November 29, 2011


I'm feeling a bit haggard today. And not the Merle kind. So I could talk about how Harry's been sick. (I'll spare you the poo all over the dining room carpet and the accompanying stench story. It seems his fever is gone, at least.) I could talk about the fact that I don't know whether it's the acupuncture or the Humira, but I've been feeling peppier in spite of the shoulder that still hurts so much (2 full months now) I can barely dress myself and the back that doesn't let me sit longer than an hour at a time without tear-inducing pain. But all that is kind of lame.

What's not lame? Thursday night, I'm heading to the Moscow Ballet's version of the Nutcracker, and I.Can.Not.Wait. My child goes to plays with me and enjoys it. He will not go to a ballet. And since it's not something I like to do on my own, I've been ballet-less for quite some time. (It's not Beerman's thing either.) And to say I love the ballet doesn't even begin to describe it. The Nutcracker isn't my favorite, but I've been so ballet-deprived, that I think there wouldn't even need to be music and I'd be happy about it. But there is music. And there will be little girls to go with . And a dinner with little girl talk ahead of time. I really hope there's a gift shop so we can buy pink tutu-laden stuff.


November 28, 2011


The Christmas decorations are up. We went to see Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells at First Stage yesterday. I'm heading to the Moscow Ballet's version of the Nutcracker on Thursday with my semi-adopted daughters. The extended family is coming on Saturday for the Christmas festivities for which the fridge can barely close, it's so full of food. The Advent wreath is out. The countdown to the Advent calendar is made and being consumed daily. The Christmas cards are written, addressed, stamped and embossed. And I've turned all the calendars to their very last page. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas doesn't even begin to explain it. And it's not even December! How the heck has this happened?!?

I've always resisted the push for the holidays to move up. Heavily resisted the overall consumerism of it all. I don't do Black Friday. I don't do Cyber Monday. I don't typically even shop until December 1st. But I'm not feeling like that this year. Since everything we've been doing has been with family and friends, or getting ready to spend time with family and friends, (Well, except for the lengthy conversations with C-man about whether he wants the Ninjago Fire Temple or the Lightning Dragon since he knows he can't get both because they are ridiculously expensive) it doesn't feel very overwhelming. Then again, maybe it's because Beerman is taking on Saturday's dinner.

Regardless, I'm kind of liking this slide into December. Let's just hope I can keep this calm for the next month!

November 27, 2011

I love long weekends

It's been a long-long weekend. And I mean that in an excellent way. I'm still exhaustingly sick - on to the up all night coughing stage now. But we've had such a nice 5 days off, sleeping in until 8 each morning and playing during the day. I've been crafting up a little Christmas cheer, while Beerman has been tirelessly testing out recipes in his newly built sous-vide machine for next weekend's Pelot family Christmas dinner and breakfast. (Well, in between searching through all the Lego pieces to recreate a dragon that he built and broke down ages ago.) C-man has been playing with friends and Harry is exhausted from all the running he's been doing. The tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung, and the pickle is hung. We added 2 new ornaments this year from our travels to New Mexico and Japan, which are always so fun to put up. And, I've even managed to almost finish Explosive Eighteen. (Which I'm enjoying way more than the 17th book.) Overall, a pretty nice 5 days.

November 25, 2011

Recoup day

And so the Christmas season begins. I drove home last night with Harry so I could sleep in my own bed. I'm not a good driver, so by the end of the 2.5 hours, I was fairly punchy. Beerman and C-man are at the farm playing today, which means that after I Lysol down this monkey house, I'm not going to do a whole lot (read Explosive Eighteen and visit the dog park). Harry is super tired. And despite both having slept in until 8:30, I am too. Time to warm up the espresso machine and get this day started.

November 24, 2011

I'm thankful

Thankful for my dear husband, my sweet child, my dog with the soft ears. Thankful for money in the bank and food on our plates. Thankful for interesting things to take photos of. Thankful for having so much family to see on Thanksgiving and for only needing to bring cranberries. Thankful for safe roads to travel. Thankful for a day off on Friday to see Breaking Dawn and read Explosive Eighteen. And thankful I can sleep in my own bed tonight.

