Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fantastic frog fun!

Behind our back fence is a storm drain, and a lot of weeds, but we won't talk about that right now.

Pedar took the boys behind the fence to show them the pollywogs in the puddles this weekend. They even collected a few of them and brought them home. They were so excited to show me their new friends!!

Casey even got to hold a tiny frog...that wasn't a very good idea. We promise to not harm any more frogs from this day forward.

Lots of pollywogs!

Erik and Casey did not want to leave the storm drain!

Erik cannot wait to go back behind the fence again! Our backyard just got even bigger!

You are invited to come over and check out the pollywogs and tiny frogs anytime!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you have a beautiful Memorial Day!

I hope you take a moment to recognize the men and women who serve our country and honor those who have died. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

San Francisco here we come!

Super fun street in San Francisco!

I stood out of the sunroof to take this video! 

We went to San Francisco yesterday and had the best time! We started at the
CA Academy of Sciences, then we went to the Sutro Baths and ended our day with dinner at Fisherman's Wharf.

The museum is sooo wonderful. We cannot wait to go back, there was so much we didn't have the time to explore.

The weather in the morning was gorgeous. We stopped around 4 p.m. for a coffee and the clouds came out. Pedar, Casey and I explored the Sutro Baths while Mor-Mor stayed with a sleeping Erik in the car. It started to sprinkle on us while we were down near the ocean. We came back to the car and Casey wanted to show Mor-Mor the cave and ocean so the three of them went back down and then it really started to rain. They came back to the car really wet!

We made our way to the wharf and we parked and went looking for a restaurant for dinner. We chose the closest one we could run to because it was pouring! We all got wet, but we got a table by the water and Erik loved looking at the boats. Just as we were finishing dinner the rain stopped, allowing us to walk around the wharf. We saw so many wonderful things but a few highlighters were; a huge seal hanging out by the boats, a street performer and an old submarine.

We cannot wait to come back to San Francisco!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Serve others

The other day I was feeling grumpy and I looked around our house at our old kitchen with the burn ring in the counter top and yucky hand painted cabinets and all the other little things that drive me crazy every 28-days or so and I told Pedar, "Do you ever just feel like everything in our house is half done and that we just don't have enough time or resources to make it better? I just feel like we made it "nice enough" to live in and I want it "really nice" you know?"

He smiled and said, "No, I don't feel like that. I love our house."

I love our house too. I am proud of all the work we have done. But I love the backyard and front yard best because I don't have to look at the kitchen. The kitchen and our bathroom with its peeling paint and same old vanity that I painted white nine years ago, has really been bothering me lately. I really want to throw some money around, but I need to be patient.

On most days I would gladly let anyone in my house and feed them and love them, but lately, I just want to shut the door. I know its because my two precious boys are messier than ever and working full time is not allowing me to maintain. I need to let it go. I need to make my gratitude list and realize that we will be able to make changes some day, just not now.

Here are five things I am grateful for today:

1. My family's health
2. A safe home and neighborhood for my kids to play and grow
3. My Pedar
4. My sister Dagny for giving me the Pioneer Woman's book for Christmas, "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels". The book was so good and a great distraction, although my eyes look a bit puffy from reading til late!
5. Date night! Mor-Mor and Pop-Pop are watching the boys tonight so we can grab a bite to eat out. I am so grateful. It has been a long time since our last date night and I cannot wait

Other than focusing on what I am grateful for, I also need to serve others. A friend of mine was going through a divorce and she said her Mom told her that she should serve others and it would make her feel better about her own situation. So when a friends husband landed in the hospital for a long stay, she got busy cooking, cleaning and taking care of her friends kids. She immediately felt better.

We all feel like we don't have enough time, but there is always time.

We can serve others in small ways too, every little bit counts.

