Thursday, June 29, 2006

It Has Happened. . .We Are My Parents

My parents tortured us when we were kids. They made us listen to their music. Loudly. Often. On turntables. They swore no good music was made after 1969. They sang it. But none of that is the worst of it. They made us listen to them share every single thing that ever happened to them while that song was on. My mother had a boyfriend for every song~one even "pantomimed" (I am not kidding. That was what she said.) I swore I would never make my kids listen to such ancient music.

OK, never say never. While driving home last night from meeting Daddy for dinner at work we heard a old Meatloaf song, the type the required windows down, radio up, and LOUD singing along. (Yes, Caroline it's all about baseball.) Not only did I make them listen to my singing, I proceeded to tell Caroline about a party on a boat with that song and how cool I was in high school. That's when the full-body shiver came on.

I grew up in the 80's and my parents grew up in the 60's and my kids are growing up in the 00's. Why does 20 years seem so long ago when you're a kid and it's just yesterday when you are a grown up? I can tell you title, artist, and year of a song within 10 notes. And I will also share any memory-good or bad-associated with that song. Music is a constant backdrop for my whole life~which is funny because I am not musically inclined at all. Nor is any of my family. It transports me. My husband will hum the theme from "Top Gun" while making dinner and it's summer of 86 again. I heard the Muzak version of "Pretty In Pink" and I am in the pool at Lance's house again. Don't even get me started on songs and boyfriends. Each guy I ever went on more than 2 dates with has at least one song and often a depressing break-up tune too!

So long live the 80's and my kids will get over it. With therapy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

C'mon, Get Happy!

When I was in college I found this really cool book called "14,000 Things to Be Happy About" It is the coolest book ever. It's almost like a gratitude journal with a twist~it inspired me not only to be thankful for small blessings but also to pay attention to life otherwise you miss them. I started a list of my own, way back in 1991! As I was packing up in the basement today I found the book and one of the notebooks that was my list. I have been adding to this list for 15 years now and I thought it was time to share. Here's a bunch of mine and some from the book. Please add your own~I'd like to hit 500 here. :-) I have over 5000 of my own.

1. re-reading a book you loved 10 years ago.
2. informing TV characters of impending danger, thinking that they can hear you
3. argyle socks
4. the position of your head when you bite into a taco
5. Welcome Back, Kotter
6. hymn sings
7. for November chillls: thick chili, crusty bread, and crunchy veggies
8. Lake Michigan shoreline
9. "Do Not Disturb" signs
10. golfing with fathers
11. running down a beach
12. Ivory soap
13. yard sales
14. wet babies
15. not-fit-for-man-or-beast February nights
16. getting catalogs in the mail
17. $1 bills that say "I love Mike" in pen
18. buttered maple syrup
19. Dairy Queen's Monster Cookie blizzard (that's a new one!)
20. sleeping with a jacket over you
21. falling asleep wrapped up in a wool blanket on the beach in October
22. Fisher Price Little People
23. Walt Whitman
24. friendship
25. Eight is Enough
26. "spirit sticks" at pep rallies
27. high school football on crisp fall Friday nights
28. laughing at yourself
29. "Babalu" by Ricky Ricardo
30. Gymboree
31. cable knit cardigans
32. chipped beef dip
33. New Years Eve kisses
34. good hair days
35. peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses
36. flannel sheets
37. "Coming to America" by Neil Diamond
38. Target
39. taking down the Christmas decorations
40. clothes that are too big
41. camping in the fall
42. cheese sticks
43. reading in bed
44. petunias in wild full bloom
45. seeing that someone else is a worse housekeeper than me
46. 4th of July
47. positive pregnancy test sticks
48. brand new baby girls (or boys!)
49. the Chicago White Sox
50. Hot Pockets
51. Nanny 911
52. Ebay
53. hot summer afternoons when there a dark clouds on the horizon
54. Rubbermaid bins
55. pumpkins on the porch
56. "Little House" books
57. exchanging restaurant recommendations over breakfast
58. balls of real butter
59. Ronald Reagan
60. going to sleep with a line thru every item on a To Do list
61. puppy love
62. sipping (or gulping) wine in front of a fire
63. not paying attention to stupid questions
64. the smell of the ocean
65. frolicking in a pile of leaves

OK, have at it!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Amelia Kate is 3

My little crazy one is 3 today~officially at 3:29 pm. What I can say about Mimi Kate? We tried for almost 4 years to get pregnant again after Caroline was born. We tried just about everything and were in the middle of the adoption process when I discovered she was coming. We were shocked and thrilled and scared to death since I had already had 3 early miscarriages (well, one not so early) She arrived on a hot June day with Daddy and Aunt Christine chatting over my bed. Amelia screamed through her first bath and has hated the water ever since. She was a great baby and a fireball toddler. And now a preschooler who would prefer to go back to baby status if it means keeping her beloved "pipies" Wow. Where did the time go? So Sweet Mimi, here's to you! We love you to pieces!

