Thursday, December 8, 2011


I don't know that I've ever been so flaky before.

I'm not planning things out well.  I'm spacing on dates and names.  I don't get the jokes.  I'm always about a half-second behind (or more!).

This is just not me.  We're having a Christmas Party this weekend and I don't have a menu planned (Hiiii, it's Thursday and this party is Saturday).  I don't have decorations up, I don't have booze bought, I am just completely unorganized.  My seester is worried because by now, she should have a list from me on what I expect her to do.

I'm not the most high-strung person normally, but I do like to plan events.  I am organized and have lists upon lists upon lists.  I half-assed a Christmas list the other day and it bored me and I quit.   That has NEVER happened.  Usually, I'm procrastinating other things while I tweak and fine-tune my many many lists.

I hope to hell that this is not my new normal.  Please please please be temporary.  Will it be better or - gasp! - worse while DH is deployed?  Frick.  I hope not.  Yes, I just wrote out Frick.  I am just totally not on my game.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

34 things...

So.  Another year has passed and I'm the big 34 today.  Woah.  I still have problems thinking about being 34.  When my mom was 34, I was 9.  I thought she was ancient.  Makes me wonder if she still went out and was stupid like I am.  Ya know?

So anyway, here are 34 things about me that you may or may not have known.  I stole this idea from a blogger who also had her birthday this week, also only has boys and actually turned 34 as well.  I'm nosy and love to know stuff, so I'm assuming you do too. :)

1.  I always wanted to be a lawyer.
2.  I can't watch a scary movie.  At all.  No psychological thrillers, no blood/guts, nothing.  It's not worth the nightmares I will have.
3.  Coincidentally, I consider myself a scaredy cat.  I will dart up the stairs after turning off the lights, I will flip switches in a new room before turning off the lights in the one I just left, etc.
4.  I am irrationally afraid of sharks.
5.  I love trying new recipes and tweaking them to my liking.
6.  I failed my first driver's test.
7.  My middle name is after my great-grandma.  I wish I would have had a daughter to pass the name on.
8.  I love organizing but hate cleaning.  Doesn't work well.
9.  I am the youngest of three kids.
10.  I married a man who is the oldest of 5 kids.
11.  Hiring someone to clean my house has changed my life.
12.  I alternate between wanting to squeeze my kids so close versus throttling them for being kids.
13.  I have a temper. :)
14.  I love to plan a party or dinner.
15.  I would much rather watch someone open the gifts I gave them than open my own.
16.  In a perfect world, I wouldn't work outside the home but the boys would still go to daycare.  And I'd get to keep my cleaning lady.
17.  I am a book-aholic.  I love to read.
18.  It makes me cry to see how grown up my kids are getting.
19.  I can be a little weepy sometimes.
20.  I'm trying to like red wines, but my  heart remains with a good riesling.
21.  I love the fact that by decorating cakes, I can be crafty but not fill my house with a bunch of stuff.
22.  I've passed my cleaning genes on to the boys.  This could be bad.
23.  I hated my birthday in high school because it was always over girls state basketball and so people would be busy or out of town.
24.  I could eat soup every day and be happy.
25.  I get migraines when my eyes get strained.
26.  I love decorating for Christmas and want to cry when I have to take it down and pack it away again.
27.  I'm happy we built our house the way we did, but I'd like a different shower now.  Oops.
28.  I could use more kitchen storage for my cake stands.
29.  My first car was an old red Datsun pickup we called Ugly.
30.  I was engaged once before I met my now-husband.
31.  I may be the only person on earth without an ipod or mp3 player.
32.  I love blogging and reading others and finding out that I have so much in common with random women out there.
33.  Pinterest is awesome but who has time to do all those things?
34.  It doesn't feel like I've been married for 8 years already.

That wraps it up.  It was kind of hard to come up with 34 things if you can believe that.  I'm kind of random.  :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fill the Dome...

...And empty my pantry. 

A few years back, some high school kids decided they would try to fill the FargoDome with non-perishable goods for families in need.  It has escalated into a GREAT donation drive that all area schools participate in. 

When you have a child in elementary school, this means you are more than likely donating 25% of your pantry throughout the week as they try to load their backpacks up as heavy as possible for their classroom competition. 

Add another child in elementary school, and I'm forking over like 45% of my pantry!   Now, I like to give as much as the next guy, I really do.  I feel good about it* and I know that the boys think it's a great idea. 

But do they really GET it?  Do they realize that there are some kids out there that can't just open the pantry door and grab a rice krispie treat?  Can't just fill a bowl with their favorite cereal and walk away?  They see bare shelves.  I don't know that they GET that part of this food drive. 

I think the next step is to take them to help actually HAND OUT those donated goodies to a family in need.  Or get them in with the United Way and start filling backpacks with food for kids to take home for the weekend.  SOMETHING to get them to see that not everyone can just go scrounge in the kitchen and find something to snack on.   87 times a day.  It's true, they eat a lot.  My grocery bill is only going to get more and more out of hand.  And that's OUTSIDE of this food drive.  :) 

*I'd like to add that I do feel bad when I'm selecting food out of the pantry for them to take - because I will make sure not to give the last of something away because really, that just means I'd have to add it to the grocery list and ugh, too much time.  Man, that sounded snotty.  I will also be sure to pick things that I know the boys don't enjoy the most.  But OTHERS may really LIKE that food, right!??!?!   Hmm, I don't feel quite so charitable now that I wrote that out.  Oops.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Whatever's your bag, baby...

Ok, so dude, I'm doing my first link-up party.  Yeah, it's true.  Mostly because I'm nosy.  Nosy nosy Noserton.  Not a real word, but whatever.  :)

So here you go!! 

