Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A couple of photos

Finally, I have the time to post a few recent photos...

This is our house, all lit up for Christmas....

Here is the family on Christmas Eve.

Here is Gracie, the princess, with her Christmas gift. She'll carry this bone around for days before she decides to chew on it.

Well, they haven't hog-tied me and locked me in the closet...

Yep. It's time for a sleepover for the boys. Each boy has a friend over, and since DH is at work, I am severely outnumbered! But, as long as I throw some food down the stairs once in a while, they will leave me alone. Actually, they are being very good. I am wondering, though, where I stand on the good mommy/bad mommy scale:

Good mommy points:
*let them have a sleep-over
*let them play their new PS2
*fed them a healthy, yummy dinner

Bad Mommy points:
*let them play too much PS2
*served them salad with their dinner (but 3 out of 4 boys ate it)

So, guess it depends on the perspective. Anyway, I am enjoying the relative peace and quiet upstairs. I am slowly dismantling the Christmas decorations. Thre ornaments are off the tree, most of the kitchen stuff is boxed up, and I still have the village houses to pack up. I'll have to save those for when DH or the boys can help me.

Pray for me....that the boys will sleep tonight....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

It's been a quiet day around here. Just cleaning the house to get ready for my parents to visit tomorrow. The boys have been good all day. Wonder if they are trying to get in one last good day before Santa comes? According to NORAD, Santa is well on his way, so the little buggers better go to sleep soon!

We opened our gifts this afternoon, since we are on our own for Christmas Eve this year. No family staying with us means a bit more laid back approach. The boys were very excited about their PS2. I keep thinking, I should go down to the basement and try it out since they are in bed. I am sitting here in my new jammies (which have dogs on them), enjoying the scent of my new perfume (Euphoria by Calvin Klein), realizing that I am a little sad. Christmas is just not "all that" for me anymore. I enjoy surprising the boys and DH with gifts, but I am just not getting into the typical Christmas mood. I sure hope this isn't something more than a passing thing.

Christmas Eve service was nice. Our church is pretty casual, so seeing everyone all dressed up is fun. I interpreted part of the service, which means I get a bird's eye view of everyone. Usually, I get a chance to see who dozes off at church. Tonight's view was a little different. I had an up front view of some poor girl vomitting in the front row during the sermon. She was late teens or early twenties. Before church began, she and an older lady had hurried out of the room. Shortly after, they returned. I thought no more of it until her hand flew to her mouth about half way through the sermon. That's when she began to vomit. She and a family member ran out of the room, while the surrounding people tried not to look. Poor thing, how humiliating! Especially on Christmas Eve when the church is packed (over 500 people) and in the front row, too. I sure hope she is feeling better.

I'd better get to bed soon so that Santa can come. Good night to all!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Is this your first time?

This is the question I was asked yesterday by my new massage therapist as he led me into a dimmed room. My first time at what?!?!? There was a "table" in the middle, covered in sheets. Soft, soothing music was playing. There were plants, beautiful wallpaper, in fact, it looked a lot like a luxury hotel room. I couldn't help thinking, "I feel like I have entered the place of business of a high-priced gigalo!" I stifled my giggles and climbed on the table.

Seriously, he asked about my medical history, any areas of pain or discomfort, and my goals for the session. It was so incredibly relaxing that I felt the need to take a nap when he was done. It was definately the best hour I have spent in a long time. He was an absolute professional, and I hope to be able to go back again.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Do you hear that? That is the sound of one tired teacher relaxing on her first night of Christmas break! Yeah, I know, the school calls it Winter Break, but, please, if it weren't for Christmas, there would be no break. So, I am celebrating Christ's birth, with a little "me" time.

I spent part of the evening scrapping at a friend's house. She's one of those friends who you can "let it all hang out" with. I got a lot done, and now am inspired to scrap even more!

