Sunday, December 31, 2006


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Happy New Year!

May all of your
resolutions be fulfilled,
may all of your wishes
for the new year come true.
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I'm IT!

Yesterday I was tagged by stillrockin to do the 5 Things You May Not Know About Me. Since I do not know this fella, I thought it was kind of odd. As I mentioned in a comment after his, I was raised to never play tag with strangers. But then Local Girl mentioned that she knew him and I thought, "OK!"

The problem is that I have done quite a few meme's and I am not sure if there is anything left to reveal about myself... Well, anything that is interesting, anyway.

I'll be back in 5 hours...
..........Hmmmm. Uhhhh?

1. My husband says that I am a geek. I have some issues with this since , first off that's the pot calling the kettle black- Mr. Hospital IT /self taught/no formal training computer Person. Just because I have learned my way around the computer by destroying it with zillions of downloads for a PC game, then ripping my computer apart to fix it... and also learning basic html by ripping apart Blogger templates... That doesn't make me a geek! I do it for fun. It's not a living. It just makes me a self taught techie, just like...

You. OH. Dang, I'm a geek.

2. Appearance means everything to me. I am always concerned that everything is in it's place, and that it is visually appealing. I get bored easily when something isn't pretty anymore, and have to change it. By appearance, I am talking about my blog, of course! Otherwise those rules may or may not apply. Not to my house, as of right now though. It's in Post Christmas Shambles. I am usually tired of a blog template in 2 months, that's why it wouldn't be too terribly responsible of me to pay for one. If any blog designers would like to advertise/display new blog designs on my blog for free... I am all for it! email me :O)

By the way, the fact that I am constantly changing my template for fun has earned me uber-geek status from my husband.

3. I am temperamental. Sometimes a mood will strike and will change again with the tide. Most of the time I can occupy myself and keep myself busy, but sometimes- just sometimes I am so restless that I feel like I am coming out of my skin. When I am like this nothing seems to make me happy. I am wondering if rejoining the work force will help... I just have to wait for the wounds on my right leg to heal... then I can go to work. Waiting.... waiting.

4. This one is very hard for me to admit, and is very personal... but since I am running out of things you don't know about me, here it goes.

I know that at times I have the signs and symptoms of being bipolar, like my mother. Most of the time it's not overwhelming. I see and recognize the signs and try to change my behavior accordingly- usually after a good cry. I have always worried that one day I will be like her, and at one point told myself I would never have children. I would rather spare another human the suffering I went through as a child but choosing not to get married and have kids. I have also worried that (no offense to fellow sufferers out there) that admitting that I might be bipolar and going for help would mean that I am crazy, just like her (with OCD, Multiple Personality Disorder, and bipolar). In a way, this makes #3 make sense to me.

5. I am a R&B (and sometimes hip-hop/rap) junkie. Because of this, my husband has listened to music he never would have even tried. This includes DMX, Tupac, Babyface, Aaliyah, Timberland, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Johnny Gill, Boyz II Men, Brain McKnight, Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Tony Rich...

I in turn have discovered over the years that I love alternative music because of my husband's taste in music. I never would have listened to a lot of music if it weren't for him, including: Linkin Park, Evanescence, Beck, Cake, Depeche Mode, Level 42, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Queen, In The Nursery, Thomas Dolby, Camouflage, Conjure One, Delerium, Paul Schwartz, Robert Miles...

So there you have it, 5 things you probably didn't know about me. :O) Who should I tag? Local Girl was already tagged...

How about ... (but only if you want to)
Just My 2 Cents
Jenny Ryan

Friday, December 29, 2006

What a difference a comment makes...

Kelly at Pass The Torch has something really neat going on right now. To quote from her site:

My corporate sponsor is raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And you can help. Just leave a comment here, and Empowering Youth, Inc. will donate one dollar per comment.

Better yet? Send your readers here to leave a comment telling me that you sent them. The contest winner this week will be the blogger who is responsible for the most comments. The winner will choose from the remaining prizes,one of which is the Hidden Treasure of Assets boardgame.

So head on over and comment at PTT for a worthy charity. You can comment on that post for St. Jude's once a day. Since I read the actual info from Local Girl's blog, I am requesting that you make mention of Local Girl in Kelly's comments, instead of me. LG is one of my best blogging buddies and is always doing nice things for others, and she deserves to win something for a change! :O)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Famous Last Words, TT # 14

My husband recently quoted Poncho Villa's and Joan Crawford's last words which I thought were funny and interesting... So here are
Thirteen Famous Last Words

1. Pablo Picasso- "Drink to me!"

2. Thomas Edison- "It's very beautiful over there."

3. Charlie Chaplin- When the priest, who was attending him on his deathbed, said "May the Lord have mercy on your soul," Chaplin quickly replied, "Why not? After all, it belongs to him."

4. Leo Tolstoy- "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six."

5. Karl Marx- "Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!"

6. Ludwig van Beethoven-"Friends applaud, the comedy is finished."

7. Humphrey Bogart- "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."

8. Joan Crawford- "Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me."
To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.

9. Pancho Villa- "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."

10. George Bernard Shaw- "Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

11. Anna Pavlova, ballerina- "Get my swan costume ready."

12. Florenz Ziegfeld, broadway producer- "Curtain! Fast music! Lights! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good. The show looks good."

13. Isaac Newton- "I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

To all of my readers and
friends in the blogoshpere,

I am wishing you a happy,
healthy, and beautiful Christmas!

I hope your holidays are
filled with joy and peace,

and that you are
surrounded by the ones you love.

*"The Virgin With Angels" was painted by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1900.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My husband thinks I am a wiener. I think.

OK, this is a little more TMI than usual... I hope your sitting down.

This last Wednesday (man, it seems like a week has gone by already) , the wound on my hip split open. My doctor took my stitches out the Wednesday (on the 13th) before and said he thought there was fluid in it and to not be surprised if it did open up. So I immediately called and made an appointment. He cleaned it out, packed it with gauze and told me to come back next Wednesday, on the 27th.

Well, yippee skippy... Last night after grocery shopping for Christmas dinner, I noticed that the smaller incision was starting to come loose to. So naturally, last night I about had a nervous break down.

