May 31, 2008

Tag You're It

Today was Tony's birthday party. Since I had a teacher's luncheon, Danny was in charge. The kids went swimming at the rec center. Then, they walked back to the house and Danny grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Once I got home, Danny tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Tag you're it". Here's a few pictures of Tony and his friends at the table.

After lunch they took off to the pond with several golf clubs and bag of balls. They had to come home when a "neighbor" asked them to be careful and not hit the houses. After the girls left, the boys...and Marisa...went to the park again. At dusk, they appeared hungry, so I made a batch of the chicken nachos. Well, we ran out of soft drinks, so I had to go to the store. They all wanted to come with me. That was an adventure. We piled into the car and off to the store we went. You'd think they would be winding down for the night. Nope! Next, I popped kettle corn and buttered popcorn for the boys...and Marisa...and they settle down to watch I Am Legend. The movies Tommy Boy and Hot Rod are slated to follow. I'll just have to continue this blog activity in the morning. Night all!

May 30, 2008

Citizenship, Academics, Or Both

We started off the day at Mass, the last one of the school year. After Mass, the school awards were passed out and report cards were available for parent pick-up. The good news is that Tony passed and is now an incoming 8th grader. He actually got the highest citizenship grades this last quarter than he did all year. His grades were good, too, but not as good as they had been throughout the year. We praised Tony for his awesome citizenship (considering he was suspended for a day for climbing on the stair rail). Tony said that he worked so hard on behaving, that he couldn't concentrate on his school work. Hmmm....BULL! Tony scored on grade 13 (Freshman college) on his COGAT testing this year. Since it was the last day of school, we didn't argue with him, but come August we expect him to keep the awesome citizenship AND live up to his academic potential.

So, what is important to you...citizenship, academics, or both?

May 29, 2008

Jamaican Chicken Nachos

Yummy! This is what we made at the Pampered Chef party. I also made the pioneer woman's dump cake. We had a great time! I think I might add a recipe component to my blog. I'll have to check out others first. Well, that's it for today. I have to organize the bills to pay them tomorrow....Friday is payday!

May 28, 2008

Is That Light I See? Or, Just Wishful Thinking?

I finally got the camera from the car. This is part of the 7th grade class. They had to host the reception for the 8th grade graduation. Can you find Tony? He's standing in the light blue shirt. This group is looking at a book trying to figure out how to put the centerpieces together. (I think Tony likes the girl in the white shirt.)

This is me and Marisa the night of her graduation. Marisa was actually smiling and not showing any "angst" in this picture. I, on the other hand, hate having my picture taken. (I guess I could put that on my NEVER TO DO list!)

Here is the 8th grade graduating class of 2008. Marisa is in the front row corner spot, as we so lovingly call it...."the tiny zone".

Here is Marisa with two of her best buds. Jeremy, in blue, is the best dang guitar player. Clyde, in white, is the best dang soccer player. Marisa actually won two awards. In addition to winning an award in science, she got the physical eduation award. I'm tellin' ya, ESPN is in her future. Tiny Tots Unite!

Well, that's it. I have to clean up for the Pampered Chef party tomorrow night. Then, once again, I've double booked myself. I have a teacher's luncheon on Saturday AND we sent out invitations today for Tony's birthday party, also on Saturday. Man, and it's a sleepover. What was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't thinking about looking in my palm pilot. Where is that thing anyway?

May 27, 2008

Can't Seem To Get It All Together

It has been a busy and, quite frankly, hellacious couple of weeks. With my mom being sick, and our dog dyin', and one kid going into high school, and my job description changin', and Tony's birthday comin' up, and a Pampered Chef party, I'm plum worn out! I have thank you cards to write, groceries to sort (some stuff for us, some for the PC party, and some for Tony's party), laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, mail to answer, sleep to catch up on (which is a joke), kids to taxi around, and I don't even know what else. I want to post a couple of Marisa's graduation photos, but can't seem to get the camera out of the car. I don't know where to start. Right this very minute all I can think of is eating a cheese sandwich and watching Law & Order reruns.

Honestly, I think I'm actually grieving, but trying to forge ahead (would that be denial?). I worry about my parents, worry about my daughter, and miss my dog something fierce.

May 25, 2008

A Bittersweet Weekend

Mom & Dad in 1957

Mom & Dad in 2003

I have to leave tomorrow to return to Colorado. I'm tired from all the work I've done here at my parent's home, but I don't really want to leave them. I know I'll be back in 4 weeks, but still I worry about them.

