Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

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Trick or Treat!

I wasn't sure I was going to make it through Halloween, especially since it began October 1st at our house. But we did it!

With the time change occuring after Halloween this year, we started trick or treating by daylight. In less than an hour, the sun went down, and everything was at least 10 times scarier.

"Let's skip the rest of the houses, and go home," suggests Vinny.

Sometimes, parenting is easy.

Wow, popcorn for Halloween!

Jedi Troll!

Buzz Ruff Buzz!

Harry Potter x 2

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Fall Festival at Vinny's school happens about one week before Halloween. The senior Harry Potter went wandless because, "they aren't allowing weapons."

"I'm sure a wand would be fine," I assure him. "A wand isn't really a weapon."

"Mom, everyone knows a wand is a weapon," says Vinny.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking Turns

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Gio's four-year-old check up went very well, today. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that his pediatrician knows how to take turns.

"That was so fun!" Gio exclaims as we leave the doc's office.

Carmel Point

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There was a fairly large swell running on this day, with poor, windy conditions. Sometimes, watching waves is almost as fun as surfing itself.

Especially, when the chance of catching waves is, low, while the chance of being impaled on rocks, is high.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ditch Digger

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We could all learn a lot from kids. They take pleasure in the simple things like digging holes, WITHOUT SHOVELS. Whereas, for me just looking at this picture is starting to make my back hurt.

Thanks Mom!

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"Look what I brought back for you," says my Mom, upon returning from a Las Vegas AARP convention.

"I'm not reading it," I say.

I don't read many parenting books, so why would I read a book on Parenting my Parent? I'm already pretty good at that, according to my Mom.

Is she really worried about me taking care of her, in her old age? Because if she is, she probably should have brought me a better gift. Besides, she got the book for FREE.

"Hey Vinny, I have a new book for you to read!" I say.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Now

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I'd rather be in the NOW, than in the know.

The Moment is where great things happen!

Surf Dog

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sand Dunes:The Original Treadmill

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I went up and down the sand dune for an hour, in lieu of not surfing today. Take that treadmill!

Elmo's On The Mike

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Gio on the megaphone in front of a crowd of 70 people (appx):

"All right everyone get out your raffle tickets!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunset City Lights

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Meet My New Crush

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I fall in love easily, but even I'm surprised how fond I am of this little guy. Praying Mantis, named for his prayer like body position, is so cute and adorable. Some species of Praying Mantis can even rotate there head up to 300 degrees.

"So we can get one, right," ask all three boys.

"No, no, no!" I say.

Good thing my crushes are fleeting and short lived.............

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Festival

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Vinny sliding at Fall Festival.

Stand By Me -Playing For Change

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I was looking for a some inspiration yesterday and look what a little birdie sent me. Thank you! Make a difference visit

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Got Inspiration?

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Do I have to move here to get some inspiration?

Dawn Patrol

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Photo by Sunny Smith

I love this shot of father and son going for a dawn patrol surf session. The best way to start any day is with a surf.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hiking With Briar

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Briar chillin' in the tree waiting for some dogs to pass by.

I love hanging out with Briar, and of course his person, too. But Briar and I are kindred spirits. He enjoys being outdoors as much as I do. I get so much joy watching him explore.

The part I love about Briar the most, is the effect he has on people. Astonishment fills all who see him walking on the beach and hiking in the forest, or playing high school volleyball.

"What is that cat doing here?!"

"Is that your cat?!"

"Wow, a cat hiking in the forest, how cool!"

"Does he really follow you?"

Yes it's very cool and he really does follow us.

In fact, Briar is so cool he's on twitter now. What does Miley Cyrus know anyways? Twitter isn't some contest about amassing millions of fans, and then quitting. Twitter is all about connecting with real people, or in this case, a cat.

Follow Briar on twitter.

Friend Briar On Facebook.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trader Joe's Kosher Sandwich Pickles

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I've been out of Trader Joe's Kosher Sandwich Pickles for a week. A sandwich is NOT a sandwich without these delicious pickles. Sometimes, I even wrap a pickle around a piece of chicken for a mid day snack.

"Nom, nom, nom."

Emergen-C Immunity Boost

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I read in a New York Times article the other day that strenuous exercise can temporarily weaken the immune system. Whereas, moderate exercise, generally, seems to strengthen the immune system.

Surfing in freezer water is probably considered strenuous exercise. I stay busy, by catching lots of waves, because I don't like going to the gym.

After a surf, I boost my immune system with Emergen-C, an electrolyte, vitamin C and B powdery mixture. (Mix packet with glass of water) Just in case, the article in the New York Times is right.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Perfect Wave

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Heavy Traffic Today

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"Henry! Emily! Wait for me!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Localism Sucks

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The waves were pretty good today. Enough waves for everyone and then some.

