Wednesday, July 31, 2013

my dad has the bestest hearing EVER :: when parents text

I was in a hurry yesterday and neglected to say something important.  Our weekend was not at all what we expected...quite dismal in some ways...but it was still just so fun to hang out with my family.  We can make anything fun in at least SOME way and I love that.  :)  I still can't believe that my sister really lives here and that my mom is coming, too.  (mind=blown)

Something that I just read somewhere and it stuck with me:  (did you read this, too?  where did I read it??)  Someone wrote that what they learned from their daughter's kindergarten teacher (was it you, Sybil?  It was!  I just found it here.) is how to say, in any circumstance, "Oh, well!"  I like that.  I told my mom and she said her mom was just like that.  I want to be like that, too.  Here is what Sybil wrote, 

"The best trait to have if you're going to do a relay race? To be laid back and able to go with the flow. As I learned from my daughter's kindergarten teacher, you have to be able to say "oh, well!" As in: "I have to sleep on this cafeteria floor?! Oh well!" "I don't get van support on this leg?! Oh well!" or "I have use another f%^&in' porta potty?! Oh well!"

:)  Thanks for sharing that, Sybil.

Last night I went to The Heat and it was HILARIOUS.  I laughed through the entire movie, even sometimes when I was sick of laughing.  Seriously.  So funny.  Lots of swearing but sooooooo funny.  I knew it was going to be good when one of my friends said she wanted to go even though she had just seen it last weekend.  I can't wait to see it again, actually, and there were sooooooo many lines that were just perfect.  Too bad I can only remember one of them.  "riding the cotton pony."  (having your period)  hahahahha, so gross but funny.

Tonight is date night but how can it top last night??  :)  Also, I am so tired (didn't get home until after midnight.  I am old.) and hoping to be able to stay awake until I can meet Patrick later.  We might be able to kayak tonight but this weird chilly, rainy weather is continuing so I don't know.  What a strange summer.  So different from the heat of last year.  I don't miss that heat but am hoping for another stretch of hottish days.

So, after I posted about having the same hearing as my parents my dad texted me: 

A couple of days later he left a comment on that post telling me it was called "selective hearing."  :)   Well, after talking to him this morning I said I would never mock his hearing again.  He heard a robber at his house last night!!  Thank God he is fine and the robbers (a couple) were caught and arrested.  It is a whole scary story involving a gun (never used), a crowbar, hushed phone calls with the police, and a confrontation.  Scary stuff.  Thank God he was awake when they tried to break in and that he HEARD them.  I formally apologize for making fun of your hearing, Dad.


And now I have to clean my house.  barf.  The good thing?  My kids have been so down with chores lately.  Not every time, but so often they are doing them  willingly with little to no complaining.  There is a vague and distant reward (when we go to Duluth at the end of August) but nothing immediate so I'm not sure why they are doing so well???  I will take it.  And praise the heck out of them.

No yelling update:  I never really wrote much about this but I am trying not to yell at my children.  I found that I was often yelling because I was too lazy to GET UP and take care of business.  I've been praying about it a lot and have messed up a few times but feel really good about how it's going.  Is it making a difference with my kids?  I am not sure but I think it might be.  I randomly came upon this post one day and it really made me think.  (Sometime I'd like to read a lot more of that site.)

Exercise update:  I mowed the lawn last Thurs & Fri (30 minutes each), not much on Saturday, hiked & rock climbed on Sunday, did Jillian Michaels on Monday (wanted to puke...ripped in 30, week one again), and ran on Tuesday.  I hope to walk today before I meet Patrick.  Feeling good about moving again.  Oh, and I hate running.  :)

Weight update:  Up 4 lbs again after the weekend!!  deep dish pizza! top the tater!  oatmeal bars!  so good.  Down 2 now, 2 to go.  sigh.  Then I really, REALLY, want to lose 4 more lbs.  Am I motivated enough to do it?  I don't know but I hope so.  Then next spring I will try to lose 10 more.  And 10 more the spring after that.  (Lord willing.)

love you, peoples.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Last weekend my sister & I (and our families) met our mom in Eau Claire for a little family fun.  UNFORTUNATELY, the weather stunk and we could not go to Big Falls like last year.  boohoo.  (Melissa, if you read this, I was going to call you if we did something fun but we really didn't...just hung out...which is fun but not FUN, you know what I mean??  :)  xoxo)  We ended up at this strange zoo type place that actually would have been a neat place on a nicer day.  We needed to eat and it was as good a place as any.  :)  The boys ended up fishing and we saw the animals and then sat in our cars until it was time to leave.  :)

creepy spewing turtle:

After our zoo adventure (it was 58 and cloudy) we checked in at our hotel to swim and eat a dinner that cost nearly as much as the room.  :)  The next day we walked around the mall (before it was open) and let the kids play a little and then hit the highway home. 

