Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fave Post!

There’s a great new “linky” service available and I wanted to let you know about it. It’s called MckLinky – www.mcklinky.com. After realizing the need for a new, reliable linky capability, Brent Riggs and MckMama got together to create a free, easy to use linky service for all their blog friends, and I want to try it out!

Isn't it great when you write a post and think, "Man, if only they could all be that good"?!! I want to give the new "MckLinky" system the old college try, so I thought, let's link up!! Let's share our own favorite post, the post you are most proud of!

My own fave post is my "Belly Fat" post, or maybe "My Grandpa and the Pot Plant" (ugh, you know me, I'm terrible at making decisions!)...I love a funny story, and I love making people laugh! Check 'em out!

Now, it's your turn! Link here to your own fave post so we can all read it! For those of you unsure about how to do this, just click on the title of your favorite post, copy the URL from the address bar, then link up below (enter your name and then paste your URL that you copied into the appropriate box! Easy peasy, right?!)




Addendum: For Sale

For Sale:

One set of perfectly good saddle bags, slightly hail damaged, but in overall good shape. They have served their owner well, keeping her warm in the winter, but they have overstayed their welcome. Owner feels she needs to get rid of this excess baggage, so, for the right price, they're yours. She'll even throw in a lovely muffin top for free.


Monday, June 29, 2009

The North Shore (and Orren Emu)!

Ahhh, it's good to be home! A quick trip up North for a "Reunion Road Trip" with Tara and her son (we'll call him 'Tigger'--a throw back to the days of old!)...a whopping 36 hours...and countless memories!

The boys started our trip a little camera shy...(couldn't even get 'em to look our way!)
but by the end of the trip, they were hams for the cams! Posing with monkeys and under goofy signs!! (Look closely at what that sign says!)
Oh, and the "Orren Emu" mentioned in the title? Well, turns out Tara had a super fun iPod playlist for us to enjoy on the way up...songs to reminisce of the days gone past (think "Veggie Tales")...and a fave..."If I had $1,000,000". All of us were randomly spewing out verses from this Barenaked Ladies song as we traversed along Lake Superior. We were visiting Split Rock Lighthouse when Tara says, "Wouldn't it be great if there were a man named 'Orren Emu'?" and I thought (say this in a whisperyish voice to yourself to get the full effect) "Wow. That's weird and random" but said out loud, "Uh huh. Yup, sure!!" Fast forward, oh, say, about 3 hours...I was singing (very loudly and off key) to myself "...I'd buy you an exotic pet. Yup, like a llama, or an emu!" When I stopped mid step (nearly tripping over my own two feet) and doubled over in laughter..."Oh, I get it now!! Orren Emu!!! Or an Emu!!" Uh, yeah...joke's on me now!!!
So, between that, fantastic friends, great food, stinky teenager gas:

...gorgeous scenery (Gooseberry Falls):
...and the uber thrilling and enchanting Glensheen Mansion, site of a double murder and a beautiful estate (bummer, and double bummer, I didn't have my camera at the time!!!)...we had a weekend to remember! Plans are underway for an autumn visit to Glensheen for a "flashlight" tour...spooky and soooo exciting!!

In the meantime, we have plenty of "inside jokes" (room keys, "special bologna", Mad Libs) to keep us going 'til the next "Reunion Road Trip"!! But man, it is good to be home!!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Will Survive!

Guess I should say, "I did survive"!! My first 5K done and over, and I'm still ALIVE!!

Remember when I posted this about training? So, um, well...turns out that that was the only training I did. Yeah, I know, crazy and, possibly, even stupid. When I committed to running it with my girlfriends (oh, what, 8 weeks ago or more!!) I had plenty of time to get in shape and train for it...but, alas, my ambition and will power (or lack thereof) kicked me in the rear (or, ah, actually, didn't kick me in the rear) and I would think..."Monday. Yes, I'll start training on Monday." Well, somehow, Monday always came and went. But, my stubbornness refused to let me back down. "I will run this race, even if it kills me!" And I did!! Finished in 37 minutes (yes, yes, I know that is more than a twelve minute mile...you don't need to remind me!)...but I did it!! And I finished, and I even did a little celebrating last night for my 10 year college reunion. Not too shabby (again, if a little stupid) if I do say so myself!

