Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Home again, home again!

We are back from a relaxing and fun week in Colorado! We had a great time, but man oh man does it feel great to be home. I think even Alyssa is glad to be home and hanging out with her puppies again. She "performed" quite well for her aunt, uncles, and cousins while we were on vacation, but there's just a certain sparkle that has come out again since we got home. When I went to put her down in her crib about 10 minutes ago for the night she gave this contented little sigh like "ahhhh my bed!". Too cute!

Anywho . . . I would like to give a couple shout outs relating to the trip.

First of all to Eric and Angie for taking such great care of the house and the puppies. We appreciate you guys so much. You do an awesome job and you have no idea how great it is to know that we're leaving Lexi and Joey in such capable and loving hands. I think they miss you already!

Second of all to the person who came up with the FANTASTIC idea to put dvd players in vehicles. Not only does it entertain children, but it entertains adults and makes the trip go sooo much faster. Ahhh the joys of watching "Sex and the City" from the back of a van driving across possibly the most boring state in the US . . . priceless!

Third of all . . . to my Dad who HAD to have the van with all the bells and whistles. As dumb as I thought it was for my parents to have said DVD player in the back of their van . . . I don't know if I could ever imagine traveling without one.

Next I would like to give a "wazzup" to my parents. They were such a blessing taking care of Alyssa so that Adam and I could have "fun" time as well as just helping take care of and entertain her. They rock!

Next its time for "Things We Learned on our Trip to Colorado"

1. After emptying out an entire diaper bag, my dad FINALLY figured out what a sippy cup was and proudly relayed that information to anyone we came across during the week.
2. It is possible to enjoy a 10 hour drive with a 10 month old. But said 10 month old will scream bloody murder if you try to put her back in her carseat within 24 hours of reaching your destination.
3. Don't go shopping with my youngest niece within 6 months of her birthday or any other major holiday if you don't want to hear "you could by this for me for my birthday" every 5 seconds.
4. It is possible for a bathroom door to get shut and locked without anyone in the bathroom. And it only takes 4 men to break down the door.
5. If you want to see my sister move really fast say "John just got home next door" when said sister has to pee and said door from number 4 is still locked.
6. If you're ever near Denver go to the Coors brewery and do the tour. It might not be the most interesting thing in the world, but DUDE . . . its free BEER!

Okay, and finally for the run down on what we did on vacation . . .

the day after we got to my brother's all the girls (my mom, sister, nieces, Alyssa, and I) went to a quaint little mountain town to go shopping. I fell in love with this store where the owners do their own glass blowing. They had the most amazing little clear glass pool table with frosted pool cues and colored balls in a triangle ready to be broke, but I couldn't figure out anyone who was into pool enough to buy it for. I bought a lot of Christmas ornaments and little glass animals for Christmas presents. While shopping we did one of those "old time" photography pictures taken of my nieces and Alyssa for my dad for his birthday. I'm so glad we did it because it turned out absolutely adorable. I bet he'll love it ~ hopefully my mom can keep it hidden until November.

The next day a bunch of us drove to the top of Pikes Peak. Okay, my brother drove and the rest of us rode along and tried to hold down our lunches. :) It was an amazing view, but it was darn COLD up there!

Our first day in Denver Adam, Alyssa and I met up with Chris and Jen to go to the aquarium. It was really pretty cool ~ a lot like the Omaha aquarium at the zoo, but had more exhibits. It was cute seeing Alyssa "interact" and watch all the fish.

Monday was "date day" and I actually kept everything a surprise from Adam! This is a huge accomplishment as I am one of those people who can't keep a secret when it comes to surprises and presents. I had told Adam that my parents were going to watch Alyssa so that we could go out to dinner, but I didn't tell him that I also booked a hotel room for that night and that Alyssa was staying with my parents. That afternoon my mom, Jean, and I drove downtown so that I could check in. I put a bottle of wine in the ice bucket and spelled out "I love you" in chocolates on the bed. Corny, huh? Adam was totally surprised and we had so much fun. One of us, whom shall remain nameless, but let's just say the nursing mother took advantage of not having to nurse the baby Monday night, got MIGHTY DARN drunk! We had such a great time just hanging out with each other, without having to focus our attention on Alyssa or 1/2 listen for her to wake up in the back ground.

Our last day in Denver we visited the Coors Brewery (see free beer comment above!). It was really pretty interesting, but the best part was definitely the taste testing/sampling. Adam got our money's worth for us since Dad didn't drink at all and I just sipped. :)

And again, we had fun, but its sooo good to be home.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Just a homemaker?!

