Monday, September 27, 2010

Knitting goals for October

I know I haven't shown any pictures of my knitting lately.  It is mostly because I haven't taken the pictures, not because there isn't any knitting to show.  I have been moving along on my knitting goals, and it is time for my October goals.

Non-knitting goal:
  • Take pictures of my completed projects and post them
Knitting goals:
  • Finish things!!
    • February Lady sweater -- only sleeves left to do!
    • Mad Color Weave socks -- have 1 1/2 socks left to do!
    • The final stocking for Martha -- I am doing this for a contest.  For the contest you are supposed to pick something challenging.  These stockings are not challenging anymore, but just the sheer will to finish them, that will be the challenge.
 My stretch goal will be to try and get my sister-in-law's socks on the needles.  I haven't chosen the yarn for or the pattern yet.  I also need to make a toy for a friend who is having a baby really soon, actually, I should make two, 1 for the baby and 1 for the big sister.  It is never ending!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A thousand words

Some photos...

Mac at his birthday... my big boy is double digits.

Hannah all set for soccer.  She scored a goal in her first game... most recently she scored a goal for the other team.  But at least she is scoring!

The boys after face painting at the back to school picnic.  Harry Potter and soccer... big shock!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Change, everyone has something to say about change.  We change our hair, our clothes, our underwear, sometimes several times a day if you are 4.  We get change at the store.  Change is everywhere.

The world is in this cosmic period of change.  It is like we are all specs of dust on a rug and someone shook the rug out.  They are done shaking the rug, and now all of us specs of dust are settling back down.  The thing is, when we settle back down, we won't be in the same place we were when we started.

When there is massive cosmic change going on, it is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.  To be someone entirely different than you were before.  To embrace that change as an opportunity.  Be open to the potential of what could happen for you.

The reality of life is that nothing in life is constant.  We are all changing.  The only thing that is constant is change.  Change is the stable thing in our worlds.  To live with change and not be afraid of it, well that is the challenge now isn't it.

When I was fresh out of college, my father told me to feel the fear and do it anyway.  That it is ok to feel the fear, but do not let the fear make the decision for you.  You make the decision for you.  

A very dear friend of mine is in a very bad place right now.  She is faced with making a crossroads decision.  The kind that no matter what you choose, it will change your life unalterable forever.  She had made her decision, but wisely wanted to sit with it for a while, because she was worried she was making the decision out of fear.  It was incredibly wise of her to recognize fear as part of her decision process.

We can not stop change.  Change is a part of our beings.  What we can control is how much power we give to fear.  What did you do today that was fearless?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mice are partying

For all except the last 2 years, my husband has traveled, almost weekly.  In the beginning he didn't travel as much as he did before he left the "traveling jobs."  For 8 years he traveled.  A person gets used to that.

Now, he has a good job, works from home most days and rarely leaves the state.  This is great for the kids, they get to see their Dad every night.  He is coaching soccer, going to back to school nights and helping out around the house.  So, I preface the next part of this post with, it is a good thing for everyone that he is home more.

That said, give a girl a chance to freakin' miss you already.  I was so used to only seeing him on weekends that this new and improved togetherness, is well a bit much at time. So it is with GLEE that I bid him adieu for the rest of the week.  He will be home Sunday for Religious School, but not a second before.  This is 4 glorious nights in the bed by myself.

I get to decide what to watch and when to watch it.  I can watch tv in bed.  Oh, the luxuriousness of it all.  It is a bit like a spa vacation.

I don't have to make sure that the house is moderately clean or dinner is cooked.  The kids don't care if we have cereal for dinner.  They are happy with sandwiches.  We get to eat out at our favorite place that Bob doesn't like. 

We all remember, mostly the good parts, of him being gone all the time.  So, when he leaves we bask in the joy of him being gone. 

That said, it is hard to do it all by myself, and the amount of travel that he used to do was exhausting for everyone.  I am not really wishing he traveled everyday like he used to, but we do like it when it happens occasionally.  Even just a bit more than now. 

So, while the cat's away, the mice are going to tear it up a bit.  If you are in the 'hood stop on by for the fiesta mas grande!

Monday, September 20, 2010


While I am on the topic of adoption, it is hard not to also think about abortion.  Because the two tend to be very closely related.  Unwanted pregnancies, leave the mother with three options, 1) keep the baby, 2) adoption and 3) abortion.

Based on my earlier post, you would think that my politics would be pro-life.  That I would want everyone to choose as my mother did, and not chose abortion.  In reality, my politics and my beliefs are at a crossroads on this issue.  I believe very strongly that the government has absolutely no right to tell me or any of my sisters how they need to manage their pregnancies.  That decision should be left to the pregnant woman, her doctor, the father and G-d.  There is no reason the government needs to enter into that process.  For that reason I am strongly pro-choice.

