Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Funday

A yes, a nice lazy Sunday. Just what the doctor ordered (side note, I am now calling myself "the doctor") Hh worked an 80 week this week and is sleeping late and looking forward to the prospect of going to see the Blackhawks play tonight AND coming home and going to bed while it's DARK out since he has tonight off (which means this coming week will only be a 72 hour week instead of 80 ha!) Bitsy and Gabe are both baking with Grandma Dyan today; it's time for her annual cookie baking marathon. Bitsy took her camera so I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to share...and me? I'm going to do NOTHING today. I am going keep my pajamas on and crochet and maybe take a nap.

It's snowing quite nicely outside, the ground is starting to look more white than green, and the dog is begging to go outside. Silly thing can't stand rain but will stay outside for an hour if you let her when it snows.

Have a wonderful Sunday no matter WHAT you do today :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Friends

Tonight as I text and sit on facebook (gosh I'm exciting) I am reminded of how lucky we are to have such fantastic friends. Friends who are here for us when we're happy, sad, celebrating, moaning and complaining, just in general pretty fabulous people. Not sure how we got so lucky but here we are :) I

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tell the Truth Tuesday: I Don't Care

....what you say to me this time of year to wish me a joyous Christmas.

A list of things that do not offend me when said to me this time of year:

Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
A Joyous Festivus
Merry Ho-ho

A short list of things that do offend me when said to me this time of year:
 "I am only saying Merry Christmas because tis the season of Christ's birth and that's it"

Here's that thing, Christmas is NOT the only holiday celebration in December. Is it a big one? Yup. Is it the ONLY one? NOPE. Happy holidays is all encompassing, you're acknowledging that there's more than one thing going on during December and that you realize that.  There's a Jewish holiday, a Muslim holiday, a Hindi holiday, and a non secular African American holiday this month (among other things) and quite frankly, to other people that's just as important as Christmas is to the "only saying Merry Christmas" people.

I don't care what you say to me as long as you aren't rude. Just be kind, that's all I ask. Don't preach to me, don't sneer if I tell you to have a nice holiday, don't act offended if I say happy holidays, just be happy that I didn't tell you to soak your head, pound sand, or sit on a tack. Likewise, *I* won't be offended either by whatever comes out of your mouth.

Funny aside, in my family we always greet one another on Christmas with "It's Christmas you idiot" because many years ago my father answered the phone in a rather unChristmas like way (something like "Pete's pool hall, Cue Ball speaking") and my mom yelled in the background "It's Christmas you idiot" and my dumbfounded father, said "It's Christmas you idiot" to the person on the other end of the line and it stuck. It's easily been ten years since that incident and we still all say it...and laugh like bastards as we say it. So's hard to offend me when it comes to holiday idiot :D

Monday, December 2, 2013

62 years

It has been sixty two years since the Greats said "I do".

Sixty two years.
Let that sink in for a minute...

In the last sixty two years there have been eleven presidents, seven popes, a man landed on the moon, the Berlin wall fell, we fought in Vietnam, Martin Luther King marched for civil rights and was later assassinated, Elvis and the Beatles rose to popularity, and the Internet was created. (among other things)

In sixty two years, the Greats have had three children, two grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. They've seen all of their sons get married, both grandsons get married, and have watched their great grandchildren grow.

They have been married six decades, more than half of a century. They've been married nearly twice as long as Geo has been alive, six times as long as Gabriel has been alive, and thirty times as long as their youngest great grandchild has been alive.

Sixty two years. That's 744 months, that's approximately 22,630 days, not including leap years. That's 543120 hours of marriage, 32,587,200 and 1,955,232,000 seconds.

In other words, that's a long freaking time...and it's AWESOME. They are to be commended. In an era where celebrity marriages don't last and you don't hear much good news there's this fact: two people have been married for sixty two years. Two people have lived and loved for sixty two years. I don't know about you, but I am in absolute awe of these two human beings. They exemplify for better or for worse, till death do us part, in sickness and health, and in richer or poorer. How lucky are we that we have an example like this in our lives to show us what marriage really is? Lucky us...and lucky them for all these wonderful years together.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let the Christmas Countdown Begin

Ah yes, December seems like it took forever to get here, didn't it? (well I suppose it took 11 months as it always does...) Thanksgiving this year was wonderful; full of delicious food, bubbly wine, close family and friends, and we ended the night with a trip to the Christmas house where we all sat drinking hot chocolate and watched a fantastic light and music display.

Black Friday came and went without too much excitement; other than a quick trip to Menard's for a few Christmas gifts later in the day, we stayed home and didn't do a whole lot. Saturday we went and had family pictures done which I can't wait to see. We spent an hour playing at the playground and park while she snapped our pictures.

Today Hunky Hubby and the kiddos decorated the front of the house for Christmas; I still have to put the swag up around the mailbox and hang some giant ornaments from the tree, but we're all set outside. As for inside, we're taking our time. Putting things up a little at a time, leading to the big event of putting up the Christmas tree. Last year was our first year getting a real tree and we loved it so much we decided we'd do it again this year. We have a Christmas party at General Mills on the 21st and then we'll go grab our tree and spend the afternoon decorating it, listening to Christmas music, and watching a movie or two...maybe even "The Polar Express" as the kids have been begging for since about October 12th haha.

A few years ago we started a new Christmas tradition with the family; we try to watch a Christmas or holiday movie every night leading up to Christmas, it doesn't always work that way but it's become such an integral part of our holiday celebrations that we all look forward to it once December rolls around. We cheated a little and watched a few specials this past week, but we'll be kicking the whole thing off on Tuesday night (daddy has to bowl tomorrow night) with a full length holiday movie. I love this tradition and hope that it's one the kids won't grow out of as they get older.

This year the Christmas budget is tight; earlier this year we decided that we want to treat the kids to experiences rather than gifts, so we took a nice trip to gorgeous upstate New York where we all got to know the greats better. Quite frankly that's the only Christmas gift Geo and I needed. It was amazing to get to see Grandma in her kitchen and see Gramps reading on the porch and putting a place with the stories we'd all heard so much about. The kids will never forget their week with the greats in the mountains; I suspect they'll tell their own children about it. We took a trip to Michigan to see family, we had a lot of fun with friends and family all summer long. We really discovered what HAPPY is. It's not about the amount of gifts under the tree, it's not about the money we spend on ourselves, it's being surrounded with love and laughing and hugs and kisses and joking with people and scaring people at restaurants because you're laughing so hard. It's about bowling on Fridays with people you adore, it's about coloring with your friends and running to the park so fast you can't catch your breath, and dancing with the dog. It's being content with what you have and knowing that you have enough just because you have those things: love and family and friends and experiences.

