More on the pole

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I learned that the ladies at this studio grow to care about and carry each other through rough times and cheer each other through good times. They are friends- it is not just a 'gym' in the sense of Ballys or X-Sport.

The class begins with 'meditation' not guided or visualization or imagery- more introspection. Finding a place of peace in yourself. Self exploration is a major part of the experience.

I felt so awkward as I looked up at the ceiling that was illuminated with lights that look like stars I closed my eyes and got lost in the movement. Listening to the instructor letting my body connect to the flow of the music. Letting go of my 'center'. Having fun. Enjoying feeling my body stretch and feeling my muscles warm feeling the strength embracing my body for taking me all of these amazing places.

This is more than a class in 'getting in shape' it is a class in getting in touch with yourself as a woman. Embracing the sensual sexuality that is part of us. Embracing the strength that each of us has inside. Letting that beauty show and loving it.

With in the studio I was not 'mama'. I was me. I was the woman that I was- that I am- that all to often gets lost in the day to day life. I felt the woman inside the confident, beautiful, amazing, sexy woman inside me begin to make an appearance through self consciousness.

Yes it was fun too- spinning around the pole at the end. So I signed up for this journey of introspection. Of exploration. I am excited to see where this path takes me.

It should be required for all women.

Moms Pole Dancing???

I may need to break this down into a few sub posts and continue editing while I am still processing the day.

The basics: I took a pole dancing class today. Yes. Me. Pole Dancing. Unsexy stay at home mom me started to learn how to swing around a pole.

A woman I know had taken these classes and raved about them and I always really wanted to be 'sexy'. What better way to learn? I also have been looking for a way to get into shape, have fun, and have a little time on my own. Given my vision loss and the perspective that has been thrust into my lap I figured to go do it.

Of course a few days before the class was scheduled I came down with a nasty cold flu thing. In an attempt to knock out the virus I took massive amounts vitamin C- sadly I was unsuccessful and considered rescheduling the class. But my excitement took over and I was determined to make it.

It was an incredible work-out. Twenty minutes into the class my muscles were trembling- like they have not trembled in years.

There were so many unique things about this experience and this studio.

First my friend and I were driving following the GPS directions to go to the place and as we approached she and I discussed how nervous we both were. As we looked out the window trying to find the place we did not know what we were looking for or what to expect.

We we found it. With a huge sing reading "Pole Dancing". We took a deep breath and went in. Inside we found a cozy looking sitting area with a comfy couch with beautiful pillows and brownie bites (clearly a woman was in charge). It was a warm and inviting space painted many shades of purple with a clearly feminine vibe. It was lovely. Suddenly we heard a 'whoop' from the room behind the door. My friend and I looked at each other uncertainly. The women there were kind and welcoming and very reassuring to those of us completely overwhelmed and very very out of our comfort-zone. We were invited to watch the advanced girls dance holy wow....did they dance. Climbing, flipping, swinging it was indescribable and hot. These ladies were beautiful and confidant and amazing. I wanted that.

We had to fill out some initial paperwork release of liability and such. Upon reading through the sheets I noticed something. The studio wanted to know more than about my income and address. They asked emotionally oriented questions. What were my goals...physically what did I want them to help me achieve? Emotionally was I looking to gain confidence- self esteem- body image improvement? What brought me there. Then even more than that they asked if we were having any challenging times that we needed support through. I have never been part of a 'gym' that openly and expressly cares for the whole woman.

It gets better (seriously- I think I fell in love)- they have a 'code of ethics' no negativity- you are not supposed to exude negative crap there- learn to love and accept and cherish ourselves- and that starts from the words we say. The founder and owner takes this very seriously- I will need to work on my positive thinking.

So in we went. Into a studio that had six poles, candle lit, with a wall of mirrors it was beautiful. We pulled out yoga mats and had a seat and our instructor (also the founder) and the co instructor told a little about their mission and how this studio came to be. The more I heard the more I loved.

She explained it is as connecting your physical and emotional selves through sensuality. Experiencing things in the moment. The fabric on your skin the scent of the candles. Touching your body and appreciating it for itself for the amazing things it has done and continues to do. Embracing the power that is in yourself physical and emotional. Understanding that your body will change but enjoying the journey appreciating the path and where it leads you on your journey- not just the end point.

