Saturday, August 30, 2008

photo hunt 125 - beautiful

Nothing is more beautiful to this lassie then her two young lads!

Be sure to check out all the other photo hunters HERE!! If you are playing along, add you link below and leave some comment luv!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

wordless wednesday - little boys and their big toys

Be sure to check out other WW participants HERE and add your link if you are playing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

public service announcement

Don't forget! This week is voting time. Show your love for this lassie!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

the a, b, c's of me

The gloriously wonderful Mommy Time at Mommy's Martini tagged me for this fun meme. Since I am back at school this week - pain, oh the pain - I thought is was a great way to ease the pain start off my school year.

A. Attached or single? Attached to an amazing and firey Irish lad aka - hubby.

B. Best friend? With the exception of hubby of course, it would be Ann. Ann who lives way too far away. We have been friends since the fifth grade and I miss her every day.

C. Cake or pie? I make a mean 'Better Then Sex Cake'. Mmmmmm, cake.

D. Day of choice? Saturday, especially during football season!!

E. Essential item? A good pillow.

F. Favorite color? Purple.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Worms. Would it surprise you that I like to slurp them? No?? Hmmm.

H. Hometown? A small town called Poland, Ohio, it is about 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh, PA.

I. Indulgence? Icelandic chocolate and a great Merlot.

J. January or July? July - warm sunshine, BBQs and lazy summer days.

K. Kids? Two. Drake is 8 and Grady is 3.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Books, wine, crusty bread, someone to laugh with and chaos.

M. Marriage date? October 31, 1999.

N. Number of brothers & sisters? 1 younger brother.

O. Oranges or apples? Oranges

P. Phobias? Spiders, heights, walking on ice, my children drowning, people touching my neck or face.

Q. Quotes? Sir Walter Scott: "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” and Kahlil Gibran: "Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."

R. Reasons to smile? My boys, a love note left on the counter, watching older coupes still hold hands.

S. Season of choice? Autumn. I love the crisp breeze, sunny yet cool days, the smell of burning leaves and college football.

T. Tag some peeps! (see below)

U. Unknown fact about me? I was a competitive swimmer from the ages of 6-18 and use to jump horses. I wanted so badly to be a jockey but height got in my way.

V. Vegetable? Grilled corn on the cob.

W. Worst habits? Procrastination.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? I have never had an x-ray so I guess I will have to go with ultrasound. I begged hubby to buy me an ultrasound machine after I had my first one with Drake. I sobbed uncontrollably and loved watching him move around in there.

Y. Your favorite food? I am a seafood girl all the way - clams on the half shell, fresh Mahi Mahi, lobster, scallops. I also love authentic Italian, mmmmm.

Z. Zodiac sign? Scorpio All. The. Way!!!!

So here are the peeps I am tagging: Jen at Cheaper Than Therapy, Ann at Ann Again...,Kaza at Kaza's Place, Jess at Laughs and Tears, Christie at some of this and a little of that, Beth at Kraemer and Diane at The Mommy Diaries.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

begging isn't really what I wanted to do

Ok, so I got this little email saying I was nominated for the "Hot Blogger Calendar". Really?!? Are you pulling me leg? So I headed over to the sight and there I was! Wow, someone, besides my ever persistent husband thinks I am hot. Now, the term hot was not further described, but in my head I am making it 'Cougar Hawt' not temperature hot. So I grabbed a little button and didn't think much more of it. Until I heard that because of the ginormous amount of people that have now been nominated, they are looking at the number of people that nominate you, to go on to the final voting phase. Well that puts me in quite the predicament. So I am going out on a line and asking you to click the button and please nominate me. (Wow did I really just ask that?? Yikes!) The nominations are all anonymous so I will never know if you do or not, but Big Brother is watching! I don't even know what crazy amazingly generous person nominated me in the first place. If I did I would definitely go give them some crazy Internet love. The offer is out there.... step up if you may.

photo hunt 124- wrinkled

Is there anything better then the chubby wrinkles of a baby?? This is Grady at three months and he was a mass of squishiness.

