Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!!!

I bought discounted tickets to Idlewild towards the beginning of the summer. The only stipulation was that we had to go on a weekday before July 31st. Due to scheduling difficulties, Jim ended up taking a day off last Thursday. Keep in mind that he chose that day randomly, and weeks ago. After telling Dylan about going to Idewild all week, of course, it rained. We ended up going to the Children's Museum. He still had a blast, and we all loved watching him, but I was disappointed. After realizing July 31st was this Friday, Jim took Friday off, so we can try again. Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous days. I work Mondays and Tuesdays. Today it is pouring. That is fine with me. I just checked the forecast and guess what it says for Friday? Thundershowers!

Yesterday, when I took the girls to a playground, I thought, "Watch me run into my old employer and her daughter here". Ten minutes later, I heard her calling my name! Have you noticed that very often, you will think something totally random, and it will happen? Like when you think of a song, and it is the next song on the radio. Or, when you think of a movie you haven't seen in years, and it is playing on HBO that night? Or, you think of someone you haven't heard from in years, and receive an email from them? This happens to me A LOT. So, I've decided to make it work for me.


(He was much too busy to look at the camera, or heaven forbid - SMILE! The one with him in the raincoat, where he is smiling, was after he fell, dancing, on the slippery floor. He fell, then laughed, at his klutzy self!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


-At breakfast one morning...
Me: Do you want a granola bar?
Dylan: Yea!
Me: We could share one.
Dylan: Uh... could eat one all up, and I could eat one all up!

-I took him to Arby's for the first time, one evening for dinner. I was holding him, and ordering our food. Suddenly, he leaned
WAY over, into the cashier's face, and asked, "Uh... You got pizza?!" She didn't even crack a smile. Just answered, "No, we don't have pizza". He leaned in again, for effect. "Uh... You got milk?"

-We took him to the Stride Rite outlets yesterday, to see if we could get some discounted shoes, since he wears a 9 1/2 WIDE, and we can only shop at Stride Rite. We found rain boots - one pair was green frogs, the other blue monsters. I liked the green frogs, Jim liked the blue monsters. We couldn't decide, so we asked Dylan to make the decision.
Me: Which ones do you like?
Dylan: Both of them.
Me: Okay, which ones do you like best?
Dylan: Mommy likes the frogs... Daddy likes the monsters...
Me: Yes, but which ones do you like? Which ones do you want to get?
Dylan: Uh... Both of them? (My little diplomat!)

-As anyone who has, or has had a toddler knows, sometimes it is really, really hard to understand what they are saying. Sometimes they are pronouncing the word wrong. Sometimes they are using the wrong word for the situation. Sometimes they are jumbling their words together. Lately, though, I've been having another problem. I understand exactly what he is saying, but I can't figure out WHY he is saying what he is saying. Toddlers don't exactly explain their train of though, you know.

Yesterday, while sitting at the table eating lunch, Dylan was looking out our sliding glass door, into the backyard. He suddenly laughed, and remarked, "There were two pigs in the mud!" After I looked in our backyard to make sure two pigs hadn't actually wandered into our yard, I asked, "There were two pigs in the mud?" Again, he laughed, and said, "Yea!" I had NO IDEA what he was talking about, but I've learned there are a few survival phrases when living with a toddler, and you have NO IDEA what they are talking about.
1. Answer, "Really?!"
2. Answer, "Wow!", and repeat whatever they said. "Two pigs in the mud!"
3. Ask them a follow up question... "Why were they in the mud?" This one can sometimes backfire, though, because they might seem annoyed that you are asking them a stupid question, and they might catch on that you have NO IDEA what they are talking about.

What sometimes happens is, I realize hours, or even days later, what he was talking about. Later that day, we were reading a book, and sure enough, there were two pigs in the mud on one page! "Dylan! This is what you were talking about earlier! These are the two pigs in the mud!" Of course, he had NO IDEA what I was talking about.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Forever Changed - 11 Years Later

Eleven years ago on this day, I was at my best friend's parents' house. I had spent the day making last minute phone calls and meeting with friends to make sure everything was set for the big day. I was going to marry Doug in just four days! How would everything get done?

My best friend and I were up late, trying desperately to finish the white chocolate roses that were to be the favors. It was probably around midnight, and her parents had gone to bed hours ago. My friend was in the bathroom when I heard something...a soft knock at the door. My heart immediately started beating faster! It was scary, someone knocking so softly on the door so late at night! I ran to the bathroom and told my friend, "There is someone at your door!"

Together we opened the door, and my parents were standing there. The minute I saw my dad's face, I knew something was wrong. I thought something had happened to one of my grandparents. "What's wrong?", I asked, preparing myself for what I thought I was about to hear. But, I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready for the words that came next.

