Total Pageviews

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chicago Withdrawals!??!?!?!??!

I am missing Chicago.  The city.  the family.  (not missing the crappy weather they are currently having).  I cannot wait to get back up there and see my dad and Connie.  February is pretty much booked solid.  Playdate tonight and Cosmic bingo on Saturday, Dart tournament next weekend, Grandma moving to my parents the weekend after that and our daughter has band solo the following weekend and my niece's baptism is that weekend too.  So March is my goal.  I will be visiting in March.  I miss my dad and Connie.  The kids miss him too.  Plus he's made so much progress with healing I cannot wait to see the changes for myself.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Three months ago, I had no idea what exactly narcolepsy was.  It's nothing like what I had initially thought it would be which seems to be a big misunderstanding.  I never even knew up until probably October that my aunt and cousins all suffer from narcolepsy.  So since then, I have become interested in learning more.  It's not only because I exhibit some symptoms and plan to be tested, but I also read up on it in support of my family.

My cousin went to a Narcolepsy convention in Georgia this last Fall and met a narcolepsy advocate.  I have never met her but it's amazing to see how much she works for this cause.  To get it known by all.  To get people to understand people with narcolepsy are not alone.  To get people to understand that narcolepsy is real.  It's a real condition.  It's life altering.  It affects many.  She started a Narcolepsy Not Alone campaign asking people to submit photos.  She has collected 858 photos as of Jan 1.  One of those photos represents my cousins and aunt.  The photos submitted are just a small portion of the people affected by this.

Learn more about narcolepsy on Julie Flygare's website.  It's filled with tons of information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

~~Being Thankful, Prayers and Such~~

I love my kids.  Yes they drive me bonkers.  But they're kids and that's what kids do.  They bring joy, happiness, love, hope, and laughter.  Of course there is stress, tears, anxiety, etc. However I would not trade ANY of that for anything.  I am grateful for them.  I am grateful for the people they are becoming.  I am grateful that they are healthy.

We have had to utilize our share of specialists at one of the children's hospitals over the last 12 years.  We have seen an endocrinologist; otolaryngologist/ENT; orthopedist; cardiologist; and hematologist/oncologist.  Been in the E.R. four times and admitted once.  Every time I am there I realize how lucky we are.  Our "issues" are minor.  Scary at the time but minor.

This week has once again reminded me how lucky we are. So I have a request.  Well three.  Three prayer requests.  Three very big prayer requests.  So if you can, if you pray, please pray for these three families.  And hug your children.  Appreciate the moments.  All of them.

First, for little man...i am calling him little man because I don't want to put his name on my blog.  Most of you probably know him anyway but for any far away readers - pray for little man.  Little Man's mom and I went to high school together. We keep up on facebook and her family owns the daycare my son goes to (and daughter went to).  Not to mention we have some common family.  Anyway, little man is 2 months old and had his first open heart surgery at approximately ten days old.  He's back in the hospital now and is having a cardiac cath tomorrow.  Pray for good results.  Pray they are able to do what they need to do so he can avoid having another open heart surgery already (they know he already needs more but they thought they had a couple months before next one).

Second, for a coworker's daughter.  K is 8 and had a heart transplant almost three months ago.  She is back in the hospital this week with some complications with fevers, white blood count, etc.  So please pray for her.

Third, a friend has struggled for YEARS to conceive.  She has gone through a lot to achieve something that comes so easy to most.  She is getting closer to her dream.  So.very.close.  Please pray.  Give her strength and hope.  The journey she has been on has made it very difficult to have hope.  So if you can spare a few prayers for them too.  She deserves this.

On another note, St. Louis Heart Walk is May 10, 2014.  I am going to walk for H & K.  It's not a competitive walk and any donation is welcome.  I think you have to donate a certain amount to get a heart walk shirt, but anything helps and it benefits the American Heart Association.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy BIrthday Grandma!

