Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Sloppy Kisses!

First let me introduce you to My niece's new (a couple months) Puppy. He is a tiny fur ball of the YORKIE kind and they call him HUDSON ( kind of a big sounding name for a peanut of a dog right?)
Look at that sweet little face - he just screams PAMPER ME!!!

Corin came across this store in Saratoga Springs Called Sloppy Kisses. It is Treat Boutique for Dogs.

It is a place to take Man's best furry friends when you are looking for a treat, a leash, clothing, a gift basket etc. to pamper them. Corin took along my oldest and middle children when they went to pick up a little MET'S baseball cap they bought for Little Hudson. ( you can't even imagine how cute it looks on him). The kids thought it was really great, and Corin was nice enough to let my little monsters pick out 2 Gourmet treats to bring home to our Dog, Sandler. If sandler was human? - he would be the obese guy at the party that goes around finishing up the leftovers on peoples plates and heading back up to the buffet for dessert 3 times. He eats everything in site. We can't leave ANY food out unattended. There is no mystery in our house of where the missing cookies went that were not put back in the cupboard! So when Corin and the kids came home from Sloppy Kisses with these Gourmet ORGANIC dog treats...I had to giggle....seemed like kind of a waste of money on our dog. We don't monitor too much of what goes in his mouth. That would be a full time job. But it was very nice of her anyway - and Vivian couldn't wait to give Sandler what she had picked out for him!
Viv picked the donut and Kyle picked the ducky cookie.

The donut looks like one that came right from dunkin donuts - you would never know without touching it that that it wasn't soft and squishy

It came in this nice Boutique box with a ribbon on top.
And as you can see from these pictures, Sandler was quite impressed........He was probably also a little confused at first - "ok? they are intentionally going to GIVE me this donut? - I don't have to wait until they can't see me to snatch it? what's the catch?"

Ok Fat buddy - Organic treats are gone - you are back to the usual stealing goodies from babies and snatching that oh-so-easy because it's-right-near-the-edge-of-the-table, slice of Pizza!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

wait a minute....it will come to me....

warning: - just a silly post

Have you ever had that "just on the tip of my tongue" feeling? Do you think it's annoying?

I happen think these situations are kinda fun. I don't know why. During those moments of agony when you are trying to think of a name, a movie, a song title.....I go pretty nuts. Why? because I just HAVE TO think of the answer before I can rest.

Whether I am trying to tell a story and get stuck because of a name of someone that's related to someone, that's a friend of a friend.....yada yada, or if someone else is telling me a story and it conjures up a memory of some movie that I can't think of the title to........I will not rest until I have come up with that name/title/song etc.

Just the other day, I was riding home from work with my sister, and she went through this exact scenario. I said a person's name, Corin said - "oh I think I know her. I think she was friends with (so and so) her kids were in her wedding....husband's name was blah blah blah..... oh man why can't I think of her name?" ---------meanwhile, all of that had nothing to to with what I was trying to talk about.........and come to find out, as I continued on with my story, Corin was too preoccupied with remembering the woman's name to even listen to me.

Truth is, this is exactly how I get! I start playing the word association game in my head to try and pinpoint the words I am searching for. I do this with movies and actors quite often. I am pretty good at remembering lines from movies, or when I hear a song on the radio that brings me back to a great movie moment....."Take my breath away" that song immediately makes me think of the movie Top Gun. (back when I thought Tom was the yummiest and not the freakiest) that would then lead me to try to remember the actress in the movie......and so on. Its almost like I am trying to stump myself.

I may not get my answer soon....it could be hours later, after I'm not even thinking about it anymore......
My favorite part of this weirdness is the moment that it "POPS" into my head. The answer will literally just fall off my tongue, almost like I had no control of it. Almost like my brain went through all the files in my head searching for the answer, finally found it, and just throws it at me to relieve the pressure! lol .....That is the best feeling. "aaahhh, phew, man that was a tough one".

I think this is why I enjoy Crumbs in the Minivan's daily song title - she challenges you to think of the singer. a lot of them I have no idea, and that doesn't drive me nuts. But if I know I know it, I won't rest until I think of it.

