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Showing posts from November, 2007

goodbye November!

The last day of November is the unofficial last day of Fall for me. Time to move on autumn, Eco-Cycle will no longer take leaves in their organic matter recycling. One could assume we would have taken care of the leaves months ago, but the leaf duty around here is cyclical. We have a ginormous Cottonwood in our backyard. I think back to our love for the old thing when we bought the house. Now, if I had the extra $2,500 hundred bucks laying around, to kill a tree , it would be fueling the neighborhood fireplaces for years to come. But, that seems like a silly waste of money, so instead we spend many man-hours and exert tons of energy to bag the discarded leaves. I would approximate about 50 bags a year. That's not an exaggeration. And, to top it off, there are still leaves on the ground, even a bit wet from the recent snow, makes raking oh just so much more fun.

As December approaches, my nesting urges want to pull out the holiday decor. Last year, in a bit of a hormonal-about-to-g…

Thursday Thirteen: 1st Edition

Thirteen Things That Make Me Smile: I've made it 360 days as a mother of two girls.

This little blog.

Seeing my husband's name on the big screen.

Staying in bed an extra hour most mornings, while J plays and feeds the girls, and even brings me breakfast in bed.

A clean sink.

Buying gifts to bring someone else joy.

Chatting with a girlfriend.

Imagining my naked feet tickled by sand, my eyes gazing upon an endless horizon, and the roar of the Pacific Ocean gracing my ears in less than one week.

Outdoor light displays.

Two girls tucked gently in their beds asleep at 7:30.

The arrival of my organic vegetables and fruit on Wednesdays from Door To Door Organics.

A pair of jeans that slide easy over my hips.

My mother's voice.

Thursday Thirteen is a blogosphere thing. I am not sure if it will be here every Thursday, but it will definitely be back.

Budget Now or Throw the Budget Out the Window?

Maybe I'm preparing myself for the expenditures in my near future. It's time for holiday cheer which means, buy, buy, buy. Well, that's a bit dramatic, for I am a devoted bargain hunter. I search around numerous websites, making note of the best deals on shipping and price. I even get a rush at the very last screen, your card will be charged , click now, hoping I won't later have buyer's remorse and find a better deal elsewhere. I drive to Costco to load up on our necessities, even though I will make impulse purchases that will totally negate the money I saved by buying in bulk. It's the holidays! Happy Holidays!

The reality of my holiday cheer adds up in subtle ways. It sorta goes more like, pick up a few extra bottles of wine, to have on hand. Grab a pumpkin pie to have with the chicken dinner. We really should buy new lights to string on the tree out front. And then there's the baking, pounds of butter, special ingredients which I won't use again afte…

Work With What You Have

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Destiny is my inability to avoid my current circumstance. Although that may sound ill-fated, it really isn't. Being the mother of a four year old, has opened my eyes to what I can and ultimately can not control. Sj loves engaging in Princess play, everything from role-playing in dress-up to drawing.

I on the other hand am not so devoted to Princess play. All I see is the mass marketing success on my impressionable daughter, the toys, the dress ups, the make-up, the mounds of plastic. Eventually flashing to my future, I envision a grandiose wedding with a white horse drawn carriage. Then I take a deep breath and a step back. And I wish to the powers that be, that this is all just a developmental phase. It's just a phase.

Everyday I draw upon the beauty within my daughter. Her love for role playing is amazing. We sometimes play Cinderella and I allow her to help me scrub the dishes or wash the hard wood floors on our hands and knees. Or I am the witch offering "my dearie"…

Back To The Grind iComic Relief

We all have to sort through the links that coming flying into our inboxes daily. Most of the time, I can't open them, because I don't have the appropriate Microsoft Player. I use Safari and a Mac, so I feel blessed I am kept out of the loop on most of that randomness.

