Friday, September 29, 2006

Random Randoms

Back to High School
Tonight I am going to Homecoming 2006 at Lockport Township High School. I am not an alumni of LTHS, but I'm going. I've even begged a freshman to bring me as his date to the dance tomorrow night, but for some reason he didn't take me up on the offer. I begged. Seriously. I'm hot - I think he forgot about that when he said No.

My high school did not have a football team at the time I was there (they started that several years after I graduated) so I've never been to a real homecoming. I've never seen a homecoming court during half time. I've never been a part of any of it.

So tonight I am going to go back to high school to pretend I'm one of them(with my 3 kids - because all high school girls have 3 children under the age of 4... I guess I'll be considered "one of those girls" who got pregnant before graduation) . I may even make a big scene about how Kaitlyn stole the crown from me - I definitely should be Homecoming Queen 2006, not quite sure how I lost that one...

Its going to be flippin cold tonight, I'll have to put 15 layers of clothing on my children, and I'll have to walk 1/2 a mile with 3 children by myself, but let me tell you - it will be well worth it to take part in my very first homecoming game.

And in case you're wondering, yes I'm planning to wear low rise, skin tight jeans, a thong, and just a tube top. Who cares about how cold it is - I have to be dressed to kill.

Go Lockport Porters!

Thursday is the best night ever
So I'm watching Grey's Anatomy this afternoon, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it and BAM! My Tivo stopped recording right after someone in a towel walked out of Addison's bathroom and McDreamy's face is shocked. WHAT???? What happened? Who was it? What else did I miss?

Help me out here!

ER made me cry again... kind of sick of crying every time I watch that show. However, Luca looks very much like Dr. Hottie, so I'm okay with it.

The Office rocked. I loved the fact that Jim walked into Dwight's room and decided that he had gotten a hooker. I also love that Michael Scott is basically a 5th grader.

Survivor - lets be honest, this was not the most suspenseful merge ever. In fact, there wasn't anything really exciting going on in this show last night. The most exciting thing was that they did my favorite immunity challenge ever. So far Survivor has been a big yawn for me (okay, well except last week when that guy thought that he and this girl had fallen in love at first sight).

Mullet or no?
I get my haircut tomorrow. Wish me luck! I'll definitely try to take before and after photos...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Buh Bye, sniff

Remember when Harry Hamlin looked good? (By the way, this picture was from 1987).

I'm sorry he had to leave. I liked him. He had good posture and a winning attitude;) But he is no match for my tv boyfriend. Even though Joey did a little illegal maneuvering, he still was awesome (and apolgetic... take note AC Slater).

And I have to say that all of the illegal moves are making the show soooo much more interesting - because the judges get so ticked off when it happens and they chastise the contestants like they're 4 years old. Poor AC Slater, he has gotten yelled at two weeks in a row, but I'm telling you - I don't think he has a clue because he's in another world at the time... trying to figure out how to get Jesse Spanos' clothes back on, how to keep Zach and Kelly together and how to get Screech out of the locker.

So fare thee well, Mr. Hamlin. I liked you and I'm sorry that your wife with the weird lips couldn't help you more by her incredible ability to cheer you on.

BTW - 1) Love Lisa Rinna's hair - so want that hairstyle, but don't think my hair would do it.
2) 7 days until LOST!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yes, I'm patting myself on the back.

Since I actually am the reigning Mother of the Year 2005 it is seriously disappointing that I totally forgot to take Nora's first-day-of-school photo.

So I took her 7th day of school photo yesterday...

First day of school 2005 (really - it was her first day of school - hence the reason I won the award last year):
And her 3rd or 4th day of school 2004:

I'm just saying that my front-runner status for the 2006 award is jeopardized.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I HAVE to show you something...

I am getting my haircut on Saturday. I am sick of my same ol' same ol' hair - longish, straight, does nothing, but I have to curl it hair. Sick of it. You know how that goes - you get sick of your hair and then you get obsessive about doing something different. Am I the only one? Okay, well I will remind you that I'm cool then.

Anyway, I was searching the web for pictures of new hairstyles. Trying desperately to find pictures of straight hair on a heart-shaped face - not much luck. But I did run across this website. For a minimal cost ($6.99) you can upload your own photo and "try on" many different hair styles. "PERFECT!" I thought and grabbed my camera to take some photos.

They ask you to take a picture of yourself in front of a white background, facing forward with your hair pulled back ("sunglasses on baby. I can see you... your 'something' shinin in the sun"- sorry, couldn't help myself, the last part of that sentence just ran into that song in my head. What song is that?).

