Tuesday, July 31, 2007

going through the big D

and don't mean Dallas...not divorce, either. (not yet...thanks Bunny!) heehee

A couple months ago I started noticing that I was having to pep talk myself through a lot of my day. Stuff that was normal to me was feeling harder and my days started feeling longer and longer. It took all of my energy to maintain some patience, and even kindness, with my children and I was exhausted from it. I figured I was going through another low point, kind of like last winter, and I began doing the basic things...more prayer, eating better, getting a babysitter, exercising, etc. to make myself feel better. (okay, not a lot of exercising but some.)

I was plugging along, feeling kind of bewildered and guilty. My faith is very important and real to me and I feel pretty close to God on a day to day basis. Why did I feel this way then? I always have felt so thankful for all of my blessings and really enjoyed my life. Even after the hardest days with the kids I would usually wake up looking forward to another go at it. I loved staying home with them and was grateful to be able to. Life got so much busier, and yes harder, after Ruby but the joy she brings (mostly - ha!) made up for it. I know that these years pass quickly and the stuff that is a struggle now will most likely be over in another 6 months or so...sometimes even one month. Yes, the old struggles are replaced with new ones, but you know what I mean...everything is so temporary with small children.

After James had his reaction to that darn little cracker, everything changed. That experience was terrifying and I think it was the proverbial straw for me. I felt such sorrow afterwards and had to accept a fresh fear that he has this constant danger with him. I know he is healthy and many have worse, but this is my reality and it was shocking for me to see how serious it is. I felt drained afterwards. I suddenly didn't have the energy for the pep talks anymore. My baseline of well being felt like 0 (expressionless face, if you will) instead of about a 7 (hopeful, with a good bit of joy.) I know that sounds dumb, but that's the best way I can think of to describe it.

I also started noticing that my time away from the kids no longer left me refreshed. That was a HUGE sign for me because that is what always kept me feeling like I could get through another week. I had heard that breastfeeding & having your period could really mess up your hormones so I decided to go on the pill.

Depression runs deep on my mother's side of the family. I didn't think I was "depressed" because I did still have good times, throughout all of this. I noticed, however, that after the fun was over, I would go right back to feeling that blah way. So, now we have irritability, guilt and indifference. Hmmmmm. Starting to sound a bit familiar?

A couple weeks ago the sermon at church was all about depression. (July 15th, if you're interested) The pastor talked about how a person wouldn't go around with a limp & broken arm but they would go around for months not feeling right inside themselves. He talked about the guilt Christians feel when they are depressed and how to deal with that. I had recently told Patrick that I thought something was off with me and as we sat there that morning holding tight to each other's hands, I began to feel a little hopeful.

It took me a few days to accept that I might actually be depressed and not just hormonally messed up. I cried a little, talked to my husband, mother and a couple friends. I then made my appointment and headed up to Duluth, alone with 2 kids, to spend a week in a very hot house. (I am so freaking stupid sometimes!) Like I said, I'm really glad we went but it wasn't all giggles. (thanks for that, Ellen)

I saw this psychologist last night. I didn't particularly like her but that didn't surprise me. Years ago, when we thought a giant tumor was eating my mom, I rushed out to a therapist to deal with my mother-angst before she passed away. Turns out all my angst was pretty standard and I was given the all clear right after my mom's surgery showed only a big ball of bones & hair. (hahahaha!) That woman bugged me though, with her chit chat. I guess I feel like if something is wrong enough with me that I go pay someone professional to talk to me about it...I want to spend those minutes talking about me. I don't care if you liked Tin Tin as a child or how you used to listen to Chapter A Day on WPR. Heartless, maybe, but I think there is a time and a place for everything and that time and place should not be on my dime.

So. Moving right along then...This woman feels like I have some post-partum depression going on. She said they diagnose that for up to 2-3 years after a woman has had a child and mine sounds pretty typical. She would normally prescribe more rest, therapy sessions, exercise, and just general take-care-of-me stuff. However, with my family history, she thinks a low dose of Zoloft would be just the ticket. She said that they like to see me feeling back to normal for 6 months before going off, as she thinks that I will go off eventually as I'm probably not a true nutter, but that would fall in January. She then said that they would never take anyone living in Wisconsin in January off of an anti-depressant so it would probably be more like March or April. (Fine by me, winter does get a little long.) She couldn't prescribe this though, as she never finished school (KIDDING!), so I'd have to see my primary. Fine, next Wednesday it is.

Except, come this morning, next Wednesday felt about a year away. I called and made an appointment with the first available PA for tomorrow morning. Thank God. I know things won't happen immediately, but I think just knowing that something is starting will make me feel better.

There it is...all the gory details. I wanted my friends and family to hear this in case you've been wondering about me lately. If I don't post a lot, it's probably because I just don't have much to say on that particular day. This blog is generally a lot of fun for me and I feel happy & creative when I am posting. I have definitely used it as an outlet for my mothering traumas, but usually it's fun. If I do post and sound really happy, then I am! I won't be faking anything. xoxo

by James


ruby's tuesday

It's so good to be back! We are settling in and enjoying all the comforts of home.

The kids were fantastic for our trip yesterday. We had one 2.5 hour pit stop in Eau Claire and that was it. One hour was spent at Target using the restroom and buying lunch (I love Super Targets) and a couple new $1 airplanes (thanks Gramma!), one hour spent at the playground eating lunch and playing, and 30 minutes spent back at Target because James had to poop and I decided I might as well get an 2Orange Mocha Frappuccino. (good but I still prefer an iced vanilla soy latte) I tried to2222222 get him to poop into a plastic bag at the playground (deserted) but he just couldn't do it. I actually would have been very surprised if he did, but I figured it was worth a shot. heehee.

All the 2s are from James, who took over the computer while I was laying Ruby down. There are lots of pictures on flickr.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

big fun/no fun/big fun/no fun/big fun

Here I am, my last night in Duluth. Halleluiah! ;) It's been hot here, and my mom doesn't have air. Enough said.

There has been some big fun over the last 6 days. There was a trip to Canal Park with my mom, an early morning visit to the Lakewalk with my kids, a trip on the North Shore Express with my dad, beers & lots of laughs at Sir Ben's with Jason, Amy & Jake, a long (hot) walk with my aunt Kristy, visit to Lester Park with my dad, awesome weekend in the Cities with the girls, delicious Chambord margaritas & Krispy Kreme donuts, catching up with my brother & Erin, and another trip to Canal park followed by a lovely evening with my grandma and uncle Frank. Whew!