That aha moment! it makes me giggle!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Science Fair

Ok so (we) Kyle signed up to enter the science fair like 6 weeks ago. It was open to any kind of project he wanted that had anything to do with science.......His first choice was (enthusiastically) a Volcano...mom doesn't know how to help make a volcano. I suggested a poster all about his bee keeping and the importance of bees. (we have tons of bee keeping pictures he could use). "ummmm.......NO!"

So I searched the Internet for science projects that would be easy enough for a first grader to create, and still know what the heck it was about. ---found the Volcano ..... sounded expensive .... acted like I didn't find the volcano.

I did find a Rock Candy experiment. Kyle thought it sounded cool, so we attempted it. we used lots and lots of sugar....a little bit of water......boiled the crap out of it until it was a syrup....then put it in a jar with string hanging down. (we followed the directions). We waited like 2 weeks for the "crystals" to start climbing up the string to start forming the "rock Candy"........ then we waited another week .......... NOT even one crystal formed. BAD science project!

So then we were down to like two and 1/2 weeks left. ummm... we were pretty lax about it.

Thursday night after we finished Homework, I mentioned to kyle that we needed to decide quickly about the science project.
Kyle: How many days left?
Me: 4 days!
Kyle: We should have started this sooner!
me: No kidding!

I so perfectly popped the idea of the bees back into his head. I reminded him that we had all the pictures, and he could bring in a jar of our honey, and a piece of the comb, and his bee net hat. I also reminded him that the judges would be going around asking questions about the projects and the kids are supposed to be able to answer them. - He would have no trouble talking about the bees. He is an expert now.

He agreed to make it his science project (UN-enthusiastically). I was relieved - No! not because I had won.....but because I knew it would be easy for me him.

Over the weekend, we traveled to AC Moore to get our supplies....glue dots, yellow poster board, foam board, and a fresh set of markers. (the ride home from this shopping trip deserves it's own post due to the fact Kerrigan was miserable - we found out why in the car - she puked all over herself (the real stinky kind) her car seat and her bag of lunch. I had to pull over, kyle climbed out quickly while gagging, I stripped her naked, sat her on a sweatshirt back in her seat, and had my mother continue driving us the rest of the way while I sat in the back with a plastic bag, "catching" the 2 more puke episodes. - not fun)

Kyle had a great time with the glue dots. Some of them were even used on the poster. He also insisted on drawing some of his own pictures....... it was a great Idea! - then in his own words, he described each of our pictures and the importance of the bees. This part was not his favorite... oh he had such "hand cramps after all that writing" boo hoo. (somewhere around the eleventh hour of him whining about all the writing, I was wishing we had just done the damn Volcano!).

Here is the finished project.......

Notice Kyles original artwork in the middle section. ( this was our first big project - it was a little hard for mom to let him do it without help. All I did was make sure the pictures were pretty straight.)

The things on the table are a jar of our honey and a piece of the honey comb. Kyle wore his bee keeping hat during the whole fair. (I couldn't get a picture of him with his project because it was extremely crowded in that little library with 15 to 20 science projects + the kids and their families.

I was VERY happy when I noticed that 5 other children had done Volcanoes ....... and none of them won.

Kyle didn't win either........1st, 2nd and 3rd place got gift certificates to a book store.......but he did get a certificate for participating, and a little bag of goodies with some gross goopie stuff that he was very happy with. On the way home, I told kyle I think he was a winner because he did something original. No one else had a bee project, and everyone that walked by was genuinely interested in his poster and his hobby. (deep down I was happy he didn't blame me for not winning...since I did have to coax him into the bee idea....phew.)

Another thing I learned about the school science fair?- never bring kerrigan again!!!!! - She was a little monster. - She wanted no part of being cooped up in that library..... She finally coped when I took her to the little kids book section and let her pick out her own books......I pity the librarian that had to deal with that aftermath.

