Friday, February 23, 2007

All By Myself

The kids are gone to grandma's for the weekend. I am suppose to leave tomorrow morning to go to a bowling tournament. Tonight, I am alone. Matt and I were suppose to go out, but when I got home last night he informed me that he is covering another guy's on-call schedule. He didn't remember that we were suppose to go out!!!! After I dropped off the kids, I stopped at the store and bought some wine and appetizers. I am going to have fun anyway.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Chandler's

I don't know if any of you remember Chandler's or even know what it is. It's an appointment book, or actually, it's an assignment book that starts in August and end in August the next year. We used them in high school to write down our homework assignments. In the beginning of every school year you would go and buy your supplies and you made sure that you got this very special book. Then you would spend 2 week decorating it with things that you cut out of magazines. When you got to school you made sure that you put all the really important dates in there. Birthdays, monthly anniversaries, weekly anniversaries, daily anniversaries (if the relationship lasts that long) dances etc. Rarely did the actual homework assignments make it in there. You would carry your Chandler's proudly on top of all your other books and you would look at everyone else's in study hall.

I haven't thought of one in years until a friend and I were going through some of her old boxes and came across her collection. They were decorated in a classic 80's theme complete with pictures of Johnny Depp in his 21 Jump Street days!!! They had really sappy poems in the back about some one dying in a car crash, ( We were so morose!) We spent the day looking through the Chandler's, watching episodes of 90210 and drinking a lot of wine.

That summer we decided that we were going to get Chandler's again, call it hanging on to our youth, but I prefer to call it an outlet for our creativity.

The first year I really didn't decorate it, my daughter Emerson put Kim Possible stickers all over it. She told me that it looked too plain. (The Chandler gene must be inherited) I was trying to by mature, reserved, and here I am with Ron Stoppable on my "appointment book".

The next year I got a little more into it. I went through all my magazines (I'm a gossip junkie) and I really couldn't find anything that said who I was "today". It was then, that I had an epiphany and went over to a scrapbook store. I just got a few sheets of quotes and a few stickers. I also put a few pictures of the girls in it. It was a little more fun than school pictures in my wallet.

This year there are no holds barred. I spent (and continue to spend) a small fortune at the scrapbook store and I decorate each page that is not taken up by the actual date book part. Each page is carefully crafted with love as a tribute to things that we did this year so far. Our road trips down Route 66, our Hannibal trip, Cubs games etc. Everyone loves it and anticipates each new page.

Then, I still can't believe this... I lost it!!!! I cried for days!!! Another friend found one on clearance at the grocery store and I got to start new. Matt felt so bad that I had lost it after working so hard on it, he didn't even blink at the scrapbook store bill to replace all the stuff.

This August when the new Chandler's comes out, I will put this one in the box with the other old ones and start anew. They have really become works of art.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who is this strange man that these kids are calling daddy?

So here I sit. The kids are coloring and actually not fighting for a few minutes. I have soup on the stove ( see lower blogs) and there is no sign of the husband and I have no idea when I am going to see him.

I guess I should be used to it, he works in heating and air and we live in a place where both are essential. With the recent cold snap, he leaves the house at 6:30am and usually doesn't return until 7:30 am the next morning. Just in time for me to go off to work. He comes home, sleeps for 8 hours and then he goes back out there. Just in time for me to come home. We are like 2 ships passing in the night or morning.

Now, this is not all the time. Earlier in the winter it was so warm he was sitting home. I have decided that I like him working instead of telling me what was on Regis and Kelly when I get home from work. I like the paychecks too. There is just something about being able to go into Target and be able to purchase things.

I just miss him. We have so much fun together. Now I'm blue.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Grey's Anatomy

OMG!! This is why McDreamy is the wallpaper on my phone!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh, The Places You'll Go

Here is Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess accompanied by pictures from our family adventures this summer.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You'll be on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.

Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
---Dr. Seuss

If you want to read about all of our adventures in detail go to

Matt has written all about them

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Great Soup Debate

The new obsession within the family is my grandmother's oxtail soup. The woman never wrote down a recipe in her life, not that it would have done any good because her house burnt down shortly after she died. All we have to go on is the memory of the taste. This has become an increasingly large debate between my sister, and myself. We seem to have different memories of the soup. Although, I think she is thinking of a different soup all together or she is crazy, which is also extremely possible. My mother can't tell us either, "Sorry girls, I never ate your grandmother's soup." "I didn't like it." Fat lotta help she is.

