Friday, December 26, 2008

What?!

Belly came into the dining room to ask me what "scarifice" means. I answered, and then listened as he returned to the living room where his brother was minding his own business. Belly picked up his light saber and started hitting his brother lightly and repeating, "Sac-ri-fice... sac-ri-fice..."
What?!
Daimean explained that to sacrifice him, it would mean he'd be gone. And do you know what that little sociopath said?! "That's okay. I got Momma and Daddy."
Yes, he's on time out. Yes, I'm a bit worried about the little wonk.
**Update**,
Belly decided to sit down and write a letter to his brother. He showed it to me and told me it says, "D, I'm sorry I hit you a lot. I want to play and love you." It showed two smiling boys at the top, which he explained are he and his brother after he apologizes. Then he took it to Daimean and gave him a hug while telling him he's the best brother ever.
Much better :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This Christmas

This Christmas, you'll likely be opening gifts, visiting family, and making with the merry.
Yesterday, a newborn girl was left outside in the cold. This Christmas, she'll be in the hospital.
This Christmas, you'll hug your children, your spouse, or your mom and be thankful that you have a family.
Today, that baby girl is recovering from her time outside. This Christmas, she'll have no family to celebrate her arrival. Only nurses, doctors and DCFS case workers.

Every state in the US has a Safe Haven Law to help stop unsafe infant abandonments. In weather like Chicago's, they can quickly become deadly abandonments. Please, take a moment to contact your local newspaper, grocery store or community representative and ask them to post information about Safe Haven today. I guaranty you, there is another woman out there who is pregnant and doesn't know what to do. Help get her the information she needs to make a responsible choice, because this Christmas, every child deserves to be safe.

For more information about the Safe Haven Law in your area, please visit

www.NationalSafeHavenAlliance.org

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tiny Panic Attack



What you see here are my engagement ring, wedding band, and another thin band. Now, guess which one is most important. The platinum one with diamonds? No. The diamond band? No. The thin, plain, white gold band. Why? Because it belonged to my aunt Noel who is no longer with us. (long, tragic story, I'll spare you since it's the holidays and all) Anyway, somehow it came to be in my possession, and I've worn it off and on for years. It was her wedding band, with a strange inscription inside: "LB to FB 23-25" I was told they'd gotten it at a pawn shop, which would explain why no one understands it.
Anyway, this morning I pulled off my rings so I could apply some hand lotion, and I dropped them. The other two were right there, and I couldn't find Noel's band. My heart started pounding. I crawled around under my desk, moved my file cabinet and started to panic. Eventually I found it under a sticky note. All I could think of was how it was truly the only thing I had left of hers, and how heartbroken my mother -her sister- would be if it were lost.
I've said previously that I try not to attach too much meaning to "things" but sometimes you just can't help it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

That Old, Familiar Itch

You see, my schedule usually allows me to hit the tattoo shop about once each year. Last time was in February for my birthday. I can feel that itch coming, the one that will have me rearranging plans so I can spend a day feeding my one and only vice.... body art. Here's the thing - I've got a half sleeve on one arm, and various other easily covered pieces. Where am I feeling that itch now? My chest. Yes, that symbol of femininity, that open spot in between your collarbones. Now, my current company is very relaxed and accepting of me and all my artificially colored skin. But with the economy and job market in a serious downward spiral, I can't take the kind of risk associated with a chest piece :( It would be different if I had an advanced degree in some highly specialized profession. But my 2 years in community college do not afford me that luxury. It would be different if I was already working in law enforcement (see what community college prepares you for?!) but that's sitting in an indefinite holding pattern.
What's a girl to do? Suck it up and wait, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little Reminders

Last night as I was getting Belly ready for bed, he was asking me if I went to the same pre-school as him. I explained to him that I didn't get to go to pre-school. Told him he's very lucky to have that opportunity. He looked at me and said,
"You're lucky, too, Momma, because you go to work. You don't have pre-school but have a job."
I smiled and said, "Yes, you're right. I am pretty lucky."

Here's to counting all the little lucky reminders in your life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Throwin' Shoes

So, this morning I was told by many people to watch the video of shoes being thrown at GW. So I did, and a funny thing happened. I actually felt BAD for the guy. Yes, a person throwing shoes at a press conference is funny as hell, but how terrifying must that situation have been? To now know what's coming next? I mean, the guy only threw shoes, but he could have done something much worse. As far as insults go, I'd say he gets the top prize. Throwing your shoes at the president of the US and calling him a dog? And he had damn accurate aim, too. Was it just me, or did anyone else wonder if there was a Puerto Rican mom in that audience, whippin' chanclas? Or um, is that something that we're not supposed to tell other races?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Overheard

Belly is wasting time upstairs, waiting for his brother to get out of the bathroom. Hubs is playing video games on Xbox Live, and talking crap online. He offhandedly calls something "retarded" and Belly walked up to him and said, "You can't use that word, Daddy. We don't use that word. If you don't like something, you can say it's irritating." Daddy quickly apologized for his impropriety.

That's my boy :)

I'd been guilty of dropping the R word before a lightning bolt hit me and I realized just how hurtful that word can be. I know and love children who are developmentally disabled, and I'd never allow anyone to hurt their feelings. Hence, that word is not allowed. Ever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I'm Happy, Even When I'm Not

I was tagged by The Rambler at http://ifnramble.blogspot.com/ to write about 6 things that make me really happy. I'm so incredibly pissed off at Ilio right now AND premenstrual to top it off, this is a good exercise for me today.

1) Reading a really good book. The kind that makes you stop strangers that you see reading the same book and ask them what they think.
2) Having a great conversation with my kids. When they ask questions and really want answers. It shows me they're actually paying attention to what the other is saying.
3) All the little things that my husband does for me. He's a much more thoughtful person than I am, and I wonder sometimes if he resents that.
4) Ordering a new entree at a new restaurant and finding out it's great.
5) Damn, this is hard today. Alright, finding the perfect lipstick. Color, finish, texture, etc. It's harder than one would imagine.
6) My friends. I've got the most amazing group of friends, and I'm lucky to always have a willing ear to bend.

I'd tag 6 of those great friends, but I'm afraid they may stop speaking to me if I do, so I'll just leave this open for all :) I'd like to know what makes each of YOU really happy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Gift of Hindsight

Last night, I'm awakened by the doorbell. Half asleep, no clue what time it is, I get dressed and stumble down the stairs as it rings for the second time. I paused at the window but didn't see anyone. As I get near the front door, someone is freakin POUNDING on it. *Note: I'm aware of all the horrid things that can happen to a small woman opening the door late at night. But on the other hand, you never know if someone out there needs help.
I get up to the door and it's my neighbor waving and saying, "It's only me!" So I open the door and stick my bed-head outside and he tells me that my garage door is open and he chased off some guys from back there. Now, I don't know about your neighborhoods, but most neighbors where I live wouldn't give a moment's care to someone else being robbed. So I thanked him, threw on some shoes and ran around back. All I did was close the door, I was too tired to go and find out if half our stuff was missing, since I really wasn't in the mood to file a police report.
Thankfully, nothing was missing upon review this morning.
Getting back to the point here. Yesterday after dinner, Belly was playing with Daddy's keys at the dining room table and he said, "Look! I opened the garage door!" because there is, indeed, a garage door opener on his keys. I took the keys away but didn't really think about it. Yeah. Good job.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mom's Got Skills

This morning while I was making breakfast, Isaiah decided to sit on the table in the living room. I called out from the kitchen, "You don't sit on the table, you sit in a chair!"
He replied, "You can't see me! You're in the kitchen!"
I took that moment to explain to him that moms can indeed see through walls, read minds, and make breakfast at the same time.
He said, "But I can't see you..."
He has decided that I'm a ninja.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tagged, Book Style

I was tagged by Leanna, to pick up the book nearest me and share some lines, starting with the 5th sentence on page 56. Here ya go, from Wally Lamb's "The Hour I First Believed"

Yes, she smoked: one Marlboro a day, after her evening meal; she'd done that for years. No, she wasn't much of a drinker. A beer every now and then. Brandy on special occasions. Diabetes? No, not that I knew of.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Know Why the Caged Bird...