Survival Mode

I need to buy one of those maritime yellow flags indicating quarantine. We have been under self imposed quarantine for the past week. But to be fair I should allow others to not be exposed to our pathogens if they choose not to be.

For the past few days (feels like weeks) we have been in survival mode here. By survival mode I mean we have not been doing things that are not necessary to survive.

No one has eaten a true meal in about a week. It has been grazing- whatever strikes out fancy at the moment.

Last night I had a friend come and bail me out so I did not have the pressure of all of the kids and their needs on my sick mind. He asked what was for dinner. "Dinner?" I asked slightly confused.... I had to think and wonder, "food? what do I do??" my friend could hear the confusion in my voice.

Now that we are on the mend I have to dig out. It will take a long time. Lots of laundry. Lots of disinfecting. We may venture out of the house today.

Google is great

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A while ago Princess came home from school and had a cloth bag about the size of a piece of paper and a laminated sheet that asked her to find an object beginning with the letter 'R' that would fit into the bag and return it to school the following day.

Initially, I was happy that it was 'r' and not 'q' or 'x' or something...but then as I got down to it with her to brainstorm objects that begin with the letter 'r' I drew a blank. Like a complete blank. So I Googled: "nouns that begin with 'r'". A lot came up. The harder part was then to find one that a) we had and b) would fit into the bag. Ultimately, we choose to ask Stinky to borrow one of his cars and call it a 'race-car'. Job well done. Thank you Mr. Google.

Laying in bed that night I was still irritated that I could not seem to come up with objects that began with the seemingly common letter 'r'. Princess was also pretty frustrated. Seeing this I recalled my own kindergarten experience with letter words. We had a work sheet. We had to think of words that started with all of the letters of the alphabet then write them. The letter I recall vividly is the letter 'n'. For the life of me I could not think of something that began with 'n'. I came up with 'knee' and 'knuckle'- both of which sadly begin with a silent 'k'. Silent letters seemed out to taunt me. I grew increasingly frustrated and wound up in tears on my teachers lap. It was one of the first times I was stressed about school...I was in kindergarten- arguably the least 'stressful' part of my educational career. It did not bode well for my future. Indeed I spent a large portion of my education very anxious. This event obviously made quite an impression on me because to this day I remember what I was wearing, the feeling of tears down my face, and the word that the boy next to me had (nest) and that he took my 'q' word and I was pretty angry with him for that.

some pretty pictures

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Random Thoughts

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mail came early today. How do I know that? My golden doodle dog darn near peed on himself he was so excited. He was barking as if we were under attack- odd thing though- he is totally non- aggressive towards anyone- he just begs for affection.

In the mail there were no bills- always a good day. There were however, the grocery ads, I look forward to this day every week (just to give you a glimpse at how thrilling my life is- yes the grocery ads are up there on my excitement-o-meter.

I did what I always do- stand at the counter and eat my lunch because I do not want to share my food (even if I have the EXACT same thing as the kids it is for some reason is better from mama's plate) and flipped through the adds.

A few things struck me. My grocer of choice has taken to printing coupons in their circular- great right? ehhh not so much. I am lazy- coupon clipping does not save me enough money to warrant the effort of clipping, storing, keep track of sales- not to mention the coupons- maybe I am doing it wrong.

Second thought under the heading "Fresh For Less" hot dogs are listed- how on Earth are hot dogs fresh? Not like fresh sausage I am talking about the mass marketed brand name hot dogs. Decidedly not fresh- in my estimation. As far as that goes neither is anything that has an expiration date next year.

Then- I turn the page- Dairy. Since when is orange juice dairy? Does not come from cows- or goats or even sheep! Neither does almond milk or lemonade. When did dairy get redefined?

And last. Personal products. Condoms. Why bother being all discrete about it when you have a picture of the box? Really? Come on now. And you better not buy these in a certain state as having more than a couple of condoms is apparently proof of being a sex worker.

ok. I am done now.

