Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sometimes it is the destination

I got an iPhone for Christmas and all thru the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (because we set traps).

The stockings weren't hung, because we couldn't find the drill, and for our trip to Texas we packed in a hurry because its a thrill (well, not really, I'm making a rhyme).

With my husband and children all bundled into the car, we started off for a long ride afar. We left at 20:50 which was way later than planned, but were excited to get started and at work had been slammed.

But what should my eyes see from above? A whole lot of rain, ice & snow in a blizzard coming down on our car (hmm, no rhyme there!).

With cars in ditches and trucks jack-knifed, we made our way thru the treachorus night (it was mostly during the day by then, really).

With many delays and blinding white outs, we pushed ahead until it was again lights out.

So much for our 18 hour drive, it turns out we're in for a record breaking 25 (okay, so it was really 23 but I'm rhyming here!).

But finally after those long hours on the road, ready to strangle my family from head to toe, we arrived safely in Clyde, Texas, grateful to arrive in one piece and ready to say, Merry Christmas to all and someone get me a drink!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift Idea: Journal in a Jar

I came across this idea from an email newsletter I subscribe to and thought it was a great idea.

You've seen, I'm sure, stuff-in-a-jar kind of gifts (cookie mix in a jar, jams in a jar, etc), there's even a booklet from the same source I got this idea detailing loads of idea. Well, the premise of this one is to give someone a journal with a nice pen and a jar filled with ideas on what to write.

For a little kid, there would be things like "Draw a picture of your favorite pet or animal. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do in the summertime. Draw a picture of your favorite place to go."

For an older child or teen the prompts could be more like: "Tell about your favorite pet–-what kind of animal is it? When did you get him/her? Tell about your hardest day at school. What is your favorite band? Why do you like them?"

There's even ones for adults: "Why was your name chosen for you? What was happening in the world when you were born? What is your earliest memory of home?"

Then the piece of paper would taped/pasted onto a journal page and let the memories and writing begin.

I decided I would try this gift for my niece and nephew this year (11 & 15). My nephew is not so much into writing, so his journal won't have lines so he can do more drawing than writing. I'll post a photo of the finished gifts...once I do the in the jar parts.

I'm sure you're thinking "how on earth will I figure out what to put IN the jar", well my source even provides this for you! She has links on our site to PDF & Excel files that contain plenty of ideas...so many that you'd probably be hard pressed to think up ones that aren't already provided...but feel free to add to it! Then you cut up each idea and put it in the jar.

My husband thinks the idea is cheesey, but I did confirm w/ my sister-in-law that she thought it was a good before doing it. She thinks her kids will love it, especially since I'm using nice sketch pad for my nephew instead of a lined journal.

Let me know what you think of the idea...cheesey? ingenious? love it? hate it? Feel free to leave me a comment.

...and of course, happy holidays to all!

As promised...pix of the journals...

My niece's journal - it looks dark, but it's actually a nice shade of pink


And this is my nephew's sketchbook/journal.

And this is what you get when you buy cute small jars...more journal ideas than you can fit in one...take my advice - buy a bigger jar! These are extras for each journal in a jar set.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stories that make your heart swell

I grew up reading stories from Reader's Digest, I especially loved those short quips at the end of the page. It made for a quick read, and they always lifted your spirits. I received the following story via email and of course, me being me, had to go to the Internet to see if it was a true story (it was!) and then decided I had to share it here as well. This story was originally printed in 1966 in Reader's Digest. If you'd like to download a text version of the story (for sending via email), you can download it here...or just copy it from below! Happy Monday.

A TRUE STORY
by Paul Villard

When I was quite young, my family had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished oak case fastened to the wall on the lower stair landing. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I even remembered the number - 105. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked into it. Once she lifted me up to speak to my father, who was away on business. Magic! Then I discovered that somewhere inside that wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing that she did not know. My mother could ask her for anybody's number and when our clock ran down, Information Please immediately supplied the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-receiver came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the toolbench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be of much use crying because there was no one home to offer sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver and held it to my ear.

"Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two, and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my fingerrr-" I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's at home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?". "No", I replied. "I hit it with the hammer and it hurts". "Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it on your finger. That will stop the hurt. Be careful when you use the ice pick," she admonished. "And don't cry. You'll be alright".

After that, I called Information Please for everything. I asked for help with my Geography and she told me where Philadelphia was, and the Orinco--the romantic river I was going to explore when I grew up. She helped me with my Arithmetic, and she told me that a pet chipmunk--I had caught him in the park just that day before--would eat fruits and nuts. And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-up say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why was it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to whole families, only to end as a heap of feathers feet up, on the bottom of a cage? She must have sensed my deep concern, for she quietly said, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow, I felt better.

Another day I was at the telephone. "Information," said the now familiar voice. "How do you spell fix?". F-I-X." At that instant my sister, who took unholy joy in scaring me, jumped off the stairs at me with a banshee shriek-"Yaaaaaaaaaa!" I fell off the stool, pulling the receiver out of the box by its roots. We were both terrified--Information Please was no longer there, and I was not at all sure that I hadn't hurt her when I pulled the receiver out. Minutes later, there was a man on the porch. "I'm a telephone repairman. I was working down the street and the operator said there might be some trouble at this number." He reached for the receiver in my hand. "What happened?" I told him. "Well, we can fix that in a minute or two." He opened the telephone box exposing a maze of wires and coils, and fiddled for a while with the end of the receiver cord, tightened things with a small screwdriver. He jiggled the hook up and down a few times, then spoke into the phone. "Hi, this is Pete. Everything's under control at 105. The kid's sister scared him and he pulled the cord out of the box." He hung up, smiled, gave me a pat on the head and walked out the door.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Then, when I was nine years old, we moved across he country to Boston-and I missed my mentor acutely. Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back at home, and I somehow never thought if trying the tall, skinny new phone that sat on the small table in the hall. Yet, as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversation never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had when I know that I could call Information Please and get the right answer. I appreciated now how very patient, understanding and kind she was to have wasted her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way back to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour between plan connections, and I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister who lived there now, happily mellowed by marriage and motherhood. Then, really without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice that I know so well:"Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you tell me, please, how to spell the word 'fix'?" There was a long pause. Then came the softly spoken answer. "I guess," said Information Please, "that your finger must have healed by now." I laughed. "So it's really still you. I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during all that time...." "I wonder," she replied, "if you know how much you meant to me? I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls. Silly, wasn't it?" It didn't seem silly, but I didn't say so. Instead I told her how often I had thought of her over the years, and I asked if I could call her again when I come back to visit my sister when the semester was over. "Please do. Just ask for Sally." "Goodbye Sally." It sounded strange for Information Please to have a name. "If I run into any chipmunks, I'll tell them to eat fruits and nuts." "Do that," she said. "And I expect one of these days you'll be off for the Orinoco. Well, good-bye."

Just three months later, I was back again at the Seattle airport. A different voice answered, "Information," and I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" "Yes," I said. "An old friend." "Then I'm sorry to have to tell you. Sally had only been working part-time in the last few years because she was ill. She died five weeks ago." But before I could hung up, she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Villard?" "Yes." "Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down." "What was it?" I asked, almost knowing in advance what it would be. "Here it is, I'll read it-'Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean'."

I thanked her and hung up. I did know what Sally meant.

Paul Villard
Originally published June, 1966 Readers Digest; reprinted with permission in the December 1999 issue of the Singing Wires newsletter, TCI club.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Daddy's Gonna Eat Your Fingers

Received this via email...and just had to share...I love this one!!

This will make you smile!

This one is for everyone who...
a) has kids
b) had kids
c) was a kid
d) knows a kid
e) is going to have kids.
I guess that means all of us!!

DADDY'S GONNA EAT YOUR FINGERS

I was packing for my business trip and my three-year-old daughter was having a wonderful time playing on the bed. At one point she said, 'Daddy, look at this,' and stuck out two of her fingers.

