Subscribe in a reader

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A penny saved…

My wonderful Father-in-law gave my boys the gift of a lesson in frugality this year. Each got their own character wallet with some money in it. It was intended to be a teaching tool, for my husband and I to help them understand saving. So I patiently explained that it was all their money and it would be wise to save half, just half. What good is a gift you can’t enjoy? That is exactly what the gift was for, too. To spend half on something they picked out and save half.

After they whined that they only had one dollar bill now (it is a twenty!!!) we set out with our wallets. I guess learning the value of a dollar is kind of hard for two little guys of 6 and 3. I told them it was good to have a little cash on hand just in case there was something they found that they wanted to buy.

I was out voted (wait. I thought I counted for two votes?!) for the place we were eating lunch and had to eat Subway, their choice. Almost like mutiny. They both had the attitude that since they had lots of money, apparently burning a hole in their pockets, they could buy whatever they wanted to eat. I would not allow this. I am the Mom. I will provide food. So Subway it was.

Since my big boy has been off his meds he has found a new appreciation for food. Poor little guy was always such a picky eater and now he says he loves to try new things. If only I had known this all along. We would have been more slack with dinnertime. Oh, the arguments it could have spared! He has also been having a hard time with his attitude lately. My sweet baby boy who used to get in trouble for hugging his friends in preschool had recently been sent to the principal’s office for fighting. Imagine my shock. He has always been thoughtful and caring and has only recently been really mouthy with us and really hateful toward his brother. It is something that has been bothering me. Now don’t get me wrong, even if he turns out to be a serial killer, you will never meet a boy sweeter than mine and you will never find anyone who loves him more. Well he redeemed himself today. My buddy is back!

He complained when I ordered a 6 inch sub for he and his brother to split. He said he was really hungry and could eat the whole thing. I told him that after he finished his lunch, if he were still hungry we would order something more. He finished his lunch and asked if he could have a cookie. I thought about it and since little brother and I were only half finished I said if he wanted to have a cookie he could wait, or buy it himself. He was a little distressed in thinking he didn’t know how. But after a little instruction and a reminder to use his manners, he was off with a grin.

He stood in line, waited his turn and politely asked the cashier for an M&M cookie. Then he gave me a thumbs up. The lady asked how many he wanted. I held up a single finger and he nodded at me. He then proudly tells the lady “I’ll take three please” and shot me a wink. Huh?

She took his money gave him his sweets and his change and back to the table he struts. I asked why did he do that, I had every intention of sending little brother off with his money and his manners to be a big boy too since there was no one else in the store but us and one other guy. My angel said to me “I got one for each of us Mom. That lady gave me a lot of money back!”. That’s my boy!

I thought little brother might feel slighted in his little right of passage but he just grinned. With a big sigh he said “isn’t my brother great?” and laid into his cookie.

I was so proud I had to fight the urge to shed a tear and smother him in kisses.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A very Merry Christmas to all…

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and so on and so forth.

This house has been so busy as it always is around this time of year and since I run it that means I have little to no time to spend blogging. Sorry.

I truly hope this holiday season brings health, happiness, and lots of love to you and all of yours.

In the meantime enjoy this:

http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/4tEsmKgT3MQKol2s 

I just couldn’t help myself. tee hee 

 

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Visions of sugar plumbs

I should really be out in the world doing some Christmas shopping but I just can’t get that kind of motivation today. Instead I will sit here and pay homage to all the lovely ways that people say f-you in their bustle to spread holiday joy.

Tis the season.

To the person who stole the Salvation Army kettle: what dark hole is left of your soul is sure to rot in hell. Couldn’t rob a quickie mart, mug an old lady, or abduct a senator for ransom? You had to steal from people who already have nothing. If times are that rough you should maybe ask the Salvation Army for assistance instead of helping yourself.

To the two morons who are trying to out shout each other for the last ________ (put hot toy here). It is a toy. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Lets be good parents and exercise compassion and humility. Yeah right! If your annoying “I was here first” and “this is the only thing on little Jimmy’s list” doesn’t work why don’t you entertain us all with some UFC action?!

My hat flies off to you lady of many pounds. You and your unyielding need to cart your stomach that drags the ground in the most annoying (beep…beep…beep) mode of transportation known to man. I said excuse me, you have the entire isle blocked, I would love to get past you both physically and mentally. My advice? Shop with a buddy or use the internet.

And last but not least: To the clueless woman on the phone who actually thought you had the right of way… screw you whore. I am not sure what parade float you fell from that made you think that yes, indeed, you are the queen of the universe but welcome to Earth lady. I realize it is a parking lot and those adorable little stop signs can’t really be enforced by law. This little detail does not give you the right to ignore them completely risking myself, my children and the lovely young man in his pick up truck behind me. They were probably put there for safety and not as a mere suggestion. Let’s hang up the phone, plug your brain back in and realize that it is just Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So, unless your hair is on fire or you are about have explosive diarrhea you can put those nasty comments back into that ugly sneer and slow it down.

Remember to play nice, Santa is watching!

Much love to all.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A little something crafty

I was at yet another craft sale over the weekend, just a hockin’ my wares and while on a break (good Lord I need a break) I took a walk around to check out the other crafters. Ok, it was to shop. While browsing I realized two things:

1. I cannot stand “vendors”. People who sell Pampered Chef, Party Lite, Miche Bags, or any other thing that should be an online or home party kind of product that have wiggled their way into craft/art shows.

2. I have a serious weakness for well crafted handmade jewelry.

#2 is probably because I appreciate the time and creativity that goes into making these items. Back in the day I played around with silver, enjoyed beadwork, and even mastered the fine art (ha) of hemp weaving. I was totally into it. All of it. Like ring on every finger, three necklaces at a time into it.

As I cruised the show I was reminded that while it is time consuming, it is not really a jewelry art to just string some beads on a stretchy cord and call it a bracelet, even though I do make such items and wear them in stacks on my wrist to coordinate with my mood/clothes for the day. Guilty. I would never dream of asking $8.00 for said bauble though.

In my quest to find beautiful things to buy myself Christmas gifts for my loved ones I stumbled upon a very kind couple who make the most beautiful jewelry. These very nice people were also selling their little pretties at a very reasonable price, so I (of course) felt compelled to strike a conversation and start buying.

I will however give credit where credit is due. Though not all things bought can be shared because some were bought as gifts and Christmas is still some 13 days away, I had to show you these gorgeous pieces I picked up.

DSC02422

These are my new babies. I am really not a photographer so you’ll have to take my word on just how pretty they are. I’ll give you a hint: I don’t wear dangle earrings but I had these ones on before I was 10 ft. away!

DSC02428

Can you believe these?! They spent their past life as buttons. Love them!

 

Buttons & Baubles is their operation and the lovely Elizabeth Fulk and her sweet hubby(?) are the hardworking inspiration behind my new favorite pair of earrings. Enjoy, but remember I could not purchase the entire booth like I wanted so you will have to deal with just the photos of my choices (the ones I can share… Christmas remember?!).

You can reach Beth at b-fulk@hotmail.com.

Thanks again you two!

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday shopping. Play nice Santa is watching!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Slacker.

Sorry. My day got away from me. I had every intention of making my own deadline and I had a billion things to do besides. Oops.

Forgive me and enjoy the few (very few) things I have added to my Etsy store.

I will be working on this later as well…

Hopefully! 

Lets here it for Optimism!

I am in a great mood today despite getting very little sleep. I woke very crabby and decided that just wasn’t going to do. I have since picked myself up (alright, I’m still in my jammies) and shifted into overdrive. I have an entire kitchen table full of Christmas gift projects (bummer I can’t share, I have family that read here [hint]), I have decided to fill up my Etsy store which will be very time consuming, and it is a half day for my kindergartener. A trip to drop the pooch at the groomer and sometime I should probably feed the troops makes for a jam packed day.

I will post an update later on today. I plan to have my Etsy store fully stocked by 4:00 CST.

Wish me luck!

