Thursday, December 30, 2010

Being Thankful...

Well, well, well...what a Christmas season it has been.  On Christmas Eve, Jay and I were told that Baby Trey has Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.  My heart hands and feet went mind started spinning.  I'll write more about that part at another time.  Right now, though, I feel like I need to make it known that Jay and I are thankful.

Thankful?  For what?  Definitely not the cancer.  But, this is the situation Trey is in and we're going to praise the Lord for....

*Trey limping.  This is what prompted a call to the pediatrician which got the ball rolling.  A lot of kids show no symptoms until much later....Yikes!  How much later could it be?
*Calling the pediatrician.  Some folks thought he might just be going through a growth spurt...
*A persistent team of doctors!  When our pediatrician didn't know what was wrong, he sent us to get x-rays.  When that showed  nothing out of the ordinary, he sent us to an Orthopedic doctor at Children's Hospital.  When she didn't know what the problem was, she sent us to a Rheumatologist in the hospital.
*All the tests!  The Rheumatologist thought his limp might be Transient Synovitis (relatively harmless, will clear up on its own), when I emailed her ON A SATURDAY because Trey had started limping again, she emailed me back WITHIN AN HOUR and set up an appointment.  At that next appointment, she ordered blood tests...then a bone scan...then an MRI...then a bone biopsy...then a full body CT scan.  At the time, I thought all these tests were a real pain in the wazoo.  Hmmmm...
*We live in a city with one of THE best Children's Hospitals in the country!
*Friends, family and community!  Within hours of learning the diagnosis and sharing it, we were overwhelmed with love and support!
*God!  We know in our hearts that the God that created the universe is holding Trey in His all powerful hands right now and that this situation will bring Him glory.

So, do we wish this had never happened to Baby Trey?  Absolutely!  We are sad and scared (I think I've cried 10 times today )...but, we have hope!  And Trey is quite the I sit in a darkened hospital room right now at 10 pm, Trey is refusing to go to seep and throwing his socks at me while singing "Happy birthday".  No one has told him he's sick yet.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Home Made Fun

As of late, I haven't had any inspiration to delve into deep, interesting, or thought provoking posts.  So, here's another one that includes oodles of pictures of the kiddos...

Jay was born with a competitive streak.  Everything he does is tinged with some sort of challenge.  "Can I carry every bag from the grocery store into the house in one trip?"  "Can I empty the dishwasher more efficiently than yesterday?"  Did ya see how I threw in a back handed compliment there?  Jay does all the grocery shopping and empties the dishwasher!  He's the best!  Back to the point...Instead of just picking up the apples that fell from the tree off the driveway, he has to use a hockey stick and try to flick each apple up over the house...bonus points it one hits the shed (nearly impossible).  If there is a ball of any kind in the room, Jay will be bouncing it, juggling it, or trying to hit an impossibly small target.  He can make up a game faster than the Parker Bros. and Hasbro combined!  Jay once created a game (Hand Hockey) that kids for years would show up at our house to play in a tournament style.  It was too sweaty and bloody for my taste, but whatever.  All this brings me to my point...we have a (sort of) empty room in our basement.  It's great to run in, rough house, play catch...anything, because there's nothing to run into and nothing to break.  Well, all this nothingness started to bore Jay to pieces.  Hence our new play room...

 Climbing rope/swing?  Check?
Climbing wall?  Check.
Climbing wall PLUS wall to wall rope?  Check.

High jump that Trey will inevitably try to wreck every single time?  Check.
Hours of fun, creativity, and exercise? Check.

Please ignore the fact that Bella is wearing her's my own sort of competition.  I'm trying to see how small I can keep the laundry pile.  Right now, I'm losing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Halloweenies Part Duex

The office is not finished yet, so don't get excited!

But, before we carve an impossibly large turkey and I stuff myself to beyond comfortable, I wanted to post those promised First Ever Halloween pictures!

 We carved pumpkins last year...but Trey was less fond of the innards this time around...
Joe was meticulous about picking the seeds out of the guts....
Trey was less careful...Bella wouldn't even come in the dining room.
The finished product...I don't know how Jay carved them blurry, so don't ask...

There are my babies all dressed up and ready to go!

Pretty Princess Aunt Cathy took the kids to each car to gather the goods!

