Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lucky Enough... Welcome 2010!

If you are lucky enough to....

... have family and friends to surround you when you need them and when you don't...

... savor each moment...

... sip a good glass of wine...

... laugh until you cry...

... put your toes in the sand...

... spend little time worrying and lots of time enjoying ...

... count your blessings ...

... ring in a new year with new hopes, new beginnings, new challenges, and maybe even new wishes...

... then you are lucky enough.

The Best part?  We are lucky enough.

Happy  New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

60 Years Young

Today, my Dad turns 60.  He is one of the kindest, most compassionate, gentle people I know.  I am lucky to have him as my Dad.  And even luckier to be with him and our family to celebrate his 60th birthday.




Here's to many many more.  And we'll laugh all along the way.

The Best part?  Cake!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

So Very Merry

It was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

The gifts.  The food.  The company.  We are luckier than we deserve to be. 

I can't explain the joy we felt watching Cannon play with all of his new things.  So he doesn't know that 'Santa' brought all of the goods but it doesn't matter.  It was wonderful.  Magical.  Perfect.

And to make a perfect holiday better, we'll have our toes in the sand in less than 24 hours.  Island life here we come. 

Hope everyone's was merry and bright.

Good things and blessings for you and  yours in the new year.

The Best part?  We are so blessed.  Merry merry!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All is calm...

Here's hoping you're surrounded by family and friends.  Enjoying traditions, the spirit of the season, and only good things.

Blessings.

Merry merry!

The Best part?  Christmas is here! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On the mend...

Our little guy is on the mend.  Doctor says it was probably a virus that's on it's way out. 

Cheers.

The Best part?  He'll be 100% for vacation!

7 days.

I don't freak out about much.  I would let Cannon lick a handrail or hang out with a sick kid.  I'm ok with it.  I know he can't live in a bubble.  None of us can.  He's going to get sick. 

Enter our first stomach virus.

We have had colds.  A green nose is like a once every three weeks thing at our house.  Coughs.  Bring 'em on.  We could see an ear infection coming days before it arrived (prior to tubes of course).  This time is different.

Cannon stopped eating a week ago.  A week.  7 days.  I can't go 7 hours without food.  He takes a bite or two of something and is finished.  Refuses almost everything. 

Despite lots of help from the experienced moms I know who have seen nearly every illness known to man, I can't just not worry about it.  Maybe with our next child I won't be as worried.  Probably not.

Saw the doctor on Friday.  Everything is fine.  As long as he's drinking and having wet diapers he's fine.  Call us if he's still not eating after a week.  We're going back today.  Somehow a nurse on the phone saying 'well... if there are no specific symptoms we can't really do anything' doesn't sit well.  We are seeing our regular doctor and if he says 'guys, don't worry about it.  It's a phase and he'll be back to normal soon', great.  I want him to look me in the eye and tell me that.  I also want Cannon weighed.  He has lost weight.  

My money's on acid reflux.  Fingers crossed it's something easy like that.

The Best part?  Tomorrow is Christmas EVE!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Whew... I feel better.

Just finished saying my piece to the 'sorority Grand Pubas' about being made to feel like a 20 year old college kid being brought before the Standards Committee.

Perhaps next time they'll keep things in perspective. 

My mom said it best.  I chose the people not the house.

I will still serve as Toast Mistress.  I will give a great speech.  I will share my experience and hope the young women leave inspired and excited to be a member.

I will not sing rush songs, do the handshake, recite the founders, or circle anyone's fat.

The Best part?  Getting to say my piece.  Oh and getting an apology.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Privatizing for a bit...

I didn't want to do this but feel like I need to, at least for a little bit.

I blog because I love to write and share funny stories, vent, provide anecdotes, and share a little about our lives.  I do not blog so that people can search me out and criticize what I write or discourage my first amendment rights.

You may recall from a post not long ago, I wrote about my sorority inviting me to serve as "Toast Mistress" for their newest chapter's initiation.  I wrote about how excited I was and how honored.  I still am excited and honored but now, I'm also pissed off.

Today, I got an email from a member of said sorority's "Grand Council" commenting on my blog post.  Here's part of the email:

"I am writing to let you know that I have been contacted by our organization's Grand Council regarding your personal web page. It seems that in your most recent blog you used ritual-related acronyms and a short line from a ritual. You may not be aware, but as per sorority Policy and Position Statements this is not something our organization typically publishes and therefore, I have to ask you to kindly remove it from your web-site. I also noticed that there was a comment posted from a friend that seemed to be inappropriate and suggestive in its context with the sorority name. As a private member organization we have restrictions on how we use 21st century media tools.

