Where would we be without kids?

Chuck posed this question to me this weekend after yet another one of our friends retold his divorce saga.

My answer was a quick "Divorced" answer. But then I thought for a minute. Sure, we've had some really hard times, but I think a lot of our hard times has to do with not enough time, not enough money, and stresses from the kids.

Without having the kids, would we have the problems we've had in the last 2 1/2 years? Yet, would we feel as fulfilled in our lives as we do now, even though in our relationship we've had issues? Would that lack of fulfillment drive us furthur apart?

It's easy to say we'd be divorced if all the circumstances were the same as now, minus the kids. However, it's hard to say that the circumstances would be the same. Having kids changes everything in your life. Even your relationship with your spouse.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought, "man, people probably think we are just staying together for the kids." That's not true...at least not for me. (I can't speak for my husband.) I don't feel like I'm trapped in a loveless marriage because of the kids. I feel that because of the kids, we work harder at our relationship. Work harder at staying together because of what we want for our family. Work harder at staying in love.

Because beyond all the fairy tales that you hear, love and marriage and relationships are not easy. There are problems. There are compromises. It's when you stop working to be better, stronger, and stay together for each other that you run into problems.

Talk Nerdy to Me

Okay, this to me was hilarious. Did you know there is no guarantee that genius IQ sperm will create a genius IQ baby? Hmmm, tell that to my first born.


Cookie making time!

I love to bake. I love Christmas cookies. So it would make sense that I love to bake Christmas cookies.

But I don't. I SUCK at making rolled out sugar cookie cut outs. I just can never seem to get the dough the right thickness, the right texture, nothing. It's usually just a frustrating mess. And that's if I'm alone.

Add in the kids, and I usually end up screaming. So a few years ago, Chuck said "this is supposed to be fun!" So, the next week someone sent me a recipe for making Christmas cookies...that involved no baking, no rolling out dough, nothing. Just decorating and having fun.

So we've made it a family tradition of sorts. I've been on the lookout this year for more easy to make Christmas cookies and have added a few to my book; hopefully, I'll be doing those ones with the kids over the next few days. Gotta have cookies for Santa, afterall!

Lucas got to sprinkle the red sprinkles for Santa's hat.
Zachary was the one who dipped the Nutter Butters in white chocolate to make Santa's beard and his hat.

Even E got in on the action. "Isn't there supposed to be yummy chocolate in here?"

And our finished project:


I'm in love all over again

It is rare when I come across an artist that I adore all of their music. There are actually very few artists out there that I even search out their music and listen to it all night long.

I have found one. Completely by accident too. I was searching "Good People" (I have no idea why) and found Jack Johnson's song "Good People". I've heard his name before; I believe he did the soundtrack to the "Curious George" movie. But his music is amazing. It's so....relaxing. I've found it just gets into my bones and makes me want to sigh and dance with my babies and my baby daddy. (except he can't dance and doesn't like to).

I don't even know what to akin him too...but just take a listen. Tell me what you think.

Not that it matters. I'll still listen to him.

(This song reminds me of Chuck. It is always better when we're together. We have so many struggles and obligations in our life sometimes they seem to take over. I can't wait until this vacation coming up where we can just be together, together as a couple and as a family. Being apart for most of the week is so hard for me. Even if we're doing nothing but washing dishes together on the weekend, at least we're together. It seems to make things better.)


There are still good people in this world!

This morning was a hurried mess. Zachary has to be at school, as in the bell rings starting class, at 8:30 am sharp. Therefore, when I awoke at 8:24 am, and everyone in the house was sleeping, I was a bit frazzled. I hate waking up late. I hate being late although it seems I always am. So, I woke up Luke who was asleep at me, ran in and woke up Zachary who was asleep in Luke's bed. I got out the toaster waffles to make for the boys' breakfasts and told Zachary to skip a bath and just get dressed. He then spent 10 minutes on the toilet (taking after his daddy apparently) while Luke stood outside the door asking "what's the matter, brother?" over and over again. I take him in and get him dressed, throw on some clothes for me, put Zachary's snack together and go in to get Elizabeth. She smiled up at me with that huge toothless grin that just said "Good morning Momma! I'm soooo glad to see you!" and I slowed down for half a second to take it in. She always seems to help me do that.

Then I was off running again...getting hats, coats, and gloves together. Backpack packed with Z's new keyboard for show-n-tell and out to the car. Where the door was frozen shut. So I put E's carseat down on the ground, gave her my keys and put my wallet on the top of the van (can you see where this might be going? I did...when I said to myself "Hey, don't forget your wallet is up there" as I'm putting it up there. You see, this isn't the first time I've been hurried or distracted and put my wallet on the roof of the vehicle.)

So, I get everyone in, buckled up, slam the door shut and walk around to the driver's side to get in and get to school. Late. (Notice I didn't say anything about grabbing my wallet from the top of the van. Yea, because that would make sense at that point.)

Drop off Zachary, have to take him in and sign him in since he's late. By 20 minutes. Take Luke to preschool and walk him in then head out to Meijers for some formula and overnights. I'm about 1/4 of the way there when I said "Hey Lisa, where is your wallet?"

Then the freakout occurs. The "I've had virtually no sleep and my life is in that wallet" freakout. I backtrack my entire route. Go into both schools and ask about it. Check my driveway. Check the leaves in front of my house (they never got picked up by the city before the snow fell!). Check my voicemail hoping my neighbor had it or something. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I had just gotten home and was about to email Chuck when a big red truck pulled into my driveway. Bright red-like Santa's sleigh. And out of the truck comes an older gentleman with graying/white beard and a portly belly. Hmmm, does Santa make house calls to 30-something mothers who are frantic before Christmas?

Apparently so. He was holding my wallet. Completely intact.

More than an hour had gone by since I notice it gone and here was this man holding it out for me. All I could do was tell him Thank you over and over again. I was so relieved. I wish I would have thought to offer him something (but after looking in my wallet to see where I lived, he probably already knew I had nothing to give him monetarily anyways). But I have a sneaking suspicion he wouldn't have accepted it anyway.

It renewed my faith in the fact there are still good people out there. People who will go completely out of their way to help out another person. An angel some might say. Or a hero.


What a week!

It's been one of those busy weeks, where I wonder how exactly I kept my ever-so-slightly-there sanity. I had hoped that after NaBloPoMo ended I would keep up with my blogging every day. Because quite frankly I enjoyed it. A lot. However, it seems that my slacker side says to me "Hey...there's no one watching and expecting a post every day so don't do it". But as I was talking to a friend last night, I figured I NEED to blog. I need this release. I need these memories written down so I can look back as my kids get older and remember the good times. And the bad too.

Such as last Friday. It was Zachary's first ever school dance...a Snow Ball. The whole family was invited (well preschool through 4th grade...we took E anyways). It was weird to say the least to have your baby at a school dance....complete with refreshments and pictures. They had a contest for cutest mother/son and daddy/daughter dance. Zachary and I didn't win. Chuck and Elizabeth however did. I don't think Chuck had much to do with that one though. Lucas would have one had they had a contest for "best dance with your favorite food" because while I was twirling the floor with his brother, he was twirling the floor with a brownie. At least he was dancing with something he loved. We got our picture taken as a family and while it's not the best pic in the world of us, it's an amazing picture for the memories.

We also saw a new dr. for Zachary last night. This one is in our insurance network and a lot closer than the 1 hour 40 minute drive we have now, so that is nice. I wasn't really sure about him at first, but after realizing he didn't understand that Zachary was already ON medication and we were just there to switch dr.'s and continue that medication, things improved. At one point, he said "I don't understand. He looks fine..he's playing with his sister well and behaving appropriately." Chuck and I both said simultaneously "Yea. NOW! He's on his meds." So we discussed the importance for behavioral therapy. Not just for him, but for all of us. Because we all know I don't relate as well as I could to the kids and Chuck has been considering getting back on his meds, which I 100% encourage. So we shall see how all that pans out in the near future.

Saturday was our first Christmas with the families. I love spending time with my mom's family because of all the kids. There is like 12 now under the age of 8 and they all get along, for the most part, amazingly well. Zachary was so well behaved and well, Lucas had way too many cookies. Way too many. Elizabeth got a cookie pot shape sorter for Christmas and he used it as a cookie jar. One for other people, one for him, two for others, one for him. And so on. I honestly have no idea how many cookies that boy actually had. But at least he was sharing!

While at Christmas on Saturday, my mom told me that she's had an MRI done and they will be doing more tests in January because they feel she has had a stroke. I'm scared. I'm scared shitless actually. My mom is my best friend, next to my husband. She is my confidant, my supporter, my sounding board, and sometimes my slap back to reality (whether I Like it or not). There are things I don't tend to think about and losing my parents is one of them. But hearing her talk about possibly having a stroke and the fact she's had neuropathy in her feet for damn near 3 years (which is not a diabetic side effect...they don't know why) I was hit with the realization that my mom isn't young anymore. She'll be 57 in February and while that's not old in today's day and age, it's also not a spring chicken. I cannot imagine my mother not being with me or being in a less than desireable state of mind. I don't want to imagine.

