A Contented Sigh...

I feel very content today. Safe and Secure. It is a good feeling to have, and one I haven't had in a while. a sense of peace and calm. Yes, the world is flying by me at a ridiculously fast pace, but I am content. I've only had one cup of coffee though. My to-do list is full, and I am working through it one by one. I am making progress. Maybe that's it. Progress. When you can actually see progress and a light at the end of the tunnel, then it is a good thing. I'm not in any rush, and I can actually formulate a complete and coherent sentence.

I was SUPPOSED to get up early and go to the gym this morning. My bag was packed and waiting by the front door. My gym clothes were all laid out. the alarm went off at 4:30, and I turned it off...and fell back asleep. My body is TIRED. My brain is TIRED. so, I guess I'll have to make up for it, and go to the gym tomorrow morning. heck, the bag is still packed, waiting by the door. I really do need to get on the ball and get my rear end to the gym more. I feel great after I get a good run in, or a good spinning class in. the endorphins make for a great way to start the day! And besides...exercise is good for you.

Why can't planning a birthday party for a 6 year old be easy? and cheap? I would love to have something casual at our house...but there just isn't enough room for kids, and their parents...we don't really know these people, so having a party on neutral ground makes more sense. That being said...I really just want to rent a bounce house, throw it in the backyard, and throw the kids out there. Put some hot dogs on the grill, and water balloons for later. But, that won't work. And, the pessimist side of me thinks it will rain anyways!! So, we've been looking into other places. Jungle Java, Henry Ford, Lifetime, all of these places are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions? cheap? local? There may be more than 10 kids, and their parents as well. I've also thought of maybe waiting until it was warmer outside, and then the weather would be nicer, and we could go to a park or something??? He LOVES Nankin Mills...that might be cool....

I've also been looking into violin lessons for Joseph. Holy Cow is that expensive. I found a great place, but it would be close to $200 a month for him to have a weekly lesson, and rental of the violin. Yes, it was a rent-to-own program...but Holy Cow!!! So, instead, I am going to have him learn piano first...and along with piano would be musicality. i.e. reading music, music theory, history, composers, etc. And besides...WE HAVE A PIANO IN OUR HOUSE!! It does need to be tuned...and I'm sure my mom would be proud. After all, she was my piano teacher...and I'm sure it would make her pretty darn happy to see her grandson playing on the piano that I learned on too. He already knows a few things, I've been teaching him FACE and EGBDF and middle C. I'm not a piano teacher though. He needs an instructor, he won't listen to me...I know that all too well. When my Dad married my mom, the "teacher/instructor" relationship went out the window. So...I have feelers out for an affordable piano instructor that is willing to some to our home. Know anyone?

I'm looking forward to this weekend. We have a party to go to for my niece...I love family gatherings. even small intimate family parties. It makes me appreciate the people around me so much more. I love having family nearby. I wish all of my family was nearby...but that's ain't gonna happen. So, I enjoy the family that is here. That being said though - I just bought tickets for us to go visit the Minnesota Girls! Yeah!! Joesph was so excited when I told him that he hugged me so hard it hurt! He started jumping up and down and yelling about how happy he was. Too cute. We aren't going until July, and I was able to use NWA miles for most of the tickets. I'm VERY excited!!!!


Little Reader

How cute is this? I told Joseph that I would meet him in the bedroom so we could cuddle and read before he went to bed...so, I proceeded to make myself some hot cocoa, put my PJs on, and went into the bedroom to find....
He was reading to himself!!! Is this not just the cutest thing EVER???!!?!


More pondering...

Not much on my mind...Well, I take that back. There is, but only a little bit that seems remotely blog-worthy.

Joseph came home from school on Friday and informed me that he wanted to be a cemetery worker. Yes, you read that correctly. He wants to be the guy that digs the holes, and puts the coffins in the ground. Not the guy who mows the lawn. Uh...OK? They are doing a series on careers in school, and he decided that this is a important job, and he is more than willing to do it. I've never been so, um, proud?

Work is good, busy, but good. There are a lot of little things that need to be completed, and construction season is almost upon us...which means I should probably buy another case or two of wine. (I'm joking!) I have plenty of wine for the time being...

I'm worried about the little things. I worry about other people, and how they are doing, while ignoring my own important needs and desires. Is that bad? No. Is it healthy? Not at all. but where is the cutoff line? when do I become the person that is the priority? And don't tell me when Joseph is grown up...because that is too far away. I measured him the other day, and he was 47 inches. Do you understand how much that is?? Almost 4 feet. Wow. he is getting too big, TOO fast! but, thankfully, he still loves to cuddle. I don't have to worry about him never wanting to cuddle with us!

