"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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Y'all!

I know this is going up a little early but come midnight I'm going to be sipping champagne with my hubby.

To all my friends, family, readers, lurkers, and commenters...I am wishing you a New Year filled with peace, joy, and prosperity. I hope those of you who are pursuing the dream of parenthood are granted your wish. I hope those of you who are struggling financially find some stability in this tenuous economy. I hope each and every one of you find the joy that I am blessed enough to have with my family.

2008 was an incredible year for me and I hope 2009 is even better for all of us!

Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year!

My Peaceful Place

Angrycanrn is having a contest. It closes when the ball drops tonight so hurry up and enter. She is asking people to describe their peaceful places. Without further ado, here are the two pictures that best represent my peaceful place...

I'm sure these pictures have many of you scratching your heads and wondering. You may be thinking, "I understand the first picture but what the hell does that picture of a brain have to do with a peaceful place." See, as most of you realize, I am the mom of 3 wild and crazy guys. My boys are (almost) 12, 8, and 3. I love my children dearly but my time, energy, and money all goes towards them. So, my peaceful place is in my brain. That first picture is of a place named Lake Atitlan. I don't know where its located. I've never been there. However, I saw this picture once and the beauty and peacefulness of it really struck me. I tucked that picture away into an empty corner of my brain and, whenever I am feeling hassled or overwhelmed, I pull out that picture and my stitching and I take a mental trip there while I stitch a little bit. Is it as good as a trip away? Hell no. But, it is a way of destressing and taking a break.

Where is your peaceful place?

In the spirit of the season

I am going to share with you the latest entry on my favorite author list...Christopher Moore. I picked up his book The Stupidest Angel: A Heart-warming Tale of Christmas Terror the last time I was at the library. It is by far the funniest book I have read in a long time. It was totally irreverent, a little very snarky, and a hell of a good time. I can't remember the I laughed out loud so many time while I reading a book.

Any Christmas book that manages to work in a pot-smoking constable, Kendra the Warrior Babe, and a poker playing angel needs to be read. I don't want to say too much about the book because I really, really want you to read it. Besides, you have to admire any author who has these pic up on the first page of his web site...

Monday, December 29, 2008

We had so much fun today.

Joey, his friend Troy, Gabe, and I went down to our church parking lot to play with Joey's new remote control motorcycle. I brought Gabe's trike and helmet and he rode all over the place while we were playing with the motorcycle. Gabe has completely mastered steering his trike and happens to find it really funny to steer it towards his big brother. Of course, Gabe finding fun in that could have something to do with Joey shrieking and running and laughing anytime Gabe rode towards him...LOL. Gabe still doesn't want to ride up the hills. I guess he is still taking the easy way out.

Joey, Troy and I played with his Tyco Super Rebound Bike.
The bike is really cool and a lot of fun to play with. However, it is very sensitive to interference from other radio signals. The church parking lot is not the place we will be playing with it in the future. Unfortunately, there is something in the vicinity that interferes horribly with the remote signal. The boys took it over to Troy's house later in the day and found it operates much better in the neighborhood. Hehehe, I guess once Joey is back in school next week, I'm going to have to take the bike out and "test drive" it through the neighborhood.

We wrapped up our play time by swinging on the swings. I got some great pics that I will have to post later.

Lets try New Year's Mediatations...

instead of New Year's Resolutions. If you are like most people, you break resolutions almost as soon as they are made. Through my friend MiPa's blog, I found out about a lovely lady named Laurel Wreath who is going to be hosting a posting of our New Year's Meditations. I'd love for all my friend's to join me in this. While it is presented with a decidedly religious bent, for those of you who aren't religious, I'm sure you could approach it from a spiritual angle (ie how you want to become a better person) rather than a Godly angle. Here's her invitation. I hope you'll join me here the first week of 2009 as well as joining her at her site to get 2009 off to a great start of what we dream God will do in our lives.


Who: Everyone is invited

What: I would like you to post on your site about your hopes, dreams, and goals for the next year. What would you like to see God do in your life? How would you like to see Him move in things? Make this as general or as personal as you feel comfortable. What are your goals for next year? I am not looking for the “lose 10 lbs this year” answer, something a little bit deeper. When you look back to December 2009 where would you like to be?

When: Come back the first week of January 2009 (January 1 through 5th).

Where: I will put up a Mr. Linky beginning January 1st through 7th 2009, so you can link back to your blog post (not just your blog). I am not really one to make “New Year Resolutions” (in fact I dislike them), if I make them I break them. But I am one to think about what my dreams and desires are at the time, and see where the Lord leads me. Sometimes it is exciting because the Lord has so much more in mind, sometimes it proves to be a difficult year because He had a lot to teach me. Either way it is exciting to follow God’s leading and plan for my life. How about you?

Feel fee to grab the graphic and include it on your blog.I’m looking forward to seeing who will take me up on this challenge!