On a bit of a lighter note, Elizabeth is *this close* to crawling on her hands and knees. She gets up there and moves her one leg forward but then nothing. I am thinking maybe by Christmas. This is weird for me...the boys were already cruising at this point, but I"m kinda thankful for the reprieve.

Got a busy week ahead of me. I'm working modified, which means 4 ten hour days and virtually no sleep. But I needed to have Friday off for Luke's Christmas program at preschool (it's private so they still have a Christmas program. I'm happy about that!) so this is how I accomplish that. I'm hoping to blog more this week, but we'll see if I don't just pass out after I take the boys to school.


Scrapblogging may be my new addiction!

As if I needed new things to keep me busy, I have discovered Scrapblog. How cool is this? I can actually use my pics directly from photobucket and create my own scrapbook pages. I bet Chuck would love this because I could just print them out and no extra work involved. Plus, I love the fonts. I'm not a big fan of my handwriting and I'm inpatient so the special handwriting techniques...while I'm sure I could master them...just annoy me because I want it now. (Yes, I'm all about instant gratification.)

I may have to fool around with this a bit more and see what else I can do!


Cute hats

I love hats. I love hats on my boys. I love hats on my girl.

These people over at apples-n-oranges have some really cute Gramma hats. Check 'em out and register to win a handmade gramma hat! All you have to do is answer 3 simple questions!



Sometimes I feel that Lucas gets the short end of the stick.

I am a middle child. I remember what it was like never being the first and not being the baby (who coincidentally got to do EVERYTHING!) I felt kinda unimportant sometimes. (Not all the time mind you because I was the genius of our family ;) and the only girl!)

Lately, I think it's been affecting Luke too. He's been very very needy lately. For example, he asks me almost daily if I'm going to eat dinner with them tonight. When I say no...not until the weekend, sometimes I get tears and hysterics, sometimes I get a "nooooooooooooo, I wanna eat with you". Either way it's heartbreaking.

He's been begging me for a while now to stay at home with me during the day. He's not been feeling 100% either for the last couple of days so in the morning he's been asking to sleep with me a little longer in my bed and cuddle. I sooo wish I could. I hate turning down opportunities to cuddle with any of my kids, but alas, Zachary must get to school on time. State laws for truancy and all that.

However, I promised him yesterday that today he could stay home from preschool with mommy. I asked him what he wanted to do figuring he'd tell me McDonald's or something equally as exciting. Nope. He wanted to play with me all morning. Blow leaves and paint and lay in bed together. Yay! My kid wants to be with me!

We had a p.j. day today. Even Elizabeth didn't get out of her pajamas. We got back from dropping Zachary at school and made pumpkin pancakes. (The best damn pancakes I've ever had too!) We then watched Monsters Inc in bed together (I napped just a little while we cuddled) and then painted. I didn't worry about anything today, not the dishes (sorry Chuck), not the laundry, not the floor getting vacuumed. I concentrated on my little boy.

I had hoped that all this positive one on one (well I guess E was there too...but she napped well today! Hooray!) would do wonders for his attitude.


OMG I think he was worse this afternoon after Zachary got home from school then he was before! Chuck said while I gave him an inch, he wanted a mile.

I think I might try to turn it into a weekly or biweekly thing though...I had a lot of fun with him this morning. Maybe I'll have a date morning with Zachary during the weekend. I think it's important to have some good quality mom time.


Dogs, hats and girlfriends

I HATE the freaking black dog. I have vacuumed the floor twice today already and I need to vacuum it again because the damn dog keeps getting into the garbage or the nuts or the crayons or the diapers and tearing them up. With E on the floor so much now I have to keep it really clean so she doesn't put everything into her mouth.

Zachary lost his hat...AGAIN. This is the 2nd hat and at least 2 pairs of gloves. I'm sick of buying hats and gloves and it's not even peak cold season yet. I told him he can go to school without and be cold.

Zachary brought home a note from a "girlfriend" today!!!! What the hell? Since when did girls start giving boys notes in KINDERGARDEN? Are you freaking kidding me? She drew him a picture (which she told him not to show anyone) of him and her holding hands with hearts. She then wrote their names on it. I'm feeling a little off on this. I knew it would happen but in kindy? *sigh* It's going to be a long 13 years of school for me.


Beware. Lots of rants ahead I'm afraid.

So I have another HUGE post in my drafts. But I'm sitting on that one. Thinking about all the ramifications if I post it. Because it isn't pretty. At. All.

However, I felt it prudent to warn anyone reading my blog that you might want to stop from now on. It's going to turn to the ugly side of Lisa.


Because I have promised my husband that I will no longer yell at him. Ever.

The person he fell in love with is MUCH different than the person I am today. Unfortunately he hasn't changed at all...so it's not like I can throw that in his face. The person I am today, with him, is the person I guess I am on the inside. I'm raw. Feeling. Emotional. Angry. Tempermental. Controlling.

However, I've always been that way, I have just always been really, really good at hiding it. I used to be so upbeat and outgoing and I'm not like that now. So, I'm going back to that. I'm going back to how I was when we were just dating before I felt comfortable enough to let the beast out.

But that means that I have to vent *somewhere*. Otherwise, I'll explode. So, I'm venting here. Because one of the other things that I did yesterday was quit my mom's group. Where I had made some good friends....but the addiction of the board was taking over. I have an addictive personality and the board was keeping me planted on my ass instead of fulfilling my wifely and motherly duties. So I quit. They discontinued me as a member. I'm sad about that, but I feel it's for the best.

Have you ever sat down and think about how others perceive you? I guess I don't. Because according to my husband everyone else perceives me as a bitch. I don't see that myself. The people at work all seem to geniunely like me (even if I can't stand some of them). One of the guys I work with said he'd be sad if I left because he enjoys sitting next to me and having some intellectual conversation and debate sometimes. I've never thought about the things I say because I mean them how I say them...without much of anything behind it...but apparently it doesn't come across that way. So, now, I guess I'll be re-thinking anything I have to say. Or maybe I just won't say anything at all.

I have a black/white personality. I'm starting to realize this. It's all or nothing with me. Either I talk or I don't talk. But I don't know how to do it any other way. Either I do EVERYTHING in the house, or I do nothing. I've tried to work through some of these issues with counselors but the 2 I've gone to have done absolutely nothing for me. At all. Told me I need more time to myself and to control those around me so that I can keep better control of myself. Yes...she said that. No help at all.

So you have been warned.


No naps already?

Miss E is driving me nuts.

She is such a diva already!

Apparently, I can't go anywhere in the mornings, otherwise she won't nap. At all. All day long. She misses that first nap...because she won't nap anywhere but her bed, my bed, or my boobs....and the rest of the day is shot too.

I visited a friend today who had a baby over the weekend, prematurely, and the baby is in NICU and E slept for *maybe* 10 minutes and then decided she didn't need a morning nap.

And this afternoon's nap consisted of about 10 minutes or so on my lap, and maybe 10 minutes in her bed.

If she gets that morning nap, she'll easily sleep for 1 1/2 hours and then another 2 hours in the afternoon and still go to bed at a reasonable time. So I guess morning excursions are curtailed for me. Which is difficult because for ther est of the day I have all 3 kids. Taking all 3 kids to Walmart or anywhere for that matter, is not all that fun.

I usually hear a lot of "Momma, he's touching me!"; "Momma can I get a treat?"; "Momma he doing what he's not supposed to do!"; "Momma he can't get a treat because he did that to me!" and then it's usually followed by the other one screaming and wailing and me telling them both to knock it off.

*sigh* But if she'd sleep, I'd be happy.


Random Thoughts...again

I have a guilty pleasure. I don't watch much reality t.v. Well, none really. I don't watch much t.v. at all. But I LOVE "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila". I have no idea who she is but the whole premise is she's a bisexual trying to find the perfect love...she started with 16 men and 16 women and it's being widdled down now. Anyways, that's my guilty pleasure.

I started participating in an online fantasy aussie rules football game. I suck. Seriously, I am so not a numbers person obviously. But I am finding it fun...and I guess that's what matters.

Lucas cracks me up. The other day we were at my mom and dad's and I asked Lucas if he flushed the toilet. He gave his pat answer of "No. It's going to flow over." (He has some paranoia about this after it happened once) So, I hear Zachary go into the bathroom and flush it. Lucas' eyes got huge and he looked from Grandma to me and said "The toilet flushed all by itself!" He looked seriously spooked because the toilet was flushing all by itself. Then later, Chuck went into the gas station to get some water for E's bottle to make some formula. Chuck came back out with a bottle of formula and Luke asked us "Do they have a milk machine in there?" WE then explained how formula is made with water...and only mommy makes milk. He went on today about how he knows how baby's get milk. "They open their mouths real wide and drink from mommy's booby to get milk. And when they're done the milk just goes back up into mommy." LOL He's such a funny kid!

We got family pictures done today. They turned out really good. Really good. I'll scan them sometime and get them up. It took freaking FOREVER. I was so mad at one point I wanted to walk out. She couldn't get Luke and E to smile at all at first and kept doing Christmas ones after we told her that we didn't want Christmas pics...we wanted something neutral that could be up year round. So after being there for over 2 hours, we finally got our pics picked out. Chuck said that getting E's 6th month shot was all worth it, just for that shot. It's really cute!

