I never win anything.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I must have the worst contest entry luck in the world. I just don't win. Which is fine, for the most part. I have learned not to get my hopes up.

One thing that I did win was a coloring contest when I was 6 or so- I won second prize, and a Barbie.

I digress. I entered a giveaway on Newlyweds on a Budget and I WON. Take that luck. I WON.

When I opened my email to see a message from Kari, I squealed a bit (I am easy to please and easily excitable). This is thrilling because a) I think the blog is so adorable and b)I have found a new etsy shop to spend way to much money and time on. Two very awesome things.

Universe, Bring It. I am a winner! In the words of Charlie Sheen WINNING

The best things in life are free

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

But they take a lot of time and effort- thankfully, some of the effort is just so so much fun.

Last night we had so much fun. I missed my pole dancing class and that was a bummer- but catching lighting bugs with the kids until 9:30 was so fun. We also played tag and duck duck goose.

When I was little catching lightning bugs was one of the things I looked forward to most.

My mom would find a container and poke some air holes in it and my friends and I would run around the neighborhood catching the fireflies until the jar glowed like a lantern.

At some point the mothers would yell for the kids to come home and we would fall unceremoniously to sleep.

Having the time yesterday to run around and play with my kids was one of the highlights of my week, month even. It was just such a great night. I wish I could explain it.

Peas was playing duck duck goose and was giggling so much she could hardly get the words out. When she would get a lightening bug she would cradle it in her hand and ask it politely to light up.

Pixie, too young to really understand, was determined to take part. She sat in the circle and ran around shrieking with glee. She was thrilled to look at the lightning bugs, fascinated by their glow.

Stinky ran around like I have never seen him. Catching lightning bugs with cat like reflexes.

Princess- what can I say about her? She is growing into be such an amazing kid. She helped Pixie get lightning bugs and played duck duck goose. She is a wonderful kid.

In or Out

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The kids love to play outside. This is good. Keeps them active, wears them out etc.

But the in and out of the house is driving me nuts.

My mom used to yell at me to stay in or stay out but the constant in an out was making her batty. I scoffed. Now? I am right there asking my kids to please pick- in or out. If the baby gets out or the dog gets out there are issues, and the kids are not the best at being mindful as they zip in an out 25 times.

Aside from that it really does get grate on me. Opening and closing, feet pounding. My shoulders tense. My fingers curl. for the love of all that is holy... pick: in or out. Then stay there.

/end rant

A blog... interrupted......

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A few days ago my attention was caught by a blogger who crashed a wedding as part of her "list" before moving out of state(I wonder what else is on that list?).

Now, I understand Wedding Crashers made this type of thing seem really appealing, and that is fine. For the most part-it is not a big deal as long as the crasher does not take a seat away from a guest.

However, this blogger took it too far, not only did she crash a wedding at a private venue, she posted photos of the couple and their event.

The groom found out about it and coolly chastised her in a comment. Leaving the not so subtle hint that they found this intrusive and an invasion of privacy. (If she, at this time, had taken down the photos and apologized it would have been -end scene- but she did not. She elected to deny doing anything wrong, and refuse to remove the photos.

It turned out that this event was a celebration of love and life while remembering a recently passed family member. Instead of respecting the sacred and private nature of the event, she mocked it. Calling it a blink in her life. A day that so many hours and so much money was spent on, and so much meaning and love was attached too, was brutally minimized.

By refusing to acknowledge her errors she ticked off a lot off people and manged to portray herself not as a spontaneous fun loving person, but a selfish woman, unconcerned with anyone but herself.

Here is a super funny aside, she posted the photos of the couple, made her captions entirely about herself, and then at the bottom, reminded readers to NOT USE HER PHOTOS WITHOUT PERMISSION. Really? Wow.

The other note- is that- her writing style was 'grammar interrupted' it was irritating and bothersome. Capitals are your friends. ... can easily be overused.
I mean, we had some crashers at out wedding, but we were fine with it.

The Tornado Sirens Are Not Used For Musicality

Friday, June 24, 2011

When tornado sirens sound- go to the basement. This is elementary right? We all learn this in grade school.

It is not specifically the tornado that is the concern but the debris it picks up and tosses like a Nerf ball- except a lot more dangerous.

Tuesday the sky got black way to early. Wind gusted like I had never seen (or felt) Lightening flashed. It was surreal.

