Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is a "Happy-Sad" day for me.
(You know, the kind where you're happy for someone because they are at an important milestone in their life but at the same time you're sad for yourself because that same milestone makes you feel, well, old.)
(Not that I'm old....just....older)
But this is not about me. (OK, maybe a little about me) This is about my beautiful baby boy.

Today my Baby turns 15! I know!! Can you believe it?
I know what you're thinking, I look far too young to have a child of 15. (even if you're not thinking that, this is where you lie and say you are)

So, as my baby (yes, he is still my baby) turns 15, I reflect and offer this open letter to him:

To my Beautiful Baby Boy, my First Born, my Son,
Where have the past 15 years gone? It seems like just yesterday I was holding my new born babe in my arms. Gazing down at your perfect little face, I remember thinking my heart would burst with love for you. How could someone so tiny, so helpless, fill me with such love and joy so instantaneously? And it was in an instant. From the second I laid eyes on you, you had my heart. When you held onto my finger, I cried. That first night with you, holding you in my arms, I told you all my deepest secrets, my dreams for you, my hopes for your future. And when you looked up at me I knew you understood.

Every step, every smile, every coo is a memory I will forever cherish. I would often watch you sleep, wondering what you dreamed about. Some nights, I took you out of your crib and held you while you slept just to be near you a little more. You looked like an angel.
I remember your first day of school. You were so nervous. You looked up at me and said "I don't belong here Mom, I'm just a kid." And I thought the same thing. I wasn't ready. But time marches on, no matter how hard we try to hold onto it. Now you're in high school and learning to drive. Where did all the time go?

You have been the one constant in my life for the last 15 years. At times my best friend and at times the most aggravating person I have ever met. You can push my buttons and melt my heart. But always my Baby Boy. If I could only tell you one thing on this, the anniversary of the day we met, it is that you are loved.
No matter what you do, who you are or who you become. My Beautiful Baby Boy, you are so loved!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ok, so I'm a bit lazy!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a while. I could give you a bunch of excuses....writers block...nothing to say....busy life....but the truth is, I've just plain been lazy.

The first thing I want to share is the new addition to our family! I am officially an Aunt! My sister in law gave birth to a baby boy on October the 27th! YEA!! Our family has been very excited about our new nephew/cousin and we cannot wait to see him over the holidays!!

The next thing I want to talk about is the fall season.
(even though it is just about over)
(I told you, I've been a bit lazy)

I love, love, love the fall! I will never, ever, ever live anywhere that does not have a fall again, which pretty much excludes Florida. (sorry family) This is the first time that I have actually experienced this and I cannot even explain how much I have enjoyed every part of it. The colors, the pumpkins, the leaves swirling, the weather (yep, even the weather).
OK, so for most people, this is nothing new, but for me it's like living in a movie!
(I know, I can be a bit dramatic)
(no, really)
It's not just me. The other day, G and I were walking in a park, crunching in the leaves and she said she didn't care if we ever went back to Florida. J feels the same way ('course, he's hated Florida for about 15 years).
(S just wants to see snow, she doesn't care about leaves)

Speaking of snow, that brings me to the next thing I wanted to tell ya'll about.

On Monday, we had our first snow. Seriously. Snow. In October. Now, mind you, it was just flurries. It didn't stick, but, Seriously?!?!?!
The funny thing was when I called J from work to tell him it was snowing.

Me: hey Babe. It's snowing here.
J: What?! Nnnooooo!
(I can just envision him rolling his eyes and thinking how dramatic I am)
(no, really. I can be a tad dramatic. Hard to believe, I know)
Me: Seriously, it's snowing.
J: Are you sure?
Me: Yes!
J: Are you sure it's not just leaves blowing around?
(Let's pause on that for a moment. Is there anyone who could mistake blowing leaves for snow? I don't think so. OK, maybe if you had a lot to drink...Or if you're like Velma from Scooby-Doo and you lost your glasses or something...but a normal, sober, 20/20 vision person? No. I don't think so.)
(again, in J's defence, this may have something to do with my flare for the dramatic)

So there you have it. Snow. In October. What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!

Temperature this morning: 42 deg.
Gas: $2.35

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You can't save everything...