No dear

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Stinky you may not put your sister in the cage no matter how much she is irritating you"

I actually said that. Last night. Peas was bugging Stinky as little siblings do. Then I heard a very loud, very shrill, shriek that is decidedly Peas that girl is LOUD. She was locked in a dog house and by the sound of it not to impressed with her accommodations.

Stinky in his little voice said 'but mama- she is annoying me' he did reluctantly let her out with a little more encouragement.

Just to torture you all a little more

I had another 'this is your life moment' I put a cup down and it was on my right side. I did not see it when I set another thing down and knocked it over. There may be more of an adjustment than I thought.

Then just to torture myself. I was holding Pixie and I closed my left eye just to see what vision I had in my right eye. I damn near cried. I could not see her face clearly at all. I opened both my eyes and she gave me the biggest gummiest grin ever. I cannot even imagine not seeing my kids cheesy smiles.
Edit/Delete Message

I may just re title my blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

'a place where I whine about my eye'

It should be noted that while my vision is worse in the past few weeks, it is not substantially worse now than it was before. I am now more cognizant of it. And that has led to some interesting times.

Physically it is not that difficult of an adjustment to make. Sure parallel parking is more of a challenge- but in my years of driving I have parallel parked exactly once- and I took a picture of it. So I am reasonably sure that I can continue my avoidance technique at least for a little while.

I have an answer as to why I have been seeing 'things moving' on the floor and I felt compelled much like my cat to chase imaginary bugs.

Depth perception is- lets just go with interesting.

The emotional adjustment has proved to be more difficult. Until this diagnosis I just assumed that I would get new glasses and all would be well with my eyes. Coming to accept that this is as good as it is going to get is hard. My best corrected vision is 20/800 and my field of vision is reduced. It is weird.

I understand that there are a lot of people a lot worse off in the world than me and a bum eye. I am working to maintain that perspective and a sense of humor.

Sick Children

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My children have a flair for the dramatic. So when Princess starts saying she does not feel well half of me just figures it is a day that ends in 'y' and to carry on. The day before yesterday she was acting 'off' nothing that was concrete just not herself. So I observed. Quietly. As the morning she went on she perked up. She was feeling well enough to argue with her siblings as the day progressed so I thought maybe she had just had a hard time sleeping the night prior.

Yesterday she again woke up feeling out of sorts. This time she looked decidedly pale too. She also did not bounce back. I touched her face and it was warm. Her temp was 102. Well- that explains the 'off' and the pallor. But she had nothing else. Nothing. Kids are weird right? probably some virus that she would just have to work through.

Last night. I did not get to sleep. Why is it that coughs make their appearance as the sun goes down and are exponentially worse at night and seem to get proportionally worse as the night goes on? Also why is it that my children fight medicine most when they need it?? Questions to ponder as I sat up next to my five year old listening to her cough up a lung. As a precaution I got the throw-up bowl: a stainless steel bowl that among its many purposes is the throw up catcher for when the bathroom is just too far. It seemed a good precautionary measure considering Princess is on the top bunk and making it down the ladder when coughing enough to vomit is asking a bit much of a five year old.

That is where I spent my night- rubbing the back of my sick child. Praying that she gets a bit better today.

so I have an excuse for

Thursday, January 21, 2010

my klutzy-ness now. and I understand why I have been seeing 'bugs' on the floor the past few months.

But that bit of humor does not make me feel any better about this.

In the ophthalmologists office I was easily the youngest by 30 years. The front desk people asked if I was here to pick up my grandmother- another asked if I was there for the optometrist- and then proceeded to explain to me the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. I then explained to her that I understood the difference and if she would be so kind as to not judge me- I would appreciate it- that I have lost a lot of vision in my right eye.

Belated Year End Review

Post-lifted from my friend Heather

Name: SomewhatSingleMama
Department:H Household
Title: CEO, COO (lots of other letters also)
Date: 1/21/2010

1.What do you consider to be the top three to five priorities of your job as you understand them?

Attend to the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of team members, maintain an atmosphere of minimized chaos, help reduce dependence on supervision.

2.What do you see as your greatest accomplishments or successful efforts over this past year?

