Saturday, November 28, 2009

attention starved puppy

It's been a really great holiday spending time with my kids.

It's also been a really long holiday trying to spend time with my kids and keep up with the pup.

I've figured out that he doesn't like it when I'm not giving him 100% of my attention.

Last week he did this while I was making sandwiches at 6:30 in the morning (it took 2 seconds I swear!)

Then he's been busy doing this.....

It seems Nae has a hard time remembering to close doors so we've had this scene played out multiple times the last couple of days.

But this is what really made me mad. The pup did this while I was playing a game of Bananagrams with the kids. He chewed the Christmas lights.

He also chewed the tassels off my pretty tree skirt, peed in the house too many times to count, and learned how to go down the basement stairs and ate cat poo out of the litter box.


Puppy for sale....

Attention Fellow NaNoWriMo Flunkies:

The new blog for us losers those of us who failed the NaNoWriMo challenge is now up and running.

I'm really excited about a support group for slackers like me.

And I think about my poor little novel almost everyday. I'm looking forward to giving this thing another try...

Go here to check it out if your interested!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

our one thanksgiving tradition

My kids love holiday traditions.
They actually get really mad if I forget one.

And it's actually gotten worse since they've gotten older.
Or maybe it's that they are teens and they are just
better at communicating what a loser I am if I forget one.

We only have one Thanksgiving tradition
and I wanted to share it with you.

Our Thanksgiving table cloth.

I realize that you will see some of the real names of my kids
but it wouldn't be the same if I photoshoped their names out
or tried to change the pictures

and I don't really have the computer skills to do that...

it's just a white table cloth but each year everyone

has to write something they are thankful for on it.

sometimes the kids traced their hands.
which I loved.

sometimes I giggled at what they are thankful for

at least mom and dad are included with the gameboy.

and there's record of what they loved that year.

or some sweet things...

this one is during my oldest daughters first year of college.

Some record big life changes....

this is from the year we got transferred back to our home town.

and some record things we will never be able to forget...

this was after 9/11.

Whenever anyone is with us for Thanksgiving they have to write on it too.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

shopping with hormones

I went to the grocery store yesterday to finished up my Thanksgiving dinner shopping.
I tried to plan ahead. I really did. But planning ahead is not one of my strengths.

I did my "big" shopping last Friday afternoon. I thought that I would get everything I needed and then just pop in and pick up some of the fresh stuff I didn't want to buy so far ahead of time. You know, lettuce and fruit and stuff.
But over the weekend I started realizing there were other things that I didn't realize I was low on. All big, heavy things like kitty litter, puppy food, and cat food. Hubby also asked me to buy some pop "cubes" to restock his work fridge.

The reason I'm pointing out all these heavy items is because we all know what it's like when you have a heavily loaded shopping cart and how hard it is to try maneuver it through the store isles. Then add 20 million other people who are poor-plan-aheaders like me; a bunch of insane mothers with at least 2 or 3 young children who all need naps but instead decided to bring them to the store; a few dozen old people who can hardly walk' pushing carts instead of their walkers as they shuffle along slower than a crippled snail; and my hormones.

Yep, my hormones played a big part in this shopping trip. I've decided that has got to be what is wrong with me, because I wanted to rip every one's head off at that store.

It's a good thing I wasn't carrying a loaded weapon.

I'm thinking that people should have to get a grocery shopping license just like a drivers license.
It's obvious that people need to be taught the proper way to grocery shop.

Just like anything in life, there are some rules of etiquette even for grocery shopping.

For example, the person with a bigger cart always has the right away (have you ever tried to steer one of those double-child-carrying-double-long-cart jobs?). And if the shopping carts are equal in size, the person with the largest load of items should always be yielded to. When my cart is over flowing and heavy (like yesterday) and I'm struggling to keep my momentum going and someone with one those half cart steps out in front of me, I'm tempted to pick up the speed and run them right over (and scream and "yeeha" while I do it).

