"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

Monday, November 30, 2009

All sides of a woman

Sometimes you will hear a song and it really speaks to you. It touches something inside of you. The funny thing is, you never really know what song it will be. One song I have always loved and always identified with is Bitch by Meredith Brooks...

I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change
tried to tell you but you look at me like maybe I'm an angel
innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see the softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
all rolled into one

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your health, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
and I'm going to extremes
tomorrow I will change
and today won't mean a thing


Just when you think you've got me figured out
the season's already changing
I think it's cool you do what you do
and don't try to save me


I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
when you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I've been numbed, I'm revived

What I love about this song (besides the catchy beat) is that it talks about women being complex individuals. We are not all good. We're not all bad. You can't tag us with a simple label and expect it to describe all aspects of us.

Infertility has the ability to rob us of many aspects of ourselves if we let it. Our desire for a child, whether it is a first child or a fourth, can become overwhelming and suffocating. Our schedules become all about shots and appointments and cycle days and temperatures and all the minutiae of infertility. When you are immersed in the murky depths of infertility, take a moment to surface. Take a breath and see the world around you. Rest assured, I know you often won't want to. I sure as hell didn't want to when we were experiencing loss after loss after loss. However, I had two other kids whose needs forced me to the surface and that was my salvation. Taking those moments can be a sanity saver, a life saver, and a relationship saver. I know that without my kids, my husband, and my dear friends I would have had trouble surfacing...trouble pulling myself out of the dark depths of infertility. Without all that support, it would have been far too easy to become one dimensional and allow myself to be defined by my infertility. If you find yourself in that place, I can say unequivocally that I will be there to help you pull yourself up and I can bet almost anyone else in this community would make the same offer. Take a moment to surface. Find your inner lover, your inner angel, or even your inner goddess. Find something that lets your mind escape from the depths of infertility and remember who you are. Throw off that label of INFERTILE and embrace the Bitch in yourself.
BTW, their are two fabulous giveaways that appeal to two vastly different sides of womanhood.

Momfiles.com is giving away a years worth of laundry detergent in concert with Tide. CLICK HERE to congratulate her on her 500th post and to enter to win a year's worth of detergent.

After you stop at that giveaway, go over to Sticky Feet Reviews and enter the giveaway for a lovely Emery Lin handbag from Foster Kade Designs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shout Out Sunday: Uppercase Woman

Shout Out Sunday is a fairly new meme started by Melissa over at Full Circle (and I found it thanks to Lori at Weebles Wobblog). The purpose of Shout Out Sunday is to
Choose a blog that has moved you. A daily must read. One you stalk. One that makes you laugh, cry or scream at the monitor. A new one you would like to give exposure to. Someone you would like to introduce to your readers and send a warm fuzzy while you're at it.
My Shout Out this week goes to Cecily over at Uppercase Woman. If you haven't read Cecily's blog, you don't know what you are missing. I've had the privilege of reading Cecily's blog almost from the beginning and I'm so glad I have. Cecily is smart, funny, and just a little bit (maybe a lot) snarky. Cecily is a hell of a mom and she is a true survivor of both infertility and substance abuse. Even when you don't agree with Cecily, she always makes you think. So go, read Cecily's blog, and maybe even add her to your reader. You won't be sorry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Requested Recipes

Over the past week or so, two people have requested recipes for goodies I have talked about. The two recipes requested were Pepperoni Bread and the recipe for Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie.

Pepperoni Bread courtesy of Rys at Confessions of a Clutter Queen
  1. Pizza Dough (you can either google a recipe or buy premade dough)
  2. 1 pack sliced, or 1 stick sliced or diced pepperoni (if you want to reduce grease, use turkey pepperoni)
  3. 4 or 5 hard boiled eggs
  4. 1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
  5. 1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  6. 1 egg
Grease a large cookie sheet with butter. Take half of the pizza dough and roll out to fit on cookie sheet (if you want the bottom to be crispy, sprinkle with grits or oats on the pan first). Chop hard boiled eggs. Layer pepperoni on bottom layer of dough. Next, layer chopped eggs, mozzarella, and cheddar on top of pepperoni. Roll out other half of dough for the top (think of it like making a giant Hot Pocket). Put top on. Press edges together, sealing the ingredients inside. Break remaining egg, whisk it, and brush it on top. This lets it brown nicely. Cut vents. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown.

I always make enough to have leftovers. This is even better the second day.