I was a Licensed Vocational (or Practical) Nurse for 11 years. I know what a wound looks like, and what an incision should look like over 2 weeks postoperative. I know that wounds can open. I often assisted with minor procedures like the ones I had as a Corpsman (medic) in the Navy, and I helped close wounds on occasion when the doctor decided to let us have some suturing practice (suturing is something you need to be able to do in the field). I guess the fact that I started bawling like a 2 year old might have taken my husband by surprise seen as I have all this medical experience.

My problem is that I am a control freak by design, not so much over people but more over circumstance. I have this need for control, and I know it has everything to do with my the fact that I have not one, but two gaping wounds on my person is a bit of a problem for me. Sobbing last night I told my husband that he knows how I am, and he nodded, and then I said , "You've seen how I get if there are ants in the house! But at least you can kill ants, what am I supposed to do about this?"

Nothing. There isn't a thing I can do. I did what I could do, which was make an appointment this morning. When I took the packing out this morning the wound on my hip didn't look normal, so it was a good thing I made an appointment. I went in, he cleaned out both wounds- paying particular attention to the larger one on my hip. I told him my concerns. I could see a light bulb went off in his head, he now realized why I seemed so uptight. He realized that I have the Burden Of Knowledge.

He remarked that I looked run down. He also said that it is unusual for wounds to open like that, and I said that I knew, that was why I was so worried. I told him that I have had 2 sick kids off and on for the last 3 months, that I believed my immune system was compromised, and that yes- I did feel run down. I have been very tired lately. He agreed that the stress of sick kids, and the perpetual germ fest was to blame for my poor healing, and that Christmas coming up probably didn't help. My doctor then did his best to assure me that even though it would take at least 3 weeks for my wounds to close, not to worry.

Now, I am doing something that is very hard for me... giving up control. I have to take a breath and realize I need to stop freaking out! It's just so hard being on the other side of the hospital bed. I have done hundreds of dressing changes in my life, I never thought it would be me. I have seen about everything there is to see in medicine... OK maybe not that much, but I have seen a lot. Even though I prided myself on being a very compassionate nurse, and really listening to my patient... this brings things to a whole new light.

I am wondering if this is another life lesson I needed, maybe I am supposed to be a nurse after all.

It's food for thought.

Speaking of food, I am giving up control over Christmas dinner, too. My husband and I aren't big turkey people, and Thanksgiving is more than enough for us once a year, let alone a month later. I was going to make us chicken enchiladas, but now I know I need to take it easy. Standing on my feet all day making dinner on Christmas isn't a good idea, so I called the MIL. I have relinquished my control and guess what she has decided to make?

You guessed it, turkey.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

TT #13, Thirteen things that never fail to make me laugh

Thirteen Things that never fail to make Mary laugh

I realize that I may have put off some of my readers with my "low-brow" fart story... So I thought I would attempt at a more mature one. HAH! Better luck next time. :O)

1. So I Married an Axe Murderer- " He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow!"

2. Just Friends- Ryan Reynolds singing I Swear

3. Scrubs

4. The Office

5. My Name is Earl- reminds me of me trying to get a decent picture of myself. I ALWAYS blink!

6. Survivor's Probst- Snarky is best. "The kiss was nice... maybe if it were love, he would have given you the immunity necklace." HAH! LOVED That.

7. Chris Farley- as the mall girl.

8. Chris Farley- in Tommy Boy

9. TLC's Life Lessons

10.Will Ferrell in Elf

11. Bodily functions.

12. This virtual snow globe.

13. My family- My husband when he talks in his dufus voice, my daughter Anna when she giggles, and my daughter Emma when she realizes she has done something funny. :O)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

She makes me so proud! *sniff*

Last night, as we were watching Jump In on the Disney channel, Anna explained to us that she got into a heated discussion with 2 of her classmates. Two years ago, we explained that once upon a time there had been a Santa figure, but not anymore. He was a fairy tale that parents had their children to believe in to get them to behave throughout the year. To some this may seem cruel... shattering a sweet an innocent thing into a million pieces, squashing a child's heart and dreams in the process. To my husband and I, what seems more cruel is feed a child with nonsense, only to have them crushed and in despair when they learn that the fairy tale is just that, and that their parents have been lying to them for years.
For me personally, I would dread that day... knowing that my child had lost all faith and trust in me.
Also, we got sick and tired of Santa getting all the credit, when we were the ones busting our humps.
*On a side note* Sometimes Anna gets picked on by classmates, it started in preschool and unfortunately some of them are in her kindergarten class. I have been working on the idea of self-defense without antagonizing them- meaning I have explained that it is OK to stand up for herself, but it's not OK told hold a grudge and instigate because she is mad that they treated her bad... in essence making her like them. I am also trying to get across the notion that the more she lets them see that she is bothered by them, the more they will pick on her.
Anyway, Anna told them that there is no Santa, Megan and Grace (fellow kindergarten'ers, part-time snot balls) became indignant and told her that if you say you don't believe in Santa, he will not come and leave presents at your house.
Her response? How can Santa not leave presents at my house, if he doesn't exist?As she told me this, The Gasp That Was Heard Around the World took place. It almost brought a tear to my eye!
My baby is all grown up! She makes her momma proud... but my job here isn't quite done.

A heaping plate of Holiday cheer, Wordless Wednesday #1

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sweetness (Pass The Torch Tuesday)

On the 6th of December I had minor surgery on my right arm and leg. The next evening I was feeling pretty lousy and all 3 of my incisions were burning like crazy. Near tears, I muttered to myself that I had doubts as to whether removing those lumps were worth it.

My 5 1/2 year old daughter Anna sat across from me, on our love seat. She looked at me with concerned eyes and said this:

"Mom, you know that if you didn't have them taken out that they would just keep getting bigger, and causing you more pain. It's a good thing you had them taken out."

Just like all those times when she was younger, when she got me more tissues after my miscarriage almost 3 years ago, or when she would run to get me the "sick bowl" when I was pregnant with Emma- she was once again taking care of me.

Even though my girl is no angel, those tender moments are very dear and precious to me. I know one day she will make a wonderful mom.

For more PTT's, visit Kelly. :O)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Heartwarming holiday memories

I about spit my French Roast all over myself when I heard this story the other day on Regis and Kelly. I feel so bad for that woman, but I am happy that they at least didn't publish her name. How humiliating! If you are offended at the mere mention of bodily functions, stop reading right about here.

I'm not kidding... it's not too late to turn back!

OK, you asked for it...

