Saturday, December 30, 2006

Our Christmas

We had a great Christmas here, despite it being gloomy and green (or should I say greenish-yellow-brown?). I was hoping for snow, but alas, the only snow we've gotten was the first of the month when we had over a foot that fell.

But, regardless it was very nice, and I'm still trying to get caught up on sleep it seems.

The kids got more than they'd ever need, and we're still trying to put things away and find places for things. I'm beginning to think that the kids are going to need their own house for all this $hit!!!

The Hummer was a huge hit, and they took it out for a spin down the sidewalk right away (one positive note to not having a white Christmas). B LOVED his Nintendo DS, ad K didn't seem entirely thrilled with her dollhouse (though she has played with it, and does seem rather interested in it now .... I think there was just too much to open & do Christmas morning to get a good reaction out of her).

I got wonderful gifts .... lots of new clothes, a couple CDs, the Happy Feet PS2 game, gift cards, pajamas, slippers and the pink iPod nano. I can't complain ... it was a nice holiday.

And now here we are .... it's almost 2007!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's over

Tonight was our last night for our fundraiser. We started off the night with sirens wailing and lights flashing as the ambulance lead the procession with the firetruck behind, carrying Santa and the 2 children that won the Ride With Santa raffle.

Sold plenty more raffle tickets within the next hour, several cups of hot cocoa, took a few straight donations and then pulled the winners for all the raffle items.

Our grand total raised ....... $2,500.

We've raised more than the fire department ever has been able to with dances, etc. They estimate that the mailing they will do prior to floating the referendum again this Spring will cost $2K. So this was all worth it, and if the referendum passes next Spring -- it was worth it that much more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas is just around the corner

Where did December go? 2006 will be coming to an end in just 11 short days.

I've been keeping busy, and have nearly finished everything that needed to be done, and I've still got hair (which I just had done again to color my outgrowth, and add some more highlights to)!!!! By Saturday night, everything should be done completely and I'll be ready for the festivities.

The food is all bought, the cookies all baked (all 17 varities and total of 1053 of them), and almost all the gifts wrapped (just a few more to do). Braeden had his last day of school today, and his class put on their Christmas program. It was *adorable*.....and I got teary-eyed, too. I didn't realize giving birth would make me so damn sappy.

This weekend will be the last for the fundraiser. Last I knew, I think we were up to $1500 or more. Not too shabby. Saturday (our last night) should be a busy one. We've got Santa coming in on the firetruck again, which the kids that won the raffle for the ride with Santa, and then we'll be drawing all the winners of the raffles, and Santa will be leaving again on the firetruck. It's really been an experience doing this. It's great to be doing something good, for the benefit of our community, with friends. This really has been a great Christmas season in that respect.

I'm afraid, though, that I don't have all good news to report. On Saturday we received the awful news that Mike's mom (dying of cancer), fell and broke her neck. She's currently being kept sedated and in a neck brace. She is not a candidate for surgery, as she would never survive the anesthesia. They have decided to have her chart marked as "DNR", because she only weighs 78 lbs and they are afraid if she were to code, and they needed to perform CPR, that they'd break her ribs, puncture her lungs and possibly paralyze her and leave her in a vegetative state.

I'm not a very religious person, but I've always believed. Now I find myself angry at God. I watched my Grams dying, suffering day after day until He finally took her Home. I yelled and cried - asking Him why he just didn't take her and stop the suffering. And now, Mike's mother has been fighting cancer and just before Mike's grandfather passed away, we got news that his mom was in bad shape, and was dying; that she wouldn't make it much longer. So, now just days before Christmas, she is suffering further and worst of all, is being kept in a state (sedated) in which she's not going to be able to communicate much with her family. WHY?!?!? How is this fair to her, or to her family? She is not curable. There is no turning back. She is going to die. Why continue to make her suffer?? Take her Home. I know how much it hurts to lose a loved one, and to let go, knowing you'll never see them again until the day you go Home. But, knowing that they are no longer in pain, no longer suffering -- it helps, just a little, to let go of that person.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's December what?!

I swear that the month of December shrunk. Or there are less days between Thanksgiving and Christmas or something because I cannot believe that it's already the 10th of December.

Things are as busy as ever, but quite honestly it's nice, even if stressful. I've managed to wrap about 48 presents so far, and today is B's family party at the house. His party with friends was on Thursday, and it was great. Aside from bringing the cupcakes and drinks - I had to do nothing. It was worth every bit of what we paid for his 1.5 hour party there. So more and more is getting crossed off the "To Do" list. The biggest project to accomplish right now is the baking. I'm cutting out a cookie I normally bake, but instead I'm going to try my hand at making kolacky cookies. I also need to bake 6 dozen more cookies than usual as we are hosting the cookie exchange next weekend.

I'm busy, but things are falling into place and I'm hopeful that everything gets done in time. My class ended this week, so I no longer have any obligations on Thursday evenings. That will allow me a bit more time to accomplish more.

Our fundraiser is running rather smoothly. We're not seeing the turnout we had hoped, but we can't complain too much. To date we have raised $880. Not too bad, but much, much lower than the number we had in mind. At this point we're hoping for $1500. If anything, we are having fun out there, even if we are frozen at the end of the night, and it's quite possible when it's all said and done that I'll need my baby toes cut off (I'm joking, but there have been nights I've come in and had little or no feeling in that toe and it was a slight shade of blue .... that can't be good). If I need a toe amputated, I certainly hope when the fire department comes to pick me up that they send one of those hottie firemen along. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

The Christmas season is always so crazy. Why should this year be any different? Well, it is different in that instead of having my hand in 6 different pots, I've got them in about a dozen.

You see, this year I'm doing 2 separate parties for Braeden. One next week for just his friends, and then we'll be having family and friends over for cake & coffee that weekend. Makes things a bit crazier with planning and preparing, but in the long run it'll probably be a tiny bit less stressful than having family, friends and a dozen (or more) preschoolers to deal with all at the same time. So, tonight I was out picking up Ninja Turtle goody bags and Hershey's miniatures so that I can get the personalized wrappers on them (granted, I still need to print & cut them all first).

Not to mention that my mom and I are hosting the December "Girl's Night" for our community, which is a cookie exchange/grab bag. There isn't much to do to get ready for that aside from cleaning the house, but it's that much more baking that needs to be done.

Plus, I've still got my photography class once a week. It wraps up next week (makes me a bit sad, but I don't think I could keep up with the holidays and all), and I've got a photo essay to do. I've been racking my brain for ideas, but I'm frazzled. Too much on my mind to focus on assignments, I guess. As it is, this week's is not done yet.

And did I mention about the fundraiser? Yup .... it kicks off this weekend. Music, Christmas lights, candy canes, hot cocoa, raffle baskets, Santa ..... the whole she-bang! It's actually come together quite nicely so far, though we are working on getting broadcast. So far we've made one newspaper, and another is going to do an article - but we want TV coverage. I guess we can't complain .... many members of the community have embraced the idea, and plan on coming out to volunteer their time, or to take part in the festivities. Our entire block is shining with Christmas lights. There are only 5 homes that didn't put up any Christmas lights - but they still have time. And considering the festivities haven't kicked off yet .... we've already raised over $200.

The plan is to see how it goes this year, but we're optimistic that it's going to be successful, and there's plans to do this as a yearly thing, picking a different charity/organization/group to donate to each year. This community truly amazes me, and those that I'm on the committee with are a great group of people. It feels so good to be a part of something like this.

So, I'll be volunteering alot of my time to working "Santa's Landing" (Friday & Saturday nights for a few hours each night), and the rest of the time I'll be working, finishing my class, buying the last few Christmas gifts, baking a billion cookies and wrapping a gazillion presents. Hopefully I'll still be able to squeeze sleep in here or there.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey, Trimmings and Babies

A late Happy Turkey Day to my readers. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends & loved ones.

We celebrated with my family with lots of food, a bit of laughter, and full stomachs. Then at 1am, I kicked off the Black Friday shopping by hitting the local mall for their Rockin' Shopping Eve. I went to just the Disney store, could barely move around, but found a few things, got in line and stood there for an hour just to check out.

By the time I got home and wound down enough to sleep, it was after 3am. And let me tell you, 7:30am came around real quick.

So now the holiday season is in full force. Lots of shopping, lots of get togethers and even more lights and decorations. We're already blowing fuses on our lights and overloading our musical Christmas light device. We have to get it worked out this weekend, as the community fundraiser we'll be holding every Friday and Saturday night starts next weekend, on December 1st.

In the last few days we've seen more and more neighbors on ladders, and stringing lights in their bushes, or around their front doors. It's really going to look beautiful when it's all said and done and everyone has everything in perfect working order.

I really do love this time of year. I always have, and it's even better now that I have kids. Seeing their eyes light up in fascination, hearing the excitement in their voices, the curious questions as to just when Santa will be coming. I love buying them the things they really want, and watching them rip open the paper, anticipation in their eyes, and the sheer glee on their face when they see that beloved item they've been asking for the last few months.

Good friends just welcomed their first child into the world in the wee hours of this morning. One of my cousins just announced to the family that she's pregnant, and due early July 2007. They, too, will find themselves sneaking packages into closets, stashed in the basement, or tucked away under the bed. Quietly wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve from "Santa", and nibbling cookies and drinking milk before heading off to bed themselves. These are the moments that make those memories. Memories that will hang on even after the kids have gone away to college, have married, and started families of their own. Precious memories.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I did it again!

