Saturday, February 28, 2009

What I Miss the Most...

Tight hugs that always cracked my back.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Good News Bad News...

True to deployment form, yesterday I found out that I've had a broken sprinkler pipe for the better part of February. I've had "some" water in the back yard that hasn't gone away for a few weeks. I confess, I didn't really pay much attention to it, but it had rained quite a bit...except for this last week. Our landscaper confirmed the broken pipe, and shut off the water to the sprinklers.

I then called the utility company to see if and how the water bill was doing. Well...lets put it this way, during the peak of summer when sprinklers are going every other day, we are filling up baby pools, watering plants and playing with hoses and taking 10 showers/day our water consumption is 22,000 gallons. This month our water consumption is 46,000 gallons!!!! (I could have made a lake...I feel so wasteful).

The good news is after I have the pipe repaired on Monday, New Bern Utilities will adjust the bill!

Again I say...bring it on!


Uh....what's with the wrinkle cream ad to the left??? It's been there for several days. The ads placed on this blog are supposed to be related to the "content" of the blog...did some young 20-something nitwit at Google decide that wrinkle cream was appropriate? Is it my picture that stimulated this ad?!%^&!

I'm sure, now that I've written this, all ads will be related to plastic surgery, aging and wrinkle cream.

My Sincerest Apologies...

We were off to a great day, the weather is beautiful, it was my Friday to drive the carpool, so we were up extra early, organized and OTD (out the door) by 7:30. After dropping off the big kids and Drew at preschool, I headed to the gym for a stimulating workout. I then picked Charlotte up at the daycare in the Y and we headed out for some errands, it was only 9:15, we'd be finished in time to play, and have snacks before having to pick up Drew at 12:00.

WRONG! While strolling through our very accommodating Walmart in New Bern, my happy daughter developed a puzzled look and then barfed...all over herself, the grocery cart, the floor and a little bit on me. Mind you I am at the point where I no longer take a diaper bag into stores with me, it stays in the car. We had half a cart of groceries, and a few extra items that I was not willing to abandon!

I took her to the ladies room and cleaned her up as best I could, purchased a $5 dress, some antibacterial wipes and germX and fixed her up in the parking lot. We then purchased our items and left.

My deepest apologies to the Walmart staff that cleaned up our mess! You're awesome.

We are only 6 weeks into this crazy deployment, do I dare ask, "What else do you have for me!!"...bring it on!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Dose of Reality...

My younger children have fallen in love with Disney movies. The Little Mermaid is the current favorite. The songs from the movie are permanently etched in my head and play like a broken record.

Today while I was fixin' lunch (quit it, I'm in the south), I was singing one of these wonderful tunes when my 4 year old scolded me. "Stop it Mama, you are not her, you are not Ariel!"

My world is shattered.


I think there must be some type of chemical that's secreted by grown-ups when they want to get stuff done. Only small children can sense it and in turn keep your productivity level low.

For example, one could be trying to talk on the phone with tax advisers during a quiet playtime. As soon as the numbers are pushed on the telephone an all out hysterical crying ensues just as the other party answers and you hangup.

"Prank" calls to H&R Block occur at least 3 more times before you decide to wait until nap time to make the phone call.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Taking Chance"

If you haven't yet had the opportunity to see this film on HBO, you are missing an outstanding opportunity to learn. I first resisted watching this...I never want to think of my husband coming home this way. It is a touching true story of PFC Chance Phelps' final journey home from Iraq.

Have a Kleenex ready.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Story of My Life...

Yep...just turned down making about $1,000+ for 2 nights easy-peasy work in post-partum. Love, love, love deployments!!!

Another Recipe...

This is another staple I grew up family loves it and it's easy!

Steak Pizziola
1 1/2- 2 lbs chuck steak
3-4 TBS olive oil (NEVER EXTRA VIRGIN)
4-5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 32 oz can crushed or plum tomatoes (unseasoned please!)
if you use plum tomatoes, break them up as they cook with the back of spoon.
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste (don't be shy with the s/p!)

In a large, deep skillet, over med-high heat sear meat in oil on both sides. Remove to platter. Reduce heat, add garlic and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Return meat to pan, cover and simmer on low for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with spaghetti.

** To add a little "heat", add some red pepper flakes when cooking garlic.
* Bone in chicken can be substituted for the steak.

A Woman Obsessed???

Am I obsessed? I exercise 4-5 days per week, I'm striving to become stronger, my goal is to be able to complete 10 pull-ups without the girly elastic band for assistance, while making it look easy, and to purchase and possibly wear a bikini this summer.

