Thursday, August 30, 2007

Help Your Charity

I know I've sent this around via email, but wanted to share here as well. If you haven't heard yet, you can use a search engine to raise money for your favorite cause!

Visit Goodsearch and see if your charity is listed. Each time you search, a penny is donated. After a while, those pennies add up. It's an easy way for people to help out without actually costing them anything.

I, of course, have my charity set to the Preeclampsia Foundation. In case, you need a charity to donate to. ;)

It Must Stop

In 18 months, our community has had three homicides related to domestic violent situations. As I heard the news of another murder this week, my heart fell. I am sad and angry. I am devastated that some in this community are focusing on the wrong issues. The issue is not cultural, the issue is violence.

I am planning on hitting the topic of domestic violence pretty good during the month of October so I won't go into alot of the stats and whatnot for now.

So many people ask why the woman hasn't left. It doesn't matter. People need to ask why he thinks it's okay to abuse his partner. Until that becomes the primary question, things are not changing the way they need to change. It's time for people to step up and take action.

If you know someone who is being abused by their partner, just be there for them. Don't judge or tell them what to do. Let them know you are there for them whenever they may need you. Never ask why they stayed. Victims do what they need to do to get through the situation the best they can. Please don't judge their actions or lack of actions as you see it.

I applaud the hard work and efforts of the people who work to help victims of domestic and sexual violence. What you do takes heart, courage, and strength. What you do is so important and means so much to the people who need your help. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

9 Years

Tomorrow I will be married to my best friend for 9 years.

I feel almost like a completely different person now, and our marriage has grown and changed in so many ways. In 9 years of marriage we have learned and experienced many things together. We have learned how important communication is and have a friendship that has just grown into a bond I could have never imagined. We have learned to appreciate the little things and cherish the sweet moments of life. I think our love has grown so much that, if possible, we love each other more than the day we said, “I do.”

This man - he is my best friend, my soul mate. I yearn to get my morning kiss as he leaves for work and my heart still leaps when he comes home. He makes working so hard to overcome the challenges in our life worth each and every obstacle we face. The good days are only made sweeter by sharing them with him. I am awful at telling him how much I adore him and how I am so thankful to be his wife.

So, I’m telling him right now, I adore you!

Jason, today I commit myself to you again. I promise to love, honor, respect, encourage, and astound you. I promise to be your partner, your lover, your friend. I love you, you and no other, forever.

And in honor of that special day nine years ago, here are the vows I pledged....

Jason, I take you to be my husband,
from this time onward,
to join with you and share all that is to come,
to give and to receive,
to speak and to listen,
to inspire and to respond,
in all circumstances of our life together,
to be loyal to you with my whole life and with all my being

Exchange of Rings:
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment,
and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.

I can't wait for the next 9 years. They will be a pleasure to share with you.

Love always,


So, I've partcipated in a Fantasy Football league for the last couple years with some family & friends. I usually end the season somewhere near the bottom. I'm in it for fun rather than competition. I'll leave that to my dear hubby and his brothers. ;)

We've always done an automated draft. Until this year. So, here I am struggling to make sense of who to draft and when. WHAT? This is way too beyond what I ever wanted. You want me to analyze players and teams? Well, I'm making an effort. We'll see where it lands me at the end of the season.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

LL World Championship Game

AWEsome moment of the day.

I caught the tail end of the Little League World Championship game this afternoon. Georgia and Japan were the teams I believe. Well, the last hit of the game was a homer and Georgia wins. The young men are all celebrating and the other team is crestfallen and several members are on the ground crying. One young man from the winning team notices and heads to the opposing team. His teammates quickly follow. They embrace the other team and are helping the ones up from the ground. What a wonderful sight of team spirit. They took their moment to enjoy the glory, but knew that with their win, another players hopes are crushed.

Ana Moment

Okay, so my elder child is into eating dough lately. I know, gross. Well, we made pizzas last night and she asked daddy if she could have some dough. So, she's munching away on it and then she brings me the rest. "Mom, can you save this please. But put it up someplace high in case I try to get it later." Schooling my facial expression, I said yes and wrapped it up. I turn to Jason and tell him we have a crack addict on our hands. Can you put it up high so I can't get it later?!? Silly goose!

