Saturday, February 25, 2012


Yesterday Joey turned 9 years old.  We had a small celebration at home that started off with one little cupcake,
and continued on with a few presents.  The skateboard was a hit!
And the night ended with some sibling love.  It was a good night.
Today the festivities were in full swing.  We headed out to the local indoor waterpark for a birthday party with all of Joey's classmates.  That party was complete with a SpongeBob cake,
lots of very loud "Happy Birthday" singing by Joey's awesome friends,
more presents that were opened and very thoroughly enjoyed,
followed by hours of swimming with good buddies.  I'm sure it was a day that Joey will never forget.

Happy Birthday, my dear Joseph!  You are such a wonderful, hard working, loving, smart, funny kid.  I can't wait to see what this year brings for you.  Hope you had an awesome day.  I love you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In The Wee Small Hours

I wake in a middle of the night fog.  My head still thick from the migraine I'd worn all day yesterday.  I shift positions trying to get comfortable without putting too much pressure on my neck, or my shoulders, or my head.  A tough task when one is trying to sleep. 

Instead of drifting off into a deep sleep I lie awake staring at the ceiling fan stuck in slow motion above me.  Why we insist on having the ceiling fan on in the middle of winter is beyond me.  Never mind the fact that it is going so slow I can't even feel the air moving around me.  It is just such a waste of electricity.  This thought sends me spinning off into all different directions as I try to remember what I have lined up for tomorrow's tasks.

My minds reels with thoughts of Joey's first real birthday party with his class on Saturday.  Party favors, candles, and snacks I've yet to buy.  I wonder how I'll keep an eye on all the kids at the water park.  Good thing they all know how to swim.  Plus, there are so many lifeguards.  I smile when I remember how Joey has woken up every morning and told me all the dreams he's had about his party.  He is so excited.  Which reminds me to wash Ben's favorite pj's for pajama day at school.  And once I think of school my brain is racked with lists of homework projects that are done and still need to be done.  Tommy has to hand in that money for his class basket.  It has been sitting in his folder for a week now.  I still have to sign up for the school fundraiser.  And shoot, I forgot to call the doctor today to set up Ben's 5 year check up.

I roll over onto my back to see if I can relieve the pain in my neck in this position.  I sit up slightly thinking I heard someone calling me.  I am frozen.  Listening.  After a dozen seconds or so I decide it was all in my head.  People call my name so often (in the middle of the night too) that even when they are not calling I still hear it.

I place my head gingerly back onto my pillow and wonder if I should try taking more medicine.  I decide against it as my stomach lurches and tumbles, still wobbly from the migraine.  And now, lucky me, I feel my cramps coming back.  I knew I didn't get a migraine just from running again.  I mean, I know it has been three months since I last ran, but I didn't feel that out of shape.  I figured my hormones were more to blame than my slothfulness.  It's good to know I was right.  Not that I'm welcoming the cramps, you understand.

I turn back onto my side again since lying on my back seemed to make my neck hurt more.  First I put my hand under my face, and then I take it away.  Good grief, I just want to fall asleep.  Kind of like mister heavy breather there next to me.  Completely asleep and oblivious.  I'm envious.

I shouldn't be envious.  I should be thinking lovely thoughts.  I just went to Ash Wednesday mass today and already all the lovely feelings have been wiped away.   That's what happens when a migraine blows through I guess.  Here I was all amped up on eating well and exercising and being positive and patient.  Hmphf. 

I switch positions yet again, tucking the pillow into the crook of my neck and placing my arm at just the right angle so my shoulder doesn't pinch.  This might be comfortable. 

I try to empty my mind.  No exciting birthday parties.  No school projects.  No workouts to fit in.  No meals to plan.  No errands to run.  No appointments to make.  No shopping to do.  I won't think about it now. 

But I HAVE to remember to wrap his presents while he is at school tomorrow because there will be no other time.  And I definitely have to call Sarah tomorrow because she called twice yesterday.  And that letter MUST be dropped off at church tomorrow because they are getting married so soon.  I can't forget that again. 