Yesterday we took the kiddies to get haircuts at a new shop that we like. Isaiah opted for a faux hawk, which he pronounces, "Po Hawk". Anyway, there was a bird cage on the floor, with a bright yellow and orange bird inside. After watching him for a minute, it made me sad. I can't understand why you'd take something so bright and beautiful and lock it in a cage that way.
Then the owner saw the kids were fascinated with the bird. He asked if they'd like to play with him. Huh?! Who plays with birds?? He said he'd had the bird since it was only a few weeks old, and he'd spent a lot of time training it, playing with it. It's tame, he said, and likes to fly around and meet people. Sure enough, this was a friendly bird. It decided I was fun to hang on, so it would fly around me and then land on my shoulder and nestle in my hair. Creepy at first, yes. But then we were laughing and absolutely delighted, just spending a few minutes hanging out with this little bird.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another "Last Post"

So this time it's the last post about my strange little Twilight obsession. I swear. (That doesn't mean I won't be emailing about it, Dawn!) Yesterday I finished Breaking Dawn, as I'd predicted, I'd finished the series before the weekend was out. So what did I do today? Read the first twelve chapters of Midnight Sun, of course. I tried to avoid it, I really did. But I HAD to go back and read it. Um, miss Edward's perspective?! Not a chance. So at least now I've got something to look forward to, if/when the author finishes it. BTW, Stephanie Meyer can now be added to the list of Authors I Love. She's in good company... Audrey Niffenegger, Wally Lamb, Jean Plaidy, Jodi Picoult, David Sedaris, Jan Burke, Chelsea Cain (she's new, look up her books, they're about a female serial killer!) Ah yes, Wally Lamb FINALLY put out another book. I can only hope it touches the genius of his previous two. I feel privileged to read these works, truly. As if I'm allowed to share some great secret.

Since I grudgingly picked up Twilight after hearing so much about it, what else would you suggest?? And why?

Anyway, I've resigned myself to the fact that I will absolutely watch Twilight on DVD when it comes out, and hopefully without so much cynicism.

But tonight, I watch Lestat. Excuse me while I press play on Queen of the Damned.... :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sadly Disappointed

Alright, so it's not exactly a secret that I'm a *tiny* bit interested in obsessed with the Twilight series. In fact, I stared Breaking Dawn today after giving myself a 1 day breather. Today I could wait no longer though - I went to see the movie. I woke Hubs up early (he works overnights, so "early" is actually 4pm) and left the kiddos with my mom, and away we went.
It was terrible.
Two flippin hours that I'll never get back.
How could this happen??
I compulsively casually watched the interviews Rob Pattinson did and he's hot, he's funny.... but it didn't come out in the movie. Even the parts that were supposed to be lighthearted left him looking distinctly constipated. And the scene where he's supposed to sparkle??!! Um, no. Just no. (and as for sparkly men, if you don't get it, it's a Twilight thing, you wouldn't understand)
The only redeeming parts were a) when he smiled and laughed. b) Kristen/Bella was perfect.
c) "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb."
(audience response) "Stupid lamb!"
3 people, including me, respond, "What a sick, masochistic lion."

Since I still love the books ever so much, I'm going to try to forget that I saw this.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Soundtrack

This week, in my relentless pursuit to finish the Twilight series, I'll be listening to the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. All vampire songs, how appropriate :)
My life definitely has a soundtrack. Going back to the glory days of dancing with my BFF to Madonna's True Blue album, to house music through high school, to punk and metal afterwards to... what? I guess I listen to a bit of everything now. Miles Davis plays in my head just as routinely as Disturbed. Norah Jones takes up residence in my ipod right next to Tupac. Then Incubus plays and wipes them all away, only to start over with Atmosphere. Oh, and I'm sure there's a new Alien Ant Farm album just out....

So what's the soundtrack to your life?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Watch Out for Volvos



You'll have to forgive my absence this week. I've started reading the Twilight series and I. Can't. Stop.
To understand my little obsession, you need some background. I am in love with a fictional character. His name is Lestat. I've read his tales over and over, and I looked for him around every corner in New Orleans. Because I'm insane, that's why. For a long time, I tried to get just the right image of a falling angel for a tattoo. Then it hit me. The graphic novel version of Tale of the Body Thief WAS my fallen angel, my Lestat.



That makes up a rather large tattoo on my upper arm. Yes, I already said I'm slightly unhinged. Please don't ask again.
Now, I started the Twilight series, even though I'd successfully resisted it for SO long. Of course I'm in agony because I'm only human and I can only read so fast. Why isn't there a way for me to just absorb all 4 books and KNOW what happens already? What? Savor them? Are you kidding me? I'm not a savor-it kind of gal. I'm all about the instant gratification.
I bid you adieu then, as I'll be immersed in the rainy and tragic world of Edward and Bella for the next week or so. And thanks Dawn, now I'll be tracking down silver Volvos!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun With Old Pictures

Here's our life in a nutshell.... start at the bottom, sorry, I added the pics in backwards and I'm too lazy to do it again!


2nd baby, 2003

1st baby, 1998

10 minutes before getting married, 1998

HS graduation, 1996

Senior prom, 1996

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tagged!

Kendra from Three Scurvy Dogs (and Their Mamas)
http://field-bennettfamily.blogspot.com/ *Sorry, my links still don't work!*

tagged me and challenged me to grab a camera and show where I'm blogging from - without cleaning. Ha! Good thing I don't blog from home! You'd see the dismantled bed frame hanging out in the family room, or a laundry basket perched on a chair, OR a small child with a Hawaiian Punch mustache dancing like a loon. Here's my blogging space, safe in the sterile work environment :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Small Kindness

At lunch I took a walk, and stopped at Walgreens to buy Jay's Salt n' Sour chips and Always Ultra Thins. One thing explains the other, you see. Anyway, when I checked out, the cashier double bagged the Always so it wouldn't be visible as I was walking down the street. It was a small kindness, but I'm always impressed with those.

What small kindness made your day today?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Got a Guy

Pronounced, "I-got-ta-guy"
We're STILL working on our 1st floor bathroom (yes, it's the project that never ends) and here in Chicago, I've tapped into the GOBN. That's the Good Old Boys Network, for non-Chicagoans. Where a bunch of *ahem* older guys know everyone. I called my uncle with a question about a referral for some home improvement type stuff. I ask specifically about Mr SO and SO, who was an old family friend. "No way," he says, "that guy's a crook." The he says, "Don't worry. I got a guy."
Everyone here has Got A Guy for everything. And, in a peculiar way, like everyone else from my parent's generation, everyone must be called by their first and last names. It always makes me laugh. Each time he's referred me to these GOBs, I call and say, Hi, This is Dave's Niece. No further introduction needed.
So yesterday I tell Hubs, don't worry, I got a guy. I explain the whole tale, and finish by telling him that although the guy in question was the first male - outside Daddy, of course - to ever earn my absolute adoration, my first crush, he need not feel threatened. Since I was 4 and he was about 28, he's now quite outside the range of Guys Husbands Should Worry About. Still, it's funny.
This morning I called "the guy" and sure enough, I can hear the gentle condescension in his voice, because he probably thinks I'm about 12. There are some roles we'll never get past. I'm Dave's Niece. Period.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jesse of Arc

Score! I went to a discount bookstore at lunch and picked up The Autobiography of Henry VIII for $7!!! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I'm a little obsessed with the Tudors (the family, not the show)
However, my dear Henry will have to wait until I finish I, Mona Lisa... and then Twilight, because I finally broke down and got it last week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

George Michael Says...

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart... the very next day, you gave it away....
Sorry. Couldn't be helped.

This year, the Martinez Co. Christmas is being sponsored by my employer. I got a great big gift card bonus for my 7th anniversary here (and don't even get me started on why I've been here that long) Each year we get the kids one "big" present. Either something huge, like the Wii, or just something they really want, like bicycles. This year, it's paintball guns.

Yep, I know what you're thinking. What kind of lunatic gets paintball guns for little kids?! THIS kind of lunatic! (cue deranged smile)

Actually it was my husband's idea, and at first, I said absolutely not. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Of course they're still too young and fragile to actually go to a paintball park. Range? Course? What the heck do you call those places? Anyway, I digress. We got D a small paintball "marker" - since retailers don't call them guns anymore. Belly got an even smaller one, made just for kids. We got them each 500 paintballs and A TARGET. Yep, we got targets to set up in the back yard, in front of our garage, so they can play with them without anyone getting hurt!

Next year, maybe we'll go skydiving! Muahahaha!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day, and I've only come to truly understand and appreciate the scarifices of our military in these past few years. Last year I watched a special broadcast from a war memorial in DC and it had me in tears.
Anyway, I called my grandpa today to say thank you. To let him know I love him, and appreciate his sacrifices. To let him know he's my hero. He seemed a bit flustered by the attention, but thanked me for remembering.
So, I urge you, call your favorite veteran today. Let them know their work has not been forgotten.

Smell My Armpits!!!

Well, Isaiah has a little lisp, so it sounds more like, "Smell my armpit-ths!"
He has found a certain joy in putting on Daddy's deodorant and then running around the house and making everone comment on just how fresh and manly he smells. Fun times :)

In the bad timing dept: Our bedframe from Ikea broke. So we went to Ikea on Friday and picked out a new one. Dragged it home, put it together. Then Saturday my uncle offers me his beautiful bedroom set because his wife decided to redecorate - again. Dilemma! Do I return the one I just got for a whole new set? Then I have to rent a truck to pick up the set. My hubs loves the new bed bc it's brushed nickel, he doesn't really like wood very much. My uncle's set is dark wood, with a big beautiful four poster bed frame. *sigh* For those of you who don't know, I've never owned an actual bedroom set. Always just picked up a piece here or there, or whatever cast offs we got from family. So even 2nd hand, it's still a set. *bigger sigh* So I wavered on it for a few days. This morning I laid it all out and hubs said, as he usually does, "Sweetie, whatever you want is fine."