Anyway, I did find this YouTube link hilarious because it is so true. This is in honor of my hubby, who has just gotten a new iPod Nano and a Crackberry in the last week. Yes, you are correct, I've been reduced to the bottom of the list. Conversations have turned into, "what honey- were you talking to me?" Nevermind.
Enjoy and listen closely! Friday will be here before we know it.


BTW, the real Feist song, from the commercial, is one of the first songs that made me go out and slap down my buck for it on iTunes!

What Makes Me Different

If you've been around here in the past, that title may sound familiar. I re-visited my previous post W.M.M.D.-October and well, wouldn't you know, it was the 25th of October that post was created. So, I from here on out deem the 25th of every month, the What Makes Me Different post day. Hopefully, by revisiting the topic with me each month, you'll join in, take a moment to celebrate yourself and being one of a kind! Maybe even gather up the courage to make your very first comment, right here on Eat Play Love. I dare you!I believe the universe will bring good into your life, if you first take the step to do good.
I have a difficult time throwing things away, if I know it can be re-used or re-purposed by someone else.
I love staying snuggled under my covers in the morning when snow is blanketing the view from my window.
I enjoy watching my daughter's play with trucks and balls just as much as their dolls.
I long to re-paint the walls in my bedroom, but seriously lack the …

Watch Out Closets

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Believe it or not, yesterday I really did spend the entire day at home. I didn't venture out into one retail marketplace. Although, I did have an urgent dilemma, I needed some personal hygiene products. So what is a hormonal woman to do in the face of a retail boycott? Yes, as you can guess, I sent the hubby. We needed some things at the grocery store anyway.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that my hubby called me while out on his excursion. I answered the phone, " Just Buy The Damn Pads!" I had a flashback to one of my favorite movies from the 80's, Mr. Mom, when Michael Keaton was embarrassed beyond belief with the loudspeaker price check on the pads he was purchasing for his wife. What a fabulous hubby, to call me, to confirm he was indeed purchasing the correct product, thickness, length, and wingspan! Mission completed.

Taking advantage of my opportunity to be home with out the girls, I started my clothes project. I was smart enough over the years to pack away…

Buy Nothing Day!

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Yes, I said it. Buy Nothing Day! The folks over at Adbusters really do a fine job of encouraging us to take a spending break today. All the media buzz is pointing to the success of retailers on this holy morning-black friday, a prediction of the holiday season that is to come. Am I worried that the Walton Family is going to go without their caviar this Christmas? Or that Sam Jr. may have to put the fuel for his environmentally disastrous personal jumbo jet on his Black American Express Card, if I don't spend $100 bucks on bargains today? Umm..no, not really!

I know it's tradition for lots of folks out there. I carefully flipped through the ads today and couldn't find one single bargain that would make me push over an old lady and run in a frenzy through the store. Silly me, I am content with my older electronics, our antiquated 500lb free television, and all the battery powered lead laden toys I can handle.

So instead, I am going to pull out Sj's stockpile of 12 month ol…

GRAZIE

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Growing up Italian American in New York is an experience. Well, I shall clarify, I grew up in "Upstate New York" which to the city dwellers is farm country. In reality it's not farm country and it's not an urban mass-transit culture either. It's smack dab right in the middle of those two extremes, a typical surburban township, with a heavy dose of ethnic pride.

On occasion, I long for that dose of ethnic pride. A Coloradan experience is much more watered down. I could go as far to say it's a bit more WASPy. If I really went to great lengths I am sure I could find an Italian Market, but I can almost guarantee it would pale in comparison to the one that was blocks from my parent's house. There is no possibly way to recreate the sensory euphoria that comes over me when I enter Roma Food Imports. When I was a little girl, I would linger in front of the glass cases, staring at the 20 or so varities of decorated Italian Cookies. I would snicker at the white buc…

China Free Christmas -The Ongoing Saga

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After our trip to the mall, I realized this Christmas may go down in history. Sj was bouncing from rack to rack in the Disney Store, making mental notes of all the junk she wanted to ask Mr. Santa Claus to bring her Christmas morning.

