Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home From Vacation

We had a great time.  We went to the beach (New Jersey shore), the zoo, the boardwalk, did amusement park rides, hung out at the house during nap time in the wading pool, drank some wine and ate some good food.  One night we had a girls' night and went to a local martini bar.  It was nice and relaxing.  Ready to get back to reality with work tomorrow.   I'm sure I'll have lots of emails to clean out and lots of catching up to do on projects.  It was so nice not to think about work for a whole week.  Before I get back to reality, here's some great pics from the vacation.

The boys really liked playing in the sand.  Their favorite word was "rock".  They loved finding rocks and putting them in their pockets or the sand buckets.


Phoebe loves playing with her boogie board in the surf.  She could stay there all day and do this.  It's a shame the boys can't keep up with her.  They were still not big fans of the water, but they loved watching other boys about a year older than they are running into the surf.



We went fishing and here's a picture of my husband doing what we were avoiding (he still worked a bit on vacation) and Phoebe and our friends' daughter on a fishing trip.  We didn't catch anything, darn.



I took the boys for a walk once when DH was working.  They fell asleep and I put them in the shade and let them finish a much deserved nap.  They played hard.  They both still love their blankies.  Tommy's is a mess, as he pulls all the yarns out.


I got a pic of the boys sitting on the kitchen step at the house we rented for the week.  They were so cute!


It was funny to take them all to the amusement park.  Here are DH and Phoebe on a ride and the boys' reaction.



We let the boys try the kiddie rides, just the really small ones that didn't do much.  Liam hated it at first, but then he loved it!




But then it was "All done!"


Has anyone ever heard of "Fried Oreos"?  I never have.  We didn't try them.


Here's a mother/daughter picture on the beach.  We're wearing matching dresses a friend made for us.


Here's the boys checking out the life guard boat.


Here's me with Phoebe and the boys in town doing some shopping.  Phoebe and I had just went to the soap store.  They had soap like "Death by Chocolate" and "Monkey Farts", LOL.


Then we let the boys play with one of the water fountains that were down at their level.  We really had a great vacation!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Camp Day 18 - I'm On Vacation


First off, I'm on vacation at the shore in New Jersey.  We got here on Saturday and it's been great. Last week was a mess trying to get ready for vacation, Tommy having a fever, getting Phoebe new bathing suits and flip flops, as she wore them all out, making lists of things to bring, and finishing all the work I could before I left.  Internet access here is sporadic, and totally crazy busy.  I've been trying to post this for for the past 1/2 day now.  The boys kept losing interest in whatever they were doing the instant I sat down at the computer.  Instead of playing catch up, I'll just do todays and look to catch up later.  

Day 18 – How do you feel about astrology? What’s your sign, baby, and do you think it matches your personality?

Glad I didn't miss this one.  I love astrology.  I am Pisces, my husband is a Leo, Phoebe is a Libra, the boys are Gemini twins.  I'm a Pisces that is very emotional, empathetic and creative.  I tease my husband as we saw something about Leo's once that said, "God-like, worthy to be loved."  Phoebe is very much a Libra in that she doesn't like anyone to disagree.  The boys are yin and yang Gemini twins.  Each of them have very different personalities as I've discussed before.  One is very serious, thoughtful, sweet and smaller in stature.  The other is very outgoing, happy and has a very solid build.  I've also learned from astrology that I cannot live with Sagittarians.  I can be their best friends, but they will never get my personality and how I think, so it's best not to live with them.  My SIL is Pisces and her last two serious boyfriends were Sagittarians and neither worked out.  I told her that needs to be her next criteria for a boyfriend.  Ask that question first and if they don't pass, walk away.  I highly recommend Pisces in relationships with Virgos and Leos.   

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Camp Day 11 - Catching Up!!!


I always seem to be a day behind, but now I'm caught up if I do a quick post on today's Summer Camp post.

Day 11 – How are you different from your parents? How are you the same? Do your parents and/or family know that you write on-line?

I'm the same as my dad, in that I'm really logical and I like to stick to the facts.  I'm also like both my parents in that I like to be goofy and have fun.  I'm like my mom in that I like things just so around my house.  I feel the best when things are organized and in the place they belong.

