Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Thankful

For a clean desk, a warm house, a mom who makes delicious pecan pies, a mother in law who helps me organize my messy pantry, two great kids who are my heart, a funny father in law, a handsome husband who still makes my heart flip over after 17 years, yummy candles, pretty china, a paid off car, a full pantry, two full freezers, butter, tasty coffee with peppermint mocha creamer, Black Friday sales, Christmas music, a toasty fireplace, an oven that works, a few days off, a friendly church family, a sweet New Yorker who's become a very important person in my life, an Okie whom I've never seen in person but whose heart knows mine well, and a gorgeous intelligent college friend who makes beautiful jewelry and sends me the prototype to wear proudly, and a wonderful blog family that makes me smile every time they drop by my little spot on the Internet. But most of all, to a God who loved me enough to give His Son so that I might know Him.

Have a happy blessed day, everyone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If my blog were a plant, it would be dead by now...

I am a bad blog-parent. Good real-life parent to the actual spawn, but baaaaaaad parent to my little corner of the Internets.

Is there a CSD to report me to? Would I get counseling or maybe a creative writing class?

This entry totally isn't making sense. Could be because this is my second trip to Orlando that I've made in two weeks for two different conferences. I am tired. I am bloated. I miss my family. I've spent too much time in airports and on planes. And I can't think of a thing to write that would remotely interest anyone, including my own self. Except for maybe about that time last week in the Minneapolis airport when a lady collapsed at my gate and the paramedics had to be called and she stopped breathing and many of us were scared and praying for her to be okay. And I how I almost punched a 70 some year old guy for laughing and making a lunch date on his cell phone while all this was going on not twenty feet from where he was sitting. Maybe I would write about that if I had more words..wait, guess I did just write about that. Okay, never mind.

Seriously, never mind. I'm going to bed now. And dream of my own bed, pillow, covers, and family. Carry on.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You Guys...

...are so wonderful. Seriously. I cried reading your comments and knowing that there are so many out there who care about my goofy girl and our family. You are the best. Don't let anyone ever tell you different.

Alison is fine, for those of you wondering. She is great, sweet, wonderful, silly, energetic, and a handful. She is currently testing any and all limits of her parents' rules and patience. There have been no more scares or spasms, hallelujah.

Things are good here. Really really good. My husband is finally home from his successful TEN DAY elk hunting trip, and for that I am ever so thankful. For about five hours yesterday, my husband and his friend butchered the elk, and then Zach and I helped wrap it up. It is so nice to open up the freezer and see it chock full of meat.

My plan in the next two weeks is to write more about the new way of shopping that I have implemented in my life. It has saved us so much money and time. But of course, the best laid plans...I am absolutely slammed with work, which needs my full attention right now. In the meantime, why don't you guys go check out the links on my sidebar to Money Saving Mom, Together We Save, A Thrifty Mom, and Madame Deals? These are great places to start learning how to be a better steward of your resources.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and a very productive week. Hugs from Idaho.

Friday, October 16, 2009


(This is going to be long. Like really long. Why don't you go potty and get yourself something to drink before continuing? I'll wait...)

I heard the happy call of "Mommy! I wake up this mornin'!" and smiled to myself. Alison makes this statement upon waking, no matter if from a nap or her Big Sleep at night. I got up from my computer where I had been working and met her at the foot of the stairs for the big hugs and snuggles. When she reached the second stair from me, I noticed it...the puffiness on the side of her face. She was having a bit of trouble moving one side of her mouth but that did not stop my girl from telling me what she would like for a drink and snack. I immediately checked her over for a possible spider bite, thinking this was an allergic reaction of some kind. After finding no evidence of that, I began thinking the worst. What just happened? How can her face be this puffy and have no discernable cause? I could tell her face was returning to normal but I was still scared. I called my husband who had just left he house a half hour before to run some errands. By the end of our call, she was perfectly fine, chattering away and playing happily. We chalked it up to "one of those weird things" that happens to kids occasionally. Maybe she slept on it wrong? Who knows? Let's just keep an eye on her.

Five days later, on a Monday morning, she was sitting on the floor in the living room watching Dora. I was laying on the couch behind her, trying to catch a few zzz's to make up for what I didn't get the night before. I felt her patting me on the chest, trying to get my attention. I tried to roll over, telling her, "Ali, just let Mommy sleep for a few minutes, okay?" She ignored my plea and kept up with the patting. Opening my eyes in annoyance, I noticed that her hand holding the side of her face was shaking. I figured it was yet another goofy face that she just made up and had to show me. I pulled her hand down from the side of her face and discovered that it wasn't her hand that had been was her cheek from the eyelid down. It was spasming at a pretty good clip, and she was drooling out of the side of her mouth. Freaked out, I yelled for my husband to GET IN HERE QUICK! In the three seconds it took him to bound from his desk to my side, the spasming stopped. She still didn't have control of her mouth and the drool was pouring out. Her eyes were clear, big, and scared. She looked at us as if to say, "What's going on here, guys? You wanna take care of this?" We hugged her and asked her if she was okay and what her face felt like. She said that her face was "kinda blinking" and could she have some more juice? We called the pediatrician immediately and were told we could see him at 2:15pm. We watched her carefully for the rest of the day, biding our time until the appointment and knowing that somehow, this was going to a Big Deal.

