Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mad Dog Madness

Warning: The contents of this blog does not reflect the opinion or desire of all Marini household members. Mrs. Marini(the author) wants it clearly stated that she thinks this act was repulsive and it does not reflect the family eating morals that she tries to instill on a daily basis in her house.

This started last year. We went to this hamburger place called Andre's one afternoon for lunch. While we were there, Rich saw that they have something called the MAD DOG BURGER CHALLENGE. The challenge is to eat the Mad Dog, which is two pounds of beef, four slices of cheese, and extra fixing's of the huge side of fries, in less than 30 minutes. He was like.."I could do that." I immediately responded, "Maybe you could...but why would you? That is a horrible thing to do to your body." Then Matthew got involved and it became this "thing" of no longer if Rich could do it, it was now when Rich was going to do it. Can you feel me beaming with pride yet????

So for Christmas, don't ask me why, Rich put in Matt's stocking that he would take him with him to Andre's and Matt could watch him do the Mad Dog Challenge. Matthew was of course ecstatic!!! As I started telling my friends about it, they insisted they needed to be there as well and one of our friends, Brad, wanted to do it too.

On Sunday reservations were made for twelve to witness the "madness". When we all got there, we were rowdy with laughter and chatter going on and on about the challenge. The minute the plates arrived...there was a like a hushed silence over the table. As all of our food arrived, we just sat staring at the hamburgers in awe and thinking it was possible that Brad and Rich could actually do this. Right behind them was a huge wall of Polaroids with successful challengers of the past...staring them down like a gauntlet being thrown!!!

As they started the clock, both boys started strong. Brad had of course done some Internet research on how to maintain your body throughout a eating challenge. Rich had just showed up. They both took the hamburger apart and starting eating it that way, occasionally adding red onions and tomatoes to every bite. Brad's iphone sat off to the side with the times slowing ticking away...

At about the seventeen minutes mark it was clear that the challenge seemed to live up to its name. Both boys were starting to slow and us observers, who had sat quietly and let them concentrate, were starting to sense that defeat was near. And I couldn't be more proud. I was more proud that Rich couldn't finish in the time, than anything. I kept telling him that he did good, but I was so happy he didn't finish...because that is not something to aspire to. Rich did end up eating all of it, but it took him 54 minutes. Brad didn't finish, but he gave it great effort!

The photos. Thanks to Kristin, here are some pictures of the challenge. They tell a story of two insane guys who tried their hardest, but in the end failed. We couldn't be prouder.


Does he look ready to go, or what???? All smiles...

Starting out strong.

There are no words....

Jason and Aidan

Matthew and Aidan

Lynn and me

Kelly and Kristin

Rich still working...

At the 55 minute mark.

The Golden Girls

Group shot

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baseball Fever

It's baseball season! It is still technically basketball season and soccer season, but who's counting at this point? Last Saturday was my big sports day. Rich was working so I was on my own for the day. At 8:20 Ryan had soccer, which ended at 9:30, so we had a half an hour to kill before Matt had to be at baseball practice at 10:00 (YES MY CAR SLIPPED INTO AUTOPILOT AND DROVE ITSELF TO STARBUCKS....HOW DOES IT KNOW HOW TO DO THAT????). Then from 10:00-11:00 he had baseball practice, which we had to leave early to get across town to his basketball game that started at 11:00. SAY IT WITH ME---MOTHER'S DAY SPA PACKAGE!!! At the end of all of it, we survived the all craziness and wardrobe changes and came home to take naps.

On Sunday we took Matt to the batting cages. As a former softball player, it seems it is in my blood that if I come anywhere near a pitching machine, I want to put on a helmet and take some battling practice. The smell....don't you love the smell of batting cages??? I love it. Our intentions for the trip were to get Matt in and let him get used to hitting with pitches, just not off the tee. So, it was kind of a surprise when Ryan decided to throw a MAJOR FIT and decide that he also needed to hit some balls. Try explaining to a three year old, who is currently and successfully screaming so loud you no longer heard the pitching machines, that he can't get into a cage and swing at a ball flying out of a machine straight toward his head. It was RIDICULOUS!!! Apparently the owner of the batting cages has dealt with this before because he knew exactly what to do...he would let Ryan take batting practice.

WHAT???????? I looked at Rich and said, "HE IS NOT GETTING IN THE CAGE AND TAKING SOME HITS!!!" To which Rich replied, "Oh no! Of course not!!" you can see, he took some hits.

This was him when knew he had won and was getting in the cage.

This is just darling....