We spontaneously decided to take Hwy 12 home and then decided to stop at Devil's Lake.  It's one of our favorite spots and we hadn't been there yet this summer.  It was 10 degrees warmer and the sun came out!  It felt amazing...kind of like a little taste of fall.

Nicky was NOT AFRAID of the big rocks. 
None of them are which is both good and bad.  :)

I tried to take a family pic with the timer and this is what I got.  :)  haha!
A nice man walking by offered to take one and, while it is not my favorite pic (can you say bad angle??), it will do.  :)

This is an out of order pic from Saturday.  James was quite pleased to be going fishing.
In other news, James passed his deep end test this morning.  WOOHOO!!!  The boy is thrilled and I am, too.  He worked so hard this summer and it has really paid off.  We went out to Noodles for lunch to celebrate.  We also got school supplies and it went 200x better than when I did that with all of them last year.  cheers to that!! 

summer life is good.  I am thankful. 

the end.


Friday, July 26, 2013

it's a perfect day to be reading* (my blog)

good morning, it's Friday! 

How are you?  I'm good.  Not dizzy and just finished my first cup of coffee.  Yesterday was such a good good to feel like myself again.  I even mowed (half) of the lawn!  I haven't been moving too much lately and mowing is one of my favorite exercises...big calorie burn and immediate visible results (the lawn, not me)!  I'm planning on finishing it later on today when Nicky is napping. 

So Nicky is the one that almost made me crazy the other day.  He was sick (my kids all have (or had) a mild cold/cough/sore throat) and SO WHINY.  OH MY GOSH.  By the end of the day he would just open his mouth and I would cover my ears and start deep breathing exercises.  Patrick took over when he got home and I went and got groceries.  It was so nice and quiet.  Ahhhhhhh.  Thank the Lord he was feeling better when he woke up yesterday morning.  It is still amazing to me how one tiny person can make me feel so crazy.

Tuesday night was date night and we had plans to go kayaking but our sitter was 1.5 hours late.  It wasn't her fault but we were 3 minutes from just cancelling when she finally showed up.  I dragged myself into Madison to meet Patrick and we ended up having dinner at Brocach on Monroe Street.  Our original destination was Pizza Brutta and I wish we would have stuck with that.  The food was okay at Brocach but it's so dark in there...I just didn't like it much.  Afterwards we went for a long walk on the Lakeshore path and caught a little of Open Mike night on the Terrace.  It was kind of chilly out and felt so good.  Patrick loved the docks by the Rowing Club and said he could have stayed there all night.  He sure loves me for arranging our sitter this summer.  :)  (I hope next week we can go kayaking.)

A lot of my neighbors (3 of them) have had babies in the last 6 weeks.  I did, too!  Mine are much easier to care for, though.

:)  They are low in a bush so they are super easy to spy on.  It's crazy how much they have changed already and I just took this pic two days ago.

-------it is raining so we might not go to swimming lessons!!--------

On Tuesday we went to the park with my sister and her kids.  It was gorgeous out and we spent the whole morning hanging nice.  Then Wednesday I wanted a nice day at home (snort) and yesterday we went to the zoo with Wendy and her kids.  Also fun and I managed to get a few pictures:

(so glad I did my roots!!)

As we were leaving, Wendy's girls invited my big kids over for the afternoon so I headed home with just Nicky.  (!!) 

He fell asleep almost immediately and slept for hours. (I'm not sure the above image adequately reflects how excited I was.) It was so blissfully quiet in my house.  I owe Wendy, big time.

Today we are going to make oatmeal bars and clean out the van and pack for a quick weekend trip. 