And how frustrating it is when someone abandons their shopping cart in the middle of an isle to go to another area to grab something or compare prices? When I see people doing that, I like to to add a few items to their shopping cart. Let them explain to the check out lady that they really didn't want those condoms and hemorrhoid cream and aren't sure how they got in their shopping cart.

I appreciate the fact that when all these "older" men retire they want to help their wives out at the grocery store, but they are the worst of them all. They have no idea what they are doing. They block entire isle while they compare the fiber content of different brands. They walk slow, with their eyes on the shelves, banging into people, cutting others off- basically having no clue that others are in the store shopping too. At my Meijer back home "senior day" was on Tuesday and I avoided that place on that day like the plague! Yesterday they were out in full force (maybe "senior day" is Tuesdays here too hmmmm).

By the time I was weaving my way to the check out lane I felt like my blood pressure was at blow-the-top-of-my-head-off levels. Like a giant spring was twisting in my chest and ready to snap from being wound so tight. I wanted to scream, not at anyone in particular-just scream.
One solution that would be helpful, besides the grocery shopping license, is if you don't have at least 10+ years of grocery store shopping experience then you are not allowed in the store within three days of a major holiday.
And passing lanes in all isle of the store. And blinkers on shopping carts. And maybe some Valium handed out at the door. And maybe a little better planning ahead....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

fighting kids

I'm not talking about human kids.
I'm talking about the four legged kind.

Yeah, we've all heard it before, puppies are worse than babies.
Can't take your eyes off them even for while they are sleeping.

Sometimes I wish I could stick a diaper on him.
He is sleeping through the night thou...most nights.

But now he seems to be at that age fighting constantly with his "siblings".
I feel like I have a couple of 5 and 6 year olds.

Kitty moews "Mommm he's touching me again!" every time the puppy tries to even sniff him.
"Mooommm he looking at me!" the kitty growls when puppy just enters the same room.

Come on kids! I want to scream. Unfortunately I can't make them sit on the couch and hold hands until they can be nice to each other.

And kitty acts like the proverbial little brother. Taunting, sticking out his tongue whenever I have my back turned.
Does he really need to sit just out of puppy's reach and stare at him like that.
Or walk by puppy's head and meow when I just got puppy to sleep?

I swear kitty is giving me the "Mom! Ace just bit me!" meow when Ace did nothing of the sort. Just to get him in trouble. Then he struts around with his nose in the air, turning and giving Ace the butt view, just to say "neener...neener...neener!!!" while Ace is dealt his punishment.

Look out kitty! I'm getting wise to your shenanigans!
I was a little sister once too!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stepping out of his comfort zone

My alarm went off at 5:30 this Saturday morning.
The Hubs and I both hustled out of bed, but we didn't mind.

Our oldest son, Bud, was going to his first Forensic meet.

We're not just some of those proud parents (we'll maybe we are).
You see, for Bud to even want to do this is pretty amazing.

Bud had seizures from birth until he was about two years old that affected the speech area of his brain.
He has gone through hundreds of hours of speech therapy over the years.
He still has some letters and sounds that are difficult for him to pronounce.

When Bud announced he was joining the Forensic Team, Hubby and I were shocked. To me, public speaking is a form of slow torture.

I was thinking there must be a cute girl on the team.....
We still don't know his reasons (and don't really care).

The Hubby ironed all his clothes this morning and helped him get his sports coat and tie on straight.
And we both stood at the door and watched him drive off, talking about how much our baby boy has grown up and how proud we are of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something new. I'm thankful to be able to enjoy these moments.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

If I tell you my weight I may have to kill you

I finally went and got my Illinois drivers license yesterday.

I have obviously been procrastinating. I couldn't anymore.

When I went to Florida with my friend Gigi last month, I got stopped by security because my Michigan drivers license had expired. I hadn't realized it. The nice security guy let me go, but not before letting me hear all about how nice it was of him to do such a thing.

I've only lived in three states, but every Secretary of State office seems the same to me. It's there some kind of law that says the office has to be a dirty, smelly, dreary place. Same thin brown "carpets", same looking counters with the same tired, frustrated, sad looking people sitting behind them.

