Monday, December 22, 2008

Textually Frustrated

I am textually frustrated. I can't help it. I am.

I am in a war with Rich right now to text. He has threatened...although I believe he has already done contact our cell phone provider and put a lock on all out-going and in-coming texts. He says it is ridiculous and there is no need for it, but I disagree. You see, everyday at 11:35am, my phone rings and I know it is him leaving me my daily message of what time to pick up Ryan from daycare and any other piece of news he needs me to know. Now, as I appreciate all of the information, they are often 2-3 minute voice mails and I'll be honest...I hang up after 30secs. I have kindly explained to him to get out all the good/important stuff in the first 30secs because after that I'm gone, I have checked out and I'm already looking for the button to delete. If he would just text me short little messages, all information will be viewed from my end and it will be taken care of. He is not convinced.

So, for all of you out there that have sent me texts, keep them coming. I enjoy the feisty conversations Rich and I have every month when the bill arrives and he comes unglued. Maybe then he will give in and pay the $9.95 a month for all of this nonsense to go away.

Happy Texting!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, today after school I discovered a letter sitting outside of Matthew's backpack that was given to him by one of his classmates--a girl. So I immediately opened it and looked inside at the picture. Now, anyone who knows Matthew knows that he has a fascination with volcanoes and he draws and writes about them all the time. So, glancing at the picture it looks like she tried to draw him a volcano because he of course would love it. Here is the picture.

I will let you all draw your own conclusions about what the picture looks like. Myself, (and yes, my mind does often go to the inappropriate place---not my fault, it's the way I am wired)I found some interesting things. Anyway, the office staff and other teachers all got a kick of of her drawing and I am sure our interpretation of the picture is not what she had in mind. We said it's like a Hidden Pictures page with a whole bunch of "I Spy" things. Also included is a picture of the envelope she put it in. It is too cute and look closely, they are holding hands. "I see a Matthew Marini"

Uh, I have a few "I see a.....", too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Report Cards

If I had to choose one thing I hated about my job, it would be doing report cards. I hate filling them out (especially now that we have to do them on-line), writing comments, and I hate waiting for a note from a parent who had "no idea" their child was doing so poorly.

However, this is a first for me(us). Next Friday we will get Matthew's very first report card. I am so excited. I can't wait to read ALL of the comments, see how he did in benchmark testing, and overall how his year is going so far. I can't wait!

Now, I am not completely delusional. I understand five years from now, or even two years from now, I might not be sharing my enthusiasm so much. But I am going to enjoy the anticipation of his first report card, symbolizing that he is officially old enough to carry some responsibility of his own.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Countdown!

Literally. The countdown has begun. Is this the BEST time of the year, or what?? Yeah, yeah everyone is happy. Tis the season for being thankful and spreading good cheer. You know who else is happy? Parents. Parents are happy. Parents are happy because today kicks off the "Remember, Santa is watching!" season.

My mom bought the kids an early present, "The Countdown", and the kids are ecstatic! This all started last year when we were out looking at lights, you know trying to drive until the kids were asleep, and found a house that had a countdown in their front yard. Well, for the next three weeks I can't tell you how much money I spent in gas driving across town to see the countdown for Matt. So, this year when Target came out with one, my mom jumped on the idea. The display shows days, hours, minutes, and seconds. It took Matthew literally .07 seconds to realize that it can also double as a shot clock. So, after turning it on, he spent an hour or two waiting for the seconds to tick down to zero while playing basketball.

Second, my mother-in-law gave Matt an advent calendar last year and it too represented a countdown. This morning he could not wait to open his number 1 door and see inside for his gift. Ryan was pretty excited too, but really just because he is Matt is excited. If Matt yells something out like "Oh yeah, gummies", Ryan is right behind him yelling the exact same thing.

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We had a nice quiet day here. My mom came over and we split the menu for cooking responsibilities. For the five of us that were here, we could have fed a few more families. But the best part about Thanksgiving is the leftovers....right?