As an extra incentive, anyone who participates and advertises “New Year’s Meditations” on their blog I will be sending one lucky participant a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com. I’ll do a random drawing from the names of everyone who does a post and leaves their link here (beginning Jan. 1st) via Mr. Linky.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why oh why...

do Target and K-Mart already have Valentine's day stuff out and prominently displayed in their stores? Can anyone explain that to me? I think it really scares me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: My little swimmer

Gabe has always been my water baby. He has loved swimming from day one. Last summer, her progressed to the point where he would jump into the deep end of the pool if I was there to catch him. However, he still wouldn't turn loose of me and swim...not even while he was wearing his suit with the floaties in them. Then, this past weekend, while we were in Georgia for my cousin's wedding, he discovered he could conquer the pool. It started by him pusing from the stairs and floating/kicking to me about 3 feet away. Then, the next thing i knew, he was going past me. When I asked him where he was going, Gabe said, "Over there" and pointed at the ladder in the deep end. He was off. By the end of the trip, he was going all over the pool and was having a ball. His favorite game was to swim after this floating toy that Joey would throw for him. Now, without further ado, presenting my little swimmer...

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

Any of y'all in NY...please go by Tertia's blog...she has "friend from South Africa who is on holiday in central NY and got a positive pee stick on her 10th IVF!!" And she needs a question answered ASAP...please help.


I am organizing a project for a very special blogger we all know and love. If you want in on the secret, EMAIL ME.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We were victims of G.A.S. yesterday.

We had a lovely Christmas day yesterday. In the morning, we had only our immediate family...the boys, Vic, and me . The boys opened their gifts and were thoroughly occupied with presents. I looked around and was silently congratulating myself on getting through Christmas without acquiring a lot of space gobbling crap. The only present that anyone got which took up a bunch of floor space was Gabe's Little People collection (Thank you Christa!).

That lasted until about 2 pm. That's when my parents got here and that's when the G.A.S. attack struck. According to my dad, G.A.S. stands for Grandmother Acquisition Syndrome. This is when the grandma is struck by the uncontrollable and insatiable urge to buy, buy, buy for the grandkids. Evidently, when my mom was unable to find a Wii for us for Christmas, she fell victim to G.A.S. Its not that she just bought a lot of stuff. Its the size of some of the stuff she bought. For example, my mom bought Joey this immense remote control motorcycle. The box it came in is almost as tall as Gabe. I really think my mom would have spent less money if she had been able to get us a Wii.

I love my mom and I am thrilled that she loves the kids. I just wish she had a little restraint in this area. Oh well, this G.A.S. attack should give me the incentive to go through toys and donate a bunch to the local Women's shelter.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Blessing for each and everyone of you.

My dear friends...I know many of you don't share the same beliefs I hold dear. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, or something else, I wish blessings for each of you.

For those of you who do share my beliefs, take a moment to listen to these talented young singers. They are incredible.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

My cards are in the mail (woohoooo...they will be late but have mailed). My baking is done. My house, while not neat, is at an acceptable level of chaos. I think I'm ready. All I have left that MUST be completed before tomorrow is wrapping presents and I am getting ready to go do that.

To all my friends and family...I love you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. You have enriched my life in ways you couldn't even begin to imagine.

Now, I'd like to leave you with a little bit of Christmas cheer from Gabe (turn your volume up, his voice is a little soft)...

My older boys have been singing a song called Christmas Balls (yes, it is a real song form the John Boy and Billy radio show) and Gabe came up with the following version completely unprompted by his brother's...

Christmas Balls,
Christmas Balls,
I got great big Christmas Balls

He got the first three lines correct but totally ad libbed the last.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I think I made up for missing the first day of IComLeavWe...

I read and posted on 60 blogs off the ICLW list in two days. My excuse is that I had to sit at the computer to burn the discs that are Christmas presents so I might as well read and post. Does that sound plausible?

We do clean up well after all...

Even my wild children clean up well and look respectable. Here's the picture of all 4 of us (boy do I wish my hubby had been there) right before my cousin's wedding...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Bitch is Back

I'm not sure whether the bitch in the title is referring to hope or AF. I guess either will work.

Its really silly how quickly you can let hope grab a hold of you when you start trying again. I mean, honestly, there really wasn't a chance of anything working last month. The timing was close but not quite right and there were other extenuating circumstances that made it a less than favorable month for conceiving. But, I somehow managed to convince myself that the signs of the season (like exhaustion) might actually be early signs of getting lucky. Boy was I delusional. It wasn't that I really thought we got lucky right away but for some reason I couldn't help but hope. AF arriving 2 days early on the morning of my cousin's wedding quickly dashed those hopes.

Here's hoping the holiday season brings better luck to all of us who are trying for a much wanted babe.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SHOW AND TELL...Its all tell and no show

Ok, Ok...I know I said I would miss this week's Show and Tell but I have a story that MUST be told. I can't put up pictures because I'm on the hotel's computer but the story still must be told.