I know this has happed to a lot of SAHMs out there . . . you get the inevitable "JUST a homemaker/housewife/stay a home mom" comment. Like you don't have a REAL job, you JUST stay at home all day, eat chocolate, watch soaps, twiddle your thumbs, and suck your big, strong, paycheck-bring-home-man dry in the moola department because you're too lazy to bring in money yourself. Yep, that's me.

So today I'm at the bank to make changes to our savings account and the personal banker was making sure that they had all of our information current. He asked me if I still worked for the devil, I mean the company that had gainfully (or maybe not so much) employed me previous to becoming JUST a homemaker. I said that I was currently a stay at home mom, which followed him to ask "How long have you been JUST a homemaker?". Oh right Mr. Skinny-ass, got bad hair, sit behind a desk so I must be important Mr. Personal Banker I'm one of those horrible women who have completely worthless lives as a "homemaker".

Who would have thought this tiny comment would have gotten me so riled up?!

And besides . . . . homemaker?! Yes, that's right, I made this house with my own two hands! We had a home before I quit my job, but back then I was a performance analyst and I'm not currently making a home as far as I know, so "homemaker" doesn't really fit my job description, does it?

Although, then it can be argued like Wanda says in "Baby Blues" . . . if I'm a stay at home mom, why am I always in the car?!

Then I come home and look around at the trash and the toys and the mess and the dust and the doghair and think . . . I'm just a complete failure at this "homemaker" business. I don't think I'm too bad of a mom, but I should be fired from being a homemaker.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!

My mom stopped by yesterday because she was in town with a friend of hers for shopping and lunch and per usual she brought the good old "Trib" with her so that I could catch up on gossip via newspaper. One of the headlines was . . . "Aquatic Center lifeguards fired for doing 'jello shots' during working hours". Why oh why would you do jello shots when you worked at a swimming pool where there are constantly people around you? Why oh why would you do jello shots at work at all?! Why oh why are you consuming alcohol at work when you are between 16 and 18 years old! Now, I'm the first to admit that I drank when I was that age, but never in public, especially at WORK! I didn't know what jello shots were until I got to college, so the brainiacs probably thought they were doing something "so cool that no one will ever guess that its not just water in this jello!".

That's exactly what I want to hear about . . . drunk lifeguards. "Dude, the pool is spinning, wicked!" *rolls eyes*

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N . . .

in the summer time! I have to say, I think things are FINALLY coming together for our trip to Colorado next week. Nothing is really going as planned, but I think I've figured out how to fit everyone and everything thing into the 5 days we'll have out there. I need to give Lindz a call and see when she wants to meet up with us. I'm really starting to get excited ~ not so much about seeing my family (well, maybe my brother), but we'll get to see 3 of my closest friends from college. I'm especially excited about hanging out with Chris and Jen again, its been too long since we've hung out with them. 10 months almost exactly. Damn them for moving 8 hours away!

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite places as a child with Adam. I have a lot of fond memories of staying with my mom's cousin and her family as a child (can I say me, Linda, mac & cheese, and a fork in the waterbed?! - that would be so much more funny if Linda read my blog!). Anyway, from the base of their driveway you can see one of my favorite views in the world and their backyard hosts the entrance to one of my favorite parks in the world. I spent tons of time biking and walking through the park, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground, and Melinda and I fully embarrassed ourselves attempting to playing tennis on the courts last time I was out there.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


I should be cleaning or planning a menu for tomorrow because we're having the inlaws over for lunch, but I don't WANNA! I'm such a loser . . . I started posting on a new parenting forum and I went from having 10 posts this morning to having 44 ~ and they are all "real" posts, not just "post to try to get your numbers up" posts. I feel like I'm the only person in the world who has nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than plop herself in front of the computer. I did do some work on the new business, so at least I did something.

Question of the day . . . how on EARTH (short of adding an extra floor/wing to your house) are you supposed to store all the toys that your infant has outgrown? I wish I could use the contraption that lets you vacuum seal 44 sweaters into something the size of a shoe box on all Alyssa's bulky things like the exersaucer and jumperoo.

Too hot for kids!

