Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What the...?

That's what I asked myself at dinner tonight.

First of all, let me catch you up on a few things about Luke's eating habits. He doesn't really do meat unless of course it is chicken nuggets or some other form of chicken. Hamburger makes him gag (he forgets to chew), sausage-well refer back to the hamburger, & turkey-occasionally but only in lunch meat form. Oh, I almost forgot, fish sticks might make it down too. So...that leaves for some healthy choices chicken nuggets or fish sticks. Needless to say, he probably doesn't meet his protein quotient for the day most days.
Next, comes vegetables-he just doesn't do vegetables at all, except for the occasional bit of spagetti or pizza sauce.
Fruit, well we like it, but we have all of a sudden stopped eating several of the things that we use to love (ex: peaches, pears, & most recently grapes, but they are fun to squish!)
Bread & Dairy-not really a problem & I do try to make them the 'healthier' forms (yogurt instead of ice cream, whole wheat bread instead of white, etc.)
Sooo...many of our meals include lots of fruit with some bread & dairy...not too shabby I say.

That brings us to tonight's supper. I fed him his supper while ours was cooking & he didn't really eat to well. I blamed it on him being tired, since he hadn't really napped much today at the neighbor's house. Scott & I sat down to eat when our supper was ready & wouldn't you know it-the little beggar came running (like usual). He likes to eat off of our plates & we usually let him because he'll eat it this way, but not if we try to him the exact same food in his high chair. Many times, though, he acts like he wants it, but then won't even open his mouth to try the food when we do attempt to feed him off our plates. Tonight's supper was ravioli with a side salad-Scott was in the middle of eating his salad when Luke came up to him so Scott picked up a piece of lettuce, held it out to Luke & he ATE IT!!! I about fell off of my chair to say the least-this kid never eats vegetables, the least of which is LETTUCE!

Sorry folks, this story doesn't end there, it wasn't some kind of fluke thing because Luke kept grunting for more-I bet he ate 6-7 bites of lettuce & then he proceeded to eat 2-3 whole pieces of ravioli too. Don't worry I'm not getting my hopes up that this will continue, but holy cow, lettuce-I just can't believe it! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Today was a good day. I had nowhere to go, nowhere I had to be & really nothing that HAD to be done. Does this mean that I accomplished nothing today? Well...no. I actually got to do all that I wanted to do, which was good.

Here's the abbreviated version:

I got to go on my 30 min walk/run outside-it was a beautiful day, sunshine with a slight wind. The temperature was just perfect for running-just cold enough to make me want to keep moving, but just warm enough that I didn't have to worry about losing my fingers to frostbite! :)

I got to clean out one of the rooms in my house that I have been wanting to get cleaned up-the mudroom area. I have hated walking into this room everyday for the last several months because it has been such a mess & very cluttered. I feel so much better now that it is done.

I played with Luke/watched him play. Sometimes, I love to just sit on the couch & watch him do his thing. I find it fascinating & am constantly wondering what he is thinking as he wanders around the room piddling with his toys.

I put Christmas presents away. I didn't quite get them all put away, but mostly all of them. It is good to see the tree not looking so cluttered anymore.

I got to sit & read a book~what more can I say~that is a VERY good thing!

With more of the same type of activities on the agenda (& Luke going to visit the neighbors/babysitter) for a few hours tomorrow, I am hoping that there will be another good day in my future! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 12/28/08 edition


That's right-after a week off due to family festivities & just plain old tiredness on my part-it's back! (For those of you placing bets as to who it will be this week-good luck! That means you Mary!) :)

This person can always manage to do or say something that makes me laugh.
He loves to share his knowledge (loudly), especially in regards to politics, with his family & friends.
He likes to bake, even though I don't always particularly enjoy the goodies he enjoys baking.
I have known him my whole life.
He loves to pick on my mom (hmmm...I wonder where I got that from-Sorry Scott!)
He loves to play host to people at his house.
I can honestly say that I know him a lot better as an adult than I ever did as a kid.
He always surprises me when he answers the phone-he'll talk to me & my sisters for a long time, but is always eager to pass the phone off if it is anyone else.
I love watching how he interacts with & worries about his grandkids because I don't remember seeing that side of him (although his sisters tell us he did the same thing when we were little too!)
I love how he knows the "proper way" to set a table for guests-even if it is just his kids, which is the inspiration for me choosing him this week (more on that in a future post-I'll even have a pic to post-SHOCKING I know!) :)

So to my DAD~I love you & can't wait to see what you have in store for us today at our family Christmas celebration!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When is she going to make up her mind?

I know, I know, I just changed the blog, but I wasn't really happy with it so I went out searching on my own & found this template. Throw in several crossed fingers, a few Hail Marys & now here we are...there is a good chance that I am done for awhile with the major changes, but no promises! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know, as usual, I'm about a "day late & a dollar short", but I just wanted to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. We have had some fabulous family celebrations so far & still have a couple more to go over the next week or so. I love getting to spend all of this time with family & friends & am ready for a couple days of my 'break' to catch up on things around the house too.
My Christmas wish this Christmas is that each & every one of us knows just how truly blessed we are & that we try to show appreciation for those blessings the whole year through!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From the mouths of babes...

We (Scott & I) got to babysit my niece & nephew this morning while their parents went to a doctor visit (reg. checkup for #3 who is on the way). We enjoyed it & Luke liked having a couple of other people besides Mom & Dad to play with him. I found it quite educational as my niece & nephew shared different things with us over the course of the morning.
Here are some things that I learned:

1st episode
Niece: "Where did my mommy & daddy go?"
Nephew: "Mommy & Daddy are at the office getting their backs worked on." (Interesting-that's not what they had told me...hmmm)

2nd episode
Scott was telling the nephew about how when he (Scott) was 3, the nephew's dad was 1.
Nephew: "NO! My dad is 45!"
Scott: laughing "I'm sure your dad would LOVE to hear that." (He's only 30.)

3rd episode
Nephew: "Nea (that's my name) your a girl just like my mommy." (whew, I'm glad he figured that one out for me!) :-)

Final episode
Niece: "Oh no Nea! Your chin is broken!" (she was referring to my chin cleft)
Me: "No, that's just a dimple like you have in your cheeks when you smile."
Niece: "Oh, a dimple..." lays head down & a couple minutes later...repeat the same conversation...then repeat it all again!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The 12 Days of Christmas Break*

On the 12 days of Christmas break, I have lots of things to do:

12 days of holiday fun
11 hours a day to play with Luke
10 days remain of 2008**
9 season of Friends I could watch
8 magazines to finish reading
7 people to make Christmas brunch for
6 parties with family & friends
5 cookies to bake
4 nieces & nephews to spoil
3 weekends to enjoy
2 books to read
And 1 great big house to tidy!

*Disclaimer: I technically have 16 days of Christmas break, but obviously that does not work as well with the song. Also, you can try to sing it if you like, but I'm not sure that the melody completely works with what I have written~I can sing it for you though if you really need to hear it, however, no one wants to hear that! :)
**This was the only thing I could think of for this # so make it work-don't actually do the counting! ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Changes...

I've changed it again...the blog, that is. Check it out & I hope you like my blog's new surroundings! :)

I promise more of the "good stuff" in the next few days squeezed in between Christmas party appearances that need to be made! (Do I sound like a movie star yet? Maybe I can have Scott follow me around at the parties with the camera & I can call him my 'paparazzi'! Wouldn't that be grand!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Stress Free Holiday...

is what I am aiming for this year & so far, so good!

*Christmas shopping (done-thank goodness!)
*Presents wrapped (not quite, but they will all be done by the time we need each of them)
*Christmas cards mailed (nope, but I'm not worrying about it this year! They will get to people when they get to people~in fact, Christmas technically last 12 days beginning Dec 25 & ending Jan 6th so people shouldn't be surpised if their cards show up sometime during that timeframe :)
*Baking done (not yet & to be honest, this may be the only thing this year sort of stressing me out only because I know I have to wait closer to the actual "party days" to make them-I had previously decided not to make any candy this year, so that has helped out a bunch too)
*House cleaned (well now that school is out for a couple of weeks, that will be one of the first things I work on!)
*Christmas spirit in place (check! Bring on the holiday activities~I'm ready for all of them!)

