"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, August 31, 2009

Yummy Part 2

My head still doesn't feel 100 % from the weekend and the weather was gray and dreary all day. I felt the need to look at some yumminess and I thought I'd share it with you. May I present my TV love, John Barrowman.

And, its not quite enough that he is absolutely delicious to look at. The character he plays, Capt. Jack Harkness on Torchwood, is intriguing and mysterious and makes every scene sizzle whether he is performing with a man or a woman. I know I'm married and desperately in love with my husband and, even if I wasn't, I know I can't have him. But, man oh man what a fabulous fantasy.

I feel random, oh so random...

Did you know it is possible to feed a family of 5 a delish meal of Chinese food for only$15 and still have leftovers? Yeah, it really is.

They now send AARP cards out at 50 yrs of age. My hubby got his over the weekend...bwahahahahaha. I have so much ammo now.

While my MIL has been out of town on her big trip, I've been driving my BIL to his physical therapy and doctor's appointments. I have actually thoroughly enjoyed this because we've gotten a chance to really talk. My BIL is a pretty cool guy.

It is so nice having neighbors/friends that you can rely on to trade school pick up duty with.

I mailed out packages to Murgdan, Jen, Beautiful Mess, WiseGuy, battynurse, Mary from Cross Stitch Crazy, and my cousin. Some of these packages have been waiting a while to be mailed. I am so glad I finally got my shit together. I still have packages for GeekByMarriage, Infertility Rocks, and Arian waiting to be mailed. I also need to mail the memory quilt project.

This weekend was a bitch. I had a migraine that lasted over 24 hours. It wasn't the most painful one I've ever had but it just wouldn't go away. Vic's knee was hurting the whole time too. Fucking weather fronts...grrrrrr!

Marty is a great kid. It is so wonderful having a 12 yr old you can trust to watch the younger kids for short periods of time. Marty has really grown into a fabulous young man and has been such a big help lately.

There is a cool new series called Ultimate Cake Off starting on TLC tonight. I can't wait. I bet we will see some real cake wrecks as well as some Sunday Sweets.

Joey absolutely LOVES his teacher this year. He has come home everyday saying what a good time he had.

Gabe thinks every time I sit down at the computer that I need to play *"the Ghost game". I'm amused by his obsession but ti does get old when he thinks I need to play it 1000 times a day.

I made Joey laugh this morning when I referred to the man that delivers the "mail" between the schools and the central office as the mail delivery dude. I love his laugh.

So, what's going on with y'all today?

* also known as Ms. Pacman.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday 8/29

I've got two wonderful projects to show y'all this week. First of all, I designed and stitched a biscornu which is basically an eight sided pincushion. In this case, I reduced the side and made it into a Christmas ornament. When I joined the two sides together, I added red and green Mill Hill seed beads to every other stitch.

And, now, a warning for one person...
I am so excited because I put the very last stitches into the memory quilt and I HAVE to show it to you. I can't stand to not show it off. As with the pictures above, click on this to see a close up.
I am very happy with how it turned out. I hope she likes it too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I have an addiction

Yes friends, its true. I have an addiction...or a sickness...or something. Last night, when I took Joey to TKD, I almost fell prey to the lure of Big Lots. I went in and saw these packs of 24 soft, fluffy vibrantly colored washcloths. They sang their sweet song. Kristin, look at our colors. Kristin, think how many yards of vibrantly colored terry cloth *3 packs of 24 washcloths, each measuring 12" x 12", would be. Kristin, think of all the funky, fun terry cloth quilts you could make with us.

Please, please tell me this...what sane woman looks at washcloths and thinks "Ooooh, I could make a fun quilt with those."

I'm fighting it friends. I really am. But, would it really be so wrong to spend **$30 on all those gorgeous colored pre-cut squares?

* Why 3 packs? Because, that is the only way to get all 6 colors.
**$30 that could be saved towards BlogHer next year. Really, that is the only thing holding me back right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: The Gabe Tales

It's been a while since I shared a really good Gabe story. As you have probably gathered from previous stories, life with my Gabeycakes is never, ever dull. Gabe decorated the bathroom for me. He added a splash of color (or lack of it) to the couch. He even decided to bake cookies by himself.

Well, Gabe decided to add one more household task to his repertoire. Gabe now does laundry. I had been in our living room getting some things done. When I went into the kitchen, this is what I found...

Gabe opened the washing machine, gathered all the clothes up, put them in the machine, pulled his stool over and opened the oxyclean, and then he put about 6 or 7 scoops of oxyclean in the machine. Surprisingly, he only spilled about one scoop on the floor. What could I do but say thank you and have him help me gather up all the other dirty laundry.

And, just purely for your entertainment, I wanted to show you a pre-hair brushing picture and a post hair brushing picture of Gabe.

Yes, this is truly a case of bedhead. Here he is after I brushed that gnarly head of hair.

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.

Fucked up school schedules

or, the latest reason every school board member needs to be voted out.

A little background on the seriously fucked up logic of the Wake County School System...some of our schools are on a year round schedule. The school board feels the need to do this to more efficiently use the resources of our school system. This part I can accept. What I don't accept or understand is that with all the power of a modern computing system, the school board refuses to accommodate families by making sure all the students in a family are on the same year round track. The school board claims there is NO WAY to make sure siblings end up on the same track. What a total load of bullshit. Can you imagine having two children with 2 completely different school and vacation schedules? You would have no family life. Also, this school board redistricts or reassigns kids to schools EVERY YEAR. Yes, this really does happen. And, yes, this means there are a few kids who get bounced from school to school.

