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Showing posts from August, 2009

Me and My Chocalicious Kate

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Katie is me. . . in so many ways. She is an old soul - and we relate to each other on a number of different levels (that being said, we also know exactly how to press each others buttons. That's my girl!) So, tonight I am sitting at my computer devouring a new blog that I just discovered - Bakerella . Truly - the most ingenious and awesome baking site I've seen - fantastic photography and really great sweet ideas. (I'm licking my lips just reading the posts. You MUST check it out!) Anyway, I'm surfing the site going through some of its old blog archives, and I find this one , from April 2009. Let me tell you . . . I am happy. Because, as I've mentioned a few times before, I love Chocolate (I love Chocolate so much, that I believe it deserves to be capitalized. Chocolate. Yeah, that's right. Oh, and Cheese Cake. That's another one that deserves to be capitalized. Check out what Bakerella did with Cheese Cake. It's brilliant! Oh, and this one for Fathe

When is ENOUGH enough?

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So, today I took a look at the "storage cabinet" above our refrigerator, and realized that perhaps I went a little bit . . . overboard. I don't know if you ever went through this . . . but preparing for Katie's lunches for FIRST GRADE was a huge adjustment for me. And I wanted to make sure that we had EVERY SINGLE SNACK available that she might want. (What? Did I really just say that?) Now, believe me . . . I am NOT one of those Mom's who gives her kids everything that they want. I definitely understand the word, "NO", and actually think that I say it quite often to my children. However, there was something about shopping for Katie's lunches that left me vulnerable this school year. I mean, these are her VERY FIRST LUNCHES of her VERY FIRST YEAR in school (. . . right?) Ok . . . How silly is that? What makes this even more upsetting is that . . . contrary to what it might look like . . . we are NOT the Rockefellers. The money spent on those sna

My Neighbor is RUINING me!!!!

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I absolutely love my neighbor Christina. ( Yes, I'm writing about YOU !! How embarassing! ) Christina is probably the kindest person I have ever met - just a real genuine sweetheart! She is amazing with children (she happens to have my child over at her home many times throughout the week) and I can honestly say that I have never heard her say a negative word about anyone . Seriously. Those are surely traits that I need to work on. Especially now. Because right now, I'm about to say something negative . . . about Christina. You see . . . she is RUINING me. Christina . . . introduced me . . . to SUDOKU !!!! THE NERVE!!! Yes, Yes, I know that it has been around FOREVER . I've seen the people at the airport clutching their little Sudoku books with pencils in hand. I've looked over shoulders trying to catch a quick glimpse of what they were doing - trying to get a handle on this sudoku game. But never did I pick up a puzzle and try my luck at it. Never. Until this wee
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I just wanted to say thanks to ALL OF YOU for the absolutely fantastic replies to my "Perimenopause" post yesterday! You are the best group of blog readers I've ever met (and haven't met)! And I am taking all suggestions and support you've given and am hugging each and every one of them!!! Today I'm feeling a little better physically . . . I only had 1 cup of coffee this morning and have stayed away from sugars and high fat stuff, so that is a little progress. I did make it to the eye doctor and got the eyes checked (remember that I broke my glasses this week?) Well, turns out I haven't had the eyes tested since 2006 (shame on me!). Anyway - just ordered a FABU pair of new shades and will be seeing clearly again in 7-10 days. (Yea!) However, I'm still finding myself slightly irritated at some people I've come in contact with today (like the bozo who completely cut me off in the parking lot at Costco. Yeah, that wasn't nice.) But, all in all -

Perimenopause . . . Seriously? Could it really be?

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I tend to do most of my blog thinking in my car, either going to or coming from work. It seems to be the best time for my brain to be cleared of the day to day chaos that happens in a busy house. On my way to work today, I stopped at the ATM and waited in line to use a machine, when another blog subject popped in my head. The reason I came up with this right then and there, is because while in line at the ATM I found myself watching a woman get out of her car and put a SCARF around her neck. A SCARF . I immediately checked the outside temperature gage in the car (it read 65°) and I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me! You are COLD ? You are putting a SCARF around your neck, and you are cold? I’m sitting here having hot flashes, I’m hotter than a pig in a blanket, and you need a SCARF !?!” No sooner did those thoughts come out of my head that something else flashed in my mind . . . What in the world is WRONG with me? Seriously. I was clearly irritated at this person. This