I hope this post finds you enjoying a stress free (or at least a lesser stressed) holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow days

I love snow days only for the joy of knowing that I will not have to get up & rush around in the morning to get to work. I also enjoy not having to drive to work in bad conditions. Otherwise, I could probably do without them most of the time. I always have high ambitions for these unexpected days off-a list of things a mile long in my head that I could get done if I just had a day off to do them. The problem is that with a 'snow day' I can't plan ahead for it-it just happens & therefore it becomes a little "mini-vacation" day where I get nothing done, except for reading, relaxing & playing with Luke! Now that doesn't sound so bad, but it's the messy house, piles of laundry, & dirty dishes that ARE bad as a result of all of this.
I have to admit though-I am guilty of this same type of activity on the weekends too. I have found over the years that after teaching all week long I usually need some sort of "wind down" time at the end of the week. It usually happens on either Friday nights or Saturday mornings-we as a family just take these times to lounge & relax-not much gets done besides that, but it sure does help us to get motivated for the rest of our weekend & I've noticed that the weekends we don't get this "wind down" time are much more stressful for us. I am hoping that maybe my weekend will be a bit more productive right off the bat this weekend (between the couple of family Christmas parties we are going to), since I have now gotten my "wind down" day out of the way here in the middle of the week! Keep your fingers crossed!!! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 12/14/08 edition



This person is someone whom I have known her whole life~I have a few vague memories of when she was born.
She is no longer a pesky little kid who I have to look after, but...
has become a very good friend as we have gotten older.
I have found that her & I actually have a lot more in common than I ever thought we did growing up.
I cannot imagine my life without her in it & dread the day that either one of us has to face that possibility.
This person is quite generous & loving.
She is a wonderful aunt to all of her nieces & nephews.
She can be a little "dense" at times, but most of the time is very good natured about it, but...
I also learned a long time ago that you don't want to mess with her temper, if you do get her fired up! :) [it takes A LOT to get her worked up though]
She is one of the best sisters that I could ever have (along with my other sister too of course!)

So Beth~here's to you, I love ya & Happy 25th Birthday (yesterday)!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Are We Done Yet?

I think the answer is

YES!!!

What is she talking about now you might be asking yourself?

Christmas Shopping, that's what! I've got to admit that I am quite pleased with myself this Christmas seaso
n. I got probably about 80% (interesting fact about me-I like to make up statistics about stuff!) of my holiday shopping done back in November when I went shopping with my mom, sisters, aunts, & cousins from mom's family on our annual Christmas shopping trip. It was great! I haven't felt the stress this season that I normally feel about trying to get the right gifts for people then not being able to find things, which results in last minute shopping a couple of days before Christmas & settling for mediocre gifts-I HATE that! This year is different though-it's all done (minus the couple bags of candy I forgot to get today to fill a few candy tins for coworkers) & there are still lots of days until Christmas! I can't wait to fill them up, NOT with worrying about what to get/where to get it/having time to get it/etc/etc/etc, but with singing & dancing to Christmas carols, baking, wrapping gifts, & most importantly maybe even actually being able to RELAX a little bit (yea!) Merry Christmas to me!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Dreams of Youth!

Last week I was having a conversation with one of my 1st grade reading groups. We were getting to ready to read a book about dinosaurs that talked about how we learn things about them by studying their fossils. I mentioned to them that a person who studies dinosaurs is called a paleontologist & that when I was about their age (3rd grade to be exact) I wanted to be a paleontologist. I was obsessed with dinosaurs & dreamed of digging in the dirt hunting for fossils. I also mentioned that by 4th grade I had already changed my mind again & was set on being an astronomer, then at some point (junior high) I wanted to be a doctor & eventually (college) I decided to become a teacher. One of the girls looked at me very seriously & said "Well I know what I want to be, I want to be a doctor." I started to say something encouraging like "It's great to have dreams/goals" or "Good for you!", but before I could even finish my sentence she said...

& a Rock Star!

Aaaahhh to be young again! :) I told her that I couldn't wait to see her in concert & would be proud to tell everyone that she was the only 'Doctor Rockstar' I knew!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BAH HUMBUG!!!

What a great time of year for bad news! Early last week, Scott was told that he was no longer employed. The company he worked for is a supplier of electronic parts for cars & with the demise of the car industry they were looking for people to cut. Merry Christmas to us! It's not all bad though, we have been very blessed overall & are both "savers" so we'll pull through this as we have all of the other hardships we have faced up to this point, but couldn't they have picked a better time of year to hand out crappy news to people. Geez!
I think the hardest part for both of us will just be getting use to the nonroutine of it all. I hate not having the same routine each morning, I miss dropping Luke off at the babysitter's (& I know they miss him too!), I hate not making the turn on my way home to pick him up & our little chats about what he did that day, but I especially miss that little bit of time that I had all to myself (well...Luke is with me so I'm not 'all by myself') each day when I get home before Scott would get home just to unwind & be with my thoughts (& Luke). Now don't get me wrong, it has been kind of nice having a 'house husband' around the last week or so, but even Scott will tell you that I am a person who cherishes her alone time alot! I'm not complaining though because I know that the most important thing is to find Scott a job & to stay positive for our family's sake because hopefully this is just a small glitch in what will become our family's history, but I'm just sayin' that if you see me out in the yard all by myself turning around in circles-it's just me trying to get my alone time! =)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The 100th post!

To celebrate my 100th post, I'm going to share some faves from my blogging experience! Enjoy reading & thanks for joining me on my blogging adventure!

The very 1st post that started it all:
We've come a long way Baby! April 24, 2008

My Top 10 Favorite Posts:
A Penny For Your Thoughts April 25, 2008
I'm Living With A Conartist! May 23, 2008
Happy Flag Day!!! June 14, 2008
Grandmas & Their Things July 7, 2008
If You Want To Go To School... Aug 11, 2008
One Baby Demolition Crew Aug 9, 2008
"Who was that moron in the parking lot?" Sept 18, 2008
Oh the humanity! Oct 21, 2008
Intervention Time! Nov 12, 2008
Stay out of the woods! Dec 4, 2008 (this song gets me everytime!) ;)
These were hard to choose because I had so many faves so I just tried to pick one from each month I've been blogging~lucky August got 2 picks because its the month with the most posts so far!

Ten Posts Named After or Inspired By a Song Title:
"Play that Funky Music Mommy!" Nov 5, 2008
"I Just Can't Fight Those Frizzies Anymore!" Aug 21, 2008
"Where, Oh Where Has My Little Baby Gone?" Aug 20, 2008
"Life Ain't Always Beautiful" Aug 3, 2008
"Love Hurts" July 14, 2008
"I Like It, I Love It" June 26, 2008
"I Want It All & I Want It Now!" June 18, 2008
"Lazy Days Are Here Again!" June 3, 2008
"I'm Walking On Sunshine!!!" May 20, 2008
"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head..." May 7, 2008
(There are several more, but I'll leave that up to you to do your own exploring to find them!)

& last but not least,

10 Posts about either Faith, Hope or Poop: =)
Thank You Whoever You Were Nov 10, 2008
Election Blues Oct 24, 2008
Away Too Long Oct 20, 2008
I Am A Catechist Sept 21, 2008
2-8 Sept 19, 2008
How Can I Help You? Sept 2, 2008
One Year Ago... July 23, 2008
Looking Forward to the Future June 19, 2008
Hittin' the "Beach" May 23, 2008
Diaper Rash Wars April 27, 2008

I hope that you have enjoyed reexperiencing these memories along with me~here's to what the future holds & sharing it right here with you!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 12/7/08 edition



This person has a giggle (especially when he's tired) that always makes me laugh.
This person has taught me the true meaning of the term a "mother's love"~I now know just how deep that love is.
I love listening to this person walk around the house 'talking'.
A hug from this person can brighten my spirits any day.
I love wondering about who this person will become as he grows.
I appreciate all of the time I get to spend with him even when he is crabby. :)
I hope that one day he will be able to say that I have set a good example for him.
I want only the best for him, but don't want him to become one of those kids/people who believe they are "entitled" to things.
This person amazes me each day when he learns something new, especially when I think about just how far he has come in the last year.
This person's smile makes my heart melt every single time.

I'm sure you've guessed it by now, especially considering that quite a few of my posts involve him!
So, here's to you Luke~I love you, baby boy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

No, no, no, no!

Welcome to toddlerhood, Luke!

He turned 1 a few months ago & "officially" became a toddler, but it hasn't been until this past week when he has fully realized it!
I believe that the official beginning of toddlerhood is when they learn the word "NO!" Toddlers love this word & use it quite often for everything, sometimes even when they mean yes.
So, Congratulations son! You are now an official toddler in my eyes, since you have began saying this wonderful word now (although he only says it in a singsongy way thus far) & as your mother, I fully realize that we have really only just begun!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stay out of the woods!

That's right-they're back in full force here in Illinois-it is the second weekend of shotgun deerhunting season so watch out for those hunters! I've already spoken on this matter here ~ so for this post I am just going to share a couple more of my favorite "hunting" songs (again-please don't judge me!) :) Enjoy & Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blog confusion?!