Vivian was an angel :0)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Change is nice

This nice Color yellow here is the new look of our hallway. (off the living room, on your way to the rest of our house.) When we redecorated the living room (about 5 years ago) We didn't continue the new paint into the hallway. I think the reason was LAZINESS lack of enough paint. Then we put up fresh new wood trim throughout the living room. we didn't continue that project into the hallway either. I think the reason for this was LAZINESS lack of time. So last week, when Gary brought up the fact that he still had enough wood to finish the hallway, and threw out the idea of a fresh paint job at the same time, I jumped on the thought. Hey any time a husband is willing to start a home improvement project - Don't dilly dally or the moment will be lost for years who knows how long. So Thursday I ran to Home depot on my lunch hour. Picked out the nice yellow to compliment the red we have in the living room. ( I have never picked out paint that fast in my life - a time limit is good for me). When I got home from work, Gary had all the old trim off the walls. All I had to do was take down the pictures, wait for all three kids to fall asleep, and start painting at 10:00 at night. (Kyle fought off sleep extra hard that night)
I finished the second coat at about 1:30am and flopped myself into bed.
Hey - you gotta paint when the painting is good. (when all 30 tiny fingers are asleep.) As of today, Gary has most of the new trim up. It looks MArvEloUS! I absolutely love the red and the yellow together. Yellow is my favorite color to begin with, but that shade is now my most favorite. There is just something about the feeling you get after painting a room in the house. It makes me want to keep going to the other rooms that need a face lift. money prevents me from getting too excited, but for now, I have been hanging out in the hall a lot. All of those dreams about knocking down walls, and making a new living room - they just got Color added to them!

Friday, March 20, 2009

To My Boy Turning 7.....

Your Birthday is tomorrow....You are turning 7. I can't believe how the years fly by. 7 is half of 14....ooooooh, I'm not going to think about THAT!....I think I will just reflect on the year at hand. So much can happen in one year. Oh how a boy can Grow.

tomorrow, we will perform our annual height measuring tradition on the door casing. I will know the exact # of inches you have grown this year. I can already guess by the rising hem of your pants that it will be a good 2 inches, at least.

lets take a walk down memory lane:
You had a summer full of independence. we felt pretty comfortable that while the girls were at daycare, and Daddy needed to catch up on sleep from coming off the night shift, you would be able to get along with a little less supervision. You had complete control of your bedroom, the living room remote, and the refrigerator. you got really good at pouring your own drinks, making your own tuna sandwiches, and memorizing the channels with all the great cartoons. Dad was on hand if you needed him, but for the most part, you were a big boy for a few hours a day.

You discovered and enthusiastically embraced the world of beekeeping. A hobby passed down from grampa Hoddie to grampa mark, and now onto you. I am so happy that you learned how interesting and necessary the "art" of bee keeping is...Grampa Hoddie is smiling from above.

You bravely entered the first grade, leaving all the little hang-ups of Kindergarten behind. Quickly becoming an A student - You were able to flourish, to shine, to be yourself and leave your mark. I'm sure you are known as the handsome boy with all the animal knowledge and the love of Show and Tell!

You discovered that the ride to school every day doesn't have to be driven by mommy. But you also had to learn that the school bus can be a jungle and the best way to stay safe is to say no to the kids destined for prison beasts that are out to corrupt you.

You continued to enrich your knowledge of animals and nature by becoming an avid surfer.....of the Internet that is. Which in turn gave you lessons in the difference between appropriate and inappropriate Internet content. Luckily you mostly learned that if you need information, it is only a click away....mommy had to pull out a bunch of encyclopedias!

We squeaked through another Christmas filled with the magic of Santa. You asked once, with the look of doubt, "does he really exist?" I put it in your hands to decide. without too much discussion, you chose to still believe. I don't know how much longer you'll play along.

You tried your hand (and feet) at Karate, and found yet another activity you excel in. I thoroughly enjoyed watching you try so hard and succeed in a sport that requires such self control and coordination. You looked like a natural, and I hope you choose to continue in it. It was also another chance for you to see how talented you are.

Unfortunately this year you also had to endure lessons in loss. First the loss of Camo the Chameleon, then Lila the turtle, and then the loss of Grampa Earl. I thought you handled yourself very well, and with great spiritual perspectives. I was proud to see that my Son knows how to wear his heart on his sleeve, and isn't afraid to show compassion. When you were told that grampa Earl had cancer, It was sad but cute to hear that you offered our last jar of honey to be given to him because you had read on the Internet that honey prevents cancer. It's moments like that, that I see into the future to the man I hope you will become, and I smile.