Trying to keep her entertained, I reached out and stuck her tiny fingers in my mouth and said, 'Daddy's gonna eat your fingers,' pretending to eat them.

I went back to packing, looked up again and my daughter was standing on the bed staring at her fingers with a devastated look on her face.

I said, 'What's wrong, honey?'

She replied, 'What happened to my booger?'

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Boy, the Scholar

My Boy has hated school since...well, forever. Even in kindergarten...he wasn't that crazy about it. He actually loves it for about the last couple of months of the school year...has something to do with the impending departure (he's going to miss his teachers, friends, etc). But ever since first grade, it really has not been good.

We saw the pattern - the first half of the year he would struggle. The second half of the year, his teachers would finally put a plan in place to help him (usually revolved around a behavior chart). I even inquired in the first and second grade (to his teachers) if he might be ADD or something...they both didn't think so. He was also seeing a social worker back then - they didn't see it either.

When he first starting seeing the social worker he was really, really angry. It was in the Spring of 2008 (or was it 2007?) we started reading about the side effects of allergy meds...depression and anger was very common in kids his age (although the doctors said it was not a side effect). We learned about these "unofficial" side effects by reading other parent's concerns on the Internet (thank goodness for the Internet!).

We recognized within weeks that the depression and anger started to subside when he went off the allergy meds. It was then that we decided that mental health was way more important than allergies.

But, even after that major change - he still struggled in school. Never mind the fact that he hated it - we know he's smart, but he just could not get into it. So this year we requested the behavior chart start on day one of school - no more waiting until the teachers decided it was necessary. We also started taking him to The Bridge, Youth and Family Services.

It didn't take long for the therapist at The Bridge to diagnose him with ADD. His pediatrician prescribed Focalin. Now I'm sure some parents are against giving their kids meds...but please refrain from slamming my parenting for trying it! (not that anyone reads my blog & would post a comment anyway! LOL).

I am here to say that as it stands right now, after 3 weeks of Focalin - I am pleased with the results. My Boy has admitted that he actually LIKES school now. His behavior chart is, well, off the charts. Nearly perfect days EVERY day. I'm starting to wonder if he still needs it. He's doing his homework BEFORE he gets home (at after school care) and tonight he was so excited about being in the sign language club at the YMCA that he was teaching My Girl how to sign too. Hello, my kid is IN a club and is participating!!

So don't let anyone tell you that its not okay to try meds. I was always concerned that if it came to needing them, that he was going to be all fuzzy and zoning out (reminiscent of my own college days!). The side effects for Focalin are supposed to be decreased hunger and difficultly falling asleep. It hasn't happened yet, and I'm hoping it won't because it is all going so well.

I am so proud of My Boy. He's making such great strides. I get emails/calls from his teachers about how proud THEY are of how he's doing. I always knew he was smart, I was always afraid he would never like school and would fail. I'm so pleased that My Boy is doing better...and is even enjoying himself. Who knew!?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Southern Astrological Signs

Received this via email. Although I'm not all that into astrology...I thought this was cute...mostly because the "signs" would make for cute pet names - just call me Okra! LOL

Some people (especially Southerners) are pretty skeptical of horoscopes, and it has become obvious that what they need are their own “Southern” astrological signs.

OKRA (Dec 22 – Jan 20) Although you appear crude, you are actually very slick on the inside. Okras have tremendous influence. An older Okra can look back over his life and see the seeds of his influence everywhere. Stay away from Moon Pies.

CHITLIN (Jan 21 – Feb 19) Chitlins come from humble backgrounds. A chitlin, however, can make something of himself if he’s motivated and has lots of seasoning. In dealing with Chitlins, be careful. They can erupt like Vesuvius. Chitlins are best with Catfish and Okra.

BOLL WEEVIL (Feb 20 – Mar 20) You have an overwhelming curiosity. You’re unsatisfied with the surface of things, and you feel the need to bore deep into the interior of everything. Needless to say, you are very intense and driven as if you had some inner hunger. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you, so don’t worry about it.

MOON PIE (Mar 21 – Apr 20) You’re the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. It’s a cinch to recognize the physical appearance of Moon Pies. Big and round are the key words here. You should marry anybody who you can get remotely interested in the idea. It’s not going to be easy. This might be the year to think about aerobics. Or – maybe not.

POSSUM (Apr 21 – May 21) When confronted with life’s difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw and develop a don’t-bother-me-about-it attitude. Sometimes you become so withdrawn, people actually think you’re dead. This strategy is probably not psychologically healthy, but seems to work for you. One day, however, it won’t work and you may find your problems actually running you over.

CRAWFISH (May 22 – June 21) Crawfish is a water sign. If you work in an office, you’re always hanging around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the pool to the golf course, the bathtub to the living room. You tend to be not particularly attractive physically, but you have very, very good heads.

COLLARDS (June 22 – July 23) Collards have a genius for communication. They love to get in the “melting pot” of life and share their essence with the essence of those round them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists, and baseball managers. As far as your personal life goes, if you are Collards, stay away from Moon Pies. It just won’t work. Save yourself a lot of heartache.

CATFISH (July 24 – Aug 23) Catfish are traditionalists in matters of the heart, although one’s whiskers may cause problems for loved ones. You catfish are never easy people to understand. You prefer the muddy bottoms to the clear surface of life. Above all else, Catfish should stay away from Moon Pies.

GRITS (Aug 24 – Sept 23) Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel though, so maybe you should think about joining a club. Where do you like to go? Anywhere they have cheese or gravy or bacon or butter or eggs. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, that serves you well.

BOILED PEANUTS (Sept 24 – Oct 23) You have a passionate desire to help your fellow man. Unfortunately, those who know you best – your friends and loved ones – may find that your personality is much too salty, and their criticism will probably affect you deeply because you are really much softer than you appear. You should go right ahead and marry anybody you want to because in a certain way, yours is a charmed life. On the road of life, you can be sure that people will always pull over and stop for you.

BUTTER BEAN (Oct 24 – Nov 22) Always invite a Butter Bean because Butter Beans get along well with everybody. You, as a Butter Bean, should be proud. You’ve grown on the vine of life and you feel at home no matter what the setting. You can sit next to anybody. However, you, too, shouldn’t have anything to do with Moon Pies.

ARMADILLO (Nov 23 – Dec 21) You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior, but you are actually quite gentle. A good evening for you? Old friends, a fire, some roots, fruit, worms and insects. You are a throwback. You’re not concerned with today’s fashions and trends. You’re not concerned with anything about today. You’re really almost prehistoric in your interests and behavior patterns. You probably want to marry another Armadillo, but Possum is another somewhat kinky, mating possibility.

Did you notice that the dates are different than what you normally might be familiar with (if you are familiar with astrology)? I always thought Capricorns (a.k.a. Okras) started later than that and ended in February. Well, thanks to Wikipedia, I've discovered that there are different kinds of astrology...and you can read about the difference between Tropical & Sidereal here. Whats weirder is the Tropical is the one I should be familiar with (living in the Western Hemisphere), but it's not, I'm more familiar with the Sidereal dates! Whatever.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

SPAM Emails

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of SPAM emails I receive. And the lengths some people will go to to get me to read them (but I never get past the subject lines). Here's a few from the last week...
Meet the Famous Mr. X - I'll admit, I'm curious, but I still didn't read the email!

Super Advice Dog! - Really? Who needs advice from a dog??

RE: Safely Talk And Drive At The Same Time - this one made me think of that email that was circulating a few years ago (it was a joke email) - here's the product....

Given that I was able to find a photo of a product, I'm ashamed to say that someone took that joke email seriously!

Med that will make you feel more relaxed - I'm always up for something relaxing (do I take it or do I give it to my kids to make them go away??)

For guys only - they why send it to me??