Be sure to check out all the other photo hunters HERE!! If you are playing along, add you link below and leave some comment luv!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

wordless wednesday - can he puleeze sleep with me??

I could not resist the smile and answered 'yes'.

Be sure to check out other WW participants HERE and add your link if you are playing!

Monday, August 18, 2008

for better or for worse

Ahhhhh, marriage. Is there anything finer? If we are all honest then the answer is, on most days, no. Now, there are those days where you would love to toss your spouse out of a fast moving vehicle just to watch the bounce effect, but for the most part, they are there to suffer with you - through thick and thin. So, in honor of the tie that binds, Absolutely Bananas has us writing about marriage. Not the schmoopy sugary type - the truth. The bare nakedness of marriage in real life. Fasten you seat belts folks, it's about to get bumpy!

Since this is the second (and last) time around for both of us, we each came into the marriage with baggage. Mine was emotional and his... well we don't talk about his baggage on this blog. Though I will point out he was nice enough to bring a television, lawn mower and Bow Flex-like machine into the relationship. Yep. He travels light. Through the past 11 years there have been a lot of good times. There have also been some dark, dark times. I grew up in a house where my parents didn't fight or argue in front of us. Whoa momma, that was an eye opener!! I had to learn that it was Ok to 'fight' with you spouse and that every fight wouldn't lead to divorce court. By the way, I have this mastered by now, thanks for asking. He had to learn that I was a yeller by nature. Sometimes I just yell. It isn't directed at him all the time, but when I get fired up about something so does my voice. He now knows what it is like to have a sassy red head as his wife!

We, as a couple, are very similar. So much so that you wouldn't think we would mesh the way we do. Don't worry!! We have our opposites too. There is a strict 'no politics conversations' in our marriage bi-laws. Though every now and then he tries to dabble and of course, fires me up. (insert yelling here)

I can easily say that hubby is my best friend. This helps me tolerate his inability to put anything directly in the hamper and helps him deal with my inability to rinse out dishes. We both love the ocean and feel completely calm and centered with one whiff of salt water. I love his surfer/ skater bad side and he loves me for my inner Betty. We can finish each others thoughts and have often texted or IM'd the same things to each other at the same moment. We also have this weird habit of taking self portraits of ourselves while we are on vacation. They often involve alcohol so they are usually silly, off centered or out of focus. They also always make us look like we have three chins! But every time we look back at our photos they make us laugh and remember the amazing time we had.

So to my hubby, thanks for being you. I look forward to growing old with you and whacking you with my cane.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

these irish eyes are hazy

Last night this lassie headed down to the lake front to participate in Milwaukee's annual Irish Fest. It is, by far, my favorite festival of the summer. The weather last night was perfect and the grounds were crowded. We have our annual traditions once we get there and the first thing we always do is get an Irish Twist. I am almost positive there is nothing 'Irish' about this sweet, sugary, doughnut like morsel, but it tastes like heaven and leaves you licking every inch of your sugary buttered fingers. Sorry team TwitFit, I fell off the wagon again last night. (but it was worth EVERY calorie)

Now, there are three types of people that go to Irish Fest. First you have you non-irish attenders. They come dressed in regular garb, drink beer, listen to the bands and enjoy the festivities. Some may enjoy all this festival has too offer a little too much, but in the end, they leave having had a good time.

Then there are the Irish lads and lassies. They come to enter their babes in the 'most freckles contest', watch their lassies dance an mean Irish step and share a pint with a friend or two. They are most often wearing some sort of Irish attire, but nothing too gaudy or flashy. By the end of the night they may be dancing the jig on the picnic tables in front of the Harley Stage, but I would not know anything about this, I swear!

