Thursday, December 30, 2010

New on Ebay! :)

I used to sell Mary Kay. I started cuz I wore it & I figured it'd be an easy way to get my stuff & I'd be able to support my habit. But I hated doing classes & parties, so I just stopped doing it. But I had a ton of stuff just sitting around my basement. Then my friend, Jara, told me about selling it all on Ebay. So about a week ago I finally got around to listing a bunch of stuff.

What a thrill! Over half of it sold, which is really awesome! And it was really exciting waiting at the end to see how much everything sold for. I've got another half hour or so for the final batch to finish up so that I can see how much I made. I've got some stuff that I listed this evening & more stuff that'll I'll try to do tomorrow, plus relisting the stuff that didn't sell yet.

Now I'm looking around my house for more stuff that I'm not using that I can sell! I had no idea how easy it would be to sell on Ebay. The only downside is that now PayPal has a hold on my account. They're holding each deposit for 21 days to make sure there's no issues. I guess there's a lot of disputes with Ebay purchases, so even though I've had my Etsy shop open for over a year & have had no problem with my account, they feel the need to check now that I'm also selling on Ebay. Oh well. Thankfully I had a good holiday season, so I've got a cushion to take care of the shipping fees until they release my funds. But it still sucks. Especially since they're not just holding my Ebay deposits. I've never had a problem with my Etsy sales, but they'll be affected as well until I increase my Ebay seller profile.

Well, I've got 20 items that I'm waiting for payment on, and as soon as the last of my auctions finishes I'll send out revised invoices to all of my customers & get that money! Whoo hoo! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


i so thrilled with my new sewing machine & the embroidery capabilities. but any software i want to install requires at least a mac operating system of 10.5. right now my computer runs at 10.4.11 and it WON'T ALLOW ME TO UPGRADE!!! seriously!?! i'm so frustrated. whenever i try to install an upgrade it tells me that my harddrive does not meet the requirements for installation. there's enough space available. it's a macintosh. i don't know what the problem could be. maybe they just don't want me to have what i want. poopey-heads! :(

Thursday, November 18, 2010

defiant use of urine

i just don't understand it. my daughter uses urine as a weapon. defiantly. it really drives me bonkers. if she's pissed off, and getting completely naked doesn't get her what she wants, she'll pee on the floor. sometimes she just pees while she's still fully dressed. the other day she peed on the couch while she was watching a movie & by the time i found out, it was cold, which meant it'd been a while since it happened.

it's almost like she's a dog with that extra store of urine so they can mark their territory. she can pee on command, as long as it's her desire & not mine. and she can hold it all day. there was one day that she hadn't gone to the bathroom all day. it was after dinner when i realized she hadn't gone all day & i finally forced her to go potty.

i know you're not supposed to *force* them to pee or it'll become a control issue & they'll be scarred later in life. i also know that you're not supposed to *punish* them for having accidents. but if i tell her she can't have something & her response is to pee on the floor, then that's not an accident.

and i'm so glad that we found a little spotbot for cleaning the floor from these incidents. if i had to pull the big carpet shampooer upstairs everytime we had a DUU then i'd be exhausted! we had 2 this evening: she peed while standing on the stool IN THE BATHROOM washing her hands, and again standing in her rocker picking pajamas. the ones in the bathroom just really blow my mind. she's peed on the floor IN FRONT OF THE POTTY. now, when she was sick & had unhappy poopey that was all over the bathroom carpet, that was different, cuz i really do think it just came out of her bottom. i'm just glad that one was IN the bathroom, cuz i could just take that carpet & throw it in the washer, where i'd have had to use the carpet shampooer in the hallway or her bedroom.

but i just don't know what to do to get her to stop DUU'ing. she still doesn't get what she wants, despite the stripping or peeing. and she gets a spank on the bottom (which is usually conveniently naked *smile*). and she hasta help clean it up (except for the unhappy poopey). but i'm tired of cleaning up pee pee! and i can only imagine what our house would smell like if we didn't have a shampooer. bleh!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

joy & sadness

i am SO in love with my new sewing machine. it's absolutely amazing. but i'm also sad. it won't use coats & clark embroidery thread. i love c&c cuz it's cheap. my kenmore was totally cool with it. and when i was at joann's today, i discovered the c&c embroidery thread. i don't know how i could have missed that entire display of thread in all the years i've been shopping at this same store, but... :) so i bought 6 or 7 spools of it today, and the first spool i attempted to use caused me to take apart the bobbin case AGAIN! it looked like there was 1/2 a spool of thread tangled up in there. what a mess! and what sadness, cuz i have to upgrade to better thread. at joann's that's much more expensive, but at the store where i bought my machine, it's really not. when i finished cleaning out my machine, and started the embroidery design again, this time using good thread, there was no problem. and it's a fabulous piece of work -- it totally looks like i bought it! :) i'm so excited, cuz i'll be taking my bags to a whole new level. yee haw! :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

my new toy! :)

over the summer i went to see my dad, cuz he had some pretty major back surgery, & my sister was there at the same time. she had this fabulous bag that i knew i couldn't afford to have her make for me (she does AWESOME work & she's totally worth it *smile*) so i decided to make one myself out of denim. i ended up making 3. and i love doing it, so i started doing it to sell. i don't know what it is about making these bags & wallets that i love. it's actually a pain in the neck to take apart all of the jeans so i can use ALL of the denim, including the seams, instead of just cutting them. but i love the process of it. instead of being a normal person, i do it more patchwork style like a quilt, and cut up the denim & sew it back together. it's awesome to see it come together into something completely different.

so the ones i made for myself were a lot of fun, and it didn't matter that my little kenmore machine had some issues. it really doesn't like to sew lots of layers of fabric in general, and it really hates sewing more than 3 or 4 layers of denim. even with the right needle & the right heavy duty thread. i've broken more needles than i can count & the thread would break constantly. so i started thinking about getting a new machine.

now, my sister, being a *serious* quilter, has a viking sapphire. the last time i went to visit her i wasn't even allowed to touch it. when she told me how much it cost, i totally understood why! i knew that my husband would have a fit if i even thought about something that cost that much money. but then i got an email from a local sewing machine shop that they were closing one of their stores & liquidating their inventory. my mind started going to the bad credit card place *smile*. so, of course i stopped in and saw the machine i *really* wanted, that was on sale for $1688. not bad for a machine that has an MSRP of $3000. but still definitely in the heart attack range for my husband. and it had a lot of features that i really didn't need, but would be really nifty to have if i were a quilter, which i'm really not. so i went back and told the lady what i do & what i was looking for. she introduced me to my new baby, the babylock sofia 2. LOVE IT!!!

it's a little machine, but it's got a lot of power. and it does embroidery, which i wasn't even thinking about, but am so excited about now! such a fabulous machine. so awesome, that i didn't even realize what time it was. i finally got a chance to play with it this evening around 8pm once everyone (including my husband *smile*) was asleep. the next thing i knew, it was 10:45! hunh? where'd the time go? :)

sewing on this machine was like a dream. it's got so many decorative stitches. i haven't even learned how to do the embroidery on it yet. i had a lesson at the store for almost an hour just to learn the basics of how to thread & wind the bobbin & access the nifty stitches & whatnot. the girl suggested that i play with it for a couple of weeks until i'm comfortable & then come back to get a lesson on the embroidery side of things.

i sewed for 2 hours or so, once i got the bag i wanted to do designed & pinned together. i had not one broken thread or mishap at all. it was so fabulous. of course, i've only had the machine for mere hours (i bought it this afternoon) but i'm already convinced it's the best thing that's happened to me in a long time. why didn't i do this sooner? :)

one thing i'll hafta get used to is not using the presser foot. there's a stop/start button that really is easier to use. and an adjustable speed regulator. i don't even know where the presser foot plugs in at! :) it also ties off the thread & pulls it to the back & cuts it for you. i feel so lazy now! the only thing it doesn't do is wipe my butt for me! :)

i had to stop, cuz i still have the rest of life to do tomorrow, so i do need to go to bed sooner rather than later. and i've got tech week for lucia starting tomorrow night, so i won't have time to play again until maybe friday. but maybe i'll be able to sneak in some time during the day this week. :) do i really need to finish the laundry? :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


i really hate vomit. i hate doing it, i hate seeing it or smelling it or seeing someone else doing it or cleaning it up. but unfortunately, it's one of the joys of motherhood. ick! someone (either alexander or christopher) brought home these germs & i'm really sick of it!