The latest stroke of brilliance is to add 10 minutes to every school day (50 minutes gain per week) in order to dismiss the kids 1 hour early every single Wednesday. That hour is to be used by the teachers "to collaborate and discuss ways to improve individual student academic performance". I somehow believe that extra time could be used to improve academic performance by, oh, I don't know, TEACHING! And, to make this plan even more brilliant, they are going to let the students out 2 1/2 hours early on 6 Wednesdays. This doesn't replace any workdays or half days. This is in addition to them. Can anyone explain the logic behind this fucknuttery?

Hell, at least ths Wake County School Board has made my decision making easier come election time. As it stands, if someone is a current member of the school board, they WILL NOT get my vote.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey Lisa (the one who posted to the I give in post)

Since not that many people have responded yet, count yourself in and just pay it forward locally.

I give in...

Since, like Missy, I ended up seeing this giveaway twice in a short, short time, I'm giving in and participating. I hereby declare it Christmas in August at Dragondreamer's Lair.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me, especially for you. I have absolutely no clue what I will make but I promise I'll make it worth your while!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1) I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I hope you will.
2) What I create will be just for you.
3) They say I have a year to get it to you. But I promise it will NOT take that long (11 months and 29 days maybe, but NOT twelve months...LOL)
4) You have no clue what it's going to be. It’s a surprise to both of us at this point.

The catch? You must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. Since I know not everyone who reads my blog is crafty, I'm going to add the caveat that baked goods and things like hand written notes of support will be acceptable things to pass on to your readers.

So, the first five people who post, and are willing to pass it along, will get a handmade gift in the mail from me.

*PS...I have to admit I was totally lazy and copied this info from Missy and Katie.


While we are talking about giveaways, check out the incredible 8 yr/1000 post giveaway over at The Daily Mel. What an amazing collection of goodies!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Help the Liz Logelin Foundation

The Christie Cookie Company is giving away $25,000 to charity. All you have to do is click on this contest link, fill out the form, and make sure you pick The Liz Logelin Foundation from the drop down menu.

For those of you who haven't read Matt's blog, Matt lost his wife 27 hours after the birth of their daughter Madeline. People rallied around Matt and, instead of just trying to maintain his life, Matt decided to pay it forward by starting The Liz Logelin Foundation. The mission statement of The Liz Logelin Foundation says "The Liz Logelin Foundation was established to assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent. The Foundation’s goal is to financially assist these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to move forward."

Take a few moments out of your day and follow that link to the contest form. Those few moments will pay tribute to much loved and desperately missed woman and the family she left behind.

INK ME 2009

Welcome, welcome. Gather round and join the fun. Ink (or tattoos) can be such a personal and sometimes intimate way of expressing yourself. Of course, there is the surface beauty of the design. However, many tattoos carry a wealth of meaning often known only to the person wearing it. Tell us all about the ink you have or, if you haven't succumbed to the dark side yet, tell us about the ink you would like to have. Sign ups for Ink Me start right now at the bottom of this post and will run through the 28th, the last day of ICLW.

Earlier this week, my show and tell post featured my tattoos. I told you how the stars around my dragon represented the babies I've lost and I mentioned wanting to add a dragonlet for each of my living children. Well, I haven't added the dragonlets yet but, I have found a picture of a baby dragon that is just what I want.
I wouldn't use any of the background at all but I love the way the little dragonlet looks. I would have one in red for Marty, probably blue for Joey, and maybe a bronze color for Gabe.

I also want to get a tree of life tattoo. AnotherDreamer has a fabulous Celtic knot tree of life tattoo. I went searching for a similar picture online and I found out an artist named Jen Delyth had created the Celtic knot tree of life adorning AnotherDreamer and she had designed another Celtic knot tree of life that is diamond shaped. I desperately want this tattooed in the traditional tramp stamp location (LOL). I love the idea of the tree of life representing how everything is interconnected.

I am torn between getting the tree done in all browns (variegated, not solid) or in a rainbow of colors coming out from a brown center. Which would you pick?

Tell Us About Your Ink
  • You don't have to have Ink to participate. YOU can talk about the tattoos you would like to get.
  • Any links that are spam WILL BE DELETED
  • Please, please use your blog name as the title when signing up and, link to the permalink for the post NOT the main url for your blog
INK ME 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2 days away

In only 2 days, Marty and Joey start the school year. For me, this is a bittersweet moment. My boys are going into the 7th grade and the 3rd grade respectively. I am so excited for them and hope they have a wonderful school year. For me, personally, it's another milestone reached and I'm not quite where I want to be. I had hoped to be significantly into a pregnancy with our 4th living child. However, not only am I not hugely pregnant, I'm not there at all. This past year, we have focused on getting my husband's health stabilized. He has had huge issues with his diabetes and that put ttc on the back burner. As much as I would like another baby, his health is VASTLY more important to me. It just seems like the potential baby making time is slipping away and that makes me a bit apprehensive and scared.

Don't get me wrong. I love my life and I count my blessings daily. Despite secondary IF, I have 3 beautiful boys. Despite health issues and challenges, I have my husband and his health is stabilizing. I have friends and family that mean the worked to me. But, I'm a bit greedy and I want more. I want one more chance to nuzzle a sweet baby cheek. I want one more chance to wonder what our baby will look like and be stunned and thrilled when I find out.

In 2 more days, my two older boys will start another school year and hit another milestone. In 2 more days, I'll still be yearning for another chance...but, at least while I'm yearning, I am surrounded by love and laughter and family and friends.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Girl's Night Out

OMG, we had the most fabulous time. My mom, sisters, and I all went to see The Time Traveler's Wife yesterday afternoon.
I know there are a lot of people who have panned the movie but I loved it. Yeah, they had to leave things out. Yeah, there were a few minor alterations to the story. However, I felt it was mostly faithful to the mood and tenor of the book. I felt it captured the poignancy of Clare and Henry's story. Out of our group, 3 of us had read the book. All of us that had previously read the book also loved the movie. One of my sisters hadn't read the book and she felt that while the movie was was good, the tenor was depressing and not romantic. I definitely think the book is a must read and I highly recommend the movie.