In between all the fun stuff there was the heat, exhaustion, sleeplessness (both the kids and myself), tears, heat, power struggles, and frustration. That's a vacation with kids, you know? And you know what else? I KNOW this but it still surprises me from time to time. Now that I'm going home tomorrow, and feeling very relieved to be doing so, I can honestly say I'm glad we came.

I can't wait to see Patrick. He tells me he hasn't been eating well and that he's down to a buck-oh-five, soaking wet. By the end of our call tonight he was pretty sure he was at a buck-oh-four. I can't wait to get home and fatten him up a little. xoxo

better late than never

I am finally home from my busy weekend and able to get online. I felt bad alllll weekend for not getting to pick my winner on Friday. Congratulations, bishopsmommie! Her blog is at: http://mayofamilyblog.blogspot.com/ I can't do links at all on this computer! (ugh.) Anyways, thank you to everyone who played along...that was a lot of fun. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

stone age

Well, $500.00 in van repair later and we hit the road this morning. I am now thankfully at my mom's and both kids are finally asleep. For some reason I cannot comment on blogger or read my emails. If you've emailed me, please be patient until I can get onto a computer from this decade. (heehee) This computer is actually pretty new but I think it has all the old versions of the browsers I'm trying. And, it's dial up. OMGosh dial up SUCKS.

We had a pretty good trip up. James basically watched the Cars movie on auto replay while Ruby napped, snacked, read books, screamed and played. Not too much screaming on her part, I was kind of surprised. We only stopped twice...it took us the standard 8 hours. We met my mom down at Canal Park when we arrived and the wind switched a couple minutes later, bringing a beautiful breeze along with it. It felt so good. (It's hot here right now.) Ruby had no fear of the lake so I will have to watch her carefully if I bring them down by myself, like I was hoping to do. There are some great areas by the Lakewalk with lots of pebbles to play in and throw. I love it. We are planning on going on a train ride with my Dad tomorrow.

I am off to bed! You may not see me in your comments or Inbox this week but I will be keeping up with you all. xo

Monday, July 23, 2007


I think not.

I am baking some chicken breasts for dinner and the smaller ones just came out. These are the chicken breasts I got at Whole Foods. They are so delicious. I'm not joking...the flavor is incredible. I put a little olive oil and s&p on them before going in and they are SO GOOD.

It also helps that my TruTemp digital thermometer is back in business. I emailed the company about mine not working anymore and they sent me a replacement probe, free of charge. I am seriously lost without this because I always overcook my meat. The replacement came today and it's working great...I notice the cord on this one is different. I hope it holds up a little better. (future probes will be $5 each)

it was a good year

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how fun is this?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I just saw this popping up all over blog land this morning. The lovely Shannon, at Rocks in My Dryer, is sponsoring the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. How awesome...there are over 200 bloggers (so far) offering up awesome prizes to their readers. You don't have to be a blogger to participate...just leave a comment, with a valid email address, and you're entered!

I think this is a great idea and wanted to join the fun. I am offering a $10 gift certificate to one of my favorite places...Barnes & Noble! Anyone can enter, leave me a comment. I will ship anywhere...anywhere there are Barnes & Nobles, that is. :)

Please leave your comment by Friday morning, 8:00am, CST. I will close comments then and draw & post the winner sometime that day. (Make sure and leave your email address in the comments if you don't have a blog!)

Yay! Thanks for playing!

eta: That is not my local B&N...just a cool pic I found. :) I'm going to use a random number generator to pick the winner. I hope my friends & family will enter, too!


For the time being, we are still at home. The check engine light came on in the van yesterday so Patrick dropped it off this morning to get checked. (a little Pavlovian, no?) I hope we can leave by noon, but I am preparing for a long day at home with no vehicle. I could always put Ruby in her bucket seat in the Hyundai. HAHAHA! ;)

MOM - If you want to get the ingredients, the french toast recipe is HERE.

There are lots of new pictures on flickr and MamaM put some on hers, too. (The ones of our zoo trip are on the bottom of page 1 and onto page 2.) (she got some really cute ones!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

heading out

I'm taking the kids up to Duluth tomorrow and will be gone until next Sunday. Next Friday, James is staying with my mom and I am taking Ruby with me to the Cities for a girls weekend.

I can hardly wait to see Jules, Nellie & Cherie again. Last summer they came to me, except for Jolee (sniff), and we had such a good time. I was a little neurotic, just a few months in to the mother-of-2 thing and was worrying that everyone was having a good time. Janelle, always one to tell it like it is, set me straight. We're here to see you, Stephanie, she said. (Janelle & Cherie live close to each other.) She said they didn't care what we did or didn't do...they just wanted to be together. This year, I know what she meant. I just want to be near them all...to sit out on the patio and talk and laugh and hear everything each of them has to say.

I'm pretty excited to see my mom & dad, too. And hopefully my grandma and auntie Kristy. Maybe even Jason. I am getting better at not overbooking us so I'll be okay if all of this doesn't happen. I am looking forward to a little family time, mainly. I wish Patrick was coming.

The shower was a lot of fun on Saturday, and a LOT of good food. I didn't eat again until 8:00 last night. Ada is precious and her mama is so happy. She is a sleepy girl and we all know what a blessing that is. ;) Both recipes turned out well, everyone seemed to enjoy the french toast, especially. (thank you, allrecipes.com) My friends all looked so beautiful...seriously...they all had the glowing thing down. (Kate, btw, was sweating and shaking, having to be separated from her fresh Potter purchase. I give her a lot of credit for staying as long as she did.)

We went for a walk around town last night and ended up at the park. Today has been a lazy/busy day. Patrick took the kids out hours ago so I could catch up on last week's neglected laundry. I will be popping in next week but I'm not sure how often. Hope you all have a good one!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

our very own blogher

Yesterday was the first time I got to meet a blogging friend. MamaM and her 2 beautiful daughters, Iris & Eloise, met us at the zoo yesterday afternoon and we had such a good time!

As I was driving to meet her I was kind of surprised to realize I wasn't nervous. I really felt like I knew her after reading her blog for the last 9 months or so. And when she pulled up while I was getting the kids out of the van, her first smile confirmed what I had been thinking.