Today is my Grandma's 78th birthday! 
In 19 days, she is moving back home. 
This makes me happy.  I miss her. 
Sad she ever left but glad she is going to be home. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rude awakening!

That is what we woke up to Monday morning.  102.4 fever.  Awesome.  So xander and I had an unplanned day off.  We went to the doctor where the doctor had to swab herself for strep in order to get him to let her swab him for strep.  No strep.  No flu.  Just a virus going around and some ear infection.  Is it summer yet?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

She's my child....

So several months ago I saw one of those poster things that said:

Just when I think my son is a little carbon copy of his father, that he inherited nothing from me...He trips over his own feet and slams into a wall. I say to myself "Ah... there I am"!

And thought oh so true for not only my son but my daughter as well.  Serena decided to prove that theory when she dropped a bowling ball on her bare (well she had socks but no shoes) foot.  On the same foot she broke two years ago by kicking the door frame.  <---- see my child.  Totally something I would do. 

So positive thought:  at least she didn't make the volleyball team.  However, she wants to try out for cheer and we finally agreed so hopefully she is healed by time those tryouts roll around. 

Friday, January 24, 2014


Not the type that are fun either.  Well supposed to be fun.  I don't see those as fun either.  Anywho, I am referring to changes in my meds again.  Seems about every 30 days my medicine is changing.  Let's hope doubling the dosage does something positive for me!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Positive Thoughts

So lately I have been negative and grumpy, and in a funk.  It's  combination of wanting a new job (and not pursuing anything because right now nothing particularly wrong with my job - I just don't want to work at a law firm forever), still trying to adjust to my post surgery issues (still doing much better than before but surgical menopause sucks!), worried about Ryan (he's still healing from his surgery and his bottom incision busted open the other night - yuck!), and just every day stresses that everyone has. 

So here are some positive thoughts for this cold Thursday:

1) My dad is doing pretty well all things considering - he's been through a lot and has a long road yet but I've gotten some good updates so I am thankful/happy for that.

2)  Our daughter did not make the volleyball team which she is okay with - she handled it well and decided volleyball just is not her thing.

3)  Our daughter has decided to focus on other things now.  She still loves band and is thinking about trying out for cheerleading.

4)  Our daughter is on honor roll, again, despite her issues in Math and Science.  She barely made it this quarter but she made it.  She has already brought those grades up and currently has all A's with 2 B's. 

5)  She also received a nomination for the United States Achievement Academy...not sure what exactly this is but it seems impressive. 

6)  Xander continues to be a ham every day.  He doesn't have as much going on academically but couldn't leave him out of my post.  He has such spunk and personlity and I cannot believe we will be registering him for kindergarten soon or that he will be 5 soon. 

7)  I am an aunt again to a beautiful little girl. 

8) I will be an aunt again in the next 3 weeks or so. 

9) Even on days I think are horrible/awful, Ryan still manages to make me smile and I feel bad because often he is on the receiving end of my incredibly horrible mood swings. 

10) And my grandma is moving back home.  This makes me happy.  I miss her tons.

So that's the good stuff/positive post.  That should make up for all of my negativity lately.  Also, yesterday someone made my day but that's their news to share so I won't go into detail.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Baby Day

So as most of you know, I am getting a niece.  Two actually!  One on my side of the family and one on Ryan's side of the family.  Nikki (my side) is being induced as we speak.  I cannot wait to meet the newest addition to the family.  My son is excited to announce he is no longer the baby and doesn't quite understand he is MY baby.  So I am at work today, waiting for updates.  My phone is charging, my camera is charging and I cannot wait to get out of here and go meet her.  That's assuming she is here by time I get off work and so far it sounds like it is progressing nicely. 

