Category Archives: Weekend update

Weekend Update: Congo River Mini Golf

This past weekend the kids and I planned to go to Congo River Mini Golf. Since Jack has a tendency to monopolize my time when he is with me I’ve been trying to leave him with Daddy so that I can hang out with Max and Annie. I knew Max would love it, but I wasn’t sure about Annie.

When we arrived I checked in on Foursquare. I knew that there was a web coupon, but when I tried to print it at home it wasn’t possible. I asked the cashier/adventure guide about the discount and when I showed him my foursquare check in he gave it to me because he said he knew I had internet access. BAZINGA! (A dollar off of each player is a good thing when adults and children ten and older are $9.29. Kids under ten are $8.29.)

If you didn’t know, Congo River is 18 rounds of mini golf and a scavenger hunt. If you find everything in the scavenger hunt you get scratch off tickets for prizes and discounts off of other activities they have there like feeding the alligators and panning for gold.

We golfed from youngest to oldest. I could tell from Annie’s first stroke that this would be an interesting game. I could also tell that it was a good thing that they have a six stroke maximum per hole. Annie’s method involved hoping for the best and hitting the ball. No aiming required.

Max is more focused. He celebrates every good stroke and bemoans every other stroke. At one point he screamed “I HATE GOLF!” I took this to be a good sign because it was at that moment I knew he was getting the full experience.

After over an hour of golfing and scavaging we came to the 18th hole. Annie was up first. About 9 holes ago I had started giving advice and though she ignored it the rest of the game she seemed to take it all in at once. She calmed down, she aimed her body, she took her shot. HOLE IN ONE! I am not kidding. For the same hole Max took 3 shots and I took a ridiculous six and didn’t even get it in.

The end of game score left me in first, Max in second, and Annie in third. VICTORY!

After we finished the game the children fed the alligators. Then they fed the goldfish. Then they wanted to pan for gold and gems, but I drew the line there. It was enough. I took everyone home and basked in my victory.

Pre-Vacation Post

In about 19 hours I will be throwing the children over my shoulder, strapping them into the car, and heading North. We’re going to visit family in LA. Lower Alabama, that is. We’ll also be in Mississippi for a few days. Due to the fact that Jack is an untamed beast that refuses to be caged, I mean sit in his car seat, for more than two hours without crying to the point that he vomits, I’ll be driving through the night.

I do NOT want to drive through the night. However, it’s the only rational and affordable option.

I plan to achieve this fabulous feat by getting up at a ridiculous hour this morning (which happened several hours and a few cups of coffee ago), taking a sleeping pill, and going to sleep early in the evening. The biggest danger here is that I could be too tired and fall asleep before arriving at our destination.

I’ve only fallen asleep while driving once. It was after I returned from one of these up North trips. Luckily, Cameron was with me and as soon as my head drooped and we started heading for the median he screamed like a little girl. Nobody can sleep through that. I pulled over, got a Monster Energy drink, and continued to my mother’s place where I took a brief nap.

I’ll be using the decaf version of 5 hour energy in addition to getting almost a full nights sleep ahead of time. The trip with take a little over eight hours, but I plan to stop for breakfast to let everyone stretch out and get full. Children have a tendency to go all one track mind on you if you fail to feed them in time. I am not dealing with an hour long chorus of “I’M HUUUUUUUNGRY!” simply because I passed the last damned restaurant for a hundred miles. Been there, done that, and I will never willingly do that again.

Now, you’re saying the solution is simple. Just bring food. Of course I will. I’m no rookie. I pity the fool, I mean the parent, who doesn’t bring snacks on a road trip. Children have a unique adaptation ability that allows them to bond with the snack bag and suddenly hate everything that you brought. (I think children have a +1 to Jackassery.) A child that eats more bananas than a monkey will suddenly swear ON HER OWN LIFE that she’s never eaten bananas and she hates, hates, hates them. Realistically, they’re tired, tired of being in my Hyundai Accent Hatchback, and ready to walk their wiggles out (and so am I.)

Once I get through today, we’ll be fine. I, of course, have not packed for myself or Jack. Max and Annie are set. I need to scrub out Jack’s car seat base because it’s kind of gross. I need to vacuum the car, give myself a pedicure, make a batch of cookies for my mother because she is letting me borrow her GPS, acquire Max and Annie, make dinner for everyone before I fall asleep, find a pair of size 15 men’s flips flops, and make sure all electronic devices are charged to capacity. My husband bought me a multi-device car charger this week, but I like to start ahead of the game.