He informed me today that in 69 days, he will be a first grader. I almost ran off of the road when he said that.

I sometimes wonder if my anxious feelings are real, or just a reaction to being busy. What level of anxiety is OK? In college, I would say that I "thrived" on stress. Now...I crave the calm quiet moments. One of my very favorite is sitting out on the back deck, watching the sunset, and watching the bats fly around our backyard. So peaceful, so calm. and I have to wait several more months for that to happen!

However, I can live through my little seedlings that I started. After my disaster with the tomatoes, I am being more careful. So far, I have sunflowers, red bell peppers, and garlic that have started to come up in my little seedstart flat. Yeah! Bring on the veggies!!!

Making a King Cake...

So, in my stupidity, I decided to make a King Cake to bring in the festivities for Mardi Gras. I looked online for a recipe that SEEMED easy, and I went for it on Sunday afternoon. Joseph helped me with the eggs:

He even learned how to separate the eggs from the yolks. Yes...I WILL teach this kid to cook, even if he doesn't eat anything that he cooks.

And this is what we ended up with. Interesting, to say the least. I will NEVER EVER make one of these things again. It was hard. Our kitchen isn't big enough to roll out all of the dough. I also felt like I was single-handedly increasing the cholesterol and heart disease of whomever tried a piece.

I brought it into the office, and shared with my co-workers. One of the survey guys ended up with the marble. (I didn't use a baby, partly because the thought of a plastic baby inside the cake is kind of skeevy...but mostly because I couldn't find a plastic baby). So, he was King for the day, which didn't really amount to much. However, in Pre-Christian times, there was a King Cake ritual which decided who the King for the year would be. At the end of the year, the tribe sacrificed him and spread his blood over the fields to ensure a good harvest. Ew. Disgusting, yet somehow interestingly macabre.

No, we won't be sacrificing him, unless we really need some landscaping to grow on the medians or something...


And here it comes...more white stuff.

They are saying 3-7 inches of snow. I was skeptical, but this is what our backyard looks like now...and the weather radar is solid green. Yup. we're gettin' snow. more of this white sh!t. ugh. I am so sick of winter. I'm sick of warming my car up. I'm sick of having to bundle up just to go outside to the car. I'm sick of being cold ALL OF THE TIME!! don't get me wrong...I LOVE Michigan, I just hate being cold. I do, however, love skiing. Go figure. I haven't been skiing in YEARS though. I really want to teach Joseph how to ski - so he and I can go when he gets older. Big Joe doesn't like skiing, but I'm hoping that he'll try snowboarding again...I have to find my skiis. I have no clue where they are...I have a feeling that they are in Southgate.

Toasted tomatoes.

Stupid me. Stupid "trying to warm the seeds". Stupid. I put them in front of the heat register, then forgot them there overnight.

Anyone want some dried up, crispy, toasted tomato seedlings? sigh. I fried mine...which means that I will have no lucious Brandywynes this summer. Unless I can find some more seeds. However, I saved these, so they were essentially free. sigh.


Things on my mind...

1. Obama bill - how will this affect me? Will my office even get to see a CENT of the money? I'm a true pessimist when it comes to this matter.

2. an indoor triathlon - I'm doing it. (I have to keep telling myself that, and maybe I'll believe it eventually). I went swimming at the gym this afternoon and nearly drowned. If anyone has tips on how to coordinate breathing and swimming, I'd love to hear them.

3. growth and change - in a "how do I grow as a person" way? I'm not a bad person, but I want to improve some aspects of my life. So, how do I go about that?

4. My to-do list. Out of Control. But...if I DON'T have a list, then I wander aimlessly around the office, making an occasional stop by the candy jar. Ask the guys I work with. I'm a list freak. Ask my husband - I have lists of lists. I know this about myself though. I need the self-prodding a gentle reminders of direction.

5. birth certificates.

6. my thesis. ugh. stupid lit review. being a mom and being intellectual are two VERY different things, and my brain only processes things a certain way. And tonight, I'm in Mom brain mode. I can get things done that require thought, but not detailed scientific thought. How do I turn my Mom brain off? does it EVER turn off?

7. the violin - I need to figure out how to get Little Joe a violin, and get him lessons, and how much they will cost, and all that jazz. (no musical pun intended). He has been asking for this for a while - this will be this year's big present.

