Friday, July 25, 2008

Pillow Talk

It's been almost a week since Tony and I got back from my OK vacation with my sister and her kids. While we were there the sleeping arrangements were that Kristen (my 11 year old niece), Tony and I slept together in my room in one King size bed, and Rachael and her other 3 kids shared the other room with 2 double beds. It worked out well, everyone had a place to sleep. I had tried to get 2 beds in my room, but they didn't have any available and Kristen didn't seem to mind sleeping with me. The plan was for Tony to sleep in the crib the hotel provided, but he would not have it, he would cry, cry, cry in the crib, as soon as I put him in bed with me he would stop crying and go to sleep. So the three of us slept together every night, along with Kristen's menagerie which included a giant teddy bear named Junky, a sock monkey, a beanie pig and her favorite blanket. We had some very interesting conversations at night before falling asleep. Here a few that I can remember.

Kirsten: Lori how many kids are you going to have?
me: I don't know, how many do you think I should have?
Kristen: I think 4 is the perfect amount. (I wonder where she got that idea from?)
me: I don't know, 4 seems like a lot to me, I don't know if I can handle that many, your mom has her hands full with you kids.
Kristen: Well if you do have another boy, could you please name him Tommy? So then you'll have Tony Boloney and Tommy Salami?
Me: I don't know Kristen, we'll have to wait and see. But I will definitely keep it in mind, those are great nicknames you've come up with.

By the way, Tony was called Tony Baloney the entire trip by all the kids, even Rach and I started calling him that too, it's kind of catchy. Kristen and I even made up with a little song that goes like this:

I think I like baloney, because it rhymes with Tony,

but if my name were Tommy, I think I'd like salami,

or even pastrami.

Me: Anyway Kristen, I thought you said you wanted to have 18 kids when you grow up.
Kristen: I do.
Me: you are crazy, do know how hard that is going to be? For example how will you go anywhere, you can't even all fit in one car!
Kristen: I'm going to buy a school bus.
Me: Well how will you afford all those kids, never mind clothes, and food, think about how much it would cost you to go to just one gift shop and have to buy something for all 18 kids. You'll go broke. (Rach's kids have an extreme fascination with gift shops, they LOVE them, more than the zoo, amusement park or any fun place associated with the gift shop. We could not go anywhere without them asking if it had a gift shop and if they could please, please, please have something from it.)
Kristen: oh, I'm not going to do all that mumbo jumbo.
me: Please, you not take your kids to a gift shop, you couldn't stand it, you are always begging to go.
Kristen: No I don't, that's always Katya and Jack, I don't even have to ask anymore, they do all the asking and I just get to get the gifts. (smart girl)

Also on this trip Kristen showed that she is not far from being a teenager, sleeping in until 10 every morning while the rest of us would be down the hall having breakfast in the concierge room. She is also not very tolerant to being disturbed while sleeping, so I was always worried when Tony would wake up during the night that she would get mad, but she never complained, thankfully it takes a lot to wake her up. Here is another conversation we had about sleep.

Me: Kristen, I think I like sleep more than you do, and if I didn't have Tony I could outsleep you any day. I think could sleep till 11 or 12 everyday.
Kristen: No, I could outsleep you if I didn't have all these monsters waking me up everyday.
Me: what monsters?
Kristen: Katya, Jack, Ben, (and after a few seconds adds) and especially mom.

And here is another funny thing she said that Rach told me about.
Kristen has also decided that she likes the taste of coffee after Auntie NayNay let her try it once. So on the trip Rachael allowed her to have decaf coffee once in a while or if we went to Starbucks she got a decaf latte. The other kids would drink hot cocoa in the mornings. One morning after I had gone back to the room and the kids were having breakfast Ben picked up my togo coffee cup which I had left there and started to drink it, and Jack quickly stopped him and said "don't drink it Ben, that's Kristen's coffee."
Kristen: No it's not mine, it has lipstick on it, I don't wear lipstick!
Jack: But your a girl, why don't you?
Kristen: Because Lori is a grown woman and I am a girl! there is a big difference! duh!

