This Page

has been moved to new address

Simplicity in the Suburbs

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:40px 20px; font:x-small Georgia,Serif; text-align:center; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } a:link { color:#58a; text-decoration:none; } a:visited { color:#969; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#c60; text-decoration:underline; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { width:660px; margin:0 auto 10px; border:1px solid #ccc; } } @media handheld { #header { width:90%; } } #blog-title { margin:5px 5px 0; padding:20px 20px .25em; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:1px 1px 0; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; font-weight:normal; color:#666; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; } #blog-title a { color:#666; text-decoration:none; } #blog-title a:hover { color:#c60; } #description { margin:0 5px 5px; padding:0 20px 20px; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:0 1px 1px; max-width:700px; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Content ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { width:660px; margin:0 auto; padding:0; text-align:left; } #main { width:410px; float:left; } #sidebar { width:220px; float:right; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Headings ----------------------------------------------- */ h2 { margin:1.5em 0 .75em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .date-header { margin:1.5em 0 .5em; } .post { margin:.5em 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } } @media handheld { .date-header { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } .post { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } } .post-title { margin:.25em 0 0; padding:0 0 4px; font-size:140%; font-weight:normal; line-height:1.4em; color:#c60; } .post-title a, .post-title a:visited, .post-title strong { display:block; text-decoration:none; color:#c60; font-weight:normal; } .post-title strong, .post-title a:hover { color:#333; } .post div { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } p.post-footer { margin:-.25em 0 0; color:#ccc; } .post-footer em, .comment-link { font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .post-footer em { font-style:normal; color:#999; margin-right:.6em; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } .post img { padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; } .post blockquote { margin:1em 20px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.75em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments h4 { margin:1em 0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } #comments h4 strong { font-size:130%; } #comments-block { margin:1em 0 1.5em; line-height:1.6em; } #comments-block dt { margin:.5em 0; } #comments-block dd { margin:.25em 0 0; } #comments-block dd.comment-timestamp { margin:-.25em 0 2em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } #comments-block dd p { margin:0 0 .75em; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } /* Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ #sidebar ul { margin:0 0 1.5em; padding:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; list-style:none; } #sidebar li { margin:0; padding:0 0 .25em 15px; text-indent:-15px; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar p { color:#666; line-height:1.5em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } .profile-datablock { margin:.5em 0 .5em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; margin:0 8px 3px 0; } .profile-data { margin:0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .profile-data strong { display:none; } .profile-textblock { margin:0 0 .5em; } .profile-link { margin:0; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; padding-top:15px; font:78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Friday, February 29, 2008

Quality Friday: Wedding Bells!

Surprise!

Because life in my family has just not been crazy enough lately....

My little sister got engaged last Sunday and informed me on Monday that I am now her wedding planner. I told her that since she's family I'd give her a discount.

All kidding aside, she knows what I love. I love parties, weddings, events and planning up the wazoo. Within an hour of our phone call I'd called reception sites, emailed her the first 100 things she needs to start making decisions on and made an outline budget.

Hopefully she won't get rid of me quite yet!

I know I can be overwhelming. I'm a thinker, a doer and a get 'er done sort of girl.

The wedding is set for October 25th and while right now it seems ages away, it's going to sneak right up on us.

I am happy for my sister because I like her to be happy. As long as she's happy, I'm happy. (Keep that in mind fiance' J. I'm not so much fun when I'm unhappy.)

In other wedding related news, she called Miss M on Tuesday evening and asked her to be her flower girl. M, who initially thought it might be Hollywood calling her and offering her a job (I kid you not) gladly and graciously accepted and already asked me what kind of hair style she should have.

I love the way she thinks.

Congrats again little sis and fiance' J. May your engagement be all you hoped it'd be and more.

With love, this quality Friday.

Your wedding planner.

(By the way I am posting this at 5:54am. H is feeling better, sleeping through the night again, however his mornings start earlier than most. It was my morning to get up with him and he chose 5am today. Lucky me.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Brother Bear.

When I was pregnant, we did not find out what we were having. That was a surprise that was really important to me and it was fun to hear people guess and wonder what I would be having.