Me Cranky

I’m in a terribly cranky mood. It started this morning, and I’ve been having a really hard time getting out of it. It seems like everything I came in contact with this morning totally aggravated me. Did you ever have one of those days? I’m not proud of it. . . and frankly, I have absolutely NOTHING to be cranky about. Somewhere deep inside my head, I know that. Getting the rest of me in line with that is something else. I make a conscious effort to keep my eyebrows up. I have an expressive and pretty animated face that clearly wears it’s feelings on it. It’s hard to hide when I’m sad, aggravated or even down right angry. And today is turning out to be no exception. Today, the eyebrows are down. . . bummer. Today is a cloudy, rainy day. That doesn’t help the mood. I forgot to put on my engagement ring this morning (I only have my wedding band on right now, which is alright, but makes me feel “off”.) I forgot to put earrings on this morning. My eye glasses broke this morning - while si

Opa! and Aunt Penny!

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A couple of weeks ago I had the priviledge of spending the day in the kitchen with a small group of dear relatives/friends. The purpose of this gathering was completely selfish . . . I wanted, for this one day, to be Greek and learn how to bake some traditional Greek goodies. Silly, huh? Our gracious hostess was Francesca, cousin to my sister-in-law. Our wonderful teacher was Aunt Penny. Here is a photo of Aunt Penny, taken by 2 1/2 year old Ella: Getting together with Aunt Penny was something that I have wanted to do for years. Aunt Penny is the aunt to my dear father-in-law, John. John passed away a few years ago, and connecting with his family and learning a bit of their culture, and recipes, was very important to me. We laughed alot this day, and I realized how important it is to take time like this, before these opportunities are gone. Here is a great photo of Francesca with Aunt Penny (who happens to be her Yia Yia), preparing the phyllo for our baklaVA: I'm not Greek and I

A Day in the Life of Ella #1

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Me: Ellie, did you paint on your face? Ella: Nooooooo, Mommy. Me: Are you sure? Ella: Yes. Me: Here, take a look at your face (mommy holds mirror). . . Ella: Ohhhhh . . . Me: So, did you paint on your face? Ella: Ummm, Nooooooo. Me: How did that paint get on your face? Ella: Ummm, I don't know. Me: (happy)

There she goes. . .

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What is it about that first day of school excitement . . . for a Mom? I never realized that I, the Mom, would be so excited, nervous, and full of tears just seeing the bus turn the corner to pick up my child and take her to school. Katie started First Grade (number 1, the beginning, the start of it all) today. She will now be in school, for the next 16+ years (God willing). I sat at the kitchen table this morning trying to come up with that one sentence that would make a difference in her life, that would solve all her problems and send her out there into the world ready for anything. The one that would leave her hungry for knowledge and confident to ask for it. The statement that would turn her into the first female President of the United States, or a brain surgeon, or an artist, or a teacher, or all of the above. But it just didn't come. How do you sum up all of those thoughts in one, or even a few, sentences? All I could say was, "Honey, if you work really hard and if you

Facebook: A Dream? Or a Nightmare? TBD

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My Mom is on Facebook . . . seriously. And that makes me a little nervous. I don't know how this happened. . . but suddenly I feel as if my hidden Facebook underground world has just been busted. BY MY MOM . Seriously! Facebook was MY get away from responsiblity and day to day life (although I write mostly about day to day life on Facebook , and read about other day to day lives. . . so yes, I get that it's odd for FB to be my escape.) But still, it is an opportunity to play Donut Donut and Brick Breaking games until 2am, if I wanted to (yes, I've had plenty of long nights doing just that.) My opportunity to keep in touch with people that I haven't seen in 20 years (some even longer than that.) My network to post whatever crazy sentence I wanted to - without having to explain myself. And now I feel as if my secret is out. It didn't seem to bother me when my Mother-in-law started to go on Facebook . She and I have spent alot of time talking about the games we pl

6 Mistakes Made in Hair Coloring

I'm having a bad hair decade. . . how about you? I feel like every single attempt I make at a style is immediately smashed with fine, lifeless, dried out, bodiless hair. Seriously. . . I don't know what it is. I mean, I'm a chunky girl. I guess God (or whoever) feels that if I can't have a THIN BODY . . . then he might as well give me THIN HAIR. If he decided that I'm to be a plump girl - why not give me plump hair, too???? Why stop at the head???? It's just not fair. (And, yes, I do realize that God does not make me plump. . . however God did create the person who invented cheesecake . . . therefore God is somewhat responsible for my plump bod.) This week my dear friend asked me if I highlighted my hair. That was a polite friends way of saying, "Girl, your grays are BAD!!!! You really need to color your hair." So. . . I did. Thus followed a series of mistakes. . . To cooperate with the current economic hardship of my bank account - I decided to col

It's Christmas Time!!!