  DSC02322

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In this house around Christmas…

I am sure that we are not too different from most homes around the holiday season but I felt like chatting about it anyway. In this house around Christmas:

  • there is a lot of anxiety, on my part.
  • at any given moment I will break into tears. Not unhappy, just weepy. I can’t hear a single Christmas song with Night in the title without losing it, which really sucks because if I could hold it together for half a second I would be singing at the top of my lungs. Much preferable to bawling like a moron.
  • my dear hubby and I go round and round about how it is not about the stuff.
  • I have a hard time transforming my home into a Christmas wonderland. If really lucky we will get the tree up before the 20th!
  • it smells like heaven. I love to bake. To me, this means anything that cooks in the oven. I refuse to limit my “I love to bake” statement to sweets. Breads, slow roasted meats, and buttery potato dishes get thrown right in along with the goodies. The only thing I don’t make are sugar cookies. They are dumb. Weird of me to say that huh? I am sure it would be a blast to decorate them, then what? They aren’t really that good.
  • I get lonely.
  • a lot of time is spent in our pajamas.
  • we are constantly in a conflict of traditions. My hubby’s family did things differently than mine did and it is always brought up. It is for this fact that I get stuck with most things. I get to shop, wrap, cook, make sure Santa finds us, arrange for photos (if I feel like it), address all cards, and tend to all things that involve the “Holiday Spirit”. And why not? I am a stay at home mom, with all the time in the world. Well, I think as Christmas coordinator for this house it would be a lot more like a family holiday if the entire family were in attendance. So there. Besides, it is exhausting.
  • we do not buy into the hype. We can agree on one thing, all of the extra “traditions” that were either created by Hallmark or passed down in a culture we do not belong to are left out of the mix. We do not celebrate St. Nicolas’ day, there is no elf on my shelf, and even though we had one as a kid an advent calendar has not yet found its way into our home.  
  • I often find myself overwhelmed.
  • I am lucky enough to have a spouse that will chip in when it comes to dire straights. That is the decorating. If he didn’t do it it would not get done.
  • my only wish is to create memories that will stand the test of time.

Here enjoy a picture of the rug rats taken last year:

DSC00940

Ok, maybe it is just a little bit about the stuff. Or maybe it is the selfish satisfaction of pleasing my beasts.

Bottom line is that there is a big picture, the main reason we are celebrating. Whatever your beliefs. For me the reason is Christmas, it is what we are celebrating. I refuse to send out “holiday” cards. My Christmas cards will always say Merry Christmas! It took a dear friend of mine, who happens to be Jewish, to point out that it is what it is and her cards always wish us a Happy Hanukkah, and I love that. 

Here’s to hoping everyone is enjoying the season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It will all be ok. It will all be ok. It will all be ok.

Trying out my new mantra.

Usually I chant “this too shall pass” but I thought I would change it up.

What a weekend! Holy moley, it’s a wonder we survived! It started Friday. My dear hubbs was home sick with a stomach virus. When I was a kid this was the flu wasn’t it? Anyway, he was ill. Then around dinner time I got sick. I prayed for the Good Lord to leave me on Earth for just a little longer, I thought sure I was going to die. I got plenty of rest Saturday and around 2:00 the baby started vomiting. Shit. This beast swept through my home so fast we didn’t know what hit us. Between projectile vomiting and butt pee we were all in a world of hurt. For exactly 12 hours. Ugh.

So after the sick had moved through I felt the need to disinfect. Everything. Not kidding. I even washed the walls in the foyer. I did something like 6 loads of laundry including all the sheets and towels. Then it happened. As if this weekend didn’t suck hard enough it happened. This was a grade A, class 1, mother of all laundry disasters. It was a red crayon.

I had no experience with this corner of hell so immediately I started to cry. Then the yelling happened. I blamed my son, I blamed myself, I threw a tantrum. Then I left, got in the car and drove up the street to Wal-mart. I had called for reinforcements on the way, both my Mom and my Mother-in Law had advice, and I went seeking answers in the same germ pit we probably cought the virus. I was told WD-40 was my answer. Then I fought with dear hubbs because it didn’t work. He had told me to get Goof-Off (?) and I didn’t so it was an “I told you so” moment for him which I retaliated with screaming.

My family abandoned me down there in the laundry room, which is what I deserved (really can you blame them?) and I was left to scrub. As my wimpy arms burned and the tears fell, I worked. I scrubbed that cursed dryer drum with the only friend who will never fail me. The Magic Eraser. It worked! No fumes, no mess, just some elbow grease and a little white sponge.

So I scrubbed. After about an hour I deemed it clean enough and I moved on to the clothes. Oh the clothes! More crying. I used (liberally) the set in stain treatment by Spray-N-Wash. Ta-Da! All but maybe one or two items survived. All in all a success.     

 DSC02323

(If you didn’t read the story you are probably thoroughly grossed out by this pic. Read. Please. It is NOT what you think!) 

 

Now if I were an expert blogger and master photographer I would have documented the entire painful process for you. Sorry. This is the only evidence I have left of the carnage that consumed my Monday evening. Honestly this is it. Well, maybe the mental scarring that my children sustained will last a little while longer but I am confident they will eventually be fine too.

Moral to this story? Hell, I forget. It’s been a looong weekend. I will, however, be checking and double checking every pocket from now on. ‘Till death do us part.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I have a couple things to say:

One:  There is a certain etiquette everyone should follow when attending a craft/art show/fair/bazaar. Even those of you who frequent flea markets and garage sales would benefit from this list. Thrift stores are excluded, you can be as rude as you want, the people who actually owned the stuff are no where around.

  • Do not walk by another persons wares and comment on how easily it would be for you to duplicate them. Really? Why don’t you then. Buy one as a pattern then make your millions. See if I care.
  • Refrain yourself from making comments like “oh, I have seen like 17 of those today”. Whether this is referring to the template on the business cards, the table decorations, or the Acura in the parking lot. No body cares. We all know there are 27 vendors with the same loop-d-loop hair bows! 
  • Lets use a little common sense. As you walk past Bobby Sue’s booth and hold up her wares as a means of getting your BFF’s attention so you can both crack up at how tacky they are remember that to you it is a blue and yellow crochet rooster that slips over your toaster as a means of decoration. To Bobby Sue it is her trade, it probably took hours to make, she is proud enough to sell it in public, and she probably truly likes them.
  • There is a time and a place for bartering. If you see me at the flea market and I am hocking hub caps, by all means haggle. If I am at a craft bazaar and I am selling hand knitted baby blankets there is no amount of sighing, hem hawing, or smooth talking that will make me lower the price of my little pretties. 
  • Just to be polite: Bring cash, carry your own tote, and for God’s sake smile once in a while.

Which brings me to…

Two:  I fear I have lost my Mojo. I am a flirt. I flirt with everyone. Always have, no one is safe. I don’t even really look at it as flirting, maybe just kidding around, ice breakers, friendliness. I bartended and worked in restaurants for 16 years. You learn real fast that kindness means money. That sort of thing sticks and I actually enjoy smiling in traffic, striking up conversation in line for the grocery check-out, or waving at a perfect stranger. Until now.

Follow me here. I was set to make a left turn into a busy four lane road with a turn lane down the middle. There was a car in the turn lane getting ready to head my way. You follow? This road is relentless and if you don’t take the opportunity to turn when it presents itself you may be waiting for quite a while. Like forever. Not a turn for the timid. Now granted I may have crazy hair at times, today I was actually feeling kind of cute, a real rarity lately. The guy in the car waiting to turn was in no way “my type”. Actually he was too old, too hairy, and kind of weird. I smiled at him. To be nice. We were both in the same boat right? HE would have to turn first if I was to get my turn so I was looking for his hole in traffic. I saw it and motioned the all clear. “Come on wanna be biker in your ‘92 Tercel! It’s your turn!”. He turns and I give a little smile and a slight wave to say “have a nice day, wish me luck”. As he drives by, and trust me I am VERY good at reading lips, I see his surly mouth form the sentence “what the f*#k is yer problem?!”.

I am stunned. Why didn’t he smile? Wink? What did I do wrong? Granted, I have never been a hottie, but usually I can get a smile by giving one! Then it hit me. I have lost it. I am too old to be flirting with random strangers. This ruined my week. I had to put on make up just to walk my kiddo to the bus stop. I am not that kind of girl!!!

Hopefully it was just this one asshole having a bad day. Maybe he hates his Mom. Maybe his wife just told him she has Syphilis. I hope I figure this out before I embarrass myself too many more times.

Time to work my pathetic size 12, mother of two butt into a pair of my hubby’s jammie pants so I can breathe while I sleep.

Sadly, 

Unhottie of the Crafty Clan

Friday, November 12, 2010

What was I thinking?!

