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My Life





Updated: 2018-04-22T03:19:06.630-07:00

 



Why I Will Never Eat Frogs:

2010-11-11T14:50:07.949-08:00

In light of it being Veteran's Day and all I had to share this story....A little tribute to a brave soldier who just so happened to be my Grandpa.  Before my Grandpa passed away several years ago I was able to video tape him telling the story of how he earned his bronze medal in WWII.  It's a story that my cousins and I have heard repeated many times during our lives and never tired of hearing.  The following story is directly from my Grandpa's mouth, word for word copied from the video tape.  For the full effect you must read it with a thick Italian accent.  =)  Disclaimer: Please disregard the grammatical errors and politically incorrect references and keep in mind these are the words of a man with very broken English.Grandpa's Bronze Star Frog Story"It was the Isle of Biak.  Just south of the equator...close to the equator.  We were going to patrol through the jungle to see where the enemies are.  There were 5 of us - 1st scout, 2nd scout, radio operator, squad leader (he was an officer), and a radio guard.  So we were walking near a stream of water...not a river....just a small stream.  There was a lotta frogs.  Ribbit... ribbit.... ribbit...*insert grandpa's frog sound effects*.  When I went across on a bridge made of wood.  I don't know if the natives made that or if the Japanese were there before us.  So when you walk on the bridge the frogs stop making the noise.  I walk about 200 yards and I stop.  The patrol leader said "did you see anything, Marocco?"  I said, "I didn't see anything ahead of us but I'm concerned about those frogs."  He didn't know what I was talking about...he said, "what about the frogs?"  I said, "remember they make all that noise, then we pass and they stopped.  Now they should be starting again because there's no body there.  But they're still quiet."  He was pretty fast, he said, "you think some one's following us?" I said, "yeah...I think we got the Japs right on our back...they're following us."  He said, "OK, lets take cover."  You know in the jungle it's easy to take cover behind the bushes.  They pass us...They were 12 of them....Only 5 of us....they were looking saying "where'd they go?"  So after they passed he (the squad leader) was in charge of it ~ he take advice from everyone.  I said, "I think we should follow them see where they are going."  So we did.  It was a whole battalion...a lot of Japs.  So, he said "we call the artillery"....they were about 5 miles behind us with the cannon.  They fire 1st round it was a little too short it was almost on top of us.  So the next one was right at the target...he said "FIRE FOR EFFECT" and they open up every cannon they had.  They blasted...they ruin everything.  So we went back to the company.  The next day we went back there to see how much damage we did.  There was a lot of dead Japs but you know some of them got away.  They left behind a lot of food, even wine, so we drank their wine and that's it.  We went back (there was a ceremony) and one day a guy in a jeep came by and said "I'm looking for Private Marocco".  I said "I'm Marocco...what do you want?"  "Oh, the colonel wants to see you."  I had no idea what the colonel wanted.  The Colonel said, "I want you to tell me about them frogs.  I got a report from your captain".  And so I told him ~ I said, "when I was a little boy in Italy I used to go catch frogs all the time and so I know when you walk by they stop making the noise...then after about a minute they start again....first one, then another, then pretty soon they all start.  And this time they were all quiet so it made me suspicious that we were being followed."  I said, "it sounds crazy but...." He said "No it doesn't, I'm gonna pass that on to all the training camps!  Everybody should know that!"  So I got a bronze star and that's it. I told the [...]



Friday Fragments

2010-11-11T13:20:39.008-08:00

Welcome, to another addition of Friday Fragments...hosted by the fabulous Mrs. 4444 @ Half-Past Kissin' Time.*Smurfette: "mommy, can boys have babies?" Me: "No, honey, boys can't have babies." Smurfette: "I know, mommy, I was only testing you." *Dear baby girl, please stop testing me. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to continue passing your tests. When the whole "how do mommy's get pregnant?" question pops up? I'm totally cheating off Great Grandma's test and telling you "they swallow water melon seeds". *Me: *singing to some tunes while cleaning my house* Dreamy: MOM! PLEASE! 1st I had to go for an MRI this morning and now THIS??!! REALLY??!! How much can a kid take??!! *snicker* *"Tiny long saggy boobies" and "little boobies nipples pictures" ...these are 2 recent google searches that landed someone to my blog. Seriously.And so is this....word for word...copied and pasted...."So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad And I’m still trying to figure out how that could be." ...I hope she wasn't looking at my blog for the answer! *Had a fantastic morning with my kids at their school for "pancakes with parents". Only, they didn't want to sit with me. I tried to explain to them the meaning of "with parents"....but their buddies are more fun to sit with. Gonna have to work on that. I think I embarrassed them when I started belting out Josh Groban tunes. *no, of course I didn't.....YET!* =)*I haven't even started Christmas shopping. There once was a time when I would have been completely finished by the end of October. *try not to gag*. I would get it all done in one long girls weekend shopping excursion. Now it's just a chore. I'll probably be one of those people at the store at midnight on Christmas Eve. I'm dreading it this year. I don't know why. I'm thinking about doing all my shopping on line this year. But then I can't bargain hunt for the sales. So....any suggestions? I like Amazon.com...but does anyone know of any great bargain shopping sites?*Dreamy update - MRI was done Monday. Couldn't get in to see the doc for a follow up appointment to discuss the result of the test until NEXT Friday! ACK! But the good news is....he thinks it's getting better. He actually participated in gym yesterday and did a little running and jumping and woke up extremely sore just from that little bit of activity. He has lost all muscle tone in these 4 months of slothful living. And I'm praying this won't lead to yet another injury when he returns to gymnastics. *We had Hefty's conferences last night and I'm enormously proud of him. Every one of his teachers had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. My personal favorites..."he's very hard working" and "he's very polite". Makes the recently discovered "eye rolling" seem a little less infuriating. =)*I watched Hitch last night for the 374th time. And I laughed just as hard this time as I did the 1st time. Love that movie."Right. Well, see, I'm more of a literal kind of guy. So when I do this...*twists his arm and slams him on the table* This is more like me saying thatI will literally break your shit off if you ever touch me again. mkay punkin?"I really want to be able to use that line on someone in real life. Wouldn't that be "bad ass"?*I steam cleaned all my carpets yesterday. The great room and 3 bedrooms. 2 hours after they dried? My dog shit on it. Why. do. I. bother?[...]



My quarterly report

2010-11-11T13:14:39.654-08:00

2010 update:


*Since my last post Hubby found out he had Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome. Which basically means he had some faulty electrical wiring in his heart....resulting in his heart rate going all hay-wire...for which he needed surgery (which he just had done today) to short circuit this electrical problem. He is recovering nicely and is currently in la-la land delivering pixi dust with flying unicorns.


*Hubby's aunt passed away. She was a truly inspirational woman. She decided 3 weeks in advance the precise day she would die. And she did. With a smile on her face surrounded by those she loved most. We should all hope for such a dignified passing.


*Her illness is what finally gave me the motivation I needed to put an end to my smoking habit. A woman who never smoked a day in her life passed away from lung cancer. It's just not right. And I have to say, it's been a cake walk this time around. It'll be 3 months on Easter since my husband or I have had a cigarette and it was so easy to quit this time around that I have to attribute it to divine intervention. There's just no other explanation.


*I've started a biggest loser club. There are 19 in our exclusive and oh-so-posh weigh loss club. You wish you could be this cool. *insert "L" sign on forehead* We've lost over 80 lbs so far. =) 8.8 lbs of that came from my very own rear end.




*I leave for my girls trip in 12 days. =) Enough said.