I'm so confused! Over the past few months, I have been checking my blog with Firefox & I really like it, but lately when I go to view it-everything is disconbobulated (that's a "Scott" word, but it sure is fun to use!) Things are not where they should be & the posts are streeeched out. I don't like it & I thought that maybe I had done something wrong, but really had no clue what it could be. So I opened up Internet Explorer & checked the blog-everything was just as it should be-but it was still crazy in Firefox. Whaaaaaat is going on here????? I have no idea, but if anyone could clue me in on what I am missing-I'd love to be educated!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving'd Out

I have many things to be thankful this year-my family, my job, my friends, being alive & healthy, etc-but I think that I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend to finally be over! It has seemed like the longest Thanksgiving weekend ever & frankly, I'm just ready to get back into the normal swing of things! (I believe that Scott & Luke would tell you the same thing too!) :)
We had a crazy busy weekend between family celebrations & one of Scott's best friends getting married with very little down time. In fact, I believe that the only down time we had was on Saturday morning for just a couple of hours & believe me we just kind of hung out at home and did NOTHING-it was great! Normally, I am one of the biggest fans of this holiday, but this year I'll admit that I was dreading it (only because of the busyness of it all-2 family dinners Thurs, 1 family dinner & rehearsal dinner Fri, wedding Sat, last family dinner Sun), but after spending all of that time with so many of our family & friends I can definitely say that our family has truly been blessed & we apprecate all that we have been given. I hope that the beginning of your holiday season has found you feeling the same way too!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 11/30/08 edition


These people have had a huge impact on my life & will continue to do so even well after they are both gone. I felt that it would be appropriate to honor my Grandma & Grandpa today, which would have been his 89th birthday. I still love & miss him very much, but am very grateful to still have my grandma in my life. The following is what I wrote to share in a 'memories' book for my Grandma this Christmas. I know that she will enjoy reading it & I hope that you do too.
So to my Grandma & Grandpa~I love you guys!

My Memories of Grandma & Grandpa

Many of my memories of Grandma & Grandpa consist of sitting around the table spending time with them. I remember coloring at their table as a child, sitting at the table listening to Grandma sing a lullaby to one of my baby cousins and of course, enjoying one of the many “light lunches” that we have shared over the years with them. The memories that are most special to me though are of when we would sit around the table playing games.

Two games I will always connect with Grandma & Grandpa are “Rummikub” and “Up & Down the River”. Any time my family was at their house, you could bet that at some point “Rummikub” would be brought out of the playroom for all of us to play. We would all sit around the table trying to be the first one to win and it was great to be the winner, but they always made sure that the last person didn't feel like the “loser” too. If you were the last one, you would end up with Grandma on one side and Grandpa on the other side both trying to help you figure out how to get all of your tiles played-very rarely did they fail to find a way for you to “win” too.

Up & Down the River” is another game that always makes me think of Grandma & Grandpa when I play it. It was the first “real” card game I learned to play and they were the ones who taught my sisters and me to play it one time when we were sitting around our table at home. It was a simple game that was easy for us to understand and kept us content until we could figure out other card games like Pinochle.

Playing and learning the games with them was always fun, but many times it was the other things going on around the table that turned the games into such great memories for me. I remember listening to both of them telling stories while we were playing the games and there was always laughter, whether it was laughing at a funny story or joke that they had told or whether it was just laughing along with Grandma as she got herself tickled over some story that she was telling, we were always in for a good time when it came to “game time” with Grandma & Grandpa.

There are so many other memories I could share, but these are the things that still to this day always bring a smile to my face when I get the chance to play them either around Grandma's table or my own because they remind me of the many happy times that I have had the pleasure to spend with Grandma & Grandpa.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Sound of Music...

is filling our house once again!

The reason, you may ask, well that would have to be the addition of a piano to our home about a month ago. It belonged to one of my best friend's parents & was the piano that she had played back in the day. They were wanting to get rid of it due to some home improvements & the fact that no one was really playing it much anymore (all of the kids are grown & moved out). They were getting rid of it for a great price...my friend contacted me about it (she has a great memory for anything her friends' mention that they are keeping a look out for)...we jumped at the deal & the piano has now made its new home in our house & with our family.

What can I say about it? I LOVE it! I grew up learning to play the piano & especially around this time of year-you could be guaranteed to hear either me or one of my sisters playing it. Christmas songs were always one of our favorite things to play & you could bet that come November we would start "practicing" them (the result being that we weren't practicing our actual lessons!) :)

My mom & dad still have our piano & a couple of years ago, my in-laws also purchased a piano to have in their home for people to play. It was great to be able to play whenever I was visiting my parents or Scott's, but I have still yearned to have one in my own home. Playing the piano is kind of a therapy for me...by no means am I a concert pianist...but there is just something very relaxing about being able to sit down & play through an entire book of music. It was great to have a piano right next door at my in-laws, but the idea of having to go over to Scott's parents everyday just to play the piano was a bit unpractical on my part & would have been a bit of an inconvenience for my family (aka Luke & Scott) & them too, I believe, but, no worries, my piano book is always ready for when I do head over that way because I know how much they like to hear the piano played. Being able to play in my own home has been such a wonderful thing. An added bonus is that Luke really likes it too & loves to sit next to me & "play" with me while I am playing. We have shared many "duets" in the short time that the piano has been with us. He already exhibits such a love of music that it warms my heart to see him trying to play it (& of course I'm hoping that someday he will WANT to learn to play it too!) It has just been so great to be able to sit down in the morning before work, after Luke & I get home, in the evenings, or just whenever I want & play something, making for a happier & more relaxed mommy & wife! :)

So to the newest addition of our household: the piano!

WELCOME, we're so glad to have you here with us!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday: 11/23/08 edition


This person is obviously very special to me.
This person is always there for me even when I have gone completely off my rocker! :)
This person puts up with me even though I give him a hard time ALOT of the time.
This person is my best friend.
This person probably knows me better than I know myself sometimes (even though I would never admit it in public & it is not an endorsement of him 'always being right'-because he isn't always!) :)
This person always lets me know that I am loved even on those occasional days when I am not such a lovable person.
This person is the love of my life.
This person doesn't get upset when I don't listen to his stories for the 1,000th time. ;)
This person has stayed by my side through thick & thin over the last 8 years, never wavering, even when times have been tough on us.
And finally...this person has caused my love for him to grow even greater over this past year by watching him be such a great father to our son!
So, Scott, here's to you!~Love ya!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A,B,C,D,M?

That's right, my child is a genius. The babysitter informed me yesterday that Luke had learned his first letter & I confirmed it for myself today! In fact, he gets a big grin on his face each time he says it so he must realize (as I do) that he is one smart little cookie. I couldn't be more proud! :) (Maybe I should start looking into college applications-I'm sure that he is going to be some kind of prodigy or something!) I could go on & on...

What's that?

What letter did he learn, you ask?

Oh, well, um, yeah...he learned the letter M...

as in M&M's!

So maybe he won't be a prodigy, but he is smart enough to learn the name (which of course just happens to be the name of a letter!) of one of the good things in life! That has to count for something, doesn't it!? :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glad to not be a "widow"

Many of my friends become "widows" this weekend each year. Why, you might ask? Well here in Illinois, it's the first weekend of shotgun season for deer hunting. Their husbands were out in the woods this morning at the crack of dawn & probably stayed there most of the day & will repeat this process again tomorrow & on Sunday. Silliness & Craziness is what I call it! There was an 11 degree windchill outside this morning when I was getting ready for work-NO way would you have gotten me or Scott to drag ourselves out into the woods in that kind of cold just hoping to see a deer & maybe shoot it. Unfortunately, for lots of my friends & family though, they lose their husbands (some of my cousins even have wives who suffer from this affliction too) to the woods & deer every year at this time. Family events & planned outings must be scheduled around this date each year. Weddings, births, & other special occasions can no way, no how be planned for this weekend or people have to at least accept the fact that possibly my friends & most definitely their husbands will not be in attendance.
So, I am glad that Scott does not suffer from this 'hunting' disease & that he shows no desire to ever try it~it does make life easier this time of year. I can't say that I get off completely 'scot-free' (get the pun! hehe) because he does have a major 'baseball'(or sports in general) affliction that I just do not get as much enjoyment out of as he does & baseball does last for 9 months out of the year & of course you can't forget about all of the offseason news, trading, health reports, etc., but at least we can plan around it since he can usually catch his game on the radio when we are on the move.
So to all of you "widows" this weekend~my heart goes out to you & I wish you a Happy Hunting Season!
Enjoy one of my favorite "hunting" songs (please don't judge me because I find it absolutely hilarious!) ;) & in your honor I will be reading Bambi by Felix Salten this weekend! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm so [not] excited [yet!]

The school was buzzing today~the kids saw it, cries of excitement could be heard up & down the hallways & the teachers just shook their heads in disbelief! What causes such a commotion at an elementary school?

SNOW!!!!

