Thursday, July 31, 2008

100 things

What is with all of these challenges lately? Anyway, here is another one. Sarah and Tara started the trend. Now I follow suit.

100 things you may or may not know about me:

1. I bit my nails until I was 17 or 18.
2. I am allergic to tomatoes and eggplant.
3. I love almost all foods with the exception of raw onion and cilantro.
4. I am addicted to Bravo TV
5. Especially My life on the D list and Top Chef.
6. I met my husband Kevin in 1994.
7. We were in Marching Band together.
8. I played saxophone for 8 years.
9. I still wish I played.
10. I don't have a tattoo.
11. Sometimes I wish I did.
12. I am way too chicken.
13. I worry I made the wrong choice to stay home.
14. I wouldn't trade this time with her for the world.
15. Growing up we had two dogs, Smitty and Fred.
16. Smitty was hit by a car less than a week after we got him.
17. Fred ate my dad's birthday cake.
18. Fred only lasted a few months before he was given to a better home.
19. I didn't notice he was gone for at least a week.
20. My first real pet was a cat named Barney.
21. When he died we had to get two cats to replace him.
22. Their names were Ricky and Lucy.
23. I still miss them.
24. I am 5'11" tall and when I was little I always thought I would be 6'.
25. I have a masters of Communication.
26. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
27. I love being a mom.
28. I don't always love being at home.
29. I love photography and would love to spend a ton more time practicing.
30. I have a hard time making a decision when it comes to my future.
31. I worry all of the time.
32. I would say that it is a problem.
33. I do however leave my house on occasion so it can't be that bad right?
34. It takes me at least a half and hour to fall asleep at night.
35. Once I am asleep, I am ASLEEP!!!
36. I am not only a sheet hog, but a bed hog as well.
37. I do feel sorry for my husband though.
38. We sleep on a double bed.
39. I used to have a problem with shoes.
40. Now, I don't even remember the last pair I bought.
41. I have one brother.
42. I love my brother a lot.
43. He is one of my best friends.
44. My parents have been married 30 years.
45. I was a "surprise" during their first year of marriage.
46. I relish nap time.
47. I am never ready for Madeline to wake up.
48. I hate housework.
49. I feel guilty for not keeping a better house, especially since I am staying at home now.
50. I am blog obsessed.
51. Kevin and I have been married for 3 years.
52. We have lived in our house for almost 5 years.
53. I love our home.
54. At the same time I can't wait to move into a bigger place.
55. I worry that may never happen.
56. I have envy issues.
57. I suffer from "the grass is always greener" syndrome.
58. I love the color of our front door. (dark blue)
59. I hate the color of our living room. (boring white)
60. I have lost all of my pregnancy weight.
61. I am still 20 lbs heavier than I want to be.
62. I've been at the same weight since Madeline turned 4 months old.
63. I think that totally sucks.
64. My favorite color is purple.
65. Blue is a close second.
66. Green is third.
67. I think my ankles are the most attractive part of my body.
68. When I was pregnant they were so swollen that I thought they might never recover.
69. I am happy to say I was wrong.
70. I try not to think about germs.
71. I know that if I did I would become totally obsessed and might never leave my house.
72. I very rarely drink.
73. When I do, my drink of choice is a margarita.
74. But I won't turn down a 7&7.
75. Kevin was my first kiss.
76. I was his too.
77. Fall is my favorite season.
78. My birthday used to be my favorite day of the year.
79. Now Madeline's is.
80. I hate being sick.
81. I am pretty pathetic when I don't feel well.
82. I am not a morning person.
83. I am not a night person.
84. I am a middle of the day person.
85. I lived overseas in Oslo, Norway for 6 months in 2001.
86. I dream of going back.
87. I worry it won't be as perfect as my memories tell me it was.
88. I don't own a bike.
89. I hate wearing make up.
90. Now that I have had Madeline I need it more than ever to cover my dark circles.
91. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday.
92. Fireworks make me smile.
93. I've never been arrested.
94. I can't dance.
95. As a kid I used to dream of being and veterinarian-lawyer. Yep. Both.
96. I am scared of rail road crossings.
97. I can't wait for the Olympics to start in just 8 days!
98. I was a competitive swimmer for 8 years.
99. I miss swimming.
100. This was harder than I thought!