My mom is a high school science teacher and she also happens to be the swim team coach. Well, she is missing the regional competition for this family wedding we are at. Early today, she checked her phone and realized she had missed two calls...both from parents of swim team members. So, she figured they were calling to report results or a really good time...little did she know what was coming. My mom called back the first parent, figuring she would have the scoop on everything since that mom had been the assistant coach last year. Well, not only did MrsO have good news about one swimmer breaking his best time by 3 seconds but she had the story of the men's 200m medly relay. MrsO's son happened to be swimming the final leg of the 200m medly relay and it was looking good. It looked like that group was going to finish in a good enough position to move from the preliminaries to the afternoon finals. MrsO's son C was swimming hard and went to do that flip turn that swimmers are famous for. As C flipped, the string on his bathing suit gave out and he LOST HIS SUIT. Yup, C, a high school senior was but naked in the regional preliminaries. To make matters worse, C had spent the whole summer lifeguarding and still has a marked tan line that was now visible to the entire audience. What do yoou think he did? C did what any good swimmer did and took one for the team. He not only finished his leg of the relay but he won it for his team, bare ass and all! After a swimmer has hit the touch pad that ends the race, they normally have to exit the pool immediately. They made an exception for C and let him swim back down and get his suit...so he made not one but two lengths of the pool with his bare ass hanging out. When he was asked about why he didn't stop to get his suit, all C said was, "Coach O'Donnell always says if we lose something that we should keep on going. I did what coach told me to do." ROFL...of course, my mom didn't have bathing suits in mind when she made that statement. She was thinking of goggles. Congrats to C (now dubbed Flash by my mom) and the entire Southern Wayne Saints swimm team.

And, in the spirit of show and tell, I have one more tidbit to share. Safely ensconced in his floaty suit, Gabe "swam" the length of the hotel pool today...multiple times. Next weekend, I will post a mini-video of Gabe swimming the length of the pool. I'd love to say I could post pics of Flash's escapades because its so damned funny but that might get me into trouble.

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy 300 posts to me!

The boys and I are going out of town around 9 am Friday morning. Unfortunately, Vic can't come because of work (boooooo). My mom, dad, the boys, and I will pile in the van and head to Georgia for my cousins wedding. I am so very excited for Cindy. She is the sweetest girl and her fiance seems to be a great guy.

I'm a bit bummed because I'm going to be missing Mel's Show and Tell this weekend and I will miss the first day of IComLeavWe. However, as much as I love y'all and as much as I'll miss the fun, I think my trip will be even better.

If it ever uploads to YouTube, I'll add the video I made from the Iverson Family reunion in August of '07. You'll recognize the song I used. Its the same song I used for my Cruz Family Reunion video. Its the OJays' "Family Reunion".

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Doggie update #2

She is doing really well on the anti-inflammatory meds. She hasn't yipped in pain since she started them. She even ran full tilt across the yard to bark at the eeeeevil garbage truck. After all, that horrid truck has the sheer nerve to drive down her street. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this continues and she doesn't backslide when she comes off her meds. I don't want my poor girl to have to go through surgery (and I wouldn't be too upset about not having to spend the money).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Evil Mom Rides Again...another King St Players Show

Previous week...*MBMS brings home his mid term grade and only has a 79.87 in math. MBMS is in high level math. MBMS is good at math. It was established that MBMS bombed two quizzes and forgot to turn in an assignment. EM tells him from now on she will have to check his homework and he will study before a test with her.

Flash forward one week...The story opens with *EM enjoying her morning with a large cup of coffee and the computer. *TDB is quietly watching Nick Jr.

Ring riiiiing...

EM: (picks up the phone) Hello
*MrsD: Hello Mrs. Cruz. Do you have a minute to talk to me?
EM: (thinking Oh shit, what did Marty do) Absolutely.
MrsD: I'm a little upset with Marty right now. We have a test today that they knew about since last week. Marty is just sitting there doodling on his paper. He isn't even trying to finish the test.
EM: Well, that just isn't acceptable.
MrsD: I will often let a student finish a test the next day if they have problems completing it in one period. I prefaced this test by telling them that I would do this but only if they are working the whole time. They can't just do two problems and expect to finish it the next day.
EM: (thinking I am going to rip that boy a new one) Of course not, you would be completely within your rights as a teacher to not allow him to finish tomorrow and he will have to deal with whatever grade he gets.
MrsD: (you can hear the relief in her voice that a parent supports her) Thank you.
EM: I would hate to see it ruin his grade but how you handle it is completely up to you.
MrsD: Me too. I can't talk to him about this while the whole class is taking a test.
EM: Of course I'll talk to him.
MrsD: I'll follow up through email or with a phone call. Here's Marty.

MBMS: sounding very dejected...making EM ROFL Hi mom
EM: What happened?
MBMS: I don't know.
EM: Was it something you were having trouble with?
MBMS: jumping at that excuse like it will help Yeah
EM: What did I tell you after you brought home your progress report?

He didn't do horribly on his mid term progress report but he bombed two quizzes and forgot to turn in one assignment and that dropped his grade big time.

MBMS: stalling because he KNOWS he screwed up Uh...
EM: I said you would have to let me check your math homework every night and that we WOULD study together before tests. Did you even bother to tell me you had a test?
EM: There is no excuse for not telling me and no excuse for not focusing and doing your test.
MBMS: sounding even more dejected I'm sorry.
EM: Sorry won't cut it.
MBMS: Am I getting punished?

Bwahahahahaha...like he's getting out of this scott free...no fricking way.

