Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My

This week Dave was on vacation, and as he has pointed out to me, he was not going to sit around all day when he could be out doing fun stuff.  This would account for why I haven't posted in a while.  When he is at work, I am at work, and since I never talk about my work on my blog, I haven't really had much to blog about.  Since he has been home I have not had any time. 

On Monday we went to the Cleveland Zoo.  Their big new attraction is the Elephant Crossing.  For the past several years our elephants have been in Columbus while they built them a new habitat.  It was a very small area and kind of pathetic.  Now it is really amazing.  It seems like they are really close, and in one area you can feed them through a tube.  Ryan had a meltdown because I didn't let him put the quarter in the machine.  Yet one more reason why I am a mean mom and I don't let the kids do anything.  From there we proceeded to ride the train around the Australian Outback and ride a camel.  Yes, you read that right, the mean mom that doesn't allow her kids to do anything, not only let them ride a camel, BUT DAVE AND I RODE IT TOO!

From there we went into the Rain Forest where the humid 80 degrees felt like air conditioning.  This is Colin's favorite part of the zoo, and I was actively trying to talk him out of it.  It was in the opposite direction and I was trying to get to the African Safari to see the giraffes.  As it turns out, the Rain Forest was my favorite part.  They had a baby orangutan that was so animated we watched for about 20 minutes.  He was sitting on his mom's lap and then would antagonize one of the others to get a reaction.  In short, he was acting like a toddler.  As soon as the situation got under control he would start up again.  It sounds like Colin and Ryan at any given time, but it seemed funny when I was not the one that had to break it up. 

We walked for what the boys seemed to think was forever and got to see the rest of the animals.  It was a really hot day and they held up well under the circumstances. As we were driving home and laughing about the orangutans again I realized, this is what the American Dream is all about.  These are the days I should cherish.  It really doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last Week Wrap-Up

In all the excitement of getting ready for Ryan's party, I forgot to mention a few of the more mundane things from last week that I can't really believe I am excited about. 

1.  We got a new garbage disposal.  To most people this would not be a big deal, but as I may have mentioned, Dave and I have no useful skills when it comes to fixing things around our house.  About two months ago Dave turned it on and it emitted the most horrific sound to ever come out of one of my appliances.  It was a cross between a grinding and a screech.  I thought a washcloth might have found its way down there so I decided to check it out.  A quick looky-lou confirmed that alas, that was not the case, and I declared it dead.  It was at that time that we were officially broke as well so the replacement had to wait.  Let me just tell you a garbage disposal is one of those things that you won't ever miss until it is gone.  A call to Golden Dog Plumbing (I highly recommend them!) and I have a new one that is so quiet you can hardly hear it. 

2.  It was about this time that one of my neighbors got a new chain saw and wanted to try it out on one of my trees.  Well, one thing led to another and before I knew it, Dave had cut down everything in our yard.  We are currently without landscaping.  Since we were left with a bunch of stumps we had to call someone to grind them out.  When he came he told us one of our trees in our one-third acre woods was dead and in danger of crashing down on our porch.  The same porch that I just paid a gazillion dollars to get repaired because the roof was rotten and in danger of caving in on us.  (Hence the reason for being broke.)  We got the tree taken out, another one thinned out/trimmed, and all our stumps out.  Now as soon as we get some more money we can start to rebuild the landscaping with things that we like instead of things that were there when the house was built 20 years ago. 

I know to most people this is not all that exciting, but I am really happy with my boring little life in northeastern Ohio.  I can hardly wait to see what this week has in store for me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Good Time Was Had By All...

Another birthday has come and gone and I think I can say that Ryan was pleased.  The day started off with a bang when he woke us up wanting to open his gifts.  He has joined the gaming world with a brand new DSi.  It is a double edged sword for me.  I wanted to give him something to do independently, but I forgot that you need to read to play most of those games.  At least for today, Colin has been excited and has been "helping"  him play. By helping I really mean actually playing himself or yelling at him to  "just hit "A" already" or "No!  I said to GO THE OTHER WAY!" Ryan has the patience of a gnat so he constantly asks Colin how to do it.  I am expecting Colin to lose it any second.  On the other hand, it is refreshing to see them play together for a change. 