It reminds me of a vacation, a long time ago... My husband and I decided at the last minute to travel to Maryland to see my mother for Christmas. I have this thing, this idiosyncrasy where I dislike using public toilets for- how should I say... pooping. As quoted from Thursday Thirteen #2, 13 things that annoy me:

13. The dreaded "back splash" while using public toilets. Who knows who used the potty before you... I just want to hose myself off with hand sanitizer!

So, this would make feeling light and fluffy while on vacation almost impossible, unless confined to the safety of my childhood bathroom. After almost 2 weeks of the the "train reluctantly leaving the station", we were on the first flight from Baltimore to Chicago, returning to Oakland, California.

We were on a large plane, and our seats were 2 rows ahead of a plane partition so that the row behind us was right smack dab, next to the partition- preventing them from being able to recline. Though this may seem like a trivial detail, you will understand it's importance later on. :O)

Anyway, I already had had a bit of a stomach ache, and only moments after take off I was riddled with perspiration-inducing cramps. Lucky me, perfect timing as per usual. I tossed and turned in my seat about as much as a person can sitting in a 2x3 foot area. Nearly doubled over, I gasped and groaned as little and as quietly as I could, my husband looking over occasionally with concern.

Finally, the agony was too much to bear. Ever so gently I lifted a cheek, and silently shared what I can assure you was one of the most vile and embarrassing moments of my life with about 20 people around me.

I waited. With clenched teeth, sitting stiff as a board, but relieved- I waited. Moments later, the row behind me burst into shouting and muttering.

"Oh my god, that's disgusting!"
"Oh, that's just horrible!"
" I think I am going to die!"

I pride myself on being quick thinking at least half of the time, and knowing that everyone around me was gasping for air and I wasn't made me realize very quickly that if I didn't chime in, they would know it was me. So I joined in the shouting and exasperated mutterings (fighting back nervous laughter the whole while), "Oh my god, that's awful! Who would do such a thing?"

After the angry mob behind me settled down, my husband turned to me and said it had smelled like someone had died from food poisoning, and again I stifled the nervous laughter. Just barely. I broke out into a sweat again.

***On a side note, I have a penchant for giggling at bodily functions. It is an unfortunate fact and character flaw, one that I am not proud of. This is a close second to laughing at people tripping or falling on stairs... and just typing this has given me a giggle fit. It can't be helped. I suppose you are wondering why I am admitting this, but I figure I have just shared an embarrassing story that never fails to haunt me this time of year (mostly because my husband enjoys watching me squirm when he shares the story every other year).***

As we left the plane, the people behind me mumbled to each other that this indeed had been the worst flight ever, and that accepting seats right in front of the partition for a reduced price was not a mistake they were about to make any time soon. I felt relief once more, but only after finally leaving the boarding area and heading to our next flight.

Just as we were out of ear shot from the other passengers of our flight, my darling husband turned to me and asked a single, solitary "not so much of a question but more of a declaration" question.

"That was you, wasn't it."

In my defense, I would never resort to lighting a match, nor the casual flick of a lighter while on an airplane. That would be stupid.

Then they would know it was me. :O)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Emma took 4 steps on her own last night! On second thought, why the heck am I cheering about this? Waaaaaaaah... My baby is officially a toddler! Oh man, she is growing too fast. Time to start feeding her coffee and ciggs to stunt her growth. *ponders for a moment* Nope. Didn't work for Anna...

Just kidding. Sheesh , get over yourself. :OP

Today is my brother's 33rd? I think? Birthday!!!!!! Happy Birthday Ben! *smooch smooch*
Don't worry, buddy, I still have more gray hair than you. We have our gene pool to thank for that. Unfortunately, somebody peed in it. :( Ooooh, and I think I see a dead frog. Anywhooo, Happy Birthday , bro! Love ya!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Arrrrgh, fire bad!

I just wanted to make a short post saying thanks to you all for your positive thoughts and prayers! Aside from the anesthesiologist trying to force me against me will to have general instead of local... it went just fine. Thank goodness the OR nurse stood her ground and plainly said "The patient requested local with sedation" each time that idiot tried to say I was getting put under. I do feel a bit like Frankenstein (or Frahnkensteen ala Young Frankenstein) with stitches in 3 places, though.

The Darvocet is good, but I am such a light weight I am only taking a half of pill, well except for last night. My arm was hurting pretty bad last night, it made my teeth chatter.

My MIL made us meatloaf and eggnog cake after she worked, all we had to do was bake the potatoes. YUM! Even though I do complain about her (most of the time for very good reasons), she is very sweet to us when we are sick or under the weather. She must love us or something. :O)

Ok, it's turning in to a not so short post... Thanks again for thinking of me!


PS- I am proud of myself for making it a whole 36 hours before posting, heehee. I kind of cheated though, earlier I showed the hubby 2 posts on other blogs that I thought were really funny/good, mousing all the while like I was born a lefty. Does that count?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'll be seeing you...

I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
(from my recliner, through the bay....

....window) The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well
(Awww, it's gonna hurt like hell!)

I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day
(I wish! But winter is here to stay...)

In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way
I'll find you in the mornin' sun
( blogging in the mornin' is so much fun)
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
(could be the Darvocet is kicking in too soon)

But I'll be seeing you
(in drug induced hallucinations too)

I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you...

*sung by Bing Crosby, and the bold print is me, of course :D

Hey, tomorrow is my out patient surgery and though I will probably be jonesin' for my blogging fix after about 4.5 hours, I won't be on for a few days. I am having a mass removed from my right bicep and 2 from my right thigh at 0945 in the AM.

They had rescheduled me for 2PM, but now I am back to 0945. I hope they don't change me again, it's a little nerve wracking having to call my MIL to reschedule with her.

We will see how desperate I become before I try to mouse with my left hand. Any bets? I am thinking a day, LOL! Until then, au revoir mes amis!

Until we meet again... enjoy some photos!We have gone "rustic" this year with mostly handmade ornaments in whites, black/red, red, and clear (snow flakes and icicles). We decided to only put a 3rd of the ornaments we have because our tree was so heavy that it almost tipped least year, and the fact that the less we put out the less we will have to put away. Having an incision on my right arm has affected my decorating choices this year. I actually like it... for once it doesn't look like Santa exploded in my living room. Minimal is good.

Here are pics of the finished tree, sans pine comb- as Willow tree put it!

Some of our homemade ornaments...

And the Little People we have set up under the tree for the kids.

