Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My How Times Have Changed

I think I was a bit misleading in my previous post when I wrote that I was hoping the snow wouldn't call off our New Years Eve plans. Perhaps I made it sound as though we had some fabulous party to go to or something. Nope. Nothing like that.

I used to hope for snow on New Years Eve. Snow always ensured a fabulous time. Back in our pre-kids days Todd and I used to take about 8 or 10 of our best friends up to his parents' cabin to go skiing over New Years Eve. We would hit the slopes all day and then ring in the new year dancing and drinking at the ski lodge's bar. It was a blast.

Things have changed. We haven't done that in years. Now our plans for New Years Eve are slightly different.

Today we will be taking the boys to one of their favorite places. Cabela's. Do you know of it? It is a sporting goods store. But not just any sporting goods store. It has a fish aquarium you can walk through, huge displays of tents and boats, a two story mountain with hundreds of animals mounted around it, a museum off all different animals, a restaurant, a candy store, and so much more. We went to Cabelas once last winter and the boys have been begging to go back. We thought it would be a good day to spend an afternoon there again. It is about an hour from where we live so we needed the weather to cooperate enough to let us make the drive. Luckily, we didn't get too much snow.

Hopefully we will have enough time to hit the fabulous mall that is nearby and then find a fun restaurant on our way home. Would you believe me if I told you I am just as excited as the boys about this little field trip? Cause I am.

When we finally arrive home after that funfilled day we'll throw our own little party with an appetizer dinner. Again, all the boys' favorites. Cheese and crackers and sausage, fresh fruit, chips and dip, shrimp, donut holes, and of course the most important part. Juice in wine glasses! It is very exciting people. I am actually looking forward to it myself. Sure it is no hip-happening ski lodge. But it is my family all warm and safe and happy together. How could I ask for more?

I hope you all have a wonderful Eve and a blessed and happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All Is Right In My World

Order has been restored and today is falling in line quite nicely. Not only is my house clean and back in order, but I am disease free! Woohoo!!! I finally got my letter back from the Blood Center telling me that I did not and do not have West Nile Virus. Dur. I could have told them that. As a matter of fact, I did. But at least now I will be able to give blood again. When I am done being pregnant. And breast feeding.

Plus, I had my first doctor appointment today for the little blueberry in my belly. All is looking well and good (except for that stupid doctor's scale being WAAAAAAAaaaaayyyyyy off from my lovely, trusty, beautiful home scale) and healthy. Soon I will be putting up my little baby widget on my sidebar, but I still have to wait until it stops looking like an alien. I don't want to freak anyone out. ;)

Now I am sitting on the couch with the boys watching a movie and sneaking peeks at the snow falling outside. And Hoping that we do not get too much snow that calls off our New Years Eve plans for tomorrow.

What are your New Years Eve plans?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Post Christmas Crash

It is inevitable. After the rosy glow of Christmas dims I look around my house and feel as if I am stuck in a nightmare. The boys get sick (this time it was Tommy) and the house turns into a disaster zone. It happens every year.

I consider myself to be a very neat and organized person. Maybe even bordering on OCD. Not the kind of OCD where I scrub the toilets 18 times a day, and wipe the counters every time I walk by them, but the kind of OCD that tells me that everything has it's place. Everything must be in it's spot. There will be no clutter. No messiness. And even now as I write that I glance around my house and I want to cry.

The kitchen counter is cluttered with Christmas cookies from the grandmas, extra batteries for loud annoying toys that Santa stupidly gave the boys, instructions and boxes and a carrying case for the fancy smancy camera the hubby so graciously bought for me, Christmas cards from everyone I know, hundreds of drawings the boys drew and painstakingly cut out of their coloring books, crayons, and mail that I have yet to sort. The stove is stacked with items to be taken to the basement. The stairs are covered with clothes and shoes to be taken upstairs to the bedrooms.

The living room. Oh Lord, the living room. Toys are spread from one side of the room to the other. I can barely see the floor. A large futon mattress rests on the floor with blankets and pillows spread over the top that Tommy and I used to "sleep" on when he was up vomiting all night. There are still bows all over the sunroom floor, along with a large collection of pine needles from the tree. Ornaments that Ben has pulled from the tree for the million-billionth time are strewn around the room. There are books all over the couch that I tried to sooth Tommy with during our cooped up, vomit-filled, three days post Christmas. DVDs are heaped around the television waiting to be watched and watched again.

The basement has turned into our dump heap. All the wrapping paper, massive boxes for the humongous trucks that stupid Santa brought, and empty gift bags to be stored are all lying on the floor in a careless pile.

Every inch of my house is a mess. I feel as though I am suffocating. I can not stand to look at this for one more second. I want to set the Christmas tree on fire, toss every single, loud, massive toy that idiot Santa gave the boys into the garbage, and send the rest of this crap lying around my house sailing out the window. This will end today.

Hormonal much? Yes.

(but other than that our Christmas was lovely.) ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Will Have No Trouble Landing At Our House

I'm done dreaming of a white Christmas. We've got it. This is by far the snowiest Christmas we will have had in decades. I took this picture yesterday after picking up Joey and Tommy from school (thank heavens for gas guzzling SUVs with 4 wheel drive!) and we've had at least another 7 inches of snow since then. And. And! It is supposed to keep snowing all day today. Yipes.

Those snow piles you see on the side of the road are taller than me, in case you were wondering. The road in front of our house is very narrow and the snow banks are getting so big that the snow plows barely have enough room to make it down the street anymore. The plow driver stopped and told my husband he isn't even sure where to put all the snow anymore. So, I think we are good with snow. No more needed, thank you.

But the wrapping and shopping and decorating are all done. No more school plays, talent shows, or concerts. Now it is just about soaking it all in. All the boys' excitement. All the food at the grandmas' houses. All the love of family. All the beauty of Christmas mass. And all of the joy that Christmas brings.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with more love and blessings than you can count.

Merry Christmas!

(Since you all enjoyed this picture so much I thought I would leave you with this image for Christmas.)

(In honor of my dad I'm playing "Oh Holy Night". Though Josh Groban does a fine job of singing the song it is no where near as good as my dad always sang it for midnight mass. It was always the highlight of my Christmas, and I sorely miss it.)

Monday, December 22, 2008


The Christmas party was cancelled on Friday night due to excessive snow and nasty cold weather. So my dear little, red shoes did not see festive lights of the season. Ah well. There is always Valentine's Day, right?

I think my brain is frozen. The temperatures have been an average of -6 degrees for the past few days with a gusting wind of 35 miles an hour. The wind chill is -40 degrees. That's cold folks. I'm beginning to feel a bit cabin feverish. Add to that the boys that are sick of being cooped up in the house, the millions of presents that have to be wrapped, the cookies that need baking, and the school activities that need attending, and I may just loose my marbles.