I completed my vestibular/hearing assessment today. The doctor does not have a definitive answer as to why I have a hearing loss and dizziness. The dizziness is resulting from one side of the vestibular system not reacting to vestibular input to the same degree as the other side, which gives the brain conflicting information. Why is this happening? No idea. The doctor feels that the hearing loss looks like a noise induced loss. I can't imagine why that would happen, but there's nothing that can be done to reverse it. Now it is just a matter of monitoring the loss to make sure it does not get worse.

I get a month off from wearing my student hat. Just got my grades today....yep, got an A!

I am so excited to get to wear my mommy hat for a while. Jake was home sick Tuesday and Wednesday this week with diarrhea. He seems to be fine now. Bad mommy confession time: While I would never wish for my child to be sick, I was secretly happy I got to stay home from work on Tuesday.

Tomorrow I am finally going to get a professional massage. DH and the boys got me a gift certificate for one for Mother's Day, but I have never taken the time to use it. I can't wait!

Really, I do need to post some pics soon. Maybe I will sometime this week :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Candlestick Lane Opening

What a day! Actually, it has been a busy week. I took my final on Tuesday, then it was time to prepare for our Candlestick Lane Open House. Candlestick Lane is a long running tradition here in Urbana. The street we live on changes names for about two weeks in December. It becomes Candlestick Lane, where almost every house on the block puts out incredible light displays. This is our second Christmas here, and I was elected chairperson. I had the pleasure of reading the Mayor's proclamation and leading the processional down the street. I also was interviewed for the local news.

Our Open House was a big hit! We had a great turnout and lots of food and fun was had by all. The favorite activity, by far, was karoake time. Seems to be a theme at our parties (remember pirate karoake?) I have to say a huge thanks to my mother in law, who was an incredible help getting things ready. She's awesome!

When I get a chance, I will try to post some pics.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Surgery Observation

I had the most amazing experience yesterday. As a requirement for my master's practicum, I had to observe a cochlear implant surgery. So, yesterday was the day. I stood right by the surgeon as he implanted the device into an 8 month old little girl. I have been teaching deaf and hard of hearing children for years, but now I have finally seen the inner workings of the ear. The surgeon allowed me to look through the microscope several times. Half way through, the little girl's oxygen saturation dropped, so there were about ten minutes when things got a little tense. After re-intubating, things went back to normal. Prayers were definately answered.

Dr. Novak at Carle, along with the audiologists, were wonderfully gracious hosts and provided me with an incredible experience!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just an update....

My student hat:
*only two more classes till the end of the semester!
*my practicum is finally taking off. Thursday I get to observe a cochlear implant surgery.
*I received my grade on my research paper.....100%

My mommy hat:
*Christmas preperations are coming along, with invitations for our open house sent and shopping coming along nicely.
*the boys are finished with basketball clinics, and the regular season starts next week. They will have the same coach Jake has had the past two years ! Yeah! He's a great guy and the boys are familiar with him.

My teacher hat:
*my kiddos are doing well. Two of them finally have received their FM systems for school, which means that they will be able to use what hearing they have left.

My "me" hat
*I am fighting some sort cold...yuck :(
*I have my vestibular and hearing assessments later this month. I'll update when I get more information.
*My scrap space is finally ready in the basement. Hopefully by Christmas I'll be able to actually use it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to My Brother...

Well, it's not his birthday yet, but he's going to be in town tomorrow night, so we will get to celebrate. I can't remember the last time we were able to celebrate his birthday with him. He is a truck driver and is gone for weeks at a time. His route brings him right to Champaign, so we'll have the pleasure of his visit. He is the boys' only blood uncle. Their Aunt Jill is married, but they have never met her husband, since they live all the way across the country. Aunt Sue isn't married, but has a boyfriend that the boys enjoy playing with. But I am glad that Uncle Brad will be able to visit.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. I am SO ready for a break. However, with that term paper out of the way, I am feeling more relaxed. Still have lots to catch up on at school, but it will eventually get done. One day at a time :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My hats are fitting a little tight these days.

Sometimes, I wish the world would just stop and let me off! I am in desperate need of a vacation! Thanksgiving break can't come too soon.

