Tuesday, September 9, 2008


What a great vacation! I fully intended to blog while I in Disney, but two things got in the way --- first, it turns out that even though the hotel had highspeed access, you had to pay for it. And, we were so busy while we were there that I really didn't have much of a chance to blog!

As soon as we got home, we were thrown right back into the back to school mode, so I'll have to catch up this week!

I promise -- Disney photos AND back to school photos are coming!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The countdown continues......

Not much time now until our big trip. Am I ready? Am I packed? Are the healthy snacks purchased? Is the TripTik picked up? Is the GPS programmed? Are our reservations confirmed?


The dog is at the groomer today, which is good and I'm working on emptying out the fridge, which is always fun. And the laundry is done. Other than that? Yeah, we're in trouble! We leave Friday morning and I do NOT want to get a late start! So, that means I'll probably run around like a crazy woman for the next three nights while RockStar lazes around on the couch saying encouraging things like, "Why are you worrying, there's still another day?" or "Come here and cuddle me" or "I need a rest, I put 2 pairs of shorts, 3 t-shirts and some underwear in a bag and now my work is done!" Yeah, going on vacation always brings out the crazy in me and the lazy in him.

His penance is usually to drive the first leg of the trip! If I can pack for 1 adult, 2 growing children and a large dog, then he can drive a few miles! Seems fair to me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another win!

This morning I added another win to my growing list of contest wins -- a family four pack to a local amusement park and a $250 American Express gift card!!!!!

I luv me some contests!!!!!

I've been winning contests for many many years now! When I was a kid, I would listen to the radio at night, mostly when I was supposed to be asleep. I would cradle my Bell Princess phone (just an "extension" -- do you remember those?) and wait for the evening contest to be announced. Sometimes it was a trivia question, usually it was just be the Xth caller. I would dial furiously -- remember, there was no "redial" function in those days -- and put on my best adult voice if I was lucky enough to get through. I won movie tickets, t-shirts, record albums, memorabilia and once I won a ham. Yep, the good little Jewish girl won a HAM!!! My dad is a great cook, so he took it on as an experimental project. He figured it was the only time he'd EVER cook a ham, so he did it right! Slow-baked with a sweet glaze and decorated with pineapple rings and cherries. I don't think we took a photo of it (evidence, you know....), but I wish we had. He outdid himself!

As I got older, I drifted away from contests, but a few years ago, I discovered how easy it is to enter on the Internet. These days, stamps cost too much to waste them on contest entries. A few clicks on the net is free!

In the past couple years, I've won a theatre subscription, theatre tickets, movie tickets, CDs, lots of amusement park tickets, rodeo tickets, cash, lottery tickets, Aquarium tickets, behind-the-scenes tour and tickets to the zoo, a pinball machine, cleaning products, posters, arts and crafts supplies, restaurant gift cards and 4 laps in a NASCAR at a real racetrack. I'm going to be using that last one later this week when we start our vacation -- keep watching for that post!!!!

If you're thinking about contesting yourself, here's my suggestions:

* Start by finding the websites of your local radio stations and newspapers and magazines. They run very good contests and fewer people enter compared to the national contests, so your chances are much better!
* Create a file in your bookmarks for the contest pages of those sites you've just found. I try to keep the radio and TV stations together at the top and next the local newspapers and magazines. Most contests will let you enter daily, so do it!
* Enter, enter, enter!!!! Don't give up -- it may take awhile, but I guarantee that if you enter regularly, you'll win something eventually!
* If you're reading this, you're obvioulsy a blog reader. Many blogs run contests for their readers. Because of the relatively small number of entries in the average blog contest, you've got a really good chance of winning something!
* Keep a list of your winnings. It's really inspirational to look at when you're having a dry spell!

Good luck!!!

HandsomeBoy is a sensitive, new age guy!!!!

10 points to first person who accurately identifies the reference in the title!!!!

Because we're going to Disney next week, I borrowed a bag of Disney movies from a friend this weekend and plan to watch at least one each day this week with the boys as our "homework" for our trip! Last night was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The boys were enjoying it and laughing at the dwarves (who, I have to add at this point, bear a striking vocal resemblance to every 50+ year old man from RockStar's hometown!!!!!). They thought the Evil Queen was all sorts of mean, but they were fine. Up until Snow White eats the apple and "dies". At that moment, HandsomeBoy began to cry.

I don't mean tear up or wimper or get sad. I mean CRY!!! Huge, gasping sobs with his face buried in the pillows. He was completely destroyed by Snow White's apparent death. So much so that he couldn't even compose himself enough to watch the Prince save her with a kiss. Yep, that's my boy. When he feels something, he really FEELS it!!! He absolutely cannot watch anything sad. Scary is fine. In fact, he likes scary. It doesn't bother him at all. No bad dreams, no nightmares, no nothing. But sad???? This is the same kid who devolved into sobs when AirBud's human friend tries to send him away so he'll be safe and not be dognapped by the evil clown. It took about 15 minutes to calm him down after that!

Someone gave us a copy of Old Yeller a few years ago. Needless to say, it still has the wrapper on it. Every once in a while, CutiePie pulls it out and asks to watch the dog movie. And every time I tell him no. I don't think HandsomeBoy would SURVIVE that movie!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It could have been me .......

This afternoon we took our bikes and went biking on a fantastic trail created by Rails to Trails, an organization I wholeheartedly support, by the way. We were having a great ride but were only a short distance along the trail when I made the mistake of looking back to see how the kids were doing. They've only started riding two-wheelers this summer, so I still worry about them when we're on a linear trail that doesn't give them much room to wobble. Of course, because I looked back and took my eyes off the trail, I edged off the paved part and onto the gravel. I stupidly tried to bump my bike back up on the paved part, which immediately became apparent was a BAD idea. I went down, the pavement came up and we met with a crash. Luckily, I hadn't been going very fast and I have a little padding on my hips, which is the part of me that took the brunt of the fall.

