March 31, 2012


Last night was the welcome to the season baseball party. There are only 2 new families to the team this year, so it's like the gang is all back together again. And the gang is a pretty fun one, so that's a good thing. The kids stayed up too late, and I drank too much (read: drank 3 whole beers), so it was a pretty big success overall. Tonight, we are going to the Cub Scout awards dinner. I think I would do just about anything to get out of going to this. At least I wasn't the one sewing all the patches that had fallen off C-man's uniform back on all morning. (Despite my mother's greatest wishes, I will never be a proficient sewer.)

So in all, not a lot to report. Guess that's okay, though.

March 30, 2012

Miscellaneous gobbeldy-gook

Today was the due date for me to turn in the big school plant sale fundraiser order to the greenhouse. I'm sick to my stomach, I'm so nervous that I screwed something up, it being the first time we've done this. Right now, I'm not clearing a ton of money for the school, because you have to buy things by the flat. In other words, if only one person ordered one plant out of the flat, I've got to buy the whole thing regardless. I'm really hoping I can make up the rest with a sale on pickup days, because then I could clear quite a bit.

Tonight is the Yankees start of the season party. I was supposed to make a dessert. I didn't. Guess I'll be buying that on my way home.

I did remember to buy my lottery ticket this morning. Well, "remember" might be overstating it a bit. I had to fill up my gas tank because the light went on, and when I got to the pump, it said, "Are you going to be a millionaire?" And I thought, "Why yes, yes I am." (Even if the odds of getting killed by a vending machine or asteroid apocalypse are greater)

I've been eating like crap lately, so am whole hog back on eating well. Dr. Oz says you need to take in 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of being up. So I've started chugging protein shakes in the morning. Ugh. I do have to say, though, I wasn't even hungry for lunch. So maybe it'll help.

I also went to see my rheumatologist today for my regular check-in and blood work. He's doubled my dose of the toxic nonsense to see if it'll help. I think I've got a better shot at the $500 million.

Oh, come on, weekend. You can't get here soon enough!

March 29, 2012

Find the Missing Object

While I was away, C-man pulled that other top tooth out. In my absence, the second string Tooth Fairy paid $5. C-man was pretty pleased with that. All I know is if he keeps this up, he's going to have to get a job in a Florida fruit stand.

March 27, 2012

On the road. Again.

I'm hanging out in Ottawa, Illinois these days. Yeah, I wouldn't know about it either if it weren't for work. Just imagine brown fields, windmills, and chain fast food restaurants in the middle of nowhere. Come on, you know you're jealous. I'm going to try to see the Hunger Games tonight, though, so at least it's good for that.

Since birthdaypalooza is done, it's time to start planning my birthday month. (she says while rubbing her hands together anxiously) My birthday is actually the start of C-man's baseball season, so I don't know who I'm kidding. But it's good to think about anyhow.

I started a plant sale fundraiser at school and was bummed that I wasn't getting any orders. True to form, a bazillion of them came in on the due date - today. I'm so thankful. It would have sucked for that to fail, because I would have been sucked back into that rummage sale again. Speaking of the plant sale, I should probably figure out what I'm ordering!

March 26, 2012

Moving on

Partypalooza is over. And that means the kid's birthday festivities are officially done. And I'm totally exhausted. Although I think the exhaustion part is more from wicked allergy season kicking in than little boys. (Achooo!) Beerman was feeding them all waffles when I left for work this morning, and said they all left with smiles on their faces. Even the grumpy kid who hated everything asked to stay longer. And that's saying something!

Now that the birthday fun is over, it's time to think about summer camp registration. He's going back to the same one as last year, but we still need to fill 4 weeks. (Can someone explain why the summer camps don't go the whole time kids are out of school?) I think we'll fill those with our own vacations and the Jewish kid's camp. It's crazy to me that it all has to be figured out now.

It's also time to kick this fish tank into action. We have the Albanian tile guy coming later today to tile the floor so we can put the thing in place. Beerman has the floor braced up for the additional 1600 pounds it'll add to the floor, holes drilled for the pumps and filters to go in the basement, and he's figuring out how to use our old pool filter in the mix for additional water overflow. Go big or go home is the appropriate phrase with this project!

Unfortunately, I'm so tired, all I DO want to do is go home.

March 25, 2012

The eternal birthday week

 It takes a long time to turn 7, because this week has gone on and on and on. We had Wednesday's real birthday. Then we had Saturday's night out to the hibachi restaurant. Today and tonight and tomorrow we have 5 boys over to the house.
 They've played soccer and basketball and legos and climb the trees and built forts. They've eaten pizza and cake and laughed and been little boys.
So far, I think turning 7 has been pretty charmed.