Question is: Was it fun? Um, the jury's still out on that one. Ask me tomorrow (when the pain sets in), I'll probably tell you no...but for now, it's just maybe. And maybe, just maybe, I'll even do it again! 'Cept I'll be a smidge wiser next time!


Friday, June 26, 2009

We have ourselves a winner!!

Holy funny comments!! I soooo enjoyed reading them...it's the choosing that was difficult!! And, um, you know how fabulous I am at making decisions...ahem. So, anyway, here we go!!



And the winner is (drumroll please....):

"Oh my word, MckNugget went swimming with out his shorts?!?!?! Small Fry you have got to tell me more!!!" by The Silva's (contact me via the e-mail link on the right to claim your prize!!)

I could not contain the giggle that escaped me every time I read that...for those of you unfamiliar with MckMama (ahem...is there anybody unfamiliar with her?)...check out what that caption is referencing here!

And I can't help but mention second and third place as well (sorry, no prize...wish I could, but, alas, I need to feed my children, not pay for prizes!!):

"Seriously?!?! You're a registered democrat?!?! You are the weakest link. Good-bye." by Sandy Hop (big giggles from this entry too...staunch Republicans in this household!!)

"But I'm the princess! You don't tell the princess to calm down! When will you people learn?" by Emily (Tiny Girl's personality to a 'T'!!)

I, seriously, seriously, loved all of the entries...they were great! There were 20 entries (19 comments, 1 via e-mail)...thanks so much for participating! Who doesn't love a fun contest?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photo Contest!

In total immitation (with a spin) I'm gonna have us a "Name that Photo Contest"! In a very MckMamaish way, let's play for a fun prize! We're big on "board game night" in our family and we also enjoy reading...so the prize at stake is your choice of one of our favorite board games, "Apples to Apples" (or the Junior version, if you so wish...or, if you already have that game, a different fun game...I'm easy. Ah, you know, easy like, "easy to please" or "easy to work with"...that kind of easy. Sheesh!) or a set of our favorite board books, by Sandra Boynton! Now, let the games begin!

Tiny Girl found herself in possesion of her daddy's old cell phone...and, somehow, she knew just what to do with it! I loved hearing her little baby babble, with some coherent words thrown in here and there: "Hi, Daddy! Dikka, dikky...puppy!" and a few giggles tossed in for good measure!

By the looks of these photos, she sure seems to have been having quite the conversation with someone...if this is any indication on how she will handle future boyfriends, then I can rest assured that this girl will be able to hold her own (yeah, like I had any doubt in the first place!).


"Hello?"

"Huh?"


"Why, you dirty, rotten..."


Click...buzz


And, now, for the contest part! I want you to tell me what Tiny Girl is saying to the poor soul on the other end in this photo!

The one with the cutest, wittiest, craziest caption wins! Contest ends at 12 noon, Central Standard Time on Friday. Good luck!

Comments now closed! Stay tuned for the winner!!

Something Warm...

If you're expecting a heartwarming story...this is not it!!

I sat snuggling Tiny Girl after her nap, she drinking some juice, I holding her on my lap. I felt something warm on my lap, filling her diaper, and said "oooh, good girl, you went potty!" (potty training always in the forefront of my mind), wanting her to be aware that she went potty. I reached down to pat her bottom as I said this...only to come away with a wet hand. Somehow, said potty did NOT make it into her diaper, but rather, was now all over my lap...running down my legs!!! Must have been the angle she was sitting...'cuz her diaper was no where near capacity!!

So now I sit...with wet shorts...wondering "do I change, or just let it dry?" A mother's work laundry is never done...think I'll just live with these wet shorts today.

Where'd the time go?

Once upon a time, in an era that preceded digital cameras, there was a young girl, who had a sweet baby boy. That young girl took that baby boy to college with her to make a better life for them. At college, the young girl and her sweet baby boy were blessed enough to be "forced" to live with another young girl and her equally sweet baby boy...and the rest, my friends, is history!

10 years...10 stinkin' years ago I graduated from college. Why does it seem like just yesterday, and yet, a lifetime away all at the same time? Man, time really does fly when you're raising a houseful of crazy kiddos having fun!

Come Friday (at "Reunion"), Tara and I will be partying with Boogie Wonderland, a throw back to a night I'd just as soon forget (but know she'll never let me live it down!)! This is she and I at our last night out together. We all know how that night turned out...ahem.