Friday, June 23, 2006

That Sweet Baby Smell?

Last night Greta was having a hard time settling down to sleep . So I did something I never ever do~I rocked her.

Being my littlest (at this time) I have learned that I do not wish to do the dog-and-pony show that Caroline required to drift of to dreamland. She gets put in her crib with blankie and pacifier and that is it. She never fusses, never cries. Just grabs her beloved blankie and snuggles to sleep.

Anyway, back to the point. As I was cuddling her, I got a whiff of something icky. I was thinking it was maybe that odd diaper smell that permeates the carpet, the walls. Ya know? As I sniffed closer, it was my sweet baby. Not her diaper but actually her person. She reeked! Then I started thinking. . .when was the last time I gave that child a bath? Ummm. . .not real sure.

I swore I would never be one of those moms that treats her younger kids different than the older ones, but here I am. Caroline had a bath every day, Amelia every other day. Now poor Greta stinks. Some of it is the fact that once you have more than 2 kids, your time is limited. Honestly though, for me, it is just that I have grown into being a mom. I absolutely love Baby Greta as fiercely I loved Baby Caroline. But I have also seen that "This too shall pass" She is at the same stage as my niece Elise now, except Elise is the firstborn. Greta touches everything, climbs on everything, and sticks her fingers (which are usually sticky) into everything as Elise does. It drives Kim (Elise's mom) insane and it doesn't really bother me. The difference is I have seen the other side with Caroline and Amelia so I know she will quit driving my nuts shortly. You can be told it will pass, but until you actually pass though the tunnel yourself, you can't really believe what the other mommys are telling you.

So I know Greta won't always smell bad, Amelia will soon give up the pacifiers, and Caroline will stop sleeping with the bathroom light on~I think. Now, to go put her in bathtub!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fun in the Sun

Now here are some more tasteful pics of the fun day of swimming and bonding. I don't have a lot of time so here are the highlights.

We ate fruit and veggies.

Laura pushed Christine in the pool.

Christine called Laura an unflattering name.

Christian retaliates and pushes Laura in the pool.

Ha ha.

We all swim. Big kids splash. Little kids cry.

We all eat sandwiches. And then Jen broke the seal and had a Mike's at 12:45.

More swimming. More eating. Lots of cheese puffs.

Hugs, kisses, and bye bye.

Amelia conks out with "sawbewwy sungasses" on. Too cute.

All in all, a great fun day. I had so much fun I called a realtor. Oh yeah. I have one. Smooches.

You can put it on the board. . .YES!

OK, so who's the best team in baseball?!?

White Sox 20
Cardinals 6

These are supposed to be the 2 best teams in baseball. This series was much talked about, a preview of October, if you will. Oh yeah!

BUT as a life-long Sox fan once said of us all, "We spend the season one breath away from suicide. We'll choke in September."

Grinder Rule #52
There is no crying in baseball. Unless the champagne gets in your eyes.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Funny thoughts. . .

OK, since y'all are by the pool today and I'm not, I have been surfing around. I found these and thought they were REALLY funny. Like wet-your-pants funny. Like shoot beer out your nose funny. OK, you get the point.

  • I live in my own little world. But it's OK. They know me here.
  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
  • Everyday I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive days I have stayed alive.
  • How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
  • Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?
  • Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?
  • I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!
  • Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?
  • My husband says I never listen to him (at least I think that's what he said).
  • Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
  • Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?
  • Wouldn't you know it...Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.
  • Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when he Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in a federal building?
  • Bumper sticker of the year: "If you can read this, thank a teacher....and since it's in English, thank a soldier".

Dinner Anyone?

OK, gals, I hate to make dinner. Though I really do love to cook I hate it when it's 4L30 and everyone is screaming for food and Mommy. Anyone wanna do this together?

Welcome to My Breakdown

I am in the midst of a nervous breakdown. As you blog readers know, we have been in the process of trying to sell our house and build a new one for the past year. Well, the house we picked to build is one in the Parade of Homes here. We went into this deal assured that we were getting a great deal since builders want to display their best stuff for the public. Also we were led to believe that since we were in essence letting 1000's of people walk thru our home, we'd get a great price. Yeah, not so much.

