Underwater Update

July 9, 2013 at 8:53 am (Day to Day, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Heat, High School Football, Summer, Things The Kids Like, Underwater, Vacation, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


The last of the Kentucky shots. The waterproof case seems to have held up well. It got taken to the beach when the kids got back but the pictures were all out of the water. Sand, pebbles, waves, shoreline…the usual. Nothing shared at this point, but it always takes a few days for the complete phone empty and picture dump because my daughter literally takes hundreds at a time. And now that my son has his new camera, I mean phone, the kid-view pics should double. I saw some already, (pretty good stuff), but he hasn’t forwarded them. Plus, he’s not happy today because football camp started again and he has to go sweat in the hot and humid, dreary morning. The problems of high school at 15. I wish. I have to go to the eye doctor, take a shower, remove body hair, do the laundry, clean the house, go to work, pay the bills, cook dinners; Ho hum. Problems at 40. (Plus. Yes, plus. I know. I can almost hear my sister snorting on the 40 thing. I am over 40, but just barely, and I can still technically round down.) Here’s the kids. The girl is above. The boy is below. Later.


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MW3 COD Black Ops X-Mas Cheer brought to you from the mall!

December 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm (Christmas Spirit, Day to Day, Holiday, Things The Kids Like, Video Games) (, , , )

If your eyes did NOT just bug out, and you did NOT get a sudden nervous rush of adrenaline and excitement after reading that headline and seeing that picture, then you are obviously NOT a teenage boy. Or a young adult male. Or a grown ass man that might even have a wife and kids.

All those letters and numbers in the above headline stand for: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty, Black Ops. It’s a video game. Well, it’s a series of video games. I used the 3 because it sounds like more. And these games are all about MORE. More guns. Bigger guns. Throwing knives. Stabbing things. I hear the words “quick scope no scope” practically every 10 minutes from one of my children and I have no idea what that means. It usually leads to yelling and screaming about cheating and ends with real-life combat and declarations that one is quitting and never playing that damn game again with the other one. At any rate, it’s really popular too. This is a Jeep that was actually produced because of the game. Apparently this exact Jeep is IN the game. And now you can buy it! And drive around in it. And people, like me, will take its picture and show their teenage son and adult brother-in-law and they will get all sweaty and freak out and say the exact same thing despite the 20 year age difference between them:  “Oh man you saw one of these???” And they will take your phone and stare at the pictures all jittery and asking questions that you really don’t know the answers to because you are a female and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a black Jeep with a special sticker on it. Ha. I kid. But then again, I really didn’t know about this Jeep until we saw it at the Arby’s the other day. I knew as I was taking the pictures that the owner was probably watching me from inside. He was. In fact, he was sitting at a table that was facing his Jeep. I knew it was him because of his location in the restaurant, the weird way he was looking at me as he was leaving and then because I watched him physically get into the Jeep and drive away. I made up an entire life story about him while we were sitting there after he left. He looked to be in the 30 to 40-ish year old age range. In my fake life for him he worked at the Best Buy. I made him a manager so it wouldn’t be so sad and my son said if that was true, that’s probably why he gets to play video games all day. He probably needs to be a bit older, and be a manager, because I just found out they cost about 40,000 dollars. (I know right? These video game accessories are getting way out of hand.) He probably has boys, and their dads, drooling and fawning all over that thing every time he parks it somewhere. In fact, before he left, an entire van of teenagers pulled up and they all walked around it, staring and talking, as they scattered to other parts of the parking lot.

So if you find yourself out today, and I hear there are a lot of crazies madly swarming the shopping areas in these last desperate hours, keep your eyes open and your camera ready and maybe you’ll see a Black Ops Jeep too! I’m taking my sighting as a sign of a prosperous New Year for people AND the world. I mean really, if we have money to blow on a custom Jeep from a video game, and the car company feels confident enough that if they build them we will buy them, things cannot be all that bad. At the very least you will make your son very happy! Dashboard. Black Ops out.

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11/11/11 Silliness and Stevie has a new hobby

November 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm (Day to Day, Homemade, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , )

Feast your eyes on this tasty morsel! Believe it or not, this is the final, cooked, product of Stevie’s new hobby: Baking.

This really has nothing to do with 11/11/11 but I thought it was a good way to work in a post about it AND talk about my daughters new love of baking things. We can use this date as the starting point of a new, potential career choice or as the date we can tell the ER that we first started having  the symptoms of food poisoning. Either way it’s a memory immortalized on a historic date in time that I will never live to see again.