I was reading a blog of an online friend of mine where she was talking about how much she loved the movie Grease as a child, but one of her parents was "offended" when she was singing some of the lyrics to the song. Made me think about some things . . . (so thanks for the inspiration, Alex! :) )

I had never see the actual movie Grease (on the edited version on TV) until I was watching it while babysitting for our next door neighbor's kids a couple years ago. The oldest was 4, I think, and watching her singing along to some of those songs and quoting the movie made my jaw drop at times. Its kind of a naughty movie at times!

I had the soundtrack in high school and listened to it all the time. I made up a baton routine for one of my twirling students to audition with to "Grease Lightening" . . . if only at the time I would have known that I was sending her off to twirl in front of judges to a song that drops the sh-bomb! I don't think anyone noticed, but it would have been frowned upon and I feel really guilty about it to this day.

A couple years ago while I was nannying for the summer one of my girls got addicted to watching reruns of "Three's Company". Now, I grew up watching reruns of it, too, and I loved the show, but I had such a hard time letting her watch it now that I really "got" the show! I felt that it was horribly inappropriate at times for a 10 year old to be watching, but I know that the "suggestive" things went over her head. I was still uncomfortable. And I used to watch the show all the time at my grandparents house. I wonder if it bothered them to let me watch it or if it all went over their heads, too?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Parenting Screening

I was reading over a thread on one of my parenting boards that discussed whether being a parent should be considered a privilege or a right and it really got me thinking. I had a friend in college who those people who wanted to have children should have to pass tests to see if they were "qualified" to be a parent. One of the moms on the board said that she didn't think that it was a right that should be taken away from anyone, but it is certainly a privilege. Interesting. I wish there was some sort of screening or class that you had to take to become a parent because I think there are a lot of bad parents out there, but who would really be qualified to judge if someone would make a good parent. There are also a lot of people that before having children are the poster child for a "bad" parent because of their lifestyle, but then once they actually have that child in their arms their personality flips upside down and you couldn't imagine anyone being a better mother/father.

This afternoon I was talking with an "acquaintance" of mine from college who is in the process of adopting a child with her husband. She said that she was still finding it hard to believe that someone was going to give her a child/deem her qualified to raise this little person. But as I pointed out, she and her husband have to go through tons of testing, home visits, classes, etc to be qualified to adopt, so she should feel confident that she really can handle this. The sad thing is, I DON'T think she's going to make a good mother. I am frankly frightened for the child that gets placed with them. I don't think she has any idea the extra challenges they are going to have to face by adopting a child from a foreign country (as well as challenges handling the adoption situation). I honestly think that she is one of those people who feels like she will be able to pick and choose when she wants to be a mom. That if she's busy doing schoolwork or watching TV that she can plop a child in a playpen and come back a couple hours later. I know she and her husband really want children, but I think they want children because that's what they are "supposed" to do. That's what "normal" families are to them; a mother, father, and child(ren). There's so much more than that that makes up a family.

I have had several friends that were adopted, both privately and internationally, and its really sad some of tales I've heard of struggles that they had to deal with. From being the only Korean child in a completely close-minded Midwest Caucasian community to being told, "our real child would never act the way you're acting". I admire people who chose to adopt. I think they are very brave and have wonderful hearts . . . but I still worry.

Happy 10 month birthday Alyssa!

That's right, our baby girl is 10 months old today! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. You know, most people that I've talked to say that the "newborn" days are the best, but I enjoy being a mommy more and more every day. I love that she's gotten to the point where she can interact with me. Its kind of cool to have a constant companion. :) Last night I was dreading going to the grocery store, but having her sweet face to look at and talk to (she got mighty excited over the ice cream aisle . . . girl after our own heart!) made the trip not so bad!

I bought Alyssa's outfit for her one year pictures last weekend when we went shopping with Julai. Its got THE CUTEST hat in the world with it. I figure if she doesn't have any hair to do cute bows or pigtails with she might as well have a cute hat, right? Mom, Alyssa, and I went shopping yesterday and had fun looking at all the "I'm 1" hats, bibs, etc at Nobbies. I can't wait for her first birthday!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Alyssa update

Now for a happier blog entry. :)

Alyssa has always shown a fondness for Joey, our pomeranian. Unfortunately Joey does NOT feel the same way, so she often takes to hiding under the bed when Alyssa is within a 20 foot radius of her. Well, now Alyssa has figured out that Joey hides under the bed, so she's often seen trying to peer under the bedskirt to see if she's under there. And if you're in the bedroom and say "Where's Joey?" she'll lean over and try to crawl under the bed. She's also started doing this thing where she'll give this high pitched yell "AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII" and start charging after Joey and double the normal crawl speed. Cracks me up every time . . . I so need to get this on video.