So it's up to me. I went to the grocery store and got an oxtail. I have NEVER seen them in the store before, but when I asked, they were right there, out in plain sight. I know that there were frozen mixed vegetables in it. I went to the frozen food section to get those. They have more varieties of mixed vegetables than I can wave a stick at. You can get Tuscany style, Southwest style, California style, Pepper style etc. I spent 10 minutes looking for plain mixed vegetables (without the Lima beans, yuck!) got those. There is barley in it, got that. And beef broth. I am all set. The only thing is that I can't figure out how she made it red. She hated canned tomatoes, so those aren't in there. (She also hated onions, but I am going to forget that and put them in) The only thing I can figure is that she put a little tomato paste in there. Erin (the sis) insists that it was not red. (Again, crazy!!) We are going to have a cook off. This might be a little difficult because Erin live in Florida, but we'll figure something out. I have to prove her wrong, it's my life's work.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Secret Alone Behavior

Have you ever pulled up to a stop light and looked over and the person in the car next to you is really singing and dancing along with the radio? That's me. But it's not my radio I'm listening to. I received a Zune for Christmas from Matt. It is my most favorite toy at the moment. I can download any song from the Internet and it appears, by magic, onto the Zune. Now the only problem is that everyone in the family have put songs on the Zune because we are always in the car together. (The blog about Matt's obsession with "road trips" is coming soon) Even Vivi, who is 2 has songs on it. When we are all in the car together everyone gets a turn picking a song. I have heard the soundtracks from High School Musical and Curious George so many time, I hear them in my sleep. Matt is almost as guilty with his Elvis and Bob Seger.

But when I am in the car alone, a whole different sound comes on the Zune. I have a "super secret alone" playlist. These are the songs that I love to sing loudly (and badly) but are way to inappropriate for the fam. Here are a few songs on that playlist;

"Boys" - Britney Spears (Not a big fan of her recent downward spiral, but love some of her music. Get it together Brit!!)

"Buttons" - Pussycat Dolls ( If I had a stripper pole in my car, I'd use it)

"Dirty" - Christina Aguilera (Another one for the pole)

"The Real Slim Shady" - Eminem (I have no idea why I like Eminem so much, I think it's because of 8 Mile)

"Life Goes On" - Tupac ( Again, no idea.)

"Lose Yourself" - Eminem (Come on, it won a Oscar!)

"Love in an Elevator" - Aerosmith (I just love the line; "Kiss your Sassafras!")

"Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas (It really gets me moving)

"Rag Doll" - Aerosmith (It's just dirty)

"Scotty Doesn't Know" - Lustra ( This is from one of my very favorite movies, "Eurotrip". This song is, in my opinion, one of the funniest scenes)

"Sexyback" - Justin Timberlake (You know you all love it!)

"You Can Leave Your Hat On" - Joe Cocker ( Classic strip song)

That's just enough to get me from work to daycare to pick up Vivi and then Curious George starts and she is jamming in the back seat.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why don't people think before they speak.

When I had my second daughter Vivienne, she was born small. Not premature and definitely not micro-preemie size. She was 6lbs 0 oz and 18 inches long. I had her at a hospital that specializes in neo-natal care so they thought she was a great size and so did I. I was a bit shocked though, during the pregnancy I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. With gestational diabetes they always tell you that you are going to have a really big baby. Apparently, they were wrong.

I was diagnosed when I was 6 months pregnant. I believe the first glucose test is done around the 5 month mark and then they schedule the 3 hour test, you wait for those results and then you see your doctor. So by the time they had all their ducks in a row, I was about 6 months. They first sent me to a nutritionist, she was very nice and gave all kinds of information that scared the heck out of me. I really started watching my diet and my next doctors appointment proved it, I had lost 6 lbs. They were not happy at all. I had to take my blood 4 times a day and I guess the numbers weren't good enough. They sent me to a Endocrinologist. He was the meanest man!!! I was sitting on his little table, 7 month pregnant and he had the nerve to ask me how long I had been heavy??!!!! I told him about 7 months. They put me on insulin that I had to inject into my thighs 3 times a day. It was horrible which is why Vivienne is my last child. Not mention, I went completely psycho with this pregnancy when I was a happy prego with my first.

Back to the original point of my story. Vivienne was on the small side, she still is. Right now she is 24 in long and only 20 lbs, which would be fine, but she is 2 YEARS OLD!!! She is still in 12 month clothes. I don't have a problem with it, she is developing normally otherwise. The doctor said she was just small. My husband and I are not really tall people. (Which the pediatrician likes to point out every appointment)

The problem is whenever we go out in public. If we go to a restaurant people come up to us and tell us how amazing it is that she uses a spoon. If we are walking in the mall, they ask us if she is big enough to walk???!!!! This has happen so many times that we have a standard response, "No she's not big enough, but don't tell her, she might fall down." At this point they either laugh and ask how old she is, or they walk away embarrassed. I have no problem with people asking me reasonable questions about my children, but people, think before you speak.

Saturday Dance Club

Saturday is my favorite day. It's the day that I get 45 minutes to myself. Every Saturday morning I get the girls and myself ready and we go and take Emerson (my oldest daughter) to dance class. Now I know what you are thinking, how is going to the park district fun? This is Emerson's third year in dance and she has been in the class with the same little girls for 3 years. So when the girls go to class, the moms sit out and just talk about our weeks.

