Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Heart Kimchi

Last summer while visiting Uncle Vic & Aunt Sharon Uncle Vic had me try something he likes to snack on called kimchi. It is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables (in this case napa cabbage) and spices.

I recently found some at my local grocer made by King's Asian Gourmet out of San Francisco that is wonderful. I am not sure if it is the same brand that Uncle Vic likes or had us try at his house.

If you like cabbage and spicy food, you will love kimchi. According to King's website, there are some amazing health benefits to eating this delicious side dish. It has even been speculated to cure the Asian bird flu!

Madison and I have taken to having some after we get home from school/work everyday. Madison says it makes her tongue tingle she also chants "this is not rotten" as she eats it.

Uncle Vic would be so proud...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Can Women Have it All?

I know it sounds silly but I record Oprah everyday and watch it when I get home. If the show is about a topic I am not so interested in, I just don't bother watching it but that almost never happens. Yesterday it was about news anchor Elizabeth Vargas' decision to step down from her position at ABC News because she was pregnant with her second child. This apparently caused an uproar with the women viewers and sparked a debate between working moms and stay-at-home moms.

First let me start by saying that I have the utmost respect for mom's (and dad's) who make the choice for their family to stay home and raise their children rather than working a formal 9-5 job outside the home. I have a couple of very good friends who are "stay-at-home moms" one of them even home schools her kids. As far as I know, neither of them eat bon-bons all day. I truly believe it is the hardest and most important job on earth.

That being said, I must say that watching the show from my perspective (a working mom) the stay-at-home moms on the show seemed to be attacking and judging the working moms for not raising their kids. Almost as if to say we just drop them off and have no concern for what they are doing all day while we are at work, and are letting "other people" raise our kids for us. Like we love our kids less because we choose to work outside the home. In my experience, that could not be further from the truth. Do I feel passionate about this subject? Of course, because I am passionate about my kids.

As it was said on the show by Dr. Robin, you can be a stay-at-home mom and be exhausted and checked-out and not be doing your children any good at all. The mere fact that you stay at home does not make you a better parent than one that chooses to work outside the home. The important thing is that you are emotionally connected to your kids when you are with them. In my opinion that does not necessarily need to happen between the hours that a working mom is away from the home. If you really think about it, small children nap several hours of the day and then school aged children are away from home several hours of the day. That does not mean working moms do not miss important moments with their children, but they do not miss everything.

My own experience was that I worked several hours of overtime while pregnant, some times 10 hour days so that I could stay at home for 12 weeks after my daughter was born. I then had my mother watch her for the first 8 months of her life. I realize that was not working out when she had every commercial on the TV memorized and knew all the characters names on All My Children. It was at that point that I made the decision to place her in daycare to interact with other children and have some healthy stimulation. I also made a choice when she started school to change jobs to one that was more flexible and closer to my daughter's school to allow me to volunteer in her classroom and not miss any of her school activities. She is 9 now and seems to be a pretty healthy, happy, independent, and well adjusted kid.

While watching the show Brent asked me if it was making me feel guilty. My answer was absolutely not. Staying at home was not an option for me. I was the breadwinner and financially we could not afford to live on one income. Bottom line, you can not be a stay-at-home mom if you are homeless. But I must admit that if it were an option, I think I would still choose to work outside the home. It is what works for me, my daughter, and my family.

It struck me that one of the stay-at-home moms was claiming to be a feminist yet she was being so judgemental toward the working moms on the show. That is not feminism to me. Women need to realize that they need to support each other and the decisions that they make and not judge each other.

Can women have it all? I think the perception of having it all is a bit skewed. I did have to sacrifice my career because I wanted to only work 40 hours a week with no commute. I would have had a higher paying job with more responsibility but that is not my priority at this time in my life. My family is my priority. I work to live not live to work.

I believe that I do have it all. I have a good paying job, a beautiful daughter, a beautiful stepdaughter, a husband who loves and respects me, a great circle of friends, a wonderful extended family, my health (for the most part), a nice home, a bunch of bikes, and a dog.

Who could want any more than that?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our 1st Win!

Madison and Nut had their second league game yesterday against the Lady Senators.

Neither Madison or Nut had much action in the game other than some great passes for Madison. I think Nut was nervous because her brothers were all there to watch her play.

In comparison to last year, the Bobcats are on fire!

Final score (not that we are keeping track) was 18-2

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bailey the Lap Dog

This is Bailey, a greyhound and great dane mix. She belongs to Brent's sister Tracy who rescued her from a shelter. Tracy is a school teacher and had to attend a smart board conference in Texas so we got to Bailey sit this past week.

