Archive for January, 2008

You know that thing about kids sleeping through fire alarms? It’s true—they don’t hear a thing when it’s going off in the middle of the night. I know this because I just tested it out.

Yup, that’s right – it was a 5:00 a.m. fire drill that only Tim woke up for. Grace and I were already up watching Martha Stewart reruns while making turkey and wild rice soup and folding laundry. We had been at this since 2:30 a.m. when for no reason Grace decided that we should get up and start our day. And no, she has never done this before. And no, she was not really out of her routine yesterday. And no, she was not sick, hungry, or otherwise in need of anything. She, it seems, just thought we ought to get an early start.

Actually, I think she heard Tim come home at 1:30 a.m. and it just took me until 2:30 a.m. to be unable to ignore her any longer. It could also have been because I was woken from a dream where I was stressing out on a train while a baby cried in the background. I said to the person next to me that I was really looking forward to traveling without kids for this very reason and then suddenly Anna Mae was looking me in the eye. You know that feeling when you are startled awake because someone is staring at you? After jumping 4 feet into the air and realizing that the rude baby on the train was mine, I got up and changed her diaper, gave her a drink, and tucked her in with the magic sleep time blanket. It didn’t take, so I came downstairs to find things to do in the kitchen so that everyone else can sleep when I realized… it’s just the perfect time to run the self cleaning mode on the oven…  No, really – I’m home, I don’t need to bake anything, the oven is really a mess, and I don’t mind if the house is warmed up by the heat. Perfect time – I know…

Did I mention that Tim rolled in at 1:30 a.m.? Yea, so when the fire alarm went off and I was quickly opening doors and windows and fanning it with the broom – I think he was a bit – shall we say disgruntled? Oh, please…. I’m the one who is up with the baby and I already have dinner made, the dishwasher is unloaded, bills are paid, and I’m ready to start the laundry… Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain that I have just lost my claim on a nap later today…

After all that is there any surprise that Grace is now sound asleep in the highchair but, I can’t go back to bed because I have to keep on eye on the oven as the batteries have been taken out of the fire alarm, and I still have two self-cleaning hours left?

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Alright, that’s it… I can take no more…

I have to vent here because my sister and mother laughed at me – thinking I had turned to the dark side and became a pessimist. Tim is going to be driving through Chicago to get home tonight, so I know better than to complain to him and honestly, when I said something to my girlfriend… well – you’ll see…

So here goes…

Does anyone remember November? I do – it was COLD – remember the blog about the cold? And the stupid bet – You’re right I froze my butt cheeks off all month!

Now onto December – Anyone remember the weather? – of course you all do – my family makes up my #1 readership and the only reason I live here is because of you… But for anyone lucky enough to be off in someplace warm like Spain – (and yes, I checked it’s like a toasty 55 degrees in Spain today!), I’ll fill you in on Wisconsin’s weather… in a word it snowed – it was cold and it snowed like mad. The only redeeming thing was that I did escape for a few short days to Florida to warm up. From that I can only say two things… first, it’s like a new discovery – there is someplace with great weather this time of year and second, HELLO people there is someplace warm – what on God’s green (I mean white) Earth are we still doing here – and if anyone says, “because of the lovely change of seasons” – I may puke at this point.

So let’s move onto January. What can I say, oh yea, January was COLD (surprise) and then one day Cori, my sister called with this terrible accusing tone. Like I was personally to blame for the fact that we had a glorious warm day and all “her” snow was going to melt. Well don’t worry, I got my punishment – tornados whipped through my backyard – tornados in January – Hello people remember what I said about Florida… And don’t even with the hurricanes – we can come back in late summer and fall – I’m all for watching the leaves…

So as you may have realized, Tim is traveling. Last night I had a babysitter and was going to go to a book discussion, but decided that there was no point in making the sitter come out and then keep the kids up so I could take her home in the lovely – COLD. So we made a fire and use up the last bit of fire wood (don’t worry, I can steal some more from Dad’s y2k stash this weekend) and we had a nice evening at home. Cole and I were up reading with three extra blankets and I even let him stay in my bed (mostly for warmth).

My attitude was still pretty good when they called off school and I realized that I would be home alone with the kids all day, unable to even chase them outside because the foolish news casters were doing a bang up job of demonstrating how your skin can freeze if you go out in this weather… Honestly, I was doing alright – even without the fire wood-  until I just checked my e-mail and there was a note from Brian Gotter (the weather guy on ch. 4 – I signed up for weather updates when the tornados went through…) who was notifying me that Racine is under a winter storm warning because we are going to get a bunch of snow dumped on us starting Thursday and ending on Friday.

