24 December 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Snow. Lots of snow. Lots & lots of snow. Am I complaining? No! I love the snow. I really do. (Now the bitter below zero temperatures and ice, you can keep that, thank you.) I choose to live in the midwest because I DO like winter. Or at least snow. And we will definately have a white Christmas!

I hope everyone has a VERY Happy Christmas! Stockings full & tree a glow with twinkle lights, warm drinks (with extra "warm") or egg nog (none of this "eggless nogless" crap, the good stuff!), and happiness. I wish more than anything for my friends, happiness. I love you all!

23 December 2008

My baby...a young lady

How did this happen? My little girl turned 15 yesterday. It seems that only a moment ago she was my little girl with the long, long hair. Now, she's a young lady. It make me sad. Sad that I can't cuddle her like I once could. Sad that I don't "play" with her like I once could. Sad that in another blink she'll be off to college, and then a life of her own. And I'll miss her. And I'll forget all the fights & mouthiness. I'll miss the hugs that I am guilty of occassionally shrug off because I'm too busy. And my baby will be grown & I'll instead wonder when I'll see her again. I guess I'd better cherish these next few years before she's flown the coop onto her own life. At least for now I can be content to know she loved her Batman cake.

05 December 2008

Little Steps

So, obviously I was able to get my photo back up there...but now I can't figure out how to move the text! *sigh* If you have Blogger, you can check out that they now have all these groovy, supposedly "easy" ways to tweek your blog. Cool. And the widgets ARE easy. It's just they don't just simply let you align things. *again, sigh*

I had a cookie party planned for this weekend. One person RSVP'd. (Why, oh why don't people today seem to understand basic etiquette??) And then after I cancelled it, 6 people emailed me all sad that I had done so. Then why didn't you say you were coming before people?!?!?! So, now its back on. Slightly less formal then before & me waaaaaaay less prepared. I know, I know, I could have just left it cancelled, but I really wanted an excuse to see people. I love my family, but I find it necessary to have contact with other humans now & again.

You know what else bothers me today? The fact that I like to randomly search for photos to use...ok...steal...to put on my blog sometimes. Whenever I do an image seach these days the ONLY ones that come up are on flicker. I don't like flicker. I avoid using flicker. And it makes me feel like I really AM stealing the photos because they aren't just on some random website. It's not like I credit them as my own...I'm not THAT stupid. And I think the few of you who do stop by here know which ones I've actually taken. Or maybe I just blew my cover? Damn.

On yet another random note, because I am feeling rather random right now, I discovered this morning that no matter how much 'better" for you skim milk is, it makes your Vanilla Cappicino taste watered down & unsatisfying.

I guess that's how I'm feeling right now...watered down & unsatisfied. *sigh*

04 December 2008

Grrrr....BIG White GRRRRRR.....

Ok, so I was getting this notice that I could now add things to my blog. Cool. (You'll see a few off to the left there.) However, you'll also notice that stupid Blogger went & killed all the special added things from my blog (like my main picture, which I loved). Now I'm forced to have to take the time to refigure out how to do the HTML to add it again. (If anyone can just tell me so I don't have to research that, I'd be eternally grateful!)
Stupid technology.

On a more personal note, we have snow. Not as much snow as other parts of Wisconsin, but snow. (It seems that being on the shores of Lake Michigan mean we stay warmer in the winter than other areas, and don't get the lake effect snow Michigan gets. Hmmmm...its still only 12 degree today, I might add. Yeah, warmer...sure....)

Things are good. I have much of my Christmas shopping complete, with only a little left to do after my next paycheck. I've found better deals online than anywhere else this year, actually. We're all well. Darcy sat herself up twice yesterday without me even touching her!

That's all. Now to figure out this stupid blog HTML...sigh.

27 November 2008

Turkey Day

Go ahead...gorge yourself on turkey, cranberries & stuffing! Or perhaps you're one of those people who, for some odd reason prefer to have things like ham & green beans? No matter what you choose to indulge yourself with today, have a great Thanksgiving!