Will the kids get anything under the Christmas tree? Fear not six regular readers (maybe that's generous on my part haha) They will have gifts under the tree. We opted to budget for one large special gift and one or two smaller gifts this year rather than spreading the budget thin. They're getting older and have gotten to the point where one or two meaningful gifts is what they love rather than ten or fifteen "generic" types of gifts. Barbies and cars are fun but they really do love the gifts that a lot of thought are put into. I cannot wait to see their faces when they unwrap the special gift this year. *I* may be more excited at this point than they are.

I'm going to try to be better about keeping this updated more often through the holiday season...even if it's just a picture or two. Have a wonderful holiday season everyone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Marriage Bloggers

Today's installment of Tell the Truth Tuesday is brought to you by the myriad of marriage bloggers out there. In the last few weeks, I've seen a huge influx of posts on facebook and pinterest about making your marriage "better". "Ten tips to a happier marriage" "Marriage isn't for you" "Tips from a divorced man" and so on and so forth. Lots of people have been sharing them and more have been reading them.

I'll be the first to admit that I like to read things like that; I am always looking for ways to improve our marriage, however, these things are getting pretty obnoxious.

The underlying theme in all these articles is that the WIFE is supposed to be the one making the grand gestures, the WIFE is the one who should be forgiving, the WIFE is the one who ought to be complimenting her husband and thanking him for taking the time to watch his children. The wife, the wife, the wife. Oh sure, every once in a while you see something about what a husband should do but the overwhelming majority of these articles are aimed at how wives ought to be doing more. You should be praising your husband more, you should be having more sex at HIS request, you should write him love notes, pray for him, and accept that as a man these actions do not come naturally to him.

Wait a minute. Men aren't capable of thanking their wife for dinner? Men aren't capable of respecting a woman who says NO when they aren't in the mood for sex? Men aren't capable of being an equal emotional partner in a marriage? What kind of asshattery is that?

Why are we telling women that the sole person in the marriage who is responsible for emotional happiness is them? Why are we telling women that they really should cut their husband slack for not watching the kids because it's just not in "their nature"? It's bunk, plain and simple.

All marriages are different and some, I suppose, work well when one partner is constantly building up the other and forgiving all of their "transgressions". Many years ago my mother imparted the following wisdom to me "Marriage is never a 50-50 relationship. Sometimes you are 75 and he is 25 and sometimes you are 10 and he is 90, the important part is that you are always at 100% and no one feels neglected or like they are doing too much" That has always stuck with me. I remind myself of that when I am doing dishes after I've made a huge meal for the family and Geo lays back down to go to sleep even though I really could use the help....but on the flip side of that, he works 12 hour shifts so I can skip a day of work once in a while to go hang out with the kids at school for school functions. Sometimes, I pack Geo's lunch and write him a sweet note, and sometimes he leaves a diet coke for me in the fridge and a text that says "left the last diet coke for you, love you". And sometimes I leave him to his own devices for lunch and HE drinks the last diet coke. It's not perfect BUT it works for us because we both realize that marriage is a balancing act. It's not all about ME making all the gestures and it's not all about HIM being a useless jackass as most of these articles seem to suggest.

The one good thing that has come out of all of these recent posts? People are talking about marriage and about what hard work it is and how NO it's not just the wife who should be building the husband up, the husband can do the same. That husbands are capable of being good fathers and don't need constant praise to do so. And sometimes wives aren't perfect and sometimes husbands aren't perfect but at the end of the day, we feel good in our marriages and if we don't, we should talk about it.

And, that, really is the bottom line. Talk about it. Don't assume your partner is a mind reader and don't assume that they will pick up all the slack when you aren't pulling your weight.

What's YOUR best marriage advice?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weight in Line

This weekend was fabulous; we went to an apple orchard up near the Wisconsin border with some family friends. We picked our own pumpkins, we ate warm apple cider donuts, we took silly pictures. We had a blast. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold. It was just the right mix of sun and clouds; you know a darn near perfect day.

Whenever we go to fall festivals, they have pony rides. Like any little girl, SarahAnne loves pony rides. She will save her allowance for weeks if she has to in order to ride a pony. She loves it; many happy pictures of her have been taken on top of a pony.

The whole morning of our orchard trip she talked about the pony ride; she couldn't wait to ride the pony and what color would the pony be and oooh could I take a picture of her on the pony?

We got in line to ride the pony; a measly four dollars for five minutes of sheer joy for her? Sign me up.

We saw a sign that said "Weight Limit XX" I'd never seen a sign like that, but though "eh, whatever" Bits is right around the posted weight limit, so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. NOW, Bitsy is a big girl. By big, I mean she is tall. She is over four foot tall already. She's got a stocky build that she comes by honestly. There are very tall people in my family; I had a maternal grandmother who was over six foot, so it stands to reason that one of the grandkids on this side would be tall, right? Not only that but HH isn't a small guy either, he's six foot tall. Regardless, Bitsy doesn't look like she is six; people have asked if Gabe and Bits are twins because they are so close in size and looks.

SarahAnne was standing at the gate, starting to get giddy after picking out the pony she was going to ride when a woman who worked there said to her "come here, I need to weigh you" she made Bits get on the scale and when it pointed to four pounds over she said "yeah, sorry you're too heavy, you can't have a pony ride"

Annnnnnnd right then and there, Bitsy's damn heart broke. I watched her step off the scale and start to sob quietly until she was back next to me where the water works let loose.

NOW, I understand weight limits and size limitations; the rules are in place for the safety of the animals and I respect that completely. COMPLETELY. What I do not understand is why she was made to stand on a scale and then be told she was too heavy.

Could the woman have asked me if she was under the weight limit? Could the woman have had her step on the scale and then back off and say "oops, looks like you're too old to ride the ponies this year, sorry honey" Could she have possibly handled that with any amount of decency at all?

What lesson did that teach SarahAnne? That she's getting too old for pony rides? (nope, because a few weeks ago she did and there was no scale in sight...) That she's too tall for a pony ride? (nope) What did it teach her? That she was too heavy. Even at the age of six, she has grasped onto the concept of being fat, thanks to some little girls in her class who...well I won't get into that, it's not my place to judge but suffice to say, six year old children should NOT be worried about their sugar intake (she actually said "mom, I'm not going to eat sugar for a week, it makes you so fat" um no. NO. NO!) six year olds shouldn't be concerned that they need to take an hour walk each day in addition to the running around they already do because they are "fat". These are NOT the things six years should be worrying about...and's my six year old worrying about it because of what society is ALREADY telling them to be worried about.

