Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Big Kindergartener

A Huge Congratulations to my Finn Finn.

He started Kindergarten yesterday. Honestly I thought the day would never come.

The house was peaceful.

The TV was off. The radio was off. The house was QUIET.

I didnt have to watch him on the trampoline and yell "great trick" every 5 seconds.

I didnt have to make pasta, ramen, spaghetti-O's or Macaroni an Cheese for lunch.

So, I dropped my little one off at his classroom, watched him skip happily inside and start his first day.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Lineup

ABC has announced the new season of Dancing with the Stars. It starts on Monday, September 22nd and this lineup is AWESOME.

Starting the Lineup is LANCE BASS. This former N*SYNC member shockedthe world when he came out of the closet in 2006.(By "the world" I mean absolutely no one. I mean were we REALY that surprised??) He will be partnered with newcomer Lacey Schwimmer. If he is anything like Joey, then we wont be saying "bye bye bye" to him any time soon. Sorry, I couldnt resist that glaringly obvious pun.(yeah it sucked, I apologize) I dont know how well he will do though. Just because you were once part of the world famous boy band, does not mean you will get anywhere far. I mean Look at JC Chasez...

Up first for the Ladies is TONI "Unbreak my heart" BRAXTON...Having more fun in the shower than any human being should have. Have you ever tried to find a picture of this woman fully clothed?? sheesh. 6-time grammy winner and mother of two, this 40 million world wide albums sold phenomenon is still smokin hot. She may get points for how good she looks in those skimpy outfits. She will be paired with Alec Mazo.

ROCCO DISPIRITO, chef semi-extrordinaire will be dancing with Karina Smirnoff. Hope she likes ho hum Italian Fusion cuisine.
Rocco is a "celebrity chef" and cookbook author, who had more troubles than what it was worth on the NBC reality Show "The restaurant". He sure seems to have a lot of "Creative differences" with the people he works with (read: he is a pain in the butt)
But Karina can reel him in. She is one tough cookie. She had to put up with Mario Lopez for so long, she can put up with anything.

Our next Lady is none other than B-lister BROOKE BURKE! Mother of 4 and a staple for FHM, Maxim and Blender magazines, this woman has a hard time keeping her clothes on as well. I bet her partner Derek Hough wont mind, just hope Shannon Elizabeth keeps tight reign on him!
Crack that whip shannon. keep your man interested in YOU. Recently Brooke has started her own business called "Baboosh Baby" which offers wraps to pregnant women. I dont know what that means, but if i wear one will I have a body like that too???

World fastest man MAURICE "MO" GREEN is another contender for the men. Olympic medal winner and world Champion, His partner Cheryl Burke will possibly lead him to another victory and her 3rd mirror ball trophy. Will Cheryl be able to keep her hands to herself this season?? we will see. (If not his girlfriend may come down to the dance studio and whack Cheryl with Case #1 (she is one of the deal or no deal models). I would PAY to see that.)Can his fancy footwork on the track convert to the dancefloor??

Our next "star", KIM KARASHIAN, is famous for (as E! Entertainments "The Soup" would say)having a big a** and a sex tape. They also say that her sisters are "dead behind the eyes". Her stepdad is Bruce Jenner. oh Bruce, how the mighty have fallen. She is also one of the stars on the E! Reality show 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians".
She will be dancing with young stud, and last years winning pro Mark Ballas. She too has had a little stint with Playboy, and needs to learn to keep her clothes on. Look at that Tush!! You could set a table on that bad boy.

ahhh the hair, Those eyes! He is sooo sensitive and brooding. Disney Teen sensation CODY LINLEY from the Hannah Montana juggernaut.(and Cheetah Girls 2...and Suite life of Zach and Cody...and Thats so Raven...)
Although he wont be a teen much longer, he turns 20 in November.
He gets to dance with uber sweet Julianne Hough, his dream come true.
Can she bring him along for her 3rd victory??

CLORIS"Frau Blucher" LEACHMAN, The oldest woman alive , will be contending for that famed mirrorball with partner Corky Ballas. Corky is young stud Mark Ballas' dad and world Champion Dancer.
Cloris has been in everything from Young Frankenstein to My Little pony to Facts of Life to Malcom in the Middle. If there has been a Movie made or a TV series produced, odds are she has been in it. After all she has been around since the invention of the television!
Is this show safe for an 82 year old woman?? I'm betting she gets the axe

TED MCGINLEY, also known as the man who has been on every TV show ever produced. He was on Happy Days, Love boat, dynasty, Married with Children, Hope and Faith, Sports Night, West Wing and Til Death. He has been in all of the Revenge of the Nerds movies and even has Pearl Harbor and Waynes World 2 listed in his resume. I like him. He seems like a nice guy.
This 50 year old still looks good and I predict will cut a rug with newbie Inna Brayer this season. Not sure if he is willing material, but I bet he will give it his all!

