Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The countdown continues......

Not much time now until our big trip. Am I ready? Am I packed? Are the healthy snacks purchased? Is the TripTik picked up? Is the GPS programmed? Are our reservations confirmed?


The dog is at the groomer today, which is good and I'm working on emptying out the fridge, which is always fun. And the laundry is done. Other than that? Yeah, we're in trouble! We leave Friday morning and I do NOT want to get a late start! So, that means I'll probably run around like a crazy woman for the next three nights while RockStar lazes around on the couch saying encouraging things like, "Why are you worrying, there's still another day?" or "Come here and cuddle me" or "I need a rest, I put 2 pairs of shorts, 3 t-shirts and some underwear in a bag and now my work is done!" Yeah, going on vacation always brings out the crazy in me and the lazy in him.

His penance is usually to drive the first leg of the trip! If I can pack for 1 adult, 2 growing children and a large dog, then he can drive a few miles! Seems fair to me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another win!

This morning I added another win to my growing list of contest wins -- a family four pack to a local amusement park and a $250 American Express gift card!!!!!

I luv me some contests!!!!!

I've been winning contests for many many years now! When I was a kid, I would listen to the radio at night, mostly when I was supposed to be asleep. I would cradle my Bell Princess phone (just an "extension" -- do you remember those?) and wait for the evening contest to be announced. Sometimes it was a trivia question, usually it was just be the Xth caller. I would dial furiously -- remember, there was no "redial" function in those days -- and put on my best adult voice if I was lucky enough to get through. I won movie tickets, t-shirts, record albums, memorabilia and once I won a ham. Yep, the good little Jewish girl won a HAM!!! My dad is a great cook, so he took it on as an experimental project. He figured it was the only time he'd EVER cook a ham, so he did it right! Slow-baked with a sweet glaze and decorated with pineapple rings and cherries. I don't think we took a photo of it (evidence, you know....), but I wish we had. He outdid himself!

As I got older, I drifted away from contests, but a few years ago, I discovered how easy it is to enter on the Internet. These days, stamps cost too much to waste them on contest entries. A few clicks on the net is free!

In the past couple years, I've won a theatre subscription, theatre tickets, movie tickets, CDs, lots of amusement park tickets, rodeo tickets, cash, lottery tickets, Aquarium tickets, behind-the-scenes tour and tickets to the zoo, a pinball machine, cleaning products, posters, arts and crafts supplies, restaurant gift cards and 4 laps in a NASCAR at a real racetrack. I'm going to be using that last one later this week when we start our vacation -- keep watching for that post!!!!

If you're thinking about contesting yourself, here's my suggestions:

* Start by finding the websites of your local radio stations and newspapers and magazines. They run very good contests and fewer people enter compared to the national contests, so your chances are much better!
* Create a file in your bookmarks for the contest pages of those sites you've just found. I try to keep the radio and TV stations together at the top and next the local newspapers and magazines. Most contests will let you enter daily, so do it!
* Enter, enter, enter!!!! Don't give up -- it may take awhile, but I guarantee that if you enter regularly, you'll win something eventually!
* If you're reading this, you're obvioulsy a blog reader. Many blogs run contests for their readers. Because of the relatively small number of entries in the average blog contest, you've got a really good chance of winning something!
* Keep a list of your winnings. It's really inspirational to look at when you're having a dry spell!

Good luck!!!

HandsomeBoy is a sensitive, new age guy!!!!

10 points to first person who accurately identifies the reference in the title!!!!

Because we're going to Disney next week, I borrowed a bag of Disney movies from a friend this weekend and plan to watch at least one each day this week with the boys as our "homework" for our trip! Last night was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The boys were enjoying it and laughing at the dwarves (who, I have to add at this point, bear a striking vocal resemblance to every 50+ year old man from RockStar's hometown!!!!!). They thought the Evil Queen was all sorts of mean, but they were fine. Up until Snow White eats the apple and "dies". At that moment, HandsomeBoy began to cry.

