Monday, December 27, 2010

Dancing E

Sometimes when you least expect it, something little happens that makes a big difference.  A couple of weeks ago my sister and I were out shopping with Baby E.  We made a *quick* stop at one of those giant discount warehouses.  You know, the place where you go in to buy diapers and end up with a 10 pack of Clorox wipes, not one but TWO giant bags of Veggie Sticks, a 6 liter bottle of red wine and a new Christmas tree.  So we were at that place.

While walking down the aisle of Christmas ornaments, we came upon a 1990's era boom box playing Jingle Bell Rock.  Now, Baby E is a dancer.  A good one.  It's like an automatic response that when he hears music, his world stops and he bounces and shakes and wiggles in a way that would make Michael Jackson look like one of those 'dancing hamsters'.  Yeah. He's THAT good.  The only problem is that when he is dancing,  he completely ignores everyone else in the room.  So, here he goes. Jingle Bell Rock is playing and he starts dancing (even closes his eyes for a second).  A Grumpy Old Man looking character comes walking down the aisle.  Obviously he's walking down the decorations aisle because it is the least populated one and he can get to the checkout quicker in order to buy his 750 count box of prunes and his extra large box of vitamins.  He is grumbling about something or other, and looking down.  Suddenly, he sees Baby E and gives him a little scowl as if to say "children should be seen and not heard".  Baby E STOPS dancing, raises his hand in the air (as though he's waving) , nods his head once and grins.  Grumpy Old Man stops in his tracks and doesn't smile, but GIGGLES at Baby E.  Baby E nods again and resumes his dancing.

See, little thing, big difference.  It made my day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Usually, I think babyE's farts are cute.  But not today.  Today, every time I hear a toot in his pants, I wince because I KNOW that there will be runny poop in that diaper when I go to change it.  He's gone through 3 outfits already today.  UGH.  That's all.

This was outfit #2 today (just jammies)  - he looks sick, no?

Monday, December 20, 2010


I'm taking BabyE to the doctor today to see what is up with this cough that will not let up.  It's been an ongoing battle for the past 8 weeks.  Maybe he's had a few colds that are running together - at least that's all I'm hoping it is!

Baby E in the FIRST sink bath in the new kitchen.

In other news: the kitchen remodel is DONE!  Well, Big J still has to put up trim around the floor, and we have to paint the door, but other than that, we are finished!

View from the entry - the hood over the range is still covered in white plastic - it is
stainless steel to match the rest of the appliances. 

view from the breakfast nook - The door on the left goes down to the basement, but I have to get it painted
before we put it back on.  the huge butcher block was from our old house - I couldn't bear to part with it!

I finally got all my Christmas presents wrapped up and ready to go - I fell a little behind because this is the year of the home-made gifts......My brother and sister and I (and our spouses) exchanged names as usual, but there were rules.  We are only allowed to spend $10 and the gift we give has to come from either a second-hand store or be something we make.  It should be an entertaining Christmas morning (to say the least).  Last year we had to make the gifts and there were some very creative presents exchanged.  There was a sweatshirt and CD of the "Kringle Kris" aka my little brother; an adorable frame with a photo of BabyE - a gift from my sister-in-law; a set of dressed up golf-club covers; a home-made cookbook; a set of hand-spun wooden darts; and there was one more, but I can't seem to remember what it was!  It was really fun, and a good way to not spend a fortune on gifts :)

We will be trekking up north (how much farther NORTH can we get from here??) to my sister's on Christmas Eve for the festivities.  Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

17 months!

Baby E after his fall at the ice-skating rink.
 Dear Baby E,

Baby E yelling at his cousins in the bathtub
The girls kept moving his cups around.....
Can you PLEASE lose the attitude?  I know you are getting your top molars in, but do you really have to throw yourself down on the floor and scream every time I try to change your diaper?  Also, would you mind not playing with that DAMN music box every second of the day?  I get it. It plays 76 different songs and it lights up and you can choose which instrument you'd like to hear, but if I have to listen to the classical version of "London Bridge" one more time, I might just start drinking BEFORE noon.  On the other hand, please don't ever stop giving mommy your "lovies", you know, the ones where you run up to me at lightning speed and when I pick you up you grab my face with both of your hands and 'kiss' my face until I'm laughing so hard I almost pee.  Those are my favorite kind of kisses.  Oh, and please continue to put on an excellent show for complete strangers.  Like Saturday when I took you to the ice-skating rink with your cousins and you danced and danced while the girls skated.  Then, when you tripped and fell and had those giant tears, I picked you up and you laid your head on my shoulder and let me cuddle you.  Don't stop that, because 5 minutes after your fall, some ladies came out of the warming shed and told me that they LOVED your little dance and that when you fell, there was a collective gasp that went through-out the room.  Oh and please don't EVER lose your desire to learn or your curiosity!  It's kind of annoying when you keep opening the bathroom drawers to take everything out, but I love how you study each thing as you're doing it and then line it all up on the floor.  I love you little peanut and I can't believe you are already 17 months old.  Where has the time gone?  You are getting bigger and smarter everyday and I could sit for hours and just WATCH you!  Thanks for making me laugh and reminding me of how important it is to be a good role model for you!