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I was really tired last night. So tired, that I really didn't want to do . . . anything (I had a particularly cranky day at work that took alot of energy out of me and I was drained.) But Phil had plans to go see a sci-fi movie, which meant the girls and I would be home - all available to do something FUN. The only problem was that I really didn't have the energy to do anything FUN. Good thing Katie came up with the perfect solution. You see, last night was Christmas in our house. . . not really (of course, you knew that), but close. Katie decided that the 3 of us girls really needed to do something special. She asked me what my favorite time of year was, and I told her "Christmas time!" (knowing that I would say that), and she immediately put her plan in place. She asked Ellie and I to stay downstairs as she put together a * * surprise * * for us. About 10 minutes later she came down and got us. She had me close my eyes and guided me up the stairs to the family ro

ELLA: Our 2 ½ Year old “Wii Lovin’ Wanna Walk” Child

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Ella has brought such joy to our lives - she’s full of life and adventure, yet so very stubborn and independent (she really is Phil and I all rolled into one . . . and that’s pretty dangerous!) During a phone call with my sister-in-law yesterday, we laughed over some of Ella’s toddler behaviors. My goodness – at 2 ½ years old, she is quite the crazy kid and certainly has us on our toes! Her “Wanna Walk” Demands started when Ella believed that declaring “I Wanna Walk” before arriving at a grocery store would truly prevent her from being placed in the cart and pushed in the cart through the store. The first time she made this demand I could not believe my ears. We were putting her shoes on in our kitchen and Phil was telling both girls to get ready to go to Target. Little 2 year old Ella stood up in the middle of the kitchen and declared, “I Wanna Walk” (which in her language translated to: I am NOT sitting in the cart and riding throughout the store.) I looked at Phil and we both cra

Husband Post Update

Someone told my husband about the blog ( here ) that I wrote about him earlier in the week. A coworker of his, who happens to be a **fantastic** friend of mine (love ya 2E!), asked him if he read the blog I wrote. As of 7AM this morning, he hasn't read it yet. But let me tell you . . . by him just hearing about it yesterday, he has since: Washed and folded laundry cleaned up dinner dishes made 2 zucchini breads (YES, I KNOW!) given the girls a bath and had snuggle time with them so I could work on a post for this blog brought my coffee up to me this morning as I was putting on make-up and getting ready for the day been sweeter than sweet! Now I assure you, my initial purpose of posting that blog about him was NOT to get him to do all of these things . . . but I'll be honest when I say that it happens to be a MAJOR BONUS! Seriously. I'm not sure what his actual reaction will be to it once he reads it (he might be a bit offended at the 200+lb. wagon comment, but hopefully he

How often do you SMILE?

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I lo ve to smile . I really do. And I try to do it as often as possible. I would much rather be seen by others with a smile on my face, than seen as a cranky lady with a frown. A dear friend of mine recently wrote in her blog the importance of smiling . Peggy put it so well (Thanks PK!) that "Smiles are gifts you give to others that don't cost you a thing. Yet when you take the time to think about it, you get the same feeling of satisfaction as you would if you gave them a nicely wrapped gift." Today I was driving in a parking lot and came to that awkward moment when my car met up with another car (it was a big truck, actually). I was in no hurry, so I waved the truck on to cross in front of me. The driver of the truck was a man, probably in his late 50’s. He looked a little rough and tumbled, with a worn out baseball hat on his head and dust all over his car. I was so surprised when he looked at me . . . and smiled. Not just any smile – a really wonderful friendly “H

What is your dream?

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I heard the coolest story on the way home from work today, on Chicago Public Radio , about an artist who paid her rent as many artists do - waitressing in downtown Chicago. What made this story so different, though, was that one day this person received a $40,000 tip from a customer, allowing her to quit her waitressing job and devote one year of her life following her dreams. . . . could you imagine? She spoke about how the reality of working a job that she didn't love made her cranky, tense and frustrated. She was at a breaking point in her life and was feeling overwhelmed and burnt out when she was reminded that " The only thing that is going to break you, is YOU ." What would you do if you could live your dream? Are you already doing it? Now I know that the prospect of someone handing over a $40,000 tip to you today is very slim. But isn't it interesting to really take a look at ourselves and consider if it's really "my bills, my spouse, my job, my fa

