The Chocolate Lady

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Twilight Fans enjoy...or Proud Mommy part 2

I am proud of each of my children...for so many different is just one more reason Im proud to be Andrew's mom...his continued involvement to help find a cure for pediatric cancers.

He made a PSA for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, with Twilight Actor; Peter Facinelli (who is a SUPER nice and down-to-earth guy) Here is a photo from the video shoot. And below is a link to the commercial which will be airing nationwide.

Video which should be airing nationwide soon

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Proud Mommy

It' almost Mother's Day, and my oldest baby is at Boy Scout Camp....I miss him.....

perfect time to show off one of the gazillion reasons why I am proud of Pooper....


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Common Sense is Boring

Im a little annoyed right now, as I realize that the chaos in my life is directly, inversely proportional to the lack of common sense in others.

Ive long had a lack of tolerance of idiocracy (which is officially a word, according to me), inefficiency, and arrogance...but when combined, they equal the decision makers at our medical group, which really sets me off.

I spend hours upon hours talking round and round with bureaucrats over decisions, where people like to mince terminology and processes...HELLO, how about we just use COMMON SENSE!

Perhaps that would be too boring. First of all, it would cut out the drama in my life, significantly x 1000, and then perhaps, the busy bureaucrats wouldnt have anything to do if they couldnt push my papers all around stamping, "DENIED" all over them.

Confused? Let me explain, using a dash of common sense, for clarity;

Pooper, as a cancer survivor, is at risk for secondary cancers, including skin cancer.

Pooper sees his pediatric oncologist every 3 months, which includes complete blood work. Not only is she a pediatrician, she is also an oncologist, just for clarity sake.

Our insurance has approved these visits, you would think that means they trust the doctor.

When said SPECIALIST (pediatric oncologist) identifies suspicious growths, she requests that they be mapped and biopsied by a dermatologist (also a specialist)

That seems pretty, obvious, right? I mean, yeah....they are suspicious, he is at risk, lets have them biopsied and mapped, right?

No...of course not, that would be using some common sense, and it would reduce the red tape that is strangling me.

What would be much better is to DENY the request, and then when someone calls asking WHY? You get to say things like;

The pediatrician wants to see if it is necessary (first of all a pediatric oncologist - ie. more of an expert - already said it was necessary, and if the plain old pediatrician says its not necessary, who's opinion should I trust? AND WHY ARE WE CREATING EXTRA STEPS IN THIS GAME?)

The pediatric oncologist (not to be confused with the plain ole pediatrician) didnt make it clear that is is necessary. Hmmm, really? So, her expertise and evaluation and request WERE NOT CLEAR?

You can just appeal it Really, oh good, I was sort of looking how to spend all the free time that I have (when Im not taking my son to extra doctors visits and playing ring-around-on-the-phone with insurance folk) but that doesnt answer the question; WHY IS IT BEING DENIED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Let's see a show of hands, who thinks it's pretty obvious that he needs to see a dermatologist?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Im not French, Im a mom!

I remember the first day of French Conversation. It was college, 1983, and it started out perfectly, with the most adorable French teacher. She was here for a year, from France. She was young, maybe mid-late 20's, with big doe eyes, straight, shoulder length brown hair.

Bon Jour!

I dont remember her name. But, I sure do remember her outfit that first day. I have always loved, loved nautical stuff...and I can tell you with detail about the sailor outfit she wore, including the white tights, white pumps, navy sweater, it was tres chic.

I left that first day, excited for the semester ahead. It was a class that met 5 days a week, and with an authentic French professor, I knew I was going to really blossom with my conversation skills (it's all about the conversation, no?)

Day 2, and...ooh la la...maybe it was the college culture influencing my thought processes, but all I could think, was, "Wow, I guess she hooked up with someone and never made it home." Because, there she was, in the SAME EXACT OUTFIT. She was very demure, you know, she looked like a little French doll....never letting on that, she stays the night with people unexpectedly. Hmmmm.

Day 3 came, and there was an elephant in the room,,,, an elephant that looked like a French girl in a nautical ensemble that included white tights, white pumps, and a navy sweater. By now, her hair was greasy....I mean, she obviously had found some hot new American guy, and apparently could only pull herself away to teach this class, because she surely wasnt going home to change clothes or even take a shower.

Ill never forget day 4. Yes, same outfit, same white tights, and now, she had braids..messy braids. If she was in the midst of some hot love affair, couldnt they at least take it to the shower, because braiding your hair does not hide how greasy it has gotten, not at all.

Day 5 was like a breath of fresh air...clean hair, new outfit....and I wondered. Did she break away for the sake of hygiene? Had she been spoken to for letting her professorial responsibilities slide? Perhaps the fling was over...I wondered sadly.

Well, as the semester continued, I realized, that her appearance had less to do with a torrid love life of one night stands, and more to do with the French culture. Specifically, the cultural practice of not bathing regularly.

Yeah, I know. There went my whole ideal of this elegant language. The people dont shower (or wash their hair, or shave.)

