Sunday, May 31, 2009

Babysitting Chuckles

Last night, I babysat my niece and nephew so my sister could go to dinner with her hubby for her birthday, which is today.

These kids crack me up. Actually, most kids do. Some irritate the hell out of me, but most make me laugh.

My sister and her husband bought a mini-van yesterday. She had a 2001 Pontiac Aztec that was on its last leg, or wheel. The kids have been wanting a mini-van for a while.

That in itself cracks me up. Add to the desire to have a mini-van, they call it a front-back. No idea why, but they do.

When I got there, they had to show me how cool their new car is. My niece proceeds to tell me, with a big grin, that Monday when she goes to school, all of her friends are going to wonder where she is because they know her car and they won't see her car. Add giggles and she continues to tell me that when her friends do see her in class they are going to say, "hey, we didn't think you were here, we didn't see your car. Did you walk to school today?" and then she will say, no, we bought a new car and it's really cool.

I love the "we" bought a new car.

They jumped rope for a while and then I asked what they got mommy for her birthday and they said nothing. I said did you at least get her a card. No. I said, "you have to give mommy a card. She will be very sad if you don't have a card for her. Let's go make her one."

So we went in and my niece wrote the messages and they colored and glued beads on the front. My niece wanted to go get her a gift card to Starbucks but I told her that I didn't have keys to the house so we couldn't. I told her to ask her dad when he came home.

Thankfully, her dad was way ahead of her and had gotten her a Starbucks card, so the kids gave her that with their cards this morning. She really would have been hurt to not have cards from them.

While we were making the cards, my niece goes on about how it's important to give cards to the people you love and especially moms. She said her mom was going to be 26 tomorrow. I nearly choked and said, "26?" She said, yeah. I laughed and said, no, your mom is going to be 36 tomorrow. "My mom is going to be 36!?" she said incredulously. I said, yep. Your mom is older than me and I am 32. "You're 32?!" she said even more amazed. My sister swears she did not tell her she was 26.

Then we went back outside and the neighbor kid was at the fence and my niece told her about their new car and said it matches her eyes, which cracked me up. Yes, you should always buy a car to go with your eyes.

We went in when it started to get dark and they played the Mario Cart game on the Wii. They were on their second game when my niece had me in tears. The particular race course they were on was icy with giant penguins. I was joking about being careful because it was icy. My nephew takes off like a bat out of hell and is in 3rd place while my niece is in 12th place.

She said, we really should be careful. It is dangerous on the ice and this game is to teach you how to drive. The game is about winning, but it is much more important to drive safely.

I said, this game is to teach you how to drive?

Yes, it is and even though winning is fun, learning to drive safely and carefully is more important.

She is 7.

I could go on and on about the silly things they said last night, but for now, I will bid you goodnight.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Graduation Update

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days.

When we last met, I was telling you my nephew was graduating preschool.

It was very cute. There were about 8 or 9 kids in his class and 3 or 4 times as many teachers!

They basically demonstrated some of the things they do every day.

Then they did a little ceremony. They played Pomp & Circumstance and the kids wore these funny little hats they made. The teacher called their names and handed them a framed diploma with their photo on it and then they stood in line for applause.

After that, they had refreshments and snacks. They gave the kids huge binders filled with some of their activities and letters from all their teachers (each kid had 3 or 4 student teachers), which were so nice and saved the parents from making memory books of their preschool year.

We went back to my sister's house and gave him his little presents. He did not say much about any of it until later in the day, then he was excited about everything, including his graduation Mickey.

He enjoyed his broccoli cheese soup from Panera and he was annoyed that I was copying him...

My mom and sister also got the broccoli cheese soup, I had the cream of chicken and wild rice.

We were all dipping the bread in the soup, though that is the only way he ate his. He refused to use the spoon. When I was almost done, he looks at his mom very annoyed and said, "why he she copying me?"

I laughed and said, "I've been dipping my bread in my soup before you were born so you are copying me!" He thought I was nuts and then I told him that I had different soup, so I couldn't be copying him.

My niece and nephew both know I am a bit nuts, they like it.

In fact at my niece's birthday party at McDonald's last week, she got a cute little top with skulls and crossbones and pink stuff along with a little denim halter vest with skulls and crossbones, pink satin and big "diamond" buttons.