Finally, our Little People Nativity before Emma...And After Emma.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Humorous... and not so humorous

It seems that last night Emma developed a sense of humor, or at least has inherited her parents sense of humor. She was sitting on her dads lap, pooted, then proceded to look up at him and laugh.

John immediately pointed at me and said, "Hmmm, I wonder where she learned that from?"

Huh, wha? Just because they spend all day with me doesn't mean that all of their bad habits come from me... just the funny ones.

Did I forget to mention that Emma has disovered cat food? Mmmmm, meaty goodness in a pellet!

Other than that, I haven't been sleeping very well. We are trying to go visit Ben, my brother, hopefully in April. I think the idea that I might run into the egg donor (my mother) is really bothering me, so much so that I have been having odd dreams about her lately. I have been a mess for about a week, something hurts somewhere all day or everything hurts for part of the day. I think my anxiety is manifesting itself in key locations in my body, starting from about my forehead to about mid-calf.

Evidently my illness has crossed from physical to mental because I have actually thought about seeing her. I know my dear sweet husband is thinking the same because when I mentioned this, he said nothing but shook his head no, almost violently.

I guess part of me, despite all the anger and hurt, still just wants a mother who loves me. At this point I'd be better off trying to find an adoptive mother. Hey, I'm only 36. Why not. I know, I know, it's probably never going to happen, and it makes me sad. Well, I mean when it's not making me angry. My childhood sucked so badly there is literally a vaccuum, an endless void in my heart where any good feeling for my mother lived.

The weird thing is that every time I have this thought- to call the *egg donor*, so does Ben and vice versa. we talk to each other and say that we have both come to the same conclusion, which is "why bother?". Either we would eventually be opening the door to more abuse and heart ache, and the good times would be short lived, or she would slam the door in our face.

Ben and I are so much alike sometimes its scary. We are able to talk about the past, it's very painful but therapeutic. we are both discovering that neither of us had it worse than the other, and that there are things that each of us didn't know. Horrible things. When I tell John, he just sits there in shock. It's hard for John to understand it all- especially the part where we tell him that we still want her to love us ,though he tries really hard. What normal person could understand?

I miss him a lot. If I can't go Maryland this April, I will probably be depressed. Heck, I am getting teary just thinking about it. He is pretty much all I care to call family anymore.

Pooh, so much for one positive thing a day. I set my sights too far, too high. Well here it goes... The bright points in the darkness for me are my family. I don't know who or where I'd be with out my husband, my first and only true love. My kindred spirit and best friend. My girls... for so long I thought that they would never come, but here they are! Two radiant, sweet and precious blossoms. Stinky at times, yes, but sweet just the same. And my brother, my other kindred spirit. We laugh at the dumbest crap.

Well, with that said, and so eloquently might I add... my life isn't so bad after all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And so it begins... actually, continues.

Emma had a refreshing nap today, she was all smiles when I went upstairs to get her from her room.

I said, "Hi honey, did you have a nice nap?"


"I love you!"

"I know."

Emma is doing very well in the chatter department. Every day her vocabulary doubles it seems, most of it with the help of her big sister. Unfortunately for us Emma has picked up other phrases such as:

No I did it- which actually means "No, I didn't."
Yeah, yeah, yeah- oops, that one was from me
and the dreaded.... WHY?

A little while later, I noticed that Emma had lined her half eaten cinnamon graham crackers on our new

"You're messy, kid," I mention in passing on my way to the kitchen, stopping for a moment to put the crackers in their temporary snack cup home.

"No, I not."

I am so happy that Anna is teaching her the finer points of sassy butt-ism. It's all Anna's fault , you know... It's not like Anna spent all day, every day for the first 4 years of her life with
moi or anything. Don't even suggest it. :OP

Friday, December 01, 2006

Our first snow day...

We have our first official snow of the season... and Anna had her first official snow day today. I am kicking myself for not taking any pictures of it! It was interesting, I have never heard it thunder during a snow storm before as it did last night. Anna has been dying to go outside, and I have been trying to hold her off until her daddy gets home from work but it's been something. I could have taken her out, but I would have had to take Emma out too. Poor Em, being a peanut and a little under weight since having pneumonia a month ago... I just don't think it's the best idea to take her outside- for what would be forever, because I know that Anna wold want to stay out for awhile.

Several times she declared that she was bored, and usually I would have found something for her to do, but not this time. I knew that despite my efforts, nothing I could ever come up with would be as good as feeling new snow crunch beneath your boots, or throwing the first snowball. At your oblivious parent. :O)

So here we are, trying to fill the day... but nothing is quite good enough to stay the snow bunny blues. I made us a typical snow day lunch of grilled Cheddar and provolone cheese sandwiches and chicken and stars soup. I had never actually made grilled cheese with real cheese before, usually I use the "sandwich" cheese variety. Anna had previously said that she hated grilled cheese, to which John and I guffawed.

"Bread, cheese and butter... what's not to like?"
She ate it all, which made me a proud mama.

After lunch I noticed that Anna had gotten a little ahead of me, decorating the tree. Even though the tree is up, we haven't gotten any further that the lights, ribbon, and a star. We plan to finish the tree this week end, and it's #1 on my list of things to get done before my surgery on Wednesday. ANYWAY, this is what I noticed as I walked into the living room...

and if you can't make it out...

Which makes realize why she had such a satisfied smile on her face. It wasn't the grilled cheese at all.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WFMW, how to make your candles last longer

I really hate it when the inside of the candle burns, but the outer edges don't. What a waste! Especially if it is an expensive one like a Yankee Candle. A few years ago, I had an idea... Why not buy my own pre-waxed wicks at the craft store?

*A. To start:

  1. If you have recently burned a candle and notice that the center is burned out, but you have excess wax around the sides, use a butter knife while the wax is still soft and warm to scrape down the wax from the sides of the candle container (jar). Your old wick will now be covered in wax.

  2. If the wax begins to harden, you can use a sharp knife or scissors to chop the wax up to fill the center better.

  3. I buy long wicks, probably 6 to 9 inches, then I snip off the length that I need. Take a tooth pick and make a hole for the new wick.

*B. If the wax isn't soft:

  1. Take a tooth pick and make a hole where you want to burn down the wax and stick the piece of wick in. Sometimes I also dredge a little so that the wax can run off to the center easier. Keep an eye on the candle and check it occasionally to make sure the wick isn't extinguished by wax.