The way she starts a project is by looking up something she wants to make on the internet. Then she gathers ingredients, measures, stirs, mixes, combines and then cooks. This particular recipe is her 6th attempt at it. First off, let me clarify that this was supposed to be a cupcake recipe. That’s what she looked up but this is what she created: The brown lump you see above.

It was only at the very end, after the batter was in the liners, in the muffin tray, that she realized something was not right. The batter was way too thick and sitting in the cups like dough balls. Like, cookie dough balls. Then she looked back at the internet and saw that her recipe was NOT for cupcakes, but actually for chocolate chip cake cookies. Not chocolate chip cup cakes. See, it’s those words that can be confusing! You see cake, you automatically think cupcake! Her only other fleeting clue was that there was only enough “batter” to fill 4 cupcake liners. She even had her brother in the kitchen wondering what the heck they were looking at. I can just imagine both of them staring at those lumpy “cupcakes” and trying to figure out what went wrong. Then they scraped all the dough out of the liners and put them on a baking tray to cook. Her finished recipe made this many cookies, plus two, that we ate for quality control purposes:

They are not pretty. They are not really good either. They kind of taste like brownie bites with lots of edge. They do have chocolate chips in them though! The problem, besides following the wrong recipe all together, is that when she does find a recipe, she reads it off the internet and doesn’t follow the order of ingredients.  She tends to measure and mix things out of order and then loses track of what’s in the bowl already and what is not. Her last cookie attempt, deliberate cookies, may have had salt as an ingredient at least 3 or 4 times. Her motto is: “If you can’t remember, add it again! Then double the recipe!” What you end up with is twice as many salty, chewy cookies to feed to the big, fat squirrels we have growing outside. I swear they gather near the backdoor like they’re having a company meeting when we turn our oven on.

Since I was actually at a job fair for most of this, (2 fairly good interviews I think!! Cross your fingers please!! I really need a job. If anything, just to be able to afford more butter and flour and sugar) I walked in on the turds just coming out of the oven. And heard the story while she was already preparing her next assault on my kitchen and baking supplies. Before she got too deep, I suggested she might consider printing the recipe and then using a pen to check off each item as she used it. She did. She carefully checked to be sure it was really a cupcake recipe. It was. And then she put them together. Obviously baking is a skill that takes time and practice. I was mostly in the room when she mixed and measured, but for some reason, something goes wrong somewhere in the process and the finished product ends up just slightly “off.” These are her vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting:

They are not the worst cupcakes you have ever eaten by any means. They look pretty good. Mostly “risen”. A lot are flat, but that’s ok. The chocolate frosting is good. The problem is that they taste like corn bread muffins and not vanilla cupcakes. We can’t figure out why. It’s a basic recipe. The only difference is that it asked for egg whites instead of whole eggs. It’s weird. Either she is completely missing something or reading the teaspoon/tablespoon/½ and ¾ type measurements wrong. So they can just sit there for a few days and I’ll throw them at the squirrels on Monday. Keep them off my bird feeders for a few minutes. Totally off subject…but I have a red-headed woodpecker that I have been trying to take a picture of for the last few weeks. He was here today so I have to think he’ll be back regularly if I keep the bird seed out and full. I don’t know why it’s exciting to see new and different birds eating in my backyard but it is!! Yay winter!

Anyway, she is done for the night now and I will wrap this up and clean the kitchen. Again. Despite this posting, which she fully read and can appreciate the humor behind (because my kids are cool like that!), she will try again soon, and I will let her. How else is she going to learn?? Send her some love and encouragement so she doesn’t give up because, heads up!,  she’s planning on baking ALL the Christmas cookies this year. And unless you want to break a tooth or outright lie, and shatter the holiday dreams of an overly ambitious teenage girl, you all better hope she gets really good at this super FAST! Later!

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Can anyone say National Jr. Honor Society?

July 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm (Day to Day, School News, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , , , )

How do you spend the money you get for achieving high honors in academics when you are 13?? If you are my son, you buy a bunch of Nerf guns!!

But really cool Nerf guns. With extra foam  bullets. They got two shotguns and two automatic guns. The shotguns even have fake “shell casings” that pop out every time you re-load. These are the kinds of things my kids like. Even from my old fart perspective, I do have to say, they are pretty fun. And, as a bonus for me, the process to purchase them was highly entertaining.