I have been really slacking in the blog and Etsy department. I have instead been FREAKING OUT over this coming weekend. I have committed to doing a fundraiser craft fair at one of the local high schools on Saturday and on Sunday I will be a vendor in the STL Mom’s Boutique Show. YIKES!

I think I will blame my hubby for this brilliant idea. After all, his main compliment when I make anything is “you should sell these”. I just hope someone else shares his enthusiasm.

My only saving grace is that my wonderful Mom, who is also a wonderful artist and who has been a professional crafter all my life will be with me. We decided to do both shows together. She will have some hand painted items, her art work, and some of her greeting card prints. I will be bringing some glass bead bracelets, some of my Hot Patches, and my coin purses and hand bags. I am very nervous and am getting pretty excited.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The light is getting closer!

The light at the end of this tunnel, I mean. I should probably mention that this fact is both terrifying and wonderful at the same time.

Yesterday my son had his last LP with chemo. He was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) on September 28, 2007. He has been in treatment ever since. For the past three years, every three months (and much more frequently than that in the beginning), he has to go and endure this simple but horrifying procedure. Yesterday was the last one. Goodbye nigh-night medicine, goodbye needles in his back, goodbye poison in his spine.

First I heave a great sigh of relief, the second breath I will hold. It is both fantastic and scary. Bittersweet for me since I am a creature of habit. I will no longer see an entire department of hospital who have taken great care with my son, shared their lives, made us friends. I know their children’s names, their husband’s occupations, and have visited with these wonderful people for hours on end. They were there when I had questions, gave pats of encouragement when I had fear, and did I mention they adore my son and have always taken awesome care of him? I will miss the APC gang because I am happy to report we will not be back.

On a totally related yet completely random note… The wonderful people in the APC did me another favor! The first time time they had to finish off a loose tooth was a couple months ago. This time it was a big one!

 

DSC02312

Yikes!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Peer pressure

Alright. Since everyone else is doing it I will post Halloween pics too. Enjoy!

DSC02274 DSC02275

 

DSC02281 DSC02284

Can’t really beat family time at the pumpkin patch! Is there anything better than giant tire swings and swimming in corn?! Looks like Daddy is in a pumpkin picking daze, really he was wandering around waiting for his pumpkin to pick him.

 

DSC02287 

 

DSC02298 DSC02299

 

DSC02301

I always just use kitchen knives and a hand drawn “classic” face. This was the first year that I bought carving tools and stencils. It was really fun and after I drew them on the boys actually cut out their own faces.

 

DSC02303

Everything started with the swords!

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!!!

 

 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What’s in a name?

Mommybreath.

I have been asked. Can’t think of a better place to answer.

What is Mommybreath? Where did you come up with that name?

Well… It was originally said by one of my boys like this: “Ew. You have Mommybreath”. I assume that is a lot like dragon breath or coffee breath. Ick. I will admit, it was probably stinky morning breath. Nothing cute like puppy breath or baby’s breath. I come from a long line of mommies who’s breath smells like tea. Iced. Real sugar.

To me a mommybreath is the long inhale and long controlled exhale I practice in traffic when the two maniac beasts in the back seat are having a slap fight. It is the slow rhythmic monotony that occurs right before a sleep that isn’t allowed yet, sitting up nursing, holding a sleeping boy, or fulfilling my mundane duties as a mom like filling out birthday party invitations or sewing Halloween costumes. It is the many sighs I exude throughout the day either in frustration or sheer exhaustion. It is a huff of disagreement when an argument really isn’t necessary. It is the only sound for the full hour I am alone to do yoga and in that hour sometimes this mommybreath sometimes sounds like “ohm”. It is the panting in short bursts when the pain is about to win and the heavy exhale followed by heaves of joy when the pain is gone for good and he is finally in your arms. It sometimes sounds like air escaping from a tire. Sometimes it is startled and sucks in sharp.

My mommybreath comes with asthma, frequently gives a sarcastic “huh”, and up until a few months ago smelled like cigarettes. Mine changes. Frequently. It has been stopped by the horror of bad news, held for the arrival of any news, and exploded out in sobs of happiness when the good news arrives. My mommybreath is a long slow inhale with my nose burried in one of my little guys’ hair…

What is your mommybreath?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Monday is Hoppin’!

I had so much fun last week that I am going to do another blog hop this Monday.

Here is where I went:

 

BLOG TITLE

 

 

 

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

 

 

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is it just me or…

Is it just me or…

  • is the Smart car the dumbest thing ever?! Totally dangerous. Only morons buy these.
  • doesn’t a beer sound really good right now?
  • when I say I don’t want to talk about it, I mean I really don’t want to talk about it.
  • is Chinese food a total waste of money? I hate you for being yummy.
  • is Tony Danza teaching high school?! On tv?!
  • do you think of the Phoebe version of “Tiny Dancer” every time you hear that guy’s name?
  • does the same guy that drives the Smart car also ride his Segway around the neighborhood? Douche!
  • do all the really great writing topics hit while in no position to write them down?
  • do you want to throw a party because Twizzlers are a fat free food?
  • are you bored of this?

 

We had Chinese buffet for dinner, after we vowed to eat at home every night, and also after I had already made an entire brisket dinner. Why? Who the hell really knows. Hubby had a crap day and wanted crab legs. Now I don’t have to cook all weekend. Win/win if you’re asking. We were accompanied by my sister and her crew: son and boyfriend (aren’t we too old to say “boyfriend”?). My nephew is the most kick ass little dude and sissy’s chunk-o-happiness (maybe I should say slice, he is so not a chunk!) has been a very good friend of ours for many years. All in all good company. He really won my heart with some cheesy one-liners at fortune time. Hey, I am easy to please.

Let’s do some Confucius say:

Man who stands on toilet gets high on pot.

Man who go to sleep with itchy butt wake up with stinky finger.

(my fave) Man who lay woman on ground gets piece on Earth.

Last but not least (my addition) Wise man say: never cook bacon naked.

 

So… lets get out there, do our best, and have some fun this weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Geeks Be Damned!!!

I unfortunately was unable to wreak havoc on the land that is Best Buy. My Grandparents, convinced they are happy with their purchases, have told me they would do not feel any need to seek answers about their charges. (Pride? I get that.)

Fine.

I am utterly displeased about a f-ing punk ass salesman taking advantage of an elderly couple in need of a little convenience. I mean, it would be like me going to buy a compact car and walking off the lot with a freakin' jet plane!!!

But... since I love them, they are the best after all, I will cease and desist. I will, however, NOT be buying anything from Best Buy or Geek Squad for all of eternity.

Go ahead, piss me off, I can hold a grudge 'till you die of natural causes!

Oh, and don't think for a second I won't tell every one I ever meet!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I am kicking a Geek’s ass!!!

Tonight I went to visit two of my favoritest people- my Grandparents. Grandpa wanted to show off his new computer and he had a few questions. After spending two hours trying to acclimate him to his new machine, with no success, I asked my Grandma what this beast cost. I looked at the receipt and was appalled!!!

My Grandparents just paid well over $1400 for a $600 Dell. WHAT THE F*#K?!?!?!

Let me tell you how.

1. My grandparents paid the Geek squad to come out and set up their new mess $149.99.

2. They were then charged for an external hard drive to “back up” the old computer. $80 and $69.99 to install. Now let me stress this is completely unnecessary. The internal hard drive has 620 GB, the external another 245 GB. Only like 148 GB is being used. Could this not have been done by disk?!?!?

3. As I was looking at the receipt there was a miscellaneous charge for $2.99 that carried a 2 year warranty for $47!!! Can someone please explain this????

4. Then the monitor was an extra $180 (Mine came with one! A huge one!) and the new HP print/scan/copy/lawn mower/security system/ fax cost another $210 (Mine came with one!!!). 

5. My lovely Grandma couldn’t figure out why the old computer had a word processer on it and this fancy new one didn’t. The Microsoft disk was sitting only four inches to the left, but instead this Geek charged them $149.99 for the complete Microsoft office suite!!! You can buy just Word for like $38!!!

So lets break this down:

Some asshole working a commission job saw the pay dirt when my 80 year old Grandparents walked into Best Buy. He charged them for things they obviously did not need, and will never use to boost his sales. On top of all this I spent quite a bit of time trying to explain to my Grandpa how this new system works. The kicker? There is only one email my dear sweet Gramps likes to use. It is win mail. The Geek who set up the computer said he didn’t like the win mail and deleted it. Who gives a shit what you prefer you rapist. This was the only mail my Grandpa wanted and you threw it out. Who’s computer is this anyway you ass?!?!? 

