Friday, March 28, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

We spent two days this week at the Great Wolf Lodge. This is the second Great Wolf Lodge we have been to. This one is newer and bigger than the one in Kansas, but is also extremely similar. The one difference was they have a water rollercoaster. Unlike a water slide, which uses height and gravity to slide you from the top of the slide to the bottom, the water rollercoaster is what it sounds like, a rollercoaster on water. You start at the top and go down, but then you go back up again and you can feel the water suck you UP the hill, but the water is flowing down. It's weird and even Motorcycle Guy, with his science/physics oriented mind, couldn't explain how it worked. Big E swears there is a conveyor belt that whips you back up the hills, but I didn't see it and I was looking very closely. Anyway, against all warnings posted, I rode it. Just once. It's fast and it even makes sounds similar to a traditional rollercoaster. It's fast, it's bumpy, it's curvy and I screamed a lot. I also prayed a lot - that I would not undo any previous surgery benefits. I was thrilled, as this is about the max of what my brain can handle, literally. They even had netting over the non-tunneled areas, I assume to keep you from flying off of the slide in the rare event you decide not to hold on to your raft OR that someone who shouldn't be riding the ride, ME, goes unconcsious flying up and down the hills and through the curves.

So on day two, when I realized I would survive the day one rollercoaster ride, I decided to ride the slide that my children, and many others, referred to as the "toilet bowl" slide. This was also not at the previous Great Wolf Lodge we went to. You ride on an innertube, we rode on one for two, and you go down a little hill, then you go careening STRAIGHT down (each time I rode this, which was twice, the only thing I could do at this point was say "uuuuggghhhh" as my guts were catapulted into my throat from the force of the drop) and then turn and are spat out into a large toilet bowl. You then go around the bowl until you are sucked into the exit tube, in my case, backwards both times, and down through the exit. It was so fun! I rode it tiwce, once with Sous Chef and once with Big E.

I also rode one other big slide which used a large round raft that held five people. It was only Big E and I, but it was fun. It was a smooth and slow ride. CJ was also big enough this year to ride some of the big slides. He was happy to be able to keep up with his brothers on a few of the slides. Some he was still too small for, though. Next year, maybe.

They also had a wave pool, which all three kids and Motorcycle Guy enjoyed. I spent a good day of the second day trying to stay dry. I can only stand that continuous wet/damp feeling for so long before I want to go screaming from the building. I am reminded of a couple things while at the Great Wolf Lodge: First: damn, I look good in a swimsuit. I do not say this lightly, as I have serious issues with my figure that need some major work! However, compared to about 80% of the general GWL population, I look better than I give myself credit for. I would guess of that 80% that I am comparing myself to, 50% of them were YOUNGER than me. I would hate to see them when they are 40 and have birthed another child or two. The second thing: Motorcycle Guy is afraid of getting man boobs.




Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Diamonds are a girl's (almost) best friend!

What's really great is when you get to shop FOR diamonds WITH your best friend. That's what I got to do last night. Life is good. I finally got around to replacing my lost diamond earring. I was able to upgrade my 1 ct. earrings to a higher quality 1.5 ct. pair of diamond earrings! With the insurance money and trading in the remaining earring, it's only going to cost me a few bucks. I am so excited. I am having the stones reset in a different pair of posts and then I'm ready to go. They should be done within a week. Yippeee!

Monday, March 24, 2008

NOLA? Boston? Stay put?

Yes, I think I truly am developing an ulcer. Or at the very least, some serious heartburn and a nervous tic (or two). Motorcycle Guy has been made a rather lucrative offer to leave his current employer for a company that spun off from his current employer. The position would be located in New Orleans and is something he is interested in doing. But New Orleans? I have been once and really should have paid more attention, which is hard to do when you have both hands juggling yummy adult beverages and you are focusing on trying not to spill them while treading your way through 1,000's of Mardi Gras partiers and watching parades, all at the same time. Add to it that recent memories of NOLA include hurricane deaths and destruction and one has to wonder why anyone would live there? With all of that, though, I am still a little excited about the thought of living there.