playing in the kitchen during the remodel

Love, Mommy

Thursday, December 9, 2010

sick baby

Baby E is sick.  Not the crying, throwing up, fever, chills sick.  Nope.  He's the kind of sick that the goo runs from is nose like a dripping faucet and the cough starts in his lungs and works it's way into his throat and then turns into a sneeze which means MORE green goo for me to clean up.  Does this sickness faze him?  Not in the least.  I declared today "pajama day" at our house.  Me and Baby E will not be leaving the house, so I found his most snuggly pj's and warmest socks and he's running around like a madman.  He's into making piles and so far today I have found a pile of books, a pile of tissues (dirty ones from the bathroom garbage can), a pile of small stuffed animals (including Elmo, and those things that sing when you push their bellies) and a basket full of things with wheels (cars, trucks, pull-y things).  So since it's pajama day you'd think he'd want to take nap,  huh?  Nope.  He wants to wander from room to room and make piles.  Oh well.  Maybe he can help me sort clothes in the laundry room.  In the mean-time, enjoy the photo of him under the Christmas tree after his bath last night (I FINALLY found my tree skirt this morning)!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shopping with a toddler

I've decided that shopping with Baby E would be an EXCELLENT advertisement for birth control.  Picture this on your TV:
A not so young woman gets out of her giant SUV cute little car.  She walks around to the back of her car where you assume she is going to open the passenger side back door and take out her purse.  However, you hear this: NONONONONONONONONONONOOOOOOOO.  Whatever could that be you ask yourself?  Certainly not that adorable 16 month old in the carseat who is screeeeching because his hat has dropped below the acceptable level on his forehead.  Cut to the store:  Mom gets a cart and attempts to put child in the seat.  This is a no-win situation.  He will not sit in the seat when it is obvious that walking and pushing the cart is much more fun.  Cue the whining.
Produce Section: Child - apppo,  apppo,  apppo? Mom:  No, honey,we don't need apples, we already have some.  Child: APPO, APPO, AAAAPPPPPOOO!!  Mom: how about some bananas?  Child (in his adorable shrill pitch) AAAPPPPOOOOOO!  Mom: Where are the oranges?  Child:  Bana?   (banana).  OH. MY. GOD.  Other patrons who once thought he was cute are now rolling their eyes at me and wondering what kind of mother I am.
Deli is next:  Mom: you can look, but please don't touch the glass because other people want to see what is in there too.  Child is oblivious and puts not only all 10 fingers but also nose, mouth, tongue, cheek, forehead and ear on glass.  Oh I really hope they clean that thing regularly.  After he is away from the glass and in the personal care aisle (we needed toothpaste), he sees it.  The one thing he simply cannot live without.  That's right folks a box of condoms.  Why oh why do they put them on such a low shelf.  He hands them to mom and screams until she puts them in the cart.  Fade out...... Then your screen goes black and in big letters it says something about birth control.
So that was my exciting trip to the grocery store.  Some lady did stop me and tell me what a beautiful little girl I had.  I should have just said thank you and walked away, but instead I told her that he was a boy, not a girl.  To which she said "really"?  People are stupid sometimes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


 Now that fall is almost over and winter is getting ready to settle in, I figured I better post a few pictures of Baby E (who is really not a baby any longer but rather a toddler, but I'm going to keep calling him my baby until another one comes along).

This is the first year he was able to get out and enjoy the fun things that autumn in Wisconsin has to offer.  We played in the leaves almost every day  - too cold to even think about playing outside right least until I get him some warmer pants!

I took on the task of making his costume for Halloween this year.  I can't tell you how many times I ripped parts of it out because I suck at sewing and haven't used a pattern since 8th grade home economics class  they just didn't feel right.  I must have worked on that damn tummy panel for about 3 hours and then realized that NO ONE WOULD SEE THE FRICKIN' TUMMY  because the vest would cover it up.  Rookie mistake.  Next year he's getting something made out of cardboard.  I gotta say, though, he really was cute!
I'll post some photos from his "Fall Photo Shoot with The Cousins" next time!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where. Have. You. Been?

Now that's a question I used to hear a lot when I was younger: "your hands are all sticky - where have you been" (um, probably eating candy behind the couch). "your hair is all wet - where have you been (most likely playing in the sprinkler). You're limping - where have you been (fell off my brother's scooter).  "It's an hour past curfew, where have you been?"  (probably 'cruising' Main Street with my best friend). But now-a-days, I've been nowhere. And it sucks. I try to leave the house at least once a day to save sanity, but that doesn't always happen. So why, you ask, haven't I been blogging? Motivation. Or lack thereof. I've been trying to find some motivation to write, but can't...Of course, I DO have stuff to write about (mostly Baby E and his achievements), but it's hard to sit down and get geared up. So I'm going to try to do this more often - by more I often I mean at least once a week - props to all you bloggers who do this everyday!
So here is some of what I've been doing lately:
Estate Sales - OMG! I didn't think it could get any better than garage sales, but then I discovered Estate sales. When grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle die, the kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews just open the doors to the deceased person's house and put price tags on everything. This is MY kind of place. I got the BEST photo from the 1920's of a little boy crying at the bottom of the steps who looks so much like BabyE that it's uncanny. I also got a fantastic old grate that I'm currently using as a welcome mat. My favorite find, though, is my new set of fall dishes! How awesome!
Took a trip to see Jason's family in Kansas City - had a great time and was SO glad to catch up with family that we regrettably get to see so little of!