EM: Your punishment is to deal with the consequences.

Notice EM didn't point out that a bad test grade would result in a bad class grade and, because that grade would be because of lack of effort, he would be punished.

EM: You better hope she lets you finish that test tomorrow because, frankly, I wouldn't. Now go finish what you can and make sure you apologize to MrsD.


That afternoon...

EM: after picking up MBMS from school You had better hope MrsD is gracious enough to let you finish the test.
MBMS: I know
EM: A crappy grade on the test will drop your class grade and, because its a case of not doing what you should that earned you that grade, there will be consequences. If you don't get to finish the test, there will be no computer, no electronics of any sort in the afternoon after school.

You should have seen the look on his face...it was priceless.

MBMS: Oooook

Thank God he realized how much trouble he was in and didn't argue because that would have been ugly.

EM: And, whether or not you get to finish the test tomorrow, we will be studying together over Christmas break.

Now I'm just waiting to find out if he got to finish the test today in school. I really hope he learned a lesson.

*MBMS = much beleaguered middle schooler = Marty
*EM = evil mom = me
*TDB = the demon Briel = Gabe
*MrsD = math teacher

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The things I saw tonight...




Montreal 0 2 0 2

Carolina 2 1 0

The game was great. We won even though we didn't play as well as we should have. I mean, the Canadiens had 10 penalties and we still only beat them by 1.

Dancing Granny...she's the 75 year old Granny who is at EVERY game and she shakes her booty for the camera in the 3rd period.

Men exiting the bathroom with full bears...can anyone explain this to me? It gives me the willies to think about what was in that beer after they left the bathroom.

My son dancing, cheering, and having a damned good time...THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING

I'm off...

Joey and I are heading out to see the Carolina Hurricanes play the Montreal Canadiens. Last time I went to a game with my kids they tried to pin me to the seat because they said I was too loud and embarrassing. Wonder if I can get Joey to do it again?

Help save handmade toys and clothes

This is a direct quote from the article up on both the Handmade Toy Alliance and Change.org websites...

"In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.
For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of up to $4,000 per toy, will likely drive them out of business. And the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007. Toy makers won't be the only ones impacted by the CPSIA, the thousands of US businesses who offer clothing, jewelry and other gifts for children --in essence-- the entire children's industry will be as well.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive!"

Cecily over at Uppercase Woman posits "that there is some serious sexism behind this because most crafters are women. I guess with the easy availability of things like Etsy online, Big Toy Companies are setting their sites on small makers.

Please click on the link below and do your part...

Friendship...and a Merry Christmas

A dear friend stitched this for me as a gift. It so completely describes our relationship over the years. I decided I needed to post it here because it relates so well to Mel's post about tertiary mourning. It was a wonderful gift from Christa to me and I wanted to pass it on to all of you!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2008

Doggie update...

The vet thinks my beautiful girl has ruptured her ACL. This is just like the horrible injury you hear about in athletes that requires surgery to fix. If (and it's a big if) we are lucky and its only a partial tear, the two weeks of anti-inflammatory meds should allow it to heal. However, the vet is almost certain its a rupture and she will need surgery. My poor doggie. I am extremely thankful that, while I don't have the funds readily available, I can get the money for the surgery if she needs it.

I have to take my doggie to the vet...

Remember when my dog hurt her paw on election day. Well, she took the entire course of antibiotics and seemed fine. A few days ago, she started favoring her paw and yelping every time she put it down wrong. I am concerned that either the nail is causing her pain as it regrows or that it got infected this far after the fact. I got an appointment for her at 3:50. Joey is let out of school at 3:45 so I have to be one of the first in line to do school pickup so I can make it to the vet's office 5 minutes later. I hope my Jolie girl is ok.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Do I talk too much?

It took me almost 4 yrs to hit my 200th post...1,397 days to be exact. That is only an average of 1 post every 7 days.

I am now almost to my 300th post. I have posted 90 times in 99 days.

So, I have to ask...do I talk to much?

(ROFL...and I know what your answers are going to be my dear smart-assed friends)


*Btw, one person has received her gift from my 200th post. Once she posts a picture, I will also show it here.

**Here are pics of the ornament I sent to lovely Stacie of Heeeeere Storkey, Storkey! I am so excited that it is already hanging on her tree.

A Quick and Easy Christmas Present

For quite a while, I've been trying to convince Marty to join the middle school youth group at our church. Well, today, while the kids were in Sunday school, I ran into the lady who runs the youth group. She told me that their Christmas party was today and that Marty was welcome to come even though it would be his first meeting. I guess the promise of snacks and a gift exchange was all it took because Marty actually decided to go to the youth group Christmas party.

That just left me the task of coming up with a gift for him to take to the exchange. They could either take a real gift or a gag gift. The kids wouldn't give up any of the things that would qualify as a gag gift and I didn't feel like braving the crazy stores. I went out and raided my box of extra Christmas decorations. Hmmmm...what could I make with this stuff...