The kids' pediatrician, Dr. Sam, is pretty awesome. He is a parent first, then a doctor, which gives me immense confidence in him. After examining Goofball (as he calls Alison) and having her do some neurological exercises such as standing on one foot, spinning and jumping, and touching her nose, he calmly told us that he wanted to order a CT scan right away. When we questioned him about his suspicions, he frankly said he didn't know what was going on. It could be this, or it could be that, or worst case scenario, "It could be a growth."

I've never been punched in the stomach in my life, but imagine that what I felt in that moment was very close to the sensation. It seemed as if all the air had been sucked from the room. My eyes welled with tears I fought back because I knew that if I let them fall, it was all over. My girl did not need my tears, she needed me to pay attention, stay clear-headed, and handle what was going on. Roger, my poor poor husband, appeared as if he'd been run over by a truck. His skin went pasty white and his eyes went from blue surrounded by white to blue surrounded by red. He tried several times to get out a complete question to the doc and finally gave up by saying, "I'm sorry, I'm not doing too well right now. I may pass out." He eventually had to lay down on the exam table to get his bearings and let the fainting sensation pass.

This was all so surreal, so freaky, had such a What The Heck?! quality to it, that it almost felt like it was happening to someone else. My daughter, who had been happily playing in the exam room and chattering away, picked the moment right after Sam uttered the word "Growth" to decide to jump from the exam table stool to the ground, falling forward and catching herself by using her scalp against the doctor's desk. Much blood, much tears, possiblity of stitches, and here we all sit. Dumbfounded, comforting a bleeding preschooler, and I start laughing. That's my defense mechanism, my release valve lest I explode. Alison started laughing with me while Roger sat still and quiet. We looked at each other and said, "what are the chances of one of our kids actually injuring themselves in the doctor's office?"

My husband did recover himself enough that while laying on the exam table, he told the doc, "Hey, you took care of Ali's head wound and made sure I didn't collapse. Maybe my wife can break her leg before we leave here so you can treat all three of us in one shot." Not bad for a guy close to losing it, huh?

Our doctor spoke with the pediatric neurologist that was on call that week and they decided to order an MRI/MRA scan for Alison. This would require her being sedated because, as a general rule, four year olds don't do so great in MRI chambers. It was scheduled for Thursday of that week, which left us three days to worry, pray, and wait...

The praying we did during that time... I cannot tell you. The crying out to God for our daughter's life, health, well-being, anything and everything. The trying not to fall apart for Zachary's sake. The trying to reconcile the idea there may be something seriously wrong with our girl who at the time was acting no different than she normally does, running, playing, bossing her brother and making plans for world domination. We prayed for her not to freak out when they gave her the IV for sedation, because as we had witnessed a year and a half ago, our Ali is not a fan of the IV. We prayed for wisdom for the medical personnel, that they would be able to tell us just what was going on and give us a plan.

The MRI/MRA went well, better than we expected. Alison wasn't all that thrilled to discover the reason we roused her out of her nice warm bed early that day was to go to the hospital, but she did amazingly well. Even when the IV was inserted, she cuddled close to me and only whimpered a little. Our brave, brave girl.

The only really bad part about the MRI (besides her having to have it at all!) was the after-effects. They told us that some kids can get a little difficult while the sedation is wearing off, and not to worry, they will be themselves again soon. Um. Not quite. If by "difficult", they meant "possessed," and by "soon", they meant SIX HOURS LATER, then yeah, I guess they were right on the money. Somewhere around Hour Two, I quit referring to her as Alison and started calling her "our nasty little drunk".

We were told at first that she had a "blood vessel anomaly" that could be causing her problems. It could be this, or it could be that. She might have this, or maybe this other thing over here. Having been in the medical field for over twenty years, you'd think I'd be more able to handle the medicalese they have to give you in order to cover their own butts. They have to tell you best and worst case scenarios and everything in between, in case it's something they're not 100% sure of. (In other words, you could have a hangnail, or maybe you need your arm amputated. It's a toss up.) Our doc recommended we contact the pediatric neurologist's office directly to make an appointment. The sooner, the better.

I called the neuro's office and spoke with his receptionist, who is so friendly and wonderful. They would be happy to get us in, bright and early on December 7. What? What? You have got to be kidding me. We have to wait until December? I was thinking all of this, but didn't say it. I have been in her shoes before, and let me tell you, it does not pay to be snotty to the receptionist. She is the gatekeeper to the doctor. Tick her off, and you will never get in. I politely told her that we would be happy to come in whenever they had an opening, and could she put us on a cancellation list? I then asked what I was supposed to do if Alison exhibited any of these symptoms between now and the appointment. Call us, we want to know, she told me. She also said that the neuro might want Alison to have an EEG before coming in so he could have the results read by her appointment.

