Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Patch

Free range pumpkins fed only Crystal Geyser water. They are happier that way.

As I said the other day, we hit the pumpkin patch. We did it out of nostalgia's sake; this patch has rumored to have been bought out by Target so this is the LAST YEAR! Don't miss this once in a life time opportunity! So we bit the marketing bullet and went. After forking out some big ol' coins on a gaggle of pumpkins we exited the parking lot only to read the sign on the way out exclaiming 'SEE YOU IN 2009!' What suckers we are.

But we did it mainly so the B could pick out her very own pumpkin, in the pumpkin forest. You know, these SoCal kids forget that milk doesn't actually come from a container. Chicken has feathers. Hamburger used to moo. The patch is kind of like going into nature to shoot and skin your first deer, but with less blood and more seeds. It's all about the satisfaction of picking your very own pumpkin.

But really, look how excited she was to find out that pumpkins really do grow on trees. Well, vines. You see my point. It was fun.

Now, don't go taking pumpkins from babies.

Sophie gave us her opinion on many pumpkins, too.
The happy hunters.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great greasy gobs...

Do you remember that poem from childhood?

Great green gobs of
greasy, grimy gopher guts
marinated monkey meat
itsy bitsy birdie feet
french fried eyeballs
drowned in a pool of blood
and I forgot my spoon.

... but I found a straw! (big slurping sound follows)

My boys have NOTHING over me.

I'm just excited I found my brain gelatin mold in order to use it one more time and really, really get my money's worth.

Today, with only four days left, we FINALLY went to the pumpkin patch. Spent a ridiculous amount of money on pumpkins when at the grocery store just down the street I could get a blue ribbon 500 pound pumpkin on sale for about $3.00. But it's the ambience, you know? What's halloween without going to the patch and yelling every five minutes: "no, you can't go in the bouncy house." "no, you can't go on the ATV." "no, we're not here to ride ponies." "did everyone forget? We're here to get PUMPKINS." Then get your foot run over by the wheel barrow your eldest son is jockeying down the aisleways of pumpkins, praying he doesn't ram into the side of the display meaning you have to pay for 40 pumpkins instead of the four the kids have taken ten hours to pick out and you need to get a loan to afford, but there's a financial crisis, so here, take my youngest child, I have more.

Then home. No wait. We have to eat, so cruise into the grocery store to buy some cooked chickens. (don't want to delay the pumpkin carving frenzy any more than necessary) Get in the car to four whining voices coming from the back of the SUV asking what's for dinner. Answer big old chicken to invoke the chorus of "I call a leg!" To which I answer - "Relax - there's enough for everybody!" To which they respond - " YOU BOUGHT A FOUR LEGGED CHICKEN?"

OMGosh. No, boys, I bought TWO TWO LEGGED CHICKENS. Do the math.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's A Bump, Not a Fork

Well, I'll be honest. I find I'm having a tough time and lacking some faith. I don't know what it is. I'm feeling rather unholy these days. I've never completely tripped off the stairway to heaven, but I've had my setbacks; it's the journey, not the destination, right? Can I possibly be any more corny?

In all seriousness, I kind of thought I was a little old for this kind of thinking and behavior. But handling five kids, house, a job, and all that goes with them in this day and age makes me feel worn out and spent at the end of every single day, for the past elevenish months. I don't think I'm postpartum, incredibly hormonal, yes.

I know life isn't supposed to be easy, but I'm really craving some down time. Believe me. Moving to Indonesia? I spent a good month reconsidering everything we were doing when we had to figure out the entire move ourselves, ship a dog safely to the tip of that tropical island, find out that hubby's job was going to be very, very tough, fight like crazy to keep my job, buy $3000.00 worth of anti malaria profilactics,.. Maybe I'm just FINISHED with having the feeling that everything I do I must put on cement boots to do it. How wonderful it is to stretch out both my arms at once and not have to heft a baby or two up and down stairs to run errands. You know that feeling, right?

So, I was listening to AM radio since it's so incredibly entertaining this close to an election, and it must have been the Hugh Hewitt show where a caller said, "it's important to remember it's just a bump in the road, not a fork." or something like that. How appropriate for me. (Especially as we are on the way to the Church trunk or treat and I get mad at the car at the stop sign in front of us who isn't letting a group of boys cross the road. "Let the children go, you freak!" Was that me yelling? When in the world did I get so angry? Did Jesus' mother ever have days like that? Or for that matter, my adopted patron saint, Monica - whose son Constantine she prayed for for more than 30 years before it all came to fruition? At least I meant well, right?)

So anyway, we have some very cute pictures that we'll post soon - right now hubby is 'putting the baby to bed' which is daddy talk for 'I'm checking out early - lock up the house! 'night!"

A bit of britghtness in my day is my friend Jerry's facebook quote that I am stealing and making my own too - "I'm a princess, you're a princess,... so who's going to milk the goats?" - Old Egyptian Proverb. Amazing that women have felt this way all through the ages,...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So this little 16 lb. bundle has been keeping me a little busy for the last two days. Meet Miles, the latest addition to our ever growing 'litter.' He is great. HE sleeps through the night (Sophia, are you listening???) HE goes poop every day without a whimper in the right spot. (B, are you there???)