So we're at the parade with Dad and Judy on Saturday night and we overhear what price our builder is telling people. It's $5000 less that what we're paying!!!!!!!! WHAT THE *&%*&?!? We were supposed to be getting the home for appx. $15,000 LESS than the "current market value"

I want to cry. I want to scream. I have been duped. How could I be so stupid?!? We have some friends going to the parade undercover for us to see what they can find out. One of them is a builder so he knows all the questions to ask.

I am now going to deposit Caroline and Amelia at VBS #2 for the summer. Hey, they are learning ecumenism. Is that a word? Love across the denomonations. Go hug a Baptist today.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

**New Girl Alert**

Attention blogging girlfriends~welcome our newest blogger to the bunch~Kary. Her link is by my links. She's a bit shy at this so bring her out of her shell.


Part of my reasoning to start a blog was to provide myself with a written memory of all the cute and not-so-cute things my girls do. So in honor of my crazy middle girl, here are some of her very interesting patterns of speech.


pocket polly~polly pockets

cakecup~cupcake. Her winter coat this year had a cupcake print on the lining so she always wanted to wear her "cakecup coat"

mum-sic twuck~the ice cream truck. We have convinced her that the ice cream truck is just a truck that drives around playing music for all to enjoy. Do not blow our cover.

koo-koo~Clifford the big red dog who is on 24-7 at our house.

goinky~her blanket. She is perfectly capable of saying "blanket" when pushed but much prefers "goinky"

She has many more but those are my favorites. She is getting to the point that Tim and I can understand about 90% of what she says and regular folks get about 60%. I think that's average for almost 3?

Thanks for listening to my brief moment of mushiness. Now back to real-life. . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Ask You . . .

Why do men define any movie with fast cars, men jumping out off fast cars, and scantily-clad women on top of fast cars as "good"?

Why does the gas company send me a bill every month? I just paid them.

Why does my 7 year old ask me what hell is while I'm trying to get her to bed?

Why does a 7 month pregnant woman look better in gauchos than me?

Screaming baby. . .Predestination~discuss. I'll be right back.

OK, back.

Why do my girls still throw food on the floor even though the dog is dead?

Why do men feel they need a medal or sex for every act of housework they complete?

Why do they ask me if I want fries with that? Duh!

Why is honesty confused with being not nice?

Why do books cost so much?

Why is 90210 off the air?

Why is it not OK to listen to Guns and Roses in my minivan? While squealing into the church parking lot for VBS?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The House is Done!!

Our house is done!! We are SSSOOO excited. Here's a quick tour. All the furniture and decorating you see is from our builder. I don't get to keep any of it. :-(
Pic #1 is the family room.
Pic #2 is the front of the house.
Pic #3 is the master bedroom.
Pic #4 is the kitchen.
Pic #5 is my UPSTAIRS laundry room! It is so awesome.

Once we actually live there and have our cheaper, uglier stuff in, I will post pics that! Now everyone pray hard that our house sells!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Start 'Em Young

Here's Miss Greta on Memorial Day at the lake. It was 93 that day and she felt she needed a cold one. Well, out here in Indiana we start 'em young. Builds up their tolerance. Only problem is it's Miller Light~what we call Jane Beer. Tim's mom brings it with her to visit because she doesn't like our "fancy" beer. Yeah, cuz MGD is fancy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Jen Re-Loaded?

I just got finished watching "16 Kids" on the Discovery Channel. The Duggar Family~here's their website~ in Arkansas and have 16 kids ranging in age from 17 to 6 mos. This includes 2 sets of twins. They are homeschooling, skirt-wearing, home church, type folks and if you Google them, you get oodles of opinions of people who either think they are wonderful or terrible. The arguments against mainly stem from the idea that it doesn't seem possible for two parents to spend any one-on-one time with that many kids. There are also lots of arguments which seem to take more issue with the fact that the kids don't date and the girls wear skirts all the time. The arguments in the pro camp keeping coming back to the "Children are a blessing" idea.

After watching this family~which BTW is WWAAAYYYYYYY more calm and organized than I am~and reading lots of opinions on what is the "correct" family size, my brain is fried. It also hit pretty close to home. Tim and I are presently embroiled in the "Should we try for one more baby or close up shop for good?" discussion. This is really a hard one for us.

First of all, I have never had a baby when we planned to. We struggled for years with infertility and were very close to adopting at one point. I have a hard time making the decision not have more when I wanted them so badly.

