30 April 2009

29 April 2009

I will hold her hand. Forever.

So, we're leaving Betsy's school at pick-up this afternoon, and her new thing is to wait for all of the other kids and walk out in a "gang". This is a huge thing for her. She is wanting to be like all of the other kiddos, and just wants to do what they're doing.

Her social butterfly has come out of its cocoon.

Well, today, all of the kids decided to hold hands in a chain while walking to the door. Betsy desperately wanted to hold one of their hands. She made several attempts to grab both of the kids on the ends, but to no avail. Finally, momma bird stepped in.

"Why don't one of you hold Betsy's hand?", I say.

The response was like a dagger to my heart.

"Betsy will get too strong. So, I don't want to hold her hand."


It's true that Betsy has low muscle tone, but her strength is super. Sometimes she gets carried away by it, and takes down innocent, unassuming victims. In this case, I know she wouldn't have (it's usually when she is having a meltdown). But, it stung to hear, nonetheless.

I try not to be too sensitive about these things, but it was a stark reminder of what is to come. I forget that she is 'different'. To our family, she is normal. To the outside world, not so much. It is human nature to shy away from what is different (and to shy away from someone that can flatten you in an instant). I know that, but I started thinking about when she's 15. Will someone sit with her at lunch? Or will they recoil because she might drool? How about 30? Will people turn their cart into another aisle to avoid us because she is screaming (her sound of happiness/joy)?

It is too much for me to think about. Alas, I can think of nothing else. I'm blue.


28 April 2009

the new "thing". revealed.

This was my idea...
now it is reality.
I am sure there are some like it somewhere.
But, for now, I am content.
I think it turned out great.
I haven't stitched the inside of the glasses yet,
but I wanted to show you all today.
I haven't decided a price.
It takes a bit longer than other shirts I've done,
and it requires a couple of more materials to get the job done.
Idn't it cute though?
I can applique it on anything, even something for boys.
I just put it on a cute lil' shirt for Ro.
I'm going to do one on a polka dot tank for Bets.
I guess all you need is a good muse...
thank you, DJ Lance Rock!

27 April 2009

new idea.

Okay, so I have not investigated if this is original, but I have a new "thing" going in the etsy shop. Let's just say it is gonna be awesome. And, it will make you smile. I will give one clue...



it won't be going in for a couple of days...

stay tuned!

love this.

This is genius.
You buy a pair of cool shoes,
a pair gets sent to a child who, in most cases,
has never, ever, ever, even had a pair of shoes.
That is sweet.
Something cool for you,
something life-changing for someone else.
Being philanthropic is NOT that hard.
That's TOMS shoes

I'm thinkin' Big Jake needs these.
He loooooves shoes.
These are just his speed.
Go buy some TOMS.

26 April 2009

Thank you, honey.

If Jake wasn't as handy as he is...
our house would not look the way it does.
Ideas don't do anyone any good,
without a means to bring them to life.
Jake does that here.
Brings the house to life.
From carpentry, electric, flooring, and
general handy work,
he is a true jack of all trades.
Thank you for making our kitchen
I love you.

I can't wait to get cookin'!

24 April 2009

awards & rewards.

Rosemary Zander Award
Betsy's award banquet was last night.
It was awesome!
She got up on stage with her teachers,
and even gave an acceptance "speech" with her talker.
At the end, she signed "I love you" to Jake and I.
It was a surprise that she has been working on at school.
She was full of hugs and kisses for all.
She was lovin' being our 'only-child' for the night.
Congratulations, Betsy Jane!
We love you, too!

carousel rides at the St.Louis Zoo
Betsy loves carousels.
Sometimes you cannot peel her off.
This morning I took her to the beautiful
carousel at the zoo, along with my sister, Jill,
my neice, Kate, and lil' Ro, of course.
What a lovely morning!
Have a good weekend!

23 April 2009

the sensible bride.

