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.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Life and Loss

This post was supposed to go up Thursday, but I figured I might as well post it today.  It was going to be a happy, if anxious, post.
Unfortunately, it is not meant to be.
As I say in the opening paragraph, I've been keeping a secret.  I found out early last month that I was pregnant.  Thursday was supposed to be my 8-week prenatal visit.  Yes, supposed to be.  Saturday I started bleeding a little and by Sunday evening I was pretty sure I'd lost the pregnancy.  I just got the confirmation from blood work done yesterday.  My hormone levels are very low, I've had another miscarriage.
In a strange way, I'm nowhere near as upset this time as I was three years ago.  I think part of it is that I've lived through this before and I now have a very happy, very healthy son who's almost 2.5 years old.  Maybe it's that for the entire time I was waiting for this appointment, I was in a bit of denial because I had absolutely NO symptoms.  Or at least nothing I wouldn't chalk up to an overactive imagination.  Maybe it's because it was an almost total surprise and that the timing, while not horrible, may not have been the best.  Maybe it's that my cousin Rae just got blood work back and it came back "normal" so she and Kami can move forward with trying to have a baby themselves, and I really don't want to overshadow that.  They've been wanting one and trying for so long.  Maybe it's because I know in my heart of hearts that I didn't do anything wrong.  I'm healthier and eating much better than ever I was when I got pregnant with Boo.  There isn't much more that I could be doing to be taking better care with myself.  So, it wasn't me.  It just wasn't meant to be right now.
But, for whatever reason, I'm really OK with this.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad.  There will always be those "what if" moments and fantasies.  But, in a small way there is some relief too.  The mere thought of everything that would have to change or be done seems a little overwhelming.  I know we would have made it through, and with flying colors, but it would have been a very bumpy ride at this point, and quite frankly, after the year we've had, I'd like a little bit of "easy" for a few months.
Anyhow, here's my initial thoughts.  As you can see, I was pretty scared out of my gourd and not sure how to handle it all.

******* Original 10/13 post*********

I’ve been keeping this post a secret from you. I actually wrote this post back on October 13, but I didn’t want it to be posted until today. I didn’t want to jinx myself or put this all out there if this isn’t true. If you’re reading it, than my thoughts back on 10/13 are still valid, I would have deleted it if not.

You see, I just found out I’m pregnant again.

Normally this would be met with great rejoicing. I know I would have thought that 3 or so months ago when my prescription ran out and we decided not to renew it.

Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting this to happen so quickly, it did take an entire year to get pregnant with Boo after all. Perhaps it’s because of all the other things going on in my life right now. Maybe I’m wondering if I really did make the right decision. Maybe I’m just scared and wondering how we’re going to go from a family of 3 to a family of 4. I mean, we’re happy as a family of 3. Why did I want to go and possibly bugger that up by adding a second child?

I hate to admit it, but a big part of what’s keeping me from being ecstatic is my weight. Yes, I’m over 40 lb lighter than when I got pregnant with Boo. That in and of itself should thrill just about anyone and it does thrill me. But, having said that, I was only about 13 or 14 lb away from my next goal of being what I was when I graduated college. I was actually hoping to make it there before becoming pregnant again. I may not have been making huge progress the last month or two, but it was steady progress and I was probably going to get there by the end of the year, or pretty darn close. I think it’s the fact that I’m going to have to put that goal off for another 12 months or more that irks me.

There’s also the fact that I finally thought we were going to get ahead with money. Despite my apparently low-key attitude, it really does stress me out a good bit more than I let on. We’re on schedule to actually pay the truck off a few months early, and I was really looking forward to putting that money towards other debts we’ve been stupid enough to incur over the years. I was also hoping to save up for 6 months or so and put something down on a nice little used car for me to take back and forth to work so we could be a 2 car family. I doubt that’s going to happen now. Gak was also looking to start taking some online classes at Bucks County CC. But, with number two on the way, that’s doubtful. I’m determined to let him take some classes, but juggling 2 day care bills and at even just $200/class, it’ll be tough. (Although, not that tough if he only takes 1 or 2 classes a semester and uses most of his “fun” money for that… It’ll be doable, but painful.)

It just seems like we just can’t quite get ahead.