The neurologist we had the appointment for is only one of two pediatric neuros in the Boise area, and has been for about twenty years. He serves all of Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon, so to say that his schedule is always jam-packed is an understatement. I knew we were fortunate to get the appointment we did, so I tried to be thankful. This was on Friday morning.

Friday afternoon, I got a call from the neuro's receptionist. She said, "Hey, darlin, what are you doing on Monday morning?" I said, "I am doing whatever you tell me to do on Monday morning." She scheduled Alison for an EEG, with a followup appointment with Dr B on Tuesday! He had a cancellation, and wanted to get Alison in right away. Thank you, God. Thank you.

The EEG went well, although I about lost it seeing all the electrodes they had to hook to my baby's head. We sat in a big comfy chair in a darkened room and watched us some Dora while the machine beeped away. Completely painless, but yet a pain.

Tuesday arrived, and Roger and I were so completely nervous. Overwhelmed. Frightened. I wanted the time to pass quickly until our appointment. I wanted time to slow down completely so I wouldn't have to go hear what an expert was going to say about my baby. My husband kept commenting on how together I was, how strong I was, ever since the beginning of this saga. (which by this time, had been eight days). I didn't feel all that strong or together. I felt like an absolute mess. But I just knew that I couldn't let go and fall apart just yet. If this was going to turn out to be Something Major, I would have plenty of time to fall apart later. I had to get through this, get her to the doctor, find out what he had to say. I cope by having information, and just looking to the next step. Just gotta go to this next appointment, then find out the plan. Roger tends to look at the whole big picture all at once, past, present, future. He takes it all in at one time, and that can be a heavy burden. I try to shut off what I can't do anything about and concentrate on what I can. It's probably not the best way to deal with things, but it's what I know.

We met the doctor, who started off by showing our daughter a picture of a beautiful young lady. It was his daughter, Alison, spelled the same way as our girl. He chatted her up and Miss Social Butterfly basked in that. Then he got down to business.

He began telling us how he's a Yale graduate who's been practicing for over twenty years. He travels around the country lecturing to other ped/neuros at conferences and symposiums. He's personally treated x number of children. He trained here, and studied this, and does this other thing. Blahblahmedicalblahblah. For the life of me, I could not figure out where he was going with this, until he said, "Now, the reason I'm telling you my life story is to let you know that I know what I am talking about. I want you to trust me." Really, at this point? He could have said he just got back from a sabbatical where he acted as a rodeo clown and I wouldn't have cared. I just wanted answers.

He told us Alison had a childhood seizure disorder called Benign Rolandic Epilepsy. It usually manifests itself in children between the ages of 5-7, lasts about two years, then they outgrow it. No one knows why kids get it, or why they grow out of it. (Those facial spasms Ali had are actually seizures, even though she had no loss of consciousness or mental acuity. And here I thought seizures were the fall on the floor, thrash around things that we all associate the word with.) (A seizure is actually defined as any loss of muscle/body control not caused by an injury or pharmacological reason). Most kids never have another seizure ever after the first one that gets them diagnosed with BRE. Some kids have more seizures and have to go on medication. There are no indicators other than an EEG that can predict who MIGHT get it, although siblings can have the same EEG pattern, and one will get BRE, the other won't. There are no outlying causes of BRE, such as genetics or environment, computer usage, television viewing, or nutrition. Nothing. It comes or it doesn't. You got it or you don't.

He did say that he doesn't feel Alison needs any medicine at this time, and probably never will. The brain, that tricky tricky organ, is still a mystery to medical science. He of course cannot guarantee anything, but did tell us we should just treat her as normally as ever and let her do all the things she currently does. He said he's personally diagnosed over 500 kids in his career with BRE, and they all grow out of it and are fine. It's commonly called an Elementary Epilepsy, because it comes and goes while the child is grade school age. We are hoping since she was diagnosed with this when she was four, it will all be a memory by the time she goes into first grade.

He ended our appointment by saying, "If she has to have something, this is the thing to have. And if you have to see somebody, I'm the guy you wanna see. Alison will be able to fire me in two years because she won't need me anymore." That was comforting, let me tell you. It took a few days for us to wrap our heads around the possibility that Ali could have more seizures, even graduating into a grand mal one day, but in all? I have to say the overriding emotion I felt was gratitude. Thanksgiving. Joy.

Why, you ask? Because for the past eight days, I thought my girl could have a tumor. When the MRI came back negative for that, I thought it was possibly another type of cancer. Or a mental disorder. Something Big and Scary that would forever change Alison's life. Or end her life completely. Take her away from us permanently. And that, my friends, I just could not accept.