There is alot to be thankful for...health, friends, family. Faith for the future. And I am thankful...for you!

(I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates the sheer terror of this photo, either.)

21 November 2008

Baby Sings the Blues

I've just been blue lately.
I don't know if it's post-partum guk, or if its just life.
At Darcy's 4 month check up they made me fill out a questioniere asking questions like "Have you felt stressed, anxious, or nervous in the past 2 weeks?" Uh...yeah. But Christmas (and Kaitlyn's birthday) are coming next month and I have no gifts yet and money is tight, and....
or "Do you not look forward to things you used to look forward to?" Uh...yeah. But again, money is always an issue & my own extended family are schmucks, and some of my friends are really miss are far away, and have all sorts of things I want to do but can't afford to do and don't have the time to do even if I had the money. "Do you feel bad about yourself or blame yourself for things?" Uh...yeah. I have all sorts of extra weight I'm hating to the point I can't stand to even look at myself in the mirror, and yet my self control seems non-existant. I hate all the clothes I do have but can't afford to buy myself anything new so I'll at least feel cute. Oh, and money again...I feel like its my fault I can't give everyone all the things I WANT to give them. Or take a trip to visit my mom. Or...

You get the idea.

So am I suffering post-partum depression? I don't know. I do know I feel in a constant state of frustration, have zero energy for anything, and everyone pisses me off on a regular basis.

Happy freakin' Holidays. guh.

15 October 2008

Weekend for my Girlies

Last weekend was a bit hectic...it was Darcy's Baptism AND Kaitlyn's Homecoming. Fortunately we were able to juggle everything. Kim Weber is now Darcy's Godmother, and Geoff (Paul's brother) is her Godfather...brilliant influences on her future, I think!
Here she is looking cute. (And her mohawk is natural, we don't do anything to make it stand up like that! And I didn't notice before now that she's flipping me off...like I said, Kim & Geoff's influence I'm' sure!)

And big brother, Sebastian, in his cute suit I bought him. (I'm a sucker for boys in short pants, what can I say? It's that English schoolboy thing!)

And big sis, Kaitlyn, looking WAY too grown up & lovely for the Homecoming Dance. Her date (Billy, a senior, no less) gave her the prettiest corsage...and totally her! It had pink roses with mini-carnations dyed black! And instead of the typical piece of elastic most wrist corsages have, it had a cool 4 band black beaded bracelet instead. Yeah, he got big points for that...and for taking her to dinner at Shogun, the Japanese restaurant in town!
And here we are, the whole family. (If only I was as good looking as the rest of my family!)

It was really great to have Kim here! And we did an evening at Great America riding coasters. It was fun...but no Cedar Point!

Stronghold Photos

Tabitha, Misty, Kaitlyn, Darren & I at Stronghold

03 October 2008

American Castle Adventure

Tomorrow I'm off to spend the day in the 16th century again.
This weekend is the annual one weekend Renaissance festival at Stronghold, and I'm going to play for the day. I'm excited, especcially since I'll be playing a role I've never played (Catherine Talbot, Countess of Pembroke...silly me, I almost typed "Pemberley"!) I'm going to play her as a spoiled fluffhead...and this makes me very excited! (I usually play the "Thinky girl") AND I've tweeked my gold "Mary" dress so I'm excited to wear a dress I only got to wear for one season years ago (yes, my corset needs to laced EXTRA tight to make it fit, but it does fit). No one on this side of the lake has ever seen this dress, so "yeah me!"

Stronghold is held at this great site that was once the home of some Chicago newspaper guy in the 20s. He had this castle built for his family and its surrounded by miles & miles of woodlands. I guess it's now a Presbyterian conference center the rest of the year.

Downside...I started my period. bliss. And I feel like a cold is just lingering before me. So I loaded up the Alka-seltzer cold this morning, Midol, and I'm going to take 1/2 a day of work today and go home to nap instead. *sigh*

I'll try to post photos when I get back.

16 September 2008

The Book Thief

This summer my daughter handed me a book and insisted I read it. "Better than any Harry Potter" she promised me. She wasn't kidding.

