Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Give a Little!

I know, I know, the economy is pretty shaky right now. Lots of people are feeling the pinch. And despite all of that, today, I come to you asking for money!

Why? Because it's important. I am joining in on the Blogger Challenge!
Now, it wasn't all that long ago that I talked about education specifically in the Chicago area ... and so today I set up a giving page and thoughtfully went through the many many listings on I specifically picked items from Chicago. I tried to do a little reading, math, social studies, science. Because all the subjects are important. And there are so many to pick from and they all look good!

So here's how you can help .. go to my Giving Page and add some donations to one (or more) charities there. Then blog about it so more people will go there. And tell them to blog about it. And well, you see how things can grow. If we can get 100 people to give just 5, we will have 500 dollars to give to classrooms, to improve someone's education, to make a difference. And if we can 100 people to give just 10 dollars, then we've hit 1000!! See how easy this is?! If everyone pulls together and just helps a little bit, we can do really GREAT things! That's all it takes - a lot of us coming together to give a little and we can accomplish a lot. No donation is too small.

I know this is a lot to ask. I know you might be feeling a tight budget right now. You might be worried about a job right now. You might be wondering how to make the next mortgage payment, but if you could find just a few dollars to give, it all gets pooled together and we can do great things for sure!!

Anyway, I leave you with some info on what the charity is and what it all means! And if you look over to the right, you will see a nice widget tracking what we can accomplish and do!

Thanks so much everyone! =)

BACKGROUND ON THE CHARITY grew out of a high school in the Bronx where teachers saw their students going without the materials needed to learn. Our website provides an easy way for everyday people to address this problem. Public school teachers post project requests that range from a $100 classroom library, to a $600 digital projector, to a $1,000 trip to the zoo. People like you can choose which projects to fund and then get photos and thank-you letters from the classroom.
BACKGROUND ON THE 2008 DONORSCHOOSE.ORG BLOGGER CHALLENGE In October of 2007, bloggers competed to see who could rally the most support for public schools via Blog readers gave $420,000 to classroom projects benefiting 75,000 students in low-income communities. While A-list bloggers like Engadget and TechCrunch inspired great generosity, smaller blogs with really engaged readers generated even more!
The next Blogger Challenge, running through the month of October, promises to have an even bigger impact. Technorati is sponsoring the rankings, and Fortune magazine is already committed to covering the event.

Also, I will be leaving this post up at the top of my page until October 31, which is the day the challenge ends!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


How awesome is this video? LOL!
To sum it up, we had a great birthday day yesterday =)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reflections from a mom

9 years ago at this very moment, I was in a hospital room preparing to give birth to my first child.

My husband and I were young - I was 20 and he was 23 - I was scared. I imagine he was too actually, although we never talked about it much. We knew our lives would be transformed even more than it already had for the past 9 months.

You see, our story starts as so many do - we met at college. We were young and in love! I met him when I was 18 years old. He was the older college student and so smart and so cute! I could hardly believe we were even dating. And yet, we were. We started dating in June of 1998. It was bliss and wonderful and I was in love.

And in March of 1999 we found ourselves in a place that so many do. I went to the doctor thinking I had the flu. Clueless as to what was about to hit me, I went the university health services and was told they needed to run tests. I was pretty nervous - I didn't know what "test" they were running, just that they took some blood from me and told me to come back in a few hours.

A few hours later, terrified I would be told I had cancer or some other serious illness, I was told I was pregnant. By a nurse. In a tiny little room, that I imagine was probably only really used for students like me. I won't lie - my first reaction was that I wished it was cancer instead. I shed many, many tears. I asked the nurse how I was supposed to tell my parents? Her response was "You don't have to" as she handed me a sheet on where to call to get an abortion. Then she told me I didn't have to tell anyone. That it was my body and no one needed to know what was going on. I cried even harder. I never imagined in a million years that I would be in this position. As the tears fell harder she then said to me "You need to calm down. There is a baby inside of you that needs you to take care of yourself."

I had never felt more confused in my life - one minute she was (in my mind) telling me to go and get an abortion and in the next she was talking about a baby in me? I left. Scared. Worried. Nervous. Confused. Upset.