Joe and Bella helped me hand out candy...but, only to non scary kids.  Notice, Joe has removed all remnants of a costume and is actually hiding behind me in the trunk of the van.
Add some much needed sugar cookies to the mix and we're almost done....
Annnnnnd, we're done!  Good night, Halloween.  Maybe we'll see you next year!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Did you know???

Did you ever hear the phrase "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"?  I bet you have...but, did you know that's not the actual definition of insanity?  Nope, it's not.  And believe me, I  looked it up like a million times. 

Good ol' Albert Einstein thought up that quote.

Anywho, even if it's not the real meaning, I appreciate it and apply it to our home office.  Our office used to be our unused garage and I'm very thankful for the hard work and man power and hours that went into converting it into a finished room complete with a doorway into the living room.  (Ask Jay about getting to use a concrete saw...I think he thinks he became a man that day.)  However, this office has also been a thorn in my side.  It's constantly cluttered, overflowing with all the things we don't want to the kids to touch or play with barricaded by a baby gate...It's floor to ceiling with my dust covered scrapbook supplies, countless books, bills (of both the paid and yet-to-be kind),framed pictures with no where to hang, memorabilia of yore...Don't forget the computer, printer and the desk that holds it all, too.  My organization skills fail to exist in here.  I'm stuck in a void where plastic bins can't save me and file folders mock me.  The source of the problem eludes me.

So, every few months, I clean the living ink out of this room and make empty promises that "This time will be different!"...then a few months later, I clean, then a few months later, I you see my insanity?  To keep cleaning the office is not going to solve the problem.  The room is set up to fail. 

All that being said, we are making some major changes in this room.  Not just surface cleaning, but actual go through the drawers and throw away the 10 year old gas bills and receipt for a dryer that's been gone for 5 years kind of cleaning.  I'm rearranging furniture, too!  It would've helped if I had remembered that I anchored the bookshelf to the wall before I tried to move it.  I seriously thought I was trapped in a Twilight Zone episode...

So, please excuse me temporarily while I get this room in order!  I'll be back soon!

p.s. Trunk or Treat went great!  The kids had fun, no one was shaking in fear and there's plenty o'chocolate for Momma!  I'll post pics soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Are you sitting down?  Brace yourselves!  WE ARE LETTING OUR KIDS PARTICIPATE IN HALLOWEEN THIS YEAR!!!  That's right, for the last 7 1/2 years we have artfully dodged this "holiday".  I know you're trying to think of the most non offensive, polite way to ask why we've avoided it for so long...go ahead and ask.  (Did you tilt your head a little to side in that sympathetic way to try show that your not really judging us?) Well, there are many reasons....

1) We're mean.

2) We really don't want our kids to have any fun.

3) We're THOSE people.

Just kidding!!!  But, did those thoughts come to mind?  It's okay, I can take it.  Now, the real reasons...

1) We had the awesome experience of going to Disneyland when Joe was 9 months old.  Thanks, Young Life All Staff Conference!  While we wandered through the fake streets, taking in the pretend sites, Disney characters roamed about.  Well!  Joe FREAKED out!  He was having none of it!  If a character even came near him, he would start screaming!  His fear of costumes still exists to this day...he will literally start shaking and freeze up.  We had to keep him home from preschool on their costume parade day (Pajama Day doesn't even sit well with this kid), avoid Kenny the Kangaroo (at Kennywood), stay at the far end of the mall at Christmas and Easter, and peek in the windows at McD's to ensure him that Ronald was not, in fact, visiting that day.  So, Halloween has always seemed more like a torture than a treat.

2) For Joe's first Halloween, we just didn't see the point of dressing up our less than one year old to collect candy that he wouldn't be allowed to eat in weather that is typically Pittsburgh cold.  You know a lot of that candy is sketchy anyway...who really likes Bit O'Honey or Mounds???

3) Jay and I have had long discussions about the origins of this celebration.  Sure, by today's standards, it's just innocent dressing up...neighbors for everyone.  We get that.  BUT!  Do you know the origins of the day?  Jay and I had a hard time embracing a day that was used to either invite spirits in or ward them off.  And the truth is, is that for a lot of people they still embrace the darker side of this day.  Did you know that Trick or Treating started as a practice called "souling"?  Poor people would go door to door begging for food and in exchange that person would pray for the souls of the neighbors dearly departed in honor of All Souls Day.  How did we turn it into "Give me candy or I'll do something to your yard"?  How did it go from dressing as a saint to dressing as a sexy nurse or a zombie or a sexy nurse zombie?