May 24, 2008

I'll Keep It Brief

Since my last post, my daughter graduated from middle school, I've flown to Texas, paid bills for my parents, balanced their checkbook, returned pants to JC Penney's for my mom, did my parent's laundry, went grocery shopping, cooked, changed mom's O2 tubing, transferred rainwater to jugs, pruned the plants, gassed up the car, mopped the floors, picked up prescriptions, helped go through piles of "stuff", re-primed the coffee pot (that was interesting), sorted through the take-home items from the hospital, took a shower, and sat down to enjoy a Chai Latte.

What has Danny been doing? Dropping me off at the airport, taking Tony to school, picking Tony up from school, playing Everquest, adopting a fish from Petco, taking the kids to McDonald's, taxing the kids and their friends to the mall and to the movies, changing the batteries in our home phones, planting our vegetable garden, and IDK (text lingo for "I Don't Know") what all.

Gee, all this in only 24 hours.

May 21, 2008

And now the time is near and so I raise the final curtain....

...for middle school that is. Today was Marisa's last day of 8th grade. It was a very KumBaYa day. And, yes, they wore jeans! So, here is a rundown of my conversation with Marisa after school:

Marisa: (calls me on the phone) So, Hi Mom.
Me: Hi, what's up?
Marisa: Yea...did you get my grades?
Me: Am I supposed to?
Marisa: Well, I got a D+ in Math....It was an F, but I corrected a bunch of stuff today and it's a D+ now.
Me: Marisa, your telling me this now. What's the deal?
Marisa: Well, I didn't get it, but I fixed it, don't I get credit for THAT?
Me: Whatever, at least you passed. Where are you?
Marisa: At the library with Tony. I'll walk back to the school.
Me: Ok, see you in a few.

So, she talks non-stop on the way home how high school will be a fresh start, she'll do better next year. Blah, blah, blah. I've heard this before.

Once we get home, we go through the backpack. It's a $50 Adidas backpack, no tears or rips, marks or scuffs. She really did take great care of the backpack. Anyway, the inside was filled with crustified crap. I'm talking: tiny pieces of paper, notes that were passed back and forth, pencil leads, wrappers, dead gum, an earring, a necklace, wax for the braces, toothpaste, toothbrush, a broken rubber band, an empty Propel bottle, a uniform shirt, carmex, 5 erasers, 2 spandex book covers, dust, a penny, cherrios, a star burst, and more dust (like from the bottom of a cereal box). We took it outside and shook it. Then, wiped it all down on the inside. Marisa took it to her room. She wants to use it next year, since it was so clean again.

So, what's in your backpack?

May 20, 2008

Oh, The Drama!

Man! Having a middle school girl just about to graduate into high school is turnin' my hair grey. Marisa has only 2 days of school left. I'm leaving for Texas in 3 days. So, I must do laundry. I went into her room this morning to gather up enough clothes to wash with mine. I grabbed her uniform pants off the back of the chair and clearly stated, "Marisa I'm washing these pants with my clothes." To which her reply was, "okay." I whisked the pants off to the laundry room.

I'm poking the last of the items into the washer when I hear, "NO, MOM, THOSE PANTS ARE CLEAN! I DON'T HAVE ANTHING ELSE TO WEAR TO SCHOOL!" Oops....the drama begins.

I said sorry to no avail. Then, I remembered that she has 2 more pairs of pants that she has never worn! I remind her to look in the bottom drawer for the pants she never wore. NO! There is stitching on the pocket. So, Marisa goes to the good will box that I keep in my closet and drags out a pair of pants that are too small. She insists she can wear them even though they are too short. Whatever...I didn't say anything else about the pants. She only has 2 days left anyway.

We arrive at school, walk down to my classroom. Marisa gets a text from one of her homies. Guess what? It's flippin' jean day! LOLOLOLOLOL

Marisa was madder than a wet hen! She called her dad to bring her a pair of jeans. No deal, he ain't doin' it. Only a couple of other kids even remembered that today was jean day anyway.

I get home from work. I have an email from Marisa's teacher (it's a group email actually to the entire 8th grade class). It apologizes for the confusion. Jean day is TOMORROW, not today.

May the force be with you.