As I sit here, reliving it, I am amazed that I don't recall the exact words. You would think that I would remember the exact words that changed my life forever, but I don't. I would imagine that my parents discussed how to tell me on the way over, which words to use, how to say it, what to do to somehow, as if it were possible, make it easier for me. The strength it took for them to tell me astounds me. A parent's job is to protect their child from pain, whenever possible, but this time it wasn't possible.

When my dad told me that Doug had been in a motorcycle accident, and that he was gone, the room started spinning. I ran away from him, into another room to escape, but the words kept repeating themselves in my brain. Suddenly, I couldn't breathe, and this room was spinning, too. I went back into the living room and collapsed onto the floor. A sound that didn't even seem human filled the quiet room, or maybe it didn't. Maybe the sound I heard was only inside, echoing in the hollow space that once held my heart.

Last year, on this day, the anniversary of Doug's death, I said that I didn't want to be sad. Today, on the 11th anniversary, it's not that I want to be sad. It is just that sometimes, in order to truly appreciate the good in my life, I need to take myself back to that moment. To remember how bad it has been, and how far I have come. To remind myself of the strength I didn't know I possessed. To look at the people surrounding me, and to cherish them and the joy they bring to my life.

Jim, thank you for showing me that finding love twice was not only possible, but FABULOUS.

Dylan, thank you for bringing joy and laughter to each and every one of my days.

Mom & Dad, thank you for the millions of things you have done for me and continue to do.

To the rest of my family and friends (including all you bloggy ones), I appreciate each of you and what you bring to my life.

To Doug, I am so glad that we didn't hold anything back while we were together. You knew exactly how I felt about you, and vise versa. I can truly say that I have no regrets.

What about you? If today were your last, would you have regrets? Would you have said, "I love you" to the people who needed to hear it? What are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Musts

I know. Where have I been?! You see, something happens to me every year, in July. I panic. "SUMMER IS HALFWAY OVER AND I HAVEN'T DONE THIS AND THAT AND THIS AND...". I suddenly feel the need to cram as much fun into the rest of the summer as humanly possible. I get depressed, thinking about what we didn't get to do. Dylan will only be 2 1/2 this summer, you know.

I think I need to remind myself of all the "must do" summer stuff we did get to do so far, so here goes...

You must share a snow cone at the Arts Festival...

Putting your feet in the fountain is a necessity...

You must eat lots and lots of watermelon...

You must pick and eat strawberries until your hands turn red, and you give yourself gas...

You must take at least one road trip...

You must spend several days at the zoo...

You must go swimming, and build a sandcastle...

There's still a lot of things I want our family to do this summer, but I think we've made a good start.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twitter Dee Dee (I'm Twitter Dee Dumb)

If you have no idea what this Twitter thing is all about, get in line behind yours truly. The way I understand it, people constantly give short updates on what they are doing. I guess the updates are called "Tweets"? I guess you can sign up to get other people's constant updates, but to that I say, "TWHAT"? and "TWHY"? That sounds kind of annoying to me.

I thought I was successfully avoiding the Twitter craze, but I recently discovered that I'm not. You see, my 2 1/2 year old son is a twitterer, or a tweeter, or twhatever. He does it

It starts in the morning, with, "I have Puppy!...I'm going down the stairs...I eating my waffle...I dropped my cup...". Throughout the day I hear, "I'm building a tower...I'm going down the slide...I'm making this puzzle...I'm eatin' a snack...I'm playing with my friend", etc.

He also likes to get updates on what I'm doing throughout the day. "Mommy, your hair is wet?... Mommy, you eating yogurt?... Mommy, you getting dressed?..." These inquiries MUST be answered immediately, or I will be forced to hear their repeated echoes rattling around in my feeble brain for hours, like the tune of a song you hear but can't get out of your head. "Yes, Dylan, my hair is wet... Yes, Dylan, I'm eating yogurt... Yes, Dylan, I'm getting dressed..."

One day this past weekend, while dining at Hoss's, my potty training sweetheart shouted, "MOMMY! YOU WENT POTTY ALL BY YOURSELF?!? YOU WENT PEE OR POOP ON THE POTTY?", as I made my way back to our table. "Yes, Dylan, I did. Pee, if you must know". "Where's my damn sticker?", (I asked a red faced, laughing Jim, not Dylan).

Turns out, I was right on with my assessment of Twitter. It IS a little annoying. But, in case anyone is wondering, I'm about to turn off my computer. Then, I will walk up the stairs. Then, I will brush my teeth, wash my face, climb into bed, sigh, and snuggle down into my pillow, before falling asleep. Oh, sorry. I skipped something. I will also pee on the potty, all by myself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Quiz

Apparently, I was a guest poster over at Juggling Life today! Talk about "Juggling Life"! I didn't even know until ... uh, 8:11pm today. It is a quiz for all of you to give your husbands, so please head over there and have some fun!

