The books were wonderful. Better than Gone With the Wind...I don't know. Honestly, I never read it. Just please remember that the author wrote these books for young adults.
The stories were entertaining, heart warming (and racing), full of love and passion and just plain enjoyable.
Honestly, these books are not my typical read. Honestly, I judged every last one of you that raved about them over the past 6 months. Honestly, I am a shmuck and now I am embarrassed that I, too, have hopped aboard the Cullen train!
So, if you haven't had a chance to start the series, do. The story of Edward, Bella and Jacob is every girl's fantasy....it may help you remember what you forgot that you wanted.
I won't pretend that they were the best books I EVER read (although they do come close). I don't want anyone to be disappointed and I find that when we build up expectations that is what will happen. I want every one of you to read these books and love them like I do.
Of course, now my house is trashed, Kirby is jealous (of Edward and Jacob, perhaps...but more likely over the fact that I have ignored him for the past week), the laundry needs to be folded, the floor needs to be mopped, the tub needs to be washed...all worth it.
Take a week, enjoy the books and let me know what you think!
I will be back to regular blogging soon enough...great pictures to come of our pumpkin fun and the kids great costumes!
I started a week ago and am currently working on Breaking Dawn.
I can't imagine what took me so long to jump on the wagon....now I can't get off.
I'll talk to you all soon enough - don't lose hope! I will finish this evening and need something to fill the void that Edward and Bella will leave me with...
Seriously. I am getting more than frustrated here. Bribes aren't working. Threatening isn't working. Beating isn't working...well, that could be because he hasn't actually been beaten.
I'm losing precious sleep because he decides that he IS potty trained in the middle of this night but during the day he doesn't care. ARGH!
Of course, I need to thank Twenty Four at Heart who has bestowed this gift upon me.
I'd like to thank God, my country and my family whom I am sure will understand a bit more today why I spend so much time on the computer reading all those blogs.
And, lastly, I would like to thank my swinging chiropractor who gave me such wonderful material.
And now I'm off to feel MUCH less guilty about spending all that money on The Twilight Series and get to reading!
Yesterday we got the news:
They have been matched and IT'S A GIRL!
This is such exciting news. Not only are we a family FULL of boys (I have two and my sister has two) but we expected a boy.
So, please, take a moment and send Monica and Steve your well wishes. Keep Monica, Steve, Christian, Thanny and their new little girl in your prayers through the final journey. There is still a while to wait, we expect that they will be able to fly and get her within the next 4-5 months. They deserve this and this baby deserves a wonderful family like ours.
We had an incredibly busy weekend. There were many wonderful things about it but I was, unbelievably, ready for it to be over. For things to slow down. For our routine to be back.
Thank God it's Monday!
Saturday was Z's first Cub Scout outing. They all built model rockets and met at the den leader's house for a BBQ and a rocket launching party. Unfortunately I was not able to attend. Instead, Kirby took both boys (which he seriously deserves a merit badge for). I hear they had a great time (until Z shot his rocket a second time and lost it in the woods) and the pictures came out great.
I, on the other hand, spent Saturday in the car. Well, not entirely in the car, but about 10 hours of my day were spent in the car. Monica, Loren and I went down to CT for Andrea's father's funeral.
It was heartbreaking and sad and awful and every other thing you can imagine when a man dies too young. He was only 58 but from what I understand (and I did not know him) he lived a very full life. He loved his family more than anything, loved his job and loved my brother (but, of course, who wouldn't).
We felt it was important that we go down and support Alex and Andrea through this time. So I left at 6:30 am to meet them at Monica's house (nearly an hour from mine) and we traveled another 3 to meet up with Kolbe and Dana at Kolbe's house in CT (I don't know what it is with my younger siblings falling in love CT folk) where Kolbe then chauffeured us to the funeral, burial and "reception". I arrived back at my home around 9:30 pm...exhausted.
I am glad we went. It was hard and long and tiring but I am glad that we were there. And all considered, it could have been an awful trip but it wasn't. Monica only nearly killed us once (but really it was only me, she and Loren would have survived the crash).
