I know I threatened this before, but I have officially moved over to Wordpress.
Find me here:
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
See this shirt here? A few weeks ago I got something like it. In black, but where the cleavage starts showing it had a little swatch of tasteful black lace that kept my cleavage somewhat under control. I know, it sounds tacky but really it was fine, and it was the perfect top because it offered gut and butt coverage, yet I still had a waist. And in basic black I could not go wrong for work or play.
Mornings are crazy and as I rushed the boys out the door I grabbed it out of the clean laundry pile and threw it on over khaki's with tasteful black flats. I didn't have time to check out the whole outfit, but it's a go-to shirt so no worries. I dug earrings and a necklace out of my purse on the ride to work and checked my hair and lipstick in the rear view. All was well.
Hours later I am sitting in a meeting. A meeting where I TALKED About WORK STUFF to other people. At WORK. With WORK PEOPLE. At some point the meeting finally ended and I ran to the ladies room, only to find that there were three big holes in my "tasteful" black lace inset. Three holes. Suddenly my "tasteful" lace inset, which was supposed to be covering my cleavage, had become a beacon of trashy in an otherwise white-bread outfit. Instead of cleavage camoflauge, I was unknowingly providing a frightening peep show. I was Amy Winehouse in a mini-van.
I don't know how the three holes got there, but I suspect it might have something to do with assorted cars that unnamed short people that I live with may or may not have thrown into the wash that I may or may not have recovered when they started clanging away in the dryer. We may never know.
In any event, I had some quick lace damage control to do. Since I am not a 17th century nun, I don't know how to repair lace. So I hit the ladies room with a pair of nail scissors, and whipped the shirt off and went to work carefully cutting the lace inset out and then sewing a few small stitches along the neckline to minimize tit exposure. Thank God for those little sewing kits they give you in hotels or I would have had to glue the shirt to my neck to avoid flashing my already spooked co-workers.
Yesterday I overheard my kids in a heated argument. They were toe to toe, screaming at each other:
"It's going to be party sunny!"
I had to intervene at this point, because they were literally coming to blows. If only my local weather guys were this passionate. It would make the morning newscast so much more exciting.
And over the weekend we discovered one kid loves chicken wings, and the other one loves tacos. I figure they are ready for college now.
Hence the return of the ads over there. The weather brutes need a college fund.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So I have been in kind of funk for a few days and this morning it wasn't any better. Lots of little things bothering me, none of which I can really do anything about.
Anyway I decided that if I was going to get out of it I needed to DO something. I decided to try the old fake it until you make it and just pretend that I am happy until it sticks. And so far so good. I wrestled and chased with the kids, making them laugh and scream until we were hopelessly late this morning. I have smiled and chatted with everyone I made eye contact with today, let people cut in front of me in traffic and waved, bought coffee for a co-worker and sent a few emails to long distance friends just to say hi.
And I do feel better, I do. But the best thing about this day was something I saw when I ran out for coffee. Normally I HATE graffiti of any kind, but today I passed something that just cracked me up. Someone had painted "The P Crew" on a wall behind a drug store months ago. Sometime in the last few days, someone else came along and changed it to "The Poop Crew". Then as I continued along the lane behind this same store, I saw that they had also changed several street signs. One that previously said "Do Not Enter" now says "Do Not Poop" and another that said "Do Not Park Here" now says "Do Not Poop Here". I laughed all the way back to work.
I wonder if The Poop Crew is looking for new members? Can you imagine what the gang initiation would be?
Updated to add - WW Week Three Weigh In - 1 stinking pound. I was perfect and I even exercised. I am bummed.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Do you use Paypal? I used to, but then I forgot my password and since I had originally signed up with an old email address that had since gone extinct, I wasnt able to have them resend my password. So I tried creating a new account with my new email address and because I wanted to link it to the same bank account, they freaked. Treated me like I was trying to defraud paypal and bring down the entire US Financial system.
So I stopped buying stuff with Paypal. Which means I quit eBay. Nice for my spending habits, but not so nice for my Precious Moments collection. Kidding! I hate Precious Moments crap.
If I offended you, then please let me know and I will
laugh at you apologize.
But lately I have been sort of missing eBay. What I can't find on craiglist, I could always find there. And I have some stuff I want to sell on eBay. But what to do without Paypal?
I will tell you what I did. There is a new money exchanger in town and it is called RevolutionMoneyExchange. I first heard about it on Money Saving Moms and then I googled it and found out that yes, they do indeed give you $25 just for signing up. So i ran over and signed up and Bam, I have a $25 credit in my account.
If you would like to sign up, you will also get $25 and I will get $10 for referring you. Click that fancy green button up on the right, under my boys heads. And then I can go back to ebay and buy you something nice for your Precious Moments collection.
Friday, April 4, 2008
It is April, therefore it is time for my annual "It's Yard Sale Season!" Pep Talk.
I am a sworn yard saler, and have become even more passionate about it since I realized it is my favorite way to be "Green". Granted, I live in an area where people have a lot of disposable income and get rid of great things at their yard sales. Its "easy being green" when you are buying great, nearly-new kids clothes for 50 cents piece, and like-new books and toys for 25 cents. I have bought brand new appliances (coffee grinders, blenders, crock pots, bread machines, even a $150 knife sharpener) that people just didn't want or need once they got them. One of the best sales I ever hit was that of a shiny brand new lesbian couple. Both woman giggled and held hands as they sold me all of their unopened or unused weddings gifts from their "previous lives". Hey, not that there is anything wrong with it.
So here, in no specific order, are my yard sale buyer and seller tips:
- Get the Friday paper, and check craigslist for your area. Map out where you want to go. Neighborhood sales are the best because you can hit a lot of houses in one neighborhood.
- When I go to a Neighborhood yard sale, I don't hit the first few houses in the neighborhood. I drive all the way to the back of the development and work my way back. Everyone hits the first few houses. Also, If you are looking for something specific - such as a ladder or a rocking chair, do a quick drive by of all of the houses in the development to see if anyone has one.
