Friday, December 28, 2007

We love the Wii!

The Wii purchase is definitely the best gift we have bought/received in a long time. It is truly a family affair and I find myself fighting over my turn as much as the next family member, who is usually a child. I have worked up a sweat playing some of the games, I have had to rest after others, and another of the games I can only play twice in a row before my heart is beating so fast I am afraid of having a heart attack, I get short of breath and my arms will no longer move. I am afraid to try three times in a row, though it is one of my favorite games. I have had to become ambidexterous in some of the games in order to prevent my right arm from eventually looking like Popeye's and my left arm remaining the flacid, wimpy arm that it is! I woke up Wednesday morning with my right arm and shoulder hurting. So Wednesday afternoon I started playing some of the games with my left hand and I am now equally sore. Thursday, both arms hurt and my hands - I feel like I am typing with bricks on my fingers! If I keep it up, maybe I can Wii away a couple of unwanted pounds and firm up my arms, even if just a little. How long will it be before Nintendo Wii is advertised as a weight loss/cardiac workout machine? Sad that this is my major form of exercise, but, hey, it's better than nothing!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Party Time

One thing we missed while living elsewhere were parties. Our friends here in Cincy love to have parties. We have been to more parties in six months than I think we went to our entire time in KS. We did fun things in KS with friends, but they weren't the kind of people to have lots of people over for lots of food, beverages and general mayhem. Tomorrow we are going to a party, the 2nd one that this particular couple has hosted since we moved here in July. We have been to a variety of adult birthday parties and have three New Year's Eve invitations. Sometimes the kids go with us when there will be other kids for them to play with and sometimes we get a sitter and go the adults only route. We have been to a party with a band, a pool party, a Christmas party (and another tomorrow) and your general "let's get together and eat and drink, maybe play a game or two" party! We have celebrated friends turning 40 and 50. We have even hosted a party. In some ways, it's good to be back.

How did he know?

CJ: "Where are we going?"

Me: "To Mrs. Bauer's house. We're going to help her decorate for Christmas."

CJ: "Who is Mrs. Bauer?"

Me: "She's a friend from our old neighborhood."

Later we pull into Beth's driveway.

CJ: "This isn't Mrs. Bauer's house. This is Mary-Kate's house."

That last comment from CJ took my breath away. Beth is a good friend from our ex-neighborhood. Mary-Kate is her daughter who passed away from a brain tumor in June, 06 at the age of ten. As expected, the holidays are very difficult for this family and Beth was having a particularly hard time getting her house decorated, so I was going there to help her get their house ready for Christmas. When we moved from Ohio to Kansas in 2004, CJ was only eight months old and has no conscious memories of Mary-Kate. He has heard us talk about her and he participated in the the to benefit Children's Hospital on Team Mary-Kate. But how did he know Mary-Kate lived there? He has only been there once since we have been back in Ohio and I don't recall saying "this is Mary-Kate's house" when we went there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to Sous Chef!

Dec. 19, 1999, I entered the hospital the night before a scheduled induction. I ate a huge, late dinner from Wendy's. I didn't know when I would get to eat next being that my induction was scheduled for early morning and I knew they wouldn't feed me first. Motorcycle Guy hung around for a while and they hooked me up on the monitor, which was standard procedure. They told me I was having contractions, which I couldn't feel. (Believe me when I say that changes rather unexpectedly!) Motorcycle Guy hung out for a while then went home and sent home our babysitter, my best friend, Lora. Later into the night, I started feeling like things weren't going to go "as planned". I called Motorcycle Guy to come back. He called Lora to come back to babysit Big E. He got to the hospital and I was happy and chatty, but could definitely tell things were different. We both layed down to go to sleep. He was totally asleep when I sat up and could not catch my breath. I buzzed the nurse who started giving me options, but I couldn't even talk or think. She suggested an epidural so I could get some rest "before the induction in the morning." Sounded good to me. She started the IV's, alerted the anesthesiologist and called my doctor, who thankfully only lived a couple of blocks away, to let her know what was going on. About 30 minutes later, Sous Chef was born. The epidural was just going in when I said I was going to be pushing out a baby, not quite in those words. My doctor rushed in in time to be there for the last few minutes and our videographers, Oz and Mo, did the Hertz/OJ Simpson run through the hospital and got there in time to see me hold Sous Chef for the first time. Motorcycle Man did the video. Sous Chef was born at 2:44AM on Monday, December 20. He weighed 9 lbs. 9 oz. and was my "medium" size birth weight baby.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Picture time