Sunday was a very busy family day.
We started the afternoon by going hiking. The last time we hiked as a family A was still in a stroller. Not so much anymore.
Blue Job is a quick mountain (I was told 15 minutes, but it probably took us closer to 30 - little legs and little attention spans). The view is incredible and well worth the effort.
After the hike we went to visit with my grandfather for a bit. He and his girlfriend will be heading down to Florida on Saturday for 6 months. I wanted to say goodbye.
Every year it gets a little harder to say goodbye.
My grandfather will be 81 at the end of this month. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease maybe 10 years ago and each year it gets a little worse. I know that one year he will leave and he won't come back. That kills me.
For as long as I can remember we have had Saturday night beans with my mother's family. Every Saturday (except when they were in Florida) we would meet at my grandparent's house for baked beans and hot dogs. My grandmother use to spoil me rotten because I hate baked beans. She would make me a tuna fish sandwich every week instead.
The tradition has continued even since my grandmother passed away over 8 years ago. Instead of meeting at Gramp's every week we rotate. I live too far to be in the rotation (thank GOD) but my sister Monica and Mom don't. So each week the family gathers at someone's home.
Because of the medication that my grandfather is on he has a low tolerance for loud noises. He has never been an incredibly patient man but he has gotten much worse over the years. He would never yell at anyone but we can certainly see when his stress level hits. Therefore, my family doesn't spend a lot of time with him while he is home. A doesn't understand what it means to be quiet or slow down...then I get stressed out and then nobody is having a good time. I try to see them every other weekend or so when beans are at Monica's or Mom's - where Gramp can leave if it gets to be too much.
Though Gramp has gotten older he has certainly not lost any of his wit. He promised me that we would not get a good picture. He told me flat out that he would stick his tongue out. I told him he would fit in with the rest of the family. And his daughter did the same damn thing.
My grandfather is a huge part of the reason I will vote democrat in the upcoming election. Without stem cell research I do not believe a cure will be found for Parkinson's. While it will not save MY grandfather's life it will save someone else's. I can't begin to explain how awful it has been to watch the man I have always looked at as so strong wither away. His brain is there, his body is not. He gets embarrassed, he is easily frustrated and it breaks my heart.
After visiting with Gramp and Lorraine and Aunt Deb for a bit we went to my father's house for the last Movie in the Barn of the season. We watched The Wizard of Oz - a family favorite. It ended way too late, it was long, it was FREEZING in the barn - but we all had a great time.
We got the kids home around 9:30, threw them in bed and I fell asleep on the couch...
I love Mondays! Now I am off to clean my carpets (YES, again, this potty training thing isn't working out like I had hoped)...
I guess I should clear up some of the confusion, answer some of the questions and share the funny story.
In Crazy Town we have two grocery stores: an IGA and a "Haaaavest Maaaaket" (yes, you have to say it like that, no r's, it's haaaaaavest). Both are overpriced and understocked. But when I am low on groceries and need to grab something for dinner it is either go to one of those or drive 20 miles to the closest "real" grocery store.
Tuesday I decided we were going to have beef stew for dinner. It's easy enough, the kids (usually) eat it AND I had enough beer in the fridge to use as beef broth (the beer has been there since camp and wasn't going anywhere - in fact one bottle had been leaning against the back of the fridge, had frozen and exploded all over the inside).
So Andrew and I took a walk to Haaaavest Maaaket and grabbed some groceries. Shopping with Andrew is never fun. He runs, he yells, he touches EVERYTHING and he doesn't sit in a cart (in all honesty, I can't get him into a cart, that child weighs too much for me to lift him into the seat). I was frustrated within a few minutes and knowing that I had to walk home with two bags of potatoes and carrots was only adding to the frustration.
I'm standing in the butcher's department looking for beef stewing meat and I can't find it. I search and search and search. I find the bison meat, no beef.
I say to the woman, "I'm looking for the beef stewing meat, I see bison, no beef"
Crazy woman: "Well, I hear really good things about bison."