My beliefs on the other hand are pro-life.  I believe that every child is a gift.  That unborn baby might be the one that cures cancer or negotiates world peace.  We do not know what impact that baby will have on the world and maybe we don't have a cure for cancer because that child's mother chose not to keep him/her.

I do not think that I could have an abortion.  If I got pregnant and did not want the child, I would choose adoption.  That said, there is more to it.  What if I got pregnant by rape?  Probably adoption, but who knows.  What if I had medical complications that would make it dangerous for me to continue the pregnancy?  I don't know.  I have not been confronted with that situation.  Would I be able to keep a child, not matter how wanted, if being pregnant might jeopardize my health.  To what extent would I let my health be jeopardized by a pregnancy?  I think that these are all questions that you can not answer unless you are in the situation.

I am thankful that I have not been in a position to test my over-riding belief about abortion.  I am thankful that those of us who have been forced to choose have the ability to do that.  I am glad that the women who went before me were able to give me the choice about what to do with my body.  I hope that we never loose that choice.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have been thinking about adoption a lot lately.  I suppose it has something to do with my birthday.  I always wonder if my mother thinks about me on my birthday.  I imagine that she always did when I was younger.  I am fairly certain my first birthday did not escape her radar. 

Now that I am so much older and she has sat with her decision to give me up for a long time, does she still remember?  I imagine when September approaches she might think about it briefly, but on the specific day does she wonder where I am and what I am doing?  I know I always wonder where she is and what she is doing.  I wonder why she doesn't register with the services that help you find each other.  I wonder if finding me at this point in her life would be so horrible.  I certainly don't need another mother and doesn't she wonder how I turned out?

How many of you are mothers or fathers?  Could you imagine giving up your child to someone  you have never met?  How long would you wonder if that child was doing okay?  Now that I have kids, I can not imagine being pregnant for 9 months and not getting the prize at the end.  That said, I was also not 16 and alone in the world.  I was in a committed relationship with someone who would help me raise that child.

When I think about teenagers, children really, who have babies and keep them, I think but why don't you give it up?  But, I think it has a lot to do with getting the prize after 9 months of being pregnant.  A 16 year old child that gives up her baby is not really a child, but someone wise enough to understand that raising a baby to adulthood is a commitment that she isn't ready to make.  It shows a level of maturity that many are not able to muster. 

I am forever in debt to my mother, she made the choice to have me and not keep me.  She didn't take the easy way out and abort the pregnancy.  She didn't choose to keep her baby.  She wanted me to have a better life, a chance at something more than she could provide me.  For that I applauded and appreciate her wisdom and bravery.  One day I wish I could tell her that myself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Last night was the season opener for Parenthood.  If you haven't seen it, it is a pretty smart and funny show about parenting, families and life. 

As the show opens, it has one of the characters getting called over to his parents house to resolve some sort of crisis.  Doing this makes him late for work and he gets called into the boss' office.  Basically the boss says,  your family is getting in the way of your ability to do your job.  He puts the guy on notice. 

But does he get the message, and tell his family to lay off?  No, in the next scene his daughter is in his office complaining about her mother.  Then the sister shows up to demand that he give her credit for her idea.  It seems that the family is all consuming.  His boss keeps giving disapproving looks, but doesn't do anything.

At one point, Bob and I look at each other and I say to him, I am more worried about his job than he is.  The character, who's name escapes me, doesn't seem to get the message that his job is in jeopardy and that he needs to tell his family to back the heck off.  In today's economy, this does not ring true to me.  I can not image anybody getting called to task for not be present enough and not doing something about it.

If you boss told you to show up on time or else, well wouldn't you tell your family to back off and show up on time?  I sure would.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toys Might not for Us anymore

The following is an email I wrote to Toys R Us.  My plan had been to share the story and then share their response.  But, they have not deigned to respond.  I am now boycotting Toys R Us and invite you to do so too.


To whom it may concern:

I am writing in regard to two visits I have had to your Bloomingdale, Illinois store (located on Army Trail Road in Bloomingdale, Il).  It seems that store has so many customers that they do not need my business, as over the course of the Summer I intended to spend $169 on a Nintendo DSi and $100 on a bike for my daughter.  Both purchases were made elsewhere, because the service I got in that store was so deplorable I left.

Incident #1:  I went into your store to purchase a bike for my daughter.  Her first bike!  It was very exciting and all my other bikes had come from Toys R Us, so I didn't even look elsewhere.  I asked someone to help me take the bike down for my daughter so she could try it out and asked about the size.  I was told that they bike she liked was going to be on sale the very next day.  So, I told her we would come back the next day and she could put the money we saved in her piggy bank.  As you can imagine, in a toy store, it would have been unlikely to have actually made it to her piggy bank.  Most likely she would have purchased something else in the store.