I wasn't hurt badly, although it did (and does) sting. My left hip has a little road rash and is bruised and tender. My right shin is bruised and has a teenytiny cut. My palms got just a bit scraped. On the whole, not so bad. My pride was hurt more than anything else! It's been a looooooooong time since I've fallen off my bike and I wasn't thrilled that the kids saw it. I think HandsomeBoy just about jumped out of his skin! He was at my side in a flash!

Anyway, I got back on my bike and was fine. We bike for about another half hour and were on our way back to the car when a biker passed us. We were crawling along because HandsomeBoy was tired, so she couldn't have been going faster than 12 mph. Maybe even a little less. To my shock and horror, SHE DID THE SAME THING I'D DONE!!!! Her tire went off the path and then bumped up against paved part and she went down to the ground. Unfortunately, she wasn't as lucky as I'd been.

Where I'd tipped over to the side, she seemed to go forward. She hit the pavement face-first and lay there with her arms at her side, next to her toppled bike. I raced toward her and tried to assess her injuries. She didn't move for a minute and seemed stunned. When she finally raised her head, I could see that her cheek was shockingly red and very swollen. I carefully took her helmet off (thank goodness she was wearing one!) and started to see what else could be wrong. Her left elbow was also red and swelling fast. I suspect that she fractured her cheekbone and arm. Her husband came up a minute later -- he must have been biking ahead and turned back to find her. She was saying she didn't need 911, but I could tell otherwise. I called 911 and they were there within minutes! There are so many stories about 911 failing to respond that it was reassuring to see them show up so quickly, especially considering we were on a bike path in an otherwise non-accessible section of a national park!

We didn't stay much longer because we didn't want to be in the way. The boys were very upset by it. Especially considering HandsomeBoy's bike accident earlier this summer. CutiePie asked me why I called 911 for the woman but not for HandsomeBoy. I had to assure him that it was only because we didn't need 911 for HandsomeBoy. Close, but not quite.

Anyway, all afternoon I've been thinking about why things happen to some people and not to others and why even when the same thing happens to different people, the results may still vary. We both were going slowly on the same path and made the same stupid mistake. I ended up with wounded pride and she probably spent the afternoon in the ER. I've always felt fortunate in life. Even the bad things that happen to me have never been as bad as they could be or they've had a silver lining or they've led me somewhere I might not have ended up if not for the unplanned event.

It's something to think about........

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Whoo hoooo!!!! I made it through another week! Of course, I AM at the office right now, trying to catch up and get ahead! With my boss (dad) out of town last week and this upcoming week and also with me gone to Florida the following week, I'm drowning in work! It doesn't help that I spent a good part of this past week running CutiePie around to his doctors and taking care of MIL!!! But I digress....

MIL is now on her way home. I really hope she can continue to progress she's made while she's been here. I was hoping she'd stay another week, but she really wanted to go home. Short of holding her hostage, I didn't think we could/should stop her. I'm just really concerned that she's going to overdo it and not follow her medication schedule and that no one else there is going to help her. On top of that, I think the doctors out there are witch doctors!!! Keep your fingers crossed.

It's hard to believe that a week from now, we'll be driving down to Disney! I can't wait! I've been looking over my books and I can tell that we're really going to have a great time! We haven't told the boys yet, because we wanted to keep the surprise going. They know we're going somewhere, but they don't know where yet. I think their heads are going to explode when they find out!

If anyone has any good Disney advice, I'm happy to hear it! Lady Doc -- I'm looking at YOU!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I (as in me, yo, ya, ani and ich!)

I AM ... slowly becoming ther person I want to be.

I WANT... to have an organized, peaceful, happy life full of family, friends, happy surprises, great adventures and small moments of beauty.

I HAVE ... been very lucky in my life -- adopted into a wonderful family, married to an awesome guy, adopted the two greatest kids I've ever met and also been blessed with good health, a good education and a functioning brain (when I choose to use it, of course!)

I WISH I COULD ... sing. Really. I like to sing. I enjoy singing. I desire to serenade people and perform songs that move them. Unfortunately, my singing moves people OUT OF EARSHOT!!!!!

I HATE ... people who seek to limit others based on their own beliefs and ideals. Live your own life and let others live theirs!!!!

I FEAR ... becoming sick and frail and alone one day.

I HEAR ... myself echoed back to me when my children scold or threaten each other (i.e., HandsomeBoy saying "CutiePie, that's it. That was your last chance. You've lost your privileges. No surprise for you. Now go sit on the steps!")

I SEARCH ... for ways to save money and time.


I REGRET ... only a few things in my life. One of which is allowing friends to drift out of my life. Another is squandering opportunies because of procrastination or disorganization or sheer laziness.

I LOVE ... my children more than I ever dreamed I could.

I ACHE FOR ... a little girl, but at this point, I can't imagine juggling another child. Especially if she had any "needs" above normal. CutiePie is pretty close to fine, but his various specialists that we are seeing to ensure that he reaches his full potential are draining me, financially and energy-wise!

I ALWAYS CRY ... when I least expect it. I don't cry often, but sometimes I'll find myself tearing up at a surprising time.

I AM NOT ... concerned about what other people think about me or my family. We're just fine, thankyouverymuch.

I DANCE ... while I do housework.

I SING ... whenever I'm alone.

I NEVER ... want to work 80 hours a week again.

I RARELY ... say never!

I CRY WHEN I WATCH ... the referral video from Russia in which we first saw HandsomeBoy. He was soooooo perfect. It was uncanny! When you adopt from Russia, you're usually told to not pay too much attention to the referral video (if you're lucky enough to get one) and just use it as a medical review tool. In our case, HandsomeBoy was playing, singing, counting, trying to play piano, laughing, entertaining the adults and looking tall, strong and handsome! The first time we saw it, we could hardly believe that we would be meeting that adorable little boy in a few weeks and then he would be our son soon thereafter! Incredible! Whenever we watch the video now, it all comes rushing back to me and I start to tear up! Because we didn't receive CutiePie's referral until we got to Russia, we didn't get a referral video of him. I'm sure I'd be crying at his video also!