4) Regardless of how cute your/our kids look all dressed up, there is some scary stuff out there!  Ya know what people around here think is hysterical?  Sitting on their porch dressed as a fake scarecrow, waiting for kids to come to the door, then jumping at them.  Guess who's kids would be in a coma???  In the past couple of weeks, I've had to explain to the kids that it was highly unlikely that the people down the street killed and buried at least 12 people in their front yard.  And I've found myself, more than once, saying "No, those ghosts aren't real and no, they're not going to get you.", "Of course that 6" spider is not real.", "I don't know why someone put Winnie the Pooh in a giant Jack-o-lantern and lit him up."  This is not my definition of fun.

*And, yes, both Jay and I dressed up every year when we were kids (ya know, back when costumes were innocent characters and caustic and flammable?).  We went Trick Or Treating and we turned out perfectly fine!  Why are you laughing?  

So what happened this year?  Well, Jay was named Executive Pastor of the church we attend and every year they host the event "Trunk or Treat".  Members of the church pull into the parking lot, decorate their open trunks and give neighborhood kids candy.  No scary decorations or haunting music or hiding monsters and, hopefully everyone will hand out good candy!  The Community Center is also open so that people can hang out, eat hot dogs, etc.  Since, we're now part of this church family and the kids wanted to dress up, we thought it might work out okay.  Don't worry, Joe already has an escape route planned in case there is any unforeseen, costume related incidents.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

So Long Old Friend....

It's with a bit of a heavy heart that I (we), me more than anyone else here, had to say good bye to a loyal, steadfast fixture that's been a part of our daily life for the last 7 1/2 years....
No, not Baby Trey...he's only 2 1/2, remember?  Plus, some days I'm not sure where his loyalty lies.  The highchair!!!  I put the highchair out by the trash yesterday...and maybe I did pause to reflect on the meaning of getting rid of something that has been an integral part of life here for so long.  The fact that my baby is big enough to sit at the table in a booster seat makes me a wee bit sad and nostalgic...I have to tell myself that getting rid of the highchair does not erase the possibilities of more babies.  The truth is, the highchair's heyday has been over for quite some time.  The seat belt didn't really work anymore, there was a crack in the frame, the seat cover had been laundered too many times to count.  That's why I put it with the trash instead of passing it along to another family.  But, this chair has seen it's share of....well, everything.  Of course, every meal for every child every day, but also, it was a safe place to put a child when I needed to contain one of them...we used it to hold children as they opened gifts...I've used it to restrain injured kids while I figure out what to do's been a part of holiday and birthday celebrations, too.  Maybe some kids have even puked on it resulting in brand spankin' new safety straps.  It'll be weird to walk into the dining room and not see old faithful, but it's great to have Baby Trey sitting at the table with us...sometimes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Too Sophisticated For Photos

Well, I made it!  I traveled to and from New York City all by my lonesome with nary a scratch or a hitch or a snag.  I wish I could convey how UN-like me it was to do this whole adventure.  I mean, sure, 20 years ago I dreamed of living in a super cool, super fancy New York apartment with no ties to anyone or responsibilities or burdens. (How I was to pay rent for this fab lifestyle was yet to be determined)...but, as life became more reality than fantasy, I realized I did not want that city life.  I longed for the perfect husband, white picket fence, well behaved children.  Two outta three ain't bad! (We don't have a white picket fence.  What did you think I meant?)  Anywho...back to the point at hand.  Since meeting Jay (aka the Perfect Husband), I have not traveled alone, ever.  Well...I once took a flight from Pittsburgh to Virginia alone...but Jay was waiting for me at the VA airport.  And one other time I flew from Hungary to Pgh without him, but I was with another girl who's unfortunate air sickness and general air-headedness was a good distraction for me.

*I need to make it known that I did not take any blog worthy pictures while I was in New York!  I felt like it would have been the equivalent of holding a huge neon sign that read "Hey everyone!  I'm by myself over here!  So, if you see me trying juggle my huge bag and snap pics at the same time, come on over and take advantage of the situation!"  But!  I promise to make that hair collage blog!

