Monday, April 30, 2007

And just like that ...

the weekend is over. No, really, where did it go? Because 5 minutes ago it was Friday. Then I blinked my eyes and it's almost 3pm on Monday! How does that happen? Does the world enter some warp speed orbit that no one told me about?

Actually, we spent the weekend mostly outside. And mostly playing. And slipping in a bit of work here and there. It was a lovely weekend I must say. But I hate when they are over. They never last long enough. Dh is never home too much. The kids don't get enough time with him. I don't get enough time with him! The weekend is full of me running errands I don't prefer to do with the kids, getting together with other people who work during the week and it's never enough family time IMO. But that's life. And we do try to make the most of the weekend. And now that winter has hopefully :::knock on wood::: gone away for a few months, the weekends ahead are looking wonderful and bright!

We have two trips planned for May. One trip planned for June. Then my dh is going away on a second trip (without the rest of us) in June. July is full of parties we've already been invited to. August will be when my dh works extra time at my parent's place. And just like that, summer will be over, fall will be knocking on our door and I will be sad. But for now, for now, I'm going to try to enjoy the glorious days of summer! Time to frolic at the park with the kids. Time to meet more neighbors (really, they all do come out when it gets warm out!). Time to take nice walks together or bike rides! Time to sit on the deck eating ice cream and chasing lightning bugs. That is what I plan to do this summer. Sit back, relax, enjoy these precious moments I have as time goes whizzing by. And hopefully, I will be able to do that - relax and enjoy I mean. They aren't exactly my strongest skills in life.

But for this afternoon, I will ready the house for a party I am hosting tonight in 4 hours. Which means I will be running around wiping, cleaning, putting things away, making food, and trying to make myself look nice all at the same time! LOL!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Today ..

Today is a day in which once again I prove that I am very forgetful, far too emotional, and need to be better prepared. Fortunately, it was also a day that proved there are very nice people in this world who do care and will help you when you are down.
So I have been planning on over a week now to go to a cute little restaurant in the Chicago-land area called Choo Choo Restaurant. A very train themed restaurant and if you get the right seats, your meals is delivered to you on a train. I knew I was going. Last night I even readied the diaper bag so that when we woke up, we could pretty much get dressed and go. I printed out directions to a sort of near-by train station where I would be meeting another mom and child. Then we would take that train to Des Plaines, where the restaurant happened to be about 2 blocks from the station. It was going to be a big train day.
So we make it to the station, barely on-time because whoever did the time estimates on mapquest must have assumed I'd be driving 100 miles per hour adn not hit some 25 mile per hour zones. But we made it with no time to spare (glad I decided to leave the buffer time I did!) and we get on the train. This is the part where I realize the cash I was going to bring was sitting on my kitchen counter. Which won't help me purchase a train ticket. My friend, gracious as she is, said she had the cash to cover me (and thankfully the kids were free!). So we get to our stop, leave, walk, and arrive at the restaurant. The kids loved it. We ordered (but did not get the train delivery seats. Oh well), ate, got the bill. As I pulled out my credit card, the waitress says "I'm sorry we only take cash."
Yes, I admit my chin hit the floor and my eyes had that deer in headlights look. 1. I had no cash. 2. I had no checks. 3. I had no ATM card so I couldn't use the bank near the restaurant. I basically burst into tears at that point. I'm thinking to myself, I'm 20 minutes from my car, 40 minutes from my home, I've got three kids and I can't pay the bill. I'm looking around the place for a sign that would have informed of that policy before that point, and folks, there wasn't one. It asn't on the menu, wasn't posted anywhere. Really, I was nervous. My friend had enough to pay the bill, leave a 3 cent tip and get her train ticket back. So now I realize not only can't I pay for my lunch but I can't get a train ticket home. Holy cow. And yes the tears came out. I couldn't help it.
The waitress walks back to our table looks at me and says "what's the problem" I sheepishly explain I can't pay the bill and she tells me "That's okay! It happens! We have a policy in place!" Holy phew! Basically I left my name and address and promised to send in the money. Of course, I then start rifling through the diaper bag for any money t all. I came up with 97 cents. It wasn't going to get me home. We decide to walk to the station and figure out what to do there. So we start out and the cashier runs out after us and tells us to stop. I admit, I momentarily thought they changed their mind and I'm going to jail (I never claimed to be a rational human being and yes, typing it I now how silly that thought was). She kindly explained that she would add 10.00 to my bill and give me 10 dollars out of the register because she wanted to ensure we got home safe and sound. Really, how coll was that?! I have to admit, I almost starting crying again. She told me not to cry because she would cry, because really, isn't this what life was about - reaching out to others when you can to help them when they needed it? Yes, I suppose it is. And I appreciate her 10.00 greatly. And, of course, I made it home. Where I promptly napped because Little Man napped and I felt very worn out and stressed and high strung and just needed some down time.
Anyway, tomorrow I am dropping in a check for our meal, plus 10.00 that they spotted me, plus a tip for our waitress and a tip for the cashier and a nice note telling them exactly how thankful I am.
And, really, if you live near this restaurant and have kids who like trains, I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend that you bring some cash with you. Trust me, you'll need it!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Holy Cow ...