I know, I know, this sounds like you had a perfect year. - were you ever naughty? - Did you ever get sent to your room? - Were you ever mean to your little sisters??- of course you were, but that is the beauty of what a mom remembers..... oh we remember it all,.... but we like to reflect on the times that matter most.

With each passing birthday, I feel like I should be becoming this "seasoned Mother". But you were my first! and with each passing Birthday, I just realize how much we as parents continue to grow right along with you. I savor the years gone by, and Look forward to our new adventures....and hope to god you stay so sweet. Love ya Kyle - Happy birthday!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You've Got A Friend In Me

I Consider my dad (one of the greatest men in the world) to be what I call a SEMI-BLOGGER. meaning he doesn't have his own actual blog, but he is a faithful follower and commenter. (i love the commenters) He checks my blog daily, as well as my sister's ( A Walk In The Park - to which he is often a main character as she reports about their journey to becoming 46ers) I also believe Dad can be found as a "lurker" to many of the blogs that I follow as well. My point is, he is familiar with the blogging world and is a supporter from behind the scenes (as are many of my other lurkers). It was at Mom and Dad's house that I checked the blog and found out that a fellow blogger had awarded me with a friend badge! (I will get to that in a moment). This lead us to a discussion about blogger friends. We talked about how I check in with my blogger friends each day, leave comments that may include words of encouragement if needed, or maybe just an acknowledgement of a job well done. I, myself, often spill my guts in a post that may open a window into my own hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations or quite often a chance to talk about the kids, the family and all sorts of parenting issues. I have taken the time to find other blogger friends with the same interests, the same passions, and the same chaotic home life.

OK? - isn't this what we do in non-computer life when we look for a friend to "hang out with" (like I have time for that anymore) to schedule "play dates" with? to go for a drink (or 5) with? Yup - and This brought my dad to his point. Chances are, I am NEVER going to MEET THESE PEOPLE!!!. HE thinks this is very SAD.

I don't really consider it sad - I might even find it comforting that we may never meet face to face. When I "talk" to these blogger friends, I can do so in my PJ's - with my hair unbrushed. I can log on if I feel like it - or not. I can spend the time editing what I want to say so it comes out just the way I want it to. (I wouldn't be able to do that face to face). And I can actually finish a sentence on the computer without the children interrupting. if they do interrupt, I can resume the thought 3 hours later if I need to. I can't tell you how many times I have been frustrated when company comes over, we start to talk, and all of the sudden I am needed in three different directions. The conversation gets completely lost.

I realize that blogger friends don't replace the tangible friends I have in life - but that is another beauty of blogging. I rarely have time to call up my childhood friends and "catch up". If I did, I'm sure as soon as the phone touched my ear, I would be needed in three different directions. A lot of my closest friends as well as family are blog followers! I have given them the link to the blog and they can check in on our lives when it is convenient for them. I know they enjoy it, and let's face it - I wouldn't be calling up Samantha (who needs to start her own blog so I can keep up with her life) at mid-night (when I would have peace). So I think this is a very convenient alternative. I wish all of my friends had blogs! Aside from the Friendly part of blogging, I believe it is great THERAPY!!!!! and I highly recommend it!

now for the friendship badge I received:

Cheryl Gave me this new award. We are rather new blogging friends and she gave it to me because she likes our common love for Dancing With The Stars.
Thank you Cheryl!

here are the rules:"These blogs are exceedingly charming. The kind of bloggers that aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of the prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award".

I will now pass this award on to:

Corin: She is my Sister, but "Sisters share the gifts of friendship and family, kindness and caring, laughter and love. Sisters share the things that matter most in life."
so she gets this award because I don't know what I would do without her.

Jennifer: over at oily ducks oily dog. She gets this award because I admire her courage and value her friendship. her sense of humor and insight are always uplifting to my day.

Reagan: Reagan not as in Ronald is my only favorite niece. I am so proud of her for starting her own blog. I always look forward to a peek into a 9 year old with such "spark" 's outlook on life. Keep up the good work!

Momma: Live laugh pull your hair out. I was first drawn to her blog by the title. sometimes that is exactly how I feel. I really enjoy hearing about her children and all that they do. She has quite the adorable family and we share a love for photographing their every move!