2010

2010-01-11T16:09:43.305-08:00

Dear 2010, I had high hopes for you. 2009 had nothing but wonderful things to say about you. She said you had extraordinary potential for greatness. I believed her. But, and please don't take this the wrong way, I gotta tell yah....you've been a bit of a disappointment thus far. I feel we may have gotten off on the wrong foot. A misunderstanding perhaps? Whaddaya say we just start over? Start this relationship from the beginning on a better, more stable foot this time? That'd be lovely. Looking forward to better tomorrows, Mamma Smurf.January 4th - Hubby leaves work in the morning and drives himself to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack. Chest pain, shortness of breath, feels like he's gonna pass out, and diaphoretic. Is later diagnosed with WPW syndrome and is now awaiting an appointment with the cardiac electrician and possibly a cardiac catheter ablation procedure to cure it.January 8 - Daughter complains of itchy head. A letter was sent home from school before the holiday break saying that lice has been going around the school. So...when my daughter complains of an itchy head? I freak out. Guess what I found. Go ahead. Guess. YEP!! Dude...seriously?? They say the dear Lord doesn't dish out more than a person can handle?? REALLY?? I beg to differ. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since. I've washed at least 3 dozen loads of laundry. Bed linens are changed daily. All unwashable toys, pillows, comforters, etc have been bagged and are out in the garage where the creepy little critters can freeze to death until I can get around to washing everything. My furniture, floors, and mattresses are now vacuumed daily. I've spent 2 hours each day for the last 4 days picking through my daughter's hair strand by frick'n strand. In the last 4 days I have discovered where the phrases "nit picking" and "going through something with a fine toothed comb" originated from. Knowledge I could have gladly lived a lifetime without. Thankyouverymuch. Your head itches now doesn't it??? =)And now? We are waiting for more bad news. As my husband's aunt is terminally ill with lung and bone cancer. A woman who never smoked a day in her life. She was diagnosed in November and is not expected to make it through this week. Which, of course, in itself, is horrible....sad...news. But this also means that my husband will likely have to fly out of town next weekend which means I will have to travel to Chicago with 3 children by myself next weekend for a gymnastics meet. With a child with lice. Most likely in a snow storm. (The last 2 years that we've driven to this meet have been through snow storms....Why should this year be any different?? ).Oh, well hello there....my name is Mama Smurf....*holding my arm out for a hand shake*....it's such a pleasure to meet you 2010! I'm really looking forward to getting to know you better! And I'm hopeful that this urge to gouge your eyeballs out will pass soon. Let's hope the 2nd impression is better than the 1st. [...]



Better late than never?

2010-01-09T19:49:47.766-08:00

This is how good I am at blogging....or how close I am to a dementia diagnosis...you decide: I wrote the following post over a month ago. Then forgot about it. It's been sitting in my draft box for that long. I sat down on my couch and decided to fiddle around and try blogging from my iPhone cuz, well, it's been awhile, again, and....well....looky there. A 1/2 assed post just waiting for the publish button:

Here I go again! It's been almost a month since my last post. I lay in bed at night thinking of brilliant posts.  Yah know...right after I complete the grocery and todo lists in my head.  They come to me one after another night after night. And by the time I wake up in the morning? They're gone. Never to be recalled again. I don't know what happens to them.  The sand man?

I have my Single Parent Hat on again as hubby is out of town. Again. Somethin's gotta give. I'm overwhelmed, exhausted, and teetering on the proverbial edge of insanity. My prayers lately sound a little like "Dear God, please help me be a better and more patient mother tomorrow". I hate going to bed feeling that way. HATE. IT. Especially during this time of year when nothin' but sugar plums should be dance'n in my (and my kids) head(s). BAH!

Grandma's highly anticipated volume 2 heritage album Christmas gift is still not complete. Once complete it'll take a couple weeks after uploading to receive it in the mail which at this point means the earliest hope for it's arrival will be sometime in.....January....of 2011? I'm dreading that phone call. "ummm, Grandma? You know that scrapbook I promised you? Yeah..... it'll be a little late  I'm still not done with it  did you really want it?  How's about a nice Snuggie instead?  They're sooooo comfortable and cozy warm.  Toasty even."

We spent the week of Thanksgiving with my FIL.  In Texas.  That?  Just sucked the holiday spirit right out of me.  I missed Thanksgiving with my family.  I didn't get to do my black Friday shopping.  The lights on my house didn't get put up.  We missed the last "warm" weekend for outside/yard fall cleanup.  Which means I either brave the frigid MI weather to get the leaves off my lawn or they will be the topic of conversation in my neighbors' homes.  I didn't start shopping until last week...when in past years I would have had all holiday shopping completed by October.  I know I should be happy that my husband was able to spend Thanksgiving with his father....and that my children were able to see their grandfather....and that my FIL didn't have to spend Thanksgiving alone this year.  But.  Well.  Yeah.  That's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.

So, for the first time in the 16 years that my husband and I have been together....there will be no outside Christmas lights.  That just sucks.  I put the tree up.  But that's it.  There will be no Dicken's Village this year.  No wreath on the front door.  I didn't even pull out the nativity scene.....*GASP*



Chocolate Milk is the Weapon of Choice

2009-11-18T10:37:45.279-08:00

I just received a phone call from my 7th grader from the school office:

Hefty: "Hi mom"
me: "Hello"
Hefty: "I was sent to the office"
me: "why"
Hefty: "Because I spilled my chocolate milk at lunch"
me: "You were sent to the office for 'spilling' your chocolate milk?"
Hefty: "Yes and it got on a kid's shirt"
me: "spilling is accidental....are you sure 'dumping' isn't the term you're looking for?"
Hefty: "Well....I didn't 'dump' it....I kinda 'tipped' it"
me: "you 'tipped' your chocolate milk on another kid?"
Hefty: "yes"
me: "WHY?" *frustration rising due to his purposeful vagueness*
Hefty: "Well...I was sitting in that seat and I got up to throw something away and when I got back he was sitting in my seat and he wouldn't move so I 'poured' my milk on him"

That conversation was followed by a conversation with the principle which is when I was told that he was given lunch clean-up duty for his crime.

I believe I've just officially received an early initiation into the "mother of a teenager" club. His birthday is tomorrow. Assuming he lives that long....

On the one hand I'm laughing because dude....I will never have to worry about this child being picked on. He can hold his own. But patting him on his back for sticking up for himself is probably not the politically correct parental thing to do. So how exactly does one punish this type of infraction?

And I'm just realizing that I forgot to ask who he did this to. I'm praying it wasn't one of my friends' children.

Another parent of the year award down the drain....



There's Gotta Be A Book In Here Somewhere....