The glass Christmas tree (with a removable bottom) was cute but very plain. I got some sleigh bells I had sitting around, some of my ribbon that I use when wrapping presents, and the scissors to curl the ribbon with. I lost track of how many pieces of ribbon I curled but I think it was about 48 pieces (about 12 six to eight inch pieces of red, gold, silver, and green). Once I got it all inside the glass Christmas tree, I cut 2 pieces of pretty wrapping paper to fit inside the plastic bottom. I put the 2 pieces of wrapping paper together so each side of the circle showed pretty paper, placed them in the bottom, and glued the bottom on the tree. This is what the finished product looked like...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: Our Christmas Tree

I wanted to share pics of our tree this year. Its not quite as *big as our trees in the past and, because of that, I only got to use half my decorations. I chose to leave off my fancier and more breakable ornaments so we could display all the ornaments the kids have made or collected. I think this is one of the most beautiful trees we have ever had because all 3 kids helped to decorate it.

Although the indoor decorate Christmas tree is uniquely Christian, the roots of this tradition stretch as far back as the Egyptians. The Egyptians treasured and worshiped evergreens...branches were brought indoor at the winter solstice to represent the triumph of life over death. The Romans celebrated the winter solstice by decorating their houses with lights, evergreen boughs, and exchanging gifts. The Druids decorated trees outdoors, used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and placed evergreen branches over their doors to keep away evil spirits. In the middle ages, the Germans and Scandinavians put evergreens either inside their home or just outside their doors to show hope for the spring. Legend has it that by the 12th century, the evergreen tree was being hung upside down as the three sides were said to represent the father, son, and holy ghost. Around 1500, the evergreen tree was turned over and decorated by Martin Luther in honor of the birth of Christ.

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

*I have to leave room for Gabe to run laps through the house.

**I am also using this post to enter my tree in the Show Me Your Tree event sponsored by (un)complicate me.


I am attempting to organize a project for a very special blogger we all know and love. If you want in on the secret, EMAIL ME.

Testosterone Today & Tuesday

Today is going to be filled with testosterone driven fun. Marty and Joey are invited to a good friend's birthday party at Frankie's Fun Park...

They are so excited about getting to go play Laser Tag and games and have cake and ice cream.

And, on Tuesday, Joey and I get to go to a Carolina Hurricane's game.

His cub scout den is getting the tickets as a reward from their leaders for doing so well with their popcorn sales. They are only having to pay $20 a ticket for third level tickets because the Hurricanes are holding a toy drive. If you bring a new toy, you get the tickets you buy at half price. His group of 8 cubs scouts sold over $6000 in popcorn. WOW. I can't wait to go and yell my fool head off!

**PARTY UPDATE...Testosterone abounded...burping contests ensued...alphabets were burped...4 pizza were consumed...and one intrepid soul put poprocks up his nose.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pay It Forward Friday

Last week, I was the recipient of a wonderful birthday surprise from Dora over at ISO the Golden Egg. Dora pre-ordered Mel's book, Navigating the Land of IF, for me as part of her Pay It Forward Friday. I wish I had the money to secretly surprise people this way but, since I don't, I want to point you towards two charities that are near and dear to the hearts of many in the ALI community.

The first charity is My Stuff Bags. My Stuff Bags "provides comfort and a message of hope to abused and neglected children entering crisis and foster care." They collect small toys, a cap or other new clothing items, a favorite book, crayons and coloring books, blankets for babies, and even toiletries. If you want an easy way to contribute, visit the My Stuff Bags page set up by Single Minded Women and the Matt Logelin family. Matt lost his wife almost immediately after the birth of their daughter. There was an incredible outpouring of support for him. It reached the point where he wanted to aim the support at another group and asked for people who wanted to support he and Madeline to do so with a donation to the My Stuff Bags program in their name and in the meory of his wife Liz. I can't think of a better way to share the spirit of the holidays.

The second charity is a much smaller charity but equally worthy of our support. It is called Preemie Presents and was dreamed up and started by the wonderful author of the Flying Nunns blog. As the mother of a preemie herself, "Lady Nunn" recognizes how hard and heartbreaking it can be when you are stuck in the hospital with your preemie over the holidays. She is collecting items to create gift bags to take to the preemie parents at hospitals near her. She is accepting everything from homemade items to purchased items to monetary donations. Please lend her your support and help her brighten the holidays of some preemie parents. I'm trying to get a few preemie hats crocheted in time for her Christmas bags...but, if I don't get them done in time for this year, I will have a LOT more to donate next year.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let's hear it for the girls!

Tatas, jugs, melons, boobs, or my all time favorite boobage...If you are a women, you need to take care of the girls. This involves monthly breast exams and wearing THE CORRECT BRA SIZE. Depending on the source, estimates say that between 70 and 95 percent of women wear the wrong bra size. There are many reasons for this...weight gain, weight loss, (the holy grail of) pregnancy, not knowing how to measure themselves correctly, and the fucknuttery of the bras industry that leads to cup sizes being inconsistent between brands. If you wear above a C cup, the problems are compounded by the so called professional fitters not really knowing how to measure and fit you.