alexander threw up the 1st time at school a week ago today. and then he was sick last wednesday night. i guess when i was cleaning up, i didn't wash my hands well enough, cuz i was then sick all that night & into the day on thursday. bleh! but i discovered that i am blessed with two of the best friends a girl could ask for. both my friend kellie & my friend michele came over into my germ infested home to help me with the kids while i was on my deathbed. how awesome is that?! i am so grateful, cuz i really had no idea what i was going to do with them while i couldn't get out of bed, except to throw up. i'd told alexander to climb up on a chair to get down the cereal & bowls so they could eat in front of the tv (with no milk!) and i told them that they had to be quiet cuz mummy wasn't feeling well. of course, just before that i was a scene from the exorcist with my head spinning and my demon eyes glowing as i ordered them out of the bathroom so i could worship at the porcelain goddess :) i think that helped them figure out that mommy was a little bit sick.

luckily, i've been doing frequent shots of pepto, which has kept BOTH ends happy. alexander hasn't gotten sick since saturday night. but now isabelle has diarrhea, which is the other component of this virus (which we think is rotavirus). i'd thought she'd been vaccinated against it, which would explain why we've been dealing with this for a week now & she hadn't gotten sick. but maybe it's too strong for a mere mortal vaccination. maybe it's SUPER VIRUS! able to leap tall daddies in a single bound! with the power to lay low anyone in it's path with either vomit or diarrhea! make way for SUPER VIRUS! but whatever it is, i hope it passes soon. i've always said i'm better with poop than with vomit, but when the pooper isn't wearing diapers anymore, it's a slightly different story :) getting poop out of panties is not for the faint of heart. what i wouldn't have given for a pair of rubber gloves! and to make it worse, we were out shopping, so we were in the bathroom of a sewing machine shop. they had sewing machines piled everywhere! including the bathroom! but thankfully they also had clorox disinfecting wipes, so we were good :)

anyway, i must go do battle with my can of lysol. there are surfaces that have yet to be disinfected yet today! GERMS BE GONE!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


well, it's been a crappy week already & it's only tuesday!

first, my husband is sick. that just sucks just in general, cuz he's a terrible patient. most men are, but he's so high energy (i.e. ADHD *smile*) that it's impossible to keep him in bed. when i left this morning to take alexander to school he was in bed asleep hunkered down under the covers. when i got home, he was outside moving boxes out of the basement to take to the duplex. still feverish. still nauseous. stupid man!

of course, i'm sick, too. i've got a sinus infection that makes my head ache something awful. and i've still gotta get up & get the kids up & dressed & fed & get alexander to school. i was proud of myself cuz i went to the gym anyway, even though i felt like ca ca. amazingly enough, the workout felt good. it kinda cleared my head a little, which was awesome.

but then i got home and found out that i didn't get chosen for my first juried craft show. i really anguished and agonized about which photos to send, cuz you only get to send 3 thumbnail size pics. and i've got over 13,000 pics on my computer, most of which are jewelry. that was a really tough choice! i'm on the waiting list, and my sister made me realize that it could be worse. i guess i won't sell off all my inventory of beads and start panhandling or anything :)

but on the upside, we got a great package from grampa yesterday containing fabulous movies for the kids, and some movies for MOMMY! i was so excited, cuz usually the box contains nothing for the parents, and tons of stuff for the kids. but my dad is letting me borrow the complete 1st season of the tudors, and i'm totally stoked! my friend kellie are planning to have lunch dates to sit and watch them while the kids are in school :) yay me!

and i'm anxious about my first jewelry party. my friend kellie is hosting it at my house, and i'm really excited about it. i'm working on making new displays for it & trying to get my inventory ready. i just need to know that people are coming! i'm terrible at throwing parties. for my 21st b-day party i was so convinced that no one was coming that i was pretty toasted before the 1st guest arrived! oops! :) i'll try to control myself a little better this time :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

...on corsets and choral interjections...

well, i'm just back from dropping my family off at grandma's house. i have to sing at church tomorrow and then opera rehearsal, so i didn't get to have a sleepover. oh well. but since i had the car to myself on the ride home, i took the opportunity to work on the opera i'm working on -- lucia di lammermoor.

i'm really excited about it, cuz it's my first repeat opera. unfortunately, the last time i did it i sang alto & now i'm singing soprano. for most of the show, it's not a problem. but occasionally the chorus has a random interjection that's in 4 parts, and my brain goes to what i know, and not what i'm learning. it's amazing what your brain remembers! :) and of course, i'm practicing in my car, which has always been my favorite practice space, so i'm not looking at the score. i've got my handy note-cards with me & using passing headlights to see the words i can't quite remember, but i've got no way of seeing the notes. so most of the time i'm cool with what i'm singing, but every once in a while, i'm not quite sure if i've done the soprano part or the alto. oh well. i guess i'll find out in rehearsal tomorrow :)

and i had my costume fitting on friday before rehearsal. this show is awesome cuz we've got fabulous corsets that are REAL corsets. they hook in the front & tie in the back. 8 years ago, when we last did this show, we had a fabulous dresser in the ladies dressing room, and she could really yank on those corset strings. i felt like i was in gone with the wind or one of my books holding on to my bedpost so my maid could get me into my corset. and we looked FABULOUS! it's amazing what proper foundation garments can do. :) but i was surprised this time, becuz it's been 8 years & 2 babies since i last did this show. it's the same production, so we have the same costumes, but i don't have the same body. but once i put on the corset & had the dresser cinch it up tight, YEE HAW! :) the do have to do some alterations, but they told me that if they don't let the skirt of my gown out a little bit, christopher will never let me do another show :) sometimes it's not good to work in the same company of your husband. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


it's rummage sale time again at my church. it's really my favorite time of year. i volunteer during the set-up week, since i can never work or go to the sale since i work. i've fallen into a routine with the ladies -- everyone has their section that they sort. my section contains sweaters, pants & skirts. it's really an awful section for me to work, cuz my weakness is sweaters & cardigans. i love them. and every rummage sale, i come home with an enormous pile of *new* sweaters. but every rummage sale, i go through my stuff & the kids' stuff and get rid of stuff. i really don't understand how i can get rid of so much twice a year, and still have so much stuff!

but this year is a little different. we're planning a move, and so christopher is all about getting our house ready to put on the market. since we're planning to live in the house while we're trying to sell it, it needs to be ready to show at any moment. and that means that we need to downsize the amount of junk we've got. that means *I* need to reduce the amount of junk i have. but as i'm going through my stuff, yeah, i've got a lot, but no where near as much as i thought i did.

there was a trunk in our under-porch storage area that i've had since i graduated from high school. i had it shipped over to the states from germany when i started college. it went into storage every summer in ithaca & has gone everywhere with me since. i really had no idea what was inside. but what i found really surprised me -- there was really nothing inside! lots and lots of moldy junk (since we had a water problem under the porch), but nothing of any real importance. i mean, i found a lot of sentimental crap, and i did find my passport (which expired in 1993), and pictures of my brother & sister from high school, and a fabulous letter to charlie peltz, orchestra conductor & sex maniac extraordinaire. :)

i'm a sucker for pictures. i found a photo album of pictures of me taken in a random park. really odd. i also found 2 composites from my fraternity in college. totally awesome, but i really don't remember some of the older girls in the fraternity. and the hair! my word! :) we thought everything was so important back then. and some of my fraternity sisters are still really good friends, even 20 years later :)

but most of the stuff that was in the trunk that i thought i absolutely had to keep got thrown out. letters from high school friends in texas about people that i don't remember. posters from shows i don't remember doing. really random stuff that i don't remember why i decided to keep it. it actually feels good to let go and stop allowing myself to be defined by the things i own. now, if only i could feel that way about my shoes.

i have an entire collection of heels on a special shoe rack in my bedroom that christopher built for me. they're all arranged by color. i have an entire row of red shoes and one of purple shoes. i'm searching for the green shoes i see in my head. i only have 1 pair of orange shoes, but they're flats, and i'd love to find a pair of pumpkin pumps. :) but i only wear them on sundays to church. i don't go anywhere any other day that wearing clickety-clickety heels would be appropriate. i definitely couldn't stand up in them all day at the salon. and i'd look weird wearing them to drop alexander off at pre-school. so why do i need so many pairs? it always seems that i wear the same ones all the time anyway. but i love to look at them. christopher tried to get me to keep them in the basement, but i need to be able to see them. on sunday mornings, sometimes i'll lie in bed and look at them while i try to decide what i'm wearing. OOH! i just bought a new pink silk cardigan at the rummage sale that i think would go with my pink slingbacks for church on sunday with a white shell & a black pencil skirt :) nice! i love it when inspiration just hits me :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

who's that girl?

