Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Birthday

So today wasn't all that eventful.  I was regretfully grumpy just "because".  I think I was grumpy because I had laundry to do, and my kids equate birthdays with holidays, so they think they don't have to do their regular cleaning.  There were a few moments when I got mad at them.  Also, I missed getting a phone call from my mom.  Every time the phone rang, I instinctively would think it would be her to wish me a happy birthday, but of course it wasn't.  However, I did get a call from my sister, my grandmother, my dad, and my brother.  Then at the end of the evening, I received a call from my cousin and his wife.  That was a nice surprise.

My husband left work early and we took the kids to the museum.  Every Wednesday they have something for kids at 3:30pm.  Today we learned about flags.  Yay.  Did you know that a person who studies flags is called a vexilologist?  I didn't either.

Then we went to dinner to Five Guys for burgers and hot dogs.  I ate a hot dog with ketchup, mustard, and relish.  While we were there my husband surprised me with a gift.  It was an iPod Nano.  That was quite exciting.  My first MP3 player!  I'm so excited to download my ABBA on it.  He bought me a purple one because Wendy told him my favorite color is purple (which is true) but Apple's interpretation of purple is blue, so I think I am going to get a different color.  Not that I don't like blue, I just don't like that they call blue "purple", so I'm thinking of getting a green one.  However, if I get pink, it might help prevent my husband from borrowing it.  I'm still deciding.  He paid cash for it at Best Buy because he didn't want me to see it on the credit card statement, which I think is funny because he bought it yesterday.  I guess he doesn't realize that I don't check our credit card online account everyday, especially on my birthday.  However he's lucky he had the cash because I had to cancel our credit card account yesterday because of fraudulent activity on it.  Anyway, of course I asked him why an iPod Nano?  Why not an iPod Classic or an iTouch?  Those are pretty tempting too, but I will probably stick with the Nano and wait for him to get me an iPhone :)  

Then we went home and the kids frosted my cake and I opened cards and some presents from my sister.

Presents from my sister.  Never too old for Spongebob stuffed toys.  The only one I still need is Squidward.

My pretty yellow cake with 34 candles.


Today's my birthday! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Once upon a time....

.... there was a day when my children looked pretty spiffy when we went to church.  Today Wendy wore a white bow with an off white dress.  (Gasp!)  Rachel wore two left shoes that were 3 sizes too big.  One black and one white.  It wasn't a battle I was willing to fight this morning.  She thought she looked beautiful.

.... I had only myself as my own blog follower.  Now I have 12 new followers (so far).  It makes me very happy to open my Blogger Dashboard and see that.

.... I had a beautiful garden.  The deer and possum seem to think it's beautiful and delicious too.  All my tomatoes are gone.  Very very sad.  At least the deer can't eat my blog followers.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thank Goodness for Procrastination

I do my grocery shopping at Walmart Supercenter on Saturdays.  I dread Walmart.  I wish I didn't shop there, but they just seem to have the best prices, and I like the one-stop shopping gimick.  Most weeks I procrastinate the grocery part, so I shop for everything else, which usually causes me to put about $50 worth of things into the cart that I think I need like more hangers, hair gel, toys that were on clearance that I will stash away for Christmas presents and forget about and remember on December 26th, vanilla scented candles, plastic cups, plastic bowls, new dish towels, clearance clothes for the kids, etc.  (I really did need the new dish towels.)

Well, today my procrastination was well worth it. As I browsed the children's shoe aisle, I scored these green boots for Jason for $2.00.  They are two sizes too big, but it gives him all the more time to wear them.  He loves them.

Maybe next week I will score him a clearance Faded Glory Tshirt.

P.S.  Thank you to all my followers!!  I am feeling ♥ loved ♥.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Ok, so I don't normally like to solicit, but I need some help here.  Scan your eyes to the right of your screen and you will see my list of followers.  As you can see I only have one blog follower (at time of posting) and it's myself.  That makes me sad and feeling lonely.  Now, I know I have visitors to my website.  My Google Analytics tells me that I have an average of 45 unique visitors per day.  So where are my followers?  (Tear streaming down my cheek.)

I understand that some of you may be following my old url at, so you will need to follow my new url at  I also understand that some of you don't have Blogger or Google accounts, whom I forgive.  Some of you might be following me as anonymous, which I'm not sure how to think about that, except that I wish it was public.  (I hate how that word looks so similar to pubic.)

