Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Writers Block


Summer blogging is the worst.

The worst, I tell ya.

Seriously, no one is reading my blog, so I feel like I shouldn't even bother.

Or perhaps it's because I haven't been posting regularly. Or maybe because I switched to a new URL and my readers got lost along the way.

Either way, I'm struggling here. I need some good blog fodder.

So I leave you with this little beauty.

That's pretty much all I've got. Hopefully life will be a little more exciting soon. (And for you Karma Gods out there, I'm not asking for anything like last summer, just a little something funny to blog about, mmmkay? Thanks.)

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Perhaps I'm Heartless

But am I the only one that thinks Michael Jackson was a freak?

He was.

Look at him.

I know we shouldn't judge based on looks, but when he was black, then white, then his nose falls off, and his chin gets all square, and his hair gets all greasy, it's hard not to judge.

Then there was the whole thing about sleeping in a bed with little boys.

Can we forget that in lieu of a little moonwalk? I think not.

I'm not heartless enough to know how hard it is to lose a family member, but come on people. There are other songs to be played on the radio, and E! should probably get a clue and stop with the "Breaking News" updates already.

Did we forget Farrah died? And what about Ed McMahon? I'm pretty sure they deserve a tribute more than MJ, for they never had to stand trial for child molestation charges.

I'm just sayin...

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Happy Friday!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Keli Can't Come To The Blog Right Now

It has finally reached summer temperatures around these parts. Keli will be outside enjoying water parks, pools, and friends houses with the sprinklers on. She should be back shortly. Please leave a message at the beep.


Oh, and don't forget to click here to earn her a buck. Okay, a penny. She gets one penny each time you visit, so be generous!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

That's Hot


Trains, taxis, and blisters.

What a weekend.

Sugar Daddy and I headed downtown for a comedy concert. Noel and Gary watched the kids for us, so we made a weekend out of it and called it a Father's Day getaway.

Saturday we dropped the kids off, boarded the train, and headed to the city. The Palmer House Hilton was our destination.

After dropping off our bag, we did a little shopping. The girls all got new Crocs, I got new Aerosoles (that gave me a wicked set of blisters, so much for Aero's being my most favorite comfy shoe brand!), and Sugar Daddy scored some new V-neck T's for half off at Old Navy.

Then it was lunch at Pizano's, and back to the hotel for a little "nap".

Getting on the water taxi that took us to Union Station.

The Chicago Theater. Not as cool inside as the Oriental, but then again, I don't know as much about it. ;)

Saturday night we went and saw Lisa Lampanelli at the Chicago Theater. Please don't think less of me if you know her. She's dang funny, and her humor is right up my alley.

Then it was dinner at Boston Blackies, and back to the Hotel for a movie. Don't waste your money renting "Miss March", btw.

After a night of seriously restless legs, I finally dozed off around 3:30AM, and woke at 9. We ate brunch at Petterinos, my most favorite Chicago haunt. I have such great memories of my mom enjoying every bite of her flourless chocolate cake while we searched the walls high and low for that second caricature of John Cusack. This time I had a crab and asparagus omelet, and Sugar Daddy had an extra sharp cheddar cheese and bacon omelet. Muy delicioso!

We boarded the train at 2:30, and headed home. On the way, we were seated behind a great couple with 2 adorable little girls. We started chatting, and found out they had just moved here from Buffalo last week. They don't have any family here, and were still getting to know the lay of the land. Of course I took it upon myself to invite them to our Father's Day BBQ, and they accepted! It was so nice to get to know new friends, and especially ones that fit right in with the rest of us! I would have been so grateful for a group of people to include me, especially in those first few weeks when I didn't know a single soul!

So today we are just recouping from a crazy weekend. The kids had a blast at Noels, and didn't want to leave.

This week is supposed to be super hot and humid, with the heat index in the 100's. I guess I'll have to finally turn my AC on.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wiser For Sure

Today is my dad's birthday.

He's older, and wiser.

Things I love about my dad, in no particular order, are:

  • He thinks he knows a lot of stuff. Mostly it's just made up, though.
  • He's always up for a good time.
  • He's probably one of the hardest workers I know.
  • He has magic golf clubs.

  • He's sort of a goofball.
  • I think he's a mix between Captain Stubing and Clark Griswold.
  • He loves his family more than anything.
  • He's been a trooper over the last year.