Vote For Phoenix!!!

We entered Phoenix into a photo contest and the baby with the most votes wins a photo shoot and the cover of a baby calendar! You can vote up to 5 times a day, so please help him out!

Vote here: Baby Contest

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Speak Up!

There was a huge outcry last week after BP was going to be allowed to increase the amount of toxic sludge it dumps in Lake Michigan. I have the City Pages article on it if anyone wants to read it. It was in the Aug 16-23 issue. I thought I'd share this website with you in case anyone is interested. I'm always up for writing to my public officials. ;)

In honor of

Rachael. Rachael is a woman I posted about last week. She lost her daughter in July and has been sharing Hannah stories on her blog. I simply love her writing and my heart just aches for her. Well, unfortunately she has had some people who think she shouldn't be sharing stories/whatever on her blog via her comments. (Assholes) She received many comments that are in complete support of her doing whatever she needs to on her blog. After all, if you don't like it...don't read it! A woman who reads Rachaels blog had this wonderful idea to support Rachael and her blogging by writing a post about something you would normally "hold your tongue" about. See here

I really hemmed and hawed over what topic to write about. Sexual assault, domestic violence, death penalty, politics, rudeness, judgementalness, etc. As I sit here I'm still unsure what will flow from my fingers. I'm hoping it comes to me in a moment of brilliance here. I'm supposed to write about something that I am passionate about yet be nice. Or a topic that may spur some ire, but be polite about it.

So, here goes.

I'm going to share my experiences with public assistance, aka "welfare." I've heard many comments from many people that are very disrespectful to those who need assistance. The misconception is that the people on welfare want to get money for free and not work. For the majority of people receiving assistance, nothing could be further from the truth. The rules in our state with the W-2 program necessitate that individuals work or be looking for work in order to receive benefits and then the benefits only last for so long. One can only work so many hours or your benefits get cut, but either way you don't have enough money to pay for bills and feed yourselves. And if you have children, how do you pay for daycare? What about the people who were middle class but got laid off and now can't find a job.

I grew up in a single parent household. My mom worked and went to school to try and create a better life for the both of us. I vividly remember going to 29 Super and using food stamps to buy groceries. It was so embarrassing to realize not everyone else uses that funky looking money to pay for food. Or that other kids don't get their clothes from Goodwill. My mom worked hard to provide the best life she could with what she had, and for that I am immensely rich with appreciation. Thankfully I don't ever recall ever feeling the sting of someone's disrepectful comments to us because we were on welfare. I'm sure they were said, just not loud enough for us to hear. I remember getting that blue card in the mail every month that ensured us healthcare.

I worked at a place where we served people who were on medical assistance. A few of my coworkers would make comments about those individuals and how "they" were paying for these people's services. I would try to explain that maybe someone was down on their luck or whatever, but often times it would be brushed aside. After a while you just don't say anything anymore.

Are there individuals who are milking the system? Of course, and they should be caught and punished. But many people who are receiving assistance are trying to make it day by day, living paycheck to paycheck. Can we give a pat on the back to those who have worked hard to get off assistance? In all the complaints I've heard about "those" people on welfare, there has never been talk of the people who got off welfare. "Those" people want to be productive citizens to society. And to treat them like lepers is not going to endure them to wanting to take part in society.

There are plenty of misconceptions and misinformation out there about state assistance. All I ask is that you educate yourself on the poverty conditions in your area and put yourself in "those" shoes. Sometimes a little understanding and compassion can go a long way. Sometimes you can't help the circumstances you were born into, life handed you, whatever. It's what you do to rise above it that matters.

Friday, August 24, 2007

This Man

I love this man.
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(I know this photo is older, but it's one of my favorite photos of Jason)

This man can make me laugh when the tears are falling from my eyes. Who comforts me when I am sad. His crazy songs that he makes up to fit whatever is happening that moment are priceless. He is so caring and gentle. He can be stubborn and hardheaded, but I love that about him even if it frustrates me at times. From the first weeks that I knew him, I knew this man would be a wonderful father. He has always had a way with children and they flock to him. He is the dad that I've always dreamed of for my children. He allows his daughter to paint his fingernails (of course he removes it right away ;) ) and helps her find those lovely bugs or spiders. He hunkers on the floor and wrestles with his kids. He is the guy who has always said he never wanted to grow up. He cherishes the quiet moments at home. He works hard to provide for his family. He's protective. He has a kind heart. He loves me simply for being me. The guy who loves his 80's hair bands and makes beautiful zipper music. He cares tremendously for his family (parents, siblings). He is strong in his convictions. The man who keeps a list of my favorite flowers written on the back of my favorite flower shop in his wallet.

