29 December 2006

Pass The Torch

Please take a brief moment to visit Kelly at Pass the Torch. By taking a moment to leave a comment on her site, you will help support St. Jude Medical Research Hospital, as her corporate sponser will give $1 for every comment left. Please help someone else this holiday season by doing this simple deed.

28 December 2006

The Aftermath

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas or Hanukkah or Yule. Mine was nice. Calm, which was good. Christmas Eve was spent w/the in-laws having a lovely dinner & gifts. The Day was spent opening gifts privately at home, then off to church, and then home again for a quiet, relaxing day. (Something we never do...it was great!) In the evening we again spent it with more of hubby's extended family. My gifts weren't what I expected, but still nice. I was able to get several new pieces to add to my Fontanini nativity collection, so that was a pleasant surprise. My biggest gift was definately the calm of the day.

I had my pregnancy check up too...everything is progressing calmly there. He's about 3 lb. 10oz as of yesterday and growing right on schedule. (My home computer crashed, otherwise I'd post the latest ultrasound picture...its a really awesome closeup of his little face!) Only about 9 weeks to go...I can hardly believe it! Hubby painted the nursery last night (a lovely warm yellow called "Denver Omlette"...ha!) so tonight we'll probably build the dresser & do some arranging there. Because we'll be having guests this weekend for New Year's we'll wait to put up the crib, and instead put the spare bed mattresses in there for them to have their own room to sleep in.

Nothing more to share, really. Hope the holidays are good to you!

22 December 2006

Essence of the Holiday

Ok, so the epitome of Christmas truly lies with those people who make you feel special and loved, and I have to say that I am so amazingly fortunate to have THE Greatest Friend EVER! My best friend, Kim, totally surprised me yesterday by sending me not one, but two different loaves of Stollen for Christmas. This German frosted fruit bread has been my family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast for my whole life, (specifically from Zehnder's in Frankenmuth, MI) so the fact that she not only remembered this obscure little fact about my life, she (who lives in Ohio) made the effort to have the loaves shipped to me in Wisconsin! It was truly one of the coolest things anyone has ever done. I've been like a little kid, bouncing around all giddy since opening the box. Kim...you Rock!!

Today is my daughter's 13th birthday. I can hardly fathom that fact. As I sit here, 7 months pregnant, I can't help but remember everything about being pregnant with her. It wan't a difficult pregnancy, with the exception of the unbearable heartburn. (I'm convinced I, personally, funded the Tums corporation that year.) She was overdue, the doctor's put me through a week of cervical gels, 3 day of triple doses of pitocin, and still her stubbornness kept me from ever going into labour! At 1:30pm, 13 years ago today, she was delivered by a very easy and uncomplicated C-section. She had a full beautiful head of black hair (I could put it into a little ponytail it was so long) and perfect skin. She was so cute the nurses all wanted to keep her with them (which was a blessing when I needed to get some sleep). That first day she could already raise her head up.
Her stubborness hasn't changed, nor has her ability to learn & charm. She now stands several inches taller than me, has a new cute, sassy haircut, and all the teenage attitude. But she's also still very loving, cuddles up on the couch whenever she can, is an avid reader, loves to perform, and still makes me laugh. She may drive me crazy at times, like any kid her age, but my love for her has only continued to grow. My birthday wish for her is to feel confident in her own skin, to know she is truly loved, and that she'll always work hard for her own successes. I can't believe my little girl is now a teenager. Time truly does fly by faster than we can appreciate it.

21 December 2006

Holiday of Faith

This morning I, unexpectedly, found myself getting very worked up mentally (& emotionally) after reading one of my favourite blogs, Motherhood Uncensored. Kristin has been writing about religion and the hypocracies she sees, believes, experiences with it. And I agree, there are alot of hypocrites in the world (our dear President, included, in my opinion) who hide behind their so-called morality. Her debate of the day addresses whether or not religion should be "convenient". Allow me to share the comment I posted at her blog:

"I find it utterly ridiculous to say that religion should be convenient. Of course it shouldn't be convenient! It should be about effort and some personal sacrifice. That's the problem with America these days, everyone wants what's easiest, what's most convenient to them. We're a disposable society with disposable values. No one is willing these days to make the extra efforts, be it in school, work, relationships or religion.
That said, I think most people are also confusing the difference between faith and religion. Religion is man-made, and therefore ANY religion is going to have fault. Faith is your belief in a higher power, whether you want to call that God, Alla, goddess, or banana, its about putting trust and faith into something, someone more knowledgeable and powerful than you.
But people want someone else to blame, so organized religion becomes the target more often than not. The Catholic church especcially, as they are one of the oldest, most widespread and dominant religions on the planet...and yet they have endured. But there has been far more corruption within other religions and religious leaders, as well. But it seems easy to overlook the "crazy televangelists" or "backwoods ministers" because Hey, we apparently expect them to be crazy and do stupid things. Let's not forget that the Reformation started with a crazed king, people taking Luther's words and making them something other than he intended, and Knox who married a child and kept her captive...clearly these were sane men from whom to base religions on!
(Fact of the matter is the Catholic church had, under our previous pope, a very liberal view on women's and gay rights. Most people haven't bothered to know that.)
I am FAR from some Bible-thumpin' religious fanatic, but I do feel that our society chooses the easy way out more times than not. And that usually is without solid knowledge and instead acts with emotion. "


Yes, in a nutshell that sums up my general beliefs. I don't care what religion you choose to practice, recognize the failings within all of them. Nothing about religion is ever going to be "convenient" to everyone, nor should it be. But faith is, and should be, convenient because faith is trust. It's honesty. It's peace.


So no matter what your religion or what holiday celebration you are indulging in this month, find peace. Share it. Spread it. Be it.

15 December 2006

Bah Humbug!


So we had travel plans for this weekend. A leisurely 6+ hour drive into Michigan to visit my siblings & their families for our annual Christmas gathering. It varies as to which house it will be at, but we all get together for the day and celebrate in the typical chatty, snacky way. Then the kids open gifts, we eat dinner together, my daughter & nephew blow out birthday candles (as both of their b-days are in December) and then they get their gifts. The evening typically is filled with game playing & digging out old photos. A generally basic, and in most cases, pleasant enough day. We do this the same weekend every year.
So why then are we no longer making the trip? Because, it seems, one of my brothers has to work and apparently, as he's the oldest, that means none of us can get together. WTF? I'm furious, to say the least. It's the one time each year we all get together. It's the same freakin' weekend every year! It's utter chaos, in my opinion. My sister even offered for everyone to come to her place instead...but no, the rest of them can't seem to get it together to do that. I swear, families can be nothing but stress during the holidays. They had the nerve to suggest we all get together in January. Uh, hello...that's one month before this baby is due and I'm not travelling in God-knows-what kind of weather to another state then! And God forbid they should actually come here! (Apparently the roads only travel TO Michigan, not FROM. It's a good thing I have my special passport to get back into Wisconsin, huh?) Yeah...Happy Freakin' Holidays Family. *sigh*
So now I'll probably spend my weekend at the post office mailing gifts. Rah.

13 December 2006

'Tis the Season...for stress

Ok, first the good news. I passed the 3 hour glucose/gestational diabetes test, which means I'm all good. (YEAH!) I celebrated with a plate full of christmas cookies & a giant glass of milk.

I don't know that I really have any bad news, but merely to state I'm stressed beyond words right now. Extended family, money, pregnancy, etc. etc. etc...its all just adding up to me not being able to relax (or sleep) and simply causing me to generally freak out. Baby has been unusually quiet (and still) for a few days, which is also freaking me out. (ok, straight up terrifying me) I still have gifts to get. It's just a general feeling of I want to get away...have a relaxing massage or bath (in a tub much bigger than the one we have), and simply be able to destress. The end.