There is no good reason for this solicitation.  I receive no financial gain, only an increase of blog esteem.  I hope you can find the time to take 5 seconds to click on the "Follow" button to your right or add me to your Blogger Reading List.  But you must follow me publicly, not anonymously or pubicly.  I just want to feel loved. ♥

Here is a picture.  Seriously, how can you resist following that tongue?!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Grocery Store

For the past 6 months I've been drooling over the new grocery store they've been building about 1 mile from our house, at the entrance of our neighborhood.  I'm so excited that when my husband calls me on his way home from work, I can say, "Can you pick up a gallon of milk?" and it will only take him an extra few minutes to get it instead of having to go out of the way to an inconvenient grocery store.  It's also open 24 hours, so I can also say at midnight, "Honey, will you go get me some Klondike Bars?  Please?"

This evening we visited the new grocery store to check it out.  I felt like a country girl who had ventured to the big city as we gawked over the newness of the groceries.  For some reason it was so much more exciting to see tortilla chips at a new grocery store than at Walmart. Everything was so nice and shiny and neat.  As my husband pushed around the grocery cart with Rachel in the seat, George in his infant seat in the back, and the other 5 kids riding while hanging onto the edge of the cart, it was fun to watch people stare.  One man even saluted my husband.

Today I also received our new GPS gadget in the mail today.  It's our first GPS ever.  It is kind of exciting.  We have a road trip planned for August and it will be very handy.  I got it on sale this weekend because they had some good deals at Best Buy for Father's Day.  We used the GPS to direct us to the new store.

That's my day.  Oh and George slept from midnight to 6 AM last night.  We'll see how he does tonight.  I'm expecting to be disappointed.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My husband's parents gave us a subscription to Kids Discover magazine.  Each month we receive an issue about a certain topic.  For the next six weeks we are going to go through each issue we've received so far and learn about it.  This week is about money.  One of the things we learned today is that Roman soldiers were paid in salt which is where word salary comes from, because the Latin term for salt is salarius ("of salt").

My husband has a little jar in a kitchen drawer where he throws his spare change when he comes home from work. Today Wendy showed me the jar and said, "Mommy, that's the money that Daddy makes at work." Thank goodness my husband has an annual salary larger than $96.

That was a cute little thing that brightened my Monday.  It's been one month since my mom died.  I thought I would be moving on by now and I am.  I just miss her so much.  I cleaned four of my kitchen drawers today.  I pulled everything out, wiped out the crumbs, and put everything back neatly.  I wanted to tell her about my accomplishment today.  It's such not exciting news, but she always listened and actually cared about the mundane things in my life.  She would've been happy for me that I had clean kitchen drawers.  They do look pretty awesome. 

Now here's a picture of George, one of my sources of joy:

I need to get myself a onsesie that says, "I love my Mommy."

Now off to one of my other sources of joy --- The Bachelorette.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Sometimes babies just make me smile. I think a better term for this pacifier would be "muffler".

Day 7 - May 31

On Memorial Day we bought some McDonalds and had a picnic at the cemetery.  It's a beautiful cemetery.  It's close to Lake Ontario and gets a nice breeze.  There's a great climbing tree near the family plots.

My dad was busy cleaning the headstones.

Wendy wanted her picture taken by this tree because it looked like a W.

Rachel discovered the perfect sippy cup holder.

My grandfather's headstone.  The ancestor that George's middle name came from.

A family photo by my mom's new grave.  (We will be getting her a headstone.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 6 - May 30

Loading the van before church, I had the perfect opportunity to ask my husband, "Is that a banana in your pocket?...."

After church the kids drank some grape soda while they played outside Nani's apartment.

Rachel took a nap next to Nani.

This thing has been sitting on the back of my grandmother's toilet for the past 25 years.  I never realized it until Wendy pointed out that, "It looks like she has to go potty."  If she was more familiar with Star Wars she would've said, "It looks like Princess Leia has to go potty."  It's totally the perfect thing to put on the back of toilet.  I hope to inherit it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 5 - May 29 Part 2

After the cemetery we drove to the church.  It's a very old Lutheran church that most of the ancestors on my mother's side attended.  It's the church where my mother attended school in kindergarten through 8th grade.