- Get up early Saturday and be there when they start. I hate when people show up during the last hour of my garage sales and want to know where the bikes and kids clothes are. Hello???! I sold them at 8am when the sale started. There is no such thing as "having more in the stockroom" at a yard sale.
- Be respectful of people's prices. If you think they are a bit steep, ask them if they would take less for something if you buy a lot. I will always give a discount to someone who is buying a lot.
- Have small bills. I have had many garage sales where my first 8 customers all had 20's. Which is fine if they were all spending $15, but that's rarely the case.
- Don't be afraid to ask your fellow shoppers where the other garage sales are. I find some of my best shopping tips word of mouth from my fellow bargain hunters.
- Never had a Yard Sale? Don't be afraid! There isn't anything you can really do wrong other than over price. Ask a friend to do it with you to defray nerves and the cost of advertising. Give yourself a few weekends to gather and price your stuff in advance, and have a few card tables and boxes to display your stuff.
- Adult clothing sells better when it is hung up on hangers. Kids clothes sell better in bins sorted by size and gender. I don't know why.
- Dont overprice. People who come to yard sales are looking for a bargain, and you are looking to clear out some crap. It's win-win, but not if no one buys anything. If people keep picking things up and then not buying anything, ask them to make you an offer. You can always say no. If you are really uncomfortable about setting prices, hit a few local yard sales the weekend before and see what the market will bear.
- As you put your stuff out, ask yourself what you really don't want to have to drag back in the house and be willing to negotiate on price. At my yard sales, I generally find that I am willing to part with about 75% of it at any price, and the other 25% I am firm on.
- Don't take checks. Cash only. Real shoppers know this.
- Don't be afraid of early birds. I find I make most of the money at my yard sales in the first hour and a half. Sometimes even before the "official" start time. People who show up before you even open the garage door are serious shoppers, they don't care if you don't have everything on display yet.
- If you just want to get rid of a lot of stuff quickly, do what a friend of mine did and have a $5 bag sale. She had tons and tons of clothes and she gave everyone a paper grocery bag and charged $5 per bag. They could have as much as they could stuff in a bag for $5. She sold out every single time she did it. I have heard of people doing this in the final hour of their sale too, just to clear things out.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
So these are things I am putting out there right now. Feel free to blow some good luck, parayers or karma dust in this general direction. If you leave your wants in the comments, I promise to visualize them for you when I am parallel parking in my great spot in front of the door.
I want Christine and Bart to sell their house.
I want John to find a nice girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
I want Amy and Bill to find peace of mind.
I want Tom and I to get out of debt and go on a real vacation.
I want my mother to relax.
I want to see Jackie again soon.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The last five weekends have been busy with birthday parties, housework, holidays, yardwork, and relatives. This was our first weekend with nothing planned. We decided to do one of your favorite things - head for the beach. We love the beach in the off-season. No traffic and no parking meters, but with plenty of sun and room to run around.
Hey, our table is ready at Grotto !
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
As we got older, and the families extended even further, holidays started to splinter off into immediate families. We saw less and less of the extended cousins, aunts and uncles. Every family started their own traditions. But I missed the big holidays of my youth and this year I decided that we would throw open the doors for Easter and invite the extended family. Phone calls were made to cousins and aunts and uncles. And on Sunday we had over 30 people.
Heading out the door for the Easter Egg Hunt.
It was loud, and filled with kids and laughter and Easter eggs. After a huge meal and an Easter Egg Hunt,the men went for a ride down the road to check out the house that my cousin is building. The women did the dishes and laid out the desserts. We made coffee and gathered around the table to laugh and gossip. The kids ran in and out swiping candy from the many baskets and bowls scattered around the house. The older kids played football in the back yard, while the little kids ran all over the house.
Checking out the Easter Egg's he found.
At one point the basement door opened and we could hear a loud racket from below. My kids were down there riding Big Wheels with their cousins. And then it hit me that it had come full circle. My kids were enjoying exactly the kind of Easter that I did when I was a kid. And that was better than a whole basket of Peeps.
Better than all the Peeps in the world.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I would have dumped him hard. Lawyered up, taken him for every penny, and then booked myself with Matt Lauer for an in-depth interview, and then Oprah for some healing. Perhaps a book deal.
But she didn't. For whatever reason, be it a sense of loyalty to the father of her children, or an attempt to save face, or as some people have intimated, a well-paid last obligation as first lady of New York. She had her reasons.
But since she did do what she did, and did it on TV, in two different press conferences, we all feel entitled to comment on it. And I for one am a bit perturbed by some of the commentary I have seen on her - how she is Harvard educated and a fool and how could she do this and demean women? One jackass even blamed her. Blah, blah, sanctimonious, self-serving BLAH!
I, for one, would have killed him before there was time for a press conference. But no one know what happens in a marriage. No one know what other people suck up and deal with for the sake of the kids. Or to preserve their lifestyle. Or because it is easier to look the other way than to deal with the ugly truth of the situation and what it would take to leave. Lots of women and men make the same decision every day. To stand by their spouse, even in the face of cheating and lying and dishonor. They just don't have to do it on TV. Instead they go on with their lives as if everything is fine, posing for family Christmas card pictures and making vacation plans and keeping it all shiny, happy and perfect on the outside.
Everyone has dirty laundry. Silda just had to wear hers in front of us. Instead of slamming Silda, lets all just be grateful we don't have any hooker-related press conferences in our near future.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Somewhere in my travels through the old internets, I found a link encouraging me to enter a contest over the The Paper Cafe. Being a ridiculously hopeful sort, I linked right over to enter and ended up practically spending the afternoon there looking at all of the cute stuff.
The contest, which I won!! Was for these adorable fun note pads.
No more sick notes scribbled on the back of a deposit slip!!
Good for kids, and husbands.
It just needs a spot for "The good candy is hidden in ___________".