Like I said before, we had so much fun. As we were walking out of the theater, Keri cracked a joke that was just so silly that we all dissolved into gales of laughter. The poor movie theater janitor looked at us like we were possessed. After all, we were coming out of a movie that definitely wasn't a comedy and that some would say had a sad ending but we were laughing our asses off, something must be wrong with us. Despite getting out of the movie at 6 pm, Jennifer (bff/sister by choice) and I didn't get back to my house until 9:15. Hehe, I think the staff at Sweet Tomatoes thought they weren't ever going to get rid of us. We had delicious food. The Won Ton Chicken Happiness salad is TO DIE FOR! We talked and laughed and shared stories. At times, we were laughing so hard that people were turning around to look at us.

Keri has decided that since we subjected her to a depressing movie (it is not depressing) that she was picking the movie next time and she was going to make us go to see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Holy Sh*t, where did the month go?

or should I just say Welcome to ICLW. If you don't know about ICLW, what rock have you been hiding under? No, seriously, ICLW rocks and all you have to do to find out about it is click on that little yellow rectangle to the right (yeah, the one with the dog on it).

I can't make myself focus to do a real intro post (explain why in a minute) so I'll just give you the links to the other ones here.
My family building/IF history
ABCs of Me part 1
ABCs of Me part 2
Once Upon A Time
An Interview With Me
That's probably more shirt about me than any of y'all want or need to know so tread lightly and explore cautiously for Here Be Dragons.

So, why can't I focus? Because I get to go out and have FUN tomorrow! My mom, my two sisters, my bff/sister by choice, and I are all going to see The Time Traveler's Wife (ohpleasedearGoddon'tletthemfuckupthestorytoobadly) and then we are going out to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. It's been absolutely forever since we have all managed to get together for a girl's night out. I can't wait. And, yes, I promise to torture them with my camera!

The other reason I can't focus is I am planning some FUN, FUN, FUN for later in the week. The fabulous Calliope over at Creating Motherhood had a great idea. After she read my last show and tell post, Calli said we should have an ink tour. All of us who have tattoos would show pics of them and tell the stories behind them and, anyone else who wanted in on the fun but doesn't have a tat can tell us about what they would chose to have tattooed if they ever went down that road. So, watch this space carefully. One day really soon (probably Monday), we are going to kick off
If you want to join in on the fabulousness and fun, click HERE(yes, HERE) to get the code that will add this loverly button to your blog. All you have to do is copy and paste the code to whatever part of your blog you want the button on. On the kick off day, what the hell, let's officially say Monday, August 24th, I'll have a post with a Mister Linky sign up area and the fun can begin.


On a a quick closing note, since our Stirrup Queen Extraordinaire is in need of distractions, I'll tell you what I told her...I know something she doesn't know and Mel is going to love it. If you want to help distract Mel, click on the EMAIL ME link on the right or leave a note in the comments section and I'll tell you the secret.

Happy ICLW Y'all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Here Be Dragons

"Here be dragons" is a phrase used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories on old maps. The phrase is inspired by ancient mapmakers tradition of putting mythological creatures in the blank parts of maps. For the purpose of my post, here be dragons describes my tattoos. The first tattoo I got was this dragon...
I got this dragon about 17 years ago. The tattoo is almost as old as my relationship with my husband ;) I went in looking for a small dragon but I fell in love with this one. A dragon it is. Small it isn't. She measures about 4" x 7" and the stars add about an inch in height and 1/2 an inch in width. She reminds me of the dragons from Anne McCaffrey's books and I had her done in gold just like the female dragons in the books. I had the stars added about 5 years ago and each star represents one of my losses. Since I only know the sex of one of the babies I lost, I told the tattoo artist I wanted one pink star and to pick whatever colors he liked for the rest of them (I still need to add one star). When I get the final star added, I want to add a dragonlet for each of my kids.

My second tattoo is a dragon/dolphin yin yang symbol. I got it at the same time I had the stars added to the dragon tattoo.
I designed this tattoo. It represents the relationship I have with two of my dearest friends. The 3 of us have been to hell and back together and I wanted something that would show that to everyone. I have one more name and symbol I want to incorporate into that tattoo but I haven't figured out exactly how yet.

My tats may not appeal to everyone but I think they are beautiful and I love the wealth of meaning behind them.


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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What a bunch of strange bedfellows!

I was on the library's website and I was checking my list of books I have requested to see if any of them have come in. I'm not sure if the books I've requested say something about me or not but it is an awfully strange group of books to find in one bookbag. I am waiting on...

Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo
*Dark Guardian by Christine Feehan
Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Sea Hunters II by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo
Hidden Currents by Christine Feehan
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
**Hot Blooded by Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Emma Holly, and Angela Knight

What books are on your to read list?

Ooops...just realized I have already read Dark Guardian. Wonder if I can cancel that request?
**As you can see, I canceled Dark Guardian and requested Hot Blooded in its place.

If you could change one thing...

and only one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? It could be a physical, spiritual, intellectual, or emotional change. Remember, this is fantasy time. Tell me what you want to change.

For myself, the answer is clear cut. I would change my weight issues. Now guys, this is not an invitation to tell me to "just exercise" or "just eat better" or any of that trite bullshit we always mention. When I say I would change my weight issues, I don't mean just lose the weight. I mean I wish I could snap my fingers or twitch my nose and ramp my metabolism up to where it should be. I will freely admit that I could exercise more or I could make some better choices about food but I don't eat like a pig and I certainly don't eat enough to account for what I weigh. I don't have diagnosable thyroid issues. I test in the low end of normal thyroid function. My body has always done somewhat screwy things with my weight. Hell, I actually lose weight when pregnant. I don't want to be stick thin. I would just like my body to be able to settle in at a lower weight than it has settled in at right now.