Most every single person that gave me an opinion told me I was having a girl and to be completely honest I had begun to believe the same thing. (In fairness, I should say that J was the only person who confidently said my entire pregnancy I was having a boy.)

I'd come from a family of three girls, my dad had five sisters, we knew girls. The closest I'd ever come to having a brother was foster children that at times stayed at our home and an old childhood friend I spent years side by side.

Well obviously we all know that H turned out to be a boy, giving T and M a baby brother. We've never said half-brother, it's always been brother.

I had always anticipated M to be a mini-mama after the baby would be born. I expected that she'd want everything to do with taking care of baby. That she'd be overly concerned and want to do everything from helping with feedings to changing diapers.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Don't get me wrong, M loves H, he's her brother and there are certainly times she treasures and enjoys him. But there are other times where he is just plain in her way. Under her skin and annoying.

T, on the other hand, truly, truly is a brother bear to H. Yes, he sometimes is annoyed when H is in his things or following him from room to room. But for the most part, he adores his baby brother and will do anything for him. He's always willing to help me out by getting him a snack or reading him books. Keeping him away from danger and protecting him from things I wouldn't want him playing with.

Sometimes I take this for granted. When H was a tiny newborn (or not so tiny, depending on how you look at it) sometimes I would get irritated with all the questions and requests to hold H or carry H. There were many times that T would ignore my requests to leave H alone, and sleeping H would be wide awake. But he just wanted to play with his brother.

The love that T has given to H has certainly rubbed off on H as he loves T. He points out T in any photo and recites and requests his brother repeatedly. When we see the school, H asks for T.

When T and M return from their moms, H lights right up, he misses them. I didn't anticipate how he'd feel going a couple days each week without his siblings. I'm hopeful that as time goes on he'll realize it is just what it is, but it is heartbreaking to hear him cry when we pull out of their mom's driveway and heartbreaking to watch him look out the window at the school bus on a day T and M aren't on it. This is one of those things they don't tell you in blended family books, but instead one you have to learn.
Last night, J had taken M to gymnastics and the boys and I played, H danced around. The phone rang and I got on the phone and when I hung up I realized it was awfully quiet. I walked down the hall to H's room and found T rocking, sleeping H. My heart melted. This dynamic and relationship I had not expected. But I love it and am proud of T and the brother he is.

T is the big brother bear. And there couldn't possibly be a better brother for H, than T himself.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back By Popular Demand.

The dancing king returns. You'd never guess that he's spent the last three days under the weather, would you?

Let me tell you, you really haven't lived until you've had three straight sleep deprived nights with a sick child. One who won't eat during the day, but has an amazing appetite at oh, 2am. And his best sleep happens while in the middle of my bed, with his arms and his legs flailing.

video

Gotta love his break dance moves.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Letter Writing 101.

At the beginning of the year, one of the things I said I'd like to do is get back to the lost art of sending actual letters. My friend, Melissa joined me on this venture and thus began the snail mail campaign.

A few weeks later and after I'd started my penpal relationship with my grandma B, I was in contact with Huffington Post contributor and author, Samara O'Shea. And she sent me a copy of her book; For The Love Of Letters: A 21st Century Guide to The Art of Letter Writing. (She also runs a letter writing business. Seriously. People pay her to write their letters. NEAT-O!)
It was a fantastic book and guide on letter writing and what a sometimes complicated communication process it can be at times.
"Emily Dickinson and I are here to remind you that there is nothing—not a text message, not an IM exchange, not a MySpace comment—that competes with the emotional connection made through a letter. Handwritten or typed, snail-mailed or handed over—doesn’t matter. It’s the time you take to choose your words carefully and write them down that becomes a tangible testament to how much the other person means to you." -The introduction to her website.
I received the book on a Thursday and was finished on a Friday afternoon. It was that insightful.
What was even more cool than reading an appropriate book for a goal I'd set was sharing the same first name.
How cool is that! A note to Samara and from Samara.

