm really not sure how it's Thursday already but you won't hear me complain. School starts 3 weeks from today and I have mixed feelings about it. I'm anxious for the daily structure to return. The boys are staying up way too late and sleeping in way too long. I've already told them that starting Sunday night, we're backing up the 1 am bedtime (yes, I'm insane) to midnight. And the following week, it will be pushed back until 11pm.
Oh, the groaning... My 12 year old seems to not understand how rude that alarm clock will be when it goes off at 6:15am three weeks from today. Welcome to middle school, Buddy! Boo gets to sleep an extra hour but he's a bear to get out of the bed in the morning for school, especially once the "new school year high" wears off.
Still no word on who their teachers are or what supplies they might need. I hate our school district for this reason. Do they not understand that the supplies are discounted, plentiful, and in the stores now? It's really ridiculous.
As far as the on-going home projects, the deck still isn't done nor is the bathroom. Safe to say I'm not very happy with my husband at this point. The bathroom cabinet has been painted twice, just needs a third coat. So my part is basically done, until it's time to paint the walls. I've given him a deadline of October 5th, our son's 10th birthday.
Last week we spent the week in the Orlando area visiting my father. Whenever most people think of Orlando, they immediately think DISNEY. Disney can be a fun place to visit but it is not a vacation, at least not in my opinion. We did the full-blown Disney trip in 2011 and I have no desire to go back. When I planned this trip, the boys were aware that Disney was not on the agenda. Bud did not care. Boo was a little disappointed but quickly got over it.
The focus of this trip was to spend some time with Grandpop as well as doing some alternative things in the area and eating out every night. There should never be cooking while you are on vacation!
On our last day, we decided to take an Airboat ride.
The gift shop area was entertaining and I had to refrain myself from purchasing a Hillbilly Nightlite. My favorite thing was the gas pump turned sunscreen and bug spray sprayer. However, I did not see anyone use this while we were there.
Our boat captain, "John" was really great. He seemed to enjoy his job and it showed as he took us on our tour. He even kept us entertained when our boat ran out of gas and we were stranded for a short period of time. Another boat had to come rescue us. We were able to see an alligator in the wild protecting her nest. We even saw 3 bald eagles during our ride!
My boys were not hesitant when it came time to hold an alligator. I know, his mouth is taped, which might be concerning to some, but a donation was made to help sustain the alligators in the wild.
In my head, summer vacation is officially over. We are home from a week-long visit to Florida and now football practice has started so yeah, summer is basically over. Now the boys are waiting with baited breathe for their schedules and teacher assignments to arrive in the mail.
While I was sitting at the wave pool at Blizzard Beach one day last week, I received a phone call from the middle school. It was to remind me about the summer assignments - - plural. To my knowledge there was just a reading assignment to complete but no, there is also math package! What?
We are really behind with the summer reading so things are about to get nasty in my house. 12 year olds are very uncooperative and I refuse to hold his hand through this. The other one has finished his book and only has 1 part of the required report left to finish. He's currently my favorite child.
I'll update more about our trip later this week. We did do one Disney thing, as I mentioned above. We spent the remainder of the week doing alternative things in the area. It really is possible to enjoy the Orlando area and NOT go to Disney!
Updating the blog during the summer is difficult. Everything just slooooows down, which is fine by me. We all need a break and do-nothing time now and again. I've spent the summer thus far doing clean-up projects around the house which is not exciting at all. And when I'm not completely exhausted from that, my butt is on the couch flipping through shows on my DVR in the air conditioning.
I am not a summer lover.
Soon we are leaving on vacation #2 of the summer. I can't remember when we've ever done that before! I am not complaining and feeling fortunate that we're able to swing it this year.
So in honor of the up coming trip, I picked up some summer reading for the boys. Won't they be thrilled to learn they will spend some time reading on the plane! They should feel lucky their schools only require them to read ONE book over the summer. Am I right?!
I wish my boys were readers but they are not. So much for reading countless books to them when they were small. I was the same way when I was their age so I guess I can't fault them for it. We've searched high and low for a genre that keeps them interested to no avail. Why would they want to read when wifi is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!
The one on the left is for me as soon as I finish the current book I'm reading on my Kindle. The Grisham book is for Bud. I hope I can convince him to give it a try. (He can choose whatever book he wants to read.) I always loved a good crime story (I just finished Gone Girl) and he enjoys the TV show Castle so I thought maybe this could be a winner. The Chocolate Touch is for Boo. He *loves* chocolate so this was a no-brainer when we saw it on the summer reading list. It seems a little young for kids going into 5th grade but who am I to argue. I didn't create the list!
Here's to getting them to use their mushy summer brains!