Tracey: Just another Mommy Blog was the very first blog I started following who was a complete stranger. I often find myself laughing out loud at her take on life. She has a great sense of humor and knows how to project it into her writing perfectly. I look forward to reading her blog daily. (she already got this award from cheryl as well, so it's ok if she doesn't take mine - but it is here)

Crumbs: in the minivan. I give her this award because I find her stories about her children entertaining and she always gives a challenge to her readers. She titles her posts from song titles and gives you a chance to guess who sang it. I find that fun.

Buried with children: I think I like this blog for the reality check. Just when I think my life is chaotic, I can check out her blog and see that my life is pretty mellow compared to one with a set of triplets plus a big brother. - that girl must appreciate the "blog therapy".

In the Trenches: This blogger taught me how to put that fancy line through through words to add a little sarcasm. She also has 3 children and is a working mom. I feel like I identify with her quite often and she has a great sense of humor as well.

So there are my blogger award recipients. Thanks everyone for keeping me sane! Some of you I am related to, some I have met and are already friends with, and some of you I will never lay eyes on other than a picture. - but in the blogging world of friends, we are all on the same page! (ha ha ha)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Steve-O has Gotta G-O

I know he had an injury, and that is why he couldn't dance LIVE last night. But it is going to be a long season with much more dancing to come, and if he can't even make it to week two - He must go home tonight!!! I think the Judges agreed......4.....4.....4.

Maybe if he hadn't spent so much of his youth jumping off high buildings to see if he would break anything, or letting someone push him down a big hill - stuffed in a shopping cart just to see how funny the crash would be,......his body might be a little better equipped to swing around the dance floor.

Good bye Steve-O ! (I hope).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'll be the judge...

AAhhhh another season of Dancing With The Stars got under way last night. My family and I have made this show a weekly event each season. We will gather at the farm, only speak during commercials, and eat great snacks until we are sick. Of course we fancy ourselves as quite the Ballroom Dancing experts now, and we have already spotted our favorites. And I can already tell you who should be on their way out ASAP........

Steve Wozniak - "THE WOZ" - co founder of the Apple Computer. Smart guy, but unfortunately he is my pick to exit first. Just look at Karina's face! She knows this will be short lived.

Ty Murray - Pro Rodeo Cowboy (and husband to Jewel who bowed out early due to injury). Until the computer guy danced, I thought for sure this guy had to go first. Very stiff. Too worried about the good ol' boys laughing at him. When he goes home, he will secretly be happy and will never let his wife talk him into something like this again.
Lil' Kim - Rap Star (...gag...) This was the first dancer of the season. She is partnered with one of my favorite professionals. She has potential, and I will be able to enjoy her as long as I don't have to listen to her talk. She could be in my top 5
Shawn Johnson - Gymnast - only 17 years old. I know Marc will be able to bring this girl pretty far. She is very flexible, and she has that competitive edge that has helped other athletes do very well in past seasons. She is cute, I think they have good chemistry
Melissa Rycoff - Dumped by the Bachelor on Monday - Dancing with the stars by Friday! She only had 2 days to learn her dance and she did fantastic. It is about time they paired Tony with someone who will get him past week 4. They are one of my fav's too.
Gilles Marini - OH MY GOD! - I want this guy to make it to the end. The eye candy alone is worth the whole season!! I was going to skip all the hype about the Sex in the City Movie, But now that I know this guy has a shower scene it it? - oh yeah - I'm gonna watch it! (oh if I could only be Cheryl for an hour)
Holly Madison - yuck! - Hop on back to the playboy mansion honey!
not a lot of rhythm, just a lot of boobs!
STEVE - O - apparently one of the Jackass clan. I can't help but think he was just Dared to do this by Johnny Knoxville. I don't think he will last long. I'm hoping he goes on week 3
Belinda Carlile - 80's icon - "ooohhh heaven is a place on earth" - yeah you remember her! She will have to come out of her shell real quick to keep up with the other ladies. I wish her luck!
Chuck Wicks - Country Singer - I've never heard of him, but he's cute. He's Julianne's real-life boyfriend. And he's not a bad dancer. As long as their rehearsals don't revolve around them loving each other, I hope he sticks around
Lawrence Taylor - Football Star - Been compared to Emmit Smith. but he's got a long way to go if he is going to get as good as Emmit. Hopefully he will improve - I'd like to see more.
Denise Richards - Actress - The only reason for her to stick around is to be able to look at Maxim for longer. Other than that, she has already shown she is a cryer if max pushes her too hard. I hope that doesn't mean the judges will go easy on her. David Alan Grier - Comedian - I enjoyed him Very much. He looks like he's got a lot of potential and could go to about the middle of the season. Hopefully his fan base from In Living Color helps him by voting. Very funny man!
Well, that's it folks - How many of you will be tuning in faithfully? - Lets see how far my favorites go. - so far I have been pretty accurate in seasons past.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Potty Talk....Interested?