"Look, it's snowing...it's snowing!!!" is what I kept hearing over & over during my prep time today. There is a kindergarten classroom just across the hall from where my 'desk' is & they were definitely excited about the snow during their 'center/play time'. I could just imagine all of them huddled up next to the big window in their classroom watching the snow fall & calling out to their friends who hadn't yet made it over to the window to see the glorious event.Indeed, snow is about the only type of weather that gets the kids truly excited. Rain, well it's okay, but then you can't get outside for recess & many of them don't like that (teachers especially don't since it means that they'll be cooped up inside all day with lots of extra energy!) A nice, bright sunny day is fantastic, but the kids just don't completely appreciate them until they don't have one for awhile. However, snow always gets them excited even when it happens in April! They just LOVE it & I can't blame them. There is just something about watching the snow fall that is calming for me, but I can't say that I was too excited to see snow just yet~it can wait a few weeks & then stop snowing once March rolls around for all I care :) I'm just not quite ready for winter yet I guess.
As for the snow today, the kids were very excited, but unfortunately for them, it was nothing more than a few flurries~none of it stuck, but they're ready for it!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"You Light Up My Life" Sundays

This past week has been marked by a tragedy in my "extended" family. One of my second cousins died early last week. Now if you know me in real life, then you know that I have many, many, many 2nd cousins (hundreds actually) so this type of 'distant' relative dying usually wouldn't have much impact on me, since I actually don't know many of them-it would be sad, yes, but more in the sense of hearing that a stranger had passed away not a close relative.
This time was different though-I actually knew her & grew up with her & her siblings. In fact, her mom calls my mom her 'big sister'. My aunt was her mom's college roommate & her godmother. Her mom & dad are in my mom & dad's card club (again, if you know my family-you know that playing cards is a HUGE deal!) I grew up going over to her house with my sisters occasionally while mom would do her shopping. I also played volleyball against & with her sister. I could go on & on. I can't, however, say that I knew her super well-she was always younger than me-one of the 'little' kids just like my youngest sister & she fell just far enough behind me in school (grade wise) that she was always at a different level (middle school vs high school, high school vs college, etc) again just like my sister, but I can say that our families are close & that she will be greatly missed. She was only 24 (2 months younger than my sister in fact) & her death came very suddenly & totally unexpectedly. She died from a blood clot that went to her lungs-she had just had surgery a couple of weeks ago to repair an ankle injury [she was a college volleyball player] & the clot developed sometime afterwards. She was going to medical school to be a doctor for people in rural areas & had just received her white coat 2 days before she died. It is a tragedy, but through all of it-the one thing that everyone agreed on is that she was very much loved & was a good person to her family, friends & anyone she came in contact with. In fact, many of the things that were said about her at the funeral are things that I hope people will say about me someday when my time comes to an end. She did much with the few short years she was given & she definitely let people know how much they meant to her.
All of this has inspired me to use my blog to let people know how much they mean to me, so Sundays here at "Faith, Hope & Poop" are going to be called '"You Light Up My Life" Sundays' & each week I will feature someone who 'lights up' my life & tell you just why they are so special to me. I hope that you will enjoy it & that you will go out & tell those that you love just how much they mean to you!~Kindra, here's to you! Rest in peace lovely lady.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Intervention time!

It's taken me quite a long time to come to this realization, but I'm finally ready to admit that I have a problem.

"Hi, my name is Anita & I'm a bookaholic."



That's right-I'm addicted to books-I just can't fight it anymore. I LOVE them! If I see one that interests me, I'll buy it, borrow it or swap for it-I'll do whatever it takes to get my eyes on that book! Yes, this results in many hours of reading for myself or to my loved ones (aka Luke & Scott-if I think he'd be interested in whatever it is I'm reading at the time). I know, I know, it can only lead to me becoming more imaginative/creative/maybe smarter/worldly/etc., but once I start a book I just can't put it down until it is all finished. It has even lead me to carrying (hiding) them in my purse when I leave the house-I just can't be without one! I've also got them stashed in places (piles) all around the house just waiting for me to get to them, in fact I think I may have a pile in every important room of the house minus the bathrooms & the kitchen (oooo think of all the cabinets that I could fill with books in those rooms!) ;) If I ever somehow find myself in a circumstance where I don't have a book (heaven forbid!), I'll read anything I can get my eyes on-magazines, newspapers, signs, cereal boxes, license plates, anything!
I probably should have done something about this problem a long time ago, but what can I say-I just don't want to fix it so please don't plan an intervention anytime soon or try to refer me to your local ABA (Addicted to Books Anonymous!) If I ever do need to find a solution, maybe I can find my answer in a book somewhere... :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans' Day!

I'm choosing to keep it simple today, so here it goes:

To all of those veterans who have served our country in the past,
To all of those people who are currently serving our country, &
To all of those people who will choose to serve our country in the future

THANK YOU!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank You Whoever You Were

About a week and a half ago, Luke, Scott & I spent the day in St. Louis. It was a fun day, although we were not there for a particularly 'fun' reason. We spent a little time at the zoo, visited some friends who were in the hospital, & took care of some other things as well. It had been a long day & we decided to stop at Steak-n-Shake in Collinsville on the way home. We sat & enjoyed each other & our food & when we were finished-Scott headed to the register to pay for our food & I headed to the bathroom with Luke to change his diaper. When I was finished, Luke & I headed back to Scott & out the door. I asked him how much it ended up being & he said "Nothing-the waitress said our bill had been taken care of..." My reaction was "What? Someone paid for our food." I couldn't believe it-you always hear about this kind of thing, but it has never actually happened to anyone I know in real life before. It was a very NICE ending to a very LONG day, so....

whether it was
the nice family sitting next to us (the dad took a SUPER long time to get up from the table & left with 2 tickets while his family waited by the door-I thought it was strange at the time) or
the nice older lady who sat behind us & came up to Scott after I had left the table & told him "your son is very cute" or
the lady with two teenage daughters who kept making faces & smiling at Luke while we were eating or
someone else who remains a mystery to us...

Whoever you were-THANK YOU!!!
We will definitely be "paying this forward" to someone else who needs it at some point in the future to repay you for the kindness that you showed us! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Play that Funky Music Mommy!

Location: The Kitchen
Who: Luke & his Mom
What: Hanging out after getting home from work/babysitter listening to a CD

Scenario: Luke is playing with his toys, walking (I know, it's still hard for me to believe) around the house from room to room, & basically just being his own sweet self. His mom is trying to get some work done & some excercise in-dancing to the music-while Luke is content by himself. Luke is playing just fine & then out of nowhere he just starts wailing! His mom comes running to check things out & looks for injuries-she doesn't see anything wrong & Luke settles down. A few minutes later, the same scene is repeated again & then again.

What happened?: His mom finally realized that every time a song on the CD came to an end-Luke would have a complete meltdown-apparently he believed that the music was over for good! Being the good mom that she is, Luke's mom is now prepared & makes sure that she is nearby to console & reassure Luke that there will in fact be another song before the song ends!

Don't let him know about those lyrics "the day the music died" from that famous song-I'd hate to see how he'd react if he thought there would never be more music! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finally...

He is WALKING!!!

It was brought to my attention today that I have not mentioned this here yet & that one of Luke's aunts was unaware of the fact that Luke has been walking for a whole week now!
In my defense, he has been doing the whole "I can take 5-6 steps from Dad to Mom" for awhile now & all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. have seen him do this, however, to walk any further than that still required at least the tip of his finger to be touching something-my hand, the wall, or even just a little bit of material from my clothing-it didn't matter as long as he was touching it. He has also been quite proficient with all of his push toys for several months now too. He can even run while pushing these & likes to perform several "ice skating routines" as I have termed them. Passing the toy from one hand to the other in midstride or just twirling it out to his side while still walking & turning-NO problem!
Last weekend, though, he finally let go. His uncle was home for the weekend & we went over to Scott's mom & dad's that Friday night to visit. His uncle wanted to know if Luke could walk yet & then decided to see if Luke could do it. Luke walked from him to me & of course we all cheered like usual, & after several repeated episodes-Luke decided that walking wasn't too bad. He walked across the room to another family member & just before he got there-he made a U-turn & headed back my direction, but ended up falling down after a step or two. (We decided that if he could make a U-turn, then he most likely has been ready for quite a while, but just needed that little bit of confidence!) We continued practicing with him that night & at one point he scooted over to the toy box, pulled himself up & walked right over to where I was sitting when NOBODY was watching! I counted this as his "first voluntary steps" if there is such a milestone because it was his decision-not us trying to make him do it! He got to practice more the next day at my mom & dad's & then again that Sunday at his Great Grandma's birthday party too.
All week he has been practicing & I guess that I just assumed that word had spread after Friday night's accomplishments, but I was wrong. I found out this weekend that people had assumed it was just more of the same old same old on Luke's part. So, Mary, sorry that we didn't call you! I hope the story helps you to feel like you were there! :) Maybe for the next big milestone, we'll shout it from the rooftops so that everyone will know right away, but don't count on it-I tend to be a bit forgetful sometimes! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Wholesome (NOT so much) Country Song

Here's another one of my favorite songs to hear on the radio- "Pickin' Wildflowers" by Keith Anderson. I love the play on words & subtle (or not so subtle) nature references! Enjoy!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Election Blues!