On the upside, we visited a Christkindelmarkt on Sunday. It's a traditional German Christmas market with vendors, artisans, food, etc. It was very enjoyable We definately want to take the baby & kidlet for photos there with Father Christmas next year.

09 December 2006

Fa La La La La

Christine inspired me to this Christmas meme, and since I haven't much else to do, maybe you can play along as well?

1. A favorite ’secular’ Christmas song.
Oh so many, but I think my favourites are probably "All I Want for Christmas is You", "Baby its cold outside", and "White Christmas". OH! And "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

2. Christmas song that chokes you up (maybe even in spite of yourself–the cheesier the better).
My all-time favourites are either "Do You Hear What I Hear?", "Riu Riu Chiu" and "Adestes Fideles". Nothing has made me cry yet though.
3. Christmas song that makes you want to stuff your ears with chestnuts roasted on an open fire.
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa claus", "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer" and that god-awful "I want a hippopotomus for Christmas"...I can't turn them off fast enough!

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas: is there *any* redeeming value to that song? Discuss.
Absolutely...it is the epitome of the marketing of the holiday! and besides, can anyone hate the Muppets version? Unlikely!

5. A favorite Christmas album.
Oh that one that came out in the 80s that has Madonna's version of "Santa Baby" on it! "White Christmas" soundtrack. And even though I don't own either, I really want Clay Aikens new one and Amy Grant's original Christmas one.
Now it’s your turn.

07 December 2006

Sugar Sugar


So I received a phone call this morning telling me I failed my glucose screening test and must now suffer the 3-hour gestational diabetes testing on Monday. This sucks. I hate failing any test, but expecially one regarding my health!

On the upside baby seem good (can you see his little face there, smiling at the camera?), growing right on target, and currently weighing in at around 2 pounds 9 ounces. Right in the 50th percentile. Why am I not surprised? This kid has been so "by the book" its hilarious. Where I had none of the "you should be feeing this at this time" with my daughter, and who continues to be a very independent individual, this boy seems to almost take pride in following all the rules. (Just like his father...go figure!) I just hope when he's a teenager he'll continue to be the same way!

Trying to get thing set for the holidays. We have a party for renaissance faire this Saturday to attend, which could be fun. Always good to see people. I wish I had some lovely holiday outfit to wear, but being as pregnant as I am, a pair of stretchy trousers and a maternity blouse is the best it gets. *sigh* I have set plans for New Year's Eve though, which is a nice thought. (a low key, international theme at a nearby friend's place...everyone must bring an ethnic dish to pass)

Hubby & kidlet are planning a massive cookie baking day on Saturday with his sister. Should be fun for them. They are also going ice skating on Friday with a group of friends. I desperately wish I could go. I even bought myself new figure skates last spring. *sigh* I guess I'll stay home and write out Christmas cards.

What are you doing to prepare for the holidays?

01 December 2006

Snow Day!


Welcome to Winter! What a way for December to arrive! It's a glorious blanket of snowy goodness outside! We've been pounded with an official blizzard to start off the holiday season...and I, personally, am thrilled!

I love the snow...it's beautiful and untarnished in its stark whiteness. (Ok, I hate ice or slush, but snow...oh yeah!) So far we've gotten over 10 inches in the past 8 hours, and its still coming down, though I think its petering out. It's the kind of snow I remember as a kid...giant mounds of snow, heavy and wet, perfect for playing in. And yes, of course all the school are closed...is there few things better to a kid than a snow day?

The funny thing is that I also get a snow day from work...and the hubby would have too had he not ventured out earlier than his boss who called to tell him the office was closed today...after he was already there for a hour! (Ah the dedicated man...I think he'll come home at lunchtime.)

I know so many people complain about the weather, but I live in the midwest because we do like the snow...so I feel a special giddiness today and if I wasn't 7 months pregnant, I'd be out playing too! Instead, I'll just cuddle under a warm blanket with a mug of cocoa...with lots of marshmallows! Mmmm...

27 November 2006

Let the Season Begin

To begin, it is "officially" the holiday season...the turkeys have been picked clean, the cranberries are gone, and there is the hectic buzz of gift shopping in the air. I realized I was torn in my "thankfulness" over the holiday. While I am thankful to have a home, clothes, food, and family, I was also regretful of the fact my mother is thousands of miles away in Florida, my daughter was visiting her father in Michigan, no friends were around, and that because of work I couldn't actually spend much time with my husband. I know, I'm an ungrateful wretch...but its honesty of my feelings, so don't give me too hard a time. Add to it my frustration of driving the kidlet to Michigan & back...twice. On both Wednesday and Sunday I mad it to Michigan with no problems or delays. Driving back is another story. On Wednesday what is normally a 3 - 3 1/2 hour trip took over 7 hours! Sunday wasn't as bad...only 4 1/2. *sigh* 'Tis the season of travelling through Chicago.

So today is time for Christmas to go up in the house. I'm realizing that after 3 hours I'm beyond exhausted. Baby Boy has been kicking up a storm. And I'm taking a much needed rest. Christmas will simply have to come gradually this year. I think I'll start wrapping gifts...less chance for anyone to "stumble" upon something I don't want them to see before Dec. 25th!

15 November 2006

One year o'bliss


So Sunday was our one year wedding anniversary, and it was lovely. I know that most people tend to have a special anniversary thost first few years especcially, but after a previous marriage with anniversaries that were sometime less than spectacular, my expectations tend to be rather low now. So, I was more than pleasantly surprised that the hubby took such efforts to make the weekend special.

After work on Saturday he & I had a fabulous dinner at "The Palms" in Milwaukee. It's a trendy sort of upscale place in the Third Ward (read: arts snobby part of town) with prices way more than we can't normally indulge (our meal came to just under $100...by this I mean $98...and I couldn't even have cocktails... but our friend & priest who married us had given us a $100 gift card to dine there...thank you so very much Fr. Bob!) On Sunday I was allowed to sleep in and be woken to a full English breakfast...on china & crystal, no less! It was delicious and he said he just wanted to recapture the many breakfasts we'd had on our honeymoon in the UK last year. We exchanged gifts, and I was given something I've wanted for years...mother of pearl opera glasses (the ones in the picture here)! I just love going to the ballet or theatre and the elegance of opera glasses...and now I have a set to call my own!


After breakfast we took the kidlet with us to go see "Marie Antionette" at the cinema. What a delightful film! I highly recommend it. (I must purchase the soundtrack soon.) We wandered some shops for a few hours, and then had dinner at Red Lobster, where gorged myself on all-you-can-eat shrimp scampi & coconut shrimp with pina colada dipping sauche. Yum! It was a very delicious and laid back anniversary that I'll cherish.

10 November 2006

Evil Programming

Ok, so why is it that whenever I attempt to stray from my usual TV viewing (i.e. House Hunters, Ghost Hunters, What Not to Wear, Gilmore Girls and Top Chef) I end up seeing some horrible show about dying babies or mothers? I stopped watching ER because of this very reason...so why in God's name did I tune into an episode this morning? Sure enough...dying pregnant woman. So I flip to some random movie (Jersey Girl, I think) just in time to see Jennifer Lopez dying in childbirth! Last night I flipped it over to Gray's Anatomy (I've never seen a single episode of this show before, mind you) and see a pregnant lady fall & kill her baby. Ok...does Hollywood think this is a good storyline? As a 6 month pregnant, hormonal mess...I declare a protest! I'm going to back to my regularly scheduled shows about ghosts...its much safer.