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie from Marsha Brooks winner of Emeril's '01 Apple Pie contest
  1. 1 pastry crust for a deep-dish pie 9-inch (homemade or store-bought)
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 3 tbsp flour
  4. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 6 cups thinly-sliced peeled apples (You may need more if your family sits by the bowl and sneaks the sliced applies when you are not looking); Marsha likes to use golden delicious and fuji apples.
  7. 1 recipe crumb topping (see below)
  8. 1/2 cup chopped pecans ( I omit the pecans)
  9. 1/4 cup caramel topping

Ingredients for crumb topping:

  1. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  4. 1/2 cup butter
Directions for Crumb Topping:
  1. Stir together brown sugar, flour and rolled oats.
  2. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until topping is like course crumbs. Set aside.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.
  3. Transfer apple mixture to the pie shell. (I remove the store-bought pie shell from the aluminum pie plate and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate of my own, but you do not have to.)
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture.
  5. Place pie on a cookie sheet so the drippings don't drop into your oven.
  6. Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes. Then remove foil and put back in for another 25 to 30 minutes without foil.
  8. Remove from oven. Sprinkle pie with chopped pecans then drizzle with caramel on top.
  9. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Finally, I have to point y'all to an incredible recipe over at The Pioneer Woman - Chocolate Truffles w/ Sea Salt I found the link over at Opi's Ramblings (God I love ICLW) and it looks incredible.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How I Spent Black Friday

I know many crazies people were out shopping and trying to score the deal of the century or at least the deal of the season today. Not me! Today, I was giving thanks that our kids have awesome friends with even awesomer (not a word, I know) parents.

When our house was build back in '73, the builders included a very cool looking wood burning stove. Sadly, even back in '73, the stove was not up to code and it DEFINITELY does not meet today's safety standards. It never, ever drew smoke up correctly and, frankly, was not safe to be used. Hell, even with the damper closed, there was a gap all the way around it letting the chimney act as a vent for the heat in the winter and the cool in the summer. Sorry, but I don't want to pay to heat or air condition the outdoors. The, to add insult to injury, it developed a serious leak during the last heavy rainstorm we had. The bitch had to go.
Dudley, the dad of our kids' friends, came over to help me remove the wood stove. It was a time consuming job but wasn't that difficult.

Yeah, that is me up there helping.

The kids used the pieces of the chimney we dropped to the ground to build a "cannon".

Gabe climbed the indoor ladder and tried to climb the outdoor ladder.
And, I now have this nice wide-open space...
With the hole patched, I'm no longer trying to heat the outdoors. Eventually, we would like to put a gas fireplace in this area. Until then, it will make a great location for our Christmas tree this year. And, the wood stove sans stovepipe will make a perfect outdoor fireplace. It will be fun to have a place to toast marshmallows. So, what did you do on black Friday?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Thanksgiving Dinner with the Cruz Family

Welcome to our weekly expedition into the land of Show and Tell. Y'all know Show and Tell is wasted on the elementary schoolers. Join us weekly to show off an item, tell a story, and get the attention of the class. In other words, this is Show and Tell 2.0.

I promised you earlier that I would show off my Thanksgiving feast. I want you to know that I cooked this almost completely by myself. My wonderful hubby was my sous chef on a few items and was my clean up man (a job he excelled at). I truly owe him for the wonderful clean up job he did. It was truly fabulous to come home to a clean kitchen. Instead of dinner for 7, it ended up being dinner for 11. Guess it's a good thing I cooked like I was feeding an army. As I said before, the menu included a scrumptious 20 lb turkey, a delicious 8 lb glazed ham, garlic herb mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, apple-walnut-sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, croissants, caramel apple crunch pie, pumpkin pie, and a cheese cake(the kids asked me to keep it at home). Everything (except the cheesecake) was made from scratch including the pie crusts and the cream soup for the green bean casserole.

turkey straight out of the oven

honey glazed ham sliced and ready to be served

homemade pumpkin pie

caramel crunch apple pie -
after you try this you won't want regular apple pie

The whole spread
starting in bottom left corner - pumpkin pie, ham, caramel apple pie
green bean casserole, gravy, apple-walnut-sausage stuffing
mashed sweet potatoes, turkey (covered in foil), garlic herb mashed potatoes
To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.
BTW, for anyone who was wondering about the song used in Pink Glove Dance, the song is Down by Jay Sean.

Happy Thanksgiving

We are off to my MIL's house with a trunkful of food. That's right, I cooked the entire meal and we are taking it over there. My BIL is disabled and it would be difficult for him to come here. I made a scrumptious 20 lb turkey, a delicious 8 lb glazed ham, garlic herb mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, apple-walnut-sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, croissants, caramel apple crunch pie, pumpkin pie, and a cheese cake. Everything (except the cheesecake) was made from scratch including the pie crusts and the cream soup for the green bean casserole. Pics will come later. That's my show and tell this week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I've Come To Realize...

Hey y'all,

My brain is totally fried with homeschooling, holiday prep, and having all 3 k ids at home today so I decided to take the easy way out and do a meme. I really liked this one I found over on Mrs. Gamgee's blog.