I know it's silly, but I like to check the stats for how many hits my blog gets. A good day might mean 20 unique hits. A normal day is about 5. Not a lot, but that's okay by me.
Imagine my surprise then when I check tonight and notice there have been 200 hits to this blog today! 200!
I thought there surely must be a glitch in the system or maybe someone accidentally hit the refresh button 195! But then I saw, Laura from Organizing Junkie linked people into my big toy sort! Wow! I feel honored =) And I'm going to show off to my dh tomorrow. Not because 200 people came to visit, but because someone on an organizing blog linked here and dh does not think I'm an organizer! HA! This will show him LOL! =)
Anyway, if you are here from Laura, hi! Welcome! Look around! There aren't many more posts about organizing on this blog right now but I do write a lot about all sorts of things!
But speaking of the challenge ... I've hit a standstill. I need to get over it though. We really need more furniture down there though. I sure hope we can get something this weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


So. I haven't posted in a while. All day long I think of wonderful things I could blog about. Then I sit at the computer and all my thoughts are gone. Just like that. I blame the children and not age! LOL!
Anyway, we had lovely weather here this weekend. It was nice. Well the weekend was nice anyway. Saturday I was able to get some me time. Dh took the kids out and told me to stay home and relax. And I swear that is what I planned on doing. But then I decided I needed a hair cut. So I drove to the closest place and fortunately they could squeeze me in, but not for 90 minutes. So what did I do? Well, I should have gone home, worked for an hour and then drove back. But what I really did was go get a manicure and pedicure. What can I say? I needed a nice treat like that!
The hair cute went awesome. The stylist and I just talked away the entire time. Now, this may happen commonly to others, but for me, this is not normal. I just never feel like I know what to say or how to say it. I got "So, great weather we're having," and usually my conversations ideas are dried up after that. But not this time. We just chatted away. It really felt like an old friend was cutting my hair. Of course we had known each other for approximately 1 minute before the cut started.
Then dh and I went off to a party and left the kiddies with a sitter. On the way home I raved about how great my day was upon which dh pointed out that I hardly spent anytime with the kids. I informed him that when I stay home each and every day and am with them 99% of the time, sometimes a day away is exactly what I needed. And now that I had it I was good to go for a few weeks. And you know what? I don't feel one bit guilty for feeling that way. Nope. Not at all. It's true. I do need breaks! And I have learned that it is okay to feel that way. A few years ago I would have felt all guilty and like a terrible mother who much obviously not love her children enough if she felt like she had to get away for a bit. Thankfully, I've since learned that you can want breaks away from the kids and still love them with all your heart. Isn't growing and learning things like that so wonderful?
Sunday was spent at church. Then home playing with friends and neighbors and soaking up the beautiful weather we are having.

Anyway, aside from the great weekend, I have to admit when I am home I am checking my e-mail all the time. Why would I be doing that you wonder? Well, I am still anxiously awaiting my second order at my etsy shop. I know it will come and I know that it won't come any sooner if I check my e-mail 5,274,082,752 times a day. But I'm not a patient person.
But this is probably a good thing. I have checked the e-mail less today than yesterday. Maybe this will be a good way to learn to stop back. Relax. I can't make orders come by checking e-mail.

Okay, well that sums things up from around here for now.

But it's a coach purse!

I really like purses. Truly, purses of any kinds. But I sort of like Coach even more than others (probably because I do not spend my money on them because it feels like too much of an indulgence when I already have more purses than I need to). Also, I am new into the world of wanting more purses and well, I can't scare the dh by running out and buying the really expensive ones first.
So right now, I get my coach purses only when they come as presents. Fortunately, my mom has given me two purses as presents which is fabulous. But then I saw a contest for one, and well, I have to say I'm in!
Quiet Romance is giving one away! Just like that! All I have to do is link you to her blog. And then sign Mr. Linky. How easy is that? And then if the odds are in my favor, I might be holding a coach purse soon. Well, okay, so I probably won't win, but it's fun to try.
And anyway, it's a fun blog to read whether you want the purse or not. So go visit her, say hi, and if you want a new purse, you can try to win it too! =)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Faith like a child ...

Sometimes my children completely blow me away. Today was one of those days.
We were in the car at 11:00 today when in my area a moment of silence was observed for what happened on Monday.
The radio announcers took the moment of silence and then they said a lovely prayer about healing over what had happened, etc and it was nice.
My four year old asked me if she too could say a prayer.
Now, I had explained to my children that something bad had happened on Tuesday (because we also took a moment of silence then at 1pm our time zone). I told them a lot of people were hurt and sadly some of them even died and we needed to remember them and pray for them. We don't watch much news truly, but it has come up in conversation with others and so they listen even when we don't expect them too because my 4 year old knew more than I thought she did and expressed it in a prayer that left me speechless ...
"Dear God,
Please be with all the people who are sad and hurt and love them extra. And God, please be close to the shooter right now because I think he needs You most of all.

