Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jerry and Fydo....and Pebbles and Bubbles.

For years Matthew has been asking for a pet.  He wants a pet.  He needs a pet.  Why on earth can he not have a pet?  Let's completely put aside the last four years of our life when we welcomed two new dogs to our family.  Were those two furry, one still not 100% potty trained, animals not considered a pet??  Because I have a brand new floor and brand new couches that say differently. 

He made it clear, for his TENTH birthday...a boy needs a pet.  Sure, he didn't start small.  He's bright, this boy.  He knew opening with, "I want a guniea pig," would make our heads roll.  Moving on.  "Okay, how about a hamster?"  We told him there will be no caged animals of any kind in this house.  And then he made his move.  It was like he was "settling" for a fish.  He was doing us a favor by only asking for a measly little fish. Who could possibly say no to a fish???  Game. Set. Match. Matthew.

The night of his birthday, when he opened his aquarium from my mom, the kid was ecstatic.  I don't know if he was more excited for his fish, or simply down playing his exuberant celebration of his personal victory.  With us leaving for Disneyland the next morning, the tank and fish would have to wait.  That didn't stop him from talking about it for days while we were gone.  We went through names.  We went through types of fish.  Everything exhausted, it was time to finally get the fish.

Apparently there are these "new" rules about fish.  Who knew this?  When we were young, a ping pong ball landing in a clear cup at the Grape Festival guaranteed you a "pet" for the next four years.  You couldn't kill a goldfish if you tried.  How does something that floats in a dirty bowl have a life expectancy of YEARS???

When my mom and Matt came home from the store with his fish, there were rules.  Like, more than one of them.  There was this whole timetable of welcoming the fish into the aquarium and making sure the water was in the safe zone temperature wise and how much food was the right amount to give.  Oh, yes..."Them", plural.  Fydo and Jerry. To quote Matthew when we all said, "Fido?  That's a dogs name."  Without taking a breath, turned to us and said, "Did I judge you about what names you've picked?"  On the tip of my tongue I wanted to reply, "No Richard, you didn't.  Oh wait....YOUR NAME IS NOT RICHARD, IT'S MATTHEW!!!!" 

Fydo there in the middle towards the bottom.  It was impossible to get them both in a shot.

That night he fell asleep watching Fydo (yes, how he spelled it) and Jerry swim around the tank.  He could not have been happier.  Until...

The next day when we got home from school, Jerry was resting peacefully at the bottom of the tank.  It was actually funny (not ha, ha, funny) because when we pulled into the garage that afternoon after school and he was bursting to get into the house to see them, the thought crossed my mind...What will I do if a fish is dead?  He ran to his room and while I continued to unload our junk from the car and put things away.  Finally, I made it back to his room to check on the fish and said, "Hey honey, how are Fydo and Jerry doing?"  He looks up and very calmly says, "Jerry is dead."  Okay, my heart broke for him a little bit.  I said, "What??  Wait, are you sure?"  He turned to me and said, "Well, I don't think he would be laying on his side at the bottom of the tank if he was still alive."  Point taken.

And then it happened.  The moment I had thought about and hoped would never come.  The ceremonial burial at the toilet.  All I could think of the days before the fish came was the Cosby Show when everyone got dressed up for Rudy's fish's funeral in the bathroom and how I was going to do everything in my power not to let that scene come to life in our house.  We were already one day in and there went poor Jerry swimming out to sea.

I will admit it, he took it a little hard.  But, good news, we still had Fydo.  And Fydo was the bigger of the two, so we were confident that he was healthier and could handle the transition from the Walmart fish department to our cozy little home.

That night, Matthew slept at my moms because they were going to a fishing tournament the next morning.  We were under strict instructions to feed Fydo in the morning and take good care of him.  Things were going great, Fydo was happy and eating.  Until...

The next morning Ryan comes running in to say, "Fydo is dead."  I look at Rich and say, "No.  No.  You are joking.  You have got to be %^&*ING kidding me? "  Rich smiling, on the verge of laughing, "Uh, yeah." 

You understand at this point I am at a loss.  I managed to take care of two puppies, watching them for MONTHS, controlling where they went, what they ate, where they played to keep them safe from getting parvo and dying, and I can't keep two fish alive for a total of 36 hours?  Mother. Of. The. Year.

Breaking that news to Matt was done over the phone.  What?  Don't judge.  I can only take that look of being crushed so many times before it breaks me.  He handled it well and we vowed to do a better job with our next fish and see what we did wrong to make it better.

Meet Pebbles and Bubbles.

Now, I will be completely honest.  When Fydo and Jerry came home, I was a little disappointed that it looked like we had added two more males to our household.  I said, "Really?  Fydo and Jerry sound like boy names, don't you want any pets that are girls?  I am outnumbered as it is."  He didn't care, he was having no part of my pity party.  However, things started to look up for me with the arrival of Bubbles and Pebbles.  Even though he won't commit to them possibly being girls, I am confidently going to label them that.  When he is older I will simply tell him that when he picks name that are often associated with strippers, he loses his say.

Fingers crossed.  Bubbles and Pebbles like their home and so far things are going well.  I was kind of feeling bad that every time he walked out of his room the first question that any of us asked him was, "Are the fish still alive?"  This will go away, right?  Because when he got up yesterday morning and came out of his room announcing they had made it throughout the night, his smile was priceless.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The HOTTEST, I mean Happiest Place on Earth!

People who live in Southern California are crazy.  I could never live there, I will never live there.  I am not a fan of saying "never", but I am 100% sure that I will NEVER live in Southern California.  Here's why...