My girl friend called and mentioned that the weather at the North Pole has been warmer there than here – Fine – you don’t like Florida, let’s move to the North Pole – I’m petite – there are lots of jobs for people like me there – I’ll treat for the moving costs!

Erin – It’s only in the 30s there, so you can come too. Katie, I’ll be ready when you get back… Who else wants to come live with me in the warm, toasty North Pole?

Alright, I feel better… but don’t mess with me if I’ve totally lost it by Friday  J

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At my church book study we were talking about joy and what it means to each of us… I tried to explain that to me joy was paying attention to the moments in my life that go something like this…

I was finishing something on the computer and had a momentary glitch – “shoot, shoot, shoot,” I said to myself in frustration. Tru came running… “What mom? What do you want me to shoot?”

Ten minutes later Anna Mae and Cole walked in the door and frantically told me that “bloody mary” could be seen in the bathroom. Anna explained that you have to turn out the lights, stand in front of the mirror, turn in circles seven times, and “bloody mary” will appear in the mirror.

The next half hour was spent with Cole, Tru, and Anna in the bathroom trying out the story that they must have heard on the bus. When “mary” did not show-up Cole walked out grumbling that the kids in Anna’s class have too much imagination. Tru somehow got toothpaste all over his t-shirt? And Anna came to tell me that it was not going well.

“She must be busy ‘cuz lots of people were going to try it when they got home today. You know she was just a girl riding a roller coaster and she fell off and landed on a mirror and that’s why you can find her in the mirror – did you know that Mom?” Honestly, I think I did hear about “bloody mary” when I was in grade school, but the roller coaster sounds a little Anna’esk to me…

I was picking up the kitchen last night – the compost pile of papers that had been in a stack so long that they no longer had any value needed to be removed from my counter. Cole was waiting for me to come up stairs to read with him when we uncovered a little framed photo of my parents. Mom had given us each one recently and it I just had not found a place to put it yet. Cole decided that the bathroom would be the best place since I have a photo collage on the wall in there.

This morning when I sent Tru in to brush his teeth he came out yelling “Grandma is in the bathroom, I saw her, I did!”

Anna went in yelling, “Is she in the mirror like “bloody mary?”

“No,” Tru called, “But she is going to get full of tooth paste if she stays in there.” I was laughing to myself when Tru disappeared upstairs.

Later this morning I was running around the house finishing the morning clean-up when I noticed the photo of Mom and Dad was on the little table next to Tru’s bed. He must have taken it up there after he found it this morning.  

I am finally reading the latest Harry Potter book where portraits come alive, talk, and interact, so I have to admit that I thought to myself, “well this is good now, Mom and Dad can watch Tru sleep and not have to worry about being attacked by “bloody mary” or being covered toothpaste. And then, more realistically I knew that it was really just a moment to notice another goofy moment of Joy…

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I have a thing about paying full price for anything. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the full price is — just on principle I will try to swindle it down. In return I am currently paying less than half the subscription rate for my paper, when Mom and I went shopping I would’t even look at the non-sale racks, and I got $25 dollars off my AT&T bill this month — that just the past few day. The thing is I don’t even think about it – I’m just aways in cheap mode…

My girl friend pointed something out to me today that is also an interesting shopping habit. While I am always looking for a deal, I am also big on customer service. I will drive way out of my way if a store owner takes good care of me. I love small town shopping where who I am and what I like is remembered and appreciated. Interestingly enough I often find the best sales and the best customer service in the same places – and when I do will become an incredibly loyal customer.

Today I went to re-join at the gym. I hated the customer service there two years ago and while I let Tim keep going there, I decided to make a statement and join the YMCA. With the start of the new year I decided that I ought to consider going back to the gym, because I hated taking Grace to the crowed and dirty YMCA day care and really needed to start exercising.  So I made an appointment and went there this morning…

When I arrived I was told to wait for the assistant manager. She was very tall and sort of hovered over me – already I was uncomfortable. She started telling me that she had all my paper work, but that I… just needed to understand that I would have to pay the full price for the membership and that Tim’s grandfathered reduced rate would not continue if we upgraded to a family membership. I would have been stupid if I had not asked her if that didn’t seem to be in a way punishing to their best customers. Immediatly this woman was on the offense and started insisting that the rate was what it was because I had left for awhile and because of that they did not owe me anything. I was suprised by the tone and responded by telling her that I was questioning Tim’s insistance that the customer service had improved and I should give the gym another chance. I then suggested that I would just call the owner of the gym and talk with her about it since I had always spoken with her in the past. Her answer was that the rate was not going to change and that I did not HAVE to come back – no one was making me.