Parent-Teacher Conferences were this week. So, I had to wear my teacher hat and my mommy hat for those. First, the teacher hat....just let me say that teachers put an incredible amount of work into preparing for conferences. I worked late two days this week, just to prepare, plus all I had already done before this week. When you figure in the one night I had class, the two new students that I had to prepare for, and just the everyday lesson planning on top of it all, I didn't get to see my family all week.

My mommy hat was a lot more comfortable :) The boys are both working about one grade level above their actual grade :) And they both are getting along well in class. I was so proud!

My student hat is giving me a headache. First, I have a research paper due on Tuesday, so you can imagine what I am doing this weekend. Plus, my practicum class is giving me high blood pressure. Everytime I have to deal with the supervisor, I can almost feel the steam rolling out of my ears. I have spent a number of hours in prayer over the situation, trying to deal and suffer through to get it over with.

And, the real shocker, is that I was diagnosed with a hearing loss last week. I saw the ENT and the audiologist yesterday. It doesn't look like I will need hearing aids right now, thank God. They are very expensive and not covered by insurance. I have a few more tests on the function of my inner ear next month, plus monitoring to make sure that the loss does not get worse. There is dizziness involved as well, so testing may help get to the source of the probrem.

But, inspite of all of these hats I am fighting with right now, I have so many blessings to consider....
-Kristen, my dearest friend, who will put up with my children and loves them like her own.
- Tracey, my other wonderful friend, who will chat with me for hours about any topic.
- my boys, who are so wonderful, that I can't even put it into words.
- My husband, who has been so supportive and is the best daddy in the world.
- God's grace and mercy, providing me all I need.

A side note: Thank you to all of the veterans and troops protecting us! May God bless you and keep you safe!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My poor boy....

Last week, I noticed that Jake had a cavity on one of his molars. He's 8, so it is a baby tooth. He went to the dentist last week. Since the tooth was already a little loose, the dentist said that as long as he's not in pain and not infected, we could wait for it to come out on its own.

Fast forward to today. I rearranged my afternoon so that I could attend the boys' Halloween parties at school. Thank goodness I was there! Jake bit into a piece of candy and made an awful face. I suggested that he spit it out, since he apparently didn't like it. When he spit it out, blood started oozing from his mouth. His tooth broke! So, the party was over for Jake. I cleaned him up and took him to the dentist.

Jake knew that the tooth would have to be pulled. He was nervous, to say the least. He handled it all like a man, even the shots to numb his mouth. It took three different shots to do the trick, so he really had it rough. He did cry, but laid perfectly still while the dentist was working on him.

He's doing well tonight and was able to enjoy trick or treating. Plus, he will be enjoying his money from the tooth fairy in the morning :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tummy ache update....

Well, I got the verdict.....small abdominal hernia off of my C-section incision. It has not herniated all the way through, thank goodness. I have to "take it easy", wear some support, and avoid lifting. "Take it easy"?!?!? Yeah, right. I'm a mom...I really can "take it easy".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My student hat is fitting well tonight

Got my midterm grade back tonight! 24/25.....96% !!!!!!!!

Tummy aches all around....

This morning, Jake told me that he had a tummy ache. This may bring a sense of alarm to some parents, but not me, when it comes to this son. He's been know to fake a tummy ache to come home from school. More than once, he managed to convince the school that he was sick and needed to go home. Oddly enough, this has only happened when Daddy had the day off. So, we instituted a family come home sick, you have to be bleeding, puking or have a fever.

Well, no surprise, today was Daddy's day off. About 1:15 this afternoon, DH receives a phone call from the school. Seems Jake has a tummy ache. After discerning that Jake was not bleeding or vomiting and did not have a fever, he told Jake he had to back to class. Way to go, Dad! I think he's almost ready for one of those "World's Greatest Mom" t-shirts!

OK, not to make us sound like horrible parents, he did tell the school secretary that if Jake continued to complain about his tummy to call back and he would come get him.