How about you?


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Maddy Monster

Madeline is teething. Our calm and sweet little girl was so not herself today. She was replaced with a monster.


Dear Maddy Monster:

I hope that you enjoyed your stay in our home today. Could you be so kind as to leave? We'd like to have our Madeline back. Thanks!

Best regards,

Maureen and Kevin


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Getting real

So, I have water, phone, internet and TV! All we have done tonight is shower and veg. It has been wonderful.

I have to thank those readers that commented on the past few posts. I really do feel loved! Thank you Fern, Elliot, Jodie, and Christy! And a very special shout out goes to Michelle! I am so happy for you!!!!!!! (Don't know what I am talking about, read the comments for the previous post!!) I feel the love. Really I do.

So for the challenge:
Read Jodie's original challenge here. Then you can visit her post here.

My answer to her challenge:

Dirty dishes on the sink and counter. (there is a pot on the stove too, but you can't see that in the photo.) Why is there such a mess in my kitchen so early in the day? Well...

This is why. This is the dishwasher. Full to the gills with clean dishes. I just have to motivate myself to actually unload that dishwasher. I remember the days before we had the dishwasher. I know that I must have said "I hate all these dishes in the sink. If we had a dishwasher, that would never happen." Yep. I eat my words.

Madeline, not yet dressed (it was like 12pm) and sitting on her pile-o-books. Yep. She pulls most of her books off of the shelves and instead of cleaning them up 30 times a day, on the floor they stay. I think those books have been on the floor for at least three weeks. We just step around them to get her in her bed.

How I spend 90% of my day. I like to sit with my feet up and have Madeline bring me toys or books. That way I never have to get up. What you can't see is the glass of Chardonnay in my left hand and the bon bons resting on my post baby belly. Oh, and those dishes putting themselves away. (Think Sleeping Beauty!)

Madeline's bed head. Normally when people talk about bed head it is b/c they wake up with crazy hair and then they do something about it. I have to admit that I rarely do anything about her hair. So really this should just be called Madeline's everyday wild and crazy hair.

The dining room table. You can see my camera bag (camcorder not SLR), sewing kit, trash, craft projects in progress, hole punches, internetless laptop, target bag and books for the classes I am teaching this semester. Plus at least 10 more pounds of junk. And you can still see some of the table cloth. It looks pretty clean really.

Olive, laying on my clean clothes. She couldn't have chosen a spot on my white clothes. No, she is directly on top of my navy tee. She sure knows how to pick 'em.

Just some of the books that I had in my possession from the Saint Louis County Library. They were only a few days overdue and I returned them yesterday. Not so bad really.

I think overall this is a pretty accurate portrayal of my life right now. A year ago would have been a totally different story. With a 3 month old I was operating on empty. But even 15 months later, unlike Jodie, I am not brave enough to display my post baby belly. But I think the point of this is to show that life is perfect with all its imperfections. I know that as a stay at home mom I feel like I should be super mom. The house should be immaculate and dinner on the table every night at 5:30p.

Reality is that some days I am just too overwhelmed to do anything but the most basic functions. (You know, feeding, clothing, making sure we don't stink or eat cat food.) I know that life for me is fairly simple. I have only Madeline to contend with. I read about Jodie with her three under three and Fern with her four high energy kiddos and I wonder how they do it.

Speaking of Fern she also answered the challenge with post 1 and post 2. So did Tara here. How about you out there in blog world? You brave enough?

Sorry this post has gotten so long. I promise more tomorrow or Thursday... and they will be shorter!


My Source of Dissapointment

Yep. That's you.

Ok, that was harsh but I was hoping for at least a little love in my comments. I am dealing with some SERIOUS UTILITY RELATED STRESS here people!

Still no phone service. Which means no internet, or cable service either.

AND (yes, there is more)

I woke up to no water. I don't even have a phone to call the water company with! (ok, my cell phone is still working but it is the principle of the thing!) The water company was on the street dealing with the issue within an hour of the water main break on our side of the street. I can't say that the same is true for our phone company. Argh.