I ended up going to and really liking the class I had signed up for and everything with Grace in day care went really well. Tim received a phone call from the gym owner saying she was sorry about the assistant manager. So tonight I am left wondering if it is worth it to put myself through this or not. I will for the life of me never understand why someone who runs or works for a business would want to make the customers feel so put off. On the other hand if I can dodge the wrath of the assistant manager I think I could really use the workouts.  

 Either way, I had to laugh when Anna Mae told me that taking care of yourself is not worth it if it is going to be such work – and that was just over getting her hair brushed…

just wait miss mae… just wait… you have no idea…

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This morning I was listening to 620 WTMJ to hear all the Packer coverage. John Jagler and Gene Mueller were talking about all the things fans had done to help the team win… I could not resist sharing my own example and sent the following e-mail… My Mom will be so proud :)…

John-Friday my 1st grader came home with a medal from St. Anthony the patron saint of miracles. He goes to a Catholic school and received it as an award. When he showed it to me he had a really serious expression on his face and asked what it was all about. I told him that St. Anthony is who you ask for help from when you lose something or you need something to work out a certain way. I explained that St. Anthony has helped me find car keys, gotten my computer to work right before a paper was due in school, and recently helped his Grandma find a diamond earring. He seemed skeptical.

I had to run to the Grocery store just before the game on Saturday and ended up listening to kick off on my way home on the radio. As I walked into the house they had just spotted the 14 points. Cole came to the door to tell me what was happening and I suggested with a nervous laugh that it was a good time to say that prayer to St. Anthony. By the time I unloaded the car they had scored and it went from there. At the end of the game we were all excited, but especially Cole who at taken me seriously and held onto his medal the whole time.

By yesterday he was not only – not skeptical – but was actually explaining to my kindergartener, Anna, that they had to pray to St. Anthony again to make sure New York wins – I had to smile when I overheard the conversation. I’m not sure it is an appropriate use of prayers, but who can argue with the new deeper faith of a first grader —

Go Pack –


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Disney Blog…

Hey Katie – I did blog about our trip, but the post did not come up the right way… I am searching for a saved copy on my computer and will try to re-post – Sorry– T

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I thought I would give myself a nice gift of 15 minutes blogging and I sent Tim up to give Anna Mae the last bath of the evening. You should also know that I just took nighttime cold medicine so if I stop making sense it’s because I have totally fallen asleep at the key board.

So it was a great birthday as far as birthdays since I turned 30 go. I heard from many of my favorite people today – some knowing that it was my birthday and others just because.  Like my favorite birthdays of my twenties I talked my Mom into taking me shopping – Yea! The kids managed to get through a whole day without giving me any reason to yell and Tim brought me soup from my new favorite soup place. Don’t laugh – there have been some pretty un-eventful birthday in the last seven years. This was really great.


The only down side is that I am still fighting a cold that gets worse every evening, so I cancelled the sitter and asked if we could put off going out for dinner until the weekend. I though we were just going for Mexican at Jose’s, but Tim said he actually had to cancel a reservation – guess I should have stuck with the original plan – but I’ll re-schedule on a non-school night….


So enough about that – I have a few gems to share from my day…


First, on the car ride to school today Cole asked how old I am now. I asked him how old he is and when he said seven, I said to just add thirty. There was a long pause – which I broke by asking if that seemed old. Both Anna and Cole quickly said No that I was definitely not old – especially compared to Aunt Jenny. Gotta love that – I chose not to say anything to correct them…


This one happened the other night as well… have you ever heard me blow my nose? It’s so embarrassing – but my nose just sounds like either a goose flying overhead or the horn on a fire truck – go ahead and laugh – I’m used to it… Anyway – I have been fighting this cold and Grace got a hold of my box of tissues tonight – AGAIN!—She holds it up to her nose and blows a wild and loud raspberry into it and then she laughs and laughs… So officially even the 1 year old is making fun of me – I have broad shoulders J


Cole found a fortune cookie tonight and read it to me…”You are soon going to change your present line of work.” – Good thing I ate it he said. “Why?” I asked. “Because you and Dad need to keep doing what you’re doing – anyway it’s true for me.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “The teacher says it’s almost second semester and it’s time to start working on the hard stuff.”


Finally, Cole was helping me get Grace ready for bed and I said to him, “Cole, Grandma says my kids don’t smile enough. Why do you think she thinks that?” “Well” Cole does not miss a beat, “I think we all can smile, it’s just that Grandma doesn’t tell enough jokes.”

All right, that’s it for tonight – thanks for coming and don’t forget to tip your waitresses on your way out…


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