I don't mean tear up or wimper or get sad. I mean CRY!!! Huge, gasping sobs with his face buried in the pillows. He was completely destroyed by Snow White's apparent death. So much so that he couldn't even compose himself enough to watch the Prince save her with a kiss. Yep, that's my boy. When he feels something, he really FEELS it!!! He absolutely cannot watch anything sad. Scary is fine. In fact, he likes scary. It doesn't bother him at all. No bad dreams, no nightmares, no nothing. But sad???? This is the same kid who devolved into sobs when AirBud's human friend tries to send him away so he'll be safe and not be dognapped by the evil clown. It took about 15 minutes to calm him down after that!

Someone gave us a copy of Old Yeller a few years ago. Needless to say, it still has the wrapper on it. Every once in a while, CutiePie pulls it out and asks to watch the dog movie. And every time I tell him no. I don't think HandsomeBoy would SURVIVE that movie!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It could have been me .......

This afternoon we took our bikes and went biking on a fantastic trail created by Rails to Trails, an organization I wholeheartedly support, by the way. We were having a great ride but were only a short distance along the trail when I made the mistake of looking back to see how the kids were doing. They've only started riding two-wheelers this summer, so I still worry about them when we're on a linear trail that doesn't give them much room to wobble. Of course, because I looked back and took my eyes off the trail, I edged off the paved part and onto the gravel. I stupidly tried to bump my bike back up on the paved part, which immediately became apparent was a BAD idea. I went down, the pavement came up and we met with a crash. Luckily, I hadn't been going very fast and I have a little padding on my hips, which is the part of me that took the brunt of the fall.

I wasn't hurt badly, although it did (and does) sting. My left hip has a little road rash and is bruised and tender. My right shin is bruised and has a teenytiny cut. My palms got just a bit scraped. On the whole, not so bad. My pride was hurt more than anything else! It's been a looooooooong time since I've fallen off my bike and I wasn't thrilled that the kids saw it. I think HandsomeBoy just about jumped out of his skin! He was at my side in a flash!

Anyway, I got back on my bike and was fine. We bike for about another half hour and were on our way back to the car when a biker passed us. We were crawling along because HandsomeBoy was tired, so she couldn't have been going faster than 12 mph. Maybe even a little less. To my shock and horror, SHE DID THE SAME THING I'D DONE!!!! Her tire went off the path and then bumped up against paved part and she went down to the ground. Unfortunately, she wasn't as lucky as I'd been.

Where I'd tipped over to the side, she seemed to go forward. She hit the pavement face-first and lay there with her arms at her side, next to her toppled bike. I raced toward her and tried to assess her injuries. She didn't move for a minute and seemed stunned. When she finally raised her head, I could see that her cheek was shockingly red and very swollen. I carefully took her helmet off (thank goodness she was wearing one!) and started to see what else could be wrong. Her left elbow was also red and swelling fast. I suspect that she fractured her cheekbone and arm. Her husband came up a minute later -- he must have been biking ahead and turned back to find her. She was saying she didn't need 911, but I could tell otherwise. I called 911 and they were there within minutes! There are so many stories about 911 failing to respond that it was reassuring to see them show up so quickly, especially considering we were on a bike path in an otherwise non-accessible section of a national park!

We didn't stay much longer because we didn't want to be in the way. The boys were very upset by it. Especially considering HandsomeBoy's bike accident earlier this summer. CutiePie asked me why I called 911 for the woman but not for HandsomeBoy. I had to assure him that it was only because we didn't need 911 for HandsomeBoy. Close, but not quite.

Anyway, all afternoon I've been thinking about why things happen to some people and not to others and why even when the same thing happens to different people, the results may still vary. We both were going slowly on the same path and made the same stupid mistake. I ended up with wounded pride and she probably spent the afternoon in the ER. I've always felt fortunate in life. Even the bad things that happen to me have never been as bad as they could be or they've had a silver lining or they've led me somewhere I might not have ended up if not for the unplanned event.

It's something to think about........

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Whoo hoooo!!!! I made it through another week! Of course, I AM at the office right now, trying to catch up and get ahead! With my boss (dad) out of town last week and this upcoming week and also with me gone to Florida the following week, I'm drowning in work! It doesn't help that I spent a good part of this past week running CutiePie around to his doctors and taking care of MIL!!! But I digress....