  2. When the wax has melted a bit to the center and has softened, go back to *A.

Usually I try to make the wick short because it is hard to make a hole the whole depth of the candle, and also because the wax is going to shift to the center of the candle while the candle burns. Using shorter pieces of wick instead of one long one will help cut down on waste since you will probably be changing the location of the wick depending on how the wax shifts.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Carve me up like a turkey, why don't 'cha.

Last spring, I found a small lump in my right thigh. I had it checked out by my family physician, but he thought that it was probably a fatty mass (or a lipoma) and said I could see a surgeon to have it removed. It doesn't really bother me, it was a little unsettling to find a bump though. I also have a mass in my right bicep that bothers me a lot, that causes me pain, numbness and tingling down the outside of my right forearm. Couple this with the tennis mousing elbow that I already have had for the last 3 years, and the hours I spend blogging, ect... it makes for a mess of fun! I wrenched the cucamunga out of the mousing elbow on Thanksgiving lifting the turkey in and out of the oven, the pain is almost unbearable. I say almost because I refuse to give up my quality time with my mouse and keyboard.

Anyway, I had to cancel my procedure that was scheduled for this summer because there was a possibility that we were going to move. I have been putting it on hold (read sarcastically as procrastinating about it, and neglecting myself, and trying to ignore the pain), but since i will have to get a job soon, I thought the sooner the better. Besides, who will want to hire me if they know I will be out soon after because of arm surgery. All of that is well and good, because I would rather have a frontal lobotomy and arm surgery rather that start a new job in retail this time of year.

My surgeon is hoping that removing the mass will help, but the pain might not be related to the mass. He is thinking that my elbow problem is related to me *jumping out of a car when I was a teen, landing on my right side. This might also explain the "mass" in my right upper thigh, it could be my muscle protruding from the the muscles protective sheath.

*If you are curious why I might jump from a car going 40 mph... I ran away from home. When my mother found me, she forced me into my brothers car. While I was getting in, I noticed a sawed of broom handle in the back of the car. She then proceeded to beat me, mostly by grabbing my hair and beating me around the front of the car. I was pretty sure she had plans for that broom stick, and I was certain that she would kill me when we got home... so as soon as she let go of my hair for a moment, I opened the door and jumped. It was as if all I could hear was my own breathing, and a calmness came over me, and I just jumped from the car- onto a freshly graveled road. To this day, I still have rocks embedded in my left elbow, and luckily the scars from my torn up hips are now covered with stretch marks.

I had a large mass removed from my right thyroid (catching a theme here yet? What the heck is wrong the the right side of my body?) about 3 years ago, measuring about 3x5 inches *gasp!*. The mass in my bicep has grown from the size of a pea to the size of a cherry tomato since then, and since the summer I have found 2 more masses- one on each of my upper thighs. I am one lumpy broad.

So, I had a re-check up yesterday because it had been a long time the surgeon had seen me. It would seem that they like to at least have a peek at you before they slice and dice you. He decided to remove the mass in my bicep, and the small one mid thigh. He wants to do a small biopsy of the upper thigh before he cuts it open because it is so large (roughly 3 inches x5 again). Because of the thigh area being very vascular, my penchant for dropping my already low blood pressure at inopportune times, and my reactions to all the good drugs/anesthesia, he has decided that he will do the procedure at the hospital. If he feels I am doing ok, or has the time, he might take out the mass in my left thigh also... for a grand total of 4 incisions! Hooray for me!

My outpatient surgery will be next week *gulp*, Wednesday December 6, at 0945 am. I have to be there at 0745 for all the fun stuff like filling out 10 different forms- all asking the same information, the stealing of various body fluids, and having a ginormous IV needle put somewhere very uncomfortable, like my thumb or my eye lid.

If you would be so kind, please send prayers, positive thought and good vibes my way that day. I really appreciate it. BTW, this makes surgical procedure #8 for me. Yippee.

On the lighter side, as I said in one of my older posts when joking about having some "work done" while they were at it:
If I had all the fatty masses removed I would just be left with the top of my head and my toes, so I think I will just have these done for now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

An Apology

It seems that I may have once again stuck my blogging foot in my blogging mouth. Yes, believe it or not , I have yet again stepped in it.

I want to say sorry to any of my readers whom I may have offended recently. If you read my Thankful post, you know that recently my spirits were down a bit. In my blithering idiot-ness, I switched my blog to "only people I choose" instead of "blog authors", not really paying attention to or caring if there was a difference. I wanted to get my head together, and thought that until I had decided whether or not my blog would bite the dust, I would leave it unreadable.

One of my new readers Bond brought it to my attention that the message on my blog appeared as if I was blocking certain people, and this is what I emailed him:

I was thinking for a bit that I might quit blogging, the post before the last one was a bummer. I am feeling better now. During that week, I had my permissions changed from public to "only people I chose", no one was actually on that list. I knew if I checked that option, everyone would be blocked from reading it while (during my funk) I decided what the heck I was doing. It was nothing personal, I assure you!

I thought about it tonight and realized that a some of my readers and friends might have gotten their feelings hurt. I am really sorry, and that was not my intent at all.

Please send complaints, snarky comments about (my chins and grins in) my new avatar, and thorough tongue lashings to my email address. :D So, I officially remove my foot from my mouth, or at least for the time being. This blog will live to see another day, and I will continue to bore you with the tedium, and the circus that is me.:O)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Call me anything but late for supper!

It's Thanksgiving, but I know that some of us will not be able to resist the urge to see what is going on in the blogosphere, once the rest of the family has slipped into their turkey induced comas... so I thought I would share a bit of this last week in hopes to relieve a little boredom. Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy.

On Monday we went to Anna's parent/teacher conferences. Anna's teacher does it a bit differently and asked that the kids come with their
parents. Each child had an appointment with their parents alone with the teacher so that they were able to do a little presentation. Anna suddenly became very serious and soft spoken, is was really very adorable! John and I gave each other a secret grin and wink.

Anna told us that this was a drawing of herself, hair clips and all. At the bottom, we read some of things she likes to do at home to be helpful, such as cleaning up her toys on the porch and feeding the cats.*cough-sometimes-cough* Her teacher is very impressed with her artistic abilities.

Anna told us about this paper she did with one of the assistant teacher's stamps. We are very proud of the progress she is making with her handwriting.

In these 2 pictures you will see tha
t Anna was able to correctly show the life cycle of a butterfly, and the name the body segments. John and I told her how proud we were, after a brief moment of jaw drops and gasps. We both were surprised that she knew what a thorax was.