Two New Reasons Why I Love this Man

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Well, we made it! We just returned home from a 2 day trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we enjoyed a fun-packed trip of Wisconsin State Fair on one day, and Milwaukee County Zoo on the other. The girls had the best time, and I (hot and cranky) discovered two new reasons why I love my husband. It was pretty awesome when it happened. I was going about the day just enjoying what we were doing, and suddenly it’s like a lightning bolt hit me and . . . . love. So let me take a moment, if you don’t mind, and share with you why I love PG (oh, yes, that’s my husband. Phil. Affectionately known as “PG” aka “Phil Guy”. I’ll share that story another time.) Reason #1: For making our reservation at The Iron Horse Hotel. When I mentioned to PG a few weeks ago that we should go away for a couple days, he jumped right on it (even though he does so much traveling for his work, he jumps at any adventure opportunity with either me or me and the girls). He quickly found the perfect place for us to stay

Little Blog Update #1

A little blog update for my faithful friends and readers. It's been 24 days since I've created this blog, and 13 posts later (that's about 12 more than I thought I would have since the first one!) This blog is turning into a pretty wonderful thing for me. I never imagined sharing my stories with the blog world would be so much fun and fulfilling, but it is!!! So many of you have emailed me or posted notes on Facebook about how much you enjoy this blog - and I THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Your notes inspire me!!!! Keep them coming!!! Now, to a little bit of business: A bunch of people have asked me how to leave a comment on this blog if they don't have a Google or blogger account. Well, I did a little investigating as to how I set this whole thing up, and it turns out I needed to adjust the comment status when I created the blog (who knew?) Anyway, I have now fixed the status and you can now leave me a comment on any of my posts without having to log in to a google account.

WARNING: This story contains language that some might consider unsuitable for blogging.

“PLEASE! Let me poop in PEACE!!!” Yes, those words came out of my mouth. . . I said it. . . I'm not proud of it. . . but I meant it. And as I sat there thinking about what just came out of my mouth – I was in shock. For never in my life did I ever think I would say those words. But . . . life changes once you bring a little baby into the world. It changes even more when you add a second one. Then, they start to grow. And they learn to walk and talk. And they follow you around (everywhere). Then they really learn to talk. Begging to have a friend over to play with, begging to play outside, begging for a treat or snack, begging to play Wii, begging for some more and more juice, and talking and begging and talking. Just being a kid. And there I go – for a moment of calmness. In my sanctuary. My bathroom. Today I sat in the bathroom as one child kept walking in and out (I knew I should have locked the door) and the other stood in the doorway begging for me to be done (seriously . .

Why are we in such a big hurry?

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Driving home from work today I came across a situation that really frustrated me. And since this blog is really part "therapy session" for me, I decided to write about it. So, I ask you - Why are we always in such a big hurry? It's really such a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining brightly and the birds are flying round and round. The trees are flowing in the gentle breeze. Just a peaceful day. I was driving home from work with the windows rolled down on the van and "Rascal Flatts" playing on the radio. I was in a happy place. So there I am, driving down School House Road, and I glance in the mirror behind me to find a man (well, I guess you could call him that) who was obviously very angry at my driving. Now, let me tell you . . . I am certain there are times when I am NOT a good driver. There are times when I am not as careful as I should be, or times when I am overly careful. This moment, today, was NOT one of those moments. In fact, I was driv

Remembering . . .

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Today is my Dad's Birthday. My Dad would have been 75 years old today. I'm thinking of you, Dad, and celebrating your life. I miss you more than words can say. Happy Birthday Dad.

I'm LATE!

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No, No. . . not that. (Are you kidding me? Seriously . . . ) I mean I'm late . . . about 1/2 hour. Every darn day . To every darn thing. This morning I needed to be OUT OF THE HOUSE at 7:30 AM. (I had an appointment at a client's office in the city at 9:30 AM, and I needed to stop at my office in New Lenox to get my laptop. Now, I understand this all could have been avoided by bringing my laptop home on Friday. Yes, that would have been a really good thing to do. Too bad I didn't think about that.) So this morning I arranged for my dear sister to watch the girls (thank you Laura!) and asked her to be at my house by 7:30. She walked in at 7:20 AM (always punctual, as usual), and I think I was trying to get Katie up and dressed, or something. I don't know. All I know is at 7:52 AM I was just starting my journey driving down the street in my car, wondering why I was running late AGAIN! I don't know how this happens. I can plan out the morning perfectly - with

Julie & Julia . . . absolutely FANTASTIC!