Rich and I had a relaxing time in Vegas. I did some retail therapy and despite what my husband did work wonders on the tension that had taken over my body. I spent the equivalent money on clothes that I would have at the spa paying for someone to ease the tension in 55 minutes or less.

I am going to share a funny story from the trip. I am only able to laugh about this now, days later. Let me just say for those of you who do not know Rich very well, he likes to get the best deal at ANY COST. Whatever deal he can work is like a little high for him. An adrenaline rush if you will. He loves to say he was able to get something for less or So, we fly in to Vegas and the plan is to get me on the bus to head out to the outlets. We walk over to MGM, we were staying at The Hotel which is part of Mandalay where near the MGM, and get in line to purchase a bus ticket. I have two coupons in my purse from him that he had printed out. One was $3 off a $15.00 ticket, or buy one get one free (to which I would have had to ask a complete stranger to share the cost). So I tell the guy that I have a $3 off coupon and I hand it to him and he rings me up a ticket. Rich says to him, "Any deals if your staying here at the hotel?" and the guys says, "Oh man, yes! It's free. But I already printed out the ticket." So Rich immediately says back to him, "Oh no, can't you cancel it?" Okay, at this point my heart starts to pound because we are not staying at the MGM and I know this guy is going to ask to see a room key or proof of our being a guest. Rich then turns to me and I say, "Um, I don't have my room key" (in the best I am going to kill you voice). To which Rich replies, "Oh really you don't have it? Just put our room number down on the piece of paper". So, Rich proceeds to make up a five digit number and I write it down on the paper. The guys say, "Enjoy your shopping day Mrs. Marini, your return time is at 6:00pm."

Let me tell you, as Rich was walking away from me to head back to his meeting, all I could think was they are going to find out what we did and they are going to leave me out in the middle of the desert...because that is where these outlets are located, in the middle of the desert! The guy did say it was a $132.00 cab ride back to the strip and all I kept thinking was I am totally going to have to cough up the money to take a cab back once they check the fact that there isn't a Mr. and Mrs. Marini staying at the hotel in room 12415, (yes, that was the exact room number he told me to write down) let alone in any room at the hotel.

So, now your understand my retail therapy and ALL the tension that was built up in my body on the bus ride there. When I handed Rich all of my credit card receipts, he kindly reminded me that we are in a recession and wanted to know what I was thinking? I simply told him I had to have enough clothes in case they refused to bring me back because my cheap husband risked $12.00 in a bus ticket that could have cost him $132.00 cab, not to mention a nights stay at the local motel. Please, you would think he knows me by now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Parents Weekend

It's parents weekend in the Marini household. We are off to Vegas for a few days and the endorphins running through my body are doing the happy dance. Rich has a sports show and what better excuse do I need to escape with him, ditch work, and veg-out for a couple of days. Last weekend I drove to Sac to the SPCA used book sale and scored on books. I got 24 books for $14. It was like Christmas had come early for me. My suitcase will contain three outfits, shoes, bathroom stuff, and about eight books. And I plan on reading every single one of them.

We fly out Sunday, arrive at 11:30 and at 1:30 I plan on being on a bus headed for the outlets. Read on the bus on the way out, spend a couple hours shopping, read on the way back, get back just in time for late dinner, and maybe top it all off with a sleep aid and no alarm clock. Can you say EUPHORIA?


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Yeah! It's basketball more ways than one. First of all I am happy that the NBA is back on because my boy has been missing it in a bad way. Also, Matthew started his basketball season and so every Saturday we pack up and head off to the game. This boy is proof that DNA is evident in the sports genes. Rich, from what I understand, was very good...but modest. Let's just say the DNA part stops there for Matt. We'll see how this holds up in the next few years, but modesty is not something Matthew practices. Which is completely fine because I think it encourages him and he is very proud of himself and it is building his self-esteem. (Boy, do I sound like a mom or what)

I have two favorite parts from this mornings game. The first is that Matthew did a fantastic job passing the ball. It is very hard for a five year old to give up the ball so someone else can have a shot and he did it consistently throughout the game. I loved it after the game when he said, "Mom did you see me pass a lot? And when I passed the ball, they passed it back to me!" Isn't that great...teamwork!