I was 17, and the thought of going a day without a shower was not in my reality. I guess if you were stranded in an airport or something overnight, you wouldnt be able to shower, but....yuck! And, by the way, showering always included washing my hair, etc.

Fast forward to some decades later, and I might as well just pull out some white tights and braid my hair. I mean, my showering frequency, on a good week, is every 2-3 days. Seriously.

I realize Im going to lose friends with this post. It's not OC Housewives-ish to look greasy. Some of you will forego the hugs for a wave from a distance, I do know that. But it's ok. Im a mom now. I care less about what people think, and more about meeting the needs of my children...making lunches, folding laundry, taxi rides to schools and doctors appointments, lots of cuddling, and spending hours with my daughter finding all the Justin Beiber videos on youtube.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Sorry no post today, Im busy gathering up some ingredients to make this amazing cake.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What the heck is a blog?

"What is a blog?" asked my new, loud talking friend.

"It's like Seinfeld, in writing" I answered

....and that's the best answer I have, short of rambling on about the content of my favorite blogs.

I'm attracted to the intelligent writing, that can take the day-to-day happenings in life, and make them relevant, and meaningful, and funny. Brief, yet witty, impacting me, like a shot of espresso for the soul.

One of my favorite bloggers, Bossy is on a national tour, visiting cities all across the country, meeting up with her blog readers, primarily other bloggers.

I was honored to be her "host" for Orange County, and I hope she was comfortable in the non-lavish (spare room, mostly used to stash my scrapbooking projects) quarters, which have also been home-away-from-home to the famous blogger, Grandma J.

Bossy's tour is sponsored by she gets to travel with her handsome auto (named Harrison, because, everyone needs a companion on the road, or at least it's good to pretend.) She also is sponsored by Burger King, because next to a good nights sleep, a girl needs a good breakfast sandwich....

Bossy came out in 2008, and we had a great time with friends at Las Brisas, in Laguna Beach. We met there again last night, 9 of us, and laughed, and ate, and enjoyed great company.

Part way through the night, A loud laugh bounded through the room, and then the man continued to talk in his same bellowing voice, (IMAGINE TALKING IN YOUR LOUDEST VOICE) ...well, that is what this guy did:

Recognizing great blog inspiration when I hear it, I wandered over near the mans table, hoping to maybe get a picture of the "world's loudest talking man" and as I did he shouted, "HEY, THOSE PEOPLE ALL HAVE NAMETAGS, I WONDER WHY THEY NEED NAMETAGS"

Well, this was my perfect lead-in, so I said, "Hey, we all know each other from our online blogs, and are meeting up...thus the name tags."

"Huh? What's a blog??" he said, his voice hushed with confusion.

So, we chatted about. I tried to explain blogging to the nice guy and his friends....but I dont expect non-bloggers to get it, I just dont.

For those of us that blog, reading others' blogs is enjoyable. It's a great way to get in some reading, some laughs, some inspiration. Keeping our own blog site is a great way to express our own creativity by sharing, our humor, our thoughts, our lives.

If you have a favorite blog site, share it here....and dont forget to share your own blog address too.

By the way, tonight, Bossy is meeting up with her readers in Los Angeles. I hope YOU are having fun!

AND, Im going to be posting a special give away on my Chocolate Blog, later tonight...stop by to win!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The making of an obsession

Stroll back in time with me, BEFORE the Haiti earthquake. For some reason, my 9 year old son, Pooper, was interested in earthquakes. He liked to read about the, "ring of fire" and look on the USGS website, monitoring the latest quakes happening along the pacific circle.

Periodically, which means, almost every day, if not hourly, he would look quizically, and run upstairs. He would return a while later, very self assured, and tell me, "I knew it, we just had a 1.2" or "yeah, that was the 3.5 in Alaska that I felt"

He wasnt nervous, he wasnt scared, he just seemed very interested in the seismic activity occuring around the globe.


Then one night....while others were sleeping, I was watching the late night news, and heard of the major quake in Haiti.

Fan-tastic-o! NOT!~ this meant that Pooper's new passion was not going to be dying down any time soon.

and then there was Chile....and all those other international quakes which Pooper has now memorized and placed in his tectonic files.

Easter 2010 has most assuredly cemented Pooper's future as a Cal Tech Seismologist. He was sleeping when the shaking began...but it was so strong, and lasted for 1/2 of forever, that by the time it finally stopped, he was gathered together with the family, away from windows and heavy pictures on walls. When it was done, Poopers coveted bowling trophy had been knocked off a shelf....certainly this has made a life-long impact on his psyche.

And, if that all wasnt enough....

Apparently, our playroom is on a fault line.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Career Day

Recently, at an elementary school, they had "career day".....where the children were asked to draw a picture of their parent at work.

One little girl turned in this.....

Yeah, I know! What is this world coming to???

Later in the week, the children were able to take their graded drawings home (in case their parents were hoarders that wanted to keep every last stitch of paper their kid had ever written/drawn/created.)