May 19, 2008

The Eye Doctor

The kids had eye doctor appointments today. I thought they were just going to have their eyes checked. Little did I know that I was going to get griped at for Marisa not wearing her glasses and for Tony breaking his glasses. Let me explain, please indugle my rant for a moment. I told the doc that Marisa only wears her glasses at home and not at school. The doc launched into a 15 minute lecture about "life goals". That's right..."life goals". She told Marisa to picture her college career and life after college. Marisa is 14 and her "goal" is hangin' with her homies on the weekends. When the doc turned to me and said that I should help Marisa make a poster with pictures from magazines to represent her goals, I had to cut her off! My kids had started to slump in the chairs. I just responded with, "can we get back to the eye exam?" Well, she didn't like that too much.'s Tony's turn. Okay, his glasses are broken because he wears his all the time and he got a ball kicked in his face (from a bully, another Oprah). Anyway, she starts in on where we bought his glass because they are too big and they don't fit his face. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in...

After the exam, she walked us over to the eye glasses area and started showing me glasses with flexi-things and how to "fit" the kids for their glasses. She wouldn't take the charts to the desk so I could pay. It was at this point that Marisa texted me, so I pretended I had to answer the phone. Tony took my car keys and went to the car. I start toward the desk, pretending like I was having a converstion with Danny. Marisa also slunked out the door. I hung up the phone at the desk and got out my wallet to pay. The girl behind the desk said she didn't have my paper work yet. I told her that the charts were in the eye glasses area. She didn't budge. I offered to go get it for her, then she realized that I wasn't interested in buying their glasses. She finally got up and retrieved the charts. The doc just happened by and said that they are here if we need anything. I paid and walked out the door.

Thanks for listening......sigh.

May 18, 2008

Ahhh...The Smell of Fresh Cut Grass

Don't ya just love it? This time every year, when the windows are open and lawn mowers are fired up, I make a big pitcher of iced tea and hang out. I love listening to the neighbors starting up the mower early in the morning, you can hear yards being manicured down the street and around the corner! And, the smell (between sneezing fits) is very fresh and...well, earthy.

It throws me back to childhood when my dad would mow and we could not WAIT to roll around in the coldness of that St. Augustine grass. The neighborhood kids got together and we would play "smear the queer", which is basically tackling each other and rolling around in the grass. Then, we would lay on grass, completely wiped out. By the end of the evening, we were itchy, had grass stains and red stratches from be pulled and pushed and smashed and smeared into the grass. That's another smell I get from my kids now....sweaty, grassy dirt smell from playing outside in the yard...kinda like wet dog gone bad.

Now, Danny fired up the mower and I'm sitting on our chocolate-colored Italian leather sofa just a listenin', and a sniffin', and a sneezin', and a bloggin'. The beginning of summer...I just love it!

May 16, 2008

Momma's Home!

Yes! After 34 days in the hosptial/rehab with pneumonia and a staff infection, my mom is now home. It's been slow going, but she sounded very relaxed. Their neighbor made a beef stew for them. My cousin is bringing over food this weekend. The home health care people have set up occupational and physical therapy for her. I'll be flying home next Friday for an extended weekend to help out. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Hopefully, my heart burn will go away now.

Our dog, Lucy, has moved into the alpha spot. Well, she is our only pup now. Last night she slept on Ivy's pillow. That pillow traveled everywhere Ivy traveled. I've washed it just as much as I've washed Tony's blankey over the years. In fact, it's in the washer now. I guess Lucy can put her smell on it.

The boys took off camping this afternoon. Marisa and I can go eat anything we want without Danny complaining about how much it costs to go out to eat. I don't feel guilty one bit. It's been a difficult past couple of weeks. Sorry Dan-o...have fun roughin' it.

May 15, 2008

A New Day...

Last night was tough, but today is a bit better. We have plowed through, keeping our schedules, stopping to talk about Ivy if we need to. Thanks everyone for the well-wishes. My kids haven't had to deal with a pet "death" until now and that was tough. I think we are in good shape, but I couldn't help but look for her when we got home today.

As life goes on....the boys are camping this weekend. My plan is to pull weeds all weekend! Nothing beats grief than good ole' yard work. Marisa is already texting 'round the clock to make plans with her friends for this weekend. She has one week of 8th grade left and the class is polarized between "kum-ba-ya" and "not speaking". Jee-whiz....the drama!