I kid you not, that is what she said. I got goose bumps. Really. I did. Because it hit me she was right. He did probably need love and kindness right now most of all because I can only think that someone hurting soooooo badly could even think of committing the act he did, let alone acting it out. And two, until that moment I hadn't given that shooter a second thought other than to think I hope he was burning in you know where for what he did. And yet, here is my 4 year old, my 4 year old, who not only remembered to pray for the victims of what happened, but she remembered to pray for the man who did it.
People, I was blown away. Just blown away.
And what happened today I believe is a perfect example of how to have faith like a child. Because in her heart was no hatred. But yet concern and compassion for everyone. Even people I have not thought to give concern and compassion for. And that, my dear friends, is a lesson my 4 year old taught me. A child. An innocent child who is not jaded by so many other things and can say a prayer like that without giving it a second thought. And at the same time giving me goosebumps and making me say a quick prayer in my head, mimicking her words. And here the whole time I thought it was my job to teach them to pray. But really, they are teaching me. In very powerful ways.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

As if ...

this day couldn't get any worse. It did. And it was my fault. I am now officially the world's worst mother ever.
So we go to McDonald's to eat. It's time to leave and my 4 year old comes to me with tears in her eyes and says "I don't want to go to Cubbies mom. I want to go home with you." Umm, okay, that kind of came out of nowhere ... so we talk a bit, she said she wasn't sick or tired or worried about Cubbies, but she didn't know what was wrong or why she was crying and she just wanted to go home. So I take her and Little Man into the van and drive home.
We get home. I take Little Man out of his car seat. I ask 4 year old to carry in something for me when she gets out of the car and go into the house. I was talking to my sis on the phone and after some time had passed (okay, it was probably 5 minutes) I started to think it was strange 4 year old hadn't come in the house yet.
So I walk out to get her.
She is sitting in the passenger seat of the van, crying her head off. Why? BECAUSE SHE CAN'T OPEN THE DOORS HERSELF!!! I know this. And yet, I walked into the house and did NOT open her door. I quickly got her out, gave her hug, apologized a million times and felt like the world's worst mother ever. She told me it was okay. She forgave me. She said she was scarred and she didn't know why I left her there and she didn't know when I would come back.
My heart just broke people. Into a million and one pieces. I feel awful. I suck as a mother.
At that point, I taught her how to use the horn in case it ever happens again.
See here's the deal. My 7 year old can open the door. Usually we are all together. I don't have to really open doors for her. And if I have to, I usually remember. Tonight I didn't. I hope I never ever ever ever forget again, but holy cow, what if I do? I would feel even more awful, but at least now she knows how to honk the horn to get me out there faster.
Today has been a pretty crappy day all around.
Oh, and my 7 year old came home and told me she didn't feel so well. Yeah. A house full of sick kids and a very tired, very feeling guilty mom. Great combination there, huh?
Anyway, I read some stuff that made me feel better (well, not feel better about her forgetting her because really, I will probably have nightmares about this for, well, ever, but it did help my mood improve). And when dh came home I took a nice warm bath. With bath salts. And a book. And I feel less likely to just completely run away.
Can I just say though, thank God it is not very cold out or it is not very hot out? Because, truly I am thankful it was a kind of average day around here. Because what if it was 100 degrees out? Would I be here typing away and her sleeping away in her bed, already mostly forgetting what happened earlier or would it have been a lot worse? And my dh told me in the grand scheme of things, 5 minutes is not a long time, but for her, did it feel like a lifetime? I don't know. I bet if he were the one who did it, he'd be just as upset as I am at myself and I'd be trying to comfort him by saying some cheesy line like that to him!
People, I am hanging my head in shame here. Literally.
Ugh. Tomorrow is Friday. And it really does have to be a better day. I will make it a better day. I will not be crabby. I will not yell, okay I won't yell as much as I did today. And I sure as heck will not leave any children in the car at all tomorrow.

I'm trying ...

really. I am. But today is just not a good day.
Really. It's not. I really feel like I'm going to snap. I keep eying the door wondering if I run out will any of the children notice right away? Or will I have enough of a head start to make a clean get-a-way? Truly though they would know right away because my son is officially Mr. Crabby Pants today. Nothing is making him happy. He doesn't want to be picked up but he doesn't want me to set him down. And it's like that with everything.
I have many things I need to get done and would like to get done. I can't do anything at all. I won't even tell you how many times I had to walk away and come back just to type all of this.

What really is the most upsetting is that I have I been trying to get out, to get away, to get a break. And the last few times I have tried, my dh has had excuses as to why I couldn't go out. Mostly because he was too tired to take the kids @@ Um, hello? Why the heck does he think I want to get away? I am not supermom. I can not be with the kids 24/7 and still keep my sanity. And now, today, today, it all comes forth, I am ready to burst. The kids are crabby. This is what we call a recipe for disaster.

Soon I will pack the kids up and seek some sanity at a McDonald's Play Place. I will hand two of the children over to someone else and drive home with Mr. Crabby Pants. And then I shall try very hard to not yell at him until dh arrives. I will get through today. Tomorrow will be better. I will try to relax. I will try to not get so frustrated. I will tell myself that childhood flies by very quickly. That the days of toddlerhood are brief and that someday, although it's hard to think now, someday I will actually miss this time. The kids will be grown and I will miss the days I had home with them. Hopefully my memory will be kind and I will look back on these days through rose-colored glasses and with a fondness for times long past ....
For now, I will take it one minute at a time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Have you ever ...

just felt drawn to get to know someone better? And no, I don't mean a love at first site kind of thing. I don't mean in a romantic way, just that for whatever reason you feel like something is telling you that you should definitely get to know this person and maybe even be friends.
Has anyone ever felt that way before?
So there is someone I have seen a few times. Not often. Our two conversations have been brief but pleasant. And yet, I don't see us really talking again without planning it. And yet, I can't just call her and invite her over and say "hey, I feel really drawn to you. Want to do lunch sometime?" (um, hello, would I sounds like a stalker and oh yeah, I don't have her number).
Her son does an activity with my dd, but another mom usually drives him there. So do I send a note home with him inviting them for a playdate?
I'd like to add her, my dd and her son get along very well and my dd would be thrilled to get to play with him.