I aided in allowing a junior member to undertake some independence in her education. Also I reduced our dependence on absorbent undergarments for one junior team member. We also grew our organization by one junior member.

3.What factors, environmental or otherwise, impacted your job or your ability to perform your job during the last year?

The prospect of leading a growing organization is daunti

ng. Because I have been assigned to lead this organization with out much support from a co- leader the responsibilities have, at times, seemed overwhelming. This, at time, impacted my leadership abilities.

4.Complete the following sentence. I believe that my greatest contribution to the department is: finding ways to creatively encourage the junior members to challenge themselves.

5.In what area or areas would you like to gain more experience, training or education?

I would appreciate the chance to participate in leadership training and educational development. I would also like the chance to learn about optimizing the time I have and organization.

6.What activities, classes or trainings have you participated in over the last review period in order to develop yourself professionally?

Regrettably, this is one area I am lacking in. Most of my research has resulted from conversing with and brainstorming other individuals in my position and brainstorming solutions to our challenges.

7.What could you do to perform your job duties and assigned tasks more efficiently?

I could take more initiative with regards to organization particularly as it relates to documenting commitments on a master calender. I also should be more proactive about scheduling time to recenter myself allowing me to lead the team members more effectively

8.What can your supervisor or co-workers do to assist you in becoming more efficient?

Physical and mental presence of a co-chairperson would certainly help. The junior team members also could continue their self- supervision skill development. We could all function more efficiently if we would successfully complete a strategy meeting without incessant interruption.

9.Please complete the following. I believe my goals and objectives for the coming year should be:

One of my primary goals is to again reduce the organization's dependence on diapers by one member. This would increase our mobility while decreasing cost and waste.

I also hope to decrease junior members dependence on night time cuddles.

10.What other comments or suggestions would you like to offer?

Currently the job I have been assigned is typically handled by more than one individual. While I have been struggling to meet all of the organization's objectives there are times when accomplishing everything is not possible resulting in discord and stress within the organization. I suggest to reduce these instances we consider delegation of some of the tasks to either outside contractors or more junior team members.

Needles and Eyes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

typically you want to avoid the two meeting right??

I agree that the two shall not meet. Ever. Maybe.

Since I had this diagnosis I have been not very bloggy- not very talky- not very anything except crabby and well crabby.

After an ER visit and a consult with one ophthalmologist then a referral to another ophthalmologist this time a retinal vitreous specialist.

Seriously I have learned more about eye anatomy and the treatment of diseases of the eye in the past 24 hours than I previously ever knew (coming from a bio major).

So what is happening in my eye to make my vision be all wonky?

I have a CRVO in my right eye. It is causing swelling and bleeding which is causing my vision loss. My optic nerve is swollen and there is some issue with the cup around my optic nerve. I was also diagnosed with glaucoma. All sorts of fantastic right?

So what treatment? Needles. IN MY EYE!
Yes I have to get injections in my eye. The doctor ran through a list of treatment options and this one seemed to be the best fit. This will hopefully reduce the swelling and prevent further loss of sight. There are some drawbacks primarily the needles. I also could develop cataracts earlier than I may have otherwise. Or my intraocular pressures may go up (which would be controlled with drops). But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. My mantra tends to be 'lets not borrow problems when they are giving them away for free?'

Now I am not a fan of needles in general. When they are aimed at my eye I am even less of a fan. Like running in the opposite direction screaming.

This made me laugh

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dear Pat Robertson, I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll. You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract. Best, Satan

normally when you are inches away from a mans face and he whispers 'Oh, Oh my' it is a good thing

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Maybe a month or so ago I noticed my vision in my right eye being a little off. I chalked it up to my migraine headaches or a sinus infection. I could not see part of my lower field of vision. It never went away but it never got any worse- and I stopped paying attention to it

I needed new glasses I new it- it had been since Stinky was born that I went to the eye doctor- so I scheduled an appointment- and rescheduled when life got in the way. Today the moons and stars aligned so as to allow me to get to the eye doc.

Something was off from the get go. I couldn't read the second line on the eye chart with my right eye.

