Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Well.... so much for blogging over my holiday break.  Here it is, 9:30 on New Year's Eve and I haven't bothered to take the time to post about our Christmas adventures and 2010 is about to wrap up in 2.5 hours.  I did, however, get the Christmas pictures up on Flickr.  See, take a look over there ----> Yep, on the side bar.  Christmas pictures!  I know, I know, not very informative.
I really should write a longer post about all of our wonderful Christmas adventures.  Needless to say, it was a busy couple of days that included multiple trips to Kat's and a visit with my parents and lots and lots of wrapping paper.  The boy child got lots and lots and lots of things.  Some things he'll play with for quite some time to come, others will not, but it all depends on his mood.  I, personally, appreciate all of them.  It still amazes me how many people want to show how much they love my son by buying him things.

Anyhow, tonight is the last night of 2010.  I won't lie, I'll be glad to see this year end.  Maybe not in the same way as I was glad to see 2007 end, but glad none the less.
There have been lots of ups and downs and while the ups have been very high ups, the downs have been equally far down this year.  There has been no such thing as just cruising right along this year.

It started off on a fairly good note.  Boo was 19 months old and happy and everything was great.  Then, by the spring we saw our first challenges.  Yes, around February or so is when the whole drama with the old apartment started and it didn't wrap up until August or there abouts.  I'm so glad that chapter is closed forever and ever.

We had plenty of adventures of the good kind this year.  We went to Knoebles a couple of times including for Zoe's birthday, and the beach and even went camping once or twice.  We definitely had our fun this year, even if a lot of time it was on a pretty thin budget.

We had plenty of great people in our lives as well, including some new ones that we only just got to know this past year, but have become a large part of our life.  There was lots of time spent with Kat and Zoe, Andy, Scott and the newest members of our "little" clan, Steph and her two kids.  Without friends, life would be pretty poor.  Their life has been a super roller coaster and I wish them the best for the coming year.

Boo has grown so much and just exploded verbally and physically in his abilities.  He's growing by leaps and bounds with every breath.  For that I am so very thankful.  It really is amazing to think that he only turned two this June, and that it's been two years already!  There may be days when he drives me to wits end, but I remind myself that at this age, it's his job.  There was all that bath trouble that started in the spring.  (And it's still there, but at least we can usually get through a bath with no screaming... no sitting, but no screaming either.... I'll take what I can get.)  (There are too many Boo related posts for me to choose my favorites to link....)

Wok has had it's own adventures this year.  Some good, some bad, many just every day and stressful at the time.

Well, that's about all I have to say about this year.
I hope that next year is even better with the ups, and not so tough with the downs.  It looks like it'll be starting off on a good note though.  Tomorrow afternoon, the boys and I, along with my mom will be meeting up with Michelle and her aunt Eileen in Baltimore.  Michelle's been home from Canada since the 23rd and we're finally able to get together for the afternoon.  It's not much time, but it's something.  I'll take what I can get.  We've really got to try and get to Canada before she leaves in June for her next posting.  Who knows where that will be, but more than likely somewhere much harder and much less friendly for us to go to.

I'm going to wrap this up here and be a party pooper and go to bed.  Yes, it took me a half hour to put this together, but it was fun.  Here's to more posting and less white space next year.

Peace to all and may your years wrap up on a good note, and the year to come be full and wonderful.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Well, here it is Christmas Eve and I haven't touched this blog in a week.  I'm sorry about that guys.  I could blame it on the season and the like, but it's just been that I haven't had the motivation to write.
I must say, however, that I'm really feeling the joy of the season right now.  No, I haven't had too many rum and cokes... I haven't had any since our party last Friday.  No, I'm just seeing the true joy that people I know are getting by giving and I'm getting really excited to see the smiles on my nieces and nephews faces when they open what we got them.  That, and I'm truly blessed with wonderful neighbors.  Last week, Frank from downstairs came up, knocked on our door and presented me with a beautiful poinsettia.  I've managed not to kill it like I've almost done with the one at work.  Then, this morning Gak opens our front door and there's a pair of packages sitting there.  Both of them are from Mrs. Alverta from #4.  She gave everyone in the building cute little tins of homemade fudge (yummy, but it has nuts, so that's good for me!).  She also had a present and a card for Boo.  It was so sweet!  She got him three coloring books, including a Winnie the Pooh and a Sesame street one.

Anyhow, I was able to wrap up one of my two big projects completely before the end of the week and I'm pretty sure I'm done the other, just waiting on confirmation from the customer.  Thursday was a bit of a bust in some ways because no one was around for me to get in touch with to do work at the sites.  Oh well.  I got some things done and managed to stay out of trouble for the most part.  I hope to have several emails waiting for me when I get back on the 4th telling me to close things.

This weekend is going to be jam packed full of fun.  Gak actually had today off and got a 3-day weekend!  We did a little bit of last minute shopping to add to a few gifts and ate lunch at our new favorite pizza joint around the corner.  Now the boy is napping (should be up soon).  Gak and I managed to get a little game time in and I just wrapped up making a double batch of chili to take over to Kat's tonight.  Tonight is the usual open house at Kat's when everyone gathers and we get to give the kids their gifts from the aunts and uncles.  So much fun.  Tomorrow we're opening presents here, and after lunch heading down to Amma and PopPop's for more presents and dinner.  Sunday is recovery day and laundry/grocery day.

I'm off work for the next week, which should be fun as I've got a few ideas of things to do.  I'm really looking forward to the 1st though.  We're hopefully getting together with Michelle!!  She's home from Canada until the 3rd, so that'll be fun.  Hopefully her aunt Eileen will be there too, which will be great as I haven't seen her in too long and I miss her.

Anyhow, I'm going to try and get a little more EQII time in before the boy child wakes up.

Peace to all and may your holidays be merry and bright.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Thanks to those who commented publicly or privately about my last post.  I'm sorry I haven't written before now, but it was a hectic, crazy weekend, as they tend to be around here.
I'm feeling a bit better about the whole "thing" situation.  I've been able to make peace with the fact that there are people in my son's life who will spoil him not only with their love but with physical representations of their love.  I truly understand that to some people I know, more is better and they must be the "cool" aunt or uncle who gets the kids the bestest (and biggest) gifts.  I'm safe and secure in my knowledge that my nieces and nephews and son all love me no matter what I give them on Christmas.  (Although, we'll see with Ant this year, his gift isn't cool on purpose...)
I'm also somewhat vindicated with the train Gak and I got our son vs. the one he got from Santa at the kids bowling party.  You see, that one is definitely an "eyes only" kind of train.  The track is easy for him to pull apart, but not put together.  Nor is it exactly easy to get the train cars together and on the track.  Not for clumsy toddler hands at any rate.  (And Poppa hands tend to have difficulty as well it seems...)  It's also not a "drive it myself across the carpet" kind of train.  It does make a lot of noise if you have the sound turned on and it goes around it's track nicely. I've got pictures of him opening it on the camera, I just haven't had a chance to get them onto the computer and uploaded yet.  It really is huge.  There are two sections of track that I didn't use and it still makes a pretty big oval around the table our tree sits on.  It will be really neat next year or the year after when he understands the concept of it not being such a hands-on kind of train.  You see, I've decided that this will be a "Christmas only" train.  It'll get set up around the tree when it goes up, and packed away when the rest of the Christmas decorations go back to the basement.  This is a good compromise I believe.  And like I said, in a year or two it'll be more fun for him when he can use his imaginations without having to use his hands at the same time.
So, yes, right now the little wooden train is much more in tune with what my boy-o wants and needs.  He needs something he can physically manipulate himself (without fear of breakage or too much frustration on his part) and can use his more than ample imagination going places, picking up and dropping off passengers and cargo.  I still have no idea where we're going to keep that one set up, but we'll figure something out.