May 14, 2008

Ivy May Garza

This is a sad day for our family. We had to put down our 11-year-old favorite dog, Ivy. She had been sick for only a short time and declined very quickly. Yesterday she was unable to manage the steps and she would not eat at all. She wandered around in the backyard and never seemed to get comfortable. Tony stayed outside with Ivy for an hour, just the two of them. I stood at the door and cried and cried. Once Ivy came inside, Marisa laid down with her. Ivy wouldn't even hold up her head. Danny called the vet and we scheduled an appointment for her. This morning we said our final good-byes. It was so incredibly agonizing and sad. Our other dog, Lucy, has been running around the house, sniffing, looking for her friend. I miss Ivy already. (This picture was taken by Eileen Trevino. Her blog is

May 13, 2008


My grocery items today: 3 cans of beans and a bottle of Mylanta. This doesn't make any sense. And, when I realized it, I was a bit embarrassed going through the check out. Oh, well. Such is life. I can't get rid of this heart burn which is probably stress related. But then again, it's cold outside and a nice warm bowl of chili sounded good this morning. I'm sure I'm not the first one to have this dilemna.

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I had a good day today. I did laundry, took a shower, went to eat, and wandered Pearl Street Mall with my family. I totally stuffed myself at The Broker Inn...shrimp, crab legs, lemon chicken, salmon, scallops, pork loin, cream puffs, a waffle, a hot cookie, several mimosas, and coffee. I didn't eat one veggie. UGH! When I write all that down, it sounds gross. I was so consumed with my plates of food, I couldn't tell ya' what the rest of the crew ate. Burp.

We went straight over to Pearl Street to walk off the hour and a half we took to EAT. We saw the typical Boulder street performers: a kid on the bag pipes, some dude balancing on a skate board juggling steak knives, guitar players with dreadlocks, and an older couple blowing on extra long rain sticks. The sound was similar to an airplane flying off in the distance. Now Danny and I have options other than being greeters at Walmart when we retire. I doubt I could blow on those rain sticks with my asthma.

Tony was dead set on buying me a Mother's Day present. I love my son. He is almost 13 years old, but hasn't made the "turn" yet. He still acts like a 12-year-old twit most of the time. But, he lets me hug him in public sometimes. Anyway, at each store we went into, he would ask if I wanted something. Murphy's Law....when you are allowed to buy anything you want, you can't find anything!

Before we went home, we had to stop off at Target. You know how it goes...toilet paper, dog food, shampoo, etc. Well, it took me 5 minutes to make the rounds and get the essentials. Where did I find my family? At the sunglasses case. And, each had found a pair for themselves.

As we are getting into the car, Tony said he had a great Mother's Day. I'm so glad he did. I know Mother's Day is to honor moms. But my greatest honor is to make sure my family is happy. Honestly, I buy stuff for myself all the time throughout the year. I don't need something material to feel special (the brunch was quite enough today).

I talked to my mom twice today. She sounded in good spirits, but tomorrow she starts a new physical therapy regime and has to go by ambulance back to the hospital for a CT scan. While I don't mind not getting a "gift" from my kids, I'm desperately selfish in wanting my mom to get better soon.

May 10, 2008

Busy Saturday

I don't like it when my schedule gets so booked up, but "Oops! I did it again!" I started off the day with my last meeting in Boulder for the Child Health Liaison program. I enjoyed this program. Plus, the extra money was nice. I went straight to a Pampered Chef party after the meeting. It was an interactive party and we made a great salad. It was so simple, but it's the company and the atmosphere that brought it all home.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, Danny had to wrangle kids and taxi them around. He fixed breakfast for them, got them ready, and took them to a birthday party. Now, this is the fun part. It was a birthday party for a 6-year-old. There was a bouncy house involved. The parents hung out and the kids bounced around. Tony told Ms. Mac (the mom of the 6-year-old) to offer Danny a beer and he would stay longer. And, it worked.

It doesn't end there. Ms. Mac is throwing another party tonight. It's a graduation party. She asked my kids to stay all day and hang out for the party tonight. And, they did! Even Tony. Danny just left to try and pick them up from Ms. Mac's house for the third time today. She was Marisa's sponsor for confirmation. She stays involved. Marisa made the best choice. Hopefully, Tony will follow suit.

Danny asked what I wanted to do tomorrow for Mother's Day. Besides going to The Broker Inn, I really don't want to do anything. My only wish is that MY mom gets to go home soon. She has been in the hospital/rehab for 30 days now.

