February 28, 2009

Today's Soccer Practice

I wish I had recorded the first time the kids tried this, because it was a disaster. But now it seems to work out pretty well.

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Red light-green light drills

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Mr. Fox-Mr. Fox! That would be my kid flat on his face.

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Endless winter

Today I celebrate the end of February. Because icicles on my favorite rose bush just aren't pretty anymore.

February 27, 2009

Wine country, here we come!

I haven't been on a good trip in years. And for those who aren't aware, that gives me hives. I love traveling new places. Staying in one places makes me jittery and impatient. Yes, even more than I am already. And I haven't gone anywhere in YEARS. So imagine my surprise when looking at flights to wine country to learn they're relatively cheap over our 8th wedding anniversary. Which also happens to coincide with artichoke season. Which also happens to be a fabulous time of year in Northern California. Which also is a time of year we can find cheap free babysitting for C-man. And since the Canadians have been asking when we're going to visit them for ages now, it's really a win-win-win all the way around. Sigh... only two and a half months to build up my booze tolerance to be able to run with the Canadians. Ah, who am I kidding? No amount of training is going to prepare me for THAT.

Full Belly Tattoos

I've never been a huge fan of tattoos. I get that they're popular, but I've never really seen the point in them. I guess I've never had anything that I'm that into that I need to be permanently displayed on my skin. And I've never seen one and went "Oooh, I wish I had that!" On spring break when there was the intense peer pressure to get one, and all my friends were getting them, I ended up getting my naval pierced because it was only $20, got my friends off my back, and ultimately I knew I could get rid of it about a month later. It seemed like a win-win for me. (Except for the parent freakout, but that was manageable) So mix that with the fact that I've been having some really vivid, off-the-wall dreams lately, and you've got a recipe for craziness. Last night I dreamed I had tattoos all over my belly. One particularly large one, covered the entire right side of me, and even had a colorful ad for Pampers built in it. What? Anyhow, I woke up completely frantic and lifted my shirt to make sure it was just a dream. Then I checked and rechecked in the shower to make sure I really didn't have a tattoo. And I just caught myself checking again. I hate vivid dreams. They mess with my head all day long.

February 26, 2009

Jittery

Each morning, I press the grind button on the coffee grinder and turn on the teapot. After the grinder automatically shuts off according to my specific grind courseness and cup settings (and Harry stops howling), I put the coffee in my French press. Once the teapot whistles, I pour the water in the French press, swirl, and set the timer for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, I press the plunger down and pour out the coffee into two separate cups. A little cream in mine, just black for Beerman. I tell you this, not so you'll know how to make me French press coffee when you stay over at the house. Although it is hands down the absolute best way to make coffee, and I would be truly grateful. (And trust me, we've tried the drip, the percolator, the weird vacuum pot things, and espresso makers, both stovetop and expensive machine contraptions. French press is the best.) But because I am now shaking so much I can hardly type. That's because I continued with my ritual this morning, and have for the last few mornings. Except I've only been putting in half as much water and pouring the rich, velvety goodness into one cup. No problem, right? Wrong. I haven't changed the settings on the coffee grinder. So it's still grinding the same old 6 cups worth meant for our usual 2 people (yes, we like it strong). But I'm only pouring it into ONE cup. Holy crap! No wonder I'm unable to function. I'm consuming enough coffee for 6 people before 8 a.m., and doing it with chasers of black tea all day. At least now I know why my heart is racing. Too bad it took me 4 days to figure it out!

February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras, Carnivale, Carnival, and...

Those in New Orleans are flashing for beads. In Venice, they're wearing masks and gambling their money away. Brasileiros are finally getting to dance through the sambadrome after practicing all year.

And me, well, I'm eating a paczki and working. Wow. I am living the dream.

Happy Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, or whatever you call it!

February 23, 2009

What is that bright thing in the sky, and why does it make me feel so happy?