All the quirks that drive me crazy are the things that I would miss terribly if they were gone. Some think he is a stubborn, short-tempered, grumpy man. If you only knew. I wish you could know him better than you do. I get upset when I know someone is judging him on something that I know is false or skewed. He reacts to certain issues like a hot button, and if that is all you see him as or have no idea what this man is like.

This man drives me crazy. We are different in many ways, and that can make for an interesting life at times. But I love him dearly. And all the things that make him Jason, are all the things I love.

Thank you for being you sweetheart. For all your idiosyncrasies and what some may call flaws, you are the man for me. And I love you dearly.

What Kind of Person

I've been doing some reflective thinking lately and have been asking myself if I am the best person I can be. Am I happy. Are there things I can change about myself to be a better person. To be a person that my children can be proud of. When I am facing death, will I have regrets about things that I did or didn't do.

We change throughout our lives and our experiences shape us. I am a different person from last month, last year, 5 or 10 years ago. I think to question ourselves is a good thing. We all have faults, and if there is something we can change, why not?

Okay, that's enough deep thinking for the night.

Talk, talk , talk

We were gone last week Thurs-Sun and the kidlets were with grandparents. Then Mon-Thurs this week, Ariana was with the grandparents camping. So, basically we only saw her for one night over the past week. It sure was quiet around here. ;)

My AWEsome thing for yesterday was listening to Ariana's nonstop chatter. It's something that can drive one nuts, but last night Jason and I were so thankful to hear it. He remarked how good it was to be with her again. And I agree.

We missed our silly goose.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Breakin' Hearts

So, my new MO to meet chicks is kissing. I just lay a good smackeroo on 'em and they swoon at my feet. Here are some of my stats in case you are interested.

Name: Phoenix, aka "The Poop Machine"
Status: Single, but attached to my mom
Looking For: A cute babe to snuggle with and share toys
Age: 15 months
About me: I'm a lover not a fighter. I am missing some teeth, but that's because the rest haven't come in yet. I love to run and climb. I love to laugh and have the cutest dimple.
Favorite Things: Throwing food from my highchair, climbing Mt. Toilet, and long walks
Favorite Foods: Milk, Fish Crackers, Little Marshmallows, Spaghetti
TV: Sesame Street and Disney movies
Where I'd take you on a date: My living room or backyard, you can bring your mom.

So, give me a call and we can set something up. I'd love to meet you!

Here are some of my most recent photos. Just ignore the babes with me.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

15 months

My silly monkey is 15 months old today. He's growing into such a little man. He loves to laugh and is such a silly goose! We're waiting for more teeth to come in. He got the 4 right before he turned one and then nothing more. He loves to clap and play "touchdown." He sees the pedi on Friday for his checkup. I'm thinking he's about 21.5 lbs. He's sprouted over the last month or so, so I'm anxious to see how tall he is.

Fantastic Read

Jason and I had the opportunity last fall to listen to David Breashears speak. He shared his experiences climbing Mount Everest and of the fateful journey on May 1996. I've been wanting to read his book, High Exposure, for some time now and finally picked it up. Fascinating, passionate. He discusses his childhood and his early climbing years, and ends with the IMAX expedition. There are some photos included in the book, but I am incredibly thankful to have been able to see some of those same photographs on a large screen during his engagement at the Grand.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Poop Machine

Phoenix has a new name....Poop Machine. Seriously kid! I've changed 4 poopy diapers today and I just smelled another one!