Right away I felt comfortable around her, like I could totally be myself. She is so warm and funny and has a really sweet way with her girls. James and Iris got along fabulously and Eloise & Ruby had fun inspecting and tugging on each other. (Ruby did try to get a bite in but I think I stopped her just in time.) (Oh, Ruby.) I am kind of sad that we'll be out of town all next week but we do have plans to get together one more time before they head back to WA.

At one point, near the end of the day, we were waiting in line for the carousel. Ruby is familiar with this now and was not happy that the gate was shut and she had to wait. So here is this little tiny red headed girl gripping the bars of the gate and shrieking her loudest shriek. I grabbed her and caught Mama's eye as I was lifting her up...she was laughing right along with me. There was no lifted brow or widened eyes...just that look of, I know, they are unbelievable sometimes. This secured a place in my heart for her. :) Thank God for other mothers.

Since I've been blogging and found other blogs that I like so much, I understand internet dating a little more. That's what blogging is like, in a sense. You can search through thousands, millions, of blogs looking for another person that you find funny or smart or inspiring. It's no surprise that I liked MamaM so much...I started reading her blog because I liked what she had to say, you know? This is probably not a huge revelation for most of you but it was a little click of understanding for me. (I've always thought online dating a little odd...sorry, Dad.) hee hee.

Friday, July 20, 2007

getting ready to shower

On Saturday morning we are having a brunch/shower for all the women in our playgroup who are with child or who already have child! 3 of these little nuggets have arrived early. My friend who was pregnant with twins delivered almost 2 weeks ago, at 27 weeks. I haven't mentioned this at all, just because, but the babies are doing so well that I thought it would be okay. I am so thankful and thrilled for them...I can't even tell you. Every time I see their mama I just want to hug her and cry. Must stop this. :) Another friend just had her baby a few days ago. She named her Ada. Isn't that perfect? I just love it and can't wait to meet her tomorrow. (yes, her mama is bringing her!)

We (the ones not with child) were planning this for those with child, and since then, 2 of the nots have become withs! Did you follow that? In our group of 10, 5 are or just were pregnant.

In between populating Dane County, the original 5 are all bringing some yummy food for the brunch. I am going to attempt this Stuffed Blueberry French Toast and these Scrambled Egg Muffins, with no meat. I am so excited to cook with eggs!
If I can find the time tonight I want to try and make some baby cards from an old baby book that I have. I love old cards & announcements like the one above.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I can't even believe I'm going to tell you this,

but I am.

As we were walking through the sheep barn at the fair today I kept seeing these:

I kept thinking, how odd that they have so many of this special hairless breed. You know, usually there are just a couple when it is such an unusual breed....


Now that you know me a little bit better...are you going to stick around? hahahaha!

I love the fair. I have been waiting for it all summer and was planning on going this weekend. A friend emailed and said it was kid's day, all rides $1, so of course we had to go. I'm so glad we did...it was a great morning. There were animals and lemonade and plenty of rides. As an added bonus, the kids both fell asleep on the way home. I laid down by James for almost an hour to read and am now up, feeling refreshed. I do think I need an iced coffee, though, to make it through the rest of the afternoon. I put a lot of pictures on flickr, they go onto page 2, if you're interested. xo

so they think they can dance

Both of these are so dark but I had to capture James & Ruby's slick moves. At the end of James' one I am dying because he had to move his "flatporm". The other thing that cracks me up lately that he says is "lawn the mow." I don't have my headphones hooked up this morning so I couldn't double check that I don't sound like a hyena. I probably do, but that's pretty standard.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

fun times

James told me the small lid was for Ruby. He is so thoughtful. (he had been sliding down the stairs)

Kelsey, our sitter, called me yesterday to tell me she couldn't come today. Her cousin was in a really bad car accident so she would have to fill in as waitress at her Grandma's bar, where he works. I had heard about the accident and had no idea it was her cousin. It's a very sad situation for their family. He's only 17 or so and may be paralyzed.

Ruby is a screaming mimi today and went down easily for a morning nap at 10am. James and I had just got out into the garage to clean it up a bit and Rachel, our neighbor, came over. They were going to the zoo and wanted to see if James could go along. Could James go along?! Here's his passport...he can go wherever, Rachel! (just have him back by bedtime, please)

Little buddy was absolutely thrilled and I have to say I was pretty thrilled, myself. James is a lot for me right now. And I feel so bad about it...it's not even that he's being naughty, which would make it easier on my guilt, I think. He is just so IN MY FACE. Mama, mommy, mama, lookatthislookatthislookatthis. Do you want to color? Should we play blocks? Look what I can do! Can I sit on your lap? How about a hug? Mama!

See, don't I sound awful? He's very sweet but won't leave me alone. He wants my attention all the time. People tell me this is normal but I want so badly for it to end. People tell me to enjoy it because when he is a teenager he won't want anything to do with me. Well, I've enjoyed it for the last 3.5 years and the alternative sounds frighteningly good to me right now.

I know, I know. I am so Pollyanna today. Stop back later for more fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I guess this is all I have to do

to get him to eat more vegetables.
I had just finished cutting all of this up for our dinner salad and James was smitten. He ate all the carrots and a good bit of the avocado and tomato. We also had walnuts, hard boiled eggs, cheddar cheese and raspberry vinaigrette...all on top of spinach. So good!
*James didn't eat a salad...he ate the mentioned veggies along with more leftover pizza. :)

breakfast of champions

(Taken about 20 minutes ago.)
Those liars weather reporters are saying rain today, rain today! So much rain you had better watch out! An inch of rain! We'll see. I won't be holding my breath like yesterday, that's for sure.

We are off to Kate's this morning and I'm looking forward to it. They were out of town 2 weekends in a row and the week in between was a busy one so we haven't seen them for a while. James has been telling me all morning how he doesn't want Natalie to put the big ball on the train table and maybe, please?, could Kate put the big ball away? He also only wants Jasper to play at the table with him and wants to lock the gate to the downstairs to make sure of this. And also, he loves Natalie and Kate and Jasper. And he will play kitty, but only for a while. I never would have guessed that playgroup required this much mental prep time for him.

I've been up since 5:00. I made muffins, de-boned chicken breasts and de-skinned chicken drumsticks (ick!), made Patrick's lunch, fed the kids (you can see how involved this was), packed their lunch, ate breakfast, put dishes away, took a shower, emptied the trash and now I'm ready for a nap. Too bad it's 8:42am. Coffee, here I come!

