Friday, November 20, 2009

Verbal Diarrhea

I'm going to be honest. My mouth sometimes gets me into trouble. I have the tendency to say what I am thinking or crack a joke without actually working through the consequences of my vebal outpour. Most of the time it is well-received and clearly said with the best of intentions. Most people I know, know my heart and understand where I am coming from. Here is the punch to the gut though. The internet. When it comes to blogging, facebook, email, etc., that is when I get into real trouble. I say the same things that I would in person, except they are in print. People can read them over and over again. It can catch you on a bad day. You can't read the sarcasm or frivolity unless I type (sarcasm) or (said frivolously and without seriousness.) Do you see where I'm headed here? The internet has made it easy to say and feel everything, and not only that but to document it. And the biggest problem is that it lives on. We can delete it, but we have already given worlds of people the opportunity to absorb it. They comment on it, and give their unneeded opinion as well. But when you put it out there, you are asking for it. There have been several ocassions where I have found myself in hot water. Times where I have blogged in a fit of pregnancy hormones and frustration. Work didn't like that too much. There have been emails sent out, completely misconstrued due to the lack of emotional and interactive context. There have been posts or status updates that prompted hurtful and threatening responses. And I wonder where this all gets us. Its great that technology allows us to track and share so much, but I'm beginning to wonder how much it is negatively affecting relationships. Its alot easier to get upset with someone if they text or email you and you read into it wrong, than if they speak with you and you can hear genuine sincerity in their voice. Even better if you talk with someone in person,feel the emotion in their words, and see it on their faces. I've made a strong effort to control my verbal diarrhea and to save drafts of posts in my blog to re-read before throwing them into cyber space. Still, I have my moments. I guess this blog is to urge people, including myself to not only think long and hard about what they put out into this mess of cyber-world, but to also think long and hard about who is saying what. If you know a person and you are terribly upset by something random they threw on their blog or your Facebook page, remember who they are. Remember their heart. Don't let the clickety clack of the key board be the basis for your judgement. Know your friends, know their hearts, and take a breath before you let their printed word upset you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time flies

As I am rounding the bend to a 3rd birthday for my wonderful daughter, I can't help but worry about time going by way too fast. It wasn't long ago that she was a helpless infant lying in my arms. Now she is this strong-willed, creative, imaginative little imp that exudes a strange confidence I have never seen in a little girl before. I wonder where she came from? Truly, I wonder who she will be. She is adventurous and sassy, and I can't believe that she has already been with us nearly 3 whole years. . .I thank God for her every day. I pray to God for patience for her every day. She is trying and silly and funny and smart. She is everything I could have hoped for in a daughter, and also something more that I dreamed. I love this girl with a fierceness that I had not known until she existed. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I just hope that I can do right by her.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Change, change, and more change

Ok, so I'm trying to work through some mentally trying things the past few weeks. There is just so much going on lately, and its really begun to affect my mood. Normally, I think its fair to describe me as perky, optimistic, obnoxiously hilarious, etc. But lately I've been flat out crabby, irritable, and at times, I can admit, pretty unpleasant to be around. Try as I might, I just can't seem to put a finger on it. There is no one thing pushing me to be so crabby, its just the state I'm in as of late. What is even more frustrating is that I can't fix it. I try to will myself into pleasantness, coax myself into a smile and instead of happy, I find myself to be angry for having to try to push myself into being pleasant when I want to just bite someone's head off. I've wondered if its lack of sleep, but really, my kids sleep through the night almost every night, with the ocassional sickness or bad dream busting things up. I've wondered if its some other stress, but I don't think that's it either. So I'll just keep pushing forward in hopes that the things around me get better. I'll pray so that my soul gets nourished, and I'll try to soak up what is left of the nice weather we have been having, before the weather itself is enough to push me into a lack of Vitamin D induced coma. Has anyone else ever felt this way? What did you do about it??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


God knows. He holds us. When everything is falling apart. He holds us.

Monday, October 26, 2009

When the Rain is Blowing in Your Face. . .

And the whole world is on your case, I would recommend NOT trying to go to East Aurora High School to get the H1N1 vaccine at the free Kane County Health Department clinics. A friend at work warned me before I left, suggested what I will be getting into by trying to get one. She followed up the comment by letting me know it would be nothing compared to government run health care. I laugh now after today's experience. Jeremy, the kids and I loaded into the car and headed over to the high school to take care of business. What is normally a 4 minute drive took nearly 20 minutes. Once we got within viewing distance of the high school, it was made clear that there would be no parking allowed in the parking lots, or within a block of the school. So Jeremy dropped Miles and I off at the first place he could, and left with Maggie to park the car. Miles and I walked nearly 2 blocks, trying to figure out where we were supposed to be. With consent forms pre-filled out and signed in my hand, I wandered in the cold rain with my asthmatic baby, thinking I would be doing what was best for him. When we finally made it around the building, to what appeared to be the line, we stood in it for five minutes before finding out that we were in the wrong line. This was the second line. First we were to go to the Field House building and stand in line, in the rain to possiby receive a bracelet. I walked halfway through the lot we were in, headed toward the Field House line before I realized that the line was at least a block long. At that point, I gave up. I figured that I was more likely to get sick standing in the rain with my asthmatic self and my asthmatic baby, than I was by not getting the shot. I left the chaos of this "health department organized" shot clinic discouraged and upset by all involved in this shoddy plan. Here are a few tips for the Kane County Health Departments Future Clinics:

1. Signs are helpful -
People are like cattle. If you give them a little direction, they will go where you want them to.

2. Indoor waiting is acceptable -
Just a thought, but everyone in the high risk category is also put at risk by being out in the cold rain. For example, people with health problems such as mine, should probably try to keep warm and dry.

3. Assign parking lots -
Parking lots are for parking. Or at least thats what they used to be for. Trekking 2-3 blocks in the rain on top of standing in line is even harder for people with asthma.

4. Perhaps take a cue from DuPage County -Appointments ease chaos. If people can stagger their presence, it will make things easier for everyone. This survival of the fittest business is for animals.

5. Don't have clinics - If you make the shots available through doctors' offices you keep better control over the dispensal of the shots, ensuring that people getting them genuinely are in the high risk categories. Its a lot easier to lie to a questionnaire and get away with it, than to your doctor.

I am highly displeased by my experience with the Kane County Health Department, or better put, my lack of experience with them. As someone with a need for the shot, I walk away feeling let down by the health department and the government.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know?

Round my parts is pretty much common knowledge at this point, that one of my brothers, has made some poor choices. Choices which led their ex-girlfriend to immaculate conception. I'm not sure how he did it. But that is the only explanation, as it is beyond my comprehension for it to have happened any other way. Nonetheless, I am uber-disappointed, and really trying to work through my feelings about this one. It is officially official, that I have never been called and told that I would be an aunt, and have it be an exciting and joyous occasion. I'm still hoping that one day it will. I'm sure it will.

At this point I am feeling confusion, and a whole lot of anger. You do what you can to prepare young people to make the best decisions, and even the ones you think you can count on, are bound to screw up. Of screw someone else. Whatever the case may be. The thing I am struggling with most, are my feelings toward this girl. With my other siblings, I at least wasn't completley thrown for a loop. They had been dating their others for quite a while. They weren't stable by any means, but I could make sense of it. This situation is beyond me. A short relationship. A girl that I have yet to figure out, and can't bring myself to really like. I'm trying, but its harder now. And I have this nagging feeling that it was an intentional play, you know, the oldest trick in the book? And by the time he receieved the news, they were broken up, and to this point remain so.

I'll admit, after a dinner at a friend's and a couple of glasses of wine, I got fed up with the Facebook fodder on the subject and left some unsavory remarks. I ended up emailing and apologizing, but is it terrible that I still feel slight vindication? I know that I need to push forward and work on being the person I am made to be, and not the one I feel like, but that just gets harder and harder. Its so hard to be nice to someone that you can't seem to tolerate. I've been there before, and I'll manage again. If someone could give me wise counsel on this matter, it would be greatly appreciated. I mean, its not easy to be the bigger person, especially when you are only 5 feet tall.

I hope and mostly pray for God's leadership and guidance for my actions in this matter. I hope and pray more for theirs. I can be angry, sad, disappointed, but what I can't do is let that overshadow this new being, that deserves the best of things despite the situation. God still makes good of all things. He always has, and He always will. I just wonder if there will ever come a time that I don't question His ways.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What's flub got to do with it?

Its got a whole heck of a lot to do with it, thats what. So I'm about to go there on post-baby weight. If you aren't interested, look away. Besides, thats what I do every day as I get dressed. I look away. I cringe, and look away. Whoever, said that to lose weight after the second baby was harder, was dead right, and I think I might despise them a little for it.

After Maggie, I was back into pre-pregnancy clothes about a month after she was born. Maybe a little less. I was able to zip my pre-preggo jeans and sneak her over to the work Christmas party. This is probably a little bit out of the ordinary for most new moms, but I only gained 15 pounds with her due to extreme food aversions. I felt great, and was actually slightly thinner than before I had a baby. Thank you piggy daughter that wanted to eat every 2 hours. You were my lifesaver.

