Thursday, March 27, 2008

Driving Me CRAZY!

I have tried to stay silent but after this last road trip, I am not sure if I can accept Leon's driving skills "as is". I am still holding out for a change, because I do not understand, cannot relate and have very little patience for these skills. I know some things Leon does can be endearing or quirky or cute, but this is just something I'm not sure I can embrace. Here we go...

1. He drives way too close to other cars...he's bumps into OUR OWN cars when he parks them, trying to see how close he can get.
2. He talks to other cars on the road, for example: "Take it Honda" "Come on Buick, move over" "Let's go Toyota"
3. He avoids using the brake on the freeway (better gas mileage he says) and waits 'til the last second to make a stop. I have worn out my imaginary brake with all the times he has almost ran into the driver ahead of us.
4. He cannot navigate what I would consider familiar going to Napa. We've been there a million times and I still can't trust if I nap that I'll wake up to find us on the right road. Many times we have ended up on the wrong freeway which always adds a twist to the trip!
5. He runs out of gas regularly. Seriously, probably monthly. I do give him credit for having learned to call his friends instead of his less than sympathetic wife.
6. He makes me car sick in the mountains (and I only get sick if he's driving) because he drives way too fast on the windy roads and again, doesn't use the brake.
7. He tries to see if he can make it to the upcoming red light by taking his foot off the gas and coasting.
8. He finds humor in other drivers who race ahead to be stopped at a red light. He calls it "racing to the next red light"
9. He likes the adventure of finding something new to eat on Hwy 99 or 101. Good luck.
That is not the time to find a Rice Bowl if you ask me. In N Out or Taco Bell...maybe.
10. He makes up Highway numbers. The only REAL one he knows is 99 and 198.

I could probably think of more....

11. My job as the passenger otherwise known as "Navigator" is to see if he can pass the car going too slow in the fast lane. "How much space is over there?"

Okay, now that I've had a good laugh, I do find it slightly endearing and funny. One thing that I do appreciate is that we both know I can always get us there by being the navigator because he never questions my good sense of direction. I do still hope for the day that he can get places on his own but have to admit it's nice to be needed. Luckily, there's more to Leon than his driving skills (I'll save those for another time!).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Many of our friends and family have asked, "Does Sam EVER cry?" Honestly, he doesn't really. He is such a happy baby and rarely cries. So far I have been able to find the solution to any of his cries...feed him, change him, or put him to bed (He's pretty predictable). He isn't fussy, at least that is what he has lead me to believe until we tried to feed him cereal. I know it seems cruel to laugh while your baby is hysterical, but I couldn't help it. I thought of the times I gaged myself on calamari at the dinner table or cried trying to get out of finishing my beef stroganoff. Sam might just be a bit dramatic when it comes to eating solids. These pictures say it all...

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Saturday we drove up to Napa to visit my Grandma and was wonderful! Sam did very good on the trip. He traveled well, slept well, and was sweet to those who were meeting him for the first time. He is such a happy baby who makes trips easy and really enjoyable...we are so lucky! We were able to visit with family, laughed a lot and ate great food! Max really enjoys playing with Isabelle, who is my first cousin. He enjoys being with her so much that he gave up playing golf with Leon and my brother, Trevor to be with her. She is an amazing girl who is not afraid to explore the creek and loves to run around with Max. Being the oldest Grandchild, I never really played much with the younger ones because of the age gap so it's really nice that Max and Isabelle have eachother. While exploring the creek, they found fish and a large tadpole.

After a walk to the site of The Bardessono Inn, I caught a baby lizard by the creek that Uncle Pete comfortably wore on his shirt like a logo!

I am so blessed to have such a loving family and it is always a treat to seems to go by fast though, I always wish I could stay a little longer! I love that Max feels the same way. I make it a point to ask Max whenever we visit a place what his favorite part of the trip was. On our drive home he listed them, "Seeing Great Grandma and my Aunts and Uncles, playing with my cousins, playing catch with the older boys, going to the park to play HORSE, catching the fish and tadpole, riding the bike and scooters, eating french bread...everything." And really that was just about everything! I love that he loves it as much as I do!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


A few weeks ago I was passing time in the cleaning section of Bed Bath and Beyond and came across Orange Glo Hardwood Cleaner and Polish. I remembered seeing it on an infomercial and immediately had to have it! It instantly made our floors nice and shiny and although it didn't smell like oranges, it made my house smell fresh and clean! Well today I decided to do some cleaning and got out my Microfiber mop and regular Bona Cleaner and mopped away. As I walked through the house to see my work I noticed a milky film and streaks throughout the floor....ugggh! All of that effort for nothing, so I mopped again and again and again...same result. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Exhausted and completely frustrated, I searched the internet and Googled "Orange Glo Ruined My Floor". I should have done this before I bought and applied this stuff because I found lots of others with awful results and a few suggestions:

#1 Strip Floor
#2 Replace Floor
#3 Small Claims Court
#4 Class Action Lawsuit
#5 Windex

Because I already have it, I tried far it has worked, thanks to the Ammonia I am guessing. The process of removing this stuff cannot be done without me on my hands and knees with at least a million paper towels and no more than 8 inches of work space at a time!