March 24, 2012

I love a rainy night

It's a rainy Saturday, spent picking up the house so that five 7 year old boys can rip it to shreds tomorrow at the great birthday bash. Beerman brought a bunch of cardboard home from work so they can make forts. Other than that and meal times, we have very little planned. At least I remembered to order a cake. Here's hoping I just remember to pick it up!

In other news, I can't tell what the heck my kid is saying anymore. I was passing it off on him getting lazy and mumbley, but then realized that it's probably the lack of top teeth. He confirmed he's been struggling lately. Let's hope that sucker grows in quickly, because it's getting old trying to decipher what the heck he's saying.

Baseball season has officially started. Not having seen some of those kids all winter, it's amazing how much they've grown. C-man is pretty happy the Yankees are all back together again. I need to find my t-shirts before the games start. His big game at Miller Park/Helfaer Field is a night game under the lights this year. That should be cool.

It's also that time of year that I have to get our money in for summer camp. It's crazy how fast it comes up!

March 23, 2012


I've got an unexpected half-day of work today because C-man only has a half-day. It's not that his half-day is unexpected. Beerman and I just didn't communicate very well about who was taking care of the half-day from a parental side until last night. But it's cool, because C-man is dying to get to Build a Bear (thankyouveryveryverymuch!) to make a koala, and it's kind of a perfect day for it being all rainy and all. And while my desk is piled sky high with work, I'm kind of excited to get the flock out of here.

Hope you enjoy your weekend. I'm going to go have some fun before the sleepover madness descends on the house.

March 22, 2012

Birthday week continues

The birthday boy is officially 7 now. He decided yesterday morning he didn't actually want to go out to eat as we'd planned, but to eat a snack dinner at home instead. (Breads, cheeses, pickles, meats, jams, tabletop grill) Since it was still above 75 degrees, we ate outside. And then he spent the night furiously putting together the Lego set we got him. I do see a bit of me in him with stuff like that - he can't turn it off until he's finished - which caused big problems when he had 10 steps left and it was past his bedtime. Well that, and the 2 giant pieces of cake he'd eaten.

It being birthday/star student week, he took in his "sharing sack" (could there be a worse name?) of non-toy items that are important to him to share with the class. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what to do with 5 boys for this sleepover this weekend. I think I may need some water balloons and guns on hand. That's always a worthwhile activity.
And, of course, GO MU GO!

March 21, 2012

Lucky Sevens

Seven years ago today, the brightest light I've ever seen came into my world. Since day one, he's been man who has known what he wants. And what he wants always has something to do with laughter. He's creative and gentle and compassionate. He's determined and focused and loving. He's all the things I try to be every day. Somehow, he just figured it out faster than I could.

Happy birthday, sweet babe. Go ahead and take the world by storm!

March 20, 2012

Mushy gushy letters

  • Today is my last day of having a 6 year old. 7 feels old to me - so different than 6. 6 was still a baby, and this is no baby.
  • He asked this morning what I was getting him for his birthday. We were standing in front of the saltwater tank we got for him when he asked it. My eyes almost didn't see straight after they rolled so far back into my head.
  • Since he's star student this week, there are assignments for us each day. Yesterday, he went over his poster all about him (the one that says he's going to be a brewmaster) and today he gets to read one of his favorite books (Harry the Dirty Dog) to the class.
  • Tomorrow we are supposed to send a letter, poem or story in a sealed envelope to class with him for the teacher to read out loud in front of everyone. We, of course, wrote the C-manakin and Harry Chewbarka Jedi story with him saving his parents with his bravery. We, of course, have repeatedly tortured him by saying we wrote a super "mushy gushy" letter. He's mortified.
  • When I asked what kinds of things other parents wrote, because I'd feel bad if I embarrassed him, he responded, "Don't worry, I'll handle it. I'll just tell them that's how much you love me or make something up. I'll handle it."
  • My 7 year old is already "handling" me. Oh boy.

March 19, 2012

Good stuff

It was a really beautiful weekend with amazing weather. We dog parked and we cleaned out the gardens and we got the base for the fish tank picked up (and 2 new fish for the existing tank) and ate good breakfasts and C-man played with friends while Beerman built floor supports for the new fish tank. We got C-man's poster filled out for his Star Student week and moved some stuff around to make way for the new tank. And the most important piece of the weekend - my hammock chair is put back up. What is usually such a miserable time of the year has really become quite fun.

And it's not over yet. This week, we have C-man's birthday, baseball practice, math tutoring, and C-man's birthday sleepover. Holy crapballs. I'm going to have a 7 year old!

