Friday, February 29, 2008
I'm having a hard time coming up with a color scheme. I am a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff. There are too many choices and I find myslef overwhelmed. I should hire a decorator, or just have someone who can color coordinate anything come and say "Buy this, hang this, a little dab of this'll do ya' here, and oh, hang this awesome artwork here." I would be fine with that. And for the record, I like original funky art. For example, my cousin painted an entire series of amazing headless dancers. They were beautiful. Thinking of Arty stuff makes me miss Oak Park. It was such a cool place to work....anywho, I do also like classic art and my fave is Renoir and his bold use of colors, the deep reds, etc. I've said before I appreciate art, I can't do it. Grandpa Z did NOT pass that gene down to me.
So, since I am deficient in planning rooms and colors and all that jazz, I brought home wallpaper books for the kids to look at. I am NOT wallpapering rooms, but I'm not opposed to a border here and there.
Jack has decided he wants Spiderman. It's a black border with Red Spideys and silver webs on it. Since I'm not painting the walls black, I'm not sure on accent colors. Ideas?
Nate wants Superman. Superman's wall color would be a very obnoxious blue, or an obnoxious red. Sigh......
I decided Maddie is getting a purple border with ballet-ey fairies and flowers on it. It is cute, girly, not kitsch, and nothing compared to the borders that say, "Divas Rule! Bling Bling! No Boys Allowed!". That's a bit bratty for me. Now, if we do the border in the middle of the room, what color do we paint the walls? Purple? That cute green that goes well with Lavender shades? Should we just do the border at the top of the room?
I am so bad at this. Give me a kid with a problem, I can help problem solve to maybe make life easier. Give me a color wheel and I'm spinning in circles like a lunatic.
Superhero borders make life easy, but it's not so easy to relinquish control on this. I want cute little airplanes, or cars saying "beep beep". This is too grown up for me, really. But in the grand scheme of life, Spidey and Superman aren't such bad compromises.
As long as I get my Fairies dancing on flower petals.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
First of all, the word "Den" has been used twice recently. Once when my mother decided that my dad is going to make one in their house, and now my husband is using it. It's too Mike Brady for me. Remember when Greg turned the "den" into his "GAROOVY" little Pot pad? No thanks. Den is an icky word, like "moist", or "secretion", or "weiner". Ew. Ick.
So, Our new "den" or OFFICE as a normal person would refer to it, is currently an icky brown and not painted well at all. John said yesterday (quote) "I think I'm going to paint it Cubbie Blue". He was serious so I decided to clean the wax out of my ears and ask him to reiterate: "What, exactly, was that you said, DEAR?"
"Well, What's better than Cubbie Blue? It's nice and Calming for when I'm working from home."
Oh, well, then I guess that on the westerly facing wall we'll paint a gigantor red "C" so everyone will know who you're rootin' for. Good thing it's the first room people will see when they walk in the house. And really, you have a 2,000 square foot basement you can do whatever you want to. Why ruin my pretty house with "Cubbie Blue" Walls?
Men are works in progress. We take the mold we're given, and well, we fix it. After 14 years I thought I'd gotten a good chunk polished. Apparently there are a few nicks to be buffed, but we'll keep working on it.
Cubbie Blue. For crying out loud.
I. Am. So. Alone!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
1.) What I THINK may be a gold tooth. Or the molding for one. It's weird.
2.) A receipt for something that costs about $35, and the delivery fee is to take some old lady to Whole Foods. Double Weird.
3.) A fun and dusty Pinata whacking stick. I promptly hid that from the boys and they STILL found it and STILL turned it into a weapon. You'd swear all my kids did was watch Violent T.V., but unless Mr. Rogers is violent, well, they don't get it from the media. Nature vs nurture is a funny experiment in my house.
4.) A box of Raspberry Jello. Threw it out since I'm allergic to Jello.
