"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are you going to vote on Tuesday?

Amanda Jones already voted. Amanda Jones is the 109 yr old daughter of a slave. Mrs. Jones has been voting since the day it became legal for her to vote.

She voted when she had to pay *poll taxes. How many of you would pay for the right and privilege and honor of voting?

She voted during the many years where people with her skin color wouldn't have been allowed to share a lunch counter or a water fountain with people who have my skin color. How many of you would have cared so passionately about a country who seemed to care so little about you?

She voted this year when she was too weak to travel to the polls. She cared so much that she had 2 of her children help her fill out a mail in ballot. How many of you have missed a vote because you were too sick or too busy to go?

Its people like Amanda Jones who have made this country great. She cares and she exercises the RIGHT and the PRIVILEGE of voting. I have voted in every national election since I was old enough to vote. I am ashamed to admit there are a few local elections I have missed voting in. I'm going to do my best to never miss another election. I want to be like Amanda Jones when I grow up.

I don't care who you vote for...I just want you all to get off your butts and VOTE!

*Poll taxes were meant to keep black and poor people from voting.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

No worries, I do know that tomorrow is Halloween. And, I really haven't started decorating yet. I'm just excited because I've finished stitching my ornament for the Cross Stitch Crazy ornament exchange. I finished the stitching. I made the cording for the hanger. I even have 3/4 of the edges stitched together. All I have left to do is stuff the ornie and pop it in the mail. Do you think the recipient will like it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Gabe, Gabriel, Gabeycakes, BRIEL
I don't know if I ever told you about what Gabe calls himself. Gabe refers to himself as Briel. He is perfectly capable of saying Gabe or Gabriel. He just chooses not too. He does know that Gabe and Gabriel are both versions of his name. He responds to both of them. However, when he is talking about himself he always calls himself Briel. Gabe came up with this nickname completely on his own. Hehehehe, given that Gabe is our wild child and is always into something, Vic has deemed this Gabe's demon name (say it in the typical cinematic demonic voice and it sounds like a demon name). The biggest benefit to this nickname is that no other child will have the same nickname...LOL.

Our next baby (hopefully)
No, I'm not pregnant yet. This is just a funny story tied to this future conception and Gabe's demon name. Vic and I have a running joke and we refer to our three boys as 3 of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Given that we joke about this and we refer to Briel as Gabe's demon name, I told Vic that we would be able to know the sex of a future child from the moment of conception. He, of course, looked at me as if I were demented. I said that if we conceive a girl, all will remain as it should be. If we conceive a boy, a hell mouth will start forming on our front lawn.

I have gotten off easy this year. Joey originally wanted me to alter a dinosaur costume into a Godzilla costume. Yesterday, he decided to go as a cub scout instead. That's really easy since he is one and has a full uniform. Marty says he is going to be a vampire but he isn't sure he wants to wear any of the makeup. Gabe will probably go as Diego...if he doesn't agree to that (and he might not), I'll stick a pair of horns on his head and a tail on his butt and tell everyone he is the demon Briel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A little of this, a little of that

Do you follow recipes when you cook or do you have the freedom in the kitchen to just create? I started experimenting in the kitchen very early on. I remember baking chocolate chip cookies (with only a little assistance from my mom because of my age) in 2nd or 3rd grade and deciding we needed to create our own recipe. I followed the general recipe but added a little of this and took away a little of that. While they weren't the best cookies ever created, they did turn out pretty good. This success has grown into a willingness to experiment and try many new things.

I make awesome soup...pork and bean, turkey soup, chicken noodle, beef stew/soup....but I rarely follow a recipe. I guess I must do a pretty good job with other things too because Marty said, "I can't believe you don't follow recipes mom. This is GOOD."

Even though I like creating, I also love getting a hold of a tried and true recipe to add to my repertoire. I'm teaching Marty to cook and we need good recipes to start out with. I think I want to make some vegetable beef soup soon. Anyone have a good recipe for this (or anything else) that you would like to share?

I hate my Junk Email filter! *updated*

Well, not really and not all the time, but, I do hate it right now! I went to empty my junk mail folder and I found an email that said I had won a salsa giveaway. I really, really wanted this salsa. The incomparable Steph makes Chupacabra Salsa and, even if I didn't love salsa, the cool name would make me want it. This chick really has her shit together. She's a wife, mom, blogger, mortuary student (hence, her blog name), entrepreneur, and a triathlete. She also makes her salsa to your spiciness specification.

Oh well, even if it's too late for the giveaway, I got a kick out of winning.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Does your age bother you?

I am 38 and I will be 39 in December. Yeah, I said it. I admitted my age in public. Sometimes I wonder how I got to be old enough to have a child who is almost 12. Sometimes I wonder how I got to be old enough to be the one in charge. There are days it feels really weird to realize I am now as old as my mom was when we moved to North Carolina in 1983.

That said, I am never bothered by my age. I proudly own each and everyone of my years. Would I ever want to go back to my teenage years...HELL NO. And, I wouldn't really want to go back to my 20s because most of them were before my boys were born. There are day when the fact that I'm rapidly pushing 40 is slammed home...days when I'm watching Duke basketball and instead of thinking how not the players are, I think how good looking they'll be when they grow up or days when I'm reading a blog from ICLW (*Life in the White House) and I realize the IF blogger graduated from high school the same year my middle son was born (2000).

