Super Bowl Sunday

It’s super bowl Sunday!  I sure do wish my Vikes were playing, but oh well.  Unfortunately, according to Mick Jagger we can’t always get what we want.  So here I am cheering for the Patriots on account of the Philly fans poor behavior.  Thus far the game has been okay, but I am enjoying the commercials.  I love the tourism ad for Australia.  I’d probably follow Chris Hemsworth or his brother for that matter anywhere, but the ad was pitch perfect.  Moreover, I’d be curious to know the increase in flights to Australia after that ad.

JT’s half time performance just finished.  I love the tribute to Prince!  The city and stadium looked amazing lit up in purple.  Prince was an icon in that city and our state. Additionally, as a Gopher it was great seeing the University of Minnesota Marching Band out on the field backing up JT.  What an experience fr those kids!  His set was pretty good, but his outfit looked like he bought it at the local Mills Fleetfarm.  In fact, he may be leaving the Super Bowl to go hunting or something.

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We’re creatures of habit, so we have our usual chili cheese dip in the crock-pot for the evening.  Our sweet Athena is cuddling with us on the couch as we watch the big game.  Meanwhile, the BBQ rib thief Maya, is paying her penance in her crate.  Goalielocks was none to thrilled when she stole some of his ribs off the table.   In addition to our big game treats, I bought ribs for the boys tonight.  Goalielocks was thrilled.  Thank god for Target and cartwheel as I was able to save 20% on all three racks.

In honor of the big game tonight, I’d thought I’d share some of my favorite Super Bowl memes.

Tonight’s song performed by JT is “Suit & Tie.”  He performed this song tonight at the Super Bowl backed my by alma mater’s – the University of Minnesota – marching band.

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Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

I’m sure we can all relate to the pressures of holiday stress.  At this time in the year, the stress level is maxed out as we hurriedly try to finish our holiday preparations.  When you’re a small business owner, you can amp that stress level up 100X as you wait for contractors to act on invoices sent over a month ago.  While they’re are definitely benefits to owning your own business, the added stress is not one of them.

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I’ve written about missing home before, but some times in the course of doing business I really, truly miss the Northland.  It would be unthinkable up north for a reputable contractor to sit on invoices for over a month.  Whereas, here in S. Florida it is completely normal for a contractor to pay invoices on island time.  Admittedly, I’m new to this business and my hubby assures me this is normal, but I want to fucking throat punch this guy right now.

Anyway, rant over because that’s not what this post is about.  Believe it or not this post is about ways you can reduce your holiday stress.  Here are some of my favorite coping mechanisms:

  1. Run –  Runner’s high is real and it is amazing.  The world is a better place after a good long run.  f0c4c054288a64ccf399c4ef4b13cbf2--runners-quotes-funny-motivational-quotes-for-working-out
  2. Meet me at the mat!  There’s nothing like a good Vinyasa class to remove your from life’s craziness and put you in the moment.
  3. Come fly with me….  If you’re not inclined to hop on a mat and namaste, then come fly with me at Aerial yoga.
  4. Bake some holiday treats with your loved ones or friends.  If your family is anything like my boys, make sure they don’t steal any cookies from the cookie sheet.  FL Christmas 2006 487
  5. Spend time with good friends  24883571_10155106304447371_1492472535565284382_o
  6. Enjoy a nice drink (i.e. Ciroc and vodka.)  See 5.  tenor (2).gif
  7. Pay it forward.  There’s nothing more rewarding than helping those that are less fortunate.  IMG_1144
  8. Hang out with your four legged friends.  I love chilling with my puppies!  IMG_1291
  9. Spend time doing the things you love with the people you love.  There’s nothing I love more than watching my boys (even the big one) play hockey.  I was in hog heaven last night as three of the four took to the ice.

    Monday Night Mayhem
    Monday Night Mayhem
  10.   Drink more Dunkin’!  Just think soon it won’t just be coffee I’m talking about it will be beer too!