I find it so fitting that my dad's birthday falls during the same week as Father's Day almost every year. He deserves a double honor, in my opinion. Dad has done so much for our family. Thanks to his spry spirit, I have a lot of good, if not frightening, memories from my childhood. Some fun things that I remember are, in no particular order:

  • Short blast in the boat
  • "Show some hair!"
  • Exploding motorhome battery.
  • Crazy finger-moving contraption for months and months.
  • Black powder, anyone?
  • Polishing brass in the tumbler.
  • Stirring paint.
  • And so many other things, I could go on and on.
So I hope you have a happy birthday dad. I love you and miss you! See you soon!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I was really motivated yesterday.

Mostly I was tired of the kids complaining that they were bored, so I decided to take them to the City.

All. My. Byself.

Here they are, waiting for our train. They ride for free, so we only had to pay $12 for me for the Metra. Bargain, huh?

Enjoying the pouring rain after spending the day inside the Field Museum. That place is awesome! I'm so geeky like that, I love all the tidbits of information that most people would find useless. Maybe I should have gone into museum sciences or something like that?

Seriously, though. When the museum closed, we headed out with the throngs of other people, and started hailing cabs. Maggie loves taxi's, btw. After standing a torrential rain for 45 minutes, having a single lady steal a cab right out from under me and the soaking wet kids, and knowing we were going to miss our express train home, I decided to walk to opposite direction of the crowd just to see if I could grab a random cab.

It worked.

We made it to the station about 10 minutes after our train's scheduled departure.

But, the Karma Gods were smiling down on us, because the train was still boarding when we arrived. We made it! Express all the way from Chicago to Glenview, which saves about 20 minutes of commute time. Which is priceless when you have 3 soaking wet kids!

A parting shot of the Field Museum. It is a wonderful place to visit. I plan on returning soon, and doing the Underground Experience.

So that was my day of motivation. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's unforgettable.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Year

Do you remember last year at this time? I do. I will never forget it. Today is the day my safety net was ripped out from under me. The day my whole life changed in an instant. Today was the start of an incredible journey through faith, struggle, and peace. I remember it all as if it were yesterday. I still remember her hands, as I deliberately burned their image into my brain. I can still hear her last rasping breaths as she hovered between here and there. I can still feel that sense of peace that came with knowing she was in a better place, and watching over us all. What a year it's been. I've grown immensely. Two steps forward, one step back kind of growth, but growth nonetheless. Here I am a year later, a different person, more aware of the gifts life gives, more humbled by God, and more capable of using the gift of the Atonement to ease the burden of grief that can easily weigh me down.

I leave you with last year's "D Day" post.

June 17, 2008

No Words

Hello, blog friends. I'm back for a short stint as a blogger again. Only this time I reappear a different woman. Remember all that mumbo jumbo about a creative renewal, blah blah blah? Yeah, do I have a story for you. I guess you could say I got what I asked for, and much, much more. Lucky me. And for the record, this computer has no spell check, so I apologize in advance.

Where do I begin? Should I get right to it or string you along with the memories that litter my brain of what went on that particular night? String you along, you say? Okay, whatever floats your boat.

Here's what I saw. Father's Day night. Around midnight, in fact. A very full, bright moon. Ants circling the kitchen floor. For some reason my eyes and brain were fixated on those ants. I couldn't tear them away. They just circled and circled, and had not a care in the world. If only I could have felt what those ants felt at that moment, instead of what was about to drop onto my soul. I heard words coming from the other end of the phone. I understood the words, but I didn't, all at the same time. I heard myself saying things like "how big?" and "where is it?" and "how much time?", but the answers didn't register. Honestly, that voice could have told me I'd won the lottery, and it wouldn't have mattered. My life was different. In a flood of nausea and pounding ears, I heard myself scream for my sister. I felt my feet on the floor, but nothing else. I felt my head in my hands, and the cold tile on my soles, and I heard the dog door swing as one of the poodles jumped exitedly through it. But still, I was numb. The details are easy to remember. They are burnt into my memory as fresh as the birth of my children. But it's the words, the reality, the knowing, that are all just feelings. I know I felt a strange sense of calm, and then a subsequent urgency to call my brother and sister to come and be with us, even though it was the middle of the night. We sat outside, smelling the damp summer grass, and hearing the swing squeak as we lightly rocked and reflected on our situation. There were many tears, and surprising bursts of laughter, dotted with bouts of anger and frustration. There was prayer, and more tears, and then finally exhaustion.

This doesn't happen to me. We are not those people. I am not the one whose children will be raised without a grandparent.