I went back to my dorm room where I told a friend I knew I could lean on. And then I called my boyfriend. That was one of the hardest phone calls I had to make. He came out to me as soon as he could (you see, he had graduated and was working full time by that point). And as soon as he got there he held me and told me it would be okay. Then he ordered me a credit card from his account with name on it. Nope. I didn't even have a credit card and had a checking account with about 100 dollars in it. Now, I knew he was fabulous before, but that cemented how wonderful he was in my mind. For some, it does work out that way at all. But I am blessed that he was there for me and for the baby right from the start. We talked a lot. Or maybe he talked and I cried. Or maybe we didn't talk that much at all. Honestly, the night was a blur. All I can tell you is at the end of the night we decided 2 things: 1. No one needed to know and 2. I would call and make an appointment for an abortion. Spring break was coming soon and so we'd have the perfect chance. I did not go to classes for a week. And the next week I only went to a couple. I was a mess. Falling apart. And I was also nauseous and getting dizzy and walking around feeling absolute terror.

Per chance I met with a professor to get caught up in a class. She asked what was going on and I told her I was sick but I'd be better soon. She looked right at me and said "Really, what is going on?" And right there I burst into tears and told her everything. She immediately took me to campus counselors. Where I talked to an amazing young women whose name I can no longer remember, but I can picture her clearly in my head. We met quite a few times and talked about so many things. My (now) husband even came with a few times. Because of her I got the courage to call my parents and tell them. Again, I am blessed. They embraced me and told me they would help in any way possible. Eric and I though, we were firm in our decision. My parents were accepting of what was going to happen. In reality only one person said anything hurtful to us at that point.

A few days before I was to report to the clinic I knew in my heart I couldn't do that. I just couldn't. I called and canceled the appointment and then called and told him what I had done. He was so happy. He was with a friend at the time and I still remember hearing him say to his friend at that moment "I'm going to be a dad!" already his voice filled with pride!

All of that happened in less than a month and yet it feels like it took years. And I spent most of the time crying or sleeping and feeling overwhelmed. I won't lie, it was hard. It was so incredibly hard. We were so young and didn't really know what to expect. Oh, we got lots of advice from people, we took the hospital baby classes and lamaze classes. We set up the nursery.

But none of that, none of that can prepare you 100%. It just doesn't. You can't know the sheer joy and happiness holding your precious child for the first time can bring to you. You can't know how it feels to not have slept for 3 days because the baby is colicky and won't sleep and is just crying and crying and crying. It can't prepare you for the awe you feel when your baby is nursing - or the pain nursing can bring for those first few weeks. You don't know how quickly you can forget labor pains as you are staring into your little babies eyes. Or the way your heart will melt when the doctor says "It's a girl!" and you see your husband with tears in his eyes. No one can adequately describe the immense pride you feel as you watch your child grow up and develop a personality of their own and have likes and dislikes. And no one can tell you how much your heart breaks as they fight you for their independence or tell you for the first time to not hold their hand in public. You can't put into words how even when you are in the middle of fighting with them you love them even more!

Parenting is wonderful. And hard. And awesome. And painful. And full of lots of laughter. And full of lots of tears. And full of moments you will want to last forever. And full of moments you will want to never remember. But all of that, all of that is worth it in the end. Even on the days when you are ready to send out the kids to grandma's for the weekend because you just need a break! Even on the worst of days, parenting is still awesome and wonderful!

And it hard for me to look back and realize my little baby, that precious little girl who so completely rocked my world, turned it upside down, and put me on a roller coaster of emotion even before she was born is going to be 9 years old today! I am amazed at the little person she is becoming. And she is fiercely independent and so strong-willed and can be quite bossy at times! But her heart, her heart is full of gold. And is filled with goodness. And is a person I am so grateful for every moment of every day. And today. Today she is 9. We will celebrate and make her queen for a day. But for now, at 3:30 in the morning, I sit her with tears in my eyes. Amazed at where our relationship started - at university health services! - and just how far we have come today. And I am so thankful for every moment of it.

So, to my darling A, to my sweet baby, happy birthday!