Now, Jake's tummy ache ended up being nothing. Mine, however, may be a different story. This morning, while at work, I sneezed. While that may sound like it has nothing to do with my stomach....just stick with me. When I sneezed, a searing pain tore through my lower abdomen (right where my C-section scar is). It was so painful that I yelled out. As the day wore on, it has gotten more and more painful. Now it is even difficult to sit up or walk. I think I need to call the doctor in the morning.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A new cap to wear....

OK, so jury duty only lasts a week, but it was a difficult cap to wear today. While the trial is over and I can freely discuss the case, I will not do that. However, I do want to address a few thoughts/experiences of the day. First, it was again illustrated to me why it is important to not make assumptions. After hearing the testimony and looking at all of the evidence, I was convinced that it was obvious that the defendant was not guilty. I assumed that everyone else on the jury saw everything the way that I did, and deliberations would be quick and painless. WRONG! In fact, I was in the minority believing that he was not guilty. Deliberations took several hours.

Second, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve with a group of intelligent, conscientious individuals. Even when our opinions on the defendant's guilt were completely at odds, everyone remained respectful and courteous while arguing their point of view. And, when things did not resolve quickly, and many individuals were concerned about their family obligations, not one individual in the room suggested that we come to a decision so that we could all go home. Everyone sincerely treated the decision before us with the gravity it required. I left today with a new respect for my fellow citizen.

Third, and most importantly, I was once again reminded of the awesome power of prayer. At one point, ten of the jurors had agreed that the defendant was guilty. The only ones who disagreed were myself and the gentleman next to me. After several hours of deliberation, it seemed that we were at an impasse, my head was throbbing, and I was beginning to think we'd be there all night. I quietly bowed my head and asked for God's guidance. I prayed that God would help me decide what to do....continue to fight for the not guilty verdict or change my vote. As I was ending my prayer, something one of the jurors said began to make sense. I can't even tell you what that thing was. All I know is that all of a sudden, I felt like I needed to change my vote. Just as I was getting ready to announce that fact, the gentleman next to me spoke up and said that he had also decided to change his vote. Again, as we were passing around the verdict slip to sign, I went to God in prayer that we were doing the right thing. I was so worried about sending an innocent man to prison. I was praying that God was helping us do the right thing. After delivering the verdict, the judge asked us to wait in the jury room for a few minutes. He came to address us and answer any questions we had. During this time, he confirmed that this man was a pretty scary fellow who had done quite a few awful things to the victim in the past, and today's trial was just one of a number of recent charges against this man. In other words, our guilty verdict had put a hateful, awful man behind bars for repeatedly and systematically victimizing a young woman.

I thank God for his guidance.

Monday, October 02, 2006

healthy habits

Have you ever decided to "give up" something in the interest of better health? Recently, I joined a "lose 10 pounds" challenge on SBA. I figured the only way to do this is to drop some of the nasty habits I have. First, I decided to stop drinking soda. I've tried this before...but never succeeded. I love Pepsi. I hate diet sodas, so making the switch to diet was not going to happen. So, I figured I needed to just drop it all together.'s been 3 weeks! I don't even want soda any more. In addition, I am not craving sweets like I used to. I wonder if it's related. Anyway, I have lost 5 pounds, and I am thrilled! Only 5 more to go to meet the challenge.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Jury Duty

So, it's finally show up for jury duty. I was summoned last spring, but I have had it postponed twice, so I am finally fulfilling my civic duty. So, I spent most of today sitting around the court house, waiting. Finally, this afternoon, I was placed on a jury. I have to report at 9:00 tomorrow. I need to find a good book to take for all of the down time. Any recommendations?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Extreme sleep deprivation.....That's what friends are for

Last night, as I was helping DH get supper ready, I was chatting with a friend on the phone. We haven't seen each other for about a week, so I asked her to join me for a soda after her girls went to bed. Once she was able to get away, we headed to McDonald's for some fries, caffeine, and girl talk (I forgot my cell phone at home....keep this in mind, as it will be important later). I dearly love when she and I are able to get our kids together, but I think I cherish even more the times when we can hang out, just the two of us.