Last week I told you that Kerrigan had gone pee on the potty. Well, I can update you on her progress...She has actually peed directly on the toilet about 6 times now, along with one poop claim coming from my 10 yr old niece who monitored one bathroom trip.
You know, they say one of the signs for potty training readiness is when the child shows an interest. OH BOY is she interested. Not consistently, but that will come with practice. Kerrigan is only 20 months old, but she takes after her older sister who showed her interest at 18 months. And with all of the kids using the toilet in the house, She wants to be a big girl too! - thank goodness.....I can't wait to be done with messy diapers. I have been dealing with them for 7 straight years!

Lets see....It usually goes a little like this;

Kerrigan: standing w/ blank look on face, feels herself pee in her diaper, looks at me very surprised "POTTY!!!!"

Me: "OK get going!" as we run down the hall to the bathroom

She gets the stool ready, I pull her pants down, WET diaper off, and help her straddle and balance on the toilet.

Kerrigan: whispering and trying to push something out "Mommy sit." pointing to the side of the tub. I guess that is my post.

Me: "come on out pee pees"

Kerrigan: "eeerrrghhhu... nope....no pee....nope" shrugs her shoulders, gets off the toilet.

Me: "nice try, maybe next time"

Kerrigan: "VIPE! VIPE!" crumpling up the paper and wiping about 5 times. then flush.

You would think that the next step would be to put on a new diaper, pull up pants, and wait.....ahh haa...I have gotten wise to this routine. It goes something like this:

once we leave the bathroom, we might get half way back down the hall before she starts dancing and saying potty again. So back in we go, this time I have left her with just her shirt on, so we hop up on the toilet.....a couple more grunts, "nope no pee...nope", get down, Vipe Vipe again and flush. This time we get back to the livingroom, sit down, get comfortable for maybe 2 minutes......."POTTY. come mommy!" and we do it again 2 more times. FINALLY, about the 5th time we try to go, out comes a little pee!!!! YAY! POTTY DANCE! Hi Five! Big Smiles..
Sometimes we can put the diaper and pants back on at this point, sometimes little bull just wants to be naked for a while. depends on where we are at the time.

So this has been my weekend routine. I'm glad she is so interested, and I know it will get easier once she is more familiar with the urging signs. With Vivian, she was interested real young, it took a lot of time to dwindle down the accidents, but she was fully trained without accidents by 2 1/2. I guess this is just how my girls do it! Vivian is a big help too. She is a good cheerleader.

Friday, March 6, 2009


On a typical Calendar, one can find a special day in September set aside for Grandparents. Some may see this day as one to tell grandparents they are special, they are loved, or perhaps they are missed. I guess this is sort of like an addition to Mother's or Father's Day. I myself tend to neglect this day on the calendar. Not on purpose. But to tell you the truth, I didn't even pay attention to it until I had children of my own.

Grandparents Most certainly have a special place in our hearts. Both Living and passed on. Although I am terrible at remembering Grandparents in September, I think I make up for it in the month of March........

Gramp VanDenburg
August 27 1913 ~ March 4 2009

(parents of the bride 1975)

This is a picture of my Grandparent in-laws. Madolyn and Earl VanDenburg. I never had the pleasure of meeting Madolyn. She passed away just previous to my meeting Gary. But I did have the pleasure of getting to know and love Earl. Over the years, he amazed me with his Independence. When I met him he was already 78 years old.