I think I may go to bed now. I may actually get some good sleep tonight...we shall see.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I, of course, am going to be cliche and do a post about all the things I'm thankful for. Because I really do have a lot to be thankful for this year.

1. I'm thankful for my family. I have a wonderful, funny, charming husband who is one of the most active father I know. I have 3 beautiful children who are all very healthy and strong. This was the year that I had our last child and I'm thankful to have baby Elizabeth in our lives. She has completed our family and enriched all of our lives. Lucas keeps us laughing and on our toes. Zachary is the sweetest kid and lets us know all the time how much he loves us, and the feeling is mutual.

2. I'm thankful for my job. After much concern this year about Chuck and I both being laid off, it didn't happen. So while I don't necessarily like my job, I am thankful that I have one that allows me to work the hours I do so I get maximum time with my kids and allows us to raise them ourselves.

3. I'm thankful for my friends. I've been attempting to keep in better touch with my friends. I feel like I'm reaching back into being Lisa again...instead of just Mom. I don't know why that switch so suddenly (midlife crisis maybe?) but I'm enjoying having those adult conversations with good friends.

4. I'm thankful for email...because without it I wouldn't be having such conversations with friends...I enjoy having my nightly or bi-nightly email chats with Matt and Dave.

5. I'm thankful for our financial place right now. We are doing much better than we have in the past...especially with Christmas so close. Normally I'm scrambling to get things paid for and robbing Peter to pay Paul. This year we are already almost done with Christmas shopping all together and having enough money every month to do #6 on my list..

6. I'm thankful for our monthly date nights. This only recently started but I love it. I look forward to our date night every month...and in December we get TWO date nights. Yay! It's so wonderful to reconnect with my husband and be goofy and silly and crazy again.

7. I'm thankful for my home. Because even though it's small, we have a home. After the tornado ripped through our town late this summer, I'm all the more grateful. I know what I could have lost and we didn/t Plus, they say love grows better in small houses.

8. I'm thankful for our laptop because without it I wouldn't be doing this post on the road to my in-laws. It's gotta be the greatest thing ever!

9. I'm thankful for my health. The dr. couldn't believe how healthy I am given my weight. My BP is low, my blood sugars levels were low, my cholesteral was normal, etc. The dr. said he didn't know how that could be given my weight...but I do. I try to eat healthy for the most part (minus my ice cream emotiaonl binges) and I've got good genes.

10. After spending a few hours Thanksgiving evening with my SIL, I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful that she lives over 2 hours away. I wouldn't be able to handle it otherwise.

Lucas did a list of things he was thankful for at preschool yesterday. I'm very proud of my son. His number one thing he's thankful for is that mommy and daddy came and ate lunch with him at school. It makes me feel like we are doing something right with our children because they value relationships and memories over material things. That's what I want them to remember forever. Happy Thanksgiving!


Another New Med....

Zachary's monthly psychiatric appointment was yesterday. I was a little apprehensive going because I had a feeling things were going to change. And I don't necessarily do well with change.

My fears were warranted. First off, Zachary was squirming in his chair and when she asked him to step on the scale to see where his weight was at (he's gained 5 lbs in 6 weeks. Wah! His pants are getting snug. That in and of itself makes me sad!) he couldn't follow simple directions. She asked him to find some toys to play with in the other room so that mommy and daddy can talk. When the door was closed she said "Wow. I can see the hyperactivity is still there." I said "What? That is good." Chuck told me that I'm just used to him at this point...for us this is really good...but I guess it's still more hyper than most people are used to seeing or dealing with.

After explaining some things to her about his behavior the last month...the 3 day long crying episodes...the statements of how life is just too hard and he wishes he wasn't here, wishes he'd never been born...Dr. K stated that he is obviously still cycling. Which we really already knew. The aggression and anger is gone, but now it's just the downs that we are dealing with. The downs are something that I *can* deal with too because it's not so in your face all the time. However, Dr. K made a very good point. If he's depressed, he very well may be turning that anger inwards towards himself, hence the reason for the self-loathing talk that we get so often during those times.

If you've never heard your child tell you that he wishes he were dead...or that he wishes he'd never been born because life is too hard...you have absolutely no idea how heart wrenching that can be. I seriously want to cry when he tells me that. I want to make life better for him. I want my oldest born to be happy and succeed in life. So, while the decision to switch meds is hard, it's made easier by my desire to help Zachary become happy, self-assured, loving to himself and succeed in school and in life. But I still don't like the choice I have.

The words Dr. K spoke tore at my heart: Depakote or Lithium. I knew they were options. But I hear Lithium and I think of the crazy homeless guy on the corner who sees people and hears voices.. Not my baby. Not my handsome, gregarious 5 year old who wishes nothing more than please people. I know that it is a stereotype, but it's still hard to think about. (I'm crying as I type this)

Chuck asked me after the appt (and after I stopped and got ice cream) if I was about to cry when she mentioned depakote. I told him I didn't want to think about it right now. In my head I knew that if we discussed it at all, I would start crying...and that is not something I feel Zachary needs to see. I think he has enough going on in his head to try to deal with my bag of emotions. Chuck then asked if that was the reason for the ice cream. My hubby knows me all too well. I eat when I'm emotional; I don't even think about it. I guess I need to start because I think this is going to be an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved.

As far as the hyperactivity goes, we'll also be starting a stimulant. Concerta XR. I know in my head that its the best but again I HATE having him on a cocktail of meds. We do try to limit things in his diet that we notice affect his moods too such as refined sugars, juice, and Red Dye #40. I know that there are a lot of people out there who say he probably has an allergy to wheat or gluten but I truely believe that this is a chemical and genetic component of the brain. Afterall, Chuck is the same way, as his is sister (I think she has WAAAY more going on than Chuck does...but we'll never know because it's an unspeakable thing in their house), and possibly others. But I never stop looking at things that could help him more...but I know that the meds are going to be the crux of his treatment from now on.



I swear I should be a wedding coordinator. I LOVE weddings. I love trying and seeing unique things that make a wedding special and memorable.

My bff little sister is getting married in May and I so want to show her this and have her do it as her wedding party dance. How flipping cool would this be?

I've had many people tell me that our wedding was one of the most loving, unique weddings they've ever attended. We did a lot of things that are different...I guess not so much at the wedding itself, but at the reception.

We didn't have a garter toss, bouqet toss because I think it's cheap and celebrates being single more than being married...so instead we did a marriage dance. All the married couples got up and danced, then they sat down according to years married...so that the longest married couple was the last ones dancing. They then got the bouquet.

We auctioned off the first dance with the bride (I sold for $150 to Chuck's dad. He said he had $1000 in his pocket and would have paid it all to have the first dance.) It was so much fun and people really paid attention to what was happening on the dance floor. Which I think is what you need...so often you start losing people after dinner, you need something to start the party (especially if you have a much older crowd as we did.)

I not only danced with my father in a father/daughter dance, I danced with my mom in a mother/daughter dance. I also walked down the aisle with my mom and my dad both. They are both very important parts of my life and I felt weird leaving my mom out of that.

I think there was some other things, but I can't remember what now. I did LOVE Matt and Karen's wedding with the rose ceremony. It's always something I've kept in the back of my head as something so special and unique.

One of these days, I would love to be a party planner...but I'd have to choose my clients carefully because according to Chuck when I disagree with people I'm a bitch. Nice to hear that.



This is a post entirely dedicated to boobs.

Generally speaking...my boobs.

Specifically speaking...my boobs are broken!

They freaking hurt like hell. Well, not even so much the entire boob as it is my nipples. The boobs only hurt when I'm trying to type or do anything in front of me with both hands because they are swollen past their J cup to overflowing that said J cup to the point where I had to squish them into the nursing bra when I was done. So, when I type my arms push on either side of my boobs and they hurt.


So glad you asked.

It's either a) mastitis. Which really puts me off because when I think mastitis, I think animals. Cows, rabbits. Because that is what I have experience in. or b) a yeast infection more commonly known as thrush. Luckily E doesn't exhibit thrush type symptoms so at least it's not entirely painful for her (although Chuck said she's sounding kinda raspy. Yuck!)

In either case, it's pain for 3-5 days before it goes away (more like 5 I'm guesstimating) and excrutiating pain when nursing or pumping. If I'm still having these symptoms, I'll need to get to the midwife before Thanksgiving since we are going to the in-laws for 2 days and my parents for 1 day.

I find it weird that in my 15 months of nursing experience I've never had this happen before. I think this hurts worse than the nipple burn I had a year or so ago. Actually, I know it does.


Just in time...

For the holidays and our debit card is GONE. And there's only 2 or 3 checks in the checkbook.

This just sucks. I called and cancelled the card hoping that there is no additional charges especially considering it comes directly out of my checking account. But, we're going on the road for Thanksgiving and we have no way to pay for things. I hope that they can get us a new card by Wednesday. I'm thinking that might not happen though.

