Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yet Again.

Today is your birthday.  I would like to think that I wouldn't think of you anymore, but I would be wrong.  In fact, it seems, I have thought of you more this year than any other.  I don't know what that says.  It's the ending of a pretty fabulously crappy week.  All will be well soon. 

Happy Birthday.  Wish I had the guts to say it another way. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Last Dance

I was living in Las Vegas. I was three or four months pregnant with my daughter. Not yet showing, but thinking that I was. With the first one you look for that.

My grandfather was sick. Cancer. It was getting bad and everyone knew it. It was now to the point that Hospice was involved with in-home care and Pops had derided that there would be no more doctors. No more x-rays, no further testing, no more one last tries. He was done now. He wanted dignity, peace, and a schedule.

It was suggested that my pregnant self come see him for a while. I agreed. I knew this was good bye. I flew across country in New Year's Eve. I started 2003 in Ohio. I was happy to see my family, it had been too long. I was anxious to see my grandparents. I missed them so. I wasn't scared. In an email in-box days before I left arrived a picture of my grandfather. I was told to look at it before I came to visit so I wouldn't be shocked or scared or nervous when I saw him for the first time. So, scared I was not. The picture prepared me for what was To be. Poor Pops.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is puberty cyclical?

I feel like I'm going through all the angst, hormones, and weepiness of being a teenager again.  I don't understand what's happening.

I am no longer happy with my body. It's is foreign and wrong to me.  I am thinking agnsty thoughts about how misunderstood I am every five minutes it seems.  When I'm done feeling misunderstood, all I want to do is sleep.  Not read, not watch TV.  Sleep for hours on end like a cocooning teenager.  I'm breaking out in places that I should not be breaking out in.  I'm growing hair in places that I should not be. 

What is going on?  Is my body trying to tell me something?  Does every woman go through this?  At this age??

Maybe Spring will help.  Maybe the birth of my nephew within the next 24 hours will help.  Maybe looking forward to a fun night out with Josh on Friday will help.  Maybe looking forward to a fun night out with Gram next week will help. It seems that those are the types of things that would make people happy.  I have happiness in my life.  I have laughter and love in my loud crazy life. I'm just having trouble embracing it right now.  It seems if given the choice - which I'm not - I'd rather go embrace my pillow.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend.

Sunday morning.  All is pretty much right with the world.  The sound of birds is what woke me up.  Perhaps that means spring is springing somewhere.

Yesterday was work in the morning and dinner for everyone last night.  All the kids and Jeff and Marie.  We had so much fun.  Just a long leisurely dinner not worrying about the amount of people waiting in the lobby, or how many appetizers the kids wanted to order.  It was nice.  Speaking of appetizers - I ordered deep fried pierogi in spicy garlic .  Life changing. Amazingly good.  I'd like to order those as my entrĂ©e next time.

On the way home, I had Madeline, Noah and Max in my car.  We saw Super Moon! It was rather exciting.  I had been waiting all week for this moon.  The kids followed it all the way home as we tried to guess where in the sky it would appear as we turned down streets and changed directions.

Today will be relaxing.  A quick trip to Target I think.  Then the race at Bristol during which I will try a new recipe for dinner.  I need a relaxing low-key day.  I hope things go according to plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grocery store banter.

This past Sunday, Josh and I were able to take our first ever trip to Target sans children.  You would think that that wasn't thrilling.  You would be wrong.  I can generally whip up a pretty good time in that store, but Sunday was a blast.  Did I spend way more money than I had planned?  Yes.  Did I purchase unnecessary things?  Of course.  But it was quality time spent with Josh that we just don't get so it was completely worth it. 

Josh:  Do we need cereal?
Me:    No. I think we're goo there. 
Josh:  We need grown up cereal I think. 
Me:    OK.  (turns down aisle.) What kind of grown up cereal would you like? 
Josh:   Cinnamon Toast Crunch!! 

