Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year - what are your goals?

I have a few things up my sleeve for 2013 including a high school graduation, BonJovi concert, and, oh yeah, a marathon in November.

Of course there are a whole host of other things I have thought of to improve my life as a mom and wife. I hope and pray for my success in letting go of fears and striving to relax more and enjoy the simple things like spending more time talking and listening to my kids, way more date nights with the hubster cuz 2012 was pitiful in that respect, and focusing more on smelling the roses rather than worrying about how perfect those roses are supposed to be. I plan to spend less time on facebook but more time on my blog which is connected to Facebook so no worries..I will still be on Facebook.

What are your goals for the new year?

Last test and I am done

Testing done.

Another test

another test

Testing 1, 2, 3

This is a test of my new blogger feed.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Week According to MeMe

Around the house - I cannot believe it is September already which means a birthday next weekend for the hubster which means I get to give him a much deserved birthday gift.  A panini maker. Yes it's something he has been wanting for a very long time.  And then there is a birthday for my little-est baby boy who turns 7. 

What my kids are doing - First week of coach pitch baseball and well into the first few weeks of school.  Going to post more on school work.  It's a big year for my baby girl.  4th grade means much benchmarking in math, reading, science, and essay writing.  School issued ipads for my senior boy and still having trouble downloading some textbooks.  I love technology but I hate it when it does not work. 

I'm noticing - it's still so so hot in South Florida for someone training for the NYC marathon.  10 mile taper run yesterday and afterward I must have gulped a gallon of ice water.  Now I know what camels feel like.

I am proud of - my college boy.  Because he knows how so very important this semester is to him and both he and I are praying that things go well.

On my table - yesterday I made birthday cupcakes for both me and the hubster and I decided to ditch the canned frosting for homemade and what a difference. So delicious and easy (melt a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips to 1 cup of heavy cream...add 2 tablespoons of mixture in refrigerator for an hour....take out of refrigerator and whip until smooth...).  See how easy that is and so worth it.

Good thoughts - We are painting the inside of the house this week and we are way too excited about it.  We are also planning a date night in the near future which is equally exciting.

Have a great week!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Moms

I have been having a lot of fun every night watching the Olympics.  I just truly enjoy watching sports and you don't see a lot of these different sports often.  I also like the diversity of the athletes from all over the world.

The thing I have liked best about these Olympic games is the random shot of the moms in the audience...watching and holding their breath or closing their eyes not able to breathe as their child athlete performs.  The athletes work almost their whole lives to reach these moments but it's the moms who really carry them on their shoulders.  (Dads too and not to take anything away from them but since I am a mom I can comment on moms).  You see the moms in all kinds of stressful positions from odd movements to completely covering their eyes or just walking out.

I understand.  Because I am the mom of kids who play sports.  Yeah it's not the Olympics but it doesn't matter.  I stress over every game my kids have ever played, soccer, football, basketball from little league to high school.  You name it.  My kids have played it.

Some of us moms are at it for years and years.  We sit through hundreds of practices and games ready to celebrate the highs and console the lows.  There are always enough of both.

For me there were plenty of both highs and lows.  I have had to play psychiatrist to my ball playing sons so many times. I have wiped many tears of loss and embraced the glorious wins.

And yet one of my proudest moments would come at the last game of my son's baseball career.  His last at bat in extra innings. Two men on base. The team was behind and needed a strong hit from my kid.  I went into my usual stance:  hands cupped, covering the eyes, jittery knees.  When I heard the crack of the bat I immediately looked up and saw the ball sail out of the ball park.  What ended up being my kid's last at bat of his baseball career turned out to be his first out of the park home run. 

I don't remember how high in the air I leaped and how loud I screamed and how hard I cried and how many other moms hugged me.  Time seemed to have stood still at that moment and all I could see was my kid proudly rounding the bases and his teammates waiting for him at home plate.  I didn't cry for the points scored. I cried because I was proud that my son finally had his very own home run moment. 

Us moms don't cry for the wins.  We cry because we are proud that our kids work hard toward a goal and we cry hard when we watch them achieve it.  We wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Running to a Goal

April 26, 2012 will be a day that will go down in my history book.  It was the day that I found out that I was selected to run in the 2012 New York City marathon.  I remember my exact reaction when the hubster checked our entry status...pure shock and disbelief.  In fact I didn't believe him at first.  I slowly walked over to the computer and looked and sure enough it was true. 

I never really had a huge desire to run a marathon. I had run the Disney half marathon in 2008 to accomplish a goal and that was fine with me.  In fact I documented my journey here.  But early this year the hubster wanted to enter both of us in the NYC marathon just to "see if we got selected."  Thinking that since hundreds of thousands of people enter the lottery and only a fraction of that get picked I was sure my name would not come up.

