Monday, June 30, 2008

Updated blogroll and blog lurking

So I am a self admitted blog-a-holic. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?) I look forward to Madeline's nap time so that I can hop on the grand old inter-web and see what is going on in Blogland. Some of the people listed in my blog roll I actually know in the real world and are part of my real life. (Like my brother, aunts, friends, college buddies, etc.) Then there are those I have "met" through the blogosphere. (Like A mom and her camera, Candle at both ends, Dooce, etc.) I have never met these people but I like them, a lot.

I think maybe I like them because I have never met them. All they have to do is post on their blog and I am instantly satisfied with our relationship. There is no disapointment or unfulfilled expectations. These virtual relationships are so much simpler than actually having to interact with them in the real world with the complications of schedule, personality, opinion, proximity and so on.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends and would never trade those interpersonal realtionships for the virtual world. I love shareing a meal with my friends, or chating on the phone with my mother but at a time when I needed a different type of friendship, a friendship without physical boundries like space and time, these blogs have been the perfect friends for me. When Madeline was little and I didn't want to take her out into the cold winter air, or I couldn't justify the work of loading her and all her crud into the vehicle just to go to Target where I couldn't really buy anything anyway, these blogs were my friends. They filled a void that my working family and friends couldn't fill up.

I have added some of the blogs I read to the blogroll to the right. But here is my call: Any of you blog lurking out there? If you read my blog but have never commented I would love to hear from you. It took me a long time to build up the courage to comment on some of the blogs I read and to be honest there are some that I still haven't commented on! But I would love to hear from you. Just comment! I would love to get to know you through the wonderful world of bloging. I truly would!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

2nd cousins, twice removed

My cousins, Mia and Mazlin, were hanging out at my parents yesterday so Madeline and I went over to my mom and dad's to visit and play. My mom sent me the photos she took.

Mia, being the natural leader.

Do you even know how hard it is to get three girls , 3 and under, to look at the camera at the same time?

Let's just say we tried for 10 minutes. This is the best we got.

Madeline isn't sure what to think of the lovely sisters. She hung back and watched the big girls a lot.

On another note, my mom sent me this photo too. She titled it, The Donald.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving in June!

Kevin and my dad were discussing Christmas in July. (A holiday my husband celebrates so that he can listen to Christmas music in July way before the Maureen imposed ban which lifts on my birthday.) They decided that we needed to celebrate Thanksgiving in June so on Wednesday (because there was too much going on on Thursday) my family got together and had Thanksgiving dinner.

Madeline helped me make turkey napkin rings for the table.

My lovely family, stuffed with grilled turkey breast (oh so yummy!), grilled potatoes, stuffing, green bean caserole, buiscuts and gravy!

My family is so weird. I love every moment of it!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

My First...

...trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens!

We packed up the car and headed to MoBot on Kevin's morning off yesterday. (FYI: The Garden is free before 12pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.)

A Lotus from the Japanese Garden, my favorite part of the park and now my favorite flower! Isn't it an amazing looking plant!

Kevin and Madeline strolling through the Japanese Garden.

Madeline loved the Koi fish. She really just wanted to pet them.

If you think the photo makes them look weird, you should have heard the sucking sounds they made when some kids were feeding them! EWWW!

The Garden currently has an exibit called NIKI. They are mosaic sculptures and are really very cool. Some of them you can climb in and on. Kevin hoisted Madeline up on top of this Seal.

Peeking through the seal.

She giggled so hard when we played peek-a-boo through the sculptures!

We didn't make it to the Children's area. Once we got through the park it was starting to get really warm and we were hungry for lunch. So we headed home instead. It was a great morning!

I love these photos. They are a record of what an amazing daddy Kevin is. He is so devoted to his little girl and she to him. What an amazing family I have. I really am very lucky.



Madeline has started "clucking" in the past few weeks. This morning she woke up clucking and hasn't stopped. It is really hard to do with waffle in your mouth!

Enjoy this video of our little bushman!

(Sorry it is so dark. Again, it is taken with the pos Kodak point and shoot and it isn't very good.)


No clever title for this one

I hate coming up with new post titles all the time. It can be stressful.