09 November 2006

In Knots

Overall, I’m rather pleased with the election results. I’m not going to dwell on it here, however I must say I’m beyond disgusted with the people of Wisconsin for passing the amendments on Gay marriage/civil rights and the Death Penalty. Apparently a state whose motto is “Forward” actually wants Puritanical laws denying rights to unmarried or gay couples and putting people to death. I’m repulsed. But enough on that.

Does anyone know a good way to eliminate back pain when you’re 24 weeks pregnant? To say I’m in excruciating pain is an understatement. Nightly I have the hubby slather my back in Icy Hot…which works for about 2 hours. The other 22 hours of the are unbearable. Please, if anyone can tell me what I can or can’t take, I’ll be eternally grateful.

07 November 2006

Election Day

Remember to vote today!

Ok, that said, I haven't actually been to the polling place yet. I will, I promise. But this morning was my doctor's appointment...everything is great! The doctor is thrilled with the small weight gain I've had, baby is growing well, I'm having no complications...all is well!

Then I was off to attempt to find a decent anniversary gift for the hubby...sooo difficult to buy for! (Our one year anniversary is this coming Sunday.) Any ideas? I bought him a pair of trousers, which is no small feat as he's giant tall and uber-skinny...and a CD. Not the most romantic of gifts, I know. *sigh* Christmas will be even harder, I'm certain.

Speaking of, one of the Chicago radio stations is already playing nothing but Christmas music. I found it ironic since its actually in the 60s here today!

Oh well. NOthing more to say.

03 November 2006

Halloween Take 2

So tomorrow is my Halloween party, an event I'm greatly looking forward to. (Though I must admit to some level stress...will I have enough food for everyone? Should I provide alcohol? How much? Will the kids be bored? But then I always stress before parties.) The theme, as I've stated before, if "Come as your favourite Literary Character...Dead!" Hubby & I will be portraying Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth...yeah, as if we haven't had enough Jane Austen in our lives lately! The kidlet will be Elphaba from "Wicked". I like my dress that I made last week...it's a lovely shade of pale yellow with a ivory overlay (similar to the drawing here). I know some of my friends will be going all out for their costumes...we're rather crazy like that. I'm certain to see gowns from the 1700s, 1890s, modern, futuristic, and just plain wacky. I can't wait!

What character would you be?

02 November 2006

POLITICS...BE WARNED

Warning!! Political statements abound!! While we still live in a land where we “free speech” is still in the constitution, I’m going to exert my rights and make a few comments here in internet world. I may end up on some terrorist list because I don’t agree with the “powers that be”, but hey, I’ll take that chance. That said, if you don't vote next Tuesday, you don't have the right to complain!

Being a Democracy isn't easy. In fact we aren’t one..let's get over that right away. But we still have certain constitutional rights that need to be addressed. Take free speech. You may not like what I say, and you have the right to disagree. But I still have the right to say it. That includes questioning our leaders without being called "unpatriotic." Questioning our leaders and speaking your mind is the most patriotic thing you can do.

Changing the consitution to take away rights is wrong. The theory this nation was built on was equality. And seperation of church & state. If you don’t believe in equality for all people, gay or straight, you’re forgetting those two rights. Pure & simple. (And in my humble opinion, how can you pass judgement on who someone should love?)

I believe in a woman's right to choose. However, I think it should be controlled medically. Perhaps with certain limitations. It wouldn’t be my choice, and I think adoption in this country seriously needs to be readdressed with it, as well. Giving children back to drug addicts who couldn't take care of them in the first place is wrong in every way! And limiting adoption to only the wealthy is just as bad.

I think it should be an URGENT economic policy to develop an alternative fuel to oil and have it mainstream in the next five years. Take THAT OPEC and Mr. President-Whose-Family-Makes-Their-Money-From-Oil!

I think the “mission” in Iraq is a joke. Either make it a full out war and level the country already, or get out. How many young men & women must continue to die…and for what? (That or rename it “Bushland” and send him there to rule. He probably wouldn’t last a week.)

Our foreign policy should not be to play the bully. This is not the way to win friends and influence people. Other countries are starting to figure out that they can stand up to us. Our schools have “No Bullying” policies, shouldn’t our government?

I think that this healthcare thing has gotten way out of hand. I just find it wrong that politicians can accept money from pharmaceutical (or any other special interest, really). The average person simply cannot afford the high cost of health care, and God forbid if you actually get sick!

ALL public places (restaurants, bars, etc) should be NON SMOKING. "Waaaah! But people won't come to our bars anymore!" Are you kidding? If DUBLIN can do it, anyplace can do it. Ifyou lose anyone, you'll gain the same amount from people who don’t currently frequent your business because they actually want to breathe.

If you're paying $500 for a toilet seat, you should be fired. The government should have to shop at Walmart like the rest of us. How can we operate on a Deficit? If I bounce a check, I have to pay a fee. Somone please call a debt counselor for the government.

English should be the national language in the US. French is the national language in France. Italian is the national language in Italy. I should not be asked IN SPANISH if I want English or Spanish at the ATM if I live in the United States. I also think that each American gradeschooler should have to take a second language, and that everyone should have to study abroad to know that there are other countries that exist and that the US isn't the center of the world.

Politicians should never be asked to vote on a pay raise for themselves. If the people they represent aren’t making enough, why should they get any more? The end.

28 October 2006

A step up from Monkeys??


Ok, so I ran across what I believe is the most disturbing children's toy around...Pee and Poo!! (billed as "Two come out of the Loo", as if that makes it any better!!) Swedish designers have created stuffies of excrement...is this something we really want to encourage kids to play with? I'm seeing a lifetime of fetishist that I simply don't want to fathom, thank you very much! Equally disturbing is the line of clothing bearing the images of such scat! (New! Adult clothing! Ewww...) At the website you can even send an e-card ("make someone happy"...clearly this is the new card to send to mom for her birthday!) I see hilarity among college students everywhere, however. And the designer's comment? "People just like them; they seem to have a universal appeal." I guess no matter what you race or religion, it is truly the unifier.

27 October 2006

Trick or Treat

Thank you to all who posted yesterday and giving me encouragement to continue with the TT. Strange how I got more comments saying I wasn't going to do it anymore than when I was doing it! Perhaps I'll reconsider in the future.

This morning started with my check up ultrasound. Baby Boy is now one full pound! (Hey, that's double his weight in one month...keep growing little guy!) Doc says everything is perfect, so I'm feeling pretty good about that! I'm feeling his little kicks and punches more and more each day.

This weekend marks the official start of Halloween! As a full-fledged Halloween fan this is so fun to me! Trick or treating on Sunday (I know, it's wierd here in Wisconsin they do it during the weekend, for a limited number of hours, starting in daylight...I don't get it) and the kidlet is going as Elphaba from "Wicked" (aka the Wicked Witch of the West...only dressed per the stage show, not the movie) and I can only hope I have enough candy to hand out this year. (Last year we ran out there were so many kids!) We still need to find time to carve our pumpkins (probably Saturday night), and next weekend is my Halloween Party! I just finished my costume last night, and it's rather pretty actually!

Have a very Happy Halloween!!!

and now some general goofiness:
FRIDAY'S FEAST
Appetizer
Create a new candle scent.
Hmmm...probably something spicy and crisp right now...a combination of fresh linen and cinnamon/clove scent...I love the fall!

Soup
Name one way you show affection to others.
I give little gifts or make them something. I think its important to show the people you love that you really do.
Salad
What is your favorite writing instrument?
An ultrafine tip Sharpie. Serves most any purpose

Main Course
If you were given $25 to spend anywhere online, from which site would you buy?
Amazon.com I'd buy one of the many books or dvds I really want.
Dessert
Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what are you going to be?

