Monday, June 28, 2010

Adios, Mexico

It was over in the blink of an eye.

I am SO glad to have finally gotten a break from life as a stay-at-home mom. Arriving around 4pm on Day 1 and leaving for the airport at 8:15a on day 4, only leaves 48 to decompress, ramp up for some beverages, relax, shop for mexican wrestling masks, eat, drink, eat, drink, swim, eat, drink, drink, ride a bull, drink, and, well, drink. After losing yourself in infertility, pregnancy, infancy, formula, diapers, toddlerhood, and potty training for 5 years I was on the fast track to making every second count though!

I had the best sister-in-crime in Jan. We've never been together longer than an afternoon/evening and never really been just the two for us for any length of time. That did not matter. I haven't talked, listened, and laughed so much as I did in those 4 days. I think we traveled well together and just went with the flow (well, except for when we got stuck in the elevator on the morning of our last day. I went into panic mode and pushed every button 16 times, picked up the non-working phone 3 times, and held the alarm for what seemed like an hour before I pried open the doors and saw that we were only about 6 inches down from where we started!)

We took drunken cab rides into town (twice) to buy Mexican wrestling masks for our hubbies, we hung out in the water despite the red flags being up, we swayed in hammocks, we made friends with a bartender named Elder- but by the 2nd drink he was "Papi" to us, we rode a mechanical bull, we were told we were "the best wives" by several guys who wanted the wrestling masks, and we drank an awful lot of pina colada with bacardi anejo floaters.

We decided the only way the trip would have been better is that Bill, John, Reagan and Nolan were there (on the other side of resort hanging at the kiddie pool, but that way we could still see them :)

The stories are better in person, but the pictures do a pretty good job.

I find Mexico very beautiful. I hope you do too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Contest Winners

Sorry, I didn't close the contest on the 20th, but things got crazy around here with my Grandpa's funeral.

The winners are Dave W and Coleen R.

Please let me know the best way for me to get your prize to you and I'll work it out when I return from vacation.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reservation at the Heavenly Inn

We laid my Grandpa to rest on Monday. It was a very nice send off and I think he would have been happy with it.

My Mom & Uncle Bob gave eulogies and I've been thinking about my Uncle Bob's every since.

My Grandpa loved to eat. He would sneak away from my Grandma at family outings and shove as much food in as he could. She would realize he was gone and would yell, "Harry, where are you and what are you eating?!" He'd always come around the corner, mouth half-full mumbling "Nothing" and have three or four cookies sticking out of his pocket. It was very hard to see him waste away to nothing since he developed esophagus pouches several years ago and could not swallow, but I digress.

In Uncle Bob's eulogy, he said he'd like to imagine that the first thing Grandpa did when he got to heaven was to make a reservation at the finest restaurant, the Heavenly Inn, for 27 people; himself and everyone in his family that has gone before him. He named names and recounted a little fact about each person and why they were important enough to be at that table.

What a mental image that is. All those people gathering around one table again. Happy to see one another and talking about what has happened on earth since they left! The food is plentiful, the drink flowing, and the laughs continuous.

It has me thinking about who would be at my table when it is my turn to make that reservation, but that is another post for another day.

Who will be at your table?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Missing My Dad

Happy Father's Day to my baby-daddy! The twinadoes are lucky to have you.

Father's Day has been tough for me for the past decade and this one will be even worse as we will be putting my Grandpa to rest this weekend.

I was thinking back to my last Father's Day with my Dad and wanted to share something I wrote 10 years ago to give to my Dad on his last Father's Day with us. We all knew the end was coming and, even though I told him everyday how much I loved him I still wanted to say it all to him.

I can't believe it has been almost a decade that he is gone. I am sad for all the things he has missed; my wedding, my babies, and for my kids not having that awesome man in their lives.

I was so lucky to be "Daddy's Little Girl" though.

From the day a little girl is born, she is Daddy’s Little Girl.
It isn’t until later that she realizes why.

Dad, you’ve taught me some of life’s most important lessons,
and some of the more fun lessons of life. I couldn’t
have picked a better teacher myself.

I’ve learned that sometimes you do things you don’t want to-
No matter how cute I looked standing at the bus stop
in my little raincoat, you had to make me go to school,
even though I really didn’t want to, but I think it hurt
you more than it did me.

I’ve learned the power of just being happy for others-
Sometimes, even if you know it’s a mistake, you are
happy for someone because they are happy,
and when they realize they were wrong, you
are there to be a shoulder to lean on.

I’ve learned the importance of putting others needs before yours-
You didn’t really want to put up a pool every
summer, go to Disney World (except for Small
World and Pirates of the Caribbean), or sit in
a frozen tundra so your daughter could go to
a concert, but you did.

I’ve learned that fun things can hurt you if you aren’t careful-
Always wear long pants and a helmet on a motorcycle!

I’ve learned the importance of putting up with little annoyances-
The clicker on my Green Machine drove you crazy,
MTV was your worst nightmare, no more Duran Duran,
or me roller skating to the Bee Gee’s all summer.

I’ve learned the power of a relaxing afternoon in the backyard-
Sometimes the only place to ponder life’s wonders
is in the backyard with a cold beer and a cigar.

I’ve learned that beer still tastes bad & always will-
Ever since the first sip I took in the driveway
at age 10 or 11(that I quickly spit out), no matter
what you say, beer is evil!

I’ve learned that being a daddy’s girl makes me a more interesting woman-
Fishing, shooting guns, Friday night wrestling/tickling
sessions, playing pool, and Saturday lunches at
Beanies have made me a well rounded person.