So, after the fries were gone, we headed back to her place. I wanted to see how she had rearranged some furniture, so rather than drop her off, I invited myself in. (Gotta love the kind of friend who lets you do that :) As we were chatting with her husband, her cell phone rang. It was DH. I was surprised, since he wouldn't normally "track me down" unless it was important. She handed the phone over, and he informed me that my other best friend was desperately trying to track me down. Apparently, she had taken the wrong insulin (she's diabetic) and was in some trouble. I ran out the door, flew over past my house to grab my cell phone, and booked it to her house.

The problem was that she had taken 16 units of fast acting insulin instead of the slow acting insulin that she takes every night before bed. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but what it amounts to is taking 5 times the necessary amount of insulin. People with diabetes must use insulin to control their blood sugar. Without the insulin, their blood sugar will be too high, which causes damage to vital organs over time. However, the more immediate danger for those with diabetes is their blood sugar getting too low. If one's blood sugar gets too low, he or she could go into a coma, or worse, die. So, having too much insulin, especially the amount that my friend took, was extremely dangerous.

On the way to her house, I toggled between praying that she would be ok and planning my strategy. She had called the patient advisory nurse and gotten some instructions. Take blood sugar levels at least every 20 minutes, drink sugared liquids, have a friend close by to help monitor the situation, and call 911 if her readings went too low. The nurse had predicted that it would take at least four hours for the insulin to work its way out of her system. If we could control her blood sugar at home, fine. If she ended up needing to go to the hospital, then we'd be in a world of hurt. She has four boys, all of whom are disabled. What would I do with the boys if she went to the hospital? I don't know who could watch them, and I felt like I needed to be with her. So, urgent prayers went heavenward...please help me help her control the unavoidable drop in blood sugar.

When I arrived, it was 9:30 p.m. She was chugging Sprite, admitting that she had made a stupid mistake. So, we got comfortable, knowing that it was going to be a long night. The nurse called to check in, as she continued to do throughout the night. The next day was the fifth anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, so there were several programs on tv. We watched the documentaries and talked about all of those deep subjects that come up when you see people facing the unfathomable as the victims did that day. All between taking blood sugar levels, pouring more Sprite, and a quick run to the convenience store for 7 up for her, and Pepsi for me.

The evening wore on, and her sugar levels fell. However, God was at work, because her levels never got down to a dangerous point. As her levels began to slowly increase again, the stress began to lift. As we both realized that it was 2:00 a.m. and we would both need to get ready for work in a very short time, we got a little slap-happy. Everything was funny...especially the sloshy feeling in her stomach from drinking large amounts of soda, and the resultant trips to the restroom. Her new nickname is Pee-didy slosh....think rapper. OK, not that funny, but at 2:00 a.m., it was hilarious!

FInally at 2:45 a.m, I headed home for a precious 3 hours of sleep. That day of work was hell...every single things my students did got on my nerves. But, since I didn't have any students to see in the afternoon, and because my boss is incredibly understanding, I headed home for a nap that afternoon.

It has taken me a few days to get over the sleep deprivation, but that is what friends are for.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jake's 4th and final birthday party is finally over. I am so glad to check that one off of my to do list. As usual, the kids were loud, but well behaved. There were, all together, 3 girl pirates and 7 boy pirates running around. The treasure hunt was huge fun. And, I have to say, pirate karaoke was hilarious!

Now, I need to upload pictures from ALL of the parties to scrap. But, at the rate that my Disney album is going, I may scrap this birthday when he starts high school! Maybe I should publish this post and hit the scrap table?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Party Number 2

Today was the second of Jake's 4 birthday parties this year. 4 parties?!?! Am I crazy? No, I am not one of those parents. Jake's definition of a party is getting presents and comsuming sugar. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were not able to have all of the grandparents here for one party. So, last weekend we had a "party" with DH's parents when we dropped the boys off. That was party number 1.

Today was party number 2 with my parents. They came in for the day. After a lunch of homemade pizza, he opened his gifts. Check out Jake and his new toy....