On another happier note, we had date night last night and had a good time hot tubbing again. We've already set up the sitter for our next date night...Dec. 22. It'll give us a chance to finish any last minute shopping and maybe de-stress a little and enjoy some time to ourselves before the mayhem of the holidays hits us. We might even be going scrapbooking next month....and scrapping some of our early days together. I think it'll be fun...we'll take a walk down memory lane and at the same time get some of it down for the kids to be able to look back on as they get older.

On our date night last night, I also found a new drink that I like a lot-Long Beach Iced Tea. Woowee! It's strong too. One drink and I'm floating....I'm such a cheap date. ;)



I've stated this before...I vaccinate my children. 100% vaccinations. Exactly on schedule.

I think it's irresponsible to not vaccinate your children. I understand that there are possible side effects of vaccinations...possibly contracting some of the viruses, a VERY small chance of autism. But is it better to be contracting the diseases that are being vaccinated against? Is it better to be putting society at risk by possibly re-introducing some very serious diseases?

However, I don't know how I feel about government mandating vaccinations. On one hand, I can somewhat understand them trying to keep the children healthy. On the other hand, is it truely neglect? If they fight this, will it even be constitutional...threatening jail time in order to get the children vaccinated? I'd be curious to hear what some of you guys think about it.


Kids' Toys

I hate it when I sit down and have an idea for a blog all worked out in my head....including a catchy title and some real zingers....and then can't remember a damn word of it.

I had two posts already started in my head and can't remember for the life of me what they are.

So I'll write about something else that is bothering me. All these recalls on kids' toys.

I understand the AquaDots. Afterall, I don't want anything in my home that is a play toy for the kids, that can turn into a date rape drug if ingested. However, breaking the news to my very sensitive and passionate 5 year old that the *only* thing that he has continually asked for for Christmas, he can't have, wasn't that fun.

I understand all the recalls of Chinese toys for lead paint. I mean who wants something harmful in their children's toys that you don't know about?

But, I feel that some of the recalls and warning labels are just getting ridiculous. They are now recalling a storage rack from Walmart. This is just one example. A little boy died. It is absolutely, positively tragic that he died because this fell on top of him. But, where does the parents' responsibility start and the manufacturer's responsibility end? I have heard most of my life not to climb on that, it'll fall over and smoosh you. Don't use the drawers as steps to get up higher, it'll smoosh you. Why isn't common sense used in these circumstances?

As my kids were starting to pull up on things, and eventually climb, we either fastened things to the walls or made sure we were on the kids like glue. Or just didn't let them into areas where they could pull things down on top of themselves. I understand that it was technically marketed for a child's room, but common sense tells me that it's lightweight and a prime target for being pulled on with all those wooden dowels. So it could very likely tip over onto an infant. Why is it the responsibility of the manufacturer to tell you that it could tip over?

It goes for other things as well. I see things recalled all the time, or warnings added, for things that I shake my head and think "why the hell would anyone do that ANYWAYS?" Case in point, McDonald's coffee that has to have a warning now that it's hot due to a lawsuit from a lady who got burned. It's COFFEE. It's supposed to be hot!!

I hate this societal thought that everyone else is responsible for one person's complete lack of common sense. When my son at age 16 months ate Ben-Gay because I was in a different room and he found some (I didn't even know we had that!) , I didn't run right out and sue Ben-Gay makers for allowing something harmful for children to be in my bathroom. I stepped up to the plate, accepted responsibility for my own stupid actions, and made sure that I went back home after an ER trip and anything and everything that I may have not known that I had was put up out of reach or thrown in the trash. It's my responsibility to take care of my children.


Leave Santa alone!

This is taking the whole politically correct thing too damn far! Santa's being warned against saying Ho! Ho! Ho! ???

It's CHRISTMAS and he's SANTA! He's suppposed to say Ho! Ho! Ho! And quite frankly, if you're taking offense to it, maybe you have a guilty conscience. That specific article was from Australia, quoting that the traditional Santa greeting is too close to the American slang for whore and they are afraid it would scare children. I would feel cheated if my children didn't get to enjoy Christmas and Santa the way I did as a child. And that includes the Ho's!!!

Is it so wrong...?

That I want to leave breastmilk in the fridge at work in a regular milk container, just to see if people drink it or will use it in their coffee? I'd love to see their reactions.

That everytime my co-worker, who is at least 200 lbs overweight and diabetic, talks about how her neuropathy is bothering her, I just want to ask her if she'd like yet another donut for the evening?

That I'd like to tell the women on my diaper board to shut their freaking holes? That if they don't like the new layout of the board to leave it? They don't pay to be there...they don't have a say. Period.

That'd I'd love to go out this weekend in knee high black boots, fishnets, and a trench coat for our date night. (I won't, don't worry. Everyone else would be heaving. And I wouldn't be able to walk after a night in high heeled boots.)

That it makes me feel totally loved that my hubby said I make him hard. Some of the women I know would think that's so trashy and disrespectful. I think it's hot.

That whenever the discussion about extended breastfeeding and the "benefits" come up, I want to scream that the benefits that are discussed are for THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! Your 4 year old does not need to breastfeed anymore for nutrition or antibodies...regardless if Jesus did.

That I want to ask this guy I work with if he realizes yet he's gay. For God sakes, he KNITS!

That whenever my boss talks, all I can think of is "Are you FREAKING kidding me? You're going to do what??!!"

That I'd like to make a comment to this woman at work who has given me and another friend of mine weight loss books and advertisements; something along the lines of "Wow...have you gained a little bit of weight".

That when people stop me and go on and on about Elizabeth I want to say to them " I know she's cute. So are her two brothers. Do you see them?" It irritates me that people tend to leave the boys out.

Some of these I need to find nice ways to do in order to shut people up.



So, Alexia tagged me to do a meme. And since I'm not feeling well tonight (GREAT! Just in time for our date night Saturday!) and I've had 2 turkey dinners today (work and school with Luke) that means I'm really tired. So I'm cheating and doing a meme!

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments.. what is it?

1. Produce: Fresh Pineapple
2. Bakery: Fresh baked baquette
3. Meat: Shrimp
4. Frozen: Ice Cream
5. Dry goods: Rice

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?
1. Bra (I HAVE to wear a bra unless I'm sleeping. It's just gross otherwise)
2. Jeans
3. T-shirt

If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. What the Hell?
2. God Damnit!
3. I love you, did you know that?
4. Oh My God!! (either good or bad)
5. How many times have I told you (enter in a multitude of things...)!?
(Man, that sounds like I'm ornery 90% of the time :( )

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you'd probably be in a pretty irritable/bad mood?
1. Take a shower
2. Get online
3. Get to see my hubby and vent then love on him.

What are 3 things that you have in your room that have been with you for the longest amount of time?
1. Chuck
2. My bank. My brother bought it for me in St. Ignace in 1988
3. Hmmm, it was my MSU nightshirt that i had since I was 12. But I just got rid of that 2 months ago. :( Chuck was delighted.

If you were only allowed to listen to 5 of your CDs for the rest of your life, never adding anything else, which 5 could you listen to & be content with?
1. John Mellencamp
2. Dixie Chicks (Home)
3. My cd that Chuck made me for Valentines Day 7 years ago.
4. Hmmm..okay this is hard because I don't much have favorite ALBUMS.

You're driving down the road, and suddenly you're hit with this sense of road rage. What 3 factors probably contributed to it?
1. I'm late.
2. Others are making me later by pulling out in front of me.
3. Still others are making me later by sitting in the fast lane only going 70.

You just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?
1. Sleeping
2. Online-blogging or checking blogs or boards
3. Clicking the mouse
4. Watching a movie
5. Sleeping

We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
1. Big cats
2. Elephants
3. Monkeys

You just scored tickets to the taping of any show of your choice. You can pick between 5, so what are you deciding between?
1. A shot at love with Tila Tequila
2. Law and Order-Criminal Intent
3. Law and Order-SVU
4. What Not to Wear (actually, I just want to be on that show!)
5. 10 years younger (yea, same for this one)

You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Mint Chocolate Cookies
2. Superman
3. Butter Pecan.
(Actually, those 3 together would be gross. But they're probably my 3 favorites.)

Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there? (I don't carry a purse. I only carry a work bag and my diaper bag! But my work bag would have:)
1. Wallet with drivers license
2. Breastmilk storage containers
3. Breastpump parts
4. My calendar
5. An apple

You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in pursuing a career in. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 4 careers would be fun for you?
1. HS Biology teacher
2. Veterinarian
3. Manager of large operation horse farm
4. Interpreter for ASL

If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school and inform yourself of 4 things that you should or should not do what would it be?
1. Don't lose your best friend over that dumbass, Marc.
2. Go out to parties with your friends...it'll help you not go crazy in college.
3. Don't go to prom...it was a waste of time and money.
4. Your two crushes in high school. Yea, they are gay. They are schtupping EACH OTHER. Don't waste your time.


Nope, not the ones attached to my baby. These are the greatest invention on earth. Well, maybe not on earth but definitely for the momma!

Babylegs are basically baby leg warmers. They go on their entire leg and keep them warm and protected once they start crawling. They also make diaper changes AMAZINGLY easier.