The weird thing is, that it wasn't my coffee cup, we don't know who's it was, but when Rachael told me the story I had to stop her and tell her it wasn't mine, I wasn't wearing lipstick either (at 7:30am!) and didn't leave my coffee cup there, so we don't really know who's drink it was, but it still was a funny conversation between Jack on Kristen.

Kristen and Tony with their new matching cowboy boots.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

Todd is always complaining of various aches and pains, usually it's his neck, and I am never sure how big a deal to make out of it. Sometimes I really wonder because he is relentless about it at times, and I usually down play just about any medical complaint people make to me. I have been an ER nurse long enough to know that 9 times out of 10 there isn't anything seriously wrong. (but yes I also agree sometimes it's best to make sure it's nothing) So since he frequently complains, just to make sure it isn't something serious I will ask him how bad it hurts on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the worst) which is what I have to ask all my patients in the ER. No matter what they come in for, everyone must have a pain scale documented on their chart. I hate the pain scale sometimes, especially when they say 12 and yet they are still talking on their cell phone, or watching TV or eating their McDonald's they brought in with them. Anyway, tonight Todd made a new scale for me. After I made what I thought was an excellent dinner, and even considered putting the recipe on my blog, Todd tells me, as he is walking out the door, that it was a 7.5. Yes he was talking about dinner. Basically he explained that it was good, but I've made better. I had to ask him what I've made better, because I think my eggplant parm is probably the best thing I know how to make. He couldn't think of anything, but was sure I had.

Whatever, I give it a 10/10, so here is the recipe for my eggplant Parmesan. In the summer when eggplant is plenty, I make it a lot. I never order it in restaurants because I hate seeds, and so I have to make sure I get the eggplant at it's most perfect ripeness so there are minimal seeds.

Slice one eggplant thin (about 1/4 inch, it's better to be too thin than too thick, otherwise it doesn't cook all the way through).
Dip in beaten egg first and then in a mixture of Italian seasoning breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Place breaded eggplant slices in hot skillet (med/hi) with olive oil* and brown on both sides. (about 3 minutes each side)
Place on a cookie sheet, put a small spoonful of your favorite spaghetti sauce on top of each piece and then sprinkle with Mozzarella/Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to allow eggplant to finish cooking and to brown the cheese.
Serves 2.
Serve with spaghetti and whatever else you like.

If you want to make a lot, you can put it in a casserole dish and even layer it if you like.

*You don't have to use a lot of olive oil, just enough to brown the eggplant. I usually put about a 1/4 cup or less in a large fry pan.

So if you like eggplant, give it a try it's so good and so easy to make.

Oh, and apparently bloggers spell check isn't working again, so pardon any miss-spellings

Friday, July 18, 2008

quick update

Just in case you all are wondering what we are up to down in OK (mom, Shannon and Francie) we are doing well. Trying to stay cool as best we can. It is so hot down here. Rachael and I are a bit overwhelmed with all the non stop of the kids, both of us are so ready for a break from the kids, so this afternoon we are going to the movies, Dad gets to go see a kids movie with the 4 kids and Rachael and I are going to see Mama Mia with Tony. It shows during his naptime, so hopefully he will sleep through the whole thing. It's a musical and he sleeps with music so I'm hoping it will all work out fine.
Then tonight we are having dinner up on the hill with the whole C********* family. Should be fun.
We aren't blogging much because we have very little down time to do so. At the beginning of the trip we had way more energy, so when the kids were being good watching a movie in the room or Tony was napping, we would blog a bit to catch you all up. Now, what little free time we have we are too tired to blog. Yesterday while Rach's kids were at the water park and I was at the hotel with Tony so he could nap, I was tempted to blog, but after about 5 minutes decided to nap too.

