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Updated: 2017-09-23T13:12:23.183-05:00

 



Writing in the Spirit of Paula

2017-06-28T12:19:47.156-05:00

It's a rainy, Wednesday afternoon and I'm feeling rather blue. Sometimes I feel like my mood brings on this weather.Wednesday's were our days to chat endlessly, to hang out without kids during the school year, or with them over the summer. The last few years, they were the days I would help her if she had treatments, whether she needed a chauffeur to the hospital or to pick the kids up from school or camp. A lot of my Wednesday's, I would spend an entire day into the evening at their little home, cleaning, doing laundry, throwing together a meal, spending time with her, Otto and Nelson and an occasional dinner with Casey if I stayed into the evening. The Wednesday's we weren't together, I'd call her after I dropped the kids off at school, and she'd always pick up on the 1st ring. It was our routine.This week has been looming over me since the beginning of the month. A year ago tomorrow was the beginning of her decline. A year ago tomorrow was the last day she was at my house. Paula dropped off the boys for the day, since she had appointments, tests, scans and everything else under the sun to diagnose the latest symptom. Her distended belly.I remember the feeling that came over me while I watched her walk down our brick path to the gate. She was wearing a cute cotton pencil skirt, her black wedge sandals and an adorable cartigan sweater with her favorite headscarf. As she walked away, I knew, this was the last day she would be walking down that path.The kids and I had a wonderful day. We had one of the younger Rizzis with us too, which changed the dynamic, and gave Avery another girl to hang with. However, regardless of the laughing, the squeals of excitement as I spun all 5 kids on the merri-go-round at the park, I remember seeing and feeling a darkness that day when I looked at Otto and Nelson. It hovered like a gray cloud, and I tried to counter it. I wished it away, used all my positivity and inner light to send it somewhere else, but it lingered. That night, we received the news that little could be done for Paula, and her liver was failing.I've read about grief, had therapy sessions to cope, but grief  has no difinative path, list or direction. Grief is personal and unique for every individual. There are days I almost forget I'll never see her again, then nights I lay in bed, tears streaming down my face, missing my sister so desperately. Those nights I feel like I might die, because my heart is so broken. I once read, the 1st year after someone you love passes, is easier than the ones to come. During the 1st year, you push yourself through the birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. You expect those times will be difficult, but it's the years to follow when it becomes REAL. It's the realization of the permanence of death. It's knowing I'm forgetting how her hugs felt, the placement of the beauty marks that were drizzled all over her body. I miss the way she snapped her gum, and the look of her beautiful, long tapered fingers, and her funky feet. She was the one person, beside my husband, I could say anything to, discuss everything with, without fear, shame or hesitation. We used to cuddle on the couch, rub feet and massage shoulders and she'd always find something to pick at on my back. My sister would revise all of my writing, correct grammar and note my run on sentences. She was an amazing writer, and I only wish I had a fraction of her intelligence, not to mention her sense of style.My kids miss their Aunt Lala more than I ever thought they would. Every gift she gave them or made for them are cherished like gold. They talk about conversations they had together, or silly ways she'd act, or faces she would make. My children found so much comfort in her, and she was their favorite aunt. There are some nights they cry for Paula, and we hold each other tight. Avery tells me she's sorry for me, and I wonder how my 11 year old could have so much empathy. Vaughn, he holds it in until he explodes into tears, and hugs me and says he'll never let me go.I miss my sister, it's just that brutally simple. I will never hav[...]



Chuchette

2008-09-23T15:00:48.093-05:00

My son is the child who still sleeps with a pacifier (or chuchette)-and I stress, SLEEPS with it only. I do not allow him to have it any other place but his bed. (OK ,I take it back, if the very occasional nap time is in the car, he can have it)

Today, I couldn't figure out why he wasn't falling asleep during nap time. 1 hour became two, so I decided to go up there and investigate. He had thrown everything out of his crib, and was smiling.

Maybe he's not tired? I thought.

Not my son, he's the kind of kid who requires at least two hours of nap, and 11 hours of sleep at night.

After finding his two pacifiers on the floor, I figured he had bitten through them. When he's teething, he bites on them with all his might to relieve the pressure and bites holes in them, "breaking" them.
I snagged the reserve one in the cabinet, and he put it in his mouth, and he fell fast asleep.

I know it's a "crutch", but if it gets him to sleep, would it really be a crime if Vaughn had a pacifier until he's say...18?



Pre- School, Already?

2008-09-11T20:58:07.309-05:00

Panic stricken, my friend Katie called me to inform me that we have to start looking into pre-schools for the kids. She spoke with my neighbor about the program she sent her kids too, and was told that there is a pretty large waiting list, and we should sign up a.s.a.p. for next fall to insure a spot. Now, there are a ton of programs we could send them, but our school district has an internal program. It makes the most sense for me to send them to the school district pre-school program.