Makes remembering to buy tampons and Windex much sexier.
I have already saved a few favorite items in my shopping cart for future purchase, as soon as I know where one sister will be moving.
Run over there and enter the March Giveaway
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Three years ago right now, I was being wheeled into the delivery room. I was about to begin the greatest experience of my life. I knew that I would love being a mother, but nothing prepared me for how much I would love it, and love you.
From the moment you were born, you were better than any fantasy I had ever had about what my children would be like. I held you in wonder and I couldn't believe that you came from me, that I was responsible for your perfect little nose, your tiny hands and your pink feet. I thought I would get used to it, but you still take my breath away all of the time with your gorgeous deliciousness. Eamon, the way your eyes twinkle and dance when you laugh at something I said. Jonas, the way you stare at me with those big blue eyes, full of so much trust and faith in me that sometimes I don't feel worthy.
In the last year you have both taken off in a million different directions. Eamon you are a born performer, and are happiest when you are making us laugh with a story or a silly dance. You need a little more time to wake up in the morning, but once you do you leap into the day with the energy and curiosity of 10 kids. You want to learn all of the time, and you are always looking for something new to climb, read, color, or throw. You love school and your friends, but you also like just being with your family too. I love when we are all at the dinner table and you look around and do "roll call", saying "My Daddy, My Mommy, My Jonas, and Me!!". At night, just before bed, you snuggle up next to me and sigh contentedly "This is our house Mommy. You and me and Daddy and Jonas." You do love your brother and always refer to him as "My Jonas". You don't like when you don't know what he is doing or where he is, and you even stand up for him when he is in time-out, waiting at his knee until he gets out. You favorite things right now are your turtles, The Backyardigans, and Diego. You learn the words to songs quickly and love to sing. When we ride in the car for any length of time, Jonas invariably falls asleep and you sing. And sing, and sing, until the last mile or two of the trip, when you feel into a deep sleep, with your fingers playing with your hair. You are my sunshine, my sweet, sweet boy.
And Jonas, you love Eamon right back. Lately you have taken to grabbing him for a "Big squeeze" and saying "You my best friend!". Nothing makes me happier than watching how you two love each other. You have become protective of your brother, stepping in to protect him from Graham when he yelled at Eamon one day at "school", and always looking out for him when cookies or milk or markers are being handed out. You also love school, but not as much as football, which has become your obsession. We guess it is because you worship your older cousins, who all play football. You talk about it all of the time, and we can pretty much get you to eat anything if we tell you that it will make you a strong football player. You have favorite football shirts and Steelers socks that you want to wear every day, and can spy them in the clean laundry basket from a mile away. You love your books and "Jack's Big Music Show" and you love, love, love to dance. Most days when we get to school, you run up to your teacher and ask her if you can "go dance", and I am late to work sometimes because I just love watching you groove and shimmy to your favorite songs. But I think your favorite thing to do is to chase and wrestle with Daddy and Eamon. I love your hysterical screams and laughter when "Daddy Bear" chases you and catches you in a bear hug. You are getting so big, but your are still my snuggly Baby Joe with the softest, most kissable cheeks in the world.
Both of you have learned so much in the last year, You are full of words and chatter and stories and songs. You have very definite preferences in clothes, books, food, TV shows and stuffed animals. You like going to the park, and the "Milk Store" (Costco) to see the "Muffin Man" (baker). You love your bath, but hate brushing your teeth. You like balls and trucks and cars and trains. We watched "The Polar Express" at least 40 times in the last four months and soon, very soon we will take a real train ride to celebrate potty training success. I love when we are riding in the car and you spy the letters you are learning in school, and hearing you say the Pledge of Allegiance, and telling me what the weather is every day.
Every day with you is filled with joy, and delight, and challenges and learning. You have changed me forever, for better, and I have never been as happy to be anything as I am to be your mother.
Happy Birthday, and many, many more, my sweet boys.
Monday, March 10, 2008
It was great. 16 kids, plus my two. They had a blast. Jumped, rolled and danced in The Little Gym, which I highly recommend. Those women who run the party are great with the kids and had us in and out of their in 90 minutes with military precision. 90 minutes was just right for the 3-4 social set. Enough time to warm up to their peers, run around like lunatics, have a snack, and then head home for a nap.
I will try to upload a video later today. My kids are the greatest. Expect a weepy 3rd birthday letter tomorrow, the actual Big Day.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I am neck deep in 3rd birthday party preparations. Oh, and work, and my marriage and parenting too. (Riiiiggghhhhtttt!)
Mostly birthday party prep though. I dont know why. We are having it at The Little Gym, where they pride themselves on doing everything for you. But I am still sweating the details. And losing sleep.
Helicopter much, Michele?
I think as of tonight I will finally have all of the
for the favors. I spent less time planning my wedding. The coolest part will be the Super Kid Dance Mix CD's my sister and my wonderful nephew Joost made up for us.
That's Christine in the middle, and Joost is off to the right in orange.
But I did lift my head up out of the bags of favors long enough to do some reading on what now with Obama and Clinton. And I saw this, on comments in the blog "Crooks and Liars", and thought it raised some interesting points regarding the experience issue, which is repeatedly being thrown around. I am at that stage right now where I am so overwhelmed with data by both campaigns, and the rest of my life, that I cant focus on what is real and what is spin. So these facts and figures (assuming they are as they say) were very helpful.
I welcome your comments. I do. Just dont make me have to think too hard until after Saturdays birthday party.
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6yrs. - and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law - 20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress www.thomas.loc.gov, but to save you trouble, I’ll post them here for you.
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O’Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton’s bills are, more substantive.
16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
There you have it, the fact’s straight from the Senate Record.
During the first - 8 - eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced:
233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.
NY TImes Obama’s record in the Illinois Senate
The New York Times
His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These inculded:
1. The Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law,
2. The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, - became law,
3. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
4. The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law,
5. The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.
In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.