Before I blog about the final leg of my trip home, I wanted to take a moment to explain a few things about my hubby. Mainly, his OCD. (yes, hon, you do so have OCD)

Let me begin by saying that my sweet'ums has many, many wonderful qualities. He is a wonderful father, caring husband and generous to a fault. If you are fortunate enough to count him as a friend, you have a friend for life. But....

Among the things that make me absolutely crazy about his OCD is his inability to throw anything away (OK, and his horrible driving. But that's a separate issue).

When J and I got married, he moved in with me. I had a three bedroom house, he had a one room efficiency so it just made sense. When he began moving his things into our home, I was AMAZED at how much stuff he had! How could one person have so much?!? Box after box began to pile up in the closets, spare bedroom and garage. You have to understand, in his mind, he can justify everything he saves. Being the naive person that I was, I tried to help him sort through it all.

Me: What about this coloring book? Why are you saving this?
J: Because, look how good I did! I stayed in the lines so well!
Me: OK....what about this poster? What is this?
J: I made it in 5Th grade.
Me: so we can throw it out?
J: Noooooooo! (looking shocked) My friend helped me on it and I promised I would never throw it away!
Me: (deep sigh) OK...What is this cardboard?
J: Oh! (getting excited) isn't that cool? It looks just like a fish! It came in the box when I got my computer!
Me: (not sharing in his excitement and really, at this point, staring in amazement) OK.....what is this piece of paper?
J:(trying hard to get me to understand) It's a circle I drew. See? It's perfectly proportioned! And I drew it free hand! Cool, huh?
Me: (not understanding at all) No, It's not cool. It's silly. Please, please tell me your kidding....
J: (looking very serious) what? Babe? Why are you banging your head against the wall?

As I said before, over the years, I would like to think I have helped (helper that I am) J get over some of his hording issues. We got rid of the coloring book, the cardboard and the circle. The poster was still in the closet in his office. I have convinced him that we don't need to save every piece of paper that the kids have ever scribbled on and that it won't hurt my feeling in the slightest if he throws out the wrapping paper from our first anniversary.

I tell you all of this so you will understand the gravity of the task I had to undertake when I went to pack our home, more specifically, J's office. In an 8 x 10 room, he manged to cram so much stuff, there was barely room to walk. The bed wasn't even visible. Every wall had an overstuffed bookshelf. The closet was overflowing. I spent more time in that room than anywhere else in the house. He had been hording in secret!!! (collective gasp!)
Among the many, many things I found:
-At least a dozen empty (empty!) boxes
-about 500 pens/pencils/markers
-4 or 5 travel mugs, still in the boxes (he doesn't even drink coffee!)
-134 (I counted) VHS tapes of movies he recorded off of HBO
-hundreds...nay.... probably over a thousand videos and DVD's
-every book he has ever read or may want to read that is currently in publication (J doesn't believe you should ever get rid of a book, even if it was the worst book you've ever read. After all, someone may want to borrow it to see just how bad it was)
-Anything that had the words "Liberty Medical" on it (he used to work there) including pens, notepads, cups, clocks, lunch bags, backpacks, letter openers, mirrors, picture frames, rulers, magnifying glasses, diabetic blood testers (no one we know is diabetic) etc, etc.

I think you get the idea.

To say that it was daunting is an understatement. I promised before I flew down that I would call him before I threw anything of his away. I did that once. This is how that conversation went:

Me: Hey babe. I threw out all the magazines and pamphlets for the Ecoquest business (a business we no longer have)
J: (long, long pause) what? why?
Me: because we don't even work with them anymore.
J: but...(trying to think of some reason to save all of it) what if we do it again?
Me: We won't. It's all outdated anyway.
J:(long pause again, thinking of another strategy) But, There were some good success stories in there.
Me: babe...come on!
J:(big sigh) oh, ok..well....I guess....ok....just....don't worry about it I guess.
Me: (rolling me eyes and vowing not to call him again) I won't.

You know, I think he may have actually lost sleep over that. I didn't.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Trip Home Part II

Where was I? Oh yeah, the packing. Let's start from the Orlando Airport. When I arrived at 10:15 pm, my first order of business was to pick up the rental car I had reserved. I got the key ring and immediately noticed there was no key, only a remote entry. OK, well, the key is probably in the ignition, right?. Nope. It's one of those new fangled push button starts. hard can it be? I am an intelligent woman (even though I can't spell, but neither could Einstein). So, I Push the button. Lights come on, radio comes on, engine doesn't. I Push the button again. Everything shuts off. huh, OK...I push the button again. Lights come on, radio comes on, engine doesn't. I push the button again and everything shuts off. There is not an owners manual in the glove box, no one is around to ask and I'm thinking "great, now what do I do?" After two or three more attempts, I finally figure out that you have to put your foot on the break while you press the button for the engine to start. DUH!