Me: "yes, but I am looking for the beef"
CW: "it is supposed to be really healthy for you"
Me: "I have heard, but I am still looking for the beef"
CW: "I hear it tastes good too"
Me: "I know, but really, I am just looking for the beef"
CW: "Ooooooh, and look, it's on special"
At which point in time Andrew has tried to stick his fingers through every package of meat in the butcher's department so I give up. I grabbed the bison meat and prayed. And just an FYI, "special" for bison meat really means the price is dropped to just about what you would pay for Angus stewing beef.
I get home and pull everything together, cut the meat (which is VERY bloody), brown the meat, throw the meat in the stew (no, Sometimes Sophia, I do not have a recipe, I don't work with them...just throw it all together....I think THAT is the reason I am such a lousy BAKER though I can cook pretty darn well) . 8 hours later I try the stew with the YUMMY homemade bread bowls I made and it was delicious. Tasted just like beef.
The kids didn't eat a single bite. A knew it was bison and told Z. Z watched me put the beer in and thought I was trying to poison him (the alcohol burns off, but try explaining that to an 8 year old).
So, the reason for ME substituting bison was probably very different than anyone else's reason. The link I provided above claims that it is leaner than both beef and chicken but I didn't get a protein count. You can probably use it as a substitute in anywhere you would use beef (although my brother-in-law says that when he tried it he thought it was dry, so maybe not a burger). I found this site for bison meat recipes, give it a shot and let me know what you think.
2. I am thankful that whatever was on my camera with a couple of those pictures didn't ruin the whole stinking shot!!
3. I am thankful that Andrea's father was able to walk her down the aisle and that she and Alex were able to be be there with him when he passed away yesterday morning.
4. I am thankful that we made it through the entire day yesterday without any accidents with A!!
5. I am thankful that we have had beautiful weather for the past week or so.
6. I am thankful that the weather should hold out this weekend. Long enough for Z to shoot off his rocket with Cub Scouts and for us to take a hike Sunday as a family.
7. I am SO grateful to have family that is so incredibly close. I am not sure I survive without them.
8. I am grateful that I have NEVER faked it (hey, I never said that all these would be beautiful...just things I am thankful for).
9. I am thankful that this election is almost over. No matter who you are voting for just be sure you do it! VOTE!
10. I am grateful that Kirby is willing to work his butt off trying to get out of work a few hours early so I can be with my brother and his new family in CT tomorrow.
11. I am thankful to have been raised in a family that is open and accepting.
12. I am thankful that I
13. I am thankful that I made it up and down that mountain even though I am WAY out of shape AND my knees were killing me. It has given me a renewed vigor to start hiking again.
Coprophobia - fear of excrement
I realized that any one person that suffers from Coprophobia could NEVER (and I mean NEVER) do my job.
In between responding to all the SITS girls love, chatting with Nicki and making a KICK ASS dinner (bison stew - much like beef but with bison - and homemade bread bowls) I was cleaning up excrement. All kinds of excrement. Everywhere.
A and I started our morning by him going on the potty all by himself - so exciting!! I was psyched! I encouraged him to keep trying to be sure that he was done. He swore he was done. I told him to get a pull up and went to the computer for a minute to check my comments. Less then a minute later I hear, "Moooooooommmmy POOOP". Sure enough, there it was, ALL over my carpet!
And our afternoon started with Z yelling "MOOOOOOOOM, there's a wet spot all over the couch cushion....I think it's pee". Our NEW couch. The one that I carried up the stairs by myself...ok, that's a bit of exaggeration, but still.
Thank god I borrowed (stole) the steam cleaner from the girl I share space with. I whipped it out did the carpet and the cushion no problem. Except that I am SO tired of cleaning up excrement.
This morning...."MOOOOOOM, A just pooped all over the floor". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! SERIOUSLY?!
So now A is in underwear. Real big boy underwear (it's inside out but if I say anything he screams "that's how I like it" so I let it go). The timer is set for every 30 minutes. If he poops on the potty he gets gum. If he has an accident I have the steam cleaner.
This child is going to get potty trained if it kills me.