Now to Miles. With Miles I gained the normal 30ish pounds. For some reason, Miles made me like things I didn't like before being pregnant, including cake and bacon. Now I love both. Miles, you are my nemesis. I am still hanging onto more than several pounds and cannot even pull on my pre-pregoo jeans, much less zip them. I'm discouraged and frustrated. I can't afford a new, flattering wardrobe, so I make due on a mix of fat clothes and maternity clothes. UGH! Its awful. I've heard the old adage, it takes 9 monts to put it on, same to take it off. Miles is 10 months old now. What happened? I don't eat excessively, but am still nursing, and thus hungry the majority of the time. I've heard that when you are nursing, your body holds on to a few pounds until you stop, as a back up for baby. I hope to God thats true, because I'm tired of looking at myself in the mirror. I can't do a really low cal diet either, due to the nursing. I guess I have to exercise my patience, which is terribly difficult when it comes to not having anything to wear. Seriously. Help. If someone could tell me where to squeeze in a few trips to the gym between, work, caring for the kids, and Jer's work schedule, I would gladly take a pointer. I simply can't bear the thought of waking up at 5 to go to the gym before I start my day. That sounds like PURE TORTURE. I feel like its hard enough to get up at 6:30 with the kids.

I don't know how to end this entry. Thats pretty much all I have to say.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where did I go wrong?

A friend and fellow blogger posted recently about her feelings of mom guilt. With a new baby and a career, these feelings are par for the course. I too struggle with mom guilt and balancing a career. I think these feelings are totally normal and expected.

Lately though, I feel like I'm struggling with friend, Christian, family guilt. I feel like I need to figure out where I went wrong in each relationship with my friends, family members, co workers, fellow Christians, and heck, the guy I don't let wash my windows on the way to Midway airport because I'm not going to pay him. We all know your windows look worse if you do anyway. Did my role in their life play a part in leading them to the sad state that they are currently in? If so, how?
Could I keep my friends from going into bankruptcy? Can I influence someone to go back to college? Did it really matter that I didn't give a dollar to the window guy?

I'm beginning to realize, and only recently, that I can't save the world. Who knew? Apparently, I didn't. We need to stop taking on everyone's burden. I'm reading a book called Boundaries. In the book, reference is made to a passage in scripture that refers to each person first carrying their own burdens, and only helping with the burdens that one cannot handle alone. This doesn't mean that we need to take on everyone else's struggles. We are there to help and support, but ultimately adults make their own decisions, and must therefore live with the consequences brought on by such choices. I cannot, should not, and will no longer adopt everyone else's crises as my own. I can do my best as a friend, family member, and good Christian, to assist in those burdens that need an extra set of hands, but I can't make them my own. While I may initially feel some guilt about this, in the end I will be healthier and happier for it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Surprise surprise surprise

Sometimes I feel like life is a semi-truck that has just lain me flat. While I am laid out on the pavement I struggle with even attempting to get back up, or whether I should stay put. If I stay put, there is a good chance that the next semi will roll right over me without so much as a bump or a bruise. I can avoid the pain that will come with the next rumble of tragedy, as those wheels come barreling at me. I can cower and wait. I can cry and pity myself and those that are affected by life's latest surprise. That is what I could do. It sounds easier. Peaceful almost. That warm pavement pressed against my face sometimes feels safe, familiar. I'm so used to being back there, smelling the tar of failure or regret. Feeling the gravel dig into my skin like so many unanswered questions. But I get back up. I cringe as I pull myself to stand, bracing for impact. I forgot how nice the cool breeze feels upon my face, so different from the hot black top. I breathe, and as the crisp air fills my lungs, I am renewed with as much hope as oxygen. I brush off the gravel, and stifle the "what if's." I turn away from the traffic and walk. Life is so much more the combination of these hikes and traumas. And as I listen to the noises of the birds and look into the vivid blue sky, I remember how much better it is to keep walking. Pressed flat against the ground, I miss the wind.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Patience is a virtue

I have never been the most patient person I know. I don't really like to wait, especially on other people. The thing that brings me to my very lowest threshold for tolerance or patience of any kind is my dog. She is not a bad dog. Everyone tells me how great she is all the time. Nothing incites pure rage in my like my animail. For example, today, after she peed and pooped on the carpet, I put her out the front door for fear that I would cause her bodily harm. I cannot tolerate the dog any longer, and yet I have no option in terms of ridding myself of her. She is my punishment sent from God for whatever it is that deserves punishment. If I had a huge house with a yard and somewhere to put her, I could probably develop a fondness for her. In this close proximity though, I'm lukcy I haven't hurt her. I know this makes me a bad person, but I don't think there is anything I can do to fix it. Someone tell me how to stop hating her. . .