I should have no problems blogging since I’ll have access to a real computer and I’m bringing my Nook Color with me, but I don’t see myself doing a Blog Talk Radio show. I think there will simply be too much chaos. I know you’re all weeping (with relief.)

Goodbye for now, my internet friends. Wish us well!

Weekend Update

This weekend was wonderful. It started with the Taste of Pinellas. I went with my mother to see Chris Isaak and have some wonderful food. I got some pretty crappy pictures of Chris Isaak. I’ll only share one. I might as well be sharing a stick figure. I wish I had brought my real camera as opposed to the iPhone.

Right as Chris was about to go on stage I noticed a giant bottle of Budweiser Select. I’d had one beer at this point and due to an extremely low tolerance for alcohol I thought I might be hallucinating. I was not. It turns out that they had a giant flame fueled bottle of Bud Select in the form of a hot air balloon. This is not an endorsement for Budweiser Select. My mother gave me half of a can towards the end of the show and let me tell you, it still sucks. I had Shock Top’s Belgian White earlier in the evening and it was wonderful. You should definitely try that.

Chris Isaak was wonderful. He was always on key and incredibly charming. He wore a wool suit even though it was in about 90 degrees and he told the crowd he just wanted to look good for them. Later in the show he switched to a suit that appeared to be hundred’s of 2 inch mirrors or reflective pieces of cloth. At one point he told everyone to call their babysitters because he’d forgotten how to end a set which drew a loud laugh from the audience. The lights must have been nearly unbearable because when the last song was played he took of his jacket and his shirt was soaked through.

>Weekend Update!

>It’s been a while since I did one of these weekend updates, so after a weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed I thought I’d type this up.

My weekend began on Thursday. I took Jack to go see my Grandma in Hudson. I rarely get out there, but I just happened to be in the area that morning, so we made the trip. Jack had a good time. My grandma, my aunt Nancy, and my cousin Melissa all got to hold Jack. I got to eat a good plate of food and a big bowl of collard greens. (Everyone, take a moment for the greens. They were delicious.)

After a great time with Grandma, I went to get Annie. We then headed home to begin our preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. I invited Sadia and her husband to dinner and so in addition to cooking, I needed to make sure the house looked decent.

Suddenly, it was 7 o’clock and dinner was ready (including my, now famous, Shamrock Cake.) Everyone ate and then we played some video games. I asked Sadia’s husband to help me through a part of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It was then discovered that my son had saved over my game! SERIOUSLY! I was unhappy, but I decided to let him live. It is, after all, only a video game. (Besides, Sadia’s husband played and got me just about back to where I was.)

Friday, Annie and I went out for one thing. I stopped by the bank to make a deposit. Guess what?! The bank closed the account I needed to make a deposit to. They’re reasponse was “Oops. Let’s open another one.” I shouldn’t have, but in the interest of simplicity, I did. It took an hour and a half. This sucked because I had planned to have Jack at home and playing so that when we went to get Max he would be good on the way home. No dice.

As usual, he was fine on the way there and screeched the whole way home. I was forced to jump off the interstate and into the ghetto at one point because Jack got himself so worked up that he puked all over himself and Max was sure he was choking to death. I didn’t care where I was. I was in that mood that if someone had bothered me I would have glared them to death. I get that from my mother.

We pulled over as soon as possible. Jack was removed from his car seat and passed up front. I then asked for his spare clothes that were in the diaper bag. They were handed to me, but they were completely soaked. It turns out that Annie had tossed an improperly closed bottle of water in the diaper bag, upside down. I went with plan b. I found a pair of pants that were stuffed in the side of the diaper bag from some time where Jack was too hot. He went topless, because I didn’t have a choice. I used another spare pair of pants from the side pocket to place in the seat under Jack since he had soaked it with spit up. I snuggled Jack and he was laughing and playing. I knew he was physically fine and that when placed in the car seat he would flip out, but there was nothing I could do. We had to get home.

Sure enough, when placed in the seat he went ballistic. Max and Annie got the giggles about it. This drives me insane. I do not understand why Jack being miserable makes them laugh, but they do. They just sit there hysterically giggling. I guess it’s nervous laughter, but it makes me feel like a pressure cooker about to explode. Jack’s screaming, the kids are laughing, and I am trying to not kill everyone due to an excess of noise and traffic. Luckily, we were half way home and on the interstate. The road side break made the rest of the trip bearable.