Finally, there are the yahoos that may or may not be Irish, I tend to lean to the not. They are verbose, drunk and obnoxious from the moment their first beer graces their lips. They are decked out in loud green attire, Mardi Gra beads, neon green wigs and flashing beer mug hats. They. Make. Me. Cringe. While I was in Ireland I never saw a flashing beer mug hat or a full grown adult leprechaun in a neon green wig. This is probably why I yearn to go back there so!

All in all, we had a great time and listened to some great bands. Did you know that you can dance like a rooster to an Irish jig? Yeah, me neither. But the man dressed like a leprechaun thought it was the way to go before he leap frogged over a stool and fell to his demise. He falls into the third category for sure.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

photohunt 123 - colorful

Be sure to check out all the other photo hunters HERE!! If you are playing along, add you link below and leave some comment luv!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

box top bonanza!!

As the last few weeks of summer quickly dwindle away, I am reminded to start organizing my mass accumulation of Box Tops. Typically I use the very high tech filing system of tossing them into the spice cupboard. Don't worry, I get even more high tech when I organize - I stuff them into a ziplock baggie!! Oh yes, I am high tech all the way. Thankfully Drake is the only one who takes Box Tops to school. I have heard funny horror stories from friends abut their kids fighting over them because the class with the most doesn't have to run the mile for the whole semester. Why didn't I go to that school?? Guess I have a few more years of peace before that fight breaks out!

In all truth, I love the idea of Box Tops. School are often short funded and the first classes to feel the pinch are the non-academic based classes like music, art and gym. I also like the fact that Drake's school gives a complete list to parents of what they used their Box Top money for. Last year the school got a ginormous amount of new gym equipment. Drake was stoked! He would go on and on about all the new games they got to play in gym and that he wished he had gym everyday. (of course you do sweetheart)

But what many parents don't know is that there is an online marketplace that can earn their school even more Box Top money! All the stores that you regularly shop are on there - Kohls, Barnes & Noble, Lands End, Target (oh yes, Target!!), Shutterfly and even Home Depot. I am guilty too. I often forget about this fabulous online resource. It also has an activity link, a recipe site and a family matters section to help your child succeed at home. So when I was looking to order the new book that everyone is talking about I remembered that I could buy it online through the marketplace. Let me tell you, it was glorious!! Going to the book store with two small boys is stressful to say the least. The three year old goes running one way, the eight year old in another and I am still trying to find the "please God don't let me kill my children" section. So after all the minions were tucked away in their beds, I went shopping online. To top it off, I got free shipping and didn't have to deal with traffic and car seats. Score!

By the way, I did finally found the "please God don't let me kill my children" section online and ordered this book. Hope it works! Oh, and I also had to buy this because, well, the title makes me laugh every time!!

What are you going to buy at the marketplace?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

wordless wednesday - the great-grandpas would be proud

Be sure to check out other WW participants HERE and add your link if you are playing!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

little ole moi!?

Kick Ass Blogger Award

My first award. I am so giddy!! The wonderful Kaza nominated me for the Kick Ass Blogger Award **blushing** over at her glorious abode. She and I are lost kindred souls and I always find myself nodding my head profusely when I read her posts. It is causing me a lot of neck and wine spillage but in the end, it is all worth it. Someday we will clink glasses and toast our kick ass selves! I am holding her to it!! But in all honesty, I am so honored and deeply touched that she thought of me.... sigh.

So now, according to 'the rules', I have to pass this pleasure to five other bloggers extraordinaire. Only five.... are you sure? Damn. Well, here is who I scrounged up honored:

1) Izzy - Izzy is as true and genuine as they come. Really, who doesn't love a fellow lunch box sniffer?!

2) Lisa the Midwestern Mommy - Her blog is a breathe of fresh air and she is super sweet. I can't wait to meet her at BlogHer next year!

3) Sunshine at and the pursuit of happiness - she can host some mean parties and has an inner wild child men dream of concurring!

4) Diane at The Mommy Diaries - Diane is open and honest and training to ride like a bazillion miles on her bike! Rock on sista!