My second favorite part of the game came in the last few seconds of the last quarter. Matthew had the ball and we couldn't figure out why his wasn't shooting. Finally he put up the shot and the buzzer went off a second later. The kid had been watching the shot clock and wanted to hit it at the buzzer. Can you believe that? The shot didn't go in, but it was close. His coaches were laughing so hard and I couldn't wait to call Rich and tell him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Date night

Friends of ours had an engagement party a few weeks back and this picture was snapped pre-mulitiple cocktails by Heather. Rich and I never take a couples pictures because we never have a fun date night.

Monday, November 10, 2008


So this past Friday Matthew turned five. My good friend Lynn has a daughter who is three days younger than Matthew (we missed each other in the hospital by one day) and I told her that I didn't have a problem with him reaching this little milestone of "five", it was the fact that he is half way to the age of TEN. That is what I am having a problem with. If it goes by as fast as these past five years, he will be in the double digits in no time!!!

This weekend he celebrated with his cousins, Mason and Mikayla. They had a great time at this place called Boomers in Modesto (which Matthew kept referring to as Mexico). We took the kids miniature golfing, go-cart racing, and arcading. Next was dinner at the Elephant Bar and then a sleep over at our house.

Let me just say this...there was a reason why Rich and I had boys. SLEEPOVERS!! I think girls tend to have more sleepovers than boys. Matt, Mason and Mikayla were great. In fact, total time of them actually being here was just a few hours. It was the 45 minutes before bed and the 45 minutes in the morning that I held my breath that no would get hurt. Rich transformed our living room into a make-shift campsite with a tent and tee pee that were connected by tunnels. Needless to say the crawling, crashing, and screaming took a couple years off of our lives. The kids had a blast and that is all that matters.

Matt got a DS for his birthday and we haven't seen him since. He comes to the kitchen to eat, occasionally asks for water, and sleeps when needed. Last night Matt was on one couch with his DS and Ryan was on the other with Matt's old Leapster. It was silent for about 20 or so minutes and there was peace in the Marini Household.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween lives on.

It is ridiculous to think that just because Halloween is over, the costume is put away and is never to be touched or seen again.

Just look at this kid. Everyday he wears this hat around and bounces from room to room.

You gotta love this hot mess. And yes, I did "cover" him to ensure his privacy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holiday Cups

I beat my sister this year in our annual call to inform each other that the Starbucks holiday cups have arrived!!! Ahh, it's the little things that excite me. My birthday and Christmas are a week apart...I take advantage of the holiday season AS LONG AS I CAN!!! Cheers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Costume Update!

Is Halloween over yet? If I close my eyes, will it finally be over? Okay. So, I totally bailed on the hot air balloon. People...I just couldn't do it. Some of you gave me some fantastic ideas. I appreciated the realistic creativity that most of you brought, however, the rest of you grossly overestimated my talents.

Plan B. New Costume. I ate a little crow when I sat down with Matt and broke the news to him that the hot air balloon would not be taking flight. He was disappointed for approximately 4.5 seconds and then said, "Okay, how about a cupcake?" I told him try again. So, we decided on a M & M Cookie. This I could do. For the grand total of $.47, the costume is done. It's fine. He loves it. He is very impressed, which is not saying much. My favorite part was yesterday while I was painting it he said I was doing such a good job keeping in the lines, "Does that make you an artist?" Oh, how cute is that? He has no idea that a paint by numbers is the only thing I am really capable of.