Last night we had our neighbor friends come over to take our Christmas card picture. I asked them to be here in about ten minutes, as I had to get the kids dressed and Motorcycle Guy and I needed to change. I got everyone ready and went to get dressed when I looked in the mirror. Holy crap - I had totally forgotten I didn't wash my hair that morning (yes, I did shower!) and I had NO makeup on. So I did a quick makeup session and a fluff of the hair. All in all, it turned out pretty good.


I bought a new coat yesterday. I don't have a true winter coat. I have some cute winter coats and one is wool which is warm, but it's kind of dressy. I didn't really have a coat that was warm and could be worn with my pajamas out at the bus stop. So I ordered a coat from Land's End that will keep me warm in -5 degrees! I think it should do the trick!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let it snow - AGAIN!

Wow! Two snowstorms in less than two weeks! I am thrilled. They say it's supposed to snow about two inches this morning and then sleet/rain/ice this afternoon and then about 2-3 inches of snow tomorrow. This picture was taken after about one hour of snowing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Train Day

I am surrounded by three boys and a man who love trains. We have three train sets - a Lionel H scale train set that was Motorcycle Guy's when he was a kid, the wooden train tracks and trains and now we have some GeoTrax train sets. We have train vidoes and we watch train videos on You Tube. A few years ago, we took a 24 hour train ride from Kansas City to Arizona/Grand Canyon on an Amtrak train in a sleeping car. It was incredible, I do have to admit, and I see some more train trips like this one in our future. I highly recommend it to anyone considering a fun and exciting vacation.

Today, I took CJ to Holiday Junction - AKA the train display at Union Terminal downtown. He LOVED it. They had many different and HUGE train displays with different scales of trains. They also had a train ride that he rode at least five or six times. He got to pick out a train ornament for his Christmas tree ornament this year. We then went to Zips for lunch. These are OLD stomping grounds for Motorcycle Guy and I and I love this place. It also has a train that runs the perimeter of the ceiling. CJ had a blast and so did I.



Going to Union Terminal is quite an ordeal for me. My hands were sweating, my breathing was labored and I was nervous. In 2001, while visiting the Children's Museum with Big E and Sous Chef, and thankfully some neighbor friends and their children, I blacked out and had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance. It was a very traumatic experience for me on many levels. This was the day that led to brain surgery about four months later. I have only been there since then for a wedding that I was in. It required two visits in a row - one for the rehearsal and the next day for the wedding. Both times I practically hyperventilated before going into the building. I did much better today - no gasping for air or panic attacks, and I guess my self diagnosed PTSD has improved over the years. Once inside, I was able to relax and have a great time, knowing that I am healthy and safe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Interviews