Baby E: He's getting SO big and walking all over the place. He has decided that it's MUCH better to be outside on the "wheeee" (which is what he calls the slide), than pretty much anyplace else on Earth. He also loves to brush his teeth - screams when I try to take away his toothbrush. I sit him on the counter and we brush together. He makes a hacking-type noise when I spit - pretty funny! He has also started fake sneezing. I think it's hysterical. Also, I guess he has made the life-choice to be a vegetarian (at least for now) I CAN NOT get the kid to eat meat. I just hope he's getting enough iron. He knows where is belly, legs, eyes, teeth and hair are. He also knows things like: light, picture, baby, book, Delilah (our cat) and Orange (his stuffed cat). I'm loving watching him learn, and he's awfully cute, too!
So that's where I've been. Hopefully you'll be hearing more from me, soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



ONE year ago, today:
The Monkey cake

He's ONE, he's 1! HE IS ONE! My little monkey is one. I can't believe a year ago I was just bringing him home from the hospital. He had to use one of those billy-blanket thingies for his jaundice. He looked like a glow-worm. Now it's been a year and he's SO much FUN!
I know I haven't blogged much recently, but I'm getting back into it now. Unfortunately, I've been "recovering" from work. I had no idea that I would be so tired after working 198 hours in 11 do the math.
We had a little birthday party for him last weekend, but because his auntie and cousins couldn't come, we had ANOTHER birthday party for him on his ACTUAL birthday. You can read all about his first party here

The second party was less of an event, but just as fun. We spent the day with the three little girls (his cousins) at the beach, at the mall and running through the sprinklers - poor baby E was about to fall asleep in his highchair so we brought out his ice-cream cake and the girls took turns feeding him. Little Julia was the funniest (one bite for baby E, take a look around, make sure no one is looking, one bite for Julia, repeat).

He FINALLY got his top teeth in. It seems like within a week he got not one but THREE teeth up top. He's also mastered the art of standing on his own and "walking" along the couch. He loves bathtime, but HATES getting his head wet. It is a two-man job to wash his hair. He has learned that throwing a ball is a sure way to make mommy laugh and he does it ALL THE TIME! He will chase/throw/chase his ball for HOURS.

I really love this little guy! I've been so blessed to have this happy, joyful, fun, totally adorable little boy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mama Kats!

She sits lonely and forlorn in the back of the closet. I used to call her Whitney. I don't remember why. Every once in a while she gets played with by one of the kids, but generally she sits in her case and dreams of singing. I feel bad. I've neglected her and replaced her with things that don't require so much time and patience. I sometimes hear her calling to me when the radio is playing one of our songs. Someday, I promise her, I will have time. Time to sit down and get to know her a little better. Time to run my hands over her smooth, polished wood and tune her copper strings. I remember the first time I heard her mellow voice. And I remember the pain my fingertips endured as I practiced and practiced on her. I thought she'd be a perfect instrument for me - someone to sing with, someone to entertain with, someone to write with. But as it turns out, she's just an old guitar and I'm just not a musician!

This post was for Mama Kat's writer's workshop. I chose prompt #3 How long until you realized you had no time or patience for this: Tell the story (true or fiction) of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's new

Baby E and 2 of his cousins

My little boy was 11 months old yesterday! I can't believe he's going to be a year old next month - I've been working so much that I'm starting to feel really guilty about missing all this time with him. I just keep reminding myself that I only work 5 months out of the year!! I took last weekend off and we went down to the Air and Water show - Baby E had to wear earplugs the whole time - those Navy fighter jets are L-O-U-D, but SOOOOO cool to watch. Jason decided to party with Ryan and Co. (that's my brother and his friend) the night before, so guess who got to baby sit three old guys (who were just "tired and a little hungry"), plus take care of the little guy? I'll give you a hint - it wasn't my fairy god mother.
Baby E the rock star.

My intentions have been to get some scrapbooking done, but it's just going to have to wait until after August, when I won't be working and the weather turns too cold to play outside.
In the meantime, here is a brief synopsis of all his little tricks and talents that have popped up in the last month:

Dear Baby E,

Mommy wishes she could spend every minute of every day with you, but if she doesn't get some grown up time (like at work), she will go crazy, and nobody wants a crazy mommy. Right?

You have been such a sweet little munchkin this month. You have learned to pull yourself up on anything that is stationary and sometimes you try to lean on things that are NOT so stationary - like the cat. or the empty laundry basket. When that happens, you look at me and seem to be falling down in slow motion. I usually react with a laugh which makes you giggle back at me. You have learned to stay standing without support, but are not quite adventurous enough to take a step by yourself. Please don't decide to do that when I'm at work - - - I don't think I would be able to get over that!

You still only have TWO teeth! Are you EVER going to cut some teeth on the top? You've been working really hard at it this month and I have a feeling there will be a little edge popping through soon.

Your favorite toy right now is the blue donkey that Nana and Papa got you for Easter - you chew on it all the time.
You have been sucking your little thumb when you get sleepy - it is SO cute how you rub your ears while sucking your thumb.

My favorite time of the day is still "happy hour". That 1-2 hour stretch between dinner and bedtime when you are just the cutest little bug who loves his mommy. Tonight you thought my chin was a chew toy and you would not let go. I got the giggles, which made you laugh. and then I laughed harder. Pretty soon I had to lay on the floor cause I was afraid you might fall out of my arms! You are also a wonderful dancer. The moment any type of rhythm is made you get your groove on. You sway from side to side and close your eyes and bop your head. I call it "channeling Ray Charles". You are still such a little guy - about half the size of the neighbor's baby (who is only 2 weeks older than you). You are VERY gentle and cuddly and every time I take you out, there is always someone who comments on your beautiful blue eyes or your abundance of curly red blonde hair. I love you so much, my little peanut butter cup and I'm so glad that I am lucky enough to be your mom. Please don't grow up too fast!

All the love in the world,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I confess.

This is a confession.