2009-11-17T10:28:17.609-08:00

Stephanie Meyer was on Oprah recently and I just watched the DVRed version yesterday. I find her story incredibly fascinating. She's just an ordinary SAHM of 3 boys. She was at that crossroads in her life on the verge of losing herself (and her mind) in the name of motherhood. I've been there. Hell, I may still be there. She revealed that Twilight came from a dream. She had never written a short story let alone a novel nor had she any aspirations to be a writer. She is an avid reader but had never been into vampires or vampire stories. She simply had a dream one evening about a girl and a shiny sparkly boy vampire. She wrote her dream down and it became the 13th chapter of Twilight. She didn't even tell her husband she was writing this story. She told her sister. Her sister read it and encouraged her to try to find an agent and publisher. She was rejected by NINE agents before she found one that said "I'd like to read more".And now 5 years, 4 books, and 2 movies later? She's an extraordinary SAHM.I'm an ordinary SAHM.I have lots of dreams.And I read lots of books.So lets analyze these dreams and see if we can't come up with a general idea for a book...I used to have recurring nightmares about a certain individual in my life (whom will remain nameless). I haven't had one in a very long time but I've done horrible unspeakable things to this person. They say you never dream about doing things that you would never do in real life? I say an emphatic "BULL SHIT!" They were that bad. Each dream is a little different....my methods of torture varied from dream to dream but the main character was always the same. I would wake up in a panicked cold sweat and it would take me several moments to realize that it was just a dream. It would take me awhile to calm down enough to fall back to sleep...but then the dream would always pick right back up where it had left off. They were always so real. And very vivid. I've never read horror stories. I don't do scary movies. Hell, I couldn't even watch Scooby Doo as a child. And the closest I've come to a scary book is the first four chapters of Patterson's Along Came A Spider. I read those four chapters three weeks ago and haven't been able to work up the nerve to go any further. Too dark for me. But maybe I could turn this dream into a horror novel?Speaking of recurring dreams....I used to have another recurring dream back when I was a child. In this dream I walked through the front door of our house looking for my mother but had found the living room filled wall to wall, floor to sealing, with stacked washing machines and dryers. My mom, of course, was in the bathroom on the other side of the living room....and in order to get to her I had to climb through this maze of washers and dryers. Maybe I could turn this dream into a whimsical children's story about....?.....?......How to help out with the housekeeping??I always have dreams about losing my children. Several nights ago I dreamed dreamt dreamted dreamed that my daughter and I were riding our Sea Doo...my daughter was riding behind me when I hit a big wave and she flew off the back side. I was sitting on the strap to her life jacket so she flew right out of it. I turned around to go back to get her but she never came back up to the top of the water. I panicked and....woke up. Never did find out if she survived. Another horror flick.And then there's the dream I had of walking through a meadow full of daisies (my favorite flower)...all by myself....happy as a clam....when out of nowhere a big ugly snake popped up, hissed at me, wrap itself around my leg and sank it's two inch fangs into my thigh. Ironically enough, this dream occurred during the Aunt CB drama. I think it's safe to say the only story these dreams will ever turn into is as a case study for a Psychiatrist's Digest magazine. Guess I'll just stick to my day job....SAHM extraordinaire....[...]



A Teenager And His Cell Phone

2009-11-14T19:43:09.013-08:00

My oldest child is about to turn 13. That deserves repeating.I am about to become the mother of a teenager. THIRTEEN!! This is huge. This child of mine is a blessing (as are all my kids...of course....but this post isn't about the other two). He is a self motivated, responsible, hard working, and confident child.He has been trying hard to spread his wings and begging us to unclip the tips. We have kept a tight reign. We are tight reign kinda parents. I don't allow him to ride his bike to 7eleven to get Slurpee's....which, according to him, is allowed by all his friends' parents. I don't allow him to wander the woods near our home by himself. I've only recently started letting him take bike rides in our subdivision by himself but only if he has a walkie talkie with him so I can contact him when I start to freak out he can contact me if he gets hurt or if some serial killer lures him to his car with the promise of a cell phone and then promises to chop him into little itty bitty pieces and feed him to his dog if he needs help. Up until now I've always required there to be a definite destination (within our subdivision) followed immediately by a phone call upon his arrival to said destination. And the pièce de résistance....we have not allowed him to have a cell phone. *GASP*Are we too strict? Are the reigns pulled too tight?Truth be told, I remember being a 9 or 10 years old (I know I wasn't older than 10 because we moved from that house when I was 10) and being sent...by bike....to Great Scot! (remember that place??)...which happened to be about 1/2 mile away and required crossing a major 4 lane road....to purchase a gallon of milk for my mom. My friend and I used to ride our bike there all the time. (*Reminding myself to tell you about the time I got caught shoplifting an entire bag of candy from the local Kmart with that same said friend....but that's a story for another day). I also remember being 13 or 14 years old and catching a city bus (by myself) to hitch a ride to my dance classes several times each week. The bus transported me about 6 miles and then dumped me off on a major highway road from which point I then walked another 1/2 mile to the dance studio that was my destination. My mom worked....so if I wanted to get to my dance classes on time after school this was my only option. I was even allowed to catch the city bus with my friends to spend weekend afternoons at the mall. The mall was 8 miles from my home. But times have changed. (The fact that those words just rolled off my finger tips makes me feel really old!) But it's true. Times have changed. And he's my first child. It's to be expected. But he's about to turn THIRTEEN! A TEENAGER!And he is such a good kid. I mean....If you forget about the eye rolling and adolescent "tude" that has begun to emerge. He truly is every parent's dream child. He never has to be asked to do his homework. His school work comes easy to him. He always gives 110% of himself in everything he does. He is very confident and makes friends easily so I don't have to worry about him being bullied at school. And he is responsible. Well....as responsible as a thirteen y/o can be anyway.He has been begging us for the past year for a cell phone. My answer is always the same. A resounding "NO"! What can you possibly need a cell phone for. You're in school all day. You're not allowed to have a phone in school. And then at gymnastics practice 20 hours each week. The friends he spends most of his "off" time with live within our subdivision. And....well....we have a phone! What would you need a cell phone for?? And all of that remains true. He truly has no need for a cell phone. But after long hours of discussion with hubby we have decided to relent. We have purchased our son a cell phone for his thirteenth birthday. If for no other reason than to acknowledge that he is now a teenage. And this is a maj[...]



I am not that mom.

2009-11-11T08:18:43.045-08:00

We have been fighting the cooties in my house for the past 2 weeks. My daughter started 2 weeks ago with 3 days of fever. I sent her back to school fever free. 3 days later my son got it. After an entire day of trying to get his fever below 104.7.....to no avail after 2 doses of Motrin, 2 doses of Tylenol, and a cool bath....we made a trip to urgent care where he tested positive for Type A influenza. Tamilflu to the rescue. 2 days later my daughter got it....again! I made a call to my wonderful ER doc neighbor who called in another prescription for Tamiflu to the pharmacy...saving me another trip to the urgent care. In the mean time...my oldest son came down with an entirely different virus....no fever...but in it's stead a nasty upper respiratory and intestinal funk. And I wasn't feeling so hot myself. So, in dealing with all that funk....I was stuck in my home with various sick children for nearly 10 days straight. I tell you that to tell you this....I thought yesterday was Monday.Yesterday was our first day in nearly 2 weeks where everyone was back to school and I was feeling myself. I had big plans for myself as I happily shoved all 3 kids out the door to catch the bus. With my to-do list humming through my head I got in my shower and sang happy tunes. 1st item to be tackled was to take the puppy to the vet for her bordetella vaccine....we're leaving for vacation (if visiting and staying with your FIL in Texas for the week of Thanksgiving can be considered a vacation....don't be jealous) soon and dogs can't stay in the doggie hotel without proof of updated vaccinations. On the way to the vet I get a phone call from Dreamy's sports medicine doc. He had his MRI on Monday morning and a follow up appointment to review the results was necessary. Receptionist: "we had a cancellation for tomorrow Wednesday morning at 10am. Would that work for you?"pause......more silence.....Me: "Tomorrow? Wednesday? Wait a minute......what day is today?"Receptionist: "Ummm....today is Tuesday mam."AHHHHHHHH!!!!!It was at that point (sitting in my car in the veterinarian parking lot) that I completely freaked out and told her I'd have to call her back as I had just realized that it was not Monday....but TUESDAY! And I was suppose to be in my daughter's classroom at that very moment helping out. And this is the SECOND time I've done this. I was.... for the 2nd time....a no call no show. I. am. a. schmuck!I totally thought it was Monday. It felt like a Monday.So....I run into the vet's office and tell them I'm in a rush....they whip out the vaccination in 5 minutes flat. But, of course, puppy wouldn't cooperate....she wiggled and 1/2 the vaccine ended up dripping off her soft coat of fur. Take 2: 25 minutes later veterinarian has successfully administered the vaccine and I am rushing back to my car. Puppy is in the passenger seat. I live less than 1.5 miles from the vet. But puppy gets violently car sick every time she is in the car and chooses to vomit all over herself and my seat as I'm turning down our street. I run into house, throw puppy in crate, grab a towel and disinfectant wipes, and clean the seat as best I could. I throw the towel on the floor of the garage, jump back in my car and rush to the school. It is now 10:30. I was suppose to be at the school at 8:30. The teacher relies on parents to help the students with their "stations" so she can pull the reading groups aside and work with them. I walk into the room and find that teacher has decided in my absence to skip reading group. So, let's recap.....because of me, little Suzie and little Johny who speak very little English to begin with, whose parents don't speak English at ALL, and who can only recognize 1/2 the alphabet, and can only count to 30....did I mention this is FIRST grade?....will be missing their daily reading session. Nice. I beg for forgive[...]