Like I said, this weekend was hectic and busy.  Friday was my company's Christmas Lunch.  It was held at the "sports bar" just across the highway from the complex our office is in.  We all had a great time.  We had the "Casino Night" again.  It really was a lot of fun.  The prizes were all liked.  I really wanted to win one of the two Kindles we had, but I'm really happy that Julie got one, she wanted it so very badly.  (I still can't really decide between a Kindle and a Nook, both have good things going for them, but I figured if I won one, it would make up my mind for me... and I don't really need one as I don't travel any more and don't get much reading time anyhow.)  I did win a door prize though.  Unfortunately, it was the one prize that I really didn't want.  Mostly because I can't use it.  You see, it was a set of three cordless phones.  They're really nice phones, but we don't have a land-line any more.  (We weren't using it other than to get an occasional call from a couple of friends but mostly calls from political campaigns and telemarketers; we weren't even remembering to use it for outgoing calls... so we canceled it when we moved and had to go to Comcast for our Internet connection...)  Luckily I was able to get the receipt and was able to take it back to Staples for store credit.  It was a nice chunk of change too!  Now to figure out what to do with it, something fun.
Saturday was a doubly hectic day.  We didn't do laundry in the morning but came back to the house for a bit after dropping Gak off at work.  We then headed over to watch Zoe and Billy bowl.  Boo really does look forward to hanging out with his cousins while they bowl.  Not to mention all the other kids that are there that think he's all that and a cookie on top.  (Although, there was one adult there who I've never seen there before and I wanted to strangle.... but that's a totally different story...)  It was their Christmas party (since this coming Saturday is Christmas), which means that it was Rock-n-Bowl.  Boo didn't seem to mind this year.  He also successfully coned a couple of kids out of cookies and peanut butter cups and some other goodies.  Oh well, it's the holidays.  He doesn't get junk every day, so a splurge now and then isn't a bad thing.  But, we had to scoot out of there a bit before Billy finished up so we could get to our own party at the other Earl Bowl.  Unfortunately, Boo didn't snooze in the car like I hoped and had been totally overstimulated at the first bowling.  He was really good until part way through the bowling.  Then he just wanted to go home and melted down a bit.  I managed to convince him to stay and have some juice and not cry while Santa was handing out the presents.  Like I said, he was very excited about it, which made me smile.
Sunday morning I went and did laundry finally and Boo and Poppa went on an adventure to the Q-mart.  We then had lunch at McDonald's (another rarity) and Boo gave me a Solstice gift.  He and Poppa found a great little tree of life pendant for the necklace that Gak got me for Hanukkah.  It's very pretty and just the rite size. Then after nap time we head over to Kat's.  I had made up a batch of one of my brother's chilli recipes, and it went over quite well.  We all hung out, made cookies and decorated stockings, which is a tradition of Steph's.  It was a good time.  Kat had also found the backpack carrier that she'd used with Zoe.  We even managed to convince Boo to get in it and the kids and I took a nice long walk to the far end of the block and back (just shy of a mile).  Boo enjoyed himself.  The straps could use a bit more padding, but overall it's a good fit.  Hopefully he'll like to go orienteering with me this spring with it, or maybe we can all go hiking up in the mountains this summer.  (I miss hiking...)

Anyhow, today was yet another day at work.  I'm actually getting somewhere with some of the tickets I've got, but it's still a little bit of too much to do, not enough time and where's my focus?

I've got to wrap this up and head to bed.  Another long day ahead of me tomorrow.  But it's another 4-day week and then I've got just over a week downtime.  (I'm so not looking forward to the going back after being off... but that's another story.)

Peace to all and may your weekends be good, and your presents from the heart.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gift Guilt

Today isn’t a happy day. I’m feeling pretty darn out of sorts actually.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason I don’t think I’m going to touch on here or now, as it’s probably not appropriate. Or, maybe it’s that it could turn into a very long rant that I may (probably) will regret later, so it’s best not to even touch it here.

Anyhow, one of the things that has me feeling out of sorts is actually part of the whole reason that I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of the pageantry and the displays and the joy of the season that I really, truly like. But the whole material part of it really bothers and upsets me. More so the older I get, and the older Boo gets.

Normally I can just gloss over this aspect of the holiday, content in the exchanging of gifts with family and the children in my life. It gets harder though as Boo gets older. Not because he keeps asking for thing after thing, because he doesn’t. I’m not even sure he understands all the hooplah or who Santa is or anything about the holiday as we just don’t “do it up” at home. No, it’s the well meaning gifts from friends and comments from strangers. Yes, my son gives you a blank stare when you ask him if he’s been to see Santa, or what he’s asked Santa for or what he wants for Christmas. He doesn’t understand or “get it” because, well, like I said, we haven’t brought him up to speed on this holiday. Partially because he is only 2.5 after all and mostly because both Gak and I are very unreligious and are trying to figure out in our own way how to explain this holiday season and let Boo understand all the excitement but understand that religion just doesn’t play a huge role in his parents’ lives, but we’re more than happy for people who’ve made it a large part of theirs.

I’m also feeling very out-shined when it comes to the gifts. I know it doesn’t really matter because he’s 2.5 and won’t remember or care about this Christmas. I know it’s just a small, insecure, feeling financially pinched and anti-materialistic part of me being ugly and selfish. But it is casting a huge shadow over my joy of the season. I know our friends (only slightly more than acquaintances really) mean well and truly do it out of a love for and a joy of our son. But, it still hurts. Yes, there, I said it. It hurts.

A pair of friends of ours got Boo a book reader thing with three books and a cartridge, 3 story books and a bunch of other things. Even with the great deals they got, I think they’ve spent more on Boo than we have! (We’ve only spent about $50, and may only spend another $10 or $20 more at most.) Then there’s work. Our kids' Christmas party is Saturday. Corporate is really cool and gives each kid a present (if the parents work at the corporate office) or send a $25 gift certificate to ToysRUs to those of us in office not at corporate. Well, we’ve been throwing a bowling party for the kids the last 2 years and given small gifts from the funds of the activities committee. This year, the committee told us parents they were going to use those certificates to fund the gift purchases, which is great. The problem isn’t so much what the gift buyer spent on my son, but the size. It’s HUGE. It’s trains and is going to make our “big” gift look tiny and silly beside it. I’m really upset. (I know what was purchased because my friend was the shopper and I’m also on the committee and helped wrap the gifts yesterday.) I can’t bring myself to tell my friend that I want to exchange it for something else, because, well… I did say Boo was into trains when he went around asking for ideas. (I also said coloring and books and I think I mentioned Sesame Street too…)

I’m also upset in general because he’s getting so many things from people when his Poppa and I can only come up with 2 or 3 things that we want to get our boy. Partially it’s because we don’t have room for more things. And part of it is that he still enjoys about 90% of the toys he already has, so there aren’t any obvious “needs” to fill with new toys or things. And part of it is that we realize that this won’t be a big event in his memory, only ours. He really doesn’t care about getting gifts at this age, and I’d like to try and keep it that way for as long as I can. I see too many kids, even at his age, always begging for things and expecting things and being greedy little brats at this time of year. I’ll admit, I went through that too, circling just about everything that even slightly caught my eye in the ToysRUs or Sears catalogues we’d get in November. But I’m pretty sure I always did it realizing I’d never get it all and that it was purely wishful thinking and daydreaming. I would love if Boo could be the same way; dream big, ask for the world, but realize that it probably won’t happen that way.
Anyhow, I’ve rambled and ranted and raved long enough. Am I any happier about the situation, no. Do I feel any better, not really. But apparently I needed to get this off my chest. I have to get back to work and focus on what I’m doing. I haven’t done that nearly enough this year, and it shows and it upsets and angers me.

Peace to all and may your hearts be merry and your gift giving reasonable.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cookie Monster Weekend

Ok, so a little late than never.  This weekend was a ton of fun.  I got to spend a lot of time with Mel Bell and Rachel too and all kinds of other good things.
As usual, the weekend started out on a hectic note.  After work Friday I had to go pick up Boo, go about 45 minutes or so to pick up Mel Bell, come back, hit the Chick-fil-a drive through, pick up Gak and head to Zoe's Christmas concert, all between 4 and 7.  Considering I work about a half hour from Boo's day care (and I got out a few minutes late) and that there was over 2 hours driving in that 3 hour time span, yeah, it was close.
Anyhow, I manage to get everyone picked up and fed and over to Zoe's school by 7.  This year they are having 2 concerts, the elementary age kids and then the Jr/Sr high kids, so it was nice and short.  It was a nice little program and Boo did very well sitting through it quietly.  After the concert we all troop over to the diner because we're the only ones who ate.  Of course, my son decides to eat again and we have a snack.
Saturday I drop Gak off at work and do a quick grocery run while Mel plays with Boo.  When I get home the kids get dressed and we go into "the dungeon" and bring up the Christmas stuff.  By that point it's time for us to head over to bowling to meet up with everyone for brunch.  (Yes, this was a busy weekend, why?)  When Rachel saw us coming in the door, you'd have thought it was more like 12 years not 12 hours since she's seen Mel.  Anyhow, after brunch I head home with Mel and Rachel and Boo.  I try and convince Boo to take a nap, but he's having none of it because two of his cousins are here.  Anyhow, the girls and I got the tree up and decorated while Boo was playing in his room.  We even got some cookies started.

The girls had a bit of a flour fight, but it's all OK as they kept the mess in the kitchen and even managed to clean it all up (well, almost all) on their own.  They even "helped" each other clean up a bit too.  It was good fun.
(This was actually from last week, but Boo helped with more sprinkles this week and with some mixing too...)

Anyhow, we made four different kinds of cookies that day.  Boo eventually did take a nap after I'd gone and picked up Poppa from work.
I took Rachel home after dinner and then Mel called her step-mom to see if she could walk over for a few.  (She lives about one block away, especially if you go out our back door to her back door...)  So, she took some cookies over and they hung out for a few hours.  It was nice that she was able to get some time over there too.  CC and George (Mel and Ant's dad) may not have been married or together long before George passed, but she really does care about Mel and Ant and they both like her.
Sunday was a bit more calm, as we didn't have a Rachel over.  Well, somewhat calm.  It was a gray and icky day but I had a boy who was full over extra energy.  Around noon we all trek over to the grocery store to pick Gak up some lunches for work (he had to open yesterday and will be going in at 10 from now until Christmas) and then over to Burger King to grab lunch, mostly so Boo could run around the play area. It's days like Sunday that I wish we had a yard.  Oh well.  And how come my buckets of energy boy will run circles around the apartment, but when you take him to a play area, just sorta stands there and doesn't want to climb or anything like he does all over the furniture?  Oh well, we did get him a bit more worn out than he was though.
After lunch we came home and Boo actually did nap for us.  Probably because there wasn't the excitement of two cousins being here and all the chaos of two teen-aged girls.  Mel and I baked some more cookies and waited for Joan to pick her up.  Yes, I like baking cookies, why?  Anyhow, Mel went home a little after 2 and the Boo-boy slept in a bit longer too.