I might be ready for school to start again. My kids are enjoying a very, very lazy summer but they are eating me out of house and home.
For a SNACK last night, Bud ate a bowl of cucumbers, a bowl of watermelon, a bowl of fruit loops and then he washed all of that down with an entire bag of tortilla chips. The whole bag. He ate every last crumb.
I hope he's growing?! Football starts next week ... I'm going to need a second job just to pay for groceries!
I'd like to punch the person in the face who created white vinyl fencing. It's pretty, it looks nice, and it provides privacy but it's a pain in the ass to clean. Normal people would use a power washer (but ours is broken) and we had some concerns that the fence might be too brittle in some areas to withstand the force of a power washer so that left one option: hand-scrub it.
I can tell you this: it's an awesome workout
and I'm tanning nicely.
I'm not done yet.
And there's a slight chance I will need shoulder surgery
in the near future.
Boo is doing a soccer camp this week that runs each night at our local field. It's a good thing to get him off the couch since my boys are enjoying the ultimate lazy summer.
On Monday night I had just set up my chair, sat down, and started talking with one of the other moms when I suddenly jumped up and screamed OUCH! I instantly sensed I had been stung by something but by what? Because we saw nothing flying away or laying on the ground - it was really weird. But I pulled up my capri's and saw the red pin-prick on my knee and man, it hurt! The next question directed at me was "are you allergic?"
Hmmm... I had no idea. I've never been stung by a bee before.
So good news - I'm not allergic but it's now almost 48 hours later and the itching and burning is insane! I'm fairly certain it's burning because I'm scratching it so much. I can't help it. Nothing is helping!
I googled for images of wasp stings and I'm fairly certain that's what got me. The little assholes!
But I'm curious ... this venom injected into me, does it have numbing properties? My knee has been bothering me a lot lately, very achy, etc. I had an MRI about 9 years ago and was told I had thinning cartilage and had a cortisone injection. I was starting to think it was time to go back to the knee doctor but maybe the wasp sting is helping?! Maybe I can arrange to get stung once a week?!
I hope you had a nice July 4th. We did, despite the threat of a hurricane coming up the coast. Thankfully Arthur didn't come close enough to the Jersey shore to effect our weather too much. Friday was a little gray but overall, a decent day. We hosted a Family BBQ at our house on Saturday - and what a perfect day it was! Sunny, breezy, 82ish degrees and no humidity. It was so nice and so unexpected to be able to shut off the air conditioner in JULY!
The kids had a blast with these, of course!
The pool deck flooring is complete but we still have to add the finishing touches to the outside, add the railings, and some paint to the re-used steps. But at least it's functional for accessing the pool.
I kept the food for this BBQ s-i-m-p-l-e. Appetizers were cold shrimp, pepperoni bread, and chips and dip. Dinner was grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, with all the fixings and sides of baked beans, fresh pasta salad and macaroni salad.
For dessert we had a fruit tray, thick fudgy brownies, Tastefully Simple Almond cake (with the rhubarb-strawberry spread), and freeze pops. My mother-in-law also brought a large strawberry shortcake from a local bakery.
It was a classic BBQ from beginning to end. Sometimes simple is best!
My friend and I were chatting the other day and I was asking her what she had been eating lately because I needed some inspiration. She told me about these "bbq-chicken-wonton-things" that she had been making for lunch every day for the past two weeks! (Apparently she's in a rut too!)
But you know what? I think I could eat these every day too. They are good! Great for a lunch change-up or an appetizer for a party.
Here's what you do:
~ Grill some chicken. Dice it up and add your favorite BBQ sauce.
~Lightly spray your baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Take a wonton wrapper, fill with a piece or 2 of chicken, broccoli slaw, and some shredded cheese. Place seam-side down on your baking sheet.
~ Lightly spray the finished wontons with cooking spray.
Did I mention we were replacing our pool deck? We had grand plans of just using "Deck Over" paint on it to spruce it up, but then this started happening:
Awesome. It's crazy what pictures show. Painting over this deck would have been a waste of time and money. But then of course came the series of rainy weekends and weekends when it was nice, my Husband had to work. And before we knew it, it was time to go on our trip and now it's JULY and the deck isn't done and the pool isn't open!
On Sunday we made some great progress with the deck and the pool is now open and ready for swimming, even though getting into the pool might be challenge. But I have boys. They always find a way!
32 screws per board length. It's amazing I can still use my hand. My Husband did the cutting and spacing while I did the majority of the screwing. I was allowed to use power tools! Team work! With any luck, we'll have the rest of the boards down this week and then he can reattach the stairs. Then we can make a decision about the railings.... something that doesn't require paint!!