One more reminder

For those that missed it, please check out this post: Roll Call


I was asked over the weekend if we were going to have any more children. My reply was "no." And I left it at that. It's uncomfortable to discuss my pregnancies with others at times as they have no clue what it was like. They understand on a basic level, but not the emotional heart wrenching level. I also came across this with my OB/GYN last month during my annual. He's of the mindset that another pregnancy would be fine. After all, my pregnancy with Phoenix went quite well. If you define "quite well" as a healthy baby that got to come home with us, then yes it went "quite well". I had to remind Jason that Dr. B looks at it from a clinical standpoint. We made it to 37 weeks without severe preeclampsia and I had a successful labor & delivery. He doesn't have the option of looking at it from our point of view. I know that he and his wife had their own issues to deal with as he had shared some with us, but when he's my physician, he has the "Dr." hat on.

We won't be having any more children. The risk is too great for us to take. Yes, both my children are here with me and are healthy. Yes, I am alive. I do not take that for granted. But therein lies the kicker. I am alive and so are my children. I cannot risk losing a baby or my own life with another pregnancy. Someone might say that is being melodramatic. Well, you are entitled to your opinions. But I ask you to live one hour of my labor & delivery with Ariana. To live for one day of my pregnancy with Phoenix, at that 32 week mark when your blood pressure starts to rise and awful things enter your mind. You leave your baby at the hospital while you go home. I remember that moment in the elevator when I was being released after Ariana. To know that I was leaving empty handed for now, after watching moms & dads leave with their baby. To not be able to hold your baby because they need the oxygen or are too fragile. To have a nurse tell you you can't touch your baby too much or they will be over stimulated. To have that rib pain start up during my pregnancy with Phoenix and fearing that delivery is eminent. To be chastised by a L&D nurse in such a way that made me feel humiliated and guilty. To not know whether or not it's something you did that caused your baby to come early. To be in labor and your OB looks at you with a concerned face and says to the nurse, "run abruption labs" and you know what placental abruption means and what could happen.

I know I'd be monitored closely again during pregnancy. But I vividly remember those twice weekly doctor visits, the lab work, the BPP's, the NST's. I remember the NST at 35 weeks with Phoenix that almost had us having a baby. I remember the anxiety, the worry, the fear, the guilt. Can I do that again? Do I have the strength?

Risks. All the above are things we get to contemplate if we'd have another baby. It's not just deciding what color to paint the nursery or if we have enough baby clothes. We have responsibilities to the children we have already. And I just cannot take the risk of not being here for them. Through my involvement with the Preeclampsia Foundation, I've seen women lose their lives, or their babies. The fear of that hits at my very core. It literally paralyzes me. And for that reason alone, no more babies will be born via my body.

There is a sense of loss that comes along with that decision. There is a vague sense of loss, or so I'm told, once the decision is made to not have any more babies by anyone. But this runs deeper for me. To know that maybe we could have had another but we have these other reasons for not doing so. Ours is not a simple decision, but it's one we've made.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I Stink

Or, I stunk like campfire all weekend. It is so lovely to come home from camping and to enjoy a nice, hot, steaming shower. Ahhhhh......

So, I will catch up soon. I've got a ton of email to wade through and some other projects going. And I need to watch a movie with hubbie tonight yet.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I am planning my next tattoo and am usure which to go with, a dragonfly or a butterfly. I want an outline of a butterfly, and everything I've found is more tribal looking. With the dragonfly, I'd like more outline as well.
Here are some ideas that I've found.


So, I added a lovely photo of my hobbit-like footers. (Just add hair) And I changed the background the other week from the dark black. Like it? Hate it?

An Ariana Find

Ariana got all excited one day last week and had to go outside that instant. She had caught a glimpse of something shiny out on one of the shepherd's hooks in the front yard. So, out we went to discover a tiny spider had crafted this beautiful web. Ariana was so excited and got quite protective of it when her brother came to shake the pole. Isn't it magnificent?

Monday, August 13, 2007

AWEsome Feeling Tonight

I have my husband at home with me. He was able to leave work at a normal time today!! Around 9pm I just enveloped him in a huge hug and said thank you for being home.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


How about these expressive faces?


Can you tell that my children are asleep and I'm catching up on puter time?!?

Touchdown Packers!