I don't ever recall being concerned about sugar intake at six, hell even at twelve or thirteen I didn't care about things like sugar intake (and the only reason I do now is because my body doesn't particularly like sugar) I don't think I ever forced myself to go exercise at six and I can't remember being on a scale at ALL except for my yearly physical. I was never told that I was too heavy, I was never told that I was too fat, etc. Was I a chubby kid? Yup, I was. Was I healthy? Yup, I was. It didn't phase me. I didn't worry about it. I don't remember my mother ever being concerned with our weight (other than making sure we were eating well and playing outside-you know, normal mom stuff)

My heart broke for Bitsy on Saturday. I try my damnedest to make sure she has a positive self image because I know how it is to be a girl. Geo and I try to make sure she knows that we think she is funny and smart and clever, not just pretty. We don't place any emphasis on her weight because it's only one small part of her (and she is healthy...very healthy) and yet...when it all came down to it, the scale was the only thing that mattered that day. Again, I understand the concept, I understand the need for the rule, what I don't understand is the way it was handled.

I hate that at six she's already worried about numbers on a scale; I hate that she cried and cried because she is six and just wanted to ride the damn ponies. I hate that this isn't the first time someone has said something about how big she is and she has cried because she thinks she's fat. Just because she doesn't look like she's six doesn't mean she isn't for God's sake. Not to mention, that you shouldn't comment on anyone's size regardless of their age. Damn this vain, self absorbed culture we're part of.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Five: Staples

I love the Friday Five, in fact, I love it so much that I think I'm going to do FIVE Friday Five categories today. Today's topic is "Staples"

1.Five Fridge Staples:

Baby carrots
Diet coke (oops)

2. Five Cooking Staples

Kosher salt
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Olive oil
Fresh Rosemary

3. Five Pantry Staples:

Peanut butter
Pasta sauce
Mac and Cheese
(we like carbs, what can I say?)

4. Five Freezer Staples:

Ice, lots and lots of ice
Pork chops
Chicken breast
Frozen veggies

5. Five Cabinet Staples

Ten inch stainless steel pan
Stock pot
Le Creseut Dutch oven
10x13 baking dish
Large covered Dutch oven

What are your Friday Five staples??

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Yearly Cry-a-thon is Here

Ah yes, the first weekend in September and it's time for Eric and Kathy's cry RADIO-thon supporting the children's hospital in Chicago. go check it out and cry with me.

Now, Chrissi, why are you crying? WHY?!

Why am I crying as I listen to these stories? Because Gabe used to go to that hospital for treatment and we're lucky. We *could* have been one of these families that gets on the radio and tells their story to help raise money for the hospital. Our child, while he has his own issues, is healthy and here with us. We don't go to the children's hospital on a regular basis, we don't see doctors on a regular basis, and again, Gabe is still with us. This radio-thon reminds me that life is good for us and life is good for Gabe and not everyone is that lucky. It's a little reminder of what could have been and how fortunate we really are.

If you're so inclined, click the link above and make a little donation in honor of YOUR healthy child and family. Or in honor of our healthy Gabriel. Or just because you can.

Now back to crying...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Parenting a Girl

If anyone ever tells you that parenting a girl is easy, you smack them right in the mouth. RIGHT IN THE MOUTH. Then you get a pint of ice cream, an extra cold diet coke, and some sort of pharmaceutical grade chill pill and hold on to your butt. Girls, to tell the truth, are awful. Oh sure, they're sweet and wonderful and wear dresses and want ponytails and painted nails and think momma is the greatest thing ever until she's not. Until it's 6:30 in the morning on a school day and she's half dressed and yelling that you woke her up from her favorite dream about watering flowers and she doesn't WANT TO WEAR PANTS BECAUSE IT'S HOT AND NO I WILL NOT BRUSH MY HAIR BECAUSE IT'S MY HAIR NOT YOURS AND WHY DON'T YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE YOU ARE SO MEAN TO ME ALL OF THE TIME AND TELL ME TO DO THINGS I DON'T WANT TO DO LIKE BRUSH MY HAIR AND TEETH GOD MOM YOU'RE SO MEAN.

That's just an example of course, I mean, nothing like that ever happens in real life, I'm sure. That's just a for example maybe this could happen if you had a girl like say SarahAnne in your house screaming at 6:30 on a Tuesday. Like, this Tuesday, less than an hour ago. I'm the meanest mother ever but you know what, Miss Itty Bits, you're no picnic either.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday: School

I am so so thankful that school started this week...and so are Gabe and Bits as seen in the photo below. The only one NOT thankful for school is Betsy, also noted in a photo below ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Unexpected

Usually Tell the Truth Tuesdays are witty or deep and profound (or at least in my mind they are haha) but today's is just sad. Geo and I found out earlier today that a former coworker whom we spent time with outside of work as well was killed unexpectedly in a motorcycle accident this afternoon. Right now it's hard to fathom that he's gone since just last week our mutual friend was regaling us a funny story about him. Death is never easy to comprehend, even if we're prepared for it, but Ray passing away was about as unexpected as you can get. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace Ray, you were one of the good ones.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My Little Nurse

I had to have a tooth pulled today; it's been giving me issues for a while now and I finally bit the bullet and made the appointment and actually did NOT back out of it. (As I did my last one)

So Bits is very interested in teeth; if she doesn't become a dentist I'll be quite surprised. Our dentist is super sweet and explains everything and let her watch Gabe's last cleaning in depth so that she knew what he was doing. Today she told me she'd definitely be going with me to my appointment in case it hurt. She said "I will just hug you tight if it hurts too much"

Off we went to the appointment, and yes, it hurt because duh, having a tooth pulled hurts ;) She talked to me and asked the dentist questions about what I should do when I go home and was a big help.

Tonight since the numbing meds have worn off, she's been the most attentive nurse ever. Bringing me an ice pack, gauze, and anything else she thinks I need. In fact, as I was sitting here getting ready to type up this entry, she hugged me, put her hand on my cheek gently and said "I'll sleep with you tonight momma so if you need your ice pack or anything I can just get it, then you don't have to get out of bed"

Such a little sweet pea my Bitsy girl and I'm so thankful for her :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

One Month Later

Where has the time gone? I swear we just got back from New York and I vowed to get better about blogging again....good intentions, hand baskets, etc etc right?

It's been a nice summer; it's also nice that school starts next week because it's been a LONG summer. We drove approximately four million miles, spent eight two thousand dollars on gas and snacks, took 1.3 billion pictures, and enjoyed seeing our family-both sides-this summer, however, it is nice to be back into the routine of things. The kids start school next Wednesday, their bowling league starts a few weeks after that, and Geo and I start our Friday night bowling league in a few weeks as well. The weather at night has started to cool down (thankfully) and I can see hoodies in our future.

Gabe is currently in a stretching cast and to be honest, he's pretty pissed about it. It's only a week long cast this time so it's a bit tighter than usual and it's causing him a bit of pain. He's angry that he had to miss out on a trip to the pool (he sat next to it with his uncasted foot in the water sighing loudly, Mr. Dramatic :D)  He's angry that he's not able to go to the water park like we planned and he's just angry in general about the whole unfairness of the situation. He'll get over it, he always does, but in the meantime it's hard to see him so emotional about it. On the plus side, he won't need to start the 4th grade (FOURTH GRADE WHAT?!) with a cast so that's a good to just make it to Friday with Mr. Crabby McCrabberson.