So I did. And these pictures made me laugh pretty hard. Please disregard the phantom arm that is trying to kidnap me from behind the door as well as my unexplainable urge to show off my left breast;) I will tell you why they made me laugh - and you will get to know me a little bit better:

Photo 1: While posing for this picture I felt like I had a grin on my face. A smirk. A slight smile. Some amusement in my eyes - perhaps even a twinkle. And look how well that showed up on camera - you would think that I was giving one of the girls the evil eye or something:

Photo 2: While posing for this photo I thought the smile I had on my face was going to burst off of my face. Like if I smiled any bigger I would definitely look like the Joker and the picture would be ridiculously comical. I didn't think my cheeks could get any wider:

Boy if that isn't a true testiment to how unfriendly I look in real life - even when I'm trying to look friendly. I remember being a deskie in one of the dorms at Calvin and trying to look really friendly to the students when they walked in - hoping that they would stop by and talk to me and soon I would become the most popular deskie on campus. I guess I don't need to tell you that that never happened;)

Wow! How do I change that about me? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a happy person and that I laugh a lot - why don't I look like a happy, laugh-a-lot kind of person?

Mmmmmm.... Brownies

These could possibly be the best brownies EVER. Ever.

Swirled Turtle Brownies
1 1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. Baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 2/3 c. Toll House swirled Milk chocolate & caramel morsels, divided
1 c. chopped pecans, divided
1/3 c. caramel sauce (optional - per me:)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 13x9-inch baking pan.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy (and delicious). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 3/4 cup morsels and 1/2 cup nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle remaining morsels and nuts over top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from outer edge comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Drizzle with caramel sauce before cutting into squares.

Devour completely in one sitting before anyone else has a chance to steal one from you.

I didn't have caramel sauce, so I omitted it and let me tell ya, they didn't need it. I can only imagine how orgasmic these would have been with the caramel sauce, though. Wow. And I HATE NUTS - especially in my brownies and cookies (Gram:). But boy oh boy, they were good in these brownies. Mmmm. Yummy. I ate too many, and we'll see what the results of that were on Friday's weigh in;)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I want I am

I am:
a mom
a wife
a daughter
a friend
an interested person
a christian
interested in many things
friendly - even if I don't look like it
menstruating (ha! like that one, don't you:)
anxious at times
in love with my husband

I want:
my children to be happy
my children to be healthy
my children to have high self-esteem
a minivan or a larger vehicle
my kitchen cabinets to close
to be able to send Ryann to preschool this year
to sleep more
the sun to shine
to be tiny again
Dave to be successful in his business so that we can see him more and so that we can be generous to those who need it more than we do
to give
to love others the way I am loved
people to feel loved by me
my children to never doubt that I love them
to take a wine tasting class
figure out how to make things with my sewing machine
to play tennis with Dave
provide experiences rather than things for our girls
to go on vacation to the Caribbean
to be able to eat whatever I want
new landscaping
to finish our basement
to paint my house again
a big piece of cheesecake
to see my children grow up, marry and have kids
to be done having babies
to be a foster parent someday
to live a consistent life
to learn balance

I need:
to read my Bible more
to pray more
to serve more
to be a better friend
to be a better family member
to iron Dave's shirts
to donate blood
to give the dog a bath
to eat less
to paint PD's ceiling and son's room
to get to know my friends better
to get to know my parents better

I should:
spend less time on the computer
spend more time with the girls
be more bold
be more willing to be uncomfortable
read more
write more
tell people I love them
send more hand-written notes
worry less about what others think of me
share my faith
memorize scripture
be more empathetic
keep my mouth shut more often

I Did:
iron a shirt a couple of days ago
balance my checking account yesterday
give each of my girls a kiss to say good morning
climb the stairs this morning
eat a piece of pizza last night
drink a lot of water yesterday
Tae Bo Bootcamp yesterday and it kicks my bum
pay the bills
buy a few christmas gifts for the girls this week
make brownies with Nora and Ryann this morning
put pecans in the brownies - against my better judgement

I Didn't:
give the dog a bath like I told him I was going to
color with Nora yesterday
eat 2 pieces of pizza yesterday
take my vitamin at all this week
do the stairs yesterday like I was supposed to (it was raining)
buy a treadmill even though I'd really like to
look for the costumes for Georgia and Hannah
make dinner last night
laugh at The Office this week
have enough vanilla for the brownies, so we're hoping they still taste good

My weekend challenge to you: Copy and paste the following into the comments section and write the first thing that comes to mind for each...