Also they just had a baby. Maybe I could send a gift for the baby and if I'm lucky she'll send/call a thank you to me and that can start some conversation?

I don't know! Part of me thinks I'm half-way to crazy and the other half says don't ignore instincts. And if instincts are telling me we should become friends, then I should follow them.

Blog people, please tell me what to do! Give me advice!
Thank you =)

If you feel moved ...

Go here. Read. Donate.
If you feel so moved to do so for Heather ...

For those of you unaware, Heather has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The blogging community is pulling together to help her and her family. For more info, read here.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

My heart is breaking ...

for all of those affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech today. I signed on to AOL to catch up on e-mail and the story was right there on the welcome page. My heart stopped for a second, my stomach flip-flopped and I as read through the story, my eyes filled with tears.
I don't for one second understand why in the world anyone would feel they needed to do that. I just can't wrap my mind around it for one second. It makes me sad and it makes me angry.
And my heart is aching for all those families and friends who were forced to say good-bye today to loved ones because the act of one person.
I hope you too are keeping them in your prayers.

What's your identity?

Today I heard something on the radio that I thought was interesting ... (later I'll try to link you to it, but need more time to find it).
So it really got me thinking, in a deep way. I'll probably struggle to explain it all, but I'll try ... it was specifically talking about those identities that aren't the best to have. It mentioned 5 of them:
1. The Past - your past is hanging over you. Most likely something bad happened during it or you behaved in a way that you think is shameful. You are either trying to hide your past from people, or it is holding you back because you can't move past it.
2. The Performance - you believe you are the sum total of how you perform. Therefore, you are trying to always be perfect and be successful and trying so hard to do everything right, because if you do things right than you are a good person. But if you screw up (which is going to happen eventually) then you feel like you must be worthless and no good, etc
3. The Problem - your life is whatever your problem is - you aren't pretty enough. You are too fat, whatever you feel is your problem is what you use to define your identity.
4. The Present - you are so caught up in the present - life is just the current crisis going on. Then you fly on to the next crisis and the next one and you are so caught up in the present moment that it is a HUGE CRISIS AND YOU FEEL SUCH A SENSE OF URGENCY about it
5. Prideful -just full of pride and thinking you are so grand and you know everything and usually, underneath it all, really you feel very unsure of yourself and so this is how you act to offset those feelings.

Interesting huh? I thought so. I see myself stuck in at least 4 of these identities, which I suppose means I have a lot of work to do to find a more healthy identity. I can definitely see these identities in a few people I know.

I suppose I have been told this same stuff, just in other ways before, but for some reason, hearing this today on the radio, in the way it was presented really hit home to me. I really understood it this time. I just don' t know how to change it. That's where I get stuck. It's easy to tell a person not to think a certain way, but I don't have a light switch in my head that I can switch off. There are things that have been in my subconscious for a long time. Most of the time I don't get what I'm doing. It's not like I sit here and think "Oh, well I have very low self-esteem because I'm stuck in my past and some not so pleasant things that happened to me and some bad memories I have. So if I could just learn to get over it and move on, things might change for the better"
No, most of the time I think "well life would be easier if I were smarter." or maybe if I was prettier or maybe if I just did x better or y better. Or if we had more money or if my dh was home from work more, or ......... I think you get the picture. And I'm busy ignoring the things I probably shouldn't be ignoring at all. I suppose, and maybe this is a silly analogy, but it's like I'm saying the house is too cold so I'll turn up the thermostat all the while ignoring the window that's wide open ...

Anyway, I guess it gives me a lot to think about truly .... I would have to say probably my biggest thing is my identity is stuck in the past which fuels me into performance, problems, and present.

So, do you think your identity is stuck somewhere it shouldn't be? Which one?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Busy Weekend!

This has truly been a busy weekend, well at least the parts of it that I have been not in excruciating pain for. Yes, yes, please, feel sorry for me. I tell you I deserve it! Okay, maybe I don't deserve it, but lately I have been getting hit with Headaches. Not just plain old headaches either, I'm talking HEADACHES. The kind that hurt when you just think about them. The ones that make you wish you had something to just knock you out because it would be better to be drugged up than feel this crushing, pulsating, pain in your head.
I am not sure where these are coming from ... my eye-glass prescription is good, I'm drinking enough water, I'm not coming off of any addictions at the current the moment (although my dh thinks I should stop drinking coke to help. I strongly disagree). I don't think they are migraines since there is no light sensitivity or feelings of nauseous. But yesterday I had one that pretty much knocked me on my butt for most of the afternoon/evening.
Eventually though, it went away or I swallowed enough pills to force it away and by evening I was feeling much better. Between that and today I finished my very first order for my store (yeah!), made a gift for a friend, and made a few other items to put in the store. I told dh my inventory doubled this weekend (it went from a whole 3 things to an amazing 6 things LOL!)
Tonight I had time to catch up on some mommy-club items and now here I am!
Saturday, prior to The Headache hitting, I was able to get some "girl time" with a friend at Bath & Body Works where I got a make-over that made my husband say "You look terrible. It makes you look older, and not in a good way. Really, just wash it off." Yeah. That's exactly what I wanted to hear @@ And I also bought some fabulous clothes. I shouldn't have, but I did. I saw a skirt at The Gap and decided right then and there I had. to. have. it. I don't normally give into those cravings, but I did yesterday. Mostly because I had a friend with me who could see me try it on and tell me truly if it looked good or not. Then, not only did I find one look to wear as a top with it, I found two looks to wear as the top with it. Oh yeah. And both tops will match at least one skirt I already own (and I would gather they might even match a few other skirts) and could be paired with jeans and the one I could even pull off with shorts. Yeah, I was pretty excited about it all. Seriously, isn't it amazing how 5 articles of clothing (one skirt, one top, one top to go underneath it, one camisole and one cardigan) make me so happy? It's either amazing or sad .... LOL!