Yes, seriously.  And yes I laughed so hard after this exchange people were looking. 
I shouldn't be looking so forward to the next time we can shop together - but I am. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

One thing.

Yesterday I made popcorn cake.




That is all. 


(This is the recipe I used.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Food Blogger?

Nah. 

Probably not.  

But I did attempt to play one on TV with Jane on Friday.  We had so much fun and so much deliciousness to show for it.  I arrived at her house around 8:30 or so Friday night.  She had all of the prep work done.  It was like stepping into Rachael Ray's kitchen - she even has those cute little pyrex glass bowls that chefs measure spices into.  The menu was Mushroom Bruchetta (from here), Crash Hot Potatoes (from here), and an Oreo Pie that Jane had made earlier in the day. Everything was so fun and so easy to make.  These were recipes that I had found a very, very long time ago and have been wanting to try.  I would revisit the recipes and blogs like old friends making sure they were still there! So worth the wait! 

This smelled amazing. 

Added some more deliciousness with the peas and the corn.

Finished and amazing.




A healthy dose of olive oil and spices.


Amazing food.

The night was perfect.  The food was perfect.  I really can't stop thinking about the food from Friday.  This whole weekend has been wonderful, and I really think that's because Friday night kicked it off the bar set high. 







Friday, March 11, 2011

Beat.

When I left work today (Thursday), I had officially worked 39.5 hours. Holy moly. We are unbelievably busy. The busiest ever I would guess.  On top of that I'm trying to prepare for my new upcoming position. Due to the  workload of my current position that type of preparation can only be done after my regular working hours.  Thankfully, we are on over time so I'm still "on the clock", though I would gladly do it anyway unpaid as it only serves to help myself be as prepared as possible when the time comes.  That time is April 18th.

I like the chaos and full workload at work.  It makes the day go quickly.  It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things and it makes me feel like I'm contributing to the greater good of the company and ultimately my well being.  The sacrifice comes after work.  Today, for instance, I had to get gas (Big Storm coming they say), pick up the kids from day care and still make it to the grocery store and back home.  Dragging is an understatement.

I feel badly that on nights like this I am so tired. So mentally spent.  I hurry through homework, I'm crabby while fixing dinner, and I push for an early bed time all so I can get to bed to start it all again.    I feel badly that sometimes my job gets the best parts of me.  But that's where I spend the most of my time, that's where I strive to do my best and in the end it helps the whole family if I do my very best.

I have to believe that it won't always be like this.  I have to have the goal of finding a very happy work/life balance some day.  That will happen.  It will be something that is very much within my grasp.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Over It.

I'm more than certain that Spring could start spring around here.  It's much needed by everyone.  The grey, the wind, the rain.  Over it.  Those types of weather conditions are great for a late Saturday afternoon when you're just going to be snuggled in your home with some blankets, a movie, or some books, or TV.  But that weather is horrible and kills any motivation for me when it happens on a weekday.   The kids area antsy, I"m sluggish and sleepy.  I go to work, pour more heart out there and then have nothing much to offer in the evenings after dinner is made, homework is done, and kids are cleaned and tucked into bed.  I blame the weather.  If I could see a little sunshine perhaps I'd be motivated to throw in another load of laundry, or vacuum that dining room. But for now, I'm just sleepy and tired.  Maybe the time change this weekend will help.  Maybe the universe doesn't waste sunshine on the shorter days.  once the longer days are with us, perhaps there will be sun. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Midweek Activities.

Tonight we're celebrating Sarah's birthday at my mom's.  Ernie and the kids and I will be there.  Should be a nice night.  I need it to be an early night though.  At the end of Tuesday, I had already worked 20 hours.  Fun in a mentally challenging kind of way, but I"m tired.  I was in bed before 9:00  last night.