Sunday we had dinner at my parents. We always spend a lot of time on their deck in the summer. It is a great place to just hang out. Today Madeline got her own chair on the deck so she could hang with us.

June 22
See Madeline in her little chair on the right!
Here is a better photo of Madeline in her chair. She liked it, but got bored pretty quickly.

So Granny put her to work sweeping the deck. Just call her Cinder-Maddy.

I have a ton of photos from yesterday's trip to MoBot and a holiday surprise! I'll post those later today! I am off to start my day!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rumdrum Ramblers

My cousin Ryan is a member of a local band called the Rumdrum Ramblers. Because I am not nearly as hip as they are I am at a loss as to how you would describe their music so I will borrow from their MySpace site and say that they sound like "PreWar-rag-MaxwellStreet style-HeyLordyMamaMamaGetUp&Go stompin'-ass blues". Any way you cut it, they are really good. Saturday night they played at a benefit event for Ryan's aunt who has been dealing with some pretty serious medical issues in the past few months. A bunch of my family members went to hear Ryan and help a good cause. Check out their MySpace page here.

I love this photo. Madeline was dancing so she is all out of focus!

My Cousin, Ryan

The Rumdrum Ramblers
Joey, Ryan and Matt

Monday, June 23, 2008

M & M

There are very few photos of Madeline and me. Not that I don't like having my picture taken, but during the day, when most of the photos are taken, we are home alone and so I am the one behind the camera. Naturally.

This past Friday I caught this photo just as Kevin was about to pull in the driveway after work. We wait for him on the porch most days.

Don't we make a cute pair?


Starting out on the (lacerated) foot

This morning didn't start out too well. I got Madeline up and she had what we like to call an explosion in her dipe. Then when feeding her breakfast I dropped her plate (one of our everyday dinerware salad plates) and it shattered on the floor. I don't just mean it broke into some manageable peices that could be cleaned up with some disgruttlement and ease, but shattered into what looked like 50 million little pieces scattered into the far corners of the kitchen AND down the basement steps.

Luckily Madeline was in her highchair at the time and I could keep her baby feet out of the fray. My tootsies on the other hand were not that lucky. My cut is so small that a bandaid even seems rediculous, but how much of a bummer is this to start my day! I am working on be more glass half full, so I am reframing this even as, "well now that we got that trouble out of the way it makes the rest of the day seem that much better."

How did I do?

Photos from this weekend later today!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Confessions of a Blog-a-holic

I will be the first to admit that my interest in blogs has quickly turned into an obsession. The blog list on the side bar is only a small fraction of the blogs I read every day thanks to Google Reader. (I love Google Reader!) I love how blogs give me a window into the lives of others that I have never met. Some people I have a ton of common interests and others I have nothing in common with but even that is interesting to me. I really should update my side bar, but that is a project for some other day.

Through reading other people's blogs I have found an real appreciation for my life. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who I love more now than I did even a year ago. (How can I not love a man who helped me create such a perfect little girl?) Which leads me to how lucky we both are to have such a happy and HEALTHY little daughter. I have been reading the blogs of two families that are going through some really unimaginable medical struggles with their children. I read about the surgeries, and doctors visits and I just thank our stars for all that we have.

Some days I don't feel so greatful. I focus more what we don't have. I guess you can say that I am more 'glass half empty' but every once in a while I do realize that we have been blessed with a lot in a short period of time. As we continue through this finacially difficult period of time (with me not working and the price of living climbing ever higher every day) I am reminded that it could be so much worse. We are clothed and fed and we are healthy. I pray for the families who are dealing with serious hardships right now and hope that I can learn to take each day and appreciate my life and my family.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Toddler Lesson #2

Ear plugs might be a good investment during the toddler stage.

We have a couple of different babies in our house. Sometimes we get the sweet cuddly quite baby. Sometimes we get the laughing rambunctious silly baby. Sometimes we get the sleepy and sweet baby. This is the baby I have this morning.

Madeline is saying "ahla, ahla," because that is what she calls our cat Olive. At least I know she is progressing with language development right?

Off to start my day with three Ibuprofen and a cold compress.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Beautiful Girl

I have been trying to get photos of Madeline as her "one year" photos for over a month. Totally randomly I broke out the camera on Father's Day. And these totally awesome photos were born!

