Friday, May 30, 2008


Pucker up, baby!
Come on and knock me a kiss.
How can you resist?
Kiss me, lil' mama!
You know you can't stay angry.
I am just too cute!
Smooch me, sweetie pie!
Can't hold this pose forever.
Now is your last chance.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


My dad was always quite the entertainer. He was a wonderful singer and dancer, and a great storyteller as well. He loved impersonating characters he would see on television. Do you remember Crazy Guggenheim on The Jackie Gleason Show? Dad loved him and did a great impersonation. He also loved The Mad Russian. When dad would enter a room he would often bellow "How do you do?" just like him. You couldn't help but laugh when he did it. Even as dad's Alzheimer's progressed he would still make my boys laugh like crazy with his goofy voices. He hasn't been able to do any of that lately and I wonder how long it will be before my boys forget all about how fun grandpa could be.

I was getting really sad thinking about it the other day. Wondering how much time my dad has left. How he really isn't himself anymore no matter how hard he tries. How my kids won't remember grandpa the way he used to be. They won't remember how they would beg my dad, "Grandpa, say 'how do you do' again!" over and over. They won't remember how grandpa could be the life of the party.

Just as the lump in my throat was getting close to bursting Tommy walked in the room and said in his best "grandpa" impersonation voice, "How do you do?" and laughed and laughed. I just looked at him, stunned. How did he know to say that at that moment? How did he know that was exactly what I needed to hear?

My eyes filled with tears. I bent down, cradled Tommy's face in my hands, and kissed his sweet little cheeks. They may not remember him as they get older but I will tell them all I know. And he will always be a part of them. Always.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WW- Saturday's Setting Sun

(All three photos are completely unedited and they get even better when you click on them.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Perfection

This weekend has been everything that I could have hoped for. After being away from the beloved family cabin since October (this is the first time EVER that we have not been up there at least a couple times in winter) we decided to make the trek up to enjoy the weekend. It is a long drive. About three hours. And for the majority of it the boys looked like this:
The last half hour was tough on Ben but his older brothers tried their best to make him laugh and keep him occupied until we got to our favorite "up north restaurant". It is a combination bar and restaurant and the bartender just happens to look like Santa. Not only that but he makes the boys their own special drink called a "Sucker Punch". It is orange juice, pineapple juice and a bit of cherry juice topped off with a sucker stuck in the straw. The boys always know when we are getting close and can barely contain their excitement.
Not only did they get their special drinks but the owners also added a pigeon coup in the back where the sillies come right up to the window. The boys just couldn't get enough of them. They were so cute!
Oh, and video games! Did I mention the video games?
After the boys were done eating like champions it was only another 20 minutes until we reached our cabin. Whew! At last!
The rest of the weekend went by in a blur. The boys watched daddy put the pier in.
Played around on the four wheeler and went for rides.
Went fishing with daddy and grandpa. Enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
And even roasted some marshmallows.
It was so much fun. The boys were absolutely amazing throughout the whole trip. They listened well, slept great, ate a ton, didn't fight, whine, or complain (except when it was time to go). I was just so proud of them. It was the type of vacation that makes me feel like I'm living a dream. A beautiful, rosy-colored dream.
Even the ride home was fun. The boys only managed to sleep for a little bit but were so patient for the rest of the way. When we were about a half an hour from home Tommy said, "This twip is takin' forevah! We shoulda taken an aiwpwane!" Okay, buddy. But you're buying!
Yesterday morning we got up and got the boys ready for the Memorial Day parade. It was a beautiful 80 degrees outside. Absolutely amazing weather for Memorial Day in Wisconsin. The boys were able to wear shorts and sandals for the first time this year. They were so excited and had a blast watching the parade. There were firetrucks and loud drums. It doesn't get much better than that for little boys!
Then we went out and bought some gorgeous flowers for our yard and spruced and planted the rest of the afternoon away.
After that we went to a cook-out and then to the park. It was nonstop action this weekend and the boys managed it wonderfully.