The next day, bright and early we walk into the store.  My daughter is beyond excited about her bike.  The bike isn't on sale.  The person I spoke with isn't in the store at that time and no one seems to have any idea when this bike will be on sale.  I am a little upset, because I would have bought the bike the day before.  I would have saved the gas the wear and tear on my car, and my time if I had not been told otherwise.  The person that told me it was going to be on sale was the manager on duty at the time.  I requested to speak to the manager.  I wanted someone to apologize to me.  The manager, of the store, not the manager on duty, came and spoke to me.  He was rude and basically told me that he did not believe that what I said was true and that he would do nothing for me.  Tough shit was his response to the whole situation.

Needless to say, I was furious.  My daughter and I left.  It was a scene, as she was having a tantrum that we were not getting her bike.   We got into the car and drove a block down the street to Walmart.  My daughter rode her bike that evening.  The fine folks at Walmart, after sharing our story gave my daughter a sticker and a sucker and lots of attention.  They promised her she would ride after dinner.  They delivered on the promise, and we picked up her bike with a bow on it.  Now, I am not a fan of Walmart, but these folks certainly acquitted themselves well.

Incident #2:  Memory is a strange thing and eventually I stopped being so mad about the bike incident.  I had some coupons that my oldest son had gotten from the birthday club.  He wanted to purchase a Nintendo DSi.  He had saved up the money and off we went with coupons in hand.  I asked at the service desk if we could use them on the Nintendo and was told no.  Fine, we will purchase it elsewhere I told them.  My oldest wanted to use his $3 birthday coupon for a toy for his little brother.  We found a $2.99 airplane that we purchased.  The total was $3.25.  He handed the clerk his coupon and a quarter.  He was told he could not use the coupon because it was not over $3.  Apparently $3.25 is less than $3, and he argued that point.  He was told tax didn't count.  It does not state that on the coupon, it says a purchase OVER $3.  Our purchase was over $3.

We asked if they could just ring the coupon through at $2.99, a penny, seriously, and we would pay the tax.  The person that seemed to be the front end manager seemed to think that was alright given the situation.  I thought, hmm, maybe all has changed.  She said, but I have to ask the manager if it is ok.  Out walks the store manager, same guy from the summer.  At that point, I know he will not help me, not because I think he remembers me, but because customer service is not really in his gene pool.  Sure enough he tells me I am stealing to expect to get something for nothing and that I didn't spend enough money.  I told him my $170 purchase was walking out of his store and would not be back for a good long time.

We went to Target and had amazingly impressive customer service experience, oh and by the way they took your coupons.  So much so, that I have written a letter to them, congratulating them on a job well done.   I felt like we made the right decision giving the money to Target.

My question to you, is this, do you want my business or not?  It would seem to me that in this economy, if you pardon my use of the vernacular, pissing customers off to the point where they boycott your store and and poised to tell the world about it is not a good business strategy.  But,what do I know.

I expect that someone, perhaps the district manager for the region I live in, will contact me and answer my question.  Do you want my business or not?

Thank you for your attention to this matter,


FAIL blog post

When I was growing up we used to tease my mother mercilessly when she did really stupid things.  Us kids would question her intelligence.  We would tell her she was stupid.  Yes, yes, it was rude and disrespectful, but in our defense, she did do some really crazy things.

For example, she tossed the mail into the box, and my father's pay check went in along with it.  She ended up bribing a postal worker to give it back to her.  This was of course after we waiting for about an hour for him to come.  The times on the boxes apparently are just a suggestion.

Sometimes I think my mother cursed me to do really stupid things, now that I am an adult.  I like to say it is because my kids sucked all my brain cells out of my head, but I am not sure that is the issue.

Yesterday, I went to the bank to deposit a couple of checks.  I had enough that I felt a deposit slip was in order.  So, I grabbed a book of checks from my desk drawer and pulled a deposit slip.  I am much more anal about using deposit slips after I deposited money at the ATM and it didn't show up in my checking account.  (It showed up in my savings account... that is a whole different story though.)

I filled out the slip, did the math, and since it was mostly round numbers, I got the math right.  I drive up at the drive through teller and put all my stuff in the tube and press send.

All was going well.  Then all the other cars left and I was still there.  I began to wonder, is there a problem?  Just as I begin to ponder the situation, the teller comes back and says, "Are you sure you are at the right bank?"

"Am I sure I am at the right bank?" I ask back, "Yes, I am at the right bank."

"Well your deposit slip is not from here."

"Yeah, I know that, it is from National City, remember that hostile take over a couple of months ago?  I haven't bought new checks yet."