Why is she obsessing with boobage and bra fit no, you may ask? Well, I have finally found some commercially available bras in my size. I no longer have to buy custom made bras. So, I am celebrating by passing on my knowledge. I am eternally grateful to the people behind the Suzanne Collection. Thanks to them, I have been able to have a properly fitted bra over the past 6 years. However, I am not going to be sad to be able to buy 2 bras for about $80 vs. 2 bras for $160. Custom made is EXPENSIVE.

I've been dealing with boobage issues for years. Before kids, I wore a 38 DDD and now I wear a 38(sometimes 40) L. I have searched the web and found the information that will make it possible for you to have a properly fitted bra no matter what size you are. Here are some signs your bra does not fit...
  1. If the back of your bras rides up, it DOES NOT FIT.
  2. If the cups pucker, it does not fit.
  3. If your cup runneth over, it does not fit.
  4. If you are a C cup and below, the center of your bra should sit flush against your breastbone or it does not fit. (larger/heavier boobs will NOT allow the bra to sit flush against the breastbone)
If you have not measured yourself to check your bra size in the past year, its time to do it now. Bookmark this site...PlusSizeBras (this refers to cup size). Even if you think your cup size is C or below, they have FABULOUS instructions on how to properly measure yourself for a bra. The instruction page seems long but, if you actually read through it, it breaks down the steps pretty completely. Now go measure yourself. Are you back already? Seriously, GO MEASURE YOURSELF!

Now, if you are a woman who is blessed with a normal size chest (and I do consider that a blessing), your sizes won't be addressed on the PlusSizeBras site. Instead, I recommend the size chart on the *Bra Experience site. This chart has the measurements across the top and shows how the same measurements can be different cup sizes depending on the brand you buy. With this information in hand, you can safely order bras online without worrying about fit.

If you are a woman who is carrying around a large amount of boobage, check out the comparative chart on the PlusSizeBras site. This chart is fabulous and accurate. The only info I'd like to add is that many manufacturers have added larger cup sizes since this chart was updated. For example, Fancee Free now has an L cup available.

I'm going to leave you with some links and information for your enjoyment and perusal. When buying bras, remember to get the appropriate cup size for the brand you are getting.
  1. BelleAvenue - This site has some Diva worthy clothes and lingerie for the larger lady at reasonable prices. Their bra selection isn't bad.
  2. OneStopPlus - an all purpose site for Plus size women. I haven't checked out their clothes but their bras selection is GREAT and the prices are good. I heart this site because I can get a red bra in my size...woohoo.
  3. BiggerBras - They carry bras from a AA cup to an L cup and their prices are good. I'm excited because they even have a nursing bra in my size (no, I'm not pregnant)
  4. Hips and Curves - Beautiful, classy lingerie available here fort he Plus Size beauty. Some of it is risque but a lot of it is quite tasteful. It is a brilliantly put together site that has wonderful shopping/sizing tips for men.

*Bra Experience also has a chart for ladies who need prosthetics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Its field trip day!

Today, I am going with Joey's class to visit the Historic Oak View County Park. There are 3 museums on site: a Cotton Museum, a Farm History Center, and an 1850 Antebellum house. They currently have a "Christmas at Oak View Farm" exhibit set up that shows what it was like to celebrate the holidays back in the 1800s. It should be a lot of fun and both Joey an I are really looking forward to it.

Gabe will be spending time with my MIL while I am with Joey's class. I hope he is in a cooperative mood. Gabe is aware that Grandpa is gone and I'm not sure how that will affect his behavior while Vic and I aren't around. When we were over there for Thanksgiving, Gabe was his normal self...moving at warp 9 from one room to another. But, every time he ran through the living room he looked at the spot my FIL used to sit and, one time, he stopped, looked at the spot, and looked at Vic and said, "Grandpa's gone." One time right before Thanksgiving, Gabe came up to me (completely out of the blue) and said, "Grandpa's with God now." After Thanksgiving, Gabe and I had the following conversation...

Gabe..."Grandpa's with God now."
Me..."Yes, honey, Grandpa is with God."
Gabe...referring to the viewing..."I wanted to see my Grandpa."
Me..."Yes, you did. Aunt Jennifer and Aunt Becky took you up to see him."
Gabe...notice the change in tense..."I want to touch my Grandpa."
After choking back tears, I chose to treat it as a past tense reference to the viewing. I know it wasn't. It was a current desire because Gabe is very clear about past and present when he talks.
Me...Yes, you did want to touch him. Mommy made sure you got a chance to touch him and say good-bye."
Then he snuggles in for a few minutes and then went back to tearing around the house.

I hope, if Gabe decides to talk to my MIL about FIL, that it isn't too hard on her.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Infertility through the eyes of a 4 year old

I was on the phone with my friend Christa when her 4 yr old daughter asked her if anyone that wanted a baby could have one. Christa told T that, "No, some people want babies very badly and can't have them and some people have to go to doctors and get a lot of help to be able to have a baby." Christa said, "You know, Miss Kristin needed help to have Gabe. She had to go to a doctor and he figured out what the problem was and she was able to have Gabe." T then asked Christa, "Don't they pray to God and ask him for help having a baby?" Christa told T, "Yes, a lot of them do. And, God gives some people the intelligence to learn about the body and to figure out how to help people have babies. That's how God helps them." T stopped and thought for a few minutes and looked at her mom and said, "So, God is a doctor?"