Our little piece of heaven.

2009-10-27T17:53:43.072-07:00

My husband and I in the past 2 years have been tossing different ideas around. Do we want to move? Upgrade our home? We love our house but having a 4th bedroom would be REALLY nice. The boys share a room and their closet space is shrinking as their clothes get bigger each year. And a 3 car garage would be nice. We have a 2.5 car garage and can't even fit .5 cars in it. Sad. But true.But we love our house. We've been here 10 years now. We love the neighborhood. We love the location of our sub. hubby's job is a 15 minute car drive away. We are less than a mile from major freeways. My parents live just one block away from us. I can see their home from my front porch. Only one side street and three homes separate us. I love that.Do we really want to give all that up??No. We don't.And I won't even bother going into the whole "oh my gosh, we've put alot of money into this house and would probably just barely break even if we sold it right now" issues.We decided that moving is not an option for us. So, summer of 2008, we started tossing around the idea of purchasing a vacation home. We started casually looking at up north waterfront vacation homes listed online. And quickly discovered that vacation homes were not coming down in price like they were here in the suburbs. So we gave up on that thought. Fast forward to August of 2009. We went on our annual 1 week trip to Higgins Lake with 4 families. We rented 2 homes side by side. 4 families, 8 adults, 11 kids. One week spent with our best friends and families. One week of jet skis, skiing, swimming, building sand castles, campfires, roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories, relaxing, drinking, playing euchre & poker....my kids will be the first to tell you that this is our family's favorite vacation every year. And we take lots of vacations. And this vacation is only 3 hours from our home.The day after returning from this vacation...totally on a whim because Hubby and I hadn't even revisited the "should we buy a vacation home" conversation....I decided to do a quick google search on waterfront vacation homes for sale in MI. To make a somewhat long story short....I completely fell head over heels in love with the 2nd home I stumbled upon (online). The little yellow house. I spent the next several hours (while hubby was at work) searching. Am I being impulsive? I must have looked at over 100 homes that day. All meeting my search criteria but non of them made my heart go pitter pat the way the little yellow home did. I spent hours that day watching and re-watching the on-line virtual tour.My husband called to tell me he was on his way home and I could barely get the words out. "Honey, You're not gonna believe the house I just found online". My husband was a little confused because "eh-hem...why are you looking at houses?" And when he got home? He fell just as hard as I did. *The covered front porch I've been wanting all my life? It's got it.*The lined up Crackle Barrel Chairs on the covered porch that I've always wanted? It's got it.*The price was right.The house was beautiful.The house was being sold fully furnished.5 bedrooms.5 bathrooms.SEVENTEEN BEDS!!!On a gorgeous 2 acre lot.Almost new pontoon boat included.On the lake.It's only a 2.25 hour drive away.We have friends that live a 5 minute boat ride away right on the lake.We know the lake as we've gone up there with our friends several times.And last, but certainly not least, it was the perfect home for our annual vacation with our friends.And have I ever mentioned that my favorite color is yellow? Yeah, the house is yellow. Such a happy house. =)There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this house was destined to be ours since the day it was built 8 years ago.The previous owners just walked away from the house leaving it exactly as it was. Every piece of furniture, every wall[...]



There's been a change of plans....

2009-10-22T06:11:26.853-07:00

Today's to-do list was suppose to look something like this:

*Go to the gym
*Groceries
*Buy Jordyn dance shoes
*Take dogs to groomers
*Pack for weekend trip up north

Now it just looks like this:

*Stay home and take care of sick baby girl

=(



11 Comments

2009-10-21T14:51:58.854-07:00

I miss blogging. Terribly.


Facebook, kinda took over. It's fabulous in a "OMG, I've reconnected with so many long lost child hood friends" kinda way. I don't enjoy writing. I have no aspirations to be a writer. Never have. But I enjoy keeping a journal of sorts for myself and my family. I originally thought that facebook would kinda kill 2 birds with 1 stone....I could give quick little 140 or less character updates about our family's happenings in a family journal sort-a way....AND....reconnect with friends at the same time.

Not so.


You can't go back in time on Facebook to a specific year or month...say...August of 2009 to read about how my son qualified for nationals in his Future Stars gymnastics meet (oh yes he did!!)....or how the offer we placed on our dream waterfront vacation home was accepted....(oh yes it was!!)...Or to Sept. to read my quick little blurbs about our closing and our 1st weekend trip to our beloved new home. Instead, you have to scan through page after page of recent updates to get to the later updates. Not convenient. Within a week...posts are pretty much to be forgotten about.

So, now, I feel like there are 5 months of our lives that will be forever forgotten. Never to be revisited again. And these past 5 months have truly been 5 of the best months this family has lived. And I now have no words written to remind myself or my family of how special a time in our lives this has been.

But (YES! I started a sentence with the word "BUT"! Get over it!) every time I've thought about sitting at the computer and starting up this blog again....I've felt over whelmed. And (*gasp*) I have no idea why. I think I've let all these fabulous writers in this bloggy land intimidate me. No one's fault but my own. I can't keep up. And I really don't want to try. I let my growing desire for comments and bloggy approval make me forget my original purpose in starting this blog to begin with. It bothered the hell out of me to read other bloggers criticizing (on their own blogs) how other people were horrible writers... grammar and spelling imperfect....or how their blog content was boring....or offensive.....giving "tips" on how to have a great blog.

Really?

I felt like I was doing this whole blog thing wrong. That unless I was a fantastic writer I had no business writing a blog. And so I quit.

But now I have nothing written down to account for the past 5 months of my life and that makes me sad. So....

There will be poor grammar, misspelled words, and maybe even some offensive language from time to time. That's me *shrugs shoulders*. Don't get your panties in a bunch over it....just walk away. I promise you won't hurt my feelings.



In a nut shell....

2009-04-21T18:50:59.641-07:00

I'm in a hurry cuz I'm get'n ready for my girls 4 night / 5 day "Group Therapy" trip to a Florida beach resort. I'm tie'n one on as I type to cure my pre flight gitters. And I'm still not done pack'n. I've been a sucky blogger lately. I know. I'll try to be better....but no promises.

I have a new addiction. Facebook.

I've kinda started thinking of my bloggy and twitter friends as my "imaginary" friends....friends I've never met and in all likelihood never WILL meet.

Facebook? Takes up only a fraction of my time and keeps me connected to my IRL friends. So? The novelty may wear off eventually but for now I'll be an occasional blogger and try to keep up as best I can with my "imaginary" friends. =)

If you're on facebook...and you're reading this.... look me up!

I'll be back from my trip on Sunday and hope to have some pics to share of my therapy session! =)



She died from "Fright"

2009-04-16T09:26:06.263-07:00

I've been trying to spend some time with my Grandma to go through her old photos so I can get started on her heritage album. This is one of my favorite things to do. Learning about my heritage and preserving family members' legacies.

So, I was at her house yesterday afternoon and have to share this story with you. My Grandma is the funniest woman you all will never meet. She doesn't try to be. It's just natural.

In going through her old photos we came upon a photo of my Great Great Grandfather. My Grandmother's father's father. I started asking questions about her father's parents and here is what she told me:

G: Well, you know, he was raised by his father (in Italy) because his mother died when he was a baby.

Me: (writing all this information down in my notebook....fascinated) How did she die?

G: A milk snake.

Me: Huh?

G: Yeah, a milk snake scared her to death.

Me: Huh?

G: Well, you know, back then they didn't have finished floors...they were poor and slept on the dirt. She was nursing the baby on the ground and fell asleep. She woke up to a 'milk snake' drinking her milk and she died of fright.