But it seems I just may be. And it sucks. I'm pissed. And yet, I'm well aware of a strange chain of small miracles that have been happening over the last year or so to prepare me just for this situation.

I don't understand why She has been chosen to travel this road. I cannot fathom that in the preexistence she would have chosen to leave her family at such a young age. And yet I can. I can't understand that she is fine with it. And for some reason I feel fine with it as long as I'm around her. How is it that she is the one with Pancreatic Cancer with Liver metastises, and she is the one buoying us all up? I know how, it's because She's just that way. She always has been.
She is the caregiver, not the care receiver. And even in her yellow state, she still wants to make sure we know where the money for groceries is, and that she needs a draw for so-and-so at the office. She's just that way.

I'm still numb. I'm still pissed. And I'm still in awe of Her strength and beauty. If anyone can make yellow skin fashionable, it's her. She is wonderful.

I love you , mom.

For an update on what's going on with the cancer situation, please check our new blog, Cancer Sucks, and feel free to comment.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Recap

Well, it's Monday again.


We had a super fun weekend.

Saturday we did some serious Mullet watching at Lake Villa days, and saw a super-dee-duper fireworks display that may or may not have had a prostate problem.

Sunday we threw together a BBQ at our house and finally put up the water slide. It has been hovering just under 70 for the last month or so, and yesterday broke the 75 mark, so let the water sports begin. (Not that kind of water sports, you pervs.)

I broke a dish, my Temp-tations dish from my mom. I'm bummed. But I guess now I'll have to buy a new set, so that makes me happy.

We got eaten alive by mosquitoes, the Illinois state bird. But the food was yummy, the company was funny, and the weather was sunny, so all was well.

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Friday, June 12, 2009


Well, today is the day. Stitches come out. I'll be handling this myself, since I am qualified, but that certainly doesn't make it easy. I know she'll be freaking out, and I'll need some restrain assistance for sure. But we can do it.

On another note, Emma will be going to the doctor today to get a prescription for her allergies. They have been so bad this year. The Zyrtec isn't doing a dang thing for her, so it's time for something stronger.

Maggie will also be going to the doctor today (goodbye, $40 in copays!) for a different kind of problem. You see, I took the kids to the Forest Preserve yesterday for a little hike. We did a 2 mile loop, and the kids didn't have to stop once! Maggie was so proud of herself. I was very proud of her, too. You see, Maggie is not a nature lover. She hates anything that flies, crawls, creeps, or wiggles. So she was basically in her own personal Hell yesterday. But she was a trooper and made it through.

We were nearly done, when she feels a bite on the back of her left knee. She swats at whatever it was, and brings her hand up, and it's covered in blood. I thought she had just gotten a mosquito mid-bite, and perhaps it had tapped an artery or something. ;) Well, on the way home, she said she didn't feel well, and the rest of the day, she was limping all around. This morning I checked it out, and there is a red hot swollen area the size of a dinner plate from the back of her knee, around the side, and up and down from her thigh to her ankle. It's probably something that needs to be checked out, and perhaps treated with a steroid.

So today isn't really FFF. At least not for you. I, on the other hand, get to play doctor, which will thrill the heck out of Sugar Daddy.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Can Explain

I'm sure you're all wondering why the heck I would make you go to all the trouble of changing your Readers and Links to a new blog.

I totally understand.

I hate doing things like that. I mean copying and pasting is just soooooo much work.

But I have a good reason. I promise.

You see, for a year or so now, I've had a wickedly mean blog stalker. She was taking my posts and copying them onto her own blog and calling them her original works. Sorta like CJane, only not, because I'm not famous like CJane. So I thought I better start a new blog, and leave her in the dust.

And if you believe any of that, go back to bed, because I'm totally full of crap. Like anyone would want to steal my stuff! Puhlease!

Really, I was still logging in under an old old old email address, and I couldn't be logged in to Blogger and my Gmail account at the same time. I was afraid I might eventually lose the ability to log in at all to my blog, and thought I better get it switched now. So there you have it. No drama, which is just the way I like it.

Now I just have to get all my extras set up again. Pain in the arse, I tell you. But now I can be logged in to email and blogger at the same time, which is awesome, because all I need is more excuses to be on the internet.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In The Doghouse

We went camping up in Wisconsin. Again. I love it up there. The green everywhere, the lakes everywhere, the rednecks everywhere, it's like home sweet home.