Do you ever wish you were younger or older than you are? Would you ever want to revisit your teens? Or are you happy with your age and who you are?

To celebrate the year I graduated from high school, I'm going to show you the music that was popular the year I graduated...


I'm not going to tag anyone. However, if you do decide to do this, please let me know. There are very few songs I truly dislike. Most of the ones that aren't bold, I just don't remember clearly enough to say if I like it or not.

The Rules:
A.) Go to Music Outfitters.
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year (the top link).
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you REALLY hate.

1. Walk Like An Egyptian, Bangles
2. Alone, Heart
3. Shake You Down, Gregory Abbott
4. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), Whitney Houston
5. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, Starship
6. C'est La Vie, Robbie Nevil
7. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake
8. The Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby and the Range
9. Shakedown, Bob Seger
10. Livin' On A Prayer, Bon Jovi (I love this one)
11. La Bamba, Los Lobos
12. Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Wang Chung
13. Don't Dream It's Over, Crowded House
14. Always, Atlantic Starr
15. With Or Without You, U2
16. Looking For A New Love, Jody Watley
17. Head To Toe, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
18. I Think We're Alone Now, Tiffany
19. Mony Mony, Billy Idol
20. At This Moment, Billy Vera and The Beaters
21. Lady In Red, Chris De Burgh
22. Didn't We Almost Have It All, Whitney Houston
23. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2
24. I Want Your Sex, George Michael
25. Notorious, Duran Duran
26. Only In My Dreams, Debbie Gibson
27. (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
28. The Next Time I Fall, Peter Cetera and Amy Grant
29. Lean On Me, Club Nouveau
30. Open Your Heart, Madonna
31. Lost In Emotion, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
32. (I Just) Died In Your Arms, Cutting Crew
33. Heart And Soul, T'pau
34. You Keep Me Hangin' On, Kim Wilde
35. Keep Your Hands To Yourself, Georgia Satellites
36. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), Aretha Franklin and George Michael
37. Control, Janet Jackson
38. Somewhere Out There, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
39. U Got The Look, Prince
40. Land Of Confusion, Genesis
41. Jacob's Ladder, Huey Lewis and The News
42. Who's That Girl, Madonna
43. You Got It All, Jets
44. Touch Me (I Want Your Body), Samantha Fox
45. I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
46. Causing A Commotion, Madonna
47. In Too Deep, Genesis
48. Let's Wait Awhile, Janet Jackson
49. Hip To Be Square, Huey Lewis and the News
50. Will You Still Love Me?, Chicago
51. Little Lies, Fleetwood Mac
52. Luka, Suzanne Vega
53. I Heard A Rumour, Bananarama
54. Don't Mean Nothing, Richard Marx
55. Songbird, Kenny G
56. Carrie, Europe
57. Don't Disturb This Groove, System
58. La Isla Bonita, Madonna
59. Bad, Michael Jackson
60. Sign 'O' The Times, Prince
61. Change Of Heart, Cyndi Lauper
62. Come Go With Me, Expose
63. Can't We Try, Dan Hill
64. To Be A Lover, Billy Idol
65. Mandolin Rain, Bruce Hornsby and the Range
66. Breakout, Swing Out Sister
67. Stand By Me, Ben E. King
68. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, Genesis
69. Someday, Glass Tiger
70. When Smokey Sings, ABC
71. Casanova, Levert
72. Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
73. Rock Steady, Whispers
74. Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi
75. Big Time, Peter Gabriel
76. The Finer Things, Steve Winwood
77. Let Me Be The One, Expose
78. Is This Love, Survivor
79. Diamonds, Herb Alpert
80. Point Of No Return, Expose
81. Big Love, Fleetwood Mac
82. Midnight Blue, Lou Gramm
83. Something So Strong, Crowded House
84. Heat Of The Night, Bryan Adams
85. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You, Glenn Medeiros
86. Brilliant Disguise, Bruce Springsteen
87. Just To See Her, Smokey Robinson
88. Who Will You Run Too, Heart
89. Respect Yourself, Bruce Willis
90. Cross My Broken Heart, Jets
91. Victory, Kool and The Gang
92. Don't Get Me Wrong, Pretenders
93. Doing It All For My Baby, Huey Lewis and The News
94. Right On Track, Breakfast Club
95. Ballerina Girl, Lionel Richie
96. Meet Me Half Way, Kenny Loggins
97. I've Been In Love Before, Cutting Crew
98. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right To Party, Beastie Boys
99. Funkytown, Pseudo Echo
100. Love You Down, Ready For The World

*Despite the fact that Jess is just a baby (teasing), she has a most fabulous blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I have just discovered the coolest sewing blog...