Anyway, I know, mostly fluff tonight. But really, that's okay with me. I like to have fluff some days. Maybe I'll get deep again later this week. Right now though, I'm really working on my store. It is taking most of my time and energy. It feels good to have something to work towards, a goal in mind, and a way to get my creative outlet and hopefully get paid to do it as well. I think this is just what the doctor ordered! Now just pray that I keep selling things =)

Friday, April 13, 2007

My afternoon ...


This, my dear readers, is how my front room looked this afternoon.

Today, at my house, we did a toy sort. Now, this was completed today for a variety of reasons:

  1. We have more toys than this house can hold without looking messy and uncluttered.
  2. I feel extremely motivated to thin the toys because most of them will be housed in the basement and since I am organizing my basement for the 30 Day Organizational Challenge, this went a long way to help for that
  3. My dh has been requesting I take time to do this for, oh, a month now?
I know it looks scary. I promise, it's even scarier in person, however this is the most effective way I have found to clean house with the toys so to speak. Is to start by creating a large pile of junk somewhere in the house. Preferable a place with space and room to walk around and spread out. You get the toys in a pile and you get boxes to help with the sort. You also get a garbage bag and a box for donations.


Essentially after we create the pile I say:
Okay, go through and find all the books! And they do.
Then I say "Now look for all the Barbie things" And they do.
Common things we search for: stuffed animals, books, polly pockets, barbie dolls, Little Man's toys, kitchen things, things that should really be in their room, the blocks, the cars, etc ...

It works quite effectively actually because when they see how much they have of, oh say, barbies, we can decide to throw away all the mismatched shoes, half of the brushes, dolls that have been broken, clothes that have ripped. I found if we just do this randomly they argue to keep things more. This way it's all there, in front of them, easy for them to see that they do have 15 brushes might be a bit much and really they could live with about 5.

Trying to get them to part with things just here and there when I see it tends to cause them to say "No! You can't get rid of it! It's my favorite!" or I hear "It's the only one I have." or the ever-used "No! It's very special to me!" Now, I still hear that when we do it this way .. however I can say "No, it's not the only one you have. We just made a pile of 23." or I can say "Well, this other one was your favorite too. So look hard, which one is really your favorite?" or I can say "This, this is special to you? I haven't seen you play with it in months and it sat at the bottom of the box for a long time. Is it really special? If it is you can keep it, but maybe it's not as special as the ones you've already decided to keep" Usually that gets them to part with things with less whining.

And then when you are all done, you can step back and admire: The finished product! How nice does that look? We have have a few empty boxes, which is amazing as all boxes were over-flowing when we started and they brought down toys from their room that weren't in boxes. The only thing that is not shown or the books which were taken to the book case straight away.

[Although, I must admit, we are not fully done. The one box on the floor next to the blue finger puppet stage, actually has the last bits we need to sort through. However, they did such a good job and Little Man was starting to make it hard, that when I saw how little was left, we put it into a box and will sort through it tomorrow and hopefully with daddy home, Little Man can be taken to another room!]

The bins with their items

And here, is our donation pile. That's a lot of toys we decided to part with today. We also had one bag of garbage, broken toys, or toys that were not in any condition to be donated!

And there is my toy sort. And it feels good to get it done. I have found homes for about half of it so far. Dh and I will be looking at other furniture soon and hopefully will buy a nice home for the rest of it! Most of them came from the basement area I am working on, and doing this goes a long way to helping me get the basement organized!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Tidbits ...

Tonight I will post lots of little things to share =)

* I started working on the basement today. I managed to empty one box completely and a second box almost all the way. I moved the furniture a tad. Right now though, I feel like I am stuck because I would like to add an entertainment center down there and dh wants another desk. It's hard to unpack anymore because I need that furniture to find places for everything. And I certainly don't want to stack the boxes up in another part of the house. I really want them unpacked and put away!

* I am on day 30 of my Read the Bible in 90 Days program. I am glad to say I am ahead of the little schedule-thingy I printed from on-line. I am officially 1/3rd through the program and although today is day 30, I have read up to day 32! Really, I just read it a bit each day and I'm glad that is working and I'm ahead of schedule because I am reading what feel comfortable for me to read for the day and thankfully I don't need to modify that and add more reading to keep up.