Oh and this morning while I was showering and getting dressed I saw what suspiciously looks like a roach in the bathroom. Hmm, the Hampton inn is definitely no Marriott by a long shot, but a roach?? I am tempted to complain and see where it gets me, Rach said she found one in her room too.

Actually the Hampton Inn is a rather nice hotel, but after staying at the Marriott with bell boys and room service and concierge service and you know all the amenities that come with a 4 star hotel sort of spoiled us. Even the kids are spoiled. When we got here they started complaining about the stuff that wasn't as great as the Marriott, like the pool for starters.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A few pictures from the zoo

This is my happy baby last evening after our trip to the zoo and only having one morning nap. I can't believe how well he is holding up on this trip with his normal schedule pretty much on hold til we get back home. Here we are all at the zoo, and we were quite the sight I'm sure. Grandma Annie didn't want to go to the zoo because she said she can't be in the sun all day, we told her we have sunscreen, then she said she can't walk that far, so we told her we would rent her a wheelchair. So really she had no excuse and she actually had a good time. Poor Rachael had to push her around in the WC and it was really hilly, so she was either really pushing hard or struggling to hold onto the chair when going down the hills. The didn't have baby strollers to rent, just toddler ones, but luckily we ran into a gal at the zoo who was staying at our hotel and she said she had a stroller in her car we could use. So we got lucky again.
Here are all the kids at the zoo when we first got there before they were too hot.
Cooling off under the mister, it was 100 degrees and very hum id.
Looks like I might have to break down and give Tony a bath, he hasn't had one since we got here. We go swimming every day and the pool is almost like a bathtub, it's hot enough anyway, I think they heat it like the hot tub. Anyway between the swimming, sweating, and sunscreen his hair is pretty wild.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Queens of Free

We have been falling upon freebies right and left it seems ever since our big hotel ordeal. The first morning we were here we decided to skip the $14/person breakfast buffet (even though it looked very good) and find the closest McDonald's with a playland so we could sip coffee and visit while the kids played. After driving to 3 different McDonald's and still not finding one with a playland, we gave up and ended up at a pancake house. Later that night we realized that we are staying on the concierge floor, we thought they put us all the way at the top to keep us as far away from the rest of the hotel guests as possible (due to the amount of kids we have in tow) but maybe they were just being nice. Either way, we realized that when you stay on that floor you get a free continental breakfast in the morning and in the evening they serve appetizers and drinks for free. The children are not allowed in the room in the evenings because they serve alcohol, and the lady who is in charge of the concierge room feels really bad that the kids can't come in and get snacks, so she offered to let them buy a movie in the hotel room and she would take care of the bill. She also let us take out as many platefuls of food that we want for them to eat in the room. Then she also offered to send up cookies and milk to the room for a bedtime snack for the kids after they were done swimming. Wow, were starting to get spoiled just a little here. This Oklahoma trip that we were taking out of obligation and were kind of dreading just a little is turning out to be a rather fun AND cheap vacation after all.
Today we decided to go to the zoo after lunch and again got lucky. As I was kneeling down outside the entrance looking for Tony's hat, a lady says to me "are you paying to come to the zoo?" I said yes, not really sure what she meant, since I didn't think there was any other way to get into the zoo. But then she says she has a corporate card and can get in 4 adults and 10 children with her card. I told her there was quite a few more people with us and she said don't worry, they will let everyone in, so we got into the zoo for free. We added it up and we saved about $50 on admittance fees. Pretty cool huh?
So free breakfast, free evening snacks, free movie, free cookies and milk and a free trip to the zoo in addition to the big freebie of the hotel I'd say we are making out pretty well so far. Which is actually a good thing, since we have been treating the family (grandma, aunt, uncle, cousin and dad) everywhere we go.