Friday was beautiful. We spent the afternoon on the sandy shores of Lake Wisconsin, letting the little ones frolic in the shallows. After a picnic lunch, getting sunburned like no other, and a quick nap for Gretta, we headed back to the trailer to start dinner.

We had a few hours to kill before we needed to eat, so Noel and I decided to hit the Ho-Chunk casino. I do like myself a chunky ho, and a casino to boot!

I lost $20.

Noel won $300.

She sucks. Now I'm not paying her back the $1 I owe her.

Saturday it rained. All day. And it was freezing. We spent the better part of the day in the trailer, though we did catch Night At The Museum 2 at the local theater. It was adorable. I love Amy Adams, and her hair is so dang cute in the movie.

Afterward, we headed back to the trailer to settle in for the night. By 10:00 we had the kids tucked in tight, and were just mellowing into a game of Apples to Apples when I heard the sound every mother fears.

Not the puking sound.

Not the fighting sibling sound.

The sound of a dog biting. Hard.

And instantly I knew we were headed to the ER.

Here's G just moments after arriving at the ER. She's guzzling down some Diet Coke. She was thirsty, okay?

Here you can see the cut above her lip. There is also a nick inside her left nostril, and 2 more little spots on the right side of her lip. The middle one is the only one that needed stitches.

And here she is post-stitch. 4 to be exact. She fought the doctor the entire time, even after a dose of Versed.

We finally returned back to the campground just after 4:30AM on Sunday. We were pooped.

As for Bebe, she is in the doghouse in a major way. She had to stay in Wisconsin for a mandatory 24 hour hold, or until they could get her Vet contacted and get her shot records. She checked out fine, thanks to her recent Uterine infection that not only cost us a fortune, but also our money to go on a cruise. I'm really starting to resent this dog.

So yesterday I had to drive all the way back to the Dells to pick her up. 3 hours. Each way, mind you. She is now on home quarantine for the next 10 days, or until we decide what to do with her. She has never bitten before. She'll growl and nip if the kids are teasing her, and I don't blame her for that, but biting is totally different. I'm sure she just nipped and caught G's lip on accident, but do I dare chance it?

What would you do? Should I keep the dog and hope it doesn't happen again? Do I get rid of her on Craigslist, hoping some loving couple with no children will take her? Do we just euthanize her? I can't really decide, although I'm leaning toward one of those options.

Gretta is fine, she hardly notices the stitches at all. They come out on Friday. Hopefully there won't be a big scar.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Haz Issues

I'm not an "in charge" kind of person. I like being told what to do. I don't deal well with authority figures, and I second guess myself a lot when it comes to reporting to people above me.

Surprising, I know.

I think it stems from my inability to be serious about anything. Ever. Authority figures seem to take my sarcastic tone in a bad way. Why on earth would they do that?

I digress.

I was put in charge of a decision making process that no one else seemed to want to take charge of. Should I be flattered by that? No, I'm not. So I took charge. I did the best I could. At least with what information I had been, or hadn't been given, as the case may be.

I have since found out that my decision wasn't the best one, or at least not the way others had imagined it should be. Although even though they had all the information, they didn't or wouldn't take it upon themselves to make the decision.

Does this make any sense at all? Clear as mud, right? Right-O then.

I wish I could just come right out and say what I mean, but for once I'm not an open book. I just get so frustrated.

People, if you want help from others, be specific! Don't assume they can read your mind. It is just too frustrating for all parties involved.

End of issues. For now.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No One Always Or Never Does Anything

Last night was a big deal around here.

In our married life we've often done things we swore we'd never do. Owned a minivan, dressed our kids in cartoon character clothes, gone to bed angry, and other things along those same lines.

We also said we would never, ever take our kids back to Chuck-E-Cheese. We took Emma once when she was like 2, and it was a miserable experience.

But last night we wanted to do something special for Maggie, to celebrate her graduating from Speech. She sees the CEC commercials, and begs us to take her. We always refuse. So Sugar Daddy gets this idea that we surprise her with a trip to CEC to celebrate.

We did it.

We went to Chuck-E-Cheese with all 3 kids.

It wasn't as bad as I remembered. We arrived just before 5, and it was practically empty. By the time we left at 7, it was getting packed, and more and more obnoxious. I think the timing was perfect, because I couldn't have lasted much longer in the chaos.

We came home with 3 toys purchased with our 400 tickets, and 3 very happy exhausted kids.

But I swear, I'll never do that again.