I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . . is one no human being should be burdened with.
I’ve come to realize that my job. . . is the very best one I could ever have.
I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . I need to pay attention to my lead foot.
I’ve come to realize that I need. . . a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs and very little else matters.
I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . my mind.
I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . when someone is a two-faced biotch. I would rather they be honest if they didn't like me.
I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . my southern accent becomes much more pronounced.
I’ve come to realize that money... is nice but there are many more important things.
I’ve come to realize that certain people. . . always think they are right and it just isn't worth fighting it.
I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . want to be the one taking care of others. I find it very hard to ;et other people take care of me.
I’ve come to realize that my sisters. . . are grown ups now. In my mind, they are still children. (I had to leave this in Mrs. Gamgee. I have this issue too.)
I’ve come to realize that my mom…is truly an amazing woman.
I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . is non-existent.
I’ve come to realize that when I wake up in the morning. . . I know I should have gone to bed earlier the night before.
I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . . I should have just taken Gabe to bed with me. It was a long night because he was coughing.
I’ve come to realize that my dad. . . did so much to teach my sisters and me that we could do whatever we wanted with our lives.
I’ve come to realize that today. . . shows how much I can truly get done when I put my mind to it.
I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . shows just what a great team my hubby and I are. We kicked ass in the kitchen!.
I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . I get to let my eeeevil side free for a bit and I will be the only one that knows.!
I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . go back to BlogHer next summer.
I’ve come to realize that life. . . goes by too quickly.
I’ve come to realize that my friends. . . are some of the most incredible people around.
I’ve come to realize that this year. . .marks the year when I can no longer deny my boys are growing up. That is hard to do when your oldest is 3 inches taller than you.
I’ve come to realize that my exes. . .weren't what I needed to be happy.
I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . . be more active and make a little more time for me.
I’ve come to realize that I love. . . dark chocolate.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . .why my feet get cold in the winter even if I spend a day in a heated house
I’ve come to realize my past. . . is something I need to accept. Without this past, I wouldn't be who I am today.
I’ve come to realize that parties. . . are a blast if you are with friends
I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . .that someday I will disappoint someone I love.
I’ve come to realize that my life. . . is truly blessed.

I'll put my show and tell up tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Through the Eyes of Google.

I was at a loss for a post today until I visited the brilliant Mrs. Gamgee's blog. She had two memes I really loved and I picked this one for today. If any of y'all use this idea, can you give me some link love?

Where I live - central North Carolina

Where I work

one of my hobbies - crochet
favorite drink - diet coke

favorite food - anything with chocolate and raspberry
first car - an early '80s clue Honda Civic
celebrity crush - John Barrowman
celebrity look-alike - no clue

childhood toy - Breyer horse models

random picture - the dragons of Pern
So, I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: Too Many To Count

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

This weekend was amazing. The whole family got together at my parents' house for an early Thanksgiving meal.
We had moments of pure goofiness and silliness...

moments of more sedate fun...

and uncles and nephews "practicing" their martial arts skills
Most of all, it was just time for us to be together as a family.

There was also one miraculous turn of events this weekend. Gabe is potty trained. He is doing everything in the potty. I expect we will have some slip ups but that is normal. I'm so proud of my little guy and so relieved he is out of diapers.
Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Weebles Wobblog.
Btw, check out my new Thanksgiving craft idea over at Examiner.com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This just makes me smile...

Welcome any ICLW'ers. BTW, for anyone who is new to my site, here are some links to help you get to know me better...
We are off to my parents' house for an early family Thanksgiving dinner. Since I won't be around to post or read today (I promise I will get caught up starting Monday), I thought I would leave you with something that made me smile.

BTW, thanks to Chris at Bitter Twin Momma for bringing this video to my attention.

BTW, if you want a quick and easy way to download youTube videos as either mp4s or high def mp4s, check out this site. It lets you download youTube videos with ease.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And the rain came falling down

15 years ago today, it was a dark, rainy day. We were having a rare November thunderstorm and it felt like the heavens had let loose. It was the type of day that makes you want to curl up with a good book. I wasn't curling up with a good book. In fact, I wasn't even getting to stay inside. I was putting my makeup on, getting dressed, and packing my suitcase. It was my wedding day. 15 years ago today, I married the love of my life in a small civil ceremony. In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is suppose to be a sign of good things to come. I definitely think this rain was an auspicious sign.

It's weird. It both seems like I've been married to him forever. It's hard to imagine life without Vic. But, it also seems like it was only yesterday. 15 years ago I had no clue where the road was going to take us. I had no clue how rough things would get. I did know that I didn't want to travel through this world without him at my side.

Vic is my heart and soul. He makes me complete. I truly believe he was the man meant for me. I'd willingly spend an eon or two on this earth as long as I have him by my side. I love you honey. Happy 15 years.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Prayers for a wonder women

If you are active in the blogosphere or on twitter, you may have noticed a flurry of posts or hashtags dealing with prayers for Anissa. Anissa is only 35 and mom. Anissa just had her 2nd and 3rd stroke and is in the ICU. I didn't know Anissa but many people I love and respect held her in the highest esteem. So, I'm putting a call out to all of you who read here. Add Anissa and her family to your prayer list or list of good thoughts or go out and do a naked rain dance for her...whatever you do to wish people well, please add them to that list. If you have a dollar or two to spare (and, yeah, I know money is Gawd awful tight), click on that button to the left and send a little monetary love to the Mayhew family.