Cash in with Facebook, Twitter and Email Sending - yes, because it's really working for you!

And the one that made me decide to blog this subject in the first place....

What s in Obama's butt - I don't know and I don't care!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What an appetite!

My Girl fixed herself a snack today...she prepared all of these items herself and sat down to eat them. She ate them in this order:
  1. meat stick
  2. the cream inside vanilla oreos (she opened each one & licked them clean), then ate the cookies
  3. salt & vinegar chips

Then she came up to me and said "my tummy hurts"

Really, she does have better taste in food than this!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interview with a Boy

My Boy that is. I actually did this with him in May...and forgot to post it. He's 9 now...but everything still pretty much rings true!
  1. How old are you?
    8
  2. When is your birthday?
    August 22
  3. What was the best gift you've ever received?
    Nintendo DS
  4. What didn't you get that you really wanted?
    Pokemon Platinum (DS game)
  5. What is your favorite thing about school?
    art
  6. What is your least favorite thing about school?
    music
  7. Who is your favorite person in the whole word?
    Garrett
  8. Who are all the people in your family?
    My sister, my Mom, my Dad, my cousins, my Uncle, my Aunt, my Grandpa and Grandmas and my cat.
  9. What is your favorite food?
    tacos
  10. What is your favorite toy?
    DS
  11. What is something mommy/daddy always says to you?
    Mom: go to your room or be quiet
    Dad: go downstairs to watch tv
  12. What makes you happy?
    playing my DS
  13. What makes mommy/daddy happy?
    Mom: me being happy
    Dad: me being happy
  14. What makes you sad?
    getting a wack on the butt with a belt
  15. What makes mommy/daddy sad?
    Mom: me being sad
    Dad: me being sad
  16. How do mommy/daddy make you laugh?
    Mom: tickle me
    Dad: Tickles me & giving me wedgies
  17. What were mommy/daddy like when they were little?
    Mom: annoying (who did I annoy?) Grandma & Grandpa
    Dad: British
  18. How old are your mommy/daddy?
    Mom: 41
    Dad: 41 also
  19. How tall are your mommy/daddy?
    Mom: 62 inches (he measured me)
    Dad: 72 inches (he guesses)
  20. What are mommy/daddy really good at?
    Mom: tickling me
    Dad: tickling me
  21. What are mommy/daddy not very good at?
    Mom: math (his first answer was sports)
    Dad: doing reading
  22. What do mommy/daddy do for their jobs?
    Mom: mailings
    Dad: mailings
  23. What is mommy/daddy’s favorite food?
    Mom: tacos
    Dad: KFC
  24. What makes you proud of mommy/daddy?
    Mom: playing with me
    Dad: giving me outdoor jobs
  25. If mommy/daddy were a cartoon character, what would they be?
    Mom: scooby do
    Dad: shaggy
  26. What do you do with mommy/daddy?
    Mom: watch tv
    Dad: outside jobs
  27. How are you and mommy/daddy the same?
    Mom: we're both happy at the same time
    Dad: we like to give each other wedgies
  28. How are you and mommy/daddy different?
    Mom: you're a girl & I'm a boy
    Dad: he likes chicken wings but I hate them
  29. How do you know mommy/daddy love you?
    Mom: cuz you tell me
    Dad: i have no clue
  30. What is one thing you would change about mommy/daddy?
    Mom: to be a boy
    Dad: not make me do so much stuff so I can play with him
  31. What do you like about your sister?
    she's very creative
  32. What don't you like about sister?
    she's annoying
  33. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    detective
  34. What is your favorite TV show?
    spongebob
  35. What is your favorite number?
    2
  36. What is your favorite color?
    red
  37. What is your favorite animal?
    penquins (first answer was sharks)
  38. What is your favorite time of year?
    my birthday
  39. What are you most looking forward to now that you are 8.5 years old?
    getting Pokemon Platinum (for his birthday)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

7/41: Grandpa Peedink

My Grandpa Peedink (Sidney Lee Mahaney) was a cool old guy. He was predictable, stubborn, down-home and set in his ways. He was the kind of guy that would get stuck on something he liked (he could eat bacon & eggs for every meal if he felt like it).

He had the greatest gray hair. I don't think I ever knew him before he was gray and he had a great head of hair.

The only time he wasn't wearing a jumpsuit was if he was going to a wedding or a funeral (then he wore a suit).

He fought in the war. As a young soldier he climbed Eagles Nest in Germany (Hitler's hide-away...Hitler was gone by then). He came home to his wife a baby daughter (my mom). Had two more kids (my uncles). Started a second career as an upholsterer.

I can remember sitting on his front porch in Cisco, Texas...hot, dry, prickly Cisco...playing with the wild kitties, hearing the swamp cooler switch on, popping open black-eyed peas that we'd picked from the garden across the street. (The photo is Grandpa with my niece & nephew on that front porch).

I went to junior college in Cisco (CJC) and I can remember one time my roomate and I went over to visit Grandpa. We'd asked if we could come use his clawfoot tub (there's only showers in college dorms!). He said sure. As we took turns soaking in the tub, Grandpa cooked us bacon and eggs (and he made the best!) and had slices of melon (he always had that in his fridge). It was so nice to be pampered.

Of course, the end of any visit with Grandpa was a trip to the White Elephant. Everyone knew Grandpa. They greeted him when he walked in (a la Cheers). I think that years later, when he wasn't able to drive anymore, his fellow White Elephant buddies would pick him up! He practically outlived all of his friends (I think he was 96 when he passed away in 2002).

I miss ya Grandpa...you were one cool dude!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day

Today was My Girl's first day of kindergarten. She did not let the icky weather dampen her mood - she was so excited. So much in fact that she gave herself the hic-ups (poor kid). She insisted on riding the bus today (I wanted to drive her to school on her first day).

We drove to the corner to wait for the bus - everyone sitting in cars because no one wanted to stand in the rain. We got out about 5 minutes before bus time (but of course, the bus was about 10 minutes late!). We stood in the rain talking and watching for that big yellow school bus. My Boy went to the neighbors house to sit on their porch and get out of the rain.

Abby was too excited to sit still. She paced and played with her umbrella. She grinned from ear to ear. A big contrast to My Boy's first day of kindergarten. He was frozen with fear. I guess it helps to be the second child...it's not as scary to do things that you've seen your older sibling do first.

My Boy's first day of school was yesterday. It's just as hard to believe I have a fourth grader as it is to believe my baby is in kindergarten!

He was not as excited as his sister was for the first day (well, he said he wasn't...but I could tell he was). It was a rainy day for his first day too. I think this year was the first time that it was a rainy first day of school.

He was ready to walk out the door WAY earlier than his bus. I was even finished getting ready yet and he was out the door. We walked to the corner 10 minutes in advance (and the bus was 10 minutes late that day too!). We found out that he must have started a trend last year because they changed the bus route and everyone on our street now has to come to his corner. Hopefully everyone will be nice to each other this year.

My goodness my kids have grown up fast! I can't believe they are now both in school. And yes, I did tear up after the bus drove away today. It all happened so fast that I didn't get a good photo of them climbing the steps into the bus. Oh well, there's always next year!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time Travel

I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife (also a movie) last night. A couple of chapters in, it tells of his first experience with time travel - he travels back in time to when he is 5 years old & interacts with his five-year-old self. This all happens at bedtime and when the boy returns, he goes to bed and in the morning tells his mom about his "dream".

This reminded me of a reoccurring dream I used to have when I was around 6 or 7 years old....

I used to visit my Grandma Sally as often as I could. But of course, that would require a drive to Pennsylvania (we lived just over the border in Ohio). My grandma lived in a little apartment above a garage owned by her in-laws (my great-grandparents). We used to sit in big squishy chairs on the little screened-in porch (well, they seemed like big chairs, I was pretty little!). It was definitely one of my favorite places to go - I just loved being at my grandma's house.