An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would prefer that this comparison not be made public.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Did anyone else hear that idiot Bill Cunningham on NPR the other day? Insisting on referring to Barack Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama", with an emphasis on "Hussein"?
It really chapped me, and with my love of all things moisturizing, that is saying alot. Yes, I am an Obama Sheep, Obamaniac, or whatever derivative you would like to use to describe me, but c'mon. That is a cheap shot, along the lines of the recent "garb-gate".
Anyway, I am also a Hussein Sheep, because I am participating in the Momocrats campaign to show Bill that it's not nice to make fun of people's names, but a name is just a name. A name does NOT make him a terrorist.
In other news:
Hey, I am thinking of moving over to Wordpress. Any thoughts? Anyone been there, done that?
And, I signed up for Weight Watchers. I have no excuse not to. My company will reimburse me 100% once I attend 18 meetings. And it will take way more than 18 meetings to get my ass in any kind of shape. So my meeting vouchers will be in next week, and then I will hit my first meeting. In preparation, I may eat a whole side of beef this weekend.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
You are The Wheel of Fortune
Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success
The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Mix dry cake mix with ONE beaten egg and oil. Mixture will be crumbly. Reserve one cup of mixture, and press the rest in 9x12 pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
While crust is baking, Mix cream cheese, other egg, sugar, and juice of lemon with hand mixer until fluffy. I also added the zest from the lemon, but I am a lemon freak. Spread cream mixture onto slightly cooled crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture crumbs over.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Serve. Refrigerate if you can wait.
Friday, February 22, 2008
"under the school skirt" - I am guessing not a pencil...
" up my moms skirt = Ewww!
"under mom's skirt" - See above. Ew.
"under the skirt nylon" - Anything like "Tripping the Light Fantastic"?
"jane austen mug" - Well, at least you didnt want to see under Jane's skirt
"babe legs unde skirt" - For the foreign visitors
"shrinking down my skirt" - I wish
"problems pantyhose up my skirt" - I have found the title for my Autobiography
"under skirt church" - During lent?? Have you no soul??
"babe with big ones" - Here!
"under up all skirts "- An equal opportunity perv.
"flip my skirt" - Tramp
"under the skirts" - We are all the same.
"One two babe" - With or without my skirt?
"pantyhose under my skirt" - You had to search google to find this out?
"gay boys playing with their brothers toys" - How did you slip in here?
"i got two, she my bitch" - My husband.
"moms for boy babe" - May I suggest Dina Lohan?
"up my teachers skirt" - An educated perv.
"babe in kilt" - Shout out to my Scottish friends.
"hairy under the skirt" - For the same sex brides.
"Put down(Frost) under the skirt" - This makes me cold.
"jane austen coffee mug" - I thought she drank tea...?
"skirts slipping down" - talk to the skirt shrinker above.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Last night we bought this leather sofa (But in taupe, and without the surrounding decor. This is the best facsimile I could find online)
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday night Tom and I had a date. A SLEEPOVER date. As in, the kids went elsewhere and Tom and I had the night/house/car/morning all to ourselves for the first time in three years.
And I just have one thing toask. What the HELL took us so long?????
It was delicious.
We have been on dates before, but they were quickies. We would put the kids to bed before we left, and be home before eleven. The kids wouldnt even know we were gone. But this time we packed them up and dumped them at my parents house for 20 hours of videos, cookies, snacks and grandparental love.
We had dinner at a hip restaurant. An Asian-fusion kind of place. It was packed, so we sat at the bar and had drinks, like real adults, and then we were so happy there that we decided to eat there at the bar. We ordered lots of wonderful not-kid friendly things, like sushi rolls with names like Angry Tuna and Dragon Fire and enough fresh wasabi to levitate the hair on my head. And then we had another drink before we left and strolled over to a bookstore where we had coffee and browsed and read magazines and did not even one time have to wipe someones nose, put anyone in time-out, or wrestle anyone into a public bathroom stall for the dreaded standing poopy diaper change.
And then we had the house to ourselves. Which can mean a number of things, and we did all of them.
That sound you hear is that of my sister gagging as she read that.
And we skipped church.
But all good things must end and then we couldnt wait to get our hands on the boys yesterday. I buried my head in their neck and inhaled their little boy-puppy smell. I got big, sloppy wet kisses and stories about where they slept and what they watched and ate and played with.
The more they talked the more I realzied how much I missed them while Tom and I were off on our extended "date".
And then we whipped out the calendar to schedule the next one.
Friday, February 15, 2008
So I hit Target this morning for the 50% Valentine's day stuff.
No, no candy. We have sugar coming out of our eyeballs from the haul the kids got yesterday at their Valentine Party, and the years supply of Thin Mints that arrived earlier in the week. I went for the non-edible stuff - the cute kitchen towels, the cookie cutters, the sprinkles and pink jimmies that will still be good next year, the pink bowls. La, la, la.
I grabbed some cute towels and then I see a display similiar to this one:
My kids are all over the Backyardigans and I am psyched when I see Pablo's head among all of the Dora's and Blue's Clues tubes. These will make perfect Potty Training
bribes rewards. I search through several trays until I find another Pablo - Score! I want to find one more for my niece, and as I am looking an 8 or 9 year old girl comes over to check the tubes out. She snatches up Dora and Blue, and then checks out what I have. She looks through the trays and then gives me a dirty look and a "Hmmmph!" and flounces off.
Whatever. Why isn't she in school?
I can't find another Backyardigans so I decided to check the third and final V-Day aisle to see if I missed anything. I see Dirty Look girl at the other end of the aisle with her mother (?) and she points to me and announces "That's her! That's the lady who took the last Backyardigans!"
Now I have the full attention of 11 other V-Day bargain shoppers. All of whom are wondering what kind of witch would deprive this
bratty, wench dear child of the toys of her choice. I felt my face grow hot and my armpits start to sweat, and the best I could come up with, in the face of this school skipping snot girl and her permed mother was,
"But, I am trying to potty train twins."