I had another photograph published in the newspaper. I'm thrilled. This is the 2nd time in three weeks.

I'm actually starting to believe what others have told me ... that I've got a talent. Before I was thinking it was just luck.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Feeling Festive

Yes, I realize it's only November 12. And yes, my blog is already decked out for Christmas.

The truth of the matter is; in less than 2 weeks our house will be glowing with Christmas lights and cheer. I won't have the time to think about designing and changing my blog then.

So today it is!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's beginning to look ... a little bit ... like Christmas

We've had some gorgeous weather here, so we took advantage of the near 70-degree temps and sent the men outside to start putting the Christmas lights up on the roof.

A neighbor is going to have a fantastic light display synchronized to Christmas music. Ours isn't going to be as fancy or 'high-tech' as theirs (he's a computer whiz), but we do have a musical kit that will synchronize our lights to some holiday melodies.

As a kid, and even as an adult, there was a particular street in a nearby town that went all out. It was labeled as "Candy Cane Lane". A few years ago, there were no lights. It was heard through the grapevine that the residents of the "main" house got divorced. We haven't been able to find an area quite as good yet (on that particular street, most of the other homeowners had beautiful light displays as well).

Perhaps OUR street can be the next "Candy Cane Lane". The idea is on a few residents minds and would be great if we do a fundraiser like we are in the process of discussing.

Have I mentioned before how our community rocks???

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm famous!

Well, not really, but maybe someday!!!

I had one of my photographs make it to publication for the very first time! A local newspaper has a photo contest, and last Saturday I sent a photo in (the one I took of my daughter, and then did in B&W with color accents) just for fun. I had forgotten about it, and this morning I'm upstairs getting the kids ready to start the day, and my dad comes running upstairs, yelling about something. I got worried, thinking something was wrong.

Until I saw he had the paper and there was picture on the front page of that section. HOW COOL!!!!

I can't even begin to express how truly great this makes me feel. I love taking pictures ... it's something I enjoy doing, and love seeing the end result. And having something like this makes it that much more enjoyable as well.

I'm enjoying my digital photography class emensely, and I'm already thinking about what's next. It's like I just can't get enough!

Monday, October 30, 2006

First Assignment

There were two parts to my first assignment for photography class.

Part of it was to answer some questions on the model, specs, and capabilities of my camera. It was more of less things I had to read through my manual to find. This was a good thing. Reading directions/instructions/manuals really can be beneficial afterall. (LOL)

The other, was to take some photographs in Auto mode, have them printed, and then to jot down the EXIF data from each shot.

Here are the photos I snapped for this week's assignment:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Things Kids Say...

This is part of the conversation that took place when the kids were acting up, not eating dinner, and I was needing to reprimand them. My folks had just walked in and were in the middle of the battle.

My Mom: "I'm going to run away!!"

Braeden: "Grandma ..... you can't run away. You don't have a driver's license."

Classic, I tell ya.

Friday, October 27, 2006

First Class

My first class was great.

Let me start off by saying I haven't read a page of the instruction manual to my camera. Shame on me, I know. So, there things I didn't know how to do, and there were buttons and dials with letters and things I had no idea what they were.

Last night's class opened a whole new world of understanding for me. Trust me, we didn't even touch on how to go about shooting photos, but instead just how a camera works, what it can do, etc, etc.

I'm anxious to start shooting some pictures to bring into class, but I'm also very nervous about what others will say. I guess it's all about learning, and I doubt someone is going to walk in and say "That's the WORST picture I've ever seen!!!".

This is going to be a wonderful way to spend Thursday nights (and stopping for ice cream at Colonial Cafe afterwards isn't so bad either!).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

School, here I come

I start my digital photography class tonight. It was supposed to meet on Wednesday nights, but I got a call on Tuesday that it was changed to Thursday.

So, it officially starts tonight and runs for 6 weeks. I'm very anxious to start learning, and hope that I come away with the knowledge to take wonderful photos everyday, and actually know what I'm doing when I take them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Now what was I going to say?!?

The other evening, I attempted to sign into blogger, but apparently it was down.

I had something to say. Now I can't remember what it was.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lost Ring

I was informed last night that my husband no longer has a wedding ring.

Apparently since he lost weight, it is loose on his finger and slides around. He took it off at work while he was stretching dough, because it kept sliding off. He placed it aside - and next thing he knew, it was gone.

Last time I checked, rings don't have legs, so it didn't just walk away. It seems that the pathetic people that work there felt the need to take it - probably to try to pawn for money. Little do they know that they probably won't get much. Sure, it's gold, but it doesn't weigh much and there are no stones, etc. They'd probably be lucky to even get $100 for it for the weight in gold. Not to mention, I don't know that a pawn shop would even buy it ... there is an inscription inside that says He Joined These 2 Hearts 9/8/00. That's not very meaningful to someone else, now is it??

I'm extremely irritated and mad beyond belief because in the last 2-3 weeks, money has turned up missing from the store. The first time, they found the bag stashed by a dumpster behind the building. The most recent time (just this past weekend), the money was not recovered. I'm finding it hard to believe this is all just coincidence. I think a little further look needs to be taken, comparing schedules and who was in the store each time a situation occurred.

This is bullshit. Of all things, you don't steal someone's wedding rings.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My son, the MackDaddy

We are going to be in big trouble when this boy is a teenager. He now has not 1, not 2 .... but THREE girlfriends. Two from school, and a girl a few houses down from us.

He's starting to rattle off his guest list for his birthday party this year, and most are girls. So far I've got a list with 11 kids names, and only 4 are boys (and that's including him). I'm sure as he gets to know more of the kids at school, he's going to want to invite more of them.

It's hard to believe that in less than 2 months he's going to be 5. Time flies! So, now we're starting to plan his birthday party, which is a bit scary. This will be the first party where there are other kids invited that aren't just very close family friends or relatives.

But I'm sure he'll have an absolute ball with all his friends!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cars, Money .... I better start hookin'!

Really. I'm beginning to think I'm going to need to get a second job.

The light that went on in the car ended up going off, and since I wasn't noticing any problems with the way it was driving/handling, we decided to hold off on taking it in to the shop.

A bit later, I did notice it acting a bit funny, like it was "choking" a little bit. It didn't do it all the time .... I only noticed it a couple times, very briefly, but we were planning on getting it in to the shop. Before we could, the light came on again, and we took it in as soon as we could.

Thankfully, the cost of the repair wasn't as brutal as it could have been. It was the oxygen sensor; so with that fixed, an oil change and air filter .... we walked out nearly $300 lighter.

And now, the crack in the windshield is getting longer and longer and it's going to have to be replaced. It started spreading a little bit, and we knew that replacing it would be inevitable, but we tried to hold off as long as possible. So, it looks like we're going to be another $250-$300 lighter sooner than we'd hoped.

This just isn't the best time to have unexpected expenses come up. It's a good thing I start Christmas shopping so early. That way I can spread the cost out over a few months rather than just in a 4-5 week span. And I can't complain, because I've been doing pretty well with making a few extra bucks through ebay.

Sometimes I just get down, thinking about the debt we have, the bills that need to be paid, and a brand new house with property taxes that aren't fully what they'll be in the next year or two. But then I realize that things aren't that bad (yet), and that our debt is not nearly what it is for some. It's one credit card, and it's under $4K, so it's almost not even enough to call it a debt. The cars are paid off, there are no student loans to pay off .... the only thing is the house, and well ..... does anyone consider that part of their debt since it appreciates in value and in a-round-about way reduces that 'debt'?

It just seems that no matter what, there is always a concern about money.

Friday, October 06, 2006

So very sad

The service for Mike's grandfather was last night. Being a veteran, a member of Amvets, the Honor Guard was there to pay their respects. I tried to be strong, but let's face it .... when it comes to death, the loss can be felt on so many levels by family members, friends and complete strangers.

Once they started to play TAPS, that was all I needed for the tears to start rolling. I listened to the service, the prayers read, and a fellow Amvet/friend's voice crack as he said goodbye to his fallen comrade. It was heartbreaking, seeing this grown man, weep for the loss of his good friend. And then they fired the rifles to salute ......

It was a beautiful moment, it made me proud to be an American, proud of our soldiers; each and every one that has served and continues to serve our country.

So, with that still fresh in my mind, I check in on my other blogger buddies, reading their new entries. I go to Liam's .... checking on how he's doing with his fight, and learn that one of his little buddies from St. Jude's passed away yesterday. I sit here now, my cheeks damp with tears, praying silently to God for the health of my children.

My prayers to the families that are saying goodbye to their loved ones.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dressing for Death

So, I'm looking in my closest and realizing that I don't really have a whole lot of funeral/wake/services appropriate clothes. At this point, I almost feel like I need to go invest in a few items of clothing to specifically wear for times such as this.

Since September of 2004, I've been to 3 services for family members that have passed on. This will be #4 in just 25 months.

I'm already beginning to dislike getting older. I can imagine some of my readers, rolling their eyes, grumbling "She's not even 30 yet!!".

And that's right. I'm in my mid-late 20's, but have already lost all of my grandparents. My husband is now on the verge of losing a parent. On my dad's side of the family - he, his siblings & cousins are now the oldest in the family.

