Sunday, August 30, 2009

When is sugar not sweet?

When it is my little SugarPea and she decides to start a game of "Gotcha Last" with her older brother. And then when we ask Roo to stop playing "Gotcha Last" with his sister, she goes and tries to start it with Jamo. Seriously, where does a 2 yr old even learn this game?!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

There is beauty all around

Isn't this tree so beautiful! Who knew it would bloom into something so bright! I love it!

And here is someone parking in the street to unload a truck. I just love it when they do that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sesame Street

Today's post is brought to you by the letter ZZZZZZZZZZZ and the number 10, which is when Brad fell asleep on his laptop last night. Poor daddy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chemo counter bracelets

Well, they are all gone! I appreciate all of your ideas and suggestions, but there were some other stipulations to take into account. They had to be gone and out of our lives completely, and they each had to have their own 'fate'. So, this is what I did with the 8 chemo counter bracelets:

#1 - At the Liberty Bell Yes, I know, a rare picture of my kids on here.
It seemed a fitting place to celebrate her liberty from cancer.
#2 - On Bill the horse's carriage#3 - Future temple grounds There is a temple announced for Philadelphia, and this is where it is supposed to be. It was too perfect that a mailbox was right there since my mom is a postal employee. You can see it on the handle of the mailbox.
#4 - Cool FountainOkay, you seriously need to check out Cookie because it has pictures of the boys taking it to the top of the fountain. In their church clothes. :o)
#5 - The Schuylkill River
This one was a bit of a rush job since we were parked illegally. I cut the beads off the elastic and threw them all in at once. It was fun actually. :o)
#6 - Going to New York #7 - Train tracks#8 - Smashed to bits with a hammer
My kids wore swim goggles to protect their eyes, so fear not.

Well, that was really fun! We had a great time! There is a big ol' slide show over on Cookie with a ton more pictures if you want to check it out. We are really grateful my mommy is done with her chemo treatments, and it was therapeutic to get rid of the reminder of each treatment. Here is to many healthy years to come!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mandatory home time

Well, it figures. I finally find a sitter for my kids and as I'm making lunches so we can walk out the door, SugarPea starts puking. All that stress and worry about finding a sitter for nothing. ;o) So, I got to have a nice relaxing day at home, minus the cleaning up puke, of course.

But my thoughts today keep turning to a gal named Jami. My brother, Jeremy, had a friend in college named Kameron. He and his wife Jami have a 2.5 yr old little boy. Kameron died yesterday from complications of his lupus and Valley Fever. I can't even imagine starting my life over as a single parent after the death of my husband and best friend. If you have a chance, please go here and give her words of encouragement as she looks for her 'new normal' in life. And go give your spouse a big hug, or a text if he is on call :o).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How do I love this house?

Let me count the ways.... uh. Yeah. Does anyone else get annoyed when dishes come out of the dishwasher dirtier than when they went in?

Here are some pictures from my house today.

Have I mentioned how much I truly miss AC? It is a little sad to see Sugar's wet ringlet's in the middle of the day.
This is from the leaking ceiling because Sugar dumped water out of the tub during her bath.

But I do have good news. I have a sitter for tomorrow! Woot! Thanks, Jen! You rock, girl!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That's quite a bit!

This morning, I got a call from a lady in church. Her children are all grown, but she was kind enough to offer to watch mine. Such a relief! My kids have a serious needle-phobia and are easily reduced to tears at the sight. Her house is a little bit of a drive, so we left early so I could run some errands. I went to the bank and then called 411 to find the nearest post office since our GPS doesn't list any. They didn't have any listings for the town I was in, so I asked for the Ardmore one. The connected me to the Ardmore one and I asked for the address. She said it was on 30 Ardmore Ave. I plugged it into the GPS, and though it said it was further away than I thought normal, I started driving. When we finally got to the 'destination' it was a house. Apparently the Ardmore post office on Ardmore Ave isn't actually in the town Ardmore. Argh. So, now it was too late to go to the PO, so I dropped off the kids and went to my doctor's appointment.

The doctor agreed that my knee was noticeably bigger and more swollen than my last appointment. The meds I'm on aren't working so great, eh? She numbed it with a spray and then proceeded to drain it. Ouch. Not my favorite experience, I confess. So, I tried to relax and breathe deep and the doctor said, "Wow. There is A LOT of fluid in here. I'm going to need another syringe." She finished draining it and gave me a cortisone shot. I looked over and she had 2 fat syringes completely full. It was a total of 40 cc's. Um, that is a lot of fluid. I can see my knee again! She said "No wonder you are in so much pain! This should really help." Then she went to analyze the fluid. By doing this she could tell if the inflammation was a result of injury or rheumatoid arthritis.