Let me know if you give your husband the quiz, or if you want to write a post about it. I plan to post Jim's answers soon, and I'll link to you, or at the very least, your husband will have bragging rights!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birth Control Woes

I need to RANT. I've tried not to get into this, but I think I just need to vent, so I can move on. If you are a man, you might want to skip reading this post.

A couple months ago, I went to Giant Eagle on a Saturday, to get a new pack of birth control pills. There was a HUGE line for the pharmacy, so instead of standing there while all my groceries melted, I decided to come back later. That was a good thing, because when I came back, there was no line. I gave the guy with the "I'm Training" pin, my name, and waited. When he came back, he informed me,

"You have no refills on this prescription".
"WHAT?!?!", I exclaimed.
"You have no refills on this prescription", he remarked a bit louder this time.
"You have my phone number. Why didn't you call and tell me that, so I didn't drive all the way over here?"
"I think someone tried".
(He was beginning to look uncomfortable, but just stood there shifting his weight from one foot to the other).
"Listen, I obviously can't call my gynecologist until Monday to get another prescription, so can you just give me a couple? If I miss days, I'm going to get all messed up".
"No, sorry"
(I'm not sure why I do stuff like this, but I just stood there looking at him menacingly, not saying anything. He became more and more uncomfortable, and started looking over his shoulder at his coworkers as if to say, "Help?" Just about the time a bead of sweat formed on his temple I shouted, "AARRRGGGGHHH!", making the poor kid jump, and stormed off).

Messed up is right. I ended up not getting time to call on Monday or Tuesday. By then, I had officially missed too many pills. If you take birth control pills, you know that when you make an appointment to come in and have your yearly exam, THEN they will send in a new prescription. What is the big deal? They act like you might be selling the things on the black market.

Our vacation was in a week or so, and when you start a new pack, you might have spotting. I really didn't want that aggravation on vacation, so I put off starting the new pack until we got home.

To make a long story short(er), now that I am on the new pack, I'm a wreck. I'm irritable, I'm exhausted, and my face looks like the before in an acne commercial. I'm angry. When I went to the gynecologist, I asked, "Why don't you guys send reminder postcards when it's time to make an appointment, like other doctors do?" Her reply? "We don't do that". Well, gee, that makes sense. Glad I asked?! I was tempted to look at HER until a bead of sweat formed on her temple.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Library Score

I love the library. (I'm a great big nerd, and I'm proud of it). I've been taking Dylan quite often, since it has finally become doable. There were a few misfires, when he wasn't old enough yet. He just ran all over the place, wildly grabbing books from all the shelves and flinging them onto heaps on the floor, before cackling evilly and trying to climb a bookshelf.

But today, we went, and I was amazed at how enjoyable it has become. I picked up an alphabet book in which all the letters are different foods (Do I know my kid, or what?), some multicultural books that show families all around the world getting ready for bed and getting dressed, (I think it is important for kids to see that not everyone looks the same or does things the same.), and a Sesame Street potty video, (If anyone can motivate my kid to go potty, it's Elmo).

A while ago, I checked out a dvd that I must RAVE about. It is called Classical Baby - I'm Grown Up Now: The Poetry Show. Ridiculously long title, but ridiculously good dvd. Here's the description...

"Featuring the voices of performers Andy Garcia, John Lithgow, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Susan Sarandon, and Jeffrey Wright, Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show consists of approximately a dozen short segments presenting well-known poems—and some surprises—in a unique format. Between each segment, children ranging in age from four to nine offer commentary and muse on the meaning and mystery of poetry".

The animation is gorgeous, the poetry is divine, the stars who narrate are perfect, and the commentary by the kids is adorable.

I could listen to this ...shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou are more lovely and more temperate... or this...
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach... for hours, but I'm weird that way.

Here's what the kids said...
"I like mysterious poems because they make me think, and I like thinking".
"A poem is a pretty way of saying something".
"Maybe you just love someone so much that there's no words for it and you just have to write what you feel".

What a genius idea to introduce children to poetry at an early age and to make it fun. And, if you're wondering, no I didn't receive a free dvd for this review, or any other form of compensation. I just like to let others know about cool stuff. If anyone out there would like to send me a flat screen TV, or an all expenses paid vacation, I'm sure I would be willing to RAVE about that also. Just so ya know.

After Dylan and I watched the dvd, I looked at him sitting there, still with his eyes glazed over and his mouth open, and asked, "Did you like that?" "Yea", he replied. "I love it!", I said. He looked at me, smiled, and said, "I love it too!"