Okay, so, I might be flogged for this, but as I've said before...this is my blog. So, deal. I am not getting married (already am) nor do I know anyone who is soon, but I have strong opinions about weddings and marriage. This particular opinion I want to share with you today was sparked by a post on Design Mom, as seen here. It got me thinking about the ridiculous lengths women will go to in order to get the wedding dress of "their dreams". Call me crazy, but I think anything over $750 is insane! Probably even $500. My own wedding dress was $220 and I thought that was steep, and I didn't even pay for it. I feel this way for several reasons. I will list them to make it easier on all of my loyal readers:

1. You only wear your wedding dress ONCE! Uh, hello, ONCE! Did you all get that? ONCE!

2. Unless you have a large dispensible income, you really have no business buying a $1000plus gown. Ask yourself this, do you give that much to charity per year? If the answer is no, then skip the desinger dress and be realistic. Remember, you will only wear it ONCE.

3. When you are at a wedding, do you think you could really and truly tell if a dress cost $100 or $2100? I would say 97% of the time the answer is no. Not to mention, aside from the fact that no one can tell, no one really cares how much you spent.

4. If you must spend gobs of money on clothing, save your thousands and buy something really practical, like, designer jeans or a timeless leather bag. Something you will surely get your money's worth out of.

5. Finally (because I promised to limit my reasons to 5), there are just way too many affordable opitons these days when it comes to wedding gowns. I have included pictures above, and below are all of the links.

And, believe it or not, you can go dress shopping with your head AND your heart. Really.

The dresses above all came from j.crew, Target, Nordstrom, and Dillard's. They range in price from $45.00 (no lie) to $695.00 (wowza, that's a lot of dough). Happy hunting!

ps Can you tell that I am not a HUGE fan of strapless dresses?

Here comes the bride!

22 April 2009


Please stop by and
check it out!
Let me know
what you think...
more will be added soon.
So, stay tuned...

21 April 2009

Top 5.

I have recently started reading a new blog...wide open spaces. You can read it, too, right here.

One post in particular got me this morning. A friend of the blog's author got a chain e-mail (yick!) that asked her to ponder her five favorite things about being a mom (as posted here). It doesn't seem difficult, but come one, you have to pick the BEST 5 things. That takes a lot of editing. How do you edit motherhood? Well, I tried. Hope you likey!

1. Hugs and kisses...one of the best things about being a mom, hands down. It can turn your day around in an instant.

2. No matter how monotonous my days can seem...there is always something new to discover about my little people. A look, a dance move, a story I didn't know. They are such complex creatures. I think that we, as parents, forget that sometimes. We think kids are simple, that they don't have enough life experience yet to make them multi-dimensional. That's just not true. They are just little sponges that absorb everything...everything. even things we miss. Actually, it's usually always the things that we miss that they don't. They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

3. I have always felt honored to be able to be a mother. Not just the being able to grow and deliver a new human, but the actual mothering. I don't really think it is the pregnancy that makes you a mother (I know people who have adopted that are better parents than most people).I am especially privileged to be the mother to a little girl that faces unique challenges. We knew Betsy would have developmental problems from the time she was 4 months old. It has changed my life, and as hard as it is some days, it is one of my favorite things about being a mom, being able to care for her and personally know an individual with special needs. It is especially profound seeing my other children accept her, as if nothing is different about her, and hearing them tell other kids why she doesn't talk or walk very well. They look out for her and each other. It's awesome.

4. Although, I don't love this at the time...I love when the boys slam the door to their room because they are mad at me or Jake. I love when they say they're running away, or that they want a new family, or that they are certain that we don't love them anymore. It makes me smile to think that they are experiencing all of the same things that I did as a kid, and one day, they will realize this and understand that I WAS once a kid, and I DO know what they're feeling, and at some point, I felt and did the same things.

5. The chaos. I am not sure I could function without it. I love to be organized and in control. There is nothing in this world that teaches you humility and acceptance like kids. Some things are out of our control. I learned this when I became a mom. sometimes things don't get picked up or scrubbed, sometimes you're late or miss an appointment altogether, sometimes they puke in the middle of your grandma's funeral luncheon. That's life. That's kids. And I love it!

20 April 2009

should I?

I've been wondering, lately, if I should put some stuff up on etsy. I love doing applique especially, and the sewing part is therapeutic for me. The extra fundage would be marvelous. But, I just don't know. I'm afraid my items wouldn't sell, or my product wouldn't be good enough, or I'd charge too much or too little, not to mention the fact that these kind of etsy shops are a dime a dozen (I would need something unique to bait the customers in.) Ahhhhhhh!