I only have birthday parties on years where your birthday falls on a weekend.  This is the first time we have had a party where we invited friends.  We had 20 people for a pool party at the pool where we belong.  We have recently had a new 6 year old boy move in up the street (Score!) so Luke came and so did his friend Dominic from school.  What nice boys he has for friends. 

Ryan lives life a full speed all the time.  His enthusiasm is awesome and fun to watch.  We had the requisite cake and pinata and then opened the gifts.  HE! LOVED! EVERYTHING!    He got some new games for the DSi, Cars stuff galore, and some Armor for the DSi that has Star Wars stuff with an Obi-Wan stylist pen.  The bag that he got from Dave's parents was almost as big as he was. 

The only disappointment came when he let go of his balloon when we were walking out to the car.  He was heartbroken!  there were crocodile tears and much gnashing of teeth.  I am guessing that will become a source of whining when we go to a store that sells them again. 

I must say that I have outdone myself on the birthdays for Ryan the last two years.  Last year we surprised the kids with a trip to Disney for Ryan's birthday. What kid wouldn't love turning five in the Magic Kingdom?   This year was a smashing success as well.  Next year is leap year.  It is going to be a rude awakening when his birthday falls on Monday. 

Six

Ryan turns six today (I know, crazy, right?) so I thought I would tell you my six favorite things about him. 

1.  Hands down, it is his smile.  It is infectious and has let him get away with murder.  It lights up his whole face and reaches into your heart and makes you smile, too.  That is, of course if you don't want to ring his neck.  Oh, who am I kidding, even when I want to ring his neck.  I really wish I  could show you, but I have decided not to put my kid's pictures up on the Internet.  You are just going to have to trust me on this.

2.  He has never had a bad day, and he has never met a stranger.  He may get mad, and man, does that get ugly, but he gets over things quickly and then moves on to bigger and better things.  He is shy, but once he knows you for a few minutes, it would seem like you are long lost friends. 

3.  His sense of humor.  Few can make me laugh like he can. 

4.  His expressions.   A few of my favorites are short-sleeved pants and it is never tomorrow, it is always "after I sleep in this day."

5.  He wears his heart on his sleeve.  His emotions show right across his face and I swear sometimes I can see captions above his head in cartoon balloons telling me exactly what he thinks. 

6.  He loves with all of his heart.  It is still genuine and pure. 

Six years ago my life changed in ways I never could have imagined.  I am one of the luckiest people in the world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What You See....

Is sometimes exactly what you get.  Sometimes people do things out of the goodness of their hearts and do not have an ulterior motive.  It is possible to do nice things and not expect anything in return.

WARNING...I AM GETTING UP ON MY SOAPBOX NOW....WARNING

I am bringing this up because twice this week I have read where people are doing exceptional things and being criticized.  The one that is literally closest to home is where Char and Chuck Fowler donated $17 MILLION dollars to the University Hospital Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital for the Angie Fowler Child & Young Adult Cancer Institute.  You can read about it here.  Now I know that there is always a rotten apple in every barrel, but this is an amazing gift to an amazing hospital.  It is a tragedy that they had to get involved as a memorial for their beautiful daughter, but countless people will be able to benefit from their generosity.  I am not going to repeat what the bad apples said because I want to honor these people and tell them that I am so in awe of their generous hearts.  I have longed to be able to make a difference like this and am still finding my way.  They give me inspiration. 

My other impetus for this post comes from something that is familiar to those in the blogosphere.  One of the first blogs that I ever read was Dooce.  She is not for everyone but I have enjoyed and empathized with her from the first time I read her.  Recently she was invited to go to Bangladesh with Christy Turlington to shine some light on the deplorable conditions of maternal health in third world countries.  Christy helped in a documentary called "No Woman No Cry" concerning this issue.  To make a long story short, Christy met Heather and asked if she would like to go on a trip to follow-up on the documentary.  Heather said yes and then paid her own way to go.  People are slamming her all over the net saying that she went on this trip for all different kinds of bad reasons.  Again, I do not want to give those people a voice on my blog so I am not going to reference them here. I wanted to highlight people that are doing amazing things OUT OF THE KINDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS.