So, what would you change if you could?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Barren Bitches Book Brigade: Moose by Stephanie Klein

Welcome to the twentieth tour of the Barren Bitches Book Brigade--a book club from the comfort of your own living room. Today we are discussing Moose by Stephanie Klein. Grab a cup of coffee and, when you are done reading my review, you can 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 in this online book club: It Sucked and Then I Cried... by Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce).

Unlike most of the books read by the Barren Bitches, Moose has nothing to do at all with infertility. Moose discusses author Stephanie Klein's struggles with her weight as a child and how those struggles affect all areas of her life. I identified with the struggles in this book in many ways. As an adult, my weight has been an issue. My body doesn't conform with society's standard for beauty. Most days, this isn't an issue. However, there are days when my weight maddens me. I see other people exercise a bit and moderate their diet slightly and they have no trouble losing weight and there have been times I have counted every calorie and exercised like a fiend and I didn't drop a pound. Sure, I dropped inches but the gain in muscle mass during those times actually caused my weight to go up. Having my body fight me at every turn can be infuriating. I also ran across that frustration with my body when my husband and I were struggling to have our third child. Despite all the efforts on our part, for the longest time, my body just wouldn't function the way it was suppose to function. It was maddening, frustrating, and just plain crazy making. Having my body refuse to behave the way thousands upon millions of other women's bodies worked played with my emotions and made me question my self worth in much the same way Ms. Klein did during her struggles with her weight.

Moose takes you back into the halls of secondary education and exposes you to the emotional roller coaster ridden by a young woman who doesn't fit society's beauty image. Despite the fact that this journey can hit way to close to home for some of us, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Take a chance and add this to your reading list.

Reading about Ms. Klein's journey through her middle school years and how others' opinions of her weight and appearance affected her has reinforced my decision to do my best to make sure my children have a strong but realistic self image.

Now, for the questions...

What from your childhood led to a positive body image? And what, if anything, caused you to struggle with your own body image? I was lucky and have a wonderful set of parents who always told me I was wonderful and beautiful even on the days I doubted it. Having that to fall back on is a boost to my body image even now when I way far more than I should. My body image has take hits in other areas. For years, I was teased horribly about my hair. My mom has stick straight hair and didn't have a clue how to deal with curly hair. As a result, my hair had its ummm, errrr interesting moments while I was growing up. While we lived in Hawaii, my hair caused me to get targeted and I was frequently called ugly nicknames like birds nest because of it. For many years, this caused me to HATE my hair and that meant I wasn't too fond of the rest of myself. These seem like little, trivial things but it is amazing how long throwaway comments like that can stay with you.

Stephanie Klein writes "Years later I'd feel slightly superior because I'd once been fat. That's the thing...when asked if I'd change my past if I could, I think for a moment and always answer no. There's something...that just makes it mildly worth it. Because a sensitivity is tattooed on a part of you no one else can see but can somehow guess is there. It's always with you." How do you relate to this with regards to infertility? I don't think going through infertility has ever made me feel superior. IF sucks and there is no way around it. However, being exposed to infertility, suffering through it, brings you an awareness and sensitivity that can be invaluable in other areas of your life. Most people who have been through infertility or loss are more aware of the nuances of another person's reaction to children and questions about family. This level of awareness can help you avoid hurt feelings and can even lead you to offering emotional support or (in some cases) medical advice you might not have thought to offer otherwise. A big part of me wishes I had never gone through all the losses I experienced but I can't imagine having all the wonderful friends I have made through infertility missing from my life. I wrote a post called Reflections about this very idea last year.

In this book, Stephanie Klein describes different types of female friendships. From Leigh who she doesn't fully come clean to about how much weight she lost, to Kate who she chooses over a guy. Who is a presence in your life who brings out the best or worst in you? I am very picky about who I call a friend. As a result, I can't say I have anyone in my life who brings out the worst in me. When I was younger (much), I did have people I considered friends who played on my insecurities but, as I got older, I discovered enough strength and self worth to separate myself from people like that. Now, I surround myself with people like my friend Jennifer who is the epitome of sweetness, generosity, and resilience. Having her in my life encourages those tendencies in myself. And, my friend Rys is someone special too. She has encouraged me to believe in my own artistic abilities and has always been available to support me when I needed it most. Someone like that can't help but encourage you to be a better person.

Once again, hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens (above this one). You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: It Sucked and Then I Cried... by Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Go Read This

Wishing4One posted about an amazing story she read @NoRegrets called Really Letting Go. After reading it, I think everyone needs to read this so vote for the post at kirtsy. All you have to do to vote is click on that link and then click on the title of the post.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bullets and Random Shit

I feel like I should have some great big wonderful post about how fabulous it is to have my boys home and how much I missed them (and I did) but there is only so much you can say on that subject.

My brain is too fried to come up with much of anything else (I stayed up reading until 3 am).

The only thing that keeps going through my mind is "Holy shit, the summer is almost over." A really close second is "Holy shit, where did this year go?" I mean, seriously, this year is 2/3 of the way gone. I really, really don't know how that happened.

So, all I can come up with now are some stoopid bullets...

My oldest son's shoe size is now bigger than his age (at least until February). He is 12 and the next set of shoes I buy him will be size 13s.

I had someone ask me if Marty was going into high school. Damn, I am not ready for people to be thinking that.

Vic worked 52 hours in 4 days this week. His schedule has sucked recently.

Joey bought toys with his earnings...a clone trooper voice changer, a mask and sword set from GI Joe, 2 bionicles, a little lego set, and some mechanical pencils.

Marty bought video games...a used PS2, a memory card, an extra controller, a Sly Cooper video game, and a Dragonball Z game.

Gabe wanted in on the action so I got him a toy recorder which he calls his clarinet (because he wants to be like Marty).

Migraines suck. They suck badly. I wish I didn't get them...EVER.