And (oh, my gosh, they'll kill me if they see this) here's our boys recently:



Wrestling in their footy jammies (a.k.a "walkin' feets" around this household!), another throwback to old times! They were just wee lil' lads when they first met...look at 'em now, fighting like brothers (in footy jammies). It's great!

And about those two young girls? Well, they aren't so young anymore, and those sweet baby boys? We often catch a glimmer of them somewhere in those great big boys! Here's to our North Shore Reunion Roadtrip, 2009!!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nothin' Better...

Nothin' better than:

Chubby baby cheeks, newborn baby smell, a surprise hug from the man you love, random silliness, a great laugh, an even better cry, the smell of fresh rain, warm sun on your cheeks, swimming under water in a lake, a bugfree campfire, an occasional girl's night out, a best friend, your mom, your grandma, your kiddo's "I love you, Mom", baseball chatter, Bomb Pops, Sour Patch Kids, the miracle of birth, witnessing the awe of that miracle, prayer, your dad, your grandpa, crazy brothers, a great pair of new shoes, the song "Jack and Diane", a great book, a new haircut, the first snow, the smell of spring, the sight of autumn, date night, realizing you have helped create some pretty fantastic kids, life and life itself.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not so "summer fun".

Okay, yeah. So, I thought going to the mall with 5 kids would be fun, why? Someone remind me where the fun part of that was supposed to come in...'cuz I didn't find it. Anywhere. Yes, it was cool...no, it was not "fun". I didn't even get any cute shoes...sigh.

This is what summer fun should be!!






Someone, PLEASE, smack me upside the head the next time I think "going to the mall" constitutes summer fun and remind me what real summer fun is!! Lesson learned.

The Boogie Monster!

Who needs toys when you can play with your own boog? Gross, I know...but, yet, still quite funny! It's my little Boogie Monster, entertaining herself (what more could a mother ask for?!!).

Sorry for the graphic photo, I just had to capture it...and, now, back to summer fun (actually, headed to the mall...too hot and steamy to sit in our un-airconditioned home...ugh!).


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Fun!

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful father's out there! We just got done celebrating with my own papa!

That's my dad, with E.W, who, I am very relieved to say, is feeling much better! Not quite, but almost, his sunny self again! But, I digress...funny little Dad's Day story...I was talking with my littlest bro J. (well, he's not so little anymore, but, you know, he's the baby!)...so, anywho, he was in charge of picking up our dear dad's gift. We were all sitting around the table (my dad one chair down) and J. and I were discussing the gift (a golf club...I know, how boring!! I mean, at least we could've gotten him some cute golf shoes or something!!). So, I said to J. "Did you get a C-A-R-D?" Then realized how ridiculous I sounded as my dad was right there, so I said, "You know, 'cuz he can't S-P-E-L-L!!" Ah, yeah. Can't tell I have young children!

Then, J. and I make our way outside for said gift and card, when he, excitedly, said "Hey, you wanna see the club?" and proceeds to pull out...(insert drum roll here...) a club. That's it. No cute colors, no bells or whistles, no sparkles, nuthin'...just a club. So I say, "Uhhhh...yeah, it's, um nice?!" What the heck are you supposed to say about a club?!

Turns out, it was just what my dad wanted! Who knew? Guess I'll push for those golf shoes next year...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things are looking up!

Day 5 of E.W's illness. Back to clinic for follow-up and I am pleased to (guardedly) say that he's looking better! Temps are now "low-grade" (you know, vs. "core temperature of the center of the earth")...he really seems to feel his best when his fever is under control.

It's been "decided" that the source of this illness is some bug in his throat...not strep ('course not, that'd be too easy!), his white blood cell count was down, but his CRP (test for inflammation) was elevated slightly since yesterday...so, round two of antibiotics (once again, delivered via two shots in his thighs). Unfortunately for him, he knew what to expect this time around, so I think he tensed up his legs, as today's shots seemed to bother him much more than yesterday's.

I'm just very grateful that we've been able to "manage" him as an outpatient and have avoided the dreaded hospital stay! Still awaiting some culture results that may (or may not) change the course, but for now...I'm very happy with his progression! Thank you ladies for your concern!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Poor little E.W.

