I'm Who? Or What?

Mark is a comedian. He teases. He knows just what to say to make me laugh. The other day he pointed at the following items and called each of them "mamma":

Steve is the ice cream man, Mark is the boy on the stool and, yes, I am the one wearing the bonnet with gray hair! If you look closely she is steaming milk for a latte. Wait, maybe that is me???

He calls all of these "mamma", but the one that really grabs his attention is the green Phillies mascot with that goofy horn for a nose.

And don't even ask me what this one is about, unless he is recalling my mean mom face. Is it that bad? With red, glowing eyes too? And if your child is a Star Wars buff, that is the Emperor!


My 2nd Grade Perm Prize

I went to my mailbox this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to see my prizes arrived from the worst contest I ever decided to take part in. (It really wasn't "the worst". Just click and see!)

Very special thanks to Petroville, My Two Boys & The Chicago Moms Blog for the $15 iTunes gift card and three Snapfish gift cards totalling 150 digital prints. What family doesn't need that? And isn't Petroville's magnet cute? It'll grace our refrigerator like many other items do.

Blessings to all of you!

Wordless Wednesday: Armed & Dangerous

Visited 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday for more!


We Must Be Dreaming

On Saturday we decided to take a trip around the Chicago suburbs to check out a local Trader Joes and a restaurant known for their gluten free menu: WILDFIRE RESTAURANT

We absolutely love
Trader Joes' brown rice pastas. They are so firm and hearty; no different than any wheat pasta. Then we browsed around and Matt found a flourless chocolate cake. He is ready to dive into that after dinner with a scoop of ice cream. And the prices....holy cow!

Off to Wildfire. All I can say is this: They serve a
hamburger on a gluten free bun. Matt was really anxious to order that. Think about it; since turning two he has ordered a "burger with no bun" at every McD's and Culvers. He had every right to be busting out the seams! We all took a bite and thought the bun was delicious. I asked the waitress what buns they use and before we know it the executive chef walks to our table and welcomes us. He opened up about all his gluten free culinary education and know-hows. He gave us tips and we chatted on for at least 10 minutes more. As you know Matt is a fan of the Food Network, so he was a little star-struck talking to the "big man of the kitchen" wearing his white coat and all. It was like Bobby Flay himself.

Then the dessert tray comes. Matt replies back in a nice, quiet voice (I don’t think so), “FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH ICE CREAM! Oh, I am totally getting that guys!”

Unless your family knows what it’s like to live around a special needs diet, you can’t fully understand what this felt like. We were beaming!

Ok, this day can’t possibly go any better, right? Wrong!

On our way home we stopped by Wild Oats (a first time trip for us) and Matt was like a kid in a candy store. Choosing between chocolate chip cookies or butter crackers – a gluten free dieters dream! We stocked up on more than we thought and headed home.

I will conclude this post with words from Matt on our way back home:
“Happy Gluten Free Day!”


And the Worst Winner Is.....


Out of all the contests to win, I win this one. So the testimony of my bad perm lives on.....

Thanks to Petroville for such a fun, but sad to live through that again, contest! And all you frequent bloggers that visit here: HATS OFF TO YOU!

Also, my dear, sweet friend, Stephanie, gave me a big shout out. You know how many people visit her popular blog. I think that helped!

So I am anticipating my iTunes gift card, which I am not sure if I'll use for my benfit or search for Wiggles tunes that guarentee a quiet car ride with my boys.....also a benefit! Chicago Mom Blogs and My Two Boys are surprising me with something too. Anything to kill the sorrow from viewing that 2nd grade portrait again!


Your Vote Counts!

Please visit Petroville and vote for my worst school portrait ever. Can you guess which one I am? Well, those that have been with my blog for some time should know. For those that are new, I'll give you a hint: first and frizzy with a nice pair of light blue 80's glasses.

What was I thinking entering this contest?!?!?!

Wordless Wednesday: Maybe my hubby should try out for "Survivor"?


What Goes Around......

It was one of those days. The boys were bickering at one another. They asked for another snack for the third time and it wasn’t even noon yet. One complained of the other touching their stuff. The other complained about the other taking their toy away. Then they started complaining just to hear themselves complain. As this is happening you can see the joy on my face melting away to that mean-mom expression. Come on, moms, admit it! We’ve all exposed that face from time to time.