So that's today.  Friday my best girl Jane and I are having a wonderful little night.  There will be cooking and relaxing and spirits and the viewing of a certain movie with Justin Timberlake in it.  It is just the type of night that the doctor ordered.  We so desperately need to hang out and be silly and be comfy and watch movies our men won't watch.  I'm counting down the minutes at this point.  Saturday I need to run an errand without Noah, so before dance I will run him to my mother's, drop Madeline at dance and proceed to my kidless errand.  Saturday night Eric and his girlfriend are coming over for steaks on the grill, drinks, and same games that we can all  play.

I realize that by sharing my weekend plans I have now made myself seem like I'm trying to relive being 19 or 21.  But I'm not - I just really am looking forward to the fun and relaxing that will take place this weekend. Friends, good food, great movies and quality time.  That's what life's about for me.   At least this weekend.

There will be new recipes in my repertoire in the coming days as well.  If they work out, I will be sharing them here.  I am super excited about some of them.  Oh!  And thanks to a recent episode of Modern Family I will be serving a wedge salad on Saturday.  Probably sans the bleu cheese, but seriously, why have I never heard of or though of this before?  It seems to me to be the perfect way to eat a salad! I'm very much looking forward to it.

Having things to look forward to is what makes it worth it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tiny Dancer


This is a small sample of Madeline's dancing on Saturday.  I have to tell you that her hip hop class made me tear up.  I was so proud of her there.  Ballet and tap were wonderful and she did very well.  But when I saw her hit it in the hip hop class, I was so happy for her.  She's having so much fun and I'm so proud of her.  There may be more dance day videos appearing in the near future.  Seems I took several.  And she's just awesome in all of of them.  I really hope this is something she sticks with.  I would love for one day to have the realization that "oh  my god! you've been dancing since you were seven!!"  I think that would just be such a cool accomplishment for her.  I'm so proud of my girl.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hodgepodge.

A post of hodge and podge.

The keyboard on which I do 90% of my typing, at work, is ergonomically correct.  The keyboard I use at home, decidedly not. I would like to say that this might be the reason for more typos.  But, it's probably not. 

I was going to to try to unify things here with one word only titles.  But I don't think that's going to continue to happen.  What if I want to title a post "Noah Has a Very Big Head."?  Because he does.  And someday I may want to devote an entire post to him and his head.  

Poor Noah.  Yesterday the school called work near the end of the day to inform me that he had been kicked in the face by someone on the swings.  He seems fine and did not present any symptoms of head injury or loose teeth.  I think what upset me most about the call was the condescending tone in which the school nurse delivered this information to me.  "so what that tells me is that he was walking too closely to the swingers."  Thank you school nurse.  No kidding.  oh, and you're right:  I have never taught my children to not walk in front of people on swings.  Thank you for this life lesson.  I was very upset with her when I hung up the phone.  But, of course I didn't say anything.  That's not how I roll.  Ugh.

Shortly after that it was time to pick up the kids from day car.  I was not two steps inside when I hear Jennifer! Jen! Jennifer! from the office.  Great.  I turn around on my heel and they have an incident report for me to sign, because on the bus (van) from school to daycare, Noah and Madeline were rough housing and Noah ended up punching her in the nose which ultimately led to a full on bloody nose.  Apparently this traumatized Maddie quite a bit!  There was much wailing and flailing and moaning and drama.  It was comical to hear them recount the story - but seriously, can we get a break this week?  Noah, strep on Monday. (along with much flooding in the area) Madeline strep on Thursday along with Marie recovering from her dental surgery.  Noah kicked in the face on Friday and Madeline's first "gushing" nose bleed.  

I have some kind of mystery mouth pain that I'm dealing with today.  It is becoming a little bit more than a little painful.  Not sure if this is something that I should wait out, or if it's something I should be tending to.  Though it's hard to tend to these types of issues on a Saturday. 

Watch day today for Madeline.  Which reminds me that I need to make sure there are fresh batteries in my camera.  I need to get some pictures of my little tapper, ballet-er, hip-hopper.  She's so excited.  You'd think this was actually recital! I'm so proud of her.  I really hope this is something that she stays with for many years to come.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sickies.

Round two for strep throat.