So, now, at 11:30, I'm finally on the road. I only got lost a little trying to find the turnpike. I got to the house around 130am. Jack (our friend/caretaker of the Berry Estate) was waiting up for me. When I walked in the door I couldn't believe my eyes. My beautiful home had been transformed into a frat house! Gone were the elegant vases, statues and framed art. In it's place were movie posters and toys. Lots and lots of toys. Now, Jack is a grown man. He has no kids at home. He does, however, have an unhealthy obsession with Sponge Bob Square Pants. Mr. Sponge was on just about every surface I could see. Just for the record, I hate Sponge Bob, but that's a completely separate blog.

I called J and began to lament over my home. I talked to him until almost 3am. I was missing my babies and beginning to panic over the task at hand. But my sweet'ums just kept telling me that everything was OK, I would be able to get it all done, not to worry. Sure, Sure...

I awoke at 7am, went to get I, coffee and search for boxes. Once back at the house, I called J again to tell him I should have let him do this. I was completely overwhelmed. There was just so much stuff! You have to understand, my hubby is a pack is Jack...all of their stuff together in one house was ...well....indescribable.

I would like to think that, over the years, I have helped (I am helping) my hubby get over some of his hording issues (again, that's another blog). Jack, however, is a lost cause. There was stuff piled everywhere! At Least J has some kind of organization. A method to his madness, if you will. I'm not sure what Jack's filing method is other than "here looks good". I will give you an example:

In the master bedroom, there is a vanity. Beneath the vanity are several Drawers. When we left last year, I emptied these drawers so that Jack may use them. He, instead, piled stuff on top of the vanity and the drawers remain empty except for a lone hair dryer in the top drawer.
Me: Oh, is this our hairdryer? Did I leave that?
Jack: No, it's mine.
Me: oh...?
Jack: (looking completely sane) When the realtor came by the other day for a showing, I thought I should put it away.
Me: (looking dumbfounded and trying not to giggle at his Winnie-The-Pooh-like logic) um...OK.

See? The hair dryer, he thought should be put away, but the rest of the stuff was OK. ????? Uh....I don't know what to say.

I will say one thing for my sweet'ums though...I was thanking him for all the bubble wrap I found in his closet! I don't know why it was there, I'm just glad it was. I needed it to pack all my china and such.

Let me just take a minute here and say, Thank God for the Bowman's!!! Cindy, my BFF, and her family came in like gangbusters! There is NO WAY I could have packed that house in two days without them. Cindy, Donny, Davie, Christie, Chrissy, AJ, and even Chrissy's little boy Logan all pitched in! I cannot thank them enough!!! Even my boy was a great help when he wasn't hiding in one of the PODS.

We packed everything in two PODS. I was worried about having enough room, but in the end, we had plenty. Our neighbor, Danette, came by and wanted to know if we were leaving a POD there for Jack to live in. Hmmmmm...not a bad idea. ;-)

That night, I and I stayed at Cindy's. Cindy and I had a few Smirnoff's and giggled like two teenagers until midnight. We haven't seen each other in over a year and I miss her tremendously so it was fun just hanging out with her. Even better, her mean-old-grumpy-bear of a husband left us alone!

On Sunday we finished packing, went to dinner and then I went back to clean. I was determined to be done on Sunday, so I was there late finishing up.

Monday I went to visit friends at the hospital were I used to work. First thing I noticed when I walked into the department was the overwhelming smell of mold and mildew...some things never change. But, hey, I hear they're a smoke free facility! I visited there for a couple of hours and then picked I up from school for one last goodbye. Y'all would be very proud of me, I didn't even cry...well, at least not until I was back in my car.