I even promised him a playdate with "Jon" once he is potty trained....
Please pray for me today. Please pray for my child. Please pray that the steam cleaner will be able to handle a day full of poop....
Honestly, if I have to clean up much more excrement I think I am going to develop coprophobia. I am beginning to fear excrement. Even the thought of it.
God help me!
Today SITS is have a Blogathon. So stinking exciting. Every hour they are giving away prizes to all us SITS girls!
So I wanted to tell you all about what SITS has done for me. Remember that day I was featured? Well if you don't WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU? Seriously, cause I was on cloud nine...all day! That day alone I received over 150 comments. Over 70 different people found my blog for the first time. I now have readers (that I have never met) from around the world. Talk about an ego trip!!
Not only do they provide awesome bloggy comment love, but I find some of the most interesting, hysterical and heart warming blogs from around the world. I have been introduced to Ireland, Australia, Las Vegas and even other podunk towns like my own. You see, everyday they feature a new blogger. Every day they give another SITS girl the opportunity to enjoy 15 seconds (or hours) of fame. Every day they give another SITSah a little boost and the opportunity to share her words with the world.
Some of my favorite SITS girls are found on my blogroll to the right. However, I wanted to give a little tribute to 5 of the girls that I love most.
Martini Molly from I Need A Martini Now is absolutely hysterical and a wonderful commenter. She makes the BEST martinis (well at least they sound like the best), she has a great sense of humor, a stupid ex husband, a great English accent and an adorable little boy. And besides all that, her son is voting for Obama...no other reason is more important than that :)
Christy from Heavy on the Caffeine is a girl after my own heart: an iced coffee addict (currently reformed from what I know). She has a hysterical definition of the word Maverick, she loves the town that I live in, she always comments back and she is hysterically funny and insightful all at the same time. Oh, and she's voting for Obama as well :)
Gingela from My Dogumentary is another wonderful commenter. I look forward to her comments after ever new blog. She has the most beautiful pups too AND her husband VACUUMS! Seriously!
Last, but certainly not least, Sometimes Sophia from I Hope You Have a Good Day, Charlie. While I didn't find her from SITS (I actually found her through one of our local papers) she is a SITS girl. Her blogs are funny and beautiful with lots of pictures. Her cat Smoke is drug addict, her husband is a discount king...do I need to say anymore?
I can assure you that these are not the only SITSahs I check in with on a daily basis. Check my blogroll for more exciting blogs OR, even better, head on over to SITS and check out some of their "Saucy Blogs" or check in for the featured bloggers of the day. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
Zach and I are hiking on Sunday to raise money for breast cancer....will be back soon with plenty of pictures and stories to share! There is still time to donate here.
If you want to see this posting in it's original form with comments click here.
A few years ago when a close friend was pregnant, she spoke of feeling guilty about being a vegetarian. She worried that her baby was not getting enough protein (even though she was a GREAT vegetarian and got plenty of protein in her diet). I teased her that this was only the beginning; that motherhood brings guilt no matter what you do or do not do.
Andrew slept until 10:30 this morning. He has always been a bad sleeper. He doesn't sleep through the night, he wakes incredibly early or incredibly late. He does not go to bed on his own (Kirby has to lay down with him every night, oftentimes falling asleep too).
At 9:30 I was feeling great, enjoying the peace and quiet. At 10 I started to feel a little guilty because I knew that this meant I would not get to see him much today (he leaves for school at 11:15, gets home at 3:30, I leave for work at 5:15 and am there until he is in bed for the night). At 10:15 I decided that it was safe for me to hop in the shower...I was wrong.
I SWEAR this child has the uncanny ability to know when I am taking a shower so he can wreak havoc through my home.
Minutes after I got in the shower he was climbing on chairs, playing with the toilet plunger...
From that moment until 11:20 when I shoved him out the door for school I heard:
"I'm going to bite you in a minute."
"WHERE IS ZACHY?"