Kid swap

Since I took Rach's kids to the pool this morning so she could blog, I mean watch Tony during his nap, I didn't have the luxury of blogging about our adventures yesterday. But it was a fun and interesting day, and she writes better than me anyway, so if you want to read about it, head over to her blog.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I threw a fit that would make my mother and sister Francie proud and embarrass just about everyone else I know.

So yesterday we, meaning my sister Rachael, her 4 kids, my 1 kid and myself, started our road trip to OK before the sun came up. Our goal was to leave by 5 and we were on the road by 5:45 which is very good for us to only be starting off 45 minutes behind schedule. The drive went pretty smoothly most of the way, we made several stops for food, bathroom and gas, but overall was much smoother, quieter, and pleasant than we expected it to be and our 12 hour drive only took us 14 1/2 hours. We were quite pleased with our time.
About 2 hours before we were to arrive at our hotel, I received a phone call from the Crown Plaza hotel saying that they were having a problem with the A/C and they were not going to be able to accommodate us. They would be moving us down the street to the Country inn and suites, and to make it up to us they would be paying the first night on both of our rooms for us. Sounds pretty good right? Wrong! The Crown Plaza is a 4 star hotel and the Country inn and suites is a 2 star hotel. So needless to say I was not at all happy that they were not holding up their end of the agreement and we were being moved to a hotel that would not have adjoining rooms nor would they have poolside rooms as we had reserved at the Crown Plaza. Shouldn't they move us to an equal or greater hotel? You would think so right?
So I started calling around to some different hotels, because even if it meant paying a little more or not getting the first night free, I wanted what I reserved or something at least similar. I mean really how many places can you go on vacation and stay in a 4 star hotel for under $100? (Because I booked 3 weeks ago, I received an advanced reservation locked in low rate of $93 per night (regular price is $169 per night) with the understanding that it was non refundable, should we cancel our reservation we would be paying for the entire stay. I guess because it was such a good deal).
I found a Marriott on the same street as the Crown Plaza and gave them a call. They were indeed a 4 star hotel, had an outdoor pool, and adjoining rooms available for the 4 nights. They were $169 a night though. I told the girl at the Marriott what happened and she said she couldn't believe they moved us to the Country inn and suites, and that the Marriott and Crown Plaza often swap clients when they overbook their hotel. She said I should call the Crown Plaza back and get mean if I had to. So that is what I did and the conversation went like this.

me: I do not think it is right for you to move us to a 2 star hotel when we booked a room at your 4 star hotel. I would like you to move us to the Marriott because they are more equivalent in quality to your hotel.

CP: If you want to move to the Marriott we could do that for you but they are full and don't have any availability.

me: Yes they do, I just spoke with them, but here's the problem, they are $169 a night and we want you to pick up the difference in price because we did not have the luxury of booking an advanced low rate with them because we were locked into paying at your hotel. So I think your hotel should pick up the amount over $93.

CP: We can't do that, you will have to negotiate the price with them, all we can do is pay for the first night, after that it is your responsibility. If you don't like what we are offering you than you should find reservations elsewhere.

me: Then I need to speak with your supervisor.

CP: I am the manager.

me: I need to speak with your manager, maybe you need to call him on the phone if he is not there, but I need to speak with him right away.

CP: There is no one else here, I am the manager, there is no one else you can talk to.

me: Crown Plaza is a very large hotel chain and I am quite certain that there is someone higher than you and I want to talk to him.

CP: I will call my boss at home and have him call you on your cellphone.

me: Okay, if I don't hear from him very soon I will be at your front counter in 1 hour and will not be happy.

Rachael was pretty sure I had crossed the line and were would likely end up with nothing now. But 10 minutes later my phone rings and Avenis (the managers boss) from the CP calls me and says that he is very sorry for the problem we have encountered and he is going to book us at the Marriott as I requested and he is going to pay for both rooms for all 4 nights. He apologized profusely and all was good. We were super excited about having the whole thing for free, we never even asked for the first night free, we just wanted what we booked or something equivalent for the same price.