The woman who waited on me was faded. That seems the best way to describe her. Her hair was a dull dirty blonde, still styled with an 80's poof of bangs. Her posture implied that her job was draining the life out of her. Weary and slumped, she asked me in a monotone voice the questions she must ask hundreds of times a day. I was in a bit of a hurry so I rattled the answers off rather quickly. It was like a tennis match. She lobbed over a question is her tiresome voice. I'd return an answer swiftly.

Back and forth, back and forth we went.

When she asked me my phone number I had to pause for just a second to recall our new home phone number. I never use it (and you know how I am with numbers).

I have a habit of looking at the ceiling when thinking about something, but I pulled the phone number out of my sad little number disabled brain as quickly as I could. The next listless question was tossed at me before I had time to take my eyes off the water stained ceiling tiles that my ADD mind was just finding interesting (they looked like chocolate chip cookies). She was obviously pushing to keep up the speed of the volley. The next question was the Hubs social security number. I actually know his better than mine own but I was still looking up while I rattled it off along with the next couple of questions.

Just as I'm getting my end of the volley back up to speed she slams me with a question I didn't expect. "Your weight please?" This time my pause has nothing to do with not being able to recall the answer. I see that weight on the scale every morning. I just don't want to tell her. I'm not even sure why I don't want to tell her. Maybe I just don't want to say it out loud. If I say it out loud then it becomes real. Like that whole tree falling in the forest saying....

I WAS planning on loosing some weight soon. I don't want THIS weight in my permanent computer file record thingie! I just had a little too much Halloween candy. If I'd known I'd have this in my permanent record, I'd have procrastinated even longer, till I was at my ideal weight (which means I never would get my license).

I could lie....and now I'm having a moral dilemma here. Can a cop give you an extra ticket when he pulls you over for lying about your weight on your drivers license?

Yes these are all the things going through my mind in a very quick few seconds. And I'm still looking at the ceiling....

So I shout out a weight.
Not my real weight (NO I'm not telling you what I told her!)
Yes I lied. And I feel bad.

And she pauses. And pauses. My mind is waiting for the next question. And it doesn't come. And I'm feeling guilty about lying. I peel my eyes off the ceiling and reluctantly look at her.

And she is looking at me. She is looking right into my eyes. Into my soul.
She knows I lied. I can feel it. She is judging me. I can feel that too.

I'm starting to blush. I'm waiting for her to say "Oh come on!!! ___ pounds? Really?"
I'm starting to think of excuses. Like ~well, that's what I usually weigh (before 4 kids, that is)
or ~I'm just retaining water.

I'm starting to sweat.

And she says in her monotone voice "Eye color: Brown.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Puppies new competition

Our pup Ace is a Border Collie.
If you didn't know, Border Collies are natural herding dogs.
They were bred to be working dogs on farms.

They have this ability to herd other animals without barking. It's really an amazing thing to witness. It is said they can "hypnotize" cattle or "mesmerize" animals with it's intense stare. We call it the Border Collie stare.

Since we don't happen to have any sheep or other livestock around our little Chicago suburb homestead, Ace tries to herd whatever he can.

He attempts to herd our cats....
kitty does not find this amusing

He attempts to herd the kids.....
Tony does find this amusing

But Ace now has some new competition at our house.

Mid December, I am going to start babysitting a set of twins.

One of the twins, Marcus (not his real name-Mac made up the twins Blog names), seems to have the mastered the border collie stare.

This is a common look on his face. Almost like he can stare you into doing his will....

Feed me now!
You will give me my Binky!

I will dominate the world....

this is Mac holding his brother, we'll call him Brogan (I know....maybe if Mac gets over these weird names now, I'll have grandchildren with normal names).

Can you guess who is who?

"Give me your toys"

It's a good thing there's two of them. The Hubby and I are absolutely baby crazy so we've managed to produce a bunch of baby obsessed offspring. We will definitely be fighting over baby holding time.

Marcus and Brogan's mom and dad are pretty understanding about my blogging addiction issues and she has generously allowed me to blog about them every once and a while.