Bits is currently working on another loose tooth and is SO excited about starting the first grade. She just can't wait. She got a lunch bag and she's been pretending to pack it every morning so she can practice having lunch. The biggest adjustment for her is going to be getting up and on the bus by 7:15 and being at school all day (she was in afternoon kinder last year) I see napping in her future for the first week or two as she adjusts to the new schedule.

I can't believe I have a first and fourth grader already. Time has just flown by. I swear it was just a week or two ago that Gabe was starting kinder, wasn't it?

Have a wonderful day...and I'll be back to the blog regularly not once a month ;)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Grow Old With me, the Best is Yet to Come

(wow, I need to step up posting...almost a month between entries again argh)

Last week we spent a blissful, relaxing six days in upstate New York with Geo's grand parents (also known as "the greats")

Sure it was humid, rained a lot, and rivers flooded. Who cared though? It was vacation and we relaxed and slept and ate too much delicious food, and maybe we even got stuck in a mud patch at a winery that ended with our truck and the guy behind us being covered in mud (or maybe we didn't...we did haha)

It was great spending a week with two people who've been committed to one another for more than 60 years. Getting to see a marriage like that first hand was kind of eye opening. Geo and I talked about it after we left and we came up with the following things that must make a marriage like that successful. They are, in no particular order, doing the little things, being each others' closest friend, and being kind to one another.

It seems simple, right? Be kind, do the little things, and be friends. I think a lot of people forget these little basic things when the day to day stuff starts to pile up. Kids, bills, groceries, cars, mail, jobs, hobbies, etc etc all make up such a large part of our day to day life that we can often forget that those things matter too.

Geo works third shifts; he sometimes works 12 hour third shifts and more often than not, he works many many days in a row. Our time together while he is awake is very limited; in those few hours we have to cram as much as we can into them. Discussing the kids, the bills, work, what have you; it's easy to forget the little things so this year, as it draws closer to our anniversary, I'm going to work very hard on doing the little things every day even if it's just waking him up more gently or making sure his favorite coffee cup is clean when he gets up.

What are the little things in your relationship that you can do to make things easier on your partner?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello My Name is Chrissi

Annnnd I have a laundry soap problem.

Or rather, I have a laundry soap BUYING problem.

There are very few things I feel like I need to have multiples of as far as household goods go; the things I have to have multiples of are:
Boxes of pasta (at least two back ups at all times)
The Notebook on DVD (don't judge me, if you're a bird, I'm a bird dammit)
Diet Coke
Laundry soap.

The first three are pretty self explanatory, the laundry soap flummoxes even me. No idea why, but when I only have one bottle of laundry soap in the pantry I feel sort of panicky. Like, what if there's a laundry emergency during a blizzard and I don't have enough soap (highly HIGHLY unlikely scenario, but still, what IF?) What if people came over to stay for a day or two and I ran out of soap? The horror.

The odd thing? I'm walking distance to TWO places that sell laundry soap. It's not like I'd ever be in a position to NOT get more soap. I highly doubt that production of laundry soap is going to cease and it's going to become a black market hot ticket item. If I was smart, I'd make my own laundry soap. Apparently it's cheap and plentiful that way which might put me at ease a bit more.

So that's one of my quirks and I'm sharing it with all of're welcome (??)

Here are a few reasons I need to stock pile laundry soap...

Friday, June 7, 2013

PSA of the Day: OCD

I haven't been blogging much; time has been slipping away from me and I just haven't had the chance to sit and write, however I've got something on my mind and I know it'll be good to get it all out :)

The other day at my chiropractor's office, the chiro, massage therapist, and a client were having a discussion about things that bug them. As it inevitably does it turned into an "oh my god my ocd..." type conversation. OCD, you know, obsessive compulsive disorder; the disorder that movies have shown as someone having to wash their hands or count things. Clearly OCD is being annoyed with little things right?

Overheard conversation
"omg, I am so ocd about my microwave timer. If it's not at zero it really bugs me"
"me too! or if I find dishes in the sink after I've washed them! ugh! ocd right!?"
"ha ha, I have you all beat, I can't handle the shoes being out of line at the door, I totally have to straighten them or it'll drive me crazy"

All of these things are NOT OCD. These things are annoyances. These are things all of us dislike (to a certain extent and you can substitute whatever word you'd like instead of shoes: dishes, blankets, whatever) but they are NOT OCD.

What, pray tell, is OCD then?

Let me give you an example.

You're nine years old and go to the grocery store with mom. You've managed to turn in all of your homework on  time that week and as a result you've got five bucks to spend. You've been collecting baseball stickers for weeks and every single pack you've bought you've bought with your own money. You're so excited to go to the aisle you've gone to every single week for a month to pick out the packets of stickers. You tell mom you'll be right back, you're going to grab your stickers like you do every week when you come grocery shopping. So you confidently walk to the aisle where the stickers have been every single week for the last month and....they aren't there. You look high and low in that aisle and you can't find them and the panic sets in. You can't think; you get stuck. You look and look and finally, after starting to get concerned, mom finds you and you're in tears and you can't stop talking about where the cards were and how you can't find them and now what. Mom finds them an aisle over and you get your cards and all is right in your world, right?

No, it's not. The whole way home you talk about the cards being in the wrong spot, you talk about how you can't believe they'd move them. Mom and sissy tell you they are sorry that they were moved but now you have them, so concentrate on seeing which ones you have and which ones are duplicates.

But you can't, all you can think about is how the cards are always in the same aisle and they were switched today and then all of the sudden the same feeling you had standing in the wrong aisle kicks in and you feel like you can't breath and maybe if I talk about it again it'll make more sense. So, hey mom why were those cards in the wrong aisle? why would they switch them? who do you think switched those cards? weren't they even thinking that someone might be looking for those cards and when they couldn't find them they were upset?

By the end of that day, you're exhausted; all you wanted was the damn baseball stickers but they weren't in the right aisle and as you fall asleep you ask mom again why someone would move those stickers...and you hope that in the morning you don't have to worry about the aisle again because you are so tired and you don't want to think about it anymore.

THAT is OCD. THAT is not an annoyance; that is a panic inducing, physically and mentally exhausting OCD attack. That is what OCD is, not the microwave timer being at 4 seconds. Not your shoes being out of order. With those things you fix them and you on your way, you aren't worried about the timer being at four seconds because when it's zeroed out you're fine. When your shoes get straightened up, you don't have a full blown panic attack thinking that someone may have moved them while you were out of the house and holy shit what am I going to do and all you can think about is straightening up those shoes the second you walk in the door.

