March 28, 2014

It Begins Again

Tonight is opening weekend for lacrosse and what a weekend it will be. Game tonight, game tomorrow, and a tournament on Sunday. Throw a soccer game in there on Sunday too.

This is our life.

I recently read an article that criticized parents who spent the majority of their week shuffling kids from one sport to another. You know, those crazy, fanatical parents who think their kid will be the next Tiger Woods. While I could identify with some of what was written in the article, I don't think it described our family as a whole.

~ My boys pick the sports they play. Trust me on this one. My husband despises soccer but Boo has been playing for quite some time.

~ We are a fall and spring sport family, with winter and summers off.  The boys did participate in  8 week camps this winter for the first time (met 1x per week) but it was done as a way to get them off the couch and keep their skills up.

~ We play one sport at a time. I refuse to do two. It's too much for me, let alone them.

~ We do not have a personal trainer of any sort to "coach" the boys.

~ We do not play "club" sports. 

I don't believe I'm living vicariously through my boys by having them participate in team sports. I played sports when I was a kid but I only did them through school. I do wish I had more opportunities in that area as a kid but that isn't making me force sports onto my children now. I played field hockey for 7 years and while I liked it, I didn't love it, and would have preferred to play soccer. But in the late 1980's, girls soccer was non-existent at the school I attended so I never played unless it was during gym class.

I enjoy watching my boys participate in their sporting events. Sure, the schedule can be a bit much at times and when they need to skip a practice once awhile, I let them. It's not the end of the world. But they know they made a commitment to the team so they will honor that commitment and show up for practice next time.

I wish more people would look at youth sports as a way for the kids to have fun. Sure, there is some competition, but I think a little competition is healthy. It keeps you in check. Some of these parents are just over-the-top ridiculous. I feel bad for those children.

This upcoming lacrosse season will likely make or break Bud. It's intense, especially for a non-club team. 12 games and 5 tournaments over the next nine weeks. And people think football is bad!


March 27, 2014

Overheard in My Kitchen

"You need to do my laundry more often because I have nothing to wear!"

Said the 12 year old.

Guess who will be learning how to do his own laundry this weekend? I bet he'll thoroughly enjoy un-balling all of those sweaty socks.

Year 12 is off to an interesting start.

March 26, 2014

Bathroom Progress (Not)

I love my husband and I'm thankful that he's a handy guy but I absolutely hate the pace at which he works. I've reached a point in life when I'd rather pay someone to do it.

I have primed the cabinet and all the pieces (3 coats) and picked up the paint for the cabinet the other day. So that will be done soon. But the rest of it is no where near finished. On the plus side, I only have to clean 2 toilets instead of 3, 1 of which the boys rarely use so the "mess" is contained to one bathroom. I would love to install a urinal in my house. I really would.

Soon all of this will turn into a argument as it always does. We've had the floor tiles for over a month. Nothing can be started until he puts the floor in...


March 20, 2014

Why I Hate Apple

My boys each have an iPod 5, which they purchased with money they saved. It was money they received from chores, birthdays, holidays, and good grades.  $300+ is not something they saved in a month's time. It took time for them to save all that money so they could buy the newest and greatest iPod.  

In the past year, we've been through countless cords.  The wires fray easily, EVEN THE OFFICIAL APPLE CORDS, especially with kids constantly pulling them in and out of the devices. Yes, I've shown them how to do it properly but over time, the wires tear. It's inevitable. And yes, the dog has chewed a few of them ... so Five Below has been a godsend with their $5 knock-off cords. Yeah, I know they're made in China. But I don't care. What I do care about is being forced to spend $30 on an official apple cord to charge a damn iPod!

I have been to 5 different discount stores (3 Five Below's!) just this week and NO ONE has any cords compatible with the 5! What the ?  Why is there a sudden shortage? Has Apple finally monopolized everything?

I will keep my Android phone, thank you very much.  I will never own an Apple phone. I'm so tired of Apple's games.


March 19, 2014

Sports-Sports-Sports

Soccer

Even though the weather IS NOT COOPERATING AT ALL, spring soccer has started. Boo's first game was on Sunday. It was a balmy 40 degrees at game time. The team looked great, they really did! It was evident the winter Futsal league was very beneficial in keeping them conditioned and taught them better passing techniques. I think it's going to be an exciting season of soccer!

They won the game 3-2 so the season is off to a great start!

Lacrosse

We got word late last week that Bud was invited to play on the Advanced U13 Lacrosse Team. Since this is only his second season playing lacrosse, we are extremely proud of him! He really picked up this sport fast and is quite good at it!  Their season kicks off next weekend, 3/28 and they will participate in tournaments on March 30th and April 12th.

We will be busy, no doubt.  After a winter of being snowed in over and over again, I promise not to complain. Now, if Monday's snowfall would melt.... grrrr.

Go away, Winter!


