Monday, June 27, 2005

Puppy Promotion

Well, Petey became a part of our family a month ago today. I can honestly say he has done quite well as the family "kitchen" dog. He has been an extremely good listener and only seems to have accidents when I do not get to him fast enough. We have kept him in the kitchen because, as I am sure you can guess, there is no carpet there. The entire rest of our house is carpeting and I did not particularly care for the idea of him going all over the house--especially this time of the year. I can just imagine how odiferous the house would become in this heat! LOL. Anyway, he has been so excited about his new promotion from "kitchen" dog to "household" dog that it seems we are starting all over with the housebreaking process. If you could see me, you might picture my fingers entangled in a head now only half full of hair! LOL. Ah well. It's really not that bad. In fact, he seems to be getting the idea already, I just have to be on guard at all times.

We had yet another busy weekend. Saturday was the annual garage sale days in town so Nick and I had our first official yard sale. I have to say, I dreaded it all week. To me it just seemed like a lot of work with very little payoff. My inclination was to simply give it all to charity and go camping or fishing, but we had the sale. And it was actually rather fun! Sure it was a lot of work, but not overwhelming. We got to talk to a few interesting people. I think my favorite was this couple who only garage saled for books. They appeared to be in their early twenties and were quite interesting. The guy told me that he just couldn't resist buying a good book--even if he had a copy of it already. If he didn't want to keep it, he would just pass it on for somebody else to read. Of course, he said he could never pass up a copy of The Hobbit, no matter how many copies he had. I remembered reading it as a girl and could see how it could be a favorite.

I'm not so nuts about books that I will buy several copies of the same one--although, the idea of passing them on to others is a great way to encourage others to read--but when I was younger I would never have dreamed of throwing away a book or selling one. When I was in college I vowed to myself to never get rid of my texts--they were so symbollic of that era in my life. In fact, my fantasy was to someday have a house big enough where I could have a little library of sorts. It didn't have to be huge, but I wanted it to be filled with all the books I had read. Ah, but alas, there I was on Saturday, with a big box full of college texts, and a piece of notebook paper taped to it with the word "free" written on it.

You guessed it! I caved. With our lack of space, I felt forced to get rid of what I really did not need. I mean, what would I really do with a text on Ancient Civilizations or Organic Chemistry? I didn't get rid of anything that had any sentimental value, though. I kept all of my writing texts and literature books. I could never part with them. In fact, I have to admit that a majority of the texts were my husbands'. I think he felt the same as I, but he kept the ones that meant anything to him, as well.

We got rid of a lot of junk on Saturday. What we did not sell, which was also a lot, we took to the Salvation Army that evening. Now when we move into our new house next month there will be that much less to move.

Yesterday was Nick's birthday so we spent the day celebrating that and trying to stay cool. He picked on me because I gave him two boxes of ceramic tile and two bags of grout for his birthday. Pretty insensitive, huh? I know, but I will be making a trip to the Boot Box in Meadville pretty soon to get him something a little more fun.

I have to admit that I am thankful that all the June birthdays are done for a while. With Danielle, Nick, his brother, and sister all having June birthdays, as well as father's day, it seems as though every weekend is a party. Now it is time for a little quiet.

Well, I need to go write a query letter for an article that I want to write so I had better sign off for the day. Hope I didn't bore ya too much. Later!

Friday, June 24, 2005


Thank goodness it's Friday! It has been quite the week! As I said the last time I wrote, we celebrated Danielle's birthday with the family on Sunday. She spent the night at Nick's parents' house. I wrote her a special note on her card, and we gave her gifts. More than anything I wanted her to know how important she is to me. She and I have a very special bond. After all, for the longest time it was just Danielle and me.

Somtimes, I think it would have to be very difficult to be Danielle. Not that she has it rough or anything, but she does have some tough roles to fill. She is a big sister after being an only child for eight and a half years. I would think that would be hard. I never really thought about it when I was pregnant, but the more I see what a big sister has to do, the more I realize it is true. In the beginning I know she worried about whether I would love her or not and sometimes I think she still does. After all, babies get a lot of attention. Everything is new and exciting and just about everything they do is cute--with a few exceptions, of course (I'm not too keen on temper tantrums). I can't imagine that she doesn't feel left out at times when we are all oohing and ahhing over Chloe's cuteness.