She's gotten quite obsessed with opening and shutting doors lately. She loves pushing a door shut and then pulling it open to play "peek a boo" with whatever might happen to be on the other side. This weekend she was in her room and was playing with her door as Adam and I stood outside admiring our small creation. Then Adam tried to push the door open so that he could go inside and she slammed it shut on him. "Jeez Dad, I need my privacy!". A glimpse into the future, about 13 years down the road!

And a sappier note. Last week when we were at my parents Alyssa fell asleep on my shoulder. I caught a glimpse of her lying limp in my arms as I walked passed a mirror and I had to stop and stare at the CHILD in my arms. No longer is she a baby with legs that barely reach my waist when I'm holding her up against my shoulder. All of the sudden she's this long child with legs that dangle down to mid thigh. She's growing up so fast! I hope I never forget the way it feels to have her head tucked into the crook of my neck and to feel her soft hair against my cheek. I hope I never forget the way her face will light up in a smile, just for a second, as she's sleeping in my arms as if she knows some wonderful secret, but then she remembers she's supposed to "play it cool" and keep a straight face again. I hope I never forget the way she often smells sweet like berries and how her breath tickles my neck when she falls asleep against my shoulder. Goodness I love this kid! For every moment, good and bad, I am so thankful that I have her and I have no idea what I would do without her.

Monday Ramblings

I've got so much junk flowing through my head lately. It makes me feel overwhelmed and like I can never quite catch up. I get close . . . but not quite there. The good news is that a few months ago this would have totally made me fall apart, but after my "talk therapy" sessions I've learned to sort through things more logically and realistically in order to keep control. So this is my way of sorting thing out . . . writing about them.

I've kind of fallen into starting a new business. A customized scrapbooking/memory book business. I love scrapbooking, so its a dream job, and I was so excited about my first few books, but now I'm starting to have second thoughts. Everyone I've shown my samples to has "ooohhh"ed and "ahhhh"ed over them, but they are all friends and family that love me and would never tell me something I created sucked, even if it really did. I've started doubting that people will really want to buy or be happy with my books. I'm afraid they look too home made. Of course they are home made, but I want them to look classy and worth the money. And then I also worry about Adam and I trying to work on upkeep on a website together. He and I don't seem to mesh well when it comes to computer related things. I wonder if all people that start a "work at home" business feel dumb about their product from time to time.

And as always moving is on my mind. Friday we had dinner with Angie, Eric, and Chad. Then the boys edited and the girls watched "Not Another Teen Movie". I went shopping with Julia Saturday afternoon (BTW I would HIGHLY recommend staying as far away from Mall of the Bluffs on tax free shopping weekend . . . it just not worth it!), Saturday night we went out to dinner with Amber and Randy, then Christy came over and chilled with the 4 of us for a couple hours. Yesterday I went to church with the Dwights. My mom got back Saturday and I'm so excited to see her because I haven't seen her in almost 3 weeks. I'm really starting to have a hard time imaging life without my parents an hour away. Without these great friends that we can hang out with all the time. I'm sure we would make new friends, but it wouldn't be the same. And maybe we wouldn't make new friends. Its a matter of "safety", I guess. Staying here is safe and comfortable and would be fine. But it just seems like there's maybe something better out there. But maybe there's not anything better. Maybe this is as good as it gets (and that's nothing to sneeze at). Plus I keep thinking that if we stay here we could probably afford a bigger/nicer house, more "fun" stuff, etc. Is it worth risking all of that for what could be?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hearing problems . . .

If you were to put a bug in our house without knowing us, you may think that Adam and I are around 90 years old with obvious hearing problems for all the times you would hear us saying "what?" "huh" "eh?" "what did you say?", etc. Sometimes it gets pretty darn funny the things we think we hear each other day. Take yesterday for example:

I'm in the bedroom and hear Adam yell from downstairs:
"Do we have any white bread?"
I reply:
"Yeah, on top of the refrigerator."
Adam (in a very sarcastic tone):
"Of course, that's the first place I would look."
I walk out of the bedroom and give him a "what are you a moron?" look and reply:
"That's where we keep all the bread!"
He replies:
"I'm looking for white THREAD!"
Whoops. Ahhh ~ the secret to a good marriage is to keep each other laughing . . . we've got that covered!