And he's off.....

Darn, he's cute!

Then, after sweating in the humidity watching Jake try out his new skateboard, we headed back in to the air conditioning for some cake. This year's theme is pirates, so here is the treasure chest cake...

A little lopsided, but it definately meets the requirements of lots of sugar! It was really yummy!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My student hat...

is fitting quite comfortably tonight. I drove to Normal for my first Masters class of the semester. After going over the syllabus and the projects for the semester, he dismissed us. That was about an hour into class. Now, that might not seem like a big deal to you. But, since it is supposed to be a three hour class, I was so excited to get out early. Not having to drive the hour and fifteen minutes home so late was definately a plus. So, I drove home, stopped at Baskin Robbins, and have been surfing the net since. Ahhhhhhh, relaxation!

(Remember, the boys are gone at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and DH is there, too. He left tonight to pick them up, and they will all head home tomorrow. So, not only did I get out of class early, but I came home to an EMPTY HOUSE!!!!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Do you hear that????

Kid-free silence! We dropped the boys off at my in-laws, since I have to head back to work tomorrow. Yep, I am dusting off my teacher hat to see if it still fits. Since the boys don't start school for another week, DH's parents are watching them until Wednesday. So, I get a kid-free night!

A night I deserve, by the way. Yesterday's party was a great success. My boys have the nicest friends. There were three little ones, 1st-3rd grade. Then, there were five big ones, 4th-5th grade. The little guys had a ball with action figures and Pokemon cards, while the big ones played basketball, soccer and football. It was such fun watching my boys having so much fun. There aren't many things I enjoy more than seeing my boys truly happy.

Then, we headed to Josh's little league picnic. The boys had a good time. Jake spent much of his night riding a scooter around the park, baseball hat on backwards, no shirt on. Maybe doesn't sound that entertaining to you, but if you saw how skinny my kids are, you'd laugh out loud at how ridiculous they look with no shirt on.

I am signing off to clean up the kitchen and get ready for my 1st day of school. Wish me luck!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

What Have I Done?!?!?!

It started innocently enough....I forgot to RSVP for my son's friend's birthday party. DH thought it would be nice to have the friend over before going back to school, since son #1 (Josh) had to miss the party. OK, fine. Then came the idea...why don't we invite over a few more friends? A few friends turned into a few more, then all of a sudden, we are having seven boys over for lunch and play tomorrow. With our two, that makes 9. Nine boys, from 1st to 5th grade. I must be insane!

So, I am spending today cleaning the house and cracking the whip so the boys will clean the basement. That basement may be essential tomorrow, since there is rain forcasted for tomorrow.

If you have a good thought or prayer to send my way, I would appreciate it. I'm gonna need all the help I can get!

Monday, August 14, 2006

It's official...

I am officially a Graduate Student in the Special Education Department at Illinois State University. I received my acceptance letter today, and registered for my fall class. I really enjoyed my summer classes...I am such a nerd....I love learning! But, when I realize how much I will have to know....all of those hats I will have to wear. I just hope I can balance them all without them all tumbling down.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

If you give a mommy a utensil bar....

(in the style of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie )

If you give mommy a utensil bar,

she will hang utensils on it,

which will clean out the utensil crock,

which will need to be washed. Once that crock is washed, she will clean out a drawer to fill it up again,

which will empty out a drawer that will have to be wiped out. Once it is wiped out, it will have to be filled...

with spices from the cabinet. Since the cabinet is empty, she may as well wipe it out, too. That empty space in the cabinet will remind her that she wanted to get the canisters off of the counter.

So she will put the canisters in the empty cabinet, but they will have to be washed first.

Then, she will be interrupted to fix dinner, for which she needs a spoon to stir. She will reach for one from her new utensil bar,

And remember where all of this work began!

So, anyone want to guess how I spent my afternoon and evening???

Update on allowances

Well, we had our first shopping trip since the boys started getting an allowance. Naturally, I forgot to have them bring along their spending money. In fact, I had completely forgotten about the allowance thing (hey, give me a break...I've been sick, but that is a whole other post...)