"You're going to have to hold me down" - all the while with the most EVIL look on his face as I am trying to change a diaper full of poop
"MY TONGUE, THE TONGUE IS STUCK...MOOOOOOMMMMMY HELP ME, RIGHT NOW!"
At 11:10 - minutes before we needed to leave for school - I snapped these photos of him trying to put on his shoes to keep my hands busy and to stop from screaming bloody murder:
And now I feel guilty that are morning went the way it did.
Ah, the joys of motherhood...
When's the last time you ran? no idea...I am sure it was after A for something...
What are you dreading right now? I am dreading going into work on Saturday, although I have had so many stinking cancellations over the past two weeks I know I HAVE to.
Who last grabbed your ass? Probably Kirby...if you are counting smacking it was probably Z, although I keep telling him it is not appropriate anymore.
Do you eat raw cookie dough? Yum! I do!
Have you ever kicked a vending machine? I am not sure...probably
How do you eat Oreos? Without milk. If I eat them with milk I get an upset stomach
Are you cocky? Only during competition.
Could you live without a computer? I could live but I wouldn't like it.
Do you wear your shoes in the house? No! I have been vacuuming on, almost, a daily basis. I don't need shoes making my carpet any dirtier!
Who or what sleeps with you? Kirby and sometimes Andrew tries to sneak into bed but we don't let him.
At what age did you find out that Santa wasn't real? I was in the 4th grade. Ann Hallamayer told me...still hate that bitch.
How many phones-- house phones and cell phones are in your house? 2 cell phones, 1 house phone
What do you do when you're sad? I get angry. I don't like to be sad.
Who would you call first if you won the lottery? Kirby then someone in my family, most likely Monica - but I think you have to play to win....
What jewelry are you wearing? None.
What's the first thing you do when you get online? Check my email then off to myspace then off to facebook.
How do most people spell your name? EriKa.
Where do you work? At my own office :)
What are you doing tomorrow? working and dinner with the family (?) I have to find out where beans are this week...
Is Justin Timberlake becoming the next Michael Jackson? What do you mean? Since when does Justin like little boys?
Favorite name for a girl? Isabelle
Favorite name for a boy? Zachary and Andrew of course
When was the last time you left your house? This morning when I walked Z to the corner
Do you return your cart? I return it to the cart corral most of the time...depends on who is screaming in the car.
Would you survive in prison? I'm not sure. I can be one tough cookie...not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing in prison....what did I do anyway?
If all of your friends were going on a road trip, who would most likely over pack? Me :)
Do you know anyone with the same name as you? I am sure they are out there, I have come across them...just don't really know them anymore.
What's the last thing you purchased? Food from "Haaaavest Maaaket".
Do your siblings ever pay for stuff for you? Sometimes...
What brand are your pants right now? I think they are Champion, but that would mean taking them off to double check.
What irritates you most on the Internet? Pop ups
Do you own expensive perfume/cologne? Nope, I smell pretty as a rose all on my own
Do you get your hair cut every month? Nope, once every 6 weeks.
Do you go online everyday? Absolutely!
Years ago Richard Simmons had a talk show called (amazingly enough) The Richard Simmons Show. Now, since I am such a spring chicken, I have no memories of that show. But I will tell you that the show is responsible for my brother.
I guess my father watched the show (which cracks me up because I have to assume that Richard hasn't changed all that much over the years). One day there was a guest who taught the audience how do the Heimlich maneuver...thank god.
Alex was about a year old when he swallowed an orange segment whole and started choking. I remember a little about it but, in all honesty, I was only 3 at the time so my memories are foggy and recreated by people telling the story. Obviously he couldn't breath. My parents say he was turning blue. My mother asked if she should call the ambulance and my father told her it would be too late...
And he performed the Heimlich maneuver like Richard taught him and he saved my brother's life.
To this day that story give me chills. To this day I get teary when I think about it.
Richard Simmons saved my brother's life. Call him kooky, call him a nut (and he is) but I tell you, that man is my hero.
Alex married the woman of his dreams this weekend. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control we were not able to make it. The pictures were enough to bring me to massive tears. Without Richard, I would not have been able to see this:
Alex waiting for his lady.