Let's put it into perspective...I HAVE FOUR KIDS, my husband is away FOR A YEAR, and I am closer to 40 than to 30. I need something of my own that no one else has a hand in. I say, better to be obsessed with fitness than with muffins.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Weekend...

For those who didn't know, I travelled to NJ this weekend for my cousin, Matilda Quintero's, memorial service. I dropped the younger children at my in-laws in Virginia and headed up to NJ with the older children on Friday. The service was Saturday. I had never been to anything quite like it before. I of course, had gone to wakes and funerals, but this was different, a celebration of her was beautiful. There were probably 250+ people in attendance. She had touched all of our lives in someway or another.

Her absence has left a cavernous void within my family. She had a robust personality, an unmatched sense of humor and a passion for life and love of her family (she was a 13 year breast cancer survivor). She is missed. I know Heaven will never be the same and it is a better place with her in it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

We Are Here!!!

I'm home...sitting and eating...I'll say no more.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Road Trip...

I packed the lot of us up and drove to northern Virginia for a quick visit to Bama and Papa's house on our way to NJ. Nearly six hours in the car with four kids and one of the dogs!

It was actually kind of nice! We talked, sang songs, read books (they read, I drove), and enjoyed some forced together time. It made me proud to NOT have a DVD player in my car. I think some of our best conversations are on the road.

Tomorrow I will travel further north with just the older kids...this should be good!


Today I taught my first Spinning class! The music was pumping, the bikes were all occupied, the sweat was pouring, the workout was intense and the class was satisfied.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bizaar Week...

It's only Wednesday and I feel all discombobulated! I have one child home from school for the week on "winter break" another attending school and he even had to go on President's Day for a make-up snow day! The little guy didn't have school on Pres Day. Dance class was not held on Monday, but yes to basketball and dance today started extra early. My day planner (I don't have one, it's all kept in my head), is about to explode.

To add to this, tomorrow I am teaching a 7:30a.m. Spinning class, for which I am not quite prepared...yet. I'm also in the midst of packing for 5 PLUS a couple of dogs and cleaning...'cause I don't like coming home to disorganization...and I want to be knocked out by pine sol when I open the door! (It just makes me happy.)

The serenity will be when I'm at last at my parents house in NJ and can indulge in a little of Mama Cathi's Italian "soul food" and 1 or 12 St. Joseph's Italian pastries.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confessions of a Carb-aholic

As many of you know, I've been trying to get into better shape and drop a few pounds, nothing drastic. Since Paul has been gone I've been extremely well behaved and have been following "old faithful" aka Weight Watchers. I've been toying with the same 3 lbs for the past month and nothing is happening. I drop three one week and it pops up the next.

I've been working out daily. I have a membership to the YMCA and I'm also a substitute fitness instructor, as well as, newly certified to teach Spinning. I've been working out with a Crossfit program almost daily and running, walking, you name it I've kind of got my hand in it. The only difference that I am noticing is that my pants are becoming too tight in the quadriceps area. Thighs ladies, thighs.

Last night I spoke with one of my Crossfit friends, Jeanne. After commending me on my starting the program, I told her my concerns...(thighs), I don't want to look like a speed skater! She said my legs are changing and I should have patience and to measure them. So I am and I did. She also asked about carbs...this is what got me interested...I need carbs!!!!

Nothing makes me happier than bread, pasta, and starch! Jeanne also said I should limit my carbs to less than 30 per meal! So that rules out cereal for breakfast, low fat ego waffles, crunchies in my lunchtime yogurt and most everything at dinner. I'm doomed!

I'll give it a couple of weeks and report back to you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thank You Christine...I Love You!

My kids, all 4 of them, are running around the house singing:

We don't even watch this! Please pass the tylonol!!!! Seriouly, it gets us through dinner prep...thanks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

18 Years...

Eighteen years ago today, I met the man I was going to at first sight? I think so. My good friend, Christine Kobeski, introduced us and the rest is history. We've been together for half of my life and I can't imagine my life without him...thank God for webcams and email!

The following is the very first song we danced will forever be "our song".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Here's to the End of Valentine's 2009!

After much contemplation of what to fix for dinner and complaints and suggestions from four different tastes, I decided to take us to Applebee's for dinner. Why not, right? It's kid friendly, loud, there's something for everyone and most important...they have a bar!

My oldest decided to go to a sleepover, so now we're down to three, even easier! So off we went. Upon arriving, the 17 year old hostess did not ask our smoking preference and we were taken directly to the bar. (My 20 month old must have looked like she needed a was actually a "chocolate crash"!) After all, this is North Carolina and one can still chain-smoke in public places...I smoked years ago and I'm not criticizing the smokers, but leave it outside of restaurants.