We were quite the spectacle at the store, picking them out. My children were trying to pretend that they were getting gifts for their younger cousins instead of admitting that these were all for them. There were lengthy discussions in front of the display about the merits of one type of gun over another and who would like which gun better. Do we like the automatic? Should we go with the shotgun? How many extra bullets? What color? What design? Nobody was paying attention. Nobody really cares what you buy, least of all the checkout lady. For good measure though, my daughter asked for a gift receipt. So we, I mean, they, their cousins, who were having a birthday party that weekend, could return them if they wanted. Elaborate lies! She explained this all to the register girl, who I am 100% sure did not give a shit. Pardon my French. A thousand kids a day go walking through and I doubt that two almost-teenagers buying Nerf guns hardly raises an eyebrow.

Props go out to my son who generously spent his smart-money on himself AND his sister. He bought Stevie the same guns and they split the extra bullets. He never even hesitated. So that’s one more thing I can add to my “like” list. And it’s an important one. Really. Good. Kids. I am a lucky mom! Later.

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When it rains it pours

June 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm (34 Day Summer Slim Down, Day to Day, Exercise, New Features, Running Stuff, Summer Break, Things The Kids Like, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

Not literally. The weather is so last Thursday. I mean that I had a bunch of stuff lined up and ready to go and a bunch of other crap happened that disrupted my nothing. I can’t even keep up with the weather anymore. It’s like Florida here every day now. Rain in the morning. Sunshine. Threat of rain in the afternoon, maybe a sprinkle or wind or dark, ominous clouding, then sun again. Humid too. It’s annoying. Throw in unexpected driving trips, long distances and sketchy computer-looking eyes late at night and you have the perfect storm of nothing but boring rainfall posts.

On the good side, the minute I mention I am waiting, and content to wait for, a test date, the e-mails start to appear. People are beginning to plan their futures! But not me. Still no word. Eligibility pending. So I still wait. I’m not the only one so I won’t jump on the panic wagon yet. My plan is now for the first week of August. Kids will be on their annual vacation with their dad so that’s what I am aiming for. I should be done and over by the time they get back. Jobbed and registered for the next degree. Wishful thinking.

Anyway, we made a new goal to aim for, so this already boring and monotonous site may become even more deserted and bland. Stevie wants to do a 34 day exercise/food/burn the fat/wear a bikini to Indiana Beach/crazy workout/summer slim down. And I think that’s a pretty good idea. (34 days is starting tomorrow and ending July 31.) What the hell right? We could all stand to lose a few. We’re making it official and everything with a weigh in and promises of special sandals and new swimsuits. My kids are kinda strange sometimes. The first week is always the hardest right? Especially when you have issues like, love of food, love of the couch, love of xbox and air conditioning, and a still broken foot.

Oh yeah. It’s going to be GOOD!! Do you wanna hear about it every day? This is my plan for the summer. (I mean, besides scheduling the nclex, studying for the nclex, taking the nclex, passing the nclex (probably the KEY part of the whole plan), then getting a job, taking more classes, and eventually moving to a house that actually has enough rooms for all of us). There is no 5-Mile to aim for this year and no other races that I will be entering. Can’t take the pressure.

So follow us here. Leave a comment. Leave two or three…hell…you can join us if you want. Get up tomorrow. Weigh yourself and start exercising! Post here and let us know what you are doing to eat better, workout harder, burn more calories. (I could really use some ideas to get a boy up and out of the house who would really rather not. And make it FUN!) We don’t need specifics. We don’t care what you weigh exactly, just tell us what you lost! Or what you gained! Strength, agility, speed, a tan! Let me know! You inspire me and I will try my very hardest to inspire you!

Now, I have to go meet my BF for one last bit of the crazy, then I’ll post on the progress and all the other random stuff in between. Up and out. Sky is clear. Looks like no rain for tonight. Ha…had to get in one more little weather bit. Have a great night wherever you are!

FYI–that’s a pic of my morning life as reflected in the grill. See, no kidding. RAN–DUM(B).

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Love and other drugs…

June 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm (Bowling, Day to Day, Exercise, Summer Break, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , )

This is what my kids love. (Well, this and X-Box Live. I think the Microsoft Corporation is seriously brainwashing our kids {and a whole lot of grown-ass men} thru the consoles. At least all the ones that aren’t being brainwashed by Sony Corp. I’m talking to you PS3 people!)