The cold may have also frozen my heart. I have been rather grinchy this morning. Griping and snarking at the boys over every little thing. Good times. So glad it is only the second official day of winter and we have so much snow that the snow banks are taller than me. Is it spring yet?

Luckily, Beyonce was able to snap me out of it. What? You heard me. I was driving the boys to visit my dad this morning when Single Ladies came on the radio. Benny immediately put a smile on my face with his "uh-oh-ohhh-oh-oh-oh-oh"s to the song. And when Tommy said, "Mom! Do you hear the little mice singing?" when the little "whirp! whirp!" noises were heard I couldn't help but laugh. Thank you Beyonce for snapping me out of it. (never thought I'd hear myself say that)

(I do not like the video for this song. Could they have worn more unflattering outfits and done ickier moves? Blech. So instead I included part of the video parody they did of the video on SNL. You can see Justin Timberlake on the left. Very funny. As always, pause my music on the bottom before you play the video. Thanks!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

PSF- Mama Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
I have always considered myself a tomboy. I never really played much with dolls. I loathed when my mother would make me wear a dress. Or even worse, pink. My arms and legs were constantly covered in bruises from all the tree climbing and sports playing every day. I never figured out how to fix my hair all pretty. It was always thrown back into a messy ponytail to keep it out of my face. Jeans and a tee shirt were my constant wears. And I definitely never had a thing for purses or shoes.

Until recently.

While I did become much more girly later in high school it was only recently that I developed a love for pink. And just a few months ago I finally began an intimate relationship with a straighter for my crazy curly hair. I actually enjoy dressing up these days, and wish I had the chance to do it more often. But for the past few years something even more consuming has started to take over.

My love of shoes.

Never in a million years did I think I would be the type of girl to get excited over shoes. Just give me a comfy pair of sneakers and I was set. I used to wear heels for work, but only the most basic and boring black or navy pumps. Nothing at all to get excited about.

But recently it has become increasingly difficult for me to walk past a shoe store. When did shoes become so beautiful? Seriously. When did this happen?

Oh, I still have a pathetically small collection of shoes. I have a few lovely pairs of cutie heels and sassy sandals, but not many. I have a hard time convincing my frugal mind to buy a pair of shoes out of no where, with no special occasion in mind, or for no particular outfit. But when I saw these beauties I knew they would look perfect with the outfit I picked out for Todd's Christmas party tonight. I decided that they would be an early Christmas present to myself. And, AND! They were on SALE! So, I got them. It turns out I may just be a girly-girl after all!
(Note: When I woke up this morning I glanced out the window and saw that we received 7 inches of snow last night. It is still snowing, and it is not supposed to stop for another 5 hours or so. All the schools are cancelled ((AGAIN)) and I'm hoping the roads are clear by tonight so we can actually make it to the Christmas party. Ah well!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Scoop

You've all been patiently asking and prodding, and I have been harshly ignoring. Y'all want DETAILS. The goods! The Scoop! So, here it is.

How far along are you? When are you due? I am just over 6 weeks along and due in the middle of August. It is very, very early. I am always cautiously optimistic in the first trimester but I just couldn't wait to share the news with all of you. I figure if something bad happens I will need to write about it and deal with my emotions that way anyway. Hopefully that won't be necessary.

Wow! That was fast! Yes. Yes it was. (get ready to throw your rotten tomatoes) For some reason Todd and I seem to be extremely fertile. We got pregnant in the first month of trying with Joey, Tommy, and this baby, and Ben was a complete shock. (okay. go ahead and throw those tomatoes)

How are you feeling? Surprisingly well. I only have occasional waves of nausea but for the most part I feel completely fine. I get super exhausted in the afternoon and at night but with three crazy boys I'm kind of used to that. The only thing that is a bother are the migraines. I haven't had one since we went sledding last week, but I have to be very careful not to do anything too strenuous or stressful. The migraines come on very easily and it scares me to take medication for them while being pregnant. So basically I am being very careful not to over do it.

Do you have morning sickness? Not yet, but it is early. I hear that sometimes it doesn't kick in for a week or two. Hopefully it will miss me all together. Now watch, I'll probably start getting horrible nausea right after I post this. (can you hear me knocking on wood?)

Have you told the boys yet? Nope. They still don't know. Although Joey said something to Tommy the other day about saving a toy for his baby sister. I asked Joey what he was talking about because he doesn't have a baby sister and again he told me, "MOM! I told you that I prayed to God for a baby girl and He said YES!" He was very frustrated with me. Now I just have to figure out how to explain a baby boy should God decide that is the baby for us. Hmmm.

I think we will tell the boys when we get closer to three months along just to be on the safe side. Although I am kind of surprised Joey hasn't already guessed. Todd and I have both slipped and said things about "the baby" around the boys but I guess Joey wasn't paying attention.

How many kids do you want? Hahaha! This one made me laugh. Umm. I think we'll just see how we do with four. Todd swears four is his absolute limit so I don't want to push him over the edge. And I really do like even numbers. So we will most likely stop at four. Unless God has other plans.

Are you going to find out the baby's gender? Yes. We always do. I am such a planner that I need to know. I always hear how it is the best surprise finding out at the birth, but I feel like there are enough surprises during labor and I don't need the gender to be one of them. Not only that it really helps me bond with the baby even more. Instead of calling the baby "it" I can start saying "he" and calling him by name. So nice.
I'm not sure if we will tell you the gender when we find out. It might be nice to surprise you. We'll see.

I think that covers most of the questions. I'm nervous about posting this because it is so early I feel like I am jinxing it. Lame, I know. But I am a little paranoid. That is why I haven't really written about it yet. Enjoy it while it lasts, because eventually I'm sure I won't shut up about it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Be Love

There are nine days left until Christmas. Our secret hiding space is stacked full of gifts, my pantry is brimming with treats to be made, and my December budget is quickly dwindling. I am blessed beyond measure, and sometimes it just doesn't seem fair.
As I drive to the grocery store I see a gentleman walking down the barren sidewalks in tattered clothing, braving the 1 degree temperature and whipping winds, clutching his two small grocery bags close to his body. I tell myself he only has a small distance to go to get to his warm house. I can't bare to think of any other possibilities.

I keep this man in my mind as I enter the grocery store. As I hand in my saved receipt points and receive my $40 grocery gift card it feels like a sock in the gut. I can afford my groceries and yet here I am being handed "free" money for more. It just doesn't seem fair. It almost feels like a test. And I want to pass.

My church is having a food drive this weekend and I was planning on going through my pantry and pulling items as usual. But is that enough? Is giving away my unwanteds really giving? Should that even count? Probably not.