"I am aware of that, but this slip is from ACB."

"Oh," I replied lamely, "right bank, wrong slip."

The teller, in spite of my nasty remark, kindly offers to look up my account and make the deposit for me.  I was kicking myself for not just using the ATM.  This wouldn't not have happened if I used the ATM.

She sends my completed transaction back, and tells me she is sending some suckers too.  That it seemed like I was having a hard day and she saw a small person in my car.  Hannah was there to witness her mother's demise. 

I take the tube out of the holder.  I take the stuff out of the tube.  I put the tube down on the passenger seat and hand Hannah a sucker.  I drive off.

Pop Quiz:  What step did I forget?

Answer:  If you said to put the tube back in the holder, well you would be correct.  Yeah you.

I was half way home when I had to pull a U-turn so I could take the tube back.  I went into the bank just so they didn't think I was drunk.  I told the teller, not the first one I didn't see her, that I failed drive through banking and that I was really sorry.  She didn't laugh in my face.

Oh, and Hannah was in her PJ's.

Verdict:  Drive Through Banking FAIL.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No more buffer

Every where I go, people out to know, not to blaspheme.  I take use of word like, fall, autumn, that other word I can't bring myself to say or even type, you know wons, very seriously. 

Such as the other day when I walked into the house, on a day cool enough to keep the windows open, finally, and my loving spouse assaults me with the following statement:  "It feels like fall."  I don't have anything against fall per say.  I rather like fall.  The issue I have with fall is that it is a heart beat away from that other season.  Fall is my buffer season.  As long as it isn't fall, that other season, is still a season away.

While walking with Hannah the other day, we were by the water retention pond.  I have been known to break up the monotony of our daily lives in say January, to take the kids to this area to ride on sleds.  Hannah stops, look at the area, points to the hill and says, "When it snows Mommy, can you take us sledding?"    This kid said the word.  Out in public.  Is there no decency left in the world?

Even worse, one reads a blog post such as this one in of the blogs I follow....  I should have been a stripper.  The link won't bring you back, but that is ok, because I am done here.  I am off to negotiate with that other season and see if we can have another summer.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Birthday Interview

It is my tradition to interview the birthday person in our household.  Since I can not interview myself, today's post is created by Mac.  I am not sure what will happen and do not take any responsibility for the content of today's post.


How does it feel to be 22?  I am not sure I can remember that far back.

You can't remember today?  I am not turning 22 today, but it is nice of you to say so.  This year I am actually going to fly my age happily, because I am the answer today.
What does that mean?  I am the answer to the question.  The question is what is the meaning of life?  This year, I am the answer.

So, you are your age?  I am my age, are you your age?  What kind of question is that.

Back on track here, how does it feel to be the mother of 1 adoring child and 2 other kids?  I was going to ask what happened to the other two kids.  Which one is the adoring one, you?

No, the one who made you a newspaper.  That is you.

Yes, I know.  Well then you are just being self serving by not saying yes to my earlier question.

Ok, then, can I have a new video game?  I thought we were interviewing me about me, not about your consumerism.

Fine, umm, did you enjoy your newspaper?  Yes, it was very nice, I liked the coupons best I think.

Why did you have two other kids?  Hard hitting journalism here.  I had two other kids because I think Dad is cute.

So he is cute?  What does that make me adorable?  I thought we already established that.

They are fighting right now, any regrets about having them?  It is my birthday, I am not answering that question.

So far I am the only kid who has given you a present?  The day is still young, who knows what will happen.

Do you still love me no matter what?  Why do you ask, what did you do?  Just answer the question.  Yes, I love you, no matter what.  I think this interview is over.  Darn.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

House Anniversary

This is the anniversary of the day we closed on our house.  It is a day I will never forget, because getting out of that apartment and into our house was such a great thing.  We ordered pizza and ate it on the floor in the new house.  Our stuff was still a couple of days away.

The first year with our house was not so good.  I replaced a lot of things and the house was fairly sound by the time I was done.  This year, the house held it together for the most part.  We did have a smallish flood in the basement, so that had to be repaired.  We are finally replacing the leaky faucet.  Tomorrow actually.  It is a happy anniversary gift for the house and a birthday present for me.

I don't love this house the way I loved our other one.  But, I think that has more to do with how much I still want to change about it and less to do with the house itself.  There are good bones here.  It still isn't "me" yet, but we are beginning to appreciate each other.

There are some very large ticket items in this house that need to be fixed.  Given the current financial climate, they are likely to remain unfixed for as long as possible.  Eventually, we will be right side up on the house and right side up on our finances and we can start to make the house pretty. 

But for now, we have accepted each other.  Water damage and all.