It's kind of a good new/bad news deal. Good news, I can get back to my racquetball and workouts and live my life as normal. Woot!! Bad news, the pain and inflammation is a result of rheumatoid arthritis and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Well, okay then. At least I know what is wrong and I can do something about it. She did some more blood work today and at my next appointment we'll decide if I should start on an RA treatment for one joint, or wait until the others go bad.

I'm glad I can start working out again. Even if it hurts, at least I know that my working out isn't causing the pain or making it worse. That would stink. So, BRING ON THE RACQUETBALL! :o)

After the doctor, I managed to find a PO, got a little gas for Odie who was on fumes (thinking of you Lar ;o) ), and dashed over to get the kids. Roo asked for the dead frog found in their pool, so I now have a dead frog in my fridge, waiting for daddy to get home. LOL! Oh, and I returned Chuck, which I watched for the first time last night. Pretty cute show!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What would you do?

I can't find a sitter. For the life of me. Seriously. What would you do? I'm getting my knee drained, so probably not the best thing to take them to, but I'm desperate. It isn't like my husband has a job where he actually gets time off work. Would you:

  1. cancel the appointment and hope at some point in time you can find a sitter
  2. take the kids with you and pray they don't freak out and can behave themselves

I'm at a loss. Why can't there be year-round school?! Or a drop-in care center. Oh how I miss those! They kept me sane! Finding a sitter sucks! And I've had stinkin' doctor appointments constantly these days. I am SOOOOO SICK OF IT! I suppose it is my fault for playing racquetball AMA, but there is only so long I could stay away... Sigh...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pictures up

I haven't done anything with the bracelet's yet even though my mom's last treatment was yesterday. Brad got home late last night and is on call this weekend. But, I have a list with a different fate for each bracelet. You'll have to wait and see. :o)

Oh, and Cookie has pictures of the kitten with the kids and our trip to the blackberry farm the day before we went on vacation.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Here is a picture of the Egyptian god named Bast.
I wonder if he is trying to tell me something.

The same day as I had my 'close encounters of the wasp kind', this adorable little kitten decided to adopt us. We were in the driveway and he (she??) just walked right up to us and started purring and begging for attention. How could you resist this face??? He has no tag, only a flea collar. It is quite apparent that he had a family at one point because he craves attention, unlike the feral kittens under my porch who just wanted to claw my eyes out. He is the most docile and affectionate cat I have ever seen. He did amazing with Sugar and actually seeks out ways to get more human contact. Poor baby.

We fed him and he scarfed it down quickly. As the night progressed, I noticed he wasn't leaving our yard. One time I went to see if he was still around and as I opened the door, I got dive-bombed by a black blur. I thought for sure it was the wasp. Even though I hadn't seen it for a couple of hours and assumed it perished and died (probably in my shoe) due to the extreme temperatures of our non-air conditioned mud room, I figured the intelligent wasp was just laying in wait for me to open the front door and let him out. But no. This time it was a massive cicada. The kitten went and looked at the cicada, lost interest quickly, and then returned to beg for more human contact.

So, finally, when I was going to bed and he was still sitting on our stairs, I let him sleep in the mud room. I'm such a wimp. I put up an add on Craigslist for him and emailed people here in Philly hoping someone would adopt him. I kept him outside during the day. He just slept in this bucket most of the day (he spent all morning playing with the kids so I don't blame him). Finally, in the late afternoon, it looked like rain so I went to check on him. I couldn't find him immediately and then my neighbors called out and asked if he was my kitten. I explained the situation and they agreed to take him. But the kitty FREAKED OUT when their huge black lab came over. Seriously the most mellow dog ever, but the kitty didn't know that and scratched my hand to shreds as I was holding him. Argh. They decided to try it anyway.

As of now, the kitten and dog are giving each other their space. I'm glad it is working out because it is pouring rain today. I hope they decide to keep him! They said we could have visitation rights. :o)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8 things

Well, I got tagged by my sweet friend, Dion, and since my old 8 things is pretty outdated, I thought it was time I did a new one!

8 TV shows I love to watch: (this was easier back when I had TV reception. I miss TV. This is what I've rented from Blockbuster lately or have in my queue, not necessarily my favorite shows.)