i've spend a significant portion of today in the kitchen. so much so that i have my practice disc of lucia di lammermore set up in the kitchen cd player & my music stand with my opera score set up right next to it. i never imagined a life where i'd bake my own bread and granola on a regular basis. and i've actually even graduated from using my bread machine to making the bread with my kitchenaid stand mixer & kneading it by hand. hunh?

any of my roommates from undergrad could tell you that the kitchen was never my domain. i was always the last to take care of the dishes or cleaning up of any sort. and i think joanna had just about given up on me ever actually washing the silverware. she once commented that i was the only person she knew that could wash dishes without getting my hands wet :). and here i am now with 2 kids, baking artisan bread on a weekly basis and making gourmet granola on request -- special with nuts just for my husband to take to school for breakfast.

even though i never actually had clear picture of what the future held for me, i know it wasn't this, and it's taken me a while to be comfortable with it. my husband and i are still in the process of redefining our roles. i don't think i will ever be a typical housewife/stay at home mom. i was raised by a mother who routinely tells people to "bite me." it really does make you feel better, even if you don't say it out loud. my husband, on the other hand, was raised as one of 8 by a good catholic mother who took in sewing. so we have very different images of what a mother should be doing during the day. my vision includes surfing the web and tending to my online business. his vision includes pearls & and apron, meeting him at the front door with his nightly scotch. :) needless to say, we've still got some work to do to find the middle ground. but we're getting there.

luckily, he's progressive enough to realize that he's got to adapt as well. his mother once mentioned to me that his father never changed a diaper for any of the 8 kids, while christopher will often be the one to offer to take care of that duty. and he's awesome with vomit. my therapist thinks that i have an actual phobia about vomit. thank goodness i didn't have morning sickness with either of my pregnancies. but last night when alexander threw up at the top of the stairs, christopher didn't even think to tell me to clean it up myself. before we had kids i told him that i would do poop forever if he'd take care of the vomit. and there were many instances with isabelle especially where i was called upon to get poop out of all of the nooks and crannies. gotta love that runny breast-fed baby poop! it tends to get everywhere. not so much of a problem with a boy, but a completely different situation with a girl. ick! :)

but i'm excited, cuz i start rehearsal for my next show on monday. it's always nice to slip into a different personna every once in a while. i get to dress like an opera singer and go somewhere with other adults and sing in a foreign language. and i've heard they're the same costumes from the last production of lucia, which involved fabulous corsets. the kind of corsets that go from right under the boobs to your hips & require you to perch on the front of your seat with perfect posture. and last time we had an awesome dresser who really tied us tight into our corsets. we looked fabulous! i can't wait! yay me! :) i just hope our lucia this time is as fabulous as the last one. without an awesome lucia, both vocally and acting, the mad scene really sucks.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

working out

ok, so i've been going to the gym & working out like a fiend. not becuz i really care, cuz my clothes fit for the most part, but mostly becuz my dr. told me that if i can commit to working out 5 days a week for at least 45 minutes of cardio i can get off my meds. awesome! but for the past 2 weeks, i've taken alexander to school & gone directly to the gym 4 days out of 5, and i've actually GAINED A POUND!!! really? what's up with that!?

now, i've been going to the gym and doing at least 35 minutes on the elliptical machine (cuz 45 minutes is too blasted long!) and then either walking on the track if kellie's with me, or doing some weights or something. and i'm trying to make better food choices cuz if i'm doing the physical part, i might as well get skinny, right? but i still feel fat and sluggish, and this morning i actually had to cut my workout short cuz i thought i was gonna pass out. thank goodness i'd packed some apples for isabelle & i for afterward, cuz otherwise i would have gone straight to the drive-thru at mcdonalds :) i would have gotten a smoothie, but they're SO good with a small fry. and the calories cancel each other out, right? :)

so i'm starting to think there's something else going on. i need to see my dr. anyway to talk about this mysterious non-carpel tunnel pain in my hand, so i'll mention this to her as well. i know my dad's pre-diabetic & my brother's hypo-glycemic & i'm a hypochondriac, so... :) either i'll be fat & medicated or skinny and neurotic, so we'll see what happens...

Monday, August 30, 2010

joining the 21st century

well, my mp3 player died a bit ago. and then while we were on vacation earlier this summer, i killed my husband's as well. so i've been in need of a new mp3 player, and i've had my eye on an ipod. i'm a mac user, so ipods just made sense. i have a dell as well, but the only reason it's still connected to anything is for music downloading and mp3 player syncing.

so my brother has recently found not one, but 2 ipods -- a nano & a touch. i totally covet the touch, but could only manage to get him to sell me the nano. really, the nano is more than acceptable for my needs. and it's the color i wanted, so it's even better :) . but in order to add all of my music to this ipod, i need to transfer everything from wma format to aac format. i'd had the brilliant idea a bit ago to simply upload all of my music from the dell to a thumb drive and then transfer it to the mac. that worked partially, but on my mac, anything that wasn't in mp3 format at least was ignored. and i couldn't figure out how to change the settings in itunes to get it to recognize anything else. so now i'm faced with the option of downloading itunes to the dell & converting everything from there. unfortunately that'll take another 6 or 7 HOURS! i have about 95 hours of music on my computer & i've converted 9.5 hours so far... what a process! i hope it's worth it. :)

but i'm excited to have a working mp3 player again. i've committed to going to the gym every day. i have to get up every morning to take alexander to school, so isabelle & i will go straight from there to the gym and get in a nice workout. i've managed to drag my friend kellie along with me for the past week, but there will be days (like tomorrow) that she can't go. and working out without conversation or music is really difficult. and my favorite fabric artist is making a custom qpouch for me with an armband so i can wear it while i work out. i'm hoping she gives me a discount since i gave her the idea for the armband (hint, hint *smile*).

ok, maybe i'm misunderstanding some of the numbers my computer's telling me. it's still gonna take forever, cuz this computer is about 8 years old, which is about 250 years old in computer years :) . i'm hoping that i'll be able to get to bed sometime before tomorrow :)

now that i have a new ipod, i need to get a new computer that will allow me to upload photos and be on the internet at the same time, and a new camera that will let me take photos indoors. it seems that all of my electronics have issues :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

sleepytime songs

i'm a singer, so when i put the kids to bed, i sing songs i know, and they just happen to be in multiple languages. i didn't really think that was odd until i realized that my kids sing along with me in my multiple languages. and they have names for everything:
the daddy song: "can't help lovin' that man of mine", from showboat
the mommy song: "adieu" and "prison" by faure
the isabelle song is made up by me, but sung to the tune of "silver bells"
the alexander song is also made up by me, but sung to the tune of "top of the world" by the carpenters
the german song: "gretchen am spinnrade" by schubert
ninghe: "cancion de cuna para dormir a un negrito" by montsalvatge
the new song: "someone to watch over me" by gershwin
the summertime song: "summertime" by gershwin

i've also sung random songs from shows that i'm working on. i've done bits from carmen jones, and most recently "uzh kak po mostu mostchku, pa kalina vim da sochkam, vainu, vainu, vainu, vainu!" from eugene onegin. they never actually asked for that one, but... :)

now christopher, he has a completely different idea of what sleepytime songs should be, and they tend to be more participatory in nature, which i totally don't think is the point. and his songs tend to me more camp-song in nature. oh well. we can't both be musical snobs :)

alexander is incredibly musical and can already match pitch and sing along in the right key, an octave higher (especially when he's singing with daddy). i have visions of marketing us as a mother/son duo for "amahl & the night visitors" soon. i love the mother's role, and he'd be an awesome amahl. at least until his voice changes :)

isabelle, on the other hand, doesn't do as well. i can't remember alexander at this age, cuz it seems like he's always been musical and sang well. i feel bad for her, becuz there are times when alexander won't let her sing along with him cuz "she's bad" he says. i keep trying to tell him that she's still little & singing with him will make her better, but he's not buying it. oh well. it would really be a shame for her to be the only completly unmusical member of an incredibly musical family. i can't really say she's getting better, though. just louder :) but just becuz she doesn't sing well doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy it. she doesn't realize how bad she is. i just hope there isn't a music teacher somewhere down the road who decides to burst her bubble in a really mean way. not everyone can be the fabulous mr. laret :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

switched at birth

my sister & i were switched at birth. or actually, before birth, since i'm the oldest & she's the youngest & we have a brother between us. but we completely don't follow the traditions of birth order. as the oldest, i'm supposed to be the go-getter, aggressive, ambitious one. and as the baby of the family, she should be flighty and ditzy. instead, i'm the one who was called "chocolate fluff" in high school, and she's the one with the cojones to ask her boss for a promotion, outlining exactly what she'd like her new job responsibilities to include! way to go!