Of course, that wasn't the end of my weekend as I try and use up the last bits of my vacation time and still have enough time at work to get everything done that needs doing before the end of the year.  I both love and hate having the week between Christmas and New Year's off.  I love having the time, but I hate that it shortens my time to get all the end of year work that comes in done.
Anyhow, since Gak had to work all day yesterday, we drop him off as Boo and I head down to Phoenixville to go swimming with Amma.  Yesterday was her swim class's Christmas breakfast and we were invited of course.  Anyhow, we got there a little after 8 and Boo had a blast!  He even let Erin put a bubble on his back and he went to her for a while.  Most of the time he spent with Amma playing while I worked out a bit.  It was a relaxing change from my high intensity class on Tuesday nights.  I'm going to miss it when this session ends, but I'm really tired of fighting with swim team and the water is just not comfortable (although it's been better the last few weeks and Mom's pool is just too warm...)  After swimming we went to breakfast and it was quite enjoyable.  Boo did very well and ate almost all of his pancake and about 2/3 of Amma's fruit cup.  (My boy does love fruit!)  We then headed to the book store to pick up one last present and then to Amma and PopPop's so the boy could have a play date with PopPop.  Unfortunately, PopPop isn't feeling too well, as he's got a kidney stone.  We did have a nice visit until Boo got to that silly tired stage.  I convinced him to get his jacket on and we went home.  He passed out before we even hit the Turnpike.  We got home and he woke up long enough for me to take him upstairs to our apartment.  Once inside he stripped his jacket as he stumbled to his bed and crawled right in.  He slept another hour or so.

Anyhow, I have an awake boy.  I've got to get both of us ready for the day as I'm dropping Boo off at daycare on my way to work since Gak has to be in at 10.  (This is one of those times a second car would be nice....)

Peace to all and may your weekends be full and fun.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Midweek Catchup

Well, I seem to be heading right back to where I was with posting.  I looked at my blog today and thought "hmmm, I haven't updated since Monday, I really should... but..."  So, I decided to just click the "new post" button and see what happens.
This week at work hasn't been too bad.  I've actually been quite productive all things considered.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, it's been two big projects that have been keeping me busy.  I really, really, really want to get both of them done this week, but that'll require a good bit of cooperation from the customers and a good bit of luck on my part.  Thankfully, things seem to be going somewhat smoothly with both of them, there are a few minor roadblocks yet with the one and the need for a map for part of the trail on the other, but we're mostly there I think.
Tuesday was especially good, as it was Donald's birthday and a large group went out for lunch.  I totally overate, but it was so yummy and worth it.  Of course, the entire afternoon almost was taken up with 3 meetings, of varying importance and usefulness.  But, that's the life of working.
I am looking forward to this weekend.  Mel Bell is coming to visit.  It's also Zoe's Christmas program at school Friday evening.  Depending on when and how Mel's getting down here, we're hopefully going to go see it.  It's usually not too bad, and Boo usually does OK with it.  There isn't a whole lot on the plate for the weekend.  We may do some cookie and other goody making if Mel is up for it.  I know Boo will want to help.  I'm not sure where the cooking bug has come from, but I will encourage it.  At worst, he'll be able to make his own lunches and dinners at best (or maybe worst again depending on who you ask) he'll make a career or a hobby out of it.  Hopefully it'll get him to try some new things.  That would be a nice bonus.

I've also got all my fingers and toes crossed and am praying to all that his holy that Rae and Kami will be getting some very good news soon.  They're in the middle of IVF and hopefully, hopefully, today was the day they were going to implant.  I so want this to be successful.  I so want my cousin and her wife to be able to have a family of their own, to join those of us on this wonderful ride called parenthood.Trust me, even with the wild ups and the downs and whinies, I wouldn't get off this ride for anything.  It's changed my life completely, but I can't even imagine my life, our life, without Boo.  It seems so much more full and vibrant and fun.
So, right now I'm wishing for all the luck in the world for Rae and Kami.

Anyhow, just wanted to let everyone know that our little corner of the universe keeps humming along.

Peace to all and may your weeks be good and there be happy news in your future.

Monday, December 06, 2010


Well, it's been a while since I've managed this, so how about a weekend update?  Yes, I know it's Monday, but I had a vacation today, so technically this is the end of my weekend.
Overall it was a pretty good weekend.  It was quite busy and full, but not in a bad or stressful way.
Saturday was a pretty typical Saturday in many ways.  We dropped Gak off at work.  Boo and I did laundry.  We went to the bowling alley to watch the kids finish up bowling.  Rachel and Billy are back from their trip to Florida.  You'd have thought Rachel hadn't seen Boo in a month the way she all but tackled him and grabbed him as soon as we walked in the door.  Boo was pretty happy to see her too.  We hung out for a bit, did lunch at the dinner and then we went home so Boo could take a nap.  After nap it was time to pick up Gak from work.  We then went up to Center Valley to go to the bookstore.  Yes, I broke my mall avoidance, but it's not really a mall and it was between the busy family afternoon and the dinner and a movie crowd, so it wasn't too bad.  We got a great new book for Boo for Hanukkah and wandered around a bit.  Then we stopped and picked up pizza on our way over to Kat's.  Kat and Scott went up to NYC to catch a show with Steve, Shelby and some others.  Steph and Andy were going to Andy's work Christmas party.  Grammy was off work, but was mostly just doing her own thing in the back of the house while Rachel watched Zoe and Billy in the rest of the house.  Rach didn't mind if we left Boo with her, so we took the opportunity to go have dinner at Friday's and do a little shopping ourselves.
Sunday was another busy day.  We took it easy in the first part of the morning, but then headed down to Ikea on our way to Amma and PopPop's house.  What was going to be a $20 lamp replacement run (I still half think I should take the one with the broken switch that's less than a year old back with the receipt of the new identical one....) turned into an $80 trip.  There was only 1 or two splurge items on the list, so I don't feel too bad about it.  After that we went to the Complete Strategist.  It's the gaming store where Jon and I bought our Magic the Gathering cards and stuff like that at when we were in high school.  They've moved slightly (I think, either that or I'm  confusing two different stores in my memory...) to a different shop in the same center.  Gak was able to pick up some stuff he needed and I mostly kept Boo from looking at everything with his fingers instead of his eyes.  Then it was on to Amma and PopPop's.  We had a nice little visit.  Gak got a nap.  Boo had a few minutes of "quiet lay-down time" as I call it when I put him down for a nap... especially if he doesn't want one.  He never did nap, but he was quiet for a little bit.

Boo helped make the latkes and I helped Mom fry them up.  It was great to light the candles.  Boo got two books from Gak and I, a book from his PopPop and a nice little Duplo set from Amma.  Such a big difference between now and six months ago at his birthday.  Back in June he still wasn't sure about this whole present opening thing, but last night he really got into it.  It was great to watch, and I'm sure Christmas will be a lot of fun too.

Today I had a doctor's appointment with my OBGYN for a follow-up pap.  Such fun.  We talked very briefly about the miscarriage from last month.  He said he really doesn't think there's any genetic problems as a whole that's messing things up, since we were able to have Boo without any problems and he's healthy.  He says if we want to keep doing what we were doing, that's fine or if I want some contraception to let him know.  Gak and I have talked a bit, but haven't really decided where we want to go from here.  There are good things about both decisions.

Anyhow, after my morning adventures, it was home to pick up the boys and take them to lunch.  We then dropped Gak off at work and Boo and I ran a couple of errands, including the grocery store.  By the time we got home it was nap time for a boy.
Can I tell you that my boy really likes to "help" me cook?  More and more he's been asking to help, and been doing a fine job of it too.  So, this afternoon we made some sugar cookies.  I just used a pouch mix, but I jazzed them up a bit by adding a little mint extract, just enough to give them some flavor, not enough to be strongly mint.  Anyhow, he helped me mix up the egg, but whined "I can't!" when it came time to mix in the soft (half melted) butter.  I have no idea where he picked up "I can't!" from, but it's getting old.  Anyhow, he helped me off and on mix the dough the rest of the way.  I actually rolled them out this time and used a glass as a cookie cutter.  Boo did a very good job applying sprinkles after I showed him how.  He was quite proud of his task.  I even let him eat one almost fresh out of the oven, and he loved that.
We played for a bit, and after the cookies were really nice and cool, I asked if he thought we should take them to Poppa to share with the guys tonight.  He thought that was a great idea.  So, on went the shoes and the jackets again and I bagged up the cookies.  Gak was quite happily surprised to see us and the cookies.  We hung out until closing, mostly so I could get a chance to say hi to Ed, as I don't get a chance to see him much since Boo and I don't go over for Warhammer on Monday nights.  (Hence why Ed picks Gak up to take him...)