So where is the love people. I truely thought I would have readers who were even a little disapointed in my absence. I guess I am wrong. I'll just go live in my van, down by the river.

Ok, for a glass 1/2 full moment: It could be worse. If we didn't have power then we would be hot and we would loose our refridgerated food which would be very costly. Not having water isn't too bad. The only down fall is that my hair looks like crizap today and you might not want to stand so close. (I think my students understood.)

Jodie posted her weekend challenge and although delayed, I promise to do the same. I have some pretty good ones I think. Although I am not nearly as brave as Jodie. Showing your belly 6 wks post-pardum takes guts. (no pun intended) and 15 months later, I am still not nearly brave enough.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Source of Dissapointment

Yes. That is me.

I won't have photos for you tonight. And probably not tomorrow either. Now before you cry out in sadness, throw your self on the floor whining in desperation for a glorious post from mgk please let me assure you that THIS IS NOT MY CHOICE!

This morning when I posted I had internet service. About an hour later I got online to send an e-mail and I didn't have service. As a matter of fact we don't have phone service either. (Or U-verse cable.) I feel totally cut off from the world! Our neighbors have service so it looks like it is just us without it. Of course we haven't seen anyone out in the 'hood working to fix it either. Argh.

When I called AT&T I was told it was a system problem and it should be fixed between 8am and 7pm on the 29th. That. Is. Tomorrow. Double Argh.

So until we get it all squared away I am out of luck. And so are you.
I leave you with a photo of Madeline from July '07. (I am on my parent's computer and this is what I can find!) Isn't she cute?!?!



I have been slacking in my posting over the past week or so. I guess I just don't feel like I have much to say.

I read so many blogs that are so clever. The authors are either really great writers, or incredibly clever crafters. I feel like any thing I would post would just be a lame attempt to match their wit and creativity. So I just don't post.

I will promise though that by the end of the day today I will post again. I can't promise that it will be clever or even creative.

Jodie , over at Jodified, challenged her readers to take photos of the not so pretty parts of life (dirty dishes, crying babies, etc.) so I will attempt to answer her call. As painful as that may be.

And of course there will be photos of our adorable little girl!

Check back!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

I underestimate how lucky I am

It is true. I don't give how lucky I am a second thought. That is until it is 2:37 in the morning and I am wide awake an hour after Madeline has woken up screaming in the middle of the night.

Madeline started sleeping for 10 hours a night when she was eight weeks old. I would get up and nurse her at 5 or 6am and then she would go back to sleep for an hour or two more. Then at 12 weeks, she dropped that early morning feeding and slept for 13-14 hours straight. Even now, she goes to bed without much fuss (most of the time) and sleeps for a good 12+ hours. This is after she has had two naps that are about an hour and a half to two hours long every day.

Can somebody say spoiled? Yep. That's us.

So that brings us to tonight. At 1:25a Madeline started screaming. Not the 'I am still asleep and dreaming' kind of grunting, no, full on 'oh my gosh I am freaking out come get me' screaming. So I head into her bedroom and check all the usual suspects. She isn't wet or dirty, she isn't too hot or too cold. Although it is dark she doesn't look like she has a rash (yes, that is a common occurrence with our little bits and we don't have a good answer why from the peds... he says it isn't anything to worry about if it comes and goes... but I still worry... I'm a mom...). When I pick her up she calms almost immediately. I rock her for a few minutes, then lay her back down. She cries for about 2 min. Then she is back asleep.

Me? It is over an hour later and I am still up. I tried to lay in bed for almost an entire hour before finally submitting and getting out of bed. Madeline is asleep again. I really am so lucky. If only I could get back to sleep!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Merry Christmas (in July!)

I haven't always been the biggest Christmas fan. As a kid/young adult it was stressful. So who would have thought I would be celebrating it twice a year?!? I guess that is what happens when I married a certified Christmas freak!

So, as a follow up to Thanksgiving in June, today is Christmas in July! Last weekend when my parents were out of town, my brother Elliot, his wife Kathy, Kevin, Madeline and I decorated their house for the holiday.

