Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Best Anniversary Gift Ever

Okay, so maybe not THE best gift ever. I still contend that my best gift I ever gave my husband was the whole "Mr. Beer" kit thing that steamrolled into his new 'Brewmaster" hobby, spiraling into turkey fryers, gravity thermometers, and hops in my fridge.

However, since this is our first anniversary in the new house, and we're not really gift givers to each other, I wanted something personal, decorative, and something that represented us.

Enter my friend Keri in Iowa, artista extraordinaire, and I got this coming my way

How cool is this? It signifies not only our family, our time in Napa (Maddie was with us all along!), and will look great on the wall.

She takes custom orders by the way. If you're looking for something fun, unique, and totally you, I highly recommend her and her abilities.

I'm soooo excited.

And yes, I can post these on here because John doesn't read my blog, since there aren't any sports involved.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Note to Self: Next Time get Pills

Today was the colonoscopy, and although I've been able to eat, I still have a headache, and am still running to the bathroom every so often. Let me back up and enlighten you on what a fabulous experience this turned out to be (heavy on the sarcasm).

I stopped eating at 11 a.m. yesterday. Around 5 p.m. I had to start drinking this craptacular liquid to 'cleanse the bowels'. This liquid came in a 4 liter jug and I had to drink it all. Mommy's who have had the prenatal diabetes test can understand when I put it to you this way. Imagine that nasty stuff you had to drink like, 5 oz of. Now envision it as a full cup, every 15 minutes for 4 hours while you're running to the bathroom in between. Doesn't that paint a pretty picture? Next time, I want the pill form of the 'cleanser'.

The punchline of this story is this though. We had a sitter all lined up to watch the kids since I wasn't supposed to drive home at all. Then, last night, in a flash of mom intuition (and amidst constant complaining and whining battles) I told John to take the boys to the emergency care clinic. Turns out I was channeling Omaha and my boys, BOTH of them have strep and are contagious. No babysitter. Which meant they all came along for the fun. John stayed while I registered and then took off with the kids with a note to the nurse to call when I was ready to come home.

I was the only person there all by myself. I guess some people would have felt a little sad. Aside from the needle in my arm it was like I was on vacation (no kids).

The anaesthesiologist came to me right before and asked if I had any questions. I didn't have questions so much as requirements:
1.) I do not want to be aware at all of anything happening.
2.) I do not want to remember anything.

Whatever she gave me, I want to bottle it and bring it home to use on the kids when I've had enough. The stuff was great.

Here's the biggest scoop though. Apparently, I really don't have bleeding hemorrhoids, which is what I was going in for in the first place. I have one, that is so small, you can't even call it a roid. No, instead, I had a precancerous polyp removed. (Stress the precancerous. As in, less than a 1% chance there will be further problems).

Polyps of this nature are not normal for women my age,(the doctor actually said he was "surprised" to find something) and what causes them is a diet high in fat (not me and my family), a diet high in red meat (is once a week considered a 'high' ratio?) and some other stuff. My problem is that this runs in my family, as my grandfather had colon cancer. This fact, along with the discovery and removal of this polyp means, I GET TO DO THIS IN TWO YEARS ALL OVER AGAIN!!! Yay for me.

So, why my mother hasn't had one done is beyond me, since it was her father who had cancer, but I really think she needs to go. I'm also petitioning for my brother and sister to get the garden hose stuck up their butts and smile and say cheese for the camera.

After all, not only was my doctor really glad I did it today, but actually, so am I. Prevention is the best of all medical practices, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deck Update

Underneath it all...

Looking from the small deck to the big deck. God is in the background watching.

Yes, we only painted the slats for the railings because those will be a pain in the spring. My mom hates the color. I don't care. Not her deck. Our contractor suggested using the slats as a two tone contrast point. Maybe....I'll have to ask my resident artist friend Keri.

Looking from big deck to small deck, and seeing all the worker man's toys.

Back view. Isn't it pretty! The stairs are my favorite.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Big Fat Duh

Just ask your resident Developmental Therapist. This is just common sense people. Come ON already!,0,7934924.story


Because I Loved It

Perez was right. This is the bomb!