congratulations, Michelle! i'm so proud of you! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SpongeBob is an agent of the devil

really, it's my fault. i'm the one that taught alexander what channels have his shows. but it's not my fault that nick decided that preschoolers don't need to watch tv after 9am. last summer i had until 10am with preschool programs, but not this year. and now that he knows what channel spongebob is on, he won't watch anything else. craptastic!

now, don't get me wrong. i'm not one of those moms who feel that all tv needs to be appropriate for my kids just cuz i don't feel like making sure they're watching something appropriate. i fully believe that i should be able to watch the daily show at 2pm during nap-time. but i do personally dislike spongebob. i don't think there's really any redeeming qualities beyond the entertainment value. which is fine! but not for a 2 year old and a 4 year old. if i'm gonna let the tv babysit my kids while i work on the computer, i'd much rather have pbs sprout or even disney, but lately it's spongebob or nothing. when i abscond with the remote and refuse to allow him to watch spongebob he just turns off the tv, which is fine. i'm tempted to block that channel, becuz really there's nothing on nick that we watch (except spongebob) since they stop doing preschool shows like dora and wonderpets after 9am. but i think my husband would be upset, cuz he actually enjoys spongebob. and since it's geared more to his age group, that's ok. :)

i can't think of any other shows that i really abhor. caillou is really whiny and he's not my favorite, but i can't really complain. at least he's age appropriate. spongebob lives alone, away from his parents, so he's obviously grown. he doesn't have his drivers license, but he's taking the class, further evidence that he's at least in high school, if not an adult. he's got a job, which again points to him being over 16. all reasons that a 4 year old should not be watching him. plus he doesn't always do the right thing. at least in the other cartoons we watch that aren't at all educational the characters make good choices so at least they're learning good decision-making skills. but spongebob tends to do the wrong thing with alarming regularity. very distressing.

if i block the channel, i'll also be able to avoid icarly, which is also not age appropriate but beloved by my 4 year old. i don't even think he knows what's going on with that show. but clare likes it, therefore he likes it :) and my son has always had a thing for older women :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

...and drumroll please!

i have a clean bill of health. at least from my thyroid operation. i had my blood drawn yesterday and i got the results today and everything is good! i was convinced that it wasn't. i guess that means that i'm exhausted cuz i'm staying up way too late making jewelry. and i'm fat cuz i've been eating lots of candy and snacking inappropriately. and i'm constipated cuz i haven't made granola in forever and need to up my fiber intake. and i'm scatterbrained cuz i'm a ditz. it would have been so much easier for it to all have been explained away by an under-active thyroid! :) well, i guess i just need to go back to work on myself and start writing everything down so that i can stop forgetting stuff! :)

but i have been working really hard on stuff for my upcoming show. it's at a retirement community, and i'm not sure if it's open to the public, or just residents. but i've got all of my displays. i ordered some online, and christopher is working on my necklace & bracelet displays. they're beautiful. he does such nice work. :) and i'm happy with the number of earrings i've got done, i just need to make some more necklaces and bracelets. but i don't know how many spots i'll have available on the displays chris is making. i'll hafta go count to make sure i have enough. i'm just waiting for my sign & earring cards to come in the mail, and then i'll be set! i'm getting really excited. i really love the stuff i've been making. it seems that working in the middle of the night really helps my creative juices flow. either that or the chocolate :)

my original plan was to simply duplicate a lot of the things i've already done and then augment that with some new designs, but instead pretty much everything is new! i've got a ton of pictures take already, but i've got a ton more left to do. it's rainy today, and that's usually a great day to take pics, so i'll see what i can get done today. something about the way the light difuses through the cloud cover makes for really great photos. we're also going up to our campsite, and i always get great photos up there. but we don't have electricity, so i don't know how i'll be able to recharge the camera. ever since i dropped it in the river, the battery just doesn't last as long. hopefully chris is planning on doing some work and will take the generator :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

toilet paper fetish

my daughter loves toilet paper. i don't know if it's a typical toddler thing, cuz alexander didn't do it, but isabelle loves to unroll toilet paper and tear it up. the first time she did it we were in youngstown at my mother-in-law's house. i was doubly horrified, 1st cuz she was doing it, & 2nd cuz christopher & my m-i-l were just standing there watching indulgently. my question to them was "how is she going to know not to do this at home if it's ok to do at grandma's?" the answer is, she doesn't!

i got the kids down for their naps this afternoon and was sitting on the sunporch working on a new necklace design. when i'd finished, i put it on to see how it looked and went upstairs to look in the bathroom mirror. what i saw horrified me! first off, isabelle was sound asleep, completly naked at the top of the stairs. but she was lying in a position that would indicate she'd fallen asleep in the process of going down the stairs. i'm not sure how that's possible.

but then i went 'round the corner and saw the bathroom. the sight that met my eyes was the stuff of nightmares! toilet paper EVERYWHERE.

i spend a lot of money on toilet paper and unfortunately, this isn't the first time that isabelle has unrolled a brand new roll of toilet paper. if christopher didn't complain about the really cheap stuff, i wouldn't worry about it, but once you start getting decent toilet paper, you're paying some decent money for it. and losing an entire roll just breaks my penny pinching heart! the last time she did this, i made her help me roll all the toilet paper back onto the roll, but i don't think that's possible this time. what a shame! but at least she just plays with it and doesn't eat it. then i'd have a whole different kettle of fish to worry about!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


well, i guess making that list really did help. i feel much less overwhelmed, and i've been creating like there's no tomorrow! i got my fabulous earring displays in the mail yesterday from Wudl's Woodshop, and they are perfect. i was able to put all the earrings i've made on it, and found out that i've got an entire display filled! whoo hoo! so i spent last night making necklaces and bracelets that go with the earrings i've already got made. i think i'll make more necklaces and earrings tonight and then work on filling my other display tomorrow or friday so that i have time to make sure i've got enough necklaces and bracelets to go with the earrings. and i still need a necklace display. i found something really nifty on etsy, and i sent the picture to my husband to see if he could make something similar. we'll see what happens. he's almost done with school (tomorrow's the last day with the little whipper-snappers) and so he'll be a little less stressed, which is nice.

i also made a list last night after making my jewelry of the findings i needed so that i could get them ordered. i need them to get here before too long or i won't have anything to create with. that would be bad. and i ordered my earring cards, thank you cards, and my new sign from B Blonski Designs, so they should be here soon. she makes fabulous stuff for little etsy sellers like me, and i'm really excited to see my new sign. i was thinking about doing like a scrapbook thing, but i decided to go ahead and have something printed so it looks professional. and it'll match my earring cards and everything *smile*

i feel so much more in control of everything. of course, it's taken me forever to get pictures of all the stuff i've already made. most of it won't get listed in my etsy shop, but i want to have pictures anyway, just in case. some of it is stuff that i can re-make, so it doesn't matter if i sell it before the show, i can always make another. but the stuff that's one of a kind i'll definitely not list, but i still want a picture for posterity. i've already taken over 300 pics, and i haven't even taken pics of all the earrings i've already made. by the time i'm done with this show, i'll probably have over 2000 new photos on my computer. if i think it runs slow now, just wait until i'm done! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

i seem to be having a severely ditzy moment :)

i've got so much to do, i don't know where to start! i've got a big craft show coming up in a couple of weeks, and i figured that it would be easier if i got started early instead of waiting until the last minute. but becuz i've got so much time to do everything, i don't want to get busy!

i was always the one pulling all-nighters in undergrad, freebasing jolt with no-doze to get my papers written. and they were always better that way! i don't know why i work so much better under pressure than if i plan it out and take my time.