Because it is July we had to change it up a bit, so the tree is covered in Hawaiian Lays (is that how you spell that?) and cocktail umbrellas. Instead of stocking on the fireplace we put flip flops. And instead of evergreen garland we hung a very cool paper garland of tropical flowers.

I will try to post more photos tomorrow after we have our Christmas dinner of grilled ham, veggies, potatoes and pie I am sure! The photo above is the photo the five of us put in our "Christmas Card" we left for my parents to open when they got home from their trip. Yep, we are crazy. But we had so much fun coming up with all these ideas for decorating their house!

So until I post my photos tune into KEZK here in STL and listen to the Christmas tunes all day long. My husband woke up one of the happiest men in STL today b/c of this music.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Play date

On Monday Madeline was invited to her friend Madeline's house for a play date. Yes, both girls are named Madeline. To ease confusion, for the rest of this post our Madeline will be referred to as Maddy and the other Madeline will be Maddie.

Maddie is the daughter of my new friend Anna. She and I met working at channel 9 and the similarities between our lives are both comical and scary. (i.e. we both have daughters with the same name, our anniversaries are on the exact same day and year, our husbands both work in the grocery business etc. And that is just the start.) It has been wonderful to have another Mommy friend who is staying at home. She and I have gotten together at least once a week for the past few weeks and it is just great to get out with other kids. I think it has been a huge help for Maddy and I know I enjoy it too.

Maddy, Maddie and Tristan watching Anna diving for toys!

Snack break. That is Maddie on the left and Tristan in the middle.

Anna was watching her friend's 16 month old daughter Tristan while we were there. She has the most adorable little face and you can get lost in her big blue eyes!

Maddie gave me "the face." As Anna calls it.
After a while she couldn't do it anymore b/c she was smiling too big.

I love her little face! I want to eat her up!

Thank you Anna and Maddie for a wonderful afternoon. We will return the favor very soon!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Should I be concerned?

July 22. 2008


Just a little something:

I got these in an e-mail from my mother. They made me laugh. I hope they do the same for you!

And my personal favorite, dedicated to our dear friend Scott:

Happy Tuesday!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things I adore...

I have been using Google Analytics to track the traffic on the blog for a few weeks now.

This is just an example page, not my actual data.

What have I found out? A ton.

I have had visitors from 20 of the fifty states as well as some from Canada and New Zealand.

Since July 3rd I have had 473 visits to the blog and 44 comments. I would say that 50% of those comments are from my mom or my aunt so what does this mean?

There are blog lurkers around! If you have been reading my blog, and enjoying it please let me know! I would love to get to know you and if you have a blog I would love to read it as well.

I love Google Analytics but not as much as I would love to get to know you.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

My mind's eye

July 10*

I have gotten so much done today. Maddy spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa, and Kevin was at work. I had brunch with my friend Shannon (we used to work together and now she lives in Central Missouri and I miss her!) Then I ran about a million errands! (Cartridge World, Kangaroo Kids, Wal-mart, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabric) Then I came home and cleaned the house. (Living room, dining room, kitchen, Madeline's room) I even mopped the kitchen floor! I got more done today than I have in the past week combined.

*This photo has nothing to do with my post. Just found it humorous that these two guys were waxing an gigantic eye ball. (Giant eye ball can be found at Laumeier Sculpture Park.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

My First...

... trip in a vehicle while facing forward!

July 13- She isn't so sure about facing the front.

July 13- But she is warming up to the idea.

July 14- She was so tired after running errands with me on Monday she just passed out in her seat. But she never let go of her book.

Some times I feel like we spend entire days in the car. This is just with one kid... what will it be like with more!?!?! I may just have to take up camp.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary

This post was suppose to be posted much earlier today. But as the very long post below details the best laid plans....

Four years ago today my brother did the smartest thing he has ever done. He married his wonderful wife Kathy. Happy Anniversary to you both. Kathy, thank you for keeping my brother in line and giving him focus. Elliot, thank you for bringing Kathy into our family. We are better with her in our ranks!

We love you both!