This surfer was bummed to have his session end with, NOT one, BUT TWO flat tires. Does any car have two spare tires???? NO!

His tires were flattened by a fellow surfer for some lame reason. Because there isn't a good reason to let the air out of some one's tires, ever.

"Wow, that's really lame," I say.

"Yeah," says the surfer.

"Why would someone flatten your tires?" I ask.

"I dropped in on a guy out there," he admits.
(Dropped in: means to cut off surfer who has the right of way.)

"Did you apologize?" I quiz trying to make sense of the lash out.

"Yeah, I did," he says.

Like I tell my kids to use their words, surfers need to use their words to work out their differences, instead of resorting to physical violence. Surfers play on one of the best playgrounds ever created, maybe it's time we all learn to share and take turns.

If surfers can't get along what hope is there for the rest of the world?

Honey Crisp Apples

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Internet meet my new favorite apple.

"Hello, my name is Honey Crisp," says the apple. "I'm the best apple money can buy. And you're going to need a lot of money if you buy me without fertilizers or pesticides."

These apples make other apples look, taste mushy and soft. I like my apples like I like my men, hard, crisp and slightly tart.

"Nom, nom, nom."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oneill Women's Mod 4/3

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I heart my new wetsuit!

Oneill Women's Mod 4/3

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Oneill Mod 4/3 hood and crew neck.

I can't wait to get in the water and try it out!

Where The Wild Things Are

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Watching the movie, "Where The Wild Things Are," is not where my kids will be found.

Internet, this is not a review of the movie based on the children's book with the same title by Maurice Sendak. But rather an explanation, of why I'm not taking my kids to see, "Where The Wild Things Are."

The book is a terrific, wildly popular, kids' book. The way I see it is, the movie was made for grown ups who loved the book as children. "Wild Things," isn't for MY kids, wild as they may be.

How do I know this, if I haven't seen the movie? Is it because I'm psychic? Well, it started with that. I could tell from the previews it might not be appropriate for MY kids.

Then there's the PG rating. PG stands for parental guidance, which means if I take MY kids to this movie, there will be some, "'splaining to do Lucy!"

Next, there's my movie scout, who has actually seen "Where The Wild Things Are." Here's what he had to say about his movie experience. (Oh and he doesn't have kids.)

"Children were crying the entire time, totally surreal. Kids were taken out constantly, but some kids were stuck there with stupid parents."

He loves the movie (and the book). His review sealed the deal for me, "no kids." After all, there are lots of great movies out there, that are inappropriate for MY kids.

"So, "Where The Wild Things Are," is a kids' book, but not a kids' movie?" asks Vinny in dismay.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jack's Peak Monterey

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Looking down on Point Lobos from Jack's Peak.

Getting Kids To Use An Inside Voice

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Visual cue, the Ear Grab, means use your inside voice.

My husband has a LOUD, booming voice. I'm sure this serves him well, most of the time, when he needs to be heard over a sea of middle school kids.

However, in our house his voice is providing the equivalent of a complete training course in LOUDNESS. In other words, because he is the role model for our kids, he has role modeled LOUDNESS to them.

Yes, I live with three noisy boys. Usually for me this isn't a problem, I just put my ear plugs in, or listen to my MP3 player and I'm happy. But I tend to miss a lot of the conversation.

Obviously LOUD Training can work against a kid in public. And as many times as I utter, "Gio use your inside voice," his decibel level always goes right back up to LOUD, after two or three sentences.

Tired of saying "lower your voice," with zero success, I consulted an expert in the matter, Miss Mary Ann, from MY Romper Room. (I didn't know there were other hosts of Romper Room.)

Anyways, Miss Mary Ann recommended a visual cue, such as grabbing my ear when Gio is talking LOUD.

"You need to explain to him when he talks LOUD it hurts your ears," says Miss Mary Ann. "And when you grab your ear, it means he's talking LOUD."

Well, Internet, I'm happy to report the visual cue is working! It took about a week to notice a difference. The great thing about a visual cue, is I can use it from across the room, especially YELLING across the room for Gio to lower his voice, would be counter productive.

Give it a try, let me know if this works on your LOUD kids.

Oh I almost, forgot this visual cue works on LOUD husbands, too!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Getting Kids To Drink Water

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The secret to getting kids to drink water.............

Internet, are you ready for this?

Drum roll please..............

"Mommy can I have some lemonade," asks Gio.

"Yes, of course, after you have a glass of water," I reply.

"But I don't want any water," Gio says whining.

"You don't have to drink any water," I say. "You only have to drink water if you would like some lemonade."

"Oh, okay," says Gio giving in, grabbing a glass of water.

So in review, every time my kids ask for something to drink, unless it's my coffee which they only get when my back is turned, they have to drink water first.


I never make an exception because one exception leads to a billion exceptions. And it becomes their choice to drink water or not. Then, when they make the choice they are responsible for the consequences, not me, this may be the best part of all.