I can remember always asking to go to grandma's house...and many times my parents would tell me, we can't right now. We'll go soon. Maybe next week. Etc, etc.

One night, as I was lying in bed, I remember being frustrated because I wanted to go visit my grandma...and I wanted to go now! So I got up out of bed and knelt down in the corner to "wish" myself there. I squeezed my eyes tight and I wished really hard. My whole body was tense with anticipation. I really believed I could do it.

When I opened my eyes, I stood up and I was no longer in my bedroom. I turned around and saw grandma's bed and her things. I didn't notice that the room was not familiar to me (I was young and not that observent). I walked around to the foot of the bed. I looked out the bedroom door and could see all the way into the kitchen. I saw my grandma, standing at the sink, washing dishes. I thought to myself, "she's busy, I shouldn't bother her right now."

I walked back to the corner in her room, knelt down and wished myself home. When I opened my eyes, I was back in my own bedroom. I was tired from my travels, so I crawled back in bed & went to sleep.

I had this same dream a couple of times...but never gave it too much thought. It just always made me feel good to know that in my dreams I could visit whenever I wanted.

Flash forward, years later. I was 16 years old and visiting my grandma. It was a cleaning day and I was dusting the top of a tall dresser when I dropped the rag. I leaned down, into a corner to pick up the rag. I noticed there was something behind the dresser so I pulled the item out and went to go tell my grandma about my find. I stood up and backed out of the corner. I walked around to the foot of the bed. I looked out the bedroom door and could see all the way into the kitchen. I saw my grandma, standing at the sink, washing dishes. I thought to myself, "she's busy, I shouldn't bother her right now."

I promptly became dizzy and sat down on the bed. That had to be the biggest déjà vu I'd ever had. I immediately recalled the dream I used to have. I couldn't believe that the dream had come true! While I sat there thinking about it, I looked around the room and realized, grandma didn't live in this house when I had that dream. She'd only moved into this house a few years ago. How on earth could I have dreamed this room, this experience, when she didn't even live here yet?

It's still a mystery to me...but it's a fun story to tell! I would love to have someone that's an expert in dreams explain it to me sometime.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes


"I am not having a baby," my 5 year-old exclaims after watching a baby born on a TV show.


"Why not?" I ask her.


"Because it will hurt!" she says.


LOL - sounds just like I did as a kid! Glad I changed my mind.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

14 years...wow time flies!

Tomorrow is our 14 year anniversary. Being the last minute shopper that I am, I of course have not bought him a gift yet. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I even bought him one last year (bad wife!).

Here's what my reminder email (which only came 4 days ago!) suggests...

Traditional 14th wedding anniversary gifts have a theme of Ivory.
A contemporary or modern 14th anniversary gift has a theme of Gold Jewellery.
The flowers associated with this anniversary are Dahlia.
The Gemstone list shows Jewellery and Moss Agate associated with this Wedding Anniversary.

This is the same email My Man received, but I'm sure he'll be much better at coming up with a gift idea for me (he's so good at this!)....me on the other hand, I suck at this. So basically my choices are ivory or gold jewelry (who spells it with 2 l's??). Neither of which makes sense for a gift for him.

Someone suggested I get him a frame for his desk (with a photo of me in it of course!) and I'm thinking, if I can find one with ivory in it, that would satisfy the traditional gift idea. BUT, that would mean I would need to (1) go shopping and (2) successfully find what I'm looking for when I go shopping. Have I mentioned how much I hate shopping?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Camp & School Days

Just cannot believe its August already!! Thank goodness for summer camp - I have no idea what I'd do without it! Well, yes I do - I'd be bald from pulling my hair out from having the kids at the office every day!

Thankfully I discovered (just last Friday) that the YMCA would be willing to take My Girl (who wasn't old enough) for the next 3 weeks of camp (score!). So both rugrats are now enrolled for sports camp (My Boy is jazzed, My Girl, not so much). But My Man & I are happy because the idea of having them at the office for the next 3 weeks was not something we were looking forward to!

But, with August, comes time to get ready for school. That means I have 3 weeks to squeeze in some school shopping (for clothes, shoes, backpacks and lunchboxes) before Meet the Teacher Day (August 25th). Meet the Teacher Day also means we'll be picking up the rugrat's school supplies. Take it from last minute shopper mom, buy your school supplies from the PTA in the spring. It not only costs pretty much the same as shopping on your own - you save gas & time by not having to run all over town looking for stuff! And it keeps you from buying those impulse items that inevitably end up in your basket when you to to office supply or discount stores!

To celebrate the beginning of the new school year, another mommy blogger I like to read is having a contest to give away a laptop (yup, an actual laptop!!). So if you don't already know Owlhaven - check her out...and register to win a really cool laptop! Just visit her website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WTF?!

So I thought my biggest problem with outside potty issues was trying to convince my son that it is NOT okay to pee outside.

Who knew that my daughter would think it was okay to do the OTHER thing outside.

There are just times in your life when you realize that maybe you do need to explain e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.... no matter how absurd (or obvious) you think a subject might be. Oy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Reading Update #2

Well, we're down to the wire now...we only have another 9 days left to finish all of our reading. I'm done (I'm on my 3rd sheet now) but the kids have one visit left to go. We went this evening and picked up 10 more books for My Girl (we read TO her) and My Boy picked out a few more too. He's done pretty good - he has to read 200 pages each time and he's been doing it (with our help sometimes).

So as long as we get back there with our completed forms by July 31st, we're golden. And I think I mentioned this before, if we all wear our t-shirts into the library before the end of August, they'll give us a $30 movie gift certificate (woo hoo!). And of course, that's what the kids have been looking forward to (nevermind the free t-shirt too!).

I've been reading variety of books...and because I haven't been blogging I don't have the list to share. But I can tell ya I FINALLY finished the very short High Heels series I started last year. Just love Gemma Halliday's High Heels series!! It's about a shoe designer that keeps getting caught up in a murder mystery...all the while lusting after her hot Hispanic boyfriend Jack Ramirez and being tempted by the Brit tabloid report Felix Dunn. To check out the series, visit Gemma's website.

I'm happy to hear that Felix has his own series starting called Hollywood Headlines. I'll be happy to start reading this series very soon too.

I've also been enjoying books written by Mary Kay Andrews. I was smitten with the first book I read (Deep Dish). The next one (Hissy Fit) moved a little slower for me, but it was also enjoyable. Now I'm reading Savannah Breeze which is a sequel to Savannah Blues, but that one wasn't at the library so I didn't get to read it first. Apparently I forgot to read the jacket on Breeze because I was shocked (kinda) when the heroine got taken to the cleaners by a rouge beau. Now I'm eager to get through the book to find out if they catch him!

I have noticed a theme in most of the books I've been reading lately...they all seem to have a cantankerous old lady in them - I guess they bring a little comic relief to the stories. I thought it was just an Evanovich thing...but it seems to be in all the books I've been reading this summer!

At any rate - really enjoying all the reading I've been doing...just wish I had more time!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Reading Update

Well, this summer is proving more difficult for My Boy this year. He has to read 2 books totally 200 pages for each session. We went into this with excitement, but he's been pretty distracted by summer camp and his reading has slowed down quite a bit. He chose Diary of a Wimpy Kid (200 pages on it's own) and he hasn't finished it yet.

My Girl is doing pretty good, she's about halfway through her books (of course, she only has to have someone read TO her, so that's quite a bit easier).

Me, well I've been plowing through and have read 4 so far (the goal is 5 for each visit). Here's what I've read:

  1. Hot Stuff, by Janet Evanovich & Leanne Banks
  2. Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich (a between the numbers novel)
  3. The Grand Finale by Janet Evanovich
  4. Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich
  5. Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews (just started this one yesterday)

Hmm, apparentlyI have a slight addiction to Janet Evanovich, LOL.

