Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

She is coming to DENVER!!!

OK, mark June 18th on your calendars because it's Ladies Night Out to go see one of my favorite funny authors!!!

Jennifer Lancaster, author of:
is bringing the book tour to Denver, and WE ARE THERE. Mrs Nielson, TZ, ColleenO, Gladys Kravitz, and all y'all are to be sure that this evening is clear. My eternal gratitude is promised. (Oh, and we'll be sure to get a signed copy for our neighbor in Oz.) If you feel the need to read any of her stuff before then, I have all three of her books. Just let me know! (More details to be posted as they appear on her website.)
Happy happy happy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Since I missed Wordless Wednesday...

Welcome to Two Word Thursday:

No. Way.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What I'm feeling today

It has been almost 3 weeks since we lost our mom. I'm still just as sad as the day it happened, but I've been able to let it out of my mind for periods of time. Like when I'm around friends and at the kids school. As long as I'm not talking to people about her I'm OK. Mid-morning most days seems to bring a rush of sadness - although she is still the first thing to pop in to my mind once I'm awake and I've already yelled at DD1 to get her teeth brushed or I'll take her to the dentist and have them pulled. (Me? Not a morning person.) When I'm driving in the car without the kids I often find myself in tears before I even realize it is happening... and most nights I still cry myself to sleep.

She's gone.

She really isn't coming back.

I've been confused as to the timeline of stuff lately, and find myself thinking in terms of "before" and "after" it happened. Disneyland for DD1? Before. Kindergarten orientation? Right after. Oil change in the car? I think after, could have been before? I have a hard time even imagining June at this point, because it just isn't conceivable to me at this time that the world could have kept going for over a month without her annoying phone calls and tiny barbs about how I haven't had the girls over in too long. (Ahhh, I've got my theories on why old people get a little bit mean... for another day.)

It is still strange to me that the world didn't stop, or even - except for our small corner - change a little.

If the internet is correct (yes, I'm a "diagnose yourself on the internet" kind of gal), I'm still in the first stage of grief: Shock. Numbness. Disbelief and unreality. All stage one. Although, If I look at some of the next stages I don't see myself hitting them .Denial, Anger, or Bargaining. I'm certainly not in denial, I really don't imagine I'll go through a phase of "this can't be happening to me." I don't act as if she is still here... unless you count that I'm going to buy her a ticket to the girls' dance recital. I just want her to have a good seat should she choose to come check on us and watch her little darlings. She never missed a dance recital! She was aged, and in poor general health, and I'm not angry at her for letting go. I'm proud of her that she let go easily when she knew it was time... how could I be angry for her having such confidence in her faith that she could say that "today is the day", and let go? I didn't make any bargains with God when she was in the hospital, either. If there had been a miracle I would have given great thanks, but I didn't ever want her to be in discomfort just for my selfish reasons. I knew God wanted for her what was best for her, and isn't God a better judge of that than I?

That leaves Depression and Acceptance. Depression? Like I don't already excel at that? I hope I don't get depressed over her passing. Although I have regrets, I had my mother a lot longer than one would have expected considering how hard her life had been at times. She had a chance to meet (and loved!) my husband, joyfully celebrated our wedding, was the first family member to hold both of my daughters (her and dad, waiting for visiting hours to begin!), and my kids are at an age where they will remember her. Sadness that she has passed, yes. But I hope not depression.

Accepting the loss and not just trying to bear it quietly (or loudly sometimes)? Is probably a ways off.

I'm so sad shes gone.

How you know skulls are no longer "edgy"

You see a sticker like this on the back of a minivan driving down the highway.
Just sayin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2nd post today... am on FIRE!

So, I know Vanessa knows about Twitter... but some of you might not. Twitter is like mini-blogging by text message - but you don't comment if your not a particitwitterpator. I myself don't Twitter, but I do follow a couple of people that amuse me.