This Really Happened to Me Today

I think it's funny. Most others probably won't.

I took Nate to his private speech therapy today. Thank God for Denise. I'm a little in love with her, and I'll explain why in a future post. Mostly because she does such a FANTASTIC job with Nate.

Anyway, we went to Costco afterwards to stock up on some basics, and since we were toeing the line in getting back to the house in time for lunch, and then rushing Jack off to school, I took the last $2 cash I had in my wallet and treated Jack, Nate, and Maddie to a hotdog and drink. At Costco, this classy meal runs a cool buck and a half, and they split the dog and drink.

I had bought some potato chips, and yogurt, so we opened those up, and voila, cheap lunch I didn't have to clean up after.

The funny part was when we sat down to eat. There was an elderly couple a table away. They sneered one "As If" look in my direction and went to another table clear across the room.

Let me rephrase. Costco=the least classy a meal you can get. I fed 3 kids for less than 2 dollars.

If you want a fancy kid free dining experience, somewhere that is NOT Costco. Or, McDonald playland if you need more specifics.

That's all I'm sayin'...

Absurd Idiocy

This morning I was reading through Sunday's Tribune. In the business section there was a rather lengthy article about how people in my generation, and the generation after me are proudly becoming "nuveau poor" and practicing in "one downmanship". They are finally doing sensible things, like, not running up a $250 bar tab every weekend, and OH MY GOSH: Learning to cook meals for themselves at home instead of eating out every night!!!! Lo and Behold... You really DON'T need a cell phone that "Does it all". Making simple calls in an emergency would suffice your needs. Hmmm...

This is news? This is how people are reacting to an economic downturn? No wonder the elderly who lived through the depression think that if times were that tough ever again, most people my age and younger (those of us in the gimme gimme gimme more more more generation) could never tough it out in a depression. Trying to "one up" someone by bragging about how much you saved and "one downing them" just seems like a ludicrous practice.

However, I'm a little pissed about the article in general. It's supposed to be a big deal that people have taken their heads out of their asses at age 30 and have stopped racking up $250 bar tabs on weekends? I thought that was called: Growing up. Or even, Adulthood. Or, maturing. See, if you spend that much money on booze and bars, you eat into your ability to retire anywhere near your 70's, especially since most of what people in my generation have acquired they have acquired by going into debt, thus, the spiraling problem.

This is not a PSA on economics. It's just me pointing out stupidity.
You don't need a new phone. Duh.
You don't need to spend money every night eating out at expensive restaurants. Duh.
You don't need a flatscreen t.v. Duh.
Duh duh duh.
Welcome to Adulthood generation Me.
Glad you could join the rest of us who have an ounce of common sense and have been financially frugal and responsible for a while now.

Way to catch up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I'm Wondering Today....

If anyone can help me out, that'd be just great!

* What's the differnce between a blouse and a shirt?

* What's the difference between trousers/slacks/and dress pants? Can jeans be considered denim slacks?

* Why, if we're not farming our own food anymore do we still have daylight savings time? Apparently the person who thought that up didn't have kids up before his freaking roosters.

* I think Yeti's might be real. Don't you?

*Is it Murphy's Law or Fate that whenever I'm in a rush I end up in the slow lane?

* Do my kids have tapeworms? I'm always feeding them.

* Did anyone else have a clone trooper, DArth Vader, and Cinderella wake them up this morning?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kelly's Klippies

I ordered these darling clippies from a good friend. She hand made them, and they are technically a custom order since I wanted something to match Maddie's Christmas outfits.
She even made them so they fit nicely into Maddie's fine hair and don't fall out!
Contact Kelly Richards if you're interested (and I hope you are, she does SUCH a nice job, and they are reasonably priced!).
I personally love them! Thanks Kelly!

Hef is in da House!