March 18, 2014

She's Sick

Our visit to the Vet did not deliver good news. Zoe was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease. It's a fairly common problem in older cats but caught me completely off guard. The only symptom that anything was wrong was some weight loss but it wasn't a lot.  But I suppose a 2 pound loss in a 12 pound cat is considered problematic.

We've started twice-weekly fluid treatments to attempt to make her kidneys work and she's getting an appetite stimulant pill too.  The crazy thing is she looks and acts completely fine. No changes in her behavior at home at all which makes this all the worse since the diagnosis is terminal. Her kidneys will shut down and her organs will start to fail. It's not an if, it's a when. So I'm having a hard time processing all of this because she doesn't appear sick!

She's been extra affectionate too. I think she knows I'm trying to help her feel better. I won't let her suffer though so I'm prepared to make the humane decision when the time comes. I hope she tells me when that time is here.

I'm going to attempt to give her the fluid treatment tonight, instead of taking her to the Vet. Wish me luck.


March 12, 2014

Aging Kitty

I'm heading to the Vet today with my very first fur baby, Zoe. She will turn 14 next month and in the past few weeks, I've noticed she's been losing weight. She prefers to keep to herself and doesn't like a crowd so when my sister was over recently, I had her come take a look at Zoe to confirm what I knew was true. Her surprise at how much smaller she is has me more concerned.

She's still using the litter box, eating, and drinking as far as I can tell. But the weight loss cannot be denied. I'm hoping it's just an age-related thing and her appetite just isn't what it used to be. I've been trying to get her to eat some wet food and I've tried a few varieties, but she doesn't seem overly thrilled with any of them.

She seems fine other than the weight loss. She still follows me around in the morning and purrs when I pet or brush her. I'm not ready to hear something is wrong  :(

March 11, 2014

Satellite Radio

Can we talk about this for a moment?  Satellite Radio was all the rage a few years ago when Howard Stern got kicked off "normal" radio. Right? Isn't that when it became the most popular? That's how I remember it. Everybody wanted it. They needed it. It was the best thing ever. It has its perks, I can't deny that. But these prices. Are you kidding me?


The car I bought last spring came with a free year of satellite radio and my trial ends on April 12th. Free is good. If it was free for an entire year, that tells me it costs them next to nothing to supply this service to me. There is no way it's worth $14.99 a month or $165 a year. No way. No freaking way.  I don't spend that much time in my car! I have my favorite stations, but you know what? They are no better then normal radio. The Blend and Pulse, for example, play the same songs over and over and over, just like mainstream radio. Why would I pay this kind of money for that?

There is SO MUCH music out there and much of the good stuff isn't even played on the radio. You are better off listening to AM stations for news (which I do) and connecting your ipod via the USB port in your car. The result will be music I wanted to pay for and it will always be commercial free!

Farewell, SiriusXM!


March 10, 2014

Crazy Cat Lady

My husband is pretty sure this will be me someday so I may as well embrace it. He says that once I get rid of him, I will live with only cats once the boys have grown and move out.

 

I really don't understand why this is a bad idea. Cats are nicer and more loyal than people most of the time.


I will wear my new shirt proudly!

March 7, 2014

Wishing for Spring

Its time ... winter be gone. I'm tired of you.


I bought these scarves the other day in an attempt to force spring to arrive. For two reasons:

1.  Lacrosse practice starts next week and I don't want to freeze my butt off, and;
2.  Soccer practice starts too. See #1.

In case you're curious, I bought them at Five Below.  The ridiculous pricing of scarves at other stores in insane. But I can be cheap like that.

March 5, 2014

Broc-Kale-li Soup!

Don't like kale? Here's one way to eat it and not know it!

In a large pot, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute some diced onions and a tablespoon of garlic. I didn't measure the onions so you can add as many or as little as you want. I also added some salt and fresh ground pepper. I let that cook until the onions were translucent and added 5 cups of chicken broth. I let that simmer for a few minutes and then added the broccoli and kale.

I used about 4 cups of broccoli and and cut up 3 "stems" of kale.

I let that come to a boil, reduced the heat, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the broccoli was tender.

In 3 batches, I carefully blended the hot mixture, adding 1/3 of the cheddar cheese into each batch.  In total, I used an 8oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese. I returned all of the blended soup back to the sauce pot and let that simmer for another 10 minutes.



It is delicious!! I topped it with homemade croutons too.

March 4, 2014

Chicken Orzo Soup

I may have posted this soup recipe before. But I'm too lazy to check. Plus, I do not have a fancy blog with a search bar. Maybe I can add that? I have no idea. I'm just winging it, people.

Thanks to another snow storm, I went into soup mode this past weekend.

This one is super easy.

4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup carrots, cut to desired size
1 cup celery, cut to desired size
salt/pepper to taste
Shredded chicken ... I used the breast meat from a store-cooked fresh rotisserie chicken

I let that cook all day in my crockpot, about 6 hours. Then I added 1 cup of uncooked orzo and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Then I shut off the crockpot to keep the pasta from absorbing all the liquid.

And waa-la! Soup!


Enjoy!