So BRE is not the best diagnosis in the world, but it's not a death sentence. It just means that we keep an eye on her, and anyone who babysits her has to also. But then again, have you met my daughter? You gotta keep a close eye on her anyway. Or she shows up in the bathroom while I'm getting out of the shower to show me she got her own snack all by herseff. Cool Whip and a great big spoon.

Yeah, she definitely needs an eye kept on her.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Words...

Tomorrow at 7:15am, we will be checking my baby girl into the hospital to undergo an MRI and MRA of her brain.

I just don't have it in me right now to go into the story of why. I am scared of what we will be told tomorrow. I am scared tonight may be the Last Night of Normal we have in awhile.

I would ask that you pray for my girl.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


That's right.

Count 'em.

Three, baby.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Heart...

The late afternoon sun had warmed her room. Tiptoeing quietly inside, I shut the door and curled up on the bed. The sound of her soft breathing was the only noise in the room, but to me, no symphony has sounded sweeter. I lay beside her, watching her dream her princess dreams, hesitant to wake her but knowing I must. One tiny perfect ringlet lay against her velvet cheek, and I thought, God did this. He gave me this girl. He saw the desires of my heart and entrusted this precious little person to me. He knew she was the piece that would make us complete. No other girl but her, no other family but us.

The leather of the couch was cool against our skin that evening. In his ever-deepening voice, he gave a play-by-play of the day spent at the water park with his friends. I so love this, this time with my boy, hearing about his friends and their antics. This tall, handsome young man is the same baby boy who once burrowed into the space between my neck and shoulder to take his rest. It's hard to reconcile this strong, bronzed, confident teenager with my toddler who thought Barney and his daddy were the greatest things ever. This person who will be a man in the eyes of the law in a few short years was, just a few short years ago, a sweet, cuddly little boy. He was my first, and for many moons, my only. He was the prototype, the one I got to practice mothering on, who helped me get my on-the-job training. As he pulls away from us in degrees, spreading his wings and gaining some independence, he will always be one of my greatest joys. No other boy but him, no other family but us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

That's Miss Blogger to You...

It was a hot, humid July evening in Idaho. The sun was still beating down on those of us gathered in the park to celebrate our friend's birthday. There were hot dogs, tacos, chips, laughter, water balloon volleyball, and lots of little kids--all the ingredients for a great time.

My husband and I felt a bit out of place since the only people we knew out of the approximately 25 people there were the Birthday Girl, BG's husband, and their two kids. We had been sitting at the picnic table quietly talking to our host for about ten minutes when he decides that introductions are in order. A very pretty lady happened to be getting a drink right by us when our host, BG's husband, my former friend, loudly announces, "Hey, you should meet Missie! She's a blogger too!"

And in that moment, the Lord received a prayer in which I requested the Earth open up and swallow me whole.

For the lady he introduced me to? Has like a REAL BLOG. Where she writes beautiful, thought-provoking, profound posts about actual subjects. Oh, and accompanies them with professional pictures--that she takes. Of course this has to be the very first person that I am ever introduced to as a "blogger." Absolutely of course...

She very politely asked me, "What is your blog name? What do you write about?" or at least I think those were her questions. My brain was still short circuiting at that point, busy planning a very painful demise for BG's husband, who from now on forever shall be known as Mr. Big Mouthy McTraitorPants. (I am just kidding. I won't actually call him that EVERY time I see him.) I mumbled something like "You really don't want to come by my blog. Seriously. It's not very good and I do alot of talking about my kids."

(Can I just remark on my stupidity? Here I am, typing on my laptop, and I stopped to open up my cell phone to CHECK THE TIME. BECAUSE IT'S NOT LIKE MY LAPTOP HAS A LITTLE CLOCK IN THE CORNER OR ANYTHING. Some people!)

She was very nice and took my blog information, and has even stopped by. I had somewhat gotten over my embarrassment by the time we came home on Saturday night and then...I looked at her blog. Um, yeah. I kinda felt like one of those people on American Idol (patooie! hate that show!) who gets up to show off her singing ability only to find out one of the guest judges is the featured soprano at the Metropolitan Opera.

To all five of you who regularly stop by here, I would like to say thanks and that I am sorry. I will try to make the content better in the future. Or try to at least HAVE content. Or maybe just be content. I forget.

But for now, I will revel in my title of "Blogger." You don't have to bow when you see me. A simple nod will do.

p.s. Did y'all see I have two followers? TWO! And I am not related to either one of them! One is a friend from college, and one I had never heard of before until I saw she was a follower! I have people, people! Now I am off to work on our secret handshake.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How Much Do I Stink???

Seriously. Who writes a post about why she likes to blog and then doesn't blog for about two months? Sheesh. If I were my own employee, I would totally fire me. Or put me on notice. Or write me up. Or at least look at me with very scrunchy eyebrows and huff about how lazy "some people" are.