I cannot believe my brother is having a baby.  He is going to make an amazing father, though my son disagrees because Uncle Derrek takes his toys and my son says the baby will cry if Derrek does that.  So note to Derrek, don't take your kid's toys....per your nephew.  Anyway, I am proud of Derrek and think he will be an amazing dad to his little girl.  Good luck.  I am happy for you and Nikki. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ryan's Turn

So after me having 9 surgeries (7 of those since Ryan and I have been together), Ryan has become the patient.  After about 6 hours of extreme pain he finally went to the E.R. on last Wednesday morning.  That E.R. visit resulted in a surgery removing his gallbladder that had 13 stones and was infected and inflammed and just plain gross as the surgeon worded it. 

So Ryan is at home resting and I am supposed to take care of him.  I have been informed I am a horrible nurse.  I should probably remind him it took him 7 surgeries and 2 deliveries to get good at his nursing abilities.  Cut me a little slack.  :)

Although the 48 hours he went without a cigarette made me realize I never want him to quit or if he does it needs to be gradual.  He's mean without his nicotene.  But I love him anyway

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Craft Goal...Shadow Box

I want to do this!

I want to and have thought about this for years putting the kids' going home outfits and baptism outfits in a shadow box.  Question is where would I hide 4 shadowboxes (two for each kid).

Both of my kids' baptism outfits were made by my godmother.  Our daughter's going home outfit was picked out by my mom and sister and given to me at my shower and our son's was picked out by Ryan and I when I was on bedrest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I can do it!

I said last year I wanted to run a 5k and never did.  I started of 2013 so motivated but the setback of my surgery and then all the issues that followed.  Well since I had the 2nd surgery which will eliminate all of those problems I am motivated to be read to run.  So I think my first 5k will be June 1, 2014 in Chicago.  So I think I am going to add two tickers to my blog to help track my progress.  One to track my weightloss and one to countdown til my 5k.

I picked a 5k that would mean a lot to me.  I searched for one for oral cancer which as most of you know is the type of cancer that my dad has been battling since February(ish).  It may be longer than that but February is when I found out so that date sticks with me.  My search for a 5k benefiting oral cancer did not yield any results for that specific type of cancer but I did find one in Chicago which supports the Lurie Cancer Center (Northwestern) which is where my dad is currently being treated.  This 5k is actually in connection with their Survivor Celebration.  So I think this is the one I want to do.  Registration is not open yet but I am watching their Facebook page.

I also picked this one because I can easily do it with Connie.  Serena wants to do it too!

So wish me luck I hope to run my first 5k this year.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DVR overload

My Mondays are booked with Bachelor, The Voice and Hart of Dixie.  Tuesday is The Voice and Chicago Fire and Wednesday is Chicago P.D.  Then when these shows go off I have nothing except Big Brother during the summer.

The Bachelor and The Voice I get more relaxed about and can go a couple weeks without watching and then just catch up on DVR.  Chicago Fire I have to watch the day it airs.  Have to.  Pretty sure Chicago P.D. will be the same way.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Going from Proud to Livid in a Day

Welcome to the home of a preteen or tween as they call themselves now a days.

We were so proud of our daughter for saving her money for a Kindle Fire HDX.  She bought her Ipod touch and DSi the last two years the same way.  So when she wanted a tablet we told her she had to save.  We feel it has more value to her when it's her money buying it.

Well she saved enough and can get one.  Except I checked her grades and our daughter who had honor roll all of 5th grade and the first quarter of this year ended the quarter with a C- in Science.  I am mad at her.  I am mad at us for not checking it regularly.  I usually checked online weekly.  Except while I was off I didn't check it.  I was off the entire 2nd quarter.  And hubby was relying on her bringing stuff home.  There are 7 F's she got this quarter and 2 D's plus a few C's and not enough A's to counteract all that chaos.  So disappointed!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Love Ornaments!

124!  That is how many ornaments in this picture.  Well technically there are 120 in this picture.  I took 124 off of my tree.  I took off all the ornaments and took this picture.  I found more hidden ornaments when I was taking garland and lights down.  Oops.  So 124 ornaments.  I can almost guarantee it will be 130 next Christmas.  I LOVE ornaments!  I got 3 this year.  And the kids each got 2.