Needles to say, I made it safely to New York via the Megabus. (which I highly recommend as a travel option)  As we pulled into the city, reality came crashing down around me!  I've never hailed a cab!  What if there's some unspoken etiquette that I don't know about and I get yelled at by the driver?  What if a cab never stops for me and I'm left standing alone with my luggage in the slightly annoying drizzle?  Why are there so many people out and about in the middle of the afternoon?  Should I be standing at the corner or the middle of the block?  So, I stepped back to observe for a few minutes...I spotted a couple of other people confidently stand at the curb and put their arm out to signal the cab.  So, I mustered up some courage and stepped forward.  Immediately a cab swept me up and whisked me off to my hotel.  As I got out, I paid the cabbie and even remembered the tip!  I threw in a little extra as a silent "Thank you" for not kidnapping me and making a shirt out of my skin.

Once again, have I ever checked into a hotel by myself?  No, no I have not, but the SoHotel check-in could not have been smoother.  What a cool's like 100 years old, but has been updated so it has a modern feel but has held onto its older character at the same time.  Very cool.  Though, having never been in New York before I had only been told that hotel rooms were a lot smaller than what I might be used to.  Really?  I think 10 by 10 is the perfect size for a walk- in closet...oh wait, that's the size of my room!  And I loved it!  I certainly didn't need a ton of space, and it was clean and everything worked (well, except for when I blew a fuse drying my hair...but, it was fixed quickly)

In search of food, I sought out some help.  The bell hop was very friendly and reassured me that I could certainly walk to Little Italy on my own and not end up on the late news...he neglected to tell me that I would be totally overwhelmed at the sheer volume of restaurants to choose from...the maitre d luring tourists into Il Piccolo Buffalo won the day for me with his promises of fresh pasta and homemade sauces.  My Chicken Marsala was quite yummy and I texted with people the whole time because...can you guess?  I've never eaten in a restaurant alone before. 

So, Tuesday was THE day!!!  I woke up super early...way too early, but I was just so excited!  I walked to the Devachan salon on Broadway with plenty of time to grab some food from a cute grocery/deli/kitchen ware type place and people watch for a bit.  Once inside the (ultra cool, fancy, beautiful) salon, all the volunteer hair models got to sit and kibitz about our "curly girl" experiences.  And I'll tell ya, it was really refreshing to be in a room with other women who have similar hair horror stories and history as me.  What a relief!  Finally!  A salon where the employees won't shoot me dirty looks as I walk in the door...or openly talk about me as I sit under a dryer while my scalp burns (though in their defense, I did take a lip reading class in college so I kinda have an advantage)...or recommend that "maybe you need to find a different salon".  I kept waiting for a bright light and harp music to start playing.  The "students" who would be working on us were all very experienced hair dressers, so this was sort of an advanced class for them to further understand how to cut and highlight my type of hair (and not have it end in tears).  Evan From Columbus was my stylist. (Do you know him, Courtney?) He was super cool with his trendy slim fit jeans and fedora.  We set right to work...well, I sat and Evan From Columbus did all the work...cutting and turning and looking and consulting.  Then the REAL work began!  These highlights took FOREVER!  Not because of the procedure, but because of the amount of hair I have!  Poor Evan From Columbus!  I'm sure he was ready to throw in the towel (literally), but he didn't even complain.  Bless his heart. He was able to give me tips about how to use the Deva products I already have to get the results I really want and when all was said and hair looked fabulous!  So smooth (still curly, just not frizzy) and shiny!  I keep checking their Facebook page to see if they've posted any before and after pics!  What a great day!

Plus, I made it home safe and sound...though I could have done without the mice skittering around on the sidewalk and into the big cement planters at Penn Station at 6 in the morning...but, none the less, it was such a success!  Jay handled the home front perfectly.  The children got fed and bathed and educated and loved even in my absence. 

I think another trip is in order...but next time I want my other half with me!

*Devachan may contact me for future "modeling", this is (hopefully) not the end of the story!

Friday, September 17, 2010

If I Can Make It There...

I am so excited, I can barely contain myself!  I couldn't fall asleep last night until after 2 a.m....which is a rough start to a day that includes a Crossfit workout!  But it doesn't matter!!!!  I am to the moon and back excited!