Boston, you ask. He will be interviewing for a position in Boston next week. If an agreeable offer comes through for this position, he would stay with his current employer and we would relocate. Possibly for three years, but we think we would potentially make it permanent. Living in an area of the country that is more liberal and diverse is something we have always wanted and we would certainly get that in Boston, assuming we can afford it and we don't freeze - BBBRRRRR, long and snowy winters.

And when it's all said and done, it may be in our best interest to stay put. So many options. That's a good thing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

THAT woman is an angel on earth

Not too long ago, I said I hoped this is what clients thought of me after they received a massage therapy session. On Friday, I got a massage from a co-worker, and I think SHE is an angel on earth! Wow, it's been a long time since I received a masssage and that one was great! I think she might be the strongest woman I know, but she's pretty tiny in size. A couple of times I thought I was going to jump off the table, but damn, I needed that. She was basically warming up, you know, when they do those first warm up strokes across your shoulders up your neck. On her first warm up stroke, she got hung up on knots in my shoulder and neck muscles. Even she was shocked that they were that obvious! I think they're gone now, cowering in fear of my next appointment with her. One of the benefits of where I work is we get one free massage a month.

Last week, Sous Chef was home the entire week from school. First, with strep throat and then a sinus infection. I thought I had escapted, but yesterday, I was diagnosed with strep throat! Now I am on a z-pack of antibiotics and he is still taking his, too. Hopefully, my throat will ease up on the pain ASAP.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perhaps I should wear my glasses more often.

There is a small church by our house that puts those quaint little sayings on their church sign. The recent saying was "Nothing runs the truth like stretching it." Huh? Every time I drove by that little church with it's little sign, I would think "I still don't get it. What does that mean?"

Then, one day I was stopped at the light by that little church and there were enough cars ahead of me that I was right by that sign. I read it again. "Nothing RUINS the truth like stretching it." Oh, now I get it! I totally was missing the "I" in "ruins" and was reading it as "runs." NOW it makes sense. Yes indeed, I think I should start wearing my glasses more often!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm a slacker at heart!

It's true. If I can find a reason to stay in my pj's all day, I will do it! I try to have at least one day a week where I go NOWHERE. Unfortunately, I don't always succeed with that goal, but I do try to arrange my schedule to make it happen as often as possible. I do shower, but beyond that, I will put my pj's back on and hang around the house. I may or may not do some "chores" like laundry, making the bed, cooking dinner, etc. But just the sheer pleasure of not having to go anywhere or be on a schedule is pure delight for me. Where am I going with this? I have had a week of slacking. I have worked two evenings and one of those evenings I had to take Sous Chef to the doctor just before going to work, but at least I got to stay in my pj's until I had to get dressed late in the day. Other than that, we've been holed up in the house, lounging, napping, reading, playing games, taking temperatures and medications. Sous Chef was diagnosed with strep throat on Sunday and then, when he was not getting any better and still running a rather high fever on Wednesday, I took him back to the doctor and he was diagnosed at that time with a sinus infection in addition to the strep. He has been home from school all week. We did take CJ to school on Tuesday, but on Thursday, I totally forgot until it was too late, so he skipped. Sous Chef and CJ both missed swimming lessons, which is kind of a bummer. Sous Chef was still pretty sick on Tuesday and I didn't want to take him out and I didn't want anyone else to catch anything from him. Sous Chef and CJ have pretty much been dressed in t-shirts and underwear all week, although they did both get dressed so CJ could go to school on Tuesday.

Sous Chef is doing better today and I expect he will be back to school on Monday. Then CJ and I will be back on our schedule, too. It may take a few days to get in the swing of it, but then we head into spring break at the end of the week, so I will be right back to slacking! LIFE IS GOOD (minus the illness part)!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today I am sad ...