MIL is now on her way home. I really hope she can continue to progress she's made while she's been here. I was hoping she'd stay another week, but she really wanted to go home. Short of holding her hostage, I didn't think we could/should stop her. I'm just really concerned that she's going to overdo it and not follow her medication schedule and that no one else there is going to help her. On top of that, I think the doctors out there are witch doctors!!! Keep your fingers crossed.

It's hard to believe that a week from now, we'll be driving down to Disney! I can't wait! I've been looking over my books and I can tell that we're really going to have a great time! We haven't told the boys yet, because we wanted to keep the surprise going. They know we're going somewhere, but they don't know where yet. I think their heads are going to explode when they find out!

If anyone has any good Disney advice, I'm happy to hear it! Lady Doc -- I'm looking at YOU!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I (as in me, yo, ya, ani and ich!)

I AM ... slowly becoming ther person I want to be.

I WANT... to have an organized, peaceful, happy life full of family, friends, happy surprises, great adventures and small moments of beauty.

I HAVE ... been very lucky in my life -- adopted into a wonderful family, married to an awesome guy, adopted the two greatest kids I've ever met and also been blessed with good health, a good education and a functioning brain (when I choose to use it, of course!)

I WISH I COULD ... sing. Really. I like to sing. I enjoy singing. I desire to serenade people and perform songs that move them. Unfortunately, my singing moves people OUT OF EARSHOT!!!!!

I HATE ... people who seek to limit others based on their own beliefs and ideals. Live your own life and let others live theirs!!!!

I FEAR ... becoming sick and frail and alone one day.

I HEAR ... myself echoed back to me when my children scold or threaten each other (i.e., HandsomeBoy saying "CutiePie, that's it. That was your last chance. You've lost your privileges. No surprise for you. Now go sit on the steps!")

I SEARCH ... for ways to save money and time.


I REGRET ... only a few things in my life. One of which is allowing friends to drift out of my life. Another is squandering opportunies because of procrastination or disorganization or sheer laziness.

I LOVE ... my children more than I ever dreamed I could.

I ACHE FOR ... a little girl, but at this point, I can't imagine juggling another child. Especially if she had any "needs" above normal. CutiePie is pretty close to fine, but his various specialists that we are seeing to ensure that he reaches his full potential are draining me, financially and energy-wise!

I ALWAYS CRY ... when I least expect it. I don't cry often, but sometimes I'll find myself tearing up at a surprising time.

I AM NOT ... concerned about what other people think about me or my family. We're just fine, thankyouverymuch.

I DANCE ... while I do housework.

I SING ... whenever I'm alone.

I NEVER ... want to work 80 hours a week again.

I RARELY ... say never!

I CRY WHEN I WATCH ... the referral video from Russia in which we first saw HandsomeBoy. He was soooooo perfect. It was uncanny! When you adopt from Russia, you're usually told to not pay too much attention to the referral video (if you're lucky enough to get one) and just use it as a medical review tool. In our case, HandsomeBoy was playing, singing, counting, trying to play piano, laughing, entertaining the adults and looking tall, strong and handsome! The first time we saw it, we could hardly believe that we would be meeting that adorable little boy in a few weeks and then he would be our son soon thereafter! Incredible! Whenever we watch the video now, it all comes rushing back to me and I start to tear up! Because we didn't receive CutiePie's referral until we got to Russia, we didn't get a referral video of him. I'm sure I'd be crying at his video also!

I AM NOT ALWAYS ... as liberal and generous in spirit toward my fellow humans as I'd like to be. I can be very judgmental and form unfair opinions of people that can be hard for me to rise above.

I HATE THAT ... people litter in public places -- especially cigarette butts thrown out the window of cars or thrown onto the sidewalk instead of placed into the ashcan at someone's feet!!!! GAH! That burns me up just thinking about it!!!!

I'M CONFUSED ABOUT ... so many many things!!!

I NEED ... to get a lot of sleep very soon. We're leaving for Disney next week and I'm so so soooooo tired right now that I just don't know how I'm going to survive it!