What's a girl to do?


17 April 2009


I am still feeling like my head is going to explode, but from what I hear, most of you have been feeling crappy. Ugh, allergies!

Real quick, though, I just wanted to share with all of you the big news. I am so incredibly excited that the classic, "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, is being released as a major, live-action, motion picture. There are really just no words.

ps the music sounds excellent, too.


Have a great weekend!

16 April 2009


So sick.

14 April 2009

Susan Boyle.

click here to watch the clip of Susan Boyle's performance.

I was recently alerted to a youtube video from Britain's Got Talent television show. It features the 47-year-old woman above. I woman who has never been married or even kissed for that matter. A woman who lives in a quiet English village with her cat named Pebbles. A woman who is by conventional standards homely. A woman who just wanted to sing in front of a large crowd.

Well, Miss Boyle, you got your wish, and knocked millions of people's socks off in the process.

You will cry. You will second guess every snap judgement you have ever made about anyone. You will want to be a better person. You will wonder why we judge at all. You will question many things about yourself and others. Your shallow pool will be deepened.

This touched me in a profound way. I thought of Betsy, and what people must think of her when she has a meltdown in the store, or how they must wonder why she walks the way she does, or how they may ponder all of the reasons why she doesn't talk. You know...all of the thoughts that must instantly enter most individuals' minds when they see her. And it's a real shame. Because Betsy will surprise you, just without words or song. She will do it by being her.

And, yes, she may never be married or kissed, she may never even be able to care for her own cat, but she will surprise anyone who gives her the chance. Just like Susan Boyle.
I dreamed a dream.

I've always wondered...

I may be going out on a limb here, but what is this prairie rehab business all about? I mean, call me crazy, but I thought prairies were tens of thousands of acres. How beneficial is it to make 'mini' prairies on the inlets of highway interchanges? I've seen back-yards bigger than some of these rehab sights. And, I really don't think that prairies are riddled with people's road trip garbage. But, I'm just sayin'!

See ya!

13 April 2009

an affair to remember.

I am in love. It is a love that is deep, passionate, full, and unfortunately, a bit one sided. Where as I revere the object of my affection to the inner most chambers of my heart, my love seems to have other plans. Not only does my obsession not have the same lustful feelings as I, but it has launched an offensive attack to big for me to wrap my brain around.

I love food. All kinds. It is this non-discriminatory approach to it that seems to be the problem. I could eat troughs of veggies and fish, but also Cheetos, candy, Oreos, red meat...you name it. Fried, sauteed, baked, grilled, seared. I don't care, just give it to me and give it to me now.

And, like all illicit affairs, it is not coming to a pretty end. But, rather, things seem to be spiraling out of control. The more I want to stop, the more the lust and passion take over. But food in vast quantities is no friend of mine. It knows right where to strike; butt, thighs, abdomen. You name it, it's working its magic; saddle bags, cellulite, muffin top, junk in the trunk.

Ah, but alas, what's a girl to do? One cannot help who (or what) they fall in love with. It is an unavoidable force of nature. So, the infatuation will go on. In the meantime, I am praying that the pilates will help offset the calorie intake. Keep your fingers crossed.

Bon appetit!

12 April 2009

10 April 2009


I have been off the past week or so. I am not sure why. I suppose there are seasons to everything. Climate, harvest, life. Don't misunderstand. I love my kids, my husband, my life. I've just been blue. My winter. It usually doesn't last for long. An extended PMS, if you will. It struck me how we all go through this at sometime or another. It only reinforces my belief that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Karma. Life kickin' our a** es back into shape. Balance takes work, happiness takes work, love takes work (it is an action, after all, not an object), life takes work (I mean, if you want to try and get it right). I am sure there are exceptions to the rule. There always are. Some people float through this life on cloud 9. No real effort involved. Good for them. I have always struggled with my "seasons". Ask anyone who knows me well. I'm not clinical or anything, just a lil' crazy. The normal kind. Personally, I think it only makes things interesting. I prefer the roller coaster to the merry-go-round. More thrilling, less monotonous. Up and down versus around and around. (Isn't that from a movie? Parenthood?) It's true, though. For me anyway. Faith gets me through. Not only faith in God, but faith in myself, my family, my friends, my peeps. I'll eventually get it right, and beat the blues. I'm not worried. I have too much going for me. Too good of a team. This, too, shall pass.