November 21, 2011

Oh goody, it's Monday

This was taken earlier this month when Bucky was hanging out in our neighborhood looking for the ladies. But I thought it was appropriate, it being deer season and all.

  • I hardly slept last night. Between my cold and just overall hurting, it wasn't a good one. I'm just mainlining the coffee today.
  • At least I wasn't in the basement fixing the check valve on the well like Beerman. Apparently those are important when you want water.
  • C-man and I went swimming at the club while Beerman worked on the well stuff. Remember the Christmas Story furnace scene? I was trying to avoid one of those.
  • I have an acupuncture appointment tonight. So far, it hasn't done a damned thing. But I'm hoping something will come of it soon.
  • Hopefully it'll make me tranquil for the parent-teacher conferences after. Not that I'm expecting anything to go bad at them. It'll just help me deal with sitting in kid-sized chairs and moving from room to room.
  • I've been looking at lately, and taking note of the craft board. God help me, I'm feeling crafty. I even bought a hot glue gun. Look out, ladies and gentlemen, you may be getting some ugly homemade gifts this year.
  • Since my family is coming for Christmas on the 3rd, I have to get all the presents and decor up by then. Sheesh, that's soon.
  • At least most of my Christmas cards are written, addressed and stamped. I have to finish a couple of the addresses I've since located. And I ran out of stamps, so will need to buy those. But the bulk of the work is done. I do love me some Christmas cards.
  • A 2-day workweek. One could really get used to this.

November 19, 2011

Slow day

I've still got this cold, so I'm curling up on the couch with a Twilight marathon and some hot chocolate. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

November 18, 2011

More random crap

  • Beerman referred to Tim Tebow as "Touchdown Jesus" this morning. I'm not on board with that nickname, because there will always be only one Touchdown Jesus. And it ain't got anything to do with Tebow.
  • C-man has a birthday party to attend tomorrow and I only realized this fact late last night. This one is a tennis birthday, which should be right up his alley after all the tennis lessons he had this summer at summer camp.
  • When I asked what present I should get this kid, C-man's reply was, "I don't really know. He's kind of crazy and only talks about kung-fu."
  • Art supplies it is.
  • It was cold this morning. Wintry cold, but not yet winter coat cold. So it's that in-between time. And so, I reached for Uncle Allen's older than dirt, green coat from Cabelas.
  • Friends on Facebook suggested it was the sentimentality that kept me wearing it. I didn't have the heart to tell them that Uncle Allen was not my great uncle, but Beerman's. And that Uncle Allen died before I ever met Beerman.
  • While I'm sure he was a lovely man, wearing the green coat is purely out of cheapness, not sentimentality.
  • Harry jumps in the air like crazy when I put it on, because he thinks of it as the dog park coat.
  • I went online first thing this morning and ordered a new puffy coat. It was time, after all.
  • We have a bunch of money sitting in our child care FSA plan that I haven't requested for reimbursement. Hello, Christmas. Or property taxes, depending on how you look at it. Thinking of Christmas is definitely more fun though.
  • I've been requesting information on PhD programs in the area. I think I need to go back to school for my mental health. Surprisingly, there just aren't that many reputable PhD programs in education out there that aren't either K-12 education based or require a full-time school commitment. And neither of those options interests me, which is making it difficult.
  • Maybe I should just pick a new career out of a hat. Become the world's worst engineer or something.
  • And of course, yea Friday!

November 17, 2011

Bright side

I'm sick. My shoulder still hurts so bad that it's waking me up a couple times a night. I've been getting stuck with a ridiculous amount of acupuncture needles lately and it hasn't done a damned thing yet. Work has been a complete death march this week. In between my bouts of dizziness, I'm just ornery.

Which is why I love this photo. Is there anything better than a photo of a happy kid hanging out in the park on a fall day? The longer I look at it, the more I fall in love. I love his foot that is lazily half out of his shoe. Or the fact that he's wearing his FAVORITE plaid shirt. Or his too-long hair he won't let me cut because he's considering growing it long like Clay Matthews.

Ahhh... I needed that.