Think about this. You have a little girl. You're going outside during the winter and yet she's wearing a dress. Do you change her? Try to shimmy her little legs into tights and try to hold the wriggling baby still while you try to fit her tights over a cloth diaper?

(*yes* those are pink skull and crossbones. My girl is representin')

Nope, you pull on babylegs. Then you don't have to go through the whole tights process over and over and over again when you change dipes.

Chuck was dubious at first. Now he thinks they are uber cool too. In fact, E is getting a Union Jack pair for Christmas :) Now Zachary wants a pair to wear on his arms so he can wear his "cool" short sleeve shirts in the winter.

This blog...our blessed arrows is having a drawing for babylegs....3 winners. Check it out!


Tornado Alley

Back at the end of August, we had a bit of a scare. Our little town was hit hard with a tornado...an F3 (if I remember correctly). It was the first one of that magnitude in all of Michigan in a very long time.

Not many things scare me.

House fire scares me. I think it's because of all the stories I've heard from my family...which was 75% fire fighters. I still have an aunt/uncle that are fire fighters.

And Tornadoes. I like to watch storms. I used to like to watch storms during tornado season when I was younger. But now? Not so much. I think I would still like them if I didn't have children. That is what terrifies me. Not me losing my life...it's the kids. What if something happened to them? That terror is intensified in Michigan during tornado season with the fact that we live in a house with no basement. Who in their right mind built a house in Michigan with no basement?

These pictures are about 1 1/2 miles or so from my house. Several houses were LEVELED to the ground. The only way that the families survived is by being in the basement. I was outside right before this tornado hit and we didn't see or hear anything...afterwards we found debris in our yard though.

This was a beautiful old brick home that was newly completely refurbished. The whole front of the house was trashed.

Debris that apparently traveled from a leveled house across the road. That house was completely 100% leveled.
The path of the tornado. You can see how it traveled. The house in the upper middle is the old brick farmhouse in the first picture. The lower ones was the houses that were completely demolished.

I wasn't too scared during the tornado warning. I wasn't too scared on my way to work after it was all over. That was before I knew about the devastation though. Sure, I'd seen pictures of tornados before and thought it was pretty impressive for an act of nature. But, when you see this up close and personal just 1 1/2 miles from your house...it brings a whole new perspective. Chuck took Zachary down to see the devastation as well. We didn't want to scare him, but give him an idea of what tornados can do. He was impressed. I was terrified. What if that rotation line moved a mile our way? We wouldn't be here right now. If those people hadn't had a basement, they wouldn't be there right now rebuilding their homes.

We've had another tornado warning since then. It didn't hit us, but did do some major devastation in another little town about 20 miles away. And since that date I've had at least 1 tornado dream. I don't like those feelings...I woke up with my body shaking.

It wouldn't be so bad if we had a basement. I'd feel a little safer. I told Chuck that in our next house a basement (and a laundry room and 2nd bathroom) are a must!


Family Game Night

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I miss my husband. I know that sounds weird since he's living in the same house with me, but the whole working opposite shift thing sucks. We do it to save money on daycare. We do it so that our children are cared for by their parents. But it's still hard on our relationship sometimes.

A lot of people have told me that it must be great for our marriage...we don't see each other enough to fight. But we actually *gasp* enjoy each others company. We have fun together. And I am so much more relaxed when we spend a lot of time together..and we're both home to parent because when I'm having a rough moment, he can step in and vica versa.

What does any of this have to do with family game night? We had today off from work, being Veterans Day and all. The kids went to school this morning, Chuck and I and Elizabeth went to breakfast and finished some more Christmas shopping (and wrapping...we're down to just 4 adults and 2 nephews to complete. Plus an outfit for each of my kids). Then we picked up the kids from school, had lunch, took naps, Chuck cleaned the kitchen while I made homemade appleasauce and ham dinner. I played Go Fish with Zachary with some occassional help from Luke while everything was cooking. We had a WONDERFUL family dinner where Elizabeth joined us and ate some yucky Gerber food (I had opened it and needed to finish it), and then afterwards Chuck gave Luke a shower while I cleaned up the plates and got a game set up.

We decided instead of t.v. time like is the norm, we'd play a game and teach the boys to play Sequence. It's a fun game (still a *tad* too strategy for Luke really). The thing is with just one of us being home, that'd be hard to do after dinner, because there wouldn't be one of us cleaning up while the other one was showering. It'd be all Chuck....and he has to go to bed with the boys really so he can get up at 5 am. So there isn't much cleaning up AFTER they go to bed. We're just able to accomplish so much more, and therefore, have more family time when we're both home in the evenings. It's nice.

Another year and 1/2 or 2 years and we'll be to that point again....full-time.


Some pictures for posterity

I'm so sentimental tonight with E turning 6 months old....and I'm in a wonderful mood because I'm wrapping Christmas presents with my hubby for our kids....so I thought I'd share all some pics of my kids.

My 3 angels.Zachary's AYSO Soccer picture. Lucas' soccer match
E in her Einstein Jumper. She loves this thing!

My baby is 6 months old TODAY!

Baby Elizabeth,

Wow. You are getting to be such a big girl! As I was changing you into jammies tonight and they are *almost* too small, I was a little sad. A little sad because she's getting bigger and growing out of clothing, a little sad because of the jammies they were. The weekend after we found out you were a little girl, Grandma B bought you these jammies that said "Mommy's Little Ballerina". I teared up then...dancing was the only "girly" thing that I did. And it was very special to me to have a daughter to be able to share that with.

I'm trying to make sure that I enjoy your infancy. I feel like I lost so much with the boys' baby-ness and I don't want to look back again and say "I didn't spend enough time and enjoy my children" enough. I love spending our mornings together, just you and I. I love that cuddle time and believe it or not, I love all the time we spend nursing too. You're still nursing wonderfully at this time (even if a little distracted at times) and I don't see us stopping anytime soon. This last month has been a HUGE month for you. You are sitting up all by yourself now and really trying to reach for things....until you fall over. Squash, sweet potato, applesauce, and bananas have become a part of your diet...and you much prefer mommy's homemade baby food over the processed Gerber stuff. When it's time to nurse, you've been "telling" me that by pulling on the front of my shirt...tugging on it as if to tell me "Hey mom! Get this off so I can eat!" Your smiles are given so freely and you giggle everytime we sing "Good Morning Birdie" song and throw you in the air. "Pony Girl" is another favorite of yours...actually anytime Daddy sings to you, you love it and you settle right down.

I think one of my favorite things about seeing you growing up is seeing you interact with your brothers. Zachary loves to help me with you...buckling you into your car seat, holding you when I need to do something, feeding you for Daddy at night. And your brother Luke tells me at least twice a day how incredibly cute you are. They love you...and we can tell that you love seeing them too!

I am excited though to see you turn into your own little person. You definitely have your own personality and look. It's amazing to see you turn into this tiny little baby into a beatiful little girl. I look forward to seeing more of that as well...and into a young lady. But I won't be trying to rush that.


Random Blather for a Friday night

Hey, it's still Friday for me because I'm still at work! This is a collection of my thoughts tonight.

**$9.00 is a LOT of money to be paying for a MIX that makes 2 dozen cookies that aren’t all that spectacular. Regardless if it was for my sons school fundraiser. Chuck informed me that it’s very jewish to be complaining about the quality of a charity. Tough shit! I wanted good cookies and lots of em!

**I’m uber excited about tonight (it’s Friday! Chuck can wait up for me!)

**I need to start working on the design for my tramp stamp now if I’m going to get it in April. I had it all decided on back before I had a daughter, now I need to redesign it. Plus, I’ve been asked if I’d rather have another piercing instead…or maybe with. Ahhhhh, the decisions!

**Why is it that I would never eat a whole jalapeno pepper, but stuff it with cream cheese and deep fry it and then dip it in Bronco Berry sauce and it’s super yumm-o? Which brings me to other fried foods…like a frinkie. For those not in the know, that is a fried twinkie. Because a twinkie just isn’t filled with enough un-healthiness they had to fry it. (It’s not that great. I had to try it once.)

**I have been really reminiscent for camp recently. I think about my days out at camp, and while short, were some of the best days of my life (along with my college days of course). I met some really good friends and my husband while I was at camp. And life was so much easier. Carefree….and naughty. I think I might do a camp post and put up some pics from my days on the ranch.

**OMG, I just had to fish a jalapeno piece out of the bronco berry sauce…I won’t tell you what that looked like.

**I’m seriously sucking at my exercise for the month. I had a friend come over yesterday and saw my to-do list on my white board. She asked “you’re exercising now?” I said “Nope. That’s why that part isn’t crossed off”. *sigh* I’ve not given up hope yet though.

**I understand the concept behind the diva cup. I understand that I use cloth diapers and use them over and over again. But I cannot get over the ick factor of the diva cup. Seriously. It’s just gross.

**If you haven’t seen the Polar Express 3-D on IMAX…do it! It was amazing. They are showing it from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15 in our city…I might consider taking the boys again this year.