First up - let's start at 11:00pm.  My wallet.  I didn't open it for you because, really, it's just a wallet.  To the right is my business card holder and some cards that I can't live without ('sup Brooke and The Nail Bar - dude, they serve booze with pedicures).  Then a list of what we need to replace the water pump in the Yukon.  Joy.  A gift card to Applebees.  Then a couple lip glosses (I *heart* Bath & Body Works).  A tide stick, a benadryl stick and a couple Band-Aids.  Then a nail clipper - dude, it took me 32 years to figure out I should carry one with me.  Some random earrings (three pairs) that I keep in my purse to spice it up.  Ok, they really are there because I take them off at the end of the day and don't wanna carry them into the house apparently. 

Then mints.  Man, I love mints.  I can't chew gum, so mints are my life. :) 

A pager for work.  Yes, you read that right.  I carry a pager and I am NOT a drug dealer.  Woah, what the what??  Yeah.  My work badge and keys and then my car keys.  That orange slice makes me happy. 

My three pens that I must have with me as well.  Then a little fold wallet for when I don't wanna carry my purse inside.  My froggy coin purse that is probably 10+ years old.  Some excedrin, lotion and my purse tag. 

Phew, not as bad as I thought.  Of course, I have started to carry a separate bag with my planner(s), more mints and random Target reusable bags. :) 

Here you are: 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sing.....sing a song.....sing it loud.....blah blah blah

Isn't it funny how a song can take you immediately back to a different place in time? 

There are certain songs that immediately dredge up GREAT memories for me.  There are others that will bring me to tears every single time I hear them. 

Len - Steal my Sunshine:  roadtripping in the green grand am with Rikka and Dahlen.  Immediately.  And I crank it up.  Over 10 years ago. 

Jimmy Eat World - Hear You Me:  my nephew's funeral.  Instant tears after almost 10 years.

Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy:  being a little kid all over again.  I don't want to do the math on that. 

Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter:  College, guitars and baseball players.  I think that's enough said on that one.

Lit - My Own Worst Enemy:  College, house party, back when we'd hook up our Napster to the stereo speakers so we could all enjoy some pirated music.  Hey, I can't help it if the school gave us all laptops.

Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's:  High school, rollin with the homies.

Bee Gees (Kenny Rogers?  Gatlin Brothers?) - Buried Treasures:  Kindergarten - yes, it's true.  I only remember the chorus, but yeah!!  WOO!! :)

There are just so many.  Harvey Danger, Weezer, The Flies, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Nelson, Oasis, Kenny Chesney, Tiffany, Whitney Houston (before Crack was Whack)....just so many memories. 

Then I wonder what songs are currently shaping the boys' memories.  Is it Dynamite?  I've heard them sing along with that one at the top of their lungs.  Is it frickin Bieber?  Again, at one point it was J-Bird's fave.  I heard it all the time.  Or will it be Superbass, like these adorable girls from England? 

The other day in the car, they sang along to Shake it For Me in the backseat.  What the what???  How do you even know that song???  They heard it on the school bus I guess.  No longer do I have any control over what they hear and what they latch on to.  Crap.  Please don't let it be S&M by Rihanna.  She scares me. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oldies but goodies

I love old people.

I always have.  Now, yes, there can be crochety old people, but for the most part, they're just little old sweeties.

In high school I worked at the local nursing home in my hometown.  I didn't have to do the gross things, but I visited with residents, handed out snacks and coordinated bingo.  Woo!  Easy peasy. 

Earlier this week, we took part in the United Way Day of Caring through our office.  Our assignment was over at some assisted living apartments.  We had two little old ladies and they were great.  I have forgotten how much I enjoy visiting with those grandma's and great-grandmas.

I need to find time in my life to get over to a nursing home and spend some time.  I'd like to bring the boys with me (two big ones at least, Samboni is just too much energy) and teach them the importance of valuing everyone.  That the visiting that we do actually will HELP both us and them. 

I feel I need to make this a priority.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yikes - time flies!

Hmm, well, if you're a loyal follower (hi mom, hi sister), it's been a while since I posted!!

Apparently September flew by and I didn't get a chance to do a durn thing online here.  What did I do this month?  Well, let's see.
  • Had my 8th wedding anniversary 
  • DH's birthday
  • Quick trip to Vegas for a semi-long weekend
  • Made 6 (or 7?) cakes for various events
  • State HR conference - I was on the committee and so it was a hectic month!
  • Had a going away party for my brother-in-law for when he goes overseas in a couple months
  • Pinned probably 200 pins to my new addiction...
  • Sick kids, sick husband...
  • Plus the day to day living of working full time outside of the home, raising 3 boys, trying to keep everything straight!  Yay me! :)
So yeah, I guess that was my month.  Woah.  Seemed pretty constant.  Will October slow down?  Well, it's 10/2 today and so far - not slowing down at all.  But I will try to be more consistent.  I was going to try to do the 31 Days of... that I saw on the nester site, but all of the sudden it was the end of September and I hadn't come up with anything yet!  Urgh!  I guess there's always next year?     

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Soap Box

All right - its time again for me to climb up on my soap box and tell you how I feel. :)

Today's victim, er...topic would be people who use the word "retarded" to describe things that they find either odd, stupid, defective, slow, or some other real or imagined hindrance. 

I've never been able to use the word in a derogatory way.  I feel skeevy being around people who use it so lightly, so flippantly.  I can recall using it once - and I felt so bad that I just couldn't do it again.  Just last week at work I heard it and was like - Yeah, I don't like that word.  The person who said it agreed that it shouldn't have been said, was already out there.  Why do we think that's ok? 

For a long time, I used the word "renob" instead.  Like "boner" but backwards - Boner Stabone, anyone?  And now I can't use that because it sounds too much like I'm going to say "retard" instead.  Ugh.  

I know that a lot of people lately are all touchy-feely and think that we're raising overly sensitive kids.  I agree on a lot of fronts with that, but I don't feel that this is one that is being overly sensitive.  Why would it be ok?  