Let me explain...months ago, I met Kelly.  Kelly went to high school with my husband, Jay.  I met her at their 20(what!!!) year reunion.  Kelly owns a cute little hair salon right here in our own, I let her take a whack at my hair.  Now, I haven't blogged much about my hair...but it is both a blessing and a curse.  My hair is thick! Thicker than what you're thinking, waaaaaaay more thick.  It's curly/frizzy/unruly.  I always have it pulled back.  Growing up, no one knew how to care for my hair, so I would be tortured daily by having someone pull a brush through my tangled mess.  That hurt so badly, that my dad took me to a salon and had them cut off all my hair.  That made it worse!  I hate getting it wet because of the frizz factor.  Praise the Lord that my arm was in a cast my Senior year of H.S. so I got to skip swimming!  Getting a hair cut at any salon always resulted in tears.  It's not soft and cannot and will not run your fingers through it...ever.

But at the same time, if I take the time and energy to "do it", I receive compliments and raves.  To me it's a grass is always greener kind of situation.  I would love to know what it's like to have straight hair that can be styled in many different ways...or left down to blow in the wind.  If I could go back in time, I would feather the crap outta my hair!  The invention of ceramic straighteners has allowed me to slightly experience the joy of free flowing locks...but the damage it does is almost not worth it.

And can we talk about how much product I use???  Shampoo, conditioner, spray gel, regular gel, mousse, hairspray.  Yikes!

So back to point at hand.  When Kelly did my hair, she shared a book with me called  The Curly Girl's Handbook.  It was AH.MAZE.ING!!!  Everything I had ever felt or experienced about my hair was in these pages!  Anywho, the author's method for great curly hair is quite out of the ordinary....NO SHAMPOO!!!  NO HEAT!!!!  NO STRAIGHTENING!!!   DevaConcepts, of course, has their own line of products, which I was more than happy to dump my grocery store bought products for these rich, luxurious ones.

Now, fast forward a couple of months...and I LOVE the results.  I'm still learning techniques.  It's hard to break decades of bad habits...but I'm getting there.  And my hair is about 100x healthier!

The other day, I noticed on the Deva Curl Facebook page a call out for anyone willing to be a hair model participant in their (super fancy) salon in New York City.  After showing it to Jay in a joking way, he suggested that I send an email.  Why not?  Well....because it's in New York, it's in 2 weeks, we have 3 kids, school, work, volleyball, I'd have to go by myself, they probably received a million emails already....So, I went ahead and sent an email to the contact person.  Almost immediately, I received an email back stating that there was ONE spot left and to send a photo.  I did not hear anything back and the next day I saw on the FB page that all the spaces had been filled.  I assumed I had not been chosen, and while I felt a tinge of disappointment, I didn't lose any sleep over it.

Just last night, I received an email from the contact person stating that I HAD BEEN CHOSEN!!!!  I get to go to New York City, and get a haircut (specifically for curly hair like mine) and highlights valued at $300!!!  Plus a gift bag of hair goodies, their special micro-fiber towel and a video of the process!!!  I'm so thrilled...though, nervous, too, that I might cry (out of happiness) or maybe offer to adopt the stylist so he/she can come home with me because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Now there's a mad dash to make arrangements and plans and back up plans, get some books to read, figure out how to make this happen!!!  But, if I can make it there....

*When all is said and done, I'll create a photo montage of my hair through the years...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where have you labored?

To commemorate last year's Labor Day, I did a 3 part blog-a-thon detailing the labors of our little bundles of joy...I'm gonna go ahead and not do that again.  But, if you really want to read all the juicy (ewwwww!!!) details, feel free here.

For this Labor Day, I thought it would be swell to share our working backgrounds...where have you actually labored?  As in work...not birthin' them babies.

My first job, I guess you could call it, was working for a mini-golf course haunted house...getting paid under the table, of course.  It was my esteemed pleasure to welcome visitors, advise them not to touch the "monsters" and "ghosts", and make empty promises that the ghouls would not touch them.  It was a horrible job.

Next, I worked at The County Seat...for all you youngsters, it's a now defunct clothing retailer that specialized in matching entire outfits.  I could hook you up with some Levi's, a t-shirt, Henley, flannel and scrunchy in under 10 minutes.  Boom!  That lasted for about a year...

Then, I moved onto Deck The Walls...a custom framing and art store.  I really enjoyed this job at the mall because it did involve (some) skill and culture.  I stayed with this job for about 5 years....

Lastly, I was an Educational Interpreter for Deaf students in public schools.  It sounds cooler than it really was...and yes, I know sign language and no, knowing how to do the alphabet isn't the same thing.  I did this for 6 years until I went into LABOR (ha!) with our Joe.

Since having kids, I dabbled briefly with an office supply distributor where I was able to work from home and a kids' safety program (that gave me nightmares)...other than that, I sit around and eat Bon-Bon's all day while watching my "stories".