I have a bbbaaaaddd habit of thinking everything is funny. Even when things are NOT suppossed to be funny. I guess I was blessed with a wicked sense of humor and an evil mind. I generally can control my laughter when it's not appropriate to laugh, but sometimes I just can't help it.
I blame my mother. And her Father. And all the generations of Irish people with over-zealous senses of humor.
I went to a women's retreat with my mom and some of her friends (I'm not exactly sure WHY I thought it would be fun to hang out with people my mom's age, but it was). This is one of those retreats where everyone gets in touch with their "selves" and their God. It was also about how to make the best out of the hand you've been dealt and blah, blah, blah.
So day one goes by and everything is fine. Then comes day two. The day when the key-note speaker decides to really light a fire under us. She starts telling us about her uncle (or maybe her brother, I can't remember). At any rate, this relative of hers had been working under the car in his garage and it was getting dark, so he decided to light a lighter in order to see better. Can you see where this is going? Well, if not, I'll tell you. The guy started on fire. She was trying to make the point that even though he ended up being severly burned, he went on with his life and ended up being a motivational speaker or something.
All I could think of was this: "Who in the hell lights a lighter when they are under a car?" Apparently, my mother had the same thought and we made the mistake of looking at each other. Let the laughter begin. But, oh no! You have to laugh silently and try to cough to cover it up. Thank God we were sitting in the back of the room and at a table with people we knew (and who KNOW how we act). My mom got the giggles WAY worse than me. She had to put her head on the table, shoulders shaking, trying to be ever-so-quiet. I looked over and the woman to her left had put her hand on Mom's back in a comforting gesture. I guess she thought mom was crying. Which is when I TOTALLY lost it. We had to be seperated for the rest of the retreat. Sort of felt like Junior High School.
Lesson Learned? Make sure to sit wwwaaaayy in the back and near the door for a quick exit.

This post is for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - go check her out! I chose the 1st promt for today's assignment!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

busy bees

Where has this week gone? Oh, now I remember: I think I worked about 60 hours, Baby E was teething AND has a cold/ear infection, the upstairs addition is FINALLY done (which means i've been moving stuff up there), we have company this weekend, and they are INSISTING we go to Six Flags theme park, I've had to give not one, but TWO presentations at work, and the laundry just never ever, ever stops.

So I'm off on the adventure of trying to get a shower while keeping an eye on Baby E! See you all on the flip side!

p.s. watch for photos of the house in a few days--------I'M SOOOOOO EXCITED (and I know that I have used more than my fair share of CAPS and punctuation today, but I just don't care. so there.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baby in a cage

I was inside cleaning today while Big J was out working in the garage/yard. I decided that it was too beautiful outside for Baby E to be hanging out with me in the house. So I dragged his little baby cage out to the yard (I know, I know, I can't believe I put my kid in a cage either, but it's the ONLY way I can actually get a shower, or vacuum, or load the dishwasher or make the bed with out worrying about what the heck he's going to get into). I told Big J to make sure to watch him because I really needed to get the floors cleaned in the house. I looked out the window a few moments later and this is what I saw:
It totally melted my heart and reminded me of one of the many reasons I love my husband so much: HE IS A GREAT DADDY!!! I don't know too many adults who will stop whatever they are doing and go hang out with a little baby in a cage.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

oh, towels. How I love you.

A towel. How can a towel make you feel better? When we were kids we knew someone was sick not by the smell in the bathroom or the vaporizer in the bedroom, but by seeing "the towel". It was a sure sign that mom had been up in the middle of the night in order to tend to a sick child. Maybe it was the flu, maybe we had eaten too much Halloween candy, maybe we got a hold of a bad cheeseburger. Whatever it was, you could count on the towel.

What does a sick person need a towel for? I'm not *exactly*sure what mom's logic was, but I think it had something to do with not wanting to change the pillowcases 4 times in one night. "If you start to feel sick, just lean over the side of bed and try to get it in the garbage can. When you are all done, I'll come clean it up and you just lay your head here on this towel."

And you know what? It worked every time. It was like a security blanket (except it was a towel). I knew that once I put my head on that terrycloth piece of heaven, I was going to feel better.

During my first 3 months of pregnancy, I wore a hole in the towel. I felt sick all the time, but I when I put that towel over my pillow, something magical happened. I fell asleep, and THAT is the best medicine of all!

This was my entry to Mama Kat's Workshop this week - I chose prompt #2

2. What was your medicine? Tell about a time you remember being sick.

My copy/paste isn't working (oh BOOOOO)! So here is her site -if you haven't checked it out yet, DO IT!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The sound of silence

Shhhhhhh. Did you hear that? It's SiLeNcE. It means that Baby E is sleeping, the washing machine is finished with it's cycle, the phone is turned off, the cat has been fed, and Big J is sleeping in his red chair. I love that sound.

I was so busy with daily life this weekend that I completely missed wishing "Happy Ten Months" to my little monkey. I usually get photos developed and try to get a page or two done in his scrapbook. In lieu of that, I am going to tell everyone in the world (or at least the ten of you who read this blog) what I love about my baby boy.