I would use the $40 gift card to buy food for the food pantry, I decided, and immediately it was like a weight was lifted. But as I cruised around the store adding items to my cart I quickly realized how little $40 is. It just wasn't enough. The items they needed the most, baby formula and food, canned fruits and vegetables, soups, and toiletries, were adding up fast. My total was well over the $40 but I didn't care. This is the least I can do. LITERALLY.
A couple of weeks ago Todd and I packed up the boys and headed out to Walmart to ring the bell for the Salvation Army's red kettle drive. It was the coldest night we had seen thus far, and I worried about how my boys would fair in the weather. We bundled up well and the boys did just fine jumping around and ringing the bells. Every few minutes I would ask the boys if they were cold and my mind would flash to all the parents who worry about how to keep their children warm on a daily basis.

Families just like ours struggling with the decision of whether to pay for food or heat. And what? What can I do to make any difference?
Here I sit, in my warm, safe house thinking about all those who are suffering. Those who are out in these unbearable temperatures. No food. No shelter. Parents who are worried about how to feed their children or how to keep them warm. And I think of all of those who are alone in this world. Sad and depressed. No one to comfort and love them during this cold holiday season.

It is overwhelming how sad and scary this world is for some people. And sometimes I just feel so helpless in it all. What can I do? Surely donating a few items to a food drive isn't going to solve world hunger. I guess it comes down to prayer. Doesn't it always? I pray. I pray for God to take care of all those who can't take care of themselves. I pray for God to show me ways I can help.

It's Christmastime. And more than anything else, Christmas is about love. God's love for us and our love for each other. If we could just Be Love I think that would make such a difference.

It reminds me of a video I saw on a few blogs a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure you have seen it too, but it is worth watching again.

(Scroll down to the bottom to pause my music before you play the video. Thanks!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Hot Date

After a crazy weekend with Todd bow hunting on Friday, all of us traveling a total of four hours to a very worth-it birthday party on Saturday afternoon, Todd hanging with his bud on Saturday night, and a hurried trip to church on Sunday morning I decided I need to go on a hot date. The kind of date I hadn't had in years. The kind of date that I always treasured but have not treated myself to since before I was married. I felt like a guilty, cheating wife but I knew I needed it. I asked Todd if he would stay home with the kids so I could go on a hot date. With myself.
I used to love going to movies by myself. I always felt it was so liberating. Not like the humiliation of going to dinner by yourself when you know people are looking at you with pity in their eyes. Going to the movies by yourself is a luxury.
Todd told me over and over again that he would go with me to see Twilight, but I didn't want him there. He hadn't read the book (I can't even PICTURE him picking that book up, HAHAHA) and I knew the movie just wouldn't do it for him. I wanted to be able to watch the movie with unabashed teenager lust without feeling Todd rolling his eyes in the seat next to me.
Todd and I threw the boys in bed for their naps and I took off a little early so that I could do some shopping, drive past the lake, and make it to the theater with plenty of time. As it turns out I shopped a bit too long and made it to the theater in just enough time to take yet another bathroom break (doggone pregnancy hormones!), grab some popcorn and soda, and find the perfect seat just as the previews started.
I was a fabulous hot (doggone pregnancy hot flashes!) date. I thoroughly enjoyed having that time to myself. I don't know if I have felt that young in a long time. And of course I came home happy and refreshed just as the boys were waking from their naps. When Todd asked me if I was lonely I tried not to laugh too hard.
It is my recommendation that you DO NOT go to see Twilight if you have not already read the book. So much has been cut out of the movie that many of the scenes or character reactions would not even make sense if you didn't first read the book. Please hold off on the movie until you finish the book.
That being said, if you like the book you will like the movie. The casting was perfect. I wasn't sure that Robert Pattinson was good looking enough to pull off the role of Edward but the first glimpse of him in the cafeteria changed all that for me. He carried it perfectly. There were a few over-acting moments from him, but easily forgivable in my mind. I do wish that they would have shaved his chest because his few straggly hairs were kind of distracting in some scenes. I think a bare chest would have given him a more "cold, stone" feel. And then also in some scenes the hair seemed to disappear. Maybe I'm just too observant. Other than that he was perfection.

(By hvyilnr on Flickr)

Kristen Stewart was a perfect Bella. She is a pretty girl without being unrelateable. She could very easily be your typical high school teenager. I was disappointed that they made her a bit more serious in the movie than in the book. In the book Bella has a great sarcastic wit, and it is seriously lacking in the movie. So much so that without it you wonder why Edward fell for Bella in the first place.

The only casting that I thought they got wrong were the two boys that were supposed to be crushing on Bella. First off, they made Eric appear to be gay and then the next thing you know he is sparing with Mike over Bella. Huh? And Mike? Isn't he supposed to be a hunky jock? He looked super nerdy to me. Mike is supposed to be good looking and cool enough that he gives Edward little pangs of jealousy and then amusement when Bella turns Mike down flat when he asks her to the dance. Neither Eric nor Mike seemed to fit for me. I thought they were either poorly cast, or poorly directed.
The movie did a fair, but not great, job of staying close to the book. I realize there is a time crunch in turning this book into a two hour movie, but I didn't like how they changed the timeline of certain things around and how they changed scenes altogether. It kind of made me sad. One example is when Bella and Edward are having dinner in Port Angeles right after he rescues her for the umpteenth time. This scene is supposed to be a pivotal moment of Bella asking a million questions and Edward actually answering them for the first time. This scene was cut so short and then replaced with the scene in the woods at school the next day. I didn't like the change. You miss the whole building of the relationship between Edward and Bella this way.
There were saving scenes though, too. Bella meeting Edward's family was fabulous. Loved it. The first time Bella sees Edward was awesome. LOVED the baseball scene. But I think one of my favorite scenes (though it is a small one) was again in Port Angeles when Bella was cornered by the group of guys and Edward comes speeding to her rescue. I think that was just about the sexiest scene in the whole movie. I think that was the first time I saw Edward as a SEXY, manly, hero (although the first rescue was pretty hot too). Whew. Makes me sweat just thinking about it (doggone pregnancy hormones!).
Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie because it made the book come to life for me. It was so close to how I had imagined it in my head. And that is always a compliment for a movie. The only parts I didn't like were the ones that strayed from the book a bit. And I wish they would have showed the development of Edward and Bella's relationship a little more. I don't think there are any Twilight fans that would have been bothered if the movie was another half an hour longer but was able to go more in depth by doing so. It would have helped the story line tremendously. Was it a fabulous movie? No. Did I love it? Yes. And if you loved the book you'll love the movie, too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

PSF- And In This Corner...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

we have the schmultz family:
We are not the type of family that has ever been afraid to spontaneously break into song. It is actually a common occurrence. Someone is always singing in this house.
I grew up watching musicals with my folks, the three of us singing along with the TV at the top of our lungs. All my friends used to tease me and say that I probably should have been born in the 50's when that sort of thing was actually considered cool. And Todd? Well he is just a complete goofball that has always loved making up silly songs to make people laugh. Yep. We are nerds. And we're fine with it.
It appears the boys have inherited the drama gene. They love to sing along and act out scenes from their favorite movies. Here they are joining hands with all the Whos in Whoville a couple of weeks ago. Todd and I are delighted with their love of music and their love of goofiness. I just hope that if they meet up with some good-natured ribbing from their friends down the road they will still keep that I-can-break-into-song-at-any-moment kind of personality.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Warped

Yes, yes. I know I don't do memes. But I was forced! I was muscled into it! She made me do it! And trust me, you do not want to mess with her. She is one tough cookie. Why do you think she calls herself Imbeingheldhostage? She is referring to ME! Okay, fine, maybe she is talking about being held hostage by her five children, but you get the idea. Plus, she lives In The Gutter! Don't mess with J!