But it did.  The hubster's name did not.

Immediately I felt very mixed.  I felt bad that he didn't get in and I did.  I felt nervous and scared. What the hell did I know about running a marathon. Sure I have gone 13.1 miles before but 26.2 is an entirely different story. 

At the end of the acceptance letter was a disclaimer.  If you didn't want to do it you could reject the offer.  You could also defer to next year.  I read that and hubster asked me if I wanted to exercise either option.  That was not going to be an option.  I took the challenge.

And so I am in and I will document my journey here and here.  Feel free to join in to see how a 46 year old mother of 4 with very little spare time can get herself in marathon shape by November 4th.  Should be a lot of fun.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pasta and Shrimp with Marinara - Warning Below

Before I tell you about the delicious dinner I made tonight I have to post a warning.

This meal could cause some serious addictions! LOL.  But in all seriousness it is quite delicious and I thought I would share it with you.  Before I do, though, I must add that I am Italian. Born and raised.  My grandfather was from the old country and came over in the early 1900s.  He taught my very Italian grandmother how to cook and she in turn taught me as much as a young girl could handle.  That said, I have gone through several different styles of marinara sauce from her as well as with my own spin and think I have finally mastered a sauce that is not only delicious but easy to make in just a few minutes time.


Marinara sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
Fresh basil
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. After the vegetables are cooked through add chicken broth over medium and stir until the broth reduces to half.  In the meantime squish the tomatoes and juice in a bowl with your fingers until the tomatoes are all broken up and in very tiny pieces (I don't use a blender as I like the texture of the tomato bits). Add the tomatoes and juice, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens.  While the sauce is cooking, heat a skillet with a few drizzles of olive oil.  When the skillet gets hot, add the shrimp and saute them until pink. When the sauce is done, season with more salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the basil and shrimp.

Add garlic bread:
I love my basil plant!

Monday Morning Meme - July 30

Around the house - I cannot believe it is August this week.  This can only mean a few distressing things:  Kids are going back to school, Kevin is going back to college, and I celebrate another birthday. 

What my kids are doing - Nothing at the moment thank goodness. We have a break from every imaginable extra curricular activity known to mankind with the exception of Kelly's end of summer play at her drama camp. 

I'm noticing - that there is a reason why all of the marathon training books tell you that the day after a long run is to be a rest day.  And it should also be a "no high heels" day at work too.

I am proud of - my goal of running the NYC marathon in November.  This training has been pretty grueling and it's not the running that is the problem.  It's the South Florida heat and humidity.  Funny how it doesn't matter what time of the day you run.  It's always hot here.

On my table - Home cooked meals inspired by my recent trip to Key West where everything to eat there is good.  I figured out that mango goes good with everything!

Did you know? - I am training to run in the NYC marathon probably because I mentioned it above.  But in all seriousness I am going to start blogging about my training in a new series of posts leading up to the race.  I am still trying to figure out how I got roped into this challenge.  Regardless, it's going to happen and I couldn't say no.  My ipod is my new best friend. More on her later.

Good thoughts - It's Monday morning and third or fourth day of the Olympics. I love the Olympics.  One of these days I will go to an Olympic games.  It's on my bucket list along with the NYC Marathon.

Have a great week!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday Morning MeMe

'cept it's Wednesday evening and so explains my week so far.  It's a busy week.  St. Patrick's Day is coming Saturday and today is National Pi Day.  Tomorrow is the Ides of March. Ah, my parents would be so proud of remembering all that.  Here is what is going around in my meme world

Around the house - we are still recovering from a horrible car accident last week.  Knees are still swollen but I am reminded of the simpler things in life as a certain teenage boy's "glue" bandages peel off.  I am also reminded constantly of how special my kids are to me and how scared I was just one week ago.

What my kids are doing - See above.  It's all about a fresh look at life for me.  Nuff said.

I'm noticing - that no matter how many times I say I shall go to bed early tonight I never do.  I wonder why.

I am proud of - The fact that I actually remembered to blog this week though a few days late and that I actually remembered that Pi = 3.14.  It's been a simple minded week. What can I say?

On my table - Home cooked meals.  Let's see how I do the remainder of the week.  Leftovers are a working mom's best friend.  So is Chinese takeout.  ::grin::

Did you know? - I am doing a new "Love is" series on my facebook account.  I wanted to do something cute and cheeky to reflect actual occurences going on in my life.  Check it out and friend me if you aren't one already.

