Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Elf on the Shelf"

Elf on the Shelf –- Christmas Elf  and Book with Free Shipping Available.Our dear friends who live over the Sierras and into the "Silver State" casually mentioned "The Elf on the Shelf - A Christmas Tradition" as a quality parental tool to maintain the upper hand during the holiday season.  What a brilliant idea!  

In a nutshell, the elf's job is to head back to the North Pole every night and report the day's happenings to Santa.  More specifically,  were the kids naughty or nice?  The next morning the elf returns and positions himself in a new location for the kids to find....One critical rule is that they must never touch him or he'll lose his power.

So far, the triplets are playing along.  Alec takes "Clark" a bit more seriously than Julia and Vivi, but they all like getting up and searching for him.  I don't believe the creators had multiples, but it's an interesting experiment...more to follow.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


As you may have noticed I have not added too many entries this month as I've actually been bouncing around the net reading other individuals blogs. I enjoy getting other people's take on marriage, family, kids, work, etc. Once in awhile, I'll even post a comment on their sites in hopes of creating additional dialogue. I take solace that so many people out there are going through similar experiences and challenges.

Thanksgiving came and to follow. Amy's turkey was tender, juicy and delicious. Her table ornament appeared to be a page out of Martha freakin' Stewart's book. Attendees included her Dad (Grandpa Gave as the triplets call him) with his wife Karen and her son Garrett. My Mother came with her delicious bean casserole, and da only regret is that I didn't take the opportunity to reflect and list all that I'm thankful for.

Brenna and I went to see "Bolt" on Wednesday, and all I can say is that it's Disney's best movie since "Lilo and Stitch" back in 2002. Good lessons learned, entertaining for adults and nothing sesUal as Brenna would say. Cute, made me want to go out and get a dog......a cat...AND a hamster. Enough said for now. Go see it!

I'm trying so hard not to be negative and say the word "hate" as my mother-in-law says "there is no room for that word in your life." Very true. I remember making lists (I'm big into lists) of what I loved and hated as a child (well even through the college years). I loved the Dodgers and I hated the Giants. Perhaps I'm not as passionate about sports, politics or other topics as I once was, and that may be a function of maturity or lack of time to devote these issues. I still love lists, however, as much as Brenna loved quizzes (she must have inherited that from me), but now I'll call them "Favorite" and "Least Favorite."

Along that same topic for are my Top 5 favorite TV shows (of all time, no less). Let's count 'em down...5. "Home Improvement" - yeah even though it ended in 1997, the year BEFORE I had my first child, the follies of Tim the "Tool Man" Taylor at work (& at home) kept me in stitches...4. "Family Ties" - liked young conservative APK, but LOVED his sister Mallory even more (hey I was 17 when show was in its prime)...3. "ER" - old "ER" meaning the first 7 seasons. If you have the opportunity watch the older episodes on TNT weekday mornings (8A on the west coast), it's quite a treat...2. "24" - speaking of a action show ever made. GO Jack!......and #1....drum roll please...hands down..."Seinfeld" - suffice to say, the show about nothing was truly the most entertaining. We still get into conversations about various episodes and topics...yadda yadda yadda! Honorable mention "Friends", "CSI", "Cheers" and "American Idol."

In concluding and if you're still reading....I'm going to start my "Here's Wishing" feature......

Here's Wishing Carly Smithson will head on up to Northern California and sing "Bring me to Life" at my 41st B-day party.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Laundry Ok, I'll say it.....of all my weekly (in this case bi-weekly) chores, the laundry really isn't so bad. Why do I say this? After all, I'm averaging about 10 loads per week which includes a plethora of clothes shuffling, sorting and folding. Every three to four days I'm looking at my typical four loads (triplet load, white load, mom & dad dirty load (scrubs, gym clothes), and an assorted cold dark load). Brenna's clothes are shuffled into the above loads depending on the closest match. Throw in the towels, sheets, rugs, etc. and it's easy to reach double digit laundered loads each week.

Wow, so you haven't figured out why I prefer doing the wash over other mundane chores. Vacuuming, dusting, mopping are B-O-R-I-N-G.. back and forth, side to side, up and down. Nothing every changes except that day every couple months when I have the privilege of changing that dusty vacuum bag. Dyson anyone? Yep, I wish (better talk to the boss about upgrading dust suction machines). Gee, I emptied the waste baskets, and took out the trash when I was a kid for I believe a shiny nickel. So unless I can have some fun and burn the trash in the backyard like they do at the farm, this chore won't crack my Top 10. HMMM, how about cleaning bathrooms? Uh, no try again. Have you ever looked underneath the toilet seat?