If my memories serve me right I don’t remember seeing my mom lose it and get all frazzled like that. Did I really drive my parents to the brick of craziness like my boys do to me? We weren’t that bad just as long as we kept the bickering to ourselves while goofing off in the basement. I mean when my parents said, “Stop it,” we did immediately. Right? My brothers and I always knew our place during travels to and from church. I always walked along side my mom during our time in a grocery store. We always came to the table the first time called for dinner. And it never took multiple times reminding us to shower, brush our teeth and go to bed over and over and over again.

So one day in the middle of my daily chaos I asked my mom, “Good grief, did we do this to you growing up?”

She replied, “You three drove me nuts!” (I think I caught a little mean-mom expression in her face as she recalled that time.)



Lift Up One Another

Someone I love dearly needs a kind word and encouragement from the Lord today. Go there now!!

Our family loves your family, Steph. Be strong!


He Will Eventually Be Reading Stats

Mark my words! I came downstairs this morning to find Matt already up watching Sportscenter with Steve. Here are some things Matt said (or sometimes shouted):

"Dad, the Cubs barely made it....again! Dempster didn't blow another one!"

"Hold on guys...they are talking about Peyton Manning."

"Shhh! The Bears are on! Urlacher.....it's Urlacher, baby! Ah, yeah, that's my guy!"

"Toronto v. Yankees.....Alex Rodriguez? Is he really good?"

"Mom, Matthew Bear! There is a player named Matthew Bear!" (Now I am not sure if this is true since I began typing this while sipping my morning coffee.)

"I can't go up and get ready for school now, Mom, they are going through the top 10!"


Wordless Wednesday: Keep Hangin' On!

At Silver Beach visiting St. Joseph, Michigan back in August.

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesdays



Send your congratulations to Jaymi (aka The Flip Flop Mamma) who just gave birth to a son last night, Jonathan David Jr. Many blessings to your family, Jaymi!!


New Crocs and a Chop

Last week I bought my second pair of Crocs thanks to a gift card I won at a fundraiser back in April. Since we are Chicago Cubs fans I chose a nice Cubbie blue pair. What do you think? Matt also chose a church-wearing chocolate brown pair. Yes, at our church many kids (adults too) wear their Crocs with dress pants, shorts, sundresses and all. Stylin' man!

So with the gift card, plus a 20% off coupon, I got a great deal. SCORE! (Hi-5 to Hallmark)

And what do you think of my new hairdo? I've been growing out my layers and bangs, so I chopped it up to my shoulders. You moms know how important a fuss-free style can be. Bangs do well after a shampoo/style, but straight outta bed not so much - at least for me. So far so good and soooo easy!

(My boys' bathroom mirror practically covers the entire wall. You can imagine how many toothpaste spatters I clean up in a week. Good grief, that snapshot reveals all of me, including my camera and tanless legs!)

And I want to send my apologies to our neighborhood for hearing the many yells, cheers, rants, screams and even foot stompings from our family room Sunday. It was the Bears season opener and they lost. Oh boo hoo....then I flipped to the Food Network!

Today Mark and I are off to our library's story hour. Hope he enjoys that!


Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Check out Steph's blog to view some memorable photos. Yes there is one of me and a few others from my blogroll.

Today I am busy gathering baby items for a family in need. My sister-in-law from Southern Indiana is due over any minute to grab everything for parents that just had twin preemies. After we comb through the house ridding everything meant for babies, we'll dive into lunch and chat. I'm sure I will wipe a small tear as they are driven away, but unless the sky parts and God strikes a lightening bolt declaring I am with child, it's not happening again. We are content with our two boys. With that now out in the open, I am rejoicing that these items will bless another family and not be tossed out.

UPDATE: Erin called me after delivering the items to the family last night. They were SO grateful and everything will be put to use. I think we cleared out my whole basement! I feel great!



Mommy Dentist

Did I ever mention I used to be a dental assistant? That sure came in handy today. With a tug and pull tooth #3 came out and Matt didn't even scream or flinch. He bragged to all his buddies that "mom yanked it out good".

Like I promised: there will be Pokemon Cards under Matt's pillow tomorrow morning. I better head to bed since I assume a 5:30am walk-up-call is coming my way to explain all the characters he received. Sweet dreams!