We've been pretty successful in eradicating the R word; we know that it's belittling to those who truly have mental or physical conditions that make them "retarded" in the medical sense...why is it still okay to use things like "ocd" or "a tourette's  moment" or "spazzing out" to describe your behavior when it's CLEARLY not any of those things, it's just something that bothers you or it was something you shouldn't have said or done.

We have a mental health problem in this country and it's that those suffering from mental illness can't openly talk about it because we have everyone else using medical terms to describe every day stuff.  You can't openly talk about your severe depression because "oh everyone gets depressed sometimes, just shake it off" You can't talk about the crippling panic attacks you have going to the grocery store because "it's all in your head" You can't talk about the fact that your lips are severely cracked because your Tourette's syndrome makes you compulsively lick your lips because "shit fuck damn HAHA HAHAHA Tourette's is so funny right!?"

Words have power; they can heal or they can hurt...please be aware that when you throw terms around like that you can be hurting someone; someone who is already hurting because they are dealing with that very thing every single day. Use your words to heal and help not hurt and tear people down. As the saying goes "Be kind to everyone, for you don't know the battles they're going through"

Monday, May 20, 2013

The End is Nigh

The end of the school year that is! The kiddos have eight more days of school and then they are done for the school year. Hard to believe that my two itty bitties will be starting first and fourth grade in August considering I swear they JUST started this school year a week or two ago, right?

The biggest change of all this year has been SarahAnne. She went from crying every day the first week of school to being sad about school being over because she'll miss her friends. She's gone from not wanting to read anything to voraciously reading every thing she can get her hot little hands on. She was shy and not wanting to talk to other kiddos to being a little social butterfly who has many inquires for playdates. It's been so fun watching the change itty Bits has gone through in the last nine months.

Gabriel has done very well in third grade; he's made a few good friends and seems to coming into his own as a preteen boy (side note: PRETEEN BOY!??!! how in god's name did that happen??)

Now to start the summer which should be fun. We have all sorts of plans-a trip to New York in June, a weekend away to Michigan, a tumbling and cheer leading class for Bitsy, golf lessons for Gabe, and all sorts of other fun stuff (including floating in the local pool a couple of evenings to watch a movie :P)

Hope the school year has been productive and wonderful for the rest of you!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy happy HAPPY!

A very happy 80th birthday to dear sweet Grandma the Great today :) Eighty years and still as amazing and fabulous as ever. Love you lots and lots...and be on the look out for a special blog post for you this weekend :P

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommas helping mommas the recap

I got busy this weekend and wasn't able to finish the Mommas helping Mommas series...we had Kris, then we had Carla (whose husband had surgery today and came through well!!) and then we had Eri. All of these mommas appreciate any and all help/support you can give them.

Today I'm spotlighting Quinn who is raising money for her 5K/10K walk/run she is doing for the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. It appears that she has already done the race BUT donations are still appreciated. Quinn's entry about Ovarian Cancer and why she is doing fundraisers for this organization are in the link. It's also got some great info on Ovarian cancer and the signs and symptoms of it.

As always, if you can help support these mommas, that's fantastic, and if not just keep them in your thoughts :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mommas helping mommas, day 3 Eri

Tonight's mommas helping mommas post is in honor of my dear dear friend Eri; she is truly one of the people in my life that I love most. I am fairly certain we are sisters born to different parents. The last year has been really rough on Eri; she went through a really nasty divorce and is now a single parent raising her two boys with very limited help from anyone except those very close to her. Eri has been battling health issues and recently had a procedure that put her in bed for a few days without any way to get up and take care of the kiddos or cook meals or any basic day to day stuff. Thankfully she had a friend who could help but lord knows, everyone could use a helping hand once in a while.
Eri is one of those people who would literally give you the shirt off her back if she knew you needed it and now it's time to pay her back in kind.

 I've set up a meal train fund for her on line to give her a hand with meals for the boys and herself and I'm going to link you to that...but more than that, Eri needs encouragement. It's hard working raising two boys by yourself on a very limited budget and when you're battling health issues of your I'm asking that if you can help with the meal train, please do BUT if you can't (which is OK, I promise) maybe you can drop by her blog Ho Hum Home and leave her a comment encouraging her. As for the meal train, most people are not going to be able to actually drop off a meal BUT a gift card to a local restaurant would be great or a visa gift card for whatever she needs would also be fantastic.
Eri's meal train Feel free to contact me via email if you need a pay pal address or way to send her a gift card at

and as always...a picture :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mommas helping mommas, day 2: Carla

Today is day two of mommas helping mommas week and today I'd like to tell you about my friend Carla.

Carla and I have known each other for many years, we met online and met in person and fast forward to all these years later and she is someone I see as family :) Geo and I were both in her wedding a few years ago and and we've gone through a lot together. Carla has five amazing kiddos, Perrin is her youngest and was born with a host of special needs...though you wouldn't know that now to see him in action. Last weekend I got the chance to go visit them and Perrin walked by me for the first time...and I cried as if it were my own kiddo walking for the first time (truth be told P is a lot like Gabe and I hope he continues to make all of us cry the way Gabe has!)

Carla's lovely momma, Marsha passed away unexpectedly last weekend. Marsha was a lovely lady; I'd met her a handful of times and she was kind and funny and loved Carla and her grandbabies more than anything else; it was evident she felt that way just by watching her watch Carla or the kids. She was one proud Momma watching Carla marry her very own hunky hubby Louie a few years back.

Carla, as I said, has five kiddos and she is a stay at home momma to them. Louie is a hard worker and provides for them the best he can (and Carla helps by cooking awesome meals from scratch and crafting and all sorts of other good stuff) however the costs that came along with the funeral were too much for them to afford, so they're taking donations toward funeral expenses. Any amount you could donate would be fantastic...even a dollar would make a difference especially since Louie is about to have spinal surgery and will be off of work for a while. As before, if you can't help, don't sweat it, but please keep them in your thoughts.

In Memory of Marsha
and of course, since everyone loves a picture...

In Memory of Marsha

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mommas helping Mommas Week Day 1

(this week instead of cute anecdotes about the kiddos and pets I am going to be doing a post a day that will introduce you to someone who needs some help; we've got a six different women in need and I'd like to see what we can do to help them. If you are unable to help, perhaps you can share the blog link and maybe someone else can help. thank you in advance!)