I was taking care of my daily IComLeavWe duties (trying for Iron Commenter again) and I stopped by Our Way To Happily Ever After. She had a post up about this fabulous sewing blog, Grosgrain. Grosgrain is operated by the uber-talented Kathleen. Not only is Kathleen uber-talented, she is super generous too. Kathleen runs giveaways all the time and to celebrate the upcoming opening of her online store, Kathleen is giving away 3 gorgeous reversible skirts and 3 gorgeous reversible tops. That's a total of 12 possible outfits...WOW. Here is one skirt and shirt...both sides of each...

Check out the link below to see all the fabulousness...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So, my day started weirdly enough. Gabe actually let me sleep until 8:45. I got up and Vic stayed in bed (he has to work until 4 am). By 9:30 am, Gabe was in demanding 2 yr old mode and Joey had been doing nothing except whine, argue, and be a general PITA. You know its shaping up to be one hell of a day when you have had to threaten a kid with being sent to their room and an early bedtime before you even reach 10 am. UGH My next fun moment was when Gabe went into a total screaming meltdown about having his overalls taken off. By the time Vic got up at noon, I had had enough! I looked at Vic and said "I'm going out. I don't know where I'm going. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know when I'll be back. BYE!"

I decided I was actually going to do it. I was going to donate my hair. So, I headed to the hair dresser. I think my friend Bean still has me beat for length of hair donated (she hit 22 inches) but I donated a bunch...20 plus inches! Here's the end result...

After I was done there, I still hadn't been away form home long enough so I went over and hung out with my mother-in-law for quite a while. 3 hrs away from my kids, a bit of peace and quiet, and a new hair cut did wonders for my mental state.

So whose next? Who is going to join Mel and I in our Locks of Love donations?

To see what everyone else is showing off this week, take a trip to visit the Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I need help from all you brilliant bloggers...

I have a commenting problem that is totally baffling me. I don't know if everyone realizes it but blogger has a new version of the comment section that looks like this...

In the section where it has my name, the typical option says select profile and then lists all the different ways you can sign in once you click on it. Either my computer doesn't like it, it doesn't like me, or something equally funky is going on. When you click on post comment, a little word verification window opens up. Once you have completed that, your comment goes up.

When I open a blog that has this comment form in Mozilla(aka Firefox), I can't comment because this is what the word verification looks like...

See...no word to enter...hence, the inability to comment.

If I open a blog using this comment form in IE (which I don't like to do because IE is so much more vulnerable to attack), I can comment because this is what the word verification form looks like...

See the difference?

To make things even more interesting, I went to Stirrup Queens and The Stitching Teacher yeserday and when I went to comment they both had the new comment form. This was before I figured out the IE trick. I typed in a comment and for whatever reason unknown to me, I decided to hit preview instead of posting directly. This switched their comment form back to the original style of comment form...

which I have no trouble with at all. So, I figured I would try it on Silver's blog. Afterall, if hitting preview caused the comment form to revert on those other two blogs, shouldn't it work there too? NOPE...it didn't change anything on her comment form (it was after this that I in desperation tried her blog in IE and I could comment).

Does anyone have any idea what in the hell is going on? I am so confused (And usually I can figure out computers).

BTW...the comment forms on both Stirrup Queens and Stitching Teacher have remained in the original form since then and have not reverted back to the new form.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


November 11, 2002

February 12, 2003

April 15, 2003

November 24, 2003

June 17, 2004

January 13, 2005

What do these dates share in common? *These dates represent our journey through infertility. Each of these dates represent a day my heart broke into a million pieces...a day we lost one of our precious babies. These dates represent growth and opportunity. These dates represent a blessing.

I'm sure any of you who have been through infertility or are currently fighting your way through it can understand how these dates represent heartbreak. I am equally sure their are many of you who are wondering how in the hell a miscarriage can be a blessing. Give me a few moments and I'll explain it to you.

After one of my losses (4/15/03), two of the most wonderful women I know, Christa and Pam, dropped everything in their life, packed up their cars and their kids (2 each), and traveled many hours to take care of me. We spent a wonderful week laughing , crying, and loving. Pam even brought her massage table and treated us each to a massage. Without those losses, I would still have those friends but I might never have known the depth of their love for me (and mine for them) or just how important they both are to me.

After each BFP, my sister by choice, Jennifer, celebrated with me and, after each loss, she held me while I cried. She is my sister and friend, now and forever.

Every one of those losses showed me the strength of my marriage and demonstrated what a wonderful man I am married to. It would be all to easy to let the grief consume you but, instead of it consuming either one of us, it gave us the opportunity to be the pillar of strength when the other needed it most. I love you sweetie and, although the road sucked, I couldn't have traveled it with a better person.

After each of those losses, I appreciated every moment of every day with Marty and Joey a bit more. That doesn't mean there weren't moments when they drove me insane. I wouldn't be human if that didn't happen but it made the laughs and the games that much sweeter.

Without each of those losses, I wouldn't have Gabriel. I love that little boy with all my heart. He is smart, funny, and cute as a button. He drives me insane and makes me laugh everyday. Without those losses I wouldn't have had that little boy snuggling in my lap this morning. I wouldn't have the joy of singing with him or watching him play with his brothers. I am so blessed because I can't imagine life without him.