5.) And the kicker of all kickers? On one of the highest shelfs (I had to climb a ladder to clean it, it's that high) I found an illustrated guide How-To book on Sensual Massage. Grossety gross gross!!
I feel violated! Maybe I'll find something decent tomorrow. Seriously, who keeps gold teeth and massage manuals in their kitchen? Especially when they made off with a bunch of light plates and outlet covers. How do you forget THAT?
EW EW EW EW EW!!!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I told Jenny the apples are yucky story, and she (who has 2 girls and my future son in law Sammy) reminded me of that Disney flick where, Hey, apples are poison. I informed her that if the boys have even seen that movie the "poison apple" thing totally eluded them because, well, there are quicker ways to off someone, like, Cowboy Guns, Light Sabers, knight in shining armour swords, train tracks used as whacking sticks, and the small arsenal of missiles some people mistakenly refer to as "Action Figures". They are currently ramming their Lego truck and Tonka Dump truck into each other by standing on opposite sides of the room and going at each other full speed. It's like Special Ed in my basement some days.
Today Jack cut his lips open at school. And by cut them open, I mean he repeatedly (even after the teacher told him to stop) kept putting the scissors in his mouth and wound up cutting open both his upper and lower lip. Apparently it was a pretty bloody situation. I told the teacher at pick up I hope it hurt. What is the deal with these kids? It's like my family is turning into a little Freakshow 3 Ring Circus Somedays!!! (I jest, I do LOVE them, but there are limits to when I can turn a blind eye to what is going on, for real!)
I'm of course a paranoid freak because I've been catching Madilynn W-Sitting lately. W-Sitting is when a kid sits on their butts with their knees in front of them and their feet behind, or out to the sides. I asked Jen to take a look at her (She IS an Occupational Therapist at my clinic for crying out loud) and I think she may have glanced over her coffee cup with her eyes half open and said, "She's fine. Trust me." I know, some kids just do it. I know. But as a Therapist I look at it and cringe to think that I'm already going to be blamed for their psycho therapy as adults, I refuse to be blamed for their geriatric hip and knee problems after I'm long gone and scattered over something beautiful. So there that is.
There has been a rash of pregnancies and births happening. Congrats to Lorraine from church on the birth of Cora, and John's cousin's new daughter Kylie. Both beautiful, and healthy I'm sure. It puts into perspective, or lightens the heart a little after Grandpa's passing and the tragedy and NIU. I'm happy for all the preggo's, but super glad I'll never be in that boat again. Ready to start a whole new world of "Firsts" like, first ER visit for a sports related injury, First Ballet recital, first biting of the dust due to trying to emulate Evel Knevel, First time my kids and I enjoy the same radio station (I promise to be the hip mom, I swear!!!), and of course our first sets of stitches and broken bones and daddy daughter dances and sleepovers and all that other fun stuff.
And lastly, I wanted to Thank www.weisswomen.blogspot.com for making me laugh. I'm going to paraphrase and plagiarize her comment regarding celebrities when she said, "Unlike some of these people I like to eat every day". I laughed out loud and keep saying that to my self, because contrary to popular belief, I do like to eat every day. And I'm not sure about being friends with the Gosslins. They are a bit organized for me, but with 8 kids you kinda have to be. I think I'd like to be friends with (as far as Celbrity Parenting) probably Jennifer Garner and Ben affleck. Their kid seems normal enough...but only time will tell.
Tomorrow will be another busy day with swimming lessons and more house cleaning. Hopefully we'll be moved in by April sometime, right?
Happy snow day everyone!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
This is our backyard firepit. I'm enjoying envisioning it without snow. It almost works.This will be Maddie's room or the room for anyone who visits since it has it's own bathroom. SA-WEET! Grammas, friends, and out of state people we don't really know but know we'd get along famously with are more than invited!