I was teaching Phoenix how to put his arms up for a touchdown last week, and he started doing the most hilarious thing. He puts his arms up and then falls to the ground. Every time. I find it one of the funniest things he's done. Here's a video of him doing his little endzone dance. (Please excuse my voice)

Our Daredevil

She saw these at the July 4th Celebration at the park and wanted to ride. Jason and I were shocked. Since her ride on the dragon coaster at the carnival last year, she hasn't really wanted to go on anything that looked too wild. But, she wanted to go and go she did. Her face was fantastic. I've got video and some pics. (Click on the photos to make them larger)

Amazing Woman

Someone shared this blog with me today, and I sat in tears as I read through it. This woman lost one of her daughters last month, and has "sparklies" everyday in honor of her daughter. Check her out here: Life With Hannah and Lily

A while ago I had came across a blog where the author shared their "3 Beautiful Things" each day. I had started another blog where I did something of the same, but to be honest I kinda fizzled out. I would go days without posting, and thus gave it up.

In the spirit of Hannah, I am reviving it again. Only this time, I'll just post it in my blog here and it will be whenever I have "AWEsome Things" come to me or I want to mention. THings that I find AWE-inspiring or AWEsome, I'll share.

Poop on a Pogo Stick

That pretty much sums up our life at the moment.

Dear Hubby has been working nonstop since Thursday due to a major glitch at work. Um, did I say glitch? How about a major issue that has the entire team working 12+hour days. Today he was able to monitor updates from home and head in by 3:30pm. No telling what time he'll be home tonight though. And tomorrow isn't looking all that good either. So, he was gone ALL day Tues at work and then went straight to his fantasy football live draft that night. Thurs night was the production move, which we normally know is a late night. Ugh, this sucks for them. And everyone is hoping it's not their glitch.

My vibrant child has an appointment with a behavior therapist this week. Lovely. She has taken to hitting herself when she is frustrated or is told no and becomes angry. She hasn't taken to hitting anyone else, thankfully. But I'm at a total loss on what to do. So, we saw the pediatrician this last week and she suggested this woman for us to see. The pedi said we've been doing everything she would have suggested, so let's just take the next step. I'm frustrated because I don't know how to help this child and worry about possible long term issues from this. Her vitality makes her one special little girl, but it also makes her body jump out of her skin when she's pissed off. I'm hoping we can learn some new things and figure out how to help her be the best person she can be. She's getting ready to start 4yo kindergarten in a month and she's ready to go!

The little one has taken to screaming his head off when you lay him down in the crib for naps and bedtime. The length of the crying seems to be shortening, so hopefully he's over this phase soon. He's also started back up with gagging himself. Twice on Friday I got to clean up (after lunch and dinner of course) after him. It drives me bonkers. And of course, makes me worry that something might be wrong with him. He's got his 15m checkup coming up so we'll check back with the pedi on that.

Me, I've got the emotional reserves of a teaspoon for now. I'm on edge, drained, and dealing with some other private issues. I'm trying to enjoy the remainder of summer with my kids, and some days are better than others. I stepped off the garage step funny and twisted my ankle this afternoon. It's sore, but thankfully not swollen.

So, that's the shit for now. We were hoping August would be a better month for us, but it hasn't started out all that well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a spectacular finish.

Awesome Things Today

--The sound of my children's laughter is so magical. It's music to my ears. I know that they are happy and living in the moment.

--To watch my kids while they are playing in the water is truly a delight. The shrieks of joy, the fulltilt run into the pool, and the teasing splashes that come my way. Simply wonderful.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

One more week

and I can relax by the fire with a good stiff drink. ;) We're going on a our couples only camping trip next weekend and I can't wait!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Roll Call reminder

For those that missed it, please check out this post: Roll Call

Thank you!

New babies

Check out Suz's blog "life through my eyes." (You can find it on my list of blogs I read on the right sidebar) She and her husband were expecting quads, and last week they had their babies! Please send any thoughts you can to them for short NICU stays, etc.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Powerful Book

I recently finished reading Night by Elie Wiesel. Highly recommend. Elie shares his experience as a young teen taken with this family from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz. It is a small book, and a fairly quick read, that packs quite the emotional whallop. Mr. Wiesel is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. The book left me haunted and for the very first time in my life I felt as if I could truly understand what life was life for a Jew at that time.