I hate when people talk about the weather. I rarely pay attention to it, and when it's brought up, I think, "Really? That's the most important thing you have on your mind?" I realize some people are just naturally inclined to pay attention to it, and so probably find it interesting. Although I've never understood it. It's sort of like when Beerman's grandparents would ask about the price of lettuce. I was always like, hell, I don't know. Whatever the store charges. But back to the weather. Because holy crap, the sun is out. For those who don't understand why this is a big deal, clearly, you haven't endured a Wisconsin winter lately. The day-after-day-after-week-after-God-awful-month of dreary, grayness that is apt to send you into a SAD-induced depression, even if you aren't predisposed toward negativity like I am. So sitting outside yesterday building a snow castle with C-man while the sun beat down on my face was a little slice of heaven. And getting blinded when opening the backdoor to let Harry outside this morning was a reason to cheer. And I almost reached for my sunglasses on the drive into work, but thought it would be better to be blinded and happy than to shut out the beautiful, warm sun on my face. So the sun is out. And damnit, I'm going to figure out how to get out of my gray cubicle today to enjoy it for a bit. *************** I just finished the Kommandant's Girl. It's about a girl who is a part of the Jewish resistance in Poland during WWII who ends up working for the Nazis. It gets a "Jennifer Recommends" star in case you're looking for an interesting one.

February 22, 2009

Harry's Perfect Sunday

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As for me, who ever said that Sunday was a day of rest?

February 21, 2009

What I'd Flash For

So Small Talk Six! is talking about what 6 things you'd flash for in honor of Mardi Gras. And I immediately thought to myself, "Really, only six?" For those of you who are unaware, when the mood strikes me and the sun is shining, I have absolutely no shame. But then my second thought was, "Wow, but would anyone really enjoy it anymore?" And then I thought, "What the hell, it'd probably be funny. And in this scenario, I get to pick what it's for, so it'd be worth something other than just showing off my own sense of shamelessness." So here are my six wishes, in no particular order: 1. Tuition to Northwestern University for C-man. Or even better, C-man AND me. (Would he just love going to college with his good ol' mom? Hey kid, it's Thursday night, want to go party?) 2. A job that would give me enough both the money and vacation time to be able to spend it. Hell, who am I kidding? I'd do it for a free trip somewhere warm and sunny where I could show them off all day long. 3. A cure for arthritis. Yes, this is incredibly self-serving, but I'd be saving one in five Americans too, so not everything on this list is just for me. Or how about medicine that solves the problems of arthritis without dooming me to a life of certain cancer and infertility? 4. Tell us, Drew... A new car! 5. A team of personal caretakers: yoga instructor, massage therapist, chef, acupuncturist, chiropractor. Hell, how about just the time and money to even go to those people? (And aren't I beautiful in my serene massage scene?)

6. A complete Oprah-style makeover. I'm talking hair, makeup, wardrobe, walking lessons, fat camp, the works. 7. (I know it was supposed to be six, but whatever) A pair someone would want flashed at them!

Apparently it's still February

At least it only took 30 minutes to get to soccer practice. Which is right down the road...

February 20, 2009

Whew! TGIF.

Sheesh. It sure took long enough to get here. I had a corporate all-day meeting off-site today and then decided to stop and get a few new shirts at Bayshore on the way home since Beerman was on C-man pickup duty (FYI - huge sales!), and by that time I figured "Why don't I just pick up dinner?" So the Cheesecake Factory it was. Wow, my life is a thrill a minute, isn't it? C-man just got invited to go play at a friend's house tomorrow. He's over the moon excited. Soccer AND hanging out with a friend in the same day. Could there be anything better? The only plans I have for the weekend are going to the yarn store to start a new project. I don't even know what I want to make. I'll just see what inspires me. I've really been on a blue kick lately.

February 19, 2009

When life hands you a box of the crazies...