**I left my stupid breast pump parts at home again tonight so my boobs are uber huge. And I’m wearing a low-cut blouse that I’m literally spilling out of. My poor co-workers.

Blog-check, Water-6/8 hopefully 2 more on the way home, Exercise-None


Heroes...not the t.v. show

My friend Matt runs a website and seminar called the The Hero Workshop and I was intriqued by one of the women he had on there for his "Thirty Days of Heroes" in celebration of NaBloPoMo. (Check out the post for Aung San Suu Kyi)

So that got me thinking about all the other women heroes that go completely unsung. I have never particularly liked history; however, I've always prided myself on being a strong, independent woman. And frankly, I couldn't be as strong and independent as I am today without the work of so many amazing women before me. Having a daughter now, I'd like her to know that the world is her oyster, excuse the cliche. I want her to feel empowered and what a better way than reading and learning about some of the most empowering women in history?

So I went to google. We all know the stories of Helen Keller, Ann Frank, and Rosa Parks. But there are hundreds of women who have done some AMAZING things for not only women and children but our global community as a whole. I stumbled upon Decade by Decade of Influential Women by Discovery. Wow.

One of the first women that stood out to me was Mary McLeod Bethune. (1875-1955). Her parents were slaves and yet she triumphed above those odds to become a teacher and social reformer who, in 1904, helped develop a school solely for the betterment of young African-American women. Working as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the National Youth Administration she was really a pioneer of sorts. Delving into politics and schooling at a time when it was standard for women to be at home raising the children. She worked diligently to improve race relations and opportunities for young African Americans, along the way she founded the National Council of Negro Women "to advance opportunities and the quality of life for African American women, their families, and communities."

It always strikes me amazing when people rise above their class, hard times, or upbringing to be a leader in a world that didn't readily accept women leaders. And especially black women leaders at that. One of the things that really caught my eye about this woman was one of her quotes:

"I leave you love, I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity."

If you remove the last line regarding racial dignity, you have a quote that resonates strongly throughout my life. Love. Hope. Developing confidence in one another. Respect for the use of power. Faith.

Those are the attributes that I hope to leave my children with.


Let's End Daylight Savings Time

I HATE it. Anyone with kids' hates it (at least the ones I've talked to).

The last 3 days have been complete hell for Zachary. Lucas isn't seemingly affected, but Elizabeth is having all kinds of sleep issues too. It throws their schedules completely off, which in turn throws mommy and daddy's schedules completely off. Which makes for one momma who is screaming at the top of her lungs in the morning...to no one in particular...just to release the stress. (and yes, it did work).

I'm not in any way exaggerating when I say that Zachary cried off and on for more than 7 hours (then I went to work...it may have been more) Picture it being ON a lot more than off, too. He was so tired, but as soon as he'd fall asleep and I'd try to move he'd wake up again and think he napped for hours. The circles and bags under his eyes were worthy of an old man. I had parent-teacher conferences this morning and Zachary sat in the hallway feeding Elizabeth for me and literally sobbed the whole 20 minutes I was talking to his teacher. You could hear him through the door. Why? I have no idea. Overtired. Change in routine by not having school. Sleep disturbances from the damn DST!!

I went to sleep at 2:15 am or so yesterday (well I guess this morning) and at about 3:30 or so I was awoken by 2 things. 1-Elizabeth crying. 2-Zachary telling me "Momma, Elizabeth is crying". I stumble up and say something incoherently like "I know, I know. I'm getting up" I was in her room and changing her when I started to actually wake up. That's when I wondered why Zachary was awake and telling me that. I go into the living room and he's there...wrapped up in a blanket watching cartoons. Insomnia is a side-effect of the meds but we hadn't noticed it ever before. So now we're wondering how many other nights he's been awake like that.

So, Zachary isn't sleeping well. Elizabeth is not sleeping as well...well, at least not as regularly. She used to be on such a schedule...she'd nap in the morning for 1 1/2 hrs or so and then again in the afternoon. This week? No morning naps. VERY short afternoon naps...until today. When she crashed for like 4 hours. Chuck called me and I asked him to make sure she was alive. (she was.)

I'm hoping that we can get people back on track before too long. Why can't we just leave the damn time settings alone?

Oh and btw, going down memory lane is really fun. But very distracting at work...even long after we've left the lane.

Adrenaline Rush

I hate confrontations. My husband would tell you otherwise, I’m sure, but I do. I don’t like the anticipation. My anxiety gets me so worked up because during a confrontation there are so many unknowns. I have no idea how the other person will react, so I can’t plan for their reaction. Or how I should react. It’s nerve wracking and I’ll stew about it for a good long while before saying anything. (As long as it’s not in the heat of the moment. I don’t have time to work myself up to a froth if I get mad and explode instantly).

However, I always shake…planned or unplanned.

You know when you come out of the theaters on a cold blustery winter night at midnight, and you’ve left your coat in the car so you don’t have to deal with it inside where it’s nice and warm. But by the time you get to the car you are shaking right down into your spine?

I shake like that during confrontations.

And for about 15 minutes afterwards.

Then after that comes the adrenaline rush.

I do like the adrenaline rush. That rush that makes you feel like you are moving at a mile a minute. I need to find other things that can give me that adrenaline rush. That does NOT involve heights or jumping from perfectly good airplanes.

Any suggestions?


Announcements, Announcements, Annoooouuuuncements!

Lucas is going to be in the newspaper!

In our county journal they have a section called "community spotlight". It's a section where they ask people within the community silly little questions. Such as they asked high school student what their plans were after high school, etc.

Well, they went to Lucas' preschool and asked what the pet they want the most is and took his picture! So he'll be in the paper telling everyone he wishes he had a red bird. (Ack! I HATE birds)

He also got a free pass for the theatres down here. He'll be excited...he's been bugging to see the "Bee Movie".

Just had to share my little celebrity!

That friend

I had an enchanting email chat with an old friend tonight.

A friend at work came up to me afterwards as I was sitting here typing and asked what happened because I just looked different. Weird.

I was trying to describe how I was feeling…which is hard enough to do with words, let alone in sign language when I don’t know all the signs I was trying to use.

But she hit the nail on the head. Young.

I felt young again. I felt like someone had enveloped me in a big long hug. It just feels right because they make you feel good about you.

I feel that way after chatting with Chuck, in bed, in the dark, half the night.

I think it has something to do with being able to say anything and not having to look at them in the face. Because even though I know they would accept me anyway, it’s so much easier for me to say things and not look them in the eye. I’m able to be honest and open. But it’s not that way with everyone…just these certain people.

I think everyone should have “that friend”. The one that makes you feel young and excited again. I’m lucky in my life because I have 2. Thanks guys.


How old is old enough?

So, we live in a small town with about 2,000 people. I love our town because of this. I wanted to raise my kids in a smallish town that's still close enough to large cities to go the movies, grocery stores, cultural events, etc, without driving 2 hours to do so. I also wanted to raise them in a small town so that they could play in the backyard, and now the front yard that Zachary is a little older, without being so paranoid about the large city issues. Now, that's not to say I think that NOTHING could happen in a small town, but when you look at the police blotter 99% of the police calls are domestics. So at least it's not kidnapping, B & E, drugs, etc.

One of the problems that comes with living in a small town, however, is the lack of funding for school things, such as bussing. We live about 10 blocks from school. Over 2 major roads and several turns. Being that we live "in town" the school board has determind that any student in town doesn't need bussing, they can walk. And the kindergardeners can walk because "there are enough older kids around to watch out for them".

Um, no. My kindergardner will NOT walk to school. I was an older kid once upon a time, and I didn't watch out for the younger kids. And boys are even worse about that kind of thing. We don't really know anyone within the schools either that he could walk with. So, since the beginning of school, I've been taking him everyone morning. In the afternoon though, because it's only 1/2 day kindy, he rides the bus home due to the fact there is no other kids around (and truthfully, they have the buses available).

Today was a 1/2 day for the entire school. Which means for Zachary--no bussing. The school sent home a sheet about 2 weeks ago asking us to check the means for our children to get home during this time and to sign it. I did. Returned it the following day so as not to forget. I would be picking Zachary up today.

I got there before school ended. Parked in the back lot (where the HUGE sign says to pick up kids at), and waited. Kids came out. Got into cars. Left.

No Zachary.

I figured, maybe I should haul E inside and go find him. I reminded him this morning that I was picking him up, but while I feel the school and his teacher should tell him where student pick up is, we haven't seen that much initiative from the school this year. So I trekked inside, E in tow.

I round the curve to his classroom and have to go past the office. I hear Zachary sobbing and his teacher standing over him yelling "WHY DIDN"T YOU GET ON THE BUS LIKE YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO?" OMG. I about lost it. I said, to her back because she was facing Zachary and not aware of my presence yet..."Because he's a townie. He's not supposed to ride the bus today. That's why I'm here to pick him up". She immediately looked abashed and started back-pedaling and of course, blaming me for telling her that he would ride the bus. Um, no. Read your sheet again. Seriously, what's the point of filling them out if you're not going to use them!!! So I grab Zachary and start to try calming him. Teacher explains:

"It's been a rough morning and things have been very busy and unsettled because of the parent/teacher conferences etc."