Now, I obviously don't believe a word of this but she totally does. I was laughing hysterically while she told this story and she was just looking at me like "what the hell's so funny....it's a true story". So this will be the story that will go in the heritage album that will forever preserve this family's legacy.

Let it be known that my dear dear Great Great Grandmother died because a 'milk snake' latched on to her lactating tit and scared her to death....literally.....

This is why I'm trying to preserve this families legacy now....while I'm still alive....cuz there's no telling what kind of ridiculous stories will be passed down to my own family about my life...... or death.



Easter 2009

2009-04-03T10:50:48.430-07:00

Easter's almost here and I've been hard at work with my annual Scavenger Hunt Madness poem. Bringing out my inner Edgar Allen Poe. And I think it's complete. I may tweak it here and there or add another verse or 2 but this is the semi final product. Thought I'd share it with ya'll again. For those of you that have stuck around this past year, you may remember last year's poem. I hope to get Easter morning on video and I'll share it with you. Assuming I can remember how to post a video!I've returned to SmurflandOne of my favorite homesTo leave some Easter cluesFor you little blue gnomes.I watched with excitementDuring Easter last yearAs you found all the cluesWith smiles and cheers.I know how much you liketo run to and frolooking for Easter eggsboth high and low.But you know the rulesYou must first hear my speechAbout things I am proud ofAnd goals you must reach.Justin, You should be very proudOf the accomplishments you've made Both at the gym with your skillsAnd your report card grades.Your dedication and focusAnd constant personal bestReally makes this rabbitRather impressed.I've seen lots of improvementIn this past yearIn the way you treat your sisterYour efforts are clear.But please rememberTo always be niceBefore you open your mouthYou must first think twice.Brendan, you're nextMy sweet dimpled boy...Your handsome smileBrings me such joy.I've been watching you at schoolWorking very hardYou deserve every "A"On your report card.But will you really forceYour mom to agreeTo allowing a mohawkIf you don't get a "B".I think that a headWith that spiky hairWill only encouragePeople to stare.Jordyn, Your big wide smileIs so very sweetAnd watching you growHas been a huge treat.This past year has flown byWith amazing speedI mean...oh my goshYou can already READ!The one thing I loveAbove all other thingsIs your kindness to others..It makes my heart sing.Be sure to talk kindlyTo your brothers tooBecause I know you want themTo be kind to you.All 3 of you smurfsFill my heart with prideBut you still have to workTo find where your baskets reside.My clues have been too easythese past few yearsSo I'm adding a little twist...Open your ears.I'll be smiling wideCause you may look like foolsFollowing the instructionsAnd all of my rules.But remember I'm watchingAnd if you don't do as I say...I may not returnFor next years' Easter day.Are you guys readyTo get this show on the road?You'll find your first clueNear the basement commode.I stubbed my toeWhen I left that last clue.Please find me a band aideTo help heal my boo-boo?Ah, Thank you!I feel so much better!Now walk on your handsTo where you'd send an email letter.To find another clueYou could make a wishOr simply tap dance to the cupboardAnd grab a dish.Now put on your shoesWe're going outsideYou must walk backwardsTo your daddy's new ride.If your looking for your basketsI might suggestThat you hop on one footTo that birdies new nest.Nope, not here*giggles* this is so much funNow you must dance your way overTo the water guns.I feel so cruelFor teasing you so...All 3 of you must hold hands (& don't let go)While you search behind a photo.To find another clueYou won't have to go farJust skip on overTo your tiki bar.So, have you had enoughWhat do you think?Maybe you should bunny hopYour way to a sink.Now go run 3 lapsAround your homeAnd don't you dare cheatOr I'll ship your baskets to Rome!After you've completed that taskGo talk to your momFor she holds your next clueRight in her palm.Are you all out of breath?Now touch your hands to your kneesAnd keep them just soWhile you search under pine trees.Remember I'm watchingI see all that you doSo cartwheel to the mailboxTo find your next clue.Now you must twirl [...]



Mom's Famous Cannoli Recipe

2009-03-18T11:50:11.138-07:00

Well, I promised you a cannoli recipe so here you go. My mom is known for her cannolis. You will not taste a better cannoli. I promise you. I will not purchase cannolis at bakeries because they taste like dirt next to these. Seriously. They're THAT good. When mom has a party? People come. Not for the party, not to see family, not for the holiday....but for the CANNOLI!!! Although, in all honesty, this isn't actually my mom's recipe. She got this recipe from one of my Grandma's friends. So I kinda feel a little dirty for sharing this. Like I'm sharing someone else's secret family recipe. But I think it's safe to say that my Grandma's friend isn't reading this blog....so....you know....And since I'm being all honest and stuff...I should probably also point out that I've never actually made this recipe myself. Because I don't have any of these:It's on my to-do list to acquire some cannoli shell tubes of my very own but I still haven't gotten around to it. I've been making them with my mom for years. My brother and I used to tag team it with her in her kitchen making the shells when we were growing up. Making the shells is a bit of a chore. And almost requires more than one person. Unless you have...like....50 of the above pictured tubes. But it's sooooo worth it!So, without further ado....I present to you my mom's famous cannoli recipe:Cannoli shell:4 cups of flour3/4 cup Crisco1/2 cup sugar1 egg20 tbsp of water or wine (there are 16 tbsp to a cup)1/2 tsp. cinnamon(makes approx. 50 cannolis)The key to a good flaky shell is to NOT work the dough too much..."cut" the Crisco into the dry ingredients until the mixture is no bigger than pea sized, then add the egg and slowly stir in the water until it forms a ball.Mom usually makes this in advance and refrigerates the dough. It's easier to roll and work with when it's cold. Roll it thin (using flour so it doesn't stick), like less than an eight of an inch. Use a round cookie cutter (or a cup or a glass...anything round will do)...there are different sized tubes so you'll have to experiment with the size of the circle you're cutting. Wrap the cut circle around the tube and seal the edge with water...be sure the edges are sealed good because they tend to pop open when frying. Confession: My brother and I used to pray for shells that popped open because then mom let us eat them. You can't fill a cannoli shell if it pops open. =) And sometimes....just sometimes....we'd purposely not seal it well. Sorry mom.Fill a pan with a whole lotta vegetable oil and crank the burner up to "high". When oil sizzles with a splatter of water...it's ready. Electric deep fryer works too. Gently place several of the cannoli shells in the oil and fry until deep golden brown. If you have many tubes then making these are no big deal....but if you only have a hand full it becomes a chore because you have to wait for the tubes to cool before reloading the circles of dough. Hence, our tag teaming it as children. When you pull the tubes from the oil and slide the shell off the tube...place the shell on paper towel to soak up extra oil. The shells can be made several days in advance and keep well.Cannoli filling:5 cups of milk1 cinnamon stick2.5 cups of sugar1 cup of cornstarch1 tsp vanillaHeat sugar, milk, and cinnamon, leaving a little milk out to mix with the cornstarch. When milk comes to a boil add cornstarch/milk mixture. Mix until thick stirring continuously. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir so the milk doesn't burn...cuz then you end up with yucky ugly brown chunks in your filling. Put in the frig. When cooled, stir in vanilla. (Fills approx. 25 cannolis).The easiest way to fill the can[...]