As I was reading the obituary for Mike's grandfather, I browsed through all the others, noting the ages of the deceased. So many were in their 80's, many in their 90's as well. Our families only seem to make it til their 70's max. My paternal grandparents died in their 60's.

I was 11 when they died. And at that age, they seemed old to me. Now, looking back ..... my folks aren't far off from turning 60. And they just don't seem as old to me as my grandparents did back then.

Why do I feel that soon I won't have much of a family left? The numbers are decreasing and generations are disappearing.

It's all very, very, very depressing.

And with that, I must go finalize my clothing plans for the services tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My son the sponge

Braeden is really enjoying preschool, and learning so much! I'm so glad we decided to send him.

The first day was tough, but my how he's changed! Now he runs off to his classroom and barely looks back! Sometimes he even forgets to give a hug & kiss before he heads off towards his new friends.

He has homework a night or two each week. It's normally just a page where he needs to practice writing that week's letter, or he has to find something of a certain color for the guessing game they do (something like show & tell, except they have to find an item of a certain color that will fit inside of a brown paper lunchbag and they give clues to the class so that they can try to guess what it is).

Every school day, I'm anxious to get home from work to take a peek inside his backpack to see what kind of project he's brought home.

They are learning the alphabet and making animals out of the letters. Here's his very first project he brought home from school .... his "A" Aligator:

And his "B" Bumblebee:

This is just his 4th week in school, and he's already writing his name, singing the alphabet song, and can do some subtraction! He knows his birthdate, and he even recognizes the first letter of his friends' names and will tell us that the particular letter is what so-and-so's name starts with.

It truly amazes me at how quickly they pick things up and how eager they are to learn in an actual school setting. He was never interested at home; it was like pulling teeth to try to get him to sit down and try to write any letters. Now he's sucking it all up like a little sponge!

He even has his very first girlfriend. :) And it just so happens that she lives in the subdivision next to ours, right on the same street as Braeden's Uncle John!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


A day or two ago we learned that Mike's mother had been doing a bit better. Instead, his Grandfather took a turn for the worst and was not doing well at all.

Mike got a call this morning - his Grandfather passed away.

We have been preparing ourselves for the loss of Mike's mom, and instead have suffered another loss. And in all this, we still know what the outcome will be for Mike's mom as well; the question is just 'when'?

Plans were being finalized, so at this time I'm not sure when any services will be, but I'm assuming within the next couple of days.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why does everything happen at once?

I don't do so well with stress, and certain situations cause me to have a nervous stomach.

I remember a date I had my freshman year of high school. His name was Rick. We were going to see a movie and I was sooooo nervous. I was in the bathroom a couple times before he came to pick me up (and by saying he came to pick me up, I mean his parents drove him over to pick me up, so it's no wonder I was nervous!). Thankfully my stomach generally calms down once it doesn't have anymore time to fret over the upcoming situation.

In the last few weeks, there has been more and more added to my plate and I'm starting to feel my mind spinning, and my stomach turning itself in knots.

My sister went into surgery Wednesday morning to have the hysterectomy done. At 11am my cell phone rang and my mom let me know that the doctor came out to speak with them, and told them everything went great, there were no problems with bleeding and that my sister was in recovery. I let out a sigh of relief.

That night I learned that Mike's mom is not doing well. The family was looking into hospice. While Mike doesn't have the best relationship with his mother, it's hard to digest the thought of losing a parent at only 29 years old.

And then there's things less serious like the fact that we need a windshield in my car and that an indicator light came on last night and we can only imagine what those things are going to end up setting us back.

One thing always seems to hold true --- when it rains, it really does pour.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tomorrow is the Day, Please Pray

Tomorrow my sister will be having the hysterectomy done. I ask all my fellow readers to please keep her in your thoughts & prayers that it all goes smoothly, and that her recovery is quick.

She needs to check into the hospital at midnight tonight to get settled, and the surgery is early in the morning.

I am planning on going straight to the hospital from work (hopefully getting out of there a bit earlier than normal) to visit her.

Your thoughts & prayers are appreciated as always.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Message from Heaven

We are nearing the 1 year anniversary of my Grams' passing. Today I was going back and re-reading my posts when she passed away, and a few weeks later.

I came across this one and I got chills when I read it. I had forgotten about that mysterious piece of mail that arrived. Four months later I won the trip to Disney World. And we booked, not even thinking about it, to where our trip fell over my Grams' birthday.

The night of her birthday, I had one of her favorite treats, in her honor; a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar.

On the Great Movie ride, I teared up and nearly lost it when we got to the Wizard of Oz part (her name was Dorothy, she used to have a dog named Toto and she just loved that movie).

She was with me on that trip, I just know it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Buying Stock in Antibiotics

I feel like I should be buying stock in a pharmaceutical company.

Both my kids have ear infections. Two separate trips to urgent care, just a day apart, to find the infection in the same ear in each child. Fun!

They are each on a different antibiotic. Hopefully the rest of the household members with colds don't end up with ear infections, too.

It's just so ironic that a non-contagious ear infection presented itself in both my children, in the same ear, practically at the same time.

Friday, September 15, 2006

My Firstborn Goes to School!

My first child ... my son ... goes to school. It's only preschool, and it's only 3 days a week, but it's school.

Monday was his first day. I was excited for him, because I figured he was just going to love having other kids to play and interact with. He went back and forth on the idea of going to school, one day telling me he was already a smart boy and didn't need to go, and the next would talk about playing with his new friends.

His first day, we all piled into the van (me, Mike, B, K, and my folks) and took him to school. We waited inside in the lobby, and B started to cry. I held him, and started crying, too. It was an emotional day in the first place, and he was making me feel worse.

So, a teacher came out to check in each child, and then sent him/her back to the classroom where 2 other teachers waited to help them find their coat/bag hook and take them over to wash their hands. When it was Braeden's turn, he pretty much turned to stone, put on the brakes and would NOT move. They let me go back with him.

He still was having no part in it, no matter what I said, how I begged, or what I bribed (and yes, I did bribe him). He even ran out of the classroom, back up to the lobby where the rest of the family was waiting.

Finally, it came down to this: either we take him home, or we just go. We opted to just go. I felt like the most horrible mother on the planet. There was my son, out in the hallway with the teacher, screaming and crying, and we just left him.

That's all I thought about, and we were checking our cell phones to make sure we didn't miss any calls, and calling the home phone as well to check voicemail. Finally, about 30 minutes later, Mike's cell phone rings. It's the teacher.

She says that Braeden is doing fine. They moved the chair they were sitting in, closer and closer to the classroom until B could see in. When he saw the kids playing with puzzles, he said "Excuse me, I'll be right back" and off he went. He ended up having a good first day.

His second day, Grandpa took him in, and he wanted to be held for a minute, so Grandpa obliged and then put him down and said "Okay buddy, it's time to go catch up with your friends." and off B went, only to turn right around and come back with his hand up. He wanted Grandpa to give him a High 5. He had a great day, and the next day seemed to go even better.

He seems to be really liking school so far. I just can't believe he's already starting his schooling, and that in less than 3 months, my little boy will be turning F I V E!!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Disney Trip Report (Warning: Long!)

I finally have some time ..... so here goes:

Thursday night I finished up the packing, made sure we had all our travel documents, confirmation numbers, etc, and attempted to get the kids to bed early since we needed to be up very early.

Friday the alarm went off at 5am, we got up, got ready and my parents got up as well to help get the kids going. I was already having stomach issues (I'm a nervous traveler, especially being that we were flying and it had been 6 years since being on a plane), and Braeden was crying that he didn't want to go. He had been telling me he didn't want to sleep in a hotel, that he wanted to come back and sleep in his bed, in his own room. I think he was apprehensive about sleeping away from home, poor guy.

The limo came shortly before 6, we got in, Braeden was still crying, but he sat on my lap and I managed to get him calmed down by looking out the window. I was still having stomach issues, so it was a long ride to the airport. :(

Once getting to the airport, there was a long line to get checked in. It didn't take too long, but it passed some time before the flight. Got our luggage checked, got checked in, got through security, and got the kids a bite to eat.

Then it was time to get to the gate, and get in line to pre-board (since traveling with small children). I was still feeling very yucky, but composed myself so that Braeden wouldn't get too scared (B sat with me in 1 row, K sat with Mike in the row behind us). The beginning of the flight was uneventful, although I couldn't wait to land because my stomach was doing flip-flops the entire time. I tried to doze, since that made me feel a bit better, but it's hard to do with kids.

We arrived ahead of schedule, but because of storms in Orlando (I'm assuming the tail end of Ernesto), we were being held out until it cleared before we could land. So we were circling, and I could not wait to get on the ground. The weather was not clearing, so we ended up needing to go to Jacksonville, so that we could refuel. Upon the landing in Jax, I got airsick for the very first time. :( We landed, refueled, and taxied back out, only for the pilot to tell us we had to taxi back to the gate because there was some sort of problem with the plane. GREAT!!!! So, there I am, feeling horrible, in Jacksonville, and all I want to do is just GET OFF the plane. Mechanic comes, checks the plane, some sort of electrical issue, everything is good to go - so we taxi back out, and we were on our way to Orlando again. Weather was clear, we landed right away, and luckily this time my stomach faired better.