This is the lifamily room/ kitchen where I will NOT be serving gourmet meals. If you like Mac-n-Cheese, hotdogs, PB &J's, well, C'mon over. Sometimes I cook a really good dinner, but I try to stick with things my kids will eat. We will not eat in the dining room. Too formal for friends! (And Oh God! How I love that Cabinet Space!)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
It has been a challenge trying to explain what is happening to Jack. Nate and Maddie are really too little to understand, but Jack is a thinker. Any answer we give him, there are always 12 more. For instance, we told him Great Grandpa was in heaven with God and Jesus. But we also told him we have to go to a Wake and Funeral. After explaining "wake" and "funeral" he wants to know why we have to do that if Granpa is already in heaven? What happens to your bones, do they go to heaven too? Can you walk in heaven if your bones are in a coffin in the ground (I swear he asked that).
Then we try to explain, no your soul goes to heaven. That is an entire can of worms I cannot even begin to write about since there would be pages and pages. John actually resorted to explaining a person's soul by comparing what happened to Granpa to a Tom and Jerry Cartoon the kids watched Saturday while I was at work. Remember the episode where Tom rides the escalator up to heaven....? Oy!
I went to the bookstore and got a couple of things I thought may help. There is also a VERY loveley book called "Tear Soup" but it was kinda over my kids' heads, so I got "When dinosaurs die" instead. It was illustrated by Marc Brown, so all the dinos look like Arthur Characters, but it explains things pretty well. There isn't really any all encompasing books out there, so I have to skip over the parts where "people die from accidents, sometimes they die suddenly and sometimes the die from DRUG OVERDOSES". He's smart, but not smart enough to know I changed the words to "Old people go into the hospital if they get sick and then they go talk to God and Jesus in Heaven". It seems to work. I am currently looking for Maria Shriver's books "What's Happening to Grandpa" and "What is Heaven" About Alzheimer's and Heaven respectively, but I can't find them anywhere. Sigh. Maybe I'll try the library, but I have such a big fine there, it's actually cheaper for me to buy those books....
John went to work in the city today, so I'm sure I'll be fielding a ton of questions today. I have a bit of a cold, so I'm debating whether to get my butt in gear and go work out, or have a p'jammy day here since we'll be busy the rest of the week.
Have a good week everyone. Keep John and his family in your prayers, and ANY suggestions to explain Death and Dying would be appreciated.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Anyway, today I'm exhausted, but in a much better frame of mind. I was such a horrible mother yesterday...Here kids, here's your movie, enjoy! John was at the hospital visiting Grandpa and I was fielding calls regarding not only grandpa, but my brother is well. (For those of you who don't know, John's Grandfather's long battle with alzheimer's is quickly coming to an end. Within the next several hours.) It was a very emotionally charged Valentine's day, and I still even got roses and a Dumbo card from Nate (awwwww!).
To cope I went shopping for the boys to all have something appropriate to wear to the wake and funeral. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find size 5 slim pants?
So, to anyone who got a weird random e-mail from me, Sorry. To anyone who got a weird Blog comment (Juli? Domestic Goddess?) Sorry. And Jen, who had to take my frantic "Oh my god, turn on the news my brother is there" phone call. Sorry. And Karin and Ralph whom I kept calling for odd little things at odd little times. Sorry. I think I was on emotional overdrive.
Tomorrow I plan on working out before work. That should help a bit too.
For now, all is quiet here, but that will change in the very near future. Thanks everyone for your love and understanding and support.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It feels horrible to think that I'm glad he was in another building at the time. It's scary to think : "My brother was there at this exact time. I'm nauseous just thinking about it. 6 dead...Very near him...
You can read all the sordid details here regarding the shooting today at Northern Illinois University. http://www.niu.edu/index.shtml
I wish I could go on about how scary school shooting are these days, but I can't. I am emotionally exhausted.
My brother was on campus during the time of the shooting. He is a TA, and a grad student at NIU. He was in a building across campus, but until the gunman was found dead, it was a bit of a rollercoaster. I was the first actual person he could talk to to let know he was okay. He is okay. That's all I need to know.