Elizabeth Bennett-Darcy after she died from a tragic accident (from Pride & Prejudice...my party theme is Come as Your Favourite Literary Character...dead!)

26 October 2006

Defeated 13

You will notice there is no Thursday Thirteen posted here today. That's because I feel defeated by the game. You see, I joined in playing because I thought it would be fun to be a part of the "greater blogger community". I've been sadly disappointed. Not only do I feel that little bit of hurt each week when nearly no one comes to visit my blog and read it, when they do stop by on a Thursday, it seems they never come back. Now, I realize my blog is hardly filled with non-stop humour or sex, but it's me, being honest and believing in the people who claim that it helps build friendship...and apparently that honesty counts for little (save among the established "real life" friends who stop by, and thank you for that). I write to express myself, to log my life publicly, to ask questions to gain insight from the world at large, and because it makes me feel good. Having no one read my Thursday Thirteen when there are so many who participate doesn't make me feel good...and so I must stop. I'll continue to read others TT, and comment (per the rules of the game), but I feel that others don't play fairly and so I remain, defeated.

21 October 2006

What's in a Name?

Ok, today's silliness is because I don't get what is with the current trend of making up crazy ass names? Don't get me wrong, I don't care of the ordinary or mainstream names...call it the result of growing up with the most common name of the year I was born. I had a college roommate, 2 other girls on my dorm floor, and 3 other friends all with the same name. Hated it. I never would have given my 12 year old her name had I known it was going to become popular. However, I think there is a difference between different classic names and just crazy out there, "don't you think that your kids have to life with this the rest of their lives?" sort of names. Here are some examples:
Model Christy Turlington's new son: Finn (ok, not so bad really. Better as a nickname)
Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter: Apple (this is a fruit, not a child!)
Gillian Anderson's kid: Piper Maru (sounds like a species of bird to me)
David & Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham: Brooklyn (place of conception perhaps?), Romeo (hope he doesn't meet the same demise) and Cruz
Actress Kelly Rutherford's son: Herme`s Gustaf...what?!
Musician Beck's son: Cosimo Henri...sounds like a French astronomer
Actor Damian Lewis' daughter: Manon (she's a man, baby....)
Model Laetita Costa's kids: Orlando and Sahteene (is that sa-teeny or satine?)
Meg Ryan's daughter: Daisy True (is she truly a daisy?)
And of course the ever infamous Pitt-Jolie brood: Maddox, Shiloh and Zahara
I just don't get some of these. Even worse is the common man's trend of simply adding a La or Da before any name, object or city to create a name. My baby's name is going to be non-common, and yet not far fetched. I try to think of my kid's future in any sort of career. And I'm not poking fun at any particular celebrity...after all my beloved Simon leBon (of DuranDuran) allowed his wife (because I refuse to believe he did it...unless he was progressively drunker with each child) to name their daughters: Amber Rose, Saffron Sahara, and Tallulah Pine.

19 October 2006

If I had a Million Dollars...

13 Ways I’d Spend $1 Million Today
(I haven’t actually priced this all out, so I’m merely hoping a million is enough!)

1. Pay off all bills/debt (that’s only a couple of thousand but it would be eliminated)
2. Buy a new car. Not sure what kind. I’d like to say a Jaguar convertible, but then the realistic side of me kicks in and lean toward something more practical. It would definitely be a Hybrid though.
3. Send my daughter to private school…specifically The Prairie School.
4. Visit my mom, and then move her someplace private w/her own nurse and cook.
5. Go on a shopping spree. (I don’t want to buy a lot of pricey clothes right now since I’m pregnant, just some cute new ones. Then a new wardrobe for the hubby. And things for the kidlet and baby.)
6. Books. All those books (ok, and a few films) that I want in my collection. I suppose more bookshelves will be necessary too.
7. Tickets to any and all stage shows I’m wanting to see.
8. Maybe a new car for my friend Kim, that way neither of us would have an excuse to not visit each other.
9. Hire my friend Charlotte as my nanny for the new baby…she’s a great nanny.
10. Send some gifts to friends…just because
11. Plane tickets for the family, and the cost of the trips we’d be making to England, Germany and other European destinations.
12. I’d hire a few of my friends to make the historical clothing pieces I’ve always wanted.
13. I’d end with savings, but since I said “spend” I guess I have to. So I’d go on a hunt to find the perfect property we’d want to build our dream house on.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

17 October 2006

Breaking Through

After far too many complaints, this morning I was brought to tear by emails/posts from some friends I hadn't heard from in awhile. These people have been in my life for a long time...have helped make me who I am. They have all affected my life deeply...for the better. I don't get to see any of them much anymore, but whether they know it or not, they are often in my thoughts each week. So to be given a verbal hug from each of them, some words of wisdom, and kick in the backside, I can feel the clouds lifting and see what I've been too sad to see...that I do have a good life. That I do have a good husband and child...before long, children. And good friends. Life isn't always bright and sunny, but I'm going to focus on the good because they reminded me I can. My friends, thank you.

16 October 2006

Hell Week

So the rest of the weekend didn't get any better. My day I thought we'd have together Friday night was shot. Saturday was shot as he was stuck in rehearsal for almost 15 hours! Sunday he had a meeting, then we had to pick up the kidlet (who had been at her best friend's house all weekend...thus making me even more alone), then go his is parents' house, before we finally were able to go pick up pumpkins at dusk. Dinner & then what I was hoping would at least be a night cuddling watching a movie turned into another argument because he has the nerve to "feel unappreciated" and that I clearly knew he's "not a romantic person, why would I ever think he was"? Uh...maybe because you used to do nice things for me before you got into this selfish mode you're going through! Gee, why else? (Basically he tried to pass off what I thought was something sweet from him as his own, but it actually had come from someone else.) I swear, are all men clueless? Then he complains he has no personal time, and that the pitiful 30 minutes or so a day I do get with him should be considered a gift! What?? Are you kidding me?? Clearly His Grace doesn't see that minutes of chatter before falling asleep hardly constitute "quality" time!! I'm just fed up...can you tell?

My highlight of the day (because I'm trying hard to have one) was lunching w/my friend and her funny-as-heck 7 month old, then spending money I didn't have at Target on maternity gauchos for $4 each! I look dreadful in gauchos (I'm just too short) but damn they are the most comfy things to wear around the house!!

His Grace is in the midst of Hell Week (don't I know it) since his play opens on Thursday. Have I mentioned this is my favourite book adapted? Yeah...too bad I'm fed up.

14 October 2006

Amends


So today I'm feeling less angry even though my plans for last night with the hubby were shot. And today he's schedule at a Hell Week tech from 8am until midnight tonight. (What the hell they need that much time for is beyond me! I've done theatre my whole freakin' life and have never had that long of a tech day! ugh!) Which means I'll probably have another night alone. But I'm attempting to stay positive and view it as time to go shop for fabric for my Halloween costume and drafting the pattern. Trying to stay positive. Trying....
I feel bad for venting here...people don't want to read about my stress. People want something funny and uplifting like Kassi or Kristen write. So I'll try...for you...and for me.

So my upnote of the day...I lay in the bath last night watching my tummy bounce. It sounds wierd, but then pregnancy IS wierd! It was pretty cool too though he stopped the minute daddy came in...go figure!