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tough Week

This week has been a tough week for me. I have alot going on between work and children. I totally missed a dentist appointment. I never miss those. I have a cute dentist. I try to make all of my appointments. ;)

Aside from that, I have several friends going through some tough times. I have to say that I am blown away by the way God is moving in and through these situations. Something sad or hard doesn't have to determine a person's outlook or attitude. Something hard or sad can be a beautifully challenging and trying experience that changes you for the better. I'm currently struggling, debating, and delving into issues I have left untouched for many years. Recent events have made them even more personal, so I feel like I have no choice but to jump. I am questioning things about my faith, though not my faith in itself. While its tough, and I want an easy answer, I feel refreshed by the challenge. There is something uplifting about truly seeking God's answer to questions, even if there is no "right" answer.

As Miley Cyrus (or her songwriters) so appropriately said, "It ain't about how fast we get there, it ain't about what's waiting on the other side. Its the climb." Cheesy comparison, but its true. Every day I am thankful that I get to be part of this great adventure. I have big dreams and hopes. I can't wait to see what is in store for our family, and I am ready for the challenges that are ahead. I see how the world gets in and tries to keep things from happening, and I think that God and, myself, with His help are so much bigger than it all. Yeeha life! Here I come.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Five years later

Inevitably life is hard at times. Everyone goes through tough and trying circumstances. Often times they feel unbearable, but when you look back you are suprised by your own strength. You never realized you could make it through something like that.

I look back at my life and there are many of these times, but clearly one that sticks out more than others. Five years ago on July 21st, I woke at 5am to the death of my mother through tragic circumstances. Five years ago I changed. I spent a year in mourning, going through those normal phases, denial, acceptance, etc. I moved on suprisigly well for such a desperate time.

The worst thing about this whole situation is that five years later we are still wrapped up in it. Five years later it is not over. So on top of my daily stresses, we wait and listen for news on the wrongful death suit. Five years later we try to figure out the estate, now that my stepfather is also gone. Five years later we are told we have to start over and re-organize and repack everything that we have already packed up and stored in sheds. Five years later I have 2 small children that I would rather spend my time with. Five years later I am working through the highest stress part of the year at my job. Five years later I am older and stronger, but still feel weak at the mention of any of these things.

I look back and see how strong I was. How can I not cope with these minor temporary things? God give me peace and grace to push through as I know I can. Help me not to feel overwhelmed. Give me the wisdom to go to others and vent, talk and laugh about the things that bother me. Thank you God for those around me who love and support me, cry and laugh with me. I have this entanglement of feelings of confindence in my strengths and abilities, overwhelming love for myself and those around me, and fear that I will fail. Above all though I know that I am happy with my life choices and excited to see where I end up. It nearly brings me to tears to think about how good life and God are, even in the hardest of times.

Friday, June 26, 2009

You Wanna Be Starting Something You Gotta Be Starting Something

His loss is hard to put into to words. Perhaps "too high to get over" and "too low to get under." Another little piece of my childhood died yesterday when we lost Michael Jackson. Yes, I can acknowledge all the weirdness and terrible accusations, but we lost an artist. One that takes me back to watching Thriller on my talking viewmaster. One that takes me back to my shared bedroom listening to Ben on my record player, my fisher price record player. I had a Michael Jackson glove and jacket, and the same sick fascination with ET that he had. I would like to remember Michael in his golden days, when he was young and not yet freakish. You will be missed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I began this entry last week, after hearing some interesting news. This entry spans a week of pondering and wondering. Bear with its jumpiness, but I feel like I need to share this strange thing that is my life.

Last Monday,I can't really find words to describe how I feel at this current moment. As most know, almost 5 years ago I experienced a betrayal beyond anything I could imagine. I lost my mom to domestic violence, and I don't think I go one day without thinking about her. It was all over the newspapers, local and regional. The day she died was well documented for sure.

But Monday I got a phone call letting me know that the perpetrator, the man I grew up calling my step dad. The man that taught me to drive, came to my plays, the betrayer, well he died. He died a quiet death. After a year or so of dialysis, his kidneys gave out. I guess time in prison is draining on a body, and I imagine more so on the soul. The thing that baffles me is how he got to leave so quietly. Hardly a murmur on the radar. Nothing in the papers. No mention of the murderer or the murdered. I did get an automated call from the victims advocates office informing me in that robotic automated voice that the inmate "has died." Its hard to know what all this means. I'm going to the funeral on Monday and all I can think about is how no one will be there. Strange.

One thing I don't feel is sad. I don't feel bad for him. I don't feel sad for him. I feel some sense of freedom. I feel bad for his daughters. I feel like a circle has closed, but know that the issues with the estate and lawsuit will continue. While this should be the end, somehow its not. Talk about joy despite circumstances.