I hope my list of tricks and tools to alleviate the holiday stress was helpful to you.  Obviously, if you’re not in to running or yoga, you suck.. I’m only kidding.  In all seriousness, if they’re not your poison, make time for your favorite workout.  It will do you a world of good!

Tonight’s song is “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Winter's Arrival

Winter’s Arrival

As I left the gym this morning, it became clear that the morning’s storms were our prelude to winter’s arrival.  When I left my house this morning, the temperature was 78 and it was humid.  No sooner had I parked my car when the cold rain started.  I made my quickly from the parking lot to the gym trying to avoid the rain.  I was moderately successful in this endeavor.

Fortunately, thanks to a heart pounding circuit burn class, I wouldn’t be cold for long.  My heart was soon pumping and the cold rain had given way to sweat.  Amanda’s Circuit Burn class kicked my butt this morning.  Post-class I started getting cold as you could feel the temperature had dropped and I was wet with sweat.  My yoga teacher turned up the heat in the yoga room, which helped immensely.

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Afterwards, I headed to my car in the light, cold rain.  The temperature had fallen immensely, which is not something that happens often in Florida.  When I was growing up in Minnesota, it wasn’t unusual to have a wild swing in the temperature (think 15-60 degrees) in short order.  However, in South Florida, it is quite unusual.  I plopped into my car, exhausted from class, turned on the heat noticing the temperature had dropped from 78 to 63.  Full disclosure, a South Floridians definition of cold is much different than most other people’s.  I would also say that being wet from two hours of hard workouts didn’t help keep me warm either.

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Nevertheless, I headed to get coffee and get on with the rest of my day.  Both the Hubby and Jake are working today, so its just me, Goalielocks’ and the Mayor at home.  Consequently, we decided to take our girls (Maya and Athena) to go and see Santa Claus.  Maya, our older dog, is a bit socially awkward when it comes dealing with new dogs, which makes me nervous taking her out.   Athena loves everyone and everything and is very social with people and dogs alike.

Maya, our socially awkward beauty, definitely gave Santa a run for him money.  She didn’t want to sit and face the camera.  Athena would sit nicely for a bit and then a new dog would come in distracting her from the mission at hand.  Thankfully, both dogs and both children behaved beautifully at the store.  There were no meltdowns or accidents on our excursion to PetCo.

On the way back home, I stopped at the Starbucks for a latte, hot chocolate and a couple of puppacinos for the dogs.  This was our dogs first time enjoying a puppacino and enjoy they did.  They made short work of the cups of cream.  We’ll definitely be treating them to those again.  Now its time to get ready for Goalielocks’ team party!

Finally, I wanted to again share the link for a family that is in dire need of our support during an imaginably difficult time.  If you are able to, please consider helping this family.  Here is the link: Youcaring

Tonight’s song is “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin.  Thanks TW for the inspiration!

Hazards of Being a Boy Mom 306

Hazards of Being a Boy Mom 306

From the gross files, let me bring you hazards of being a boy mom 306.  As you may have guessed, my younger boys love animals.  They love their dogs, fish, lizards, guinea pigs, amphibians, birds and pretty much everything except for cats.  We’re now the proud owners of a bearded dragon (Iris), two veiled chameleons (Kenny and Ringo) and a basilisk name Yeezus.  Sadly, our basilisk named Cheez-its escaped.  Nonetheless, this healthy menagerie of reptiles goes through a lot of crickets and super worms.  Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing super about them.

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Goalielocks is an industrious child and always has been.  Since he’ll soon have to bear the burden of paying for the super worms and crickets, he started a super worm farm.  Originally, he started this worm farm in his bait boxes on the patio.  This was a good arrangement since I didn’t have to see it.

Well, all good things come to an end.  I should not have been surprised when the worm farm made it into a tupperware bin on my kitchen island.  Given his droll humor, at first I thought he was playing a joke on me.  However, it appears he’s hoping to keep it in the house.  Yeah, about that…  That arrangement will be ending soon.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Things Found in a Kitchen

As I asked my hubby what I was looking at and he confirmed my fears.  It was indeed a worm farm on my kitchen island.  I had to laugh.  Only a boy mom would have to contend with a worm farm in their kitchen.  I also had flashbacks to the movie Dumb and Dumber and Lloyd and their worm farm aspirations.