It is so crazy how fast time goes, and how fast we are making it fly. V and A are only 2 years and 4 months old. They are starting school a year from now! Yes, it's pre-school, but real school none the less.



Swinging into Summer...too late

2008-07-31T13:34:15.259-05:00

Last week was a great week. I finally got together with my High School friends, two of them with twins, and one is a new momma. I went over to my neighbor Katie's house for drinks after the kids went to bed. Rick and I took Vaughn and Avery for a fun day at the near by Lake Park for some afternoon fun. This week, we walked to our community center, played at the park, had a picnic snack and looked for ducks in the pond. After nap, we went over to the pool, and the kids for the first time, REALLY enjoyed themselves. Vaughn was running through the sprinklers screaming his head off. Avery was dancing under the raining flower doing arabesques. We went over to the "big" pool, and they actually walked in on their own. Avery lays on her belly in the zero depth area and kicks her feet. Finally, we had some playtime with almost all the cousins, and they really had a ball.


Every morning when I wake up, I look out the window and notice that it isn't as light out anymore, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier with every passing day. It makes me sad, because I feel like I've just now, dove into summer. As soon as it arrived, it will disappear. I'm trying to soak up every day, and enjoy the shoelessness, the easy "go throw some shorts on". I love flip flops and afternoons at the park. Grilling every night, or going out to a restaurant to sit outside with a Mojito.

Summer is the best time of year for me. This is one of the best summers I've ever had.



The few things I dislike about Summer

2008-06-30T13:17:50.135-05:00

We all love summer right? The warm weather, being outside in the fresh air...I could go on for hours. There are some things that are really ANNOYING about summer. I know they don't out weigh the winter's crappiness, but they do exist, so let me tell you what I don't like.

There are only 3 (thank god, any I experienced all of them last night)

#3) Mosquitoes.
I would venture to guess we all hate these little buggers. At least we can repel them. This is why they are at the bottom of the list.

#2) Firecrackers.
Since having children, I have grown to HATE, HATE, HATE them. The people of the neighborhood are always firing them off when my children are sleeping ('cause it's dark). The home schooled kids down the street happen to light 'em up in the street, and scream at the top of their lungs. It kills me. I guess it is that time of year, and not much can be done about it for the next month. Thank god for the sound machines we purchased for the kids a few months ago. They muffle out a lot when they are on the highest setting, although, last night they were awakened at 10pm by the last pops of them. This too can be stopped after 10pm when the noise ordinance kicks in. It's just a quick call to the police station.

#1) Ding Dong Ditchers.

In our case since we do not have a doorbell, the little bastards either knock ferociously, or in the last situation, kick the door so hard the knocker we have knocks with the aftershock. I was watching a movie at about 11pm, when I was startled by the sound of someone kicking my door in. I slapped my husband in the face a few times (who was sleeping in my lap) to wake him screaming "wake up, didn't you hear that?". I heard the punks leaping from the stairs, and scatter. My first instinct is to open the door an let my trusty hound out to "sick 'em". But I didn't. I put Louie's leash on, and walked around outside saying,
"OK Louie, find them. Hey punks, should I let my dog find you, and you can square it up with him? Next time I will, and I'll tell the cops you were trespassing".

I saw a little punk kid scamper across the street and dodge behind a house.

There isn't much you can do. Kids will be kids. I guess it's payback for my husbands behavior as a teen.

All in all, summer is fantastic! If it was only a few months longer.



I'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine

2008-06-19T21:40:44.866-05:00

My friend Katie and I have begun kid swapping. We started this after we watched each others kids a few afternoons to get some errands done. I finally said to her,

"Hey, why the hell aren't we doing this once a week?"

So, the birth of "Kid Swapping".

I LOVE it!! Who wouldn't? I have 2 free hours a week for anything. The best part is, it's free and guilt free since I then watch her son.

These past few weeks, all I've done is accumulate supplies for my yard. Overall, I have worked a total of 8 hours doing yard work during naptime. It is finally looking pretty nice. I have a few more things I'd like to do, but the maintenance alone will keep me busy all summer when the kids aren't.