I don't have a common name and I don't typically (or ever) run into someone else named Samara. Even then there are a few different meanings of the name so I was doubly surprised that her name was pronounced the same and had the same meaning. We had similar experiences growing up having a different name, hearing it pronounced every which way and learning to love it now. As a child, I wished my name was Jenny, Stacy, Shelly, Kelly...I have heard my name pronounced every which way and sometimes get so tired of correcting people that as long as they call me something that starts with S, I go with it.

My name (and hers), Samara, is Hebrew. Because of that, it is sometimes assumed that I am Jewish. I'm not. My name means: Asked of God. Because I was asked of God. My mom had a very difficult time getting pregnant with me and then a very high risk pregnancy carrying me to term. Her and my dad prayed over me and my birth.

My name is pronounced: Sa-ma-ra or Some-Are-A. Like I said, I've heard every single possible pronounciation. It's not always pretty.

Because Samara is a unique name, if one doesn't assume I am Jewish they sometimes assume I am foreign. I have received compliments on the way I speak English, I have received flabbergasted looks when someone meets me for the first time after hearing or seeing my name. It's not uncommon for someone to assume I am not Caucasian.

It seems to be that we all grow into the names our parents choose for us as babes for one reason or another and we grow to love our name, whether it's common or uncommon. Regardless of any of our unique name quandries it was very fun to find that I'm not the only Samara out there.

It was also fun to read about letter writing and receive the info and encouragement the book had to offer, it's inspired me even more to continue the lost art, keep writing the notes and letters. And to also think about who might need a letter here and there.

Is there someone in your life you could write a letter to?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quality Friday: Family.

"Dear Tigger, Just a note to say; dress warmly, eat well. Stay safe and sound. Keep smiling. We're always there for you. Wishing you all the best. -Your family." The Tigger Movie


Promptly upon our return from Green Bay, WI, H was asking for "Pooh". So, The Tigger Movie went in and we sat and enjoyed moments of this movie I now seem to have memorized. The premise of the movie is that Tigger is sad that he's the only Tigger and wants to find his family. Pooh and friends dress as Tiggers and try to convince Tigger that they are his family, but Tigger is disappointed. He wants his real family, so searching he goes and he realizes, in the end, that those friends are his family. His real family.

Green Bay is my parents old stomping grounds. Both my parents, the oldest of six, grew up just two blocks apart. One on Jackson Street and one on VanBuren. Because my mom and dad had been an item since my mom was just 14, both families have always been quite intertwined from going to the same high school to large family events now.

There was a time where family functions and events were not very fun for me. I'd wish and hope for other plans to pull me away from the supposed 'forced family fun.' I am sure that this is normal and that every person goes through this time where everything BUT family is important. I remember many trips to WI where my parents would drive through their old neighborhoods pointing out landmarks, friends homes and memories, I couldn't refrain my yawns back then.

Perhaps it is the last few months we've had or perhaps it's just a coming of age, but I have come to a point where I am so thankful for my family. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family. My mom's sisters and brothers. My cousins. My dad's sisters. And while the circumstances weren't what I had hoped after just seeing my mom's family in December, I was happy to have their arms to hug again. Their voices, questions and laughter to fill the room. Happy that H. could run from person to person, arms to arms and receive love from everyone from his great uncles to his great aunts. (And don't forget 'boppa' (my dad) who we rode to WI with.)

My dad drove around his old neighborhood and past the home he grew up in and then my mom's childhood home, past the school they went to and the life they lived. Now I eat up this information. This history of my mom and my dad.

While we typically might not see all of our extended family more than once a year, they are where I've come from. They hold history and stories of life before me. They are a connection to my dad and to my mom. And there are days that I need that connection as much as I need oxygen to breath.

So to my family, my real family, I have this to say:

Dress warmly. (Believe me, it's ccccold...)
Eat well.
Stay Safe and Sound. (Making wise choices...)
Keep Smiling. (It's going to get better...)
I'm always there for you.
Wishing you all the best.
Love, me



My little sister A, cousin S and grinning H.
(Acting as though he is having the time of his life in the fanciest Starbucks I've ever seen.)
DePere, WI
(Can you believe this is the only photo I have from this week?)