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak is amazing. It isn't just a "good" book, it's an awe-inspiring, thought provoking novel that touches you so deeply and changes you for the better after reading it.

Set during in WWII Nazi Germany, the story is told by the unlikely narrator -- Death. And yet it isn't the story you'd think it would be. Instead it is a story of love. Love of humanity. Love of family. Love of friendship.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

10 September 2008

Just some of the reasons I don't like Sarah Palin

Ok, so I try to avoid being political too often, but I will admit to taking a great interest in this presidential race...and I feel very strongly that this country is in desperate need of being taken care of. Do I think that Obama is the best choice for president? No. But I can't help but think he's better than McCain. Say what he will, but McCain is a Bush supporter & I don't think he has a clue about what the "real" people in this country are all about. Nor do I think he has any sense of the need to clean up our foreign relations. So what if he was a POW. Hello, you were a career soldier in a war...being taken captive is something they warn you could happen. (And maybe it just means you weren't a very GOOD soldier?) And though I will admit that bring a woman onto his campaign was a pretty smart move in attempting to gain those people who were behind Hillary because she was a woman alone, I don't trust or respect the woman in any way. And anyone who can just jump on the bandwagon with her is not seeing the clear picture.

But I have some "silly" reasons I don't like her too...
1. Ok, so people are buying her "I'm a soccer mom" act. Yeah, right. As if a Vice-President of ANYTHING has time to drive her kids to soccer practice & games! Give me a break.

2. If she's such a model parent, did she know her 17 year old was sexually active before she got pregnant? Just thinking there hasn't been alot of communication going on there. And she has time to take care of her youngest with Down's? Somehow, I don't think so. I think he's only a few months old too. As a mom with 3 kids, two of which are little, I know first hand how time consuming & all encompassing it is. Be a good mom, take care of your own kids, I don't want you taking care of mine.

3. Have you heard what her kids names are? Willow, Piper, Bristol, Track & Trig. Sounds like a bad soap opera. (Oh wait, I guess it is!)

4. Maybe it was in the past, but she very much worked under the "follow me or you're fired" way of governing.

5.AND she was all about banning books. Great, more freedoms the Republicans can try to take away.

6.AND she & her husband were once part of a successionist group. Now, I admit I've often wanted to succeed from the nation myself, but I'm not about to run for vice-president of the country I wanted to create a treasonist act against!

02 September 2008

Where I've Been

Ok, so I've been a bit AWOL lately but I can barely find time to check email...or waste time on Facebook, so you actually expect me to write a semi-coherent post here? HA! I think I need to get back to doing something like the Thursday 13 just so I can force myself to post with regularity. Since I think I know everyone who actually read this, we should come up with something like that between ourselves. That way we'd all be forced to post at least once a week. Whatcha think??

Ok...so what have I been doing? First fun thing...Brian's Birthday at the Tony Bennett concert at this great outdoor concert venue in the Northshore. It was so fun to see all these people picnicking...with candleabras & flower arrangements! la di da!

This is the birthday boy himself...lovin' the gift we all chipped in to get him, this fabulous carpet bag. (I thoroughly expect him to be like Mary Poppins now.)
Paul & I on the train back from the concert.

The next day we walked around Greendale & went to his old fashioned ice cream parlor. Yum!
The little one is growing like a weed. They had their check-ups...10lbs. now!

And let's not forget the Kidlet started high school last week!

This past Saturday we went to a fabulous farmer's market where I came home with this groovy purple string beans, a pound of portabella mushrooms that I grilled last night, and blueberries.

Oh...and delicious homemade bread!
I was dumb & only photographed the peppers & eggplant...I should have bought some. *sigh*

Darcy spent the day looking like a southern belle.
And Sebastian kept stopping to smell the flowers!

Then we spent the entire day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's a great (free!) zoo in Chicagoland. We all had a fun time. I think the otters went on vacation though, since we couldn't find them in their area, and the penguins & other "black & white seabirds" had so much condensation on the windows of their areas I couldn't get a single decent photos to post. Alas...here are some other photos of our day though.