13 October 2006

Fireballs

Today is a day for me to attempt to maintain a semblence of calm. It isn't that today is anything particularly special, but I've been informed (not so kindly by my husband) that the way I've been saying things lately has been negative. Hmm...well...that's because I FEEL negative. I'm not enjoying life. In fact, I have no significant life to speak of right now. We are struggling with one vehicle, which leaves me stuck in the house 90% of the time (with the exception of work). That I don't have any friends around me to even invite over. HE is the one out acting in a play. HE is the one who gets to go to luncheons and cast dinners. HE gets to be social with people, and even on Sundays, our day together, HE doesn't have to pay for a damn thing. (Because his money goes to bills, mine goes to food & extras.) HE tells me that after the play he's going to get an extra part-time job, which means I'll still never see him. What HE doesn't get is OUR relationship is going to slip away in all this. I've lived through this before...unsuccessfully. I'm terrified because I'm seeing a pattern that ended poorly. HE is unflustered by it all and doesn't see why I could possibly be depressed or fearful. How do you make someone understand that once burned, you try to avoid the fire?

05 October 2006

13 Struggles


13 Things I'm Struggling with this Week
1. Pregnancy weight gain (I no longer feel glowing...I feel ugly)
2. Financial stress (its one of those weeks)
3. Baby preparations (sooo much to be done)
4. Loneliness
5. Boredom (I know, you'd think with everything I have to do I wouldn't feel bored...wrong!)
6. Feeling like a good mom (I just am not this week)
7. Work (specifically I can't get programs to do what I want)
8. Friends (or the lack there of ... see #4)
9. Repetition (my life seems to be going in circles with everything from laundry to conversations)
10. Having a boy (...I just feel scared)
11. Having zero time with the hubby (if I get 45 minutes a day, I'm lucky)
12. This blog (should I even bother? Does anyone care?)
13. The fact I'm stuggling with these things does nothing for my self confidence!



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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

30 September 2006

Oh Boy!

Today I'm feeling a little like Sam from "Quantum Leap" as at the beginning & end of every episode you'd hear him exclaim "oh boy!"

Yesterday was my level 2 ultrasound which showed us all sorts of coolness, including the fact that the baby shows no signs of any genetic defects...and that he is, indeed, a BOY!!! I had my feelings as such since very early on, but kept semi-quiet about it, just in case. Hubby is thrilled to have his "heir". Big sis is thrilled too! Me? I'm excited, though nervous as I know NOTHING about little boys! (Believe me when I say we are not sports/cars sorts of people! Art, theatre, dance, dress up, castles, swords, pirates..that's what this child's future holds. But I'm excited!! Any boy tips you can share, please do!!!! I'm off to go shop!

22 September 2006

Crisp Days

Well something happened to my computer keyboard at home and now the entire top row of letters refuse to actually type. *sigh* That's not an expense I need to incur right now...does anyone know if you can get an adapter for a keyboard plug (so I could use the one from my old computer which has the old style round plugs)?

Elsewhere the air is crisp with the goodness that is Autumn, and though dreary with rain-laden clouds, its a delight to me. I'm sipping a mug of warm apple spice tea, treating myself to candy corn and peanuts (candy corn is fat-free after all!), and finished off the homemade bean soup I made (it'll never be as good as my dad used to make...sigh). This weekend we are looking forward to two good friend's wedding (I'm doing some of the day-of coordinating) and then going to the Fall Harvest Festival in Milwaukee, where there will be Halloween decorating, pumpkin carving events, hayrides, and general fall goodness. Next week we have plans to head to the nearby apple orchard because my favourite kind (Ida Red) will be available for picking via the hayride out, and apple pancakes will be on the menu (my husband makes great pancakes!)

Fortunately my sweaters still fit over my ever-growing baby belly, though I am convinced that my "new" cousin Liz is right...the placenta eats your brain! I'm so forgetful these days! Speaking of Liz, she is waaaay cool and has just arrived in Leeds, England for a year studying abroad for her Masters...in Medieval Lit. Yes, she's brilliant AND hilarious! I'm terribly jealous and wish I could go visit her sometime while she's there. Cheers Liz! Have a Scrumpy Jack cider with a raisin & biscuit Yorkie for me!

For everyone else...go out and enjoy the beginning of Fall...it started today!!

20 September 2006

Update

I received the test results back. Negative results for the quad-screen blood test, which means there are no signs of any genetic defects (i.e. down's syndrome, etc.) for the baby. (YEAH!) And the colposcopy for me shows no signs for cervical cancer in the future. (Also, YEAH!) So now I sigh a sigh of relief, and impatiently wait for the ultrasound next Friday to confirm the genetic testing...and to tell me if I'm having a boy or a girl!! I did pick up some of those "necessity" items yesterday...a diaper pail, a winter carseat cover, etc. I also found the nursery set...and it wasn't the one I really wanted that cost $279, but we really like it nonetheless. (If I can find a picture, I'll post it.) Feeling happy, despite a slight cold.

Oh, and its officially fall in my world, as I've been making lots of stew & homemade soups & bread. I have apple cider in the fridge, and carmel apples too. I've started purchasing new Halloween decorations and started costumes! Have I mentioned I love the fall?!

15 September 2006

Surviving

First to those who inquired, things are fine here, I was just far too busy (and sleep deprived) to post since last week! I had a doctor's appointment a few days ago, which was tramatic. Not because there is anything wrong with the baby, but due to the lack of information being shared by the medical staff. I arrived, had the usual weigh-in, blood pressure, pee in a cup tests, then they listened to the baby's heartbeat (for literally seconds only!), then I was taken into another room for a colpscopy (where they take a sample from your cervix), which I was unprepared for before being given "ok, we'll see you again in a month!" What? That's it? Nothing to check on my pregnancy? I was then sent across the hall to the lab for blood work I'd not been informed of. (It seems because of my age they do a blood test to check on the baby's health, but I didn't have a clue what was happening!) Yeah, pregnancy hormones made me start crying and demanding to know what was going on! I now have my Level 2 ultrasound scheduled for the 29th which will check for any birth defects, Downs, etc. (again due to my over 35 status) and hopefully (please, please, please!) tell us if we're having a boy or a girl! So now we wait, and in the meantime hubby is heavy into rehearsals for "Pride & Prejudice", which leaves the kidlet & I at home most evenings to play games & watch tv.

So last night she & I revived our old tradition of watching "Survivor" together. This was our standing Thursday night ritual for a few years, but then the show became dull & life took over. But this new season seems fresh and exciting again, and we were totally sucked in. The "social experiment" of dividing 4 teams by race creates controversey for the viewer, as it really didn't seem to effect the players. I'm a firm believer that stereotypes only prevail if you allow them to. If you don't want to be labelled by a stereotype, don't play into it. And in the end the competition becomes one on one, not race against race. As a comedian (I can't recall who) once said "I don't hate people because of their race, it so much easier to hate them on an individual basis". The tribe has spoken.

07 September 2006

13 Movies and Treats

This weekend a friend is celebrating their 30th birthday with an old fashioned slumber party. It's going to be silly and fun, and we'll have movies & snacks.
So today's thirteen are some of my favourite movies and the foods I'd serve with them!
1. Wizard of Oz ...classic popcorn
2. the Sound of Music ...potato pancakes w/applesauce
3. My Fair Lady ...Trifle
4. Pride & Prejudice ... Scones w/double devon creme
5. Mansfield Park ...cucumber tea sandwiches
6. Elizabeth R ...cheeses and summer sausage
7. 16 Candles ...carrot cake w/cream cheese frosting
8. the 5th Element ... burgers
9. Gothic ...dark chocolate brownies
10. Rob Roy ...beef stew
11. Mary Queen of Scots ...scotch eggs
12. What a Girl Wants ...ice cream sundaes
13. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ... treacle tarts & poprocks

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

05 September 2006

School Day Blues

I love the start of a new school year. I always want my own stash of pencils and folders and various school supplies, it just so exciting to start fresh.
Though my daughter technically started on Friday (yes, I know that's ridiculous, they had the kids go one day before Labor Day weekend, crazy), today feels like Day One. Unfortunately it started off in disaster. Not only did the kidlet hurt her wrist and need to have it wrapped, the couldn't remember the combination for her bike lock and had to walk. About 1/2 hour later she was back home, crying on the front porch because she couldn't get to school. Apparently the wonderful city government has decided that the beginning of the school year is clearly the best time to tear out the entire street leading to the middle school, which includes all of the sidewalks and pathways. To say I was furious is an understatement. Complaints to the city resulted in "we'll try to put some gravel paths in sometime this week for the kids, but even those will be met with interruptions now and again". So basically somedays they might be able to get to school, but other days they won't...great. Of course, of all days for hubby to need the car, today was it. I had to call a friend on the other side of town who graciously packed up her newborn to drive here to take my daughter to school (via a backway that would have made her trek to school almost 4 miles had she walked it!) So the kidlet missed her entire first class (a class she only has 2 days a week to begin with!) but at least she's made it. We're hoping she can find a ride home with a friend.