One of the other moms liked the shirt and was holding it up to herself saying it was way to small for her to borrow. I took the halter vest and put it on over my shirt. It actually fit and looked cute. My niece thought it was funny but her friends looked horrified. SO FUN!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Nephew is Graduating Tomorrow

I can't believe he is graduating....

Because he is 4.

He goes to preschool part-time at the local High School. They have a program where the Juniors and Seniors, along with real teachers, host a preschool as part of the curriculum for the High Schoolers.

They had that at my High School too. I went to preschool at my High School. My sister participated as a Junior and Senior.

Tomorrow he is having a graduation. I find it amusing because he will have another preschool graduation next year. His birthday is too late in the year for him to go to Kindergarten next year, so he will have another full year of preschool.

He is very excited about the graduation.

Partly because the previous 2 weeks were centered around his sister with her ballet recital rehearsals, the recital and then her birthday, which consisted of 2 parties and lasted a full week.

This week, it's all about him.

His graduation is at 9:30 and lasts until 11:00 tomorrow morning. I say, you know I love that child if I am going to get up and leave the house at 8:00 am to go somewhere noisy with screaming children!

My mom and I are going out for that and then taking him to lunch.

You would probably think that a 4 year old boy would want to go to McDonald's, Chuck E Cheese or even maybe Red Robin for lunch.

Not this one. Where does he want to go?

Panera. For broccoli cheese soup.

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Monday, May 25, 2009


Remember what today is really about. Remember the soldiers who laid down their lives for our freedoms.

buglar,washington monument,flag,memorial day
Bugler at Arlington Cemetery Photo © Capital Concerts

The number of American Soldiers killed and injured in combat:
Revolutionary War: 25,324 killed 8,445 injured
Civil War : North - 3636,020 killed 281,104 injured South - 199,110 killed 137,102 injured
WWI: 116,708 killed 204,002 injured
WWII: 408,306 killed 670,846 injured
Korean War: 54,246 killed 103,284 injured
Vietnam War: 58,219 killed 153,356 injured
Operation Desert Storm: 363 killed 357 injured
Iraq War: 4300 killed and growing 31,285 injured and growing

You do not have to support the war, but please support the troops.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Glad Adam Lambert Didn't Win American Idol!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Adam Lambert. That boy can sing circles around most people, including the members of KISS, whom he sang with last night.

I have been a fan of his since day one. He is uber-talented and an incredible performer.

When he sang with Queen last night, he gave me chills. Freddy Mercury would be damn proud.

But, I'm glad he didn't win the title of American Idol.

Not because I like Kris Allen better, I don't.

Not to take away from Kris Allen. He is a great singer and musician, no doubt.

I just love a big voice, which is why I had been cheering for Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta (loved her performance with Cyndi Lauper, by the way). They both have texture and mega range to their voices.

I also grew up with 80's Glam Rock. If you don't like that kind of Rock N' Roll, I don't imagine you'd much care for Adam.

However, my 90 year old grandmother loves him and is so mad he didn't win!

I did not vote Tuesday night because I didn't care which one won. I think Kris needs American Idol to help promote him. He is so quiet and humble, that I don't know that he would do as well if he didn't have Idol behind him.

I also think Adam needs to be free from Idol to make the kind of record that he should be making. He knows how talented he is and can promote himself just fine.

I heard some people say Adam didn't win because of the gay factor. I think that's a bunch of bull. I don't think that was a factor at all. People are going to over-analyze the outcome of this because it was such a shock to everyone including Kris Allen.

I say, just let it go. The way people are reacting, in my opinion, is taking away from Kris Allen's talent. He IS very talented. They are just two very different people with two very different styles. That does not mean one is less talented than the other.

I heard that both will have albums come out in the fall. I am excited to see what they both do.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Niece Filled Weekend

This weekend has been centered around my niece.

Friday was her ballet recital. This is her 3rd year in ballet and the recitals previous years have been so boring that we have all fallen asleep at some point. Especially since she is really only on stage for 2-3 minutes.

The strange thing about this place is that they do skits like you would expect from a recital for the first hour or so, and then the next 2 hours is an actual ballet.

One year it was Cinderella, the other it was A Midsummer's Night Dream. This year it was better because it felt more age appropriate. This year they performed Alice in Wonderland.  We were also in the first row, which made us stay awake as the dancers could SEE US!

