Thursday, April 30, 2009


Mother Nature must be bi-polar. After a manic weekend and start to the week, she now seems to be depressed. It has been cloudy, cool, and sometimes rainy for the past two days. Is there not medication for this?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bring on the waddling birds...

The boys in red (aka The Washington Capitals) came from behind (after the first four games of the series, the Caps were down 3 games to 1) and took the best-of-seven Round 1 playoff series from the New York Rangers. That result was in question as recently as, oh, last night in the third period of Game 7. However, for some reason I never doubted that they'd win last night.

With little more than five minutes left in the third period, Sergei Federov (who has been my "Cap of choice" this year after seeing his "model photo" at the first Caps game I attended) scored a beautiful goal, glove side. I was doing free step on the Wii Fit at the time and somehow managed to keep time while whooping and contorting to show my glee. My right knee reminds me of that obviously awkward glee everytime I take a step today. I'm sure my three-inch wedge sandals are not helping the knee any. But I digress.

In the other game of interest last night, the New Jersey Devils and the amazing Martin Brodeur seemed to have a series win in hand. Next thing I knew, the stupid Carolina Hurricanes had scored not once, but TWICE, in the last two minutes of the game and won the series. So, Brodeur IS human! Because of this, the Capitals will now face their playoff nemesis Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 2 (instead of the Devils, whom the Caps would've played had the Devils actually won).

The Caps have a bad playoff history with the Penguins, not to mention a hate-hate relationship. But I believe the Caps beat the waddling, whining, flightless birds three of the four times they played this year. So we just need to do it four more times. The Pens arrive at Verizon Center on Saturday with the league's leading goal scorer for the regular season; a new head coach who successfully turned the team around at the end of the season and just got a lucrative, multi-year contract this week; and a hot goalie (hot as in winning, not hot as in yowza...Federov is hot as in yowza...).

It's not going to be easy, but we have a pretty hot, young goalie, too. Maybe you've heard of him? Simeon Varlamov (pronounced Sim-yeon VarLAHmof... emphasis on the middle syllable). Yeah, apparently he got tired of everyone mispronouncing his name, so he corrected all the sportscasters. Pretty funny. Dude doesn't speak English (maybe THAT's why Sean Avery didn't seem to bother him at all during the Rangers series... he didn't have a clue what Avery was yammering on about), and played a total of five (FIVE!) games in the NHL before backstopping the Caps' comeback in Round 1 -- earning two shutouts along the way. I think Theodore should probably make himself pretty comfy on the end of that bench for the foreseeable future. No goalie controversy here.

I love, love, LOVE that it's almost May and I'm still vested in the playoffs. The Caps haven't won a playoff series since the Cup run in 1998, so it's been awhile since I TRULY cared about anything beyond the first round. Sure, I'd pick a team and root them on. It's hockey, afterall. But this is our beloved Caps. The Caps we adopted when we moved here 15 years ago and supported when there were, like, 3,000 fans in the arena cheering them on. Now it's "in" to be a Caps fan. Everyone is on the bandwagon. Everyone is "rockin' the red." That's cool. The more the merrier. We'll make room on the wagon.

But just so ya know, we (and many of our friends) have been on the wagon all along. And the wagon doesn't stop for waddling birds that happen to be in the way. Too bad they can't fly -- guess we'll just have to run 'em over...


Lost this week, but thought I was on track to lose more. Of course, any loss is a good loss, but I think perhaps drinking a bottle of water half hour before weigh-in is not a good thing. Not enough time to process...

Hubby lost another THREE pounds! He rocks.

Change from last week: -0.6
Change since starting WW: -27.4
Pounds to goal: 14.6

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great day!

Today was a great day for Keeper Boy and J-Mav... we celebrated by allowing them -- and, in fact, encouraging them -- to both have dessert after dinner. They were kinda surprised, but didn't ask twice. They know better than to look a gift horse in the mouth. (That's how that saying goes, right?)

