Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekend Happenings

We had quite the Memorial Day weekend.

We had Jennifer's family over for a cookout on Saturday. Here's the only picture I have of that:

On Sunday after church and lunch at my parent's house, Sarah had a birthday party to attend.  It was at the skating rink.  She has skates that she uses in the driveway and she's been ice skating a couple of times but she's never been to the roller skating rink.  I expected her to spend a lot of time of the floor but surprisingly, after a few spills, she was zooming around the rink like a pro. 

After the skating rink, she spent the night at the birthday girl's house so we figured it was a good time to have Peter's friend Chris over for a sleepover.  We lit up the chiminea and let them roast marshmallows and make smores.

And on Monday, we spent the afternoon at the pool.  It was packed but we had a good time splashing around. 

And now, it's down to less than two weeks of school and lots of end-of-year activities to squeeze in. 

Where has the school year and all my "free time" gone?  And why aren't my cabinets organized and my baseboards scrubbed? 

Hmmmm....perhaps those will be good summer activities for bored children? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

So quick there aren't even seven of them here!

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to do any real blog posts.  That's where 7 Quick Takes Friday comes to the rescue.  Here are some things that have been swirling around in my mind lately:

1.  My BFF and cohort in crime,  Jennifer, has convinced me to do a mud run.  And for those that don't know, a mud run is a 5k that you run that includes obstacles such as climbing walls, mud holes, trenches and other things that you must climb over, under or through.  If you know me in real life, you know that this is something I would never choose to do on my own.

The kids are going to run the pollywog race and are thrilled at the aspect of running through mud - it's a kid's dream.  A 42-year-old's?  Not so much.  I just hope I can get over all the obstacles.  Jennifer may be pushing and pulling me through this course.  The race is next Saturday .  If any of you reading this and have ever done a mud run, please give me some tips, hints, pointers.  I do not want to be the last one to finish!

2.We've got a busy weekend planned - a cook-out, the kids are going to sleepovers and birthday parties, and either a drive to the mountains or a trip to the swimming pool.  Love, love, love long weekends!

3.And speaking of the pool - the kids have their first swim team practice next Tuesday night.  I think they are pretty excited.  We went to the swim shop and ordered their new bathing suits.

Cute aren't they? And the funny thing is...Peter loves to wear this style swimsuit. He typically chooses to wear his swim team suit even when we go to the pool and aren't there for practice or a meet. I would have figured he would have hated this style suit and would want it off as soon as possible.

4. Well, I guess this is a really quick 7 Quick Takes because I'm out of time!

Hope you all have a great long weekend!

To see more quick takes visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. (Except in a cake.)

I am not a huge fan of eggs.  I like them just fine in brownies and cakes but to eat a boiled egg, egg salad, scrambled eggs, a poached egg, an omelet?  No thank you.

When Dan's family was in town for Sarah's 1st Communion, I wanted to serve a brunch casserole.  It needed to be hearty, simple, and most of all - not too eggy.  Try to find a brunch casserole that it is not loaded with eggs - go ahead - search Google and come right back and let me know how it goes.

Most of the recipes I found called for 10 or 12 eggs.  I am gagging a little as I am thinking about eating a casserole that contains 12 eggs.  Blech!

But after lots of searching, I found what I was looking for.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present you with Hash Browns Ham Quiche.

I found the recipe here at but I tweaked it a little so below is my version.

Hash Browns Ham Quiche:
  • 3 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack pepper cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 2 oz. can of green chilies, drained 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • seasoning salt
  • pepper


  1. Get the excess moisture out of the hash browns by pressing them between paper towels.(Repeat this step several times.  You will be surprised at the amount of water that continues to come out.  You want the crust crispy - not soggy.)
  2. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Press hash browns onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
  4. Brush melted butter over hash browns with a pastry brush.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees, for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned.
  6. Mix the cheeses and ham together; place evenly into crust.
  7. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cream, green chilies, seasoned salt, and pepper; pour over ham and cheese mixture.
  8. In a 350 degree oven, bake, uncovered for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  9. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
I added green chilies to this recipe to spice it up a little. You could add other veggies or even change out the ham to sausage or bacon. It's a pretty flexible dish. Serve with fruit and crescent rolls and you have a quick and simple brunch.  Your welcome.

Oh, and the best part? Only two eggs!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

But you don't have to work. Yeah, right.

"My weekend is almost over," Peter lamented  this morning as he was eating his cereal.

"Mine too," I said.