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The worm farm is slightly less gross than Goalielocks’ attempt to recreate the amber from Jurrasic park with a gatorade lid, a dead gecko and some Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.  Moreover, I’m super happy that the hubby was the one that discovered their experiment and not me.  As soon as I found, I couldn’t stop laughing.  I reminded Goalielocks and the Mayor that Mrs. Butterworth isn’t actual tree sap as it is artificially flavored.  Goaelielocks’ eyes lit up as he realized he could use my maple syrup from Canada. I immediately told them they were not to touch my real maple syrup.  They sighed and walked away. Oh life with boys is never dull!

Tonight’s song in honor of the Mayor ,who will happily tell you that the Beastie Boys are always on vacation, is “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys.

Kenny and Ringo

Kenny and Ringo

Today was all about Kenny and Ringo.  No, not Kenny Rogers and Ringo Starr.  Rather, our new veiled chameleons Kenny and Ringo.   Since we’re off hockey this weekend, the boys were able to spend the money they earned over the summer.  Both Goalielocks and Mayor had been vacillating  over what to buy for quite some time and I’ve been try to steer them away from video games or electronics.  Unquestionably, we were not in need of a new animal, but I’d rather get them a new pet versus a new electronic device.

We headed to Petco for what should have been a 15 minuthe trip.  My boy’s indecision quickly derailed what should have been a quick trip.  Instead of merely picking up a pair of crested geckos, our trip turned into indecision hour.  At one point, Goalielocks even tried to try and enlighten me as to why the sand boa would be the perfect pet.  I hate snakes, so I was not going to buy him one.  Once he accepted that a snake wasn’t in his future, he and the Mayor vacillated between the chameleon and another bearded dragon.  My vote was for the chameleons and that they name them Boy George and Karma.

After about an hour or deliberation, they ultimately decided on the chameleon since we already have a bearded dragon.  Goalielocks decided against the crested geckos as their genders were unknown due to their age.  In order to make sure we got everything the chameleons needed, Goalielocks made good use of his phone to do some quick research.  Sadly, the boys did’t like my suggested names of Boy George and Karma.  Instead, they opted to name them Kenny and Ringo.

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We excitedly headed home with our new creatures, their home and all the accouterments that came with them.  It took the three of us about 25-30 minutes to put together the cage.   Amazingly,  nobdoy was harmed in the building of the cage.  After all was said and done,  I was pretty proud that I was able to put together the cage with Ikea-like directions.  With the cage built and ready for its new inhabitants, we set it up on the Mayor’s dresser.  He’s totally stoked to have new roommates.   After helping the boys build the cage, I left the rest of the setup to them, while I made muffins and dinner.  My boys are super excited to bring home their new pets.

Aside from our new pets, our Sunday was pretty low key.   The Mayor has been nursing a serious cold and wasn’t sounding fantastic.  I woke up to go to pilates only to go back to bed as my sinus headache throbbed.    Kids are definitely the gift that keep on giving. If I’m being honest, sharing is not always caring and I was really hoping the Mayor wouldn’t share his cold with me.  I certainly don’t have time to get sick.  I’m hoping both the Mayor and I are feeling better tomorrow.  If the sinus pain doesn’t abate for either of us, we’ll have to make a trip to the doctor.

While I’m wallowing in the pain of a sinus headache and likely sinus infection, the Mayor’s handling his cold much better.  As I wrote my blog, I began to hear the sound of the tennis ball hitting the front door.  You hockey moms know what this means. They’re practicing their shot in the house.  Good times!  The good news ts that they were using a tennis ball and not a puck.   Moreover, Goalielocks was shooting on the Mayor who was wearing Goalielocks’ gear.  As Goalielocks shot on the Mayor, they were recording with the GoPro.  This, of course, means they got some great action shots and some choice soundbites from mom and dad yelling at them to stop.