Good thoughts - There is nothing sweeter than loving texts from your teenage boys.  Yes they really do love us.  There is also nothing sweeter than little kids who want desperately to run and jump onto you to give you hugs and kisses.  Pure heaven.

Happy Week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On this day 19 years ago....

in the wee hours of the morning I was awoken by very severe labor pains.  Having never been through this I expected this was what labor pains were supposed to feel like...extremely painful..the kind of pain that takes your breath away.  I timed them 10 minutes apart and thought that I had a long way to go especially since this was my first birth.

I called my OB and he told me that I should wait a little while and then call back if the contractions were consistent for an hour or so.  I finished off my suitcase, took a shower, dried my hair and got dressed. 

Suddenly the contractions jumped from 10 minutes to 5 minutes.  I definitely didn't expect that.  The pain was immense and very difficult.  I paged my OB to update him.  Just as I was getting a call back the contractions jumped from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.  I shouted out to the doctor and he told me to get to the hospital immediately.  I noted the time on the clock.  It was just 6 am.

Thank God the hospital was just 2 miles from the house because I was starting to think I might give birth right here in the car.  I felt an urge to push that was like no other feeling I had ever had. The pain was unbelievable and I could barely speak. I tried hard to listen to what I learned in lamaze class.  Breathe calmly and regularly and don't panic.

When I got to the emergency room doors I quickly told the nurse attending that I needed to push.  She got me on a bed and rushed me up to the maternity room.  Once there the nurses literally threw the hospital gown on me and examined me.  They pronounced I was 9 centimeters dilated and they could feel the baby's head.

Oh my God. What happened to all of those articles I read that said the first birth can last anywhere from 12-24 hours? Why was my body deceiving me?  I didn't even have a chance to slip a tylenol much less an IV drip. Forget the epidural. It was way too late for that.  I was gonna do this with no help from medication.  This was gonna be sheer will on my part and I knew it. 

My OB was on his way and this baby was not gonna wait for him.  I tried to send brain waves to the baby..."please don't come out yet"..."please wait for the doctor"...several minutes later I could hear my doctor's voice yelling down the hall and the nurse telling him which room I was in.  As he came through the door I felt this overwhelming sense of security.  My doctor had arrived and this was showtime.

The pushing lasted a total of 3 minutes when with one big strong force my little baby boy arrived into my doctor's waiting hands.  It was just past 7:30 am and at that moment the world stood still.  As this beautiful baby boy was placed on my stomach I shed a tear because I realized that from this point forward my life would be changed forever.

I was now a Mom.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Morning Me

A new week has begun and I checked back at the calendar to find myself wondering how I intended to do all of this.  I have so many deliverables at work, 15 end of year reviews to do, and a bunch of job interviews to prepare for.  I better start figuring it out, right?

Around the house - this week I get a break.  Monday is a holiday so there is no work, no dance, no school, and no CCD.  Thinking how I can bribe my work, the school, and dance class to do more holidays like these. 

What my kids are doing - Kelly started a new dance class a few weeks ago and really liked it. It's new for her because it's hip hop and the group is much older than she is used to.  I am hoping she finds her rhythm. So far she is keeping up.  Varsity baseball is coming up and I understand the team is thirsty for a thin, fast junior to start at left field.  Any idea who they might have in the line up?  I do.

I'm noticing - How much my house has been screaming for a new paint job.  I don't know how I have lasted these past 8 years without it but it needs it desperately and I am starting to see paint cans around here.  We are moving in the right direction.

I am proud of - A few people for making good choices.  Kevin called me the other day on the phone.  That in and of itself makes me happy. He was talking about his classes and his schedule and it looks like he is getting a lot of studying time in which makes me double happy.  He told me he will not pursue intramural baseball because of his studies.  Another good choice. Then there is Ryan.  I am noticing more studying and better grades and college brochures.

Did you know? - I am coming up to a 10 year wedding anniversary.  More to come on that but a little birdie whispered to me that 10 years is not diamond.  It's coach purse!  I hope someone mentioned that to the hubby.

On my table - 5 pint size paint cans in different colors.  Did I mention how happy I am to be painting the inside of this house.  Oh and I get a double bonus. We are going to be painting the outside of the front door too!  I have always disliked that color.

Good thoughts - This may sound superficial but I love my bootcamp class mainly because my friends who go are so much better than me.  Most people might get discouraged but I don't.  I just use it as a way to keep up and that makes me push myself harder.  I just wish my knees worked better.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mother Duckie

On my way to work this morning I saw one of the cutest scenes I had seen in quite some time. 