I would gladly go back to having 10 in 4 months (versus the 4 or 5 a year I normally have) because the only time I had that happen was when I was pregnant.

I love my husband dearly and I love that he doesn't mind having my best friend around on a regular basis.

I love trivia and my hubby does too. If they ever had a husband/wife team Jeopardy game, Vic and I would kick so serious ass. Why is that important? Damned if I know.

See, I warned you this was random.

*edited to add that Vic just might have 8 more hours of overtime this week. We got woken up by a call at 4 am last night and one of his dispatchers told us his grandma just died and he had to leave. If Vic can't find someone to cover it, he works tomorrow.

**I think I vastly underestimated the number of books I am going to read this year. I estimated 70 books read and I just finished book #59.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Off to See the Wizard...

Actually, I'm off to pick up the boys. My week of quiet is coming to an end. I've talked to the boys every day and they both say they have had a wonderful time but they sound tired. I do believe my parents have worked their little tails off. They are both very excited about the money they have earned and are making plans to spend it already.

We are going to hang out down there for a bit and have a family dinner together. I won't be back until really late as a result. Then, tomorrow, I have to take a friend in for a medical test. Since it involves sedation, they won't let her drive herself and neither will I. I probably won't get back from that until lunch time and, depending on how everyone is doing, the boys want to go shopping tomorrow. Hehe, the money is already burning a hole in their pockets.

Have a wonderful day and I'll see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: the mountains of NC

to view a larger version of any of the pics, just click

The mountains of North Carolina have many hidden treasures. Almost 13 years ago, Vic and I took our last pre-kids vacation there. We had such an incredible time despite freezing our asses off. Don't scoff, that November, the temps in Boone, NC were colder than the temps in Anchorage, Alaska. We went up to the top of Grandfather Mountain and I looked longingly at the swinging bridge.

Unfortunately, the bridge was far to icy and it was far to windy for me to think about attempting to waddle across it. The next day, we drove over to Linville Caverns to explore the caves. My camera at the time sucked at taking pics in dark settings but I did get this beautiful shot on the way over...
The caves were very cool but I wasn't ready to head back to our hotel yet so I bugged Vic until he agreed to take me on the hike to see Linville Falls. Why did I have to bug him you ask? Well, the description of the site and the trails said "the trails range in difficulty from moderate to strenuous" and I didn't want to do the wimpy one. Hell, I was only 6 months pregnant, why shouldn't I go on a 3+ mile round trip hike (and, of course, the first mile and a half is pretty steep). We took this pic before we set out on the hike...

and we got this pic of me when we reached the falls (the pic of Vic is here just because I really like it)...

It wasn't that much warmer when we reached the falls. I was just so hot from having hiked all that way. I don't think that was one of my more brilliant decisions but Vic wisely kept his mouth shut and didn't say "I told you so." The final day of our vacation, we went panning for gemstones at Gem Mountain. They have a sluice for panning in and you buy a bucket of dirt and stones. They guarantee each bucket will have at least one decent size gemstone in it but we found out that persistence pays off. We got a 5 gallon bucket and spent about 2 hours painstakingly searching it. They gave you a chart to compare your stones too but I got too frustrated by that and was just keeping out any stone that appeared to have a shine or an interesting color to it. Man, oh man, did we get lucky. I have a gallon ziploc bag that is halfway full of gemstones including one sapphire, a few small emeralds, a ruby, a bunch of amethysts, citrine, and topaz. I had one of the amethysts we found cut and set in a ring. Other than my wedding and engagement ring, it's the one piece of bling I wear with any regularity...

I really want to go back and take the kids there sometime soon. I know they would have a wonderful time.


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.

Have you read it?

Have you read it? Have you read any of the 1,000+ page health care bill? If you haven't, why not? It is available on many sites online but I liked using the copy on PatientsUnitedNow because not only do they have the complete text but it is searchable.

I will agree with the proponents of this bill on one thing and one thing only. Our healthcare system does need to be reformed. It is criminal that malpractice insurance has gotten so prohibitively expensive that there is at least one state that is completely without a Trauma Center. It is criminal that malpractice insurance has gotten so out of control that that obstetricians are fleeing the business because because they can't afford the risk of delivering babies. How sad is that? Something MUST be done about the frivolous lawsuits that are driving malpractice costs through the roof. It is criminal that there are people in our nation that go without healthcare and our congress has such fabulous coverage.

That said, the bill that is currently being proposed scares the living shit out of me. This bill is being presented as a way to widen our choices but what it does is limit them. Many entry level jobs don't offer insurance and many people in their early twenties make the decision to not buy insurance because they decide they don't need it. Under this proposed plan, if your job does not offer insurance, you are suppose to buy from the government plan. If you don't buy from the government plan, the government fines you for not having insurance. And, each year you don't buy it, they fine you more until avoiding insurance becomes more expensive than buying it. That doesn't sound like a choice to me, does it? On top of that, many of the big name insurance companies would be limited as to how many people they could enroll, thereby forcing people towards the government plan.

This plan also makes it illegal to pay for medical care out of pocket. This forces people to buy health insurance and, if their job doesn't offer it, that means buying into the government program. That means, if you don't like the care options your insurance offers, you would NOT be able to go to another doctor and pay for it by yourself. Your doctor could be fined heavily if they did that. I have personally talked to many doctors who have said they will most likely retire early if this healthcare plan is pushed through.