~ Smile at everyone 
~ Greet family and friends with a hug
~ Cheer up a co-worker
~ Help a neighbor
~ Play with a child
~ Call someone you haven't talked to in awhile
~ Ask someone about their dreams and really listen
~ Help someone in their garden
~ Bring treats to your neighbors, co-workers
~ Write Thank You notes. Everyone likes to be acknowledged
~ Hug longer
~ Make eye contact, smile and listen intently
~ Make someone laugh-HARD
~ Open the door for someone
~ Help someone achieve their goals

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fighting with Casey...nobody wins

Casey and I got into it the other day. It ended with him calling me a very bad word and me locking him in the backyard. How did it start? He was just being a pest and wouldn't do anything I asked. "Hey Casey, you have a lot of energy, why don't you get on your bike or scooter?" 

Casey ignores my request and continues to irritate and annoy me and pick on Erik.

I try again, "Hey Casey, get on your bike or your scooter, now!" 

Casey ignores me. I start raising my voice. I decide we better go in the backyard so the neighbors don't get any more of a show. We move to the backyard. Picture Erik crying because he wanted to be in the front so he could wave at neighbors and greet Pedar when he got home. I am now carrying/dragging Erik to the backyard while arguing with Casey. We get in the backyard and Casey throws a soccer ball at me. It hits me hard. I pick up Erik and we go inside and I lock Casey out. I ask him to sit down and calm down. I am locking him out because I need a time-out too. Casey HATES being alone. This just makes him angrier. Erik is standing at the sliding glass door, holding his mimi, watching it all go down. Casey yells something at me from outside then he gets up and kicks the sliding door. Before I can open and tell him to stop, he kicks it again. The entire door shakes. This boy is very strong. Erik is freaked out by the sound the kick made to the door and starts crying. Yeah for me. I want to lock myself in the bathroom and read a book and block it all out. But nope, I must handle this.

I open the door and tell him to stop, OK, maybe I screamed at him to stop. He looks at me and says, "You're an *$#hole!" He has never used this word. He looks surprised that he said it, and I am just as surprised. I look at him and shut the door and lock it again.

He knows he is in big trouble now. I let him sit with it for awhile. He comes inside and I give him a choice. He can sit at the counter and hold soap in his mouth or we will be speaking to his school principal tomorrow about his language. Casey is freaked out. He doesn't want me to tell his principal about his behavior. He runs from me to his room. I bring him back to the kitchen, grab the soap, set the timer and away we go. He puts the sliver of bar soap in his mouth. He gags, I tell him to put it back in. He does. He waits for the 45 seconds to be done. He rinses his mouth, he tells me he is sorry. 

At about the time I was putting soap in Casey's mouth, Pedar arrived home. I still have Erik on my hip and I am really frazzled. I feel like I have aged ten years. Pedar said he had a bad feeling on his drive home and was hoping Casey was being good. Nope. I hate that Pedar came home to  a house out of control, but lately Casey is really testing and I never know what the day will bring.

I know I could have handled things better. I wish I hadn't let it escalate. I wish I hadn't yelled so much. I should have gotten all of us on our bikes and just made us go for a ride. Casey had been inside all day and had WAY to much energy. We are now walking after dinner or riding bikes to help him unleash some of his wild energy.

At the end of the day, I held Casey and told him I loved him. He told me he loved me. He knows I need him to be good and I know he can be good. When he gets angry and yells, I see myself in him, and it is never more clear that I need to be calmer and cooler in stressful situations.

I missed all the Oprah shows, but I read on one of my favorite blogs that Oprah talked about Newtons's law yesterday.

Newton's Third Law of Motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

I'm going to remember that everything I do, has a reaction, both good and bad. If I react poorly, I should expect that it will not get better.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Most amazing love story

As I was driving around for work yesterday morning I listened to the most gorgeous love story!

It was called "Finding Emilie" on Radiolab. In this segment, we take an emotional left turn to a story of a very different kind of lost and found. We begin with a college student, Alan Lundgard, who fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Emilie's mom, Susan Gossiaux, describes her daughter, and the terrible phone call she recieved from Alan nine months after he became Emilie's boyfriend. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie lost in a netherworld, and how Alan found her again.