I would like to think that I volunteer for the right reasons, and I hope that I have made a difference in the activities in which I participate.  I also think that there is really no bad reason to do what these two people have done.  Our world will be a better place for them, and I am grateful. 

We will now go back to our regularly scheduled program. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What a Wonderful World...

Fifteen years ago today my world was forever changed when I married Dave.  Fifteen years later I still think it was the best day of my life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

I am as patriotic as the next person.  I love living in America and all the benefits that go along with it.  I love the 4th of July with our Neighborhood Breakfast, cookouts, and the professional fireworks displays.  What I don't like are the fireworks that our neighbors put on that are sure to burn down my house. 

For the last few years the boys up the street would set off firecrackers for two weeks all night long.  Bottle rockets were everywhere.  Ryan was a baby and he would be up all night from the noise.  It drove me CRAZY.  I was really trying to live and let live and not say anything.  I was young once and even though I never played with fireworks (I like all my fingers and toes and would like to keep them), I did other things that I am sure people found annoying. 

They have graduated from smoke bombs and bottle rockets to professional-grade explosives.  We live on a dead end street that has a cul-de-sac at each end.  I think I may have mentioned that we live on one third of an acre and it is heavily wooded.  It is not an appropriate place from which to launch dynamite.  Last year it was coming from further down the street so we sat outside and watched them.  This year it was coming from all directions with many of them exploding right over our house.  I wouldn't let the kids out of the house and I was afraid to walk our dog because I was sure that we would be hit. 

I was never really young.  I was born going on 50 when it came to this kind of thing.  I never played as a kid and I have never really enjoyed fireworks.  I am jumpy on a good day and this puts me right over the edge.  My hope is that now that these kids have to get up to go to work in the morning they will observe the unspoken rule that loud noise needs to stop at 10.  I will now stop acting like I am 100 years old and resume my regular life. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Update on My Metatarsal

So I went to the emergency room about my foot and I am happy to say that it is not broken.  I still have no idea what I did to it, but it kept getting worse and there were people telling me stories about how they waited too long to seek help and then it had to be re-broken....  I really did not want that to happen to me.  I didn't think I could wait until Tuesday. 

We all know that if I would have waited it really would have been broken and they would have asked me why I waited so long.  As it was, I was somewhat embarrassed about going in the first place since I waited almost two weeks.  It is red and swollen and it wasn't getting better. 

All that really matters is that it is not broken.  I will continue to ice it and take some Tylenol.  Perhaps it will go away eventually. 

Another blog about nothing

Yesterday Dave got into one of his cleaning frenzies where everything had to be perfect or he was going to kill all of us trying.  I really hate it when he gets like this, but I like the results.  We got the downstairs cleared out and now the boys can play down there so I do not have to know anything about the Xbox.    For all concerned about them playing unsupervised, I am very strict about what games are allowed into my house, and in fact have received criticism that I need to loosen up.  Andrew, that is not going to happen. 

I think I may have broken my foot.  I am not sure how this could have happened, but it hurts when I touch it and is red and swollen.  I am trying to decide if I should wait until Tuesday to see my regular doctor or to go to the emergency room to have it looked at.  I thought I could wait on Friday but it seems to be getting worse. 

My kids have been watching The Smurfs on the Boomerang channel.  I had forgotten how irritating that theme song can be.  It is like "Its a Small World" and will get stuck deep in my head and come out at the most  inappropriate time.  If you happen to hear me singing it under my breath, please make me stop.  Also, what was Neil Patrick Harris thinking when he agreed to be in the movie that is coming out?  I love him and I hope this is not detrimental to his career. 

We had the neighborhood breakfast on the street where I grew up.  It could also be called the Fountain of Longevity (I can't say youth because they are all in their late 80's or early 90's)since most of the people that lived there are still alive.  My parents bring the average age down by about 5 years since they are only in their 70's. We were joking that people move away at their own risk.   It is cholesterol heaven because they start the fire up about 6:00, even in the thunderstorm, and then they cook bacon, eggs, pancakes, monkey bread, etc and we all eat it until we burst.  It is one of my favorite things about summer. 

Oh well, that is about all that is happening.  I hope that Dave is over his cleaning jag and we can have a more relaxing day today.  I also hope that we all have a safe and happy 4th of July.