And of course, she is also a step daughter. She and Nick do not always see eye to eye because they are quite a bit alike. It's rather funny at times because Nick will get irritated at her for doing one thing, and he does not realize he does the same thing at times. So that's tough, and if that weren't enough add the fact that her real father is rarely in the picture and that makes for even more difficult stuff. I know how that feels--when your father doesn't love you. Fortunately, she does have Nick.

Well, here I am rambling again. I just meant to give a rundown of what we did this week so I will get on with it. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Sam and Alex took gulf lessons at the Riverside Gulf course, so I did a little bit of carting around there. After lessons were over on Wednesday, I took them all swimming at Betsy's house. They had a wonderful time and really liked Betsy. They were also extremely impressed with her home. They loved the way it looked, and Betsy told them she has a secret passage in her house and that maybe next time they come she would show them. They were delighted with the idea and made sure to mention that part to their dad when he picked them up. Truth be told, I was a little excited myself. Secret passages are always cool!

Yesterday, Nick and I took them to see The Polar Express at the dollar theater. Nick kept Chloe and walked around Sears and other stores, while I stayed with the children at the theater. Afterwards, we went to Teresa's to get subs and made a stop at The Frontier Park in Erie. We indulged in yummy sandwiches and sprite and then the kids ran around and played for a while. I noticed there were mimes performing in a little dome at the bottom of the hill and when I mentioned it to them, they asked if they could go watch. They sat down there until we left. They really enjoyed it.

Nick, Chloe and I sat in the shade at the top of the hill. I was surprised how much Nick enjoyed watching too. He even told me that he thought it might be neat to be a mime. There is quite a bit more creativity in Nick than he realizes. I told him this and he laughed and said, "Yeah, wouldn't it be funny if I ended up being the writer in the family?" It would be, but it's not unrealistic at all. Maybe he and I could write a book together. That would be fun. Anyway, when we were leaving Danielle said, "Wouldn't it be fun to be a mime," as she moved her arms up and around in box-like fashion, and said,"Look! This is me, doing the box!" I couldn't help but laugh.

The day was completed with pizza, presents and birthday cake. Danielle had friends over from 6-9:00 to celebrate her birthday. There were ten children running around playing duck, duck goose, the limbo and other various games. What fun they had. Of course, by 8:30 Nick and I were wondering if we would survive another half hour. In order to achieve peace and quiet toward the end, he had them lined up on the ground competing in a pushup contest. But the game that topped the cake (no pun intended, lol) was the breath holding contest! He had them see who could hold their breath the longest! One girl actually held out for one minute and five seconds! LOL! What a riot! Well, it kept them quiet for a few minutes!

Anyway, let's just say I slept really well last night. I think I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. It's good to be busy, right? We can make lots more nice memories this way and I know I won't regret that.

Well, better head off and try to get some stuff done. This will be another busy weekend, but hopefully Nick and I will be able to slip some fishing in there somewhere. Have a wonderful day--and try to keep cool on this 90 degree day!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Special Occasions

It's Sunday morning, Father's Day, and Danielle's birthday. Nick and Pete are out on a ride together, Danielle in the shower, and Chloe still sleeping. Right now, it's just the cat and I enjoying the sunshine. Ok, I take all that back except the Nick and Petey part. Danielle just brought Chloe to me.

It feels nice to be up and doing something for myself--blogging that is. Although I really should be getting ready for church. Perhaps the reason I got up so easily is because there is so much to celebrate. I can't believe I have been a mother for ten years. Danielle is an entire decade old already. I remember the moment the doctors laid her naked little vernix covered body on mine. I was awe stricken to think that God had given me this little person to love, care for, and teach. What a job! How I worried that I would not do a good job with her, that she would end up being one of those rotten brats that people glare at in grocery stores as they are having temper tantrums. Well, of course she was, but I didn't know that they all are at some point. It was my job to make sure it didn't stay that way. And it didn't. And I love her and am so proud of how she has turned out. I just hope I can keep up with the good work. Well, I pray a lot.