This crazy lookin' bird is a called a "paddlebill".

"Never smile at a crocodile..."
This is just one TINY segment of the billions of Hissing Cockroaches exhibit. It was disgusting beyond words. Look at the size of that big one in the center...eeeeeeew!!!!

And this is what you do with a baby hippo...ok, the real ones were swimming & that was cool!
Fish. Relaxing fish.

Gotta love a zoo & park in the city.

21 August 2008

Another week

So, I'm finally updating the last post that was left incomplete due to unexplained circumstances. Aliens. I blame them.
This week included time at the park with a picnic dinner. A day at Bristol Renaissance Faire performing & causing general Elizabethan Catholic chaos that I enjoy oh-so-much! (I can't help it, after all these years the dirt is firmly engrained in my blood & therefore I MUST perform when I can. Hubby couldn't care less about it anymore but kidlet & I have oh-s0-many years on him that our faire dirt black lungs won't let us stay away.) Tonight he & a friend are off to see the new Star Wars Clone Wars flick. Geeks, but I love 'em. Kidlet had her high school freshman picnic yesterday & enjoyed it. She starts next Wednesday. I can't believe it.
And this week I was asked to head up the planning of my high school class reunion. I refuse to admit what year it will be, but I now have 3 years to plan a spectacular bash & get myself looking more young & beautiful than I was in the '80s. I'm feeling a bit daunted by it, but really excited at the same time. And you KNOW I have to make it the party everyone is left talking about! (Wish me luck & send suggestions, ok?)

14 August 2008

Livin' on caffeine...new & improved with Updates!

This week my in-laws have been off vacationing & hopefully having a great time...they are essentially taking a tour around Lake Michigan, up to Mackinac Island and eventually taking the high speed ferry back from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee. (Color me jealous) But having them away has meant having to figure out juggling work & babies. Thank God for my older kidlet who has babysat The Bug, while I've taken the Little Lady to work with me. Yeah...believe me its freakin' hard to get work done with a baby who just wants to be held, fed, changed,etc. I am appreciating my in-laws more & more every day and anxious for them to come back so I can actually get work done at work.

However, I've tried to squeeze in some fun along the way. Last weekend we went to one of the parks, picnicked & played at the playground. We went to see the Sand Castles competition at the beachfront, too. (Not alot of competitors, but fun to see nonetheless.) On Monday I took the little ones to the Racine Zoo. The lions & merkats were definately our favourites. (I forgot my camera AND my cell phone, so no photos this time.) No...we weren't eaten by bears, or tigers, or anything equally entertaining. Sorry.

07 August 2008

Boys are Dumb

Yesterday I had to experience something new, and I'm not pleased about it.

When you go through a break up its painful & you can yell & scream. When a friend goes through a break up you feel their pain & let them yell & scream and offer some jokes & gin. But when your 14-year-old daughter has to experience her first break up you want to hold her tight and keep her from growing up anymore so she never has to experience it ever again.

Her "perfect" boyfriend (I say that because up until now I thought he was, and always said I couldn't have handpicked a better boyfriend for her) broke up with her...and in typical dumb boy timing...2 days before their one year anniversary of dating. (At least now she doesn't have to get him a gift, right?) Now, you must understand that only the day before he was saying how he was going to take her out to dinner & a movie. (GRRRR, says mama lion protecting her cub.) He wants to stay friends, and amazingly so does she. So why do I want her to yell & scream & make HIM feel bad? (Personally I think her best revenge is making everyone like her at school and do really great in all her classes so everyone talks about her and he realizes he dumped a great girl. )

So I did what a mama could do and declared "Girls Night!" and made Paul stay home with the little ones while I took the kidlet out to see "Mama Mia!" (the perfect mother-daughter movie, by the by...wonderful & hilarious & you can't help but sing along) and then out for extra large ice cream treats. I think she felt better by the end of the night.

I just hate that some boy hurt my baby, ya know? Boys are dumb.