SUSAN "25th times the charm" LUCCI will be attempting to win the coveted prize by dancing with temperamental Tony Dovolani.
Susan Lucci is best known as Diva Erica Kane on All My Children,Home Shopping Network darling and Emmy's most slighted Woman.
This 61 year old is still feisty, so dont count her out! IF she can last 38 years on the same soap opera then she can dance circles around those youngsters!!

Ultimate D-bag JEFFREY ROSS will be dancing with my favorite Edyta Sliwinska. She has the world greatest legs. I would KILL for her legs. She is glorious...although i could do without all the Pocahontas headbands she wears. i WISh they would have paired her with someone who has a chance of winning. She deserves that mirror ball trophy. she is the only pro who has been on all seasons. she NEEDS that trophy.
jeffrey is known as "the meanest man in hollywood". He is a roastmaster. Yes, thats what he does. His job is to make fun of people. I wish that were my job. I think I could do it.

Back to back Beach VolleyBall Gold Medalist MISTY MAY TREANOR rounds out the women.
She is the reason i will watch this season. If she can kick butt on the dancefloor as well as she does on sand, watch out fools!
I Love Misty May. She is so strong and powerful and athletic. I really hope she does well and I am happy to see her in the Lineup.
She will be dancing this season with Stud muffin Maksim "No way you're outgayin' me this time bro'"Chmerkovskiy. I think people in the audience should kick sand at her and chant USA USA USA.
Big Bad voodoo daddy WARREN SAPP brings it home for the men. This massive defensive tackle is a pro bowl veteran and super bowl champ.
His partner is none other than Australian barbie Doll Kym Johnson.
I am betting that Warren is more agile than he looks. Those football players end up being surprisingly good dancers.
Earlier this year sapp retired from the oakland radiers and is now on TV as a commentator.
Dont mess around with this bad boy, he'll break you in half.
So dont forget to watch MONDAY September 22nd for season 7 of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. I am sure this will be their BEST SEASON YET!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hot diggity dog! School is HERE!!

So this morning Peter started 2nd grade!!
Last night we set out his clothes(what else, a Bumblebee transformers T-shirt and shorts).
So this morning, like clockwork he got dressed, ate breakfast, helped pack his lunch, took his medicine and brushed his teeth. We all piled in the car and drove him to school. Even Finn, who is excited to start Kindergarten.
We dropped him off and he gave us a salute, said "see ya" and trotted off to his class.
Finn starts on Wednesday. They have staggered entry here for Kindergarden. Each day Monday through Thursday only a few kids in each class go, so they can get to know the routine, the rules, the teacher etc. Then on Friday ALL the kids start full time.
So I guess that is nice for me. I still get to keep my Finny home a few more days.
I know I SAY I am excited for school to start so I have the day to myself, but actually I think I will miss them. We will see.
But on the flip side.... It WILL be nice to be able to keep the house clean for more than 5 minutes. it will be nice to be able to work on the computer getting stuff done without hearing "mom, can you download the spongebob game?" or "Hey! I wanted to play on the computer!".
I can go to the Y without having to fight the whims and desires of kids. If they dont feel like going it will take them 3 times as long to find their shoes, get dressed etc, until I have effectively missed my class and left my voice hoarse from yelling at them to get their butts in gear.
I can go grocery shopping without hearing "Can I get some Candy? waaahhh I want candy! YES! CANDY!!" or "Can we look at Toys??"
In fact I can go shopping anywhere I want without having to yell at them to "get back here! Quit touching that! Dont knock that over! Quit running into each other"
No more "Can we go to McDonalds? They have toys there we like!"
No more "I'm bored!"
No more door being left open, making our house a breeding ground for flies in the NC Charlotte area.(Ugh the FLIES. I killed 7 on the window yesterday. I have to go get some fly paper)
So Thank you Lord for helping me survive this summer and thank you that school has begun!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Donations needed for hospice

Our Relief Society(womens auxilary group at church) is making little pillows for the local Hospice center. They use them for leg pillows, neck pillows etc. They are nice for the people to have to help make them a little bit more comfortable.
There are 5 large Hospice centers here in the charlotte area, so we are going to be making quite a few. i am donating all the fabric etc, and I went through and even Old Blue will be making an appearance. So over the next couple of weeks I will be cutting the fabric to size and getting it ready. Then at our activity we will be sewing them and stuffing them. I think it will be a huge success.
If anyone has any fabric they would like to donate for this service project please let me know.
It needs to be cotton, blend, flannel, terrycloth or something soft and not scratchy. It needs to be a minimum quarter of a yard wide (the full 45" long). I would like to make as many pillows as humanly possible. Like i said they have 5 centers here in Charlotte and lots of patients. They also do not reuse pillows, so they do go through them quite quickly.

we are relying strictly on donated items and can use fabric, fiberfill and thread.
We have quite a bit of fabric and can always use more. The fiberfill is VERY welcome as well.

so if you are able to donate anything to this worthy cause please let me know. Your blog or etsy shop will get a special thank you post with links to your shop or blog.

have a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maggie Reads: ___Southern Reading Challenge Y'all!

