Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Still July for one more day anyway.

I'll be darned I had two different people today mention that summer vacation was almost over. For heaven's sake school doesn't start until Sept. 7th!!

I ran into one Mom in the hardware this morning who lamented that summer was going by way too quickly and then a few buddies of Tommy came over tonight and the one kid was like "Mrs. P, school starts in only a month!" I just want to say AHHHH!!!! This has been an awesome summer and I've had a lot of fun already but I still have a whole month to go! Glass half full here people!

Granted this week I did spend some time in my (hopefully gonna be) new Reading Series getting acquainted but I'm not even thinking about going back yet. I'm loving my dog days of summer. But that's us humans always lamenting about the next pivotal yearly moment coming upon us quicker than we want it too; school is almost here, Halloween is right around the corner, Thanksgiving is coming quickly, Christmas will be here before we know it and then oh my, another year gone.

I wonder if time really does fly. Because I do believeth that July hath flyeth by.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Collassal Catastrophe...almost

Oh wow have I had some disastrous days. The nice neighbors Jolly John and Janet whom I abundantly adore leave us in charge of their gigantic garden and yonder yard every sunny summer while they go on their various vacations. Is that some lame alliteration? Ok, I'll quit.

We get to eat all the veggies we can stomach and enjoy their beautiful yard. One of these years I'm going bold and hosting a garden party at their house. Just kidding. haha. The place is fabulous, all kinds of exotic and not so exotic plants and a fabulous pond with fish and flowing waters and oh just a breathtaking scene compared to our backyard with grass and one tree and token shrubs and small flower bed.

I've been stressing for a few days because I believe I hath killed their Gerber Daisy. I've been trying to resurrect it, I've googled about their care, I've asked others for advice but it's dead. And I'm taking it personally.

But the big disaster occurred today. The pond loses water and I have to fill it often. Last night I went over, fed the fish, took care of the plants and decided to put the hose in and start filling the pond. I told myself I'd come back after I watered my few plants. Well somehow in the course of the action I forgot about the pond. This morning I was up early to paint the boys room and thus took Ashley to daycare. I was backing out of our driveway and thought "why is the neighbors gate open?" Then suddenly the light bulb went on and I gasped and threw the van in park and ran to the yard expecting it to be a mini Lake Michigan and the fish to be floating out by the back fence belly up. My heart just sank and I muttered some expletives. But I'll be darned the yard was not flooded it has thankfully been terribly dry up here. The hose was still going and the pump and skimmer had stopped running obviously I'd flooded the breaker but it didn't look too bad. However, I couldn't find the fish and I didn't know just how jacked the pump was and oh fudge I figured my neighbors would kill me.

I called Joe and he was in the middle of crap at work and I just heard the life force sucked out of him when I told him. He just kind of said "I got nothing for ya" I think he was kind of in shock, he did later apologize for that; good hubby. I then decided to take Ashley to daycare after all and lamented to Jill about my plight. And she got me more worked up about Japanese Goldfish costing like $50 a piece and I'm thinking now OMG I'm going to be paying $500 in replacement fish plus a pump, and other electrical bizz. The Gerber Daisy was suddenly seeming like not much of a big deal. But I was thankful for Jill for the support unlike Fr. Bill who joked that the neighborhood varmints probably ate the fish when they did float down the yard. Aye yi yi.

I head home writing my story on the rotten neighbors website in my head and thinking if John and Janet don't kill me Joe certainly will. Thankfully I discover 3 fish in the pond alive. Yes! They have a ton of lily pads so the other 5 fish were hiding and eventually today I did see them all alive and well. I got up the nerve and called John in Chicago fearing the worst. And you know what? He laughed at me. :) He then said anything and everything in that backyard is replaceable and not to worry about it. They also were coming home today. I was trying my best to get the pump working again but it just wasn't happening. Me + electricity = stupid. Joe got home this afternoon and had it going again in no time. The neighbors then got home and we all had a good laugh about it. I guess John has forgotten about the hose a few times himself.

They brought the kids gifts and said they really should have brought something for me with all the stress I'd been through. Bless my neighbors dear hearts for not being mad at me. I guess in the grand scheme of life there are bigger fish to fry. Hiss Boo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Riding High!