I need to keep this holiday in mind next year. Madeline is obviously very photogenic on this holiday! Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Three years ago today,

I married my best friend.

Happy Anniversary Kevin!



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An explanation of yesterdays malaise

How do people do it? How do you stay home with your children and survive on one income? I want to stay at home with Madeline but it is getting harder and harder. I don't want her being cared for by a substitute me at a day care center that smells of hand sanitizer and spit up.

We don't have expensive stuff. The only clothes I have bought for myself in the last year are all from Target and were on sale or clearance. Madeline's wardrobe is almost entirely hand me downs at this point. (Thanks to her very stylish and generous cousins Mia and Maz.) Our only luxuries are cable TV and our cell phones. Kevin and I have been out to dinner once in the last 5 months and we went to Jimmy Johns. I mean really, that isn't much of an extravagance.

It breaks my heart to think about going back to work full time. But I don't feel like I am left with many choices. I have sent out a few resumes and had one interview and to be honest I am sort of glad I haven't heard back from most of them. I'm torn of course. On the one hand I want to know I am good enough to be hired by these employers. On the other hand I don't want to face the reality of going back to a 5+ day a week job.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I have been working for the local PBS station doing some part time work. Unfortunately this work is only during their quarterly pledge drives so after this weekend I will be unemployed again. (That is until September if I choose to do it again.) Ideally I would find more part time work. Either a couple of days a week or nights and weekends, but I haven't had much luck locating this in my field. (If you are a hiring manager who just stumbled upon my blog I have a masters in Communication and have experience in special events planning, children's program development and marketing. Hire me.)

If you are a stay at home mom out there please tell me how you do it! Kevin and I both want to have more children but how do you make ends meet? I know we can't continue on this financial path forever. What about our next home? Pre-School? Sports fees? A must have Christmas gift? First bikes? Prom dresses? College tuition? Not to mention our retirement?!?!?! I wish I could figure all this out so that I could have what I wanted, a happy and financially stable family. It's not that I don't want to work, it is that I don't want my children to be primarily cared for by someone else.

I guess you could say I am a little stressed out. HELP!


Monday, June 16, 2008

General malaise

I haven't had the best day today. Nothing really awful to report, just general discontent and a borderline migraine. This is making me feel better. That, chocolate cake, my thoughtful husband, cleaning and ibuprofen.

It's days like this that I wish I had a Mojito like Fern.


Our little swimmer

Madeline is a wonderful little swimmer! Last week we started parent/child swimming lessons and Madeline loves it. On Wednesday Kev came along to take photos of our class. I think this week he will get into the water with us! She is loving the water and even let me get her face wet during our bath last night. We are making progress.

June 11

June 11

June 11

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Daddy's Day

To my Daddy on his second Father's Day:

I know I am only a year old, but I know that I have the best daddy in the world. I love it when you play with me. You make the best animal noises and I love it when you help me name my stuffies. (Bepo really IS the perfect name for my hippopotamus.) I love it when you make me breakfast and you really have an eye for picking out just the right outfit for any occasion! (Who knew!) I love spending time with you. Your arms are the perfect spot to cuddle.

Thank you for showing that you love me every day. I love you too.


Madeline Opal

June 4
I wasn't so sure about my cool new splash mat, but you made me feel safe Daddy!

June 4
I love it when you help me try new things!

June 4
And you are always willing to "get your feet wet"!

To my husband on Father's Day:

Thank you for being my wonderful partner in parenthood. I appreciate all of the love, support and commitment you have for doing what is best for our family. You are a fantastic father, and I love you more each time I see you play with our adorable little girl.

Much love,



Saturday, June 14, 2008

Glad I went to bed

The Cardinals lost 20-2. I'd say we made the right choice by going to bed.

I am off to work this morning. (Yes, work. I have been doing some part-time temoprary work at KETC Channel 9 during their pledge.) I am actually working a double today. You do what you have to do to bring home the bacon. I am going to miss my baby girl. I will try to post photos tomorrow.

Life has been kinda crazy. I feel like I have a ton to blog about but I don't even know where to start. I guess I will just start small, and tomorrow.