I have a wonderful friend who has kept my daughter's closet quite full to overflowing for the past two years. And I'm not talking about Target clothes, (I'm not knocking them, just telling a story here), but she's given me BAGS and BAGS and BAGS of beautiful Children's Place, Gymboree, Fields, Macy's, Ralph Lauren, and even Strassberg clothes. I am so grateful and lucky and just over gushy with thanks that she is so generous.
Anywho, she also has an older son who is growing out of his jammies, and as you can see his bathrobe.
Jack won't take it off for anything. He's been sleeping with it on, wearing it with his Clone Trooper costume, and has generally fallen in love with it.
I love it too.
It's kinda like the Playboy mansion around here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Excerpt from Chapter 82 in the Riveting Novel Titled, "Reasons Why I Will Burn in Hell"

I don't do cheesy crap well at all. I don't care where I am or what the circumstances are. When something is idiotic I sometimes can't help my self. Let's just call it a character flaw and move on.

Sunday I was at church as usual. I was feeling a bit disconcerted because my usual backrow or backpew mommy friends weren't there (none of our husband go to church unless our kids are singing in the choir, or it's a holiday so we have some cameraderie thing going on).

Anywho, I was listening to our pastors give their sermon, which I LOVE because they from Chile and their cadences are melodic, and their sermons just wonderful.

Then, out of nowhere, with virtually NO lead-in, they started playing a music video on the screen up front. It was that really pretty song about "Letters From War." You can view it here:

You watched it and cried, didn't you MOM, Julianne, and Jen? I knew it. I just knew it. You guys can wear your heart on your sleeves, but, well, you know me... :-)

It is a beautiful song. It has beautiful meaning. The video itself though, is TOO MUCH!!! I hate romance novels, or things that try so hard to make people cry. I find it annoying rather than 'tearjerking'. I would much prefer to find my love stories by reading Shakespeare (Hello, Ophelia, or Juliet? Anyone?) Not some cheeseball video that's sole purpose is to make people get all emotional.

What got me were really 2 'scenes'. Every time they cut to the guy playing the piano (he is WAYYYY too into it), and the worst worst worst scene...When the car pulled up and the 'mom' collapses on the ground. It is so melodramatic and ridiculous that I kind of snorted a laugh. In church. I recovered well, and people thought I was crying.

Uh, no. It takes more than some bad actress overly emphasizing a tumble in the grass to make me well up. Sorry.

The other moms during Sunday School confirmed my damnation less than an hour later. THEY thought I was crying at least. I couldn't help it.

This does NOT detract from my respect and gratitude towards vets. This does not detract from the meaning of they lyrics.

I could just do without the video is all.

Don't hate me because I'm lacking some girlie girl gene.

I can't help it. I really just can't.

Oh, and one last thing, if you watched, can you explain WHY on Earth the mother and the son look like they are the exact same age?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound!

Okay, try this one. It's so much fun. My kids did it in Sunday School yesterday.

Sing Amazing Grace to the tune of Gilligan's Island. It totally works.

And now my kids know Amazing Grace.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Smile, and Say CHEESE for the Butt Camera!!!

Okay, okay okay. This whole colonoscopy dilemma is spiraling. I do not do poop shute things well, like farting in public, or taking laxatives. I thank everyone for their advice and especially the cameraderie. It's not the colonoscopy I fear now, but what will happen with the roid banding. Will they land like little nubbins in the toilet? Do I keep a watch out for them? What happens then?

I am praying, praying, praying really hard for drugs that if they're not going to knock me out completely, that I will forget ever sticking my hiney in the air for the camera. I do not find it fascinating. I find it mortifying. Having kids is a cakewalk compared to this mess.

Last night on the ride home from my hot lunch date, I talked to Cheryl and got this advice, "After you start taking your liquid, if you think you have to toot, go to the bathroom". I let you have your own special visual on that one.

After I talked to Cheryl I taked to Jenny and asked her about watching this on a t.v. screen and possibly remembering everything. Horror of horrors. She told me that she had a friend in college who had to have them done routinely and often and her advice?

"Smile and Say cheese for the butt camera!"

Oh lordy! If I weren't laughing so hard, I might have cried anyways.