Anna's kindergarten teacher went over recent Iowa tests results with us and let us know that Anna is above average and did very well. We weren't surprised that our kid is pretty smart, but we were surprised that she did so well on the tests, she can become flustered at times and often complains that something is too hard.

At the end of the conference, we got a chance to leave Anna a
happy note and I told her how proud of her we are, and that we are blessed to have such a beautiful , smart and funny daughter. The teacher said that they will get to open them next week in class. I told Anna that i wrote something really embarrassing like she had really bad toe cheese... her eyes got really big, I laughed and assured her that it was something really nice.

On the way home John asked Anna to go over some of the life cycle again, and said, "You know, the butterfly isn't the only one that has a cocoon, Anna."

Anna replied, "No, you're thinking of a moth. A moth makes a cocoon, a butterfly makes a chrysalis."

*snort* I nudged John as if to say,
"Remember when you told sassy butt back there that she is smart, but it will be a while before she is smarter than you? HAH!"

John's mom was at home with Emma, and when we got home from the conferences asked how it went, and what her teacher had to say.

"Well," I said, " her teacher told us that she is smart."
Nana grinned and said, "Yeah, really? like we didn't know that already."
Anna made her presentation over again for her Nana, she was as stunned as we were that she knew the name for the thorax of a butterfly and actually showed it's proper location.

While I am sharing pictures and anecdotes, a few days before Anna made this. On the back she wrote ,"Dad, mom, Emma... I love you." She showed it to me, and I gave her a big hug and told her what a sweetie she was. Unbeknownst to me, later she added a little something, then left it on the table for us to find.

When John got home, he read,"... You R A... sicko?"
As Anna giggled in the background, I replied, "No dear- well yes- *snort* but no, what she meant was psycho."

John and I agreed that she is getting better at spelling words out phonetically, and that we have been called worse. :O)


I have been a little burned out with the whole blogging thing, I honestly don't feel like I have anything that is too terribly interesting to say. Maybe I am a little depressed, with the past recently rearing it's ugly head...

I sit, type, then delete. Maybe my life isn't that interesting. Maybe I have nothing to contribute. Maybe all my natural resources are gone, my oil has run dry. Maybe my blog has had a short but sweet life and it is time for me to move on. I don't know... Maybe it's the holidays getting me down. Again.

After I wrote the first few lines, I decide to make the title of this post Thankful. I am going to get myself out of this funk and write about the things I am thankful for, I thought to myself.

I am thankful for my Husband, I honestly don't know where I would be without him in my life. He loves me so much... I know I annoy the crap out of him sometimes, but I haven't been served any papers yet, and the fact that he is still here despite all of the stuff... Well, I am so lucky. I am thankful that we can still make each other laugh, and that he still finds me attractive. :O) The fact that he loves me for me is a wonderful thing.He is my kindred spirit, and I love him for it.

There were so many days before we became pregnant with Anna, when I didn't even want to get out of bed. Not being able to have kids for the first 11 years of our marriage was really hard. I am surprised that we made it. We definitely had our rough patches and almost called it quits a few times, not so much because we didn't have kids but because we were self centered and immature. God must have known that weren't ready. Having children has helped us (and forced us, LOL) to love each other so much more. We were definitely missing something in our lives and marriage, we both wanted kids.

I am thankful for my daughters. I am so happy that God saw that we needed them. Again, I don't where we would be without them, they bring so many things to this family, I don't know where to begin! They are both funny, can be sweet, can be giving, are mostly feisty and unabashedly stubborn. All of those things make us laugh, some of them make us very annoyed, but we wouldn't have it any other way. That's our girls, Anna and her Mini Me, Emma. I am so grateful to have them in my life, and they have brought me so much joy, and have helped me to want to be a better person.

I am thankful for my brother Ben. We don't talk everyday, or week but we know that we are going to pick up right where we left off, which is usually laughing so hard we are crying. My brother accepts me for who I am and vice versa, and I love him more than anything. It doesn't matter where we are, or what we are doing we both know that we will drop everything just to talk. He is kindred spirit #2.

I am sooo thankful for my friend Effie. We are so much a like, and have fought like sisters at times. Man have we made each other steaming mad! We have had some doozies! It doesn't matter though, we always gravitate back to one another. We can go for months without talking and like my brother, pick up right where we left off. She is my third kindred spirit.

I am thankful that despite all the bad things that have happened to me, that I am still here.

I am thankful that I am still learning, that I am willing (and trying) to change.

I am thankful for the my blog and the opportunities it has given me to meet new people, express myself, and to challenge myself.

I am thankful for everything I have, and what God has blessed me with. I am grateful that He thinks I am worth it, and despite a spiritual dry spell that He is still with me.

I don't know how much longer I will be able to blog, but at least I had my say. My thankfulness is out there, and that's good enough for me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Her Kryptonite

Thanks to everyone who gave their encouragement about Anna getting her ears pierced, it went much better than expected. Let me just say that I spent way more time in Claire's Boutique this weekend than I cared to. We had a return due to malfunction the next day, than another return because of a broken necklace on Sunday. Claire's is her new obsession, since she has so many more jewelry options. It's a good thing that it isn't in walking distance, because it has become her new dollar store. She can't resist the dollar store, and can always find an excuse to go in. The problem is that she can't earn enough allowance to support her new habit, and she isn't due for her review and raise for awhile. :O)

I fully expected my 5 year old to change her mind at the last minute. Nope, she hopped right up into the chair and waited in a slightly pale and clammy patience. As we waited for the sales person to get everything ready- which, by the way is a bit like waiting to have surgery done while the OR nurse examines every single sharp and pointy instruments right in front of you, or maybe watching the ax man sharpen his blade- and judging from her particular shade of greenness, I waited for the moment in which she would bolt.

Again, I misjudged my girl. She sat there like a champ, with a gun pointed at each ear lobe... Two simultaneous clicks, a flinch, an whimper, and that was it. There was a second where she considered crying, but decided it didn't mesh with her new big girl status. We topped the whole experience off with a shiny new pair of dragonfly earrings, with a CZ accent and a tiny, movable, beaded tail.