I was +4lbs after camping and am finally back down to where I had been and now it is a fun weekend again!  argh.  I don't think it will be a food fest like camping, least I hope not to let that happen.  AND, I feel confident (hopeful) in saying that regular exercising has resumed.  I am running that dirty girl race in a few weeks, too.  gah.

I really miss feeling strong and proud of myself.

Also, this might be shallow, but after years of feeling like I didn't have too much choice in what I wore, it feels so good to have a closet full of clothes that I love.  I don't want to lose that.  ever.


*James just said that so I used it as my post title.  :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

quick hello

Not too much time this morning but a quick note to tell you I had the worst day of summer yesterday.  :)  Hit me like a truck.  BUT, I handled my children well (except for one time that involved poop) without yelling (except for the one time that involved poop).  Self control is exhausting.  Also, my dizziness meds make me so sleepy and that sucks.  Today I woke up not dizzy so I didn't take them.  Cheers to feeling like myself today!!

Now I need to go bang myself against my mattress for a while.


Monday, July 22, 2013

tippy longstocking

You guys, I am all out of sorts today. 

Last Thursday night I woke at 3am and after using the bathroom had extreme vertigo for my first time ever.  I ended up puking my guts out and sleeping the rest of the night sitting up on a couch with the A/C turned down low.  The next morning my sister brought me to the doctor, while Ronan watched all of our kids, and the doc told me I had probably knocked a crystal rock loose in my ear.

The hell?

It's a true thing, even though it sounds odd.  Maybe jumping into the lake did a little more than scare me.  :)  Anyways, I haven't had vertigo again since, just a bit of dizziness, until this morning.  I got up and was all sorts of woozy, room tilting, etc.  Thank God that has gone away now but I am still dizzier than I've been since last Friday.  It sucks!!  I did the weird falling over exercises and will continue to do them.  I hadn't been doing them because I thought it had gone away.  sad face.  Patrick started calling me Tippy Longstocking.  :)  Anyway, we missed swimming today because I was too dizzy to drive and I'm not sure what the rest of the day holds.

I would LOVE to be feeling myself today and get out of the house because we were super slugs all weekend.  We did go out to dinner ("Welcome to Toppers!" most annoying place, ever) on Saturday and ate ice cream on the big grassy hill beside the Target parking lot.  That was, um, different.  :)  On Sunday I volunteered at church and then came home and had NO energy for the rest of the day.  I managed to go for a short bike ride but then collapsed into bed with this weird under arm pain that I've been having on and off since, you guessed it, swimming.  I am not used to being such a physical mess.  First I got hit with the bike, then I stabbed myself with scissors and now this.  Strange summer.  :)

My kids are good.  Ruby's face kills me every time I look at her, I think she's so beautiful.  She keeps her room so clean and I love looking in there every morning.  She is sound asleep, her room is bright with sunlight (her roller shades don't block much but it doesn't wake her) and her little stuff is arranged everywhere, just so.  I love it.  I give her and Patrick a lot of crap because they are so sickening with each other.  :)  Like, "we have super hearing (they do, while I have inherited my mom and dad's hearing which isn't that super) and are sooooooo clever." (they are.)  gag.  They run around this house stalking each other and laughing like idiots and, honestly, it's the best thing ever.  He has such a cool bond with each of them...I am so thankful for that.  Nicky is failing in the potty department this past week.  I might have to google potty training or something?!  ugh.  He is hilarious and asks for "cash money" after he does a chore.  :)  Patrick also imitates him SO PERFECTLY.  We die laughing over his imitations of Nicky.  (things to he closes his eyes when he hugs me, how he sucks his fingers when he's upset.)  James is in a very sweet phase.  When I ask him to do something he will say, "okay."  WHAT???  ;)  He also put up such a stink about my reading aloud to him & Ruby, saying the book was boring, et cetera, but I told him he had to listen to three chapters and then could bail if he didn't like it.  (I am reading The Mysterious Benedict Society to them.)   After chapter 2 he was BEGGING me to just GIVE HIM THE BOOK to read at bedtime.  :)  After a while, I did give it to him but he brought it back a little bit later and said he wanted to read it with us.  Awwww, xoxo.  James still loves video games and has been playing Plants vs. Zombies with Patrick all summer on the Ipad.  I think he would play 24/7 if I would let him.