I have girl friends who go away together three times a year to a lakehouse in Missouri, AKA The Ladies' Lounge. I made the inaugural trip in 2004 and have been on every getaway since. For the first time, I will not be going. When we moved from KC to Ohio, I decided then I would go on the November and June trips, but not the March trip, so I didn't even consider going this time. Then Motorcycle Guy calls from work about two weeks ago and says, "I see the weekend of March 14 is the Ladies Lounge. I haven't heard you talk about it, aren't you planning to go?" I was surprised he had it in his calendar, since I don't remember telling him about it. He encouraged me to do what I needed to do to go and that he would worry about the kids, their schedules, working from home, etc. Well, then I thought, "What the heck, I'll go!" I started looking into airfare (too expensive on short notice!), driving (didn't really want to do that alone considering the weather is a little unpredictable this time of year and adds two days of travel) and even inviting a friend who has a sister in KC to share a ride with me. I decided if she was able to go along, I would do it, otherwise I would not. Unfortunately, she could not join me because of her husband's travel schedule for work. Bummer! I decided not to go and was relieved to not have the self-inflicted pressure of making it happen. Now, the day is here for them to leave on the trip. Though I don't regret my decision, I do wish I was going with them! I will miss it so much. I have truly had some of the best times of my life hanging out with these women - not just at The Ladies Lounge, but whenever we are together, and I miss them.

So for now, I will look forward to the June trip, which really is the most fun! I will go for a week, we'll be at the lake for five days or so, rent a boat and in general, just raise hell in a little Missouri town that never knows what hit them when the 15 of us arrive! And thanks to my neighbor friend introducing me to a new drink, I will have an endless flow of Pink Panties.

Chocolate

CJ: "Mom, come downstairs and see my Mii." (A Mii is a character in the Wii that one typically designs to look like themselves. You then use that character as the player in the games.)

Me: "What did you do?"

CJ: "I made him chocolate on top."

Me: "Chocolate hair or chocolate face?"

CJ: "Chocolate face. And then when I play ping-pong, the hand is chocolate, too."

Me: "What color were you before?"

CJ: "Kind of white."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's finally here!

We are a-buzz with a new addition to the area - IKEA! We have been IKEA shoppers for quite a while. Pittsburgh has had an IKEA for as long as I can remember and we have little things from there - dish towels, glasses, kitchen utensils, etc and a bed that we bought for Big E that CJ now uses. It's been such a hot topic here and there were people camping out to get in this morning. One of my friends attended a private event for the executives and other VIPs last Friday. I think I will wait a few weeks before I face the masses clamoring for IKEA shopping. I plan to go while school is still in and during the week, when it's less likely to be overrun by locals and out of towners coming to check out the wonders of IKEA.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Do they really?

What is it about government officials, clerics and other "important" people that make them think they won't be caught when they do something wrong? Do they really believe that when they hold others to a higher moral standard, talk the talk of someone who lives by and practicies high moral standards and criticizes those who don't meet those high moral standards they outline and then go and do the opposite, that NO ONE WILL NOTICE? I realize no one is perfect and in the "real world" of the general society, people mess up all the time, make stupid mistakes or in some cases, just don't care enough about others to care what their own actions inflict on others. But come on, you are in the national spotlight preaching standards that you can't/won't even adhere to yourself and all you have to say about that is you regret the pain it's causing your family? Well, I would hope so. However, I beg to differ with that statement. I think what you regret is that you were caught and now you look like a hypocritical ASS. You knew it would cause your family pain, IF YOU WERE CAUGHT, and you did it anyway, expecting NOT TO BE CAUGHT. If you really did not want to cause your family pain, you would have chosen differently. What is it that makes these people think they can get away with things like this - wide stances in the toilet, affairs, theft, and more. Is it their egos, do they really believe they are untouchable or are they just plain stupid and think everyone believes they are a high quality person because they say they are and because they require the rest of society to follow the rules as he/she has outlined and therefore, they must be following those same rules?

In most cases, I wish the spotlight would stay out of our political and other "important" people's bedrooms. What goes on within your marriage is really none of my concern if you are doing your job and serving in the best interest of the position you were given or earned. Hell, you may even have some weird arrangment in your marriage that allows for extracurricular activity and I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT! However, I have always said the exception to this is when those "outside" relationships break the law, as E. Spitzer did when he paid a hooker to cross state lines. Slap it to him for that, but leave me out of how he deals with this with his wife and daughters. And by all means, DON'T ACT LIKE YOUR SURPRISED BECAUSE YOU GOT CAUGHT! They always do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hair, hair and more hair

Ok, I might be getting the hang of this new do. Here is yesterday's picture:

Pictures look so much better when it's not me trying to photograph myself. Motorcycle Guy says this is his favorite haircut in a while. However, since it's basically been through hell during the grow out phase, the hairstyle competition is not too tough.