The girls and I drove to Laguna Hills just to 'look' - you know how that goes - on Monday. Coastal German Shepherd Rescue knows us and still seems to think we are decent human beings, so they decided we could go ahead and take him that day, instead of waiting until he reached 8 weeks, which would have been Thursday, anyway. He was born on Aug 28 - the same day as Hubby and my anniversary. How sweet - we can share a bottle of Champagne and a slice fo cheese with candles in it for the years to come!

The foster dog Jane wasn't really too excited with him, but she's warming up. The boys are over the moon.

So, I'm settling in. The migraine's gone for the most part - I'm handling my new stress level of having to look after two babies constantly throughout the day.

You know when you are a real adult when you look at your calendar and sigh in relief that there is indeed ONE MORE weekend before the holiday. Whew. We did get the costumes all figured out, but we have yet to obtain or carve any pumpkins.

We are winding down the football season - and gearing up for basketball. Last weekend was wonderful and traumatic all at the same time - Saturday we had one game more than an hour away, Zach had basketball tryouts, Rob had to watch the tryouts, Zach had a birthday party to attend, and we had to get to the new Church for the dedication ceremony/Mass at 3:30. We made it! Three hours of Churchiness later, we went to the big Italian dinner hosted by the Parish. It was very awesome. We were honored to carry the gifts to the altar with another family and the boys from both families carried flowers up. They did it without a hitch (I had sweaty visions of Zach at preschool graduation as he processed down the aisle in his cap and gown. He got half way put his little five year old hands in the air in the shape of two 'L's and screamed 'ROCK ON LOSERS!' I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Trust me.)

Sunday Hubby served breakfast after one of the Masses, Kyle had a baseball game and we had a few families come over for a little get together - one family lives in Las Vegas and came over for the dedication Mass and to visit long lost California friends. It was really fun, but I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the weekend and actually looking forward to a more routine and orderly week.

This weekend? Two football games, the Trunk or Treat at Church. Baseball and more basketball tryouts on Sunday, including for Jared. Maybe score a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. Perhaps sneak to Walmart, toss the cheap pumpkins on the lawn and exclaim that the Halloween fairy has smiled upon us. We'll see.

What can't I wait for? When someone asks me how my weekend was, I'll actually be able to respond with 'Very relaxing,...'

p.s. Mom, I love you very much and I PROMISE to call you soon!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bring It ON!

What we lack in preparedness, we make up for in pure excitement. A lot of excitement. Really. Trust me. In this time of financial crisis, I will be bottling it and sending it out for Christmas presents this year. But I get ahead of myself. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy 10 Month Birthday, Sophia!

Yep, it's true. I simply can not believe she is ten months old! Only a while longer and she won't be an infant any longer.


* I think we've outgrown the GERD issue. Thank God. She's been off her medication for about a week now with no spit ups, no ultra fussiness,.. yay.
*She can do a 'dead leg' crawl, but prefers to army crawl everywhere. And she's quick. A lot quicker than you'd think.
*She plays peek-a-boo by covering her,.. ears.
*She loves, loves, loves music and will start to bop up and down, clap and squeal
*She loves, loves, loves Yo Gabba Gabba
* She can pull herself up to a standing position!
*Also she can go from laying to sitting, obviously
*She is great in her bassinet - the first kid to acutally play in it and have fun doing so
*She loves toys. Probably more than any other baby I've had
*She isn't excited to eat much baby food. She's way too sophisticated for that.

Happy Birthday little girl!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An uneasy but important read

I received this email from a good friend here in my town. I think it is important to remind ourselves how to be safe, so I've made a sudden departure from funny to serious today. What are the statistics of rape? 1 in 4? It's something awful. I remember living in Tennessee during my adolescence and my mom telling me her friend had been grabbed outside the public library. She got away, but not everyone does. When I lived overseas, a teenage friend of mine was raped, right on the beach where we all swam. So, this is important information for females of ALL ages.

A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not commo n targets.

2) The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

3) They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walking because they are off-guard and can be easily overpowered.

4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

5) The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots.
Number two: Are office parking lots/garages. Number three: Are public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don't have to worry about getting caught.

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

8) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: 'I can't believe it i s so cold out here,' 'we're in for a bad winter.' Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone, if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

12) If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

13) If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands - the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yo urself in those places as hard as you can stand it - it hurts.

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.

15) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts!!! You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans . If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the wo rst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get in to their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. C2And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsusp ecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim. (Just another creepy point - I lived in one of the sororities where Bundy would drive his van and ask for help. Gives me shivers)

9. AND THIS ONE CREEPS ME OUT AND MAKES ME SO ANGRY: Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.'The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.&nb sp;Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ----This should be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America 's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana .

I'd like you to link this and tell all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. this isn't for ladies only, guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you should pass it on to them, as well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

OMG! Why can't I think of anything this funny!

Ripped off of mommeeof9 , taken from morgangallagher who stole it from raving_liberal:

Last night my sister and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all. If that ever happens, just pull the plug." So she got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

Some Holy Water, Football and Rats,.. A Winning Weekend Combination

Quite the weekend, which began on Friday as my sons brought home the memo in triplicate stating that Monday was a,... HOLIDAY. For whom? Do they not understand how rewarding it for me as a slacker mom to wave audieu to my little cherubs for a full six hours five days a week? I suppose if I paid more attention I would have had more warning.

Friday night was Jared's football practice and they ended early,.. with no Jared parent in sight. Thank goodness we have friends looking out for us and transported the child to the Von's parking lot where we were buying donut holes and Sunny D for the next day's games. I think my excuse of 'I have five children,...!!!' may be wearing thin. I'm usually a little more on top of it than that. I may have to give in and buy the oldest child a cell phone, so he can remind me I have responsibilities as his mother, like be there when his practice ends. I don't understand the parents who do hang out for the entire practice,.. although I used to be that parent, but now I have three other kids who need my attention, a house to clean and a job to try and not get fired from. I figure if the kid is having fun at a practice, my eyeballs need not be on him, but on the other siblings who need something fun to do.
Hubby had an all day meeting in San Bernardino for his Parish council position. So, he had a small detour to Corona on his way in the morning dropping Zach off for his pregame warm up. I got the rest of us out the door before eight (yay for me!) and made it to see the second half of the game. Okay, I was really only physically present for the game, since between bathroom trips for the B, picking up flung toys from the stroller from Feefee and explaining to Kyle that NO YOU AREN"T GOING TO THE SNACKBAR FOR SOUR GUMMY WORMS AT 9 A.M.,j again,.. I really didn't see much of the game. Zach won in spite of his pathetic cheering squad.
Then, hung out until Jared was safely practicing with his team and on to Burger King for an early lunch. Back in time to actually watch the kick off for Jared's game! Unbelievable! Feefee slept for about the first half of the game, miraculously, even staying asleep as I carefully deposited her in the stoller so I could take the B to her one millionth bathroom trip.
Poor Jared didn't win, but it wasn't for not trying. The other team looked three times bigger and threw our players around like rag dolls. Or maybe that was my mommy perspective.
Daddy got home after us and we went for our usual run around the neighborhood for a couple of miles with whining children on bikes and in the stroller,... then every crabby kid to bed by 8 so we could watch a movie. Sigh,.. date night.
Sunday was Mass then Kyle's practice, which, in tune with our slacker initative, we had his brother escort him to. Hubby took the baby to catch the beginning of the game and the rest of the kids and I came down a bit later, after going to the 'Blessing of the Animals' at Church. Why? Becuase I love chaos and the fear of the unknown. We came with our foster German Shepherd and three rats. Which, since we brought all the rats in one cage, in about 21 days I can count on another rat explosion in the Richardson household. The Blessing of the Animals is a fun little celebration and rememberance of Saint Frances of Assisi. If anyone knows a good Catholic, they'll know their penchant for a party. So we hoofed it, or pawed it, as the case may be, over to our Church and had some Holy water sprinkled on our lot. Sabrina got to ride a pony, Jane the foster dog got her fill of doggy biscuits and no cat fights, dog fights, hamster fights or any other fights broke out.
Back at Kyle's baseball game, he successfully hit the ball every time he was at bat, and if he'd just put a little fire in his step, he'd be making a double instead of a single. Sauntering around the little league field doesn't cut it here in Yucaipa.
Another jaunt around the neighborhood and then force feeding of left over enchilada casserole. Hubby noticed the 'bbq'd' flavor of the chicken. I thought he meant my lovingly slow cooked chicken where I thoughtfully dumped a can of stewed tomatoes in, but he was instead talking about the chocolate chip cookie that plummeted to its death and spent three days giving a smoky, bbq'd flavor to the pizza, casserole and anything else I cooked in the oven until Hubby took matters into his own hands and turned on the self clean feature of the oven.
We watched Iron Man with the kids last night, had Hubby's famous oil popped popcorn which means those 15 or so miles I ran this week? All for naught.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicky Times

Wearing Grandma Z's coat - it finally fits!

Getting so big!! We had to put the turtleneck on because it was chilly,.. below 85, you know how it is.

At home having fun with big sis,..

First high chair in a restaurant. Might have to break down and buy one,.. the stroller is what we are using now,..

Yummy, learning how to drink froma straw with daddy's strawberry lemonade. That's why I order beer and a cajon chicken sandwiche. So I don't have to share.

Playing with Grandpa R's Noah's Ark toy he made for Jared,...

Lest you think it is all fun and games, here is a picture proving that life isn't always wonderful when you are a princess, or ballerina or whatever,..

Shaken, Not Stirred

Earthquake! 2:30am this morning, 5 miles away,...

As if life isn't exciting enough already.