T-Dogg came home from school one day last year and they had a session about replacing the "R Word" with Respect.  And I looked at him and asked - would you have ever used it in a "bad" way?  Because I don't want to set the example that it's ok to do so.  And so I know, without a doubt, that he has never heard it from either his mom or his dad in the derogatory way. That fact makes me feel like we're doing a good job.  Sure, he's 7 and can't tie his shoes yet, but he knows the difference between right and wrong.  :) 

You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cleanin cleanin cleanin

I am in a Clean Sweep mood.  Remember that show?  It was great, with Peter the organizer and the somewhat irritating construction guy who could build anything?  Loved it. 

DH and I cleaned out the garage yesterday.  Big pile of toss, big pile of "needs to leave this house" and unfortunately, the biggest pile was keep.  Sigh.  Though, to be fair, the most stuff was Christmas, Halloween and Easter things.  And I was able to organize a bunch more of it into tubs because I've gotten rid of SO MUCH OTHER STUFF that I have this huge pile of empty plastic tubs.

The only room in the house that still needs some help would be the office/guest room/crafty room.  I found some shelving at IKEA that I want to get.   Oh and I need to redo the pantry.  And the china hutch.  Ok, so I guess I still have some work to do. :)

So why do I love cleaning out that clutter but hate regular ol' cleaning? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes, me too!

Yes, I'm writing tonight about it being time to go back to school.  Yes, I know that everyone and their DOG for pete's sake have written about this if they have a child who will be going to school or if they once smelled a child who was walking by on their way to school.   Whatever, don't judge. 

So anyway.  Two years ago, our oldest went to Kindergarten.  We went to a back-to-school night about a week before school started that was specifically for kindergarteners.  It was great.  They met the teachers, unpacked their stuff, learned where the bathrooms and gym and lunch room were.  It was all very organized and orderly and put this first time momma at ease. 

Now, back-to-school night is with all kids - Pre-K through Seniors.  It's a madhouse.  Not much organization when you're walking around.  Sure, we got their stuff put away and met their teachers (2nd Grade and Kindergarten) and the water fountains and whatnot.  But I still feel so disorganized.  Like, did I tell the teachers that the boys are riding the bus home instead of to the after-school program?  Did I mention to J-Bird's teacher that he just got his glasses earlier this week and we need to be watching him a little closer to make sure he gets used to them?  Did I tell T-Dogg's teacher that he just had his adenoids out and has been having a sore neck? 

No, I don't know that I told them any of that.   I can't guarantee that I sent my two oldest boys to school with all the prep that I could do for them and with them.  And I agonized all day. 

Did they make it home on the right bus?  Yep.  Did J-Bird lose/break/mangle his glasses?  Nope.  Were they worn out and ready for an early bedtime tonight?  Damn straight.  Ah, my work here is done.  :)

Only to do over again and again for the next how many years??? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh my.

The other night, J-bird gives me a hug and then asks if he touched my privates.  Um, no, no you did not. 

"But isn't your wiener right there?" he asked.

"No, mommy doesn't have a wiener." 

"Are you kidding me? Are you joking with me?  How do you pee?"

So T-Dogg pipes up from the table with, "girls use their butts." 

Ah, yes, the old pee out your butt trick.  It's a fan favorite, I'm sure.  As the only girl in a house with 4 boys in it, I think I deserve to have three locks on the bathroom door.  Just to be safe.  Sigh. 

All this while DH sits at the table doing homework.  His shoulders were shaking but he wouldn't look up and help me out.  Bastard.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I don't get it.

So a few weeks ago, I was leaving a meeting and heading back to my office.  I was driving through an alley and stopped where it met the street, where there was quite a line-up of vehicles waiting for the traffic light to change.

Directly in front of me was some sort of SUV, it was red but I couldn't tell you what kind, because I'm a girl.  In the backseat, which was level with my eyes, was a little boy.  He was probably 2 years old, 3 at most.  The window was down and he was wearing the cutest little sunglasses and was singing along with some song on the radio.  I couldn't hear him, but I could see his mouth just going. 

I smiled at him and he smiled back at me.  I wiggled my fingers and he wiggled back at me.  And then...even though the light hadn't changed yet, his mom inches the SUV forward and his window slowly raises until it's closed. 

Um really?  Am I some scary chick?  I've got three boys of my own - and I don't mind when people make goofy faces at them and make them laugh.  Sometimes I am a little leery when we're out in the open or in a store and someone comes right up to them and gets in our space.  But to be completely safe, in your own car, all buckled and feel the need to cut off the interaction?  It's not like I parked, got out of my Yukon and walked up to his window.  No, I stayed in my vehicle, all my windows up, just waiting my turn to get onto the street. 

Do we really have reason to be THAT nervous?  Ok, I mean, I work in FARGO for pete's sake.  I was just so surprised and I'm sure I made a face like - REALLY??? 

Trust me, I can be a mama bear too but I just thought that was overboard.  What do you think?   Sure, maybe they have had some bad experiences but wow.  I'm still floored. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

I fought the law and ... I won

Well, maybe I shouldn't say that I fought the LAW per se, but more like a determined Target employee.

I'm about to reveal something that I don't believe I have ever shared with anyone.  Not even DH knows this one.  Ok, so I may have told a friend after a few Morgan Diets, but I don't recall and so I'm going to say that IF that has happened, it doesn't count. :)

So in the summer before 8th grade, I was at the mall with my mom and sister.  We had a set time to meet and I was wandering somewhat aimlessly - at Dayton's or JC Penney's eyeing the Guess? and Girbaud jeans that I knew my mom would not spring for.  I finally started through Target (which at that time was attached to the mall in Grand Forks).  I had no money.  I had no ambition.  Maybe I wanted to feel pretty, I don't know. All I know is that somehow, I ended up with a compact of compressed powder in my hands and a pounding heart as I eluded capture. 

I guess I should clarify.  Or maybe you figured it out.  You are a smartie after all. 