Dear Baby E,
I love your big blue eyes.
I love that whenever I take you somewhere somebody stops me to say what a precious/cute/gorgeous/adorable/sweet baby you are and then you bat your eyelashes at him or her and he/she just gushes over you.
I love your smile.
I love that you only have 2 teeth in your mouth, but you really give them a workout.
I love how happy and alert you are when you wake up in the morning or from taking a nap.
I love your curly red-blonde hair that can't decide if it's going to be blonde or red.
I love your kisses. You open your mouth as wide as you can and pull on my cheeks until I cave and you slobber all over me.
I love your "cuddles" when you are sleepy and just want mama to hold you.
I love that you let me kiss your neck whenever I want - you just tip your head to the side and let me keep my mouth on your soft neck until I can't breathe anymore.
I love when you pull on my legs to help you stand up.
I love that I can't get a thing done around the house when you are grumpy.
I love to watch you feed yourself. It is one of the best moments in my day.
I love when you try to kiss Delilah and you end up with a mouthful of fur.
I love it when you get giggly after dinner and before bed - I call it your "happy hour".
I love to watch you sleep.
I love when I'm trying to change your diaper and you roll yourself over and crawl away.
I even love when you are crabby, sick or teething.
I love you, I love you, I love you (with all my heart) my little bean/peanut butter cup/monkey/bear/lovey.
Love, Mama
And here are some photos from his 9th month. It was a busy month for us!

Here he is just after his bath

With his Auntie Tara

Asleep in his bouncy chair - poor neglected baby!!
Baby E wants to blog.

Sleeping in his car seat - after a day in Disney World.

And just hamming it up for the camera.

And finally, the coolest flower I've ever received - I think it was a genetic mutation, but it's pretty cool! (Mother's Day flower)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

I GOT AN AWARD!! I don't remember the last time I got an was a long time ago, that's for sure. So thank you to STEF for the Versatile Blogger Award! I feel so honored that you actually stop in a read my blog! I really enjoy reading all about your crazy life!

So I'm supposed to tell you 7 facts about myself and then pass the award on to 15 other blogs that I have recently discovered.

Well, I'm new at this, so I will give you seven very random facts, but I can only pass the award to a handful of people.....cause that's all I know right now!

OK, here are the rules of this bloggy award:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked at let them know about the award.

1. I love to sing along with the radio. I have the uncanny ability to hear a song once and remember most of the words - it drives my husband crazy because he can't even remember the words to the National Anthem. I especially love Billy Joel and when one of his songs comes on the radio, I turn it up as loud as I can stand and then try to out-sing him.

2. I love to read. I sometimes have 2 or 3 books going at the same time. There is usually one at my mom's house, one in my bedroom and one in the bathroom. I rarely get them confused, but sometimes I have to go back a chapter to remember where I left off.

3. I have always wanted to have a monkey for a pet. I had a child instead. Pretty much the same thing.

4. I don't like to go places by myself. Except the grocery store. I really like the grocery store.

5. There is a part of me that truly believes I could be a famous singer/songwriter. If only I knew someone in the biz....

6. I wear grandma underwear, and I'm not ashamed of it. It started when I was pregnant and I'm not gonna stop.

7. I have moved 15 times in 14 years. Some of them have been for 3-4 months at a time, but the longest was only 2 years. I would REALLY like to say that we are putting down some roots this time, but who am I kidding? I married a gypsy.

Now, to bestow this award on some fellow bloggers:

Nana Diana Takes A Break (which happens to be my mom's blog) :)

And last but not least

Mommy of a Monster (but I think you have already gotten this award, so you don't have to do it again!!) :)

These are all some wonderful blogs and I truly enjoy reading each and every one of them! Thanks to all for stopping by my blog!

Click here for the award!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I had to work yesterday. On a beautiful Saturday. If you know anything about Wisconsin, those are hard to come by. But I digress. I put in a llloooonnnngggg day. I am in the process of hiring 700 (yes you read that right, seven HUNDRED) employees to work the the summer "festival" season. So yesterday, I got up at 6 and headed into work. We invited 500 people to come to in for an interview yesterday and 375 of them showed up. I didn't get home until almost 7:30. I'm still tired today.

Here the good and bad of when I got home.

Good: Big J got the DOORS hung on our new addition. Even the one at the bottom of the steps (which we HAD to have because my sister is allergic to our cat and we want her and her family to be able to come and stay at our house). It's a pretty glass door and it lets in TONS of sunlight in the afternoon! This means that today, we have to do touchups on the paint and then this week the carpet goes in, and we are DONE!!! YAAAAYYYYYYYY!

Our new door!!

Bad: Poor Baby E was out of formula and Big J didn't think to go get more, so poor little guy missed his two afternoon bottles. Also, when I walked in Baby E was wearing just a short-sleeved onesie and it was starting to get kind of chilly AND Big J had every window in the house open. ALSO, Baby E had food caked on his face and in his hair. The house is a MESS and oh, Big J made plans to go over to the neighbor's house for dinner.....we're supposed to bring a salad and something for dessert - they are making the burgers and drinks. Oh, did you say DrInKs? I am so there. But first I had to run to the grocery store, buy stuff for a salad, pick up some dessert (cause I'm not feeling like baking something) and GET FORMULA for my poor little guy.

Today I'm going to relax and catch up on mommy-baby time. I miss my little monkey when I'm at work, but I just keep telling myself - it's only until October!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whose toes are those?

First of all, thank you to my newest follower, Natalie, for introducing me to Mama Kat's writing workshop. I've decided to give it a whirl. Please don't expect too much!

Here goes:

They are big, ugly and usually cold. Sometimes I decorate them and sometimes they are hidden away for months at a time. Once in a while I forget that they have been decorated and when I finally DO remember, the tops have begun to break and the paint has chipped away. Occasionally I decide to really spoil them and they get a special treatment that includes a total makeover. There have been a few times when I have really abused them by not letting them rest for hours on end.