We used to have a matress pad under our mattress, instead of a box spring. When we picked up the new frame, we also got a box spring. We took the mattress pad and put it on the floor that night so the kids could camp out in our room (which, for some reason, is a big exciting thing for them) The next morning, they inform me that my bedroom is now their dojo, and they're practicing their ninja moves. Oooohkay.

So my weekend was spent smelling armpit-ths in the dojo.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grandparents

They don't live forever, do they? *sigh* About a year ago I sat down for an afternoon and wrote down things they remembered about their families. Who came here, where did they come from, who they married. It was very interesting, and I'm glad I took the time to do it.
My grandparents, on my mother's side, live near me, yet I don't see them much. Life gets in the way, and family disputes, too. Yesterday I went to see them, and I was struck by just how fragile they appear. My grandfather especially. He looms large in my mind, a big, strong military man with an easy smile and always a dollar to spare for ice cream. He and I comparing tattoos. He got his in Hawaii, by a rare (at the time)female artist. My grandmother... since she had a heart attack a few years ago she's lost a LOT of weight. She's so thin now, just as her own mother was. It was comforting to me just to sit and listen to her talk last night. That same voice that carried me through my childhood with her wisdom and love. She remained a constant for me. When my parents divorced, when my father died, she was there for me. When I was 15, she took me to Planned Parenthood herself because my mother couldn't face the fact that I'd become sexually active. When I went into labor with Daimean, SHE is the person I called.
I guess it comes down to this - I avoid them because I don't like to accept the fact that they're aging. If I keep them at arm's length, maybe I won't be so devastated when I lose them. Silly, I know. Time to make the effort to spend time with them now, while I still can.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Last Post

Well, last POLITICAL post, anyway :P

Last night, as I waited anxiously for the election results to be tallied, state by state, I imagined a more secure future for my children.
As I waited, I imagined a country working to be strong from within, before attempting to flex that strength elsewhere.
A country that fights for equality. Opportunity. Innovation.
When it was over, I cried. I brushed back the hair of my sleeping child and I heaved a sigh of relief. I thought about Obama's speech in New Hampshire, that this is the moment when we start to heal this country, this earth. And I was reminded that no matter the outcome, we rise or fall as one.

I'm happy, proud, exhausted..... but mostly, THANKFUL. My fellow Americans stood up and we took our country back. We elected an intelligent, compassionate and unique man to lead us. Not because of his skin color, and not because of his family name - but because our hearts and minds could finally agree on one person.

And I know everyone one says race doesn't matter. But let me tell you what this means to us "minorities" - those of us who have to work twice as hard to show we're just as capable. Those of us who DON'T look like the preceding presidents. THIS means so much to me, that MY CHILDREN will grow up knowing what. is. possible.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, We Did

That good cry I was talking about? I let it out today, first when the election was called for Obama, and again, when he spoke. Yes, we can. The fight was long and hard, but we did it. We stood up and made it happen. Today I laid it all on the line, after months and months of pushing for him. Today I didn't cautiously say, Yes, we might. I said, YES WE CAN. And we did.
But this is only the beginning. There is a lot of work to do. But I'm honored to be doing it under the guidance of President Obama.

Good night, I'll sleep well.

Today is the Day

Never in my life has an election captivated so many people. I've never seen so many Americans truly involved in the process, and understanding that our country's future is on the line. Our children. Our grandchildren. They're looking to us to stand behind our convictions, stand up for change, and make it happen. My candidate says that we rise or fall as one, and I agree. He says that we can begin to repair this world, and I believe him. This is our time, he says.

"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

So today, I will let all that hope run unchecked.

Obama to win, all or nothing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Need a Good Cry?

Ever have those days when you feel as if you're on the verge of tears, just waiting for the thing that's going to come along and start them flowing? I've felt that way for a few days now. Strange, unwelcome feeling. Why does that happen, anyway? Did I not use up my sob quota this year?
I think I'll start doing an annual Christmas letter. Why? Well, why not? I can send it out with my Christmas cards (which are usually defaced by me before sending anyway) and since it pains me to be serious for more than a few brief moments, it'll probably read like a Dave Chappelle skit.
Yesterday I went in for early voting, which pushed everything else in my evening back by almost 2 hours. Fucking electoral college makes me feel like my time was wasted. Next year I'll start a movement (or rather, join one in progress) to get rid of that and determine elections solely on popular vote. Damn, wish I'd have thought of that LAST year!
Our new office has a McDonald's in the building. So far, I've resisted it's greasy goodness. But every morning half the company walks past my office toting bags so greasy you can see through them, and it's making me nuts. How long can I hold out?!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Complaint Dept, Line 2

We moved our corporate office out of the glam spot we'd occupied forever and are now in some decidedly UNglam digs. The elevator is painfully slow, and there's no Captivate screen in it. The heat is loud and inefficient, like you'd find in a cheap hotel. The bathroom has a nice seating area though. My view, I won't even get into that. But the bottom line is that I still have a job that I enjoy, and that's all that matters. And hey, there is a Taco Fresco next door.

Prince is 50!? Are you serious?? How could that be?? He had major bearing on my formative years, but I may have rethought that had I known he was as old as my PARENTS!

Kids, ah, back to the kids. The blog IS called Life As A Momma, not Life As An Office Worker. My two little darlings fight constantly, chatter like monkeys when I'm trying to focus on anything, and they leave dirty socks on the dining room table. So, that means it's business as usual, and I'm loving every minute I have with them. One day in the future, they'll want to move out and start their own lives, so I'm holding on as tight as I can while there's still time for cuddles and kisses.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nothing Works!!

So while the company is making final preparations for the corporate office move, I'm working from home today because the kids have the day off school. Last week our laptop crapped out and had to be reformatted. Now, normally I'm able to log onto the company's website to work off of their server. However, I can't get ActiveX to install correctly, so I can't access their site. Then I find that my husband didn't install MS Office and I can't find the disk for it, so I can't download and format our daily bank files. I call my voicemail, the system tells me my log on information is wrong. WTH?! It's obviously going to be one of those mornings!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

My company's corporate office is moving, and today is my last day in the office I've been coming to for seven years. My beautiful lake view, my perch up on the 53rd floor. I can walk to the lake at lunch from here. Directly across from Millennium Park, and a short walk from State Street. We've moving inland, so no more lake views. We've moving to a 10th floor, so no more bird's eye views. Still State Street accessible, just a bit farther. The building describes one of it's amenities as "Restaurant on site" but it's only McDonald's. In the building we're leaving, we have Tavern at the Park, Quizno's, Panda Express, Rom, and Cafe Creations, not to mention the pedway that connects us to countless other buildings and their restaurants. Ah well. On the plus side, while I lose my view here, I get my own office there.

Oh, and Karma is still kicking me while I'm down. We had a prank caller last night, and I was sadly reminded of the untold hours that my friend and I spent tormenting strangers for absolutely no reason. *sigh* I'm probably going to be sorry for more than that as time goes on, aren't I? How about the time we threw paint out the window of the 4th floor of our school, just because it spattered so nicely? Did I mention it spattered into the parking lot? Oh yes, it looked like those cars were attacked by Jackson Pollock. So I'm sure there's more What-Goes-Around-Comes-Around fun coming my way.

Hidden Pain AKA Assault With A Deadly Canine

Yes, the deepest hurts are the ones you can't see. And what you can't see right now is the abrasion and lump on my forehead, because it's cleverly covered by my bangs.

But believe me, it's there. Now, I'll explain:
The dogs have separate food and water dishes, since Ilio is so big he has a raised set. So this morning I was leaned over pouring water into Eva's dish, when Ilio came up behind me and leaned his big body against my legs. This caused me to lose my balance and fall. On the way down, my head slammed into the counter. Yeah, it hurt. In fact, it hurt so much I started to cry. Then a wave of nausea hit me and I started to gag. Ilio was freaking out, whimpering and licking me. Eva continued eating her breakfast.
What a rotten way to start the day. It can only get better, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday



Note: What you may or may not see here is the faint rainbow that popped up, a very rare occurrence in downtown Chicago.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My "Baby" Turns 5

Cruel, really, how fast time moves after you have kids. Seems like just last week I was in the hospital delivery room, weeping with relief and happiness that I had this amazing new person in my life.
This morning he honored the day of his birth by puking on my bed. And then the couch. But he says he feels much better now. Told you my kids were always pukey.
Tonight after dinner we'll pull out Isaiah's baby album, and go over the story of the day he was born. He loves that. This morning he was a picture that my uncle sent me in the mail, of me when I was barely 3 years old, hugging a Raggedy Ann doll that was bigger than me. He looked at it and said, "But Momma, there was no one there to make me dinner when you were a baby." So here's Isaiah's I'm Five smile, and below that, what I found when I called out to Daimean and asked, "Are you letting Ilio on the couch??"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little Bird

Ha, as I was writing the title, I was reminded of my mother in law worrying over my son's fresh circumcision and asking after his "pajarito" - little bird. Why, is that a common name for it in Spanish speaking households? I just don't know.