Remember this post? My poor little man still hasn't kicked this bug. Temps of 104, horrible sore throat ("it's a 10 mom"--nurse in me...teaching him the pain scale we use at work), headache, vomiting here and there, achy legs...it's just a laundry list of yuck for the poor guy.


So, back to the clinic today...to see our "real" doctor (IMO, just the world's best pediatrician!). No new answers...but 7 pokes/prods later, we're home, waiting it out. Looks like something bacterial, but as for the source? It's still a mystery...just praying the antibiotic they gave him (via two shots in his legs) kicks in, and soon!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Storms and Stories

I love, love, love a good summer thunderstorm. We are in a warning right now. Now, keep in mind, I say this with a certain naivete. I have never lived through tornadoes like they have in the south, or hurricanes, or tsunamis...I'm just talkin' your typical thunder and lightening job.

With that said, however, I almost did not survive a storm one night. Not because of bodily injury, but because I think I nearly had a heart attack. Here's the story...

It was the eve before our annual "Valley Fair" excursion (think Disney World...like 1 teeny, tiny little smidge of Disney World...but, hey, we gotta take what we can in MN!)...so, 'twas the night before Valley Fair when all through the house (okay, I'll stop with that now). So, anywho, a storm was brewing...very unbeknownst to those of us sleeping soundly in our beds...when out of the blue black came CRRRRAAAACCKKKK!!!!!!! I kid you not, it sounded like our home headboard had been struck by lightning! Heart pounding, mind racing I sat up in bed...nerves at the ready. Mr. Wonderful had simultaneously leaped out of bed and breathlessly said "Get the kids!!!! Get downstairs!!!!" Now, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but Mr. Wonderful is pretty cool headed...not much rattles him, especially a little storm (or even not so little storm...he'd love to be a storm chaser!). Needless to say, his reaction terrified me...and his knowledge of storms made me think "uh, oh. This must be a big one!"

I'm not sure how exactly I did it, and I'd love to have seen video footage of it, but somehow I made it over the bed and out the door to the children's rooms before Mr. Wonderful even had his terrifying sentence out of his mouth (he, ahem, sleeps closest to the door...I think I must have plowed him over to get past him!).

Let me tell you something else...in addition to being terrified, I had to make a decision...which of my bunk bed sleeping boys to I grab first? Arrgghhhh, that was AWFUL! I decided to go for the smaller, knowing I could get him down and be back up quickly...so, scoop and run and I was off to the basement...where Big A was already asleep on the couch (it was cooler downstairs!)! Imagine his surprise to be have a little brother thrown on top of him and a frantic mom telling him to "WAKE UP!!! There's a big storm!" Then off I was again, this time to get E.W. It was on this trip upstairs that I met Mr. Wonderful with our two girls, holding baby, dragging/carrying Miss E...but rather calmly, in fact, looking at me like I was a bit of a wacko. Didn't faze me a bit...I railroaded right through them, muscled E.W. out of his top bunk, barreled past hubby and the girls, down the stairs, where I sat on the couch and could literally see my heart beating through my chest. I think I may have been hyperventilating, I'm not sure, I was too busy reliving the life flashing before my eyes.

So, Mr. Wonderful makes his way down, where it is about 2 am and we have 5 very awake children, watching a delightful display of lightening and hearing some thunder. Turns out, Mr. Wonderful was awoken by the crack of thunder from a very deep sleep and was, um, a little out of sorts.

I don't think I fell back asleep that night...I don't think my heart slowed down 'till morning, at least...I don't think I'll trust my quickly awoken husband for anything anymore!



A Few Pet Peeves...

Belly button piercings on anyone over 30 (or once you are pregnant).

Dead beat dads.

Dogs licking my hands unexpectedly.

Guilt trips.

People not being respectful of my time.

Baby talk.

Mosquitos buzzing in my ear.

Our "sue-happy" society, which has, in turn, made people afraid to help.

Tramp stamps (they may be sexy when you're 18, but once you reach 30...they just look, well, trampy).

Lost mucous plugs.

A Few of My Favorites...

Warm morning snuggles.

Belly laughs.

A newborn's smell.

Being a part of someone's labor and delivery.

Birth.

The song, "Hey, I Love You" (Michael Franti and the Spearheads)

Quality time with my teenager.

Mr. Wonderful's way of loving me and our children.