"Zachary is getting sick. Must be having a bad day because of it"

"It's a good thing the kids have a couple days off, we could all use the break from each other. "

I'm mad. Not only did you let my son go out the front doors, if the buses hadn't been leaving you would have made him get on the bus! Pay attention people! They think it's okay for him to walk home because "other kids will watch him" when the freaking teachers and aides don't even pay attention??

I feel sometimes like I'm being overprotective, but seriously, shouldn't some kind of precaution be taken for kindergardners? I don't know like walking out with them to get on the busses? Or directing them to the back doors for their parents?

I know that when Chuck was a kindergardner he ended up missing the bus for screwing around and tried walking home. An older high school girl from his neighborhood stopped and picked him up. In todays day and age though, even in a small town, that doesn't make me very comfortable at all to have a 5 year old walking around where no one knows where he is or what he's doing! Chuck and I have worked opposite shifts for 5 years so that our children are protected somewhat, I expect that when they go to school they will also protect my child. Apparently not.


HIS #1 Sex Fantasy

Tonight I was reading the ever-fab Cosmo. Yes, I occassionally read Cosmo (Chuck mentioned he found it humourous I was reading Cosmo when 8 years ago it would have more likely been a Hustler).

But, with a front cover reading "His #1 Sex Fantasy", "Feel Sex More Intensely" and "Could Your Man Be Gay-a Foolproof Sign" (hmmm, maybe sleeping with other men?) I couldn't resist reading it to see what I may be missing (not about the gay thing. I'm sure I'm not missing that this time around).

Anyway, I was reading in how men's #1 fantasy is to have a take-charge, dominant woman in the bedroom. I was thinking hmmm ...interesting. I've talked to loads of guys about sex. Hell, for most of my life 90% of my friends WERE guys and not many of them ever expressed any interest in being dominated in the bedroom.

Maybe led to the water, so to speak, sure. Talked dirty to, absolutely. Let them know they are doing a good job, fantastic! But dominated? I was skeptical.

The domination article was actually the second article I read. The first one was qualities that men are looking for in a kick ass girlfriend. Let me just say that all those qualities are not likely to be found in the SAME woman. Two or three...MAYBE. But all four qualities? Probably not.

So, I turn to page 160 for some enlightment on what men "really want". Because I'm always up for some change. Something to kick it up a notch in the bedroom. Um, yea. I need to go back to reading Hustler, I think.

#1 Get him going. "To avoid freaking him out, give him advance warning. Call your guy up and tell him you're going to take him whenever and wherever" Okay, that's domination? I guess I always thought that was just being an open, sexual woman.

#2 Ambush Him. "If you grab him and give him...oral sex as soon as he walks through the door, he'll feel like your passion prey". Obviously this magazine is not written for those with children. That would be traumatic for the children to see, to say the least. But isn't a chick who's ready to give head whenever a perfect woman?

#3 Weaken His Resolve. Take his clothes off, but keep yours on. It says it'll give you the upper hand, but really? That seems so minute to me. I mean do most guys find that dominating or just weird?

#4 Make Demands. Tell him where you want to be touched and how. "He loves feeling like he's there solely for your pleasure." Isn't the bed kinda a two way street? Both parties should be getting pleasure out of it?

#5 Tie Him Down. Bring on the light bondage...handcuffs not required (unless you want them). Pin his hands down above his head with your hands or tie him up with your panties. Your sex slave will love it. This is where I seriously lost it. I laughed out loud and was glad no one was around to ask why I was laughing. Seriously? Tie him up with my panties? Aren't I supposed to still be wearing them (see #3)?? But "sex slave"???? Seems a little extreme wording for me. I think of a sex slave and picture a studded collar, ball gag, black latex, and whips.

I guess I'm a little more open and adventurous than most readers of Cosmo. But I'm really curious as to if this is as big of a fantasy for men as they say.


Christmas Already?

I love Christmas time. More accurately I love all the parties with friends and family that the holiday brings. I don’t typically love the stress to find the perfect gift, to get all the decorations up (although I love the decorations), and what I really don’t love is the extreme commercialism that goes along with Christmas.

It used to be that the day after Thanksgiving was the mark of the beginning of the Christmas season. That’s when all the decorations came out. That’s when all the commercials started (well, at least a day or two before that). That’s the day that the Christmas musak started in our stores.

Not anymore. Now, it’s the norm to see Christmas items up before they’ve even clearanced the Halloween stuff. And I just saw my first Christmas commercial on t.v.
Now granted, Chuck and I already have most of our Christmas shopping done. The boys and E just have one gift left that we need to purchase and we’ve completed ½ of his family. I’ve been setting aside money in order to pay for Christmas presents and be done early this year to help decrease our stress nearer the holidays. We’ve also already put up our Christmas lights outside since it was such a beautiful weekend, we took down the Halloween lights and put up our Christmas lights so that the weekend after Thanksgiving we don’t freeze off our hands trying to put up lights in the snow.

BUT, to have it all shoved down your throat at every turn is getting a little ridiculous. It’s also reinforcing the misconception that Christmas is all about finding the “perfect” gift. Whatever happened to family and the real reason for the season? Ugh.

At least my kids are still at the age of innocence. When it’s all fun and about Santa and being good so Santa will come. They also understand that this is a time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and a time to celebrate with family. Zachary and Lucas have always been really good about appreciating the gifts that they receive, too. Which makes me feel better about getting them things they’ll love during this time of the year. Another thing that's cute about this year in particular is Chuck's excitement for clothing. Not his. Elizabeth's. He picked out her Christmas dress today and asked if we could put her in it when we got home so he could see what she looked like. We did. He giggled. A father's love.

A picture of 2 of my adorable kids for your enjoyment.

Blog-check, Water-Only 3/8, Exercise-soon to be completed. As soon as I can get Chuck into the bedroom.


No real profound thoughts from me today

Instead a rant and a funny picture.

I have to rant about this and get it off my chest. Afterall the reason I started this blog was to get things off my chest so I didn't explode. I started this for me, so this is a rant for me.

We're busy people. During the week, we are single parents with 3 kids, 2 dogs and an 850 square foot house. I try to keep up with errands and laundry while the kids are in school and after school we have lunch and naps. Then Daddy gets home and they have a few minutes of chill time before dinner has to be started, homework needs to get finished up if I didn't finish it (oh yea, Zachary already has homework EVERY NIGHT), baths, bedtime, etc. Then Chuck has to go to bed so he can get up at 5:30 in the morning. On the weekends, if we don't have family obligations (like birthday parties, etc) we like to do family things like camping, going to park, whatever. And then on the other weekends, we work on the yard stuff.

We haven't started re-landscaping our yard yet. We've lived here for 3 years now and had 2 children in those 3 years. WE have a limited amount of money to do remodeling and we've done what we could on the inside of the house where we LIVE. That's on top of insulation we've put in, the furnace we've fixed, the water heater that's been replaced and numerous garage trips for our 1993 van.

So....when our neighbor stopped by today and asked if we had a weed wacker, I figured it was a neighborly question if he could borrow it. Nope. He wanted to let us know he had one because our grass was getting a little long on the fencerow. So Chuck said "what you want to trim it up? Go for it!" I about laughed (I love my husband). He said that he wanted us to do it. His wife wanted him to speak with us about it and make sure we did it because she doesn't like it. So as if this wasn't enough to take me aback a little (the grass wasn't that long...maybe ankle length in the fence)...he went off about how we should know she's a huge bitch and well, actually a cunt. Yes, he used that word to describe his wife.

Okay, if Chuck EVER talked about me like that to friends or neighbors I'd be soo mad. I'd be trying my hardest to kick his ass. Second, where the hell do they get off? Seriously? Their lawn was longer than ours was several times this summer. They have no kids and both work good jobs, so of course their yard is much more sculpted (they put in a pond this year). I mentioned something about how I'd like to do some things like that in our yard, but we can only do one thing at a time and this year we did E's room. Her response was "well, that's why we work on the inside during the winter". I think she missed my point that we can't AFFORD to do more than one huge project during the year.

So, I mowed the lawn (this is going to count as exercise for me because I did it with E strapped to my chest. It was a bit of a workout). While I was mowing, I got more and more pissed. I'd love to march my fat ass (which I'm sure bothers her that I ruin her view out her windows) and ask them to keep their damn cat in their own damn yard. That way I wouldn't have to hear my dogs barking at the cat and waking up E. I wouldn't find freaking dead birds on my doorstep (yes, RIGHT in front of my door), I wouldn't have half dead birds in my yard that I have to explain to my 3 yr old. The cat thing came up before and I was told by them "well, we can't really control cats". Oh, really? How about not letting them out of the house? How about that.

Man, the kids' toys, my 1993 Astro van, and cheesy children decorations must really irk her as she looks out over her pristine yard. Maybe I should find things that just might piss her off. ARGH! (I won't do that, but it's fun to think about).

Okay, I'm feeling better. A little. I'll leave you with a picture of my stupid ass dog, Frodo. Yes, that's a Doritos bag on his head. He's having some issues getting into the trash.