Maggie Reads: ___Southern Reading Challenge Y'all!

Southern Reading Challenge wrap-up

So i did take and complete the "Maggie Reads: ___Southern Reading Challenge Y'all!" I had to read 3 books from southern authors in a southern setting by August 15th.
I Chose
Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Cant Wait To Get To Heaven by Fannie Flagg
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.

WIDOW OF THE SOUTH(3 out of 5 stars)- The history and the subject was very interesting. Living in the South I am always amazed when i learn new things about the Civil War. The book is based on the true Story of Carrie McGavock who used her own land to create a cemetery for the soldiers who died during the Battle Of Franklin. (the bloodiest 5 hours of the Civil War- almost 10,000 casualties). However he included a fictional character for carrie to fall in love with. So no basis, just a diversion.
Violent and gratuitous use of the N-word. (VERY gratuitous use). A few little side stories that you arent sure why he threw it in there, maybe in order to use some of the sources he researched. I felt a few things were out of place or just thrown in for the heck of it.
It took me awhile to get into it. Then halfway through it was a little better. I found the last 25 pages or so the best part of the story. The very end with the authors notes, photos etc was the most interesting part of the entire book.You actually get to see pictures of the McGavock family and plantation and find out what happened to them all. I would have to give it a 3. It was Good, just not great for me. Maybe if I were more of a civil war buff I would enjoy it.

CANT WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN(5 stars out of 5)- i REALLY liked this book.
I personally enjoy Fannie Flagg's style of writing and her witty observations, so this was no different.
This book really struck a chord with me about being a good person no matter what. Life is a gift and each day is precious. Life is a roller coaster-sit back an enjoy the ride.
great characters, and a funny and endearing story.
At age 80 something Elner Schimfizzle falls out of her fig tree. Did she or didnt she die? did she or didnt she meet her maker?
This story proves that One person can touch the lives of so many people and change it for the better, without even realizing it. Elner is just that woman. She is an odd duck, but people love her and she touched and changed the lives of everyone around her for the better.
I HIGHLY recommend this book.

GARDEN SPELLS(4 stars out of 5)- I really enjoyed this book.
This book shows that no matter who you are you cannot escape(nor should you) who you really are and where you come from. You are given talents and gifts and you should use them to your best abilities and not hide them or be embarassed by them. We all have gifts. You cannot escape from your past no matter how hard you try.
This book had a great premise and some really great elements: two sisters with nothing in common, a prophetic aunt and a crazy apple tree.
I would read this again.
i cannot QUITE give it 5 stars as I was a tad disappointed in the ending.

BONUS READ: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.
My problem is I saw the movie first instead of reading it, so all i can see is Cathy Bates as Evelyn couch. It was an enjoyable book, typical witty Fannie Flagg. A good story, a story of love, friendship and a cafe that brings it all together.
3 1/2 out of 5.

So go sit on the porch, enjoy some sweet tea and pecans and enjoy a good southern read, hon.
(or sugar or ma'am...all three are acceptable around here)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can you Guess the movie??

Since today is Wednesday and is Charles day off we decided to take the kids to see a movie.

They are so excited and have the movie all picked out.
Can you tell what we are going to go see(according to Finn?)
scroll down to see the answer

wait for it...

wait for it.....


We are going to take them to see "The Clown Wars"
(The new star wars Clone Wars)

I am not quite sure what he is expecting...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where did all these clothes come from??

So this past week I have been getting ready for "BACK TO SCHOOL".
I went shopping for new clothes, found some really great deals at Kohls and Old Navy and I think I am really ready to get them out of the house.
Well I started to put away all their new goodies into the drawers and realized I have NO ROOM in the dressers for these things!!
. Where did they get so many clothes??
WHY do I have 47 pairs of kids socks??(and they are ALL DIFFERENT!! I have about 6 different kinds of white socks for them) I can tell which ones are finns because the bottoms are that carolina red clay rust color. He likes to run outside with no shoes on and even the oxy clean cant get out red dirt stains. So I had to buy MORE SOCKS to add to my already overwhelming sock problem.

So I decided that today was a "get rid of clothing that no longer fits" day. I have a huge problem with getting around to donating stuff. I tend to be lazy when it comes to actually de-junking clothing. I had a pair of pants from COLLEGE I was loathe to get rid of because they were still nice and who knows, someday I might need a pair of size 10 mauve linen pants. Yes, I said Mauve Linen pants. They were from Eddie Bauers and they were awesome. Never mind that they were 13 years old and I wore them to my Bridal Shower in Illinois back in 1997. I miss them already.

On a related side note:
If anyone wants size 4 and 5 T-shirts and maybe a few size 4 pants, please let me know. Most of it is still in really good condition. I will hold onto them until Saturday, if I dont have any takers then I will drop them at Goodwill.

Wish me luck in my dejunking!

Friday, August 15, 2008

10 things

I got tagged from Lindsey. kind of a free flowing tag, nothing structured. Just 10 things.

1. I love sugar cookies. Especially those big soft puffy ones with the buttercream icing and sprinkles. i could(but dont) make a meal out of a small container of those.