March 17, 2012

Lost and Found

In the great cleanup to fit this fish tank into our house, I came across our honeymoon pictures. All taken with my 2.0 megapixel camera Beerman gave me for our wedding. We were so, so young and deliriously happy. What a great find.

March 16, 2012


  • I'm slowly making progress toward getting this fish tank sitting in its right spot. Yesterday, I moved the piano. Today, the book shelf. And I figured out which tile I'm getting installed underneath it. Progress.
  • The piles and piles of crap I'm throwing out is also progress.
  • What does one do with all these stupid bobbleheads?
  • I really need to get rid of a ton of furniture, but what do you do with it all?
  • C-man and Beerman are taking a tour of Milwaukee's City Hall tonight, and going into the Mayor's Office. I was a Mayoral Intern for 6 semesters of college and used to do that job. "Here's a photo of a dead mayor. And here's a statue given to us by our sister city."
  • C-man desperately needs a new bike. I think the Easter Bunny is going to bring it since he's getting the tank for his birthday. The problem is he wants a green one. Not that many bikes come in green... Thank goodness for the world wide webs.
  • Baseball practice starts next week. Wow. It really is that time again!
  • I'm hoping to get Beerman to the car dealer this weekend so we can make a final decision and get the ourselves a new car. I'm kind of done thinking about it any longer and just want it to be done.
  • One of these days I'm going to get a good night's sleep, and it's going to be amazing.

March 15, 2012

Daddy's footsteps

C-man is Star Student next week in school, and has to fill out a whole poster about himself as part of it. When he filled out what he wants to be when he grows up, I think I saw Beerman tear up a little. But I'd give just about anything to see the look on his teacher's face when he announces THAT one!

March 14, 2012

I just want a coherent day

I'm  struggling with what to write today. Let me rephrase that. I'm struggling. Period. The inflammation has been so high in my body, I picture my brain filled with some sort of mushy goo, kind of like the green slime they used to dump on kids on that Nickelodeon show way back, that it's almost impossible to string coherent thoughts together.

And I try. Boy, do I try. Over and over, I try. I write for my livelihood. All day long. And I find myself getting nowhere. Fast. Normal things, typical decisions allude me right now. It's like when you can touch something with your fingertips, but not fully grasp it. Not that it would matter much, as I can barely grasp things right now anyway. I try to pay attention. I try to listen. And I find myself failing over and over. It's like listening underwater - you can hear something going on, but it doesn't quite get through.

I know it's the inflammation, because this has happened before. Once the inflammation subsides, I'm coherent again. It's just gone on for so long this time, that it's starting feeling desperate.

Geez. Some days I'm really quite cheery, aren't I?

March 13, 2012

I could really use some sleep

I feel so drained lately. I really need to figure out a way to get my groove back, because it just isn't happening these days.

Part of it is because I have not been sleeping well the last couple of weeks. I don't know why. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that my hands and feet are giant red marshmallows and the rest of my body is following suit. Apparently this medicine isn't working anymore. But all my old tricks aren't working. I fall asleep watching Psych, but can't stay asleep. I read myself to sleep (I plowed through the first 2 Hunger Games books on my trip last week, and just can't seem to finish the 3rd book - They're decently written, but so incredibly predictable that I find them kind of boring, which in theory should help me sleep.), but can't stay asleep. I take herbs, and feel calm, but not sleepy. It's kind of exhausting.

We bought C-man a 125 gallon fish tank and stand for the porcupine puffer fish he wants for his birthday. Beerman did the calculations and realized we'd have to reinforce his floor to put it in his bedroom, which would be a giant pain. So now we're going to have another fish tank in the dining room, which means rearranging the whole thing. And to boot, C-man and his compassionate streak wants the one-eyed puffer fish he saw at the store because he felt bad no one was going to take him home. I should be overjoyed he's so compassionate, but the thought of all this money and work for an ugly one-eyed fish is too much. Maybe I'll be happier once it's installed and the pretty, serene fish tank is bubbling away. But for now, I'm finding the whole idea of eating with Popeye looking at me really annoying.

Work has been especially draining, because I have to work non-stop on something I detest. (Soul sucking might be a better description.) It's going to be at least another month before I get a break from it, too.

C-man is growing up. Besides turning 7 next week, he's detaching himself from us. This morning he asked if I could not wait for the bus with him anymore. I love waiting for the bus with him. But alas, I'll sit inside and drink my coffee alone.

I know none of this is earth shattering and I shouldn't be complaining. I think I'm just tired. And it's making everything a bigger deal to me than it really is.