So here ya go, J, you asked for it. This one is for you.

Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? I don't know how lazy "Santa" is at your house but the "Santa" here wraps the gifts AND sets them under the tree. Oh yeah. You heard dat right!

Colored lights or white lights on the tree? WHAT???? Who even says something like that? That's not very politically correct.

When do you put your decorations up? When the last group of geese take vee-shaped flight to the sky. When I can see my breath in the car on the way to school in the morning. When I begin wearing socks to bed. Or, the first weekend in December. Which ever comes first.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Are you saying that you eat food OTHER than dessert for holiday dinner? That's weird.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child: It was Christmas Eve, and I was about 5 or 6 years old. My mom and dad were just finishing up reading Twas The Night Before Christmas to get me to sleep when all of a sudden I heard sleigh bells. I jumped up from my bed and ran to my bedroom window. When I looked outside I saw a big, golden sleigh filled with presents and 8 reindeer too! Just then I heard a thump downstairs and though my parents told me to slow down I sprinted down the stairs where I saw SANTA putting presents beneath our tree! He quickly turned to see me, smiled, and motioned for me to come to him. I cautiously walked over, my legs shaking with excitement. He told me that little girls are supposed to be in bed by now so that he could do his job. I apologized immediately, and he chuckled his bowl full of jelly laugh. He reached into his enormous sack and pulled out the most beautiful dolly I'd ever seen. I thanked Santa a thousand times and he sent me back to bed. I hugged that dolly tight all night long, and I still have her to this day.
Oh wait. Nope. That doesn't sound right. Yep. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. That was a dream. Never happened. But it would have been pretty cool, right?

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? You mean about him being Satan? I think I heard that from a lady handing out fliers in front of a strip club one night.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Only if I can stay awake longer than everyone else.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With my toes. I told you I have very long toes. It's impressive, really. And the lovely scent of the Frasier Fir covers up the toe-jam stentch quite nicely.

Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it. Until I start to dread it.

Can you ice skate? They don't call me Brilliant Blades for nothing!

Do you remember your favorite gift? Nope.

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Eating as much food as I can without throwing up.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? The biggest one.

What is your favorite tradition? Winning the food eating contest.

Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving? Giving. The business.

What is your favorite Christmas Song? The Christmas Song

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? It depends. Does my breath stink?

Ever recycled a Christmas present? Aren't we all supposed to be going green?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Wish Every Day Were A Snow Day!

Days like these don't come along often. Snow days that cancel school, cancel work, and yet are warm enough to enjoy being outside, with all three boys healthy, are rare. And yesterday we took full advantage. Todd and I took the boys sledding at The Bowl for the first time ever. I was so impressed with how brave my normally cautious boys were jumping on their inner tubes and going down the hill by themselves right away. We had so much fun. We kept sledding and playing for two whole hours. It was a blast and I felt like a kid again. Todd and the boys practically had to drag me kicking and screaming to the car. I just didn't want to leave. We even made it onto the evening news! Check it out! That is Tommy and I going down the hill together. Then Todd in camouflage pushing the boys down. Me being interviewed for a second, and then Tommy eating snow at the end. Haha!

However, I did end up over-doing it. When I got home I got a migraine. Luckily it wasn't too bad and I was able to get rid of most of it while the boys were down for their naps. I was feeling well enough when they awoke that we rounded out our day with hot chocolate and baking cookies. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are the cold Wisconsin winter days when my friends and I would walk down to The Bowl, go sledding all day, and come home and warm up to hot chocolate. Thinking back on those times makes me realize how magical childhood can be. Every experience is new and full of anticipation. And I hope that someday the boys will look back on this day, and their childhood, with warm memories of there own.

What are some of your fondest childhood memories?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh The Pressure!

We got dumped on last night. Six inches of snow was deposited in our city and it is still snowing. Another six to eight inches is expected today and a few more inches tomorrow. School has been cancelled and Todd just left for work to tie up some loose ends and call all the other employees to tell them to stay home. When he is done there he is going to run out and buy some sleds so that we can hit The Bowl and take the boys sledding for the first time. I feel like a kid this morning, excited about the snow and anxious for daddy to get home with the sleds.
I'm not sure how long the boys will last outside in the cold and snow but we'll stay as long as we can. Then it is all hot chocolate, Christmas movies, and coloring in our Christmas coloring books for the rest of the day. I may even get around to finally sending out our Christmas cards while the boys color.
I am making it increasingly difficult to send out Christmas cards each year. The pressure is intense.
The last few years I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to get a "money" shot. Beautiful smiles, cute poses, everyone looking at the camera. It just doesn't happen often. And every time we visit family they have our Christmas card prominently displayed and they gush when they tell us that our Christmas cards are always their favorite of the year. Pressure!!!!!
Christmas 2005
Christmas 2006
Christmas 2007
How can I compete with that? It is just too hard.

We tried the poses on the stairs. I didn't like it.We tried the couch. But that didn't work either.We tried posing on the floor again,and again. But none of them were working for me. They all just felt too posed. Finally, Ben fell to an exhausted and frustrated heap on top of his brothers (notice they tried to hold their smiles!).When he looked up, I got my shot. This is my money shot. It may not be the cutest photo, or the best posed. They may not be smiling their prettiest smiles or even looking that happy, but it sure does make me laugh. This looks like my boys. They are buds. And this is them.