Since 2003, Obama has said he was a proponent of single-payer, universal healthcare plan. Now, he is supporting this public plan option. Have you ever asked where most of the body of this healthcare plan came from? This bill is heavily based on a plan that was shopped around to all the Democratic candidates by a Yale professor, Jacob Hacker. And, Professor Hacker freely admits that this type of plan will have the long term affect of driving the private insurance providers out of business thereby leading to a single-p[layer, universal healthcare plan.. If you want to hear what has been said about plans like this, watch this video. The government has already had one attempt at running a healthcare plan. The government runs Medicare...and they have run it into the ground. Medicare is used and abused by many. Medicare is a government sponsored program that our elderly are FORCED into. It doesn't matter if you have healthcare or are independently wealthy, when you reach a certain age, you must enroll in Medicare. Can you imagine being Bill Gates and being told you MUST enroll in Medicare because you have reached that magical age? Medicare drastically underpays doctors and hospitals on many things and, as a result, the official price of things gets jacked up so the medical establishment can recoup a greater percentage of the real cost. This has driven up medical costs for EVERYBODY. Do you really want the government who has done this to our healthcare system already to be in charge of our insurance system?

Despite its flaws, the quality of care offered by the doctors and hospitals across our country is the envy of many worldwide. People come from all over the world to receive treatment here in the United States. You would be hard pressed to match the quality of care offered and the medical advances made in our nation. I am afraid the creativity that has led to these advances would be stifled under the regulations of this proposed healthcare bill. There are people from other countries who are beseeching us to not go down this road.

Governor Huckabee had an interesting suggestion for managing the insurance problems of our healthcare system. Currently, healthcare insurance is bound by state lines. Governor Huckabee pointed out that car insurance (not the same, I know) was dramatically more expensive when it was limited to companies within state lines and that the cost of car insurance dropped dramatically when insurance plans were no longer bound by state lines. Allowing health insurance plans to cross state lines might have the same effect. I'm not saying that is the solution. I'm saying it bears investigation. Yes, we need to fix healthcare. Yes, we need to control insurance costs. But, please dear God, don't turn this power over to the government. Our founding fathers limited government power for a reason. Don't hand over yet another rein of power to the government.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I can proudly say...

that I did absolutely no housework today other than what was strictly necessary. You know, a few dishes, feeding the child, things like that. I decided that after busting my ass all day yesterday that I would do what I wanted to do today. I even had the perfect excuse. A fellow blogger asked for my help in finding a pattern for a University of Alabama baby afghan. Since neither of us could find one, I immersed my self in the fun of designing today. I got the pattern off to her this evening and, hopefully, it is without any mistakes. I had a blast doing it.

Mr. Gabeycakes and I had a fabulous day too. He decided that we had to make cookies today since we didn't have any in the house. What?!? A household with kids that didn't have cookies...that's a crime. Well, evidently, Gabe thought so too because he insisted on rectifying that. We made two pans of chocolate chip cookie bars and played numerous rounds of "The Ghost Game" (known to the rest of us as Ms. Pacman) which is his latest obsession.

I promise I won't have too many more of these lame-o mommy blogger posts. I love talking about my kids and I love that y'all come around to read about it but, at least the posts are usually more entertaining. I'll try to come up with something more scintillating for y'all to read.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm tired...

and, I am amazed at how much more I can get done when I'm not riding herd over 3 kids (especially 2 older ones who aggravate the crap out of each other). I miss Marty and Joey but I am enjoying the productivity. Today, I stripped my bed and washed and dried the sheets. I also cleaned the boys' bathroom, scrubbed the kitchen floor and cabinets, washed the bathroom rug, and mowed the back yard. Tomorrow, I am going to at least make a dent in the chaos of the boys' room. Gabe was such a great little helper today. Hopefully that will continue tomorrow.

The Twilight Zone

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... The Twilight Zone.
Yes, my friends, I feel like I'm in The Twilight Zone this morning. At just past 9 am, I gently wake up to Gabe coming out of his room. I hear no sniping, no arguing, no "But it's my turn." That's right y'all, except for the noise of Gabe getting out of bed, I wake up to QUIET. Gabe came into my room, climbed up into bed with me, and snuggled for a few minutes. I didn't hear any yells of "Mom, I'm HUNGRY." We've had no arguments over what gets watched on TV or what games get played...truly The Twilight Zone.

However did this unusual state of affairs occur? Well, yesterday my dad drove up to my house and picked up Marty and Joey. Earlier this summer, my mom gave my nieces a chance to earn some money by helping her teach swimming. This week, my boys are getting the chance to earn money by working their asses off helping Grandma and Grandpa around the house and the yard. They will only spend the first half of the day working but, their work day will start by 8:30 am. After lunch, they will get to go to the pool and do other fun and relaxing things. They will get a chance to work and earn money and, I will have a chance to get things done in their room here.

See y'all, Marty's sloth tends to be contained and limited, but, Joey's slothful tendencies will grow and evolve, gathering steam, until they become a runaway train with no hopes of recovery. I am going to take a before picture and, hopefully, before they come home, I can take an after picture of their clean room. Yes, I do make them clean up. After all, they are 12 and 8 years old. However, their idea of clean and mine are vastly different. And, when they are present for the cleaning process, every scrap of paper, every piece of toy becomes vitally important and they can't bare to part with it. It is much easier to adopt a scorched earth policy without the boys around to help.

So, I'm going to enjoy the relative peace and quiet this week and, between relaxing and entertaining Gabe, I am going to reclaim the older boys' room. I'm looking forward to a productive week. Hope you are too!

What plans do y'all have for this week?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Stroke of Brilliance completed...

I actually finished it last night which tells you how quick a project it was...the idea hit around 3 pm and I finished it last night before bed. The only materials I had to provide were thread and a needle (and, of course, a sewing machine). After making the memory quilt, I had a maternity shirt and three bibs left over. I was trying to figure out a way to use them creatively without having to make another whole quilt. Then it struck me, what does every mother need? A laundry bag. And, this is what I came up with out of one repurposed maternity shirt and 3 bibs...
The long sleeves were used to make the handle and the bibs were hand appliqued on there. The open necked area is on the back and I added hook and eye closures so laundry or whatever is stored in here won't fall out. I am really thrilled with how it turned out. What do y'all think?