And so the school year has begun. It has to get better from here.

31 August 2006

13 Things about My Week

13 Cool Things About My Week
1. My daughter & I saw WICKED in Chicago last night!
2. She was able to get autographs from the lead actresses!
3.We bought a stroller for the baby
4. My daughter starts 7th grade tomorrow.
5. Did I mention we saw WICKED?
6. Hubby & I spent some real quality time together.
7. Kidlet & I spent real quality time together.
8. Was able to reconnect with an old friend.
9. I'm gong to go maternity clothes shopping
10. I am have submitted writing samples to the newspaper
to apply as a columnist (as a theatre critic)
11. Friends are coming to visit from out of state this weekend
12. I'm going to perform at the Bristol Renaissance Faire this weekend
13. I have some really cool people reading my blog!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

30 August 2006

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

The challenge, as defined by Nif by way of FrancyPants:

Make a list of what you did and will do, thoughts you had, literal or not, funny or serious, a written snippet of your life. Link it back to me. If so motivated, eventually make a scrapbooking page of it.

Yesterday
I was pregnancy lazy.
I enjoyed listening to the kids playing outside on their last days before school.
I cuddled and snuggled until late with the hubby.

Today
Scheduled classes for people.
Made a sweet card to leave for the hubby.
Going with the kidlet to see WICKED in Chicago!

Tomorrow
Checking to make sure kidlet has everything need to start school Friday.
Cook Pad Thai for dinner
Run lines with the hubby for Pride & Prejudice

29 August 2006

1000 years of battle


Last night hubby & I watched a really excellent film "The Kingdom of Heaven". I highly recommend it. Besides the fact it stars Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, and Jeremy Irons, its a truly well made epic. Yes, I would classify it into the Epic catagory. Set in 1100, the story addresses the battles raging between the Christians and Muslims in Jeruselum, the Knights Templar, honour, courage, and strength. It addresses the differences between faith and religion. And exposes the sick, sad truth that 900 years later, we are still waging the very same war. The most profound speech in the movie happens when Orlando Bloom's character declares to the people of Jeruselum the land once belonged to the Jews, then the Christians, and if the Muslums take it, does anyone have a greater right to the land than anyone else? Is any one temple or mosque more holy of a building for worshipping God? Is it any truer today? War wages in the middle east for ego and land. I saw so much of our own political administration, as well as others, echoed in this story, and was saddened by humanity for it, for I fear Peace is something that indeed will only be achieved in the true Kingdom of Heaven. Rent the film, I dare you to not be inpacted my it.

24 August 2006

13 to Drool Over

13 Sexiest Male Celebrities...according to me
(Warning, I have a quirky taste in guys)
Today is a dreary, rainy day and what better way to brighten it
than with a little chocolate & pretty things to look at?
(I apologize, Blogger isn't uploading my pictures...maybe later.)
1. Christian Bale (from Newsies to Batman, he's always sexy to me)
2. Alan Rickman (yep, even as Snape!)
3. Alan Cumming (on stage or screen)
4. Liam Neeson (sexiest role ever...Rob Roy)
5. Joseph Fiennes (better than his brother anyday)
6. Johnny Depp (how could I not include him?
Have longed for him ever since 21 Jump Street!)
7. David Bowie (just gets better with age)
8. Brendon Fraser (goofy, but hot)
9. Kevin Kline (if for nothing but Pirates of Penzance alone!)
10. Simon leBon (my DuranDuran hottie)
11. Kenneth Branagh (any man who can make Shakespeare that hot gets my vote)
12. Pierce Brosnon (come on, he's Bond!)
13. Colin Firth (sexy, sexy in any time period)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

23 August 2006

Thank yous

Recently I've read alot of blogs that have made me feel sorry for the author because of a tragedy that is far too common in our day and age...the inconsideration of a spouse. Now, don't get me wrong, we all have our days, but blogs like this one shake me up and make me realize how wrong it is for us to be unappreciated by those we love the most. I see this as an unfortunate epidemic of a modern society that is so "me-me-me" oriented. We sometimes forget to be thankful of those little daily tasks. It isn't always easy to get up every day, deal with the kids, clean the house, run the errands, and remain cheerful. It also isn't always easy to get up, go to a stressful job, deal with traffic, and pay bills. We take it all for granted, and in doing so fail to say thank you...and mean it.

I had my own experiences of feeling unappreciated in the past, and with that, not appreciating the other person, as well. With my new marriage I vowed to not let that happen. It takes effort but the rewards are great. It doesn't always come naturally, and we all need validation in different ways. Through Divine grace, my husband was introduced by a (male) co-worker to the book "Love Languages". I cannot recommend this book enough. We have come to realize that there are 5 languages through which everyone finds their validation and sense of being appreciated. My husband's is Acts of Service. When I do the laundry and help out with chores, he feels loved. This is crazy to me...to me they are simply chores that everyone hates. To him they are signs that I care enough to give him a clean home...and he thanks me for it. He appreciates me for doing what I consider meaningly tasks you just have to do. Me, my main language is Acts of Time. I feel loved and appreciated when he makes the time to be with me. Whether its watching a movie or taking a walk, I feel the time he takes out of his day for me matter. And I thank him for it.

We are all taught The Golden Rule as children, yet often fail at it as adults. We need to recognize the little things the people in our lives do have value, and regularly thank them for doing them.

18 August 2006

The Past

An old friend who, for lack of better description, elected to remove himself from my life a couple of years ago, has been haunting my dreams.

I'd like to blame it on crazy pregnancy hormones, but the truth of the matter is, I think its something more. Last night we were mutually performing a renaissance event at some estate in which he played Sir Philip Sidney (a character he has never portrayed let me state) and I alternated between being a noble and a servant. In the scenario his (Philip's) family were plotting to kill him, and I (as the servant character) had to warn him because he had been a secret lover of mine. (In real life, said ex-friend is gay, though we used to perform together at renaissance faires...where he played straight characters.) Anyway, after the event we had a chance to sit down and talk and catch up on things. His boyfriend and another female roommate ex-friend (who apparently hate me too) were there as well, though peripherally.

I realize I'm still having lingering needs to make amends in this relationship, but the truth is, he has refused to communicate with me for 2 years now. I don't believe that will change. Other mutual friends have brought my name up in conversations with him, but no one (from what I've been told) have ever brought the situation up to find out the whys behind it all. I guess I'll just go on wondering exactly what ended our friendship, hoping his life is a great one, and having him haunt my dreams.

I'm curious if anyone else has had similar things happen in their life?