Here's today's picture. I colored it this morning. It's darker than I wanted, but hey, it'll do. Unfortunately, it's not in my budget to get it done professionally. If it were, it would be a version of blond with really funky/cool highlights. Maybe in the future, right after my next treatment of Botox and Restylane, since that wore off a few months ago! Also, the pictures are not doing the hair justice. It's impossible to see the fullness of my hair, the layers and the way it's laying in these two dimensional photos. When I look in the mirror and then look at the pictures, I see almost two different hairstyles. If I saw the one in the pictures in the mirror, I would be tempted to scream and cry. I took a side shot to try to get some of the 3D image on film.Yes, I know I have the same sweater on as yesterday's photo. I was only dressed yesterday long enough to take Sous Chef to urgent care - he has strep throat. The rest of the day I was in my pj's. I figured since I had the sweater on for all of 1.5 hours yesterday, it was ok to wear it again today!


Other than that, we are still somewhat buried in the almost 13 inches of snow we got this weekend. It was warming up yesterday and today it is in the high 40's so it's starting to melt. Unfortunately, we discovered the snow blew in around the dormer windows and now that it's melting, we have a couple of leaks. Bummer, easy to fix, but the small amount of damage is a pain in the ass.
Report cards came home last week - Sous Chef and Big E both got straight A's. Big E is especially thrilled, because he worked really hard to make this happen and it's a first for him. Sous Chef has received straight A's all this year. CJ also got a "report" card - he was able to do everything they require of a preschooler plus with his counting they had to stop him at 28. They only "test" counting to ten, but he kept going until they told him that he had counted far enough.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blizzard?

I don't think we have officially reached blizzard status. Though the visibility, or lack of, requirement has been met, I believe, we have not had continuous winds of 35 MPH, which is the other factor along with the snow, obviously. When it's all done, we will have around 11-15 inches. It has been snowing since yesterday morning, with a few breaks here and there. It is beautiful.


Big E and CJ went out in it today while Motorcycle Guy shoveled the driveway. Of course, the driveway is covered again, but it will be less to shovel the next time, I guess. The snow is deep enough in most places that CJ could hardly get around. He stood in the garage for some time and then came back in. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "the snow keeps getting in my eyes and making me cold." So I sent him back out and told him to walk backwards into the wind. That seemed to work because he stayed outside for quite a while. He was waist deep at times due to the drifting and often struggled to move forward. Suffice it to say, after I was done bundling him up to go outside, he looked like a navy blue Michelin man. Unfortunately, Motorcycle Guy did not get any pictures of the kids in the snow. I guess I will have to send them back out tomorrow for some photo opportunities. Sous Chef, like me, just likes watching from the inside of the house.



Friday, March 7, 2008

In like a lamb, out like a lion

Mother Nature is certainly messed up this year. We had 50 plus degree weather in December and now that's it's March, we are having the biggest snow storm of the year. In fact, it is officially going to be a BLIZZARD, with the required winds and wind gusts that give a snow storm the term BLIZZARD. We are expected to get 11-15 inches of snow during this 36 hour snowstorm. OH MY!
Misty, NIck and their three kids were here from Kansas, arriving Wednesday late and staying until today. They are now in northern KY to attend a wedding. That poor bride. I am sure when she planned a March wedding, she was not expecting to be at risk for a cancelation or no one attending due to a BLIZZARD! I wish them well and hope that all the services involved are able to do their work (church, reception hall, florist, caterers, baker, etc. etc.).