Our trip was fabulous! We spent 4 full days in the Colonial Williamsburg area, taking in some history and the amusement parks. The biggest surprise of the entire trip was that we didn't wait more than 5-10 minutes for any ride at Busch Gardens and walked on every water slide at Water Country USA. Crazy, right? The boys were pleasantly surprised and very relieved. It's no fun standing in long lines at every. single. ride. (cough, cough, Disney!)
Gunner survived his time at doggie daycare and even managed to handle the full group sessions. Major progress!! He came home exhausted though. I'm fairly certain he didn't sleep much while he was there. On his first day home, he only got up to pee, eat, and take a walk. Other than that, he was snoozing!
Ever wonder what 300 freeze pops would look like in your freezer? Wonder no more:
I think I mentioned awhile back that I was in charge of planning the 6th grade luncheon. Part of that plan includes freeze pops because it is June after all, and it's finally H-O-T in NJ. I miss winter already. I do. Sorry to all the summer-lovin' people. I don't like having beads of sweat dripping down my back just walking to the mailbox and the hair I just straightened looks like I'm living in a sauna. I really don't understand why that is preferable to wearing a cozy sweatshirt and having a good hair day, while enjoying a cool breeze.
60-70 during the day and low 50's at night = my heaven. It's safe to say I'll never move South.
Anyway, those 300 freeze pops are hogging up prime space in my freezer. The luncheon is on Friday and I'm ready for it all to end ... the planning, the execution, and school in general!
I must say what a waste this week has been. We're in school this (full) week to make up snow days. The kids are doing absolutely n-o-t-h-i-n-g. So tell me, State of NJ, what is the point of making up the snow days? Free childcare? The teachers still had to accomplish all their teaching points before the NJ state testing dates in May which were NOT changed! Makes no sense. My guess? A man is in charge.
How many people remember to pay a yearly bill on their own?
Not many, I would suspect. I got a "final notice" bill in the mail this weekend for our DOG LICENSE. The funny thing is, I never received any notice at all until this final notice letter! The dog license is only $10 but the late fee is $10. Really?
I'm revolting against the machine. We are a responsible dog owner and all of his shots are up to date. We clean up our yard and we don't let him ruin other people's lawns. Had I received any communication that it was time to renew the license, I would have done so in a timely manner. So because of this, I'm not paying the late fee. I never got the 1st notice, which is apparently a pink post card. My guess is the pink postcard is laying stuck somewhere, either in a mail sorting machine or between the seats of a postal truck. Maybe they should stop with the stupid postcards and actually send a bill in an envelope because that found it's way to me!
I mentioned before that I go hot and cold with reading books. I'm currently in a "hot" phase (5 books read in the past month) and it all started with The Fault in Our Stars which I started reading in early May. My sister recommended the book and I knew the movie was coming out in June so I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie.
I did this once before, reading The Silver Linings Playbook before I would let myself watch the movie. It took me a while to get into the book but once I did, I ended up enjoying the story. But the movie? That everyone raved over? And actors were nominated for awards? I hated it!! A major part of the story was altered in the movie and for me, it totally and completely ruined the movie. I ranted about that before so I won't rehash it again.
But The Fault in Our Stars movie? Absolutely fantastic, moving, funny, sad, inspirational - all of it. I do recommend reading the book before seeing the movie but for once someone got it right. The story did not need to be changed or "Hollywooded" to make the movie great. Shailene Woodley was phenomenal. I hope this movie isn't forgotten when it awards seasons rolls around again. After all, it trumped Tom Cruise's new movie at the box office on opening weekend! Go Hazel Grace & Augustus!
Go see the movie (after you read the book!) You won't be disappointed and do take tissues.
I will apologize in advance for not taking a picture. I swore I did? I may be losing my mind. I forgot the donuts and bananas I was supposed to take with me to the lacrosse tournament on Saturday. Instead, I left them in the oven ... don't ask. I had a good reason though!
However, later that evening when I went to make cupcakes for the soccer party, I bet you can guess what happened ... melted donuts and baked bananas. I am an idiot! I caught my mistake before A FIRE WOULD HAVE STARTED.
Storing stuff in the oven is a bad idea! Don't do it!
Anyway, the dip. The dip is gooooood. Addictively good. I just now learned "addictively isn't a word? Thanks, spell check, but I'm using it anyway! I mixed two similar recipes that I found together. Here's what I did:
Corn Dip Good
1 11oz can yellow & white corn
1 11oz can mexican corn
1 4oz can green chilies, diced
1/4 c green onions, chopped (more for garnishment)
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup sour cream
12 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mix it all up and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to combine thoroughly. Garnish with more green onions before serving.
Serve with tortilla or corn chips.