While slaving away, I heard a knock at my door...I was hoping it was someone who was there to save the day, well I was close. It was a door to door salesman wearing a stylish khaki jumpsuit and carrying a small vacuum cleaner in one hand and briefcase in the other. Who knew anyone still sold things door to door! He asked if I had any need for household items today. "The only thing I need today is a good stripper", I said. I think I might have startled him a bit and so I explained the situation. Unfortunately for me he doesn't carry chemicals, but he gave me my choice of three gifts: a spatula, a small brush and this:

Lessons learned...#1 Stick with what you know already works #2 Be clear when talking to others about your needs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Unfit Mother

Since it's been 8 years since I've had a baby, I often refer to a few favorite websites for pointers and guidance. Friends are great too, but today I needed the Feeding Solids 101 (condensed version). Sam is 4 months old (technically in 2 days, reminded Max) and so I need to prepare myself for feeding him food. So what do I find instead? This title:


My answer...Depends on who your asking! Leon says I look great, such unconditional love! But if I were to tell people I was pregnant, they wouldn't exactly say they couldn't tell if you know what I mean! This reminded me of the time after I had Max and was at the mall shopping for an outfit for church. I was asked by a salesclerk, "Can I help you find something?" Mistake #1...I said yes. I told her I was looking for an outfit to wear to church for my baby's blessing day. Her response, "So, when is your baby due?" WHAT????? I thanked her for her help and headed over to Old Navy to pick up a trusty v-neck sweater to throw on with my good ol' black maternity skirt and pair of control top tights! Later that night I found myself sulking over a bowl of ice cream crying to Leon about her "honest" mistake.

So back to my current situation. Yesterday, a newly made friend asked me, "Do you run?" "Not unless I have to" I said. Sad, I know. I now realize, it's officially time to do something. So this morning I am motivated to get out there and put some serious miles on the jogging stroller (thanks again Auntie!) Sam loves the outdoors and Max loves to race me with his bike, so no excuses right?

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Couch Potato

What could possibly make this 4 month old stretch his neck you ask?

The TV of course! The Food Network in this particular case. Sam is mesmerized by many things and will go to great lengths to sneek a peek at the Television. Although we enjoy his stunts, the TV is on a lot less and we are hoping picture books will catch his attention instead!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My finish out the week list:

1. Finish planting flowers
2. Visit with good friends
3. Spend time on the floor with Sam
(he's one arm away from rolling over)
4. PTA Meeting
5. Start Freakanomics for Book Club
6. Have Sam's picture taken
7. Enjoy longer days outside
8. Watch LOST with Leon
9. Catch up with Liza (find your phone already!)
10. Laundry (Need clean clothes fast)
11. Clean...maybe even windows
12. Help out in Max's class
13. Pick some lemons and oranges, get creative!
14. Find Easter basket (Sam) and goodies (Max)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Is Yoga a Sport?

Call me crazy, but I love love love anything that makes my child come home exhausted, starving and drenched in sweat. This translates to a good night's sleep, eating all his veggies and a shower! Thank you wrestling season for starting today! Typically, I am not the kind of Mom who will over schedule her child (and herself) in all kinds of activities, but I really insist on him doing some type of sport.

We've tried lots of other sports with out success: baseball (lots of staring up into the sky) and soccer (horrible run of bad luck with over the top coaches) but for the last couple of years, wrestling has been a winner. The biggest plus is that Leon takes him and helps coach...good for father-son bonding. Today I was really looking forward to another season of wrestling, but Max was not. His moping around most of the afternoon sighing and asking "do I have to" was really worrying me. Then 15 minutes before practice he asks to be late. After some talk I realized he was afraid of having to do cartwheels and running summersaults, something they did last year in the beginning of practice (I don't blame him...I have horrible memories of being awful at cartwheels).

So with 10 minutes to spare and in true "Casey Family" fashion, I moved the furniture away from the carpet and began demonstrating a cartwheel. I'm sure I looked weak because I felt REALLY WEAK, but I did it anyway. After several attempts and finally mastering the tumbling, he turned to me and said, "Can I just do Yoga instead?" I tried really hard not to laugh because I think he was really serious and I insisted he go and give it his best! With a hug and kiss, I sent him on his way with the vision of his Mom's big body being thrown through the air as his inspiration.

Luckily he came home to report a great practice...he took down 2 kids in 3 seconds and best of all, NO CARTWHEELS OR SUMMERSAULTS. Thanks coach!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ten minutes before Max's Den Meeting today:

"Mom, have you seen my Cub Scout book?" he asks.