So…

Watch out Geek Squad! Hell, watch out Best Buy! I will be there first thing in the morning, receipt in hand for an explanation.

Tuesday Hop

This was fun!

Look at a couple of the places I went today!!!

 

To-the-TOP Tuesday 

 

BWS tips button

 

Photobucket

I joined a blog hop?

I usually never do these but I really thought this one sounded like fun. Besides, who can say no to a little more exposure!

Come hop along with me here.
Check out the link list here: http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=49715%22


Happy Tuesday everyone!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rant<Fun

This weekend my dear husband and I were able to get out of town for some much needed irresponsible behavior. Before any of the fun can happen I will have 714 minor breakdowns, one gigantic argument with my soon to be traveling companion, at least 5 minutes of severe depression, one lesson in housework for said companion, and two tiny disasters. 

Six days ago it occurred to me that I had in fact bought concert tickets, booked a hotel room, arranged for my children to be cared for, and have arranged for my hubby’s cousin to stay with our dog for no obvious reason other than I need a break. Crap! I totally forgot I needed a break. I have been too busy to remember I actually planned to take a break, and because I forgot I now am double busy!!!

It is the start of the week… I still have six days…

Monday: Did some groceries, narrowly avoid boredom, nature walk and feed ducks at park.

Tuesday: Remember that I am dropping the ball on including, in the last week before school starts, anything that was fun. So I load the car up with fun shit and head off to our local recreation facility. That sounded too official. The city owned version of the Y. Which works out great because our Y really, really sucks. It is aptly named the Rec Plex. Fun, huh? We went swimming when it was only 68 degrees outside. We watched both the swim team and the dive team do some really cool stuff. We had fun, just my boys and me, before cycle break was over.

Wednesday: Crap! It’s Wednesday already?!?  I was a recluse today. We stayed home. We cooked, cleaned, and some of us (not me) handed out lectures on how staying home was the most boringest thing we could do with the last week of our cycle break. Does it really have to be a circus everyday? Then The hubbs’ cousin came by for the house key and stayed to enjoy my Mom’s delish spaghetti recipe. That was nice, I was feeling really lonely and closed in.

Thursday: Cleaned like a mad woman. Then packed a pic-nic lunch and headed out to run a couple errands and run off some pent up energy. Not me, the boys, I already cleaned remember? We finally get to sit down to a late lunch. It is the same park w/ the duck pond except this time I am prepared. I am so prepared that I have even packed lunch for the ducks! I lay out the wonderful spread that is our meal and took survey. The boys had everything they needed so I got out my salad, dressing, crackers, apple… SERIOUSLY?! I forgot a fork. Deep breath. Ok, another deep breath. My boys sense my frustration and chime in “What are you going to do Mom?” and “Great, looks like this pic-nic is cancelled”. It took one more breath before I began eating my salad with my fingers. My shocked two little boys thought this was hilarious. Aaahhh… the moments we will remember…  The rest of the night consisted of finishing up the laundry and making the house look presentable enough for our guest. I made my adorable life partner (I am still mad at him) clean the pissed up hall bathroom. He stalled, he whined, he finally got in there and from the looks did a nice job. I knew he could. But the smell! Holy moley! It smells like an ass full of feet that has been peed on and deep fried in BO! Man, what did you do?!? It is still a mystery. I re-cleaned the whole thing before bed so we are good. 

Friday: Whoo Hoo!!! T-4 hours until I am out of town bound! My honey worked a half day so it was up to me to pack and deliver the children. Which all happened before 11:30am. Then I went home and packed us grown ups. After a quick shower for my hard workin’ man we are off.

We had a great trip. We went to Kansas City to see Widespread Panic at the Midland. Everything was perfect. The hotel was in walking distance of everything, the show was killer, we even had the best late night breakfast at a place called Fran’s. Life is good.

Well, except for my clumsiness. I think I really messed up my foot slipping off a carpeted step at the show. No surprise. The hotel’s extra special amenities make up for all that though. They boast a luxurious shower with two shower heads:

DSC02159

Still makes me chuckle. Not exactly what I pictured. 

Have a great week everyone!!!    

Friday, October 1, 2010

I forgot…

With Pandora set to estrogen with a side of Van, I am fully immersed in sew mode. I totally forgot to mention that I started my very own Etsy store! Ta Da!

My dear sweet husband is always telling me with whatever it is that I am crafting at the time that I should sell them, whatever “they” happen to be in that moment of my project ADD. It, to me, is the best compliment a man who is not at all interested in decorating, gifting, design, or wear-ables could offer. Or maybe he is just trying to recoup some of the cost all my “supplies” have incurred. Oops.

So… there is really not much on the site right now because I have a lot more pictures to take. Bear with me. In the meantime check it out: www.mommybreath.etsy.com

Now go have an awesome weekend, will ya?!

Busy today

I have started another couple purses with a couple fabrics I just LOVE! I skipped going to the gym today to get these done… I know, probably not the wisest choice.

DSC02139

 

Now to figure out the handles and or clasps…

Ahhh… Friday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday’s Ride

I have done it. I swore it was not possible but I have found one. I have found a fart that isn’t funny. Sadness overwhelms me as this reality sinks in. I thought for sure this would never happen.

It occurred to me today, when the boys and I arrived home, that it is not at all funny when your entire house smells like sick ass because our beloved dog is sick and has fart/ explosive diarrhea combos. I don’t know what is wrong with our baby girl but she has apparently picked up a stomach bug. She literally soiled every square inch of my kitchen while we were off enjoying this gorgeous day. I feel so bad for her as I heave a great sigh and reach for disinfectant. It is exactly like when you have a sick child and they throw up all over their bed. It is a combination gross-out-pain-in-the-ass/sympathetic-need-to-care-for-them. I hope this passes by the morning otherwise the wonderful (love our vet!) Dr. King will be hearing from us.

On the lighter side of life, today my wonderfully trying boys decided to behave so that we could enjoy life out and around town. I met a few of my Mommy’s Group for breakfast. We don’t meet regularly but today I had the time to join up for breakfast. We were celebrating both a birthday and a job opportunity today so the morning was filled with good conversation. I had to drag my boys along since we are on cycle break from school. They were pretty well behaved and I promised a fun day if they didn’t act up and embarrass me.

The deal has been they since they are increasingly getting worse in the behavior department and I seem to have acquired the special power of invisibility that if they act up we do nothing. The weather is perfect this time of year and I notified them that they could either spend cycle break with fun filled activities everyday or waste it at home, in trouble. I will add that this is almost the end of our second week, and they only get three off, and they are just now figuring out I mean business.

Today after breakfast we headed to Turtle Park. For those of you not familiar with St. Louis, it is a small patch of grass right next to the highway with giant concrete and realistically detailed turtles for you to walk around and climb on. The kids love it. Since it is right across from the zoo and we are zoo members we decided to just run in for a quick train ride. When we got there the Zoomagination Zone was empty so we got stuck playing there for a bit. They have the most awesome stuff to see and do. Then we jumped on the train and hopped off once only long enough to enjoy a popsicle (we were thirsty) and check out the new baby giraffe then we were off to finish up our ride and head home.

Today is my Daddy’s birthday so we are headed over there after lunch. I hope we get many more of these fun filled days before it’s back to the grind. I sure do love taking my buddies out when they are not acting like freaks!      

Monday, September 27, 2010

Out of Control

I am sure my dear sweet husband, with whom I can’t seem to get along with lately, is so pleased with the fact that our kitchen table now looks like the remnants bin at the fabric store.

DSC02125

 

Sorry! I went in search of one thing specific and landed myself in the middle of a “blow-out” sale. I NEEDED to take advantage of this. I did get a couple really cute things (my opinion) made out if it tonight though. See?

 

DSC02123

 

DSC02119        DSC02121

Light the Night

As Team Colombatto walked in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night I spent a good part of the night choking back tears. I always seem to keep hold of myself through the planning and the registration and all the high energy fuss that is everything leading up to the actual walking. As soon as my feet hit the path I feel like I just can’t see. My heart is full. I well up for the people both young and old who are visibly sick. I bite my lip for all the people carrying the gold balloons for the loved ones they are remembering. I snivel for the little man who is holding my hand, who without I would not be at this function. I shed a tear for all of the people who are walking right beside me, on my team, for a cause I am passionate about. Team Colombatto Consisted of 21 members this year. Some who I knew wouldn’t miss it and some I never thought in a million years would be there.