Today, June 15, I went to the memorial service for my stepfather. Over the past week I have had to debate within myself whether or not to go at all. After perusing the obituary, which infuriated me, I decided it best that I go for closure's sake. I did go. I went to the memorial service for my stepfather at the same church, done by the same minister that did my mother's service. That in itself was hard to stomach. But as I sat there with the handful of people that actually came, half of which I knew, no one even acknowledged my presence. They spoke of forgiveness, of his service to God and the community, and I thought to myself, how in the world is this fair? Is it so easy to gloss over the life changing event perpetrated by this man? No mentions of his sorrow or guilt felt at the end. No mention of my mother. In this nearly empty room I sat, enduring glares and ignorance. I sat as people shared about him being their hero. I literally held back the vile taste in my mouth, the hatred that had long since fizzled out. I sat in anger as the minister looked me in the eye and spoke of Dave's baptism into the church, and God being a God of mercy. I loathed the words of the minister, asking that God welcome David home to His arms. I wondered how any of this was possible. But God is GOOD, all the time. God is righteous, ALL THE TIME. Whatever God decides to do, it will be right and true.

As I left that church today, I smiled to myself as I thought of my mother. That church overflowed at her service. They had to put chairs in the hallways to fit the people. Some there out of curiosity, but most having been touched by my mom in some way. Filled to the brims, and that's how I know that she was of God, and doing his work. However flawed and broken she was, she loved. And as I looked around the empty church today, I saw the difference between someone loved and someone lost. I am proud of myself for enduring, but thankful for the support of God, above all, and of those He has placed in my life. May God continue to grant me peace and forgiveness, as He has to wonderfully done in the past. God is GOOD, all the time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What have you done to me Motherhood?

If you had asked me years ago what being a parent would be like, I probably would have had some calculated answer about everything to come. The truth is, I never could have imagined what it would REALLY be like. This truth holds the same for watching my friends become parents. There is something breathtaking in the way each of my different friends parents their children. There is so much I admire in each one of them.

I love the way Joy has a million sweet nicknames for each babe.
I love the way Jean lets her son be a boy in every way.
I love the way Karen waited for that special gift after trying and trying, and now dotes on her.
I love the way Sarah lets her kids have so much spirit and lets them be kids.
I love the way Abby already adores her young son, though they've only just met.

I love the way all the other mothers in my life have taught me, cared for me, and comforted me through all of the challenges with my own children.

I love their children nearly as much as my own, even the ones I haven't meant due to distance. I love the ones that don't even exist yet. I am fiercely protective of each friend and their children. I never used to be a cryer, but something about motherhood has done that to me. Besides all the challenges, there is pure joy in looking at each picture of a baby. There is something beautiful in every little face. I am getting weepy just thinking about it all. Oh motherhood, what have you done to me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Silly JOLIET stuff

Ok, someone shared this on facebook and I couldn't help but have to share it on my blog. For those of you that grew up the ET, you may feel as these guys do. No matter what you will always call it home. Check out this rap video. J-town love!
Beware, this post is rated R.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When will it end?

I love my children. I adore them really. But seriously, if someone had told me it was possible for my daughter, who in her first two years of life was the epitome of health, to come down with every single virus known to man over a period of 2-3 months, I might have reconsidered this whole parenthood thing. Whats worse is the fact that, not only does she endure these terrible virus with a whining frenzy, but she passes each virus on to her baby brother. He has now been sick as many times in his life, as Maggie has in hers, and she is 2.5 times his age. What have I done to deserve this onslaught? Let me just tell you, a barfing two year old is a force to reckon with. They have no aim, they cry the whole time they are throwing up (but heck so do I), and my particular child, was disturbed at the huge mess she was making, refer back to the crying. Now lets talk about the fever. Apparently a fever of 103 MUST be treated, and not left to nature to take care of. This sounds simple right? You merely measure out the proper dosage of liquid tylenol or motrin, place in child's mouth, they swallow, fever treated right? If only it were that simple. Whoever invented children's tylenol must have hated kids. It tastes TERRIBLE. I know this because I wanted to find out why my daughter had to be pinned to the floor and forced to swallow it. We've tried every flavor in both the brand name and generics to see if that would make a difference. It doesn't. Motrin tastes better by far, and poses no problem for our daughter. But when you have such a high fever they want you to rotate between tylenol and motrin every 3 hours. I thought with this illness I would be smart, buy the chewables and present them as candy. That worked the first time. She took two and asked for more. I thought I had figured it out. Then the next dose came, she was excited. I gave her both chewables, she began to eat one, then gagged and told daddy she couldn't like it and wanted to spit it out. The only other option is suppositories, and I am not going there unless I absolutely HAVE to. So, needless to say, with all the illness that has invaded my house, I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and so OVER it. I've given germs a deadline. One more week in my house and they have to be out. They have to be out or I will be! Oh, did I mention that during all of this drama, I still have to nurse a 3 month old every three hours. A 3 month old who is hacking, wheezing, and breathing funny. . . I want out!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Hey everyone who regularly checks out my blog. Someone recommended a site to me where you can earn free "swagbucks" by doing certain things on the internet. Check it out because I get free bucks for referrals. Its free, so it can't hurt.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Shack Review

