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Noah & Nicklaus
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Monday, 1 May 2006
Morning Drive Time
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Brothers
Who needs a radio playing in the car when you have three and five year old boys? This morning I was treated to the following conversation:

Nicklaus: Mommy - will you move the sun? It's in my way.

Me: Uh, no babe. I'm afraid I can't make the sun move.

Nicklaus: Um,, the sun is kinda like a sky, right?

Me: Well, not exactly buddy. The sun is in the sky though.

Noah: Yeah, the sun is IN the sky. The sun isn't a sky.

Nicklaus: Yes it is!

Noah: No it's not! You don't know what you're talking about.

Nicklaus: Yes I do! The sun is a BIG FIRE. And it can BURN you. It can burn your TONGUE!

Noah: Whatever

Nicklaus: I aweady told you TEN TIMES!

Noah: No you didn't!

Nicklaus: Yes I did!

Noah: Whatever

Nicklaus: Stop sayin' that!

Me: Yeah, I have to agree with your brother. Stop saying that. Since when did my preschool son turn into a preteen girl?

Nicklaus: Yeah - you're teasin' my patience!

Noah's pretty much past the stage of saying unintentionally cute and funny things, but Nicklaus is right in the midst of it. I LOVE this stage. I just finished putting new batteries in one of his toys and he said to me, "Mommy, you fixed it! You're a good fixer mommy. I'm weawy pwoud of you! (r's & l's still come out sounding like w's)

But when I couldn't get the temperamental DVD player to work just now, he said: "Mommy - I've got a gweat ee-idea!" (That's his version of 'idea'. This just started recently and I have no ee-idea where the extra vowel sounds came from. But's it's pretty cute.)

Me: What's your great idea?

Nicklaus: How 'bout you just FIX it and then it could WORK and then we could watch that movie?!

He's full of gweat ee-ideas like that.

Posted by catherino at 11:05 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006 4:41 PM PDT
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Monday, 24 April 2006
He'll Be Back...
Mood:  cool
Topic: Random Stuff
So what did you do this weekend? Ours was pretty busy, what with a baby shower, my nephew's birthday party, a friend's birthday dinner...oh yeah, and schmoozing with Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Yes, the governator himself was in town for a campaign fundraiser at the home of some friends. For only *cough* $1,000 per person, we got to say hello and shake his hand. No pictures for us though - that cost $5,000 per person. I guess running for re-election isn't cheap?

Now before you go thinking, "Who the hell are these snotty brats who have thousands of dollars of disposable income and choose to squander it on the chance to meet a movie star/politician?", I should note that we didn't actually part with a single cent. My father-in-law however, does. And did. BUT, as it turns out, he had to be out of town over the weekend. Lucky us! And since we are good little Republicans, unlike his other son and daughter-in-law, we scored the tickets.

So, we parked our very dirty Explorer a discreet distance from the Porshes and Mercedes and Lexuses (Lexi?) and headed on in. We made a beeline for one of full bars and noshed on some delicious hors'doeuvres and waited to catch a glimpse of the man. After several ass-kissy speeches from some other state politicians, the governor stepped up to the podium.

Initial impressions:

1. He's much shorter than you might imagine. Maybe
5'10" or so.

2. He's much smaller than you might imagine. Although he still has pretty broad shoulders, he's very trim overall.

3. He's been spending WAY too much time at Mystic Tan. His skin is disturbingly taut and disturbingly orange.

4. He dyes his hair. But evidently NOT his eyebrows, because they were sprouting some grays.

5. He's very, very cool.

I have to say, I was really impressed with him. It's easy for me to forget the state of our state before he was elected. But he very kindly reminded us all that just a few short years ago, California was over 20 BILLION dollars in debt. And the solution our former (recalled) governor proposed was to tax the HELL out of us to make up the difference. I'd forgotten that worker's comp insurance rates were so astronomical that not only was our state not able to attract any new businesses, but we were losing the ones we had at a record pace. And under Schwarzenegger's leadership, a whole bunch of that has turned around. California is now growing its economy in a big way.