So, it's been a busy but good weekend.  I've got a metric ton and a half of work to do this week, and I'm not really looking forward to it.  I am looking forward to the weekend though.  Mel Bell will be coming to visit.  I'm not sure exactly which days or for how long, but it'll be fun.  The only things we've really got planned is to get the tree up, probably make some goodies to put in packages that are being sent out and well, that's about it.

Anyhow, I hear my book calling my name.  I'm going to wrap it up here and call it a night.
Peace to all and may your weekends be full of fun and family.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

30 Month Update

Ok. Ok.  So after doing so well for November, I slid a bit so far this month.  Oops.  Anyhow, I thought I'd give you a run down of Boo's doctor appointment on Thursday.  It went well.  He's 36.5" tall and 28.8 lb.  This puts him a smidge over the 50% mark for height and a bit under for weight, but overall following his own growth curve.  So, no, he's not really huge.  Joey, who is 6 weeks older than him is heavier by a good couple pounds I'm guessing and is probably an inch or so taller. Overall his health is good.   Developmentally he's right on target (or possibly a bit advanced in some areas, whatever that means at this age.)
Anyhow, we've started him on a multi-vitamin with flouride in it since our water doesn't have any.  His doctor has been after me to do that since he was 1.  I'd pretty much refused up until now, but even though he loves fruit, his diet is iffy at best, so... a multi-vitamin probably wouldn't hurt.  Also, he's been started on iron drops.
This has me a bit peeved though.  Not that he needs iron drops, but that this wasn't done last year.  Anyhow, I think you may (or may not) remember me mentioning that at his blood check at 1 year his iron was low.  We tried getting him to eat higher iron foods (of course, shortly after this is when he gave up beef and almost all protein sources...)  Then he had his blood checked again in November before his 18-month appointment.  At that appointment I can't remember if it was mentioned or if we were told it was OK.  Anyhow, at Thursday's appointment Dr. C starts talking about his blood draw from November and I'm baffled.  Until I see the sheet says 2009 on it.  Anyhow, he says at that point his iron was still low and that he wants to put him on iron drops for a month and do another draw.  He didn't want to do a draw now because he was sure his iron would still be low.  *sigh*  So, like I said, why wasn't he put on drops last year?  I didn't argue, but we haven't been great about getting them in him, we've only gotten them done once a day since Thursday instead of three times like Dr. C wants.  So, we'll see.  I get the feeling I'll be trying to get iron in my boy for quite some time... I'm half tempted to ditch the flouride vitamins when this prescription runs out and just get a multi with iron for him over the counter.  Well, we'll burn that bridge when we get there.  (Don't get me wrong, I like Dr. C and Dr. M, but some days... I just wonder.  I'm just glad I have an overall healthy kiddo.)
Boo still doesn't like doctor appointments though.  He used to not mind as an infant, but since about 12 months... not so happy about them.  He's fine in the waiting room and looking at the fish tank, but as soon as we get into the exam rooms, forget it.  I was hoping now that his vocabulary is better, he'd just whine that he didn't want to be there, but nope, it was crying and screaming again, but with a few words thrown in for good measure.  He did just fine though and calmed pretty quickly afterwards.

Anyhow, I'm off to catch some sleep if I can.  We're going down to Amma and PopPop's tomorrow to celebrate Hanukkah.  It will be nice.

Peace to all and may your checkups go well.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hanukkah and Other Things

Happy Hanukkah to all my friends.  Tonight is the first night of the festival of lights.  Other than Thanksgiving, I think this is my favorite holiday.  Maybe it's because not everyone celebrates it.  Maybe it's because it still seems just a little bit more "pure" than Christmas and all the mass marketing and consumption of it.  Maybe it's because I love candles and watching them.  Maybe because it's something special I share with my Dad.  Maybe because the message at it's heart about faith in miracles and perseverance through dark times, and a rededication.  I think it has a bit to do with all of those things.
We won't be heading over to Mom and Dad's until Sunday to light the menorah (and for Gak to get latkes).  That's the only downside.  Or maybe that's the plus side of this holiday being 8 nights long.  Anyhow, between now and then I've got to go get my son a book, which is a traditional Hanukkah gift in my family.  (Probably because Dad did the Hanukkah shopping and he's as much a bookworm as I am and loves searching for just the right book for us.)  I really do hope to share this tradition with my son for a long, long time.  I may not be overly religious in any faith, or overly fond of rituals, but this is one that is special to me and has a power all of it's own.

In other, not quite related news, my one neighbor is very much a Christmas person and has decorated the foyer and the second floor common area quite extensively.  The two artificial trees downstairs have also been decorated, one of them lit, and almost all the doors sport a wreath or bow of some sort and there are all kinds of decorations out.  So, yes, the Christmas season is here.  All I can say is that at least just about everything is pretty tasteful, nothing too obnoxious.  (Gak may argue with me here, simply because of the quantity present...)  So, instead of waiting another week or so to put up my snowflake hanging that I originally made for Gram, I went ahead and put it up today.  (I refused to before today, because I can think of December as Winter, but November, even late November, is still fall in my mind...)

Today also happens to be Boo's half-birthday.  Yep, somehow my baby boy is now 30 months old, officially 2.5 years.  How did that happen?  He's been pretty good at being whiny lately, although if you tell him to knock it off, it's amazing how fast his regular voice returns, letting me know he wasn't really upset just trying to push.
He's very much a two-year-old, going on five.  He's growing in leaps and bounds and his curiosity is just about endless.  His language skills just explode every few days.  You can just about have a real conversation with him.  It's very amazing to watch him grow.
Tomorrow he has a doctor's checkup appointment.  I'm interested to see what his "official" height and weight is.  He's just about 30 lb and just about 3 feet tall by my guesses.  Hopefully it won't be quite such a teary experience as it has been the last several times we've gone.  Hopefully he'll start not minding the doctor's office again.  Well, he really likes the fish tank, but as soon as we head to the door out of the waiting room... the tears start.  We shall see.  I'm sure I'll have more to report tomorrow.

Anyhow, I think I'm going to go read a few pages myself before I go crash.  Either that or I'll play with some yarn.  I'm in the middle of two projects that I'm enjoying working on.

Peace to all and may the light of the season fill your lives and your hearts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm thankful for this little challenge I've put myself through.  This has been a great little exercise in positive thinking.  There were some days that it was hard to find something unique to be thankful for in the day.  There are some things that I'm thankful for that I never could quite get to.
I've been feeling a bit gray around the edges and having a hard time seeing all the good things for all the troubles we've gone through this year.  While I won't say this has totally changed my outlook, I will say that it has made me think about all the good things I've got going in my life, despite the tough bits.  I'm thankful for that, focusing only on the negative just brings more negative.  If you focus on the positive, you'll find more positive (even if it was there all along and you just didn't notice).

I'm also glad that I completed this little challenge that I set myself, that I can actually come up with something half meaningful on a daily basis.  I've been neglecting this space a lot this year.  Like I said, it's been a tough year and more often than not, all I could see was the problems and I just didn't feel like writing about it, spewing it all out there for everyone to see.  (Not that "everyone" reads this little corner of the 'Net... let alone knows it exists...)  I really like it when I can post 2 or 3 times a week.  Now I know that at least for a little over a fortnight I can post every day.  Sure, it was tough to motivate myself some days.  Some days it was because I was just so tired in the evenings and hadn't gotten there in the day.  Some days it was because I really didn't know what I wanted to write.  I think what made it easier is that I had a general topic to talk to, not just the super vague "what's going on".  Maybe I'll try and issue myself more challenges like this, I'm not sure.

Anyhow, I hope you've enjoyed this little exercise.  I know I have, at least most of the time.

Peace to all and may your challenges be met.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Book have always been a big part of my life, as long as I can remember and for that I'm thankful.  I love books. They can take me anywhere, teach me just about anything (if I have the patience...) and show me the world from the comfort of my own home.
Not only am I thankful for the escapes that books let me have, often being a savior in my school years, but I'm thankful that I can read.  I'm thankful that I had parents who read to me as a child and taught me to enjoy the sounds of words and the magic and the power of the written word.  I'm thankful that my son loves to be read to and one of the first words he had was "again", in reference to the book you'd just finished and that he was brandishing at your face.
I love the written word and if you put anything with writing on it in front of me, I'm libel to read it.  It is rare that I don't finish a book, it's got to be really boring or very poorly written for me to abandon it.  I'm about 100 times more likely to pick up a book than I am to turn on the TV.  Actually, TV pretty much comes last in my list of distractions.  (Although, I'm ashamed to admit how high up in the list mindless puzzle games on the computer has gone...)

Anyhow, on that note, I'm off to read a few pages of my current escape and collapse into sleep.

Peace to all and may you find something good to read.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Today, as my week of vacation draws to a close, I realize exactly how thankful I am for vacation time.  I'm very thankful that I'm able to get away from my job for a few days, or a week and not have to worry about it.  Sure, I do worry about it a bit now and then when I think about all the work that's piling up for me, but most of the time I can ignore that.
I'm thankful that I was able to take some time and spend it with my family, and with myself.  I'm thankful that I was able to use my vacation time to recharge the batteries a bit.  And, maybe I don't really want to go back to the pile of work that's waiting for me, but I am thankful to be going back to work.  As much as I love my time away, I do need time away from home as well.  I just wish there was a bit better of a balance then I've got.