Here's a snippet of my experience:

Sj exclaiming with excitement, "WOW! Look at that, a Polly-Pocket-esque grand plastic castle, with a prince and princess. WOW, This is amazing, a talking plastic dressing table. Did you see this Ariel, I don't have one of these?! Wait until I see Santa!!!!"

My mumbling reply, "Sj, you already have the Princess Story Book Castle and almost all the princesses in that size! Yes, that's nice darling, but you don't have any room for it in your bedroom. Gosh, that Ariel has a creepy distorted face (they have a weird line of barbie like dolls & a line of more normal ones).We probably should wait until we get back from California to start making Christmas toy decisions, they have so many new and …

FATBURGER

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On our excursion to the other side of Denver this past weekend, we indulged in a little Fatburger love. I believe there is only one Colorado location and boy is it a TWO THUMBS up in my book! I am not much of a burger girl, well, I like my sundried tomato-feta cheese-spinach homemade turkey burgers. So when it comes to beef burgers, I am picky. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The burger was seasoned to perfection, a hint of pink inside ( I loathe bloody burgers), and it was so juicy, maybe too juicy! I indulged in the Fat Fries and J was delighted with his onion rings. My one suggestion is to bring along baby wipes, or plenty of napkins. We all had t-shirt stains to remember our experience. I guess we were too into the food to notice we were being slobs!I highly recommend giving it a try, if you are in their neck of the woods.

Ummm, we were so excited to get our burgers, we don't have a "freshly arrived" photo, only the aftermath photo!I guess that's a sign of a…

Mommy Got New Toys

I have just purchased a ultra-hip new keyboard and mouse for my computer. So the old ones, will probably turn into a distraction for the girls, but I have a feeling there are a gazillion creepy microscopic beings living in it. I am tempted to send off my old toys to a lab for testing. Although the findings may be scary. The older technology has a layer of plastic that traps all sorts of things that fall in between the keys. For example, my fingers are gracing the dust, dog hair (whom we lost, oh 2 years ago), a safety pin I couldn't retrieve, glitter, and craft sequins, for the last time. I considered for a fleeting moment, leaving the plastic wrap on my nifty new keyboard, like the old ladies do with their parlor couches.

I know for a fact my new mouse will be a bit of a learning curve. Using an older Mac mouse (circa 02'-I believe), I don't have all that fandangled right/left click options. I have click or press & hold and click, whichever you prefer. The "Might…

Keeping a SECRET

I think I've taken on a personal challenge, maybe even of New Year's Resolution proportions. We are going to Los Angeles in early December for a long weekend. I haven't been on an airplane since September 06, before I had GL. I am amazed when I think about it, that's quite the hiatus. I don't miss the airplane travel, but I do miss the getaways! I miss overpacking my suitcase, getting all anxious the night before, hoping I didn't forget a thing. I always do some online research and get my foodie resturaunt picks all squared away. Being a mom, I have to make sure, I know where the local Whole Foods is, for I can't stand eating out every meal. We need good, balanced snacks to keep Sj on her toes for all of our excursions.

Speaking of excursions, here enters my secret. We are taking Sj to Disneyland, but she doesn't know it. Thank goodness, her reading capabilities are at about 3 letters, for I'd be outted with this post! I have a few reasons behind my…

My Mood:Indifferent

Not sure what put me in the funk. "My friend" is not visiting, a typical tale tell sign of a funk coming on. Maybe it's the darkness that descends upon us earlier now. It's creeping into my mood. J was returning home from work in daylight, now it's dark when his key clinks into the lock, a sound which sets both girls off in an ear-covering screech. Perhaps the earlier sunset makes that very vulnerable hour of the day (often referred to as the "witching hour" in my mom-friend circles) longer than 60 minutes. I may be onto something here.