For now, I am just glad I went to bed when I did last night. Ouch.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

It really must be Friday the 13th. Have you seen the score of the Cardinal's game? it is the 5th inning and they are loosing 14 to 1. No sense in staying awake. We are going to bed.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Increased Productivity

For some unknown reason I was the model of productivity on Tuesday. I am posting this on Thursday so you can guess how my Wednesday stacked up.

I got Madeline up at 7:15am. We had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast and she played until 9am when she went back down for a nap. During her nap, I e-mailed, blog surfed and cleaned up the kitchen. At 10:30am we headed to the pool for day two of swim lessons. (Photos from Wednesday are still on the camera... hopefully I will get those up for you by August.)

After swim lessons we had lunch at home and then ran to Sam's club for bread and milk. At 1pm Madeline went down for her second nap and I headed outside to grill dinner. Yes, I grilled at 1pm in the afternoon for a dinner that didn't get eaten until 6pm. (I rock.)

As you can see some turned out better than others.

But Kevin assures me they were not only edible but delicious too!

Then I caught a quick shower and dropped Madeline off at the in laws so that she could have some Grandma time and I could get a much needed hair cut. No photos of that either, still on the camera. Be looking for them in September.

Then I ran to the in laws, picked up Madeline, ran home and fixed the rest of dinner. (I reheated the chicken b/c I had to put it in the fridge to keep it from poisoning us.) Madeline enjoyed her chicken and spaghetti.

Needless to say it was off for a bath. She had sauce behind her ears and I couldn't put her to bed like that!

Dinner was cleaned up and Madeline was bathed (thank you Kevin) and put to bed by 7pm.

Then I melted into the couch and watched Hell's Kitchen. You gotta love Chef Ramsey. He looses his mind every time a carrot is out of place! That is what you call entertainment! (or at least that is what the 10 people who watch the show think!)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bust a Move

We stopped in to my mom and dad's for a visit this evening and Kev played the piano for Madeline. Let's just say, Madeline is a huge fan. Video courtesy of Granny.

Just when I thought she couldn't get any cuter.

Happy hump day everyone!


My First...

Blood draw!

Because of all the power cord/stupid cat business I am behind on my photos. I took these photos after Maddy had her lead and anemia tests last week. We waited in the lobby of the lab for four times longer than it took to get the blood drawn, but she made some friends with the other (older) patients waiting in the lab.

The blood draw, although not enjoyable, was quick and I was thrilled with the technician. She was quick and only had to stick my baby once. My mother had me nervous with horror stories of getting Elliot or my blood drawn as a kid. When we got home I took these photos.

June 2
Although I don't like photos of Madeline crying, I am posting this one because if you look really close she kind-of-sort-of looks like ME! Yes, she is my daughter!

June 2
"Madeline, where is your ouwy?"

The doctor called and her lead levels are safe and she isn't anemic. Again, she is perfect.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Even when confined by her high chair Madeline is quite the dancer.

Did you see how proud of herself she is?!?! Something about DMB brings out her inner Bob Fossie. (Or is it Martha Graham?)

Monday, June 09, 2008

My First...

Swimming lesson!

I have been dying to get Madeline into a swim class for the last year! (The APA says babies can swim as early as 4 months but my ped said it was ok at 6 weeks...) But all of the classes I found were too far away from home and way to expensive. (groceries or swimming lessons? Guess which one wins.) So when our local pool offered lessons this summer at like 75% less than I have seen them at any of the indoor pools I was all over it like brown on rice! (it is better for you by the way)

The weather held off and we headed to the pool. Madeline loved it!

I took my old kodak point and shoot digital b/c I didn't want to risk taking my fancy pants DSLR. I wasn't going to be able to watch it b/c I had a baby in the water!!! But Kevin is off on Wednesday, and he can come to class too. Then one of us can take photos of Maddy in all her swimmy glory.

For a funny and much more realistic post about children's swimming lessons click here. Then go here and read the two posts that come before that one. Classic.