The Christus in the background has a very familiar feel.

The congregational part of the church.  There were more people than none at the service.  I had the opportunity to speak at the service.  It was nice to be able to talk about my mom.  I'll have to write some of the things I said in another post.  I will tell you this though (and I did say this)  ... my mom lived 63 years without ever pumping a single tank of gasoline.  My dad was good to my mom.  

After the service, my mom's cousin threw a party at his house.  Everyone in attendance at the service was invited.  He has a pool that kids enjoyed.  We ate hot dogs and hamburgers and had fun talking with each other.

Some family members held George.  When they eventually passed him back to me, he had formula crusted all over his face from the bottle he drank at the church.  I can't believe people were holding him looking so disgusting.  I was so embarrassed.

The pool and Jason going down the slide.  Thankfully I forgot my bathing suit and my cousin played lifeguard.

Brownies and wedgies for dessert.

It was a great day.  It wasn't an event I really wanted to be celebrating at the moment, but I'm sure my mom would've been pleased we had a party.  She liked parties and family social gatherings.  I wish she could've been there.  

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Day 5 - May 29 Part 1

Saturday was the day of my mom's memorial service.  It was great day.  We truly celebrated her life.  She had a good one.

Getting ready at the hotel.  My nine year old daughter can tie a tie and I can't.

Before the church service we had a short, private committal service at the cemetery.  I had never heard it called that before, but I suppose once you are in the ground you are committed.  It was a beautiful morning. My mom couldn't have picked a better week to die.

My mom in the overpriced burial urn.  I love the shade of blue.  It matches her eyes.  I'm sure my mom would be pleased at how petite she looks in this picture.  

The immediate family before the ceremony.  I'm not sure where my other five kids are.  They are probably running around and jumping off tombstones.

These were the chairs they had for us to sit on.  I loved them.  They were plastic chairs covered in blue fur.  During this difficult time it was very comforting to feel like I was sitting on Cookie Monster's lap. Unfortunately there weren't any cookies.

When we were planning the service on Thursday, I had envisioned the kids throwing flowers into the burial hole.  I guess I watch too much TV because I was imagining watching  pretty daisies falling into a deep hole in slow motion.  Well, there was no hole, so instead the kids put some red carnations on top of the urn.  I still wish they could've thrown them in a hole, but I suppose the hole wasn't going to be all that big and deep anyway.

My mom was always thinking about the kids at events.  So we got them some balloons to release after the ceremony.  They enjoyed that.

I peeked under the Astroturf to check to see if they had dug the hole yet.  They didn't.

On our way back to the van Jason threw a three year old tantrum.  I told him to be careful because they might mistake him for being dead and bury him too.

Day 4 - May 28

Friday wasn't all the exciting.  We just kind of hung out and ate leftover ham and prepared for Saturday.

Eating leftover ham for lunch.

My husband played Wheel of Fortune on my Netbook with the kids.

My sister and I took Wendy and Sarah to the dollar store.  They had fun playing with the headbands.

Ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Monday, June 07, 2010

First Day on My Own.

Today was difficult.  Today was my first day on my own with 7 kids.  Not that 7 is all that more difficult than 6, but I always talked to my mom on Mondays.  We never usually talked on the weekends, but Mondays were a good day for conversation because there was stuff to talk about.  I didn't have her to talk to today, which made me sad.  When I'm sad I usually call my mom.  So it was a viscious cycle of sadness today.  I wanted to tell her how chunky George is getting.  His thighs are getting fat and his fingers are chunking up and leaving the newborn stage. He likes his swing.  He has a raspy little cry when nobody holds him.  His belly button is getting more normal.  I wanted to tell her that the red spot on the white of his eye went away.  His jaundice is almost gone.  The poor kid is 5 weeks old and still hasn't had a real bath, only a sponge bath with a hotel washcloth.  I just keep forgetting to wash him.  He smells ok and wipes seem to be sufficient at the moment.  One of these days I'll immerse him in some water. 

I talked to my grandmother instead today.  We are going to talk tomorrow and discuss the Bachelorette.  I'm so glad my Nani watches it.  My husband knows I'm sad and he even came down to watch the rose ceremony with me.  However, I know he secretly enjoyed it and it was using "sympathy" as an excuse to watch it. :)

I boosted my mood with some ABBA today.