After leaving my boy, I headed back to the Orlando airport....but that's another blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Trip Home, Part I

As some of you know, I traveled back to Florida this past weekend to pack up our home and get it ready to sell. Let me begin by saying, I do not fly well. It is, unfortunately, among my many phobias. Actually, it's not so much a fear of crashing as a fear of being sucked out the window and plunging a zillion miles to my death. (fear of heights and all that)

When J and I first talked about this, it was decided that it should be me to fly down to take care of the packing. He is a huge pack-rat and would have saved everything. I, on the other hand, tend to throw just about everything away. Anyhoo, when we told the kids, the first thing G said was "what are we gonna eat?". Yes, the concern about missing me was overwhelming.

So... on the big day, the whole family took me to the airport. S was a little worried about how they were going to get home. She was under the impression that J and I were both leaving and G was going to be in charge. We set her straight and she was fine after that. We got a bite to eat, as we were quite early. It was then that J mentioned the size of my plane from Milwaukee to Cincinnati. It went something like this:

J: You'll probably have one of those small planes to Cincinnati.
Me: Huh? What do you mean?
J: You know, a little plane.
Me: (deer in the headlight look) Why?
J: Because it's such a short distance
Me: (starting to panic) But I don't want a small plane!
J: (smiling) No, It's good, those are better.
Me: (hyperventilating) but those crash a lot! I see them on the news all the time!
J: (trying not to laugh) no, no, it's better, trust me. It'll be smoother.
Me: I don't believe you!
J: Babe.....(shaking his head)

This wasn't starting off well.

Now, understand, I have never been away from the two youngest and only apart from J and G for a couple of days. So as I walked to the gate, I sobbed, missing them already.

I boarded the plane and began to wonder if the airline had mistakenly booked me on a plane made for oompa loompas. I had to duck to get in the darn thing! I took my seat next to a rather large man who smelled like melting wax. I immediately tried to fasten my seat belt (can't be too careful) and realized that I didn't know how to work the stupid thing! Large, smelly man had to help me because, after all, I am an idiot.

The flight attendants began to go over what to do in an emergency and I was shocked that there was no plan for getting sucked out the window! How am I supposed to be prepared? I read the instruction sheet twice (OK, maybe 3 or 4 times) and memorised the exits.

As the plane taxied down the runway I relaxed a little. It didn't seem so bad.....I might be OK.....Then the plane left the ground! I don't know why they have to fly so high. I think they're just showing off.

About 3 minutes into the flight, the man behind me began to snore. I mean SNORE!! I've never heard anything like it! I alternated between wanting to slap him, thinking I should let him know he has major sleep apnea and giggle fits every time he snorted like a large pig.

My thought process during the flight went something like this:
Geez, we are really high...I hope those windows are secure...I think I'm gonna throw up....this guy really smells odd...I wish that man would stop snoring...I should pinch him so he'll wake up...I hate flying...holy cow, look how high we are...I hope I don't throw up....someone should kick that guy and wake him up...I wonder if the pilot knows what he's doing...can't believe there's no plan for getting sucked out the window...
This went on for the entire hour flight.

The plane finally landed in Cincinnati. It was a rough landing. (I think the pilot was drunk or something.) I considered kissing the ground when we landed but I thought that might be a bit dramatic so I just bent down and gave it a good pat.

I had a 3 hour layover in Ohio, but luckily, the airport had a Starbucks (one of my favorite places). I grabbed my venti coffee and tried to relax before my next bought of torture.

The flight to Orlando was better. It was a larger plane, so the flight was smoother. FYI, When you fly into Orlando, there are a lot of kids on the plane (I guess it's the whole Disney thing) so it was a noisy flight. It didn't bother me (have you met my 4 kids?) but it might some people. I sat next to a friendly 6 year old boy. Our conversation was something like this:
Kid: Are you OK
Me: (obviously nervous) yeah, I'm just a little afraid of flying. Kinda silly, huh?
Kid: (rolling his eyes) uhmf, yeah! I fly all the time!


So that's the flight down. I didn't want this post to be too long, so I'll break it up a bit. When we return....the packing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

this and that

Just a quick note to fill you in on what's new in the family.

B. has taken to calling me "babe" when he wants my attention. ("mom, mom, mom, mom, babe, babe..) It started a few days ago. J. thinks it's pretty funny. I'm just hoping he doesn't do it in the middle of church.....awkward.

G. has dyed her hair pink. I know what you're thinking...but it was actually my idea. hehe I was reading a book recently and the main character is a hairdresser. Her daughter dyed her hair with koolade and it gave instructions in the book. What the heck?!?! So I asked G if she wanted pink hair. She, of course said "YEAH!" It looks so cute and it washes out in just a few days. She was worried that J was get upset but I told her since he has a Mohawk, he really can't say a whole lot.