All of that is good, and is why I'll most likely vote for him again. But the thing that struck me the most was how he delivered all of this information. He did have an index card on the podium in front of him, but I never saw him look at it one time. He didn't give a speech, he TALKED to us. He talked about all these complex issues and gave us statistics and showed a real passion for everything he said - all while looking at his audience. Nothing sounded scripted or rehearsed in the least. Is that the sign of a great politician or a great actor?

Either way, he's very impressive. It was a neat experience. Would we have given him $2,000 of our own money? Hell no. But I'll give him my vote again. I think he probably will be back.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Posted by catherino at 12:54 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 24 April 2006 1:28 PM PDT
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Monday, 10 April 2006
How To Charm Me
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Noah

We have one lone camelia bush in our backyard. Shortly after we moved into this house in January, Noah came up to me with both hands full of tightly closed buds that he'd pulled off the bush, asking "Mommy, what are these?". I admit I was pretty ticked off that it looked as if he'd managed to pick every single bud off that big bush.

Yesterday he found an absolutely perfect deep salmon-colored blossom that managed to escape his notice up till now. When I saw him walking toward the back door holding this flower, I thought GRRR! I will never be able to have flowers in this yard!

Then he held it out towards me in both hands and said, "Mommy, will you marry me?".

And then I melted into a puddle on the floor.

Posted by catherino at 3:25 PM PDT
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Thursday, 30 March 2006
A Mixed Bag
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Random Stuff
Inspiration for a somewhat interesting or entertaining blog entry is severely lacking lately. So here's a random assembly of mostly uninteresting and unentertaining things that have been happening lately - because I fear if I wait for something 'blog-worthy' to happen before I write again, more days and weeks will go by. So here ya go.

Noah Has A Girlfriend

One of those little pre-school hussies has snared my darling boy. To hear Devyn's side of the story, she'd have you believe that Noah was the pursuer. According to her mommy, Noah's sauve approach was as follows:

"Carson's not your boyfriend anymore. Now I'm your boyfriend".

To hear Miss Kelley (the teacher) tell it, Devyn is basically calling all the shots and leading my sweet boy around by the nose. "Come on boyfriend! Come with me now."

I think it's probably a valuable life lesson for him. The fact that he learns early on that the woman holds the relationship reins will serve him well for the rest of his life.

At the same time, it's a shocking reminder of how fast my baby is growing up. Hearing him say, "I hope my girlfriend's at school today!" was a little disconcerting at first. But by the next day, he was content to have played "for a little while with Devyn, but then I played with my boyfriends too". I know the days are numbered that he's still innocent enough to call his female friends "girlfriends" and his male friends "boyfriends". That makes my heart hurt a little.

Roomba Rocks

I am now the proud owner of a robotic vacuum cleaner. Yay me! I've been hearing from all sorts of people how awesome the Roomba is and when I saw them advertised in a sale flyer for Big Lots for over $125 less than they were selling for anywhere else, I jumped on it.

I've had it for a couple of weeks now and I'm really digging it. It's terrific for a house like ours that has only hardwood and tile floors. It does a great job on the area rugs too. And the amount of dust and hair it retrieved from under my bed, nightstand, sofa and chairs was impressively disgusting!

The dog haaaaates it with a fiery passion, which is alternately amusing and infuriating.

Updating My iPod

In preparation for our upcoming trip to Jamaica in May, I've been adding songs to my iPod. I'm not sure whether my musical tastes should be described as eclectic or multiple personality driven. I've got everything from Metallica, Neil Young and U2 to James Taylor, Elton John and Al Green. While that in itself probably isn't too strange, the addition of P!nk and The Gap Band (You Dropped a Bomb on Me is a CLASSIC) just seem to stand out as odd choices. But that's the great thing about this little toy. My musical tastes aren't really so different from my personality. Let's call it multi-faceted, shall we?

Posted by catherino at 11:02 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006 12:16 PM PST
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Tuesday, 21 March 2006
How to Piss Me Off
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Wedded Bliss

I just sat down after putting one child down for a nap and the other child down for 'quiet time', anxious to enjoy the episode of '24' that my trusty Tivo recorded for me last night. Only to find out that my husband, whose name henceforth is SHITHEAD, cancelled the recording so that he could record some piece of crap (read: soft core porn) Cinemax movie. I am PISSED.