They've seen me naked and in my swimsuit. They were with me when I learned to ride a bike. They came along for the ride when I learned how to drive. They were with me when I moved away from home. They were there when I got my heart broken the first time. And the second time. And every time after that. They took some abuse in my early twenties when looking good was the only thing I was concerned about (even at their expense). They are present in some of the best photos from my wedding. I guess you could say they've been with me every step of the way.

On a warm Wednesday afternoon last July, after weeks and weeks of waiting, I decorated them with pink and blue paint and we eagerly awaited our new arrival. We must have walked up and down that long hospital corridor over a hundred times while we were waiting. When our gift finally appeared, I did a quick count - he has ten little toes. They are tiny, beautiful and they look just like mine.

This is supposed to be about my feet, but I just can't seem to get past my toes.....
You can learn more about Mama Kat's workshop HERE:
Mama's Losin' It

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day?

I wonder how many years it will take for my poor husband to get it right on Mother's Day....Last year didn't 'count' as far as he was concerned because I was only pregnant and not yet a "mother". This year, I thought it was going to be something special. Let me just say this before you get the wrong idea: I was not disappointed in Mother's Day.

BUT here's the scoop: At 6:00 the Baby E decided to wake up. The only thing I was really expecting yesterday was the delight of sleeping in.........not happening. I finally got out of bed at 6:10 to go get the monster and bring him into bed with us. He was not interested in going back to sleep - so guess who was up for the day? Yep, the mother. On Mother's Day. Damn.

Next: Big J gets out of the shower and says he's going to run to Starbucks (which I just KNEW meant that he had completely forgotten to get me a card and was therefore running to the drugstore to pick one up, and probably some flowers too, if they were on sale).

Then: He comes home while Baby E is napping and I'm catching up on emails and hands me the flowers (price tag still on) and the card (envelope still wet from being sealed). Oh man, do I know this guy, or what?

Then: We headed up to meet my sister and her family for breakfast (my mom had to work, so we didn't get to spend the day with her). Get to breakfast and guess what - it's a buffet. Anyone who knows me, knows JUST how I feel about buffets. Anyone who doesn't can ask. To Big J's credit, it was at a really great art museum and it WAS pretty good food. After hanging at the museum for a while, we took a walk by Lake Michigan, which was quite nice. Also, Big J painted Baby E's hand and put his print on card for me in the children's area of the museum. That was totally cute.

Finally: We come home and Big J decides that he is going to work on painting something in the garage and asks me what I am making for dinner. I told him that he could order pizza, cause I wasn't cooking. on mother's day.

Then I did laundry and put the baby to bed.

I know it doesn't sound fantastic, but I did get to hang out with my sister and nieces and we DID have a nice family day. And believe me, I quit expecting big romantic gestures after Big J proposed to me while we were sitting in the car. But that's a different story for a different day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spend like it's going out of style.

My favorite season has arrived! Which season, you ask? Garage Sale Season. I LOVE garage sales (and thrift stores, and consignment shops, and church/school rummages, etc.)!


I went garage-sale shopping with my mom last Friday - every year, I forget how much fun that can be. We decided that when my Honda Element was full, we would be done shopping. I don't know if you've ever seen the cargo area in an Element, but let me tell you, that puppy has TONS of space. My mom, in all her brilliance, decided to buy a huge round coffee table at the SECOND house we stopped at. But I worked my magic, flipped up the seat in my car and we were good for a few more houses. I can't even tell you all the treasures I found whilst out looking through other peoples' junk. I can't tell you because I can't remember all of them. I know that I found loads of clothes for Baby E, some toys that he can play with out in the yard, an inner tube to pull behind the boat (that was, by far, Big J's favorite find), and some other miscellaneous baby crap. All-in-all, it was a good day. Until I got home. Where I realized that I now had to sanitize all those toys, wash all those clothes, find a place to store the inner tube AND find room for all the other stuff. Thank God the addition on the house is almost done, cause now I actually have a REASON to go looking for good garage sales. I was going to head out today, but the rain made me change my mind - I guess I'll just get some cleaning done around the house instead - not nearly as fun, but probably much more necessary than shopping.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ohhh, cuuuutttteee.

A LONG time ago, when my sister-in-law had her first baby, she actually said this: "I think I'm the only person in the world who thinks my baby is cute, and that's only because she's my kid". Pretty sure that is something only a crazy person would say. I, on the other hand, think I have the very CUTEST baby ever born on the planet. No, make that universe. There has never been a more adorable little baby boy with big blue eyes and curly red (almost BLONDE now) hair, sticky fingers and skinny little chicken legs. I'm sure other mothers will try to disagree and say that their baby is the cutest. But they are wrong. Wrong. Even my mom says that her baby boy, my brother Ryan, was pretty cute and that Baby E is just about as cute as her baby. But guess what? She's also incorrect. Sorry to say, Baby E is the cutest.

But here is WHY Baby E is so darned cute: His squinchy-face smile. He has started doing this 'look' that seems to say "I'm just checking you out and after I figure out if I like you or not, I will either smile at you or just look away". He makes his eyes all squinty and squishes up his nose. You can't help but laugh at him - which makes him crack up and give you his big 'Irish Eyes' smile.

ANYWAY, I had four days off of work and went back today - only worked 6 hours, but most of that was used checking voicemail and email. I love the long weekends, but when I get back to work it's like I'm playing tag with a Kenyan marathon runner...... I will never catch up. So, after a busy day at work, I picked up Baby E from the babysitters and went to the neighbor's house for a beer and dinner. I'm so blessed to have such great neighbors - their little guy is just 2 weeks older than Baby E and they are fantastic playmates. We got to s it outside all evening - I just love this time of year!