My friend Kris is all sorts of amazing; she has five gorgeous daughters, is married to a sweetheart of a man who has taken on her four girls as his own, deals with chronic pain and yet manages to work still, and is a very involved parent. She's the first to help someone out whenever she can and when she can't help, she tries to find someone who can. Kris is now in the position of needing some help. In her words:

My ex husband and I have four kids together.  He put us through years of financial hardship, including evictions.  We have been divorced for four years now. I'm happily married to the man of my dreams now and we have one child together. I work retail, as many hours as I can, and my husband works two jobs.  We are working together to dig me out of the hole my ex husband left me in.  The ex is still trying to keep interrupting my life and my attempts at bettering myself and fixing my credit, and is ignoring key aspects of our divorce decree in the interest of his own financial gain. I have the kids more than 80% of the time.  My husband and I pay co-payments, costs for school trips, for extracurricular activties for the kids, and now we even have drivers ed coming up (which he's also refused to help pay for).  I have multiple medical conditions but still work as often as I can for my family.  We cannot pay out-of-pocket for an attorney retainer, which is why I have created this page.  A friend of mine pointed me to this site trying to help.  I just need to fight for what is right.

She is still looking for help with lawyers fees so if you're so inclined perhaps you could pop on over to her page and donate a bit. Kris's page

Maybe you can't help her financially (that's OKAY really, it is!) but maybe you know a lawyer who takes on pro bono cases in the South West part of Michigan, maybe you ARE a lawyer and want to help a family who needs some help, maybe you've been through this situation and can offer some advice. I have such creative and amazing readers on my blog that I'm sure we can give Kris and her family some help, right??

What blog post is complete without an adorable photo? Here we have Kris and her youngest :D
One more time...Kris's page

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Long Winded Update, per usual

The last month or so has been incredibly busy. For one, I went back to work. Somehow I managed to find a job at a little company a few miles from here that only needs me to work three hours a day and is incredibly flexible if I am not able to come in. You always hear of places saying that family comes first but rarely do you find a place where that's actually true. I've found a place where that's actually true and it's, in a word, amazing. I'm a receptionist/problem solver/do whatever is needed person for the company and quite frankly, it's a very fun job. Just enough hours a day to get out of the house, a little bit of extra spending money, and I really enjoy the people I work with as well as our customers.

It has been quite an adjustment for the kiddos even though I am gone while they are at school. They get off the bus at 2:30 and I am generally home by 3:10-and Geo, of course, is home when they get home. They just aren't used to mom being gone at ALL. To be honest, I'm still not used to be gone in the afternoons yet. Sometimes I wonder if it was the right decision to go back to work and then I quickly knock those thoughts from my head and say of course it was, I love it!

Secondly my health has been kind of out of whack the last few months. I've made no secret about my struggle to lose weight over the last year or so. Last week I had a full panel of blood work done by my doctor to see how my cholesterol levels, hormone levels, etc were doing and the doc finally thinks he's found the root of my problem. I'm losing my hair, cranky and/or weepy constantly, can't lose weight, have awful menstrual cycles, etc. Turns out the doc thinks I have PCOS which is poly cystic ovarian sydrome( read about it here)  He started me on a med to try and help the cysts go down and help with the other symptoms I'm having. The good news is that I've already started to lose weight AND my blood sugar levels are going down.

Sunday night was the start of a three day adventure for me, health wise. Sunday night I felt a pop on ovary. I didn't think too much of it as I have cysts burst once a month or so; I took a pain pill and went to sleep only to wake up Monday morning feeling even worse than I thought possible (I would like to note that my threshold for pain is ridiculously high. I was in full blown labor with Bitsy and thought it was her having the hiccups...yeah, I can handle a lot) I ended up spending six hours in the ER getting iv drugs, ultra sounds, and blood work. I followed up with my doctor yesterday who decided he didn't like that I was still in so much pain so he sent me in for an emergency cat scan. Cat scans, for those who haven't had them, are interesting. The contrast iv they give you makes your whole body feel hot-not like sweating hot, but an internal warmth that you might feel when pleasantly drunk (you know, the feeling you have when you're sitting around a campfire, drinking schnapps with your friends and feel like everything is right with the world? that's how it feels-not the 'oh lord the world is spinning way too fast oh here comes the puke' hork into a bush and on your shoes feeling)

Today I went to the doctor as a follow up and it turns out that I don't have a burst appendix (as he suspected) however he couldn't really SEE my appendix because it's covered in scar tissue thanks to my first c section. I have a small kidney stone as well, though he's not concerned about it, and I did indeed have a cyst burst and have a few more on my ovaries that will probably burst in the future. I love what his prescription was though: walk a mile a day, drink plenty of water, and up your fiber intake. Seems pretty easy, right? Guess we'll see.

Both kiddos are doing well, Gabe is getting ready to do a huge pioneer project; they're going to be reading the first Laura Ingalls Wilder book (which he's read before but whatever) and then doing a huge project to go along with it. He's thinking of dressing as a pioneer, making foods a pioneer would make, and working on a small quilt with me-which should be a ton of fun.

SarahAnne is chugging along nicely, we had a rough week where she was using her inhaler round the clock every four hours, but that seems to be over for now, thank goodness.

Till next time!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Boy and his Dog

This is Gabe; he just turned nine (in case you couldn't tell by the balloon) Gabe has a host of special needs, both visible and invisible. The biggest issue we're facing right now is his Autism spectrum diagnosis. It makes it hard for him to interact appropriately with other people despite the fact that he WANTS to interact with them. He has been afraid of dogs for as long as I can remember even though there's no real reason to be afraid. He's never been bitten or even barked at loudly. He's just not a fan.

This is Betsy, she's going to be two next week (no balloon picture, sorry) Betsy has host of special needs as well, the largest one being that she was given up for adoption by her first owners. We found her out at Tails which is our favorite local animal shelter. (Mr. Bonicat came from there as well) We knew she was going to have some challenges when we adopted her, the biggest one being that she was still considered a puppy and she hadn't had any real training. Also, Betsy for being a mix of two really intelligent dog breeds, is really kind of dumb. But she's cute and loyal so her lack of sense doesn't matter much :D

When we first got Betsy, Gabe was apprehensive, at best, about having a dog. He's more of a cat person if we're all honest. Cats are quiet and weird and will snuggle with you when you are reading. Also, cats don't generally drool on you when they sit on your lap...oh and cats aren't 50 pound dogs who think they are cats, so there's that.

