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!