Alex with Dad and Mom.
Andrea and her family.
Thank you, Alex, for making Andrea my official sister. And thank you, Andrea, for making my brother so happy. We are so happy for you both.
And thank you, Richard Simmons, for allowing us to see this day.
No, it isn't numbered, but this is my Thankful Thirteen for the day. There are way more then 13 things that make me thankful in these few pictures...
**Edited to add: I realize the more I read this that I fail to give my father credit for the role he played in saving Alex's life. Of course, my father is an amazing man (and even more my hero than Richard Simmons).**
A was upstairs, playing quietly in his playroom. Or so I thought...
He was actually in my bedroom, "painting". I say "painting" because he wasn't using paint...and he wasn't using a brush, and he wasn't using paper. Instead he was using every single bottle and tube of whatever he could find on my comforter.
Vaseline, A&E ointment, moisturizers, diaper rash cream and even a few medicated ointments that I would rather not reveal to the world.
It was EVERYWHERE. The comforter was COVERED. He dumped it all over the bed and spread it all around...ugh.
Thankfully since my new found love (or something) of cleaning, the bed was made and he was only able to cover the comforter and not the set of sheets.
Of course, we washed the comforter immediately in HOT, HOT, HOT water (how energy efficient). It didn't work. It smelled like the Vaseline (why Kirby bought scented Vaseline for A's diaper rash is beyond me) and it was covered in grease spots.
Of course, they are currently replacing our furnace. No heat. And, of course, it dropped below 40 last night and I had the windows open all day. Pretty cold.
So last night we slept under a sheet, thin cotton blanket, a beautiful quilt my mother made (beautiful, just not incredibly warm) and a smelly, greasy comforter.
To anyone that may wonder why we have used furniture and never buy anything new and beautiful I offer this.
And just a heads up, I am not revealing Kirby's embarrassing story. He reads the blog (occasionally) and he told me yesterday (after he read my post) that he really appreciated that I wouldn't be sharing the story...I just can't do it.
You see, the funniest story EVER causes a bit of embarrassment to Kirby (even more embarrassment then when I was messing around with him on the stairs last night and wouldn't let him get to the bathroom and he nearly peed himself...of course, Karma got her bitch on and threw me down the stairs afterwards...) and he has told me that, under no circumstances, am I allowed to share said story.
Seriously, when did I get to be all nice and thinking about his feelings and crap?
The only thing I have learned thus far is how to untangle and reroll a ball of yarn. That was after I cleaned up worms from my living room floor. Remember this story? Yeah, we had a repeat of that this morning. And now my new ball of yarn is not so nice and neat...but far out of reach.
What a Monday...after an awful weekend.
Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.
Anyway, this is a letter I sent to all my friends and family recently. If you are able to help we would certainly appreciate it:
We (Zachary and I and our team) are taking part in the Fifth Annual New Hampshire Take A Hike to raise money for Expedition Inspiration Fund - please make a donation by visiting our Firstgiving page: http://www.firstgiving.com/hikingforacure. Any donation, now matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated. We understand that times are especially tough right now, please do what you can when you can.
The Fifth Annual New Hampshire Take-A-Hike Event, October 12, 2008, is at Mt. Major near Alton Bay, NH and will benefit The Norris Cotton Cancer Center in affiliation with The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Expedition Inspiration.
We all have been touched by breast cancer in some way. The goal of Take-a-Hikers is to raise a bit of money to help fund research and to help raise awareness to help those that have yet to be diagnosed and to help those that are still fighting.
You can donate online with a credit card. All donations are secure and sent directly to Expedition Inspiration Fund by Firstgiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation.
We are also always looking for other to join our team. If you are interested in hiking with us on October 12th to help raise money for breast cancer PLEASE let us know!
If you know someone that may be interested in joining our team or donating please forward this message along.
Erica, Jessi, Aaron and Zach
*** About donating online ***
It's very easy to support Erica online - visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/hikingforacure to make a donation.
It takes a matter of minutes, is totally secure and you can even leave a message with your donation.