The noise was deafening. It would not have been surprising to see a cow a la Twister fly by (even though there are no cows with in a mile or so of here)

But, there were people who did not listen to the warnings and were hanging out... Dude. Nothing may happen and that is great- but heaven forbid something does happen, it is better to be somewhere with some modicum of protection.

This is confusing- some towns do not sound sirens for "Tornado Warnings" for a radar indicated tornado- they wait until a tornado is spotted before sounding them. On Tuesday, one town that was hit by a tornado did not sound the sirens...as the tornado was not spotted. Visibility was poor, and the tornado was rain wrapped. This has the potential to end tragically- and if the tornado the other night was stronger it very easily could have had a sad ending.

Other municipalities do sound their sirens for radar indicated tornados, which in my opinion is a lot safer of a choice. Regardless- if there is a tornado warning- get in the basement.

This means that as a resident you should know under what circumstances your municipality sounds the sirens and be aware of a safe place to go.

I'll take pain for $200, Alex

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stinky gets sick fast. When he does get sick he does not mess around. He also loathes medicine. Chewable or liquid- I cannot even get him to take children's Tylenol with out vomiting after. This goes for the super tasty bubblegum antibiotics as well. Last time he was on it we had to get several refills because he kept vomiting.

This time as we sat in the room with the doctor, discussing our options about medication for his positive strep test. He could chose the bubblegum medicine that so many kids clamor for or he could have a shot.

Get this. He willingly chose the shot. A kid. Chose a shot. I should not be surprised. This is the kid who chooses a Tylenol suppository over the cherry stuff.

He is a strange one.

Stinky cried a little during the shot, but he was fine shortly after. He commented getting into the car that he did not have to take any more medicine now.

Fair Enough.

So much to say so little time

We had tornados in our area the other night. We were very lucky and escaped with no major damage.

Stinky has strep throat

and much much more stay tuned

Climbing Everest

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sometimes I think that Pixie walks around looking at things in the house and thinks, "add snow, whipping winds, a sherpa or two and we have Base Camp in Nepal, I think I'll climb for it"

Nothing is immune her deciding to scale it. The dogs. The cat. My leg. Chairs. Tables. etc. Pixie will summit them all.

To which I wonder why. what is the great appeal? Is the vantage point really that much better? As I am really short, I cannot say for sure. But having plucked her from the island in the kitchen this morning 5 times there must be some magnetism or something. The Baby Bermuda Triangle?

Pixie just doesn't take the easy way, she likes to challenge herself and after she has mastered one path of ascent she goes for another (do they make harnesses in baby sizes?)

Maybe she imagines she is an explorer discovering new and amazing lands, such as the kitchen counter.

Either way she is going UP!

you want pictures you say???

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pictures of a great party for Princess. Nothing really fancy, just sundae's, cupcakes, and the pony, that is all that we really need, and it was just great!


Last week in pole dancing it was not the best class for me. I was feeling tired and weak for some reason.

Even completing the work out was hard. Stretching was painful. My shoulder was sore for some unknown reason. I couldn't find my rhythm. I could not get tricks I have done a 100 times.

I was annoyed. I was frustrated. I felt like crying- or hitting something. Perfectionism set in, I did not want to try tricks because I was afraid I would not get them.

This was a first for me. I left Tease struggling. I did not confident or sexy. I felt fat and sluggish. Part of me even wanted to give up pole dancing. I started planning me meals (or lack of) for the next week to lose weight. While I know that is not an acceptable coping mechanism, it is where my head went.

Now that I am three days past the incident, I am nervous about my up coming class. But I will be there, ready to try it again.

I suppose there are bound to be off days, not everyday can be good.

Bailyes and Coffee

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You know the day is a character builder when at 11:30 am I am debating which alcoholic beverage to indulge in.

I had two choices: vodka and Cranberry or Baileys and coffee. After a little debate I decided to go the Bailey's and coffee route. I actually thought it out and had a whole reasoning based internal dialogue about the situation.

a) Bailey's and Coffee seemed to be the more socially acceptable choice- much like a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary is acceptable for Sunday brunch.

b) there is the whole caffiene thing, with the coffee- I'd get some

c) the kids were less likely to steal my Bailey's and coffee.

the day was certainly a character builder in the truest sense of the word. However- that little bit of Baileys certainly was enjoyable.

sometimes I wish..