I think I'm getting a bit crazy. This happens when my life turns a bit hectic. Frenetic, if you will. It's gotten to the point that Beerman and I are figuring out tag-team arrangements for him to be able to take C-man to a Dad/Son event, with me going to pick him up so that Beerman can still go and get to the airport on time. This morning, I grabbed one of "those" pairs of underwear. You know, the ones that should have been thrown out, but haven't because they're my backup to the backups? Yeah, those. And the thing is, I have clean good underwear. But they're in the dryer. All the way down in the basement. And I don't have time (read: energy) to go all the way downstairs. (Seriously, I do know how crazy that sounds). If that weren't crazy enough, I have buttons falling off my coat that desperately need to be sewn, but won't happen. My fingernails look like they've been put through a wood chipper. I need to get to the chiropractor, because I haven't been in ages, and you can almost hear my tin man body moving. And despite that, all I really want to do is go to bed and read a good book. So much for prioritization. ************************* PS - Do you think Obama is going to Canada to finally annex them as America Junior? PPS - Do you think instead of Hail to the Chief they'll play Blame Canada?

February 18, 2009

Obsessions

I go in waves with my reading. And the last month or so has been another voracious reading month. Anything and everything I can get my hands on. One I read at night and the other I listen to in the car. And I get absorbed into them. I think about them while I eat. When I hear something in the news, I relate it to my book. My latest is The Confessor by Daniel Silva. It's a fictional thriller about the Israeli Secret Service vs. the Vatican Secret Service. Something I've never thought about before, but now find myself complete facinated. *************** I finished C-man's orange wool socks last night. I was on a mission to finish them. So I got done and he excitedly put them on. And then declared them to be too itchy. Sigh. Really? Chunky wool is itchy? Who knew. Anyhow, this weekend we'll be at the yarn store picking up some appropriate sock yarn in, you guessed it, orange. *************** P.S. I told you we weren't getting all that snow. P.P.S. Okay, some of it, but not the 10 inches that were threatened. *************** And who can not think this is funny?

February 17, 2009

He's rubbing off on me

C-man's favorite color is orange. And this isn't a favorite color passing fad. It has always been his favorite color. And he's a very black and white, er, orange kid. Give him a choice of suckers in a bowl like after last night's haircut, and he picks orange. Give him a food to eat, and he picks the orange one (unless it's a carrot, then the anti-vegetable rule takes over). Give him a whole new set of markers, he grabs orange. Give him red, yellow and blue paints, and he uses up the red and yellow to make different shades of orange. You get the picture. He loves orange. And he's convinced some of his closest friends to change their favorite colors to be orange too. And the other day I was at a training and asked to grab the item of my favorite color, and I paused for a minute before I grabbed something blue. Because I found myself unconsciously reaching for the orange one. I don't know if it's because I'm now trained to get the orange things because I know C-man will enjoy them, or if maybe his preferences are rubbing off on me. I'm guessing it's a bit of both. And the fun thing is, I kind of like it.

February 16, 2009

Fox in Socks

Remember that day in January when C-man and I were off due to the cold weather and I dragged him to a yarn store? And he picked out a ball of (big surprise) orange yarn? Well, I finally got to it since my sweater is done, and he's decided he wants socks made out of it. Now this isn't sock yarn. But I figured how hard can that be? So I made one sock and had him try it on to see how he liked it. Well, he loved it. Except they weren't long enough. (Apparently all really good socks should go up to his bunghole like his soccer socks). So I started over. I should be done with the new orange sock #1 tonight. Here's hoping he likes it. I guess I'll use the other one for his Fox in Socks, since last night he decided he needed orange socks instead of blue ones. On the bright side, at least the work won't go to waste. On the bad side, I fear needing to make socks for all his stuffed animals. But he was so darned happy at having me make him his socks, I will probably keep knitting them until he's moved on to his next obsession.

February 15, 2009

Red

Beerman and I have been going through old photos, trying to consolidate them into one place. For some reason, he had a bunch of our Hawaiian trip. So in this one it's Beerman, his little sis, and me on a ranch in Hawaii. It was an amazingly beautiful place, in the mountains right with the clouds, looking down on the ocean. And I got Red. And Red was the most stubborn, insolate, despicable cur you've ever had the chance to meet. When everyone decided to walk, he wanted to run. When I wanted to go left, he wanted to go right. When I wanted to pet him to make nice, he wanted to bite me. In fact, I'm pretty sure we referred to him as Riley. He was a rotten, mean horse. And I cursed him desperately. But despite it all, it sure does make for some funny memories. I guess it just goes to show that it's more fun when it doesn't go according to plan.

