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?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WW- Follow Me

No, really. Follow me! All you have to do is hit the nifty little Subscribe button on my sidebar. Follow me!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Down For The Count

I hurt my knee again. AGAIN! One week before I'm supposed to run my 10K. WHY??? I have no idea how I injured it this time. I suppose it could have still been touchy since the last time I injured it. I don't know, but it really hurts.

I know it isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it pisses me off. I don't often get to compete in 10K races because I am always pregnant or nursing, so when I finally do get in shape again and all the cards fall in to place I want to take advantage when I can. This just sucks. I am really pissed. The last time I hurt my knee I had to stop running for a month before it healed. Did I mention that I am a little pissed about this? Suckity, suck, suck, suckage.

I know I haven't been around to your blogs much lately. I beg you to be patient with me. It has been craziness around here. And now on top of everything else I have to keep my knee iced and elevated so that there is a snowball's chance in hell I might be able to run next week. Unfortunately, my friggin granny knee hurts just sitting at this desk (WHY don't I have a LAPTOP???????) so I have to get back to my couch. I promise I will be around to see you all soon. "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon- and for the rest of your life."* Oh wait, what?

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that I'm just down and not out.

-I think I'm done whining now.

*Casablanca, people! Sheesh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Doggone Valentine's Day!

I get it. I know that Valentine's Day is nine months before November, but come on people! Can't you conceive at any other time than Valentine's Day? I know approximately 20 people with November birthdays. Two of my brothers, two of my niece's, eight friends, my dad, my MIL, my best friend's son, a few cousins. I'm going bonkers trying to keep them all straight. And I'm going broke too! It is insanity.

I realize Valentine's Day is the most romantic holiday and all. But what about January? You know, the holidays are over, there is nothing to do. Make a baby then! Or what about March? Spring is coming closer, the weather is getting nicer. How about a baby then! Or April! Yay, April! Or any other month, for that matter. Just not February, okay?

I think I should start circulating a petition for no more conceptions in February. Can I do that? You want to sign it?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Girl

She was the first baby I ever fell in love with. I had been around many babies before, but never had I been so smitten as this. When I babysat for her I would pretend she was mine. It was easy because everyone remarked at the resemblance between us. I paraded her around my school, my friends, my work. I had to introduce her to everyone. Yes, I was smitten.

I remember nights at my sister's apartment when I would beg to put my baby to sleep. I would turn the radio to soothing music and stand in front of the big patio windows dancing her to sleep. Her hair was the sweetest smell I had ever known in my 17 years. Her cheeks were so rosy and soft I had to restrain myself from kissing her too much and keeping her awake.

For a while when she was two I had the pleasure of being her nanny. Every morning at the crack of dawn she would come bounding in my room begging for her "ba-ba" and her favorite show "Bananas in Pajamas". She would cross her legs, stick her nuk on her big toe, and bounce her foot up and down. Up and down. Even at two years old she was funny, expressive, and full of life. She was a handful for some, but was always fabulous for me. My little buddy.

Today my niece turns 15. I can easily remember what my life was like when I was 15. On the one hand things were so exciting and new and all of life's possibilities were mine for the taking. On the other hand life was confusing, draining, scary, and at times heart breaking. At fifteen I turned inside myself and tried to find exactly who I was. Who I wanted to be. It was a time of mixed emotions. At fifteen I struggled.

Distance made it impossible to stay in my niece's life as much as I've wanted to over the years, but fate has brought her, her sisters, and my sister back home. I'm so glad that she is here. I hope she knows how much it means to me to have her close again, and to be able to watch her in this most exciting, fun, confusing, and draining time in her life. And I hope she knows that whatever she needs I am always here for her.

For years I've carried this advice around in my wallet. It has helped to lift me from my funks and inspire me to do better. I hope that it helps to inspire my niece as well and reminds her of life's possibilities.

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Suggestions

Every Saturday I pick three posts that stand out in my mind that I have read in the past week. They can be posts that make me laugh, cry, or just strike a chord with me. Please feel free to visit the links and leave comments. Enjoy!

Carol at Rose Creek Cottage with Just An Ordinary Day
I love stories like these. This post is wonderful for so many reasons you will just have to read it for yourself.

Crystal Jigsaw with The Jigsaw Puzzle Part I
A story about missing her father. I can relate. It is so beautifully written and so wonderfully told you simply must read it.

Chris at Life... Or A Reasonable Facsimile Thereof with Photostory Friday: Girls
A father's view of life with daughters. So honest, and funny, and absolutely moving. Please. READ IT.