I got it in my head that if I took it OUT of its packaging, no alarms would go off and it'd be easy to pass off as if I had carried it INTO the store with me.  But I didn't.  Oh no, I sure didn't.  And seriously, my heart is pounding now even admitting this!  20 years have passed and I still am nervous to say it out loud! 

Enter one determined Target employee.  I was in some of the clothing racks and kind of had my hands in where the clothes touched each other - very hard to see.  But I guess he saw.  I don't know what, maybe it was the guilty face.  Or the fact that the packaging I removed had fallen to the ground.  I don't know.  All I know is that he gave me a look.  And I freaked. 

Enter my stealth evading of capture.   I walked calmly, if quickly.  Weaving in and out of clothing racks, areas of the store and I did catch sight of him a couple of times.  Until at last.  I passed through to the promised land - the courtyard of the mall.  Out of Target.  No alarms.  No bells.  No whistles.  No employee chasing me out of the store.  I totally won. 

And I am SOOOO happy that Target is no longer attached to the mall in Grand Forks.  I can shop in peace when I'm in town there.  No worries that the dedicated Target employee will recognize me and chase me down now!  Muah ah ah ah. 

The guilt.  All for what - $4.59 Covergirl makeup?  Such is the life. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hug it Out

How do you know when someone is a hugger or not?  Do you hug anyway?  Is there a hugging etiquette out there? 

I'm a hugger.  I love to hug.  I like to hug hello, goodbye, sorry to hear about that, yay for you and yours, etc.  Any occasion is a good time for a hug.

BUT there is always a little voice in my head that questions whether or not the recipient is happy to get hugged or not.  If you're hugging good-bye, do you have to hug EVERYONE or just a select few?  And how long is too long?  There's always that almost imperceptible shift when either the hugger or the huggee decide that it's been long enough and try to extricate themselves from the embrace. 

We had friends in Denver who were actually kissers.  Like smack dab on the mouth when they saw you.  They were from NYC, so maybe that's the way things are done out there, ehhh??  (Imagine Buddy Valastro saying that with an East Coast accent - not so much the Fonz). 

I have a friend who is most definitely NOT a hugger.  She looks completely uncomfortable when you make the move to hug her and just kind of gives you a pat on the back as she's searching for the exits with her eyes.  I've got other friends who hold on for dear life and you're considering gnawing off their arms to get them to let go.

My boys love hugs.  And I am taking advantage of it while I still can.  I know that eventually they will stop running for hugs from mom.  But for now...I will hug on them as much as possible!  Gotta get my fix somehow!  (J-bird ran up to me tonight for a quick hug after he hadn't seen me for a couple hours and I couldn't stop thinking about how sweet it was.  Had to write a post). :) 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Traditional Roles

I struggle with my feelings about the "traditional" roles that we all fall into.  I want to think I'm progressive, I've grown up with great role models and strong women to look up to.  But, I still feel myself falling into the "mom guilt" area beyond just wanting to make sure everyone is happy and healthy.  

How is it that I have turned into someone who needs to hear appreciation for meals?  I sit and hold my breath while the DH and kids try it out until I hear the sounds of enjoyment.  WTH?   On the one hand, I feel that I should make something and they should eat it and everything is fine.  But on the other hand....I need that feedback.  And it kills me when DH says "it's fine" - I need more than fine.  I need to hear if I should make it again, if it needs something more, if it's too spicy or too bland.  BUT if he is too critical, I can't help but feel bad.  UGH!   For the most part, he's just happy to sit and eat in peace. 

This worry extends beyond the kitchen.   Am I the only mom who feels guilty when DH gives the boys their baths?  I should ENJOY the fact that he will do it, instead of feeling guilty that he's doing it while I am tending to other things in the house. 

Sometimes, I feel that I need to know TOO much information about what happens when I'm not here.  If I happen to go to happy hour or wine club, when I get home, I drill DH about what the boys had for supper, if they were in good moods, how and when did they go to bed.  Sure, I love to hear the cute funny stories too but I want details about how the night went.  Why?  Why can't I just trust that they were fed, happy and healthy and peacefully sleeping?  I never question DH's parenting ability, but I *need* those details.  I can tell that it irritates him but he still will indulge me and tell me. Sometimes I don't get enough details but I try to let it go.   

Even with how households have advanced I think that a lot of moms still feel the need to take care of the household, while the husband goes out to work and brings home the bacon.  How do you balance it out when you're ALSO going to work and bringing home that same bacon?? 

I've tried to get over the feeling that I've got to do it all and know it all.  Do you know how hard it is to ask DH to make a dentist appointment for one of the boys?  He has no problem doing it, but he needs to be asked.  It doesn't register with him to just take care of it.  So then in my mind, why don't I just take care of it myself? 

I should just relax, lay off the worrying and enjoy my family and house.  I should let DH do his thing and appreciate how awesomely we work together.  I realize this.  I do.  But it's so easy to fall into the guilt.  Grr. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

*dirty* little secret

So with DH's impending departure to far off lands, and the fact that three boys are insanely messy and I like to delegate...we've got help at our house.

In the form of a cleaning lady.  She comes to our house every third week and cleans up our messes.   And I L.O.V.E. her.  Bathrooms - check!  Kitchen - check!  Floors - check!  Check, check check!  Yay!

It has been such a relief to know that someone will come and help me.  And it has caused me to want to KEEP this place clean.  Yes, there's the everyday messes still, but I've become a lot more organized knowing that she's coming. 

I never thought I would have a cleaning lady.  With that, I have no idea how my mom kept our house up, with working all day and three kids making messes.  Though, I would prefer NEVER to hear "we don't need a dishwasher, that's why we had kids" again in my life.  Just sayin.

But for less than a tank of gas, she shows up every three weeks and cleans top to bottom.  Woo to the freaking hoo. 

Jay-bird is downstairs and says to me "Someone vacuumed our house!"  Yes, she sure did.   So he asks "why do we have a cleaning lady?" and I just look at him and say that I just can't keep up.  He nods sagely and looks me square in the eye.   "Me either mom.  Me either." 