Things are good here in my little corner of the world. We went on a great family vacation to Northern Idaho in early June. We stayed and played around Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, traveled through some Indian reservations, ate at little out of the way places, splashed in rivers, fished, went to a small fair--just did things with no agenda, no timetable, as it occured to us so we did. Our last day, we went to Silverwood Amusement Park and had a blast. It was nice and relaxing and wonderful and when can I go again please thankyouverymuchokaybye.

The rest of June was taken up with planning Alison's fourth birthday party (which was so fun), Roger's birthday, and Father's Day. Squeezed in there somewhere was a thirty six hour trip to San Diego for a one day conference. That was fun, but hectic, and always leaves me so tired afterwards.

July has been hot here in Idaho. As in bake a potato on the sidewalk hot. This should not be so, my friends! July is supposed to be pleasant, August is supposed to mirror the surface of the sun. We spent the Fourth at my inlaws' house in the mountains about two hours north of here. It is always so nice to go up there and just hang out. They have a wonderful huge porch that is just perfect for sitting in the shade with a cold drink and watching the birds, deer, or ATVers go by. Also in attendance were the Super Grandparents (my fatherinlaw's folks) and my mom, so it was a mini-family reunion in addition to Festival of Constant Eating.

This week, we are headed to a different mountain range for a few days. Some friends of ours rented a house and invited us to come join them. We are so looking forward to it. We haven't been to this little mountain town for about five years. It is quaint and peaceful and such a beautiful drive getting there. We leave Wednesday morning and will return Friday.

For a week in August, I will be heading to California for work. While I am looking forward to getting in a little shopping while there (Crate and Barrel, I love you! Call me!), I am dreading the long hours and the time away from the family. My husband is so good, can I tell you? To handle the kids for a week at a time while I rush off to work is the mark of a good man. And usually, the house is only a tad messy when I come home. (no, you can't have him, he's mine. Go get your own.)

I usually enjoy about a day or two away from the fam, but at about Day Three, the loneliness and longing sets it...and that's about the time I start eating for comfort. This time, I am determined to not be carrying some extra California weight on me when I come home.

I miss those of you who are my blog-only check me out on Facebook. I update there very regularly, but seem to forget about here. Why? Because I stink. Sorry. :) Check in here and let me know how you are!

And now, lest you forget whose blog you stumbled on to, let me post some obligatory pictures of my kid...wait. Never mind. All the pics are on Roger's computer. Huh. Well, you are spared for now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Takin One for the Team

Current location: A lovely dining room, overlooking a pool, golf course, and beautiful changing trees in the lake country of Wisconsin.

Current mood: Happy and caffeinated.

Current reason for being in current location and current mood: Attending a conference for work and lots of coffee.

Current surprising facts: Managed to get myself from Chicago O'Hare Airport up to said lake country without getting lost. In fact, stopped along the way for lunch, shopping, and wonderful conversation with some of the nicest people ever.

Current plan: Getting ready to go set up our exhibit booth for the conference. Will then probably drive down to quaint little lake town for some shopping for Mother's Day presents and other goodies. Possibly lunch at another lovely dining room overlooking another lake. And maybe to blog more later. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Current thing I need to do but maybe won't and certainly don't want to: Go work out in the resort's state of the art health facility.

Life is hard, my friends. Life is hard...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Because You Care...

Sometimes, I wonder why I blog.

I don't consider my life particularly blog-worthy, as nothing much out of the ordinary seems to happen. If my blog were a food, it would be Wonder Bread. If my blog were a beverage, it would be a two-liter Diet Coke that gets put back into the fridge after SOMEONE else in the house opens it, drinks half, then doesn't screw the lid on tight. If my blog were a movie, it would be a Lifetime Original...only without a plot, good acting, or costume changes. If my blog were a medicine, it would be Tylenol PM. If my blog were an article of clothing, it would be the the ratty flip-flops in the back of the closet. Not quite horrible enough to throw away, but definitely not cute enough to continue wearing.

And yet still, I blog.

Maybe because it's cheaper than therapy. Maybe because I don't want to have yet another item on my list of Things I Have Started With Great Intentions but in Reality, I Suck At. (see Body Jam Class, Dieting, Keeping Mouth Shut, et all). Maybe because blogging keeps me in the game of writing, and giving up on it would mean the last nail in the coffin of my dream to write my own book. Maybe I just want to guilt all of you whose blogs I read and comment on to keep coming back here, even though you are thinking, "If she posts one more stupid rambling story, then gives us a picture of her kid, like that's supposed to make it all better, I am going to scream!"

Whatever the reason, I will continue to blog. Because I do like it. When I remember. (darn you, Facebook!)