Friday, November 14, 2008

PSF- A Time To Whine

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I can barely move. My back is having little spasms. I am sore. I am tired. I just want to curl up in one of the three massive piles of leaves I raked yesterday and go to sleep.
I feel like I have been raking all week. Well, I suppose I kind of have been. But yesterday was a massive overhauling of raking. I had to hurry to get the yard cleaned up so that I could get my piles into the street in time for the vacuum trucks to come by and pick them up. And now one day later I am still waiting for the trucks and watching as the leaves slowly get blown back into my yard. Ugh. I don't think I have it in me to go back out there and rake again.
After all the raking yesterday I went for a 5 mile run. It probably wasn't the best idea but I am trying to get ready for the 10K race I signed up for on Thanksgiving Day. Todd will be gone for a whole week before Thanksgiving so I will not be able to run outside while he is gone and I have to take my opportunities when I can. This was my first run this week because Todd has been working from early morning until late at night every day for the past few weeks. It has been kind of crazy around here.
And now? I'm exhausted. And sore. Did I mention my back hurts? Oh yeah, and I'm tired. But this weekend is no time for relaxation. It is go, go, go. But AFTER that? Oh wait, nope. No relaxation there either. I have to bake cookies and make treats for Todd to take up to deer camp. And after THAT? Well, it is just me and the boys for a whole week. But AFTER THAT? Well, maybe THEN I'll be able to relax.
(Doesn't that just look so comfy?)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I first saw this over at Dysfunctional Mom's blog and I loved the idea. So now I'm copying cuz I'm original like that. But also because I'm thankful.

- I am thankful that Joey's little episode with his dad the other week was only a one time occurrence. I have proof! As I was dropping Joey off in his classroom this morning I watched as he hung up his backpack and jacket and joined in on his classmates' play. Sensing that I was no longer needed I shouted a goodbye to Joey over my shoulder as I made my way to the door, careful not to embarrass him in front of his friends. Joey yelled, "Wait!" and quickly ran over, gave me a hug, a KISS, and told me he loves me. In front of all of his friends. Ahhhhh. All is right in the world.
I also heard from Todd that Joey allows him a big hug and kiss too. But only if his friends are not right there. Good enough. We'll take what we can get.

- I am so thankful that I only have two more weeks to wait until my appointment with my hair stylist. I am looking so bushy lately. I mean it is really out of control. I am trying to grow my hair out and when I do that I usually wait about two months in between hair cuts. Well, this time I waited too long to call my stylist and she was booked for a month and a half. A MONTH AND A HALF. And yes. She is that good. I WILL NOT let anyone else touch my hair so I have been waiting impatiently for my turn. She has told me in the past that if I really need to get in for an appointment that I can leave my name and she'll try and squeeze me in but I feel funny doing that. Like maybe I should do that only in case of real hair emergencies. What that would be? I don't know, but I think I can hold out another two weeks.
It is funny that I am this picky about my hair stylist considering that I had never even had my hair cut in a salon until I was 20 something. Up until then I had cut my own hair, and before that my mom cut it for me. But once you get a really fabulous cut, you just can't go back. Don't you agree?

- I am so thankful bribery works. Tommy has been crying and hanging on us when we drop him off for school in the morning. I know he likes school, but he just doesn't like the part where we leave him there. Being Joey's younger brother has always made it easy for him in the friends department. Joey's friends are his friends. He has never had to go out and make his own friends. And I can understand walking into a room full of kids can be very intimidating. He is a very emotional, dramatic (I wonder where he gets this from???) little boy and he is very free with his emotions. I love that about him, but I don't want these mornings to be so hard on him.
I told Tommy that if he can walk into his classroom, and kiss and hug mommy goodbye like a big boy, then he will get a special treat when I come to pick him up. It worked like a charm! He was fabulous! And his wonderful teacher (I'm thankful for her too!) noticed and ran with it telling him what a big boy he is and how proud she is of him. It was GREAT!

- I am thankful it is Thursday. Great TV night. Between The Office, Grey's Anatomy, 3rd Rock, and ER I am booked. AND, Dr. Greene is coming back to ER tonight! I am so excited!
It's the little things in life.