Currently, he is staying the hell away from campus for awhile and spending time with his girlfriend in Rockford. He is 30 minutes from me and I'm okay with that, even though I told him to get his ass over here and he declined saying he needed to see Anna for Valentine's day. I don't give a scrap about V-Day, I just wanted to have him in my living room watching ESPN and telling bad jokes. But he's away from campus, and since my dad says I'm not as cute as Anna, I guess I'll let Rich's little transgression slide.
I Pray for the families of victims. I selfishly Thank God I am not one of them.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Help another mommy out!
One mom tie-dyed pillowcases and brought in Valentine's stencils and fabric markers for the kids to decorate a valentine's pillow. It was SO cool, never something I'd have ever thought of, and nothing I could have ever done. All the kids had a great time working on them though. This same mom also organized a "fill the bucket with candy hearts" game, where you relay race to fill a bowl at the other end of the room with candy. I sorta just supervised and made sure Nate and Mads didn't wreck havoc on the classroom.
Another mom has started a bow making business and donated these darling little bows for the girls to wear and gave me one for Maddie. Maybe my little muppet will have enough hair to wear one someday. I hope.
It was fun, and before I took the little ones to the party, I hit up Ace and got a free Pottery Barn Color fan that will help deciding colors to match my $30 Pottery Barn Curtains. Sweet deal, thank you clearance racks.
I also took the little ones to the Thrift store, and I didn't find much, but I couldn't really look with them running around like beasts. However, the lady in the store ripped off tags from 2 little Beanie babies and sent the kids home with them. It was definitely a Random Act of Kindness that was appreciated. I will have to go back to the Thrift shop and look for some pants for Jack. I also saw some really cute Cloche style hats (that I LOVE) that I wanted too....
Now it's snowing, and we're homebound all day, so I'm going to go scrub the floor and pack. You never know when someone will come by to see the house. (Are your fingers still crossed for us on that one, my friends??)
Monday, February 11, 2008
Jack had his favorite person in the world over today for a playdate, I got to bring JT home with us from school. He did a great job of being a host. We are learning to ask our guests what they'd like for lunch and snack and to play what they'd like to play for at least a little while. All these fun social skills...
Maddie said "Hungry" today. She also yells at the boys constantly with a very emphatic "NOOOOO", and yells at them to "Dit down". Not even 18 months or 20 pounds and she is on her way to Yale. That is fantastic for me! Early Retirement for sure.
Now to enjoy time with Hubby. Since I barely see him these days, it's more like, "Hubby who?"
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Pay it forward.
Happy Valentine's Day.
"both my parents taught me about good will
and i have done well by their names just the kindness i've lavished on strangers
is more than i can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so i would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
till i'd passed and left them alone" ani difraco--32 flavors
We miss you. Often Jack brings up when we're going to Omaha again. It is hard to remind him of the 9 hour car trip, and then throw 30 below (with wind chill) wheather on top of it. This time he wants daddy to come. Maybe I can convince Daddy-O to go during the College world Series. You know we are Baseball Freaks here. In fact, February 14th is a big day. "Pitchers and Catchers report". I am not sure what that means, but for baseball people, it is a big deal. Forget "Show your Wife how much you love her" day. It is all about the "BIG SHOW". What- Evah!!!
I will visit again someday, if only to see the Omaha Zoo. That place is phenomenal.
I hope ya'll are feelin' better.
Smashing outfit! The Beckham's have nothing on her fashion savvy.
I wouldn't trade that smile for a million dollars. Even with the nose to mouth snot trail.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
"Braveheart came to visit"
"Nate painted himself with a tube full of desitin, all over his face. Then he wrapped himself up in dental floss"
Me: No photos?
Me: Huh. Why are these damn kids obsessed with putting diaper cream anywhere but on their butts? Makes for a great moisturizer though.
Crap. Now I need new dental floss.
Nay, no diaper here. The source of the evil nose hair burning smell was a "not sure how old it possibly could be cuz we haven't seen it in a while" sippy cup full of milk, dripping into the dress ups box.