I love that Christa explained it to her and I love T's response.

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Why do I have to do everything right when you tell me to?"

My children say and do the strangest things. Sometimes they are clueless, sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are a little of both.

Joey is the proud owner of the quote I used as the title of the post. He was overtired and didn't feel like cooperating when he threw that gem back at me. Joey also frequently says, "I forgot." He says this about everything all the time. You can ask him to pick up his pajamas and, 10 minutes later, they will still be on the floor. His response..."Oh, sorry, I forgot." After the 100th time of being told not to run through the house and be wild at 7:30 at night because Gabe is getting stirred up..."Oh, sorry, I forgot." I forgot drives me insane.

Marty's favorite excuse that drives me crazy is "I didn't mean to." He expects this to make up for whatever clueless thing he has done. After he has walked across the floor and stepped directly on the only toy anywhere near him for the 100 millionth time (always within a few minutes of being reminded to watch where he is going)..."I didn't mean to." After distracting Gabe and getting him wild when he has been told, "Please don't. I'm trying to change Gabe."..."I didn't mean to." Marty also does goofy things to make his brothers laugh that end up morphing into cluelessness that makes me laugh. Marty stuck his hand into the back of his pants to scratch his butt and make Gabe laugh. Then, for whatever reason, he shoved his hand down the leg of the pants. So, picture this, his arm reaches behind him and is extending down the back of his leg inside his pants. Here is where it gets funny...its a normal pair of pant, not sweatpants. The arm in the pants tightened the waistband enough that he can't get his arm back out. I started laughing but I really lost it when he tried to use the free hand to unbutton his pants and get ot his trapped hand but he couldn't unbutton it because it was so tight. He actually needed us to free him from his pants. Damn I wish I had a picture of that.

Gabe seems to be developing a fine tuned sense of humor. For the past year, he has been specializing in body humor. Hell, if he's like most males, that will be his specialty for life. Two of his best gems dealt with burping. Last December, after farting,he looked at us with amazement and said, "My butt burped!" Then, the other night after eating a LOT of peppermint ice cream and chugging my diet coke, Gabe let loose with a loud burp and announced, "I burped peppermint."

Do your kids or your families kids do anything that either tickle the funny bone or make you shake your head at the cluelesness?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Are you ready for Christmas? I am.

My tree isn't up. My door isn't decorated. I still have presents to buy. The only decorations I have up are my lights and my luminaries.


I was reminded today that Christmas isn't about the decorations. It isn't about the gifts. Christmas is when we prepare to celebrate the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. All the trappings of the season - the trees, the decorations, the garland, the tinsel - aren't necessary to celebrate the true meaning of the season.

Don't get me wrong...I love the trappings of the season. I love Christmas carols. I love the smell of the pine tree as it glitters with lights and decorations. But, I am so very glad I got the reminder of the real meaning of the season. I am no longer stressing about getting everything done. It doesn't have to be perfect. We just have to have each other and our faith.


Whether you share my beliefs or not, I hope each and every one of you is blessed in the coming year and have all your dreams come true.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: Random Beauty

I just wanted to share some of the beauty I've had in my life that I managed to capture with my camera.

in the mountains of NC

our back yard (previous house)

berries on our bush

waterwheel near Blowing Rock, NC

Joey, 1 week before 1st birthday

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

Happy Birthday To ME!

Today is my 39th birthday and I've had a pretty damned fine 39 years if I do say so myself. I have a family I treasure and a group of incredible friends (both in the computer and out of it). Thanks to my Dad's career in the Air Force, I've gotten to see more of the world than most people ever get to visit. While I might wish for more financial freedom, my husband has a good job and we have a nice house. I am truly not lacking for anything major. I think I can safely say my life has been blessed. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My boy is all grown up!

Look at him all dressed up for his band concert. Wow...there is no little boy there anymore. The concert went great. There were a few squeaks hit by the beginning band but not so many that is wasn't enjoyable. And, let me tell you, the advanced orchestra and advanced band were amazing. They sounded so good.

Updates, a meme, and a joke...

Marty has his first band concert tonight. The band at his middle school will be performing a Christmas concert tonight. He is very excited and very nervous at the same time. Please wish him luck. And, wish me luck so I can keep Gabe quiet during the concert...LOL.


Our black kitten, Max, has turned into the great goldfish hunter. I have caught him up on the shelf with a paw reaching toward the water 5 times in the past few days. I've explained to him that sushi isn't on the menu but he doesn't seem to believe me. Vic said we should replace the goldfish with a piranha and that should cure Max of his sushi craving.


I get to go on a field trip next week. Joey's class is visiting the Historic Oak View County Park. There are 3 museums on site: a Cotton Museum, a Farm History Center, and an 1850 Antebellum house. They currently have a "Christmas at Oak View Farm" exhibit set up that shows what it was like to celebrate the holidays back in the 1800s. It should be a lot of fun.


I got tagged by Jenn of Patience is a Virtue. I am suppose to tell you 6 random things about myself.