Rolling his eyes a little Peter replied, "But you don't work."

Right, I thought as I quickly recounted in my mind the meals I prepared on Saturday, the laundry I did, the cleaning I did, the shuttling to play dates I did, the kid's homework I oversaw, the piano practice I had to force Sarah to do and then help her with, the fights I broke up, and all the similar things I will be doing today (which is Sunday, a day of rest).

"I'm always at work," I replied.

"Yeah, but you don't have to do anything."

Hmmm...looks like I've been given the permission to take the weekend off.  Perhaps I will try it next weekend.  It's a long weekend after all.  No cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no shuttling, no homework, no piano or guitar practice, no grocery shopping, no.... 

I would love to take the weekend off. But the problem with that? I'm the one that would have to clean up everything when the weekend off was over. 

The laundry pile would be huge, the kitchen would be a mess (not to mention the rest of the house), Peter's May project wouldn't be finished, Sarah wouldn't be ready for piano practice, the cats would be hungry because apparently I'm the only one around here that ever feeds them, the bills wouldn't be paid... 

On second thought, I'll just keep right on "not working" through the weekends.

Friday, May 18, 2012

9-year-old boys do giggle. But they can also make a pfffffftt noise too!

Overheard as I was driving the kids home:

Peter: "Hey Colton, there's this boy in my class named Sam and he likes this girl in my class named Allie."

Colton: "Yeah?"

Peter: "And she likes him back! They're!"

insert  nine-year-old-boy giggling

Colton: "Remember that boy in Kindergarten who liked that girl?"

Peter and Colton simultaneously: "pfffffffftt" 

insert nine-year-old-boy eye-rolling

I told Peter and Colton that 3rd grade was too young to be boyfriend and girlfriend.  I wanted to continue the discussion but I could tell they had already moved on to a different topic.

I was silent as I continued to drive but in my mind I was telling Peter that for now he should stick to playing computer games, practicing guitar, building with Legos, walking around the back yard with sticks pretending they are guns, riding his bike and doing all the other things nine-year-old boys do that don't involve nine-year-old girls.

There will be plenty of time for girls.


Much later.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Like I told Jennifer on Facebook - Only I can complain about a beach trip!

So the kids and I joined my mom and dad for a long weekend at the beach.  Dan was supposed to join us but because his father was in the hospital he stayed back to take care of him.

I debated back and forth about not going to the beach without Dan.  The kids had been looking forward to this trip for weeks and I know my mom and dad had been too so in the end I decided to go.

I'm not going to lie.  Going to the beach with two kids is hard.  When we go to the beach, Dan is the one that plays out in the deep water with the kids while I stand on the edge of the water or sit in the sand and constantly survey the scene to make sure everyone is present and accounted for after each wave has passed.  My kids are good pool swimmers but I take the ocean seriously - it can be extremely unpredictable and dangerous.

I told the kids up front that I wasn't going in as deep as daddy usually did so they were just going to have to deal with it.  And deal with it they did.  After their initial disappointment they had lots of fun playing in the waves up to their stomachs as I stood guard. 

One afternoon the waves were very rough because there were storms brewing in the distance.  And another morning, there was another storm  causing rough waves and riptides.  Riptides, people! I tried to explain them to the kids and what to do if they got caught up in one and I honestly think I put the fear of God into them.  They decided to stay very close to the edge that morning.  Yep, that's me.  Taking the fun out of everything since 1969!

We missed Dan a lot. It just didn't feel right being there without him.  But I knew he was doing what he needed to do and the kids and I were trying hard to enjoy ourselves.  I love spending time with my parents and I know they love spending time with the kids.  And even though I was a nervous Nellie every time we went to the beach, we still had fun playing in the water and enjoying the sand and the sun and the jelly fish.  (I have never seen so many jelly fish washed up no the beach!)

I have lots of experience taking care of the kids without Dan thanks to the many business trips he has to go on.  But for some reason, this trip just seemed harder. It was nice to be at the beach but it did not feel like a vacation. 

This trip made me thankful that I am not a single mom, that I have a strong partner in my husband and when he is not with me, it makes me realize what a great team we are together.

 insert sappy love song lyrics here

Okay, I guess I won't make you listen to any sappy love songs, instead, here are some pictures that I took when I wasn't nervously biting my nails:

Me and the kiddos!

Frolicking in the waves.

Taking a walk on the beach.

Peter likes to carry a gun.  Shhh...don't tell him it's just a stick!

Little cutie!