I do enjoy her old romance novels, but they're just not the same as the Stephanie Plum series. I was desperate to quickly pick another one (that's how I ended up w/ #5) but next time I'll do some more research before I go to the library to see if I can find something more mystery/romance (hey, it's no fun unless there's a hot guy in there!).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time for the Summer Reading Program!!

We love the Palatine Library's Summer Reading Program. I think in the beginning (for My Boy) it was all about the free T-Shirt at the end. Then last year it became more about the challenge of completing the form (because the year before that it was me reading to him & last year was his first year to be on his own). This year is different. Don't get me wrong, it's still about the T-Shirt and completing the form - but this time it's also about enjoying the books.

I had honestly started to think My Boy was never going to get into reading. But just suddenly he's decided to read for entertainment. He actually voluntarily decided to read INSTEAD of watch TV! I could NOT believe it. I'm still in shock!

We signed up for the library's Summer Reading Program last night and he is so jazzed to get through his first 200 pages (he has to read 2 books totalling 200 pages for each of the 4 visits before the end of July).

My Girl is also doing it again - she's still in the "read to me" group and so we have to read 10 books for each visit. My Boy has even volunteered to read to her too!

This is my second year to sign up. I got bit by the reading bug last year and didn't think I'd be able to read 5 books (the entire requirement for adults) but instead read 15 before the end of the summer! (adults have until the end of August).

So we stocked up on our books yesterday and I'm already almost done with my first book. I was bummed to learn that I've completed the Stephanie Plum series (I'm waiting for book 15 to come out this month). So now I'll have to find a new heroine to read about. If you have any suggestions - please let me know! I'm really into the romantic comedy/mysteries. If it can make me laugh out loud, has a mystery to solve and a hot guy in it - I'm there!

I also love love F Paul Wilson - I am desperately waiting for the 13th Repairman Jack novel to come out (due out this October). I would LOVE to find a copy of The Touch - can't find it anywhere (but online, but I'm a brick & mortar kind of girl!). I'm trying to read the Adversary Cycle in order (already read The Keep & Rakoshi, back when it was called The Tomb). May just need to re-read some of the RJ books before October - I felt out-of-touch when I read By The Sword last fall.

So is it weird that I now associate summer with reading? I love reading season! ;o)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Movie Review: Meet Dave

Being home sick has its advantages...so does having an 8 yr old that can run into the library on his own to rent/borrow movies! While My Girl and I sat outside, My Boy ran in to pick up some movies for us to watch today. I know, I know, it's a nice day & they should be outside...but they just got a bunch of legos for a gift so I can't get them to stay out there! Anyway, I digress....

So one of the movies My Boy picked out (on his own) was Meet Dave. It's rated PG and Movie Mom gives it a C- rating. I like the Movie Mom site because I can check out movies to see if they're kid-appropriate before we rent them.

Anyway, she gave it an "okay" review...but mine (albeit more brief) will be different.

We were laughing outloud from the start. There were many funny bits (how could there not be with Eddie Murphy!). There were quite a few moments of potty humor (how they "made" money, butt-referencing names, etc.)

And with most "family" movies, there is a moral to the story. Some movies just hint at a moral and some spell it out. Dave spells it out at the end: it's okay to be different and take pride in your differences.

So I do recommend this movie when you are stuck at home with the kids. It's a laugh out loud fun movie and very enjoyable for me, My Boy (8 yrs) and My Girl (5 yrs).

Movies

As I was getting ready to write a movie review, I realized that some people that read this blog (I know, no one actually reads my blog, but just in case) might not agree with the movies I let my kids watch. So I thought I'd better first say something about our choice in movies.

Our kids tend to see movies that are probably a bit more advanced than the ratings suggest, but at the same time, we're not the kind of parents that take our kids to rated R movies either. As a matter of fact, I deplore hearing stories about parents that take their kids, or rent movies for their kids that are rated R or worse (ie: horror movies, bloody gore action movies). Don't get me wrong, I love Quinten Tarentino, but it's not kid/family appropriate viewing.

But yes, they watch action fliks (ie: James Bond, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Batman, etc.) and sometimes they are rated PG-13. Sometimes I cringe at some parts, but most of the time, anything that they see that is even close to innapropriate goes right over their head.

So IF you are reading this post AND you feel the need to post a comment that is in any way critical of my parenting abilities because I let my kids watch a movie that is rated over G, let me first say, feel free to say whatever you like. I can always delete your comments if they get nasty and judgemental and I don't want to have them connected to my post. Now if you want to leave a comment that disagrees with me but you are diplomatic and polite, I may decide to leave your comments posted. Because as long as you're nice and respectful, I can be too. But be nasty and act like a booger, then I'll flik you away without another thought (just like a booger). :oP

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Who is THAT dude?

So I wasn't that crazy of last year's (or was it the last two years?) Six Flags marketing campaign of "More Flags, More Fun". I way preferred the old guy dancing. He really cracked me up.

So guess what, he's back! But "who" is that guy?? That is NOT the same guy! AND he's saying the "More Flags, More Fun" slogan. Turns out the guy's name is Mr. Six - but I'd like to know - where is the real Mr. Six??

Can't anyone get more creative??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Coke vs Mountain Dew

My Son: Can I have a Coke instead of a Mountain Dew?

My Man: No.

Me: Why? What's the difference, they're both full of sugar & caffeine (frankly, I'd rather he didn't have either!)

My Man: Because Coke rots your guts.

Me: What?

My Man: You can only have Coke if it's mixed with rum. It cancels out the gut rotting stuff.

You gotta be kidding me, right? LOL

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Personality Clash

My son drives me nuts. I mean literally bonkers. He drove me to take a 4 year old Xanax a few days ago (yes I still have them, I've hoarded them this long, I don't care that they are expired!).

Whenever I'm finally able to sit back and reflect, I can clearly see the reason we have such a personality clash is because we are so much alike. Of course this realization does not bring me comfort in any way - it only serves to annoy me more.

We got his blood test results back today. We had his TSH levels tested to see if he has a thyroid condition like me (his erratic moody behavior is reminiscent of my own). Turns out, his levels are fine, so that's not his problem! He has an appointment with his therapist this Saturday..and now that we have these results, I do think he will be diagnosed as ODD.

I have not been handling his moods that well this past week - I think a lot of it has to do with my own meds being adjusted. What a pain! It would be SO nice if I could just take a few days with a new dose to know if it's the right dose...but oh know, it's a 4 to 6 week process! Oy!

But I digress...

Our personalities are very similar. I think a lot of our hot buttons are the same. We both know exactly how to push each other's buttons (I swear I do not push his on purpose! If there was a way to avoid his horrible reactions, trust me, I would not push THAT button on purpose!). So here I am, a mom whose personality clashes with her 8 year old son's personality. Can we survive each other? Only time will tell!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Interview with a 5 year old

1. How old are you?
5

2. When is your birthday?
April 27

3. What was the best gift you received for your birthday?
my bike, sleeping bag and Hello Kitty clock

4. What didn't you get that you really wanted?
a unicorn stuffed animal

5. What is your favorite thing about school (day care)?
playing with Ryan & Paulie in the blocks

6. What is your least favorite thing about school?
nothing

7. Who is your favorite person in the whole word?
Grandma Sally

8. Who are all the people in your family?
Mommy, Daddy, Scratch and my brother

8. What is your favorite food?
carrots (the raw kind - she doesn't like them cooked!)

9. What is your favorite toy?
my new Pretty Pony toy

10. What is something mommy/daddy always says to you?
Mom: clean your room (we're such slave drivers!)
Dad: clean your room

12. What makes you happy?
watching tv & playing games

13. What makes mommy/daddy happy?
Mom: putting me to bed and reading stories
Dad: I don't know, I'd have to ask him.

14. What makes you sad?
Not watching TV

15. What makes mommy/daddy sad?
Mom: I don't know.
Dad: I don't know.

16. How does mommy/daddy do to make you laugh?
Mom: You make silly faces.
Dad: Tickles me.
(she first said he dances around...but he's NEVER done that! LOL)