Austin's Trail-a-bike finally came in and it was worth the wait. I think it will be great therapy for him with balance, stretching, and strengthening. And best of all he loved it! Tommy I think was the most happy for him which was really nice because sometimes they just don't get along the best. I'm thankful that we got that nice seat back that gave him more support because there's no way he could have stayed on a regular seat. However I think he will be able to eventually. In fact the improvement from him in just 2 days has been nothing short of remarkable. He was so wobbly and couldn't barely get his feet on the pedals to yesterday he was sitting much more stable and was even able to get his pedals around occasionally. He'll only get better.

Here is a short video of his first ride around the driveway.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are you fat or what?

Yo Ding Dong Man, Ding Dong, Ding Dong Yo. Ok, for two points where did I steal that famous or not so famous line?

Remember the Diet Schmiet post last year where I vowed to sabotage Joe's diet? Well I was successful with that. ;) However he started up a new plan in December with Spark People and he's had some success with it.

I've never had a problem with weight. I've always had normal BMI and weight but there are definitely problem areas in my body that need some toning et al. But I could pretty much eat what I want and my daily diet consisted of a lot of pop and other junk like cookies.

I found out I was pregnant for Ashley soon after my 30th birthday and since having her I haven't been able to get to under 130. In fact I found myself hovering around 135. Talking with ladies it seems the weight just kind of creeps up there as the years go by and is very hard to lose. My Mom is a testament to this. (sorry mom) Most people I would talk to would give me the "oh don't be ridiculous you're not fat!!" when I'd talk about losing weight. And I know I'm not fat but I don't want to be when I'm 50. One of my biggest supporters has been my Mom and has told me in a nice way I need to nip my weight gain in the bud now. She was like me but has slowly put on weight over the past 20 years. I don't want that to happen to me and neither does she. A couple years ago in Kohl's she was trying on tops and said something about her "bat wings" and Austin quickly chimed in "fat wings." LOL Thankfully she can laugh at that too. Pesky Austin. So with this near 135 experience I've decided to stop trying to defeat Joe and have instead joined him on the Spark. It's on my Iphone and I'm basically counting calories. I wanted to lose 9 pounds in 9 weeks. Well 10 days in and I've already lost 8 pounds. And what I thought would be my greatest difficulty (pop) has not been an issue. I've been under 130 for 3 days now. I'm doing great and I'm hoping I can keep it up. I'm still eating fast food occasionally but I'm drinking more water. I think giving up the liquid calories has been my way of success. Now if I can just tone these flabby areas. But I don't know if I'll ever have solid abs again. Pregnancy just did me in in that regard.

Another supporter has been Joe. And hopefully together we can help each other live a healthier life. I love my husband fat or thin. But I know that a thin hubby gives us greater odds of a long life together. So I guess I am for sure done sabotaging and maybe if we can keep up with our weight loss we'll go in for couple's liposuction eventually.

Oh and just to keep up with all the other popular and not so popular blogs Spark People did not pay me to mention their services and probably shouldn't as I'm not the most popular blog in the blogosphere but I try. ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010


It seems as I age things get crazier and crazier in every way.

Last week I went to Cedar Point with the Muylle's and Amy and had a blast. You can read about that here on Jill's page. The Muylle's were planning a family trip and I all but begged Jill to let me come along and had such a good time. I can't believe the way Cedar Point has changed. I still remember 1989 when the Magnum XL 200 came out and it was such a HUGE DEAL. It was the first coaster to reach over 200 feet and wow was it awesome; still is in my opinion. Then in 2000, the Millennium Force was the first "giga-coaster" reaching over 300 feet, a few years later the Top Thrill Dragster smashed that record hitting 400 ft and going 120 mph in seconds!! What a thrill indeed!! Which begs the question; just how long until the 500 ft record is smashed? My insides are hurting just thinking about it.

Music - yep, it's getting worse and worse. I blame Chuck Berry and My Ding-A-Ling lol. Or maybe it was the Elvis Pelvis works. All I know is that music has been getting more and more out there and nothing really stuns me anymore. Shock rockers/rappers have always been out there and will do what they can to sell albums. But it's too bad that it does have to get more and more extreme. But I don't go all apes when Lady Gaga does some new stupid gimmick, not like I did back in the day when Ozzy Osbourne used to eat the heads off of live bats. Same with movies and tv. No doubt many movies that are PG-13 today would be rated R back in my day.