The kids all slept until 8:30 this morning.  That was so nice.  Nicky came down first and wanted me to cuddle him on the couch, as usual.  He likes to be cuddled awake.  What a little sap.  I love it.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


Hi guys, How's it going??  Good here.  We got back from camping yesterday and had a nice long day of recovery and laundry.  It was 90+ degrees outside so the 5 loads I did dried in record time.  I still have 2 comforters to wash and get out there today.  I bought plastic clothespins this year and like them SO MUCH better than wood ones.  It's taken clothesline love to levels I never thought possible. 


Camping was awesome.  The campground was clean and beautiful and so quiet during the weekdays that we were there.  Our cabins were small but perfect, the A/C was powerful, and the mini fridge and microwave were much appreciated.  (mostly the fridge...hard to keep a cooler cold enough for meat in 90+ temps)  We ate delicious food (I made these bars with sunflower seeds & sunbutter and a delicious orange butter for on our pancakes Tuesday morning) and had big fires and swam a lot.  The kids LOVED it there and would have liked to stay for many more days.  I was fine coming home when we did but one more night would have been fun, too.  We will definitely go back.  The inflatables were AWESOME.  I was worried about hoisting myself out of the water onto them but it wasn't as hard as I thought.  :) (thanks, Jillian Michaels.)  The lake was a typical lake and once you got past the slimy patches it was really nice.  I guess it is spring-fed so you would hit these icy cold patches that felt so amazing.  That lake made me really happy.  Also, the pool was so warm and felt so good after the lake.  Are you getting how happy the water made me?  The temp may have had something to do with it.  I would be standing in the hot sun pushing Nicky on the swing and just dream of getting in the water.  Then we would.  Nice.

Our cabin:  (Our friends were in one right on the other side of the clothesline, just out of view)

 All the kids on our bed:  (I would like to say that Nicky was in heaven.  He was getting lots of attention from 4 extra people and was in his little element.  He could wander around our two sites and into both cabins and just had a ball.  :) )
 We did all of our cooking at Wendy & Mark's cabin:
 I like this stuff:
 At one point I asked Nicky to stay by Wendy while I did something and he asked me, "On hers lap?"  and I said, "I don't know, ask her."  So he did.
 Party lights!
 The back room had 4 bunks:

 Early morning trek to the arcade:

 Love this one:
 Ruby, trying to catch fish with her hands:
 Wendy heard about cooking eggs in a ziploc so we tried it.
 Patrick took over this egg exercise and they turned out pretty good.  (Well, I compared them to hotel eggs but I was full of pancakes & bacon so I could afford to be critical.  :)  )  Patrick did a lot of the cooking for us.  He cooked all the burgers the first night, helped with the bacon & eggs the second morning and cooked all the steaks the second night.  (at 10pm!!)  YUM.  Thanks, Bunny.
 You don't know how RARE this next photo is.  This is how I see Patrick but I rarely capture his amazing little happy face.  xoxoxoxoxoxooxox  Of all the kids, James maybe loved it here the most.  He is old enough to have a bit of freedom and loved being able to walk around camp with the other kids...didn't even mind having Ruby tag along. 
Here is the lake with the inflatables.  I labeled the one all of us adults jumped off of, yelling YOLO! like goons, after James did it multiple times.  It looked so fun but once I stood up on that thing it seemed SO HIGH.  It took all of my nerve to just go for it.  So fun!  (but it REALLY hurt my breasts.   sad.)  Ruby jumped off once, too.  On the other slide thing, Ruby would jump up in the air and then slide down and I wanted to try that, too.  It was also scary and you got a lot more speed going down.  I talked Wendy into trying it but had to hold her sunglasses for her.  She was at the top so I said,
"send them down" and she said, "don't lose them!" and I said, "I won't!" and then she sent them down and they shot right over my head and into the lake.  HAHAHAHAHHAA!  I found them, though, and told her later that before I did I saw our friendship pass before my eyes.  :)

The water is pretty deep out there so James and Ruby had lifejackets on the whole time.  They got to swim without them in the pool so they didn't mind too much.  We also took out a paddleboat and Nicky loved that even though his legs were to short to paddle.

Nicky also fell asleep in my lap by the fire one night. 



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