There is a guy called "fireland", and he is hilarious. Almost every day he posts. Usually just one post a day. A very funny one liner - pretty adult, nsfk. I anxiously await to new entries (especially if I need a giggle), and check his twitter daily when I'm going though "my blogs." (My mother had "her stories" - soaps - I have "my blogs" - way more fun.)

If you need a laugh, add his http to your list.

FIRELAND's twitter

Auuugghhh! My eyes are burning!

With my very limited vocabulary the only word I can think of to describe this is horrified. I? Am horrified.

Because? I heart Matt Damon. Think he's so cute, and that Boston accent doesn't at all hurt. This is Matt, and isn't he such a cutie?

OK, now THIS is a picture of him I ran across while surfing gossip sites the other day:

For the love of God, the man looks like Ned Flanders.

Am horrified. This? Is not a good look for People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. No, it is not.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

(Ok, maybe not so wordless... my kids don't even pick their clothes up off the floor without a fight, and this child is knitting her own sweaters. See, this is why you should believe it when your grandfather tells you stories about how he had to walk 5 miles to school! Barefoot! In the snow, uphill both ways! With only a crust of bread for lunch! Life was a lot rougher back then... they even made their 3 year olds knit the family outwear. Maybe this is why the older generations seem to have a much stronger work ethic? Things were harsh, everybody pitched in, lots of kids left school as soon as possible to earn money for the family. In this day and age, in this part of the world kids might get after school jobs to earn money for their own clothes or gas for their car... but I can't imagine any of them turning their paycheck over to mom and dad for the family good. I wonder how we go about finding a happy medium?)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My new best friend...

(From my email)

Let me present Mr. Leonard Jefferson. Who has a great deal of money for me! And now Emails me every. single. day. Why wouldn't I email personal information to larrysmithfedexdelivery1 at Sounds perfectly legit, right? Because Fed Ex probably doesn't have it's own domain... why would they? Gmail is good enough for the masses, why wouldn't a fortune 100 company jump on board?
Plus? The excellent grammar should lead me to believe that he's for real!

Seriously, do people fall for this? Whatever happened to con-artists having some pride in their work? Elaborately planned schemes, meticulously groomed details? Back in the day con-artists were proud of their abilities - they were sneaky and took time to plan their cons. Now? Any foreign sleeze with a tentative grasp on the English language thinks they can dupe the general public. Sheesh. Get a grip. At least the Nigerians came up with a letter that used proper grammar!

Peace out, Leonard. I'm sure I'll hear from you again tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Have you seen this headline yet? (Thank you, Mrs. Nielson, for bringing it to my attention) "Happy Mother's Day: Woman pregnant with 18th child"

This? This I could ponder for a while. If you'd like to read the whole article you should click HERE, but this is about the Duggar family of Arkansas, and TLC / Discovery Channel fame. Seems the old spark still exists between Michelle and Jim Bob!

If I could, I would have several "first reactions" to this news (I've listed my top ten):

Wow! Why?

Does that woman know how large her carbon footprint is getting?

Do you realize that you now have a better chance of sharing a birthday with a Duggar than of ever winning the lottery?

I wonder if any of these children will ever have more than 2 or 3 kids when they have their own families?

With the oldest being 20 years old, and Michelle showing no signs of slowing down, it is conceivable (lol) that she could show up to her son's wedding pregnant.

Do you think childbirth even hurts by the 18th time?

How many Mother's Day cards does this woman want? Because now she's just being greedy!

I wasn't aware that the Duggar family owned a farm!

Doesn't this woman ever have a headache?

I know it would be exciting to be in Guinness Book of World Records, but I think I'd rather get there by eating pie.

Of course, the above reactions are just me being snarky - as I can barely handle the two kids we've managed to bring in to this world. Gifts from God? Yes, they are! But EIGHTEEN? Eighteen. 18. Children.

Give her strength! (And perhaps a headache once in a while.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Catching up on a couple of things

First I need to mention that one year ago today was the day she broke her arm. DD2, so sad. This picture is from the morning after our evening at the ER, and she didn't get her pink cast until later that week. Her last soccer game was today and there were no broken bones or major injuries of any kind. Aside from a couple of skinned knees she incurred on the driveway yesterday she is injury free. Hopefully we'll stay cast free for a good, LOOOOONNNNGGG time!

