Monday, September 28, 2009

Hey you!

I didn't think so.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank You! Thank You!

Last week I was checking on my favorite blog. I cannot describe the excitement when I saw that someone had recognized Happy Mama at Ordinary Miracles of Life. Even though I may be bias, I have loved reading about the daily life at Happy Mama's home. More than once, after reading a post I have forwarded the link to a friend because of Happy Mama’s wonderful ideas. She has been an inspiration to families on making our lives darn near perfect.

Reading further reminded me how funny and witty Happy Mama is every day. I nearly fell off my chair when I read that she hearts (don't you think it would be great if I learned how to insert images instead of typing) my blog. Moreover, to be put into the same venue as Hope Studios, which I adore, was mind blowing (I have not ventured over to Mama Kat's yet but I trust Happy Mama's judgment).

I accept the award with gratitude and will strive to be worthy of such an honor. It is probably time to take a lesson from work and reread before posting. Imagine how fun this blog could be with a thought process.

First, I want to thank Happy Mama for her wonderful blog and friendship. Reading your blog is one of my daily joys. It was through your blog that Big Poppy and I decided the best venue for us to stay in touch with our friends and family while having a little fun.

Next, I need to give kudos to Lisa from Smell The Coffee Lisa for recognizing Ordinary Miracles of Life. I am so happy others enjoy Ordinary Miracles of Life as much as I do.

Now for our family and friends, thanks for reading and letting me know what you think. I love sharing our lives with you. Even though there may be miles and miles (or maybe just miles) between our homes, my heart is always thinking of you. It gives me joy to enable you to see more into our daily lives and learn more about what I love (Who was surprised by my love of the Twilight series? I certainly was shocked to find that little tidbit).

My final thank you goes out to my slightly bigger angel. Without the greatest gift ever given to Big Poppy and myself, I would have been content keeping our life to ourselves. These days, I cannot wait to share all the thrilling (and not so thrilling) parts of our lives. Whether it is a sporting event, reading a book or even watching the paint dry, it is all so much better now and I cannot wait to share.

These are my top three blogs to stop by either daily or from time to time. They deserve an award too.

Happy Mama, Ordinary Miracles of Life: It may be corny but the feeling is right back at you. Everyone reading my blog, go there and see what I am talking. You will not be disappointed. (Two-time winner now!)

MisterJensen, I Might Just Be Crazy: The posts are a few times a month but are laugh out loud funny. I have needed to wipe a laughing tear once or twice.

Jen Lancaster, Jennsylvania: Is it wrong to laugh, wish I could have said something so funny and shake my head at the judgment all at the same time? Go get her books

Monday, September 21, 2009

Are You Ready...

for some football?

Saturday marked the first home game that Big Poppy, Little Guy and I were able to enjoy. Aunt Steffey (not pictured) and Cord were able to join us. We arrived in plenty of time for kick off.

Some of us did not find kick off as exciting as others.

After a 10 minute power nap, Little Guy joined us for most of the game. (There was another 10 minute power nap in the fourth quarter.) The victory was not ours but the new OUTDOOR stadium made the loss a little more bearable.

If the smiles and pink cheeks are any indication, I do believe the first ever football game was a hit. Big Poppy, Aunt Steffey and I learned that if we are having our little boys in shorts to stay cool, it probably means that we should not be wearing blue jeans. It was HOT!

All the fresh air and great company made it hard for Little Guy nap. True to his personality, he did not let it dampen his mood. Saturday night - Little Guy slept soundly for 10 hours!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tough Little Guy

This morning marked Little Guy’s four-month appointment. Not that it came to a big surprise to Big Poppy or me, the pediatrician remarked more than once how great Little Guy is and he is the picture of what we want to see in his development. Little Guy is more than picture perfect. In case you were wondering, I got it right from the doctor’s mouth.

The Vitals at Four Months:
Height: 26” (90 percentile)
Weight: 17 lbs 15 oz (95 percentile)
Head Size: 42.4 cm (50 percentile)
(Do you need a refresher on Little Guy’s vitals at birth, one month or two months?)

This time around, the nurse measured Little Guy’s height twice. She was could not believe Little Guy jumped two percentiles! I was not surprised. Big Poppy and I have been feeding and feeding and feeding our little boy. Thank goodness, we can now add rice cereal to his diet. Maybe now Little Guy will stop trying to eat his fist.

The appointment also brought round two, three and four shots. Waiting for round two, Little Guy was all smiles even if it was a little cool in the doctor’s office.

There were tears again but Little Guy is tough. Within minutes, Little Guy was all smiles again and it was time to move on to round three and four shots.

Round three and four were for Big Poppy and I. For the first time ever we received the flu shot. I am happy to announce that there were no tears from me…Big Poppy did not cry either.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Blue Eyes

Here are a few of Little Guy's three month pictures. I think these speak for themselves.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where Did They Go?

This past week was atypical for Little Guy. He hardly ever cries or fusses and is happy and friendly with just about everyone. The biggest exception to being friendly with everyone is when Little Guy is worn-out. Then either Big Poppy or I have the Midas touch.