Anyway, as I walked to my office entrance this morning, I saw a tiny little bird sitting in front of the revolving doors. I'm well aware of how often birds fly into our big glass buildings and are stunned or hurt. So, figuring that even though I was already 5 minutes late, this little guy needed my help, I reached down and checked on him. He freaked out and flew into the door!!! He skittered around for a minute and then landed back at my feet. The second time, he let me pick him up and move him off to the side, where he could safely recover from his unfortunate run in with the building. Which he did. Recover, I mean.

Prior to that I had the joy of talking with both of Isaiah's teachers when I dropped him off. The prevailing opinion now is that he's working hard and everything is much better. I told the one we call Granola that he has been unhappy in her class and I want to know why. While she didn't answer directly - and she never does - she did say that he seems happier and that she again thanks me for working together with them to make sure everything is good. So hopefully we won't have to resort to calling the principal. Tomorrow is his birthday, and he's super excited. I'll be working from home, so we'll have a great day together :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Karma's Still Bein' a Bitch

Yesterday I allowed myself to sit back and say, "Today is a good day." Little did I know that karma still wasn't done settling her stankin ass score with me. Okay, so once when I was in high school, a friend and I locked the door at Dunkin Donuts and an old guy got stuck because he didn't have a free hand to unlock it. We sat back and laughed, even though it was terrible. I like to think I'm a better person now, alright?

So how's karma get me? The car wouldn't start yesterday afternoon when I needed to pick up my kiddies. After a massive panic and then my whines of, "Why? Why me?" I gave up and took the bus home. Hubs couldn't decide between trying to figure out what's wrong or just having it towed in. So still it sits in the same place. Tried jumping it, didn't work. I'm told there's no power in the battery, but still skeptical about why it would happen like that in a car that's not even 2 years old. *sigh*

But on the bright side, the one thing that made my day completely was that Belly got a sticker for good behavior, and a letter home from his teacher stating he had a "much better" day :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Follow Up to THAT Parent

So Hubs decided to back off after meeting with the teacher, even though he wasn't thrilled by her response. All she would ask is, "How can we make Isaiah happy?" His fear is that since their pre-k classes are at capacity, if we ask for a transfer they may not have ROOM to transfer him, then that will cause problems all by itself. So fine. I agreed to wait on that.
This morning though, the director of childhood development stopped me and we chatted for a few minutes. I told her of my concerns, and as I was saying that Hubs had met with the teacher, Mrs. Teacher walked out and saw/heard me. You'd think she'd come over and say, "Hey I'm glad we're working on this together" or "We're GOING to work on this"??? Nope, she just turned the corner and kept going. Well, at least she knows I've got my eye on her. She's probably paranoid now!

Friday will be Isaiah's 5th birthday. It's just amazing to me how fast it all goes by.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Misc.

When asked about Columbus, my godson yelled, "It's nobody! It's just a day we don't have to go to school!"

At a family gathering, my nephew brought his girlfriend over. At some point I looked over and realized she was sitting all by herself because she doesn't speak any Spanish. I saw myself about 12 years ago, and remembered how thankful I was when my future brothers in law would come to my rescue. So I kept her company.

This weekend I battled a cold, canker sore AND a yeast infection. Karma's a bitch.

Today at the store, the check out woman ID'd me because I was buying beer. Oh yes, beer and Halloween candy, cause that's how I roll. Anyway, she was skeptical because she said I didn't look a day over 17 and my ID says I'm thirty. I thought that was funny.

My uncle called me this morning and for some reason, asked me who I'm voting for. I'm even wearing my Obama shirt today but I suppose he couldn't have known that over the phone. We got into a bit of a tiff on the phone over it, apparently he's lost his brain and is voting for McCain. I told him that IL is a Democratic state, so it doesn't matter if he votes for freakin Chuck Norris, because Obama will carry our state easily. *humph!*

Today at work I found another person who loves European history as much as I do. I'm not a lonely nerd anymore!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

"That" Parent

Belly loved school last year. Over the summer, he was eager to get back. Couldn't wait for it to start again. The first day of school when he found out he had a new teacher (there are 3 pre-k teachers) it all went downhill from there. Now he doesn't want to go, doesn't like it, and is getting notes home from the teacher saying he's being "silly" and apparently his robust imagination doesn't sit well with her. He is obsessed with Link and all manner of princes and knights, thus, he pretends he's a knight. His favorite bedtime stories are the ones I tell about The Brave Prince Isaiah and the Honorable Prince Daimean. Yes, dear readers, those are the names of my little shining knights.
So this teacher told my husband that she'd like to talk to us together.He asked if there was a problem. She just repeated her request. He asked her what it's regarding, she repeated her request. So I left her a message that day explaining that we can't make it there at the same time, but we can certainly have a conference call, and I asked her to call me back. She did not. I sent a letter then, saying I know there have been some "issues" but that Isaiah is certainly not malicious or willfully bad in any way. He's in preschool, and acts accordingly. I asked AGAIN for her to call me the next day and stated I'd conference my husband on the line. No response.
Today is Friday, and Isaiah was very sad about going to school. Then the dog ate his breakfast, which contained the very last pancake in the house. It was a trying morning, to say the least. If I don't hear back from the teacher today, I'm calling the principal on Monday and requesting that he be transferred to another class. Hell, even if she calls today, I'll request it. Life is too short for my little guy to be unhappy at school.
Yes, I've turned into THAT PARENT. Oh freaking well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

CSI

Belly had 2 nosebleeds last night. The first left his bed looking like a crime scene, and the second left his hands looking like he committed a murder. He's all clean and crime free now, and I've made a mental not to buy a humidifier for his room.

This morning when I turned the corner to go to the train, a woman waved at me from between 2 parked cars and told me -in a lilting Irish accent- not to go that way, she'd just been held up by a man with a gun. She was shaking and frightened, and I waited with her while she called 911, then we walked to the train together. Safety in numbers and all. No, we don't live in the kind of neighborhood where guns are a regular sight.

My husband (who works for 911 here) called me to make sure I was okay, as he'd heard reports of a man running around the area assaulting people, AND he took a call from a woman who'd been held up by a man with a gun. I asked if she sounded Irish, he said yes, and asked how I'd know that. Small world, huh?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Puke Procedure

This morning Belly started to cough, and looked for a moment as if he may blow chunks. Of course, he was sitting on my bed at the time, right? So after I pull him to the floor, I ask him if he feels like he's going to throw up. He says yes (My kids have always been pukey) so I march him to the bathroom and present.... the toilet! With a flourish, I stood him in front of it and said, Then throw up in here.
He a few seconds TRYING to throw up before I told him, It's on a need to puke basis. Apparently he thought I'd issued a directive, not an option. So he asked me why he'd throw up in the toilet at all. It went downhill from there.

Belly: But why would I frow up in the toilet? (Yes, he says "frow up")
Me: Because that's where big people throw up.
Belly: Why?
Me: Well, because big people can make it to the bathroom to throw up. Where do babies throw up?
Belly: On the floor.
Me: Yes, and that's hard to clean up. So use the toilet next time, okay?
Belly: No, I want to frow up on the floor. You could just rub it harder to clean it up, okay Momma?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Now THAT'S Dedication!