Another 20 minutes later Avenis calls back again and says we will be staying a the Courtyard by Marriott which is a nice hotel right next to a mall and has a pool. He assured us that we would be very happy there. (We have malls at home too, sorry that does not entice us in the least!)

me: Um, no, you said you were putting us at the Marriott, why are you changing it now?

Avenis: They can only accommodate you for 2 nights.

me: No, I spoke with them already and they have availability all 4 nights.

Avenis: Okay I will double check that and get back with you.

5 minutes later all is good and we are back at the Marriott.

I really hated throwing such a fit, but I can't tell you how much I was looking forward to having poolside rooms so that when Tony was napping I could sit at the pool. When I booked the reservation they made it clear that they would charge my card if I cancelled because they were giving me such a good deal. I found the rate on Orbitz and Crown Plaza has a disclaimer that they guarantee the lowest published fare, so they were not excited about giving it to us for that price but a guarantee is a guarantee.

Anyway it was a pretty dramatic last 2 hours of our drive and the kids that had been so good for the entire trip were falling apart rapidly. Once we arrived at the hotel we all changed into our swimsuits and went for a swim at the pool and ordered pizza. And I think we are staying at a better hotel than the Crown Plaza. This pool is half indoor half outdoor so we get the best of both. We were really torn as to what kind of pool we wanted, it's so hot in OKC that most hotels have indoor pools, but we really thought we would want to get some sun so we opted for the outdoor. Now we have both. The only drawback is that the rooms aren't poolside, so I am here in the room while Tony is napping. The room is free though, so I'm not complaining anymore.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A new football fan in the making

Just wanted to make a new post, but don't have time to write one. So you get to see these lovely pictures I took of Tony in the backyard the other day. Isn't he a adorable? Sorry I can't help it.

Anyway, so much to do, so little time before our big trip to Oklahoma so better get going.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Six

Everybody's doing it, and I am a follower at times, so I have been pondering over my six for a few days now. My six words to sum up my life that is. Which is really quite hard to do. I thought I had it figured out yesterday when I gave my cousin wrong directions to my house. The sad part is that she was coming from the next town and I have made that drive at least a hundred times in the past year. So yesterday I was sure that this was my six:

Blond at heart, striving for brunette

The blond at heart is pretty self explanatory after my little intro. I am always saying and doing things that are stereotypically blond things to do. The striving for Brunette, is because I swear I don't do it on purpose and I hate that I often say things without thinking first, get lost going everywhere, including home, and would embarrass myself miserably if I were ever on Jay Leno's Jay walking where he stops random people and asks them questions that everyone should know.

Then this morning I was going for my run, while looking at Tony's cute little baby feet, I was also thinking about my six. I was pretty sure I was sticking with the six above, but was trying to come up with a more clever way to say the same thing, and then I remembered I have a hair appointment today to get highlights. I thought that was ironically funny. I used to have highlights, but have gone back to my natural brown for the past 2 years. I decided that my blond behavior is more acceptable when I actually have blond hair.

And then... track 12 of my running CD that my friend made me started playing. I have no idea what song it is, she burned the CD from her itunes and it doesn't give song names, just track #'s. It starts out... Life is good, I can't complain... I mean I could but no one would listen. I decided that was a much more fitting six. I really do have a good life, a perfect husband, (he tells me this all the time) an almost perfect family (just kidding ya'll) and a perfect baby (confirmed by his pediatrician). I have everything I need. Of course there are plenty of things I want, this currently being at the top of my list.

Seriously though, I really have been blessed with a good life which I am so thankful for, and pray that it continues, because hopefully I have a lot more life to live.

So it was settled, my new six would be...

Life is good, I can't complain

But I do complain a lot, about little non important stuff, so maybe it should be, life is good, I shouldn't complain.

Then I heard another song on the radio and contemplated changing my six to...

...I got it from my mamma

(just kidding)

So not to put too much more thought and effort into finding six words to summarize my life my final six will be....