I AM NOT ALWAYS ... as liberal and generous in spirit toward my fellow humans as I'd like to be. I can be very judgmental and form unfair opinions of people that can be hard for me to rise above.

I HATE THAT ... people litter in public places -- especially cigarette butts thrown out the window of cars or thrown onto the sidewalk instead of placed into the ashcan at someone's feet!!!! GAH! That burns me up just thinking about it!!!!

I'M CONFUSED ABOUT ... so many many things!!!

I NEED ... to get a lot of sleep very soon. We're leaving for Disney next week and I'm so so soooooo tired right now that I just don't know how I'm going to survive it!

I SHOULD ... remind you that you are more than welcome to steal this from me and do it on your blog. After all, I did. (And though I can't remember who I stole it from - I "thank you" nonetheless.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My continuing life as a sandwich.....

My mother in law has been here since Sunday and is doing better in some ways. The swelling in her feet is definitely much reduced and she has a little more appetite and better energy. However, last night, she had a lot of trouble breathing and felt a lot of pressure on her chest when she laid down. Plus, she hasn't lost any weight since she's been here and we were expecting more of the water weight to flush out of her body.

So, this morning we called her family physician. She ordered blood work and a chest x-ray, so off to the local hospital we went. I took the morning off work to be with her and then my husband met us after the hospital and he took off the afternoon. So, I still managed to get some work done today.

I'm worried about her. She wants to go back home this weekend and I'm REALLY worried about that. She doesn't have anyone there who's going to take as good care of her as we do. Because we are going on vacation at the end of next week, it'll be two weeks more before we can bring her back here. I'm really worried that she's going to end up back in the hospital before we can get her!

Meanwhile, we're looking into putting CutiePie on ADHD medication. I say "we" but I mean "I". RockStar is really against medicating him. Of course, RockStar never saw CutiePie in the classroom setting and doesn't do homework with him. I don't think he understands how disruptive and distracted and crazy CutiePie is in an academic setting. I've seen it. I saw how hard Kindergarten was for him. I really don't want first grade to be such a struggle. I want him to LIKE school. I want him to be PROUD of himself and comfortable with the other kids. I want him to be ABLE to keep the "goofies" inside himself until recess time. I'm hoping that medication may be able to help him do that.

I'm still exploring other therapies and treatments. He's currently in Behavior Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Vision Therapy and we'll soon be seeing a Psychologist who specialized in Post-Institutional kids. Whew! I get tired just typing all that, much less doing all the footwork to get him around to everything!

Before we can start the meds, we have to get him an EKG, so that's first thing on my schedule for tomorrow. Wheeeeeeeeeee!!! When will all the fun end???

On the other hand.......

As I was driving home last night, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe..... I might not be a good 1930's wife, but maybe I wouldn't be so bad as a husband. So, the envelope please..........


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Yep! How about that! Looks like I could have made some woman very happy back then!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Should I be upset???

Wow. A test that says I'm a failure and I'm not even that upset about it. That's a switch!!! LOL!


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

If you're keeping score, RockStar rated an 85 (Very Superior) as a 1930's husband!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic event of the evening? Declutter-a-thon!!!!

Since my mother in law is coming tomorrow, I'm trying to really get the house fixed up. I'd like it to be fixed up no matter what, but it seems that I work better with an imposed goal and a deadline. So, here I am, doing my FlyLady Crisis Cleaning. I think she'd be proud of me -- I'm letting go of stuff that I don't need and is only cluttering up my home. I'd rather have the space -- space to breath, live, love.....

Our house isn't a disaster area. It used to be, but it's not now. That's mostly thanks to FlyLady. Now, the house is just somewhat messy and unattractive. I think what may bother me the most is that we have a GREAT house with a LOT of potential, but we're only just scratching the surface of how great a home this could be! I want us to have a home not just a house. I want to be able to open our hearts and home to friends and family without having to do a crisis cleaning session!

I don't care that our living room couch is old. I care that it's covered in stuff. I don't care that our kitchen table is too big for the kitchen, I care that our centerpiece for the past two months has been a hermit crab cage (and yes, there is a hermit crab in the cage -- lovely dinner companion, no?). I don't care that the computer desk is in the living room. I care that our files are stuffed randomly into open bankers boxes rather than filed in an organized filing cabinet.

I was at a friend's house the other night. Her house is smaller and older than mine and it was lovely! I know she also had clutter, but she cleaned it up before we got there and we walked into a beautiful, warm, inviting home with a happy mom, happy kids and happy dogs. That's what I want! I don't want a "better" or "nicer" or bigger house -- I want this house and I want it to feel like a home, not just a storage unit for our stuff.

Ooops -- I just heard my timer go off. Time to get back to my home-making project.

.... but I'd rather have a Ruben!!!

So, it seems that I'm now an official member of the "sandwich generation". RockStar's mom has been sick lately and even spent a week in the hospital with congestive heart failure secondary to stage 3 kidney disease. Yeah - good times!!!!

We convinced her to come stay with us for awhile. I know she has a life back home, but we're hoping that, at our house, she can relax, take it easy, follow the prescribed diet and start to feel better. RockStar and the boys left this morning to go get her and I'm going to spend the weekend straightening up the house and fixing up the guest room. We both have our work cut out for us! Wish us luck!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A New Day Has Begun.......

with a bang, as usual! Wake up, dress self, dress kids, walk two pugs I'm dogsitting, walk Big Red, feed children, feed 3 dogs, feed cat, go back upstairs to feed fish I'd neglected in my rush to get downstairs, run to basement to switch and start laundry, carry finished load upstairs, feed self, make lunches for boys, turn off crockpot that cooked beef barley soup overnight and portion out into individual plastic serving containers, kiss husband goodbye, give morning meds/vitamins to Big Red, both boys and self, grab bags and force children out the door. Drive to camp, drop them off, go back to car and


It was only 9:00 am at that point. Yes, RockStar did help with the animals this morning, but still..... Is it any wonder that I'm so tired all the time?????