Ha!  :)

*Mom, if you're reading this, I just want to let you know that YES, I did purposely keep this from you for months on end.  It's been about 3 months now since she started and I can't go back now.  How do you think the house was so clean for T's birthday?  I mean really!  I just didn't want to hear it from Dad for admitting this.  That's all.  But dang, it's nice to come home to a clean house.  For less than a tank of gas on a mid-size vehicle.  Seriously, wooo to the hooo.  :)  Ultimately, I blame Rikka for giving me her info and Travis for providing the excuse. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, crap.

Lately, I've been doing a lot of research.

I dislike research.

I also dislike what I'm having to research.  Which makes it all the worse.


How do I prepare three little boys for their father going overseas?  How do I put on a brave face and smile through it and say that it will be ok when I can't quite believe that myself yet?  Here's the selfish part of the story - I am not worried about him being there.  I'm worried about me being here.  With three boys under the age of 7.  With last winter having record amounts of snow and getting stuck in our driveway.  With all the little house stuff that he takes care of (I have yet to change a light bulb in this place).

With the technology that we have, we can talk and see each other online.  The boys will still see their dad hopefully every day.  Or at least a few times a week.  But 6 months is a long time in the life of a little kid.  He'll miss a couple birthdays and a kindergarten graduation.

So far, he's been very matter of fact about it.  I'm sure it's got to be hard on him as well.  He knows he's going to miss these things.  He knows he's not going to get to come home to them running to the door screaming "Daddy!" at the end of the day. 

But again, I can't get past yet my own selfishness.  I just don't want to have to be a single mom, even just for 6 months.  189 days, starting immediately after Christmas.  UGH.  

So yeah, I'm researching.  I'm looking at books and websites to help us talk to the boys about this.  So.  Not.  Fun.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I'm not sure when I turned into a "keeper" - as in, I want to keep EVERYTHING.  I'm not to the point where my family needs to intervene because there are animals living under piles of "stuff" all over my house and I have a path that I strategically use to get into certain rooms - oh no, it's not THAT bad.  But ... I do want to keep momentos, projects, school-related things, etc for the boys.  For me to remember how sweet and little they once were. 

In May, I took part in a challenge from iHeartOrganizing to declutter the house.  For four weeks, I cleaned out certain areas of the house.  Started with the entry way and living room, then the kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms.  I managed to get rid of a LOT of stuff.   Some is still in the garage, waiting for its destiny but a lot has already been donated to the ARC

As part of this challenge, I determined that the office may take a month in an of itself. We've got an office in the basement.  It's got a big desk, filing cabinets, a table destined for greatness, an armoire and a queen-sized bed.  Sounds like a lot of stuff in there.  Now imagine if all that desktop, table top and bed are covered with stuff.  And tubs and bags of stuff on the floor.  It's overwhelming.  I can honestly say I know exactly what is in the office.  Exactly where to find things.  DH can't find a darn thing.  And so it's not working out in it's current condition.  I need to organize. I've been dumping stuff in there for the last 2 years. 

I know it will get worse before it gets better.  But when it already starts as this:

 (yes, that's where the boys and I camped out when the tornado warnings were going off OVER MEMORIAL DAY)

It's hard to see it getting much worse.  Yikes.  Wish me luck!! 

*STUFF: clothes, shoes, toaster, smores maker, walker, baby baths, hats, coats, boots, movies, wii games, pictures, scrapbook tools, scrapbook paper, filing to do, wall art, candles, pillows, wrapping paper, cd's, guard stuff, birthday cards, old phones, old cameras, office supplies, Christmas decorations, kids crafts and projects, glue gun, my crafty stuff, SHRM books, photo albums, last minute hostess gifts, foam for DH's poker table build, mugs, bowls, decorations, buckets, I'm finding it hard to breathe.  YIKES. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Vacay....vacated.

It's a Friday night. 

It's a Friday night that I was SUPPOSED to be sitting in Denver, on the patio at a friend's house, drinking a cold one after traveling with three children the last couple of days. 

Instead, I'm on my own couch.  Drinking a cheap sangria that tastes like Kool-Aid (seriously, so nummy I can't believe it was $2.50 - seriously, THAT cheap!!).  I've got a cake cooling and another one in the oven for some extended family. 

Why aren't I in Denver?  Because of water.  Water water everywhere.  And since DH is in the military, he was called up to help fight the influx of water.  He ended up being gone from the house for a little over a week - not bad in the grand scheme of things, but long enough that we had to delay our summer vacay. 

Have you ever tried to explain to an almost-7-year-old that our vacation has been pushed back?  Deleting the line from our calendar on the door and saying that we WILL be here for his tee-ball games...he didn't get it.  I didn't want to say it.  Honestly, I think I was more disappointed than him though.  Even though I'd be irritated approximately 23 minutes into a loooong car trip, I was so looking forward to seeing friends and visiting and relaxing. 

I'm trying to be the grown-up.  I really am.   But I just wanna whine.  I wanna be out of here.  I just hope that we can reschedule for next month without an issue!!! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

babes in toyland

So I had a life-changing procedure done today.  "Procedure" - could mean so much.

For me, it meant surgery to have no more babies.  On one hand, this was an easy decision.  We have three wonderful boys.  For health reasons, I can't be on hormonal birth control.  DH can look at me and I can get pregnant and he kept saying he wouldn't get it "taken care of" until he was 40.  Um, yeah, that could be three more children by then, so no thank you.  Raising kids is expensive and no, I didn't want to "try for a girl". 

On the other hand means no more babies for us.  No more snuggling a small, beautiful bundle of love.  My boys are getting further and further away from wanting to snuggle with mom.  Sure, I get hugs and kisses, but not too often do I get someone curled up on my lap or under my arm, just wanting to sit with me for more than a minute or two.  The smell of a clean baby.  The look of pure love in their eyes when they see you.  It's heartbreaking to know that I'm making a decision not to do this again.    