Saturday was a very relaxed day. We did nothing. I heated frozen spaghetti sauce from some other time they were here. It was towards the end of the day when James and the kids went into the garage and found the controllers for Buzz Trivia. This was the best possible thing. After dinner, we ALL sat down with our Buzz controllers and played. I won! (I know it’s bad to celebrate beating children in an adults trivia game, but I beat My husband too!) I think I will buy the kids a kid version of Buzz Trivia for Easter.

After dinner and Trivia, the kids and I went outside and played with a basketball while we waited for the Super Moon to become visible. It was so much fun. Granted, I accidentally nailed Annie in the face, but she took it like a pro. We walked through our subdivision and looked between the houses and then it was visible. What a sight. It was beautiful. We walked around the entire development and saw it from as many angles as possible.

Sunday, since Max didn’t have corned beef and cabbage at his house, I made it again here. It was even better than the first time, I think. The kids had eaten the shamrock cake by this time, but the spirit was still there. Max said that he wished the cabbage was done more, but I hate soggy cabbage. 

After we ate, it was time to start taking everyone home. I took Annie home first since I was planning on visiting my mother before taking Max home. While heading to my mother’s Jack flipped out again and spit up everything he had ever in his life eaten. Luckily, it was just before we got to Mom’s so we just parked, stripped him down, and gave him a bath right away. His car seat needed to be hosed down, but what can you do? It has to air dry and I didn’t see that happening in time for us to get home.  We just had to put another towel down and hope for the best.

On the way home, Jack slept peacefully. I was grateful because I spent an hour parked on the Courtney Campbell Causeway due to an accident. He was up all through the night, but it was worth it. Nothing is worse than a screaming baby when you can’t fix the problem.

>Welcome to the weekend.

>The weekend is finally here. It’s been a very long week. I was training a new person at work and I haven’t felt particularly well and neither of those things created a good week.

I dislike training people. I’m not particularly good at it since I would much rather be doing the work myself. I recognize the necessity at this point since I’ll be leaving on maternity leave shortly. This particular person just isn’t computer literate, so it adds an extra level of difficulty. He’s trying hard, but I want to literally throw him aside and do it myself. I generally try to give all trainees to other employees, but he only wants to work with me.

I think the long hours are finally getting to me. By the time I get home I am in misery. I want to rip out my own spine. It’s a strange feeling to feel so angry at a part of my own body. I am not upset with Jack, obviously. I just don’t understand why this hurts so badly.

This weekend we are going to a birthday party, buying my daughter some shorts, and hanging out with the kids. I’ll update you soon!

>Weekend Update

>I know it’s Wednesday, so technically the weekend is long gone and a new one is fast approaching, but I figured I’d fill you in on the weekend anyway. This was one of the most relaxed weekends that we have had in a while.

On Friday, I left work at 2pm to go get Max from school. After some delightful banter with the school’s secretary in which she revealed that despite the fact that Max is in her son’s playgroup she had no idea that Max had a step mother. She was so surprised that I had to ask her to check the card to see if I was, in fact, Max’s mother. She then proceeded to announce (to a guy who had been sitting there the entire time and had probably figured it out on his own) that Max’s “REAL mother” was here. These people have my son’s birth certificate on file and I have always been on his paperwork, so I am unsure why she acted like it was the strangest thing in the world. I also told her that we didn’t consider the multiple mothers thing a big deal and that Max calls both of us mom. Max kindly demonstrated this fact seconds later by walking in the door, shouting “MOM!”, and hurling himself into my massively pregnant body. As we left, I felt more amused than anything.

Later that night, we took the kids to Long Horn Steakhouse. We had to wait about 40 minutes, but it was worth it. I always get the same thing despite the fact that I know I should probably try something else at some point. Max ordered the kids sirloin and proceeded to destroy  it. It was actually cooked perfectly, which surprised me since they never asked how we wanted it cooked. In the future, I’ll remember to switch out the fries for something he’ll actually eat. Annie got the chicken tenders which actually looked kind of gross. I can’t imagine she cared since she hardly ever eats anything anyway.

Saturday we hung out at home for the most part. The kids played Wii Monopoly for a good portion of the day. Then we went over to our friend John’s house for dinner. We had burgers and fries and great conversation. I was pretty wiped out when we got home and so after a brief snack for the kids we all went to bed.

Sunday was a big deal. We all got up and got fancy because it was the day of our Baby Shower. It felt like everyone on my mother’s side showed up. My uncle Fred brought his inflatable kayak and Max took paddled around the lake for a while. My cousin Brittney got some great pictures of him and everyone else. Uncle Fred used his camera to get a giant family photo. It’s been quite a while since we have had this many members of the family together at once.