Emilie and Alan were only 20-years-old at the time of the accident I believe. They had been dating for only 9 months, but they knew they were in love. They knew they shared something very special. Emilie left for school on her bike and she was hit by an 18-wheeler-truck. Alan rushed to the hospital and found that she had sustained a severe brain injury, broken legs, broken pelvis and many other injuries. They didn't think she would live long. After two days she was getting better, but her eyes weren't responding to light, so they thought her brain injury was really bad. They finally took her off the intubator so she could talk and she started talking. Emilie wore hearing aids and they tried to put them in her ears, but she would fight them. Once Emilie was stable, her parents decided to move her back to her hometown of New Orleans to a nursing home. Alan was furious. He did not want them to take Emilie. 

Alan had remembered the story of Helen Keller and how her teacher, Anne Sullivan, had taught Helen the signs for the letters of the alphabet by writing them in the palm of Helen's hand.

Alan tried it on Emilie one night in the hospital. He wrote, "I love you" in her hand. She said back, "I love you. Thank you. That's nice." She didn't know who was writing it, but she understand what was being written. He decided to use his phone and start recording her answer his questions that he was writing in her hand so he could prove to her parents and the physicians that her brain injury wasn't as bad as they had thought. Emilie knew the year and she knew her name. Finally Alan called her Mom and she came down to the hospital and they convinced Emilie to put her hearing aids on, and once she put them on, she was back. She said, "Mommy!"

Emilie was blind from her accident but she could hear and she was finally communicating. She told them that she had been "stuck in a wall" and wanted out. She thought she had been dreaming the entire time because she "never woke up" because she couldn't see. Emilie took 100 steps the other day and there is a slight chance she could see again. Alan and Emilie are planning on living together again and finishing college.

As I was listening to this gorgeous story I was amazed at Alan's dedication for Emilie, especially at such a young age. He could have walked away, he could have just let her parents take care of her, but he LOVED her and because of his love he was able to help her communicate again. He saved her from the nursing home and so much more. Sometimes I wonder what my life purpose is and then I hear about someone like Alan and I know that his life purpose is to love Emilie and help her. It can be that simple. 

Here is the link to the radiolab website where you can go listen to the story: http://www.radiolab.org/2011/jan/25/finding-emilie/

Emilie Gossiaux's Website

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My sister is performing!!

If you are in town this weekend and want to make FUN plans, go see Margery's Cabaret show on Saturday!!

When: Saturday, May 28

Time: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Where: Sutter Street Theatre in Historic Downtown Folsom
717 Sutter Street
Historic Folsom,CA 95630 

Box Office & Store:
Wed - Sun 11am - 7pm

Tickets: Please call 916. 353.1001

Monday, May 23, 2011

Z is for Zoo

Giant Anteater at Sacramento Zoo!

We had a great weekend. We enjoyed time with friends and family and being outside. The weather was gorgeous all weekend. We took it really easy, attended a t-ball game, ate delicious food and just hung out. We did most of our chores on Friday, so the rest of the weekend was easy.

After church on Sunday we went to the Zoo. We hadn't been in a long time. Erik LOVES animals.  Mor-Mor came with us too and afterwards we went and got a quick bite to eat. 
All the animals in the zoo are jumping up and down for you!

Giant turtles living underneath the Giraffe exhibit!

Erik wants to do EVERYTHING Casey does!
This is Erik's "Cheese" face!

We didn't have enough snacks at our house this morning, so my snack bag was empty for the Zoo. Big mistake. Casey melted down around 11:30 and we couldn't get food in him fast enough. Erik fell asleep on the way home and Casey took a tiny nap yesterday too. Too many late nights make for one emotional Casey. Wooeee.

We ended our day at the Zoo with a ride on the beautiful Carousel. Casey loved it but Erik just held on really tight and didn't move or smile the entire ride. We thought it was funny, but I think Erik was traumatized.

Hope you all have a terrific week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday I'm in love!

Every time I hear The Cure, I think of my high school boyfriends brother. He loved to dress in all black and wear eyeliner and jewelry. I had a feeling he was gay, but I knew better than to talk about it or "out" him.