Yup. Another Rockstar moment for me. Sigh.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
A really nice guy named Pete sent me samples of "Gloves in a Bottle" to review here. I was curious about it because not only am I a fanatical hand washer, I also have naturally dry skin that gets even worse in the winter. Gloves in a Bottle describes itself as a "Shielding Lotion". Instead of working as artifical moisture, as conventional hand creams do, Gloves in a Bottle professes to bind "with, the outer layer of skin creating a protective layer while retaining the natural moisture from within. This makes it the perfect dry skin care product...It does not wash off, but comes off naturally with exfoliated skin cells. Just reapply every four hours for continued protection."
I was really psyched to get the opportunity to sample something for free and write about it. I was sure I was going to love it and have 99 wonderful things to say about it and then other people would see my fabulous reviews and send me boxes of free make-up, shampoo and gadgets to try. Well, lets just say I wont be waiting by the mailbox for the flood of freebies. But it did pay off as a sociological experiment into what motivates me and Tom in our choices in grooming.
I tried it for several days running to see how it compared to my two go-to hand creams - Curel for next to the kitchen sink, and Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Moisturizing Hand Cream in the bathroom, in my purse and on my desk. Gloves in a Bottle comes in a royal blue bottle and looks like something you would see in a doctors office. The texture is that of a milky lotion, thinner than both Curel and BBW, but also very rapidly absorbed. Within less than a minute my hands are softer and yet dry enough to do anything without a greasy, damp or slippery feel. That is about equal to Curel for me, but much faster than BBW, which tends to feel greasier longer.
Every time I applied it, I waited at least half an hour before washing my hands again. I noticed that my hands got a dry, almost squeakly feel to them between applications, but definitely felt softer and looked moisturized. The feeling did last between hand washings, but never for the entire 4 hours that the product specs describe. Or maybe I am just a handwashing freak. I didn't see that it did much for my cuticles though, which are a problem area for me and one of the reasons I love BBW creme. I was also somewhat turned off by the smell, which reminds me of Elmer's School Glue. I want my hands to smell good, and this product just made me think of second grade art projects.
Feeling really guilty about the big sample bottle Pete sent me and the fact that I wasn't loving the stuff, I asked my husband to try it. His hands get horribly dry in the winter, but he hates anthing that feels greasy or smells "too girly" so he tends to just avoid putting anything on his hands during the day at all. (Sidebar - he will put hand creme on at night, and then put big cotton socks on his hands in an effort to keep the creme on. It is like sleeping with a bear with fluffy white paws.) He loved the stuff. It absorbed quickly, and didn't smell like perfume and he could put it on and forget it. He could see the guys at work using it because it would not make their hands slippery or "stink" (his words).
Which is how we differ in both hand creme selections, and life. Tom puts it on and forgets about it, oblivious to packaging or smell. I want my hand creme to come in a big pump bottle, or a sleek tube, and to smell delicious, and keep smelling delicious. In other words, Tom walks away and forgets and I just keep demanding more and more and more.
Ah well. Thanks Pete for the opportunity to try it, and I recommend it for the men in my life and definitely for workplaces where handwashing is frequent. I, on the other hand, will stick with my creamy, "stinky", girly stuff for now.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Laura tagged me for this meme. For the record, I love meme's. Send more!
The Four Things Meme
Four Jobs I have had:
Salad Bar Girl - lasted one day. Had to mix a vat of chicken salad with my arm.
Clerk in a tampon factory
Waitress at a diner - as glamorous as you can imagine
Techie - You would think I would have a prettier blog. Alas.
4 places I've been:
4 movies I've watched over and over:
Godfather 1 and 2
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Waking Ned Devine
4 shows I watch:
Friday Night Lights
Keeping up with the Kardashians
4 places I'd rather be right now:
Jackie's Living Room
4 favorite things to eat:
Bassets Ice Cream
4 places I've lived:
4 things I look forward to this new year:
Easter with my family
Tessa's First Communion
My sister moving back home
Long weekends around the pool this summer with my family
I would like to hear what these four have to say:
Karen at Who's Pete Should I Be Worried
Shelly at Not the Daddy
Sherry at Horkin Ramblings because she needs to write more
Lumpyheads Mom because she has lots of time on her hands this week
Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. Amy is doing fine. She was operated on and is coming home today. She is still in alot of pain, but she is relieved that it wasnt something worse. Her husband managed to get home, through rain sleet and snow, in time to tuck her in last night at the hospital.
On another note, I was such a spaz with all of this going on yesterday that I forgot about a big meeting I had to go to in another town about 20 miles north. I managed to drive there in time to catch the tail end of it, remembering on the way that I was supposed to bring my parents dog home with me last night. I decided I would just have to run back down south after the meeting and get the dog. When I got to the meeting, I locked my keys in my car. Tom had to drive 50 miles in sleet to get to me and unlock the now-frozen-over door, only to have me collapse in a sobbing heap from nerves and stress about my sister. And once I finished explaining to him everything that was happening with Amy, I still had to go get the damn dog.
The payoff though, was this morning as we left. The kids LOVE the dog and E was over saying good bye to her. he was leaning over her cage and I heard him say "Bye Maggie. Dont be scared. No bears in my house."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Today started out as a normal, routine day, then my sister Amy called me, out of breath and near tears. Her husband is out of town on business and she is in tremendous pain and can’t walk, sit or lie down. I encouraged her to go to the hospital, since she definitely doesn’t sound like herself. She is afraid that it will end up being something dumb and they will think she is an alarmist. My sister can be an alarmist, and a wimp about pain, but this is different. I can tell form her voice that this pain is different and scary and foreign.