So I've finished reading this book called The Shack. Overall it was a really intriguing look at the three aspects of God. I found it to be emotional, inspiring, and at first I just could not put it down. I started reading it at 10 o'clock the other night and looked up to see that it was 12:30am. That says alot about the book, as I am still getting up with my 3 month old twice a night for feedings. The fact that I could even be awake at 12:30am speaks volumes. However, as I trudged alot through the book, it became heavy and though provoking. I found at times I would have to put the book down, and come back to re-read things. This is rare for me, but was, perhaps the best part about the book. It gets you to take a look at things and think. Lastly though, I'm not sure it is the most accurate portrayal of the Biblical God. It gives you the sense that God is the all loving best friend that you want to carry around in your pocket. While God IS all loving and all knowing, the Bible clearly says that he is a jealous and vengeful God. That aspect of God was no where to be found in this book. We have to remember as we read books like this that it is fiction. While it may be based on a supposed actual experience, there is no way to prove that it really happened. And it is FICTION. As a good read though, I would highly recommend it. But don't go into it looking for Biblical truth. While there are truths scattered throughout the book, overall it is just that, another interesting book to mull over.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All things domestic

So, those of you who know me, know that I work part time. Partly because it is best for our family financially and partly because I really enjoy the adult interaction. However, I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time home as I only worked 2 days a week for the past 6 weeks. I really enjoy the domestic side of life. I like cooking and keeping house. I have enjoyed the extra time I have been able to spend with Maggie working on letters and just doing imaginary games and playing. I am not dreading going back to work, as the hardest part of going back was the 2 full days of being gone from my kids. I just wonder if God provided the opportunity financially for me to stay home, whether it would be the choice I would make. I adore my children, and love to spend the time with them that I am afforded, but I fear that if I did end up staying home full time that I would have a difficult time entering back into the work world once the children go to school, which I know I want to do. These are just things I have been pondering. As of right now its not even an option, but I wonder down the road what God has in store for our family and how we will know what the right decision will be at that time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lazy Lasagna

Hey all. Here is a great recipe, that just happens to also be a crockpot recipe. Its very simple and very good! Throw some garlic bread in the oven during the last ten minutes of cooking, toss a salad and bam you are set.

This recipe is courtesy of my Aunt Karen, where she got it I don't know.

1 pound ground beef, browned
32 ounce jar of your choice of spaghetti sauce
8 ounces of curly egg noodles or lasagna noodles cut up, cooked
16 ounce carton of cottage cheese or ricotta
8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese to taste

Combine beef and spaghetti sauce. Combine noodles, cottage cheese, and mozarella. Layer one third of the beef mixture, followed by half of the noodle mixture in the slow cooker. Repeat layers, ending with beef mixture on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover and cook on low 3 to 4 hours. I cooked mine on high for 2 and it turned out perfectly. Also, make sure that you drain the noodles very well, as any extra moisture makes the noodles at the bottom of the crockpot soggy. To make it healthier you can always add some spinach into the noodle mixture as well.

If you try it out, let me know what you think! I don't have a picture of this delicious dinner, but it turned out great.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recipe Reviews

Well, for those of you who don't know. I really enjoy cooking. Its something that has always been fun for me, but more and more as I grow older. I've decided since it is something I enjoy so much, that I am going to share the recipes that I try as I try them. For tonight, as the dreaded snow flakes fall again, I share with you a simple crock pot recipe of yumminess.

This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens. I've slightly adapted it, but here is the recipe as I make it!

Beefy Minestrone

Cooktime: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high in a Crockpot

1lb ground beef
1 14 ounce can of beef broth (use reduced sodium if you want to cut salt)(=1 1/3 cups)
1 10 ounce package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juice
1 10 ounce can of tomato soup
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Your choice of cooked pasta, add the amount that looks good to you.
You can top this with parmesan cheese, and or goldfish crackers for the kiddos.

If you try it out, let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coaled Mountain

Rocky crags crush spirits
Hearts broken
Mouths empty
But where?

Sugary drinks provide
Succor but tragedy persists
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Nowhere to be found
Drugs drag down mothers
Kids ache but numb
Themselves with the same drugs
But why?

We watch on tv
Narrators guide us to pity
We watch, mouths agape
We call ourselves hungry
And fill a plate or bowl
While images on screen appall us
But where?