Yes, my mom and my maternal grandmother know where my blog is and used to read it regularly.  It was one of the reasons I used to post, so that they could see updated pics of the kids and hear how crazy my life is.  I know my mom is busy with her new job, so I don't think she gets a chance to read it that much lately.  My dad knows I blog, but he doesn't have a computer, so sometimes he sees the posts I do at my mom's (they are divorced but friends). 

See you again tomorrow with a caught up Summer Camp Post!

Summer Camp Day 10 - Food Blog Post - Quinoa Salad with Figs and Walnuts

Day 10 – Share your favorite recipe (or two) (see! You CAN be a food blogger!)

I've posted this recipe before, but this time it's with pictures!  And this is my current favorite recipe that I make (not DH).


1 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
12 dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup chick peas
4 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
juice from 1 fresh orange
3 Tbs olive oil
few dashes of rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa as directed. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the figs, walnuts, carrots and celery and put in a bowl. Add the chick peas. In a separate bowl, mix the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper as your dressing. When the quinoa is cooked, mix the quinoa with the fig, walnut, veggie mixture and dressing. Serve warm or cold. This does taste great the next day, so you can make this ahead of time if you wish.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Camp Day 9 - Grandmothers and Mother

Day 9 – What is the most important lesson you learned from your own mother (or other primary caretaker)? What do you imagine the name of your Grandmother’s blog would be and what would she write about?

I like this post, as I've always felt a kinship to the women that came before me in my family.  I feel like I'm a culmination of all they worked and prayed for and that those who have passed watch over me.  Anytime I ever get in a tough spot, I'll say to myself, "What would Nana Royal do?"  or something of the like.  I might also say a quick prayer to them to ask for help in what I'm going through.  I'm sure they were not perfect, but they were tough cookies and they always got things done.  I don't think there's a weak one of us in the lot.  

The most important lesson I learned from my mother is that learning is a lifelong achievement, you can begin something new at any time, and education is the most important thing in being able to support yourself well.  My mother decided to go back to school and get a nursing degree when I was in 4th grade.  My dad supported her in this endeavor, which I also learned from both of them how to be supportive in a marriage to meet common goals.  She graduated when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I was so proud.  I vowed I wasn't going to have to go through that when my kids were small and I was going to college right from high school and get a good career that I liked.  I did just that, and my college education has really helped me be able to help support my family.  

I can think of some really interesting blog names if my grandmother's had blogs. My mom's mom would be something like (and please don't be offended), "Shops like a Jewish Grandmother".  She's always proud of the deals she can find.  My dad's mom would have to be something like "Tales of a Dysfunctional Sicilian Family".  I can't think of what my Great Grandmother would name her blog.  She was my mother's grandmother and she was alive until 1994 when she was 93 years old.  She was awesome.  She'd probably write about recipes, politics and current events.  Her last year was rough with a brain tumor, but before that, she was the only 90 year old I ever knew that wanted complete control over her life, she lived on her own, only relied on people to take her to the grocery store and doctor's appointments and knew everything that was going on in the world around her.

Summer Camp Day 9 - Grandmothers and Mother

Day 9 – What is the most important lesson you learned from your own mother (or other primary caretaker)? What do you imagine the name of your Grandmother’s blog would be and what would she write about?

I like this post, as I've always felt a kinship to the women that came before me in my family.  I feel like I'm a culmination of all they worked and prayed for and that those who have passed watch over me.  Anytime I ever get in a tough spot, I'll say to myself, "What would Nana Royal do?"  or something of the like.  I might also say a quick prayer to them to ask for help in what I'm going through.  I'm sure they were not perfect, but they were tough cookies and they always got things done.  I don't think there's a weak one of us in the lot.  

The most important lesson I learned from my mother is that learning is a lifelong achievement, you can begin something new at any time, and education is the most important thing in being able to support yourself well.  My mother decided to go back to school and get a nursing degree when I was in 4th grade.  My dad supported her in this endeavor, which I also learned from both of them how to be supportive in a marriage to meet common goals.  She graduated when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I was so proud.  I vowed I wasn't going to have to go through that when my kids were small and I was going to college right from high school and get a good career that I liked.  I did just that, and my college education has really helped me be able to help support my family.  