Eggakooga

2009-03-14T07:28:02.560-07:00

Eggakooga - This is the phonetic spelling. Say it exactly how you see it. Egg-a-koo-ga. Sounds funny doesn't it? It's fun to say. Eggakooga, eggakooga, eggakooga.Eggakooga is another one of those family legacies that I'd like to share with you.I grew up with eggakooga. Eggakooga has been a part of my life ever since...well....as far back as my memory begins. I obviously don't recall, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that eggakooga was one of my first solid foods. Some kids start with cheerios...we (I'm quite certain) started with eggakooga. We always looked forward to our weekend breakfast of eggakooga. It was such a huge part of our lives that I remember being absolutely shocked every time a friend came over to spend the night and had no idea what eggakooga was.WHAT?!You don't know what EGGakooga is??!! How is that possible? Dude, it's eggakooga! Surely your parents haven't deprived you your entire life from the yumminess of eggakooga!!I'm so sorry. You poor, poor thing. Here. We'll fix that. Mom? My friend here has never had eggakooga. Will you please make her some? She needs to know eggakooga.It wasn't until I was older that I learned no-one knows of eggakooga because it came from Belgium.Three of my Grandparents are from Italy and one of my Grandparents (my paternal Grandmother) is from Belgium. My Grandma moved here with her parents when she was a little girl and brought this deliciousness with her. She used to make it for her kids...apparently it was my dad's favorite....so Grandma taught my mom how to make it....and now I make it for my kids. Although, truth be told, my mom makes it for my kids more often than I do. When my kids spend the night over there that's their little treat. They look forward to spending the night over there mainly because they know if they beg...Grandma will make them eggakooga.Again, I'm not sure where this recipe originated from...whether it started with my Great-Grandma or Great-Great-Grandma is unknown. But I believe all the world should know about eggakooga.Your life will be better because of it.So here it is...Eggakooga:4 eggs1/4 cup sugar1/4 cup flourand a pinch of salt. That's it. So simple.Put above ingredients in a blender and mix. Melt some butter (1/2 TBSP or so) in a frying pan (over medium heat) while the blender is going.Pour a thin layer of the mixture into the frying pan to cover the bottom. Cook a couple minutes on each side....give or take. And that's it.You can roll it up with fruit.You can sprinkle powdered sugar on it.Or...you can eat it plain just by it's yummy self like me and my kids do. And for some reason we've found that eating it like cavemen without utensils makes it taste even better. Go figure.I've tried altering the recipe a little to make it a little healthier. Using Splenda to replace the sugar....using wheat flour to substitute white flour. And it works. But the original is so much better.I should also warn you that we usually go through 16 eggs when we make this. I usually have to make four times the recipe. My kids are insatiable when I make it. Demanding more and more. So, go try it and tell me what you think.Holy Canoli! Spell check is NOT liking me today!Hmmm....speaking of canoli...Maybe I'll share my mom's canoli recipe with you next. Pure heaven I tell you. Pure heaven.[...]



The squacoon made me do it!

2009-03-13T07:44:37.411-07:00

Parenting tip #213:

Telling your kids to "stay away from drugs" is not enough....


Dreamy: Mom, remember when you first started talking to us about how we should always stay away from drugs, and how they hurt you, and how they're bad for your body and brain and make you do stupid things and even if a friend tries to give us a drug we should always say no?

Me: Yeah

Dreamy: Well, I used to think that drugs were an animal.

Me: huh???

Dreamy: Yeah. I used to think that "drugs" were an animal. I figured in my brain that they were like a cross between a squirrel and a raccoon. Like a racquirl or squaccoon.



God Bless...Beep Beep

2009-03-10T18:27:59.352-07:00

I spoke with my Aunt on the phone recently and she reminded me of this story and it got me to think'n.....Most of you know when I was a little girl my father passed away. Leukemia. My mother found herself in the precarious position of being a widow with 2 small children (ages 5 & 2) at the tender age of 28. She didn't have a job nor did she have a college education. So, my dad, being the oldest of eight had a large family and they stepped up to the plate to help my mom out. My aunt came to live with us. She basically provided my mom with a live in nanny so my mom could get a job by day and go to college by night. I was only 5 at the time so I honestly have no conception of time. As far as my 5 year old memory is concerned it could have been 2 years she lived with us or just one month. I have no idea. But I remember that time very vividly. My Aunt made an impression on me and had a huge impact on my life. And she was only a young adult at that time. Maybe 19?On a side note, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of this post, my Aunt is a dwarf. She stands less than 4 feet tall. I often wonder if I connected with her because she was my height at that time...or maybe it's because she was my father's sister. Whatever the reason, kids seem to be drawn to her as she has an incredibly wicked sense of humor.But I digress...So she came to live with us. And every time she would put me down for a nap or tuck me in at night she had a little ritual. She would lean over my bed, we would say our prayers, and she would then make the sign of the cross on my forehead with her thumb saying "God Bless" and then press my nose twice saying "Beep - Beep"."God Bless Beep Beep."This may sound like a silly little inconsequential gesture to you but it became oddly comforting to me. It was our little "thing." And I'm sure she did the same with my young brother at the time and she did the same with her future daughter. So it wasn't really "our" thing but my 5 year old self believed it was. I never knew, and often wondered, where that little gesture came from.Until my Grandfather's funeral.My Grandpa passed away several years ago. And at his funeral several of his kids (my Aunts and Uncle) stood up to share a few memories with all who mourned him. One of the stories that was shared was his nightly "God Bless Beep Beep" ritual. He did the same gesture to them every night before bed. And it touched them, enough to mention it at his funeral, the same way it touched me.He had passed on this gesture to his kids, his kids passed on this gesture to me and probably all their own kids (my cousins), and now I pass on this gesture to my kids.So this silly little inconsequential gesture has been passed on through 4 generations. Maybe more. Because now I wonder, where did my Grandfather get this? Did his mother (my Great Grandma) start this "God Bless Beep Beep" night time ritual when my Grandfather was a child? Did HER mother (my Great-great Grandmother) start this with HER in the Italian version of "God Bless Beep Beep"...which, according to free (and not so accurate) online translation, would be "Dio Benedice il segnale di segnale." Who knows? And maybe now my kids will carry on this silly little inconsequential night time ritual with their kids...and so on...How many generations of this family will be touched by that one little inconsequential night time ritual? That one little piece of "whateveryouwanttocallit" has become a small part of SOMEone's legacy.I wish I knew who that someone was.So I could say thank you.[...]



Time flies...blah blah blah....

2009-03-09T08:52:00.279-07:00

Has it really been almost a month since I last posted? It's probably been nearly as long since I've taken a peak in my google reader. In fact, hang on, I must go take a peak at my google reader numbers....this should be good.....Don't go anywhere.....BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!My google reader has almost reached quadruple numbers! I miss ya'll. I do. Terribly. But I really suck at time management. As evidenced by my scatter brain household and parental mishaps. The most recent mishaps being......1) With 3 kids all bringing notes home both from school and extracurriculars I tend to skim read them trying to pick out important information at a glance to save time. I mis-read the latest note from gymnastics thinking they didn't have practice the day before a meet....which didn't make sense....but whatever....and proceeded to tell another mom the same wrong information so they missed practice too. Yeay me.2) We seem to have lost a very important part to my son's gymnastics uniform. Whether this is my fault or my son's fault is debatable but I'm guessing parents who are on top of things don't lose their kids' uniforms. Just a guess. 3) I somehow missed a very important school newsletter stating that there was a HUGE project due on Monday. My son has known about this for 3 weeks and I just found out 5 days before it's due date and 2 days before we left for an out of town gymnastics meet. Which meant I he we had approximately 24 hours to complete said project. The fault of this is, again, debatable but as the parent of this child I must accept a portion of the blame. A little aside here for any teachers who may be reading this.....please keep in mind I'm a little bitter about this.....HOW do all these FREAK'N projects contribute to my child's education AT. ALL???? They don't. Not at all. These projects are NOT for the children....they are FOR THE PARENTS!!! KNOCK IT OFF!!! I HAVE ENOUGH SHIT TO DO!!! I would also like to say that I worked very hard on my son's project and fully expect an A+.And for any parents out there who will undoubtedly feel the need to point out that my doing this project FOR him undermines the purpose and his education....I say...."save it." Just trying to cover all bases here.Kay, I feel better. If any teachers out there take offense to this....I apologize. I really do wish though that I could understand the purpose of these projects. They serve no purpose other than to stress an already "at her limit" mom out. If you feel projects are that necessary to their growth, development, and education....then how's about yah do them in the classroom? Just a thought. Those are just a few of the most recent parental failures that come to mind...there are more....many....many.....many more.On a happier note...Our family vacation to Cancun was fabulous. There are very few things that make me happier than vacationing with my family. And every year that passes it becomes more enjoyable than the year before. The older our kids get the more self reliant they become. Plane trips are no longer the dreaded field trip they once were. (cue Bill Cosby and his "Jeffery" skit). I no longer have to worry about packing the pack-n-play, the stroller, the car seat, the diapers....etc. I no longer have to worry about how the kids will all fall asleep in the same room, making sure we're in the room for naps, or how to heat up a bottle. Up until a few years ago (for 9 years straight) vacationing was just a whole lotta work. Exhausting even. Now? It's the blissful escape and adventure it once was. I assumed this position for[...]