We finally had our Garage Sale yesterday. (Thanks to Mrs. Kravitz and Mrs. F for making it such a fun day!) The sale was such a success that we only needed to spend one day sitting in the garage while hordes of people descended on our neighborhood in search of "another man's treasure." All of our Little People are gone, the slide, kitchen, playhouse, sandbox... all a distant memory of toddlerhood. The only one that choked me up was when someone bought the mobile that I had used over the girls cribs when they were brand new. I actually was going to keep that for a while (or you know, forever... whichever came first) but it was too strangely shaped to store efficiently. My husband is NOT a hoarder, so - aside from my familial tendencies to save all such "precious memorabilia" as childhood toys and school projects - I am slowly learning to purge. Take a picture, and let it go. Do I really want a diorama depicting the natural habitat of the two toed sloth around for the long haul? No. Will I be able to be this brutal going forward? I dearly hope so, as I don't want to stick my children with this overly emotional baggage burden I carry with me. Bye Bye Sweet Streets doll houses. Farewell Madeline and friends. Au Revior blocks, kid videos, books, and previous Christmas presents we just couldn't live without.

I won't sell it all away. DD1's hippo and unicorn - that she has slept with since babyhood, DD2's blue doggy, some of the Barbie toys... there are a couple of things I will save for them. And the small plastic princesses. Must save the small plastic princesses! Those define a period of my children's childhood. For a few years we were all about princesses, and those will take up less space to store than the trunk of dress up clothes that will most likely be sold the next time we get the urge to garage sale.

On this Mother's Day weekend I was reminded, through something as simple as a garage sale, of growing up, letting go, looking back, loving where we have been, awaiting where we will go.... moving forward while desperately wanting once in a while to press the pause button and halt them getting older so quickly!

Oh - and speaking of getting older? Happy Birthday, Marcie!!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A little over a week ago...

...was the day we celebrated my mom's life, and said good-bye. At the reception following the mass all of the grandchildren stood up and read a tribute they had written about how much they loved her. They got together the night before to write it, and each read a few sentences. It was very touching.

My nephew has it posted on his blog. If you'd like to read it, here it is.

I love you, Jay, and all of your wonderful cousins: Kate, David, Roy, Lia, Leesie, Michael, Amy (technically not your cousin!), Annie, and Julia.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's here!!!!

OMG, I pre-ordered this months ago.... and IT'S HERE!

It's here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

What is it??

Only the newest book by one of my favorite chick lit authors, Jen Lancaster!! I started it while eating dinner, because if I had to pick between Jen and family chit chat? She wins hands down every. single. time.

And, you know one of the best things about this author? She would totally laugh if she found out that I splashed gravy all over page 3 of this book chronicling her adventures in dieting. She? Is so great!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's that time of year again!

Have I ever mentioned that DD2 has some sensory integration issues? Well, she does, and it tends to make her a little quirky. Sensory issues are tough... because they have no specific pattern that they follow - but if you irritate her by trying to pretend they don't exist... well that is a fight you just cannot win.

Here is our latest:
Spring is here in Colorado. Some days the weather is lovely, other days the weather is absolute crap. Believe it or not - we have a harder time dressing DD2 when the weather is lovely. She is able to go from long sleeves to short sleeves with no problem (this is the first year we've not had to "ease" her in to short sleeves slowly, because what she really wanted was her arms covered up so that nasty air couldn't touch them), but pants don't seem to be so easy. She will wear a dress, preferably with tights or knee socks, but I have been able to convince her that the air won't bug her too much if she is is in socks that stop at the ankle. Shorts and capri pants are much harder for her to wear. (Why? We don't know. The experts don't know. God does know, but I'm not speaking to him today - all good natured of course, he knows why I'm mad and he's OK with it for a little while.) Shorts and capris require LONG socks, either knee socks or crew socks pulled ALL the way up. (She also insists on wearing socks with sandals, and will probably insist upon this until around the end of June. Why? See above.) To deny her, to tell her that she cannot have socks covering up all exposed lower leg flesh, is to ask her to shut down her brain, have a tantrum, and to be able to focus on nothing but her vulnerable exposed flesh until it is covered again. The part that I really have a hard time understanding is that if she is in a skort or shorts, she is OK with her upper leg being exposed... it's the lower leg that throws her sensory world upside down. Gotta be covered from toes to knees. Crazy, right?

