Thursday, December 18, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

Actually, Jack has been a bit naughty lately. He's thrown a few tantrums, but thankfully, they've been at home, not in public. We didn't tell Santa about these episodes when we visited him at the area mall tonight. Instead, we checked this stranger out and then promptly went home.I forgot to tell Santa what was on my list but I think the real Santa already knows.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have a confession to make...I'm still working on Christmas cards. How embarrassing. I also have a few more presents that I need to buy. My husband is good at under-the-pressure Christmas Eve shopping, but I'd like to be done already.

Recently, we've been able to spend some time with Uncle Steve, Aunt EE and the rest of the gang. EE is our unofficial family photographer. She takes much better pictures than me. She also takes more. I realize that's hard to believe since I've always been a shutter bug.Check out my brave boy. Below is Steve and EE's dog, Cosmo. He's such a softie. Steve did a great job training him. Cosmo is very patient with Jack who is still learning how to pet animals. Meanwhile, my husband is addicted to the Wii and is trying to improve his tennis score. Oh, and somebody please call the North Pole Police. I think there's a yuletide loon on the loose. Check out those ho ho stripes.
Wanted: For excessively saying, "Somebody call a jeweler. I just made a gem."

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Fine Line Between Candy and Laxatives

I knew I shouldn't do it. I just knew it. But I was craving chocolate at Hallmark today and decided to be more health conscious. So, I paid for the over-priced sugar free gummi bears. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into them.

You see, I'm a huge gummi fan. (See my Thanksgiving post.) But I'd had my "run-in" with sugar free gummies in the past. During my one and only other encounter with the sweets, I scarfed down an entire bag before realizing what I had done. But that was a few years ago. Times have changed. Sugar free products are better. This time, I could handle it, or at least I thought I could.

You see, there's fine print on the back of this sugar free package. Look very closely and you'll see, "Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect on sensitive individuals." Apparently, I'm very sensitive because I swear I had less than 17, the recommended serving.

Let's just say I was very tense during a shoot I went on tonight. Laxatives anyone? Have a sweet day - my tush.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Creating Christmas Memories

We put the Christmas tree up today. Jack was pretty intrigued by all the "toys." Next up on the list of things to do - Christmas cards!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Darn Things Kids Say

My mom's side of the family gathered for our annual Thanksgiving/Christmas feast on Saturday. At the soda bar, I heard one of my second cousins say, "When I get older, I'm going to drink this (Pepsi) with whiskey." He's still in gradeschool. I almost had to wipe the tears from my eyes. They grow up so fast in these parts.

Holiday Weekend Recap

At times this four day weekend felt like it was going too fast and sometimes it felt like it was never going to end. I spent most of my time back home driving my family nuts. Although I brought my camera, I don't feel like I took enough pictures. I'm missing half of my family with these pictures but here's a look back at our crazy times.

Just who are you calling a turkey? Jack takes off on his tricycle in a cute outfit from his birth mother and her grandma.
Dancing and marching at the same time in his classy leisure suit.Somebody's looking good in blue with both eyes open!There was a lot of Wii playing.The Princess and the Pea...what I realized I'd been sleeping on after the first night back home.It's the heating pad monster - my poor brother Steven with a head cold.Come on pop. Let's get a better picture of you with Garrett. Work with me here.Well, at least Garrett smiled.Hmm...just what are those two up to?One hour and plenty of belches later...Some scrooge threw out our turkey wish bone so mom and I made do with a mutated gummy worm.It was a close call - a tie actually.Look at how excited mom looks at the thought of eating the gummy worm.At least Meaghan enjoyed it.Although Jack went through some tough teething days, he ate at least twice his weight in food. Amen!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chillin' with Grandma

Jack woke up feeling hot on Monday morning. Mike was away taking computer geek training classes for a few days, so Grandma had already volunteered to come up and help me with the little guy. Good timing since I don't think he could have gone to daycare. We took him to the doctor and were told he had the beginning of a virus but besides Ibuprofen and lots of TLC, there was no quick fix. The fever was gone today so, even though he was a little crabby this evening, I hope Jack's on the mend. I want him to enjoy the holiday festivities and I know he'll be disappointed if he doesn't eat his weight in food.

Below is my attempt to take pictures of the three of us this evening before mom left.That's as good as it gets. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have many reasons to be grateful this year. Jack is number one on my list.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Who's Who

Have you Elfed Yourself yet? The following video features Jack, cousins Meaghan and Garrett, Mike and me. I used the picture of Garrett with his birthday chocolate on his face because it almost makes him look like the facial hair elf. I love this kind of stuff! Boy, can we dance!

Christmas Greetings!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Meaghan!