My mother made meatball subs and barbecued turkey sandwiches. They were really great. We also had a huge salad, tons of watermelon, cole slaw, and a huge cake that had a baby on it. We were all pretty well fed. Mom made the cole slaw for my husband because he loves it, and I think he probably had three bowls of it. (I’m glad he likes it because that’s one of the few things I will not eat. Yuck.)

It was seriously hot, but everyone stuck it out and did their best to stay cool. Right when everyone had about had it with the heat a storm rolled in. We had just enough time to open our gifts, have cake, and start saying goodbye when the sky opened up and dumped a huge amount of water on us. It was nice to finally cool off a little. I was completely tired and covered in sweat, so we decided to head home and shower and then later we would head to Steak and Shake. Max likes it there and he was staying with us an extra day since Max and Jenny were still at Dragon Con.

Monday was spent relaxing with Max and going to the grocery store. We also took him to the Mellow Mushroom for lunch. It made me want a beer pretty badly. They have beer on tap and in the bottle of all kinds. It’s kind of torturous actually, but I know that soon enough I’ll be able to have something good with my pizza.

>End of week update

>This week was kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, we made it through the week without any freak outs from people at work. On the other hand, technical issues kept us from completing many of the tasks that I felt should have been completed.

I had a sonogram on Monday, and Jack is perfect is every way and exactly where he ought to be growth wise. As I imagined, the doctor felt that my blood sugar scores were entirely too low. That led to a call from my Diabetes counselor who basically said eat more carbs, keep a food log, no sweets at all ever in your life, and keep a log of your physical activity. Frankly, I don’t like her. If I want to have one or two cookies I don’t think that is a problem. My scores are always really low anyway and I don’t think having something I like once or twice a week is going to kill me or hurt the baby.

My husband and I went to see a play on Thursday at the Straz Center for the Arts. I plan to write about it next. I liked it though I’ll admit it through me for at least one loop. It’s another enjoyable performance by the Jobsite Theater.

Now that the weekend is upon us, Max and Annie are here. Max has been solidly whiny about everything and I have no idea why. He reminds me of someone else, but I suppose it’s not very nice to say who. I just don’t know what his issue is. I made breakfast, it was something he asked for, and he refused to eat it. He dropped a bagel into his lap and then looked at me as if I had done it. He even went so far as to say “Nice. NOW I have to change my shorts.” I never would have dreamed of speaking to my mother that way and I finally sent him from the table and told him that I didn’t care if he was hungry later, I’m not feeding him again until the rest of us are ready for lunch.

My husband and I have appointments with my mother and her office for a facial later. If you haven’t visited her skin care blog yet, I encourage you to do so. She knows her stuff and she writes from a very genuine place. Her blog is at If you are in the Tampa area and are interested in knowing more about her services, let me know or comment on her blog.

>Weekend Update


  • 1 child
  • 3 games of Monopoly
  • 1 Urbz Penthouse acquired

Max was over this weekend for a make up weekend. It’s rare to have him alone, but we had a good time and everyone seemed happy. He slept slightly later than usual, but he stayed up slightly later too, so that had a good deal to do with it.

Saturday, we took Max to Hardee’s. He’d never been there and he wanted to try it. I personally thought it was an experience he could have lived without, but in the interest of letting him try new things, we went. It was pretty mediocre. He didn’t like the hamburger, but he thought my chicken tenders were good. He ate my onion rings too. James and I agreed that the oil was not fresh, so everything could have been better, but it’s Hardee’s so you can’t expect too much.

We got home early on Friday night, so we played Disney Monopoly. My husband spent a good portion of the game sitting in jail and insisting that it was the ultimate strategy. I argued that it was against the rules since they explicitly state that you may roll the dice three times, but then you have to pay to get out of jail. He argued that if you had no money you might be allowed to sit in jail. This was a non-issue since he had more than enough to pay to get out. He was also angry because there is no “Pot” or reward for landing on Free Parking. He said that every game he has ever played had a pot. I showed him the rules and he couldn’t believe that I was right. He then said that the game encourages “House Rules” and that should be one of them. I disagreed because I felt like it lengthened an already lengthy game. That night, I won.

Saturday, night we played again. To appease my husband, we allowed a pot. To appease me, we agreed that you couldn’t sit in jail indefinitely. He won that game. Sunday, after taking Max home, we played the original version of Monopoly. (My husband dislikes the use of Tinkerbell in the Disney version. She moves whenever there are doubles. If you land on her space she pays your rent or buys you the property.) It looked pretty desperate for me for a while, but after landing on Free Parking I was able to win the game.