Friday, June 17, 2011

That I had not "gone public" with my blog. (I am really glad I did though 99% of the time)

However, every once in a while I have a hard time--who doesn't have a hard time once in a while??

And I feel like I am pasting myself back together with frayed ends, and mismatched pieces. But I feel like I cannot go and have verbal diarrhea on my blog because I.MUST.KEEP.IT.TOGETHER at all times. I must not reveal that behind my blog sits me: sometimes barely holding it together with a thread. Sometimes afraid to let things go for fear I may not get things back again. Sometimes just unable to find words for feelings. Unable to cry. Unable to allow myself to feel, because what if.. what if what I feel is too much? What if what I feel sinks me? What if?

What if I let everyone down? What if no one likes me? What if everyone judges me? What if.....

So sometimes I wish that I had not put my blog out there. But then someone emails me and lets me know that as much as I feel like it. I am not alone.

So what'd the other guy look like??

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My kids are rough and tumble. We go roughly a box of band-aids in a week and a half (half of those band-aids are completely unnecessary). But my first aid skills are pretty rockin'

Peas was riding Princess's scooter, she can really move on it, Stinky was on his, Princess was on his bike, Pixie was in the stroller and we set off. Peas and Stinky, despite my requests not to decided to scooter down a hill. It did not end well.

Stinky slid down the last third of the hill baseball style, with out the benefit of pants, or dirt. It was on black top. He crashed into the wooden lip around a swing set. He walked away unscathed, except for a skinned knee. He was screaming, I was afraid he broke a bone or something, he refused to walk. But- nope he seems to have a flair for the dramatic.

Peas wiped out too. Face first into a rock. She stood up and blood was pouring out of her nose and mouth. Her lip was already swelling. She was ticked. Pissed off at the nerve of the ground to surprise her like that.

---interjection I had just put a first aid kit in the stroller 2 days before, and it is a darn good thing I did.------

I got both kids up to the stroller and opened up the kit. Pulled out gauze and put it on her nose and mouth. Then cleaned off Stinky's knee- it was hardly bleeding and put a band-aid on it.

Turned to Peas. She was still pouting but the bleeding was slowing. I asked her if she would ride in the stroller home and she insisted, emphatically on riding the scooter. Stinky, however, needed to ride.

When we got home it was time to clean up Peas a little more. She had a pretty big bump on her head, her nose was bruised and her lip was mangled.

She had a popsicle for her mouth and a whole head cold pack for her face. On the whole she seemed to handle it really well. Princess also, and she really does not do blood very well (she'll turn white, and feel like fainting. This time she kept it together.

I had to take her to the doctor for her nose and it is broken. There is nothing really to do for it until she is older though.

Walking home though she had blood all over her face and all over her hands.. she looked like she was in a nasty fight. But she has some gumption.

To repeat what someone said about her: She hit the ground and won.

I Miss Colorado

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It is a beautiful day here. The sun is shinning, it is warm (but not hot) there is a gentle breeze.

Today would have been a perfect day to go hang in the Rockies. It would be a great day to hike. A great day to play at the Springs. A great day. Instead we settled for Target.

Instead I watched the kids ride their bikes in the driveway and missed the mountains.

This is odd. I never have really missed a place like this before. Bummer.

I mean who could not miss a place like this?

Compassion and Empathy Peas style

Monday, June 13, 2011

It is no secret the Peas is exuberant. She is spirited. She is Peas.

She is loving. She feels others joy and pain. She is purely herself.

A few weeks ago my mother came to stay. She had a cut on her hand. One night Peas fell and bonked her back and it hurt. She wanted ice.

While Peas and my mom were sitting on the couch Peas noticed the cut on my mother's hand. Peas immediately expressed concern the best she could: "Owie?" "Oh No!" Peas exclaimed.

Soon enough she took the ice from her back and put it on my mother's hand.

This is the girl I am raising. This is the product of attentive connected parenting when her needs are recognized and honored. This is why. My genuine girl. Her authentic concern.

Dear Princess

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Princess,

It is hard to believe that you have been alive for so long now. So much has changed in 7 years.

I remember,vividly getting to kiss you before you went to the NICU. I remember washing my hands so many times before I could see you. I remember taking you home. I vividly remember your smell your soft skin, your deep eyes. I remember just taking you in.

You changed my life. Saved it even. You were truly sent from heaven and everyday I am thankful that I am your mother.