I also truly wish that my husband got paid vacation time.  We don't ask for much as far as benefits go from Mike.  We've got pretty good medical coverage from my job, and I've got a 401(k) going, which would be nice if Gak had one too, but we'll manage.  What would be nice would be a paid day off now and again.  Or even just Veteran's Day off and paid, since Gak is a vet after all.  He's been there 5 years (well, mostly, there was that 6-month stint he did at GameStop).  I'm not sure when his last raise was and anywhere else, he'd be getting at least some kind of vacation or paid sick time.  Nope, not here.  I know Gak tries not to complain about it much, and I don't either.  The best part about his job is that it really is a great schedule for us, but other than that... well... the shine's worn off a good while back.

But, I am thankful for my vacation time and my ability to use it as I see fit.

Peace to all and may you get some kind of break now and again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Today I'm thankful for sleep.  Or, should I say, I'd be thankful for sleep if I got more of it.  I know you've seen my posts about my sleep issues in the past.  Unfortunately, right now, I'm not the problem.  The problem is a 2.5 year old little boy.  And no, he's not really a problem, but he hasn't been making my sleep any easier.
About 95% of the time he sleeps through the night with no problems and goes to bed fairly easily as well.  Unfortunately, recently he's taken to waking up at 2:00 in the morning or there abouts and crawling into our bed, after barging into our room, waking us by the door slamming against the wall.  Of course, he always comes to my side of the bed.  I fluctuate between letting him crawl in for a few and then taking him back to his bed and taking him back right then and lying down with him for a few until he goes back to sleep.
Usually he'll do this once or twice a week. Except the last 3 days or so it's been every night.  And last night it was at both 2:30 or so and again at 5.  Unfortunately, he didn't go back to sleep at 5.  And since Gak has morning boy duties, it's only fair that I get up with him overnight and early.  Usually early isn't an issue as I'm up already getting ready for work.  But, I've actually managed to sleep in a bit this week, and have enjoyed that thought.
So, getting up at 5 was not a happy thought for me.  And I was tired.  And cranky.  And Boo is two years old and all that goes with it.  So, yeah.  It was a rough morning.  He was very good at pushing buttons and just being a whiny boy and a little off.  So, of course this means I have to come up with ways to distract him.  Thankfully it's Saturday and Zoe was bowling.  And we had our normal lunch with Kat and Zoe, and Scott was there too today.  (Billy and the rest weren't there as Billy and Rachel are in Florida with their dad, his girlfriend, their son and the girlfriend's parents.... a sore subject really...)  Then he came home and crashed, which allowed me to semi crash in front of WAL-E with my yarn.
So, of course tonight he was bouncing off the walls, so we go over to Kat's so he can run around with Zoe all he wants and we won't piss off the downstairs neighbor.  Don't get me wrong, she's a good neighbor and she never actually complains, but she complains.  And at 97 she really doesn't need a toddler running and jumping around on her head all evening.  Of course, as soon as we get there, he's calm and quiet.  Go figure.
But, it was an enjoyable evening.  We big people watched Gran Torino, as Gak and I hadn't seen it.  Some parts reminded me so much of Kat's dad, it's beyond funny.  It was an excellent movie, I wish I'd had a chance to see it sooner.

Anyhow, the boy is now asleep in his bed, and hopefully I will be too before too long.  Here's hoping he stays asleep in his bed all night and lets me get up at 6 and have some quiet time to myself before the rest of the apartment stirs.

Peace to all and may your sleep be peaceful and plentiful as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I'm so very thankful for my truck.  It gets me from here to there reliably and with little complaint, even with my not so good track record of keeping her maintained.  I'm extra thankful right now because she's finally paid off and I have the title from the state in my hot little hands.  So, not only can I get where I need to go including work, but I've now freed up some extra cash to pay down some of the other bills we've incurred over the years.
I really hope to keep this girl for many more years.  Yes, she's got over 120K on her, but still runs well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today is Thanksgiving.  And there is so very much to be thankful for.  Today, I'm thankful for holidays.  Yep, all of them, even the ones that I normally groan about or roll my eyes.  Mostly I do that because I think the way we're encouraged to "celebrate" (read spend lots of money).
The reason I'm thankful for holidays is that they're great reasons, excuses even, to get together with friends and family.  Most of us don't take enough time in our busy, hectic lives to spend time with those that mean the most to us, or tell them that we love them enough.  So, maybe a date on the calendar put there by someone else isn't such a bad thing.
I was very happy to spend my day cooking and preparing and just enjoying the fact that I was going to be able to spend the evening with my parents, husband and child.
Of course, it wasn't all sunshine.  Actually, a good bit of the day the boy was being a whiner.  But, it's OK.  He's a good boy.
Today was the annual Quakertown/Penridge football game, here in town this year.  Kat, Zoe, Boo and I joined Rachel for the game.  It was quite fun.  Boo and I only stayed until near the end of the first half.  This is because it was snowing.  Yep, that's right, snowing.  And I don't just mean a few flurries, but we had about .25" on the railing of the balcony by the time it stopped and then switched to rain and other ick.
I'd post more, and even post up a picture or two, but I'm in a bit of a food coma.  I ate too much.  I know I should care, but it was sooo yummy and I haven't overeaten like this in a very long time.  We had turkey, apple cornbread stuffing, homemade orange cranberry sauce, homemade bread, applesauce, honey ginger sweet potatoes and corn.  I think that's about all.  Then there were the three deserts, the apple pie, the pumpkin cheesecake and the lemon pie.  I only tasted the deserts but ugh, did I over eat.

Peace to all and may your holiday be filled with loved ones and your bellies full of good food.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today I'm thankful for time.  I know, I know, it's quite abstract, but there you go.  I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with my amazing family, but I'm also thankful for the time I get to myself.  I'm thankful that I have vacation time at my job, and a good amount of it for having been there 10 years now, that allows me to spend more waking hours with my family.  I've really enjoyed having the last 3 days off from work.  Sure, they've been busier than my work days, but almost all of it was busy of my own choosing, and spending a good portion of it with my boys and with friends.

Today was a very busy day, and a good several hours were for me.  Or at least they were supposed to be, but of course since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, it was really about others, as in getting everything ready.  We purposefully left Boo in daycare today.  I used to feel horribly guilty about even thinking of sending him to daycare when I was on vacation, but I've come to realize that every parent needs a break.  And, as much as I love my son, there are just some things you can't get done with a high energy toddler under foot.  For me, that means errands like clothes shopping or going to 100 different places or trying to clean a bit or cook a bit.
Today Gak and I dropped our boy off at daycare and then went out to lunch together.  It was so nice to have a little quiet time just the two of us and not have to worry about a boy.  Yes, we get time after he goes to bed every night, but it's not quite the same, since he's there, just not awake.  After lunch we ran to Target for me to return something and (please don't faint...) got the last of the holiday gifts for the nieces and nephews.  (Yeah, I know, I know... I actually do this on purpose so I don't have to deal with malls etc between today and the week after New Year's...)  We also stopped in at the ToysRUs Express that's over there and decided on Boo's "big" gift this year.  Then I dropped Gak at work.  I went to Jo-Ann's to pick up some stuff and then went to Wal-Mart (which I still don't like and try and avoid) because I couldn't find what I wanted at Target for a few things and I was able to find there.  Then it was home to put in the new car seat (which Boo loves) and make cookies for goody bags.  I was also going to make a lemon pie, but I had evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed.  Oops.  By the time I got the cookies made, it was time to get Boo.
There were a few more errands and then back home to make that pie.  Boo wanted to help, which was great!  He did a very good job of beating the eggs.  He stirred nicely and got them fairly well mixed up, and I just had to finish them off a little.  He didn't like trying to stir the milk in, so I took over.  After the pie was done it was time to pick up Poppa.  Gee, where did the day go?
So, yes, I'm very thankful for the time I get to spend with my family as well as the time I get to myself to get "me" things done.

Peace to all and may you find a time balance.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today being my birthday, and my 35th birthday at that, I'm thankful for my life.  I'm thankful for the good and great parts, and even thankful for the not-so-great moments.
I'm thankful that I have my health and that I have people to share it with.
I'm thankful for all the experiences, good and bad, that I've had over the years.  They've shaped me into the person that I am.  And, you know what, I think I'm a pretty decent person over all.  Sure, I have my flaws, and some of them are big ones at times.  But everyone has moments and things that they (or others) wish they could improve about themselves.  If not, they wouldn't be human.  As Dad has told me for most of my life, there's no such thing as perfect.  (And besides, perfect would be boring.)