Once we got to the Disney counter to check in for the Magical Express, it was a little after 4pm, Orlando time -- we were supposed to land at 1:10pm there. Traveling took 3 HOURS longer than anticipated. I called my mom while standing in line because I knew they'd be worried as I told them I'd call when we got in Orlando. They were worried about me anyway, and as I talked to her on the phone, I had to fight back the tears. At that point, I wanted to be HOME. I was tired, still woozy and a bit frazzled.

Finally got on the bus, and headed off to the resort. Since we had dinner reservations for 6:40 at Le Cellier in Epcot, we called and cancelled since it didn't appear we'd be able to make it in time (it was already after 5pm and we were still on the bus). We stayed at the All Star Movies, so the bus stopped at all the All Star resorts, and we were the last stop. Finally got to our resort, and stood in line for AGES waiting to be checked-in. They were having computer problems, so their system was locking up and they'd have to reboot which delayed the entire check-in process for everyone.

Finally got to our room, relaxed a few minutes and decided to head over to Epcot anyway to just check it out.

Walked around there for a little bit, and decided we were much too tired & hungry, so we went back to our resort and got pizza & drinks from the food court there, and then headed to bed since we knew we needed to be up early the next morning.

Saturday morning we got up early, and it was off to Magic Kingdom.

We had reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table for breakfast (restaurant inside the castle), so we got in the park before it opened, and headed to the castle. Took a few pictures and then went inside. Kaelynn LOVED meeting Cinderella and having her photo taken with her. And both kids (Kaelynn moreso, though) loved eating breakfast in the castle and seeing the characters. The food was good, the service was astounding, Kaelynn got a wand, Braeden got a sword and we met Fairy Godmother, Belle, Aurora, and Snow White.

After breakfast we hit the park, the kids went on some rides, we walked around and just enjoyed the sights, sounds and sunny weather.

We managed to catch Cinderellabration while we were there, and watched that as well.

I think we went back to the resort for a nap this day since we wanted to see the parade and fireworks later that night, but I can't remember now (I knew I should have written everything down) if this was the nap day, or if it was Sunday. :)

That night, though, the rain was teasing us, but it stopped for a while so we got all situated for the parade, and it rained again. Hard. We started to head out of the park, and it slowed up quite a bit, so we relocated to another spot at the front of the park, to wait for the parade to begin. It started raining again, and this time we just headed out and got back to the resort, SOAKED. I was disappointed that we didn't get to see the parade or fireworks (it was 2 things I really wanted to do), but hoped we'd find time another evening.

Sunday morning we got up, bought ponchos, and headed to MGM.

Now that I'm thinking about it, we may have stayed in the park all day this day.....I honestly can't remember. We had dinner reservations here at the 50's Prime Time Cafe, and dealt with rain again. Thankfully we had the ponchos this time. :) We ate dinner, and the rain stopped in time to see Fantasmic (GREAT show!!).

Monday morning it was off to Animal Kingdom.

Checked out the park, went on the safari, and left to go back to the resort for some swimming. AK was probably my least favorite of the parks. After swimming, it was back to our room to get ready to head to a park, to connect to the Contemporary Resort, where we had reservations for Chef Mickey's.

They brought us special cupcakes for our anniversary and we got a special visit from Minnie Mouse as well.

The kids met Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale. After dinner, we took the monorail over to MK again, and got ready to see the Spectromagic parade (LOVED it!) and the fireworks (amazing!).

I LOVED Magic Kingdom, and we spent the most time there.

Tuesday morning we got up and headed back to MGM for breakfast reservations at Hollywood & Vine for character dining with JoJo & Goliath and Leo & Annie from Little Einsteins. After breakfast we headed to MK once again, then back to the resort to rest, and then hit Epcot one last time that night (caught a bit of Illuminations and was not impressed).

The kids were exhausted ....

Wednesday morning we got up, showered, packed and checked out of the hotel. The bus was scheduled to take us to the airport at 12:45, and our flight was leaving Orlando at 3:35 that afternoon. I really wanted to go home, so we called the airline to see if we could get an earlier flight, and hightailed it out of the resort. We debated on taking a taxi, but the Magical Express bus was taking another round of guests to the airport, so we got on that bus and headed to the airport. Got there about 45 minutes before the flight, the line to check in was moving slow, and when we got up the counter, the customer service guy walked away, saying he'd be back in a moment. Finally gets back (we had about 25-30 minutes at this point), and tells us there's no way our luggage will make it on that flight, it would go on the next, and that, in fact, we probably wouldn't make the flight either. So we ended up on our original flight anyway. We got to the terminal and could see the plane we were supposed to be on taxi-ing away from the gate. We probably *could* have made it if that guy had helped us right away when it was our turn, and if we really moved quickly over to the terminal rather than taking our time once we knew we were just going to be on the next flight anyway. Oh well. We left on time (I made it through the flight without getting airsick, but felt queasy and yucky the whole time), arrived back in Chicago a little ahead of schedule, we had our luggage by 5:15, the limo picked us up and we got home just before 7pm.

Aside from flying, I had a really good time. The kids seemed to have a blast, and for the most part, they did well with not having much of a set schedule, going to be no earlier than 10:30 every night, and being up and ready to go by 8:00 every morning. They met tons of characters, got pictures & autographs, went on rides, and took part in the magic of Disney.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My Sister

While in Disney, I found out that my sister received bad news from her doctor. I'm sure you remember me requesting thoughts & prayers for her.

She had an abnormal pap, and it was found to be pre-cancerous cells. She went in for a procedure to remove them, but unfortunately it was not successful.

While it is not yet cancer, the doctor recommends that she have a complete hysterectomy. If she does not do this, she will be "playing with fire", to quote the doctor.

At this time, it looks like it'll be done on the 20th. So again, I ask for your thoughts & prayers.

We're back!

We arrived back home around 7ish on Wednesday, and have been fairly busy since, so this was my first chance at getting around to blogging.

I'll do a trip report later, but I have some bad news we received while at Disney to share first.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mickey Mouse here we come!!

Tomorrow is the big day!! The kids are fast asleep (what was supposed to be an early bedtime of 7pm, turned into nearly 7:30 and then they were both still awake at 8 (normal bedtime) - so much for that idea!), and I'm waiting for Mike to get home. I'm getting sleepy, but he still needs to shower/shave once he's home, and I have to finish packing our suitcase (mainly just sticking the bag of toiletries in and a pair of Mike's shoes).

We'll be up bright and early at 5am. It just seems so wrong that I'll be up 2.5 hours earlier than when I have to go to work!

So, this is it for now .... I won't be posting for at least a week. I'll try to check in sometime next Thursday if possible.

Hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

2 Days til Disney!

And Ernesto won't be a problem!!! It's a tropical storm now, and will be well out of our way by the time we arrive in Florida.

We are less than 2 days from departure now. 1 more day of work, and I won't be returning til September 12. We'll have 1 more day as a family when we get back to Illinois, before Mike goes back to work. Then that Monday will be my big boy's first day of preschool!!!!

We're almost finished packing, so we should be good for the limo to pick us up bright and early Friday morning!


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Keeping an Eye on Ernesto

It figures that 5 days before our big trip, a hurricane would be brewing. Ernesto is threatening Florida, and the Keys have started evacuating. It looks like it's projected path would be in the area we'll be in about Thursday morning, and well past it by Friday morning. Except there would most likely still be rain/storms I'm assuming, which can still make traveling by air kind of hairy.

So, at this point it's a wait and see deal - and I'm crossing my fingers that we'll leave Chicago on Friday as planned and that we'll have an enjoyable time in Disney.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I did it!

I faxed my registration form this morning. I'm going to be a "student". If you can even call it that .... it's only a 6 week course.

But, I'm looking forward to it. A friend is actually going to take the class as well. Can't wait!

Friday, August 18, 2006

One step closer

I filled out and printed the non-credit registration form for the digital photography class through the community college. Now to just take the final step and actually enroll.

Classes would be 3 hours every Wednesday evening for 6 weeks.

I really would like to do this, so why am I so nervous about enrolling?

Tonight we had a rain shower, and I peeked out the window and could see little water droplets on the flowers. I ran and grabbed my camera and got some excellent photos. I think they are just gorgeous.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


In the past week or so, I've been picking up my camera more to snap some photos. I got some great shots of our flowers in the backyard, and tonight I got a couple of the flowers right outside the park in our subdivision.

I really do love taking that camera out, just looking for something to capture. I know I said before I was going to take that digital photography class through the local community college. We just got the fall brochure in the mail, and there are 2 separate times the course is running. One starts in September, the other in October. I'm still debating on if I want to take it. I mean, I really do want to, it's just a matter of working up the courage to.

Another New Look

Was bored, so I played around with PSP and my digi scrapping stuff and came up with my new graphics.

Now if only I could get this headache to go away....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some things I'll never understand

Yesterday my coworker spoke to me, and told me about an awful situation her friend was going through. I've met the friend, and because this blog can be read by anyone, I am going to refrain from using real names here to protect their real identities.

My coworker's friend, Margie, just had a baby a couple of weeks ago. The baby was early due to some complications that arose from Margie being full-blown diabetic. In turn, the baby spent some time in the NICU, and was released just recently.

On Monday, Margie's fiance (father of the baby), Brent, left the home they were staying in (they are having construction done on their other home, and something happened to the main power line, so they were without power there) around 11AM. He kissed her on the forehead, told her he loved her, and was going to their home to take care of some things. Around 1PM, she realized he should have been home to get ready for work. She tried calling him, but his cell phone was turned off.