Go into the exam room- yes my prescription has gotten worse but when the doctor was looking at my eye all up close and personal like he whispers, "oh oh oh my"... This is not a time when 'oh oh' is a good thing to hear. I couldn't take this as a complement. He then sits back in his seat with a sigh- not a satisfied sigh more of a 'how to talk about this' sigh.

I have a rather giant hemorrhage on my right retina. Which is what was causing my vision changes. I am now at risk for losing the sight in my eye. My world did a quick spin. I questioned what I had to do from here- what treatments are available. He told me I needed to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible- like Monday. He said that the only treatment that was used was lasering my retina to occlude the blood vessels much like the laser procedure used for ROP. The problem is that the vision that I have lost is gone.

I am freaked out by this. Losing my sight? Really? I thought it was nothing or that I was being dramatic- just brushing it off- bad idea. I should have gone as soon as I noticed my vision being off. I was kind of relieved that I had not lost my mind entirely that my vision was off.

Now I feel out of my depth. I know less than nothing about sight and eye stuff. I have a feeling I am in for a crash course in it though.

One thing that crossed my mind was losing my sight entirely. I know that the bleeding is on one side only- but the thought of losing the ability to see sends me into a cold sweat. I cannot imagine a world in which I can't see my children. That concept is unfathomable. If you have any extra prayers please send them this way.

Another Step Toward Manhood

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stinky took a flying leap toward manhood today- albeit a painful one.
We have kind of a routine in the house. He gets up announces like any man worth his salt that he is hungry. I tell him that the kitchen has not moved since yesterday and he is welcome to come and help me.

We settle on a breakfast choice, usually pancakes, and while waiting for his main course he sits his bum down and eats some fruit and has some juice. Shortly he stands up in his chair very shocked and loudly announces that he has to pee. Again he is reminded that the rooms of our house have not spontaneously rearranged themselves overnight. He runs off to the bathroom clutching his boy part with a death grip. He runs into the bathroom and runs out of the bathroom, then running in place still holding his hood ornament pants that 'my pee to fast!' which translates to 'It is an emergency and I cannot even focus enough to pull my pants down'. I go up there and help him then go back to finish breakfast after washing my hands of course.

Today we had a script change. Instead of needing help he got ready to potty all by himself! Yay! right? not so fast. From the bathroom came a high pitched scream that made me wonder who was in the bathroom and what was happening in there. I ran up the stairs and he was so upset he was doing the crying face without actually crying- he was having a hard time remembering to breathe upon assessing the scene I observed blood emanating from his boy part which he was holding on to with both hands. Eventually he calmed down enough to tell me what happened: he had gotten the skin stuck in his zipper. Poor guy. After a brief survey of other men it seems to be a common injury that is intensely painful- but it is almost a right of passage.

Knowing that it was common did not make it any less traumatic. another step toward manhood down

Never A Good Day

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13 is the anniversary of the day I went to Utah for treatment.
Every year I am a bit out of sorts on January 13th. Leading up to it I am usually a bit apprehensive- then the day dawns and I am irritable- reclusive- depressed- all sorts of of unpleasantness.

Today is no different. I am short tempered and less than patient. Getting out the door makes me a little overwhelmed. It does not help that leading up to this I have had flash back dreams to Utah- about being trapped there and unable to come home. My muscles are tense. My back is tense- I am anxious. I am on edge.

I wonder if my parents approach this day with anxiety. I wonder if they remember it the way I do?

Of course- this treatment is what saved my life. Without it I would probably died. The importance of it cannot be understated. Going there made me the mother I am. The person I am.

Thank you Mom and Dad for choosing this. Thank you for not giving up on me- when I wanted to- when I had. Thank you for not letting me go.

Pictures from the slopes!

Weekend fun

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life gets so stressful so fast. Especially when you are attempting to drive in conditions that can only mean our dear sweet mother nature is trying to kill you. I passed several flipped cars and even more cars that were off the road in the attempt to get out to Galena. Poor- G-d- was probably like 'Shut up already it is Illinois it is Winter- you should expect this.'

We made it alive. Barely. It was advanced winter driving techniques 103 or something. Frigid temps, snow, and, wind blowing the snow into white out conditions- while blowing cars across the highway- then just for fun lets add in hills, cliffs, and tight turns. Oh yeah- also for kicks make it late at night with no street lights.