This past weekend I saw myself as the kind of mother I always want to be. I was fun and loving. Laid back and carefree. I was even patient! I wish I could be this mom all the time. And I'm working on it. I really am.
But I wake up this morning to 45 degree weather and cranky boys and I find myself struggling to maintain a good attitude. Struggling with my own tiredness and the boys' sass. And I'm struggling. But I'll keep trying. Trying to turn my mood around so that I can turn their mood around. I'll reread this post, and look at the pictures again to remind myself how good these boys really are. And I'll turn this around. These sassy little monsters are really good boys. I'll keep telling myself this until I remember it is true. And I'll remember the mom that I was this past weekend. And I'll keep trying.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting Ready For Summer

Memorial Day
And it's time to plant flowers
Cuz here comes summer!
And now it begins
All the thatching and seeding
And yard work to do
Starting them off young
So they get used to helping
For now they love it
Joey always says,
"When I'm big I'LL cut the grass"
Damn skippy, lil man!
Then Tommy argues,
"But I get to plow the snow!"
Damn skippy, lil man!
For now they all rake
Which is really more like play
But cute nonetheless
They love to be out
Just hanging with their daddy
Soaking up the sun
They'll get plenty sun
At the cabin this weekend
At least 'til Sunday.
I hope you all have
A long relaxing weekend
Filled with warm sunshine
God bless you, dear Vets
And thank you for your service
This day and every

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rested and Relaxed

We are back. Safe and sound. And the boys are well. Yeah! And Holly, you were right. That OFF switch WAS at the bottom of a margarita.
The trip was fabulous and we had a great time. That isn't to say that it went completely smoothly, but we had fun nonetheless. The good, far outweighed the bad. Let me show you.
The bad: The "scenic" drive from Miami to Key West that everyone said we would "love" turned out to be a hellish 4+ hour ride that finally got us to our Inn at around 9:30 at night. It was neither scenic (the majority of the scenery was run down gas stations and restaurants) nor relaxing (I had a headache the size of Texas from not having had a chance to eat anything since 8 that morning) and probably the longest car ride of my life. Word of advice, if you are ever going to visit Key West fly directly. Do not drive!
The good: This sunset was about the only good that came out of that drive, even though we only saw it for a few minutes when we were on the last bridge.
The bad: The next day we sorely underestimated the proximity of a "nearby" beach and walked approximately 5 miles in thong sandals before giving up and heading back to where we started. I had enormous blisters on my feet and my toes were actually swollen.
The good: This is where we ended up. A great big bar. On the beach. After many drinks I couldn't even feel my toes anymore.
The bad: Me in a swim suit. Seriously, what is up with my arms? I swear I haven't been pumping iron. Why does it look like I have some major guns going on?

The good: My hubby in a swim suit. Yummmm!
Yeah, I don't really know what we are doing in the pictures either. Did I mention we had many, many drinks? Cuz, um, we did. I think I should always drink before swimming in the ocean because this was the first time I really enjoyed it without worrying about being eaten by a shark. I had a blast. The sun was hot, the drinks were cold, and the water was perfectly warm. It turned out to be a great day.
We had packed a bunch of sightseeing into one day (hence the miles and blisters). We saw Hemingway's house.
And were at the southern most point in the US.
We even had some drinks at Margaritaville! Mmmmm!
We did wise up and rent scooters the next day. Much better for my feets! And so much fun tooling around the island on these things. Yep. I know. I'm a big nerd.
Overall, we had a blast. Long drive be damned, it was still an amazing time. It was nice to get some one on one time with the hubby and have actual romantic dinners together. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day life and forget about connecting with each other. It was a great trip.
When we finally got home after another very long travel day the boys were fast asleep. Todd's mom did a fabulous job. My mom had gotten a really bad cold and wasn't able to take her two days of watching the boys so Todd's mom stayed with them the whole time. I can't thank her enough. She was amazing. Four days with three boys is enough to stress anyone out, but she really came through. And not only did she take excellent care of the little guys the house was sparkling clean when we got home. What a woman!
Now my life is back to this.
And this.
And this.
And I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Okay, so I'm still on vacation, but I thought I would set up a post for you anyway. This is freaking hilarious. It is one of my all-time favorites and a real tribute to stay-at-home mothers. Please watch it. It only takes 30 seconds. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Feel Good, I Feel Great, I Feel Wonderful

Going on a vacation is stressful. Isn't that ridiculous? But, for me it is true. Not only is there the house to clean from top to bottom (I want our mothers [who are watching our boys] to think we ALWAYS live in a sparkling clean home even though I'm sure they know better), the groceries to stock up on, all of the laundry to do so the boys have plenty of clean clothes while we are gone, the routines to review with the grandmas, the medicines (the boys [and me] are fighting colds) to go over, and the lists of instructions to write, but I also have to contend with some deep seeded anxieties.