How about even new extremes in food and beverages? Remember when beer was just beer? Everyone I knew growing up just drank Miller or Budweiser. Now you have Bud Light Lime, Red Wheat, etc. So many varieties. Taco bell - Mild, medium, or hot sauce. Now you've got FIRE!! And I'm married to one of those hit my taste buds harder people. Go out for wings and lets order the 911 wings! Why? I don't get any enjoyment from burning my eyebrows from the inside. It's almost like people are showing off when they eat like that. Joe goes through a bottle of Frank's Red Hot like no other. Ick. It ruins a good taco. Flaming hot cheetos turn your fingers red instead of the classic orange.

Maybe because the only spices I really was exposed to growing up were salt and pepper. But I've definitely evolved and have come to appreciate a tasty meal. But again I can still appreciate salt and pepper how many of you need to have your baked potatoes loaded with bacon and cheese when simple sour creme and chives would do?

And don't even talk to me about portion extremes! Joe's picture used to be on the wall at Captain Hooks in Frankenmuth because he ate a whale burger in under an hour. Oh yeah, he's that good. A burger that's as big as a spare tire and he dumpster-ed it in about 55 minutes. Everything is SUPER SIZED these days!

The proverbial envelope keeps getting pushed further and further to the breaking point.
But extremism isn't totally bad. I'm sure I'll be on that 800 ft coaster eventually after it's cleared for the over 30 crowd. I just might need to be wheeled out of the park afterward after my insides get rearranged.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I'm not a mover...

I moved out of my Dad's house which he has lived in since 1976 to Joe's trailer when we married in 1997.

We then moved to our current home in 2000. I have no intentions of moving...ever. It is my home. We have wonderful neighbors. The house isn't a huge castle but it's nice and perfect for our family. We live two minutes from Dad. I live two minutes from work. I've brought 3 children home for the first time here. Every Christmas they've had has been in this home, every birthday, every first day of school, etc. I love this home. It's full of love and we've made many great memories in our almost 10 years here.

My Grandparents old home is up for sale, they moved out in 2002. Yesterday I just stared at the real estate site photo of it. It's only selling for 26,900. It's small and basically they retired there after raising their 4 children on the family farm down the road. It was perfect though and just like my house here I have so many emotions and so many wonderful memories when I think of that house. Staring at that photo I could picture myself looking out the back window at the 8 red blinking TV antennas miles and miles away when I'd spend the night. I can hear the washing machine running in my head on Saturday mornings. I can hear the coffee perking and yeah I smell it too. I remembered riding my bike into that driveway so excited after finally arriving after the 7 mile trek. Years later I'd drive there and Grandpa would always head outside and tinker around with my old clunker car. Joe and I would go and play cards (Euchre) and it was always girls against guys. Grandpa & Joe would usually lose as Grandpa always thought his hand was better than it was. Then we'd wheel out and every time my Grammy would trek out from the dining room to the living room to wave good-bye to us from the big picture window. I'd usually cry a bit after leaving knowing that those special visits wouldn't last forever.

Seeing my Grandparents house I stared at that house for a very long time yesterday. That house was such a solace to me. My childhood wasn't horrible but it was definitely not your nuclear family "Beaver Cleaver" experience. I really can't imagine a tv show that emulates my life growing up but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. My Grammy was always the same. I'd usually find her sitting at the kitchen table smoking her cigarettes. She was ALWAYS happy to see me and I can still hear her say "Hi Dawn" in the same way. I miss her terribly.

Yesterday I had a fleeting moment of craziness thinking "I should buy that house." The cost would be like a car payment. But then cooler heads prevail and I think otherwise. My brother asked me if I wanted to go by and look in the windows and such and I almost said yes but turned him down. For $27K the previous owners must have just trashed the place. And besides it just wouldn't truly be the same on the inside. It's already odd driving by and not seeing Grandma's little lawn statues and bird feeders and such that she so enjoyed. It's just a house though, someone else will live there and hopefully make great memories there.