Here's a picture of me and Misty. I'm still trying to master the new haircut. I think this will be an ongoing process and could take a while!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I could, but I won't

I could take this entire blog to go on about how Ohio, in all it's ridiculousness, was unprepared for the number of voters voting on the Democratic ticket in yesterday's primary. I could go on about how could they possibly have not known that many Repbulicans would cross over to vote for the Democratic candidate who was least likely to beat John McCain. I could go on about how it would be the best strategy to do that (albeit, a little cowardly, not having enough confidence in your candidate without putting up the weaker, in my opinion, Democratic candidate to run against him in the national election), considering McCain was clearly going to be the Republican candidate - even before the Ohio and other primaries yesterday.
But I won't.Instead, I would like to talk about my hair.

I have a new do! For the last almost 1.5 years, I have been growing out my hair from a short pixie cut to a long (for me), stacked bob. However, it had lost all its oomph and I really needed to do something to change things up a bit. I had grown out my bangs, always knowing I would have them back. My face is not made to be bang free. Anyway, I tried a new stylist and this is what I have now. This is only the second day of styling it, so I hope it gets better as I become more coordinated with a hair dryer and a round brush. I only need the flat iron for a few small touch ups, but other than that, the hair dryer and the round brush are my new best friends in regards to my hair.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Welcome to the dark ages!

I voted today - it's the Ohio primary which is a nail biter for the democtratic party! I love being a part of this and proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama this morning. When voting, the guy started telling me how to cast my ballot. I thought that was odd, I have been voting since I was 18 years old! Once he started talking, I realized I did not know what the hell he was talking about - fill in the circle with an ink pen and try to stay within the circle lines? Was he kidding? I thought this was how they voted just after they eliminated voting by "a show of hands." I actually had to ask a couple of questions, because I really could not believe he was telling me I would be filling in a bubble with an ink pen! I explained for the last couple of times I voted I had used electronic voting and this ink pen and bubble thing was a new way to vote for me. He asked me where I was voting prior to this. Then he explained Ohio had electronic voting but there were some problems with it. I had read about that since moving back here. Between the hanging chad issue in the 2000 election and the electronic voting issue recently, I guess Ohio decided to go back to the "old, old" way of doing things. It's amazing that there were fraud issues/concerns with electronic voting - people spend millions of dollars each year via credit cards, online banking, we file confidential income tax returns via the net, etc. and the voting folks of Ohio can't figure out how to make electronic voting safe? Personally, I think having a ballot that someone is going to feed into a counting machine of some kind and they can see my vote is a little unsafe. How hard is it to "misplace" my ballot and never have it counted if they decide they don't like the way a person voted? I did have to feed my ballot into this machine that counts the number of ballots submitted and I assume locks them in there, but still. Anyway, I was the 74th voter this morning for that "machine." There were three or four other machines and I don't know what their count was up to. I should have checked. I don't know exactly how many people vote at my voting station, but if 200-300 people had voted by 9:30AM and that continues, I would say that is pretty good.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Weekend

Friday we went to the local Friday Fish Fry. Being that I didn't grow up Cahtolic and have to give up meat on Fridays, I had never been to a fish fry at a church. Motorcycle Guy, growing up in a Polish-Catholic community, was shocked, as this was old hat for him, though it's been years since he attended one considering he gave up Catholicism as soon as his parents stopped forcing him to church.

Saturday I shopped. For me. Need I say more?

Sunday, Sous Chef, CJ and I went to church. (I wore a new blouse from the Saturday shopping trip.) I didn't realize they don't have Sunday School at the service time we attended, so I talked the nursery into taking CJ, even though he's officially too old. Sous Chef always chooses to go the the service with us and not go to Sunday School, so this was a non-issue for him. He seems to really enjoy going with us. He knows all of the responses, he loves to sing and he usually sings pretty loud - the hymns, the responses, the prayers, the Alleluia - he sings it all. It makes me teary eyed. He loves communion as well, and always chooses grape juice over wine. He even sits still and listens, though I can tell when the pastor has gone on too long because Sous Chef gets wiggly. Thank goodness for children's programs to keep him busy when that happens!

Motorcycle Guy took Big E to baseball practice. Motorcycle Guy is helping with the team this year.

We have friends from Kansas coming to visit! These friends will be our second set of Kansas friends to visit since we moved back to Ohio. The adults will be heading out to dinner and we have a sitter for the six kids. YIKES! She may bring a friend to come along for reinforcement. I know I would!