November 15, 2011

Typical days

  • It's a typical, everyday, average sort of day for me.
  • Except for the fact that I'm feeling like garbage. C-man was feeling like this Sunday afternoon. So much so, that we got to the doors of the play and he said he couldn't make it through it and needed to go home.
  • I only half-believed him, because he had been his chipper self until that point. Until yesterday at 3 when my world crashed in on me. And then I believed him big time.
  • I had acupuncture last night and told the acupuncturist I was feeling like garbage. He put a few extra needles in me for it. Needles he then put a band aid over and told me to wear for 3 days. What?!?
  • I now have a band-aid covered needle in each arm and in my neck. Bizarre.
  • My nephew is a teenager today. Happy birthday, Andy!
  • The Walker recall effort starts today. As much as I dislike the idiot, (The guy is so dumb he couldn't even pass college French) the thought of all those non-stop recall ads on TV again make me nauseous. It's been one big never-ending polarizing campaign season in Wisconsin the past 2 years. And the presidential election isn't going to change that. Ugh.
  • A nap would be really welcome right now. I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm so looking forward to a slow weekend this weekend.
  • We have parent-teacher conferences next week. I'm so curious to hear what his teachers think of him this year.
  • The rummage sale is long done, but my co-chairs keep sending me emails. I'm trying to do my best to ignore them.
  • My Christmas cards are supposed to arrive this week. Yippee!

November 14, 2011


As the weather cools down, I'm starting to slow down and want to snuggle in a bit more. Our weekend away was hectic, but we managed to have a slower evening and morning, which was kind of nice for the soul.

November 13, 2011

Chicago Weekend

C-man and I took the train to Chicago Saturday morning.
We met up with Mary and headed to the Chicago Children's Museum. There were a lot of little kid things, but the building was definitely up his alley.
As was the inventor's lab.
Playing with the motion boards is always fun.
But eventually, we got hungry.
After lunch, we went to the Lego store, which was INSANE with people to get his long-awaited saved-up-for-Earth Dragon Defense.

And finally, we were tired. So we headed back to the hotel, met up with Beerman and said goodbye to Mary until another day. We found that the iPad-like tables with chess and checkers in the lobby were way fun.

Full from our dinner at Xoco, we swam, hung out in the room and watched a movie. (FYI, Cowboys vs Aliens is proof that good actors and directors simply aren't enough.)
The next morning, after a tasty and overpriced room service breakfast (one of my favorite things to do), it was time to hail a cab to get back to the train station.
And make the ride back to Milwaukee.
Playing with the new Legos the entire way, of course.
An excellent time. But it really feels good to be home.

November 11, 2011

At week's end

Why did the turkey cross the road?

  • I thought I wasn't going to wine club because we were going to Chicago tonight, but that changed when Beerman's judging schedule changed. So now I can go to wine club. Whoot.
  • Tonight is South African wine theme. Which is good, because when I was actually on the wine route in South Africa, I was 7 months pregnant and not drinking alcohol. (Although I did get quite a few looks as I waddled my way into all those tasting rooms with others!)
  • We're going to be hang out in Chicago tomorrow, which should be a nice change of pace. Somehow those blue eyes convinced a couple sets of grandparents that he needed some extra cash to get his Earth Dragon Defense. After all, what would we do without another Lego set in the house?
  • It is so cute how excited he is about going to the Lego store, though. My plans were to go to the Children's Museum first and then the Lego store, but the more I think about it, I think our day will be much calmer if we just get the Lego store thing over with first.
  • C-man's report card came home yesterday. It was all really positive, but more to the middle of positive than the high end that we've gotten used to seeing in some areas. He had a pretty rough first month of school. So we'll see at parent-teacher conferences if they are just tough first quarter graders, or if he struggled that much in the beginning.
  • Then again, maybe I'm being hypercritical. He got top marks in Spanish, Religion, Math, Science and Social Studies. Reading was more toward the average, and there were quite a few comments about him needing to be neater and take more time with things. Both not surprising insights.
  • His school pictures also came home. After all the photos I have taken of him, one would think he would know enough to straighten his glasses and not do the creepy smile. And yet, one would be wrong in those assumptions.
  • My left foot is still killing me from when I fell down the basement stairs 2 weeks ago. I hope walking this weekend doesn't totally destroy it. I may just have to bite the bullet and wear tennis shoes around Chicago.
  • As a result of this painful foot, I can only wear flat shoes, or bear the wrath of the pain in the middle of the night. From wearing them so much, I just realized that shoes have gotten pretty stinky, so I just ordered a new pair to replace them. I love Zappos and next day free shipping.
  • Our Christmas cards are ordered and on their way. It wasn't the photo we really wanted, but when I said we'd have to retake them to get what we had said we wanted to do, Beerman quickly agreed it was good enough.
  • I really need to cut back my coffee consumption. A latte is the first thing I think of when I wake up lately.
  • I found a new recipe for cranberries I want to try. Since, after all, cranberries is my assigned dish on Thanksgiving each year. I'm not sure how that happened, but it sure does make it easy!
  • Nickelback is playing the half-time show at the Packers vs Lions Thanksgiving game. Seriously? As if Nickelback isn't bad enough on their own, but their Thanksgiving was like a month ago.
  • Happy 11s to you today!