In the meantime, a friend came by, passing their home, and told Margie that Brent's car was not there, and didn't appear that anyone had been there at all. Margie was starting to worry, but knew that at 4PM, she could call his work and check in there. When she called, they let her know that he had not shown up.

She called the police, and they told her there was nothing much they could do since he's an adult, and had not been missing for 24 hours (at this point he was only gone about 5 hours). But they asked if there are any firearms in the house. She said yes, and checked - to find the gun missing. They put out an alert immediately, and asked if she had checked her bank account to see if there was missing money. Nothing missing, but instead, a very large deposit had been made.

Today, Wednesday, Brent was found dead by a farmer in Wisconsin. He shot himself in the head.

I guess I never quite could understand suicide, and while I understand that there are mental illnesses - I can't quite get past one word -- selfish.

It's clear that he was suffering from some illness, as a note shows he has been planning to do this for months. I just don't understand why he didn't seek the help.

Instead now, there is a woman who cares about him and a newborn daughter, who get to deal with such tragedy. It makes me ill.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Some photos I took early this evening of our flowers blooming in the backyard.

Letting myself go

I really need to get back on track with bettering myself. I've been letting it go, moreso because I feel like I don't have enough time.

I must do something with my hair. I'm beginning to really hate the gray. I may just have to make an appointment with a new neighbor that is moving in. It desperately needs a trim to get rid of the split ends, and maybe I'll be brave and do some highlighting or coloring. Anything to make it look like I'm not 42 (though, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being that age!!).

And perhaps I can get myself focused and in the right direction to get this weight loss thing going back the way it was. Losing 35 pounds was no small feat ..... why stop now? My goal was to drop 75 - I hadn't even made it halfway.

Lastly, I need to crack out the eyeliner & shadow more often. I'm complimented on my eyes when I use a simple eyeshadow and eyeliner - that's about the basis of my daily makeup regimen. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top. Maybe I'll go the extra notch and put on some lipstick or gloss. I rarely do the whole sha-bang .... I hate mascara, don't do blush (never could figure out how to apply it correctly), and am not super crazy about foundation (though I do hate my skin).

So - mental note to myself: Make a few extra minutes of 'pampering' time in the morning, and feel much better about myself the rest of the day!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

4 weeks til Disney!

We are now just under 4 weeks until we travel to Disney World. I'm starting to get a little nervous about the trip.

I've only flown twice in my life (roundtrip, so 4 flights) - once in 1991 and the last time in 2000. I think I'll be okay, but I am worried about the kids. They have never been on a plane before - and it might be scary to a 4.5 and 2 year old.

With that fear, I'm also thinking about luggage and how much we'll actually have. We have 1 "hard" suitcase with a built in lock. It won't be enough for all of our clothes. I also have a set of tapestry luggage, with no locks. My Aunt & Uncle that were in town from CT last month, said that with airport security, they may break the lock anyway, so you are better of not locking your luggage. I do not like this idea. Especially since we'll be using Disney's Magical Express service.

I think I can get us packed into the "hard" locking suitcase (mainly mine & Mike's clothes - and any "spare" sandals or gym shoes we'll take along), and pack one of the small tapestry cases with the children's clothes, and possibly another small case/tote with our personal hygiene items, sunblock, diapers, snacks, money, etc. Since we will be without any checked luggage for some time, I want to have availability to those items as well as the children's clothes. So, all in all, I'm thinking of having only 1 piece of luggage checked - and taking the remaining 2 as carry-on's.

So -- for those of you that have traveled (to Disney or not), let me know your tips, suggestions, or thoughts on checked luggage, airport security (breaking locks), carry-on's, etc.

My Sister

The procedure went well, and she was instructed to take the rest of the week off (she's on her feet all day at work). When she sent me a text to my phone, she said they had given her Vicoden for the pain, but so far she didn't have any.

She'll be returning to the doctor in 3 weeks for a check-up.

I thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and comments. Hopefully the procedure was successful, and that all the precancerous cells are gone, and that she will be healthy.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Keep those Prayers coming

My sister goes in tomorrow morning for the procedure to remove the cells.

I thank each and every one of you that have responded to my last post, and have checked in on me. I'm doing okay; have been really busy, so didn't have much time to even think about the situation at hand, but now that we're facing it tomorrow, I'm nervous for her.

If you could please keep her in your thoughts & prayers, I would really appreciate it.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Life Sucks

This is not going to be a cheery post.

Right now things suck.

Currently going on in my life:

A tiff with a friend, in which we are currently not speaking.

Gas prices are on the rise.

Bills are on the rise.

I am still waiting on my raise.

And my sister's colposcopy results came back ..... they are pre-cancerous cells.

I might not be around for awhile.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

There's a storm a brewin'

They are calling for another severe storm like we had Monday night.

Of course it has to come on a night that we have tickets to go see Bill Engvall at an outdoor venue. So, right now we're playing it by ear to see what happens.

And we're going to have to make arrangements to get things moved inside this time so we're not chasing down our belongings.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Too close for comfort

Last night we got an intense storm system that rolled through. We had gone to the village meeting, and when it wrapped up at nearly 10pm, we headed home. It was a crazy lightning storm at this point, and I've never seen it like that before. It was flashing so fast, it was like a strobe light. I had heard that we could possibly expect a storm, but I didn't think it was going to be anything serious since it had been a sunny, HOT day. I really thought the lightning show was more from the heat than anything.

Once we were home, I took a shower and had just finished washing my hair when we lost power. FABULOUS! I swore out loud, and figured I'd just tough it out and finish up before trying to find my way to a flashlight. It was only out for about 20 seconds, thank goodness! I finished up quickly, afraid I'd be in the dark again, and when I got out, I could hear the storm battling against the house.

It sounded as if the windows were going to break apart, and like the siding was being ripped right off the house. I heard clanking against the windows, and we could only assume it was hail since we couldn't see much out the windows.

We realized we forgot to bring in our flag from outside, and since it's been ripped clear off the house before in strong winds, we knew we had to get it inside, for fear of it being thrown through a neighbor's window or something. We couldn't even get out our front door! The wind and rain was coming so strong right in our direction, that we couldn't get our storm door open.

I went to the back of the house, and that's when we realized just how bad it was. We saw some of the kids toys in the backyard, which we kept in our shed on the side of the house. When it finally calmed down just a tad enough to get out the door, we went out to see the damage.

The storm completely tore apart the shed we had (plastic, like a 'rubbermaid' type thing, not super big) and tore through the storage totes and kid's toys that we had in there. We had balls, baseball bats, frisbees, chalk and other outdoor toys all over our yard and in the neighbor's.

We found a lid to a tote almost in the street, another lid a couple doors down (along with some more toys), and the bulk of our shed was taken 4 houses down.

We were drenched by the time we were finished, and we came inside to find that many of our neighbors were out across the street, picking up the pieces to their gazebos/canopies they had on their patios. Those are completely trashed, and when I went out on a walk tonight I saw a couple trampolines that looked as if they had been picked up, twisted and then thrown back down on the ground again.

We are lucky it wasn't worse.....this is the most intense storm I think I've ever witnessed, and I'm not sure I want to ever go through that again. What a night!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

An Amazing Little Boy

I spoke before of an online friend who's little boy was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. He underwent a marrow transplant and the family just received news yesterday that there are still no signs of the disease - he is still in remission. The father of a little boy that was diagnosed with the same thing, and also had a transplant 9 years ago wrote to tell them they were using the wrong word; that Liam is CURED!

My arms and legs are tingling with goosebumps.....this is truly amazing, and I had to share. Please continue to pray, and be sure to stop by and visit his site.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I don't think I'll find it

Okay, so after searching and reading a bit further - what I thought might be the case - seems to be true. I'm guessing I'm not going to find any sort of Winnie the Pooh kits because of the copyrights and trademarks to Disney. This disappoints me greatly, as I'd love to create my own original invitation using the adorable Pooh Bear.

Now to come up with another idea....

Digital Scrappers, I need your help!

I'm looking for a Winnie the Pooh digital kit because I'm likely going to be throwing a small baby shower for a neighbor, and they are doing a Patchwork Pooh theme in the nursery, so I figured we'd carry the Pooh theme to the shower as well.

I've done a Google search, but haven't much luck. However, maybe you experienced digi-scrappers out there can help me!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Prayers Please

My sister came by yesterday to visit. She told me that on Friday she'll be going in for a colposcopy. Her pap came back abnormal. While she told me this, she had tears in her eyes. I'm worried, naturally. So, please .... any thoughts & prayers would be appreciated.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Christmas in July? ... Just another LO

Another LO. This is getting addicting.

Layout - Look Who's Two

Well, here's my second layout.

I'm not sure I really like it, but hey! I'm still learning!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Goin' Digital & A New Look

You may have noticed the new look here. I'm still learning, and I'd love to hear what you think, so be sure to leave a comment!

You see, I've taken a step into scrapbooking - digitally. I haven't been able to get into it with paper - it seemed I enjoyed things digitally much better, playing with PSP7 (a bit outdated now), editing photos I've taken and things of that nature. So when I continued to read and look at layouts on a friend's blog, I decided to see what it was all about.

I ended up finding a free kit online which I used to make the header, and the sidebar title graphics. I also used it to make my very first digital layout.

This is all still very new to me, but it's fun!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm going to need a vacation from my vacation

I swear I'm going to need another week just to recover from having this week off.