Without those losses I wouldn't have had the opportunity to connect with the **many wonderful women in the Infertility Blogosphere...women like Cara who turned the loss of her beloved Emma Grace into a an effort to help others through devastating losses...women like Monnie who has been through so very much in her life and she has overcome it all to have a truly fabulous life. I've learned so much from her...women like Cecily who kicks ass (in a very positice way), she smart, funny, and just plain fabulous...women like Bean who ROCKS, we don't get to talk as often as I'd like but she's been my friend for about 7 years and I love her...women like Mel aka Lollipop Goldstein who from this moment forward has been awarded the title of Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere. Mel does so much for the people in the infertility blogosphere. She organizes charities to help pay for treatment, maintains a searchable blog roll, organizes IComLeavWe, and still finds time to be a wife, mother, and entertainer (her blog definitely entertains me).

So, yes, infertility has been heartbreaking but it has also been one of the biggest blessings of my life. Thank you for traveling this road with me.

* Those are the dates of only 6 of our losses. The other two were long before I got sucked into the world of infertility.

** These are only a small number of the fabulous women I've met. I tried to select a cross section of the women I know. Please, please don't be hurt if you aren't listed here. This post would go on for pages and pages if I listed all the women and all the blogs I love.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tag...you're it...

A.M.S. of Our Own Creation was kind enough to tag me for this award. I discovered her blog through Mel's Show And Tell (or it might have been IComLeavWe) and I am all kinds of impressed with her personal strength and her quilting (yeah I know they aren't related but they both impress me).

Now, the way this works, is I answer the following questions with single word responses (I'm breaking this rule...can't deal with only one word), and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers:

1. Where is your cell phone? nowhere (don't have one)
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? red from a bottle
4. Your mother? friend and role model
5. Your father? protector
6. Your favorite thing? children's laughter
7. Your dream last night? vivid
8. Your dream/goal? having my own cross stitch design company
9. The room you’re in? livingroom
10. Your hobby? cross stitching, crocheting, quilting, and reading
11. Your fear? losing my family
12. Where do you want to be in six years? financially secure and running my cross stitch design company
13. Where were you last night? Tae Kwon Do studio
14. What you’re not? tidy
15. One of your wish list items? laptop computer
16. Where you grew up? Taiwan, New Jersey, Germany, Florida, and North Carolina
17. The last thing you did? stitched
18. What are you wearing? pants and a sweater
19. Your T.V.? Heroes, CSI, Fringe, Stargate
20. Your pet? 2 dogs and 2 cats
21. Your computer? decent
22. Your mood? happy
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? Plymouth Grand Voyager
25. Something you’re not wearing? socks (par for the course)
26. Favorite store? dunno
27. Your Summer? very busy
28. Love someone? with all my heart
29. Your favorite color? purple and green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? a week ago

Now, I’m tagging:

Christa of Confessions of a Clutter Queen
Cara of Building Heavenly Bridges and The Bear and The Comedian
Bean of Coyote Craft
Dora of ISO The Golden Egg
MiPa from Miraim Pauline's Monologue
Meari of Meari's Musings
Pam of Pam's Ponderings

Monday, October 20, 2008

Should it stay or should it go?...edited to add pics

I am contemplating a big change in my appearance. I have been thinking about donating my hair to Locks of Love. I've been thinking about it for a really long time and seeing Mel's posts about donating her hair brought it to the forefront again.

I have a LOT of hair. Not only is it really long (when its wet I can sit on the longest pieces) but it is really thick. I suspect they could probably make 2 wigs from my donated hair. But, I'm kind of chicken. I know I like my hair better long. I went shorter (just below shoulder length) after Joey was born and, although it looked good, I promptly started growing it back out. On the plus side, it doesn't take it that long to grow out again. A couple of years at most and it would be just as long as it is today. In the final pic, you can see my hand at the bottom, my hair extended out of the bottom of my hand when stretched (which they do before they measure if for Locks of Love).

So, what do you think? *Should it stay or should it go?

*Sorry, I couldn't resist mangling the lyrics that The Clash wrote.

I apologize for the grainy pics...had to turn off the flash so it wouldn't hit the mirror. I was wearing my hair up the whole day (first two pics) so when it was let down it was longer than its normal dry length (but not as long as its wet length). My hair is as curly as the bangs are in the first pic so I lose a lot of length to curl.

**edited to add...The only reason my hair looks somewhat straight in those pics is that it was twisted up in the back all day. If I put leave in conditioner in it and wore it down it would look like a spiral perm no matter what the length.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: Joey's Belt Test

Joey has been taking Tae Kwon Do since he was about 4 yrs old. Unlike his big brother who has decided TKD isn't for him anymore, Joey loves it. Yesterday, he tested for his brown belt. At his studio, K.S. Lee's Best Martial Arts, a brown belt is only two belts below deputy black belt. Joey did a great job and he actually broke his board into 3 pieces when he kicked it. On Monday night, he will be awarded his brown belt.

If you want to see what everyone else in the class is showing, go visit Miss Lollipop and check out the Show and Tell post.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Penguin Wall Hanging is DONE!!!