Handsome boy!

The house we stay in is in the background.

On the pier.

My sweet mom and dad.  Aren't they adorable?

Add caption

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't worry - I didn't waste away. I'm back, along with those 4 pounds!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here folks.  Let me bring you all up to speed.

Several days before Sarah's First Communion, my 93 year-old father-in-law who has been living with us since Thanksgiving became ill.  He had no appetite, he was tired, just not acting like he normally does. 

I took him to the doctor on Tuesday, May 1st and found out he had a urinary tract infection.  Apparently, older people get bladder infections and don't know it because they've lost feeling "down there". 

He started a round of antibiotics but was still very tired and had zero appetite.  Dr. Google told me that older people have a hard time recovering from UTIs and it is normal for it to take weeks for them to feel like their old selves.

So we somehow managed to make it through the rest of the week.  Dan's family came in for Sarah's First Communion and we had a lovely weekend -  except Grampa was lethargic, no appetite, not talkative, just out of it the entire weekend.

Sensing something still wasn't right and not trusting Dr. Google, we took him back to the doctor on May 7th.  Even though he was extremely weak and could barely even walk, he pepped right up when it was time to talk to the PA.  She took more urine and more blood, told us elderly folks have a hard time recovery from UTIs and that he was just tired from that.  She then sent us on our merry way.  Before leaving, she told us the UTI was gone and would call us the next day with the results of the blood work.

On Tuesday, the doctor's office called back with the results of the blood work and informed us that Grampa was dehydrated and that we needed to get him to take more fluids.

So, thus began a long day of trying to wake him up, sit him up and get him to drink something.

At this point, he didn't even want to sit up, it seemed that he was in pain every time he tried.  We got as much as we could get in him and that led us to Wednesday.

That morning, I got him to sit up every 45 minutes and take 8 ounces of water.  However, it was apparent he was still in pain.  I had to take Peter to the allergist for his yearly appointment so I asked my mom to come over while I was gone to sit with him and get him to take fluids.

When I arrived home from Peter's appointment, mom and I agreed that this wasn't normal.  He could not sit up without screaming out in pain and we felt completely hopeless.

I called the doctor's office and basically told them, "don't tell me to bring him in because I can't even get him to sit up without him screaming".  I knew he needed to go to the hospital but I guess I wanted them to confirm it.

I called my husband at work and he rushed home.  He tried to get him to sit up but every movement caused him great pain so we had to call 911.  We knew there was no way we could get him down the steps.

The ambulance showed up at our house, got Grampa on a stretcher and whisked him away to the emergency room.

7 hours later he was finally in a room and was diagnosed with dehydration (which we already knew).  Apparently the dehydration was causing him pain all through out his body.

They also diagnosed him with pneumonia.  6 days, many bags of fluid and many doses of antibiotics later, he has been transferred to a rehab center.  He is still very weak so they will be working with him to help walk, feed himself, go to the bathroom, etc. Hopefully after some physical therapy he will be good as new!

Last week was a very stressful week - there were lots of hours logged in the hospital, lots of prayers, lots of phone calls and emails to family members but thankfully it looks as if he will be okay.

I lost 4 pounds last week due to stress and not eating - but don't worry Mom - I managed to gain it all back at the beach this past weekend. 

Exciting pictures of the kids on the beach coming tomorrow!  Come back because you know you don't want to miss seeing someone else's vacation pictures!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Isn't she lovely?

Things are still a little crazy around here but I wanted to pop in to post some pictures. 

We had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of family and Sarah had a wonderful 1st Communion.  I don't think it could have gone any better!

Sarah's Great Uncle Bob and her God Parents Aunt Cathy and Uncle Bob
The church always hires a professional photographer to take photos of the kids receiving their 1st Communion.  I should have those back in a couple of weeks! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Poised and ready to run!

Sarah receives her 1st Holy Communion this weekend.  I have been busy preparing for house guests and all that goes with the weekend.

She is thrilled and keeps saying she can't wait until Friday (when people start to arrive).  My hope and prayer is that she is thrilled about receiving the Eucharist for the first time but I have a feeling it also has a little bit to do with the dress too.

I am about to wash sheets, run to the grocery store, clean toilets,etc., ect. so I am going to leave you with two shots of the kids taken at their last track meet.  One of the fathers took pictures of each of the kid as they lined up at the start and were waiting for the gun to go off.  The picture album he posted on Shutter Fly is basically 100 pictures very similar to the follow and it cracks me up - such intensity!