I'm a bit late posting here but we celebrated our niece's 5th birthday last weekend. Jack had an especially great time. He adores his big cousin Meaghan and cake. My SIL created the giant cupcake herself. Doesn't it look cool?The little ones including Jack were fascinated by the incredible expanding and shrinking thingamajig so nicely demonstrated by my brother, Doug, who, for some reason, looks like he has no teeth in this picture.We also had the opportunity to see my nephew, Christopher, who stayed glued to his games. Hopefully, Jack's love of reading and playing will keep him active as he gets older. We'll have to be careful with his computer/game playing exposure.Couldn't help but end with this photo, captioned: The Life of the Party, featuring my brother Billy and Mike. What a couple of wild, crazy guys!

Knockin' On Heaven's Door

I heard this song as I drove back from Jimmy's funeral on Thursday. The refrain was so beautiful and appropriate. It felt like a sign reminding me that the day should be filled with celebration, not mourning. At the funeral I saw a picture of a young Jimmy with his notorious light-up-the-room grin. That's how I'll remember him.

Blessings on everyone!

Telemarketer Hell

For the past couple of days, I have been receiving telemarketer calls on my cell phone. I am so frustrated! I recently gave that number to a pharmacy and I'm wondering if they sold it. I've had four mystery calls from the same town in Tennessee and two calls today from some town in Florida. Although I was registered with my state's no call list, I quickly registered with the national no call list tonight. Afterwards, I received a call from Florida, sounded like the same guy from this afternoon. Told him to take me off his list (again) and told him I had registered on the no call list. And then, the sweetest sound...the phone disconnected.

Let's see who calls tomorrow. I'm ready to take on more annoying callers.


A family friend recently died. I'm not sure why his death has hit me so hard. Jimmy had a tough life. Because of a neuromuscular disorder, he always walked a little crooked. It was often hard to understand him. Asking him to repeat something made him nervous and he became even tougher to understand.

Jimmy was a wonderful guy. He cared about others and walked many miles every year for the local American Heart Association's Relay for Life. He made sweets for the hard working ladies at parish events. He was an excellent cook and made the best pies. He also bottled his own wine and provided his fine vintage for my wedding. Jimmy loved playing games and often joined my family for Mexican dominoe nights.

I was sort of able to say goodbye to Jimmy in the hospital last week. He wasn't conscious. After he had missed a couple of work days, his family found him listless at home. Doctors discovered that he had Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. He was in the hospital for several weeks, woke up a couple of weeks ago and spent the rest of his time in a deep sleep. Ironically, he looked so good when I saw him. His face was relaxed. He looked peaceful.

There are all the "could have, would have and should have's" after someone dies. I wish I would have asked him to dance at my wedding. I wish I would have made more of an attempt to talk with him although I became more comfortable making small talk with Jimmy through the years. I will miss his sweet smile and charm.

People often describe others as having a "heart of gold." That was Jimmy. And now he is in peace at his heavenly home. He is free of his earthly limitations. He touched many lives during his life. Hopefully, we will all meet again someday for long talks, dominoes, a bottle of fine wine and homeade pie. God bless you Jimmy!

Cousin Photo Session

I never got a "decent" picture but I guess decent is in the eye of the beholder. I love these off-the-wall photos.

Happy B-day to Me

Another year older, another year sexier. That's how I'm trying to look at my progessing life.

I spent most of the day back home, enjoying a smoked turkey lunch where I saw my friend Sara, uncle Henry, aunt Carol and cousins Bernie and Pat.Later, we celebrated with pizza and blackberry pie, my favorite.Being able to see part of my family was the best present today. But the nap I took this afternoon...priceless.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Church Adventures with Jack

Church going with Jack is becoming more interesting. Tonight, he discovered the kneeler and proceeded to slip off of it once. He also wanted to go out into the aisle during mass.

Jack is never full. Mike and I spend the entire mass feeding him his puffies and milk. Half serious, half joking, I'd like to ask our priest if a child can receive communion at age 1. In John 6:35, Jesus describes himself as the bread of life who satisfies our spiritual hunger and thirst. It reads “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

If we could just give Jack the Body of Christ before mass, he might make it through church without constantly stuffing his face. Wishful thinking. I guess he'll have to wait until his First Communion.

Jack is so funny. Even though I cringe when he gets a little boisterous (loud) in church, I sometimes can't keep a straight face. When the priest dismissed us in prayer tonight and said, "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord," Jack vigorously shook his head no. He cracks me up.

I hope everyone is keeping warm this weekend. Feels like winter is already here.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Jack is officially our son in the eyes of the government. We took him to court this morning, swore on the Bible and now he's our little man. This day has been a year plus in the making and we're more than a little esctastic about it. The picture includes my mom, Guardian ad litem, Judge, our lawyer and social worker.

By the way, I've started listening to Christmas music and there are a couple of songs that are especially poignant. Jack was only two months old last Christmas and we weren't sure if we would be able to adopt him. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" were bittersweet.

However, I never lost faith in God. I constantly told myself and others, almost as if to reassure myself, that God wouldn't lead us down this path unless it would lead to something wonderful. That turned out to be the case for us but I've known others who haven't had such happy endings and it pains me. They are in my thoughts tonight and I hope that their dreams of a family will soon be fulfilled.