I SHOULD ... remind you that you are more than welcome to steal this from me and do it on your blog. After all, I did. (And though I can't remember who I stole it from - I "thank you" nonetheless.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My continuing life as a sandwich.....

My mother in law has been here since Sunday and is doing better in some ways. The swelling in her feet is definitely much reduced and she has a little more appetite and better energy. However, last night, she had a lot of trouble breathing and felt a lot of pressure on her chest when she laid down. Plus, she hasn't lost any weight since she's been here and we were expecting more of the water weight to flush out of her body.

So, this morning we called her family physician. She ordered blood work and a chest x-ray, so off to the local hospital we went. I took the morning off work to be with her and then my husband met us after the hospital and he took off the afternoon. So, I still managed to get some work done today.

I'm worried about her. She wants to go back home this weekend and I'm REALLY worried about that. She doesn't have anyone there who's going to take as good care of her as we do. Because we are going on vacation at the end of next week, it'll be two weeks more before we can bring her back here. I'm really worried that she's going to end up back in the hospital before we can get her!

Meanwhile, we're looking into putting CutiePie on ADHD medication. I say "we" but I mean "I". RockStar is really against medicating him. Of course, RockStar never saw CutiePie in the classroom setting and doesn't do homework with him. I don't think he understands how disruptive and distracted and crazy CutiePie is in an academic setting. I've seen it. I saw how hard Kindergarten was for him. I really don't want first grade to be such a struggle. I want him to LIKE school. I want him to be PROUD of himself and comfortable with the other kids. I want him to be ABLE to keep the "goofies" inside himself until recess time. I'm hoping that medication may be able to help him do that.

I'm still exploring other therapies and treatments. He's currently in Behavior Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Vision Therapy and we'll soon be seeing a Psychologist who specialized in Post-Institutional kids. Whew! I get tired just typing all that, much less doing all the footwork to get him around to everything!

Before we can start the meds, we have to get him an EKG, so that's first thing on my schedule for tomorrow. Wheeeeeeeeeee!!! When will all the fun end???

On the other hand.......

As I was driving home last night, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe..... I might not be a good 1930's wife, but maybe I wouldn't be so bad as a husband. So, the envelope please..........


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Yep! How about that! Looks like I could have made some woman very happy back then!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Should I be upset???

Wow. A test that says I'm a failure and I'm not even that upset about it. That's a switch!!! LOL!


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

If you're keeping score, RockStar rated an 85 (Very Superior) as a 1930's husband!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic event of the evening? Declutter-a-thon!!!!

Since my mother in law is coming tomorrow, I'm trying to really get the house fixed up. I'd like it to be fixed up no matter what, but it seems that I work better with an imposed goal and a deadline. So, here I am, doing my FlyLady Crisis Cleaning. I think she'd be proud of me -- I'm letting go of stuff that I don't need and is only cluttering up my home. I'd rather have the space -- space to breath, live, love.....

Our house isn't a disaster area. It used to be, but it's not now. That's mostly thanks to FlyLady. Now, the house is just somewhat messy and unattractive. I think what may bother me the most is that we have a GREAT house with a LOT of potential, but we're only just scratching the surface of how great a home this could be! I want us to have a home not just a house. I want to be able to open our hearts and home to friends and family without having to do a crisis cleaning session!

I don't care that our living room couch is old. I care that it's covered in stuff. I don't care that our kitchen table is too big for the kitchen, I care that our centerpiece for the past two months has been a hermit crab cage (and yes, there is a hermit crab in the cage -- lovely dinner companion, no?). I don't care that the computer desk is in the living room. I care that our files are stuffed randomly into open bankers boxes rather than filed in an organized filing cabinet.

I was at a friend's house the other night. Her house is smaller and older than mine and it was lovely! I know she also had clutter, but she cleaned it up before we got there and we walked into a beautiful, warm, inviting home with a happy mom, happy kids and happy dogs. That's what I want! I don't want a "better" or "nicer" or bigger house -- I want this house and I want it to feel like a home, not just a storage unit for our stuff.