Betsy, however, took to our home and quirks in about two seconds. She was so damn happy to be here with us and not in a shelter with barking dogs and strangers. They treated her well but she requires approximately 152 scratches on the nose per day and no one really has time for that (except us apparently)

Over the last seven months these two have taken to each other likes ducks in water.
Over the last few months Gabe has gotten so much more comfortable with Betsy and other dogs in general. We've been to a few different pet expos full of dogs and people and Gabe has become chatty and interested and even donated a dollar a few weeks ago to have a dog LICK him (this one is huge because he hates that) Betsy has been the best therapy money can buy...she has made him come out of his shell in a way our cats (sorry guys) have never been able to do. Yes, Betsy is a pain in our rears, I  mean she did EAT A COUCH and dig a hole halfway to China this fall BUT overall, she's a pretty good dog. Aw heck, who am I kidding? She IS a good dog and we're all lucky to have her...Gabe especially.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oil of Old Lady

Years ago when my grandmother was alive I found a jar of Oil of Olay in her bathroom and I always laughed and laughed about it and called it "oil of old lady" My grandmother had a beautiful face; it was deeply lined and you could tell that she had been through an extraordinary life. From being adopted as a baby, to joining the Marines, raising three sons, losing a husband, remarrying and having grandchildren (one great grand too!) she had earned every single line on her face.  I don't remember seeing her put the oil of old lady on her face, but I am sure she did because it was replaced every once in a while (I was an odd child, ok? I paid attention to those things)

Today I was perusing our local shopping center (side note: that sounds WAY classier than "wandering aimlessly through walmart", right?) and I found myself in the oil of old lady aisle...not only that but I found myself picking up the jars and reading them thinking "hmm, maybe it's not such a bad idea to get some of this" and I realized at the point, as I piled anti aging and anti wrinkle cream into my cart that I am truly aging.

I don't feel like I am in my mid thirties rapidly approaching 35; in my mind I am about 20 or so. Maybe 25 on a bad day. I don't think of myself as being old enough to have a child in the 3rd grade. Hell, having a kindergartener doesn't even make me feel old despite the fact that she'll be six in a few weeks. I don't feel older until I look in the mirror at night after the day is done and I see skin starting to sag and fine lines around my eyes and the occasional grey eye brow hair. I see those things and think to myself, "hmm maybe I *am* aging after all and should do something about it" but what? Plastic surgery? No thanks. Botox? Not for me. The only solution, of course, is oil of old lady and to embrace that I am finally maturing. I am past the point of acne and hormonal flare ups; I don't have to wear blue eyeshadow and bright red lipstick anymore, I can get away with a bit of mascara and lip gloss. No one expects me to look completely coiffed and made up to go out for groceries or to the bowling alley, in fact people might take my temperature if I started going places in full make up ha ha. As long as I still get carded and called Miss by barely 20 year old servers in places I think I'll be fine with aging...

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to try the oil of old lady and see how it works...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ha ha ha ha BUTTS!

Houston, we have a problem. Gabe is a problem. Well, not Gabe per se, more like his HORMONES or the start of his hormones. At what point exactly, did my sweet little "I love sports and books and dirt" boy turn into a "Jenny, Penny, and Mary [pseudonyms used to protect the true identities of these girls mostly for Gabe's need for any angry dads coming to the house] are soooo cute." All of the sudden, Gabe has noticed that girls are cute and he feels nervous around  them and blushes like crazy. Truth be told, it's adorable when he blushes talking about girls. There's one little girl in particular who makes him blush when he merely hears her name, never mind when they are actually together. Today he was filling out Valentine's Day cards and had to redo hers THREE times because he got so nervous he kept spelling things incorrectly. He was blushing furiously when he was finished. What was the message he wrote her? "You're a good friend ♥♥♥" yes, three hearts. *shakes head*

Not only are girls on his mind (sort of haha) toilet humor is in full swing at our house. Farting, burping, and talking about butts are the most hilarious things ever.  Tonight watching the Super Bowl, the camera guy panned over some players' rear end and for some reason got stuck there. Gabe lost it, he completely lost it giggling and then kept saying "oh my gosh, it's his BUTT. HIS BUTT ha ha ha ha butts"

I think I may start drinking now because I am not going to survive him actually going through puberty. Armpit hair, stink, and a crackling voice may kill me. On the plus side, at least it's not Bitsy going through this phase right now because I literally could not handle a dozen giggly girls talking about boys. I think boarding school-all girls boarding school-are in the future for her...and wine for me. Lots and lots of wine.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'll Be Brief

SarahAnne is the cutest child on earth because of numerous reasons, however this reason *may* top all other reasons...

She walked out of her bedroom two nights ago and said "can you believe it, Boni cat whispered to me!"

When questioned further it turns out that she is positive he is whispering when he opens his mouth and does this weird little meow that you can barely hear; it's his greeting to you if he's been woken up suddenly or feels very kittenish. However, now we all know the truth, it is just Boni whispering. Pardon me while I die from the cuteness that is SarahAnne.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Dryer Portal

My dearest socks,

        We desperately need to have a chat. You are multiplying somewhere in this house; there are only four of us yet suddenly there are enough socks in the odd sock basket to outfit at least 50 or more people...if those fifty people only had one foot. How on earth do we have so many ODD socks? I can't figure it out. I am getting to the point where I am finding socks I've never even seen in the basket. I want to know if this is some sort of sick joke the sock gods are playing on me or has our dryer suddenly become a portal that sucks in OTHER people's odd socks? Wait, this makes sense now, somewhere there must be a mother like myself who thought she only had the socks to outfit four people who is suddenly finding odd socks that don't fit anyone in her house and that she's never seen. There is a dryer portal and all of our socks are being mixed up somewhere in there. Well played dryer portal, well can you please send someone to FOLD all of these suckers?!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Bits and Bots

What day is it today? It surely cannot be a Monday because my day has been far too organized to be a Monday. Monday and I don't agree on many things, particularly that I would like to be organized and it would like to continue to be a lazy pain in the rear. Often Monday comes and tries to kick my butt with motivation and I have to sit down, crack open a diet coke and tell it to sit on a tack. Today has been an out of the ordinary day for me; I not only managed to a) have the kids backpacks completely organized b) have Gabe's lunch packed and c) have the kids to school on time, I also managed to make approximately 45893 phone calls, set some appointments, pay a bill, have my back adjusted, and do a little thrift store shopping (Monday's are 25% off everything day which  I never remember but I did today! huzzah!) Surely all of this productivity will come back to bite me in the rear, but in the mean time, Monday, sit on a tack.

One of the appointments I made today was for Mr. Nibbler, who has become quite the surly little bastard lately. (Side note: When I visualize the words "surly bastard" I see a man with a beard and tattoos who scowls a it just me who sees that? It is? Oh...moving on then) Nibbler has decided that he needs to be the Alpha in our house so he sprayed my couch with urine, then because that didn't work because of the amazing Nature's Miracle orange scented oxy cleaner that shockingly worked, he sprayed a piece of cardboard. God love the little nitwit, he's not so bright and didn't realize I would just pick it up and throw it away. Can't blame a guy for trying I guess. Next week he's losing his hairballs and hopefully the surly bastard attitude as well. I mean seriously Nibbler, we LIKE you, we want to pet you and feed you treats and all you want to do is bite us...and you wonder why the dog tried to eat you...