S. is on a "whose in charge" kick. Anytime she is told something she doesn't like, she claims the other parent is actually in charge and she only listens to them. Of course, this varies from hour to hour depending on her mood.

I. has changed his mind about going into a computer career after high school. He is thinking about something in the music industry. His new school is really pushing him to maintain a high GPA. I have no doubt he can do the work, I just wish he would realise how dang smart he is!!

J. still has his stupid Mohawk.....blagh! Hate the thing! He has his own blog now and it is HUGELY popular! It's all entertainment reviews. Ya'll should check it out if you haven't.

Me, I'm getting ready to fly back to FL this weekend to pack up the house. No, it hasn't sold yet, but the realtor thinks it will sell faster empty. I do not fly this should be interesting.

That's it!! love to you all!!!

cheese curds

As most of you know (or maybe you don't) I was born and raised in Florida. Being from the South, I simply adore fried food. My motto is " if it taste good, it will taste even better fried!" Fried chicken, French fries, onion rings, doughnuts....etc. But, as I am getting on in years and pounds, I try not to partake from the deep fryer too often. That being said, I have a new fried love. Fried Cheese Curds.

You may be asking yourself "what's a cheese curd?" I, too, was oblivious to this wondrous treat until recently. It all started on July 4th of this year. While wondering an Independence day fair, we passed a vendor selling fried cheese curds. I innocently asked for a sample. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of a love/hate relationship! I LOVE to eat them, I HATE that they go straight to my fanny!

Fortunately (or unfortunately for my fanny) we live within walking distance to a pub that has the best cheese curds in town. So I quite often talk J. into popping down to the pub to get an order to go.
the conversation goes something like this:

ME: I'm hungry
J: so eat something
Me: I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for...
J: uh huh
Me: want to get some cheese curds?
J: didn't we just get some last night?
Me: Nooooo, that was at least 2 nights ago.
J: oh
(long pause)
Me: so you want to go get some? I'll buy...(smiling him puppy dog eyes...)
J: (big sigh and overly dramatic eye roll) I guess...

And thus, J. becomes my cheese curd enabler...or pusher...or whatever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An unnatural fear.

Ok, as most of you know, I have a few phobias. Fear of the Dark, heights, small places, and, oh yeah....CATS! I try very hard not to pass my fears down to my kids. I put on a brave face when we ride ski lifts and when the electricity goes out. I tell them "Don't be silly, there is nothing to be afraid of!" I even convinced I. (our 14 yr old) to go out to the garageand get something for me while the resident rat lived there. "Don't be silly," I said, "that rat is more afraid you than you are of him!" (well, I sure as heck wasn't going out there!!!!)

My baby girl S. has topped me. At the tender age of 4, She has developed and unnatural fear of dressers.

It all started back in Arizona. The girls were sharing a room and had their own TV in there. It was perched on top of a dresser. In retrospect, probably not the best place for it....but there it is. G was lying on the bed and kicking the dresser. I don't know why, but who knows why a 7 year old does anything. Anywho, the TV started to fall, She tried to stop it and ended up being underneath the TV and the dresser. She wasn't hurt, just scared. S, who witnessed the whole thing, decided that screaming and running from the room was the best response. She apparently does not handle a crises situation very well.

A couple of months back, it was S. who was smooshed (it is so a real word!). There was something on top of the dresser that she wanted and decided that climbing the drawers was the best way to get it. Down came the dresser with her caught underneath. Again, she wasn't hurt, just scared.

A few weeks later, G. and S. thought it would be great to have a hammock in their room. They tied one end of the blanket to the closet door and the other end to the dresser. Well, much to their surprise, it didn't hold and, you guessed it, down came the dresser.

Now my poor baby gets nervous when ever she gets too close to a dresser. Could be worse, I guess. Could have been Cats!!!!!!!!