February 14, 2009

Love Saturday

Today, especially after being gone all week, my love day is all about spending time with my family. So it was dinner out last night with Beerman, soccer practice with C-man, and significant couch time with Harry once C-man takes a nap. Earlier today, C-man got me daffodails. I love that kid.
P.S. Pitchers and catchers reported in and Billy Hall is already hurt. Holy crap, spring is coming!

February 13, 2009

Thirteens

13 hours until I will be at dinner with Beerman 13 degrees cooler than yesterday 13 minutes that dog two doors down howled last night during the... 13th time one door down decided to get loudly amorous (ah, NOW I remember why I got out of living in hotels!) 13 channels I switched on the TV equipped with cable (luxury in my life) before I realized it's still TV and shut it off to read a book Happy Friday the 13th!

February 12, 2009

As if going to Denny's weren't bad enough

Beerman and I were in Denny's last weekend. I saw more asscrack and nastiness than I ever need to see again. Plus, it was quite possibly the worst service I've received in years. And none of them got kicked out. And yet here we go with some dumbass North Carolina Denny's now imposing its twisted form of morality by kicking out a mom trying to feed her hungry baby. So apparently asscrack = acceptable, feeding baby = unacceptable. http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/wlos_vid_2111.shtml And PS, I love Selma Hayek even more. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/10/salma-hayek-breastfeeds-a_n_165676.html

February 11, 2009

Umbrellas and Sausages

So I'm in Chicago. The supposed "Windy City". Whatever. All it has done is rain since I've been here. Which makes my fingers look like they belong in buns after a brief boil in beer. Which makes getting out and about almost impossible. So I am stuck in the hotel. I do need to get over to Walgreens to get some more drugs tonight, though, because after last night's tin-man-without-oil feeling, I'm all out. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I quit my job that traveled all the time. Well that, and the auto industry was going down the shitter, but that's a different story for a different day. The really cool thing was walking in the downtown Chicago area this morning on my way to the training. Everyone had umbrellas out, and everyone had their heads down, so it was a sea of color against the gray. I cursed not having my camera with me, because it was a really fantastic contrast that actually made me pretty happy to watch in motion. PS - I just finished off my sweater (blocking, tweaking, etc). This is the best photo I can get, since the only mirror is in my hotel's bathroom. Just ignore the toilet and shower curtain, and try to picture it without my phone in the way and in reverse (the buttons are on the left). I really, really need a small camera.

Wordless Wednesday - Step 42 of the going to bed routine: gather the friends

February 10, 2009

My man, Stump

If a 10 year old dog who almost died can win Westminster, maybe there's hope for me with some ginko. And for the record, he was my favorite pick even before I found out he was a near-death dog who has been couch surfing for the past few years.

Keys, PlayDoh, and Hotel Beds

So I'm in Chicago in the middle of a week-long certification. This morning as I got out at the infamous Lake Forest oasis (aka - over the interstate rest stop), I reached in my pocket and came out with a minivan key. Yeah... umm... I wasn't driving the minivan. So after a mild panic, a voicemail left while Harry howled, Beerman calling me back, hanging up so he could search and find the spare key, and then finally calling me back to tell me he had it while I was having a mild heart attack that I'd have to drive the 80 miles back to Milwaukee, I continued on my way. I was making good time, about 45 minutes early until I was about 5 miles out from downtown. It then took me an hour 15 minutes to go 5 miles. I was a half-hour late. This is why I hate Chicago. But I made it. And the best part? They had Play-Doh on the tables. With the cutters! And I didn't even have to use the excuse that I have a 3 year old so I can play with it. It was fabulous. I love creative training sessions. After a long-ass day, I then trucked over to my hotel. Where I pulled up to the high class hotel valet in my dirty ghetto-like car with parts of the door falling off. Where apparently I'd made the reservation for last week instead of this week. At least one thing turned out right for me - they had a room available, because nothing goes on in Chicago in the middle of February. But I've got a more expensive Queen bed instead of a special King. Oh well. That's what I get for being so freaking scattered these days. And did I mention that yesterday C-man was supposed to go to the Alzheimer's home? Yeah, that means leave his car seat. Which I forgot to do. Luckily one of the parents who were responsible enough to drive had a spare booster seat. Good thing. These days I'm lucky to even remember to strap my kid in. Maybe he should get used to visiting the Alzheimers home, because it's going to be me he's visiting soon enough. Thankfully Beerman is in charge of library day and Valentines day and Jesus money day tomorrow. God only knows how I'd screw THAT one up! Maybe I need to start beefing up on the Ginko or something, because this is getting ridiculous.