And, if I was brave, I'd post a few pictures of the house. It's a mess. J and a dear friend went out to, none other than the Warren Miller Movie last night, and our friend commented,"Wow, your place is a mess..looks like you have kids!"
We quickly quipped,"You should have been here yesterday, this actually looks great!"
In that moment, I realized he's not a drop on by kinda guy, he's alw…

Serendipity

Karma is believed to be informal destiny or fate. One may also refer to a similar circumstance as coincidence. Call it what you like, but I believe in karma more than coincidence and serendipity is just the icing on the cake.

More times than not, when I turn on the radio,Ben Harper will always come on during my drive. When I left the Warren Miller movie on Saturday, he was playing on the radio that was broadcasting from the theater. Sj and I took a moment to dance on the sidewalk, both happily singing along to the lyrics. She knows the lyrics from Lifeline, it's too cute, sometimes she'll just bust out a line, and I can't help but grin!That's my girl.

Songs on the radio, simple enough. Songs at the mall, a bit funnier. Background music at the grocery store, always a hoot between J and I. I can't recall the most obscure place I heard a Ben tune blaring, but I know it always makes me smile. I'm just tuned into the Ben universe and it whispers to me around so many c…

Betty Crocker Can Shove It!

I am not fortunate enough to have a TiVo system in my home. Which means I am subjected to the commercial horrors of modern day television. With the exception of VW and Kaiser Permanente, commercials have really gone down the tube. We all know that the holiday commercials are in full force, rearing their ugly heads. I suppose it's not a coincidence that Mattel has the biggest advertisting budget, so my four year old can convince herself that Christmas would not be the same without the latest and greatest piece of plastic Chinese junk. Well, it's not happening at our place. I try so hard to minimize the commercial exposure. Maybe I should invest in that darn TiVo, it would save me tons of reasoning time.

Beyond the mass-marketing to children, there is a whole subculture of bizarre commercials playing right now. The latest Betty Crocker Warm Delight's commercial, is literally one insy-weensy step before X-rated. That's not even what pisses me off the most about this commer…

the GIFT that Keeps on Giving

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I have a penchant for magazines. I prefer most of the house/lifestyle magazines such as Real Simple, Everyday Food, Domino, Wonder Time, and Cottage Living. I have been lucky enough to secure a position with my wonderful girlfriends to get their downstreamed junky magazines such as People or US weekly (which I don't buy). Magazines are always a refreshing departure from the usual pile of bills or mortgage re-financing offers which cram our mailbox weekly.

For Christmas, last year, Sj was given Highlights' High Five, which is the new magazine targeted for age 2 to 6 year olds, by the forevered cherished Highlights. I call it the gift that keeps on giving because it always seems to show up on one of those, "we need a distraction" kind of days. It contains, stories, poetry, some spanish vocabulary, a younger version of my favorite-hidden picture, and activities. This month's High Five had a super fun activity in back, which we already completed. It was cut outs to ma…

My Superpower....

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Casually browsing the Cafepress website for a gift,I came upon an entire line of pro-breastfeeding clothing. Well, it made me laugh. I never thought of my lactating capabilities as a superpower, but I'm going with it! I can just hear the tagline now, "able to feed on a moment's notice, no microwave needed!". But seriously, a t-shirt? Which boasts how you feed your child, that I am not so sure about. And, I am a little disappointed in the design. I would think a v-neck t-shirt would be the best design for the easiest boob access. Well, enough of the silliness. Personally, I just feel lucky enough to be able to provide what I consider to be the most nutritious form of nourishment to my little GL and also formerly to Sj. I don't think I need a t-shirt, you can just find a little twinkle in my smile.

I'm Going To Puke!

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With all due respect to a potential 1/3 of the way through life crisis here, I think my only response to this Hollywood Gossip, is I am going to puke. Lance, I think this is rock bottom. We won't even mention EPO's.

My Musical Tangent

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It always starts with a casual click of my mouse. My mind tells me i'll just check it out. Then sometimes the unexpected happens, that casual click turns into the start of a tangent. Before I know it, I am headed down memory lane.