Christmas 2008

Now if I can only find the motivation to send them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Reveal

Even though we had agreed last month that we were going to start trying for number four Todd was still surprised when he walked in the house on Thursday night and saw this:
I had made Ben a tee shirt to match his brothers and all three boys were sitting on the couch in their tee shirts when Todd came home. I have revealed each pregnancy (except for the first) to Todd this way. Joey wore the tee shirt to announce the second pregnancy, Joey AND Tommy wore the tee shirts to announce the third, and now all three wore it for this pregnancy. Not very original but Todd always gets a kick out of it.
The problem was that even though I found out I was pregnant Thursday morning I had to make a new tee shirt for Ben and wait for it to dry (ALL DAY) before I could tell Todd. It was hard to keep quiet.
We still haven't told the boys. They just thought they were trying on the tee shirts to see if they still fit (Joey's is SO small now). I think we will wait until we are closer to three months before we tell them.
We are due around August 15th. So far I'm feeling okay. I have waves of nausea and by 8 o'clock every night I am completely exhausted. It feels like someone filled my entire body with wet sand and I can barely lift my limbs or haul myself off the couch to get up to bed. But other than that, I'm doing pretty well.
I'm trying to take it easy because I always get migraines in the first trimester. No running for me for a little while. Once I get to the three month marker I can pick it up again. For now I'll just do some yoga and hope that is enough to keep me from gaining 20 pounds in the first month. I am craving Baby Ruth candy bars so bad it is crazy. If this baby is a girl I may have to name her Ruth.
I honestly could not wait to tell you all, which is funny because most of our family members don't even know yet. Your comments were so sweet and sincere, and I am so appreciative of your support. I especially liked how careful you all were not to put any pressure on the boy/girl issue. So very sweet of you. How well you know me. Thank you.
But, I will say, don't keep your fingers crossed. My grandmother had five boys and Todd's grandmother had four boys. We may just be taking after the grandmas. ;)
Alright, it is time for me to get going. My stomach is lurching, Ben is pulling all of the ornaments off the tree again, and I have to make the trek to the grocery store this morning before the next predicted snow storm starts in. What is that saying about no rest for the weary?
(Please ignore the stars. Blogger's spacing isn't working again.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

PSF- I Like Even Numbers

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Sometimes words simply aren't needed, so just imagine me nodding my head and smiling.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Your New Mom

I am not going to be that mom anymore. I am not going to be that nagging, bossy mom that makes my boys feel as though they are walking on eggshells. After last week's episode that ended in the boys telling me that they only want their daddy and not me, I have seen the error of my ways. I deserved those words from them and I'm so glad that I really heard what they were saying, because it opened my eyes.

Living with me was not fun. I made things difficult. I stressed the stupid little things too much and completely forgot to stop and notice the important things. I made life so much more stressful than it had to be.

I nagged about everything. They didn't put their toys away properly. They didn't eat their food fast enough. They ate their food too fast. They were too loud and they gave me a headache. They talked too quietly and I couldn't hear what they were saying. Nag, nag, nag.

I think I was confusing nagging for discipline.

It is hard to be the disciplinarian in the family. It is such a responsibility. Sometimes I feel that I have to be on the boys at all times in order for them to grow up to be respectful, hard working, thoughtful boys. But really, I just need to let them be.

If I want them to be respectful, I need to be respectful. And not just to others, but to them as well. They deserve my respect as much as I deserve theirs. If I want them to be compassionate people than I need to be a compassionate mother. One that calms their anxiety instead of adding to it. If I want my boys to be able to handle their anger in a healthy way, then I'd better start showing them the proper way to do so. If I want my boys to be loving, then I need to be an example of love in every circumstance.

This past week has been a complete turn around. The boys have behaved as they always have. Sometimes sassy, sometimes great. But I have been a different mom. I have been able to maintain calm. I spoke with kindness. I bit my tongue and said nothing when I wanted to correct things I knew didn't need correcting.

This is the mom I want to be. And I hope that if I practice this type of mothering enough it will become second nature. Because this is who I am. I am this mom. I am fun. I am loving. The boys just didn't get to see enough of it before. But that is gonna change. I know it won't always be easy. I know there will be times that I will fail and revert back to my old ways. But I am determined to do my best.

I'm letting go so I can be a better mom.

When we went to pick Joey up at school yesterday the snow was just too pretty to pass up. Tommy asked if we could get out and play on the playground while we waited for Joey. Though it is not normally like me to let the boys frolic in the snow without snowpants and gear (oh the mess!) I figured this was a good opportunity for me to practice letting go. I let Tommy and Ben out of the car and we went climbing all over the snow piles the snow plow trucks had created. When Joey came out of school he joined in. We played and slid and stomped through the snow, and when I told the boys it was time to go they happily obliged and climbed into the minivan.

We got home and the boys didn't want to go in the house yet. I told them they could play in the backyard for a while until they got hungry. One thing led to another and soon we were all building a snowman together. Tommy and Ben were rolling around in the snow sans snowpants, and Joey was wearing his two sizes too small snowpants that he put on at school, but I couldn't have cared less. We were having a blast.

By the time we were finishing up my jeans were soaked through and Tommy and Ben were wet little popsicles. Todd came home for lunch just in time to capture the moment for us.

We finished up our snowman and scurried inside to defrost. The wet clothes were thrown in the dryer, and new warm, fuzzy clothes were put on in their place. The boys ate quickly and drifted right off to sleep, exhausted from the fresh, cold air.

And I sit here thankful that I was given yet another opportunity to start again. Another chance to let go and just enjoy being a mom. Another moment to seize and not care about the mess or the clean up. Another shot at showing my boys how to be spontaneous and how to have fun. How to live. And how to love.

It was another great day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WW- Cold

As always, click to enlarge.
We are expecting another 5 inches or so today and the boys are thrilled. While the first few snowfalls of the season are always exciting I know that by next month I will already be pretty antsy for spring. However, I will admit it is quite beautiful when it looks like this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Love Lockdown

My Joey loves to sing. He sings all the time. He sings church songs, songs from cartoons, Christmas songs, made up songs, hip-hop songs, rock songs, country songs, old school jazz songs, and everything else he has ever heard.

The other day we were in the car listening to the radio when Kanye West's song "Love Lockdown" came on the radio. The tribal drum beats drew him in and I knew he was immediately hooked. Every time we get in the car he asks me to try and find it on the radio and after hearing the song only twice he memorized it enough to sing parts of the verse and all of the chorus.

I wish I could get Joey to sing on video for me because I'm not sure there is anything more hilariously cute than watching him walk around the house thumping out the beat to this song on his legs and belting out the words to the chorus. It is just so funny watching this tiny, little, angelic faced boy singing these serious words with so much fervor.

Can you picture it?

(The chorus part that Joey loves to sing comes in at around 58 seconds.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Proper Start

December started out just the way it should in Wisconsin. A winter storm warning was issued last night and this morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. It was beautiful. All the schools started two hours late and the morning kindergarten classes were cancelled. No school for Joe!

Instead we spent the morning decorating our house with all of our favorite Christmas decorations. As the nativity was carefully set up Joey kept reminding us, "This is the most important part of Christmas!"

I may have to take a bunch of the decorations down if we get a call to show our house. I'm afraid it is a bit of overkill. But it is worth it. The boys jumped and danced around all morning. The Christmas music was playing and the boys all sang along. As Joey sang, "All I want for Christmas is you..." he had to stop me and tell me, "Well, actually I'd like some presents too, mom." Just in case I had taken the lyrics seriously. Good cover, Joe.

Now we are throwing on our snowsuits and boots and heading out for the first snow play of the year. I'm sure I will freeze much sooner than my little men and I'll have to bribe them into the house with hot cocoa and a Christmas movie, but I'm sure they will be happy to oblige their delicate mom.