2. I prefer to eat kids cereal. Fruity pebbles, lucky charms, Corn Pops. But my favorite kids cereal is cinnamon Toast Crunch.

3. I am addicted to So you think you can dance, Project Runway and American Idol. But lets focus on So You Think You Can Dance.
My favorite dancer this season was Twitch and honestly was REALLY surprised to see it come down between Joshua and Twitch. i thought for sure It would come down to Twitch or Katee.
This is my FAVORITE dance all season. If Mia Michales doesnt win an emmy for this then there is no justice in this world. This is Twitch and Katee performing "mercy", choreographed by mia Michaels.

4. I FINALLY finished my Southern Reading challeange. i had to read three books by southern authors set in southern places. My first one was Widow of the south by Robert Hicks. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. My second book was "Cant Wait to Get To Heaven" by Fannie Flagg, which I gave 5 out of 5 stars. My final book I finished yesterday was "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I am very proud of myself. I cut it close though. But I did it.

5. i HATED Breaking Dawn by stephenie Meyer (4th installment of the Twilight Series). This book divided lots of fans. You had the rabid "OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!" fromt he "I love vampire teens who hadnt even read it, to the "I HATE THIS BOOK AND I WANT MY MONEY BACK!" You also had the in betweens who really liked it and the in betweens who were very disappointed. I myself was very disappointed. I felt she tried to hard to make too many factions of her fan base happy. I saw reviews on Good reads that had given it 5 stars that said "This is going to be the best book I cant wait to get my copy and read it". You had teenage girls completely go berserk over adult women giving their opinion and why they didnt like it "Whatever. you are stupid. i know a good book when i read one and all my friend liked it and my mom liked it and she's old. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird. I know what classics are!" (Yes that was an actual argument from one silly little child fan. Because her mom, who is old, liked it therefore all adults must like it.) It has been ridiculous how polarizing this book as been.

6. I secretly laugh at teenage girls behind their backs at the mall. so full of angst. So full of themselves. So full of you know what. Being older and having already gone through that i just laugh at what they find so uber important. You know, the right clothes, cell phones, boyfriends, the whole going all the way discussions. It is just so trivial now, but i have to laugh because they take themselves SO SERIOUSLY. Now this is not all teenage girls. But you know the kind I mean. The ones who talk on their cell phones really loud at the mall, and wear too much makeup and too little clothing. They use "code words" so people around them dont know what they are talking about. Uh Hi girls, I was a teenager once too, I am not completely clueless as to what you are talking about.

7. People who make the most addicting snacks and then bring them to a function should be taken out and shot. i am talking about YOU Heather and Michelle. Last month Heather brought this popcorn that was coated in this minty flavored white chocolate. Last night Michelle brought this cereal, pretzel nut mixture coated in white chocolate.
Let me just say that BOTH nights I sat and practically devoured it all by myself. You girls are NOT helping my diet. I have 13 months to lose weight for my cruise. eating a pound of chocolate covered goodies is NOT going to help.

8. Love Actually. i LOVE this movie. It restored my faith in hugh Grant. He COMPELETELY redeemed himself in my eyes with this role. Hugh Grant plays the Prime Minister of England and he is in love with his secretary Natalie. He kind of hems and haws as the prime minister, and when a summit with the American President ends(somewhat badly) he defends his country, in a press conference,making himself a hero in his county's eyes, and showing the big nad american president that he cant be bullied. This is one of my favorite scenes from the move. After the Summit, he is feeling good about himself and thinks he is in private

9. the VENUS EMBRACE razor from Gilette. 5 blades and a ribbon of moisturizer. I LOVE this razor. It lasts forever (I have thusfar gotten about 7 shaves out of it with no sign of dulling.) there is no rusting and it comes with a little suction sup holder to put on your tub plus and extra blade. This is the single greatest razor of all time. My legs are so smooth. It is the closest shave you can get and has a swivel head. It is awesome. I HIGHLY recommend it. I got the little kit that comes with the shaving cream. The shave gel has avacado and silk in it. Heaven.

10. Gift Cards. Pre paid Credit Cards.
These are the greatest gifts. I love the prepaid credit cards, I can use them anywhere! I also love gift cards. I think they are just the perfect gift. That way I can get what I want and not hurt feelings. so future reference: gift cards and pre paid credit cards are GOOD.

I tag: Heather, Michelle, Rosebud, and anyone else who wants to do it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Matthews i love you, BUT....

Dont get me wrong, i LOVE where I live.
Within walking distance of historical downtown, the old hardware store that has been around for almost 100 years, the library, the quaint shops, community center and elementrary school.
Every Labor Day Weekend we have the giant festival and carnival that draws almost 75,000 visitors. So we retain a small town feel, while being somewhat large.
We also retain the train tracks and trains that zip through the downtown at all hours of the day and night.