This will be on the menu for the next family party! It's a great summer dip and easy to prepare.
Boo's soccer team WON on Sunday giving them a perfect, undefeated season! They won convincingly too, by a score of 3-0. It was a great game. Right before the game we found out that the team we were playing was also undefeated which made us all nervous but our boys did not disappoint. They played well together and were BEYOND excited when the referee blew the whistle signaling the end of the game. The win made the BBQ/Pool party scheduled for that afternoon even more fun!
I had the chance to talk in person to the coach about the roster-drama. We really had a good talk and he understands where I was coming from. He explained in more detail about what goes on behind the scenes, how the boys are rated at try outs, and did agree he didn't handle it in the best way. I told him to please come to us if there's a roster issue in the future because it would have made a difference in how Boo reacted.
The Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday was disappointing. We had to win 2 of 3 games to get to the championship round to be held the following day but we only won 1 game. Overall, there is something about this team that doesn't work. Whether it's coaching or the mix of boys, I'm not sure. There's a disconnect between the boys (6th and 7th graders - who are in separate schools) and I think that's the problem. During the time off between games, you can totally see it. The 7th graders hang out talking with not one 6th grader in sight. And it shows on the field too. There is also the issue of daddy-ball blinders... but I'm not going to discuss that. There isn't enough time in the day!
Gunner behaved himself well enough that he's allowed to return for daycare and/or boarding. Thank God for small miracles! He's apparently very anxious while he's there (which doesn't surprise me - shepherd's like being with their people) and because of that, they were only able to put 1-2 dogs with him at a time. Baby steps? Whatever. He wasn't banned. I'm calling it a win!
To wrap up:
Soccer over - check!
Lacrosse over - check!
Dog boarding covered - check!
Sleeping in this weekend for the 1st time in forever - CHECK!!
Gunner is going to doggie daycare today and I'm hoping and praying he doesn't eat anyone while he is there. We're heading out of town soon so this is a test to see if he can handle this type of boarding while we're gone. He stayed at this place when we went on the cruise last year but he hasn't been back, only because we haven't had the need to board him. He's a year older now (and bigger) so I'm hoping that helps?!
The funny thing is I could leave him at a children's daycare - in the room with babies - and I would have absolutely zero worries. But other dogs? Ugh.
This weekend wraps up the end of spring sports and we're going out with a bang.
Bud has his final lacrosse tournament set for tomorrow. Games are throughout the day and depending on how they do, they may play on Sunday in a championship round.
Boo will play in the last soccer game on Sunday. They are hoping to remain undefeated! After the game, we will head over to a teammate's house for an end of the season BBQ and swim party.
The weather is supposed to beautiful all weekend long so yay for that!
I'm trying out a new recipe for an appetizer dip to take to the BBQ. I'm a little nervous since I've never made it before but it has great reviews and I can follow a recipe ... I will share the recipe next week, regardless.
Even though I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow morning, I'm really looking forward to the weekend!
After a week of dealing with a sad boy, (during which I may or may not have bought him an expensive pair of sneakers he wanted to cheer him up), we have a resolution to the soccer team drama: He is staying on the team.
After a few (civil) email exchanges with the coach, he told me I had to contact the head of boys travel soccer to request Boo not be moved down a level and to place him on the other U11 team for the fall season. So I did.
son was on the XXX soccer team for the past
year but I was recently informed he would not be on the team for the
upcoming fall season. I know how this works, and I know certain kids end
up on certain teams on purpose - and that's fine. It's how youth
sports operate in 2014. But trying to explain that to a 9 year old
who now thinks he isn't good enough to play on any soccer team is
Obviously my son is very upset by this decision and putting him down a level to
U10 is making matters worse. Try to put yourself in his shoes. He'll be
in 5th grade in September but he's being asked to not play with his
classmates. He doesn't understand or care about the flight status of
the team. He just sees it as he isn't good enough to play with other 5th
graders. It's that simple.
upset because of how this was handled and how the confidence he gained
has been stripped away. Their team is undefeated, after all. That's huge
to a 9 year old. Yet as of right now, he doesn't even want to play in
the last game scheduled for 6/1.
respectfully asking that he be placed on the other U11 team for
the fall season. If not, he doesn't want to play. He is very adamant
about it and I won't force him to play.
Please let me know what is decided.
After the long holiday weekend, another email from his coach showed up:
Please ask (Boo) if he would like to stay and play on our Team for the 2014 Fall Season. I had told J that we wouldn’t mind carrying another player and Boo was next on the Rating List.
Please let us know as soon as possible so J can get the Teams squared away.
When I read that, I was honestly floored. It's not the outcome I expected at all but I do think it's the right one. Boo has accepted the offer to stay on the team.