  1. Monk
  2. Psych
  3. The Closer
  4. Alias (finally just finished the series. how long ago did it end??)
  5. House
  6. Pushing Daisies
  7. NCIS
  8. Bones
8 things I did yesterday:
  1. Blogged
  2. Played with a kitten
  3. Battled a wasp
  4. Weeded my little garden
  5. Made crock pot pork
  6. Talked to Sarah about the inspection
  7. Looked on line for free printable piano music
  8. Melted without AC

8 things I'm looking forward to:

  1. My parents visiting next month
  2. Exploring the East Coast
  3. School starting
  4. Getting back to the gym (RACQUETBALL AND YOGA ARE CALLING TO ME!!!)
  5. Fall and football
  6. Moonlighting
  7. Finally getting to watch last seasons Monk that just went to DVD
  8. Having room to breathe in a comfortable home

8 things on my wish lists:

  1. TV reception, cable and a DVR preferably
  2. A camera with a lens that actually opens so all my pictures don't have fuzzy corners
  3. Air conditioning
  4. A new car for Brad
  5. New boots for me
  6. The Signing Time box set for the second series (these totally rock)
  7. Eyelash extensions
  8. Um, a new place to live! LOL! Come on, you knew that was coming! :o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A super breed

First thing, I am very happy to report that the mouse droppings on the counter were not actually mouse droppings. We suspect they belong to a bug, which, if true, is a pretty big bug. But that is better than mice, right? But now that we don't have mice, I would really appreciate it if Cricket stopped using my hosta garden as a litter box. Yuck.

As I opened the door to go work on my sweet little hosta garden this morning, I was passed by a huge black blur flying into my house. I looked and couldn't see anything, but sure enough, as I was trimming my roses, I saw the bug in the window. The BIG bug. I hate big bugs. I have experience with big, nasty bugs, and I can't say it is high on my list of fun experiences I care to repeat. (Sarah, doesn't the yard look so different in those pictures?!)

Anyway, so there I was taking pictures of the big, nasty bug when he makes a quick move towards me. ACK! I jump, trip on a shoe, and my knee goes berserk. Crud. I go in to look at the pictures only to discover the memory stick wasn't even in the camera. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I put in the stick and get the guts to go back out there. Here are the pictures and video:

Yes, that is Odie parked in the street. I'm still working up the nerve to park in the driveway again after poor Odie's last experience. Anyway, the bug finally flew onto the screen of the open window. I decided to take that opportunity to shut the window and trap the bug inside the window. I was hoping it didn't die in one of my shoes, ya know? Plus, it made picture taking much less nerve-wracking. :o) I took my pictures and went inside to blog. And what do I see? The bug is on my front door. ACK! How in the world did it get out of the window?! Sure it is a big, gaping, nasty old window, but still! I had a breed of super-intelligent wasp on my hands! But 30 minutes later, it was back in the window. Okay, maybe it was actually a stupid bug for going back in the window. But then I watch in horror as it went straight for the gap in the window. Darn, super-intelligent it is. I was really hoping for stupid. Looks like I won't be going out today!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking for ideas

Okay, before I ask my question, I'll just let you all know that I found mouse droppings on my counter this morning. I will refrain for commenting further on this as I am sure you all know what I am thinking. :o) But I will say that perhaps I should consider inviting Cricket over for dinner or something.

My mom's final chemo treatment is this week. I'm looking for a really "smashing" way to get rid of the chemo-counter bracelets I've been sporting for the last several months. Here are some ideas I've come up with:

  • shoot them into the Schuylkill river like a sling shot (they are elastic)
  • take them off the band and let the kids throw the beads in the river one by one
  • smash them with a hammer (this one sounds particularly fun to me!)

So, what ideas do you have? Just so you know, I'm not really a pyro, so I'm not looking for methods involving fire, okay? I only have a few days to decide, so send me ideas quick! :o)

***UPDATE*** I have been asked to describe what we will be destroying, so here it is:

The beads are mostly plastic, but there are 3 glass beads on each strand. They are mostly clear, but there are tiny square pink beads on it as well. Does that help? Now, have at it! :o)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Better and better

I really am trying. I am trying to adjust to living in this house. And I'm failing miserably.

Today I got in the shower only to discover why the window in the bathroom is covered in black mold. The bathroom window leaks when it rains.
Don't you love cold water dripping on you in the shower? I know I do. Yes, this is the old picture. I can't bring myself to go back in there without crying. I know it is a small thing, but they keep adding up.

Feel free to pray for my sanity that is drifting more each day...

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Be prepared for a lot of pictures. Truth be told, I'm guessing most people aren't interested in reading about another family's vacation. With that theory, I'm giving those who actually want to read about it several options.

  1. Just read this post
  2. Go to Cookie and look at the "SHORT VERSION" slide shows.
  3. Go to Cookie and look at the "LONG VERSION" slide shows and watch videos.

So, to whatever degree you want to read about our vacation, you can. :o) And of course, the pictures of the kids are on the Cookie blog. These are just the generic pictures and ones of me and Brad.