You can keep up with the story of this amazing lady on her blog, Hope4Peyton. You can also read a beautiful post about Anissa over at 5MinutesForMom. Finally, if you would like to do something to help her family other than via paypal, check out the post over at AimingLow.

Anissa and her family are in my prayers and I hope and pray they are celebrating a miracle this Christmas.

Twilight or Why I Am A Heathen

I have a confession to make. I don't get all the fuss over Twilight and the sequels. Maybe I missed something when I read Twilight or maybe I didn't. I haven't got a clue. But, I honestly wasn't that impressed with the book. It's not that I disliked it. I just don't understand the rabid devotion to this set of books by adults. It honestly reminds me of a somewhat poorly written teen romance and my tastes just don't run in that direction. It is kind of weird because, while I was reading Twilight, I was thoroughly wrapped up in it. In retrospect, I wonder why. I guess that makes me a heathen.

But, in honor of all my friends who went to the midnight showing of New Moon, I want to give you a chance to make me a Twilight convert and win something in the process. All you have to do to enter is post here and explain to me why Twilight makes you all hot and bothered and which team you are on...Team Edward or Team Jacob. Whichever person has the most persuasive argument will win the following...
That's right, I currently have in my possession a complete set of Twilight Sweethearts in the collectible boxes.

So, persuade away. Lure me to the dark side and win these yummy Twilight treats!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giveaways Galore

Jen over at In One Ear has been having an average of a giveaway a week lately. Go check out her latest giveaway - a Jiffy Lube gift card. The contest is open until Friday. BTW, be sure to follow her because there are more cool giveaways coming up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: The Cake That Took Over The World

Every year, I let the kids pick what kind of cake they want for their birthday. Then, we have a loose theme based on that cake. This year Joey requested a pyramid cake for his party. I told him there was no way I would attempt the classic smooth sided Egyptian pyramid but I could manage a step pyramid. 7 boxes of Devil's Food cake mix, 21 eggs, 9 1/3 cups of water, 3 ½ cups of oil, and some of the best damned frosting EVAH combined to make this behemoth of a cake...

BTW, that is a mummy figurine on top.
Yeah, I could have made a smaller cake but the wonderful perfectly square pans I had access to resulted in a cake this big. Each layer was 2 ½ inches tall resulting in a cake 10 inches high.

Honestly, this cake wasn't that hard to make. I baked and assembled it Friday night and applied the deliciousness that was the frosting I made on Saturday. The key to getting a thin, smooth frosting cover is to apply it in two layers. When I assembled it, I covered each layer with a thin cover of store bought cream cheese frosting. This layer sealed in the crumbs and stuck the layers together. Once I did that, I refrigerated the cake over night. Chilling the cake helped set the frosting layer and made this huge, heavy cake a bit more stable.

Devil's food cake and cream cheese frosting is always delish but what really made this cake was the outer layer of frosting. I made the super easy cream cheese frosting featured in The Joy of Cooking. I found the recipe over at slashfood.com
Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

No softening the cream cheese (though you do have to plan ahead with the butter). No whipping to a certain point that occurs for all of ten seconds before it's ruined. The hardest part is not eating the frosting straight from the bowl by the spoonful.
Then, to give the frosting the right color and the sandy texture, we crushed 18 cinnamon graham crackers (2 sleeves) and mixed it directly into the frosting. It truly was good enough to eat by the spoonful.
To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.
BREAKING NEWS...Gabe used the potty!!!!

My Subconscious Playing Games

I had the most bizarre dream last night. There was at least two bloggers and a tv character involved. Apparently, I had BFF status with all of them.

I don't remember all of it. However, I know it started out with someone chasing me through an urban setting. It wasn't scary though. There were lots of sewer grates and it was dark and damp. Then, some how I was at a little playhouse, still in the same urban setting, watching a fabulous play. No, it wasn't a playhouse, it was a library that was undergoing a face lift and, for some reason, the play was being put on there. I remember looking at pictures of the cast and crew with other stars of the theater and famous people. Then, I remember talking to the director after the play and telling her that she would never guess who I was personal friends with...that I had recognized this long term friend in one of the pics they had on display. Of course, the director was interested enough in me to ask who I knew but she (the director) seemed stunned to realize that I knew the great *Nancy from The New Life of Nancy and The Other Life of Nancy.