I am sooo ready for this election to be OVER! I don't mind the politics & discussing the issues, but after literally 2 years of hearing about 'candidates for President', what can I say, I am just plain sick & tired of listening to them! I am also not writing this post as a way of starting a debate! I have made up my mind about who I am voting for & although I hope that everyone votes for him-I am not about to sit here & try to persuade people to vote for him. I am a voter who has a few issues that are very near & dear to my heart & no one-I mean NO ONE-will change my mind on them. I do freely admit that my Faith is a huge factor in how I vote-that is how I was raised & it is what I hope my children will base their decisions off of in their lives. Now that is not to say that I just 'automatically' let my faith make my decisions for me-I do give them lots of thought & consideration so that I can be an educated voter, but I do let it play a part in influencing who I will vote for on election day.
I am also aware of the fact that other people think differently than I do & that they have their own "issues" that are important to them. I also know that I will not change their points of view on their issues so I am not here to tell you how or what to think or who to vote for, but just to say that I am sick & tired of listening to all of the political jargon/ads/doublespeak! So...

Mr. Obama-"Will you please stop running the ad that says 'John McCain voted with President Bush 90% of the time?'" I can't help but think that you are implying that every single thing Bush ever approved was bad-were 90% of his policies all bad or was it just the 10% that John McCain didn't vote for that were bad? I'm sure it falls somewhere in the middle-I can't say that I know how many of his policies were bad & how many were good, but please stop implying that everything has been horribly wrong for the last 8 years! I'm sure that somewhere in that 90% there are at least some good policies!

Mr. McCain-"Will you please stop running the ad that says 'This crisis will be his first crisis in an executive postition?'" Yes it will-does that necessarily mean that he won't be able to handle it. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine he would be fine especially if he surrounded himself with an intelligent staff or maybe he would fail miserably. At this point, if you don't win, well, we have to have confidence in him to lead us so stop suggesting that we shouldn't! Would he really be the first President with the least amount of experience? Again, I don't know for sure, but at this point it doesn't really matter anymore because he won the Democratic nomination & their vote of confidence so give it a rest.

With all of that being said, I can tell you that I will vote for McCain on Nov. 4th because I am confident that he will support my 3 BIG issues-proadoption legislation, prolife legislation & protecting the environment (although here in Illinois "Obama country"-it won't really matter, but at least I can feel at ease that I made the decision that I felt best suited my family & our needs & that I fulfilled my duty as a citizen of this great country of ours!)

Please go out & vote-no matter who you're voting for this November!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have you smiled yet today?

Well if you haven't this just might do it! My friend, Sheryl, emailed this to me & I loved it! I love musicals so when she sent me this clip of one of my favorite musicals done with & for babies-I just fell in love! Enjoy & I hope it brings a smile to your face!

http://members.shaw.ca/anabw/grease.htm

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh the humanity!

Everyday, Monday through Friday, Luke gets to go to the babysitter (& oh how he LOVES the babysitter!) He gets to have a grand ole time each & everyday being doted on by someone who loves him a whole lot, plus if the weather is nice he is guaranteed at least one wagon ride, probably a swinging session outside, possibly a golf cart ride (if they have to go out to the field-her husband is a farmer) & at least one trip into town each week when she has to run errands, plus she buys him dinner! There isn't much else he could ask for-it's like Disney World for babies/toddlers, especially since there is an animal running around in the house too! No, it's not Mickey Mouse, just the house dog! :) So taking that all of that into consideration, I've been a little baffled by his behavior when I drop him off in the mornings & pick him up in the afternoons. Check it out for yourselves!

In the morning:
Me: "Is she waiting for us at the door?" (as we're walking up the sidewalk to her house)
Luke: (turning his neck as far as he can looking for her) "She's there, She's there!" (of course he doesn't say this-the BIG grin tells it all as soon as he spots her)
Me: (to the babysitter) "Oh he is just sooo happy to see you today!"
*At this point Luke is basically leaping from my arms into hers & within about 5 mins he is waving "Bye-bye, Bye-bye" to me
Me: "Well I guess I better get going" (somehow I have sensed that he is ready to play!)
Always as I drive away they are standing in the door waving to me as I head off down the road-I LOVE this & it warms my heart, but I also notice the absolute lack of tears about my parting too!

When I return in the afternoon:
Me: I can see Luke through the window as I walk up to the door-he always has a big grin on his face (which makes me very happy!) "Luke I'm so glad to see you!"
Luke: "Me too!" (again no words, just obvious from his HUGE grin)
Babysitter: "Come on Luke-let's walk to Momma!"
Me: "Yay! Walk to Mom!" (as he starts heading my way)
Luke: "Yaaaay! Walking! I love walking! Yaaay, Mom! I love mom, oh wait....she is going to take me home...away from DISNEY WORLD...NOOOOO!!!! (enter complete & total meltdown!)

YEP! That's love for you!

I just pick him up (as he is trying to throw himself onto the ground) & head out the door. Usually, the meltdown will only last a few seconds until we are outside, but as the week progresses (somehow he must know that he only has a limited # of days until the weekend when he will be gone from her house for a few days) they get a little bit worse & by that last day sometimes he's not over it until we get to own our driveway! Maybe we could all just move to Disney World for the weekend! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Away too long...

I have been away for far too long & I have a list of reasons a mile long...

I was still getting back into the groove of 'normal' everyday life after traveling over the Columbus Day weekend...

I only had time to check my email, but not to blog (pathetic, I know)...

I was having trouble coming up with ideas...

then I had too many ideas & couldn't pick just one...

I realized that I think waaay too hard about my blog posts...

I was gone on Saturday (my 'free day') for my cousin's wedding...

but they were really all just excuses & most of them not even good ones at that, until this weekend & oh what a weekend it has been!

It all started on Friday, I fed Luke some breakfast & he spit up (or so I thought!) Nope, it was vomiting as I soon learned once it continued. Shortly, thereafter, I discovered that he was also suffering from diarrhea as well. Then came Saturday, the day of my cousin's wedding, we had already decided that I would go & Scott would stay home with Luke if he was still sick. Since the wedding wasn't until the afternoon, we figured that we would have a pretty good idea by the time we had to leave if we would all be able to go or not. No vomiting, no runny stools-good to go! So we all went to the wedding & enjoyed ourselves, until we got into the car to head home that night...about 10 minutes into the drive home-Luke vomited all over himself & his carseat & then fell right to sleep with a pleasant look on his face. We stopped & I tried to clean it up as best I could with baby wipes (Way super Gross, by the way!) & headed home. We got home, got Luke cleaned up & put to bed, & then went to bed ourselves hoping that it was just the "busy" day he had had-retriggering some of his symptoms. A couple of hours later, I wake up & had succumbed to the same symptoms Luke had on Friday (I will not share those details with you-trust me-it was BAD!!!). After several repeat episodes through the course of the night along with Luke waking up several times (thank goodness for Scott or the poor child would have been left to his own devices since I was pretty much incapacitated), Sunday morning finally arrived. I was basically useless to the world other than sleeping & trying to drink liquids that wouldn't aggravate anything (dehydration was knocking at my door after the night before). Unfortunately, Luke was still not feeling so hot either so Scott had his hands full! He did a great job of taking care of me & changing Luke's diapers about every 1/2 hour or so. I started feeling a little better by late afternoon so Scott decided to head out to Wal-Mart to pick up some things that we desparately needed-let me tell you-that was the longest hour & a half of my life! It was a bit too soon & poor Luke I just didn't have much strength to entertain him let alone to do much else for him, but I did manage to get us upstairs a couple of times for diaper duty. I think we were both relieved to see Scott walk back in the door!
Fast forward to today, I have been feeling much better, although the stomach does still feel a little funny when it comes into contact with food & Luke has been doing better too. I took a sick day today even though I was feeling stronger last night-I figured that it wouldn't hurt things to give us both at least another day at home to rest up & feel better & now that I have & am...I hope that you will enjoy my return & I'll try to exclude 'gross out factors' from future blogposts, well at least the next couple anyway! ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just a thought...