Carrie mentioned that she couldn't see how it worked and I didn't think to explain since I had it right there in front of me. You just can't see the opening from the front of the bag. The little bit of white you see at the top it the collar which is attached to a v shaped neckline. I've attached fasteners to the neckline so it can be shut so the clothes don't fall out.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A stroke of brilliance...

I'm so excited. I told y'all I was working on a memory quilt for a special someone. I was trying to figure out what to do with the few items that didn't get used in the quilt and I had a crafty stroke of brilliance. I should be done with the extra project by either tomorrow or Monday and I'll show it to y'all then. I think this is one of the better ideas I have had.

Friday, August 07, 2009

My Soulmate

Almost 17 years ago, I went out on the first date with the love of my life. I was only 8 months out of a long relationship and I wasn't looking for anything serious. I just wanted someone to hang out with and have some fun with. My ever helpful friend Kristi set me up with this guy who also volunteered at the rescue squad...little did I know what I was getting into. The day after our *first date, I told Kristi "I'm going to have to watch myself with this one." Of course, she asked me why and I told her "If I'm not careful, I'm going to fall hard and fast for him." He said everything right. He did everything right. And, I was right. I did fall hard and fast. A little over 2 years later, Vic and I were married and I have never, ever regretted giving my heart and soul to this wonderful man. The path our life has taken hasn't been smooth and it certainly hasn't been easy but I could not have picked a better traveling companion. He makes me laugh so easily and he holds me and dries my tears when life gets to me. He truly was made for me and I thank God I found him.

The love of my life turns 50 today and it would mean a lot to me if you joined me in wishing him a happy birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY! I hope we have at least 50 more together.

*the details of which remain under lock and key lest I incriminate myself

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Do you know what I just spent the last half an hour doing? Cleaning up the GOD AWFUL MESS Gabe made while I was putting dinner in the crock pot. I had the gall and temerity to spend about 45 minutes in the kitchen peeling and chopping carrots, potatoes, and onions and putting them in the crock pot along with the beef I had marinating over night. And, what did that little shit hellion twit child of mine who I love so much do? He opened the tube of desitin (and it was the original, thick version) and decided to decorate my lovely dark reddish brown love seat with it. He also got it all over his shirt, his shorts, and my chair. Thank God the tube was less than 1/3 full.
Can I trade him in for the same make and model with a better attitude?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: the bra tales

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, a little girl and her mom went shopping for her first bra. Unfortunately, the girl's preschool aged sister went with them. This girl was only in the 5th grade so she was rather embarrassed about the whole process of shopping for a bra and her sister didn't make it any better. Her little sister marched into the store singing, "Grow little boobies, bigger, bigger; I want a better lookin' figure..." The girl, her mom, and her sister headed toward the lingerie section and, it was quite obvious where that was because they had mannequins clad in all shapes and sizes of bras along the top of the shelves. Then, the little sister topped off the girl's level of embarrassment by announcing at the top of her lungs "Get that big orange one Kristin. It's sexy."


A few years back my sister (yeah the same one that embarrassed me) was telling me about a shopping trip with her friend. And, my sis was totally cracking up. She said this friend was too embarrassed to try on bras but she had figured out that her head was the same size as her boobs (either she had a really small head or really big boobs because my ginormous bra fits my head). So, her solution was to try bras on her head instead of actually trying them on. I have yet to figure out why that is less embarrassing but its a damned funny story.


And, that last story brings me to this picture. It was just too cute to not share and it fits the theme perfectly.

Most of us have heard Mel's tale of the turkey cutlet bra. Do you guys have any other interesting or funny bra stories to share?


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.

Wordless Wednesday...help me name this

I took this picture earlier this week and I absolutely love it. I love the dark and light and all the meaning that can have inour life. Help me name this picture...please.

Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE and HERE.

Win an Acer® Aspire® Timeline laptop...

BlogHer and Intel are giving away 8 laptops just in time for back to school. They had 8 bloggers and their families review these rockin' 'puters and all you have to do is visit each blog to enter. So, hop on over to Mom to the Screaming Masses, Deb on the Rocks, Bacon is my Enemy, Owlhaven, and Petroville. Woulda,Coulda,Shoulda, Mocha Momma, and Busy Mom will have their reviews and giveaways up soon.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I'm not worthy...

Honestly guys, I am touched by the awards but I really and truly don't know what I did to deserve them.

The amazing Shelly over at Momfiles.com gave me the One Lovely Blog award.
Shelly and her hubby Dwayne are both funny as hell, she is an amazing mom, and I love reading her blog. It means a lot to be recognized by her. I would like to pass this award onto...
  1. Sunshine of Sunshine's Creations - she is incredibly talented and creative and often takes the time to create a tutorial for the fabulous projects she creates.
  2. Rys of Confessions of a Clutter Queen - she is funny, creative, a fabulous mommy, and the best friend I could ask for. Go check her out.
  3. Maria of Immoral Matriarch - Maria is funny, unflinchingly honest and very open about her take on things. I recently discovered her blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
  4. Heather of Geek By Marriage - Heather is generous, funny, a great mom, and a wonderful friend.
To officially receive and pass on this award...
1. Add the logo to your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you’ve received the award.
3. Nominate fifteen seven however many blogs you love or have newly discovered.
4. Leave a message on the nominees’ blogs telling them of their award.