I can think of some really interesting blog names if my grandmother's had blogs. My mom's mom would be something like (and please don't be offended), "Shops like a Jewish Grandmother".  She's always proud of the deals she can find.  My dad's mom would have to be something like "Tales of a Dysfunctional Sicilian Family".  I can't think of what my Great Grandmother would name her blog.  She was my mother's grandmother and she was alive until 1994 when she was 93 years old.  She was awesome.  She'd probably write about recipes, politics and current events.  Her last year was rough with a brain tumor, but before that, she was the only 90 year old I ever knew that wanted complete control over her life, she lived on her own, only relied on people to take her to the grocery store and doctor's appointments and knew everything that was going on in the world around her.

Summer Camp Day 9 - Grandmothers and Mother


Day 9 – What is the most important lesson you learned from your own mother (or other primary caretaker)? What do you imagine the name of your Grandmother’s blog would be and what would she write about?

I like this post, as I've always felt a kinship to the women that came before me in my family.  I feel like I'm a culmination of all they worked and prayed for and that those who have passed watch over me.  Anytime I ever get in a tough spot, I'll say to myself, "What would Nana Royal do?"  or something of the like.  I might also say a quick prayer to them to ask for help in what I'm going through.  I'm sure they were not perfect, but they were tough cookies and they always got things done.  I don't think there's a weak one of us in the lot.  

The most important lesson I learned from my mother is that learning is a lifelong achievement, you can begin something new at any time, and education is the most important thing in being able to support yourself well.  My mother decided to go back to school and get a nursing degree when I was in 4th grade.  My dad supported her in this endeavor, which I also learned from both of them how to be supportive in a marriage to meet common goals.  She graduated when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I was so proud.  I vowed I wasn't going to have to go through that when my kids were small and I was going to college right from high school and get a good career that I liked.  I did just that, and my college education has really helped me be able to help support my family.  

I can think of some really interesting blog names if my grandmother's had blogs. My mom's mom would be something like (and please don't be offended), "Shops like a Jewish Grandmother".  She's always proud of the deals she can find.  My dad's mom would have to be something like "Tales of a Dysfunctional Sicilian Family".  I can't think of what my Great Grandmother would name her blog.  She was my mother's grandmother and she was alive until 1994 when she was 93 years old.  She was awesome.  She'd probably write about recipes, politics and current events.  Her last year was rough with a brain tumor, but before that, she was the only 90 year old I ever knew that wanted complete control over her life, she lived on her own, only relied on people to take her to the grocery store and doctor's appointments and knew everything that was going on in the world around her.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Summer Camp Day 7 & 8 - Food and Teaching


Again, I'm going to tackle two days of Calliope's Summer Camp again.  

Day 7 – What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you read food blogs or would you ever consider writing one?

I do love food and some of my blogs are like food blogs and I do read them avidly.  They give me great ideas.  Breakfast has some great foods:  coffee, chocolate croissants, blueberry pancakes, scrapple.  These are a few of my favorite things.  My DH also recently learned to make excellent crepes and he'll make them for breakfast for us with home made whipped cream, bananas, strawberries and Nutella.  Good stuff!

Lunch I love salads and sushi since it's summertime.  In the winter I'm a big fan of soups.  With salads I love Newman's Own salad dressings!  Sometimes I'll have leftovers from dinner the night before.  I try to pack my lunch for work to save money and ensure I'm eating healthy.

Dinner I love when DH cooks!  He's a much better cook than me.  His new signature dish is a sesame-crusted pan seared tuna on a bed of greens with three dressings:  a sweet strawberry dressing, a soy-sesame dressing and a wasabi-cream dressing.  Yum!  I also love the turkey burgers he's been mixing up lately with black beans, seasonings like mesquite barbeque and cheddar cheese in the mix.  And on the side have a new cole slaw he came up with that has no mayo, but cabbage, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts and the dressing is olive oil, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil and lime juice.  

Day 8 – If you had to teach something, what would you teach? (If you DO teach, when did you discover your love for teaching/the subject?) Do you think blogs can play a role in education?  


I always loved teaching.  I used to tutor math when I was younger.  I even tutored trigonometry when I was in the class at the time.  I still love the idea of teaching math and there's a piece of me that would love to be a high school math teacher if I ditched the corporate world.  