My reaction, in order of emotion: Shock.  Anger.  Annoyance.  Laughter.  I am nearly 30 years old (can't believe I typed that).  I am a wife, a mother, a professional.  I resent being admonished that way and I resent that my friend who commented was admonished as well.

Here's the thing.  This is my blog.  I write what I want.  If you don't like it, you don't have to read it.  I exercise my first amendment right to freedom of speech and quite honestly, the small things I said in the previous post (which have been removed so as not to have Grand Council at my front door with torches and wearing masks) were laughably minor.  I did not reveal rituals, I didn't utter any phrases I shouldn't utter, I didn't talk about secret handshakes or knocks.  It's not like I gave away the sign you give if someone isn't wearing a pin to determine if they're a sister!  I would never! :)

So, back to the privatizing.  At first I was just angry but then I got a little creeped out.  How did they find the blog post?  How did they find the blog?  Maybe it's my naivete.  The only place I openly advertise the blog is on my facebook page.  You have to be my friend to see my facebook page.  Did someone turn me in???  It just creeps me out that there are people out there trolling the internet searching for anything of questionable content to report to the Grand Council or internet police.  So for now, we're invitation only.  Nothing personal.

So, as far as serving as Toast Mistress, I'm not sure anymore.  I wanted to, and I still want to give a great speech about my wonderful experience as a member of the sorority.  But, if they're looking for someone obsessed of sorority secrets and who bleeds wine and silver blue, I'm the wrong girl.

The Best part?  Now I'll know who reads the blog!  AND, it's temporary.  If they decide they don't want me to speak, I'll go back to public... if they still want me to speak then we'll wait until after the Grand Pubas have left town. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You know you're a redneck...

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a lightup deer hanging from a basketball hoop with red lights coming out of it's mouth.  I nearly crashed my car when I drove by this guys house once and there was a REAL deer hanging there. 



'Tis the season.  Deer hunting season.

The Best part?  The sign.  Apparently the neighbors approve.

Friday, December 18, 2009

An honor...

So I'm completely honored and flattered that I've been asked to be the "Toast Mistress" for Pi Beta Phi's newest chapter's (Ohio Kappa, University of Cincinnati) initiation banquet.  Clearly the terms "local celebrity" are used loosely.  Regardless, I am so excited.  It's not a major committment, just some pictures and a speech.  The speech is what I'm excited about.  They want me to share my experience and get these new initiates and their parents excited about Pi Phi! 

Um, I can totally do that, I led the rush cheers, I mean really.

"I am a P!"

So, I have a few weeks to write a 7ish minute speech.  I write scripts everyday (ok fine, I write scripts on the days I work).  This should be cake.  Now where to start...

How do I put into words the friendships I made?  How do I describe what 'sisterhood' actually is?  How do I convince these girls that living in a house with 80 women is hilarious, entertaining, dramatic, and wonderful all at the same time? 
I guess I start at the beginning.

"10 years ago, almost to the day, 30 strangers became sisters and I met the women who now know me better than I know myself and love me anyway."

Guess that's a start!

The Best part?  Getting to put into words one of my most favorite life experiences.

Typical...

For the last two nights Cannon hasn't slept for longer than an hour at a time.  He's had fevers and fussiness and we've had exhaustion.  Yesterday I thought it was a reaction to the MMR vaccine he got last week.  The doctor told me this could happen.  I was ready for the fevers, the not sleeping, not so much.

You see, everyone says when we have another one we'll be in shock.  Cannon started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks.  Even before that he was up only every four hours and if I played my cards right that was only a 2am feeding and back to bed.  He's not a great napper but the fact that he sleeps solid from 7-7 makes up for it. 

For the last two nights I was up at 10, 2, 4-5, 6, and 7.  He was inconsalable.  Miserable.  Hot.  Just terrible.  It took his fever two hours to break this morning.  He's not eating well.  I thought for sure it was an ear infection, why else wouldn't he lay down?  Even though I know better... since he has tubes an ear infection would have drainage.  No drainage. 

So, this morning I called the doctor and took him in.  Ears, fine (in fact she said they were 'crystal clear').  Throat, fine.  Stomach, fine.  Temperature, fine.  Everything, fine.  It's a freak virus that could stick around a while longer.

We got back from the doctor at 11.  He was asleep at 11:05.  He got up at 1, ate some Gogurt, and is asleep, again.  Perhaps I should be playing catch up too...

Isn't that always the way it happens?  As soon as the doctor says everything is fine, everything IS fine.  Crazy.

The Best part?  He's sleeping.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good Things

Too much sad news lately.  Thought I'd share some things I'm looking forward to.  Good things.

Date night/ Christmas Shopping Night/ Dinner with Dan and only Dan/ Friends Holiday Party

Christmas Eve with our family

Christmas morning

A week at the beach with my family in a quiet little drinking village with a fishing problem.

Toes in the sand.

Having Cannon spend a week with my parents and brother.  We've never been together that long.

My dad's 60th birthday.

Welcoming a new year in warm weather and no pressure to have fabulous new years plans.

Snow on Saturday.

Christmas PJ's.

Mimosas and Cinnamon pullapart.

The Best part?  All of the above.  What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 days before Christmas...

You see just about everything working in local television news.  I have covered it all.  The bizarre.  The odd.  The disgusting.  The disturbing.  The sad.  The tragic.  The laughable.  I've covered antique tractor shows and Jimmy Buffett concerts.  I've covered dozens of murders, fires, and arrests. 

Sadly, I've covered more than a dozen deaths of servicemen and women. 

I covered the latest one today.

I'm hardened.  The stories about child abuse or untimely death don't bother me.  I'm hardened.  You have to be.  If I let the things I see, learn about, hear of, and report on affect me, I'd go insane.  You have to laugh.  You have to separate yourself.  You have to.  There is no other way to cope with it. 

When we learn a member of the armed services from our area has died the procedure is the same.  Look for family, call the high school, figure out when knew her, find out who loved him.  It's a cut and dry process.  

Ten days before Christmas a Cincinnati police officer and a Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves was killed in Afghanistan.  He's got three kids.  11 years old, 7 years old, 2 years old.  Ten days before Christmas.  Today, his friends and family told me about him.  Shared stories of determination and courage.  They wanted him remembered as more than a number.  So do I. 

When I finished my interviews I looked up to find his parents, siblings, and friends all listening intently.  Hanging on every word spoken about their son/ brother/ husband.  The hero.  I cried with them (to clarify, I shed a few tears... I didn't need a tissue or anything).  I have never cried while working on a story.  Never.  I thanked them for their sacrifice and as compassionately as I know how I told them I'm sorry.  I meant it.

I don't know what brought the tears on (nope, not pregnant).  But I'm ok with it.  I'm human.  Maybe I'm not as hardened as I thought.

I hope I did him justice tonight.  RIP. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peekaboo!



This is what happens when you play peekaboo during dinner.  More specifically, during spaghetti dinner.

Love him.

The Best part?  12 days until Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Results

Normally, I wouldn't admit this.  Recently my favorite, designer, amazing jeans, ripped.  Not at a seam, but right in the middle of the leg.  I bent down to pick up Cannon and heard it.  The noise you hear in a commercial or a sitcom when the fat guy bends over to do something.  Like nails on a chalkboard.

I contacted the company (Paige Denim) and am happy to report they took the jeans back and mailed me a new pair!  Had they been from Old Navy or Gap or Target I wouldn't have been as concerned but seeing as buying another pair would probably require a small loan, I'm glad I complained.  I'm also glad they had the sense to replace the jeans.  I'm also glad they didn't rip because they're too small.

The new pair are a slightly different shade but are still fabulous and fit wonderfully.

Cheers.

The Best part?  Nothing like a really good pair of jeans.  The search for them is well worth it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ignorance Must Be Bliss

You'll need some background for this read.

My good friend is still grieving from her loss.  She has good days and bad as I imagine she will for a long time to come.  She is surrounded by the love of family and friends.  They will survive this loss.  She's communicating with me as she can, sometimes we joke, sometimes it's a somber message, yesterday her email blew my mind.

She got an email from a former colleague of ours.  Among the lines in the email were these:

"I'm sure you have heard a ton of things right now to get you thru this insane retarded thing."

"As young as you are you will be ok and have a family someday."

And finally...

"I just wanted to say if you wanted to anytime I can come over and you can hold my baby and spend time with him.  He's really sweet."

Ignorance must be bliss.

I try to strive for balance in my life.  I try to be kind to people and I work hard to be a good friend.  I'm far from perfect, would consider myself a judger, and some days am pretty sure I'm headed straight to hell.  I try to make up for it.  Today will not be one of those days.

I am so disgusted by the email above I can barely see straight.  For a woman with two healthy children to talk down to my friend that way makes me physically angry.  "You'll have a family someday" could not be more condescending.  To call the loss of human life "retarded" is simply awful, awful, awful.  I am truly disgusted by the level of stupidity, naivete, and sheer ignorance that seep from the words in that email.  

Finally, to offer your own healthy child for her to 'hold'... she might as well have slapped her in the face and said "I take my own kids for granted.  Want to play with them?  They'll take the place of your dead son.".  It would have been equally as insensitive.  

To top it all off, the email came from someone who professes to be close to God.  Who relies on the Bible for guidance.  This time, one of those steered her wrong.  She was trying to be kind.  That's even more mind boggling.

Ignorance must be absolute, sheer, utter, bliss.

The Best part?  My friend is healing.
   

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'll be 'that' mom... judge away.

It's report card day.

I used to love getting report cards at school.  I was that kid.  I cried the first time I got a 'B'.  Fortunately by sophomore year in high school I got over that and became a solid "B+" student.  Never really had any desire to get straight A's and that would have been a struggle come Managerial Accounting sophomore year in college (not that I was getting A's before managerial).  Needless to say, I will not be joining the ranks of KPMG, Ernst & Young, or PriceWaterhouseCoopers anytime soon.

I got Cannon's 15 month report card when I dropped him at school this morning.  They don't grade in A's and B's rather A's, S's, and N's.  Always, Sometimes, and Never.  He didn't get any 'N's' and seems to be right on track (not that I have anything to compare it to and with what we're paying for 'tuition' they're not going to tell me he's 'slow'). 

I thought what his teachers wrote about him was really sweet and wanted to share/ brag.

Cannon is a sweet and helpful little boy.  He alwasy wants to help his teachers clean up toys and help his friends during play.  H'es the class greeter, always saying 'hi' and 'bye' to our visitors.  He's bright, fun-loving, and always on the move.  It has been fun watching him grow and learn new words and signs.  We will continue to strengthen his communications skills, as well as help him with his cognitive developmetn and self-help skills.  We can't wait to see what he does next!

The Best part?  Thanks for letting me be 'that' Mom :) What will I do when he gets a real report card???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Merry


Getting the mail has to be one of my favorite things to do during the holidays.  I look forward to the pictures, the cards, and the letters.  Oh the letters.  I mean who doesn't love a letter written by your great aunts dog?  Look forward to it every year.
I love the pictures.  I love to see people's happiness and share in their joy of the season.
I also love the annual picture taking, card selecting, and mailing.  I have to say that this year more than one friend has told me that we are in the 'first 5' Christmas cards to arrive and that my friends, is a victory.




The Best part?  Making the 'first 5'. :)

A Pickle in a Fraser Fir




I've always said that if we ever have a house big enough we'll have at least two Christmas trees.  A family tree and a fancy tree.  The Martha Stewart in me wants to have a themed fancy tree trimmed with only ribbons and pefectly spaced color coordinated balls.  It would be trimmed to the 9's and look fabulous in the front window. 

We don't do the Griswold family tradition -- "it's not going in our yard Russ, it's going in our living room".  We traditionally buy our trees at Lowes.  Exciting, I know.  A 6-7 foot fraser fir with the perfect shape and sturdy branches to hold memories. 

Every year our tree's story evolves a bit.  We started a tradition I borrowed from my parents of buying eachother a new ornament each year.  Then we began to exchange with friends.  It's cheaper than buying presents for people who probably don't need anything and a fun way to celebrate the holiday. So, without further adieu, the tale of The Best part's 2009 Christmas tree.  Drumroll please...

There are things we cherish...



          Those we savor...

















Ornaments that belonged to family members who've passed...





Who doesn't have Marilyn and Elivs in their tree?



Places of the past...




Adorable little girls, if I don't say so myself.



All you need.





Memories of vet bills...





Pictures of our first 'baby'...




Characters a generation old, now being enjoyed by a new generation.



A bit of spirit.




And some attitude.



Reminders of how lucky we are....




Celebrations of a first Christmas.


No truer words ever spoken. "I love you nto only for who you are but for who I am when I am with you."



Wishes tucked inside from the past and for the future.


And... a pickle.


The Best part about our tree is that it's filled with us.  Memories from our past, hopes for our future, values we hold dear, and some laughs.  This year I'm adding picture ornaments and maybe someday our 'fancy' tree will hold images from our past.  This tree is more beautiful than anything Martha or any decorator would put together because it's ours, it's us, it's The Best part.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This is rare...

We are headed to the beach for the week after Christmas and could not be more excited.  However, I did not plan (not like me) to have to buy Cannon beachwear in December.  Fortunately he's still a little guy and most of his swim/ summer stuff will fit just fine.  Shoes, not so much.  So, I searched for sandals in stores and no dice.  Wonder why... it is winter int he midwest.  Online I found lots on amazon.com but some of the prices were OUTRAGEOUS.  Who in the hell pays 80 dollars for a pair of kids sandals?  You can't be serious.

So, I eliminated buying any that are flip flop like, even if they did have straps on the back because I didn't know how he'd do with something between his toes.  I won't buy Crocs because I see way too many kids fall all the time in them.  I didn't want anything opened toed cause I just have mental images of him tripping on the pavement as soon as we get there and vacation is ruined. 

So... I'll stop rambling.  I found Rileyroos!  I fell in love.  This is a rare product endorsement from The Best part.  They are precious.  Every pair on the website is adorable.  I got him these and he's been running around in them all day:





So now I will be on a constant hunt for Rileyroo sales! 

The Best part?  They sure weren't 80 bucks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It takes 2 -- UPDATE

Probably a good idea to crush up the flakes as much as possible that way the cookies 'gel' a little bit more.

Just a tip.

Happy baking!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Takes 2

I will credit my mom for this super easy recipe.  Here's what you need:

Frosted Flakes
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

That's it.  Mix them together and spoon onto parchment paper.  Bake at 350 until the edges turn brownish. 

It's not the best cookie I've ever had... but it's the easiest and they taste pretty good too!

Cannon had grapes and Gogurt for dinner tonight.  Cheers.

The Best part?  No one has to know how easy the cookies are to make!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Are Hotdogs a Food Group?

Cannon, unlike his mother, is not a big eater.  So I feel like when he does eat, I need to be providing him especially nutritious meals including all the food groups. 

Are hotdogs a food group?

Not only is he not a big eater but of late he won't try new things, rather he prefers to throw them on the floor (a post to come later asking for advice on getting your dog to lose weight).  So, we know he'll eat hotdogs, we know he'll eat cheese, we know he'll eat bananas, chicken fingers, yogurt, and an occassional perogie.  He does love fruit, including tomatoes.  Veggies not so much.  He'll eat mac and cheese and occassionally a PB&J or grilled cheese.  The problem is on nights when I'm not working and we eat together, I end up making him something else.  

I don't want to be a short order cook.  I have to stop this right now.

Help!

Is the best option just not to give him a choice?  Make him eat what we're eating?  He is only 15 months so he doesn't quite get that concept.  So, consider this a call to action.  Ideas, recipes, anything to get this guy eating!

The Best part?  Hotdogs are easy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving it a shot...

My new camera is way smarter than I am.  I picked it up today, read some of the manual, and gave it a shot.  It's going to be awesome.  When I figure it all out.  Below are some tester shots.
































The Best part?  A husband who gets you a birthday present three months early that lets you capture sheer joy... and explore a new hobby.  Love him.

Merry Merry.

Whew.

Our Thanksgiving weekend in brief.

We indulged.  We gave thanks.  We celebrated. 

We had family in.  No major knock down drag out fights.  Opened Christmas presents.  I cooked at least 6 meals.  I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher more than a dozen times.  I am exhausted.  I'm pretty sure everyone I know is exhausted today. 

I am thankful that it is all over--it was a lot of work!

The Best part?  Onto Christmas!!!

On a side note, I got a 'black Friday' early birthday present (please note, my birthday is in Feburary... late February).  Anyway, I've been pining for a nice camera.  One that takes pictures like the professional ones we get taken.  I got one.  A Nikon D3000 SLR.  It's the beginner's SLR... more to come on my new hobby. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!

Aside from a heavy Kentucky accent, our local Santa was impressive.  Very impressive.  Complete with the twinkle in his eye.


The Best part?  Cannon smiled!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Very Thankful

For my husband.  For our son.  For our family.  For our friends.  For the health of those we love.  For all the blessings we have.  For the little things.  I am so very, very thankful.

The Best part?  Giving thanks.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The principle of it.

I know everyone is just dying for more basement saga.  Well, I had mediation this morning. 

 A quick note to catch you up first though.

Last we heard from the first contractor he had been in the hospital for 34 days and was going to be out of the tri-state area for the next 4 to 6 months.  Once a liar...

So I went to mediation this morning knowing full well he was not going to be there.  I was right.  So, long story short.  The mediator called him, he agreed that he owes us money and says he'll pay by the end of the month (please note, that's five days away). 

There was no yelling, no Judge Judy style courtroom drama.  It was just fine.  He acknowleged that we're right, he's wrong, and that he owes us money.  We have a judgement in our favor. 

I'm not holding my breath for the check but do hope he decides to make this right.  If not, I do plan on following through again and taking the next step towards getting the money.

It was always about the principle of it.  You don't get to just quit without fulfilling a contract.  You made a commitment and broke it.  You don't just get away scott free.

The Best part?  I was right.  :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I know you're out there... aren't you?

I follow a couple dozen blogs.  I follow them all publicly (except 1).  I'm not ashamed that I like to read about other people's lives, enjoy some funny anecdotes, and get some new recipes.  I'm a blogger and I follow blogs publicly (except 1). 

Got me thinking... how many people follow my blog anonymously?  I mean I know of a couple friends who don't do the 'google reader' thing and who just visit on occassion but sometimes I get the feeling there are more readers out there than let on.  Random conversations at work with people who wouldn't normally know odd details about my life... strangers even maybe...  Or maybe I'm giving myself too much credit.

The Mrs., Shoe Obsessed, Clemson girl... I don't know these women but I find them entertaining and follow their blogs.  I'm not ashamed.  Then there are my friends who blog (Aly, Julie, CaS, Anne, Megs -although I wish she had a life blog too-... there are several).  Following their blogs enables me to catch up on life without actually having to talk to them.  Again, social networking is terrible for actual communication.  There are also the blogs I follow only for entertainment.  The sheer ridiculousness of some people's lives is entertaining.  I won't mention them.

So... what's there to be ashamed of?  Join me in publicly following along.  Don't hide in the shadows of cyberspace. 

The Best part?  I'll keep writing as long as one or two keep reading.  LBS*, I'll keep writing regardless of if anyone's reading.

*Let's Be Serious

This is big... for me.

Our Thanksgiving weekend will be spent celebrating Christmas with Dan's family. They're coming here because we'll be vacationing over Christmas (home on Christmas day of course). We thought we'd have an early celebration, and spread the holiday out. We're decorated, getting a tree on Wednesday and are all set.


I'm looking forward to the visit.

This is big for me.


Huge.


Generally a visit from or to my inlaws involves several upset stomachs, stress, and anticipation of what will go wrong. This time, I'm ok. I am looking forward to spending time with them (them being my MIL, FIL, and SIL) and excited for them to spend some time with Cannon.


To say our relationship over the last 7 years or so has been 'rocky' is an understatement. I think deep down they do love me but I think there's a lot of resentment there. I think they believe I have changed their son and he's not the man he used to be. I believe we make eachother better people. I think that they think I spend money too frivolously and I think they think I'm selfish. I am nor do any of the above but those beliefs have sent us into a few knock out drag out fights. One where my MIL asked Dan in front of me what he was going to do when we get divorced. While I will never forget those words I have moved past it. We all say things we don't mean and we've all said things in heated moments that should never be spoken aloud. So I've moved past it.

Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's the peace and calm of my two day a week work schedule. Maybe it's that I've matured (probably not). Whatever it is, I am looking forward to this visit. I am not anticpating what will go wrong or how I will snap back when someone says something obnoxious. I am looking forward to it.

The Best part? Maybe time really does make a difference.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"That's Daddy's"

Once or twice a week we opt for a shower with Daddy instead of a bath for Cannon.  It's faster and easier than a bath where we have to get out every letter in the alphabet, cups to play with, and the Little People boat everytime we get in. 

So Daddy and Cannon play in the shower for a bit, clean up and then I swoop in and grab Cannon so Daddy can take a real shower.  Usually right before I grab Cannon out of the shower I hear "No no buddy, that's Daddy's.".  That's my cue.

Makes me laugh everytime. 

The Best part?  Boys and their toys.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An urban holiday...

I have a friend who is a very talented photographer so this weekend we met her downtown to take some Christmas card pictures.  I'm thrilled with them.  Below are some of my faves (note: I have not included a couple of the best ones... those are being saved for the actual Chrismtas card).  





The Best part?  We got our Christmas decorations up! 'Tis the season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Griswold Holiday Season




I might be the only one but I doubt it. 

Generally the holidays come with a small ammount of stress.  Part of it's the money we spend buying people who don't need anything wonderful gifts that chances are, they'll return.  Part of it is coordinating plans.  Part of it is trying to figure out how to share the holidays with two families who live in different cities and who are best kept in separate rooms or states for that matter.  But this year, so far, has been surprisingly stress free.

Last year we decided that now that we're a family, we wake up in our house on Christmas morning.  We want to create our own traditions with our family and one of those is waking up at home Christmas morning.  Our home.  We want to leave cookies out for Santa on our fireplace and we want to sprinkle reindeer food in our front yard.  We want to read " Twas the Night Before Christmas" in front of our warm fire in our Christmas pj's.  It's not that we don't love our families and want our parents to be with us at the holidays, it's that we want our kids to have memories like we have.  Memories of our home at Christmas time.  We want to make it special for our kids.  And so, even though Cannon doesn't have a clue that it's Christmas or who Santa is or why there will soon be a tree in the living room, we will be at home on Christmas.

Last year we started some new traditions.  We are so lucky to have Dan's brother's family a quick 45 minute drive away.  So, this year, like last year, we will spend Christmas eve with them.  We will eat too much and spoil the kids.  We will share the holiday with them. 

Christmas morning we'll open presents (although it's difficult to 'open' a new basement) and then have some friends over for the 2nd Annual Best Family Christmas Brunch complete with mimosas, quiche, and a cinnamon pull apart.  The rest of Christmas day will be spent packing for a trip to Captiva Island where we'll meet my family for the WHOLE week!

I haven't done any shopping, am only beginning my grocery list for Thanksgiving (we'll be celebrating Christmas with Dan's family Thanksgiving weekend) and decorating is happening much later than I thought it would... but Christmas is coming and I couldn't be more excited!

The Best part? I love everything about Christmas time.  In fact, I think I'll go decorate starting... NOW!







Tuesday, November 17, 2009

... the 'n' word...

Cannon's vocabulary is growing rapidly. 

He has a whole gammet of words like most 14 months olds do.

Shoe.  Down. Side (short for outside).  Mom.  Juice.  Cheese. Daddy.  Night night.  The list goes on.

But the last couple of days the favorite word is the 'n' word.  No.  And it's said in a whole host of different ways.  Declaratory as in "no!" as he throws his milk across the room.  Questioning "no?" as he attempts to jump between the chair and coffee table.  And most often like a whiny little baby 'nooooooo'.  It's like nails on a chalkboard, or whatever your least favorite sound is (mine is the sound of people chewing, so I should say it's like listening to someone chew.).

He's got a cold.  He's getting teeth.  He's fussy. 

I'm trying to make a point of not asking him to do something, although that's what comes easiest.  Like saying 'want to get out of the tub?'... instead I'm trying to rephrase so as not to give the opportunity for the word to be said.  "It's time to get out". 

Sure, we tell him no.  We're supposed to tell him no, right?  I asked his teacher at school, she says they're all saying it.  She said she says 'uh-uh' instead of 'no' or tries to. 

So the question is, how do I teach him 'yes'?  We taught him to 'moo' like a cow and 'quack' like a duck.  Surely we can teach him to say 'yes'.... right???

The Best part?  It's a phase.  It's got to be a phase.  I really hope it's a phase.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Writers Block

Either life has gotten boring or I have a lack of inspiration these days-- think it's the latter.  So, in lieu of a witty post on this Sunday, how about some naked baby pictures? 






Truth be told, Cannon has wicked bad diaper rash from running around with a dirty diaper (unbeknownst to us) for a couple hours the other night so we did some airing out this weekend.

The Best part?  Babies butts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

... few words...

Disclaimer: If you are a friend of mine (or don't know me) and are pregnant read on at your own discretion.  Learned some sad news about a friend tonight and felt compelled to write.

Sometimes you hear something and it actually makes your heart ache.  Like physically, you can feel your heart hurting.  Tonight my heart is aching. 

A friend went in for a routine check-up around the 8 month mark in her pregnancy with a little boy and the baby had no heartbeat.  Tonight, she is delivering that little boy.  Harrison is his name. 

Labor is called labor for a reason.  It's hard emotionally and physically.  But there is a reward or there is supposed to be a reward.  You get to hold and meet this wonderful little person you have nurtured for 10 months.  And best of all you get to take them home to a new world, new adventures, and a new chapter in your life.  My friend won't have that.  My heart aches for her and her husband. 

There is no explanation.  I've never understood things like childhood cancer (or any stage cancer for that matter), tragic deaths (and I've covered a lot of them), and inexplicable pain and sadness some people are forced to endure.  How can you explain losing a baby this far along?  What possible solace is there for them?  What possible comfort? 

Tonight as my heart aches for her, I am sending every prayer, every ounce of strength and courage I have to my friend.  She needs it right now. 

Heaven has a new angel tonight.

Hug your kids.

Count your blessings.

Sometimes there are no words.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas Look

A blog post is soon to come about how excited I get to decorate.