17 August 2006

13 Crazy Things about Me

13 Crazy Things about Me...Kimba
1. I hate socks in the summer.
(I blame it on growing up on a lake. With or without shoes, I simply can't abide by them.)
2. I love chocolate.
(Ok, maybe that isn't crazy, but seriously, I'll forgo most things just for a piece of good chocolate. Preferably an English Yorkie bar or Austrian Mozart)
3. I hate American swill..er...beers. I love British beers.
(Granted, now that I'm preggo I can't have any.)
4. I loathe, detest, passionately hate American football & baseball.
(The great American pasttimes, my butt! Give me hockey or cricket anyday!)
5. I hate being short.
(At 5', clothes never fit right...and I'm married to a 6'3" giant.)
6. I adore Halloween.
(My favourite day of the year! How can you not like a day that give you permission to dress in costume and people give you candy?!)
7. I hate cutesy holiday decorations.
(Halloween should be spooky. Christmas should be lovely or spiritual. Not cute.)
8. I have to have icy cold milk in the morning.
(Other people must start their day with coffee, I need milk. 1% preferred.)
9. Coke good. Pepsi bad.
(Need I really say more?)
10. I am Project Runway addict.
(Ever since the first season. Come Wednesday night the world stops
for an hour while hubby & I both watch, comment, and judge.)
11. I'm a theatre snob.
(We are trying to decide which season tickets to buy this year,
and I realized just how critical I am.)
12. I love reading blogs.
(I've grown to love reading about the lives of complete strangers...and friends.)
13. Sex makes me laugh.
(Perhaps I didn't need to share this,
but I can't tell you how often my husband and I end up cracking up.)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

16 August 2006

12 weeks and growing


I had my ultrasound yesterday! The baby is right on schedule sizewise, the heartbeat sounded great & strong, and so far so good! (Yes, huge relief!) Hubby & I were very excited. When the tech went to take the picture, baby turned directly toward the camera and gave a thumbs up! Way to go kid! (Of course in an ultrasound he/she looks more like an alien than a human, but we're hopeful.)

The only downside, at least in my husband's eyes, is the doctor's announcement that since I had once C-section, I'll be having another, so plan for a late February baby. I'm a little suprised at that clear cut decision, without the consideration of a VBAC, and hubby is very upset about it. However, I know I came through the first C-section so easily I'm a little relieved to know I won't have to experience labor pains. Still, is this a little bit of a rash decision on the doctors part? Opinions?

12 August 2006

My Kidlet

Well the kidlet is back home and I can't express well enough how glad I am to have her here. The summer apart was good for both of us. We both appreciate each other more right now. And she's learned a few things as well. She a little more mature. A little wiser. She has learned that I do need her, and that means helping out around the house. This used to be a fighting issue, but now she does it without complaint. She takes pride is her weight loss, her cool new clothes, and the personal rewards of taking care of her things. I don't know if it will last, I certainly hope so. But for now, it puts a big smile on my face to see her feeling good about herself and her family. She's excited about the new baby (and secretly hoping for a little sis), and seeing her friends again. She starts 7th grade in a few weeks, and my little girl is growing up. And for today, I loving the hugs.

10 August 2006

Family Vacation

We've just returned from a few days spent in the greater Detroit area of Michigan, having a brief family vacation that turned out simply to be a great time! After a long & tedious drive Saturday night, we picked up the kidlet from her father's place Sunday morning. It was great to see her after 2 months away! Of course she'd grown (she's now about 2 inches taller than I am...she's 12) but slimmed down alot too. There is no little girl when you look at her anymore, but that's ok because I can see she's also maturing into a lovely young lady, and for that I'm proud.

I was surprised to realize just how close we were to the home I grew up in, so we ventured up there so I could show the place to my hubby & daughter. The couple who live there now were out front working in the yard, and were the most gracious people. Not only did they show us around the property but the interior of the house as well. It was an amazing step into my past, though its always hard to see a place change. (Let's just say the interior is alot more boring than when we lived there. The house had once been featured in "Better Homes & Gardens" during my childhood, and now they've done some dulling down of some of the decor & features.) I think they were just as appreciative of being able to hear about what the house used to be like, and learn about the family who lived there. Then it was off to Frankenmuth for shopping, "World Famous Bavarian chicken dinners", and swimming at the hotel. Good tradition.

Monday was a day of history & fun at Greenfield Village. I'd forgotten how much fun that place is. We rode actual Model T automobiles, wandered through Thomas Edison's workhouses and the Wright Brother's bicycle factory where they figured out how man could fly, amongst other great places. From there we had a cookout at the Abrahams, met up with friends...lots of old friends whom I'd not seen, in some cases, in years. It was such fun! We laughed & talked & laughed well into the early morning, and easily could have kept it up all night.

Tuesday's adventure was to take the child to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum for a full day of science and play, followed by dinner at a favourite restaurant (Boneyard...the best ribs! yum!) Then we stopped by to visit with yet another friend, Kim P., whom I had not seen in over 6 years. She is literally half the person she used to be (having lost somewhere around 170 lbs!) but just as charming & funny.

We anticipated a quiet day before driving back home on Wednesday, but friends had left a couple of things at the cookout so it was a very welcome opportunity to see them again. Our "quick stop" happily turned into lunch, ice cream, and a stop by a very cool tea shop. Kassi & Caleb & their kids are awesome people, and I'm so proud to call them friends! We talked and laughed for another few hours before sadly saying goodbyes and the long trek back home. I was amazed at how easily we caught up on time & life, and how well my new husband was able to blend into the old gang. It made me oh so happy! And my daughter spent hours entertaining (and being entertained by) their 4 year old, proving to me just what a great big sis she is going to be.

Thanks to all of my friends for a great vacation! For those we didn't get to see, next time I hope! And I pray to God it isn't years this time!

03 August 2006

Baby 13

THIRTEEN NAMES WE COULD NAME THE BABY

(I suppose I should state that we've actually already decided on names, which are included in this list. What are your favourites? Can you guess the ones we've chosen?)

Boys first: 1. Simon (I've always had a thing for the lead singer of Duran Duran)

2. Alek

3. We could go with the 100th most popular name from the 1880s - Milton (ok, probably not...though it could be better than the 103rd most popuar - Lester)

4. Adolf (it's a family name)

5. Sebastian (it's German)

6. Raymond (after my father)

Now the Girls: 7. Katrien (again, we like those Germanic names)

8. Emma (the most popular name of 2005. Ok, I'd never actually choose a popular name again!)

9. Amelia (#100 in 1880! #103 of that year? Beulah! ugh!)

10. Saskia (because our last name isn't Polish enough!)

11. Lorelei (so I like the Gilmore Girls)

12. Lizzy (thank you Jane Austen)

or for either: 13. Tad (short for Tadpole, which is what we call the baby right now!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




02 August 2006

Fear

I find myself fearful of something, anything going wrong with this pregnancy to the point of complete anxiety over it. Every time I go to the bathroom I fear seeing blood. Everytime I feel a muscle pull, I'm terrified. Even this heat has me worried. I never worried like this with my first pregnancy. But then I was in my 20s and perhaps I just didn't know to worry? It doesn't help that seemingly every program on television is about complicated deliveries, at risk pregnancies, or babies with problems at birth! I feel like there is a conspiracy out there to put pregnant mothers in a constant state of fear. (Of course I also feel our news tries to keep all Americans in a constant state of fear, but that's a whole different topic.) And those that don't are about these SuperMoms...you know, shows like "Yummy Mummy" or worse "Runway Moms"...these women who look fabulous even during 40 hours of intense labour, only to get up and take care of their 3 other toddlers while cooking a gourmet meal in heels. Today's modern television is only fueling the fears that any mother has , let alone those of a late 30s, slightly overweight starting over mom, but damn it can't I have some reassurance please that everything is going to be ok and that I WILL have a healthy, happy baby carried full term?!