Every year the kids and I get Hallmark ornaments from my dad and Connie.  I have the daughter series, Serena has the granddaughter series and Xander has the grandson series.  I get a Nieman Marcus ornament from my boss every year.  And St. Nick brings the kids an ornament every year that pertains to their interests for that year.  Plus the countless personal ornaments from the kids' school projects, etc.

I am glad I started this with our kids.  They love their ornaments and look forward to helping place them on the tree each year.

And I started the Mickey's Movie Mouseterpieces series for our godson last year.

And last but not least, I plan on doing this next year with our tassels and continuing the tradition with the kids.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chicago Tips

A lot of you know that I Chicago is my second home.  I love it there.  I go so much that people often ask me for tips.

First, if you belong to the St. Louis Zoo, bring your membership card.  If you visit Lincoln Park Zoo you can get 10% off purchases of food and souvenirs.  Lincoln Park is free admission.  This is the zoo that is downtown.  Brookfield Zoo is not free and is not downtown.   Brookfield also does not appear to participate in the reciprocal zoo program.  Read this.  It is pretty neat really for any zoo in the U.S.  If you belong to one, and traveling to another city look to see what discounts you can get at other zoos.

Second, check to see if any of the museums you plan to visit offer discount days for IL residents.  I have listed the more common museums with information and links.

Shedd's Aquarium - That has the Illinois Resident Discount days (free general admission).   Bank of America discount information (if you have a bank of america/merrill lynch atm/credit/debit card), active military personnel, and IL educator discount information.  Be prepared to stand in line for about an hour on a good day!  (Unless you want to pay the higher admission fees).  Here is a link to the prices and hours.

Museum of Science and Industry - That lists the various discounts provided and this lists the specific free days for 2014 for Illinois residents.  Here are the regular admission prices and hours.  I have not been here but the disney exhibit they have until May 4th looks pretty interesting!  This museum reciprocates if you have a members to St. Louis Science Center (or any science museum on the list)

Adler Planetarium - Scroll to the bottom and it has the IL resident free days.  So far it is only listing January dates.  They will update as the year goes on.  IL teachers and active military personnel get free admission.  This museum reciprocates if you have a members to St. Louis Science Center (or any science museum on the list)

Art Institute of Chicago (Our daughter's Favorite) - Winter weekdays are free for IL residents Jan. 6 through Feb. 12.  IL residents also get free Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m.

Field Museum - That lists the free admission days for IL Residents.  So far only the January dates are showing.  The plan your visit link indicates IL teachers and active military have free admission every day. That also has admission prices and hours.  This museum reciprocates if you have a members to St. Louis Science Center (or any science museum on the list)

History Museum - That has the free IL resident days and this has the hours. This was pretty interesting three years ago and our daughter has actually requested to go back but she is fascinated with Chicago.

Childrens Museum - Free first sunday of the month for kids under 15.  Free IL teachers and military personnel.  As well as a link to $1 off coupon.  The coupon changes so keep checking back.   Here are hours and regular admission.  Looks like if you belong to St. Louis Children's Museum (aka magic house) or any children's museum on the Association of Children's Museum list you can get 50% off admission.

Transportation (to Chicago):
I love taking Amtrak.  You can leave from St. Louis (usually about $10 cheaper per roundtrip but takes hour longer (5-6hours)) or leave from Centralia (4-5 hours).  Kids under 2 are free, kids 2-15 are half price.   If you are staying downtown I highly recommend this v. driving.  parking is astronomical!!!!

I have taken Megabus and well I hate it.  I have nothing good to say except the fares are low but you get what you pay for.  Some people like it.  I didn't. They make no accomodations for families as an FYI.  if you travel with kids they will not guarantee you sit with them.  no matter the age.

Transportation (around Chicago):
If you have a smart phone, the CTA is pretty easy to figure out.  Just don't ask me about how to get passes in advance.  I am confused with the new Ventra system (and so are they).