Then, we had a scene fade to black moment and the dream picked up in a restaurant. I was sitting at a table with my friend Jennifer, Marc from Ugly Betty, and Dave from Rolling Around in My Head. This was a 4 star restaurant and, as we finished a truly sumptuous dinner, the hostess came up and told us how impressed she was with our spread and how incredible it was that Marc talked the chef into letting him cook...what a romantic gesture that was. As she is telling us this, she rolls her wheelchair up to the accompanying table and that table morphs into a machine that tilts and transforms to help the hostess stand up. The hostess continues to tell us that she is so impressed because only 1 out of 3 relationships is truly a romantic love match and this meal is obviously proof that **Marc truly loves Dave. I said that we must be the luckiest group around in the face of those statistics because 2 of the 3 couples represented at that table were in a true romantic love match. During our after dinner coffee and chit chat, I turned to this beautiful blonde at the next table and it turned out to be none other than Nancy. While I was talking to her and telling her how excited I was to see her, she just laughs and says something along the lines of "My life isn't nearly as glamorous as you think" and shows me this picture of a lovely house in a normal neighborhood. I recognized the house! My jaw dropped and I asked her how she could hide the fact that she lived just down the street from me. I wasn't upset, just surprised. Then, everything except our table and the people fade and we are suddenly surrounded by vacuum cleaners including miniature ones like Gabe has. The hostess is demonstrating the miraculous capabilities of all the vacuums and I'm excitedly remarking that now I finally know where to get Gabe a replacement vacuum.

Sadly, I don't know how it would have ended because my alarm wet off and woke me up.

So, anyone have a clue what it all means?

*Yes, I referred to Nancy by both her first and last name so I know it was her.
**I don't know why I paired the fictional character Marc with the very real Dave. Dave's partner is a wonderful man named Joe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am about to pull my frakkin hair out...

Gabe is going to drive me INSANE! He pushed the wrong button last night and I have simply had enough of the games he is playing with refusing to potty train. He can do it. I have seen him do it. He just
F L A T O U T R E F U S E S to do it. So, after he pushed me around the bend last night I told him no diapers today. He seemed rather non-plussed about it. I think he didn't believe I would really follow through. This morning when he got up, I took him straight to the bathroom, took his pants and diaper off, and put him on the potty. He screamed, he yelled, HE WAS PISSED. However, after an hour...yes, you read that right, an hour...he finally peed in the toilet. Of course, I made a huge fuss over how grown up he was being. Then, I told him that after he told me once that he had to go and did it, I would put his underwear and pants on. At lunch time, he still hadn't gone. Finally, just before it was time to pick Joey up from school, he let a teeny, tiny bit out into the toilet. He was thrilled to get his underwear and pants. I had hopes we were actually going to do this. Was I ever wrong! At just before 5 o'clock, Joey and Gabe came in from playing. Gabe was still dry. I asked him if he needed to go and he said no. Not 10 minutes later he came to me and said, "It ran down my leg." Not only had he peed in his underwear but he pooped in it too. So, off came the pants and underwear. He stayed dry all the way until bedtime but he didn't go in the toilet either. The kid has the will power and ability to stay dry as long as he wants. I think the only reason he went this morning is that he had stayed dry all night and simply couldn't hold it anymore. He is going to drive me insane.

He has the promise of a trip to Chucky Cheese with my baby sister when he is using the potty...that didn't work. We offered the potential of target practice in the toilet...that didn't work. I've tried bribery...no dice. I've even tried the shock and awe treatment of bare from the waist down and that didn't work. HELP!!!! I'm ready to call 1-800-GypsiesRUs

GRRRRRRR...he just peed in the corner in his room and brought me the clothes that got wet.

Today We Fight So They Don't Have To

I was one of the lucky preemie moms. My preemie was only 4 weeks early and he was big, strong, and healthy. Even still, it was almost 24 hours after his birth before I was able to hold him. Many preemie moms aren't nearly as lucky.

"Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick ― half a million of them in the United States."

20 million is way, way too big a number. Even 1 is too big of a number if that one baby is yours. Today, November 17th, the March of Dimes is asking us raise people's awareness of the health crisis our tiniest babies face. There are so many ways you can help.
  1. Go by the March of Dimes Fight for Preemies page and learn more about the challenges these babies face.
  2. Donate your used cellphones. You don't even have to make a mailing lablel. You can print one out directly from that page.
  3. Join the March of Dimes Advocacy List. It only takes a tiny amount of time and will help you make your voice heard in this important fight. Join me. All the cool kids are doing it.
  4. Volunteer with the March of Dimes. They need time and energy from volunteers as much as they need money.
  5. Create a virtual wrist band to honor a baby you know who was born too early.
  6. Cara has a Wall of Angels and Aunt Becky has a Wall of Remembrance. Submit any important names.
  7. If you are crafty, consider making preemie hats, blankets, or booties and conating them through Preemie Presents or your local NICU.
Help us fight today, tomorrow, and always so hopefully at some point these precious little ones won't have to.

BTW, check out the entire list of Fight for Preemie posts here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check out this hidden treasure

Cary has an amazing resource for all its crafty residents. Read all about it in my latest Examiner article and then find out if your community has something similar. Please let me know what you think.