17. What were mommy/daddy like when they were little?
Mom: you liked your room and played in your room.
Dad: he liked to play in his room with his toys

18. How old are your mommy/daddy?
Mom: 8
Dad: 9

19. How tall are your mommy/daddy?
Mom: 59 (not sure what measurement we're working on here - but if she means inches, she's got me pretty good!)
Dad: 98

20. What do mommy/daddy do when you’re not around? (she asked, like when I stay at Tia's?)
Mom: go on a trip
Dad: go on a trip with mommy

21. What are mommy/daddy really good at?
Mom: making dinner
Dad: making dinner too, he's really good

22. What are mommy/daddy not very good at?
Mom: doing bad stuff
Dad: cleaning
**snicker!**

23. What do mommy/daddy do for their jobs?
Mom: typing on a computer
Dad: he works in the warehouse with a bunch of people

24. What is mommy/daddy’s favorite food?
Mom: vegetables
Dad: chicken

25. What makes you proud of mommy/daddy?
Mom: cleaning
Dad: nothing

26. If mommy/daddy were a cartoon character, what would they be?
Mom: police officer
Dad: policeman

27. What do you do with mommy/daddy?
Mom: get cupcakes
Dad: go to the office

28. How are you and mommy/daddy the same?
Mom & Dad: we all have skin

29. How are you and mommy/daddy different?
Mom: our hair is different color
Dad: he's a boy

30. How do you know mommy/daddy loves you?
Mom: give me hugs & kisses
Dad: he gives me hugs & kisses too

31. What is one thing you would change about mommy/daddy?
Mom: nothing
Dad: nothing

32. What do you like about your brother?
he loves me & lets me come in his room

33. What don't you like about your brother?
he doesn't let me in his room

34. What do you want to be when you grow up?
police officer

35. What is your favorite TV show?
Sponge Bob

36. What is your favorite number?
10

37. What is your favorite color?
red

38. What is your favorite animal?
unicorn

39. What is your favorite time of year?
Christmas

40. What are you most looking forward to now that you are 5 years old?
kindergarten

Happy 5th Birthday!

I can't believe my baby girl is 5 years old! Of course, she turned five a week ago tomorrow - but today is was her official birthday party.

Not all of her friends could attend (probably due to my poor planning - I can never seem to plan enough in advance!) but she did have a great turn out.

We had 3 of her friends from day care (and 3 older siblings) and a neighbor friend. Instead of doing Chuck E Cheese again like last year (as originally requested), we opted for an in-home party instead. Gotta love getting an excuse to clean the house!

We had Noah's Ark come in to have the kids create their own "goody bags" - they stuffed toy animals - it was a lot of fun (even for the moms!).

Then all the kids played outside and then back inside for cake & presents. The cake rocked - it was an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins & it was in the shape of a pink purse - it was SO cute! The polk-a-dots were white chocolate buttons. I think this was definitely the cutest & yummiest cake ever! (turns out it was a Mother's Day cake)

Stay tuned for an interview with a 5 year old....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Home Rules

I think I need to make a sign for my house - one with a list of the House Rules. Here's a few of the ideas I'm having...
  1. No Whining.
  2. When you're asked to do something, "Why" is not an appropriate response.
  3. When you're asked to pick up/put away something, "It's not mine" is not an appropriate response.

It just occured to me - why am I asking? I'll re-phrase - when I TELL you to do/pick up/put away something!

There, that's better. And remember, no whining.

(feel free to add your own...I need help completing the list.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ladies First

Here's another post I meant to post..and never got around to it...

Scene: Spring Break, walking my son into the YMCA for his all-day spring break camp. I'm holding the door open for him...and hoped that he would do the same for me with the next door....

"Hey Bud, you know you should always hold the door for someone when they do it for you. Have you never heard of 'Ladies First'?"

"Mom, that doesn't count for kids." He sits down to change into his slippers (it was pajama day).

"Yes it does, you still should let Ladies go first." I say. Just then a teacher walks by and says...

"Yes it's true, Ladies First".

(my boy does an eye roll here)

"Oh come on Mom, it's not like that anymore - that was the olden days."

"How old were those days Bud?"

"You know, it's not the 80's anymore."

(snicker, snicker. the teacher is giggling now too)

"Bud, it dates way back further than that!"

"Yah, well, Mom did you know that in the day of the Indians the women did all the work? They had to build the teepees and stuff."

"Yah Bud, did you know that women today still do all the work?" LOL

really, it's April?

Oy, has it really been that long since I made a post? It's not for lack of ideas mind you....

A couple of weekends ago My Man and I were painting the basement apartment. The weather was nice outside. The kids (in shorts of course) were outside playing. They decided they "needed" water from the hose. Little did they know that the outside water was turned off...from the inside. So as they look down the hose and hit it on the ground to get it going...My Man is standing just out of view...being sneaky and turning on the water....trying to get them wet....in the face. Are we mean or what?!

Of course I took pictures! Of course I haven't downloaded them yet to share!

So the next weekend it snowed. And yes, I took pictures of that too. And yes, they are still in my camera. (and yes, we were still painting that weekend).

So now, it's another weekend later. I finally started tackling the laundry again (after two weekends of just doing one or two loads and NOT folding them). Nothing too cute or funny happened this weekend (that I can recall...or took photos of), but it did snow again.

Oh, I lie....we did take the kids into the city on Saturday. Me & my BFF Fran and I took our three monkeys on the Metra train into the city (of Chicago) to...well, have a picnic. I know, you're thinking - but it was only 48 degrees yesterday! But yes, we did it anyway. We had too - I have a 10 ride ticket that expires on the 16th so we didn't want it to go to waste!

So we (well, Frannie did it really) packed a lunch and hopped on a train. We got to Olgivie Station (which will forever be Northwestern Station to me) in time to be hungry for lunch. We walked thru the building to the river and found a nice sunny spot to spread out the blanket (on cement - it was too cold to find grass). It was nice that it was too cold for bugs and the birds had NO idea what we were doing so they didn't pester us either.

After lunch we walked thru the underground Union Station track area to go see the "other" station. Unfortunately there was some big function going on so it was not as I had remembered seeing it before. But the kids still had a good time and we took some cool photos (NOT in my camera, my batteries died...of course).

Then we walked topside back to "our" station to catch the train home.

So it was a nice weekend...and I have no photos availabe to share. But at least I finally got a post in! :o)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's a flood!

My Girl walks into the bathroom (while I'm "busy") and asks...

"Mommy, can I play in the water?"

Where I ask, and she points the window (she means in the backyard). I have visions of her running naked in the backyard and it's only in the 50s.

"No, but you can play in the sink."

She smiles & skips out to go to her bathroom "Okay, thanks Mommy!"

A few minutes later (or so it seemed) and My Man is yelling from said bathroom. Apparently she plugged the drain, put the water on full blast, put her toys on the toilet...and then decided to watch television in the living room.

Meanwhile, the sink overflowed, ran onto the floor, leaked down the wall into the downstairs bathroom...just as My Man had primed the wall for repainting.

I would've taken a photo to post with this blog...but My Man would not have understood. Needless to say, we'll need to caulk the floor and re-prime the wall down stairs.

Moral of the story - maybe playing with water in the backyard in 50 degree weather isn't such a bad idea!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Two Whole Hours

I'm always running late and today was no different. My Boy had a birthday party to go to in late afternoon. But we also had a lot to do this weekend.

We'd spent the day (well, the latter half of the day since I started the day with a migrane) preparing to paint the basement "apartment" (2 bedrooms, bathroom, hallway and small kitchen). When it was time to get moving to the party I rushed to get changed and ran out the door without my cell phone.