my original plan was to simply make another pair of all the earrings i've already made, and an extra pair of the most popular. easy. simple. incredibly boring. i just couldn't bring myself to do it. i have a really hard time making the same things over and over again. i don't even like to make the same thing in different colors. i get bored so easily, and i think i allow that to distract me from my purpose and plan. well at least i still have a couple of weeks to make it happen!

and i did the important things already -- i ordered my earring displays and they should arrive tomorrow or wednesday, and i ordered my earring cards. they'll both arrive in plenty of time for me to be sure they're what i need and order more/different if i need to.

but i need to order supplies so that i can continue making stuff, for both this event & my shop. i haven't posted anything new in a couple of days (sorry, michelle! *smile*) and i really have no excuse, cuz i've made like 30 new pairs of earrings and 3 new necklaces in the past 3 days. i even have pics of 2 of the necklaces waiting to be uploaded onto my computer. but in order to do that, i have to shut down firefox & tweetdeck, cuz they don't play nicely with iphoto. iphoto kinda takes my computer hostage when it's working, which sucks.

things that i really need to do:
take a serious look at my findings and place an order with artbeads and/or lima beads SOON
make more gold earrings, cuz i only have 6 pairs.
make more necklaces
make some bracelets
take a look at my current inventory and duplicate some of it
figure out what i want for necklace/earring displays & either order it or get chris to make it
get tags on things so i can replenish my displays at crafted treasures & the salon

making the list really puts things into perspective. there's really not that much to do, outside of creating more jewelry. and unless i place my order, i won't be able to make anything, cuz i'll be out of daisy spacers and sterling headpins. i don't know why my stores don't carry enough 14k gold stuff. it's so hard to find and i don't understand why. it's much cheaper to get online, but it's easier to go down the street and get it. the one thing i don't need are beads :)

christopher blames my meds for my lack of decision making abilities, but i'm just a ditz. i'm scattered and very easily distracted. and easily tempted away from my main purpose by pretty baubles. which reminds me -- i need to check out maudies' shop to see if she's done any more pretty beads that i need :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

my baby's growing up!

i'm so excited! isabelle made it all night with panties on and kept them dry! she's been wanting to wear panties to bed for about a week now, but i was hesitant cuz her nighttime underwear was always wet in the morning. but she keeps taking it off during the night because "her bottom's itchy" as she says. so last night, after i found her bottom naked for the 2nd time, we talked about it, and she said that if she had on panties, she'd keep them dry all night, and she did! i was so excited this morning when we woke up and she was dry. now all we need is for alexander to do the same! :)

i know boys are different. he's always been a heavy sleeper and a heavy wetter. he's getting better, though. there have been nights when he's woken up at 2 or 3 to go potty. but those nights are few and far between. and doctors don't consider bed wetting a problem until they're 5 years old. we've got a couple of months to work on it with him. but if i only hafta buy nighttime underwear for one of them, that's a huge savings. since we used cloth diapers for both of them, this is a huge expense that we were totally not prepared for. but at least it's only 1 diaper a day instead of 10 to 20 :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

thyroid update

i had my post-op appointment yesterday and am exstatic to report that the biopsy showed NO CANCER!!! it was completely benign, which is amazing and awesome. everything is healing well, and everything is going well. thank you to everyone who kept me and my family in prayer and sent your positive energy my way during my surgery and recovery. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

things you can't do with a hole in your throat :)

it's amazing what you can't do with a hole in your throat. i don't know what i was thinking!

1. you can't drink from a glass w/out a straw -- trying to get that last 1/3rd is incredibly hard!
2. you can't fold laundry -- i'm so used to holding things with my chin!
3. you can't see things on a high shelf
4. you can't sleep on your tummy
5. you can't mediate violent outbursts by your 4 year old
6. you can't wear anything but v-necked shirts

but seriously, everything's going well. it's just so darn itchy! i can't wait until the bandage things come off so i can scratch for real! and the 4 loads of laundry i did today really were a challenge :)

God is SO good!

first off, thank you so much to everyone who sent up prayers and sent good thoughts and positive energy my way for my surgery. i was so covered in prayer, that there was really no way anything could have gone wrong! i had probably the best surgical team in the world. seriously! they took it upon themselves to discuss my case beforehand to decide what would be the best thing for me to make sure they saved my voice. i'd gone to the voice center and had some recommendations from the voice specialist that i really thought i was gonna hafta fight for, and they'd already taken all of that into consideration and come up with a plan that was best for me, and not just easiest for them! totally awesome!

so, needless to say, everything went fabulously. my surgeon ROCKS! if you're in the pittsburgh area and need to have a partial or total thyroidectomy, i HIGHLY recommend Dr. Adrienne Melck. she looks about 12, but she assured me she's not *smile*.

and i thought they were smoking crack when they told me that i wouldn't need anything stronger than regular tylenol after the surgery, but they were right! it's 4 days after the surgery, and i've only taken 1 dose of tylenol today! even the day after, i didn't take it every 6 hours because i simply didn't need it! WOW! i've had 2 babies, 1 the regular way, and 1 cesarean, so i know pain. this is awesome!

and i went to church and sang today, which was amazing! when my surgeon came to discharge me, i asked her when i could sing, and she told me to rock on! it felt so good to be able to sing bedtime songs to my kids. tuesday night, it was all i could do not to cry when i thought that might be the last time i could sing. my kids would definitly not understand why mommy couldn't sing at bedtime anymore. it's such a big part of our lives. i'm so grateful that i didn't have to give that up!

but my voice is tired today. they told me that it'll get more fatigued more quickly now as the healing begins. but just being able to sing at all is a blessing! i really couldn't imagine my life without it. and i'm glad that i don't have to! *smile*

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

thank you!

i just wanted to thank everyone for their prayer and well wishes. we're about to leave for the hospital, and the surgery is scheduled for 8am. i feel so completely covered in prayer that i'm really not nervous. i know that everything will turn out the way it's supposed to *smile*. plus i got to take a shower and brush my teeth and take my meds, so we're all good! *smile*

Monday, May 10, 2010

...and the countdown begins...

well, it's 2 days til my surgery. i'll get the call on tuesday to let me know what time i'll need to be at the hospital on wednesday -- probably at the butt-crack of dawn. i've had all of my testing done, so now there's nothing to do but wait. and unlike childbirth, there's no joy at the end of this tunnel. and i don't have to have a bag packed *smile*. but i am hoping that my new bag from my sister gets here in time. she did kinda promise that i'd have it in time to take to the hospital with me *smile*.

once i met her, i googled my surgeon. she looks like she's 12, but she's done extensive research in thyroidectomies, so i feel a little better. and she's Black, so that's kinda cool. she's canadian, though (i think), so i didn't want to say african-american *smile*. she was really straight-forward in the consultation, and that really put me at ease. she didn't sugar-coat anything, but wasn't brusque and unfeeling either. and apparently they do a lot of these.

i also went to the voice center and had my throat scoped to take a look at my vocal cords. that was really nifty! it was awesome to see my cords working, although i could have gone without having something shoved up my nose and down my throat *smile*. but now i know how everything works, and i'm hoping it'll all work the same way after the surgery.

there's only a 1% chance that they'll nick either of the nerves that control my singing during the surgery, but there's a greater chance of jacking things up with the breathing tube, so i have to be firm with the anesthesia team about what i want, and hope that they do what's best for me instead of what's easiest for them. i can't go on disability if they mess anything up and i can't sing! *smile*

and i'm really excited cuz my mom will be here today! it's always a good time when nana's here. the kids are over the moon that nana's coming. they just don't know why. but i feel so much better knowing that she'll be here with them while chris and i are at the hospital. especially since it'll likely be all day, and not just a couple of hours. plus, what sitter would show up at your house at 5am and stay until 6 or 7 pm? you'd hafta pay an arm and a leg! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ice cream for dinner? *smile*

of course! i strive to be the cool mom who gets her kids to eat! i was talking to my sister today, and she was making sweet potato ice cream, and i thought it sounded delicious, so i'm making it, too, but as a side dish for dinner. the kids are over the moon at the thought that we're eating ice cream for dinner, and i even let them help making it. alexander's bored already watching the machine go around and around, but i had to tear isabelle away. she's being patient, she told me *smile*. well, i hope they like it. it smells delicious! lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. yum!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

shopping with children -- the husband edition

so, i do about 95% of the shopping for our household, for the things that we use everyday from food to clothing. and i pretty much only shop before rest time, cuz the rest of the day is pretty unpredictable. if it's not done before 3pm (preferable 2pm) then it doesn't need to be done. my husband takes care of all the outdoor and home repair stuff. but every once in a while he decides that we all need to go to the store together for whatever we need. usually it's a big lots shopping spree, but tonight it was a trip to target. after dinner at the restaurant (eat n' park *smile*)

now, i love target. they've got the big carts with 2 seats for bigger kids, and that's awesome! i'm all about confinement for my 2 little ones. and when we got there, i found an appropriate cart and got them both strapped in, and they started whining about getting out. i'm a firm believer in confinement, but my husband told them that if they were good they could get out. i stopped to check out the jewelry (for inspiration *smile*) and the next thing i knew, they were both out of the cart, and the madness began!