Here's the up side to all that, however:

I love my husband, RockStar.
I love my boys, HandsomeBoy and CutiePie.
I love my big red dog, Big Red.
I love my cat, NitNit.
I don't mind the fish or the hermit crab (who I just realized was totally overlooked this morning!)
I think the visiting dogs are quite cute and funny and enjoy their antics.
I like cooking.
I'm very thankful to have devices such as washing machines and dishwashers and crockpots to make my life easier.
I'm so happy that the boys enjoy camp and are active and entertained and safe while they're there.

So, now it's 10:30am and I'm sitting here at work, taking more deep cleansing breaths. Time to get on with the madness that is my paid employment!!!

At least until 3:30 when I leave here, get gas, drive 40 minutes back home, pick the boys up at camp, take them 30 minutes away, drop HandsomeBoy off with my mother to walk around a mall while I take CutiePie to his ADHD doctor to discuss Behavior Modification, then pickup HandsomeBoy, drive 30 minutes home, make dinner, eat dinner, cleanup dinner, pack the boys' things for the weekend (RockStar is taking them 'back home' with him -- story to follow in another post), walk all three doggies, do evening meds/vitamins, get boys in bed, take deep cleansing breath and then CRASH INTO MY BED!!!!

See, it's not so bad -- there's a happy ending!!! Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Uh, hello? Anyone here????

So it was pointed out to me rather bluntly last night that I've been neglecting you. That I've abandoned you. That I never visit anymore. Aside from the fact that it sounds like the beginning (and middle and end, for that matter) of a conversation with a Jewish mother, I have to admit that it's true.

Why DON'T I post more? Seriously? I don't know. I read blogs faithfully every day and I'm quick to add them to my Bloglines list. I hang on every word and look forward to hearing about the minutiae of my fellow bloggers' lives. So, why don't I update my blog more often? Maybe I feel like what I have to say isn't interesting. Maybe I'm being a perfectionist in the FlyLady sense and I'm unwilling to post unless I've crafted a beautifully well-written, articulate and meaningful diatribe about a subject of critical social relevance? Maybe I feel that I can't compete with her, her, him or her? Maybe I'm just lazy?

Probably a little bit of all those!

So, what do I need to do to convince myself to blog more? Here's my thoughts:

* Believe that blogging is a two-way relationship -- if I'm looking into the lives and thoughts of others, I need to be willing to open up my own thoughts and life, too!

* Remember how much FUN it is! I love getting feedback through comments and links!

* Enjoy expressing myself in my own way!

* Most of all, remember that this blog is what I make of it -- it can be anything I want it to be!

Okay, ladies -- you've convinced me to be a better (read: more diligent) blogger. Be careful what you wish for!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just because I'm on vacation..........

it doesn't mean that the world is, also!

While I'm here enjoying myself (have I mentioned that recently?), the outside world has continued to revolve and go on without me. Shocking, I know!

Today, in between trips downstairs to the ocean and down the hall to the indoor pool and to the kitchen for lunch, I've also had to navigate mundane-but-necessary things such as:

* Big Red's stitches -- Last week, before we left, Big Red had to have a cyst removed from over his eye. Not a huge deal, but it did require sedation and stitches. When I picked him up, I asked the doctor if he needed a funnel and she said no. Even though that seemed odd to me, because it was the FIFTH time I'd been in a doctor's office that day (for only 3 family members, no less), I took the decision gratefully and left. Big mistake. My friends who are caring for him while we're away called today to tell me that he had ripped out ALL the stitches and the incision was WIDE open. They took him to their vet who said "OF COURSE he needs a funnel!!!!!" So, as of this afternoon, he's a funnel-headed doggy and as of tomorrow, he'll have the stitches back in. I'm NOT happy about this. The first surgery cost me an arm and a leg and I'm very mad that I have to do it again. My vet will be getting a call from me early tomorrow morning!

* Summer school for the boys -- we knew a few weeks ago that CutiePie was going to receive an "invitation" to the district's summer program, but I was quite shocked to open the envelope at the beginning of June and see HandsomeBoy's name. I called the school the following business day and was informed that HB's teacher thought a little extra reading practice this summer. That's fine, but they really need to tell people more than THREE DAYS BEFORE THE END OF SCHOOL!!!!!! I mean, seriously, are they on drugs???? So, then I had to ask about CutiePie. They told me that they didn't understand how his name was left off the list, yada yada....... Anyway, they took another few days getting me the "invitation" and then I submitted their forms with a check AND a letter telling them that I was going on vacation and could they please call me on my cell to confirm. Afterall -- I need to know where to take them the morning after we return home. Plus, I have to notify the daycamp that they will NOT be there in the mornings like I signed up for (and PAID for, might I add!). Whew! So, of course, as of this afternoon, I still hadn't heard anything, so I emailed the principal. Long story short - they're both enrolled, but I had to light some fires to get any official confirmation of it.

* I tried to log into work because I know there's a few things they need me to do. Unfortunately, I'm locked out of my own network and my IT guy isn't returning our phone calls right now. Grrrrrrrr........... There went about an hour of RockStar and my time!!!!

I'm really truly honestly having a great time, but today was a harder day to be truly away from it all!

Yep, I'm still here in Paradise and No, I'm NOT coming home and you CAN'T make me!

How was that for a long title??

But you know what? I don't care. So there. Try to make me. Nyah nyah.......!

Can you tell I'm totally in vacation mode. I. Just. Don't. Care. About anything. So there.

Seriously, we're having such a good time.

Although Myrtle Beach has a million and one things to do, we've pretty much confined our activities to the beach and the pool. Inside, we're playing games, doing art, working on our summer homework (just 15 minutes a day) and enjoying each other's company. Really, the kids don't even know there's amusement parks, aquariums, Ripley's Believe It Or Not and all the other places just dying to take our money. We're having so much fun doing what we're doing that I don't care about all the OTHER things we could be doing! So unlike me!