- I am so thankful for my dad's nursing home. The nursing staff there are the most amazing group of people I've ever met. They are all so loving and kind and they go out of their way to make all the residents feel at home. I was walking down the hall the other day and glanced into the common room and saw a nurse dancing with a resident. My mom said that is common to see. And I know you all heard of them opening up the nursing home to trick or treaters so the residents could hand out candy. That was awesome.
On Tuesday they also had a ceremony to honor all the residents who are Veterans. My dad received a plaque with his Army picture on it, his years of active service, and the awards he received as a soldier. I don't know how much of the ceremony my dad grasped, but he sure was grasping onto that plaque tightly. It warmed my heart.
Tomorrow the nursing staff are throwing my dad a birthday party for his 77th. They really do go out of their way, and I am so grateful to them. I just wrote a letter to our local newspaper thanking the nurses and staff at the nursing home. I hope they print it.
Anyway, it is truly something to be thankful for.

- I am thankful for the Peanut Butter Jelly song. Finally a rap song my boys can listen to. And no matter how grouchy they are it makes them laugh and dance.

The ice cream and cake song isn't bad either.

So, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WW- Oh Dear

That's not root beer, Ben!
(Don't worry. It was empty.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How To Sell Your Home In 60 Days Or Less

I DON'T FREAKIN' KNOW! Why are you looking at me??? I was asking you! No. Seriously. HOW DO YOU SELL YOUR HOME IN LESS THAN 60 DAYS?????

Okay, our house has not been on the market very long but I am really starting to get antsy here. When we first put our home on the market I was so smug. I thought surely one of the first people to see our house would buy it. It is not pricey. It is well maintained and manicured. Decorated very nicely, thankyouverymuch. It has all the modern updates that help sell a house quickly, meaning kitchen and baths. What gives?

I've even asked for divine intervention. I hate praying for silly stuff like this since I know there are so many more important things going on in the world to pray to God about. But I did it anyway. I know that God wants us to come to Him with all of our intentions no matter how big or small, and I've certainly been asking for His help and guidance. I've even asked for help from my homies. The saints.

Yes. I'm Catholic. In case the name Kathryn Mary (my sisters are Mary Joy and Anne Marie if you were curious), doesn't give it away the fact that I've had three children so close in age and will likely have more might help.

Anyway, I have a lot of favorite saints. I have always loved St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. I have a special affinity for St. Gianna who is the patron saint of babies, infertility, and difficult pregnancies. She is a newer saint who was alive in the 60's and just canonized in 2004. She was a wife, mother, and pediatrician. She just sounds amazing and obviously very easy to relate to as a mother. I've always loved the stories of St. Joan of Arc because she sounds like such a freaking toughie as I like to consider myself to be. And in selling this house I decided to ask for help from St. Jude and St. Joseph. St. Jude is the patron saint of impossible situations, and I asked for his help with a bit of sarcasm as I'm sure this situation isn't impossible, though it is beginning to feel that way. And then of course St. Joseph is the patron saint of families, fathers, and laborers (and many other things actually).

I'm sure that even if you are not Catholic most of you have heard of the ritual of burying a St. Joseph statue upside down in the yard of the home you are trying to sell. It is a pretty popular practice and I've heard of many situations in which it worked quickly. I have told St. Joseph that I am asking for his help, but that I didn't want to take his statue and bury it upside down because that just seems disrespectful. We have not sold our house yet.

So, today I wandered out to our local Christian store seeking a St. Joseph statue. I found one and brought it home. I am still refusing to bury it upside down and I am instead putting it on display on the window ledge in my kitchen. I told St. Joseph that if he really wants that statue buried upside down I'll do it, but I'd rather not. Even the literature I received with the statue said all of the burying instructions are just a myth anyway. So now we'll just wait and see.

Have any of you had success with the St. Joseph home sale practice or heard of anyone else who has? I'm just curious.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I May Or May Not Have West Nile Virus

A few years ago when Tommy had weaned himself from breastfeeding I was finally able to give blood again. It had been three straight years of being pregnant or breastfeeding and when Good Friday rolled around I happily signed up to donate blood.

I made sure Todd was home for the afternoon and I went to the donation site. I gave blood quickly, got a little light headed, and then went on my way. A couple of weeks later I got a phone call from the Blood Center informing me that they thought perhaps I had West Nile Virus. They wanted me to go to Milwaukee (about an hour from where I live) and do some testing that would take nearly all day and told me that I wouldn't be able to give blood again until the testing was done.

Thankfully I am not a hypochondriac otherwise it would have wreaked havoc on my brain. Nope. Instead I just hung up the phone and laughingly told Todd that I'm diseased. I got a good kick out of calling my friends and letting them know I had the West Nile. They were all freaked out and couldn't understand why I wouldn't just get the testing done. They kept pestering me to do it but I just didn't feel it was necessary. I don't know. Maybe it is my upbringing (as a teenager I once had a temperature of 104.9 and my mom just said, "Eh. You'll be fine.") but I don't go to the doctor unless a body part is missing.