Day 3. Blog-check, Water-check, Exercise-check


In the back of my mind...

I had more plans for this month than just NaBloPoMo. I figured since I was working on doing ONE thing every day for the month, why not make it three things. Idiotic, I know. But I figured that focusing on these things together and lumping them together and maybe even, I don't know blogging about it might help me stick with it.

I am ready to lose weight. Actually, I'm ready to start getting into shape. I'm exhausted trying to keep up with my kids. And part of that goal is to start drinking water and exercising on a daily basis. Yes, drinking water on a daily basis too. In my life, the only liquid I get some days is my crack-Mt. Dew. I HAVE to have it. Yesterday I had one. Today, just one as well. I'm doing well on that front. I drank two 1-liters of water yesterday and am well on my way to accomplishing the same today.

But the exercise thing. Yea, not so well.

I hate exercising. Always have. The only way I would exercise in high school is if I didn't KNOW I was exercising. Like marching band.

But, I bought this cool dvd "Dancing with the Stars" that has 5 routines of dance moves. I love to dance. I figured it'd help me to do it. Day 2 of my month of blogging and getting fit and I've not exercised once.

I'm going to do this. I will not feel like a failure this time and quit before I get started. I will not eat myself into a happy state because I feel like a failure. I will use exercise as a stress-reliever and not food.

However, today, instead of exercising, I had a wonderful conversation with my little brother. We talked for almost 45 minutes. It was nice. It's the first time in a long time that I actually enjoyed speaking with him. It always cracks me up how people have no idea where you are coming from until they are there in that same position. Then they act like they were the first ones to ever have that idea. That's my brother. But that's okay. At least he agrees with me now. I digress.

Onward to more blogging, more water, and exercising daily!

Day 2: blog-check, water-check, exercise-none


First Day of NaBloPoMo

I will probably write more opinion posts this month that I'm sure no one will want to hear, but at least you'll stop hearing about my kids, right?

I was thinking about what to write for the month today while I was showering. I do all my best thinking in the shower. I think it's because it's the one time of the day where there isn't kids around bugging me (usually) and it's quiet and relaxing. Anyway, I digress.

I was thinking about how I usually only write about my kids or parental type opinions. Do I have interests in ANYTHING not kid-related? I have some major issues with people in America feeling such a sense of entitlement (I'll elaborate on that, I guarantee) but some of that goes back to my kids or raising kids too.

So this month I'm going to try to branch out and not just write stories about the kids. I'm going to spout off some rhetoric too and maybe discuss some news stories that have me worked up. I'd also like to start paying more attention to the news around me in order to be more fully up-to-date and knowledgeable for discussion matter when Chuck and I have our date later this month. We already have set our date and time and I'm looking forward to it already. I think by having some adult time and disussing things that aren't related to our kids for a change, we'll be able to feel more like people and not just mom and dad.


Happy Halloween!

There are some things in life that are just so much fun.

Having kids at Halloween has to be one of them.

I'm so excited for tonight's trick-or-treating. I may be more excited than the boys. Although, maybe not.

I worked the late shift last night until 3 am (why I'm still up and not napping is a question for Elizabeth) and when I got home there were children in my bed along with Chuck. Not an unusual occurance at all. We co-sleep and always have so no biggie.

Last night was different though. One of those boys was AWAKE. I'm not talking groggy..."I just woke up and came into bed with Daddy" awake. I'm talking full-blown "I'm being a chatterbox" awake.

I finally got him to come into his bed with me to lay down and he was chattering up a storm about how TODAY was Halloween.

"when's it going to be daylight, momma?"
"when are we going trick-or-treating?"
"I get to wear my Spiderman costume today!"
"Did you know today is Halloween?"

I finally convinced him it was time to sleep and cuddle and we still had HOURS of sleep left before daylight (if only it were more).

When we got up for school we got to put the webslinger costume on and all was right in the world. Sometimes I just look at my kids and think "I'm the luckiest person alive". I had that moment with Luke this morning while he was getting out of the car at preschool. He jumped out and made his web slinging fingers and took the traditional spiderman stance and it was priceless. I had that moment with Elizabeth a few moments ago, just sitting her playing and laughing together. It's like I see them all every day but am so busy in the day to day workings of running a house and a family, that I don't SEE them. And when I do it's like giving birth all over again. It's truly amazing.


We have lift off

So yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary. We got a sitter (well, actually two. The boys' sitter for the last 2 years has been Eric and he started bringing his girlfriend Sarah. So now they usually both babysit the kids) and went out on a date.

It was absolutely fantastic. We went out to dinner at Charlie Kangs, because when we were first dating that was one of our favorite places. I think some of that was because of the closeness to campus and the fact we didn't leave the room for too long ;) After dinner we hit the Ten Pound Fiddle to see the Casey Neil Trio. It was a fantastic show-a blend of Americana folk, Irish folk and a couple songs of folk-punk. After the show we stopped to get a cd and asked if he would sign it for us, which he did "Happy Anniversary Lisa and Chuck".

After that we were unscheduled. We decided to hit the hot tubbing place. What a great idea! It was so nice and relaxing and wow. Anticipation definitely makes things way more intense. I told Chuck I felt like a high schooler again.

On the way home, we had some time to talk. A long time ago, I knew the most amazing woman. She was a wonderful mom, a wonderful wife, and a wonderful friend. She told me one time that the key to a successful marriage is to not discuss the kids, the finances or the bills when you are out on a date with your husband. That proves to be difficult for us. But on the way home, we discussed feelings, wants, needs. It was so nice. And after the whole evening, I just felt really reconnected with my husband. Working opposite shifts really sucks because I feel like we HAVE to reconnect every couple of months because I sometimes I feel like we're just two people living in the same house. So nights like those really help me get through another month or two.

Happy Anniversary Honey...I love you.


Out of the mouths of babes....

Hot on the tails of my last post about granny shoes, I hear this conversation this morning outside my bedroom door:

Lucas: Uh-oh! Grandma L left her shoes here.
Zachary: No, those are momma's new shoes.
Lucas: Nope, they're not. They are Grandma's shoes. They are for old ladies.

*cringe* So, there you have it. The kids even recognize them as granny shoes. Chuck, of course, thought it was hilariously funny.

Then Zachary. My dear sweet Zachary. *sigh* He made sure to tell me to not walk on the grate at the McDonald's because I was "WAAAAYYY TOOOO BIG" and could fall right through it. Then, later on in our trip to the dr's today, he told Daddy to make sure to tell him when I was coming because he didn't want to be smooshed.

Kids tell it like it is. And according to my kids, I'm a fat momma with granny shoes.


Shhhhh...Don't tell my husband.

He was right. Again. I don't know how those things keep happening!

I have a heel spur on my right foot and then this weekend, I sprained my left ankle. So, needless to say I've been hobbling around since Sunday. Heel spurs are not fun. Just touching the back of my heel hurts and after driving it is so super sensitive.

But my husband has been hounding me for, oh...um...YEARS, to get some "supportive shoes" because I tend to wear trendy flat tennies or flip flops or I'm barefoot. Well, yesterday I went and bought some supportive shoes. They look like granny shoes. They are all white and from Dr. Scholls of all things.

BUT, they are sooo comfortable. And my feet didn't bother me at all last night. I think I even stopped limping.

Granted this morning when I woke up both feet were bothering me again...but I put my shoes on to take the boys to school and I think I'll just leave them on...I mean now I know they help and all, why not?! :)


I can see clearly now...

I'm in a great mood today. Well, actually just tonight. Actually just within the last hour. I've had a migraine all day today BUT the news that I'm getting longevity pay in my November 1 paycheck helped me immensely!! I wish we had a great sitter to watch all 3 kids for the whole weekend because I'd love to go on a weekend away for our anniversary. Ah, some day that'll happen.

Anyway, Zachary is still doing wonderfully. He was excited because he had three whole days without his name being on the board and without having to be removed from the classroom. Yipee!! Today he was very whiney and emotional though. That's not too typical of him so we'll watch how that progresses. I am trying to keep notes in my calendar as to what we are seeing and such so we can discuss it with the dr. in 2 weeks. I told my mom yesterday that everything we've tried to teach Zachary over the last 5 years is gelling now. Everything. He remembers his manners, he doesn't hit, he waits his turn, he does things when asked. For the last 5 years, he's been listening and trying but couldn't. And now he can.

Lucas is doing awesome. He had a GREAT day at school today, per his preschool teacher. They just love him there. And how can you not? He's so charismatic and loveable and cute. You just want to pick him up and gobble him up. But, I think Luke is having some "middle child" syndrome lately. He's been acting out a little bit more, begging me to stay home for dinner with him, and wants to do everything his brother does. I think he's feeling a little left out. Maybe I'll try to go out this weekend just him and I and do something special.

E started eating solids this weekend. And, lo and behold, I actually made the baby food myself!! It's way easier than I ever thought it would be too...I should have done it with the boys. It's weird for me that now I have 3 kids I'm doing things that I didn't think I'd have TIME for with just 1 or 2. Anyway, she had squash and loved it. I think we'll try sweet potato tomorrow or Wednesday. For now, I'll leave you with some pics!



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