It is so big I can barely stretch my arms wide enough to hold it. I had to use both a broom stick and a mop stick to be able to hang it for the picture. You can click on the pic to see it enlarged.

I am thrilled with how it turned out. I hope Kristina and her son like it as much as I do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No one with a uterus should vote for McCain...

In my last political post, I said I was deeply disturbed by McCain's stance on women's reproductive rights. Now, I'm going to say, if you are a woman of reproductive age or if you love a woman of reproductive age, you are playing with her life and health if you vote for McCain. McCain totally dismissed the fact that pregnancy ever threatens a woman's life.

I personally know 2 women who would have DIED if they had remained pregnant. One of these women is the godmother of my middle son. I grieved with these women when they lost their babies but I would have hurt far more if we had lost either of them. Cecily of "Uppercase Woman" has been mourning the loss of her boys but her husband would have lost her and we wouldn't have her wit and wisdom if she had been forced to try and carry her boys even one day longer.

To once again quote the brilliant Julie of "a little pregnant", "Not only is John McCain saying we shouldn't have the right to terminate a pregnancy in the event that our lives are at stake, he's telling us he's skeptical that that happens at all.

We know better.

*Look, I wasn't going to vote for him anyway. That's true for more reasons than I can list. But this is why I think no one should — no one of childbearing capacity. No women. In fact, no one who cares about women. No one who cares about even just one specific woman. In fact! In fact, no one with a brain. Because even if you're implacably, unconditionally opposed to abortion, a matter on which reasonable people disagree, I don't see any way a thinking person can look at those air quotes and see anything but pandering, contempt, and a dangerous willful ignorance."

Hell, I wish we could completely ban late term abortion but I value the lives of the adult women involved more than I value their unborn babies. I am pro-choice but I am not pro-abortion. I will never presume to claim I know whats best for someone medically and that includes whether or not they should continue to carry a baby. I believe each and every woman should be able to decide what to do with their own body. With this one ignorant statement, John McCain has alienated many people who feel the way I do.

Support the women you love and vote for Obama this year.

*Before the candidates were selected, I was leaning towards the Republicans. Afterwards, I was torn but quickly talked myself out of voting for McCain.

**See Cecily's post on this topic too**

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Wave of Light...

Light a candle at 7 pm and please join in. We are all in this together. Whether your loss was early in pregnancy or you lost a newborn, we all grieve for our lost babies. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today and always.

Its confirmed...

I am a nerd!
The simple fact that I am so amused by these test and the results really say it all.

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Modern, Cool Nerd

91 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 26% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgeable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test at HelloQuizzy

Penguins and penguins and more penguins...

I AM FINALLY DONE!!! Kristina, I really do have to apologize for how long this took. The stitching is all done and by the end of today it will be a completed wall hanging (a frakking HUGE wall hanging). This is a round robin Kristina started ages ago (please don't make me admit how long ago it was) and I volunteered to help finish stitching the penguins once the round robin was over. Out of 18 penguins, I stitched 3 penguins and the ground under 4 of them. With the fabric prepared to be stitched into a wall hanging, it measures 8 inches high and about 58 inches wide. If you want to see close ups of the penguins, click on the pictures.

And, the wall hanging fabric...

I hope you like it Kristina!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Brother-In-Law is in the hospital...

Yesterday was not a fun day. It started out with Vic at home sick. While he was highly irritated by having to be home, that turned out to be good. Around lunch time, we got a call from one of Vic's other brothers saying their brother Jose had been taken to the hospital. Since Vic was sick and didn't want to expose his brother to it, I left Gabe with him and spent the rest of the day at the hospital with Jose and my MIL. Jose had been having a lot of trouble breathing yesterday morning and he felt weak. Luckily, my MIL pushed him to get checked. Jose was being the typical difficult male and was refusing to admit there was a real problem. So MIL called his regular doc who told him to get checked. Jose has muscular dystrophy and in the past few years the disease has caused him to lose a lot of his mobility. It has gotten noticeably worse in the past few months. Jose's doc was concerned he might have a pulmonary embolism (possibly caused by the increased inactivity the disease has caused).

His ekg strip looked good with the exception of him having a rapid heart rate. His blood O2 level sucked with any exertion or without oxygen on. However, his bloodwork showed borderline elevated levels of cardiac enzymes. The cardiac enzymes were not high enough to indicate an ongoing MI (or heart attack) but they were high enough to indicate the heart wasn't pumping the way it should which was causing the blood to not get oxygenated the way it should. If MIL hadn't pushed him to go in, it could have been bad.

The normal next step would be a cardiac stress test but his muscular dystrophy prevents that. They are going to progress directly to a catheterization in order to check for any blockages or abnormalities that could be causing this problem.

Can y'all offer a quick prayer for his health and for my MIL's emotional well being? In less than 2 months, my MIL has lost her husband and one of her brothers. Another one of her brothers had a serious health scare. She is justifiably worried and stressed about this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yes he can!