Imaginations Gone Wild

2008-06-04T13:54:59.931-05:00

Last week, my lovely daughter told me that she was going to run away. I was changing her diaper, and she looks at me and says"Mom (yes Mom), I onna run way.""Your going to run away?" I asked"Yep Mom, run..aaaaway" and she points her finger towards the door."Where are you going?" I asked"I, I , I live at store!"I decide to inquire further."What will you eat and drink at the store?"Without hesitation, " I eat Thai food, and drink coffee" she replies"And who will change your diaper and give you a bath?"With a big smile, "Katie will change a diaper" (she's our good friend).After lunch today, Vaughn and I were talking about Daddy."Vaughn, what is Daddy?" (they usually reply"A Man")"Daddy a bird""Daddy is a bird?What color is Daddy?""green, yeah a green bird. He fly away, to far (reaching to the ceiling) to high, can't reach 'em""And Mommy is...?""A yellow...bunny rabbit""What are you?""A green bird, no... a bunny rabbit bird" I guess her understands the blending of DNA."You are a bunny rabbit bird?""Oh" ("Oh", means "yes" to Vaughn, it's an Italian thing I think)"What is Avery then?""Avey a red (her favorite color) bunny rabbit too."It is so funny to watch how much they imagine every day. I've learned a votive candle can be a baby's bottle, a fig bar bitten a certain way can become a boot for your finger. Spitting water from your mouth makes you an elephant, and a dust bunny from under the couch is a mouse.[...]



Facebook

2008-05-16T13:04:09.749-05:00

I created an account a while ago, but never really got into it. I haven't got a ton of time to spare. It's not easy keeping up with the kids, the house, the yard, paying bills, making meals, my blog, and Facebook all at once. Since my friends list is growing, I can't help but run down to the computer and sign in. My lovely sister- in- law did warn me about how addictive it is. I still limit the amount of time I am logged in and try not to invest precious moments typing and searching away.


It is so much fun to find people I haven't seen in years. I am happy to see that most are doing well, and seem happy.


How many of you are addicted????















Haven't worked out since Tuesday. Yasmin is making me feel funky, but it's better than another set of twins.

???? on the lbs. I'll come bake up to speed, and have some courage to weigh myself again.



Spring is Paradise

2008-04-17T13:44:18.463-05:00

I am really enjoying the weather these past few days! There is nothing like opening the windows to let the nice clean breeze in, and flush out the stale winter air.


All the different sounds of the birds are glorious and the small sprigs of green on the tree branches really promises that spring is finally here.


Waking up before 7am is no big deal, now that the sun is up, and we can spend the day playing and exploring the newness of spring. It is so much fun to watch the kids become so exited by what we have taken for granted for so long. Birds flying overhead, all the little flowers blooming, worms on the sidewalk, ant hills in the dirt.


I think of the sentence in the chorus of Paradise by the BoDeans:


Paradise, it aint hard to find, lookin' out your window at the world outside.


Spending hours outside is wonderful! I love digging in the sand and rolling in the grass. We have already gone through a bucket of sidewalk chalk since Easter.


What is your favorite outdoor activity??



The North Face Nation

2008-03-18T13:07:59.654-05:00

I went to a Black Hawks game on Sunday with my friends. As we arrived to the United Center, I realized that ONE out of THREE people were wearing The North Face jacket of some kind. As we drove to the parking lot, there was just a sea of people with the white lettering on their right shoulder. There were less people wearing hockey jerseys. I have had the conversation before with ...someone, but I never saw so many of the same brand of jacket in such a small area. I guess it's the label right? I have a Colombia fleece jacket that's really nice, and I only spent $30 (at Nordstrom Rack) as opposed to close to $150.


Of course I made a comment to the girls who both had their North Face jackets on. To make it worse, I had also pointed out that most of the women and girls wearing the North Face jackets. were also wearing Ugg's. I looked at both of their feet as we got out of the car, and they two were wearing Ugg's.



What's the big deal? I know it sounds funny from someone who love designer jeans, but I love them because of the way they fit. Is there something I am missing with these jackets?



The issue is not money, it's the very specific brand. Why does everyone have one?





125
3.5 miles today



The Terrific Two's Emerging

2008-03-11T14:17:37.123-05:00

How sweet they look!!!!Yes, they are beginning to morph into screaming, hitting, pushing, defiant children. I knew it would happen. I used to be in a room filled with 10 of them. The quietest, most gentle kids seemed to be the ones who really start to act out. I guess they make up for lost time.Vaughn has quickly found his independence, and finds that if he pushes and hits anyone, he gets a reaction one way or another. Rick and I really try not to react, and just tell him over and over again "we don't push one another", and "it's not nice to hit!" He repeats "no pushing, no hitting", walks up and smacks me in the face. We redirect, give him a ball to push and tell him, "push the ball". We have started to remove him from the room, and put him in the corner. He stands there willingly, and says "manners, not nice...corner" It's hard not to laugh, but we keep our composure.Avery is actually manageable right now. She is spirited, and will sometimes hit or push, but when we discipline her, she crumbles. She buries her face in my lap, or falls to the ground in a fetal position. It's pretty funny too.Meal times are especially fun when slices of apples are chucked at you. Vaughn loves to throw anything, and put his feet on the table. I know it's just a matter of ignoring behaviors, and staying calm, but some days it's really hard. If we remind him of using good manners, he says "yes, manners", laughs, takes a big sip of milk and spits it all over the place. ARGHHHHH!!!!!!! Avery is not that extreme since food is worth it's weight in gold to her. She will almost never intentionally throw food on the floor. She does, however , put her feet on the table, and scream.I WON'T call them terrible though. They are smart kids, and are just trying to find out where the limits are. They challenge us more every day, but make us laugh just as much. It's all a phase, and if handled the right way, will pass quickly. I just really hope they do not become the kind of kids who people talk about in a negative way, like they talk about Rick or my cousin Chuck. I'll often hear, "Wow, Richie was quite a kid!!! I hope they don't act that way" Thankfully, both turned out to be wonderful caring adults.I am looking forward to summer, when they can expel a lot of energy. Most the time, kids act out when they have an over abundance of energy, no structure, and overtired. Thankfully, I am very structured, and they get plenty of sleep.Spring where are you!!!!!!!!!!!126ran 3.5 miles today[...]