I never did go get the testing done. I knew I obviously didn't have West Nile Virus. I couldn't even remember the last time I was sick. And even if I DID have West Nile Virus (I did my research online after the phone call) it is really just like the flu (what's the big deal?) and then once you have it you build up antibodies that keep you from ever getting it again. There was no way I was going to try and find someone to watch my two little ones while I trekked down to Milwaukee to hear what I already knew.

Fast forward to this past Thursday. The blood drive I told you about here was being done by the Blood Center and I knew I wouldn't be able to donate if I didn't get the testing. I contacted them and asked how I might go about getting tested. It turns out I could just go to the blood drive and they would test me there. So I did.

The phlebotomist drew a few viles of my blood and that was it. Of course they wouldn't let me donate blood that night (but thankfully they had well over 100 donors that evening) but now at least I will be able to give again. I just have to wait for my test results. They should be in within the week.

So do you want to place your bets? I am diseased, or not? Place your bets on my poll in the sidebar.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Well, hmm. How shall I say this?

This weekend wasn't great. The boys were sassy in the car, didn't sleep AT ALL the first night there or for their nap, it rained on Saturday instead of snow which is definitely not as fun to play in, were rotten in church, and horrid in the car on the way home. They were grouchy and sassy and very difficult all weekend.

By the time I got home this afternoon all I could think about was my rotten children. How the best behaved child this weekend was my youngest and he doesn't even know any better. How I despise always being the heavy in this family. How I am sick of my own shrill voice shrieking at my children all the time. And, how I just wanted to run away.

So I did.

I threw on my running clothes and took off. I haven't run in almost a week because I have been feeling under the weather and oh what a week does for me. The first few blocks I just flew. I couldn't believe how strong I felt. It was as if my body was a running machine. I ran, and ran, and ran.

My run that was supposed to just be 20 minutes stretched into 40. I ran as the sun was setting. I watched as a few snow flakes floated down and landed on top of the bright orange and yellow leaves on the grass. Even though I really didn't want snow just yet, I had to admit that it was gorgeous landing on the mulitcolored lawns.

And I remembered the obvious.

Nothing is all good or all bad. It may seem that way at times, but I must pull myself out from underneath the heap of life and see the situation for what it really is.

There were moments this weekend. Of course there were. The boys were tromping through the wet woods in their snow boots like little men, quiet as could be so they wouldn't spook the deer. They followed after daddy and grandpa and did their best not to trip on the big logs. Even Ben wouldn't accept my hand to help. It was a moment.

And then there was the excitement of the first snowfall of the year. The boys squealed and danced as they saw the snowflakes fall. Sure, all the fun started just a short while before we had to leave, but it was pretty nonetheless.

And there were other moments too. Though I know they got lost in all the chaos.

I came home from my run refreshed and rejuvenated. And so grateful. Not only for the good but the bad too. Because sometimes you just need the bad to make you appreciate the good.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Suggestions

Yep. I'm still up north at the cabin. I haven't ditched everyone just yet.

I thought I would preset my Saturday Suggestions before I left so y'all would still have my picks for the weekend. I know you've been dying to see who I picked. Can you hear the sarcasm?

Since I usually don't post on weekends I thought I would give you all some great reads written by other bloggers. Every Saturday I will pick three posts that stand out in my mind that I have read in the past week. They can be posts that make me laugh, cry, or just strike a chord with me. Please feel free to visit the links and leave comments.

Candy at Everyone Has A Story To Tell. This Is Ours with The Moment.
Candy takes us through her adventure of running the New York Marathon. It is an amazing story and it put tears in my eyes reading it. Never, EVER have I had the slightest desire to run a marathon. Until now.

Chris at Life...or a reasonable facsimile thereof with PhotoStory Friday: Take Another Look...
Chris has an amazing photographer's eye and he managed to capture one of best photos I've ever seen. And quite by accident. It looks like a painting. I love it.