The recital was from 7:30 to 10:30, which seems late for the little ones. The ones my niece's age or younger only have one part, but kids a little older up to adults were in the entire recital. I have no idea how they remember all those dances. No matter when or how long their part was, they had to stay the entire time.

Saturday was my niece's 7th birthday party. I cannot believe she is 7. I remember the day she was born like it was last week. I was at work. My mom had gone to the hospital early that morning because my sister went to the hospital in the middle of the night.

She had been in labor the entire day before and even sat through a movie in the theater as if going into labor with her first child was no big deal. Around 9 am, my mom called to tell my that she was born and that she was almost 9 lbs and had tons of dark hair and was just beautiful.

My sister knew she was having a girl, so we had been calling her by name all along. I was so excited that my niece was here that I sneaked into the back room and called my friend at work. My boss told me I could go home after about a half hour because she could tell there was no way I'd be able to concentrate on anything.

I rushed home and my mom had come back to the house at that point, so I rode with her to the hospital. I walked in to see this beautiful Snow White baby with dark hair and rosy red lips and skin as smooth as silk.

I fell in love with that child instantly. I held my Peanut kissing her cheeks and held back tears of joy.

Today she is 7. Tall and skinny and still beautiful with eyes as blue as the ocean. She is still fair with rosy lips, except her hair is much lighter. I want to stop time, I don't want her to get older. I want her to be young and innocent forever.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Explain The Attraction

Explain the attraction to Drew Peterson.

He seems to attract young, pretty girls.

And he seems to be a serial-wedder. He's been married several times, but let's look at the marriages surrounding the court cases.
Kathleen Savio was young and pretty. He divorced her and days later married Stacy Peterson.

Stacy Peterson was young, she'd only be 25 now, and attractive. Stacy Peterson, his current wife, is missing and he is engaged to another woman.

Christina Raines is only 23 and attractive. A mother of 2 small kids.

I know Drew Peterson has not been found guilty, yet the possibility and all the suspicion around him would make me NOT want to date him, not to mention live with him. Especially if I had kids.

Add to that, the fact that he is old enough to be these girls' father (and mine). He is an unattractive man, even more so after watching his behavior on television.

Drew Peterson is cocky and arrogant. Most people, if accused of murder, not to mention arrested and charged with murder, would carry themselves with a modicum of seriousness. Most people would do what they could to come across as respectful and respectable.

Not this guy.

He cracks a joke every chance he gets, and those jokes are in no way amusing or appropriate to the situation.

If he is not guilty of murder, which I doubt, he is at the very least guilty of behaving shamefully.

Every time he speaks, it is like a slap in the face to the families of the two women he is accused of murdering.

I don't know if he could get a fair trial anywhere in this country since he has paraded himself across the airwaves and has done so in the air of a jackass.

All of these things considered, I need someone to explain how anyone could find Drew Peterson attractive?

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Kyle Says Moo

I talked to my best friend (who lives in Georgia) last week and she was cracking up telling me a story.

She was visiting some friends with her kids. The one friend was talking to her youngest son who is 23 months. Whenever he would talk to the little guy, he would say his name: Kyle.

Every time, he would say Kyle, Kyle would moo at him. After dozens of times, Kyle started saying moo as if he was annoyed.

It took my friend until then to realize why Kyle was mooing.

Her friend is from Alabama and has a really heavy accent. A lot of people have a hard time understanding him, actually. I have never had a problem, but I have an ear for accents and such.

So every time he said Kyle, it sounded like Cow.

I could almost hear little Kyle's thoughts too. "Moo. I said, 'Moo' damnit! Don't you know anymore animals?!"

I talked to my friend Monday to see how her Mother's Day was and she told me they had gone by this friend's house again and Kyle kept mooing back at him.

She said she told her friend why Kyle was mooing, which made him laugh too. He was trying to enunciate after that, but it still sounded like Cow.

She was crying she was laughing so hard at this point trying to tell me the rest. She said that after a while, Kyle stopped mooing and would just look at the guy and make elephant noises and monkey noises.

She has the funniest kids!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Must Stop & Appreciate Life

I know I have talked about Mother's Day already, but I have more to say.

In addition to how I spent Mother's Day, I also thought about the mother of the 28 year old friend of my godmother's daughter who I mentioned yesterday. The 28 year old lost her life to cancer Thursday and she was buried Saturday.

I thought about how that mother must be feeling. The anguish of losing her daughter.