Things are better. Thanks for asking.

Those oral steroids did a number on Mark's personality. One minute he was happy, then next minute he was crabby about something so trivial. That hit many nerves! His last dose was Friday evening, so we are enjoying normal, independent Mark again. He is still enduring morning and evening breathing treatments until his cough subsides. He's so good about it with the help of The Wiggles with Becky Bluegrass on the side: "Everybody clap.....everybody sing.....lah lah lah lah laaaaahh....."

Steve is on the mend. His muscles are still sore, but he's actually moving around. It was a bad case of the flu -- in September??? Go figure.

Matt and I soared through these illnesses with flying colors. Maybe a sniffle or two, but nothing major. Don't make me think what could happen if I was bed ridden during this crazy time! The garbage would be overflowing. Spills left to stick. Food left to rot. And two boys with greasy hair and dirty knees. Ick!

And speaking of the boys, I counted 21 mosquito bites on Matt and almost 10 on Mark. What's up with that? Steve and I agree that those pests came after the fall of man. What good are they but to fill the stomaches of many bats! Maybe we just need a new pet?

Now back to the Pokemon Labor Day Marathon. Oh joy. Matt is determined to get this top front tooth out, which is hanging by a thread, in order to find Pokemon cards under his pillow tomorrow morning.


A Whirlwind Day

Have you ever had a day that seemed like you are in a movie? You know, things are so off the wall that someone must be recording these series of events.

That was me on Friday -- with a little Thursday in the mix.

Wednesday night Mark spiked a temp. He started a cold Monday and with his ear tubes I needed to make sure they were still in place. I mean this fever crept out of nowhere. So Thursday morning with the temperature still up, I called the boys' doctor. We go in.

Ears clear. Tubes still in place. But I did notice his breathing was a bit heavy and crackly in Mark's throat. I assume it's part of the cold. Just mucus. No big deal.

"He's having an asthma attack," our doctor reveals. "WHAT?" I ask.

Mark never ceases to surprise me. He never complains. He was playing fine. So what's this about an asthma attack? The doctor shows me his belly region and sure enough, you can see Mark's stomach and rib cage contracting hard. Nice. I am the good mom that was on top of things. NOT! I felt awful.

So after two breathing treatments in the office and a couple more prescriptions, we were sent home. We already had a nebulizer for croup problems in the past. Thankfully this asthma attack isn't long term, just a result from the cold virus.

Is it weird to say I thanked the Lord for Mark's fever? I don't think so. If that fever never came, I would have gone on our regular day not knowing Mark's lungs were tightening. God is so good!

Fast forward to the early morning hours on Friday. Steve taps my side in bed and reveals he has a temperature of 103.5! Are you kidding me? I ask if he has an pain in his throat, stomach or head. He replies, "No." So he takes some Tylenol and goes back to sleep.

With a temperature of 100 he still decides to go to school anyway. That's Steve. Nothing slows him down. He thinks he's feeling better with the help of Tylenol until around noon when he temperature spikes back up again to 102+. He's off to immediate care since our doctor wasn't in Friday. With his temperature so high, Steve was a bit nervous.

Around 2pm I get a call from a nurse saying Steve got sick in the waiting room and that they were going to give him an anti-nausea shot which will knock him out. And the call came at a great time: Mark is napping and Matt is due home in an hour. You know, perfect timing!

You know, praise God for our neighborhood. Our good friend down the street came over to make sure Mark was looked after during his nap. So I was able to leave without bothering him. Then our other neighbor met Matt at the bus stop and took him to their home until I arrived back. This same neighbor watched both boys again while his wife took me back to the clinic so I could pick up Steve's truck. And let me just say that I parked that full-size truck in our 2-1/2 car garage without help. I rock!

After conjuring up a dinner consisting of chicken nuggets and carrot sticks, everyone had a chance to finally settle and rest -- especially me! Steve was finally waking after being out for 6 hours. I guess it's just a nasty virus. I got him to drink fluids and take a couple Tylenol. You think I let him off that easy? I reminded him next time he has a temperature of 100, please don't go to work, stay home and rest so I don't end up having to relive that day over again!!

So, what would you title this movie I lived in? How about "Whirlwind Days"? That has a nice ring to it.

Off to the mow the lawn because someone is zonked out on the couch again.......