Until then, a throw back to last year's Christmas card pic until this years are taken :)

The Best part?  I'm decorating soon... very soon...

26.2

This weekend we were supposed to head to Erie for some quality time with Dan's side of the family but plans changed on Thursday.  We were left with a weekend with (gasp!) no plans! 

Dan had a million things he wanted to get done around the house which is wonderful but difficult to do with a 1 year old climbing around with you.  So on Saturday morning Cannon and I got up early and headed to Indy.  Two of my closest friends (and their husbands) were doing what I consider to be 'the impossible'.

When I was 14 I had a spinal fusion to correct or partially correct my scoliosis.  It's a 14 hour surgery.  I remember my mom saying "Dr. Lenke runs marathons, that's why he can handle a 14 hour surgery, no sweat."

Back to Saturday.  Cannon and I camped out at the finish line to surprise my friend Michelle who tackled 13.1 miles in just over two hours (a. mazing.).  Then we headed over to mile marker 25 where soon Josh and Meggie would be nearing the end.  26.2 miles.  I can not even fathom.  What do you think about for that long?  The kind of mental drive, stamina, and determination it takes I just can't even wrap my head around. 

Josh qualified for the Boston marathon (running 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 8 minutes, what?!?!) and Megs met her goal and beat her personal best!  Wow.  What a wonderful thing it was to see my friends accomplish major goals.  I envy their drive and dedication the likes of which can easily be likened to a world class spine surgeon.

And the Best part?  Only they could look this good after 26.2 miles.  :)


Friday, November 6, 2009

Frump City

I'm just sayin'. 

If Stacy and Clinton had been in the Florence Walmart at 8 this morning, I would be flying to NYC for a new wardrobe. 

That's saying A LOT.  I was the "What Not to Wear" candidate in a Walmart. 

Hoodie, check.  Tank top, check. Gauchos, check.  What Dan calls a 'sleeping bra', check.  No make-up, did not brush my hair.  Cannon had on khakis and his pajama shirt.  Awesome.

The Best part?  No one said, "hey, you're that reporter from..." or... "aren't you Corey..."? 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ruffled Feathers

I need to vent.

This morning I went to the gym, left Cannon in their safe, clean, daycare along with my drivers license, notes about where I plan to be inside of the gym, and a blood sample and headed upstairs to the eliptical.  I did my 50 minutes of cardio and lifted a few weights.  While I was working out I read.  I did not have headphones on, nor was I engrossed in a dark loud spinning class.  I was reading, on the elliptical, in plain sight of most of the two story, open air, body building haven.

I return downstairs to pick Cannon up and one of the ladies rushes over. 

"Connor had an accident!". 

Connor?  I know there are a lot of kids in there and I know that he's there for like 3 hours a week but still... Connor?  Did all of the kids have an accident or just my kid?  Cause if it's just my kid, you could at least look at the sheet and learn his damn name. 

"Cannon?" I respond. 

"Oh, right.  Sorry.  Cannon fell off the teeter totter and cut his mouth.  He was bleeding for a few minutes but it stopped."

This has happened half a dozen times.  He falls, hits his chin and his bottom teeth hit the roof of his mouth, cutting his gums.  He bleeds for a few minutes and then is fine.  However, my son was bleeding in a daycare at a gym and no one came to get me.

"Is it standard procedure to not come get a parent when a child is bleeding?" I question.  Feathers starting to ruffle.

"We paged you twice.  There were too many kids in here for one of us to leave."  They hop on the defensive. 

"I didn't have headphones on and I was at the top of the stairs.  I heard all the other pages for trainers and such, I did not hear my name.  Not once, definitely not twice.  And, is there no one else who works in the gym who could come get me?" 

This place is a mega gym.  At any given time there are 20 or 30 trainers hanging around, a few managers and several 'desk' people.  There was clearly someone in the building who was available to walk up 30 stairs and search the 30 elipticals for Cannon or Connor's mom.  I left my concerns with the manager and gently suggested they take a closer look at their policy and also check the paging system.  They apoligized and said it would be taken care of.

I will take him back tomorrow.  I don't think he's unsafe there, and I'm not super crazy first time mom.  I am not.  I know those moms, I'm not one of them.  I want my child to get used to being places without me, be around other adults and he falls all the time.  I'm cool with all of that.  What I'm not cool with is the fact that my child was bleeding and no one thought I might like to know.  Add that to the fact that the woman comforting him while he cried was calling him Connor and my feathers are fully ruffled.

Whew.  I feel better.

The Best part?  Venting.  Thanks.