So the good news is that spring is here. The sun is beautiful, it's 65 degrees, and deer are grazing through the yard to eat the tulips that are springing up. C-man has a birthday next week and is star student at school, which he's really excited about.We are supposed to write a love letter, poem or story for the teacher to read out loud on Wednesday. I wrote a story about C-manikin as a Jedi with his training wookie, Harry Chewbarka. He should like that. So things are actually quite good. I just need some good sleep to be able to remember that!

March 12, 2012

Back at it

Since it's back to work Monday after the springing ahead nonsense, I can't be relied upon to be coherent. So here is my random stream of consciousness in bullet form:
  • Trivia was a really, really fun time. I feel so blessed to have such a great group of friends.
  • Last night, C-man and I were talking about family, and he said, "Mrs. S is kind of like my mom, too. And Mr. M is kind of like my dad, too." I've always worried about giving him a strong extended family connection, since he doesn't have any siblings. So the fact that several families have kind of taken him in as their own makes me really happy.
  • Slippy the Penguin had an adventurous weekend - playing games with the other penguins of the house, having a sleepover, riding on a bike, and attending a Cub Scout den meeting at the house. I think Slippy needs to go back to school to rest up. At least he's a lot cleaner than when we showed up at the house. (What are parents thinking not washing that dirty little bird?!?)
  • Beerman held the Cub Scout den meeting at the house on Sunday afternoon. They did an activity with the nutritional food plate and then made healthy snacks. Harry and I spent our afternoon at the park, and then I went and got a massage. Based on the exhaustion level of the 2 of us, I'm pretty sure I got the better end of the deal.
  • My spine is really a mess lately. I need to get some more regularly scheduled chiropractic appointments under my belt.
  • Tonight is another episode of running to Being Human. I do really love that show.
  • Marquette is the 3 seed. Go BYU!

March 11, 2012

Sort of winners

Last night we went to a school trivia fundraiser. You rounded up a table of friends, brought your own snacks and drinks, decorated your table (ours was the best) and then played trivia. The entry fee was pure profit for the school. We had such a fun time, and even had to bring over a separate table for all the snacks we brought. And, of course, we won. Well, kind of. We went into the last round in 2nd place, behind by 2 points. I put on my rally tiara, bet the full 15 allowed for the final question, and successfully put Argentina, Peru, Venezuela and Paraguay in order from largest to smallest. The table that was 2 points ahead of us was sad when the answer was revealed. So that made us the Winners!

Wrong. The lady running trivia said we were 5th. Being at a table full of people unwilling to let it slide, and knowing we got the final question right, a couple of my table mates approached the lady running the contest for a review. We were right. We won. But the money had already been dispensed to a table of 5th grade mothers, and the 5th grade teacher was one of our team members. Happy to know that we were the true winners, we did a parting shot of Jamison and went out to eat.

It was one of those nights of great belly laughs with great friends. I just don't envy the headaches of a few this morning.

March 9, 2012

The invasion of Slippy (the no longer filthy) Penguin

I finally made it home last night on two flights that were shockingly on-time. I even had a decent dinner in the Denver airport. Although in a mind boggling moment, while looking for a Bronco's something or other to get C-man (you'll remember he now adores them) there wasn't a single Broncos jersey, t-shirt or key chain to be found. When I asked about where I'd find one, because surprisingly the "Colorado" store didn't even have anything, the guy said, "But football season is over." While I know Packers fans are a bit extreme in this respect, REALLY?!?

Anyhow, I'm home and tired, but most importantly, home. And now, we have Slippy the Penguin to take on some adventures and write about and take photos of all weekend long. (Apparently, C-man has been waiting and waiting for this day, and has lucked out to get him on a weekend, so can keep him for 3 whole days.) While I figured I'd have to clean him up a bit, I didn't expect him to look like he'd been spending his free time dumpster diving.

But after 3 wash cycles, he's cleaned up a bit, back to his almost pristine self, and even had a little dinner.

Tomorrow, he's going to go to mass, and then to sleep over at a friend's house while we're out with friends at a trivia contest and dinner. (I can't wait.) Oh, Slippy. The fun we'll have together.

March 8, 2012

Traveling (wo)man

I left my house yesterday at 7 a.m. And arrived at my destination 15 hours later. In between those 15 hours included:

One 3-hour delay sitting on a stuffy plane in Milwaukee

One chatty seatmate who couldn't take the I'm knitting-reading-and watching TV with headphones in and pulling them out saying "huh" in an annoyed tone each time she hit me in the arm because she was trying to talk to me- hint

One missed connection

One long line to get rebooked to get out of Denver

One new flight to LAX

Ninety minutes sitting on a stuffy, delayed plane in Denver

Three hours of driving through LA rush hour

One sweater back complete

One Hunger Games book finished

And the best news? I'm flying back home tonight. Here's hoping I spent all my nasty traveling experiences yesterday!