* My son has not come back to nursing. I was correct in thinking that it was not just a nursing strike, but him being done. I am very sad about it, but the sun still rises and sets each day and he seems to still love me, so that's all good!

* I am so glad to have my store. I have done lots of shopping for materials this week and am planning on making a ton of very cute items for it whenever I get the time. Also, getting that first sale feels absolutely amazing to me and I am so happy about that.

* The snow yesterday sucked a lot. But it's melting pretty quickly. I bet there will be no traces of it by this time tomorrow. And if I don't see snow again until November, I will be happy.

* So far, despite all the items we have been buying for the house, dh and I are not broke! That is a good thing and truly a blessing. I am still not sure how we managed to swing. I thought for sure we need to carry some credit card debt for about 3 months to get all the new furniture paid off, but somehow we managed to not! Woo-hoo! The good news is that we are not planning any more big purchases soon so if I can find the rest of the furniture over the next 2 months that I want at a good price, we can probably buy it (and yes, I am searching Craigslist each and every day!)

I think that about wraps things up from here =)

30 Day Organizational Challenge ...

Yes, I am joining this challenge. Mostly because I need to get my butt in gear with getting this house together.
Mostly because I am getting sick of looking at the mess. Also because I am hosting a party here on April 30 and this will be most people's first time here. It needs to look good around here!
So this 30 Day Organizational Challenge is my extra boost of motivation!

My goal is to organize the basement. My very messy and disorganized basement. Well, okay, my office is organized and it is part of the basement but the rest of the basement lies in shambles.

I will even post pictures of this mess. I will be embarrassed to do this, but I think it needs to be done. Mostly to motivate me enough to be able to show some fabulous after organization pictures! LOL!

Please cross your fingers and wish me luck, I need to get this done!

the view from the office doors ...

the view from coming down the stairs

standing behind the futon ... you can see part of the office door to the left.
(the door on the right leads to a mini-closet housing a sub-pump)

Also from the back of the futon, but angled more to get the especially
hideously disorganized corner!

Bonus room: the unfinished part of the basement.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Holy Moly!

I just got my first sale at my etsy shop.
Wow! I am so excited =)

Now, it happens to be someone I know on-line. And I love her for doing this. And really, she could have just said "good luck with it. I completely support you" and I would have been happy. But I am touched she would do this for me and it was a complete surprise. Actually it took me a few minutes to realize it was her name on the invoice I was sent LOL!

This is awesome. It feels so real all of a sudden. I truly didn't expect to sell anything this fast! And I am so very excited!

Okay ... just had to share. This totally makes up for the crappy weather we are having and my dh needing to go out of town for work tomorrow!

A place to sit ...

Well, we finally have a few nice places to sit at our house aside from the breakfast bar and kitchen table. Not that those chairs weren't great or anything like that, but well, they aren't exactly the put your feet up, kick back, and relax kinds of spots!
But now I have a couch AND a loveseat. Who knew those two items would make me oh so happy?!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy (belated) Easter ...

Yesterday we had a fabulous Easter. It really was. =)
Although Saturday night my stomach was, well, it was having a bit of trouble. I was very nervous that I would spend Easter at home alone, with a not very nice stomach. But alas, I woke up Sunday morning feeling much better.
The kids woke up and were very glad to see Easter baskets waiting for them. And for the first time ever, the Easter Bunny hid some eggs around the house for them - they also enjoyed finding those eggs =)
Then breakfast, and off to church we went. Both girls decided to say with me during the service instead of going to Sunday school ... I have mixed feelings about this. I suppose if they keep a habit of staying with me during service I will share more about these feelings ... for now, they sat with me during service.
Home again for a bit and off to an Easter party. It was a lot of fun, but we spent time outside. And it was cold in Chicago. Too cold. Aside from periods of freezing, kids with bright red noses that were running, and chasing Little Man from running outside without mom or dad, it was a splendid party =)
Then home for a relaxing evening. Dh and I managed to take turns playing our new game: World of Warcraft. All and all a very nice day if I do say so myself.
I hope yours was as pleasant and wonderful - whether you celebrated or not!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Dived in ...

head first ... finally ...
Today I opened my very own Etsy shop!
Now this was not on my radar to do until, well this morning.
I had originally planned to have a website for a business I was doing with a friend, who happens to be pregnant. She also was having a tough time with the pregnancy and didn't want to move forward. I was terrified to do it on my own ... I have hardly any start up money, let alone to pay for a website, pay for a design, hit craft fairs (what would I do with the children?).
Today she e-mailed me to let me know she started her own etsy shop and we could work together in the future ... I admit, I almost burst into tears. One, it's been a very long, stressful, emotional week for me. Second, just over a week ago, she told me that she couldn't really do anything ... and now she was doing it on her own? You'd think if anything, she'd want to do it with help instead of solo.
But then I took a minute to breath and think. And I decided this did not mean she totally hated me and just didn't want to work with me in any way, shape, or form. It simply meant she felt, for whatever reason, she needed to work solo right now. And I decided it's probably because she doesn't know how much she can contribute and so doesn't want to let me down by not being able to do as much as I would need her to if we were partnered up.
And then I decided that I could do the same thing and get my feet wet a little bit.
So I did it. Just like that. This morning I woke up not even thinking about it and now I have a shop with one, oh yes, one item in it! LOL! Hey people, I have to start somewhere!!!
Dh is excited for me - so that's good. And originally he was supposed to be out all day tomorrow and now he will be home. I have a few projects bouncing around in my head to now try to complete tomorrow and who knows, maybe by next week, I'll have three things in my shop ROFL!!