Second, when Tim and I first got married we both really wanted 4 kids. I have no logical reason why but 4 just seemed like a nice even number. Tim only has one sister and wished for a larger family. I never wanted 3 because in my family someone was always left out. Sometimes it was my brother cuz he's the only boy. Sometimes it was me cuz I'm the oldest and was out of the house before they were even in high school.

I hate being pregnant. I puke, I swell, I get huge, I get cranky, I just hate it. I also do not do well in the postpartum period. I had a really hard time after Greta. I am trying to realize that even worst case scenario it's 18 months of my life.

So here I am with 3 kids and pushing 35~the magic number where you become and "older mother". To top if off, we have the all one gender card. Personally, I love having all girls and would hope for one more. I'm not a fan of suprises so I'd like to stick with what I know. Tim would love to have a son~as I think most of us have that desire for a child of our own gender~but he is very realistic about the idea of having all girls. He is not bothered by it and actually takes his role as girl daddy very seriously~which if you know Tim it is one of the few things he is serious about! I just don't want to deal with the rest of the world's input on the gender of my kids. Like it is a tragedy to have all boys or girls.

So we have not come to a decision yet. I know for many that in and of itself is the decision! So for a few more months at least, the baby factory is open. Sort of.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Dating Game

When Tim and I got engaged in 1992 I officially left the dating world behind. At least until 1998 when I became the mama of a sweet baby girl. Then I entered the world of "Mom Dating" I live in an area where almost everyone has lived here since they were a zygote and married their kindergarten boyfriend. I actually have friends who are sisters and live next door to each other! We did not know a soul when we moved here 9 years ago so I have really had to make an effort to meet people. As much as I love my husband and enjoy doing things with him, I am a gal who loves her girlfriends. So my quest began. . .

It is amazing to me how similar my quest for gal pals has been to my search for Mr Right. You start with the obvious ways to meet~friends introduce you, church, work, neighbors. Though sometimes these tried-and-true ways produce the perfect new BFF, sometimes you need to go out a limb a bit more. So you put yourself in a target-rich environment. You know, those places where you can't turn around without tripping over a stroller~Target, the park, the mall, Borders at storytime. Here's how it plays out.

Step One
Spend all morning getting pretty wearing a new pair of gauchos and cute kitten heel flip-flops (why does a 1/2 inch heel make them so much dressier than beach wear?) Dress little girls in coordinating (not matching) Gap or Gymboree outfits, cute enough to illicit compliments but not too much that people point and laugh. The goal here is to look fun and cute but not perfect. A little baby puke on your shoulder is a perfect touch.

Step Two
Head out to Borders for storytime~complete with double stroller, sippy cups, and enough packets of Goldfish to share. Arrive at least 5 minutes early so that if baby has explosive poo or barely-potty-trained toddler needs to visit the potty you have ample time.

Step Three
Spend all of story time making mental judgments of the other mommies, focusing on the other ones who are their alone. Bonus points if their offspring appear to be same age and gender as your own. **Warning here~often the mom who appears to be the perfect match will say something that will totally turn you off the moment she opens her mouth. Something like, "Come along, Lucifer. It's time for your tarot card reading." Or "Are you hungry Raindrop? Mama has some organic tofu cubes for you!" So even if she's got on cute khakis and a comfy yet fashionable T-shirt, she might not be what she appears!

Step Four
And there she is. **Imagine the hallelujah Chorus Playing here** Across the room you spot her, same gauchos as you (but with a cuter top), hair in a ponytail but make-up applied and earrings on. Nice stroller (not an Italian one) and two girls about the same age as yours! She looks to be alone and slightly frazzled by being out with 2 little girls but not so much that she stayed home. You sniff the baby and under the guise of changing a diaper, wiggle out early~it's "Giggle Giggle Quack" and your toddler knows it by heart anyway! Station yourself casually by the exit of the Kids Section.

Step Five
Pounce. Compliment her, her kids, her gauchos, her hair~who cuts it? Anything to start a conversation. If all else fails, give your toddler an extra bag of Goldfish and say loudly, "Why don't you go share with that nice little girl over there, sweetie?" And hope she complies. Mom smiles and returns your compliment. "Your girls are so cute!" Play it cool. "Oh, them? I just picked 'em up in the parking lot. Hi, I'm Jen." Chit chat for a few minutes. "Our girls seem to be having fun. Would you like to get together at the park sometime so they could play?" Exchange numbers.

Step Six
Get home and spend the next five hours obsessing over how soon is too soon to call your new BFF.

More next time on how to break up after a few playdates when she turns out to be really icky. Or how to turn girlfriend + husband into Couple Friends!