Maureen, Kevin and Madeline Opal

Putting frustration into perspective

Just when I thought I knew it all and I had it all figured out I am thrown a curve ball and am reminded that I am not really in charge here. Yesterday I blogged about what a frustrating day I had. God heard, and she decided to put my frustration into perspective.

So today started as any other day. I got up, showered, dressed and got Madeline up for breakfast. Bryan (BIL) came over to watch Madeline while I taught my morning class. Class went really well. (I love this class already. Sometimes classes jell together and the dynamics simply work. This class is one of them, but that is a topic for another post...) I left class and was on my way to pick up Madeline when I stopped at QT for a drink. Got back in the car.

It. Won't. Start.

I can't get a hold of Bryan, Kevin is at work, Elliot is in Illinois, Kathy is at work, all four grandparents are out of reach, I. Am. Stuck. The jumper cables are not in the trunk. So I go inside to see if QT has any. Of course they do, but I have to buy them. ARGH!!!! Enter Tom, my first good Samaritan of the day. He lived a few blocks from the QT and said he could run home to get jumper cables, which he did. He tried to jump the car without any luck. Thank you Tom.

Bryan calls my phone, wondering why I am almost an hour late and I tell him my tale. He is wonderful and comes and gets me. Thank you Bryan. He has an appointment in the afternoon so he dropped me off at my parents house so I can get my mom's car. (It has a car seat in it.) I feed Madeline lunch and head back to QT with socket set in hand to remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store to test it.

With Madeline on my hip I open the socket set (upside down, ARGHH!) and then have to try to figure out which one I need to get the battery out of the car. Enter Gary, my second Good Samaritan of the day. As he was walking into the station he asked if I could use some help. I don't know if it was the fact that Madeline was sitting on the filthy ground using a socket set as toys or the look of sheer bewilderment on my face that made him stop but I was sure glad he did.

Gary took out the old battery for me. He loaded it into the trunk of my mother's car. He waited at the QT until I came back from the auto parts store with a new battery (b/c when they tested the old one it was beyond dead). Then he put the new battery in my car for me. He even spent 15 min fussing with the battery to make sure it was secure. This total stranger spent 45 min of his day just helping me. Gary wouldn't even let me buy him his soda. I mean that is pure love for human kind right there. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Gary.

So to recap I now have a working car! Yea! But I also have my mother's vehicle at the QT too. So I called Bridget, one of the bad aunts and she came and rescued me. She left her car and drove my mother's car back to mom and dad's. Then I drove Bridget back to her car. Thank you Bridget.

I left school at 10:30am. I dropped Bridget off at her car at 3pm. 4 1/2 hours.

And how is Madeline through this ordeal? She is an angel. She is hot, sweaty and tired but she doesn't complain. She just watched Gary as he worked. She sat on my hip and waved at the people coming in and out of QT. She was pacient and sweet. I am totally in love with her.

How was I? I was a mess. Ok, not really. I only really lost my cool once, when talking to Kevin on the phone. (One of the 10 million times I called him at work today.) I was actually frustrated. But I kicked into action and did what needed to be done.

What did I learn today? Yesterday wasn't that bad and as Kevin kept telling me, today could have been a lot worse. I am proud of myself really. Before I started this examination of how I deal with negative situations I would have started to look for more negative events in the course of my day. But today, with the morning's inconvience behind me, I was able to come home and relax and say honestly to myself, "this morning wasn't the greatest but I am going to make the best of the rest of the day."

I am learning. Today was a glass 1/4 full kind of day.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My new toys

I eluded to my new toy a few posts ago and I have been meaning to talk about it since I got it. Until now!

Last week my dad decided to buy my mom a fancy-pants (fp) D-SLR as an early birthday present. They were planning a trip to Maine and he thought it would be a great addition to their trip. He found a great deal on a Sony alpha 200, the next model up from ours. He was only going to get the camera and the 18-70mm lens, but for an extra $100 there was a package that got him a 75-300mm telephoto lens as well. Kevin and I have been talking about getting a beefier lens and so we paid dad the $100 (+ tax) and got ourselves a brand new, georgeous, incredible, space defying lens. (Can you tell I am a little excited?!?!)

So not only did we get a new lens but that also meant that we needed a new camera bag. Mom and Dad got the older one, which was not really old, just smaller.