I'm not a mover...maybe someday if all three of my children move out to NY or something I'd decide to follow them. I guess it's not really the house, it's what makes the house a home. And I know that's a lame cliche but it's quasi-true.

Oh Home Sweet Home!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun with Friends!

You know you're good friends with people when you can spend more than a few hours with them right? This weekend the Muylle's invited us and the Bojo's up to Interlochen, MI to stay with Jill's parents and have some good old outdoor fun.

I don't even know how we started talking about going but Jill turned 40 last week and somehow weeks ago we got talking about it needing to be the best birthday ever. We had a nice lunch on her actual birthday Wednesday, Thursday there was a surprise party for her (and I tell you that was almost a fail because someone wasn't very cooperative about going to Amy's) i.e. not feeling well, marinating steaks for dinner, wanting to go to Walmart, needing prescriptions. But lo and behold she showed up only 15 minutes late and we all had a great time.
Now, for years I've always grumbled about being a nature hater. I vowed I'd never go camping again and her family couldn't really house us all comfortably and there was a chance some of Jill's sisters might want to come up too. We couldn't just take their place. So quasi-camping was the solution. We had my In-Laws offer up their trailer and vehicle to tow it, and also Mike & Julie offered up their trailer. I was happy I wouldn't be sleeping on the ground in a volatile tent. With the busy week and through an epiphany of sorts Joe and I decided that tenting it would actually not be too bad and was probably our best option. After all, we were only going to be gone two nights and it would have warranted us driving separately so we just bit the bullet and camped. And you know it was great!!! We used to camp a lot before we had kids and even took Tommy camping once when he was about Ashley's age. I am definitely up for revisiting our camping life. I was telling Joe and the friends, it wasn't really camping that ruined my camping enjoyment, it was a few camp outs that were ruined by the company that went with us. My brothers would shudder if they heard me say "we're gonna have a lotta, lotta fun, but it's gonna be a lotta, lotta work." I could have a whole post on camping horror stories but as I've said many a time I try to keep this a PG-rated blog.

This weekend was perfect! Except that Ashley no matter what time we put her to bed will wake up at the butt crack of dawn. She's like a dang rooster only louder and absolutely screamed before 6 am each day. Bless Joe for getting up with her both days. Today in her darkened room she made it to 7 am. Ahh, bliss.

Anyways, we had an action packed weekend visiting the Cherry Fest both days. We got to see the Blue Angel's and it was my first air show ever. IT WAS AMAZING!! The planes were so loud, and they'd be flying right at each other and then quickly diverge. They do all kinds of flips and tricks, they fly so close together in perfect formation. It was so neat watching these planes, and I've heard people talk about air shows and you truly do not understand what all the hubbub is about until you experience one for yourself. Put it on your to-do list if you've never experienced this. Austin and Mike watching the show, check out Austin's cherry tattoo.

The boys got to drive the little motorized tractors/4 wheeler. Austin did especially well after a shaky start having to push with his right foot and with turning. He & Tommy loved it, and Ashley even wanted in on the action climbing on the four wheeler. I asked, she won't be able to get that moving will she and Jill's like oh no I don't think so and quickly almost gets runned over. LOL. I guess Ashley could get er going after all.

We went to a couple of different Lake Michigan beaches to swim. The water had such awesome waves. Tommy & I loved that, and Austin, Joe, and Ashley enjoyed the calmer waters closer to shore. Water is crazy powerful and I'd never experienced wave action like that.

The food was great, Duane & Nancy fed us an amazing breakfast both days and we also had all your typical 4th of July & camping fare throughout the weekend. Pizzas on the campfire are just awesome, they rank higher than smores in my book. Everyone took such good care of us and I can't say enough good things about Jill's folks. They were so welcoming and just excellent with the kids. The boys especially as Ashley is a cling on unless you are Ms. Jill, poor Jill couldn't even get a solo shower on Saturday. LOL. Their poor dog is a beautiful golden retriever, and sadly my kids are all afraid of dogs. By the end of the weekend the kids were fairly comfortable around her except Ashley when Mildred would get really close to her.

So it was a productive weekend in that my kids are now more tolerable of dogs, more appreciative of nature, and Tommy kept joking that we'd be back in two weeks. The kids and Joe & I really had a wonderful time and won't soon forget all the fun with such GREAT FRIENDS!