And to God, thank you, thank you for blessing me with this absolutely wonderful child. Thank you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hey Everyone

Hey everyone. I'm at my oldest's diving lessons right now. Later we will head to grannie's house to celebrate her birthday. I'm feeling really emotional today. I'm sure it has much to do with the fact that I am quite short on sleep and my period will start any minute (which for me is a lethal combination on my emotional status). And yet it feels like we've been through 10 years since January.
So much has happened - both good and bad. It's been an emotionally draining year for me so far and for whatever reason it is all hitting me today. Anyway, I'll call in tonight on my way to work. It will be the last time this year and so another chapter of me year ends tonight. As much as I have been looking forward to this all month long, I admit I'm a bit sad about it as well!
Okay, enough rambling for now - her class is about to end!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do I know how to have fun on Friday night or what?

(If you are reading in bloglines/google reader/etc, I'm sorry but you'll have to open my blog to hear my post!)

Yep. You'll be jealous and wish you had spent your friday night the same way ROFL!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here ... but not here ....

Things are still pretty crazy and hectic and not enough time in the day. But I have been finding time for me to have fun and relax and do things that I enjoy. And I do enjoy blogging, but it hasn't been priority for me right now.
Anyway, October is almost over which is fantastic for us! I can't wait LOL! The good news is October has been financially kind to us which is good given how the rest of the world is looking financially right now.
Anyway, I'm here. I wanted to pop in and say hi to everyone ... also, on a knitting update, I finished both halves of my mystery stole. Then I grafted them together - perfectly, as long as you didn't notice I forgot the first damn stitch that needed to be grafted. So I painstakingly undid all my grafting work (which took FOREVER) and threw it to the side to be put together another day. Because right now I can't look at it without wanted to puke. I know, you needed to know that!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not Biting My Tongue

I was going to bite my tongue. I didn't want to blog politics, but you know what? I'm not goin g to bite my tongue. I've got something to say damn-it, and I'm going to say it. You can read it or not. You can agree or not. But I'm saying it.

Obama's chants of hope and change and talk of him being a breath of fresh air who can inspire people to change, are in my not so humble opinion, a complete farce! And I'm tired of hearing it. And, admitedly, I wasn't going to vote for him because frankly, he's given my state - the state he is supposed to be representing in the congress, the short end of the stick, after proudly declaring in 2004 he would NOT be running for national office in 2008, so I'm biased from the beginning.

First of all, he's supposed to be motivating people to change? To not be the same old? To not run the same old campaign. Well, in my experience - he is doing none of that.

The bloggers. Let's talk about the bloggers. I've had to eliminate more than a couple blogs from my blogfeed. Because on day they talk about how they are inspired by Obama and how much they like him and how they are going to vote for him - which in my book, is perfectly fine and normal! They talk about how he fills them with hope and how he is above politics as normal nad is so inspiring to the people! Now, that part doesn't bother me. Great! I'm glad you like your candidate and that you support him. Hey, even show the link of Tina Fey! I have a bit of a sense of humor! But then, then for days and days on end they post things about Palin being stupid and an idiot and how anyone could vote for McCain/Palin is amazing and their supporters must be stupid and idiots too. Because why would we want some old bafoon running the country with a dumb women sitting a "heartbeat" from the presidency. They link to songs that make fun of her, they link to shirts you can buy that says "Palin is a cunt." They rip apart McCain and Palin - but rarely on the issues. Rarely do they talk about their policies. Nope. They call Palin a bitch, the call McCain an asshole. They call their supporters white trash. What upsets me the most, is these blogs are usually about homeschooling, gardening, from mommybloggers, about cooking, about crafting - a whole variety of things that I really did enjoy reading. But then wham! In an instant all those posts disappear and I get to read how I'm stupid and dumb.