Summer (unofficial) practice starts today. Ya gotta bowl with the new stuff to really bowl!

We do: Kids Bowl Free!  Click it to sign up. We use the alley we have leagues in, but there is a variety of bowling centers to choose from. Kids Bowl Free is awesome, and I LOVE our regular bowling center, however, it’s farther away from home and gas ain’t cheap. BUT,  I did sign the kids up this year anyway, because it’s still free bowling!

Luckily, we have several bowling corporations in our area so I was able to sign them up for another program too, which I highly recommend:

Summer Unplugged! Free Bowling for Kids! This is for AMF Lanes exclusively.

Click it and sign up. We go EVERY day. No joke. And if you like to bowl, pay the extra and sign yourself up too. It really is a good deal. (Even better if you have your own shoes!) We do two separate programs, but I would recommend the AMF program to start. A few bucks extra, but more summer days, and lots of available bowling time. Also, cheap rates for games if you need to bowl a few more because you are, let’s say, breaking in a new ball, and you need to work on that curve.

Bowling gets you up and out of the house. And it’s pretty good exercise. Do it, even if it’s just so the house feels cooler when you get back! Plus, once you’re out, you may find a whole summer of fun waiting for you on the other side of the couch! Click one, join one, then turn off the computer and GO PLAY!

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This is one of my favorite pictures…

March 17, 2011 at 11:05 am (Fish, Pictures, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , )

We need a bonus day! Spring is almost here! 60° right now. I need to go outside for awhile. Later.

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Drum Pad Post

September 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm (Band News, Pictures, School News, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , )

The boy is in the band. Playing drums. This is a practice pad. I wouldn’t normally post such a plain thing like this, (I would), but it was the presentation as a whole that makes it worthy(er).

The BF went to the music store and texted us a picture to make sure it was the right kind. The picture is fine, it was the words along with it that earned its spot here. It could be just me…

And, fyi, Mason is getting REALLY good at playing. He’s musical.

As texted to me:

As texted to me: Dbl sided bouncy and firm thirty dollars alternate 8inch single side bouncy twelve dollars

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Speaking of candy

September 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm (Candy, Day to Day, Giant Food, Pictures, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , , , , , )

There seems to be a mad love affair going on with the old fashioned wax bottle candy. You know, the ones shaped like bottles that have the colorful, fruity liquid inside them? You can bite off the top, drink the juice and then chew on the wax until it’s gross. Yes, those.

My daughter discovered them by accident at an old fashion type ice cream shop. Besides the wax bottles, they had candy cigarettes and bottle caps and what not, but she honed right in on those wax bottles. We bought her ten. She “ate” one and she was hooked. So we bought her twenty more. In the week between our first purchase and going back for more, they were all gone! A really big jar, sold out! She was crushed. I don’t know what happened in the south suburbs this summer that spurned the love of wax bottles, but we couldn’t find anymore, anywhere, in the area. Ridiculous right?

But you can always count on the internet. There they were. Cases and cases to be bought. Pound after pound. Store after store. We picked the company that didn’t charge more for the shipping than the actual candies, ordered up four pounds of them and hoped for cool weather on the day they were delivered. (They tend to melt in the box if it’s too hot outside and you’re not home)

But we had no problems. When they came I let Stevie open them. Told her we had a special surprise for her since we had bought Mason a bike the week before. (It’s not exactly even reciprocation, but she doesn’t care because those candies are worth more to her than a bike, which she already has anyway) She was thinking she was getting books (Twilight is the current fav and being read right now)…when she saw the candy she almost cried! It was very exciting. She carried them around for awhile in their separate bags, then took them all out and counted them (216), then put them in one big bag, and then finally transferred them all to a shoe box. She tries not to eat too many at a time even though she wants to eat them all.


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To the Zoo!

August 6, 2009 at 10:35 am (Day to Day, Pictures, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Quality time with the kiddies. Stevie is on board. Mason says no. Majority rules! Pictures and updates later! Summer is almost over!

It’s sunny and beautiful here in Chicago! 72° at 10 am. They say the rain is on its way. We better go!

Enjoy your Thursday wherever you are!


EVERY time we go to the zoo! Alligators attack my kids!

EVERY time we go to the zoo! Alligators attack my kids!

Victory is sweet!

Victory is sweet!

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