Because we have a full kitchen and because I was trying to save money, we've been eating all our meals (after the first night) in our timeshare. Here's what our menus have been so far:

Friday night: Delivery Pizza
Saturday breakfast: Cereal, toast, juice, fruit, coffee, tea
Saturday lunch: Homemade deli sandwiches, fruit, Doritos, jello w/whipped cream
Saturday dinner: Pasta, garlic bread, green beans, ice cream
Sunday breakfast: Bacon, eggs, toast, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, blueberry muffins
Sunday lunch: Deli sandwiches, fruit, goldfish
Sunday dinner: Roasted chicken, noodles, gravy, coleslaw, Oreo pie
Monday breakfast: Cereal, toast, juice, fruit, coffee, tea
Monday lunch: Deli sandwiches, fruit, doritos
Monday dinner: Hamburgers, french fries, coleslaw, Oreo pie

Not bad, huh? We've got snacks, too -- snack bars, fruit, popcorn, etc....

We're really having a great time. And, after I broke down in tears yesterday (for real), my husband started helping out a bit more. Until then, the kids had done more to help get ready for the vacation and also helping while we were here. Long story there. Suffice to say, it's all better now.

Anyway, CutiePie has already been in the indoor pool this morning. Now, we're finishing up breakfast and getting ready to hit the beach!

I seriously recommend this vacation for everyone who wants to relax, have fun and be with their families. We're very comfortable here!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vacation --- Day uhmmmm..... day...... whatever...!

Yes, I am still on vacation and loving it! Right now, I'm typing by the side of the indoor pool. I'm watching the boys while RockStar makes the sandwiches. Life is good -- really good!

We had a pretty nasty storm roll through last evening, but other than that, the weather is great.

I can't believe how well the boys are doing in the water -- I guess all those swimming lessons are finally paying off. CutiePie especially - he's doing bellyflops and cannonballs into water over his head and then swimming back to the wall. He NEVER would have done that a week ago!

Oh - the sandwiches are here. Gotta go!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ahhhhhhh........ that's better.......

After months of craziness, illness, running around, organizing, calling, filing, planning, driving, cleaning, disciplining, and all-around manic behavior (on my part and that of others), I am writing to you right now from the brink of paradise.

All thoughts of appointments, therapies, customers, bills, responsibilities, and my house are distant from my mind.

Yes, my friends -- at this very exact moment, life is GOOD!!!!

Earlier this year, friends of ours offered us a week timeshare anywhere we wanted, so we chose Myrtle Beach, SC. It's 7:30am and I'm drinking a cup of coffee on our balcony, watching the ocean roll in and out, in and out, and typing on my laptop (that arrived through work 3 days before we left!!!!). The weather is great. The place we're staying is perfect for us. The kids are happy. RockStar and I are relaxed. AND...... we still have 5 more days here and then a weekend at my cousin's house before we go home!

CutiePie likes it too -- yesterday, while we were building a sand volcano, he looked at me and said, "Congratulations, Mom -- you made a good choice. Myrtle Beach was a very good choice." And then went back to the construction of Krakatoa. Too cute!

Those of you who know me IRL know that I'm really not one for relaxing. I like to be on the go. In fact, I've never actually taken a relaxing vacation before. My idea of vacation is to hike the Grand Canyon or zip through the canopy of the rain forest or cross-country ski the White Mountains or..... well, you get the picture. Here, I'm still in motion, but I'm doing things like going to the grocery store and CVS (we have a full kitchen and we're taking advantage of it to save money), walking on the beach, building aforementioned sand volcanoes, cooking yummy meals for my family, doing "homework" with the boys, etc...... No real running around, no big accomplishments, just "taking care of business". RockStar would, of course, sleep all week if I let him, but fat chance that will happen. Because it's Father's Day today, I'll give him a little leeway, but not too much!

So, in case you never hear from me again, you can be assured it's because I've become a beach bum in Myrtle Beach! I really don't know how I'm going to make myself leave at the end of the week!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What a week!

I'm exhausted!

Last weekend, in addition to all the usual activities, we squeezed in a trip to the circus. My parents were supposed to go with us, but they cancelled at the very last moment, leaving us with two tickets. I got the call as I was picking up the boys at Sunday School, so I turned to a friend there and offered to take her daughters with us and give her a break (in addition to the 6 and 7 year old daughters, she has a 10-month old daughter and a 12 year old boy). The kids were thrilled and we became a family of 6 for a few hours! Luckily, all four of the kids were on perfect behavior the entire time! I wish I could say as much for the adults at the show! I was shocked and appalled at the number of people who were pushing, shoving, cutting in line, taking "shortcuts" through areas that were closed to the public, people were cursing and leaving trash all around them. Moments like that really make me hate people. I don't want to a misanthrope, but it's pretty hard not to. Especially when you remember that every one of those adults had at least one child with them. Nice messages to send the kids, huh????? Ugh!!

We really got into our new routine of therapies, vitamins and allergy meds, extra homework, and other enrichment activities this week. I hope we can keep up the pace for another six weeks until the end of school! I was exhausted every night! But, CutiePie is sleeping better, reading better, writing better and acting better. Can't argue with results, can you??

I also started attending a class at the boys' school called Love and Logic Parenting. I enjoyed the first class. We already do a lot of what they recommend, but it was a good reminder that there are many ways to handle each situation and it's nice to have some help knowing what is the best response to each situation. I left there feeling like I DO know how to be a good mom; I just need to make sure that I'm always making the correct choice with my response. I have to admit, sometimes out of sheer exhaustion or frustration or what I perceive to be a lack of time, I will take the shortcut and yell. Since the class, I've had a few opportunities to use the Love and Logic program and I think I handled each situation very well.