And where in those posts is the hope and the change and the inspiration that Obama supposedly causes people to feel? Where is it? If you support Obama and his change and his hope, wouldn't you want to do more with your blog than trash other people? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Now the whole tax issue. Let's start with how paying taxes is patriotic. A - Since when is it patriotic to give the government MY hard-earned money, when it is obvious they can't balance a budget, often under-fund programs and waste money on things I don't think our government should be paying for (and I don't care if earmarks is a small part of the budget. I've lowered my cable package only for a savings of $30 bucks a month to help balance my household budget. The whole - it's just a small part doesn't work with me, because most people - government included - overspend by only spending a little bit extra in every area of their budget). Anyway, paying taxes is not patriotic in my opinion. However, giving to others is patriotic. But, I'm sure Obama and Biden aren't professing that to people because they don't give much at all. Google it. I dare you. Mr. I'm all about hope and change and love only gives about gave between .4 and 6.1% of annual gross income of charitable giving from 2000-2006. You will also note, his giving goes up as we get closer to the campaign. Now, given all that his family is netting a year, you'd think he could practice spreading the wealth a little more effectively in his own home. Biden, well, his are worse - he gives .06-.31 of his income to charity. It's laughable really. And McCain, the guy who got crucified for having 8 homes, gave between 18-26% to charity! But nope. You didn't hear about that on the news. No way, all we heard was how awful it was he had 8 homes. Well, clearly he knows how to spread his wealth around, and amazingly enough - he didn't need the government to do it for him! Shocking!

Now, let's go to Joe the Plumber, because I am completely saddened by how Obama, but really mostly Biden have treated this man. Biden was having so much fun yesterday in speech - laughing about how Joe didn't have a plumber's license (not needed in his state to do what he does so why is it even an issue?). Then there are the comments that he's voted republican in the past so clearly he is biased. Great, well at least I know if I got to talk to Obama, my questions wouldn't count since I am biased too. And, when the news (from cnn) commented that McCain didn't properly vet joe I almost fell out of my chair! Are you kidding me?!?! Darn it, now I really can't ask Obama a question that might not give him the chance to give an awesome answer because McCain camp didn't vet me! He wasn't vetted because he isn't running for an office and McCain didn't ask him to ask Obama the question! And to top it off, he really doesn't count because he owes back taxes - so Biden will laugh at this single father who is at elast working adn trying. Which really ticks me off, because Obama talks about being for the little guy, for teh middle class, for the struggling single mothers - but oh, crap, not for the struggling single fathers who are behind and need help if they dare question Obama about his tax plan! Nope. You don't count. And Biden will be up there, giving a speech, laughing at you!

And it gets even better - not only will Biden laugh at you, but he'll say something like this “John [McCain] continues to cling to the notion of this guy Joe the Plumber,” Mr. Biden said on NBC’s Today show. “I don’t have any Joe the plumbers in my neighbourhood that make $250,000 a year. The Joe the plumbers in my neighbourhood, the Joe the cops in my neighbourhood, the Joe the grocery store owners in my neighbourhood, they make, like 98 per cent of the small businesses, less than $250,000 a year.” Really? Not in your neighborhood? The one where your house is currently worth over a million dollars .. and you're going to tell me no one in your neighborhood makes over 250k a year? I don't buy it. (and I'm not even going to talk about the shakey way BOTH Obama and Biden came to own the current homes they own by buying them under market value because there isn't enough time to do it!)

Furthermore, they keep laughing and saying things like "how many plumbers do you know who make 250k a year?" I only know one plumber. I don't know how much he makes. But I know quite a few people who own small business - my husband and I own one, my side of the family has them, his side has them. All I can tell you is we don't earn 250K from our business. I have no idea how much others make, but really, is that the message you want to send people? That it's so CRAZY to think a PLUMBER can make 250,000 that we laugh at the mere thought of it? Mr. I'd like to bring up the middle class and help them achieve goals and do better. If I were Obama I'd be talking about how I could help more middle class people reach 250,00 a year! About how MORE small businesses should be making that much money. Small business owners work hard. They deserve. The gap between small business income and large business income is HUGE and WIDE and won't be bridged if even Obama and Biden can't fathom a plumbing business making 250,000 a year. Will it?

But, nope the hope and change Obama/Biden are bringing is that it's laughable for plumbing business to make 250,000. The change they inspire in their supporters are you-tube videos making fun of McCain/Palin, wearing shirts saying Palin is a cunt. The rising above same old politics and dirty campainging results in even Biden saying one of their campaign ads were terrible.