Blogging.

Christmas.

Easter mass.

McDonald's Iced Coffee.

My Children.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yummo!!

Here's the deets on a dish that is delish! (Wow...that was kinda cheesy, huh?) I am a girl that lives for condiments...ketchup is a major part of the food pyramid to me, and food is just the "vehicle" to get the ketchup into my mouth (I think I'd feel strange just shoveling ketchup in with a spoon...but who knows? Maybe I should try it!)...and if I could get away with it, I would so double dip like Tiny Girl and just keep repeatedly dipping and licking away, not bothering to eat a bit of whatever happens to be the vehicle for the ketchup (or ranch dip, or potato chip dip, or...)! But, I digress...back to my recipe! Here is a yummy salsa that is also super easy!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa


1 can black beans ("seasoned recipe" or regular, your preference, it is, afterall, your dip), drained, not rinsed


1 can white shoepeg corn, drained


1 can Ro-Tel, with cilantro and lime


8 oz Zesty Italian Dressing


Dash of kosher salt (I'm sure regular salt would work fine too...try at your own risk tho'!)


Hearty handful of cilantro, chopped (or not, 'cuz, you know, it's your dip)


Mix all together, serve with your favorite tortilla chips (or, perhaps, just a spoon?), and enjoy! You can thank me later.



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In other news...it was a day for a milestone! Rolling over, crawling, walking, talking...they've got nuthin' on this...my teenager called Wal-Mart, all by himself to see if they had a Wii game. I know. I can't believe it myself. "Weirdness" and "embarrassment" aside, he survived...and you know what? I think he's all the better for it (even if he thinks I'm mean for refusing to do it!)! So, a big round of applause for Big A!



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Oh, and stay tuned! I'm brewing a giveaway...and it has to do with reading (my other escape, you know, besides blogging). I'll keep you posted!



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

E.W. and the E.R.

So, our sweet E.W. woke up with a bug this morning...fever, headache, sore throat. Put a little ibuprofen into him and he was golden.

That is until after lunch (which, mind you, we were on our way to a meat market an hour away to pick up one and a quarter beef...uh, yeah...that's a lot of cow.), so, anywho...we're on this lovely road trip (think 5 kids, my mom and I in our van...yeah, lovely, ahem), when Mr. E.W. proceeds to throw up (in a bucket...thank goodness!! Have I mentioned, yet, that this was a lovely road trip?).

Little man seems to feel a bit better...we get previously mentioned beef, divvy it up for Mr. Wonderful's office and continue home, where E.W. now proceeds to go down-hill...stopping only for a Mr. Freeze on the way down. So, freeze down, and right back up again.

Nurse in me ticking of symptoms (headache...check! fever...check! sore throat...check! vomiting...check!)...gotta be strep. One phone call and one appointment later and we're sitting ourselves in the clinic. Convenience Care, they call it (ha, HA! And not our regular clinic). Nurse Practitioner comes in, assesses E.W. (strep negative), focus changes to appendix (her focus, not mine). To the hospital for labs (including a registration that took forEVER--again not our regular hospital)...back to the clinic to sit. White blood cells high...back to the ER for CT scan? surgery?

Nurse in me (usually worried, nervous, second guessing myself) scoffing at this "new" focus...NO symptoms of appendicitis (other than the fact that when she was mashing on his belly, he slightly said it hurt).

In less time than we spent at the clinic, we are in and out of the ER, with the MD agreeing, this is not appendicitis. "Encourage fluids, take it slow."

Me...tallying up the bill in my head...

All this for a strep test!? Humpf!

Say it ain't S'more!

You may remember from my Mr. Wonderful post, that my hubby makes a mean S'more...I don't know what exactly his secret is, but, dang they're good! Oh, and um, in case you need a photo step-by-step...here you go!

Here's dad, teaching the kiddos his "sweet s'more making skills" (gotta say that with your best Napoleon Dynamite-esque voice). Look at how well they're listening (it is possible!).
First, the graham cracker...
Next, the chocolate...
And, finally, the perfectly toasted "mallow"...


Then, voila! Your masterpiece! (eat with grimy paws at your own risk)

And, for good measure, a cute photo of E.W., enjoying the outdoors nearly as much as his daddy!

(Now, just try and tell me you're not craving a s'more!)

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