Starting with J-Mav: he was giggling as he came running toward me off the playground when I picked him up from school. GIGGLING! I asked him what was so funny. He could barely contain himself. "I got ALL of my stickers, Mama! ALL of them!"

He has a behavior chart for which he can earn four stickers before lunch and four after. The four areas for which he can earn stickers are keeping his hands to himself, being quiet while he works, raising his hand, and staying in his own space. He's struggled with the being quiet while working one. Not today. Awesome job, J-Mav!!

And then Keeper Boy: as many of you know, he got four Cs on his 2nd quarter report card. Had he been giving his best effort and gotten four Cs, we wouldn't have cared. But we knew he hadn't given it his best effort. So we had a long discussion and a deal that if his grades weren't up at mid-term, baseball would be in jeopardy. He was fine at mid-term, according to his teacher, so we let him play baseball and hoped for the best. Today he got his report card. He brought those four Cs back up and made the honor roll! He was very pleased with himself, and we are proud of his hard work.

Late this afternoon, we were also notified that he made the spring travel hockey team. It's a big change from this time last year, when he was being begged to come play for the same team. I don't even think he tried out last year. I don't remember. They just needed a goalie. This year, there were three very capable goalies vying for two spots during the two-part tryout. Keeper Boy earned one of the spots, so we will be at the rink for practice the next four Thursdays and in Aston, PA for a tournament over Memorial Day weekend. Congratulations, Keeper Boy!!

Tonight, Keeper Boy had a baseball game. He got on base all three times he was at bat (two walks and a hit) and scored every time. His team played well and won the game 11-8. Keeper Boy played three innings at first base, two at catcher, and sat an inning.

We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner after the game, and that's where the boys had their treats. Always fun to watch their eyes light up when we tell them they can do/have something they're usually no allowed.

Oh, and the Penguins lost tonight. That's ALWAYS a good day!! ;-P

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fire and ice

Saturday, as I previously posted, was a fabulous day weather-wise. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the kids were on the ball field. And, while I put sunscreen on the kids, I neglected to put any on myself and paid the price for wearing a sleeveless shirt while sitting outside for four hours.

Last night, Keeper Boy had another baseball game. It had been overcast and spitting off an on all afternoon. But the field was open, so off we went. As the front came closer, the temperature dropped into the upper 40s. We endured two lightning delays before finally starting the game just before 7pm -- an hour late. (When lightning is sighted, they are required to wait 20 minutes. If no more lightning is sighted, play can resume. If more lightning is sighted, the 20-minute clock re-starts.)

I took refuge in the back corner of the dugout since I keep the score book and it's difficult to write in pencil on wet paper. As I sat there slowly turning into an icicle, I was keenly aware of the seams in my t-shirt (under a sweatshirt, a windbreaker, and a blanket) rubbing against my still somewhat tender (though no longer on fire) shoulders.

What a difference three days makes!


Gained this week. Not even the "Save the Date" for my 20-year high school reunion kept me out of the kids' Easter candy. Sigh.

Hubby lost another one-point-something. Some of the new pants and shorts we bought are starting to get loose. And his wedding band falls off constantly. He's probably going to have to stop wearing it until he is finished losing weight and can get it re-sized...

Change from last week: +1.0
Change since starting WW: -26.8
Pounds to goal: 15.2

Monday, April 20, 2009


What a great weekend!! The weather was amazing, it was opening day for CYA baseball, and we got together with not one, but two great family friends! Who could ask for more?

Keeper Boy has try-outs tonight and Wednesday night for the spring travel hockey team. So Friday evening, Hubby took Keeper Boy out to the rink for a stick-n-shoot to get in some ice time. He hasn't really been on the ice much in the past month. Hubby, however, forgot his own skates. So instead of being out on the ice working with Keeper Boy, he watched from the other side of the glass and talked to one of his friends who had also brought his kid out. J-Mav and I hung out at home.