I hate this. She is several snowy hours away, and I can’t get to her. I want to see her, see her face so I can figure out how worried I should be. I want to do the worrying for her and tell her, my baby sister, that everything will be fine. I want to be able to drive her to the hospital myself, and be there to ask the questions since she is the sweet accommodating one. I am the bossy one, then one who will make sure they see her quickly and give her something for the pain. I don’t know why I think I will make a difference, but I can’t stand not being able to do something.
I finally convince her to go to the hospital, and she agrees, but not until she gets all four kids off to school. She calls me on her way to the hospital and then shortly after she arrives. They took her right back, and think she may have a kidney stone but they are running tests. She asks me to call her husband, because her cell phone keeps cutting off in the hospital, and the last message he got from her was her crying and saying she is on the way to the hospital and doesn’t know why. He is in perhaps the biggest meeting of his life today with the head honchos of his company. She knows he won’t have his cell phone on and she doesn’t want him to worry. She doesn’t want anyone to worry about her.
She calls me again moments later because the test results are back. She is pregnant and it is a tubal pregnancy. She needs emergency surgery. She is already bleeding internally and the pain is getting even worse. She is in shock. Her "baby" is 8 and she had her tubes tied years ago. She had long ago stopped thinking about babies and was content to just spoil mine. She still hasn’t spoken to her husband, and now she knows he will find out what is happening via voicemail. She wants him to know, but she didn’t want it to be that way. She just wishes someone was there with her and as she admits it she starts to cry and my heart rips out of my chest.
As we hastily plot who I need to call for her and what I should tell her kids, an email arrives from my cousin. An uncle is near death and she asks for prayers. When it rains, indeed. I call my other sister to bring her up to speed. We share our frustration at not being able to get to Amy, to do something more than just make phone calls. And then we cry a little over the baby that won’t be. A kidney stone would have been a nuisance. This is more of a loss.
So now I am waiting in limbo by the phone. Waiting for my parents to get to her at the hospital, through a snow storm. Waiting for her husband to get out of his meetings so he has someone to talk to besides a voicemail. Waiting for her kids to let me know they are back in the house safe and sound. Waiting for her to get out of surgery. Waiting for the punchline.
If you are inclined to prayer, could you send a few her way?
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wow, that is such a leading title and it has absolutely nada to do with the rest of this post. I just felt like saying it.
I know I am officially old when American Idol makes me cry. Not because I wish I had tried out, but because I can only imagine what it would be like to be the parent of someone who tried out and made it.
And, I gave up yelling for Lent. So far so good, but I might bite my tongue clean off by Easter.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I had planned on voting tonight after dinner but we all woke up early this morning so we made it a pre-dawn primary trip.
The polls opened at 7am here. Since I needed to drive across town to vote, then back to drop the boys at daycare and then travel 25 miles to work and arrive by 8am, we had to be there early. I rushed them through their morning routine, explaining that we needed to go vote for Obama and trying to impress upon them how important this was and why. They know who Obama is from the numerous campaign ads and news reports. I also promised donuts if we were fast and everyone stayed together and held hands.
On the trip over, we counted school buses and dump trucks. Then E started moaning that he didn't want to go on the "Boat for Obama" unless Daddy was coming too. J said he just wanted to see Obama and asked me if he was going to go on the bus with us (??). OK, so maybe not-quite-three is a little young to understand exactly how this primary thing works.
We got to the polling place at 6:45am and I was disappointed to see just a few cars. We got in line behind the only other voters, an elderly couple. At 7am sharp, we were ushered into the next room and I presented my ID and got my voting card. The boys came into the booth with me and I explained what I was doing and showed them where the "VOTE" button was and told them they could push it for me when I was done.
The historical significance was not lost on me as I stood there and read the names on the ballot. As I said the other day, I am very moved by the thought that my children will likely grow up never knowing a world where only white guys get to be president.*
I made my selection and the boys pushed the big green vote button to make it offical. Before we left the booth, I thought about all of the other people doing the same thing right then at the same instant that I was. Voting always reinforces for me that my vote is just as important as anyone else's. Me in my comfy mom shoes, with my noisy kids and my sticky mini-van, on equal footing with the likes of Warren Buffet, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton.
But it wasn't until after we walked out of the booth that it really hit me. Somehow, while we were in the booth for our 60 seconds of history, an entire hallway full of people had lined up. As we walked out, they were coming in in droves and we could see the cars streaming into the parking lot. It was all I could do to answer my boys donut-related inquiries as I filled up with what I can only imagine was civic pride at the turnout.
Happy Super Tuesday, whoever you are voting for.
*Yeah, I know it is just a primary, but don't ruin my moment.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I am copying this from Swistle, who copied it from a few others. It is a meme of sorts, but I think it is more like Anonymous Therapy. Just write a list of the things you wish you had said but didn't. No backstory or names needed.
(Christine, Amy, Jackie, Points for any you can guess)
1 - You were right, you weren't worthy of being my first. And I have no idea what I was doing with you.
2 - Stop babying him. He is a spoiled, selfish, self-absorbed brat who milks his "issues" for everything he can get.
3 - You copied everything I did, and milked our friendship for everything you could, lied to me because you knew you were a sell-out, and then had the nerve to cry about how much you would miss me.
4 - You can't reject someone who never wanted you in the first place.
5 - You were never good enough for me, but I just didn't know who I was yet.
6 - You, my dear, are just a miserable bitch who will die alone. Stop trying to make yourself feel better by making everyone else look bad.
7 - Laid off from what? I have hardly done any work in a year.
8 - I am the best thing that ever happened to him, so instead of picking me apart, you should be kissing my feet.
9 - You look ridiculous and fat in that, and you need to tone it down. The real you is much better than this. And stop looking at my shoes.
10 - Shut up and get in the car.
11 - I made a huge mistake and I am so lucky you forgave me and stayed friends with me.
12 - No, I dont want 15 kids I have never even met at my wedding.
Aaaaah, much better. Feel free to add your own in the comments. Or do a list and PLEASE link back so I can read yours.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
In my quest to teach my boys all of the colors, I am often asking them what color something is. I usually follow it up by asking them to name something else that is the same color.