The other thing I would love to do in life is be a yoga teacher.  It's funny since I came up with my life list, I keep thinking of things I forgot to put on it!  I have to add taking yoga teacher training classes and beginning to teach classes.  I don't know that I could say I want to own a yoga studio, but I would definitely like to teach classes.  I'm not sure if blogs play a role in education.  I get inspiration from blogs and I have learned some things about cooking and healthy eating, but not math or yoga.  I guess it depends on what the topic is.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Being Brave With Twins - Or Ice Cream!!!!

I was really brave with the boys last night.  I took them out to Friendly's for ice cream by myself.  Phoebe slept over her best friend's house last night, DH is out of town for work and I took Niki to her dance lesson.  Her lesson is only 40 minutes, so instead of turning around and going back home, I decided to take the boys out for ice cream and then to the grocery store.  Let me just tell you it was total cuteness!  They kept saying over again as we were going inside the restaurant, "Ice Keem!  Ice Keem!"  and their pleases and thank yous all over the place.  After we placed the order, peanut butter cup ice cream for me with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream hot fudge sundaes for the boys.  I let each of the boys have their own kids size ice cream sundae and I'm glad I did, because they each finished it themselves and asked for more!   I let them eat themselves and helped just a little bit.  They are getting to be such big boys.  Now onto the cuteness!

Here's Tommy eating his sundae


And here's Liam enjoying his

And yes, they were very hopped up on sugar when we were leaving and it was so funny trying to get them to the car.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Physical Appointment Much Overdue

I have another update in that I went and had what should be an annual physical with the doctor.  I haven't had one in about 6 to 8 years.  I'm always so busy keeping up with my annual GYN appointments, mammograms and before the boys, the reproductive doctor, so I haven't had time to make one.  I also do a good job going to the dentist every six months and the eye doctor once a year.  But I'm proud of myself for making the appointment and keeping it.

I had a count of the four things I needed to make sure I talked to the doctor about.  I was afraid I might forget one of them.  They were as follows:  1.  toenail fungus,  2.  mole on back and overall skin cancer screening, 3.  seasonal allergies,  4.  anxiety.  I'm so glad I brought these all up.  The toenail issues are going to be resolved by a daily pill for the next three months.  The mole on my back is actually scar tissue from a granuloma she removed from my back a few years ago, which wasn't even a mole.  She checked out some of the others on my back and said everything looked OK.  The seasonal allergies, I can call when they start acting up again and she'll prescribe nasal sprays which should work better than the over the counter pills.  On the last one, anxiety, I'm really glad I mentioned something.  She had noticed something when she was listening to my pulse that I was throwing some extra beats in there.  She said she's not worried about my heart, but she wants to do a thyroid levels test with my other bloodwork.  She said that thyroid issues can cause more anxiety than one would ordinarily have.  She did like how I said I deal with anxiety, watching my breathing, doing yoga, exercise.  I don't have any issues that would cause me to see someone or take any medicine, but I'm curious to see what the thyroid levels show.  She did say that I might just have anxiety because I have three kids, two of which are toddler twin boys and a stressful job.  I have to fast for the blood work, so I'm going on my way to work tomorrow.  I wonder if I'll get the results before the end of the week.

Blog Summer Camp Day 4 and Day 5


Well again, I'm behind a day again, but at least it's not three days behind. So let's catch up now shall we?

Day 4 – What has most surprised you about being an adult? What have you learned about yourself through blogging?

Hmmmmm - I get to make up my own rules, but I knew that would happen. I guess it would be that just when you think you are as busy as you possibly can be, you figure out you can handle even more and you wonder what you were complaining about being busy before. I remember before we had children, I thought I was so busy with work and our apartment. Then you get a house, have kids, get a bigger house (that needs cleaning and maintenance) and you can juggle it all. It may not be perfection, but then again, we all need to be cured of that disease anyway.

And what have I learned from blogging? Mostly that I'm not alone. Through whatever I've been working out - infertility, newborn twins, trying to live healthy - there are other people out there just like me. I get to share my experiences and other bloggers share theirs with me. I love it.

Day 5 -What do you prefer to do on your birthday?