Saturday morning was the opening ceremonies for CYA Spring Baseball. It's always fun to see the kids parade onto the baseball field, but then the ceremony part is pretty long and drawn out. 90+ minutes after it started, we got outta there. We ran a few errands (chief among which was getting Justin a BLACK baseball belt, because the other two colors he already has won't work with this year's uniform) and grabbed lunch before heading to the field for J-Mav's 12:00 game... his first ever baseball game!

J-Mav is playing in the Coach Pitch League. That means, the coach pitches to the kids. Each kid gets five pitches and if he or she doesn't make contact with the ball, the T is brought out. Everyone plays in the outfield, and the kids bat in numerical jersey order. They play three innings. It was a challenge to fit those three innings into the 90-minute time allotment. It's largely a teaching situation, and it was fun to watch. J-Mav was up to bat four times, I think. He hit twice on pitches and twice off the tee. He even made it around and scored a run one time! No score is kept in this league. It's all about kicking dirt if you're in the infield, inspecting grass if you're in the outfield, and what's for snack after the game!

Keeper Boy had his first game at 2:30 at a different field, about a mile down the road. He's playing in the AAA League. They DO keep score, they CAN steal bases, they DON'T have snack, and the last inning is unlimited runs (all other innings there's a five run "mercy" rule). Keeper Boy mostly plays first base or catcher, though they have him in the pitching rotation this season, too. He did pitch part of the last inning on Saturday. The coach asked if I could keep the score book. I told him I'd be willing to try but that I hadn't attempted to keep a score book since I was about Keeper Boy's age -- and that was in the program at Phillies games! But I got the hang of it. I told him I'd keep the job if he thought I did okay. Guess I'll find out tomorrow night if Keeper Boy's game isn't rained out. (Right now I'm thinking of scouring the Internet for some ark plans.) Oh, and Keeper Boy's team won. I think the final was 6-4 or 6-3.

Saturday evening we got together with friends -- someone I've been friends with probably since before I even went to Kindergarten (with a too-long falling out at the end of/after high school that remains, to this day, one of the only major regrets in my life)... and her hubby and three kids. They moved to a new house almost two years ago and -- while we talk on the phone and over email and Facebook -- we'd never seen it, even though it's only 20 minutes away from our house! With five active kids between us, scheduling is an issue. Anyway, the house is beautiful, dinner was great, and we had an excellent time catching up and hanging out. The kids all get along great and we promised we wouldn't wait that long to get together again. Now we have to make good on that plan!

Sunday was about house and yard work... and hockey. Hubby mowed the lawn for the first time this year. I took care of the inside stuff. The kids did their chores and finished their homework. Then Hubby took Keeper Boy to the rink for another stick-n-shoot session (and remembered his skates this time) and J-Mav went to play at a friend's house for a few hours. Though what I really wanted to do with all that quiet time was take a nap, I finished the vacuuming and laundry and marinated some chicken for dinner. When everyone got home, we headed to BFF's house for another great evening of hanging out. We supplied chicken and brats for the grill and BFF and BFF's hubby supplied all the sides and dessert. It was a fun evening, as always, and the kids all get along like siblings because they've known each other all of their young lives. During our visit, I discovered that my goddaughter has a sophisticated new hairdo that makes her look older than her six years, and my godson has his first official girlfriend... long distance. Her grandmother lives down the street from their house. She actually lives three hours away. Everyone's growin' up!

On our way home, we saw a large police/fire response presence by J-Mav's school. We didn't know what was going on as we didn't see a fire or anything. I emailed a friend who lives over there and asked what was going on. She freaked out because she and her hubby were on their way home from seeing a movie, and her kids (high school aged) were home. She said she never dialed her home number so fast. They were fine, though they didn't know what was going on. She emailed me back once she got home and got the scoop... a car had been speeding down the road (in our quiet little subdivision) and hit a parked car (which then flipped over and into someone's yard) and then ran into a house. Yikes! I drove by the house in question this morning and it's all boarded up in the front and it looks like most of the shrubbery and front porch posts were taken out by the errant car. Craziness! Apparently there was a person in the house, but he or she wasn't injured. I think there were two people in the car. They had minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. Don't know any details other than those.