The difference between 1 and 28

1 yr olds don't get the concept of anticipation and disappointment. Unless it is in reference to the cup/cracker/phone/remote that mom or dad is holding but won't let you have. 1yr olds live in the here and now. 28 year olds however do anticipate events (like swimming classes with their 1yr old) and are disappointed when they wake up to find impending thunder storms on the horizon. Madeline has no clue, I on the other hand, am totally bummed. So much for getting out of the house today. I guess I will have to clean my kitchen floors instead. argh.

The classes don't start until 10:45a. Maybe I'll get lucky and the storms will clear out. There is always tomorrow.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Yet another vomit free post

Kev and I went to the Dave Mathews band concert at Busch Stadium last night. It rocked and again it was vomit free! That is two DMB concerts in a row! Whoo Hoo! Kevin got these tickets for his birthday, (thank you Bruce and Sue!). It was pretty awesome to be in Busch for this concert. When we walked in it was pretty surreal to see a huge set in the middle of the outfield and the grass covered in hard plastic sheets.

The Black Crowes opened the night and they were pretty good. Then DMB came out and they really were amazing. Tim Reynolds is touring with them this summer so that was really cool and because it is still early in the year Dave's voice is still in really good shape. (I think this is concert six on their summer tour.) We kept waiting for him to sing take me out to the ball game!

They did play a ton of great music including some stuff they haven't played in years. We (Heart) DMB!


Friday, June 06, 2008

The Power

A letter to AmerenUE:

I am getting a little tired of loosing electricity for no good reason. Even if it is just for an hour and a half. The skys were clear last night, so I can only assume that it was a technical problem, and all your fault. If you won't tell us why we are loosing electricity why don't you give us a credit on our account for the countless hours we have been without power in the last two years?


Maureen, Kevin, Madeline and our very hot and hacked off little kitty, Olive


Thursday, June 05, 2008

The eyes have it

The photo is a little fuzzy, but look at those eyes!

May 30

I think we are going to be in trouble.



Pictures this afternoon. Promise. Until then...

I have been thinking about my Grandma Opal a lot lately. I don't know why really. Thoughts of her just creep into my head at the weirdest times. I used to spend a lot of time at her house in the summer, swimming and eating strawberries and tomatoes fresh out of her garden. I guess this time of year has been missing that since she passed away 11 years ago. (I can't believe it has been THAT LONG!)

When I miss her, I listen to this song by Tanya Stephens.

While living in Norway I heard this song on MTVeuro a lot. I love this song. It is times like these that I really wish she would come back to haunt me.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Back online, for now.

Although my laptop is charged now, I know that at some point my mother is going to need her charger back. So until then I will be back in business.

I could use this to my advantage though... "If you want to see photos and videos of your grandbaby while you are working during the day you are just going to have to let me keep your charger. I promise not to let my cat eat it."

Hope you enjoyed a momentary giggle break. Now back to work you!


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Technical difficulties

subtitled: &#@%# CAT!

So I would have loved to blog about the past few days. Show you photos of my darling daughter and talk about how wonderfully in love with her we are. But we have been experiencing some *issues* with our technology.

Kevin's computer is old. It is a great machine generally (he build it mostly himself) and it has some fancy components and features. Unfortunately I haven't been able to upload a photo to blogger with that machine for a month or so. Frustrating, but not the end of the world right?

Enter the cat.

Olive likes to chew on wires. We had the base for one of our old cordless phones run behind the couch a couple of years ago and when the phone wouldn't charge we discovered that it was because the wire had been chewed through. She doesn't like just any wire though. Just really expensive to replace wire.

Earlier this year I ordered a new charger for my laptop because the old one quit working. Olive's bad habit set us back $60. Since then, unless the computer is charging the cord is tucked away so she can't get her teeth on it. Or at least I though she couldn't. Friday I go to charge my laptop, which is the only computer that allows me to upload photos to blogger I might add, and guess what won't work? Yep, you got it. Upon further inspection I find teeth marks on the charger and I promptly want to throttle my darling cat.

So I guess this means that I will spend another $60 for a new charger and put this one under lock and key. Or at least in a drawer I am sure she can't open with those tricky little paws.

Until then, my blog might not have the same draw. I promise to be witty and humorous. But I am kidding myself if I think that is going to be enough. I know you all come for the photos. (Heck, I blog for the photos!)