I'm thinking that maybe I need to get one of those fancy Iphones with the easy Internet access. We just spent the weekend in Atlanta, GA with Scott's sister, Mary. She is the proud owner of one of these phones as is her boyfriend who we also hung out with quite a bit. Scott prides himself on always being "full of knowledge" on many topics & he LOVES to share it! So during one of the many, many discussions that we had where Scott was trying to tell us how things are whether it was politics, KFC history, etc, there were several times when I started to say "Oh when we get home, we'll have to look it up...", but before I could even finish the sentence-there was Mary whipping out her phone-(Iphone to the rescue!) I would express my glee at the fact that we could prove him wrong (hopefully) right on the spot, but much to my dismay-he was actually pretty accurate most of the times-Ssssshhhhhh, please don't let him know that I actually admitted this :) I have to admit that I wasn't really a huge fan of them when they came out, but I can see their potential now for helping me in my mission of trying to keep Scott on his toes by actually being able to check out his 'facts' right on the spot-oooohhh the fun I could have!!! ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our little chatterbox

Luke has been babbling alot lately. I am not yet proficient in 'Luke lingo', but I have caught on to a few of the words. Here's the short list of words I know that he can say:

1. Uh-Oh
2. Da Da
3. Ma Ma (yes he does say it sometimes)
4. Da Da
5. "Buh Buh" (Bye Bye)
6. Da Da
7. "Nana" (Banana, but usually only after alot of coaching from me)

& last, but by far not the least...

8. Da Da

Monday, October 6, 2008

Can it really be 10 years?

I have been asking myself this question all weekend. My 10 year class reunion was this past weekend & I really enjoyed it, but when it comes to high school & reunions there are always things that strike me as interesting. Like...

How does it not really seem like it has been 5 years or more since I've seen some of these people, but at the same time our lives have all changed quite a bit?
Why does thinking back on high school always make me wish that I could go back & change some things?
When will some of these people grow up?
How is it so easy to have such a good time with people you only see once every few years?
How I can talk to so many different people in just the span of a few hours & actually be genuinely interested in everything they have to tell me?
Why do some people lose the opportunity to connect with others by sticking with the same few friends (that they see quite often already) all evening long? (I was of course one of the few people intruding into some of these little gatherings-not that anyone minded...I think?)
How does all of this reminising still bring up all of those old/weird feelings of insecurity...yet nowadays, I'm so much more confident that instead of hanging back-I just pick myself up & approach the people/things that bring up those feelings?
Why does it always leave me feeling like I wish I could see everyone more often & know them better than I do?...

We didn't have a super great turnout, but it was a good mix of people to make for a fun evening of hanging out together. I enjoyed flowing from one group of people to the next & then back to my 'closer' group of friends. I learned alot about many of my classmates & even felt like I broke down a few of those 'walls' that people put up when they're uncomfortable too. I could also tell that I have grown up quite a lot over the past 10 years (& may be becoming more like my mom as we speak!) Before where I would have seen some of these people as people who I would assume "probably didn't care if they talked to me" so I would hang back & not talk to them-now I saw those same people & assumed the same things, but I got over myself & just approached them. I found myself to be pleasantly surprised by the 'genuine' reactions of happiness to see me & interest to talk to me about my life & theirs. That is a really cool feeling!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

HE could never be a woman!

As you all know by now, I love to tell on Scott! This morning's conversations definitely made for one of these times & I said to him "you know this is probably going to end up in the blog!" :)
Our normal morning routine usually consists of Scott getting up around 5:15 (sometimes I get up & exercise at this time, but most of the time I choose to sleep instead), showering & then waking me up when he is finished so that I can get ready. He then ventures downstairs & does whatever it is he does (makes his lunch for the day, eats breakfast, watches TV, takes care of Luke if he wakes up, etc.) When I've finished getting ready (if Luke isn't up yet), he heads off to work. If Luke IS awake, then he usually brings him upstairs to hang out with me so that he can finish getting around & head off to work. You get the picture.
Anyway, this morning I was just about ready when Luke woke up so Scott came up & got him up & dressed-then brought him into our bedroom. He headed downstairs (I thought to leave for work). When Luke & I got downstairs, Scott was getting his coffee made up & standing by the stove waiting for his tea kettle to boil (water for his oatmeal).
I said "You haven't eaten breakfast yet?" (slightly confused)
He said "No, I haven't gotten to it yet."
I said "Well what have you been doing with your time-it's been like 40 minutes, since you first came downstairs?" (granted I may have been using a slightly sarcastic tone of voice)
He said "I had to make my lunch."
I said "It took you forty minutes to make your lunch!" (getting more sarcastic)
He said "Well...no...I was doing other things...I dozed off..."
Me (laughing & sarcastic) "You dozed off! What would happen if I dozed off after I came downstairs & all I got done was getting my lunch packed...I would have to be a stay-at-home mom because Luke & I would never make it out the door!" (no offense intended to any of the SAHM's out there) ;)
I believe that this is when I good naturedly said something about it going in the blog-he ate his oatmeal & left for work.
I am a good wife! (I just have to razz the poor guy sometimes!) :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Dream Come True!

1. I've been waiting years to have one.
2. I never went through that whole "it is totally not cool to own one" fad.
3. I will no longer have to think about & plan how to fit 347 boxes (totally made up #, but you get the idea) into my little car because...

I am now the proud owner & operater of a minivan!!!

Thanks to Scott's very generous parents who decided to get a car & knew that they weren't going to get much of a trade-in on their van, we became the owners of their old van as of yesterday. Yes, it has its issues-no air conditioning (will be fixed come springtime), cracked windshield, iffy back windshield wiper, etc., but it's all ours & we love it! With my 6' 1" frame, I'm so happy to have the extra room & glad to not be crawling into my car anymore. It is a very happy day indeed in our household!!! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ahhhhhh, Friday!!!

Since it's Friday-I feel like relaxing, but since I haven't posted for awhile-I once again have all of these random ideas floating around in my head. So...here comes another post of random thoughts...

*Over the past 2 weeks, I've been to 3 different doctor offices for 3 different appointments. Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with me (well....I'll let you decide that on your own!) They were just some of those regularly scheduled "maintenance" type of checkups (mine & Luke's), but I've noticed that there are a few 'weird' things that go on at these places. First of all, there is always a wait. Even if you get called back quickly (like I did everytime amazingly), you still have to wait. If you don't have the loooong wait in the waiting room, you will inevitably have to wait FOREVER for the doctor to actually come into your examination room. Sometimes I think that I'd just rather wait in the actual waiting room-that at least makes sense to me. I did, however, enjoy getting to read the "How to Pee in a Cup" poster over & over again in the examination room of one of my visits-very educational! :)

*Why are people always telling me that they "admire me, they could never do it" or "I think that it's just so wonderful that there are people out there like you who can do that" or "you've done such a wonderful thing for him" when they find out that we have adopted our child? First of all, I don't know for sure, but I don't think that a lot of people walk around telling pregnant ladies these things. Maybe I need to walk around telling all of my fertile friends & relatives these same things when I'm with them & their children-they may think that I have finally fallen of my rocker! :) Also, how do these people know what his life would have been like for Luke if he wasn't adopted? We are the ones who have been blessed to have in OUR lives & although he may be better off with us in the long run-it is still at the expense of someone else's pain/grief & I NEVER forget that!

*Exercise, Exercise, Exercise-I did alot of it (for me that is) this week & that dang scale didn't even want to budge! Grrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

*How did Thursday become Friday in my head & now that it is actually Friday-it feels like it has be 2 weeks since last Friday?

*Watching Luke walk all over our house today, I imagined that one day he would be rounding that same corner as a kid, teenager, adult, etc & that one day he will leave home-it made me feel quite sentimental & sad, but also joy that I can cherish these days now because they won't come around again. When he came back around the staircase towards me, he looked at me & smiled & I thought "I hope that he will always smile like that each time when he comes home again!"

*I hope my weekend at home this weekend will be quite relaxing-once October starts-we're booked every weekend, which makes for a loooong, but fun month! Can I get a KitKat bar anyone-I need a break?!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am a catechist!

During the school year, almost every Wednesday night you can find me up at church teaching kids about the Catholic religion. I teach the 2nd graders, so it's definitely not brain surgery by any means, but I do feel like I have actually learned quite a bit about my faith just by teaching them the basics about it. I am a "cradle" Catholic meaning I was born (baptized as an infant) & raised Catholic my entire life. My faith has always been an important part of who I am & does influence my viewpoints on things (family, politics, life in general, etc.), however, there are/were many things that I do automatically just because that is what I have always done. Becoming a catechist (PSR or Public School Religion teacher which I means I teach religious ed to kids who don't attend Catholic schools) made me actually have to THINK about those things & why I/we do them as Catholics. Besides making me think about my faith, it has also brought me much joy because of some of the things the kids do & say. So in honor of Catechist Sunday (today!), here are 2 of my favorites.