Whoa.
As anyone who has stopped by my brain fart of a blog here knows, I'm a serious supporter of Barack Obama. Just as Jon Stewart jokes, we Obama supporters talk about him like he's the messiah. But I thought I had it under control. I really did.
Then last night I had a dream that I was actually working for the Obama campaign, recruited by Señor Walks-On-Water himself.
Well now. This is just getting out of hand.
I used to dream about Brandon Boyd, or Brad Pitt, or Taye Diggs. My husband even - well, my husband a whole lot, actually. Hey, he's hot and I'm shallow. But I digress.
The fact is that I'm campaigned out, and election day just can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Safe Haven Expansion



www.SaveAbandonedBabies.org
www.NationalSafeHavenAlliance.org

Grrrrr..........
Yesterday morning in a suburb of Chicago, a 2 week old, Hispanic baby girl was bundled up, placed in a carrier and LEFT ON A GARBAGE PILE. A man looking for salvageable stuff found her at about 8am yesterday. No thanks to her parents, she's in good health and has been handed over to DCFS. Why go through all the trouble of dressing, bundling, covering with a blanket... only to leave your child in the garbage?
For the past week I've been researching whether to increase the legal age of relinquishment in Illinois from 7 days up to 30 days. At first I thought that doing so wouldn't change anything, because we still have women who abandon babies because they either don't know about the law, or are afraid to test it out. So how will increasing the age change the fact that some women are still too afraid to GO INTO a safe haven? I'll admit that I just don't know. If the law was different, would this woman have taken her baby to a safe haven instead of leaving her in the trash? No way to know. FYI, the current law only covers babies 7 days or younger. This woman would not have been covered by the Safe Haven Law if she had walked into a hospital and said, "I can't keep the baby." She'd have been directed to a crisis center, if she's lucky, or given a list of adoption agencies and told to go about her business.
What I DO know is that if we increase the age to 30 days, it will bring some much needed attention to this law, which was meant to save lives. As always, if even one life is saved by this law, isn't it worth it? If just one child is safely relinquished instead of abandoned or neglected, isn't that what matters? Don't frightened pregnant women need more options when they WANT to be responsible? When they can't keep their child, but want to keep them SAFE?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out of Nowhere, Part II

A while back I received a call from an old friend. I was less than thrilled, because I remembered all the reasons we'd stopped talking in the first place. So I let it pass, and we haven't spoken since. I've learned that it's okay to walk away from people.
Earlier today I read a post from my friend here http://whatsinsissyshead.blogspot.com
(sorry, the linky thing isn't working) about friendship and how it wanes but can still be resurrected. It was a new perspective for me.

Then later on this morning I got an email from an even older friend - but this was one I was SO happy to talk to! The last time I saw her we were probably 15 years old, and I honestly don't remember how we split. Grew apart? No time for one another? Who knows. But I do have pictures of the last party we went to together. And so does she :) Anyway, got the email. She asked for my phone number, then she called me right away. It was great to re-connect, talk about our kids, and how our lives went from where they were, to where we are now. Also, it was great to explain to someone that my younger son was named after my father, that can say, "Yeah, he was a great guy. Remember when he used to...?" because she knew him. So few people in my life knew my father, it's comforting to speak with someone who did. She's also one of the *very* few people who ever met my half sister, the one I've been looking for over the past few years, with no luck.

Okay, so MySpace isn't a total waste :) Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised by the people who find me there!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Half Done Life

Some days I feel like I'm living a Half Done life. When people come to our house, I apologize that it's torn up in parts, because everything is Half Done. As in, "Welcome to the Half Done house! We're so glad you could come!" When I get an email about the Safe Haven project I'm supposed to be working on, I race to finish, because it's only Half Done. There's a file sitting on my computer. It's the book I started to write. You guessed it, it's Half Done.
The laundry at home is only Half Done, too.
Do I have some inherent problem with follow through? Or is life just that busy? Character flaw? Or standard mom stuff?
Anyway, this week I fully intend to finish my research on expanding the Safe Haven law, even while Bastard Nation is calling for a repeal of the SH laws in every state. Then again, they do have some crazy backwards thinking, those loonies at Bastard Nation.
But the book and the laundry? Those may remain Half Done for a while. I've got some baby saving to do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Again!!!

GB has another crazy red, pus filled blob on his knee!!! How could this be??? It started as a little red spot. I told him I thought it was an ingrown hair (he'd die if he knew I was sharing this) and day by day it's just getting worse :( Of course it comes to a head (proverbial and literal) today, so that it'll be 2 days before we can get him in to see the doctor. We've been scrubbing, cleaning and peroxide-ing it, then using Neosporin.... and still, it's looking bad. WHY!?!?! I feel sooo bad for him, I know it hurts and he does NOT want me doing all this to torture help him :(
Gonna go slap a warm washcloth on it now. And hope for the best.
(That's what my trusty WebMd.com said to do. And they haven't lied to me before)

Oh, Hai!

With the handy dandy follow blog features now on Blogger, I'm spending far more time reading blogs than writing my own. Sorry to have neglected to share the dysfunction this week!

Belly told me his leg hurt, and showed me a spot on it.
He said, "Momma, I have a broo on my leg."
Me: Huh?
Belly: "A BROO, Momma. Look."
Me: Oh, and BRUISE. You have a bruise on your leg, right?
Belly: "No, momma. I just have one broo."
Apparently he believes bruise is the plural of "broo"

Golden Boy's class submitted weather pictures to Channel 7 News, and selected pictures were featured this week on air... including GB's this morning!! How cool is that?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Headache Hell

For the past 24 hours, I've been struggling to function while feeling like my skull is being ruptured, and in so much pain I'm nauseous. At the store with the kids earlier, Belly started to cry over some ridiculously overpriced toy, and in between the harsh lights and his loud crying, I actially reached up and covered my head with one arm and my face with my other hand. I must have looked insane. I handed Belly the stupid Bakugan toy and with a grimace stuck on my face, told the kids we had to check out and get home. Sometimes just standing up or sitting down will make my head pound so much I can't see.
SO I go to my trusty friend, WebMd.com, and find that the symptoms and timing indicate menstrual migraines.
Which is the same conclusion I came to a few months ago when one hit me with so much force that I didn't think I was going to be able to drive home. Yet, once it was over, I forgot all about it, and was surprised all over again when WebMd spat out the verdict.
If I believed in Karma, I'm sure I'd have to have killed a busload of saints and burned down a day care center to be in this kind of pain. Is there a special place reserved in hell, called the migraine room? Forget waterboarding, if you really want to torture someone, re-create a migraine and then make them go to work and take care of children while they hurt so much they can't even cry, for fear it will only make the pain worse.
Oh, sorry, and I being a whiny baby again??

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Piece of @&*%! A Rant on Thermometers

EVERY digital thermometer we've had (and there have been many) switches to Celsius at some point, aggravating me to no end, because I never remember the conversions. Sure, I can look them up, but at 1am when my son feels like a little furnace and I'm not sure if I'm overreacting or he truly could fry bacon on his tummy, I need to know the facts.
We tried the standard under the tongue/armpit ones, but never got any accuracy bc Belly won't sit still long enough for it. We tried the little forehead strips, but may as well have been reading tea leaves for the amount of accuracy there. So the last time there was a nasty sickness running amok in our house, we got a digital thermometer that is supposed to quickly and accurately read the temp from the temple of your little sickie. No fuss, could use it when he was sleeping, sounded great.

Last night his fever spiked to (at least by the thermo's readings) 103.4 and I just about had a heart attack. Never mind that I'm a veteran mom - I always feel helpless and clueless when my kids get sick. So Hubs and I debated it and took the temp over and over. It varied by a degree or so, but still, that's pretty high. Tylenol took it down, thankfully, and he slept well afterwards.

Fast forward to this morning, and all of a sudden this piece of crapola is reading in Celsius. Oh come on! I looked up a conversion chart, and it says that F 99.5 to F 101 are all going to read C 38. How's THAT for accuracy!? So, he could have a mild fever, or he could be on the verge of febrile seizures.... good old Celsius just won't tell me. So I'm going to spend the day hovering over him and using the best gauge of temperature I know....

Mom's hands.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Partyin Like It's 1989!

Went out at lunch and picked up a pair of skinny leg jeans.

Too bad I don't actually have skinny legs to put into them!
Now my ipod is rockin some Bananarama.

Please excuse me while I go tease my hair.

Fundamental Generational Differences

Yesterday is struck me that no matter how much people believe they will turn into their parents, it just isn't true.
My mom was eager to be my Friend.
I know that my children need rules, discipline and love from me. They already have Friends. I need to be Mom.
My mom took little interst in my obsessions likes.
As much as I hate it, I sit through Naruto, Legend of Zelda and Chowder games and thorough explanations, because THEY are excited about these things.
My mom spoke openly in front of me, assuming that kids don't see/hear/understand what's going on around them.
I know that little pitchers do indeed have big ears, whatever the hell THAT means. I don't speak about sex, finances or family drama in front of my kids.
My mom thought it funny to tell obscene and off color jokes in front of me. I won't even tell you the first joke I repeated, and I didn't even understand it at the time.
I won't allow hurtful, mean or racist jokes or comments - not just around my kids, but around anyone.
Now, this is not meant in any way to bash my mother. She has a lot of fantastic qualities, she has the biggest heart I've ever seen, and she'd do anything for anyone in need. I'm simply saying that the old adage about turning into your mother doesn't have to be true.
Oh, and the biggest fundamental difference of the week:
My mom thinks the music my sons listen to is "obnoxious"
I think Barry Manilow is obnoxious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Unpopular

Seriously, people, I know that in some circles, talking politics is unpopular. People don't want to openly share their views. What are they afraid of? Disagreement? Being asked questions they can't answer about why they support their candidate? LIKE SARAH PALIN?! I realize that not everyone is in agreement, and that's fine. After all, this is America, and you can have your opinion and be wrong, too.

So, the election is just a few weeks away. This is IMPORTANT, so pay attention.