Anyway, I debated whether to post the link, but really, it can't hurt can it? So here is my etsy shop, named Emmagail Creations.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Opening up ...

Because it's my blog, and because I can, and because I feel like sharing a bit more than superficial ramblings tonight, I will talk about one of my "issues."

So here's the truth ... when I look into the mirror, I see a fat, ugly, plain looking person. I think I need to lose weight, do something about that mark on my face, I focus in on the circles under my eyes, how I never have that glow other mothers have (I have even seen it with my own eyes. I know it exists, I have never found it. It hides from me). I feel short, I feel like my body is ill-proportioned, I dislike the color of my hair, I dislike the style of my hair, I dislike the length of my hair. I hate how my skin looks, I hate how most clothes fit me. I generally don't really enjoy looking at myself in the mirror because it turns into a lets-find-every-flaw-possible-and-probably-invent-a-few-that-don't-really-exist session.

[Note: for those who think I'm posting this as a way to fish for compliments, I am not. First of all, only about 4 people read this blog. Secondly I *believe only one of them has ever seen me in person. And thirdly, despite me feeling like I look like crap most days I have a dh that showers with me compliments, and even though he really means them, hearing compliments makes me feel worse and not better, so I certainly am not in any way looking for them. Instead I am being completely honest and not holding back - which I might add, I really do hold back a lot on this blog because sometimes I just don't want people to know what goes on in my head. Okay, I'm going to breathe again and return to point.]

I can usually avoid thinking about this issue as long as a)I am the one holding the camera. I don't like others being able to take pictures of me. And I really hate the people who insist on taking your picture even when you request they do not. b)I avoid mirrors as much as possible during the day and only take a fleeting glance when I pass them and c)I don't go clothes shopping unless necessary.

And today, I went clothes shopping. And it never fails. When I go, I pass up too many choices, thinking surely someone with my gross shape would never look good in that style. And then when I find something I like and I think might work, I grab the size I think I need and try it on. And every time I start with a size too big. Now, one might think having to go back for a smaller size would be a good thing. It's not. It sucks. It's a reminder to me of how far off my internal dialog is from apparently what is reality. Sometimes I actually have to go back a few times to get the correct size. I makes me insanely crazy truth be told. And then I feel stupid for being so stupid. And feeling stupid some how translates into me being more ugly and more fat and I get stuck in this cycle of hating myself and how I look.

And I hate it. And it makes me not like myself even more. And you know what worries me the most about it all ... will my girls pick up and this and think it is how they are supposed to feel as well? Aren't they going to get their cues from me? Now, I really do not say anything out loud when they are around. Well, okay, I'm sure I do, but I truly make a conscious effort to not say anything when they around. But I think my kids are pretty smart. And I think they pick up on the unspoken pretty gosh darn well. And then I feel like I must be failing them as a parent, which as you can imagine, leads me to think that I am a terrible mother which means I'm a terrible wife, which means I'm a terrible person, and I also happen to be ugly and fat and I'll ruin my childrens' lives because of it. See, almost every thought I have somehow comes back to this concept of I'm not smart enough, I'm not nice enough, I'm not thin enough, I'm not pretty enough. I'm just not. good. enough. period.

::sigh:: These thoughts in my head. They are not pretty. I don't know how to overcome them. I don't know how to contain them or tame them or just make them get a little bit better ... because even just getting them a little bit better would be nice on some days.

I suppose talking about it will help ... I hope so. This will not be an easy thing to post. I will probably think about it for several hours before falling asleep truth be told. I will fret over who will read this and what they will think of me now. I will debate about whether to come back and delete it. Even now my chest has a very tight feeling in it ... I mean, this is really a hard thing to write about. But I hope if I say it now and see that tomorrow the sun still rises, it will take away some of the sting and someday I can sit down and talk about how I really think I'm okay all around. Won't that be a lovely feeling?

Blah ...

First of all, winter decided to return to the Chicago-area. Thankfully we have been spared the snow that other parts are getting, but the temperatures are frigid. Today, when my dd was supposed to have her first t-ball class outside, it was 30 degrees with windchill of 15 degrees. Thankfully, they moved class indoors, but just walking from car to building was not fun.
Hopefully it will break next week.

Secondly, my uncle is not doing any better. Thankfully, he is not doing any worse, but we had been hoping for better by now. ::sigh:: I really hope something happens soon. I admit, I'm worried and I won't feel better until we get better news ...

Thirdly, to answer smoov, when I nap with the little guy, the two girls color, draw, play barbies, play with their American Girl dolls, play with their Polly Pockets, listen to music, dance, sing, and hang out. The only rules are no going outside. Thankfully, they are pretty good kids and do not take advantage of this ability. Usually, all three of us are in the same room anyway, so there isn't a whole lot they could get away with. I have been blessed with two girls that are pretty good with boundaries I have set up for them. Okay, so the older one is a bit lippy at times and has an attitude, but heck, she's still a great kid overall! I could never do this with babyboy. Never. Well, maybe some day. But I doubt it will happen anytime soon. I'm not sure I could do it when he hits 10. We'll see ... who knows precisely what the future can hold. But if his behavior today is any indication of what's to come, I'm in for a tough ride with that one. It's okay. His smile makes up for it!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I feel ...

completely worn out, tapped out, like someone zapped all my energy away.
The last few days I have been battling major headaches. I'll be fine one minute and the next it feels as if someone has taken a jackhammer to my brain. I just hope if someone is in there working, they are at least making things a bit nicer and maybe could expand the memory area so I could, ya know, stop forgetting so many things?