Life is good, I can't shouldn't complain

So go ahead and take the challenge and try to find your six. If you want to see what my sisters and mom picked for their six go here: Rachael, Shannon, and Mom.

By the way, if you do it be sure and leave me a comment so I can go read it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Flight of ideas

Flight of ideas is a continuous flow of rapid speech that jumps from topic to topic, usually based on loose associations, distractions, or plays on words, but in severe cases so rapid as to be disorganized and incoherent. (A symptom often associated with bipolar, schizophrenia and ADHD)

In case your wondering, I don't have bipolar, schizophrenia or ADHD. I became familiar with the term flight of ideas in nursing school during my psych rotation, and for some reason I like the term and I use it loosely in reference to myself sometimes when I feel like I have a flight of random ideas (thoughts) running through my mind.

Be careful what you wish for... I have been off work the last 5 days and working really hard at getting Tony to sleep through the night. We have made huge progress. Sunday and Monday night he only woke up one time to eat quickly and go back to bed. Then last night, he went to bed at 7:30pm and didn't wake up until 5:30am. (applause) The problem was, he had 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep and he was so rested he wouldn't go back to bed. So I was up at 5:30 as well. Hmm, I think I liked it better when he woke up at 3 or 4 to eat and then went back to sleep until 8. I guess we will see what happens over the next few days, but hopefully 5:30 does not become his new wake up time.

But wow, when you get up that early, your day is so much longer and you can be so much more productive. Tony and I went for a 5 mile run and ate breakfast all before 9am.

The down side to getting up that early is that Tony's schedule was all screwed up and he was kind of grumpy this morning when we went to get professional photos taken at the beach. Which by the way, all of you who told me that T******** beach is just over the bridge, were wrong. There are quite a few more turns after the bridge and I'm lucky I found the place, my GPS was of no help either. Tony did not act like his usual happy smiling self. He didn't like the sand, he immediately got it in his mouth, and he didn't like the sun in his eyes either. Lucky for me I hired an excellent photographer and she managed to get some great shots despite his lack of cooperation. One of my favorites is in his swimsuit down by the water with the Lighthouse and Pier in the background. I hope his Grandma's and Aunties want pictures cause I ordered a lot. There were so many good ones to choose from. I want to go back some evening when it isn't too sunny and take some family pictures. It's such a good photo spot. Maybe I can get my sister Francie to take the pictures.

On my way home I was so excited to see that gas was only $3.91, I stopped to fill up and the car wasn't even on empty. It was just such a good deal I couldn't resist. Isn't that funny? $3.91 a good deal? I remember back when I first started driving and gas was only 99 cents per gallon.
Which was only 15 years ago. For some reason, the fact that I've only been driving for 15 years makes me feel young.

Then when I got home... I discovered my dog had torn into the trash again! I am so tired of coming home to find shreds of the trash bag all over the kitchen floor. Our trash can is in the cupboard so you have to open the cupboard and the trash can is in a wire holder, so he pulls at the bag until he can either completely pull it out, or just shreds the bag to pieces. Either way, it makes me very mad. I even put stuff in front of the trash door so he can't easily get to it, and he manages to push it away every time. Seriously, I can't take it anymore. If I come home one more time and he has gotten into it again I am getting his old crate out and that is where he will go when I am not home.

Did I mention I already ran today? I have the whole day to not have to worry about the when, if and how I'm going to fit in a run. Such a good feeling. I guess if Tony continues with the early morning wake up time, the one plus is that he and I can go running before it gets hot outside.

Oh and one more thing for all you runners or walkers out there. Did you know you can go to and it will measure the distance you ran. It even had my little rural dead end streets on there. It is so cool, I can't believe I didn't know about this website before. You can also put in your stats, like height, weight, age and time and it will give you your distance, pace and calories burned. It's very cool, if your a runner you should definitely check it out.