My daughter is such an intricately woven person, I can barely predict the outcome to most situations anymore. She tends to run hot or cold, and there is no in between (or convincing her otherwise). I told John that I don't remember meeting a more stubborn person other than his dearly departed dad. Once my FIL set his mind to something, he could not be shaken, moved, tackled... They both remind me of Penny Wharvey McGill in the Movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, when she says, "I've spoken my piece and counted to three", then proceeds to walk away with her head held high and her nose in the air. They are/were both the kind of persons that can be very loving one minute, then frustrating in a "fists and jaw clenched" sort of way the next.

So, when she told me that she never wanted to have her ears pierced at the age of 4, I believed her. I had thought that eventually there might be a remote chance that she would change her mind, but not likely. All I can say is there is nothing more motivating than impressing your 5 year old friends. She told me that she wanted to be part of the cool girl club. I am thinking that we are going to have more talks about peer pressure, and eventually talks about how self mutilation shouldn't be necessary to fit in.

On another note, Anna came down with a cold the very next day. It turns out that Super Girl is afraid of cough medicine because, you see.... it tastes bad. Saturday morning she all but coughed up a lung, and despite feeling like she was going to throw up every time she coughed, she refused for about an hour to take it. This is where the jaw and fist clenching come in. Oh, she finally took the dang medicine, but not without saturating the room with her unwavering drama. 45 minutes later we hear a cheerful, "I feel better!"- shortly followed by John and I biting the backs of our dining room chairs to keep from stringing her up by her thumbs. ;O)

No matter, this morning it was back to square one. Coughing, tears, pointing at a teaspoon of medicine in horror as if it were a gallon of vile purple-ness, more coughing, threats (by us, of course), drama, drama, tears, yelling by us to "take it, or don't and suffer at school all day, but I don't want to hear later how you felt horrible all day!", and "this is the same, exact medicine you took yesterday... and amazing, yesterday you miraculously felt better after!", more tears, then gulp-sip-gulp, the sound of a small plastic cup hitting stainless steel, and finally "Mommy, I love you, can I have a hug?".

*Cue heavy sighs, internal growls of frustration, the usual clenching, and consumption of large quantities of coffee*
I am so glad that Emma tends to sleep in and I get at least an hour of quiet, coffee time.

Every super hero has his or her weakness. Saying what I am about to say in no way diminishes the fact that I love my daughter with every fiber of my being, and I would gladly give my life in place of hers...

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Or just whiny and really annoying.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Profound, disturbing...OK, just profoundly disturbing.

So, I had one of those days yesterday. It wasn't really a bad one per se, actually it was just weird. Kind of fitting since yesterdays Thursday Thirteen was 13 Weird Things About Mary.

My day started off as a normal week day: Get up, get Anna up, feed her, dress her, send her off to school, blog a little, hear Emma wake up at 9:30 and start her routine, clean, clean, blog, clean, nap time,...

Around 12:30pm , after I put Emma down for a nap I hear a chirping on my phone. Since getting my phone about 3 months ago, and after having to get an Illinois number (because there weren't numbers available for Iowa), I have had a lot of walkie talkie alerts and even some strangers trying to talk to the previous owner of the WT number. Numerous. I am thinking the previous owner was very popular, possibly for unsavory reasons, one being- dare I say it... booty calls. Well, either that or distribution of Mary Jane.

Anyway, I was taking a break on the couch while Emma babbled herself to sleep and I hear the chirping. I ignored it like I usually do. A few minutes later my WT chirped again, this time I looked at the phone and recognized the WT number as one that has been paging me for the whole 3 months I had had the phone. This person mumbles something on my walkie talkie. GARH! I suddenly became annoyed with this persons persistence despite me turning my phone off, usually after repeated alerts/pages.

I grabbed my phone, and sternly said, "Hello... you have the wrong number."

He says, "What's going one, so and so?

"This is Mary, you have the wrong number!"

He then mumbled something again, and I turned my phone off. After a few minutes I turned it back on, so that if Anna's school needed to get a hold of me for some reason, they could.

Chirp."Hey Mary..."


"How you doin'?"

I started to giggle uncontrollably, and shut my phone off immediately. How absurd! I later told John that I know for a fact that I have the least sexy voice on the planet, and that I believe I sound like Kermit the Frog. John laughed and said that wasn't true. I laughed back and said it was, and I just didn't get why a stranger would want to talk to me. Then I remembered my theory.... Ahhhhh yes, the good old booty call.

Oh, but wait there's more! After Anna came home from school, we played 6 games and she beat me at every one of them. Even after I declared that one round wouldn't be counted because she cheated. Honestly, this was not my desperate attempt to win just one single game, she really did cheat. Try as I might to salvage some dignity, she beat my butt again at dominoes. "See mommy, I still wo-on, I sti-ill wo-on..."

Later, Emma would watch a tape of Sesame street and point to Big Bird, calling him momma. I guess that is just plain good luck because I would rather be Big Bird than The Beast.

Speaking of good luck, since John was working some serious overtime last night I decided to order Chinese food for us gals. At the end of dinner, I opened my fortune cookie and fell back into my chair with more uncontrollable giggling. My fortune was this:
"The greatest danger could be your stupidity."

The day ended perfectly with me telling Emma that I loved her as I was lying with her to put her to bed. She looked at me and scrunched up her eyes, and with a puckered smile she said one word. Poop.

"Poop? What do you mean, poop?"

Then she laughed at me.You know the laugh where you aren't so much laughing as much as trying to stifle a laugh, in the process making a "pppttttt" sound and spitting a little? Yeah that one. She answered me with another word. Momma.

So, to summarize:
I got hit on by a desperate stranger, via walkie talkie.
I was humiliated by my 5 year old.
My cookie insulted me.
And my 19 month old referred to me as a humongous, yellow bird... and poop.

I did have a proud moment though, Anna decided that she wants to have her ears pierced. In the Mexican culture it's not uncommon to have your child's ears pierced as a baby. I thought about it, but decided that it really should be her choice. When Anna heard at 4 yrs old that it was going to hurt like a big dog, she said she was never going to have it done. She also decided that she wouldn't have kids either. :O) Last night she told me that 2 of her friends at school have pierced ears, one had them done recently.

We are going to have them done tonight, when there will be 2 sales ladies available to do her ears simultaneously. I know my girl enough to know that she will freak out and not want to go through with the second one. I have filled her in on all of the particulars, sparing nothing - including that it will hurt. A lot. She is still excited though, because my plan to distract her from the pain is to take her earring shopping afterwards. It's a big decision for her, and always told her it is her choice. Say a prayer for her, will you? She doesn't do pain very well. What 5 year old does?