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I just returned from seeing Julie & Julia - and I absolutely ADORED it! It was Wonderful, Delightful and Charming . . . I found myself sitting in the theater with a smile on my face from the moment it started to the moment it ended, just soaking in the fun of these characters and this movie. It interested me not only because of my love of cooking, but also due to my recent interest in blogging. I watched this movie feeling very much like Julie Powell, who was at a point in her life were she wanted to make a difference - to do something that mattered. Her idea to blog the process of cooking all of Julia's recipes in 1 year came from a strong desire within herself to do something incredible, and see it through from start to finish. Amy Adams was excellent! and Meryl Streep was phenomenal - seconds into the movie I truly forgot I was watching Meryl Streep and just enjoyed Julia Child. Really, the lady is brilliant and I can't say much more about her. Nora Ephron did it agai

LOST: Grape Tomatoes

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That's it - I've completely lost it! My mind, that is, AND a sandwich-size bag of grape tomatoes. I feel like I'm going absolutely crazy. How does one loose a sandwich-size bag of tomatoes? It's actually quite easy. Just pack up your bowl of tomatoes after dinner, look for them moments later (after your husband comes in from the garden with a few more to put in the bag), and realize that they are NO WHERE to be found. Not on the table, not on the counter, not in the fridge, not in the cabinet, pantry, microwave, oven, dishwasher, freezer, drawer, living room, bathroom, garbage bag, garbage can, purse. . . NOT ANYWHERE!!! It wouldn't be so bad to have just lost this sandwich-size bag of tomatoes today . . . but the thing is, a couple years ago Phil lost an Italian Sausage sandwich. Honest. We were BBQing w/my sister and brother-in-law, and Phil went in to the kitchen to make up a sandwich, only to come outside minutes later (after being distracted) with no sand

Katie and the Red Dot

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Ever since she started talking, and if I found Katie was about to travel to the Land of Fibs (not truths or a lie), I would tell her that I knew she was telling me a fib because she had a red dot on her forehead. In the beginning she would run to the mirror and lift her bangs and, of course, see nothing that resembled a red dot . I told her that only Mommy’s, Daddy’s and Grandma’s could see the dot. It slowly evolved. If she was in the middle of telling me something and I asked to see her forehead, she’d cover it with her hand and tell me, “Really, mom! Seriously! (which was a sure sign that she was telling a fib). She would always admit it and tell me she was sorry for fibbing (and we would go into a detailed conversation about how we should tell the truth.) If she would tell me something and I’d say, “Really?” she would automatically lift her bangs so I could see her forehead and say, “Yes, Mom. See? No dot.” (I can’t take credit for the red dot forehead idea. Rosie O’Donnell talk

The End of a Legend

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My Electronic hand-held Yahtzee game died. . . just now. And I am sad. I know, I know . . . it's just a game. While I don't consider myself a "true" Yahtzee Addict (is there such a thing?), it's hard to realize that my game is no longer. My Yahtzee game provided me with little moments of sanity in this chaotic life of mine. It was my escape from the daily craziness of mommyhood and work. When I fo und myself feeling anxious and overwhelmed, one quick game brought calmness to my soul and my blood pressure down! Crazy, huh? It was at the hospital with me when both Katie and Ella were born, it has kept me company when Phil was out of town for work . . . I even scored a 613 once (I KNOW!!! THAT'S PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!!!) and took a picture of it to prove it! It's so silly, isn't it? Maybe I am the worlds first ever electronic hand-held Yahtzee addict. I'm not that bad, am I? . . . That's all for now. . . . Target is open until 10:00pm, and . .

CALGON! Take me away!

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A dear friend (thanks PK) reminded me to update my blog. It's kind of funny, because right now she is the only person who reads my blog. Because of that, I decided I had better do what my one reader asks. . . I'm just coming down from a 3 week whirlwind adventure that included (in no particular order): 1 knee replacement surgery & recovery from (not mine) 17 day business trip (also not mine) 14 day out-of-town relative visit (sister-in-law, brother-in-law, godson) 7 balloons 3 BBQ's 2 excellent grown up dinners out with dear friends 2 bowling trips 1 Wii consol breaking 1 goat feeding 1 birthday cake 1 trip to the Zoo 1 mudslide pie Lots of Yahtzee and Boggle playing Too many to remember - Extra dirty martini's (ALL mine) lots of smiles some tears prayers for friends lots of laughs A WHOLE LOT OF Chaos and Happiness! While it all was pretty wonderful, I'm ready to get back to normal - whatever that may be. Tomorrow I promise to post a more thought provoking m