BARACK OBAMA is the right person, right now, to lead our country. For all the people who say they don't vote, then since you don't give a rat's ass anyway, go out and vote for Obama.

For any Hillary supporters who have defected to the McCain camp because you are bitter..... Hillary herself would be ashamed of you. Do what's right, you don't choose a leader out of spite. This isn't 7th grade where your friend didn't get picked for class president.

If the last 8 years worked for you, and you're in the top 2% of income earners, and you believe the economy is "fundamentally sound", take a look at Freddie, Fannie, Merrill and AIG before you come back with your comments. Fundamentally sound, my ass.

If MY TAXES are increased in order to build a government that works FOR me, instead of against me, I am okay with that. If MY TAXES can help change the public school system into one that I can actually send my children into, then I am okay with that. If MY TAXES are increased to create programs that help my fellow Americans who are hungry, who have no health care, who are disabled..... So that those who make far less than I can still survive and pay a lower percentage, I am okay with that. We rise or fall as one.

In November, take some responsibility for your country, learn the issues at hand, and vote accordingly. If you truly believe that John McCain can change the dismal course our country is on, and that Sarah Palin can step in and be commander in chief should McCain be rendered unable to continue, then God help us all. And coming from an Atheist, that's quite a statement.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Natural Disasters

Floods make me sad :(

My heart goes out to so many people who lost everything. How do they pick up the pieces??? Colleen, is it time for another fundraiser?!

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/12

Yesterday was a day of collective remembrance in our country. It marked a day of horrific losses, the day our lives changed. It was a turning point. Everything gets lumped into two categories, before and after. The day before 9/11, I was worried about finding a job. I spent my time alternating between online job hunting, and playing with my son. We read books, went to the park, watched tv and sang a lot of songs.
For me, Sept 12th was the day it all sunk in. I'd spent the night before wondering what it all meant. How much the world was going to change. Wednesday, we woke up to a new reality. For the first time in my life, I was fearful for our general safety. I was absolutely petrified for my son's future. What kind of world was he going to grow up in, and inherit from us? A world of clashing ideologies, terroristic threats, and fear?
I remember how suddenly patriotism was all the rage. Long before 9/11, we'd taught our son the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember the flags, everywhere. For a few weeks, Americans loved each other and it was good. But soon after, we started blaming countries and groups based on vague information we got from the news. We started hating again. Calling for war and blood. When we couldn't find the people responsible for that terrible day, we went after others, just plain eager to start a fight. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not for or against war, per se. Too long to explain.
All I know is that MOST people simply want to live their lives, and be left alone. Left alone to work, raise children, watch baseball, fall in love, worship their chosen deity and at the end, be able to look back and smile. Really, is that too much to ask? Doesn't everyone on earth deserve that much?
These are my thoughts on 9/11, jumbled as they may be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

4 Things

RLM tagged me - redlotusmama.blogspot.com Visit her awesome page today!

4 things I am passionate about
* Duh - my boys
* Safe Haven Education
* Books
* History

4 books I’ve read and enjoyed
* Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
* The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
* My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
* The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

4 words/phrases I say often
* Ummmhello?
* Yes dear? (In response to kids calling me)
* Not yours! (To the dog)
* I have nothing to wear!

4 things I want to do before I die
* Complete all pending home improvement projects
* See the bioluminescent lagoons in Puerto Rico
* Get hired by CPD
** See my sons graduate from great colleges, and eventually play with my grandchildren

4 things I’ve learned in life
* Love shouldn't be hard work
* Kids are not mini adults
* Never give a cat a bath
* It's okay to leave people behind (some people deserve it)

4 places I want to see
* My kids rooms, clean
* A bowling alley in Canada
* 7-11 in Hawaii
* Europe

4 people I want to tag
* You!
* You!
* You!
* and YOU!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Belly is always pretending to be a daddy. At my friend's house, he and her little girl adopted a baby doll, and they took turns feeding it and rocking it. At home, he makes elaborate dishes in his pretend kitchen and tells everyone they have to at least try it before saying they don't like it. At the store, he always pretends to put a baby in the cart, and pretends to chase it when it gets away, and picks out things that it likes. Yesterday at the beach, he found a dinosaur egg, and proclaimed it his new baby. He took it on the swings and the slide, and sat it next to him on the way home.
*light bulb*
I told my husband that Belly has a good daddy role model, and that's why he does these things when he's pretending to be a daddy.
That makes me happy :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

And They're Off!

Friday Friday Friday, going grocery shopping and having a nice family dinner. Wait, what's that I see? In back there.... Oh! Hubs schedule changes to nights! No shopping or errands will be done!
Saturday, Saturday what have we got for Saturday? Sleep late then spend the day in pajamas? Going once.... Thank you, young lady up in front! A wedding! Love it when two awesome people get married... to one another, I mean. Even when there's 4 hours to kill between the ceremony and reception.
Sunday, we've got an opening on Sunday.... wait.... a 50th Birthday party!
Going once, going twice.... *bam!* No more time open in the Martinez weekend.
Thanks for coming out folks, drop your auction numbers in the bin on the way out. We'll see you again next weekend, with more chances to keep the Martinez family running like crazy all weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where is the Outrage?

Over Labor Day weekend, three children were killed by gun violence in Chicago. Where is the outrage? I don't mean marches and I don't mean vigils. I mean parents and family members who know damn well what's going on. That their child, nephew, uncle or cousin thinks he's a badass with a gun. Yes, I said "he" because the overwhelming majority of gun violence in my city is at the hands of males. Or if they don't know, if it because they choose to look the other way? Do they wash their hands of a problem child (or problem teen, or problem young adult) and then say it's not their problem?
Just as infant abandonments are OUR problem, so is this tide of violence that's sweeping up OUR children here in the city.
Does anyone remember my post about my own ten year old son, crying because he hears about all the shootings, and worrying it could happen to him?
Why are we so quick to shield someone we know to be dangerous? Why do people look the other way until they lose someone they love? Do other school districts keep a yearly tally of how many of their students are killed, as Chicago Public Schools does? How sad.
Sadness can turn into something stronger though. The will to be a part of your community and involve the police, and the community watch groups, and the alderman...... Walk the streets in your own area and see where there's trouble. Is there a certain corner where unquestionables are hanging out? Call the police. See or hear a fight? Call the police. Empty buildings just calling out to kids? Call your alderman, if you don't have one in your area, call your state rep.
Talk to the young people in your family. Be an active part of your children's lives. Let me tell you, if you parents are on you about where you are all the time, you won't have TIME to get involved with this mess. If your parents have stressed to you that every life is sacred and vital, you will be far less likely to pick up a gun and point it at your fellow humans.

Ah yes, another lighthearted and joyous post from yours truly. Where's the outrage? Right here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Must Be Monday

Due to street cleaning, half of the streets where I'd normally park my car prior to getting on public transportation were blocked off. Now, in Chicago, they don't actually "clean" the streets so much as whip the trash out to the middle of the street, while leaving very large tickets on the cars of those who didn't heed the posted warnings. So I couldn't park anywhere near the train, because there were no less than 842 cars all circling the same 6 blocks, looking for a space.
Drove closer to downtown, tried again at another station. On the way there, I was debating running over the idiot bicycle commuters. I'm all for it, don't get me wrong. But we have bike lanes for a reason, and that reason is to ride IN them. Not weaving in and out of traffic so cars can't go faster than 4 mph while they ease their way back into traffic. I wondered if I bumped one of them, would they just fall over? Or would they end up mashed under my back tire? This morning, I didn't really care. Especially when I saw a bike guy run a red light and run right into the side of a cab. Moron. So I get to another train station and start looking for a place to park. The crafty inhabitants of that neighborhood have decided to make their area a permit-only parking area. WTF! I live in Chicago, I buy a &*^@%@&* city sticker every year, shouldn't that be my damn permit to park here?!
So I park approximately 6 blocks from the Iowa/Illinois border and hike it back to the train station. Now I'm only 2 stops from downtown, so you'd think I'd get there quickly, right? WRONG. The trains are so packed that 2 pass by before I can safely squeeze my way into one. Then when I get off the train and am back on the lovely streets of Chicago, a cop car pulls up in front of McDonald's. A morbidly obese cop gets out of the patrol car and huffs and puffs his way through the 15 feet to the McDonald's entrance and that, my friends, is when I lost it. Are you f'n kidding me?! I was passed over for THAT!? I'm busting my ass just to get to work, and Jabba the Cop is just waddling over to Mickey D's for some breakfast. ARGH! It must me Monday, there's no other explanation for this.... oh, wait. It's Tuesday. Crap. Must be in Bizarro world, the Twilight Zone, or Groundhog Day.

Anyway, we went on a lovely get away this weekend with family. Please enjoy our cheesy vacation pictures below. Yes, those are nuclear power plant cooling towers. No, I did not drink the water around there.