I have not interviewed for a job since 1992! Since 1992, I have been the interviewER on literally hundreds of interviews. So I do have some interview practice, just on the other side of the desk. In the last week, I have been on two interviews. I recently responded to a notice I received in the mail regarding Licensed Massage Therapists at a new massage clinic opening about five minutes from my house. When the owner saw my Human Resources Management experience, he wanted to talk to me about management openings. So I did that last week. It was fun and I really liked the man. I was more than qualified for the job, and somewhat overqualified per our follow up discussion. However, I am not so sure I want to work full time just yet. I was honest with him about that and he hired someone else. He also let me know when we talked again yesterday that he wanted to keep my resume because when a higher level management position opened (ie: his, as he "backs" out of the management side in the future and focuses more on being "owner" of this and another location), that he wanted to talk to me again. He also told me that he really enjoyed meeting me and my leadership skills were admirable. It was nice to hear those things. It's been a long time since I've been in the working world and I often wonder if "I still got it". We then talked about me working as a massage therapist on a part time basis since that seems to be the better fit for both of us at this time. So today I "interviewed" for a massage therapist position with a manager from the Columbus location. I then had to give him a massage! Let me just say, I much prefer the talking interview. First of all, I have not given a full massage in about 3-4 years. I stopped working when we moved to Kansas in 2004 and I did very little prior to that since I had a little baby. Secondly, the conditions were less than desirable - temporary office space, no music, no dimming lights, no nothing. Just an interviewer on a table getting a massage from an out of practice LMT. One of two things happened - he either enjoyed the massage to the point of almost snoring/sleeping OR he was very content in focusing on his happy place to escape the pain and discomfort I was causing him. I don't know which. We will see what happens. They were interviewing quite a few people. The pay is not so great as this is a facility that is bringing massage to the general population and therefore has prices that are palatable to the average person. When you get paid based on a percentage of that fee, and the fee is not very high, income for the therapist goes down. However, it's more money than I am making now, considering I am doing zero massages, and they will let me work the schedule I want, which is perfect for me! I guess a potential offer depends on whether or not my "client" was relaxed and dozing, or escaping to an alternate universe until I could finish up my amateur massage.

And for anyone who is a would be or current massage client - make sure you rub the sock fuzz out from between your toes!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wii did it!

And by Wii, I mean Mii! I managed to win a bid on E-Bay this evening to buy a Wii. It was more than the store price, but not a lot and now I can stop hounding those nice boys at Target and Wal-Mart. I am so excited!

Weekend Holiday Stuff

Breakfast with Santa and decorating the house. We are in the mood for Christmas now.

"It's night time, you know what that means?" says CJ.
"That the sun went down?"
"No."
"That it's time for bed?"
"No."
"What?"
"That when we wake up tomorrow, Santa will have come."

I keep trying to explain to him that Santa will leave presents for him after he goes to bed on DECEMBER 24, not EVERY night in DECEMBER!

Big E did a great job of playing along today with Santa. He sat for the picture and even told Santa what he wanted for Christmas, since Sous Chef and CJ were sitting right there.

I really need a new tree skirt. I say that every year and every year I forget to buy one!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let it snow!

I live by the "winter belief" that if it's going to be cold and dreary and if the bushes and trees are going to be without leaves, then let it snow! We got about 2-3 inches on Wednesday and then on Friday about another inch with some ice first. Friday's little outburst resulted in a two hour school delay. I have decided I really prefer that school start time over having to be up and bustling kids out the door by 7:45AM. CJ and Sous Chef love playing in the snow, especially at the bus stop, while I am nestled warmly in our mini-van. Of course, I warm it up for 5-10 minutes before making that long drive to the bus stop. I am sure the neighbors think I am a total nut driving to the bus stop considering our house is across the street from it. I don't like being cold plus I don't feel like getting all bundled up over my pajamas, which my neighbors get to see on a daily basis during the warmer mornings when I do stand outside with Sous Chef. It's supposed to warm up and rain all weekend and be in the 50's early next week, so the snow will probably be gone today.

This morning we are going to have breakfast with Santa and Big E starts basketball practice. Other than that, a lazy weekend getting the rest of my Christmas decorations out and hopefully buying a Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Naked cats and the occasional naked body part

Sous Chef: "Is there anyone who is allergic to cats?"
Me: "Dad"
Sous Chef: "You said dad is allergic to FUR."
Me: "Yes, cat fur."
Sous Chef: "So he's allergic to CAT FUR. I'm talking about NAKED CATS. Is there anyone allergic to THEM?"