So that's about it. A little bit of everything this past weekend... might make the week ahead seem a little boring!

Extended family update...

Lots of people in my family are doing some cool things recently, now, or soon!

My brother finally secured a new job a few weeks ago and is a Warehouse Manager for a company that is ramping up operations right near his house. His wife is finishing up her certification training and will be working soon as a medical biller/coder.

My cousin, D. is having much success in a Weight Watchers at Work program that is similar to the one Hubby is doing. Way to go!

My aunt and uncle and their three sons (my NJ cousins) and one of their significant others are in Las Vegas this week. And as I type my uncle and the NJ cousins are hiking down into the Grand Canyon (with intentions to be back out this afternoon). How COOL is that?

Another cousin (the one that got married in January) and her husband just got back from what sounds like an excellent trip to Florida via the auto train.

Hubby's brother will be home from Iraq on a two-week R&R in a WEEK! My sister-in-law is so excited. We won't get to see him, but at least we can talk to him on the phone without a multi-second delay!

Our niece is finishing up her junior year of high school and looking into colleges. She wants to go into Forensics. She is one smart cookie and will shine at whatever her chosen field is, but forensics!? That rocks!

I'm sure other members of our family are doing awesome things, too... those are just a few things that I happen to know about. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I dragged myself to my weigh-in this morning, not wanting to go because my scale at home was not friendly this morning. So the fact that I'd lost weight was a nice surprise on a crappy, rainy day that has left me feeling grumpy since I got out of bed.

Hubby had a GREAT week! He was down another 1.6 for 22 pounds total. AND he reached his 10% goal! He got the spiffy keychain and he will now be reimbursed the cost of the WW at Work program by his company.

Change from last week: -0.6
Change since starting WW: -27.8
Pounds to goal: 14.2

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I don't avidly follow major league baseball much anymore (except during last year's playoffs and World Series, of course). Oh, I look at the box scores for the Phillies and the Nationals in the Sports page, but I don't watch or listen to games on a regular basis. But I sure did when I was growing up. It's somewhat unavoidable when your mother is one of the world's biggest Phillies phans! :-)

I was younger than Keeper Boy when the Phillies won their first World Series in 1980. But I knew every player and number on that roster. In second grade, I even wrote an essay on the topic, Who is Your Hero?, on a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. I don't remember who most kids chose. I'm thinking there were a lot of essays about moms and dads. But not me. I wrote my essay about The Bull: Greg Luzinski. But I digress. As a Phillies fan, there was one other thing I learned at a very young age. Before the 1980 championship and even before the essay, I think I could've picked Harry Kalas' voice out of a crowd.

Harry the K. He became the voice of the Phillies in 1971 -- the year I was born. There have been few other Phillies announcers in my lifetime. He shared the booth for 20-some years with another great announcer -- Richie Ashburn. They were quite the pair. In recent years, as Kalas got older and battled some health issues, others have come and gone and his actual commentating time decreased. I believe, at the time of his death, he was really only calling about three innings a game. But he was still there, and he was still The Voice.

I was just commenting a few weeks ago on an autographed photo of Harry Kalas on a high school friend's Facebook page. My comment was that what always comes to mind when I hear Harry Kalas' name is, "That ball is way outta here... homerun, Michael Jack Schmidt!" I have no idea how many times I heard that call while growing up... probably hundreds considering Schmidt hit 500+ homeruns in his career, which pretty much spanned my childhood.