Maggie at Maggie's Mind Piece by Peace with Haiku Friday
You can hear the love and excitement in her poem after the long "apartness" from her man comes to a close. This poem makes me smile. It feels warm and lovey and says so much in it's few lines.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hoping For The Best

Oh peace come to me
On the rushing, crashing wind
Of a crisp fall day
All too soon it's gone
Rich colors turning to white
Winter upon us

We are making the trek up north to the in-law's cabin again this weekend. It should be interesting. The boys have been in rare form lately. Lots of fighting, whining, crying, and sassing going on. Add to that the fact that Todd and his dad will be going out scouting the woods for deer sign sans boys and you can see this could possibly be disastrous.
I'll try and keep them outside as much as possible but the weather is supposed to be very cold with possibilities of snow. Which I know the boys will love but probably will not be able to handle for long periods of time. We'll see.
Just in case, I am taking along their favorite toys, books, and movies. And despite all that may be stacked against me I am planning on having a wonderful weekend. I am even bringing some new library books up for myself to read next to the fire as the boys nap (PLEASE!).
Either way, you'll hear of the lovely or disastrous weekend when we get back on Sunday! Hope you all have a wonderful one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Of Those Days

Yesterday was one of those days. Did you ever have one of those days? I did. And yesterday was it.

It was one of those days that started with one of those weeks. You know the kind of week where you are going along just fine until one day, even though you weren't planning on getting pregnant again so soon, you find you are spotting and cramping a little. All the familiar signs start popping up all over. Still, the stick doesn't say you are pregnant, but your late. And that just doesn't happen. And you're fine with it. Even though it wasn't planned. Again.

And then the more you think about it, the more you like it. And you start planning and dreaming about it. And you start getting really excited. You start to think that sometimes the best things in life start unplanned.

And then you begin to feel like crap. Like, serious crap on a stick. Blaaahhhh. Kind of crap.

And what do ya know you get your period. And you aren't really depressed, cuz the stick already told you that you weren't supposed to believe you were pregnant, but somehow you did anyway. Even though you didn't originally want another baby right now. And you weren't trying anyway. Being really careful even! So, you're not depressed. Nope.

But in the back of your mind there were those plans. So maybe just a little disappointment? But not depressed.

And anyway. There is always next month. Right?

So, yeah. It was just one of those days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Can Not Waste Today

By now you've probably all seen my NaBloPoMo badge on my sidebar and have realized that I've officially lost my mind. Yes, I will be posting every day in November, and yes, I am very sorry for clogging up your readers. I will try to keep my posts shorter. Starting today.

The weather here is 72 degrees and sunny. Far warmer and lovelier than our usual 50 degree Wisconsin Novembers. It is just too gorgeous to sit inside on the computer so if I am MIA from your blogs today you know why. Hopefully, I can take the boys to The Bowl after their naps and then roll them down the hill until they cry into their milk again. Good times.

Hope you all remembered to vote! Unless you are voting for the other guy. HAHAHA!! Totally kidding.

(Thank you to all those who emailed me and let me know my comments weren't working. I think they are now. Thanks again!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Summary

It was a very busy Halloween. It seems that every year I pile as much into that one day as I possibly can but somehow we still always manage to have a fabulous time.

The day started out with dancing and singing, "It's Halloween! It's Halloween" by the boys, and turning on all our pumpkin decorations and even a Halloween movie. Then the boys eagerly ate breakfast and we put our costumes on. Well, not me. I just dressed festively. I wasn't about to wear tons of makeup and my high heeled boots all day.

After we got our costumes on the boys and I headed out to show the grandparents. This has become an annual tradition that started when Joey was just eight months old. First we go to my MIL's work and parade the boys around in their costumes while all the employees ohh and ahh and give the boys candy. We take pictures with grandma, visit for a while, and then head on over to my FIL's house. Again, the boys are given much candy, we visit and take a few pictures, and then head out again. Normally we don't stop at my folks house because they are on our trick or treating route, but this year we stopped to see my dad at the nursing home.

It was a great visit. Dad got to see the boys in their costumes, though I'm not sure he really knew who they were this time. Still, he seemed happy to see us, and we even got a couple of pictures. We also found out that the nursing home staff had sponsered trick or treating (which meant more candy for the boys!) for area kids so that all the residents could hand out candy and see children in costumes. There were decorations every where and tons of kids showed up. It makes me so happy that the nursing home staff always take such measures to try and make the residents feel like they are at home. It was wonderful to see.

After that visit we went back home and ate lunch. I had kind of forgotten about carving pumpkins so immediately after eating lunch we went outside for some carving fun. It was unseasonally warm. The warmest Halloween I can remember, actually, and we had a great time. The boys showed us what they wanted their pumpkins to look like and we got to work.

(First we drew the faces on the pumpkins)

(Then we began digging all the guts out. That's the fun part!)