5) Katie at Mother Bumper - Katie makes me laugh like nobodies business with her wicked sense of humor.

Now go and check out the divine divas I honored, leave them some comment love and enjoy all they have to offer! Want to check out some other kick ass bloggers and tag your own favorites? Hop, skip or jump on over to MammaDawg's award page. (And go visit MammaDawg's blog while you're at it!) Share the love people!

Monday, August 11, 2008

cooking katastrophe

Kitchen catastrophes thankfully aren't a common occurrence in our abode. I can say with much confidence that it is because I do not do much of the cooking. Hubby does most of the cooking while I handle the baking. Often times, when I do attempt to cook, it does not end up the way it is supposed to be. Now, don't get me wrong, I do have a handful of staple dinners that I can make that would make your mouth water, but when it comes to cooking any type of meat I am screwed challenged.

My most embarrassing cooking catastrophe was when I tried to make a layered jello dessert for a "Back to School" picnic for all the employees at the school I work for. I was just hired so it was my first picnic and I wanted to make something everyone would enjoy. I pulled out my handy dandy Betty Crocker cookbook and looked for the perfect summer side dish. Ooooo, Jello! Who doesn't love Jello, pretzels and whip cream? I studies the directions, doubled checked to make sure I had all the ingredients and began my masterpiece. I thought everything was going well. The directions seemed easy enough, you just needed to wait between steps. I put the final jello layer on top and placed the dish in the fridge to set. I even left extra time so it could set over night. As I periodically checked on it I noticed it was not setting, in fact it was beginning to seep down into the other layers! I went to bed and sent a prayer to the cooking gods to please, pluuleeze let my Jello set. When I awoke the next morning I saw that the cooking gods truly hated me. There was a layer of ooze on top of the dish and the jello that had soaked through the other layers had gelatinized at the bottom. Crap!! But instead of trashing it (like any normal person would do) and just pick up a store bought side, I threw another layer of whip cream on top and took it to the picnic. Let's just say once the cool temps of the fridge were gone it turned into a dish of goo. Thankfully no one saw me put the dish on the table so I didn't have to lay claim to it during the picnic!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

photo hunt 122 - dark

Grady shows off his dark side. In the wrods of Yoda, "Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. mmm hmmm"

Be sure to check out all the other photo hunters HERE!! If you are playing along, add you link below and leave some comment luv!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

holy testicles batman!


The following post may contain information deemed TMI by many. Proceed with caution.

As I have stated many times before, my house is a revolving door of chaos. It is one of the few things that everyone pitches in and participates. On Sunday, hubby, who must have been feeling left out of the circle of chaos, decided it would be fun to visit the ER and give me a full blown panic attack. It started out as a typical summer Sunday - morning coffee, read the paper, boys fighting playing, laundry swishing. I decided to take Drake to the skate park to practice his ollies while hubby stayed back with Grady and his motorized Harley. When we return I notice hubby walking a bit strange. "Hitting the juice already honey?" He then rudely informed me that he was in pain and was trying to 'walk it off'. Yeah your walking something off buddy I'm sure!

So off I went to make lunch and get all the stuff ready to take to the pool. While eating, hubby said he felt better and was going to try and fix the lawnmower while I took the boys to the pool. (how I always get stuck taking them to the pool by myself is yet another mystery) I come home two hours later and I am in the process of putting Grady down for his nap when I hear moaning from our bedroom. I walk in to find hubby sprawled on the bed, pale and with the look of death on his face. "Uhhhh, are you Ok? You look a little pale..... WHERE are your pants?!?" "I can't walk. I think my brother is trying to steal my balls since he doesn't have any. Really Kat, it feels like someone is trying to rip my nut off." "Ummmm, Ok.... let me consult Dr. Google. I think you should go to the doctor." "And say WHAT... my ball hurts!!?" Obviously his condition was not effecting his testosterone. Geez!"