Cramming an entire week in one post.

2009-02-11T05:12:10.991-08:00

The past week’s highlights in bullet form:Monday the 2nd: Dreamy’s birthday*Smurfette woke up at 1am and announced at my bedroom threshold that she had puked in her bed. I stumbled into her room with one eye open to discover the mound of blown chunks had actually made it to the carpet. Bonus. *Kept Smurfette home from school. Within hours of waking she was chasing the dog around the house. No fever. Good appetite. Which lead me to believe that my skinny little Smurfette simply ate way more than her tiny tummy could handle at the previous night’s Superbowl Party.*The family then celebrated Dreamy’s birthday at Outback Steakhouse per Dreamy’s request…he loves a good steak. *Notice his diligence at scraping away all the good stuff off his dessert. All he wants is the ice cream. *This is Dreamy's year for the "friend party". All 3 of my kids alternate and so get a "friend party" every 3rd year. Due to the gymnastics schedule and full weekend calendar Dreamy's birthday party with friends has been pushed back a couple weeks. We will be celebrating his 10th birthday with his friends at an indoor water park during their mid-winter break from school.Tuesday the 3rd: *Pulled Dreamy from school for the traditional birthday lunch. Big Boy restaurant gives a huge free dessert to the birthday child. We went to collect. Apparently the economy has hit Big Boy because the mound of Brownie, vanilla ice cream, and cool whip has been reduced to a brownie with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. They can no longer spare the scoop of ice cream. This child doesn’t like whipped cream. This child doesn’t like cake (they call it a brownie…but Dreamy begged to differ). So I ate his free dessert and bought him a scoop of ice cream. What’s a mom to do. Wednesday the 4th: *Hubs and I collectively had a minor ohmyfreaknGoshitscoldashellout winter blues melt down. So, we decided to call our travel agent and see if she could find this family of 5 a deal to somewhere (anywhere) with sand, sun, and heat... preferably with palm trees. And, to make a long story short…she did. An all inclusive four nights in Cancun. So, now I can muscle my way through the next 3 weeks of winter knowing that our family will see sunshine very soon. I just needed something to look forward to. Nothing helps pass the weeks of winter like shopping for swim suits and sandals.Thursday the 5th: *Met some friends for lunch where our annual trip to Florida was discussed. The trip is now officially booked. In roughly 10 weeks there will 6 gorgeous mom’s and wives lounging on the sandy shores of the golf coast with their umbrella drinks in one hand and books in the other. We will be the ones without children. We will be the ones without husbands. We will be the ones with the gleaming relaxed smiles on our face. And you may not want to visit our condo cuz we don’t cook, we don't clean, and we don't clean or pick up after ourselves (or each other) during this trip. Friday the 6th: *The kids stayed at Grandma’s over night while Hubs and I went out with some lovely new friends. K & I met at the gym. We’ve been work out buddies since last October. Our husbands hadn’t met till Friday night. Going out with new friends can be a little daunting. Not entirely sure what to expect or what they’re like. But we had a very good time and lots of fun with this couple and look forward to going out again in the future.Saturday the 7th: *My parents held a surprise 85th birthday party for my Step Dad’s mom….my step grandma so to [...]



The Middle Child

2009-02-02T10:24:08.794-08:00

My first born holds a special place in my heart because he's my first born. He taught me how to be a mom. He taught me how to love and nurture. But his first year was difficult for me because I had no idea what I was doing as I explained here. My last born holds a special place in my heart because she's my baby and my only daughter. But her first year was difficult for me because she was colicky as I've explained here.My middle child holds a special place in my heart for other reasons entirely. I worried my whole pregnancy how I could possibly hold and give the same amount of love for another child that I did for my first. The idea was inconceivable to me. I worried that it wouldn't be possible to divide my love and attention. But when this middle child of mine entered our world it all became instantly clear. Your love isn't divided. It's multiplied. I worried that having two children so close together in age would be very difficult. A toddler and an infant. But this child was so easy and content that I felt silly for worrying.This whole second experience was just so much better than the first. In every aspect.My pregnancy was more comfortable because I only gained 40 pounds instead of 75.His birth was a piece of cake. I had hoped to try for a VBAC but after 15 hours of labor and no progress I simply asked for a C-Section & he was born. On his due date. Groundhogs Day. I was awake for the birth this time. I didn't freak out on the operation table this time. I held him, nursed him, bonded with him immediately instead of 8 hours later. This baby's dimples captured my heart in seconds. He's my only child to have inherited those gorgeous dimples from my father's side of the family. This second born son held a special place in my heart the instant he entered our world. He nursed instantly and easily. My goal was to nurse him until he was sleeping through the night. He was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and I stopped producing enough for him. It was an unplanned weening. I never went through the engorgement and pain of weening. It just happened. Easy.He never cried. And when I say "never" I truly mean "never". He'd let out a little whimper every now and then when he was hungry but that was it. My mother thought there was something wrong with him and thought I should ask the doctor about it because "it's just not natural for a baby to not cry."When he'd finish nursing at night he'd fall instantly to sleep. There was no dinner/evening time bewitching hours for this one. He was the only one of my infants to let me rock him to sleep. I could sit and rock him for hours and he would just stare at me and smile. He was my only cuddler. Content to just be in my arms. And yet, if I put him in his crib awake? He'd fall asleep all on his own without a sound or complaint.He was a perfect baby. The happy and easy infant that every mom dreams of having. If all my babies had been this easy I probably would have ended up with ten kids.It's 10 years later to the day and he still manages to squeeze my heart daily with his dimply smile and happy-go-lucky eager to please ways. He's got just a touch of my hard headed stubbornness. That stubbornness makes me want to pull my hair out some days....but it mostly just makes me smile. He's my sweet one. The one that will still cuddle with me on occasion. The one that is very stingy with the kisses but gives one hell of a hug. The one that notices when I've gotten a hair cut and comp[...]



What does your medicine cabinet say about you?