So, now we're in the non-smoking section across from a romantic young couple out for a Valentine's dinner...same as me. Two minutes after being seated, my four year old noticed the young gentleman had earring's and long dreadlocks. He let me, as well as the rest of the restaurant know that small piece of information. He just couldn't stop staring at this guy, and saying rather loudly, "that guy has long hair and earrings like a girl", no matter how I tried to distract him. We tried crayons, playing "I Spy" (wrong game to play), transformers, matchbox cars, dinner...nothing worked.

Finally, the couple left...five minutes before we did.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Last night a few of the spouses of our deployed squadron got together for the monthly dinner! Our host, Carol, chose for us to go to Morgan's Tavern in downtown New Bern. We had a great time, and I was able to forget...(with the help of a little wine and fun conversation), for just a little while, what was going on with my family back home in NJ.

Oh, and one of the best Valentine's gifts I received from my kids...they ALL slept in until 7:40, but I'd still like to know who ate my candy!?!?

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today, we were saddened with the news of plane crash, Continental Flight 3407. All passengers were lost, including our dear cousin, Matilda, a flight attendant on board. She is survived by her mother, brother, and two daughters.

I am at a loss for words...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Fridge...the Saga Continues...

I'm happy to report that the fridge is the tune of $400.00, oy vey.

Thanks Mr. Appliance Fix-It Guy!

The Wild Frontier...

The other day I decided that EVERYTHING needed to be cleaned, so for the first time ever, I set out to clean...the garage. It was an obstacle course of scooters, bikes, strollers, recycle bins, skateboards, baseball equipment,and a battery operated vehicle that takes up almost an entire parking space. You name it, I have it in the garage.

After emptying everything out, I looked around and saw nothing but dirt and leaves and gravel, which by the way, kept winding up in my house! So, leaf blower to the rescue! I have never used this piece of equipment before, the garage is totally my husbands domain. Well, I plugged it in, turned it on and WOW! Everything was cleared out! I blew away cobwebs, dead bugs caught in the blinds, etc. Even our puppy, Lola, got some dust blown off of her!

One question, do they make one for indoors?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

USPS Military Care Package Kit...

This is an awesome service from the United States Post Office for families preparing care packages for service members overseas called "MILIkits". The kit is free!!! All you have to do is call: 1-800-610-8734 and follow the prompts below.

1. Choose your language (1 English, 2 Spanish).
2. Choose Option 1 (Express mail, Priority mail).
3. When you reach a live agent request CAREKIT04.
4. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery.

The kit includes flat rate boxes, address labels, and custom forms. The flat rate boxes cost $9.80 to mail and do not have a weight limit!

There is a new larger flat rate box that measures 12x12x5 and normally costs $12.95 to mail, but USPS gives a $2.00 discount if mailing to a FPO or APO address, so the cost is $10.95.

Parcels and articles mailed from outside CONUS are subject to examination by US Customs' officials, with the recipient liable for duties assessed. Customes website provides more info if needed at:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sad News...

The following was sent to me and I just couldn't resist!...

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment
community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities
turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry
Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and
Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on
half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flakey at times, he still
was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John
Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If this made you smile for even a brief second, please rise to the
occasion and take time to pass it on and share that smile with someone
else who may be having a crumby day and kneads a lift.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day Part II

Yes, today was indeed a crappy day, the family left town, the fridge was/is on the fritz...I don't think I mentioned that yet, and my oldest son left on a 3 day field trip...I was actually a little sad by him leaving, and just when I thought it would get worse, the mail came.

I figured, bills, bills, bills, maybe a magazine...NO! Much to my surprise, the best husband in the world sent a little early Valentine's Day gift...lo and behold, a gift certificate to the local spa for a deep tissue massage and European facial. It came just when I needed it most! I will be calling first thing in the morning for an appointment!

After 15 years, he still manages to surprise me...from Iraq!

Fridge Follow-Up...

I'm trying to put a positive spin on the whole fridge thing by compiling a list.

1. It was time to clean the fridge anyway.
2. Cold cuts are salty and not very good for you.
3. I don't really like leftovers.
4. It can be fun to reenact the Colonial time period...for the sake of history.
5. Pretend we're in England and drink warm beer.
6. After the fridge repair guy pulled out the fridge from the wall, I got to clean
that space...yeah!
7. Apparently the freezer needed cleaning as well.
8. Hummus is fattening.

Never Fails!