I am:
I want:
I need:
I did:
I didn't:

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dave thinks I'm a dork because I drove a moped in high school

So in the chicagoland area it wasn't cool to drive a moped. As evidenced by the fact that Dave makes fun of me any time I mention it AND by the comment that BFWW left on my Razz post.

Dear BFWW:

Shut it, would you?


Did you think I was serious when I said I was cool in Junior High? Hello? Is anyone cool in Junior High? I certainly was not! I'm sure we all have our horror stories of junior high, my most memorable one was being called Freddy Krueger because I had zits before anyone else did. Junior High kids are so nice... I secretly jumped up and down when that kid got pretty bad acne in high school (while my face was clear from seeing the dermatologist). What was your secret junior high revenge?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 16

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I need a baby manual

This is my "Give me advice - any advice" post... so please do not be stingy, I will try anything.

Has anyone had issues with their babies not wanting to eat baby food? Please tell me what you tried or give me ideas... here are the issues:

Georgia is 10 1/2 months old.
She has the 2 front bottom teeth
She is getting the top two middle teeth - one has broken through, the other is just under the surface
She will take her last dose of amoxycillan for an ear infection tonight
She will drink her bottles now (last week she wouldn't - probably due to the ear infection... otis media... i am so smart. smrt).
She will NOT eat her babyfood. I have always given her 1/2 jar each of veggies and fruit at lunch and dinner. At breakfast she was eating 1/2 of a banana. Now she will not eat any of it. If I cut up a banana for her it ends up on the floor, on her lap, in the chair and in her hair - none in her mouth. So now I'm giving her toast...

The babyfood... at first I thought she was refusing the meats, so I stuck with veggies and fruit - no meat combos, but then it turned into refusing the veggies, so I would try to mix the veggies with the fruit - 1/3 spoonful veggie, 2/3 spoonful fruit - but now she is rejecting all babyfood - including fruits. By rejecting I mean, screaming at the sight of it, crying when I put it in her mouth, pushing it out of her mouth, spitting it all over, letting it drip out of her mouth - and any other form of rejecting that you can think of.

So I try to give her table food, but since she doesn't have teeth (and can't eat everything) I don't feel comfortable that she's getting enough to eat... Today I gave her some pineapple and she seemed very, very happy with that. I also gave her some sweet potato fries and she'd put a piece in her mouth and let it fall out. She used to eat frozen peas and frozen corn like it was candy, now not so much...

So I'm stuck. She's not eating a whole lot and then she's crabby when she wakes up in the morning and crabby before meals. Anyone have any ideas?

I know this could be due to that second tooth trying to break through, but good gracious, I want to skip meal time altogether because it has become the most miserable time of day... actually, the 1/2 hour before meal time and the mealtime itself are the most miserable times of day, which means that there is very few minutes of quiet happy time when she is awake.

Someone solve my problem - PLEASE!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Two randoms...

A Thinker

Went out for dinner with a friend last night. She asked the following question: Name three sermons that you will remember for the rest of your life.

I could name one. So whats my problem? Do I go to church and not listen? Do I not get anything out of the sermons? Do I sleep through it all? Do I have a hard time retaining information?

I don't believe any of those are true. I think the answer is that I haven't had enough life experiences to truly have 3 sermons that I will remember for the rest of my life. The one that I could name hit me at a rough time and was the exact thing I needed to hear at that time.

How about you? Tell me about 3 sermons that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Dancing With The Stars

Dear Joey Lawrence:
Since you are my new tv boyfriend, I feel compelled to ask you why, oh why did you wear such a hideous shirt last night? You are so grown up and beautiful now that you shaved your head. But why choose such an atrocity to show to the world?

But you are lovely dancer and I love you. Thank you for being a c-list star and trying to ressurect your career on this show. You are yummy.

Dear AC Slater:
I don't know your real name... it doesn't matter, you will never be anything other than AC Slater and your friend will never be anything other than Zach Morris. What happened to Zach anyway? Did he and Kelly get married - what's up with them?

You did a great job, but naughty, naughty. You HAVE to stay legal. Don't you understand what this show is all about? You did a good job of showing remorse when you got chastised, although with your incredible ADD issue I'm sure you were thinking of something entirely different in your head. I could watch you be ADD for an hour.

Please tell Zach and Kelly that I say hi and tell whats her name to keep her clothes on.

Dear Emmit Smith:
I like you, twinkletoes. Impressive, but not good enough, I'm afraid.

Dear Harry Hamlin:
You look really, really old. You were HOT last night.

Dear Time Fillers (aka: rest of the contestants):
I don't know who you are. Hope this helps your careers - good luck with that.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I drove a Razz moped in high school

I'm sure all of you are well aware of the fact that I am cool. I am. Very cool. And I was in junior high and high school, too. As evidenced by the fact that I drove a Razz until I got my license and my first car.