My baby is growing up.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thirteen weird things about Mary, TT #10

Thirteen weird things about Mary

OK, I am sure there are more than 13... if you can think of one, let me know! :OP

1. I have almost died 3 times in my life. I was close to drowning twice, and went into shock after surgery. The third time was really weird, I could hear everything going on (the doctor and nurses working on me) but couldn't open my eyes. I felt very peaceful and I thought to myself, "Oh well, I guess I am going to die."

2. I have to have something sweet- usually chocolate- after eating spicy food.

3. It never fails, I always get a little depressed at the beginning of spring. Knowing why helps, I finally figured it out about 9 years ago.

4. I love mac and cheese, but most of the time with hot dogs cut up in it. This really grosses my husband out. :O)

5.I obsess about new things and get burned out on it quickly because of this. I am trying not to do this with blogging.

6. I obsess about things in another way, I have OCD. I am not the kind that can't function normally, but I do tend to obsess until I take care of whatever it is. It could be something silly like fixing a crooked picture.

7. I have to make lists, otherwise I will forget something I want to do. If I forget my grocery list, I am a mess and usually can't remember half of it.

8. I can wiggle my ears.

9. I can pick things up with my toes.

10. I have had 7 surgeries in my 37 years of life.

11. I have a horrible need to be accepted, and it really bothers me when I know someone is mad at me or doesn't like me. I have known this about myself for a long time, and I am working on this. I now do things for people because I care about them, not because it will make them like me.

12. I wouldn't relive the first 18 years of my life if you paid me all the money in the world. Seriously.

13. This is something that I think is weird yet wonderful: When we first started dating, I told my husband every bad thing about me and my past (my parents, ect). You would think that after knowing in my heart after 2 short weeks that John was the one, that I wouldn't do something that would have him running scared in the opposite direction... I just wanted to know if he was going to stick around, and didn't want to invest myself if he wasn't. He didn't blink an eye- even after I told him that if we ever got married and I found out that he hurt our kids, I would kill him. :O) 18 years later, here we are. Shoot, the fact that he stayed with me after he got to experience all the drama for himself is a miracle. He must really love me.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pass the Torch Tuesday!

I have been wanting to write about this little guy for awhile...This is Gabriel, my nephew.

Gabe's mommy and daddy are recently divorced, and Gabe and his brother Matty stay with their daddy half of the week. Ben really misses them when they aren't there with him, and he tries really hard to spend quality time with them. They love spending time with their dad, and daddy's girlfriend Tammy too. Tammy is just as much a part of his life as his parents, and she loves him like her own. :O)

Gabe is not a big fan of getting his head or face wet. Bath time , my brother Ben tells me, can sometimes be a doozey because of this. He loves taking a bath, he just really dislikes the hair washing part!

Recently Gabe has discovered the joy of swimming classes. Ben had the opportunity to sign him up, and they went for it! Gabe seems to have taken a liking to his new fun time with his daddy, and is really enjoying himself. Ben said that Gabe's swimming teacher let him know that if he (Ben) looks like he is holding Gabe back at all, she would be sure to let him know. Ben laughed and said that was fine.

What makes Gabe's new swimming classes so much more special is that Gabe is autistic. If you know anything about autism, you know that children that have autism often don't take to change well. Gabe is refusing to let a little thing like that stop him, and every day his progress amazes us! He is an amazing boy, with three wonderfully loving, proud and supportive parents (including Tammy, of course).

I hope that he knows he has a proud auntie in Iowa, that loves him very much, too.

Edit to add: On Wednesday night Kelly from Pass the Torch emailed me to let me know that my "post was the spotlight post this week at Pass the Torch"! I am very honored to display this award on my blog. Thanks Kelly, I am glad that you enjoyed reading about my nephew.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

TT #9, 13 things I love about November 1st to January 1st

Thirteen Things Mary loves about November 1st to January 1st

1. Sweaters, sweaters, sweatshirts and sweaters! I am a fall person, but I love the comfort that sweaters bring- not to mention all the stuff that sweaters can hide.

Making John's Aunt Issy's famous *PB&J Coffee cake*. OK, it's really a Bisquick recipe... but it's a tradition. I always put extra pb, and everyone raves. :O) See below for recipe

Putting up the tree on Thanksgiving. We have a 3 day cycle: the tree goes up (along with our door wreath and misc. Christmas decorations), the next day lights, and the day after ornaments.

Making gifts. I love crafts and making something with my hands really relaxes me.

Making cookies with Anna. October officially marks the beginning of cookie season for us, and lasts until about Valentines Day.

Christmas shopping. I know most people hate it, but I love to Christmas shop, especially at night. I don't know why, but coming out of store with my arms full of crinkly bags on a cold night always brings me joy.

Sharing the anticipation with my kids. Emma isn't really into it yet, but I love the itchy, squirmy, can't sit still moments that Christmas brings. Anna is flying by the seat of her pants with giddiness and excitement.

Guessing what's under the tree. This is a new game Anna likes to play, but obviously we never tell her if she is right.

Sitting with the top button of my jeans undone with the ones I love. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a well made and eaten meal.

Left overs! need I say more?

Making Gingerbread houses. Last year we started a new family tradition, and we all had a lot of fun coming up with creative ideas for candy decorations.

Taking time out of the a busy holiday to watch the parade with Anna and John.

The uncertainty and promise of the New Year. Every year I am alive is like winning the lottery. :O)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

*** Aunt Issy's PB & Jam Coffee Cake***

2c Bisquick
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c creamy pb (I usually use 1/2 c and it comes out more moist)
3/4 c milk
1 egg
1/2c jam (I use apricot, but you can use your favorite)
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Grease round or square pan.
  • Mix Bisquick and sugar.
  • Cut in PB.
  • Beat together in separate bowl milk and and egg.
  • Stir milk/egg it into the Bisquick PB mixture, dont over mix. You still want to have clumps of PB.
  • Pour into pan, and spoon jam in rows over top of mixture
  • Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, or until browned.
  • Drizzle the top with glaze.

1c sifted confectioners sugar (I am too lazy to sift, I never do)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp water (1 at a time to thin, repeat until you get the desired coconsistency)

Remember that the glaze will melt and run on the warm/hot coffee cake. I usually make it about the consistencyf honey. I usually double the glaze recipe and leave a bowl out as extra glaze for whoever wants it. This helps in case it comes out a little dryer than expected.