Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's To Do List

I hate resolutions.  Crazy hate them.  It's like purposely setting myself up for failure.  I don't handle failure well..on any I no longer participate in the "Making of New Year's Resolutions". 

So, instead...I'm going to make a New Years To Do List.  This way if I don't get to everything, I'll simply carry it over til next year!  And besides...I love lists.  I love writing lists and crossing things off.  Such satisfaction for this simple girl. 

2011 (or 2012) To Do List
1.  Work on my bargaining techniques--for both my husband and my children.  They kids are becoming smarter in the area of compensation for what they are asked to do and the realization of how much a quarter actually is, is simply not flying anymore.  I blame the Dollar Store for this.  As for the hubby--I'm going to strike better deals...or go on strike.  This will take thought and consideration for he is catching on to my ways as well.

2.  Deep cleaning of the entire house.  For this to happen, the following has to occur--1. School vacation.  I simply have no time during the week to do these types of deep cleaning and the last thing I want to do on the weekend is clean.  2. Make sure my husband is at work.  I am married to a hoarder.  Not an "A&E Buried Alive" hoarder, but a "we can use this again" or "save it for our next garage sale" hoarder.  I am not a saver...I enjoy a deep clean.   3. Make sure it is garbage day.  That way there is no dumpster diving to retrieve lost goods.

3.  Cook more.  Like when we were first married and had no kids type cooking.  I used to get cookbooks out and pour over all the different recipes that looked fabulous and had more than six ingredients.  Now I open the pantry and see what few things I can mix and bake together and call it dinner.  I want to have grown up meals again!

4.  Do away with Free Choice Night.  Free Choice Night goes with the List #3.  My boys are not always required to eat with Rich and I eat because they don't like it or don't want it, so it turns into Free Choice Night for them.  I a little tired of doing separate meals!

5.  Take control of the laundry situation.  Enough said.

6.  Vacation in exotic locations.  White sand, blue-green water, huts on the beach, and umbrellas in my cocktails exotic locations.  I want there to be no cell reception because we've reached international waters.  I want be far enough away that I will never hear the words..."Oh my gosh, is that Mrs. Marini?" ever again while on vacation. 

7.  Read more with my kids.  I want to start interesting chapter books at night that don't have names like Pablo, Tyrone, Dora, Swiper, Junie B., or Clifford.  Maybe a dose of the original Boxcar Children is in order.

8.  Eat as a family, at the dinner table, at least twice a week.  To some of you, you may think of this as a no brainer.  However, at Casa de Marini, we are all on different schedules and we all eat meals at different times.  Weekends are the only chance to eat together as a family and we need to do it more often.  WITHOUT A GAME ON IN THE BACKGROUND!!!

9.  Visit family out of state---that's for you Noelle!!!!  Somehow, sometime, we will travel back east again.  Last time we went south to Washington DC, this next time I'm thinking New York City!

10.  Keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy.  Enough said.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Hair Thing...

When we considered buying a dog, I kind of brushed over "grooming" as one of the expenses that might come up.  Rich...the walking calculator that he ALWAYS adding things up in his mind.  This is a huge buzz kill for almost everything in my life because it is easier for him to say no, rather than consider paying for anything.  So, I left out the grooming expense.  I figured it would be a while before it came up and by then I figured he would love Teddy so much, that the money would be no problem.  Rich is not too fond of we tread lightly where the Notorious T-E-D is concerned.  The owners that we got Teddy from said with Yorkies, it could be a year before we had to get him groomed.  I thought...A year???  That I can do!

Fast forward to this weekend.  I took one look at this face and said...Ted???  Are you in there???  His hair was out of control.  OUT OF CONTROL!  We couldn't see his eyes.  I told Rich...I have to call...his hair will only get longer and we may never see him again!

So I called and got him an appointment for this morning.  I was sooooo excited! Last night I flipped through the Yorkie book my mom bought us and I was trying to find a picture that I could take to the lady so she would know what we had in mind. 

I'll tell you right was not lost on me that I too have done this to myself many times.  I walk into a hair salon, flip through a magazine, find a picture of someone fabulous with fabulous hair, and present it to the lady as if to say...Make me look like this! never works.  I never leave looking like anyone other than myself with a new hair do that resembles one of those people on the back cover of a magazine with a black bar over their eyes and the caption read "What Not To Do With Your Hair".

Well, dogs are different right?  I'll simply take this adorable picture in of this adorable dog in this book and say "I want that!"

Here is a couple of shot of Teddy before...

Just look at this hot mess.

Really only a face his mother loves.

When I went to pick him up, it was like waiting for the big reveal after an ambush makeover.  I was just sure I was going to love his new look.  She opened the door and it was.....AHH!!!  WHERE DID MY TEDDY GO???  I told her to cut his hair somewhat short because I have small boys and Teddy runs like crazy through bushes and stuff chasing them and the least amount of maintenance would be good. 