The double decker tours are neat to see.  I have done this several times and would go again.  Especially since I have yet to do the neighborhood tours!

The architectural tours by boat are amazing too!  Gives you a lot of history of the different buildings.

More stuff to do that I may recap later...Willis Tower (sears tower), John Hancock, Navy Pier (which is being renovated), American Girl, Millennium Park, and Garrett's Popcorn is a must!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Those Moments

My post yesterday mentioned those moments we question where we went wrong.  Well our daughter on Christmas morning managed to lose all of her gifts from under the tree.  Not lose as in not know where they are.  Lose as in, lost the privilege of enjoying them.

She got a bottle of perfume that looked smaller than the one her godmother got her two years ago.  (just as a note it was the same fl. oz.  just sized differently).  after going back and forth a while of her trying to prove me wrong.  I asked what the big deal was.  Her response was (with attitude) it isn't going to last that long.  I was annoyed (understatement).  My husband sent her to bed.  She stormed upstairs (got in trouble for that too) and then sent back to bed.  The more I sat here the more annoyed I was with her reaction.  We did not raise our kids to be ungrateful and rude.  And she was just that.  So I put all of her gifts into a bag and set them in the office.  She had to earn them back by during various chores and helping with various things.  She eventually got them back and hopefully this will teach her to be respectful.

I know, I know.  This is just the beginning.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas reflections

So we asked the kids what their favorite present was this year from under the tree.  Serena's response was the papa frame we bought her.  She got a ton of clothes, perfume (don't get us started on THAT topic- a blog for another day), fingernail stuff, a blanket.  And her favorite is a frame that cost about $3 on Black Friday (  Why?  because it had sentimental value to you because she is close to my dad and he has had an uphill battle with cancer this year.  He's still battling (he's a fighter!).  So out of everything she got the frame was the favorite.  Times like these make up for the times we question where we went wrong.  (see future post about perfume).  Probably sometime this week when I have time to put it out there)

Xander's favorite (from Christmas morning) flops from turtle to legos to shellraiser to transformer. 

I got a frame and rainbow brite ornament that are equally my favorite (from Christmas morning).  They both have sentimental value.   

On another note, I am looking forward to using the rest of my Kohls giftcard from my parents.  I bought some shirts and still have some money left over.  I am also looking forward to using our zoo membership from Dad and Connie.  Hoping for decent 2014 weather so we can do that.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


As most of you know, it took me til Dec. 14th/15th to get my tree up.  This is late compared to every other year prior where it is up the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This year was different.  First we were in Chicago Thanksgiving weekend.  No big deal, right?  Just put it up during the week (I had the time, technically...).  Well I was on medical leave and not released to do much of anything until the Monday after Thanksgiving and then returned to work on Wednesday.  By time I got home in the evening, I was exhausted.  So then we were looking at putting it up Dec. 7th which ended up being the night of our 12 year old's birthday slumber party.  5 girls...which meant 10 legs and arms I had to worry about getting into the tree while they sleep. (Do you realize how much kids move in their sleep when they have an entire room...well enough to hear clattering of ornaments).  So we decided to wait til after the sleepover.  I wasn't home the day after the sleepover and the next day was her actual birthday which meant cake and ice cream with godparents and grandparents.  so we decided to let her have one birthday without a Christmas tree up.  So long story finally went up Dec. 14th.

I told myself it would come down the weekend after Christmas but it kind of felt like a waste to put up for 2 weeks.  And we all ended up feeling like crud.  So I told myself Jan. 1 since we had the day off.  And it's still up.  So let's set a goal for this weekend.  We have nothing going on this weekend so hopefully it will happen.

This is not the only thing I am not motivated to do.  I am always tired!  Always!  I was like this pre-surgery and it's worse now.  I have asked about it and I am told it could take 6 months to a year to feel normal again.  At least the meds seem to be working which reminds me I forgot to take it today.  Crap.

Until my next rant.