I am a worrier. I worry. It's what I do. I try not to let it rule my life. For the most part I appear to be a fun, carefree person. But, ever since becoming a mom the worrier in me is really hard to reign in.

No matter what I am doing with the boys I picture catastrophes. If I am cooking in the kitchen I picture a big pot of boiling water falling on the boys' heads even though the pots are on the back burners with the handles turned in. If I'm driving in the minivan I am on constant alert for any driver that is speeding, weaving, not paying attention, or that might miss a stop sign. If we are at the park I picture one of my boys falling down the metal ladder and breaking his neck. Or, falling off the top of the slide and paralyzing himself. Or tripping up the steps and bashing his teeth out. Or, any number of things. If we are playing baseball in the backyard I constantly hover over the boys as they swing the bat to ensure no one gets knocked in the head, falling to the ground, unconscious. And, ya know what? The bat is plastic. If we are playing out in the front yard I listen for cars that are blocks away and quickly estimate the rate of speed they are going in order to rule out the possibility that they are a drunk driver that will zoom down the street, jump the curb, and take out my entire family. It is awful. This brain of mine. I just can't help it.

So, as I pack my bags to head to the Keys with the hubby my brain is in overdrive. The pictures are even more vivid. The accidents the most severe. Only this time I'm not with my children in these sick little nightmares. I am all the way across the country sipping drinks and relaxing. Relaxing while my child's life hangs in the balance from falling out of a second story window (why this would happen I have no idea).
I hear that mothers often do this as a way to prepare themselves for anything that could possibly harm their children. A kind of mama bear instinct or something. I don't know if that is right or not. My mom seems to think that because my sister died at 9 years old I grew up knowing that death can happen to anyone at any age. No one is immune. And so it is always running through my mind. The possibility. The worst case scenario. I'm not sure that is right either.

I know I can't prevent bad things from happening to my boys. But at least I can be there if something does happen. This weekend I won't be here, and it freaks me out. I've had a headache for three days now. I can imagine why.

Ugh. I don't mean to complain about going on a vacation. What a knob. How about some whine with my cheese? {insert eyeroll here} I really am very excited about going on a romantic getaway with the hubby, just the two of us. Truly, I am. And to be honest, we really need it right now. I just wish life came with some guarantees.

I am sure that once my toes hit the sand tomorrow afternoon, and I've made the first phone call home to check on the boys, I'll be able to relax and enjoy my time in the sun. I'm sure in a few days I'll be writing about how wonderful the break was and how I can't wait to go again. I know the boys will be just fine and will be excited, happy, and healthy when we return.

Now, if only I could find the OFF button on my brain.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seven Years And Counting


Seven years ago today we were standing in front of our families, friends, and God pledging our eternal love. We were posing for pictures, chatting with relatives, eating and drinking, cutting the cake, and cutting a rug. We were filled with not only our love for each other, but the love of all of those who gathered with us to show us their love, wish us the best, and help us celebrate the beginning of our forever. It was the best day ever.

But we always knew our marriage was not about the wedding. It wasn't about the dress or the tux. It wasn't about the flowers we picked out, the limo bus we had, or the thousands of pictures that were taken. It wasn't about the wedding rings we so carefully chose, the music we danced to, or even the food we ate. It was about the promise we made to each other and to God. It was about the covenant the two of us entered into and would spend the rest of our lives upholding.

Little did we know what marriage meant. We imagined that there would be difficult times. We knew life would get stressful. We knew there would be times we'd get on each other's nerves and drive each other crazy. We knew that having children could complicate a marriage. We had been told by many the challenges of marriage, and we entered our sacred promise with our eyes wide open. Still, we were surprised.