I think a second Tivo unit ALL MY OWN is in order. I mean, someone has to pay for this tragedy!

Posted by catherino at 2:25 PM PST
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Sunday, 19 March 2006
You Must Try This
Mood:  special
Topic: Random Stuff

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate - Roasted Pistachio Toffee

It just may be the world's most perfect food. If there's not a Trader Joe's in your town, by all means gas up the car or buy a plane ticket or whatever you have to do to get to the closest one and buy this stuff. It's that good.

Posted by catherino at 1:53 PM PST
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Friday, 17 March 2006
It's Unanimous
Mood:  amorous
Topic: Brothers
I've written before about Noah's attraction to the opposite sex, at all of 5 years old. Now it's obvious that Nicklaus has jumped on that train as well.

As we were cruising through Target this morning, we stopped in the movies and music section. I was looking at something when I heard him say, "Mommy, I wike that girl! She's pretty and bootiful!" I looked up to see who he was talking about and he was pointing, wide-eyed, to a poster of Lindsay Lohan.

After we got home, I checked my email and checked my favorite blogs for updates. I was looking at one of the funnier 'gossip' blogs when I happened to scroll down to a picture of Tara Reid.

"Mommy!", Nicklaus says. "I wike her too!".
"No you don't", I told him. "She's gross".
"Oh yeah", he agreed. "She's GWOSS."

I'm just trying to enjoy the power I wield while I can. Something tells me that once he's a raging ball of teenage hormones, it won't be quite so easy.

Posted by catherino at 2:27 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006 2:31 PM PST
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Thursday, 16 March 2006
I Will Not Eat Them in a Car, I Will Not Eat Them in a Bar
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Random Stuff
I have always been a very adventurous eater. I grew up in a family of "foodies" and from a pretty early age I thought nothing of snarfing down escargot or raw oysters or liver pate. There aren't too many things that I'll refuse to even try.

Last night Mike and I were treated to dinner by our friend and realtor (a thank you for the fat commission she made off of us) at a local restaurant that features "Basque night" every Wednesday. Here in the central valley of northern California, there's a huge population of Portuguese people, so Basque restaurants and Basque food in general is pretty common. At the Basque restaurants I've been to, you're usually served an insane number of courses and more food than you can possibly ever eat. The key is moderation and saving yourself for the good stuff. At this particular restaurant, your first course is a hearty minestrone, followed by a green salad, a macaroni salad, lamb stew, beans,...and pig's feet - all before your entree even arrives.

Yeah. Pig's feet. Now, growing up in Georgia, I can remember going into certain stores and seeing a huge glass container of this gnarly looking cloudy liquid sitting on the counter - full of pickled pig's feet. It looked like a mad scientist's experiment gone awry. It was both creepy and disgusting and not EVER the sort of thing that anyone in my family would consider touching with a ten foot pole. Snails? Bring 'em on. After all, anything covered in all that garlic and herb butter can't be that bad! Foie gras? Ohhhhh, so good. (And if you try to tell me about the poor mistreated ducks which are force fed in order to grow their livers so big, I will put my fingers in my ears and say, "LA LA LA LA LA LA! I CANNOT HEAR YOU!!!". Okay? Considering I get to eat it maybe once every few years, I'm not exactly driving the market.

So. Last night instead of telling our waitress that she could just keep the damn pig's feet, thank you very much, we said...well, just bring us one little one and maybe we'll try it. So she brings out this little dish of something that smelled heavenly - lot's of garlic and olive oil. So we thought, "Hey! This can't be THAT bad. Right?". But the problem arose when we tried to figure out just what in the name of all that is holy we were supposed to eat!?! There was hard, bony looking stuff - which I presumed was the actual "hoof" part. Then there were these vaguely translucent-looking parts which certainly didn't seem edible. But that must have been the part you eat, I'm guessing. I'm guessing because after I'd poked and prodded and turned it over, under and sideways and still couldn't find anything that looked like it would be chewable, I gave up. Oh well. I tried.