Monday, July 16, 2007

scott baio is what??

I kind of hate to admit that I stayed up last night to watch the new reality show on VH1 - Scott Baio is 45...and Single.

I grew up watching Scott as Chachi Arcola every afternoon on Happy Days. I pulled his pictures out of my Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazines and put them on my closet door. I practiced kissing those flat glossy lips with my girlfriends after school. Forget Joanie, I loved Chachi.

I still do, I guess. The premise of his life show is this: At 45, Scott is still single. He has dated lots of women over the years and is wondering why he has never committed to any of them. He hires a life coach and she starts him on a path to recovery - whatever that may be, we don't know yet.

The show is kind of silly and you can already see how one of his buddies has to go. I just enjoyed watching Scott...it felt like seeing an old friend after a really long time. (I know...GEEK!) I really can't believe he is 45.

I guess that means I really am 36.

waiting for the rain

Well, here I am at the start of another week. (and you, too!) I hope your Monday is going well so far. We've had a pretty good one although it would get a lot better if we actually got the rain they were predicting. We all went to the library (quick) and the park (long) and now Ruby and James are doing their afternoon things...napping and waiting to get out of his room. heehee.

Yesterday was a great day. We all got up and decided to try for the early (9:30) service. We just made it and I was so glad. It was one of those days where it felt like the sermon was totally for me. I love sitting in church holding hands with my coffee husband.

After church Patrick went home and the kids and I went to the zoo to meet my friend Angie who was in town. Angie's baby boy is 2 weeks younger than Ruby and her oldest son is 7 or 8. (forgive me if I'm way off, Ang.) Connar, the oldest, is a sweetheart and James loved getting to hang out with him. It was a nice morning and I was so happy to see her. Hopefully we'll get together again soon...maybe in early fall. Her sister Melissa is another one of my favorite people and she is with child right now...I can't wait to see her belly!

I brought the kids home after the zoo and turned right around to go back to Target & Cub, to finish up the grocery shopping, by myself! I also had to return that stupid sun shade to Target...CHEAP. We might try to order one more that we've heard good things about.

Last night Patrick brought the treadmill down to the basement. I love being able to watch stuff online while I walk and the monitor down there is really big. Netflix has that new Watch Now feature and CBS has tons of full episodes available. I'm sure there is a lot more out there, too. I watched Big Brother over the course of 2 nights and the first episode of the Office, the other. Patrick even used it last night! I'm happy it's getting some use and happy to be exercising again. I joined the local gym back in February but the child care hours totally conflicted with both of Ruby's nap times. I hope to get back there in the fall...especially now that she's at one nap a day, it should be just fine.

I have some cooking & dinner prep I want to get to now. There are a few new pictures on flickr from our weekend and this morning at the library.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Ruby digging into the berries at the farmer's market this morning.

We are having a pretty good weekend so far. Lovely weather, good food, and the quadruple nap.

I've been feeling bad about eating conventional meat for a while now and I finally decided to buy all organic this week. I spent about $30 on meat for 5 meals...not bad, really. (in case you're curious I got 2.5lbs bone in chicken breasts, 1 lb Italian sausage, 2 lbs ground chuck, and 1 lb. ground turkey) We are going to have a big salad the other night and usually end up eating out once. Whole Foods is not convenient for me to visit every week but we'll see how much better I feel about feeding my family. I could definitely plan and visit there every other week. (I do anyways, really.) It's silly but I have really felt a little pang of guilt every time I serve regular old hamburger or something. sigh. Our grocery bill already seems high but maybe I can cut back in other areas to make a little more room for this.

More about our groceries than you wanted to know, right? I have that pleasant sleepy feeling...it's 8:49 and Patrick & I have plans to watch a movie soon. Just curling up and closing my eyes sounds sooooo good, too, though. xoxo

Friday, July 13, 2007

our life in list form

  • I really like Kelsey, our babysitter. She came on Wednesday again and she is great with the kids. James LOVES her and requested that she come up and wipe his bum instead of me. Trust me, I would be happy to pass the torch but I don't feel she's quite ready for that.

  • I taught James Go Fish the other day and he got the general idea pretty quickly. We played a couple turns back and forth until he looked up at me very seriously and said, This is not a fun game, Mom. Okay, then.

  • He can write a lot of the letters from memory. Just a while ago he would like me to write whatever down and he would copy it. Now he can just write them. I love how they look...they remind me of little zombies with long arms and crazy legs.

  • James had another huge fit when we had to leave Heidi's yesterday. He was kicking and hitting me while I was buckling him in. sigh. I would never want to give into him when he's acting like that but sometimes I understand why he's so upset and it makes me feel a little sad for him. (after I am over being mad about him attacking me, of course.)

  • Ruby came over to me the other day and smacked her little lips together. She wanted a kiss. Awwwwwwww. She is also saying cookie, truck, mama and a few other things. She took 2 naps on Wednesday but was back to one yesterday. I think we are going out this morning (it's gorgeous) so hopefully she will do one today, as well.

  • Tonight we're going to meet Patrick for a picnic dinner. I love doing this...it's a really nice way to end the day, and start the weekend! TGIF!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

breaking curfew

Yup, I'm still a rebel at heart.

I thought I'd break my self-imposed curfew just to say hey. It's been a busy couple of days around here, but good ones.

I have actually loved being "offline by nine" and think I'm going to stick with it. I like having that time upstairs in bed...reading and being with Patrick. I keep feeling so tired all the time and part of it is due to a late bedtime. 10:30 seems to work out the best for me.

I love our bed. This morning I woke up at around 5:30am. I was stretching out and thanking God that we have such a huge (king) comfy bed. I was still half asleep and all of a sudden James shot into our room and jumped up next to me. He curled up into a little ball by my side and was instantly back to sleep. It all happened so fast, I wasn't sure if it had really happened. Heehee, so much for room to stretch out. I moved him to the middle and came down to have some quiet time and then write the post I did earlier. When I went back up there, James & Patrick were both asleep with their arms bent over their heads. I wanted to take a picture but I knew Patrick would wake up and hate me just a little for it.

Yawn. That's me yawning over this post. I should be around here tomorrow so I can be online a little more. xoxo

we played grocery store, he tells me,

and James bought a lot of stuff.
(treadmill was the conveyor belt)

Without further ado...