i really don't know what he was thinking. our children have not yet grasped the concept of looking with your eyes and not your hands. they don't understand that we need to use our inside voices when we're inside. they don't understand that they can't just go look at something just cuz they want to, even if we're not going over there. they want to look at what they want, and not what's on mommy's list. hence the need for confinement. but my husband's got isabelle on his shoulders and alexander by the hand, and they're both talking a mile a minute while i push this ginormous cart that's completely empty. i found everything on my list while he went to look at bikes and toys and whatnot, and was forced to explain that they both already have bikes, so we're not taking the princess tricycle home. did i mention the need for confinement? *smile* by the time we were ready to check out, he was ready to leave them both in the store. it was after 9pm -- past their bedtime on a late night -- and we were both frazzled. they were both jazzed by being up late, even though they didn't get any popcorn, and they wanted to sing all the way home. needless to say, they're both asleep and i think my husband is too. they're exhausting on a regular day, but let us try something new and different, and i need an adult beverage! maybe next time he'll remember why they need to be confined in the store!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

prosthetic vocal chords

i had no idea that i know someone who's had a complete thyroidectomy and has a prosthetic vocal chord. wow! she had the procedure done some years ago (in a military hospital, as she was active duty AF), and could barely speak for over 2 years before she was implanted with a prosthetic vocal chord. I would never have known, cuz her voice sounds fine to me. i should have asked her if she can sing with her prosthetic *smile*

but it kinda made me feel better, cuz if there's only a 1% chance of nicking one of 2 nerves that controls vocal production, then knowing someone to whom it's happened makes the chances of it happening to me that much slimmer, right? *smile*

i still need to make an appointment with the voice specialists to get scoped so they can see the condition of my chords prior to the surgery. i also tried to get my surgeon to do the procedure at Magee, cuz they've got excellent food, but no such luck. hopefully i won't hafta be there over night. if they only need to remove 1/2, as they plan, then i'll be able to come home that evening. i'll only need to stay overnight if they end up needing to remove my entire thyroid. and based on my recent ultrasound, there are no nodes in the right half at all, and the radiologist said the other side looks beautiful. my friend who had a complete removal said that she had nodes on both sides and they were exhibited very rapid growth. in the 6 months or so that i've been traveling down this path, mine haven't grown at all. every ultrasound i've had shows them pretty much the same size as they were when they were found.

Monday, April 19, 2010

my word can she scream!

isabelle is a screamer. i mean, a serious screamer. she reminds me of the little girls i saw on a 20/20 about young girls who were severely schizophrenic. *smile*

now, i know that she's just 2 and is just finding ways to express her anger. she's not schizophrenic. or possessed. usually i just tell her that when she's ready to settle down and use her words to come find me. but christopher tonight stayed with her until she settled down, which really prolonged the situation for an extra 1/2 hour. it gets to the point where i'm really surprised she has a voice. i don't know how anyone can scream for 1/2 an hour or more 3 or 4 days a week and not have serious vocal issues! wow! she'll be a great gospel or musical theatre singer *smile*

but i can really see how parents can have their young children diagnosed as bipolar. one second she screaming like she's possessed, and the next minute she's cuddling with me asking for the babies she's thrown all over her room. absolutely exhausting *smile*

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God is good, but life kinda sucks :(

God is good. all the time. but i'm not ready to commit to "paper" what's going on right now. it's like writing it down will make it real. not that not writing it down makes it any less real, and i've got so much stuff to do to get ready. it always takes me a bit to process things so that i can function without my eyes leaking constantly. good thing i have to sing at a funeral today -- i'm supposed to be a little emotional :) what a time to go off my meds!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank

i'm an old soul, and i love masterpiece theatre, or masterpiece classics as it's called now. and i was really looking forward to the latest interpretation of The Diary of Anne Frank. of course, i read the book in school, and i've seen a couple of other made for tv versions, but this was by far the best. i actually sobbed at the end. it was amazing.

it came on on sunday evening, but i missed most of it becuz we got the kids to bed late. so i'm glad that pbs is available on demand. my husband and i watched it in utter silence this evening. and even though knew that i was going to cry at the end, i just couldn't turn it off. it was just so well done and so moving. bravo, pbs!

my favorite french :)

today is a really crappy, sucky day. the sky is grey, & that totally reflects my mood today. i've gotta go see my pcp about being off my meds & the surgeon about my throat-ectomy, so i'm not thinking it's gonna get much better. i'm trying to change things by wearing all black with cheerful jewelry :)

but here's my poem for today:

personne m'adore
tout de la monde me deteste
je croix que je veux manger les miner
les miner qui sont grande
les miner qui sont petitie
et les miner qui agiter dans ma bouche

i've been saying this for years, but i finally looked up the last 2 words i didn't know in french. i feel so much better now! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

...the next step...

well, it's been 3 weeks since i went off my meds, and i'm not so sure it was such a good idea *smile*. bleh. so i called and made an appointment with a psychiatrist, cuz my therapeutic team and i agree that my mental health should be cared for by a mental health professional who is more capable of deciding which drugs, if any, will be the most beneficial for me. i'm kinda nervous about it, though, cuz going to a psychiatrist means that you're crazy, right? i mean, everybody's medicated and everybody's in therapy, but the only person i know who goes to a psychiatrist is my brother and the crazy people on tv. when i spoke to her this evening, she actually asked me if i was 1) in the witness protection program & 2) had ever been hospitalized for a mental illness. there have been times when both of those options have seemed like a good idea *smile*

prozac, for all it's suckiness, is awesome, cuz it doesn't drop you into the abyss immediately -- it kinda lowers you slowly into the abyss so that you don't realize where you are until all the light has been sucked out of the world and you are in utter darkness trying to feel your way to the surface. i definitely need to be medicated, cuz i'm starting to think like my brother *smile*. we'll figure it out.

i also have an appointment next week with the thyroid surgeon, cuz they ultimately didn't like the biopsy they did of my thyroid. but if you're gonna have cancer, thyroid's the one to get. it has a 100% cure rate, it doesn't spread anywhere and it won't kill you. of course, now that i've said all that, i'll be the first to die of thyroid cancer. it'll take over my body completely and i'll have to have a complete body-ectomy. *smile* i still think i'll end up with one of those throat things like the asian guy on south park *smile* but in the big scheme of things, as long as i have some anesthesia, i don't really care what they take out. nothing could be as bad as the biopsy! (famous last words...)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

in search of sanity

after i had isabelle, i finally realized that i needed some help and found a fabulous therapist. and after working with her for a while, i finally admitted that i needed to be medicated. and it helped for a long time. it did what it was supposed to do and helped me through the darkness. of course, it also helped that isabelle stopped screaming all the time, alexander started going potty and both of them could walk and talk *smile*. but for a while, the meds were all that were keeping me out of jail. there were still days when i had to put myself into time-out *smile*

but i switched from zoloft to lexapro, and more recently from lexapro to prozac. they all made me twitchy, and the lexapro actually made me think i had some sort of neurological disorder, cuz my hand would twitch periodically like i had parkenson's or something. but the prozac just sucked. i had all of the side effects with none of the relief (see "prozac sucks my butt"). so i talked to my therapist and my pcp, and we decided that maybe it was time to take a break. i had to realize that the things in my life that annoy me and drive me crazy will be with me forever (or at least til they graduate from high school or college *smile*), so i really needed to figure out how to deal with it, since i can't medicate them *smile*. so i've been off my meds for a little over 2 weeks.