Sick cycles continue
In this golden place
Of Yellow Arches and Big Blue Boxes
Here in this land of plenty
I turn off my TV and go to bed
To think
No more
Kept safe away from cold

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crappy Crap Crap Crap Crap CRAP

Feeling like the aforementioned crap. There is a wicked virus going around. We had been lucky enough to avoid it until this point. Maggie started this barking cough yesterday. It sounds miserable. By the evening she had a fever of 99.5. By 4:30am she had a fever of 103. We used motrin to bring it down and it worked. By this point my ears are plugged and my throat is throbbing. Yeah for children, germy little beings that they are. So now I do my best to keep Maggie from touching the boy, which is hard because she loves him so much and wants to hold him and kiss on him. I am consumed with worry about whether he will catch this awful virus too, and I just can't stop thinking about it. I'm beginning to think there is something wrong with me. Though I have stopped worrying about Maggie and I getting sick. Now that its here its not as bad as I imagined it to be. Things usually aren't. Ugh. I need a good night's sleep.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I am all for people pursing dreams and goals, finding new jobs, moving, and making big life decisions, as long as it doesn't affect my life. As long as their choices only change things for them, then I am ok. I don't want close friends to move away. I don't want new careers to affect the amount of time I get to hang out with them. I don't want them to marry people I don't like. They can have babies, as long as we are still going to hang.

So that being said, I received a phone call from an organization in Texas looking to possibly hire my best friend at work. Of course I said nothing but good things about her, but upon hanging up, I wondered what would have happened if I had trashed her. Could I keep my envirnoment the same at work, avoid big changes, and be happy for a while longer? Could I keep things the same?

I used to think of myself as someone open to change, but the older I get, the more I like things to stay the same. I enjoy my comfort. I like that I can count on things from day to day. I guess its time for me to change. Though I still don't want this friend to move far away to Texas, if it makes her happy I'll do what I can to make it happen. Despite how it affects me!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I won't bring it up again

I know that I have pretty much reached the limit of times I'm allowed to say that I am not ready to go back to work. I know that I have Twittered it many times. I've probably said something about it in my Facebook status several times. This is the last time I am going to complain about it. I won't really have any more opportunites as its 8:04pm the evening prior to returning. I am planning on going to bed at 9:30 to make sure that I have some rest. Until then, I am going to compile a list of reasons why I am not ready to go back to work. Then I shall make some closing remarks. After that, I will have to let it go.

Here begins my list:
1. I am tired. I can't imagine making it through a day without a nap.
2. My boy just started smiling, and every one I miss is a crushing blow to my mommy ego.
3. Things could be changing big time at work, and I am not sure I'm ready for those changes.
4. None of my clothes fit. Maternity clothing is too big. Regular clothes are too small. I really don't know what to wear.
5. I have to spend time pumping, which, while it shouldn't be, is uncomfortable and makes me self-concious.
6. My daughter just started really liking me again, and I don't want to lose that.
7. The View
8. Dr. Phil
9. Its really cold out, and lately I've had a choice about whether I want to go out or stay in.
10. Did I mention naps? I really like them.

All in all, these and I'm sure there are more, are reasons I am not ready to go back to work. Thanks for listening, and I think I will try to let this be the end of my complaining.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Not Going to Write About How Cold It Is!

Below you will find a list of things I like.

Foods I really enjoy:
My homemade Chicken Chili
Almost anything with Marinara sauce
My special meatloaf recipe
Georgia chopped pork from Famous Dave's
Aranda's Mexican food
Chan's Gourmet in Aurora
Linda's Pizza in Joliet
Aurelio's Pizza in Joliet (now called Cemeno's)

Books I like:
See those listed on my blog. You will find them on the right side of the screen

Favorite Bible Verse:
Epehsians 3:20

Hobbies I enjoy:
Cross Stitching
Minimally playing guitar

US Cities I really like to visit:
Portland, OR
Boston, MA
Houston, TX
Austin, TX
San Antonio, TX
Seattle, WA
New York, NY

Music that I like:
There are way too many to list. Everytime I would look at this blog later I would want to add more bands. So just know that I like tons of music.

My favorite toothpaste:

Things about pancakes:
I like them with chocolate chips and whipped cream

Random fact:
I am a wealth of medical knowledge

Favorite Pizza Toppings:
Either veggie minus olives or just cheese and onions.

This was a tiny distraction for me. A distraction from the state of how things are right now that I am not going to write about.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

To Blizzard or Not to Blizzard?

I have had wonderful English and Speech teachers over the years who were adamant that one never begin a paper or speech with the following, but bare with me as it has a purpose.

A blizzard is defined as:
a. a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold.
b. a heavy and prolonged snowstorm covering a wide area.
To quote

I ask you then, when is this blizzard coming to the midwest? We have been under a blizzard warning for the past 24 hours. Apparently the definition of the word blizzard no longer applies. A good friend of mine stated, "I wonder if the meaning of the word blizzard was changed to mean 'a softly falling snow.'"