We arrived. Safely. at 2 am. Kids passed out around 3. I gave up the fight around 4. I was up and ready the following morning at 7. The next day my friend and I had decided to take a beading class: "Wine, Chocolate, and Beads" at Galena Beads It was so much fun. Our teacher even has her own etsy store Hollingsworth. She makes the coolest rings! I am trying to not go hog wild and buy a few more of her pieces than is reasonable.

Admittedly, I was SO overwhelmed. And entire store full of beads how to choose just a few to make a piece of jewelry. Something caught my eye- very art deco- very cool. I found what I was looking for. The main part at least- the rest was to complement the 'main event'.

Beading commenced. It was turning out beautifully. And I was hooked. I have a new pastime a new way to reach my 'zen'.

Here are some pictures taken by my very talented friend Jenni of Lion's Roar Media

Hate the dentist

Who else is not so fond of the dentist? I can't be the only one in bloggy world who avoids the dentist?

I am not however avoiding it for the typical reason fear or pain- however I am far from averse to a xanax before the appointment. I am avoiding it for fear of judgment. Thanks to several years of an eating disorder I have effectively ruined my teeth. My main issue with the dentist relates to self- consciousness. I am embarrassed as to what my teeth look like.

Today I chipped another tooth. I took a trip down the stairs on my butt and in the process managed to bruise excessively and chip a tooth. I need to get it repaired and I'll get there. I also have a few cavities I need to get taken care of. But I am not looking forward too it.

After School Activities!?!?!?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Princess is in Daisy's. I hemmed and hawed about Daisy's because I did not want to 'over schedule' her. Keeping in mind that this was the only activity she was signed up for I decided that it would be ok to commit her to one afternoon once a month- that her emotional well being could with stand up to the rigors of such a tough schedule (insert sarcasm here)

I however am struggling. She is getting SOOOO big! When did she get so big? When did she stop needing me to help her?? I am kind of sad about that. I mean hoorah for independence and all but so soon? What happened to my little 3 lb baby? When did she turn into a kid- like an actual kid not a little kid- but a KID? Speaking of that when did she get so tall??? I am short. REALLY short- so most people are tall to me- Princess however at age 5 is probably going to be taller than my by the time she is in third grade.

So here she goes off into the land of activities. Sad again because we will never be that free time unscheduled- just go with it family- we will have commitments and schedules- and meetings- I don't think I like that so much

shovel please

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

this is a bit of a rant- and if you do not shovel your side walks stop reading now. really. No really.

as the mother of a lot children under five and a new puppy I need to get out and get some fresh air and ideally simultaneously wear out both the puppy and the kids. What better way than to walk to school. Because one of my children is only 23 months old, and cannot walk the mile to school and back , I have to take a stroller. Which is a royal pain even in the best of circumstances. When people have neglected to shovel their sidewalks it becomes hell. Yes, hell.

So today it was reasonably nice out sunny 20 odd degrees we get coats, hats, gloves, boots on and set out into the Chicago tundra to get to school with the 9 week old puppy. Our side of the street does not have sidewalks and I sorely wish it did. So we either have to walk in the street or across the road on the sidewalks there. This would be fine except some people elect not to shovel. Why? No idea. I mean sure if you are elderly or sick or something I understand but just not to shovel? Why?

Or the shoveling about six inches wide.. sure I am going to do a balance beam routine as I walk my kids to school.

So I ended up dragging the stroller leaned back with 2 kids in it about a block (the block that is along the somewhat busy street) then walking in the street the rest- and taking a different way home that avoided most of the somewhat busy street.

Next time it snows I am so taking my shovel and shoveling across the street- because despite the fact that I had a fantastic leg work out I am now tired.

and as an FYI if I were to slip and fall and break something I would so sue. if for nothing else than to get people to SHOVEL!!!

cats and doors

I have 2 cats. Most of the time I like them. They each have their own little idiosyncrasies- much like people. Misty is still pulling her fur out- no idea why- I understand it is a stress reaction- but she is a CAT what is stressful? The sleep? The petting? Heaven forbid the purring!

she also has an issue with closed doors. can't stand them. She is very good at opening the doors that she does not like closed. Which is problematic. Sometimes I like to have doors closed to keep kids or a puppy out or the heat in! But nope she can't stand it. If she cannot open a door she sits there and cries this guttural cry to get you to open the door for her- even if she just walks away after and does nothing in the room. She is an odd duck.