When Little Guy’s cries woke us in the wee morning on Tuesday, it seemed peculiar but decided that while Big Poppy and I find Little Guy perfect that maybe he still had a small number of imperfections to work out. No biggie. As Tuesday progressed with a fussy Little Guy, we chalked his sour attitude to his early morning rise.

Do you know what follows Tuesday? Wednesday and this particular Wednesday was much like Tuesday. Big Poppy and I started to speculate what could be wrong. Sourness is not Little Guy we know and love. Then it dawned on us.

Our weekend houseguests had disappeared. Gone was the extra love that Little Guy was getting at all times. Gone were the constant arms that would wrap him up tights. Gone were the trips around the city. Gone was all the extra attention that Little Guy enjoys to have.

With the long Labor Day weekend, my Aunt and her family came to join us. This is quite a feat because for a couple years now, Big Poppy and I were convinced vehicles from my home state could not travel into my current state. It was like there was a border patrol that said you can enter SD from anywhere but to enter MN you cannot have SD license plates. I think with global economy, the free trade movement and the fiscal nightmare most states currently have, the border control has ceased, at least temporarily.

Bring out the party hats. My family came to town. Big Poppy, Little Guy, Jeter and I had a wonderful time.

We do worry about the Rangers fan but assume you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

At the science museum, we took a trip to the past with the Titanic exhibit. There was much to see and touch. One part of the exhibit has an iceberg for you to feel. Do you remember science from middle school? Salt water has a lower freezing temperature. The iceberg was colder that we are even use to in the Frozen Tundra.

Labor Day weekend also brought out the football. We divided the teams. Soy’s Average Joe’s took on Happy Mom’s All-Stars. It was a lot of fun. Let’s just say that if the game had not been called, Soy’s team would not have been the winner. However, since the game was called we must call it a draw. Will there be a Thanksgiving rematch? Time will tell.

Even though Little Guy was distraught for a couple days after the family left, we were delighted to have Ranger, Aunt, Syd and Soy join us for the long weekend. Come back soon. We miss and love you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Novel about the Holocaust?

WARNING: There are items not suitable for children discussed in The White Hotel.

As I read D.M Thomas’ The White Hotel for our July book club meeting, I became more and more confused. I thought this book was about the Holocaust? Many moons have passed since my first college graduation (I obtained a degree in history at that time) but I distinctly taking several history classes surrounding World War II. The first three parts of the book left me puzzled on the Holocaust tie-in.

The White Hotel begins with LONG poem. The next part of the book takes the poem and turns it into a story and then we learn more after the sessions with Sigmund Freud have ended. I had a difficult time overcoming these first sections. The writing was pornographic, in my mind, and degrading to women. Two things helped me get past the imagery surrounding the first two sections of the book.

  1. Mack told me how she just laughed at the “pornographic writing” because it was so far over the top that it was completely implausible. This is a true statement and I would remind myself that it was a dream of a character.
  2. Digging deep into the history brain cells, I remembered Susan Griffin and Susan Kappeler. After a little searching I was reminded that Susan Griffin believes we all participate in the pornographic mind through philosophy, literature, religion, art, film, etc. Even more to the point, in Susanne Kappeler's words, "Nazi sadism is a stock in trade of pornography.”
With these things in my mind, I concluded that the real pornography was what the Nazis did to their victims.

After that, and I will be honest it took weeks to get to this mind set, I could enjoy the book. Well, enjoy may be a little strong. How about I just say that I could tolerate the book. I appreciated how the beginning tied to the ending. It is funny how sometimes you need complete something to the end before you can understand the beginning. There is a strong likelihood that this book will be one that I appreciate more over time.

If you are wondering if you should pick up The White Hotel here are my words of advice. The White Hotel is not for the faint at heart. If you have trouble with pornographic writing and know that you cannot overcome it (I would not have finished had it not been for book club) you will hate this book. This book requires you to be in the right mind set before reading. This is especially at the end of the book when the Holocaust tie-in is revealed; your mind will race.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Paying for College

Last night was the night. I have the best possible way to increase Little Guy's college fund drastically. With the start of football tomorrow night it means that last night was draft night.

This year Little Guy helped me with my fantasy football draft picks. I know we will do well because Little Guy's college funding will be greatly enhanced by our winnings. My thought process goes something like this.

In the 2009-2010 season Little Guy and I have a team that fully funds his Ivy League education trust fund. During the 2010-2011 season, Little Guy and I draft a team that puts me in full retirement. With the start of the 2011-2012 season, Little Guy and I decide to spread the fantasy football wealth a little bit and allow Big Poppy to win his own league and then he can join us in retirement. After that, we all retire from fantasy football. There is no need to be greedy.

Even though Little Guy's shoes were for the wrong sport, they are so darn cute that I gave the shoes the thumbs up for the evening.

However, the NY Yankee shirt to match Big Poppy had to go for the night. This is football, not baseball. Instead I busted out Little Guy's favorite football teams t-shirt. There were a few shocked faces and attitude from other team GM's but Little Guy is tough. He stayed mum despite the polite jabs at his shirt.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Club Selections

Current and past book club selections. My thoughts may be linked by book title. Links to the book on Amazon (or other website) may be by author.