This past Sunday, we took the kids bowling. Personally, I hate bowling. I think it's boring (like, something you would do if watching paint dry got too exciting for you) and I stink at it! I should mention that sports are not my thing. In fact, I have been told I don't have a competitive cell in my body. But...the kids like it and they had a lot of fun.
We all used bumpers (otherwise my score would be about 18) and ramps for the kids. The ramps are cool because you just put the ball on it and the kids give it a push. Without ramps, their balls barely make it to the pins.
I think my score ended up being 78. Bad, I know but May be my personal best. Even B beat me. (2 years old....sad, huh?)
The surprising thing was J. He apparently has a natural talent for this sport! Go figure! He bowled strike after strike. I was amazed!! I think he should go pro! Can you imagine, a guy with a mow hawk and covered in tattoos on the pro bowling circuit with a bunch of beer belly rednecks! His sponsors could be tattoo parlors.
We only bowled one game (all I could take) but I'm sure we will be going again.........
Pray for me... ;-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Packer Zone

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of beer and football but of cheese heads. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of Lambeau Field. That's the goal post ahead- next stop, The Packer Zone......

If you have never been to Green Bay, it's a unique place when it comes to football. For those of you who aren't football fans (myself included), this is the home of the Green Bay Packers football team. Now, this is a relatively small town. No sky scrapers, little traffic, lots of farms, etc. What makes them unique is the fact that the town owns the football team.

The fans here are more than enthusiastic about their team. It's more like rabid...kinda scary really. Everyone, and I do mean Everyone watches the game. And then they talk about it all day the next day. When I mentioned that, no, I don't care for football...well, you would have thought I had three heads with horns and fuzzy green things popping out all over!!! On Friday's, when most companies have "dress down day", they have "Packer Day". Businesses from Banks to hospitals and grocery stores are awash in a sea of Green and Gold. During season, local churches change their service time to accommodate the games. They have parties to "relive" Super Bowl 31. (I'm assuming the Packers won that year) They paint their houses green and gold. They carve big G's into the trees. When people found out that Brett Favre was leaving, they cried...cried!!! I'm talking about grown men! They are seeing an increased number of patients with depression because of this! Again, for non-football folks, he was the quarterback here since, like, 1915 or something. I am not making any of this up! OK... maybe the 1915 part, but that's it! I was told by one mother not to mention Brett Farve to my 10 year old patient because he is very upset about the whole thing. Seriously?!?!

Let me give you a couple of examples:

Portage, Wis.- Upset that his 7-year-old son wouldn't wear a Green-Bay-Packers jersey during the teams playoff victory in January, a man restrained the boy for an hour with tape and taped the jersey onto him

Green Bay, Wis.- David Whitthoff has worn his Brett Favre jersey every day since receving it as a Christmas gift in 2003. His mother washes it every two days and mends it when needed.

Then there's the "Green Bay Bikini Girls". These are three women who wear bikinis to all the home games no matter the weather!! I'm talking about 23 below zero! Even beer freezes at that temperature, which is, by the way, the biggest complaint at Lambeau Field.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I'm including a few pics to prove my case.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I.'s last day

Saturday was a very sad day in our house. I.'s time with us is over and he flew back to FL to start school on the 18th. He wanted to go back to Chicago one more time before he left, so on Friday we drove down there. We spent the day at the Field Museum of Natural History. The museum is NOT free, but if you look hard enough online, you can find 2 for 1 coupons. There were some really cool exhibits. They had dinosaurs, lots of animals, and even a special exhibit on mythical creatures. J really liked that. B loved the dragons and the girls liked the mermaids. They even had the famous P.T. Barnum mermaid.

We made a great find in the Museum Gift shop! Dinosaur sneakers! B and G both needed sneakers, so we got them each a pair. They are so cute! B's have dino's on them and G's have big Dino eyes on them. On the bottom there are dino footprints. Everytime B wears his he chases us roaring! Before you ask, S didn't like them. (weird, right?)

On Saturday we got up early and took I. to the airport. He asks me every time he leaves if I'm going to cry. He tells me not to, and I tell him I will try really hard not to, but I probably will. I always do. Well...I did, and so did the girls. We were just a mess. I wonder if he knows what kind of state his departure leaves us in. I know he was excited to get home to his friends, but we miss him already!

He starts his new school on the 18th and he's a little nervous. If ya'll have his e-mail, some encouraging words would be nice for him.

When we left the airport, J and I decided we would check out Madison. It's only an hour from the airport and 3 hours from home, so we figured we would go while were close. We toured the capital building and walked the downtown. We even found a used bookstore and I found a book I'd been trying to find for a while. J and I decided that we really like the feel of a college town and will probably settle in, if not near one. We're not much for big cities, but being close to one would be nice. Our ideal town is getting more and more specific, and hopefully by the time we do settle down, we'll have it narrowed down pretty good.