Rosie- also is strange at times- if you pet her back she has to lick something. She also gets over stimulated easily and will go a bit crazy on you if you are not careful.

Odd cats... why do they do these things!?!?!?!

Winter Fun

Monday, January 4, 2010

I know a lot of people really despise the cold and snow. I like the winter- most of the time. I do not think that I could live in a place that does not have seasons. Chicago has that. We have the hot sweltering weather in the summer and bone chilling cold in the winter. Even the cold and snow can be great fun.

Last week it was cold- and snowing. So what did we do? We went to the arboretum. I love the arboretum. It is fun for all seasons and all weather (even rain). It will be the last membership that I let go- after the Children's Museum or the Zoo.

We met some friends there for a quick snack and then out into the great white winter wonderland we went. The kids were in kid heaven. Snow! lots of it. I was so disappointed- I remembered my camera but forgot to charge the darn battery- the kids were having such a great time I wanted to get pictures of it.

Slides are even more fun in the winter with snow and ice- did you know that? The kids did. They had a fantastic an exhausting time.

It was so much fun to meet our friends there because they all were able to play together- no one was left out- the big kids waited for and helped the little ones and everyone was able to enjoy themselves- even the mamas.

Peas looked like the kid from "A Christmas Story" with her arms stuck out at her sides waddling/running after the big kids. Every so often the big kids would stop and wait for her- they would wait at stairs and hills to help her up. It wasn't just my kids it was all of the friends.

I was just talking to Princess about what her favorite part was and she said climbing and figuring out different ways to get up to the slides.

So as soon as we hit the 20 degree mark we'll head back there.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Yeah I know I have lived in Chicago for a while now- this whole cold winter thing should be old by now. Every year though- it never fails to take me by surprise- the first day of really cold weather- the kind that hurts. The kind when your coat gets all crunchy from freezing in the cold. Yep that cold.

It is that way now... 17 in the sun. Which is childs' play compared to what Chicago can dish out when really freaking cold. Then 17 will be a warm front.

This means a few things. Chicagoans are hearty- like Shetland ponies. 17 is still warm enough for me to take the kids outside for a few moments- not all day like I'll do in 30 degree weather but for a little just to take the edge off.

The cold also makes me start thinking ahead for the REALLY cold days that usually come mid January as to what to do with the kids? What should I do with them to keep them entertained and my house still standing?

I am open to ideas

Happy New Year

Friday, January 1, 2010

gone are the days of ringing in the New Year at some hot spot with a drink and dancing-sleeping until noon the next day and starting the day with a few Advil and water.

My new version of New Years Eve is MUCH more fun. We had a really nice dinner at home. We discussed all of the things that happened in 2009 and all we had to look forward too in 2010. After cleaning up the mess from dinner we moved on and made a cheesecake for tomorrow...which I had help with in the form of three very enthusiastic mini pastry chefs. They quality controlled every step with me and approved the cinnamon:chocolate chip ratio.

While that was baking we played a riveting three rounds of CandyLand. Somehow each child managed to win one round. Which presented a challenge for the losing players. There was much gnashing of teeth and even more stomping off to bedrooms with a solemn oath to never play again (for the next five minutes).

As the night grew later we had some strawberry fondue. Which did not go over as well as I had anticipated. They love strawberries and chocolate...but together? My children were less than impressed. They are clearly food purists.

We do not get to have many nights like that were we really focus on each other and spend so much quality time together. We had a wonderful time. It was great- but very tiring.

No the kids did not make it up until midnight- but well neither did I. I also would like to reiterate that staying up late does NOT correspond to sleeping in for the preschool set. Sleep begets sleep. Overtired begets temper tantrums- just an FYI.

A good way to end the year- a way to remind me what amazing gifts I have been given.