These are the days I LOVE being a mama.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Whew! NaBlaBlaBla is over with! Finally!

At first the month just blew by. Subject matter kept presenting itself over and over again. I had no shortage of material to write about. It was a breeze. Then as the weeks moved along it became a bit more difficult until we got to this last week and it was downright painful. I wrote about things that didn't matter because I just didn't have the energy or brain cells to write about the other stuff.

I heartily apologize for my posts this last week. Dreadful, I know. But I had made a decision not to complain about NaBloPoMo in any of my posts this month and I tried to come up with something fresh for each post. Didn't work so well. You can see this week suffered. Sorry.

So! No more boring one paragraph posts telling you what I'm doing. No more lame-o pictures of me in my jammies (although I do still adore them). From now on I will only post when I have something interesting to say. What a novel idea!

I will tell you that:

1- Wednesday morning was a nightmare. By far my worst day in a long time. The boys were devils and even told me that they just want daddy, not me. That is was fine if I went away and didn't come back. It was depressing and horrible. My mom came over to stay with the boys during their naps while I went to get my hair done and I had all I could do to keep from crying on my way out the door.
Todd came home while I was gone and I knew he was home but I didn't want to go back home. I was dreading walking in that door with those sassy children. They were just wretched. Instead I went to a coffee shop, stopped at my mom's house, and then went down to the lake. More than three hours later I finally came home.
It was like a light switch was flipped with the hubby home. The boys were happy. I was peaceful. And all was right in the world. I have been an awesome mom since. Granted it has only been four days, but I haven't even run out of patience and yelled ONCE! That is a miracle for me. A Christmas miracle.

2- I felt the affects of the stressful Wednesday and woke up Thursday morning with blurred and flashing vision. An early sign a migraine was coming. It was very odd since I've NEVER woken up with a migraine before. I guess it was a good thing I injured my knee because otherwise I may have missed the migraine signs and tried to run the 10K. That would have been awful. Luckily I was able to get rid of it before we headed over to Todd's folks for Thanksgiving lunch.
We stayed at Todd's folks for a while and then went over to my mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner. The whole day turned out to be a success. One of the nicest holidays I can remember and that is saying a lot since there was a fair amount of sadness surrounding a part of my heart without my dad with us. We had tried to stop by to see my dad but he was so tired he couldn't keep his eyes open. I guess in the end I again remembered that he is where he needs to be. And there was comfort and strength in having our family together and saying a blessing for my dad before we began dinner.

3- I am almost done with Christmas shopping! I have Todd and the boys done and now I just need get some things for the parents, nieces, and nephews. Easy peasy!

4- I finally buried St. Joseph. We had another open house today and I figured it just couldn't hurt. We only had one couple look at the house so we'll just see where it goes from here.

5- I finished Twilight in two days. I liked it. Yep. Good stuff. I asked the hubby to get me the book set for Christmas. I can see how some people have trouble with it, however. It is written for teenagers. The writing is basic and the narrative through the eyes of a teenager may not appeal to all adults. But sometimes it is nice to not have to think so much when I read. To be able to escape into a world so different than mine now, and yet a world that I can easily recall. I had an Edward, too. No, I wasn't in love with a vampire. But I was left feeling sucked dry and lifeless when the relationship ended. Most of us have had that one obsessive relationship. A relationship that seems so incredibly perfect until you find that one glaring, nagging flaw. In Twilight that flaw is just much more obvious.

Yes, for those of you that asked, I enjoyed Twilight immensely.

6- Still no word on whether or not I have West Nile Virus. They said the results would be in within the week, so I'm guessing no news is good news. Right?

7- I must be taking over where Tommy and Joey left off because I haven't been feeling the greatest these past few days. Please continue to be patient with me and I promise I will be around to visit y'all shortly. Thanks.

8- It is snowing here. It looks absolutely beautiful. Big, juicy snowflakes are furiously fighting their way to the ground. It makes me want to sing Christmas carols and make cookies. Or maybe just eat cookies. Either way, I'm in the Christmas spirit!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Date Night Review

Every year when the hubby and I run out and do our Christmas shopping for the boys we try and make a day out of it. We tackle all the shopping and then unwind with a nice dinner and a funny Christmasy movie.

This year we were a little pressed for time. We called Todd's mom over at the last minute because after the boys had so easily picked out their favorite toys at the store earlier in the day we wanted to rush back and get them that same day before they were sold out. Thankfully, she made it to our house by dinner time. We rushed out the door, spent less than a half an hour piling up the gifts in the cart, and hastily threw them in the back of the car. We had less than an hour to find a place to eat, drive twenty minutes to the movie theater, and get there early enough to find good seats for the 7:20 movie showing that we had already purchased tickets for online.

After debating the pros and cons we opted to eat at Taco Bell. Not exactly what we had been hoping for, but it was quick enough that we could make it to the movie theater with time to spare. We ate our crappy fast food and hustled on over to the theater.

We had plenty of time to grab popcorn and soda (yes, we had just eaten. ya got a problem with that?) and find the best seats in the house. We snuggled down in our seats, played the trivia, and my favorite, watched the coming attractions. After the rush of the day I was more than ready to enjoy a good laugh.

Then our movie came on. Four Christmases.If you are looking for a light and funny Christmas movie this just might be the one. This movie kept the hubby and I laughing the entire time. I was laughing so hard as certain points that there were tears running down my face. The surprising pairing of Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon works to the comedy's advantage with not only their comedic timing but also the visual affect of them together. He is so tall and dominant next to a petite little Reese that the two even standing next to each other look funny.

My husband and I are HUGE Vince Vaughn fans. I think I have been since Swingers. I really don't know if you can go wrong with a comedy when he is in it. The man could read the phone book and it would be funny. I was pleasantly surprised by Reese's comedic chops although a few scenes in the beginning did feel a bit more acted than others.

Add in a few more big name stars like, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Tim McGraw, Mary Steenburgen, and Dwight Yokem and you can see you have a full cast. Each of the talented actors had their opportunity to shine in this hilarious movie. From the cage fighting brothers to the cougar mother, there are scenes that I'm sure you will be walking out of the theater talking about.

Sure there were a few downsides to the movie. The plot was fairly typical and predictable, it was vulgar in some points (but I'm sorry, I thought it was hilarious-cause I have that kind of sick sense of humor sometimes), and a little overwhelming at times. But at only an hour and twenty-two minutes it really did keep my attention and I was laughing in just about every single scene.

If you are looking for the romantic, feel-good movie of the Christmas season this is not it. Maybe try one of the classics. Or something newer like Love Actually or Serendipity. Four Christmases is a comedy. And they do it well.