Update

2008-03-07T13:29:58.682-06:00

Very quickly, I'm updating my progress. I started bringing the kids to the community center twice a week so I can work out. The regular teacher is in love with both V and A and is very good with them, although, they do cry for a bout 5 minutes after I leave. When I peak in after my run, they are happily playing with Mrs. Liz. They have so much fun, they don't wan to leave.



Today I ran 3.2 miles easily. Every week, I'll try to get a bit faster since I'd like to run some races this year. I'm not concerned about time right now. I just want to go the distance (maybe more) and speed up from there on in. I do feel so much better already. It's nice to drop the kids off, plug in and tune out.


126



The Biggest Loser at Home.

2008-01-31T12:44:05.167-06:00

(image)
I love this show. It's really nice to see people achieving weight loss through hard work with diet and exercise. I get all teary eyed up when I watch it.

This is inspiring me to log in my progress every time I post. Rick and I have been working out three times a week now, and although I don't spend as much time at the gym as I'd like, at least I'm going. I run for 30 minutes, or run 20, then do the elliptical for another 10 minutes. I then end with a bit of weight training (what ever I can fit in).


I try to do "donkey kicks" and lunges at home, since my tush is starting to slide. How depressing! I also fit some ab work in, in between the loads of laundry.
I figure I might have some extra motivation to start eating more healthy again, or just eating less if I post my progress. My water consumption is way down too. I used to drink at least a liter of water a day, and I'm lucky if I drink more than 8 oz these days. Wonder why I get headaches eh?


So watch for the loss (crossing fingers) at the bottom.


128 lbs



The First Day of School

2008-01-23T15:16:56.182-06:00

Today was our first day of our "Stay and Play" class with the park district. We walked in, took off our coats, and made our way to say hello to the teacher.As I walked across the room, I noticed we were the only non Eastern European people in the class so far. I walked V and A up the the teacher, introduced the and myself, and greeted the teacher. I was very clearly the strange american woman.As other class members came in, I noticed we were the minority. The "E.E" parents sat in the corner and chatted (jzib jzib) while their children ran about pushing other kids, as the rest of us supervised our children and encouraged them to share and be kind to the other kids. I was also making sure V and A weren't licking any of the sticky toys, as to not ingest any other viruses and bacteria for a while.I was surprised to see my babies having no problem running off and interacting with other kids and adults. They were sharing toys with other kids, and would occasionally call out for one another to make sure their sibling was at least in the room. They would periodically meet up in the center of the room, say a few words and then separate again.I tried very hard to not interfere with what they were doing, so they can initiate play on their own. I did however, as I mentioned before, keep an eye on them at all times.It was then time for "snack". We sat at the little tables, and had some dried cranberries, and cheerio's, and I tried to strike up conversations with other parents. Needless to say it was difficult with most of the other parents, but I did talk with a few. I was the most aggressive one there, 'cause once I started to talk, more people came out of their shell. After snack, I asked V and A to take their napkins to the garbage. This was amazing to the others. "Wow, did you see that?? How do you get them to help you??" I heard from some of them. I figured almost all kids love to help, and throw things in the "bargage". Anyhow, on to circle time. If you don't know, I'm always talking to V and A. I explain almost everything we are doing, or going to do. So I prepared them. "Alright, we're having circle time! Let's clean up the toys so we can sit in a circle on the carpet!" V and A started tossing toys in the toy box, and proceeded to sit on the colorful carpet. This again was strange to most.The teacher sat down and asked what we would like to sing. Every parent sat wide eyed, and quiet. Are you asking us or the kids? I thought to myself.How about the wheels on the bus? The teacher suggested.Thinking again. This should be amusing since more than half the people in this class speak polish.The teacher started The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. All thought the town.Pause... blank looks....I chime in The Wipers on the bus go swish swish swish...and so on.Suddenly, I'm leading the song. WTF is the teacher for?? She asks us what song we'd like to sing next, and looks at me.The itsy bitsy spider? I sayThe next thing you know, I'm leading this song too. Oh, and after every song, I clap and say "yeah!!!!!" to get the kids going a bit.I should be getting paid for this I'm thinking.It was now time to go. The teacher was saying her good byes, but most of the parents just threw their kids jackets on and bolted out the door. I made sure to show V and A to say good bye and Thank you to the teacher and to the new kids we had met.I guess for some, it's a place to bring your kid to play. I see it as "school", and another opportunity to teach V and A manners, and expose them to a few hours of structured play. I guess it's the preschool teacher in me.I do look forward to going next week, and the weeks that follow. It's fun [...]