February 9, 2009

Pizza Pizza

I'm too tired busy lazy to write anything good today, so here's a photo op of my kid when we did build-your-own-pizza night last week for our New Years take 2. His side is not the one with sausage or artichokes on it.

February 8, 2009

Almost done

I have to block it today so the sleeves shape up right and aren't all stretched out like they are now, and don't be jealous of my Kerry-Edwards t-shirt underneath and my awesome pajama bottoms - it is Sunday, but at least the knitting part is done. (And you're not getting a head shot because I haven't showered and my face is still a splotchy mess after yesterday's facial) I might just celebrate with another yarn store trip.

February 7, 2009

Busy Saturday

If it's Saturday, it must mean soccer practice:

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Afterward, we went to pick out some new fish for our tank.

And then I got a facial. I thought it'd be smarter to not take a picture of that.

February 6, 2009

Homecoming

I got the call that I can bring Riley home. It's just so sad not having him waiting at the door when I get home at night, ready to spin in circles right in front of me over and over and over again. Never in my life have I met a dog like him. I don't expect there ever will be again.

February 5, 2009

The world is spinning around me

I'm glad it's almost the weekend. Because lately things have felt like they're spinning faster than I can keep up with, and it's left me with a kind of dizzy feeling. (Yes, dizzier than normal) Riley was supposed to get his amputation stitches out yesterday. Seriously? The dog didn't even get to have his freaking stitches out! I'm still dreading that box showing up in my mailbox, but a bit angrier each day that it doesn't. C-man had "tiny day" at school yesterday. Today he had to remember his snowpants and boots to go outside. And he just had to take Red Fox in Sox, who has a hole in his butt because he keeps sticking his finger in it no matter how many times I sew it. (Don't ask) Tomorrow is chapel day so he needs Jesus money. Next week is his Valentine's party, so he needed Valentines all made out and ready. Sigh. It's a full-time job keeping up with these special days. And next week I'm in Chicago at a certification all week. And C-man has to bring cheese to his Valentine's party, which means Beerman will have to do it while I'm gone. Not that he's incapable of slapping some cheese on a platter, but it's typically me who deals with these types of daily details. And somewhere in this month we have to figure out where C-man is going to school, or at least notify the other 2 schools where he's NOT going. Yeah, feeling a bit overwhelmed. At least the sun is out today. **************** Happy 15th anniversary dear sister. How'd that happen so fast?

February 3, 2009

"I judge you when you use poor grammar"

This has to be the best Facebook group yet. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

February 2, 2009

Taking baby steps back toward normal

It's Monday again. I'm jealous of everyone in Pittsburgh who got to start their days two hours late. Thundersticks in the hands of a 3 year old are really loud in the morning. Harry still howls at the coffee grinder. Our dogwalker is more reliable than I am - I forgot to call him to get him back walking Harry, and when I called, he was already mid-walk with him. I shouldn't wear black because it's always covered in crap. The groundhog saw his shadow this morning. Pitchers and catchers report in 11 days. And the world continues to spin. These are all things I know.

February 1, 2009

Making Waves

I got free tickets through work for today's Milwaukee Wave game. Once we got past the super loud and scary intro with loud music, and C-man learned what "thundersticks" are the game was "on"... Row 2 wasn't too bad for "free".
Learning and perfecting the chants video

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And dancing in the middle of it all... video