Now that the stress of the costume is over....the forecast had predicted rain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tricks and Treats

Today the kids went over to my Mom's house and made some fun Halloween treats. First of all, let me say that my Mom and Aunt Leath totally went all out with art projects and cookie making.
When we got there this morning, the first thing they made were sugar cookies. My aunt was nice enough to let Matt roll out the cookie dough even after he sneezed on the ENTIRE LAYER OF ROLLED OUT DOUGH! I had to leave the room. After the cookies cooled, both the boys frosted and decorated them with Halloween sprinkles, m & m's and candy corn.
Next was a Halloween picture that both of them got to color. Matthew also did a maze and a word search while Ryan attempted to steal more m & m's.
They then moved on to the ghosts. These are way cool. In fact, I made one with my Aunt a LONG time ago and I remember getting it out every Halloween. My Mom and my Aunt were brilliant to think to make one the night before because they take overnight to set and there was no way we were leaving my Mom's today without Matt taking one home.
After that, the boys made little spiders out of pipe cleaners and glued eyes on the tops of their heads. These are so simple and so cute!
And finally, Matt made me a candy corn candle that will "Help light my way", he said. It will be in our window Halloween night so everyone knows that we are festive...just smart enough not to be home.:-)

Hats off to you---Mom and Leath!! What a great day of fun for the boys and a great way to get our holiday season off and go pour yourselves a glass of wine.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Costume!!!

Okay, I started asking Matthew what he wanted to be for Halloween months ago. I figured he might change his mind several times and I would get off the hook on some ridiculous costume...which I did at first. The first costume was a volcano. Yes, doesn't that sound simple? I was having trouble with how I was going to create some type of cone shaped object that fit over his head and then build the materials on top of it that looked like lava and molten rock, and also making it look like lava erputing out the top. Luckily he changed his mind---to a UPS driver.

So, this was easier, I just needed a brown short-sleeved button up shirt that Rich could break copyright laws and embroider the logo on, throw on some brown pants, hand him a clipboard and were done. Then, he changed his mind again---to a hot air balloon.

I am stuck! I send a "warm" thank you out to his nana and papa who took him to Ripon a few months back to see the hot air balloon races. Since then, the hot air balloon has been the only costume he has wanted. The problem is, I CAN'T DO IT! Last years garbage truck sucked all the creativity out of me. There is none left. I have tried to think about how to do this and I can't. HELP!!

Seriously...I am not kidding. If anyone has any suggestions that don't involve an actual balloon, (because it would probably pop within the first fifteen minutes of our evening sending him into hysterics) and you have a creative, realistic plan--Please let me know!!

By the way. Ryan is going to be Tigger, a costume passed down from his cousin Natalie. He will be fine because he puts part of it on daily and walks around the house bouncing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mr. Independent

Matthew. Matthew. Matthew. This boy is all about independence. Which is great--sometimes. I know this is how kids learn. They need to try things, use problem solving techniques, and then we can slide in and help if needed. I have always said that the great thing about Matthew is you only have to show him how to do something once. Bam!--he's got it. The bad thing is---you only have to show him once. He remembers everything...except how to match colors when picking out clothes.

Today I had a staff day at school, so Rich took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese. Rich often takes the boys there to play for a few hours. I hate it there. I prefer being dropped off at Barnes and Nobles to sit down with a coffee and a book. Anyway I was out the door at 7:30 this morning and obviously not around when Matthew dressed himself. So here we go...Laker jersey (bright purple and yellow), red and navy striped basketball shorts, navy blue and yellow striped socks, black nike head band, and bright orange basketball wristbands. No one could have talked him out of this outfit if the world depended on it.

Obviously that day he and I sat down to talk "coordinating colors" was a waste of time.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Tummy Time

Lately, Ryan is giving a new meaning to the phrase "Tummy Time". Usually this means babies are put on the floor and practice getting stronger by holding up their head for certain periods of time. This is not the case anymore in the Marini house. Tummy time is now when Ryan chases us down, lifts his shirt and our shirt, and presses his belly to ours. It is bizarre and we have absolutely no explanation for it.