All of my guy friends had mopeds at that age (13-15), too. We all needed them (and could afford them) because we worked at one of the local farms. We had only a few options for getting to and from our jobs:
1) Mom or dad bringing us and picking us up
2) riding our bikes
3) driving a moped

Since most of us didn't really have option #1 (our parents worked), and option 2 got old really fast, we all opted for #3. And we were cool. We could go anywhere we wanted to a lot faster on our 30mph mopeds than on our 10 speed bikes. My girlfriends were stuck on their bikes riding only as far as their bodies allowed them... I, on the other hand, could traverse quite a distance in a short amount of time. I was cool - remember?

(note... my girlfriends were also into all of that girly crap that I just couldn't understand - acrylic nails, manicures, makeup, Paul Mitchell hair products, Verve perfume, designer clothing, purses, the list goes on. That is why they weren't working in the muck - they didn't want to get dirty. I don't think I had much of a choice at first, but I ended up loving it and the people I worked with. And I would not trade the experience or the character that I gained for any amount of acryllic nails and Verve perfume.)

My Razz meant freedom for me. Before the moped I was confined to the familiar area that I had already ridden my bike to and I didn't want to ride my bike to places by myself. Part of the fun of riding our bikes was doing it together and talking the whole time. Who wants to ride a bike 2 miles to the gas station by themselves just to get some candy? But on a moped 2 miles to the gas station was a quick trip and well worth the time for buying a single candy bar or pack of Skittles - and I could do it on a whim, whenever I got a craving or an urge to just go out. And I wasn't limited to my parents wanting to drive me or pick me up or to their work schedules - I could go to a friends house pretty much whenever I wanted to (as long as it was okay with my parents) and not depend on anyone else to drive me or pick me up. It was free-ing.

You know how you felt when you got your license and your first car? That was kind of how I felt with my moped. Not to the same extent because I was still young and not quite adventurous or needing that ultimate freedom, yet, but a little bit like that nonetheless.

My moped defines my early teenage years for me - It is what I remember about junior high. Okay, that and Verve perfume.

What made you cool in junior high?

getting to know me in 100 days - day 15

And just so you know, I was politely corrected by Television Slave's husband that I did not drive a moped - I drove a scooter. To which I say, as Toby from RockStar: Supernova says, "EVS!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

My eyes are broken - when are they going to be fixed?

At 2:18am CST Nora woke up crying and coughing - one of those panicky cries with a croupy cough. Dave, in his zombie state went downstairs to find cough medicine while I (half-asleep) laid with Nora on her bed and tried to calm her down. You know how it goes - the more she cried, the more she coughed. The more she coughed, the more she cried.

She said to me, "My mouth is broken. When will it be fixed?" Cute, huh? Yeah, it would be at 9am or even 7am - not so much at 2:22 am.

I finally came to a semi-conscious state of being and brought her into the bathroom and started the hot water hoping to produce enough steam to open her airway. Here is what I learned:

1. Running hot water through the tub faucet does not produce much steam.
2. Running the shower works better.
3. You need to close the shower doors.
4. When you're learning those kinds of lessons, the hot water runs out pretty quickly - so quickly that we didn't get much steam.

When I figured out that there was no more hot water Nora started crying and said, "It didn't work." Again - cute at 7am. Not so much at 2:45am.

So I got out the vaporizor. Cleaned it out. Set it up in Nora's room and watched her fall back into a (semi) peaceful sleep. I can hear that her airway has opened a bit and she isn't coughing or panicking. Problem solved? Not quite. Problem helped? Yes. Child sleeping? Yes.

Then I went downstairs to read up on croup and its treatments in my What to Expect The Toddler Years book and learned nothing new on how to produce steam. Put the book away, went back upstairs to bed. In bed - 3:08am.

Right now it is 3:44am and what am I doing? Am I sleeping? No. Why? No clue - wait, I do know why... because I got myself moving enough to wake myself up. I woke myself up enough to sufficiently help my ailing child - and also sufficiently enough to get my mind going. And now I can't get back to sleep. Nice.

THIS is why I often pretend to not hear the girls when they cry in the middle of the night and let Dave get up and help them.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Remember my confession?

Today is garage sale day in our neighborhood. People are being ever so polite to walk past my house on their way to check out the goodies that my neighbors are trying to get rid of. Walking past my house. Where the dog can see them. How dare they? He barks at the air when there is not a thing moving in it - do I need to tell you what he is doing about the garage-salers?