In other news: I am currently waiting in the only sit-down restaurant in the Orange County airport for my flight, which was supposed to leave twenty minutes ago, but is instead leaving in about two hours. I really don't care when it leaves, as long as I get to see my familia tonight. I have been in California working since Sunday afternoon, and am more than ready to be home. The weather here has been pretty cold. I think that is a total rip, because I LEFT COLD in Idaho. Here it is supposed to be sunny and allow me to work on my tan at the hotel pool when I am done with my job for the day. It's the law!

My next business trip is in four weeks to Chicago. I am really looking forward to that one, as it will be my first solo business trip and conference. Now if I can only lose about 75 lbs before then....

Actually, on the weight loss front, things are going well. I am into week three of The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise, and am loving it. At last, I have found something that I can do, not feel deprived, eat normal food, and still lose weight. At last measurement, I have lost about three inches off my waist in three weeks. I was down almost five pounds before my trip, but we will see what the scale has to say when I get home. I usually always gain at least 2 lbs on a business trip, even when I eat right and work out every day. Something to do with the space/time continuum and a train leaving Boston at the same time a car leaves Jersey and the fact that some of my favorite restaurants in the world are right by my hotel. Or something. I forget.

I hope that you all are enjoying Spring and have a great Easter if I don't blog before then--which I may not, seeing as how much of my time this next week will be spent peeling an almost four year old gremlin off me (where she attaches herself as soon as I get home) and celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary on Friday. Go, Us! And they said it wouldn't last....

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Member me?

Hey, gang. How all y'all been? Sorry for being MIA for so long. Does it seem to anyone besides me that Facebook is like blogging for lazy people? It is so much easier to update my status with a quick one-liner than actually take the time to type sentences with subjects and verbs and stuff.
As you probably could tell by my previous post, I spent some time in the Big Apple recently for a business trip. I did get to take in some sights while there, and unfortunately, spend way too much money on souvenirs for the family. After spending a few days in NYC, my company sent me to Philadelphia for some more client meetings. Philly is so rich in history and really stirred this American's heart. However, some parts of Philly are just downright scary. And that is all I have to say about that.
One great side benny of my trip to New York was meeting my friend Geanne in person for the first time. We met on a WW chatroom site about a year and a half ago, and she has turned into one of the best friends I've ever had. I was a little worried about how we would get along in person...would she like me as much? Would she think I was stupid or too goofy or just plain weird? Well, I shouldn't have worried at all. We had such a fun time! We ate at a wonderful little restaurant in Little Italy, then shopped for goodies in Times Square. The next day, we went to the WTC site, which for me was just as moving the second time I'd seen it as it was the first. We then walked down to Wall Street, then onto the 17th Street Seaport. From there, we took a cab back to Madison Avenue for still more shopping. We finished off our day with lunch in Chinatown--can I tell you Chinatown was not what I expected? I guess I was thinking it would be more, oh I don't know, CHINESE in nature...I was hoping for a bit more culture and all I got was very short Asian ladies chasing me down the sidewalk yelling, "You want puhse? (purse) I got Looeeey (Louis Vuitton), I got Dooney! How 'bout moobies? You lika watch moobies? (movies, not something else, you freak.) I got DeeBeeDees!"
I was sad to see her friend Geanne, not the Asian lady. I was glad to see her leave...the Asian lady, not my friend. Anyway, seeing my friend really made my trip, and we are planning to have another girl's weekend the next time I get to NYC.
Okay, here's a question for all of you...have you ever been told you look like a celebrity? I will do you one better..have you ever been told you look like a celebrity's neighbor? Yeah, I didn't think so. Anyway, I am on the flight to NYC in first class (which the airline did on their own, I normally don't get to fly first class anywhere) and the steward in the cabin told me that the way I was dressed, he assumed I was a native New Yorker and could be "Kelly Ripa's neighbor!" Um. Okay. How does one respond to that? "Oh, is Kelly Ripa's neighbor an overweight middle aged mother of two? Great!" And y'all? I was not dressed up. I had on embellished jeans and a plain sweater from Coldwater Creek, and shoes and jewelry courtesy of a very exclusive shop I like to call Kohl's (perhaps you've heard of it?) It was not my finest hour. But maybe first class attendants are told to compliment the passengers? Not sure, but I really did enjoy my time as one of the chosen few. On the return flights, I was forced to sit behind the veil with the unwashed masses, lamenting my loss of an actual person-sized seat and a nice warm meal.
The trip was about six days total, and believe you me, by the end of that time I was so missing my family. My husband and son missed me too, but my daughter? She was just mainly concerned that I bring her a present. Every phone call began with, "hey, Mommy, you got me dat gerrprize (surprise) yet?" We are not going to discuss all Mommy had to go through to get that certain gerrprize, because Mommy hasn't quite recovered from that yet.
On another completely unrelated note (because really? All my posts are completely unrelated notes), we have to move AGAIN at the end of this month. The house we are currently leasing has went into foreclosure and we have to be out by April 1st. We had placed an offer on the house, the bank in their wisdom decided that no, in this bad economy we want more! and if we can't have more, we will let the house go vacant instead of getting this bad debt off our books! We found another house within walking distance of my son's school in a very nice neighborhood, so that is a blessing. It's just the moving. The moooovvvvving! I hate the moving! Another nice note is that the house is not even a half mile from here, so we can just move carloads of stuff over very easily, then worry about the big stuff...and there is plenty of big stuff... The house we are going to has the exact same floor plan as this one, so I will be able to empty one cabinet and immediately unpack it to the corresponding cabinet in the new house. That is a biggie for an organizational freak like me.
Now it is time for me to head to the gym...a place I haven't been to nigh onto three weeks. My energy level and waistline confirm my long absence.
If you are on Facebook and would like to friend me, look me up. I am obviously not listing my info here, but if you know me enough to know my info, then you know me enough to be my fb friend. Have a good one, y'all!
p.s. what celebrities do you resemble? People have told me I remind them of the following: Marie Osmond, Rachael Ray, Valerie Bertinelli, Pam Tillis (that one I don't get), and Natalie Wood. Oh, yeah, and Kelly Ripa's neighbor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I shall call this one Ode to Robyn