So, Momma, don't you worry!

08 April 2009


Have I ever told you that I have a mouth like a sailor?


Do you have any idea how difficult it is to keep this blog void of profanity?

Harder than labor with no drugs, and I should now, I've done that.

My mouth is bad. Really bad. I drop 'f'' bombs like nobody's bidness.

Don't hate me. I am pretty conscious of my mouth when the kids are around.

Except Rosie.

I guess I just still think of her as a baby.

I am really trying to clean up my mouth. Particularly, because lil' Ro has been repeating some of the things that I say and laughing.

Here's what I want to know...

How is it that at a mere two years of age, she already knows that saying a bad word is something she shouldn't be doing. Hence, the pure amusement she gets out of it.

Why are certain words 'bad' anyway?

Who decides this stuff?

If I were in charge of selecting bad words, I would have chosen completely different things.

Why not funnier words like whipple or snoofleblad? Those are to fun to say.

Some of you who do not know me personally, may find my linguistic choices surprising. I mean I am a good Catholic, mid-western, family gal. Right? (This is where you agree with me, so, nod your head.)

But, let me tell you something, I am a firecracker at heart. And you just can't extinguish my spark. You know, kind of like a pilot light. If you blow it out, I just won't work and I may even explode.

Cursing is really a dirty, f*&$#ng habit!

ps please don't think less of me. it just goes to show you that we are only human, after all. :)

07 April 2009


I came across this super fabo picture of my mom, so I thought that I would post it. Everyone can just pretend that this is the picture that I posted on her birthday. Isn't she purdy?!
Love you, momma!

06 April 2009

more of pete's lexical styling...

I am not really sure what is more alarming...
the fact that my kindergartner wrote that sentence at school,
the fact that his teacher didn't say anything about it. :)

Pete never ceases to amaze.

05 April 2009


It is my mom's birthday today. She is 55 years young. I think when you say 'years young' that means you are getting really old.

But, whatev.

My mom is the best. She is honest, strong, funny, loves her family, and is great for advice. She has never steered me wrong. Ever. She always has my best interests at heart. She has been a model for me in marriage, mothering, friendships (the REAL kind), and, this must be said, bargain hunting.

In the wake of an old friend's mother's passing, I have thought much about how my mom has touched my life. And, there are just too many ways to mention.

That's good though. Too many.

Here's the deal, so many people want to be their child's FRIEND. My mom wanted to be our MOTHER. Because that's what she was supposed to be.

I still look to her for mother stuff, not friend stuff. She will always be honest with me, and not just stroke my ego. She will always play devil's advocate. She will always want the best for me, and love my unconditionally, even if I don't do what she thinks I should. Friends don't always do that.

I have a best friend, I don't need another one. Least of all my mom. I want her to be my best mom.

And, good news, she is.

I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday!


03 April 2009

who does this?

The husband and I have been doing pilates.

When you are as out of shape as we are, it's hard. Really hard.

We usually do it at night, after the kids go to bed. The other night, while I was waiting for Jake to come upstairs so we could get started, I was thinking...

what 32-year-old man does pilates with his wife? Most men I know would say,

"Pilates? Are you mad, woman? I refuse. I will only run marathons, lift heavy things, or get my exercise dragging my latest kill from hunting back to my truck!".


not my man. He says,

"Sure. What is that, and when do we start?". How great is that?

While I was entwined in my thoughts concerning my beau hunk's awesomeness, I was knocked back into reality by his heavy footed treading up the stairs.

There he was in all of his glory and spandex splendor. A true tribute to the pilates' gods. A testament to all that is sacred and holy about exercise in general.

Not to mention the fact that he not only allowed me take photos, he gave me permission (happily), to put them on the world wide web.


God, I love that man.

remember to breathe.

01 April 2009

a must.

If there is one movie that you should watch before you die, it is "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen". It is, possibly, one of the most underrated movies of all time. I cannot say more than that, so, I guess you will just have to watch it for yourself.
(You might want to pause my playlist.)

this is sooooooo not an april fool's joke.