I remember, too after she was born how my parents did not care. It seemed so horrible to me that they could have this beautiful baby granddaughter and not be bothered to see the newest blessing. My heart was broken again when I realized that they had turned me away. As a new mother I realized I could not and would never turn my child away from me. As my love for her has grown so has this realization, making my family situation seem almost tragic.

On the lighter side, during that time of my life, when I was really just a child myself--being almost twenty and thinking when Danielle is ten I will be nearly thirty. How far away that seemed at the time. How old I thought I would be, but thankfully I'm not--a little more mature, maybe, but not old.

Oh, but life can be bittersweet. For now it is sweet because that is what I choose for it to be. Today we will celebrate Nick and Danielle, the two most important people in my life. Thank you, God.

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Few Quick Lines

It's almost lunch time. I put pizza in the oven for Sam and Alex. Danielle is at a friend's house, and Chloe still napping. However, I heard her stirring up there, so I imagine she will be getting up pretty soon.

Last night was a fun evening. Jan came to watch Chloe so Nick and I went for a quick evening run, before throwing on a change of clothes and then going to Nick's softball game. The run was outstanding--not me running mind you. I was huffing and puffing more than the little engine that could! It's amazing how quickly you can fall out of shape. We worked out hard all winter and have slacked the last month and a half. We ran out by the prison that is near our house. There is a road that is heavily wooded with pine. The birds were singing, and the smells reminded me of the wild strawberry plants of my youth. It made the run much easier without a doubt. I could easily focus my mind amidst those sights, sounds, and smells and forget about the pain. Isn't that what life is really about? Focusing on the beauty, rather than hardship.

Anyway, after the game we went shopping for Danielle's birthday. We had a nice time. I am excited to give her the gifts. They weren't anything terribly exciting, but I know she will enjoy them. She is very appreciative. I got her a couple craft kits. One had a loom to make beaded bracelets and jewelry and the other was a sewing kit. She has been begging me to teach her to sew, and I thought this would be a great way to start out. I also got her a small cross stitch kit. It has a smiley face on it and says "Just Chillin." It suits her perfectly. The fun part will be teaching her how to do all this neat stuff.

Well, I am trying to get a lot done today, so I must leave for now. I will try and write later if I have some time. Ta Ta!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

For some reason, it seems as though these last few weeks have been jam packed with busy stuff to do. I don't know exactly what has made it so hectic, but it has been. Last week was Danielle's last week of school. Now it's time for summer break. I think that means break for her, not me. I love it though. It is so nice to have her home with me. I am also babysitting two other children, Sam and Alex, for the summer. I watch them Monday through Friday and they are a delight to have in my home. They are bright and full of energy. The last few days I have spent trying to get a decent routine going. Children need routine--Sam and Alex especially. They spent their entire lives going to a daycare where structure was very important, but the daycare was just closed down because enrollment was down. They crave daily routine, so I will try and give it to them. Perhaps this will be good for me too.

Today I took them to the local library to sign them up for the summer reading program. They enjoy reading and were all excited.

Petey the puppy is also doing great! He is adorable and very smart. I think he is almost housebroken. He had one slip-up yesterday, but I was out of the room and did not realize that he had to go out. He stays inside most of the time now. That is where he prefers to be. He knows what's good for him!

My writing? Well, it is not going so very well. I have not been doing any at all. I want to, but have not made time. Nick tells me not to say "I don't have time." After all, it is about prioritizing. I could skip the laundry or the dishes, but I don't. I do them and then feel badly about myself at the end of the day because I haven't written. If I skipped the house chores I would feel badly about that--and so would Nick. So I don't write. Poor outlook, huh? I need to just jump in and do it. That's exactly what I am going to do. Tomorrow when Chloe is sleeping I am going to start making calls for my article. I need to inform people about Postpartum Anxiety. New moms need to know they aren't going crazy, that they are suffering from something real and that they will get better. I needed that encouragement when I was going through it.

Well, my little brother's friend went into the army recently and I need to go get his address so I can send him a card. He is a wonderful young man, but doesn't have much family so he needs all the encouragement he can get. Talk to you soon--hopefully!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Rambling Thoughts

What a pleasant morning it has been, other than the heat. Of course, I really don't mind the heat. I am not real keen on 90's, unless I can go swimming in my friend's pool (thank you Bets!), but I don't mind 80's too bad. When the weather is like this you can make the most of the summer. There are way more outside activities that can be done in the sun than in rain. I realize that drought is not good though, and I don't want that at all, but it can rain at night, can't it? When we are all sleeping. Unless we are camping. No rain at night when camping. That is just a drag. Ok. So maybe I am being a little too picky. Sorry, God. I guess a little drizzle at night while camping would be acceptable.