Here are my selections for the Rockin' Girl Blogger Awards...

  1. Ellen at The Grummy Files. For one thing, she is a sailor and we all know sailors rock. (sorry, I had to) I look forward to reading about Ellen & Sophie's day every day, as part of mine. I have to warn her, though, if she keeps writing so well about her darling little daughter, the whole internet is going to be in love with her. (if they aren't already.)

  2. Sara at Live Lightly. Sara & her husband just bought an RV, converted it so it runs on grease, are remodeling it cleanly, and plan on traveling around the country for the next year with their 3 year old daughter. Her husband wants to start a ministry in the process. If this doesn't rock, I'm not sure what does. I am thrilled to be able to follow along with their travels.

  3. Heather at oh my stinkin heck. I am quickly becoming addicted to her blog. With stuff like this, how could I not? Rock on buffalo girl.

  4. Darcy at Minnesota Mama. Darcy's blog feels like it's rockin' gently to me...I find it relaxing. I get a sense of peace & joy from her posts. Thanks, Darcy.

  5. Last but certainly not least, another favorite of mine, weezie doo & icey, too! This woman rocks in so many ways! It seems her number one priority in life is to be the best mama she can be to her girls. I love reading her insights about this path of motherhood. (And I get to meet her soon! Yay!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

no way!

My new friend Holly from Marathon Bird (go say hi...she is in training for a marathon right now!) was recently given a Rockin' Girl Blogger award. She totally deserves it...I love her blog. Her posts are both funny and warm, she goes between serious and silly with ease.

Well, Holly was cool enough to pass this honor onto me! Thank you, Holly! Most days the only thing I'm rockin' is yesterday's t-shirt so this is quite a thrill. heehee.

I can't wait to pass this on to some of my other favorite bloggers...but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I set myself a 9pm blog curfew for this week and I'm already 10 minutes past!

"green" swiffer - works for me

A while ago I posted about using some 4-0 mine for our household cleaning. I happened to be using a diluted dishwasher soap recipe at the time and it did leave a little film. I recently picked up this recipe card at Whole Foods and really like the cleaner it makes. It smells good and doesn't require a rinse. I use it on the floor, too!
Speaking of the floor, I love my Swiffer but hated how expensive the pads were and the thought of my daughter (then) crawling all over the floor after I used their liquid. I had the idea to cut a hole in the bottom of their bottle and fill it with my own mix...works great! It does slosh out a little so you have to plug it up. In this photo I have a cloth stuck in it...we've had tape over the hole, too. (so professional around here!) haha.

Another neat & super easy fix for the Swiffer is to cut your own pads from fabric. I've seen people sew different cloth pads but I just cut some larger pieces of microfiber and am using those. I was going to serge the edges but they are not unraveling yet, even after quite a few uses. The grippy stuff on the bottom of the Swiffer really clings to the microfiber so it doesn't slide around even without being fastenend.

I love that these easy changes have allowed me to still have the convenience of the Swiffer without having to feel bad about the chemical & disposable aspects of it. And, I almost forgot...it's a LOT cheaper, too!

Thanks for stopping by! For more wonderful tips visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

I could get used to this.

Oh, wait. I already was.

The last 5 days Ruby has only had 1 nap per day. Today was the first day I was home alone with the kids for this new development. It felt exactly like my old days alone with James. I loved it. We got up, ate, played, I did stuff around here while they played, had a snack, went out for a walk, came home, had lunch, Ruby down for her nap by 1:00, James and I played games and did mazes and James had his quiet time at 1:30. We were going to go to Whole Foods but the morning was going so nicely I just wanted to stay home and enjoy it. I really, really like this.

I loved knowing that I have the whole morning to do whatever, or not do whatever. Not 2-3 hour increments, varying by the day. I'm not sure if she'll stay on this schedule but she is doing really well with it so far. I am definitely going to encourage this as she is also going to bed earlier again, back to 7pm, and sleeping later. Two of the nights she even slept through 12 hours...praise God! :) (seriously...14 months here, people!)
You can see below that she is pretty tired by the end of the morning. I have never seen her do this before. Just looking at the picture makes me want to hug and kiss her.

I've been secretly wanting her to go to one nap a day for a couple months but rarely said it out loud. How could I complain about an extra nap, you know? But it's really hard to have play time and errand time with the small chunks of time that we had. When she transitions over for good I will breathe a sigh of relief, for sure.

In other news, our sitter will be coming tomorrow morning so I am thinking about how to spend my time. I have a little project I want to work on, so I'm going to get that ready tonight. I also have some phone calls to make and thank you notes to write. I'm really looking forward to it. I hope she remembers! Maybe I should give her a call...

James is out now so I'm going to wrap this up. It would be a perfect afternoon IF ONLY I knew what to do with that chicken thawing out upstairs.

(New pics on flickr!)

I thought for sure it would be worse...

60%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

as the saying goes...

If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. Well, that's where I was yesterday. In a dark, foul mood with dark foul thoughts. I could have gladly gone on for hours about how dark and foul my life seemed. Today? Much better. I have been up for hours having yogurt in forts and cleaning the kitchen with my kids. How bizarre. Freaking hormones! Argh! My poor husband. He got a particularly pleasant phone call yesterday morning...sorry, Bunny!

OH, how I love him.

ruby's tuesday

Monday, July 09, 2007

Okay, you can't see anything in this clip but you can hear all of us laughing hysterically. :) I just loaded it at 2:54 so it may not play for a little while.
I can't make titles for my posts this morning. Bummer. There are some new pics from the weekend up on flickr, mom. :) We are off to a friend's house this morning and I am moving slowly. It might be a quiet week around here.

I was showing James the new pictures my Dad sent of the Italien. He asked if it was almost ready for us to pick up. HAHAHA. Yup, almost buddy!
You can read more about the Italien by clicking here or over on the tail light button on my right sidebar.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I won, I won, I won!

I recently entered a rather complicated contest over at the fun ohmystinkinheck. I am pretty new to her blog so I was a little nervous about entering. I thought and thought about my guess and waited so long I was certain that someone had already beat me to it.