Laundry isn't that gross, and not nearly as painful as paying the bills. Gotta love writing the monthly check for the house payment or worse the AMEX bill. What else? Shopping for groceries isn't nearly as mind blowing as it once was (no double coupons), and it's a constant shift from Costco (bulk) to Safeway (produce, small stuff) to BevMo (adult beverages), and throw in Trader Joes, Raley's, Total Wine and Spirit, and now Whole Foods into the mix.

Cooking is alright I guess, but dirtying up the kitchen while cooking leads to piles of dishes, loading-unloading the dishwasher and a filthy kitchen table. Speaking of reinvent dad's cooking, I'm hearing chatter that the natives are about to revolt against my weekly spaghetti, burritos, chicken nuggets and fish sticks.

So, why NOT laundry? I have the sorting down. I know the minimum temperature requirements. I know to not mix reds with whites or put bras in the dryer. I know what to hang dry and what to dry to a crisp. I'm still trying to figure out when to use permanent press. Perhaps someone can help me understand this one.

What's cool too is that unlike most chores, laundry may be done 24/7 while doing almost any activity from A to Z. You can't say that about mopping the floor. With all this "washing" experience, I'm truly ready for laundry's next challenge like a massive ketchup fight. In closing I have just one request.........please someone invent an easier, faster way to pair socks!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life is Good

What a difference a day makes. Cliche, but true as yesterday was Presidential Election Day 2008 which represented the culmination of almost two years of intense campaigning characterized by mudslinging, deep American polarization, and the media feeding frenzy typical of this period in our history. Regardless of your personal beliefs and how you voted, President-Elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President in United States' history on January 20th, 2009.

As you know with a tad more time on my hands in recent months, I've had the luxury of taking my time to go places and do my daily tasks. I'm able to observe my fellow Californians as they zip from here to there. The 21st century "rat race" as my Mom might say. In moving around town yesterday I observed excitement, anticipation, but with a hint of relief on tired faces. I suppose this would be analogous to Mom and Dad's collective exhale on Christmas morning after grabbing that first cup of Joe and waiting for the kids to come down the stairs to see what Santa had left under the tree.

Yesterday's sunny, cheerful and still has given way to cloudy, cool and breezy. I am not just referring to Sacramento weather. Today feels like the day after Christmas. Way too much of a good thing like democracy and patriotism have given way to sobering reality if you will. Democrats on the shoulders of Barack Obama face the cool reality of trying to turn around an economy in shambles and a deeply divided country in almost every political and social category including the war in Iraq, immigration, and energy. The ball is now in their corner. Republicans overwhelmed and humbled are vowing to rebuild their conservative platform and to rise again with enthusiasm and vigor.

Regardless of where you stand, left, right or some point in between.....LIFE IS GOOD. What you do on a daily basis will not change dramatically. Maybe, you'll have more taxes and perhaps someone might come one morning and build a solar plant across the street from your home, but your family is still your family, and unless you went crazy during the political campaign and dissed your buddy's momma, you should still have friends. If you attend church, you still have the option of keeping your spiritual self intact. If you go to a gym, you still have the ability to keep your physical self intact.

For those who are still concerned.....OK, on the soap box.....let's keep in mind that the United States of America is still the greatest country in the world. We have freedoms and opportunity that others only dream about. We have the luxury to worry about how our hair looks today or a yellow spot that appears to be getting bigger in our lawn. Keep in mind that a billion people, about 1/6 of the plant, do NOT even have safe drinking water! Millions live in fear of genocide, hunger and disease. I'm not saying we shouldn't be vigilant, but please take a deep breath and know that times may be tough (even tougher if you buy into the media hype), but never ever doubt America. LIFE IS GOOD! the soap box.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Amy makes the Sacramento Bee!

Hey everyone - I know that it's Election Day '08, but don't forget to check out Amy in today's Sacramento Bee ( in the "Living Here Family" section. Andrea Creamer did a good job tying in the lives of three ob/gyns who have had multiples, and Julia gets the first word!