So mr train conductor, I have a question for you.
Why is it that during normal hours of the morning, afternoon or evening when you come through town we get a quick toot toot of your horn and then you are on your merry way. BUT when it is anytime between the hours of 1am and 6am you feel the need to lay a heavy hand on your horn as you go through downtown? This morning at 245 am I counted 38 honks. And they were not the nice little pip pip honks. No, many of them were the long drawn out hoooonk hoooooooooooooonnnnnnnkkkkkkkk. They start about a mile before it hits the center of town, they honl through the entire town and at least a mile outside of town.

Seriously?? 38 honks at 245 in the morning? Are you mad that you have to work so late and so you figure Misery loves company??

I have lived here for 4 years now, and so I am somewhat used to it and practically dont hear them anymore.
But I think last night was a record.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Etsy Honey-Do list

1. Blog about my etsy honey-do list
2. pay my overdue etsy bills office to send out current sales and samples
4. Relist items that have sold
5. Make more items to list on Balmshoppe and Blueboy
6. List aforementioned items
7. Surf the forums looking for blog threads so I can get more readers (I want to be famous...)
8. Surf the forums looking for people I can offend with my more conservative political sensibilities. There I said it. I am NOT Pro-Obama. (but them again I am not pro-McCain either)
9.try to fit in the Olympics i recorded from last night (although thank you Yahoo for spoiling womens gymnastics for me) while crocheting potholders and face scrubbies for my shops.

It is an etsy day. The perfect kind of day. It is cooler and rainy outside, the kids arent going to the pool or anything. It is charles day off. i think I will be selfish and make him get the kids lunch and read to them etc.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A penpal

Awhile back I was perusing the etsy forums and ran across the post "Did you have a penpal?"
I entered into the forum and saw that like myself, many of the peple there had at one time(usually jr high/high school,) had a penpal. One of the sellers asked if we would like to have penpals and she would arrange it.
I thought about it and said yes and answered the questionaire and was paired up.

I got my first letter yesterday! My new penpal is Frozenyoga!

As it turns out we have quite a bit in common, plus she lives about 30 minutes away!

I am really excited about this. I really feel the art of writing letters is dead. With technology and email and cell phones, it is so easy to keep in touch and writing an actual snail mail letter has gone the way of the Dodo. sad really.
My grandmother knew how to write a letter. She would write about her day, or doing laundry, or shoveling the driveway, but she just had a way to make it sound like she had become the first woman on Mars, or won the Indianapolis 500.
I am not sure I have inherited that skill. It has been so long that I actually wrote a paper and pen letter, i dont know if I even know how to do it anymore!

I had 2 penpals in 9th grade. We signed up for them in french class.
The first one was Judith from the Netherlands. She spoke and wrote in English. But she used the metric system, so I had no idea who tall she was (in metres) and how much a "stone" was. she weighed 10 stone(which I now know is 140 pounds. Thank you BBC and "You Are What You Eat!") Back then we didnt have the new-fangled internets to "google" this information.
We wrote back and forth for about a year.

The other was Jean-Luc from Martinique. Apparently my french was too terrible for him to communicate with me for long. I thought it was kind of silly that for someone in beginners french they would pair up with a "french only" speaker. He refused to write in english. He made it a bit difficult. So we wound up sending postcards occasionally with single phrases like "Salut!" or "Bonjour!"

So my days as a penpal are neither long nor illustrious.

I actually just recently read a book called "Dear Exile. The true story of two friends separated(for a year) by an ocean"by Kate Montgomery and hilary Liftin. In it they are best friends/college roommates separated for a year. One is living the single life in manhattan and the other living in kenya with her new husband in the peace corps. It is their letters back and forth to each other. I didnt especially think the book was great, it was just OK for me. BUT the letters were witty and really well written. (Which makes me suspect there was some heavy handed editing to make them more book-worthy. But i may be wrong, its been known to happen.)
So because of this book I now have it in my head that all my letters need to be funny and intellegent and full of similes and metaphors and full of literary brilliance.

So frozenyoga if I call you "my dearest yoga" or write you little poems, please dont take it personally I am just trying to get our penpal letters published.
Hopefully I can be a better penpal in my 30's than I was in my teens!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I THINK I have everyone...

I made this on Photoshop. (The photoshop version is crisp and clear and 2MB in size, so I had to shrink this to blog size which is why it is a little fuzzier. But you can get the idea. The backside I distorted pertinent information. Dont want to get stalked. I am pretty famous, you know.

I uploaded it to gotprint and am having postcards made.
They come in a minimum order of 100. SO as soon as the first deposit is made in the next 2 weeks I am going to send one out to all the couples with their personal reservation number on it.THEN I will send it out again before their remaining deposit it due. THEN I will send another one out 2 months later before their Final balance payment is due.
My total, $15. I LOVE got print.
Now there is no excuse or "I forgot when my payments were due", and people will have a reminder to tack on their fridge or calander or use it in their scrapbook.