Since she can't be here with me enjoying the "Storm of the Season," I am presenting her with the next best thing...

and finally....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Mothers Have Gray Hair...

A Mother passing by her son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillowthat was addressed to Mom. With the worst premonition she opened theenvelope with trembling hands and read the letter.
Dear Mom,
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...... Mom, she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading itwith the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it. Don't worry Mom. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.
Love, Your Son John
P.S. Mom, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.
Thanks, Betty, for the laugh! Y'all have a great weekend. The fam and I are off on a road trip to visit my mom for the long holiday weekend...Six hours in a car with kids who like to fight--y'all pray!

Friday, January 30, 2009

And then my brain exploded... I can only write in half thoughts and incomplete sentences with no clear point. (I heard you thinking "What else is new?" I do not appreciate that.)
My drama, in number-ic form, for your laughing/crying/cringing pleasure:

1. Received Barnes and Noble e-gift certificate for my birthday. (thanks, Geanne!)
2. Ordered "Robin to the Rescue" by Robin Miller on December 13. (Robin, call me! I want to be your new BFF!)
3. Assumed order would arrive within 5-7 days due to Christmas mail overload.
4. Enjoyed Christmas, ate lots of food, forgot about book...
5. Came down off sugar high day after Christmas, wanted to know what interesting thing to do with leftovers, remembered book.
6. Looked up tracking information on package through B&N, who linked me through to
7. Brain still intact.
8. Website indicates UPS delivered book to my address on 12/17. Asked Husband and Son if they saw said book and put it aside during Christmas influx of family. Received negative responses.
9. Emailed UPS, stating package not received, please check into this for me thankyouverymuch.
10. UPS emails me back, stating package was delivered, did I think to look all around my porch and ask other family members?
11. UPS thinks I am a moron, apparently. I email back stating that yeah, did that, and still no book, could you please check into this for me?
12. UPS emails back, we delivered package, see it says so right there on the screen and computer screens don't lie, are you sure that an elephant didn't eat it and it's all your fault and not ours?
13. I call UPS and speak to a real live person. Give her the gist of the problem, can she please check this out for me?
14. Real Live Person asks me did I look all over my porch and ask all my family members?
15. I think UPS staffers are morons.
16. I reply that yep, covered that, still no book.
17. RLP replies that the computer indicates the package was delivered. See it says so right there. Package was delivered.
18. The bleeding from my eye sockets begin.
19. I calmly state that no matter what her computer says, I still do not have my book. I again state that there is alot of new construction on my street and in the surrounding area, is it possible it got left at another house?
20. Long pause from RLP. Then well the computer says it was delivered...more long pause.
21. I am starting to get a wee bit testy at this point. I ask RLP what she thinks should be done at this point, seeing as how I don't have the book, never had the book, and it has not magically appeared at any time during this phone call.
22. More long pauses from RLP. Put on hold for long time while RLP talks to Real Live Supervisor. RLP comes back to tell me that there is not much they can do about it seeing as how their driver indicated it was delivered.
23. RLP then suggests maybe I could initiate a disputed package report? I thought that's what I was doing. Apparently I did not speak the correct magic phrase to get that ball rolling. RLP then suggest that I contact the Sender, which is B&N. Maybe they know where the package is.
24. Yes, I was thinking exactly what you are right now.
25. I asked RLP how B&N would know where the package was since they are merely the merchant, and they contract with UPS to do the ACTUAL SHIPPING.
26. Ended call before threats were issued and police was called.
27. Initiated Code Red Alpha Bravo Foxtrot Dog in the Manger Report through in hopes they can investigate where my package might be.
28. Call B&N and relate my story and my problem to a very sympathetic Velma who promises me it will be looked into from their end.