One last thing I wanted to tell you about:
The other day the kids and I were at the playground in the mall. We walked over to Shopko (it's like a Target) to get a couple of drinks. I let the kids pick out some flavored water. It wasn't until B was one his THIRD cup that I noticed the "ENERGY" on the side of the bottle!! Holy Cow!! 50Mg of Caffine plus Guarana and Ginsing!!! Well, needless to say he was wired the rest of the day!! I thought he was never going to go to sleep that night. J thought the whole thing was pretty funny.

Love to all!!!!

p.s. What do ya'll think of J's hair?!?! Everybody vote....maybe we can talk some sense into him!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Noah's Ark Water Park

This past Wednesday we spent the day in Wisconsin Dells at Noah's Ark Water Park. If you don't know anything about Wisconsin Dells, It is a small town that is the epitome of tourism. There are 21 water parks plus other amusement parks, miniature golf, go carts, and everything else you can think of. Oh, it's also the place for the "worlds best fudge".

Noah's Ark is the largest water park in the country. We arrived at about 11am. J dropped us off at the front entrance and parked about 2 states, not really, but it was about a 20 min walk. As soon as he drove off I realised I left my bathing suit in the truck!!! When he got back to where we were he had to turn right back around and go back because I had no idea where he parked. The kids and I went ahead to "tadpole bay", one of many kiddie areas. While waiting for J and my bathing suit, I was letting the little ones play in the water. Apparently, there is a large tub that continually fills with water. Periodically, a bell will ring and the LARGE tub will dump on those who happened to be under it. Guess who was standing under it holding B.......!!! We both got soaking wet!! The poor baby was so traumatized it took us 3 hours to get him to go back in the water!! And if he heard a bell....Look out!!! J was actually the one who got him to relax. He even took a nap while floating around the lazy river with me. By the time we left he was crying to stay longer.

We let I. run by himself for a few hours and I think he went on every ride. I really had fun going on slides with him. I know he had a good time, I don't think I've seen him smile so much in a while.

There are pic-nic areas right outside the gate so we packed a cooler for lunch. The only thing I think we had to buy was a swimper for B (in case he pooed) and a waterproof container for money and keys.

G was a little nervous. She is such a cautious child. Once she rode a couple of slides, she was fine. There was only one time when she walked all the way to the top and changed her mind when she looked down. And, having been on the slide, I think she made the right choice. But she did a lot better than I thought she would as far as rides went.

S....ah, my dare devil child!!! She would go on every slide if she were tall enough! J took her on a few of the bigger ones and she kept complaining that they weren't fast enough!! She was even trying to convince me to let her go around the lazy river by herself!

No one got sunburned (yeah!) and everyone was exhausted!!! Definitely someplace we would like to come back to for a week vacation when the kids are older.

I don't have any pictures of the water park (I didn't want to get my camera wet) so I'm just including some recent pics of the kids.