Did I mention how many people were coming?? So far the count is at 35 with a 2 couples still deciding. A CONFIRMED 35 people!! YOWZA!
I have put countless hours into this project. I have created THIS beauty:

This is my composition notebook strictly for cruise business. I made little tabs so I can just flip to the section I need and not spend time flipping through pages trying to find what I am looking for. I have written everything down in there from itinerary and reservation numbers to deposits, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and other pertinent sailing info. I have a section for transportation and lodging, flights, excursions and other ideas. Everything ever said, decided and written about this cruise is in THIS notebook. (dont worry I do have a digital backup of all the emails etc, but that means I would have to make another notebook and start from scratch.
Seriously, if I ever lost this notebook I would go absolutely Postal.
They dont call me The Vacation Nazi for nothing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

5 years of Finn

Here are just a zillion of my favorite pictures throughout Finn's first 5 years of life. As you can see he is just such a smiley, happy boy.(most of the time)
This is Finn as a newborn. He looked JUST like Peter. If dates were not written or printed on the pictures, I wouldnt know who I was looking at.

Finn at about 3 1/2 months old. He was just such a chunk-a-roni!! He could eat.

About 6 months. He was into EVERYTHING! This was about the time he morphed into Hurricane Finn.

Finn about 19 months. This was taken at The Ronald McDonald House when Peter was in the hospital.

Finn and Peter, Christmas 2005. Peter just a few months post transplant and still on fairly high doses of Prednisone. (you can really see it in his face)

Finn at age 3 playing in his clubhouse with some friends.

Eating one of his favorite foods...cereal. If I am not mistaken those are Golden Grahams...some of my personal favorites as well.

Enjoying the Slip N Slide for his 4th Birthday!

Being Silly on the Trampoline when his Uncle Daniel and Aunt Laura came to visit.

Finn at Easter 2008, making a cupcake. The joy of sugar...

Finn not wanting to join the picnic fun. See what a grouch he can be when he turns it on?

OOPS! I have a burgeoning "hairwrecker" on my hands.

Ahhh, blue mouth cotton candy. I love this picture. It really shows his sweet and " I love life" personality.

"Im Batman".
I Love you Finny Foo Foo. Congrats on turning 5. Hope it treats you well! Keep being the sweet and loving boy you are. You are my sensitive peacemaker. I WUBBA YOU!

Finn's birth story

Today is my baby boys 5th birthday. I can hardly believe it.
I was induced at 40 weeks (let me rephrase. i FORCED them to induce at 40 weeks). a few days previous I had gone in for my weekly appointment.
"any contractions?" (No)
"Any Cramping?" (No)

The exam revealed that I was at a 0 with 0% effaced. I was tight as lid on a new jar of pickles. I was due August 3rd. It was August 6th.

I grabbed the doctor by the shirt collar and tie, pulled him towards me and said "GET...THIS...THING...OUT..OF...ME!" He backed up against the wall "Nurse! Nurse! Security!"
Ok i made that up. But I did say "I cannot take it any longer, you have GOT to get this little fool out of me. He runs around in there 24/7/ He never sleeps, I have sciatic nerve pain, I am tired, I am huge. I cant do this any more. This is my 3rd child and I am at my wits end. When can you induce?" He looked at me and weighed his options. If he said no, he had 4 steps to make it to the door...did he dare risk it? He was kind of an older fellow, and a pregnant lady on a rampage is no joke. Common sense prevailed.
"How about tomorrow?"

So we went in on August 7th, and they started me on a special concoction to get my labor kickstarted. And boy did they.
It was miserable all night, and then the next morning they cranked up the Pitocin. The contractions were off the charts and I had no medication to help me through it. I wanted to get through it as naturally as I could. They called in the Anesthesiologist to give me an epidural at 5pm and finally (and mercifully) broke my water at a 3-4 cm. I had labored hard and long and was only at a 4.
I told the doctor" Dont go far, he will be here in 15 minutes". The Dr, thinking he knew more about birthing babies than I knew about ME birthing MY OWN babies kind of scoffed.
"You are only at a 4. You have a few hours" and he sailed out of the room.
"Dont say I didnt warn you!" I yelled after his backside and bald spot.

20 minutes later I was pushing, my epidural barely having time to work. Finn was a "sunny side up" baby, meaning he was born face up instead of face down. I had to push HARD to get him out. But thankfully, as a dr once told me "You are built for having babies".(read: cow) So I was lucky and only had about 5 pushes worth...but I had to push extra hard.
The British Nazi nurse tried to give me an episiotomy, but I held her back with a crucifix, garlic and holy water. "well", she said in her snooty Liverpool accent, "If you would would rather tear, be my guest". Yes I would rather tear than you cutting my va jay jay open with scissors you sadist!
The Dr sailed in just in time to catch him as he fell onto the table.
"I TOLD you not to go very far" as I said smugly.
"Yes, now shut up" as he sticthed up the little tear.
"I TOLD you I didnt need an episiotomy" I gloated at the British Nurse Nazi.
"Yes, now shut up" she said as she started poking and prodding and yanking out my epidural.
"So tell me, was it really worth it to have an epidural for only 30 minutes?", she asked condiscendingly.
"YES!" I practically screamed at her. "It gave me a chance to rest. I had been doing hard natural induced labor for 23 hours with no sleep. Gave me time to not have to think and I was able to relax a little before having to do the hard work".
She stomped out of the room in a huff, obviously condeming me to hell for requesting medication, her passive agressive contempt not garnering the results she had hoped.