You are so strong, so independent so smart.

I look at you amazed at your patience at your grace and your love. Watching you grow and learn has been the most amazing thing. Seeing you change and seeing the world through your eyes has been such a gift.

Thank you for being such a great person. Such a kind girl. Such a wonderful sister. Such and amazing daughter.

You will never know how very much I love you.


When GPS dies.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I had to go to the University of Chicago campus for a doctors appointment. The doctor I was seeing will be the one operating on my wrist.

We made it into the city reasonably well... Though getting off of the highway was a bit of a pain- 45 minutes on the ramp to get off- that took longer than the entire rest of the trip.

I was also reminded exactly why I do not like driving in the city. There is too much too watch, too much to worry about, too many cars. It gives me massive anxiety issues. Seriously just getting going caused me to shake and sweat.

So after arriving, we parked 6 blocks away (another issues with driving in the city). But had a beautiful walk to the hospital. Really the University of Chicago campus is amazingly beautiful. The ivy is amazing and the Gothic architecture is stunning. It makes me almost wish I could live in the city again. It makes me almost wish I could be in my early 20's again.

Chicago- especially Hyde Park is an interesting neighborhood. One wrong turn and the neighborhood goes from beautiful to not very nice at all.

After the appointment we walked back to the car in incredible heat. Got to the car and the GPS touch screen did not work- fantastic. I figured it would be okay because I had my phone and I could use that. Except that battery had died too (despite charging all night long). It was so awful it was funny. OF COURSE this is happening to me. OF COURSE. Why wouldn't it? Technology hates me. I can't even turn the TV on half the time.

Because I was so upset, I was snappy at the kids, I should not have been but I was. They wanted to talk to me, but I could not handle anything else at the moment. Did they listen to my nice requests? No. Then I raised my voice- and they cried.

I figured I could still get home- it may not be the most direct route but we would make it- then my gas light came on.

So I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, in which I really felt uncomfortable, was running out of gas, on the hottest day of the year (97 degrees).

We made it home. It took an hour and change. But we did it. By the time we got home I was emotionally drained. I even skipped pole dancing that week because I simply could not handle it.

Chicago Weather

Two days ago I was worried about the heat. Yesterday the high was in the 50's. Yes ladies and gentlemen that is a 40 degree drop in less than 24 hours.

Along with that 40 degree drop we had some strong/severe storms and some cool lightening.

So now it is cooler (thank goodness) and there is water in my basement from the rain (not a lot- seepage) but another thing to fix.

Yet- I have faith that it will all work out. Moreover- I am thrilled that it is not worse. It could be so so much worse.

But you have to love Chicago weather. Snow and heat (in the same week- a day a part) been there done that- in May actually.

Why this now?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I know I am very very blessed. Exceedingly so.

Right now I am more than a little frustrated at the cost of things. Over the winter our furnace went, we have not replaced it yet as at I just do not have the money. For the time it is fine- it is summer. Now our air conditioner went too. I am not big on using the air conditioner but having the option is nice. Especially for sleeping.

I am honestly scared. I hate being scared about money. It is, well, scary. Being scared sucks, it is a very vulnerable position.

If any of you have an extra few thousand dollars lying around that you cannot seem to spend- I'll be happy to help you, my kids will thank you for it.

If you do not have a few thousand dollars laying around (honestly, who does?) Then say a little prayer that we weather this storm?

Thank you.

At what cost?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"at what cost" is a phrase that John Rapp repeated about the right of a woman in Illinois to feed her child.

This got me thinking. At what cost, indeed? At the cost of a child being nurtured and loved? At the cost of children (and maybe adults) learning to view nursing as a normal way of feeding a child.

I nurse. I have nursed in a box (literally). In a car (you'd be amazed how I can balance myself over a carseat and nurse my baby). On a plane (what? you'd rather listen to a baby scream when her ears adjust?). In my place of worship (SACRILEGE!). So far my kids have not turned out as sexually obsessed lunatics.

They are compassionate. They are loving. They are cuddly. They are caring. They are empathetic. All of which are terrible right? How could I possibly want to produce a member of society sensitive to other's needs? That is not the American Way!! (sarcasm, really)

Mr. Rapp states he was concerned about the comfort of his clientele. He states he was concerned about other people being uncomfortable with a mother nursing; about children seeing a baby breastfeeding- specifically children seeing an exposed breast. He states that women defending their right to breastfeed are hypocrites because they are ignoring the needs of others. He states that the law is wrong. He states that it is indecent and a disgrace. Really? A baby eating is indecent?!?