DSC02089

I am grateful. To each one of you. From the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pros and Cons (really cons then pros)

What I can’t stand:

  • Having a dog that can shed more than I can vacuum.
  • Diet soda.
  • Fake friends.
  • My ice maker being on the fritz.

Things that I think are cool right now:

  • My sister being happy (new boyfriend, ewww).
  • Homemade purses.
  • My adorable (and slightly overweight) hubby.
  • The weird shit that comes out of my kiddos’ mouths.
  • Glass beads.
  • Funny and totally random stuff seen daily.

Here, lookey:

DSC02078  DSC02079

I made these because coin purses are my new favorite! The inside is always way better than the outside.

 

DSC02045 DSC02081

I have been carrying around this first draft sack since I finished it. Without a pattern. All my crap inside. I think I will send it to my baby sis, she will get some good use out of it. 

 

 

DSC02084

I have had these beads forever. Decided to string them to wear. They are unpolished glass, soo pretty!

 

DSC02074

Saw this thing on the road. The turn key actually rotated while they were driving! So cool!

DSC02076

This I see as I leave my subdivision everyday. Soo true. All you planet destroying monsters, take heart! Use the f-ing recycle bins the city provides because past this sign we have to haul our own recycle!!!

Sorry about another random post. I had these pics I wanted to share.

Hope your hump day is happy! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Swords All Around

This year for Halloween both of my boys have to be something that wields a sword. It was laid out in very plain English for me that they required swords to “be” anything this year. So we started thinking of all the things that carry a sword. I suggested Viking, Pirate, Ninja, Knight in Shining Armor, Samurai, Robin Hood, and this went on forever! Finally my big guy said “a Knight!” and his brother said “a Pirate!”. My little guy wanting to be a pirate is kinda funny considering he wanted to be a pirate last year and changed his mind when we actually went looking for costumes. Then my nephew ended up being the cutest little pirate guy so it is a pretty dang popular character in our family. Besides, who doesn’t want to be a pirate?

In my Pilates class we do a series of movements called The Sword. In this exercise you could be standing, kneeling, on an exercise ball, or whatever because the lower body is not as important in this movement. With your upper body you have both hands at one hip and with a stretch band, weights, or even nothing you extend one arm from that opposite hip up to an extended arm on the same side. Sheesh! That sounds like Twister. Or torture. Think John Travolta Stayin’ Alive with the finger move. OR… Think of unsheathing a sword like before Medieval duel. Ffffsshhinnngg!!! I always wanted to learn fencing, my Dad said it was a useless skill, since he was paying I still know nothing about fencing. I really should thank him since it is a pretty useless skill and sword dueling only happens in my living room these days. I like to sharpen my cooking knives with the steel just for that sound though. It is just plain cool. Ffffsshhhiinnggg!!!

The point to this (if there ever really even was one) is that every time I do this move in my Pilates class, usually full of women, most of them middle aged, I hear my three year old ffsshing shing-ing around my house and it always makes me giggle. Right in the middle of class. Better than farting (remember this?).  

Looks like I will be in sewing machine overload for the next several weeks!

Until then I will leave you with this old pic. It is cute though, and they were having fun. My poor baby. That is not a sword, or a light saber, or a tunic, or a belt. Instead he gets to have the padding from a baby computer thingy that plugged in to the T.V., a t-shirt of mine, and a scarf like thing I wear in my hair. He is only 22 months here so I guess it doesn’t matter as long as he was playing with brother.

HPIM1389

Funny things my guys have said lately:

My five year old described the back of his knee as “the armpit part of my leg”.

My three year old exclaims while snuggling “Ack! There’s a hair in my mouth! I don’t even like hair!!!”.

Was this post really random or what?

On a totally different subject…I think I will start posting all the super cool purse ideas I have come up with lately…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hump Day

Get your mind out of the gutter. It is Wednesday. The fact that it is indeed Wednesday and I have a few minutes to sit and dribble on here is a sign that we have survived yet another small hurdle.

Yesterday was a dreaded clinic day. My buddy did fantastic (all things considered). Today I got a call from the school nurse that little dude wasn’t feeling well and wanted to come home. Do you ever get this call? I drop everything like it was covered in poop and set on fire to get to my kiddo. I know there are parents out there that dawdle around and eventually pick up their child, for whatever reason you are stalling it is not worth it. I love my kids. More than life.

After a dose of Zofran my little guy is almost righted. We are relaxing. I am doing a little (very little, have we met?) cleaning up, a little blogging, and some comfort baking so as to not waste almost spoiled bananas. Which brings me to the best part of this post… The recipe!

This is the easiest, most yummy and fail-proof banana bread recipe I have ever made.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease yourself a bread pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 or 4 over-ripe mashed bananas

In a big bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a not so big bowl cream butter and sugar. Then add eggs and bananas and stir that mess all together. Add the goo you just made to the flour mix in the big bowl. Stir that together too. Pour batter into the pan that you greased and put it all into the oven for like an hour or so. Do the toothpick thingy to make sure the center is done and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before you dump it onto a cooling rack.

Preparation time: who gives a crap. It is comfort food and half of the comfort is in the making.

Enjoy. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Enough with the whining!

I had a very blunt but dear friend mention that I have been quite whiny lately. For this I will apologize. Uh… sorry, man.

This is for you dude…

You Are Awesome

Please check out Alisa over at Snarky Cards. I unfortunately do not know this wonderful Alisa but she makes me laugh. And has big balls. Big hilarious make me spit tea all over my monitor balls! Glad I stumbled across her site today, it was just what I needed. Rest assured when I finally win this test of wits with my Paypal account I will be stocking up.

Enjoy!

I got nuthin’

I had every intention of sitting here and ranting about what my life is like lately, then I sat here and talked myself out of it because who wants to hear that sad boring crap anyway? Not me.

Sooo… I still felt the need to post something and I’m still really aggravated so I will just speak hypothetically. Then maybe you can relate and stick your own characters in and I won’t be so boring.

This is what my life has been like lately. Vaguely. Sort of.

Have you ever witnessed someone cover their entire body in poop and and when the inevitable happens they run screaming “why are all these flies on me?!?!”?

Have you ever watched someone pick their nose, come off with a giant booger and then try to blame it on everyone else in the room?

Have you ever watched someone who is drowning yell to the shore “don’t worry, it’s okay, I’ll be fine”? Then you throw them a rope, because you love them, and they toss it back only to hit you in the face and say “no really, I deserve this” because what they really wanted was for you to jump in and swim them to shore.

Ever notice that there is always a cousin’s neighbor’s brother’s cable guy’s bar mitzvah to attend, all of a sudden,  on the precise day you really could have used a rope?

Have you ever given away all your slap bracelets to people whom you thought would really enjoy them only to find out the fad lasted like a nanosecond? Then you see the slap bracelets that you spent your hard earned babysitting money on in the trash?

Ever wish in one hand and crap in the other?

Ever screamed at the top of your lungs just to see if anyone can hear you and then without flinching the person you are sitting next to says “hey, ya gonna eat that”?

Ever been craving popcorn all day, finally put some in the microwave, go to turn on the TV, and have the cable be out, then your popcorn burns and you have to sit there seething with nothing to watch and burnt popcorn smell everywhere?

This was kind of dumb. Fun. But dumb.

I should have just said what I wanted to say. This person can’t even be bothered to see things right in front of their face, much less read something. Or pick up the phone.

But I wasted all this time, so here ya go. It’s late. It is after midnight even though my timestamp says otherwise. Hey, how the heck do I fix that anyway? Grrr…

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Things that I am tired of:

  • My car. It is about to up and die, I just know it. So maybe it is tired of me too.
  • Attitude from my three year old.
  • Secrets.
  • Geico commercials. Though, I’ll admit the recent ones hold small amounts of humor.
  • Laundry.
  • My house. I want to pick it up and shake it then put it down in a different location.
  • Five year old sass.
  • Feeling lonely but never really being alone.
  • The color of my toe nails. Why is it I never have polish remover?!?!
  • Drama.
  • Waiting for an eternity for my favorite shows to return. I mean really! Don’t you people get paid the big bucks to entertain us? Earn your millions for crying out loud. I don’t need the suspense of a five month wait, I was going to watch the show anyway. Now I just forgot what happened last season! Grrr…
  • Seeing yet another medical bill in the mail.
  • Lazy people.
  • The flabby parts around my middle.
  • Insomnia…

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Craft Snobs

I have the utmost respect for people that are experts in their field. Lord knows I am an expert of nothing worth talking about. I just really can’t stand a snob.