But, I got annoyed with DH not wanting to do it, even though I had THREE BABIES with that man. ;)  So I bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment.  I was surprised at how easy it was.  My first dr appt was about 10 minutes, if even.  My pre-op appt was even shorter.  It took longer to draw blood for some tests beforehand.  Ok.  Man, this is easy. 

Reported at 6:00 this morning to the day surgery unit.  Did you know that they now have hospital gowns that they will hook up a heater to?  Holy crap - AWE. SOME.  Last I remember, I was breathing with a mask on my face and then I wake up in recovery.  I'm tired, thirsty and can barely keep my eyes open.  I snooze for about another hour.  Then am sitting up, eating toast (made a mistake and asked for pb toast first, but it was just too sticky on my cotton mouth and I had to do regular butter).  Try to pee and I'm out of there by 10:30.  Woah! 

I slept most of the afternoon (like 11:00 to 3:00) and now am catching up on my blogs and my emails and reconnecting with the world.  Again, I'm surprised at how easy this was.  I'm expecting pain to come later today or tomorrow.  So far, so good. 

I know there will be times when I regret this decision, or question if I should have waited longer.  Basically, every time I see a baby, I will think about it.  I know this.  But it's also the best thing for our family, our  marriage, our lives. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dude. Sweet.

Random post.  Sorry. :)

I feel like I'm getting old.  I'm 33.  I look at Senior Pictures on Facebook and think they look so young.  Kids I remember are getting married.  Aren't they still like 8 or 9?  No?  Ugh.

Prom season as well.  Makes me happy to have boys.  Yes, the girls look gorgeous.  But man, I'd worry about my daughter.  I guess I will get to worry about my nieces instead. :)

Been on the hunt for bargains lately.  Not sure why, as I'm trying to de-clutter my house.  I'm taking the 30-day challenge from IHeart Organizing and am CLEARING out the clutter!  I've got so much that has moved with us from ND to CO to ND again and I do not need it all!  I'm also feeling the need to be craftier (or crafty even) other than cakes.  I don't know that I'd want to put a bunch of stuff in my house, but I'm kinda tired of bare-ish walls.  I will be doing a gallery wall though soon, a la Young House Love. :)  Just need to work out some details and start nailin. 

I don't know why my husband will carry a glass around with him and put it on the end table when he goes to bed instead of taking 10 steps and taking it to the kitchen.  Is it really that hard?  I think not.

I've got a few cakes on the line for upcoming events.  How do I quit my job and make cakes full time?  I need more practice but I'm loving the cakes! :) 

K, I think my randomness is done for right now.  Later gator.   

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sons and Mothers

"A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life." ~Irish Saying

Today, I had a visitor in my office and we got to talking about families and she said she had four sons.  And then she teared up and said the saying above and how true it really is and how heartbreaking for the mother. 
I've thought of this in the past, because a dear friend of mine also has only sons and she's worried when they grow up and get married that she will lose them.  I always laughed because why would she worry about that now, be happy and let them grow up and welcome a new daughter into your life when they find that right girl.  But to see this woman today, 58 years old, in tears in my office because she has no one at home to take care of anymore and they don't call her for advice like a daughter would - really opened my eyes.  Last spring, when Samalander was born, an aunt included a letter to me in her baby gift - talking about boys and their moms and the bonds that you can build with them.  I need to find that letter and re-read it.
I think about how many times I call my own mom when I have problems or just want to chat.  Pretty soon it's been 45 minutes and I have no idea what we talked about but it's time to go.  I don't know how often my brother calls my mom.  I know DH doesn't call his mom very often, he always calls his dad.  Why is this? 
Right now, I am THE WORLD to our youngest boy.  He will bypass his dad and beeline for me, every time.  DH will be playing with him and if I walk through the room, he turns his head like an owl to see me and then will end up following me around.  When does that end?  I don't know that I want it to (except of course when it's with tears and him standing there with his arms up begging to be picked up - or he'll sit on my feet if I'm at the counter in an effort to get me to pick him up rather than continue what I was doing). 
I guess I can only hope that my three boys will end up with a wonderful girl who will want to drink wine and play Scrabble with me.  Is that too much to ask?  I don't think so. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Insane Clown Posse

A few weeks back, we went to the circus.  Friday night was free for kids and I ended up getting a free ticket as well.  Score!  Though I knew that it was good that we got in for free, as I would be dropping some change inside.  Darn carnies.

We met my seester and her son, and my seester-in-law and her two girls (it was just me and the two big boys.  DH took Samalander home).  As soon as we walked in the door, we were assaulted with flashing lights from the GREATEST THING EVER (if you're a 4- or 6-YO boy).  Light-up swords with a globe on the end.  OOOOH aaaaahhhhhhh.  And a whopping $10 each.  Seriously?  So the boys were super excited and I said - this is it, nothing else if we get these. OK!!  Sigh.  Fine. 

So we start to meander towards some seats.  Everywhere we go, it's full.  Or there's onesies and twosies available.  Um, we've got 5 kids and 3 adults.  Crap.  We eventually find a section towards one end but we can still see all three rings fairly well.  BUT we can't sit together.  A couple in one row, a few in another and the other three in another.  Sigh.  Oh well, we want them to WATCH the circus anyway rather than play with each other and be generally annoying.  This might be a good thing. 

Right in front of us were the elephant rides.  Elephants take big poops.  My boys were amazed by it.  And had to tell everyone around us about it.  And the shovelers.  And what was in the garbage cans.  I guess that's what happens when you have boys.

I had a master plan to cut out at intermission.  Of course, the Ringmaster (freaky dude by the way) kept saying that the show was NOT over.  Way to undermine me buddy.  I appreciate it.  The boys were being super good anyway and so yes, I decided we could stick it out.  They went with their aunt to the bouncy slides and forked over $5 EACH to go down the slide 3 TIMES.  They must make a boatload of money at the circus for what they charge. 