If he has issues with it than he can look away. No one is forcing him to ogle a woman nursing.

{An aside: The problem is- there is little information available about where a woman should complain if her rights are violated.

Rather than staging a nurse-in what options does a woman have? Call the police? The State's Attorney?}

So what is the cost of allowing a mother to feed her child in the most normal way possible? Healthy kids? Healthy moms? Positive association with a woman's body? I'll gladly pay that price.

What I hope they remember

Friday, June 3, 2011

I can look back on my childhood and remember snippets. I remember my grandfather (my mother's dad) teaching me gardening and helping me plan my own garden. I remember my grandmother (my mom's mom) teaching me to play cribbage. I remember my aunt helping me make a doll. I remember my other aunt and the beach.... But I have to think about those to remember them. They do not just pop into my head at the mention of an individual.

I hope that when my children look back they can remember the times like we had tonight. Playing hide and seek, then a big tickle fight. Full of giggling and laughing and shrieks of joy.

Certainly, they will remember me screeching at them for yet again leaving shoes on the stairs or something else. I can only hope and strive to make the fun memories stronger and more numerous than the less happy ones.

Body Image Issues

Thursday, June 2, 2011

on a good day my body image resembles a pile of dog crap. I can point out a dozen flaws in myself if I am being conservative.

This is a vast improvement for me.

However, in the past few days I have been having a really difficult time with it. Doing the "I am fat, I have fat thighs, my bum giggles"... Most notably my face is fat.

This can be the beginning of a slide towards re-emergence of my eating issues.

This week I also took a step towards self destruction. I learned my weight at the doctors office and proceeded to obsess about it. I did not like the number.

In Colorado, the hotel gym had a scale- I stepped on it. My weight was significantly less even though nothing had changed. My reaction was typical.. instead of accepting my weight for what it was, I was convinced that the scale had to be drastically off. So I grabbed 2 25lb weights and put them on the scale to see how much the scale was off. It was only 2lbs off. So either the scale in the doctors office is wrong or the scale and the weights are wrong in Colorado. Whats more is, this was now five days ago and I am still thinking about it almost constantly.

This could get interesting


As a Chicago area resident mountains are not part of my daily landscape.

Since I was really little I have loved them though. We would frequently visit Colorado to play in them and some of the best memories of my life are in the Rocky Mountains.

Then came Utah

My associations with mountains changed a little. Everyday, I would get up and see the Wasatch Range out my window with Mount Timpanogous out the window. The mountains became so much more than just jutting rocks. They carried a symbolism for me they are forever intertwined with my Utah time in my mind. They mountains are synonymous with an eating disorder, with treatment, with getting better... getting worse.. so much that I do not have the words to come close to describing. They do, in my mind, equate to my life changing.

There was some anxiety associated with going back to the Rockies for me. Some mornings when I used to work full-time there would be clouds on the horizon and they would resemble mountains. My breath would catch and I would need to gather myself. How would it be to be back there?

The mountains were amazing. Filled with the majestic beauty that they always have been. I watched them come into view from the plane and was drawn back to 1999 for a moment.

Outside the mountains were even prettier. Walking a long the trails and marveling in the shear size of them is absolute evidence of G-d at work.

I did not want to leave. The mountains have some sort of magnetism for me. Maybe someday, I can move out there. I would love it. Living in the mountains seems like home. I feel more at home there. Odd. Yes. But it just does. Somethings- just fit.

Red Rocks

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I have a lot to recap about our recent trip to Colorado. From the hotel no bathtub fiasco, to Pixie getting sick, the hiking, the mountains, the inconvenience of being in Denver airport for many hours when a flight was delayed and more.. but for now- I'll write about some of the prettiest views I have ever had the pleasure to see.

The rocks look pretty, but what really got me was the amazing size of them.. They are just so amazingly huge. So awe inspiring. So so breathtaking.

Here is one of the first things on the trail:

This is kind of hard to see- but the sign is bolted into the rocks inches in front of a cliff face. Problem is- to read it- you have to get pretty close to the edge of the cliff... I suppose it doubles as an IQ test.

see? Rattlesnakes and danger?? Super cook hike.

Isn't this amazing??

The amphitheater:

Pixie playing.