Anyway, thankfully there isn't much to do today, except laundry. It seems that no matter how much laundry I do, the pile never gets smaller.
And scrubbing the carpet since while I was working on the never-ending laundry pile this morning, my son got my 7 year old's lip gloss and spread it on the stairs. And then there is dinner to cook - since apparently my family likes to eat. The toys to put away, school to do, verses to practice, reading I want to do, etc, etc ...
Good thing there isn't much to do today @@ At least I'm thankful I have nothing that will take me away from home so despite it being 20 minutes to noon, despite having been awake for 4 hours now, I am still in my pajamas. And frankly, I have no intention of taking them off until tomorrow morning.

But now I must go ... and actually do something ... and maybe if I play my cards right I can squeeze in a nap with little man this afternoon ....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Prayers Needed ...

Last week my aunt (who happens to be my godmother) and her husband were in a head-on car accident.
Someone who was drunk, driving without a license, driving without insurance, and as it turns out happens to be an illegal immigrant in this country (which, is the least of his crimes IMO) swerved his car, crossed the line, and slammed into their car. And of course, not one freaking injury to him at all.
This man, this man I have never met, that I know so little about, but yet, know so much, has really, really, really, really pissed me off completely .... but enough about that ...

My aunt, being in the passenger side was not seriously injured. She was released from the hospital that night. Of course, she is covered on her left side with horrible looking bruises and feeling quite painful (especially around the lung area). My uncle however, well, things are not looking so well for him. He was brought to the hospital with many internal injuries, lots of things broken. It so happened he has been taking cumiden (not sure of spelling, but it's a blood-thinner) for 5 years. That meant they were trying to wait to operate on him until his blood could thicken up. And then they discovered he was bleeding internal. They transfused a lot of blood apparently and rushed him into surgery. After that they had him in what i assume is a medically induced coma and he was placed on dialysis and a respirator. For whatever reason, Saturday they decided to give him a hip replacement as his hip was completely shattered. Today they were supposed to take him off the respirator and allow him to be more aware of his surroundings.
Supposed to is the key word there. Last night things took a turn for the worse. He is in very critical condition. My aunt, who is oh, let's say frail to begin with, is not holding up so well (well, neither would I if I were her!). Despite all that had happened, until last night everyone was pretty upbeat about the situation - oh, yes, he had some serious injuries but he had made it through all the surgeries, the respirator was coming out, then we knew things would be okay after that.
Now, people are not upbeat about it. We are frankly, flat out worried and scared.
Please, please, pray for my aunt and uncle. Please.
Thank you.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Misc Ramblings ...

Hmmm ... I tend to do a lot of that these days ... but anyway ...

things here are going well. I can't believe it's April already though! FTR: not one person in my life played any April Fool's Day jokes on me today, which is good, because I am quite gullible and probably would have believed whatever someone tried to tell me.
Anyway, things here are good.

I got my office in order. (you can see some pictures of it over at if you are so inclined). That felt Wonderful. I mean, just completely wonderful to have the room set-up and ready for me to make lots of great things.

As far as my Bible challenge (reading it in 90 days) that is going well too. I am up to date on my reading ... I am in 1 Samuel now. It's nice to still be on track, although, I'm on only on day 20, but that is almost a third of the way through!

The only bad thing is that my son refuses to nurse. At all. He just stopped nursing on Thursday. Like that. No warning at all. To say I'm very sad about this, well, it might be an understatement. One day, he was nursing away great, the next he cried if I even so much as said the word milk. I know a new tooth has come in. I am secretly hoping it's a nursing strike and tomorrow he'll be back wanting to nurse, but I doubt that will happen. ::sigh:: It's hard to explain how sad I am about this, how sudden it all feels. And how full I actually feel. My body has not caught on to the fact that this part of my life is over. And I really feel like he is just done with it. He never was a great nurser to begin with, never spending enough time eating to be full because he wanted to be running around instead. And it hits me once again, this is it. He is my last child. I will never nurse another child again. And it feels me with a great amount of sadness :-( I cried about it yesterday. I will say my husband was great about it, cuddled with me, agreed it was sad but then tried to point out all the new cute, more grown up things our son is doing. And I really do appreciate it all the new things and the cute things, but I am really struggling to accept we will have no more children. And I think this whole not wanting to nurse thing is making it sting all a bit more.

::sigh:: But tomorrow starts a new week. Hopefully a good week. Full of fun and laughter and wonderful memories. As we celebrate spring and prepare for Easter. Then celebrate with family and friends all that is happening. As the house gets more and more put together, as I get out more with other mothers and women who I can talk to and share with, as we meet new neighbors, and make new friends, while remembering to call the old ones .... my family really is at an exciting time in our life. We are. And I try to remember that and hold onto that feeling. But there is a part of me that is sad and I don't want to ignore that part, but I don't want to dwell on it either ...