Today has been a good day, actually, this week has been a good week.  I really do like having my birthday in Thanksgiving week.  I really love the Thanksgiving holiday, and it makes it so much easier to spend the time enjoying my birthday, not just having it lost amongst a full and normal work week.
Today I went down to work after dropping Gak off.  Boo and I were going to have lunch with a handful of my friends from work.  It was great.  There were three who joined us, and two who wanted to, but couldn't because of other things.  We had a nice long lunch (even if Boo was being a bit of a stinker about eating...) and just relaxed.  The morning started off really nice (despite being woken up at 5:00 or so by a boy having a night terror, that thankfully only lasted a few minutes) and both my boys let me sleep in until about 8!  Boo even slept in until about 9:30!  (That's part of why he was cranky later, he woke up late which threw off his whole day and he didn't get much of a nap...)  After hanging with my friends and checking 2 or 3 out of 30+ emails at work, we headed down to the big Target near work.  You see, for my birthday, I got my son a new car seat.  Yep.  By no means is he too heavy for his current seat, but he's just tall enough that it needs to be replaced.  His shoulders are just at the top shoulder strap setting (unless he sits up nice and tall, then his shoulders are above the strap opening).  This means it's time to replace the seat.  I tried to yesterday, but they were out of the one I wanted at my Target.  They carry two that are 5-point harness, tall back boosters that can then be used as belt positioners.  The one that they had in stock, rated the harness to 40 lb and he was already taller than the shortest strap position.  This one cost another $25, but the shoulder harness goes one more position higher and is rated to 50 lb harnessed.  He's still taller than the shortest belt position, but he's still got 2 more to go in this seat.  I'm sure he'll get too tall before he gets too heavy, even though he's 30 lb as it stands now.  (I hope he stays long and lean for a very, very long time.)

I also went to my water aerobics class.  I think this will be my last session at the Y.  The pool is cold (83* my foot!), I'm tired of fighting with the swim team and having to work out in the small shallow area of the pool that's OK for me, but really is too shallow, and I figure I'm paying just about as much there for one class a week as I would pay full membership to a local gym that has a pool that I could use any day or night of the week I wanted to (other than Mondays).  I enjoy the instructor, but I haven't really gotten to know the others in the class, as they keep fluctuating and I couldn't hear them to talk to them anyhow over the swim team in the lap lanes beside us.  So, I think I need to investigate other options.  I like my Y, but it's just not a great fit. That and I really need to find somewhere other than there to take Boo swimming, he keeps asking to go, and it's just too expensive to take him to lessons there right now. *sigh*  Maybe if we get him to like the pool and to like to swim and get his head in the water, bath time won't be such an issue... or am I dreaming again?

So, yes, I'm thankful for my life, even if this year has been pretty rough in a lot of spots.  I'm thankful for the relative ease of it in general and for all the good that is in it.  Today has been a good day, and here's to many, many more.

Peace to all and may you all find something in your life to be thankful for.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm thankful for my neighbors in this new building.  They are all in interesting group.  It's great to actually have neighbors again, as opposed to someone who lives on the 3rd floor.  At least three of our neighbors really think that Boo is all that and a cup of tea.  He reeceived Halloween goody bags from Grace, Michelle and Frank.  It was very nice of them.
Everyone is very friendly.  Well, Mary right below us isn't the most friendly person in the world, but I'm more then willing to cut her some slack, she is 97 years old after all.  Just to get to 90, let alone almost 100 is amazing.  Our neighbor right across the hall I don't know very well either.  I've run into her a few times, and she seems pretty nice.  Her older son (18-ish) is really nice the few times I've interacted with him, and her younger son (8-ish) seems pretty cool too.  They're about the only ones we don't talk to on a regular basis.
Frank is an odd creature, but he's really friendly and nice.  Boo likes him because he's got trains in his apartment and loves to show them off to the kids.  Boo's not so sure about some of the older ladies, but mostly he's just shy and not used to them.

Today Boo helped me make Rice Krispy treats that I'm going to give to the neighbors.  I'm also planning on making a batch of oatmeal cookies.  Mostly it's to than the three people who gave Boo Halloween treats, but it's also just an excuse to bake.  Boo and I had fun.  He helped me count the tablespoons of butter that I needed and the cups of cereal.  Of course, after we were done adding the cereal, he wanted to pour more and made a bit of a mess, but it wasn't anywhere near as messy as it could have been.  I think this mostly has to do with the fact I didn't really let him help pour the cereal (he didn't want to until we were done...) and I didn't let him mix because the marshmallow/butter mixture was hot.  I hope they enjoy them.  I'm not sure it really matters though, I would do it again anyhow.

Anyhow, Sesame Street is over and my boy needs playing with.

Peace to all and may you have good people to share the neighborhood with.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today I was thankful for naps.  I'm always thankful for boy naps, if only because it means I can get something done without a cute, adorable toddler who's trying to be "helpful" or get something done for myself.  That and they prevent cranky, unhappy, super stubborn boy.  (Then we only have stubborn boy, which I can totally understand... he is my son after all....)
No, today I was thankful for the ability to take a nap myself.  My boy-o went down for a nap around 1, and I was about 15 minutes behind him after talking to Mom to confirm what we're doing and when tomorrow.  I was thankful for naps because we didn't get in until about 2am after the concert last night.  I'm also especially thankful for boy naps because as usual he didn't really go to sleep over at Aunt Kat's, but still decided that 7am was the time to get up.
I'm totally not upset about getting in so late last night though.  It was an awesome concert with wonderful friends.  We all gathered at Kat's house because the younger kids were all staying there with Uncle Andy and Erica (Andy's niece).  There were 9 of us who were going to the show, Gak and I of course, along with Kat and Scott, Steph and Rachel and Steve and Shelby and her daughter Joci.  The girls really enjoyed the show, and it was great to be able to take them.  After Andy got off work and got to the house we went to the Spinners Town Hotel for dinner.  It took a bit longer than we liked, but we still managed to make it down to the show in plenty of time.  Actually, it was kinda nice because we didn't have to sit in a huge line getting into the show and missed most of the traffic and didn't have to fight the crowds getting to our seats.  Sure, we had nose-bleed seats,but there really weren't any bad seats.  TSO played a slightly changed up version of their Christmas set and then for the second half did some of the songs off the Night Castle album (which I love) edas well as some stuff that'll be coming out on their next album.  As always, it was a great show.  The show wrapped up around 11, we hung around for a bit to let the crowds thin.  We then headed back and stopped at the dinner for "dessert" and coffee.  Then we picked up the kids and came home.
I really enjoyed my nap today and both the boy and I are much happier for them.

Peace to all and may you be able to nap as needed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today's thankful post is going up early.  I'm not sure why I've been waiting until evenings to post, but not today.
Today I am thankful for friends.  My friends have seen me through some pretty tough times, and I hope I'm doing half as good a job seeing some of my friends through their current tough times.  It has not all been roses and sunshine this year for some of my closest and dearest friends.
I'm so very thankful that I have them to lean on, and that they can lean on me.  Without Kat, I would have lost it ages ago and never been able to find the pieces.  Of course, I count my wonderful husband Gak in this list too.  Not only is he my husband, but he's my friend and that's how it should be.
I haven't always been the best at keeping in touch with friends that have moved away or I have moved away from.  I even have friends who haven't moved that I've just drifted away from and miss horribly, but am not sure how to go about getting back in touch with them.
I wasn't a good friend earlier this year when Abi's mom passed.  I'm only an hour or so from where the funeral was, but I didn't go.  I wanted to go.  I should have gone, but I didn't.  I didn't go because we were in the middle of moving and it wasn't convenient.  Yeah, that's a really lame excuse.  I've talked with her about it and she's forgiven me, but I still feel like crap about it.

But, above and beyond the day-to-day support of my friends, I'm thankful for them today.  Tonight, 8 of us are going into Philly to see Trans Siberian Orchestra.  Yes, I know this breaks my rule about no Christmas before Thanksgiving, or at least my birthday, but... when they're in town, they're in town.  And I really wouldn't miss this if I had any option not to.  Uncle Andy is staying home with the assorted kids, and will be joined by his niece Erica after she's done work.  I'm sure everyone will have a great time, and hopefully Andy won't end up tied up with little Indian braves circling him and whoopin' and hollerin'.

I'm thankful that I have such wonderful people to do things with.  I wish more of us could all get together at the same time more often, but I'll take what I can get.  I wish that Michelle was home from Canada (she may be coming down over the New Year) and I wish that more of my local friends could make it too.  But, I'm really thankful for the friends that are going.  We deserve this night out.

Peace to all and may your friends be true, and may you be true to your friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I touched on this a little bit yesterday, but I am truly thankful for my creativity and my ability to create.  Sure, it's been known to get me in a spot of trouble at work when I'm more interested in the side project I brought in to work on at lunch than what I'm supposed to be working on, but more often than not, it's a good thing.
I'm so thankful that I can create beautiful and useful things from yarn or fabric or any number of things.  I'm thankful that I can give friends and family a piece of my heart when I give them a gift made by my hands.
I'm also very, very thankful that my Gram took the time all those years ago to teach a 7-year-old, impatient me the beginnings of crochet.  I'm thankful that my mom helped me learn how to use a sewing machine and still enjoys doing projects with me.  I'm thankful to both my parents for putting a camera in my hands and teaching me to "see" the world and encouraging me to push my boundries.
I enjoy the relaxation I get from engaging my creative side.  I love the fact that I have skills that I can use to make something both beautiful and practical.  I'm very glad that I can manage to find time, make time, to be creative just about every day.  And yes, cooking has become a creative outlet for me as well, but I still prefer my other creative endeavors with yarn or fabric better, but in some ways nothing will top my love of the camera.