We went camping around Memorial Day last year. It was fun and it actually rained quite a bit. We had a good sized tent. We were able to fit a queen sized air mattress, two sleeping bags, and a portable crib in our tent. I specifically remember taking my journal into the tent with me, lying on the mattress, and journaling all my thoughts and feelings. The rain pelting the roof of our tent comforted me as I wrote. I love that sound. It reminds me of when the rain hits the awnings on our house in the middle of the night, when all is still. I enjoy stillness and quiet.

This morning Petey and I woke up before Chloe and were able to enjoy the stillness of the morning. We went outside so he could do his business, but we ended up staying outside for a while so I could enjoy the peace and so he could burn off some of his energy. He has lots of that in the morning. I could but always choose a leisurely morning. It's a habit, a bad one at that. How I wish I could be different in the morning. I am not at all a grumpy morning person, nor have I ever been, but I am just not productive. I always say I am going to try to get up and bake some bread, or write, but somehow I just end up lounging in bed until Chloe wakes up, or watching Good Morning America. Why I wonder? Why can't I just get up and be productive.

Last night I prayed for God to show me what He wants for my life. I do want to do something that makes a difference in people's lives, but I don't know what. Did Jesus know what He was going to do before He did it? His real work began in his 30's. Perhaps I will be a late bloomer. I will never do what He did, but perhaps I could be a bit like him. I trust He will show me.

Chloe, Petey and I just came inside. We were going to go for a walk, but it was just too much work with Petey. He was too hot anyway, and I did not want him to overheat. On the way back we stopped at Wilda's house. She was outside working. She is one of our neighbors and last night she and her husband Bill celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Nick, the children, and I were invited and were honored to share that special day with them. It was a huge bash held at their Lutheran church. We were late, and the pews were full so we stayed in the back lobby watching and listening. Several people spoke about the two of them, their involvement in the community, and of course their relationship together. Then they renewed their vows. It was lovely and amazing that two people could share so many years and memories together. What a blessing and inspiration. How I hope and pray that will be Nick and me.

Danielle's poison oak is much better this week. Her legs are still red and itchy, but her face is almost back to normal. I can't believe how long that stuff irritates, and couldn't imagine what it would be like without the medicine.

Well, I am going to go put Chloe down for her nap, and will try to blog again sometime soon. Blog to ya later!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Puppy Love and Poison Oak

Wow! What a week! It has been crazy! I really should have titled this blog "Time for Me" because this is all I have wanted to do all day or I should say all week. I just haven't had the time. Poor Danielle got into poison oak on Memorial Day. Tuesday she woke up with a red rash all over, and by yesterday, her little face was swollen up like a balloon. She could not even open her eyes! She felt so bad. I felt bad for her. So I took her to the doctor and she gave her steroids to help. And thankfully, help it did! By last night, a good deal of the swelling went down and she seemed to be feeling much better.

Other than that, I have been busy with our new puppy, Pete. We call him Petey just because it fits him. He looks like a Petey. So far he seems to be a good dog, but definitely a lot of work. It is literally like having a baby. We are up two to three times a night or more. But we seem to be getting in to a routine already. Last night he got up at 12:30, and then not again until 6:30. I thought that was pretty good.

The girls just love him, especially Chloe. She chases him around and does the best Petey impersonation that a 17-month-old can do. Or maybe it is actually the other way around. I don't know, but they do enjoy each other so much. It is fun to watch the two babies playing. Something tells me that Petey will be listening better than Chloe before too long.

Did I mention that I am writing an article on post partum anxiety? I hope to sell it to a baby magazine like Babytalk, or American Baby. I have had my hands so busy with my chilluns that I have not worked on it this week. I did however, return a phone call to set up an interview for the article. I have not heard back from her yet. Now that we are getting a rountine established I will be able to focus more on it.

Well, I had better go for now. Petey is calling and his yip is more than I can handle right now. So long.