We were at the mall. While we were eating, Jake announces that he wants to go on the carousel. First, I responded with my usual "No." Then, later in the meal, Josh said he wanted a quarter for a piece of gum. Before I could respond, he said, "I wish I had my allowance with me". Then, the lightbulb went off. I told both boys that I would loan them the money to do what they want, as long as they paid me back as soon as we got home. Josh accepted his borrowed quarter and headed to the gumball machine. I asked Jake if he wanted to borrow a dollar for the carousel. He thought for a moment, then decided against it. An AHA! moment.

After we had walked through the mall a little bit, Jake saw a vending machine with Pokemon figures in it. He decided to borrow a dollar for that. He was pleased with his purchase, and promptly paid me back when we got home. It will take some time, but I think they both will consider their purchases wisely.

So, the next day, as we headed out to run errands with DH, both boys grabbed their wallets on the way out the door. Amazing how fast they learn.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Oh, all of the decisions that parents must make. DH and I have decided to start the boys on an allowance. There were several reasons behind this....1. To teach them fiscal responsibility. 2. To help them learn the value of money and saving. 3. To stop the constant "Can I have ______" when we go to the store. So, we sat them down after dinner and explained the concept. They will receive $2.00 each week, payable on Sundays. They are required to save 25% of their allowance and any birthday money they receive. The other 75% is theirs to spend as they see fit. So, how long till they are begging me to take them shopping?!?!?

As we were discussing this, I could see the light in Son #2's eyes widen and twinkle. You see, he's all about money. He's always wanting to know how he can get more. Much more materialistic than his brother. I'll bet he's the first to make a foolish purchanse. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Superman Returns....

WOW! Great movie! We were in Chicago with some friends, and took the boys to go see it. Normally, this is not the kind of movie I would go see, but since our little group was almost all male (7:2 ratio), my opinion was irrelevant. We saw the movie on an IMAX screen with 3-D glasses. Very cool! Plus, the hottie who played Superman was quite a piece of eye candy. Definately recommend this movie.

Hotter than......

Fill in the blank with whatever expletive suits you. The point is that it is HOT! We just arrived home from a trip to Chicago, then Iowa, to a house that was 91 degrees! Yuck! My poor AC will be working overtime tonight.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Remembering the hard times....

I am a frequent lurker on a message board called "Scrapbook Addict". I was just reading a post about how one member was getting ready to start scrapping about her father's death, and how difficult it has been for her. As I was responding to her post, this story popped into my head, and I just had to share....

Grandma T was my husband's paternal grandmother. She was awesome! She passed away a few years ago, when the boys were 3 and 4 years old. She had recently had part of her leg amputated due to circulatory problems, and never made it out of the hospital. She was 90. She spent several days in ICU, then was transferred to "Comfort Care", a hospice-like environment at the hospital where she was made comfortable till the end. DH (darling husband), the boys, and I did make it up to see her before she passed. When it was just the adults in the room, she would moan for the Lord to take her home. When my little boys entered the room, however, she was calm, quiet, and had little conversations with them. Son #1, who was 4, stood by her bedside and stroked her hand. He arranged a little beanie dog from her bedside table on her chest, to keep her company. Grandma told him he should take that dog home since she wouldn't be needing it much longer. He's nine years old now, and still has that dog.

When it came time for Grandma T's visitation and funeral, the whole family was there, except for DH's father, who was still in the hospital (another long story for another day). That made it harder on our end, just knowing he wasn't there for his own mother's funeral. No matter how sad these situations can be, you can always count on little kids to lighten the mood a little, and usually do or say something completely inappropriate. Many are the mothers who cringe at taking their little ones to the funeral home for fear of what they will do or say. My boys were in for a long night at the visitation, since we had to be there the entire time. We wre prepared with toys, juice, food, etc. We took each boy to the casket to see Grandma before the visitation began. Son #2, the three year old, was pretty unaffected. Son #1, however, was sobbing. Took him a long time to get ahold of himself. Since I had not dealt with kids this age and the topic of death before, I just hoped that the differences between my boys was age-appropriate and normal.