1. We were learning about the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the first of which is the "Agony in the Garden". If you are unfamiliar with it, it is about the pain/agony Jesus was feeling & the praying he was doing (this is where the "Our Father" came from) in a garden as he was awaiting the time of his betrayal & death. The question posed to the students was "What was Jesus doing in the garden?" (answer we were looking for was 'praying') One of my the students looked at me innocently & answered
"Picking vegetables?" I liked the answer, but I highly doubt that vegetables were being thought about at the time.

2. One Wednesday night, I had a student walk in with a mohawk. I could tell that he was very proud of it, so I asked him about it. He said "I've wanted one for years & mom & dad finally let me have one!" (It made me wonder how long he had actually wanted one since he was only 7 years old at the time!) :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

2-8

Happy Birthday to Me!
Today I turn 28-doesn't it just sound like a good number.
One quirky thing about me is that I am quite fond of even numbers for some reason. I don't really know why, but I do know that I have been this way for a long time. I can remember being a little girl & my sisters & I counting 1-2-3 to race or to start whatever activity we were doing. I remember thinking "Why 3? I like 4 so much better." However, counting 1-2-3-4, never really caught on no matter how much I tried. 4 & 8 are two numbers that I have just always really liked. 6 & 10 not so much, but 2 was okay too. :) Odd numbers have never really appealed to me, is that odd considering I was born on 9-19! :)
So to say the least, the prospect of turning 28 seems quite exciting to me. For some reason, I just feel like it might be a good or at least a memorable (I'm hoping in a good way) year for me. I guess I'll just have to wait & see. Am I ready for it? You bet! Ready-1...2...3...4...Go!!! (Still not so catchy-is it?)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Who was that moron in the parking lot?"

As they were walking down the street past the doctor's office today, they heard a loud
"Thump" & "Crashunch!"

They turned & looked around for where the terrible sound came from & trying to figure out who & what was being demolished.
Then, a few seconds later, there was that sound again
"Thump"
followed by the sound of a motor running & a car moving. The car stopped & the driver got out to inspect the car. The driver looked under the car checking for damage & then upon not having seen any, got back in the car & drove away-all the while looking around hoping that no one had witnessed such a terrible blunder.
They (the passerbyers who may have witnessed this event) were probably wondering "Who was that moron in the parking lot...driving over the parking curbs?"

The answer: ME!

That's right-I had a total brain fart today & drove my car (I'm not sure if it has forgiven me yet!) over the parking curb. In my defense, I was in one of those spots where you park facing another car (most of the time there are not parking curbs in between these spots-think shopping malls, Walmart, my school parking space, etc.) so when I saw the empty parking space in front of me-I did what comes naturally & pulled forward. You can imagine the morification I felt when I heard the first terrifying sounds & had realized what I'd done & that I had to go over it again because the curb was under my car! I debated for a few seconds whether to go forward or backwards, but figured there were more things that could be damaged on the front end of the car so I went forward. Just keep your fingers crossed that my car (& tires!) are in okay condition tomorrow morning!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warning: Procrastination ahead-Oh Wait, Not this time!

How do I cope when I'm stressed out? Well, I either choose to eat something nice & sweet (chocolate-yummy), which is great for my health-Not!-or I make a list of ALL of the things I need to get done. I then start trying to cram them all in, don't get them all done, then feel bad that I didn't & start a new list-vicious cycle isn't it. I have been doing well the past few months coping with both of these coping mechanisms. I've been trying to exercise more & eat better so that occasional piece of chocolate doesn't affect me quite so much & I've developed a few good habits & routines to help me get things done in a way where I'm not stressed out trying to get them done AND they actually get done! I plan on writing a post sometime in the future about the latter, but the reason I brought this up at all today is because I fell back into my old ways just a bit this weekend.
Last week was a fairly stressful week at work for me, between mass scheduling confusion, some poor communication & delayed planning for this week because of the two previous things (& then only a little time left to actually plan for my classes-you teachers out there will definitely get what I'm talking about here) let me just say, I was not a "happy camper" by the time I came home on Friday afternoon. So what did I do Friday night, I made a list of all of the chores I wanted to get done before we left our house today (we were gone all day & I wanted to come home to a clean house). Usually, if I'm successful, I may only get about 1/2 the list finished, since I plan WAY more things than I can actually complete in the time allotted. However, this weekend, I actually completed ALL of the things on the list-thanks to a husband who kept our son corralled & entertained & helped where/when he could. I was able to move from one task to the next & stop to play with Luke every so often. It was just what I needed on Friday evening/Saturday & it is such a good feeling to know that I finished it (I love being able to cross off that last thing!) So because of a cooperative husband & son & a little "cleaning" therapy, I am ready to head back to work feeling slightly rejuvanated & with a positive attitude. I hope your weekend was just as good! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Da...da...da...da...daaaa!

Luke is quite the noise maker these days! As of yet though, there isn't much variety going on. At any given moment, you may hear him making several 'sound effect noises' or saying his favorite thing to say "Dada, Dada, Dada". He gets a big grin on his face everytime he says it, especially when we repeat it back to him. Of course, I should have known that "Dada" would get all of the glory-he is the one that probably tends to be more 'fun' in our child's eyes. Scott is the one who is constantly making a goofball of himself for Luke's sake. I try to provide fun songs & funny voices, but Scott is the one who will do most of the 'rough-housing' & rolling around on the ground with Luke & for Luke's entertainment, which from a kid's point of view is usually alot better. Now I'm not saying that Scott doesn't do his fair share of "Luke work" because he definitely does, but I can say that he definitely does get to have a bit more fun too. When the time comes that worrying about household chores, picking up toys (as opposed to throwing them everywhere), laundry & basically just trying to keep your house from becoming its own landfill is actually considered fun from a child's perspective-well, then-Mom will win the 'fun-factor' hands down everytime, but until that time comes...I'll just continue to listen to the cheers of "Dada, Dada, Dada" come out of my little boy's mouth & hope that the first time he says "Mama"-it isn't a whine/cry, but a happy sound too! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If Walls Could Talk

Walking through the school today, I stopped and actually listened. I decided that there are just some things that you will only hear in an elementary school setting. Here are a few of my favorites!
"Walking Feet, Remember to use your Walking Feet"-wouldn't it be fun to say this to people as they're rushing past you on the street or in the store.
"We're coming to a 'Quiet Zone' (office area)"-I'm sure that as Luke gets older-I'll wish we had our own 'quiet zones' set up throughout the house!
"Was that/Are you making a good choice?"-Sometimes it would be kind of nice to have someone constantly reminding me to think about my choices.
"1-2-3, That's enough for me!" (overheard at the water fountains to prevent kids from camping out there)-portion control is always important! :)
"Use your indoor voices"-I like to use this one on Scott from time to time-if you don't know him, well let me just say...he's a bit of a LOUD talker
"Where's your bubble?"-What?! you might be thinking, but this is a method used to keep the little, little kids quiet in the halls. They puff out their cheeks (like they're holding their breath), keep their lips together & put their finger over their lips (quiet sign)-it's called their "bubble" & it works like a charm & is super cute when you see a line of 15-20 preschooler coming down the hall holding their "bubbles" :)
Last, but not least (& one of my absolute favorites because I'm terribly guilty of using this one) is talking about yourself in the third person-teachers do it like crazy! "Mrs. Smith likes how you were acting Joe!", "Mrs. Jones isn't very happy right now!", etc, etc, etc....
There are so many more that I hear everyday that I could share, but "Anita's pretty tired, so she's going to end the post now!" ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Grandma" for a moment

It was only about 15 minutes, but today I was someone's "grandma" (or 'special person' as the classroom teacher kept repeating).
Our school has been celebrating Grandparents' Day (Friday, today & tomorrow). This morning one of the teachers asked me & a couple of the other girls I work with to come down to her room later around 2:15 because she had a few students who might not have a "special person" show up & we would take their places. She did not want any of the students to be left alone without someone there for them. Of course, (can't you feel the tugging of heartstrings here) I couldn't say no, so at 2:15 I was off to her classroom. She thought she was going to have 5 students without visitors, but actually only ended up with 2 & I was one of the chosen ones to help out. I sat with my "grandson" as we watched the class video of activities they've done so far this year & made sure to 'ooo' & 'aaaa' over him whenever he was shown. I also let him read the book he had made to me (he was supposed to finish it with his visitor-his mom-but since she didn't show-he wanted to save it for home, so she could do it then). I asked him about his favorite movie (SAW-which I must say perturbed me quite a bit considering he was only a first grader!) & then we got refreshments. About this point, the teacher said "thank you" & that it was okay to go whenever I was ready. I finished up my snacks & told him that I was glad that I could be his "special visitor" & headed out the door.
I hope that his mom did eventually show up, but I was at least glad to be able to fill in for a moment just so he wouldn't have to be all by himself while the other kids were visiting with their guests. It wasn't quite this, but it was still quite rewarding.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Responsibility Strikes Again