I use a sewing machine that I have had for over 10 years. I love it. It is simple, efficient, and it was a gift from my Mom. I sew along merrily and it makes a little chugchugchugchug sound. Until recently. Now we fight. It makes a very ugly CHUNKCHUNKCHUNK and if it could it would surely spit at me. I have no idea where we went wrong. I have tinkered around with it a bit and thought I had solved our problem but the last time I tried to sew it could not hold tension at all. My stitches were all wanky and there was thread everywhere! Finally I resigned to taking it in for someone to look at. Much to my surprise, in a town of roughly 349,407 there is only two places who fix sewing machines. The first place made perfect sense, if you have a vacuum, sewing machine, blender, weed whacker, or any other small appliance they will take care of what ails it. I walk in and a very nice man tells me to simply clean and tune up my machine it would cost $79.99 and take thee to four weeks to get it back to me. Wha?!? Forget it. I am pretty sure for not much more than that I could have a brand new, albeit simple, machine (which without the sentimental value would feel empty). So off I go in search of the other place.

The fabric store moved down a couple blocks and opened into a fabric store/home decor/craft-splosion center. In the center of their showroom-o-fantastic ideas there is a sewing machine shop. I grab a cart and wheel my beloved machine and my smallest child back to their register and greet the smiling lady in front of me. She looks at me, looks at the machine case, looks at me and asks how she can help us today. I tell smiling sewing machine lady that I need my machine repaired. She grabs a repair ticket and asks all of the appropriate questions; name, address, phone… and what kind of machine is it? “Kenmore, basic” I reply. Now what happens next I can not accurately describe. I just don’t know how to put this action into words. It would probably be the same reaction I would have received if I were to walk into the Maserati dealer un-showered, with my two children, holding a sword and announce “I’ll take five!!!”.

Quite simply she had mistaken me for someone who was joking so she asked to see it then looked me in the eye and said “you should really think about an electronic machine”. As we are standing over my apparent ghetto dinosaur another lady walks up holding the foot petal to an ancient sewing machine. That stupid smiling bitch  lady dropped me like a hot rock for the woman with the obvious antique. Really?!?! She commented how popular that piece was in the 30’s and told the antique she would be with her momentarily and turned back to me to say “Anyway, you should really think about an electronic machine. We can do something with this but it will cost you $59.95”. I notify her that the person on the phone the day before said it would only be $54.95. And I quote: “That person was wrong (I am pretty bad with names but I am almost positive it was her!) but I guess I can honor that price. We are going to need a deposit. (All of a sudden?!?!) Can you give me $10?”. I say sure, hand her a $10 bill from my wallet and wait for my receipt. She digs one more time before she takes my machine from me “Have you ever even tried an electronic machine? With a computer element? It really is superior.” I tell her as nicely as I have left in me that I am not interested in sewing with a computer and as far as I was concerned my machine was already electronic since I did indeed have to plug it in to the wall before I was able to turn it on.

There was an embroidery sample laying on one of the sewing tables that my son remarked was beautiful. I agreed with him and the woman who I cannot even describe as smiling anymore tells him “it was done on one of our computer assisted embroidery machines” like he gives a shit, he’s three! “I guess the fine art of hand embroidery is dead?” I say. “Why bother when my machine can do it so much faster with fewer mistakes? You should really think about looking into one.” she replies. Is this person just the thickest?!? “No thanks, I sew because I enjoy it, not because I have to.”

This, my friends, is exactly the problem. Why do something considered an art form, a craft, a talent, a stress reliever when you can just have some stupid machine do it for you. I am not talking about ironing here, it’s sewing! I do not run a sweat shop nor do I have to sew anything at all. I simply like to do it. For fun. Weird, huh?

The sad part? I will forever be looking at “handmade” items with skepticism. Was it really handmade or did someone just use their hands to plug in the coordinates to a machine and let it do all the work? It’s not like I am weaving the fabric and then stitching it together with my own hands. I am just the idiot running a very basic sewing machine, and loving every minute of it!     

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

KK Mommies

One afternoon, looong ago, I was shopping with my sister and my newborn. My first born. He was all of about three weeks old and I just had to get out of my frickin’ house. We loaded up the diaper bag and the stroller and set off for some walking/shopping. Naturally after about twenty minutes he is hungry and starting to fuss. Oh crap. This is a first for me. I chose this particular mall because it was new and equipped with a fancy new nursing room. A comfortable private place to feed your little ones. We speed walk to the family restroom and are relieved to see the sign “nursing lounge”. With my huge stroller *blush* I bust open the door to find another mother, her new baby, and her friend. “Oh, I am so sorry” I say as I am about to slink back out the door. She replies ”there’s plenty of room if it doesn’t bother you, we are fine”. Saved. We stuff ourselves in, all four of us ladies and our two tiny hungry babies. Awkward…

After a few polite minutes we start to warm up. She is from my part of town and her baby girl is a few weeks older than my baby. We start to chat about being new moms and all the unexpected things come with choosing to nurse exclusively. Then she tells me of this wonderful nursing support group she attends. Okay, I’m all ears! Other people just like me who are dedicated to doing what is natural and right by their children? Super. She tells me they meet once a week and where to find it. It is located in a resale shop with a little coffee shop in the front. The bummer was that it was 40 minutes away from where we live. My sister recognizes the name of the place because one of the women she works with mentioned she bought a baby wearing sling there and just loved it. My sister had every intention of gifting me one of these slings so she made me promise to take her. I think secretly, though it was no secret, she knew I would not have gone alone.

Kangaroo Kids is the the name. They are like a thrift store that specializes in maternity support. We walk in and the place is packed! We are also just a minute or two late and everyone is staring. Poop. What looked at first glance as a feminist rally complete with topless protesting turned out to be one of the most wonderful decisions I ever made. These ladies were just like me! A good majority of these women were first time mothers, a lot were using cloth diapers, A good number of them were skilled in baby wearing (which I did not get at the time), we had relatively the same issues and views on parenting and I left with a very good feeling about this place.

I returned for these meetings every week for the next two years. We were a support system, we shared advice, talked with no end, we became friends. These women came from all walks of life with all different incomes, different cultures, religions, values, colors, styles, and countries. Outside of this circle we really had very little in common but here we were the same. Not even all of these moms nursed their babies and even though it was started as a nursing group, one thing was sure: we needed each other.

When our babies started getting bigger we would meet at each other’s homes for “play dates” and we would spend time together outside of the group meetings. A monthly “Mom’s Night Out” worked its way in along with holiday parties and babysitting swaps. I would say there were about a dozen of us who kept touch regularly. We had all watched our first babies grow and together we started having seconds or thirds. Life was changing fast for us crunchy stay-at-homes. Some in the group stayed closer than others and some had to move away. One thing has never changed though, even though we never find ourselves in Kangaroo Kids the doors are always open. It does not matter how long you have been away these Moms are happy to see you back.

This morning I had breakfast with a group of my KK Mommies. My “Mommy’s Group” I call them. It was so comfortable to just sit and visit with these women. Just like the old days. I have not been around in a while, lives get busy, I think it has been since the holidays since I have seen most of this group but it never feels weird. It always feels like I am welcome. These are all great people who are stronger for all of their differences.   

It was a little bittersweet this morning since all of our “first babies” for without whom we would surely have not met have gone off to school. Only a few of our younger kiddos came along today. We laughed, we grieved, we did what we do best and ate!

Not everyone I wanted to see could make it this morning so… Can’t wait till next time!