I survived...

I survived the party and the rest of the weekend. And, believe it or not, my house survived in decent condition. Woohooo!

Counting Joey, we had 7 third grade boys at the party. My two nieces, Marty, and Gabe were also there. There were also 3 parents, 1 sibling, Joey's grandparents (my parents) and Aunt Jennifer (my sister by choice), and my hubby and me at the party for a grand total of 20 people. We have very casual, unstructured birthday parties around here. For the first little while, the boys all raided our costume/weapons stash and had a war game going in the back yard. Then, we held the mummy wrapping game my friend Rys suggested. They all had a blast...
I think maybe this team was the winning team because my niece Brianne was directing the wild hellions who were with her...go Girl Power!!!

After the game, Joey opened his presents and this lazer tag game was the hit gift of the party...
Joey also got Star Wars books, many lego sets, some Yu-Gi-Oh and pokemon cards, and a G.I. Joe Battleship game. He was thrilled with the generosity of everyone.

The cake was a huge hit (pics of the cake to come during Wednesday's Show & Tell) but the birthday crowd only demolished the top 1 ¾ layers.

My nieces spent Saturday night here and the kids (excluding Gabe) all stayed up to watch a movie. Today was Joey's real birthday. Since my MIL and another close family friend hadn't been able to come to the party we had a family dinner. Since my sis and her hubby didn't get here until after 5:30 pm to pick up my nieces, I fed all of them too. I made 3 cooking trays worth of pepperoni bread...yum yum...and I actually have leftovers. I was really hoping for that because pepperoni bread is even better on day 2. Can't wait for lunch tomorrow. As you can see, my lovely nieces decided to torment Marty with a little cousinly affection as they said good-bye.

Everyone seemed to have a great time this weekend. It was great to spend time with friends and family. I sent tons of cake home with all the Sunday dinner attendees (and still have 2/3 of the bottom layer left). Only 3 weeks until I have to do it all again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Happy Birthday my sweet boy. Almost exactly 9 years ago, you scared your dad and I to death by arriving early and on your own terms. I remember that little guy you were and can hardly believe the handsome, strong young man I look at is the same person. You've grown into such an amazing young man. You have one of the kindest hearts I know and I love the way you stick up for the underdog. You have an incredible imagination and I love the tools and weapons and gadgets you create and the way you inspire my own creativity. I am thrilled with the way you are blossoming academically this year. You are showing such a talent for mathematics and you seem to be developing a strong written voice. Your writing is flourishing. I am amazed and awed that your dad and I have been so blessed and lucky to be your parents. Happy Birthday Joey. I love you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Birthday party prep

Hey y'all, I'm busy wrapping up party preparations. I have to finish frosting the cake, wrapping the presents, and putting candy into baggies.

I'll try to get back and post later if I'm not to exhausted.


Friday, November 13, 2009

If You Want To Make God Laugh

If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans. I have heard this phrase in so many contexts and, the more I think about it, the more truth I see in this phrase.

Once upon a time, I had it all planned out. I originally planned on 3 children which then became a plan for 4 children. I had my first son when I was 27 years old. "Surely ," I thought, "with the fertility in my family, I should be able to pop out a kid every 2 to 3 years." Even with 4 kids and the maximum spacing, I would have been done by the time I was 36. By that point in time, my husband would be either a Battalion Chief or Deputy Chief with the fire department.

Instead, it took almost 4 years to have my second child and another 5 years beyond that to finally be blessed with our third child. And, my husband isn't even with the fire department anymore and, in addition to the knee injury that medically retired him from fire fighting, my hubby has to fight with diabetes every day. Don't get me wrong, my life is good. My children are healthy. I'm married to my soulmate and he has a good job. It's just that it has been a really rough ride to get to this point. Most of the time, I don't even have a lot of angst regarding infertility and all the losses we had to deal with. After all, if I hadn't gone through that, I wouldn't have Gabe.

Lately, I've found a little of that angst regarding my fertility and child bearing creeping back in. It's not present all the time. I don't obsess over my obstetrical track record. However, the frustration has started to rear its head again. Frankly, even with my track record, I expected to be pregnant again by now. First, our attempts to conceive a 4th got sidetracked by the roller coaster ride Vic's diabetes took us on. Now, even a year+ after removing my Mirena, my cycles aren't the lovely clockwork cycles I use to have. I've had a few lovely 28 day cycles but most of them have hovered around 26 days with a few as short as 24 days long. Is it age causing this? Is it a long term effect of the Mirena? Or, is it just my body fucking with me? Who knows which is the right answer. All I do know is it is frustrating as hell. Throw in ummm, errr diabetic issues (and, no, I won't say more) and it feels like the universe is conspiring against us. I believe, given money, I could be pregnant with minimal ART treatments. However, we don't have the money and, frankly, I have three beautiful, wonderful boys so it isn't worth the heartache and the roller coaster of emotions even being evaluated for ART procedures bring about.