This time Madeline is the winner.  This particular illness is running rampant around here.  I knew she wasn't feeling well when I sent her to school this morning, but I thought a few hours of work was better than no hours of work seeing as I had just been off on Monday when Noah had his strep.

So we went to the doctor.  Tested for strep. Left and had a sickie girl lunch at Qdoba.  Yum! It was a good excuse to have some one on one time with just me and the girlie.

We came home and cuddled.  She took a short nap and then we watched some quality Spongebob Square Pants. Austin joined us after he returned home from school as well.  Nice afternoon. Marie was here as well, recovering from some dental surgery.  Oh my.  She was in so much pain and so looped up on drugs.  I feel so bad for her.  Hopefully a quick and full recovery is in her near future.

Preparations for another party are being made.  We're having Austin's and Marie's on Saturday.  After dance - which is a watch day for ballet, tap, and hip hop, and after hockey which is Max's next to last session. So birthday parties Saturday evening for which I still need to buy and wrap gifts, get cards, and clean.  Little bit of freaking out going on here.  Yike.

Hopefully the sickies are on their way out and we can move on with looking forward to Spring!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gram.

Every Wednesday the kids and I eat dinner at my mothers.  My favorite part of the evening can sometimes go hand in hand with the most trying part of my evening: the two hours or so before my mother gets home when it's just Gram, the kids and I.

Tonight was the latter.  Tonight was a favorite.  I came to Gram's house armed and ready with everything that I knew she would want to talk about.  The Oscars, the weather, celebrities making bad decisions, her great grand children.  We were on.  We talked and talked.  She's 80 years old and lives for the daily talk shows.  Between her repeated interview watching and my crazy internet reading, we were able to fill in the gaps and the questions that each other had.  It was a great fast paced conversation.  I think we both enjoyed our time together this evening very much.

These are the nights when I know we've connected and I've made her smile and she's enjoyed spending time with us.  These are the nights I leave happy and not feeling guilty.

Tonight was a good night for Gram.

I actually sat down to write a much more put together and well thought out post, but due to a series of interruptions we'll just leave it with this.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Words.

Two words I am in hate with right now:


Sexting - I am fairly sure that this is not even a word.  First of all, you only hear or see it used in this conjugation. As in "sexting is running rampant in our schools."  Or "she was found mugged and left for dead after a crazy night that included sexting a stranger."  Or something equally nonsensical.  Here's the deal - show me the noun there.  Is sext a noun?  Do you say - "I went through her phone and found a lot of sexts"? Do you say "Holy crap this creepy gut sexted me"?  (I don't even know how you would actually pronounce sexted.)  No.  What you would say is I went thorough her phone and found a bunch of racy and inappropriate things.  Or, this creepy guy sent me a creepy text.  That is what you would say. No one says "I sent my boyfriend a sext this afternoon."  You'd say I sent my boyfriend a text in which I detailed everything I was going to do to him tonight.
Which brings me to my next point.  Why does "sexting" have to have such a bad connotation?  In happy healthy committed relationships, I think it's fun, exciting, and recommended.  In fact, I'm sure I've seen "send a fun, flirty text to your man " more than once in the back of a reputable publication like Cosmo or Glamour. 
Ok, so if we can strike this from the record, that would be rad. 


Voracious -  You know this word.  It means to have a great and practically insatiable want or appetite for something.  Perhaps you have heard it used to describe someone as a "voracious reader".  You have.  And do you know what? That is the ONLY way you've seen it used! In obituaries, in memorials, in magazine articles.  No one is a voracious lover of pancakes.  No one is a voracious television watcher. No one is even a voracious runner, or writer, or gardeners or teacher.  Only readers. Why?  Why is that?  Voracious is a perfectly delightful word.  I love its definition.  I love the passion it conveys.  I don't know why that word cannot be more widely used.  Watch.  Pay attention.  There are only voracious readers in this world.  No other hobby has this level of intensity attached to it.  Pay attention, you'll see