May 9, 2008

Elitch Gardens

We had a great time at Elitch Gardens tonight. Danny and I got to spend time alone among the masses. Marisa hooked up with her friends. Tony and his friends paired off (in a group of 6). I actually rode a few roller coasters. Then, we went on the "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". I can't rotate and revolve at the same time and I just about lost it. That did it for me. Two hours into the park and I was toast. Now, we are back home. Tony's friend spent the night, Marisa is texting and lurking in myspace, and Danny is on the guitar.

My mom continues to struggle. Today, she was coughing blood. My dad is also declining in strength. He is so distraught and depressed. I will be taking a trip to Texas soon, I think. Prayers are anwered, please help.

Tomorrow I have my last Child Health Liaison meeting. Then, while I go to a Pampered Chef party, Danny and the kids are going to little Sam's party. He is the son of Marisa's sponsor. Wow! We are always on the go...

May 8, 2008

Mother's Day Tea

We have this tea every year. It is so nice and the kids have so much fun. They take great pride in the presents they make for their mommies. Tomorrow one of my past students is getting baptised at Mass. This will be so special. The entire school will be present.

Marisa had her orthopedic appointment yesterday. She has Patello-Femoral Syndrome. Basically, this is athletes knee. Since Marisa is in weight training, she has new exercises to do to strengthen her knees.

Okay....The Office is on.

May 6, 2008

I'm In A Rut

Life gets so busy! I forget or get caught up in things that I don't have time to blog. And, sometimes I don't have anything to say. I don't want to be one of those boring bloggers that rehash everything that they did that day, which is the same as the day before, and last week, and on and on.

So, without sounding curt, here's the short of it:
My mom.......not doing well. She has had a relapse of the phneumonia. Still in rehab. Sigh.
My dog.........the amoxicillin is not working. Called vet to get prednizone. Ivy's appetite has picked back up, but the outcome is still grim.
My! I'm in the market for a career change.
My kids........decent progress reports. I went on a field trip with them to the U.S. District Court yesterday. We watched the Voir Dire on a sexual harrassment case involving the post office. favorite couples are still in the game.
My husband......wait! Is he around? Oh, yea, he's playing Everquest.
Upcoming Events.........Mother's Day, Catholic School's Night at Elitch Gardens, dentist appointments, eye doctor appointments, orthopedic doctor appointments, and that darned dexascan.

As you can see...............I'm in a rut. Any words of wisdom appreciated.

May 4, 2008

The Pulga and The Chimenea

After Mass we headed out to the pulga for the great deals. Marisa bought a pair of shoes. Tony bought a memory card. I went to the market out there and got lots of produce at a great price. Danny and I drank a Chelada...a Bloody Mary with beer and lime instead of vodka. It really is good.

When we got home I made the Marlboro Man's Second Favorite Sandwich. My mountaineers LOVED them, including Marisa and me.

Then we set the chimenea ablaze on the back porch. Damn...I'm out of chai, I'll have to settle for a cup of joe with cinnamon bun flavored creamer.

May 3, 2008

8th Grade Graduation Video

Each year the 8th grade puts together a slide show for their graduating students. Here is what I submitted for Marisa:

Marisa at 2-1/2 years old. This was taken in Diane Watts garage (she had a home studio).

Marisa at 5 years old. This was her school picture at Meritor Academy, obviously at Christmas time.

Marisa at 10 years old. This is when she was on the Broomfield Blast competition soccer. I'm convinced this is when she injured her knee.

Marisa at 12-1/2 years old. This was taken at her grandparent's house by her aunt Eileen. (

May 2, 2008

May Crowning

We had a wonderful Mass today. It was the May Crowning of Mary. Every student in school brought a flower and we had a procession to the altar and each child put their flower at Mary's base. It was beautiful. We also had another day of grandparents visiting.

Marisa went on a group outing tonight to the Mall and the movies. I was the pick up mom, so I had to drive everyone home. Tony went to the library after school, then he and I went to Paulie's Italian Ice and Gelato.

Danny is sick, so all you wives know what THAT means. He did order us Extreme Pizza. I got the screaming tomato pizza and the guys got the everest.

May 1, 2008

Long Term Care Insurance

Have any of ya'll heard of this? We just met with out Knights of Columbus insurance rep and, OF COURSE, we are under insured. This long-term care plan takes care of you in nursing homes or assisted living situations. It really is scary to think of this. I was thinking of eating a bowl of chili the entire time he was "showing the numbers".

TGIF tomorrow. It is the May Crowning at church tomorrow as well as Grandparent's Day. So, that means that Mass will be so crowded. I can feel the love already.