Peace to all and may you find some way to be creative.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I had a hard time figuring out what I'm thankful about today.  Sitting here after enjoying a nice, if every day kind or supper, I decided that I'm thankful that I enjoy cooking.  Not only because it's something that has to be done to keep me and my family fed, but because it is yet another way I can be creative.
I admit that I have my old standards that I go to week in and week out and often get into food ruts, but I do enjoy experimenting too.  And usually, it doesn't turn out too bad, at least according to Gak.  Now, if only I could get my boy to try more of my food.  But that's a whole different story.
I don't really have much more to say about that, other than maybe that I'm also thankful that I can afford good food to cook with and that it's available in abundant supply without too much effort.  So, today I am thankful for food and my enjoyment of preparing it.  (And I guess that's a good thing since I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner again this year.  I'm still toying with the menu a bit... I really liked most of the recipes I used last year, but I keep thinking I want to switch it up a bit and experiment some... we'll see what Thursday brings.)

So, peace to you all and may you have good food and good times.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I know, I know, I complain a lot about my job.  But, usually I'm just complaining about small things.  I really, truly am thankful to have a job, and to be making as good money as I am.  Sure, I'd love a bigger pay check, who wouldn't?  Everyone I know wishes they had just a bit more, not a lot more, but just a bit would make life that much easier.
And, they're right.  But, one of my favorite fortune cookies I got a few years ago now was "If you're not happy with what you've got, how can you be happy with more?"  Which is a very true statement.  And I'm very happy with what I've got.  I've got a good job that I've been at for 10 years now.  It pays me well enough that we're struggling only because of bad decisions, not because we don't earn enough in the first place.  It continues to hold challenges even after 10 years and there's always something new to learn.  Yes, I may be bored or tired of it some days and totally stressed out others, but in reality, I really don't know what I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this.
Sure, I'd like to be actually using the degree I went to school for, but at this point in my life, what I learned then has mostly left my brain and melted into a puddle on the floor from disuse.  There are days I wish I'd stayed at the lab, or gone on for my masters or applied for the DEP or the parks system or something.  But then I realize that what I've got is pretty darn good.
I'm thankful that my honey has a job.  Sure, we both wish he was earning more, or had more hours or had more (any) benefits such as paid vacation or paid holidays.  Gak's feeling a little strangled and antsy with his job, and that's OK.  I don't blame him.  It's been 5 years and no real change.  There's not much new or exciting for him.  I totally get that.  He also wishes he contributed more financially to the family, and I can understand that too.  (But, a part of me likes him having the job he has, because it allows us to have Boo in day care only half days, which saves us a good $400 a month or more.  And that he can walk to work, so we don't have to have a second car... but it really comes down to how he feels about his job, not me.)

I'm also thankful that all of my close friends (save Joan) are employed right now.  Yes, Mom and Dad's business is struggling mightily, but they're still open.  Jon just got a great new job and Becca is at least one step closer to full certification.  Both of my cousins and their spouses have work.  My friend Michael from college just got what sounds to be a great new opportunity in MN and a chance for him and Chelsea to really live on their own, have their own lives.  This truly is a rarity in this economy, and for that I'm thankful.

So, peace to all and may you find something that stimulates you and pays you well enough, even if it isn't your dream job.

Peace to all and may

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Today I am thankful for my body and my health today.
I know that sounds kind of silly, but my body has been through a lot in the past year.  I'm down about 60 lb from a year ago.  That in and of itself is HUGE.  I have no idea how I lived carrying all that weight around.  I get tired just trying to carry Boo around, and he's not quite 30 lb!  But that's only part of it.
I'm thankful that my health issues are small.  Sure, I've got my asthma and allergies to deal with from time to time, but over all, they haven't given me issues in quite some time.  Yes, I've been dealing with sleep issues for years, but at this stage of the game, they seem manageable for the moment.  Yes, I just lost a pregnancy, but I really don't think it was my fault, there was something wrong from the start.
It could be so much worse, it really could.  I could have to fight something as monumental as my friends Ellen, Deb or Ron from work have.  I could have a hundred other little things wrong with me that could make live miserable.  As is, I have my health and for that I am thankful.

I say this because I had my water aerobics class this evening.  And I realized as I was pushing myself through the exercises exactly how much I've improved over the last 6 months.  It really is amazing.  And this is just from one evening a week.  I am so much stronger and more fit.  I take the stairs without thinking about it, or getting winded.  I can, and sometimes actually do, walk two laps around the 1-mile loop at work, without thinking too much about it and at a fairly good clip too.  When I started, it was all I could do to get through 1 at a decent pace.  So, I'm thankful that I've been able to give my body a new, healthy shape.  I know my dear, sweet husband appreciates it, he tells me so.  I know he's always loved me, no matter what my shape, but, yes, I do like the fact he likes my shape.  No, this isn't said in a "man pleasing, women are inferior and exist to serve men" kind of way.  Pssht.  Anyone who knows me knows that's about as far from the truth as you can get.  No, I like the fact that Gak appreciates the work I've done because it makes him happy and because I love him, I want him to be happy.  I am happy with my progress, if only because I do have more energy.  It didn't happen over night and I really don't think about it until I do something like class tonight that I never would have dreamed of getting through even 6 months ago.  I hope to have good health and a more fit body for a long, long time to come.

Peace to all and may you have good health.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I know this is going to sound very cliche, but I'm so very thankful for my parents.  Especially considering today is my Dad's 72nd birthday.
Growing up they let me get into, and out of, all kinds of things by myself.  Yes, there were many messes along the way.  There were many tears and triumphs as well.  They exposed me to so many things and supported me in whatever I chose to try, no matter their doubts.
As a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina (you can stop snickering now... I know I had way more enthusiasm than talent...).  So, my parents signed me up for classes, bought me leotards, tights and shoes and carted me halfway across the city it seemed every week to go to class.  I enjoyed it for many years, until my studio closed and I had to change.  The new studio was for "serious" students, and I was anything but.  I hung up my shoes for good when we moved to PA.  My parents even took me on a "date" when I was 7 or 8 to see "The Nutcracker" downtown, including dinner at a very fancy restaurant.
When I showed interest in photography at an early age, they put a camera in my hands and taught me what they know and let me experiment.  We would talk about art and photographs and critique each other's work.  We'd go to the art gallery several times a year and all kinds of craft or art shows just to see what we could see.
When I threw myself into Girl Scouts Mom was there by my side.  And for those trying Intermediate School years when I'd think about quitting at the beginning of each year, but decide to go to a few meetings anyhow, Mom stood by my side then too, no matter my decision.
Are my parents perfect?  Of course not.  They are the greatest gift I could have, and I hope that Gak and I can be equally good parents to our son, even if we do some things a bit differently than they do.
What makes me even more thankful this year is all the recent issues with Dad's health.  He's had issues of one kind or another as long as I can remember.  This year has been especially trying though.
This is another one of those things I've been sitting on all summer, not sure what to say or how.
Today I have good news, but it isn't all roses.
For the last few years Dad's memory has been getting worse and worse and very flaky.  Earlier this summer he was given the diagnosis of dementia, with pre or early Alzheimer's symptoms.
Yeah, that was a blow.
Anyhow, he's actually been having memory issues of one kind or another for years, but only recently has it gotten extremely bad.  At one point a few years back we'd heard something about Lipitor possibly causing memory problems.  Our family doctor brushed it off at the time.  Well, there's been more research recently, or at least more evidence.  Dad's three major complaints of late has been his quickly fading memory, the ringing in his ears and the aches in his legs.  Mom has a friend who's a pharmacist and had recently heard about some research or information about just this.  So, Mom had her present the information to Dad and after talking with our doctor (I think), Mom and Dad decided to wean him off the Lipitor.  Before he was even totally off the medication, things really started to improve.  The ringing in his ears has all but gone away.  He has stopped complaining about his legs and the best of all, his memory seems to be back to where it was a year or more ago.  He's told mom that he's got his mind back.
So, yes, that's happy news.  Of course, there is the potential problem of his high cholesterol.  And the looming specter of future memory loss since everything wasn't caused by the Lipitor, and it really is Alzheimer's.  But that's a question for another day.  I'll just take having my dad back, as he was really becoming quite sullen and withdrawn.  He's not the most social or sociable person, but the spark was fading, and fast.  I didn't like it and I'm sure Mom hated it even more.  But for now we can push that to the back burner.  We've got to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't boil over or burn, but we don't have to give it our full attention right now.
And for that I am thankful.