Last weekend we headed down to Disneyland--AGAIN--(that's for you FK) for Matt's birthday.  We had originally planned to meet friends down there and have another Yee/Marini family vacation, but unfortunately due to sad circumstances, they could not join us.  Since it was Matthew's 10th birthday we went anyway and what better way to kick off our holiday season than to be surrounded by wonderful Christmas decorations at our favorite place, right???

People who live in Southern California are crazy.  Because it was the first week on November and the temperature was 82 degrees.  82 DEGREES!!!!!!!!!!  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!  Who can celebrate with Christmas decorations up and Christmas carols being pumped through every speaker throughout the park while having sweat drip down your back????  This isn't normal!!!  My family at one point just tuned me out because I just couldn't let it go.  And I shouldn't.  There is nothing right about a group of Castmembers, dressed like they just walked out of a Norman Rockwell painting set in Maine on Christmas Eve, singing Christmas carols while their make-up is slowly running down their face.  The only time if felt "Christmasy" was at night when it got into the mid 60's and we had to (gasp) put on a sweatshirt.  And because I am in such a giving mood, I will give them a chance to redeem themselves (I'm talking to you Southern California) in January when we go back with my sister.  If I am not wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt the entire time I am there...there will be a repeat performance on this blog and it will get uglier.

Now, on to the birthday celebration!

Nothing like posing next to a "frosty" car in short sleeves. 

His birthday--he called the first ride.  Solo on California Screaming because neither Rich or I can stomach the ride.

A good big brother riding with his needy little brother.+

LOVE this kid! 

Dad had to have a pic with him too.

Christmas time in Radiator Springs!

"I promise, I won't fall asleep.  Swear I won't!" (says the only family member who did not nap)

Yep...five minutes later.

Ryan likes the setting on my phone where he can take his own picture.  Anyone else see where this is headed???

Reindeer games with this guy!  We were the ONLY ones back there, so he played with the boys for a while.

 Taking his love for his team a little too far...

Matt got to pick a special place for his birthday dinner.  He decided on the Big Thunder Rance BBQ.

Loved drinking out of his "mason" jar.

Live entertainment.  Can we discuss his suit and boots???  Ouch.

So dinner is all you can eat BBQ.  Matthew may have insulted the entire cooking crew when he said out loud... "Wow, this is even better than Kentucky Fried Chicken!"  Needless to say that Matt and Rich ENJOYED dinner to their fullest. 
Last night there.  Fireworks followed by it snowing on Main Street.  I bought in to the Christmas spirit for about 20 minutes that night and it felt amazing!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


We have a ten year old in the house.  It's easier to say than to believe.  I will tell you what frightens me the most...the next time ten years goes by, he will be a man and probably away at college.  That is a suffocating thought.  In fact, in my highly emotional state right now, I could burst into tears just thinking about it.  And what makes it worse, the next ten years he's going to do everything he can to spend as much time away from us as possible because that's just what teenagers do.  It's a right of passage, one we have all gone through, but it's my first time on this other side and I'll be kind of sucks. 
Top Ten Things You May Not Know About Matthew Marini
10. When he was young, he was obsessed with garbage trucks and recycling.
9. He learned his place value to the millions at the age of four thanks to a game show titled "Deal or No Deal".
8. He has memory like an elephant. There is nothing he doesn't remember and he can be ridiculously frustrating to parent sometimes because of this.
7. He loves the Green Bay Packers. Loves them so much that his dream is to go to college in Wisconsin, play football there, and then be "moved" to the Packers once he graduates.
6. He is still so ridiculous cute because he thinks #7 above is actually possible.
5. He is a fierce debater. At times when we argue, I want to hit a pause button and tell him to make sure he signs up for the debate team in high school because he would be fantastic at it.
4. He still loves stuffed animals.
3. He still kisses us goodnight and says the same thing we have been saying since he was two.
"Goodnight. See you in the....morning!"
2. He loves his friends and family. They are his world. Everything seems to revolve around a core group of people in his life and they are his lifeline.
1. He is the best ten year old we know. Who knew when we ordered him up, that we would hit the jackpot. He is a very special young man and we could not be more proud of who he has become.
Happy 10th Birthday Matthew!!
We Love You,
Mom and Dad
And on this monumental first double digit birthday, I thought I would share a few pictures of the first ten years.


Ten Year Birthday pics. (Thanks Aunt Stacy)


Sunday, November 3, 2013

This is Halloween! This is Halloween!

Happy Halloween...or as I like to call it, the holiday we have to get past to get to the good stuff.  Bring on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I am trying not to walk out into the garage and get out the Christmas decorations and put some lights up outside.  Hobby Lobby is literally calling my name because I have this huge new piece of furniture in the my living room that is begging for some garland, lights, and new decorations.

All in good time.  Here is the Halloween wrap up!

Matthew in his borrowed morph suit.  I have no idea what this is, the only request we put out was that he needed to include shorts.   

The minion and the morph.

I only needed this thing to last three hours and it did.  Success!  Ryan did a great job all night and was quite a hit with people walking by. 
Here is Ryan with a group of girls who were also minions!  I happen to know all of these girls and one of them is actually a former student.  Ryan was in heaven!!  To be surrounded by these girls made his night!  

Matt found a fellow trick-or-treater who was decked out in Green Bay stuff!

Nana Bobbie dressed as Fiona.  The boys LOVED her dressing up.

And the last one of the night.  I came home and was trying to sneak in my house when I heard MRS. MARINI, MRS. MARINI!!!!!  I stopped and looked around and saw this group running toward me.  I had to take a picture!  The first two "Thing 1 and Thing 2" girls are my students from last year.  I miss them terribly!!!