Ooops -- I just heard my timer go off. Time to get back to my home-making project.

.... but I'd rather have a Ruben!!!

So, it seems that I'm now an official member of the "sandwich generation". RockStar's mom has been sick lately and even spent a week in the hospital with congestive heart failure secondary to stage 3 kidney disease. Yeah - good times!!!!

We convinced her to come stay with us for awhile. I know she has a life back home, but we're hoping that, at our house, she can relax, take it easy, follow the prescribed diet and start to feel better. RockStar and the boys left this morning to go get her and I'm going to spend the weekend straightening up the house and fixing up the guest room. We both have our work cut out for us! Wish us luck!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A New Day Has Begun.......

with a bang, as usual! Wake up, dress self, dress kids, walk two pugs I'm dogsitting, walk Big Red, feed children, feed 3 dogs, feed cat, go back upstairs to feed fish I'd neglected in my rush to get downstairs, run to basement to switch and start laundry, carry finished load upstairs, feed self, make lunches for boys, turn off crockpot that cooked beef barley soup overnight and portion out into individual plastic serving containers, kiss husband goodbye, give morning meds/vitamins to Big Red, both boys and self, grab bags and force children out the door. Drive to camp, drop them off, go back to car and


It was only 9:00 am at that point. Yes, RockStar did help with the animals this morning, but still..... Is it any wonder that I'm so tired all the time?????

Here's the up side to all that, however:

I love my husband, RockStar.
I love my boys, HandsomeBoy and CutiePie.
I love my big red dog, Big Red.
I love my cat, NitNit.
I don't mind the fish or the hermit crab (who I just realized was totally overlooked this morning!)
I think the visiting dogs are quite cute and funny and enjoy their antics.
I like cooking.
I'm very thankful to have devices such as washing machines and dishwashers and crockpots to make my life easier.
I'm so happy that the boys enjoy camp and are active and entertained and safe while they're there.

So, now it's 10:30am and I'm sitting here at work, taking more deep cleansing breaths. Time to get on with the madness that is my paid employment!!!

At least until 3:30 when I leave here, get gas, drive 40 minutes back home, pick the boys up at camp, take them 30 minutes away, drop HandsomeBoy off with my mother to walk around a mall while I take CutiePie to his ADHD doctor to discuss Behavior Modification, then pickup HandsomeBoy, drive 30 minutes home, make dinner, eat dinner, cleanup dinner, pack the boys' things for the weekend (RockStar is taking them 'back home' with him -- story to follow in another post), walk all three doggies, do evening meds/vitamins, get boys in bed, take deep cleansing breath and then CRASH INTO MY BED!!!!

See, it's not so bad -- there's a happy ending!!! Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Uh, hello? Anyone here????

So it was pointed out to me rather bluntly last night that I've been neglecting you. That I've abandoned you. That I never visit anymore. Aside from the fact that it sounds like the beginning (and middle and end, for that matter) of a conversation with a Jewish mother, I have to admit that it's true.

Why DON'T I post more? Seriously? I don't know. I read blogs faithfully every day and I'm quick to add them to my Bloglines list. I hang on every word and look forward to hearing about the minutiae of my fellow bloggers' lives. So, why don't I update my blog more often? Maybe I feel like what I have to say isn't interesting. Maybe I'm being a perfectionist in the FlyLady sense and I'm unwilling to post unless I've crafted a beautifully well-written, articulate and meaningful diatribe about a subject of critical social relevance? Maybe I feel that I can't compete with her, her, him or her? Maybe I'm just lazy?

Probably a little bit of all those!

So, what do I need to do to convince myself to blog more? Here's my thoughts:

* Believe that blogging is a two-way relationship -- if I'm looking into the lives and thoughts of others, I need to be willing to open up my own thoughts and life, too!

* Remember how much FUN it is! I love getting feedback through comments and links!

* Enjoy expressing myself in my own way!

* Most of all, remember that this blog is what I make of it -- it can be anything I want it to be!

Okay, ladies -- you've convinced me to be a better (read: more diligent) blogger. Be careful what you wish for!