March 6, 2012

Another day

We were under a blanket of heavy, wet snow this weekend, and today C-man is riding his bike around the driveway without a coat on because it's 65 degrees and sunny. What a strange, strange year it's become already.

I've got to spend the rest of my week in southern California. I'm not thrilled about it, but I do have a car to buy. I'm hoping to test drive my candidates this weekend. Because I'm SICK to death of this van. I took it in to get the EGR valve replaced because that's what the codes were saying it was. They cleared out the sensors, and away I went. 15 miles later *bing*, the engine light goes on again. So I called them on my way into work again today, they took it, and it needed more garbage done to the tune of another $700. Ugh. The sensors are cleared out again. Here's hoping it stays that way, because I'm so sick of socking money into this pit.

Well, I need to get my butt in gear and pack. Oh goody.

March 5, 2012

Growing up

The fry are growing up, and there are still about 50 of them. The good news is if we can keep them healthy, it'll help defray some of the costs of C-man's saltwater tank he wants (and is getting) for his birthday. He's already talking about what to name his puffer fish. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't jealous.

March 4, 2012

Being Busy

It's still "lake effect"ing, so it looks like we're inside a snow globe. Despite having no real plans for this weekend, we have been fairly busy.

Yesterday, after the park and playing in the snow, we went to the Milwaukee Auto Show to compare cars in a non-sales environment. I'm really, really disappointed in the vast majority of options, as they all look the same and have crappy gas mileage. So we are considering buying something super small and cheap. We typically keep our vehicles until they die several deaths, but if we get a cheap one, we could get two in that same amount of time for the same price. It is really tempting to not have to address old age upkeep problems on a vehicle, especially considering I have the van going in tomorrow for a big, expensive emissions repair just so I can get my car re-registered. (I've been pulled over TWICE now for my "late" registration - even though it's technically up-to-date legally. ARGH!)  I need to test drive the final new car contenders before we make our ultimate decision, because sometimes small cars drive like crap. Regardless, I'm getting heated seats!

Since we were at the Auto Show, we parked in the museum parking lot (we're members, so get a cheaper rate). On our way back to the car, C-man announced he wanted to see the Cleopatra exhibit we haven't seen yet. (We've been to the museum several times since the exhibit has opened, but each time, he's decided against seeing the Cleopatra exhibit.) We all learned a lot (Like that Cleopatra was actually Greek not Egyptian, she married her brother, and they really don't know much about her because Alexandria had several earthquakes and tidal waves which then flooded it for good.) I really enjoy being museum members. It was one of my favorite places to visit as a kid, so it makes me smile that we enjoy going to hang out for an hour or two at a time whenever.

Today, we've got tickets to see First Stage's rendition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. C-man and I are so excited, because it's definitely a favorite of both of ours. Hopefully they don't screw it up like they did A Wrinkle in Time.

March 3, 2012

5 Steps to a Morning Snowfall

Step 1: Taunt others
Step 2: Run like heck
Step 3: Endure facewash

Step 5: Plot revenge

March 2, 2012

Organizing stuff

The other day I had a physical. It was overdue and work gave me $300 off my insurance to get one. And I found out my cholesterol is too high. Which was the kick in the pants I'd needed to start putting things in order in my life. I am going to eat fish every week if it kills me. And it just might, because I hate fish. I'm cutting out the sugar, even though those dastardly Girl Scouts just made their big delivery. Because I need to for my long-term health, and because I'm carrying way too much weight.

Essentially, I vowed to get my shit together. Organize my life, if you will. And a bi-product of this new found shit-getith-togetherness was my spice rack. I should have taken a before picture for you to see the difference. But just picture 50 spices and bags all thrown on top of one another - a giant booby trap for each time we opened the cupboard doors. And now, it's a thing of alphabetically organized beauty.

And then I was at the gym last night working out (see the earlier comment about cutting off the weight nonsense) and I got an email from Beerman that said, "What the hello! I can find the spices!" (The 2nd email said, "Damn autocorrect. Dam it. Nice job on the spice rake." I might have laughed so hard I had tears.)

March 1, 2012

In like a lamb

I'm tired of the rain. My hands look like 10 stumps coming out of 2 puffy paws, and Harry is tired of cowering in the bathroom.

At least it's almost the weekend and we haven't gotten any tornadoes.