By the end of the night, I was amazed to realize that they hadn't begged for food, for more toys, for elephant rides, or a ring of fire.  Since when we watch cartoons, there's a cacophony of "I want that" all the time, I was truly surprised. :)  All in all, a good night was had. 

Oh, and the swords broke the next day. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Victory will be mine...

There are a lot of random, useless knowledge that DH and I will throw around the house.  Can you name all 7 dwarfs (I could)?  Which leads into naming the Supreme Court Justices (I couldn't).  If I for sure want to stump my DH though, I should ask him for the Von Trapp Family names.  Because HE WON'T KNOW IT.  He has never seen The Sound of Music! 

I don't know if he was under a rock while growing up, but how can he not have seen this movie?  It's a classic!  It's been on TV a ton!  Beautifully restored and digital image-tized (totally made that word up).  But you know what I'm saying. 

This past weekend, I was reminded of this fact when Grease came on VH1 and he said something about never seeing it either!  What the what!??!  I feel like I don't know him at all anymore!  Ok, sorry, I feel melodramatic tonight.  I guess I shouldn't be shocked, but c'mon. 

So do I get him to watch both the Sound of Music and Grease without letting him know that I've made it my mission??  Because he is as stubborn as I am.  Worse in some ways. So if he knows that I'm trying to do this, he'll totally buck the system and then relentlessly mock me for even attempting to dupe him. 
Do I make sure it's on the big screen that he just got?  Entice him with some Pizza Corner Pepperoni pizza and an ice cold Mellow Yellow in a frosty mug?  (seriously, it'd probably work better than a beer or a Limon/7).  Or do I pull out the big guns - bribe one of the boys to say they want to watch it with him?  ;)  (well, that's only for The Sound of Music - I don't think I'll let a 6YO watch Grease yet). 

Any tips to try to get him to watch these with me!?? 

Friday, March 4, 2011


One year ago tonight, I was resting "comfortably" in a hospital bed, my DH by my side.  We were anxiously awaiting the birth of our third (and final) child.  We weren't sure if we were having a boy or a girl, though everyone tried telling me it had to be a girl - must have been wishful thinking.  Deep down, I never was able to get on board with that idea - just didn't feel right. 

Nurses coming in and checking things out, helping things along if need be.  Not the most restful night, but I guess it was prepping us for when we got home again.  Decided at 5:30am to start the pitocin - let's get this show on the road.  My water broke an hour later - by itself in a very weird egg/bubble type of episode that the nurse had never seen before in her career (I'm awesome, what can I say) and then I started getting sick.  Sick sick sick to my stomach.  My very large, very swollen stomach.

While it seemed like forever at the time, the process went pretty darn fast.  I guess kiddo number three will do that.  Samuel Grant was born at 8:30 that morning (gonna be a "Sam" regardless of gender was our idea).  He was a good two pounds heavier than his older brothers were - what the heck!??!  How does that happen??  Our doctor (yes, my doctor is also his pediatrician) hefted him up and said "oh we've got at least a nine-pounder here."  NO FRICKIN WAY.  But yes, he was 9lb 6oz.  Compared to the 7lb 12oz and 7lb 3oz that his brothers were - this was INSANE!

But even with his size, things went well.  We went home the next day, rather than spend another night in the hospital.  Call us crazy, but we just wanted to get our family home.

He has turned out to be a wonderful baby (must be the parents).  He sleeps, he eats, he laughs, he plays, he entertains and he loves.  He's into everything possible and will squeal with displeasure if you take something away - but it's adorable.  A-dor-a-bull.  

So tomorrow we will celebrate Sam (Samboni, Samalander, Hot Sam & Cheese, Sir Sam-a-lot, Samburgler, Moons over my Sammy, etc) on his first birthday.  We will have cake (lovingly made my moi) and ice cream and pizza and we will have fun and be merry.  He won't remember a moment of it but first birthdays are for us anyway. ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kinder kids

What was I thinking - having two boys with summer birthdays.  Thankfully, I got it right by the time the third one rolled around - he's a March.  No questions about going to kindergarten when he's 5.  Our first child - he's a June.  We did the kindergarten readiness and screening that is required by the school - he of course was very ready.  Our second child - he misses the cutoff for entering kindergarten by ONE DAY. 

ONE DAY.  So now we have to go through some extra hoops if we want him to go to kindergarten when he's 5.  Yes, he would turn 5 the month he would start school.  So now we apply to early admission.  Because he misses by ONE DAY.  In addition to the regular school screening, he also has to go an extra screening through the county. 

It's such a hot topic among parents (and grandparents apparently, yes, mom, I realize you're triyng in your own passive-agressive way to get me to keep him back until he's 6).  The thing is - he's ready.  He can do all the things that the school says he should be able to do by the END of the kindergarten year.  So I know he's ready. 

My only concern is that during his testing/screening - what if he frickin chokes?  What if he starts messing around?  Screening happens well before he's 5 - it starts in March!  Ack!  I do NOT want to pay for daycare for another year for this kid. ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hot Sam and Cheese started crawling on New Year's Eve.  And now he won't stay in one place.  EVER.  He's popping up all over, I've never had so many doors closed in my house before. 

The kid is fast.  He's not walking yet, but he's pulling himself up all over and basically irritating the bejeezus out of me.  Why can't he just stay put?  Why does he need to sneak into the slightly open pantry door and pull all the swiffer dusters out of their box?  Why does he have to pull open the drawer that has plastic baggies in it and strew them all over the kitchen?  Why does he have to spot an open door and proceed to go into my room, into my bathroom and dump the bathroom garbage over?  (please note, amazingly enough, I had just emptied the garbage in there and so there was one toilet paper roll in the garbage - nothing else.  That has to be a miracle and totally reduced the ick factor).  But still.  The only way I can get him to stop moving for a minute is to start clapping - he'll immediately stop, sit back down on his bottom and start clapping along.  :)

Just STAY PUT.  But he won't.  And soon he'll be taking those first steps away from the safety of holding onto the couch.  And then he'll run.  And my mind will run straight out the door as well. 