This has been an interesting election for me. I don't completely agree with either candidate but I think Obama has more of what this country needs. While McCain has dedicated his life to this country, first through his military service and then through his career as a senator, I think that very dedication has caused one of his biggest flaws. McCain is thoroughly entrenched in the politics of Washington. Some say that is the experience you need to be president. I say its his downfall. McCain has spent years playing peacemaker between the two sides instead of taking a firm stance on things and proving he will fight for what he believes in. McCain's years in Washington have caused him to "owe" too many people. I also am deeply disturbed by McCain's stance on women's rights (especially reproductive rights).

A president should lead. A president should inspire. I get that feeling from Obama. He has a charisma that few politicians ever have. Two other politicians had the same kind of pull on the hearts and minds of America...Kennedy and Reagan. "Wait a minute," you say. "How can one man be compared to to such different politicians." Both Kennedy and Reagan were extremely charismatic. Both of them inspired such strong support that people crossed political lines to vote for them. Both of them caused people to believe in America again. In these uncertain times, I think we need someone who inspires that kind of belief in our country. We need someone who causes us to be proud to be an American. I believe Barack Obama can do that for our country. That is one of the biggest reasons I will be voting for Obama this November. I do not agree with him on many political points (his stance on taxes and gun control for instance) but I do agree with him on other very important issues (womens rights).

People need to remember that no matter how much a presidential candidate promises, he can do NOTHING without the congress behind him. If Obama ends up with a mostly Republican congress, few of his promised policies will go through. If McCain ended up with a Democratic congress, the same would be true. So, in my mind, the most important thing to look at when chosing a president is looking at the type of person they are. Obama is honest. He admits to all the flaws and foibles of his youth. Obama is loyal...look at his relationship with Michelle. Obama is inspirational. He has people who never cared about politics passionately involved in this election. Obama makes people believe that, as Americans, we can do anything. Our country needs to believe right now.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: a weekend with family

Last weekend, I took the boys and went down to my mom and dad's house for the the weekend. Unfortunately, Vic had to work part of the weekend so he couldn't come. Saturday morning, Marty and Joey got up and went to watch my niece's soccer game. Grandpa took the boys because he is the coach of the team. While the older boys were with Grandpa, Gabe and I went and joined Grandma at the yard sale her church was holding. Gabe was thrilled with this expedition because he scored a Rescue Pack (just like Diego) and a stuffed anaconda.

After lunch, we all piled into vehicles and went to the county fair. Marty didn't last as long as everyone else. He got tired hobbling around on his crutches. However, he did have a wonderful time. The rest of us had a pretty damned good time too (even if I had to ride that frakking Jalopy Ride 9 times with Gabe).

We wrapped up the day with the most incredible meal at my sister's house...

The day was filled with love, laughter, and a hell of a lot of fun. I hope everyone has a day like this sometime soon.

Michelle, my mom, and me...my sister labeled us the Triad of Terror...all because our humor feeds off of the presence of each other.

Visit Miss Lollipop for more weekly Show And Tell Fun!

Happy Blogoversary to me!

Happy Blogoversary to me!
Happy Blogoversary to me!
Happy Blogoversary dear me!
Happy Blogoversary to me!

4 years ago today I tentatively stepped into the blogosphere as a writer, not just a reader. Little did I know that 4 yrs later I would still be blogging and I would have met so many awesome people.

Thanks for everything. I hope the next 4 yrs are just as incredible.

"Rocky Mountain huh?"

I know I don't talk a lot about politics on here but in my day to day life I follow it closely. There is something going on in Colorado with this upcoming election that I think we all need to know about. This post is lifted word for word (with her permission) from Julie of "a little pregnant" fame. I want to thank her for bringing this to my attention and for her permission to repost her writing about it here. Everything in bold type is a link in this post.

They're calling it the Personhood Initiative of 2008. Next month Coloradoans will vote on whether to amend their state Constitution "to include the pre-born from the moment of fertilization as having their 'personhood' clearly established."

This description comes from Colorado for Equal Rights, the force behind proposed amendment 48, "Equal Rights" in this case being as much of a creepy buzzwordy misnomer as "pre-born." The thrust of the measure, say its supporters, is "to define a person in Colorado as a human being from the moment of fertilization."

Kristi Burton is the 21-year-old sponsor behind amendment 48 and the co-founder of Colorado for Equal Rights. Instead of employing straightforward anti-choice rhetoric, she takes a stealthier tack. She insists that the goal of the amendment is simple: to establish a legal definition of when life begins. "The Personhood Amendment isn't an attack on women's health care," she writes; it's about "empowering the voter," and about "catching our laws up to our science," which has, according to Burton, resolved the question of when life truly begins. (It, uh, hasn't.)

She claims her organization has no greater aim than to settle that question, that the measure's goal is only to enable future debate about bigger issues. You know, bigger issues like abortion. And stem cell research. And almost certainly assisted reproduction. And most likely contraception. Possibly cancer treatment, too. And theoretically even a miscarrying woman's right to privacy — or, at the extreme, to lose a pregnancy without being jailed. (Remember Virginia?)

Just as the measure's possible consequences do, its opponents' concerns go beyond the matter of abortion. "If the amendment passes," two of 48's detractors point out, "Colorado's juvenile courts will have jurisdiction whenever doctors or family members disagree with a pregnant woman's medical decisions," citing cases where women were forced to undergo C-sections against their wishes.