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Last Night in Bergen

We had a brilliant lunch post Bergen aquarium near Bryggen with our family before J&B headed to catch the bus for Stavanger.  Tomorrow they’ll be on the hike of their life making their way up to Pulpit Rock.   Our waiter was incredible and bought us a round when the fryer broke and our food took longer than normal.  This was a great gift as beer and cider are extremely expensive in Norway even by South Florida standards.  The food was worth the wait and I enjoyed my fish an chips along with my cider.

 

Post lunch we hit the shops to find some useful souvenirs.  The Mayor found a nice knife he can use for fishing while Goalielocks selected a viking horn that sounds a bit like a kazoo.  The kazoo piece wasn’t intentional, so we’ll be looking for another viking horn for the house.   Jake got a nice Norwegian flag he can hang in his room.

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After two ciders at lunch, my favorite local coffee shop Dromedor was calling my name.   Not too far geographically from the tourist hub, but miles away in terms of its customer base.  This is a great local spot with quality coffee and pastries.   I have quite enjoyed their lattes these past couple of days in Bergen.

For dinner our kids wanted frozen pizzas, which was a complete godsend.  Food is extremely expensive in Norway and this was a perfectly economical way to feed the kids.        Post Pizza we headed to the wold famous fish market to meet J&M (my older bro and family), my grandma and my parents.

They were finishing up their dinner and afterwards we headed for dessert and shuffleboard.  We ended up at the same restaurant where we ate and drank yesterday as it had several shuffleboard tables where the kids could play and not interrupt all of the diners’ dinners.

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After two rousing shuffleboard tournaments, Priya and Zak and I emerged as champions.   Somehow I managed to figure out how to score a couple of points, which was enough for me to be successful.  The kids had a blast and enjoyed their desserts throughout the tournament.

After shuffleboard, we said adieu to our favorite spot, Bergenhus Bryggeri, and headed out to walk the city.   For the first time, we headed up Kong Oscars Gate where X&P found an awesome and cheap hot dog stand.  The group continued to make friends with dog owners and their dogs.   Norwegians love their dogs and take them everywhere.  Their dogs are meticulously groomed and extremely well behaved.

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As the sun started to descend in the sky, we headed back to our AirBnB to pack for our trip to Stavanger.  We have absolutely loved our time in Bergen and will be returning to this wonderful city hopefully soon.

Daily Dose of Cuteness

The boys gave their guinea pigs their first bath yesterday.  Their little pigs are super sweet and they’re doing a great job taking care of all three of them. Here is Goalielocks’ piggie Simone taking her first bath.

11 years – Happy Birthday to the Mayor

11 years…

Boy oh boy, my baby, my Zak-Zak, the Mayor is 11 today.  While it’s completely cliché to say that time has flown by, it would also be completely true.  As a baby, the Mayor channeled his inner 80 year old man.  He was a complete curmudgeon in every sense of the word. And then he hit the dreaded toddler stage and a miracle happened.  He became the happiest, sweetest boy you could ever imagine. He’s still an incredibly happy, sweet boy unless he’s hungry.  If he’s hungry or tired, you should run away and hide….

As the youngest of 3 boys, the Mayor is a tough as they come be it on the ice or in a game of mini hockey.  He was the perfect addition to the family.   From day one, he’s loved his brothers even if Colin wanted to put him back after holding him once.  Colin spent a lot of time in the corner when he was younger, but he was never alone.  The Mayor always had to join him and keep him company.  It was the sweetest thing.

He’s got a zest for life and food that’s unsurpassed.  Since we was young, he could eat pretty much everyone I know under the table while weighing almost nothing.  Yes, I’m completely jealous and I’m still trying to figure out where he puts all the food.  He loves food so much that when the boys first started skating at Skate Zone 7 years ago, he ate skittles off the very dirty floor.  The hubby and I were convinced he’d end up in the ER that night with a serious stomach bug.  Much to our delight, he didn’t get sick and in fact hasn’t had a stomach bug since that day.  I’m pretty sure he’s got an iron gut and probiotics for life off those dirty skittles.