It's been practically nonstop. Parties, going here, get togethers, going there, houseguests, more visitors, the list goes on.

We had a house full of people on Saturday for the birthday party, then yesterday for the 4th of July, and now today we have more family over for a get together. Last night and tonight we'll have overnight guests, and tomorrow my Aunt & Uncle go back home to Connecticut.

I'm wiped. While I'm not looking forward to my family leaving, it'll be nice to return to a bit of normalcy for a few days before I return to work. Come Monday it's going to back to the daily grind.

Which, for my sanity, is probably a good thing. Don't get me wrong ... the kids have loved having me home, and I've enjoyed it as well. And they have been pretty good for the most part, but I think all the stimulation and the week's events are catching up to them, because they've been beasts today.

So, I'll end this so that I can go find somewhere to put my feet up and relax.

Hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pudding, Parties & Guests

I just finished making 2 big bowls of my "southern" banana pudding. It was the easiest thing I've ever made, and it was a huge hit last year when I made it for the first time. Now it's become a basic staple item for get togethers and bbq's.

In a little while I'll be heading to the bakery to pick up the cake & cupcakes and then coming home to do some decorating and getting the house straightened a bit more before guests start arriving for the Princess party.

It's hard to believe in less than 3 hours, our family will be landing at the airport, and shortly after they'll be here! It's been almost 2 years since we've seen them, so we are very excited. Braeden is over the moon!!! We've been having him cross off the days on the calendar so that he could track how long before they'd be here. On Thursday, he happily exclaimed "There's only ONE more day!" and yesterday he said "Tomorrow Aunt Kathy will be here!". Today he's staring out the window, telling me that it's a nice day, and that everyone will be here for this nice day. Hopefully the sun will come out a bit more rather than it being slightly overcast like it is now.

There's so much to look forward to this month. Today's party, our out-of-town guests, another game night, the block party. I even have a moderator bbq to attend next weekend, and we are attempting to arrange it so that we can attend a potluck open house tomorrow. I love being busy!

Friday, June 30, 2006


I know I promised to post recent pictures, so here's a few for now ....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Miss Princess is 2!

My baby girl turned 2 yesterday. It's hard to believe two whole years have passed since her birth. When Braeden celebrated his second birthday, I was already a few months pregnant with the little princess. However, no babies on the way this time! It's a bit crazy when I think about it. The time seemed to go so much more slowly when it was just Braeden. I remember when we conceived Kaelynn, Braeden was just 22 months old, and it seemed like we had waited forever to decide to start trying for another addition to our family. Now here we are, and Kaelynn is already older than Braeden was when we decided to have another child. I'm almost 100% certain that our family will remain the size it is now.

She had a nice day. I got off work a little early, picked up a small cake for her and headed home. We had dinner, sang happy birthday and ate cake, opened a couple presents, played for a bit and then it was bedtime.

I can't believe she's 2!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend Recap

A great weekend it was!

The baby shower was nice; ate way too much food, and unfortunately had to leave before we had a chance to see the mom-to-be open our gift. Got home, visited and snuggled with my kids for a few minutes before scampering across the street for our first girl's game night.

It was just 4 of us at first, and we ate, talked, and laughed. One more showed up a little later, and then one more. My mom stopped by for a few minutes as well, just so she could meet and put faces to the names. It was one hell of a night. What originally was supposed to be a night of game playing from approximately 6-10pm, ended up being primarily a chin-wagging event that went until a little after midnight. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

I've made some new friends - and such a spectrum of friends it is. Ages range from a year younger than me, up to 40. But we all got along great and had a wonderful time. We're already planning our July get together.

This morning I did get to sleep in a bit (thank you honey!) and then we changed bed sheets, did some tidying, some kid-cleaning and then went out the outlet mall near our house. Got hubby a nice outfit from the Gap, a Christmas gift for my brother and sister-in-law, and some little gifts for our Easter egg hunt we'll be hosting next year (egg shaped erasers, bunny bubble necklaces & stationary sets that I paid a whopping $1 for -- it was DIRT cheap and I could not pass it up). Then we came home, had lunch and hung out.

Brother-in-law, his fiance and their twin girls came over to give our princess her birthday gifts. They stayed for a couple hours, and I had a headache that was slowly progressing. Another neighbor stopped by about 6ish to buy some baby clothes from me, and by that time the headache was getting to be unbearable. I had to lay down and loaded up on pills. I'm feeling better, but it's still lurking and I know I better take it easy unless I want it coming back full force.

At the moment, it's storming and I'm listening to the thunder and watching the flashes of light as I sit here and type this. My neck hurts, so I'm going to go ask my loving husband if he'll massage it for me before I hit the hay. Tomorrow is a new week, and I only have 5 workdays until I'm on VACATION! I'll have 9 straight days of NO WORK. Thank goodness .... I need a break.

So, with that I will end this. I hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend, and I hope everyone else is staying dry! We certainly aren't!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Busy Weekend Ahead

For the first time in awhile, I can pretty much say my weekend is booked.

Braeden is out with Grandma & Grandpa, and Kaelynn and I are currently wasting time before the mall opens. So she's watching an Elmo movie, and I'm surfing ebay, checking in with the forum, and blogging. The plan is to head over to the mall and hit Gymboree for their Red Hot Dot sale. I may even hit a second store.

Then it'll be rush, rush as I'll have to get Kaelynn lunch, get her in for a nap, and jump in the shower before having to leave at 2:30 to attend a baby shower with my mom. Unfortunately, we won't be able to stay long because my dad will be watching the kids and I have the ladies game night which starts at 6.

I'm hoping then tomorrow I'll get to sleep in a little bit while Mike gets up with the kids and gives them breakfast. Then it's bathe the kids, and take care of some housework since Kaelynn's party and our out of town guests are coming in next weekend. Mike's brother, fiance and the twins are coming over in the afternoon, and a neighbor might be stopping by to buy some baby clothes from me.

Busy, busy! But, I do like it. It's nice to have things to do, and people to see. I feel like such a social butterfly now. :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Community Togetherness

I mentioned previously that I took on a "job" moderating for a communal website for our town. It was created by residents in our community (who just so happen to live in our subdivision, on our street, just a few houses down on the other side of the street), and their goal is that it's "run for the community, by the community".

Since becoming a moderator a little over a week ago, I've gotten to know a bit more of what goes on "behind the scenes".

You see, the town where we live in small. Very small. I'm talking a population of 124. The town population sign boasts a big 150, because they rounded up. To date, there is an estimated 1,800 people residing in the town now. The community in which we live has already closed on 579 homes, with 302 more homes that are in the process of going up, a majority of those scheduled to close this summer and fall.

So you can imagine what the "old" residents might be thinking. Some are looking at things in a new light, and are embracing the change. Others are bitter, and are taking it out on residents of our community.

This is where my "job" as a moderator comes in. There seems to be a separation of the "old" town versus the "new". And people are letting their bitterness out on residents of the "new" community within the forum. That's when I have to step in and collaborate with the other moderators/site administrator to figure out just how to smooth things over, or what consequences these "outbursts" will bring.

Thankfully, the issues at hand are relatively mild. Things could be worse, but when it comes to this situation, we have to be on top of things. While this website/forum is meant to help residents of the community share information, ask questions, meet neighbors, plan block parties and the like, it also can be very risky. You run the risk of people slandering others, or worse. If it gets out of control, the association or the village can rule to shut it down altogether.

All that aside, this really is a great place to live. I've met several new friends here, and tomorrow will be the first official "ladies game night" hosted by a neighbor, and it's open to any lady living in the community (and we even have 1 or 2 that will be attending that won't be closing on their homes for another couple months). Our block party is the end of July, and we are planning on hosting an Easter egg hunt for the kids next year.

I couldn't recommend a better place to live and raise a family.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Haven't Much Time

I haven't had much time lately to get on here and really write something of substance. It's summertime and we are spending more time outdoors and it seems this is just a busy time of year in general.

Kaelynn's birthday is approaching quickly. My little girl will be two years old already. Hard to believe, and bittersweet. That is my baby, she can't grow up too fast! As it is, her brother turned 4.5 this month as well, so we are now less than 6 months away from his FIFTH birthday. Yikes!!!

My aunt and uncle are coming into town in 2 weeks. We're very excited to see them! It's been nearly 2 years since we last saw them. Braeden is very excited about them coming, especially since my aunt promised him a shopping trip to buy him something special!!! Kaelynn was only 3 months old when she "met" them and saw them the first and only time, so she doesn't really remember them, but I know she'll just love getting attention and love!

So, things are pretty busy here getting ready for our houseguests, our little girl's birthday party, and the 4th of July.

I have also taken on a new task. I'm now a moderator on my town's website/forum. It was developed by home owners right here in our community (we are in a new development that is being built in a town of 124 (although the population sign says 150)) and it is for the community, by the community. I was asked last week to become a moderator, and on Wednesday night I met to meet with the site administrators (and "founders") - who also just happen to live 3 doors down across the street - and became an offical moderator. It's really a great place for our small (growing) town, and I was honored to be asked.

So, if you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know why. But I promise to check in when I can, and hopefully I'll have new pictures to share soon, too!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Check dis shizzle out, yo!

I came across this website from a friend's blog.

I was laughing my ass off, nearly peeing my pants.

Pull up your own blog, or a discussion forum website and I guarantee you'll be roaring too.