Today, I feel the exact opposite of love for Woof.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm often overwhelmed at the amount of responsibility I have

I'm 30 years old. 30. Thats really not very old. And when I think about the amount of responsibility I have, I want to cry. Thats why I don't think about it very often and I just go on with life and do things one day at a time.

I'm not going to make a list of my responsibilities - you all have them, too - but I will say that the only things I'm NOT responsible for are the cars, the lawn, feeding the dog and giving him his pills, and the investing. I do everything else. I take care of everything and everyone else. Dave helps me a lot - especially if I ask, but for the most part I am fully responsible for everything else.

Like I said, I don't think about it too much. I can't, because I might just never get out of bed. I go about my day doing my duties, taking care of the girls, the house, and everything that goes along with it like its not a big deal. And when you think of it like that - it isn't really a big deal.

You know what really overwhelms me though? To think that I'm responsible for the health and well-being of 3 other little people. If I really think about it, that seems incredibly daunting. THAT is what overwhelms me. I am fully responsible, at this point, for their health and nutrition, their basic needs and their major needs.

Parenting and caring for the girls could be very easy. Let them eat what they want when they want. Let them watch as much tv and whatever tv they want. Let them go to bed when they want - or not at all. Let them do whatever they want. Never say No.

But it isn't that simple. I COULD do that, but it would not be in the best ineterest of Nora, Ryann and Georgia and our family as a whole.

Its hard work trying to raise 3 little girls with healthy self-esteems, modesty, and good character. Its hard to figure out what to feed them everyday for 3 meals a day that incorporates all of the food groups and not too much sugar. Its hard to teach them that vegetables are good. Its hard to know when to bring them to the doctor and when to let symptoms run their course. Its hard to remember to give them every dose of their antibiotics.

Its hard. And its overwhelming.

But I love my responsibilities. I love my life and what I do. I don't love the bills that come with it and the lack of funds at the moment, but I love thinking about the future and what we hope to provide for our girls when we're able. I love taking care of them and I love being home with them and being the one responsible for them. I love it that we're able to somehow live on one income so I can be home with them and see every little thing they do, give them their medicine, and tell Dave stories about them while we're in bed at night. I love them.

And sometimes I spend too much time on the computer because I'm feeling overwhelmed;)

What do you do to escape when you're feeling overwhelmed by life?

getting to know me in 100 days - day 14

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What kind of cutie are you?

We have some wonderful friends who are like family to us. They do wonderful things for us like babysit our girls. We have been swapping babysitting for several years now and our girls feel very at home in their house and very much love Doug and Jenny and the boys.

Apparently Jenny has been calling Georgia a Cutie Pie when she's over there. Nora and Ryann started calling her that, too, a few weeks ago. Soon that was the only way they referred to her... "Oh, Cutie Pie is going to bed." "Cutie Pie spit up." Etc. Etc.

So one such day Dave and I were playing with the three of them and asked Ryann if she was a cutie pie. She very adamantly said, "No, GEORgia is a cutie pie." So we asked her if she was a "Cutie Cake" and her answer was no.

We went through the list of every kind of dessert we could think of:
Cutie Ice cream cone? No
Cutie Cookie? No
Cutie Bananas Foster? Cutie Cheesecake? (mmmm. cheesecake) Cutie Brownie? Cutie Candy? No, No, No, and No. The list went on and on.

Finally she told us that she is a Cutie Donut and that is final...

Sometimes we ask her, "Ryann, are you a Cutie Cake?" and she says, "NO! I'm a cutie doNUT!" Other times we'll ask her, "Ryann, what are you?" and she says in the sweetest voice ever, "I'm a cutie donut."

And she just happens to be the best cutie donut ever:)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I would be heartbroken if Brady got lost

Six and a half years ago Dave and I went shopping for a computer and came home with a dog instead. We made the mistake of stopping in the pet store next to the computer store and bringing a puppy into the love room. Bad, bad, bad idea. We should have known when he peed in the back seat of the car on the way home that we were in for trouble.

He was 3 lbs when we brought him home. He could fit his whole head inside Dave's water glass. He was too scared to go down the stairs (although he had no problem going up the stairs). He hated his cage and cried all night. He was like a newborn - slept all day and wanted to play at night. For the first few weeks Dave and I took turns getting up in the middle of the night and throwing him a ball for 2 hours before going back to sleep. It was tiring, but we loved our Guy.

We have so many Brady stories from that first year of having a puppy and no children... Like whoever came up with the idea that dogs don't go potty or big potty where they sleep needs to be introduced to our dog - he was more than willing to do both. And he liked to eat it and throw it up where he slept so I could give him a bath when I came home from work. One time I gave him a bath after work and without thinking let him right outside to go potty. There was lots of snow on the ground. It was very cold. My father in law called and I forgot the dog was outside. By the time I remembered he was outside, his fur was frozen and he was hunched over like a puppy popsicle.