For example, we fought traffic to drive to swimming lessons on Thursday. We got there just in time and I sent the boys into the locker room to change. TEN MINUTES later, they came out. Handsome Boy was wearing his shorts from school, but no shirt or shoes. CutiePie hadn't changed at all -- he was still in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers! HandsomeBoy said he wanted to swim in the shorts because they were "like a bathing suit". CutiePie said he was suddenly afraid of swimming lessons and thought that the instructor was going to make him jump into the deep end and then would let him drown. Why do they have to do these things at the same time??????? Okay, I'll tackle HB first -- WHEN you put your bathing suit on, THEN you'll be ready to swim. Done. Move on. I tried to tell CutiePie that no one was going to let him drown and that his instructor only teaches him things he's ready to do. He was not convinced and then pointed out to me that I sit up in the bleachers reading a book while he swims so I wouldn't even noticed that the teacher "drownded" him. . Eventually, we ended up doing 30 minutes of homework and writing practice. Don't you know, he was great! He did the best work he's ever done! I guess I need to tell his teacher to install a big pit of water in the classroom and threaten to throw him into it whenever he stops paying attention! He'll be the top of his class in no time!

Okay, on to the weekend now. I've got to get dressed and get on with the day. An old high school friend is having a housewarming party tonight and one of our other old friends is spending the night here since she lives in DC. That means a major room rescue on the guest room! Not to mention a whole house tidyup!!! Better get started!

Wow! I'm a finalist!!!!

My photo of CutiePie made the finals of 5 Minutes for Mom's Picture of Motherhood contest! Please go check out the amazing photos and vote for your favorite. I have to say -- they're all fantastic and looking at all 20 really does summarize the many sides of being a mother. Some of the photos are sweet, some lovely, some are pretty, some are funny and some tug at the heartstrings. All accurately capture "motherhood"!

Go vote this week!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Picture of Motherhood......

The lovely ladies at Five Minutes for Mom are running another great contest -- how do they keep coming up with them???? This time, in honor of Mothers Day, they're looking for the photo that best captures "Motherhood".

There are so many many photos I've taken of the boys that shout out the theme to me, but there is one in particular that I can't get out of my mind. I took this photo about two years ago when CutiePie was four years old. I'd taken him to a local Greek Festival and he begged me to go on one of the rides. I have to admit, I was suspicious of the safety of the ride and really didn't think it was going to be a good way to spend my limited money that day. In the end, CutiePie's pleas wore me down and I bought the overpriced slips of colored paper that let him on the ride. When the carney measured him at the gate and he justbarelymadetheheightcutoff, he looked back at me and smiled one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen from him. Then, I watched as a stranger strapped my precious baby into a plastic swing and the ride lifted him into the air. As he spun around, faster and faster, the wind lifted his hair and his expression changed from one of joy to ecstasy!
When we first met CutiePie in his Siberian orphanage, he didn't smile. Not at all. He was sad and scared and timid. He couldn't even imagine a world where kids can fly through the air while loving parents shower them with waves and shouts and laughs and the flash of cameras. Just a year and a half later, he was able to experience this moment of true happiness - and through him, so did I.

I was watching over him, but he was flying in his own blissful world, off on his own adventure in the sky, while Mom stayed safely on the ground. And isn't that really what being a Mother is about????

Frugal Friday

Since I've been making such a concerted effort to save money this year, I've really gotten into reading blogs dedicated to finances and frugality. When I discovered the Frugal Friday meme, it just seemed natural for me to join in, so here goes......

I had to fill a prescription today. In the past, I'd just drive down to my local CVS and fill it there. We've got a pretty good health plan, so even "expensive" prescriptions cost us no more than $15. In this case, CutiePie's doctor was pretty sure that our insurance wouldn't cover this particular drug unless "medically necessary", which it's not -- the doctor just prefers it over the other options. So, he gave us a coupon for a free month's prescription, so we can debate with the insurance company during that time. Anyway, instead of just doing what I've always done, thoughtlessly, without a plan, this time, I called all the local pharmacies to see who was having a special this week. I found that Target had a coupon in their flyer that offered a $10 gift card with every new prescription!!!! So, I went to Target this morning and walked out with a FREE months' prescription AND a $10 gift card!!!! I didn't pay a thing!

I'm going to go back before this deal ends on May 5th and fill the prescription for the other med the doctor prescribed!!!!

I think that's pretty frugal, don't you??????

Friday's Feast

Brought to you by Friday Feast........

Name something you would categorize as weird.

How some families choose children's names --- either using a single letter as the first letter of ALL the names or assigning names based on a theme (alphabetically or all cities or all flowers or all foods, etc....). I'd never tell anyone what to name their child, but still....... there's some strange names out there!

What color was the last piece of food you ate?

Beige and red --- it was Matzo Pizza. Yummmmmmm!

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy being alone?

8. I really like being alone for the most part. I also like being with people, but I do enjoy solitude! I usually feel very comfortable when I'm alone and I've even gone on vacation by myself and had a fabulous time! I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Main Course
Fill in the blank: I will _________ vote for ___________ in _______.


Describe your sleeping habits.

Love it. I love to sleep. I spent many many years as an insomniac, so I think I'm just catching up for lost time (and lost sleep) now! Of course, I can't stay up as late as I used to anymore. I'm usually asleep by 11pm and up around 7:30am. Before the kids, I would fall asleep on the couch very often -- now, I make a point to go to sleep in my bed. I'll still occasionally drift off on the couch while trying to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but usually I do the bulk of my sleeping in my bed!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good news!

I got an email from the OT department at the children's hospital last night and CutiePie will begin his OT in two weeks! Yay! I'm not sure that we're going to notice a HUGE difference due to the therapy, but any little bit is a good thing!

In the meantime, he's had three good days in a row at school! They weren't perfect, but they were good enough to get him a sticker each day. When he gets five stickers, the whole class will get an extra playtime. So, his classmates are encouraging him to be good because they will benefit also. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The contents of CutiePie's bookbag......