Here's what he looked like... :(

He was so mad at me that he wouldn't face me the entire way home.  And as much as I felt for him, I was kind of glad because the look on my face was probably not a comforting one. 

I texted the picture above to Rich and he said...She shaved him????  Go buy him a sweater....he's probably freezing!!!

So, I went and bought him a sweater.

 This is him right after I put it on him...

And this is him 15 seconds later...He's still not happy with me.

As much as I tell him he looks handsome...he's just not buying it!  Poor Teddy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Last Christmas Post...I hope

Getting many should we leave out?  How hungry is he going to be???

Who's going to eat the cookies?  All of them?  Really?  What happens if he doesn't eat all of them?  Who gets the leftovers???  Because I've learned how to sit so nicely for treats...

 Getting ready to head out for church.  They are only dressed nice a few times a year and I feel I need proof that they don't live in sweat and shorts.

They are semi-patient with pictures.  Ryan doing his best fake smile.

Finally.  You know the good stuff doesn't happen until they are asleep. 

A note from Santa regarding the "incident" that was referred to the post before.  It was a kind letter letting them know that Santa knows what they did and won't come back if they do it again.  (Parents of the Year....I know)

The calm before the storm....

Look he came...and didn't share with Teddy :)

Matt read the note from Santa...glaring at Ryan...and then tore into the present.

Please pay close attention to the looks on their face....not shocked, are they?

Not a bit surprised...

Look at Ryan's smug little smile....DEVIL!!!!! attention to the looks on their faces now!!!!  Isn't it fun to be surprised?????

Happy Boys.

Loving the new Toy Story game.

Santa gift number 2.  Again pay attention to their faces....

Ryan jumping up and down!!!

This is happiness to me... it age appropriate????

Hey look it's the shoot thingy with the targets!!!!

Someone's ready for their new Toy Story game!!!

And a brand new Baby Mickey!!!!

Ring toss game from Papa Jeff was a big hit!  And in no time the game turned incredibly competitive...shocking, right?

Matthew does not ever back down from a challenge....he can't handle losing.  Who does he get that from???

Here is Matthew trying to put together his very first solo lego project. 

It's only 94 hard can this be???

Not that hard at all...

Oops....wait a minute...are those "extra pieces"?  Hmmm.....

Boys opening gifts at Nana Jack's...with a little help from Jackie. :)

Matthew with his pillow pet.

Ryan's pillow pet.

New rides for Nana's house.

Ryan is dying to get out and ride.

Ahh...a visit from cousin Danny.  Poor Danny...he was such a good sport.  It was as if a rock star walked through the front door.  Matt played catch with him for an hour straight and Ryan interrupted them every 15 seconds.  They loved him!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ryan--Your nose is growing...

And I thought my next post would be AFTER the big day!  Nope.  Because this is too good not to pass on.

Right after we got home last night, I was busy starting to make dinner.  Get things organized, I am puttering around the kitchen half listening to what the boys are saying.  They are talking about Christmas for the 1,974th time just this week.  You understand I have tuned them out...I can't take it anymore.  I just nod and say "We'll see" and hope they move on to something else.  As I am getting dinner out of the refrigerator I hear Ryan say, "Matt--I hope we get that one present that has that shooty thingy that comes with the bulls eye and you try and knock them down.  Yeah--I hope we get that." I freeze.  I freeze and look up and stare at Ryan and say... "What did you just say?" He freezes.  He looks at me and then repeats the exact description he just said out loud.  The wheels in my head not only start turning, they are pretty much going at such a rapid speed that smoke may or may not be coming out of my ears.  Because Ryan has just described...IN VIVID of the gifts under the tree. 

So, like a good mom....I call for back-up.  I called Rich.  Because maybe Ryan saw it and Rich forgot to tell me.  Maybe one day he caught a glimpse of it in the trunk or something and Rich tried to play it off.  Maybe...just maybe, Ryan is just that smart and has a memory like his brother---the one that NEVER FORGETS ANYTHING! 

As I am on the phone with Rich, inside my closet in the back of the house so I can repeat in detail Ryan's conversation and not let him know that I am now on to him, I ask Rich what he knows.  Rich is positive Ryan hasn't seen it.  He then said..."Go check the gift...maybe it is unwrapped."  So, I creep back into the living room, crawl on the floor under the tree, grab the gift and say..."No, it looks fine."  It was only when I pulled the entire gift out that I noticed the entire back corner ripped and open.

So, what to do.  What to do.  I immediately sent them into my room to watch "Olive, The Other Reindeer" because I knew that I needed to question them and it had to be done in a manner that I could read them and tell who was telling the truth.  Because really, at this point, Matthew could have played a part in this as well and I need to know that too.

I call Ryan out first...

Mom:  Ryan, did you open a present under the tree?

Ryan:  No.