My nose, and subsequently my queasy stomach may never recover.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Since John was in the city today, it fell upon my shoulders to be constantly clearing the driveway. It's great that we have the hand me down snowblower. It came in handy today. I did our driveway, my next door neighbors,(who is an octogenarian with a wife who has terminal lung cancer) and the people across the street. They're a lovely young couple (just like us) with a 2 year old, and she is pregnant(NOT just like us). Her hubby was obviously not home, and if their driveway wasn't cleared, he would've never made it in, so I took care of them today too. NOT a big deal.
However, the first clearing was great. Mads was napping, so the boys came out to play. It was 30 degrees warm and they had a little fun. The second clearing, Nate was napping, so I put Jack in charge of Mads and went out for a little while to do the 3 driveways. Since the plows had started coming around by then, I had to do the ends of the driveways by hand, and I am already damn sore all over for it.
The third clearing...I took all 3 out with me. Maddie lost her gloves midway thru and didn't like it too much. Her poor little fingers got all red and angry looking. I discovered that I had lost Nate. I called and called his name, no answer. Finally, I saw the door to the house from the garage open and I shuffled Maddie back home (I was across the street). Nathan had gotten himself in, taken off all his snow gear (which is usually a hugely traumatizing experience) and sat his happy butt on the couch, thumb in mouth, T.V. on. He didn't even care.
That is classic Nate. My little couch Tater. SAAWEEET!!!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
It just doesn't get any better.
2.) Nate colored with Magic Marker all over my stairs. While I was talking to the lawyer and loan officers alternately, while making dinner. I don't care who you are, that's just funny (albeit Frustrating). I'm never going to hear the end of it from Darlene about why I'm always letting my kids play with magic markers....
3.) Nate has just requested and is dancing to "Paradise City", or as he calls it.."Take me Hooowme!".
4.) Jack had an AWESOME day at school. He has sufficiently buttered up his teachers by telling them how pretty they are.
5.) I got to play Chutes n Ladders.
6.) I read 3 Chapters in "Loving Frank".
7.)I fed the kids at our usual dinner time (John wasn't home) bathed them, brushed their teeth, put Maddie to bed, and then John and I got to eat a Quiet dinner in peace. It was a wonderful 3.5 minutes.
8.) It's snowing out, maybe 12 inches. That means I have an excuse not to Swim tomorrow (With triathalon training, I decided Weds. is my swim 3/4 of a mile day).
9.) Kim called to check on me. I never get to talk to her, so it was nice. She offered to help with our move.
10.) I think Nate is trying to do the 2 year old equivalent of a stage dive, right here in the basement. I love this kid, he's a riot. Jack is happy he made it to whatever level he's on in Star Wars Legos. Jack knows some words to Itsy Bitsy Teensy Eeensy Weensy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. They are both happy, fun loving boys. What would I do without them?
Well, Stephen Colbert. Any guy that is as SMART as he is and witty and can throw an educated quip in here and there, well, I can't help it. John is pretty smart and funny and has the same hair do as Stephen Colbert, so maybe that is why I like him. Just change the eye color and add glasses and it's very much John....Hmmm....
My other "Crush"? Okay, Any Man who can take flour, butter and Sugar, and turn it into a tank or even the Taj Mahal, or most recently viewed the castle Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series... well even if you're not really cute I love you just a little bit. And Chef Duff has such a super personality, that I love him just a little bit more.
I know I'm weird. I don't care. It's why I loved John Cusak and Jeremy Piven (pre Entourage--- HOLLA Chicago boy!) before they were celebretards. (side note: a VERY good friend of mine has a friend who dated Jeremy Piven in the late 90's. She dumped him cuz he's an ass, but I don't care....Isn't PCU the BEST movie EVER?).
Ladies, who do you love (secretly of course???)....