I know she is not alone. I know there are so many other mother's out there mourning a child they lost recently or years ago. I know that kind of loss does not go away. It seems to break the natural order, to lose a child.

I also thought about people who have lost their mothers and how sad of a day it must be. I can't imagine not having my mother and I cannot think about life without her.

I am grateful every day for the amount of time I have had with my mom and my grandma.

I received a comment from Andy at thirty seconds prompting me to read his post about mother's day. It brought me to tears and it made me think about how often we all go about our business without thinking about the sorrow and sadness and the fight that goes on in the lives of so many people.

Please stop by Andy's blog and read his post.  Get your yearly mammogram, do self breast exams and, please, do whatever you can to support Breast Cancer research. You can donate via the image on the upper right on my blog or click on the button on Andy's blog. No one is untouched by Breast Cancer.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waiting For Number 3

I've said it before, but these things come in threes.

Last Monday I found out a good friend's sister passed away. Now this friend turned 60 on Sunday and her sister passed away on Saturday. My friend and her sister had a falling out after their mother died a couple of years ago and hadn't really spoken.

When she found out her sister was in the hospital dying, she rushed to her side. She apologized for all that had happened and was able to say goodbye. Of course she is upset that her sister died, but the worst thing is that she was told not to go to the funeral.

She has been down and not really wanting to talk, so we have been communicating via email, so I don't know if she went anyway or not. I am so sad for her. This is a woman that has been to hell and back and deserves so much better than what she is living right now.

We are supposed to go for coffee this week, but if I do not hear from her in the next 24 hours, I am just going to go to her house. I can't let her wallow all alone.

Friday I found out that my godmother's daughter, another very good friend of mine, lost her best friend.

This friend is only 30 and her best friend was 28 years old. She had cancer and was undergoing a very intense treatment. Of course, my friend is hysterical at the loss. I have not spoken to her yet, though I have tried to contact her letting her know that I am here for her.

I feel for both of my friends and for the mother of the 28 year old. Losing her daughter Thursday, burying her the day before Mother's Day. Such sorrow that must be.

That's 2. These things always come in threes....

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Monday, May 11, 2009

What Did You Do For Mother's Day?

I woke up early and ran to the store to get a few bunches of fresh flowers and my step-dad's morning coffee (so my mom wouldn't have to go for it).

I quietly entered through the back of the house, cleaned, cut and arranged the flowers. I made a bouquet with petite roses, white stock and yellow carnations for my mom and purple tulips with the white stock and yellow carnations for grandma.

Then I started frying bacon for breakfast. I don't eat it, but my mom loves it and she is always the one making breakfast for her husband on Sunday.

They woke up while the bacon was frying and my step-dad was so excited to wake up to Starbucks, you would have thought it was Father's Day!

I made pancakes and fried eggs and we had a nice breakfast. I cleaned up while my mom got ready to go over and take care of my uncle.

You would have thought that my cousin's would have had the brains and decency enough to say, "don't worry, Aunt, we will take care of him, you enjoy your day," especially being that they do not have a mother and have always said that my mom and grandma are their mothers. But they didn't, they left early to go have fun.

My sister and her family came over in the afternoon and we relaxed, opened gifts and ordered Chinese food. My mom loves it and that way, none of us would have to cook. Of course, I set everything out and cleaned everything up, but that's the way it is Mother's Day or not.

My niece and nephew (also my godchildren) gave me a box full of Mary Engelbreit things like little note cards, a journal, a dry erase board and that kind of thing. The coolest thing, though, is a plastic book mark with my niece's 1st grade photo on it. They know how I love to read, so that is such a great gift!

I gave my mom and grandma both a bunch of scratch off lotto tickets (they both love them) in addition to the flowers and breakfast.

My sister made my grandma one of those Kodak photo books. It's nice. She had a bunch of photos from grandma's 90th b-day party printed into a pocket size book. She also gave her candy, a bunch of word search books (she does a book every week) and a book mark with my niece's photo on it.

My sister gave my mom a stone for the garden (she has given her one every year since my niece was born) with each of the kids hand print and their names. The kids decorated it with colorful stones. She also gave her candy, some candles and magnet with my niece's school picture and a little tag for her key chain with the photo on it.

My sister made brownies and a peach crisp for dessert. My niece and nephew ate their weight in brownies and ice cream. I will just say, the walls should be padded.

How was your Mother's Day? What did you do?

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