for the most part, i feel great. i've been doing a lot of breathing, but my children and husband are all still alive, and i'm not incarcerated or on a 72 hour hold somewhere *smile*. but then i have a day like today that makes me question both my fragile grasp on my sanity and my decision to go off my meds. today sucked. i think i cried for an hour. my kids were great, though. they kept coming into the kitchen to give me hugs, and allow me to hug their special toys, which was really great. but i had to call my union in NYC cuz i didn't pay my dues on time. and the guy was really MEAN!!! i mean, obnoxiously out of line and i really wanted to go through the phone and beat him to death. but unlike before i went on my meds and the girl at sally's caused me to throw a brush at her, i just called my mom who proceeded to talk me off the ledge. of course, when i told my husband about the incident later this afternoon, it made me cry again, but only briefly, so that was definite improvement.

i don't regret going off my meds. and i don't think that i'll never go back on them, perhaps, at some point if i need to. but i like being off them right now (with the exception of this morning *smile*). before i started therapy i was in a research study for post-partum depression, and one of the questions they would ask was if i felt that people were being overly mean or critical. they were looking to see if i was suffering from paranoia. but i don't think it's paranoia -- i think that when you're medicated you just don't care that ppl are mean! *smile* now that i'm off my meds i'm more aware of how mean and evil people can be *smile*

i've also come to realize that i'm a hoarder. i did talk to my therapist about it in my last session & her eyes got really big a couple of times *smile*. i prefer to think of it as selective collecting *smile*. but when i watch those hoarding shows, i totally understand the hoarder thought process, which is a little frightening *smile*. i'm much better now than i ever was when i was single, mainly becuz christopher limits the amount of space in which i can expand my collections. so i've become a somewhat organized hoarder. but we're thinking about moving, so i've gotta get it under control so that we can do something with it. i like to see all my stuff all the time, so putting it all in storage so we can show the house will be painful *smile*. and christopher already knows that he can't help me clean and/or organize. all he can do is fuss at me until i do it, albeit grudgingly *smile*. as long as it gets done, right? *smile*

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

rest in peace, miss bea :)

it's been a rough couple of weeks. a very good friend of our family passed away a week ago today. her funeral was yesterday, and of course, i sang. it's always so much harder when it's someone you knew, and knew well.

miss bea was one of my husband's ladies. he did some work for an older couple we used to ring bells with and they recommended him to her to do some odd jobs around the house. she was a widow with grown children, most of whom didn't live nearby, so she kinda became a surrogate grandmother. when chris was doing work for her, the kids and i would sometimes go with him, and then we'd take miss bea out to dinner with us. or we'd invite her over to our house for dinner once in a while. she invited us out to dinner to meet her family when they were in town. she was just a really nice lady that was really easy to talk to who really loved our kids.

so when she fell and broke her hip and was in the hospital, her daughter called us, cuz chris was more than just her handyman. and when she slipped into a coma after the surgery, we went to sit with her at her house while her children held the vigil waiting for the waiting to be over.

but it wasn't until the calling hours that i truly realized how much our friendship meant to her. chris and i walked in, and a complete strange came up to me, gushing, and said "you must be kym! the jewelry designer, right?" we had no idea that miss bea talked about us to any and everyone *smile*. but because of the close relationship we had with her, they had alexander and isabelle listed in the obituary as her "very special grandchildren" *smile*. i'm just glad that we were friends and able to share that special part of her life.

i was also very touched, when her daughter, katherine, gave us one of the quilts she'd made for her mother to remember her by. it was one that hung at the top of the stairs and was admired every time we came over.

we basically spent all day yesterday with the family, at the funeral and lunch after, and then at the house just talking. the house seems so empty without miss bea there. she will be missed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

OUCH!!! what pain!

so, today was a really great day, and a really crappy day. it was awesome, cuz i met up with my local street team, steel town etsy, and they are fantabulous! i'm so lucky to be affiliated with such talented crafters and such wonderful people. but after i got all hopped up on caffeine at starbucks, i had to go have my ultrasound guided fine needle biopsy of my thyroid nodule.

now, first off, "fine needle" is relative. i was imagining something akin to a acupuncture needle. boy was i wrong! it was a regular needle. not as big as something they'd use for an iv, but definitely not what i'd call "fine". but it wasn't the needle stick that sucked the most -- it was the fact that once it was in, they had to wiggle it around to collect cells to biopsy! OUCH!!! but i survived it, and the doctor took it to look at it and came back to inform me that they were fine, but he needed MORE CELLS TO SEND TO THE LAB TO BE PROPERLY LOOKED AT -- meaning they had to stab me in the throat again! &%*&$$&^#$@@!!! of course, i had my husband come with me to "hold my hand," not realizing that i'd literally need someone to hold my hand! he and the doctor both like to crack jokes to lighten the tension, but i challenge any of you to try to laugh with a needle in your throat! i could barely breathe or swallow, cuz i discovered early in the procedure that movement of the throat area causes the needle to shift more than necessary. did i mention, they don't use anesthesia for this procedure? :) apparently they used to, but they discovered that it hurt more when the drugs wore off than if they just stab you in the throat repeatedly without. i wish they'd given me the option to find that out on my own! :)

but granted, i'm grateful to know that the cells they found were fine and i don't have to have surgery or anything. they'll just keep an eye on them with a repeat ultrasound in 6 months and go from there. but it's been 9 hours, and my throat still hurts! i've gotta take some ibuprofen before i go to bed. i knew going in that there was a 95% chance that they were benign, so i wish i'd had the option to just leave them un-biopsied if i knew how painful it would be! at least they give you an epidural for childbirth! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

prozac sucks my butt

i don't think it's working. i haven't felt this listless or despondant since before i started taking my meds. even zoloft worked better than this. it's been less than a week, though, and i know it takes time, but this sucks. i don't even have the energy right now to scream at the kids *smile*. all i want to do is eat (even though i'm not hungry) and take a nap. i just sat and watched an hour of curling and still have no idea what was going on. the rock was in the house, but they hit the button and pushed it into the 8 ft ring. hunh? but i can't help thinking that it wouldn't make sense even if my brain was working. i feel like a combination of the wind-up doll commercial and the claritin commercial, before they take the film off the camera *smile*

i've got so much stuff to do, too. i hafta find isabelle's bathing suit and pack for a 2 day vacation. and i need to make granola. and write a letter to my husband's principal so she'll let me sell jewelry at his school. and make more jewelry so i can keep up with my posting comittments. and figure out how to pay my bills and/or sell more jewelry so i can pay my bills *smile*. but i just wanna take a nap. this sucks :(

i also am bummed cuz i can't find a good video of measha brueggergosman singing at the olympics. i found one on youtube, but it sucked and i don't know if it was the video or my computer. there was another one that was clearly taken with someone's cell phone that really sucked, but this one was pretty good. she rocked my world! especially her hair! i wish my hair would have done that before i let it lock.

and i also wanted to blog about the ice dancers from russia. i really liked them, until i saw their "aboriginal dance" which just made me want to scream! i mean, seriously! i don't know what made them think that it was representative of anyone's native people,, but it looked more like cavemen. i missed it so i watched it on demand and was amazed. how could anyone be that clueless? and her, with her mouth open the entire time just made her look like a dunce. i was embarrased for them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

i survived chuck e. cheese! :)

...and when i first walked in, i wasn't sure i would!

i had never been to chuck e. cheese until last night. i could have died a happy girl never having set foot into a chuck e cheese. but my friend kellie had her daughter's b-day party there yesterday, so off we went -- all 4 of us -- to that mouse's pizza parlor.

at first i'd just planned to go by myself with the kids. but christopher counselled me against that. i truly had no idea. i am so grateful that he came with us. i really don't know how i would have managed without him with both kids. neither one of them is old enough, or tall enough, to go anywhere there by themselves. there's a section of games designed for them, but it was packed. the place was full of kids from 5 weeks (obvously not partaking of the festivies *smile*) to adulthood. i was absolutely flabbergasted when i walked in the door.

and they are a serious wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am birthday party provider. we were late, cuz the kids didn't wake up from their naps as early as i'd hoped. but when we got there about 1/2 hour into our designated party slot, the pizzas were ready and the kids were being called back to the table. they were given 2.5 seconds for pizza and an additional 3.8 seconds for partying with chuck. then the candles were blown out and the kids were lead away, pied-piper style, by the mouse himself back into the play area. i really didn't understand that, cuz while they were away with the mouse, the "party hostesses" cut the cake, but there were no kids to serve it to. icame back to the party table cuz isabelle has discovered she's hungry again, and the party hostess comes to tell us that we've got to move from the designated party tables cuz it's time for them to set up for the next groups! i don't think any of the kids (other than isabelle *smile*) got cake, cuz none of them came back to the party area until after we'd moved everything to a different table. and there wasn't really any partying with the birthday girl, cuz everyone was off with their cup of tokens playing games. there were 2 parties in our time slot, clare and one other boy, and 3 parties in the time slot after us.