Such a Handsome Devil... He has beautiful teeth. He really does. But I have a HUGE problem trying to listen when he speaks. I think they're veneers. Maybe one too many sacks knocked out a few of his pearly whites, but he talks like he has a sock in his mouth. John says I am crazy and probably the only person in America to notice. I don't care. Now you all are aware too. I think he thinks he's so hot, so hey, check out that gorgeous smile and "oh by the way I dumped my girlfriend when she was pregnant with my baby so I could date a supermodel. But I look great in those Cologne ads, thanks to my fake teeth."
Whatevah! Keep smilin' Tommy, even though your Pat's LOST IT!!!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
1.) When to start training. April, May?
2. Do I still try and do the Susan Komen 3 day walk, or do I train for one or the other?
3.)Who can I convince to do it with me?
I don't know why this is on my mind. Can't explain it really. I read a quote by Felicity Huffman in the book, "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids". It's a good read. During an interview, she was asked if being a mom was the best job she's ever had. She responded (paraphrased) that she resented that question because if you answer honestly that you are not LOVING every single waking, puking, floor pacing, rip your heart out during routine well baby shots, clean the floor for the 8 thousandth time that day, wash another load of laundry moment you must be a bad mother. Society, and other moms expect those of us who stay at home to have those feelings, and as Felicity very clearly pointed out, sometimes that is just bunk.
Is being a mom great? Sure. But I hate saying it's the "BEST THING EVER"!! That implies that your entire existence as a mom is just that. An entire existence as a mom. You have no outside interests. No hobbies, nothing that separates the YOU from the THEM, and for sheer sanity's sake you need to have a ME and YOU separation from your kids.
It's like saying that your wedding day is the best day of your life. I got married 7 years ago. That implies that in 7 years I haven't had a really good day since. Not so. I loved my wedding. Loved the wedding day. Probably loved the days I spent at the swim up bar on the honeymoon even more. Do you get where I'm going with this???
I can't say that the days my kids were born were the best days of my life either. Happy, absolutely. But I do not consider it even a good day when I'm writing in agony, puking for 8 hours every 3 minutes (with each contraction), and have a blood transfusion looming over my head. Not the BEST DAY EVER.
It just implies too, that all the little moments don't really count. You have to have some BIG event to make a day special or memorable. Sledding with the kids on Friday was by far one of the best days of my life. We were out as a family, having a GREAT time, and I thought as I held Maddie while going down the hill..."THIS is the great stuff".
I do love being home, but I don't love every second or every minute of it. I love that a lot of my friends stay home and we can coffee clutch and commisserate together. I love being in control of how I want my kids raised and disciplined, and shown love at random times during a day. We do lots of hugs.
But, being a mom is not the pinnacle of my life. That just sets up failure in other areas of my life. I love my kids, they are amazing, funny, adorable little creatures. But I want them to know that they can do anything they want to in life, and not have to be slotted as just one thing. Good luck to them!!!
I know other mommy's read this blog. Do any of you ever feel like you've lost who you are, and just need to break away, just a little bit to be something more, and the best YOU that YOU can be?
Sheesh, now I sound like a girl scout campaign! Ugh!
Saturday, February 02, 2008
C'mon. Give me a break.
What does it mean?
Friday, February 01, 2008
We decided to take the kids out sledding. It's about 30 degrees, and perfect out for it. Maddie LOVED it. Check out my little Nanooks of the North!
Getting ready to go. Madilynn is not so sure of being bundled "Ralphie" style. Jack is VERY excited to hit the powdery hills.
Here she is, going all by herself. She would go down and yell, "WEEEEEEEEE". She didn't even really mind when she went down tandem with Nate and he rolled over the top of her and said, "Dat was fun guys. Do again!" Maddie had to be rescued from being face down in the snow while he was laughing, and she was A-Okay with it. Fun stuff!
Nate couldn't make it up the hill. So he just camped out and ate snow. And yelled for us to come get him. He's a funny guy!
Here they all go!!! Look out below!!!