So the unimaginable is, as of yesterday, reality. No more Harry Kalas calls. It's awesome that he got to see the team win the World Series last season, and that he made the call at the end of the final game. It was just one of the Phillies' many milestone achievements and great moments he narrated for millions of fans around Philadelphia and beyond. Two that I remember vividly:

Swing and a long drive, there it is, number 500! The career 500th home run for Michael Jack Schmidt!

The Tugger needs one more...Swing and a miss! Yes, he struck him out! Yes, they did it! The Phillies are world champions!

It's also somewhat fitting that, just last week, it was Kalas who threw out the first pitch prior to what would be the last home Phillies game he would call. His final call was a Phillies win against the Rockies at Coors Field on Easter Sunday.

He left this world while sitting in a press box preparing for a ball game. Really, could it have happened any other way? The only way it could've been more fitting would be had it happened at a home game, rather than here in Washington, DC.

And so ends a life many sports fans can only dream of. It seems Harry Kalas lived his dream, and lived it well. And now... well, now he's "outta here."

Rest in peace.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Frozen Four Fun

Last night we fought traffic and headed downtown to the Verizon Center, which is playing host this weekend to the Frozen Four college hockey tournament. The Friday Night at the Frozen Four event was a skills competition, as well as some award presentations... most noteably the Hobey Baker Award, presented each year to the best college hockey player in the nation.

We grabbed dinner first and then headed inside to scope out the seating situation. (The tickets were general admission, so no assigned seats.) Three things struck me right off the bat when we walked down a tunnel into the arena.

1 - Our hockey friends who had moved way far away and who we knew were in town for this event were standing at the end of the tunnel. We had planned to try to find them last night, so that made it really easy.

2 - All the Capitals banners that hang from the rafters, as well as the Canadian flag (?!) had been taken down, and had been replaced by all the championship banners since the start of the Frozen Four. That means there was one for BGSU's 1984 championship!! :)

3 - There were lost of Boston University people there. LOTS!

We settled into some good seats, and waited for the Hobey Baker presentation. We saw George McPhee (1982 Hobey winner, BGSU graduate, and current GM of the Capitals) come out when the families of the three finalists came out to the presentation area. When the host started talking, we realized we were experiencing a first... we were part of a live audience as the presentation show was being broadcast on ESPNU. Pretty cool.

The three finalists were introduced and we saw video footage of their hockey accolades. Interestingly, the finalists included a forward, a defenseman, and a goalie. While we, of course, had a soft spot for the goalie, we were kind of rooting for the defenseman from BU to win. He seems like a really good kid. The other kid from BU seemed kind of arrogant. But what do we know?

Anyway, in the end, the kid we were rooting for won. :) George was interviewed during the show, as was the 1984 Hobey winner. Very cool.

Then it was on to the skills competition. All the "kids" out there (male and female) looked like they were having a great time. The skills competition was set up much like the one at the NHL All-Star game, so the events were familiar to us. I'm sure we saw some future NHL players on the ice last night. Too bad women can't play in the NHL... some of those "girls" had some sick skills!

Keeper Boy got some autographs afterward, and he thought that was very cool. All in all a great experience. Hubby and Keeper Boy get to go back tonight for the championship game. A teammate of Hubby's gave us two tickets! I don't know if they'll cheer on Miami (a team in the CCHA, just like BGSU) or the favored Boston University. But either way, I know they'll have a blast. I'm a little jealous.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Up 0.4 this week. Must be all the muscle I'm gaining from the yoga and strength training I've been doing the past few days on my new Wii Fit! ;-P Hey, I can rationalize with the best of 'em!

And Hubby went down 2.6 for a total of 20.4 since he started!

Change from last week: +0.4
Change since starting WW: -27.2
Pounds to goal: 14.8

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'm nothing if not consistent. Just think of how much more I could've lost if I could stay out of the Easter candy... and it's not even Easter yet!

And Hubby went down pound for a total of about 18 since he started. (I don't have his exact number this week.)

Change from last week: -0.4
Change since starting WW: -27.6
Pounds to goal: 14.4