So it got me thinking about some of the things I eat and enjoy which are actually pretty disgusting if you stop and think about it long enough. And about some of the things that I will not, won't not, Sam I am try even if you double-dog-dare me and get me drunk first.

5 Kinda Gross Things I Have Eaten and Enjoyed:

1.) Snails Although now that I have 3 & 5 year old boys who can spend hours collecting snails off our shrubbery and have to come running to introduce me to EVERY SINGLE BLESSED ONE, I'm not exactly craving escargot.

2.) Foie Gras Don't try to guilt me out of it either.

3.) Sweetbreads Okay...I'm not entirely sure where this comes from. The thymus gland? I think that's right. But from what animal? I think I'm just better off not knowing. Don't tell me.

4.) Alligator (or 'gator tail, more specifically). It was...meh. Tastes like tough, chewy chicken.

5.) Frog legs I've had them fried. I've had them broiled in garlic butter (at a Basque restaurant, now that I think of it) and they were delicious. Kind of creepy looking.

5 Things I Won't Try and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!:

1.) Chitlins - Or tripe or any other word you want to use for intestines.

2.) Tongue - Just ick.

3.) Brains - I don't really think that requires any further explanation, but let me just go on record as saying that "Mad Cow Disease" is not going to be the way I leave this world.

4.) Testicles - There is an actual "Testicle Festival" in a neighboring town where I live. I am an adventurous eater, but bull balls will not be on my menu. Ever.

5.) Feet - Since I didn't actually try the pig's feet, I'm just going to issue a blanket ban on feet, snouts, or beaks in general, be they from a pig or a chicken or any other critter you freaking feet-eaters are pushing.

Well, it's almost lunch time now. For some reason, nothing sounds good except maybe a little salad. Hmmm.

Posted by catherino at 11:37 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006 11:39 AM PST
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Wednesday, 8 March 2006
Hi, We're Your New Neighbors - The Forrest Gumps
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Wedded Bliss
Almost 3 years ago, I bought Mike a ping pong table for his birthday. It was an awesome, inspired gift and he LOVED it. Don't you just love it when you think of THE perfect gift for someone? Isn't that the best feeling? That excitement you feel waiting to give it to them and knowing you've really hit a home run in the gift department - that's awesome.

So it was with the ping pong table. Unfortunately there was the little logistical problem of having NO DAMN PLACE TO PUT THE THING. So it sat in the garage of our former house, unassembled and gathering dust. Fast forward to our fabulous new home with its GINORMOUS covered patio. The ping pong table finally found a home.

Since the minute that thing was assembled, we have been ping pong playing FREAKS. We play every evening. And if something happens that prevents us from playing, we talk about how much we miss it and how soon we can play again. You could say we're a teensy bit obsessed with the ping pong.

And y'all? I am GOOD. Really! And the best thing is, Mike and I are very evenly matched. I can and do beat him almost as often as he beats me. And the coolest thing? You can't even believe how much closer this has made us. We've bonded over ping pong in a way that 10+ years of togetherness hadn't achieved before. Certainly our attempts to play golf together hadn't fostered this kind of camaraderie - possibly because if you ranked our respective golf skills, he would be somewhere near "DAMN GOOD" and I would be closer to "SUCKS ASS AND HAS A BAD ATTITUDE".

A few nights ago, as we enjoyed our "between games wine/cocktail", Mike said, "Our neighbors must think Forrest Gump moved in here". Except Forrest probably wouldn't keep yelling at his kids to QUIT THROWING ROCKS! and to LEAVE THAT DOG ALONE!

Posted by catherino at 8:12 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006 8:30 PM PST
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Monday, 27 February 2006
Toy Story 3?
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Nicklaus

I've written before about Nicklaus' fascination with his penis. Since he's been old enough to communicate, he's talked to and about his beloved member on a regular basis. So it was no great surprise to me this morning, when changing his diaper, that he declared that he would like to say hello to his penis.

Nicklaus: Hello penis!

Penis: no response

Nicklaus: He had a good dream.

Me: Really? What did he dream about?

Nicklaus: Woody!

I mean really, I ask you, what else would a penis dream about?

Posted by catherino at 8:17 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006 10:32 AM PST
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