This started a few weeks ago and it hasn't stopped. Consider this a warning that you are fair game when you all come to visit! Maybe consider wearing something that can be tucked in. :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


After we left Disneyland we drove back through Carmel on the way home. It was a great way to end our trip...but I also had to make good on a dream.

Okay, let me explain. When I was pregnant with Ryan, I had a dream that we were walking on the beach in Carmel and there was Matt and beside him was another little boy and I was taking their pictures. They both had on khaki pants and white button down shirts. I think I knew after that dream that we were having another little boy.

So, Rich was kind enough for me to make good on my dream and take them to Carmel dressed the way I remembered so I can take their pictures. Here are a few of the pics!!

Mickey's House!!!

So, I didn't ditch them. I wanted to, but I didn' chips for me. Disneyland closes at 8:00pm on off-season weekday nights, so I felt obligated to tough it out with everyone. Which was fine because I watched the entire debate when I got back to the hotel after everyone was asleep.

So we made our final visit to Mickey's House courtesy of our annual pass. It was such a great trip because my mom, Noelle, and Natalie all joined us and they had a great time. Natalie LOVED every ride we took her on and she pretty much had a smile on her face from the time we walked through the gate to when we left. This trip was kind of a "make-up" from last year because we went this time last year for Natalie's second birthday and my mom was not able to come because of her back. This year she came and had a great time. The first day I took her on a rapids ride and she laughed the entire time, while she became soaked from head to toe, cursing me all the way. "This wasn't what I was expecting," she kept screaming the whole was great.

Matthew journeyed out of Fantasyland and Toon Town finally and went on Splash Mountain for the first time. Noelle sat ahead of us and kept looking back to see how he was doing. When Matthew gets scared or nervous he becomes silent and doesn't want to talk to anyone....and that is how he stayed for the duration of the ride. We told him that the next time we go back to Disneyland, he will be five and we will not be spending this much money to only go on the three rides he frequents...Dumbo, Little Roller Coaster, and the Tea Cups. So, from now on he must try other big kid rides or else we will be cutting our days at the happiest/most expensive place on earth!

Ryan had a blast. Went on all little rides and he loved Dumbo and the "Horsies". He was thrilled to see Pooh and Tigger and Minnie. He goes around saying "Mumbo", "Tiggey", "Pooh", "Onald Uck". This kid is too cute! This has to be my absolute favorite age. I can't wait to take him back again because we can still get away with telling him "One more time, then all done." and he is totally okay with it!!!

The funniest part of the trip came in the first hour, of the first day of our trip. We all were starving, after leaving at 4:00am for the drive, and immediately headed to a restaurant when we got there. As we sat down to eat, the Whittaker Family--Bob, Debbie, Aly, and Carly walked up said hello. Isn't funny how you can travel six hours from home and still run into people from Lodi? Scary...but true. It was so great to see them and catch up. The girls are so big now and it is hard to believe that I once babysat both of them as babies.

Hope you enjoy the pics!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To ditch or not to ditch?

So for the past couple of months, I have been glued to the tv, Internet, newspaper (online of course) watching and reading anything I can get my hands on about the election. I watched both conventions and all interviews done by the evening news and so on....again, soaking it all in.

So I find it ironic that on Thursday night when the two vice-presidential candidates take the what some call the most important of the four debates....I will be in line at Disneyland for some ride. Believe me when I say that I am trying to justify leaving my family to fly back to the hotel room to watch. To ditch or not to ditch? This is the question. Rich will accuse me of abandoning my family, my mother will think I am crazy, and my sister will do everything she can to join me. She too needs to feed this beast.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Natalie's walk

On Sunday, we were in Sacramento at the Walk Now for Autism walk that was held at the UC Davis Medical Center. As many of you know, our niece Natalie has autism and we were honored to go walk on her behalf and others to raise money for this much needed cause. Many of you so generously donated to Team Natalie and I am forever grateful.