November 10, 2011

Old Man Winter

The first measurable snowfall is coming down, and things are looking quite wintry out there. I don't think Harry is very thrilled. I'm just thrilled it's haircut day. I love haircut day. It might even be a 2 latte day. You know, because I deserve it.

November 8, 2011

Easy street

It's hard to believe the monster craziness we'd been building up to is over, but it is. Football is done. The rummage is mostly over. (I'm still tracking down peoples' IOUs.) Fall Fest came and went. Now we just have stuff to do that we like, mostly. And that feels good. Something you might even say I'm thankful for.

Report cards come home this Thursday. C-man is actually getting some real grades this year based on his in-class work, homework and weekly tests. Parent-teacher conferences aren't until Thanksgiving week, though, which I think is a big split between the two. It'll be interesting to see what these teachers think of him.

This weekend we're heading to Chicago to tool around while Beerman judges at some beer thing. C-man wants desperately to go to Navy Pier. I'm not sure why he's so stuck on that, but that's fine with me. The kid's museum is there, so that should be entertaining. Plus, there's always hotel room service and a pool after the train ride. Then we have First Stage play tickets on Sunday. I moved our original tickets to this weekend because it was the only one we could make. It would be simpler to not go this weekend, but it's the last weekend of Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly, so it's Sunday or never.

Overall, it's looking like this week is going to be pretty fun.

November 7, 2011


It's November. The month that all that turkey and thankfulness gets the spotlight. (Well, the Packers and deer killing too, but those are different stories.) There are so many around me who seem to be hurting in different ways, that I've felt even more incredibly lucky just to be me. So the rest of this month, I am going to focus on what I am thankful for in my life.

Today, I'm thankful for my little family. Even on my worst days, my husband and child ground me to who I am. Or at least to who I should be as my best me. Growing up, I'd had visions of gaggles of kids that never came. And for a while, that was tough to take. But now that I have who I have, I don't know how it could be any different. Or more importantly, any better.

November 6, 2011

What a weekend!

The weekend started at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. We got up and got to the school rummage sale that I've helped chair. Beerman makes the volunteer food, so we get there early to set that up and get things ready for the volunteers to arrive. The picture below, incidentally, is only 1/4 of the actual sale. It was a crazy day, but after being worried about donations being down all week, we still ended up grossing over $16,000 for the school, which made it all incredibly gratifying. It doesn't mean I'll be back for a third year, but I'm happy to have done so well again. (C-man was at football with Grandma and Grandpa, and then playing with them and friends)
On Sunday morning, we walked around the Milwaukee County Zoo for the Jingle Bell Walk benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. It was a little cloudy, but at 51 degrees, still a pretty enjoyable day to do it. The weather also meant WAY more people showed up than anticipated, which is great.
After that, we said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa. I went home to take Harry for a dog park walk and then rest while Beerman took C-man to Adventure Rock on his Cub Scout outing. This was the picture that was just sent to me. Heaven forbid the child not go to the very top of everything.
And now, I wait for the family to get home so we can head to a friend's house for the Packers game. I think one beer will knock me on my butt, so I'd better stick to water.

Whew. I may need a weekend from my weekend!

November 4, 2011

Somewhere out there, there is sanity

On your mark, get set, go! Let the craziness begin.