But what I love the most about all this is people's willingness to share their own stories. Thank you everyone for your support, and telling me like it is!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

My Almost Meningitis

I'm kind of a freak, but I swear, I've NEVER had a headache like I did last night. Never ever ever. I took 3 ibuprofens and was still writhing in pain on the bed. I couldn't sit up for fear of nausea and vertigo. I couldn't eat dinner, so I went for about 15 plus hours foodless. I decided to take a Tylenol p.m. and if that didn't work, a little visit to the ER.

Most people wouldn't freak out. However, to be fair, most people weren't recently exposed to meningitis by a coworker who happened to make the most fabulous brownies, and I ate half the pan. Sure, she wound up having VIRAL meningitis so my chances of contracting it were slim to none, but still. I kinda freaked out.

This morning I woke up stiff and sore. Most likely from 9 hours of conked out sleep. That didn't stop me from overanalyzing every spinal ache and head twinge. At work I had one the most darling Occupational Therapists lay hands on me and she did some Reiki massage and cranial sacral wonderfulness and decided that my body is so tight and tensed and literally 'locked'. I think she was hinting that I needed some serious destressers, eh? To be sure, she confirmed that I probably didn't need a spinal tap as all my issues appeard to stem from soft tissue tension. I can live with that.

But I seriously need a massage. Or some cranial sacral. I cannot live through another headache like that again.


Minnie Swings
The ONLY photo I have of Storm Trooper Jack.

Hooray for Minnie!

Scarier than a nightmare.

Nate the Storm Trooper.

Goldilocks and her Bear.

Crazy deformed scary pumpkin. Notice the ears. Nate put them on and kept accidentally running into them and knocking them off. Then he decided the pumpkin needed an eyebrow. Hence, the unibrow. Jack and Maddie added the Pirates of The Caribbean stickers. We're all about originality here.

The monster house in our neighborhood. Very cool, very spooky.

Nate and Maddie wanted me to take a "butt pichure". Jack gave it a thumbs up. I can't help it if my kids are weird

Nate's pumpkin at school project.

The 2 Truths and Lie Revealed!

My hubby is pretty amazing. He is one of several John's.

He was also extended tryout invites from no less than 6 major league baseball teams, one of which was the "Rays" or Devil Rays, or the New Florida Team, or whatever the hell they were back then. He declined them all to go to college and nurse a career ending injury, while comtemplating shoulder replacement surgery in his later years.

And, although he makes his own beer on occasion, he's never submitted it in for any contest. It'd be cool if he did though.

Now you know.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Deck, Day One

I'm hoping these pics drown out your visions of my upcoming colonoscopy.

We are finally getting our deck. Here we are at the beginning of Day One. I didn't get blank back house photos, since the guys came early and I just wasn't ready for it. Plus, I think I have a few from when we first bought the house.
The header board already existed. The form to the left is new, and one of the first things they did today.

The very beginning....

Check out that lumber pile!

More lumber near the swing set. And now, what it looks like at the end of day one. Supposedly the guys are coming tomorrow, even though it's supposed to rain. We'll see.

The lumber pile looks to have grown, not shrunk.

You can almost envision the completed project from this angle.

Looking up from below.

Cool, huh?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just Don't Call Me Katie Couric

Because I needed something fun to do on a Monday morning, that's why.

This is the blog you probably don't want to read if you're squeemish, or you think certain things should be kept private. I'm giving you the out. Skip it. I'll post Halloween photos for you tomorrow to clear this picture from your mind. This means Dad, I don't want to hear your under your breath "Jezzez" and pacing out of the room in case you pass out. You've been warned.

Long story short, I've had trouble with my bathroom experiences since about um...March, and I finally decided to get it checked out. Because, as Jenny, my very dear friend pointed out, "Poopin' is just a God Given right, woman!"

I had my OB/GYN confirm in March the presence of hemorrhoids, which I didn't have with kids, even though everyone says you're supposed to get them. No, no. Mine "flared" during my triathlon training, due to the stress I put on my body, the dehydration, and losing weight. It makes no sense, but I'm no doctor either. (Who was surprised when I told him I didn't have any issues during pregnancy, but whatever.)