What about you?  What's your work history?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And so it begins...

Welcome, September!!!!  I feel like this summer went by in a wink of an eye on some days and others dragged on like America's Got Talent.  This summer was unique in that Trey has taken some sort of secret Terrible Two oath.  We could barely go anywhere with all 5 of us without a Plan A, Plan B and a "Bail Completely" plan.  How does one keep 3 kids busy/happy/satisfied that are at all different stages and ages?  Don't ask me, clearly I don't know since all of my kids can sing the theme song to Phineas and Ferb.  Trying to do anything that might make Trey skip a nap is just asking for trouble...he'd probably shank you with a shiv whittled out of a crib slat.  That kid takes nap time seriously.  Though between crying jags, we were able to have fun.  Jay and I would take turns taking the kids to the pool...we visited the Children's Museum, Kennywood...went to few parties, had family in town.  It was a fairly low key summer...just my style.

But, today we sent Joe off to second grade and my baby girl Bella to Kindergarten!  Oh! My nerves!  What if she needed me?  What if she got lost?  What if someone was mean to her?  What if she cranked out?  What if they put her on a bus????  We're walkers this year, and there's just something great about that.  It feels so Americana...fresh air in the morning and afternoon...ahhhh.  Ask me how I feel about this when it's 0 degrees outside...Now I get to spend some serious time with Trey!  How will we fill our days????  Hopefully, the laundry will get done a little faster, some projects will get out of my head and actually materialize, and maybe a bit more time for blogging since everyone conked out at 8:00 over here...
I think we're off to good start...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mouse Tales

Oh, how I very much wish I had pictures to accompany this story...but alas, safety, health and good sense won the day and there was nary a second to grab the camera.  Next time, though...What?  I just bit my own tongue. Hopefully there will not be a next time.

Last Wednesday Jay came upstairs from the basement with a look of "brace yourself" on his face.  "We have a little friend in the basement..." he said.  Uh oh.  "A mouse?"  Sure enough, Jay saw the itty, bitty rodent scurry into our not-used-as-a-pantry pantry.  I am totally at peace with the knowledge that in older homes, mice are very common in basements.  They do not freak me out at all...ask me about the time a rat was loose in the store I worked at in the mall...or the time I found a whole, minuscule family of mice under our dryer.  "Not a problem." I thought.  Jay set up the trap and I pretty much forgot about the little guy.

That evening, we hunkered down to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" (awesome!).  After awhile Jay hit the pause button and very calmly said "Uh, we're not the only ones watching SYTYCD, Dear."  Sure enough, little Jerry was standing there next to the couch, eyes riveted on Cat Deely (as well they should be).  Now we had a problem.  That mouse broke the code!  Never leave the basement!  Never!  Code breaker!  Rodents are not permitted to crawl on, near or around the childrens' toys potentially leaving droppings in their wake!  Sensing our awareness, Jerry darted behind the T.V. cabinet.  As Jay went to peek behind the massive piece of furniture, I stood by quietly....on the coffee table.  I had to explain that since Code Breaker Jerry could not be trusted to stay in the basement, I didn't want to be further violated by having my feet scurried over.  The rolling of Jay's eyes could be heard 'round the world.  As he sped off to get yet another trap, I bravely went to stand on the speaker next to the cabinet to peek behind.  Jay thought that after setting the trap behind the cabinet we could go back to just casually watching the rest of SYTYCD.  Uhhhhh....nope.  We can't just let Code Breaker Jerry stay here among us, he must be caught. 

Well, Jerry was none to pleased with this idea, but being that his brain is the size of a pea, he kept getting himself trapped in a corner.  Rejecting Jay's idea to "drop something heavy on him", I was ready to grab him by the tail a few times when he would impossibly squeeze himself under the cabinet.  However, again with the pea sized brain, he'd come back out a few moments later to the same spot.  Eventually, he tried to scurry across the open floor and Jay , with his ninja-like reflexes, slapped a cup over him.  (It really was super fast) What to do next, we wondered?  Leave it there for the kids to discover?  No, too much screaming.  Hope he suffocates quickly and dispose of him?  Nah, that would take too long.  So, we slid a piece of construction paper under the cup...and Jay held the door open for me as I carried the contraption outside to free the little bugger.  We're pretty sure we saw him peeking in the window to see the last few dance routines on SYTYCD.