love to all!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

B's first big booboo

This past week was pretty busy.
Wednesday's J usually takes the kids to the movies while I'm at work. They have a summer movie program for kids at the local theatre here. It's $2 admission and includes popcorn, so for $10 they can all see a family movie. After the movies they usually go to the park or to the indoor playground at the mall. This week they opted for the mall playground. Well....just as I was warming up my lunch, J calls. "Can you come outside for a minute?" uh, oh. I knew something was wrong. B was running in the mall and ran smack into the corner of a glass display case. Split his head open. J took his shirt off and put it on B's head to stop the bleeding. (I can only imagine what a sight he was walking through the mall) Then he brought him to me at work to see if he needed stitches. It wasn't a huge gash, but still deep. They were able to glue it shut instead of stitches (less traumatic). Still, he'll have his first scar. I have to say, he is such a great little boy! He didn't cry one time while the nurse cleaned up the cut or when the doctor glued it. Everyone kept commenting on how good he was. I actually think the whole thing was more traumatic for J. He was upset for a couple of days about it and very protective over B.
On Friday, we decided to take the drive to Chicago. The girls have been saving their allowance for MONTHS to buy an American Girl doll. When we found out that there was an American Girl store in Chicago (one of only 3 in the country) we had to make the trip. What a memory. G picked a "just like me" doll, so her doll has brown hair and green eyes like her. Her name is Abigail. S picked a toddler baby and held tight to the box until we bought it. Her name is Bella. The girls both came up with the names all on their own. The dolls are a bit pricey, but like I said, they saved their allowance. We figured this year would be an American Girl Christmas so they could have some clothes and accessories.
We also went to the Navy Pier in Chicago. I had read that it's a must see. I didn't really see the attraction. It was nice, but unless you plan on taking one of the boat tours, or spending ridiculous amounts on silly carnival rides, there's not much there. We plan on going back and spending a day at the museum and aquarium. I'm told they are free, but I'll have to check into that. I would also LOVE to see the Frank Lloyd Wright museum, but I don't know that anyone else would get much out of that.
On Sunday, G and I went to see Mama Mia. She just loves musicals and it was really cute. A couple of parts were a little grown up for her but no more than, say, Grease. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I am a big Meryl Streep fan and seeing her in a role like this was hilarious! Pierce Brosnan singing was a bit awkward though. Odd choice if you ask me.
I. is only here for a couple more weeks and we are trying to make the most of it. One thing he really wants to do is go to the water park at Wisconsin Dells so we have set aside some funds for that. One of his favorite things to do is go to Bay Beach. It's a small amusement park. There are only about a dozen or so rides, but the rides are 25 cents! They also have 2 huge parks. We pack a pic-nic, and for $20 we can spend the whole day riding rides and playing in the park. Not bad for a family of 6!!
Well, that's about it for now!

Love to all of you!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

End of VBS

Hello to all!
Well, it's been a busy week. G and S finished vacation bible school on Friday and had a performance that night. G did an entire song in sign language that was just beautiful. She also did a couple of cheers. It was neat to watch her with her friends. She is such a social butterfly! S sang and danced to two songs. Very Cute! I video taped all three performances and if I ever figure out how to get it onto the computer, I'll send it out to ya'll.

The boys went to see the new batman movie and talked about it all night. Guess that means it was good! I. is still practicing his guitar and improves every day. He's counting the days until he goes home to FL, I think he really misses his friends. He already has homework that has to be turned in the first week of school. Two reading assignments and book reports. Fortunately, one of the books on the list was "The Outsiders" and I talked him into that one. I loved that book when I was his age and I think he is enjoying it more than he thought he would.

B is becoming such a ham. His new "thing" he likes to do is have someone shoot him with a laser and then he falls over and does a death scene that rivals Paul Reuben's in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

The weather here has been pretty warm this week (mid 80's all week) but there is always a cool breeze and it's nice at night. The apt we're in only has a window a/c which is kinda odd. Apparently, a lot of places don't even HAVE a/c. Weird.

Well, that's it for now.
love to all!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hi to all our friends and family and anyone just visiting. Welcome to our first blog! My hope is to cronicle our travels from this point on and be able to log on more frequently with updates.
My first priority, of course, is to protect my family. So, while I will tell you what state we are in, I will not be mentioning the exact city. Also, the kids will all be refered to by their first initial. If I slip up and break my own rule, I'm counting on everyone to help me and point it out.
We have been on the road for almost a year now (can you believe it?) and it has been more exciting than we could have imagined! We are currently in WI and it looks like we will be here through Thanksgiving. We have never really experienced an Autumn and we are looking forward to the season. I am working for a Pediatric Cardiologist in an outpatient clinic. I really like the job and the Agency (Aureus) has been wonderful! I work four 10's which is new for me. I didn't think I would like it (10 hrs is a long day) but it's not as bad as I thought and I am quickly getting used to the three day weekends!!!
G and S started vacation bible school yesterday. They go from 9am till noon. S is such a hoot! Just listening to her describe her day is so funny. She is so animated it's hard not to laugh when she's talking to you! Aparently, she cried at first when she realised that her and G wouldn't be in the same class and it took "like, a hundred big ladies" to calm her down. I think she's ok with the idea now.
G has sign language (something she has always been facinated with), tie dye art and cheerleading. She doesn't like cheerleading though because "you're not allowed to do cartwheels, not even one!"
I. is taking guitar lessons on Wednesdays. He is really progressing. If you want to hear him play, I know he's been posting some of his songs on his myspace.
Well, I guess this is long enough for now. I will try and post pics but bare with me as I am new to all of this!

Love to all!!!!