The link that started this ball rolling, was to a Radiohead Webcast . It seems harmless enough, listen to some music, pass it along to J, let him relish it, more than I would, or so I thought. Turns out Radiohead covered two songs from my impressionable late teens, by The Smiths and New Order (btw-fabulous job Thom). Both bands were hot in my yellow Sony Sportsman portable tape cassette player (remember those??). They truly were the good old days, full of new wave or post-punk however you want to categorize it. I couldn't listen to it enough. The fit was so perfect for my melancholy teenage years.

So then I start my search on Amazon, trying to recall my favorite album titles. My late 80's musical wishlist is born. It contains the following, New Or…

Let's Go Out To Dinner and See A Movie

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Do..do...do...doo..do...Well, not exactly as Trey sings it in the Phish classic. We switched it up a bit. First we watched the movie, WM's Playground and then we topped it off with the good ol' tradition of dinner at the Corner Bar . I feel so steeped in tradition, whenever this weekend is upon us. From the days long ago, when we would casually roll up to the movie, catch up with new WME friends, and put back a few drinks. Now it's a bit different, I look forward to seeing those, same faces year after year, but now I just juggle a few children in the process. It's not really an option to leave them at home, realistically speaking it is their daddy's other baby. Plus, Sj is now at the age where she can sit through the majority of the movie, of course the snacks and cranberry juice make the watching much easier to handle. GL on the other hand, was a monkey, from our arms to the Bjorn, to moving around, nursing in the sling, and walking some more. I think I sat with h…

Girl With A Magical Flower

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Sj has loved to doodle and draw since she could hold a crayon in her hand, probably before age 1. I've always nutured her love of drawing. Maybe I should have been more balanced in my nuturing and pushed her a little more to climb to the top of the jungle gym, but I didn't. Now, I sit back and watch her in action, curiously glancing as to what she may create next. The picture above she created this morning, while grazing through her breakfast.

If you could hear her excitement when she talked about the completed drawing above, it would just be the icing on the cake. She thoroughly described all the elements of the picture, from the berries on the tree to the girl with a magical flower. I love children's art, and here I go again, it just has a funny way of making me smile.

Warren Miller's Playground: Gratuitous Plug!

Just so happens, I know this guy. This same guy, sleeps in my bed most nights and on those other nights he's sleeping in a hotel room, somewhere around the world. That location is typically dependent on what kind of terrain and snow are just outside his door. Yes, he's a part of the magic that gets skiers into movie theaters every fall. So, here's to another year, another movie done, and the new one already in the works. You'll find me Saturday watching Warren Miller's Playground(tour dates), with a smile on my face, my girls on my lap, and one awesome guy next to me, that was an integral part of making it happen. Congrats, darling!

Blogging: My Weight Loss Secret!

The whole premise of my blog is to make people smile. And hopefully that title, made you chuckle or even laugh out loud. There's just strange things happening with my body and I think blogging is partially responsible. Being conscious of weight loss is a no win situation for me. I thought when I began running that I would drop the pounds like magic. But it should come as no surprise, with running came an increased appetite. I don't own a scale, so honestly I judge my weight by how my jeans fit or how a t-shirt fits. Weight is just a number, but fitting into a particular pair of jeans, now that's the evidence I need.

Here enters blogging. I don't eat when I am at my computer. I just can't handle the crumbs or grease, or potential sticky fingers around my keyboard. Being a firm believer in the calories in vs. calories burned theory, blogging must be a connection to the calories not eaten. Maybe expressing myself in my blog has helped me deal with some emotional issues…

Election Tuesday, VOTE!

I grew up going to the polls with my parents. I recall passing through the curtain, staring up at my mom manually click her votes in the big metal machine, and then pull the big handle, right to left, to cast her votes in one big woosh! Then, we'd go home have dinner and watch the election coverage on television. Those moments obviously left an impression on me. I've missed one election since I began voting at 18 and it just happened to be an off election year, the November following Sj's birth. She was my free pass. I still wish I went to this day.