As I began my consultation with Dr. Google things did not look good. "Good news honey... it's not cancer! Says here that cancer is painless. Do you have any lumps? It says I should check for lumps." "Dude, you touch my sack and I am going to hurt you." (again, testosterone in full check) "Well it says if you have sudden and severe tecticular pain that you should rush to the doctor. You only have a 5-6 hour window before things can get real ugly." "What is real ugly?" "Well Dr. Google is using the word fatal but he may be exaggerating a wee bit. I still think we should go to the Urgent Care.

After much convincing hubby and I finally head to the local Urgent Care. "Here you write down my symptoms. I don't know what to write." "How about pain and swelling in right testicle???" Duhhh. "I can't write that!!" Sigh.... "Fine!! Give me the paper!" I scrawl out his symptoms and hand it back to the nurse. "What did you write??" "Um that I tried to emasculate you with tweezers and now you are complaining about the pain. Grrrrrr Kidding!! I wrote down your symptoms and that's it." In all honesty I don't see why we bothered with Urgent Care since we were only there for a whopping 5 minutes. The doctor had hubby drop his drawers and tried to cop a feel, which sent hubby straight to the ceiling. "Oh this is no good! You need to go to the ER." Really you think? That is why we are here!! That is all you can tell us? He then proceed to tell me everything Dr. Google had told me at home - for free!! "You need to have your testicle further examined sir before things get very bad." (Very bad = bye bye testicle)

After many hours and tests (and a shit load of money) at the hospital, hubby was found to have a severe contusion on his testicle. We still have no idea how or when but were told it was a good thing we got there when we did. These things are often ignored and turn ugly. I, personally have always found testicle to be quite homely, even ugly, so I am not sure how they could have gotten uglier.... but I digress. Thankfully hubby is home safe and sound but a little worn for wear. He has been instructed to rest, ice and medicate to help everything heal. I, on the other hand, am just hoping for a little peace and quiet before our next chaotic turn of events! This lassie has seen enough excitement for quite a while!

Monday, August 04, 2008

10 things i’ve learned from my child

Absolutely bananas Has decided to do a Monday writing prompt. Brilliant! Especially since I have been feeling so mentally and physically fried the past few weeks. Today's prompt is to write about ten things you have learned from you children. Only ten?!? This may be tougher then I thought.

1. The seat will always be up, the toilet will never be flushed and there will always be socks or a random pair of underwear on the floor. I haven't been able to change their Dad, I won't be able to change them. I will rack it up to a genetic mutation.

2. Genetic mutation #2 - my boys were born with dirt magnets under their finger nails. Two seconds out of the shower and they look like they have been farming all day.

3. It is more fun to play with Tonka trucks in the sand then maintain a clean and pristine house.

4. Laundry left in the basket will procreate and multiply to epic proportions. Maybe it is better on the floor after all?

5. My heart has room to completely and equally love three different boys for a million different reasons.

6. I can turn into one mean and wicked Momma Tiger when one of my cubs is in trouble.

7. I will eventually go broke trying to feed my endless pits of children. Yes, our pantry will always be empty 2 hours after I go to the store... sigh.

8. I will break my "I don't cry" rule at every parent/ teacher conference, school concert and Science Fair. As they get older I am sure this will also include school dances, sporting events and any other random heart wrenching thing.

9. The traits that I like about me do NOT bode well in a person under 4 feet tall. Especially when they are standing in front of me, hands on their hips and giving me my look right back at me.

10. I would not trade my chaotic, sleep deprived, messy life for anything else in the world!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

photo hunt 121 - clouds

There is nothing like waking up at dawn above the clouds. These pictures were taken during my backpacking trip through the Sayanne Mountains in Siberia. It was a beautiful sight to behold and a much needed pick me up. I was feeling a little negative towards Mother Nature as I had suffered through endured a snow storm at the top of the mountain the day before. I think this view all but made up for the day before!

Be sure to check out all the other photo hunters HERE!! If you are playing along, add you link below and leave some comment luv!!