I’ve learned that knowing another language makes you more charming-
Even if the only thing you can say is “le livre est sur
le tableau” or sing the refrain from Michele, Ma Belle.

I’ve learned the strength of the word Pride-
One memory I will have with me always is you
telling me how proud you were of me on my
College graduation day. Whenever I doubt myself
I think of that and I know I can endure.

The most important thing I’ve learned is endurance-
In the face of a challenge you’ve
taught me that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted this week.

My Grandpa passed away on Monday and the week seems to have gotten away from me.

Bill and I have been debating how to handle the wake/funeral with the kids. We read a bunch of sites and I talked to the kids the other morning about it since they asked me why Grammy was sad. We talked about how Papa is not breathing anymore and his heart is not beating and that he is up in heaven and we can't see him anymore. Nolan asked if Papa was holding Chandler, our cat who left us in December.

I've been very careful to not tell them his is sleeping or resting. I don't need them to worry about going to bed at night. Reagan is already showing a fear of the dark and needed to go to bed with a flashlight the other night.

I asked them if they wanted to see Papa one last time and say a final goodbye. They both said yes, so we will see how that goes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Canning Party

Yes, I know, how very Amish sounding, right?

As you may or may not know, over the last several years I have turned into my Granny Pike. I raise some our veggies in the summer and try to can or freeze as much of it as I can to get use through the l-o-n-g winter. If only I could duplicate her homemade pizza, I'd be all set. Oh, and crochet like she did, too. If you didn't know her, she was an amazing woman who raised 3 sons (and most of the other kids in the neighborhood) on a coal miners salary (at least what Pappy didn't spend at the "company store" on Friday nights.)

Anyway, back to canning. Being the savvy shopper that I am, I got hooked up to host a canning party by Ball®. They sent me an awesome "party pack" that included all new untensils, a stainless steel water bath canner, coupons for free jars, and goodies to give away to my guests.

They suggested we make zesty salsa and pepper jelly, so that is what we set out to do.

We chopped.

We diced.

We simmered.

We ladled.
We put the lids on.

We canned!

We ate & drank a little, too.
It was a really fun time and, I hear, the pepper jelly is awesome over some cream cheese and crackers. I'm holding out to taste it. 

If you are intersted in canning and would like to get together to try more recipes, I'd be happy to try it along with you using my new stuff. Just let me know.

I also have, drumroll please, my first ever blog giveaway! Please leave a comment here and I will randomly selected two winners of a Ball® party pack. Contest ends 6/20/2010.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Waldameer- It's My Magic Kingdom

I've lived in NE Ohio for 30-something years. It was only last year that I first heard about Waldameer in Erie, Pa, a short 90 minute drive away.

It has a little feel of Cedar Point, a lot of Geauga Lake, and (according to my mom) some Euclid Beach thrown in as well. It is much smaller than any of those, but it is awesome and not overwhelming for the 3 year old crowd.

The twinadoes walked the whole park, several times. There were plenty of shaded spots to rest. You can bring your own food and drinks and there are loads of picnic spots. We ordered the main part of the meal there and I supplied the snacks, sides, and beverages. It was $20 for 2 burgers, 9 nuggets, a bucket of fries, and a slice of pizza. Not bad.

I have to say, the twinadoes do a lot of fun stuff, but this was one of the best days ever. There was no whining, everyone got along and we all so much fun. A magical kingdom for us!

Next time we go, we will check out the water park. It was a cool 70 degree day, which was perfect for the rides, but not the water.

If you have kids under 11-12 and are in the area, GO! Like me, you'll be planning your return trip!

Full photos here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Life has been crazy and I feel like the only time I have to write is at 11p, when I am dead tired and wouldn't do a post justice. It is just the way life is at the moment. The kids have begun to resist the afternoon so I don't even have that much of a break anymore.

The weekend was packed, as usual. Friday we headed to St. Clare's festival to see our friends band, Abby Normal and the Detroit Lean. Check them out, they are a lot of fun and are playing a couple of all-age shows this summer, so the twinadoes will be getting their dance on. Nolan was having a blast, dancin' his little heart out. Reagan was, oddly, quiet. She hung by me or her Daddy most of the night. She did enjoy some lemon ice. Guess we all have our off days.

I hosted a canning party compliments of Ball Canning this past weekend. It was a lot of fun and has motivated me to can more this year. I usually only do pickles, but I think I'm going to start doing some jelly. At the rate Reagan goes through toast, it would be a wise idea. Plus, I will control what goes in it.

We are heading to Waldameer in Erie, PA this week. Should be a fun day trip. I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Last Paci Standing

As I've written before, our boy likes loves his paci.

We went through a ton of the green soothies that he got in the hospital. In desperation when he was about 4 weeks old, I placed an overnight order for more, because we were down to the last one! I didn't realize you can find those in most stores and was in a panic. I chalk it up to being sleep-deprived, still recovering from the c-section, and packing up a house so we could move.

Anyway, since he tossed his car paci months ago, he has had two blue soothies in his bed. A few weeks ago, one got a hole and he hopped out of bed and tossed it in the trash.

This morning as I was clearing some of the toys that magically end up in his bed, I looked at his lone paci and it, too, had a hole. I told him about it and he said, "it's the last one, but I have to throw it away." Off he went.

I was worried all morning about what nap time was going to be like, it is literally the first time in 37 months he hasn't had that thing stuck in his yop to soothe him to sleep.

I should have known better, my easy-going boy is up there singing himself to sleep. Not a cry about the paci.

If only potty training were going this well :(