So we show up at the party location (LaserQuest) and I drop off the boy (I love it when kids get old enough to go to parties without you!) and return to my car. I realized, without a phone, how will I keep track of time? I haven't worn a watch in years (not that I don't want to - just never got around to getting the watchband fixed).

So rather than go shopping (I can't afford to shop anyway) and rather than drive all the way home - to just turn around & come back - I decide to just sit in the car. I did bring a book. How often do you get uninterrupted time to just relax and read? I'm the kind of person that enjoys waiting in doctor waiting rooms - because it gives me a chance to read w/out any interruptions (that is until the durn doctor calls me in! LOL).

So I read my book for two hours. I'm reading New Moon and whenever I read at home I get "looks" from My Man like I should feel guilty for reading. It really bugs me that I somehow found someone to share my life with that does not like to read. It actually annoys him that I enjoy reading. He just feels that I should be doing something more constructive. So knowing this, can you imagine what 2 whole hours of uninterrupted reading time can be like? It was like h.e.a.v.e.n! :o)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Did you hear the one about...


"Mom, did I tell you the joke about the 3 guys that wanted to be something else?"


"No, I don't think so."

"okay, there's these three guys that wanted to be something else, so they went to top of a cliff...


"The first guy wants to be an eagle so he shouts EAGLE and jumps...
and he turns into an eagle and flies away."

"the next guy does the same, he shouts HAWK and jumps...
he turns into a hawk and flies away."

"the third guy goes to jump and trips on a tree branch..."

(wait for it...)

"and shouts "oh poopy" and then turns in to poopy."

"LOL, that is very funny bud!"

His jokes are getting much better! :o)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"The" Talk

Our regular bedtime routine always includes "cuddle time". This is when stories are over, the lights are out, the kids are tucked in and we lay down with them to talk about their day or to just lie quietly for a few minutes.

My Boy almost immediately started this conversation last night.

"Can boys have babies?"

"No, only girls can have babies in their tummies" I reply (nevermind it's "boys" and "girls" instead of "men" and "women").

"Remember when you told me that some boys want to marry boys?" he asks.

"Yes?" I wonder where this is going...

"So how do they have babies?" he inquires.

"If they want a baby, they would need to adopt" I tell him.

"And some girls want to marry girls?" he continues.

"Yes, and if they want to have a baby they would need to adopt or...." hmmm, how do I put this? "...or get a donation from a man." Oh boy, how far will this go?

"...a donation of what?" he asks.

"...well, you see, men have sperm inside them and women have eggs inside them. And when sperm gets with the egg, it turns into a baby." I'm thinking, thank goodness it's dark in here and he can't see my nervous smile and freaked out look.

He thinks about this.... "and where is the sperm?"

"The sperm is in.... in the scrotum which is that stuff that is below your penis..." I'm wondering now, does he have that? Isn't there some thing about boys "dropping" or something when they hit puberty? I didn't have to think about this for very long...

"hmmm, I wondered what that was" he responds. "And how does the sperm get to the egg?"

Oy! "well, when a man and a woman get married and want to have a baby...they um...have sex and when they make love the sperm comes out his penis and gets into the woman." whew, please don't ask me to explain HOW it gets in the woman...please don't ask, please don't ask....

instead he asks.... "and how does sperm get out of the penis?"

hmmm.....

"you know, that's a really good a question...and I'm not exactly sure how to explain that. maybe we should get a book at the library." whew!

"okay, that sounds like a good idea."

"sweetie, you can ask me anything you want to know...anytime"

At this point the subject changes and I'm off the hook.

And as I was thinking of this conversation and couldn't help but wondering - where on earth did this conversation come from? I know he's 8.5 yrs old so it's bound to come out eventually...but why tonight? After thinking about it I remember that we were watching Dirty Jobs on the Discovery channel. Oh right, thanks Mike Rowe for showing us how to castrate baby lambs tonight...that lead to the question of "what is castration" and I'm sure that had something to do with this! LOL

Grown-Up Vacation - Day 3

Our last day started by snoozing in (no kids to wake us up!!) and then walking next door for brunch and the crew meeting. Helle laid out a great spread for us....

And then it was time for the crew meeting. Everyone gathered on the back porch as the a storm moved in. While the crew (that was still in FL) spent hours planning and discussing the coming race year, I lounged in the living room reading a book. After the meeting My Man and I went with some friends to have lunch. The weather wasn't nearly as nice on Sunday as the the days before. It was cool, windy and rainy.
We left for the airport in the late afternoon and caught our flight. We made good time...until we arrived at O'Hare. We spent 1 hour and 45 minutes sitting on the tarmac waiting to get into the gate. Suprisingly, all of my fellow travelers and me were very understanding about the delays - there were some pretty big winter storms on the East Coast causing delays. However, once we FINALLY got into a gate, our patience was awarded with major annoyance. We expected to be sitting on the tarmac for a long time because the terminals would be full of travelers. But imagine our suprise that the terminal was practically empty! None of us (even the pilot complained) could believe they left us sitting out there all that time when there were so many empty gates.
Overall - it was great to get away without the kids - I highly recommend it! And they had a great time too staying at home without us. We look forward to doing this again next year!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grown-Up Vacation - Day 2

On day two we got up - had breakfast and then drove south to __ to go for an airboat ride. Now I've never done this before - and always wondered what it would be like. Want to know? It's loud. And bumpy (at times). It's also a lot of fun. I wonder if it would've been scary during alligator season (summer)?

Mike, My Man & Me were in one boat & the others had to go in a different boat. I took a lot of photos of trees with wicked branches..and then afterwards we went to lunch and I took pictures of birds! (see the big fat pelican?)
To get to & from this ride we had to drive down Alligator Alley (again, not in season so we didn't get to see any). This highway is also a panther sanctuary so there were panther crossing signs! Of course, didn't see any of those either - but it was cool to see the signs.
Once we were back at the house it was time for more team building activities. Again, it was the red team vs the purple team (go red!).
The first game (the name of which I can not remember) involved throwing two golf balls attached to each other w/ a string at a PVC pipe frame. You can only throw holding onto one ball and the goal is to wrap them around the frame as many times as possible. Or in some cases, just get the durn things to land on the frame!
I was pleased as (spiked) punch to take 3rd place for the most points! And, of course, red won, again. :o)
Our third and final team building exercise was to transfer as much water as possible from one bucket to the other using two PVC pipes with strategically placed holes in them. But we couldn't use anything but our team members hands and the pipes. Of course our fearless leader (Helle) later told us we could've gotten creative & shoved a shirt or something in the pipe (we all swear she told us to ONLY use our hands!). This time the purple team won.
By the end of the evening prizes were given, stories were told and each crew was honored with an award for their dedication to the Can Can Duex.
Overall, Saturday was a much tamer evening than Friday - I think we're all getting to old for this! LOL

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grown-Up Vacation - Day 1

My Man is a sailor and that means many weekends during the summer are spent racing on Can Can Duex. What does that mean exactly? It means many weekends alone with my kids. Which on one hand can be fun...and other times, pure torture.

So I consider this racing hobby of his to be his "summer job". Without this summer job we wouldn't have our "excuse" to go on little vacations (5 days on Macinac Island, a weekend in Michigan, etc.). So in all of our years together, I tolerate his weekend job.

Last year we were invited to the first (annual) Can Can Duex crew party at Captain Clem's house in Florida. But we couldn't go (because the kids were not invited and we couldn't get a sitter). But this year is a different story! So we got to go to the 2nd annual crew party...and we left at 6AM, Friday, February 27. We were the last ones to arrive.

We flew into Fort Myers and a taxi picked us up to take us to Ft Myers Beach where the Holiday was docked (& everyone else was already on the beach). We hit the beach and had lunch and met up with the rest of the crew.