The other day Rebecca Romijn was on the Rachel Ray show and she was talking about her twin daughters. She was talking about how different they are. "It's amazing having twins because it is like a crazy social experiment," Rebecca said. "You have two people who were born on the same day, same setting and they could not be more different. People are born who they are born and there is nothing you can do about it."

We are born who we are and there is nothing we can do about it. We are born vulnerable and weak and need complete care. In many ways we continue to be as vulnerable, just with our feelings.

We all want the same things. We want to be loved, we want to be healthy, we want a family and we want acceptance.

There was a comic on the other day, a white comic. He was saying how he won the lottery when he was born because he was born white. He said something like, "I could jump in a time machine and go back at any time and be seated at a table for dinner."

I was lucky enough to be born heterosexual. I am part of the accepted group. I am allowed to get married, kiss in public, raise my children without social disapproval and so much more.

I have heard from a few friends and family lately that they are concerned with gay marriage. I don't believe they really LOVE someone that is gay, because if they did, they wouldn't be concerned. How is your neighbors marriage affecting yours? Its not, is it? Than why worry about gay marriage. I learned in debate that you should study both sides of the argument before you state your argument. I don't want to hear an opinion on gay marriage unless you have sat down with gay couples and listened to their reasons on why they want to get married. If you haven't done that, if you haven't listened and opened your heart, than I don't want to listen to you. Your opinion is uneducated and really just judge mental and righteous because you are allowed something freely and haven't taken the time to be empathetic.

I'm going to ask you today to look at people and try and see the vulnerability in them. Please empathize more, feel more and give more. You have nothing to lose by loving more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I love this man

I love my Pedar. I love that he helped me last night create a slideshow for my work event tonight after I gave up, had a tantrum and sat on the couch and watched TV.

I love that he will rush home from work today to take care of the kids while I stand and schmooze with physicians.

I love that the kids will have a SUPER GREAT time tonight, probably even more fun because I am not home.

I love Pedar because he is always willing to help me, even when he is tired. I love Pedar because he is Super Hunky. I don't want to brag, but Pedar's been hitting the gym and just like my boys, he gets "cuter" or in Pedar's case, "better" everyday! I never grow tired of kissing him, hugging him or well let's keep this clean shall we??!

I'm not afraid to tell you that I love Pedar. I love him more with each passing day. I want to make an ass out of myself for Pedar!! I want to get "better" too and give as much to him as he gives to me!

I love how kind, fun and helpful he is. I mean really, does that man ever have a "bad" day??! If he did, you wouldn't know it. He likes to go with the flow.. and let it go. If he is troubled, he would much rather talk about you, or help someone else to help him get his mind off his worries.

I love that he always makes the time to get to know my friends too. Pedar will make sure and talk to everyone in the room and really wants to get to know you. I love that.

I love what a hard worker he is too. I don't mind anymore that people LOVE him more than me. I used to get annoyed when our friends, family and neighbors would ask, "Hey Nora, where's Pedar?!" I get it now, he is cooler. He is a better listener. He has more "handy" skills than I have. He has a great smile too and did I mention his tiny hiny?? Oops...I meant to keep this clean!

I love you, Pedar. Thanks for getting better with each day, month and year. I am so damn lucky! I'll be ready to plant one on you when I get home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Before I die I want to...

My friend Zabe recently told me about this amazing project that Candy Chang created in New Orleans. 

Here is the link to her project: Before I die website

With support from her friends, she turned the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite her neighbors to remember and share what is important to them.  

Abandoned house before

"Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It’s about improving both our physical spaces and our individual well-being," said Candy Chang.

Abandoned house after
 A few of the neighbors responses. Everyday they would write down the responses in a book and then allow more people to write on the house.

  • Before I die I want to learn to formally dance with Pedar

  • Before I die I want to go to Paris, Spain, Ireland, Bora Bora, India and so many other wonderful places

  • Before I die I want to live LARGER; have more money and more time just for me and my family

  • Before I die I want to learn Spanish

  • Before I die I want to love more, learn more and laugh more

What do you want to do before you die????