The Rules
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write 6 random things about yourself.
Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
Let each person know he/she has been tagged.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Random Facts
1) My best friend in 2 and 3 grade was the daughter of a mafia family.
2) My underwear frequently costs more than the outfit covering it. That tends to happen when you have to buy bras for $80 a piece.
3) I HAVE to have a live Christmas tree. I've tried to talk myself into a fake tree. I've argued economics and the ease of clean up. It didn't work. I still buy a live tree every year.
4) I have lived in 3 countries and 4 states during my life. I have visited many more. While I want to continue to travel, I would be perfectly content to never move again.
5) My parents were both oldest children and my hubby and I are both oldest children.
6) My dream car is a '64 1/2 Mustang ragtop. I know red wasn't an original color but I'd take this one...

I have tagged a lot of people recently so I'm not tagging anyone specific on this one. Its an open tag...if you wanna be tagged, you are.



If this doesn't make you laugh, you are truly humor impaired!

The Navy found they had too many officers and decided to offer an early retirement bonus. They promised any officer who volunteered for retirement a bonus of $1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two points in his body. The officer got to choose what those two points would be.

The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of $72,000.

The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked out with $96,000.

The third one was a noncommissioned officer, a grizzly old Chief who, when asked where he would like to b e measured replied, “From the tip of my weenie to my testicles.”

It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider, explaining about the nice big checks the previous two Officers had received. But the old Chief insisted and they decided to go along with him providing the measurement was taken by a Medical Officer.

The Medical Officer arrived and instructed the Chief to “drop 'em,” which he did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the Chief's weenie and began to work back. “Dear Lord!” he suddenly exclaimed, “Where are your testicles?”

The old Chief calmly replied, “Vietnam.”


Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Barren Bitches Book Brigade Tour #15: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Believe it or not, this was the first time I read Harriet the Spy. I somehow missed this little gem of a book when I was younger. With all the press the story got when they made the book into a movie, I'm sure most if not all of you who are reading this have a clue about the story. So, I'm not going to waste a lot of time recapping it. I'm just going to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and can see how someone close to the age of 12 could get sucked into the emotions of the book.

Now...onto the questions...

Would Harriet have been a blog writer or just a blog reader? Do you think she would have ever commented on other people's blogs? If she did write her own blog, do you think she would have written about her own life or do you think she would have replicated her spy notebooks and only written about other people?
I think Harriet might very well have been a blog writer. I think her blog probably would read a lot like the pages she wrote for the 6th grade newspaper...informative, snarky, and a wee bit judgmental. There probably would have been occasional insights into her own life (just as there were in her notebooks) but they would have been few and far between. She might have occasionally commented on other peoples' blog but not on a regular basis.

When Ole Golly leaves after her engagement, Harriet notes that things feel the same but she seems to have a little hole in her heart. When was the first time you remember feeling a similar loss and does it still remain with you today?
The first time I remember feeling a similar loss was when my Grandpa died. I was out in Wyoming at a Girl Scout camp when my Grandpa finally passed away. I remember getting the news and my mom telling me I should stay and finish camp because he would have wanted me too. I remember how surreal it felt that life went on, camp went on, everything was "normal" but a big part of me was missing. That was almost 25 yrs ago and I still feel that hole that he filled today. I think its like that whenever you lose a loved one.

This book was written in 1964, when gender roles & stereotypes were much more rigid than they are today. In Chapter 4, Harriet & Janie feel the pressure to conform, to go to dancing school and be steered away from "unfeminine pursuits" -- while later in the book, Marion, Rachel, Laura & Carrie imitate their mothers by playing bridge & drinking tea in the clubhouse. I was reminded of Carol Gilligan's work on how girls' "voices" change as they become adolescents. What do you think happened to Harriet & Janie as they became teenagers? Do you think young girls today still feel similar pressures to conform?
I honestly don't know what might have become of Harriet and Janie as teens. Somehow, with Harriet's rebellious streak I can see her being involved with the counter-culture of the late 60s...protests and such. I guess I can see Janie continuing her obsession with science. She strikes me as someone who has found her true passion early in life. That's something she and Harriet have in common.
I do think young girls feel an enormous pressure to fit in and belong. However, unlike the pressure Harriet, Janie, and the others felt to be like their mothers, I believe more of today's pressure to fit in comes from peers and the media.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken.

Happy Birthday Gabe

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe

Hippo Birdie Deer Gabe

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe

My little miracle turns 3 yrs old today. After 6 losses in less than 2 1/2 years, he is the baby I never really thought would get here. Gabe is my daily reminder that blessings and miracles do happen. Gabe is my wild child and I love every minute of it. He already has a wicked sense of humor, definitely knows exactly what he wants, and somehow he usually shapes things to get most of what he wants. His strong willed personality can be maddening...I frequently threaten to call 1800GypsiesRUs and give him away...but I know that strength will serve him well in the long run. If I knew he was the prize coming at the end, I would go through the hell of infertility all over again. Happy Birthday little man.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It isn't really December, is it?

Please tell me that my eyes, ears, and calendar are deceiving me and its not really December. I am sooooo far from being ready for Christmas that its not even funny.