Friday, May 15, 2015

Genie in a bottle

I have come to realize that what I really need is another one of me.  Hear me out; it's not as crazy as it sounds.  Someone who knows all the information I know, thinks like I think, can take care of my kids in a pinch and who will cook and clean while I am otherwise entertained.  A carbon copy of me.  Just one, and life would be a lot easier.  I think that would be my wish to waste if I had a genie in a bottle.  My husband's wish would probably be for one less of me, or for a less forgetful version of me, sigh....anywho...

A few weeks ago I visited my favorite dining establishment, Marie Catribs.  Well at least it is one of my favorites.  I do LOVE to eat so picking just one favorite is quite impossible for me.  I have at least three!   I ate a delicious egg sandwich called the Trenton and took home a variety of fresh yummy salads and dessert!  As always, it was really AHHHMAZING!

Here is my top three favorites when dining out:

Already mentioned this place, but might as well make it official!  Marie Catribs is my absolute favorite healthy and delicious place to eat. It also doubles as my special place to dine with my BBF (Brain Buddy Friend) so it is pretty spectacular.  There are so many yummy salads and desserts that despite eating here fairly often, I am yet to scratch the surface.  Best of all, everything is made from ingredients from local farms so I help our local economy while I eat!

Turks is my favorite, not so healthy, place to eat.  While often calorie rich, Turks food is excellent and the atmosphere is casual and kid friendly and you know how I feel about their onion rings.  Their onion rings alone are worth driving, or running, several miles to get them and I have done both over the years!  I even skied there a few years back!

 Hearthstone Bistro is my favorite place to go on a date (with my husband!).  The atmosphere is warm and inviting and for those on a date, oh so Romantic! It is so quiet and relaxing that it is perfect for date night!  Although parents of three like me often find themselves dozing off after dinner because it is so much more peaceful than any house full of children!  The Food is incredible.  Always fresh and seasonally inspired.  TASTY, GOOD STUFF!  This place is not so perfect with kiddos because of the romantic and quiet factors so do us all a favor and if you head here get a babysitter or leave your kids in the closet with a box of fruit snacks or a thing of microwave popcorn! (just kidding)

Oh and best of all I am heading there TONIGHT!  I am like a kid on Christmas Eve full of anticipation and excitement!  When I first started writing this, I was in fact heading to Hearthstone that very evening.  However, life happened and I am just now finishing this story.

PS  I get to be the substitute soccer coach for the Earthquakes (my son's super cool soccer team) and while I fully admit and my husband quickly pointed out, "you don't know a thing about soccer" I plan to have fun with the kids and who knows maybe I will learn something about soccer.

PPS I used to kind of like that song, "Genie in a Bottle" and now it is stuck inside my head and I don't like it so much anymore.

Vern Out

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Good Laughternoon!

A few days late (for my self imposed Mother's Day Deadline), but in  my defense, I was busy cleaning up all the messes from our fabulous Mother's Day Festivities!  
They say a picture tells a thousand words!
 That may be true, but my added commentary is kinda funny (at least to me) so I will go ahead and fill in a few details from the special day.  Yes officer that is a Bacon, Asparagus, mushroom and swiss cheese omelet that my husband himself created for me. And, No, I do not have a permit for this thing so go ahead and arrest me!
 Honestly it would not be a party without a helium balloon!  Well played kids!!  Well played.
 Yes, these are rotten Easter eggs that I discovered in our fridge, on Mother's Day.  Happy Mother's Day to ME!!  I am one lucky gal!  Much like the jelly of the month club, "that there is the gift that just keeps giving!" ~Cousin Eddy Christmas Vacation

That is all,

OOPS I forgot one important detail: I spared you a photo of the vomit my son spewed all over his room (on Mother's Day).  Had I taken a picture of that, I would've added like 10,000 additional words based on the sheer volume and surface area covered by the vomit.  Oh and it would've been super gross because he had eaten his weight in blackberries, burritos and chips. And blackberry, burrito and chip vomit is the absolute worst.  

PS The rotten eggs actually made me laugh a lot because they made me think of the rotten egg scene in Charlotte's Web which is very, very, very funny to me. 

PPS Another funny (yet unrelated) thing happened last night.  My husband was looking for a head lamp in order to search for our lost rabbit (long unrelated story) and I knew exactly where mine was.  As I handed it to him, I quickly pointed out that I was so glad to be so unbelievably organized which made both my husband and I erupt into hysterical laughter for the next half hour.  Laughter is medicine people and I for one felt a lot better about life after that little episode and while he would never admit it I bet Jeff did too!

Vern Out

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Game Time

Generally speaking I don't like video games.  No that's not quite right.  Generally speaking, I HATE video games. Despise them.

Video games.  

Cookies on the other hand.   Now, there's something I LOVE.  Cookies are good. Video Games Bad; Cookies Good!