Sometimes you just want to go to a movie to laugh a lot, think a little, and leave feeling happy. And this movie did that for me. If you are looking for a hilarious, shallow, fun Christmas movie this is the one for you.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Last Minute Surprise

Date night! Woohoo! Todd's mom came over and we are on our way out for an impromptu date night. A night of Christmas shopping for the boys, dinner, and a movie. I'm so excited!

Now if we can only get out the door!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Many Thanks

It was a bad start to the day, what with the blaring migraine staring me down the minute I woke up. But thankfully, with some well-timed meds, an ice pack, and a quiet(ish) room I was able to get rid of the headache in time to enjoy the Thanksgiving Day festivities.

The boys muscled through a nonstop playfest with their cousins all day and without taking their usual naps. And when we dragged them into the house for a much later than normal bedtime they were still in relatively good spirits. Now after plenty of turkey at Todd's folks this afternoon, and then even more turkey at my folks this evening, I am lying on the couch with my belly stretched out enjoying my slow slip into a tryptophan coma.

I hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be, with more blessings than you ever could have imagined.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Just a few hours. Just a few hours and he'll be home. I can make it.

Yes, the house was cleaner while he was gone. One less pair of dirty socks, underwear, shoes, and clothes to put away. No half empty coffee mugs on the desk, or used cereal bowls to rinse and put in the dishwasher. I wasn't constantly searching for something he had misplaced. The grocery bill was half of what it is when he is here. No need to try and calm the boys down before bed after rough-housing with daddy. I went to bed when I felt like it and spread out and enjoyed the whole bed.

But I heard a noise that one night. And I knew I was the one who had to investigate. The boys saw a huge bug, and I had to squash it. The bed was cold when I crawled into it and I didn't have my oven to warm me up. I didn't get my kiss goodnight. Or my, it's-been-a-long-day hug. I didn't get to laugh with him at the boys antics. We didn't get to exchange a wink and a smirk when the boys threw their silly tantrums. I watched our favorite TV shows alone. I was really freaked out watching Fringe by myself.

And then? Then I tried to make the coffee. Yes. I know how to make coffee even though he usually is the one to make it every morning. But this morning? Awful. I'm used to grinding our own beans and I know exactly how much to use, but I had gotten the already ground Dunkin Donuts coffee as a treat for this week. I don't know if it was too much math for me so early in the morning, converting cups to ounces and then dividing by scoops, but ugh, it was horrible. It tasted like sludge. It had tasted so good when he made it. And I missed him. His coffee is always perfect.

And then guess what. It snowed! A few heavy inches of snow. And I had to shovel because I don't know how to use our brand new snowblower, not that it had any gas in it anyway. I was flying around shoveling, taking out the garbage, and brushing off my car so I could get Joey to school on time. And I missed him.

But I can deal with all that. I can handle it. I can kill the bugs, make the coffee, take out the garbage, shovel, and rough house with the boys. That is not the problem. I just miss him. I miss his deep, soothing voice. His warm smile. I miss how easily he can make me laugh. I miss his bear hugs. I miss his laugh. I miss his furrowed brows. I miss his sarcasm and I miss his enthusiasm. I just miss who he is. And I am READY for him to come home. I miss my buddy.

Miss you in the morning
Miss you in the night
You seem as far away
As a satellite
Miss you partly
Miss you completely
Miss you from my headly
Down to my feetly
Sittin' around missin'
And it's a big fat bore
Just missin' and missin'
Til my misser gets sore

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Taking Time For Me

That's right. I'm doing it. I'm taking time for me just like you all suggested. Okay. Maybe not JUST like you all suggested. I mean, I'm not going anywhere. But I am pampering myself a bit.

I have a pajama obsession. I don't know why, but I love pajamas. Every year I ask for pajamas and slippers for Christmas. I wear the same pajamas pretty much every night (except when it is hot in summer then I wear boxers or something-TMI?) so they really do get pretty worn out in one year. The pajamas I received last year for Christmas are still holding up pretty well, but I've been feeling the jammie itch already. I need new jammies.

While the boys and I were at Target this weekend I spotted an adorable oversized long sleeved t-shirt pajama top. And guess what. Sale! I grabbed it off the rack and went searching for pants to match the top, because hello! This is Wisconsin. An oversized pajama shirt may work in some places but not in Wisconsin in an old drafty house. A few racks away I found the perfect pants. It looked like they were made to go together with perfectly matching reds and even the same snowflake pattern. And guess what. SALE! It was a done deal.

Then the boys spotted the slippers. I was already feeling a little guilty about indulging in my pajama obsession but my little smarties convinced me to get the slippers too. The boys were so excited when I put the slippers in the cart you'd think they were for them. Little cuties.

So tonight I'm going to pamper myself. I'm gonna take an extra long shower (what's that?), and put on my brand new pajamas and slippers. Yay! And then when I'm good and cozy I'll grab a cup of tea and start that book I've been meaning to read. I think I could get used to this whole pampering thing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Fresh Start

Never did I imagine that I would be the kind of mom that would scream and yell at her children. Never did I think for one second that I would use the harsh words I have used. Never could I envision having such a hard time keeping my cool. And yet here I am hanging my head in shame.

Sunday morning was really tough. The boys threw their worst tantrums and behavior at me and I responded in kind. I tried walking away. I tried counting to ten. I even locked myself in the bathroom. Nothing worked. Each time I blew my top. I screamed, red-faced and wide eyed. I shook my finger in their faces. I told them how awful they were being and said things that were ridiculous and out of line. The minute the words came out of my mouth I was desperately trying to grab them and stuff them back in.

I'm the adult. I should be able to do this. I should be so much better at this than I am. What is wrong with me?

By the time we were ready for church I had decided I had tried all I could that morning. For the first time in their lives I dropped the boys off at Cherub School and went to church by myself. Happy to be playing, and not trying to sit still in church for an hour, the boys eagerly waved goodbye as I left all three of them in the church daycare. And though the boys were happy, I was miserable. I felt defeated. Like a failure.

I sat down in the pew at church and had all I could do to keep the tears from coming. I feel as though I am failing these boys every day. Every day there are moments I can look back on and hang my head in shame. Times I could have done better. Should have done better. This, my most important job, seems to be the only one I am not succeeding at and yet it is the only one I must.

Mass started and I listened to the scriptures. The music soothed me and the sermon inspired me. I became more and more at peace as the mass went on. And I realized, for maybe the millionth time, that we all fail at times. It is human nature. No one is perfect. We all fail. And it is in failing that we learn how to succeed. We learn how to live. And we learn how to love.

The good in this is that every day is a new day. Every hour is a new hour. Every minute is a new minute. A fresh start is just around the corner. And I'm taking it. And I'll do better this time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look, Look, Look!!!

Nothing like getting a package in the mail to put you in a good mood. Look what I won from Jenny at Daily Dose Of Motherhood! They are the most amazingly beautiful scented candles I've ever had. And they are wickless! Jenny has her own company and MAKES the wickless candles with 100% soy. And let me tell you people, they are AMAZING! When I opened the package Tommy said, "Oh mom! They smell like the holidays!" And that, my friends, is the highest form of praise from my boys who love nothing better than the Christmas holidays.