01 August 2006

Avast Ye Matey...


Sunday we travelled the couple of hours north to Green Bay to tour 16 Tall Ships in the harbor there. Let me tell ya, it was awesome! These ships are either actual or recreations of historical ships, one of my favourite being this one here...the Nina. Yep, one of Christopher Columbus' ships. The cool thing is that is was built by the same family that built the original, in the same method. You have to love history like that. Some of the ships had been used during the War of 1812 or earlier, another was a Russian ship that somewhat resembled a Viking longboat.

It has always been a dream of mine, since I was a little girl, to sail the world. To be a part of that kind of adventure still calls to me, and I found myself oh so envious of the crews on each of these ships. Perhaps someday I can actually make it reality, but in the meantime, I'll just have to dream about the High Seas...and Jack Sparrow.

31 July 2006

Help Me! I'm Melting!

I'm melting. I'm convinced of it. Soon I will be a puddle resembling the demise of the Wicked Witch of the West ala the Wizard of Oz.
It's hot. Damn hot. Records were broken today in Wisconsin. Hot.
A 8:27pm it is still 97 degrees...this is after the sun is setting. Ugh.
Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter yet.
Historical tidbit o'the day...beautiful old houses built near the turn of the century do not come equipped with central air.
Send water.

27 July 2006

My Selfish 13

13 Thing I Really Want Right Now
1. To go swimming (anywhere, a lake, a pool, a pond… to mysteriously appear in my backyard)
2. A chocolate malt…with extra malt powder
3. To go on a family vacation without having to worry about expenses
4. To have our house painting finished already
5. To have the cash to go buy all the baby things I want…right now!
6. To know the baby is healthy, and if it’s a he or a she
7. Reprise from the heat & humidity
8. New clothes…I’m hating everything I own
9. To have the energy to do something creative (i.e. paint, write, etc.)
10. A giant sundae with lots of hot chocolate & cherries (hold the whipped cream, thanks!)
11. A gardener to add more flowers to my yard.
12. To have someone go buy lots of summer veggies for me, and then make dinner.
13. Sleep.

22 July 2006

Books for the Soul

Who are your favourite literary characters?
I'm putting together my annual Halloween party (consider yourself invited) and I've decided that this year's theme is going to be:
COME AS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY CHARACTER ... DEAD!
Did Bridget Jones O.D. on diet pills? Was Frodo crushed beneath a careless Ent? Who would you come to my party as? And how would they have died?

(Me? I'll probably be Elizabeth Bennett...but I haven't figured out how she died yet. Ideas?)

Weekend Update

So I've been busy and tired all week, which is why I've been entirely behind in posting. Sorry.

Our trip was delightful...though ungodly hot! I was a good girl though, and didn't push myself, stopping to rest & drinking lots of water & juice.
Saturday we drove across the state, decided the best option for staying somewhat cool was to head across the border into Iowa (desperate measures indeed!) to Spook Cave. It's this cave set into a bluff which you can only tour via boat. It was a little cheesy (you take the original boats from the 1950s...and believe me, nothing else about the place has been updated since then either!) but interesting nonetheless. I don't know, there's just something about taking an "all-American summer roadtrip vacation" that simply requires stopping at cheesy tourist spots along the way! We headed back into WI, did some sightseeing around town, and swimming at the hotel. I was able to share a favourite movie with the hubby "Dream for an Insomniac"too.

Sunday we spent the day at the War of 1812 reenactment, which was very interesting since it is the actual battle site. We ran into some friends we had no idea did that sort of reenactment, so that was a pleasant surprise. Hubby was able to purchase some new Regency breeches, so he was thrilled. We toured Villa Louis, the Victorian mansion on the site, which was beautiful and accurately restored. I always find it funny on a historical tour when someone else asks a question the docent can't answer, but I can. I really am a history geek...sigh. Then we headed out for a couple of hours canoeing on the Mississippi River...great fun! And beautiful too! I haven't done that since college, and was so excited!

Monday we drive down to Galena, IL, one of our favourite places. It's simply a beautiful town, set in a valley with countless old homes built by steamboat captains, Ulysses S. Grant, and others. We stayed at the Steamboat House, the B&B we stayed on our last trip...and it was still worth it. Lots of shopping & sightseeing the next day, as well, before heading back toward home Tuesday afternoon. We opted to take the backroads across the countrysides of southern Wisconsin, and it was a beautiful drive, that allowed us to stop at various historical markers and cheesy americana along the way. (I have to say the Dickeyville Grotto was hilarious, and the priest who built it had waaay too much time on his hands.) All in all, it was a fun, relaxing trip.

19 July 2006

Angel Baby


My friends' preemie passed away on Thursday.
Please keep them in your prayers.

14 July 2006

Vacation Time!

Tomorrow morning hubby & I leave on our first "official" summer vacation! I'm sooo excited, I can't contain myself! I know most people wouldn't be as giddy as I am, but you have to understand that for the past 14 years I have spent every weekend of every summer wearing 30-50lbs of fabric dressed in Elizabethan garb, performing a one to three renaissance faires. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, but it means that in all those years I have never taken a summer vacation anywhere. This summer I get to take two! So yeah, I'm excited!

Hubby & I are heading to the western part of Wisconsin to explore the greater Mississippi river region of Prairie du Chien (meadow of dog??), canoeing, sightseeing underground caves, historical buildings, and watching the War of 1812 reenactment. (Yeah, we can't entirely separate from that whole costumes event summer.) Then we'll be heading down to Galena, IL which is a beautiful historical town where we'll stay at one of our favourite B&Bs.

Have a great weekend yourself!

12 July 2006

Save a Prayer

I need to ask everyone to please keep a prayer for some friends of mine. He is one of my hubby's oldest friends, and he & is wife have been expecting their first baby. Well, Saturday Houston Brian was born into the world...at only 23 weeks gestation. This means that the little baby is just over 1 lb., will have to remain in the neonatal ICU until is original due date (November sometime). Right now he's stable, but we have no idea what sort of complications are yet to arise. It was an emergency delivery to save both he & the mother. Please keep a prayer for them in your heart...they need it right now.

10 July 2006

Manic Monday

Just a quick note today about the weekend & life in general.
"Pirates 2" was hilarious! Some good creep factor happening with amazing effects, and some swordfighting bound to remind you of "Princess Bride" (in a good way, not a rip off way), and well lots of Johnny Depp to look at is always a good thing. Kiera Knightley should always wear a corset (and never do another Jane Austen film, but that's another issue all together). And just a note for all of you who do see it...Davey Jones is played by the same guy who was the old rocker in "Love Actually"...now just picture Davey Jones singing "Love is all around us..." (hahaha!)

The rest of the weekend I worked, slept, have a lovely romantic lunch with the hubby at a place on the lakefront, and spent time with the in-laws. (His mom & sister just returned from Europe, and this is the first we've seen them since the baby news.) It was nice, though I expected a barrage of questions, but didn't get any. Hmm, who knew? They did buy a cute baby toy in Prague though.

Right now I'm livin' for the weekend! (I know, its only Monday.) We're taking our first vacation of the summer...yeah!

07 July 2006

Yo Ho Ho Me Mateys!

I got 'em!!! Tickets to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" tonight with friends!! soooo excited! I mean...Johnny Depp, need I say more? (Swash, swash, buckle, buckle...Arrrrrrgh!)
And as if that weren't enough high seas adventures, the Bristol Renaissance Faire opens tomorrow...this year's theme...Pirates! They have built an awesome new ship and pirates will be landing on the shores of Bristol for some crazy fun! (I hope that anyone who gets a chance to come out this year will. ) Ok, i'm off to work for a day of Pirating adventures!