Wasn't I surprised to hear that I won! This adorable s'more is mine, all mine. Thanks, Mrs. OMSH! (and Mr. OMSH for your hard work that made this all possible!)

getting ready

Playgroup is at our house this morning. Note the clean sandbox and the new sunshade? Yay! I asked Patrick if he could just pound the stakes in for me last night...quick job, right? I should really know better. He comes out a minute later with a tape measure and level along with his hammer. It is perfect, of course. Thanks, bunny. (This is the "3 minute" sunshade from Target...more like 30 minutes but I could do it (almost) all myself, unlike our craptastic gazebo I got last year.)

I've been up since 6 when Ruby woke up to nurse. She went back to sleep until 7:30...so nice on a busy morning like this one. The first pot of coffee is brewing so it can be chilled before everyone arrives. As soon as it's done we are off to the store for some more low-sugar juice boxes and graham crackers. (I just got the Mott's Low Sugar ones yesterday and they are good...James did ask why they tasted funny. haha)

Hope you all have a nice morning. Pray for peace in these parts. (9 kids today!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

way cool...

T rectangle o
L a S T

I made this here. I love this thing!

it's amazing how far he's come

in the last 5 months:

February, 2007:
July, 2007:

HAHAHAHAHA! I love these little faces that he draws. He brought me the blue one today and said it was Ruby. xoxo

just james

J: Mom, can you put the hammer down now? (he means "drop the hammer")

J: Don't forget the tarp, Mom.

S: Thanks for reminding me, buddy.

J: I'm a genius.

(oh, Lord, help me watch what I say to him more carefully.)

it's kind of a sweet feeling, really

Ever since I sewed my first purse (if you can call it that) a couple of month ago, my sewing/craft pile has been growing. Everything I look at has potential. Could this too small, but long, pink fleece shirt Ruby has become a skirt, hat & leggings? Is this old t shirt good for little girl pants? We shall see, my friends.

I've been wanting to make a list of projects so I can remember them and also to show where my inspiration is coming from. Nearly every day I am inspired by something online. I started searching a while back for some new blogs to add to my daily reads and boy, did I find some good ones. This blog world is amazing in this respect, as well as many others. How else could I find 50 other women with interests like mine? Or 50 other women that I want to invite into my daily life by reading about the little details of theirs? I am just crazy about it all.

Without further ado, a bulleted list:
  • Pillowcase Purse, ala Martha Stewart. This purse was making the rounds of the blog world earlier this summer and I still see it popping up from time to time. It seems to be the No Knead Bread of last winter. (which I am still going to try!)
  • Pillowcase Dress, ala Martha Stewart Baby, years ago. My blogging friend Darcy recently made a nightgown version for her darling Elle. I can't wait to try this for Ruby - I have the perfect case.
  • A glass bead necklace, inspired by these. I found a bunch of glass beads on clearance at JoAnn's recently, just need to set aside the time. You can find the artist's blog here. (I really love her writing & photography. Her kid is pretty cute, too.)
  • Of course, I still have to finish James' tent t shirt. I also want to get started on some Christmas gifts I have in mind.
  • I've been wanting to make a few headbands for Ruby & I with some wonderful old fabric I have. I heard there is a great pattern in bend-the-rules sewing so I am waiting for it to come in at the Library. You can see some pictures of some of the book's projects here.

Miss Balubles is awake so I must sign off. I will probably add to this later.

happy monday!

Or whatever the heck day it is. This has been the weirdest week ever. I can't believe Patrick has to go back to work today. I can't believe it's Thursday. Is anyone else this messed up?

We had a fun day yesterday. I will post more later. Here are some pictures to start you out. xo

eta: I fixed weird. duh.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

how quickly we move on

(photo found here)

I am feeling pretty much myself today. I got a lot of sleep last night and that helped a lot, I think. I was a ZOMBIE by bedtime and James was going to sleep with me again. I shut the light out and was immediately asleep. Probably 2 minutes later I hear, Mom, I have to poop. I say No you don't, go back to sleep. A minute later, I really have to poop! Fine, go poop and I'll be in to wipe you in a minute. I fell back to sleep and woke up to pitiful cries for wiping help who knows how much later. Sorry, buddy.

Patrick has been sleeping down on the lower level the last couple of nights because the "bed" down here is so firm.

P: That bed is really hard.

S: That's because it's a box spring.

Ha ha...James has the mattress up in his room.

Patrick is feeling a lot better. He sprang into action Monday night and I was so worried about him. As I was rushing around getting stuff before we left for the ER I paused to look seriously into his eyes and ask if he was allright. A stern I'M FINE was his reply. I paused again to ask, Why are you mad at me? I didn't do anything! He says, I'm not mad...JUST GO. Ah. He was worried. I laughed with Kate later about how even in the midst of a crisis I am still a woman. Let's quickly talk about our feelings before I go, honey. heehehe

Yesterday afternoon Rachel called to tell me her & her husband were going to take care of mowing our lawn. They just wanted to help, she said. I thought that was the sweetest thing and after she rejected my proposal that I do the back and they do the front, I accepted.

Patrick came down a few minutes later and I told him the plan. He made me call her back and tell her no. Oh, geez. Rachel & I laughed about men and she said she'd send Chris out to offer in person. I hung up and lectured Patrick about accepting help sometimes and off he went to mow. I heard the mower start then stop. I peeked outside a couple minutes later and the two of them were in the driveway talking and drinking a beer. A few minutes later, they were both mowing. It wasn't 20 minutes and they were done. Patrick comes in and tells me he was planning on letting him help all along. riiiiiight.

After James got up from his 3 hour nap, Patrick took him to find some fireworks. They got home just before a big storm and we all stood out in the driveway with sparklers as the first fat raindrops came down. James is sooooo excited to light off the rest of them tonight. I have always loved sparklers and it made me really happy to see James dancing around with one last night.

I hope you're all having a good 4th of July. Ruby is up so we are off to the Union for some brats & beer. xo

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ruby's tuesday

(with special guest star James)
(more pics on flickr now)
(thanks, bunny)

anaphylactic reaction to peanuts

Okay. So yesterday afternoon we were in the backyard with our neighbors. James was up on the deck playing with our neighbor's baby toys and Ruby & I were down on the grass with Rachel and her baby boy. Our other neighbor, N, came over with her son, H. (N owns the cats, H is 2.) H was empty handed as he got a hug from his mama and walked up the deck stairs to play with the kids.