Since everyone already had at least a day of drinking on us - we started right away. By the time we were ready to head back to Cape Coral we were ready to party. The boat ride back home was fun - we saw dolphins off our bow and there was a rumor of manatees (but we didn't see any of those).


When we got back to the Sands Blvd Inn (Capt Clem & Helle's house) we saw the 300 lb ice luge waiting for us. If you've never experienced an ice luge..then you are missing out! But this wasn't just any ordinary drinking game - this was a team building exercise (remember, this is a CREW party!). First, you take your shots on the luge, then you run up the hill to the side yard & have to lasso a post. And EVERYONE was doing this! We were split into two teams - the red team & the purple team - spouses on separate teams (I'm on the red & My Man on the purple).

I did pretty good on my practice toss - but after my shot on the luge & running up the hill to do the lasso - I was too far gone. So after my 3 trys (or did we get 5?) I hadn't completed a single toss. I think Capt. Clem made it on his first try!

This game went well into the evening so the only left to do after this was drink, eat, drink, drink and pass out (which is what My Man...and others...did).

It was great to have an entire day & evening where we didn't have any kids relying on us for anything - no one following us around asking for stuff, able to use the bathroom alone (you know what I mean if you're a parent!). Meanwhile, my kids were home with a sitter having a fabulous time - so much though that they didn't really even want to talk to me when I called to check in.

Tune in tomorrow for day two!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Family Game Night

Do you have a family game night?
We used to - regularly on Friday nights. Then Robinson Crusoe started on NBC and it turned into family TV night. Which was bad since Saturday was already family movie night!
But then Crusoe moved to Saturday nights. We were bummed - because that screwed up movie night! But, that meant we had our game night back!
Of course, it took a few months for us to get back to it...but we're getting there.
Here's My Boy's 1st choice for game night - Monopoly...

Not just ANY Monopoly game - it's the one from England (so we all have to remember to demand our payments in pounds instead of dollars).

And of course, you gotta have dessert on a Friday night (tonight's choice is chocolate pudding).

Of course, this was LAST Friday's game night...and this Friday My Man and I will be in Florida....without the kids...on a couples-only weekend. But that's a blog for another night.

BTW, I highly recommend instituting a family game night. I think it's even more important than family dinner. Because it's the only time you know for sure you have everyone's attention (at least that's the way it is in my family!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

6/41: Grandma Snookie

I didn't get to know my Grandma Snookie as much as I would've liked. She was born Willie Velma but was given the nickname Snookie as a baby. She once told me it was from a cartoon because when she was born she resembled Baby Snookums. I've searched for a good graphic to share - but this is all I could find online!
It's very common in the south (I'm guessing) that you have a nickname growing up. My Grandma was "Snookie", my Grandpa was "Peedink", my mom was "Punkin", etc. Given the choice - I'm not sure if I'd want to be known as Snookie all my life.

This is a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day (or was it their first date? I can never remember!). When they met and married they were older than most newlyweds at that time. Almost immediately my Grandpa went off to war. So he never even met my mom until after she was born (I think she was 2 years old by the time he came home).

I grew up in PA/OH but we would travel to my mom's home in Texas almost each year. I remember Grandma telling me once that my mom couldn't claim to be a "Texan" anymore because she lived up north too long. She was a character my Grandma.

So my senior year in high school we finally moved to Texas to be closer to my mom's family. I say finally because we kept saying we'd move but then change our minds. We even sold our house once...and then moved 2 streets down and stayed 8 more years!

In the Fall of my senior year my Grandma became ill. She died about two months before my graduation. I didn't get enough time. I do cherish all of our vacations at her house. She doted on my cousin and me. She took great care of my brother and I while our parents enjoyed some couples-only time.

I remember she always wore a housecoat - I think they only time she got dressed was to go have coffee at the White Elephant (a local truck stop where "everybody knows your name"). I remember that she had a cordless phone when they first came out - she used to carry it around in her pocket until the battery died (which back then prolly didn't take much). We always took a family photo on the front lawn before we'd go home (to Ohio). And she was always wearing that housecoat! :o)

She taught me how to play Scat (a card game). She taught me how to get rid of a headache without meds. She was a strong, loving woman that I wish I had more of chance to get to know better.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Treasure Chest

I don't know if it's just My Girl or what, but she thinks her pillow is some kind of treasure chest.
So she sleeps on a Hello Kitty pillow that seems too big for her little head. And for quite some time she wouldn't use it - she was too used to sleeping flat (from her crib days). But now, she likes her big pillow.But I think it's for something more than sleeping. Let's see...we have a semi-naked doll (her clothes are there too), a doll brush and mirror, sleeping mask (because it does belong UNDER the pillow) and a book. Also a Happy Meal-Hello Kitty watch. Is it just me? I would not sleep comfortably on all that stuff!

Loads of Laundry (& I do mean LOADS)

I loathe laundry. It is the bane of my existence. I used think dishes were the worst chore - but I've decided I kinda like it. It can be mindless. You can get lost in the bubbles. The sound of the water running drowns out the rest of the family noise (and why can't they seem to remember I.Can't.Hear.You.If.The.Water.Is.Running?!). It's kinda like yoga...but productive. Anyway, I digress.
My poor husband likes to joke that his pool table is called the laundry table (as this is where I dump all of the laundry for folding). Yes, I do have a laundry room. Yes, he did build me a nice built-in washer & dryer with a counter on top of them for this very purpose. No, he has yet to install a t.v. in there (which is a required accessory to laundry IMHO). Anyway...this is what the table looked like tonight when I transitioned from house cleaning, dinner, bath time and kids in bed time.

Yes, that is a styrofoam plane and a bunch of used dryer sheets under the table. Like Pioneer Woman says - I'm keepin' it real (I did almost move that stuff before I took the photo!)

Today was "cleaning day" at our house which means I spend the day going up & down the stairs, throwing in a load of laundry (when I can remember) while at the same time trying to scrub the kichen, yell at the kids to stop playing with legos and finish their rooms so we can "swiffer" them, sweep, sweep, sweep (durn cat hair) and swiffer & dust (not necessarily in this order). Meanwhile, My Man had an eye appointment so he cleaned our bathroom and then split. Now, don't think ill of him - he did do ALL the shopping today (cleaning products from Walmart, groceries from Aldi, Meijers and Eurofresh...or was it Caputos today? who knows!)

So after all of this was done and the kids were in bed, I retreated to the basement to fold all those loads of laundry I kept tossing onto the "laundry table" all day. This means I got to watch the Oscars - I never watch because I never get to see any of the movies before the awards (as a matter of fact, I usually don't get to see them until they've been on video for at least 2 years!).

So after 2.5 hours of folding, I finished with four heavy packed baskets (of which, two of them got filled up again once I emptied them upstairs). That one on the left was really dense - bend at the knees when picking up laundry!! Of course, I'm still not done, I currently have two loads going of towels (one in the washer & one in the dryer). Hopefully I will get the rest done before our trip to Florida at the end of the week.

Really, I do try to do stay on top of the laundry pile...but all you have to do is have one weekend away and it gets all backed up (oh crap, I'm going to Florida, that'll screw me up for another week!). It's not like I have a huge family - I don't know how those bigger families do it. But my family of four can go thru laundry like crazy (or so it seems).

I do come by my bad habit (of delaying laundry) honestly. I grew up in a home where all of our clothes were clean...but they were in a basket...somewhere. I can't even remember having matched socks in a drawer - they were always clean and in a "family sock basket". Because of that I do have my own weird laundry habits: I wash ALL socks & undies in their own loads and I try to wash the kids clothes separate from the grown-up clothes (makes for easy completion of a dresser-full of clothes).

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning when I won't have to walk to the basement to pick out my clothes before taking a shower. When I won't have the kids whining that they don't have any socks in their drawer. Or My Man asking me to go get him an undershirt...again. It feels good to have the bulk of the laundry done and put away. If only it could last more than one week at a time.