Jenny sent me two wickless candles, a warmer, and simple instructions on a festive card. I can't tell you what an awesome gift this was. All I can tell you is that you HAVE to go and visit her store and order some of these candles for yourself. Pamper yourself! You deserve it! Or if you are feeling generous buy some as gifts for the hard to shop for sister, mom, or mother-in-law on your Christmas list. Jenny has a long list of delicious scents to choose from and I'm sure there is one there for every palate. The scents I chose are Very Vanilla and Cozy Home and they are heaven. HEAVEN, I tell you!!!

I am going to use the Cozy Home candle for my next open house and I just KNOW that it (and St. Joseph, of course-though still not buried) will seal the deal and we'll sell the house.

Can you tell I am excited about these? I NEVER go on and on about a product, but these are that good. Love them. Thank you so much, Jenny!

Now what are you waiting for? Go get some of these AWESOME candles!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Todd used to leave me little notes all over the house when he would go deer hunting. I would pull back the blankets to get into bed and see a Post-It on my pillow saying, "Good night, honey! Sweet dreams! I miss you!" The next morning I would get up and go in the shower and on the shower handle a Post-It would remind me, "Taking a shower, babe? Don't forget to scrub behind your ears!" I would grab my favorite mug out of the cupboard and a Post-It would be tucked inside telling me, "Still tired, sweetie? I made a fresh pot of coffee for you, just hit the ON button on the coffee maker." I would open the freezer and yet another Post-It would ask, "What are ya eatin', hon?" Goofy little notes that made me laugh and roll my eyes would be left all over the house. I loved every one of them. I have kept a bunch over the years and they always make me smile when I read them again.

Todd doesn't do that much anymore. I suppose it is because I am no longer at work when he is packing to leave. Now I am hovering over his shoulder with our three little ones hanging onto his legs. It is pretty hard to hide love notes when the person (and three nosey monkeys) is in the house.

Yet for this trip he still managed some surprises for me. When I pulled back the blankets to climb into bed on Thursday night I found an envelope on my pillow with a romantic card inside it. Just sweet enough to put a smile on my face.

The next day I was busy getting Joey ready for school, visiting my dad, making lunches, scolding boys, and all the other household dailies that come with the territory. At the end of a long day there was a knock at the door and I happily accepted these from the delivery lady:
My favorite colored roses and a card thanking me for "holding down the fort" while he is away. Good man. Smart man.
These are the kind of things that make his trip manageable. Not the gifts of flowers and cards, although I LOVE them, but knowing Todd appreciates what I'm doing. Just being appreciated. It makes all the difference in the world. And I certainly appreciate that he knows that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Dissin' Me, Homie?

After much pestering, bugging, begging, and pleading from my friends I finally set up a Facebook account a few weeks ago.

I was staunchly opposed to Facebook for a long time. Number one, I already have a blog that sucks up all of my free time. How would I keep up? Number two, I don't like to join something because people are telling me too. It is just the stubbornness in me. I don't want to be a follower. Number three, I had a "Facebook Sucks" badge on my blog for the longest time because Facebook made a member take down pictures of her breastfeeding her child because they thought the pictures were obscene or something. It made me mad. Still does, actually.

However, so many of my friends who live far away have Facebook accounts. I really did want to know what they were up to, how they were doing, so I joined. Okay? I'm a joiner. I did it. I went against what I said I wouldn't do, and I did it anyway. I am a follower. Ugh.

And you know what? I love it. It is like a high school reunion without all the primping and nervousness. I have met up with SO MANY of my high school friends on Facebook. It is a blast. I LOVE hearing from people I haven't seen since high school. It really has been fun. And convenient!

Here is where it gets interesting. I was so excited when I saw a long-lost friend was on Facebook and I sent him a friend request right away. We dated for a year in high school and then when he went to college we grew apart and broke up. We didn't talk much after the break up and then a year or so later we ran into each other, started talking again, and became great friends. We were friends much longer than we ever dated. We lived in different states so we would hang out occasionally but mostly talk on the phone or email. He was a great friend, and I don't remember how (I think it was when Todd and I got engaged), but we just lost touch.

So, here is the thing. It has been a few weeks now and he never responded to my friend request. So I sent him a message saying, "What's up, homie????" and still have not received anything. Am I being dissed here, or is it just my imagination? It is actually kind of funny. I think I am being avoided. What the? Dude, you used to be such a good friend. You REALLY don't want to talk to me? What is UP with that?

It makes me wonder. Did we stop talking because I got engaged? Was that it? Because I know I lost almost all of my guy friends when I became engaged. I always thought they were such good friends and then once I was engaged they just kind of disappeared. I expected it with some of my guy friends, but not this one. It makes me wonder if the whole guys and girls can't be friends thing is true or not. Hmm.

What do you think? Am I being dissed? Avoided? Do you think guys and girls can be friends?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BAss Ackwards

Todd leaves for deer hunting today, and yesterday all I did all day was make cookies, rice krispies treats, and prepare goodies for him to take up to deer camp. Oh, and I did all the laundry too. All 6 loads. He needs clean clothes to wear, ya know. And I'm not done yet with the treats. I still have to make a huge vat of my homemade applesauce today.

Before Todd and I had children I didn't mind deer hunting at all. I couldn't understand what all these women were complaining about. I got to go out with just my girlfriends, watch whatever I wanted on television without eye rolling or sighing, eat as much junk food as I could in a week, go shopping, stay up as late as I wanted without worrying about waking him up when I finally did make it to bed. It was actually always a nice relaxing week. Not that I didn't enjoy having him around the rest of the year. I did. But I have always been a girl who likes her alone time, and that week was always nice for me.

But now that we have kids it gets a bit more complicated. I don't have anymore "me time". No more massages or shopping trips (unless I want to drag the three screaming banshees along with me). Plus, the whole week before he leaves I am baking and cooking for his trip. How backwards is that? "Hey honey, I'm gonna be gone for an entire week drinking, playing cards, and yakking with my buds while you stay home with the kids. And, oh by the way, could you make a couple hundred dozen cookies, a few meals, and side dishes for us to eat while we are up there? Thanks."

And not only do I not get a break for even a moment for an entire week, but the boys are grouchy and mad the whole time daddy is gone because they wanted to go with him. Sounds like fun right?

Still, I'm glad Todd gets to go every year. Even though it is a huge pain in the rump for me, he deserves it. He works really hard for our family. His job is a nightmare at times. I certainly would NOT want to do what he does on a daily basis. He works long days and still comes home and wants to help, participate, and play. So he needs a break. He deserves a break. And I am happy to be able to help him enjoy it.

I just hope that he will be just as happy to give me a break soon. Maybe for BlogHer?

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