This year's election is a small one, but an important one. We will be electing a new mayor in our town. I believe there are 6 circles for me to punch out or fill in, whatever the protocol will be. I opted out of a mail in ballot, I want the girls to share in the experience, going with us to participate in our little piece of government. Every year Sj gets an "I Voted" sticker to wear on her coat, a proud badge, jus…

Chronobiology- An Extra Hour?

What the heck am I talking about? Biological clocks..yes, everyone thinks tick, tick, a woman who is desperate to get pregnant. I on the other hand, am referring to our bodies natural rhythms. Which draws me to ONE hour. We embraced the time change on Sunday, with a "Woohoo" an extra hour, to sleep. Although, it never really works out that way. I am not sure how you handle the time change in your household, but we stand strong with the change the clocks in the morning method. I don't know why, it just works better for us.

Finally by dinner time I was fed up with my "extra hour". The day had constantly been overshadowed by, let's have lunch now, at 1045 am, for it's really 1145. We had to put GL down for her 130 nap at 1230, for that's what time her body thought it was. By 6pm, I was ready for the girls to go to bed, because, yep 7pm is the time we start our bedtime ritual. See what I mean? Annoying! It's just one big vicious cycle that snowballs …

Colorado Girl Sox

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I think it's hilarious that socks can make me reminiscent of my childhood. In the 70's my brothers wore white knee high tube socks with stripes in all the colors of the NFL teams. My favorite color way was the Viking purple and yellow, even though we were hardcore NY Giants fans in our house. Not to mention, the 70's was that lovely era when the NBA sported knee high socks and those short, shorts. Those were the days. I can hear Queen's "We Are The Champions", blaring on the boombox right in this very moment.

When I spotted some Juicy knee high socks in a mini-me version for the girls, I could not pass them up. So here we are. Take me back to 1978, put me in some American Apparel gym shorts, and set me free. Too darn cute.

Because We Live In Colorado

We take casual bike rides to the library in November and have a leisurely picnic lunch in the green grass. We enjoy the sun shining down on us, one mile closer to the sun. We don't pass on the opportunity that mother nature provides us. We also know, that at any given moment, big fluffy white flakes can descend upon us. That's the beauty and charm of Colorado. We don't pack away seasonal clothes, because we may just find ourselves searching for a pair of shorts in February or a long sleeve fleece in June. We don't have to take long car rides to walk among nature, it's in our backyard. Our playground is endless. Life is sweeter just because we live in Colorado.

Christmas Wish List-Toys Not Made In China

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2007 has to be one of the worst years in mainstream toy history. Lead paint, choking hazards, recalls galore. The subject is not new to this blog or my life for that matter. I could talk about it all day. Heck, I could dedicate an entire blog to crappy plastic junk fast-tracked on the big boat from China straight to the shelves of the local Super Center, all those items that are over advertised and pushed down our impressionable children's throats. Screw it all.

Families are already fretting about, what to buy, toy shortages, all a result of media frenzy. I think there are some reasonable solutions. It's early November and there is plenty of time to get some quality shopping done. Honestly, I have never been thrilled with the idea of buying a boat load of crap, wrapping it, and presenting it as if some jolly old man left it behind for Sj to enjoy, until the thrill wears off, oh by about January 2nd. We've always taken the less is more approach to Christmas. We purchase a la…

World Series Game 3 Snap Shot

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2007 World Series Game 3- Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox- Coors Field, Denver. Excitement levels were off the hook. Although the zeal of the fans, wasn't enough to help the Rox win this night. J attended the game by luck and had a fabulous time, taking part in history. I was happy being home on the 40 degree night, comfy on my couch, watching the Rox take a horrible beating. There were moments of hope, but boy were they fleeting. Their night to shine, faded fast. I'm not much of a sports writer (except for the Tour), so enjoy the view from inside!