I usually end up working on my birthdays and wait for the weekend to celebrate, so I think the first thing to the perfect birthday would be no work! I'd wake up and make yummy blueberry pancakes and french press coffee. Get to enjoy breakfast with my three great kids (chaos!) and darling husband. Go for a nice walk with the kids in perfect weather - not too hot, not too cold (usually doesn't happen since my birthday is mid-March). Go out for sushi for lunch with just DH and maybe buy myself some stuff to pretty myself in Sephora. I'd love to spend the afternoon at a spa, getting a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and my hair and makeup done. Come home to one of my husband's wonderful gourmet dinners and a strawberry shortcake with dark chocolate shavings up the sides. Get the boys ready for bed with books, prayers and kisses and last but not least, enjoy some quiet time with DH with a glass of Chardonnay and probably much much more.

Blog Summer Camp Day 4 and Day 5


Well again, I'm behind a day again, but at least it's not three days behind. So let's catch up now shall we?

Day 4 – What has most surprised you about being an adult? What have you learned about yourself through blogging?

Hmmmmm - I get to make up my own rules, but I knew that would happen. I guess it would be that just when you think you are as busy as you possibly can be, you figure out you can handle even more and you wonder what you were complaining about being busy before. I remember before we had children, I thought I was so busy with work and our apartment. Then you get a house, have kids, get a bigger house (that needs cleaning and maintenance) and you can juggle it all. It may not be perfection, but then again, we all need to be cured of that disease anyway.

And what have I learned from blogging? Mostly that I'm not alone. Through whatever I've been working out - infertility, newborn twins, trying to live healthy - there are other people out there just like me. I get to share my experiences and other bloggers share theirs with me. I love it.

Day 5 -What do you prefer to do on your birthday?

I usually end up working on my birthdays and wait for the weekend to celebrate, so I think the first thing to the perfect birthday would be no work! I'd wake up and make yummy blueberry pancakes and french press coffee. Get to enjoy breakfast with my three great kids (chaos!) and darling husband. Go for a nice walk with the kids in perfect weather - not too hot, not too cold (usually doesn't happen since my birthday is mid-March). Go out for sushi for lunch with just DH and maybe buy myself some stuff to pretty myself in Sephora. I'd love to spend the afternoon at a spa, getting a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and my hair and makeup done. Come home to one of my husband's wonderful gourmet dinners and a strawberry shortcake with dark chocolate shavings up the sides. Get the boys ready for bed with books, prayers and kisses

Monday, July 04, 2011

Summer Camp Day 3

Love the question for yesterday for Calliope's Summer Camp. It's guilty pleasures! My guilty pleasures are as follows:

dark chocolate truffles from La Maison du Chocolat
whipped cream on coffee (instead of milk or cream)
drinking said cup of coffee before getting the kids up
TrueBlood (HBO show)
Watching Bridget Jones movies over and over
Bridget Jones Fan Fiction
Sudoku games

I'm going to go run and read everyone else's guilty pleasures!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Summer Camp Day 1 and Day 2


Calliope at Creating Motherhood is doing a Summer Blog Camp for the month of July and I love that idea so I jumped on board. I missed yesterday but I'll hit on that one as as well as today.

Day 1 – Provide a photo or sketch or dramatic rendering of the space where you normally blog

I actually can be blogging anywhere. I can blog from home in our upstairs sitting room, in the kitchen, at my desk downstairs or even at work. Whenever I find a few stolen moments and the energy is there, I love to blog.

Day 2 -What were you like in high school? What extracurricular activities, if any, did you take part in during high school? Did you consider yourself a writer?

I was a geeky, punk, new-wave girl in high-school. I was very tall for where I lived (I'm about 5'8" and grew up in a very Italian neighborhood). I couldn't get a date with kids in my class to save my life. I don't know if it was my height or that I was so smart. I dated a few guys that were a few years older than me in my younger years in high school and then college guys my last two years. I definitely was in a very awkward stage though. I didn't know what to do with my body. I was really skinny, except for a very plump posterior. I'm much more balanced body-build-wise than I was back then. I loved chorus, Key Club (volunteering) and marching band. I worked part-time as a cashier at a grocery store. I didn't like the job much, but it gave me money I could save and put away for college.

I did consider myself I writer back then, but I did really love math and science. So I went to school for engineering and wrote back poetry on the side, LOL. I haven't written a poem since my angst-filled teenage years and the world is better for it.