Now, I'm not saying McCain/Palin are above these issues. They aren't. It just pisses me off that I keep hearing about hope and change from Obama/Biden and frankly, I don't see it. And people keep saying they are a breath of fresh air and really inspiring people. And I don't see it. I just don't see it.

But, hey, if Obama is so wise and wonderful, I guess I'll toss out my old ideas of giving 10% of my income and be inspired by him to drop it down to 3-6 percent instead. Which since I think my taxes will go up = no matter what anyone says - will be good because I'll have less money to give.
End of rant. I just had to get it out. And FTR, I don't think anyone who is actually reading this blog does any of what I ranted about, but this is my space to say what's on my mind. I will try not to complain anymore. But I had to say it at least ONCE because that's just how I am.

PS I want to add, I don't think ALL supporters are doing this at all - just wanted to make sure I pointed that out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Stepping away from the computer for about a week. Not much of surprise really, I haven't been posting much lately ... too much to do, not enough time to do it.
But at least now I won't worry about not posting and that's a good thing for me!
See you all later =)

Worn Out

I'm so worn out right now - mentally and physically.

I have always admired working moms because the little experience I have had with it just breaks me in so many ways. All summer I worked weekends and most weekends only one of the days, not both. That I can handle.

Now I'm working 2 full days during the week and 2 weekend nights. And it's just breaking my spirit in so many ways. Mostly because the days I have "off" are spent at piano lessons, the library, shopping, Awana, this activity, that activity, this place to be, that place to be.

I am a self-proclaimed home body. I LOVE to be home. I love to just hang out in my house and relax. And I'm hardly home anymore. And the times I am home I'm cramming in laundry, cleaning, cooking, baking, sweeping, scrubbing, bathing, sleeping and eating.

I can NOT wait for October to be over. I'll be done with work then. I can go back to being a homebody. Back to mostly being at home. Back to finding a few moments to breathe and relax and hopefully feeling less worn out and broken.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Listen to this!

No, really, click on it and listen =)

Really, how fun is that? So fun! (and you kind have to to turn up your volume because my phone apparently got a bad connection half way through the call and it gets hard to hear).

Anyway, let me know what you think about it and record your own message over at The Motherhood!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cooking with kids!

I'm over at Cooking with Kids today - you can read my post here.
Clearly I have been away from that blog for far too long, but go on over and read it =)

New Look!

Hey, hey! Today I got a new look =) And I really like it. I think it's perfect for me right now!
Best of all, my new look was absolutely free and would have only taken a few moments if I didn't like about 15 of the templates I saw!
I was reading Sarah's blog and saw her new look and decided I would change my blog look too!

Anyway, if you want a new blog look - head on over to Cutest Blog on the Block and see all the great things they have available! =)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One of those days ...

Today was one of those days that I had lots of grand plans to accomplish and somehow, almost none of it got done.
I thought I would clean a bit and then knit most of the day! A bit of cleaning turned into vacuuming, windows, dusting, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing baseboards, dishes, scrubbing counters, 4 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, put away and general straightening up.
It is certainly not how I wanted to spend my day, but I'm glad we got it done! I got some clutter put away that has been bugging me. And now, now I have about an hour to sit, knit, and relax before it's time to start the cycle of cooking, cleaning, feeding, washing!

Friday, October 03, 2008


The new and improved Motherhood site is live! You must go visit if you are a mom (or a dad or a grandma or a grandpa I think LOL)
Seriously, the site is amazing and I love it. Cooper and Emily and their website design team did such a fabulous job! And I have to give a shout out to Becki too, because she rocks and is awesome and her and I were able to see it all early and get in there and post and make suggestions - and we've talked more in the last week than in the last few months because of the site, which is awesome because she rocks and needs to move to Chicago so we can hang out =)

Anyway, go and check it out! Let me know what you think of it =) If you sign up, send me a message letting me know =)

The Motherhood

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More giving opportunities!

Just read over at Chicago Moms Blog that they are also participating in the blogger challenge.
Probably I would have just piggy-backed off of them had I known this before I set up my page, but I didn't!
But, because I don't think you can ever give too much, here is there giving page for you to view so that you can have more options to give!