Happy Birthday TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!

2008-01-21T14:41:44.272-06:00

Happy Birthday to my Mommy!!


My Mom taught me how to be silly, creative, and use all kinds of strange words to describe almost anything.


She taught me how to whip up a meal from whatever was left in the fridge. These dishes usually turn out better than any recipe.


My Momma showed me how to be strong even when you feel you are at your weakest moment.


Tip your glass to her today!!



I love you very much and hope you are having a wonderful day!!



1,000 down the drain

2008-01-16T19:58:30.805-06:00

(image)
Well, I ran without my SPORTS orthotics today, and whata you know? My knee didn't hurt. Now that I'm home and have my neoprene wrap off, It's a little sore, but nothing like a few days ago.

I did notice that my arch was a bit ...tense on the left foot, but I'll take that.
I might just forget about them all together, because when I wear them on a day to day basis, my knee still hurts. I guess I can take them back to the podiatrist and have them fix the orthotics.

They are supposed to slow down my inevitable bunions that I have inherited. The bunions are not really even bunions yet, but do I save my feet, and spare the knee? I don't think so. Even if I wear the orthotics, I'll still eventually get the bulbous joints on my pretty little dogs anyhow. Ya gotta love getting older. At least I didn't pay for the stupid things.



Back In Action!!!!

2008-01-14T13:29:27.530-06:00

(image)
Finally, we joined our community fitness center. Rick and I took the kids for a "look-see" a while ago, but never got the motivation to just pay the membership fee, and GO.

What's nice is they have a babysitting room for parents who want to work out. It's nicely equipped with toys, kitchen and T.V. They also limit the number of children in the room, and you have to make an appointment, which controls any over crowding.

Now, I have no excuse. Only if the babies are sick. They will turn you away if you attempt to bring in a sick child- that's nice.

After a stressful month (holiday's, cold weather, very sick babies) , I finally went. I packed up my new hot pink Nike bag, compliments of my sister and UDA, and took the one minute drive over to the community center. It is rather small, but it is clean and the staff is very friendly. Unlike the gym we used to belong too.

I fired up my ipod, and hopped onto the treadmill. I would have chosen the elliptical because of my knee, which has been acting up again, but they were all being used. I trusted the neoprene wrap would help. After the first mile and 1/2, I felt like it was time to slow down a bit and bring my heart rate down, so I dialed down the MPH, and started on a slow jog. Interestingly enough, that is when my knee started to hurt. Could it be that I put more pressure on my joints jogging, than running? I did read that in runners magazine about three years ago. I decided to speed back up again, and the discomfort lessened. When I felt like my heart rate was beyond target again, I walked and jacked up the incline to make it more difficult. Thankfully, this worked well. I guess your body has a way of letting you know your limits. It's funny, because my mind works in a similar fashion, run and walk, never can I just mentally jog anymore.



Holiday Blues Justified

2007-12-29T12:48:15.778-06:00

Thank GOD we're starting a New Year. I hate to be negative and end the year like this, but it's hard to enjoy the Holiday Season when all your doing is disappointing people.

I know this is possibly the worst thing I could be doing (posting), but at this point, I don't EFFING care anymore! I have had this feeling eating at me for a few days now, and I need to take my frustration out on my key board, 'cause the computer won't accuse me of being crazy. You see, If you voice your opinion out loud, you are crazy. Or didn't everyone know that?

It is very hard to feel happy when you're being "strong armed" to conform. Then, when you don't comply with the majority, a wet blanket of guilt is thrown over you. The last time I checked, I didn't join the military. This is a free country too right?

No matter what, we are always made to feel as though we're a burden. We're told that everything is for us, and we NEVER give enough back. It hurts! I grew up with that feeling my whole life. Nothing was ever enough for my Dad, and he was very quick to let us know. I always was the peace maker, and the people pleaser. It used to make me feel better, when my actions were recognized. After a while, if you always miss your target, you run out of arrows. YES, I do have issues with my childhood. I'll be the first to admit it. It's a good thing my mom was the buffer.