the cake was wonderful! very rich chocolate made with hershey's chocolate. and the sandwich ring they had for us parental types was very good. but the pizza sucked! it was obviously not made with love and straight from a box. but once the kids got over their initial shock of being in such a loud place with so many kids, they had a great time. when we first got there, both of them were hugging my legs. but we practically had to drag them out when it was time to leave.

i don't want to go back any time soon, but i know i will have to return eventually. we have more tickets to win so we can get a prize. of course, the good stuff is like 4000 tickets, and we've got 43, so it'll be a while *smile*

Saturday, February 20, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like ... carrots?

well, as many of you know, my sister, michelle, loves carrots. so when i had to decide what to make her for Christmas, i made her a carrot :)

in my shop, all my polymer clay key keepers are stars. the only other shape i "mass produce" is a flower. but for friends and family i make custom ones, depending on who they are and what they love. and i'm totally into doing custom orders, so if you know someone who'd totally dig getting something original, let me know -- i'd love to make something! :)

my mother, step-mother and neighbor all love the Lord, so they got crosses, in different colors depending on what they like. well, actually gloria hasn't gotten hers yet cuz she's in the phillipines so i just haven't mailed it yet. but i didn't want to make a cross for michelle -- i wanted to make her a carrot!

and i was so excited when alexander came down into my craft area and asked me why i was playing with a carrot -- that meant that it really looked like a carrot. i was very proud of myself for the color mixing and design, cuz i didn't have a carrot cookie-cutter. i guess i could have looked for a mold or something, but that wouldn't have been anywhere near as much fun :)

of course, i had to wait until she got it before i blogged about it, since she reads my blog -- i didn't want to spoil the surprise! and when i talked to her this afternoon, she was so excited about her carrot key keeper. now i just hafta make one for myself! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

another day, a different med...

well, today was my 2nd day on prozac. i was nervous, cuz when i switched from zoloft to lexapro it sucked. the first day was ok, cuz i still had enough zoloft in my system to carry me through, but the lexapro hadn't kicked in yet. the 2nd day, my husband came home and i was lying on the floor in the living room, cuz i just couldn't get up *smile*. i can look back and smile now, but at the time it was a bit of a tragedy. i don't know if the transition is going better this time cuz i'm in a better place, or if it's just a different type of drug. my pcp explained that all of these drugs are "cousins" and they all do the same thing, just a little bit differently. i can't get over how one drug works well for one person and not for another.

i don't know if prozac is the right drug for me. it didn't work for my mom. but it works great for my friend and her husband. but depression sucks, and i've got so much going on right now that i can't just sit and cry all day long :). my kids demand to be fed regularly, and i can't just feed them toast, cuz i hafta make the bread. why did i start doing that?

but there is no rest for the wicked today. the kids have been upstairs for almost 2 hours, but there is no rest in sight. hopefully tonight will be an early to bed night. but we need baths, so we'll see. i guess they know i'm not really going to beat them :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

strangers make you eat dog food...

i've been talking to my kids lately about staying with me and the dangers of being taken by a stranger. it's really interesting the responses they come up with.

isabelle thinks that strangers make you eat dog food. and sometimes cat food. she also thinks that you can't eat people cuz they're hard to chew.

alexander just doesn't want a stranger to take him cuz he wouldn't be able to cuddle with teddy at sleepy-time. he's the one i want to get implanted with a microchip cuz he talks to everyone.

i've also already had the chat with them, mostly at bathtime, about who gets to touch/play with their private parts. mommy & daddy get to wash them, and dr. greene can touch them if mommy or daddy's there. but they're the only ones who get to play with their own girl/boy parts. this is especially important in the bathtub, since they bathe together. isabelle is fascinated with alexander's boy parts. i had to break her heart the other day. we were talking about how she's doing such a good job going potty and keeping her panties dry while she's awake and how when she gets bigger she'll wake up when she has to potty. and she said "when i get bigger, i'll have a boy part like alexander and i can stand up to potty!" she just crumpled when i had to let her know that she'll always hafta sit down to potty and she'll never have a boy part. i remember my sister going through something similar and now she's a lesbian. should i worry? :)

but it's pretty sad that at 2 & 4 i've already had to talk to my kids about abduction and molestation. i checked the megan's law website and there is a sex offender on my street. i'm pretty sure he's an adult offender and not a pedophile, but... it's a very different world now than the one i grew up in. although a lot of these things still happened, they just weren't discussed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


if my husband doesn't go back to school soon i may end up in jail. the snow will end one day, right? God never commanded anyone to build a snow-ark, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a snow holiday

we've been in our house for 5 days now. except for our little snow holiday. we went across the river to harmarville on monday night and randomly picked a motel. it was the calm between the storms -- the roads were relatively clear from friday/saturday's storm, and the tuesday/wednesday storm hadn't started yet. actually, even monday night some of the roads were pretty bad. i had to go back home after we had dinner cuz i'd forgotten my meds and i was slowed down by an accident and 2 bobcats removing snow from the roads. with all the snow we've had to clear, i think they're running out of places to put it! :)

it took christopher 2 solid hours to clear our driveway on saturday. i don't think i could have done it. and it was really too much even for a snowblower. and of course, being the guy he is, he went out after he did our to help a couple of other people do theirs. :)

but we've only gotten about 8 inches of additional snow since yesterday, although it's still snowing. i have no doubt that tomorrow will be another snow day for christopher. i feel bad for the kids, though, cuz it's too much snow for them to go play in. although chris did build a snow cave for them on sunday. they haven't been out to play in it since then. it's really cold and windy with blowing snow and they just sink down in it. the 22 inches we got over the weekend was too deep, so i have no idea what they'd do in almost 3 feet of snow! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

the school delimma

well, i thought i had more time to figure this out, but clearly i don't. alexander is 4 and will be going to pre-school in the fall and then kindergarten the year after. but our school district is quickly going downhill and we hafta figure out what we're gonna do.

option 1: private or catholic school. this option could get really expensive really fast. the catholic school in our area is really good, but if you don't tithe enough, they add the difference to your tab every year. and even if you do tithe enough, it's still expensive. there's a great scholarship program for "children of color" here, but it doesn't start until 4th grade. but the fabulous thing about it is that they pay for everything from grade 4 on. but the competition is stiff and it's all about grades and financial need.

option 2: moving! in the long run, it would really just be cheaper to move into a better school district. but looking at the stats of the better school districts in the area they're pretty expensive and pretty un-diversified. according to one list i looked at, penn-trafford school district has one of the top 10 elementary schools in pennsylvania, but has 0.0% african american students. i don't want my kids to be "the only" (like i was a lot!), but i do want them to get a good education. i looked at another list that ranked schools by the amount of money allocated per student. some of the schools that were near the top were some of the worst in the state, so obviously that list was bunk!

but the final point is that our school district sucks. they're going to a "super-school" the year that alexander will be starting kindergarten, and i don't really want all 1200 elementary school students in one building with my 5 year-old. although people are fleeing penn hills like rats from a sinking ship, so there will probably only be a fraction of that number, but still! but moving makes me sad a little. it's be awesome to get a bigger house, cuz we're kinda outgrowing our little house, but i'd miss our neighborhood and our neighbors. most of the "better" school districts are farther out from the city and it's either new development, which is kinda sanitary with no mature trees, or kinda rural, where it would be impossible to run next door to borrow a cup of sugar. there's pros and cons to everything. we just have to figure out what's important and go from there.

be careful what you wish for! :)

my kids had been really sad cuz we didn't have any snow and they couldn't go sledding. so we were all thrilled when we went to bed last night and it was snowing. we were supposed to get an additional 8 inches of snow overnight and then another couple during the day today. i think mother nature flunked her math

i can't wait to get the kids dressed and go outside. unfortunately christopher's having a hard time making a path for us, so we'll see.

although, it may actually be too much snow to go sledding in. i don't see how we'll get the kids up the hill if the snow is up to MY knees! :) too bad we don't have any snowshoes! :)