Seriously, there is nothing liking scaring people into hunkering down for 24 hours of pure winter hell. I happened to go to the grocery store yesterday, as I have lately been venturing out on Mondays because Jeremy is home with the kids. I kid you not, people were filling their carts with canned goods. Soups, chilis, canned vegetables, as if they were going to be snowed in for days. There is nothing at all like worrying people into a frenzy of winter supply shopping only to have them wake up to a couple inches of soft pretty snow and minimal winds. When did the definition of blizzard change? And if this is a blizzard, what does a real snow storm look like?

I have never really been one to be totally bothered by winter weather, but I ask God, haven't we had enough? Its only mid-January and we have had a ton of snow, and bitterly cold temps. This week is supposed to be the coldest week since 1996, and I remember that winter. I remember school being cancelled that year, not due to snow, but due to the bitterly cold temps and wind chills. It was so cold that they were worried about kids standing at bus stops for too long, or trudging to school only to show up with frost bite. Especially since the kids that went to my high school tended not to have the money to dress appropriately for winter. I am officially done with winter this year? Anyone else?

What I envision as a "blizzard."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Whats the big deal with boobs?

***May contain information not appropriate for children's or husband's eyes.

I have never understood the big deal about boobs. I've never had them. I've always wanted them, but never could afford to purchase my very own pair. I just assumed I would never have them. Then I had kids. And bam! There they are. The unfortunate thing about it is, they aren't really mine. There is a baby telling me what to do with them when, and quite frankly I'm a bit disappointed! I am so glad that I am able to nurse my children, and thankful for that opportunity, as I know not everyone is able to. But this whole process is puzzling. Those of you who have been through this experience can probably relate. I am never quite sure if the kid has really gotten enough to eat. I'm trying to get him on somewhat of a schedule, as it won't work with my schedule to nurse on demand. My boobs don't want to cooperate. One day they feel like they are going to explode, and the next I'm not sure if there is enough in there to take care of business. Then one day he is a ravenous eater and can't get enough, the next barely interested in nursing on one side per feeding, much less relieve the pressure on the other side. This only confuses the boobs and the owner of the boobs more. I know things will work themselves out and that the boobs will adjust, as will Miles, as will I. But seriously, these things are supposed to be sexy? How does that work when they are so complicated? I would be much easier if chins were sexy. They don't seem to change too much over time. Or maybe hands. Oh well. . .what can you do?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dr. Pepper, you make the world taste better

For years I have struggled with a serious addiction. An addiction to Dr. Pepper. Some of you may read this and laugh, but its true. Those of you addicted to Diet Coke may be able to relate, and I know you are out there because I hear it all the time. I rarely go a day without drinking at least one Dr. Pepper. Whenever I am in Texas, I try to stock up on the Dr. Pepper made with pure cane sugar because it tastes better. While pregnant, though I know that caffeine is discouraged, I had to ration my Dr. Pepper intake, and drink it only on special occasions. I searched high and low for a caffeine-free version, thinking it would be as simple as going to the store, but I was not successful. Then as I am tooling around the internet, what to my wondering eyes do appear, but a place to purchase caffeine-free Dr. Pepper online. However, I am dismayed, because it is much pricier than buying the regular stuff, at $10 per 24 cans, a $5 dollar packaging fee, and $23 dollars to ship via regular UPS. I ask myself, is it worth it? While I am still nursing and need to keep my caffeine intake somewhat lower, especially at night if I want my kid to sleep, I am seriously contemplating purchasing some. I could drink an unlimited amount of Dr. Pepper without risking caffeine overload. How amazing is that? Life is beautiful. Truly beautiful, without question!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

To the New Year

Ok, I, like every other blogger out there, will make short commentary on the passing of 2008 and the entrance of 2009.

This year has been a challenge for me professionally and personally. Work was harder this year than it has been in a long time, and I'm not sure that there is a specific solution to make it better. So, I just truck on and hope.

Personally, the addition of another child to our family is the most wonderful thing that has happened this year. It is also THE MOST challenging thing as well. Adding Maggie to our family was an easy transtion. Adding Miles is a ton more work. Chasing Maggie and keeping her out of trouble on a minimal amount of sleep with a newborn attached to me the bulk of the day has been very difficult. I wouldn't change it for the world! They are both beautiful!

I have seen friends on rollercoasters of life, enduring extremely difficult situations, sick family, loss of jobs. 2008 was a rough year for many people, not to mention businesses. I have seen friends marry and have children. It has truly been a journey. Most of all I have made new friends, and grown closer to those that I already knew. For this I am truly thankful.

As I reflect on 2008 I can't help but be thankful that its over. I look forward to 2009 with renewed hope for everyone, and thankfulness for all that I do have.