November 3, 2011

Thursday Thirteen Things

  1. Only two more days until this rummage sale is held. And then it's blissfully OVER.
  2. After 2.5 total hours of being on the phone with CVS Caremark to set up my new prescription with their specialty mail order pharmacy (The insurance company won't let me get my arthritis medicine any other way), and getting the rebate card that Humira gives me aligned with my account, I got my first shipment yesterday. I couldn't inject that stuff fast enough.
  3. For 6 months, I was on Remicade to a tune of $5000 per visit every 6 weeks. Humira is $5 every 2 weeks, or $15 every 6 weeks. The cost difference makes me physically ill. Especially when you realize that the obscenely expensive stuff didn't even work.
  4. I'm hot and heavy into the acupuncture thing again. I'm at a new place, since the woman I went last time was crazy, and the woman I went to the time before that has since moved out of town. So far, I feel like these guys know what they're doing. When I tell them something hurts, they press on a specific point in my body that sends me shooting in the air in pain in the spot they're touching, but the original spot that hurt doesn't while they hold it. I find it all so fascinating. Hopefully it doesn't take forever to see some changes.
  5. The Wisconsin Republicans are introducing an abstinence-only bill today and are calling it the promotion of marriage bill. (Unless you're gay, of course.) It totally makes sense to me to tell a 15 year old boy, "Don't have sex, get married first!" Because after all, every 15 year old boy would prefer to think about the socioeconomic benefits of a long-term marriage over getting laid.
  6. Now that Halloween is over, things are turning to Christmas. Commercials, people talking about holidays, red and green showing up.. Ick. I like Christmas, but in December, not the beginning of November.
  7. With all the wind and rain, the colored leaves are almost all gone. I'm not ready for winter. Not that it matters, because it's coming anyway.
  8. Every time I use the iPad to type something, autocorrect turns into i's. And there is no fix for it on the iPad. The restrictions on Apple products are really oppressive.
  9. However, Rope'n'Fly is my latest iPad game addiction.
  10. I finished streaming the show Breaking Bad on Netflix. There's a season 4 that isn't available on it. I may just break down and buy it, because I can't stand not knowing what happens to these people. Especially now that they are filming a season 5!
  11. C-man has 2 teachers who team teach. One of them is moving because her husband's job is relocating. We are now being asked to donate money for a gift for her. For what? 8 weeks of school? It's probably callous, but you'll excuse me if I'm not torn up by someone who has only been around for half of the first 8 weeks of school.
  12. Maybe I'm just bitter because I keep getting asked to donate money for people's birthdays, kids, weddings, cheer them up because they're sad they're pregnant (that one about sent me through the roof!).
  13. We're heading to Chicago next weekend to have some fun while Beerman has a beer thing he has to do. C-man is saving his allowance money and working at the rummage sale with us to earn more money so he can visit the Lego store. Right now he's about $10 short of getting the Earth Dragon Defense that he HAS to have. I think I'll make him work a bit at the rummage tonight to get him closer.

November 1, 2011

The things that make me smile

I feel like a truck has run me over. This rummage sale is draining me mentally. And physically, both Beerman and I hurt, too - he from moving ridiculous amounts of heavy furniture, me from just moving stuff. Then I fell down the basement stairs Sunday, resulting in a bloody big toe and turf toe (I had it once in high school and totally know that's what this is again) and a giant fist-sized bruise on my thigh. Not to mention my shoulder still hurts like a summ-itch, going on 4 weeks now. Yesterday, that was officially diagnosed as an acromioclavicular (AC) inflammation that I just have to wait out. (Mostly because they're not getting near me with those steroid shots) Hopefully acupuncture can speed it up. And, I can't stop sneezing. I'm blaming it on allergies, but it really feels more like a cold.

So in light of that, here are some things that make me smile lately:
  • Taking our family photo and realizing that Harry was the best behaved out of all of us.
  • Getting 114 for the word "Jink" in Scrabble.
  • Watching the school rummage sale taking shape each day and knowing I'm one day closer to the end of this commitment.
  • Seeing giant white tail bucks hanging out in our front yard.
  • Listening to C-man plow through a book that he has to read to us at night.
  • Going trick or treating and running into loads of people we know.
  • The Jingle Bell Run/Walk is this coming Sunday. (You still have time to come or donate!) So far, it's looking like 52 and sunny, so it should be a decent walk around the zoo.