8. Joe's birthday party - what to do for a 6-year old that is AFFORDABLE!??! ugh. suggestions?

9. How can I squeeze more hours out of the day?

10. How do I stop feelig guilty for all of the things that I haven't finished yet? I say yet- because I truly do want to finish what I start - but sometimes, life gets in the way. Priorities change. Life happens. So there.

11. skydiving - I want to do this in the Spring. but, I need to make some phone calls and pricing and reservations.

Bowling with the Boy

The boys had Monday off, I didn't, but I took it off. So - we went BOWLING as a family! It was so much fun!! Check out the video at the bottom of the little guy - and his great job!


14 green lights...

We told Joseph that if he got 15 consecutive green lights in school, we would take him to the train store, and he could pick out one train car. Yes, he had to work VERY hard to accomplish this, but...he did. sort of.

He was on number 14 on Thursday, and the 15th would have been Friday. So, when I picked him up from latchkey, his folder had a yellow light. I was crushed. He was crushed. But, I wanted to know why he got it...so, I asked him. and he said that he had been first in line, and another kid wanted to be first, so he pushed Joseph out of the way. And, Joseph STOOD UP FOR HIMSELF!! and fought back for the first place in line. I cannot punish my child for standing up for himself.

So - off we went to the East side of Detroit. We were going to go to the Lionel factory for a tour...out in Chesterfield Township. However, just to let you know - that factory is closed. We drove out to 23 Mile Road and I-94...ARGH!! So, the next best place was in St. Clair Shores - on Harper at 8 1/2 Mile - this great Toy store called The Whistle Stop. VERY COOL!!!!

So - we let him choose what train he wanted...and he picked the Area 51 Alien Train Car (?????) Complete with the rotating spotlight to look for UFOs.

But - he is one happy kid. :) And we sure do love him!!!

Spring Peek...

Heirloom tomatoes....Brandywynes. I think. My labeling system got screwed up, I hope that I remembered correctly...

I simply cannot wait until Spring. This white stuff sucks. I am craving green growth, sunshine, sitting on the back deck. I have so many ideas for the front yard landscape. and many ideas for the back yard. and many ideas for the garden.

Peanut Butter and the Future DPW Employee

First and foremost - I needed to share a picture of Joseph's favorite food. Peanut butter. right out of the jar, with an extra-large spoon. I don't doubt that he inherited this trait from me. This was my favorite treat while pregnant with him. This constituted a full "snack" when I was growing up.

We had some pretty crazy rains last week...and when we got home, Joseph felt the need to "inspect" the ditches in front of our house and the neighbor's house. He was quite concerned about the "dam" in our neighbor's ditch. So much so, that he had to remove it, so the water would flow. What a nerd.

Pointing out our ditch, and the fact that the water is flowing nicely. Thanks to the Wayne County Road Commission...or maybe the Redford Twp. DPW, or well, maybe nobody. I can't get a straight answer from either entity as to who maintains them. I know that nobody plows the roads...but I guess we've gotten used to driving on the snow. It doesn't bother us.

What a cute kid...


Being a Boy...And getting Mom sick in the process.

So, Little Joe received a wonderful gift in the mail the other day...and he immediately HAD to try it on and "model" it. I can't believe how old he looks in these pictures. My little boy is growing up so quickly!!

He especially liked the emblem on his chest - and wanted me to take a closeup picture of it.

This past weekend has really warmed up here in MI. The snow is melting, and making these GREAT puddles of water to jump in and play in. Therefore...Joseph went outside and played in the water and mud on Saturday. Which...in turn...he ended up getting sick. Now, I know it is flu season/cold season/whatever season...but he has a fever.

Big Joe called it a "Vampire Fever"...as in he spikes his fever at nighttime, but then the fever falls during the day. It was 102 last night, but it is down to about 100 right now. Conversely, he gave me his fever, and I'm hovering right about 101. Which, for those of you who may not know this...I am usually a cold person, and my normal temp is about 97...(Hah - insert "cold heart" jokes here). So...I feel really cruddy right now.

We kept Joseph home from school today, but that was pointless. He is going stir crazy (as he feels perfectly fine, but has a temp). Whereas, I don't feel so hot, and have to try to keep him entertained. So far, we have watched Titanic, and we now have started Polar Express. At least it isn't cartoons!!

Enough griping...I'm going to have a cup of hot tea and try to convince him to nap. (yeah - right!!)