Because my grandfather had colon cancer, and I've had bleeding issues every time I go to the bathroom for MONTHS now (I told you this was gross and gave the disclaimer, it's a medical issue. Grow up), the doc decided it's time for a colonoscopy to make sure I don't have precancerous polyps. And then he's taking care of the roids by banding them, much like tying off an umbillical cord on a newborn.

Doesn't this look like fun?

I'm not so nervous about the procedure, especially now I know that I won't be doing the downward facing dog yoga position on a table in an office while some doc inspects my hiney hole. I get to be sedated, or twilighted with drugs. Drugs always make any weird situation better. Excepting that I'm most likely going to puke afterwards due to consistent adverse reactions to IV meds, I'm sure the procedure will be fine.
I AM crabby however, about the whole detoxing the day before. This is a freaking event. I can't eat after 11 a.m. on Sunday (the day before). I can only have clear liquids and Jell-O, which means nothing, since I"m freaking allergic to Jell-O. But, I am kind of wondering if "clear liquids" includes booze?
Aside from the whole not eating for like, 24 hours, I also have to take a laxative in excessive amounts starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, which will only exacerbate the entire painful bathroom experience anyway. All I know is, no food and constant visits to the loo will make anyone who comes into my path come Monday morning very sorry they did. Ugh.
The very best part about this is, the next available appointment they had was the Monday before Thanksgiving. I am going to be so crabby if I can't eat Thursday. I'll have to go easy Monday and Tuesday for sure, but if I"m not right by the holiday I'm gonna be pissed.
I had to write about this, because well, I'm brave enough to say if you have issues you need to have them checked out. I will not however be broadcasting the procedure on the Today show, like Katie Couric did. That's just weird.
If you'd like more info for your own sake, check it out:
I'll keep you updated post op, but I'm sure I'm in perfect health. I just don't get to eat for 2 days.
and Double sigh....
I DO however, get the rest of that Monday off. For realz, that was Dr.'s orders, after I told him I had to take care of 3 kids aged 5 and under. He seriously said, "You get that day off".
There is always a plus side to the absurd.

Damn Straight I voted. I Voted for Duck

Jack told me today that he didn't want me to vote. I think he was worried it would require an extended absence on my part, so I took Nate to speech, ran home and grabbed Jack, and then went to the fire station to vote. He thought THAT was cool because the poll booths were set up right in front of the trucks. Thank goodness there weren't any fires today. It would have been awkward.

So now he understands the voting process. Sort of. I had a hard time deciding who to vote for, right up until I filled in that little black dot. I don't have very high standards for who I vote for, except, I'd like this stupid war in Iraq to end. Obama had my vote for 5 seconds until during the debate he said he was just pulling the boys out of Iraq and putting them in Afghanistan instead. McCain pretty much seconded that motion, so I was screwed in my thought process. I hate knowing that my kids are growing up during a wartime. I hate the thought that someday my boys may decide to become a part of it, and so I vote based on who would rather make love, not war. Skewed, I know. But I have two boys to think of.

During school today, Jack's class read a story called "Duck for President". The kids had to cast their own ballots, Duck, or moose, or gerbil, whatever. Duck won.

I vote for duck. He's clearly the best choice.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I don't care who you are, this is HOT!

Cedric Diggory/Edward Cullen is rockin the song, and if you're not following the Twilight sage quite like my sister, my college roomie and I, well, you should just get on board.

I totally love it. You will too.
Happy Election Week.

The girls

How cute are these two? Minnie and Goldilocks, respectively.
Darn ears kept falling off. Goldie had to help Minnie.

All Better!

Hello, Bambi? Meet Mr. RAV-4

As I was driving home from work last night, on a dark, but not deserted road, a random doe jumped out and I sideswipped her with my car.

As our NEW car is only 2 weeks old, I was slightly freaked. Remember, I saw what the Urlacher Deer did to Richie's new Toyota the night Nate was born. Apparently, deer in Illinois enjoy a good Toyota ramming every so often.

Here's the miracle. Not an ounce of damage on me, the car, OR the deer. In fact, she did 3 circles in the middle of the road, and pranced back into her quasi-wilderness.

I listed this in church today as one of my joys. There is a lesson lurking here somewhere. Now all I have to do is learn it.