We loved having a dog. We didn't become too much like dog parents, but we definitely loved and had a great affection for our Guy. He had quite a personality and was so energetic and fun.

When I was pregnant with Nora we worried that he might get jealous of the new baby, but he didn't. He was nervous for the first 3 days (because he is a very anxious, nervous, pansy dog), but he has always been very good with our girls. He was nervous for 3 days after Ryann came home, too, but by the time we brought Georgia home he was fine with it and seemed like nothing was different.

I've always had great affection for our Guy, until Ryann came around. She was not an easy baby to get into a nap schedule and inevitably I would finally get her napping and this dumb dog would start barking at moving air molecules and wake her up. This is when the downward spiral of my feelings toward Brady began. He quickly began answering to new names - Brady and Guy were interchangeable almost immediately after we brought him home, we added Fuzz and Fuzzer soon after that, but now he was answering to Dopey, Barkley, Sir Barks A lot, and one other obscene name on bad days;)

Suddenly my affection was a little less. I kept threatening to open the door and let him run and not come home. His added noise to the sometimes unbearable amount of crying that goes on here at times, is incredibly grinding. It seems like his barking just sends me over the edge sometimes. I often tell him that I'm going to pack him into the car and drop him off on I-55 and see if he's smart enough to find his way home (he won't be... he's not such a smart dog).

But Friday night, I almost got my wish. Dave had mowed the lawn that evening and forgotten to close the gate when he came inside. When he let Woof (his newest moniker courtesy of Ryann) out before bed, he never came back - he had nosed his way out of the back yard. Dave went searching - in the dark. We had no idea where he might be, but we both figured he wouldn't be coming home that night. It was dark, it was 10:30 and the neighbors were likely in bed - not looking out their windows or back doors for the random neighbor dog who might be nosing around their yards. And the worst part... he didn't have his name tag on his collar. Such a stupid oversight - one of those things that I keep thinking I need to do, but just never get around to doing. So even if someone found him, they wouldn't know who to call.

So Dave is walking through our neighbors' yards with a flashlight and I'm standing in the driveway hoping to get a glimpse of some moving mass a few houses down. I was actually standing there praying that God would just give me a glimpse so we'd know which direction to go in. I also kept thinking, "I can't believe this happened when my next blog post is 'I would be heartbroken if Brady got lost.' " I'm cool, in case you didn't know;)

I was turning to go back inside and something caught my eye 3 houses down. Sure enough, Woof had emerged from a yard and was ready to cross the street. I yelled his name, he stopped, looked at me, I told him to stop, he looked at me once more and then took off across the street. Nice. And I want this back?

Needless to say, Dave ran over and got him and brought him home. And we were both very happy.

I have a few personal secrets... one of them is that I pretend I don't like my dog, when I really, really do like him and I would be heartbroken if he never came home.... today I'm going to finally get that tag on his collar.

Do you have a pet? What kind? How do you really feel about that pet?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 13

Some pictures of our Woof... he puts up with so much from me;)

During Nora's first Christmas photo shoot... he always wants to be around, but hates having his picture taken. Doesn't he look like he's glaring at me?

Here is Fuzz at Dog Day at Comisky Park (back in the day when we could afford to do such silly things:) It was so much fun - we went on a dog parade around the field before the game, then sat in the bleachers with a bunch of other (much uglier) dogs. He got free puppy ice cream, there was a grass patch and a fire hydrant in the concourse for the dogs to pee on, and he made a friend. But for most of the time he sulked underneath the seat. I think we enjoyed Dog Day much more than he did.

Me and Dopey at the Thanksgiving parade in Howell, Michigan. He enjoys getting out and sniffing new places:)
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A few of my favorites

This is how I caught him one day. Sometimes he thinks he's a person ;)

Woof playing outside in his sweatshirt.
He's always really happy to have me put this on him;)

Remember I called him a pansy? Okay, here he is - scared of his Christmas present. It was a bone!

And this is my absolute favorite Brady memory. I giggle until I cry when I think about this and am so glad I got a picture:) I put a pair of Nora's running pants on him and he went berzerk. He was so embarrased, he went and hid by Dave until I took them off (which was a while because I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants).
I think this picture is hysterical!

Poor Woof, he puts up with so much. He's really a good guy:) Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

10 months

I was looking through all of my pictures on the computer this morning and wondering where in the world the time went. I love looking through those pictures and remembering my girls at those ages. I just can't believe how quickly they grow up!