I made a promise to myself for the Holiday's (two posts ago), and until a few days ago, I lived up to it. I know now I must make more promises to myself. Let's call them my resolutions:

I will be happy with who I am, not who I make happy.
I will not ever fall victim to peer pressure again.
I stand for my beliefs, no matter who or what tries to get in my way.
I can't always change how people feel ,because, sometimes it's their problem.

It's more like a High School peer group mission statement, then again, I guess some never evolve past grade 12. Maybe I haven't either. I think it's time to bury "Al Bundy".

Happy New Year!



Your Favorite Christmas Gift.

2007-11-29T21:52:47.280-06:00

my mom inspired this topic.

what is the most favorite gift you ever received for Christmas?

over all the years, i have two that really stick out.

this first one was by far the best! it was a barbie make up case. i got it for christmas when i was 8. it was a pink (of course) oval case with three eye shadow colors: powder blue, bubble gum pink, and lavender. then a creme rouge, and a square bottle filled with "perfume", which was more like diluted soap. i think i applied make up every day! i looked more like a drag queen than barbie, but i thought i was beautiful. i remember having a dress up party with the red headed irish girl who lived down the block. she always played with her mothers crazy make up, or was it her crazy mother's make up??... (she was an elvis freak!!!) once i got my own make up kit, i knocked her socks off!

the next one was an electric blanket. i was 12. it was the ugliest brown color, but was the coziest thing i ever snuggled with.

thanks mom, for buying those things for me! i appreciate every late hour you stayed up wrapping all those gifts, and every minute you stood over watching us decorate those cookies. i hope they were fun for you too!



Holiday Blues

2007-11-20T13:01:25.682-06:00

'Tis the season!

I always get anxious this time of year. My mind races and I have trouble getting to sleep some nights thinking about Christmas. I can't quite put my finger on WHY I feel this way. No, I know what it is.



It's the pressure of purchasing gifts. Trying to make sure that everyone is happy with them. I think to myself, "Am I spending enough, too much? Did I buy enough for this person, or would money in an envelope be O.K.? " Why should it have to come down to this? I hate how Christmas is so corrupted by all the retailers. Why can't it just be about family, and gathering around the table for a meal, and for crying out loud THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD!!!!!! I miss singing "silent night", and "Hark the herald angels". Most kids today think the holidays are about a Turkey and Santa bringing them gifts, how horrible!



From this day forward, I am making a promise to myself. I will enjoy the holidays! I won't worry about gifts, I won't worry about if someone is upset if we can't spend a holiday with them. I have to think about starting our own family traditions of going out to buy a tree, and decorating it to Christmas songs by the fire. Enjoying Christmas breakfast with my husband and kids. Going to church to celebrate, for it is a religious holiday.

I am going to relax, and take a deep breath.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!





My 5K Foiled!!

2007-10-05T14:01:53.221-05:00

In preparation for running the Halloween 5k, I started to feel a twinge in my right knee. The day it really bugged me was a fantastic running day. The air was crisp, and the sun beamed. I was getting on my 4th mile and it felt like a dull pop in my inside knee.

crap, no way. Just when I was feeling so great

I decided to press on, and pretend nothing was wrong.

Mind over body, Mind over body

I repeated over and over again, and then the little doctor in my head said

Stop!!!! You idiot, you are not making things any better!!


I decided to lay off for a few days, and see if the knee would recover. I took advil prophylacticly, and was easy on it. After about 3 days, I set off again. This time the knee began to shout at me after about a mile. I walked the rest of the way, and rested my knee for a few more days, only to have it yell at me again after mile #1. Arggghhh!!!! It is so frustrating, because I was just getting back into running again. I was supposed to do this 5k with the other rizzi girls, and go for a post run party at the local bar. this was supposed to be my "free"day. My hubby was prepared to put in a days work with the kids, and let me have a full day of exercise, followed by drinking. Stupid joint!! I just hope I won't need another at some point.

Now, hubby and I are joining the park district center and will have the opportunity to work out closer to home. We were members of Bally's for years, but the local facility id HORRIBLE! the park district has a great indoor, and outdoor track, and has plenty of fun classes all day. they're babysitting facility is nice and clean which is a super plus, because bally's was sickening.

Maybe I can go and cheer the sisters on, and still partake in some post run partying.