Oh!  And...

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Week Of Lovin'

I love Valentine's Day.  I love all the love. 

That is what Tommy wrote on one of his five Valentine's he'd made for me and I agree.  I love Valentine's day too.  And I love all the love.  So much so that our Valentine's day was more like Valentine's week with little treats and presents here and there.  It has been a good week. 

To celebrate our good week we are going to have a nice little Valentine's weekend up north.  We thought it would be a good weekend to take the boys skiing.  Todd's folks are going up too and we hoped grandma could watch Grace so we could focus our skiing attention on the boys.   However, the little miss overheard us talking about it and she began screaming and crying, "I wanna go skiing too!  I wanna ski wit my mama!!!"  So, it looks like all the kids will be coming with us.  Who knew a 2 year old would love skiing so much? 

I guess we're gonna need a little more than love to get us through another crazy skiing adventure.  Wish us luck!

(My computer has been giving me major problems this week.  I had so many fun pictures from our Valentine week but I could only get one to upload.  Long story short, I plan on getting around to all your blogs as soon as my computer stops being such a brat.  Hope y'all have a great weekend!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Less than twenty-four hours after he got his first two-wheeler Ben was riding it down the street. 

Todd came home from work early, we outfitted Ben in his brand new helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads, bundled up in warm clothes and headed out into the 35 degree weather to do a little biking.  I stayed inside and watched from the window while I waited for Grace to wake up from her nap.  Todd set Ben up on the bike held on to the back of the seat for a second and then Ben rode the rest of the way down the driveway by himself.  The first try and he was up and running.  Sure he forgot how to turn (or brake) and kept going straight into the ditch on the other side of the road, but he did it!  I grabbed my camera and the video camera and rushed outside to capture the magic.  He was a pro!

Ten minutes later the older boys came home from school.  As they were dismounting the bus they saw Ben on his bike and ran screaming and clapping towards him as he biked to them.  He was so happy for the accolades that he ran off the road into another ditch. 

No matter. He got back on and tried again. 
 Up and down the street he rode.  Each time he got a little better.
Soon Tommy and Joey were on their bikes too, showing him the art of how to get started peddling by himself and how to turn around the big cul de sac.

After one or two attempts Ben no longer needed Todd to start him off and he could do it all by himself.  We were all overjoyed for him. 
It is hard to be the youngest brother.  Always watching the older boys do things you only dream of doing.  Now Ben has one less obstacle standing in his way.  Now he too can fly down the street with the big boys. 
We were outside for almost two hours yesterday watching Ben go back and forth, back and forth.  Tommy and Joe tired of biking and played football and soccer, and still Ben continued to go up and down our street. 

I was expecting today to be filled with more biking but even as I write the snow is coming down quickly in big, fat flakes outside.  Go figure.  The boys spend the entire winter begging for snow and now when they want warmer weather to ride bikes it snows.  Isn't that always how it goes?  Oh well.  Seeing as how we haven't even had an inch of snow, cumulatively, all year here I don't think we can complain. 

Besides, there will be plenty of time to bike this summer.  And I can't wait. 

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baby Boy

My baby boy is no longer a baby.   
He no longer needs 5 nukies to fall asleep with.
The crib has long been gone. 
No more banging his head into people he likes.
No more peeing on mama (on purpose) during diaper changes.
No more guessing what he is trying to say.

My baby boy is now five years old.
He has a brand new two wheeler.
He sleeps on the top bunk.
He is a tornado fanatic.
A lover of sports and the great outdoors.
He is a gentleman.
Easy going.
He talks nonstop and we always know what he is saying.
Whatever it is he is up for it. 

He is no longer a baby.

But he will always be my baby.

I love you my baby boy, and I am so proud to be your mama.
Happy Birthday, Ben! 