(And here is the final product. They boys were very pleased.)

When the pumpkins were all done it was time for a nap. The boys climbed the stairs to their rooms with instructions to go right to sleep so that they had enough energy for trick or treating. I'm not sure they followed the instructions, but it was quiet, and that was all I could ask for.

I woke the boys up in full costume, which was enough to get them excited and bounding down the stairs. They got into thier costumes, waited for our friends to show, and then went out trick or treating.
(Yes. Both Joey and Tommy wanted to be Spiderman. Whatcha gonna do?)

The boys did great. They are such troopers and I'm always amazed at how far they can walk. Even Ben! He wouldn't even let me hold his hand or help him carry his bucket when it got full. Not even when it was so full he couldn't lift it up to put the candy in anymore. Such a little man. And I loved his adorable "Teet teet" version of "trick or treat". So much fun.

We walked for almost two hours and then headed home for some dinner. The boys ate really well and then were each allowed three picks of candy from their pumpkins. We watched more Halloween shows and as it neared bedtime my mom came over to watch the boys so Todd and I could enjoy a night out with friends.
(We are such a devilish couple.)

It was a great time hanging with our friends again. But I will say that there is nothing to make you feel old like hanging in a bar with girls in their early twenties who are all dressed in costume. I couldn't find ONE non-slutty Halloween costume. It was so funny. Slutty witch, slutty nurse, slutty referee, slutty Raggedy Ann, slutty Batgirl, slutty WonderWoman, slutty Queen of Hearts card. Who knew a card could be slutty? It seriously kept us in stitches all night.

Once again, Halloween did not disappoint. We had a blast!

(Sarah is the angel and I'm the devil. How cute are we? Best friends since first grade and still cracking each other up.)

(I suppose we'll let the boys get in on some pics too.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I've been kind of a cry baby lately. It seems I can cry at the drop of a hat. Okay, I'm always like that, but even more so today.

I spent the last five minutes at mass today crying like a baby. But I didn't feel so silly when I looked around and saw many other wet faces in the crowd as well.

A 9 year old boy got up at the end of mass to ask the congregation to donate blood. He explained that his 7 year old sister was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and that even though he was able to be a bone marrow donor for her that alone could not save her life. He told us of all the transfusions she has had and how she will most certainly need more. He spoke about the fundraisers that the church and school have been putting together to help his family out financially and that they have also organized a blood drive. He gave tips for those worried about needles (look away, count to three), and told us to make sure to eat well before giving blood. He thanked everyone for their support, asked for prayers for his sister, and then stepped down from the pulpit.

The whole congregation erupted into applause for this little hero and many of us were reaching for hankies as well.

I knew about this little girl because she is a first grader at school with Joey and Tommy. The school (which is connected with our church) has been working feverishly to help the family out any way possible. But I don't know that any of the school's efforts will quite match what that little boy has done. It was absolutely outstanding. Not only in his courage and strength when he donated his bone marrow for his sister, but then getting up in front of hundreds of people for each mass this weekend and getting others involved in helping his sister too. I have tears in my eyes right now just thinking about it.

It sure does put things into perspective. It is hard to be upset about a poor showing at our open house when I was just reminded what is really important.

Tonight, I'm gonna hug my boys a little tighter. I'm gonna be a little more patient. I'm gonna read an extra story for bedtime.

And, on Thursday I'm gonna give blood.

When was the last time you gave blood?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lack Of Sleep & Saturday Suggestions

So. Tired.
Need. More. Sleep.

Halloween. Fun.
Night out. Great.

Need. More. Sleep


Since I usually don't post on weekends I thought I would give you all some great reads written by other bloggers. Every Saturday I will pick three posts that stand out in my mind that I have read in the past week. They can be posts that make me laugh, cry, or just strike a chord with me. Please feel free to visit the links and leave comments.

Beck at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends with Little Things
- This post fits right in with the Halloween theme I had going this past week. You thought my ghost stories were freaky? You should read this one. It is a doosey! Yowsa. It is just one of many that Beck has after growing up in one of the most haunted houses in Canada.

Hilary at The Smitten Image with Bridging Generations
-An absolutely beautiful post. This post brought both a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. And then she topped it off with more of her stunning photos.

Laskigal at From The Cheap Seats with The Placenta Story
-Laskigal actually wrote this one last week but I missed it somehow. I'm so glad I found it this week because it is awesome. Hilarious and melancholy and wonderfully written.

Happy reading, everyone!

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