So, if you see a darling little freckle faced girl wearing capris, knee socks, and stack heel Hello Kitty sandals please be kind. I'm sure by the end of May - given enough nice days to practice airing out her skin - she'll be able to dress normally again.

Although I hear that one of my brothers spent an entire summer wearing long underwear. I hold my head up high when I tell you that my family seems to have a history of embracing and celebrating its quirks. (But, to be on the safe side, we're not going to buy DD2 a pair of long underwear any time soon!)

UPDATE on Monday morning: And, just so she can make a liar out of her mom (as DD2 is nothing if not a little ornery), today she decided that she's wear ankle socks with her little mary jane shoes with her capri pants. Her decision. Go figure.

Friday, May 2, 2008

...and still the world marches onward

Ready or not, today was kindergarten orientation. Ready? NOT! For many reasons I wanted to skip this today, not the least of which is that I still have a hard time facing that a new day has started without my mom here. But, this would have been a tough day anyway - as DD2 is ready to be a kindergartner. I? Am SO not ready to have my baby be that old. How is it possible that she is already of that age? She is my baby! But go we did, and while the parents met in the media center this morning, the future kindys of America went to the kindergarten room to do whatever it is they do. Afterwards she told me, "It wasn't fun, and I didn't talk." What??? I'm thinking that the teacher will NEVER believe that this child has the same parents as DD1... who never stops talking, will participate until they convince her that other children need a turn, and thinks that school is the most fun thing in the world aside from Disneyland. To say they are different in every way is an understatement.

I did find out today, however, that she will not be doing kindy enrichment next year. (They are loaded to the gills with full time enrichment students, so no part time kids will be accepted. This is the first time in the history of kindy enrichment at our school that this has happened.) I like to think that God gave me this gift, because now I have a reason to keep her with a little bit longer every day for another year.

I wonder if God knew I'd need this so very much? Because it's not feeling like much of a coincidence right now.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My mom always did love a good funeral!

It's true. She did. She was probably quite happy yesterday with the way things turned out. The flowers were beautiful, her coffin was simple and pretty, her kids and grandkids were all looking their best, her husband was in his finest suit, her extended family turned out to say a loving goodbye, the priest did a great job with the mass and blessings, my dad's cousin ("Uncle Phil" who was best man at their wedding) said the homily, my sister put together a great eulogy, the songs were the right songs for my mom, friends turned out for all of her children - even if they had never met my mom, and her grandchildren put together a nice tribute that was presented at the reception. After the short prayer at the cemetery and after we were delivered back to the church, we all decided to go home, change clothes and meet back at my parents house. We had a wonderful time just being together. Except for one sister-in-law (who had been with us 24-7 until that point - when real life needed her for the evening), one brother-in-law (who isn't allowed to travel yet because of his kidney transplant), one nephew-in-law, and the two great grandchildren (who are in GA, and were unable to attend but were there in spirit) my entire immediate family was together and laughing at mom and dad's house and there was a lot of love.

I learned a lot about my family over the past few days. (God, has it only been a few days?) I learned that we do all belong together, the people who have married in to our family are just as much family as those of us born to be together, and we really aren't as dysfunctional as I may have previously thought. We work together pretty well, and we love each other a lot. And most of that is due to my mother... who loved every single one of us without measure.

I think, at the end of the day, my dad thought the funeral day went very well. Bravo, Dad. You made sure it was everything she would have wanted.