Here they all are at 10 months:




Look - they all have their 2 bottom teeth and their mouths wide open! So cute:) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

10 months

Oh my gosh - I have the cutest children in the history of children:) They are so cute! I just love them!

I'm glad I've gotten that out of the way - I'm sorry to have dashed your opinions of your own children, but it is a fact that my children are the cutest children ever created. So thats all I'm going to say about that;)

Georgia is 10 months old today. I said that at breakfast and Dave did one of these: Sigh, "Wow." Kind of a deflated wow - like Wow, I can't believe how fast that went. Wasn't it just yesterday that PD and I were racing to push these babies out and I was informing the doctor that even though she had been in the hospital 2 hours longer than me if we both got to 10 at the same time, I got to go first because I didn't have an epidural?Wasn't it just yesterday that we heard "Its a girl!" and the next thing out of our mouths was, "Look at that hair!"? Wow.She is no longer a baby, she is a pre-toddler if there is such a thing.

She is crawling like a mad woman and pulling herself up on everything. She hasn't started cruising yet - I'm beginning to understand that this last child of ours is quite cautious about life. She does things when she's comfortable and when she's ready - no one is going to coax her to do things faster than that. And I'm happy with that philosophy:) She is all over the place - and always with a smile on her face -------->

Her schedule is still the same as before, but we've added some food to her delightful palate. She loves avacados - in fact, if I'm cutting one for her she yells at me until she's got it in her mouth. She yells for her 1/2 of a banana every morning. She loves frozen peas, carrots, & corn and canned green beans. She eats apples, pears, strawberries, melon, pineapple, cheese, pancakes, bread, rice, baby gold fish crackers, graham crackers, a cookie here and there and just about anything I dare give her. She loves finger food and would prefer that over baby food.

In fact, she's pretty sick of baby food, I think. When I feed her the meat varieties she pushes it out of her mouth, grabs it with her hand and then wipes it in her hair. Its really nice. She and I got into a fight about it one morning (she was doing that with her cereal- that was the last time I gave her cereal). But who can blame her - pureed meat? Um, ick...

She is still a talky talk and chatters constantly. Dave says that she just feels a need to inject a noise into the conversation sometimes. Its quite funny, actually. She just yells or "talks" all the time. I play follow the leader with her and the noises - I let her lead and then I copy and she thinks it is hysterical!

She loves to bug her sister, Ryann. Not so much with Nora for some reason. She doesn't bother Nora, but she is always taking things from Ryann, climbing on Ryann, pulling Ryann's hair, etc. And Dave and I are evil parents because we watch it happen and don't stop her from doing it;) What comes around goes around, Ryann:)

Again, I have to say she is truly a delightful baby. She always, always has a smile on her face and lights up when she sees anyone. She will let anyone hold her. She will let anyone babysit her. She will play on her own. She is such a joy! She will knock you out of any kind of bad mood you might be in - such a sweet, fun child:) We love our little Bug:)

This is the smile that is always on her face ------>
Her jaw has got to hurt from having it open that wide all the time...

This is Georgia's version of waving. She gets so excited about it that she shoves her hands in her mouth:) She also does "So Big" but I couldn't get her to do it for the camera. Posted by Picasa

Basking in the sheer joy of throwing clothes around.

Rubbing her eyes- getting tired.

Does this child ever close her mouth? Hoping thats not a sign of things to come:)

Climbing on mom is so much fun!

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Friday, September 08, 2006

My favorite dessert is cheesecake

Dear Cheesecake,

I have had a love affair with you for many years. Ever since I took my first bite and had those hearts floating in my eyes and around my head like you see on cartoons because you were so delicious, I have been in love. My husband knows and he doesn't care. I can leave him for you and he will understand.

Oh luscious, creamy, dreamy cheesecake. I love you when you are covered in chocolate sauce. I love you when you are covered in caramel sauce. Oh cheesecake, I love you when you are plain.

When did you decide to dress yourself in graham cracker crumbs? You were perfect as you were, but oh how much more perfect are you with graham cracker crumbs!

There are people that try to make you better. They add little things like raspberry & white chocolate, pumpkin swirls, turtle fixings, chocolate chips, oreo cookies, a caramel layer on the bottom. Those things are quite tasty and I enjoy them, but I do love you just the way you are. I will take you in any form as long as you are baked and not soupy (bad Eli's - bad, bad Eli's).

I miss you cheesecake. Why, oh why must you be so full of it? Sugar. Fat. Calories. You alone are preventing me from having you when I want you. You are inherently bad for me, but oh so good for me.