This morning while I was getting dressed, E was talking to me and I asked him what color my pants were,
"Black, like a mean old witch hat."
Uh, right, okay. And what color is my sweater? He checked out me and my sweater and replied,
"Pink, like a big piggy."
Coincidence? I think not.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
When I was a kid, my best friend was Julie, and she lived across the street from me. She was one week younger than me, a fact I lorded over her even though she was a good 2-3 inches taller than I. Julie and I did everything together from about age 3 on. We sat together on the bus, she swam in our pool, and I spent hours laying on the floor of her family room watching "Match Game" or playing Barbies in her basement. During the months my grandmother was dying of cancer, I knew that if I ever came home from school and my mom wasn't there, it was because she was at the hospital and I was to go to Julie's house. Julie's phone number was the first one I learned after my own.
My mom tells a story about me at age 4 or so. She was getting dinner ready and the news was on. I overheard something about blacks and riots and people getting arrested and going to jail. I asked my mom if I knew any black people. She says she didn't know what to think. Either I was just dumb, or they had actually succeeded in raising a child blissfully unaware of racial differences. Julie, my first best friend, and her wonderful family, are black.
I was blissfully unaware of prejudice at that age. My family lived in what was, for the early 70's, a rare microcosm for the small, rural, middle class town we lived in. It was a cul de sac. We were white Catholics. On one side lived a Filipino-German couple, on the other WASP's, followed by Italians, more WASPS, a Jewish family, and then Julie's house. Everybody got along. I thought that was how the world was.
Every September they end one night of the evening news (NBC and Brian Williams at my house) with a list of what this years current crop of freshman have lived through. I searched around online and found this abbreviated list for the class of 2007.
They were born after:
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The Cold War and the Berlin Wall
Getting tangled up in a long kitchen phone cord
Setting the record timer on your VCR
Michael Jackson and the moonwalk
Recording music off the radio
The Oklahoma City Bombing
The O.J. Simpson Trial
At 40, I can't even say those things happened when I was a kid. Most of those things happened during college, or even *gasp* AFTER college. So now I look at my kids and I think of what will be on their list someday. My kids were born after some of the most defining moments of my adulthood - September 11th, Seinfeld, the reign of Pope John Paul II, The Sopranos, The Clinton "Impeachment", Katrina. Reality TV, Princess Diana, Columbine, Y2K, and the '92 LA riots.
I haven't made up my mind yet about who I will vote for. There are too many months of debates, and spins to get through. And I will vote for who I believe the best person for the job is, regardless of party, gender or race. But it brings me great joy to think that there is a very good chance that my kids will never know a time when only old white guys get to be president.
This is cross-posted over at DC Moms.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Last night as we put the kids to bed, Jonas spewed undigested corn all over the hallway carpet. This after he had spent an hour sitting on my lap (with bucket and towels nearby) telling me he was not sick. They made it through the night without another eruption, and they are home with Tom today and still vomit free at almost noon. But I highly suspect more is to come, since their classmates and teacher were all violently ill when they had it.
Sidebar - "Violently Ill" always makes me laugh. As if you should be vigorously swinging swords and knives around instead of weakly lying on the bathroom floor trying not to shit yourself.
So as I was scrubbing vomit out of the carpet last night, I couldn't help but think that motherhood is one gross ride. Between the vomiting, the snot sucker, the rectal thermometer, the diarrhea, the pink eyes and the draining ears, it's a regular 3rd world country peace corps experience. But without the peace.
This wasn't in the brochure.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Things I would be musing about if I wasn't so crazy busy this week:
- Whether a car dealer with a radio commercial that has a hickish woman saying "I would buy from them again in a skinny minute." really wants my business.
- Why my kids are in complete denial about the existence of toilets
- Why I continue to love American Idol
- Why I am already feeling campaign malaise and it's not even Spring yet
- Goodie Bags - to do, or not to do for the boys 3rd birthday?
- Whether or not it was a wise decision to leave my kids at daycare today when the head daycare lady said she was "feeling much better today but I threw up all night."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
In-vitro wasn't a small thing for me to venture into. For me, life begins at conception, and I was NOT going to have 30 little mini-me's created in a lab by an over-zealous fertility clinic staff. I had long conversations with my doctor about conservatively stimulating me, and even more conservatively harvesting and fertilizing. The final result was 4 embryos, 2 of which became our boys, and two of which we froze. For the "future".
I have thought about those two frozen embryos every single day since they were created. When our kids were about 10 months old, I wildly thought I was ready to try again. I even saw the doctor and had a chat and some blood work done. For several different reasons, we didn't go through with it at the time. And it was for the best. We have made great strides since then in becoming more financially secure, and more parentally and maritally relaxed and secure.
But while I was thinking about those little embryos every day, I wasn't actually sure when it was that I was going to be ready to meet them. Sure we talked about when/if/how we would have more, but in the back of my mind I kept putting it off. Sometimes Tom will jokingly say "Just two more." whenever our kids were being particularly bratty or challenging. It was funny the first few times he said it, but then I realized he was serious. He really does want two more. And I started to resent it. What was a "Why not?" thing for him, was a "Holy Shit!" thing for me. The doctor's visits, the pre-natal worrying. The extra work and the extra expense of one more. Or two more.
And then the other day I got a letter in the mail from my fertility doctor. A letter and two forms. One form for us to fill out and sign saying that we no longer wanted to store our frozen embryos and giving them permission to destroy them. And another form to fill out if instead we wished to continue having them store the embryos with "the intention of a future transfer and possible pregnancy". And suddenly the room started swirling around me. The future was no longer far away. It had walked into my kitchen and said 'Hello! Remember me? Time to wake up lady!"