I feel like a total shit sitting here and bitching about problems conceiving a 4th child when some of the most wonderful people I know (irl and in the computer) don't have even one. So, I'm sorry if this bitchfest bothers you. It's just that hoping and wishing for a fourth and not making it there yet has brought back these feelings. I also feel bad bitching about this when, truthfully, my life is pretty frakin' great...but, damn it, I WANT MORE.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Wrap Up (and obligatory NaBloPoMo post)

Homeschooling is still a really good thing but I don't think it is the best thing ever any more. I assigned a paper and gave Marty homework today. I think he was a wee bit disillusioned...hehe.

My house is almost clean (at least the public areas are). I've put the kids to work over the past few days cleaning the disaster Hurricane Gabe created in the den and today we tackled the kitchen/dining area and the kids' bathroom. Joey and I cleaned the kitchen/dining area and Marty cleaned the bathroom including toilet. The remarkable thing is not that he did such a good job but that he did it without much complaint.

I'm going to be up a bit late so I can vacuum to night but that will work well. It means all I HAVE to do tomorrow to get ready for Joey's birthday party (Saturday afternoon) is bake the cake and make some of the decorations. I'm going to try and bake the cake early in the day so it can cool thoroughly before I decorate it tomorrow night.

I have a new pet video I have to try and get. We were playing with Max with our laser pointer and he was trying to climb the wall. I think one jump took him nearly 4 ½ feet up the wall.

I still can't find that frickin' library book....argh.

During my cleaning spree, I have come to the conclusion that I need another room in my house. I need a room where I can have a sewing table and leave my sewing machine set up and all my quilting and crafting stuff out. Sadly, I haven't found a wardrobe (or anything else) that opens into a hidden room.

Catch y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Mirror Image

Today, the older two boys went to the movie with Grandma (my MIL) and Gabe and I spent the time reading, playing Ms. Pacman, and painting. I showed Gabe how to make mirror image paintings. These are the mirror image paintings I did (all clickable for bigger viewing)...
And, this was Gabe's best mirror image painting...

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Freedom Is Not Free

To my dad, Major Owen Joseph O'Donnell III; my FIL, Command Sergeant Major Sigifredo Cruz- Vega; my grandpa, Lt. Colonel Martin Iverson; and all other men and women who have served with bravery and honor...Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you gave to this country.

Dad...enjoy the day. Grandpa and Sig...I miss you with all my heart.

Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom isn't free!!

Copyright 1981 by Cadet Maj. Kelly Strong, USAF ROTC

Mr. Strong went on to a career in the Coast Guard and retired at the rank of Commander
Please take a moment to read Mrs. Spit's post today, Remember. It is incredibly powerful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Those Damned Blue Men

Those damned blue men from the Twilight Zone have been slacking off again. I have a book that is due at the library on Friday and I can't find it anywhere. I know where I saw it last and it isn't there...grrrrrr. I'm also missing a book I picked up on the same day I lost the book that is due. Really, I do keep track of these things. I promise I don't lose books on a regular basis.

Happy 40th Anniversary Sesame Street

I can truly say I grew up right alongside Sesame Street. It was born on November 10th, 1969 and I made my entrance less than a month later. My mom said one of my first words was cookie thanks to the influence of that great big blue cookie monster. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Sesame Street.

GMA did a great birthday party for Sesame Street yesterday and you should take a minute to watch this interview with Carl Spinney, the man behind both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

I told you about my all time favorite Sesame Street sketch (the one with Robin Williams and the shoes) a while back. Today, I want to share a few of my old time classic favorites...
Rubber Ducky

and C is for Cookie

When the new season debuts today, none other than Mrs. Obama will be helping them celebrate. I hope you take a moment to join them. I have my Tivo primed and ready to record.

Share some of your Sesame Street memories with us. You can find all the YouTube videos here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: He's really happy

On Saturday, I saw my oldest son truly happy and relaxed. He was practically pinging with excitement when they came back from their plane ride. It wasn't until I saw him that relaxed and happy and excited that I realized how much stress and tension he had been operating under. Pulling him out of school and homeschooling him was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Check out my new article over on Examiner.com You can learn to make quick and easy napkin rings for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shout Out Sunday: My Darling Thugette

Shout Out Sunday is a week old meme started by Melissa over at Full Circle (and I found it thanks to Lori at Weebles Wobblog). The purpose of Shout Out Sunday is to
Choose a blog that has moved you. A daily must read. One you stalk. One that makes you laugh, cry or scream at the monitor. A new one you would like to give exposure to. Someone you would like to introduce to your readers and send a warm fuzzy while you're at it.
I want to introduce all of you to my sister by another mister, my darling thugette, Kym of I'm a Smart One. Kym is a phenomenal mom, a brilliant blogger, and is married to a sexy hunk of a man who bakes BIG ONES. I know some of my readers have found Kym because she is quite a presence in the Adoption, Loss, and Infertility community but, if you haven't found her, get your ass over there. You don't know what you are missing.