A few minutes later James sticks his face in the deck slats and holds up a crumpled red bag. These are good, mom, he says. As soon as I saw Ritz I just knew it would be the peanut butter variety. I told him to come down immediately and brought him around to the front of the house to scold him. But they were good, is what he said, I really liked them, mom. We went back to get Ruby and everyone was asking if he was okay. I was wondering myself because his last test scores were so low for peanut. I thought maybe nothing would happen. Rachel was going to get him some juice and James went over to the stairs to wait. When he turned around a minute later he had a funny look on his face. Do you feel funny?, I asked him. Yes, he said, and started coughing.

I got up to get him and ran around to the front of the house, holding him & Ruby. (still not sure how I ran with both of them...hahaha) It's maybe 40 feet (?) from the back to the front and by the time we got to the door it sounded like he was choking and gasping for breath. I yelled for Patrick and he was upstairs so fast I couldn't believe it (with his back & all). He grabbed James and I got the epipen from the counter.

We've had the epipens for 3 years this summer and have never used them. He has had mild reactions to accidental dairy ingestion (hives) and contact reactions to dairy but has never reacted/been in contact with peanut before. (except for having a peanut shell in his mouth at my dad's once with no reaction whatsoever!) I had just been over the epi procedure with our new babysitter that morning, telling her to only give him snacks I've given her for him and she will probably never need it. But, if she did, this is what she had to do. Do not hesitate, I told her. Administering the epi can never hurt him, not administering it could kill him.

I always feel dramatic when I tell people that but it's what I've read & been told so many times. As this was happening yesterday, it all almost felt familiar to me. This is just like they described it, I kept thinking. Rapid progression of symptoms, difficulty breathing, vomiting...every minute counts, I kept thinking, give it to him NOW.

With Patrick holding James, I pulled the cap off the end and jabbed in his thigh. I used some force so it was sure to get in the first time. Poor kid, that is one long needle. I counted to ten, slowly, before taking it out with Patrick saying, Are you done, mama?, the whole time...to soothe James. I grabbed the phone and called 911, already wondering where our 2nd pen was in case the first dose didn't help him.

While I was on the phone with emergency and rifling through my dozen bags (I think I'll buy another bag...great idea, Stephanie!) , Patrick walked over to the sink with James. He threw up all over Patrick and suddenly seemed to be breathing easy. The 911 operator told me to calm down, I was breathing too fast. I told her breathing this way, deeply, was making me calm. :) She was right, though, because I slowed down and started breathing slower and did feel better. I kept wanting to cry when I looked over at them so I wasn't sure what to do with myself. While this was happening Ruby was on the floor polishing off a stick of sidewalk chalk. Okay, not really, but she had a good mouth full. I was like, oh no babygirl...you're not going to choke on top of all of this.

This all happened in a matter of 2-3 minutes. Officer Bill arrived, the same one who came when I locked Ruby in the house last winter (Hi Bill! It's me again! The super awesome parent!), and the 911 lady let me go. By this time James was shaken but seemed fine. (Mom, I don't want you to bang that thing in my leg again, he said.) Our volunteer ambulance arrived a couple minutes after Officer Bill along with another squad. The ambulance workers (one of whom was a 70 year old man...no joke. How sweet to be a volunteer ambulance worker. God bless them.) were great and took James' vitals and let him come out and see the ambulance. They said we could be transported or call our dr. and drive him ourselves to be checked. Sometimes allergic reactions come back when the epinephrine wears off, after about 20 minutes or so. I knew I had our other pen and said a quick prayer asking for help finding it. I suddenly thought of the other car, that Patrick had had James in over the weekend. There it was. I'll drive him, I said.

They left and I called our Urgent Care. I went out in the garage to talk with the nurse and immediately started sobbing when she got on the line. It was so quiet in there and she sounded so concerned and it all just came down on me. This was the scariest thing I've ever been through. She said to bring him in and she would call in a new prescription for epipens for me.

The drama is over at this point. I grabbed some stuff and James & I hustled towards Madison. I kept breaking down on the drive whenever I'd look at him in the mirror. He fell asleep after a few minutes and I pulled over to make sure he was still breathing. I made a couple calls (sorry, Mom), talking to my Dad and Kate. That helped.

The ER was fine. Not much to say about it. Anaphylactic reactions are pretty high on the triage level so we were seen relatively quickly. They just said to have him sleep with us, watch for any new reactions, and give him Benadryl for the next 24 hours.

While we were gone N came over two times. I had been thinking, on the drive, that I must not have told her about his allergy. I always tell everyone and I couldn't believe I hadn't told her. I remembered later, when I had calmed down, that I did tell her, but it was last summer - when we first met. We had spent most of the summer avoiding them, to be honest, because they are very nice people but they would come over and NEVER leave. That seems to have let up this year...I think it was only because their kids were younger and they wanted to stick right by them. Anyways, she feels awful. She told Patrick she didn't think it would be a problem because H never shares. hahaha. H never shares, but he did this time, and James never eats things without asking, but he did this time. (Actually James ate a piece of bread out of an open bag at the grocery store recently. nice. He got in trouble but it obviously didn't stick with him.)

One thing I am thankful for, in all of this, is that it scared the crap out of James. I pray that he will not do it again. But I also know now how well the epi works, and that I can do it again, if I have to.

What a novel! And no cute pictures! I do have some but Patrick is upstairs with Ruby so I want to go relieve him. I took the kids to the zoo this afternoon because I just needed to get out. I feel so drained...like I've been through the wringer, as they say. Can't wait to go to bed tonight. Thank you all for the sweet words, thoughts and prayers.

*Boring title for search purposes...this post might help someone else, you never know. Reading all that I have certainly helped me.

Thank you, God, he's fine

I don't have the energy right now to write out the whole ordeal. James had his first taste of peanut butter last night, without permission of course, and had an anaphylactic reaction - his first in the 3 years we've known he was allergic. It was absolutely terrifying. We gave him the epi, called 911, and the ambulance came. His epi-pen worked within about 2 minutes...maybe even 1. Thank God for those things. Thank God that James is okay this morning, sitting up on the couch watching Blues Clues.

I hope to have some more time later. xoxo

Monday, July 02, 2007

very very nice

I am just popping in to tell you how our morning went. Kelsey got here at 8:45 and we all liked her right away. Ruby refused to nap...just finally went down at noon. It figures this would happen today but it was okay because Kelsey just took them all downstairs to play. BLISS.