Better go get some laundry done - if I don't stay on top of it, our entire house will be buried in dirty socks and underwear by Friday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Quick Recap:

Our vacation went something like this: Airplane, BIG RAT, diarrhea, Monsoon at Disney World, diarrhea, Drive all Day to see friends, diarrhea, Outlet Mall (New laptop bag), diarrhea, visit from an old friend, diarrhea, nasty buffet, diarrhea, Finally a
beautiful day t o go to Disney, diarrhea, a WHOLE Day at the pool, no more diarrhea, sunburn, airplane. It was actually a pretty good time. We did a lot of relaxing, and still got to do all the "Orlando" stuff.

Ok, I HAVE to tell you about that "big rat". Jason's sister decided that we should all go out on Saturday night (the night we got there). She is from Orlando and there is a place that her and her hubby hang out at quite frequently. This is a TOTAL hole in the wall. When we got there, I had to pee SOOOOO bad - so the first thing I do is head to the bathroom, heeding the warning from his sister to "not touch anything". Now, this bathroom is about the size of a port-a-potty and is anything but clean. I am carefully watching what I am doing and trying not to touch the walls, door, sink, toilet, etc. when a HUGE RAT runs out from behind the garbage can, runs ACROSS my feet (I, of course, was wearing sandals) and out the door. I couldn't even get my pants pulled down the rest of the way before I peed on myself. I was scared to death. I screamed and ran out there, zipping up my pants on the way out. I was ready to go, but Jason had just ordered drinks, and I just can't let good rum go to waste, so I just drank a lot to try and forget what happened. I'm still grossed out.

I've been home for three days and still haven't unpacked. I think I'm just trying to make my vacation last a little longer. It's driving Big J crazy, mostly
because he's anal-retentive, and wants to put the suitcases "where they belong". I say th ey are fine on the floor filled with all my clothes. I wish I was Mary Poppins and could sing a song and have the clothes magically wash, fold and put themselves away. But I'm not Ms. Poppins. Trust me, I've tried it. The only thing that happens when I sing is the cat runs out of the room to look for a dark, quite place to sleep.

So, now that I'm back, I can post some pictures of our trip - if only I could find my camera. Maybe it IS time to unpack.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I should be cleaning. I should also be digging the suitcases out of the attic so that tomorrow I can pack. I should ALSO be doing laundry so we have some clean clothes to put into those suitcases. But I'm not. Yep, we're going on vacation. To Orlando. For a week. I've been looking forward to this little trip for a couple of months now, but here is the part that stinks: My tulips are FINALLY in bloom. I planted over 200 bulbs last fall and I have been waiting and waiting for them to bloom. Of course, they pick the one week I'm going away to open up. I think they are doing this on purpose. I'm going to take some pictures tomorrow so that I can at least have evidence that spring was here.

I went to Target (pronounced Tar-jay) and JC Penney (pronounced jock-pen-nay) to buy summer clothes for the little monkey. He is now the proud owner of some plaid shorts and matching polo's. SOOOO cute. What amazes me is the fact that for every cute "boy" outfit, there are about 57 cute "girl" outfits. I think there should be a store that ONLY has boy stuff......maybe I'll open one. Right after I start my organic baby-food and online home-made bib businesses. So, anyway, we are headed to Florida on Saturday and luckily, I had the wherewith all to take off work tomorrow in order to get all the stuff done that I had planned on doing all week. Kind of hope that the weather is crappy so I don't get tempted to go play in the dirt.

In other news, Baby E went to see the doctor today for his 9 month check-up. He is still a little peanut, weighing in at a whopping 15 lbs. 12 oz. He is at 1% for weight (which means that 99% of kids his age weigh more than him), but at least we are OUT of the negative percentile! He is also at 20% for height. Tall and skinny - I have NO idea where he gets this.... I asked if I should be concerned and I was reassured, once again, that he is fine. In fact, he is developing ahead of schedule for things like motor skills, problem solving, physical ability and social skills. Not to mention, he is SO DARN CUTE!! This all makes me feel much better. Doctor says that once he is off breast milk, he will catch up in the weight department. No hurry there, although he is already weening himself - he loves his bottle.

Time to try on my swimsuit. I wonder if there is any way I can lose about 20 pounds before Saturday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

They grow up so fast.

Time flies! It seems like just yesterday that my sister, Tara, was pregnant with our little Alana.
Today was Alana's first communion - a big milestone for those of the catholic faith (of which I am not, but that's another subject, entirely). At any rate, little miss Alana looked SO sweet in her white dress and hand-made veil. I let her borrow my "wedding" purse and a pair of white gloves from my great-grandmother that I found in a box of things marked "memories". She was quite the vision. And such a little girlie-girl too, all ribbons and lace. The polar opposite of my sister (her mother) at that age. You see, Tara was what one might call a tom-boy. She decided a few days before HER first communion to climb a tree or some other such nonsense and the fall from said tree (or perhaps it was a bike, or a swing, or a picnic table) resulted in matching Band-Aids on both elbows.....she still looked cute, just a little rough around the edges. I can see the same thing happening to her youngest daughter - who is actually a LOT like Tara - in the trouble making sense, anyway.

Baby E was a gem during the mass. He decided that the best thing to do was to flirt with the lady in the pew behind us. He smiled and cooed at her and stood up in his seat facing backwards in order to stare at her with those big blue eyes. He also sang along every time the music started. It was more than just cute. We (okay, I) made him wear his seersucker suit with the yellow tie - what a lady-killer. I'm going to have my hands full with this little boy. I can already see him giving away my jewelry to all his "girlfriends" at pre-school.