Monday, February 18, 2008

Grandma B.

I've heard it said that losing a child is one of the hardest things one can ever do. It's not typically natural for a parent to outlive a child, which is what makes it seem such an impossible, heart breaking task.

My grandma B, my mother's mother, experienced this just this past December. She survived her daughter, but only for sixty five days.

This past Friday, she passed away and went to her heavenly home where I can only hope and imagine that she is there treasuring her daughter again.
My grandmother wasn't in any stellar health condition but we also didn't expect her to leave us quite so soon. Just this year, her and I had started exchanging letters and I had just spoken with her Friday afternoon.

It's been said that sometimes those that are dying are waiting for someone or something before they pass away and perhaps we'll never know if that was the case with grandma or not. Friday had been a day of good news, it was the day we found out her son (my uncle) didn't have cancer. And as we rejoiced on earth about this news, the heavens rejoiced as they welcomed grandma up above.

So this week I am headed to Green Bay, WI to see my mom's side of the family and remember Grandma B's life.

While my grandma will be missed very much, I know that she lived a very full, good, though at times challenging life. Her years were filled with children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was very special to many people and we'll certainly hold many memories close to our hearts, but we can also rejoice that she is in the place of eternal happiness, joy and health.

And we will see both her, and my mom, again someday.
Grandma B. and H. November 2006
Grandma B. and dad. December 2007

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Proof That He Is Mine.







He just so happens to love the phone. Just like me.

Happy 22 Months Sweet Boy.

He's getting closer to two every single day and we can certainly tell. In more than one way.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quality Friday: Love Is...

Love is...leaving work early to prepare a dinner for your wife since she wrote on the monthly menu that you're cooking dinner on Valentines. Love is...actually finding recipes and ideas that you know your picky wife will enjoy. Love is...stopping at the store and picking up a special drink you know she'd enjoy. Love is...understanding that even the best laid plans must accomodate non-sleepy little ones (H) and phone calls (T and M) and messes to clean up off the couch. Love is...including her favorite part, dessert. Love is...cleaning up the entire kitchen afterwards. Love is...playing an annoying word game with her because she likes it and it makes her laugh and then sitting through a horrendous chick television show when you want nothing more than just to head to bed. Love is...going to work late on Fridays so your wife can go to Pilates with your ex-wife. And love is...still smiling, still loving and being so happy by making your wife happy.

There was nothing instant about these potatos. Yum.
Steak, steamed broccoli, homemade mashed potatoes and that special drink he knew I'd enjoy but wouldn't typically buy.
Dessert.
Bananagrams. So fun.
It sure is and I couldn't be happier with where my home is.

Happy Quality Friday.

I love you J!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heart Day.

Not a huge heart day fan. Like I've said before, I think love is in the everyday.

This Valentine's my heart is busy. I'm missing her today. And thinking of some other family members who need some prayers and love right now.

One is from Miss M. and the other is from 'a secrit admirer'. Hmm, who could it be?
And this one, who doesn't quite understand the difference between a holiday and a regular day. Somehow got into some heart day candies that babysitter girl had left out. He gets his sweet tooth from me.

J is cooking a dinner for him and I tonight. Should be a nice, quiet, early evening. But like I've said before, everyday is heart day to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Miss. M.

I don't quite recall when or why I started calling Miss M, Miss M. Or why she ever started calling me when she's feeling goofy, 'Samama'.

But we did and the nicknames fit so well. She is quite a little miss and over 100% girl. She has changed so much since the first time I ever laid eyes on her years ago. From a squacky, particular toddler to a loving, mischievious, spunky little girl.

This week is winter spirit week at school and while T wants nothing to do with these fun dress up days, M is all about it.

Monday was pajama day...
Tuesday was beach day...

She is spunky, not just on school spirit days, but most days. She and T still have their 'normal' sibling squabbles and it usually only takes one exchange between the two of them where she is trying to convince us that she is the victim. Not usually the case.

Now that she's in first grade she is mastering the art of reading. She loves reading before bed and is getting so good at even figuring out the words she doesn't know.