CJ: "Do you know where my penis is?"
Me: "Yes."
CJ: "Look, it's right here," pulling down his pants to show me.
Me: "Yes, there it is!"
CJ: "Is that where it belongs?"

I think I could probably write a blog titled "Kids Quotes" or something like that. My kids, like all kids, are constantly saying things that make me laugh, think, squirm and sigh. They also say things that make me proud, though I don't have a recent conversation like that to share.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is Santa real?

Big E: "Mom, Sous Chef says Santa is not real."
Me: "Why do you think that, Sous Chef?"
Sous Chef: "Because he looks different every year."
Me: "Yes, Santa does have a lot of helpers so they don't all look exactly alike because there are different helpers each year."
Sous Chef exits, stage left.

Me: "What do you think about that, Big E?"
Big E: "Hhhmmmm...I know Santa is real."
Me: "What about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy?"
Big E: "They aren't real. That's you."
Me: "So you know they aren't real, but Santa is? Does that make sense?"
Big E: "Yes, because he came to see us at our house in Kansas. He woke us up."
Me: "Maybe it was someone dressed up."
Big E: "No, because you and dad and Nana and Gramps were there with Santa."
Me: "You don't think that maybe that could have been Rusty?" (Rusty was our neighbor.)
Big E: BIG GRIN with "Are you SERIOUS?"
Me: "Yes."
Big E: "So you are Santa, too?"
Me: "Yes."
Big E: BIG GRIN and laughter.
Me: "So you see, Big E, Santa IS real. He's just not who you thought he was. It's me and dad. Someday, you and your wife will get to be Santa for your kids!"
Big E: BIG grin and laughter.
Me: "Won't that be fun?"
Big E: "Yes."

Days later:
Sous Chef: "Is Santa real?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Sous Chef: "Yes."
Me: "It's fun to believe in Santa, isn't it?"
Sous Chef: "Yes."

I know many families wrestle with what to do about Santa - believe or not believe, tell or not tell - for a variety of reasons. I am thankful Motorcycle Guy and I have never waivered on this. It never even occured to us to not let our children enjoy this part of the Christmas Season. Our children are very clear that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday and having Santa as a part of our Christmas celebration has not taken away that focus. I have never felt like we have lied to them about Santa. Mainly, because we have not said "Yes, Santa is real" in the sense of a living big, jolly man in red. We have let them enjoy the magic of a big, jolly man in red delivering the presents of their dreams, knowing that someday we would reveal the fact that the magic of that big, jolly man is us. And knowing that the day would arrive when we would get to share with them that Santa IS real in the hearts of their parents and that we have enjoyed every moment of being "their" Santa. And we are excited for them, that in the future, they will get to do the same for their children!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

All Wii want for Christmas!

I, along with God knows how many other people, am hoping to buy a Wii for Christmas this year. I have vowed not to become "that" shopper. You know the ones I am talking about - line up outside before the sun rises and then cram through the doors of your local retailer and step on and over your fellow shoppers to get the the 50 Wiis that are available to the 150 shoppers that have been standing outside since before the sun came up. What I am doing is talking to the retailers, finding out when deliveries are made through the week, not the weekend, and am hoping to happen upon one without any big ruckus. Me and God knows how many other people. If it turns out this becomes an Easter gift, which we don't really buy gifts like this for, so be it. We will have to make it clear to our kids, if that happens, that this is a very special Easter and not expect another one like it during their childhood!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Turning 50?

Motorcycle Guy's best friend turns fifty this week. We will be going to his party today and tonight. Motorcycle Guy is there right now. It is at a lodge in a local park. They are playing frisbee golf this afternoon, then around 6:00 they are having a catered dinner and after dinner, there will be a band. Personally, I can't go this early because I would be passed out by 6:00 and I am the designated driver!!!Other than that, there isn't a whole lot going on.