Friday, August 29, 2008

We Cannot Walk Alone

If you're not into politics, or specifically, Barack Obama, feel free to go visit a more lighthearted and funny blog today. And hey, if the nation falls to pieces because of your refusal to take responsibility for electing strong leadership, don't come crying to me.

Never in my adult life (which is admittedly not that long) have I seen such a need for us to stand up and take control of our own futures. This election has the potential to change the course of our country, both at home and our standings abroad. How can you NOT be motivated?! I *love* that in Obama's nomination acceptance speech, he talked about personal responsibility, and how making real, lasting changes will not be easy. He's not giving out lollipops, folks, he's asking us all to work together to make our lives better.

For those of you who no longer believe that things CAN change, remember what Señor Obama said in New Hampshire:

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will
only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been
asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against
offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been
anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible
odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't
try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a
simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.


Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and
prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this
world.

Yes we can.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Uhh, Yeah

"Happy August 26th!" is a standard greeting all over, right?
Okay, probably not. But Hubs and I celebrate the anniversary of the day we met, because we're sickeningly cute like that. It was the day the changed the course of both our lives like no other, and eventually got us to be parents of the two most awesome people I've ever had the privilege to know (or grow, for that matter)

Today I went to a market research, focus group meeting. For one hour of my time, answering basic questions, I got $200 cash when I left. Yeah! That's paying for our anniversary dinner! Not fiscally responsible, I know, to use my windfall for dinner instead of something well, you know, responsible. But sometimes, you just need to do something for yourself.

Yesterday Belly tried to run away from school. When we got there, he started to get upset, saying he just wanted to go home. I crouched and tried to reason with him (my first mistake) and when even bribery didn't work, I stood up and reached for his hand. And he ran the other way. I was stunned. He was actually attempting to run home!! Needless to say, I nabbed him and he went into school crying and fighting.

Someone asked me today where I plan to be in 5 years. Hmmm. Quite a loaded question. Requires more self inspection than I'm ready for at this moment. Personally? Professionally? Geographically??! I just don't know, man. I just don't know.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Houdini Dog and School Starts

Ilio BROKE out of his crate today.

This was the first day he's spent in the crate with no one home. He's been in there at night without too much trouble. However, I've come to the conclusion that the crate just wasn't big enough for him. A dog should be able to stand up and turn around comfortably in their crate, and his was just not quite big enough for that. Plus he likes to lay down with his long, long legs straight out to the side, and he certainly couldn't do that in there.

Now my issue is how to afford the XL dog crate that costs about $160?? Hmmm. Craigslist here I come.

The kids started school yesterday. I was fortunately able to spend a lot of time at home with them this summer, and dropping them off yesterday made me feel sad. Useless. Empty. I know a lot of moms who are eager for school to start and get back into their "regular" schedule. Not me. I could have gone on like that forever.

So, I borrowed a pair of shoes from a friend to go with a dress for an upcoming wedding. Today I decided to try out the shoes to guage their comfort level. Um, can we say Chinese foot binding?! Yep, that's about how they felt. Of course, I was going bare foot, no socks or anything else to buffer the insides of the shoes from my little feet. Went to my favorite store at lunch and grabbed some Peds-like socky things. You know, the ones that just barely cover the bottom and sides of your feet? These even have padding on the bottom! Okay, so now I'm sorry I waited so long to buy them. It's like night and day! (Right up there with Spanx)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Suicide Dog

Seriously, Ilio is trying to find new and stupid ways to off himself. He keeps falling down the stairs, for starters. Two days ago he tried escaping from his crate, and got one leg and his head out, then started banging the crate all over because he couldn't get all the way out, or get back in. That had to hurt. This morning he was whining outside by the gangway gate. I opened the back door and called him, but he didn't come. Now I know how dumb it is to ask a dog a question out loud, but I did. "Ilio, are you stuck somewhere?" was met by furious banging and thrashing. Dummy got his head stuck between the gate and the post. Even Eva just shakes her head at him.

Belly has a new quest in life. It's to make everyone do what he wants, when he wants, or he will cry, scream and proclaim that you're mean and you don't love him.
This morning, GB played video games with Belly for a while. Then GB's friend came over, and they wanted to play something else. They invited Belly to play, but instead he thought it better to lay on the living room floor and cry. Ah, I just love those moments. *snort*

I sent an application for a job to the company that makes Golden Tee. My cover letter began (and I'm not kidding) "Given my experience with your products and my love of casinos... wait, that didn't come out right."

Any bets on whether they call me back??

Monday, August 18, 2008

Favorite Time of Day

In the morning (when I'm on vacation, of course) when my husband has left for work, and the kids are still sleeping...
or possibly, at the end of a long day, when dinner is done and everyone is together in our family room, 4 people sharing one small couch, just because no one wants to sit apart from the group...
oe maybe even after that, when I curl up next to my husband in bed...

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Pirate's Life For Me


This is a coworker and myself out on the lake yesterday. It was sooo relaxing and wonderful to spend the afternoon out there, that I thought about selling my house and buying a boat, just so I could live on the water. Never mind that this is Chicago and I'd freeze to death in just a few short months. The *extremely* German hired hand on the boat informed me that the boat, small as it was, cost more than my house. And the gas for it, well let me explain it this way... Big Bertha (our Jeep) gets roughly 17 miles/gallon. The boat gets 6 gallons/mile. No, that's not backwards. It's insane.
So, another dream shot to hell.
On the bright side, I'm on vacation again next week to spend time with the kidlets before school starts on Thursday. We've got a full schedule including:
Omelet station in the kitchen (hope they don't choose Oreos)
Make your own pizza
A trip to Go Bananas (Like Chuck E Cheese, but the games actually work)
Trip to the beach, weather permitting
Lots of movies and games

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yeah, I Am Kind of a Big Deal

Two people made me coffee this morning, reinforcing my belief that I'm special. Unfortunately, one of them was my mother, so maybe that doesn't count. Then again, you must understand that my mother was never the kind to say, "You can do anything, you're special, you're smart, you're the best." Maybe this is her way of making up for that.

Today is our summer outing for work. We'll be cruisin a big boat on the lake, nomming on apps from a high end restaurant (owned by the company, of course) and watching the planes practice for the Air & Water Show. As I tell Hubs, it's a tough job I have, but someone's got to do it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Foster Dogs and The Wisdom of Tupac



Here's one of the foster dogs, Ilio. I thought his name was Greek, but it's actually Hawai'ian for "dog" - kind of like calling him Spot, just in a new and interesting way. He's hamming it up in the back yard here, he thinks the camera is a toy.

I've been thinking about the efforts of the Save Abanonded Babies Foundation, and the goal of child advocates everywhere. Wondering if there's more I can be doing, if I could/should get involved with another organization. I was thinking that maybe Safe Haven has gotten the word out as much as humanly possible, in schools, on street signs.... Then my ipod started rockin out to Tupac's old, old song "Brenda's Got A Baby" and the line that got me was, "That's not our problem, that's up to Brenda's family/Well let me show you how it affects our whole community." Sometimes you just need the wisdom of a slain rapper to remind you that what you're doing affects more than just ONE thing, one person, one aspect of life. The question I often ask myself is, "Where can I do the most good?" Let me tell you - that's not an easy question to answer.

Well, Belly has an answer for it. I left for work this morning before he woke up. Upon waking, he cried to Grandma that he only wanted Momma. So he called me and told me he wants me to come home. I asked him what he'd like to do when I get there - go to the park, read a Charlie & Lola book? He paused, then said "I want to do nothing. I just want you to come here with me."
The moral of this story is: Never underestimate the power of just being there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

So... I agreed to foster not one, but two dogs. All the original plans got axed at the last minute, and I drove out to some south suburb to pick them up. Okay fine. Then we get them home and the little one has fleas! Now we have to treat every animal (and lemmetellya, there's a lot in the house right now!)and all 3 levels of the house. Stupid good deeds! See where it gets you? Aside from that issue, both pups are absolute angels. Sweet, friendly, happy.

Last week I was on vacation from work. Nine glorious days at home with my little guys. Get back to work this morning just in time to deal with a huge problem with our biggest customer. I. Am. Not. Happy. I'm just dreading explaining this to the owner when he gets in.

Right now I'm reading Christopher Moore's "The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror" Oh, how I love a good laugh. And today, I surely need it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vacation, Sweet Vacation

Okay, I may not be in some exotic locale... unless you consider the laundry room exotic. But I *am* on vacation from work, which is pretty nice. Let's see... what have I done so far?
Went to the library
Read a lot
Took kids to the park
Slept late
Had a phone interview for a job
Changed my tired old layout on blogger
Paid some bills
Spent quality time with my dog
Ate lots of popsicles
Helped Hubs study for a training exam
Drank a lot of coffee
Cleaned multiple spots of cat puke
Oh, and took these pictures! GB's knee is almost all healed, and if GB takes a picture, Belly must take one, too. No, he doesn't normally wear lipstick (even though I actually have an old post somewhere about it) but this is what he looks like after eating cherry italian ice.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (Sorta)


This is Belly on the day we brought him home from the hospital.