"Earl enjoyed camping and many summer days spent at "the camp site" along the Hudson River. He played a little golf in his day, drowned a few worms, and enjoyed trips into hunting camp where many great stories were born. Earl possessed a quick wit and we were often amused by his "one liners" and astute observations." - Dorothy VanDenburg (taken from his obituary)

Earl passed away this week. Just about a month after being Diagnosed with Brain Cancer. In some respect the swiftness somehow becomes a blessing, although it doesn't make it any easier on the Family. When a loved one has cancer, you feel helpless. It doesn't seem natural at first to "accept" that there is nothing in your power you can do to save someone you love. Turns out the only thing you can do is "help". Your job now is to help them through their last days. Make sure they are comfortable, see to it in the most obvious of ways that they know how much they are loved. Take care of them in much of the same way they took care of you in the first days of your life. My husband and his family did a great job taking care of Grampa Earl these past few weeks. They should all be very proud of the way they showed him there love when he needed it most.

The scene was all too familiar for me. I too lost my Grandfather to Cancer. The Anniversary of his passing will be 4 years this coming Sunday.

Grampa Hoddie

April 8 1923 ~ March 8 2005

My Daughter Just turned 4 two months ago, but oddly it seems like she has been with us forever. Grampa Hoddie has been gone 4 years now, and it still feels like yesterday. I am confident that he knows how much he was loved. sometimes It comforts me to think he is still a part of our lives, just on a different level. We have traditions we will never break because they were special to him, we started new traditions in his honor that I know he would be proud of. He is deeply missed every day of the year.......But when the 8th comes around, either March or April, we pause for extra prayers, extra "messages to heaven", some of us advocate harder for people to schedule their colonoscopies, and most of us start thinking about making his favorite bean and potato soup.

March 8th is also My Grandmother's Birthday. This year Gramma Claire will be 84. - As we grieve for our grandfather, we go the extra mile to lift the sadness of that date and continue to make it a celebration of her birthday, which she now also shares with one of her great great grandchildren. Coincidentally, before my Father's Mother passed away, she also shared the March 8th Birthday.

So as you can see, The first week of March is a rough one around my house. But as the years go by, we find new ways to Celebrate their LIVES. It is a week of Grandparents. Letting them know they are loved, they are special, and they are missed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rough and Tough

I was so happy to receive all the generous feedback about Kerrigan's B&W photo that I had entered in the I heart Faces contest - Thanks everyone. I'm glad you think she's cute too!

One faithful commenter - Tracey - said "she certainly looks angelic...is it an accurate depiction?" I responded "to me she is an angel, but she has been referred to by her siblings as "one rough tough mean baby!"
This comment got me thinking about that little pint sized personality, and I just had to chuckle... at just 20 months old, She does carry quite a presence with her.

Daddy: "who's a pain in the butt?"
Kerrigan: "MEEEE"

She grunts and groans while she plays with her babies - these noises make you well aware of the hard work and effort she has to put forth to take care of those 25 baby dolls now living under her bedroom roof!
(where does she get that from?)

She doesn't just stroll through the house - head and belly are thrown forward, arms down and slightly back, feet are quick - this girl knows where she's headed!

unfortunately, whatever Brother and Sister have, want, need, think they own, ....They BETTER look like SHARING with little SIS!!! (she knows how to get what she wants) hopefully daddy and I can try to correct tweak this stubborn feature before poor Vivian starts to think that nothing can truly just be her's alone.

The babysitter even (affectionately) calls her "LITTLE BULL"

her softer side:

When I step in the door after working all day, Kerrigan runs from across the living room with arms stretched way out yelling "MOMMMMMMYYYYY"! in the sweetest, turn any bad day perfect, little toddler voice. - (sometimes it takes the other two a whole 2 minutes to notice I have come home)

When it's bed time and I lay her down in her crib, I get a big kiss and at least 3 hugs before she lets me exit the room. I always want to go back for more, because I know she has more to dole out, but I make myself leave so not to disrupt the routine. (man is that hard to resist).
This little person with all her cuteness and enthusiasm, coupled with her persistence and gumption is certainly going to grow up with the world (and some young man) eating out of the palm of her hand. I know she's already got daddy wrapped around a few of her fingers.
by the way ~ big news ~ "Little Bull" peed on the potty for real last night!!!!! Kyle, Vivian, and I all did the "potty dance" for her and handed out some stickers! ~ oh please let this be the beginning of the end of diapers :0)