This morning, I felt tired but ready to go to work when I woke up. XM Radio helped by providing the following:

(I remember listening to this when I was little with my mother. TELL ME CAN YA FEEL IT?)

Chatham County Line – Out of the Running. (I cried when I heard it.)

>Weekend Update and Music Monday!

> This weekend flew by. We had dinner with my mother on Friday night. We went to Sweet Tomatoes. It’s one of those situations where the kids like getting to pick whatever they want to eat and I like that the choices are pretty healthy.

Saturday, we saw Toy Story 3. I cried a lot. I’m not going to give anything away, but I think if you liked the other two you’ll like this one. We had ice cream after the movie and then we went to our friend John’s house for dinner. John made homemade wings and french fries and our friend Norb brought some amazing pizza. It was from The Pizza Oven and if you are in the Tampa area and you like Pizza I recommend you try it. (Also, try the flan. I don’t even like flan most of the time and this was amazing. It wasn’t too gelatinous, if that makes any sense. I can’t deal with slime and this is a nice custard. Follow them on Twitter here.)

At one point during the evening, John’s dog dropped his bone down the stairs and chased it down. It sounded like a body to me, and I wasn’t the only one to think so. Before I could get to the stairs and find out if everyone was alright, my daughter yelled “Mom!? Are you okay?!” She knows me pretty well. I am the Queen of Clumsiness.

Sunday, we just chilled out at the house. Max and I made chocolate chip cookies. Annika played TMNT: Turtles in Time. I made a pretty sweet lunch that everyone actually liked for once. I made a pork loin, black beans and rice, and then we had a salad too. The black beans were really good. I didn’t even mess up the rice this time! It was like a pre-4th of July miracle. Especially when Annika cleaned her plate with minimal fuss AND said the beans were really good. I was thrilled.

Sunday night, James and I took it easy and had dinner at Steak N’ Shake. Is it wrong that I think Hardee’s has better onion rings? (I never used to eat there, but my husband says where he is from they have them all over the place and in some cases they are more popular than McDonald’s and Burger King. I only have had a few things there, but I like their Frisco sandwiches. My love of Sourdough bread strikes again, I suppose.) We came home, he played around on the computer, and I played Urbz: Sims in the City.

Now, Monday is here. I cried when I woke up because I didn’t want to get up and go, but then I told myself to stop being a baby. I’m having a baby, not becoming one. I don’t necessarily feel any better, but then I don’t feel any worse.

This work day was brought to you in part by the following:

Michael Buble – Cry Me a River.
(Very large opening, musically. I love it.)

No Doubt – Spiderwebs

OutKast – Morris Brown
(Yes, I do have a very weird taste in music. Very simply put, I like it. Well, unless I don’t.)

>Mid-Week Update

>It’s been a while, so I’ll start from last week. Pregnancy has taken my ability to stay up past ten and, until yesterday, I didn’t have a personal computer to use at home. Now that I have this laptop setup, I should be on a more normal schedule.

Last week was my son’s ninth birthday. It was hard to believe that he was already halfway to legal adulthood. Beyond that, it’s hard to believe that 9 years ago I had my first child and later this year I’ll be giving birth to my third child.

                                           Annika at Max’s birthday party.

I already feel so connected to this little unborn boy. I’m not able to think of him as a fetus or anything other than a baby. He moves around constantly. It feels like having a giant fish bowl in your body. We still have not decided on a name, but I’d be a big fat liar if I said I hadn’t fallen completely in love with the name Jack, though Jackson is also acceptable.

I’ve been watching huge amounts of The Big Bang Theory. It’s arguably my favorite show of all time, after Star Trek. I find myself laughing hysterically and almost to the point of tears. I feel like I know these guys. They remind me so much of my friends. If you’ve missed it, I recommend you catch up. Now. I’d also be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’m terribly attracted to Sheldon, played by Jim Parsons. You know I can’t pass up a smug know it all.

An interesting thing that I learned this week. My husband vacuums the futon. Seriously. He uses a regular full size vacuum cleaner and no attachments. I suppose this is not terribly abnormal. It seems quite practical really, but I’ve always been the type of person to simply wash the cover.

This morning, I have a doctor’s appointment and then a long day at work.

Tomorrow, my son and his brother will be doing a fashion show at Countryside Mall. (He claims to be a fashion model now.) The show is at seven, so if you want to see children modeling mall clothes come see me!