Seven is Heaven for All Mankind

2007-09-21T13:30:35.872-05:00

I remember the day I first slipped a pair of these jeans on to my body. Oh, was I convinced that designer jeans were the "shit!" I tried on a few coveted brands, Joe's Jeans, True Religion, but the Seven for All Mankind (not just 7, just to be clear) were perfect! This first pair were the only ones I payed full price for, the others were on the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack, but were still higher priced for jeans. I had a few pair from Gap, Express, and Polo, which were nice and all. None of them compared to the Seven's. It's something about the way the pocket fits on the tush, and how the denim feels. I never had a pair of jeans feel and look so damn good!I guess I felt better showing off the burgundy tag, and signature swoosh on the pockets. It's like getting a really nice bag, for some reason I felt like a better person. Sad but true, and true for a lot of you out there, so don't "poo poo" me! If I had tons of money, I'd spend it on purses and jeans, I just now realized that.Yesterday, I went for a hair cut, and my stylist had on some awesome jeans. I couldn't stop looking at them. I needed to have some. After my appointment, I popped on over to Nordstrom Rack, and started my mad search. I grabbed the True Religions, the Paige, Luckies, Rock and Republic's, but couldn't find MY FAVORITE. This was terrible. After piling 7 pairs of jeans onto my arm, and taking my last look around...AHHH, there they were. Beams of light came from the ceiling and created a halo around the WHOLE rack of them. I purred like a kitten no, a tiger and attacked the rack.As I entered the dressing room, I set the Seven's apart from the rest. I tried on all the other ones just to see how they fit. I actually like the Paige Jeans a lot, and almost bought some, but as soon as the Seven's went on, It was like coming home after a long trip. These are home for my ass! I ended up purchasing a pair of the Dojo style. They have a wider leg, than a boot cut, but not really flared. They're SWEET!!!!!I now have 4 pair in my closet, but the one pair I was the proudest of, I need to sell. I don't think I'll ever fit into them ever again. The day I put on, and actually fit into a size 24 jean was a fabulous one. I only wore them 3 times, and then I got pregnant. Figures. I thought about holding onto them, for inspiration, but maybe that's stupid. I'm sure someone else would enjoy them. And "NO" they are not out of style! If any of you know someone who wears a size 24 and wants to bye a pair of designer jeans, let me know, otherwise, I'll take them to a resale shop.Later today, it's off to the tailor to have them hemed. I need to were them as soon as possible!! [...]



My New " Official" Friend

2007-09-19T14:45:34.395-05:00

About two months ago, I was at the park with V and A, swinging them on the swings. I saw a young woman with a baby walking over. Instantly V started pointing and screaming "Bahhh Bahhh Bahhh Bi!" for baby. "Yes, It's a baby" I replied, and the woman walked right over.I was surprised she wasn't Eastern European, like most woman at the park are. She said hello, and asked the normal questions, "how old are your kids? are they twins?" etc... so, back and fourth we went. I was happy to find out that she lives only a block and a half from us, and her son is about a year old. She just quit her job to stay home with her son, and was in need of some advise, or just needed to vent. In a matter of 1/2 hour we had hit it off. I told her that I come to the park every day, and I'd see her again soon.Over that past few months, we'd see one another at the park, sit with the kids and swap stories. I referred to her as my "new friend". She had grown up around us, and seemed pretty down to earth. We actually have a lot in common, and I was exited to see her at the park, 'cause I knew I'd have some adult conversation. About a week had passed, and I hadn't been to the park. I felt bad, so I decided to write her a note, and wrote my number down for her if she ever wanted to get together during the fall or winter. As I wrote it, I thought" Is this too fast? Am I being too forward? Will I scare her off?" I guess it's the feeling of having a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Are there rules here? I had made friends after high school and college, but they are people I worked with and saw on a daily basis. Eventually, I became social enough with these people to hang out with them, and, to this day, am very close to them. I never thought meeting someone off the street would be this ...awkward.So, a few days ago I we ran into one another at the park. She came with an invitation to her sons 1st Birthday party, and we talked about the girl I use for a baby sitter. I had offered to share my baby sitter with her, because I really didn't need her on a weekly basis. I knew my friend had started to look for someone, an since the girl that watched V and A is so great, I thought I'd share the love.After talking with the babysitter, and making sure she'd be o.k. with it, I called my friend to give her the phone #. The phone rang, and I was nervous. Wait, I'm Thirty Three (almost)and I can't call a person who lives down the street? I'm good at this! I'm pretty cool, I can make a new friend, who doesn't like... ME?Feww, voice mail. I leave a short message with the babysitters phone number. About an hour later, my "friend" calls me back to let me know that she got my message, and she called the sitter and made arrangements. She then asked what I was doing later (!!!?) Is this a date?"Ummm, nothing, what do you want to do? Do you want to go out, or stay around here? Wanna come over?""sure" she replies, "I'll call you when the baby wakes up".At about 3:30, she calls me to let me know she's on her way. I got very exited! A play date, how fun. So we sat around for about two hours, and talked. She's pretty funny. We shared dysfunctional family stories, pregnancy stories, the whole bit. It was great!So, today my friend calls me to thank me for referring her to the babysitter. It just so happens that the sharing situation is going to work out really well. We sat on the phone for a while and talked. She then she tells me how thankful she is to have met me, and how funny it[...]