Bailey has many quirks, probably too many to list. One of them is that she is camera shy. If you take her picture she will run and hide for several hours. In fact, one time we Bailey sat around Christmas time and took her picture and then found her hiding in our shower!

We have wooden floors in our house and another of her new quirks is that she does not like to lay on them. She is not allowed on the furniture at home so we did not allow her on our furniture (so Tracy would not be mad at us for teaching her a new trick).

So when you would pet her, she would inch up onto your lap!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bowling for Soup

Brent and I have really been enjoying the band Bowling for Soup lately. You might have heard their popular song 1985. They are incredible songwriters with a great sense of humor. Fun songs.

Here is a video that just cracks me up. It is their version of the ever popular song by Fergie London Bridge.

We think they pretty much nailed it. What do you think?

You have got to check these guys out, you won't be dissapointed. Warning though, their lyrics are not always appropriate for little ears - like those attached to little children.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Manic(ure) Monday

Brent had to work today but the girls and I were off due to the holiday. They both had some gift cards left from Christmas so we headed to the Douglas shopping center and had some fun. We found some great deals and had a really nice time together. On the way to shopping Shayna said "how bout we all get manicures today, my treat". Very cool idea if I do say so myself.

Shayna started working about a week before Christmas for the City's latch key program. She just got her first check on Friday and insisted that we deposit 100% of it into her bank account. We tried to talk her into spending some of it but she would not do it. Evidently over the weekend, she changed her mind and decided to spend it on the three of us. She got hers done in a hot pink with really pretty airbrushed hearts. Madison and I went for the French manicure with a flower and jewel in the center.

I talked to her about how she works hard for her money and she should treat herself and she agrees. She has decided that she will get a manicure once a month from here on out. Madison got very excited and said "me too?", Shayna said "maybe sometimes but not ALL the time".

Today was a great day, thanks Shayna you are the best!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin

For Christmas Brent and I received a $75.00 gift card from Brent's mom for a wine gallery in South Reno called Luva Bella. Yesterday we went and spent every last cent of it and then 12 more cents. I highly recommend Luva Bella, the service was great. They were not wine snobs and did not treat us like we did not know enough about wine to be shopping there. We basically told the guy our usual price point and what types of wine we normally drink. He made some recommendations and we followed all of them.

We purchased our favorite port, some Cabernet, a merlot, and this Zin. This wine is made by the Gnarly Head Cellars of Manteca California. "The 2005 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is crafted from grapes from 35 to 80 year old vines. Rich, dark berry flavors from the small grape clusters are balanced with French, American and Hungarian oak. Luscious layers of plum, pepper and chocolate provide a lingering and spicy finish." The grapes are actually from Lodi California. We have been to Lodi for a soccer tournament - they pretty much have nothing but vineyards there and unfortunately we did not have time to do any tasting due to our soccer schedule.

Before tasting this wine, our favorite zin was 7 Deadly Zins which we told the gentlemen at the wine gallery. He was out of it, because it is so popular, but recommended this one as being similar. It was not until I was doing research for this blog entry that I realized it was from Lodi also. We still love the 7 Deadly, the Gnarly Head is a bit sweeter and smoother.

The price point for the Gnarly Head is about $12.00 which makes this a great wine all around and is even cheaper than the 7 Deadly which is about $15.00 a bottle.

The Ruybalids give it 2 stemless glasses up!


Yesterday was our first official basketball game for Madison and her cousin Anjeanette. They are on the Bobcats together. Madison is number 5 (as usual) and Nut is number 15.

I had to tell the league that they are sisters so that she could play since Nut doesn't live here in the same town as us. Nut has 3 older brothers who are all involved in sports and 4 sisters who are also active. So I signed her up and then told my sister that I would take her to practices and games so that she could play.

My sister is pretty amazing but as far as I know, she does not posses the power of being in more than one place at a time. The schedule has been pretty convenient and I have not had to do that nor has my sister had to miss a game or practice. It is easier on the whole family to be able to see both the kids play at the same time not to mention the girls think it is pretty cool to be on the same team.

The game was pretty evenly matched so that was fun. It is a recreational league so they don't put the score on the scoreboard forcing us parents to do MATH. Between the 5 adults there watching we have no idea what the final score was. I am pretty sure the Jammers won but only by a couple not that it matters right? Madison and Nut both made a basket so that was cool.