Being so naive and blinded by love on that day seven years ago we couldn't imagine the possibility of our overwhelming love growing even more. But it did. With every joyful occasion, every trial and tribulation, our love grew. With each deep secret, carefully guarded fear, and emotional breakdown we shared, our love grew. With each laugh, each heartbreak, and each milestone, our love grew. Our trust grew deeper, our connection stronger, our bond unbreakable. And it was a surprise. A pleasant surprise.

I can honestly say that I love you more today than I did the day I married you. I know my love for you will continue to grow with every year of our marriage. You are the most amazing man I've ever met. You are kind and compassionate. You are strong and spiritual. You are responsible and fun. You are my best friend.
I know the road will sometimes be tough. But it will be so much easier with you. I know we'll have many more wonderful, happy times too. And I'll laugh harder because of you. I am so grateful God brought me to you. Loving you is the best decision I've ever made.

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm sharing this poem
That goes to the heart of me
Happy Mother's Day!

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e e cummings

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Signs I Might Be Pregnant

If you ever read any of the following sentences in a post of mine I may be pregnant:

1- "I went for a run this afternoon and ended up with a really bad migraine." For some reason when I am pregnant I have a hard time running in the first three months without getting a migraine.

2- "My stomach is goofy. I don't feel like eating." I can always eat. It doesn't matter if I am hungry or not. If I don't want to eat it is a strong sign I may have morning sickness. That is one of the only reasons I would have for skipping a meal. Me likey food.

3- "I am so tired I can barely sit up. Last night I went to bed at 8:00 and I'm still tired. I just want to sleep all the time." Exhaustion is the first thing that sets in when I am pregnant and, being a night person, going to bed early would be very strange.

4- "I was reaching up to get a glass out of the cupboard and I think I pulled a muscle in my stomach. So weird." Probably the second sign I get when I'm pregnant. It is the only thing that made me take a pregnancy test the third time around. That odd pulling/straining feeling is very familiar to me.

5- "Guess what, everybody. I'm pregnant!" When I find out, you'll find out. I really don't think I'll be able to keep it secret for longer than it takes me to wash my hands and run to the computer. Heck, I may even take you into the bathroom with me to take the test. Okay, wait, I wouldn't do that. Yuck. That's just gross. And I suppose I should tell the hubby first, right? Fine. But you'll all be on the short list.

So there you have it. I thought I should give you a list of signs to watch for since you were all so interested in my possible pregger status on Tuesday's post. No baby right now, but we are definitely keeping our hearts open for another.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WW- Mesmerized

Click on picture to enlarge the view.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Great Baby Debate

We are all lying around the living room stretching our extended bellies after dinner when Joey looks over at me and says, "So, you think we are gonna have another baby?"

"Well, I don't know. Why do you ask?" I answer back.

Joey shrugs and says, "I don't know."

"Would you like another baby?" I ask him.

"Uh-huh! I want a baby girl!" Joey says without hesitation.

Tommy picks up on the conversation, and of course he has an opinion too.

"I don't want another baby! I like OUR baby!" he says with a worried look on his face.

I had to stifle my laughter but assured him, "Honey, we would DEFINITELY keep our baby. But we would have another one too. We would KEEP you, and Joey, and Benny, but then have another one too."

"Well, then I want a boy baby." Tommy says.

"I want a girl baby." Joey butts in.

"Why do you want a girl baby?" Tommy asks Joey.

"Cuz we don't have one of those." Joey wisely answers back and then asks, "Why do you want a baby boy?"

"Because we have nice boys." Tommy says.

"Would the baby sleep in Benny's crib with him?" Joey wonders out loud.

"No, Ben would probably move into your room and you and Tommy and Ben would all share. The baby would sleep in the baby's room in the crib." I correct him.

"Would Ben sleep in my bed? With me?" Joey continues his interrogation.

"No. Ben would have his own bed. We would have to move your dresser around and then try to squeeze the bed in where the dresser is."

"Oh just forget it then. I don't want another baby." Joey says, clearly exhausted at the idea of all the work that would go into having another baby.

Yep, Joey. Babies are work. But they are so worth it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Getting Through

the storm continues
tumultuous waters roll
so loud I can't feel
it fogs up my head
can't think of anything else
it is always there
i'm grabbing onton tight
to the lifeline that was thrown
and praying for peace

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson