Wednesday, March 31, 2010


My mom sent me this cute email today. Thought y'all would like it, too!


(These fit so well they should be in a dictionary.)


A person who has stopped growing at both ends

and is now growing in the middle.


A place where women curl up and dye.


The only animal you eat before they are born

and after they are dead.


A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.


Mud with the juice squeezed out.


Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.


Cold Storage.


Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.


An insect that makes you like flies better.


A doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority,

and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,

which holds forth the proposition that it is

entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.


Grape with a sunburn.


Something you tell to one person at a time.


A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.


The pain that drives you to extraction.


One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.


An honest opinion openly expressed.


Something other people have....similar to my character lines.


I very quietly confided to my friend that I was having an Affair.

She turned to me and asked, "Are you having it catered?"

And that, my friend, is the definition of 'OLD'!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

We (and by "we" I mean mostly ME) celebrated my birthday this weekend. Here's a recap of some of the highlights:

My actual birthday was Saturday, but I started the festivities with a mani/pedi after work on Thursday.

The cards from family and friends started arriving on Wednesday and by Saturday I had a mantle full of them. Thanks, everybody!

Since Chris had to work all day Saturday, we planned a nice dinner out alone for Friday night and he gave me his presents when we got home. There were these beautiful pink roses...

And a bottle of his favorite perfume, Eternity. (Aren't you so impressed with this artsy picture of it on the ladder? That's because there's nothing else in that room to set it on since we're still painting in there.)

With the money that came in cards from my mom and my MIL, I did a little shopping for myself at the Nine West Outlet. I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I got both. They had a 30% off sale, so they were really good deals and I didn't get a new spring purse last year so I figured I was due.

What mother of four boys doesn't deserve a little pink in her life? And I am loving mustard as my new favorite neutral color these days. I have mustard flats that go perfectly with this bag...

On Saturday I spent the day at home with the boys and my wonderful friend, Darcy, came over. It was great to catch up with her and the boys enjoy her, as well, especially William. They have a special bond and have since he was a tiny baby the first time she met him. Darcy was kind enough to cut my hair and I sure needed it since the last time was before Christmas. YIKES!

Chris had Sunday off so we went to the Children's Museum in Glenview, IL and met my friend Nikki and her family there. She just has one son, Jackson, to watch so I immediately enlisted her to be my "mother's helper" for the day. I felt bad, but the place was so crowded and we really needed the help to keep track of all of mine! Nikki was very gracious about it, of course. After a couple hours there, we all went back to her house for a most delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches. YUM!!! She also made a banana split cake to torture me, but I'm not going to dwell on it. I have just 5 more days until I can go on my 3 day sweets bender.

It was a long ride home last night because we were so tired but I had a few things that made the trip very enjoyable. My sister sent me this CD
I love the whole CD but Track #12 is my favorite, "What Can I Say?" It's going to be a huge hit, mark my words!
The best thing about Illinois could be the plentitude of 7-11's. The kids have gotten to be champion 7-11 spotters because they know we are suckers for Slurpees. Is there anything better on a road trip? I prefer almost all cherry but with a splash of Coke. (Salivating right now, just thinking about it.)

The Slurpee-induced comas hit quickly so Chris and I got to talk quietly, laugh and remember what life was like when we had a smaller car and less to talk about. Overall it was one of my better birthdays, especially because I got to spend it with good friends and, of course, my family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring has sprung!

We're hitting the mid-60's this week in Wisconsin and loving every sunny, warm minute of it! Funny how it's nearly impossible to have a bad day when the weather is this nice, at least that's true for me anyway. I heard we will be getting a bit of snow on Saturday (BOO!) but we definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel now and are excited for spring.

Check out Mr. Kisses...he loves to grab faces and pull them in for sloppy, drooly kisses.

Luke is just about 6 months old now so he's loving his baby food. His favorite seems to be bananas. Yum! He is also starting to "combat crawl" so we have to be careful he doesn't get a hold of anything small he might choke on. Rubber snakes make the perfect teethers - who knew?
In other news...

I gave up all sweets for Lent and am having a bit of a rough time with it. The first couple of weeks were ok, but it's starting to really wear on me. I haven't given up ALL sweet things - I drink soda and put syrup on my waffles - but I gave up cookies, cake, pie, candy, etc. I knew it would be difficult since I would rather eat a plateful of sweets than anything else.

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for many years but don't consider myself Catholic. I do, however, still believe in the Lenten tradition of giving up something. I find myself thinking of Jesus every time I want a sweet (which is a LOT!!!) and all that He gave up for me and my sacrifice seems so small. As I said, it's wearing on me in these last couple weeks of Lent but it's also keeping me focused on Him.

I will be especially focused on Him on my birthday which, sadly, is next week. No birthday cake for me this year! I am hoping to figure out a good birthday outing for us instead. Chris has to work all day on my birthday, but has the next day off so we could have a family day or I could get a sitter and go out with Chris alone. I haven't yet decided what I want to do, but am leaning toward taking the kids somewhere fun.

We're starting in on a big project here at the house involving painting and re-arranging all 3 bedrooms. Chris and I are giving up our master bedroom so we can bunk all 4 boys together. I will be sad to not have our own bathroom but the thing I'll miss most is that beautiful walk-in closet. We don't spend much time in our bedroom, though, so the kids need the space more than we do. It's always hard to do work around the house when there are kids around, especially a 2 year old and an infant. Wish us luck with this one! I'll be sure to post pictures of our progress.