The second award was given to me by Sandy over at Between Lightning. Sandy presented the Scholastic Scribe's Superior Scribbler Award to me.
I am incredibly honored because not only is this an award for writing, but it was presented to me by someone who is an both an English professor and a writer herself. Honestly, I didn't really think of myself as a writer until fairly recently but, if I'm not a writer, then what the hell have I been doing for 600+ posts...LOL. I'd like to pass this award onto...
  • Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka - Aunt Becky is an incredibly talented writer who often seem to be very self-deprecating about her talent. She wrote the most amazing series of posts about her beautiful daughter Amelia that can be found here...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8. If you pop over there to read those posts (and you definitely should) take some tissues with you.
  • Cara of Building Heavenly Bridges and The Bear and The Comedian - Cara has the biggest heart of just about anyone I know and she has such talent as a writer. She tells the story of her Emma in a way that makes all of us feel like we were right there with her.
  • BecomingWhole - I KNOW my dear friend often underestimates herself and her worth but she is amazing. Her story is one of self discovery and rebuilding after the person who was suppose to love her the most turned out to be a rat bastard. Yeah, a lot of people tell that story but few people tell it with the stark honesty and such unflinching self evaluation that is her trademark.
  • Dave of Rolling Around In My Head - Dave writes with insight, wit, and wisdom that seldom is found all in one location. I've only been reading his blog for a short time but I often find myself laughing out loud or nodding my head in agreement. Check him out.
  • Another Dreamer of An Unwanted Path - She is an incredibly talented writer who has overcome so very much. She may not realize it but she is an inspiration to me.
The rules for this award say...
1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass on the award to 5 the most deserving blogs.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received the award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog, and link to the original post, which explains the award.
4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the same original post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!
5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mother Nature's a bitch...

or, How to screw with the Cruz's Special Moments

I can't tell a single story about a trip early in our relationship and marriage without talking about how the weather went horribly wrong. Vic and I took our first trip together around Thanksgiving 1992. We had Thanksgiving dinner with my family and they got to meet *Vic for the first time. We then planned on heading down to Fort Fisher to spend a couple of days at the beach. Yeah, we knew the weather in November wouldn't allow us to swim but we had hoped to be able to walk on the beach, search for shells, and maybe build a sand castle. Very little of any of that got done. Every SINGLE TIME we got into the car, it started to rain. And, it wasn't just a little bit of rain. It was a whole fucking lot of rain. Despite all that, we had a fabulous vacation together and even managed to figure out we were compatible in many areas of our life.

Fast forward 2 years to November 21, 1994. Vic and I were preparing to get married. Our first ceremony was a simple ceremony in front of the Justice of the Peace. Not only was it raining, but the heavens opened up and it was the most horrendous thunder storm I had seen in ages. Yes, there was a thunderstorm in November. We almost never have thunderstorms in November. Did the weather get better during our honeymoon? Hell no. We headed to Gettysburg to see the sites. One day, the wind was whipping so hard, I was able to physically lean into the wind and it held me up and kept me from falling. But, was that enough? Of course not, the weather gods had it in for us. We capped off our honeymoon with snow in November in Gettysburg.

By now, you would think we would have started to get a clue. If Kristin and Vic plan a trip, one must pack for every eventuality because there will be some screwed up weather. Evidently, we are slow learners because we planned our church wedding and another honeymoon for the following November (1995) and didn't take weather precautions. Once again, the storm on our wedding day was bad enough that I thought about calling Noah to hitch a ride. And, yes, said storm was accompanied by hellacious thunder. Then, there was our honeymoon at Disney World. Florida in November is suppose to be nice, isn't it? I mean, it's Florida. You might need light weight long sleeves but surely you don't need a jacket. Well, the Heat Miser must have forgotten to check his messages or maybe he just took a wrong turn at Albuquerque because it got COLD one night...early winter in NC, not fall in Florida...cold enough that we were scrambling for sweatshirts.

Ok God, I get the message. Plan for the worst. I was firmly convinced we would have ice on the road when I went into labor with Marty. He was due in the first half of February and that is still a pretty cold month. I was pleasantly surprised when the weather was fairly moderate the day he decided to make his appearance. I thought that finally we would get through a big event without Mother Nature fucking with me. I was wrong. See, obviously the powers that be had figured out that we would expect and compensate for bad weather now. They decided to surprise us with good weather instead. Here I had lovingly crocheted a long sleeved coming home outfit and Mother Nature graced us with 65 degree weather...that bitch. We followed that occurence up a few years later with bringing home our November baby in a driving snow storm...and driving snow storms do NOT happen in November in NC.

Obviously, Vic and I have some screwy weather juju going on between the two of us. I think the moral is that we can't plan for anything because nature will find a way to say up yours and screw with our plans. Hell, at least it makes for some good stories.

Do y'all have any weird weather tales you would like to share?

*Remind me to tell you the story about when my mom first met Vic someday.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Blogging Babes Meet...and a milestone

I had an absolutely fabulous day. The bbq for North Carolina ALI bloggers was incredible. JJ and her hubby Mook were fabulous hosts and made everyone feel completely at home. I was thrilled to get to meet JJ, Mook and their little man. I also got to meet the exceptionally cool Kate from Bee in the Bonnet and her fabulous hubby. The party was rounded out by the lovely Sue (who really, really needs to get a blog), her hubby, and their little infertility miracle who is 11 weeks old. Unfortunately, circumstances interferred with a number of the ladies' plans to join the festivities.

The food was amazing and the conversation was even better. I was truly shocked when I looked at the clock and realized we had been there for over 5 hours and we really needed to head home. Damn that hour and forty minute drive and the non-existence of transporters. I hope we can all get together again.

Pictures to come later.

HAPPY *belated 600 POSTS TO ME!

*The main dashboard page says 600 posts with this one but the edit post page and the total (if you add all the posts listed on the blog itself) says 604.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I'm off to see the wizard...

Actually, in a few hours, I'm off to see JJ of Reproductive Jeans. The fabulous JJ is hosting a bbq for North Carolina ALI bloggers. And, the best part is that my hubby volunteered to stay home with the kids. I really wish Vic could come but he's had a crazy week at work and probably wouldn't be that social to begin with so it works well. I'm taking my camera, some delish cookies, and my best friend and sister by choice Jennifer. I can't wait!