Patrick is home with a messed up back so I spent some time talking with him and then stayed upstairs, out of Ruby's view, and got all my laundry put away, dusted all of our bedrooms and changed the sheets on the kids' beds. I had coffee. I sat down and talked on the phone. Soooo nice. I was wanting to go down to the basement but didn't want to pass Ruby because she was being so good. Patrick said we can cut a hole under the sofa so I can push it aside and slide down a pole next time. HAHAHA. (He still has his sense of humor!) Actually, I will just plan ahead next time and bring stuff upstairs or just go down when she isn't looking so she won't be trying to get at me.

James LOVES having a babysitter, or play slave, as Patrick and I have dubbed her. At first it was all, "Hey babysitter, watch this!" or "Come on, my babysitter, let's go downstairs." He has now started calling her by her name. She totally plays with him...she taught him hide & seek and they played that forever, involving Ruby, too. At first James was counting, "one, two, three, ten!" (he can totally count to at least 15) and Patrick and I were upstairs thinking, "Come on, James. REPRESENT." They are now at the library and will probably be home soon. What a nice morning.

She is coming back next Wednesday. Yay!

eta: They just got home and she told me what nice kids we have. She said James was a really good boy at the library. She couldn't believe how nice he is to Ruby. awwww. (she's a smart girl) (I mean by praising my kids to me...moms like that stuff)


About Patrick's back...He hurt it pretty bad while playing with James yesterday morning. He says it is feeling somewhat better today and is being really good about not moving. He has only been up 2x since yesterday afternoon.

We were planning on going up to Duluth tomorrow but as sad as I am, I just don't want to leave him like this. There is no way he could come downstairs and get something to eat. He is really hurting.

James is sad about not seeing grandma & grandpa but I told him we will see them both soon. Right?!?


I'm putting some new pictures on flickr from our weekend. On Saturday I took Ruby to the farmer's market and to Capitol Kids for some new shoes. These are exactly what I was hoping to find and they fit her perfectly, but too perfectly. Her toe was right at the end. The 4s were huge so we will wait until fall to spend $35 on shoes. One of the pairs that Heidi loaned us were Tevas (same size that we lost) and they really fit her the best, along with the Robeez. I am thankful to have them and am guarding them with my life. (a bit paranoid now, probably for the best.) Ruby was so fun to hang out with. She is so easy going and seems so happy when we are out looking at new things.

James is in quiet time now so I will continue on a bit.

On Saturday night our neighbors started lighting fireworks at around 9:30pm. James had napped that afternoon (we all did!) and I heard that he was still awake in his room. I went and got him and the two of us layed on the end of my bed in the dark and watched the fireworks. He hasn't seen any for a couple years so he thought it was fantastic. It was also a full moon that night and the backyard was full of fireflies. It was really fun and cozy. Also, he was buck naked. He has recently decided to remove all clothing before bedtime and hasn't had any accidents for the last 3 nights. (fingers crossed) (he had been still wearing a diaper to bed, even though I can't tell you the last time he's peed in his sleep)

Our neighbors' cats have defiled our sandbox. I also spent part of my morning shoveling out poopy sand and there is still a lot more left. I'll have to go talk with them this evening. The cats had done this to our other neighbors' box and they bought a tarp for them and maybe paid for the new sand, as well. It's so gross. My kids love their sandbox, especially James, so this is a major bummer. We thought maybe they wouldn't find ours. Now, about that fence.... (haha)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

good reads

I first heard about Garage Sale America on someone's blog, forgive me for not remembering where. I immediately went to my library's website and put it on hold...I was the first one in the Southcentral Wisconsin system to request it! I got it a few weeks ago and read it that first night.

I loved reading how the author, Bruce Littlefield, and a friend garage-saled (?) their way across the country. Before Patrick graduated and was offered a job here, my sister and I had dreams of us moving East and opening an antique store/coffee shop together. Our big plan was for her to fly to Wisconsin, we would rent a UHaul and thrift & sale our way back to Massachusetts. We still dream of this.

Bruce gives wonderful details about his finds...there are lots of good pictures and information for collectors. And he gives the prices on nearly everything! If you are like me, you will understand how thrilling it was to find a book like this. It's a book, for sale at an actual store, about my favorite old stuff and one of my favorite past times. It reminded me of a much longer and more entertaining version of my Friday favorite or thrift scores categories. (which I haven't done in a while...sorry)

Even more than his sale stories, though, I loved the last part of the book that featured his farmhouse. He has found some things, and put them together in a way, that made me weak with longing. His home has old cottages in back of it...it used to be a camp. Somewhere in New England. Oh my. Can you hear me sighing? I just found out he has a blog...I'm sure I'll be adding it to my favorite destinations.


The other book I just finished and loved was Plenty. The authors, James & Alisa, decide they are only going to eat only local foods for one year. (Food that was grown or produced within a 100 mile radius of their home.) This book and their site, 100 mile diet, has been all over the media, and for good reason.

Their challenges with the diet are very interesting to read about. They meet some wonderful people and give lots of good information about what is happening (and what has already happened) to the foods we eat every day. I was surprised at a lot of it.

Along with the food, this book really highlights their relationship over the course of the year. I loved how personal and informative it felt. I really like these two and will be visiting their site as well.


These are totally unrelated but both have been on my mind for a few days.

Two friends emailed me last week with news about the Veggie Booty recall. My kids had just been snacking on it the previous day! Eeek! I wouldn't have heard about this, if it wasn't for them, so I wanted to pass it on just in case. The Booty website has lots of good information as well.

And, (I told you this was unrelated) you can now watch certain Netflix movies & TV shows ONLINE! You get one hour of watching for every dollar your subscription costs. They just lowered the price of ours to $13.99 or something (2 movies home at a time) so we get 13 hours of online watching a month. I don't think we'll ever use it all but it is a neat feature. I am planning on watching The Office while I walk on my treadmill. (insert hysterical laughter here) But I am!!

nuts, I say.

NUTS. My kids are driving me nuts this morning. Patrick is sleeping in, which I really do like to allow him (his version of time alone), but I am gritting my teeth through every minute of it today.

Thank God. James just turned on the TV. Ruby is still under my feet (actually my chair) but she is silent, at least. HAHA. As I typed that she started squealing.

Must go have coffee. I just have a lot of stuff I want to write and it's so frustrating that I can't. I think I'll live,though. Back later, when Dad is up. xo


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