February is 'I Love To Read' month around the nation and her class is having one student read a story aloud to the class each day of February.

Today was her day.

It was more than difficult to get there to watch and listen. Of the 6 1/2 school hours the time she was to read was smack dab the middle of ECFE class. I realized that being late to ECFE wouldn't matter but following through on what I told her would. So to school we went and distracted only a few of her classmates while H and I listened to her read aloud, 'Green Eggs and Ham'.

M practicing her reading with H Tuesday night.

Reading to class.

Showing the pictures too. (In case you didn't notice, today was 'ORANGE' day.)

She did a great job and beamed with pride. It was fun to hear her friends give her praise and compliments afterwards too.

It was just another reminder of how quickly time goes by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I sat contemplating the end of kindergarten and now we're just four months away from another summer break? She has taught me so much so far, and I can only look forward to the other lessons she has in store for me.

Oh Miss M, we are so proud of the girl you're becoming. Be who you are everyday, because we love exactly who you are. Love, Samama

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revisiting the Family Bed. (And Why It Just Plain Won't Work For Us.)

Week two of our new ECFE class last week was certainly a nice surprise. I actually enjoyed it and felt like I was beginning to make some connections. (You know the old saying though, attitude is everything!)

During parent discussion time I was a little horrified to hear about one of the parent's sleeping situations at home. Her and her husband, their 4 year old, their almost 2 year old and their Great Dane, share a bed. She doesn't mind this set up but her husband is starting to get a little irritated.

Can't imagine why!

We all went around the room trying to offer our sympathies and advice and when it came time for me to talk, I explained that we don't share beds. (Remember I wrote about the family bed last year.) Everyone has their own bed, their own room and that's the way it is. Period.

Well, I should have knocked on wood that moment but because I didn't, our room has turned into some sort of three ring circus. The only child recently staying in their bed is T.

H, has again gone down the road of early rising the past several mornings. Most of which somehow end up with him in our bed a couple hours before we need to get up and J and I trying to avoid his arm punches and leg kicks.

The day of ECFE, H would not go down for a nap. After hearing him talk, sing and cry for almost two hours I decided I'd lay down with him in my bed and see if he'd calm down. I think I fell asleep before he did and two hours later we both awoke, though nothing got accomplished around the house. Oops.

Monday night after a long day at school, I was tired. J took H to put him to bed but instead of the typical silence that usually comes out of the room, I heard, "Mama" "Dada" ...for awhile. A long while.

I went into his room and for one of the first times in a long time, I melted. I hadn't really seen him all day and he was very cuddly. I decided I'd try bringing him in my bed and laying with him.

Bad idea. After he spent an hour trying to climb over me, when J came to bed he was a little more than surprised about this child in our bed.

Eventually H did return to his own bed. But just a few short hours later he was up again. And wide awake. As I climbed out of bed I noticed another child laying on the bedroom floor. Miss M. had decided that she wanted to sleep by us. The night prior to this she'd stood at the side of the bed asking if she could sleep with us, so the fact that she took it upon herself to sleep on the floor without waking anyone was fine by me. (Though still bothersome of why she doesn't want to stay in her own bed.)

With hopes that putting a dvd in for H might lull him back to sleep, I tried. J eventually said forget it and got up and ready for work slightly earlier than usual. I wasn't going to give up though.

By the time the alarm went off at 6:15, both H and M were sound asleep in my bed. But now I had to get up and get M out the door to school.

Needless to say, it was a yucky morning.

I told babysitter girl part two that H was tired but not to put him down too early. With a large amount of paid time off hours to use up before the end of the year I already had hopes of an afternoon nap. When I called home at 11, she informed me he'd already been out an hour. I rushed home, said goodbye and fell into my bed. Until 1:20pm.

I'm beginning to enjoy these said naps, but my list of things to do is certainly paying for it. Which is why this family bed thing doesn't work for us. Nobody gets enough sleep. We're cranky. We're uncomfortable.

It's not fun.

Tomorrow is week three of ECFE, and I might just have to keep my mouth shut. As soon as one says never, life has a funny way of changing on you.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spring Fever.