It's been almost a month since Paul left which means, it was time for something to go wrong. The refrigerator is no longer working!!! It's a two year old Kenmore Elite model. Sears couldn't come out until Wednesday, another appliance repair service couldn't fix this specific model (Kenmore but really an LG), so some random guy is coming out today between 12:00 and 3:00. I've had to throw out most everything in the fridge...just did a big grocery shopping on Friday. I was able to save the milk by placing it into a large metal bowl surrounded by ice. (A nurse trick used to keep urine cold when collecting a 24 hour sample...yuck!) Anyway, it worked.

Of course this all happens during a visit from my in-laws! They were extremely helpful and my father-in-law was able to look up the error code on the internet.He determined that a sensor needs to be replaced. Apparently the part costs $12.00 but I'm sure this will turn into a $250.00 repair, at least. Of course!

And so goes the rest of the day...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Working Girl...

It was great to be back at work, after a month of being home, a little respite on the L&D floor is exactly what I needed! Adult conversations, camaraderie, crappy cafeteria food and a little cattiness! I absolutely loved it, I'll be going back tomorrow and signing up for a few more shifts along the way...I hope my family is sharing the same sentiment.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Busy Weekend...

Really, I'm not "slogging", with much joy, my family is visiting! They will be taking care of my brood while I go to work on both Saturday and Sunday! (I'm not sure who has the better deal). I'm a registered nurse, so if any of you reading this to go into labor over the weekend and visit CRMC, I will be the fun redhead you'll see and we will become "fast friends"!

Oh, and Belle's labwork came back normal! (Of course!)...more Monday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our Senior Belle...

As mentioned in a previous post, we have a dog named, Belle. She is a sheltie, she is the best dog in the world (despite last week's mess), and she is nearly 13. She's completely deaf, 5 pounds overweight, arthritic, and she has some older dog teeth issues.

Yesterday I took her to the vet for her annual check-up. She received a few shots, a couple of tests and was violated in ways only a vet can do. Now, because she is the age she is, baseline blood work was requested and I gave in for a mere $75.00. I should have the results sometime today. They are checking for thyroid issues,liver function, diabetes, anemia, infection, and markers that can be indicative of cancer.

As we were getting ready to leave the office, the Vet told me she is the healthiest 13 year old sheltie she has seen...of course this was said after the blood work was ordered and paid for.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Classic Drew...

Today when Drew came home from preschool, he was wearing a preacher's collar he had made with thin foam and a little velcro. He wanted me to call him Rev. Drew...huh?

Then at bedtime, as I was tucking him in, I was giving him the usual stuffed animals to sleep with, "George", "Lamby", "Puppy", and then when I got to "Horton" the response was, "not tonight, he wasn't listening".

What's going on?

What I Miss the Most...

Adult conversation...with my husband.


Thank God there is a woman out there that had octuplets, it takes a little bit of the heat off of Obama and his choices.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Treats for Troops! Click HERE...

I've just been informed of a website where one can sponsor a soldier, send care packages, etc.

Terrific Tuesday!!

In addition to NOT having to carpool today, Tuesday is our "down" day. There are no sports or dance practices to go attend. Drew is home from preschool and the day is ours!

So, off to the YMCA for a little Crossfit, then onto Moorehead City for a little shopping...still need to find Abbie a dress for a semi-formal dance that adheres to the dress code, followed by lunch at Panera.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ground Hog Day...

Because my husband has said his daily life in Iraq is akin to Bill Murray's character in the movie Ground Hog's Day, this is especially for him...

Happy Birthday Big Guy!

Ground Hog Day is always a celebration in our house, since 2005. Our youngest son is four today! We celebrated yesterday with a great party at New Bern Gymnastics and today with cupcakes at school. Tonight, there will be more cake for a home celebration.

Although I know it's killing Paul he can't be here to party with us, this is a milestone. One kid birthday down, three to go before this deployment is done!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tick Tock, Tick Tock...

Today is the very last day that I will have a three year old son...tomorrow he turns four!

Super Bowl Part II...

Is must be the Jersey Girl in me because Bruce sounded amazing at halftime!

Super Bowl Sunday...

So for the past few years I've tried to host a little "get together" for the Super Bowl, I know nothing of football, the players, the teams, etc., except that "we" route for the Giants and Tom Brady is scum. I like to play hostess and cook, so it always seems like a good idea.

It never really works out. Last year some didn't show, some left early...there is work and school the next day, some ate before coming over???

This year will include just me and my little entourage of kids. They want appetizers for dinner, so I'm breaking out the "piggly wigglies", a.k.a. pigs-in-a-blanket, hot wings, taquitos, chips and salsa and a beer or two for my consumption only.

When my kids told me the Cardinals were playing in the Super Bowl, I responded with, "Isn't that a baseball team?"

Wish me luck.