I have included some pictures from the day. Natalie's "Team Walkers" included my Aunt Mickie and Uncle Dan from Stockton, Aunt Leath and Uncle Perry who drove down for the day from Reno, my mom Bobbie, Matthew, my sister Noelle, and of course Natalie. This was such a great experience and I can't wait to be back there again next year to walk. The goal for Sacramento's Walk Now for Autism was $300,000 and they earned well over $350,000!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I never really believed in the idea that within a few weeks I could tell the difference between baby cries. The hunger cry, the tired cry, the I'm just going to cry for the heck of it to see if I can get them to come running cry.

Ryan is at that age where he has mastered crying at the drop of a hat. It is a gift. He is very good at it. This angers Matthew because Matthew tends to get in trouble when Ryan is crying because we think he made him upset. Well, as we are getting more familiar with Ryan's 20 month old cries, it is obvious that he is playing us like a fiddle. We don't jump up anymore and run to see if Ryan is okay because he now is waiting for us to discipline Matt. Matthew is very happy we have caught on to the game.

Going back to the title "reenactment", Ryan now does these little miniature reenactments of his injuries. Often re-hurting himself in his diligence to recreate the scene. This too is hysterical and pathetic. Because as he is trying to explain what happen through a dangerous game of charades, he inflicts more pain to his body. I know a hurt cry the second I hear it, we now just have to remove him from the scene of crime and ask him to retell us using his words.

Love it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Garage Sale

So, this weekend we are having another garage sale. We have about three a year. Rich is a garage sale maniac. I know our neighbors must talk about us. I would make comments about us if I was that neighbor. In fact I have thought about hiring him out to work other people's garage sales because he loves it so mcuh. The challenge to him is to not just get rid of the stuff, it is to make the most money as possible. It's rather entertaining to watch.

Our purpose is always to clear stuff out that we don't need anymore, and make room for the new stuff I like to shop it can be then put in the garage sale next year. This weekend is a little bittersweet for me. We are getting rid of Ryan's highchair. It is the last visible thing in our house that says "baby lives here". His crib and changing table have been gone for a couple of months, along with all the baby toys that both boys played with. The baby things are leaving the house and this is hard for me. For the last five years, there has been a constant look to our house and now it is changing. I know they have to grow up and I know I won't miss stepping on all the toys everywhere around the house, but it is hard to imagine a house without the baby stuff.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to our blog

Friends of ours started a blog a couple of years ago and I love checking it out every now and then to see what is new with them and their girls. I get to see pictures and read about fun things going on with their family. So, this got me thinking...why not do the same? So here it goes....

Matthew is four years old (will be five in November) and just started kindergarten. He loves school and I am getting used to the fact that he is at my school now as an actual student...not just a helper on the weekend. I love sneaking around to see what he is up to while hoping not to get caught. He loves being in my classroom everyday after school, yet I seem to not get anything done because of him asking a thousand questions. As many of you know, I was worried about things that might come up at school....because Matthew tends to have these little special moments that only a mother could love and my fear was that the principal would not find them as charming and funny as I do. So far, the only mini-conference from his teacher to me was that he kissed a girl the second week of school. Not too bad...but a "mini-discussion" took place between he and I after as we discussed the hands-off/lips-off policy that Reese Elementary has. What can we say...we are all about the love here.

Ryan is now 20 months. He is talking more and definitely wanting to do things on his own. This includes getting his own drink (which he can't), buckling his seat belt (which takes forever), and brushing his own teeth (which really is not effective at all). The hardest thing we are dealing with Ryan right now is that he is starting to throw little tantrums and they are to die for cute. That still does not solve the problem, but we enjoy watching them and the dedication he puts in each tantrum. He is really into Mickey Mouse right now, which is a pretty much a prerequisite in our house, so for now he's a keeper!

I hope to keep you all updated from time to time with news and pictures.

Take care,