January - Holiday Party with some smart cookies
February - The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
March - Life of Pi by Yann Martel
April - Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
August - Escape by Caroyln Jessop
September - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

January - God Knows by Joseph Heller
February - Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
March - Dewey the Small Town Library Cat by Vicki Myron
April - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
May - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
June - The Third Option by Vince Flynn
July - Everything I Needed to Know About Being A Girl I Learned from Judy Bloom by Various
August - Thing of Beauty by Stephen Fried
September - The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas
October - The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
November - The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
December - Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein

January - The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
February - Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
March - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys
April - The Somnambulist by Jonathon Barnes
May - Taming your Inner Brat by Pauline Wallin, PH.D
June - Sleeping at the Starlite Motel by Bailey White
July - Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
August - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
September - The Beach House by Jane Green
October - Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
November - Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
December - The Late Homecomer by Kao Kalia Yang

October - The adventure begins.
November - The Catcher Was a Spy by Nicholas Dawidoff
December - The House of Mirth by Edith Warton

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Road to Unitasking

I am not a unitasker but I am finding that this may be the wave of my future. The jumping around of multitasking too many items has left me performing average to sub-par.

I am not satisfied with average and shudder at the thought of being sub-par. Despite all the good and all the bad I am a Laid Back Type A person. This is my own personal blend of Type A and Type B personality. I am often driven by deadlines and multi-task rushing from place to place – Type A – but I am also relaxed, easy-going when items are communicated and lack a sense urgency until the deadline approaches – Type B.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will never really become a unitasker. The difficulty of focusing on only one item at a time for long periods is not an area I am strong enough to concur at this time. The breaking of the snooze habit is item one on my list right now, which I had been doing well until Monday and Tuesday of this week.

I recently read that meditation helps with focus, i.e. becoming a competent unitasker. Yoga is a good friend of mine. I try to recruit a new yogi just about as often as I try to push Twilight onto those who have not yet open the book binding. The idea of meditation makes me revert to my teenage years of the eye roll. My mental discipline is too weak for meditation. I may consider meditation after I make it through multiple yoga sessions staying in the moment and not allowing my mind to run through all my to do’s.

For the time being, I may consider myself a recovering multitasker and take great pleasure if I keep it to three or four items at a time. All other items go to my list (this where Big Poppy rolls his eyes because he loves the list I in an effort to stay on task). I will continue to review my list daily and delegate (this is where staff roll their eyes because of the items they inherit when I delegate).

Where has this new respect for the unitaskers of the world come from? Little Guy.

He starts daycare in a few weeks. To be my very best for him I need to perform better. Lately, I have made careless mistakes because when I start one project, instead of writing down a thought that needs to be followed up on, I just change direction and complete the new thought. I have been making more mistakes than I care to admit to lately. In my mind, I have been letting down the people in my life whether with family, with friends, co-workers or my community.

My pride in my ability to juggle several items morphed into arrogance. This arrogance escalated the amount of items I tried to complete at once. Instead of efficiency, I created more work for others and myself.

The technical difficulties appear to be Happy Mom difficulties. Here are few examples:

  1. Internet Connection – Little Guy’s video monitor interferes with our internet connection when it is on at night. I knew this would likely happen when he moved into his own room. I forgot and wasted countless hours trying to determine why the internet was not working. Silly, I know, but still it was an item I researched before deciding on a video monitor. There are a few ways to work around it but instead of following up on the work around I spent excessive time running up to the second floor and then down to the basement to “fix” the internet.
  2. Thank You’s – In an effort to save time and have the ability to write thank you notes while waiting, I pre-addressed envelopes and stuck the cards in a little brown bag. I carried the brown bag in my car for weeks. I pulled the brown bag out of my car last night while cleaning up the trash. What did I find? Countless BLANK thank you notes.
  3. Little Guy Announcements – Big Poppy and I needed a new computer long before we purchased our current computer last year. Because our old computer was so old and slow and not fit for use, we would often use our work computers for personal reasons. During the file transfer after the purchase of our red (did you know I adore the color red) laptop I did not take into consideration the work computer usage. Several announcements were returned to sender due to an address change from YEARS ago.
Now you know why I have not posted.

This is what you have missed.

A little cutie smiling at his mommy and daddy. I so enjoy stealing kisses from Little Guy’s cheeks.

He is getting very strong and stands tall.

Little Guy is also becoming independent. Just yesterday, he was visibly upset and let me know that I was not to hold his bottle.

Big Poppy has just returned home. The three-month pictures are in….

Connection Problems

We are currently experience technical difficulties at Big Poppy's castel. I'll explain all the little problems soon. Here's a great picture of Little Guy to help tide you over while we continue to correct the problems.

The scratch on his cheek...I might need to look at his finger nails instead of waiting until he scratches himself in the future. My nails are so weak that I do not need to worry about trimming them. Note to self - check Little Guy's nail after Sunday night bath weekly.

My fix was not correct but after discussing further, I do believe I know the problem. Stay tuned for updates.
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