31 July 2008

Lady Bug

It's blurry (damn camera phones) but this is my new little Lady this morning. She's so cute!
(I just noticed how chubby her cheeks are...and how much like my face shape she has. Poor baby lookin' like her mama. Funny how chubby her face is because her body is teeney tiny.)

Out of the Woodwork

This weekend I get to head to Michigan to support my best friend, Kim, in her new life venture (life after divorce). I'm excited because I get to see all sorts of all friends whom I haven't seen in far too long. I'm hoping to reconnect with some, be silly with others, and catch up with them all! Plus, I get to pick up my kidlet who has been away all summer. I've promised her Slurpees, middle eastern food, Boneyard Ribs (if there is time) and hours of chit-chat and songs on the road. I wish hubby (and little ones) could come too, but logistics just don't warrant it this time around. Even so...
I'm Giddy with Delight!

18 July 2008

My child is a vampire

Seriously. She wakes up at midnight and doesn't fall sleep until sunrise. EVERY night.
Needless to say, I'm a zombie. We're quite the combination.

Just how many days can a person go without sleep? Isn't that some sort of torture in third world countries?

See the photo? That's sleep deprived me. Thank God for Starbucks & the Grande Carmel Macchiato aka Demon Voodoo Coffee.

15 July 2008

I am Mosaic

A few of my friends did this, and I thought it was just far too clever not to attempt myself. So, I found a few moments and created this mosiac of me. I like the concept, as I feel that we are mosaics...little pieces of experience that make us who we are.
Want your own?
Here's what you do:
type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
using only the first page, choose an image.
copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker over at FD’s image maker.

The Questions:
What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you attend?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your favorite drink?
Where is your dream vacation?
What is your favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
What is one thing you must do before you die?
One word to describe you.

About my mosaic:1. Kimba, 2. Lebanese Food in London, 3. Flint, Michigan, 4. Sage, 5. David Tennant, 6. a cosmopolitan trinity, 7. Heiligenblut, 8. Pyramide au chocolat, 9. philanthropists, 10. A Helping Hand, 11. Blast from the Past, 12. Woman in Renaissance Costume

06 July 2008

Happy & Healthy

Well, my baby girl is home and no longer on the bilirubin lights, and doing great. I'd be happier if I were getting some decent sleep at night, but otherwise, things are pretty good. I'm terrified of when hubby goes back to work next week, because I'll be alone all day to take care of a very busy toddler and newborn by myself.

28 June 2008

Welcome to the World Little Girl!

So, when I went to my doctor's check up on Monday, I certainly never thought I'd be giving birth to a 7 lb. 4 oz. baby girl the next day! Darcy Anne was born at 2:22pm Tuesday and she's a precious little bundle with lots of thick, dark hairs.

We've been at the hospital all week, and its been emotionally exhausting. All in all she's doing well considering she has been born a month early, but it hasn't come without some difficulties to be honest. She has had a hard time with eating & billiruibin levels, etc. So, while things are getting better with each and every feeding, its VERY slow going. Too slow, in fact, to take her home with me when I'm released today. Let me tell ya, this is killing me. The thought of not being with her here, and not having her with us there...this is excrutiating. I love her and want her sweet innocent little self to not have to be alone. Or working so very hard. So what do I do?

The hospital is good enough to let me hang out as much as I need/want. But part of me also knows I should spend some time with Sebastian at home. I just don't know what to do. And maybe I'm only thinking too highly of myself to believe that Darcy actually knows when mama is nearby and does better when I am?

So yes I'm a little achey, but my heart is achey more.

12 June 2008

Doin' What's Best...

Last week I went to my regular doctor's visit and told the nurse my blood pressure would probably be up because I'd had such a stressful week. Yep, I was right. Well, just to make sure it wasn't anything more than the stress I'd been experiencing with kidlet and stupid end of the year projects, stressing about the baby's room not even started let alone ready, needing lots of things still for the upcoming addition to the family, hubby's warped (in my opinion) priorities (like painting the garage), etc. the doctor had me come back this week. The week hadn't been nearly as stressful, so I thought no big deal. My blood pressure was higher than before! Really high. Seriously high. So I was send to the hospital for tests.