It started off a little rough. There was lots of flooding in the area and roads were closed leading to backed up traffic on the bridges out of Philly. Not the best start.

For what ever reason, there were TONS of fish eggs in the ocean. A bunch of people were saying they were jellyfish, but as time went on and more and more came, it was clear they were not jellyfish.

This is how many there were when we first arrived:

After an hour or so:

And finally, close to the end of our trip:

Keep in mind, this was just a hand swipe through the water, not a net or something. Oh joy! This picture looked a lot better before I uploaded it, but each black spot is a fish egg. CRAZY! (you can click on the picture to see the detail better)
Here are some real jellyfish and maybe a sting ray stinger we found. And crab shells or something. They were huge!
And this is how the beach looked the second day of our vacation. They closed the beach.
And this is how my knee looked the entire time we were in NJ. Some stupid person *ahem me* forgot to pack her anti-inflammatories. Nice. Oh, how it hurt!
We found this adorable monster shirt in Cape May. It could be yours for the small price of, what was that?! $36?! For a shirt?! Are you kidding me?! I really wanted one, but that was crazy!
And finally, the Montreal, Canada pictures.

Here is the Olympic stadium.

And the botanical gardens.

The next pictures are the view from the top of Mont Real.

Here is the building at the overlook.

Here are some more scenery pictures:

Some just for fun pictures of the money. Pretty, huh.

China town:

Other landmarks:

This is St. Joseph's Basilica

And a crazy building in the middle of the street by the Notre Dame

The Montreal Notre Dame

The Biodome

The Notre Dame college built in 1881. HAHA! My house is older! So there! :o)

The Montreal temple.

A money splurge, besides going to the boardwalk on the beach (which was amazing but I didn't get a single picture) was for day passes on the metro. We spent the day riding around town. The kids loved it! But you'll have to check out a slide show to see them on it. :o)

A TOTALLY AWESOME metro stop. :o) I love Monk. And this stop is where we happened to get poutine. YUMMY!!!!

Brad eating his big ol' plate of poutine from the Green Stop restaurant he loved when he was a missionary there.
A neighborhood in the town we were staying in. No, the town didn't all look like this. These houses are AMAZING!

We had lunch with a sweet lady named Maria that Brad knew from his mission. We ate at an Indian restaurant. YUM!! We had beef vindaloo, naan, samosa, chicken tandori, etc. I love Indian food. The kids did pretty good too! Okay, not really, but as good as you can expect. :o)

The really cool water fall at the base of the dripping water glass thing. LOL!
Here is some of the signage:

The stop signs say ARRET.

And here are 3 pictures I photoshopped into 1 of the street lights. The red was a square, the yellow a diamond, and the green a circle. Have you ever tried to get a picture of a yellow light? It is dang hard. Seriously. It has to be timed so perfectly. We gave up and parked and I just stood there like an idiot waiting for the light to change. Crazy Americans. :o)
You can tell from the picture we had lovely gray skies while we were there. There was even a rare tornado. I think we just bring them with us. When we first moved to MI, they had one. Watch out, Philly.

Not that we ate at any of these places, but American food names there were kinda funny.

Nope, not KFC, it is PFK or Poulet Frit Kentucky. haha!

Notice the maple leaf in the big M.
And because I know you are curious, Burger King was still the same. LOL!

Almost home!!!! Well, back in America at least.
This was the line to get into Canada. When we went into Canada, the line was forever long too. There was no line to get into America. hmmmm....

A couple of stories to explain pictures and stuff:

Jamo got stung by a bee on the top of Mont Royal. Poor kid. He kept his tears to a minimum, but they were probably also caused by not getting any ice cream from the vendor at the top.

We took Emmanuelle with us on our subway day. She was amazing and kept the kids in line. She kept asking Brad why our boys didn't talk about normal stuff like games and things and instead talked about nature (tornado facts, hurricane facts, etc). When we got to Green Stop, the place mat was about a girl with cancer. Of course, they had a billion questions about that since Grandma Jones also has cancer.

We had a lovely time on the boardwalk in NJ. The boys went on their first roller coaster ride. Roo came off of it crying and Jamo said that he liked it except for the parts that went down. haha!

We had such an amazing vacation. And it wouldn't have been possible without some amazing friends. A nurse from Brad's work let us stay with her family at their house near the beach. They were incredibly hospitable. We felt like family with them. I just love them to pieces. And Montreal wouldn't have happened without the amazing Carpentier family who let us stay with them for so long. Their kids were helpful, my children had a blast, and they are already begging to go back. What a blessing amazing friends are.