Thanks KK Moms!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clinic Day (3)

It was in this same waiting room, about two years ago when I realized I was not okay. After the initial shock of diagnosis there are about six months of on and off intense treatment then you get put on a maintenance program for a little over two years. My little guy was through the hardest things his body would ever experience and into maintenance much to everyone’s relief. Or so I thought. If you asked how I was I was fine. I was not. I didn’t even know it. I was waiting in the little area outside the gift shop for Bubs to come out of a procedure much like the one I just described. No big deal, right? I got my snack and sat down to wait. I took one drink of my soda and the world went quiet and started to narrow in on me. I had blacked out. It took all of a millisecond, which felt much longer, for me to come around. The reason I know it was not any amount of time is because there was a waiting area full of people and no one had noticed. I had enough of anxiety and stress and my body was pushed to the brink. I didn’t even feel all that stressed. My doctor would soon after tell me that the dark circles, bad complexion, hair loss, and unexplained twelve pounds were a sure sign that even though I thought I was okay I surely was not. It figures, ya know, he was finally out of the really scary stuff and I start falling apart. One fancy prescription (I will tell you about that Dr. visit some other time, it was funny) and two extra yoga classes a week and I start to resemble the living. 

So once again, here I wait. When my pager goes off I gather up my things and rush back to my buddy. He is sleeping soundly and this time he has what looks like a hanky gag from a horror flick in his mouth. Yikes! What the? Aaahhh! The tooth! Why is it still bleeding? Can he breathe? Was it not ready to come out? The adorable little nurse looks at me and smiles. I am acting like a rookie. Again. Breathe. It was fine, he did well, the tooth was ready, they didn’t want him to choke on the little bit of blood, if he were awake and it came out he would have just swallowed it without knowing, he needs to stay lying down for 24 more minutes. Whew. I pick my book back up and settle in to wait.

I like to let him sleep as long as he wants. Coming out of anesthesia is hard and requires rest. Something like 35 or 40 minutes later he starts to stir. He notices the dollar bill folded into a ring on his finger. The nurse explains that the tooth just popped out while he was sleeping, and since he was sleeping the Tooth Fairy made a little visit, but since he didn’t even know his tooth was out she left it for him to put under his pillow that night. Double prizes, that’s what Children’s is good for, the spoiling. He is surprised and happy. He slowly munches and sips. He watches a little  bit of cartoons through heavy eyelids. After half his snack and about 20 minutes he is wobbly but antsy. We ask for a wheelchair and head off. The day is thankfully over.

I maneuver him to the parking garage and get him settled in. We have the long winding journey to the outside world and as we are leaving the gate I am positive it is Sigourney Weaver’s voice I hear telling me to have a good day through the garage gate machine. Huh. Hope fully only one more of these before chemo ends in December. Thank God. 

Boy, I’m on a roll today! I will tell you later how the rest of that night went.

‘Till then…

Clinic Day (2)

Joe. My kids LOVE Joe. Joe is a guy who is retired and volunteers at he Hematology/Oncology clinic at Children’s Hospital as well as other wonderful places. He is a little older, not too much older, bald, not tall, not big, not really what you would imagine as a child’s playmate. He has a dry sense of humor, is intelligent, and really friendly. The kids just love him. I think he’s a pretty cool dude too. So after my little guy gets his port accessed he likes to run back to the play room to find Joe. I take this time to visit along the way with the nurses and staff that have become friends over the years. By the time I make it to where the playing is going on the two of them are engaged in a serious game of Battleship. I get out my book. We are simply killing time until we have to head down to the first floor to the Ambulatory Procedure Center. His appointment down at the APC is at noon so we have to check in at 11:00. We have about 40 min to play. After a looong game of Battleship the guys try their hand at some Guess Who, I receive the paperwork I need to make next month’s appointment and we are off.

We take the elevator again and head to registration. This is a pain in my butt, necessary for billing and all that jazz but stupid all the same. They call us back to the APC and we get settled into our curtain lined cubby hole. Little dude finds some cartoons to watch and I settle in with my book again. We wait. And wait. This is sheer torture, he’s NPO remember? It is almost noon and we have done all the formalities, jumped the correct hoops and signed all the right papers. I have not eaten either (what kind of mom would I be?!?) and about this time I get quite pissed. What the frick could be taking so long?!?! Don’t they know he’s starving? And whining? When the Anesthesiologist finally comes to talk to me I start to see a light at the end of this Great Wall of China sized tunnel. She asks me all the regular questions except this time when they ask if he has any loose teeth I proudly exclaim “yes!”. Then jokingly I ask if she could be a dear and help me out with my dental co-pay, you see if it is just a cleaning it is covered 100% but this one needs to come out (shark teeth) and would be considered an extraction = co-pay. She said, excitedly (for an Anesthesiologist), that she would be happy to pull it while he is out,they do it all the time she tells me. Whoa! Really??? Cool!

This used to be a procedure they would perform in the clinic under sedation, for which I would have to write a whole other novel about cruelty in its simplest form, and even though we have to wait it is much better this way. His procedure is an LP (lumbar puncture) with chemo. A spinal tap in which they remove spinal fluid for testing and replace it with Methotrexate which mingles with the other spinal fluid, surrounds his spinal cord and protects it from this nasty disease. They test/poison his spinal fluid every three months to make sure the mutated white blood cells have not seeped into his central nervous system and affected his brain. So far every spinal fluid test has been negative. This is wonderful for two reasons: he has never had cancer cells in his brain and he has never needed radiation.

Finally it is his turn. 12:17. They wheel his bed back to the procedure room. It is bright and scary and full of instruments. They do all kinds of Medieval torture on kiddos here. Everything from tubes in your ears to an MRI. The Anesthesiologist hooks up the white tube of Propaphol, I kiss my baby and tell him I love him, and she starts to squeeze. My brave little guy is nervous and starts to protest and is quickly rendered unconscious. I am handed a pager (what am I waiting for a table at a steak house?!) and told to leave and they get started on my buddy. I walk out the door and it is shut behind me. When I hear parents of healthy children that need a simple procedure like tubes in the ear (I actually had this done a few times as a kid) freaking out about the sedation and all the worries they have about thier babies I tend to be insensitive. Like “Really?! That’s a big deal to you? They don’t even use an IV anymore, just gas! And gosh it takes care of the problem instantly”. But it is in this moment that I am helpless, same as them. It is a big deal, no matter how small. That is my baby in there. If a doctor told me he had to have something simple like tubes I would first look to the sky and scream “anything else?!?!?” and then I would freak out same as you. Now, I have been here a million times and there is something about this moment when I am helpless that always makes me cry. I shed my tiny embarrassing tears now that I am used to it, I bawled like a baby back in the day. I make my way to the gift shop, Bubs needs his own little bag of Cheeze-Its and a Coke for when he wakes up. I need a little snack too and I head to the waiting area with my munchies to wait for my pager to flash, vibrate, and scream. It always seems to take forever, or about 20 minutes.

Looks like this is a three part-er. Sheesh! Sorry.

Clinic Day (1)

Every month we have a clinic day. Always on a Tuesday. Every three months my buddy has to have a procedure on top of the dreaded clinic visit. This has been going on for about two years. I should say he has a clinic day but since I have been to every one of them and it is usually an event everyone (me and both boys) is forced to endure, I will say “we”. Shall we walk through this one?

This ordeal has changed quite a bit in recent months and has been evolving as my son has aged. In the beginning I would have panic attacks. Lately I have found it a perfect opportunity to get some reading done. It is never okay. I wake my son extra early. Today we have to take little brother to Grandma’s house. It is 6:45 in the morning and I have already showered and laid clothes out for both my boys. My alarm went off at 6:00. I know there are tons of you that get up at dawn, exercise, eat whole breakfasts, shower, and are off to the daily grind by this time but this is not how we function. Imagine yourself and your routine, now do it two hours earlier. I wake my little dude and he is already whining. He doesn’t want to go and is trying to plead his case against it. I assure him I understand his protest and calmly explain that we don’t really get much choice, it is all for the better, and he needs to get dressed before we are late. He replies to this with more hostility as if I am not listening or just too stupid to get it. He tells me he hates the clinic and wants to stop taking medicine, he says he is done and it breaks my heart. I remind him that we are not quitters. I have to get little brother ready too.

After some prying both kids are ready. Teeth are brushed, shoes are on, bodies are in the car and everyone is very unhappy. There was no breakfast today. NPO, roughly translates to nothing by mouth. This is a simple form of torture for everyone. Even though it is for his safety, and there is no explaining that, it is a recipe for crabbiness. My son will receive general anesthesia around the same time everyone else is enjoying their lunch. I have a cup of milk for the little guy, a cup of apple juice for the big one (that has to be taken away in an hour) and my tea is ready to go. It’s 7:25 and we are headed to Grandma’s. Lucky for us she is an early riser. She is waiting for us and meets us at the door. Goodbyes are said and she tells my dude to be brave. He cries that he wants to hang out for just a minute longer. We can’t stay.