2009-01-28T19:04:31.595-08:00

I've been watching this meme go around for a few days now and was honestly a little disturbed by it at first. You mean friends/family that have been invited into my home, may possibly be and quite probably are, peeking in my medicine cabinets for no other purpose than to be nosey?? Seriously?? I swear on all that is Holy....to any person reading this that has ever invited me over to your home....I have NEVER peeked in your medicine cabinet for the sole purpose of being nosey. Ever. Not because I'm above peeking in your cabinet, mind you, but because the thought honestly never even occurred to me. And not because I'm worried that your cabinet door might have squeeky hinges that may or may not alert you that I may be peeking in your cabinet. Just say'n....Now that I'm finding out this is the thing to do....I will be....peeking in your cabinets that is. Consider yourself warned.You know what? My medicine cabinet is in my master bathroom. A bathroom that only my husband and I use. So, I have nothing to be worried about. I have no medicine cabinet in the bathroom that is most likely being used by my company. And so now I'm feeling guilty because, as I've just warned you, I'll be peeking in your medicine cabinets and you haven't had equal opportunity to peek in mine. So, Colleen tagged me for this meme and I'll be taking advantage of this opportunity to even the score between myself and any future guests. I have 3 different areas in my home where medicine is kept so I'll share all three with you and follow up with some necessary explanations.First on the list is the cabinet in my master bathroom. This cabinet holds very little in terms of medicine. Let's break this down.Several points of interest in above photo:The Clean Pore bottle in the back? Expired in 1999. I didn't realize pore cleansers expired. We bought this house in 2000. I had to have bought that cleanser sometime in 97 or 98, no? Which means that I had not used it in the 2 - 3 years prior to moving (note the completely full bottle)...but still chose to pack it for the move to this house....then unpacked it and stuck it in that medicine cabinet where it has remained ever since. I remember trying that cleanser and not liking it because it left a sticky (not clean) feeling on my face. So why did I keep it, pack it, unpack it, and keep it again....for 10 or 11 years?? Couldn't tell you.The bottle of lotion in the back? I won it at my cousin's bridal shower. Like, twelve years ago. I love the smell of it (Lavendar & Thyme) but not the texture of it. So I kept it? Again, no clue why. Neutragena shampoo bottles? Please note the rusted caps. That is all.Hemorrhoid cream? Also expired several years ago. And that's all I'm gonna say about that. WHAT!?! These bottles of perfume? I've had them since high-school. I don't wear perfume. I don't like perfume. But I keep the bottles anyway. Why? I have no frick'n clue. But, back in college when I DID like perfume Dune and Passion were my favorites.I prefer scented body sprays such as Victoria Secret's Vanilla Lace. The above items are kept on stand by just. in. case. We've had several scares over the years that have resulted in quarantining the home for precautionary measures. The latest scare being last years lice epidemic at the kids' school that lasted a few months. We some how lucked out and haven't had to use the stocked supply of Nix...but one can never be too careful. Because, dudes, if lice should ever find it's way in my hom[...]



Fabulous Weekend

2009-01-26T10:17:34.877-08:00

Fabulous because we had no where to travel to and nothing in particular to do. I love lazy weekends like this. Friday: Hubby and I had a hot date. My mom came by to stay with the kids and we spent the evening together. We don't do this nearly enough during these winter months because of the busy gymnastics schedule. We had a lovely dinner and then walked down the street to a bar for a couple drinks. We then walked over to the comedy club where a group of middle aged house wives (celebrating a 40th birthday dontchaknow) tried desperately to ruin the show by making a point to let the rest of the audience know that they were surely having a far better time than the rest of us because they were wild, obnoxious, and loud housewives who never get out of the house. They got kicked out after rendering the 2nd comedian speechless. He couldn't get a word in edgewise and didn't stand a chance next to these fine ladies. This sparked a whole conversation with comedian #3 who then proceeded to let the audience know that in his experience it's always the middle aged housewives that cause the problems. I'm guessing that's because many of us feel the need to prove to the world that we're just as young at heart and just as wild & crazy as we once were? Just a guess. It turned out to be a good show once we got past the disruption. And, yes, we smoked. UGH. Broke the 18 day smoke free streak we had going. But we're back on and starting the count all over again. Once again. So here we are back at day 3 of "Breathing Free." We will forever be quitters. I said I wouldn't bore you with the redundant smoking updates. But you know what? This is my blog. And nicotine addiction is part of me. Saturday: I spent most of the day doing laundry, cleaning house, and planning and filling out invitations for Dreamy's upcoming birthday party. After the boys returned from gym practice we took the kids to DQ for their report card reward (All "As" dontcha know). We went to the movie store and picked out Hancock. Not the most appropriate language for kids (it's PG-13 for a reason) but a good movie. Smurfette ended the day with 102 degree fever and "tummy ache." Sunday: Smurfette was still spiking 102 degree fevers so we didn't do much. I spent the day hemming drapes. My Dad, a man with skillz, built us a custom made bench seat with storage for under our bay window in our office. It's not 100% complete yet. The moldings still need to be put up. This picture doesn't do it justice. Really. I wish I had a before and after photo to show what a difference it makes in the room. But I don't. This required me to chop off a foot and a half from the drapes. And now he's gonna build us a custom made built in floor to ceiling cabinet to replace this book shelf. It's gonna be perty! I'm trying to talk Papa Smurf into joining the gym with me. I had hoped to bring him with me to the gym for a work out while the boys were at gym practice but Smurfette's fever didn't allow that. So I went solo and got a run in. And that's it. Our weekend in a nutshell.And now I leave you with some gymnastics bloopers photos from the last meet in Chicago. Thou shalt not separate legs on pommel:Thou shalt not bend body in half, flex the feet, or fall off (3 times) when on pommel:Thou shalt not fall off Parallel Bars:Thou shalt not fall out of hand stand (twice) on floor routine:Thou shalt not take steps on landings:Thou shalt not.....do THIS....EVER~!Can't win'em all boys.[...]



Chillax'n in Chicago

2009-01-23T11:05:16.431-08:00

It’s been over a week since I’ve last posted and almost as long since I’ve looked in my Google Reader. I miss reading about everyone’s days but I’m really enjoying this time off from the pressure of staying up to date. I hope to get caught up this weekend but I may have to just empty the reader and start fresh. I'm just not getting into this blogging thing anymore. If I'm being completely honest I'd have to say that this has become more or a chore lately than the enjoyable escape that it once was. I'm getting tired of wasting my days in front of this computer. I have no less than twenty little notes written with things I’ve wanted to share but I’ve gotten so behind that I think I may just have to scrap those notes and, like the google reader, just start fresh. Our family took a little road trip to Chicago this past weekend for a gymnastics meet. We left Thursday late afternoon and returned at 3am Monday morning. Both drives there and back were horrendous. White out blizzard icy conditions that turned what would have been a 5 hour drive into a 6 ½ - 7 hour drive. I was doped up on pain meds but still in pain and dreadfully uncomfortable. Hubby was cranky from the white knuckled driving conditions and the bitch speaking to him from behind the GPS screen. Once upon a time, it was the kids we had to worry about surviving a road trip with. But thanks to the geniuses at Chrysler who stuck DVD and satellite TV in their vans….the kids were perfect the entire trip. I am forever indebted to those Chrysler powers that be. And for those of you out there who are judging me for sticking my kids in front of the TV to shut them up and missing out a perfect "bonding moment" of a road trip? Bite me. And I mean that in a very kind way.The weekend in a very brief nut shell. Thursday - We arrived in Chicago sometime around 11pm. We were tired. We were cranky. We went immediately to sleep. Friday - Dreamy competed and did not do very well. He had a rough start which stomped all over his confidence and he just couldn't pick it back up. We've chalked this meet up to a much needed lesson in humility. His little ego was crushed as he's become accustomed to sweeping all his meets. As awful as this may sound....he needed this. Sometimes a little beating of the ego is all it takes to remotivate. Saturday - The kids spent a few hours in the pool while Papa Smurf and I took turns in the gym. Our hotel had a kick'n gym (Did I just say "kick'n" out loud? My kids are rub'n off on me). I actually worked out. And my back was actually feeling a little better. We then spent the afternoon at the Science and Industry Museum which we all really enjoyed. And it just happened to be a free admission day. Bonus. We then met up with the rest of the team at Hard Rock for little dinner and a whole lot of obnoxiousness (the parents ~ not the kids). That was fun. Then we divided and conquered ~ the boys/men headed over to the ESPN Zone for some bonding time (aka grunting and farting) while the girls headed to the American Girl Place to chillax with Kit. (I'm just throwing these pre-adolescent words in here to embarrass my boys...they just love when I try to be all cool like them) Fun was had by all. =)Sunday - We spent the early afternoon walking up Michigan Ave. It was bitter cold which sucked all the fun right out of shopping. Hubby purchased a new pair of running shoes and we hit the sales at the Di[...]