Now when this all started I was pregnant with Vivienne (my youngest and last child). We weren't sure about this dance thing, it was really expensive. Matt (the husband) was going to school at the time so we really didn't have any money to spare. My mother insisted that Emerson needed to have extra-curricular activities and dance was perfect. She paid for it. The first day of dance we dressed Emerson in her dance outfit and off we went. There were other moms there but they all seemed to know each other and we didn't know anyone. I was the first of my friends to have children and I work full time so I really didn't know any other moms. We just sat away from them and just talked to each other. It took a couple of weeks, eventually we got to know those other moms. We talked about everything, we laughed, we comforted, we cheered loudly on recital day. The problem was that we were really only friends for 45 minutes on Saturdays. When the class ended we went our separate ways and never really talked throughout the summer.

The next fall, we signed Emerson up for 2 dance classes. These were back to back on Friday nights at another Park District building. The first day we went we didn't see anyone we knew but from experience, I was able to talk to new people and try to make friends. (Something that I really wasn't able to do before) When Emerson's second dance class started in walked the other moms!!!! I was very excited and we sat on the floor outside the dance class and picked up where we had left off. This time we exchanged phone numbers and occasionally talk on the phone. We also started inviting each others children to birthday parties and other events. We were developing a friendship. We became "stage moms" together laughing and cheering for our own and each others kids on recital day. When the class ended for the year we called each other to make sure we were all in the same class next year.

This year we are back in the original place, which we love because we can actually sit in seat instead of the floor and this place is air conditioned in the hot months.

There was a problem early in the year. We had all gone to the first 2 classes and we were so happy that we were all together again. The friendship was really developing into something special. Then one Saturday we went to dance and I didn't see any of the other moms. This class was at 10:45am and was over at 11:30am, I knew that one of the other moms did the back to back classes with this one being the first class. I sat there by myself and when class was over I took Emerson and Vivienne into the bathroom to change. When we came out I saw the other mom. I went up to her and asked where everyone else was? She told me that they all changed classes to the next level up and that the new class didn't start until 12:15pm. I was devastated!!! I had really counted on this budding friendship because I had a falling out with my former best friend the previous weekend and we are no longer friends. I had been OK with the ending of that friendship because of the new friends in which I had more in common. Now they were gone. It was still too early to be calling them and try to make plans, we were really taking things very slow. I walked out of dance crying. I put everyone and everything in the car, but because I was so upset, I left my Chandlers on the top of the car and drove off without it. ( I will have to explain the Chandlers in another blog, but it is REALLY important to me) I cried for about a week, and the next weekend Matt took us on a road trip so we had missed dance that week. The next week I was determined to make the best of it and make friends with the moms in the early class. I sat there and tried to talk to another mom who was screaming at her kids and then turned around and spanked one of them in front of me!!!! I could not be friend with this woman and I looked around to see if I could find anyone else, but there wasn't anyone else. Finally, the class was over and Emerson came running out. She told me that the teacher wanted to talk to me. I went in there wonder what Emerson had done now and the teacher informed me that she wanted to move Emerson up to the next level!!!! I was so excited, but I didn't want to show it too much. I hmmed and hawed when she looked up the time of the class. I then told her that would be fine and showed up the next week at 12:15 with all the other moms!!!! Since then, I have been trying to push our relationship a little farther and we are all starting to see each other outside the dance class.

We are so happy together.

Monday, February 5, 2007


I am a huge baseball fan. It's the only sport I like and I only have recently started to like it. I grew up in a very sports conscience family. My mother taught us the Bears fight song at age 3. There was always sports on in the house, even when my dad moved out. My mother prides herself on her sports enthusiasm. I never really got it, I prided myself on not ever having sports on in my house. Like I said, I only recently got into baseball. The change over happened so quickly I didn't even realize I was a fan. Until.... My sister was in town for her high school reunion in which I was her date because her husband refused to come up from Florida to go. The night before the reunion we met a couple of friends at a bar and had a couple of drinks. I love when my sister is in town, I have the excuse to go out and leave the kids with daddy. Anyway, we were having a couple of drinks (her more than me) and I got to talking to some guys next to us. We were talking about the Chicago Cubs and the subject came around to Sammy Sosa (this is when he still played for the team) The guys and I were in agreement that we needed to get rid of Sammy. All he was doing was swinging for the fences and he wasn't hitting anything. (After the year of the Sosa/McGuire home run race) This is when my sister decided she was going to join the conversation. She states in her best "know it all" tone that the Cubs can never get rid of Sammy because he has a lifetime contract with the Cubs. We told her that that wasn't true...OK we laughed in her face. But she wouldn't let up, she kept saying it. But that's not all she was saying. She told me that I didn't know anything about sports and she knew everything because her husband has Sportscenter on all the time. So I left her sitting there and went home. When I got home I realized that I was her ride home but I was too mad at the time. I walked into my dark house cursing the day that she was born and there in the darkness I heard, "You left your sister in a bar over Sammy Sosa?" It was my husband, my sister had woke him up to tell him that I was being irrational. I was perfectly rational and I told him so. To this day we still tease her about how sure she was that Sammy Sosa had a lifetime contract. I can't tell you how bad it was when he was traded to Baltimore. I must have called her every hour. Hee Hee. Ever since then I have followed baseball but now I am a complete fanatic. So it's all her fault!