His second tooth is FINALLY through and once again, I have my happy-go-lucky baby back. We're heading to Florida next Saturday and I'm really hoping that there will be no more teeth coming until after we get back. I can't think of a single thing I would like less than sitting on an airplane with a teething baby.

I feel kind of bad posting this with no picture, but I don't have access to one right now - maybe I can get my little brother to send me some of the shots he got today of Baby E.....hint, hint, Ryan.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to the grind.

I've decided to go back to work. I found a job that I just know I'm going to love, too! Here's the problem: I Do Not Want To Put Baby E In Daycare! I did not have a baby so that someone else can raise him. Here is the other problem: If I don't get out of the house and work I will go Crazy. I LOVE watching Baby E learn and grow and do cute baby stuff (like yesterday, when he finally mastered the art of crawling), but staying at home alone with him is slowly driving me insane. Luckily, I found a FANTASTIC stay-at-home mom to take care of Baby E while I am away at work. Also, my job is seasonal, so I will work from April - October and have Nov - March to spend with him.

Okay - I forgot to post the last part and now it's a week later!!! I DO love my job! It is so great - I can set my own hours and when I'm done with my work, I get to go home - no waiting around until the clock says 5! Baby E has really adjusted well to daycare, too - there are 2 other babies, and he is in the middle.....I know he likes it there because when I go to pick him up he is all smiles - makes me feel not SO guilty about going back to work!

Yesterday was Easter and our family went up to Door County to celebrate the Holiday. We stayed overnight at a hotel with my sister's family and my parents. Baby E LOVED the swimming pool! I finally had to take him out when his little fingertips started looking like raisins. He also got his first Easter basket - filled with (what else) toys for the bathtub and a ball. Nana got him a bottle of bubbles - who knew a kid could have so much fun trying to figure out the bubbles.

He's cutting his 2nd tooth, so he's been a bit crankier than usual - poor little guy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


As promised, this is Baby E after his little "treat" in the tub.

I hate waiting. I hate waiting for a good table at my favorite restaurant. I hate waiting for a phone call about the job I REALLY want. I hate waiting for my husband when he's on his stupid cell phone and I need speak with him. But what I really hate is waiting for my baby to wake up from his nap so I can kiss his sweet little cheeks and smell his baby scent and smile at his toothless little grin.

I've been trying to snap some really good pictures of Baby E that truly capture his personality. This is not an easy feat. Maybe I am not artistic enough, or MAYBE I need a better camera. At any rate, tonight was a night of photos. It started in his high chair where he has almost mastered the art of feeding himself veggie-puffs. I did not produce a single photo worthy of noting. Sad. Next we moved on to the floor. I was about the clickity-click away when my Skype thingie rang. It was my 3 nieces. So much for photos now. Although, I did hear an interesting story about an imaginary friend named Bob and how he forgot his lunch when he went to work this morning, so he had to come home early and there was an equally imaginary monkey in his bathroom. But I digress. After the Skype conversation, it was bath-time. Bath-time tonight happened to be in the kitchen sink. I FINALLY got his attention and just snapped away. After reviewing the photos, I believe I have 2 good ones out of about 35. Not a bad ratio, I guess.... Here's the funny thing: The best picture of him is when he decided to POOP in the sink and he has this totally adorable shit-eating grin (no pun intended) on his face. I promise to post it soon - it's just too late to upload them right now!

The upstairs is ALMOST done - we are in the home stretch now! Just waiting for the tile guy (hopefully this week) and the carpet guy (1st week of April)! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

out in the yard

It's finally happened. Just like my mom said it would. Yesterday I went outside and got some yard work done. AND I DIDN'T HATE IT. Generally I HATE anything that gets my hands dirty. This includes: gardening, changing oil, washing my car, making meatballs (or hamburgers), fishing, changing poopy diapers, cleaning out the fireplace, scooping the litter box, etc. So yesterday it was a balmy 59 degrees here in Fox Point, and I decided to put Baby E in his stroller and start some spring clean-up. I raked, and I swept, and I put out the spring decorations. I also got to see the little shoots of daffodils and tulips coming up. Baby E was as happy as a clam to just sit there and play with his feet and occasionally "talk" to me about all the interesting things he was observing. Now, I'm not saying I actually liked the yard work, just that I didn't hate doing it - maybe it's because the last two years I haven't been able to do anything in the yard. So today Baby E and I are going to get some wild bird seed and fill up the feeders that I found out in the garage - another first!

Time to change a poopy diaper - still not loving that chore! oh well!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Let the biting begin.

We reached a major milestone yesterday! Baby E got his first tooth! He's been crabby and feverish for the last couple of days, but now, he's back to being happy baby. I was starting to worry that he didn't have any teeth in his head - I guess he's just a "late bloomer". He has also learned how to get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. I'm worried that crawling will begin any day. We are NOT ready for that. The house is hardly baby-proofed. I'll have to put away my 4 ft tall vases until he turns 18. Kind of sad to see them go. I bought some outlet covers, and have to get them installed; and this weekend's project is to put those annoying little catches on all of the bottom doors/drawers in the kitchen. Woo-hoo.

I finally picked out paint for the upstairs! Hope to get started on that today during nap-time. We'll just see how that pans out! Jason and I went ordered the tile for the bathroom and it should come in today - I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS PROJECT FINISHED!