When I opened CutiePie's bookbag tonight to review his work, here's what I found:

Homework folder
Extended Day folder
Scrap paper
Three art projects
and........... (drumroll please)................................

a three-day old squished banana all over the inside bottom.


I hate surprises!

Just because you asked!!!!

Okay, here it is....... an actual, real, honest-to-goodness post from me! Where has Perky's perspective been focused lately???? Well, for starters (in no particular order).......

* Passover. I love this holiday. Really, I do! It's just that it's a lot of work. A LOT. And I'm not even really observant! We didn't even hold a seder at home this year, so I don't know why I'm complaining. We went to a friend's house for the first seder and had a very nice time. Then, I co-coordinated a Community Seder at my synagogue for the second night, which was a lot of work, but very rewarding! Now, for the rest of the week, I'm just trying to stay on top of the minimal dietary requirements I observe during this holiday. I don't keep Kosher in general, but I do try to observe Passover by not eating any Chametz (items made from wheat and such that are not a product of Matzo). By this point in the week, I'm getting just a little tired of packing full lunches and snacks for me and the boys every day. Since all the cafeteria lunches and school snacks are off limits this week, I have to be sure to give the boys lots of choices so they have something yummy to eat at each point during the day.

* Spring. Loving it!!!! I don't mind winter, but I love me some spring weather! I feel so much more energetic already! My flowers are blooming and I even have a bouquet of purple Money Plant flowers on my desk that I picked from my front yard this morning. Love it!

* The Election. I'm glad the primary is over, but I don't think it got us any closer to resolution. For years, I've been waiting for a candidate that I can get excited about and now I've got two of them, which of course, keeps me from getting overly excited about either one. It's not fair!

* CutiePie. Since the beginning of the year, we've been focusing on what is going on with CutiePie. He started having serious problems in kindergarten last fall and they didn't get better with time. Everyone around us started throwing around "ADHD" so we got a referral for the local children's hospital's ADHD clinic and started our paperwork. We submitted it in January and got ready to wait. And wait. And wait. And we did. And have. In the meantime, we contacted the developmental pediatrician who saw him when he first got here. She wasn't ready to diagnose ADHD, but rather, she was seeing developmental issues. So, she sent us to a developmental optometrist. Apparently, CutiePie sees clearly, but is having a hard time tracking with both eyes together and cannot hold focus as he moves his eyes. This may be a large part of what is making classwork hard and then he responds to the pressure by acting goofy. Interesting. So now, CutiePie is sporting some oh-so-fashionable frames and the glasses are supposed to help train his eyes. He also goes to vision therapy for an hour each week. We expect this to go on for about a year. In the meantime, he's also been seen by an allergist who prescribed meds to help him breathe better, which may help him sleep better, which may help him focus better during the day. Sounds good. And then we'll be starting to see an occupational therapist soon to help him with some eye-hand coordination stuff. Which seems odd because this kid has GREAT eye-hand coordination, so maybe I just didn't fully understand what they're going to work on.

After all that, of course, the ADHD clinic calls to schedule an appointment. Which naturally isn't until the day before school ends!!!!! Great timing, guys! That's really helpful! Anyway, at least by the time we see them, we'll be able to say if any of this other stuff has been helpful at all.

HandsomeBoy? He's fine.

* My company. We recently moved from our original location to a great new location. I'm so much happier here! My office space is great (relatively speaking), the neighborhood is fantastic and everything just seems so much better! Of course, with the new network, I'm unable to log in from home right now, so I've had to actually DRIVE IN TO WORK each day!!! What's with that? It's so 90's!!!!! Just kidding! But I do miss the ability to work from home. I should be set up to do it again next week and I'll be a very happy camper when that happens!

* Israel trip. Didn't happen. I was all set to go and finally getting REALLY excited about it. That's when RockStar realized I was really serious about it and he freaked out. Totally freaked out. Not because I was going away. Not because I was leaving him with the kids for 10 days. Not because it's not fair that I was going to spend money that we didn't have to go on a vacation I shouldn't be taking. No -- he freaked out because he was worried for my safety. He was certain that if I went, I'd be a terrorism statistic within 48 hours. I totally disagreed and tried to explain to him that I've been before, even when the situation was worse, and I felt completely safe the entire time. He wouldn't listen. After two days of this, I had to choose -- really great awesome trip to Israel or my marriage. Yeah, I chose RockStar. There'll be other trips. I'm still disappointed, but it's nice to know that he loves me enough to freak out over the (slim) chance of losing me!

* Money. This year is the year I get our finances in shape. Yeah, I know I've said that before, but I mean it this time. And I've been doing great. I'll blog more about this topic separately (really - I will! I promise!), but I'm proud of myself for the changes I've been making in our budget (wow - did I really use the "b" word????) and priorities. We have a whole bunch of debt that we shouldn't have and I'm going to put a huge dent in it this year!

* Me. I'm doing well, thankyouverymuch. I have a whole post brewing over my goals for this year. Before you remind me that we're already nearly a third of the way through the year, let me say that I've actually been working on and achieving many of my goals, so I'm off to a pretty good start!

* You. By "you" I mean of course the bloggyworld and my bloggyfriends. Even though I don't post much (uh, at all lately), I faithfully read your blogs and can't wait to hear what everyone is up to. I really look forward to each post. I find it hard to believe that anyone feels that way about my blog, but I'll pretend it's true and try to treat you to a little of my Perspective more often. Deal?????

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Win an Orek!!!!

Wow! The ladies over at Five Minutes for Mom are at it again -- this time, you can win an Orek Vacuum Cleaner! I don't know about you, but I could sure use one of those babies! Check it out and see for yourself!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Me speak good!

Your Vocabulary Score: A-
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!You must be quite an erudite person.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hair update.....

By the way, I'm still loving the new hair! I played with it a little yesterday and washed it today. It even looks pretty good when I let it drip dry! That's awesome! I'm sooooooo glad I cut it!