As far as ART is concerned, if measures like amendment 48 don't lead to outlawing IVF outright, they will at the very least invite governmental intrusion on the intensely personal issues that every ART patient struggles with — how many embryos can be created during a cycle, for example. And what you must do with any you choose not to transfer. And what options are available to you when you discover that the embryo that has implanted has chromosomal or physical defects. (Hint: Damn few.) And exactly how gay you can be and still have the right to treatment. (Hint: Zero. Zero gay.)

Opponents of amendment 48 count among their number pro-choice activists, of course, but also physicians, legal scholars, victims of sexual assault, religious leaders, and the governor of Colorado, a pro-lifer who nevertheless charges that this measure goes too far, calling it "bad policy, bad medicine and bad law."

Let me reiterate: Even Colorado's highest elected official, a Catholic who ran for office on a pro-life platform, opposes 48.

The Denver Post calls the measure "legal mischief." Colorado's Lieutenant Governor says it makes her state's other "wacko ballot initiatives" "look tame," and calls it "an extreme agenda run amok." I call it scary as hell, and I don't even live in Colorado. This measure is part of a long-term national strategy that seeks to undermine and ultimately terminate our reproductive freedom — not only the right to end a pregnancy, but, for infertile people, the ability to build our families at all.

Amendment 48, and similar measures in other states, simply can't be allowed to pass. If you live in Colorado, please vote.

A grateful flap of the voting booth curtain to Audrey and How to Make a Family.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This sweet, innocent face...

almost lost his happy home last night. I love my animals. They are part of the family. But, I was truly ready to kill that cat. What did such a cute little guy do to earn my ire? Well, he decided to dig in my orchid plant. He dug down so far that he exposed the roots. He broke off the old stalks which I hadn't trimmed back because they still have pretty green leaves on them. Then, he decided to use the dirt he excavated as a litter box. And, before you ask or suggest it, his litter box was clean.

Once I caught Max, I beat his little ass. No, I didn't do permanent damage. I didn't even do temporary damage despite being strongly tempted to. I did however put his nose in the pot and wail his butt. He hasn't gone near the pot today. I am hopeful that he learned his lesson.

Oh yeah, I repotted the orchid and I think I've saved it. Max had better hope I saved it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

All Thumbs Review

I have just discovered the coolest review site. Its called All Thumbs Review and its run by Lori of Weebles Wobblog and Chicklet of Bloorb fame. They are two incredible ladies who have awesome taste in just about everything (is that enough shameless brown nosing?).

Seriously though, they review some really cool products...everything from salsa to soap. Not only do they review these great products but Chicklet also has a small primer about Etsy... how to navigate Etsy and how to set up your own Etsy store.

BTW ladies, that salsa you reviewed sounds delish and I think I may have to order some soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why does this remind me so much of my boys?

Random Thoughts (including a King Street Players mini episode)

Infertility related question...if you were on progesterone, was it suppositories, oral, or progesterone in oil injections? The OB's office I went to while pregnant with Gabe prescribed suppositories. My current OB's office prescribes the oral form. Do you happen to know if one is considered more effective than the other?

Marty got his cast off yesterday. Woohooo! I am so glad he has that off. He would have been impossible if they had decided to leave it on. Vic said Marty was such a boy at his appointment yesterday. Casts get nasty and funky inside no matter how careful you are to keep them clean and dry. After they cut Marty's cast off, he grabbed it and stuck his nose in it and smelled. Vic looked at Marty and said, "Dude, you have a good looking female doctor taking care of you and you're acting like that?" Marty just laughed.

Speaking of boy behavior...Since Marty hadn't been able to clean his foot with the cast on, he got in the bath with Gabe last night so he could soak. Gabe was playing with a little squirt toy and managed to touch his private area with it. Marty said, "Eeew, now you're going to have to sterilize it." I asked him why it was any different than them sharing the water that touched EVERY part of their bodies. He said, "We're boys so it doesn't matter. But, you are a girl and you are touching it. Hahahahahaha." Marty has had the talk and fully understands the idea of reproduction. He's said before, "I like babies. I just don't like thinking about how they get here." I looked at him and just said, "How do you think you got here?" OMG...you should have seen the look on his face. He shriek, "Eeeeewwwwww...MOM! GROSS. The image you put in my head...EEEEWWWWWW!"

King Street Players Mini Episode (featuring the return of Evil Mom)
I recently decided that since we had enough freezer space, I was not going to buy canned veggies anymore. I would either buy fresh or frozen. So, the other week, I made dinner. We had burger patties with rice and gravy and green beans. The green beans were delicious. Here's how this whole transition went down with Joey...
J: "They look weird."
EM: "Thats how green beans are suppose to look. They are frozen..."
J: "Eeewwww...I HATE frozen."
EM: "Joey, I cooked them."
J (sounding disgruntled): "Oh...ok."
EM: "Just eat please."
Joey takes a tiny nibble of a single green bean.
J: "GROSS...when I bit into it, it crunched and was too juicy."
EM: "Thats how green beans are suppose to taste. Just eat 10 of them."
J (whining): "But I haaaaate them."
EM: "You will eat a *'No Thank You' portion. That is enough so you get some vitamins and nutrients but not so much that its torture. You will eat 10."
Much whining and complaining commence. It degenrates into crying along with whining due to Joey's extremely tired state.
EM: "If you keep whining, you will eat 15 instead of 10. If you don't eat it now, that will be your bed time snack. If you don't eat it at bed time, you will have it for breakfast. What are you going to do?"
J (sulkily): I guess I'll eat it now."
EM: "Oh, by the way, since you can't control yourself and are whining and fussing, you will go to bed early."