And it was all so clear. I do want another baby. I know it won't be easy or quick. I am committed to losing at least 30 pounds before I even schedule an appointment with my fertility doctor to talk about transferring the frozen embryos. And I want to start exercising regularly again. That means at least 4 times a week. I am 40 now, and my kids are getting faster and I am getting slower. That has to be fixed. I want to feel really good before I even try to get pregnant again.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I finally feel like I am starting to "get" it at work and can go to a meeting without living in mortal fear that someone will ask me a question.
I had a meeting this morning at 11. I spent all morning working on some complex data and I was so into it I lost track of time and ended up just getting to the meeting in time. I didn't even have time to run to the bathroom. It went well and I rushed back to my desk after to get a few more things done before lunch.
And that is when I saw it. The big, very red, splotch on the seat of my cushy baby blue office chair.
Just when I think I am an adult, suddenly I am 14 again. At least I am wearing black pants. But the chair looks like it took a bullet for me.
PSA - 13 Baby wipes will take 90% of the blood out of a desk chair cushion. After furious scrubbing.
How do I explain the other 10%?
So his "review" was yesterday afternoon. When he got home last night we were doing the usual, "So how was work? Did you mail the water bill? Can you take the trash out?" while we were getting dinner ready. And just as we get the kids settled at the table to eat, he says "Oh hey, I lost 33 pounds since last year."
I thought he looked like he had lost a few pounds, but 33? 33 POUNDS? If I had lost 33 pounds, I would have bought a new wardrobe. And put an announcenment in the paper. And possibly had a parade.
How did he do it? In typical male fashion, where all they have to do is think about needing to lose weight and it comes off. He gave up soda, and got a job where he was more physically active. Slightly more active. For me to be active enough to lose 33 pounds, I woud probably have to try to rebuild the pyramids. Alone.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Yes, I know I said I was trying to unclutter the blog, but JerseyGirl89 had to go and tell me about Pyzam and all of their fancy free blogger templates and this one just struck me.
Two cherries. For my two little guys. Because they didn't have one with two cocktail weenies.
My Target just knocked a ton of toys down to 75% off!
I bought stuff for my kids for Christmas next year, bought a birthday and Christmas gift for one nephew, and Christmas or birthday gifts for three of my nieces. Plus, I bought four awesome gifts for the upcoming birthday parties my kids are invited to. Awesome enough that I can feel very cool and generous just giving one really awesome gift even though I have two kids coming to the party.
I just ran in for tampons and got so much more.
Target can use that as their new slogan. You saw it here first.
Monday, January 7, 2008
A few weeks ago one of the boys looked up at me with his angelic face, sweet dimples and trusting blue eyes and said, solemnly,
"Mommy, we do not say "Fuck it".
Stunned, and trying not to laugh I said, "No, we sure don't."
Again he regarded me with his most serious face and repeated, "We don't say "Fuck It".
In the next day or two, the subject came up a few more times, and each time it went pretty much the same way, he informing me, gravely, what we don't say, and me agreeing that he was correct.
I knew he hadn't heard it from me, and although I far exceed my husband in profanity, I did check with him and he was also unaware of the origin of the "Fuck It" rule. I mentioned it to his daycare lady, who was equally stunned and amused by it, as I had been. She wasn't aware of any recent F-bombs among the 2-3 year olds, but would keep an ear out. We figured that one of the other children may have said it in the presence of another day care employee and my son, overhearing the discussion, filed it away for later use.
Don't even get me started on the latest Boob Fascination that both the boys have. I know that it is normal at this age for them to be noticing and mentioning the differences among people's bodies, but having two boys chase me down the hall yelling "Let me see your boobies!" kind of freaks me out.
Bad enough that their father does it.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
If you are here on a real visit, and not via a blog reader, you may have noticed some changes round here. I took off everything except for my blog roll. Hopefully this will speed up loading for some of you (Sherry I am looking at you), and just feel less cluttered for all of you.
I am not big on resolutions per se. I prefer a "Theme" that I can apply to everything in my life. Without going all preachy-Oprah on you, I hope 2008 will be about simplifying my life, and this is one of the places I am starting. Not that I will blog less. I actually hope to blog more. But I don't need all of the bells and whistles and links and clubs I was trying to be part of in 2007. So bye-bye Blogher ads. I am not sure how to officially break it off with them but since I haven't seen any revenue checks yet, I think they may have beat me to it.
It looks sort of monastic and barren here, so if anyone knows someone who can do some spiffying up for me color and theme-wise, and who can do it for less than $100, let me know.
On a related note, I think my husband made a "Theme" to rock my world in as many ways as possible this year and it is working beautifully. Lets hope we both stick to our "Themes" this year.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
We had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year. We spent Christmas at my sister Christine's in Pittsburgh and it was a whirlwind of celebrating. We started with a birthday party for 3 year old niece Sanna on the 23rd where I got to meet my sister's wonderful friends Maria and Grace, finally. Hi Grace!!
On the 24th Christine and my mom and I had a last-minute shopping trip and lunch out which was a treat for the body and mind. It is so nice to get away and have adult conversation with two of my favorite people in the world. We went to Mass that night and my BIL Bart watched the kids so Tom and I were able to relax, hold hands, and LISTEN at mass for a change. Although we actually spent a good part of the time pointing out other people's cute kids and missing ours.
Christmas morning was a blast of paper, toys and kids. I could watch the kids open presents for hours. Mine were slightly confused by all the activity at first and then loved their new cars, microphones and baseball bats. I loved watching Christine's kids, especially since she dragged out their "big" gifts until the very end. I gave Tom a camcorder and had fun wielding it all morning. Later in the day we had a much quieter dinner with his family and it was great chance to nap and catch up with them.
We came home Wednesday and I spent the next two days on laundry and figuring out where to put all of the new stuff we got. On Saturday it was off to Pottsville to my sister Amy's for a weekend of kids, cookies and cards. We all slept through the ball dropping but still had a great end of 2007.
I know this is a newsie, hokie Mom kind of post, but that was the kind of peaceful, happy holiday we had. I hope yours was equally nice and I wish you all of the very best in 2008.