*I feel I must put a disclaimer here.  It's not that I want him to end up being the lazy people like in the movie Wall-E, but my baby is growing up too fast here people.  And since he's the last one, I'm a little....let's say "overly emotional" when it comes to him doing these big things.  He's 11 months as of yesterday.  Argh.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nom nom nom

Just thought I'd share some of my cake creations of the past couple months.  :) 


This has been a looong week. 

Samburgler was up in the middle of the night two nights this week.  That is sooo not what I like.  Especially when I take some nyquil before hitting the sack because I'm not feeling well myself.  Wednesday  night, he woke up at 11:00.  And I was sooo out of it, I have no idea what went on.  He got up again at 2:00 that morning and I was more awake at that one than earlier.  DH and I were kind of alternating staying with him and making sure he was ok. 

Here's what I discovered though.  I might as well be the one who gets up.  Because while I may stay in bed, I am awake until I don't hear Samboni anymore.  On the other hand, if I'm up with him, DH can completely be snoring away and oblivious to the world. 

This disturbs me.  Come on - I want to sleep!!   Why the sleep double-standard??  WHY??? 

Friday, January 14, 2011


How many of us have held on to friendships that have in actuality run their course?  I'm sure we all have them.  Just as we all (hopefully anyway) have those friendships that can stand the test of time - no matter how little or much interaction there might be.  You can pick up the phone and start up right where you left off. 

I think you have to make a concerted effort in order to keep those relationships thriving.  Case in point - we moved from ND and when we moved back over 6 years later, some relationships just picked right up again.  Because there was email, myspace, facebook, actual travel to visit each other, etc.  There were weddings and babies - times to rejoice and those friends were there.  And now we're planning a vacation back out to Colorado to keep the relationships we built out there thriving as well. 

I think it's too easy for us to get caught up in our own lives and our own activities to actually work on relationships.  And to me, that's just sad.  Too many times you hear about friendships ending, but there's no real reason why, other than time and maybe distance.  New friends come into the picture, that you might see more often because of school activities or work, etc and it is just more convenient to call them up instead of your old friends. 

Now to question the other side of the situation - how long do you keep fighting for a friendship without getting anything in return? 

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'ma Baack!

If you don't know, that's what Luigi says when you re-up on his lives in Super Mario Brothers for the Wii. 

I've become addicted. 

And it's painful.  The painful part(s)?   A) Playing with a 6YO who is still getting the hang of video games.  Mario Kart - he can beat me 7 ways from Sunday.   Super Mario Brothers?  Who knew that my junior high/high school/college days would come in handy?  Seriously, WHO KNEW??!   Oh and B) my poor left thumb. 

So far, I am impressing my DH and my kids with my Super Mario Brothers prowess.  I'm hopping on the bad guys and bopping them on the head.  It's great!  My competitive spirit has been revived.   I take more joy in beating my DH, but I'll take the victory over a 6YO too.  Whatev.  Don't judge.

So I reach out to my college roomie (who I'd been friends with since kindergarten) on Facebook.  She reminded me that not only did we play, we would have tourneys AND we would pause the game to go to class and then resume when we got back.  Man, were we cool or what??!?  ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I guess, if there's any time to be snowed in, it's after the "traveling" holidays.  If I gotta be stuck at home, thank goodness there aren't relatives stuck here too.  :) 

I'll admit, usually I don't really believe the meteorologists who predict these "massive storms" and whatnot.  Half the time, they fizzle.  Sure, there'll be snow, but not quite what they predict.  So this past week, they predicted a one-two punch of storms (btw, I feel sporty when I say "one-two punch!").  First storm was a winter storm warning.  Second storm had a blizzard warning attached.  Ended up, they were right. :)  Like, it was bad enough to close interstates and you were ca-ra-zy for trying to go out in it. 100 car pileup. They rescued stranded motorists using snowmobiles. Um, are we in the Antarctic? Seriously?

I went to work on the eve of New Year's Eve, but took DH's pickup just in case the weather did take a turn for the worse.  The girls at work convinced me to take off at 10:30 since visibility was crap and we live 15 miles north of the metro area (yes, Fargo is a metro area).  I stopped at the grocery store for some essentials (pizza, milk, bread and eggs).   Then a quick stop to Cake and Candy World to buy some flowers to put on a cake because I felt lazy and didn't want to make my own flowers.  So then I get to the boys' daycare at 11:30.  DH calls and says that if I don't leave town now, I better have packed an overnight bag.  Oh crap.  If he thinks it's bad, then it's B.A.D. 

I strap the boys in and get on the road.  It takes me an hour and 15 minutes to make it 15 miles.  All of that is on interstate except for the last 2 miles.  I've NEVER driven in anything like it before in my life.  I can't even remember being a passenger in a vehicle that bad in my life except for one time in high school coming home from Grand Forks and we had a big bag cell phone in the car that we turned on to call my friend's parents to let them know how crappy it was outside and then we promptly turned it off.  And got yelled at when we got to her house because they were trying to call us and make sure we were ok.  HA! 

Anyway, so I make it home with the boys, and we settle in for a LOOOONNNNG weekend stuck in the house.  Thursday afternoon until Sunday.  I've done it before, but not because I was forced to - as in we can't get out of our driveway.  And if we could, we can't get out of our development.  And if we could, we can't get onto the highway because it's CLOSED people. 

I impressed DH and my kids at my Super Mario Brothers skills, baked a cake, took down Christmas decorations and did the minimal amount of cleaning I felt I had to. ;)

And it was GREAT to get out of the house on Sunday afternoon for brunch and a matinee with the girls.  I've never been so happy to escape see my friends.  ;)