But Charles Finn McBride was a beautiful baby. My first words as they put him on my chest was "He looks just like Peter!".(he was a tad smaller than peter by an inch and 1/2 a pound)
8lbs, 20" long.

The Liverpool Vampire sailed back in and immediately tried to get him to nurse. Finn did not take kindly to it.
She said I was doing it wrong. Finn still did not take kindly to it. They brought in a lactation specialist. Finn STILL did not take kindly to it. At one point it was hurting so bad and the vampire chippy said to me "Oh come on, it cant hurt that bad".
Lady if I didnt have a diaper on I would totally jump across the room and b-slap you right now.

We had a parade of visitors(we had a family reunion going on at the same time. I opted to have a baby, rather than attend.). Cousins, aunt and uncles. Thay all declared Finn "just precious".
We went home 24 hours later(insurance kicks us out you know) and here we are 5 years later!!

Finn you are my sunshine. You alwaya make me happy. You have such a joy and zest for life. you wear your emotions so close to the surface. You express joy and laughter and just make me so glad that I am your mom . You are so smart and funny and my special guy. I am so proud of you! You are starting Kindergarten this year and it makes me happy, yet at the same time a little said. I wont have you around to keep me company during the day and wont have you around to make me laugh.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

2 weeks until school starts!!

Can you tell I am counting down to school starting back up??

I love my boys. i really do. But they drive me crazy.

Yesterday was a "getting ready to go back to school" day. I am actually giddy about it. I always loved going shopping with my mom and buying school supplies. That was the one day of summer I really looked forward to,. It made me excited for class and a new teacher and new friends. There is something so unexplainable about the newness of the supplies. The sharp pointy crayons. The pencils with erasers still intact. A brand new trapper keeper with the crisp ZIP sound still in the velcro and the perfect shiny folders inside. The rubbery smell of the pink pearl erasers. It was almost a rush for my younger self.

930 AM:
Finn had his 5 year physical and dr appointment. he had to have it before he started school.
His regular pediatrician Dr. R ____ was booked. So we had to see a new dr who just started at the practice. So we are waiting and Dr. B_______ walks in and says "I know your brother, Finn!"
She had done her residency at UNC and took care of Peter pre and post transplant and had been on call if he went in for treatment etc. She said "I remember seeing you when you were just a little guy coming to visit your brother!" So it was nice to have a familiar face.
BUT poor little guy had to have 5 shots. DTP, Hep A, MMR, Polio and Varicella. But he was a trooper...although refused to talk to me for about 2 hours. Boy was he mad. But he milked it for his grandma. "I got 5 shots and they hurt. I cried and cried. my arm still hurts...cough cough" (I dont know why giving him shots would make him cough)
But to make up for the injustices of it all we let him choose where he wanted to go to lunch. yesterday was Charles day off and since Finns birthday is Friday we made this his birthday choice and he was happy with it.

My mom, the boys and I all went to walmart to get school supplies. Having one kid in school was expensive enough. Now having TWO is double the trouble. And they each had a list a mile long of things needed.)
#2 pencils, chubby pencils, crayons, fat crayons, colored pencils, markers, erasers, glue sticks(the big fat ones),tennis balls, a ream of paper each, various sizes of zip lock bags, clorox wipes and hand sanitizer, folders, composition notebooks, baby wipes, kleenex , scissors, pencil boxes, highlighters, dry erase markers blah blah blah.
so 72$ and a kitchen full of school supplies later I am having quite the time sorting them out.

I am going thorough their clothes drawers. They have plenty of jeans and shorts. but MANY of their shirts are too small now. My boys grow long in the torso. SO the pants still fit, but the shirts are now half shirts a la Homer Simpson. So i have some clothes shopping to get done as well. Another excuse to spend money!!

I know I will miss them once they are gone, but right now I am impatient to get them out of the house!! I am so tired of fighting over Transformers and fighting over who plays the video games and fighting on the trampoline and fighting at the pool and fighting on the computer and fighting about taking the dog for a walk. I am tired of Peter telling Finn what to say and how to play. i am tired of Finn trying his darndest to get Peter in trouble.
i am so sick of hearing "Im Thirsty!" or "Peter hit me!" or Peters saying "Fine Finn! You wont play it my way? Then I quit!" GAH shut up shut up shutupshutupshutup.

Lord grant me patience to last two more weeks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I dont care who you are, this is good Television.

Wipeout is kind of like a rated G version of MXC.

Pay particular attention to the 2nd contestant, Margie.
This is just the first 9 minutes from the very first episode.

I would totally go on wipeout. I know they would end up putting me on their best of/worst of clips moments(I would be the big fat muddy crashing into the big balls and being thrown headfirst into the muddy water.)