Leashing your child

2007-09-06T12:23:10.580-05:00

Last Sunday, Rick and I took the kids to the Zoo for the first time. We had such a great time. It was a little hot, but we managed. I made sure V and A were napped and fed, to ensure their happiness, and ours.The kids were so exited to see the animals, and we were exited for them. A was screaming with joy when she saw the dolphins, and V started signing for elephant once we strolled upon them. At the Children's Zoo, they were able to get up close to the farm animals, V even touched a goat. There is this gated in area where the kids can follow goats around and brush them. V was happy holding my husbands hand, and just admiring everything from afar, but our darling daughter was like a caged animal herself. She darted around just happy to be free from the stroller. A is so fast now, and HATES it when we hold her hand. She goes into a tantrum and throws herself on the ground and jumps on her butt. At that point we have to scoop her up and carry on with the day. After the monkey house, we let her run down the path leading back to the stroller area. She again took off, and started greeting other people. At one point our littler angel, stumbled upon a man with a baby. She pointed and said "bahby, bahby!!" and approached the man (who seemed as though he enjoyed a few too many of the Zoo beers). This man reached out to A saying in a thick accent, " Ahh, beautiful child!!, Come Come here", and tried to pick her up. My husband immediately, snatched A up and walked toward me and V, and told our social butterfly to say goodbye. She kicked and screamed for a few seconds, wanting to be put down.A just started walking 6 weeks ago, and is already little miss independent. I fear she'll be one of those kids who will disappear in a second, when you're attention is taken off of her. I have heard too many stories of kids vanishing, luckily found, but I don't want to experience the horror of losing a child. If I am ever with them by myself, I know she'll take off on me. V, on the other hand, will be hanging on to me with out a problem. I have seen people who have these backpack harnesses for their kids. Some adults think it is stupid to put your kid on a leash, but I think sometimes, you just have no other choice.My dear sister-in-law picked one up for me at Wal-Mart, she was going there anyway, and saved me the trip. I really think that is is a necessity, if you are in crowds, and can't put them in the stroller for some reason. Safety first right?[...]



My Dermatological Experience

2007-08-30T15:19:20.876-05:00

I finally made my visit to the dermatologist. I had two reasons for being there: #1: get checked for and suspicious lesions on my body#2: yes, i had two warts (eewww!)I guess working in a medical/dental office, i see things that maybe the average person wouldn't. I'm not saying I had a bad experience, but my expectations were not met entirely. I stood at the window, and watched a sea of people in scrubs standing around, laughing, and chit-chatting. Some people were sitting at a computer and working, but there seemed to be quite a few looking as though they were doing nothing, but what do I know. I try to make eye contact with anyone, to announce that I have arrived, and that I am late. Yes, Yes, I was late, and that may be the reason why they didn't roll out the red carpet for me. I tried to call, but my cell phone wouldn't pick up a signal.You see, if this were to happen in the office I used to work in, we would have been lectured. In the past, If I was behind the desk, talking to another girl, and the front desk people were busy, I would have acknowledged the patient, and offer to help with checking her in. If any of us were unable to be of service to a new patient, we were forbidden to hang out at the front, because the doctors thought it looked like we were lazy. Now, being on the other side, I see what they mean. I finally get a girl to look at me and say "hi there", she says hello back, and continues her story about the storm that blew through late last week. I am now starting to get impatient, as I'm about to crawl over the desk, and scream, finally, a woman walks over. I tell her my name, and that I know I'm about 10 minutes late. I offered to re-schedule my appointment, but she says "no, your fine"I fill out my paper work as fast as I can, and supply the woman with my ID and insurance info. A few minutes later, a nice nurse takes me back and has me sit down. She goes over my medical history, and quickly asks me some questions. She tosses a gown at me, and blurts something out as she exits the room. I never got her name.The P.A. walks in, and asks me why I am there. I explain that my brother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 1 melinoma, and that I would like to be examined for anything funny looking, and of course...the warts!. I do show her one spot on my leg that has changed over the years. The P.A. has me sit back, and quickly looks at by body. She explained that I have TONS of freckles and other pigmentations (no shit!), and some swelling of may hair follicles, but nothing concerning (except for the one on my leg). I felt that glancing at someone in the sitting position was not a very comprehensive exam...but again, what do I know? All I know is that some people who have had a complete scan, get naked, and every spot on there body is examined, and charted.Anyhow, she offered to biopsy the one on my leg, and freeze off my warts right there. I opted for just the freezing of the warts, and I'll return for the biopsy.I sign a consent form for that procedure. The P.A. then takes a torch looking device filled with liquid nitrogen, and sprays the first one. HOLY CRAP!!! It felt like she was holding a lit cigarette on my finger. She then shoots the other one, thank god, the second was less painful then the first. She gave me some simple instructions for after care, and tells me to make an appointment in two weeks for the biopsy.Today, I have these nasty blisters surrounding[...]