I made it!

June 9 ended up being pretty uneventful.

Aside from my stress-relieving squishy pink cow being decapitated at work, nothing bad (nor necessarily good) happened all day.

It was just a pretty normal day all around.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Message from a Bird

After I awoke this morning an hour before I needed to get up, I dozed back to sleep and had another dream.

This time I dreamt that a bird got into the house. It was a finch. As it flew past me, my eyes bulged and I exclaimed that a "bird in the house meant death". I freaked out in my dream, badly, because again .... I was taking this bird in the house as a sign for June 9.

I woke up, and was immediately disturbed, and quite honestly I still am. However, thie bird happened in a dream, not real life, so does the superstition still hold true? Plus, I read up on it, and a bird in the house can either mean death, or that it is just bringing an important message. This dream could also have to do with the fact that it was sitting in the back of my mind, in my subconcious because it was just a few days ago that I listened to a radio program and they were taking phone calls from listeners and what their superstitions were. A woman called in and said she had many issues/superstitions with birds - and mentioned that a bird in the house meant death.

I have been constantly thinking about what the message of June 9 has meant, whether it was intended to let me know that something good was going to happen, or bad. We are now 3 days away, and I'm even more scared.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I just can't win!

Normally I ask my parents to look after the kids when Mike and I would like to go somewhere. We don't do it very often at all, and because they watch the kids during the week, I feel guilty asking other times.

I want to see The Breakup pretty badly. This is the first movie in a long time that I've wanted to really go see while it was in the theater. Most times it's not a big deal and I can wait til it comes out on DVD.

So Mike asks me if I'd like to go tomorrow. I agree, but tell him that I don't really want to ask my parents because I feel like they are with the kids enough as it is. We end up setting it all up that Mike will pick up his sister tomorrow evening while I feed the kids dinner at home, and then we'll head out to the show while Auntie Megan plays with them a bit, and tucks them into bed for the night. We figure we'll only be gone a few hours max and should be home before 10.

Of course, what do my parents say? "How come you didn't ask us?" Well, I thought I was doing a good thing and finding alternate childcare rather than always asking them. Sheesh! But I guess next time I'll just suck it up and ask them and not feel bad about it!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Viewing the World

Last night I went out for a couple hours - hoping for a gorgeous sunset or something that stood out to me that would make a nice photo.

The sunset wasn't as spectacular as the night prior (of course the night I didn't go out with my camera to try to capture it!), but I did manage to get a few good shots that I liked (a couple are in my photo blog).

But while I was out driving, the windows down, breeze in my hair, and my music turned up - I felt good. I felt like I could truly enjoy the sights of our world, the beauty of the Earth. Things we take for granted everyday.

Our Earth is truly amazing and I am going to try to photograph every beautiful aspect of it.

I will be taking a digital photography class as long as one will be running this fall. I'm not going to skip out when I have this aspiration and desire to take good pictures, and know what I'm doing. So, looks like I'll be a "student" in the fall, even if it is only for one class.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June 9

The other night I had a dream about my Granny that died almost 15 years ago. I was in my grandparents townhome they owned, and I in my dream it was just as I remember it from ages ago.

I was in their bedroom, and I was going through some things. I found a tape recorder, and I was listening to it. It was my Granny speaking, but I can't remember what she was saying on the tape.

What stood out the most, though, was not something in the dream, it was something that I was getting through the dream. The date of June 9 was coming through to me, and I woke up remembering that date: June 9.

This date has no relative importance to me. It's not a birthday that I recall, nor is a date of a death or anything else that I remember offhand.

I haven't dreamt of my grandparents in a long, long time. So long that I can't honestly remember the last time I had a dream, if at all. So this one really stands out, and I feel like my Granny was trying to tell me something about that date.

I have no clue what, though. Is it something good? Bad? Should I play the lottery that day? Should I not leave the house that day? What???

It's not really sitting well with me. We are just about a week away from that date, but what does it mean to me? Why was she trying to tell me that date, but not tell me what about that date was important? I can't help but be a little worried.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Summer is nearly here!

Summer is approaching, and as we were hoping, the warmer weather is here. Except it's hot and muggy. I'm not sure what the high was, but at about 3:00 this afternoon, I caught the temperature on a hotel's marquee sign which read 88-degrees. Yikes. It's not even June yet.

As I sit here, upstairs at my PC, I can feel the oil slick on my face and the slight dampness in my cleavage. It's going to be a fabulous summer if this keeps up (Note: heavy sarcasm). Wouldn't be an issue if the blasted rec center for our community opened this weekend as originally slated. Construction just started a few weeks ago, and we are hoping that next summer we'll be taking our first dips in the pool.

There's nothing else to do than to try to cool off with a cool treat - so I believe a bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream may be in order. That is, just as soon as my dinner gets here (the hubs is out picking up food at a local fav - Chick-N-Dip) and I finish eating. Then I think it shall be ice cream and a movie (we rented Last Holiday and Fun with Dick and Jane) to finish out the day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And the winner is .....

Congratulations, Taylor Hicks!

What an amazing show! Season 5 blew away the other seasons in terms of the finale. This show kept me entertained the full 2 hours. Great, great, great -- and then -- what a surprise -- Prince! Never expected him to appear on the show.

And I'm happy that Taylor won. He's grown on me over the weeks, and in the past few weeks I've favored him and voted for him. Sadly, I can't say I voted last night. I meant to, and then ended up getting caught up in some other things and before I realized I forgot to vote, it was after 11pm and I was already in bed.

So ... now I'm just waiting to watch the Lost finale. It's recording now so that I can watch it with the old ball & chain when he gets home from work tonight.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Houston, we have a period!

That's right .... I'm NOT pregnant!

This afternoon around lunchtime, shortly after my last post, I went to the bathroom, wiped and there it was .... that lovely pink tinge. My heart did a little dance, and I heard angels singing.

No, seriously.

So I expected it to be increasing throughout the day, and knew I'd need to make a trip to the bathroom soon to use a feminine product. Except, my next visit to the potty put the tension back into my shoulders and I swear I felt another gray hair pop up! There was NO. PINK. TINGE.

WHAT?!? How could this be? Is this some sort of mean joke? I don't find it funny at all.

At this point all I can think is IMPLANTATION BLEEDING and I'm ready to run right out of the office and straight into traffic.

No, no, no, no, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I use the washroom a couple more times during the course of the work day, and still nothing more. I head home, take care of a few things and get ready to jump in the shower quickly before dinner and decide to empty my bladder - and there, on the toilet paper, was P.I.N.K.

So you see, a few more hours have passed now, and it is still light, but bright red. I'm expecting that by tomorrow morning it will be here, full fledged.

And with this scare, I think it's time to have a serious talk about permanent birth control .... perhaps the big 'V'.

My Womb : Closed for Business

Last night after I wrote and shut down my PC for the night, I thought to myself ... maybe that was too brass. I'll sign in tomorrow and delete that entire post.

But a few faithful readers have commented, enjoying my writing style and perhaps having a giggle while reading (so glad I could bring some humor to your life, because I am totally not laughing). Really, though, it was intended to be a light-hearted way for me to express what I'm currently going through.

For the record, I am crossing my fingers, toes and sending up prayers to the Man upstairs that I am not pregnant. Not only would it cause issues within my househould and my childcare situation (mom and dad are not willing to watch another one), but I do not feel I could handle another child emotionally or physically. The two I have are plenty, and can be very much a handful nearly all the time. And my body did not fair well with pregnancy towards the end, and as my blood pressure went up, I was on bedrest until I could be induced (and with my second child, the BP issues happened sooner in the pregnancy than the first time around). I had to take my leave from work earlier, which left me without pay and made things a bit tight financially.

So, no, I am not coming to terms with the idea of having a third child, because I do not want one. Perhaps that is harsh, but it's honest.

Today marks cycle day 28, so AF should be arriving in the next couple days. Last month my cycle was only 27 days long (and it surprised the heck out of me); normal for me is 29-30 days, 31 on occassion.

Every cramp, tingle, cough, ache is questioned and I anxiously look for the pink tinge on the toilet paper every time I wipe.

Thoughts, prayers, and fingers crossed are appreciated!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Proud Mom X 3?

I wrote awhile back how I had mistyped my blog address several times, with a 3 instead of a 2. I would freak out each time, thinking .... "OMG! Does my subconcious know something that I don't?" You see, I'm quite content with the 2 I have. And sometimes they are MORE than enough. I had recently, in the last few months, come to the conclusion that I was definitely done having children.

So, rewind about a week and a half ago. Hubby and I decide to have some spur-of-the-moment-I'm-hot-and-bothered-and-just-need-to-get-down-and-dirty-right-this-moment sex in the kitchen (if that's TMI, too bad, this is my blog!) and instead of going into too much vivid detail, I'll just say that while he didn't send his entire troop to the front line directly, he could have possibly discharged a few soldiers when his unit entered my command again and again after his troop was deployed on my backside.

The rest of the night I expressed my disgust - frantic that I was going to end up pregnant. He just sort of brushed it off; that he's "not that good" and doubted that he impregnated me. I was pretty sure I had just ovulated - so I knew my womb was open for business.