Our friend Todd is the assistant coach and he is pretty great with the girls they all love him. When they first started out with practices they were trying to teach the 3rd and 4th grade girls plays and strategy and they were just not getting it. Todd asked me what I thought and I told him that they need to shoot baskets and it will all come together. They changed the plan and it was exactly what the girls needed. They like to do drills and shoot hoops, all that other stuff makes their pretty little heads hurt.

I can't get over how much basketball resembles dancing...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Oh Baby it's Cold Outside

I have been having a tough time getting back into the swing of things with my riding. When I was injured I was in great shape but 7 weeks of not riding and the holidays have pretty much ruined that. I am doing OK, but it is tough. The first week was the worst. I was in tears almost every day on my way back to work from the ride. It was so hard physically and maybe even harder mentally.

The weather has not been very cooperative either. In fact just yesterday, it was a whopping 16 degrees outside and snowing when we went on the ride. It was fun though, I love to ride in the show especially the first day it snows where there is all the fresh powder. On our way back to our respective offices, we spotted a guy in the middle of the road crouching down to take our picture. Turns out he is from the local newspaper and took down our names. We might be in the paper!

I think when it comes to anything that I do, I am my own worst enemy. I am just too hard on myself. I guess if I wasn't I would not be where or who I am today so it is not all bad.

I have decided that I will just take this recovery period one ride at a time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just Like Riding a Bike

Check out my post from Facility Bike Club about getting back on the bike...feels so good to be home.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chocolate Amore

Brent's cousins Alycia and Sean got us a beautiful wine basket for Christmas this year. It had two stemless glasses, some chocolates, and this fantastic port from the Trentadue Winery called Chocolate Amore.

We just finished it off last night after dinner. Words can not really describe the taste of this other than liquid chocolate...it is wonderful.

Thank you Sean and Alycia for our little slice of heaven this Christmas season!

The Tooth Fairy

Madison lost another tooth on Monday night during dinner. When she went to bed she placed said tooth proudly in her tooth fairy box.

Later that night, I went in to her room to check on her and checked to make sure that she remembered to put her tooth in the box for the tooth fairy.

The next morning she tried to tell me that I was in fact the tooth fairy!

Silly girl...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goodbye Aircast

You can get the story here at my biking club blog.

My bike is down right now. Brent got me some pink cable housing for my shifter cables for Christmas and when he went to install them there was not enough. Luckily Dan the man had another set at his shop. They are limited edition only sold in October for breast cancer awareness. So I drove us to the shop to pick them up. It was the first time I had driven in 6 weeks!

After dinner I am going to do Spinervals to warm up for the ride tomorrow.

Wish me luck...

An Inconvenient Truth

Last night Brent and I sat the girls down and watched An Inconvenient Truth together.

This is a documentary about global warming. It is a beautifully done film, very artistic while at the same time very scary and sad. It left me feeling a sense of urgency to do my part and an enormous sense of sadness at what has happened to our plant. I also feel defeated, like no matter what I do it will not be enough. Not to mention the polar bears!

I also found myself incredibly angry that Al Gore was defeated by Bush and found myself wondering what could have been if that had not happened. What that one State did to us as a nation with that election. I could go on and on but that is not the message I am here to send.

If you are still on the fence, read the review here.

If you love your planet
If you love your children
You have to see this film

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ms. Scarlet In the Conservatory with a Rope

Happy New Year!

We had a nice quiet New year's eve at home with Madison. Brent made a pot of his famous chili and I made a veggie tray. We also had salami and cheese, nuts, etc.

At the last minute we invited some friends but they we not able to make it. When I put out the veggie tray Madison said it looked pretty and "that sucks that nobody gets to see it" to which I responded "you know what doesn't suck?" "we can double dip!"

Since it was a pajama party, Madison and I wore matching jammies. This was the first time I have had Madison on New Year's in quite a few years so it was pretty exciting. Last year she had lots of fun at her dad's and even called me at midnight to wish me Happy New Year.

We played several board games. While Brent watched the end of his football game Madison and I played Scrabble and then Disney edition of Sorry. Then when Brent was ready we played the Monsters Inc. version of Life and then it was time for our favorite...Clue! Madison is not a good secret keeper so it makes it real easy to play with her. After Clue, we played Yahtzee.

The next morning, Madison jumped out of bed and said "wanna play Clue mommie?" and ran down stairs to set up the game while I cleaned up the house from our party.

It was a very peaceful night spent with the ones I love - you can't ask for anything more.