Regarding my recent book reviews, I did finish "My Sister's Keeper" and loved it. It was so very sad, especially the parts written from the point of view of the mother. For anyone who doesn't know the basic premise, it's about a family whose 2 year old daughter gets leukemia (a rare form) and they genetically engineer a sister for her who is a "match" so they can use the baby's cord blood for a transplant. I have heard that the ending in the book is completely different from the ending in the book and am now very curious to see the movie. The problem is, the book was so heartwrenching and I don't think I can go through the story again. Anyone out there want to shed some light on how the movie ends?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I have to start taking more pictures, but I guess that's what happens when you get to the 4th kid, huh? Anyway, the photo-op I missed last night was Luke getting up on his knees with his tummy completely off the floor. SERIOUSLY! He's not even 6 months old and just mastered the rolling over thing about two weeks ago! I can't believe how quickly he's growing up and with him being my last baby, I am so sad about it. I would love to freeze our family right now, despite the sleep deprivation.

Luke is also making sounds like "da da" and I swear we heard him say "guys." He's going to be chasing after them before they know it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick Book Reviews

Don't ask me how I find the time, but I've gone on a bit of a reading binge lately. (Maybe I found the time when I stopped updating my blog - ha ha!) It started with the very touchy-feely gift my husband got me for Valentine's Day: "The Politician" by Andrew Young. Yes, this is the book about John Edwards who is possibly the biggest jerk on the planet. Chris thought he did well getting this book for me since I had commented when it came out that I would REALLY like to read it. Well, that's true, but I still thought it was a bit of an odd Valentine's Day gift. After thinking about it, I realized that was probably a GREAT gift for a husband to give for Valentine's Day - it sure makes Chris look like Husband of the Year!

So here are the reviews of the books I've ripped through since then:

"The Politician" - everyone's heard the story by now of John Edwards' assistant covering for him and claiming paternity of the ex-Senator's "love child." This book goes through Mr. Young's entire 10 years with Edwards and gives an inside look at politics. Beware - if you want to bury your head in the sand and believe these politicians are a bunch of do-gooders who only want to dedicate themselves to public service, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! I did enjoy the book very much and finished it in less than a week. By the end, I understood how the Youngs got sucked into doing whatever Edwards asked of him, which is something I didn't get from the interviews I'd seen with him.

"In The President's Secret Service" - this book generated a lot of buzz when it came out in October and I can see why. There are a lot of little tidbits about past presidents and their wives that are very interesting. I had no idea how mean Jimmy Carter was to the people whose job it was to protect him, or how much they all loved Ronald Reagan for always treating the service staff with such respect. It's also interesting to read about all the precautions the Secret Service agents have to take for all public outings with the President. I knew a bit of this from when I worked at The Ritz Carlton and handled the Prime Minister of Iraq's visit in 2005. It was really intense for me to arrive at work and see snipers on the roof of the hotel and have the S.W.A.T. team clearing out the service hallways whenever he came and went. I am still in the process of reading this book since I read it at work during breaks and am looking forward to learning more.

"My Sister's Keeper" - I'm not typically into novels, but a good friend of mine gave me another Jodi Piccoult book, "Change of Heart," a while ago and I TORE through it in one day! I am giving this a chance because of the author and am not sorry - just 20 pages in and I'm totally HOOKED! I did hear that the ending in the book is different than the movie. I haven't seen the movie but might rent it once I finish the book to compare. I think I'm becoming a HUGE Jodi Piccoult fan!

"The Other Mother" - ok, I saved the best for last. This book took me about a week to get through and I savored EVERY page. It's a book by a woman who got pregnant in 1965 at age 19 and was basically forced by her Catholic parents to give her baby up for adoption. She describes the experience of hiding her pregnancy in shame and entering a home for unwed mothers run by nuns. She was in love with her boyfriend and vice versa, but they were both told that there was no way for them to make it work since they were so young and had no money. She was told she would forget the whole thing in time and that if she loved her baby, she would give him up to a better life. I was BAWLING because she really wanted to keep him, but no one would help her find a way to do it. From the minute she walked out of the hospital without him, she started counting the days until he was 18 and she could find him again.

Here's an exerpt for you from when she was in the hospital after she had her baby:

"Mrs. Hogan called. She would escort me back to Seton House that evening. I looked down at my son, realizing we had only two more visits together. How would I be able to handle this? Where would my strength come from? I held him close to my heart and tried not to get upset, for his sake. Then, the nurse came in to take him from me.

As I packed up my things, I tried to compose my goodbye to him. There was so much I wanted him to remember. I wanted to be able to imprint the truth about how much I loved him - and would always love him - indelibly on his heart. I had to find the right words so he would carry this truth with him all of his life."

While reading this book, I had to take many breaks to hold Luke. I cried for the mother in the story who had her son taken from her. Then I cried for all the other mothers like her who gave up their babies for adoption and never stopped longing for them. Then I cried for all the mothers who have ever had a child taken from them in any way - kidnapping, custody battles, suicide, disease. It really is an unspeakable nightmare to lose a child, no matter how it happens.

And then I cried for myself as I realized that the cruel passage of time will eventually steal my babies away from me. I think about that when I have to get up 3-4 times per night to nurse that little angel and I don't mind so much. I'll have plenty of time to sleep when he's grown. Right now, he needs me - almost as much as I need him.

Happy Reading, everyone!