"Woot, woot!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sneezing Panda

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We watched this 10 times in a row. I don't know what's funnier the baby Panda sneezing or the Mom's reaction. I might have to watch it 10 more times to decide which one is funnier.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sugarland Gold and Green

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I'm listening to Sugarland's new album, Gold and Green. Apparently those are Christmas colors because this, Internet, is a Christmas album.

Yes, it's seriously messing with my brain to listen to Christmas songs before, Thanksgiving Halloween. But I'm a dedicated fan and I will do anything for a fresh spoonful of sugar.

Here are the links to all 10 songs on the new Sugarland album, Green and Gold, I only got to listen to each one a few times before started yelling at me to, "buy the darn song already!"

Yes, I'm one of the 5% who still pays for music.

My favorite track so far is #9 "Little Wood Guitar," give it a listen y'all! Have to add "Coming Home," a bluesy track (4), to my favorites list, too.

Track list via Wikipedia

PLAY 1. "City of Silver Dreams" (Kristian Bush, Lisa Carver, Jennifer Nettles, Ellis Paul)

PLAY 2. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) 0

PLAY 3. "Holly Jolly Christmas" (Johnny Marks)

PLAY 4. "Coming Home" (Bush, Nettles)

PLAY 5. "Gold and Green" (Bush, Nettles)

PLAY 6. "Maybe Baby (New Year's Day)" (Troy Bieser, Bush, Nettles)

PLAY 7. "Nuttin' for Christmas" (Sid Tepper, Roy C. Bennett)

PLAY 8. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (Traditional)

PLAY 9. "Little Wood Guitar" (Bush, Paul)

PLAY 10. "Silent Night" (Traditional)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Earning TV/Video Game Time

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"Mom can I can play video games, my room is clean," says Vinny.

"Yes, if you read to Gio for 30 minutes," I say.

"Okay," says Vinny, avid reader.

This is a win-win for all of us. Vinny practices reading out loud, clearly enunciating his words. Plus he gets 30 minutes of video game time.

Gio gets quality reading time with his awesome big brother, and 30 minutes of TV time upon completion.

And finally, Mommy can scrub the bathroom floor on her hands and knees, without any interruptions.

"Gio are you listening?" asks Vinny.

"Yeah," answers Gio.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Day

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It's raining here. Gio's outside jumping in puddles. Vinny's in his room reading a book.

I guess I'm going to organize the house. The clean laundry has spread to the other couch and we're running out of places to sit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mission Ranch Carmel

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Internet I'm pinching myself, AGAIN. This property butts up to Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch in Carmel, California.

It looks like some where in Europe, not that I've ever been, but I've seen pictures. And I will probably have to go soon. Long story, but nearly all of my husband's relatives are in Germany.

It isn't that I don't want to go. It's the getting there that is hard for me. The flying in the plane forever and ever that gives me a panic attack. Besides, I really love my home. And looking at these pictures who wouldn't?

Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch, where we know Briar Kitty spent at least one night. But there are probably more nights we don't know about.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On The Rocks Carmel Point

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I love when ocean waves and rocks converge, especially when my body parts are not involved.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dog Growling At His Own Foot

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Some people may have missed this video, which I wasn't going to post, because it's freaky. But then Gio explained it to me, and it made sense after all, I think.

"What in the world is that dog doing?" I ask.

"He's attacking his leg, because it's (the dog's leg) trying to take his bone," explains Gio.

"And that seems normal to you?" I ask.

"Uh huh," says Gio.

Friday, October 9, 2009


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"Ahoy Matey!" says Gio aboard the pirate ship.

Gio and I picked Vinny up from school yesterday.

"Do you guys want to go to the beach?" I ask.

"Yes!" they shout.

And off we went to the beach, one of my favorite playgrounds. I almost feel as if I tricked them into going. But, of course, I didn't. They love it just as much as I do. Phew!

Frank Lloyd Wright did it right.

Who needs the Monterey Bay Aquarium?


Oh the joy a rock can bring!

The reason I had two kids, LOVE.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Big Sur

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Yesterday, my friend and I took a quick afternoon trip down the coast for a surf, though I'm sure my husband wouldn't describe six hours as quick. Thank you, honey! Anyways, along the way I took some pictures.

"How many times did you pull over to take pictures?" asks Stefan.

"Only once," I say laughing. "But it didn't really count because we were stopped for road construction."

Yes, these pictures could be so much better, but all I had was my phone. Thank goodness, something is better than nothing. Besides, the driver thinks she is Speed Racer, and she was also itching to surf, so these shots actually came out half way decent when all that is taken into consideration.

But that isn't the point. The point is every day I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming up this beautiful place I call home. Amen.

Point Sur

Little Sur

Little Sur Bridge.
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