Ryan:  Yes.  Because, because I was down there shaking all the presents to see what toys they were and that big one just ripped in that corner.  I didn't do it. 

Mom:  What did you see when the corner ripped?

Ryan:  A toy.  A toy with a shooty thingy.

Mom:  Ryan, you can not open a present.  When Santa comes and he sees that, he is going to be mad and maybe not leave any presents.

Ryan:  Cause we've been on the naughty list?


Ryan:  Oh.  How many reindeer does Santa have?

And the conversation is over. 

When I questioned Matt later I could tell Ryan had worked alone.  I could tell in Matthew eyes, in the tone of his voice, and in the fact that when he thought I wasn't listening he totally yelled at Ryan for almost ruining Christmas. 

As much as this is funny....and it is funny.  These are things that I am again, not prepared for, and don't know how to handle.  I think it is a good thing that Auntie Noelle lives clear across the country, because I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would host seminars for her nephews on the art of re-wrapping Christmas gifts without your parents knowing.  She has a gift I tell you....a gift!  And I was not that child.  I love a good surprise.  I never wanted to know and she could identify every gift under the tree.

Stay tuned.  I am hopeful there will be no more posts before tomorrow, however I can no longer guarantee that.  Fingers are crossed...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marinipalooza--The Christmas Edition

As always, we celebrate Christmas—The Marini Edition—the weekend before Christmas. We have been doing this for years and it just works. The kids are super excited to not only hang out, but add in the bonus of presents…and this party just got kicked up a notch.

For the first time, Mike and Stacy brought Grandma Jean down to celebrate with us. Grandma Jean is always a riot and let’s face it…I appreciate a lady who drinks champagne in the afternoon. Along with Mike and Stacy’s dog, Lulu, Grandma Jean brought her dog Lady. I will tell you that I was a bit hesitant about Teddy joining the two of them, but it turned out that the Notorious T-E-D had quite a good time. He became very fond of Lady and for that Lulu was grateful…I’ll leave it at that.

The other thing we did different this year was an adult gift exchange. SO MUCH FUN! We will definitely do this again next year…because we had a blast. I didn’t get pictures of all the gifts, but they were fun. The gifts were: Funnel Cake Maker; an “M” monogrammed soap dispenser and napkins (of course they ended up being picked by the only non-Marini); a set of gloves, hat and scarf; a box full of chips, salsa, margarita mix and glasses; Lowe’s gift card; Lottery tickets; and my favorite---my prize—two bottles of vodka, watermelon and vanilla flavored. I fought Grandma Jean for them and won! Yeah me! I appreciate that she enjoys a glass of champagne in the afternoon, but I just so happen to appreciate a mixed drink myself…so I had little mercy.  I teach thirty-two ten year olds people....I need my drinkie!

And yes, there were presents for the kids.  Lots of presents.
Here is Ryan opening a police station set.

Matthew checking out the goods... calculating exactly when he will ask Ryan to play with it.

Mikayla getting a very special gift from Nana and Papa.

Mason and Matthew surveying Ryan's loot.  My favorite part about this gift was Ryan walking up to me excited....and asked if it was age appropriate for him (his exact words).  He has learned this term due to Matthew shooting down almost all of the things Ryan has circled in the Toys R' Us add in the last two months as not being "Age Appropriate" for Ryan.  You gotta love older brothers!

Apparently eye catching for all ages....

Happy Boy!

One of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

Okay...check out these ridiculous cute...I mean cool...pajamas.  Auntie Stacy bought these for all the kids and she said she is going to do it every year now.  I love it!  They loved them and it was so cool to see them in them all weekend.  Thanks Auntie Stacy!

Can you tell they are cousins????

Auntie Stacy's gift. :)

Matt's gift from Nana and Papa.  Please check out two things....the age (to Ryan's dismay) and the number of pieces (crazy ridiculous)!!!!

Let's make this VERY CLEAR...Mason is a Lego genius.  This kid, by himself, put this entire thing together.  It took hours of patience and determination and he is a rockstar!  Let's just say I am going to need to use his skills soon again in the near future and I will pay hefty for them!

There is no easy way to do this.  The bags are not arranged by "do this bag first, and then do this bag next".  Nope!  Random pieces in random bags.  Are you thinking what I am thinking????  Vanilla and Watermelon flavored vodka????  Yep, that's what I was thinking too!  So I poured myself a glass and sat and watched a nine year old take this to town.

Matthew did a courtesy check-in every once in a while to check out Mason's progress....

And then headed right back down to the floor to play with Ryan's age appropriate gift.

Auntie Stacy joined Mason too!  She also had a mixed drink as well.  We're not dumb people...there were 662 PIECES!!!!!

 Such love....

My Lego Rockstar!!!!

Ahh....the end result.  Does that look like 662 pieces to you? 

A very, VERY grateful cousin. 

Merry Christmas Part One.  See you in a week!