Hockey is his life and it has been since 2006.  For his 3rd birthday, he proudly rocked his Minnesota Wild jersey as he enjoyed his hockey themed cake.  He played his first hockey game when he was 4 years old as a defensemen in front of his big brother Goalielocks.  Nobody was allowed to touch his brother.  In the years since, he’s enjoyed the travel hockey life and the friendships that come with it.  He is a rink rat through and through.

His heart is as big as his appetite and I’m so proud to call him mine.  Today we celebrate him.   Please help me wish the Mayor a very happy 11th birthday and his birthday buddy (my brother Justin) a very happy birthday.

I won the weekend!

I don’t mean to brag, but I totally won the weekend.    Truly, I freaking killed the weekend.  What does winning the weekend even mean?  Let me explain….  At work we talk a lot about what winning looks like.  In order to win, we need to hit certain metrics or certain objectives.  For me to win the weekend, as a hockey mom, it is not dissimilar.  I need to hit certain objectives.   These objectives include incredibly sexy tasks like laundry, cooking meals, vacuuming, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (still in a post hockey season disarray) and logging my miles.  I can count the number of times I have hit all of these objectives on a weekend during hockey season on one hand.   To be fair, it probably happened just once before.  My fellow hockey moms and dads, I know you feel my pain and can appreciate how amazing it is that I could win my weekend during the spring hockey season.

 

Again, this post isn’t about bragging, but relishing in the small joyous victories life sometimes brings.  Friday night was a complete miracle.  I came home to a deceased hamster.  Chuka, Zach’s (aka the Mayor) newly acquired hamster went to the great beyond after a mere 5 days at the homestead.  He was devastated at the loss, so naturally we put the dead hamster in a bag and took it back to Pet Smart for an exchange.  While the Mayor and dad exchanged the hamster, I ran my four miles and it was awful, but I did it.  Before we took the boys to hockey, the Mayor’s new hamster (Oompah Lupa) was in its cage and playing about.   Both boys made it to their hockey practice without being a minute late.  Victory!  By the time the Mayor and dad got home from peewee practice, I had already grilled the chicken (without blowing up the grill), cooked the pasta and made a Caesar salad.  Remarkably, the chicken did not taste like lighter fluid and there were no fires.  Dinner and the Mayor’s sleepover were a complete success.

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Saturday could have been better had my Wild beaten St. Louis, but they choked and broke my family’s collective heart by being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  To be fair, the officiating didn’t help their cause at all.  Nonetheless, I was extremely productive completing the grocery shopping, vacuuming the floor, and completing almost all of the laundry! I even logged my four miles with my Athena.  Best of all, the Mayor’s team won both of their peewee spring games.  Post run as a consequence of some foot pain, we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods so I could replace my worn sneakers.   New sneakers and a couple workout tanks I didn’t need later, we headed over to PetSmart to buy Goalielocks some new fish.  If he has his druthers, he’ll have a fish breeding facility in his room in no time.

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Sunday was the perfect day to stay home and do nothing as it rained almost all day.  These days rarely happen in South Florida and I took full advantage to finish the laundry and get most of the house organized.   Even had the opportunity to take the boys to Petco to get our saltwater aquarium water’s tested.   Fortunately for my wallet the tank isn’t done cycling.   For now our tank, will keep cycling with the hermit crabs and Bubbles the conch.  Post Petco the sun finally came out, so Jake and I went for a quick 3.5 mile run.  The run was miserable as the pre-run diet of brownies and coffee was less than optimal, but we did it.  We stuck to our goal and made it happen.   Note to self (and cautionary tale to the audience) stop eating brownies and going for a run immediately thereafter.  It makes you want to vomit and slows you down.  Sometimes it all about life’s lessons and small victories.

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To be perfectly honest, I finished all the loads of laundry and maybe by this Friday we’ll get all of the clothes put away.  Small victories will turn into big victories that’s what I keep telling myself.   Either that or we’ll hire a housekeeper during hockey season.   In the meantime, I’ll relish small victories and winning my weekend.