On the 100th day of school, Joseph's homework was to take 100 of something, and display it. So - we popped a bag of popcorn, and counted out 100 pieces and glued them on to a piece of paper, in the shape of "100".

We ended up having to pop 2 bags, as Joseph kept eating the popcorn. :)


When Big Joe was gone last week, I let Little Joe sleep in our bed with me. Partially because I don't like being by myself, and partially becuase he is so stinkin' cute!


Just some pics

Here is us. I need my hair cut. Joseph is a cheeseball.

And the cousins...hamming it up. These two are hilarious together.

25 reasons why Joseph is a rockstar.

1. He can identify movie soundtracks within the first few notes. Mostly John Williams.
2. He wants to ride his bike in the snow.
3. He LOVES to cuddle.
4. He is learning how to read at the speed of lightning, but denies it.
5. He wants to save toads from our yard.
6. He "helps" me wash the floors in the house.
7. He is a camera-ham!
8. He wants to be independent, but still asks for help when he knows he needs it.
9. He asks the most intricate detailed question about something that I never even considered.
10. He explains things in a matter-of-fact way that makes sense to him, but not always to me.
11. He likes giving Dax her treat before we leave.
12. He loves going to the coffee store with me.
13. He's a stubborn little boy.
14. He asks me to sing to him.
15. He wants pet rats.
16. He asks lots of questions about Yellow Grandma.
17. He asks lots of questions about Grandma BJ
18. He is compassionate and kind to strangers. (He even gives hugs to complete strangers, because he thinks they need one).
19. He loves to tour CSO facilities.
20. He loves to go to the Henry Ford Museum.
21. He isn't shy, and will talk to a complete stranger.
22. He knows that there is a Rouge River, and he likes to visit it.
23. He likes to watch the bats in our backyard during the summer.
24. He likes to talk about the colors in a sunrise.
25. He wants to play the violin.


Early morning musing

This morning was wonderful. Little Joe and I woke up VERY early, got ready, packed our bags and left the house at 6:10AM. Why so early, you ask? We went to the Coffee house and had coffee together!! Well, he had chocolate milk...but you get the point! It was a perfect way to start the day. We talked, we played dominoes, we had oatmeal (he took one bite), and we started our day in a wonderful way! I realize that this is a small thing to do, and not majorly important...but he enjoyed it, and so did I. Maybe we'll continue this tradition until I'm old and gray. Maybe he'll do it with his kids. Spending the time together is the most important thing of all. :)
And on that note...here's a flashback pic of the dude, he was about 1.5 years old...


Planes and Tears

I am a sucker for patriotism...but one of the strangest places I see it is before sporting events. I absolutely LOVE the flyover. I will watch NASCAR, just to see the flyover. I will watch football, just to see the flyover. The opening ceremonies are my favorite of ANY sporting event. My husband even calls me in the room to make sure I see the flyover.

check out this Youtube video:

So, after watching Jennifer Hudson belt out an amazing National Anthem...seeing the flyover made the tears just flow from my eyes. I'm already emotional, but I am swelling with pride, patriotism, joy and emotion.

Yeah Superbowl. I had better win a square!!!

A Taste of Religion in our Lives...

Things heard in a Catholic Church this morning:

1. "Why do they have a hot tub in the back of the church?" (the baptismal font)
2. "Can I have some money? To throw in the fountain?" (Again...the baptismal font)
3. "Does everybody have to drink the wine? I don't like wine, and I'm too young"
4. Why is everyone singing?
5. "This doesn't LOOK like a church" (It isn't a cathedral, which, apparently, Joseph thinks is the only way to go...maybe he's a budding architect!!)

Obviously...we don't attend church often, especially a Catholic Mass. My niece and Joseph had many questions. Too funny. We were there for the baptism of Joe's cousin's son. It was a wonderful afternoon with family.

In other news...we got a warmup of weather here. All the way up to 37 degrees. Whoo-hoo! This means that the snow is starting to melt, especially on the roads and roofs...lots of water puddles all over the place. However, the news has informed us that we will be getting a freeze in the next 2 days which will turn all of that water into ice. I love Michigan. (I truly do, but I get in a rut during the winter, as there is no sun, and it's downright cold).

Big Joe is in St. Maarten still...he called and said things are good - they got down there without any problems. He got sunburned the first day down there though...poor guy. That ain't fun!! I hope things go well for him, and I get to see him in 3 days!!! Yeah!!! Yes, I miss him!!