Video Games just seem like such a complete waste of time and a serious distraction from getting other, more important, things done.   And you all know I am a doer of lots of good stuff!  I worry about the impact that video games are having on our children too.  You've not seen a fit as ugly as the one that is thrown when my 6-year old son has to turn off the wii or his kindle.  It isn't pretty.  It is like some switch is instantly flipped and my once lovable, huggable, cute, little, curly haired, boy becomes an angry, hostile and down right awful human being.  It breaks my heart and fuels my hatred for electronic devices. That said, I am starting to accept that it is possible there may be some slight benefits to video games.  Some.  It is a long shot, but there may be a few. However I mostly still hate them and technology in general and maybe I am smarter than I sound.  Einstein shared my concerns.
Unfortunately, Einstein, I think we are living this reality and it just keeps getting worse.
 I can't believe Einstein felt this way midway through the 20th Century.  He really was a genius and look how much more humanity has been lost to technology since then.  I am getting depressed.  Hold on, I need to call my therapist.

Okay I am back. I have an appointment this Friday!

Now First of all, a little back story is probably warranted.  I lived without TV for a year because I really despise most things electronic and I am kinda crazy like that and always up to a challenge. NOTV2011 will take you to all of our fun tv-free adventures.  It was AWESOME!  An incredible year.  I can honestly say that I enjoyed that year greatly and I miss it today, tomorrow and quite possibly forever.  We now watch more television than is probably healthy and to make matters worse we joined the world of devices when the kids got kindles for Christmas. While I must admit they were very helpful during our drive to Florida, I am totally annoyed with them now.  Totally annoyed.  The kindles were absolutely priceless during the 22 hour car ride home (we drove straight through people with 7 people in a minivan).  Without the kindles someone might have died.  Probably me, of an unfortunate suicide.  Or I might've snapped and killed Jeff.  Or he might've offed me.  Or you know what? One of the kids would have killed another one of the kids fighting.  If not for the kindles, we would likely only have two kids.  You get the idea. Someone would be dead.  So in that setting they were a valuable entertainment tool and a necessary safety precaution, but today they are a total pain in my a**.

This recent revelation (that there may be benefits to video games) has been simmering inside my mind for some time now.  At work we are busy preparing awareness materials to present to corporations about our services.  Viewing various Ted Talks with the purpose of gleaning tips for our presentation was a recent assignment of mine.  So I have watched several Ted Talks in the past six months.  Searching for unique ways to make presentations more interesting and less lecture like, what I have learned is this:  There are a lot of Ted Talks. A lot!  Some are good.  Some are bad. Some are down right bizarre.  And then some are really, extremely, thought provoking. Mind blowing really.  Some are the kind of talk you just keep thinking about for months.  My two favorites so far were the one by a neurologist about her experience having a stroke and recovering from it and the one that is actually related to this story entitled, "The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life".   When I read the title I figured it was overly dramatic and sensationalized.  I soon learned that video games actually saved Jane Mc Gonigal's life.  It was a compelling argument in support of video games and it made me think, "Maybe".  Maybe video games are not the worst thing ever.  And then a few weeks after watching that Ted Talk, I found myself playing bowling on the wii with the family and I thought to myself this is FUN and we are being somewhat ACTIVE on a cold and sleeting day.  And darn it my son is so frickin' cute when he bowls and then dances around joyfully awaiting the result of his efforts.  You should see his dance moves when he gets a strike!  That dance is the BEST!  It was a rare POSITIVE gaming experience for me.

Forget about cures for diseases... let's just create a new video game. You know a game that will help our kids learn to kill things and become desensitized to death and violence.~Vern

Then the other day the kids came home from school with a newspaper article about how video games are good for you. It kind of pissed me off, because it was in a publication that the school provided them and it was not research based and it was very one sided.  They were convinced I would read it and instantly decide that all video games were great and they could play them non-stop without any restrictions whatsoever for the rest of their lives. WRONG.   I am nothing if not the video game Nazi.  I may actually be a distant relative to Hitler, the way I police the kindles and wii.  Yes, I am at war with video games and electronics in general.  And while I am probably fighting a losing battled, I will continue to battle on.  I am not a quitter.

I'd like to see the research that supports this quote from Reagan.  However, somewhat related, my dentist and I were discussing this very topic the last time I was in his office and he informed me that his son was a lot like mine in that he was addicted to video games and had behavioral issues surrounding video games; His son is now an adult and he turned out okay. He is indeed an actual pilot who claims the video games prepared him well for the rigors of flight school.  Who knows, maybe I will get a pilot out of all this.

Anyhow, I don't have this all figured out yet, but I am committed to fighting technology as long as possible.  I believe deeply that the most important lessons in life are learned by interacting with living creatures and our environment. While I fully admit there are some practical applications for electronic devices, I am not convinced that our young children need a lot of screen time.  They need to get outside, they need to interact with other living creatures and most importantly they need to learn how to look in someone's eyes and talk to them about difficult stuff in a compassionate and appropriate way.

PS I think that running is a much healthier habit and has many more benefits to offer mankind.  I pray each and every day that at least one of my children will become a runner and we will have a shared love for that activity. Running is so much better than any video game (even Minecraft).

PPS I didnt know how to spell Minecraft so I had to google it and Minecraft actually popped up after just the first three letters were entered into my search.  This was very, very disturbing to me.  I called my therapist back and plan to go there today if anyone cancels.

PPPS Kara went to run club with me for the Boston Marathon Party and we had a ball so I feel like I may get her involved with running if her asthma doesn't become too problematic.

PPPPS  I hate that Kara has inherited Jeff's asthma gene. I wish she had lungs like her momma.

Vern out