Tuesday Nights on ABC. My new favorite "dont have to think" television program.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cruisin' on a Sunday afternoon...

After returning home from the family reunion in Virginia, I was charged with the task of planning the family cruise next year. We made the dates and destination decision and I threw myself into finding the perfect cruise to match what everyone wanted. I am a stay at home mom, I have the time to get things organized. I have been on a cruise before, and am a master at planning vacations(Read: Vacation nazi) It is the perfect fit for me, and I am happy to do it.

We knew we wanted the Caribbean. But we had half the people who wanted more snorkeling and beachy related activities.

The other half wanted Mayan ruins and Lamanite History.

We found the perfect cruise to suit everyone and make both parties equally happy. We start out in Miami and head to Grand Cayman(snorkeling and beach), Cozumel (snorkeling/beach/ruins), Belize City(ruins/beach) and roatan Island (Beach etc) So it is a really great mix for both sides.
At first I was leery of planning for so many people and wasnt sure if I would be able to make it work and kind of doubted the vacation nazi's abilities. however I have been pleasantly surprised.
I have found that throughout the past few days I have really enjoyed planning for this. I have a special talent for finding deals, bargains and dickering people down into giving me what I want(Lindsey, Busia will be so proud)
. I talked them into the maximum cabin credit that can be used towards excursions, used for tipping etc. Originally they wanted the entire $250 deposit per person by September 3rd. I talked them into 25$ per person by september 3rd and the remaining 200 by April 16th. I haggleddown an already low price of $389 per person(minus taxes fees and fuel surcharges) to $310 per person. Those poor people at the cruise agency didnt know what hit them by the time I was done talking to them. (Brother in Law)Brandon e-mailed me with a great quote from his travel agent and I used it as leverage to get more goodies for our group. So I do have to tip my hat to Brandon whose quote gave me some bargaining room and allowed the dickering goddess in me to shine forth. I would like to thank Lindseys Grandmother Busia who taught me to "dicker with them" on our last cruise and to NEVER pay brochure price or full price for anything. Without her I would be paying way more than I should. She is one shrewd gal!!

Did I mention I am planning for a group that may possibly include 40+ people??
We have a confirmed "I am paying my deposit right now" 24 people(12 rooms) and an additional 18 possibly's.(9 rooms)
Every day I am getting emails from family saying "Oh we want to come too, can you include us, or "Can we extend the invitation to so and so?"
Heck yes. The more the merrier. The more people we book, the more free cruises we get, the more cabin credits we get and the better stuff they throw in. You dont have to associate with us...just let me use you for more goodies.

Charles and I will be celebrating our anniversary together as well. Nothing more romantic than 40 McBrides stuffed onto a boat!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Squeaky Clean!

So Peter was baptized on Saturday night. It was a good night. I am so proud of him!
And No Lindsey I did NOT cry...too terribly. Maybe on Par with a Hallmark Commercial...teared up a little bit. Not quite the weeping and sobbing of Titanic proportions.
People kept asking "Are you nervous? Are you feeling a little sad that your baby is getting baptized?" I wasnt. I knew he was making the right choice and he was excited for it. So I just told people, "Peter had a heart transplant. Anything after that is a piece of cake. Just ask me when he comes home 15 years from now and says 'Hey mom I met a woman and we are getting married.' I think I might freak out then a little. But baptism, I'm good!"

This is Finn getting ready to go to church for Peters big day. He wanted to go in costume as Batman. Obviously I said no, but let him wear the mask as he was getting dressed. I wonder if Christian Bale ever wears the mask as HE is getting all dolled up??

Charles and Peter Pre-baptism. Aren't they a pair of cuties? But then again, I am biased. Peter was looking all around the font, getting used to the idea and seemed to be really excited.

He greeted everyone who came, walking around in his little white jumpsuit. It was the cutest thing. He is a little short for an 8 year old, and the sallest jumpsuit they had was really long in the legs so it had to be rolled up SEVERAL times at the cuffs.

Peter and Finn. I cant tell who is more excited. Peter to get Baptized, or Finn to have his picture taken. A couple of natural born Hams.

Charles and Peter going into the font. So far So good. He started to get a little nervous. He is terrified of getting his head under water. But he really wanted to get baptized. So I know he must have been conflicted.

Peter about to get dunked. The reality of the situation set in and he realized he was going to have to go all the way under. It took 2 times, but he did it. It was a struggle to get him down the second time to make sure everything went under, but we got it done and he came up and out of the water all smiles and happy as could be.

Post Baptism we had refreshments and cake(of which I still have half left. So not good for my diet... It's a good one too.

So Congratulations Peter. I am very proud of you and the decision you made to get baptized and to become a member of the church!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

nothing worthwhile here...move along

I am feeling "BLECH" today. so my post will be short and sweet to tell you there is no post except to say "blech"

Peter is getting baptised tomorrow at church and I have just a million things to do today and am NOT feeling in the slightest motivated to get it done.
Isn't that terrible??