I will have you again one day soon. When I am tiny again I will celebrate with a mile high piece of you with chocolate and caramel sauce and perhaps a bit of whipped cream and a sprig of mint.

Mmmm. Cheesecake - my forbidden love. QOTD:
What is your favorite dessert? And what is your favorite cheesecake? And are you drooling? I am.

getting to know me in 100 days - day 12

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I'm terrified of losing my husband and children

It occurred to me one day that quite possibly the worst decision I have ever made was to get married and have children.

A couple of nights after bringing Nora home from the hospital I was cuddling with my tiny baby and I turned to Dave and said, "Did you ever imagine that you could love anyone this much?" It amazed me, this new kind of love that was in my life... I loved Dave so much, but this was entirely different. And she didn't really love me back. She depended on me, yes. But I don't think she loved me. She certainly could not show me affection, yet. But I loved her more than life.

Before I had Ryann I wondered how I could possibly love another child as much or in the same way as I loved Nora. I didn't understand how a parent could do that - I thought I loved Nora so much that I didn't have anymore to share. But then came Ryann and Ryann was almost unlovable to all but her mom (even her dad at times). She was a tough, tough baby to love for everyone else (hey - I'm being honest... she cried when anyone held her but me and I think almost everybody loved her because they were obligated to love her;). But I loved her more than life. As much as I loved Nora. The same way I loved Nora.

And when I was pregnant with Georgia I never worried about if I could love another baby - I now knew that no matter how many children I had I could and would love them more than life. The same way I loved my current children. And as much as I loved my current children.

And then there's Dave. My love for my husband just grows and grows every day. I love him. I'm in love with him. And every day it gets better.

My love for my children and husband sometimes feels physical - like it is exploding out of me. Sometimes I don't know how to express it best. I just want to hug and kiss them constantly. I tell them I love them all day. My heart feels ready to explode at times. How do you describe that?

And yet that love terrifies me. The thought of losing one of them to an accident or an illness or in any way makes me sick to my stomach and immediately brings me to tears. If I try to put myself in the place of someone who has lost a child or a spouse so I can be empathetic, I physically feel heart ache. If I think about my children being hurt, my heart aches. When I read the draft of our will last week before signing it, I sobbed - because my heart ached for my children as I thought about them reading the will for the real reason it was written.

My heart aches right now as I write this.

Loving someone leaves one so vulnerable to pain and heart ache. The people you love the most have the potential to hurt you the most - intentionally, unintentionally, by something they say, something they do, or by losing them somehow.

This is why I say that the worst decision I have ever made was to get married and have children. If I was alone - no family, no friends, no one loving me and no one to love - the potential for that pain would not exist. If I were a hermit, I might be miserably lonely, but my heart wouldn't ache at the mere thought of losing someone in my family or one of my friends.

Yet God calls us to community. He loves us and he calls us to love others. He gives us people to love and therefore, he gives us the potential to be hurt by that love. He draws us near to him in the pain. He loves us through our heart ache and beyond. He loves us. And because of his love we can say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your name, Jesus." and "He gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name." Through all things he is given glory - not just my happiness and pure joy in loving my friends and family, but also in any pain that may result from that love.

I am terrified of losing my husband and children - when I really think about it, I'm not sure how I would physically move on with my life - but I know God would give me the strength to get through it. I know that he would provide the support I would need to get through it. Do I want to go through it? No, but I don't need to be terrified even when my heart aches as it does right now.

Do you understand what I'm saying? Or am I the only one who feels like this:)?

getting to know me in 100 days - day 11

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pictures from the weekend

Every Labor Day weekend we go to my Gramp's and Gram's cottage for the weekend. Gram becomes a "mom" and this mom becomes a vegetable. I spend the entire weekend sitting on the porch looking at the lake, reading a book, and getting sunburned. Dave spends the weekend catching (ghost) fish and trying to convince us that he actually caught something. The girls spend the weekend getting to know Gram and Gramp and eating all kinds of treats that they wouldn't normally get at home. They get spoiled. I get spoiled. Dave "catches fish".

Being goofy on the bunk bed

Georgia playing with Gram's bucket o' toys. (I would dress her in these elf jammies all day every day if I could - I just love them:)

And the result of the weekend is:

I didn't have enough memory space on my camera to get any more pictures, but everyone was sleeping on the way home except for the fisherman.

We always have such a nice weekend. Its relaxing and its tiring. And we get to spend some quality time with Gram and Gramp without anyone else to occupy ours or their time and attention. Its good. Very good.

Thanks Gramps and Gram! We love you! Posted by Picasa

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