Sunday got down to 33 below zero windchill here in Minnesota, but for whatever reason H was strutting his stuff in his summer sandals.

Nothing better than those chubby toes figuring out how the flip flop works.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Achy Breaky Body.

It was my morning to get up with H today. J and I take turns on weekends and days off and when the clock said 6:22am, I heard him. And then I tried to get out of bed.

From my ribcage down to my knees my body quivered. I rolled to my side and used my arm to sit up and even that was ouch.

It's 'the day after' and I am SORE.

Friday started with my very first Pilates class where I joked with L that if I didn't know better I'd think she was trying to kill me. (She reminded me though that I was the one who wanted to go.) She told me last week how hard it was and I had laughed. Umm, she was right. It's hard.

(There will probably NEVER be pictures of us in class. Sorry!)

After class since I was feeling so good about myself from exercising and all that, I decided I would be a good mom and take H to the Children's Museum. This would have been an even more stellar idea had I brought a stroller. The walk to and through the museum was just fine. He's almost two he usually does a fine job. It was the leaving bit that was a little painful since I had to carry him a lot of it.
Sesame Street at the Children's Museum.
Water Works. He could have spent two hours in here alone.
After our long visit we stopped and saw Ronald and H had a cheeseburger and fries. I couldn't eat it after thinking about my hard workout that morning.
Then we had our Wii party. Which was very fun.
M and T figuring it out while L watched.
Go M!Yeah!
H was very entertained and curious about this whole thing. Had to keep him out of the way so he didn't get injured.

Grandpa made an after dinner appearance, but he said watching was enough fun for him.
J getting squashed at tennis by yours truly.
Victory is all mine!
Needless to say, my body is t.i.r.e.d. From pilates to carrying heavy children for long stretches of time to Wii action. Friday kicked my butt.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Quality Friday: Wii.

Let me begin by saying, I am not a video game girl. Or at least I wasn't.

T's birthday was two weeks ago and for the life of me (especially with the whole needs vs. wants experiment going on) I could not figure out what to get him. Yes there were tons of 'little' ideas, but I am so tired of the little things that are played with or used for a day or two and then tossed aside.

Finally two days before T's birthday, J and I decided that we'd do some different gift certificates for skateboarding, snow tubing and snowboarding, swimming etc.

Though, I still wasn't completely sold.

Fast forward to his party. (Where letmetellya parties have changed! In more than one way.) He received $145 of Target gift cards from his friends. No joke.

(Hmm. Let me think about the last time that happened on my birthday? It hasn't!)

So later that night after some discussion with J, who then discussed it with L, we decided J and I would pay the difference for the Wii. Something he (and my husband, I might add) have wanted for some time.

Thus began my crazy morning routine of calling every Target in a 20 mile radius every day. Sometimes twice a day.

Yes, I am that girl.

I would call at 8 when they opened, then I might stop in and do a walk through, just to make sure none snuck in. Other days I'd just call at 8 and maybe again at 3.

One day I talked with the store manager at our closest Target and he told me the Wii's were coming. But couldn't exactly tell me when.

I seriously have been making myself crazy about this Wii business. To the extent that now I too want to play with it.

So this morning, I was chatting with L on the phone and she asked if I'd found T's Wii yet.

Nope. I told her, but was thankful for the reminder to call. I got off the phone with her and called Target.

"Did you get any Wii's?" I asked.

"We did."

Me, falling off my chair. "Did you just say you did?!??"

"Yep, we have 13 left."

I think after calling every day for almost two weeks straight and getting no as an answer I didn't expect a yes.

I gathered up my coat and purse, told the ladies in the office I had to run to Target and started the stressful drive to Target. (Oh yes, I was supposed to be working today. This is one of the busiest weeks of the school year for me with all sorts of things going on. Between missing Tuesday due to sick children and needing to get a Wii Thursday, it's a surprise I still have a job.)

When I walked into Target there were three Target employees standing in electronics.

"You still have Wii's right?"

"I'm so sorry." One started to say.

"No..." I gasped. There was NO way I missed them.