The scene was of a mother duck walking with about 10 of her little baby ducklings running right behind her.  At first it struck me because I can never get enough of little baby ducklings. They are so cute and tiny and yellow.  They walk with their tiny feet so fast in an effort to keep up with their momma making sure to never get lost behind.  They all go in the same direction.  Not one ever strays or rebels.

The momma inevitably walks with pride. She is so gigantic compared to the babies but she walks slowly so they don't get too far behind.  Occasionally she stops and looks back in order to make sure no one got lost.  She is very protective so you probably shouldn't mess around with her or something bad might happen.

Eventually she waddles her way to a canal, hops in, and the babies follow.  Content.

At first I was fascinated because of the cuteness of it all but then after they waddled off I couldn't help to think how much this scenario mirrors that of us human moms.  I totally related to this duck! 

At first I only had one little duckling. 

Then there was a second.


Then 3.

And then there were 4. 

When they were tiny humans they followed me around wherever I went.  They went in my direction.  They didn't stray or rebel. 

So many times I looked back to check to see if they were still there and didn't get lost.  Many times I found myself having to protect them from the nasty elements.  I got myself in a few fights but that's what us mommas do.  We fight for our ducklings proudly and fiercely and we don't apologize for it.

Eventually our ducklings grow up and leave the nest just like those little ducklings will eventually do.  And maybe she will look back and relish on the days when her babies followed her around, paid attention, and shared love.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Embrace Changing Relationships

The new year always brings about fresh changes, ideas, and goals. At least it does for me.  Every year I set forth at least 50 goals.  No lie!  This year is no exception.  So I wrote them down and am in the process of creating an action plan for them which is always the exciting part for me.

But somewhere along the way during these holidays I started to reflect about the past few years and how scurried life has become in my home.  I have always felt really uncomfortable about the chaos especially since I don't think a lot of it is positive.  Much of it causes stress and weariness on me which I know reflects on my family which generally takes us to a place I don't care to be. 

I started thinking about how I can ease back on the stress and create more of a work life balance.  Reflecting on this then made me start thinking about new goals and new outlook.  I want our lives to be more easy going and memorable.  I want to do more with my family and spend more quality time with them.  I want to enjoy the laughs and the smiles and the little things like watching them play around the house or outside in the yard.

So in the spirit of making myself accountable for all of my new found goals and outlooks I thought I would share them here on my blog so I can hear any and all comments and gain new perspectives and look at my progress along the way.  One of my first and most important new year goals is:

Embrace Changing Relationships

I realized that I need to start creating new relationships with my older kids.  They are no longer little kids who need my constant direction and oversight.  They are young adult men who I gave wings to and now it's time to let them fly.

 One of them is in college and one is shortly there.  They no longer need me to tell them the difference between right and wrong.  I have been doing that for 18 years now and while I will always be there to step in and assist them, I have to trust that they learned something from my direction.  So this is a new experience for me going from being a mommy to being a friend.  I had a talk with my oldest the other day about this and how much I enjoy sitting and talking with him and how much fun he is to be around.  It's such a new dynamic for us...actually CHOOSING to be together rather than defaulting to be together.  It's one of the lessons of motherhood that no one ever told me about and something I never really thought of until he went away to college and suddenly I found myself wondering how to cope with him being an adult and away from me. 

So as I learn and grow through this transition I am pretty certain that we will stumble and fall every now and then and that's ok. I won't be too hard on any of us.  I will just take it as a new journey in life,enjoy all of life's moments,  and pray that God will be watching over us.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

When They Were Mine....

Years ago when I first became a mother and then eventually became a mother again 3 times more, I thought it was the hardest yet most rewarding job in the world.  I loved being a mom but you know how tough 2 am feedings are and long nights of 5th grade math and being up day and night while they suffer from fever and chicken pox.  The potty training and learning how to walk and making sure the house is baby proofed.  Then there is remembering the tooth fairy and playing Santa Claus and wiping tears when they scrape their knee or have to go to bed with no dessert.  The late night school projects are tough as are worrying about them when they drive your car on their own for the first time.  Their first heartbreak is brutal as is waiting for those SAT scores. 

But all of those necessary tasks and worries are nothing compared to how difficult it is when you have to say goodbye to your child as he goes to college.  I have done it and thus far it has not gotten easier.  I give myself these pep talks that say things like "don't forget he is getting a good education" and "he will be back before you know it".  I start planning out what my next care package will be and what the birthday gift is that I will be sending him.  I schedule days in my calendar that will be good to skype.  I do all of that because it makes me feel a little bit better and a little less lonely while he is away. 

Giving our kids roots and wings is the best thing we can do for them but watching them use those wings to fly is by far the toughest job of all.
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