Three days later and I was certain that he got me pregnant. I'm talking sore/tender breasts, crampiness; the works. Then I got to doing some calculating, and realized I was on day 19 of my cycle and that the pains I was feeling was quite possibly ovulation. Day 19 was my lucky egg day during the cycle in which we conceived our little princess. But, I was still not happy. Any soldiers that might have made it to the front line, could have still possibly been alive.

The symptoms continued a couple more days, adding in that bloated/hard belly feeling and increased appetite (but for me, that also happens in the week leading up to AF), and now I wonder if any symptom I do have is just in my head. And now that we're getting close to the time AF would be arriving, it's hard to determine now anyway as the symptoms can be the same.

I know in my head that the chances of any soldiers even making it in are slim, and then for one out of the few to actually capture the egg?? Seems nearly impossible. And you might be sitting there rolling your eyes saying "You've got to be kidding me! There's no way she got pregnant!" .... and I hope to God you are right.

If AF is late and I pee on a stick and it comes back with 2 lines, I'm going to shove that test up your ass and mumble, "I TOLD YOU SO".

Saturday, May 13, 2006

United 93

Since Mike is scheduled to work all day tomorrow, we took our only chance (he was supposed to be off at 4 today, and instead didn't leave til nearly 5) to go out. My parents offered to look after the kids, so we headed to the movie theater.

We saw United 93. It was pretty similar to the television version that aired a few months back. Still pretty riveting and emotional.

Towards the end, I cried a bit; my heart bursting with pride for those passengers that knew their lives were on the line and unselfishly did what they needed to do to keep that plane from hitting it's destination. I squeezed Mike's hand while we watched. And I thought to myself .... nearly 5 years later, and it's still so fresh in my mind.

Which makes me think of those directly affected; those that were inside the World Trade Center, but managed to evacuate in time, those in the Pentagon that weren't in the section that was hit, the firefighters, the police officers, the family, friends and coworkers of those who perished. How are they doing? Do pictures and movies and memories still bring tears so easily?

I am lucky that I did not directly know anyone that lost their life that day. I was thousands of miles from where the destruction took place. I had family (aunt (dad's sister) & uncle) working in New York City, and since phone lines were down/tied up, I resorted to the only email address I had on hand - my uncle's. I waited to hear back; wondering if a member of my family had been at the WTC for business, or perhaps just to shop.

I remember when I got an email back - they were all safe. I called my mom immediately, and managed to get out "they're okay" before sobbing. I cried many, many times the day of 9/11. And many times in the days following. And many, many more times in the years since. Even the 4th of July tends to bring things back to my mind, and the tears spring up. Songs like "God Bless the USA" have an even stronger meaning now.

So tonight, as we filed out of the theater, I noted that everyone was quiet and their faces somber. Perhaps I'm not the only one that still cries.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Feeding my Passion

I've always enjoyed taking photographs. I can remember back to when my neice was a baby, that I'd prop her up against a solid white blanket or something to use as a "backdrop" and I'd take pictures of her.

I never pursued anything, as I had a much stronger desire later on to create web pages. The closest I came to pursuing that was to take a class in college on website design - which I bailed on. It didn't hold my attention, so I stopped going. I didn't quit doing what I liked - I still made my own websites; personal ones with shareware graphic sets and basic html coding to do what I wanted. It was enough knowlegde to keep me happy.

Since getting the Nikon D50 camera, the desire to be able to take breathtaking photographs has been stronger.

Just last weekend, I took what I feel was the best photograph I've shot yet. As soon as I snapped it, and looked at the screen - I mentioned that I just got a *great* photo that would look even better in B&W. So when I got home, I put it in B&W and did the color accent, and when I was through -- I couldn't believe the results.

Everyone that has seen it, has loved it and the positive feedback has been great. I'm extremely proud of the photo, however, I'd love to feel that way about more.

I have compiled some of what I feel are my best photos on another blog. If you are interested in taking a peek, the link is in my blogroll to the side, or you can just click here.

I'm starting to do a bit of research, and have found that the local community college offers a digital photography class. I may just enroll this fall. Perhaps I'll even look into pursuing more classes on photography as well.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Not only did I find myself an adorable new purse, but I got the matching wallet, too! And ... for the both it cost me under $30!

My Expensive Ride to Work

What a day.

Overnight thunderstorms made for a soggy morning, and the rain has continued all day long.

So, the roads were wet and as I made my merry way to work I ended up rear ending the car in front of me (traffic was backing up, the guy slammed on his brakes, I slammed on mine, realized I had no traction, felt the car sliding, I turned the wheel to try to avoid the guy in front of me and go into the grass, but nailed him dead on anyway). Mike just happened to be in his car behind me, also on his way to work, so he pulled over as well.

At first I didn't think the guy was going to stop - I hit him, and as traffic moved, he continued. But he pulled over, got out, took a look at his car, we look at mine, he says "Everything's okay?", we agree and he gets in his car and leaves.

Okay, that was easy.

Not 10 minutes later, I hear something. I thought that was it was the semi truck next to me, as I no longer hear the noise once the truck was gone. I'm on the cell phone with Mike, and it starts again. I tell him the car is making noise, and to meet me over at the dealership (we were right nearby). It's not making the noise when we get there, but Mike opens the hood, and we listen. I give it a little gas, and the noise starts again. Mike goes in to speak to the service advisors, and the noise stops.

Mike comes out, tells me to pull it inside and once inside the noise starts again and the service techs all start poking around inside and realize the noise is coming from the fan. They take the car in, and we wait to find out the damage.

The fan needed to be replaced, and the compressor is bent. The fan was a must fix - the compressor was something optional that would not harm the safety of the car, but it's likely going to give out and we'll be without A/C.

So, they show us how much. Just under $500 for the fan alone. Good grief. To get the compressor all back to new -- nearly $1000. Thanks, but no thanks. It's a 5 year old car with almost 100,000 miles on it. If it goes out, I'll live without A/C for as long as possible or until we're ready for a new car.

My minor fender bender - which there was no visible damage to the exterior of our car - cost $457 to fix with another $1000 in optional repairs. Ouch!

I'm ready for a drink!!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Girly Girl

I have never really been a "girly-girl". Don't get me wrong ... I wasn't butch or a tomboy or anything like that. Just not "prissy", I guess.

I rarely wore make-up, didn't care much about purses, and wasn't much into accessorizing or visits to the salon. Make-up was worn for special occassions - prom, a date, my wedding, nights out. I carried the same purse all the time, until it ripped, tore, zipper broke or was just too beat up to last any longer.

I can't remember when things started to change, but I started getting a little more interested in purses and jewelry. In the last few months, I've changed quite a bit in this respect.

I wear make-up nearly daily. Granted, it's subtle and I only wear eyeshadow, eye liner and lipstick. On occassion I'll add foundation to the mix. I put on perfume daily. I have been wearing my hair down more opposed to my usual ponytail. I am in the process of growing out my bangs and I hope at that point I'll have enough guts to go in and do something to my hair - like highlights or something along those lines.

I am now the proud owner of the oh-so-girly-girl magenta Razr phone. I'm in the process of searching for a new purse as my current black one will not do for summer.

It feels good to feel good about myself. My self esteem has grown tremendously, and while I still have many moments that I see myself as something/someone I don't want to be.

Perhaps being a girly-girl isn't such a bad thing after all.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Day Trip

Today we went for a drive into Galena, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa.

We parked and walked along a section of the Mississippi River.

Perfect day for pictures, as I managed to capture quite a few good shots of the kids.

We saw a couple cardinals, fuzzy bumble bees, some sort of hawk, a duck and this beautiful butterfly that let me get incredibly close.

It was a nice day and the kids are passed out now from all the fresh air.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Everyday I'm trying to get myself out of this funk. I try to be happy. I try to smile, to be friendly, to enjoy life. And I can pretend that everything is okay, so that I'm not bombarded with a million questions from people I don't want to explain things to.

For the most part, I'm usually busy and my mind is kept off things. But it's nighttime, the few hours once the kids are in bed that I have time to reflect and really start thinking about my life.

I'm not happy.

I have a short fuse, and little things have been getting to me lately. I'm irritated at work alot and even moreso at home.

I don't want to spend time with my kids or my husband. I don't want to spend time with my family.

I do, however, desire the couple friends I do have. And I desire time alone - OUTSIDE of the house, where I can browse at a store without a child needing to use the washroom, or flip through a magazine without having to watch little hands from swiping things off the shelves, or just going for a drive and blasting my music so loud that it hurts my ears and would be way too much for little ones to handle. Or even just going out to a club to unwind, have a few cocktails and dance the night away. I could even handle a late night talk over coffee (except, I'd have to drink something else, since I don't like coffee!).

There's a life I feel I missed out on, and I am resentful.

It's no one's fault but my own. I chose to get married when I did, and start a family when I did. I chose not to continue my schooling.

And what kills me the most is how my heart is feeling. The feelings I had for my husband are slipping away. He's a wreck. Trying to make things right, make things better, to get my feelings back on track.

Yet, I'm feeling smothered by him and it's pushing me further away. He wants a kiss or for me to say "I love you too" and I hate feeling like I'm forced. Feeling like I have to say it, otherwise he'll get the wrong idea.

I do love him. He's the father of my children, and I want him to be happy. But a part of me feels as if we've just grown apart; that we've changed. That as we've aged and matured, things are different now. I just don't know that I'm in love like I once was.

It's killing me to write this, to put my feelings out in the open, but I am tired of hiding it. This is a nightmare that I am living everyday.

I don't know what to do.