Our new bag:
Isn't it pretty and green!

All the following photos where taken from the front wall of our house. The opposite wall is about 25-30ft away.

Old lens:
Please ignore the piles of junk. This was during Phase I of our bathroom project.


The new lens:


Totally rad huh!?!?! We think so.



I am once again having technical difficulties with blogger and uploading photos. I feel like a lazy blogger, b/c I took a day off! How ridiculous!

I am having such a frustrating day and this is just icing on the cake. I don't really have any particular reason for my frustration although I could come up with a list of 100 things that have frustrated me today. (the computer, Maddy's mood after her morning nap, heartburn for no reason, the massive pile of dishes in my sink...)

In an effort to be more glass 1/2 full these are the good things about today:
-Madeline got another tooth! (that makes six total with three more about to burst through!)
-Whole grain waffles, yummo!
-Madeline's smile when I get her out of bed in the morning. Priceless.
-Madeline "painting" the front walk way with a foam brush & water.
-Kevin coming home after playing golf this AM.
-All three of us heading to the pool after lunch.
-Madeline down for a nap, which means it is nap time for mommy and daddy too!

If I can get my computer/blogger situation under control I will post later tonight. If not, then you will have to wait until at least Thursday PM but more likely Friday PM. We have a busy few days ahead.

Now for that nap...


Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

I feel like I have been running around all day long. Up at 8am with Madeline. Dressed, fed and out the door to run errands with Poppy.

Target. Best Buy. Creve Coeur Camera.

Back to mom and dad's to unload my old camera bag to give to them and load up my new green beautiful monstrosity of a bag. (Got a new toy last week, which I have been meaning to post about and just haven't..., and needed something larger than the bag we had.)

Then lunch with Mom, Dad and Buddy (Madeline, too.) Weird to have my "family" together for lunch. (without Kevin and/or Kathy) It has been years since that happened.

Off to FU to make copies of my syllabus for the class I start teaching tomororow. Did I mention I am teaching again this semsester?!?! So excited, sort of nervous.

Back home for nap. I was going to blog, but I was distracted by dinner plans and Days. (I know, I know, I shouldn't watch stories)

Up from nap. Kevin home. Dinner. Playtime. Bed time (for Maddy). Ironing. Cleaning. Folding laundry. Blogging. Now I am going to bed!

No photos this post. I haven't downloaded them to the PC. If I can squeeze it in tomorrow I will post them for sure.

Sorry this post was so random. I just felt the need to blog but don't have the energy to make coherent thoughts string together.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

MoBot again?

MoBot is one of my favorite places in StL. I find it so relaxing to walk through the gardens and look at the beautiful plants and flowers and know that I don't have to weed any of it. I feel blessed to have such a gorgeous place to visit so close to home.

Yesterday Madeline and I headed to MoBot with my Dad (Poppy) and aside from the 150% humidity it was a great trip.

As we walked past these sheep Madeline started going crazy from her stroller screaming, "BAAA! BAAA!" So of course she had to get out and play with them!

Now for a joke only three of my readers will get:
"Ewe not fat, ewe fluffy!"

"Mom! This lamb won't get out of my way!"


Saturday, July 12, 2008

My morning yogurt

When do I get to eat yogurt without sharing again? I guess that is what being a mommy is all about. I don't think I have eaten anything without sharing in the last five months.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Google Tag

I don't usually do random blog games but this one peeked my interest. The premise, type in the answers to the questions into Google Image search and choose the image you like best to answer these simple questions. Some of these are pretty self explanatory, others are more complicated. Enjoy!

My age:

A place I would like to visit:
My favorite place:
My favorite object:
My favorite food:
My favorite animal:
My favorite color:
Town where I was born:
A past pet:
My first name:
My middle name:
My last name:
I have a rule about using last names on the blog and I am not going to break that for this. It would become far to obvious if I posted the photos I found. Sorry guys!

A bad habit:
My first job:
My current occupation:
My grandmother's name:
What you are doing right now:
Sorry some of the images are so small. I guess that happens with photos off some websites.

Tag my blogging friends, you are it! Now you should answer these questions with photos!