Overnight. Blood pressure checked every 15 minutes because it wasn't coming down. 24 hour urine protein screening. Baby monitors. And uncomfortable hospital bed. (Why is it that we pay so freakin' much when we're at the hospital, even with insurance, and they can't provide a comfortable bed? I mean you're confined there, the least they could do would be to give you top o'the line Seely Posturpedic Sleep Number sort of thing.) My tests came back ok, but not without the doctor putting me on bed rest.

I did ask for that to be a little more defined. Basically I'm stuck doing the minimal of everything for the next 4-6 weeks. Lots of nothing. I still even have to have the grandparents watch my little bug.
I can sit at the computer (which, thankfully, means I can do some work from home). I can cook (oh, lucky me). He even said driving is stressful, so don't do it. *sigh* I think I'm being forced to catch up on some photo archiving (because I can't really call it scrapbooking in the modern sense), some fluff reading (and I think he'll have to see if the library has the book I've shown here), and perhaps this means I can talk hubby into restarting Netflix? (yeah, that's my positive spin on it)

Everyone knows its bad to let me get too bored. Just wait...you'll be in for a treat.

05 June 2008

The REAL World

What happens when 20 seasons go by and The Real World is still on MTV?

Yeah, can you believe this season is The Real World XX? Somehow I think its only appropriate that they are defining it by the roman numerals because it reflects exactly what the show has become...some double X soft core porn programming rather than the sociological experiment it began as.

I admit that on the rare occasion of channel flipping I will sometimes stop on the show for a few minutes (because I can't stomach an entire episode anymore) and lament the "days of yore" when it was actually an really fun & interesting show that really sparked the entire reality TV genre. Remember those first seasons in NY or London when the cast were actually intelligent (or at least fairly so) and had some talent and some goals? Now it seems the casts are nothing but oversexed bums who really have no real goals.

Well I was curious to find out if my impression was actually true, so I did a brief websearch of "where are they now?" Real World cast members. Guess what? It seems that those early cast members have, indeed, gone on to do some pretty impressive things with their lives. They are doctors, Disney executives, movie actors, even a D.A. here in Wisconsin. And the cast members from the more recent years? One was arrested for grand theft auto & prostitution, another several have been in Playboy, and more yet continue to make their "careers" by being on multiple seasons of MTV's Challenge shows, dating other cast members. Yeah, I get that those more recent cast members aren't as old as the beginning season members, but it was a matter of looking at what they did shortly after their stint on the reality show ended.

I think something has most definately changed in the mindset & intellect of young people in 20 years time. The sex, the fights, the illegal activity...its not only become a way of life but entertainment, as well! Or perhaps its because it has become entertainment that its become a way of life?

I wish that people would go back to being real. REAL responsible. REAL ambitious. REAL aware. That's The Real World kids.

27 May 2008

Getting Older

I sit here today realizing that not only am I getting older, but so are my kids. It's amazing how quickly they grow & change & become someone different than they were just moments ago. I'd like to say its wonderful & inspiring, and yet at the same time, it's sad & makes me realize they before long they will be grown & gone & living lives without me.

My son is walking. Ok, he still falls down alot, but for the most part, he's doing it! It's amazing & I love seeing the pride on his little face. He's more independent these days and has very definately opinions about things. He nods yes and no. He often prefers papa over mama. And it makes me sad that my little snuggle bug doesn't always want mama to snuggle.
My daughter will be "graduating" 8th grade in 2 weeks. Then she'll be heading off to spend most of the summer with her dad in Michigan, before coming back to start high school in the fall. She is far from a little girl. She is a very independent, very strong-willed teenager only 4 years from her actual high school graduation. Only 4 years until her last summer before college. Only 4 years from adulthood. It makes me yearn for the days when she too would prefer to cuddle with mama over running off with her friends, or boyfriend!
I know, I have yet another child who will cuddle with mama soon. (Only about 8 more weeks!) But she too will grow far too quickly. So in all my hormonal raging emotions, I have to remember to embrace my kids and every moment...so they can keep me young.