The drive to Children’s Hospital is roughly the same distance from my Mom’s as the moon is from Earth. At least it seems that way in morning traffic with a disgruntled five and a half year old boy. I already miss the baby, he usually comes with us. It would be nice to have him here, he helps big brother keep his mind off things. The highway in the morning is a huge source of anxiety for me. Don’t these folks commute to work everyday?!?! It would seem that setting the alarm five minutes early or maybe switching your schedule around a bit would be for everyone’s safety. Pump iron after work or lay out your clothes the night before so that you don’t have to drive like your car has a meth addiction all while filing papers, taking phone calls, and eating your breakfast. I have planned accordingly so that the only thing I am doing right now is driving. With my son in the car. I would appreciate arriving in one piece thank you. We can talk this over properly some other time, I can see you are very busy.

We arrive! Alive! May the whining commence. I know he sits in the back seat and frets about this visit the entire way. Which only makes matters worse, as if fighting Leukemia weren’t bad enough. It is a disaster trying to find parking in the garage, at 8:47am, which is really the only place to park. They try to make small attempts to be kid friendly, the speed limits are quirky- 4 1/3, not2fast, 3.1415 (get it?) and there is a different animal/color theme to every floor but let’s face it, it is still a concrete eyesore with crappy tight turns and tiny spaces. So I always go up. Around and around and around. There is always better parking on one of the top levels. It is here where the whining turns into whimpering. Poor baby un buckles and crawls up front so I can put on his magic cream (lidocaine) and place a plastic cover over it. This cream is to numb his skin where his port will be accessed so that he doesn’t feel it. He hates magic cream. We pull ourselves together and head for the elevator. Regardless of how upset he is he always remembers what floor we are parked on. Orange kangaroo-level 5.

The whole place is done up to appeal to kids. Everyone is friendly and since Bubby looks healthy, no one is staring or acting overly helpful. To another elevator, up nine flights, we are finally to our destination. It is 9:00. It is here my son is back to his old self. He is talkative, friendly, plays with the trains in the waiting area, greets everyone with a smile, you would have no idea of his turmoil on the way to this point. He has always been this way. Even at his most ill, he is brave and sweet in the waiting room. His name is called and we head back for vitals and measurements, which he likes. Then assigned a room. We wait for the doctor, or since he is no longer on death’s doorstep, the nurse practitioner (who I love). She checks him out, they chat about school, we chat about kids. Then the nurse comes in and all hell breaks loose. He has been seeing the same nurse(s) for well over two years now. He talks about them favorably, can’t wait to tell them about things that have happened since last visit, loves them as people but you come in with a tray of sterile stuff and it is on. When he was a baby they said this would get easier. It hasn’t. He just gets stronger. I take his shirt, he sits in my lap and cries. He is scared. I hold his arms while they clean the area and hold him tight and cover his eyes while he is accessed. This involves jamming a 3/4 inch needle through his skin into his port that is connected directly to an artery. I can clearly see the hole in the needle, it is that big. In relation, so you can understand, this needle is roughly the length of the tip of your thumb from knuckle to nail. It is mine anyway, go measure 3/4” and see. The magic cream is supposed to numb the skin but if you remember things that are asleep feel prickly and weird and he associates this with pain. He is crying and shaking and when it is all over he is limp. Exhausted. With tubes hanging out of his chest. These are good though, it saves his arms (which would be way more painful) and is less of an infection risk than other devices. He hates his port and is looking forward to its removal. 

Bing. He is a new kid. a slightly hunched over kid but much better. He heads back to the playroom to see our favorite guy Joe.

This is a lot. I am going to break it up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It’s a random morning

My buddy comes up to me after being outside with the dog, tennis ball in hand, and whines at me “Mom, all Pepper wants to play with is her coochie. She won’t play with me”. Then my little guy walks up after enjoying some early morning Jaws with Daddy and asks “Mom, are you allergic to sharks too?”.

Mmmm… now lets all have some Pop-Tards!

Good morning!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I am addicted to:

  • Chapstick- cherry only please. Just because the tube for strawberry isn’t black, don’t think for a second it will do.
  • Lipton Instant Tea- yep, nothing good about it really, just have to have it.
  • Chocolate- I prefer the good stuff, but in a pinch any will do.
  • Books- I have preferences here but in a pinch any will do here also.
  • Facebook- I am not proud, nor do I like this addiction. I just feel compelled to pop on everyday and check it.
  • Kraft Bagelfuls- why are you so expensive my lovelies?!?!
  • The same four pairs of shoes- While I own a bajillion pairs, I only seem to wear like four pairs. My dear husband will work with a close friend of mine and together they will run an intervention every couple years so that I don’t embarrass myself.
  • Fart jokes- sorry folks. It is true, I don’t think there is even one that is not funny.
  • My watch- not fancy but if it is not there I am naked.
  • Lotion- I am a girl with sensitive skin, it is necessary!
  • My wallet- I have had the same one for years and I LOVE it!
  • Neiman Marcus Dip- nuff said.
  • My journal
  • Making lists

I will stop now before my true neurosis is discovered, or before you all think I have a serious eating disorder. The next 23 items I would have added to the list were all things to eat. Oh well.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

This could be considered a problem.

It is 11:00pm here in my part of the Mid West and I just had a romantic interlude with an expired can of croissant rolls, a cup and a half of veggie oil, and some baker’s sugar. What?! What was I supposed to do with them? Mr. Croupenstien and Sir Hackington have been tucked gently away for the night, my dear husband is manning his station (asleep) on the couch, and I am left to my own devices here in the kitchen. So by the light of my brand new Scentsy night light I fried up some yummies. I was really craving a doughnut since I am two chapters in to the new Evanovich book and all they can think of is doughnuts. As far as dough goes in this house, without making it from scratch (anyone notice the time?) I had cinnamon rolls, frozen biscuits, or expired croissant rolls. I talked myself into the rolls by remembering how delish the fried croissants that the local grocery chain makes and stuffs into the doughnut case. Though the cinnamon would have been nice I guess and it comes with its own glaze. Enough. Into the pan you go! They are wonderful but very rich. I am saving the rest for the kiddos (of all ages) in the morning. See:

DSC01985

I had to treat myself. I spent the day with little crabalicious doing MAJOR groceries. All day. I saved $86 in coupons, sale ads and freebies. I went to six different stores, seven if you count the detour to the mall. I needed a bonus. Now I’m having a beer. Don’t say it. Diet-shmiet. I hate being cold in the winter anyway. So what if I had to go up to a large at Victoria’s Secret, stupid free panty. Ugh. Starting tomorrow I will go to the gym everyday for at least an hour. Seriously. Stop laughing.  

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Crafty as promised.

I would like to say first, that I am not posting an original idea. I am merely posting my completion of a project that I found on another blog. I am always on the scout for some really cool projects for no other reason than to put them up in my own home. This particular item is also keepsake in nature and is already proudly hanging on my wall. I have two kiddos, I made two. Look:

DSC01971

Here lets get closer…

DSC01972 DSC01973

Do you see how the trunk is their hands?! I just loved this! My trunks look a little splotchy in the pictures because I couldn’t wait for the Modge Podge to dry before I hung them! They look much better now, it dries clear, but I am way too friggin’ tired to re-snap so you will just have to trust me. I love the two pictures of my boys and will never take them off the wall. They were taken when each boy was 9 months old. My older is the one on the left and the baby is on the right and he is actually playing with big brother’s glove. Awww…

Now to give credit where it is due. The blog I got this idea, and awesome tutorial from is At Second Street and it is very well done by Kalleen. She is incredibly crafty in a very bright way. Everything makes sense and her tutorials are wonderful! Here, take a look: http://atsecondstreet.blogspot.com/2010/03/mod-podged-hand-trees.html

I am actually lined up with a half dozen unfinished projects right now but the second I am cleared for takeoff I am going to jump head first into this one http://atsecondstreet.blogspot.com/2010/03/etched-window-tutorial.html

Update on a previous completed craft? OK. I finally found a home to hang my giant C. It looked a little plain so I jazzed it up with old fake flowers I found in my craft bin in the basement. It’s not super fabulous but it is home.

DSC01978 DSC01979

I am straight off to bed. Hopefully my monsters are feeling way better in the morning and I will actually take all my soft parts to battle in a Pilates class in the morning.

Wish me luck!