Can't wait to see who wins the first stare down.

I don't think puppy has a chance.
and sorry for all the puppy stories.
I promise to take a break for a while.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I blame the dog...I feel better that way

well hello there...
I'm a little hesitant to show my face around here.

I have spent the last couple days debating.

I hate to even write it....but I'm considering taking an "F" on the NaNoWriMo challenge.
It's hard to admit defeat.

I knew that it was going to be tough. Especially with the pup.
And I've decided to lay most of the blame on him.

To write almost 1700 words a day took me like 3 hours. Interrupted 20 million times by puppy.
If I continue, I think I may loose my mind.

so that's my story.
It's all HIS fault.

don't feel sorry for him, he deserves this

He is....

The Master Derailer of my Train of Thought.

The Scratch that throws me out of my Groove.

The Wind that blows off my Thinking Cap.

The Fiber that feeds my Brain Farts.

You get the idea.

I've decided to not give up on the novel thing completely.
Writing a novel has always been a secret dream of mine (not so secret anymore-of course). I'm hoping to keep going at my own pace and not worry so much about the word count.

So if any of you NaNoWriMo Flunkies out there want to join a new Novel Writing Group, I'm thinking about forming one. We can make up the rules as we go.
We'll need a name-of course.

And I really missed blogging and all you guys! So I'm back!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

parks! very serious business indeed

I've caught up on my NaNoWriMo writing so guess what that means?

I GET TO BLOG!!! yeah! woo hooo!!!!

I'm doing a little bloggie dance.

I thought I'd show you some pics of where Ace and I have been walking in the mornings.

this is one of the park districts in my area.

as I've said before, Chicago takes it's park seriously.....very seriously.

they have these mowed trails to walk. During the summer there are wild flowers everywhere.

I have no idea how many miles these paths cover but I've been walking them for a week and haven't made a dent in them.

This is one of the lakes the paths go around.

Ace likes to go out on the dock and look at the geese.

An old silo that has been converted into a lookout tower. The first time I went in here I was amazed.

A spiral staircase with three levels and a mural painted over the whole thing.

Area around silo. Fire pit and seating. Picnic tables.

an old barn made in to a picnic area.

I was most impressed by this building....

I thought it just had some bathrooms in it.

this is what I found inside the old barn. It's finished off like a little conference room.

there is Plexiglas on the ceiling so you can see way up into the old rafters of the barn.

this is the view out the front window.
I turned around to leave and saw this....

I felt like Alice In Wonderland with the bottle that says "drink me".

so I pressed the button....

and then this happened. And I said "oh my!"

And THIS came down out of the ceiling....

so Ace and I took a seat.

We watched a movie about the park and what it was in the past (I'll give you a hint...It was a farm!)

Ace thought the movie was very interesting.
He gave it 2 paws up!

on the way back to the car we past a butterfly house.

and some formal "English looking" gardens....

we didn't have time to check out one other building (I'm not sure they allow dogs in there)

I spotted this right before we left. Oh No! Puppy isn't supposed to be walking out on the trails!

That's ok! I didn't mention that there are miles and miles and miles of paved trails all around here too.

this was how Ace spent the next 2 hours after we got home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I just wanna blog!!!

Yep! it's that time....

I will not be doing much blogging for the month of November so that I can work on this crazy Novel in 30 days thingie.

It's hard not to procrastinate and blog instead of write for NaNoWriMo, but I'm trying!

I'm already behind, partly because I'm still playing catch up from my vacation last week (and trying to help Bud get caught up on a weeks worth of missed school due to the swine flu), and partly because I hated the first 1000 words I wrote so I threw it away.

No more throwing stuff I write away!!! I am making that vow right now because that is what I have done for years!

Today I started over and so far I'm liking this story line much better.

I'm still deathly insecure about everything that I write (and still am shocked that so many people check in on my blog everyday---I haven't said it lately, but I love you guys!!!!!!), so I'm not sure I will dare show you any of the NaNoWriMo stuff.

But I will listen to offers of bribery.

I miss all of you! Have a great day!