And, oh yeah...the purpose of the trip to begin with. Matt actually did very well. A pitching machine can be very hard to read and overall he did good. I am sure he wanted to politely turn around and say "SHUT UP!" to Rich and I because we coached him on every pitch telling him to keep his feet spread, keep your back elbow up, head down--focus on the ball. Yeah...we were annoying.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Christmas in March

We are celebrating Christmas in March. Luckily we have semi-patient boys because when they opened their Christmas gifts this year, they understood that they had to wait until March to actually receive the gifts.

Ryan's gift was a trip to Disneyland. Now, taking in our history of visiting the Happiest Place on would think BIG DEAL! But, it was a big deal simply because we thought of not renewing our annual passes and that would mean cutting way back on our trips. The problem was that Ryan was just now at the point of LOVING Disneyland and we felt it was unfair to now not go as much as we had when Matt was young. Yes it is expensive, but we all really do enjoy going and it really never gets old. Ryan was ecstatic and it was so cute to see him be brave and go on new rides. The major change this trip was that Ryan is no longer wearing diapers and we were constantly in bathrooms making him go whether he needed to or not. He had no accidents, so I consider it a successful trip!!!

Matt's gift was to see a Laker's game at the Staple Center in LA. The ONLY WAY this was even remotely possible was due to Rich's friend Justin. In a way, Justin is Santa Claus to us. He makes things happen and for that he is my new hero. I am forever in debt to him and if he ever needs a kidney...I'm his girl!! Justin works for a firm in LA that has a suite at the Staples Center and he was able to get us tickets to a game. When Matthew opened his gift on Christmas day and we explained what he was going to be able to do, euphoria took over his body. To add to that, his Papa Rich and Nana Sharon promised to take him to the Kings game when the Lakers were in town. This past week has been labeled LAKER MANIA!!! On Tuesday night he was in Sacramento seeing Kobe and then this past Sunday night. Life is good in Matthewland.

Here is the sign I made for him for Tuesday nights game.

The new KOBE shirt we found for him in Vegas.

Walking into the game Sunday night!

One of the many works of art on the walls of the Staple Center.

This is the hallway leading to the suite where we watched the game. It looked like an upscale hotel.

Right outside the suite before going in....don't they look ready to go!

The sweet suite...

The spread...

Picking seats and getting ready for the game!

Ryan enjoying himself too.

The reason we are here.

Trying to get on the big screen for cheering!

Silly boy...

Ryan playing with the fans.

This is the area right in front of where the boys were sitting. They pretty much ate the entire game.

Halftime rest and read.

Mommy's reason for going. Fan stalking!! I took our long lens and basically took pictures the entire night to see who I could pick out of the crowd. Some I knew were there like Jack, but Gerard Butler was a pleasant surprise and so I stalked him through my lens all night!>

Gerard Butler

The boys at the end of the night.

Family shot at the end of the night.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tot Soccer--Ryan Style

Well, tot soccer season has started. This is Ryan's first go at sports. He hit the magical age of 3, which means he can officially starting playing a sport...well, if you consider tot soccer a sport. Many people might question its intensity because 9 times out of 10, there are more parents on the field than kids. Anywho, this was a HUGE deal in our house because he has been attending all of Matthew's games for the past couple of years wanting SO DESPERATELY to be out playing too. The time had now come for him to be a big boy and earn the trophy that his dad and I paid for. This was his time!!!!

In true Ryan fashion...and lets all be clear about this, Ryan is usually marching to the beat of his own drum, he just goes about things his own way. He just flat out makes me laugh. Everything he does, his mannerisms, his voice, his facial expressions are all hysterical to me. So it is no surprise that this weekend, when we were able to see him play for the first time, he announced that he would not be playing anymore because he already played once and he is now all done. I believe his actual words were, "I told you, I only do it one time and I all done!" Now, you could imagine how his father and I reacted to this....I mean really, sure we missed his first EVER tot soccer game because we were in Las Vegas, but this was OUR first game. And he was done!

After much effort by me, Rich, and our ace in the hole Matthew, we were finally able to convince him to go out and play. This was him five minutes later....

At one point he actually got up and hid behind the chair. So sad. Our last attempt to get him in the game was telling him that he would not be able to get the snacks and drink at the end of the game if he didn't play. Since we believe that is the only reason he signed on to play in the first place, it was a matter of time before he headed back out on the field. A little reluctantly though....

Here are some action shots. He really is a very good little player. When he realizes that he is actually having fun, I think he enjoys it quite a bit!