Kym is an amazing woman. She went through infertility herself. However, instead of heaving a sigh of relief when she and Frank finished building their family, she decided to crawl back into the trenches and help people out as a surrogate. As if raising their fabulous five alongside Frank and helping others build their family wasn't enough, this wonder woman is a kick ass teacher and a talented writer. When you visit her blog, you never know what you'll get. It might make you laugh. It might make you cry. It might make you think. Whatever it is, it will be worth reading. If she isn't on your blogroll, add her now! Come on folks, click on this little link I'm a Smart One and bookmark it!

Stitching Post Saturday 11/7 (on Sunday)

I've been doing all kinds of stitching lately. I finished one small cross stitch project...
I've started another small cross stitch project...
I made the cutest little crocheted dragon...
and, I've started a hat for one of my boys...
I'm also trying to finish up that star afghan I showed y'all ages ago. All in all, I've been pretty productive. The state of my house reflects my productive crafty time.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A friend of mine needs all of you...

Lady Nunn of the infamous Preemie Presents is in a very scary place right now. She has just found out she is pregnant and, with her history (3 losses and one very premature baby), she is terrified. Please head over to her new blog, Nunn The Wiser, and offer her your love, support, and understanding. It would mean a lot to me.

*Y'all ROCK! Thank you so much for offering her your love and support. If you haven't headed over there yet, please take a moment to do so.

Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Later today, my boys and I are heading down to my parents' house. A group of local pilots down there get together and give kids free rides every couple of months. They only let kids between the ages of 7 and 18 go up in the air so Gabe will have to be content looking at all the cool planes. I hope they have as much fun as they think they will have. See y'all when we get back.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Shopping at the Store of Mom...

After we were done with homeschooling this morning, Marty, Gabe, and I headed over to my MIL's house to go shopping at the Store of Mom. See, over the years, my MIL has had many careers and had a serious addiction to many crafts. She has designed and sewn haute couture gowns (including one a wife of an NC Governor). She has baked cakes professionally. And, she has quilted, crocheted, cross stitched, and knitted. She has more supplies for all of these things than the average person would ever need. So, when I'm baking, especially when I need a specific size cake pan, I head on over to the Shop of Mom.

Joey's birthday is a week from this Sunday and his party will be a week from this Saturday (the 14th). I always let the kids pic what kind of cake they want for their party and, this year, he wants a pyramid cake. I told him I could do it but it would have to be a step pyramid. I just knew my MIL would have the sizes of pans I needed and I was right. She also had the full sheet cake pan I will need to make Gabe's Ms. Pacman cake 2 weeks after Joey's birthday. I am so lucky to have free access to all these baking tools.

I don't have to worry about party favors or crafts for Gabe's party because that's just a family affair. However, I need to come up with something for Joey's party. Anyone have any ideas for Egyptian themed crafts or party favors?
Ooooh, I did a google search for Egyptian crafts and found two fabulous sites DLTK's Egyptian Crafts for Kids and a great page at ThinkQuest with Ancient Egyptian crafts. I will have about 6 kids plus mine. Which crafts do you think would be the biggest hit?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Things I'm Thankful for...

Since I originally forgot to mention Thanksgiving in my first post of November, I thought I'd make up for it with this post.

Things I'm Thankful for...
·I'm thankful my husband has a job in this tough economy (even though his schedule has SUCKED royally).
·I'm thankful for a husband who works his ass off so I can stay home with our kids.
·I'm thankful for a husband who does more than his fair share of the laundry and the dishes because he says I work hard enough taking care of the kids.
·I'm thankful Marty's health scare was just a scare and nothing permanent.
·I am so very thankful I was in the position to pull Marty from school and homeschool him. He is a completely different kid now - more relaxed, more happy, just all together better.
·I am thankful I connected with this online community. I've made friends I know will be around for a lifetime and I've received so much support over the years. I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone but I wouldn't give up my experience with it because that would mean giving up this community.
·I am thankful for my family's health. Sure we have our health issues but they are all manageable ones.
·I'm thankful for the opportunity to write for Examiner.com. It is so cool to have things I write being published by someone else. GO READ MY LATEST COLUMN, PLEASE!
·I'm thankful that I'm going to be able to connect with both sides of my family on or near to the Thanksgiving holiday.
·I'm thankful that despite the tough financial times I have been able to do giveaways and plot and plan surprises for my fellow bloggers (a big one will be revealed soon).

Even on the worst of days, I can always find something to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Halloween 2009

Welcome to our Halloween in pictures. The only one not pictured here is Marty. He did have a vampire costume on and he gave out our candy but he didn't want a picture taken.

Gabe's Puking Pumpkin

Joey's Pumpkin

Marty's Pumpkin

Gabe as Volcano Man
costume by me

Joey as a Reaper
makeup by me

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.