I'm on vacation from work, and I *swear* I'm working on a new layout for my blog. With the help of an awesome momma blogger, Midwest Mommy (see her in my blogroll!!) I WILL get this done!

Friday, August 1, 2008

No New Job For Me

The company offered the job to someone who had a more technical background, and who had more years of experience :( I'm so sad. And angry that they made me wait this long to offer it to someone else in the end!

On the plus side, GB's knee is much better.

I'm going to go home and drown my sorrows in ice cream now :(

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Come One, Come All



Bloomingdales is hosting it's annual charity Shopping Benefit ~ And the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is proud to be a part of it again. For a $10 donation to SAB, you get a ticket that gives you 15%-20% off almost everything in the store (fragrance and cosmetics not included) For each ticket turned in at the door on August 27th, Bloomies will donate an additional $5 to our foundation - only for tickets purchased through us. If you purchase a ticket at the door, the proceeds are divided up among all the charities involved. But hey, it's still shopping for a good cause. So if you were looking for the perfect excuse to treat yourself to something fabulous, here it is.

So give a little, and get a lot!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ew

Alright, here it is. It's pretty bad, don't say I didn't warn you.
I give you.... Golden Boy's awful knee:


His Daddy has been cleaning it out every hour, and trying to drain the muck out. He goes back to the doctor tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Survey Says...

Infection, right knee!
Ah yes, Golden Boy had to see an orthopedic specialist yesterday, because the stand by doc (who, despite what Hubs said, was incredibly nice) said little man's knee needed to be drained and had to make sure the infection hadn't invaded his little joints.
Yikes. All this in just two days.
So the ortho guy said it didn't need to be drained, and the infection hadn't gone below the patella. Yay, I suppose. He prescribed Rx and sent us on our way.
OF COURSE the pharmacy didn't have it in stock. STILL waiting on it, in fact.
Long story short, GB woke up with a high fever and the dry heaves. Called ortho doc and got his ass out of bed. He talked me off the ledge, said it's not life threatening, so just focus on getting the fever down and keeping him comfortable. I'm now working on two days with very little sleep and not making a whole lot of sense, I know. Doc says that within 2 days of starting Rx, GB should be good as new. But at 2am, all I could think of was the worst case scenarios.... bee sting leading to coma, West Nile Virus...

On a side note, hubs shaved his head. I don't like this. And I don't mean the Wentworth Miller sexy stubble look.


I mean the down to the scalp Kojak look.


Not that Hubs isn't still hotter than Georgia in July, but jeez.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bug Bite Wisdom

GB has a nasty, horrid, red lump on his knee. He was bit my something at day camp Thursday or Friday and instead of getting better, it's getting worse. (Darn! I should have taken a picture!) He was up before 5am, telling me he couldn't sleep because it hurts. He also likes to really ham it up for attention every chance he gets, so it's hard to tell when it's serious. Anyway, I call the doctor's office because this here is outside the realm of my expertise. I was only trained in first aid, so should you impale yourself, I'll get you nice and set up for the paramedics to take over. But 3 days after a bite? If triple antibiotic ointment doesn't heal it, it must need a doctor. So I tell DH I'll make the appointment and he can take little man in this afternoon.
Of course the doctor is out of town. Her office partner is seeing her patients in her absence. DH seriously dislikes this other doctor, and now doesn't want to take GB in. It's Monday morning, my coffee spilled all over the counter, thus I am not in the mood for stubbornness.

On the other hand, I'll forgive him because he did make an awesome dinner yesterday, complete with oatmeal cookies.

We're in the home stretch with this dog sitting thing. I like Louise, but she is very jealous of my Eva and keeps starting fights. I'll miss her when she's gone, but I'll also be relieved. And just in time for the new one to come....(I'll explain later)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I, Napoleon



You know the Rose is Rose comic, with the little guy named Pasquale? She's got an alter ego who is a bad ass biker chick with roses tattooed on her thighs. We all have alter egos, don't we?
Mine is Napoleon. I'm sure of it. Not only am I ridiculously short, but I have a penchant for making rules and a strong desire to take over the world. Or at least a few small countries.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good Things Come to Those Who

Yeah, yeah, I heard something about patience but I can't quite remember it at the moment. So, I've been waiting a whole ^@#%&! week to hear the final decision about the job. Mother Theresa would have flipped out and smacked someone from the stress already. But no, every day I wait and wait some more. Every day we're told that tomorrow, certainly tomorrow, there will be an answer. Then the next passes with no answer, but more reassurances that tomorrow, this time we mean it, we'll review everything and make a decision.
*sigh*

I ran out of books to read. I hate that. Then that nice man I married tells me this morning that he had put David Sedaris' new book on hold at the library for me, picked it up, and has it waiting for me. It's the little things, you know?

Belly went back to the dentist last week for another baby root canal and a pre-fab silver cap. If he keeps going like this, he's going to have a Lil' John grill going by the time he's 6. I'm sure the kindergarten teacher will love it.



My sister in law is in Mexico visiting my in laws (who will wonder why WE haven't yet gone to visit) and since she's a very nice lady and has watched my children many, many times, we agreed to dog sit for her. She has a black lab named Louise. She's a sweet, gentle dog. Things were fine for a few days. I had picked up all of Eva's toys before Louise came over, as I didn't want them fighting over anything. Well, Louise found a rawhide chew thing and Eva went after her. Eva got a small scratch on her face, which made me very sad. The two are fine again, but I'm a little wierded out.

Yesterday I had a strange feeling. As a mom (and wife, let's be honest) you spend your time doing things for other people, or making decisions based on other people's interests ahead of your own. Cooking, cleaning, deciding what movies to watch, weekend activities, vacations, laundry. Your life is all about taking care of other people. And I'm cool with that. I'm a mom, that's what I do. Suddenly yesterday I felt overextended, and I yelled out there there should SERIOUSLY be more than one mother's day each year.

Not that anyone paid any attention to my outburst.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday


Little man insisted on wearing his dress shoes, without socks, outside to play. He asked me to take a picture of his shoes while he was on the swing. I can't help but think there should be a caption underneath saying, "For just 20 cents a day, you can help a child like Belly ...."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To Be, or Not To Be

So I've mentioned that the status of my job and company aren't the most secure, right? About a month ago I applied for another job and felt like it was perfect for me. Had a great interview. Then the next day the recruiter called and told me they were going with someone who has specific industry experience. I was so heartbroken. It was like going on a great date and then the guy never calls back, and you can't figure out why. You had good rapport, you laughed, you thought you understood one another. *sigh*
Then last week the recruiter called me and said it didn't work out with that person, so they wanted me in for a second interview with the VP. Got my hopes all up again, I went in and it went well. The first guy I met with came in and told me he was confident that I could seamlessly take over that position, but it wasn't his decision alone. They said they had an internal candidate to interview and would make their decision on Monday. They asked the recruiter to contact my references, which she did. Of course they gave glowing references, why would I give her the name of anyone who wouldn't??
Yesterday I was a big ball of tension. So nervous that I was physically ill. It doesn't help that Hubs just accepted a new job, either. The recruiter called and said they were running behind and hadn't interviewed the internal guy yet, so we probably wouldn't get an answer until today. That was the tipping point. As if I wasn't already neurotic ebyond belief! I was a total schitzoid all night after that.
But when I woke up this morning, I felt better about the whole thing. Now I accept that I'll be okay either way. Would be great to get an offer today, of course, but I won't be devastated if I don't.
More updates to follow.....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Cop/Bad Cop

Hubs is accusing me of playing Nice Parent to his Mean Parent, after a ritual cleaning out of the dump that is the kids' room. He tosses everything not put away. I back him up, tell the kids they knew this was going to happen, they have to be more responsible with their stuff.
Then later Hubs and I disagree about the extent of his thorough throw out session - in front of the kids. So he feels like I'm sending a message to the kids that Dad's the bad guy who is MEAN and Mom is sticking up for them. That wasn't my INTENTION, but I can see where he's coming from.
The resolution was to put away -not THROW away- all the video games, Game Boys, DS Lites etc and give them a chance to earn them back. I say resolution, because this is what I want, and by god, that's what's gonna happen. As for the many many toys that ended up in the junk heap, GB and I will go through it and he can decide what to sell at his day camp's flea market, and he and Belly keep the proceeds.
Hubs and I do not like to stay angry with one another. We talked shortly after and aired out grievances. I apologized. (Yes, I do that once in a while) I made it known that I felt his actions were too harsh, too all-or-nothing. He feels the kids are too spoiled and they don't care about their possessions.

How do you handle things like that, when you don't agree on something about the kids? No two parents are going to have the same discipline style, tolerance for mess, or preferred bed time. What about when one parent indulges the kids when the other feels it's too much?