Ten days later.....
29. Get call from pre-pubescent employee at UPS to inform me that they will be contacting me within the next ten days to let me know the results of their investigation.

Two days after that...
30. UPS driver appears at my door with official computerized clipboard thingie. Asks me what the problem is. I inform him the problem is that I never received my book. Informs me that the computer states it was delivered. See right here. I inform him that I really don't care what the computer says, I still don't have my book. He says how that is just so strange because the computer says it was delivered.
31. UPS driver lucky I didn't have any weapons handy.
32. UPS driver says UPS still doing an investigation and will let me know when they hear something.

Two weeks after that....
33. Still no call or email from UPS, who has now failed to act on their own deadline that they promised me for resolution of this matter.
34. Contemplate sending stink bomb to UPS headquarters to show my displeasure. Realize I will have to ship it FedEx to be sure they get it. Decide jail time not worth making this point.

Last week...
35. Call B&N myself. Explain problem. Ask what they intend to do about situation. Speak with very nice man named Michael who takes down my number and promises to call me back.
36. Michael calls me back WITHIN FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FIRST CALL and asks me do I still want my book? (No, Michael. I just have no life. There is no point to my empty days, so I fill them by calling online merchants and complaining. I really don't want the book, all this is just a cry for attention. Hold me!) Says that they are oh so sorry that this happened to me and that UPS is not meeting my needs. Because Michael realizes I have needs! I need to get my book! They are sending me the exact same book again right away, and aren't I lucky it's in stock right now? I should have it within five days.

This week...
37. UPS tries to deliver my book on Wednesday. No one home, leaves note on the door that they will try again Thursday sometime between 10-2. Michael must have told them I have no life and would be happy to sit around during my busiest part of the day to wait for their delivery.
38. They arrive during the 1.5 hour time period no one was home on Thursday, leave another note. They will try again between 10-2 on Friday, but that is their third and Final Attempt.
39. I call UPS and ask if they can please leave the package at my local UPS store, and I will be happy to pick it up there.
40. Am informed by Real Live Snotty Stupid Girl that all UPS stores are franchises and packages CANNOT be left there!!! Of course they can't be left there. What was I thinking?
41. RLSSG says package can be left at the local UPS hub for me. Great, where is the hub? Only 20 miles from where I live.
42. Have.Had.It.
43. I calmly inform her that I realize she has had absolutely nothing to do with the current drama I find myself in, but does she honestly think that I should have to drive 20 miles in order to get a package that UPS should have left on the correct doorstep over a month and a half ago?
44. RLSSG hangs up on me. I kid you not.
45. UPS happens to deliver package at 1:30 today. Good thing, because in another half hour, they would have been late and I would be forced to leave a snotty note on their door. UPS driver is same one who came to interview the suspect, I mean ask me questions, last month. Gives me loads of attitude while handing me the package. Because he found me out. I am so running a scam. I actually have the first book in my house, but I just went through all that time and effort to get a new one because I am all Bernie Madoff like that. Do you know the street value of this cookbook, Mr UPS Man? I bet you do. And now I can keep a copy and sell a copy, all because I am pulling a big hairy scam on UPS and B&N and the taxpayers of America, all over A FREAKING COOKBOOK!! Good thing you are on the case! We need more drivers like you!
46. Brain hurts. But cookbook is soooo pretty.
47. Writes long rambling post with way too much detail and way too many numbers and really I cannot make myself care that your eyes are bleeding now too. I just want you to share my pain. And frustration. Hold Me?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Things I Learned in 2008...

1. Missouri Sucks.

2. Things are never as bad as you think they will be...they are either better or much, much worse.

3. Chicago is still my favorite city to visit.

4. My son has incredible insight for someone so young.

5. There is a direct link between hearing a tornado siren and needing to pee.

6. Some people are truly called to be doctors and nurses.

7. It is possible to fall in love with your husband all over again with just one look.

8. The roster of my true friends has dropped a few and gained a few, and that's okay.

9. What's gone on before is not nearly as important as what's going on now.

10. It is possible to actually feel your heart growing larger when your baby girl says, "Mommy, I yuv you so much!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thirteen, the Prequel...

Today, my baby boy turns thirteen.

I would write a post about that, but I am having a hard time seeing due to the tears, er I mean, allergens currently making my eyes water.

He is wonderful and great and smart and handsome and goofy and annoying and brilliant and smart-alecky and sweet and caring and obtuse and suffers from selective hearing. But enough about him for now.

I need some more Kleenex.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just a post to say...

that I don't have time to post. Well, I actually have TIME, I just don't feel like it. Haven't felt like it all week. I hope you all are doing well and having a nice 2009 so far. I have been busy working, and working out, and trying to not only lose the holiday weight but all the weight that came well before the holidays. I will post more in a few days...if I recover from my baby boy's Thirteenth Birthday Party Palooza that is happening on Friday night. Help me?