Oh, and p.s.  Jerry had at least one friend with him, as the trap in the basement was occupied the next time we checked it.  Yuck!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Facebook Birthday

Here are two facts: #1-This past Saturday was my birthday.  Hold all your bells and whistles, please, because we're long past celebration time.  Let's face it, there's already been a major holiday since then; I'm small potatoes.  And, really, Hallmark's selection of "Happy 5th Anniversary of Your 29th Birthday, Weirdo!" are slim to none.  And #2-I like to receive emails.  It's kind of a bummer to see "Hello, Rachel!  There are no unread messages in your inbox" for days at a time.  I just don't think Yahoo! has to be so uppity about it.  It's not like I lose sleep or anything over a big fat goose egg, but it's on the same level as checking the mailbox and hoping for a letter or something other than junk.

So, what do these two facts have to so with each other?  The Facebook birthday, of course!  For the past couple of birthdays, I have looked forward to checking my email to see how many Facebook friends have posted a birthday wish on my wall.  There's always that short moment of fear of  opening an empty inbox! Oh!  The anticipation!  This past weekend was no disappointment, either....over 100 comments, thankyouverymuch!   Anybody remember before Facebook when you'd get about 7 "Happy birthday" wishes? a phone call?...or a card in the snail mail?...or (gasp!) face to face?   Remember how having a summer birthday meant having the elementary principal read your name over the PA system on the last day before vacation with every other summer baby instead of having your own classroom party?  What the...?  Did I just let that bitterness seep out?  Sorry...

How do you feel about the Facebook Birthday?  Do you look forward to it?  Maybe a little too much?  Maybe not at all?  I mean, let's put this all in balance...some of these well wishes came from people I either hardly know or haven't known in 15 years!  Most of them, you know, are the obligatory post simply because the (sometimes dirty) Facebook sidebar reminded them that it's your special day.  In such an age of social networking, is it a nice touch to have that virtual connection to hundreds of people or kind of an insincere way to get people to stay connected?  Does it cross your mind how many of your FB friends didn't post anything? 

At the end of the day (literally), I enjoyed reading all the kind words and didn't waste time questioning the sincerity or the originality of the post-er.  This is just one of those funny things that goes through my mind in any given day and wonder if the same is true for any of you.  I'm done rambling about nonsense now, carry on.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Still The Reigning Queen of Crafts!

Oh wait!  Did you think I was talking about myself?  Hardly!  Of course I was tipping my hat to Her Crafting Majesty, the Crafty Pumpkin.  Her crafting knows no bounds and she seems to have anything crafty that you may or may not need.  Ribbon? you want it with or without wire?  Adhesive?  Tape (single or double sided), glue (hot or cold), acid filled or free.  Paper?  How much time do you have?  Seriously!  The girl can create scrapbooks, gifts, games all during nap time.

Recently, she posted 2 craft ideas and I thought I'd throw my glue gun into the ring (or hand woven basket) and try.  Both were appropriate for teacher gifts and since the end of the school year was upon us, it seemed like the right thing to do.  I, myself, am not typically a craft self starter.  Buying something made to look like I spent hours toiling over it is much more my style.  It's not that I can't create crafty things...I'm actually very good at following directions.  I've conquered many the Ikea furniture pieces!  The more cam screws the better!  But that's almost the problem here.  Crafty P can take a pile of stuff and make something terrific out of it and explain it in 4 steps...I require 472 directions to complete any project.  I think by the 6th phone call and 24th text from Michael's and Jo-Ann's, Crafty was ready to finish the projects for me.

Without further's a photo tour of the craftiness.  If you would like more in depth directions, I'll be happy to email you a 7 page, bullet point Word document.
Here's Bella and Joe painting little ceramic pots with watered down white paint which were then wiped with a paper towel to give them a weathered look.
Then we have Bella counting out Kisses for each bag and Joe signing his name for his teachers' tags.
Here's one of Bella's finished tags...
For this next project, children were not permitted to any way.
This crayon letter project was for Joe's classroom teacher and it surely tested every one of my needs for perfection, symmetry and neatness.  
But, all the teachers loved their gifts and I would happily do these crafts again in the future.  In some small recess of my mind, though, I kinda hope Crafty P doesn't come up with any more fabulous ideas.  She can rest assured knowing that she can hang onto her (handmade, of course) crown of craftiness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010