The following day, the little girl brought this note to her teacher:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be perfectly clear on my child's homework illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint surrounded by male customers with money. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.



Now, some of you might be saying, "HEY! I already read that story on
Grandma J's website!! "

And to that I would say....yeah, you did. One of the perks of being family, is borrowing things. Like, if Grandma J had some really cute shoes, or a big pair of 3 carat diamond earrings, it would be totally cool if I borrowed them, even without asking, because we are family, and that's how we roll.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The best invention, EVAH

Not only is this the best invention, but for some reason, it's one of the funniest.

Ok, Ill admit, my humor may not always be appropriate. Heck, I took my kids to see the potty humor movie, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" tonight. And, I married a man who has an infatuation with, "Family Guy", yeah, sometimes I laugh at things that might not be thought of as funny, in the classic sense.

Tonight, as we were walking out of the movies, we met a sweet lady....

we ended up chatting, she is 87, and in her day, was a probation officer in the toughest parts of Los Angeles.....and then, it happened, I noticed her many necklaces. And it caught my eye, like a bright shining jewel, my eyes were drawn to it.

I had to ask...."Is that a LIFE ALERT" necklace???

You know, Life Alert....the, "Help Ive Fallen And I Cant Get Up" necklace, that will save the life of someone who needs help, but cant reach their cell....or get to the old fashioned rotary phone.

I mean, with the exception of the Hover Round (google it, and yes, I did use it in the grocery store when I was pregnant) this has to be one of the best inventions ever....saving lives, and making me chuckle, all at the same time!

Do you know anyone that has one? Do you have any life saving stories re: this beautiful device? Do you plan on wearing one, and if so when?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Morning meltdowns....(sigh)

I thought that having school uniforms would make the morning routine a breeze. And, it probably would, if I was up to date on the laundry Situation (If some orange guy from NJ can be The Situation, certainly my laundry is!)

Usually, Pooper is the source of morning drama, because he isnt a morning person, and moves slowly....(wonder where he inherited THAT gene!) But Poop was away at Cowboy Camp.

Typically, when Pooper isnt making mornings drag, Little One will take over. Whether it's her insistence on bringing her pop-up Dora tent with her in the van, or her refusal to put on shoes, she's a good back up for keeping the morning chaotic. But, not today.

Today, Beauty decided to try her hand at making us late to school.

She wanted to wear a skirt, and I was forcing her to wear the jumper. You see, I hadnt caught up on the laundry, and the only school polo that was clean, was also stained. A jumper would hide the stain, she skirt would not. So....she needed to wear the jumper. However, naturally, she wanted to wear the skirt. You follow me? It doesnt matter that both are made of the same tartan plaid, it apparently was a life or death trauma, one that included writhing on the floor and crying, even screaming...

I ended up just putting her in the car, tears a-streamin', and hoped she would pull things together on the 2 minute drive.

In the end, she made it to class, albeit late, and with a red face....but with the stain on her shirt hidden by her school uniform jumper.

I guess a good mommy would have had all the shirts cleaned. Just count this as one more chapter in the all-things-my-mommy-did-to-send-me-to-therapy diary that my children will one day write.

PS. if you havent entered chocolate giveaway ends tomorrow....enter at my chocolate blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I send my kids to school

My kids go to school. Private school. Nothing fancy, but, the fact is, it costs me money, and there are times I wonder if I should homeschool instead....and enjoy more financial freedom.

But it's days like today, that I am reminded, why I send them to school.


I signed up to volunteer for, "Meet the Masters", and today was my lucky day. Meet the Masters is an art program, where the children get a lecture about a certain artist, and then they go back to class to create something in that artists style, or using their particular technique. So, basically, I just help out while they are doing their craft. Not hard.

Not hard, unless chaos and unstructured activities grate against your nerves.

Today, the 1st grade class learned about Degas. And their lesson culminated with a chalk art project....

Now, chalk is messy, but imagine, that instead of drawing with the chalk, the kids were instructed to color really hard with the hard, that they made a pile of chalk dust. THEN, they take a tissue, wrap it around their index finger (and trust me, not every first grade boy has the fine motor skills to master this task), and scoop up the chalk dust....and rub it on their picture.

I know, that probably sounds just lovely to most of you. But I promise, between the coloring hard with chalk, the wrapping the tissue around the finger, and the scooping of the chalk to rub on their paper....well, lots of chalk dust gets tossed around.

AND, add to the mix, that my half of the class had most of the boys, including a few with "attention" and "staying-on-task" issues. If you know what I mean.

Before you know it, there was chalk ALL OVER THE DESKS, ALL OVER THEIR CLOTHES, and as the teacher later pointed out to me, *I* even had chalk on my face (and I didnt use the chalk!)

This....This is why I send my kids to school. So that they can do messy art projects somewhere else. So someone else can smile patiently as antsy boys are touching and playing with chalk all over their hands. So someone elses furniture can have colored dust particles smeared on it.

As for me and my house, we'll just stick with reading.