"No." I reply

But I did find:

One sock behind the pillows on the couch.

Two plastic golf balls under the couch.

A back scratcher under the seat cushion.

A "missing" shoe in the basket of blankets.

A bottle in the hamper.

A hat on the counter, on the table and the floor.

A burp cloth and set of scriptures on the entry bench.

A whole bunch of shoes by the front door.

Gum wrappers on the dining room table...

I could go on, but I bet you get the idea!

"Found it! It was right here." says Max pointing to his pile of recent drawings that have been taking over our dining table.

Tonight we will be busy cleaning...yes WE!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Max the Reader

Today, Max's teacher told me he some exciting news! This week Max had a Reading Assessment Test and past Level other words he has a 4th grade comprehension level. His teacher was really impressed with his retelling and summarizing. Max loves to read and watching him read brings back memories for me.

When I was Max's age, my love for reading began. It might have started earlier in life, but this is when I remember not wanting to put a book down. I remember weekend drives to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Sacramento and if by the time we'd arrive I wasn't done reading, I would sit in the car until I was finished. Sometimes, if it got too hot (remember...Sacramento!) I would find an unused room to continue reading. I would take a book wherever I'd go. I just couldn't stop!

For Christmas or my Birthday, my Grandma would always give me a book (she now does the same for our boys). Some books were ones she read as a girl. It's amazing what a connection you can make with another person, just by reading a book. When I reflect back on this small area of my life, it makes me so grateful to have Parents and Grandparents who saw something of importance and encouraged it to grow.

Many of the books I read today are children's books, right now it's Spiderwick with Max. We take turns reading aloud to each other. I am always looking for ways to stay connected with him...this is one way that works for us. What are some books that you have enjoyed recently? What some good kid picks? With all those choices out there, the ones recommended by friends and family are the ones I trust!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine!

Who wouldn't want to wake up to this? I was up late again and feeling extremely exhausted, yet this morning I was delighted to cozy up with these guys. I am definitely not the morning person in our family. I definitely feel most productive late at night, and I usually pay for it the next morning.

Leon...a quiet morning person, up and going and never complains (even when I've kept him up with one of my all nighter projects).
Seriously, I never hear him. That's love. Thanks honey!

Max...let the day begin, even if the sun isn't up! This kid always wakes up early even if he's had a late night (on the weekends only! Despite my bad habit, I'm really good at sticking to a decent bed time for my kids...8:30 sharp!!!)

Sam...lovey morning baby...all smiles, no crying, just a big gummy grin.

I have tried several times in my life to change my ways. I have heard over and over, "Early to bed, early to rise...blah...blah...blah". Seriously, I am recommitting to wake up before least Max. I've asked Leon to help me, even though I'm sure he's rolling his eyes behind my back because we've been through this before.

I just don't want to be that friend that you know you CAN'T call before 9:00 (we all have one, I'm probably her). Speaking of friends, I have one who answers the phone "Good Morning!" I am secretly jealous of this because when I answer the phone I usually have to fake it. I purposely try to sound chipper to cover up the fact that I just woke up. I'm sure I'm not fooling anyone as well as I'd like to believe. So if anyone calls and I sound tired, it's because now I wake up at 6:00 and I am tired...not because you just woke me up!

I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning...hopefully after the shock wears off, we can enjoy breakfast together. I'm cooking eggs.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

That's My Boy!

Sam has a talent that apparently is genetic. It started with him sucking his thumb. Quite honestly, we find it adorable and as far as I'm concerned he can suck his thumb forever...okay maybe not forever. It's just so cute! In reality we all love his thumb sucking, because he thoroughly enjoys it and it lets us sleep all night! Who could complain? I know some might disapprove of my encouragement and I'll get an earful for saying this, but I was a "thumb sucker" and I turned out okay. I think I am emotionally stable enough.

Most recently we have observed that he really doesn't discriminate against any part of his hand. Most of the time he sucks his thumb, but sometimes it's a finger or two or three or four, but most recently he can't get enough of his whole fist.

So, the other morning I was taking some shots of Sam who was going to town on that little hand of his and after showing Leon and Max we decided to have a competition. "Who Can Fit Their Whole Fist In Their Mouth" is what we called it. Leon was up first and honestly, didn't stand a chance. It was actually pretty pathetic. Max was really close, almost to his knuckles. Unfortunately for him, I will not lose to anyone, including my 8 year old son. There is something about competitions that I become determined to win! The only person I will allow myself to gracefully lose to is my Grandma (who is quite the competitor). After inhaling my hand, I proudly earned the honor of winning our friendly family contest.

Yes, Sam takes after Mom. Hopefully he will take after me and share some of my more meaningful talents and attributes, time will tell. Without a doubt, he has Leon's easy going personality and good looks...but in this category he's definitely his mother's son!