Once I got past the frustration of the situation, I found it all extremely funny. Hmmm, I think we'll have green beans for dinner tonight.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Some recent stitchy finishes...

I designed all three of these pieces. The first two are squares for a baby quilt. My friend Vicki just had her 8th child and these are for her quilt...

and this piece is for a Halloween exchange...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: My Inspiration

This week I want to tell you the story of my parents marriage. I hope I grow up to be like them and I hope my marriage is at least as long as theirs has been.

Over 42 years ago, a young man and a young woman had a chance meeting over in Japan. The young woman was beautiful, blonde, and smart as a whip. The young man was smart, looked sharp in his uniform, and had a soft spot for strong women. The young woman had been bored in college so, when her father got order's from the Air Force to transfer to Japan, she decided to go with them. She enrolled in school, got hired to teach English to diplomats, and spent her spare time teaching lifeguarding classes to the military men on base. The young man was a navigator in the Air Force and his squadron made regular runs to Japan. One day, they had a longer layover than usual and he decided to stop by the pool on base. When he got to the pool, his attention was immediately drawn to this blonde woman who (in his words) was making fools of those airmen in the water. Yup, that was when my dad first saw my mom. 10 months later, they were married. During those 10 months, he was stationed in New Jersey and flew through Japan while she was living in Japan...so, they only saw each other a total of 14 whole or partial days. Next May, from the 22 through the 27, they will be celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary. Of course, my dad, being the wonderful smart ass that he is, tell people that they are celebrating their 126 anniversary. Since they were both American citizens and the wedding was in Japan, they got married in a Japanese legal ceremony and an American legal ceremony (both on May 22, 1967) and then had a church wedding on May 27th. He just multiples the 42 years that they wil have spent together by 3.

Life hasn't always been perfect. They've had some really tough times. But, they have always loved each other with every fiber of their being. They have really shown me the meaning of the wedding vows "for better or for worse". I couldn't have asked for a better example to try and live up to.

Here they are almost 42 years ago...

and here they are today...

To see more wonderful SHOW AND TELL, check in with Miss Lollipop.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What if...

You know that butterflies in the stomach feeling you get when you are nervous and excited and scared and happy all at once. Well, that sensation has hit. I just got a call from my new OB/GYN office and Dr. BB has received the report from my consultation at the Duke clinic. This means everything is in place for us to start trying again. I will get my prescription for progesterone from Dr. BB next week (he's out of the office today) and then its just a matter of waiting a little for my next cycle to start.

The happy and excited feelings are tempered by the worries and doubts any IFer gets when we contemplate growing our family. I know the treatment worked last time. Gabe is living proof of that. But what if...

what if we do everything the same, I get pregnant, and I still lose the baby...

what if my body decides to throw me another curve and find yet another way to complicate things...

what if I fall on the wrong side of the odds (something I seem to do really well) and develop the nasty complications that can go along with lovenox injections this time...

what if pre-eclampsia or PIH rear their heads again...

what if my age is a factor this time...

what if, what if, what if...

what if my body cooperates this time (miracles do happen)...

what if everything goes according to plan and we add a beautiful baby to our family next year...

If I give into the fears of what if, I will be safe but I will always wonder about what could have been.

If I follow the dreams of what if, I might fall flat on my face or I might end up with the family I've always dreamt of.

I chose to follow the dreams.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My youngest is ROTTEN and way, way too smart.

Gabe was jumping off the couch and landing on the handle of his toy lawn mower. I told him not to do it because I wouldn't buy him a new one if he broke it. Gabe just laughed and said, "Grandma buy me a new one." I guess he's figured who the pushover is...LOL.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It appears the tendency to injure ankles is a family trait

My mom was walking in the woods near her house and she slipped going down an embankment. This happened late afternoon on Monday. Her ankle buckled and twisted underneath her. I talked to her yesterday and she had finally gone to the doctor. Her ankle was swollen and quite sore. It was bad enough that she realized she wouldn't be able to stand on it all day Tuesday to teach. That's probably the only reason she agreed to go to the doctor (for any of you who have wondered where my stubborn streak comes from, this is it). Luckily, my dad is a registered substitute teacher so he was able to go in and cover all her classes yesterday while she was at the doctor. When she called me Tuesday, they still hadn't completely ruled out a break. I guess they were waiting for the xrays to be read or something. She said if they decided it was broken, she would get a red cast to match Marty's.

We are all suppose to be going to the county fair down near my mom's house this weekend. I hope she pays attention to her ankle and doesn't push past its endurance limit.