"Mr. Responsibility" is a nickname that I loving placed upon Scott during our dating days (obviously not right away-we had to make it through the 'don't let him know how weird you really are phase' first). It has kind of been dropped to the wayside since our first year or so of marriage, but every so often-he'll say or do something that reminds me of this name that I use to call him & I pull it out of my arsenal again.
He is just so 'responsible-minded' that sometimes he just can't help, but tell you what the 'right' way to do something is. For instance, one time (actually several times if you know Scott) when we were dating & I was driving, we came to a stoplight that was green. I had to wait on traffic to make a left turn, so I did as I've always been told to do & have seen my parents do countless times, I pulled out into the middle. I always heard that you do this so that if the light turns yellow/red-you then have the right-away to make your turn. Scott ever so responsibly informed me that that is not the correct way to do it, instead you are suppose to stay behind that white line until you can make the turn. I informed him that I was taught this not only by my parents, but also my Driver's Ed teachers. He, of course, did not agree with me & everytime he drove-I would encourage him to just pull out there a little bit so that we wouldn't be stuck if the light turned red. He always stuck to his guns though & neither of us ever checked the "Rules of the Road" to see who was actually correct so the debate does linger on to this day occasionally.
Another example of his 'responsible' nature is when we are out at my parents house. They live in the country & it is very flat-you can literally see everything for at least a mile (or more) in any direction. They live about 1/8 of a mile from a stop sign. Now I know that it is actually illegal to NOT stop at a stop sign, but when you can see that absolutely nothing is coming from any direction & it is quite a rarity to even see a cop out there-I admit-I don't always stop. Oh, I slow down & almost stop, but most of the time-I will do a slow roll through. Believe me, this was a BIG deal a few times for Mr. Responsibilty, especially when I'd mock him for coming to a complete stop & then waiting for 5-10 seconds before proceeding through the stop sign (when you could see that there was abolutely no one around).
A couple of months ago, we got into a debate about hayrides too. They are a fairly popular occurence in rural areas, especially during the fall & as a way of getting from the wedding to the reception when you get married (at least in the area I grew up anyway). I asked the question "Could you be ticketed on a hayride because there are no seat belts & no car seats for kids?" Scott,of course, said "Yes, but they just kind of let it go or don't pay attention to it most of the time as long as you stick to the back roads & don't go onto any major roads/highways". I was intrigued having been on countless hayrides over the course of my life. I responded that I had never ever heard of a hayride being ticketed, even if it was on the highway. Mr. Responsibility then stated "Well, you deserve to be ticketed if you go on the highway with a hayride!" I said "What about if it's for a wedding-you would want the wedding party to be ticketed!" & I proceeded to remind him that on our wedding day we did cross a highway with a hayride & wondered if he thought that counted & that I was also involved in a wedding party (my cousin's) that actually took the highway for about a mile or so with a hayride. He kind of backed off of it, but I could see that he was not convinced. About that moment, I remembered the nickname & just said "Mr. Responsibilty Strikes Again".
I was reminded of this last night when we were driving home & we saw someone riding a bicycle after dark. It lead to a short conversation that ended with "They're really supposed to have a headlight on the bike if they're riding after dark." I just thought, well maybe they are, but I didn't know for sure. I just love though that Scott seems to know all of these random facts/laws & can't help, but share them with me so I said "Okay, Mr. Responsibilty!" We enjoyed a good chuckle & I was reminded of the above situations where I had whipped that name out before.
It kind of makes me think-maybe it is good that he is "Mr. Responsibilty" & tries to keep me in line. After reading over the above, apparently, I'm prone to criminal behavior! We'd really be in trouble if he was too! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How can I help you?

Luke has gained many new skills over the past few months & I am constantly thanking him for his "help" :) I'm hoping it will pay off someday down the road & he will love doing his chores!
Here are just a few of the things I thank him for everyday:
1. Folding laundry-as I'm sitting there folding the clothes, he likes to scoot his way over to the basket & fling the clothes out of the hamper. I just say "Oh thank you, that shirt was stuck under the clothes! You did a good job of getting it free." (as I'm walking across the room to retrieve it)
2. Emptying the dishwasher-as soon as he hears me pull out the rack, I can hear the sudden rushing of wheels (the walker) headed my direction. He has become quite adept at getting the bowls out of the rack & of course (watch for a theme here) he flings it across the floor. I say "Thank you, that is very helpful!" (now if only he was tall enough to actually get it to land on the shelf!)
3. Changing his diaper-this is the one task where he is definitely the most helpful! As soon as he is lying down & I've started to take the diaper off-he sits straight up! (he is very proud of the fact that he has finally mastered this skill & is no longer trapped on his back at all times) So I push him (gently) back down & continue. He sits straight back up. I repeat pushing him back down & then grasp his ankles to lift & wipe his bottom (very difficult to sit up in this position, but he sure does try) & then attempt to put a new diaper back on him. During the whole process, he is repeating the sit up/lie down process as well as checking to make sure he is, in fact, still a boy. It's all quite lovely & I make sure to thank him for "trying to be physically active by doing all of those sit-ups!" Of course, he does reward me after the whole process with a look out the window. He sits up (shocker-I know!) & scoots to the edge of the changing table (don't worry, I'm right there) & pulls the curtain back from the window. He looks out the window & then looks at me with an expression of "Isn't that great!" & all I can think is "Yes, Luke it is...Thank You!"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summertime Resolutions August Update

Here's the latest update on the Summertime Resolutions~August style! :)
(I backdated the post, so it would be in the right month!) hehe-I hope that's not cheating!

Read, Read, Read: I read 3 books this past month-yes, school threw quite a wrench into my reading time! The first book I read was Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry. The first 2/3's of the book was really good I thought, but the last 1/3 felt a bit forced like the author was trying to hurry up & tie up any loose ends by skipping ahead several years at a time. He just didn't put as much detail into it as he had in the first parts & in the first book in this series Dead Man's Walk. Overall, though it was okay & I now have the huge Lonesome Dove book awaiting its turn to be read. The second book I read was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban by J.K. Rowling. Finally, this book started feeling a little bit less like I was reading a children's book & the loose ends were not all neatly tied up at the end. It left me in suspense to start reading the next book, but I'll have to wait for my sister to give me the next copy until then I'll just have to keep reading some of my books that have been waiting so patiently... I will say that it was a good story & I still don't really "get" what all the craze was about with these books specifically, but I am glad that it got more kids reading. The third book I read was Loved By Choice: True Stories That Celebrate Adoption by Susan Horner & Kelly Fordyce Martindale. It contained many true life stories that I could identify with as an adoptive mother about many different types of adoption. It also contained stories from birthmothers, grandparents, etc that I like reading because it helps & challenges me to broaden my perspective & to put myself in their shoes for a bit. I am glad that I am able to do this because I think that it will only help me to be a better mother for Luke down the road. The only think I didn't care for much in with this book was that several things did seem to be "sugarcoated" a bit for the reader. I'm not sure that it would give a prospective adoptive parent or birthparent a completely "realistic" viewpoint of what it is really like during that relinquishment period of time & it does contain a lot of "God" language. Personally, I do believe that he does play a huge role in everything, but I don't necessarily like having it 'shoved' in my face as I'm reading about their experiences & I do think it would turn away some potential readers. I would recommend it though if you are thinking about going through the process or if you are close to someone who has dealt with it in some way.

Exercise: I am ashamed to admit that I have completely fallen off of this one this month. :( With trying to get adjusted back to all of my "new" routines with school starting back up again-exercising fell to the wayside. Fortunately, I am going to try to start anew this week. I will be attempting to get up early to get my exercise in before starting my day. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Get my house in order: Luke's bathroom & the 1/2 bath survived their intense cleaning sessions marvelously & then I moved on to the kitchen. Who would have thought that one room could throw such a monkey wrench into things? I have started to get it back on the top of my things to do & only have the stove, frig, & floor left to clean "really well" before I can scratch this room off my list...until next time that is. I think I'm moving on to the Guest Bedroom after this-it should be like taking a cleaning vacation for a little bit! :)

Photos: I did finally get pictures printed out & ordered this month from about the first 4-5 months of Luke's life, but with a new camera in my hands I have a feeling that I better start making a better effort working with my pictures before I'm too far behind. Yikes!

Being back to work now, I am going to 'tweak' my goals just a bit.
1. Read, Read, Read: I'm going to try to read only about 3 books a month, since I will be reading a multitude of children's books for my job.
2. Exercise: I'm going to try to get myself back into some good, healthy routines.
3. House: Keep doing what I've been doing only more diligently.
4. Photos: Get my photos edited, printed, & handed out to people in a more timely fashion & try to get back to scrapbooking more!