Wait, did I forget to tell you about the incident last week with Betsy trying to eat Nibbler? Oh that one was fantastic. I was doing laundry, as I always am-I mean seriously people, would it kill you to wear something more than once or in the case of Bitsy, for more than five seconds?! I could hear Betsy's tags rattling so I turned around...just in time to see Nibbler's entire head in Betsy's mouth. I shouted "Betsy" and she let the cat go and the cat looked at me as if to say "holy crap, what was that?!" and Betsy gave me that innocent dog look, you know the one that says "who me? do something wrong? NOOOOOO not me" It was hilarious only because Nibbler was fine. It's almost like Betsy just opened her mouth and tried to swallow him-he wasn't even fighting her about it. The pets in this house are so so bizarre. They might be weirder than the kids actually.

I started this entry earlier today when I had a ton of ambition and wit about me...and then I got a headache and had to lay down. Thankfully a nap, Tylenol, and some diet coke seem to have gotten rid of it but wheweee. What a crappy interruption for my day! Now for some tv, some homework and sending the kiddos to bed!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy birthday G da G!

Today is Great Grandpa's birthday and to follow in the tradition we have each year, I asked Gabe how old Grandpa was today...his answer (drum roll please) 80! Bits didn't want to be left out so I asked, "Alright Bitsy, how old is Gramps the great today?" She very matter of factly answered "90" wellll you win some you lose some right?! haha! Hope it's been a fabulous day for you Gramps! Love you lots!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sam On Head

Gabe has had Sam the dog since he was hours old. My aunt gave him Sam, who came with the name tag of "Samson for strength" and other things but it was a long time ago and I've forgotten the rest of it as really, the only thing that mattered was "for strength" in my mind. I don't know if it was a conscious choice that she made when getting Sam (for strength) but knowing her it was and he's stood true to his name over the last eight years, 11 months and 8 days *gulp*

Sam comes to all of Gabe's "big" appointments with him. Sam has had an mri or two or three, x rays, he's been casted, he's had his "teeth" checked. He is completely current on his immunizations and gets a flu shot each year. He is grimy and matted despite regular washings, his nose and eyes are chipped from being tossed in the air and on the ground and chewed on by a teething Gabe. Sam is the ultimate headache cure; he is put on top of your head when a headache strikes and he magically takes it away. If your stomach hurts, Sam lays on your tummy. If your sister is sick and you don't know what to do, Sam steps in. When Mom has had a bad day and needs a snuggle, SAM to the rescue. Sam was the subject of Gabe's first sentence: "Sam on head" Sam is the subject of one of my absolute favorite photos of Gabe of all time "Sam in a can" Sam is the be all and end all of anything and everything in Gabe's life.

But poor Sam is looking rough these days. This last MRI and IV took a toll on him, he's getting tired and starting to show signs of his age and all that he's been through...and I think Gabe may be sensing that. Sam stays on the bed more often than not now, only touched BY Gabe and only in certain ways. The cats and dog are not allowed near Sam as he probably couldn't withstand a tug of war with any of them. Sam has been the one constant in Gabe's life as he's gone through tests and pokes and prods and general unpleasantness and I dread the day that Sam is no longer able to accompany us to these appointments because if I'm honest, Sam is MY companion as much as he is Gabe's. Friday as I sat in the chilly MRI waiting room, Sam sat on my shoulder as a little comfort measure. Every time I turned my head I caught the faint smell of Gabe and his 100% boyishness. I could see the scratches and chunks out of his eyes and nose that reminded me so acutely of the teething baby I once had.

 One day Gabe was itty bitty and Sam was fluffy and clean and now Gabe is nearly up to my shoulder and Sam is grizzled and worn. I know how Sam feels...I just hope that once Gabe moves on and doesn't need Sam and I to comfort him, we'll have each other to snuggle with, thinking about the little blond who used to need us so so much and is now so independent and amazing. Sam on head...sam on heart.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Grey On His Chin

Many many years ago, I met a handsome fella named George. He had a long ponytail of hair, always wore a hat, his standard outfit was a concert t shirt, ripped jeans, and a flannel shirt, AND he had the cutest baby face. He couldn't grow a beard if he tried, let alone a mustache or any other type of facial hair. As luck would have it, I fell head over heels in love with this guy and fifteen years later here we are, happy as pigs in mud on a hot day.

Over the years he has changed his hair style; keeping the same short cropped hair cut for the last ten years or so. He's experimented with different facial hair styles as well; going so far as to grow a full on "play off beard" a few years back when his beloved Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup (boys and their silly sports rituals, am I right?! haha)

All along the way, my hair has changed too (though not my facial hair thank you very much) The length and style have all changed, the color has changed from brown to red to black to a ridiculous looking eggplant purple back to brown again...except for some pesky wiry grey hairs that seem to multiply every time I look in the mirror. Lest you think I am kidding, I once had a woman ask if I highlighted my hair silver on purpose. I am 33 years old and nearly half grey. I go through fits and starts where I decide that I am going to color the hell out of my hair so no one sees the grey...and then I decide to say screw that, grey is beautiful and I love it and screw you if you don't like it. I just got off a two year screw it phase where I let all the grey come through and have the au natural look and then in a fit of despair I colored it again and now after being in the pool a few times a week all of those greys are showing again...oh well ;)

All through the years I have watched George's hair carefully to find the first sign of grey hair; surely a man of his age would have SOME grey by now, right? RIGHT?! It only seems fair that since *I* have the stretch marks and saggy breasts from pregnancy and birth and the grey hair that inevitably comes along with raising children that he should have his fair share of the greys too, right?

Alas, there is no grey in his hair, nor is his hair thinning at all, in fact, his hair is healthier than it's been in years. He has a gorgeous head of hair and there's no grey in sight.

His goatee however, is a completely different story. His goatee is wiry and fantastic; Bits loves to play with his goatee when she sits on his lap; he likes to rub his sopping wet goatee on my face after he gets out of a shower mostly, I think, to hear me giggle because I have it on good authority he enjoys not only making me laugh but HEARING me laugh. The hair on his chin grows in a few different colors, mostly shades of auburn and brown but recently a curious color has popped up. Yes, that's right, GREY! There are a few grey's right in the middle of his goatee, though glancing at him you wouldn't notice them right away, as it's a rather thick patch of hair and most people don't get that close to his face.

I thought all along that I would gloat when the day came and he was finally showing signs of his age; I thought I'd dance around and say "ha ha ha ha you have grey hair!" buuuuut that hasn't happened and I don't SEE it happening anytime soon. I hate to say it but I find it kind of attractive. I like that fact that the grey came on gradually for him. After all these years together the grey seems to say "ah yes, here I am, a mature man, sure of who I am and what I've done. I've been through a lot and better days are ahead but here is the mark of those struggles" It's a visible reminder, to me anyway, that we've both grown so much since those early days of being together, since the days of eating ramen noodles and worrying about Gabriel and having a small apartment with too many books and not enough money and whew. It's been a lot but here we are on the other side with only small battle scars to show...grey hair on his chin...and four million on MY head...okay maybe I may gloat a little about it to him, just for fun...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


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