Day 3 - May 27

On Thursday my sister arrived in the morning after a red eye plane flight.  That afternoon my dad, brother, sister and I met with the funeral director to make some decisions regarding the memorial service.  We had to pick out her memorial book, flowers, a poem, and give them a picture of her.  It was a good thing my sister and I were in attendance.  We picked out a pretty memorial book with butterflies and flowers.  

We also had to pick out an urn.  We decided to have my mom cremated.  The selection of burial urns was disappointing.  They ranged in price from $125 to $395.  We were just going to bury it anyway, so cheap me thought it was disappointing that we had to pay that much.  I asked if we could bury her in the container that she was shipped in.  Nobody answered my question.  A few of the urns looked like cheap plastic pink marbled square Kleenex box covers.  One was pottery and shaped like a mushroom, but had a very phallic appearance.  We went with the plain dark blue metal rectangular container.  I kind of wished we went with the Mallard duck.  If I had known they were so expensive, I would've looked for something at Marshall's Home Goods section.  I'm sure I could've gotten something pretty for $19.99.  There is some serious profit margin in the mortician business.  My dad called around to get prices for cremation.  He was quoted about $4000.  When the funeral director called as a "professional"  the same company was able to give him a deal of $800.  Can you believe it?  My husband keeps saying he wants a new profession.  I think I have found one for him.  

The funeral director was actually a friend of my mom's.  They went to high school together.  He gave us a discount on his services.  Good job, mom, for being a friend of a mortician!  He's an interesting fellow.  He reminded my sister and me of John Candy.

After the decisions were made, we went to Nani's and some relatives brought over chicken and biscuits.  Yum!  Daddy flew in and arrived at about 9:30 PM.

Greeting Auntie Nee Nee in the hotel lobby after breakfast.

The funeral home where we had to make some decisions about my mom's memorial service.  The funeral home was totally decorated very vintage!  

Nani and Rachel.

Playing Cat's Cradle with cousins.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Day 2 - May 26

Breakfast at the Hampton Inn in Morgantown, WV.  They had the perfect table that seated all of us.

George at 3 weeks and 1 day old.

Rachel wearing a doll dress as a hat.

Day One of NY Trip

Here are some photos of your first day on the road.  My dad traveled with the kids and me.  My husband flew up for the weekend.  He was jealous of our road trip.

We saw a truck filled with live chickens.

Our dinner time snack was a McDonald's ice cream cone.

George got a snack too.

Here is a place we stopped after Wendy peed in her car seat.  Wendy was my easy one to potty train, however, when she has to go, she has to GO!  She just couldn't hold it any longer.

When we arrived at our hotel in West Virginia, my dad went over to Applebee's and got some takeout, while the kids got ready for bed.  We had French fries and mozzarella sticks.

George looks like a real live baby doll.  The kids watched Disney Channel until they fell asleep.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

I'm still alive

I'm totally still here.  My dad left this morning.  I am ready to get back to normal.  It will have to be a new normal though because even at age 33 I depended on my mom for so much.... moral support, world news, family news, advice, just someone to talk to, someone to complain about the woes of medical insurance to.  I miss her. The past couple of weeks really showed me how much she was intertwined into my life.  I never realized that everytime I snapped a photo, I thought in my head, "My mom will love this picture." I never realized that everytime one of the kids did something cute, that I recorded it in my memory so that I could tell her on our next phone call.  I never realized how much I looked forward to her next visit.  I never realized how much I loved the smell of her soap, shampoo, and lotion when she was here.  I still have reminders of her around.  I have one of her rings on my finger.  I have her toiletry case with the letter "C" on it.  Her Keds are sitting on my shoe shelf.  She will not be forgotten.  That is for sure.  I just wish she had 30 more years to spend here.  The good news is I still have a dad, a sister, a brother, a grandmother, cousins, in-laws, and Facebook that I can tell these things to.  I also have the hope and knowledge that I will have the opportunity to see her again someday.

I will be back to cheerful blogging.  We had a wonderful trip to NY.  I have lots of pictures to share.  My mom would be so proud that I continue taking pictures, even at her funeral.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pictures of the cemetery guys digging the hole for her urn.  We needed to get to the church for the service.  It would've been a good picture, but I've got other good ones.

 I still wonder if heaven can read blogs.