Another fear of sorts is what if this baby is a girl? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d love a daughter, but in some ways it would complicate our lives even more so than it already is. I really just want a healthy baby, but part of me, a small, selfish (but loud) part, wants to have another boy. That’s because we have a two-bedroom apartment. And we just moved in. And I really, really don’t want to move again any time soon. I’m also freaking out about where to put a changing table of any kind or a crib and thinking that we really do want a bassinet to put in our bedroom for at least the first 3-6 months to get Boo used to the idea that there’s another kid in the house and that he’ll have to share his room with this intruder. That and without the door between rooms that was so convenient in the old apartment, it really will be easier. And then there’s the desire to actually have Boo totally potty trained by the time this new one arrives. I really don’t want two in diapers, but I’ll live with it if needs be. Then there’s the fear of getting him all trained (something he really has shown less than zero interest in in recent memory) and than have him regress as soon as the baby is born.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m actually really excited about the prospect of having a second baby. Both because I miss what Boo was like when he was itty-bitty and because I’ve always thought I’d have two kids. I am looking forward to the challenges this will bring, even if it terrifies me in the meantime. I know Boo will adjust to being a big brother. I’m pretty sure he’ll even be a great big brother, with the usually laid back, happy attitude towards life he has. I just hope he has a relationship more like mine and my brother’s than Gak and his brother’s was growing up. Jon and I grew up pretty close and got along more days than not. Gak and Raeferd, well, not so much. I’m not sure how much they really fought as kids, but there was competition and they’re such different people that they just didn’t get along well. But, they’re 7 years apart; our two will be almost exactly 3 years apart, about 6 months further apart than Jon and I.

One of the things that galls me a bit in a silly kind of way is that this baby is due just 9 days after Boo’s third birthday. I mean, that’s really cool in one way, but not fair in another. I mean, more than likely these two will end up sharing birthday parties at least until Boo is 10 or so, and even then I’ll probably try and coordinate them. At any rate, it’ll be right around Memorial Day, which more than likely means the default of a family picnic. At least it’s in the summer kids!

Anyhow that’s my rambling and worrying on this subject for now. I’m sure between the time I wrote this and the time that this actually gets posted my thoughts on this subject will change about 100 times. (Thank you, Blogger for the ability to post-date posts.) Anyhow, I leave you with my first ramblings and worryings as they were. If I remember, I’ll try and post an updated thoughts around the same time as this one goes live.

Peace to all and may your surprises be good to you and your lives full.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Just a quick post before I head out the door this morning.
This weekend was a fun weekend.  Friday night we went over to Aunt Kat's house and hung out and watched Iron Man II.  Well, the adults watched the movie, Zoe and Boo kept coming and going, playing in the other room or coming in to get something.  It was a pretty good movie, but we got Boo to bed waaaay too late.  And he didn't really sleep in much Saturday morning.  This meant we had a slightly cranky boy Saturday, but nothing too bad.
Saturday was a pretty normal Saturday for the most part.  We did laundry.  We met up with Kat and Zoe after bowling for lunch.  We ran some errands.  Boo napped (and so did I).  The evening was spent hanging out and me running to the grocery store by myself.  Pretty low key and  nice.  I did, however, find Boo a Flyer's orange hockey stick at Five Below while running errands.  He really likes it.  I need to get a picture of him with it.  Now all he needs is a jersey, but I haven't been able to find any Flyer's gear his size.  Oh well, maybe one of the uncles will be more successful.
Sunday we were in for a real treat.  We got up at our normal time, had a little breakfast and then headed down to see Amma and PopPop.  Little did Boo realize that we were going to pick them up, head out to Gap to have brunch at the Gap Diner (it's not as good as it used to be...) and then head somewhere really special!  You see, just about every time you ask my son what he wants to do these days, his answer is "ride trains".  I have no idea where that came from.  We've only watched Thomas a few times, I don't think he could identify any of the trains by name.  We don't have trains nearby that he hears or sees all the time.  He likes the train tables at the book stores, toy stores and the library.  I'm not sure where it came from, but he's into trains.  I can go with that.  There's something about trains, especially steam trains that just grabs the imagination.  So, after brunch we headed over to Strausburg Railroad, which is right down the street from Gap, and only about an hour and a half or two hours total from home.
Boo had quite a good time and enjoyed his train ride.  Maybe next time we go we'll actually take some time to go through the museum.  I've been through there, but it's been a while.  We didn't take the time today because we wanted to make sure we got home well before trick-or-treating time.
We went out with Steph and Andy and Rachel, Billy and Zoe.  We had a lot of fun.  Boo walked a LOT and did very well, remembering both "trick-or-treat!" and "thank you", usually getting them in the right order.  I'm not sure everyone heard him, but he was saying them.  I was a little disappointed, in the fact that there seemed to be only one house on average per block that we walked.  That's OK though, we got in a nice long walk and we don't need that many treats around the house. He also got two boxes of animal crackers from Grace next door and a whole bag of goodies from Michelle across the hall.

Anyhow, I'm now running late for work.  Peace to all and enjoy the picture of my little apprentice wizard (This was taken Thursday at school, after they did their Halloween party).
May your weekends be good, and your Halloweens fun.