Monday, February 6, 2012


The thing about a good book is that even after it comes to it's neat and tidy conclusion you go to bed wondering what the characters are up to.  You find yourself thinking about them like long lost friends.  "I wonder how Sadie is doing with her new boss now."  you think as you fall asleep at night. 

It had been so long since I picked up a book, I'm embarrassed to even say how long, but reading Whipped, Not Beaten reminded me just how much I really loved reading.  I went to bed thinking about the characters.  I was sad when the I closed the book for the last time.  It awakened a part of me that I had forgotten about. 

Because of that book I have finally read Pride and Prejudice.  A book I have always wanted to read and finally took the time to finish.  Reading olde English is always very hard on me (if this doesn't make sense to you, please read this.).  I end up reading every paragraph two and three times to catch the meanings.  But I did it.  And I enjoyed it. 

After that I read Water for Elephants.  I was enthralled.  As soon as I put that book down I picked up The Time Travelers Wife.  I finished that one as well. Then I went on to The Help.  Such an amazing book. Two weeks have gone by and I am already on my sixth book.  This time it's Dear John.  I haven't read six books in the last three years, much less in the last two weeks.

So, I want to thank Melissa for not only entertaining me with Whipped, Not Beaten, but also for getting me back to something that I love and didn't even realize I'd been missing. 

I know you have all waited far too long for me to announce the winner of your very own copy of Whipped, Not Beaten.  Without further ado, the winner is.... 

Mom24 at 4EverMom!!!!! 

Woohoo!!!  Congratulations!  I love reading her blog and she is such a great mama she deserves to escape a little into a good book!  Thanks for playing along everyone!

Friday, February 3, 2012


It's been a while.  I haven't written a post in longer than I had planned, but life got in the way.  In a good way.  I've been drinking it in. 

I guess it all started with my friend's funeral.  It was as devastating as you would imagine.  Her 9 year old son was brave and strong for his family as he got up and read the second reading at the mass.  I thought my heart was going to explode.  But even more painful was watching him walk behind his mother's casket, clinging to his father.  I think that may be ingrained in my memory for life. 

After the funeral I sat and spun for a while.  Meaning, I was a little morose and down for a bit.  The "why?" and the "how?" kept coming to my mind.  But you can only sit and spin for so long.  I had to snap out of it.  And if there is anything positive to come from something so horrendous it is that it really does make you want to appreciate what you have when you have it and to the very fullest.  Enjoy every moment.  And that is what I have been busy doing. 

Well, I have been enjoying as much as I could as a nasty cold blew through our household.  Todd was terribly sick for a week and I have been fighting it for almost that long as well.  But still, I've been enjoying.  Since my trip to Oklahoma and the funeral I feel like I have finally been seeing my life for what it is.  How lucky I am.  How much I've got.  It is overwhelming.  I've been soaking it all in as much as I can. 

Life is so short. And for so long I've been afraid of death.  Of stopping.  Ceasing.  I feel guilty even writing that down, but it is true.  Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat just thinking about not being here.  Or anywhere.  Just ceasing to be.  Like I never even existed.  As a Christian, I feel guilty for having such thoughts.  I am supposed to have faith.  But these thoughts creep in.  I watch shows about life after death and they are somewhat comforting, and then these little terrors seep back into my head. 

But that dream I had.  It was just too real.  And too coincidental.  It gave me such peace.  Peace I was hoping to get from my dad after he passed.  A visit.  A confirmation.  But it never came.  Instead I found it from a grade school girlfriend that I hadn't spoken with in years.  Life is funny like that sometimes, I guess. 

And anyway, here I am.  Trying to live it up.  And enjoy.  And appreciate.  And do my best.  Be my best.  Spend a little less time on my computer and all my time on what matters to me.  Whether it is making cookies with the kids, snuggling with the hubby, cooking dinner, reading all the books I've been meaning to read for so long, taking walks in the woods, taking a bath, I'm doing it all.  And I'm trying my best not to take it for granted.

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