He then started laughing and told me that he knows I've been in there and calling every day. Yes they had one for me.

T is now the proud owner of a Wii. (When I returned to school, I actually went and found him and gave him the good news.)

I really can't wait to play it. (Or even open it for that matter, T's at his mom's so I really can't justify breaking it open. It is his birthday gift.)

Friday night when him and M come back from their mom's we're having a pizza and game night with their mom to break in the newest excitement. I think my dad's joining in the fun too.

So this week, my {early} quality Friday moment is this, after a crazy start of a week with sick kids and crazy business at school (including one ten hour day. Oy!) Knowing that we get to have Wii-time, and on a cold weekend to boot.

Happy Quality Friday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fortune Cookie Inspirations.

SEEK OUT A NEW ADVENTURE AND TRY A NEW FOOD.

Had dinner with friends on Saturday night. Chicken stir fry and egg rolls. What better way to end the meal than with fortune cookies. My fortune is the one listed above.

Played a very fun game of Bananagrams. Never played it until then and instantly fell in love with the game. It helped that I won the first couple times.

I like winning.

Realized and remembered that it is so fun to have dinner with friends, even with kids running around like crazy. Want to be more intentional in inviting others over for food and games and fun.

Decided I would indeed try a new food this month and it's scheduled on our February calendar that can be seen here. I may even share the recipe if all goes well. (Thank you Kari for the recipes!)

My new adventure I'm going to take up is pilates. I've always wanted to either try yoga or pilates. Currently, the state of our busy life won't allow for yoga, so pilates it is for now. L started last Friday, I'm joining her this week.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Greatest Election Yet.

One of the many things I have learned during my time working at school is that usually the people who are the loudest and have the most complaints are the ones who are hardly ever willing to help out and be involved.

Sure they want to voice their opinions, concerns and ideas about what's right, wrong and done incorrectly, but they have no interest in doing anything further than that.

Complainers. That's what they are, complainers.

I think that there are a lot of Americans who fall in that same category. We whine, we complain, we have all sorts of ideas about what certain politicians have done right and wrong, but we don't always follow through and do anything about it.

We vent, rather than using that energy to do something meaningful. We vent about the war, the economy, the White House affairs. Because at times, that's all we feel we can do, vent.

But we can do so much more. Today is what they are calling 'Super Tuesday'. Today is a day that YOU can do something if you so choose. You can choose to support or not support a certain candidate or a certain agenda. Or you can choose not to.

We get choices. Many countries and peoples do not.

They are calling the current presidential campaign, an 'election of a lifetime.' And boy is it ever.

Who would have ever thought that we would have such diverse and beautiful options for president of the United States?

I am smart enough not to go to far into my own political views here, because hey if I'm already getting criticized for the way I handled things with H at the doctor, I can only imagine the criticism I'd get for sharing my thoughts on the candidates.

I am thankful and amazed that I live in a country where I get to vote and choose the person I think would be the best for the job. Yes, I only get one vote. But taking the time and actually voting means something to me.

I am thankful and amazed that I live in a country where the candidates for president are diverse and richly intelligent. Where I am forced to stop and contemplate about the thoughts and ideas they share. Where I can question and research and figure things out on my own. Where I have to stop myself and realize just how beautiful it is that we are making history as both a woman and a black man compete for the presidency.

I get to vote for who I think is best for the job, regardless of the ticket they are on. There are times, I have surprised myself with a candidate choice. There are other times, I think I may have made the wrong choice.

Regardless, I get to make choices.

And so do you. This is me, getting on my soapbox, telling you that it is your responsibility and your right to pay attention. Watch closely and listen intently. Figure out what the candidates are saying and what they are meaning and what you believe in.

Complaining isn't going to change America.

But your vote might.

You only get one vote next November. Make sure you use it wisely.

" It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result." Ghandi

Monday, February 4, 2008

Waiting Room Bully.

Last week during H's hiatus we took a trip to the doctor. You know what that usually means.

Mistaken Identity...Dramatic moments with the Dr....the list goes on.

This trip was no exception.

You can take a peak over at Cribsheet to see what happened in the waiting room, this time.