I was soon reassured that my 3 year old was pretty typical after watching DH's cousin's little girl. She is exactly one week older than son #2. She walked up and loudly announced, "Grandma is in a box!" She seemed very proud of her statement. Seems that her mother wanted to help her understand the things she would see at the funeral home. When she told her that Grandma would be in a casket, she naturally asked, "What's a casket?" Her mother responed, "Well, it's kind of like a box made out of wood." Thus, Grandma was in a box.

The kids managed to help lighten the mood a bit. As the night wore on, I don't know who was more exhausted, the kids or the grown-ups. Since no one had eaten dinner, we foolishly decided to head to a little restaurant in Grandma's small hometown. It was about 10:30 at night. DH's cousin had wisely decided to forgo the gathering and take their little one home to bed. We, however, were not so smart. The boys were almost slap-happy. They were wound-up, over tired, and up way past their bed time. Son #1 was seated at one end of the long, banquet style table, away from me. Son #2 was across from me. Son #1 happily scarfed down a huge order of pancakes....maple syrup and all. Son #2 was munching on crackers, not happy with his meal. I rested my head against the back of my chair and closed my eyes. It had been such a long, exhausting day, and I was dreading what would happen tomorrow at the funeral. My kids would be cranky, DH was a pall bearer, so he'd be no help. Just as I thought I might actually fall asleep right there in the restaurant, I heard a strange wheezing sound. I opened my eyes and tried to re-focus. When my vision cleared, all I saw was son #2 clawing at his mouth, face turning red. Everyone else at the table was deep in conversation, oblivious to the fact that my son was CHOKING! I flew from my chair, ran around the table and grabbed up my little one. I put one foot on the chair and dropped him across my knee, allowing my thigh to hit his tummy. The piece of cracker flew from his mouth, and he drew in a huge breath. I hugged him, kissed him, then pulled him back to I could see how he was handling the situation. Big smile, asking for more milk. No harm, no foul. And no one else even looked up from their conversation--they were completely unaware of what had just happened.

More on this story later....son #2 and the pancakes......

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I hate caps!

OK, so I don't really hate caps. I just hate wearing caps. Actually, I hate wearing anything on my head...hats, caps, headbands, etc. They mess up my hair, and even have been known to lead to a migraine. So, I almost never wear caps. Only if it is freezing, or pouring down rain will I relent and pull up the hood on my coat. So, you may be wondering why my blog is called "Caps for Sale". Let me explain....I wear many caps, or hats. I have a mommy hat, a wife hat, a daughter hat, a teacher hat, a student hat, a friend hat, a daughter-in-law hat and an "auntie" hat. Somewhere, I have a me hat, but I can't seem to find it right now. Most of the time, I am wearing many hats at once. It reminds me of the children's book Caps for Sale. Do you know this book? On the front, there is a picture of a cap peddler with all of his caps stacked neatly on his head, one on top of another. Selling these caps must be exhausting, because he decides to take a rest under a tree, with all of his caps still on his head. While he naps, a bunch of obnoxious monkeys steal his caps. He wakes up and can't figure out where his caps went. Then, he looks up in the tree to see them on the monkeys' heads. More on those ornery monkeys later.In my next few entries, I would like to tell you a little more about each of my hats. For now, I'll just tell you about my mommy hat. Sometimes it is my favorite hat; other times it is the one that causes the biggest headaches. I am mommy to two of the smartest, cutest, most wonderful boys ever born. No, I am not even the slightest bit biased. Son #1 is 9 and a sports nut. He loves anything to do with a ball, and will even resort to watching golf on TV for lack of any other sport. Son #2 is 7 and a half, and is quite busy planning his upcoming birthday. He enjoys cartoons, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon trading cards, and several creative ventures. You'll get to know them more as time goes on.Well, I am going to try to take off all of these hats and get some rest. Thanks for reading!