Iron Chef, anyone????

So, we're sitting there at the dinner table tonight. HandsomeBoy was eating my homemade chicken salad and he was telling me that he didn't like chicken salad the last time he had it, but he liked it tonight. I explained to him how different people have different recipes for it. As an example, I told him how when RockStar makes it, he purees it until it is very smooth, plus he uses hard-boiled eggs in it. I make mine slightly chunkier and use lots of finely diced veggies. I mentioned that other people make it very chunky and may put in grapes, raisins or walnuts.

HandsomeBoy thought about it and then said the following:

"You and Daddy should have a contest. Daddy makes chicken salad and you make chicken salad. I'll taste both and tell you whose is best."

That was cute. Then he added this:

"And the winner gets to sleep with me -- ALL NIGHT! Isn't that great?"

I just hope he doesn't try to run a contest like this in his high school home ec class!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wow - I've got perky hair!!!!!

Okay, to start with, I've been working on this big post about my goals for 2008. Instead of waiting until I finished the post, I decided to start jumping right into achieving some of my goals. First up --- new hairstyle!!!

I've been wearing the same long, blunt cut back, blunt cut bangs for awhile now. It was, as Randy Jackson would say, "aw'ight". Meaning -- it was presentable, but not much better than that. Plus, I was really really REALLY overdue for at least a trim. Look and see if you don't agree......... .

Plus, just for added effect, you get to see me in my standard daily "uniform" -- mom jeans, a dark solid tneck, a fleece zip-up and Lands End slide in mocs. Yep, that's me -- what a fashion plate, huh???? I've been needing a change for awhile now, but never had the guts to actually do it. As part of my New Year New Me plan, I went to a new stylist today, explained it ALL to her and let her do her thing.
She listened to me and then told me exactly what she thought I needed and what she would do. I took the plunge and told her to go ahead. The first few minutes were the worst -- my hair was falling to the salon floor in long thick piles. I just kept talking and thinking about how much I WANT to change my hair, my life, my future, my thinking. I'm sure she was sick of me talking, but I really needed to do that to stay calm. She kept taking off more and more and more hair. Just when I thought she was finished, she'd find another section that needed to be addressed.
It was hard, I'll admit it, but........ I LOVE THE RESULTS!!!!! I LOVE MY HAIR!!!!! Can you believe it? I don't know if I've said those words in over a decade! It's far and away the best haircut I've EVER gotten! I'm so excited about it. What do you think????

Okay, those of you who are looking closely and paying attention will also notice that, just like all the before & after shots you see on latenight infomercials, I've also changed into cooler clothes and put on some makeup! Sorry the photo quality isn't better, but I did the best I could.
One more step closer to achieving all my 2008 goals!
Oh, you want to know what the rest of them are? Silly me. Well, you'll have to wait a few more days probably for the list. BUT, I promise to blog them because then they'll be real and I'll be accountable to them!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Five on Friday!

1. Do you make New Year's resolutions or personal goals?

Yes, I have to admit that I do. Of course, I make resolutions and goals at other times of the year, too, especially around the change of seasons and holidays such as Rosh Hashana (my other New Years).

2. Have you ever kept a New Year's resolution? Achieved a personal goal?

Not completely, but I've made progress toward them. My 2002/03 goal was to have a family -- done (in 2004). A 2004 goal was to lose weight (lost a lot in 2004, but have put a little back on -- still not back to where I was, though!). Another 2002 goal was to "get organized". This is actually a perpetual goal of mine, but in 2002, I found FlyLady and started to creep ever closer to my goal. I'm still not where I'd like to be, but I'm SOOOOOOOOO much closer than I was!

3. What things are you always resolving to do but never actually do?

Get organized, lose weight, get back in touch with old friends, stay in better touch with current friends, exercise more, talk less, waste less time, be more patient.

4. Why do you think most people fail to uphold their New Year's resolutions?

Change is hard. You have to really want it and want it for a long time. It's just too easy to fall back into bad habits!

5. Share the thing you most want to do this year and describe five steps you will take to make it happen.

Hmmmm..... what I want most? What I want most this year is to reach a decision with my husband to pursue adoption of a daughter. How do I get there?
Beg, beg, beg, beg, and sexual favors!!!! Just kidding (sort of). Here's my vague plan:
1). Research the current state of international adoption. 2). Research the current situation with hosting programs. 3). Research the current situation with foster/adopt programs. 4). Compare the programs with our budget, desired timeline, family needs and comfort zone and make a decision. 5). Start the chosen process. Of course, that makes it sound easy. We all know it's not that easy. Especially since RockStar is pretty comfy being the dad of only two kids. But, I really want a girl. There are many reasons I want a girl, and ironically, none of them are traditional "girly" reasons (princesses, pink, dressup, Barbies, etc....).

Will it happen (i.e. begin) in 2008? You'll have to keep checking back to find out!

Friday Feast!

When was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?

Hmmmmm...... it was probably the pinball machine I won last summer. Well, actually, I won the game last winter, but they didn't ship it until the summer. Of course, I didn't even know I'd won until I got notice of a package that was going to be delivered that I had to be home to sign for. The pinball machine is currently living in my living room, which is NOT where I'd like to have a pinball machine, but it's the only place it'll fit! I seriously need to reorganize my house!

If you could have a summer and/or winter home, where would you want it to be?

I'd love to have a winter home on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica! We were there in February of 2000 and absolutely fell in love with the area! So nice, pretty and peaceful!

Pick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.

Cherry. Definitely.

Main CourseDescribe the nicest piece of clothing that you own.

Uhhhhh...... uhhhhhh..... I have no idea. My wedding dress? A gown I wore to a friend's wedding? I have a few very nice suits from my former life as an attorney, but they're out of style now and don't fit me so well anymore.

If you could forget one whole day from your life, which day would you choose to wipe from your memory?

Since I can't think of anything, I have a feeling I've ALREADY forgotten it!