Peace to all and may you have family to be thankful for and many years with them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I think I'm going to try and take a little time each day the next few weeks and write at least a few sentences about something I'm thankful or grateful for.  I mean, that is what the holiday next week is all about isn't it? Being thankful for surviving another year, with another harvest and having friends and family and a community?
Well, the biggest thing I'm thankful for right now are my two boys.
I know I've said it before, but I can never say it enough.  I am so very thankful to have two such wonderful guys in my life.  And to think that I was at least partially responsible for the genetics that brought one of them into the world, still astounds me.
My husband is a wonderful man.  He does his best to take care of me and to take care of Boo.  If there's one fatal flaw to him, it would be that he just can't see how wonderful he really is to us, how special he really is.  I try and tell him often that he means the world to me and that even if he doesn't think so, I know he goes above and beyond what is expected or required.  He's always treated me, and just about everyone that I can think of, with respect.  Sure, there are days when he really wants to tell customers (or me) where to go and how to get there.  Just about every time, he doesn't though.  He could be mean or rude to these people, but he tries his best to be polite and help resolve whatever it is that's within his realm that's making them upset or cranky or just plain rude themselves.  And most of the time if he can't help them, he can let their insults and rudeness roll off his back.  It may collect in his shoes and make him cranky after a while, but it takes a bit.
I know he wishes he could do more for us.  But I'm not really sure he could.  I mean, yes, he could have a higher paying job and contribute more financially, but there is so much more to life than that.  He takes care of Boo, and of me, in ways that he never could if he worked a more traditional job.  (I totally understand him wanting a more "normal" job at times though.  There are days that I really believe he gets the raw end of the deal working where he is.)
Gak's a wonderful poppa to our boy and willingly spends so much time with him.  And he's a pretty awesome husband too.  He gives me the space I need when I need it, but is there for me physically, mentally and emotionally when I need him to be.  Sure, I may "lead" this family more than he does, but he has a very strong, equal say in things.  I value his point of view, it helps keep me balanced.

And my son.  How could I not be thankful for my wonderful little boy?  Some days he really is what makes my world go 'round.  He truly is a miracle.  Just the mere fact that he was conceived mere weeks after I lost the first pregnancy is a miracle.  Especially considering it took a year to conceive the first one we lost.
But that's only a small part of why I'm thankful for him.
I'm thankful because as much as I teach him things, he teaches me.  He's reminded me to play on such a simple and basic level.  He's taught me to look at the simple things and see the universe in them.  He's taught me patience and humility and truly about unconditional love.  There is nothing I wouldn't do for my Bubsie-Boo.
He is such a wonderful little boy.  Somehow Gak and I have managed to teach him to be polite at least most of the time.  And usually when he forgets his "please" or "thank you" or gets demanding and whiney it's because he's tired, or not feeling well or in some other way just plain old out of sorts.  I understand this.  I get this way too.  But the hugs and the snuggles and the laughter make up for it a million fold.
He's so adorable both in looks and attitude.  He's such a happy little guy most of the time that you can't help but be happy with him around.  He's a huge flirt.  Just over the weekend he's actually started addressing people by their names.  I mean, he's known who people are for ages and if you asked him who someone was, he'd say their name.  But for example, yesterday when we were at Kat's, Any walked in and he said "Uncle Andy!  Hi!  Follow me!"  Before, you would have only gotten "Follow me!" or maybe "Uncle Andy!", but not a whole conversational turn or even a real sentence, just a verb/noun pairing.
Gak is my rock and my support, Boo is my light at the end of the tunnel that is the work day.  They both mean the world to me and help keep me rooted and together.
I love you two, and am so very, very thankful to a part of your lives.

Peace to all and may you have someone to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


OK, so I started out November pretty strong in the posting thing and then fell asleep at the wheel again.
Sorry about that.
Last week was crazy busy at work (I think I mentioned that already).  And I had a lot of other stuff on my plate. This week's been crazy busy at work again, but thankfully, other than Monday I've remembered and been able to force myself to take a lunch and walk away from my desk.  I even got a walk in outside both yesterday and today.  Part of me is glad I got to take a lunch, but sometimes, I'm glad when I don't take a lunch, as there are days that it is just so very hard for me to get back on task after a break of an hour.  Today was almost one of those days.  Of course, I think my brain dribbling out my ear from the big honking project I'm working on, didn't help any.
I would be so much happier if the 3 or 4 HUGE projects I've got going on would be done so I could move on to, and close, the hundred (or so it seems) little things I've got going on.  I'm sure there are some customers out there that are feeling pretty neglected by me, but only because I've worked on about 4 different things all week.  Oh well, I try and keep them in the loop, but it just doesn't happen as well as I'd like some days.  One of the things I need to get better at.

Anyhow, today is Veteran's day.  Under our old corp, we actually got the day off.  That was nice, of course, but some how I felt like I hadn't earned it.  Oh well, this year it didn't matter because the new corp doesn't do a lot of holidays throughout the year, but instead does a week-long shutdown between Christmas and New Year's.  That's actually pretty nice and I think I'd rather have that.  Everyone tries to take off that week anyhow, and as much as I like the 3-day weekend, having an extra week off, especially once Boo gets to school and will have that week off anyhow, is nice.  Of course, any excuse to spend extra time with my family is a good one.

Anyhow, back to Veteran's day.  As a "thank you", Applebee's started doing a thing where vet's get to eat free (from a select menu).  I'd found out about it and mentioned it to Gak.  He mentioned to Scott, who was supposed to be going out with Steve and some others and well... before you know it, there was about 10 of us getting together for dinner.  Scott and his dad were there.  Steve, Shelby and her two kids were there.  Liz tagged along and there were the three of us.  Kat stopped by after we were done eating because she'd had a parent/teacher conference for Zoe this evening (quarterly progress report, Zoe made honor roll!).  Anyhow, I felt very outnumbered.  Other than the kids, Liz and I were the only two who hadn't served in the armed forces.  Which I think is great.  I love the fact that I know so many people who think this country is worth standing up for and serving.  I hope and pray every day that the people I know who are still active duty (or those in the reserves who may get called up) don't have to pay for our liberty with their lives.  I hate that the military is needed, but I'm thankful that we can still manage to have an all volunteer service.
Anyhow, just a rambling way to say thank you to everyone I know who's willing to put their life on the line so I can say what I want to say, wear the clothes I want to wear and have the job I want to have, without fear of being scooped up and put in jail for it.  Sure, there are problems in this country with the government at all levels and with some people in general.  Overall though, I think we've got it pretty good.  And I'm thankful for that.

I'm off to bed now, I've been up since 5.  Thankfully I don't have to get up quite so early (but I probably will anyhow) tomorrow.  Gak's working a full day, so I get to go in for 8 instead of 7.

Peace to all and may you remember that freedom isn't free and that we all must do our part and vote and thank those who are willing to stick their necks out for the rest of us.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

October In Review

It's been one heck of a week.  Work was busier than busy, I only took lunch one day this week. I had an appointment Thursday with the sleep doctor, Dr. P.  I really like him.  Since the sleep study was "normal", the only thing he can really do is give me something to take if I wake in the middle of the night.  It's fast acting and only lasts about 3 hours.  We'll see if it helps any.  I may not need it much, but we'll see.  I have a follow up in three months.
Anyhow, I finally got the October pictures edited and up on Flickr.  Thought I might just give you a photo summary.

The first interesting thing of the month was on the 8th when Boo declared that it was Trey's birthday.  What's really weird is the fact that Trey came to live with us in October of 2008, when Nana sent him to us.  Who knows, Nana may have brought him home on the 8th, we'll never know...

That weekend we also went up to Knoeble's again on Sunday.  It was a nice day trip.  It was the last unofficial day for most of the park and it was the annual covered bridge and craft fair.  I got a pin for Amma and there was some good food and other purchases made.

The kids had a lot of fun playing by the creek while the adults wandered through the crafters.

We did get to ride a few rides.  Boo really likes them now.  Zoe, Boo and Billy had a lot of fun on this.  We also went on the big wheel and the trains and a few others.

Here are all the cousins that were on this trip: Rachel, Billy, Zoe and Boo.  Boo looks like he's smiling, but really he was fussing to get Trey back.

Halloween day Amma, PopPop, Gak, Boo and I had a bit of a Lancaster County adventure.  The three of us drove down and picked up Amma and PopPop at their hose.  We then went to the Gap Diner for brunch.  It wasn't quite as good as in the past, but still good enough.  After brunch was the highlight and the real reason for the adventure.  We wen to the Straussburg Railroad.  This is because lately every time you ask Boo what he wants to do, it's "Ride trains".  So, we went and rode trains.  Engine 90 was the engine on duty.

Boo patiently waiting for the train to start.  Isn't he so cute with the way he holds his hands when he's trying to be good?

Boo was a wizard this year for Halloween.  He picked up that stick from the parking lot at the apartment over the summer.  I thought it was a perfect wizard staff, so I got an adult small T-shirt and made him this awesome wizard robe using some glow in the dark paint and some felt.  Very cute.  He did great trick-or-treating too.

Here's me and the rest of the crew at work that dressed up.  Yep, that's the business manager dressed as Fred Flinstone and my buddy Donald dressed as a Rabi.  Donald the Rabi won the costume contest.  I was just having a bit of fun.  My T-shirt reads "If the Broom Fits, Ride It."  So much fun.

Anyhow, this is is October in photo review.  There are many more pictures up on Flickr.  Go, take a look.

Peace to all and may your memories be good and your photos fun.